3 Leadership Tips for Inclement Weather
Be prepared for any type of storm, water or fire damage
When a snow storm hits West Warwick,RI, your business is likely to be affected. Worsening road conditions can cause traffic delays or even accidents. As the leader of the company, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your employees and your building stay as safe as possible.
1. Be Informed
You should always keep track of weather forecasts, particularly during storm season. You cannot plan for something you don't know is coming. Having a general idea of when to expect harsh conditions to arise can help you prepare. You can download a weather app on your phone so that this information is always at your fingertips.
2. Be Prepared
Have emergency supplies at the office just in case the snow storm arrives while people are still at work. Flashlights and extra batteries can be useful if the power goes out. Have a backup generator to tide you over until emergency crews can restore power to your building, and have the generator tested regularly so that you know it works. It's also a good idea to stockpile non-perishable food and water just in case people get stranded in the building.
3. Be Flexible
Have an alternative business plan ready for days when it's too treacherous outside to drive to work. If your employees are fortunate enough to make it home before the worst of the storm arrives, let them stay there and telecommute until dangerous conditions subside. Just because there are no people in the building, though, that doesn't mean you need to turn off the heat. Keeping the heater on low throughout the building can help you avoid having to hire remediation specialists to clean up after a pipe burst when the plumbing freezes. This protection is well worth the extra utility costs.
A snow storm doesn't have to disrupt your business too much. Plan ahead and have flexible, alternative ways to keep employees both safe and productive.
Flooded Crawl Space: The 4 Most Common Causes
Broken water supply line caused water damage to this Cranston,RI home
Several factors can cause a flooded or wet crawl space, and not all the potential issues are expensive to fix. Before going to the expense of calling in specialists, you may want to review the most common causes of crawl space flooding.
1. Incorrect or Inadequate Grading
Incorrect or inadequate grading of landscaping is one of the leading causes of crawlspace floods. If the ground is not appropriately sloped, then groundwater, sinking to the lowest point, may collect under your home. Ideally, you should have a 5 percent grade away from your home.
2. Clogged Downspouts and/or Gutters
Another common cause of a wet crawl space is a clogged downspout or gutter. When either of these items is clogged, they do not adequately direct rainwater away from your home. Instead, the water overflows and runs down walls, collecting in the crawl space. The general rule is that people living near trees should clean their gutters at least five times per year, with the focus on spring, summer and Fall.
3. Overwatered Landscaping
Overwatering your landscaping can be another cause of a crawl space flood, primarily if the lawn is not graded properly. While bushes, shrubs and flowers can be beautiful, they can lead to issues if not properly planted and maintained. Some plants, like certain trees and bushes, can even cause foundational problems, like cracks, which can also lead to the buildup of moisture in the crawlspace.
4. Broken or Leaking Water Lines
Water line damage is not always apparent, especially if there is only a small leak, but one leak can produce thousands of lost gallons in a single year. If you are experiencing persistent flooding in your crawl space, and if grading and routine maintenance are not resolving the issue, then it may be time to call professionals from the Cranston,RI, area.
A wet crawl space can be a frustrating problem, especially if you don’t know the cause. Typically, the cause can trace back to simple issues with grading or gutter maintenance, but if these common causes are not the culprit, seek professional assistance to inspect your water lines.
Water on the Brain: Troubleshooting Your Company’s Irrigation System Water Pressure
Water loss in Edgewood, RI
An irrigation system, especially a large one, can come with a fair share of irrigation problems, water pressure being the most common. If you are looking to troubleshoot typical water pressure issues, then look no further than the list below.
1. Check Backflow Device
While it may seem obvious to some, most water pressure issues stem from a valve that is not entirely in the on position. As valves are located above ground and near the exterior of the building, they can be accidentally or purposefully manipulated. The valve handle on the backflow device should be completely parallel with the pipe.
2. Check for Leaks
If the valve on the backflow device is in the fully on position, then check the zone that is ineffectively watering for signs of leaks. Several signs of a leak, aside from low pressure, are water coming up from the soil, divots or depressions, or saturated areas. Once you locate the approximate area of the leak, you can begin digging down to expose the pipe and repair the damage.
3. Check for Choked or Crushed Pipes
If you cannot locate any visible signs of leaking in your irrigation system, then you may have a choked or crushed pipe. A choked or crushed pipe can occur when roots grow around a line, or heavy machinery has compressed the soil. Search for the last fully functional sprinkler head and begin digging along the line because the damage likely occurred between this head and the malfunctioning head.
4. Call for Help
If you are having difficulty locating the damaged area of your system, or if numerous areas around your property are not working correctly, it may be time to call in an expert from the Edgewood, RI, area, as they may be able to resolve the issue a little faster.
A business depends on an irrigation system to maintain an attractive appearance, but low water pressure can be the difference between a green exterior or an arid one. Luckily, the steps above may be able to help restore your irrigation needs.
Your Options When You Don't Have a Flood Policy
Flooded warehouse in Warwick, RI
If you don't have flood insurance, and if your home was flooded recently, you be at a loss as to what to do. Flood restoration is costly, not to mention the cost of damage with which you're forced to deal. That said, you may not be entirely without options. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a government grant or, if not, qualify for a loan. Talk to your Warwick, RI, flood damage restoration team regarding your options. Some viable options may include the following:
- FEMA Grant
- SBA Loan
- Private Loan
The government offers up to $33,000 dollars per household for temporary housing, construction and repair costs for those who live in flood plane areas. These grants are designed to supplement what a flood insurance policy provides, though those without insurance still qualify. Most homeowners use these grants to replace uninsured belongings, make essential repairs and rent temporary housing.
If you do not qualify for a FEMA grant, or if you need more money than what the grant offers, you can always apply for a small business loan. The money is only for uninsured losses and if damage occurred to your primary place of residence. That said, the amount of the loan is pretty significant and can be as much as $200,000 for your primary place of residency.
If you do not qualify for a government grant and if you cannot obtain an SBA loan, your only option may be to turn to a friend or family member for help. If you have close connections, it is not unthinkable that the people in your life would be willing to help you in your time of need.
If you do not have flood insurance, you are not without options. Talk to your Warwick, RI, flood restoration team regarding additional financing options today.
Don't Wait To Mitigate
Mold damage on a bedroom wall in a Cranston, RI home
A home can flood for many reasons. Perhaps a weak spot in a pipe causes it to leak or burst. Maybe a toilet gets clogged and overflows. Excess rain can seep through cracks in the foundation and cause water damage in the basement. In every one of these instances, swift water mitigation is necessary for mold prevention. Mold occurs when stale air and organic matter and dampness combine to form the perfect environment for its growth. Robbing it of one of these elements significantly reduces the risk of it growing.
The tricky thing about having a busted pipe in your home in Cranston, RI, is that the problem is likely hidden from plain view. If a pipe bursts behind a wall, it can cause a lot of damage before you ever know there's an issue:
- Soggy insulation
- Compromised drywall
- Ruined ceiling tiles (if the busted pipe is upstairs)
- Flooded light fixtures
Look for the signs of leaks that occur behind walls and between the different levels of the house. Mold prevention may still be possible if you call in the experts as soon as you see dark spots on the ceiling or feel weak or mushy spots in the walls.
If your toilet gets clogged, a single flush can bury your bathroom floor in an inch or two of water. This water wastes no time seeping into the floor. If you simply wipe up the water you can see with a towel, you may be missing all the water that is beneath the surface. Mold growth in the grout on your bathroom floors means the grout will have to be replaced.
There's nothing you can do to prevent a lot of rain from falling, and there may not be much you can do to keep it out of your basement. If your basement does flood, call mitigation experts at once to keep mold at bay.
Mold prevention is more likely if you call technicians at the first sign of trouble. Don’t make a problem worse by dragging your feet.
Commercial Insurance: What Does It Cover?
Kitchen fire damage in a West Warwick, RI home
If you are a business owner who is looking to take out a commercial insurance policy on your West Warwick, RI, business, you may be wondering what it covers, especially where fire damage is concerned. As it turns out, there are several different categories of coverage that you can discuss purchasing with an agent that will protect you and your property in disasters such as fires. Some of these categories include the equipment inside the building, your building itself and other items inside your building. Educate yourself on all of these categories before making your coverage decision.
If you run a business with standard office gear, either owned or rented, most policies do cover its replacement in the event of a disaster. You will want to discuss specifics and premium price ranges with your insurance agent. Some of these items include:
- Office furniture (such as desks or chairs)
- Computers and other technology (including satellite dishes)
- Building signage, fences and other landscape items
Your Company Building
Most any commercial insurance policy will cover your building’s structural damage, whether or not you rent or own the property. Your insurance provider will consider various safety factors before setting your premium price. In the event of a fire, any damage will be surveyed after your claim to calculate how your coverage will be activated.
Your policy may cover other numerous items, depending on your business and price range. These could include:
- Any sales stock that you keep in-house
- Machinery used for business operations
- Business documents, such as legal papers or financial records
Ask Before You Buy
Ask your agent as many questions as needed to before deciding what commercial insurance policy is right for you. Many companies will want you to use a specific fire restoration service to clean up from the fire and restore whatever can be salvaged, so you may want to find out what company or companies you can use in the event of fire damage. Understanding your options will allow you to make the best choice for your finances and your business’s security.
Tips for Protecting Your Commercial Property During Storm Season
Roof damaged in a facility by storm in Meshanticut, RI
A winter storm warning in Meshanticut, RI, should be an alert that your storm season plan needs to go into effect. Storm damage can manifest as holes from wind or hail bombarding your building, floodwaters seeping into the foundation, a pipe break from frozen plumbing or a combination of multiple issues. If you take the following precautions, however, you are more likely to avoid some of the problems that can only be fixed by storm restoration experts.
The way your property is built is a good predictor of how well it will outlast a storm. A solid building envelope protects the indoor environment from outdoor forces. By having a sturdy roof, walls, foundation and joints, you can control some of the factors that are likely to cause damage:
- Air flow
- Heat conduction
- Water seepage
- Water evaporation
In addition to good construction, frequent inspections help to ensure that the building maintains its structural integrity. Assess your building envelope periodically, particularly during storm season, to make sure its first line of defense is intact.
The internal mechanisms of your commercial property can help keep it safe during a winter storm. Check your HVAC system to see if it is getting proper air flow to your whole building. This allows heat to permeate all the spaces that it needs to reach. It's also a good idea to make sure pipes are insulated, particularly those near external walls, to avoid a pipe break.
There are also outside factors for storm preparation. Keeping gutters and drain spouts clear of debris lets them function like they're supposed to function, directing excess precipitation away from your building. Landscaping can help, too. Flower beds should be planted on an incline that directs water away from the building's foundation, and you should avoid overwatering your plants, particularly those near the building.
No matter what kind of winter storm comes your way, preparing your building for the season can protect it from at least some storm damage. Maintain indoor and outdoor features to keep your building safe.
3 Causes of Basement Floods
Hardwood floor damaged by water in a Cranston, RI home
The basement in your home in Cranston, RI, may be susceptible to flooding from various sources. Several issues from the foundation of your home all the way up to the gutters on the roof can cause a basement flood. Here are some problems to watch for.
Cracks in Home
Water can seep into your basement through any crack that allows it access. There are several areas that could be vulnerable or have weak spots:
- Shifted or poorly laid foundation
- Improperly sealed walls and floors
- Drafty windows
If water has a way to get in, you are leaving yourself open to the possibility of a flooded basement. Make sure you get foundation repair if you notice cracks and that you re-caulk or re-seal any areas that need it.
Your basement flood could also be caused by improper drainage. If your gutters aren't cleaned regularly, they can become clogged and lead to flooding. Downspouts that point toward your house rather than away from it can cause water damage to your foundation and ultimately to your crawl space and basement. These floods are preventable with regular maintenance and care.
If the city's sewer backs up near your neighborhood, it's possible that sewer water can come back up through the pipes and into your basement. If this happens, you need to hire water remediation specialists not only to dry the area but also to clean it so that you know the microbes from the contaminated water have been eliminated. To prevent these nasty kinds of floods, it is a good idea to purchase devices that block whatever comes back through the pipes during a backup.
Sometimes a basement flood cannot be foreseen or prevented, but most of the time you can have measures in place to keep it from happening. With proper maintenance and emergency measures to thwart outside problems from becoming inside problems, you can protect your basement.
Quick Guide To Cleaning Your Belongings
Cleaning your belongings after a fire will help determine what can be saved or what is beyond repairs.
After a fire tears through your Cranston, RI, home, you have a lot of work to do. Not only do you have to make repairs to your damaged house, but you also have to start cleaning your other possessions. When you work with a fire cleanup professional, you can easily figure out what to do with each unique item. Use this quick guide to help you figure out what you need to throw away and what you can salvage.
Get Rid Of
There are certain things you won't want to throw out, but the truth is that high heat fires can permanently damage a lot of your belongings. Certain items, including the following, cannot be saved:
The drastic heat from the fire can alter the makeup of these items. If you try to eat food that has been super-heated, you may find a melty mess that has started to absorb some of the outer wrapping. It's best to simply throw away these items and start over.
The professionals you work with may try to salvage some of your porous belongings, like clothing and furniture. Sometimes dry-cleaning methods can remove the soot and odor. However, this category of items may also need to be thrown away.
Some of your possessions can get cleaned by your professionals. Some porous items can be saved with the proper content cleaning and restoration. Often, non-porous and non-perishable items can also be saved after fire damage. You will have to have almost all of your belongings professionally cleaned to ensure the soot and odor is removed. If you leave the soot on electronics, you may end up causing more damage when you go to use the item.
Figuring out exactly what you can keep and what you need to throw away can be challenging. Some items may have sentimental value for you, but it may still be best to get rid of the artifact. Professionals can often help you determine what can be saved and what's beyond repair.
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A Cut Above: When To Use a Flood Cut
Flood Cuts are performed to ensure area is dried preventing future damages
When storms rage in Cranston, RI, your home could be affected by the subsequent flooding that occurs. If the floodwaters rise to extreme levels, you may have to call water restoration specialists to protect your home from further water damage and mold growth. Part of the process they often use to replace damaged walls is a flood cut. A flood cut allows them to tear out the damaged drywall so that it and any waterlogged insulation behind it can be replaced.
When It Is Used
Not every flood calls for a flood cut. One of the criteria for determining if it is necessary is the water contamination level:
• Category 1 – clean water that can be safely consumed
• Category 2 – gray water that may contain viruses or bacteria
• Category 3 – black water that may contain harmful chemicals or sewage
If the water is clean and damage is minimal, technicians may not need to remove the wall. If the water is contaminated or the flooding clearly saturated the wall and probably everything behind it, the wall has to be replaced. Then a flood cut is necessary.
How It Is Used
Restoration professionals start by marking a spot at least 12 inches above the top of the wall's water damage. This is done to ensure that all the damage is removed. After it is marked, the flood cut is made. Every bit of the wall beneath the cut is removed. If the water damage has permeated the wall and dampened the insulation behind it, the insulation has to be replaced because it cannot be dried. Once every inch of damage has been removed, new insulation and new drywall can be installed, and your home in Cranston, RI, can start to look right again.
Any time flooding occurs, there is the possibility that professional restorers will need to use a flood cut to protect your property from further damage. Only by removing damaged walls can stronger walls replace them.
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