Why Water and Fire Damage Go Hand-in-Hand (And What To Do About Both)
Fire in an Olneyville, RI building
Why Water and Fire Damage Go Hand-in-Hand
Most people don’t think about it until a fire happens to them, but water and fire damage almost always go hand-in-hand. For this reason, it is not uncommon for fire restoration services to specialize in water clean-up and vice versa — for water cleanup services to also specialize in fire restoration. Here are just a few ways fires can lead to water damage:
Fire Hose: For most commercial building owners, the primary cause of water issues following a fire is the hose. Fire hoses are high pressure and emit gallows of water per minute. Even if it does not take long for firefighters to extinguish a blaze, your building may sustain considerable damage and property loss.
Burst Pipes: Some blazes become so hot that they begin to melt certain metals. If the fire in your building reaches the melting points of certain metals, you may find yourself dealing with both fire damage and burst pipes.
Suppression Systems: If your building has suppression systems that utilize water, your building may undergo severe flooding.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize damage from both fire and water.
How To Prevent and Deal With Fire and Water Damage
Though there is not much you can do about damage from a fire hose, you can prevent water issues by acting quickly and taking a few precautions. By contacting your local fire department as soon after you learn of the fire as possible, you can potentially keep the fire from reaching metal-melting temperatures, thereby reducing your risk of pipe damage.
You can also invest in non-water-based suppression systems. If your building does have a water-based system, consider setting it up so it only releases water in areas where there is fire.
As for cleaning up water and fire damage, you should not attempt to do so on your own. Work with an Olneyville, RI, fire restoration company that is familiar with both types of damage, as well as the proper techniques for restoring your building safely, quickly, and effectively.
Understanding the Fire Restoration Process
Fire Restoration Process: Four Phases
The damage incurred by a fire can vary significantly, from small stove fires to more destructive electrical fires. However, despite the level of damage there is likely going to be some level of fire restoration work required to re-establish the structural integrity of your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not understand the process of restoration work and can end up feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, to put your mind at ease think of the process in four phases.
1. Securing the Property
A large fire will have its share of both fire and smoke damage, but before either of those issues can be dealt with a restoration company will want to secure the property. Using fencing, plywood and tarps, these companies will make sure that your home is protected against further damage from the weather and other sources.
2. Removing Debris
Once the property is secure, the fire restoration team will begin removing debris from inside of the property. They will remove any excess water from the rescue efforts and make sure that the remaining structure is secure and redeemable.
3. Cleaning the Home
After all of the debris has been removed, the damage cleaning can begin. During this phase, the smoke residue will be cleaned, and deodorization will take place. Additionally, the restoration crew will likely discuss and plan the next step of work.
4. Restoring the Structure
Before the reconstruction process begins, a restoration specialist in the Reservoir, RI, area will probably want to evaluate all plans with the homeowner, ensuring that all concerns are resolved before work begins. Once plans are approved, the construction team will take over and complete the restoration.
Fire restoration can be as simple as fixing some cabinetry and replacing appliances in a kitchen to a complete rebuild of a home. In either case, it is wise to have a professional handle the cleanout and rebuild, ensuring that you and your family remain safe.
Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher
Different types of fire extinguishers
For homeowners in Blackstone, RI, keeping everyone and the home itself safe is a top priority. While hopefully, a fire doesn’t break out, fire preparedness is an essential component of staying safe and knowing what to do. A key tool in defending against fire is a fire extinguisher, but choosing the right one isn’t always easy.
Types of Extinguishers
When it comes to avoiding a home fire spreading, an extinguisher is the first line of defense. If the flames are already too much, immediate evacuation should take place. For handling small fires, the right extinguisher needs to be used. The wrong one has the potential to fan the flames. Below are the types available and what they are designed to put out.
Class A: Common combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, and paper
Class B: Flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints.
Class C: Electrical equipment and appliances
Class D: Flammable metals
Class K: Oils and animal fat used in cooking
For homeowners, the best to have around the home are A, B or C. A combo of those is also available, which will be listed on the label. If your kitchen is a busy place and food is always being prepared, it may be worth considering having a Class K to help put out a grease fire.
Choosing the Right One
A fire extinguisher also comes in different sizes, from 10 pounds to 2 pounds. That weight indicates the amount of chemical inside, not the weight of the canister. In many cases, going bigger is better, especially in garages, but it may be too heavy for indoor use. A 5-pound extinguisher near the laundry room and kitchen are a common choice. Ease of use and storage are also a consideration. Some are available with a hose and disposable, while others are rechargeable. Many come with mounting hardware, ensuring that stay in a secure, stable location.
Regardless of what is best for your home, having a fire extinguisher provides a little extra peace of mind.
How To Successfully Restore Wet Documents
SERVPRO uses the latest in document drying technology
Losing important documents in a flood or fire can be devastating for your business in Federal Hill, RI. You can rebuild the structure and replace the furniture, but what about irreplaceable papers and photographs? They may not be a total loss if the water restoration company you select has document restoration services available.
What Documents Can Be Restored?
Contracts, manuscripts, and other files
Books and magazines
Blueprints and maps
Photographs, films, and negatives
Finding an experienced technician as quickly as possible is the key to successful document restoration. Insurance companies choose SERVPRO more often than any other restoration service because of the advanced technology and knowledgeable professionals available all over the country. Each office is locally owned and operated, but has corporate resources available.
How Are the Documents Restored?
SERVPRO uses the latest in document drying technology. The vacuum freeze-drying technique is the same process used by the Library of Congress to dry historical papers and other valuable documents. In fact, this drying method is the only process that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has approved for restoring wet documents.
Documents that have been exposed to flood water or sewage will likely contain harmful chemicals and bacteria. Technology using a gamma irradiation process will sterilize the documents so that they are safe to handle.
You can also rest assured that your sensitive documents will remain confidential. SERVPRO employs HIPAA-certified technicians, who are under constant supervision.
What About Digital Services?
There is no better time to have your important papers converted to digital format than before a disaster strikes. In a flood or fire, your records will be saved. You can also free up valuable storage space by keeping digital files.
The quicker you send out your irreplaceable documents for document restoration after a flood or other disaster, the faster you will be able to get your business back on track.
Steps Professionals Use To Clean Your Home After a Water Heater Leak
A leaking water heater may cause a major flood in your Hope, RI home
Cleanup Process After Water Heater Leak Damage
A leaking water heater may not seem like a big deal. However, it could cause a major flood in your Hope, RI, home.
A broken water heater needs to be dealt with right away so that it does not cause any further damage. Below are the steps involved in this cleanup process.
1. Emergency Call
Do not attempt to handle a water emergency on your own. This could be dangerous and may cause additional harm to your property. Instead, contact your local damage cleanup professionals. Ideally, you should make the call as quickly as possible. Even a delay of just a few hours can have disastrous consequences.
Next, a cleanup expert will arrive at your home to check out the leaking water heater. The professional will fix the leak and determine the extent of the damage. He or she may additionally move furniture to prevent the buildup of rust.
3. Water Removal
The professionals should use truck-mounted vacuums or strong pumps to eliminate the excess water in your home. They can even utilize hygrometers to determine the extent of the saturation, and infrared cameras to find hidden moisture.
Once the visible water is removed, your belongings might still feel wet. Professionals will bring in equipment to boost airflow and encourage the evaporation of remaining moisture. Strong dehumidifiers can also be utilized to prevent the warping or swelling of walls and furniture.
A failed water heater can leave behind mold and other unpleasant odors. Restoration experts will use air scrubbers to eliminate these smells. They will also utilize a variety of methods to sanitize any moldy belongings.
Restoration is the final step of the process. It can include small changes such as the installation of new carpet, or larger jobs such as the reconstruction of entire rooms.
Cleaning the damage caused by a leaking water heater can be a complex process. That is why the job should be left to the professionals.
Troubleshooting Commercial Sprinkler Irrigation Systems
Having an irrigation system for your landscaping will ensure it remains attractive
Common Irrigation Problems and Their Solutions
The landscaping around your business makes a statement about who you are as a business owner. It reflects your care and pride as a business owner. If you care for how your business looks, you also care for how it runs. Having an irrigation system for your landscaping will ensure it remains attractive.
While the results of an irrigation system include healthier plants and flowers, irrigation problems can wreak havoc on your facilities. Here are some common irrigation problems and their solutions.
Trouble Shooting Low Pressure
If the water isn't spraying the distance it should, then something is causing low pressure or a loss of water. The problem is either electric or hydraulic.
Check the main valve and the backflow valves for each zone. If any are off, turn them on.
If the valves check out, the problem could be electrical. Check the timer, connections, and the solenoids.
If the valves and electrical check out, it could be that tree roots have wrapped around a pipe in your line. Inspect your pipes to make sure the obstruction isn't coming from plant or tree roots.
Lastly, there may be a cut in one of your pipes. This will usually be apparent if you have an area of excess growth. It can also be obvious if there is flooding, which can create a whole other problem.
When There's Flooding
If you have excessive flooding, not only do you need to repair the sprinkler but be sure to check your building's foundation. If water has seeped in through cracks or the basement, call a cleanup and restoration service to inspect for potential damage.
Outdoor sprinkler malfunctions do happen. The ability to troubleshoot a minor problem in your irrigation system before it becomes a big problem will save you stress and money. Be sure to have your system checked regularly to prevent potential problems before they become real problems.
3 Ways To Prevent Mold at Your Place of Business
Mold growth after water damage in Reservoir, RI
How To Protect Your Company From Mold
When it comes to mold prevention at your Reservoir, RI, knowing how to keep this fungi from growing in the first place can help save a lot of time and money down the road. Here are three steps you may want to consider for protecting your company from mold.
1. Fix Water Damage Quickly
One of the first ways to prevent mold growth at your business is to fix any water damage as quickly as possible. Untreated water caused damage can create an area of soft organic material and high humidity that mold spores grow best in. Fixing damage quickly can help prevent this. For help with water damage repairs, you can contact a local restoration service. Many of these professionals can perform a mold assessment as well.
2. Keep the Space Dry
Keeping the business property dry is another step for mold prevention as mold likes humid environments. Using a ventilation system can help circulate the air while putting floor mats by and entrances can help collect excess water on wet days. You may also want to regularly inspect the plumbing to ensure there are no leaks or other potential issues.
3. Contact a Professional
If you think your company might be at risk for mold it’s best to contact a local mold remediation service as soon as possible. These professionals know what to look for. They can assess your risk and perform mold testing to determine if any spores are present. If mold is found then one can isolate the affected area and begin the process of mold removal.
One of the best steps for mold prevention at your business is to fix any water caused damage problems as soon as they occur. It’s also a good idea to keep things as dry as possible. Remember, if you do think there may be mold present, a mold remediation service can help.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Home and Family For Severe Weather
Particularly with large storms, it is important to keep an eye on the news
Prepare For Severe Weather
A severe storm in Wayland, RI, can cause flood water to build up, damaging your home, and creating an unsafe environment. If you are expecting bad weather, use the following tips to keep yourself, your family, and your home prepared.
1. Watch the News
Particularly with large storms, it is important to keep an eye on the news. The weather can change quickly, and having the most recent updates can help you figure out what to do next. Check on this regularly and adjust your plans accordingly.
2. Prepare an Emergency Kit
Put together some items in case the storm causes the power to go out. This can include a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and batteries. You should also have some bottled water and packaged food that does not require heating.
3. Protect Your Home
Flood water can cause a lot of damage to your house, so you should take steps to limit this. Clean out drains and gutters outside the building and move important items to an upper floor or airtight containers.
4. Check Your Insurance
A flooded building can be expensive to repair, and you may be stuck with the bill for a cleanup and restoration service if your insurance does not cover this type of damage. In most cases, flood insurance must be purchased separately, so you should go over your policy to determine what is included.
5. Relocate if Necessary
Not only can flood water affect your house, but it can also compromise the safety of your family. If there is an evacuation order, or if you believe you would be safer somewhere else, you should relocate until the storm has passed and it is safe to return.
If you prepare for water damage before a storm occurs, then you may have less to deal with once it is over. Staying aware of the current weather can also help keep you safe. Keep these tips in mind the next time you are expecting severe weather in your area.
What To Do About a Leaky Roof
A leaking roof causes damage to the ceiling in a Mount Pleasant, RI building
What To Do About a Leaky Roof
A well-built roof can last for 30 years or more. Over time, the roof will start to wear out and show its age. Also, severe weather, such as heavy winds and hail, can damage the roof. Even minor issues could cause a roof leak. If you don't do something about this, you could wind up with significant damage to your home, including mold growth. If you discover that you have a leaky roof, act quickly.
Signs of Roof Problems
You may go years without ever thinking about your roof. However, wise building owners in Mount Pleasant, RI, inspect their roof at least once a year. Here are some signals that your roof could be leaking or have other issues:
- There are missing shingles.
- Some of the shingles are curling.
- Asphalt shingle granules are in the rain gutters.
- There are water stains on your ceiling.
Get Rid of Wet Materials
If you do have a damaged roof, make sure you tear out wet items immediately. Your best bet is to first file an insurance claim and then call a professional disaster cleanup company to assist you in this process. The crew will tear out drywall, carpet and ceiling tiles. You should also remove wet furniture, documents, and electronics. The water damage mitigation team may be able to restore these items.
Dry and Sanitize
Once everything is out of the way, the professionals will thoroughly dry the area that the roof leak affected. Technicians will use heavy-duty blowers and dehumidifiers to remove all water and moisture. To further discourage the growth of mold, the technicians will disinfect all applicable areas of the building.
Lastly, crews will restore damaged materials and rebuild your roof. This process can take some time, but the team will minimize disruptions to your business as much as possible.
A roof leak can cause more problems than you might think. However, with the right response, you can restore your building and salvage materials.
3 Reasons Water Damage Is Significant After a Fire
Fire damage in a Wayland, RI building
Three Ways Water Can Wreak Havoc On Your Business During A Fire
Fire restoration companies in Wayland, RI, understand that property restoration requires more than smoke cleanup, it also needs water cleanup. Many business owners do not understand the connection between fire and water, but if you think long enough, it is easy to make a connection. However, not all damage comes from expected places. There are at least three ways water can wreak havoc on your business during a fire.
- Broken pipes
- Fire hoses
- Suppression systems
Fires can reach temperatures of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, depending on the materials in the facility. PVC pipes melt around 176 degrees Fahrenheit, which pipes are likely severely damaged. However, you are likely safe if your facility's pipes are copper. Even if your pipes don't melt, the heat causes pressure to build inside the pipes, which may cause pipe breaks or bursts.
Most of the water cleanup after a fire is because of the use of fire hoses. These essential fire-fighting tools can expel hundreds, if not thousands, of gallons of water while putting out a blaze. While some water will evaporate because of the heat, the majority will stay in your facility.
The fire suppression system you use will also impact the fire cleanup process. If you have a selective system, only the rooms affected by the fire will have significant water damage. However, if your system is all-or-nothing, your entire building will experience some water loss.
Water cleanup is a significant part of fire restoration. While losing equipment to water damage is disappointing, it is likely less destructive than flames. If a fire is extinguished fast enough, the structure of your facility may survive. If you would like more information about water losses related to fires or are interested in learning about fire suppression systems, then consider contacting a local fire restoration company or your local fire department.