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4 Common Questions About Mold and Remediation

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a corner of a wall Mold growth on a wall

4 Common Questions About Mold and Remediation

As a facility manager or commercial property owner in Bayne Junction, WA, it is necessary to understand mold growth and prevention efforts. It is also pertinent to work with a remediation expert and develop a plan should your building ever need to remove an infestation. However, the first objective should always be education. Therefore, here are the four most common questions about mold and the remediation process.

1. What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus. However, it starts as microscopic spores and not the fuzzy green and black substance you may see on or within walls. In order for mold to survive, it needs nutrients and water, which is why it often develops in areas with water damage.

2. How Does it Grow?

To grow and spread, mold requires a moderate temperature, food and water. However, water does not have to be plentiful. Mold growth can occur in areas of high humidity with little evidence of excessive moisture. Therefore, when attempting to prevent mold in your facility, it is essential that you control the humidity levels.

3. What is Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation refers to the removal and restoration of mold damage. Therefore, it consists of the sealing off of affected spaces, the removal and cleaning of contaminated surfaces and the restoring of a property to pre-damage conditions.

4. How Long Does Mold Removal Take?

The length of time it takes a restoration company to remove and remedy a mold problem depends on the level of infestation. However, most remediation efforts take somewhere between three to seven days. Although, if the infestation is significant and the mold species is toxic, the restoration efforts can take longer.
Mold growth is a problem for businesses, especially when it forces a shutdown of operations. Therefore, if your property is ever exposed to a mold problem, contact a licensed and certified removal company to help.

How the Pros Clean up After a Fire

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling damaged by fire in a building For all your fire restoration needs, make sure you call capable professionals

It's a scenario you dread but just may come across at work someday: You discover that a fire has started in your building. No business owner or employee in Oceola, WA, wants to think that this could happen to them. Unfortunately, such a devastating event is possible. Fortunately, with the right response, you can help minimize the damage. Professional cleanup teams know how to effectively navigate the fire restoration process.

The Walkthrough

Once firefighters have put out the fire, you should contact a certified disaster recovery company to salvage materials and get your building back into working condition. These organizations offer thorough cleanup and rebuilding services. The team first conducts an inspection where it does the following:

  • Evaluates the extent of the damage
  • Determines what can be saved and what must be thrown out and replaced
  • Develops a restoration plan and shares that with you

Tear-out and Tarping

It's important for the fire restoration team to quickly remove badly damaged materials such as flooring, drywall, ceiling and the roof. If fire and smoke damage have left these areas unsafe and unusable, the crews will tear them out and prepare to rebuild. The team will place plywood or tarps over any exposed areas of the roof or other parts of the structure. This will keep the elements out, discourage vandalism or looting, and keep the structure safe.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

The flames may not have destroyed all the items in your building, but smoke damage can be severe. Part of the fire rebuild process includes cleaning ash and soot off furniture, electronics, documents and other belongings in the office. The technicians will also remove any water that firefighters used to put out the blaze. Thorough drying and sanitizing will also occur to discourage mold growth.

Restoration

Lastly, the crews will rebuild any destroyed materials. This will enable you to resume your business operations safely.
For all your fire restoration needs, make sure you call capable professionals. It's clear why this is the most effective way to respond to a disaster.

5 Reasons You May Need Flood Insurance Even If You Rent

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Consider purchasing renter’s flood insurance from an insurance professional in Wynaco, WA

5 Reasons You May Need Flood Insurance Even If You Rent

Flood insurance coverage protects against damage to property due to storm surge, melting snow, flash flooding and broken levees or dams. Landlords are typically responsible for damages that occur to the buildings they own and the associated flood cleanup costs, but renters may also need coverage. Renter's insurance exists to cover the personal property of renters. You may wish to consider purchasing renter’s flood insurance from an insurance professional in Wynaco, WA, for the following five reasons:

1. Your landlord is probably not responsible for damage to your personal property. The terms of your lease usually dictate which property is the responsibility of the landlord and which is the responsibility of the tenant. Renters are usually responsible for all of their personal property, including equipment, supplies and inventory.

2. Your renter's insurance probably won’t cover flood damage. Your property insurance may cover damage to your property caused by burst pipes or a leaking toilet, but it usually will not cover water damage caused by flooding.

3. Flooding can cause a lot of damage to your personal property. Some types of durable equipment may be able to withstand floodwaters, but much of your personal property, such as supplies, inventory, office furniture and important documents may be heavily damaged or destroyed.

4. Businesses are not eligible for FEMA funds. FEMA assists homeowners in some disaster situations, but businesses are generally not eligible for assistance from FEMA.

5. You can experience flooding no matter where your business is located. Businesses located in coastal areas or near water sources are usually at the highest risk of flood damage. However, flood damage can occur anywhere due to heavy rains, melting snow or other events.

Your landlord is probably not responsible for damage to your personal property and your regular renter's insurance probably excludes flood damage. Without a separate flood policy, you may be responsible for any damages that occur to your personal property due to flood damage. A flood insurance policy for renters can help you mitigate those damages.

What To Do After a Business Fire

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

Warehouse burned down Fire cleaning in Wabash, WA

Steps To Take After a Fire

A fire at your Wabash, WA, business can be a huge headache. It is important to understand the fire restoration process before you begin cleaning up. Here are the steps to take after the fire has been fully extinguished and the fire department says it is okay to enter the building:

Secure the property. The fire department may have broken windows or made cuts in the roof to allow smoke and fire to escape. Tarp up or board over all openings. This will keep out wildlife, bad weather and looters. You may also wish to install a security fence around the property to add an extra layer of protection.

Contact the insurance company. Your fire insurance company may give you instructions regarding how to document the damage. They can also help you find reliable contractors in your area to help with the fire restoration process.

Survey and document the damage. If your insurance professional gave you specific instructions for how to document the damage, follow them. Otherwise, take detailed picture or video evidence. If possible, determine what is and is not salvageable and list the items you will have to replace.

Dry up water. Putting out a fire usually requires a good deal of water. It is important to clean up the water as soon as possible to prevent mold growth. You can use pumps or specialized vacuums for standing water and dehumidifiers or fans for remaining moisture.

Clean smoke and soot. Because smoke is so pervasive, smoke cleaning can be a very complex process. Fortunately, there are many tools to help, including ozone machines and thermal foggers. Soot cleaning can also be difficult. There are different cleaners on the market for different surfaces. Be sure to pick the right one for your situation.

Repair or replace damaged items. Some items may be repaired fairly easily. However, others may be unsalvageable or require so much work that it would be cheaper to replace them.

The above steps may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you can hire a certified restoration company to help you with the fire restoration process.

Understanding the Sewage Cleanup Process

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed in a home after contaminated water Flood cuts performed in a Berrydale, WA home

Sewage Cleanup Process

A backed-up sewer can flood your home in Berrydale, WA, leaving a terrible mess in its wake. When that happens, you need sewer cleanup experts to assess and address the issue. Here is an overview of what you can expect when technicians arrive at your home.

1. Assessment
The first thing remediation specialists will do is inspect you home. A thorough investigation of the damage gives them a good idea about what needs to be done. Then they can formulate a plan for fixing the problem and provide you with a preliminary estimate of the cost.

2. Extraction
Before the area can be cleaned, the water and sludge from the sewer backup have to be removed. Technicians can use industrial pumps to remove sewage efficiently.

3. Removal
Once the microbes from contaminated water get embedded in the surrounding materials, it is difficult - if not impossible - to clean them. If the damage is extensive, technicians will probably have to tear out drywall, flooring and any other materials that the sewage touched.

4. Drying
To avoid secondary damage such as mold growth, it is necessary to dry the affected area as quickly as possible. This halts any ongoing damage and allows for more expedient sewer cleanup.

5. Disinfection
When you have a flooded toilet, everything around it has to be cleaned before mitigation is complete. After every surface is disinfected, it can be tested to make sure no further cleaning is needed.

6. Restoration
Restoration experts know that the job isn't done until your house looks like it did before the flood. They can rebuild walls and reinstall new flooring to replace the materials that had to be thrown out.
The sewer cleanup process can be a lengthy one, but hiring experienced professionals can help ensure that it is done the right way. Experts can take care of your home from the assessment of the problem all the way to the final restoration.

Preventing Candle Fires

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

lit candles on a marble table and in the background a sofa with pillows A candle fire in your Algona, WA, home can be devastating

Preventing Candle Fires

A candle fire in your Algona, WA, home can be devastating. Fortunately, taking a few precautionary measures can decrease the likelihood of a candle-related disaster in your house.

Candle Statistics

With their cozy fragrances and soft glow, candles often seem benign. However, they can be quite dangerous as illustrated by the following statistics:

  • Candles cause approximately 23 reported house fires every day.
  • About one-third of candle-related fires begin in a bedroom.
  • December, particularly on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, is the most common time for fires resulting from candles.

Candle Fire Safety

Although candles can be dangerous, a few precautions can help you stay safe. Keep these tips in mind whenever you light candles in your home:

Keep candle flames at least one foot away from curtains, papers and anything that can catch fire.
Never leave a lit candle unattended and do not fall asleep without blowing out all the candles.
Consider replacing traditional candles with their flameless counterparts. Battery-operated candles are becoming increasingly realistic and are especially safe for homes with pets and children. Wax warmers and reed diffusers can give off a smell that is as pleasant as traditional candles without a potentially dangerous flame.

Fire and Smoke Cleanup

Unfortunately, even the most conscientious homeowner can experience a fire. However, beginning the cleanup process as quickly as possible helps minimize the damage. Every fire is different, but the basic restoration steps are generally the same:

  • Clean up soot using a HEPA vacuum for dry soot and detergent for wet soot.
  • Remove smoke odor by using fans and air filtration devices.
  • Restore or replace any damaged home goods.

Although a candle fire begins with a small flame, it can cause serious damage to your home. Fortunately, a little mindfulness goes a long way toward preventing a fire. However, if you do undergo a house fire, you may want to hire an experienced restoration company to return your home to its pre-fire condition quickly and safely.

What Not To Do When Making a Water Damage Claim

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Water damage is the leading cause of home insurance claims

Actions to Avoid When Filing Your Insurance Claim

If your home in Berrydale, WA, has been damaged by bursting pipes, a broken appliance or some other source of water, then you will likely need to make a claim. This can be time-consuming, so it is important to follow the proper procedures when going through this process. The following are some actions that you should avoid when filing your insurance claim.

1. Waiting to Contact Your Insurance Company

If there is water damage in your home, you should call to let your insurance agent know right away. This will allow them to begin filing your claim so the process can be completed sooner. It is also possible for your claim to be denied if you do not file within the required period.

2. Sitting Around Waiting for an Adjuster

An adjuster will need to inspect your home, but you don't need to sit around and wait. You can begin documenting the damage by taking pictures and making a list that your adjuster can use. You can also work on preventing further damage from the bursting pipes, moving items to a dry area and reviewing your policy.

3. Throwing Away Damaged Items

In many cases, damaged items can be salvaged, so you shouldn’t get rid of them until they are inspected. Even if you think that something is ruined beyond repair, it is a good idea to hang on to it. It will serve as proof of your loss when filing your insurance claim.

4. Waiting to Call a Restoration Service

You might think it is better to wait to call a cleanup and restoration service until after your claim is approved, but this is not the case. Waiting too long to fix broken pipes, remove water from the building and start on repairs can make it more difficult and costly to return your home to its previous condition.
Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage to your home, so you will need to have them taken care of right away. In many cases, your insurance can cover most or all of the cost, if you take the steps necessary to complete the process correctly.

Why Do Rainstorms Cause Sewers To Backup?

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

A storm water drain overflows Sewer backup in Wynaco, WA

Why Do Rainstorms Cause Sewers To Backup?

If your Wynaco, WA, business is connected to a public sewer system, you may discover sewage backing up through a basement drain or the plumbing system. Backed up sewer systems are probably one of the worst forms of storm damage. Unfortunately, storms aren't the only cause of a sewer backup. You may have problems along the line because of

  • Clogs and blockages
  • Tree roots in the buried pipes
  • Collapsed sewer lines

The main point is recognizing that sewer lines are vulnerable, so it isn't surprising that heavy rains or a significant storm have impacted your business facilities.

Too Much Water Moving Into the Pipes

What are the specific reasons that sewers back up after a storm? The causes aren't always directly related to storm damage. In many cases, too much water moving into the sewage system is the problem. Broken and malfunctioning systems, including the sewer and plumbing around businesses, are common forms of flood damage.

Damaged or Clogged Pipes

Another cause of a sewer backup following a heavy storm is the fact that public systems are often damaged during storm cleanup efforts. As communities work to clear debris, clean up damages inside buildings, and recover from other effects of the weather, new damages sometimes take place. For example, throwing water-logged materials into the yard could block up drainage pipes, or garbage may be inappropriately flushed. The best way to recover from these damages is to contact flood cleanup and restoration professionals with experience dealing with black water.

Debris Carried Into Pipes by Draining Water

Sometimes, downspouts, drains on the foundation, or sump pumps could send excess rain water and debris into the plumbing system of your business. This because more likely as the weather gets worse and especially if storms have affected the wastewater treatment facility.
Fortunately, you can take action to avoid storm damage such as a sewer backup. Start by keeping your downspouts and drainage areas clear and free of any debris. Next, take steps to prevent foreign materials from being flushed down your facility toilets. Finally, contact storm cleanup professionals as soon as you recognize a problem or see something unusual getting dumped into the sewage system.

Early Mold Detection

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

wood with black spots on it Unfortunately mold can grow in places that are not visible during a regular walk-through.

Mold growth in your Auburn, WA home can be a major hassle. In many cases, though, you may be able to find and treat mold before it causes serious damage. Knowing where to look can help you ensure your home does not suffer a mold infestation.


Visible Mold


In addition to common places, such as shower curtains, mold can also grow in less prominent spaces. Make sure to check the following areas regularly:

Around HVAC vents
On mattresses
Under sinks
On household plants

Although mold can grow on many different types of surfaces, some items are more conducive to mold growth than are others. Be sure to check for mold on wood and other pulpy surfaces, such as paper records. Because mold can grow at essentially any household temperature, the main factor in residential mold damage is the presence of water. Even high humidity can lead to a mold infestation. Be sure to check anywhere you suspect has enough moisture to sustain mold.


Hidden Mold


However, you may notice signs indicating that you have a hidden mold problem. If you have mold behind your walls, you may notice water stains or deterioration of paint and wallpaper. Anytime you see moldy drywall, you should check for mold behind the wall too. Additionally, mold in HVAC vents can cause a musty odor throughout your home. If you smell mold but cannot pinpoint its location, you may want to hire an HVAC professional to check for this issue.
Now that you know where to look for mold growth, hopefully you can catch it before it becomes unmanageable. If you do find yourself with a serious infestation, you may want to hire an experienced restoration company to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Get the Right Smoke Detector for Your Home

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

a smoke detector Every home should be equipped with a dependable smoke alarm.

An alarm should be located in every room where people sleep, and at least one on every level or floor of your home. A working device may double the chance of survival for you and your family, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Occasionally, your fire department in Auburn, WA may have programs that offer free alarms for residences. Aside from that, it will probably be up to you to purchase your own devices, which, fortunately, are fairly inexpensive.


What To Look for in a Smoke Detector


A number of factors should be considered when buying a home smoke alarm. You should take into account the size of your home, the way the alarm is powered, the information provided on the UL label, the maintenance of the unit and the ease with which the unit can be turned off when the alarm sounds. Smoke detectors are grouped according to how they detect the presence of a fire, and include the following types:

Ionization alarms, which are superior at detecting tiny particles from grease and paper fires
Photoelectric alarms, which are better at detecting slow smoldering fires
Dual-sensor alarms, which include both of the above methods
Air-sampling detectors, which are more sensitive and geared for environments such as laboratories

Any working alarm in your home increases everyone's fire safety. Some devices also include carbon monoxide detection, further protecting your family from harm.


What To Do in a Fire


Once the fire alarm sounds, the steps to surviving a fire should be known by everyone in your family. Use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small. Get everyone out of the house quickly. Call in the fire department. Afterwards, work with a fire remediation team in Auburn, WA to clean up the fire damage. A team that responds Faster to Any Size Disaster will help you and your family recover quickly.