Recent Posts

3 Alternatives to Using Sand Bags for Flood Prevention

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Man extracting water with vacuum on a commercial building Water extraction after storm damage.

Try The Following Three Alternatives

When you live and work in Lippitt, RI, you expect to have to deal with flooding from time to time. In order to prepare your business, you watch the news carefully and run out for sandbags to build dams around your business. You've often wondered: is there a better way? While this method of flood prevention has its merits, it's not very convenient or cost-effective. Here are three alternatives to try instead.

1. AquaFence 

If your business is located in an office park or strip mall, you're not the only business owner interested in flood damage prevention. This product is meant to protect large areas, like city blocks, so have everyone pitch in for this one. Once you have it, it takes a few people to set up and can then be stored away for the next emergency.

2. HydraBarrier 

For your stand-alone business, something like the HydraBarrier might make more sense. Each of these barriers replaces several sandbags and uses water to fight the water. You quickly fill the bags with water to create flood dams around your business. Drain them when you're finished and store them for later.

3. QuickDam 

The QuickDam is the most easily deployed option available. This superabsorbent material pulls in water to create a barrier. You can stack them for high water protection. Once floodwaters recede, the material will shrink back to its original size so that it, too, can be reused.
While sandbags may be cost-effective in the short term or for infrequent flooding, water barriers that can be reused from flood to flood and year to year are ultimately more beneficial for your bottom line. No barrier is perfect and it is likely that in the event of a significant weather event, your business may suffer from flood damage. Contact a water damage restoration company to help with repairs.
In places that flood frequently, alternative flood dams will be better for your business and for the environment.

3 Tips for Recovering From a Fire

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Thick smoke engulfs a home, foreshadowing the blazing destruction to come. Home fire in Coventry, MA.

Steps To Recover From A Home Fire

Has your home in Coventry, MA, suffered from a fire? While you wait for a fire cleanup specialist to arrive, here are some steps to take to get things back to normal.

1. Take Care of Yourself
It may sound trivial or like a joke, but one of the most important steps to take after a fire is to take time to care for yourself and your family. If you are able, try to eat balanced, healthy meals and drink plenty of water. If at all possible, try to maintain your normal routine. All of these steps allow you to maintain a sense of stability after suffering from a fire. Allow yourself to grieve and feel; a home fire is a serious loss and it's important to treat it as such.

2. Salvage
Although many precious items may have been lost in the blaze, it's usually not a complete loss. Exercise caution when retrieving items, as some areas of your home may be unstable. When looking to clean items impacted by smoke damage, use a mixture of 4-6 tablespoon of tri-sodium phosphate and one cup of bleach for every gallon of warm water. For further fire cleanup, clean your walls from bottom to top to prevent streaking. Additionally, lessen your chances of mold growth by wiping down wet surfaces with a ratio of one cup bleach to one gallon of warm water.

3. Request a Fire Report
The last thing anyone wants to do after a devastating fire is to mess with logistics and insurance companies. One of the easiest ways to get started with your insurance company is to request a fire report from your local fire department. This report gives needed information about the cause of the fire and provides a legitimate source of proof for your insurance company.
Fire cleanup is not an easy process, but with some support and knowledge, things are a bit easier.

How To Prevent a Pipe Burst: 4 Tips for Avoiding Frozen Pipes

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

house attic insulation - construction worker installing rock wool in mansard wall Insulate the attic of your home.

Here Are Four Tips

If you are a homeowner in Washington, MA, knowing how to prepare your residence for every season can help you prevent common weather-related damages. In the colder months, some of the most common problems people report to water damage remediation experts involve frozen pipes. Because of this, knowing how to keep your piping warm through wintertime can end up saving you a lot of time and money down the road. Here are four tips.

1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!
Whenever you encounter a pipe freeze, you run into the risk of it bursting. For this reason, you should insulate the crawl spaces and attic of your home to keep exposed pipes warm. When it comes to insulating these areas, less is never more. For more protection, add more insulation.

2. Tape Them Up
In addition to insulating different areas of the house, you also want to protect the actual pipes themselves by wrapping them up with heat tape. Be sure to use products that have passed third party testing, and follow any manufacturer instructions.

3. Seal Leaks
Another common cause of frozen pipes is when air is able to leak into the space where piping is. Whenever the temperatures are low enough, even a little bit of air can quickly lead to a pipe freeze. As such, you should promptly seal any leaks you notice near pipes, electrical wiring, or dryer vents using caulk or another form of insulation.

4. Keep Water Flowing
One of the best ways to prevent freezing is by keeping the water flowing. If you can let water drip overnight, even a trickle can be enough. Additionally, if your pipes are already frozen, it does not mean you have a pipe burst. If a freeze occurs, try turning on the water and leave the faucet on even if the water does not come out. Call a professional if you need further assistance.
When the temperatures drop, knowing how to avoid frozen pipes in your home can save you a lot of headaches. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to keep your residence protected.

Why Insurance Agents Should Work With Storm Restoration Services

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse Flooded warehouse in West Warwick, MA.

Why Insurance Agents Should Work With Storm Restoration Services

Property damage after a storm can be catastrophic and costly. If a storm strikes your area in West Warwick, MA, you will likely be flooded with calls from insurance clients looking for help. Working with reliable storm restoration professionals can help ease the process and ensure that all of your clients have their needs met.

1. Quick Response
A storm response needs to be quick in order to be as effective as possible. Returning a structure to a physically stable state, removing flood water, and cleaning the debris left behind should all happen quickly in order to establish safety and prevent mold growth from starting. If mold is prevented, this lessens additional damage and lowers the cost of cleanup. Restoration specialists like SERVPRO pride themselves on their quick response to every type of disaster.

2. Trained Professionals
Storm restoration specialists are trained in responding to every type of storm. Whether it's a hurricane, flood, snowstorm, or tornado, they know how to deal with the damage. After a storm, there is rarely just one type of damage to a structure. There might be wind damage to the siding and water damage from flooding in the basement. These damages require different types of cleaning and repairs. Restoration specialists know how to catalogue and deal with wind damage, flood damage, and more simultaneously. This eliminates the need for multiple specialists working on the same restoration.

3. A Network of Resources
Working with a restoration specialist with a corporate system in place like SERVPRO connects you and your clients with a large national network. Disaster response teams located throughout the country can mobilize and help where and when they are needed. With many clients in the same area needing assistance at the same time, having a large network to draw from after a storm can be highly beneficial.
Recovery from storm damage involves specialized cleaning, repairs, and often rebuilding. Undertaking these tasks in a timely manner is extremely important to help prevent further damage. A storm restoration specialist like SERVPRO can help speed up the claims process and help your clients recover every step of the way.

How To Troubleshoot Your Commercial Sprinkler System

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Broken sprinkler in the lawn, water clogging. A broken irrigation system can wreak havoc on your landscape.

Troubleshooting Tips

Once you bought your irrigation system for your commercial property, you may have stopped thinking about it. You figured that the sprinklers would run smoothly and that you could focus on other aspects of your Oaklawn, MA, business.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Irrigation problems can occur. Water could stop flowing to one part of your landscape, causing the bushes and grass to die. Malfunctioning sprinklers may even cause flooding that necessitates emergency restoration services.
If your sprinklers do stop working, you can limit the water damage by fixing the problem right away. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

No Pressure
A zone failure occurs when one section of the sprinkler system no longer functions properly. Issues with any of the following could be a sign of zone failure:

  • Solenoid
  • Valve
  • Wire
  • Timer

The electrical impulse may be the source of the irrigation system breakdown. You can use a voltmeter to test this impulse. Start by checking the wires operating the timer. Then move on to the solenoid.
It is not just electrical issues that cause failing zones. A tree root could also block the pipes in one area of the property. You may have to trim the tree or kill the roots to solve this problem.
Sometimes, the entire sprinkler system malfunctions. If this happens, start by making sure all the valves are open. You should also use a wire locator to see if there are any cuts in the wires.

Low Pressure
If the water is flowing but the pressure is low, you should again check the solenoid. It could be loose or clogged by debris. The flow control valve may have also destroyed the diaphragm.
A broken irrigation system can wreak havoc on your landscape. You could end up with brown grass or a flooded building. Troubleshooting any issues immediately should limit the harm to your property.

How To Avoid a Mold Problem in Your Building

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold remediation specialist inspects walls Schedule a building inspection

Excess moisture can lead to a mold formation at your building in Meshanticut, MA. Although mold exists inside all buildings, routine measures, including air duct and carpet cleaning and periodic structure assessments, can keep mold spores from spreading and causing mold problems.

Schedule Inspections

A critical part of preventing mold from overtaking your building's internal spaces involves addressing potential leak sources, including:

  • A damaged roof
  • A faulty HVAC unit
  • A stressed plumbing system
  • An insufficient door or window seal

Scheduling building inspections can lead to repairs that ensure excess water does not enter your building.

Monitor Moisture Levels
If your building is situated in a high humidity region, tracking humidity levels is vital in preventing mold problems. Relying on well-maintained dehumidification systems is one of the best ways to control moisture levels and prevent conditions leading to mold growth.

Give Carpets Attention
Working with your building's maintenance staff to keep high traffic areas clean is necessary to keep mold spores from spreading throughout your building. Daily carpet cleaning with a HEPA vacuum can extract microscopic spores from carpet fibers vulnerable to moisture retention after repeated contact with wet shoes. Entry mats strategically placed near doorways can contribute to keeping carpets dry and preventing mold problems.

Replace Old Systems and Parts
If your building is old with a complex plumbing system, you should schedule routine plumbing inspections and replace old pipes at risk of bursting. Faulty plumbing can cause gallons of water to pour into your building's interior, where it can saturate furnishings, equipment and spaces within walls and ceilings. Professional water extraction services can dry out your building's interior, but this may not be enough to prevent costly building repairs from mold damage.
Invisible mold spores can be challenging to detect in your commercial building, but keeping them from spreading uncontrollably through system maintenance, carpet cleaning, humidity monitoring and other measures, can ensure your building's healthy and clean environment.

How To Make Sure Your Insurance Covers Sewage Backup

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage backup in a bathroom Sewage cleanup needed in Edgewood, MA

How To Make Sure Your Insurance Covers Sewage Backup

When you think of sewage or septic problems, you likely think of an overflowing toilet. Yet exterior flooding in Edgewood, MA, could lead to sewer backup, as well. In fact, there are several different causes of sewage floods in your home, such as:

  • A blockage occurring in a city sanitary main
  • Rainwater entering the basement through foundation cracks
  • Tree roots preventing the flow of water in the pipes

If any of these problems occur, dirty water from the sewer can then enter your basement and cause extensive damage. While this type of loss is not covered under typical home insurance policies, you can easily obtain an endorsement.

How Do You Get Sewage Backup Insurance?
Most insurance providers offer a rider that lets you add sewage backup coverage to your current policy. The cost is typically an extra $40 to $160 each year. The exact cost depends on your deductible and the amount of coverage you request.

What Do You Do After a Sewage Backup?
While you hope you will never have to use your sewer backup insurance, you may not be this fortunate. If sewage does enter your property, you should file a claim immediately. Make a list of any damaged items and take before and after photos of the harmed areas.
Sewage water is often full of bacteria and can encourage the growth of mold. The fluid may also put you at risk for electrical shock. You should thus rely on sewage cleanup specialists to restore your home. They will use wet-vacuuming and other techniques to eliminate the standing water. They will also steam-clean drapes, disinfect plumbing fixtures, mop floors, and repair walls. Your insurance money should cover the remediation, so save your receipts from the restoration company.
Without proper insurance, you may have to pay for expensive home repairs after a sewer backup. Talk to your adjuster to get a rider added to your existing coverage.

5 Tips for Clearing Your Drains

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Chemical agent used to unclog some pipes. Digital illustration. A stopped drain is not fun

Learning to clear a drain is important to avoid disasters like a pipe break.

Follow These Tips To Clear A Drain Effectively

1. Use the Right Tool
To do this task, you probably will need more than a coat hanger. Instead, you should have a snake. Make sure that you get one that has plenty of length. How thick you need is based on your Comstock Gardens, MA home's clog. While you are getting this, you will probably want to pick up a pair of rubber gloves and a bucket.

2. Use the Tool Right
Most people think it will be easy to fix a clogged drain with a snake. This is not the case. Be sure to follow the instructions for your snake exactly to unclog your drain.

3. Add Hot Water
If your drain is still clogged after a proper snaking, you should run hot water through it. This will mean heating water up until it is almost boiling on the stove. Then, slowly pour the water down the drain. This will help break up and rinse away the clog.

4. Use an Extra Boost
If the water doesn't work, add half a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar to the water and try again. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before trying to run water through the pipe. This tends to be a very effective method.

5. Use Chemicals
When all else fails, and your drain is still clogged, some chemicals can help with the job. Although caustic soda is potentially harmful, it will bust through most clogs. Mix 3 cups of caustic soda with almost a gallon of water. Stir the mixture and let it fizz. Then, pour it down the drain and let it sit for 20 minutes to get rid of the clog.
A stopped drain is not fun. It is important to learn how to fix them so that you don't have to worry about water damage and hiring a professional remediation company. Follow these tips to clear a drain properly. These will get your drain working again.

4 Fire Prevention Tips

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door An escape plan is a crucial part of your fire safety plan

Ways To Prevent A Fire In Your Commercial Building

A fire in your commercial business in Cranston, MA, is something many don't want to think about. However, fire prevention is an important topic that business owners should think about when thinking about the overall safety of their building. There are many ways to prevent fires in a commercial building.

1. Minimize the Risk
There are many ways to minimize the risk of a fire in your commercial building. You should keep flammable objects, such as papers, files, curtains, and cleaning supplies away from any space heaters or other heating objects. If you have a kitchen or break room, practice safe cooking practices, and make sure your employees are aware of fire safety practices.

2. Install Fire-Safety Tools
Smoke alarms and sprinkler systems are crucial in fire prevention and minimizing damages of fires. Especially within a commercial building, building-wide sprinkler systems can help keep everyone safe. In addition, be sure to keep smoke alarms up to date with regulations, including changing the batteries routinely. Your smoke alarms should also have a strobe light or other system to alert those who are hard of hearing.

3. Have an Escape Plan
An escape plan is a crucial part of your fire safety plan. Having adequate escape routes and keeping them around the office or building so that everyone is aware of them can help in case of an emergency. In the event of a business fire, everyone should be able to locate the escape routes. Go over them with any new employees and have refreshers at least annually to ensure everyone is aware.

4. Appoint a Safety Officer
A safety officer in your building is a way to make sure someone is always up to date with the escape routes, planning fire prevention tactics and keeping others up to date as well. Your fire safety officer should be someone reliable and knowledgeable, as they will be the person others look to in case of a fire.
If your commercial business has suffered any type of fire damage, be sure to call in a professional fire restoration company to help you begin the recovery process.

3 Things to Consider for Commercial Properties in Times of Inclement Weather

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on drywall Mold removal services in Washington, MA

Take Steps Right Away

Water damage from inclement weather is a common contributor to mold growth in Washington, MA. To prevent the weather from damaging your facility, it is necessary to promptly take precautions. This will contribute to mold prevention by keeping significant damages that lead to fungus growth from developing on a commercial building. Inclement weather can lead to damages such as:

  • Damp construction materials
  • Unnoticed leaks
  • Mold growth from higher humidity levels

Here are some things to know when a bad storm is coming your way:

How Inclement Weather Can Damage a Building
In addition to dampening the construction materials of the property, bad storms can cause power outages, keeping the HVAC system from providing favorable humidity levels for climate control. Given the proper climate, mold spores will develop into colonies within 72 hours. Likewise, leaks can develop on a property due to damaged pipes, shingles, or wind damage.

The Weather Patterns of Your Property's Location
The location of your property will determine what type of weather patterns you should prepare for. Likewise, different seasons will bring varying weather concerns. During the winter, it is necessary to prepare for bursting pipes due to freezing water and increased water pressure. In the summertime, preparations should be made in case of flooding, wind, and rain. A mold prevention plan should consider the climate of the property's location and prepare adequately.

Clean Up After Inclement Weather
After a bad storm, it is necessary to inspect the property for any damages that may have ensued. It is especially important to search for any leaks on your property to prevent the decomposition of dampened materials. If you find any leaks, repair them immediately and call a water damage restoration service to help clean and dehumidify your property.
In case of bad weather, take steps right away to lessen the likelihood of water damages. This will contribute to mold prevention by keeping the building's materials from becoming habitats for mold colonies.