Recent Posts

Tips for Cleaning After a House Fire

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

The good news is that you and your family are safe. The bad news is that your home in Auburn, WA, suffered a blaze that caused fire, soot and smoke damage. It smells like a bonfire you cannot escape. What actions do you take next? First, go outside, take a deep breath of fresh air and relax. Your home is going to return to its previous state, but it takes time and effort. Follow these tips after a fire to start the process of recovery.


Immediately After the Fire.


• Safety is always your first priority. Do not go inside of your house until it is safe. Be aware of the dangers of standing water and electricity, structural damage and risk of slipping on wetness and debris.
• Once clear to enter, be careful not to touch or walk on soiled areas. Rather, lay down clean towels to absorb the soot damage. Change the filter on your HVAC if accessible.
• Do not attempt smoke cleaning on your own, as improper techniques may set stains and odors. Fire restoration specialists are trained and have the equipment necessary to correctly clean your home and belongings.


The Cleanup Process.


• Smoke damage professionals arrive quickly to assess the damage, typically in four hours or less.
• First, the structural components of your home are properly cleaned. This can include walls, ceilings, flooring and carpets. The walls are prepared for painting so that the soot damage does not retain its odor.
• Your belongings are cleaned and deodorized using a combination of specialized wet and dry cleaning. This can include furniture, electronics, rugs and other personal items.
• Sources of odors are identified and eliminated, leaving your home truly deodorized.

The combination of fire and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your home in Auburn, WA. Fortunately, with the proper steps and professional help, your home and possessions can be revitalized and restored to pre-fire condition.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

5 Steps To Keep Your Restaurant Mold-Free

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with mold is an issue no restaurant owner wishes to endure. The high humidity of a busy kitchen can be the perfect breeding ground for it, but as inevitable as mold spores are in the environment, mold growth is an avoidable occurrence you can help prevent with these five simple steps:


1. Keep Humidity Levels Low.


The EPA recommends interior humidity levels be kept between 30 and 50 percent to limit the possibility of mold development. Aim for the ideal level of 40 percent by utilizing fans and dehumidifiers in key locations such as the kitchen, bathroom and basement.


2. Maintain Ventilation Systems.


The nature of a restaurant kitchen creates immense amounts of water and steam, making ideal conditions for mold spores to develop. Ensure there is an efficient ventilation system in place in the kitchen and dishwashing area. Regular maintenance checks should verify the system is clean and functioning properly.


3. Clean Regularly and Thoroughly. 


Mold thrives in dark, damp places that are often unseen to the obvious line of vision. The nooks and crannies of a restaurant kitchen can create ample opportunities for mold to develop: underneath sinks, behind appliances or within refrigerators. Move equipment often, checking for moisture or water damage and cleaning on top, underneath, and behind all surfaces to minimize the opportunity for growth.


4. Inspect All Food.


Chefs and cooks should be well-trained to identify signs of mold growth on food. Mold spores spread quickly, and any contaminated food could not only infect other food items but also spread to all areas of the kitchen.


5. Schedule Professional Inspections.


Prevention is the preferred method when it comes to mold growth. To keep your Auburn, WA, restaurant running fungus-free, it is best to schedule a consultation with the professionals. A mold remediation team has IICRC training credentials paired with high-tech equipment to verify your restaurant is not only mold-free, but also at low risk for any future development. With a clean kitchen and a professional contact, mold should find no home in your restaurant!

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

Preventing Heavy Storm Damage

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

When people think of flood damage, they often picture heavy rains. A burst pipe, however, can cause just as much water damage as external elements. To protect your business in Auburn, WA, from damage caused by a frozen pipe, you need to take a few precautions.


Insulation.


Many pipes burst as the result of poor insulation. There are several ways that pipes can be left vulnerable to extreme temperatures:

• Efficiency timers that turn the heat in the building off when it’s not occupied
• Pipes exposed to outside elements, such as water sprinklers
• Supply lines in less insulated areas of the building, such as the basement
• Bare pipes that touch outside walls

To protect against a burst pipe, consider adding insulation to cooler areas of the building. You can even add a specific type of insulation to the pipe itself. Keeping plumbing elements warm can keep them from breaking.


Maintain Flow.


A trickling faucet may be a sign that your pipes are frozen, but if you leave the faucet dripping a little, it can help prevent freezing. The flow of warmer water through the pipe acts as a type of internal insulation. Don’t allow standing water to remain in hoses or supply lines, though. The water must keep moving in order to be an effective guard against flooding.


Stay Warm.


Resist the temptation to turn the thermostat down too low or turn it off in order to save money on the utility bill. If you have to hire flood restoration specialists to clean up the water damage caused by a frozen pipe that bursts, you are going to spend much more money in the long run than if you just leave the heat around 55 or 60 degrees while no one is there.

A burst pipe in your building can wreak havoc upon your business. To avoid interruption of your day-to-day operations, take measures to prevent flood damage from leaky or broken pipes.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

What To Do When a Toilet Floods Two Floors

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Sewer damage can cause a flooded toilet to overflow much more than a blocked toilet might. It can even lead to sewage backing up into bathtubs and sinks. If this happens, you could end up with sewer water soaking through floors and leaking through lower story ceilings. In the event of a two-story toilet overflow, follow this response guide.


1. Call for Cleanup Help.


Do not attempt to clean up sewage yourself. Sewage can carry bacteria and viruses that are dangerous or even fatal to people and animals. Avoid any contact with the flood water and call a water mitigation specialist in Auburn, WA, immediately. They should respond within hours, not days.


2. Ensure Everyone’ Safety.


Do whatever is necessary to make sure no people or animals come in contact with the sewage. Move any electrical devices away from the path of the flood waters and if you have any gas appliances on the premises that have come into contact with the sewer water, call the gas company to come and turn them off.


3. Contact Your Utility Company.


You will also need to contact the sewage company to determine who is ultimately responsible for the sewer damage. While sewer maintenance is usually taken care of by the local water company, if the damage is on your property, it may be your responsibility to bring in a plumber to make repairs. Start by talking to the company.


4. Document the Damage.


You may want to file an insurance claim to cover the damages. If so, take photographs or videos of the damage and make a list of the items that will need to be cleaned or replaced. Your insurance provider will want to see evidence of the damage.

Once the water mitigation specialists in Auburn, WA, arrive they will be able to assess the situation and formulate a cleanup plan. The sewer damage will have to be addressed first, then they can remove the water, disinfect or remove the affected materials and restore your business to its pre-flood state.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

How Does a Water Damaged House Return to a Home?

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

From soaking wet furniture to warped floors and a threat of mold, water can be aggressively damaging to the home and is best handled by professionals in water cleanup and restoration. Whether from bursting pipes or flooding rivers, the average cleanup and restoration process takes 3-5 days. Specialty circumstances such as wood flooring may take up to 7-10 days to ensure complete dryness and safety moving forward. While each case of water damage is unique, here are 5 general steps professionals will take after you have placed the initial call for services:


1. Inspection and Assessment of Damage.


Workers will thoroughly inspect your home for the extent of damage. After identifying and stopping the bursting pipes or other source of water, a specific plan of cleanup and restoration will be created, starting with moving or blocking furniture to avoid rust and possible stains.


2. Water Removal.


Using industrial strength wet/dry vacuums, any standing water will be immediately extracted. This in an integral step in preventing secondary damage, including the threat of mold. Carpets and rugs will also be inspected as this point to affirm any damage and need for removal for cleaning purposes.


3. Drying and Dehumidification. 


The porous material of wood, rugs and drywall allows moisture to be retained even when the outside surface appears dry. This vital step includes more industrial strength machinery; dehumidifiers and large fans allow air to move more quickly, encouraging evaporation and thorough drying.


4. Cleaning and Sanitization. 


The odor left behind from water damage can be pungent at best. Professionals will use a variety of cleaning methods appropriate for each material to help restore as many of your furnishings and personal belongings as possible, sanitizing them to ensure they are free of any lingering odors and safe to enjoy again.


5. Restoration.


Dependent on the unique situation of the water damage, this step may include a fix of the broken pipe, replacing drywall and/or carpet, and repainting walls. With this final step, bursting pipes will be an issue of the past and your Auburn, WA, home can be safe and dry once more.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

Smoke Damage From a Fire Next Door

5/20/2018 (Permalink)

When a business next door experiences a fire, it can have consequences for your building too. Smoke damage can leave an oily, black residue on your walls and ceiling, discolor your furniture and carpets and leave a lingering odor. You may not realize it, but most fire insurance covers smoke and soot damage caused by neighboring fires. Hiring a fire remediation company in Auburn, WA, to handle the smoke cleaning for you is the safest, quickest and most effective way to return your property to its pre-fire condition. Follow these steps to file a claim.


1. Contact Your Fire Insurance Provider


Don’t wait to contact your provider. Get in touch with them immediately after the fire and verify the correct procedure and necessary materials to file a claim.


2. Get Contact Information for the Property Owner


If you don’t already have it, get contact information for the property owner whose building burned. Your insurance provider will want to talk to them and see a copy of the police report.


3. Take Pictures of the Damage


Your insurance company will send a claims adjuster to assess the damage, however, they will also want physical evidence of the smoke damage. Take photographs or video footage of the affected areas to include with your claim.


4. Make a List of Damaged Items


Make an inventory of everything affected. If you have the original receipts showing what you paid for these items, this can be helpful if they need to be replaced.


5. Contact a Fire Remediation Company


Soot and smoke from a fire can be toxic to your health as well as damaging to your property. A professional fire remediation company in Auburn, WA, has specialized equipment and knowledge to clean up smoke damage safely, quickly and efficiently. As soon as you call them they can come assess the damage, develop a remediation plan and quote you the cost for your insurance claim.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

Is Mold Damage Covered By a Typical Insurance Policy

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

When you find fungus growth in your Auburn, WA, home, your mind starts to race with the negative possibilities. You've heard horror stories about mold cleanup. You know a full remediation can take a while, may cost a lot and may not stop mold from returning. If you turn to a residential mold cleanup service, you have a better chance of getting rid of the growth and learning how to prevent its return. While working with a professional can help you get rid of the fungus, you may still be wondering how you're going to pay for the cleanup. If you have a special mold insurance policy, you may be in luck. Otherwise, you may have to pay for the remediation out of pocket.


Depends on the Cause


Under some policies, your mold coverage depends on the cause of the growth. Typically, fungus growth is brought on by water damage, including the following:

• Burst pipes
• Repeat leaks
• Drainage problems
• Basement floods
• Excess humidity

A standard policy likely won't cover growth brought on by maintenance problems but may cover sudden problems.


Depends on the Limitations


Even if you find out your normal homeowner's insurance does cover some causes of mold growth, you need to keep reading the policy. Some policies have a cap on their mold coverage. This could mean you'll have to pay for the remediation out-of-pocket after you reach a certain number. It could also mean that mold damage may be excluded entirely from the coverage. Other policies may only pay for certain parts of the remediation, such as the testing or cleanup.

Do you want to find out if your fungus growth cleanup and remediation process is going to be covered by your insurance policy? The best way to do this is to get in contact with your insurance provider to learn about your particular coverage. Some remediation team representatives may be able to help you better understand your policy too.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

Teaching Your Kids How To Prevent and Escape a Home Fire

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Teaching Your Kids How To Prevent and Escape a Home Fire


If a home fire in Auburn, WA, occurs, the first thing you should do is escape the building. It’s very important to teach your children how to evacuate the house when a fire happens. Kids safety is essential, and here are a few things you can do to prepare your children for the worst scenario.


Teach Them How To Prevent Fires


Children are curious. They can also get bored very easily. Teach your kids the importance of fire safety so that they don’t accidentally create a fire while experimenting with a match or candle. A few things you might include in your fire safety conversation can include:
• Keep paper, books, and other flammable items away from heaters, candles, and stoves.
• Blow out all candles before going to bed or leaving the house.
• Never leave the stove unattended while cooking.
Kids safety is all about informing and teaching your children so that they can be aware of dangerous situations.


Teach Them a Fire Escape Plan


Your kids may not know that heat rises. When in a fire, the temperatures get hotter and hotter at the top. Teach your children the two ways to fire crawl.
The most common crawl is on your hands and knees. Drop to your forearms and keep your head down, like a dog sniffing the ground. The second crawl is used when the temperature is too hot to have your body in the air. Press your legs to the floor and move like a snake.
Kids safety encompasses a wide range of topics. Another way to prepare your children for a fire is to teach them what happens to your home after it is destroyed by the flames. Although a fire can be scary for kids, you can teach them that the home and property can be rebuilt and restored. By teaching them how to prevent hazards and escape fires, your children can be safer and calmer during a home fire.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com/.

Reducing the Risk of Household Appliances Causing Water Damage

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Reducing the Risk of Household Appliances Causing Water Damage Any appliances that have water coming into them or going out of them, have the potential to cause water damage. Call SERVPRO® quickly to remediate!

Regular Maintenance Can Prevent Potential Damage

It is not just burst pipes, flooding, and storms that can cause water damage to your home; faulty appliances also have the potential to cause significant problems. Dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters and refrigerators are some of the usual culprits in the home. However, there are measures you can take to significantly reduce the risk of them leaking and causing water damage to your property.

Check the Hoses

One of the most common causes of appliances causing water damage is the failure, damage or blockage of hoses. Both dishwashers and washing machines have hoses connected to them as they are water-drawing appliances. It is important to check the hoses regularly for degrading, cracks or blockages before further problems are caused. Realistically, hoses need replacing every three years. Identify and Check Water Valves You should make sure that everyone in the house knows where the main water valve and the water valves for each appliance are located. If a leak does occur, it can be dealt with swiftly by turning off the water. It is also important to check that the valves open and close correctly. SERVPRO® is often called out by people who have just returned home to find a flood or leak after a vacation or weekend away. A preventative measure you can take is to turn off the valves before you leave home.

Drains, Pumps, and Filters

Depending on the appliance, a piece of equipment may have drains, pumps or filters. Each of these components may become blocked with debris over time, and this will disrupt or prevent the flow of water. In turn, this can result in leakages or the appliance may stop working altogether. Check for blockages and debris at least twice a year to keep these parts clear.

Contacting the Professionals

There are some occasions when you will not be able to rectify a problem, and it is important you know when you need to call a professional rather than attempt to resolve an issue yourself. If your appliance has a warranty, then a qualified engineer will come to identify any problems and either fix or replace the parts as necessary. It is well worth considering an extended warranty, so your appliance is covered for longer. Having faults repaired quickly will minimize the chances of needing to use our services at SERVPRO® to tackle water damage. Although these tips reduce the risk of problems with household appliances, there is still the possibility of a fault or leak occurring that results in water damage to your home. In the event of this happening, contact SERVPRO of Auburn/Enumclaw as soon as possible at (253) 848-0800. Once you have described your emergency, our team of experts will visit you to assess the damage and begin restorative work as soon as possible.

Important Information About Mold

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is a type of fungi with thousands of species found all over the planet. Black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is one particular species causing problems in the commercial buildings of Auburn, WA. Understanding the following information about mold helps promote a clean commercial work environment.


Where Is Mold Commonly Found?


Mold spores are found everywhere, most especially in moist, humid environments. Black mold has a greenish-black color, and its presence is often indicated by a musty smell. It establishes most strongly in moisture problem prone areas such as these:

• Rooms with humidity levels greater than 50 percent
• Poorly ventilated spaces including supply closets and equipment shelves
• Areas under leaking pipes and windows
• Perpetually moist areas in bathrooms, by sinks and near drinking fountains
• Basements and warehouses with stagnant water
• Porous construction materials such as drywall
• Carpeted floors prone to spills


How Does Mold Spread?


Mold reproduces by dispersing microscopic, airborne spores that can travel great distances before landing and establishing colonies. These spores enter wherever there is air exchange between the internal and external environment, such as through heating/ventilation/air conditioner, or HVAC, systems. They can endure harsh environmental conditions until the damp, humid environment necessary for growth is present. Within 48 hours of establishing itself in a moist environment, mold spores can grow and reproduce by releasing even more spores.


What To Do About Mold?


The presence of mold indicates a moisture problem, such a pipe leakage, that should be addressed to prevent future mold growth. While mold spores are found everywhere, airborne mold spore levels greater than one-third the level of outdoor mold spore levels do not belong in commercial buildings and should be addressed by mold cleanup as soon as possible. Improper black mold removal may leave behind spores ready to disperse and re-initiate the problem. A professional mold remediation crew can effectively and efficiently target colonies in all nooks and crannies, thus maintaining clean work environments in Auburn, WA.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROauburnenumclaw.com.