Home Restoration News

Framingham, MA

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Framingham, MA

by: Teresa Royer

STOP Metrowest

(508) 841-3082

Boston Metrowest, MA: Thunderstorm and Lightning Safety Tips to Consider

Thunder and Lightning

FLASH! BOOOOOOOOM! FLASH! 

We know what that means! A thunderstorm is on its way! Aren’t thunderstorms exciting? We here at STOP Metrowest find thunderstorms exhilarating to experience! It’s like a performance in the sky! A bright, white dancing across the dark, cloud-filled skies, while being followed by a deafening drum declaring the end of that lightning’s dance. All of this while heavy rain patters on our rooftops. It truly is a performance to witness! However, behind all that beauty lies a danger that can turn deadly very quickly. Just as we use special glasses to watch solar eclipses, we should take extra measures in order to safely witness a thunderstorm at work. Here are a few tips you can use to experience a thunderstorm as safely as possible. 

30-30 Rule. The 30-30 rule is a great way to determine how close you are to the thunderstorm. All you need to do is count the seconds from when you see lightning to when you hear thunder.

Lower than 30. If you stopped at a number less than 30, the storm should be 10 or less miles away from you, and you need to seek shelter immediately. 

Higher than 30.  If you stopped at a number higher than 30, the thunderstorm is likely 10 or more miles away from you. I still advise that you seek shelter even if you land on a number higher than 30.  

Shelter. Seek enclosed shelter immediately during a thunderstorm. When lightning strikes, it can cause a ground current to occur. This means that an electric current from the lightning is traveling on the surface of the ground. Both being struck by lighting or standing where a ground current is located can not only be dangerous, but deadly.

No Shelter Available. If there is no shelter available, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that you crouch while touching the ground as little as possible. Lightning tries to find the easiest way to strike the ground which tall object help it achieve. If you are outside during thunderstorms, do not be the tallest thing the lightning can find.

Avoid Trees. When a storm occurs, one of our first thoughts is get out of the rain and usually a tree can provide a shelter from the rain. However, they are tall and are perfect for lightning to strike. Trees can fall and catch fire making them another danger.

Cars.  Cars may be used as a shelter during a thunderstorm if there are no enclosed shelters nearby. However, if you seek shelter in your car, make sure you are not in contact with anything other than your seat and the floor.

Windows and Doors. Close your windows and doors and stay away from them if possible. It may be pretty to watch lightning glisten the sky, but open doors and windows can invite lightning to come in your home.

Metal and Water. Water and metal are great conductors of electricity. It is best to stay away from metal and water sources until a thunderstorm passes. 

Concrete. Concrete can be dangerous during a thunderstorm. Usually, lying behind concrete walls or below concrete floors is structural metal which can conduct electricity. It is best to avoid standing, lying, and sitting concrete if possible.

Landlines. Landline telephones should be avoided during thunderstorms. Since the lines are made of wire and can conduct energy, they can send electrical currents into the landline’s phone. However, cellphones and other phones not connected to any cables are fine.

Wireless Phones.  Unlike landlines, wireless phones such as cellphones are safe to use during thunderstorms. 

Electronics. Electronics should be unplugged during a thunderstorm, even if they have a surge protector. Unplugging them greatly reduces the risk of those electronics being destroyed if lightning hits your home directly.  

Thunderstorms are beautiful from the safety of our own homes. The next thunderstorm you experience, I suggest trying out the 30-30 rule. It can be fun guessing how far away the thunderstorm is, and it can pass the time while you wait!

We at STOP Metrowest understand the importance of feeling secure in your own home. That’s why we strive to get the job right done the first time . . .  so you can sleep soundly without a worry. We specialize in responding to disasters. If you experience flooding or a tree branch penetrating the roof, STOP provides emergency water removal and roof and siding tarping and window board up. When you have enough going on after the storm, call STOP at 508-841-3082.

You can find us at our website at STOP Metrowest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Framingham, MA – The Indoor Air Quality – Do You Know What You Breathe?

Let’s Breathe.

As I think about the meaningful work we do in the restoration industry, it’s all centered around creating or restoring a healthy and safe environment. And a large part of the healthy and safe environment Service Team of Professionals impacts involves the indoor air quality.

Breathing is essential. In fact, I am often reminded that I’m not truly breathing. When I take a yoga class, for instance, and am reminded to really breathe – I realize I haven’t really been breathing for days. Intentional deep breathing has numerous health benefits like lowering stress and improving the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Indoor Air Quality

The way we breathe matters as does the air quality we breathe. Contaminants in the air, such as mold, directly increase the risk of health problems especially for immunocompromised people. In fact, the EPA warns, “health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.”

How do you determine the quality of air?

Air quality testing is not inexpensive (but then neither are potential medical bills). Testing the air is usually recommended if anyone in the specific area develops reactions such as runny nose, cough, and potentially breathing problems that are made worse in that area. There are DIY air quality tests, but STOP strongly recommends hiring a professional company that conducts indoor air quality testing. The equipment and training required of these companies is pretty remarkable, and the reliability and reporting the customer receives is worth the cost.

Can everything in the air be tested and diagnosed?

Indoor air quality testing generally cannot diagnose every contaminant or allergen in the air. While the testing is extensive, there is no air quality test for

Testing the air for mold spores.

SARS-CoV-2, for example. In these cases, if there is a potential area exposed to airborne viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 or measles (Rubeola), other controls like the level of cleaning and disinfection are determined by the risk of exposure. Controlling the environment in these cases is key.

On the other hand, the type and level of mold can be tested and identified. If someone is experiencing symptoms of mold allergens or toxicity, the air quality test results will likely be beneficial to give to the health care provider to help determine a potential cause, or source, of the symptoms.

How can I control the air quality?

While it may be impossible to control all particles in the air, there are several steps you can take to maintain better air quality.

  1. Maintain adequate ventilation in the building by introducing outdoor air through windows or heating and ventilation intakes.
  2. Consider using an air cleaner, preferably with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter and maintain the filters according to the air cleaner’s manufacturer instructions.
  3. Maintain a dust and debris free environment as much as possible.
  4. Maintain the humidity in the environment between 30 and 60%.

STOP Metrowest is an IICRC Certified Firm – safe, quality, and compassionate service is our priority! We provide rapid mold assessment and remediation in Framingham MA or other Metrowest MA communities like Sudbury MA, Holliston MA, and Westborough MA. Call STOP MetroWest at 508-841-3082.

For more information, visit our webpage at STOP Metrowest.

Framingham, MA: Atlantic Hurricane Season is Here – Let’s Build an Emergency Kit

Preparing an emergency kit is a great way to prepare for hurricanes, natural disasters, or other emergency situations. With an emergency kit, you reduce the stress about gathering things you need while a disaster is knocking at your door. Instead, you can run, grab your kit, and head out the door at the first sign of danger heading your way. In a way, emergency kits put your mind at ease. In fact, once you make them, you’ll only have to review the kit about once a year to make sure all of the items are not expired and in good condition. 

The actual grab and go kit should not be too big and should be easy to carry. In fact, a backpack can be the perfect emergency kit. A backpack is big enough to hold necessities, but small enough that it won’t impede evacuation and/or survival. Since you wear it on your back, it frees up your hands and arms which you can use to assist yourself and others during emergencies, and there is less chance that you’ll forget it somewhere. 

What should be in an emergency kit? Until scientists find a way to make bottomless bags that can store anything and everything, only the basic necessities should be in the kits. During emergency situations, one of your goals is to survive, and the kit should have items that will assist you and increase your chances to survive. Water and non-perishable items are two of the most important items that you should have in your kit. In case you are stuck somewhere for days or even longer, having water and food from your kit will keep you hydrated and strong until rescue arrives. Always grab any medications and put them in the kit since you don’t know how long you will be out of the property.

Ready.gov/kit, the official website of the United States Homeland Security, provides a lot of emergency response information and goes into details about the basic necessities that should be in an emergency kit.  Other considerations during a storm that causes wind damage and flooding include planning during COVID-19 and for those with disabilities. The subject of emergency preparedness is broad and critical to minimize injury and minimize property damage.

Flooding and fires from hurricanes and other natural disasters can cost you deeply depending on a number of factors involved. Review your property insurance and life insurance policies at least annually with your carrier to ensure you are covered. For personal safety and building safety, disaster damage restoration is best left to professionals like Service Team of Professionals (STOP). 

STOP Metrowest is an IICRC Certified Firm – safe, quality, and compassionate service is our priority! We provide 24/7 emergency water extraction and restoration of any water damage related issues in Framingham MA or other Metrowest MA communities like Sudbury MA, Holliston MA, and Westborough MA. Call Service Team of Professionals (STOP MetroWest 508-841-3082). Visit our webpage at STOP Metrowest.

 

Framingham, MA: Have you protected your property from hurricane damage?

Hurricane season is upon us! According to Mass.gov, hurricane season near the coast of Massachusetts peaks during the months of August and September. It is important that you are prepared for a possible hurricane and hurricane damage. Through preparation, we can finish hurricane season strong and be prepared for hurricane season next year and the years to come. With that being said, let’s learn how to secure our homes both physically and financially.  

Protecting Your Home Physically

With high winds and long downpours, hurricanes can cause a lot of damage to homes and surrounding areas. However, preparing your home physically for hurricane season will lessen the chance of damage or even lessen the damage your home receives overall. Checking your home every few years for cracks, lose materials, and structural damage will help you prepare your home for hurricane damage and even natural disasters. Here are a few ways you can prepare your home for hurricane season. 

Roof. The purpose of the roof is to protect the home from water intrusion. Water damage in the home can lead to water damage which can then lead to mold damage. Checking your roof every few years for damage will ensure that you are less likely to experience water damage. In fact, investing in reinforcements and sealing your roof can also go a long way in protecting your home from water damage. 

Porches/Patios/Carports. Porches, patios, and carports are susceptible to being damaged by both high winds and flooding. Boarding up the window and reinforcing with material made specifically for hurricanes will lessen the damage during hurricanes. However, if there are any furniture or items not bolted down, it is best to place them inside. This will ensure that none of your items fly away or fly at high speeds into your home. 

Garage. Reinforcing the garage, specifically the garage door, will help keep it installed rather than blown off by the high winds. In fact, there are garage doors made with hurricanes in mind that are worth checking out and possibly investing in.  

House (Foundation and Walls). Checking the house every few years for cracks, holes, and foundation damage will help prevent water from seeping into your home and causing water damage during downpours. 

Clear Property. With high winds, anything outside that is not locked or bolted down should be placed inside. Anything not locked or bolted down are hazardous during high winds as they can fly away or fly into your home causing damage. 

Basement and Attic. With long downpours and chance of flooding during hurricanes, the basement is susceptible to flooding. Checking your basement every few years for cracks or other damage will lessen the chance of your basement flooding. 

Protecting Your Home Financially

By insuring your home and the items in your home, if damage were to occur during hurricane season, your insurance company can help reduce the cost of fixing your home and/or replacing your possessions. 

Insurance. Check your home’s insurance policy to see what damages it will cover. If the area where you live is susceptible to flood damage, it is worth looking into and investing in insurance policies that will cover flood damage. 

Take inventory. Taking inventory of your items will help you and your insurance company know what needs replacing and what can be replaced. 

All in all, water damage restoration can cost you differently depending on a number of factors involved. For personal safety and building safety, water damage restoration is best left to professionals like Service Team of Professionals (STOP). We work with your insurance company to restore the property back to normal.

STOP Metrowest is an IICRC Certified Firm – safe, quality, and compassionate service is our priority! We provide 24/7 emergency water extraction and restoration of any water damage related issues in Framingham MA or other Metrowest MA communities like Sudbury MA, Holliston MA, and Westborough MA. Call Service Team of Professionals (STOP Metrowest 508-841-3082) or visit our webpage at STOP Metrowest.

 

 

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BIO: Teresa and Mark commit to providing a positive experience for home and business owners in the Boston Metrowest communities during critical and unfortunate property damage events. They are dedicated to excellence in customer experience, quality and safety, and efficient processes. Caring for people in vulnerable and critical situations while focusing on customer and employee safety are both inherent qualities at Service Team of Professionals – Metrowest. Teresa, a US Air Force veteran, has been a registered nurse for over 20 years with a passion for helping others and upholding best practices in safety, quality, and infection prevention and control. Some of her most meaningful roles include caring for people with mental illness, serving as a forensic nurse death investigator with the medical examiner’s office, and overseeing operations as a healthcare leader. Mark has owned and operated a successful property investment business for over 10 years involving restoring homes for rent or sale. He has also worked in renowned worldwide service industries and has been recognized for leadership, safety, efficiency, and customer service.

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BIO: Teresa and Mark commit to providing a positive experience for home and business owners in the Boston Metrowest communities during critical and unfortunate property damage events. They are dedicated to excellence in customer experience, quality and safety, and efficient processes. Caring for people in vulnerable and critical situations while focusing on customer and employee safety are both inherent qualities at Service Team of Professionals – Metrowest. Teresa, a US Air Force veteran, has been a registered nurse for over 20 years with a passion for helping others and upholding best practices in safety, quality, and infection prevention and control. Some of her most meaningful roles include caring for people with mental illness, serving as a forensic nurse death investigator with the medical examiner’s office, and overseeing operations as a healthcare leader. Mark has owned and operated a successful property investment business for over 10 years involving restoring homes for rent or sale. He has also worked in renowned worldwide service industries and has been recognized for leadership, safety, efficiency, and customer service.