What is an Ice Dam?
The cold season brings snow-packed roofs across the East Coast and with snow melt can come damaging ice dams. Serious damage from ice damming is often subtle and slow to appear. Stained ceilings and walls, peeled paint, damaged plaster are all easily recognized and repairable when weather again permits. But other damage is not as obvious and often goes unchecked until very expensive repairs become urgently necessary. Here is how to avoid these frosty formations, and what you should do if they do appear on your roof or cause damage inside your home:
What Are Ice Dams?
An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, usually at the gutters or soffit. When it forms, the water then backs up behind the ice dam and creates a pool of water. This pool of water can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and flooring.
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams are usually caused by heavy snowfall and improper ventilation in the attic. When the roofing system isn’t working right, indoor heat can rise through the ceiling into the attic and warm the roof surface. Snow on the heated part of the roof melts and flows down until it meets the part of the roof that is below freezing. At that point, the water freezes again. This process of thawing and refreezing is what causes an ice dam.
How to Identify Ice Dams
Below freezing temperatures come with warning signs on the exterior of your home. Here are some warning signs:
- Icicles are usually one of the first warning signs of possible ice dams on your roof – especially if they are large, about 2 to 3 inches or more in diameter.
- Ice buildup at the roof eaves
- A buckled drip edge
- Bowed face boards
- Bowed exterior faucets
- Bubbling paint
- Buckling joint tape
- Smells/odors of moisture
- Bowing baseboards
- Dark stains on hardwood floors
- Signs of mold, mildew, and air quality
- Stained ceilings and walls
Preventing Ice Dams
If you think your home may be prone to experiencing an ice dam situation this winter, it’s a good idea to investigate the current condition of your home. Here are a few suggestions for preventing ice dams:
- Check your roof for air leaks.
- Ensure your home is well insulated. A well-ventilated attic is a cold attic, and a cold attic will not support the formation of ice dams.
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation. If you spot rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell these are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof.
- Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris. A clogged gutter causes ice and snow to build up.
- Install snow and ice slides. The slick metal allows snow to slide off the roof before it can melt and spawn an ice dam.
- Don’t let snow accumulate. Consult a roofing professional to remove snow accumulation from your roof.
- Inspect your roof regularly for signs of ice dams forming.
If you experience water damage from ice dams and melting snow this winter, call SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island at (401) 949-9955 to discuss your options and figure out a plan to keep your home and family safe. Our trained technicians can assess the damage caused by the ice dam and work with your insurance company to get all the problems fixed. Learn more about our water removal and water damage restoration services and contact us to schedule an appointment today!
The Right Equipment
SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island understands that using the proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. Our professionals will answer your call with fast action, exceptional equipment, and trained uniformed personnel. Certainly, the right tool for the job is vital to timely mitigation, but perhaps more important, these water damage professionals thoroughly understand how to dry a structure and personal property effectively.
Psychrometry is the study of air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.
Water can damage materials in two ways: first, by absorption through direct contact with water; and second, absorption of moisture from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process.
Restoration professionals must establish an environment favorable for drying. The restoration professional must also understand how to manipulate temperature and humidity levels to produce optimum drying conditions, without causing secondary damages through improper drying processes.
Chimney and Fireplace Tips
As we approach the winter season in Rhode Island, the simple pleasures of gathering around the fireplace become more and more common. To ensure the safety of yourself and family members, be sure to follow these crucial steps before deciding to light a fire.
Have your fireplace professionally cleaned – According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should have your chimney swept at least once a year by a professional cleaning service. This type of service entails cleaning inside and outside the chimney.
- Always cap your chimney – Placing a cap on your chimney prevents outside debris, rain, and even vermin from entering your fireplace.
- Burn seasoned wood – Not all wood is safe for your fireplace. If you have any questions about what wood to choose, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of Americawebsite.
- Place a small amount of wood in the fire – A small amount of wood generates less smoke. Less smoke is not only beneficial to your own health, but it also means less damage to your chimney.
- Place the wood on a metal grate – This allows the air to circulate around the logs.
- Use a guard – Placing a guard on both sides of your fireplace can prevent any sparks from flying out and potentially harming yourself or any appliances that are nearby.
- Put out the fire safely – After the fire dies down, be sure to bury the logs at the bottom of the fireplace and pour sand on it to ensure that it is out.
Types of Chimney Fires
- Free Burning: Extremely loud blaze with visible flames and smoke coming out of the chimney top.
- Slow Burning: Much quieter than a free-burning fire. This type of chimney fire often goes unnoticed since they burn slower and at high temperatures. Slow burning fires are still extremely dangerous.
At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, safety is our #1 concern and we hope that you and your family are able to enjoy the splendors of a fireplace fire this winter season.
Rhode Island Weather Alert Information
As the last few months have shown, weather in Northern Rhode Island, as well as across the state for that matter, has been all over the place. To better prepare yourself for swift and immediate evacuation in case for an emergency, here are three basic weather terms you should be aware of.
A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.
A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.
An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings that cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.
If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at (401) 949-9955 or visit our website.
Commercial Fire Damage - Pawtucket, RI
Fire damage is no easy task, but as experts in the restoration field, we are trained and experienced to handle any disaster!
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? Call (401) 949-9955!
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
Finding the source of the fire typically leads us to determine how to clean and remove soot particles.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page!
September is National Preparedness Month
SERVPRO® of Northern Rhode Island
(Esmond, RI) September 6, 2018 - Local disaster restoration specialist Don McKendall, owner of SERVPRO® of Northern Rhode Island, reminds Rhode Island property owners that September is National Preparedness Month. This annual event, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides families and businesses with the information and resources they need to plan for, react to, survive, and recover from an emergency, before the emergency happens. (https://www.ready.gov/september)
For National Preparedness Month 2018, themed “Disasters happen, prepare now, learn how,” FEMA has prepared a week-by-week calendar of recommended actions property owners can take to be ready if disaster does strike:
Week 1. Create an emergency plan that includes signing up for emergency alerts and making contingency plans for shelter, evacuation, and family communication.
Week 2. Learn life-saving skills. CPR is a good place to start, but also be certain you know how to turn off the utilities in your home and ensure your smoke and CO detectors are properly installed and working.
Week 3. Check your insurance coverage. Once the emergency is over, appropriate and sufficient insurance will be key to getting your life back to normal, or at least on track.
Week 4. Plan financially for the possibility of a disaster. This goes beyond having a “rainy day fund” for immediate needs. Gather and organize important home, business, insurance, financial, and personal documents and keep them up-to-date and stored in a secure, water-and-fire proof location.
“There’s a difference between surviving a disaster and recovering from a disaster,” says McKendall. “Families and businesses who take the time to create both a short- and long-term plan to deal with the unexpected are better able to respond quickly if the unexpected happens, which can improve their chances of survival. Having key information at their fingertips in the aftermath of the emergency can set them on the path to recovery more quickly and with less stress.”
Because SERVPRO recognizes a fast response is critical in any emergency, McKendall reminds Esmond-area commercial and residential property owners they can download the SERVPRO READY app for free at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app allows users to store essential contact and property information electronically, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds, right from the scene, if disaster strikes. For local business owners who designate SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider, SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of their facility, help the owner complete a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP), and store that profile in the READY app.
“SERVPRO disaster cleanup and restoration specialists are ready to respond to emergencies big and small,” said McKendall. “From SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, a group of elite large-loss specialists, pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster, to local SERVPRO professionals like SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, we specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping make it ‘Like it never even happened’ for both commercial and residential customers.”
For more information on SERVPRO® of Northern Rhode Island, please contact Don McKendall at (401) 949-9955 or don@SERVPROmckendall.com. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.
SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes from across the country, as needed, to support large storm events. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country, including: 2018 California Wildfires, 2017 Hurricane Harvey, 2017 Hurricane Irma, 2016 Hurricane Matthew, 2016 Louisiana Flooding, 2016 Houston Flooding, 2015 Siberian Express, 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding, 2014 Polar Vortex, 2013 Colorado Floods, 2013 Alberta, Canada Floods, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2012 Hurricane Isaac, 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, 2011 North Dakota Floods, 2010 Tennessee Floods, 2010 New England Floods, 2009 California Wildfires and 2008 Hurricane Ike.
Southern New England Storm Damage
Here at SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, we specialize in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative, please call us today at (401) 949-9955!
We #Clean with #Care
Pawtucket Flood Information
According to FloodSmart.gov, “floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. Flooding causes damage and destruction across regions nationwide, wiping out homes and businesses.” At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, our crews are ready to come and service your home in case of a flood, 24 hours/7 days a week. We make ourselves available for you and your family because we understand that heavy rains can occur anytime throughout the year. One step that is as important as having a SERVPRO Ready Plan in place is understanding your risk in the first place.
Outlined by FloodSmart.gov, there are three significant types of damages that can occur when heavy rainstorms begin. These include:
“A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours.” Flash floods have the ability and strength to take down trees, damage buildings, and even bridges.
“Mudflows are rivers of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land, often caused by a combination of brush loss and subsequent heavy rains.” These types of damages are in fact covered by flood insurance, but should be noted as different from landslides and slope failures.
Levees & Dams
Designed to protect against flooding, Leeves and Dams can decay over time, making them an extreme risk when there is extensive rainfall.
At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, we care about our local community as well as all of those that live in the area. If you have any questions, or would like to contact one of our professionals, please call (401) 949-9955 or visit our website!
Information for this blog was taken from FloodSmart.gov. For more information pertaining to this matter, please visit the aforementioned link.
What is Mold Remediation?
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Either traditional methods of remediation could be used to remove mold from the affected areas or modern techniques may be necessary, depending on the type and size of the job.
A mold remediation specialist will likely begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the contaminated areas using a HEPA vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to catch mold spores. They will then begin a detailed cleaning process involving mold removal tools such as a HEPA filtered sander, followed by the damp wiping of surfaces with an effective cleaning solution, such as antimicrobial solutions, while continuing to HEPA vacuum simultaneously.
Modern techniques may call for dry ice blasting technology, usually performed on large commercial properties.
Non-Porous Materials - (e.g. glass, metal, hard plastic) that once had mold on them can be used again after they have been completely cleaned. Because the materials are non-porous, there will be no more mold below the surface so cleaning the surface mold will take care of the problem.
In addition, technicians can also clean furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings; and we are trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (401) 949-9955!
Mold Damage - Smithfield, RI
It’s the day of a family party, and you remember that all of your chairs, tables, and decorations, are downstairs in the basement. You take one step down the stairs, and are immediately slammed in the face by a foul odor. You’re curious as to what this odor could be, but you choose to ignore it. After a couple of weeks, the smell becomes so strong, you cannot even stand to be in your basement for more than a minute. The cause of this, is most likely mold.
Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Although it is nearly impossible to eradicate all mold from a given area, it is immensely important to contact SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island when you believe your home or workplace has a mold infestation. With the ability to spread throughout a property in as little as 48 hours, immediate action can help protect you and your loved ones from the potential health effects of mold.
If you have any questions or are experiencing a similar situation in your home, please call SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island at (401) 949-9955 or visit our Facebook page!