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5 Tips for Filing a Commercial Fire Claim

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

soot and smoke damage after a fire Soot and smoke damage after a fire.

Five Tips For Seeking Financial Aid From Your Insurer

A fire claim may seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be that way. The process is there to assist in times of trouble. When commercial owners in Federal Hill, RI, desire compensation, the claim's process is a saving grace. Here are five tips for seeking financial aid from your insurer.

1. Understand Your Policy
Is fire restoration part of your insurance policy? Review the paperwork. It's often available online through your company's portal. Be sure to understand several elements: your coverage amount, deductible and any exclusions.

2. Reach Out to Your Agent
As soon as the blaze is extinguished, file a fire claim. Delays are problematic. Go online, or call the number on the back of the insurance card. When you speak with the insurer, ask about any standard protocols and how you should proceed.

3. Shield the Property from Additional Harm
Minimize exposure to elements and trespassers. The agency doesn't want to add to the bill or fight a lawsuit. Have a fire remediation company attend to the premises. The experts should assess any possible hazards, boarding up any openings in the walls and windows. Weather is also a concern. Be sure to tarp over the roof, avoiding rain entry.

4. Photograph Damage
Prove there was fire damage by snapping images of everything charred or ruined. Before disposing of anything, log it and photograph it.

5. Initiate Remediation Efforts
While you may want to wait for your compensation to arrive, the lag time could prove harmful to both the claim and your building. Lingering fire and water damage lead to significant complications such as mold, rot and structural integrity.
The fighters' hoses, for instance, saturated the facility to quench the flames. This act left porous substances vulnerable to mold growth. Without immediate attention, spreads may occur within one to two days. Prompt action reduces these occurrences, keeping overhead costs lower for both you and the insurer.
When you go to file a fire claim, don't expect money without evidence. Be prepared to show your efforts to mitigate harm and the effects of the conflagration on your business.

How Do Big Cities Prevent Major Flooding?

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse Water damage due to flooding in Blackstone, RI.

Here Are A Few Things That Cities Are Using To Control Flooding

Entrepreneurs like you in Blackstone, RI, know that owning a business comes with a substantial risk of flooding. You've taken all the appropriate safety measures to protect your business from high water, but it's important to you to know what measures your city is taking to prevent major water damage from occurring in the first place. 

1. Moving Water Barriers
On the high-tech end of things, moveable water barriers have been created in waterfront cities around the world as effective methods of flood prevention. In the Netherlands, computerized walls are triggered to close when water reaches a certain level and then water tanks along the barrier fill with the excess water. In another part of the country, a barrier with moveable gates was constructed. Italy uses a similar system of moving barriers to help manage high water.

2. Canals and Locks
Less technical but still impressive are systems of canals and locks, such as in Panama, that not only help to move ships for commercial purposes, but also help stop flooding. Japan has a series of locks, or water gates, that operate via hydraulic power to open and close as needed in order to protect low-lying agricultural areas.

3. Sandbags and Alternatives
Other cities in the United States and in England useless technical methods of flood prevention that can be easily raised and lowered. Sandbags, man-made sand dunes, and temporary levees are set up prior to individual storms.
High water is a true threat to commerce. If your business sustains water damage due to flooding, a water damage restoration company can help to restore your property quickly. If you're concerned about the flood prevention methods in your city, work with other business owners to make suggestions to your local government.
Efforts to stop flooding — both at the city level and the individual business level — benefit the economy of a city for everyone.

The Essential Tools of Professional Smoke Cleaning

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Outside of a home part of a wall has been damaged by fire Fire damage in Hope, RI.

The Essential Tools of Professional Smoke Cleaning

If your home in Hope, RI, requires smoke cleaning, it is critical that the job is performed professionally. The smells of smoke are notoriously difficult to remove. They bind with fabrics and other materials and can persist for months. A company that takes shortcuts might use techniques that only mask the odors; inevitably, the unpleasant smoke odor will return, often in as little as a few days. True experts in deodorization use the best practices established by the cleaning and restoration industry. Technicians have specialized training that helps them identify and eliminate offensive smells in your home.

Specialized Equipment for Smoke Cleaning
In addition to effective and safe cleaning agents, a smoke remediation company has access to some powerful tools. The following state-of-the-art devices for combating odors are often used after a fire or in other cases of smoke saturation:

  • Air filtration devices
  • Ozone machines
  • Thermal foggers

An odor control technician understands the science behind persistent smells and can therefore utilize the most effective techniques and equipment. The right actions can remove smoke damage and odors without a trace. An upholstery and fabric cleaning technician specialize in removing smells from carpeting, curtains, furniture and clothing.

A Proven Process for Fire Restoration
After a fire, it is important to act quickly to minimize damage and expenses to your home. A professional team such as SERVPRO will arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster. Workers will begin an inspection and damage assessment and then move on to the most pressing issues. If needed, they will engage in water removal and drying, and then proceed with the removal of soot and smoke from all surfaces. This will be followed by cleaning and repair and then the restoration of damaged areas. Smoke cleaning is a vital step to getting your home back in good condition again. When done correctly, the smoke smells will not return.

Are You Likely To Experience a Rate Hike When You Seek Insurance Assistance?

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

A blank form is waiting to be completed and signed by a policyholder or an insured person. File an insurance claim when the money is needed.

Here Are Three Factors That Influence An Agency's Rate Adjustment

Homeowners in Reservoir, RI, pay monthly premiums to insurers to have assistance in times of trouble. Filing an insurance claim is a lifesaver for many, avoiding significant costs at one time; however, does this action mean residents will pay more in future premiums? The answer to that question isn't simple or easily discerned. It depends on multiple factors. 

What Caused the Water Damage?
While requesting compensation, the agent is likely to ask about when the harm began, how it happened and if immediate action was taken to mitigate the destruction. If owners caused the issue or allowed it to fester, insurers get concerned. Paying for them might happen, but it could mean that you'll pay for your actions in the premiums.
If the fault doesn't fall to the owner but nature or someone else, the insurer may not place blame, forgiving the event and leaving the monthly cost alone. Without a doubt, prioritize cleanup to show good faith. Agents are likely to appreciate a swift response through a water restoration company.

Where Do You Live?
Some locations are likely to see more people filing an insurance claim. Residents living along the coast may have hurricanes blow through more often, causing harm to roofs. The same is true of homeowners living in flood zones, tornado alleys and heavy snowfalls. Agencies are likely to evaluate how much they could payout over time, using this probability to calculate monthly fees.

How Often Are You Making Requests?
Insurance companies are a business. While they offer monetary assistance, they must weigh the risk of putting out too much. The business considers how frequently owners ask for coverage. Filing for a home flood is one thing. If the owners also ask for roof and foundation repair, that could be too much for the establishment to sustain within a short window of time.
File an insurance claim when the money is needed. Be aware that the insurer has the right to evaluate the risk of the payment in the future, adjusting bills to assist in future demands.

4 Essential Steps That SERVPRO Takes During the Fire Restoration Process

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

soot and smoke damage after a fire Contact SERVPRO if you are dealing with smoke and soot damage after a fire.

Fire Restoration Process

If a fire occurs in your Providence, RI, building, it's vital that you take action quickly. One of the most important steps to take in beginning the restoration process, which SERVPRO is experienced at helping with. If you'd like to know more, here are four essential steps that SERVPRO takes during the fire restoration process.

1. Inspecting for Damage
One of the most important parts of restoration is inspecting the damage. By doing so, experts can determine the best course of action. Not only is this beneficial to the restoration process, but it may save you money if the damage is determined to be minimal. Here's what the fire restoration experts at SERVPRO generally look for:

  • Smoke damage
  • Soot damage
  • Size of the fire

2. Stabilizing Vulnerable Areas
When a building has experienced a fire, it's likely that it will have some damaged structural parts. These are things like roofs, windows, and walls. In order to prevent further damage to your building (which would delay the fire rebuild), SERVPRO workers can stabilize these areas. Windows and walls can be boarded up, while a tarp may be laid over a roof.

3. Cleaning Damaged Items
Unfortunately, many of your items may be damaged during a fire. An essential part of fire restoration is getting your building back to its previous state, so SERVPRO has various cleaning techniques for restorable items.

4. Getting Rid of Smoke and Soot
After a fire, smoke and soot may become entrenched in surfaces like ceilings and walls. This could cause a whole new series of problems, from discoloration to metal corrosion. Since SERVPRO has particular techniques and equipment available, this problem may be dealt with efficiently.
Experiencing a fire can be overwhelming. However, it's important not to give up or sink into despair. SERVPRO can help you get your building as close to normalcy as possible, even if rebuilding services are needed.

Regular Inspections Help You Avoid Plumbing Problems

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Man start using sewer inspection camera. Monitor showing picture from camera head that inspector is holding. Consider a camera inspection if you cannot clear the drain.

Regular Maintenance Is The Key To Prevention

Do you remember the last time you inspected the plumbing in your Wayland, RI, building? If not, it's time for a checkup. Over time, your pipes can break down, leak or corrode and put you at risk for plumbing problems.

Main Areas To Inspect
During your maintenance inspection, be sure to look at the main areas:

  • Pipes
  • Drains
  • Valves
  • Water heater

It's also a good idea to check any areas that have given you trouble in the past.

Leaks and Corrosion
Undetected water leaks can cost you thousands on your water bill. Look for signs of active leaks, including puddles, moisture and water spots. Keep an eye out for mold or mildew, which are indicators of moisture.
Corrosion on your pipes might mean they are nearing the end of their useful life. A corroded area can lead to a broken pipe. Repair and replace damaged fixtures as needed and clean limescale from faucets and showerheads.

Drains and Backflow Testing
Slow or clogged drains should be cleared. Consider a camera inspection if you cannot clear the drain. There may be root growth or other plumbing problems.
Commercial buildings are required to have backflow prevention devices and backflow testing once a year to prevent contamination.

Shutoff Valves
Check all safety and shutoff valves and replace broken ones. Valves that are correctly working ensure you will be able to turn off the water at the source of a problem instead of shutting off the whole system at the water main.

Water Heater
Make sure your water heater is operating safely and at the correct temperature. Check overflows and safety valves and immediately address any repairs.

Water Pressure
Water pressure should stay between 40psi and 80psi. Multi-level buildings may have high pressure on the lower levels, while the pressure drops on the higher levels.
If you find water damage and need help with remediation, you can call a professional restoration company to assist with cleanup and repair. Regular maintenance and inspection will help you avoid major plumbing problems.

Frozen Pipes in Providence, RI

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

frozen pipes Frozen pipes can quickly lead to water damage in your Rhode Island home or business.

Freezing Temperatures Leading to Burst Pipes

Freezing temperatures may lead to a burst pipe, which can cause serious problems for your Providence, RI home or business. Fortunately, a little preventive maintenance can help protect your property during the winter months.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Knowing which pipes are most likely to freeze will help you when taking steps to prevent it from happening. The following situations are some of the riskiest when temperatures drop:

Exposed pipes under sinks
Pipes in garages, attics and other unheated areas
Pipes in exterior walls

Anywhere plumbing lacks adequate insulation and is exposed to freezing temperatures can lead to a frozen pipe. If possible, increase the temperature in the area. For example, opening the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink allows heat to reach those pipes. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night. Even if the building will be empty for a few days, leave the thermostat set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Insulate pipes in areas that cannot be heated. If you are unable to acquire pipe insulation, newspaper will work as a temporary substitute. Additionally, leaving just a bit of water running through vulnerable pipes can help prevent freezing.

Cleaning Up Water Damage

If your business does experience a burst pipe, the first thing to do is make sure all electricity near the standing water is turned off. Call an electrician if you cannot do this safely. Next, dry out the area as thoroughly as possible. Standing water can lead to mold growth in as few as 24 hours. Some things, like carpets, may have to be fully removed. Use pumps and a wet/dry vacuum to dry out other items. Fans, dehumidifiers and open windows can help speed the drying process.

Depending on the extent of the water damage, you may need to enlist the help of an experienced restoration service when cleaning up a burst pipe. They can dry out the property, prevent mold growth and get you back to business.

Why Does My Commercial Building Smell Like a Forest?

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Air duct covered with dust The dust inside of your HVAC air ducts is an excellent source of nutrition for fungus

Why Does My Commercial Building Smell Like a Forest?

The way a property smells tells a lot about the condition of its construction materials. A musty, forest smell is a clear signal that there is mold growing somewhere in the building. When fungus is given the conditions to grow, the chemical compounds it releases in its various stages of growth will give off an odor. These are known as microbial volatile organic compounds, or MVOC's. Property owners in Mount Pleasant, RI, describe it as the smell of dirt or wet dog. Mold thrives on:

  • Wood
  • Grout
  • Concrete
  • Insulation
  • Drywall

If a musty smell circulates when the HVAC system turns on, it is likely the mold is inside of the air ducts. Here are three ways a professional HVAC cleaning service will keep your building mold-free:

1. Improved Air Quality
Mold spores are airborne microscopic particles that will circulate throughout the building with each use of the HVAC system. The air quality of a building is measured by how much pollution is recorded. This is determined by the number of particles traveling the air. Having your cooling system cleaned regularly will lessen the number of particles in the air, improving the overall air quality.

2. Controlled Humidity Levels
Your HVAC system protects your building from the natural elements that threaten to decompose it. Mold thrives in dark, damp spaces that offer the right nutrients. Keeping the humidity levels at 40-60% will ensure the construction materials remain dry, protecting them from an invasion of fungus.

3. Prevents Hidden Mold
The dust inside of your HVAC air ducts is an excellent source of nutrition for fungus. The ducts also provide a damp, dark environment, giving mold optimal conditions to develop. An HVAC cleaning service will ensure your air ducts are cleaned, preventing a mold problem from circulating.
Cleaning vents and having your HVAC system serviced at least once a year will contribute to a healthy, longer-lasting building. Hire an HVAC cleaning service to keep your system from spreading fungus. If your commercial property smells like mildew, you can contact a professional mold remediation service to help clean and restore the building.

What to Expect When Buying a Home in a Flood Zone

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

flood waters overtake house Before buying a house, you will want to think about if it is at risk of storm and water damage

Before you buy a flood zone home, you should know the different risks and benefits involved. Read on to learn more about the associated risks and if it is worth it for you.

What Are Flood Zones?

A flood zone includes any area that FEMA has calculated the risk of. The designation they receive ranges from low-risk to high-risk for flooding areas. Additionally, they will be categorized into one of the following:

  • Special Flood Hazard Areas
  • Non-Special Flood Hazard Areas

How Can You Determine if a Home Is at Risk?
It is effortless to tell if the house you are interested in is at risk. Often, you can ask the real estate agent if it is in a flood zone. Otherwise, you can visit FEMA's website and check their maps. Either way, it is important to know this information as soon as possible.

How Does It Affect the Price?
Houses in Special Flood Hazard Areas are often priced lower than houses in Elmwood, RI. However, a lot of people choose them because of the community they are in. For instance, waterfront properties are prone to floods. These houses are chosen because of the lifestyle and community they offer.

What Should You Look for in a House?
Before purchasing an at-risk house, do your homework. Have a remediation company perform an inspection to look for any signs of previous damage. Some states will require that this information is given to potential buyers. In this case, you will know about the flood history ahead of time. However, other states do not require this information to be disclosed. Therefore, you will want to have the structure and damage investigated.
Before buying a house, you will want to think about if it is at risk of storm and water damage. It is easy to find out if your potential house is in a Special Flood Hazard Area. While these houses may be cheaper, you should have the house inspected to avoid getting something that is already damaged.

4 Lesser-Known Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Fire

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Man using fire extinguisher to stop fire in the office. Concept of protection and security Teach fire extinguisher usage

4 Lesser-Known Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Fire

The possibility that your Fox Point, RI, business building will experience a fire is likely a rare subject of your thoughts. However, the potential for a business fire to create disaster makes it essential to prioritize. While you may know the essential preventative measures, not all are widely acknowledged. So, here are four lesser-known ways to prepare your business for a fire.

1. Check the Lighting
If you should undergo a business fire, the first priority will be to exit the building. Unfortunately, this will be difficult if you can't find an exit. This is why lighting is so important. Make sure that employees will be able to clearly see where each escape route is. These are some areas to focus on:

  • Hallways
  • Doors
  • Signage

If possible, try to acquire emergency lighting that won't be affected by power outages.

2. Teach Fire Extinguisher Usage
While most every business trains its employees in how to exit a building, fire extinguishers may be neglected. However, the ability to put a fire out is an essential skill during such a disaster. Hold training sessions for this purpose, particularly for those that express a lack of knowledge in the subject.

3. Lower Storage
When storing items, be sure that everything is at least 24 inches away from the ceiling. In one respect, this fire preparation stops the damage from spreading too far. In another, it helps firemen use water in buildings that don't have sprinklers.

4. Inspect Extension Cords
It can be tempting to leave extension cords perpetually plugged in, especially if you work in an office setting. However, this can be a hazard and cause fire damage. Try to implement a policy of unplugging the cords after use.
No business owner wants to experience a fire, but you may find yourself faced with one. If this occurs, you'll want to know that you are fully prepared for a business fire. Just be sure to take immediate action and contact fire restoration experts afterward.