Homeowner Water Damage Tips after a storm
Water damage coverage in a homeowner’s insurance policy, and even renter insurance, has changed over the years. It is helpful to review your policy annually, to understand what is covered and what may have changed from previous years.
Normally, these conditions would be covered by an insurance policy.
- Burst water pipes and water heaters
- Sudden or accidental overflow of a toilet, tub, or sink
- Sewer backup from drains and sump pumps (there may be a relatively low policy limit)
Most existing homeowner policies probably don’t cover the following conditions:
- Ground flooding
- Slow, dripping leaks
- Overflowing streams or rivers
Regular maintenance is required for a roof, such as replacing shingles or tiles and keeping the roof cleared from debris, and this regular upkeep is a determining factor in insurance claims. However, inside content damage from a roof leak might be covered by your policy.
Slow, dripping leaks, such as those from an incorrectly installed toilet, sink, shower or bathtub are usually not covered. Whenever something is considered maintenance-related, chances are the insurance expects that you properly maintain your dwelling.
Flood damage from an overflowing river or nearby body of water might be covered, depending on the area where you live. Homeowner policies have changed greatly over the years, especially if the property is located on or near a water table. An additional flood insurance policy is usually required, because a normal homeowner policy will not cover damages resulting from a flood of this type.
Usually, an insurance investigator will determine if the water damage is a result of negligence or lack of maintenance. After they ask you questions about the problem, they usually schedule an appointment at your home to physically inspect the damage and where it originated from.
If you have sudden water damage, call SERVPRO of Providence, we can assist with coordinating the insurance claim, and when the underlying cause is proven to be insurance-related, we will work with the adjuster for inspections, proper repairs, and restoring your home again. SERVPRO of Providence staff knows how to handle insurance claims and perform the repairs needed on your home.
Tips for handling a large storm
Hurricanes, snow storms and wild weather can wreak havoc in big, densely populated cities and towns. Trees can crash down on power lines and cars. Windows can get blown out. Long lines can form for bread, milk, eggs and fuel. Electrical power and gas service can be interrupted. Public transportation can be terribly delayed, causing difficulties in getting to and from work. Children living in small spaces can get cranky; pets can too. In the worst case scenario, you may even have to evacuate.
Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information. Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads. Make a family emergency communication plan. Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word "alerts."
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe. Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors. Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
What to do with flood damage?
When a storm leaves a home flooded, or a burst pipe causes serious issues in the house, getting water damage restoration services from a respected company should be considered a top priority. Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated, and there are people out there who pose as professionals or overstate their qualifications. Therefore, homeowners should be mindful of who they hire, as an untrained technician may do more harm than good or delay repairs, resulting in a higher degree of destruction. Before selecting a company to handle the job, keep in mind these points of emphasis. Only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Even though the industry is not regulated, technicians who have received certifications have made the effort to get the best training possible, proving that they take their job seriously. Certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a sign that a professional has received the most up to date training and is knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies employed during repairs. The IICRC operates a Certified Firm registrant-only database on its site, making it easy to find a local, certified professional like SERVPRO of Providence without trouble. Do not select a technician based only on the price. When possible, speak to neighbors or friends who have had to hire a restoration company recently and try to get a recommendation from them. Choose a company that offers a range of water damage restoration services like SERVPRO of Providence. The easiest way to determine the expertise of a firm is to see if they provide a full range of options for homeowners. Mold remediation, for example, is often needed given how quickly mold can set in. This is a standard field of knowledge that advanced technicians should possess. If a company doesn’t offer mold remediation, it may not be prepared for all job settings. A company such as SERVPRO of Providence that is available 24/7 is a good sign. Stay away from any firms that are reluctant to start right away. In many cases modern equipment can enable near-complete drying in as little as 36 hours, although many situations require longer. Also, a homeowner should not have to wait before repairs begin. Every minute counts when there is standing water present, and reputable professionals understand this. If a restoration company insists on waiting to begin the remediation portion of the loss, they probably cannot be trusted to see the job through in a reasonable timeframe. Using these guidelines, a homeowner should be able to find a technician that can be trusted and is equipped to do the job the right way. A storm or other disaster is hard enough to deal with, and a remediation firm should do everything in its power to make this difficult process easier.
Faster to Any Size Emergency
In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Providence arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.
For help restoring your home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Providence at 401-639-9602. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
Frozen Pipes: Prevention and Treatment
With the colder weather officially upon us, now is an excellent time to learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes, and the subsequent water damage that can occur if those pipes expand and burst. Though frozen pipes are a common occurrence, they are highly preventable.
SERVPRO offers the following tips for preventing frozen pipes and mitigating potential damage that they can cause.
- Insulate all the exposed pipes in your home. Especially where they may be unheated, such as the basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Keep the temperature the same during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower temperatures in the evening, you can prevent a costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- Close any inside values that supply water outdoors and open the outside value to properly drain excess water that may be in the pipes.
- In drastically cold temperatures, let your faucet trickle. While you may be concerned about wasting water, running water is less likely to freeze.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Keep outside valves open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing it to break.
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Found a Frozen Pipe? Thaw It Out:
- If you turn on a faucet and only a few drips come out, suspect a frozen pipe. Typically, frozen pipes are found along exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Make sure the faucet remains on while treating the pipes, as the flowing water will help to melt the ice within the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or other open flame device.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.
Should you experience a loss resulting from water damage, turn off the water supply as soon as possible, and call SERVPRO of Providence immediately. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO of Providence professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects that water damage can have.
Commercial Duct Cleaning
When it comes to fighting dirty indoor air, SERVPRO of Providence has what it takes to help everyone breathe easier and feel better in the workplace and at home. Our commercial and Residential duct cleaning procedures conform strictly to the high standards of the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA). Our technicians are fully trained in the latest techniques, and equipped with state of the art equipment to perform the most thorough cleaning that will ensure a healthier, more productive, clean air environment for your employees or family members. In addition, our team of technicians will get the job done with minimal disruption to your home, office facilities, employees and work schedules. SERVPRO of Providence will send out one of our experienced Project Managers to perform a walk through to provide an estimate at no cost to you!
Some of the things we check for are:
- Water infiltration into ductwork.
- Bird and small animal damage.
- Blocked outside air intakes.
Where does mold hide in a business or home?
Think your home is pristine? There is no way mold can be infesting your sanctuary, right? You may need to reevaluate your thinking. Mold may be hiding within your residence. Mold problems can occur anywhere if conditions are ideal for growth, and some portions of your home may be home to mold, as well. You may try to maintain a clean environment, constantly dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, organizing, and doing a thorough cleaning of your property, but you may have missed a spot…or a few. There may be some parts of your home you do not consider, and you are not alone in making this mistake.
The kitchen is a location that may have moisture issues which can contribute to mold growth.
- Check under your sink. A small pipe leak may go unnoticed, letting the moisture and water damage sit untreated. Leaks combined with dark spaces are the perfect environment for mold.
- The sponge dish may have a mold problem. You use your sponge to wash dishes every day, but when you put it back in its dish, moisture may begin to collect and mold begin to form.
- Under your fridge isn’t safe either. Yes, even your refrigerator may have moisture issues. The refrigerator can leak without you knowing. There is a drip pan under your refrigerator that can collect excess water, but if left untreated, mold can form.
Your washing machine may be a hot spot for mold. Check the door of the washing machine, inside the gasket. Dark, warm, moist areas are ideal for mold growth. Make sure to wipe under the door gasket after each wash to prevent mold growth. Also leave the door open to air-out the washing machine.
Your shower or tub may be hiding mold without your knowledge.
- Check under lids and bottoms of shower products. You may forget to pick these products up and clean underneath. Moisture can become trapped under the lids or under the products and mold can form.
- Bath toys may be fun for kids, but they may also be housing mold. Water may get inside the toys and be unable to get out. This is a difficult location to discover mold. You may need to open up one of the toys to see if mold is growing inside, and if there is mold, replace all of the toys, as there most-likely will be mold within them as well.
Mold does not discriminate and may develop in any property as long as ideal conditions are met. Mold can cause health issues with excess exposure, so it is important to remove any mold you discover. If you suspect mold may be in your property, contact a professional home inspector. A home inspector will be able to conduct mold tests which will be able to identify moldy areas within your home. Once mold is officially discovered, contact a qualified mold remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Providence, to remediate the mold and restore your home to the haven you work so hard to maintain.
If you have mold issue please contact SERVPRO of Providence at: 1-800-734-0602 to arrange for a mold inspection.
Whether your business was caught in the middle of a natural disaster or your pipes burst in the winter, flooding can cause serious damage to your office and its contents. Perhaps you’ve cleaned up the area and dried it out, but there’s still one thing that lingers: the smell. Mold growth and sewage loss can leave a pungent scent that’s hard to get rid of. What happens after a flood is that the gasses from the debris end up trapped in the building and remain there even when dried. If you’re suffering with the smell of a recent flood, here are a few tips on how to disinfect and deodorize.
1. Treat Carpets and Flooring
One of the main culprits behind bad odors left behind is the floor itself. If your carpet is installed over cement, you’ll have to remove the carpet to clean it. Then, before you reinstall the carpet, it’s suggested that you seal the floor with an antibacterial spray. This will help combat the mold growth that caused the odor to begin with.
2. Use Household Cleaners
In case of the odor left behind after a flood, you have a few different tools that you can utilize. First, consider fabric refreshers and a combination of vinegar and baking soda for bad smells. In addition, consider disinfectant sprays. Disinfectant sprays can beat the smell at the source and create an environment that is unconducive to mold growth.
3. Invest in Air Purifiers
An air purifier can help rid your building of more than just the odors caused by recent flood waters. With an air purifier, you can completely change the quality of your air. While it eliminates the cause of the odors, your house will smell beautiful in no time.
If your commercial property has a bigger challenge with odor after flood water has been removed, you can rely on a restoration specialist to help you. Recovering from a flood in Providence, Rhode Island can be intimidating, especially when you have a smell that just won’t go away. However, with these 3 simple tips you will be on your way to a sweet-smelling building. Visit http://www.SERVPROprovidence.com for more information on storm damage.
A Fire Escape Plan Can Bring Peace of Mind
A Fire Escape Plan Can Bring Peace of Mind
Nobody wants to think about a commercial fire, but the reality is that this devastating event could occur. Prepare yourself and your employees so that you can avoid tragedy should a fire break out in your property. With a fire escape plan in place, you can experience peace of mind once your family knows exactly what to do in the situation. Follow these tips given by fire remediation experts.
Create a Map
Begin by drawing a map of your company, including all the levels. On your map, be sure to identify the following:
Windows, doors, and smoke alarms
Two exit points for each room
A meeting location near the front of your house
Clear Items Away From Exits
As each room needs to have two ways out during a fire, make sure that no large pieces of furniture are blocking those exits. Most people choose a window and a door for their two exits, so inspect each room and rearrange its setup if necessary. Also, store a ladder in second-story rooms for window escapes.
Teaching People How To Stay Safe
Knowing where the exits are in your fire escape plan is only the first step. Some of the things you should be sure to teach employees:
Feeling doors for heat before opening them
Crawling on the floor to stay beneath the smoke
Calling 911 for assistance
With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to creating an emergency fire escape plan that can protect your property. Visit http://www.SERVPROprovidence.com for more information on fire damage.
Tips to Prevent Mold Over Your Vacation
Tips to Prevent Mold Over Your Vacation
If you are planning on leaving home for an extended period, it’s important to prepare your house for your absence. Regular home systems that require occasional maintenance can wind up being disrupted without any intervention if you don’t, and that means you could wind up with water damage that includes mold growth. All it takes is a leaky pipe or an unmonitored drip in the sink. A week or two of that drip going unmonitored is enough to do it. To make sure you don’t have moisture problems when you go on vacation, check out these mold prevention tips.
Change Your Home Environment While You Are Away
Mold grows in moist, warm environments best. The more you can reduce either attribute while you are away, the better. Here are some terrific tips for preventing mold that you can easily put into place before vacation:
Check your plumbing for leaks, and consider turning your water off during the interim. Fix any dripping faucets or minor leaks you find, even if you don’t turn the water main off while you are gone.
Lower your thermostat temperature. Fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit should be more than enough to prevent freezing, and it will save you money while discouraging mold growth in the winter.
During summers in Providence consider leaving your climate control settings in place. Air conditioning removes excess moisture from the air while it cools the environment.
Empty and put away pet bowls and water dispensers. It might seem silly, but this mold prevention tip can save you money in the long run. Your furry friends are probably staying elsewhere if you are gone anyway!
Clean and empty all the sinks and dishwashers in the house.
Clean any aquariums or other open water sources, and cover them if possible to discourage evaporation into the environment, which will increase humidity.
If you follow through with these tips, you can easily avert the likelihood of developing a mold problem in Providence, Rhode Island while you are on vacation. Of course, regular mold inspections done by mold remediation specialists will be the best way for you to make sure you don’t develop a problem in the future. Visit http://www.SERVPROprovidence.com for more information on mold.
Dealing with Significant Fire Damage in a Business
Dealing with Significant Fire Damage in a Business
After firefighters have left using their high-pressure fire hoses, you are going to notice that you are left with a significant amount of smoke damage as well as a lot of soot damage that needs to be handled by a professional fire restoration team. The fire restoration professionals deal with commercial fire damage as well as residential fire damage on a routine basis, so you can feel confident getting them in to do the work for you after dealing with some type of electrical fire or even a personal utility room fire.
Another great thing about hiring fire restoration experts is that they are going to be there to help you put in a fire sprinkler system that entails fire suppression. Fire suppression is incredibly vital to preventing fire damage from happening again in the future, and it is why a lot of firefighters recommended to people after driving away in their fire trucks. Despite the fact that fire damage has left to linger after firefighters have left using their very own fire hoses, you are still going to be left with a large amount of smoke damage that is difficult to handle on your own. It is great to know that professional fire restoration experts are they are to deal with the soot damage after a utility room fire of any size.
Fire damage can be difficult to handle on your own, especially when you consider all of the smoke damage that has been left behind. Despite the smoke damage that is left to linger, commercial fire damage professionals are able to also put in a fire suppression option for you such as a good quality fire sprinkler system. Many firefighters recommend these fire suppression systems to individuals who they have worked with to put out an electrical fire or even some type of utility room fire. Whether you've had an electrical fire or any other type of problem, you need to contact commercial fire damage professionals to deal with the soot damage for you.
An electrical fire leaves behind a lot of soot damage, and you will also find the same with any type of utility room fire that you have ever had in the past. The problem is that fire hoses as well as the fire trucks that has them are simply not enough to get rid of the damage entirely. Commercial fire damage is best to be prevented using a fire sprinkler system. These fire sprinkler systems are incredibly easy to install if you have a professional coming to do the work for you. Despite how powerful fire hoses can be at getting rid of fires, they still leave behind a lot of problems that are going to need to be restored by a professional team of experts.
After fire trucks have left, you are going to want to contact a local company that does restoration for you. You may even want to contact local professionals dealing with fire trucks to find out more about companies in your area you should be calling. These professionals are able to do the job for you at a price that you are going to find incredibly affordable. One of the main issues that a lot of people have is that they are afraid it is going to cost too much to get the cleanup done for them. If this has been a problem for you in the past, you might want to consider the fact that your homeowners insurance will cover the costs for you.
There is a reason why so many people are working with the Professionals in order to get fire remediation done when it is convenient for them. You should never attempt to deal with smoke damage on your own, especially considering the fact that there is a lot that goes into cleaning it properly and getting your home back into a safe and clean environment for the family.
Visit http://www.SERVPROprovidence.com for more information on commercial fire damage.