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What happens when my sump pump fails? | Chepachet, RI

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Sump pump failure Give us a call if your sump pump failed, we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

What is a sump pump?

Sump pumps sit at the bottom of a "sump pit" which is usually at the lowest point of your basement or crawl space. 

Sump pumps will help solve most basement flooding issues. The sump pump removes the water from flooding and it goes into the nearest storm drain or detention pond. 

The sump pump will only turn on when the water reaches a specific level. Sump pumps are equipped with floats, like in your cars gas tank, to determine the level of the water. 

What causes sump pump failure?

Power outage: a power outage can cause your sump pump to fail or not work properly. In the very unfortunate circumstance of a bad storm + power outage = flooding and failed sump pump. 

Stuck switch: this happens when the pump moves around inside the sump pit, and the float will get stuck against the inside of the pump, or other debris causing the float not to properly float. 

To fix your float, it's simple, all you need to do is a little bit of cleaning and adjust your pump inside the pit. 

Clogged pipe: if the pipes from your sump pump are clogged, water won't be able to flow through, and it will end up right back in your basement. To prevent clogging, install a grate at the opening of the pipe so it can catch any debris. 

Old: If your sump pump is older, it won't be working up to par. It's recommended to replace your pump every 10 years to keep it working properly. 

Maintenance: Add "clean sump pump" to your seasonal cleaning check list (every season). Keeping up with the maintenance of your sump pump will keep it in working order. According to this plumber (https://www.citywideplumbing.com/resources/common-plumbing-emergencies/) run vinegar through your sump pump, and clean all the vents as well as air holes on the discharge line. 

If your sump pump fails and your basement is covered in water, give us a call at 401-949-9955, we're here to help!! 

As experts in water damage restoration, we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Thunderstorm and Lightning Safety | Manville, RI

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderstorm and lightning safety SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island Give us a call at (401) 949-9955 if you experience storm or flood damage at your Manville home or business

Thunderstorm and Lightning safety in Manville, RI 

As we all know, Rhode Island weather can be quite unpredictable. At the end of this week, weather reports have said we can expect some remnants of a tropical storm from the south. That being said, we can expect heavy rains in some areas as well as gusts of wind. You should always be prepared for thunderstorms, any storms, even if they’re not predicted to be severe.

Stay up to date on the weather forecasts. As we know, the weather forecast can change day to day.

Stay in communication with your family. Communicate with them on where to go in the case of an emergency. And discuss an emergency plan.

Prepare your home  keep tree branches trimmed back, take your patio furniture inside or put in the shed so things don’t go flying around.

Help your neighbors and friends! Head over to your next door neighbors house and see if they need any help carrying patio furniture inside or securing anything. A little help will go a long way.

Have a first aid kit

Severe thunderstorm watch vs severe thunderstorm warning

A severe thunderstorm watch means that severe storms are possible in and around the area.

A severe thunderstorm warning means severe weather has already been reported or spotted by radar. Storm warnings also indicate danger.

If you are driving during severe weather, head to the next safest exit or pull over, turn on your hazards and wait until the heavy rains subside.

Lightning safety

It is important for you to remain indoors during thunderstorms.

  • Avoid open areas such as fields, and do not be the tallest in the area. Lightning will strike the taller objects in an area.
  • Stay away from trees, poles, and towers.
  • Stay away from fences.

Getting help if someone is struck

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Begin CPR if you are trained.
  • Move the struck person to a safer area if possible to avoid any other injuries.

“When thunder roars go indoors”

About 30 people are killed each year by lightning strikes. These fatalities can usually be prevented. In 2020, there have been 5 lightning related fatalities. 

When you hear thunder, immediately get indoors or in a covered vehicle. Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the storm has subsided. Some of the injuries or fatalities had occurred due to people going outside too soon!

You can be struck while indoors, but it is rare. It can be caused by using wired electrical devices or plumbing (showers or baths)

If your home or business suffers from flood or storm damage, give us a call at (401) 949-9955, we're here to help! 

Fourth of July Firework, cooking, and fire safety - Manville, RI

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fourth Of July firework safety Be sure to always have water or a fire extinguisher near by when you're having a fire, using fireworks, or cooking!

The Fourth of July is this weekend! What do you think of when you hear that? Fireworks, cookout (social distance of course) and gathering around the fire with some s'mores all come to mind for us! 

When fire is involved in any way, it's important for you and everyone around to be safe! 

Grilling safety

You can check out our blog on grilling safety here, but in short:

- Place your grill away from any decks, awnings, and tree branches. 

- NEVER EVER leave your grill unattended while it is lit.

- Keep your grill clean, according to the NFPA, 1 out of every 5 grill fires was a grill that was not clean.

- Be sure there are no children running around the grilling area. You can tell them it's an "adult only zone" 

- NEVER use a grill in the garage, under a canopy, or anywhere enclosed. This can cause a carbon monoxide build up which can be fatal. 

Firework safety

- NEVER light fireworks indoors

- Never use fireworks if you are under the influence of alcohol

- Light them away from any trees, bushes, houses and any other flammable materials

- Never ignite fireworks inside of a container 

- Soak used fireworks in water after using them to prevent any risk of fire 

- Always be sure fireworks are legal in your area!

Fire safety 

- Only build a fire in contained areas

- Clear the area around the fire pit so there are no papers, leaves, or any other flammable materials 

- Never leave a fire unattended

- Keep a fire extinguisher, hose, or bucket of water close by

- When putting out the fire, be sure it is completely out before heading in for the night

- After about 24 hours, the ashed can be dampened, cooled, and put into a metal container just for ashes

We want you to celebrate this summer the safest ways possible! If you need any fire or water damage restoration this summer, give us a call at (401) 949-9955, we're here in your community, here to help!

Be prepared for any disaster!! Central Falls business owners!

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island (401) 949-9955 Give us a call today to set up your Emergency Ready Profile! (401) 949-9955

As a Central Falls business owner, you'll want to be prepared for whatever may come your way! You never know when a pipe could burst, a fire could happen, sewage backup, and more. 

At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, we offer a FREE Emergency Ready Program

What is an Emergency Ready Profile? 

A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a preparedness plan for you and your business. Did you know as much as 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster?? That's what we have the ERP for! 

Being prepared ahead of time can save you and your business from closing. By having a SERVPRO ERP for your business, you'll also minimize business interruptions by already having a plan in place! Knowing what to do, what to expect, and who to call in advance is great at saving you time and stress! 

The SERVPRO ERP is

Free assessment: This means you don't have to go looking for extra $$ to be prepared! 

A concise document that contains critical info in the case of an emergency. ERP's don't take much time at all to complete, our Marketing Representative will just need a walk through of your facility and snap a few photos. Then he'll take the photos back to the office and get started on your ERP folder. 

A guide. Your ERP is there to help you minimize business interruptions and help you get back into your facility ASAP following any disaster. 

Establishes your local SERVPRO as your restoration and mitigation provider. As leaders in the industry, we're here to help you and we're close by, as we are locally owned and operated! 

Identifies the line of command for work authorization. This will save you time and stress so you know exactly who to contact. 

Provides facility details. Including: shut off valves, priority areas, priority contacts and more!! 

Give us a call at (401) 949-9955 today to set up your Emergency Ready Profile!! 

Wipes clog pipes!

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

toilet paper vs wipes It's best to stick to flushing only toilet paper to preserve your septic system and city sewage systems!

Wipes

When you go to the store, you might pick up some flushable wipes or baby wipes, while they may say 'flushable', you really shouldn't flush them! Even if something is labelled as flushable, it can cause damage to your pipes, the sewage treatment facilities, and your septic system (especially septic systems).

Recently, more wipes have been flushed down toilets due to the coronavirus. With the lack of toilet paper, people were turning to wipes/baby wipes and flushing them. Even flushing paper towels!

According to nytimes.com, this has resulted in a surge in backed up sewer lines and overflowing toilets...yuck! These clogged sewer lines are not good for the environment either! Sewage is spilling into natural bodies of water and overflowing toilets can be harmful to your health if not taken care of right away! 

While flushable wipes may go down the pipe initially, they don't break down as well as toilet paper is designed to do. 

There are some criteria that wipes need to pass in order to be considered "flushable"

  • Disintegrates quickly 
  • Must not float 
  • Contains biodegradable material, no plastics. 

Remember the 3P's- Pee, Poo and toilet Paper 

The only things that should be flushed!

Wipes and your septic system

Since your septic system receives less waste than the city's system, wipes and sanitary products will cause a little less damage, but it's still not recommended to flush anything except toilet paper and waste through your septic system. Typically the most recurring reason to get your septic pumped more than usual is wipes and sanitary products being flushed. 

If you still prefer to use wipes, you can still use them, but the pros suggest not flushing them, putting them in the trash. Or if you would rather flush, Scott Flushable Wipes broke down the best in a test. 

If you experience a sewage backup, call us right away to get that cleaned up! We're experienced and trained to handle sewage the safe way.

(401) 949-9955

Small leaks can cause major damage at your North Providence property

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Always call a pro to handle any sewage or spills and leaks that are too much for you to handle! Give us a call at (401) 949-9955, we're here to help!

Even the smallest spills and leaks can lead to major damage! Leaving a water leak as it is or not cleaning up after a spill can cause mold to form, as well as possibly structure damage to your building materials such as floors, walls, even insulation. 

Not every water spill is serious enough to call a professional water cleanup company, but it's important for you to know how to properly take care of any spills or small leaks! If you act fast and understand how to clean up, you can prevent any secondary damage. 

Let's say, for example, your fishtank breaks and a few gallons of water spill onto the floor. 

You'll need just a few things:

- Shop vacuum (wet/dry vac) 

- Towels

- Box fan/s (ceiling fan can work too!)

- Dehumidifier - If you don't have one you can rent from your local tool rental business! It's best to have an industrial strength dehumidifier, but a household one will do the trick too!

The process is almost like what we do here! You can be a SERVPRO Hero of the day at your own home or office! How fun!

Cleaning up the mess right away can prevent any further damage. As soon as you see the spill:

- Stop the source of water 

- Use the shop vacuum to suck up as much water as you can

- Use towels to dry the rest of the water

- Turn on your box fans or ceiling fan 

- Turn on the dehumidifier 

Hopefully you can clean up that spill using this method, but if not, don't hesitate to give us a call at (401) 949-9955, we can handle any size disaster!

If the leak or spill involves any sewage, you should not handle that yourself. Only trained professionals should handle sewage or category 3 water. 

Sun Safety during Rhode Island summers

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

UVA & UVB Rays 

Did you know that the sun's ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes? It's important to check the UV index in your area before heading out, you can check for your area by clicking here

So what exactly are UVA and UVB rays?

UVA rays are the most damaging to the skin. UVB rays play the biggest roles in causing skin cancers. 

UVA Rays

  • Higher wavelength
  • Penetrate more skin than UVB rays 
  • Can cause indirect damage to DNA
  • Can penetrate windows and clouds

UVB Rays

  • Shorter wavelengths 
  • Damages the outer layers of the skin
  • Directly causes damage to DNA
  • Can't penetrate windows and can be filtered by clouds 

When are UV rays the strongest?

UV exposure is the highest between 10am and 4pm. According to Healthline.com, during this time, the sun's rays have less distance to cover, making them more powerful. 

It's important to protect yourself from the sun's strong UV rays to prevent any skin damage. You can reduce the risk of skin damage by hanging out in shady, cool areas and applying suncreen before sun exposure. Whenever possible, you should wear long sleeved shirts and long pants. Wearing darker colored clothing may offer more protection than wearing light colored clothing in the sun. If wearing long clothing is impractical for the situation, be sure to have a shirt on or some other sort of covering to limit sun exposure. Wearing a hat that shades your face, ears, and back of the neck is the best extra sun protection you could have. Avoid wearing hats made from straw or any with holes, though. 

Don't forget! Protecting your eyes is JUST as important as protecting your skin from the sun, don't forget your sunglasses! 

For more information on sun safety, visit these following resources:

Before turning on your AC unit this summer

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

HVAC contractor doing maintenance on AC unit Photo from: https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/air-conditioning

As we all know well, the weather in New England can be unpredictable. One day you need a sweater and the next we're in shorts and t-shirts! Although summer isn't officially here in Rhode Island yet, we have been seeing some very warm days! Before you switch your AC unit to "ON" be sure you check the system! 

By checking your system before using it, you can catch any possible problems before they can get worse. Always be sure you are preforming these checks and maintenance with the AC breaker switch "OFF"! 

Check the condenser fan

This is the unit located outside. Remove any tarp or other covering you have on it. 

Remove the grill that covers the fan, then clean the blades with a vacuum attachment or cloth.

Vacuum out the bottom of the condenser box to remove any leaves or other debris.

Be sure nothing is blocking the airflow. Trim away any vines or bushes if they are in the way 

Check the coolant lines 

The lines should be checked for any leaks. Damaged or leaking lines must be replaced by a professional HVAC contractor. 

You should also check for proper insulation surrounding the coolant lines. If any insulation is damaged, you can remove and replace. Coolant pipe insulation can be found at your local hardware stores. 

Electrical 

Check the battery in your thermostat (If it is battery operated)

*Quick tip* Replace the batteries each year at the beginning of the season. This will make a good habit so you don't forget before the batteries have a chance to die. 

It's a good practice to change the filter in your HVAC unit before the AC unit is turned on each year. 

Checking for any imperfections, dings, crimping, or electrical faults before turning your appliances on for the season can save you in extensive repair bills and save you from running a broken appliance! 

If you HVAC system has been running for some time without attention it could be circulating things such as dust, pollen, and other contaminants. At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island we offer air duct and HVAC cleaning services. Give us a call at (401) 949-9955 with any questions today! 

Indoor and Outdoor fireplace safety

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

During the summer and fall months, we all love to enjoy a nice fire with our friends and family (socially distanced of course) and some s'mores! While in the winter, some of us enjoy a nice fire in the fireplace inside. However you enjoy your fires, it's important that you are safe! 

Indoor fireplaces/pellet/ wood stoves

Be sure your chimney and stove (if you have one) is inspected and cleaned by a chimney specialist once a year to ensure there is no creosote build up and no other issues. Keep the area around the fireplace clean and clear of any fire hazards. This can include decorations, tripping hazards, and any other flammable materials. 

ALWAYS 

  • Ensure the flue is open before igniting a fire   
  • Use fireplace gloves when adjusting the doors or screens 
  • Close the damper when the fire is completely out
  • Control your fire

Outdoor fires 

While most of us enjoy sitting outside by the fire with friends and family, enjoying a beautiful summer or fall night, it is always important to remember and be aware of safety and any hazards. 

  • Always use a designated fire pit
  • Keep water nearby
  • Never use a flammable liquid to start a fire 
  • Don't wear flowy clothing around a fire, always wear snug fit or short sleeved clothes. 
  • After you've had your fun around the fire, be sure the fire is doused with water and is fully extinguished. 

Whether you're enjoying a campfire outside or warming up by the fire inside, always be sure you're practicing proper safety measures!

SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island is here to help you with any fire related damage. Our teams are highly trained to help guide you through the entire process. We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Give us a call at (401) 949-9955, we're here to help!

Why SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island is your #1 choice for cleanup

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

One of our core values is to provide our customers with the best service we can possibly provide. 

We work around our customers schedule, time constraints, and any other requests they (you) may have!! 

When you as a homeowner, business owner, or renter, in Rhode Island contact us, we will handle your call with the most empathy and understanding. This is one of the first steps to building trust and a relationship with our customers. We will gather all the necessary information so we can quickly get to your property. When we say quick, we mean quick! (in 4 hours or less)

We are in constant communication with our customers throughout the process. From the initial call, to 30 minutes before we arrive, and throughout the cleanup! 

We understand that your home, even office, is sort of a haven for you. When you contact us for a cleanup, we will clean with care! We take care of your home and belongings as if they were our own. 

If you are a renter, home, or business owner in Rhode Island, you don't have to wonder who you should call for cleanup services while we're around! Give us a call at (401) 949-9955, we'll make anything "Like it never even happened." 

Visit us online at https://www.SERVPROnorthernrhodeisland.com/ for more information!