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The Importance of Taking Care of Secondary Damage

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall torn up and it had mold behind it. Secondary damage from water Secondary damage in an East Natick, RI home.

When unwanted water spills into your home in East Natick, RI, it often introduces a cascade of problems. The source of the water leak should be stopped as soon as possible. The next step should focus on removing the water from the home. If standing water is allowed to remain in a home for too long, it can have a number of negative consequences. The presence of black mold in a house is almost always related to a moisture problem. In as little as 48-72 hours, mold can begin to grow into colonies and spread to other areas of the home. Water will also break down materials such as drywall and tarnish metal if given enough time.

Taking Care of Secondary Damage

A professional water mitigation team will arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster and begin to work on the main issue. The team of highly-trained technicians will also work to fix the following secondary issues:

  • Unpleasant odors
  • Black mold
  • Stains
  • High humidity levels
  • Hidden water damage

For some of the tasks, the workers may employ state-of-the-art technology to identify problems before they grow worse. Moisture can be detected behind walls by infrared cameras and mold can be tested in a laboratory to determine the best treatment methods.

Taking Care of Mold Damage
All visible evidence of mold, whether it is black mold or another strain of fungus, and its odors should be removed from the home. Mold containment prevents the spread and mold removal sucks up the microscopic spores and removes them from the home. Trace levels of mold may still be present in the home, but as long the area is cleaned and the unwanted moisture is taken care of the mold should not return. The goal of a good cleaning program is to return the home to its condition before a water spill. Your home should look and smell "Like it never even happened."

How Being Proactive Can Prevent Plumbing Issues

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater The water heater is another common source of plumbing problems

List of Items That Should Be Part of Regular Maintenance Checks

A broken pipe can have serious consequences for your Frenchtown, RI, business. You may have to close your building for repairs, which could affect your profits. That is why you should try to avoid plumbing problems.
While not all water emergencies are avoidable, you can reduce the risk of damage by having a professional perform simple inspections of your plumbing system. You can then be proactive about any issues you discover. Below is a list of items that should be part of these regular maintenance checks.

1. Water Pressure
The water pressure of your building should be between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch. Pressure that is too low could lead to complaints from your employees or customers. Pressure that is too high, meanwhile, could cause damage to your pipes.
2. Water Heater
The water heater is another common source of plumbing problems. Make sure that the valves are working properly, and that there are no leaks. You should also check the temperature setting.
3. Drains
You or your plumber should observe the flow rate of the various drains in the building. Consider getting a camera inspection of the drain lines to look for any roots. Clogged or slow drains can be addressed via hydrojets or power rods.
4. Corrosion
Corrosion could be a precursor to a larger issue. That’s because corroded pipes may soon no longer be useful. You should replace them immediately before they completely fail.
5. Valves
Shutoff valves are important during a water emergency. They allow you to turn off the water in certain sections of the building without shutting down the entire system. You should thus test the valves regularly and repair them if necessary.
By being proactive about plumbing problems in your building, you can prevent larger disasters. Still, even if you repair any minor issues promptly, a sudden emergency could still occur without warning. If the water main malfunctions or a pipe suddenly breaks, emergency restoration professionals can quickly clean up the property.

4 Ways To Prevent Mold From Spreading Throughout Your Commercial Building

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

A leaking pipe with a sign that says FIX THIS RIGTH AWAY Have leaks and drips fixed right away to avoid bigger problems in the future

4 Ways To Prevent Mold From Spreading Throughout Your Commercial Building

Because mold is a common fungus, you will likely encounter it inside your Warwick, RI, building at some point. It is spread via spores that you cannot see with the naked eye, so you might have a black mold problem before you even realize it. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep it at bay.

1. Clean Your Building Regularly
Black mold is not picky about where it grows. It could find a home inside walls, beneath carpeting, or even on hard surfaces. To prevent this fungus from growing into a colony, it is important to keep your building clean. This will help to remove the spores before they spread.

2. Repair Leaks Right Away
Mold needs moisture to grow. Even if there is only a small amount of water coming from a leaky pipe, this can contribute to fungal growth. Have damaged plumbing and roofs repaired as soon as you notice a leak. This will not only prevent mold growth but also water damage.

3. Keep Humidity Low
A leak is not the only type of moisture problem that can cause mold to grow. If the humidity levels inside your building are too high, the moisture can cover surfaces and allow mold colonies to form in these areas. Keeping windows open or using a dehumidifier are some ways that you can combat this problem.

4. Hire a Professional for Removal
If you already have mold in the building, do not try to remove it on your own. When done incorrectly, mold cleanup can actually cause the fungus to spread further. The area will need to be contained, and excessive growth should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent it from returning.
It is often easier to prevent the growth of black mold than it is to remove it once it has already appeared. If you do have a mold problem, contact a mold remediation company to take care of cleanup and removal. They will have the necessary equipment and experience to complete the process safely.

4 Ways to Prevent Damage During a Flood

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags for flood defense Use sandbags near doors and windows to keep moisture at bay

4 Ways to Prevent Damage During a Flood

Storms and bad weather in Kettle Corner, RI, can cause flooding which can damage your home. This type of damage can be severe, so it is best to prepare as much as you can. The following are a few things that you can do to help minimize the impact of this water on your house.

1. Inspect Your Home
If your house is already damaged, this can make any storm damage you experience even worse. Cracks in the exterior of the building and deteriorated door and window frames can allow moisture inside. If this happens, you could be dealing with mold growth and rotting materials later on. Perform a thorough inspection if you are expecting a storm, and make any necessary repairs.

2. Move Important Items
Flood damage will affect your belongings as well as the structure of your building. Absorbent materials and electronics can be permanently damaged if water enters your home. If your house has multiple levels, move anything you can to a higher floor. Otherwise, place important items on shelves and in airtight containers, if possible.

3. Clean Drains and Gutters
Leaves and debris can clog your gutters, making it more difficult for water to drain properly during a storm. This can cause the water to back up and cause damage to the walls and roof of the building. These should be cleaned regularly and kept clear.

4. Use Sandbags
While you may not be able to keep it from flooding, you can reduce the amount of water that enters your house. Use sandbags near doors and windows to keep moisture at bay. These will absorb water and help keep it from filling your home.
Using these tips can help you limit the impact that flooding has on your home. However, there may still be some damage. If this is the case, a cleanup and restoration service can help. They can remove water from the building and perform repairs on your house and belongings.

Preparing Your Company for a Fire

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor A proper evacuation strategy is arguably the most important part of a contingency plan

Preparing Your Company for a Fire

As a business owner, you want to assume that nothing bad will ever happen to your company's building. Unfortunately, a disaster can strike at any time. Fire damage, in particular, can often occur without warning. That is why you need to have a contingency plan in place.
In fact, most companies are legally obligated to implement an emergency action plan. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls for any business that provides or requires fire extinguishers to create an evacuation plan. The only exceptions are for companies where no one evacuates during a fire because all employees are trained to extinguish blazes.
OSHA requires an emergency plan to feature certain elements. They include:

  • Ways to report an emergency
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Ways to ensure all employees are present after evacuation
  • Emergency contacts

A proper evacuation strategy is arguably the most important part of a contingency plan. Make sure that your employees know a safe way out of the building. You may also want to keep respirators on hand so employees can protect themselves from smoke damage as they escape.

Other Features
While not required by OSHA, you may also want to include in your plan a description of the emergency alert system. You should also come up with a secure location where you can store important documents within or outside the office.

Once you have drafted your emergency plan, be sure to discuss it with your employees. You should then put it somewhere in the office where everyone can see it. You may also want to consider sharing the plan with emergency responders or fire restoration professionals in Cowesett, RI. This way, these organizations will know what to expect from you during and after a disaster.
A fire can cause severe heat and water damage to your property. A contingency plan can help you prepare for the worst. By being prepared in advance, you can minimize the harm to your employees and business.

The Best Techniques for Dealing With Contaminated Water

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed on a warehouse building Commercial warehouse flood damage in Shawomet, RI

The Best Techniques for Dealing With Contaminated Water

In the unfortunate event of a flood impacting your business in Shawomet, RI, it is important to practice caution with the flood water. It should be considered contaminated since it could contain germs, bacteria, chemicals, sewage, and other unclean substances. Untrained employees should steer clear of contact with potentially harmful black water. A professional storm response team has the experience, training, and equipment to deal with the situation. Trained and certified technicians will take the following actions:

  • Arrive on-site fast
  • Inspect and assess the situation
  • Create a plan of action
  • Wear PPE
    safely remove and extract flood water
  • Treat affected materials accordingly

The Importance of Standards

Two important organizations work to create high standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. The Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification and the American National Standards Institute are leaders in efforts to create voluntary standards for many areas of cleanup and recovery. They publish brochures with the recommended standards for such areas as water damage restoration, mold remediation and mold assessment. These standards have been developed through a rigorous process that involves many of the stakeholders in the cleaning and restoration field. These standards are considered by many to be best practices. Most are voluntary, but some standards have been adopted through state and federal regulations.

The Danger of Flood Water

When your company faces storm damage of any kind, a number of dangers are suddenly present that didn't exist before. Electrical systems pose a danger of electrical shock. Contaminated water has detrimental human health implications. Most employees are not trained in these matters and it is usually best to call in the professionals. Furthermore, the use of PPE should be used to protect everyone. These steps include wearing rubber gloves and face masks to prevent inhalation of harmful materials. A flood is a distressing event for your company, but with smart actions you can experience a full recovery.

Different Levels of COVID-19 Cleaning

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic that says here to serve here to help here to clean SERVPRO of East Greenwich/Warwick is here to help 24/7, 365.

Much like water damage categories, there are different levels of COVID-19 cleanings, precautionary, suspected, and confirmed. These differentiations determine protocol when it comes to providing preventative measures as well as cleaning & disinfection after someone within the building has tested positive. 

Precautionary/Preventative - cleanings are a measure taken when there has been no confirmed or suspected cases. 

Suspected/Person Under Investigation - cleanings happen when there is reasonable suspicion that the virus is present, or one or more people that have been in the building have been tested and are waiting for results.

Confirmed - cleanings happen after there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 onsite.

It is very important that property owners and business stakeholders recognize their own abilities, comfort levels, resources, and risk factors. While all stages require proper precautionary & intentional steps, the CDC has issued the following protocol in regards to , Confirmed cleaning & disinfection:

  • Workers must be trained to follow OSHA regulations
  • Proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) donning and doffing
  • Compliance with Bloodborne Pathogens and proper disposal of of regulated waste and PPE
  • Disinfectants used include - diluted bleach solutions, alcohol solutions, household cleaners followed by disinfectants, EPA registered household disinfectants

SERVPRO understands the immediate need for all stages, which is why we have made ourselves available 24/7 to offer disinfection services. We are able to offer disinfection services to buildings of all sizes, including residences for those in need. Please don’t hesitate to call our office for more information on proper protocol, pricing, and the products we are using.

We are available 24/7, 365 at (800) 734-0602.

Bread Is One of Mold’s Favorite Foods

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bread Virtually everyone has experienced bread mold

Virtually everyone has experienced bread mold. It won’t take long for a loaf a bread sitting in a pantry to develop mold, especially in warm and humid environments. There are some good, scientific reasons why bread is so attractive to mold:

  • It has a near-ideal moisture level for mold development
  • The basic ingredients of bread are perfect for mold growth
  • Most bread is kept in a warmer location, like a cabinet, which favors mold growth.

Mold Is a Form of Fungus

Fungus is essential to the functioning of the world. It’s actually neither a plant nor an animal, but instead is in its own biological classification, called a kingdom. These life forms can’t produce their own food like plants or go hunting for it, like animals. Instead, they live on other forms of life, leeching their nutrients directly from whatever it’s living on. Without fungi, virtually nothing in nature would ever decompose.

Fungus Growth Can Be Slowed, But At A Cost

There are some steps you can take to prevent bread mold, but they will impact the flavor somewhat. Most commercial bakeries use calcium propionate as a preservative. It retards the growth of mold and other microorganisms, extending the shelf life of food products. The FDA says it’s “generally safe to eat,” which is good because it’s used a lot. However, some studies have indicated that it may cause irritation in a small number of children. It may also cause headaches for some individuals, and some people say it affects the flavor of food.
To slow the growth of bread mold in homemade baked goods, you can store leftovers in the refrigerator. Inside the fridge, mold growth will be substantially slowed. However, it also tends to dry out the bread and reduce the natural flavor. Like many things in life, it’s a trade-off, but at least it’s a reasonable option.
If you have mold damage in your home, talk to a local mold remediation company in Hoxie, RI, about getting an inspection and starting the cleanup process. Once mold starts growing on building materials, you’ll really need an expert to determine the scope of the infestation.

Proactive Cleaning for Your Commercial Space

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says structure cleaning We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your commercial space needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at SERVPRO of East Greenwich/Warwick! (800) 734-0602

Taking Care of a Roof Leak

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

The building collapsed from the storm. Collapsed buildings Damaged roof in an Apponaug, RI building

Take Action and Consider the Following Three Tips

When the storm blew through Apponaug, RI, the intense, high winds potentially hurt the building's exterior, in particular creating a roof leak. These are not always obvious, often appearing down the road only weeks after water has built up in the ceiling. As a business owner, you'll want to have the rooftop inspected and repaired as soon as possible, avoiding major problems and potential shut downs. Protect your establishment. Take action, and consider the following three tips.

1. Get an Inspection
As soon as the system finishes, contact a roofer to look over the top, seeking any cracks, holes or missing shingles. These weaknesses need immediate attention, covered with a tarp to avoid additional water absorption. At this point, a water remediation team should be called and asked to evaluate any trouble. You'll need to understand how much moisture entered the ceiling and the rooms underneath. Tests can be done, determining humidity exposure as well as mold development.

2. Secure and Clear the Area
While the outside is tested, begin looking for any internal complications deriving from the roof leak. Is the carpet soggy? Are walls or ceiling tiles showing stains? Notify the crew of any issues. Then, work with them to safely remove electronics and furniture from the rooms, avoiding further loss. Do not allow others to enter; in fact, post signs warning of issues.

3. Seek Water Restoration
Your experts need to tear out any water-logged structure from the damaged roof. The section is repaired, and then the location needs to be dried thoroughly to avoid microbial growth. With that completed, cleaning occurs, along with an application of antimicrobial spray. Finally, the team begins to tackle repairing anything else that was ruined. Ceiling tiles and drywall get patched, and a fresh coat of paint is applied.
It's important to check for a roof leak anytime a severe storm passes through. By finding and fixing damage early, your company can minimize destruction.