Recent Storm Damage Posts
What to Expect When Buying a Home in a Flood Zone
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.
Does Renter's Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
Renters will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy for these types of disasters
If you are renting a house or apartment in Elmwood, RI, you have probably purchased renter's insurance to cover your belongings in the event of a disaster. You might be wondering, though, how far your coverage extends. Renters should be aware that most policies do not protect a tenant's belongings in the event of a flood.
What Is Covered by Insurance for Renters?
A regular policy for renters will cover your items if something happens to your belongings, including water damage from a burst pipe, certain plumbing issues or a broken appliance. However, a basic policy will not cover damage from flooding. Flooding can be caused by:
- Heavy rain
- Too much snow
- Rising water
- Sewage backup
Renters will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy for these types of disasters.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
If you do not live near the coast or in a flood plain, it's easy to dismiss the idea of purchasing flood insurance coverage. However, even a minor flood can be expensive. FEMA estimates that even one inch of water can do thousands of dollars in damage to the contents of a dwelling. Flood insurance will help pay if you need to replace your belongings or use a commercial restoration service. Flooding can happen in any of the 50 states. If you want guidance determining your risk level for flooding, consult FEMA's flood map service to see what zone you live in.
How Can I Purchase Flood Insurance?
The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, is a division of FEMA that provides flood insurance in the United States. The insurance is sold through private companies. Because prices are set by the government, they are consistent no matter what company offers it. Prices will depend on what kind of dwelling you live in and your geographic location. Ask your insurance company if it sells flood insurance.
If you want complete protection for your belongings, make sure your renter's insurance policy is up to date and consider adding flood insurance coverage. You will have peace of mind knowing you're prepared if you need to make a claim.
Types of Flood Water Contamination
Category 3 floods are the most dangerous types of floods
Types Of Water Damage
While all types of floods are capable of inflicting massive amounts of water damage on your property, some are just inherently more dangerous than others. Floods are classified according to one of three categories, depending on which types of contaminants are present in the water. Read on to see which type of water is flooding your home in Federal Hill, RI.
1. Category 1: Clean Water Floods
Much like the name implies, Category 1 floods are characterized by an absence of contaminants. They're often caused when a supply line bursts or a pipe is leaking. It is possible for these types of floods to transform into more dangerous varieties if outside contaminants are introduced to the water.
2. Category 2: Gray Water Floods
Gray water floods are typically caused when a household appliance, such as a dishwasher or a washing machine overflows and floods the home with partially contaminated water. These types of floods do contain mild amounts of contamination, but not enough to be considered a biohazard. If left untreated for 48 hours, a Category 2 flood can quickly become a Category 3.
3. Category 3: Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods are the most dangerous types of floods. They're categorized by the presence of human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, dangerous chemicals and other types of biohazards. They're usually caused by toilet backflow, sewage main bursts, riverbank overflow and other types of similar disasters. These floods are extremely dangerous and can inflict massive amounts of water damage, so you should never attempt to remediate them on your own. It's best just to contact professional assistance.
It's important to take all types of water damage seriously, but you need to be especially wary of damage caused by black water floods. If not treated properly, the situation will only get worse and worse. It's best to contact flood remediation experts if your property has been affected by Category 3 flooding.
Why Your Business Needs Flood Coverage
Purchase your flood coverage through FEMA
Flood Coverage Through FEMA Is Necessary
Your commercial insurance policy includes coverage for fire and wind. However, it does not cover the cost of flood damage. If you want flood coverage for your Providence, RI, building, you need to purchase a separate policy through FEMA.
This flood policy is called the National Flood Insurance Program. While paying an extra insurance bill each month sounds like a pain, the cost is worth it in the long run.
A flood is essentially excess water on a normally dry area. According to the NFIP definition, a flood can result from any of the following:
- Overflow of tidal or inland waters
- Collapse of land along a shore
- Runoff of surface waters
When you sign up for commercial insurance, you must also decide how high of a deductible you are willing to pay. Higher deductibles reduce your claim payments but also lower your premiums. Your insurance agent can help you decide which deductible is best for you.
Understanding Flood Coverage
Before you buy flood insurance, you should understand exactly what it does and does not cover. You can use building property flood coverage to pay for damage to permanently installed items such as bookcases, panels, cabinets, and carpet. Air conditioning systems, water heaters, and electrical equipment are included in this coverage, as well.
Personal property flood insurance covers any items you own and use in your business, such as portable dishwashers, microwaves, and furniture. You can use the insurance money to replace these assets or to hire storm cleanup experts who can restore your belongings.
However, your insurance provider will reject your claim if the flood damage resulted from a drain backup that you failed to address. Items outside of your building, including fences and septic tanks, are also excluded from coverage.
Flood coverage through the NFIP is a necessary addition to any commercial insurance policy. Because flood cleanup is often costly, and inadequate insurance policy could cause your business to shut down permanently.
Smart Ways to Get Ready for a Flood
Now is the right time to update your washer
It's difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate a disaster. Still, there are things you can do to combat emergencies at home. You can also minimize the likelihood of incidents such as flooding from occurring. With a few simple steps, you can spare yourself a lot of grief and heartache. A professional flood cleanup company can help you restore your home, but you would like to avoid going through such an ordeal in the first place.
Take a Look at the Plumbing
While some flood damage happens from natural causes such as massive storms or broken sewer lines, other problems start from plumbing issues. A leaky pipe, for example, can go undetected for months or even years, leaving widespread damage in your home. To guard against a flood, do the following:
- Inspect all the pipes in your home and check for cracks or other problems.
- Repair any damage to the plumbing system immediately.
- Have a professional inspect the main water line of your home.
Sure up the Drainage
Storm damage can take a heavy toll on your Elmwood, RI, house, especially if rainwater has nowhere to go. Your rain gutters and downspouts should divert water away from the house. However, if there is dirt, leaves, or other debris clogging them up, the water could collect under your roof shingles or pool up near the foundation. It won't take long for the water to seep into your house. Check out these areas and make the necessary repairs right away.
Update the Appliances
You probably rely on your home appliances every day. Items such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, and water heaters offer convenience and ease of living. They are also big culprits of flooding at home. If it has been a while since you did some maintenance on these appliances, now is the right time to do an update. This could prevent leaking or bursting, which would send gallons upon gallons of water onto your floors.
Flooding is nothing to take lightly. You could be at risk of losing your entire home if you are prepared. These tips can help you keep your house safe.
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.
How Your Belongings Are Restored After a Flood
Document drying chamber in Elmwood, RI
The upward trend in the frequency of severe storm events means homeowners are at increased risk of home water damage. If you have experienced water damage in your Elmwood, RI, home, you likely have numerous concerns about what will become of your damaged property. Consulting a professional remediation service is the recommended way to begin your content cleaning process.
Why Hire a Remediation Service?
It’s important to understand the seriousness of damage caused by a flood. Water that enters your home due to rising floodwaters is considered black water, also termed Category 3, the highest-level of water contamination. Here’s why professional help is essential:
- Category 3 water is likely to contain toxic chemicals, sewage or other materials that require specialized safety protocols.
- Remediation specialists are trained to work safely and quickly, preventing damage that can spread with time.
- Hazardous contamination may not be visible to the untrained eye of a homeowner.
It can be unsettling to turn your home and belongings over to a cleanup crew. Having some information about what to expect may help you feel more comfortable.
What Happens to Your Belongings?
Once the excess water is removed from your home, content cleaning crews will begin the process of cleaning and restoring your belongings. Carpets and pads may need to be replaced, though drapes, upholstery and other textiles can often be professionally cleaned and sanitized. Restoration crews will attempt to clean and refinish your hardwood furniture.
Computers, televisions and other electronics will be dried and dehydrated in an attempt to overcome internal water damage. If possible, they will be restored to working order.
Damaged documents present a challenge as paper can disintegrate quickly when wet. Your documents, photographs and other paper products will undergo specialized, meticulous methods to dry and restore them, where possible. Document restoration services may include HIPAA-certified personnel to ensure confidentiality and security procedures are followed.
When floodwater damages your home, it can be a stressful experience. Water-damage specialists know how to move through the content cleaning process safely and swiftly, so you and your family can have your lives back to normal as soon as possible.
3 Levels of Contamination From Water Damage
Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source. An example would be a fresh water line for a refrigerator.
Understanding The Three Water Contamination Levels
Water can cause costly damage to buildings and property. If you have sustained water damage to your business in Fox Point, RI, due to flood water or a broken pipe, it’s important to act quickly. Understanding the three water contamination levels may help you decide on the best strategy for addressing the damage.
Known as “clean water” damage, this category reflects the lowest level of contamination. If the water originated from any of the following sources, you would have Category 1 damage:
- A broken clean water pipe
- A leaking water tube from a refrigerator ice maker
- An overflowing bathtub
- A leaking water heater
This type of water damage cleanup is generally covered by your insurance, so it is recommended you contact your agent early on to report the incident.
This level of contamination, termed “grey water,” is caused by water leaking from a sink, shower or washing machine drain. While not as contaminated as flood water, it may contain small amounts of food, grease or dirt that render it more toxic than clean water. Category 2 damage may require a disinfectant treatment once the excess water is removed. This level of cleanup is also likely to be covered by your business insurance.
Known as “black water,” this high level of contamination originates from storm damage or sewage backups. It can contain bacteria, human or animal waste and toxic chemicals. Category 3 damage requires professional remediation services.
Cleanup crews will use specialized air filtration systems and protective gear. The process is disruptive and time-consuming as it involves demolition and reconstruction of contaminated materials. Flood damage may not be covered by insurance, so it’s important to inquire early on so you can decide how to proceed.
When water damage affects your business, whether from flood water or another source, it can be an unsettling and costly experience. It is important to assess the type of contamination right away and decide on a strategy for cleanup and restoration. The sooner you start the process, the sooner your business and your life will be restored to normal.
What Homeowners Should Know After Storm Damage Affects Their Home
Drying equipment after storm damage in Reservoir, RI
Though storms are common occurrences, storms that involve high wind levels and flooding can devastate homes in Reservoir, RI . Many people don't know what will happen after their homes sustain storm damage. However, understanding cleanup methods and restoration methods, such as a tear out, can be useful to homeowners.
What Are the First Steps After Storm Damage Occurs?
After the storm has ended, there are several important steps that occur to begin the cleanup and storm restoration processes. After a storm has affected your home, the initial steps can involve:
- An assessment performed by storm damage restoration experts
- The documentation of damage, which can be provided to your insurance company
- A visit from an insurance adjuster
- Water removal with specialized vacuums, pumps and other equipment
How Is the Home Restored?
There are various restoration methods that are used after a storm. After water has been removed from the home, professionals will work to mitigate the damage by quickly drying the home, often using powerful dehumidifiers and other pieces of equipment. A tear out, the process of removing damaged building materials, can also be useful. After wet building materials have been removed, the home is sanitized. Finally, damaged materials are replaced.
What Happens to Damaged Items?
Many homeowners are concerned about what will happen to their damaged items after a storm. To mitigate the damage to these items, damaged belongings are usually removed from the home after a storm. Clothes, rugs and other items made of cloth can often be cleaned and restored if mold growth is not present, whereas electronics can be difficult to restore. Ultimately, whether or not an item can be restored depends on the extent of the damage and the fragility of the item itself, and items that can't be restored are replaced.
It's often useful for homeowners to know what happens after a storm affects their home. Learning what first happens after storm and water damage has occurred, knowing the methods and techniques, such as a tear out, that are used to restore homes and understanding what happens to damaged items can bring homeowners peace of mind after a storm.
Does Your Business Need a Flood Cut?
Flood cut in a Providence, RI business
Flooding at your Providence, RI, business may require intensive restoration efforts in order to get back to pre-flood condition. In addition to drying out the area, replacing carpet and other remediation tasks, a flood cut may need to be made in order to fully address the water damage.
What Is A Flood Cut?
A flood cut is simply the removal of drywall approximately one foot above the visible waterline. This is done because water tends to wick upward through the wall.
When Are Flood Cuts Necessary?
Flood cuts are necessary in many situations, including the following:
- Gray water (mildly contaminated) floods
- Black water (heavily contaminated) floods
- Clean water floods that affect insulated walls
Gray and black waters require a flood cut because they are contaminated. The restoration company must tear out the drywall in the flooded area to ensure your business is safe and clean for you, your employees and clients. Clean water floods, though not contaminated, still permanently damage insulation. Because the insulation cannot be dried, it must be removed to prevent mold growth.
Are There Any Alternatives to Flood Cuts?
When dealing with contaminated water or damaged insulation, a flood cut is the best way to prevent mold growth and further contamination. However, in the case of clean water flooding that does not affect any insulated walls, other drying options may be available. One such method is the use of regenerative blowers. Holes are drilled in the wall and hoses are inserted to allow dry air to flow freely.
How Soon Should a Flood Cut Be Made?
Flood damage should be addressed as soon as possible because moisture encourages mold growth. Even in cases of clean water and non-insulated drywall, it is still important to act quickly because clean water can become contaminated and turn into gray water within a day or two.
Regardless of the type of flooding your business experiences, a professional restoration team can take care of the water damage and any mold growth quickly and safely.
4 Areas of Your Home to Inspect Before a Storm
Check your roof for any signs of damage
Areas to Check in Your Home While Getting Ready for a Severe Weather
If you are expecting a storm in Elmwood, RI, it is important to be prepared in order to keep yourself and your family safe from flood water. It is also important to make sure your home is prepared as well. Here are some areas that you should check while getting your home ready for severe weather.
1. The Roof
Flood water that rises from the ground can be difficult to deal with, but you should prepare for water that comes from above as well. Check your roof for any signs of damage, such as missing shingles or cracks. This can allow water to enter the ceiling below the roof and cause mold to grow or spread.
2. The Exterior of the Building
You may not always think to check the outside of the building, but If there are cracks or damaged areas in the exterior, this can allow water to enter the walls. As with the roof, this can allow the spread of mold through the walls. The water damage may also weaken the structure of the building.
3. Windows and Doors
If they are not sealed properly, water can enter the house through windows and doors. During a storm, this can sometimes contribute to a flooded building. Make sure that they are closing completely and will not let in rain or moisture. Even small amounts of water can cause damage in these areas.
4. The Yard
There may not be much you can do to keep your yard from flooding during a storm, but you can make sure that there are no objects that could damage your home. Severe storms create strong winds that can pick up lighter objects. If these are thrown into the side of your house, they can cause damage and broken windows. It is a good idea to trim any tree branches that come close to the house as well.
Flood water can cause a lot of damage, so use these tips to prepare your home for a storm. If you do experience any damage, an emergency restoration company can perform any necessary cleanup and repairs.
A Healthy Roof Keeps Your Business Dry
Inspect the surface of the roof to make sure there are no cracks
How to Care for Your Commercial Roof
Mother Nature assaults your commercial structure from all sides. Naturally, the roof gets the worst of it. Roof damage is a constant threat to the structural integrity of the entire building. This threat makes roof maintenance a top priority. Following are some tips about how to care for your commercial roof.
Tip 1: Perform a thorough routine inspection during the off-season. Pick a time of year when you can perform the inspection and perform repairs with minimal risk of precipitation. It is important to:
- Inspect drains and gutters to make sure they are clear
- Inspect the surface of the roof to make sure there are no cracks or exposed surfaces
- Inspect flashing and control joints
- Look for signs of wind damage
Tip 2: Check the hardware that secures your roof-mounted equipment. Properly attached equipment will minimize roof damage in severe weather conditions. Use qualified professionals to reattach inadequately secured equipment.
Tip 3: Always be aware of the load limits of your roof. There are limits to how much weight your roof can bear. Blocked drains during periods of intense rain can turn small roof ponds into large lakes. Record-breaking snow or snow followed by rain or ice can also cause load problems. Be prepared to deal with these situations when these circumstances arise.
Tip 4: Check the underside of the roof. If possible, look at your roof from the inside. If you see evidence of leaks or damage, add those areas to your repair list.
Tip 5: No roof lasts forever. If your roof is old or showing signs of weakness, it may be time for a roof rebuild. An engineer can evaluate your current roof and recommend a course of action.
Weather can cause even the best-maintained commercial roof to fail. Roof damage never picks a convenient time to occur. When Mother Nature comes crashing in, it is comforting to know that there are storm damage mitigation teams in the Providence, RI, area. Your cleanup professionals are just a phone call away.
4 Reasons You Should Avoid Driving Through Flooded Streets
Evading a flooded street can safeguard multiple lives
Key Travel Tips
Traveling through a torrential rainstorm can be a harrowing experience for any driver. Although arriving at your destination as quickly as possible may be a priority, making wise driving decisions during extreme weather is important. Key travel tips, such as avoiding a flooded street, can keep you and your passengers safe. Because of potential dangers, ignoring this important advice can have devastating consequences.
1. Threat of Drowning
It’s easy to underestimate the depth of water flowing over a roadway, especially at night. Floodwaters can also wash away the road surface, leaving nothing for your tires to grip. Both scenarios create the potential for water to overtake your vehicle. Losing control of your automobile creates a dangerous situation and increases the risk of drowning.
In addition to an accurate depth, you may also fail to recognize water speed. A fast-flowing current can carry your car away from the roadway and make it difficult to swim to safety. You may also be injured by floating debris.
2. Electrocution Hazard
Traversing a flooded street may also be hazardous due to potential storm damage. High winds can, for example, cause downed powerlines. This scenario increases the risk of electrocution.
3. Perilous for First Responders
Fast-moving currents, exposed wires and debris also create a dangerous situation for first responders dispatched to the scene. Turning around and seeking an alternative route can keep yourself and rescuers out of harms way.
4. Destroyed Engine
Flooded roads can also be detrimental to your vehicle’s integrity. Water intake can stall and destroy your engine, resulting in potentially costly repairs that could have easily been avoided.
A significant rainstorm can cause significant storm and flood damage in Hope, RI. Driving through the deluge can be a dangerous challenge. Although it may delay you from reaching your desired destination on time, evading a flooded street can safeguard multiple lives. For this reason, Turn Around Don’t Drown should be the travel tip you never ignore.
What Can a Flood Cut Reveal?
Only a mitigation expert should make a flood cut at a building in Federal Hill, RI
Commercial property owners in locations prone to flooding may have heard of a flood cut. This procedure involves cutting out drywall one foot above the highest point of flood damage. Flood cuts enable damage mitigation experts to determine the extent of moisture present behind a wall. Here are several things this type of cut may reveal.
The Extent of Damage
A flood cut can help experts determine how much water is present in wall cavities. Standing water or residual moisture can heighten the risk of mold growth in a structure. A flood cut can also indicate other types of damage:
- Saturated drywall
- Ruined insulation
- Hidden moisture
Depending on the degree of damage, restoration experts may recommend that owners have restoration professionals tear out and replace drywall and insulation. If damage is less severe, increased ventilation and a dehumidifier can promote drying.
Whether Tearing Out Is Necessary
Porous materials such as drywall and insulation can be ruined by saturation with water and will pose a heightened mold risk. The category of water damage is an important consideration. If water damage resulting from a broken pipe is addressed quickly, drying may be all that is necessary. Contamination is probably a factor for damage caused by a sewer backup or flooding, and more extensive cleanup and restoration may be necessary.
Whether Mold Is Present
If water damage occurred more than 48 hours earlier, a flood cut can help experts determine whether mold is growing. This procedure may expose an amateur to mold spores. For this reason, business owners should not attempt to make a flood cut, particularly if a musty odor or other indications of fungal growth are present.
Only a mitigation expert should make a flood cut at a building in Federal Hill, RI. To determine whether this procedure is necessary after flooding, contact a service that specializes in storm and water damage.