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Smart Ways To Handle a Basement Flood

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

View of heavy rains in backyard Heavy rains can cause a basement flood

When your basement floods, your first thought might be to spring into action. However, there are things you should do and things you should not do. Hasty action might not always be the best if you have flooding in Shawomet, RI. There may be hazards such as electrical currents and contaminated water present. Your smartest move could be to call in a water remediation team that is trained to take care of water in the basement. Not only will you and your family be safer, but the quicker professionals are on scene the quicker water can be removed. This will make a difference in salvaging everything from floors, carpeting, upholstery and electrical components.

Common Causes of Basement Flooding

A basement flood can happen through a variety of mechanisms and sources. Some common reasons water gets in the basement include the following:

  • Saturated ground
  • High rain amounts
  • Rising streams and creeks
  • A leaky water heater
  • A broken water pipe
  • Sewage backups

Because basements are often below the water table, moisture has a way of seeping into basements, especially if maintenance has been neglected. During the rainy season, your home could experience high moisture content. Older properties and those with a faulty foundation are more apt to see water coming into the home. Also, appliances and plumbing systems fail and result in an influx of water. Timely pipe repair and regular plumbing maintenance are important preventative measures you can take to prevent a flooded basement.

Best Methods for Cleanup

If the water in the basement is contaminated, cleanup personnel should take precautions and wear personal protective equipment. Water cleanup can be hastened with powerful wet vacs, industrial sump pumps, air movers and dehumidifiers. Hard to reach corners and areas behind walls can be reached with specialized equipment. Cleaning and sanitizing help remove odors and microbial organisms. Depending on the extent of the flooding, the final step of restoration could be relatively simple or could include major reconstruction.

3 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Grease Fires

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged walls after kitchen fire Kitchen fire in Hoxie, RI

3 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Grease Fires

Home fires can cause devastation regardless of the cause. However, a grease fire is a common type of conflagration that affects homes in Hoxie, RI. Since these kinds of fires occur frequently, it can be useful for homeowners to understand more about them.

1. Why Does Grease Often Cause Fires?

For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Grease and oil are commonly used in this area for many styles of cooking. Leaving a pan unattended or using too much heat can cause the oil to get too hot and catch fire. Since these types of flames can spread so quickly, fire cleanup and restoration are often necessary after the blaze has been extinguished. In these situations, homeowners may find it useful to contact fire damage restoration experts.

2. How Should You Respond to a Fire Caused by Grease?

Using the appropriate type of fire extinguisher is important with any type of flames. To extinguish fires caused by grease, Class B extinguishers are often best. If the fire is small and has not spread outside of the pan or pot it started in, you may also be able to stifle the blaze by quickly placing a lid on top of the pan. Though water is often useful to put out fires that are caused by paper or wood, water should never be used on a grease fire since this can fuel the flames.

3. How Can You Prevent This Type of Fire?

Fortunately, there are ways you can decrease the likelihood of grease causing a fire in your home. Keeping oil and grease at lower temperatures and knowing how much heat different types of oils can withstand may help you to prevent problems when cooking. Additionally, you should always remain present when cooking so you can make necessary adjustments to the heat and take quick action if necessary.
When you understand the role of grease in kitchen fires, you can be prepared to immediately respond. Once you take measures to prevent a grease fire, you are likely to feel more confident when cooking with oil and grease.

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump with dirty water in it Category 2 water can come from a failed sump pump

When it comes to water pipe repair, the type of water that's erupting from that broken pipe may matter more than you think. Water is classified into one of three categories. Category 2 is the middle distinction: not clean, but not necessarily hazardous to your health. Read on to learn more about this type of water and why classification matters.

Where Does Category 2 Water Come From?

Category 2 water is considered dirty because it's been used — meaning it's come into contact with people or it's been mixed with chemicals. It can come from a variety of sources, such as the following:

  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Failed sump pumps
  • Industrial equipment

Obviously, this is an incomplete list. In short, if the water was run through an appliance or other type of equipment, or if it came into contact with humans, such as through a break room dishwasher that now requires a water pipe repair, it's likely Category 2 water.
Because there can be a bit of uncertainty about its level of contamination, Category 2 water is often referred to as "gray" water. It's not clean like Category 1 water, and it's not contaminated with sewage, bacteria, or other toxins like Category 3, or "black," water.

How Should Category 2 Water Be Cleaned Up?

While there may be ambiguity about just how toxic Category 2 water is, the fact remains that it does contain microorganisms and is therefore potentially hazardous to humans and pets. For this reason, cleanup is best left to a professional water damage cleanup company. It will have the equipment and experience necessary to clean the flooded area quickly and safely.
If your commercial property in Apponaug, RI, has sustained water damage, it's best to act quickly. The water from a broken sump pump or water pipe repair might seem harmless enough, but the responsible move is to identify the type of water damage involved and enlist the help of professionals as needed.

When Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

There's a desk with a calculator, keys, eyeglasses and a sheet that says "renters insurance" Renters insurance only covers damage to the tenant's personal property

When Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

Black mold cleanup can be a costly and extensive process. However, rental insurance may cover some of the damage.
In general, renters insurance will pay for the cost of mold removal if the mold resulted from a peril covered by your policy. Typically, that means your policy will cover mold caused by:

  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Smoke
  • Ice, sleet or snow
  • Frozen pipes
  • Water heater damage
  • Air conditioner, heater or plumbing overflow

You can use this insurance to pay for repairs to personal items that were damaged by the mold. Your insurance reimbursement may also cover the cost of mold remediation services.

When Mold Damage Isn't Covered

There are two main causes of mold that are usually not covered by rental insurance. The first is if the mold was the result of your negligence.
Your renters insurance policy also may not cover mold that forms due to flooding or excess sewage. To make sure you are compensated following these disasters, get a separate flood policy and buy an endorsement that covers sewage backup.

Getting Compensation From Your Landlord

Typically, a landlord is responsible for any harm to the building itself, while renters insurance only covers damage to the tenant's personal property. In fact, your lease probably states that your landlord is not responsible for any damage to your items. Yet if your landlord's negligence causes a mold infestation, you may be able to sue the landlord for compensation.

The Value of Insurance Coverage

Even if your mold damage is covered by rental insurance, your insurer may only reimburse you up to a few thousand dollars. While this may cover the cost of mold removal, it may not be enough to repair or replace expensive valuables such as musical instruments or jewelry. You may thus want to consider getting endorsements for those specific items, as well.
Mold cleanup in Hillsgrove, RI, can be stressful. With proper renters insurance, however, you can make the process a bit less painful.

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.