Recent Posts

When Good Intentions Turn Sour: How To Prevent Mold in the Break Room Fridge

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in refrigerator Mold loves old, leftover food.

How to Prevent Mold in the Break Room Fridge When Good Intentions Go Bad

Every day, good-intentioned office workers in Berrydale, WA, bring their leftovers to work, place their meals in the fridge and absentmindedly leave their lunches to languish for days, weeks, and even months. Unfortunately, mold loves old food, and these good-intentioned individuals have inadvertently created an atmosphere that is prime for mold growth. If you are battling fridge mold in your shared office space, here are five simple ways you can ensure that your lunchroom remains clean and mold-free.

1. Assign responsibility. Since office refrigerators inhabit common spaces, there is often no single person responsible for ensuring their cleanliness. If an individual manages the fridge, others will be inclined to pay attention to their behavior and remove old food.

2. Establish ground rules. Create agreed-upon guidelines regarding fridge use and place them prominently in the lunchroom. Asking that food be labeled or establishing limits on how long one can leave his or her lunch in the cooler are common policies in many offices today.

3. Consume meeting leftovers within 24 hours. Sharing leftover egg sandwiches from this morning’s board meeting is a great way to boost office morale, but these leftovers are also great incubators for fridge mold. Toss out any unclaimed food items within 24 hours.

4. Set up a cleaning schedule. Fridges should be cleaned out once per week. All old food items, with the exception of dressings, oils and other non-perishables, should be disposed of and shelves should be wiped down.

5. Disinfect quarterly. Fridges should be disinfected every three to four months, perhaps more if you notice any mold smell. Disinfecting a fridge does not require harsh chemicals and can be done with soap, warm water, and a sponge. Depending on the size, number, and extent of the job, some companies have decided to hire a professional to assist with this process.

Mold loves old, leftover food. Keep your shared office refrigerator in Berrydale, WA, clean and free of fridge mold by adhering to the above five simple lunchroom guidelines.

How To Safely Use a Fire Extinguisher

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Knowing how to safely use a fire extinguisher in your home could be the deciding factor between fire prevention and fire restoration.

How to Use A Fire Extinguisher Properly

A kitchen fire can start in a matter of seconds and spread just as quickly. Knowing how to safely use a fire extinguisher in your Bayne Junction,WA home could be the deciding factor between fire prevention and fire restoration.

Understand the Limitations

A portable fire extinguisher can serve a wonderful purpose in protecting your home from the spread of flames. However, certain considerations must be made before deploying its use:

  • First, it must be easily accessible. Fire can spread in mere seconds, and if your extinguisher isn’t nearby or outside of the inflamed area, its purpose will be negated before you can reach it.
  • The fire should be in its incipient stage; small and contained to the original ignited material, such as a stovetop or wastebasket.
  • A safe evacuation path should be behind you, not behind the flames.
  • There is a limited amount of extinguishing agent within portable extinguishers that can be gone within seconds, rendering them useful only for the smallest of fires

With these considerations in mind, it’s important to understand how to use the device.

Understand the P.A.S.S. Technique

The effective range of your fire extinguisher depends on the style. The common ABC extinguisher utilizes a dry chemical stream that can reach five to twenty feet, discharging within ten to twenty-five seconds. To use the extinguisher is simple as remembering the P.A.S.S. acronym:

1. Pull: Break the tamper seal by pulling the pin out.
2. Aim: Direct your aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle toward the base of the fire.
3. Squeeze: Squeeze the handle slowly and evenly, releasing a consistent stream of the extinguishing agent.
4. Sweep: Use a sweeping motion from side to side, continuing to aim at the fire near its base until it goes out. Continue to discharge once the flames have been extinguished to prevent reignition.

Fire damage is something all homeowners want to avoid, but safety should always remain top priority. If you have any doubt about your ability to stop a fire, or your portable extinguisher can not smother the flames, evacuate immediately and call emergency services.

Water Heater Failure: 3 Steps for Protecting Your Home

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater A leaking water heater can cause plenty of damage to your home.

Prevent Water Damage From Spreading

You may not give much thought to the water heater in your Pacific, WA, home, at least not until something goes wrong. For example, a leaking water heater can cause a lot of problems in a short amount of time, especially if the leak is severe. However, there are several actions you can take right away to prevent water damage from spreading until you can call in a professional flood cleanup and restoration service.

1. Shut Off the Water Lines

A failed water heater can lose water rapidly and create a flood in your utility room. This may cause damage to the floor and any other large appliances you store there, such as a washer or dryer. To prevent this, shut off your home’s water right away. This may slow the leak and contain the water to a small area.

2. Turn Off the Room’s Power

A broken water heater can spew water at high velocity and damage any electrical systems that may be in the room. You can try to mitigate some of this damage by shutting down the power in that room. However, it is important that you only attempt this if your home’s fuse box is located somewhere other than the flooded room. If it is located there, call your local power company for help.

3. Seal the Room

You can prevent a leaking water heater from causing widespread water damage by temporarily sealing off the room. Shut the nearest door, and plug the base with absorbent cotton towels. Even if you cannot stop the leak, this may help confine the spread of water until a cleanup crew arrives. Try to avoid entering the flooded area itself, as leaking water from the tank may be hot.

A leaking water heater can cause plenty of damage to your Pacific, WA, home. However, taking a few steps to contain the problem while you wait for help to arrive can reduce cleanup costs and protect the rest of your property.

A Comparison of Mitigation and Restoration Services

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Three workers using helmets inside a building, cleaning debris, removing drywall Commercial restoration in Algona, WA.

Mitigation and Restoration Services

If a storm causes water damage to your commercial property in Algona, WA, you may be at a loss to decide whom to call first. Do you find a reputable flood cleanup company, or should you call a restoration company instead? Mitigation and restoration are often two stages of the same overall process. Mitigation keeps more damage from happening, while restoration involves repairing the damage that was done.

Step One: Mitigation

Mitigation is what expert technicians do to halt the damage that floodwaters are doing to your building. They can employ several tactics to accomplish this:

  • Flood cuts
  • Extraction
  • Dehumidification
  • Industrial pumping
  • Increased air flow

During the mitigation process, the flood cleanup company does whatever it takes to keep the damage from spreading or getting worse. One of the most important reasons to do this is to stop the growth of mold. If water damage is not taken care of quickly, mold can start to grow in porous materials, causing more problems.

Step Two: Restoration

Restoration is what happens after the damage has already been stopped. Before the restoration process can begin, all ruined materials must be removed from the area so that only the items to be restored are present. Restoration may involve rebuilding the structure of the building by replacing insulation and drywall. It often includes aesthetic touches, such as painting and replacing floor tiles, so that the new materials and the old materials match. The restoration company can also salvage many items, such as electronics or important documents, that were affected by the flood.

If you are confused about whether to call a flood cleanup company that specializes in mitigation or restoration, stop to consider where in the process you are. The water damage from the storm must be mitigated before anything can be restored. You may even find a company that has expertise in both processes, thus streamlining your recovery efforts.

Smoking and Fire Safety

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

An ashtray with old smoked cigarettes stands on a black table top view, day Use large, deep ashtrays to keep cigarettes from rolling off the edges.

Preventing Fire Damage From Smoking

In spite of educational efforts on the dangers of smoking, cigarettes are still a leading cause of residential fires in Diamond, WA. The main reason cigarette fire is so common is carelessness; the reason they’re so deadly is that they smolder. Smoldering fires are dangerous because they produce a large amount of smoke before bursting into flames.

If you can avoid a cigarette fire or an ashtray fire, you can also avoid the expense of fire cleanup. Here are some tips for preventing fire damage caused by smoking both inside and outside the home.

1. Don’t smoke inside

The best way to protect your home from smoking-related fires is to have people only smoke outdoors if at all possible.

2. Never leave smoking materials unattended

Inside or outside, you should never leave a cigar, cigarette or pipe unattended. Make certain that all smoking materials are completely out before walking away from them, and always keep matches, lighters and lighter fluid well out of the reach of children.

3. Don’t smoke when . . .

Never smoke in bed, if you’re sleepy or if taking medications or drugs that decrease your alertness.

4. Use the right ashtrays the right way

Use large, deep ashtrays to keep cigarettes from rolling off the edges and ashes from blowing away. Also, make sure all ashtrays are on a level, solid surface to keep them stable and prevent spilling smoldering butts onto furniture, floors or other flammable surfaces.

5. Empty ashtrays properly

Empty ashtrays into the toilet or water down ashes to prevent smoldering, and never throw cigarettes, cigars, pipe ash or other smoking materials on the ground.

If your home in Diamond, WA, is damaged by a cigarette fire or an ashtray fire, fire cleanup is best left to skilled restoration experts. When accidents happen, you want the fastest, most professional recovery possible.

The Cost of a Business Interruption Is Covered by Insurance

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO team restoring a commercial property in Enumclaw, WA. Our team can handle any sized loss.

Disaster has struck. It’s a dark day in Enumclaw, WA. Your business has completely shut down. Was it fire or storm damage? It doesn’t matter. There is much to be done between now and the day you can reopen. Unfortunately, there was a lot of damage and reopening is a long way off. While you are assessing the situation, your insurance agent reminds you about the interruption insurance portion of your policy and describes some of the costs that it can cover.

1. Costs Associated With Moving to a Temporary Location

If your business can operate from anywhere and your policy covers it, you can restart your business at a temporary location. This can shorten the business interruption dramatically. It will allow you to continue your operation, keep your customers satisfied and make your employees happy that they still have jobs.

2. Lost Profits But Not Lost Revenue

If your business is profitable and you can document profitability, you will be reimbursed for profit lost. Some people mistakenly believe that interruption insurance covers the insured for lost revenue but that is not the case.

3. Fixed Costs

The government wants you to pay your property taxes. Your landlord expects you to pay the rent. Behind them, there are others standing in line to get paid. They don’t care that you are temporarily out of business.

4. Training Costs

Unless you set up your business to operate at a temporary location, it’s a good bet that you will permanently lose many of your employees. New employees will need to be trained to do the jobs, and training costs money.

5. Other Expenses

There will always be other expenses that don’t fit in the above categories. There could be loan payments, utilities, association dues and contractual obligations.

A Short Interruption Is Good for Everyone

Your insurer wants the interruption insurance payments to end. You want things back to normal. If your repairs include fire restoration, consider bringing in a team of restoration experts. You will be happy you did.

Keeping Yourself Safe in the Kitchen

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a fire in Auburn, WA Fire damage spreads quickly.

Kitchen Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, approximately 66% of home cooking fires occur because food or cooking substances light on fire. In these circumstances, people were just trying to make a nice meal when life had other plans. While some people may believe it's unavoidable, proactive choices could reduce the likelihood of such a catastrophe. With that in mind, homeowners in Auburn, WA may want to understand the likely hazards of the kitchen. The following are three tips to help increase your kitchen safety.

1. Stay Organized

One reason for fire damage is chaos. If the chef tends to toss things about, it's likely they could become harmed. Place everything out before you begin, being cognizant of location. Utensils, clothing, plastic, and paper or cloth towels should remain at a distance from the oven.

2. Stick to One Spot

One of the most valuable tips is to stay put. Life gets hectic, but it's when eyes are elsewhere flames have the chance to spread. Therefore, avoid making dinner while you are juggling too many other things. Running to the laundry room or outdoors means the stove and food are unattended. If you are present, a quick response is possible. If you are in another space, though, you are allowing it to grow.

3. Watch Your Grease

Oil adds flavor, but it also drastically increases the rate of a grease fire. As the liquid's temperature shoots up, it can splatter on other materials. If it falls on the wrong object, it could burn it, starting sparks. If this does happen, remember water doesn't help in this situation. Instead, you try baking soda or salt. Fire extinguishers are also an option. Grab one from the nearest spot, spraying it low in a sweeping motion. Finally, if you have concerns, exit and call 911. The emergency workers and fire restoration company can handle the destruction.

Don't wait for disaster to strike. Instead, remain aware of the possibility of trouble, and use the tips to make sure house a bit safer.

5 Flameless Alternatives to Candle Fire

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage on a wall from a candle in Enumclaw, WA. Even a small candle can cause serious fire damage.

The Following Are Safe Candle Alternatives

There's something comforting and cozy about the soft flicker of candlelight, but every year about 18,000 fires are caused by candles, according to the National Candle Association. Fortunately, there are several safe candle alternatives that you can use to get the warm, soft glow that candles provide.

Electric or Battery-Powered Candles

These lights look a lot like actual candles, and many of the lights mimic the flicker of candlelight. This option can be left unattended, are available in a lot of attractive styles, last a long time, and are sometimes operated by remote control.

Illuminated Bottles or Vases

A clear, colored, or painted glass jar, vase, or bowl can offer a soothing, subtle glow. This option can be easily adjusted to complement the decorative style throughout your Enumclaw, WA, home. Choose LED lights, so you don't have to worry about lightbulbs causing burns that might lead to damage in your home.

Fairy Lights

These flameless lights are beautiful candle alternatives that offer relaxed lighting similar to candle fire, deliver a romantic atmosphere, and are available in many styles and colors. You can use these in your little one's room without worrying about little fingers getting burned or sparks flying from a candle fire. Similar lights are available in curtains.

Wax or Oil Warmers

If you want a warm flicker and a pleasant scent, check out a warmer that heats scented oils or wax. These alternatives are powered by electricity or battery and have a small dish for holding the scented product. These options are affordable and convenient to use.

Plug-in Air Fresheners

These devices require outlet space and the oil inside doesn't last very long, but plug-in air fresheners don't require much maintenance or affect the air quality in your home. The scent from the oil lingers for a satisfyingly long time.
The next time you want to turn the lights down low, consider using one of these candle alternatives. You can enjoy the soft flicker and light scent of your favorite candles without risking a visit from fire damage cleanup and remediation crews.

3 Essential Tips When Your Business Experiences Flood Damage

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech in PPE checking for mold in Auburn, WA Checking for mold growth after a flood.

Flood Damage In Your Business

When flood damage hits your business in Auburn, WA, your work life may come to an abrupt halt and your priorities have to shift to recovering from the disaster. It's essential to move quickly getting things cleared up, but there are a few important things to keep in mind as you go about content cleaning.

1. Avoid Turning On Electronics

Although some or all of your electronic devices may have been caught up in the flood, there's a chance they would survive it if they're handled correctly. Most importantly, do not try to turn them back on yet. Instead, they need to be carefully restored and thoroughly dried first, at which point they may be able to turn on and operate normally. As with any restorations after water damage, though, time matters. The longer they remain water damaged, the more extensive the repairs will be or the greater the likelihood that replacement will be necessary.

2. Remove Unharmed Items From Danger

Items not already damaged in the storm should be removed from the vicinity until all has been resolved. Storm damage can bring black water with it, so the more you can save from coming into contact with it the better. This will also make content cleaning easier as there will be fewer things to clean and restore or dispose of.

3. Steer Clear of Moldy Areas

If enough time passes while areas stay wet, mold will begin to grow. Avoid messing with or placing items near mold, as the spores can shoot out and latch onto more surfaces. Mold needs to be properly remediated to prevent it from spreading.
You can't afford for your business to stay down for long. Every day may mean lost revenue. If the damage is extensive or you need it fixed faster than you can manage, it might be time to turn to professional content cleaning services to put your business right again.

Black Mold: The Bad Boy of the Mold Universe

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on kitchen floor in Auburn, WA Microbial growth on kitchen floor.

Even in a category not known for a positive image, black mold has a particularly dark reputation. While there are several types of this mold, the term often refers to Stachybotrys chartarum, a greenish-blackish mold that grows on materials with a high cellulose content. This includes such things as paper, drywall, insulation and fiberboard. It could definitely end up in your home in Auburn, WA especially if you have experienced a recent water problem.

To make things easier for you, though, if your home ever has a mold problem it should be cleaned up by professionals no matter the type.

The Importance of Mold Cleanup

There are several reasons why black mold and other types of fungi growth should be eradicated as quickly as possible. Allowing mold to grow unchecked could lead to the following issues:

  • Degradation of indoor air quality
  • Musty odors
  • Deterioration of materials from mold growth
  • Destruction of furniture, carpeting and wood
  • Health effects in some individuals

A fast response is important because mold can spread throughout your home fairly quickly. It can even colonize hard-to-reach areas such as the HVAC system and behind walls, making the cleanup more difficult and time-consuming.

The Process of Professional Mold Remediation

A certified mold mitigation franchise is often the best choice. Workers will come to your home quickly and assess your home. If necessary, they will do mold testing and then move onto containment and eradication. To complete the job safely, workers will often wear face masks, long gloves and goggles. Effective yet safe antifungal and antimicrobial cleaning and sanitizing agents remove as much mold as possible. The final steps of restoration include repairing or replacing any damaged materials.

Black mold and other types of mold should be cleaned from your home in a timely manner. An experienced crew can complete the job safely and efficiently.