Recent Posts

Institute of Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC)

8/22/2023 (Permalink)

IICRC logo We are an IICRC firm

SERVPRO of Lexington, Waltham, Watertown, Arlington, Somerville, and Charlestown is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Lexington, Waltham, Watertown, Arlington, Somerville, and Charlestown

SERVPRO of Lexington, Waltham, Watertown, Arlington, Somerville, and Charlestown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Grill Safety Tips

8/21/2023 (Permalink)

grill with flames rising above grate Follow these grill safety tips to prevent a fire

My wife and I bought our first home back in October of this year and have been counting down the days until we could grill on our back deck. We came from living in a triple-decker in Boston with no outdoor space except our back deck on the third floor, which meant no grilling for safety purposes. Grilling on the third-floor back deck of an older building poses a serious fire risk. Now that I have a large back deck with nothing underneath it except the patio and lawn, I figured I was in the clear to grill as much as my heart desired. Just 2 days after purchasing my first-ever grill, SERVPRO responded to a large house fire in Weston, MA. I was speaking to the neighbor who called it in and she let me know it was caused by their grill on the back deck. I immediately thought to myself, “How could this happen?” It was a devastating fire and it made me consider what needs to happen to safely operate a grill at your home.  

  • Put your grill in a safe location - never grill indoors and place your grill at least 10 feet away from your home. Be sure there is nothing above or around your grill at any time.
  • Clean your grill regularly - clean it before each use to remove any grease buildup that could fuel potential fires.
  • Check your grill for problems - pay special attention to your propane or gas line for leaks.
  • Wear the right gear - wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from heat but be sure clothing is not too loose.
  • Be ready to put out a fire - have baking soda and a fire extinguisher close by just in case.
  • Use caution when using lighter fluid - only use lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill and use it sparingly.
  • Don’t turn on the gas while the grill is closed - do not let propane build up inside of a closed grill causing a fireball to occur when you ignite it.
  • Never leave a grill unattended - not ever!
  • Don’t overload your grill - more meat = more grease which can cause a flare-up.
  • Use a meat thermometer - flame-licked meats can look done on the outside but are not cooked all the way through which can lead to food poisoning.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate foods - don’t place your corn on the cob where raw meat was sitting to prevent possible cross-contamination.
  • Always turn off your grill - create a routine when you are done cooking to be sure you have turned off the grill, fuel, or let the charcoal cool safely.

SERVPRO Inducted into Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

7/27/2023 (Permalink)

Fortune 500 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame badge Fortune 500 Entrepreneur Inducts SERVPRO into Hall of Fame

SERVPRO was recently inducted into the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Hall of Fame. This special designation was awarded for 37 consecutive years of being number one in our category of restoration. Yes, you read that correctly, we have been the best restoration franchise to own for over 35 years in a row. Year after year we continue to grow and operate at the highest level, which is no easy feat. A lot has changed in this industry over the past three decades, and we have been at the forefront of it all. From carpets to catastrophes, top-tier technology integrations, innovative equipment, and products, to now offering construction services. SERVPRO has proven again and again that we are committed to being the premier restoration company in the world. Thank you for all of your support these past 35+ years and we look forward to the next!

SERVPRO Partners with The New England Patriots

7/25/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO and New England Patriots logos side by side SERVPRO is now the official cleanup and restoration sponsor of the New England Patriots

We are honored to announce that we have partnered with the New England Patriots as the official cleanup and restoration sponsor at Gillette Stadium! This is a substantial partnership, more than just a sponsorship opportunity. Robert Craft does not just allow any sponsor with enough funding to brand themselves at Gillette. He wants the best of the best in each industry and actively works with them to grow each other's brands. To be acknowledged by a titan of the industry as the best cleanup and restoration company says a lot. We are no longer a mom-and-pop shop that cleans carpets. We are the premier restoration company in the country and can stand with brands like The New England Patriots with our heads high.  

Somerville, MA Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

smoke and soot covering wall entering kitchen Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Somerville Home.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Arlington, Somerville, Charlestown will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (781)-861-0500

The Correct Spelling of SERVPRO

8/1/2022 (Permalink)

photo of SERVPRO corporate headquarters building When you experience fire, flood, or mold damage call the #1 brand in restoration, SERVPRO.

In my time at SERVPRO I have seen numerous variations of the spelling which prompted me to write this blog and set the record straight. Service + Professionals = SERVPRO. Not SERVPRO or SERVPRO, or even Serve Pro. ServicePro is also incorrect along with ProServ. We are definitely not Service Master or any alternative spelling to it. RestorePro is also not us, neither is All Pro Restoration nor Pro Plus Services. You see, there are many imitators to us and our brand because we have built such a successful company. Others see our success and try to copy it. When you experience fire, flood, or mold damage call the #1 brand in restoration, SERVPRO. 

Why Plumbers Partner with SERVPRO

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

plumber's hands on pipes with valves Plumbers partner with SERVPRO

Imagine walking into your home after a long day at work to find half an inch of water pooled in your living room. After shouting a few curse words and getting over the initial shock you calm down a bit and begin investigating what exactly happened. Come to find out a pipe broke in the wall and water is still pouring out. First, you run to the basement to shut off the water. What do you do next? I think most people would call a plumber to get the pipe fixed as soon as possible so you can turn your water back on and go about your life. The plumber comes over and is happy to fix your broken pipe. Then what? You have a large amount of water soaking into your beautiful hardwood floor. The plumber says their work is done by fixing the pipe and good luck. What?! Now your next call may be to your insurance company to see if it is covered loss or it could be to SERVPRO, in which order those happen does not really matter at this point. There is an opportunity for the plumber to let you know about SERVPRO and that we should be your next call. We partner with plumbers in the area to let them know we can be a resource for their clients that experience a water emergency and need help. That way they are assisting their customer further and solving their problem as opposed to simply wishing them luck as they leave their water-logged living room. Now imagine this person calls SERVPRO first, before the plumber, because they know we are faster to any disaster. SERVPRO cannot start drying the property until the pipe is fixed or else it will just flood again. So now we have an opportunity to refer a plumber to help solve the problem. This is why plumbers partner with SERVPRO, it is a natural partnership. Plumbers fix the source of a leak, but do not clean up the mess, SERVPRO will clean up the mess but, not fix the leak. By partnering together we solve a problem for the client. If you are a plumber or know a plumber, please have them contact us so we can partner and help our clients together. 

Commercial Large Water Loss at Office Building in Waltham

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

very large space under construction with many fans and dehumidifiers in it for drying SERVPRO uses containment barriers to create drying chambers with air movers and dehumidifiers in them to dry large open spaces

Our franchise recently responded to a commercial large loss at a 500,000-square-foot office building in Waltham. The building is currently under construction and while spraying foam insulation onto the ceiling, a scissor lift operator accidentally hit a sprinkler head causing it to discharge. The property management company called SERVPRO to assist with drying and remediation. While the contractors had drying equipment themselves, it was not sufficient for the size and scope of the loss. We provided supplemental power via a generator outside of the building running into a feeder panel inside that fed multiple power distribution boxes. Our team set up containment barriers around the affected space on 3 different floors to create drying chambers. In those chambers, nearly 100 air movers and 20 commercial-grade dehumidifiers were placed. The high-velocity air movers push moisture off of any surfaces into the air and the dehumidifiers capture that air and remove the moisture from it causing the space in the drying chambers to be completely dry in just 3 days' time. After only 3 days, with tens of thousands of square footage affected, construction could resume. Any delays on a project this size cause a lot of disruption which leads to increased costs. If you experience a flood of any size, SERVPRO can get you back up and running faster than anyone else.  

Residential Water Loss Caused by Dishwasher in Lexington, MA

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

an open dishwasher ejects water onto kitchen floor SERVPRO responded to a residential water loss in Lexington, MA caused by a faulty dishwasher

Last Tuesday afternoon I got a call from one of my insurance agent contacts at Ironside Insurance. He let me know that one of his insured experienced a water loss in Lexington, MA and he wanted me to handle it. I called his insured right away to gather information and set up a time for us to come out to his home. He let me know that his dishwasher somehow cycled all night long with the door open flooding his entire kitchen. I asked if he had filed an insurance claim yet and he told me was waiting to hear back from his carrier with the claim number. The client hesitated and said his insurance company was going to send out a restoration vendor once the claim was filed so he was unsure if he should schedule an appointment with us. I asked who his carrier was and he let me know it was Hanover. I told him that if he has Hanover and lives in Lexington, MA then we are the company they will call as we have a national partnership with Hanover. The client hesitated once again but kept the appointment with us and said he would call back if his insurance company said differently. Sure enough, 3 hours later Hanover sent us the claim. Luckily for the client, we were already on site at his home to assess the damage and schedule a crew to begin mitigation. This story highlights a few key points, the first being, how important it is to have a good insurance agent who will respond to a claim immediately and not just send it to the claims department to handle. The second point is how important it is that your agent has a relationship with a restoration vendor so they can get on top of claims before more damage occurs. Finally, that SERVPRO is the go-to restoration company for most insurance companies on a national level. That is because we are the best at what we do and ultimately make them look good to their customers. If you experience a water loss don’t hesitate to call the pros (781)-861-0500.

Discovering Smoke Damage 60 Years Later

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician in full PPE seals rafters in attic after discovering smoke damage SERVPRO can restore your property after experiencing smoke damage

I recently got a call from one of our partners in the senior real estate space. The company helps place older adults who can no longer live safely at home in assisted living facilities. They will also fix up your home and sell it to help fund care expenses. As you can imagine, some of these homes are in disrepair and may have been neglected for many years. This is where SERVPRO comes in as a vendor to handle the numerous situations that these homes find themselves in. Last week a home in Belmont, MA was inspected prior to listing the home to find any serious issues that need to be addressed. The home inspector found extensive smoke and soot damage in the rafters of the attic. The homeowner, a 99-year-old holocaust survivor, was shocked to hear this and stated there has never been a fire in the home since she lived there in 1962. Everyone involved was upset and nervous about what this meant for getting the home listed. They called SERVPRO in to save the day. We sent a project manager out later that day to take a look at the attic and determined there was in fact smoke damage to the rafters but, thankfully no structural damage had occurred. We just needed to prime and seal the rafters with 4 coats of sealant so on a hot and humid day there was no chance of smoke odor being released into the home. We were able to get the work done 2 days later so there was only a 2-day delay in getting the home on the market for sale. Everyone involved was extremely happy with our response time and work. If you need smoke damage restoration or find a surprise during the home buying process, call the pros at 781-861-0500.