What Causes Mold Growth?
Mold and mildew on bathroom wall damage
If you suspect that mold is growing or have discovered mold in your commercial property, a moisture problem is the primary cause. Whether you find evidence of black mold or any other type of fungi, you should promptly contact a mold cleanup service to address the problem and restore your property.
Here are several factors that combine to cause mold growth:
1. Moisture: Whether you have experienced a broken pipe, leaky roof, or sewer damage, mold requires moisture in order to grow and thrive. If your commercial property has recently experienced a leak, you will run a higher risk for black mold until you take steps to eliminate the source of the moisture and thoroughly dry the affected area.
2. Organic materials: Mold depends on nutrients found in dead or living organic materials in order to grow. These organic materials may include building materials or furniture. Mildew is a fungus that grows exclusively on plants. It is a good idea to relocate and dry affected items in an area with good airflow and a dehumidifier.
3. Stagnant air: Mold is particularly prone to grow in places where conditions are right and colonies are not disturbed by cleaning or airflow. If ventilation in an affected area is insufficient, it is less likely that the area will dry thoroughly and quickly, which increases the likelihood that mold will start growing.
These are three factors that can lead to mold growth in a commercial property located in Warwick, RI. The best ways to prevent mold are to eliminate moisture, thoroughly dry any organic materials exposed to moisture, and increase airflow while decreasing humidity. The last step is only effective while you are trying to prevent mold. Otherwise, airflow can spread mold spores. If any kind of mold, including black mold, has already started to develop, contact a remediation service that specializes in mold cleanup.
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How To Deal With a Two-Story Toilet Overflow
Bathroom Toilet Line Break
While a temporary blockage can cause a flooded toilet, it can usually be handled with a plunger. However, sewer damage can cause a backup that makes toilets overflow. The sewer water can even seep through floors to downstairs ceilings and walls. In these cases, it’s critical that you not attempt the cleanup on your own but instead contact a water mitigation professional in East Greenwich, RI, to handle it.
Black Water Cleanup
Sewer water is classified as category 3, or black water. This is water that contains bacteria and viruses that can cause humans and animals to become seriously ill. Avoid all contact with it, and be especially careful not to swallow any or allow it to contact open wounds. Call a plumber to determine the location of the sewer damage, which will decide if you or the sewage company is responsible for repairs.
You should also contact a water mitigation expert immediately. When the professional cleanup team arrives, they will assess the situation and explain their plan. Here is what to expect once cleanup begins.
1. Safety Precautions
A cleanup crew will have protective gear to handle sewage cleanup. This usually includes protective eyewear, rubber boots and gloves. It may also include hazmat suits.
2. Removal of Contaminated Materials
Saturated drywall, flooring and ceiling tiles are removed and disposed of. The longer water sits, the more likely it is to penetrate the structure of the building, so it’s important to act fast.
3. Cleaning and Disinfecting
The affected areas will need to be cleaned and disinfected. This is particularly important with category 3 water because of the potential health risks.
After every trace of sewage has been removed and scrubbed from your business, industrial fans are used to address any remaining dampness. Dehumidifiers extract moisture from the air, leaving your space clean, dry and odor-free.
Water mitigation professionals in East Greenwich, RI, won’t just clean up after sewer damage. They will also restore your business to its original condition. This includes replacing drywall and flooring, installing new ceiling tiles and even painting.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastgreenwichwarwick.com for more information.
3 Reasons You May Have Sewage Backup
Water Loss in Commercial Property
As a homeowner in Warwick, RI, you know that not everything is sunshine and roses. Sometimes, you have to deal with problems that are stressful and yucky. A sewer backup, for example, can cause large amounts of standing water to enter your home. This dirty water can cause structural issues and contamination problems if left unattended. If you ever have to deal with this type of issue, you may wonder why it is affecting you.
Clogs in your main sewer line can affect the plumbing in your entire house. Whenever you try to flush a toilet, you may end up with black water flooding your bathroom. Clogs can be formed by grease hardening in the pipes or garbage getting flushed down a toilet.
2. Rain Water
Heavy rains can also cause a sewer backup. When the municipal sanitary sewer system is overwhelmed, the water has nowhere else to go but back up into the home connected to the system. This backup can come out of toilets, showers and other drains.
Breaks in your sewer line could also affect the way your toilets are able to flush. If a tree root, for example, punctures your sewer line, it can lead to blockages or holes. Your pipes could be broken due to old age, too. Older sewer systems incorporate clay or iron pipes that can break down over time. When the sewage can't properly escape your home, it may end up coming back into your living area.
A sewer backup can happen anytime. It might be caused by a misuse of plumbing or a big bout of rain water. No matter why the bacteria-laden water comes into your home, you may want to call in a storm and water damage specialist. This team of experts can help you address the current problem of dirty flood water in your home. They may also be able to help you find the source of your backup and create a plan to prevent it from happening again.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastgreenwichwarwick.com for more information.
Grilling Safety Tips
BBQ Grill and Flames - Be safe when grilling!
You may be the kind of person who fires up the grill all year long at tailgating parties, or maybe you wait for a warm summer day and a backyard full of friends before you put on your apron. Either way, grilling can be one of life’s simple pleasures.
Unfortunately, where there is fun there is also the potential for safety issues. For example, did you know that leaving the grill unattended, not cleaning grease or fat build up properly, or placing the grill too close to combustible siding can cause injuries, fires and property damage?
Charcoal or Gas?
Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills. Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these important safety considerations.
Gas Grill Safety
A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report.
- Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
- If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
- If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
- Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
- After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
- Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house.
Charcoal Grill Safety
The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.
- Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
- Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
- Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
- Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
- If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
- Do not leave the grill unattended.
Here are some other important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun.
Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface more than ten feet away from the house, garage or other structures. Keep children and pets away, as well as overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang. Avoid placing grills too close to combustible deck rails.
Grill outside only. Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.
Keep the grill going on a cold day. During cool weather days, avoid wearing a scarf or other loose clothing that may catch on fire. Consumer Reports recommends shielding the grill from wind, placing it about ten feet from combustible surfaces and materials, and keeping the lid closed to retain as much heat as possible. Allow extra time for pre-heating the grill in colder weather and check temperatures of meat and fish with a meat thermometer to ensure that food is safe to eat.
Teach kids to stay safe. Make a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the grill and areas where hot food is prepared or carried. Children under five are especially vulnerable to burns from contact with a hot grill surface. Grill contact accounted for 37% of burns seen at emergency rooms in 2014 involving children under five.
Remember post-grilling safety. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. If you grill with charcoal and need to dispose of the coals, soak them in water to extinguish them before disposing in a metal container. Otherwise, cover the grill tightly and close the vents, this should extinguish the coals and whatever is left will be ready for next time.
3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew
Mold Remediation in Home
The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but there are significant distinctions between these types of fungi. In the most general sense, mold grows on moist organic surfaces whereas mildew is a parasitic fungus that grows only on living plants. If you want to seek an expert opinion concerning the extent of mold growth or mildew growth or mold damage in your home, you should call a certified service specializing in testing, clean-up, and restoration in East Greenwich, RI.
1. Mildew is a type of fungus. This obligate plant parasite grows on living plants and is recognizable by its white or light gray appearance. Mildew is very common and does not pose the same risks as mold.
2. Mold requires a combination of moisture and organic material to grow. Mold may appear in a variety of different colors. Even white or light gray growths on surfaces that are not plants are mold, not mildew. You should contact a mold damage expert if you find or suspect that mold is present in your home.
3. Mildew can be either powdery or downy in appearance. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes powdery spots or patches to appear and grow until they form a coating over the surface of the leaves of a plant afflicted with mildew. Downy mildew is visible along the undersides of leaves and may feature small black spots or cause leaves to become discolored.
It is easy to distinguish between mold and mildew once you know that mildew affects plants. If you are concerned about mildew growth, you may want to try removing and destroying affected portions of a plant, improving air circulation, changing the direction from which you water, or using a fungicide. If you see or suspect mold growth, contact a company that tests for mold and cleans up residential mold damage in East Greenwich, RI.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastgreenwichwarwick.com for more information.
4 Ways To Make Sure Broken Pipes Aren't a Problem When You're on Vacation
Home suffered from Broken Pipe
When you take a vacation, you leave all of your worries behind. However, if you've ever come home to a flooded basement or living room, you know you have to take some precautionary steps to keep your trip worry-free. Following these simple tips could help you avoid leaky pipes while you're away from home.
1. Check for leaks. Before you leave for your trip, you need to make sure your plumbing is in working order. Check under sinks, by water heaters and at faucets for any signs of leaks or cracks. Make sure the hoses leading to the refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher are in good condition and not kinked.
2. Fix any problems you find. If you did spot a leak, broken pipe, cracked appliance or old hose, address the issue before your vacation. Fixing the problems now may decrease your chance of a flood filling your Warwick, RI, home. Water pipe repair should be addressed as soon as you find the problem.
3. Consider the weather. Do you live in a cold climate? If you're taking your trip during the winter, you need to worry about frozen pipes. To avoid the need for water pipe repair due to burst pipes, make sure any exposed pipes are insulated. You should also continue running your heat while you are away from home.
4. Have a backup plan. Even though you checked for problems and made repairs, something could still go wrong. Ask a neighbor or friend to check in on your home while you're away. Otherwise, consider turning the water off while you're gone to make sure there won't be any broken pipe issues.
No one wants to come home from a vacation to discover they have to schedule a water pipe repair due to a major flood. If it does happen to you, you can alleviate some stress by calling in a team of residential water damage experts.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastgreenwichwarwick.com for more information.
When Can Employees Return to Work During Restoration?
Commercial Building Flood
Once the flood waters have receded, most people want to return to their businesses. They want to rebuild as soon as possible. As a business owner, you recognize the need to stay away for a while, but the more time you are out of the office, the more money you could potentially lose. In addition to losing money yourself, your employees can have a dent put in their wallets. The question most people have is when they can return to work. Do you have to wait until the building is completely restored or can your employees be present through the flood cleanup?
1. Black Water Removal
Standing water becomes the perfect environment for bacteria and mold growth. If the floodwaters caused any sewer backup, the cleanup is first on the to-do list. No one can come into the building until this is completed. The exception is if they have the proper equipment and are a part of the cleanup crew. A professional restoration company should handle black water.
2. Demolition and Disinfection
Once the specialist removes the water, you can use his or her help to figure out what can be saved and what needs to be thrown out. Often you need to remove drywall, carpeting and other porous materials before you can start to rebuild. These materials are difficult to clean and can be destroyed by black water. Your employees should not be present until after this process is completed. Once the demolition is done and everything has been disinfected, you can begin to think about returning to the regular workday.
3. Return to Work
Once everything has been cleaned, your employees can return while you are rebuilding. You can use air filtration devices to help the air quality while the restoration company does its job. Once you are in the rebuilding process, as long as there is no dangerous construction going on, your employees should be safe.
During a flood cleanup, it can be difficult to allow your employees to return to work right away in your Warwick, RI, business.
For more information visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastgreenwichwarwick.com.
Are You Prepared for Spring Flooding?
Home Flooded By Spring Floods
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low-risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, we offer the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
- Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
- Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
- Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
- Prepare a flood evacuation plan
- Know how to safely shut-off utilities
- Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
- Have a portable radio to listen to important current information
When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO immediately at (401) 941-5500. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.
Tips to Get Ready for a Hurricane or Big Bad Storm Headed Toward Your Area
Cars on Highway During Flood Damage
Hurricanes, snowstorms and wild weather can wreak havoc in big, densely populated cities and towns. Trees can crash down on power lines and cars. Windows can get blown out. Long lines can form for bread, milk, eggs, and fuel. Electrical power and gas service can be interrupted. Public transportation can be terribly delayed, causing difficulties in getting to and from work. Children living in small spaces can get cranky; pets can too. In the worst case scenario, you may even have to evacuate.
Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information. Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads. Make a family emergency communication plan. Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet for your town, city, or county name and the word "alerts."
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe. Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows, and doors, including the garage doors. Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.
Picture of an Ice Dam and How it Damages a Home
An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too.
Ice Dams are a common sight in Northern New England winters, and Home Partners has dealt with quite a few. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.
HOW DO ICE DAMS FORM?
An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.
The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.
WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?
When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot
DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS
1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chunks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tools! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.
2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.
3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.
A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of pantyhose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.
For more information visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastgreenwichwarwick.com. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”