Recent Posts

Precautions to Take to Keep Your Home Safe From Wildfires

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

a gated long brown pebble driveway tucked next to a large brick home If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline is ready and able to repair any damage.

While flooding is a major concern in the greater Boston area, there is also a risk of wildfire. While the risk may be lower in Massachusetts than in other parts of the country, it is still a risk, and wildfires by their very nature can cause great damage.

There are a number of steps you can take in advance to minimize the risk of a wildfire affecting your home and property. First and foremost, it’s important to simply be more careful when it comes to fire hazards.

But defensible space is another important protocol you can implement.

Create a Barrier of Protection Around Your Home

Creating a fire break around your home is recommended by most communities and its law in a few states. State and federal agencies have coined the term “defensible space.”

This essentially creates a buffer zone around your house that removes most, if not all, of the fuel available for a wildfire. Things like dead trees, broken-off tree limbs and gutters full of debris are all examples of the fuel that makes wildfires extra dangerous around a home.

Defensible space involves removing combustibles and incorporating nonflammable elements in landscaping, which creates a barrier around your home from the flames, embers or even heat from a wildfire. This is the best way to slow down or stop a wildfire.

States like California require defensible space by law and all homeowners must comply. In Massachusetts, it’s simply recommended.

The Rising Number of Wildfires

While California is a hot spot for wildfires, they happen in other parts of the country as well. Last year, we experienced over 59,000 wildfires.

Of the 59,000 wildfires, over 10,000 occurred in California! That still leaves each state in the union an average of 1,000 wildfires per month. Here in Massachusetts, we had 1,189 wildfires in 2020.

Creating defensible space is something tangible we can do in advance a wildfire, so it’s a great place to begin when it comes to protecting your home.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

We Help With Storm Damage

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

trees getting knocked down due to rain We are always here when you need us 24/7 365

Severe weather is a powerful thing, and it can cause significant damage to homes, property and businesses. In recent years, the cost of treating storm damage has continued to rise nationwide, but not treating it can lead to much larger problems with your structures later on.

Choosing the right restoration company is one of the most important things you can do if you have sustained storm damage. They will be responsible for taking care of your building and belongings, as well as making sure that every aspect of the damage is thoroughly handled.

Picking the right company for the job will provide you with great peace of mind and ensure that any damage is properly addressed.

Why We Have Become Leaders in Storm Restoration

Our reputation has been earned over time. We are proud to be not only a member of the local community but also to be considered a leader in the restoration industry as a whole. We have worked hard to earn our reputation, and we are proud of it. After disasters, there are many scams afoot that take advantage of those who are vulnerable, but when you trust us, you can be certain you are getting the best in the business.

Our resources allow us to take on more jobs. If there is a large area that is impacted by a storm, you do not want a company that is struggling to keep up with demand to be in charge of your restoration. Thanks to our national partners, we can handle disasters that are any size with the same service and expertise we always do. When there is a large storm, we can call for backup in the way of extra resources and workforce to handle the issues.

Our emergency response is truly 247. Severe weather never takes a day off, so we won’t either. You can call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to report your damage and receive exceptional service, so as soon as you discover you need us, we can be there. No matter what time you discover you have received damage, you can call us and be certain you will receive a rapid response from our expert technicians.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

Your Business and Changing Seasons

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

different seasons in Boston Massachusetts Being prepared is the best thing you can do for your business.

If you are a Boston resident or property owner you know that the winter is unpredictable. Some years we barely get snow and the temperatures are fairly mild. While other years it is frigid with howling winds and never ending snow storms.

No matter what kind of winter is in the cards for us this year, as a property owner you should be prepared. You should not wait until winter is upon us to prepare your property. The time is now, before the fall! During this time you should be making repairs and doing preventative maintenance.

Some areas to consider:

Gutters

Clean and repair the gutter before the temperature drops. Seal leaking caps and if you can add a gutter cover to prevent debris build up. Consider investing in a gutter heating cable. This will help prevent ice dams. 

Windows and walk ways

Check your windows to make sure there are not any air leaks or excessive condensation build up. Most windows are believed to have a life cycle of 20yrs check your windows to ensure they are not at or nearing the end of their cycle. Check your walk way for any major cracks that will need to be repaired.  Pay attention to seams as well.

Boiler Room

Boilers should be serviced once a year by an engineer. The most important part of winterizing is ensuring buildings boiler will operate throughout the long winter. Ensure the pipes are well insulated as extreme cold weather can cause the boiler to shut off - which can result in frozen pipes.

HVAC

Check and replace air filters if necessary. Turn your system on to ensure it is functioning properly. Like a car idleness is not good. Run the heating unit a few weeks before temperatures start to drop to keep it working properly.

Water faucets and water lines

Drain outdoor water faucets and water lines to make sure there is no sitting water. If there is water in the water lines it can freeze in cold temperatures and cause damage to the water line and faucets.

Roof

Roofs typically have a 12 year life span. You can usually do a visual test of your roof to get a better idea of its current condition. Repair or replace any missing shingles. An added benefit of updating your roof is an insurance discount for newly replaced roof!

Fix crack in concrete and asphalt

Water is easily absorbed by concrete given the nature of the materials. If there are large cracks make sure you fill them in because salt during snowy season causes damage.

Whether you are a home owner or a property manager it is important to be proactive so you prevent possible damages to your property. Losses will happen but if you use preventative measures you can possibly help minimize the level of damage thus lowering the amount of money needed to repair/replace your property.

If your business or home experiences a loss give SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline a call 617-903-5055! We are here to help 24/7. 

Storms - Be prepared

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

excessive water causes trees to come off ground Storms can catch you off guard. Knowing what to do is important.

When the sky is clear and the weather is warm, it seems silly to think about thunderstorms ruining the fun—but unfortunately, this happens quite often on hot, humid days, as that creates the ideal condition for a sudden storm to form.

When storms catch people off-guard, they are often extra dangerous because people are not sure of what to do. With these tips, you can make sure you are prepared for a storm anywhere.

Make Sure You Are Prepared for a Storm Anywhere

Know your options for shelter. When you hear that a storm is a possibility and you are somewhere you can wait out the threat, this would be the ideal thing to do. That being said, when storms come up suddenly, this will not always be an option. You can set up shelter in your vehicle with the proper guidelines in mind, enabling you to wait out the storm anywhere you are.

Practice electrical safety. Claps of thunder are caused by lightning strikes, so any thunderstorm has the potential to cause lightning damage. If you are sheltering in a building, unplugging your electronics can help prevent damage from a power surge in case lightning strikes the building. Surge protectors are also a smart thing to invest in, both for your home and your office, in case you are not around when a storm starts.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. While concrete structures do have sturdiness going for them, they also pose risks when it comes to lightning strikes due to their metal framework. When lightning strikes a concrete building, the electricity can transfer from the metal and through the concrete, so be careful to not sit or lean against any concrete surfaces during a storm.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. If you are interrupted by a thunderstorm, you will likely want to get back to your summer fun as soon as you can, but it is important to give yourself ample time in your shelter spot. Lightning can travel nearly 30 miles from the center of a storm cell, so experts recommend waiting at least 30 minutes before heading back outside.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.617-903-5055

Handling Storm in Your Business

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

lightening striking Be prepared and know that SERVPRO of Allston. Brighton & Brookline is only a call away.

If your business has been affected by flood the most important thing you can do is act quickly to reduce the level of damage and try to contain recovery costs. If no one is injured the first thing you want to do is call your insurance company.  Follow the 3 Be's:

Be Safe

Make sure your building is safe before you enter. Do a quick assessment of the exterior of the building to see if there are any structural damages. You should also check for possible electrical hazards. The safest thing you can do is to turn off the power if possible. Since there is the potential for electrocution if electricity is still running make sure you are wearing protective gear as you walk through the property.

Be Quick

Time is of the essence when dealing with standing water. It takes less than 48 hours for mold to grow and spread. For this reason you want to quickly remove the excess water. Open windows and use air movers to help with drying. You then want to ensure there are no pockets of concealed water – either under carpet or on water absorbing material (i.e. concrete).  If flood is laden with bacteria or chemicals do not try to clean on your own get a professional like SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline involved.

If you have suffered a flood or other water disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline 617-903-5055

Be Thorough

Make sure you document everything! Take a picture of the damaged condition and anything you are throwing out. This will be important for the recovery process with your insurance company.

If all of this seems like a lot of work that you are not ready or do not have the time to take on do not worry! SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton, & Brookline can ease the stress and complete the entire process for you. All we need is your insurance carrier name and your claim number and we will take care of the rest. We are here for you during this time of need and our trained technicians will make the damage look “Like it never even happened.”

Call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline when you need us 617-903-5055!

Water Damage - What to Expect

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

water in crawl space Know what to expect when you call us. We are always here to help!

SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today -(617) 903-5055

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis.SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect: When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

OurSERVPRORepresentative will ask several questions:

Your name and contact information

Your insurance information (if applicable)

The street address of the water-damaged home or business

When did the flooding or water damage occur?

What caused the water damage (if known)?

Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline

SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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

Plumbing Trouble? What To Do

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling missing from bathroom Plumbing issues can cause a lot of damage - know what to do to prevent such a loss.

You depend on your plumbing each and every day, from the hot water in your shower to the water boiling on your stove. As such, it’s important to maintain your plumbing regularly to make sure there aren’t any major issues such as leaks or sewage backups. But plumbing problems can still occur with regular maintenance, so it’s good to be aware of common plumbing issues and what you can do to solve them or minimize damage to your home.

Low Water Pressure

Proper water pressure is necessary for washing your hands, cleaning dishes, and taking a shower. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your home’s water pressure, you probably have a clogged pipe. It’s also possible that you need to fully open your shutoff valve. If you’re only having water pressure issues with one faucet, the solution may be as simple as cleaning the aerator or removing a nearby clog.

Dripping Faucet

Depending on the severity of the drip, a dripping faucet can raise your water bill and waste a significant amount of water—not to mention how annoying it can be. Luckily, fixing a dripping faucet is usually as simple as replacing seats and springs or a washer in the faucet.

Running Toilet

It happens so frequently: minutes after flushing your toilet, you can still hear the toilet running as if the bowl is filling with water. This is an incredibly annoying problem to have, but usually, an easy one to fix. Remove the lid from your toilet tank and make sure that your tank ball, flapper valve, and flush valve are working properly—if any of them are sticking or not functioning right, they’re easy to replace.

Clogged Drain

Clogged or slow drains are probably the most common plumbing problem. Plumbing pipes are designed to allow water and waste to flow through freely, but over time, built up hair, soap scum and other debris can form a clog in your drain that prevents water from passing. This is almost sure to happen in any home given enough time. You can use vinegar and baking soda to break up clogs in your sink, or you can buy a drain auger and remove the clog manually.

Sometimes the clog may be deeper in your pipes or too severe to easily remove, look into professional plumbing services; they have the equipment and expertise to clear clogged drains without causing damage to your plumbing. If you have sewage damage as a result of a clogged drain or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055

Leaking Pipes

Leaks aren’t just an annoyance; they can significantly increase your water bill and quickly cause damage to your home. If you have a leaking pipe that’s beyond a slow drip, shut your water off as soon as possible. If there is any chance of mold or structural damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055 to avoid spending a fortune on repairs. Leaking pipes generally need to be replaced, but you can use marine tape or epoxy to cover small leaks temporarily—just remember to shut the water off first.

No Hot Water

Have you ever rolled out of bed and into the shower only to find there’s no hot water? It’s not a good experience. Chances are you’ve got something wrong with your water heater, most probably an electrical problem such as a thermostat or element. If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting your water heater, it’s a good idea to get help from a trained, knowledgeable professional.

Plumbing truly is an essential part of our everyday lives. We can’t all be professional plumbers, but with a little bit of research and hard work, you can stay cool, calm and collected in the face of a plumbing emergency

 If you have water damage as a result of any of these or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline (617) 903-5055

Trauma and Your Business

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

caution tape Its important to call professionals when there is trauma that needs to be properly cleaned. We are here 365 24/7

If you are in the hospitality business then you know that fatalities happen in the facility. Maybe more than you would like. 

Under the Federal Government and Department of Labor, OSHA has created regulations concerning the handling of items or objects that may have been contaminated with blood and/or bodily fluids. These regulations are in place to not only protect the general public but also, the professionals doing the cleaning. Potential pathogens in bodily fluids include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and prions. It is extremely important that the standards are abided to not only to prevent the spread of possible disease but also to avoid hefty fines from the Environmental Protection Agency EPA.

It is important to note that cleaning cannot and will not begin at a trauma site until police actions are completed and the site is released by police. We stress the importance of performing quality cleaning services to prevent cross contamination. For this reason we clean the ceiling down to the floor. Our techs will be in special protective gear and use EPA certified products to clean the affected areas.

Time is of the essence when dealing with cleaning a trauma site because the longer the pathogen settles the harder it is to clean the surface and eliminate contaminates.  Because we have experience in this field our team already knows the process and what to do – so you can be rest assured the cleanup will be done right and under Federal standards.  Call SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline when you need us 617-903-5055!

Is Your Business Prepared For Fire Emergencies

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

black smoke and flames Fire safety is important let us know how we can help!

If you own a business, it is important that you are honest about potential risks from every source—including from emergencies and natural disasters. With the possibility of commercial fires and the data behind how costly they can be, preparing for these is key to the longevity of your operations.

There are many ways to get started in fire safety planning, but we always recommend originating from a safety standpoint. Teaching your employees how to perform a fire evacuation is a key element to keeping everyone safe in case the fire alarm were to sound for real.

Teaching Your Employees How to Perform a Fire Evacuation

Consult with your local fire officials. With the internet, you have so many research options at your fingertips surrounding commercial fire safety, but do not forget about your local options as well. You can generally have your local fire officials come and provide you with personalized advice for planning your evacuation routes and boosting your fire safety.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have decided what evacuation routes suit your needs, be sure they are labeled clearly and your staff is aware of the upcoming drill. Keeping everyone looped in will create more transparency and be sure every one of your staff members are prepared when the drill begins.

Have fire drills frequently. Though taking time out of your day for a fire drill is not ideal, generally doing them once every few months is sufficient enough for everyone’s safety. Keep them on the schedule regularly enough so that everyone can remember the protocols, but not so often that they become mundane.

Run different fire scenarios. There are many ways fires start and spread throughout an office space, so your drills should reflect this to better prepare everyone for a real fire. Have your mock fire block different exit routes so your employees can see what it is like to alter their course with little notice just like they may have to if the fire alarm sounds for real.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour— call us today 617-903-5055

A New Standard of Clean, That’s the SERVPRO Difference | SERVPRO® of Allston, Brighton & Brookline

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee placing a CSC sticker on building glass If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, get in touch with the SERVPRO of Allston, Brighton & Brookline.

All throughout the country, as well as in Massachusetts, areas are experiencing declining COVID-19 cases and a return to a more normal life. Consumers around Cambridge, and the Boston area in general, are beginning to return to life as it was pre-pandemic.

As we do so, though, we have new expectations when it comes to businesses. Today’s savvy consumers know they have choices.

As normal activities resume, consumers will go to businesses they feel have cleaned and sanitized. In other words, they will patronize restaurants and stores that care about their safety.

Looking to meet those new expectations? SERVPRO can help.

How the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program Works

To achieve the level of clean your customers now expect, you need the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program. This is an unprecedented level of clean, and it provides customers and employees the satisfaction of knowing they shop or work at a business that cares for their post-pandemic safety.

We use groundbreaking biohazard cleaning products to provide your business with an exceptional level of clean. This in turn creates a safe environment for everyone that comes through your doors.

Here’s how the program works:

Consult. Every business is different. We customize a plan that meets your business’ unique cleaning and sanitization needs. And because SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont is locally owned and operated, we’re familiar with the local area and its guidelines and requirements.

Clean. Once we’ve created a customized cleaning plan for your business, then we clean. We use proprietary, hospital-grade cleaning agents that are unique to SERVPRO. This is the highest level of sanitization, and it’s unequalled in the cleaning and restoration industry. CDC guidelines are always met or exceeded.

Certify. The last step is telling your consumers and employees that your business is clean and sanitized! Door and window decals are provided to show your customers that your business is clean and sanitized. By displaying the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield on your premises and your website, this demonstrates you have met or exceeded sanitization requirements.

If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side.