Recent Posts

How to Prevent Bathroom Water Leaks

4/17/2021 (Permalink)

Unless you’re a plumber, you probably don’t think about the various ways water gets into and out of your bathroom toilet, sink, tub, or shower. Why would you? The only time it comes to mind is either as a passing thought or when you realize there’s a leak in your bathroom and investigate the source. 

Here’s how to make sure that your bathroom is as sealed up as possible from the beginning to prevent water leaks and the potential of bathroom water damage

  • Sink: A bathroom sink is usually part of a bathroom vanity (the cabinet that the sink sits on top of). If there’s a leak in the sink, you generally find out when you open the cabinet door underneath and notice a puddle of water or see water seeping out of the cabinet door. To prevent such leaks, caulk (either silicon-based or latex-based) is applied to seal the gaps around your vanity and the sink itself. The caulk can last for a number of years, but does need to be removed and reapplied at a certain point because it can then break down, letting water get through. 
  • Toilet: When the toilet was installed, a wax ring was placed around the hole in the floor to act as a water barrier between the bottom of your toilet and the sewer pipe. If that wasn’t installed properly, it could result in a leak and needs to be replaced.
  • Shower: Prevent leaking shower heads and resulting water damage by fully tightening the shower head to the attachment. First, do so by hand and then use a wrench or pliers to ensure the shower head is firmly attached. 
  • Tub: To prevent a leaking tub, apply 100% silicone caulk along the edges and sides of your bathtub and the walls/tiles and between the bottom of your tub and your floor. This will serve as a watertight seal. 

Has your bathroom sprung a leak, resulting in water damage or bathroom mold? Contact the Massachusetts water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich for a water damage assessment as well as a remediation plan for water damage restoration.

Is Your Phone Charger a Fire Hazard?

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of burned bed sheets and iPhone charger These photos went viral when Newton NH Fire Department shared them on Facebook back in 2017.

Your phone connects you to family, friends, and all the information in the world. These days, it’s a bit easier to do research for a school paper by googling for information on your phone instead of going to the library and searching through the card catalog for the right books. With all of the connection and information your phone provides, why wouldn’t you want it charged around the clock? The answer: to prevent a home fire.

Some people keep their phone right next to them on their bed, charging while they sleep so they’ll have a fully charged phone when they wake up. In fact, research found that 53% of children/teens charge their phone or tablet on their bed or under their pillow while they sleep. 

If you or a loved one does this, stop doing so immediately to avoid a home fire caused by a phone charger. Phones need to be charged on a hard, flat surface that allows for room for the generated heat to release. If your phone is charging under the pillow, there’s only one place for the heat to go, and that’s onto the bed sheet or pillowcase, neither of which was made for high heat, and will result in a home fire

Also, make sure that you’re only using phone-compatible chargers. Yes, the ones you find at the local convenience store or drug store are cheap, but they’re also not specifically made for your phone. These chargers are referred to as “aftermarket” and are cheap for a reason. They don’t meet the basic safety guidelines that the manufacturer chargers follow, and are known for becoming hot and causing fires. 

If your phone charger or anything else, like a space heater, ever causes a fire in your house or apartment, there can be residual soot and smoke damage from the fire to your furnishings, clothes, and possessions that needs to be remediated. Contact the Massachusetts fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich for a fire damage assessment as well as soot, smoke, and fire damage restoration.

Employee Spotlight - Patrick Lavigne

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of male owner and general manager Patrick Lavigne Patrick Lavigne Owner and General Manager

As 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 allow 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 strive 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

Storm Damage Repair for a Real Estate Office

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Here in Massachusetts, we know how unpredictable the weather can be. We can have a 70 degree sunshiny day one day and then drop down to the 30s with a snow squall the next. Having all four seasons makes New England appealing to many, which is a boon for your real estate office sales. But with the four seasons comes the chance of different types of unsettled weather patterns, which can lead to severe storms and storm damage. 

When it comes to your real estate office, storm damage needs to be repaired quickly to keep your office up and running and prevent potential buyers and sellers from going to your competition if you’re closed. 

So, what can you do to repair storm damage? It depends on the type of storm:

  • After a heavy rainstorm, inspect your office for flooding or other water damage. Your first step after a flood or water issue is to shut off the electricity to your office, get the water out, and then dry all of the affected furnishings, paperwork, and equipment. You also need to thoroughly dry your real estate office carpeting to prevent mildew and mold in your office.
  • After a windstorm like a microburst, hurricane, or tornado, look up at your real estate office’s roof, and any trees around your office, to ensure wind damage didn’t knock a tree limb or branch onto or through your roof or through a window. If it did, contact the professionals like our commercial storm damage team and a tree removal company to extract the tree from your real estate office and assess and repair the storm damage.

Ready to get your real estate office back into one that will make your clients want to move in? Hire a Massachusetts commercial storm damage remediation expert like our company at SERVPRO Danvers/Ipswich to assess your storm damage and restore your office.

Employee Spotlight - Lorne Keplar

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of male key account manager Lorne Keplar Lorne Keplar Key Accounts Manager for Danvers/Ipswich and Stoneham/Wakefield

Meet the newest member of our marketing team, Lorne Keplar! Lorne is the Key Accounts Manager for both the Danvers / Ipswich and Stoneham / Wakefield territories. We asked Lorne to answer a series of questions about himself, and here a few highlights:

Before working at SERVPRO, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

“I sold high-end river and ocean cruises all over the world. It was fun & interesting!”

Three words to best describe you:

“Kind, inquisitive, productive”

What do you like to do in your spare time/on days off?

“I like to watch programming on PBS Masterpiece, read about world news from the BBC, take walks in the neighborhood and local nature areas with my wife, cook good and (mostly) healthy meals from scratch, and talk to my family and nieces and nephews.”

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

“That hard work and dedication really do pay off, and that life can get better and better if you love and care for yourself and those around you.”

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

“Bacon. I absolutely love bacon, and even put it on my salads!”

You’re happiest when?

“I am happiest when I have completed my work in a professional and competent manner and received the results and the rewards that come with that. That is when I can relax and engage in recreation, with the knowledge of a job well done.”

Welcome to the team Lorne! We’re happy to have you as part of our SERVPRO family.

Top Signs of Water Damage in Your Home

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of paint peeling from ceiling as a result of water damage The paint on this kitchen ceiling started peeling because of a water leak.

There are two types of water damage: the type you can blatantly see (in the form of puddles or floods) and the type you can’t see, in the form of hidden water damage behind your walls, in your rugs, or inside your ceiling. 

But even if you can’t see the water right in front of you, there are ways you can tell if there might be water damage in or underneath your home that needs to be addressed.

  • A musty smell that wasn’t there before. If your basement or one of your rooms starts smelling musty, there may be hidden water damage that resulted in mildew or mold
  • Bubbles in the paint of your ceiling. Yes, these could be just from steam in your bathroom forming a coat of moisture, especially if they’re on top of your shower, but they could also be caused by water that collected in your ceiling and is popping through the ceiling as a bubble. This is particularly bad if it’s not a pin-sized dot of a bubble and is instead the size of a dinner plate or larger. That water damage should be remediated immediately.
  • Peeling or stained paint on your wall. This is the same as bubbles on the ceiling, except that in this case, the paint could be flaking off or stained from water that has collected in between your drywall and the layers of paint. 
  • An increase in your water bill. Stay on top of what you pay each month. If it has suddenly increased without any uptick in water usage, you could have a hidden water leak. 

Think there’s water damage in your home and you want to be sure? Reach out to the Massachusetts water damage remediation experts at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich. We have state of the art technology to assess and spot the water damage you can’t see and to restore your home to its pre-water damage state.

Mold Testing for Your Warehouse

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Your commercial warehouse can store boxes on pallets or shelves filled with clothes, technology, food, documents, and other items. But it could also be storing or breeding mold in the boxes, walls, or ceiling of your warehouse.

There are many ways you could wind up with warehouse mold damage, including leaking or damp items in a box, water being spilled, and improper ventilation for moisture caused by humidity or steam. As mold prevention, you’ll want to reduce any humidity in your warehouse with a dehumidifier or heavy-duty fans.

Mold can also be caused by commercial water damage from a burst pipe or other form of warehouse flooding or a poorly maintained HVAC system. 

Have you seen dark spots on the walls in your warehouse and you’re not sure if they’re caused by mildew or mold spores? Or have you smelled a musty aroma in your warehouse and can’t tell if it’s mold or just old boxes? 

If you don’t know, there are do-it-yourself mold tests you can purchase and then pay for analysis by a lab. A note on this option: Before you test, you should close the windows and doors of the room you’re testing (or your warehouse) for an entire 24 hours to prevent any mold spores from moving around by a draft. Yes, this means that you will have to stay out of your warehouse for 24 hours before mold testing with a do-it-yourself kit. 

When you’re doing the mold test, wear protective goggles, clothing, and gloves in case it is mold, and always follow the directions step-by-step on the kit. 

Not sure you want to do it yourself? Hire a Massachusetts commercial mold remediation expert like our company at SERVPRO Danvers/Ipswich to assess and test for mold in your warehouse. We are professionally trained in mold removal and remediation to help you get your warehouse back in action safely.

Spring Cleaning Tips

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of green street sign reading "Spring cleaning just ahead" National Cleaning Week is March 28th - April 3rd, 2021. Are you up to the challenge?

Do you know that there is a NATIONAL CLEANING WEEK??? According to Wikipedia, it starts on the fourth week of March, at the beginning of the Spring Season. It is a tradition to clean the house thoroughly before or during the Great Lent. 

Here are some tips to make it easier and less stressful: 

  1. Remember it is a week of cleaning, so start with dividing the work by day.  
  1. Tackle the seasonal chores first, like putting away all the Christmas and Valentines’ decorations. Decluttering is the first step. 

In each room, start cleaning from top to bottom, including light fixtures, fans, pics on the walls, and those annoying cobwebs that collect in the corners. Move down the walls by cleaning the windowsills and wiping down baseboards. Vacuum the carpets and clean the floors. 

Last but not least, CHECK SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES! 

Additional areas to focus on: 

  • The Kitchen - clean in and out of the cabinets, fridge, stove, oven, dishwasher, and leave as little item as possible on your countertop. 
  • Bathroom - scrub the toilet, the tub, and the sink. 
  • Bedrooms - clean the closet (consider donating some items), clean under the bed, polish the furniture. 
  • Living Room - vacuum and polish the furniture and decorate for the season. 

Remember, if all these tasks become challenging and overwhelming, you can always consider hiring a professional crew. Here at SERVPRO, with more than 30 yrs in business and experienced technicians, we can provide the best Spring-cleaning service experience.  

WE ARE HERE TO HELP. 

Written by Nury Cardoza

A Day at Sweet Paws Rescue | Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

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

Way back in July of 2020, SERVPRO had the pleasure of working with Sweet Paws Rescue to clean their facilities. Our crew spent the day completing our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, which was launched just prior to our visit. The incredible people over at Sweet Paws were kind enough to let our marketing team in to photograph and film the process, and we even got to meet and play with a few of the dogs they had rescued. At the time of our visit, one of the dogs, Molly, had recently had a litter of ten puppies, all of whom already had forever homes lined up and waiting for them when the time came that they could safely leave mom. If you would like to hear more about our day at Sweet Paws Rescue (or just want to see cute clips of puppies), you can click here to watch the video we put together documenting the day. If you are interested in learning more about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, give us a call anytime at 978-777-3498!

Basement Flooded? Take These Steps

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of a flooded basement If you find your basement is underwater, give us a call. We're here to help 24/7.

No one wants a flooded basement, but they do happen. A basement flood can be caused by seepage through a fieldstone foundation; water gushing in after a heavy rainstorm or from melted snow through a crack in the basement wall, door, or floor; sump pump failure; or a sewer backup. 

The second you realize that your basement has flooded, you need to take action.

First, shut off the power. Do not step foot into the water in your basement with the power on in the basement. You run the risk of an electric shock. If your circuit breaker is in the basement, call a trusted electrician or the electric company to turn off the power at your house.

Once that’s done, your next step to prevent mold and water damage is to get the water out of your basement since mold can grow in just 24 to 48 hours. If it’s a small amount of water, you could use a wet/dry vacuum or a sump pump -- unless you store that wet/dry vac in the basement and the plug has been dangling in the water. 

If you have more than an inch or so of water, hire a local emergency water removal service like SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich. We know how to get the water out of your flooded basement and then dry out your basement with professional fans and dehumidifiers while also assessing water damage from the flooding and offering remediation services. 

To air out your basement, if you’re doing it yourself, you can open the basement windows and any doors and strategically set up fans and dehumidifiers to help in the process. 

Contact us here at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich for help with your flooded basement clean up and restoration.