Recent Storm Damage Posts

What’s in a Name? How We Identify Storms and Hurricanes.

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season spans from May 22, 2021 through November 30, 2021. Between those two dates, we will witness tropical depressions and storms of all sizes, some culminating in hurricanes which may or may not prove costly with respect to lost lives and damaged infrastructure. 

As hurricane season rolls out, we can’t help but take notice of the names assigned to each hurricane, regardless of whether or not it actually makes landfall or leaves much of a mark on those in its path. 

To date, the 2021 hurricane season has featured names like Ana, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Henri, and, most recently, Hurricane Ida, which took a tremendous toll on human lives and livelihoods. 

While we’ve watched these storms develop, many of which result in significant storm damage, we couldn’t help but wonder, how are storms and hurricanes named in the first place? 

Monikers from the Military

The story of how and where tropical storms and hurricanes get their names starts with the American military. 

According to senior Accuweather meteorologist, Dan Kottlowski, “During World War II, it became highly noticed that [the United States] was losing ships in the west Pacific because of hurricanes. So, coming out of the war, a large amount of research took place to understand these storms and make people more aware of them. As a part of that project, [the military] started naming them.” 

Names are reserved for certain storms; a system requires sustained winds of at least 39 MPH -- anything below that is a nameless tropical depression. Anything above 73 MPH is considered a hurricane and, therefore, named. 

If a hurricane proves particularly damaging, its name is retired and never used again. In other words, we’ve seen the last Hurricane Katrina in our lifetimes and it’s fair to anticipate that Ida will be retired as well.  

In honor of September designated as National Preparedness Month, we urge everyone to embrace this year’s Ready.gov theme: “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” As soon as a hurricane is named, that’s your cue that it’s time to plan and prepare!


Whatever the name of your storm, contact your local SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich team for expert storm damage cleanup and restoration designed to return your home or business back to its best condition.

Dealing with Insurance after a Storm

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

After a storm, the last thing you want to do is focus on calling your insurance company. But it’s an important call to make to start the storm damage restoration process. For a stress free claims process, SERVPRO can help manage your insurance paperwork and process after you’ve made your storm damage insurance claim. 

We have a proven emergency storm damage restoration process that works for us and will help you get your home restored quickly and efficiently. Here’s an overview of our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines, which help ensure timely communication and response:

  • One hour from notice of loss. One of our trained professionals will contact you to arrange for service. 
  • Four hours from notice of loss. One of our trained professionals will be on-site at your home to start storm damage mitigation services. 
  • Eight hours from on-site arrival. You and your insurance adjuster will receive a verbal briefing of the scope of work.

Insurance companies trust us because our goal is to restore your current possessions and furnishings instead of just replacing them. Restoring items through storm damage mitigation techniques and equipment is less expensive than replacing, and minimizes additional property damage claims for you and your insurance company. 

Throughout the process, we will work with you and your insurance company by providing an itemized room-by-room loss inventory through our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS). CCIS allows your insurance company to document claim items and capture inventory items immediately. You will also receive a full list. 

Your insurance company will also receive online access to all files, information, and proof of results through our Electronic File Documentation. 

When you’re dealing with storm damage, contact our certified and trained Massachusetts storm damage experts at SERVPRO Danvers / Ipswich. We’ll come out and assess your storm damage along with any remediation, restoration, and/or rebuilding (yes, we even rebuild!) that needs to be done to your home.

Storm Watch vs a Storm Warning: What’s the Difference?

7/18/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever watched the news during a lightning storm and heard that your town is under a “tornado watch” or a “tornado warning”? If you don’t know the difference between a watch and a warning, your first instinct on hearing either term may be to head to the basement, right? 

Before you evacuate your house or go to the basement, take a read below on what the difference is between the term, what you should do for each, and what to do after a Massachusetts storm occurs.

Storm Watch versus a Storm Warning

First, let’s understand the terms, with a flood watch or warning as an example. 

  • Flood watch: Flooding is possible, but isn’t happening right now, and it might not happen. 
  • Flood warning: Flooding is happening or will happen soon. It IS going to happen.

The same definitions hold true for a flash flood watch or warning; an ice storm watch or warning; a tornado watch or warning; a hurricane watch or warning; and a severe thunderstorm watch or warning. 

What to During a Storm Watch

You should pay attention to the local news on the radio or TV for further information. If you have an NOAA weather radio, this is the time to turn it on to stay informed.

What to do During a Storm Warning

Evacuate immediately or seek higher ground on foot if you’re advised to do so. Otherwise, stay in your home, but go into the basement or lowest level of the house, and steer clear of windows. 

What to do After a Storm

After a storm has passed, and you’re safe, it’s time to assess your home and property for any damages. Inspect the outside of your house and your fencing, if applicable, for trees or tree branches that may have fallen, as well as tears or holes in your siding, roof, or fencing that could indicate potential storm damage. 

If you see any storm damage, contact our certified and trained Massachusetts storm damage experts at SERVPRO Danvers / Ipswich. We’ll come out and assess your storm damage along with any remediation, restoration, and/or rebuilding (yes, we even rebuild!) that needs to be done to your home.

Need to Dry Out after Storm Damage? Here's What to Do

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

When you’re dealing with storm damage in your home from a hailstorm, lightning, ice storm, or a heavy rain storm, your immediate focus is the resulting damage to your home like a fire, hole in your roof, or a flooded basement. Once that is over, your thoughts will turn to your belongings, including furniture, rugs, and photo albums.

Your photo albums or loose photos that you have in a box or desk drawer contain years and even decades of irreplaceable memories. The potential for water damaged documents can also include family passports; birth or marriage certificates; and treasured books that can’t be easily replaced if at all. How could you recover those if they were soaked? 

We can help thanks to our state of the art drying technology at SERVPRO Danvers / Ipswich. Our expert document and drying restoration team uses innovative vacuum freeze-drying techniques, including the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. In fact, our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA). 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

We also use gamma irradiation technology to safely and effectively sterilize and remove any bacteria from water damaged belongings or furnishings that were involved in a flood or septic tank backup.

Our customers rave about our drying technologies. One said: “Ross was straightforward, provided clear explanations about what he was assessing, and had fans set up throughout my ground floor that day. As a result all of the walls that showed moisture were dry by the end of the remediation process, thus the only sustained damage was the carpeting.”


Did you find this blog after a storm resulted in water damaged documents? We’re your local Massachusetts document drying experts. Contact us here at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich for help with your storm damage remediation.

How to Find the Right Disaster Recovery Team after a Storm

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

Was your home hit by lightning? A hail storm? An ice storm? A flood? A microburst? These are just some of the reasons why you might need a Massachusetts disaster recovery team for clean up and remediation. But how on earth do you know who to trust with repairing your home, or what to look for? 

We’re here to give you some tips on what to look for in a storm-related disaster recovery team. 

Specialty Areas: When you’re dealing with a disaster, you want to choose a remediation and restoration team that can handle any type of situation. For example, your cleaning and repair service should be able to handle all forms of disasters, from storms to fire, water to mold. Choosing a company that focuses on just one can leave you having to go through the process of finding another disaster recovery service for anything that might crop up in the future at your home.

Availability: Disasters don’t happen on a timetable, so you shouldn’t have to wait until normal working hours to get started dealing with your disaster recovery and cleaning. Look for a service that is available 24 hours a day to get your home back in working order.

Training: Look for a disaster recovery service that is fully trained in property damage restoration. Here at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich , we are certified in and follow the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) best practices and standards for cleaning and restoration. Our Restoration Certifications include Applied Structural Drying (ASD); Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT); and Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT).

When you’re dealing with a disaster or damage from fire, water, or mold to your home, you need the right disaster recovery and restoration expert. Contact us here at SERVPRO of  Danvers / Ipswich to discuss your storm damage recovery needs in Massachusetts, and we’ll work with you to develop a plan for remediation and clean up.

What Can an Ice Storm do to Your Roof?

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

Diagram of the anatomy of an ice dam. This illustration shows potential damage an ice dam can create.

In the spring, your thoughts turn to gardening, spending more time outside, spring cleaning, and repairing any damage to your home from ice storms. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t exactly on your list, but it should be if your house sustained any storm damage from winter storms and you haven’t yet made those repairs. 

Ice storms can affect your home in a myriad of ways, including causing weak, old tree branches to snap off, hitting a power line or your house itself. If a power line that’s connected to your house comes down, the ice storm repair involves working with your power company to get your power restored. 

If the ice storm caused a tree branch to hit your roof, there are two scenarios. If the tree branch is resting on your roof and hasn’t broken through, the resulting ice storm repair entails getting the tree off your roof without any damage. If your roof has been damaged by the downed tree branch, you need to have it repaired. 

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

Does your roof have signs of ice storm damage? Contact the Massachusetts storm damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich for a storm damage assessment as well as a remediation plan for water damage restoration.

What to do if a Tree Falls On Your House?

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of a tree that fell onto a house It made the news when this tree fell on a house in Beverly back in 2019.

Trees provide shade from the sun, the beauty of changing leaves in the fall, and oxygen into the air. These are all reasons why you’d want to have trees around your house. But there’s a flipside to that. 

If your tree is old or has very thin branches, a strong wind could cause a branch or even part of the tree to fall. Think about the morning after we have heavy rains and wind, like a microburst or a hurricane. As you’re driving around the next day, you’re likely to see pieces of tree branches (or even a large limb of a tree) on the road or in someone’s yard. 

The destination of the tree branch that falls during a wind storm could be anywhere, and one place it could wind up is on your roof. That thud is not a sound you want to hear in the middle of the night as you’re sleeping, especially if the tree branch has broken through your roof or side of your home and is poking through your ceiling or wall. 

The first thing you need to do, once you’ve determined everyone in your house is safe, of course, is to get that tree branch off your house. If it’s a relatively small tree branch, then you could remove that yourself or with the help of some neighbors. If the tree branch is larger, you’ll need a tree company with their specialized equipment for tree branch or limb removal. 

Once the branch or limb has been removed, it’s time to assess the damage. That’s where our team at SERVPRO Danvers / Ipswich comes in. Contact us and we’ll come out, sometimes with a structural engineer, to offer a tree damage assessment along with the remediation that will be done, which could include repairing the roof, wall, or other parts of your home that have been damaged by a tree during a storm.

It's never too early to prepare for winter!

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

Dealing with Dangerous Weather: Tip 4

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with Dangerous Weather

Tip 4: Don't Forget your Pets!

Taking care of yourself and your family members during a storm can be overwhelming in and of itself, and adding pets into the mix probably doesn’t help. Learning what to do to protect and care for your pets in case of an emergency ahead of time will make life easier for everyone involved. Don’t forget to pack extra food, water, and any other essential pet supplies, such as any medicine, treats, etc., when putting together your emergency kit. Maybe include a recent photo of each of your pets to show around in case you get separated amidst any chaos. Make sure your pets have some form of identification, a collar with tags, a microchip, or both, on them to make it easier for you two to be reunited in the unfortunate instance they get lost. If possible, crate your animals before the situation worsens so you know where they are and that they’re safe.

Dealing with Dangerous Weather: Tip 3

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with Dangerous Weather

Tip 3: Have an Emergency Kit Ready

You have probably heard this one a thousand times, but how many of us actually have one packed and ready to go? How about one that is up-to-date? When putting together an emergency kit, the general recommendation is to prep enough supplies to last each member of your household 72 hours minimum. Non-perishable foods, such as soup and other canned items, and bottled water are often a smart (and relatively cheap) investment to keep on hand in case of an emergency. To find an extensive list of things to include in your emergency kit, along with other helpful advice, check out Ready.gov and remember to check back often, as they update their list regularly.

Dealing with Dangerous Weather: Tip 2

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with Dangerous Weather

Tip 2: Flood Water isn't Normal Water

If you are driving or walking down a road and encounter flooding, DO NOT try to cross it. When dealing with floods and flood water, it is important to remember not to take them at surface value. Many times, floods occur as a result of a natural body of water overflowing, and often times these bodies of water have a current. This current does not go away when there is a flood, it’s possible it may get stronger as a result of the excess water trying to escape. Flood waters are also often deceptively deep, especially if you’re looking at them from inside of a car. To learn more about the dangers floods present or to learn more about what to do in a flood, check out the National Weather Service’s website.

Dealing with Dangerous Weather: Tip 1

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with Dangerous Weather

Tip 1: Drive for Your Safety

It may seem like a given but it’s important to remember none the less. Driving is a big responsibility and if you don’t feel safe behind the wheel, you could be putting yourself and other drivers at risk. According to a study done by the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 21% of auto accidents every year can be attributed to the weather. If you find yourself stuck in bad weather while driving, don’t feel like you have to speed just because everyone around you is doing it. Odds are, the people behind you will be understanding and if they don’t like it, let them pass. Just be careful, going too slow has its own risks as well. Try to avoid driving in stressful situations, including bad weather, if at all possible. However, if you must drive, remember to stay safe!

Examples of Storm Damage

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage can create a variety of problems for homeowners. SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich 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 Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077. We’re here to help.

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 Danvers/Ipswich. 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.

Storm Survival Kit

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Most of the time, winters 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

Winter Is 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 Danvers/Ipswich a call at 978-777-3498.

Article brought to you by: HomeAdvisor.com

Should You Be Tarping Your Roof?

10/29/2019 (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 SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich a call at 978-777-3498 to learn more about how we can help.  

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.

Preventing Ice Dams in your Ipswich Home

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 Danvers and Ipswich 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 978-777-3498.



We're Here to Help During Storm Season

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

We can help restore your property from storm damage.

Storm Damage can create a variety of problems for Ipswich homeowners. SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich 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 Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077. We’re here to help.

Storm 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 freezing.

Frigid Temperatures Can Cause Frozen Pipes

With temperatures in the single digits today today in New England, Danvers 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.




30 Inches of Snow?!

12/26/2018 (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.

What Causes a Nor'Easter?

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

This photo from FEMA shows a car that is covered in snow from a Nor'Easter 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 Danvers/Ipswich has the experience and specialized equipment to restore your home or business to pre-storm condition.

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 Danvers/Ipswich 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 978-777-3498

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.

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 Danvers/Ipswich. 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.  

Storms Wreak Havoc in Ipswich, 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.

According to Pat Lavigne, owner of SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich, 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!

Preparing For The Worst

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen car floating through icy waters in Boston.

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

Be Ready for Anything Mother Nature Throws at You!

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

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.