Recent Posts

The Benefits of Claims Inventory Services

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. Clients can always view the updates on their online accounts.

SERVPRO's Claims Inventory Service

When a commercial property is damaged by fire, flooding or mold, the expenses for mitigation and restoration can really add up. Business owners need a reliable way to keep track not only of structural elements that are compromised but also of items inside their buildings that need repair. SERVPRO's claims inventory service makes the process of filing an insurance claim for damaged property easier for your clients in Providence, RI.

Visual Proof of Damage
When SERVPRO technicians arrive at the building, they start with a thorough assessment of the damage to the structure. They may take several pictures of the affected area:

  • Saturated drywall
  • Collapsed ceiling tiles
  • Damaged flooring
  • Compromised items

This assessment gives business owners and their insurance providers a clear picture of the work that needs to be done. They can access the information at any time in order to file accurate claims.

Itemized List for Insurance Claim
Before any ruined building materials can be removed, the certified damage mitigation experts must take out furniture, equipment and other items that were in the path of destruction. Once these things are removed, they are inspected to see if they're salvageable.
An insurance agent may see a distinction between repair and replacement costs for the separate lists on the claim. Clients can always view the updates on their online accounts. Technicians update the report throughout the process to verify the work that has been completed or add new steps that have to be taken. Because the information is revised whenever there is a change, the itemized list serves as an accurate backup to the claim filed with the provider.
No matter why your clients need mitigation services, the claims inventory system helps them keep track of what's going on with their property. It makes filing an insurance claim as simple as possible.

How FEMA Can Help After a Flood

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Fema.gov Disasters USA Government home page under magnifying glass. Organizations like FEMA are there to help with grants that may not cover everything but still make recovery easier.

FEMA's Role in Flood Recovery

When a natural flood event happens in Elmwood, RI, even uninsured homeowners don’t have to weather the financial burden and recovery. A FEMA grant provides accepted households up to $36,000 for disaster relief. While this may not cover all the associated costs, it does provide relief. Before filing for a grant, it’s important to understand what the agency assists with.

Flooding Damage Relief
After an assessment of the damage is completed and a certified water damage restoration company has been secured to develop a restoration plan, you can expect the grant to help cover the costs for the following:

Roofs and Ceilings: If the storm wreaked havoc on the roof, these funds may be used to repair or replace affected materials.
Floors: While it may not cover replacement costs for new carpet or tiles, it will assist with any subfloor damage.
Windows: Broken windows related to the storm are included.
Property: The amount of property that is covered varies, but it may include the repair or replacement of HVAC systems, essential appliances and utilities.

Other Assistance
FEMA assistance comes in other forms besides ensuring your home is a safe and secure environment. Along with assisting with temporary relocation and related expenses, it may also help with child care and medical expense as well as replacing belongings, including:

  • Clothing
  • Job-required gear
  • Educational tools
  • Storage expenses
  • Essential vehicle damage
  • Disaster-related purchases

While these grants help with many different facets of the disaster, it’s also important to know that they will only be provided for up to 18 months. Typically, a household will receive around $5,000 a month to get their lives back on track.
Weathering a natural disaster comes with chaos and significant stress. While everything may seem hopeless, organizations like FEMA are there to help with grants that may not cover everything but still make recovery easier.

3 Ways the Pros Will Remove the Smoke Smell From Your Home

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines help to clean out the air.

Three Ways To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home

Even after the flame has been extinguished and the charred remains of your belongings have been removed, you'll notice that the smell of smoke lingers in your Providence, RI, home. Instead of using masking agents, such as air fresheners, to cover up the smell, the professionals cleaning your home will follow a strict protocol to keep the smell at bay. Here are three ways they will eliminate the smoke smell from your home. 

1. Remove Smoke Damage Residue
The first step in smoke cleaning is to remove the damage. This damage includes items burned in the fire and soot and smoke left on the walls. The cleaners will use a special vacuum to ensure that all traces of soot are removed from all surfaces. They will then use a specialized cleaner to remove the soot off the walls, which helps keep the smell from returning. 

2. Filter the Air
Even though you may not see it, there will be many soot and smoke particles in the air, which will cause the smoke odor to return over time if not treated properly. The odor removal professionals will use air filtration devices to clean and filter the air circulating throughout your home. If the smell remains after filtering the air, they will also use ozone machines to help clean the air, ensuring that the smoke cleaning process is successful. 

3. Seal the Surfaces
As the final step of the cleaning process, the cleaners will seal the surfaces in your home damaged by smoke. The specialized sealing agent will prevent any smoke particles from seeping through and can be painted over so there won't be any evidence of the fire left. 
Doing a thorough smoke cleaning can take some time and patience. However, when you trust the professionals to do it, you can rest assured knowing it's done correctly and that the smells won't return. 

How To Prevent Mold Recurrence

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Tile with mold growth Mold growth after water damage in Elmwood, RI.

Mold Recurrence: How To Avoid It

Recurring mold growth in your Elmwood, RI, business is unwelcome and frustrating. Fortunately, knowing the causes for the recurrence will help you keep the problem at bay.

Necessary Conditions
Mold returns for the same reason that it occurs in the first place: The conditions are right. The following are three things that fungi need to thrive:

  • Warmth
  • Food source
  • Water source

Most indoor locations are warm enough to support mold. Nutrient sources, including pulpy products, dust and dirt, are regularly found in most buildings as well. The presence of water, however, can generally be controlled.

Prevention Methods
Even if a professional restoration company performs the initial mold removal, it is still up to you, the business owner, to prevent future growth. As discussed above, the presence of water is generally the easiest condition to control. If the area with the recurring mold problem is prone to high humidity, install a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the area. Address water damage as quickly as possible and dry up spills, leaks and all standing water immediately.
In addition to keeping the area as dry as possible, there are specialized products available that are resistant to mold growth. Common options include paints, primers and fabrics. There are also sprays that can be applied to certain surfaces that are thought to help repel mold.

Another option is minimizing the number of mold spores present in the area. These spores occur almost everywhere, so it can be helpful to trap them in a HEPA filter before they have a chance to colonize. You may even have a chance to address two factors with one product if you select a combination dehumidifier and purifier.
Ideally, mold that has been properly removed would not return. However, this is not always the case. Fortunately, there are a variety of tactics available to those who are struggling with recurring mold growth.

How To Prepare for a Business Fire

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

People escape to exit door Employees should be trained in how to exit the building in the case of a business fire.

Steps In Fire Preparation

Commercial fires can damage a company’s building, but businesses in Providence, RI, can prepare for a business fire by planning ahead. Taking these four steps in fire preparation allows businesses to minimize risk and fire damage in the case of an emergency.

1. Establishing a Fire Safety Plan
Employees should be trained in how to exit the building in the case of a business fire. Local fire marshals or the building’s property manager can help determine the best escape route. Additionally, the business can compile a list of emergency contact numbers, including first responders, important clientele and a fire restoration company.

2. Installing Proper Equipment
Fire codes typically require businesses to install a sprinkler system and smoke detectors, as well as have one fire extinguisher per floor of the company’s building. However, businesses should consider having more fire extinguishers available, as they are the best tool for employees to put out small fires. Companies should regularly test the batteries in the smoke detectors and invest in fire blankets and first aid kits.

3. Conducting Appropriate Training
Employees need to be trained in how to use any fire safety equipment. Businesses can instruct workers on how to properly operate fire extinguishers and administer first aid. Routinely conducting fire drills will also ensure employees know how to execute the safety plan.

4. Determining a Fire Damage Recovery Plan
If a commercial fire occurs, having a plan for restoring operations assists the company in returning to work as soon as possible. Once the property has been deemed safe, employees can recover items from the premises and begin the process of fire restoration with the help of trained professionals.
Taking the proper steps to prepare for a business fire helps companies navigate the dangers efficiently and safely. Knowing what to do in the case of an emergency ensures a business survives a fire and can continue to serve customers after the incident.

3 Reasons Black Water in Your Home Is an Emergency

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet A flooded toilet can spread throughout the home.

Three Reasons Why Black Water in Your Home Is a Disaster

While unwanted water in your home in Elmwood, RI, is a big problem, the situation becomes much worse if the water is contaminated. This could be the result of floodwaters coming into your home, or it could be from a ruptured pipe that carries sewage. At this point, you will need a professional sewer cleanup. Several important factors label this as an emergency.

1. A Sewer Backup Poses a Risk to Everyone
Dirty water in your home puts everyone in the household at risk. Any surfaces that water came in contact with could be contaminated. Sometimes that damage cannot be seen, but it is there nonetheless, resulting in unsanitary conditions. The best bet is to call a local water damage restoration company. Trained technicians will arrive in a matter of hours and focus on safety right away.

2. A Flooded Toilet Can Spread Throughout the Home
Water does not tend to stay in one place but can seep into floors and even drip into the room below the initial spill. A professional sewer cleanup will work to contain the contaminated water, thus limiting the scope of the property damage. With the right equipment for the job, such as water vacuums and powerful pumps, a trained crew ensures the water does not spread into other areas.

3. A Water Spill Gets Worse Over Time
As a powerful corrosive agent, water, especially black water, can eat away at nearly all the elements of a home. This includes breaking down wooden structures and even having an impact on metals, ceramics and other durable materials. A rapid cleanup doesn't give water a chance to work on vulnerable materials. It also is less likely to result in mold growth from saturated surfaces and elevated humidity levels.
A sewer cleanup is a job for professionals who will arrive quickly. It requires a rapid response to limit the damage caused by black water.

How to Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Winter Storm

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Insulation covers To prevent a pipe break, insulate around your pipes to keep the cold air out.

Keep Your Commercial Property Safe From a Storm

A winter storm could cause devastating damage to commercial buildings in Providence, RI. Freezing temperatures affect the construction materials of buildings by corroding, expanding, and tearing them. Materials that are affected by below-freezing temperatures include:

  • Pipes
  • Windows
  • Roofs
  • HVAC units

You can keep your property safe from bad weather by maintaining and updating your building as needed. Here are a few things you can do to keep your commercial property safe from a storm.

1. Maintain Your HVAC System
An HVAC unit has the power to heat your building and keep colder temperatures out. You will need to crank up the heat when temperatures drop. To keep your system maintained and functional before a winter storm, change the filters regularly and have the unit professionally cleaned at least once a year.

2. Check That Your Windows Are Properly Sealed
In older buildings, the sealant around windows becomes corroded with time. Make sure your windows are sealed well enough to keep out unwanted moisture. This prevents storm damage from ice and higher humidity levels in the building. It can also save you money on your electrical bill and ensures the HVAC system is not working harder than it needs to.

3. Insulate Around Your Plumbing
One of the main reasons insurance companies receive calls in the aftermath of inclement weather is damage from burst or broken pipes. A burst pipe occurs when water freezes inside of the plumbing, causing the pressure to increase and pipes to burst. To prevent a pipe break, insulate around your pipes to keep the cold air out. Remember to allow warm air to circulate around indoor water supply lines by opening cabinet doors. Any outdoor pipes should also be well insulated.

Prevent unwanted damage by keeping your property well maintained year-round. If you have experienced a burst pipe from a winter storm, contact a storm damage restoration service to aid in cleanup and repairs.

How Quickly Can Mold Grow in My Facility?

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Pieces of drywall with mold growth Leave your mold damage to the professionals.

If you have water damage to your roof in Olneyville, RI, you are probably wondering if you will soon have black mold in your facility. The answer is probably yes if you don't take action right away to mitigate the damage. Here is some information about mold growth.

What Causes Mold To Grow?

Mold needs only a few ingredients to thrive:

  • Water
  • Oxygen
  • Food (organic material like wood)
  • Suitable temperature

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, once moisture from a ceiling leak begins to accumulate, black mold and other mold types can start growing in 24 to 48 hours. Mold spores are present in most environments and travel by air currents and water. They can also hitch a ride on clothing and fur. They are able to survive in conditions that don't support mold growth. Once they find moisture, it doesn't take long for them to settle in and thrive, forming colonies known as mycelium.

How Can I Prevent Mold Growth?

Once you know you have a roof leak in your building, act right away to identify the source and stop water from entering. A professional mold remediation company can help you by inspecting the damage and finding hidden sources of water. If mold is detected, technicians will isolate the contaminated area with techniques like physical barriers or negative air chambers. They will use vacuums and other specialized equipment to prevent the spread of mold spores.

If surfaces have been contaminated by mold, technicians will use antimicrobial and antifungal treatments to remove colonies. Any porous materials that are too damaged, such as carpeting or drywall, can be removed and replaced. If your facility needs major repairs, areas can be remodeled and reconstructed.

If you suspect your facility's roof in Olneyville, RI, has been compromised, it's best to call for help right away to prevent potential black mold damage.

How Does Storm Damage Affect Building Interiors?

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

wet carpet floor, carpet floor removed, Commercial water damage in Federal Hill, RI.

How Do Storms Affect the Interiors of Buildings?

Most commercial property owners and tenants view storm damage as an external threat. In reality, a burst pipe can cause extensive storm damage when temperatures plunge below freezing. Find out more about the exterior and interior threats posed by extreme weather to a building in Federal Hill, RI.

A Building Enclosure Becomes Compromised

Flood water, high winds and other effects of a storm can undermine the enclosure or envelope of a building. The outer shell of a structure provides several essential functions:

  • Air control
  • Thermal control
  • Water control
  • Vapor control

When a storm compromises an enclosure, this layer may no longer be able to shield a building's interior from exterior conditions. A drop in air quality or loss of conditioned air may result, as could elevated moisture levels that put a building at risk for water damage and mold.

External Water Works Its Way Indoors

When moisture penetrates through a vapor barrier, humidity levels in a structure rise. More severe damage to a building enclosure may permit flood water to enter. Standing water poses a major risk of primary structural and secondary mold damage.

Freezing Temperatures Burst Pipes

A burst pipe may also result from uncontrolled temperatures in a structure. Exposed plumbing in areas that are not temperature controlled or a frozen pipe that is not properly insulated may be prone to develop a blockage, build up pressure and burst. Although water from a broken supply line starts out as Category One damage, it can degrade to Category Two or Three damage.

The envelope of a commercial building plays an important part in keeping out moisture. If this protective layer gets compromised, it can be easier for external water to penetrate into a building and damage insulation, drywall, or interior contents. It is also important to factor in any exposed plumbing to avoid a burst pipe during cold weather in Federal Hill, RI.

Keeping Air Ducts Free of Black Mold

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Black dust surrounding air vents When black mold appears in ventilation, it must be removed as quickly as possible.

Black mold getting inside your company’s ventilation system is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Understanding how to identify and dispose of fungal intruders is critical to keeping staff safe and preventing additional structural office damage from developing in Blackstone, RI. Here are a few realities regarding this dangerous scenario that you should be aware of.

Identification of Mold in Air Ducts

Whatever mold gets into air ducts is less obvious than mold appearing on floors or walls. Try searching for:

  • Black dust surrounding air vents
  • Musty odors
  • Excessive indoor moisture

Early diagnosis is critical to halting the spread of black mold to other parts of your building. When this happens, hire a mold removal service professional to safely rectify the matter.

Removal of Mold From Air Ducts

Before taking apart your air conditioning system, have a certified mold inspector confirm the problem’s existence. This decision could save heaps of time, money and energy.
Take a close look at your insulation. Sections that have become compromised need to be discarded and replaced.
Ductwork should be wiped down and disinfected with an EPA-approved cleaning agent. Although commercial mold removal solutions are recommended, a less expensive alternative involves making your own. Instructions for doing this can be found online. Whichever path you choose, use safety equipment. Acquire safety goggles, a respirator and industrial-grade gloves before taking on the assignment.
Prior to reinstalling your newly clean ducts, be sure you have figured out what caused the issue to develop and eliminated the source of the trouble. Failure to do so will likely result in the headache reappearing, in which case the entire process will need to be repeated.
When black mold appears in ventilation, it must be removed as quickly as possible. If you feel uncomfortable with the task of getting rid of it on your own, find a team of mold remediation experts that can handle the matter quickly, safely and affordably.