Recent Posts

We Are Here For You, When You Need Us.

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

school hallway Many complained that the building had a musky odor as it was about to open for the 2021-22 academic year after a long time period of the pandemic.

We were recently called by a school to do emergency cleaning. This wasn't a typical emergency such as flood, fire or storm damage. It was a job that required quick completion due to the beginning of the school year.

Many teachers and professors complained that the building had a musky odor as it was about to open for the 2021-2022 academic year after a long time period of the pandemic. We were called to inspect the quality and quantity of the air inside the building. With just three days before school starts, we were able to detect impurities.

Because of the tight time frame, we brought in numerous techs and a management group to lead and teach our techs. We wanted to make sure that the school was safe for students and ready to go on the first day.

Call our team for any residential and commercial inspections! 

Is Your Water Damage Covered by Insurance? | SERVPRO® of Washington County

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

a pen, money and other insurance paperwork sitting on a table Whatever the cause and whatever the coverage, SERVPRO of Washington County is available to help you get through any water damage.

Water damage is a common problem Washington County homeowners face, and it takes many forms. From natural forces like hurricanes or flooding to internal issues like plumbing or gutter leaks, there are lots of ways for water to put a strain on your life.

One in every 50 homeowners experience some kind of water damage each year.

When your carpet is soggy or your basement is full of water, one of the first questions you need answered is whether your insurance policy will cover the damage. The short answer, unfortunately, is “it depends.” Let’s dig a little deeper.

What’s Covered?

First off, we should note that policies vary, so it’s important to know the details of your own homeowners insurance policy and to check things out with your agent when details become important. That being said, there are general standards about what may or may not be covered.

A handful of of scenarios you can expect full coverage for include:

Sudden, accidental discharge. If leaky plumbing becomes an acute issue and suddenly there’s a burst pipe or broken supply hose, you should be covered.

Water damage cause by storms. As something over which you have no control, this is often covered by standard homeowners policies—your policy likely has separate provisions for coverage for your home and for your personal belongings.

What’s Not Covered?

Unresolved maintenance issues. Lack of maintenance essentially means you forfeit your right to coverage—damage caused by a long-term leak or flooring replacement due to a long-term toilet leak would fall under this category.

Replacing the source of damage. If your water heater bursts open suddenly, your policy may cover the damage it causes, but likely won’t pay for the replacement of the water heater itself. The same is true for plumbing, dishwashers and other similar sources.

What Else Can Be Covered?

Flood damage. Most standard homeowners policies do not include flood coverage, but especially in coastal areas like ours, it’s recommended (and in some cases, required) that you add flood insurance because of the increased risk.

Sewer overflow or backup. This dangerous, and frankly gross, damage may be covered with the addition of a rider or endorsement to your existing policy.

Whatever the cause and whatever the coverage, SERVPRO is available to help you get through your water damage woes. Contact us today to find out how we can get things dried up and set right.

Trust SERVPRO During Hurricane Season | SERVPRO® of Washington County

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Washington County is your local restoration expert. a large satellite image of a storm cell heading for landfall

Many kinds of natural disasters happen year-round, and there’s no particular “season” for them—wildfires, thunderstorms, hail and wind all occur naturally throughout the year. But there’s a particular season for those of us on the Atlantic Coast where we have to be even more weather-aware than usual.

Right before the writing of this article, researchers doubled down on what they expect to be a heightened period of activity during 2021’s hurricane season, which was already expected to be above average for the sixth consecutive year.

All that to say, hurricanes and other disasters of a natural or even accidental nature can be anything from a nuisance to a major life event, and when they come along you need someone you can trust to help you recover, cleanup, and restore whatever’s possible.

Here’s why that someone should be your local SERVPRO team.

We Get to Work Quickly

We proudly proclaim that we’re “Faster to Any Size Disaster,” because we mean it. We’ve got a local team right here in Washington County on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency assistance. Whether it’s Hurricane Elsa in July causing heavy rain and flooding, or a grease fire that broke out on the grill and burned up your deck, we’re geared up and ready to go at all times.

A Powerhouse Combination

When you trust SERVPRO of Washington County with your recovery, you’re dealing with a local business that knows the needs and specificities of the Gold Coast, as well as a nationwide network of resources. That means whatever the challenge, we’re up for it and we can handle it exactly as Rhode Islanders need it handled.

Innovation and Experience

We’ve spent more than a half century developing the most effective methods for dealing with water and fire damage, mold remediation and even hospital-grade cleaning solutions for businesses. We wouldn’t have made it this long if we hadn’t figured out how to execute the job to the satisfaction of millions of customers, all while continuing to drive innovation to keep up with changing needs.

When disaster of any kind strikes, just know we’re ready to take on the tough job of cleanup, restoration and recovery. Call us today to learn how we plan to make your disaster area look "Like it never even happened."

What to Know About the 5 Classes of Fire | SERVPRO® of Washington County

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

large picture of yellow, red and orange burning flames If a fire should break out in your home or workplace, SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help you fully restore your property.

Saturday morning cartoons may have taught us that water is always the answer for stopping a fire, but that’s dangerously inaccurate.

There are many ways fires start, but really only a few ways they get extinguished. Fire can be divided into five distinct types, each with its own solution.

The Types of Fire

Fires are classified by five types: classes A, B, C, D and you guessed it…oh wait, the last one’s K? Alright, you probably didn’t guess it.

Class A Fires are probably what you think of first—fires involving solid materials. This would be a fire fueled by wood, plastic, rubber material or fibers. Class A fires are the easiest to extinguish with water or a foam fire extinguisher.

Class B Fires are started by the ignition of combustible liquids or gases. This would include butane or propane, as well as liquids like gasoline, alcohol and tar. Water doesn’t safely put these fires out—it actually spreads the fuel source and makes the fire bigger. These fires have to be starved of oxygen with foam, powder or CO2 extinguishers.

Class C Fires are electrical in nature, and could stem from electronic devices like computers, motors or appliances. The key to these fires is that they are only Class C while connected to electricity, in which case neither water nor foam are safe to extinguish them. If they can be disconnected from the electrical source, then they can be treated as a Class A fire.

Class D Fires are fires caused by certain metals that are highly combustible, such as magnesium or lithium. These fires can become highly explosive if exposed to water, so dry powder extinguishers must be used to stop them.

Class K Fires are kitchen fires (hence the “K” designation), involving grease or cooking oils you might find in a deep fryer or commercial kitchen setting. These fires require a special chemical extinguisher, which reacts specifically with the makeup of the oils to create a molecular blanket that smothers the fire.

If you’re using a handheld extinguisher, the PASS method works for all fire types:

Pull the pin.

Aim low, at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the handle.

Sweep the nozzle side to side.

If a fire should break out in your home or workplace, SERVPRO is here to help you fully recover your property. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.

Hurricane Season May Be Getting Longer | SERVPRO® of Washington County

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

satellite image of a large hurricane cell over ocean If a hurricane or tropical storm threaten your home or business, SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help restore property damage.

It’s OK to say it—life on the coast is pretty good. Here in Rhode Island, traveling along Route 1 can unlock a lifetime’s worth of beachfront exploration and beauty.

With some 40 miles of coastline, Rhode Island’s coastal appeal is nearly off the charts, whether you’re surfing in Narragansett or spending a day with the family at Newport Beach.

But this time of year, we do have to worry about the occasional weather threat, including the dreaded H-word. And that threat isn’t going anywhere soon; in fact, it’s increasing.

The last 10 years have seen an increase in the number of Atlantic cyclonic storm activity, with 2020 setting a record of 30 storms, so many that the we ran through the alphabet and started using Greek letters to name them.

Now scientists are debating whether hurricane season should officially be lengthened. Rising ocean temperatures are bringing us more hurricanes, and increasing the length of active potential time for hurricanes to form.

Whether because of climate change or some other reason, the NOAA has been forced to consider extending the official hurricane season, used to bring awareness and extra monitoring of the Atlantic storms, adding two weeks to the front of it, making the new start May 15 instead of June 1.

Though this year’s season will begin at the usual time, the NOAA did begin providing its normal Tropical Weather Outlooks sooner.

The cause for the potential change is simple—storms are coming sooner. In the last decade, there have been 10 official storms in the Atlantic that have formed prior to the traditional start date of hurricane season, and eight of them occurred since 2015.

Whether or not hurricane season is extended, the bottom line for Rhode Islanders is that we should always be watchful in the warmer months, and be fully prepared for storms to come, as it’s clear the frequency and intensity of storms are not decreasing.

When hurricanes and tropical storms threaten your home or business, SERVPRO is here to help restore property damage. Click or call today to get the peace of mind that comes with having the best team in the industry on your side.

How Does SERVPRO Restore Wet Cotton Carpet in North Kingstown Homes?

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

two girls laying on carpeting Unless quickly removed, water damaged carpets. SERVPRO has the tools to dry your carpet and home.

Cotton is Common in Woven Carpet Flooring and Can be Heavily Damaged by Moisture in North Kingstown Properties

As a common fiber element for carpeting, its use has many advantages, including its long life and its colorfastness. One of the disadvantages to any cotton fabrics or flooring types is the fact that these materials can absorb more than twenty percent of their weight in water before even feeling damp to the touch. By the time you notice the issue, more than the carpeting layer may have become affected.

Extracting Water from Cotton Carpets

Water damage in North Kingstown requires several direct strategies to address and overcome. With standing water concerns or trapped moisture in woven carpets, specific tools can help collect and discharge the water and potentially protect the installed materials. Surface pooling must get addressed first if it exists, which often happens with submersible pumps or truck-mount extractors with attachments for concentrated use. Removing trapped water relies on:

  • Carpet wands
  • Weighted extractors
  • Wet vacuums

Cleaning Carpets After Water Damage 

Carpets often require cleaning to look and feel their best after water damage or flooding. We have deluxe conditioning options and hot water extraction machines to remove soils in the flooring and restore the brightness and color.

Water damage can compromise carpeting fast, but our SERVPRO of Washington County team can help. We have premier cleaning strategies and products available when you call (401) 315-2337.

Considerations for Soot Cleaning in North Kingstown Homes

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

smoke and soot damaged wall and ceiling Smoke and soot are difficult to remove. SERVPRO has the tools and cleaners to effectively restore your home.

Several Factors Impact the Products and Methods Chosen for Removing Soot Residues from Damaged North Kingstown Homes

Soot and smoke residues are devastating presences for area homes, so our SERVPRO professionals act quickly when these conditions exist. We have multiple cleaning techniques for soot removal.

Factors that Change the Product Selected for Residue Removal

Multiple factors can affect the needed cleaner or soot removal method for fire damage restoration in North Kingstown homes. Some of these include:

  • pH Level – Many of the soils and residues that impact surfaces after fire extinguishment have a slight acidity, making alkaline cleaners and solvents a counter-acting force ideal for loosening the soil and wiping it away.
  • Water Solubility – There are many situations where water damage might already exist, and it is hazardous to add more, making non-soluble solvents ideal solutions. Some solvents we use can be mixed with water when the soil to be cleaned can benefit from this.
  • Underlying Material – Some of the solvents selected for cleaning and eliminating soot damages could be too harsh for the underlying substrate. Our SERVPRO professionals always intend to cause minimal harm to installed elements and preserve what is possible, making the underlying material an essential consideration for soot and smoke damage cleanup.

Because we have so many proprietary cleaning products and methods after fire damage, a careful evaluation of the property determines the best option. Call our SERVPRO of Washington County team for help at (401) 315-2337.

Hail Damage and Your Washington County Business | SERVPRO® of Washington County

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

large pieces of hail melting on dark roof shingles If your business should encounter damage from hail or thunderstorms, SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help you manage the damage.

When it comes to natural disasters and storm protection, hail is often an afterthought. Maybe it’s because it’s so random, and quite frankly so interesting and quirky, that we often think of hailstorms with a certain fascination rather than a healthy respect.

In point of fact, however, hail is one of the most damaging natural disasters, and far more common across the country than the appearance of hurricanes or tornadoes. There were 4,611 major hailstorms in 2020 alone, and the damage from hailstorms averages between eight and 14 billion dollars a year over the last two decades.

And though we call certain parts of the country “hail alley,” it’s truly not just a midwest problem. Hail storms can occur anywhere, at anytime, given the right atmospheric conditions, and the U.S. elevation and climate is more suited to them than perhaps anywhere else in the world.

So what can you do to protect your business from hail damage, and how can you assess it when it may occur?

Look after your roof. Your roof needs inspection annually, or after any major hail event. Look for broken shingles, replace any worn-out sections or damaged flashing, and clear gutters and rooftops from debris and built-up blockages. Also, don’t wait when it’s time to replace your roof! When it’s time, it’s time, and waiting makes you prone to water damage from rain and atmospheric moisture.

Minimize window breakage. Given Rhode Island’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, installing impact-resistant windows may help prevent damage from both hail storms and hurricanes, so you might want to consider it for your business. These kinds of preventive steps may even bring down your insurance costs.

Cover the important stuff. Keeping valuable assets indoors or under cover is a smart way to prevent potential hail damage. Company vehicles should be moved to garages or carports if available, and anything that can be protected by moving it indoors should be moved. Indoor assets should be kept away from windows as well. And your most important assets, your employees, should take cover when severe storms come. Hail is natural output of thunderstorms, so regular thunderstorm precautions should be taken as well.

If your business should encounter damage from hail or thunderstorms, we’ll be there fast to manage the damage. Click or call SERVPRO today to get help from the pros.

What Are the Signs of Mold Growth in South Kingstown Homes?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

hand pulling wallpaper back exposing mold Do you know how to locate hidden mold? SERVPRO does!

With Many Ways you can see Mold Threats, Understanding These Signs Can Help Your South Kingstown Property

Mold damage can be an underappreciated threat to the house and its occupants. Microbial colonies feed on organic matter, demolishing hosting materials as they support the colonies as temporary homes. Early identification of mold growth early can help to get this problem resolved before becoming too costly.

Direct Signs of Mold Growth in South Kingstown Homes

Many signals can indicate mold damage in South Kingstown properties, and the most recognizable of these is spotting. Physical mold presence can be a sign that not only does mold colonization exist, but it is often worse than what you can see. As fast as these organisms can spread, structural degradation and crumbling materials can also indicate potential problems that require professional remediation to address.

Indirect Indicators of Mold Threats

Identifying mold colonies before they become devastating forces can be critical to protecting as much of the property as possible. Before physical signs present direct signals of mold growth, homeowners must be attuned to changes in the environment to indicate something might be worth further investigating. Some of these indirect indicators of mold growth include:

  • Moist conditions
  • Strong odors
  • Cool temperatures

Mold growth and the spread of microbial colonies should be avoided at all costs. Our SERVPRO of Washington County team can help with efficient remediation solutions. Call us today at (401) 315-2337.

The Basics of Campfire Safety | SERVPRO® of Washington County

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

hot coals burning in a campfire Summer season is here, please ensure you are following basic fire safety when having a campfire.

When school is out and the weather is warm, many families in the area turn to camping as a favorite weekend activity. Whether you’re headed to the Ashaway RV Resort or the Charlestown Breachway, there’s lots of fun and many great adventures to be had while we take in nature’s incredible scenery.

One of the most common camping activities is the old-fashioned campfire.

They’re great for warmth and atmosphere at night, handy for cooking anything from popcorn to fresh-caught fish, and of course you brought the s’mores. You did bring the s’mores, right?

But with the recent prevalence of wildfires, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the proper ways to build, maintain and dispose of your campfire to avoid potential disaster at the campground. After all, humans cause almost 62,000 fires in the United States each year, so let’s review some of the most important stuff.

Before the Fire

Know the rules of your campground—do they allow fires? This can change from season to season based on wildfire risk, so be sure.

Use a provided fire pit or ring, or create one yourself by digging a pit away from branches or power lines, and surrounding it with stones. Make sure it’s at least 10–15 feet away from anything flammable.

During the Fire

Build your fire safely and sturdily, using wood local to the campsite when possible.

Keep water and a shovel nearby, so you can douse or cover any runaway flames.

Mind the wind, and keep any flammable materials or items upwind and away from the fire pit area.

Never leave the fire unattended, and be mindful of kids and pets as they play. Campfires are the most common cause of camping injuries for children.

After the Fire

Extinguish all flames and ashes thoroughly. Dump water (slowly, to avoid throwing ash and billowing smoke) on the fire, then stir the ashes with a shovel.

Pour more water over the ashes, and continue until the ashes are cool to the touch. Check under stones for hidden embers, and soak large logs with extra water, because they can stay hot for a very long time.

SERVPRO is here to help with disaster cleanup of any kind, from fire to water, from storms to mold remediation. If your home or business has been damaged, call or click today to see how we can help you manage and restore the situation.