Recent Posts

A Day at Sweet Paws Rescue | Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of our crew with the team from Sweet Paws Rescue Thank you again to the team over at Sweet Paws Rescue for letting us come in and film!

Way back in July of 2020, SERVPRO had the pleasure of working with Sweet Paws Rescue to clean their facilities. Our crew spent the day completing our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, which was launched just prior to our visit. The incredible people over at Sweet Paws were kind enough to let our marketing team in to photograph and film the process, and we even got to meet and play with a few of the dogs they had rescued. At the time of our visit, one of the dogs, Molly, had recently had a litter of ten puppies, all of whom already had forever homes lined up and waiting for them when the time came that they could safely leave mom. If you would like to hear more about our day at Sweet Paws Rescue (or just want to see cute clips of puppies), you can click here to watch the video we put together documenting the day. If you are interested in learning more about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, give us a call anytime at 978-374-8555!

Moisture in Closet: Top Cleanup Tips

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

When you think of your closet, your thoughts probably turn to wanting more space or wondering if you need to hang some mothballs in a storage closet. But did you know that moisture can be a problem in your closet? This is especially true if your closet is on an outside wall and there isn’t much, if any, insulation above or below it.

The first sign of a moisture issue in your closet could be droplets of water that show up on the ceiling, or clothes at the top of your closet that feel damp, if clothes are stacked to the ceiling on a shelf. What can you do to lessen the moisture in your closet and prevent it from becoming water damage or mold?

You have a few options:

  • Purchase DampRid or another desiccant that will hang in your closet and take in moisture
  • Instead of DampRid, you can also place a bowl of baking soda on the floor or a shelf in the closet that will take in moisture 
  • Get a mini dehumidifier to place in your closet, typically up where the moisture has been seen
  • Remove everything from the closet and spray clean the closet with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, or use a bleach disinfecting wipe to clean off the walls/ceiling
  • Leave the closet door open more often to let air circulate
  • Along with the closet door, open your windows in the room during the day if possible for further air circulation
  • Check the clothes in your closet to make sure you haven’t accidentally put any damp clothes in the closet
  • Add further insulation to the room above and below the closet

Have you not noticed the moisture until it became a mold issue? Contact us here at SERVPRO of Haverhill / Newburyport for an assessment of your mold damage along with a plan for mold remediation.

Winter Storm Repair Tips

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Living in New England gives us the joys of four seasons, including heading to the beach in the summer; flowers blooming in spring; picking out a pumpkin in the fall; and seeing freshly fallen snow in the winter. But, along with that, comes having to clean up and possibly do some repairs after a winter storm. 

When the strong winds of a blizzard hit, they can cause tree branches, especially on old, weaker trees, that are laden with snow to snap off from the tree, taking out a power line, or hitting your fence or roof. In the case of the power line, the storm repair involves working with your power company to get your power restored. For a tree that’s on your fence or roof, if it’s just resting there and hasn’t broken through (which you might not know until it’s removed), the storm repair entails getting the tree off without any damage. If your fence or roof has been damaged by the downed branch, you need to have it repaired. Obviously, a roof will be more of a priority time-wise than a fence as it’s what shields your house from the forces of nature. 

Your roof can also be damaged by the heavy weight of snow and ice dams. Accumulated snow that’s left on the roof and doesn’t have a chance to melt can impact older roofs and ones with structural issues, potentially causing part of the roof to cave in. If you see a lot of snow on your roof that you can’t remove with a roof rake, or hear creaking noises from the roof when there’s a lot of snow on it, reach out to us for a structural assessment. Ice dams can also be created and cause your gutters to pull from your house, or damage to your siding. 

Need help with your post-winter storm home repair? Contact us here at SERVPRO of Haverhill / Newburyport for an assessment of your storm damage along with a plan for storm damage remediation.

COVID Exposure Cleaning and Disinfection Tips

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of SERVPRO employee COVID cleaning an office with a static misting gun. Electrostatic spraying or "misting" is a standard part of our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program.

With over 27 million cases of Coronavirus (aka “COVID”) in the United States, there’s a possibility that you will have an employee at your facility who tests positive if you haven’t already. 

If that happens, there are cleaning and disinfection steps you need to follow (as well as having employees tested for potential exposure) to reduce further COVID exposure to your employees and anyone who visits your facility. 

First, immediately block off or close any areas of your facility that were used by the person who tested positive for COVID until those areas are deep cleaned. Open windows and doors in that area, if possible, and allow air to fully circulate. 

The best practice by the CDC is to wait a full 24 hours after closing it off and opening the windows and doors to start deep cleaning and disinfecting. However, we realize that you might not be able to do so. If that is the case, wait as long as you can after the windows have been opened to clean. 

Next, clean and disinfect (with a disinfectant on the EPA’s list of disinfectants for COVID) any items or equipment that your employee has handled in their workspace. This can include their computer, chair, keyboard, and the surface of their table or cubicle. 

If they have used your facility’s kitchen, all surfaces there should also be disinfected to prevent further COVID exposure. If not, the usual cleaning method for your kitchen will suffice. 

This is also true for your facility’s bathroom or bathrooms. You will want to make sure the faucet, paper towel holder, and stall and bathroom doors are all disinfected.

Still worried about your risk, or if you’re not going to do a deep enough cleaning? Contact us here at SERVPRO of Haverhill / Newburyport to have your facility thoroughly deep cleaned and disinfected by trained professionals. Our cleaning experts offer Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, which is a defensive, proactive viral pathogen cleaning program along with remediation processes to help you re-open safely.

Could Your Dryer Cause a Fire?

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of clothes dryer on fire This photo of a clothes dryer on fire went viral after a Facebook user posted it in 2018.

Did you know that your dryer could cause a fire? There’s a few reasons why that could happen, but the most common is lint that builds up in the lint trap and dryer vent. If that lint trap or vent isn’t cleaned often, the lint blocks the airflow and dries up, which can quickly result in a fire.

You might be thinking that this is rare. 

It’s not. According to the National Fire Protection Association, washers and dryers cause 15,970 fires each year, with dryers being 92% of that amount. 

What can you do to prevent your dryer from causing a fire in your house? 

First, remove the dryer lint from the lint trap each and every time you use the dryer. This will work to prevent the lint from building up and overflowing into the vent itself. 

As for that vent, that also needs to be cleaned out and investigated every few months. If you don’t have a covering over the vent flap outside of your house, you should look into one. They’re available on Amazon and easy to install. The ones that have a removable plastic webbed covering over them help in keeping birds from creating a nest in your vent when the flap opens, which could easily cause a fire with the accumulation of twigs and leaves.

Also, make sure that you have plugged your dryer into the proper voltage, or that the person who installed it did, to eliminate the risk of faulty wiring causing fire damage. 

If your dryer has caused smoke and soot from fire damage, contact us here at SERVPRO of Haverhill / Newburyport for help with your fire damage restoration.

Employee Spotlight - Stephanie Maglio

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Meet Stephanie Maglio, our Marketing Support Coordinator. While she didn’t officially join the team until the end of April last year, she has been with us since January, starting as our intern. Prior to working at SERVPRO, she attended North Shore Community College, graduating in June with a degree in Graphic Design. Her daily responsibilities include overseeing our social media accounts, moderating the blog, working on any design projects that may arise, and supporting the marketing department in any way she can.

When she’s not at work, she likes to spend time with her friends and family (as much as she can while staying safe during this pandemic), watch shows and videos on Netflix and YouTube, sing, do art and design projects, and play with animals whenever she has the chance.

Insurance and Water Damages

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of water damage from flood in basement An example of a flooded basement.

In her first blog post, Key Account Manager Nury Cardoza shares some insights about water damages:

Did you know you are more likely to experience floodwater damage than fire damage during your 30-year mortgage? For that and other good reasons, it makes sense to ask for flood insurance. One in every four insurance claims during the last two years was the result of water damage, and not every kind of water damage is covered by insurance. 

 Examples of water damage usually covered by insurance are: 

  • ice dams 
  • leaking roof 
  • frozen burst pipes
  • accidental plumbing or appliance issues 
  • vandalism. 

Water damage not usually covered by home insurance: 

  • groundwater getting into the basement 
  • floodwater or rapid- thaw water getting into the basement unless you have flood insurance 
  • sewer or water pipes back up unless you have a cover added to your home insurance policy 
  • leaks from corroded pipes 
  • leaks from an unmaintained roof 
  • damage from long term leaky faucets or toilets 
  • mold or fungus unless it resulted from covered causes 

Remember that getting a qualified water damage cleanup and restoration company is as essential as obtaining the right insurance coverage.  SERVPRO works with many insurance companies, which makes the whole process less stressful and faster for you. Day or night, 365 days a year, we are here to help. 

Employee Spotlight - Jodi Feil

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of female Marketing Manager Jodi Feil Jodi Feil Marketing Manager

Meet Jodi Feil, Marketing Manager extraordinaire.

If you have worked with us before, there is a high chance you have heard from our incredible Marketing Manager, Jodi Feil. Jodi has been with SERVPRO for 3 years, starting as the Marketing Support Coordinator where she helped build the marketing department from the ground up, and has continued to do so to this day in her current role. As a formally trained graphic designer and photographer, she has been involved in all aspects of the marketing world throughout her professional career. Prior to working with us, she co-owned a photography school, where she developed all the curriculum and taught classes, sharing her wealth of knowledge with her students.

Outside of work, she is constantly busy. In what limited free time she has, you can find her spending time with her family and pets, out in nature, watching Marvel movies, or taking on a new DIY project around her home. Whatever it is she is doing; odds are she has a smile on her face. Her favorite quote is, “What you focus on becomes your reality” and we think she is living proof of that. We’re glad to have her on our team!

Avoid a flooded basement, this year and forever!

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of water damage from flood in basement An example of a flooded basement.

Weather in Massachusetts is unpredictable, so even if you don’t have a lot of snow now, you never know what Mother Nature has in store for the rest of the season.

In late winter and early spring, the ground can’t absorb all of the rain and snow melt, so it flows along the foundation. Foundation cracks that weren’t a problem before have the potential to become a huge problem now. A proper drain system, sump pump and sealed cracks will help you avoid problems this spring.

Here are a few simple tips:

  • Keep your gutters clean (this will keep rainwater from flowing directly to your foundation)
  • Grade landscaping away from foundation (add mulch or soil at an angle, higher at the foundation, slanting away)
  • Check your sump pump or purchase a submersible pump and fans.

Move valuables and expensive items you may have in your basement or use pallets and shelves to keep them elevated.

When there is a natural disaster, often the emergency items you need are sold out, so plan ahead.

If you do have a flood

There are still things you can do to mitigate the damage.

  • If you can do it safely, turn off the electricity.

But don’t get electrocuted! If you can reach the breaker without standing in water turn it off.  

  • If you’ve got just a bit of water in spots consider yourself lucky. If you can clean it up with a wet vac and have fans to dry it afterward you might be all set.
  • If your basement has flooded more than an inch, it’s best to call us.

If you have a sump pump and fans, you may still wish to tackle the job by yourself.  Submersible water pumps work best when you place them in the deepest part of the flooded water. If dirt and debris build up and clogs the screen around the pump, clean it out and consider using something like a small tool to prop it up a bit. This will increase the space for water to flow through the pump. Use the widest and shortest hose possible, this will enable the pump to work faster.

When all the water is up, and it appears dry you may still want us simply to treat the previously flooded area to kill any mold before it’s an issue.

To avoid this problem next year, you must identify where the water came in.

  • First, seal the cracks.
  • Then, dig to avert water flow next time.

Remember water will travel down the path of least resistance. It is strongly advised to dig outside near the foundation and repack the soil. Dig down to where the water came, and then dig out and to the sides a few feet. There is a channel that you may not see but you will disturb and avert if you do this. Next year, water will not flow in that same direction if done correctly.

Last but not least, having a dehumidifier in any basement, old or new, is a must to help reduce the amount of excess moisture in the air.

Recap:

  • Clean your gutters.
  • Have a sump pump, wet vac and fans.
  • Fix lawn grading.
  • Seal the cracks.
  • Dig to avert water flow next year.
  • Have a dehumidifier.

If water comes in and it’s too much to tackle yourself, call us. Mitigating water damage is one of our core competencies. We’ll tackle the job at hand and be sure your water problem doesn’t become a mold problem later.

It's never too early to prepare for winter!

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Prior to joining the Marketing department, Rich Ciarletta worked with us as a Production Manager and Estimator, which means he's seen a little bit of everything over the years. In his second blog post, he discusses several common problems homeowners face as a result of winter storms. 

Each season has its own form of weather. Here in New England, our winter weather is unpredictable and can create some serious hazards that effect every homeowner differently. Snow can create ice dams on the roof and may cause water to seep into the structure below.  Snow piled against the side of the house can lead to water in the basement.  If a storm is severe enough that the power goes out, then the sump pump, which maintains a dry cellar, is no longer doing its job and flooding can occur.  Flooding in the basement can cause your furnace to stop working, which, in turn, can cause the water pipes to freeze. If these frozen pipes break, they can cause water damage throughout your home.  Generators have become very common in most homes due to the sporadic outages we experience during winter storms. They can be a very useful tool to get you through the winter, just be sure to use them responsibly!