Recent Posts

Air Conditioners - To Do List

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

man replacing filter in commercial hvac system Regular maintenance is a must

As facility-maintenance professionals prepare for summer, it is important they make sure evaporator-coil cleaning and maintenance is on their to-do list states John from SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park.

“Not only do you want to make sure your HVAC system is running properly, but uncleaned coils can shorten the life of your equipment and force your system to work harder than it should,” John said, “Dirty coils can drastically increase the cost of running your HVAC, but one of the quickest and safest ways to maintain your system is through a comprehensive coil-cleaning program.”

Citing a Southern California Edison report, while uncleaned evaporator coils decreased energy efficiency by 35 percent, dirty condenser coils caused energy efficiency to drop 60 percent, meaning much more power and money was required to cool at the same rate as a system with clean coils.

Additionally, dirty evaporator coils can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria as airborne contaminants are filtered through the system, negatively impacting indoor-air quality.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont recently released a checklist for effectively cleaning coils:

  • Obtain the best possible access.Cleaning coils works best when a maintenance technician can get the cleaning wand close to the areas that need to be cleaned. Consider using flexible wands if access is difficult.
  • Vacuum coils and fins.Before cleaning, remove dry debris from coils with a vacuum that can reach dust and dirt in tight spaces. Other options include using compressed air.
  • Clear blockages.Condensate pans and lines need to be free of blockages before wet cleaning can begin, as any obstructions can cause major damage from flooding and because of HVAC-system condensate. Consider a wet/dry vacuum to remove any debris prior to cleaning.
  • Use a wet cleaning process.Pressurized water forces deeply embedded dirt and debris to come loose, vastly improving the cleaning process.
  • Use a powerful-yet-delicate cleaning system.High-pressure equipment can damage fins, especially on evaporator coils. The ideal system should deliver 125 to 200 psi and up to a half-gallon of flow per minute.
  • Apply an alkaline non-caustic cleaning foam.Use of a non-caustic cleaner helps to protect coils from corrosion.
  • Apply a mold-control agent.Adding a mold inhibitor that is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered and approved for use in occupied spaces can help to keep coils clean and free of odor and allergy-causing mold and mildew.

If you need Your Air Conditioning unit checked out, please call SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park (857) 399-9797

We are here to help!

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Yesterday a pipe broke in the middle of the night causing water to pour into 2 retail businesses. At 5:30 Am the commercial property owner was notified and he immediately called SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park.  SERVPRO’s crew arrived and immediately began to extract the water. The business owner was hoping to be open for business at his usual 9:30 AM opening time. Additional crews were dispatched to take care of the 2 other business affected.  The crews worked feverishly to ensure that both businesses could open at their usual time.  The SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park project manager using a moisture detector and infrared camera created a moisture map to determine all affected floors, walls and ceilings. The project managed related this information to the crews so that they could strategically place the necessary drying equipment. The equipment was set up and the businesses were open at their usual time. If your home or business has undergone water damage, please call SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park (857) 399-9797 to assist you.

Furnace Puffback

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs cleaning ceiling after furnace puffback We are always ready to help!

If your home has an oil burning furnace, there are several dangers to be aware of. Any furnace can experience a puff back. While puff backs are more common with oil systems, a furnace puff back can also occur with forced air, gas and hot water heating systems. A puff back in a furnace is a volatile explosion that occurs inside your furnace. The result of this explosion is fire and smoke being spewed out from your furnace. This fire, smoke and soot will damage your home's building materials and contents. This explosion will not be lethal, but can cause thousands of dollars in costly repairs and damage restoration, and can also cause health problems for you and your family. The explosions are caused by a buildup of vapor inside your furnace. This build up can occur with furnaces which have not been maintained properly. Parts sometimes need to be replaced, and bi yearly cleaning of your furnace and heating system will help prevent puff backs. Conducting a yearly exam of your heating system or having a professional check your heating system yearly will oftentimes fully prevent a puff back from ever occurring.

 If you have experienced a puff back avoids doing the following: Try to clean or wash away soot residue yourself. This soot and smoke residue needs special cleaning methods, as it spreads easily. Soot stains can also set very quickly, making soot damage especially tricky to clean if you should do it wrong. Soot is black carbon, and black carbon will stain extremely quickly when mixed with water and common household liquid cleaners. Should you attempt to remove the soot yourself and end up staining something with soot in your home, a professional cleaner may be required to remove the stain. Should you have soot damage, you should leave it to a professional to clean. SERVPRO professionals trained in soot damage have special cleaners and cleaning methods to use to remove your soot and soot damage. Use furniture or walk on carpeting affected by the fire or puff back. Do not use furniture that has been exposed to heat, soot or smoke. You can cause further damage to your furniture, until it is professionally cleaned and restored. Do not turn on any electronics such as computers, stereos, and TVs until you have had them checked for soot damaged. Computers can be especially vulnerable and ruined as soon as they are turned on if soot has made its way inside them. This soot also contains a corrosive element, which will damage home's building materials, and contents such as your electronics, furniture, clothing and more. Not only can this soot damage your property, it can also affect the health of your loved ones by causing respiratory problems. This soot will often have a very terrible odor that will swiftly travel throughout the home, and will need to be cleaned and deodorized in order to remove the offensive odor from your home. If the soot and smoke travels through your home's duct work, it will need to be cleaned and deodorized as well. You also need to have a professional check your furnace following a puff back, to avoid further incidents. You may have a faulty part or an oil burner that may need replacing. If the problem is ignored, it can cause repeated and long lasting effects to your home. Should you experience a furnace puff back, you should contact SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park at (857) 399-9797 to help with the cleanup.

Fire Safety Tips

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

cartoon image of hand putting out fire with fire extinguisher Safety should be your priority especially when dealing with fires

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a Fire:

SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.

Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms.

Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

COOKING SAFETY

Never leave cooking unattended.

Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames

Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

ESCAPING THE FIRE

Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.

Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.

In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.

HEATING SOURCE

Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.

Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.

MATCHES/LIGHTERS AND SMOKING

Keep matches/lighters away from children.

Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.

If you must smoke, do it responsibly.

ELECTRICAL WIRING

Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.

Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.

Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

If you do have a fire, please call SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park (857) 399-9797 to assist you in the cleanup.

Ladder Safety

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

construction worker climbing ladder Ladder safety is important

Take the time before you climb. Check to see if your ladder is safe to use before stepping foot on a rung. Ladders get thrown in and out of trucks and closets which may cause the ladders to get beat-up. A damaged ladder is unsafe to use and should be immediately taken out of service. 

If you notice any cracked or damaged uprights, braces, or rungs, the ladder should not be used. Loose nails, screws, bolts or other metal parts are also a huge red flag. The ladder rungs should be secure and clean of any oil or dirt. Foot treads should not be worn out and all of the ladder’s labels should be present and legible. As always, only use a ladder on a stable surface. If the ladder is rocking even slightly, or if you need to place something underneath the feet of the ladder to keep it stable, the ladder is unsafe for use.

Why is inspection so important? According to the World Health Organization, the United States has the most number of deaths caused by falls from ladders. Falls from ladders are also the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. There are over 164,000 emergency room visits and 300 deaths from falling from ladders. The majority of falls from ladders that lead to death are from heights of 10 feet or less from the ground. The number of deaths has tripled over the past decade. Most of these deaths may have been prevented by inspecting ladders before use and putting defected ladders out of service. Another factor that may decrease the amount of fatalities and injuries due to falls from ladders is proper training.

The following list outlines just a few items to train employees in regards to the safe and proper use of ladders.

Always maintain 3-points of contact at all times when climbing

 Do not carry any materials up or down a ladder

 Wear a tool belt

 Use a hand line

 Face the ladder when ascending or descending

 Never overreach

 Work only within an arm’s reach of the ladder

 Keep your belt buckle between the sides rails of  the ladder at all times

Only allow one person to climb the ladder at a time

Extension Ladders:

Position the ladder at the proper pitch (1/4 rule)

Extend the side rails at least 36 inches or 3 rungs above

Secure the top of the ladder to help prevent shifting

If you have water or fire damage, please call SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park (857) 399-9797

Water Damage and Your Business

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

files and ceiling damaged by water in office building We are here to get you back to business!

Flooding and water damage events at Town of Boston commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. If your business has sustained a fire or water damage, please contact SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park (857) 399-9797 to assist you.

Stay Safe During Summer Time

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

yellow caution tape with fire debris behind Stay safe during the summer

Don’t let your summer plans go up in flames! Simple ways to prevent a fire

Summer time is here and the last thing you want to deal with is a house fire! Some of the most common causes of fire damage are:

  1. Cooking equipment
  2. Careless smoking
  3. Electrical equipment
  4. Lawn Mowers
  5. Barbeques
  6. Flammable liquids

Many cooking fires are caused by grease or oil that ignites while unattended. A lot of grill fires are caused by mishandled propane gas. Smoking indoor or outdoor and not properly putting out the bud can spark a fire. Also lawn mowers can build up flammable vapors and when combined with heat source go up in flames in your garage. Short circuits and electrical malfunctions can also cause a fire to start in a home.

The good news is that all of these causes of fire can be prevented. When cooking for large group have a designated cook who will watch over the food on the stove or grill until it has cooked and then properly shuts the stove or grill. Always grill outdoors and away from any structures.  Have baking soda or a bucket of sand nearby in case you need to put out a fire. NEVER add water to grease fire. Try to smoke outdoors when you can, ensure the bud is completely put out by dipping in water or a bucket of sand.  Check the batteries on your smoke detectors regularly. Also, keep flammables away from fire sources. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby!

Accidents happen, in the unfortunate event that there is a fire call 911 immediately and get to a safe location!  

When the fire has been put out assess the damages to determine if you need to put in a claim with your property insurance carrier. Once complete begin the remediation process by reaching out to a professional like us! Although we cannot get what was lost back - Our job is to make it look like the fire never happened.

Lightning Cause Fires Too!

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

lightning bolt and fire in the sky during storm We are here to help 365 24/7

Lightning peaks during the summer months around June – August here in Massachusetts. Lightning – related fires typically happen during the late afternoon and evening.

A simple Google search returns numerous counts of lightning fires that have occurred in our state in the recent years. One of the highest profiles was in 2018 where a 150 year old church in Wakefield, Ma went up in flames after being struck by lightning.

Lightening is normally accompanied by a storm which turns the day into darkness and at times is followed by rumbles in the air. To some it’s a scary experience. What is most important and the purpose of this post is that you know what to do in the event you find yourself near or in a property that is in flames due to being struck by lightning.

How do you know if your home was struck by lightning – one insurance company states: Expect to hear an explosive sound so loud and powerful that everything inside your house shakes.

Because lightning storms are so common, many newly constructed homes have been designed to withstand lightening strikes. Most homes are also equipped with some sort of surge protection. It is still recommended that you are still extra cautious with these simple steps:

  1. Protect electrical equipment by unplugging them when you know a thunderstorm has surfaced.
  2. If you have to talk on the phone during a lightning storm its best to use your cell phone
  3. Stay away from windows and doors
  4. Stay away from water until the storm has passed

In the event you believe your home was struck most times a fire will follow. Call 911 if you suspect there is a fire in your home and get to a safe location.

After the storm assess the damages (if any) to determine if you need to put in a claim with your property insurance carrier. Once complete begin the remediation process by reaching out to a professional like us 857-399-9797! Although we cannot get what was lost back - Our job is to make it look like the fire never happened.

Storms in the Summer Time

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

formation of hurricane from meteorologist view Always be prepared, we are here to help when you need us

If you are a Boston resident you typically were looking forward to the warm weather given some of the cold days we experienced this past winter. Long behold summer is finally here! It’s a great time to visit the beaches and the beautiful towns of Boston. Just keep in mind, the summer weather also brings an increase in thunderstorm activity.

July is typically one of the hottest months of the summer in Boston with temperatures averaging over 80 degrees.  We also see the most thunderstorms in July than any other month. According to weather experts there is a higher chance of a tropical storm coming within 100 miles of Boston during the month of July.

What does this means for you as a home or business owner? It means you need to ensure your home and/or business is properly protected to prevent damage due to storm. One of the most common losses caused by storm is water seeping into the property causing a flood and damaging personal belongings. In addition, if moister is left then coupled with warm temperature it creates a breeding ground for mold. Fire’s can also start as a result of a storm. In the summer months it’s common for lightning to strike and cause a fire. Prepare yourself and business for anything that can happen this summer – good and bad.

In June our office answered to multiple water damage calls after rain fall. So far we have had more than 3 major rain fall this summer – each resulting in a few claims that our office attended to in the Mattapan & Hyde Park area. We were happy to be called but at least four of the losses could have been prevented had the business properly closed a window or checked if the sump pump was functioning properly. None the less, our team was available to help. We were able to address the cause of the damage, dry the area, then restore/replace the area “Like it never even happened.”

Summer time is for your enjoyment here at SERVPRO of Mattapan & Hyde Park we want to make sure you can get back to your summer time fun after a storm without a hitch. Call us in your time of need or if you want to be proactive and set up an Emergency Ready Profile call us today 857-399-9797.

Natural Disasters Can Happen Anywhere

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

car parked on street flooded by water from hurricane Natural Disasters Can Happen Anywhere- Be prepared

When natural disasters occur most times we have little time to prepare. A common natural disaster that not only affects coastal property is a flood. Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

A flood can be a result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems. They can develop slowly or quickly – Flash floods can come with no warning. When there is a flash flood there is typically no warning or very little time between when the warning is given and the onset of the flood. Floods have been known to cause electrical outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

It is very important if you have been warned of a potential flood that you do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. It is very easy to drown during a flood - Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Be safe by evacuating if you are told to do so or moving to higher ground and/or level where possible. It is also recommended that you stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

The best thing you can do is prepare yourself well in advance. Gather and store supplies in a safe place in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each family members specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets either. Keep extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment so they are functioning during the time of need.

Once the warning is over and the storm has passed assess any damages to your home or business. Your top priority is still safety! Call your insurance provider if there were any damages – for a flood it would typically be FEMA on a specialized flood policy. Call SERVPRO of Mattapan/Hyde Park for the remediation and reconstruction of your property – 857-399-9797.