Tornadoes on the SouthCoast? - Lincoln, RI
A Supercell Tornado Ravages the Central Plain of America
Toto, We're not in Kansas Anymore...
We are all aware of the recent tornado warnings that have been broadcasted across The Weather Channel, and how much of an abnormality they are in this part of the country. Normally, our knowledge of tornadoes comes from blockbuster dramas like Twister, or Storm Chasers – but what are these weather anomalies really like?
What is a Tornado?
A tornado is a funnel-shaped vortex of violent winds that form under a major storm system. Wind speeds can reach anywhere between 65mph to upwards of 300mph, depending on the scale of the tornado.
There are two forms of tornadoes, supercell and non-supercell. Supercell tornadoes are spawned from supercell thunderstorms, and are the most common tornado and typically the most dangerous. Non-supercell tornadoes are circulations that do not form from an organized storm front.
How do Tornado’s form?
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, tornadoes come from the energy released in a thunderstorm.
Supercell tornadoes develop from a rotating updrift. One theory on how this rotation begins is that a column of air begins to rotate from wind shear, which is then fed by warm, moist air flowing in at ground level.
Non-supercell tornadoes form from a vertically spinning parcel of air already occurring near the ground, caused by wind shear from a warm, cold, or sea breeze front, or a dryline. When an updraft moves over the rotation, and stretches it, a tornado can form.
There are still many unanswered questions scientists face when examining supercell and non-supercell tornadoes, but with the help of modern technology and equipment, we are making strides towards learning more about these super storms every day.
What do to in the event of a Tornado?
When the tornado sirens sound, you may only have minutes to find safe shelter. It is recommended that you bunker down in your bathtub if an underground shelter isn’t available.
A bathtub is a great form of shelter given that they are strong, sturdy objects which are piped directly into the ground. Normally, bathtubs and loo’s are the only remnants of a home left after a tornado has passed through it.
One incredible story of survival comes from a 60-year-old woman from Louisiana who hid in her bathtub as a tornado was ravaging her home. The tornado picked up the tub, while she was hiding in it, and carried it to a wooded area not far from her home. Miraculously, the tub was placed gently on the ground, and she suffered only minor cuts and bruising.
Black Mold: What are the warning signs?
Toxic black mold feeds on the drywall pictured above
We recently learned that the term “black mold” is the most commonly searched phrase on Google to lead people to the SERVPRO of Fall River website. In honor of these findings, we’ve created this blog posting to teach you everything you need to know about Black Mold. Happy Reading!
What is Black Mold?
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is a toxic mold that grows in warm, damp and dark areas. Black mold begins to form after water or moisture has seeped into this warm, dark environment and goes left untreated. This process can happen anywhere, but the most common area for mold growth to happen is in the basement.
How can I tell if there’s Black Mold in my home?
If you’re concerned that black mold may be growing in your home or business, it is recommended that you contact SERVPRO of Fall River to examine the affected area. Below you’ll find ways to determine if contacting a professional is necessary.
Mold has an unmistakably musty odor to it. If you’re smelling must or mildew in your home, you’ve most likely got a mold problem. When determining where the problem is located, it is important to check all areas of a room thoroughly, including A/C units and furniture. It is also important to note that mold does not always grow on an objects surface – it could be lurking behind drywall, tile, or even in your HVAC system.
Black mold usually appears greenish-black in color, and features a slimy texture (see right) but may also appear gray, orange, brown or furry. It can appear flat against a surface, or bumpy and rigid.
Touching mold can spread spores to other parts of your home or business, making the containment process difficult and time consuming. It isn’t recommended you touch black mold, or any type of mold for that matter, due to health concerns and containment issues.
If you think you might have Black Mold in your home or business, call the professionals today at 508-676-9100
How Clean is the Air in Your Commercial Work Space?
Built-up Allergens in an Air Duct
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter works by filtering air and trapping dangerous particles. The smaller mesh design helps to trap smoke, pollen, dander and other fine particles that traditional filters miss. The HEPA filter design is essentially similar to the way a water filtration system works.
SERVPRO of Fall River only uses the highest quality HEPA filter machines in order to fully eradicate mold and other particles from the air. It is a vital component to purifying the toxins that pollute the air we breathe. SERVPRO of Fall River uses equipment with a HEPA filter after sewage and similar category 2 and 3 losses, mold mitigation to remove the mold spores from to prevent health hazards as well as contamination of previously uncontaminated areas of the building, as well as biohazard cleanup jobs where a room or structure is contaminated.
Fire Safety Tips you’ll Fall for this Season - Seekonk, MA
Don't let this happen to you!
As the cool fall weather starts to roll in, it is important to practice fire safety in the home to ensure your holiday season goes uninterrupted. Things like heating, holiday decorations, and candle burning can all leave room for disaster if not addressed properly.
Home Heating Safety Tips
If you heat your home centrally, it is important to have your system inspected and cleaned of any build up before the start of the fall season. A blocked air duct can be a potential fire hazard waiting to happen. Make sure to get your system routinely checked by a Certified HVAC professional, and call SERVPRO of Fall River for any cleanings it may require.
You should have your chimney inspected every year to make sure it’s in safe, working condition. Utilize your local Chimney Sweeper when necessary, and have any cracks within the foundation of the chimney filled if need be. It is also advised that a fireplace screen be used to keep sparks within the pit, and unwanted debris out. Finally, you should never use gasoline or any other combustible substance to start a fire and most importantly, never under any circumstances leave a fire unattended!
Space heaters are a great resource for heating areas of the home that otherwise don’t receive a lot of air flow. There are many precautions to follow when relying on a space heater, though, which include making sure there is at least a 3-foot radius of empty space between your space heater and any other objects. You should also never place clothing or any other flammable articles on your space heater, and avoid putting it near furniture or curtains. Lastly, it is very important you turn off and unplug your space heater when leaving the house or going to bed to avoid the possibility of fire.
Holiday Décor Safety Tips
Although Jack-O-Lanterns are a great way to add spook to your home during Halloween, you should never burn a real candle within one. Instead, try safer alternatives like a battery operated light.
One of the biggest fire starters on Thanksgiving Day are the infamous fried turkeys!
If you plan to deep fry your bird this Thanksgiving, we suggest you follow these tips so not to blow your house up;
- Set up the fryer you’ll be using AT LEAST 10 feet away from the home, or any other structure for that matter, and make sure it is situated on a level surface
- Make sure the turkey is thawed and dried out completely
- Keep a watchful eye on the oil temperature
Christmas tree Lights
Make sure when leaving the house or going to bed you turn your Christmas tree lights off and unplug them. Christmas trees are beautiful, and we all want to show off our decorating skills, but leaving your lights on when away from the home is dangerous. You’ll also want to make sure you’re watering your tree enough to prevent the pines from becoming dry and brittle, whereas they are extremely flammable in this state.
The Hidden Dangers of Mold
How is the air quality in your home?
The general public is typically familiar with identifying visible mold growing on surfaces that you can see. Most people know the immediate dangers and will work towards resolving the issue.
Unfortunately, mold often lurks in places that are not so visible to homeowners including behind drywall. Typically found in finished basements after a flood or in water seeping through a home’s basement cement wall or an improperly sealed tie rod hole. Broken, or leaking pipes and even houses with poor ventilation can all factor into moisture collecting and creating the environment needed for mold to grow.
If not taken care of properly, this can cause prolonged exposure and health risks to residents of the home, without their knowledge. Symptoms are often very similar to common seasonal allergies such as; itchy, watery eyes, sinus congestion, itchy throat, runny nose or even asthma attacks. With prolonged exposure mold poisoning may develop. Symptoms become much worse. Respiratory infections, scar tissue build up and bleeding of the lungs, joint pain and even depression are just a few of the symptoms. If left untreated these health problems can become chronic, life altering issues.
Be proactive and do your best to keep your home mold free. If you believe that you may have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Fall River today at (508) 676-9100.
5 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in the Home
SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster!
5 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in the Home
With the New England weather changing faster than you can say “Wicked”, it can be hard to tell what season is coming next! Though through all of this, one thing remains constant here at SERVPRO of Fall River. The bulk of losses we cover are caused by some form of water damage. So, how can we as homeowners prevent this? Take a look at the list we’ve pulled together below for some helpful tips on making sure your home is prepared when disaster strikes.
- Inspect your Roof & Gutters
Inspect your roof by walking around the outside perimeter of your home to look for signs of sagging, aging and damage such as buckled or missing shingles.
- Examine the inside of your Home; like Leaky Windows & Doors
Keep an eye on windows and doors during heavy rain fall to make sure no water is seeping in. If you do come to find that water is making its way into your home, try resealing around the frame with caulking. If the water persists, contact a local professional to have your siding inspected.
- Test that your Sump Pump is in good working condition
This can be performed by simply unplugging and plugging the pump back in. If the pump does not immediately turn back on, it is in need of repair.
Another way of testing your sump pump’s ability is by running water through it. You will only need enough water to lift the float until the pump kicks on. The pump kicking on will confirm that the pump is working properly.
- Check for any leaks coming from your Hot Water Heater
Inspect the area around your hot water heater to make sure no puddles have formed. Water around your heater typically indicates the temperature and pressure release valve have failed. This can lead to major water damage.
- Know the location of your Main Water Shut Off Valve
Out of all of these guidelines, this one may be the most important. You should know where your main water shut off valve is located in the event that water flow to your home be immediately terminated. It is important to note that as long as the water is coming from your homes water supply, you can shut it down quickly.
Flood vs. Seepage
Diagram depicting how seepage occurs
Flood vs. Seepage; What's the Difference?
Are you experiencing unexplained water or moisture on your basement walls or floor? It may be caused by ground seepage.
Seepage is different from flooding and is treated like so by the insurance company.
Ground seepage is looked at as a maintenance problem, not “sudden & accidental” and is excluded from home insurance coverage.
It is important to recognize the difference between these two scenarios when purchasing home owners insurance to avoid any confusion when filing a future claim.
After contacting SERVPRO, it is important you also talk with a water proofing professional about ways to prevent future damage to your basement.
Water Damage or Mold? Call us today at (508) 676-9100.
Tenant Fires can cause Water Damage in your Apartment
Firefighters Putting Out a Blaze after the Lawrence Gas Line Explosions
After the fire department leaves, you may experience water damage left behind from firefighting efforts. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in these situations when we least expect to, and are typically unprepared for the aftermath.
You can rest assured that SERVPRO professionals will be ready 24/7 to attend to any damages left behind. Since 1967, we have been the leading restoration company for water remediation, and with over 1700 local franchises, you will always receive personable and attentive care to guarantee all of your needs are exceeded!
Open communication and transparency are traits we pride ourselves on before, during and after the water loss remediation process. Our technicians will first assess the extent of the damage and come up with a specialized plan to properly dry out the area and any contents that may have become water logged.
If you are suffering from water damage due to firefighting efforts, give yourself the peace of mind you deserve by calling us today to set up a free estimate!
Pitter Patter, Pitter Patter...
Flooding to a Suburban Home after a Major Storm
“Where is that noise coming from?!” You ask yourself, as the pitter patter of unknown water damage grows louder. You look up, and suddenly… a water droplet hits you square between the eyes! Only then do you realize it’s coming from the upstairs bathroom!
But it’s already too late.
You’re left with sopping wet sheetrock in the shape of a large pumpkin.
“What now…?” You wonder.
The water damage restoration process begins as soon as you contact SERVPRO of Fall River. Our highly trained team of professionals will first assess the extent of damage by using industry leading tools such as moisture meters and thermographic cameras. This allows us to have a better understanding of how far the moisture has migrated in order to set up drying equipment accordingly.
Next, we will begin the water extraction process. Any excess water that may be left behind after a flood is quickly sucked up using our powerful pumps and vacuum units. This will prevent any secondary water damage from occurring and deter the possibility of mold growth.
After extraction, we follow a specialized drying & dehumidification process. Our industrial grade fans, air scrubbers and dehumidifiers are positioned just so to create a type of vortex (similar to that of a whirlpool) of leftover moisture to be drawn in from all corners of a room, wicked up, and trapped in our dehumidifiers.
Lastly, our team will clean and sanitize any restorable items damaged by the water. Using specially formulated antimicrobial's and deodorizers, your property will soon be back to pre-water damage condition and looking "Like it never even happened"!
Biohazards - What Are They?
SERVPRO of Fall River offers an array of bio-hazard cleanup services. Our highly trained team of technicians follow rigorous OSHA and EPA regulations when dealing with blood borne pathogens to ensure that a once unsafe environment is restored back to safe living conditions. If you or someone you know is suffering from a biologically hazardous situation, contact us today at (508) 676-9100.
What classifies as a Bio-hazard?
A bio-hazard is defined as being a risk to human or environmental health through biological work, especially with microorganisms. There are many forms of bio-hazards that some of us may come into contact with on a daily basis. For example, Waste Management Workers are exposed to infectious diseases in their working day-to-day lives. Luckily, with the help of modern medicine, we can protect ourselves from contracting some of those hazardous diseases (i.e. hepatitis A, B and tetanus) by receiving the proper vaccinations. Though, other forms of bio-hazardous materials are not as easy to prevent as receiving a shot in the arm.
Below is a list of common bio-hazard scenarios you’ll want to seek professional help for in the event of contact. Follow the link on each one to learn more about our cleanup protocol.
Sewage & Toilet Overflows
Trauma & Crime Scene