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Smoke Characteristics

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

What is smoke? As burning materials decompose, they release solid particles, gases, and aerosols that become suspended into the air. Suspended particles, gases, and aerosols are smoke. 

Gases are the invisible components of smoke. Oxides of nitrogen are produced by burning organic compounds, and sulfur dioxide is produced by burning inorganic compounds. Some of the gaseous by-products generated in a fire, such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, are extremely dangerous if people are exposed to the smoke while the fire is in progress. After the fire has been extinguished and the smoke evacuated or dispersed, gases are no longer a significant factor.

In addition to fire gases, smoke also consists of fine particles of matter and aerosols. The solid particles of unburned material are usually small particles of carbon. The aerosols are extremely fine solid or liquid particles suspended into gases. These particles - while they are suspended into the air - are what makes smoke visible to our sight. The particles are also odor-absorbing, which makes soot smell. 

Smoke particles can be very small. The approximate size of a smoke particulate is .1 to 4 microns (1 micron = 1 twenty-five thousdanth of an inch), and these extremely small particles are potentially harmful to a human's respiratory tract. If you are near a fire in progress, keep down low to avoid breathing smoke-filled air. Technicians working long periods where heavy, loose smoke residues are present should wear a respirator. Smoke particles from incomplete combustion can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which may be cancer-causing (carcinogenic).

Once smoke settles on surfaces as residues, it is often referred to as "soot." Soot residues can contain different types of acids since chlorides and sulfides in smoke mix with the humidity in the air or with moisture to form acids. Acidic soot residues will cause discoloration and corrosion if they remain on materials over time. 

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Sewage Cleanup & Restoration

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Proper cleanup and remediation of sewer backups are critical aspects of keeping you and your family safe whenever the unexpected occurs. These backups should be considered an emergency because the water that is exposed may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. Being said, water damage can be classified by three types of contaminated water: 

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into either a category 2 or 3, depending on the length of time. Also taken into consideration is the temperature and contact with surrounding contaminants. An example includes the water from a clean source like a broken water line.

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and can cause serious discomfort and illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow. 

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams; water from beyond the toilet trap; water from the toilet bowl with feces; or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth. 

Don't take the risk. When a water backup of any kind occurs due to inclement weather, please contact SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County at (508) 223-3399 or visit our website.

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When a Storm Hits - We're Ready!

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to is pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond with the right resources in a timely manner, which is extremely important in the case of a disaster. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the cost of restoration services.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at (508) 234-3399!

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Ready Whenever

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Imagine a nice, relaxing weekend away with your friends and family. Whether you were away on a ski trip, an island, or even a cruise, the escape from grueling days at the office puts you in a total state of relaxation.

Now imagine coming home and walking down the basement stairs to find several inches of water everywhere.

What do you do?

The initial reaction might be to freak out and lose your cool. You then begin to shuffle through your phone and frantically call each and every number that promises to save you from your crisis.

This is foolish.

To skip this step, have SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County ready on call to save the day and bring your home back to preloss condition. Our professionals have the training and equipment to save you from any situation, no matter the severity.

If you experience a situation similar to the one mentioned, DO NOT hesitate to give us a call @ (508) 234-3399 or visit our website.

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Tips After A Water Damage

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

After a storm or water damage situation has intruded your home, your first reaction may be to panic. Here at SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County, we understand how stressful these types of situations may be to your home as well as your family. Before help arrives, here are a few of the Do’s and Don’ts of water and flood cleaning:

Do’s

  • 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.

Don’ts

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

We have the moisture detection and measurement equipment to detect, measure, and monitor a property’s moisture levels; the water extraction equipment to speed up the drying process by removing the bulk of water from your home or business; as well as the drying equipment to remove the remaining moisture from ceiling, walls, and floors of your home or business. If your home requires any of these services, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County @ 508-234-3399. 

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Preventing Frozen Pipes

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

As the cold winter months rapidly approach us, frozen pipes become a regular occurrence throughout the region. Since water stored in these pipes expands once frozen, the expansion places pressure on the containing pipe, including both metal and plastic pipes. This pressure can cause the pipes to crack and break, potentially causing a problem to you and your home. To ensure that this does not happen once the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, here are some basic preventative tips:

  • Drain the water from all pool and sprinkler supply lines.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses that are used outdoors. Also, be sure to close the inside valves supplying the outdoor hose spouts. Keep these open to allow all the water remaining in the pipe to drain.
  • Know where your water supply lines are in unheated areas. Make sure these pipes are insulated, to ensure the security and safety of them.
  • Think about insulating water pipes with materials such as pipe sleeve(s) or heat tape and cable to protect pipes that are exposed. This can serve as an extra barrier for extreme freezing weather.
  • Keep your garage doors closed.
  • Keep your thermostat at the same temperature during the daytime and nighttime. If you are away from your home for an extended period of time, be sure to set the temperature in your home no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (American Red Cross).

Here at SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County, we want you and your family to be prepared for the worst, as the weather rapidly drops to freezing temperatures. By ensuring that your pipes are up to the proper safety specifications, you will hopefully survive the winter seasons without having to worry about a broken pipeline.

If you have any questions or concerns, call us @ 508-234-3399 or visit our website.

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Commercial Water Damage

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be from a flood, septic system problems, a broken pipe, or a faucet mistakenly left on. It is important to take care of this as quickly as possible to prevent mold, mildew and structural damage.

Initial Cleanup

Take immediate action before professional help arrives. One thing you can do is open your windows to aid in the initial drying process.

Next, remove excess water by mopping or using a wet-dry vacuum (do not use a regular household vacuum to do this). You should also wipe down any wood furniture and remove wet upholstery/cushions and other water-logged materials from the affected area. These simple steps will begin the drying process, but professionals with heavy duty equipment can more fully restore your home.

Besides the headache from dealing with physical water damage, there are other issues to consider:

Health Hazards

Mold and mildew are two very common problems that will occur after water damage. It only takes a few hours, especially in high humidity for these to start growing. Mold and mildew can cause health effects. A professional service will have the high capacity fans and vacuums to remove the water from your site before it has a chance to saturate construction materials and leave them prone to mold.

Structural Damage

After a home has been impacted by water damage, it is possible for the entire structure of the house to be weakened. Again, it’s important to dry the home thoroughly before this happens. After the cleanup, it is advisable to have a professional come out and assess the structural condition of your home.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these issues, please contact SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County at (508) 234-3399. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are more than happy to help you with your water damage repair and restoration.

What To Expect From Mold Remediation

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Have you recently experienced water damage, potentially promoting the growth of mold? When you realize that visible mold is in your home or building it may be time to seek the help of a professional. Not all molds that exist in homes are toxic, but it is always safe to hire a certified mold hygienist who can help you determine exactly what kind of mold you are dealing with and how to remedy the moisture and/or mold problem.

There are several steps you need to take before you can get mold remediated. Let SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County walk you through what to expect during a mold inspection.

Find an Industrial Hygienist

The first step is to contact a local, reliable industrial hygienist who can come to your home and do a mold inspection. The hygienist will determine if it is mold, what type and will provide recommendations on how to remediate.

The Hygienist Arrives

When the hygienist arrives at your property they will do a visual inspection, surface sampling, and air sampling in order to determine the source and the type of mold that is present in the building or home. They will check the property and look for any signs of water damage, water intrusion, possible faucet or pipe leaks, and any other signs of moisture. They will also test the temperature and the humidity on the property.

Air samples are collected & sent to the lab

The mold inspector will gather air samples both indoors and outdoors. These air samples are then sent to a specialized lab, where they will produce a report of the findings.

Findings Shared

Typically a mold inspection can last about an hour or so. Your report will be given to you within 2-4 business days. When the hygienist receives the lab report, they will share the results with you and discuss the findings. If mold is determined to be present in the home, you will need to undertake some form of mold remediation.

Your mold remediation will be unique to your circumstance(s), and will largely be determined by the results of the sample tests completed by your mold inspector. These factors include the toxicity of the tested mold, as well as the size of the affected area.

Contact SERVPRO

Once the mold has been tested, send your results to the experts at SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County. We will work with you and your insurance company if you have filed a claim to schedule an appointment. For a stress free remediation process, give us a call at (508) 234-3399 or visit our site to learn about our mold inspection or other home inspection services.

Prevent Wind & Storm Damage to Your Northbridge Business

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

Summer and fall weather in New England can be unpredictable. High-velocity winds, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms can damage your business property in a matter of minutes. Here are a few preventive measures from SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County that can help lower the risk of damage to your commercial property and save you money in repairs and lost productivity.

Protect Your Roof

To make sure your company's roof is protected against wind damage, have it inspected for the following:

  • Shingles need to be wind and impact resistant. They also need to be securely nailed down and fitted tightly together.
  • Make sure the connection between the roof and walls is tight enough to keep updrafts from lifting off the roof.
  • HVAC units, skylights, and pipes are tightly affixed and would not be blown off.

Exterior Walls and Doors

  • Ensure the building is well-sealed to prevent the wind from getting in cracks and crevices, causing interior damage.
  • Check Siding and windows to be sure they are tightly attached.
  • All entry doors are triple-hinged and secured with a deadbolt lock for maximum windstorm protection. Overhead doors are braced sufficiently and able to withstand high winds.

Outdoor & Indoor Areas

  • Everything you have stored outside (such as equipment, inventory, and supplies) is anchored or can be easily moved inside if a storm approaches.
  • Dumpsters, outdoor lighting fixtures, and fencing are secured.
  • Large shrubs and trees close to your building are healthy and unlikely to damage the building
  • If your building has a basement, make sure that basement windows and doors have built-up barriers or flood shields to prevent water damage.

What to do After a Storm

  • Remove standing water and all moist materials, such as wet, damaged flooring or rugs, carpet, personal property, stock, equipment or inventory, and consult a licensed building professional who can determine the extent of the repairs necessary.
  • Board up damaged windows and doors.
  • After you have dealt with the immediate crises, contact your insurance agent to report the loss and obtain advice about restoration. Depending on your policy, commercial property insurance should cover any damage to your building or other business property caused by a windstorm.

The outside of the building may have survived the storm, but inside water intrusion may have soaked documents, computers and other valuable supplies. Water damage can threaten the ability to quickly bounce back after a storm. Should your building become damaged by a catastrophic event such as wind-driven rain, take appropriate actions to prevent further water damage by calling SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County at (508) 234-3399!

Preventing Fire Damage in Milford, MA

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

After a fire damages your Milford home, you may be extremely anxious to get your home cleaned, but before you start, it is important to get advice from a professional cleaning company such as SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County. Here are some tips you can do before SERVPRO arrives to professionally clean your home.

Prevent Further Damage

  • Get the air circulating- Open the windows and install a fan to circulate areas and create ventilation. In cold weather, the cold air along with your heating system will usually help to remove the moisture if there has also been water damage.
  • Dry wet items as soon as possible- Fans and dehumidifiers can be used to dry carpets and draperies. Draperies and carpets can become quickly damaged beyond repair by mold and mildew.
  • Remove items that are brass or copper and clean them using brass or copper cleaner.  Smoke can permanently damage these items within 24 hours.
  • Place plastic wrap or aluminum foil under furniture legs and remove oriental rugs or other wall-to-wall carpeting that is wet.

Remove Soot from Household Textiles

  • Remove soot from carpets and draperies prior to cleaning or deodorizing these items. Soot is oily and easily stains these household textiles. Professional assistance from SERVPRO is recommended when using chemicals or additives to break up the smoke molecules to eliminate odors.

Remove Smoke Odor from your Home

  • Smoke can become trapped in walls and household ducts where it becomes trapped during a fire. Not having smoke properly removed will cause smoke odors to emerge from time to time. Consult SERVPRO for smoke removal from ducts. We understand the behavior of smoke and we will investigate how far the fire and smoke damage may have spread.

If you experience damage from fire or smoke, contact SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County immediately. Visit our website or contact us at (508) 234-3399.

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