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ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure. Ice Dam and How it Forms on a House and causes Water Leaks and Water Damage

An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime storm 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 chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! 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 panty hose 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.

Call SERVPRO of Providence at 401-941-5500. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Creating a Fire Restoration Timeline for Your Business

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

When your West Warwick, RI, business suffers fire damage, you may not be sure where to begin when it comes to making repairs and dealing with fire restoration plans. From the first moments after the fire to reopening your business, there is much to do. However, knowing how to proceed one day, week and month after the fire can help you get your business back to normal.

One Day After the Fire

The day after a fire, the first step you may want to take is to contact your insurance company before you touch anything inside the building. You can give them a variety of details as you file a report, such as:

• When the fire took place
• Whether the firefighters gave you a report
• Photos, if you were able to take any

Making a fire insurance claim as soon as possible can expedite matters and get you a return on your claim to pay for repairs faster.

One Week After the Fire

Once you make an insurance claim, the next step you should take over the following week is to ensure the property is safe for your employees and customers. You might need to close during fire restoration, so you may want to spread the word on social media and board up fire-damaged entrances. Keep your customers updated and offer them a projected reopening date, if possible.

One Month After the Fire

Once a month passes, you should have most of the damage cleared out, depending on the severity of the fire. However, your business might need smoke cleaning to remove stubborn odors. A company that specializes in fire restoration can remove smoky smells from your carpeting, walls, and other areas. Without this type of service, the smell of smoke may linger for months.

Knowing how to proceed when a fire damages your West Warwick, RI, business can help you get back on your feet. From the day after the fire to the final steps of repairing the damage, creating a restoration timeline may be helpful in tracking repairs and allow you to project a reopening date. 

How To Keep Your Home Fire-Safe When You’re a Smoker

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoking Habits

Smoking is a habit that thousands strive to kick each and every year for their own health and the health of their family and friends. However, cigarettes, cigars and other types of smoke-issuing tobacco products also have a huge impact on home fire safety, something many homeowners never realize until it’s too late. Unsafe use of cigarettes

• Is the leading cause of residential fires worldwide
• Annually causes around $7 billion of property damage in the US alone
• Is one of the biggest contributing factors to wildfires

Fortunately, even if you’re a smoker in Cranston, RI, there are still a few simple measures you can take to prevent your home from becoming a cigarette fire statistic.

Smoke Outdoors

A cigarette fire most commonly takes hold in furniture, rugs, carpets and other flammable household belongings. Smoking in outdoor spaces means less chances for cinders to spread into blazes and reduces the likelihood that you’ll be paying for fire cleanup services later on. Furthermore, smoking outdoors means you won’t need to worry about smoke removal and deodorization before moving.

Keep Ashtrays at a Distance

Even when you’re smoking outdoors, try not to keep your ashtrays too close to the house. The ashes and cinders that these dishes collect may not always be entirely dead, and they could reignite with the right conditions. An ashtray fire that’s not caught early enough can cause just as much damage as any other fire.

Consider Alternatives

Finally, if you’re not ready to give up nicotine but you’re worried about your habit’s impact on your home, consider using alternative smokeless products. For example, e-cigarettes (or vapes) have emerged in recent years as a cleaner, less dangerous way to indulge in a nicotine fix without the risk of smoke and hot ashes.

Reducing the likelihood of a cigarette fire occurring on your watch. Taking each of these steps can help to make smoking a little safer on the home front.

Visit our website for more information about fire damage.

A Guide to Cleaning Sewer Backup

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

If you live in an area prone to strong storms, you probably already realize sewer backup is an occasional side effect of such storms. Black water that makes its way into your basement or other parts of your Cranston, RI home is no fun to clean, but the faster you handle it, the safer your home and family are sure to be. Use this quick guide to help you with the cleaning process.

Be Safe When Cleaning

Sewer water contains fecal matter and other bacteria, so it is important to take safety precautions. Before you begin cleaning, ensure your children and pets cannot get into the area. Always wear protective clothing and gloves while cleaning contaminated areas. Wash your hands frequently, and wash the clothes you wear during cleanup by themselves.

Control the Moisture Problem

When rain water causes a sewer backup, the area will, of course, become soaked. Remove as much moisture as possible to lower humidity levels throughout your home. You can use a pump, wet vacuum, mop or sponge, depending on how serious the problem is. Open doors and windows and use fans or a dehumidifier to finish drying the area.

Remove Contaminated Items

While the affected space is airing out, remove any absorbent material that came into contact with the sewage. If you cannot clean and disinfect it thoroughly, throw it away. This typically includes:

• Books
• Cosmetics
• Food
• Pillows
• Medical supplies
• Stuffed animals

You may also need to remove furniture, unfinished wood and carpeting. The carpeting may be salvageable if you can successfully steam clean it.

Clean, Disinfect and Dry the Area

Once you remove everything, it is time to clean. Use dish soap or another mild detergent on hard surfaces, being sure to mix it with hot water. Once the area is clean, you can disinfect it with a bactericidal household cleaner or a bleach solution of one-half cup bleach per gallon of water. Let the solution remain on the surface for at least a minute, and keep the area well-ventilated during this process. Once the area is disinfected, replace the dehumidifiers and fans and keep the windows open until the area is completely dry and free of sewer backup.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROcranston.com for more tips with water loss and restoration emergencies. 

Understanding the 3 Types of Contamination

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with an issue of flooding or contaminated water in West Warwick, RI,  it can be helpful to know commonly used terminology in cleanup and insurance settings. Knowing what kind of water has gotten into the home can determine the necessary sanitation processes that will need to be carried out by water removal specialists.

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water usually comes from either your home’s supply line or your water heater. This type of water is not directly toxic in terms of human exposure. For this reason, cleanup procedures are usually limited to thorough drying, dehumidifying and ensuring that places such as floors and walls have not been affected by water. Even in the case of clean water flooding, you should still phone a water removal expert to make sure all the water gets out.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water, or gray water, usually comes from appliance leaks, such as from a washing machine. The water has been affected by clean and dirty chemicals, so extended exposure or drinking can be harmful, but minimal exposure should be harmless. Sanitation is often required in category 2 cases; this constitutes the primary difference between category 1 and category 2 flooding issues.

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 contaminated water, also known as black water, is very toxic, often coming in from sources outside the home. This type of flooding requires extensive rehabilitation work, and professional sanitation is a must. With this type of cleanup, the utmost caution must be taken to prevent illness.

When phoning a local water removal expert to help with flooding, it will be important for them to know what category of water they will be dealing with. Knowing these three categories can help speed the process of home restoration after exposure to contaminated water.

Our webpage has more information on water damage at http://www.SERVPROcranston.com.

What Qualifies as Category 1 Water Damage?

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

When you are dealing with a broken pipe in Washington, RI, it’s important to understand what kinds of hazards are posed by exposure to the water. A burst supply line is typically called “category 1” unless there is reason to suspect that the water in the line was not safe for human consumption, like when water is from a supply marked as non-potable. In other words, it’s clean water.

Criteria For Classifying Category 1 Water

Category 1 water is water that is safe for human consumption. That means it fits all the following criteria:

• There are no harmful microorganisms that could cause health problems with interior or exterior exposure.
• Water is not contaminated with chemicals that make it an irritant to the skin.
• There are no chemicals contaminating it that make it unsafe to drink.
• No biological waste contamination is present in the water.

While category 1 water is considered clean water, it’s important to keep in mind that exposure to building materials and other contaminants over time can degrade the quality of the water. Depending on how unsafe it becomes, it can eventually become category 2 or even 3. Timely cleanup processes can prevent the health risks and long-term damage that comes from the length of exposure that causes water quality to degrade.

Making a Plan For a Category 1 Water Emergency

Luckily, since category 1 water is not considered hazardous to people, exposure is not an issue. When you have a supply line break in Washington, RI, you can take the time to move items out of the affected area if possible, and there’s no reason to worry about decontamination before drying and using lightly affected items. Of course, there are still risks inherent in clean water damage, so you’ll want to call in professionals to repair the line and dry clean the area. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that secondary damage and water quality degradation will escalate the situation.

http://www.SERVPROcranston.com has all the information you need for your commercial water loss. 

Mold Damage After Flooding

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Damage After Flooding

Mold growth is a significant danger even after you remove standing water from your a property due to flooding in Cranston, RI. Bacteria in the water leaches into the porous materials in the structure and, if not removed, can cause structural issues.

What Are the Dangers?

Mold spores begin to grow and multiply in a space of 24-48 hours. Within 72 hours, colonies can develop. While mold spores are always present in the air around you, colonies are a different matter. Serious mold growth will permanently alter the look of some materials, and while they’re active will emit an unpleasant odor and have an effect on the respiratory systems of those in the space.

How Do I Prevent Mold?

Mold grows best in a damp environment, so the most effective step you can take is to remove excess moisture quickly. Pumping out and vacuuming up the standing water is a good first step, but be sure to follow through with thorough dehumidification. Water easily soaks into porous materials and won’t dry out properly without the appropriate actions on your part. Some materials may need to be removed and replaced if they can’t be dried correctly from the inside out.

What Else Can Be Done?

Following water removal and dehumidification, air filtration and mold containment may be required. Mold travels easily through the air, so filtering out the air to remove the spores can keep the problem from spreading into hard to reach places.

Mold causes significant damage to a property. Mold colonies will not only affect the aesthetics of a space, leaving discolorations on walls and ceilings and causing an odor, but will also negatively impact the health of those spending time in the area. After a flood, be sure to take steps to mitigate mold growth quickly in order to avoid a problem.
Visit http://www.SERVPROcranston.com for more information on mold damage.

Eliminating Mold Odor From Your Home

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Eliminating Mold Odor From Your Home

Mold infestations are unsightly and often have a foul odor. Home restoration experts in Cranston, RI have several different methods to remove mold and prevent it from returning. Everyone should have a clean and safe place to live. Advanced technologies are ensuring that your home can be significantly more protected from contamination after just one phone call.

Causes of Mold Odor

Mold typically sprouts in areas of high moisture. A musty odor often pervades the room that alerts homeowners that an examination is needed. Three common causes of mold odor include:

Water damage
Mycotoxin released into the air
Bacteria buildup

Water damage might include a broken pipe or stagnant water after a flood. Water seeps into wallpaper or carpeting, making it fertile ground for mold growth and causing material to rot. When mold matures, it releases spores into the air that contain mycotoxin, toxic particulates that can settle into your food or drinking water. Apart from removing the mold itself, professionals can filter your air to eliminate mycotoxin.

Mold Remediation Techniques

After an examination, mold experts can decide on one of several techniques to conquer a mold problem. They utilize specialized equipment, such as:

HEPA air filtration devices
Ozone generators
High power fans

Since bacteria thrive in wet environments, the first goal of a professional should be to fix the underlying water issue. They often remove the existing mold with chemicals, then thoroughly dry the area with fans. To make air healthy for breathing, they might use a HEPA air filtration device that captures harmful particulates in a fine mesh filter. Or, they might bring in an ozone generator that releases trioxygen to destroy pollution.

The offensive odor accompanying mold infestations can be removed with the help of a professional restoration team. To make your home safe for living, professionals in Cranston, RI use advanced remediation techniques to stop mold in its tracks. Visit http://www.SERVPROcranston.com for more information on mold.

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan

Is your family prepared in case of an emergency? Fire can break out at any time and is almost always unexpected. Protect your family by creating a fire escape plan that helps to ensure safety when necessary.

Involve the Entire Family

The entire family should be a part of making your household's escape plan. Go through each room together to determine which exits are viable and which need to be unblocked. If you have young children in the home, consider drawing a floor plan. On the plan, mark at least two exits per room. Use a different color to mark where the smoke detectors are. Hang the plan in each child's bedroom.

Account for Small Children and Pets

Remember, not everybody will be able to get out on their own. If you have toddlers, newborns, elderly or furry family members, account for them in your emergency escape plan. Does the dog usually sleep in the living room? Consider moving him closer to the bedrooms in case of fire in the middle of the night. In your plan, you must also decide who will get children or elderly family members during an emergency.

Designate a Meeting Place

Your fire escape plan should end with a designated meeting place. This meeting place makes it easier for you to count heads and determine if everyone made it out safely as you wait for the fire department. If you live in a neighborhood, use a trusted neighbor's house as the meeting place. If your home is rural, choose a tree or another landmark that is far enough away from the house to be safe but close enough that people won’t get lost trying to find it in the dark.

Once you are finished creating your plan, be sure to practice it. Have your family walk through your fire escape plan in Cranston, RI several times and from several different rooms in the home to ensure everyone knows what they should do in case of a real emergency. Visit http://www.SERVPROcranston.com for more information on fire.

How to Survive a Commercial Fire Damage

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

How to Survive a Commercial Fire Damage

Fire damage can occur on anyone’s property. Regardless what the amount of damage is (great or small), you should seek professional fire damage restoration services. Fire damage can take many forms, smoke damage and structural damage being the most prevalent.

After the occurrence of a fire in your home, you will likely be shocked and worried while thinking of what step to take next. Additionally, the fire-fighters’ team may have caused a great deal of water damage on your property. You need not worry. You can contact a professional fire restoration company near you and the restoration experts will be at your doorstep in no time. These companies are open 24hours, 7 days a week.

When fire damage, soot damage, and smoke damage occur in your place of business, it is crucial that a restoration company responds to your call as quickly as possible for fire cleaning. Any delays could lead to an extensive level of damage that could be defined as “secondary damage”. Consequently, the restoration services will be more costly, a result that needs to be avoided in a business.

Fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage are all incidences that cannot be predicted. The fact that it can occur at any time demands that fire restoration companies be operational 24/7. Utility room fires may cause the most damage to your business that may extend to other buildings especially if associated with an electrical fire.

Below is a fire restoration process applied by commercial fire damage restoration companies:
Fire Restoration Process
1. Emergency contact
The first thing you will need to do in case of a fire incidence is to contact a restoration company that will eventually send its experts for assessment purposes. As you do this, you should ensure the electricity supply system is checked in case of a utility room fire and main input switched off in case it was an electrical fire.

2. Fire damage assessment
The experts will conduct a thorough assessment of your property to determine the cause of the fire, its source and the possible remedies. For instance, a utility room fire can most likely be linked to an electrical fire because most operations apply electric energy.

The fire sprinkler system in your place of business will have caused a lot of water damage. This is made worse when a firefighter uses the fire truck and fire hose for fire suppression.

3. Water removal and drying
Commercial fire damage is very detrimental considering the elevated levels of smoke damage, soot damage and water damage associated with it. During the restoration process, a water pump and extractor is used to remove the excess water from your property before further drying methods are applied. Dehumidifiers are also used since the fire sprinkler system leaves almost everything soaked as fire suppression is conducted.

4. The elimination of smoke and soot from your walls, ceiling, and floors.
Smoke damage and soot damage are a nuisance as they leave your property looking unsightly. Smoke damage and soot damage, therefore, can be solved by cleaning the affected areas using the right equipment and products for efficiency. Depending on the soot, either dry sponges or wet cleaning will be used to restore the building.

5. Cleaning and sanitizing
A commercial fire damage incident is likely to bring the need for cleaning and sanitization during the restoration process. The equipment, furniture, and rooms are cleaned and sanitized to ensure that no signs of fire damage, smoke damage, or soot damage are visible. The water poured on the property by the fire sprinkler system or the fire hose connected to the fire truck of the fire fighter is also dried completely. Air duct cleaning equipment is used to ensure your place is freshened for business.

6. Restoration
Repainting, repair, reconstruction, and other renovation steps are conducted last. If there was a utility room fire or an electrical fire, the walls and other damaged property undergo renovation.

Now you know what to do in case you find yourself in need of fire restoration services after a commercial fire damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROcranston.com for more information on commercial fire damage.