4 DIY Water Damage Clean Up Tips
If the weather permits, turn on your fans to help dry things out
Follow These DIY Water Damage Tips
As a business owner, you have many daily responsibilities, but you can't be prepared for everything. If a catastrophe, such as a natural disaster or a pipe burst, floods your building, what do you do? Follow these DIY water damage tips while you wait for a commercial water cleanup expert to come to your aid.
1.Identify the Source of the Flooding
One of the first water damage tips to keep in mind is to identify exactly where the water has come from, if possible. Knowing exactly where the leak is will keep things moving once help arrives. If water has affected electrical boxes or light fixtures, it is important to shut the electricity off immediately to avoid danger.
2. Remove Excess Water
Remove standing and excess water from every surface possible. Wipe desks and other furniture and attempt to mop or vacuum up all that you can. If any upholstered furniture has been soaked, remove cushions and other pieces and stand them up so air is able to circulate around them and help them dry.
3. Turn on Fans or Air Conditioning
If the weather permits, turn on your air conditioning or fans to help dry things out. Large, industrial fans are perfect for circulating air in bigger spaces. If it is warm and sunny outside, opening windows and doors is also a great way to get things dry quickly.
4. Contain or Isolate the Damage
If the damage has occurred in a populated area of the building, one of the most important water damage tips is to isolate the area to ensure that no one gets injured. Create a barrier around the area with tape so that people know not to enter.
Dealing with flooding in your commercial building in Algona, WA, can be overwhelming. Follow these useful cleaning tips to get your building back to normal in no time.
3 Tips for Preventing Mold Growth
Mold damage in a kitchen
Mold Prevention Tips
Removing mold from your home in Pacific, WA, can often be much more difficult than preventing it from growing in the first place. Once it has begun to spread, you can have a large amount of growth in a very short period. If it is not removed quickly, it will continue to travel throughout your home. Using these mold prevention tips can help stop this problem before it begins.
1. Remove Water Damage Quickly
Whether it is from a broken pipe or a storm, damage from water is a common cause of mold in buildings. This is because mold needs water to grow and can spread rapidly in the right conditions. If there is flooding in your house, remove it as soon as possible and allow the area to dry thoroughly. You should keep in mind that even a small amount of moisture can cause mold to grow, so leaks should be repaired as soon as you notice them.
2. Keep Humidity Levels Low
Sometimes the moisture in your house isn’t as obvious as flooding or a leaky roof. High levels of humidity can also contribute to mold growth. This can be caused by the weather in the area as well as the use of water inside the home. Cooking and showering can both cause steam to build up if you do not ventilate the area. This can form a layer of moisture on walls, floors and other surfaces that can allow mold to grow. Using dehumidifiers and keeping windows open can reduce this.
3. Clean Your Home Regularly
Another method of mold prevention is regular cleaning of your house. This can kill mold spores that have gathered and prevent them from forming a large colony. Make sure to pay special attention to areas that often come in contact with water such as sinks and showers. Air conditioners are a common source of mold as well.
While using these mold prevention techniques can reduce the chances that a growth will form, you may still find one in your home. If this is the case, a mold remediation company can perform cleanup to remove it.
4 Things You Should Do After a Flood
Air mover drying up affected area in Black Diamond, WA
4 Things You Should Do After a Flood
From making a flood insurance claim to cleaning and repairs, there are several things you may need to take care of after a storm in Black Diamond, WA. If your home has been damaged, do not go into panic mode. Instead, use the following tips to get through the situation more calmly and easily.
1. Call For Help Immediately
When your home is damaged by water, it is best to start work on mitigation right away. If you allow the water to sit, it will create more problems, including warping wood and mold damage. Spores spread easily in moist environments and you can have a growth on your hands in as little as a day. Call both your insurance agent and a cleanup and restoration service to begin the process immediately.
2. Do Not Wait For an Adjuster
If you wait for your flood insurance adjuster to begin repairs after severe weather, you will end up with more problems. Adjusters will have many clients to meet with, so you might be waiting for a while. You can take pictures to present as evidence of the damage and then begin cleaning up while you wait.
3. Turn Off Electricity
If you have flood damage and water in your house, then it is probably not safe to use the electricity. To avoid any safety hazards, turn the power off to the whole building with the breaker. Do not try to turn lights or electronics off individually, as this can be dangerous.
4. Avoid Flood Water
Water from a flood is category 3 and can be highly contaminated. It often carries sewage, bacteria and harmful chemicals. Avoid touching this water with your bare skin, and throw out any food or beverages that it has touched.
If your home has been damaged, your flood insurance policy can help cover the costs of repairs. Take the necessary precautions to stay safe until they have been completed.
Signs You Need Your Water Heater Replaced
Signs you need a water heater replacement
A functioning water heater for your home in Enumclaw, WA, is something that can easily be taken for granted. However, when you stop to think about how important it is to have hot water for comfort, convenience and sanitary purposes, it’s easier to see just how important it is to stay on top of your unit’s maintenance and care. Even if everything seems to be running smoothly, knowing some important guidelines about your water heater, such as recognizing a leaking water heater, can save you from unnecessary stress and costly damages in the future.
When to Consider a Replacement
Some signs that you will need a replacement are when you have a leaking water heater or a broken water heater altogether. Having a failed water heater can interrupt your routine, especially if you’ve discovered you need a replacement after it bursts and causes flooding and damage throughout your home. It can be helpful to pay attention to the following details to prevent a larger problem from occurring:
- Water is not heating up properly
- Water has sediments or muddy
- You notice rust forming on the unit or in the water
- Your unit is nearing the recommended time for replacement or nearly 8-10 years old
- You notice leaking around or coming from the unit
- You hear odd noises coming from your failed water heater
What Happens When a Water Heater Bursts
You may be considered lucky if you replace your leaking water heater well before the problem escalates. One of the worst-case scenarios is if your water heater bursts and causes flooding inside your home. Warped furniture, damaged goods, foul smells, infestations or even mold formation are just some things you can expect when this happens. Luckily with the help of flood mitigation specialists in Enumclaw, WA, your home can eventually be restored to a more livable condition, though this comes with some significant time and financial investments. However, when you consider the damage that can be done when floods are not properly cleaned up, you will likely see that enlisting the help of a professional is one of the wisest routes to take.
Flood Bags Make More Sense
Flood bags are eco-friendly and non-toxic
If you hear of a flood warning, you want to make sure that your commercial building in Auburn, WA, is safe and remains damage-free. A relatively small amount of water in your building can cause major problems. In flood-prone areas, sandbags have traditionally been the go-to method of flood abatement, but you will likely find flood bags to be a superior alternative.
What Is a Flood Bag?
A flood bag is a sandless sandbag made of a durable, long-lasting, permeable material. Instead of sand, this pouch is prefilled with a super-absorbent polymer, sodium polyacrylate, which gels when it gets wet. Flood bags have many advantages:
- They are easily stored.
- They require little or no prep.
- They are less labor-intensive.
- They activate immediately.
- They are safe.
Sodium polyacrylate can absorb more than 150 times its weight in water, quickly creating a flood barrier and greatly reducing the risk of flood damage.
What Makes Flood Bags Better?
Flood bags are ideal because they are lightweight compared to sandbags. A sandbag typically weighs 30 or 40 pounds, whereas a flood bag weighs less than two pounds. This means that one person can quickly and easily install flood bags. A flood bag also requires less filler than a sandbag, and can last up to 10 years without disintegrating. They can be placed in a small area of your building until they’re needed.
Sodium polyacrylate activates immediately after getting wet, so as soon as rain hits the bags, the water turns to gel, which inflates the bags. If you need them to inflate before the rain, hose them down. This is ideal when you have rushing water heading your way, creating effective flood dams. Flood bags are eco-friendly and non-toxic.
As a business owner, you want to make sure your commercial property is protected. Flood bags are an ideal alternative to sandbags for a variety of reasons. If your building sustains storm damage, you can feel confident knowing that flood cleanup professionals will restore your business as quickly as possible.
Security Fencing for a Fire-Damaged Commercial Building
Set up a security fence around the perimeter
After your commercial building has sustained fire damage, it may or may not be safe to enter depending on how severe the fire was. The emergency professionals in charge will instruct you on what to do next, and they may need to call the local building inspector to officially determine the building’s safety.
As you prepare to begin the repair and fire restoration process, in the meantime it’s important that you secure the property to prevent further damage from weather, vandals, and thieves. Securing the property is often required by insurance companies so the damages you claim do not become worse than what the original fire damage caused. A professional restoration company can help secure your building quickly:
- Board up entrances and windows
- Tarp the roof
- Set up a security fence around the perimeter
- Provide temporary power if needed
Fully Secure the Property
While a security fence may not seem necessary if the windows and doors are boarded shut, if the property is unsafe, the fencing can act as a safety feature to ensure no curious pedestrians get hurt.
Fencing also prevents wildlife from getting too close to the fire damage. While the boards do provide some security, the fence creates a second security layer, which discourages squatters and further losses from theft and vandalism. Insurance companies appreciate this and may require it in some policies. If only part of the commercial property was damaged, a fence can also be used to isolate that area while restoration and renovations take place.
Get Your Business Up and Running Again
Experiencing a fire in Oceola, WA, can be devastating, especially if it affects your business. Fire restoration companies are trained to deal with these types of problems quickly and effectively to have you back up and running to as close to the building’s original state as possible. Utilizing restoration tools like a security fence and board-up services helps ensure your insurance claim is accepted and minimizes the damages you have to deal with.
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.
What To Do If Your Building Smells Like Mold
Have a professional mold test performed
Steps to Follow When You Identify A Fungus Smell In Your Building
While many people have different ways of describing the smell of mold, such as a musty, rotten, or earthy, almost everyone agrees that it is unpleasant. If you are able to identify a mold smell in your building in Bayne Junction, WA, you might be worried that this harmful fungus is growing in your building. If you can identify a fungus smell in your building, make sure to take the following steps.
1. Look for Signs of Mold Damage
If you smell mold in your building, then it is very likely that mold really is growing in your building. While it is possible that it is actually a mildew smell which is less of a problem, you will need to search the building to find out for sure. Start by inspecting common areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, the attic, the roof, or the HVAC system.
2. Have a Professional Mold Test Performed
If you’re unable to find any mold in the building, professional mold testing can be very useful for finding fungus hiding where you can’t see it. There are several types of tests that can be done including air testing, surface testing, bulk testing, and culture tests. A thermal camera also is used to find sources of water that can be causing the mold smell.
3. Get Help From a Remediation Specialist
Once you are sure there is mold in the building, a remediation specialist can help remove it and get rid of any lingering foul odors. It is a good idea to talk with the specialist about what caused the issue in the first place so you can prevent future growth.
Complaints of a mold smell in your building should never be taken lightly. Make sure to find and remove mold right away to help prevent damage to your building and to get rid of odors that can drive customers away.
Preventing Heavy Storm Damage
Commercial water damage due to pipe burst
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.
3 Steps to Protect Your Business From Storm Damage.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
How To Clean the Lint Screen in Your Dryer
Cleaning the lint screen of a dryer
4 Steps to Make Sure Your Screen is Clean
A common fire hazard in most homes is the buildup of lint that the dryer produces. Alleviating the risk of lint fire starts with cleaning the lint screen after every use. Here are four steps for making sure your screen is as clean as possible.
1. Remove Lint Screen Completely
After you have removed your clothes after a dry cycle, it's time to clean the screen. Remove it gently from the machine so that you don't bend or break it. Wait until you have the screen completely out of the dryer before you start to remove lint so that it doesn't get scraped off into the dryer's cavity.
2. Remove Lint From Screen
You can remove lint from the screen in several ways. The easiest method is by simply using your hands to gather it into a ball. You can also use a brush or the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner. To prevent a lint fire, make sure you get all the lint off the screen. For extra protection, rinse the screen with hot water. This helps remove the residue left by your softener.
3. Vacuum Vent Cavity
A dryer fire can start from lint left in the machine. To avoid this problem, fire restoration specialists recommend using the hose attachment to vacuum out the cavity that vents to the lint screen. That way, you get all the lint that was left behind.
4. Replace Lint Screen
Once all the lint is gone, you can slide the screen back into its slot. Don't forget to put it back! Operating the machine without a lint screen can lead to fire damage in your home.
Your home in Wabash, WA, can be susceptible to a lint fire if you don't clean your dryer regularly. The most basic step of this process is cleaning the lint screen every time you use the dryer.