Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Boston ready!

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Is Boston Ready for the next major storm and what is it doing to prepare for the rising tides. A town almost entirely built through human design in the middle of a bay is subjected to the ebb and flow of the tide more than most and its lack of elevation adds to the problem. To better understand this problem let us take a quick look at the history of Boston and how it came to be.

Tidal flats were filled in to create shipping ports. They were filled in with rocks, dirt and yes trash. A lot of the quaint neighborhoods such as the Back Bay, East Boston, Charlestown and the South End were built on landfills. I know shocking right. Needless to say, they are low-lying areas susceptible to the rising seas. Even the airport used to be a collection of 5 islands filled in to serve a purpose.

Ok so that is a very quick back story so what dangers does this possess. To understand this, you need to know how high everything is. At best Boston is considered 14 meters above sea level, with many spots being directly at sea level. In recent years and by recent we mean the last century sea levels have risen 28 centimeters. There is talk about as much as a 3 meter rise due to greenhouse gases by 2100. This puts Boston in line to be one of the top 10 most vulnerable cities in the world.

You just did the math the city is still not underwater. Well let us take a look at high tides, storm surges and damage than can result from it. Storm surge tides are on the rise just ask an adjacent town like Winthrop or Dorchester about high tides during storms. These homes have been damaged in recent years resulting catastrophic damage.

Homes built at sea level, condos below grade even by as little as a half an inch are being denied coverage or being subjected to very limited coverage. So limited in fact it is only the drywall being covered for demolition and replacement. Often we are seeing that none of the contents, electrical systems, plumbing,  insulation, flooring is being covered. This is very stressful for all involved. Especially since the corrosive nature of salt water is that more damaging than traditional water damage.

Understanding your policies and exclusionary clauses as flood plains are redrawn is essential FEMA has a flood map page where you can input your address and get a quick assessment of your homes risk. This will allow you to prepare for upcoming storms and possibly reassess your coverage for insurance.

NOAA estimates from May of 2019 to April of this year 2020 there will be 12-19 flooding events. How many have you already seen? Boston is working hard to prepare for these events. They have developed a Climate preparedness plan. There is a website you can follow and stay up to date on the latest meetings, proposals and individual neighborhoods plans for their specific needs. This website is full of reports, strategies, design and technology initiatives.

The city needs your help be it actively attending meetings to keep pulse with the changes and provide input on the impact these plans could have on your daily living. There are surveys for various community projects that will provide developers with real world feedback on things like commuting challenges projects may pose. We all know you want to be heard about the increased commuting problems.

 We at SERVPRO of East Boston, Chelsea, & Revere see firsthand effects from these flooding events. We see the devastation that they cause, and we are seeing increasing restrictions on insurance coverage from these events. We have also seen Facebook pages dedicated to community discussions as well as grassroots efforts to find solutions to pollution. Keeping pollution out of the streets and in the trash barrels where they belong will ensure sewer drains maintain the flow of water. Less clogging means less flooding. We can all make a difference in how climate change affects our communities.

Sensitivity during hard times.

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

When tragic events happen in and around your home it is never pleasant and very hard to emotionally recover from. These are never high on the list for topics of conversation and many feel isolated with the stigma associated with some of them. They are however a very real scenes for far too many people in the area. We want everyone to know we too are sensitive to these issues and can help your home get back to normal as quickly as possible .

When someone passes away in a home there is so much sadness it can be hard to see past the loss. However when you realize that you are here and must begin to heal, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Many times there is a lot of clean up that occurs. Death of a family member can be a very messy process as many muscles relax that were holding in a variety of fluids. There may also be a great deal of items that need to be disposed of. Ease the process by hiring a professional cleaning service. They have the chemicals and the proper knowledge of handling of any potentially contaminated materials.

Sadly in East Boston, Chelsea, Charlestown, Revere and Winthrop area we see daily overdoses and suicides on the rise. These overdoses are never pretty and come with a lot of vomit, urine, feces, many times blood and feces. All of these materials are very hazardous and it is not recommended that you clean them up yourself. Getting help right away is very important and can save lives. We always encourage that if you see something say something. You never know the life you may save. That being said once the ambulance has gone there will still be a big mess to clean up. Do not touch any of the bodily fluids without protective gloves, face masks, goggles and a suit if possible. Is it highly recommended that you call a professional as there are a lot of germs that you cannot see that are not killed with things like bleach and other consumer grade cleaners.

Another thing that sadly occurs in this area, are a lot of violent crimes. These crimes could be domestic disputes or could result from an argument at a party. No matter their reason there is a great deal of damage that can occur. Items within the home could be broken beyond salvation. Injured people could have moved to various rooms within the home trying to stay safe. This can result in a very large clean up project coupled with some bodily fluids that need to be handled with care. Once the police have conducted their investigation and released the scene. Please make sure you call a professional who is capable a full rounded cleaning and disposal of any of the residual effects of the problem. Have a restored home can do wonders on the healing from any traumatic events that may occur.

Remembering that you are not alone when there is a traumatic event in your life is paramount to healing and moving forward. We will be here for you through the tough times and help you where we can. Creating a community of support and developing strong bonds with our neighbors will hopefully begin to reduce the number of overdoses, domestic disturbances, violent crimes and deaths that occur. Until then one home at the time is our mission to restore and hopefully rejuvenate the community.

Updates for COIVD-19

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

The Baker Administration and the Department of Public Health developed a vaccine distribution timeline after extensive consultation with the Massachusetts Vaccine Advisory Group. This group is comprised of leaders from health care, the faith community, community organizations, local government, and others. 

The timeline reflects several priorities: protecting our most vulnerable, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden. 

The current phased approach distribution of COVID-19 in MA is as follows: 

(NOTE: These timelines are estimates based on current COVID-19 regulations and production capabilities.)

Phase 3 April 2021

The vaccine is expected to be available to the general public, including:

  1. Higher education workers, including administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff;
  2. Bottled beverage industry workers;
  3. Veterinarians

Phase 3 Vaccination Settings:

Once the vaccine is available to the general public, public vaccine clinics will be available on the CDC’s interactive website: vaccinefinder.org. You will also be able to check with your primary care provider, local pharmacy or local health department.

Facts About COVID-19 Vaccination

  1. Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19? - 
    1. No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. 
    2. There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
    3. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
  2. After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
    1. No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
    2. If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
  3. If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine
    1. Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.
    2. At this time, according to the CDC, it is not yet known how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. More data is required.
  4. Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
    1. Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
    2. Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die.
  5. Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
    1. No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. 

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Commercial Emergency Preparedness

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Is your building prepared? - 50% statistic image Commercial properties that are ready have a much higher success rate than those that are not. Is your building ready?

As a commercial property manager it is you responsibility to be prepared for every contingency. You must have connections and resources at your fingertips. This can be challenging as we move through this new environment with COVID-19. Keeping buildings running, safe and healthy is more important than ever. SERVPRO has the tools you need to keep all your vendors in one place. We also have your cyber security of all of this data covered. Our Emergency Ready Profiles, ensure you can create a secure place for all your contact needs anywhere you need it.

If you are not sure about what the Emergency Ready Plans (ERP) are let us give you a brief overview.

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption

Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according

to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming

majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an

insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you

minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing

what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can

help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size

disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area

flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when

the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever

plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to

ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up

approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a

quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile,

your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.

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

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage

A no cost assessment of your facility.

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

A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

– It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects.

But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

– This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

– You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.

Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

– This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.

Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

– Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance

of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Call Us Today To Get Started! The percent of businesses

that may never recover

after suffering a disaster.

SERVPRO® values the data it processes through our systems and understands our clients’ and business partners’ concerns when it comes to securing their data assets. Therefore, SERVPRO® has made substantial investments in an information security framework to provide protection over data confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Security measures have been built into the SERVPRO® computer network and each application. The ERP application system is one of many tools provided to our Franchises to help them facilitate customer acquisition and retention. Below is a summary of the key security features designed to secure data processed by the ERP System:

1.Access to the ERP application is secured. Access to the ERP system is controlled via a username/password combination that allows the user to view only content that has been assigned to them. Data is only accessible via a secure web service using security standards that prevent malicious attacks.

2.Passwords are protected. Passwords use a one way hash.

3.Data on mobile devices is secured. Security of data is managed at the mobile device level within the Security Settings. For the iOS version, all data and photos are encrypted on the device. For Android version, only data is encrypted on the device.

4.Data is secured in transit. All data transmitted from the mobile device to the SERVPRO® network is sent over a 256 bit encrypted TLS 1.2 Triple DES SHA256 connection.

5.Access to the SERVPRO® network is secured. Firewalls are in place to control external access to the SERVPRO®ERP system.

6.Data in the SERVPRO® network is secured at rest. All ERP data is encrypted at the database level using AES 256.

 While these security measures are highlighted for the ERP system, SERVPRO® has a comprehensive security framework inclusive of these controls to provide ongoing security and protection of all data accessed and processed each day.

Understanding your Roof

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

What is your roof made out of; images of different types of roofs Where you live coupled with what your roof is made out of can be the difference in how your home holds up over time.

You may think we at SERVPRO of East Boston, Chelsea, Revere only know water, Fire, & mold. Which we do, but our team is professionally trained to seek out and investigate the cause of a water loss in your home. All too often we discover the damage stems from your roof.

We wanted to take a moment to look at different roofing materials and their 100 year cost of replacements.

While up front cost is always a factor it is important to take a look at the look at the long term cost of having to possibly replace your roof several times over the course of the lifetime.

Read the information below on types of roofing options before reaching out to a professional for help completing your project.

Not only does the shape of the roof need to be taken into account but so does the material that it is made out of. We will take a look at the roofing materials available along with the relative costs for them.

There are a full range of materials, life spans and price ranges for roofs.

Asphalt rolled roofing is the same material as asphalt shingles. The big difference is the pitch of the roof angle. Most rolled roofing is used for garages, sheds, shallow pitched porches. This type of roofing is very short lived 5-10 years at the most. It is important to inspect these frequently and patch any holes rips or tears as soon as possible. The cost of this type of roofing per install is about $2.25 per square foot making it one of the most cost effective however due to its need for frequent replacement could be well over $54,000 every 100 years for an average 2000 sq ft. home over time.

Asphalt shingled roofs are very similar to the rolled roof except they are smaller sections and they have individual pieces. These pieces are made of fiberglass, and may even have slate, quartz, ceramic, or even schist, and the bottom is lined with asphalt. This type of roofing can last up to 40 but as long as 50 years with proper maintenance. While they are all made similar there are varying degrees of consistency. It is important to check warranties and use a reputable contractor for the install. It is very important to not power wash this type of roofing to make sure you do not loosen any of them. This type of roofing can cost about $5 a Sqft and over the course of 100 years could need to be replaced 3-4 times making that lifetime average $30-40 thousand dollars.

A built-up roof (BUR) is a layered roof that is created by alternating layers of roofing felt and waterproof materials such as fiberglass, and hot tar (bitumen). Normally used on roofs that are flat or with a very slight pitch, BUR roofing is fire-resistant and inexpensive, but the roofing is messy and smelly to install. Their life span is longer than rolled roofing. Typically it last 20-30 years making sure debris is removed is essential because it will not have gravity to roll off an angle. The cost for this type of roofing is approximately $4 per sq ft. On average it would be $8000 and over 100 years it will be about $32,000 of cost.

Metal seamed roofs are much more fire retardant than the other options. They are just what they seem large metal sheets that overlap and run vertically. They tend to last 30-50 year nut unlike other options need very little maintenance. Due to them being somewhat new to the market longevity on seams and overall length of time is still being made. Some assessments have them lasting well over 75 years. Their cost are relatively in line with some of the other materials making their life span and low maintenance much more appealing. Coming in at approximately $10 -18 per sq ft depending on the type of metal that you use your 100 year cost would be about $44K

Wood shingles are always an option and have a 25-30 year life expectancy. They do require a precise maintenance schedule and can last up to 50 years. It is important to choose right type of wood. They can be more of a fire risk due to woods flammable nature. It is also important to make sure no moss or lichen grows on it to deteriorate the wood. These shingles can be more costly running any where between $6-11 per SqFt and over the 100 years run you about $60-80K.

Wooden shakes on the other hand are much thicker and hold up a lot better running in a life expectancy of 35-40 years. They are still wood and need to be tended to and maintained on a very stringent schedule. They are still just as flammable and in some areas are banned for just that reason. If there are any that get damaged they must be replaced immediately, you must also check and replace any bowed, convex, concaved or split shingles to avoid water infiltration into your home. Due to them being thicker they are more costly running around $13 per SQ Ft over 100 years you could be looking at well over $70K

Clay and cement tiles are very durable and strong. Terracotta is the medium that is typically used but fired clay and concrete can also be used. You must have an extremely strong support structure as they are very heavy. It is important to never walk on them as cracking is their big concern. You much replace cracked ones immediately. The up side is this type of roofing can last well over 100 years or more. Making it one of the few once and done options for a home owner. Depending on what sort of material you use you can expect to pay some where between $15-20 sq ft having a 100 year cost of approx $44K

Slate while still a form of stone is very different from others as it comes directly out of the earth like that. This roof has the same life span as clay and tile well over 100 years sometimes they have lasted upwards of 200 years, if they are properly maintained. Their costs can be anywhere from $10-75 a square foot making it the most expensive options. However if you look at the longevity of this material it does earn its value as some will last 100-200-or even 300 years.

No matter what roofing you choose or have one common theme is they must all be properly maintained. You must also inspect your roof, attic or crawl space within your home. This will allow you to catch any problems. Please make sure if you have gutters they are cleaned and free of debris so that do not get clogged and pull away from the home. It is important to not only address the water damage that can not be done until you find the source of the water damage first.

Roofing materials article

https://www.thespruce.com/best-roofing-materials-for-longevity-1821951

What lies beneath and under your home

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

What Lurks behind your walls This wall appeared to the untrained eye totally unaffected by the water damage at this commercial property. We knew better.

Modern homes are a marvel with all their energy efficiency, water saving devices, specialty windows and a litany of modern technological advancements. Yes despite all these fancy amenities one thing can bring any family to its knees. Mold.

We are not here to scare you nor are we trying to tell you all mold is bad. We are here to educate you on the little things that can make a big difference. It is also important to know that modern insurance policies have become hip to the mold game and many of them have exclusions for the mold that may be found within the home. Mold is considered secondary damage from a water issue of some sort.  Damage that would not have occurred if the damage was rectified in a timely fashion.

Below is an ABC news article from 2006. It is still very relevant today and is worthy of a resurgence of the information with all of us at home a lot more these days. With a lot more time on our hands it would be worthy to get into those hard to reach places and see what is really going on in the dark places within our homes that we tend to ignore.

Because modern homes are more tightly sealed for energy efficiency, water — which mold needs to survive — gets trapped inside.

Modern building materials like wood, drywall, wallpaper and fabric are appealing food sources for mold, while building technologies such as synthetic stucco can leak and trap moisture inside. Home appliances including clothes dryers and dishwashers also generate water vapor, again creating the type of environment.

"Mold spores are everywhere," said Meg Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Thorne Biosciences. "They're in your house, in your attic, on the street, in your living room, in your kitchen. It's a question really of how much and what species." Some molds are worse than others, said Tom Kelly, a director of the indoor environments division at the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

"There are a relatively small number of mold species that have been identified as producing a kind of toxin called mycotoxin," Kelly said. "What's not clear is whether they are toxic to human beings."

There are more than 100,000 mold species, and about 50 are considered toxic. He has invented a DNA-based technology that spotlights the bad ones.

Destroying Home Values

The fungus can affect more than just health. Dan Sitomer, an attorney specializing in mold litigation, says it could destroy the value of your home.

"For the moment in time that that building is viewed as a problem its value goes to zero," Sitomer said. "The litigation is so aggressive and has multiplied so quickly that it has frightened the insurance industry. The damages can include almost anything. Pain and suffering, negligence, the claims go on and on."

Most insurance policies do not cover damages related to mold, according to Gordon Stewart, president of the Insurance Information Institute. "In 44 states, mold is excluded, unless it is the direct result of a peril that is covered," Stewart said. For example, some insurance companies do not cover mold, but do cover water leakage, which can cause mold to grow.

Meanwhile, articles about mold — like one in the magazine Redbook headlined "It's Invisible. It's Deadly. And It's in your home" — have made many homeowners nervous. With unanswered health questions, the looming risk of litigation, prospects of nose-diving property values and no insurance safety net, what's a homeowner to do?

Experts agree on one thing: If you've got mold you need to get rid of it. More importantly, you need to eliminate the cause.

"We say: 'Find the moisture, eliminate the moisture, clean up the mold,' " Kelly said. "Come back a month later, make sure it's still gone."

It is possible to have mold and not know it. If you can't find it yourself, a "mold dog" may be able to help. Jason Earl, a mold inspector works with a mold dog named Oreo. In the same way dogs can be trained to detect drugs and explosives, Oreo can find mold, he says.

Tracking Mold in Your Home

How does mold get into houses?

Mold is everywhere, in the air indoors and out. To reproduce, mold generates spores (seeds) that become airborne. These spores can remain dormant for 50 years or more.

They become active when they come into contact with moisture and food. Where there's mold there is always water. Mold colonies develop which, in turn, release more spores into the air. How do you know if you might have mold?

Visual Signs:

Surface mold. Signs of water intrusion (discoloration, peeling or bubbling paint, bulging walls or ceilings). Water intrusion (broken pipe, flooded basement, roof leak, etc.) that wasn't completely dried out within 24 - 48 hours. A musty smell.

Health effects seem to lessen when the sufferer is not at home. If you see mold on the walls or floors of your home, and it's less than a 3-foot by 3-foot patch, clean it using bleach and water, and let it dry completely. If you see any spots larger than that, contact an industrial hygienist. (Try the American Industrial Hygiene Association at aiha.org for a referral.)

When should you consider a mold inspection?

When there is a musty smell, but you cannot find any visual evidence.

If there is visual evidence and you need to determine the extent of infestation and damage.

Is there no visual evidence or smell, but a member of the family shows health effects (sensitivities vary by individual)?

If you need help locating the source of the water that's causing the mold.

When you're buying or selling a home.

When you are ready, formalize the plan to remove the mold and repair the damage.

Getting someone certified to supervise mold removal and repairs.

How do you select someone to remove the mold and fix the damage?

It is recommended that inspection and remediation not be done by the same person/firm. Insist that the firm/person have a contractor's license. Look for remediators who are certified. Check with the licensing board and Better Business Bureau for complaints. Ask for references for similar jobs. Call references and ask if the job was done properly, on time and within budget. Inquire if a mold test was done after the remediation work. If you see mold, find the source of moisture, correct it and clean up the mold. If you see signs of water leaks, investigate for mold.

If you smell mold, consider having a qualified mold inspection firm test for mold, locate the mold, determine the extent of the mold, determine the source of moisture and come up with a remediation plan.

How do you prevent mold?

Locate and fix water leaks immediately. Dry water from water leaks within 48 hours. Make sure clothes dryers are properly vented to the outside. Use exhaust fans when cooking, showering or using dishwasher. Insulate exterior walls to prevent condensation inside. Keep indoor humidity below 50 percent. Remember: Just cleaning up mold is not enough. You must find the water source and eliminate it.

How do you clean up mold? This is one that is best left to the professionals as doing it incorrectly could lead to a recurrence.

Your best bet is to call the professionals and ensure that you are finding the true source. It is also imperative that you properly seal off the area from the rest of the house so no spores become airborne.

SERVPRO of East Boston, Chelsea Revere has a specially trained team on hand to ensure that you are taken care of properly and safely. If you have a funny odor that you can not pin point call our team today and we will work with you. To make it “Like it never even happened.”

Bulk of this article is from

https://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=131638&page=1

For more information on mold, here are some online resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/mold/stachy.htm

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.ep

The tide is changing in Boston

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Boston use to look very different The brown is areas that were tidal flats and filled in to create more land.

Is Boston Ready for the next major storm and what is it doing to prepare for the rising tides. A town almost entirely built through human design in the middle of a bay is subjected to the ebb and flow of the tide more than most and its lack of elevation adds to the problem. To better understand this problem let us take a quick look at the history of Boston and how it came to be.

Tidal flats were filled in to create shipping ports. They were filled in with rocks, dirt and yes trash. A lot of the quaint neighborhoods such as the Back Bay, East Boston, Charlestown and the South End were built on landfills. I know shocking right. Needless to say, they are low-lying areas susceptible to the rising seas. Even the airport used to be a collection of 5 islands filled in to serve a purpose.

Ok so that is a very quick back story so what dangers does this possess. To understand this, you need to know how high everything is. At best Boston is considered 14 meters above sea level, with many spots being directly at sea level. In recent years and by recent we mean the last century sea levels have risen 28 centimeters. There is talk about as much as a 3 meter rise due to greenhouse gases by 2100. This puts Boston in line to be one of the top 10 most vulnerable cities in the world.

You just did the math the city is still not underwater. Well let us take a look at high tides, storm surges and damage than can result from it. Storm surge tides are on the rise just ask an adjacent town like Winthrop or Dorchester about high tides during storms. These homes have been damaged in recent years resulting catastrophic damage.

Homes built at sea level, condos below grade even by as little as a half an inch are being denied coverage or being subjected to very limited coverage. So limited in fact it is only the drywall being covered for demolition and replacement. Often we are seeing that none of the contents, electrical systems, plumbing,  insulation, flooring is being covered. This is very stressful for all involved. Especially since the corrosive nature of salt water is that more damaging than traditional water damage.

Understanding your policies and exclusionary clauses as flood plains are redrawn is essential FEMA has a flood map page where you can input your address and get a quick assessment of your homes risk. This will allow you to prepare for upcoming storms and possibly reassess your coverage for insurance.

NOAA estimates from May of 2019 to April of this year 2020 there will be 12-19 flooding events. How many have you already seen? Boston is working hard to prepare for these events. They have developed a Climate preparedness plan. There is a website you can follow and stay up to date on the latest meetings, proposals and individual neighborhoods plans for their specific needs. This website is full of reports, strategies, design and technology initiatives.

The city needs your help be it actively attending meetings to keep pulse with the changes and provide input on the impact these plans could have on your daily living. There are surveys for various community projects that will provide developers with real world feedback on things like commuting challenges projects may pose. We all know you want to be heard about the increased commuting problems.

There are even links and access to the Greenovate Boston Leaders action board. Providing you with materials to hold local meeting and discuss climate change within your neighborhood. This program allow you to focus not only on climate change but the issues that drive and affect the community.

There is access to open house summits, forums for discussion, plan and initiatives as well as ways to get involved. We are all in this together. We at SERVPRO of East Boston, Chelsea, & Revere see firsthand effects from these flooding events. We see the devastation that they cause, and we are seeing increasing restrictions on insurance coverage from these events. We have also seen Facebook pages dedicated to community discussions as well as grassroots efforts to find solutions to pollution. Keeping pollution out of the streets and in the trash barrels where they belong will ensure sewer drains maintain the flow of water. Less clogging means less flooding. We can all make a difference in how climate change affects our communities.

We are providing you with some of the key links we discussed above. Many will have sub-links to specific neighborhoods within the city. Lets all get involved and work together. This sense of community is essential for our safety and allows us all to breathe a little better at night. With all the bad things in the world let us be the difference together.

Boston Climate change portals

https://www.boston.gov/departments/environment/preparing-climate-change

FEMA Flood Plain maps

https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home

Greenovate Boston Leaders

https://www.boston.gov/departments/environment/greenovate-boston-leaders

Why SERVPRO? We are a small business too

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Boston, Chelsea, Revere is your local Water, Fire, Mold Remediation company that delivers you corporate service with local flair.

Did you know that SERVPRO is a local small business? Yes that is right while we have a strong brand behind us supporting our efforts we are a local business. We live in and around the community that we serve. We suffer the same environmental disasters that you do. Our houses have roof leaks in torrential rains. The yards and basements flood when the tides are too high or the storm drains are overloaded.

This pulse on the community separates us from those that live outside of the area or do not understand the challenges of the area. Our team sits on the same streets day in and day out that you do trying to get in to the tunnel out of eastie. We also tug along the bridge driving out of Chelsea. When the lanes on the bridge are closed and 4st exit is inaccessible it affects our teams just as much as it does our clients and those who live out that way. If your street and homes are flooded because the ocean spilled over the causeway again. Know that we will work and do our best to reach you as soon as it reopens up.

As a small local business we work to promote others. Over Small business Saturday we were out in full force with the Revere Chamber of commerce promoting small business in the community. We went and visited some great local business getting ideas for the holiday season of gifting coming up.

Making some local connections is not only the life blood of a small business but it is also the life blood of the cities that we work in. Knowing what the needs of the community are helps us to provide a better service for our clients. Understanding everything from dangerous intersections for pedestrians, to which areas are more prone to flooding. Allows us to better navigate along the roads keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Some of the key places that are strong members of the community are Oceanview kennels who takes in all the pups that have been lost until their families can be found. Or Beach sales that makes sure the best options are available for all your home needs. When we popped over to Kinship florist and saw the beauty that they bring with each display handmade with that little something special. Walking into The Good Diner is like walking into your mother’s kitchen with the wonderful smells and big smiles always welcoming and glad to see you if you stay for a spell or take it to go. Luberto’s was hard at work setting up their window displays for the holiday season. We can not wait to see what they do. It is always such a beautiful store front. Sitting with these businesses allows to add a personal touch to the mundane every day things that we do.

We have a strong relationship with not only the local Chambers of commerce but also the Cities that we work in. Being a community means taking the good with the bad. Which means when there are problems that arise, we try to hear the call and do what we can. We have worked on collecting coats and clothing for an ever growing list kids in need within the city. There have been donations to Oceanview Kennels for the pups to have warm blankets while they wait for new homes or their owners to show up to the bail them out. We have spoken with town officials about the opioid problem and worked to clean up areas of the city for beautification process. Participating in the mutli-cultural events such as the Moroccan festival celebrating the diversity of our service area. These events and more really keep us in touch with the cities. There are members of our team that are even on the Board of directors for some of the local chambers and actively participate in others as well.

As this year comes to a close it is also important to know we support the local first responders that keep our cities safe. They daily put their lives on the line. Supporting the fire and police departments especially when they lose one of there own is essential. It has been a tough year for local engine houses. Fires during the winter months are especially tough. Coming off of the Merrimack Valley gas disaster has tested our first responders to the limits. We want them to know we are thankful for every day they show up and put their lives on the line for our safety.

So when you say why SERVPRO .. you have to really look at the fact that we have the backing of the corporate brand to handle any size disaster that comes our way with the local home town feel. We can be faster to any disaster and will work with you to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Training

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Training your staff and having the proper relationships with all that you work with. That is what makes the difference between good and great.

Why SERVPRO?

The training SERVPRO has as minimum requirements is extensive. Throughout each division of the company training is a vital part of everything that we do. SERVPRO has dedicated a great deal of time and energy into proprietary software to log, track, manage and process your claim. Members of staff at every level have a working knowledge of this software allowing us to track your job progress, log adjusters’ notes, questions and concerns so everyone is aware of its status.

Many members of our team are also cross-trained. This makes sure each person knows what is expected, how things affect our clients and what should be done on each call.

A strong understanding of each community coupled with the ability to address those needs is an important part of every business. Having the right people to address those needs is what makes every business great. We at SERVPRO are committed to this process. Training and development of our staff is the best way we know how.

Field training: Our on-site team receives hours of hands on training in all various aspects of our service offerings. Various techniques are required for each type of job we do. While every job we encounter is very different as are the needs of each client. When a Fire, Water, Mold, Smoke disaster strikes it is comforting to know that the experience that comes with those working in your home eases the process.

Supervisor Training: Our field supervisors training is a step above the rest with a litany of certifications ranging from EPA Lead Safe Renovation, Applied Structural Drying, Water Restoration Training, Subrogation training. Estimating writing certifications for the same software that the insurance adjusters use is also obtained. These certifications help provide peace of mind that the job will be done correctly the first time.

Office Training: Our office staff works tirelessly reviewing your claim prior to sending it off to the insurance company. Each insurance company has varied requirements for what they want to see when they are processing a claim. Working closely with the field team our office staff produces just what each agent is looking for. Smoothing out and streamlining the process ensures that your claim is paid quickly and your rebuild can begin promptly. Bi- annual training sessions that encourage team collaboration really strengthens the resolve to be the best. It allows provides various team members that would not otherwise meet to put a face to the name.

Operational training: The operational teams training is very similar to the office team. There are added levels of knowledge of things such as Human Resources, Accounts receivable and payable. The operational team also works with various vendors to promote the smoothest transition possible. Maintaining relationships with plumbers, electricians, reconstruction teams, dumpster companies and other various companies. These strong relationships are crucial in determining the speed at which we can work through your claim.

Sales/marketing Training: Marketing degrees are held by our team members in this position. Having a solid understanding of our how and what happens through a claim is extremely important. They have a lot of the same certifications and training that the field receives. With working hands on working days as well. Our sales and marketing team must have a pulse on the community. Understanding the needs of the variety of clients we serve both commercially and residentially. What happens on one side of the city may be very different on the other. Through local chamber of commerce participation, networking groups and many other community involvement activities we are able to stay right on top of everything. They have degrees in marketing along with a lot of field certifications. The team also works to highlight the first responders of each area. Maintaining relations with city officials and holding the SERVPRO brand to a higher standard.

So when you are asking Why SERVPRO? It may be easier to say Why not SERVPRO? There are many moving pieces to your claim. Having the properly certified, insured and registered professionals at your fingertips is the key to getting back to “Like it never even happened”