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Stop Mold From Spreading With 3 Steps for Containment

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Stop Mold From Spreading With 3 Steps for Containment Stop mold from growing with proper cleaning techniques in your Providence commercial property

Effective mold cleanup involves keeping the mold contained in the area it currently resides. Improper procedures can spread the fungus elsewhere and make the problem worse rather than better. You can avoid this mistake by properly mitigating mold with these three steps to contain it to a controlled area of your business in Providence, RI.

1. Evaluate the Scope of Mold

Knowing where the mold is located will inform you of what uncontaminated areas to avoid after exposure. By measuring both clean areas and areas with mold contamination, you can check progress as cleanup unfolds.

2. Wear Protective Equipment to Prevent Carrying

When dealing with a minor mold problem, disposable gloves and shoe covers are recommended to stop the tracking of mold spores on your hands and feet. Since they are disposable, you can discard the covers once you are at the border of a mold-free area.

For most major mold problems, disposable clothing is advised in addition to the minor mold cleanup equipment. This can be in the form of plastic coveralls or a breathable body suit. When you are out of the contaminated area, you can safely remove them and keep them away from the rest of the building.

3. Act Based on Containment Level

Depending on the size of the area, negative air pressure or sealing may be appropriate. This is judged based upon the prevalence of spores. While generally a large area is more in need of full containment, a heavily infested small area requires equal protocol. It is recommended to leave that decision in the hands of a professional from a company that specializes in mold remediation.

Once the necessary containment level is identified, polyethylene sheets are put up to contain the area. Any areas where mold spores could escape such as vents are also sealed off. From there, cleanup begins.

Mold cleanup complements savvy prevention. You cannot stop mold from spreading unless you contain it and stop it from running rampant around your commercial property.

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Steps To Take When Bursting Pipes Flood Your Home

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Steps To Take When Bursting Pipes Flood Your Home Mold and Mildew damage from Pipe break in Providence

When bursting pipes spew water inside your home’s wall, the result can be devastating. The water can run straight down the wall into a crawlspace, or it could burst a hole in the plasterboard and fill the room’s floor with water. No matter where the liquid collects, a bursting pipe can do a great deal of water damage to your home, leave mold in its wake, and result in extensive secondary damage.

Damage

Flooding water can soak into almost anything it touches. That is why many two-story homes with a broken pipe on the top floor often experience damage on the lower floor or in the basement as well. Water likes to move. It likes to

• Seep
• Soak
• Trickle
• Dribble
• Drip
• Ooze

The result of bursting pipes can be extensive damage to personal items and property. As soon as flood water hits the floor, the timer begins.

Mold

Mold spores float through the air almost everywhere, including inside your home. When water and mold spores meet, a colony can form in as little as 24 hours. Calling a professional water, mold, and restoration service to clean the area can help prevent the growth of mold and keep existing spores from spreading throughout your home.

To prevent mold contamination, the team can fix the broken pipe, remove standing water, and dry the property within a 24 to 48-hour window. The water repair service can use industrial fans and dehumidifiers to start the recovery process once the water is pumped out. Additionally, quick repairs can often prevent secondary damage.

Secondary

Secondary property damage in Providence, RI, can be hidden for days or weeks after the water from the bursting pipes is removed and the building is dried out. Secondary water damage can include warped hardwood floors, bubbling laminate flooring, crumbing plasterboard, and moldy floorboards. A trained professional restoration team knows what to look for and can help prevent secondary damage from appearing after your insurance claim is settled.

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Grilling Safety Tips

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Grilling Safety Tips Burgers on a grill.

You may be the kind of person who fires up the grill all year long at tailgating parties, or maybe you wait for a warm summer day and a backyard full of friends before you put on your apron. Either way, grilling can be one of life’s simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, where there is fun there is also the potential for safety issues. For example, did you know that leaving the grill unattended, not cleaning grease or fat build up properly, or placing the grill too close to combustible siding can cause injuries, fires and property damage?

Charcoal or Gas?

Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills. Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these important safety considerations.

Gas Grill Safety

A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report.

  • Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
  • If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
  • After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
  • Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house.

Charcoal Grill Safety

The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.

  • Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
  • Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
  • Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
  • Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
  • If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended. 

Here are some other important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun. 

Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface more than ten feet away from the house, garage or other structures. Keep children and pets away, as well as overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang. Avoid placing grills too close to combustible deck rails.

Grill outside only. Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.

Keep the grill going on a cold day. During cool weather days, avoid wearing a scarf or other loose clothing that may catch on fire. Consumer Reports recommends shielding the grill from wind, placing it about ten feet from combustible surfaces and materials, and keeping the lid closed to retain as much heat as possible. Allow extra time for pre-heating the grill in colder weather and check temperatures of meat and fish with a meat thermometer to ensure that food is safe to eat. 

Teach kids to stay safe. Make a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the grill and areas where hot food is prepared or carried. Children under five are especially vulnerable to burns from contact with a hot grill surface. Grill contact accounted for 37% of burns seen at emergency rooms in 2014 involving children under five.

Remember post-grilling safety. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. If you grill with charcoal and need to dispose of the coals, soak them in water to extinguish them before disposing in a metal container. Otherwise, cover the grill tightly and close the vents, this should extinguish the coals and whatever is left will be ready for next time.

How to Handle Water Loss

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Handle Water Loss Cleaning up a commercial building after it was flooded.

It can be a difficult situation for residents and business owners of Providence, RI to find themselves dealing with water loss. Handling water in home areas or water in business areas caused by either a natural disaster or water leakage may be unsafe and can become a costly matter when it is not done properly. To prevent further damage to their property, a person affected by this unpleasant issue should commence water mitigation immediately.

What are Causes of Water Damage?

  • Leak from roof
  • Corroded or busted pipes
  • Washer hose broken
  • Clogged toilet
  • Water overflowing from a tub or sink
  • Leaks from air conditioner
  • Blocked gutters
  • Water in basement

Areas of structure that has accumulated water

These are some of the common causes of this type of damage. Sometimes it is hard to detect just how much damage to these structures the water  has caused. Some people may feel they can take care of the water cleanup themselves, but that may pose harm to their health and safety. Not to mention the structure itself. They may be able to go into their home or business to access the damage and turn off the main water line if the water is coming from the inside.

If water has not reached the level of the electrical outlets anywhere in the home or business, the owner may shut off the electrical power directly from the breaker box. If there is water in the room where it is located it would be safer for the owner to call an electrician.

Things a person can do when it is determined that they can enter their home is to pick up what is salvageable. Furniture and other possessions  can be removed and placed elsewhere to begin drying them out. Important documents should also be retrieved if possible. Since mold can set from flood damage, it would be wise to save the most valued and important possessions.

In some instances, the owner may be able to help things dry out by opening windows and doors. Items like rugs, mattresses and anything else that has absorbed water may need professional drying services if they can be saved. It may be possible to remove some water out, but if it is too much it is best left to the water damage restoration company.      

A home or business that is flooded due to a natural disaster may not be safe for the owner to enter. Standing water inside a home or business can lead to expensive repairs and pose health risks to all who enter. Most of the mitigation process should be handled by a licensed professional. These companies carry the proper equipment for effective water cleanup.

Calling a restoration contractor is sound advice, especially when the person is not sure how much their insurance company will cover. Depending on the type of policy they own, their insurance may not be able to cover any of the expenses. Residents and business owners of Providence, RI, may not even be aware of what exactly is covered.

With the assistance of the restoration experts, a home or business owner will be informed as to the extent of the damage on their property. They may be able to be compensated for flood damage but not from water that may have started internally, or vice-versa. A list of all damages should be kept, and details of the damage reported to the insurance firm as soon as possible.

What Does the Water Damage Restoration Company Do?

Licensed restoration professionals have the knowledge and heavy duty equipment to start the air movement necessary to dry out the home or business interiors. Once they have extracted all water from the property, they will begin to dry out areas of the structure. They will also check the extent of damage the water has done to the home or business. Another thing that should be checked for is mold. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours. Mold can be a serious threat to a person’s health. Those that have allergies should not go into their
homes or business until told that they can. 

Depending how much water in their home has accumulated, the drying process may take several days as air movement takes place throughout the affected areas. This goes the same for water in business structures. The sooner a homeowner or business owner calls the restoration company, the quicker they may be able to access their property and start getting things back to normal.

What Can be Some of the Damage Expected to a Home or Business?

Damaged furnitureElectrical equipment and appliances that may not be operable or safe. Pipes may have corroded or burst needing new plumbingPose health risks due to possible mold growth.

There are a number of other damaging effects from having standing water in home. Damage from a flood can be even more disastrous. Aside from damage to properties, a flood in the home or business can result in problems such as:

  • Water can become contaminated
  • Communications can be affected
  • Drains and sewage may no longer be usable
  • Emotional hardship

In lesser aggressive situations, home or business owners can have their life return to normal quicker when they take immediate action. Taking preventive measures is smart, but sometimes disasters occur that were not foreseen.

This is why it is important for residents in Providence, RI, to start the mitigation process as soon as they become aware of the seeping water in their property. Further damaging effects can be alleviated once the water cleanup begins, and air movement circulates throughout the structure to help walls and flooring to dry out faster.  The damage that can be seen may not be the only problem. These companies have tools that tell the extent of the damage, from sub-floors to inside the wall cavities, and more.

Visit http://www.SERVPROprovidence.com for more information on the water damage restoration process.

Does Your Business Need Flood Insurance?

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Does Your Business Need Flood Insurance? Commercial Storm Damage in Providence, Rhode Island

If your business in Providence, RI, is in an area prone to flooding, you should have insurance coverage for flooding. Most commercial insurance policies do not cover flood damage, but you can obtain a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer. This coverage may protect your business from potentially ruinous restoration costs. Here are three considerations for deciding whether your business needs flood coverage.

1. Are you required to carry flood coverage? If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood zone and has a mortgage financed by a federally regulated or insured lender, you may be required to have a flood policy. Obtain coverage for flood damage from an insurance agent who specializes in commercial policies.

2. How much is the premium? Factor in the likelihood of flooding when choosing a location. Choosing a property in a known flood zone will result in higher premiums.

3. Do you really need flood insurance? If water comes from above, it is likely covered by a commercial package policy or business owner's policy. Flooding occurs when water overflows onto normally dry land from coastal or inland bodies of water: a stream or river, heavy rain, mudflow, erosion, or the accumulation and runoff of surface water. A flood policy may cover damage resulting from blocked storm drainage systems, broken dams or levies, and storm surges.

If flooding is likely in your business location, you should obtain sufficient coverage for the value of the property and the contents. A standard commercial flood policy can provide up to $500,000 of coverage for a commercial property and $500,000 for its contents. You may purchase excess coverage from a commercial insurance agency. Flood insurance offsets the cost of professional restoration after a flood event in Providence, RI. These policies can also cover mold, mildew, and other secondary damage caused by flooding.

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5 Things You Need To Do After Water Problems in Your Commercial Building

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Things You Need To Do After Water Problems in Your Commercial Building Pipe Busted in Providence Rhode Island causing commercial property loss

Leaky faucets, burst pipes, sewage backups and storm damage are just a few potential causes of water damage to your commercial building in Providence, RI. Because there are so many ways for your property to be negatively affected by water, you need to prepare yourself for the eventuality. Knowing what to do in the face of a water-related disaster can make the situation seem more manageable.

1. Call in help. The first thing you need to do is call in some professional help. Water can cause structural issues, mold growth and content destruction. Working with a professional remediation team can make water cleanup much easier.


2. Speak with your insurance. Not all sources of water damage are covered by your commercial insurance. However, you need to make the call either way. This will tell you if any of the restoration costs will be covered by insurance.


3. Assess the problem. Once you find water pooled in your basement or running down your walls, you need to figure out exactly what is causing the issue. Finding the source of the problem makes it easier for you to know what your next step should be.


4. Remove the water. If you have standing water in your building due to broken pipes, you need to start getting rid of the flood. You can have your remediation team use pumps to rapidly get rid of the water. Even if you simply have excess humidity, you still need to regulate your space with dehumidifiers.


5. Look for signs of damage: Did the water cause mold growth? Is your equipment destroyed? Do you need to replace flooring or other building materials? You need to look for and record all signs of damage, so you know exactly what needs to get fixed.

It's never fun to find water damage in one of your properties. Taking the right actions quickly can make your restoration process go smoothly.

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Are You Prepared for Spring Flooding?

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Are You Prepared for Spring Flooding? Flooded home in Providence

While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. 

As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future. 

In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, I offer the following tips: 

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
  • Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
  • Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
  • Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
  • Prepare a flood evacuation plan
  • Know how to safely shut-off utilities
  • Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
  • Have a portable radio to listen for important current information

When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO immediately at (401) 941-5500. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.

Puffback: Avoid This Homeowners' Nightmare

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Puffback: Avoid This Homeowners' Nightmare This is just a tiny look at the kind of damage a puffback can have in a home.

If you haven’t heard this term before you can be forgiven — but it you have an oil-fired furnace, boiler or water heater, you may want to get educated sooner rather than later. Just a hint: if your Google search turns up a cute little bird, that’s not the kind of puffback you need to worry about. Here are the basics:

Puffback is a furnace backfire that discharges thick, sticky, stinky soot into every crevice of your home. Trying to remove this nasty residue on your own is frustrating and ineffective – there’s no easy fix. Normal cleaning products only spread the damage. Puffback damage requires a professional removal and restoration process similar to the type used after fires – by SERVPRO of Providence.

If you have the misfortune of experiencing a puffback, call your insurance agent right away to start a claim and to get a recommendation for a reputable restoration specialist in your area. It will depend on your insurance policy of course, but it is likely that your homeowners insurance will cover some or all of the damage.  But the bottom line is this: puffbacks are preventable, so don’t let one happen in the first place. Have oil-fired heating appliances serviced regularly!

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

Business Contingency and Evacuation Planning in a Fire

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Business Contingency and Evacuation Planning in a Fire Have an evacuation plan incase of a fire in your business to ensure safety of your employees

You never want to think of a fire breaking out at your Providence, RI, business, but it’s better to plan for the worst and never see a moment’s danger than it is to hope for the best and face catastrophe without a plan. That’s why you need a fire contingency plan and safe evacuation strategy for your business – to protect yourself, your property, your employees, and your customers.

Steps to Create a Contingency Plan

It’s not enough to just have a contingency plan in place. Your contingency plan needs to be executable not just by you, but by everyone in your business.

• Establish a designated evacuation plan and alternate routes. Determine the fastest, safest way to leave the building. Chart the route as part of documented procedures, but also ensure that each route has an alternate route in the event that others are blocked by fire or falling debris.


• Post evacuation and safety procedures near all exits and thoroughfares. Employees and customers alike should be able to immediately find a map of the safest evacuation route no matter where they are on your premises. Ensure that easy graphical instructions are available; most don’t have time or presence of mind to stop and read written instructions during a fire.


• Designate evacuation leaders. Your business should have two or more employees per shift who are designated as evacuation leaders, preferably more for backups. Your evacuation leaders are tasked with taking control of the situation and guiding others, especially customers who may not be familiar with drills.


• Ensure all employees have a handout with contact information for emergency personnel and documented safety procedures. Provide this information immediately on hire, and periodically reiterate.


• Conduct safety training drills. At least once per month, do random safety training/fire drills to reinforce protocols in an emergency.


• Periodically test all sprinklers and fire safety equipment. Smart planning will safeguard your people. Smart protections will safeguard your inventory and property. Make sure all fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and other fire safety equipment are operational and functioning up to spec.

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6 Reasons Mold May Grow in Your Home

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 6 Reasons Mold May Grow in Your Home Black Mold can grow in your Providence home

Black mold and other fungus varieties do not require much to show up in your Providence, RI, home. Warmth, moisture and a food source are enough to start a colony of growth. If you have found mold in your house, you may need to talk to a residential mold expert to understand why it showed up. Figuring out why it grew can help you and your mold cleanup crew remediate the problem.

1. High Humidity: Any type of moisture problem, including high humidity, can encourage the start of mold. You should try to keep your house at or below 45 percent humidity to discourage this fungus growth.


2. Condensation: Even condensation on your windows, near your AC unit or in the bathroom can create the moist environment needed for mold. If you notice beads of water, you may want to find a way to get rid of them.


3. Broken Pipes: Unexpected water problems can also cause mold growth. If a pipe breaks or bursts, you typically have 24 to 48 hours to cleanup the problem before black mold starts to make a home. Mold can start to grow so quickly because the spores are everywhere already.


4. Broken Supply Line: Supply lines typically carry clean water into your home, but even clean water can encourage mold growth. You might have a longer window before mold growth starts.


5. Leaks: Leaks from toilets, faucets, dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances can lead to a mold colony. Roof leaks could also create a moisture problem big enough for mold to start making a home.


6. Flooding: Flood waters are often caused by storms, rising rivers and other potentially dirty water sources. This water can be full of bacteria, spores and other contaminants that allow mold to thrive.

Black mold typically starts growing when there is a substantial water source. Whenever you have a moisture problem, this fungus can start to thrive in your home.

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