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Beginner's Guide to the Three Types of Flood Water

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Beginner's Guide to the Three Types of Flood Water Commercial Flood Loss

When water floods into your Cranston, RI, home, you likely have a lot of thoughts and concerns. How much damage will there be? How long will the restoration take? Who should you call? It may take a while for you to get all of your questions answered, but working with a water damage restoration team may make the process a little simpler. This team of specialists will help you figure out which category your flood falls into:

" Clean Water
" Contaminated Water
" Sewer Water

Use this guide to better understand the different categories of water that may be in your home.

Category 1: Clean

Clean water usually comes from a broken supply line. A leaky faucet could also result in clean water filling your home. Typically, damage caused by this type of flood is normal water damage. You may have to dry out your possessions, but there should be little cleaning necessary. If this water isn't taken care of quickly, however, it can start to degrade into dirtier categories.

Category 2: Gray

As water becomes contaminated with bacteria and viruses, it changes into gray water. This type of flooding may come from overflow from appliances, like dishwashers and washing machines, or from sink drains and clean toilets. This type of contaminated water should not be ingested but otherwise shouldn't cause too much physical harm. If not addressed quickly, it can degrade into the final category.

Category 3: Black

Black water is the dirtiest flood source that can fill your home. This water may come from sewage backup, feces-filled toilet overflow and flooded rivers or streams. The cleanup process is typically more in-depth, and you may even have to throw away a lot of your possessions.

No matter what type of water fills your home, you want to take care of the issue as quickly as possible. The longer water is able to sit, the better chance there is of some type of contamination taking place. Working with a professional team is imperative whether you're dealing with clean or contaminated water.

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Do Tenants Have To Worry About Flood Damage?

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Do Tenants Have To Worry About Flood Damage? Commercial Water Loss in Building

When it comes to a rental property, there can be a lot of confusion about the type of coverage you need. Renter’s insurance usually encompasses different liabilities, aside from what an owner’s does. If you rent a commercial property, you may be wondering which protections you should and shouldn’t invest in. You never want to overpay on insurance; however, having the proper protections is also important.

1. Structural Damage

More often than not, you will not need structural damage coverage. This is something that the owner will have to cover a portion of. Structural damage refers to anything that can compromise the structural integrity of the building. It can also refer to damages to the building itself, such as softened walls, flooring and mold a professional service will have to tear out.

2. Material Damage

One reason you need renter’s insurance is due to property damage. The owner may be liable for structural damage, but you are responsible for your own possessions. For instance, any furniture or personal belongings that end up damaged in the flood are your responsibility.

3. Unusable Conditions

Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to take your work elsewhere for a while. When there is a severe flood, the damage sometimes makes a building unusable. If your commercial property has to go through restoration, then you may need to work somewhere else. Without renter’s insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for all of the expenses.

While there is some insurance coverage you can bypass as a tenant, flood insurance is not one of them. You do have to worry about flood damage, especially concerning personal property. Not all damages are going to be to the structure of the building. Personal belongings and cosmetic designs within the structure may need to be replaced. Without insurance, this can be costly and could even put your Cranston, RI, business in serious debt.

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How To Prevent Coffee Machine Mold

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

How often do people check their breakroom coffee machine?

It’s not as often as you think. While it’s not required that you clean out your coffeemaker every day, you do have to be careful of coffee pots that aren’t cleaned properly. The same goes for soda fountains and other drink machines. Any warm and wet place is prone to mold growth, and coffee machines are notorious for it. Here is the best way to get rid of mold in a coffee pot.


Once you think you might have mold growth in your pot, it’s time to act. How do you know that you have cleaned it out entirely, though? Follow these directions for keeping your pot clean:

• Fill the coffee pot’s chamber with vinegar and water
• Brew the vinegar and water, then turn off after 30 minutes
• Rinse the coffee machine twice


One of the best advantages you have to fight mold growth in the coffee pot is prevention. Do not wait until people in the office start to complain about a moldy smell. Keep in mind that while the machine uses hot water to clean itself, the water isn’t hot enough to sterilize it. Professionals suggest that you clean your coffee machine regularly, at least every two to three months.


There is a rumor going around that people don’t need to clean their drink machine. Just because you don’t have to wash it after every use doesn’t mean that it isn’t smart to clean it often. Also, machines such as coffee pots and soda machines can have leaks, and moisture can be trapped in the machine as well as in the areas surrounding it. All these issues can lead to mold and mildew.

Mold can happen anywhere in Edgewood, RI. It is especially common when it comes to those coffee pots in the breakroom. While most people use them, it’s important that you make sure they stay clean before and after brewing.

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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.


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.


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


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 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

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. 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.
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