Recent Posts

Common DIY Water Damage Restoration Mistakes to Avoid

2/14/2024 (Permalink)

Facing water damage in your home demands immediate attention and action. Many homeowners take the initiative to handle the restoration themselves, but certain oversights can lead to further issues. Let's explore some common mistakes to steer clear of when during DIY water damage restoration:

1. Lack of Proper Tools

An often underestimated aspect is the importance of having the right tools. Relying solely on household items may fall short in effectively removing water and drying affected areas. Invest in or rent professional-grade equipment like water extractors, dehumidifiers, and air movers to ensure a thorough cleanup.

2. Underestimating the Damage

Believing that water damage is inconsequential can be a huge mistake. Even seemingly small incidents can escalate into significant problems if not addressed quickly. Neglecting water damage or assuming it will resolve itself could lead to mold growth, structural issues, and other concerns.

3. Rushing Through Cleanup

Rushing through the cleanup process without ensuring proper drying and disinfection is counterproductive. Inadequate drying may leave hidden pockets of moisture, allowing mold and mildew growth to flourish. Take the time needed to thoroughly dry all affected areas, including those harder to reach.

4. Inadequate Water Extraction

Standard household tools like mops and buckets might seem sufficient but often fail to extract water thoroughly. Leaving excess water can lead to persistent moisture which allows mold and mildew to grow. Utilize professional-grade water extraction equipment for a more effective cleanup.

5. Overlooking Proper Disinfection

Water damage introduces various contaminants and bacteria. Simply drying the area won't suffice; thorough cleaning and disinfection are crucial to prevent mold growth. Use suitable disinfectants to sanitize all affected surfaces.

6. Neglecting Safety Measures

Water damage restoration involves potential hazards like electrical risks, contaminated water, and unstable structures. Prioritize safety by turning off electricity in affected areas, wearing protective gear, and being cautious of slippery surfaces and weakened structures.

When tackling water damage restoration on your own, avoiding these common errors is crucial. Quick action, the right tools, thorough drying, proper disinfection, and, when necessary, seeking professional guidance are key elements for successful restoration. Remember, your home's well-being and value are at stake, and handling water damage promptly and correctly is crucial for long-term safety and preservation.

The Importance of Cleaning Gutters and Drains Before a Storm Hits

1/8/2024 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO truck parked on a job site. When the wind starts howling and the thunder rolls, it's not just the force of nature that homeowners need to worry about.

When the wind starts howling and the thunder rolls, it's not just the force of nature that homeowners need to worry about. Neglected gutters and drains can wreak havoc during stormy weather, leading to significant property damage. Let's discuss why it's crucial to clean gutters and drains before a storm hits.

Prevention: The Best Cure

Your gutters and drains serve as the primary drainage system, guiding rainwater from your roof and away from your home’s foundation. When these become clogged with leaves, twigs, or other debris, things can go south, and fast:

Roof Damage: A clogged gutter can cause rainwater to back up and seep into your roof, leading to roof leaks and potential water damage in your attic or through your ceilings.

Foundation Problems: Blocked drains tend to overflow, causing water to pool around your house’s foundation. This could lead to structural weakness, cracks, or worse, basement flooding.

Invited Infestations: Standing water acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, mold, and other unwelcome guests, posing risks for your occupants.

A Simple Solution: Regular Cleanup

Regular gutter and drain cleaning can protect your home and save you from future storm damage and costly repairs. But how often should you clean them out?

The frequency depends on your local weather and vegetation - if you have many trees shedding leaves and debris, semi-annual cleaning is recommended. If you live in a relatively clear area, a yearly inspection and cleaning before storm season is typically enough.

A Helping Hand: SERVPRO®'s Services

While consistent gutter and drain cleaning can help prevent disaster, sometimes property damage is unavoidable in the face of a severe storm. That's when SERVPRO® of Worcester steps in. Our expert services extend beyond mere cleaning - we are your one-stop-problem-solvers for storm and water damage restoration. We employ advanced technology and proven techniques to restore your property, making it "Like it never even happened." 

By embracing the importance of routine gutter and drainage cleaning before storms hit, you can avert serious damage to your home and associated expenses. And remember, should the storm leave you in need of professional cleanup and restoration, our SERVPRO® team is here to make it "Like it never even happened." Stay prepared and take proactive measures - because when it comes to storm damage, prevention truly is the best cure.

Don't Get Zapped: Potential Hazards of Using an Outdated Electrical System

12/15/2023 (Permalink)

In our modern lives, electricity powers everything from lights to appliances, making it an essential part of our daily routines. However, if your home or business relies on an outdated electrical system, you might be putting yourself at risk. In this blog, we'll shed light on the potential hazards of using an outdated electrical system, so you can make informed decisions to protect your property and your loved ones.

Fire Hazards

One of the most significant dangers associated with outdated electrical systems is the increased risk of electrical fires. Older wiring and components may not meet modern safety standards, and they can become brittle, frayed, or damaged over time. This makes them more susceptible to sparking, overheating, and ultimately causing a fire. Electrical fires are a major cause of property damage and can be life-threatening.

Overloaded Circuits

In an age where we rely on an ever-increasing number of electronic devices, older electrical systems may not be equipped to handle the load. Overloading circuits can lead to overheating, tripped circuit breakers, or blown fuses. If left unaddressed, this can result in electrical fires or permanent damage to your electrical system.

Electrical Shock

Outdated electrical systems may lack important safety features, such as ground-fault circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). These devices are crucial for protecting you from electrical shocks in the event of a fault or malfunction. Without them, you are at a greater risk of electrical shock, which can be deadly.

Inefficient Energy Use

Older electrical systems are often less efficient, leading to higher energy consumption and increased utility bills. Upgrading to a more modern and energy-efficient electrical system not only enhances safety but can also save you money in the long run.

Outdated Outlets

Older electrical systems may have outdated outlets that lack modern safety features. For instance, older outlets may not have tamper-resistant features to protect children, and they might not be grounded or equipped with proper surge protection. Upgrading your outlets can improve safety and functionality.

Limited Capacity

As your electrical needs grow, older systems may not have the capacity to handle increased demands. This can lead to frequent circuit overloads and power outages, causing inconvenience and potentially damaging your appliances and electronics.

Lack of Grounding

Many outdated electrical systems lack proper grounding, which is essential for safely directing excess electrical energy into the ground. Without proper grounding, your property is at risk of electrical faults, surges, and potential electrocution.

While electrical systems are often taken for granted, they play a crucial role in the safety and functionality of your property. The potential hazards of using an outdated electrical system are real and should not be ignored. Upgrading your electrical system is an investment in your safety, the protection of your property, and energy efficiency!

6 Tips to Preventing Mold Growth in Your Home

11/10/2023 (Permalink)

Living in the heart of Massachusetts, we know that our region's climate can bring both beauty and challenges. One of the challenges many homeowners face is dealing with mold growth, particularly in our humid summers. But fear not! In this blog, your local SERVPRO® team is here to provide you with practical strategies to prevent mold.

Understanding the Mold Challenge

Worcester experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by hot, muggy summers and cold winters. This climate can create an ideal environment for mold to thrive, especially in areas with poor ventilation or moisture problems. Mold is not just unsightly; it can also cause structural damage if left unchecked.

Effective Mold Prevention Strategies for Worcester

  1. Maintain Proper Ventilation

Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to remove excess moisture generated during cooking or showering. Ensure these fans vent to the outside of your home, not into your attic or crawl space, as that can introduce moisture problems in those areas.

Whenever weather permits, open windows and doors to encourage natural ventilation. Cross-ventilation helps exchange humid indoor air with drier outdoor air, reducing indoor humidity levels.

  1. Control Indoor Humidity

In areas prone to high humidity, such as basements, use dehumidifiers to maintain indoor humidity below 50%. This level discourages mold growth without making your home uncomfortably dry.

Regularly inspect and maintain your HVAC system to ensure it is adequately sized for your home and functioning optimally. A well-maintained HVAC system can help regulate indoor humidity levels throughout the year.

  1. Regular Maintenance

Regularly inspect your home for leaks, especially after heavy rainfall. Address any leaks promptly to prevent water from infiltrating your home. Pay close attention to areas like roofs, windows, and foundations where water intrusion is common.

Clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. This prevents rainwater from pooling near your foundation and seeping into your home.

  1. Seal Gaps and Cracks

Seal any gaps or cracks in your home's exterior using weatherproof caulk or sealant. This helps prevent moisture from penetrating your home's structural elements. Ensure your home is adequately insulated to prevent condensation on walls and ceilings, which can create ideal conditions for mold growth.

  1. Monitor Indoor Plants

While indoor plants can improve air quality, overwatering them can increase indoor humidity levels. Be mindful of your indoor plant care routine, especially in areas with carpets and fabrics.

  1. Regular Cleaning

Regularly dust and clean your home to prevent the buildup of organic materials that can serve as food sources for mold. Pay particular attention to areas with limited airflow, such as closets and storage spaces.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively reduce the risk of mold growth in your home. Prevention is key to maintaining a healthy and mold-free living environment. If you ever encounter mold problems beyond your control, our local SERVPRO® of Worcester team is here to assist you with professional mold remediation services. Stay mold-free and enjoy a comfortable living environment in Worcester!

The Top 10 Causes of Water Damage and How to Prevent Them

10/14/2023 (Permalink)

We understand that Worcester, MA, residents face unique challenges when it comes to protecting their homes from water damage, especially with the New England weather. In this blog, we will discuss the top 10 causes of home water damage in Worcester and provide practical tips on how to prevent them. By being proactive and taking these measures, you can save yourself from the headaches and expenses associated with water damage restoration.

Roof Leaks

Worcester's heavy snowfall and frequent rainstorms can put extra stress on your roof. Regularly inspect and maintain your roof to identify and repair leaks promptly. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent clogs and ice dams that can lead to water seepage.

Basement Flooding

With Worcester's high water table, basement flooding is a common issue. Install a sump pump and backup battery system to ensure water is pumped away from your home. Additionally, make sure your basement is properly sealed to prevent groundwater infiltration.

Burst Pipes

Winter in Worcester can be brutal, and frozen pipes are a real concern. Insulate your pipes and let faucets drip during freezing temperatures. If you leave for an extended period during the winter, consider shutting off your water supply and draining the pipes.

Faulty Appliances

Regularly inspect and maintain your appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Replace old or worn-out hoses and connections to prevent leaks. Install water sensors that can detect leaks and shut off the water supply automatically.

Clogged Drains and Sewers

Leaves, debris, and grease can clog drains and sewers, leading to backups and water damage. Schedule routine drain cleaning and be cautious about what you flush down toilets and drains.

Window and Door Leaks

Ensure that windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent rainwater infiltration. Re-caulk and weatherstrip if necessary, especially before the rainy season in Worcester.

HVAC System Leaks

Regularly inspect your HVAC system, including the air conditioner and furnace. Change filters as recommended and check for condensation or leaks, which can cause water damage if left unattended.

Foundation Cracks

Cracks in your home's foundation can allow water to seep into your basement or crawl space. Inspect your foundation regularly and repair any cracks promptly. Consider waterproofing your basement walls.

Poor Drainage

In Worcester, inadequate yard drainage can lead to water pooling near your home's foundation. Grade your yard away from the house, install downspout extensions, and create proper drainage channels to divert water away from your property.

Neglected Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to overflow and damage your home's siding and foundation. Clean your gutters regularly and ensure they are securely attached to your home.

Water damage can wreak havoc on your Worcester, MA, home if left unchecked. By staying vigilant and taking preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of water damage and protect your investment. If water damage does occur, remember that SERVPRO® of Worcester is here to help with professional water damage restoration services. Don't hesitate to contact us for expert assistance in restoring your home to its pre-damage condition. Stay dry, Worcester!

Give Your Home a Seasonal Tune-up!

4/21/2023 (Permalink)

Give your home a seasonal tune-up! When disaster strikes, SERVPRO can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Local SERVPRO® franchise professional says routine maintenance can help prevent the common sources of fire and water damage in homes and businesses

Worcester, MA (Grassroots Newswire) April 2023 - Spring is the perfect time to assess the maintenance of your home after the long, cold, brutal winter months. A checklist from the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHS) outlines what it takes to help ensure your home is healthy – such as keeping it dry, clean, well-ventilated, free from contaminants, pest-free, safe, and well-maintained.

As the disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO know, unexpected issues can quickly turn your dream home into a nightmare. “While we specialize in cleanup, restoration, and construction after a fire or water loss, we think it’s even more important to do what you can to help prevent these losses in the first place,” says Donny McKendall of SERVPRO of Worcester. “Routine and effective maintenance will help you meet all these healthy home criteria and serves as one of your best defenses against the curveballs that can be thrown at your home.”

While catastrophic events like storm-related wind, water, and hail damage are usually covered by most standard homeowner’s insurance policies, many maintenance-related claims are not – such as leaks over time or mold from lack of ventilation.1 So, on top of suffering a loss to property, there is a good chance the property owner will be on the hook for the entire cost of remediation and repairs.

To help pinpoint common areas of concern for routine home maintenance, the NCHH developed a Healthy Homes Maintenance Checklist

“We deal with the consequences of unfortunate disasters that negatively impact the lives of property owners every day,” says McKendall. “The routine and simple spring maintenance tasks on this checklist can help minimize the types of hazards we specialize in remediating, and they can preempt many of the bigger problems that can cause significant damage to your property.”


Fire

  • Clean dryer vents and screens.
  • Check electrical equipment for damaged cords.
  • Test all ground fault circuit interrupters.

Water and Mold

  • Clean downspouts and gutters and ensure they direct water away from your home.
  • Look for damaged or failing waterproofing, often caused by storms, such as lifting shingles, loose siding, or leaks around doors and windows.
  • Test your sump pump, including the check valve. Clear out floor drains.
  • Check hoses for leaks under sinks and on your water heater, washer, and refrigerator water dispenser.

“As a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO understands that there are some things we simply can’t control,” says Rick Isaacson, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, LLC. “The weather is certainly one of those things. In spring, storms may bring flooding rain, lightning-sparked fires, and high winds, all of which can wreak havoc on homes and businesses. That’s why it’s important to take control where we can. Performing timely spring maintenance could be one small step to helping prevent a larger disaster that could permanently impact your family or property.”

SERVPRO specializes in disaster cleaning, restoration, and construction services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened” for both commercial and residential customers.

https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ready_document-and-insure-your-property.pdf

SERVPRO Urges Worcester Property Owners to Focus on Disaster Readiness as Spring Approaches

2/23/2023 (Permalink)

Be Prepared Before Disaster Strikes Text over lightning storm photo & SERVPRO logo The importance of advance planning grows as severe weather and climate events become more frequent

Property damage remediation specialist says the importance of advance planning grows as severe weather and climate events become more frequent

Worcester, MA (Grassroots Newswire) February 9, 2023 - Since Fall 2022, the United States has experienced extreme weather from coast to coast ranging from major rain and flood events to hurricanes and tornadoes to extreme freezing conditions including a “once in a generation blizzard.” As catastrophic weather events impact property owners more frequently, it magnifies the need for disaster readiness ahead of this spring’s storm season.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reports that from 1980-2022, there were, on average, 7.9 “billion-dollar” events each year. In 2021, there were 20 “billion-dollar” weather or climate disaster events, and 2022 delivered another 18 – each year more than doubling the previous multi-year average.1

“These statistics are revealing,” says Donny McKendall of SERVPRO® of Worcester, “but not surprising to businesses like SERVPRO who specialize in disaster response and remediation. SERVPRO franchise owners experience the real-life impact of events like these as home and business owners reach out for help after flooding, fire, wind, and other natural disasters wreak havoc on their properties. That’s why we continue to emphasize the importance of preparing in advance before disaster strikes.”

Because spring weather can be particularly unpredictable, McKendall urges property owners in the Worcester area to take advantage of state, federal and other online resources now to prepare for a possible severe weather event. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers tips here2 for preparing an emergency kit to have on hand. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers an emergency preparedness checklist here3, and more ideas and tools are available from sources like the Red Cross, the AARP, and others.

According to Rick Isaacson, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, LLC, the number of calls for help and web traffic to SERVPRO.com increased more than 300% after the most recent winter storm event in late December 2022 over the same period last year (12/22/22 – 12/28/22).

“Advance preparation might have helped some of these property owners literally weather the storm with less damage,” said Isaacson. “And for those whose homes or businesses were severely damaged or destroyed in spite of efforts to avoid damage, advance preparation would mean that critical papers, contact numbers, insurance information, and recovery plans would be close at hand. Time spent improving your disaster readiness is time well spent.”

SERVPRO specializes in disaster cleaning, restoration, and construction services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers.

1 https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/

2 https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/springweather/index.html

3 https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/FEMA_Red-Cross_Emergency_Preparedness_Checklist.pdf

About SERVPRO

For more than 50 years, SERVPRO has been a trusted leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, construction, mold mitigation, biohazard and pathogen remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 2,000 individually owned and operated franchises spans the United States and Canada, responding to property damage emergencies large and small – from million-square-foot commercial facilities to individual homes. When disaster strikes, homeowners, business owners and major insurance companies alike rely on SERVPRO to make it “Like it never even happened.”

###

Extreme Temperatures Have Led to a Record Number of Burst Pipes and Water Damage Calls

2/9/2023 (Permalink)

Storm Damge icon over the image of a frozen pipe The SERVPRO Storm Team is Here to Help!

SERVPRO would like to remind residents and business owners that we are “Here to Help.” Serving the people of this community is our number one priority. Due to the recent frigid cold snap and wave of burst pipes/ water damage it has caused, our current call volume is at a record high. Our goal is to complete each job safely and quickly and get to the next family or business owner in need as soon as we can. To do this, the SERVPRO Storm Team has been activated, it consists of several SERVPRO franchises from different areas of the country who have stepped in to help meet demand. The SERVPRO Storm Team has deployed additional crews and equipment to the most heavily impacted areas.

Please know we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. Calls will be addressed in the order they were received and we are working to connect you with a local storm team crew as soon as possible.

Is Your Worcester Property Protected from Freezing Pipes?

2/3/2023 (Permalink)

close up of green frozen pipe with orange words frozen pipes If you do find yourself facing water damage due to frozen or burst pipes SERVPRO is Here to Help®.

When faced with artic temperatures it’s important to protect your pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can lead to a rupture and we all know even the smallest of cracks in a pipe can gush hundreds of gallons of water causing flooding, water damage, structural damage and potential mold issues.

Quickly falling temperatures and inadequate insulation are key contributors  to frozen pipes.

The following preventative measures can help reduce your risk of frozen water pipes this winter:

  • Seal any cold air leaks. These can often be found around dryer vents, electrical wiring, dryer vents or pipes. You can use caulk or insulation to keep the cold air out.
  • Insulate your pipes. The more exposed the pipes are, the greater the risk for freezing.
  • Let it drip. Let warm water drip from a faucet.
  • Leave cabinets open to allow heat to circulate around pipes.
  • Turn off outside faucets and remove garden hoses.

Here are some tips to follow if your do freeze :

  • Open your faucets all the way to encourage water flow.
  • Make sure you know where your water shut off valve is.
  • Remove the insulation around pipes and gently heat with a hair dryer or wrap with warm soaked towels. NEVER use an open flame or blow torch to defrost your pipes!

If you  do find yourself facing water damage due to frozen or burst pipes SERVPRO is Here to Help®.
When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. You can reach us 24/7. Day or night, Worcester residents and business owners can rely on  the #1 Brand in the industry to respond immediately to your water emergency and work to make it Like it never even happened.®

When it Comes to Water Damage in Worcester, There’s No Such Thing as a Small Disaster!

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Techs Standing with van & equipment Call today 508-757-7885 SERVPRO of Worcester can help ensure the value of your property.

There is no such thing as a small disaster- especially when a small leak now could blossom into a big claim later. Unseen water can soak through walls, seep through carpet and pool on sub-floors, causing major problems over time. You need help fast.

SERVPRO® of Worcester is Here to Help.

No matter the time of day or night, the professionals of SERVPRO of Worcester are available to begin emergency mitigation. Emergency mitigation means under normal circumstance, a SERVPRO franchise professional can be on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restoring contents. The faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility.

Every SERVPRO professional is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. By utilizing state -of-the-art equipment and the latest technology, your structure will be quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages. SERVPRO will remove moisture and any contaminants by disinfecting and deodorizing to safely clean and dry your building and contents.

Call today 508-757-7885 SERVPRO of Worcester can help ensure the value of your property.