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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water Damage Prevention Tips

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Your home's foundation is the glue that holds your house together. Water damage is the number 1 culprit in weakening the foundation of your home. If water damage goes untreated, it can weaken the structure of your house, causing you a lot of money in the long run. Follow these prevention tips below to protect your home from water damage. 

#1 - Endure Good Drainage

  • Clean your gutters.
  • Direct downspouts 5-10' away from the house.
  • Slope your yard away from the foundation.

#2 -Test Your Sump Pump 

  • Check your sump pump once a year.
  • Test more frequently during the rainy season.

#3 - Fix Water Leaks

  • Repair any noticeable dripping pipes.
  • Repair any cracked caulking.
  • Inspect the roof for missing, loose or damaged shingles. 

If you or anybody you know has water damage that needs assistance, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport. We are available, 24/7! 

Space Heater Safety Tips

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

During the cold New England winters, many homeowners use space heaters to help heat their homes. But space heaters can also cause deadly fires if left unattended or used improperly. To help keep your family safe, follow the mass.gov safety tips listed below.

Using space heaters safely

  • Keep space heaters 3 feet away from drapes, furniture or other things that can burn.
  • Put heaters on a level surface away from places where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
  • Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, use a heavy duty one marked with a power rating at least as high as that of the heater itself.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended.
  • Never leave a space heater on while you sleep.
  • Supervise children and pets near space heaters.
  • Buy heaters that are tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc.(UL).
  • Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
  • Never use an unvented kerosene heater. It is illegal to sell or use them in Massachusetts.

Employee Spotlight - Linda Rousseau

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Let’s welcome our newest SERVPRO employee, Linda Rousseau! Before Linda joined SERVPRO, she was an office manager at GLX constriction in Somerville Mass. She is continuing her office manager role here at SERVPRO. Her daily duties are to monitor ongoing projects to ensure timeline accuracy relative to execution, follow-up, and billing, work closely with the office team to better understand processes, policies, and procedures, and to educate herself on franchise operating systems and applications.

Her proudest accomplishments in life are a tie between successfully completing 6 years in the USN with an honorable discharge and raising her son Joseph. In her free time, you can find her kayaking, being on or near water or walking her dog Domino. She also loves completing projects around her home and she especially loves gardening.

Checking For Mold

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

We all know Spring is when the real estate market "blossoms" with new listings, all new and sparkling after a long winter. Maybe you've spent time cleaning, painting and otherwise preparing your house for sale. What you may have overlooked though, is the presence of mold and/or moisture stains that can suggest mold is present. This would be a red flag to any buyer and could stop a sale in its tracks, if not handled properly.

Understanding Mold
Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems.

Consider these facts:

-Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

-Mold spores thrive on moisture.                       

-Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas. Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Our highly trained Project Managers use state-of-the-art technology to take moisture readings that can indicate the likelihood of mold.

Armed with that knowledge, you can then make an informed decision on the next steps for the sale of your home.

If you think you have mold, or have any other mold-related questions, don't hesitate to call us. 978-374-8555.

Winter Flooding Can Occur

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Even though we haven't had much snow doesn't mean flooding won't occur. 

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. No matter where you live, there is a potential for suffering from flood damage.

Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.

If you do suffer water damage due to a flood or melting snow in your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any size disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.

Every Second Counts

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Most people think of escape plans and prevention when they think about fire safety but there is a much neglected and overlooked resource to consider.

The Forgotten Red-Head! 

Prevention and a plan are obviously high priority, but when is the last time you thought about that fire hydrant up the street from your home or business? Keeping it clear of snow can save valuable time when time is of the essence.

If you have thought of it, but your thoughts go something like "It's not my responsibility to clear it of snow" you should reconsider.

Saving Valuable Seconds

Depending on the city or town you live in, keeping the hydrant clear of snow and debris could quite possibly be your responsibility. Check with your local fire department or town hall to find out the laws in your area.  

Beyond that, keeping it clear only benefits you. If you are the victim of a fire, what do you want the firemen spending their time on? Clearing the hydrant or fighting the fire? Be smart. Be a good neighbor. Do what's Right.

After A Fire

If you are the unfortunate victim of a fire, we're here to help. After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire conditions.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (978) 374-8555

Employee Spotlight - Nury Cardoza

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Head-shot of female SERVPRO employee Nury SERVPRO employee Nury Cardoza posing for a picture.

You might have seen Nury in your home or business doing remediation for the last 27 years, but not anymore! Instead of knocking down walls and cleaning flooded basements, she will be making the rounds as a marketing rep in the Haverhill/Newburyport territory.
When she started at SERVPRO 27 years ago, she was just a helper and worked her way up to the crew chief. Even though most of the time, it's a complicated and sometimes messy job, she says the best part of her career is helping people during a difficult time. Her favorite part about her new position is meeting new faces and building relationships. She is excited about this new role and looks forward to getting out on the road every day. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, working out, music, and family. Welcome aboard, Nury!

Secondary Water Damage

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Coming home from a vacation and you realize the basement has 3 inches of standing water. What do you do? First, you need to assess the situation. If a pipe bursts, shut off the water and call your local SERVPRO. If a sump pump failed, call your plumber as soon as possible. A quick response is the key to mitigating, or minimizing, the loss in water damage.

If the cleanup process does not begin immediately and the water begins to evaporate on its own you can begin to suffer the effects of secondary damage, also known as moisture damage. The air will absorb the water and become fully saturated. As the evaporation continues the water can get into things like drywall and ceiling tiles. Here are some tips you can follow that might minimize the amount of damage your house will suffer after a water loss.

  • Remove water from flat surfaces by mopping
  • Open doors and drawers on furniture for ventilation and drying
  • Remove electronics and artwork to a dry area
  • Elevate all furniture
  • Call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport for assistants. 978-374-8555

Key to Avoiding Future Mold Problems

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

After you have suffered through the disaster water damage can leave behind, you may sigh a breath of relief and think the worst is over. Unfortunately, if not mitigated correctly, the worst may be yet to come.

When it comes to water damage, the key to avoiding future mold problems is time. The quicker you can get to the source, fix the problem, and begin the drying (or demolition) the better.

Brian Carifio, a Project Estimator here at SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport, recommends waiting no longer than 3 days to address the mold risk. 

He also recommends the following steps

Dry out the affected area. Once the water has been extracted, use fans and a dehumidifier to help dry out the area. If possible, open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying. You want to dry the area out as soon as possible. If you have a finished basement and the drywall was affected, you’ll probably have to cut away the areas that were touched by water as the drywall will crumble and the paper backing is a good source of food for mold. If you have baseboard trim, take it up first, and if it’s made from press board it will likely not be salvageable. If it was wood, you might be able to save it.

Disinfect. This is a crucial step that is often overlooked. After the area has dried out, including wood beams, insulation, drywall, etc., use a good disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc. Disinfect all areas affected by the floodwaters including walls and wood and non-upholstered furniture that sat in floodwater.

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport uses proprietary, OSHA-approved cleaning agents that may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.

  • Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
  • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

Dispose of damaged items responsibly: you’ll be tempted to throw everything into a dumpster and send it all away and out of sight. But if you can organize damaged goods into piles and take what you can to recycling centers, you will help alleviate the pressure on your local landfill site. Go to your city or town’s waste management website to find out where to recycle old paints, stains, adhesives and other toxic liquids, any damaged electronics from cell phones to TVs and computers, furniture, and even drywall. 

Mold Prevention

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold in your Home

Mold is a natural part of our environment. It helps our ecosystem function by breaking down organic matter. 

Mold grows best in warm, damp, and humid conditions. Mold can grow in 24-48 hours in the right conditions. There is no way to eliminate mold spores from the air, but there are precautions that can be taken to avoid the growth of indoor mold. Bathrooms are the perfect breeding ground for mold. When the weather permits, keep a window open in the bathroom when using the shower to reduce moisture. Hang towels to dry, and wipe down your tub, shower, and walls after showering. Eliminating moisture is your best defense against mold growth. If your bathroom has an exhaust fan, use it during baths and showers. 

Keep an eye on humidity levels in your home and be sure to check various places in your home for moisture. Mold often grows on foundation walls and surfaces in the basement. It can also grow on carpets, floors, walls, and furniture. Clean up spills immediately and inspect your home for leaks. Be sure to empty drip trays from your appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. 

We hope these tips can help keep mold from growing in your home, but if you find yourself with a mold problem, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is always here to help. We can remediate the mold and bring your home back to healthy living conditions. Give us a call if we can be of assistance. 978-374-8555

Cooking Safety Tips

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking Fire Preparedness

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in your house. Here are some facts and tips from mass.gov to help prevent kitchen fires.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries according to MFIRS statistics.

Cooking Safety Tips                      

  • Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it, then turn off the heat. Baking soda will also work.
  • Never move a burning pan. You can be badly burned or spread the fire.
  • Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
  • Stand by your pan. Don’t leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose fitting clothing can easily catch fire.
  • If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL to put out the flames. Put burns in cool running water. Call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent accidental spills of hot contents.
  • Keep combustible objects such as pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags away from heating elements.
  • For fires inside an oven or microwave, keep the door closed, turn off the appliance, and call the fire department.
  • Don’t place any metal inside a microwave. Utensils, aluminum foil or twist-tie wraps can arc and cause a fire.
  • Microwaved foods and liquids can become very hot. Use caution to avoid scalds.
  • Unplug appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, when not in use.
  • Don’t use the oven to store items.

Following these tips will help you to prevent kitchen fires. However, should your home experience an unexpected disaster, contact us at SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555. We’re here to help restore your property, "Like it never even happened."

Avoid Burst Pipes & Ice Dams

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

Two of the biggest problems our customers encounter are frozen pipes and ice dams. A frozen pipe can burst causing considerable damage to your property if not addressed.  Ice dams cause a back-flow under the roof’s shingles and can affect your structure’s interior areas.  Below are some tips on how to prevent this damage and prepare your home for the winter weather.

Quick Easy Steps to Avoid Burst Pipes & Ice Dams:

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure
  • Inspect property for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential

SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport is your local fire and water damage restoration company. Servicing the North Shore and Merrimack Valley for over 30 years, SERVPRO® understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it can cause your life, home or business.  Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.” ®

A Bathroom Fan - Helpful or Not?

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

A properly installed vent fan is an essential weapon against bathroom mold.

We all know mold likes moisture. That’s why bathrooms are so vulnerable to mold. Water that gets onto the bathroom floor is an obvious concern. Of even greater concern is moisture in the air –moisture that can permeate wall and ceiling materials because of poor bathroom ventilation.

When the bathroom fills with a fog of moist air while taking a hot shower, thousands of moisture droplets can condense on cool wall, ceiling and window surfaces in the bathroom and also in adjacent rooms. Some of this moist air can even penetrate into unseen building cavities through cracks and gaps around electrical outlets and molding. Because damp organic material (wood, paper-faced wallboard, paint resins, paper-faced fiberglass insulation) makes ideal mold food, we have the makings of a mold invasion.

Vent fan to the rescue–or not?

The bathroom vent fan is a major weapon against bathroom mold. The fan’s job is to move moist air outside the house before it can condense and permeate into mold-prone materials. 

However, some builders mistakenly allow the fan to blow moist air into the attic, a practice that simply moves the mold problem to another part of the house. During cold weather, warm, moist air blown into a cooler attic will deposit its moisture on attic rafters and roof sheathing. Telltale black mold stains typically result from this ventilation error. Eventually, this mold can develop into wood rot.

When you find mold

Mold spreads quickly, so a minor mold infestation can quickly escalate into a major problem. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

Our advanced equipment helps to detect and stop the source of water feeding the mold. We then isolate the affected area using a negative air pressure chamber.

Call Us! We Can help! 978-374-8555

Winter Storm Survival Kit

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Most of the time, winter's in New England feel like a full frontal assault and this year will probably be no exception. There are a plethora of resources on preparing for a storm and most of us can recite the bullet list by heart. However, how often do you think of preparing your car? Probably not often.

The National Weather Service offers a great deal of information on their website, including steps on building an emergency supply kit. According to their website, each year, on average, more than 6,000 people are killed and more than 480,000 are injured due to weather-related vehicle crashes. Before you leave the house, make sure all fluid levels are full and ensure that the lights, heater, and windshield wipers are in proper condition. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. 

Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following:

  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Compass and road maps.

Mold In Your Home?

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is one of those words that can strike fear and send you fleeing to pack your bags. Before you send the "We're Moving" postcards, learn the ABC's of mold in your home.

Mold In Your Home

Mold is airborne and can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.

It will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

What Can You Do?

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. 

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

To learn more, click here or call 978-374-8555.

Meet Raeann Keeley Pellerin

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Head-shot of SERVPRO employee Raeann SERVPRO employee Raeann Keeley Pellerin.

Raeann is the newest employee at SERVPRO Haverhill/Newburyport but she has been with the SERVPRO franchise for 5 and half years. Her position as admin is crucial for making the business run smoothly.  She is certified through the IICRC in Water Damage Restoration which means she can provide knowledgeable answers, valuable insight and guidance through what can sometimes be a confusing and stressful process for homeowners and business owners after suffering a damage loss.

If you were to describe Raeann in 3 words it would be hard-working, friendly and energetic. She always come into work with a smile and positive attitude. What keeps her coming to work every morning is knowing what she is doing is helping the company grow.

On her free time, she likes to spend time with family, friends and has a passion for photography. If she’s not with family and friends, she’s working on her 1905 farmhouse.

Freezing Temperatures Are Coming

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Can you feel that chill in the air? Now is the time to get your house ready for the cold. 

Trust us. You don't want to discover your furnace is dead on arrival of the first frost. And dealing with those cold air drafts now is a lot more pleasant than waiting until the inside of your house feels like a freezer.

To help, Home Advisor has created the ultimate guide to getting your home ready for winter. Here's a list of what to do and who to hire now, so you're not left shivering through the season.

Outdoors

Gutter Check: Ideally, you'll have your gutters and downspouts cleaned in mid-fall so that you only need to double check them before winter. If you do encounter clogs or leaking in difficult to reach places, now is a good time to call in the professionals.

Water Works: Your sprinkler system should have been winterized in the fall. If you missed this step, get a professional in as soon as possible, so you can avoid frozen pipes or cracks that can ruin the entire system. You should also make sure to disconnect all outside hoses from their spouts and turn off the water.

Seal The Deck: If you have a deck, give it a fresh coat of sealer before the cold hits to protect it from the harsh winter elements.

Roof Inspection: Have a contractor look for damaged roof shingles. A professional can also assess the integrity of your roof by doing something called an infrared roof inspection. This process uses infrared rays to locate the parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of it. These "hot spots" can show the roof inspector exactly where heat is escaping.

Weatherproof Windows: If heat is escaping through your windows and the space around them, keeping the rest of your house warm is going to be more difficult and more expensive. You might find installing energy-efficient, double-paned windows will make a noticeable difference in your energy costs and how comfortable your living areas feel. You may not need to install new windows if heat is escaping, though. In some cases, all you need is some caulk or weather stripping to weatherproof the existing windows.

Indoors

HVAC Tuning: Now is the time to replace the filter in your furnace and close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather. Go ahead and test that your heating system is working properly, too — it's better to find out now if something needs to be fixed before the real cold weather hits.

Chimney Cleaning: Chimneys and wood stoves should be cleaned early in the season. If you own a fireplace, this is not optional — it's a matter of safety. When you have your chimney cleaned, have the furnace flue cleaned at the same time. Make sure to test the flue for a tight seal when closed.

Outlet Inspection: Check electrical outlets and switch plates to see if you feel a draft. Add insulation to prevent warm air from escaping these spaces.

Stock Up: Make sure you have shovels on hand before the first big snow hits. Plus, it's a good idea to get prepared with a supply of extra water, canned food, flashlights and replacement batteries.

If you are in need of assistance this winter give SERVPRO Haverhill/Newburyport a call at 978-374-8555.

Article brought to you by: HomeAdvisor.com

Tarping After A Storm

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

We have seen our fair share of Nor'easter's this season causing structural damage from high winds and rain. Tarping is a good way to protect your home from water damage. 

The most recent storm brought hurricane-force winds that downed power lines, lifted shingles like playing cards, ripped gutters off of buildings and sent them blowing down the street like left-over drinking straws.

With more rain still on the way, the main concern is getting the damaged roofs protected. 

If you have missing shingles, your roof is vulnerable to moisture seeping in. Whether it's a downpour of rain or snow that sits on your roof, both will find their way into your house causing additional problems, such as water damage and mold. 

"Tarping your roof is the best advice, says Ross Martin, an Estimator at SERVPRO and our resident roof expert. If you can hire a professional contractor, like the team we work with, that's always best. They use professional-grade materials that will hold up to the worst Mother Nature throws at us." 

If not, be sure to have a plan before you venture onto the roof. There are good DIY videos to watch before that provide a sound set of instructions. 

Give us a call at 978-374-8555 to learn more about how we can help.  

Smoke and Fire Facts

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

Closely Related But Very Different

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, we will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Getting Back to Normal

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Moreover, We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is close by and ready to respond to your smoke or fire damage emergency. 

A Look Inside The Warehouse

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

inside of the warehouse Warehouse

Ever wonder what the workplace or home of the cleaning service you've hired looks like? Are they really closet slobs and just fake it at work? Or is their whole life dedicated to making the world tidy and clean? 

This image shows the steam cleaning area of our 1500 sq. foot warehouse. Dan, our warehouse manager, takes a lot of pride in keeping the warehouse orderly…and if you want to test his commitment just leave something out of place! 

We use this space to steam clean any rugs or upholstery items we receive in-house. We keep the area clean and sanitary so your property doesn't come in contact with any contaminates. Plus, having the area organized means we can easily keep track of all items. 

Our professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. How often you’ll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type and color of carpeting. A good rule of thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every 12 months. The best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. If you wait until carpets look really dirty, the carpets may never be restored to their former appearance. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. More dirt is hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile, causing damage to the carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

We will get the job done right. For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and Professionals trained to the highest standards, call us today.

Emergency Ready Profile

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessary have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emercency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.

This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.

  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency, you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

If you would like more information or to have an Emergency READY Profile created for your commercial business, call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555. We’re here to help.

Halloween Safety Tips

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Walk Safely

  1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  2. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  3. Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  4. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  5. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  6. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  1. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  4. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  5. Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Outreach Material

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Growing up comes with responsibility, doing your own laundry is one of them. Did your parents ever tell you to clean the lint filter before every use? Well if they did, here is why. 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and in some cases are fatal. Failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of dryer fires and they mostly occur in the fall and winter months. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to clothes dryers.

Do’s

  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
  • Clean the lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
  • Put a cover on the outside wall dampers to keep out snow, dirt, and rain.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of items that can burn.

Don’ts

  • Do not use a clothes dryer without a lint filter.
  • Do not put too many clothes in the dryer at once.
  • Do not dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic.
  • Do not dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable.
  • Do not leave a clothes dryer running if you leave the house.

5 Most Common Causes Of A House Fire

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

To the hot summer days, to the cold frigged winters, house fires can be started quickly and spread fast. A house can easily catch fire from the misuse of heating equipment, appliances and even smoking in your bedroom. In fact, house fires are the leading cause of all fire deaths in the United States.

Here are 5 of the most common causes of a house fire and some prevention tips.

  1. Cooking equipment. Pots, pans and burning food can easily overheat and catch fire if the person is not paying attention. Stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food while you are away from the kitchen.
  2. Heating. Portable heaters are used a lot during the winter months. Keep portable heaters at least 1 meter away from furniture, laundry, curtains, clothes and anything else that may be a hazard. If you have a furnace, make sure it is inspected once a year.
  3. Smoking in bedrooms. Fires started in the bedroom makeup 73% of all house fire fatalities! Bedrooms should be kept off-limits from smoking. Cigarette flames may stay alit for several hours before dying out. It could easily catch fire if it came in contact with flammable materials.
  4. Electrical Equipment. Electrical appliances like toasters, microwaves, and skillets should always be double-checked before using. Overloaded adapter plugs can also cause a fire from overuse of electricity. Don’t plug too much in at once.
  5. Candles. Who doesn’t love a good smelling candle? If left unattended it could cause your hose to go up in flames! Keep them away from items like tissue boxes, books, and napkins. And of course, always blow them out before leaving a room.  

5 Tips for a Flooded Basement

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm season is upon us! Heavy rain fall can quickly flood your basement and soil your belongings.  Flooded basements are common and if it happens to you act quickly. Be prepared for when a flood does occur. You might be scrambling to figure out what to do so here are 5 tips you can do right away!

  1. Remove water. Remove water as quickly as possible. If your water damage is minor, you can use towels to clean it up. Make sure to wash and dry all cleaning material when finished to prevent mold from growing. A few inches of water can be removed with a wet vac. If you don’t have one, you can always buy, borrow or rent one. If you have severe water damage call SERVPRO.
  2. Dry it out. Use fans and dehumidifiers to move the air around to prevent mold and mildew. Run your air conditioning constantly and throw out any wet boxes.
  3. Scrub flooring. If you have tile, linoleum and other hard surfaces you can scrub them with a solution of one cup of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. Wear rubber gloves!
  4. Examine and clear gutters. Check the basement steps and drain. Make sure to get rid of any twigs, leaves, and mud.
  5. Freeze your assets. If any important documents have been damaged by the water, quickly put them in the freezer.

Clean Those Gutters

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

With the rainy season upon us, it is crucial that you keep your gutters clean. Gutters are the exterior protectors of your home. They collect rainwater from your roof and divert it away from the structure and landscaping of your home. But as the storms start to roll in, those gutters may need your assistance.

Do you live in a woodsy area with pine trees? Those pesky needles like to collect in your gutters causing them to clog. Clean those gutters out quarterly with a leaf blower, gutter scoop, or power washer to ensure good water flow.

Make sure to inspect your gutters after a heavy storm! Debris can pile up and decompose after a storm, which can lead to an ant or termite infestation. Heavy rain, wind, and hail can also crack the gutter. So make sure to check on those gutters after a storm.

A neglected clog in the gutter can cause water to pool in your basement. Clean the debris from your gutters immediately after a basement leak. If the damage is severe, you may have to call your local SERVPRO to help repair the damages.

If you do find yourself with water damage, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is here to help. Call us at 978-374-8555 to schedule an estimate.

Call SERVPRO for Immediate Service in Haverhill

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Haverhill. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Newburyport commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: https://www.SERVPROhaverhillnewburyport.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Cleaning Services
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial Storm Damage Restoration

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 978-374-8555

We Are an IICRC Certified Firm

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Owner, Dave Hart, conducting a training session with our crew.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

Prevent Water Damage this Spring

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Clogged gutters can cause flooding through your roof or foundation.

Springtime has arrived and now is a great time to take care of some outdoor maintenance of your home. You can prevent water damage in your home before it happens with a couple of simple tips.

Keep Your Gutters Clean

When leaves and debris clog your gutters, the water can’t drain out the downspouts and away from your property. This lack of drainage can cause the water to come back through the roof or the foundation, resulting in a flooded basement or water  coming through your roof. Keeping your gutters clean is a simple way to prevent unwanted water from entering your home.

Outdoor Faucets

Sometimes outdoor faucet leaks are obvious- you will see the water dripping out. Other times, the leak isn’t visible from the outside. One way you can test for possible leaks is to turn the spigot on and press your fingers against it. The water should spray out through your fingers with good pressure. If the water pressure is low and doesn’t spray out, this maybe an indication of a leak and further investigation should be done to check for leaks.

If you do find yourself with water damage, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is here to help. Call us at 978-374-8555 to schedule an estimate.

The Science of SERVPRO

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Production Training Session before the day gets started.

The Science Behind SERVPRO

As part of their continued training, our Production staff recently completed a Mold, Asbestos, Lead and Biohazard PPE Safety Certification which taught proper handling techniques when encountering these potentially toxic materials on a job site. This training not only addressed their personal safety when exposed to one (or more) of these materials but how to contain and reduce the possibility of airborne spread.

Biologist and Industrial Hygienist, Regan Yerhot Robins conducted the training and is one of the many industry experts SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport can call upon when necessary. This proactive approach to conduct on-site testing within the first couple of days of a claim can help to significantly reduce cross-contamination and ensure the entire claim is mitigated appropriately.

The safety of our employees, as well as environmental concerns, are top priorities for SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport. We go above and beyond industry standard to handle all aspects of any damage, commercial or residential, with a level of excellence that is unsurpassed.

You can feel confident that when we walk into your home or business, we bring the strength of advanced technology, equipment, and knowledge.

Earth Day 2019

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

We Care About Our Community

Earth Day is a big event at SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport. Last year, we canvased the local area helping out wherever we could - working with towns to clean parks, supplying water to thirsty volunteers cleaning beaches and working with organizations like Rebuilding Together to help out specific individuals.

On a larger scale, we wanted to make a positive impact on the wide-spread loss of trees after a very rough winter so we partnered with the Earth Day Network and committed to 300 Acts of Green. We handed out 300 evergreen saplings to our customers in Haverhill, Groveland, Merrimac, Amesbury, Salisbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury.  

This year, to support the Earth Day Network 2019 campaign “Protect Our Species” which calls attention to endangered and threatened species, including the bumblebee, we’ve partnered with the Sustainable Horticulture department at Essex North Shore School in Danvers, MA to grow 300 flowering plants that we can deliver to our customers. These amazing students have selected 4 varieties of flowers that attract bees and promote pollination. In the long term, increasing our bee population affects us all so we hope you will join us in being a part of the solution.

We will be posting progress reports on the plants, leading up to the delivery so check our Facebook page often to see the latest updates and to enter giveaways that we’ll be announcing throughout the month of April.

Check in with your local town to find out how you can be a part of Earth Day in your community.

Spring Showers Can Cause Flooding in Haverhill

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Photocatalytic Oxidizers remove unwanted odors and clean the air.

Springtime has finally arrived here in Haverhill, bringing longer days, rising temperatures, and yes, you guessed it...rain!  April showers bring May flowers, but they also can bring flooding issues to your home or business. Spring storms can bring several inches of rain in only a matter of hours or there can be consistent rainfall for days. These heavy rains can lead to severe flooding by over-saturating the ground, overfilling storm drains, or rivers spilling over their banks.

Stagnant Water Odors

Untreated water damage from rain flooding can create a pungent, earthy, muddy smell. To prevent unwanted odors in your home or business, it’s best to be proactive and handle the water damage as soon as the flooding occurs. If the odor already exists, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has specialized equipment to eliminate unwanted odors. Throughout the restoration and water removal process, we can remove odors and clean the air with our Photocatalytic Oxidizers. The oxidizers remove odors, kill germs, and safely clean the air. UV rays emitted from the Titan form electron hole pairs that react with water and oxygen in the air to oxidize and eliminate bad odors. If you find yourself with water damage from rain flooding, give us a call at 978-374-8555.

SERVPRO Spotlight - Sue Hamel

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Sue Hamel

Meet Sue Hamel.

More than forty years ago, Sue and her husband opened SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport and SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich. As the original owners, they began a journey that Sue remains a part of to this day. “It was important to build a reputable company and employ responsible people who do quality work, says Sue, who feels integrity is a key part of the continued success of the franchise.

After many successful years in business, Sue and her husband sold the company to current co-owners, Dave & Maureen Hart to pursue other ventures. A few businesses and several years later, Sue returned to help out and hasn’t looked back. Her current position as Administrative Assistant keeps her busy with scheduling, billing & collections, and inventory. The deep industry knowledge she brings and the ability to wear many hats makes her an invaluable part of the team.   

“The company has changed quite a bit through the years but the core values have not. We still care about the people who live in the towns we service and do everything we can to help them through a difficult time. That’s what I enjoy most about my job.”

When Sue isn’t in the office, you’ll find her traveling, enjoying time with family & friends and taking long walks with her husband and two dogs.

Preventing Ice Dams

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Ice Dams can cause unwanted water damage to your home.

Just when we thought spring was around the corner, Mother Nature surprised Haverhill residents with almost a foot of snow last night! I think deep down we all knew another storm was in the works...it would be too good to be true to have such a mild winter like the one we’ve had this year in New England. Although it’s beautiful to look at, snow can often cause unwanted problems for home and business owners. Water damage from ice dams is a common issue we’ve seen throughout the years with our customers. There are some preventative measures you can take to help prevent water damage caused by ice dams.

Here are a few tips from “This Old House” to prevent ice dams:

  • Cap your Attic Hatch

An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.

  • Exhaust to the Outside

Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.

  • Add Insulation

More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. To find out how much insulation your attic needs, check with your local building department.

  • Seal and Insulate Ducts

Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.

  • Caulk Penetrations

Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air.

Source: This Old House https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/preventing-ice-dams

If you experience water damage from ice dams, we’re here to help. Call us at 978-374-8555.



Fireplace Safety Tips

3/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fireplaces are beautiful and cozy focal points in any home. Check out our safety tips to enjoy your fireplace safely.

During the chilly winter months in New England, many Amesbury residents keep warm in front of a cozy fire. Whether you have a gas, wood, or electric fireplace, it’s important to follow a few safety guidelines to ensure that you are keeping your family safe from potential fire hazards.

Wood and Gas Fireplaces

Get an annual fireplace and chimney inspection from a trusted professional to make sure your fireplace and chimney are in good working condition. Be sure that the chimney flue is open before the fire is lit. An open flue will allow the air to feed the flames and allow the smoke to exit. And like any other source of fire, keep your children and pets away from the flames.

Electric Fireplaces

Many homes have an electric fireplace and although the flame isn’t real, safety precautions still need to be taken. Your electric fireplace is essentially a portable electric heater, and should be treated as such. Be sure that your heat source has enough space around it for the air to flow, and that it isn’t close to curtains or other materials that could potentially burn. Keep your electric fireplace away from any water sources, it should never be used near a washing machine, sink, or other source of water. Lastly, power strips and extension cords are not recommended; plug your fireplace directly in a wall unit.

Groveland 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

This image shows a hardwood floor that has bucked due to water damage.

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport 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 - 978-374-8555

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 Haverhill/Newburyport 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.

Our SERVPRO Representative 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 Haverhill/Newburyport

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport 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.

SERVPRO Spotlight - Richard Ciarletta

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Resident Expert (and Sales Rep), Richard Ciarletta

Meet Richard Ciarletta.

Richard Ciarletta began his career at SERVPRO 25 years ago. Starting as a Production Manager, he advanced to Estimator and is now enjoying his current role of Sales Representative. The practical experience he gained from years in the field has built a deep knowledge that makes him the resident expert on…well, everything SERVPRO.  He has seen and/or worked every type of residential and commercial loss and has grown with the company as it’s evolved. This kind of industry experience makes him a unique brand of sales rep. And his clients have come to trust that when he visits, he isn’t just “selling” a product or service but truly advising and informing on disaster management.

“Rich Ciarletta is a very personable and knowledgeable representative of SERVPRO. When we had water damage from a burst pipe in the building where my office is, the SERVPRO people were very professional and helpful during a trying situation and saved us from a mold problem. I would recommend their service highly.”
- Dr. Ellen Blomerth

After years of being in the field, Rich enjoys meeting new people. “You meet a lot of people in this type of job, and I truly enjoy that. We’re not always meeting on the best of circumstances–some are in a really bad spot when we first meet them. Seeing or hearing the relief on their faces or in their voices once we are there is very rewarding. Our customers are the same or better once our work is completed. It’s a good feeling.”

Outside of work, Rich is just as benevolent. You will find him at his church working on the collector team, teaching middle school Sunday School and singing in the choir. He enjoys playing with his grandkids and anticipating new additions to his ever-growing family.

Certifications & Awards:

IICRC Certified:

  • Applied Structural Drying
  • Fire & Smoke Restoration
  • Water Restoration

2017 NSAR (North Shore Association of Realtors) Affiliate of the Year

Space Heater Safety Tips

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Space heaters should always be used with caution. Check out these safety tips to avoid potential fires cause from space heaters.

During the cold New England winters, many homeowners use space heaters to help heat their homes. But space heaters can also cause deadly fires if left unattended or used improperly. To help keep your family safe, follow the mass.gov safety tips listed below.

Using space heaters safely

  • Keep space heaters 3 feet away from drapes, furniture or other things that can burn.
  • Put heaters on a level surface away from places where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
  • Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, use a heavy duty one marked with a power rating at least as high as that of the heater itself.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended.
  • Never leave a space heater on while you sleep.
  • Supervise children and pets near space heaters.
  • Buy heaters that are tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc.(UL).
  • Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
  • Never use an unvented kerosene heater. It is illegal to sell or use them in Massachusetts.

We're Here to Help During Storm Season

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport can help restore your property from storm damage.

Storm Damage can create a variety of problems for Ipswich homeowners. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport can help restore your home from storm damage. Some examples of storm damage are:

FROZEN PIPES

A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

ICE DAMS

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind the still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas. We can help mitigate water damage caused by ice dams and help you get your home back to preloss condition.

PUFFBACKS

A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, covering an interior in grimy soot, or a puffback can leak soot particles more gradually.

If you experience storm damage this winter, call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555. We’re here to help.

Bathroom Mold

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

This photo was taken after our crews removed the affected drywall.

Mold in the Shower

When a shower tile popped off of the wall in this Haverhill resident's bathroom, she discovered that there was mold growing behind it. As more tiles were pulled off, mold was discovered on the entire wall behind all of the tiles. She called in the experts from SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport to remediate the damage. We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, with advanced training in restoration techniques and the experience and specialized equipment to quickly restore your property.

Another Happy Customer

Here's what she had to say after the job was complete:

"We recently had a small mold issue in our bathroom that we weren't sure would be covered by insurance. Pat Lavigne was incredibly helpful in advising us of the process to get the project underway. Justin, the crewmember that did the remediation, was very respectful and conscientious. He communicated with us every step of the way and his workmanship was almost "surgical" in the way he took care to demo only the affected area."

Conditions in Newburyport Might Be Right for Mold

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Image of mold in a residential home.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at 978-374-8555.

 What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport for mold remediation services.

Newburyport Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

This Newburyport homes's basement flooded due to heavy rains.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Newburyport basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Haverhll/Newburyport and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 
978-374-8555

Haverhill Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips if you Suspect Mold

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Be careful, without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 978-374-8555

SERVPRO Spotlight - Patrick Lavigne

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Meet Patrick Lavigne.

As co-owner, Pat has held almost every position within the company since coming on board in 2010. As a son-in-law to the Harts, Pat joined the family-run business as a trial and has never looked back. Starting on the trucks, Pat learned the nuances and inherent challenges of almost all production positions before settling into his current role as General Manager.

His daily focus of keeping the train on the tracks still allows him to do what he loves most—guiding the growth of his team, both personally and professionally, and helping customers during stressful moments in their lives. “It’s very rewarding when you run into customers years later who still remember the team members that worked in their home or business and want to know how they’re doing. They become like family to each other and it’s incredibly satisfying to be a part of that.”

Pat takes great pride in the franchises’ work ethic and standard of excellence – from customer service to production. He ensures all staff are highly trained and certified for all services provided. “We are a dedicated team that strives for excellence and to show compassion daily. We often meet people after a horrible thing happens in their life or business and hopefully, we are able to put them at ease.”

When Pat isn’t on the job, you can find him spending time with family and friends where he resides in Haverhill with his wife and 2 children. Unless it’s golf season…then you’ll find him on a course anywhere he can play 18!

Certifications:

IICRC Certified –

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Applied Microbial Remediation
  • Fire & Smoke Restoration
  • Applied Structural Drying
  • Commercial Drying
  • Odor Control

Lead Safe Certification
Unrestricted Construction Supervisors License

Got Water Damage in your Haverhill Home? We Can Help.

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

Give us a call if you find yourself with a household flood.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither does SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water spreads quickly throughout your home and can absorb into the floors, walls, and furniture. Our crews arrives quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately.

This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. The water damage timeline below details the damage that occurs if no action is taken.

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

First 24 Hours

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to One Week

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than One Week

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

As leaders in the water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, and a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. If you need water restoration services, give us a call. We make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us today at 978-374-8555!

Church Fire Causes Smoke Damage

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage caused by a candle that reignited in the windowsill.

Recently, a local church experienced fire damage and called in SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport to help. The fire started from a candle burning in the windowsill which spread to a cavity in between the walls. Luckily, a neighbor saw the fire inside of the church and promptly called the fire department. The first responders were quick to arrive, extinguishing the fire and preventing it from spreading throughout the building. Despite their timely response, unfortunately, there was quite a lot of damage to the window and carpet below. Smoke filled the church, resulting in black soot covering the surfaces throughout, including the pews, walls, ceiling, and balcony area.

We began the process by wiping the top layer of contaminants away. Then, using SERVPRO’s time-tested and industry-approved steps, along with our proprietary cleaning products and methods, we restored the walls and surfaces without the need to repaint or refinish.  The cleaning process removed the smell from the fire, returning it to pre-fire condition. We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which the damage was done, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.

Storms and Frigid Temperatures Can Cause Frozen Pipes

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

As temperatures drop, be aware of what you can do to help your pipes from bursting.

With temperatures in the single digits today today in New England, Haverhill home owners should be alert to the dangers of freezing pipes. As most people know, when water freezes, it expands. This expansion can cause pipes in your home or business to crack and burst. According to State Farm insurance, A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold. The pipes most at risk in your home are located in unheated areas, such as garages, attics, and basements. Pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk as well. You can prevent your pipes from freezing by following some simple tips.

Tips to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

For outside areas, remove hoses from outdoor water faucets, and cover exterior faucets. If your home has a water shut-off valve, turn off the water supply to outside faucets. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in your garage. For the interior of your home, be sure that your home has proper insulation- especially in basements, attics and crawl spaces. Keep your home warm and open kitchen & bathroom cabinets. This will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Turn faucets on and let your water run in extremely cold temperatures. Even a slow trickle can help prevent pipes from freezing.




Mold Prevention in Your Home

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

You can help prevent household mold growth.

Mold in your Home

Mold is a natural part of our environment. It helps our ecosystem function by breaking down organic matter. However, it is unhealthy to have mold growing inside of our homes. According to the CDC, exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.

Mold grows best in warm, damp, and humid conditions. Mold can grow in 24-48 hours in the right conditions. There is no way to eliminate mold spores from the air, but there are precautions that can be taken to avoid the growth of indoor mold. Bathrooms are the perfect breeding ground for mold. When the weather permits, keep a window open in the bathroom when using the shower to reduce moisture. Hang towels to dry, and wipe down your tub, shower, and walls after showering. Eliminating moisture is your best defense against mold growth. If your bathroom has an exhaust fan, use it during baths and showers. 

Keep an eye on humidity levels in your home and be sure to check various places in your home for moisture. Mold often grows on foundation walls and surfaces in the basement. It can also grow on carpets, floors, walls, and furniture. Clean up spills immediately and inspect your home for leaks. Be sure to empty drip trays from your appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. 

We hope these tips can help keep mold from growing in your home, but if you find yourself with a mold problem, we're here to help. We can remediate the mold and bring your home back to healthy living conditions. 

Does your Haverhill Home Have a Mold Problem?

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold was found in this Amesbury office building and SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport remediated the mold.

With window and doors open now, with the nice weather, many types of particles have free access to float into your home. Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

    • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
    • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
    • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
    • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
    • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
    • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (978) 374-8555

30 Inches of Snow?!

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

It’s mid December but rather than gearing up for a snowstorm, we’re preparing for high winds and heavy downpours of rain to sweep through eastern Massachusetts.

But what if the predicted 1-3 inches of rain were snow? Ever wonder how the rain-to-snow conversion is made?

Our friends at Sciencing.com explains it:

Baseline Rain-to-Snow Conversion

Perform the baseline rain-to-snow conversion. The baseline ratio of rain to snow is 1 inch of rain equals 10 inches of snow. For example, to calculate the snowfall equivalent of 3 inches of rain, multiply 3 by 10 to obtain 30 inches of snow as the baseline conversion. This conversion applies for snow falling at temperatures near freezing, between 28 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

Identify Temperature

Find the temperature in the location for which you'd like to perform the conversion. You can track down this info via the National Weather Service, for example, or any number of other meteorological sources, such as the Weather Channel. In general, colder temperatures make snow fall less densely and lower the rain-to-snow ratio, resulting in more inches of snow per inch of rain.

For Temperatures At or Below 27 Degrees F

Adjust your conversion to account for temperature if the outside temperature is less than or equal to 27 degrees Fahrenheit. To calculate rain to snow for temperatures between 20 and 27 degrees Fahrenheit, multiply rainfall by 15 instead of 10. For temperatures between 15 and 19 degrees Fahrenheit, multiply rainfall by 20. Between 10 and 14, multiply by 30; between 0 and 9, multiply by 40; between -20 and -1, multiply by 50, and between -40 and -21, multiply by 100. For example, to calculate the snowfall equivalent of 3 inches of rain at 5 degrees Fahrenheit, multiply 3 by 40 to obtain 120 inches of snow. Therefore, if 3 inches of rain are expected but the temperature drops suddenly to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, 120 inches of snow will fall.

Snow to Rain

Perform the calculations in reverse to calculate snow to rain. For example, for 8 inches of snow falling at a temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, divide 8 by 15, since the conversion factor for 20 degrees is 15. The result is approximately 0.53 inches of rain. Therefore, 8 inches of snow that fell at 20 degrees Fahrenheit will melt down to approximately 0.53 inches of rain.

Employee Spotlight!

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

We're launching our Employee Spotlight Series today and who better to begin with than the person you're most likely to speak with if you call the office.

Meet Donna Sutherby. 

#wonderwoman #SERVPROguru

Donna Sutherby, a veteran of the US Army, has been with SERVPRO for 22 years and counting. As the Office Administrator, she will often be the person who answers your questions when you call. During her tenure, she has juggled most front office functions while fielding calls and handling billings. She is certified through the IICRC in Water Damage Restoration which means she can provide knowledgeable answers, valuable insight and guidance through what can sometimes be a confusing and stressful process for homeowners and business owners after suffering a damage loss. Her depth of knowledge, caring personality and willingness to help make her a vital member of our SERVPRO family.

When asked what inspires her to come to work every day, Donna replied that the office atmosphere, comradery of her co-workers, and family values of the business are at the heart of it. “We are a caring group of people and want to help. That makes me feel good at the end of the day!”

When Donna isn’t working, you will often find her with her family of 4 children & 6 grandchildren.

What Causes a Nor'Easter?

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

This photo from FEMA shows a car buried in snow from a Nor'Easter storm in Massachusetts

Living in New England , we are all too familiar with Nor’Easter storms. But what exactly causes these types of storms that we experience year after year? And why are they unique to the Northeast region of our country? According to weather.com, Nor’Easters form between Georgia and New Jersey within 100 miles east or west of the east coast. They move northeastward near New England, where they reach maximum intensity. They bring with them strong winds, coastal flooding, rough seas, and heavy rain and snow.

Polar jet streams transport cold air southward from Canada in the U.S., then eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. Simultaneously, warm air moves northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico also go into our waters along the northeastern coastline, causing Atlantic ocean water to warm up and acts to warm the cold air above it. This temperature difference between warm air from the water, and cold air over the land provides energy to create a storm.

If a Nor’Easter is coming, it’s best to prepare for the worst. Stock up with at least 3 days worth of food and water and keep plenty of warm clothing and blankets in case you lose heat and power. If you are in need of flood or storm damage restoration, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has the experience and specialized equipment to restore your home or business to pre-storm condition.

Fire Prevention at the Fire House!

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPROs mascot duck figgy on a fire truck. Our SERVPRO duck, Figuero came with us to the Fire Department's Open House! Isn't he cute on his little truck?

Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month and every year, local fire departments host an open house to educate the community about fire safety. It’s a great family event to meet the firefighters and see them demonstrate the best safety practices. The smoke house demonstration was a favorite of the children, where they got to walk through a fire and smoke simulation, learning to crawl under the smoke to safety. The firefighters also had a jaws of life demonstration that was really amazing to watch!

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is always happy to be part of this great event and support our local fire departments. We appreciate the brave men and women that serve our community and help keep us safe. Papa Gino’s generously donated pizza for this event, and we donated lollipops, water, and apples from Connor’s Farm.  We also gave out cute little SERVPRO rubber ducks to the children (and some adults too!)

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

SERVPRO'S Emergency Ready Profile

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessary have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emercency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.

This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.

  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency, you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

If you would like more information or to have an Emergency READY Profile created for your commercial business, call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555. We’re here to help.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding in a living room space. Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Merrimack Valley 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.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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.

About SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport 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.

We're here to help. Call us at 978-374-8555 so we can make it "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Carpet Care Tips

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO men ready to clean. Call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555 to schedule a commercial carpet cleaning for your business.

The appearance of your business speaks volumes to your customers and clients. Having a clean, fresh-smelling carpet is an important part of keeping your business looking it's best. Foot traffic and airborne impurities such as pollen, dust, and other contaminants can damage your carpet over time.

Tips for taking care of your commercial carpet:

  • Frequent vacuuming
    Be sure to vacuum your carpet multiple times a week. This will keep soil and debris from getting embedded into the carpet fibers. Over time, dirt builds up and shortens the life of your carpet. Frequent vacuuming is the best defense against premature damage.
  • Removing stains
    Treat spills as soon as possible. Blot the area with a paper towel or cloth, do not rub or scrub the stain. This can cause more damage by pushing the stain deeper into the carpet fibers. Use a mild, carpet safe cleaner to help remove the stain. 

  • Use walk-off mats
    Use walk-off mats inside and out to keep dirt off the carpeting. Coarse-textured mats outside your doors remove soil and will help to minimize the amount of dirt that is tracked in. Water-absorbent mats inside prevent wet shoes on the carpeting. 

  • Have your carpet professionally cleaned 1-2 times a year 
    A professional carpet cleaning will keep your business's carpets looking their best. If you would like to schedule a commercial carpet cleaning with SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport, please call us at 978-374-8555. 

What To Do After a Home Fire

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Photo of one of the many homes damaged from last week's gas related fires and explosions.

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Merrimack Valley gas fires that struck the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover last Thursday. Often, the hardest part for residents after a home fire is knowing where to begin and who to contact. These tips taken from FEMA provide information on what to do after experiencing a tragic home fire.

Checklist for Next Steps After a Fire

Here are the steps to follow after a fire in your home:

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross. This will help you find a place to stay and to find food, clothing and medicine.
  • If you have insurance, contact your insurance company. Ask what you should do to keep your home safe until it is repaired. Ask who you should talk to about cleaning up your home. If you are not insured, try contacting community groups for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure that your home is safe to enter. Be very careful when you go inside. Floors and walls may not be as safe as they look.
  • The fire department will tell you if your utilities (water, electricity and gas) are safe to use. If not, firefighters will have your utilities shut off before they leave. Do not try to turn them back on by yourself. This could be very dangerous.
  • Contact your landlord or mortgage company about the fire.
  • If you leave your home, call the local police department to let the police know that the site will be vacant.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money that you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and to prove any losses claimed on your income tax.
  • Check with an accountant or the IRS about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

Preventing Cooking Fires

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires can be devastating. You can prepare and prevent cooking fires by following some simple safety tips.

Cooking Fire Preparedness

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in your house. Here are some facts and tips from mass.gov to help prevent kitchen fires.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries according to MFIRS statistics.

Cooking Safety Tips                      

  • Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it, then turn off the heat. Baking soda will also work.
  • Never move a burning pan. You can be badly burned or spread the fire.
  • Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
  • Stand by your pan. Don’t leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose fitting clothing can easily catch fire.
  • If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL to put out the flames. Put burns in cool running water. Call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent accidental spills of hot contents. • Create a three-foot “child-free zone” around the stove. Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking to prevent burns and scalds. Cooking Safety Tips (cont.)
  • Keep combustible objects such as pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags away from heating elements.
  • For fires inside an oven or microwave, keep the door closed, turn off the appliance, and call the fire department.
  • Don’t place any metal inside a microwave. Utensils, aluminum foil or twist-tie wraps can arc and cause a fire.
  • Microwaved foods and liquids can become very hot. Use caution to avoid scalds.
  • Unplug appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, when not in use.
  • Don’t use the oven to store items.

Following these tips will help you to prevent kitchen fires. However, should your home experience an unexpected disaster, contact us at SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555. We’re here to help restore your property, like it never even happened.

When Storms or Floods Hit

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978-374-8555

September is National Preparedness Month. Devastating storms remind us of the importance of preparing for disasters. You can prepare now in the case of an emergency with these helpful tips from FEMA.

Prepare NOW

  • Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

Project Estimators Best TIps

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

This is an example of mold damage that occurred after the homeowner suffered water damage on the floor level.

Summer brings lots of outside activities and happy memories, lazy days at the beach and nights by the campfire. But it can also bring severe storms. Although these can move out as swiftly as they move in, we often experience heavy rains that the ground simply cannot absorb quickly enough. When that happens, water will find the downward path of least resistance, which can often be your basement.

We asked our Project Estimators, Brian Carifio and Ross Martin, what their best advice was to homeowners after heavy rainstorms. Here are their top tips:

  1. What’s the first thing you would advise a homeowner to check after a storm?

Brian Carifio: The Basement. Water will find its way there. Ideally, if they’ve been pre-emptive, they’ll have their contents up off of the floor on plastic shelving and/or in plastic containers. Keeping contents 2–4 inches off the floor will help to avoid most flooding concerns. If the water reaches above that, they have a whole other set of problems. Plus, content damage is not generally covered by insurance when due to flash flooding.

  1. Okay, they’ve done that but they still have water in the basement. What should they do next?

Brian Carifio: Call SERVPRO. Not to sound self-serving but the longer the homeowner waits…or tries to mitigate it themselves, the greater the probability of mold beginning to grow. Most DIY attempts at mitigating water damage fail simply because the necessary equipment is not available to consumers. You need strong extraction systems, high capacity dehumidifiers, and air movers (not to be confused with oscillating fans).

  1. What’s the worst thing a homeowner can do when they find water in their basement?

Ross Martin: Put an oscillating fan on the standing water. First of all, you can run the risk of electrocution. Beyond that, fans only whisk the air off the top of the water’s surface and move it into the air. Doing that without proper dehumidification in place can lead to mold on other surfaces.

  1. Can you explain that process more?

Ross Martin: Sure. When you have a flood, if left alone the water will eventually evaporate. But that doesn’t mean it disappears. It simply changes from a liquid to a gas and moves into the air. Moisture in the air is relative humidity. That humid (moisture heavy) air is then able to touch & attach to every single surface in that space and beyond. This is the “perfect storm” for mold growth.

Our process is to first extract the water with truck mounted vacuums, then use our air movers and dehumidifiers simultaneously. The movers circulate the air, keeping it from absorbing into surfaces while the dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air.

  1. Can’t homeowners do this themselves?

Ross Martin: Yes and no. There are several points to consider. First, consider the weight of water (not the movie!). A gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs and most shop vacs hold 10 gallons. That means you’re carrying 83.4 pounds upstairs, multiple times.

Secondly, most people have fans in their home and will put several on the affected wet areas, thinking this will dry it out. It won’t. Fans are not strong enough and they don’t actually dry anything. They just move the moisture off the top surface, dispersing it throughout the air.

And lastly, most consumer-bought dehumidifiers are too small to effectively dry the air in an average sized basement. Most are purchased rated at 30 PPD (Pints Per Day). That’s how many pints of moisture it can handle per day. Our smallest is 70 PPD and goes up to over 133 PPD.  

There are some steps you can take before help arrives though.

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

Are You Selling A House With Mold?

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Notice the dark, moisture stains on the back wall. This is an indicator mold is present. We began remediation by drying the air with a dehumidifier.

We all know Spring is when the real estate market "blossoms" with new listings, all new and sparkling after a long winter. Maybe you've spent time cleaning, painting and otherwise preparing your house for sale. What you may have overlooked though, is the presence of mold and/or moisture stains that can suggest mold is present. This would be a red flag to any buyer and could stop a sale in it's tracks, if not handled properly. 

Understanding Mold

Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems.

Consider these facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Our highly trained Project Managers use state-of-the-art technology to take moisture readings that can indicate the likelihood of mold. 

Armed with that knowledge, you can then make an informed decision on next steps for the sale of your home. 

If you think you have mold, or have any other mold related questions, don't hesitate to call us. 978-374-8555.

SERVPRO ACTS OF GREEN!

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Blue Spruce saplings packaged and ready to be delivered.

Every year, both of our franchises, SERVPRO of Haverhill/ Newburyport & 
SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich support Earth Day by volunteering and/or donating resources. This year we'll be cleaning up Lafayette Square in Haverhill, MA with a group of employee volunteers, and donating water to the faithful group cleaning up trash on Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA.

This year we're going above & beyond by committing to 300 ACTS OF GREEN in support of The Earth Day Network's goal of 3 Billion Acts of Green, worldwide! Our sales reps Richard Ciarletta & Mary Ellen Lawlor will be out delivering Blue Spruce saplings, from Rogers Spring Hill Garden and Farm Center, to all our wonderful customers.

Join us and get involved in Earth Day! Make your world a better place to be!

Sewage Cleanup is a Biohazard

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration

Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment are necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. 

When a sewage backup happens, you need to move quickly. Evacuate young children, elderly, people with asthma and weak immune systems first. Then call a plumber to remedy the problem.  

Sometimes you can manage small sewage spills without professional help. Small spills are typically confined to a bathroom or part of a kitchen. Major spills, however, require professional help. Sewage is a natural delivery method for disease and infection.

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today – (978) 374-8555

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport Supports Earth Day 2018

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Earth Day 2018 Focuses on Ending End Plastic Pollution

Countdown to April 22!

This year's Earth Day focus is on reducing plastic pollution in our communities and oceans. SERVPRO is proud to be a part of this very important community event! You'll find several of our employees, friends, and family out helping to clean up the city on this very important day.

SERVPRO Committed to 300 "Acts Of Green"!

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day fast approaching in 2020, Earth Day Network is launching a series of major campaigns to catalyze and channel global collaboration for the health of our planet. 

SERVPRO has committed to 300 Acts of Green by delivering 6" Blue Spruce sapling trees to local businesses. This not only supports this very worthy cause but in light of all the recent tree damage our area has suffered, we are "re-greening" our neighborhoods!

We hope you will join us in supporting your local community on April 22. You can also support the Earth Day Network campaign by creating your own Act of Green, and helping them reach 3 billion.

Frosty's Not The Only One At Risk!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Home from Melting Snow

 When temperatures begin to rise after a long winter, it can certainly be reason to celebrate. But if you've got significant snow accumulation on, or around, your home it can also be cause for concern. And not just for Frosty! Here are some tips to help prevent damage to your home as snow starts melting.

  • Remove snow from around your home: snow accumulation near your foundation, windows, and doors can leak into your home once it starts to melt. Remember to shovel any decks, driveways or patios that slope towards your home.
  • Check your roof and gutters: consider hiring a professional to remove the snow from your roof so that water run-off is at a minimum once temperatures rise. If that's not possible, be sure that your gutters are clear so that the water will have a path away from your home. If possible, attach a sloped leader to your downspout that leads run-off at least 10ft from your home.
  • Test your sump pump: if water does get into your basement, you want to be sure it is taken care of quickly. Before the snow starts to melt, test your sump pump and your sump pump discharge pipe to ensure it's in working order.
  • Clear snow from drainage areas: storm drains and catch basins can often get clogged with snow — if you can do so safely, clearing snow from these areas can help keep water away from your home.
  • Rearrange your storage: in case water does get into your basement, be sure to keep any valuables, chemicals, or anything else you'd like to keep dry off the floor.
  • Check your appliances: clear out space around your water heater, furnace and other appliances. If possible, raising your washer and dryer off the floor could help protect from water damage.
  • Don't try to do too much: getting on ladders or your roof at any time of the year is a risky proposition, even more so when there is snow involved. Clearing snow and gutters is important in the prevention of water damage, but be sure to use a professional to handle any dangerous situations.

If you do suffer water damage as a result of melting snow, call us. We're here to help!  

Your Bathroom Fan - Friend or Foe?

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Attic mold found due to an improperly vented bathroom fan.

A properly installed vent fan is an essential weapon against bathroom mold.

We all know mold likes moisture. That’s why bathrooms are so vulnerable to mold. Water that gets onto the bathroom floor is an obvious concern. Of even greater concern is moisture in the air –moisture that can permeate wall and ceiling materials because of poor bathroom ventilation.

When the bathroom fills with a fog of moist air while taking a hot shower, thousands of moisture droplets can condense on cool wall, ceiling and window surfaces in the bathroom and also in adjacent rooms. Some of this moist air can even penetrate into unseen building cavities through cracks and gaps around electrical outlets and molding. Because damp organic material (wood, paper-faced wallboard, paint resins, paper-faced fiberglass insulation) makes ideal mold food, we have the makings of a mold invasion.

Vent fan to the rescue–or not?

The bathroom vent fan is a major weapon against bathroom mold. The fan’s job is to move moist air outside the house before it can condense and permeate into mold-prone materials. 

However, some builders mistakenly allow the fan to blow moist air into the attic, a practice that simply moves the mold problem to another part of the house. During cold weather, warm, moist air blown into a cooler attic will deposit its moisture on attic rafters and roof sheathing. Telltale black mold stains typically result from this ventilation error. Eventually, this mold can develop into wood rot.

When you find mold

Mold spreads quickly, so a minor mold infestation can quickly escalate into a major problem. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

Our advanced equipment helps to detect and stop the source of water feeding the mold. We then isolate the affected area using a negative air pressure chamber.

Call Us! We Can help! 978-374-8555

Cleanliness = Efficiency

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Ever wonder what the workplace or home of the cleaning service you've hired looks like? Are they really closet slobs and just fake it at work? Or is their whole life dedicated to making the world tidy and clean? Well, the later is true of SERVPRO!

This image shows the steam cleaning area of our 1500 sq. foot warehouse. Dan, our warehouse manager, takes a lot of pride in keeping the warehouse orderly…and if you want to test his commitment just leave something out of place! 

We use this space to steam clean any rugs or upholstery items we receive in-house. We keep the area clean and sanitary so your property doesn't come in contact with any contaminates. Plus, having the area organized means we can easily keep track of all items. 

Our professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. How often you’ll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type and color of carpeting. A good rule of thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every 12 months. The best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. If you wait until carpets look really dirty, the carpets may never be restored to their former appearance. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. More dirt is hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile, causing damage to the carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

We will get the job done right. For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and Professionals trained to the highest standards, call us today.

Affiliate of the Year goes to SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich!

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Congratulations to our own Rich Ciarletta for winning the North Shore Association of Realtors, Affiliate of the Year Award!

Cheers to all the recipients! NSAR REALTOR® of the Year, Dan Bennett,Dan Bennett Real Estate, Rising Star Award, Cynthia Nina-Soto, Nina-Soto & Company, Good Neighbor Award, Bridget Kimball, CENTURY 21 Hughes-Riggs Realty, Inc., Home Ownership Advocate Award, Gardner Trask, Danvers Selectman and Affordable Housing Trust, Rookie of the Year, Linda Turcotte at The Turcotte Group, Keller Williams Realty.

As a member-based trade association, NSAR brings together diverse perspectives from the real estate community across the North Shore of Massachusetts and beyond including buyer and seller agents, appraisers, mortgage brokers, attorneys, home inspectors, property managers and other service professionals. You can visit their website at: http://www.northshorerealtors.com/

When Every Second Counts…

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association's theme for 2017 was "Every Second Counts" and when you think about that statement, it couldn't be more true. Most people think of escape plans and prevention when they think about fire safety but there is a much neglected and overlooked resource to consider.

The Forgotten Red-Head! 

Prevention and a plan are obviously high priority, but when is the last time you thought about that fire hydrant up the street from your home or business? Keeping it clear of snow can save valuable time when time is of the essence.

If you have thought of it, but your thoughts go something like "It's not my responsibility to clear it of snow" you should reconsider.

Saving Valuable Seconds

Depending on the city or town you live in, keeping the hydrant clear of snow and debris could quite possibly be your responsibility. Check with your local fire department or town hall to find out the laws in your area.   

Beyond that, keeping it clear only benefits you. If you are the victim of a fire, what do you want the firemen spending their time on? Clearing the hydrant or fighting the fire? Be smart. Be a good neighbor. Do what's Right.

After A Fire

If you are the unfortunate victim of a fire, we're here to help. After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (978) 374-8555

Sensing Unseen Water Damage

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality  issues  over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used:

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and Moisture Meters (pictured) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport can calculate and create an environment most conclusive to drying.
  • When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
  • Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach
  • Thermal Foggers (pictured) dispense solvent-based produces by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor­ causing particles.

What is the bottom line? SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport has the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold In Your Air Ducts

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

When cool air moves through your air ducts on warm days, this can cause water to condense inside the vent. When this happens, moisture becomes trapped in the ducts, creating an ideal environment for mold to grow. Moreover, since mold spores can be airborne, it is common for them to spread through your business via the vents. This is why it’s important to take care of HVAC cleaning on a regular basis. This will help keep mold from growing and invading your workspace. Here are the steps on how to handle this problem before it worsens.

Dealing With the Mold

• Have the mold tested
• Identify the cause of the mold
• Check air vents insulation to make sure the mold hasn’t spread
• Clean the interior vents 

Cleaning the Ductwork

It’s not always easy to take on cleaning the ductwork by yourself. At times, it’s best to invest your money into a mold remediation team who knows what they are doing. After all, you may not have the proper supplies to get rid of mold altogether. Additionally, those who specialize in mold removal generally have more effective tools for the job and can conduct a targeted HVAC cleaning.

Preventing Mold

One of the best ways that you can prevent mold from spreading at the office is to install a HEPA filter. This helps maintain the cleanliness of your HVAC system for a long time to come. If you have had a mold problem in your Haverhill or Newburyport MA, business before, then it’s never too late to think about prevention. You can also invest in a dehumidifier. This helps keep the moisture out of the air and cuts down on your time spent cleaning vents.

Getting rid of mold can be a pain. However, there are ways of preventing it and cleaning up after it happens. Generally, an HVAC cleaning is one of the best ways to trust that your air ducts aren’t compromised.

Visit our website for more information about mold damage.

The Anatomy of Smoke & Fire Damage

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

Closely Related But Very Different

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, we will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Getting Back to Normal

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Moreover, We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is close by and ready to respond to your smoke or fire damage emergency. 

A Recipe for Disaster!

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

More snow and warming temperatures can be a recipe for disaster!

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. No matter where you live, there is a potential for suffering from flood damage.

Just because you haven't experienced a flood  in  the past,  doesn’t  mean  you  won't  in  the future.  In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing scream where water is above your ankles, stop, rum around and go another Six inches of swiftly moving water can  sweep you  off of your feet.
  • If you approach  a flooded  road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road  and waters are rising rapidly around  you,  get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about run ning water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.

If you do suffer water damage due to a flood or melting snow in your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a  structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.

To Tarp Or Not To Tarp?!

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

…That is the question!

With the recent "Bomb Cyclones" that have blasted through our region this season, we've seen an excess of structural damage from the high winds that accompanied the rain and snow.

The most recent storm brought hurricane force winds that downed power lines, lifted shingles like playing cards, ripped gutters off of buildings and sent them blowing down the street like left-over drinking straws.

With another Nor' Easter about to hit, and people still scrambling from the damage of the last storm, the main concern is getting the damaged roofs protected. 

If you have missing shingles, your roof is vulnerable to moisture seeping in. Whether it's a downpour of rain or snow that sits on your roof, both will find their way into your house causing additional problems, such as water damage and mold. 

"Tarping your roof is the best advice, says Ross Martin, an Estimator at SERVPRO and our resident roof expert. If you can hire a professional contractor, like the team we work with, that's always best. They use professional grade materials that will hold up to the worst Mother Nature throws at us." 

If not, be sure to have a plan before you venture onto the roof. There are  good DIY videos to watch before that provide a sound set of instructions. 

Give us a call at 978-374-8555 to learn more about how we can help.  

What To Do If Your House Floods

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

With the crazy weather we've been experiencing lately, house and/or business flooding is a real concern. Luckily, we can step in to help minimize the damage and get your back to normal living conditions, but there are some other important steps to take as well.

Stop The Flow

Your first priority is stopping the flow of water. If the flooding is due to storm surges, you should be seeking safe ground. Your possessions are replaceable. You aren't!

If you have time however, turn off electricity at the fuse box. If you can’t reach the box without wading into water, call an electrician and stay out of the wet areas. Most people don't think of this step during a flood but doing so can save a lot of extra repair once you're back in the house.

Snap It, Document It

Before removing any water, document the damage for your insurance company. Capture the extent of the water damage and all possessions impacted by the flood. Digital photos are best because you can quickly upload them directly to your agent for assessment.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their directions. Not all flooding is covered by a basic homeowners policy, so work with your agent to discover the cause and identify coverage you can qualify for. Do not remove any water before talking to them so you don’t accidentally do anything that will decrease the amount of coverage you’ll be able to claim. If the insurance company wants you to wait for an adjuster before making repairs, do so — but make sure you give them a clear picture of the damage and repairs that are immediately needed.

Protect Yourself

You won’t know immediately if the water is contaminated, so take precautions to safeguard your health. Wear protective gear like waders or rubber boots and rubber gloves before delving into the water and removing water-logged possessions. If possible, remove children from the home until the damage is assessed and contained.

We're Here To Help

We are truly "faster to any disaster." When your home or business has water damage, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

Please follow the tips outlined in our Water Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide to protect yourself and your property.

Winter Weather Tips

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

A man puts ice melt on the stairs of his winter-beaten home.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and the national weather reporting agencies are predicting cold temps reaching into April, even early May possibly. Don't shoot the messenger!

With that said, two of the biggest problems our customers encounter are frozen pipes and ice dams. A frozen pipe can burst causing considerable damage to your property if not addressed.  Ice dams cause a back-flow under the roof’s shingles and can affect your structure’s interior areas.  Below are some tips on how to prevent this damage and prepare your home for the winter weather.

Quick Easy Steps to Avoid Burst Pipes & Ice Dams:

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure
  • Inspect property for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential

SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport is your local fire and water damage restoration company. Servicing the North Shore and Merrimack Valley for over 30 years, SERVPRO® understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it can cause your life, home or business.  Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.”®

Mold In Your Home

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is one of those hot button words that can strike fear and send you fleeing to pack your bags. Before you send the "We're Moving" postcards, learn the ABC's of mold in your home.

Mold In Your Home

Mold is airborne and can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.

It will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

What Can You Do?

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. 

We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

To learn more, click here or call 978-374-8555.

Space Heaters Need Their Space.

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

During the winters months, many people have the mind set that keeping the overall home or office temperature lower while adding space heaters will save money. Whether that makes fiscal sense depends on several variables. The one thing that does not vary though, is that space heaters, when not used properly can be dangerous.

Space heaters should be kept at a minimum distance of three feet but often are used near beds or under desks, altogether too close to fabrics, papers or other flammable materials. Not considering this hazard can lead to unexpected fires that spread quickly. 

Keeping these tips from DIY Network in mind can avoid potential tragedies:

Safety First

No matter what type or brand of space heater you opt to use, follow these safety tips from the NFPA to reduce the chances of fires and injury:

  • Keep anything that can burn, including bedding, furniture, and curtains at least 3 feet away from a space heater.
  • Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around space heaters and never use a space heater in a child's bedroom.
  • Run power cords on top of carpet and step over them to avoid abrading the cord. Do not use extension cords.
  • Turn off space heaters when going to bed or leaving a room.
  • Don't use a space heater in a damp or wet area unless it's specifically made for that purpose.
  • Turn space heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never put a space heater on a countertop unless it's specifically designed for it.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and test monthly.
  • Only purchase "UL Listed" heaters which display the UL mark on their label. This is an independent organization which tests for safety.
  • Don't use gas- or oil-burning space heaters indoors, only outdoors or in spaces open to the outdoors like tents or porches.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer's directions for your space heater.

We are always here to help. Although we are in the clean-up business, we would rather see you avoid the crisis. In the event you do need fire-damage restoration, we will treat your home as if it's our own.

Mary Ellen Manning the Open House Table

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mary Ellen Lawlor at the 2017 Amesbury Fire Dept Open House.

Every year during the Fall, most fire departments open their doors to the public, welcoming the community in to learn about fire safety, see the cool equipment they use, demonstrate best safety practices and even let the kids climb in and on the trucks. It's just a great family day, all around, to meet the men and women that dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe.

Every year there is also a priority to discuss, such as "Every Second Counts," as was the case in 2017.

SERVPRO is always happy to support our local Fire Departments. At the 2017 Amesbury Open House, we donated apples, and our ever popular fire truck banks!

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Simple Steps to Reduce the Risk of Mold

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold found behind drywall that was cut after a water damage.

During an exceptionally busy weather pattern, our area of eastern Massachusetts saw several storms back-to-back. Just as you made headway cleaning up after one storm, another would come in to undo all all your progress. Such was the case with a local elementary school when a pipe burst, unleashing 30,000+ thousand gallons of water through the hallways.

As a normal course of our process, once the water is extracted, we cut the drywall above the water line to ensure no moisture continues to spread and lead to the growth of mold.

Unfortunately, upon doing this, we found evidence of old mold in some of the drywall. Although it was not a huge amount, it was enough to shut the school down for several days, displacing the students to temporary housing and causing guaranteed headaches for the parents. 

The moral of this story is to do it the right way every time because in the end, you never avoid the work that needs to be done. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport doesn't cut corners (unless it's wet drywall), when it comes to standards of operation. 

Call the experts when water, fire or mold damage strikes.

A Series of Storms Wreak Havoc in Haverhill, MA

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

After a few back-to-back storms blew through Eastern, MA., several residents and businesses found themselves with frozen and/or burst pipes. 

Such was the case at a historic school building, repurposed to a community arts  center when a pipe burst, allowing 15-20 thousand+ gallons of water to rush through the halls and classrooms.

Since this is an historic structure, tearing down walls was not an option. A delicately balanced process referred to as "dry in place" was employed. This is when dozens of high capacity fans, desiccant dehumidifiers and two, 1-million BTU incandescent heaters blowing 200º were staged throughout the building, circulating dry, warm air.

Per Pat Lavigne, owner of SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport this process requires a balance of the moist air being extracted while the fans continually blow at high pressure to break the vapor barrier so the moisture wicks.

This process also helps reduce the risk of damage to the artwork. Many old buildings needs special care, when a crisis hits, in order to maintain the integrity of the structure. Lucky for this local building, we had a plan!

Church Underwater After Bomb Cyclone Storm

1/23/2018 (Permalink)

A well-attended church in Ipswich, MA found their sanctuary underwater after a "100 Year Storm" referred to as a "BombCyclone" hit the east coast in the winter of 2018. 

A pipe burst, sending 10,000 gallons (plus) of water throughout many rooms and levels of the church. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport was called in after hours to to begin the mitigation process. The hope of the congregation was that Sunday services would be able to be conducted despite the event.

With a lot of manpower, hours and equipment SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport was able to get the facility back to working order in time for Sunday service. 

When a crisis like this hits unexpectedly, the keys to a quick resolution are having a knowledgeable team in place as well as a plan of action. You want to act quickly before you wind up with more headaches, such as mold. 

Water Damage Can Leave An Unwanted Guest

1/23/2018 (Permalink)

After you have suffered through the disaster water damage can leave behind, you may sigh a breath of relief and think the worst is over. Unfortunately, if not mitigated correctly, the worst may be yet to come.

When it comes to water damage, they key to avoiding future mold problems is time. The quicker you can get to the source, fix the problem, and begin the drying (or demolition) the better.

Brian Carifio, a Project Estimator here at SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport, recommends waiting no longer than 3 days to address the mold risk. 

He also recommends the following steps

Dry out the affected area. Once the water has been extracted, use fans and a dehumidifier to help dry out the area. If possible, open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying. You want to dry the area out as soon as possible. If you have a finished basement and the drywall was affected, you’ll probably have to cut away the areas that were touched by water as the drywall will crumble and the paper backing is a good source of food for mold. If you have baseboard trim, take it up first, and if it’s made from pressboard it will likely not be salvageable. If it was wood, you might be able to save it.

Disinfect. This is a crucial step that is often overlooked. After the area has dried out, including wood beams, insulation, drywall, etc., use a good disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc. Disinfect all areas affected by the flood waters including walls and wood and non-upholstered furniture that sat in flood water.

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport uses proprietary, OSHA-approved cleaning agents that may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.

  • Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
  • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

Dispose of damaged items responsibly: you’ll be tempted to throw everything into a dumpster and send it all away and out of site. But if you can organize damaged goods into piles and take what you can to recycling centers, you will help alleviate the pressure on your local landfill site. Go to your city or town’s waste management website to find out where to recycle old paints, stains, adhesives and other toxic liquids, any damaged electronics from cell phones to TVs and computers, furniture, and even drywall. 

Flooded School in West Newbury, MA

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Is Your Business Prepared For A Crisis?

Instead of ringing in 2018 with toasts of prosperity and good health, many business found themselves focused on damage control as record low temperatures hit Massachusetts, causing pipes and sprinkler systems to freeze and burst. Such was the case at a beloved, local elementary school in the overnight hours of a very cold January night when a pipe ruptured in a first floor bathroom sending 30,000 gallons of water rushing, unrestrained, through hallways, classrooms, and ceilings of the Page School in West Newbury, MA. 

When a catastrophe such as this occurs, it’s the level of preparedness, training, proper equipment and a plan of action that can make the difference between an inconvenience and a total loss for your business.

Because Page School had the foresight to work with SERVPRO to complete an ERP (Emergency Readiness Plan), the maintenance team and first responders were able to quickly locate the shut-off valves, stemming the continued flow of water and therefore, minimizing the loss and environmental risk.

An ERP is a simple preparedness program that is completed at no charge to the customer. It provides a digital blueprint of key information such as location of utility shut-offs, property details, building access, and important contacts that may otherwise be floating in a paper file or on a computer hard drive inaccessible to you. A true game changer during any crisis, right on your phone…in a simple, free app.

When our SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport franchise received the call at 1:00 a.m., we were onsite within 30 minutes. The project was assessed, an emergency team was assembled, and mitigation began within 2 hours. No time was wasted in containing necessary areas, extracting water, dehumidifying and drying, disinfecting and removing saturated drywall.

The key to remediation is time…the quicker you start extracting and drying, the less time the water has to saturate and permeate surfaces. Removing drywall above the water line is paramount as mold can start to grow in as little as 3 days. When not correctly managed, it can grow silently, unbeknownst to you, within the drywall as it did at Page School, causing even more problems when it’s eventually discovered.

Disinfecting all areas, from ceiling to floor is also a concern as water can carry bacteria, dirt, and debris, depositing it in areas where you eat, work and play.

The SERVPRO emergency crew worked in shifts until the entire school was cleaned and moisture readings were back to an acceptable level. Although crews still remain there to remediate the mold, the original crisis is a memory.

In a press release issued to the media on January 3, Superintendent Mulqueen sites the timely response of West Newbury’s emergency responders, the District’s facilities team, and SERVPRO as the main factors in minimizing damage to the school. Had mold not been discovered, the school would have been operational in a matter of days.

The moral of this story is preparedness as well as working with trained professionals who make it their job to remain focused and productive during a crisis. You may never need to engage such a system but when & if you do, having a trained response team ready to go will get your life back to working order faster and with less stress.

SERVPRO mitigates thousands of  losses each year. If you are interested in ensuring your business is prepared for the unexpected, call us to learn more about our Emergency Readiness Program (ERP) at 978-374-8555 or 978-356-7077.

Preparing For The Worst

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen car floating in icy waters through Boston during yesterday's "Bomb Cyclone."

Mother Nature's Icy Grip Threatens Northeastern MA

With record low temperatures the norm this season and significant snowfall in the forecast, it's almost as if Mother Nature has something against us. Most of the time, winters in New England feel like a full frontal assault and this year is no exception. There are a plethora of resources on preparing for a storm and most of us can recite the bullet list by heart. However, how often do you think of preparing your car? Probably not often.

The National Weather Service offers a great deal of information on their website, including steps on building an emergency supply kit. According to their website, each year, on average, more than 6,000 people are killed and more than 480,000 are injured due to weather-related vehicle crashes. Before you leave the house, make sure all fluid levels are full and ensure that the lights, heater, and windshield wipers are in proper condition. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. 

Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following:

  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Firstaid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Compass and road maps.

Mother Nature Isn't Fooling Anyone!

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Can you feel that chill in the air? If not, just you wait — winter will be here before you know it, and now is the time to get your house ready for the cold. 

Trust us. You don't want to discover your furnace is dead on arrival of the first frost. And dealing with those cold air drafts now is a lot more pleasant than waiting until the inside of your house feels like a freezer.

To help, Home Advisor has created the ultimate guide to getting your home ready for winter. Here's a list of what to do and who to hire now, so you're not left shivering through the season.

Outdoors

Gutter Check: Ideally, you'll have your gutters and downspouts cleaned in mid-fall so that you only need to double check them before winter. If you do encounter clogs or leaking in difficult to reach places, now is a good time to call in the professionals.

Water Works: Your sprinkler system should have been winterized in the fall. If you missed this step, get a professional in as soon as possible, so you can avoid frozen pipes or cracks that can ruin the entire system. You should also make sure to disconnect all outside hoses from their spouts and turn off the water.

Seal The Deck: If you have a deck, give it a fresh coat of sealer before the cold hits to protect it from the harsh winter elements.

Roof Inspection: Have a contractor look for damaged roof shingles. A professional can also assess the integrity of your roof by doing something called an infrared roof inspection. This process uses infrared rays to locate the parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of it. These "hot spots" can show the roof inspector exactly where heat is escaping.

Weatherproof Windows: If heat is escaping through your windows and the space around them, keeping the rest of your house warm is going to be more difficult and more expensive. You might find installing energy-efficient, double-paned windows will make a noticeable difference in your energy costs and how comfortable your living areas feel. You may not need to install new windows if heat is escaping, though. In some cases, all you need is some caulk or weather stripping to weatherproof the existing windows.

Indoors

HVAC Tuning: Now is the time to replace the filter in your furnace and close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather. Go ahead and test that your heating system is working properly, too — it's better to find out now if something needs to be fixed before the real cold weather hits.

Chimney Cleaning: Chimneys and wood stoves should be cleaned early in the season. If you own a fireplace, this is not optional — it's a matter of safety. When you have your chimney cleaned, have the furnace flue cleaned at the same time. Make sure to test the flue for a tight seal when closed.

Outlet Inspection: Check electrical outlets and switch plates to see if you feel a draft. Add insulation to prevent warm air from escaping these spaces.

Stock Up: Make sure you have shovels on hand before the first big snow hits. Plus, it's a good idea to get prepared with a supply of extra water, canned food, flashlights and replacement batteries.

Article brought to you by: HomeAdvisor.com

The ERP Can Keep Your Business Running!

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.

SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call us today for more details!

Winter Is Coming…maybe!

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Don’t expect blockbuster snowfall this winter, says David Epstein for Boston.com!

Welcome to November. It’s generally a cloudy, stormy time of year, and it’s also when New Englanders start to think about what the upcoming winter may have in store.

Early predictions for the entire winter are notoriously difficult to compile. These forecasts are also not very reliable, and it’s not prudent to use a single forecast to predict the weather for the next five months. 

However, here are some early predictions to get you thinking:

1. We’ll be impacted by La Niña. 

Perhaps most notably this year, we are looking at a weak or moderate La Niña, which is when the ocean waters off the coast of Peru turn colder than average. 

In this pattern, New England often sees average snowfall totals, but, of course, there are always exceptions. During some La Niña years, New England has received higher-than-average snowfall — but just not as frequently as when snowfall is closer to average.

It’s also worth noting that the National Weather Service predicts a warmer-than-average winter across the eastern United States, largely because of La Niña.

2. We’ve had a warmer-than-average autumn so far.

Another data point to consider is autumn’s weather. A warm or cold fall is an indication of the atmosphere’s state. What happens from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 can guide the thinking of what type of winter we’ll experience.

September and October 2017 were very warm — in fact, October in Boston came within one-tenth of a degree of tying the warmest on record — so it’s useful to review snowfall after some of the warmest September-October couplings.

3. November could also be warm.

The weather during November is also a good predictor for what will happen from December through March. If a warm November follows a warm October, the odds are high that the winter will be mild.

But if November turns cold after a warm October, then the rest of the winter is often quite snowy and cold.

If you’re rooting for a winter without a lot of snow, you’ll like the European model. It’s forecasting a warmer-than-average November, which would increase the odds of less snow in southern New England.

In addition to the above, forecasters and climatologists are monitoring a slew of other factors, including the snow cover across the Arctic and Canada, the phase of the Arctic Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific/North American pattern, and more. These measurements are based on different pressure setups and, once again, they help to predict the mean storm track as well as how much cold air impacts the weather.

In New England, our winter weather appears to be highly variable with periods of deep cold followed by periods of mild weather. The snow cover may appear and then disappear in a matter of a week or two.

For all of these reasons, I don’t think this winter will be a blockbuster one. Yes, we will get snow and cold — ’tis the season, after all. Stay tuned for additional details and forecasts, which will be more specific and accurate than a long-range forecast is capable of doing.

For the complete article (with pictures!), click here.

Deep Fried Disaster!

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Although a mighty delicious tradition, deep-frying a turkey on Thanksgiving can be risky. 

Every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 

So you want to know which state has the most accidents?

For the last seven years, Texas has led the country in most grease- and cooking-related insurance claims on Thanksgiving Day, with 38 according to insurance company State Farm.  Illinois follows, with 27 reports and Pennsylvania and Ohio are tied for third with 23.  New York ranked fourth, with 22 claims and South Carolina and Georgia claimed fifth with 16 claims each. 

Check out State Farm's safety video starring Si and Jase Robertson from "Duck Dynasty" fame.  They give helpful and hilarious tips on how to avoid those nasty shooting flames.

https://youtu.be/ZNPNayJDxIo

Make Sure This Fun Night Is Safe For Kids!

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Walk Safely

  1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  2. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  3. Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  4. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  5. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  6. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  1. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  4. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  5. Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

SERVPRO Training Day

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Start of a full day of training for these SERVPRO employees!

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is committed to continually delivering high-value services to our customers and believes that all starts with an informed staff. At this full day training, all employees were trained on current commercial & residential cleaning & drying procedures, proper measuring standards and equipment training. 

After an amazing lunch catered by The American BBQ in Rowley, MA, employees were trained on proper driving techniques as well as equipment training. You can see our full album of images on our Facebook page.

We maintain a rigorous education standard to ensure our employees are bringing the very best knowledge into your home.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

Every Second Counts! Fire Prevention Month

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Downloadable graphic to review with family.

October is Fire Safety Month 

While it is our job to clean up after the Fire Dept has contained the fire, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport and SERVPRO of participates in many of the local Fire Department Open Houses during this very important month.

The theme this year is "Every Second Counts" and it couldn't be more true. You can get a head start on fire prevention month by downloading this graphic. This downloadable graphic is a great learning tool to use with your family or in the workplace. They will be on hand for you to take with you and most fire houses.

Print it out and hang it in an area that gets a lot of traffic. A break room or your refrigerator, for instance. Having it in a visible place will keep it "top of mind" in the event it's needed.

Planning for a Storm

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

Simple Tips to Help You Weather Any Storm.

With one of the busiest hurricane seasons in recent memory, it's wise to follow these safety tips from National grid minimize any damage to your home and possessions and keep your family safe.

  • Remain calm and gather all supplies on our storm kit checklist, including adequate medical/prescription supplies. 
  • Establish a “safe room” in a windowless interior room. Keep your storm kit there.
  • Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, make sure to turn off and unplug the TV, and avoid power lines.
  • Turn off all swimming pool pumps and filters, and wrap them in waterproof materials.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings ahead of time to keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage.
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary or sensitive electrical equipment.
  • Use surge protectors.
  • Consider using a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
  • Charge the battery for your cell phone and laptop computers.
  • Make sure that your home is secure, shuttered, and able to withstand a hurricane.

Storm Prep for Seniors

If you plan staying home during a storm, be sure to follow the steps above and ask a neighbor for help if necessary. If you plan to stay with family or friends during a hurricane, take these precautions:

  • Remain calm. Call them in advance. Make sure they will be ready for you.
  • Have a backup plan in case they are out of town.
  • Have your emergency checklist completed outlining your needs.
  • Bring your own food, water, medicine supply, and important papers with you.
  • If you have a loved one with dementia, ask to have a room just for you and your loved one. Ask your hosts to take the same safety precautions you have in your home (e.g., hide sharp objects and poisons, limit access to exits, cover mirrors).
  • Notify your friends/family/neighbors of your evacuation plans.

SERVPRO Helps The Hoarding Project

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Richard Ciarletta of SERVPRO (far right) helps at an event put on by The Hoarding Project on April 29, 2017.

On April 29, 2017 SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport joined forces with The Hoarding Project to help out on their Safety Day. SERVPRO's Richard Ciarletta donated his time and boxes for the event.


Safety Day is a term to talk about conducting a "modified clean-out" of a hoarded home. The goal of Safety Day is to ensure safety in a client's home. In other words, The Hoarding Project aims to make sure that a client can use and access his or her home in the way it was intended to be used without significant risk of harm to his or herself. The way they do this is through a carefully planned and structured, team-based approach to clearing "just enough" of the possessions in the home to create a safe living environment. This is done with the client's mental health and stress level during the process as the number one priority.


For more information please contact info@thehoardingproject.org

Mold Remediation Services

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold was found in this Amesbury, MA office and SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport was there to remediate the mold.

Does Your Haverhill Home Have A Mold Problem?

With window and doors open now, with the nice weather, many types of particles have free access to float into your home. Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

    • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
    • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
    • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
    • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
    • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
    • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (978) 374-8555

SERVPRO Attends Haverhill's Buttonwoods Speakeasy Social

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Michelle Lavigne, Peter Carbone of E-Z Way Cleaners, Dave Hart, Nury Cardoza and Patrick Lavigne at the Speakeasy Social

On April 5th, 2017 SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport attended the Buttonwoods Speakeasy Social 2017 at The Tap in Haverhill, MA. Owners Dave Hart and Michelle & Patrick Lavigne along with Crew Chief Nury Cardoza dressed in their finest 1920's glad rags and went out to support The Buttonwoods Museum.

The Buttonwoods Museum - Haverhill Historical Society is a designated Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Center offering information to residents and tourists about the city and the region beyond. The museum opened in 1904 and is in the middle of hundreds of years of Haverhill and Merrimack Valley history.

The mission of the Buttonwoods Museum is to collect and preserve history, and to educate the community about Greater Haverhill's past and culture.

All proceeds from this event went to help maintain the museum properties, protect the priceless artifacts of Greater Haverhill's history and fund educational programs.

We're not just business owners, many of us live here too. We may even be neighbors. We are proud to be an active member of the Haverhill community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Be Prepared For an Emergency

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future.

In the event of an emergency, the Emergency READY Profile® or ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. Working with SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport on an ERP will provide you with a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.

The ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years of experience and a System over 1,600 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Don't wait until disaster strikes. Be ahead of whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Call SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport at 978-374-8555 or visit or website to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be "Ready for whatever happens."

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport - Fast Water Damage Response

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither does SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. The water damage timeline below details the damage that occurs if no action is taken.

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

First 24 Hours

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to One Week

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than One Week

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

As leaders in the water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water-damage condition. Our process includes documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry.

Call us today at 978-374-8555 for more information.

Severe Spring Weather Tips

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. Take action to protect yourself, your family, and your business—before a weather event occurs and it’s too late.

April marks the start of the rainy season. Spring storms can bring several inches of rain in only a matter of hours or there can be consistent rainfall for days. These heavy rains can lead to severe flooding by over-saturating the ground, overfilling storm drains, or rivers spilling over their banks.

As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it’s important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you feel you live in a community with a low risk of flooding, remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.

In order help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, we offer you these tips:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
  • Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
  • Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home
  • Seal basement walls and floor with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
  • Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
  • Prepare a flood evacuation plan
  • Know how to safely shut-off utilities
  • Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
  • Have a portable radio to listen for important current information

When your home sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport immediately. SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects that water damage can have.

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has the equipment and experience necessary to handle the most challenging water damage and removal situations and we are available around-the-clock. Call us at (978) 374-8555, and we’ll return your home back to normal, "Like it never even happened."

Winter Weather Tips

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Haverhill/Newburyport is your local fire and water damage restoration company. Servicing the North Shore and Merrimack Valley for over 30 years, SERVPRO® understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it can cause your life, home or business.  Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.”®

With the cold weather upon us, two of the biggest problems our customers encounter are frozen pipes and ice dams. A frozen pipe can burst causing considerable damage to your property if not addressed.  Ice dams cause a backflow under the roof’s shingles and can affect your structure’s interior areas.  Below are some tips on how to prevent this damage and prepare your home for the winter weather.

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure
  • Inspect property for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential

Mary Ellen Lawlor from SERVPRO Honored at the YWCA Awards Luncheon

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

Mary Ellen Lawlor - Marketing Representative at SERVPRO of Haverhill

Mary Ellen Lawlor, the marketing rep at SERVPRO of Haverhill, was honored last month at the YWCA Haverhill 27th Annual Tribute to Women Luncheon.  Mary Ellen was among twenty-two women who were recognized at the event as outstanding role models and who have made significant contributions to their community through professional or volunteer work. 

As a long time resident of the Merrimack Valley, Mary Ellen has a long history of giving back.  She is involved in countless committees and projects including Haverhill's Kids Fest, Christmas Stroll as well as helping to coordinate Fire Safety Days in conjunction with local Fire Departments.  She has served as an Ambassador to both the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Board for The Clean River Project, Community Action, Inc., the Haverhill Downtown Committee and the Haverhill Washington St. Shoe Historic District. 

Like so many other wonderful volunteers, Mary Ellen has put in countless hours of time and resources; working diligently to bring programs and services to our local neighborhoods. Mary Ellen cares deeply about this community and is committed to making Haverhill the surrounding communities a better place to live. 

Congratulations to Mary Ellen and all the other women honored at this year's event.  SERVPRO is proud to have you as a member of the SERVPRO team and happy to support all your community efforts!

 

SERVPRO along with local Fire Departments Raise Awareness about Fire Prevention

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

Amesbury Fire Department Open House

October is Fire Prevention Month!  In an effort to raise awareness about fire safety, local Fire Departments throughout Essex County hosted Open Houses at their Fire Stations.  SERVPRO and other local businesses worked in conjunction with the fire departments to provide refreshments, giveaways and most importantly fire safety education!  Fire truck tours, gear demonstrations, Sparky the Fire Dog and the Smoke House were some of the main attractions at these open houses.  Each year fires claim hundreds of lives throughout New England. Fire Safety Open Houses are geared towards educating the community in hopes of saving lives.  Congratulations and thank you to all the fire houses who went above and beyond to educate our community about fire safety and prevention.  SERVPRO is proud to be a part of such wonderful events! 

 

SERVPRO Attends the NELA Conference

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Marketing Representatives, Mary Ellen Lawlor and Richard Ciarletta, at the NELA Conference.

SERVPRO recently attended the New England Library Association's Annual Conference held at the Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers, MA.  Truly a remarkable event, librarians from throughout New England travelled to this three day conference to attend seminars, meet vendors and learn about ways to enhance their local libraries.  As an exhibitor at the conference, SERVPRO provided information about our 24/7 emergency restoration services for fire and water damage as well as our Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) Program.  The ERP Program encourages customers to take action before a disaster strikes by helping them create an emergency preparedness plan for their property.  The ERP is a quick reference of important building and contact information compiled by your facilities manager along with your local SERVPRO representative.  And the best part is, SERVPRO offers this service free of charge!  This service is available to all business and municipalities.  Please contact our office at (800)621-0022 for further details!  

 

 

 

 

 

SERVPRO Hosts September Haverhill Chamber Event

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Haverhill hosts the September After Hours Mixer for the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce

Thank you to everyone who came out last month to the Greater Haverhill Chamber After Hours Mixer at SERVPRO of Haverhill.  The Casino Night was a huge success!  It was wonderful meeting so many business professionals and of course sharing the SERVPRO story and our new building with the local community.  Thank you to the Greater Haverhill Chamber for your help organizing this wonderful event.  Many thanks to Bradford Country Club for providing the food and of course Seacoast Events for all their hardwork running the casino tables.  SERVPRO is proud to be a member of and support such a wonderful community.  We hope that everyone enjoyed themselves and look forward to the Haverhill Chamber's next big event!  And remember, if ever you are faced with a fire or water damage, please don't hesitate to contact us.  We are here to help!   

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport supports the Haverhill Firefighter's Relief Association

6/3/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO marketing reps, Rich Ciarletta and Mary Ellen Lawlor, stand by the television to be raffled off at the Haverhill Firefighter's Golf Tournament

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport was one of the many volunteers at the Haverhill Firefighters' Golf Tournament.  This is the annual tournament to help raise funds for the Haverhill Firefighter's Relief Association.   SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport is proud to be a part of such a wonderful event and has donated bottled waters for all the golfers as well as a 43" flat screen television to be raffled off at the event.  A special thank you to firefighters Brian Saunders and Timothy Riley for all their hard work coordinating the event, to Bradford Country Club for being such a wonderful host and to all the volunteers and sponsors who have donated their time and money to such a great cause! SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport was very happy to be a part of this wonderful event!

SERVPRO helps celebrate the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce's 100th Annual Dinner & Awards Banquet

6/2/2016 (Permalink)

Money Cake to be raffled off at the Haverhill Chamber 100th Annual Dinner & Awards Celebration

SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport would like to congratulate the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce on their 100th Anniversary!  SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has been providing fire, water and mold restoration services in the greater Haverhill area for over 30 years.  As a proud member of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce we would like to say thank you to everyone at the Chamber for all of your support over the years.  It is organizations like the Chamber that make Haverhill a great place to live and work!  Congratulations again on such a huge milestone.  To mark the special occasion, SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport has donated a $100 money cake to the raffle and auction portion of the 100th Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration. Thank you for allowing us to be there for this wonderful celebration!

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