Recent Posts

Black Water Is Always an Unwelcome Visitor

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement Basement flooded after storm

Everything in East Greenwich, RI, has its place. Soil, fertilizer and pesticides are in the yard. Sewage is in pipes or septic tanks. Oil, gasoline and other chemicals are in vehicles, service stations, homes and local businesses. When a flood strikes, the situation becomes messy. The black water damage it inflicts is a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

Think of Black Water as a Toxic Stew

Floodwater does a great job of cleaning the outdoors. It collects everything in its path and moves it downstream.

  • It picks up topsoil, fertilizer, pesticides and shrubbery,
  • It flushes sewage from sewers and septic tanks.
  • It sweeps away chemicals stored in garages, basements and local businesses.
  • It releases gasoline and waste oil from service station storage tanks.

When floodwater enters your home, expect it to leave some of the toxic mixture behind. Cleaning the sewage and bacteria requires protective equipment. Cleaning the chemical mix comes with its own problems. There is no way for sure to know what chemicals are involved and their levels of toxicity.

Drying the Home Is the Top Priority After Floods Strike

The bacterial and chemical problems delivered by a flood are a cause for concern. However, these insignificant compared to the risk of mold. A runaway mold problem can cause an insurance company to declare your home a total loss. For this reason, quickly removing all moisture from your home is a top priority. Once the home is dry, the final cleaning and disinfecting from the black water damage can occur.

It Is Important to Have a Plan for Restoring a Flooded Home

Restoring your home after a flood is seldom a do-it-yourself job. Quickly and completely eliminating water damage requires a team with training, experience and specialized equipment. Fortunately, you will find these flood recovery specialists conveniently located in the East Greenwich, RI, area. Being your neighbors makes them Faster to Any Size Disaster.

There's More Than One Type of Contaminated Water

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Rain water is a source of clean water

There's More Than One Type of Contaminated Water

No matter the source, you should be careful when coming into contact with flooding in Warwick, RI. Often, it is contaminated water. Depending on what the water contains, it could pose different levels of risk. 

Type 1

This type of water comes from clean sources and you can attempt to clean it up yourself. However, it is time sensitive. If left standing it can become contaminated in as little as 48 hours. The biggest concern with this type of flooding is getting everything dried out as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth. Some common sources of clean water flooding are:

  • rainwater or melting snow
  • supply line leaks
  • sink overflow
  • malfunctioning appliances
  • toilet holding tanks

Type 2

This level of contamination is called grey water. It is wastewater or used water that is not contaminated by fecal matter or human waste. You should wear personal protective gear, like boots and gloves, if you are attempting to clean it up yourself. However, you should consider hiring a professional, just in case. If possible, it is especially important to keep vulnerable people such as children and elders away from the contaminated water. Also, if left standing for 48 hours or more, it can sometimes turn into black water, the third type described below. Common sources are sump pumps, appliance leaks or sink back-ups.

Type 3

This is black water. It is contaminated by human waste, untreated sewage or fecal matter. It could also contain dissolved chemicals. It is best to avoid all contact. It is also highly advised to call a licensed water damage remediation specialists who follow special protocols when dealing with this type of water. Usually all porous materials that come into contact with black water, like carpets and upholstery, cannot be salvaged. Common sources are flooding, sewer backup, foundation problems or gutter problems.
A general rule of thumb is that if you don't know what's in the contaminated water, try not to touch it. Leave it to the professionals who know what they are doing and how to restore your home.

What To Expect During Mitigation and Restoration

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Tarps placed on roof

After a storm in East Greenwich, RI, your commercial building might have suffered some damage. If this is the case, a flood cleanup company can help by performing cleanup and repairs. If you have not experienced this before, you might not know what to expect. There are two important stages of the process: mitigation and restoration.

The Differences Between Mitigation and Restoration

Both of these steps are necessary to return your building to its previous condition. There are, however, a few substantial differences. These include:

  • When they are done
  • What services are performed
  • How long it takes to be completed

Knowing what to expect during each stage of the process can make it less stressful to deal with.

Mitigation

After you contact the flood cleanup company, workers will arrive to inspect the property. This will allow them to determine the best way to move forward. The first step after the inspection is mitigation. During this time, workers will do what they can to slow down the spread of damage and prevent it from worsening. This includes removing water from the building as well as boarding up affected areas, placing tarps over the roof and moving belongings to a safer location. Because it is important to prevent additional damage, mitigation is done as quickly as possible.

Restoration

Restoration comes after mitigation and can take the water damage restoration company weeks to complete, depending on the amount and severity of the damage. During this stage of the process, workers will begin cleanup and repairs. In some cases, this can include rebuilding portions of the structure. It also includes smaller repairs like repainting and replacing carpets and tiles.
If you have experienced damage to your building, don’t hesitate to act. You should contact the flood cleanup company right away to start the process. The sooner they can begin mitigation, the less time and money it will cost during the restoration period.

How To Handle Smoke Damage From an External Source

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in an East Natick, RI commercial building

A fire can cause great devastation to your commercial building, and it doesn't even have to be in your offices to do so. A fire that breaks out next door to your property in East Natick, RI, can cause smoke damage in your building. The claims process for reporting this type of damage is very similar to how you would report it if the property you own caught fire.

Document the Damage

Once you have contacted your insurance company to report the issue, you should collect evidence to support your claim:

  • Pictures of soot damage on walls, ceilings and other surfaces
  • List of damaged items that must be repaired or replaced
  • Estimate of the cost of repairs from a fire restoration company

You may not be able to obtain the fire report from the owner of the building where the fire occurred, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Having this report can verify the date and time of the fire, which can show your insurance company that you reported the smoke damage in a timely manner.

Hire Restoration Experts

Not only can fire restoration experts help with reporting estimated costs, they can also execute the smoke cleaning process to make sure that every surface and crack is soot free. They can use industrial cleaners on every affected surface. Ultrasonic technology can help them get smoke residue out of places that are hard to reach. Finally, they can use purifiers with HEPA filters to remove smoke molecules from the air, removing the odor from your building and improving the air quality.
Just because the flames aren't inside your building, that doesn't mean that the smoke will stay out, too. If an adjacent building catches fire, your building could easily sustain smoke damage. Report the damage to your insurance company and hire professionals to take care of the remediation process, just like you would if your own building caught fire.

Know the Facts About Mold Insurance

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

An insurance policy might also pay for any mold testing your company has to do

When you find mold in your building in Frenchtown, RI, it is necessary to take immediate action to remove the mold and repair damage. However, it is important to understand whether your commercial insurance will cover mold damage.

Understand Your Insurance Policy

If you discover mold, your insurance may cover the expense of the repairs you have to make because of the mold. These repairs might include the following:

  • Removing and replacing drywall
  • Laying new flooring
  • Extracting and installing ceiling tiles

An insurance policy might also pay for any mold testing your company has to do. In order to use your mold insurance, you may have to demonstrate that your company is taking the necessary steps to ensure your property does not incur further damage. This means you may have to fix leaks or repair faulty ventilation before seeking commercial building restoration services.

Possible Exclusions

Your mold insurance may have exclusions in the policy. This means it may not cover damage which results from the growth and spread of bacteria or fungi. Additionally, some policies may not cover scents and toxins if they were produced by a fungus. Sometimes your policy might include limited coverage for fungal damage. This usually is for damage produced by a specific circumstance, such as a flood. It is a good idea to check your insurance policy to fully understand what kind of damage is covered. Even when your policy offers more comprehensive coverage for mold damage, it may not always cover more than $15,000 worth of damage each year.

Avoid Further Problems

To ensure you do not have recurring mold damage, it is a good idea to take steps to keep mold from growing again. You may want to install better ventilation in your building so all moisture moves outside. Additionally, it is a good idea to clean up spills, especially in areas which tend to accumulate water.

Mold can have serious, long-term affects on your building. To make sure you can effectively remove mold, it is a good idea to look over your commercial insurance policy so you understand your coverage.

Understanding Your Renters Policy

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Renters insurance can come in handy if there is a fire in your apartment

You may expect a homeowners policy to cover a variety of issues if a house you own catches fire. What happens when you rent, though? If the fire was accidental, the landlord's insurance should cover the structure itself, but your renters insurance for your apartment in Kettle Corner,RI, may cover more than you think.

Personal Belongings

If the things you own get damaged during a fire, your coverage should pay for restoration or replacement of those items. A renters policy can replace a variety of belongings:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Books

When you make a claim for your possessions, you want to make sure you get the replacement cost instead of the cash value of the lost items. This gives you the money you need to purchase new things rather than have to scrape together the difference between what your 5-year-old television was actually worth and what it would cost to get a replacement.

Temporary Relocation

When the place you are living is uninhabitable, your renters insurance may cover the expenses of finding a temporary place to live. It may take a few weeks for fire restoration specialists to completely repair the property so that you can move back in. In the meantime, your policy can save you the cost of having to come up with extra money for your family's lodging.

Injury to Others

Sometimes, your own neglect may be the cause of fire damage to the building where you live. In this instance, you may be liable for damages to the property or injuries that other sustain as a result of the fire. It's helpful in these situations if your renters policy includes some liability coverage so that you don't have to pay these expenses out of pocket.
Renters insurance can come in handy if there is a fire in your apartment. While most of the policy is likely focused on your personal belongings damaged by the fire, it may also cover other expenses.

3 Steps for Preventing Flood Damage

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Cowesett, RI area

Steps You Can Take to Prepare for Potential Storm Damage

The summer months often bring severe storms to the United States, leaving families across the nation struggling with homelessness or expensive home repairs. Even Cowesett, RI, isn't immune to the risk of flooding. When flood waters rise, the chief concerns of emergency personnel include

  • Limited access to clean water for drinking and washing
  • Wounds infected by contaminants in flood water
  • Downed electrical lines
  • Loss of communication and transportation

Fortunately, government agencies are pretty quick to resolve those concerns. You don't have to wait for flood damage to your home; there are steps you can take to prepare for potential storm damage and reduce the risk to your home.

One: Elevate Critical Systems

Before a flood has the chance to wreak havoc on your home, move utilities up as much as possible. For example, move your appliances and HVAC systems out of the basement. Position electrical panels, switches, wiring, and sockets as high as possible.

Two: Waterproof Your Basement

Contact a flood damage remediation professional for information about waterproofing the basement. Part of these efforts should include anchoring fuel tanks. Move heirlooms and family mementos to an upper floor. Consider adding a battery-operated backup system that can run your sump pump and look into the value of adding a water alarm to the basement.

Three: Complete Home Maintenance

You can avoid a lot of trouble by simply cleaning out the debris from the gutters and downspouts around your home. Storm damage, such as torn tree limbs, can add an extra element of danger to flood waters. It's also a good idea to consider landscaping changes that help your property absorb water faster and direct it away from the foundation of your home.

Every part of the country is vulnerable to flooding. It only takes one extreme storm to cause rivers to overflow or a single warm day to melt snow faster than the ground can absorb the runoff. Storm damage during the summer often brings several areas of risk. Use these three tips to protect your Cowesett, RI, home.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare an evacuation plan

3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

Fires can devastate businesses in Shawomet, RI, and though it's scary to think that your business could be affected by a fire, it's important to prepare for emergencies. Having a contingency plan in place can help to keep the people in your business safe and can help to protect your property.

1. Maintain Important Tools and Equipment

There are various tools and pieces of equipment that are often useful to have if a fire occurs, and it can be helpful to maintain these items. The fire alarms in your business should have the batteries replaced yearly, and the smoke detectors themselves should be replaced at least every 10 years. Keeping fire extinguishers in key locations, such as in kitchens or near electrical items, can also be helpful.

2. Back Up Essential Documents

For many businesses, it's important to have access to various documents after a fire occurs. Important documents, such as building permits or documentation of inspections, can be backed up on a cloud as part of your business's contingency plan. Providing these documents to your business's insurance provider and a fire damage restoration company can help to make the claims process as well as the restoration process easier.

3. Prepare an Evacuation Plan

If a fire does occur in your business in Shawomet, RI, it's often important to evacuate the building in a timely manner. Placing a visual guide that displays the escape plan around your building can be helpful to staff and visitors. It can also be useful to practice your escape plan routinely with your staff in order to answer any questions that your staff may have and to ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire occurs.

Fires can occur with little warning, and it's important to prepare your business for disasters of all types. Though you may never need to use your contingency plan, having one in place can help you be more prepared if a fire affects your business.

5 Tips for Water Damage Restoration

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water cleaning in Hoxie, RI

Five Steps to Get Your Company Back in Working Order

When your Hoxie, RI, business has to deal with water damage, it's important to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Here are five tips to help you get your company back in working order.

1. Contact a Professional

One of the first things you should do if your company experiences damage caused by water is to contact a professional restoration service like SERVPRO. These professionals have the training, tools and knowledge to deal with a number of flood damage related problems, and conduct any necessary repairs.

2. Thoroughly Dry the Area

The next step you will want to perform in the water cleanup is to thoroughly dry the area. This will help prevent any standing water from going stagnant, and keep it from soaking into areas where it can cause further damage.

3. Sanitize After Drying

Another step to perform after water damage is the sanitize any part of the property that has been affected. Doing so can help prevent any potential contaminants from settling into the building.

4. Inspect for Related Damage

The restoration team may also want to inspect for any related damages. This may mean possible sources of the flood damage such as broken pipes, as well as areas such as soaked carpeting or drywall, and damaged walls or flooring. These could lead to other issues if left unattended.

5. Check for Mold

The restoration team may also check for potential mold growth as spores like damp areas such as those commonly found after flooding has occurred. They cannot only locate potential growth spots, bur remove spores and help prevent further problems.
When dealing with water damage at your Hoxie, RI, business, the first thing you may want to do is contact a professional restoration service such as SERVPRO. These professionals can help you with every step of the process including drying the affected area, sanitation, and inspecting for any related damages. They may also check for potential mold growth. Once these steps are completed repairs can begin.

5 Steps To Take If a Pipe Breaks in Your Home

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Broken pipes can flood your home in Apponaug, RI

5 Steps To Take If a Pipe Breaks in Your Home

Dealing with bursting pipes in your Apponaug, RI, home is never a pleasant experience. There are, however, a few things that you can do to make the process go more smoothly. If you have experienced damage in your house, take the following steps.

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

Broken pipes can flood your home with a lot of water in a short amount of time. In order to minimize the damage, you should turn off the water supply to your house immediately until someone is able to fix the broken pipe.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent

Once you’ve stopped the water from flowing, you should contact your insurance agent to get started on the claims process. In most cases, bursting pipes will be covered by your homeowners insurance and they will pay for the necessary repairs.

3. Contact a Remediation Service

Because water damage worsens when it is allowed to sit, you should call an emergency restoration company to begin work as soon as possible. They will perform cleanup as well as the necessary repairs to both the source of the water and damaged areas and belongings.

4. Take Pictures

The restoration company may take pictures before beginning work, but you can take some of your own as well. Documenting the damage will help the claims process go more quickly.

5. Take Steps to Prevent Further Damage

In many cases, your insurance company will require you to take the necessary steps to keep water damage from becoming worse. If you fail to do this, some of the costs of repair may not be covered. To save both time and money during the restoration process, you should block off the area to keep water from spreading and move items to a safer location if possible.

Bursting pipes can cause quite a bit of damage, but following these steps can help you during this frustrating situation. Be sure to take action right away to prevent any bigger problems.