Recent Commercial Posts

Steps in the Emergency restoration process

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Everyone company wants to get back to normal as soon as possible, with as little cost and intrusion into their life as possible. Guess what??? That expectation is the worst way to approach this kind of water loss. While it sounds great what is the big deal. Let us explore the things that can happen when you actually move too quickly.

Having anything submerged in water means it was able to saturate. Saturated clothing can be wrung out but is still wet at the fiber level. Guess what wood does the same thing. Unlike clothing wood structures cannot be thrown into a dryer. That is right inside those beams are still wet. Behind that wall is soaked, oh your home is insulated yeah that’s wet too. That beautiful wood floor is sitting on a subfloor that space is wet too. However will you get it dry. Well if you do not have high powered fans and commercial grade dehumidifiers it can take months yes months to air dry.

Aside from the fact that everything is wet, said you were flooded right? Guess what dispite what you think flood water is not clean. At all!!!! It is flooded because the water did not have a normal place to drain. Where does most city water drain into??? That is right the sewer system.. Sooo if you are flooded because the sewer system is not working that is right folks you have been flooded with sewer water.


  • Is mold already growing
  • Is electricity on & active ( Never walk through water to power off electricity)
  • Check for gas leaks
  • Is the structure safe
  • Wear protective eye glasses, Shoes and gloves and respirator if you suspect mold.
  • Do not mix chemicals the vapors can be deadly ( Especially Bleach and Vinegar)

Step by Step guide:

  • Get to safety: If the rain has stopped flooding is still possible as the water drains from some areas and into others. Makes sure you stay safe. Once it is safe to do so start assessing the personal damage you have incurred.
  • Insurance: Most people have home owners insurance. Guess what they do not cover flood insurance so start there. If you were flooded and do not have flood insurance you are on your own. Even if you do it is your responsibility to keep the home safe and reduce damages as much as you can. Which means you cannot wait to hear from the insurance company. Should you get mold or rot from waiting most likely it will not be covered due to the fact that it is considered secondary damage. Meaning it would not occur if you had started to clean up immediately.

The clean up: What can you do before the adjuster arrived from the insurance company.

  1. Take pictures of everything, before you or anyone do any work what so ever.
  2. Clean up areas of the house so that wall, and floor damage can be easily seen.
  3. There can be hidden damage, such as behind the walls so it will be reassessed as work begins.
  4. Reach out to government agencies for potential assistance for aid. ( Please note that a federal disaster must be declared for you to apply for this type of assistance.
  5. Hire an electrician to come in and assess the safety of electrical system of the home. This will tell you what is safe and not safe to turn on ( Never turn on equipment that was submerged any salvageable items could spark and become a total loss)
  6. Check with the local town to see if the water is safe to use or if it was adversely affected by the flood waters.
  7. Go through your food and make sure you throw out anything not in a metal can. Make sure you get rid of the labels and get new ones. To identify the food later. The cans must be washed if you are going to keep them . o.
  8. All your silverware and utensils have to be cleaned and sorted. Wood, plastic or anything no metal or ceramic needs to go
  9. Cut and remove walls ( Even if they do not look damaged)
    1. If you see a water line ..Cut the wall at a minimum of 2 feet above that line.
    2. Remove insulation and yes throw it away.
    3. Take off the base boards , they may be able to be dried and saved but at least removing them assured they are not holding in moisture.
  10. It is recommended anything that cannot be dry cleaned should be thrown away. This includes but is not limited to furniture, clothing, and blankets.
    1. Carpets must be pulled up and while the carpet may be able to be cleaned and dried the pad cannot so throw that way.. Do not re-attach the carpet before the floor it sits on is fully dry ( Yes we have to say that again) To avoid any issues make sure that you do this within 48hrs after the water goes down so that it does not have a chance to grow anything it should not be growing ( which is anything)
  11. Flooring: Be it if you have wood, vinyl, laminate or tile if it was submerged in flood water it really has to go.
    1. If you are not sure if the tile or its adhesive is asbestos get it tested.
    2. If it is a painted surface and you are not sure about the presence of Lead that too should be tested.
    3.             This step while will be a bit of a delay keeps you, your family and the workers safe.
  12. Subfloors: Guess what your floors sit on a floor and regardless of what sort of main floor you have most of the time the subfloor is plywood and will be affected by the water. The top floor must be removed so that this level of floor can dry fully. Make sure you do not have any buckling before you put a new floor on top once it is dry. If so you may need to replace that.
  13. Set up fans and Dehumidifiers to created a vortex to encourage drying. Proper fan positioning and temperature regulation will speed up the drying process.
  15. If you see mold… There is a very specific process that must be followed. The most important step is to NOT spread the spores all over the house. So DO NOT VACCUM them unless you have a hepa-vaccum.

Contact a professional and keep in mind this is not a two or three day process. Have the right expectations going in to this. It will ease your mind and reduce the amount of stress that you have. Expecting something to be done to fast can result in long term damage that will cost more. It will also put undue stress on all involved. Take a step back and know that it could be a month or even more depending on how extensive the damage is.

Commercial Water loss

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

When water begins leaking – even small leaks in areas you can’t see inside could quickly become a source of stress. The possibility of mold, rot and unseen damage may affect the value of your home and the health of loved ones. Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for your business and will help ensure the water is identified, regardless of where it hides. That’s why we offer 24-hour emergency response by trained, uniformed restoration professionals. With top-of-the line equipment and time-tested cleanup and restoration techniques, and have the expertise to help make your house feel like home again.

After all, when it comes to your business even a small disaster can feel like a huge problem. So if water damage occurs in your business just call a professional and get the job done right the first time.

The professionals you call should be able offer the following. Please keep in mind these professionals while adept at water damage and clean up they are not plumbers and cannot fix the underlying cause of the water.

Identify the Source/Type of Water.

Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis.

Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises For Hidden Moisture.

Perform Emergency Water Extraction.

Move and Block Furniture and Contents.

Inspect Carpet Pad/Carpet and Provide Service.

Apply Necessary Treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization).

Utilize Advanced Drying and Monitoring Equipment.

Dispose of Refuse.

Water damage that you do not see is the most worrisome to us. People are always looking to save money and we get that. This results in attempts to clean up water damage themselves. Not only is this a bad idea it can be dangerous.

Water backup is from improper drainage to the sewer lines on the streets. Think about that for a moment. ..Sewer line back up, Contamination bacteria and a host of other hidden potentials. The other problem with this self clean up all too often people forget about what you cannot see. For example water comes in through the home, passes through your wall to get into your home. What is in your wall that you do not see? Insulation, Drywall, electrical wiring, maybe even insects and animal dropping or carcasses can all be behind there. When dirty water passes through there a lot that can go wrong, especially when you do not know it is even there.

Water restoration companies have special equipment that allows them to determine how wet certain materials are behind the scenes. They also have the training to understand water migration and that what is not always visible can still be there. Special training and equipment allows them to know to pull off baseboards, proper angle of fans in conjunction with industrial styled dehumidifiers to properly push the water out from behind walls into the air and extract it directly out of the air. There is a lot more to water remediation than getting it off the floor. You must then have the proper cleaners and anti-microbial sprays to rid the surfaces of all the bacteria and contaminants the water touched.

Please make sure you reach out to your local remediation company whenever you have water intruding into your home so that you can get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

Commercial Real Estate In the"New Normal"

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

The New Normal in commercial buildings The commercial industry must adapt, & change to the new needs of businesses to entice places for companies to reintroduce their work force safely

The new normal for a while will look very different. If you are a property manager, work in a multi-use building, or commercial building many of us may be headed into these buildings. What that will look like will vary. One thing to be certain there will be changes no matter where you go. This article by the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association broaches this topic about our new Normal.

Real Estate will change, as companies make longer term decisions. Larger commercial properties may see vacancies or need to undergo remodels. Existing businesses may downsize as they keep their workforce remote. How properties and property management companies handle these shifts and adapts will shape the market moving forward. Updating key components of the air handling systems, safety measures and cleaning measures can all be ways to attract and fill those empty spaces.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated social and economic changes that were underway before the outbreak, while also leading consumers, workers and employers to adopt new preferences and behaviors. Collectively, these changes will require that commercial real estate firms adopt new approaches to design, customer relations and business operations to be successful in the future. Christopher Lee, founder and CEO of CEL & Associates, offered his predictions for how the outbreak will reshape demand for commercial real estate in the U.S. and outlined steps that firms can take to remain competitive during a recent NAIOP webinar.

Lee observed that the commercial real estate market is currently about halfway through a downturn. Although the Federal Reserve’s intervention in credit markets and fiscal stimulus measures have mitigated some of the outbreak’s effects on the economy, “all of that is going to burn off fairly soon unless another economic stimulus comes forward.” Substantial economic uncertainty and fears about the coronavirus have paralyzed decision-making in most markets. Buyers are concerned about the pandemic’s effects on building revenues and expenses as well as potential liabilities from infections, and some may no longer be able to secure favorable financing for an acquisition. Sellers are uncertain whether they should sell now or wait out the pandemic, and are unsure whether they will have good options for investing the proceeds of a sale.

The pandemic is impairing economic growth and contributing to higher levels of unemployment. In turn, these trends will reduce demand for most types of real estate. Although Lee observes that the industrial sector has performed well during the outbreak, he expects that declining rents in other sectors will result in an aggregate decline in commercial real property values of 7-10% during the current downturn. However, Lee is optimistic about commercial real estate’s role in an economic recovery. “We’ve gone through these crises before […] and during and after every one of these crises, the real estate industry has always emerged as one of the pivotal drivers of financial and economic revival.”

Effects Will Vary by Sector

Lee anticipates long-term shifts in business operations and consumer preferences that will lead to changes in demand for each sector of commercial real estate. He expects that the digitization of office functions will reduce space demand from tenants, with 40-55% of work that was formerly performed within offices to be performed remotely by 2025. He also expects a 20-25% reduction in per capita retail square footage in the U.S., with up to 50% of retail space being repurposed over the next decade. Remaining retail centers will need to be reconfigured to facilitate curbside pickup and to support delivery services.

Multifamily building owners can respond to the increased tendency for residents to remain at home for work and entertainment by providing them with enhanced connectivity and by augmenting common areas with sensors, smart walls and voice assistants. In the future, tenants may also come to expect onsite emergency equipment and quarterly “health certifications” for onsite personnel and common areas. Multifamily developers should consider updating designs to include areas for delivery services within buildings and drop-off zones in parking lots.

Lee predicts that factors such as government stockpiling of medical supplies; onshoring of pharmaceutical and medical device supply chains; and growth in e-commerce will contribute to demand for industrial real estate. However, tenants will also likely expect owners of industrial buildings to equip them with improved air ventilation systems, antimicrobial technologies and motion detectors that can replace frequent touch points.

How Firms Can Remain Competitive

Lee advises that real estate firms develop a post-pandemic strategic plan that will allow their businesses to thrive in these new contexts. “You cannot be reactive […] You really need to make sure that you are not doing things differently. You need to do different things.” The firms that will recover most rapidly are those that proactively adopt a more decentralized and agile organizational structure and embrace communications, remote work and compliance technologies that support this structure. 

Lee identified specific steps that firms can take to improve their resiliency against future crises. He suggests growing recurring income from sources such as property management until they fully cover overhead expenses. Healthy balance sheets and a large “rainy day” fund are also important priorities. Firms can improve their ability to respond to rapidly changing circumstances by creating contingency plans and outsourcing non-core business functions to independent contractors. Investments in research, analytics and client engagement can help a firm identify emerging trends and adapt operations to meet client expectations.

Lee also said he expects that the current crisis will accelerate a wave of retirements in the real estate industry. In this context, it is important that firms emphasize on talent management. Recruiting and retaining high potential employees and emerging young talent will begg vital to a firm’s future success. “If you don’t take care of your emerging young talent, then there won’t be a future for your company.”

NAIOP article.

Content and strategies shared on NAIOP blog posts are intended to provide information and insights to industry practitioners and do not constitute advice or recommendations. NAIOP and its blog authors disclaim any liability for actions taken as a result of these blog posts.

Photo: Exponea

Why property managers are important

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Importance of property management Commercial Property management is so much more than collecting rent. It is a pivotal part of retaining tenants, engaging clients & Building health

Why it is important to hire a property management company

Commercial properties have unique needs and should not be left to amateurs. As any property owner knows it is not a matter of will something happen it is a matter of when, and how bad will it be. How bad could it really be? Right?

Many commercial properties are multi-use facilities. Some have multiple businesses with various needs. Some have both business and residential tenants. In addition to the individual needs of each tenant there are building needs and the efficiency of the equipment that keeps the building running.

With the novel nature of the current economy and many commercial buildings being shut down for upwards of three months. As companies start to prepare for their reopening many are walking in to find quite a bit of damage.

When they shut the buildings down, they did so with costs in mind. Many buildings were put into an idol mode. Lower heat or AC settings, lights tuned off ,etc.

While in doing so was an effort to save money. Many failed to schedule walk throughs to ensure that the building was still healthy. That it had the proper air movement to prevent warm humid temperatures from building up inside?

Were rising temperatures outside taken into account as the sun beamed through the windows? When the building was shut down was the water to the building turned off or allowed to remain on? Did the building electricity get turned off at the breakers or did just a light switch get turned off? . As the time was getting closer and closer to looking like it was going to be time to reopen it was time to get the buildings ready.

As the reality of our new normal set it companies sent small number of staff back into these buildings. To prepare for the new way of doing business, deep cleans were set to be done, IN/OUT rules needed to be established, Protocols for client interaction and safety for all involved needed to be implemented. When employees were walking into these buildings they were finding multitudes of problems

Water bubbler or a pipe has been broken and leaking unchecked for upwards of 3+ months. Where carpets are slippery with bacterial growth, Walls are saturated, air quality poor, trapped water in and around every aspect of the building.

Mold at all of the HVAC vents and all of the windows from lack of air movement and improper humidity levels. Resulting in unsafe air quality. Hotter or colder than normal temperatures resulting in unhealthy work environments.

Did someone take advantage of the building being shut down and break in to live as a squatter? Did they use the toilet, shower, fridge microwave? Did this use result in filthy conditions in your facility? Was there a sewage back up because of it ? Did the empty building become filled with a squatters things?

Maybe you get a late night call from the fire department that there is a fire on site and that the smoke and efforts to put out the fire have caused more damage to not only your building but adjacent buildings. With a property management company in your corner theses issues can be handled properly, quickly and efficiently. Trying to navigate the landscape of the unknown is always a challenge. Insurance companies can be cumbersome if you are not used to it.

If only a property management if had been hired. They can do periodic walk throughs. When would that water leak been noticed? How much water damage could have been prevented? Would all this growth on the walls, floors, carpets, and ceiling tiles been thwarted? Would that fire have occurred? Could all that smoke that ruined the computers been avoided? Would people have realized that the building was not empty and moved on to another?

If there was a property management company that checked on everything and made recommendations for equipment replacement or upgrades. They would have been periodically in the and out of the building to lend the perception of partially occupied.

Would they have noticed that your exhaust pipe for the carbon dioxide was rusted out? Maybe they could have pointed out that your four $10,000+ water heaters should not be in the same room as the corrosive equipment you use for the pool chemicals.

They may have noticed that your HVAC unit was building up too much condensation and that you needed to replace it before the moisture resulted in mold throughout all the vents and around the windows in the building?

They could have provided you with a proper shut down procedure to best mitigate any potential damages. Could they have the right connections know the right vendors to immediately address any and all issues quickly to reduce the secondary damage when something was amiss.

Walking away from a building for even a week can result in some very costly damage if not done properly. Working with property managers is your best bet for keeping your building and tenants happy healthy and safe.

SERVPRO of East Boston is here to help when you are working towards getting back into your building. We will work with you through any surprises you find so that you do not miss a beat. Should you find yourself walking into a mess. Please know our reputation and our vast network of vendors will work tirelessly to get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Fire Loss!! Are you prepared??

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

When a local business burns we all give pause. We all rise up to support in any way we can. Here at SERVPRO we inspire to be prepared. Ask us how.

When owning a business, it is not a question of if we will have a disaster but when. These issues can be something such as and IT services breech, to a cataclysmic event such as a total business loss of building, materials, merchandise, equipment. Among some of the most devastating occurrences to a business is a fire. These business interruptions can be devastating. Not having a plan can make it that much worse.

Fire damage is one of the most devastating forms of loss that can occur within a business. There is so much damage beyond the fire itself. There can be toxic smoke, soot and sediment that lands on everything along with water damage. Depending on where the fire occurs and the type of business you are running can all have an impact on how much damage occurs. As with the large casket fire in East Boston the other day it is an example to us all just how devastating a fire can be. A company that deals with wood, finishes, lacquer, fabrics will ignite and have a fire spread much faster than other companies none the less the damage can and will be extensive.

When there is a commercial loss there are many other lives affected beyond your own. The business owner has to worry about the employees, customers, facility, equipment and many other things. What really happens and what is the process to fixing it.

Well before the fire is put out the items that catch on fire will release chemicals into the air within the smoke rendering it very unsafe to breath in and very corrosive to anything it happens to settle on over time. When someone arrives to put out the fire you are now adding water damage to the soot, smoke and fire damage. Often the damage can create holes in the structure expose unaffected and affected areas to outside elements causing even further damage. Once the fire is out the physical assessment of the property, equipment and merchandise must begin. Another problem as in the recent casket company fire is the building is a total loss. Meaning months of sifting through for a true cause and waiting for judgments from the insurance companies. It also means either rebuilding the facility from scratch or finding a new facility all together. Which ever ends up happening things will take time to get back to normal.

There is a lot more that a commercial property owner or business owner must assess. One of which how will this impact their business, employees, and clients. These are not as tangible as the physical items are. The impact affects all three different ways. Most of which will be determined by the length of time it will take for the business to re-open.

Business interruption is a tough one to swallow. There must be safe guard measure taken to mitigate your damages until all the repairs can be completed. This can include temporary tarps one roofs, board ups on windows doors or even sides of buildings. Removing all the wet materials from the building to reduce the risk of mold and fungus growth. This can include but is not limited to clothing/fabric, insulation, paperwork, wood, drywall etc..

Employee interruption can prove difficult. They have bills to pay and often your insurance will not be covering their lost wages. Waiting around for things to get going again is not always feasible for them. For your business if you do not have business interruption insurance you many be covered for every day you are not open making money. Subsequently in the event that the building is deemed a total loss you can expect some employees to move on for other reasons. They may not be willing or able to get to a new location.

Clients that are displaced do not have the loyalty they once did. They will seek out alternatives even within just a few days. While this is ok for the short term as time moves on things change. Once a client is in the habit of a certain location, they do not adjust well to change but will adopt a new course of action should it solve the problem at hand, meaning getting your product from somewhere else. A location move can mean you need to start with a whole new pool of clients as many will only drive just so far for an item.

Just remember when there is a fire loss at a commercial property there a lot of moving pieces. You need to surround yourself with those with the know how to get you back up and running as soon as possible. Developing a core group of professionals adept at each aspect of your business is essential in getting you back up and running as soon as possible. Having no options in times of an emergency can become very costly. Developing vendor relations now while you have the time to negotiate pricing, establish a procedure, and build a rapport significantly reduces the cost on the back end when these services are needed in an emergency. At SERVPRO of Arlington Somerville and Charlestown we strive to aid, assist, and educate our clients in all aspects of emergency services. This will allow you to be better prepared when disaster strikes. We will work with you quickly to make it “Like it never even happened”

Large Commercial Loss.... What do you do first?

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Having a plan before an emergency strikes allows you to be more likely bounce back. "Like it never even happened"

Did you know that SERVPRO team member and staff receive extensive training on commercial property losses? There are more moving pieces to a commercial property loss than a residential loss.

While the scope of the work is the same, remove the damaged materials, clean the affected areas, dry out the area. Many businesses have special requirements. Some need to stay open during the process. Others are dealing with food and or patient care. Certain businesses have sensitive documents that require specialty handling. Patient privacy and HIPPA regulations many times dictate who can handle their documents.

Immediate responses are essential to getting things back on track. Coordination with priority responders for gaining access to the facility. Scoping out the loss along with developing a plan. Communicating with IT services, plumbing, electrical and cubical management companies is pivotal. Ensuring that each moving piece of the business is coordinated.

Larger commercial projects require more resources, staffing, equipment and time. Major damage can result in significant business interruption. Everything from the entrance that employees use, where they park along with where they will be working. Has their equipment been damaged, document access been restricted or destroyed?

Commercial properties

Strategic containment barriers should be set up in multi-use buildings that allow the work to be done with out risk of cross contamination. Many times, multiple floors will have been affected in these large buildings. Working with property managers allow us to get into all floors quickly to ensure building safety through building stabilization, wall ceiling and floor demolition. Along with clear moisture mapping to ensure structural drying, all mechanicals and air systems can be cleaned as well.

Many businesses that maintain large file systems, such as lawyers, doctors’ offices, veterinarians, hospitals, tax accountants need special care with their documents. If they have not transitioned over to a scanning system, the documents will need to be salvaged. There are special freeze-drying chambers to accommodate such a process. Some of these some businesses handle special documents covered by HIPPA regulations or client/ patient confidentiality. Do those coming in to handle these personal documents have the proper certifications or security clearance to handle them?

Coordination is key when dealing with a large loss. Making sure all the appropriate connections ahead of time is essential to creating a seamless remediation process. Developing relationships with a variety of vendors before problems arise ensures that immediate response times are kept to a minimum. Just some of the vendors we build relationships with are temporary Labor, scaffolding, high lift equipment, document drying, ice house, moving companies, portable power, dumpster/waste companies, desiccant/ climate control, portable toilet services, dry cleaning, construction, emergency/ temp fencing, board up & roofing, IT services, fine art restoration, as well as temporary warehouse space.

The best way a business can recover from any disaster is to be prepared. Does someone in your company know where all the shut of valves are for your floor or the entire building? Where are essential electrical shut off locations? Where is the HVAC unit kept? What is the emergency evacuation plan for the building and where is your companies meeting place? Aside from emergency personnel who is the first person you should be contacting?

If even one of these questions cannot be answered you need to create an Emergency Ready Profile. Preparing you, your building, staff and tenants.

Why having an actual office can grow your ROI

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Why having an actual office can grow your ROI...

Do you offer products and services to a client? Have you given up paying for physical space and set up shop in your garage with a desk in the living room? You may want to think again

While cost savings and a reduced back end operating cost is always important it may not be the best way to maximize your profit margins and control cost. There is a new emergence and longing for a connection from consumers. They are seeking out the differentiator. While still price driven they strive for the best for their money and many times the personal touch and extraordinary service that online outlets lack is just what they are looking for. Many are willing to pay a little extra to get so much more. There is an element of connection that is lost with only an online venue for goods and even services.


There is a shift with many consumers looking to enhance their experience with personal connections. The ability to stop into the local shop and talk to “Jerry”; have all your questions answered, items received, and problems solved immediately. Without a call tree, 40 lines of script back and forth with what seems like a computer or even a sent email into the abyss hoping for a reply up to a week later.

Having a fixed location can set you apart from your competition. So you are service driven company, how could spending money on an office possibly help you? Let us take a look at that. Which one of your key competitors has an office? How knowledgeable are you about your industry? What information would you like clients to know about that won’t fit on flier? Bet your wondering why we just asked you all these things.


If you have something your competitors do not you are already better off. An office can be a way to differentiate yourself. Clients can come into your office sit with you; understand what you are doing and how you can help them. Providing them an option other than their home gives you more control over the situation and could lead to better job conversion.

Your knowledge of your industry can prove pivotal if you have an office. You can hold seminars or lunch and learns for potential clients. This will show you are an industry leader and provide a smaller more intimate one on one learning environment to interact with potential clients. It also allows you to separate the more challenging things you come across. Common and frequently asked questions can be explained one time to a larger group reducing lost production time.

Developing a sense of who you are can earn you bonus points and getting to know the community beyond those you currently know is essential for growing your business. Most industries cannot rely on repeat and referral only. There was a time you actually went out and got new clients, you would not have a business if you had not. Why did you stop, get it going. Every year through attrition you lose up to a third of your business. What are doing to replace it?

The office can be the perfect way to engage, educate and encourage new clients to choose you over a competitor. One to one meetings you have control over, educational seminars to prove you’re a leader in your industry, Q&A sessions for potential new clients to get to know you and the services you offer. Win win all round..

So work on finding that office and get out of the truck, garage, or house and stop letting your business run you.

Game changer if you have a fire at your business

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fires at your business are devastating. Knowing what to do and who to call is a game changer..

Fires at a business can be debilitating. There are many facets of business interruption that occur. Having to close your doors to clients, employees and revenue are the most disastrous. Many times businesses without a solid plan do not reopen. We are here to show you some ways to prevent that from happening. Timely responses are going to be your best friend when disaster strikes. Proper communication will provide you with a true scope of the damage as well as an explanation of how it will be handled.


First and foremost you must have a plan of action you will take prior to any major disaster. Whom it is you will be calling to get you back to normal. What company do you have to do the remediation process?? What you do not know, So you will be calling your agent they will know who you can call Right??? They are closed or on vacation. So you are going to call in a claim to the insurance company??? Where is your paperwork, in the desk where the fire just occurred? Probably as you have never had to use it before. So now without a plan you have just spent the better part of an hour trying to find someone to call.


Over an hour has passed and you are stuck in an endless call tree waiting for your insurance company claim department. Did you know most remediation companies can show up within 4 hours of the initial call. Many times it is much earlier than that. Starting the process of cleaning up your damage sooner rather than later will reduce the secondary damage that many insurance companies will not cover. . With solid knowledge of the claim process and the need for their services most insurance companies do not need prior approval or a claim number before services are started. Calling a restoration company and having one already in mind can save you valuable time.


There are restoration companies out there that provide emergency preparedness plans that are accessible from an app on your phone. All important contacts right at your finger tips. Filing a claim directly from the app allows you to put into motion the clean up process to ensure there is no lapse in executing a plan. These plans can also show emergency responders where your major shut off valves are so they are able to keep themselves safe as well as stop any additional damage from occurring.


Although a fire may be contained on one floor, the damage caused by the fire may affect other floors within the building. As a business owner your focus is on handling the job promptly and properly to minimize disruptions to your customers, employees and vendors. Prompt action by a professional helps reduce secondary or long term effects allowing you to return to business as usual. How you can prevent additional damage until a professional arrives is.


1) Limit movement within the affected area

2) Place towels, sheets or old linens on areas where traffic will occur to prevent additional contamination or tracking soil into unaffected areas.

3) DO NOT ..>DO NOT attempt to wipe off or remove any soot that sits on any walls furniture or stationary object. This can push the soot and odor deeper into the material making it more difficult or impossible to remove later.

4) DO NOT attempt to clean any carpets or upholstered furniture without speaking to a professional.

4) Turn off and or unplug all technology in affected areas and do not turn on until you consult a repair service

5) DO wipe chrome faucets, appliances or other non porous surfaces ( NO Stone counter tops do not count) The apply a light coating of lubricant.


A professionally trained individual is the best way to ensure that you have the most effective cleanup possible following a fire. Attempts to clean up the damage can result in improper drying resulting in mold. Smudging in the soot deeper into the materials can result in inability to remove the damage and lock in the odors.

Not every fire damage is the same but there are some basics of treating fire damage that remain constant.

What to expect:

Smoke and soot removal

Water Removal and dehumidification

Odor Removal


Many times restoration companies will contact you back to arrange services within 1 hour. Their arrival is usually no later than 4 hours after that initial phone call< many times earlier. They will communicate the scope of work and how things need to be handled within 8 hours. This ensures a solid foundation for getting you back up and running as soon as possible. They are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week including holidays so that you can start getting back to normal right away.

Commercial Buildings Yeah we do that.....

1/4/2017 (Permalink)

There area a lot of commercial properties in and around the Boston area. Is yours protected?

Did you know SERVPRO of East Boston provides services for your commercial properties?

Serving the local community when disaster strikes is always important. So is maintaining the cleanliness of your property as well as restoring it when an unforeseen issue occurs. Our services are not limited to residential

Commercial Cleaning:

Many times business owners and property owners will call us to assist in a thorough cleaning quarterly. This helps maintain high standards while taking the pressure and time off of your staff to focus on the money making aspects of the business. Restaurants in particular reach out to us due to the strict standards set forth by the board of health. When the grease has begun to build up, or the walk-in had just too many articles of food under the floor grate they will call for a once over.

Ok so what is a once over? It is a team of people that clean every nook and cranny, wiping it all down. It can mean trash removal, disinfecting, duct cleaning, brick cleaning, and even air quality checks. The list is exhaustive as we will customize every aspect of your needs to ensure your project is done.

Emergency Services:

When you do have an emergency is it important that you get back to normal as soon as possible with as little interruption to your clients and their access to your goods and services. There are so many reasons business interruption can occur but the most common for businesses are cooking, electrical, heating, arson, smoking and combustible materials.  I see you already shaking your head, we only have a microwave and a coffee maker here. All of our employees go outside to smoke and our wiring is up to code. We do not have any combustible materials in our office and who would set fire to the building.

Guess what each and every one of the things listed above are plausible. While some may be more inclined to happen than others they are the top reasons for damage. We are able to help with each and every one in addition to a few extras. Think your building is too large or small for our services? Think again we have access to a full arsenal of resources to scale up or down based on the projects needs.

Emergency Ready Plans:

What do you do in an emergency? Who do you call? Great you know the plan, does everyone else? What happens when and if you something happens and you are not around? We have a solution for that.  It puts vital information at your fingertips immediately. These plans outline where key shut off valves are within the building to mitigate damages. It will also supply everyone with immediate points of contact for starting the process of cleaning up as soon as possible so that loss of business can be reduced as much as possible. Ask us today about these FREE PLANS.. Yes you read that right. FREE>>

Water and Fire damage cleanup:

While this sounds straightforward enough there are a whole set of rules that come with the proper cleaning up of this sort of damage. Water damage rule number 1 just because you cannot see it does not mean it is not there. Unless you have moisture meters and know what the resting state of the building is vs the area where the water damage occurred you cannot tell if it is dry or not.

Oh and that soot you see all over the wall LEAVE IT ALONE… chances are you will clean it wrong and will not only make is worse but push it into the very fibers of whatever material it is on and make it impossible to get out. I bet you did not know that there are 3 different kind of smoke damage? Wet smoke, dry smoke, & protein fire residue, each one requires different treatments and some are invisible to the eye. Due to each cause of damage being different and having different chemical reactions that cause the residue it is important to understand analyzing the situation and selecting the right solution will be the only want to ensure that your problem is solved correctly the first time.

Mold & Air Quality:

Have you ever cleaned up a water loss with your own in house team? Did a pipe break get cleaned up professionally but everyone forgot about the duct work? Do you have a lot of employees calling out and taking sick days? This all costs time and money which is valuable. Have you ever looked internally to see if the culprit could be the building itself? Many times these overlooked areas of money saving attempts can be the cause of such issues. Providing proper air quality that is free of mold and contagions will keep your staff as healthy as you can control and in turn reduce time away from the office.

There are a lot of commercial properties in and around town. Is yours protected? If you are not sure we can assist you with your building give us a call and just ask chances are if we cannot assist we will surly know who can. SERVPRO of East Boston is here because life interrupted is no fun. 617-567-3777 serving the East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, & Charlestown areas .  

Flies in School ... A lesson to be learned

12/21/2016 (Permalink)

Local high school had a sewer line break went unnoticed until the school was infested with flies. The importance of assigned duties, & proper training

Did you know that SERVPRO helps schools stay up to code with clean healthy environments for your children. We will even respond to emergency clean up situations.  Having seen in recent news the fly infestation that occurred at a local Chelsea School we were compelled to spread the word.

We can give schools a once over deep cleaning after summer breaks or vacation weeks to make sure that students come back to a fresh clean environment ideal for learning. If your school has recently updated its equipment or has a lot of broken desks and older books to get rid of let us know we can haul it away to free up more space for learning. Did one of the kids in protest vandalize the school in some way in protest of an event that occurred at the school let us know and we will respond to quickly get you cleaned up and back to normal learning . Prolonged distractions can be detrimental to the education process and even emotionally upset students if it was derogatory.      

Smell something funny, see something on a wall that does not look just right, or some new visitors that you know should not be there. Well we are here to tell you if you can see it, smell it or even hear it the problems is far worse than what is within the range of our senses.  It is very critical that you call in professionals to detect not only the immediate problem but also have the knowledge to detect the root reason that the problem exists in the first place. 


Let me explain, with the case of the Chelsea school the problem was a fly infestation. They did not just appear for no reason. They had to have a ripe environment with an adequate food and water source, and an over abundance of sewer water was just the thing. The flies were not really the problem a broken sewer pipe was. Having gone undetected for an undetermined amount of time allowed for the flies to blossom and become the major issue that it was forcing a school closure.

 We see this all too often within businesses and a lot of damage can occur from not having an assigned person trained to look for the subtle signs that prevent a much larger issue.  Dedicating one person to do a once over the entire building daily and making notations of any odors, visual changes, as well as any animal or insect changes is pivotal to building health.

Along with several incidents of that same person not having the authority or not knowing what to do if there are changes to the environment. Emergency Ready Plans for businesses guide the individuals on the front lines through policy, procedures and protocols to make sure that issues are addressed quickly and correctly. They can be customized to the needs of your facility and can include evacuation routes and meeting points. Main points of contact in case of an emergency and closest emergency service locations can also be included. As a preparedness plan I ask you, if you asked your primary team where the water and electrical shut valves were for the building will they be able to tell you? Most will not our preparedness plan will put all that information at your fingertips from where ever you are.

It is a mobile app that will keep each locations information separated as well right at your fingertips. The best part is it can be shared with whomever you would like to share it with so long as they download the app to their phone. A version that can be edited is available to the key players while a non-editable version can be sent out to local managers.

No one plans for an emergency but having a plan in place and having people that know what to do should an emergency arise can be the difference between a slight issue and a major emergency. Working with a company whose network spans the country ensures 24 hours 7 days a week availability and response time mitigates the damages and provides solid clear cut direction for your staff.

Our staff is trained to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following the restoration industry standards along with using FDA registered cleaners and disinfectants. Bleach does not get it done on pesky situations. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Boston to ensure your next problem does not become a major problem.