Sewage Backup: Are You Covered?
Dehumidifier and air mover on a storm damage in Hope, RI
Most home insurance companies require homeowners to carry a rider policy if they hope for perils such as flood damage or fire damage to be covered. However, many companies offer an exception, and that is if the flooding or water damage is caused by a covered peril. In most instances, sewer backup is a covered peril.
What To Do When Your Toilet Backs Up
Not much is worse than dealing with a backed-up sewage line, yet, as a homeowner, you're bound to encounter a backup every once in a while. This is especially the case if you live in a flood plane, have large trees near your home or live in an older home with older plumbing. When your toilets backup and leave you with a disgusting mess, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation with as little pain and fanfare as possible.
- Remove spillage and wet-vacuum the entire area.
- Disinfect all surfaces and mop up the floors.
- Disinfect plumbing fixtures and flush out the system.
- Remove and dispose of wet carpets and steam clean the ones that are salvageable.
- Perform a flood cut on damaged drywall.
- Clean up ductwork.
You should not attempt to clean up a sewer backup on your own. Ideally, you should call in the help of a professional Hope, RI, water damage restoration team for safe and swift help.
How To File a Claim
There are certain steps you should take before beginning restoration efforts, during and after a claim. Your documentation is key to making a full financial recovery. Take photos of the affected areas and the damage. Itemize property losses and take photos of damaged belongings as well. If necessary, have your cleanup crew contact your insurance company on your behalf to explain the damage in detail and what it will take to restore your home.
Dealing with a sewer backup can be a headache, but with the right team on your side, you can make it through the issue with as little pain and cost as possible. Contact your local restoration team today to get started.
5 Steps of the Mold Mitigation Process
Dehumidifier preventing microbial growth in Providence, RI
It is not uncommon for a home that has sustained water damage to also develop black mold. If you discover mold in your home in Providence, RI, you will likely need the services of mold remediation experts. These certified technicians take care of your mold problem and get your home back to normal, and they use the following five steps to do so.
Before they begin the mold cleanup process, technicians don protective gear to cover their eyes, nose, mouth and skin. This keeps the increased number of spores in the air out of their airways and sensitive membranes.
To take control of the black mold problem, the specialists must make sure it doesn't contaminate other areas of the house. They restrict air flow from the damaged section and seal it off with thick plastic sheets.
If mold has attacked a wall or other porous surface, the area will have to be replaced, but first, it must be torn out. Clearing out the parts that have mold damage is essential to fixing the problem.
The remaining structures must be sanitized before it's safe for family member and pets to reenter the home. Technicians may use anti-microbial chemicals to neutralize any germs that are present. They may also use gamma irradiation to sanitize documents or books.
This term is bad news when applied to a person, but when applied to a house, particularly one that has prior mold issues, it can be a godsend. A dry environment is less likely to be hospitable to mold.
A black mold problem in your home is best handled by certified professionals who specialize in mold remediation. They have the knowledge and the tools to work through the steps of the process efficiently. They can quickly assess the situation, answer any questions you have and decrease the chances of mold growth returning.
Things To Look for After a Partial Loss
An electrical fire caused damage in Federal Hill, RI home
When fire remediation specialists and your insurance adjuster agree the fire in your building was a partial fire loss, it's okay to feel relieved. Don't let that relief make you less vigilant, however. Even if something doesn't have clear burn marks, that doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. Here are some things a professional inspector needs to double-check when you have a partial loss.
Damage Below the Surface
With smoke damage, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Smoke and soot can hide in any tiny crevice. There are several places in your commercial building in Federal Hill, RI, that may harbor damage that is not obvious at first glance:
- Air ducts
- Storage closet corners
Your remediation specialists are trained to thoroughly inspect your property to make sure that everything that needs cleaning gets cleaned. Don’t give in to the temptation to save money by skipping the inspection, or your partial fire loss can lead to further damage.
Damage Due to Delay
The fire restoration process can be lengthy. This is especially true if you put off calling professionals because you don't think there's anything wrong with the building. Remediation that could have been completed relatively quickly can become a bigger problem if you don't start repairs in a timely manner. The water damage from the fire suppression method used to put out the fire, for example, intensifies when the moisture combines with soot to create the perfect environment for mold growth. Your insurance company may refuse to cover secondary damage if the adjuster believes it is the result of negligence. A delay does not help you. In fact, it can cause more damage, making the problem more expensive to resolve.
No matter how little fire loss you believe your building to have, it's always good to get a professional opinion. Have your building inspected for hidden damage so that your building can be restored to its previous condition.
7 Essential Elements of an Emergency Action Plan
Dehumidifiers and air movers on a storm damage in a Hope, RI room
You never know when a disaster, such as a fire, storm, flood or gas leak, could affect your commercial property and everyone in it. Your business in Hope, RI, needs an emergency action plan that you practice beforehand. It may seem odd to have a fire drill in the middle of the day, but if a problem occurs, you will be glad you took the time to do so. Your plan should include the following elements.
1. Clearly Mapped Routes
A map of your planned route to safety should be posted in various places throughout the building. You need at least one map for evacuating the building in case of a fire and one map for getting to a safe area in the building in case of a storm.
2. Evacuation Procedures
Everyone in the building should know how an emergency is announced and what to do when that happens. A fire drill can help teach the proper evacuation procedure to employees.
3. Reporting Plan
You need to decide how you are going to report a problem to the proper authorities. Pull stations and panic buttons may be installed to assist with timely reporting.
4. Designated Tasks for Personnel
Each task that must be accomplished needs to have a specific person assigned to it ahead of time. Don't wait until you are in the moment to decide who needs to shut down operations.
5. Clear Chain of Command
No matter how many people you have performing different tasks, someone needs to be in charge. Decide on a chain of command ahead of time.
6. Current Contact List of Building Occupants
Whether you leave the building or retreat to a safe spot within it, you will need a way to confirm that everyone who should be there arrives safely. Keep an up-to-date contact list in your emergency kit.
7. Data Backup
Any emergency has the potential to destroy important documents. While some may be able to be recovered by restoration professionals, it's important to have a backup in case they are ruined.
A fire drill can help with evacuation preparation. Having a clear plan can save lives.
12 Steps to Take To Fix a Leaking Compression Faucet
Water damage cleanup in Providence, RI building
12 Steps to Take To Fix a Leaking Compression Faucet
If you have a leaking faucet that is driving up your water bill at the same time it is driving you nuts, you don’t always have to call in a plumber to fix the leak. You can repair a compression faucet on your own in almost no time. Here are 12 steps to walk you through the process of repairing that dripping faucet in Providence, RI.
1. Locate the faucet water supply valve and turn it off. If it is corroded, you may need to use pliers to make sure the water has stopped flowing. If you are unable to turn to valve, call in a professional.
2. Place a rag over the sink drain to catch any tiny parts that may fall during your repair.
3. Pop the decorative top off the handle and remove the screw hidden inside.
4. Wiggle the handle gently and ease it off the valve.
5. Check for corrosion as you ease the valve out of the valve housing unit. Remove any debris you see.
6. A small screw secures a rubber washer onto the valve. Remove the screw and the broken washer.
7. Locate a replacement washer that is the same thickness and diameter as the one you just removed from the valve of the leaking faucet.
8. Secure the new washer onto the valve with the small screw. Make sure the washer is sitting correctly and completely covers the open area to ensure a fixed leak.
9. Place the valve back into the valve housing unit.
10. Replace the handle over the valve and secure with the screw.
11. Pop the decorative top back onto the handle.
12. Turn the water valve back on and turn the faucet on and off to check for leaks.
Congratulations, you followed these 12 easy steps and stopped the leaking faucet. Not only did you join the ranks for the DYI club, you also saved yourself a great deal of money. More importantly, you secured bragging rights over a job well done.
What's the Proper Way To Use an Extinguisher?
Proper Fire extinguisher is important in your Providence commercial building
As a safety conscious homeowner, you have a fire extinguisher in your Providence, RI, home. Even though you hope to never need it, you should still know how to properly wield this safety device. In some cases, the proper use of an extinguisher can help mitigate the damage and make the fire cleanup a little easier.
Know the Operation Method
The first thing you need to know when it comes to putting out a living room or kitchen fire is how to run the extinguisher. Most residential models use a simple technique known as P.A.S.S.:
• Pull the pin.
• Aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.
• Squeeze the handle.
• Sweep the nozzle from side to side as you continue to aim at the base.
You can repeat the last three steps until the fire is extinguished.
Consider Appropriate Use
Now that you know how to run a fire extinguisher, you need to know when to use it. If the flames are too big or the air is not safe to breath, it is better for you to simply locate an escape route and leave the house rather than try to fight the fire. Only use an extinguisher if the fire is in its incipient stage.
Learn When To Leave
There are many factors that can tell you it's time to leave. First, if your extinguisher runs out of solvent, you should evacuate as soon as possible. Second, if the fire has spread more than 60 square feet or encompasses parts of the wall and ceiling, it may be time to go. Third, if the fire damage includes high heat you easily feel on your skin, it may be time to leave the firefighting to the professionals.
If a fire breaks out in your house, you want to do what you can to minimize the damage. Using a fire extinguisher can help you tame the flames and mitigate the harm done to your house.
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Tips on Timely Storm Damage Remediation
This is the aftermath of tree damage after a sever storm hit the area
A storm hits Providence, RI, and your house is affected. If you have flood insurance, your first instinct is probably to call your insurance company, and that instinct isn't wrong. The sooner you call, the sooner you can be compensated for your flood damage. It may not be in your best interest to wait to start repairs until the adjuster has made his or her visit, however. Timely storm damage remediation is key to preventing bigger problems.
Avoiding Extra Damage
The second call you make after your insurance company should be to flood remediation specialists. They can assess your damage and get the repairs started so that the problems don't get worse. Many problems continue to escalate even after floodwaters stop rising:
• Standing water soaking further into walls and floors
• Damage spreading to previously unaffected areas
• Mold growing anywhere there is a surface with excess moisture
The longer you wait to start repairs, the worse the damage can get. Neither you nor your flood insurance provider wants to pay more for repairs than necessary, so it's in both your best interests to call restoration services quickly.
Avoiding Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Mold damage can start to set in within one or two days if a moisture problem is left alone. If your insurance adjuster believes that you allowed a problem to grow, he or she could chalk it up to neglect, and the company might be unwilling to cover the cost of the mold remediation on top of the flood damage restoration. In order to get rid of the mold, you would then have to pay the cost of remediation yourself. This unnecessary expense can be easily avoided if you call repair personnel in a timely manner.
Your flood insurance adjuster is going to want a clear picture of the damage caused by the flood, not by damage caused by delayed repair. Take pictures and have your remediation company print out a detailed assessment and invoice to back up your claim, but don't wait for the payout to get repairs done. Save yourself the extra damage.
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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
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.
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
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 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 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
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.