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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.

What Methods Are Used for Soot Removal in North Kingstown?

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Soot on a wall Fire, soot, and smoke damage can take over your property if you are not careful. Call SERVPRO of Washington County today.

Fire restoration hinges on efficient smoke damage management in North Kingstown homes.

Fire and smoke damage can present themselves in several forms after a fire gets extinguished, yet few are as hazardous or threatening as soot. These microscopic particles can spread quickly in the environment, traveling the HVAC system and through openings to impact an area much larger than the initial damage zone. 

What Methods Does SERVPRO Use to Eliminate Soot? 

Several strategies get implemented for soot removal and fire restoration in North Kingstown homes, including:

  • Chemical Sponges – Often, our chem sponges are natural rubber compositions with large pores, which can remove much of this soil and debris when run across soot-damaged surfaces.
  • Soda Blasting – This process is an abrasive cleaning technique with sodium bicarbonate particles forcefully propelled with pressurized air against soot-covered surfaces. 
  • Controlled Demolition – When other abrasive tactics are not possible, removing the damaged materials can be the only remaining suitable solution.

With how formidable soot damage can be during fire restoration, it is important to have skilled professionals to help protect underlying materials and affected contents. Our SERVPRO of Washington County is ready 24/7 at (401) 315-2337.

What are the Options for North Kingstown Residents in Need of Basement Flooding Cleanup?

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician consulting with customer When storm damage impacts your property, call on our skilled experts at SERVPRO for assistance.

SERVPRO is a Dedicated, North Kingstown Restoration Service for Residents with Flood Damage

North Kingstown is a township on Rhode Island that is famous for studying marine life and the former US navy base at Quonsat Point. The original settlements established on Rhode Island date back to the seventeenth century. However, since that time, the township has split into northern and southern districts. North Kingstown is home to Narragansett Bay, an abundant oyster and shellfish fishery for residents and tradespeople. Rhode Island, where North Kingstown is based, is itself a part of the wider Washington County. The collection of rural cottages, hamlets, and townships found around North Kingstown prove a satisfying historic tapestry for those interested in the early life of North America's first settlers. As such, the area has numerous preserved landmark sites and wetlands for wildlife. These include taverns, mills, and ports that allowed the region to develop into an agricultural point of interest in the United States.

The National Register of Historic Places has several listings of North Kingstown. Among the earliest structures is the Palmer-Northrup House which was originally constructed in 1680. Plenty of properties represent the eighteenth century, including the Old Narragansett Cemetery and accompanying chapel, both built-in 1707. Modern tourist attractions include a trip to Martha's Vineyard via the Rhode Island Fast Ferry and the aquatic educational centers. The bays of Rhode Island are rich in sea life which has prompted vast investment into research centers to study marine life. Some of these centers are open to the public alongside their more traditional aquariums. 

Biomes Marine Biology Center is one of the research centers that open for educational programs and tours. The species contained in the attached aquarium are those commonly found in the North Atlantic and Narragansett Bay. Situated on Post Road, the center opens from midday until 5 pm every day.

Wickford Village is a quaint and charming destination on Rhode Island originally owned by some of North Kingstown's founding members Roger Williams and Richard Smith. The picturesque cottages of Wickford are surrounded by the Wickford Harbor, which supplies the local delicacy, shellfish, to restaurants and markets.

Seabee Museum and Memorial Park pay tribute to the Construction Battalion of the US Navy. The museum covers the Seabees' role in various military conflicts both at home and abroad, with a particular focus on the local Narragansett naval base. The Seabee Museum was organized and funded by Seabee servicemen and women.

SERVPRO of North Kingstown Can Help in a Flood Damage Emergency

Adverse weather events can cause havoc to your personal property. The impact of high winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding can severely impact residents' lives. SERVPRO is here to help the recovery process with:

  • Ceiling leaks
  • Flood restoration
  • Basement flooding cleanup 

The flooring of your North Kingstown home is most likely to suffer damage from water intrusion. When large amounts of water are involved, water migration can be a critical factor that has a damaging impact on your floor's assembly. We can resolve upper fittings on flooring, padding, and subfloor after floodwater intrusion. The contamination level dictates if these floor coverings can be salvaged. 

  • In-place drying can be more time-efficient than clearing a room and is conducted using automated, mobile water extraction units.
  • Carpet floating using a flex-hose adapted air mover or fan can help to dry the underside of carpets reducing damage.
  • Flat drying carpets temporarily detach the carpet, dry the subfloor, replace the pad, and then return the rug and reattach.

Controlling losses relies on fast action in a time of emergency. Contact SERVPRO of Washington County for flood damage at (401) 315-2337.

Can Professional Companies Help with Water Removal in South Kingstown?

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

people standing in water Contact our team at SERVPRO for assistance with water damages. We will restore your property back to its original condition.

SERVPRO Water Removal is Available for South Kingstown Residents Twenty-Four-Hours-a-Day

It can be a shocking experience to find your kitchen, bathroom, or basement filling up with water. Home's have complex plumbing and ventilation systems that can malfunction at any time. The most crucial thing to remember when dealing with a water intrusion event is to act quickly. SERVPRO can assist with:

  • Basement flooding
  • Burst pipes
  • Ceiling leaks

The process of water removal in your South Kingstown home must be adapted for conditioned and non-conditioned spaces. It is helpful to think of conditioned spaces as inhabitable parts of the house. These may include living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Non-conditioned spaces then are things like basements, crawlspaces, and attics. 

  • We have powerful ventilation equipment that can help circulate air into wet unconditioned spaces.
  • Our team responds quickly and with compassion in dealing with water emergencies for residential properties.
  • We promise to arrive on-site within four hours of notification of loss following water intrusion. 

Water emergencies can be stressful. Contact SERVPRO of Washington County for water removal at (401) 315-2337.