Archived Blog Posts
5 Tips for Storm Preparation
SERVPRO has a team of licensed water damage restoration professionals who are ready to restore your home or business after storm damage at any time.
5 Storm Preparation Tips
If you work in an area like Enumclaw, WA, that experiences frequent storms, you may be wondering what exterior maintenance steps you can do to help protect your business from the weather. Fortunately, there are a few steps that many experts recommend.
1. Know the Weather in Your Area
One important aspect of storm preparation is to be aware of the weather. Knowing when you can expect a large thunderstorm or snow can allow you to prepare ahead of time. This can help you prevent possible damages.
2. Protect the Building as Needed
Depending on the weather you're expecting, you may choose to protect your building. Several possibilities include boarding over windows, or placing tarps over vulnerable landscaping. You may also choose to contact a local professional for a recommendation on preventive steps you can take.
3. Inspect Your Building Regularly
Another aspect of storm prevention is regular exterior maintenance. Scheduling a regular building inspection can help you find and repair any problem areas before they become vulnerable to a storm.
4. Keep up With Repairs
Keeping your building maintained can help prevent long-term damage. Conducting repairs to any damaged areas you find as quickly as possible can help you stay on top of the building's maintenance needs, and help prevent long-term repair cost.
5. Know Who to Call for Any Repairs
Another important step for storm preparation is to know who to call for repairs. In many cases a water damage restoration team can help with any flooding or water damages that may have occurred.
When preparing for a storm, these exterior maintenance steps may help you protect the building. Know what the weather in your area is going to do so that you can prepare beforehand. Inspect the property regularly, and conduct repairs as soon as a problem area is found. For large repair jobs you may want to contact a professional.
5 Steps To Replace Your Leaky Toilet
If you have water damage in your home, you can count on SERVPRO, we offer our cleanup and restoration services around the clock, 7 days a week
Replace Your Leaky Toilet in 5 Easy Steps
Toilet repair or replacement is an important part of home maintenance. A leaking toilet can waste gallons of water each day, meaning that your money is going down the drain, too. Leaks can also cause serious and costly water damage. If your toilet in Black Diamond, WA, is leaking, following these steps to replace it can save you money and help you avoid further issues.
1. Drain the Water From the Toilet
Shut off the water supply valve, which should be located on the left side of the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain most of the water out of the bowl and tank. Any remaining water will need to be removed with a sponge or mop. The supply line at the base of the tank should also be disconnected.
2. Remove the Leaking Toilet
Loosen the bolts at both sides of the old toilet and then remove all nuts and washers. Carefully lift the toilet straight up and place it on a drop cloth or other protective surface to avoid staining your floor. Clean any remains of the wax ring or putty from the floor.
3. Install the Wax Ring
Center the new wax ring and press firmly to ensure that the gap between the floor and the toilet is completely sealed. Be careful to avoid damaging the wax ring, as it will not function properly if deformed.
4. Assemble the New Toilet
Begin with the bowl, placing it over the drain and then add the tank. You may need to gently rock the toilet to place it firmly on the wax ring. Install and tighten nuts, bolts and washers, and attach the toilet seat and lid.
5. Test Your Work
Turn the water supply back on, and flush the toilet to ensure it is working correctly. Check carefully for any leaks.
If you prefer, you may also call a professional to replace a leaking toilet. If you discover or suspect water damage, contact a residential restoration specialist to safely resolve problems.
How Long Do Smoke Alarm Batteries Last?
The aftermath of a fire in your Auburn home or business can be devastating. We specialize in fire damage restoration, call us!
When It Comes To Smoke Alarm Batteries, How Long Do They Last?
A smoke alarm will only function if a power source is available. The batteries in alarms that are not hardwired, and the backup battery power in systems that are, should be switched out on a regular basis. It is advisable to be proactive and not to wait for a smoke detector to start beeping before changing the batteries. Find out more about the average operating life of different types of alarm batteries.
Alarms With Replaceable Batteries
Smoke alarms that rely on replaceable batteries may require various types. There are five common types of alkaline batteries:
Most smoke detectors with replaceable batteries use nine-volt or PP3 batteries. Make sure that you have spare batteries for any detector. Homeowners should replace the detector unit every 10 years.
Alarms With Non-Replaceable Batteries
Some newer smoke alarm models run on a lithium battery that has a 10-year operating life. Batteries in these detectors cannot be replaced. It will be necessary to purchase and install a new detector at the end of this period. Old detectors should be deactivated according to the instructions for each model prior to proper disposal.
Some building codes require homeowners to have hardwired smoke detection systems. A battery backup can ensure that these smoke alarms will continue to function even if the power goes out. These batteries should be replaced at least once a year.
Whether an alarm relies on replaceable alkaline batteries, a non-replaceable lithium battery, or is hardwired with a backup battery pack, it is important to replace batteries at least once a year. If a smoke alarm starts beeping before this time, go ahead and replace the battery. If a fire breaks out and damages or destroys building materials and contents at a residence in Bayne Junction, WA, homeowners should schedule a consultation with a fire damage restoration company.
What To Expect After Contacting SERVPRO
If you've recently experienced damage to your Oceola, WA property and are in need of a restoration company near you, look no further than SERVPRO.
What To Expect When You Call SERVPRO
If a client has suffered damage to his or her Oceola, WA home, it is important to act quickly. SERVPRO’s 24 hour availability makes them a top choice for many insurance agencies. Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting the restoration company.
1. A Quick Response
When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in how time-consuming and how costly restoration will be. SERVPRO is always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour after you have contacted them about the emergency. Once you have provided them with the necessary information, they will begin preparing to address the needs of your client.
2. Arrival to the Damaged Site
With over 1,700 locations, SERVPRO can arrive quickly to any emergency. They can be on site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make a huge difference if your client’s home has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money.
3. Inspection and a Verbal Briefing
Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. This should all happen within eight hours of your initial call. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you and your client are aware of what will happen next. Their quick 24 hour response will allow them to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before they begin work on necessary repairs.
Because it can spread and worsen quickly, the 24 hour period after damage has occurred is crucial. SERVPRO’s fast response will save the agency money and allow your client to have their home back sooner.
How To Stop Moisture From Invading Your Business
SERVPRO can respond quickly to any storm emergency. We have trained professionals that specialist in specific damages.
How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Business
When a storm rages outside of your commercial property in Diamond, WA, you assume the inside will stay dry. However, rain damage is a primary reason for business interruption. What problems occur when moisture gets in? How do you prevent water damage during a storm?
As a business owner, you frequently think about your inventory, employees and profit margin. Moisture is probably not high on your list of worries, until it happens to you. Depending on how much water has infiltrated the building and how quickly rain damage is mitigated by storm restoration professionals, the impact can range from minor to severe:
- Damaged contents such as inventory, electronics or furniture
- Water-logged flooring, walls and ceilings
- Black mold resulting from unmitigated standing water, especially in porous surfaces
- Structural failure that decreases the life expectancy of the property
The best way to prevent storm damage is to perform regular building maintenance year-round. Focus on your building envelope, which includes exterior components such as roofing, doors and windows, wall systems and foundation. When designed correctly, these parts work together to form a watertight seal that protects the interior from the elements. Upkeep these areas on a consistent basis to keep moisture at bay:
- Have the roof inspected at regular intervals and after severe weather events.
- Slope landscaping and gutters away from the base of the building.
- Properly seal and frequently inspect doors, windows and venting for leaks.
- Ensure that your property has functioning drainage systems.
- Utilize overhangs to divert rain water away from the structure.
A severe storm in Diamond, WA, has the potential to cause significant problems to the structure and contents of your commercial property. Design and maintain the building envelope to prevent moisture from invading your business. If rain damage should occur, secondary damage such as black mold is oftentimes preventable by immediate, professional storm mitigation services.
4 Steps for Working with Fire Restoration Professionals
SERVPRO specialize in fire damage restoration, and we're dedicated to responding immediately when you need help.
4 Steps To Collaborating With Fire Restoration Experts
After the first intense period of fighting workplace fires is over, an overwhelming sense of damage and restoration work may settle in. Signs of smoke damage, debris from the fire, and pools of water and chemicals could be everywhere you look. Fortunately, you don't have to tackle this problem on your own. What do you need to do?
1. Contact Professionals Right Away
In many cases, fire restoration and cleanup professionals in Auburn, WA, have an emergency response technician who will assess the fire damage and existing risks. This professional, or team of professionals, will probably patch up any holes in the roof, missing windows, and other points of exposure. This board-up and tarp service is key to keeping out inclement weather and potential looters.
2. Arrange to Meet Specialists
The second step in working with the cleanup team is to arrange a time for an assessment technician to visit your Auburn, WA, property. At this point, professionals take note of the extent of the fire and smoke damage. This step is crucial for planning the rest of the work and is often required by insurance companies. Without adequate communication, you may not get the coverage you want.
3. Cooperate With Cleanup Crews
As soon as possible, the technicians will begin removing water. They may haul in heavy equipment, such as dehumidifiers and fans, and may ask you for permission to move existing furnishings. To complete the drying process, doors and windows may be propped open. The technicians can get their work done more efficiently in a cooperative environment.
4. Keep Communication Lines Open
A lot of cleanup may take place when you aren't on location. Provide the cleanup team with your phone number, so they can get permission before discarding items with heavy soot damage or using specific chemical cleaners.
Smoke damage restoration is a task that these professionals are prepared to complete to your satisfaction. The experts who handle fire, water, and smoke cleaning can often provide all the work necessary to get your work space looking as good as new, especially when you work together.
3 Ways To Clean Items After Flooding
If you have water damage in your home, call SERVPRO. Our team has the right equipment for the job. Give us a call for your water damage, 24/7.
After A Flood, There Are Three Ways To Clean Your Belongings.
If you’re dealing with a flooded company or home in Enumclaw, WA, you may be wondering if it’s possible to salvage any items located in the structure. You may be relieved to know that as long at the water wasn’t contaminated this should be possible. Here’s what you may need to know.
Items Will Need To Be Cleaned
Any item that has come into contact with the flooding should be cleaned. There are many methods available depending on item type.
• Clothing and cloth items may be washed with hot water
• Dry cleaning is option for non-washable cloth items
• Sanitizing dips are available for small items
• Furniture and large pieces may be wiped over with a cleaning solution
• Electronics should be looked at by a professional service
Some items May Need To Be Replaced
In the case of a flooded company or home some items may need to be replaced. It's a good idea to look over each piece thoroughly to see if there is any irreparable damage. Fortunately, many insurance policies cover damage to items resulting from a flood, so you may want to talk to your provider when these items are discovered.
A Professional Restoration Company Can Help
If you don’t feel comfortable conducting repairs yourself you may choose to work with a water damage restoration service. Many such companies can help with cleanup, sanitation, repairs, and even help with damages caused to personal items. In many cases they may also be able to take steps to help prevent future issues.
When salvaging items in a flooded company or home, whether it’s from storm damage, a broken pipe, sprinkler system failure, or other source, you may be relieved to know that you can save the items and equipment in the building, as well as repair the structure. Remember, each item will need to be cleaned according to its type, and some items may still need to be replaced. Fortunately, a professional team may be able to help with this process.
Common Types and Causes of Mold Growth in Homes
If your home has been damaged by mold, it can be wise to contact mold remediation professionals. SERVPRO is your best option, call us!
Mold In the Home: Common Types And Causes
There are a wide variety of causes for mold growth in homes in Black Diamond, WA, and there are also various types of mold that tend to grow in homes. However, knowing what types of mold grow most commonly in homes and why they grow can help you know how to react.
One of the most common types of mold that grows inside homes is known as Alternaria. This type of mold grows due to levels of high humidity. Areas such as bathrooms are likely to have this type of mold due to the high amounts of moisture. Alternaria can also grow close to appliances, like toilets or sinks, that use water.
If there is water damage throughout a home and the water is not removed quickly and effectively, Penicillium is likely to grow. Penicillium tends to grow most frequently on materials made of cloth, such as clothing, curtains, rugs, insulation and carpet flooring, though Penicillium can grow elsewhere in the home. This type of mold is known for its green-blue color and its musty smell.
3. Black Mold
Though all mold growth is unpleasant, black mold is often a type of mold that can be particularly worrisome due to the amount of damage it can cause. As the name suggests, black mold, or Stachybotrys, is known for its dark color. Like most molds, black mold grows in damp, moist areas. However, while many molds can grow within a few days, black mold can take a week or more to grow and requires an environment that is consistently damp or humid.
Though you may feel worried at the sight of mold growth in your home, it can help to know what causes the most common types of mold to grow. If your home has been damaged by mold, it can be wise to contact mold remediation professionals.
Insurance May Cover the Cost of Replacing Your Carpet After a Pipe Break
SERVPRO has a team of trained restoration technicians who know the exact steps to take after you've experienced water damage.
After A Pipe Burst, Your Insurance Company May Pay To Replace Your Carpet.
If your insurance company approves your water damage claim, it’s almost certain that they will do something about it and any other floor coverings affected. If the broken pipe released sewage, you should settle for nothing less than a complete replacement. If the water damage is from fresh water, expect them to do no more than have it restored.
Other Factors May Come Into Play
If it was new and was in perfect condition at the time of the break, and if the water was perfectly clean, the decision would be to restore. There may, however, be other issues to consider.
1. The water coming from the pipe break was clean but was contaminated by something after leaving the pipe. These contaminants might render the carpet unusable and require its replacement.
2. It could have been a valuable Persian rug. As a valuable item, it should have been listed separately on the insurance policy. If it was not, you might have trouble getting compensated. If the insurance company accepts the claim, the preferred method by all parties would probably be restoration.
3. Before the damage, it was old and in poor condition. The insurance company might balk at replacing this. They might, however, pay to have it restored.
4. Due to the break, it has developed a mold problem. At this point, it might be cheaper to replace than to restore it.
A Broken Pipe Usually Affects More Than Just Floor Coverings
The chances are that your water problem goes beyond the carpet. There is a water damage remediation specialist in Auburn, WA, that can take on the entire job, including the floor coverings. They can get started before mold has a chance to become a problem.
A Pipe Break Is Never Welcome in Your Home
Nothing lasts forever. When pipes break in your home, it’s good to have local restoration specialists for the cleanup and insurance policies to pay for it.
Even Washing Machines Can Spring a Leak
If your home suffers any water damage, rely on SERVPRO, we have a trained team ready to help you.
Even Washing Machines Have The Potential To Leak.
What’s not to love about your washing machine? You hit a few buttons and your clothes come clean. It runs fine for years until, one day, you have a washing machine leak.
There Is a Good Reason Why Appliance Repair Firms Are Hard to Find
Major appliances have a long service life. It is easy to find washers and dryers that are still running after 20 years. Most of them don’t require maintenance until their later years and, by then, appliance stores would rather sell you a new one instead of repairing the old one. The shortage of repair people invites owners to take on the job of repairing the appliances themselves.
To find a washing machine leak you:
- Examine the hot-water and cold-water supplies for leaks.
- Start the washer’s fill cycle and check for leaks.
- Watch to see if the washer tub overfills, which would indicate a faulty overfill assembly.
- Run the wash and drain cycles where leaks would indicate a pump problem.
- Check for leaks during the drain cycle and check to see if the drain pipe overflows.
Risk of Water Damage Is the Biggest Problem With Faulty Washers
A broken washer is not your biggest problem. If you have an older washer, it uses about 40 gallons of water to wash a full load of clothes. High-efficiency washers can do the same job with about 20 gallons. Either way, that water can cause a lot of damage. Unless your washer sits on a concrete basement floor next to an open drain, a major washer leak can cause significant damage in your home.
A water damage restoration company in Enumclaw, WA, can help you assess and contain the damage and perform any necessary cleanup.
Repairing a Washing Machine Leak
Once you have found the source of the leak, you need to decide if you are up to the task. If you aren’t, you can always leave it up to a professional.
How To Effectively Remove Cigarette Odor From Your Home
This home had significant smoke and soot damage to the entire home. Our team quickly removed content and brought it back to begin the cleaning process
How To Get Rid Of Cigarette Smoke In Your House
Space heaters can quickly warm a chilly room and create a cozier atmosphere. They are popular for kids’ rooms, basements and even garage areas. The misuse of space heaters, however accounts for many house fires and injuries each year in Black Diamond, WA . Even if a fire is quickly extinguished, the odor from a burned space heater and the accompanying smoke cleanup can be intimidating to say the least.
Always observe a few basic preventative rules when using a space heater. This will keep your home safer and may protect your loved ones from a disaster.
Space Heater Safety Tips
•Inspect the heater to make sure there are no loose parts, frayed or broken cords, or loose or bent prongs.
•Buy a heater with an auto-shut-off, tip shut-off and GFCI plug to prevent shocks
•Never use an extension cord or place cord where it will be walked on or that it could pose a tripping hazard
•Run it first in a safe place and check to see if there is a burning smell or whether the surface gets hot.
•Use it only on a hard surface and at least three feet from any materials that may easily catch fire, such as curtains, furniture or bedding
•With heater unplugged, vacuum often to remove surface dust and change filters regularly if applicable.
•Never leave a space heater unattended and always turn off before sleeping
When Things Go Wrong
A burned space heater can give off toxic fumes from melted plastic and other components that can be harmful as well as giving off a bad smell. In the event your space heater burns up, or worse, you are better off to call in a professional restoration service to ensure that the cleanup and odor removal are thorough. It may require cleaning, an ozone generator or more to restore you to pre-fire condition.
Don’t become a statistic in Black Diamond, WA. Following these safety tips can help prevent a burned space heater and keep your home the happy and safe place it can be.
Water Damage: 4 Steps for Drying Out Your Commercial Property
SERVPRO has the experience to handle any water damage in your commercial property and we're available 24/7 to answer your call.
4 Steps To Drying Out Your Commercial Property After Water Damage
Many property owners are understandably upset and overwhelmed when water disasters occur. However, in a crisis involving pipe breaks or leaks, a quick response is necessary to avoid further problems. The four damage tips below will help you understand the appropriate steps to take following a water disaster.
1. Remember Safety First
No amount of cleaning tips will help if you ignore the number one safety rule: turn off the electricity. It does not matter how extensive the flooding is, power should be shut off to avoid shock or electrocution. While the water levels may not be above outlets, if a pipe burst in a ceiling or behind a wall, water may have infiltrated outlets or conduit. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Clear Debris and Remove Standing Water
The second of the four damage tips is to clear away all debris and to remove all standing water. Debris does not have to mean rubbish or trash; it can also refer to any salvageable items and materials that need to be dried and cleaned. Also, while there may not be a lot of standing water, it is essential to remove any excess water to avoid problems like mold and mildew.
3. Ventilate and Dry Affected Areas
Once you have cleared the area and removed the water, you can ventilate and dry the area. Opening windows and doors is a great way to help circulate air through the property, but the use of industrial air movers is likely a quicker and more effective way of drying the area. A pipe burst can lead to extensive water damage, which is why it is necessary to dry the area as fast as possible.
4. Sanitize and Clean
Once dry, you can clean and sanitize the property. You may call a disaster restoration specialist in the Pacific, WA, area to help you with this process, as they possess both equipment and expertise in water remediation.
The damage tips above can help you mitigate a pipe break or leak. However, if you wish to expedite the process, a restoration specialist may be more equipped to handle these types of emergencies.
The Smoke Cleanup Process
Odor smoke is annoying. If you need smoke cleanup in your home, SERVPRO can help you,
Cleaning Up After Smoke
Few smells linger like the odor of smoke. Even if a fire in your home in Auburn, WA, only affects part of the structure, smoke damage can permeate the entire house. Fire remediation experts remove smoke and soot after they have secured the area and extracted anything damaged by the fire and the water used to put it out. They may use several techniques to do so.
Regular washing may not get rid of the total smell left behind by smoke. Many of the items that need odor removal can be handled by dry cleaning:
- Furniture covers
When you wash smoke-infused clothing in a washer, there is an extended period of time where the clothes are sitting in smoky water. The smell can also get trapped in the machine itself. Dry cleaners often have special oxidation processes for getting soot damage out of textiles.
Many professionals use industrial foggers to rid homes of smoke damage after a fire. A fogger is helpful because it gets the smoke out of cracks and crevices in a similar way to the process it underwent during the fire. Chemicals are heated to produce fog that permeates porous surfaces, traps smoke particles and neutralizes them. Once the fogger has completed its job, the air is usually noticeably cleaner.
Another smoke cleaning method is the use of ozone machines. These devices create a similar atmosphere to the outside air after a thunderstorm. By releasing ozone particles into the air, the area gets refreshed. Soon, the clean air replaces the sooty, stale air, making your home smell clean and normal again.
A fire in your home will likely cause extensive smoke damage not only to items within your home but to the structure itself. Professional technicians can clean the damaged area and employ various methods to get rid of the smoke odors.
How To Flush a Water Heater in 8 Easy Steps
Water heaters are useful in so many ways, but they require some attention on your part to stay working for a long time.
In 8 Simple Steps, Learn How To Flush A Water Heater
Whether you are cooking, cleaning, or taking a bath, you need a functioning water heater. Water heaters are useful in so many ways, but they require some attention on your part to stay working for a long time. To avoid water damage, broken parts, and hot water shortage, here are 8 steps you can follow to flush out the heater.
1. Shut Off the Power
You’ll need to turn the power off completely to begin the flushing process. If your home in Enumclaw, WA, has a gas heater, look for the thermostat on the bottom. If the fixture is electric, go to the breaker box and turn off the switch.
2. Turn Off the Water Supply
Next, turn off the cold-water valve. This will allow a smooth process.
3. Run Hot Water From a Nearby Faucet
You don’t want to create a vacuum within the tank, so this is an easy way to relieve the water pressure.
4. Screw On the Garden Hose
You’ll be draining the water, so find a hose that you can attach to the spigot. Find a place to distribute the water. You may need a portable pump so that you don’t cause any water damage within your home.
5. Drain the Tank
Drain the water until most of the sediment appears to have escaped the tank. You may have to drain the entire water heater.
6. Reopen the Cold-Water Supply Valve
This is the step that flushes the tank. Let the cold water run through the tank into the hose for a few minutes.
7. Close the Drain Valve
Close off the valve and disconnect your garden hose. Double check that the pressure relief valve is closed.
8. Fill the Tank and Power Up
Turn off the faucet from a nearby sink and fill up the tank. Once it is filled, open the pressure relief valve and turn the electricity or gas back on.
A water heater flush is needed periodically to remove sediment build-up and prevent a premature breakdown. Keep your water heaters in top shape to avoid problems in the future.
Beyond Flooding: Understanding Different Types of Storm Damage
If severe weather damages your business, call our SERVPRO team for your water removal and restoration needs today.
Understanding Storm Damage Beyond Flooding
From hurricanes to blinding blizzards, there are as many forms of potential storm damage as there are different types of storms. While most business owners anticipate damage from the standing water of flooding, the truth is storm damage can include
• Ice dams
• Wind impact
• Burst pipe damage
and more. Here are just a few of the more unique ways storms can cause damage to your Black Diamond, WA business. Are you prepared?
Hail is a form of solid precipitation comprised of bits of ice. Hail stones can be as small as a pea or as big as a baseball and can come down with significant force. The result can be most pronounced on your roof, where hail can leave pock marks and even knock roofing granules away leaving dark spots. The former is unsightly, while the latter can lead to leaks and cracks that are costly to repair.
Sometimes damage a storm causes around your building can inadvertently affect your business. High winds during a storm can knock down tree limbs and in extreme instances, turn signs and mailboxes into projectiles. These can crash into windows or, in the case of limbs, onto your roof.
Some of the most unexpected forms of storm damage can come from ice and snow. Rapidly cooling temperatures can lead to frozen pipes, resulting in burst pipe damages and a disabled business. Ice can also wreak havoc on your drainage system, freezing in gutters and forming harmful ice dams. The weight of heavy snow, meanwhile, can be enough to damage or even destroy a roof.
Preparing your business for a storm means considering more than just flooding. Hail, wind and even ice can be formidable foes, causing burst pipes and more. Prepare by learning about all the risks and connecting with a seasoned storm restoration firm if the unthinkable has already happened.
Keeping Coziness In and Water Out
There is never a perfect time for water damage in your Auburn home, but SERVPRO is always ready to respond to your water damage.
Keeping Coziness And Water Away
Most properties in Auburn, WA, can be susceptible to some extent of water damage. Just one flash flood or leaking pipe can lead to an indoor catastrophe. Having water in the home is no easy problem to have; however, by becoming aware of these three common areas for water damage, you can be better prepared for issues down the road.
1. The Bathroom
When it comes to vulnerable rooms for water damage, the first area that likely comes to mind is the bathroom. With toilets, tubs, showers and sinks, finding a broken pipe or other point of leakage in the bathroom is typical. Drains also commonly see blockage, which can ultimately result in burst pipes. By inspecting pipes on a regular basis, you can stay in the know about any potential water invasion.
2. The Kitchen
Your oven may be the most reliable friend when it comes to making delicious meals, but is it contributing to water in the home? As appliances wear, their pipes and hoses can crack, causing them to develop leaks. Although pipe cleanup usually gets the job done, practicing a routine maintenance check on refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines is a wise step.
3. The Utility Closet
Regular HVAC checks can also help you prevent trouble in the future. One red flag to watch out for is a leaky indoor unit – water-damaged units usually point toward an underlying leak, drip or draining failure somewhere in the heating and cooling system. Evaporator coils naturally build up condensation but should be the only wet part of the unit.
A bathroom full of leaks, a malfunctioning appliance and a dripping HVAC system are no fun problems to have. Because these systems can be sensitive and complex, it is typically ideal to call on the professionals for help. Once you get to the bottom of water in the home, you can wave goodbye to the leaks and reclaim your coziness.
3 Items That Can Be Salvaged After Mold Damage
SERVPRO can help you to restore your beloved belongings from mold damage.
3 Items That Can Be Recovered Following Mold Damage
Mold growth can be a common result of flooding in your Auburn, WA, home. Mold can grow on a variety of items, from furniture to walls to wood and flooring. When it comes to mold cleaning, however, you may be surprised about the number of objects that can be salvaged when you know the steps for cleaning them properly.
1. Leather Goods
Leather bags, jackets and other items may be salvageable if you remove them from the affected area quickly. Because mold tends to spread faster in areas with high humidity, you can perform mold remediation for these items by transferring them to a room that is cool and dry. Once the leather has dried, you can sponge the surface with diluted baby soap to wipe away visible mold. Suede goods may need to be treated by a mold cleanup and restoration company.
While not all clothing can recover from mold damage, you may be able to salvage some items. An Esporta Machine, which is designed to clean cotton clothing affected by mold, smoke and other substances, can be effective in removing mold. You may be able to soak some fabrics in diluted vinegar to remove the mold, but this depends on how fragile the fabric is. Your restoration experts may able to advise you about other mold cleaning processes.
Paintings affected by mold require special treatment. You may want to remove any wooden framing, as mold is attracted by wood fibers. Store the painting flat, away from humidity and sunlight, before contacting a professional artwork restoration company. Avoid bagging or sealing it in any kind of tight container, as this may create humid conditions that could encourage further mold growth.
When flooding in your Auburn, WA, causes mold to grow on your belongings, you may not know where to begin with mold cleaning. Contacting professional restoration technicians and removing your items from areas where mold is present can help you salvage irreplaceable items and proceed with the rest of the cleanup with confidence.
Mitigation VS. Restoration: What You Need To Know
SERVPRO can respond quickly to any storm or flood emergency. We have trained professionals for your service.
What You Should Know About Mitigation vs. Restoration
The best way to prepare yourself and your business premises in Enumclaw, WA, for disasters and disaster cleanup is to know what you’re up against in terms of work that needs to be done. When it comes to cleanup, that usually means knowing the difference between mitigation and restoration. The basic facts you should always keep in mind are that:
- Mitigation comes first, and can be very quick
- Restoration follows mitigation, and can be lengthy
- Both are necessary in order to get your business back in order after a flood, fire or other disaster, and should be performed by a professional flood cleanup company
When you call up your flood cleanup company to take care of an issue, they’ll typically perform a few mitigation measures before getting to work on cleanup. Mitigation efforts are meant to prevent further damage and loss from occurring due to the existing threat, thus increasing the overall amount of work that needs to be done during the restoration itself. When dealing with flooding, this often means removing affected furniture from a home and drying out carpets and rugs to prevent them from damaging your subflooring. This is typically the quickest part of a cleanup project.
After mitigation is done, it’s time for restoration. Restoration is performed on items that could not be saved by mitigation efforts, and items that were damaged before the restoration company arrived. This step is often much larger and much more lengthy, and may involve the complete replacement of floors, roofs, walls and other portions of your business that have been too damaged to save.
Knowing the difference between these two services is crucial, especially when it comes to submitting insurance claims and dealing with the financial aftermath. Your flood cleanup company can often offer more information on the subject, and explain its mitigation techniques and restoration times in a more in-depth manner if needed.
Commercial Property Fire: Important Considerations After a Fire
Fire damage in Auburn, WA.
Important Considerations Following a Commercial Property Fire
After your commercial or multifamily property experiences a fire, your brain will likely be going a mile a minute trying to figure out the next steps. Though the apparent structural damage will bring about thoughts of roof repair and rebuilding, there are other important considerations to make before the initial fire cleanup and restoration.
1. Safety and Self-Evaluation
The safety of employees, tenants and you are paramount after experiencing a fire disaster. After calling emergency services, you should be most concerned with getting everyone out of the building because the structural integrity of the property is most assuredly in question. Standard practices of fire safety should also be followed. For example, you should avoid drinking, eating or breathing in anything that has contacted soot, fire or smoke.
2. Financial and Insurance Contacts
You should immediately call your insurance company, mortgage lender and credit card institutions before starting any fire cleanup. Calling your insurance provider will ensure that the claims process begins immediately. Calling your mortgage lender will also help in getting through the bureaucratic procedures. Finally, if you lost any credit cards in the fire, you will be able to get replacements mailed to you sooner by notifying them.
3. Restoration Services
After ensuring your safety and making all the necessary contacts, you can begin the cleanup and mitigation process. As fires often create extensive damage, this process is better left to fire remediation specialists in the Auburn, WA, area. These services help to streamline the operations of mitigation, offering board-up and tarp services, and restoration, ensuring that your property is functional as quickly as possible.
While the experience of a fire and the resulting damage can be devastating and emotionally taxing, it is necessary to keep your wits about you. Between general safety and financial obligations, you will need to focus on the process ahead. Thankfully, fire remediation services will help to restore your facility through the fire cleanup and restoration process.
3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew
Call SERVPRO! We are mold experts.
Mold and Mildew: What's the Difference?
The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but there are significant distinctions between these types of fungi. In the most general sense, mold grows on moist organic surfaces whereas mildew is a parasitic fungus that grows only on living plants. If you want to seek an expert opinion concerning the extent of mold growth or mildew growth or mold damage in your home, you should call a certified service specializing in testing, clean-up, and restoration in Enumclaw, WA.
1. Mildew is a type of fungus. This obligate plant parasite grows on living plants and is recognizable by its white or light gray appearance. Mildew is very common and does not pose the same risks as mold.
2. Mold requires a combination of moisture and organic material to grow. Mold may appear in a variety of different colors. Even white or light gray growths on surfaces that are not plants are mold, not mildew. You should contact a mold damage expert if you find or suspect that mold is present in your home.
3. Mildew can be either powdery or downy in appearance. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes powdery spots or patches to appear and grow until they form a coating over the surface of the leaves of a plant afflicted with mildew. Downy mildew is visible along the undersides of leaves and may feature small black spots or cause leaves to become discolored.
It is easy to distinguish between mold and mildew once you know that mildew affects plants. If you are concerned about mildew growth, you may want to try removing and destroying affected portions of a plant, improving air circulation, changing the direction from which you water, or using a fungicide. If you see or suspect mold growth, contact a company that tests for mold and cleans up residential mold damage in Enumclaw, WA.
3 Water Heater Noises That May Indicate a Problem
If your water heater is noisier than usual it may be trying to tell you something.
3 Noises from a Water Heater That Could Mean There's a Problem
The water heater in your Auburn, WA, home can be a vital piece of equipment when it comes to providing your family with hot water for cleaning and bathing. Despite its importance, you may not give it much thought unless it acts up. The sounds a unit makes can be an indication of a problem, and there are several different noises you can listen for if you suspect a malfunction.
This sound can be startling, especially if it happens suddenly. However, there is usually no cause to be alarmed. A screaming water heating unit may have loose valves that need to be adjusted or tightened. You may be able to chase down the noise by listening closely when someone turns on the water in the kitchen or bathroom.
Noisy pipes can be common in older homes, and banging sounds that emit from your water heater usually occur if the unit is not bolted down properly or if pipes move or jerk suddenly when the water in your home is turned on or off. Over time, this movement may cause damage to the pipes or the tank itself. You can prevent these problems by bolting down the pipes and the tank or by updating your home's plumbing.
3. Crackling or Popping
If you hear crackling, rumbling or popping as your water heats up, this may be a sign that sediment has collected inside your unit. This can be especially true of older units or those that have never been serviced. Calling in a professional restoration company to perform a water heater flush can eliminate these sounds. Having your heater inspected and cleaned can improve its efficiency and ensure that small problems do not get any worse.
If your Auburn, WA, home's water heater is noisier than usual, it may be trying to tell you something. Having the unit inspected and maintained can keep it running like new and quiet any troublesome noises.
What To Do If You Do Not Have Flood Insurance
Double check your need for flood coverage
Many people who live far from major waterways assume that they do not need flood insurance. But with increasingly unpredictable weather in recent years, homes that are not on a flood plain can also be inundated. Even a few inches of water in your house is enough to cause major damage.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get help if you experience flooding but do not have insurance in Pacific, WA. There are also good reasons to consider insuring your home against flooding even if you have never thought it necessary.
What To When Your Home Is Damaged by a Flood
If water ravages your home but you don't have insurance that covers floods, there are three steps to take:
- Consult the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine whether your home is in a declared federal disaster zone.
- If it is, make an appointment with a FEMA inspector to visit your home and assess the damage as soon as possible.
- Look for companies in Pacific, WA, that specialize in flood mitigation and restoration.
- Even if you initiate the cleanup process, you can apply for reimbursement.
Why You Should Reconsider Flood Insurance
Even if you are confident that you live far from a flood plain, it is worth double-checking your need for flood coverage. On FEMA’s website, you can enter your address and see the agency’s assessment of the flood risk near you. You may be surprised at how close some waterways are to your family’s most valuable asset.
How To Stay Safe, Not Sorry
It's comforting that the federal government can assist in the event of an unexpected deluge. But if you are not in a declared disaster zone, you may not get the help you need.
Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth and can have serious consequences if it gets into your home, yet most homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program can be less than $500 per year, and some private insurance companies also offer flood-related insurance. It is an additional expense, but in today’s unpredictable world, the peace of mind may be worth it.
Clearing Drains and Gutters Before a Flood
Keep your gutters clean.
Clearing Drains and Gutters in Advance of a Flood
Before flooding hits Wynaco, WA, you have the power to take action and lessen potential harm to your home. It is especially important to ensure excess water can easily drain away in a storm. At any time of year, leaves and debris can pile up in gutters and on top of storm drains, so be sure to always keep them clean. Following these simple steps while the sky is still clear can help prevent the worst of future flood damage.
1. Twice a year, clean your gutters. This approach is a great way to avoid severe flooding. Each spring and fall, remove the covers from dry gutters. Put on gloves, and use your hands or a small tool to brush away debris. With your hose, run water through the cleared gutter to confirm uninterrupted flow. Don’t forget to rake up leaves and debris and put them in a proper container when you’re done.
2. Practice other gutter etiquettes. This includes fixing leaky gutters, either yourself or with the help of a professional. You should also direct gutter downspouts away from your foundation and your neighbors’ properties.
3. Keep leaves and sticks in a yard waste bin. Yard debris left lying loose on your land can quickly end up in drains. This will exacerbate any flooding caused by a storm and lead to more problems in the long run.
4. Take time to check storm drains for debris piled on top. If you notice leaves and debris lying on the surface of storm drains, act rapidly to remove them with a rake or broom. As always, put everything you collect into a yard waste bin or other container.
Storm damage in Wynaco, WA, often includes floods, one of the worst disasters that can strike your home. In addition to taking smart steps after a flood, such as calling restoration professionals, use the above list now to keep gutters and drains clear and ready to do their job in a storm.
Reducing the Risk of Household Appliances Causing Water Damage
SERVPRO is always ready to respond to water damage.
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.
When Good Intentions Turn Sour: How To Prevent Mold in the Break Room Fridge
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
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
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
How To Prepare Your Employees for an Office Emergency
When discussing your evacuation plan, always include your employees.
Emergency Preparation Strategies
While workplace emergencies are unlikely and relatively rare, your place of business must be well equipped with a contingency plan in the event of a crisis. Employees need to undergo proper education and training to ensure a safe, organized, and efficient evacuation. If you are a small business owner looking to create a plan of action, read on to learn emergency preparation strategies to keep your business and employees safe.
Develop a Plan
Overly detailed procedures in Black Diamond, WA, are unnecessary for small businesses. In fact, simple, straightforward plans are best for minimally-sized organizations:
- Small retail shops.
- Small businesses not containing any harmful or hazardous materials on site.
Keep in mind that more complicated plans are required for businesses containing dangerous materials such as doctors' offices, hospitals, and fire stations.
Make sure that your emergency plan is specific to your place of work, taking into account the logistics of your location, smoke alarm placement, and staircase positioning.
When discussing your evacuation plan, always include your employees. Ensuring they are well educated and trained on the policies will generate a successful, efficient exit in the event of an emergency.
Designate a Point Person
It is considered good practice to appoint one office representative to lead the group if and when enacting the contingency plan. Further, all office members must be made aware that this point person can authoritatively make critical decisions in the face of crisis.
Of course, once emergency professionals and commercial building restoration personnel arrive on the scene, they assume responsibility for all building inhabitants.
Train and Retrain
While evacuation plans can seem organized on paper, successful execution requires diligent, ongoing training. Review the written document with current employees and with each new hire. To ensure information retention, hold monthly seminars or quizzes to help reinforce the facts.
Make sure your employees are comfortable executing a complete emergency evacuation by conducting quarterly drills. The more practice your employees have, the more efficient they will behave if an emergency presents.
Prepare your business for an emergency by having an official contingency plan in place. With proper training and education, your employees will remain safe and secure if a crisis occurs.
When Employees Can Return to Work After a Flood
Clean up after a storm in Enumclaw, WA
Restoration Process After A Flood
After a flood hits your commercial property, you probably want to return to the office as soon as possible. After all, the longer the building is closed, the more money your Enumclaw, WA, company could lose. Yet going back into the building when black water is still present can cause even more harm.
In the immediate aftermath of the flood, only professional cleaners should enter the premises. They will follow the following steps to restore your property.
Standing water is one of the most dangerous aspects of flood cleanup. The longer the water remains in the building, the more mold and bacteria will grow. Sewage backup could make things even dirtier. That is why you should rely on experts who will have the proper equipment to handle the situation. They can safely remove this water from the building. In the meantime, you and your employees should stay out.
Even after the black water is eliminated from the premises, it is not time to return to work just yet. First, the cleaners must remove porous items that have been affected by the flood. Some of these assets can be dried, disinfected and returned to the property. Others may have to be thrown away and replaced. You can work with the experts to decide what to save. The pros may also have to demolish some of the damaged drywall or ceiling.
Once this demolition and disinfection are complete, your employees can come back into the building. They can be present for the remainder of the restoration. If you are worried about mold or other particles in the air, you can always use a filtration device.
After the black water and harmful bacteria are gone, you and your employees can return to the property. Ideally, the flood cleanup professionals should work quickly and efficiently so you can get back to work as soon as possible.
Prevent Cigarette Fires With These Safety Tips
Home fire in Enumclaw, WA.
One of the most common fires that homeowners like yourself may encounter is a cigarette fire. Even the slightest mistake can create a fire that can devastate your home. Protect your Enumclaw, WA, house from destruction by following these fire safety tips.
Maintain a Fire Safety System
Keeping a fire safety system is important, even if you do not smoke, since it reduces fire damage and prepares you for the unexpected. Ensure you have the following fire-fighting resources at home:
- Smoke detectors in every room and hallway
- Fire extinguishers by the kitchen and other high-risk areas
- Automatic sprinklers
- Emergency response plans
- First aid kits
- Contact info of fire department, insurance agency, fire cleanup services, etc.
Equipment and devices such as smoke detectors, extinguishers and sprinklers should be well-maintained and updated. Fires can start anywhere and anytime, so you should prepare for any scenario.
Smoke Outside When Possible
A simple action that can prevent a cigarette fire is smoking outside. The outdoors has fewer flammable materials in comparison to indoors. If you have guests who smoke, encourage them to do so outside, especially if you have a patio or comfortable guest area. Purchase a large non-tip ashtray so you can use it to safely extinguish cigarettes. Prevent a potential ashtray fire by also keeping it outside whenever possible and dousing it with water after use.
Never Smoke When Sleepy
Putting out cigarettes is crucial in preventing house fires. Unfortunately, activities such as taking certain medications and drinking alcohol can leave you unconscious enough to prevent you from extinguishing a cigarette or even noticing a growing fire. Therefore, you should avoid smoking when you are consuming alcohol and drowse-inducing medicines. Do not smoke even if you feel just slightly tired.
A cigarette fire is one of the more frequent types of home fires around, but you can prevent it easily. Reduce the risk each time you and others smoke by following these tips.
3 Facts That Will Make You Want Flood Insurance
Commercial water mitigation in Black Diamond, WA.
Protect Your Business With Flood Policy
Business owners from high-risk flood zones have probably seen commercial insurance policies that offer protection against natural disasters. Meanwhile, many business owners in Black Diamond, WA, do not understand this option's importance. These people are too worried about the cost of the policy, which can range from a reasonable FEMA policy to a high-end private one. They often overlook the fact that a flood can cause excessive damage that needs to be restored by a storm remediation company. If you are in this boat, some facts may convince you that flood insurance is a good idea.
1. Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover Flooding
Even commercial insurance only covers damage from rainwater that has not touched the ground. For instance, if a tree goes through your roof while a storm rages and rainwater ruins your floor, it is covered. Once water hits the ground, it becomes a flood and is no longer covered. In other words, a rising creek caused by rain is not covered. Only flood insurance will cover this type of situation.
2. Every Business Is at Risk of Flooding
Rather than if, you should ask how much flood risk you have. The national flood maps can give you an idea of your exact risk. Certain zones are high-risk. Others are medium- or low-risk. Remember that low does not mean no. You are still at risk for flooding in low-risk zones.
3. Government Aid Is Not Insurance
Unlike commercial insurance, government aid is primarily loans that you'll need to repay. Plus, you cannot receive aid unless your area is federally declared a disaster zone, which happens for only a few major flooding events.
Unfortunately, standard insurance doesn't cover flooding. To protect your business, you'll need a flood policy. To make things worse, you can't rely on government aid for your company. These are simply loans that you will need to pay back. Plus, you can't always receive these loans. Since every business is in a flood zone, proper insurance is a must. This ensures that any damage you incur to do a flood is covered.
Options for Cleaning Personal Items After Water Damage
Water damage in Auburn, WA
Options for Cleaning Personal Items After Water Damage
In addition to the normal suspects of carpeting, upholstery, walls and insulation, water in a home also causes damage to many different types of personal items. Many of these items pose difficulties in the cleaning process that are often beyond the capabilities of the owners. In fact, individuals might just throw out valuable personal belongings as the result of water damage. In some cases, though, with the help of professional cleaning techniques, the following items might be able to be restored:
A local water restoration company in Auburn, WA has the equipment and the expertise to determine what items can be saved after a water disaster. Trained technicians will pretest belongings to identify candidates for a successful restoration.
Powerful Cleaning Methods
Wayward water in home coats items with residues that are harmful to fabrics and finishes. It is important to remove the water and to clean away dirt, grit and chemicals. Professional cleaners match the item to one of these optimal cleaning methods:
- Wet cleaning for removing moderate to heavy residues
- Spray and wipe cleaning for delicate items
- Foam cleaning for upholstery that might shrink
- Dry cleaning for lightly soiled items
- Immersion cleaning for stubborn stains
When used following the highest standards of the cleaning industry, these methods provide an opportunity to save cherished personal belongings. A restore versus replace mentality also saves money.
Other Techniques for Home Cleaning
A water disaster caused by a broken pipe or some other calamity sometimes requires advanced techniques. A move-out of personal belongings allows for a quicker remodeling process while protecting fragile items from further damage. Electronic cleanup involves reducing hazards caused by water damage to television sets, computers and printers. A qualified electronics technician performs a complete cleaning to prevent corrosion.
When water in home presents several challenges, it is best to call for professional help. A trained crew will restore a home and its contents to their original condition.
How SERVPRO's Claims Information System Helps Insurance Agents
The CIC is thus another benefit of using SERVPRO.
Three Benefits Of The CIC
As an insurance agent in Auburn, WA, you know that handling a claim can be complicated. Thankfully, SERVPRO's Claims Information Center helps streamline the process. With one system, you can track each insurance claim and perform the necessary research.
1. It Makes Troubleshooting Easy
If you have had problems with claims in the past, you may have had to visit the site of the loss multiple times to fix the issues. You may have also spent hours on the phone trying to contact the contractor. The CIC makes communication simpler and lets you change a claim without the needless hassle.
2. It Lets You Research Past Claims and Costs
The CIC includes a database of prior losses. You can thus research various types of damages to find out the typical cost of restoration services following a flood or fire.
The CIC even lets you narrow your insurance claim search to a specific region, state, or county. You can also use the CIC to compare SERVPRO to other commercial cleanup companies. Once you register with the CIC, you thus do not have to waste time scrolling through pages of Google results to find the information you need.
3. It Helps You Track Claims
Finally, you can use the CIC to track the status of each restoration project. The Managed Dashboard makes it easy to see the stage of a claim so you can keep your clients informed. The CIC utilizes tracking software, so you can be sure the information on the dashboard is accurate.
The CIC lets you easily call contractors, research similar losses in your area and track an insurance claim from start to finish. The CIC is thus another benefit of using SERVPRO. You can spend less time tracking down contractors and wading through poor research and more time working with your client to get the repairs completed.
Tips for Troubleshooting Your Irrigation System
Keep your irrigation system in top working condition by following these troubleshooting tips.
Follow These Troubleshooting Tips
When your commercial irrigation system in Enumclaw, WA, works well, it keeps your lawn and landscaping green and plush. If something in the system breaks down, however, it can cause costly problems. Fortunately, there are some smart troubleshooting tips to keep your system working as intended.
1. Inspect Sprinkler Heads
Sprinkler heads are damaged by lawn mowers, vehicles and foot traffic. Check each head periodically for breakage or missing features, and make sure they pop up properly. Remove dirt and debris, and replace any missing sprinkler heads right away.
2. Look for Leaking Around the Sprinklers
Zone valves within the irrigation system can become dirty or damaged over time, preventing the valves from closing all the way. Remove the valve and clean it thoroughly. If it is broken, replace it promptly.
If the leakage isn’t handled right away, water can begin to pool in areas on the lawn. Surface water can drain into the building causing serious water damage. If this occurs, call a water repair service as soon as possible to investigate the damage and determine a plan of action.
3. Check for Low Water Pressure
If you notice that water only trickles out of a sprinkler, you most likely have low water pressure. There are a couple of reasons this may occur.
The least serious of the irrigation problems could be that the backflow device’s water valves may not be fully turned on. If that doesn’t solve the problem, there may be a pipe leaking somewhere in the system. At that point, it is best to call an irrigation repair service to inspect the entire system.
4. Look for Sprinkler Zones That Don’t Turn On
Generally, this is caused by faulty electrical signals between the valve solenoids and the controller. Someone with professional electrical training should inspect the system and fix the problem.
Keep your irrigation system in top working condition by following these troubleshooting tips.
Can You Smell When There’s Mold in Your Business?
There are various scents that mold can produce.
Every building has its own unique smell. Sometimes, you may notice a different smell under the usual aroma of your business. One of the factors that can create a new scent is the mycotoxin that mold releases. Many different scents can indicate there is mold in your building. These come from the gases that mold releases as it grows. Most business owners find these smells unpleasant and want remediation professionals to get rid of the source as soon as possible. Technically, you can smell when there is mold growing in your building, so you know when to take action.
The Various Scents That Mold Can Produce
Several odors can identify when mycotoxin is being released in your business in Auburn, WA. These include:
- A mild musty odor
- A damp or rotten smell
- An earthy scent
- A meaty aroma
- A strong moldy smell
What To Do if You Smell Mold
In some cases, you may be able to air out your building. However, if you suspect that there is mold growth releasing mycotoxin into your business, you should get your air tested. In these cases, you should act quickly so you can get the smell out as soon as possible. Air fresheners and cleaners can only mask the smell, and they won't remove mold spores. If the mold growth becomes overly active, you could risk inhaling spores and causing health effects, as well as affecting your building's structure. Having the air tested will determine if you need a remediation service to help bring the spores back to a normal level that your business can tolerate.
There are various scents that mold can produce. While you can air out a musty building sometimes, many mold occurrences will require that you have your air tested and spores removed. Mold remediation services can return your spores to normal levels, so you and your employees don't have to worry about potential hazards.
4 Steps for Preventing Major Roof Repairs After a Storm
It’s prudent to have a professional perform a thorough inspection
Four Steps To Take After Experiencing A Storm
All homeowners hope to avoid costly repairs to their homes, and roof repair is certainly a costly project. Fortunately, there are some things that Enumclaw, WA, homeowners can do to ensure that their roof is safe and in good condition.
There are storm restoration specialists who have the training and skills necessary to ensure that your roof and home are free from damage after a storm. Even if a storm seems to have caused little damage, such as hail or wind, it’s prudent to have a professional perform a thorough inspection. Your roof should be inspected in the following three areas:
- Roof membrane
A professional will also document the event, including storm details and identified roof damage. These details can assist with insurance claims.
Mitigation is the process of reducing the amount of harm caused to your roof. Though hail and wind damage may seem minor, a weakened roof can lead to more expensive repairs or replacement in the future. Storm restoration professionals can perform mitigation techniques that will extend the life of your roof.
A major part of roof repair includes structural drying. All building materials need to be inspected to understand the extent of water damage. Water is pervasive and can cause additional issues like mold. The entire roof system, including the membrane, insulation, and flashing, should be inspected for water. Fortunately, emergency technicians are available 24/7 to assist with unexpected storms.
The final step is restoration. Restoration specialists will ensure that the roof and your belongings are free from hazards. Building materials, carpeting, rugs and other belongings may need to be replaced due to water damage.
Homeowners should have a professional roof inspection done after a storm. Storm restoration specialists can help homeowners identify roof repair that needs to be done.
How To Repair a Leaking Toilet
It’s a nasty shock when a leaking toilet starts creating puddles
Follow These Steps And You'll Be Flushing Away Your Concerns
It’s a nasty shock when a leaking toilet starts creating puddles. Fortunately, most homeowners can correct the matter with a bit of effort.
1. Remove the Toilet
Begin by using a wrench to separate the supply tube from the shutoff valve. Check that the valve has been closed and your old toilet is completely drained. Unscrew the rounded caps covering the bolts and then set aside the hex nuts. Without moving the tank, lift the bowl and set it on top of an old blanket or piece of cardboard. This will help prevent contaminated liquid that is still lurking within your leaking toilet from spreading further.
2. Make the Repair
Scrape the old gasket off the closet flange and then slide a repair strap underneath. Only do this once the screws used to anchor the flange have been loosened. Place the new wax gasket upon the closet flange, taking extra care that it is properly centered. Now, connect the water supply tube to the shank located at the toilet’s base.
3. Re-secure Your Toilet
Push down on the rim of the toilet to secure the gasket. Tighten the bolts and press down once again. With a close-quarter hacksaw, trim the bolts. Make sure the nuts are solidly reconnected before replacing the caps. All that remains is hooking up the supply tube to the shutoff valve. Allow water to flow back into the bowl and try flushing. If your task has been properly executed, no leaks should appear.
If you have a significant bathroom leak, toilet repair may be the least of your concerns. Indoor flooding can cause intense damage. Hire a residential water repair professional to make your bathroom in Auburn, WA look “Like it never even happened.”
A leaking toilet can be repaired by the average resident entirely by themselves. With some knowledge and old-fashioned elbow grease, the problem can be entirely alleviated without outside help.
Caring for Fire-Damaged Items
Fire loss in Auburn, WA
Caring for Fire-Damaged Items
A fire can wreak havoc on your Auburn, WA, business. Fortunately, there are services available, including dry-cleaning and off-site storage, to repair and protect the contents of your building during the fire restoration process.
Contents and building materials usually require different cleaning and restoration processes. Building materials include flooring, drywall, wood used for built-in shelving, etc. Contents, on the other hand, are the movable items within a building: inventory, electronics, paper documents, etc. There are a variety of content cleaning methods available, including
- Foam cleaning
- Immersion cleaning
- Abrasive cleaning
The best cleaning method will depend on the type and severity of the damage as well as the makeup of the item itself. Many of the more specialized treatments require items to be move off-site and serviced by a professional.
While you and your employees or a certified restoration company clean and restore the fire-damaged building, it is often convenient to move undamaged items or those that have already been restored to a content storage facility off. This allows more room to bring in specialized equipment such as wet/dry vacuums and industrial air purifiers and gives the workers more room to move around. Additionally, moving the business’s contents to another location prevents theft. Fire-damaged buildings are vulnerable and may be targets for thieves.
A good storage facility will create a detailed inventory and be able to quickly locate your items at all times. The facility should be climate controlled to prevent damage. Some restoration services have their own storage facilities, but others use third-parties. In any case, make sure you feel comfortable with the facility before you have the items moved.
After a fire, many of your business’s most important items will need special care. Such care may include dry-cleaning and other restoration methods as well as off-site storage. Make sure you have a plan for storing and restoring your building’s contents after a disaster.
3 Reasons Why the Mold Keeps Coming Back
Mold damage in Enumclaw, WA
Reasons Why This Might Be A Recurring Problem
Most of the time, mold growth inside your Enumclaw, WA business is caused by singular incidents such as floods or expired food. These issues can be resolved and the mold can be removed. However, there are also times when mold manifests in a specific area multiple times even after cleaning it. Learn more about some of the reasons why this might be a recurring problem.
1. Roof Leaks
The roof above your business can sometimes get damaged by the weather or weakened by age. As a result, openings develop that let water into your building, especially during snow or rain. The liquids can leak and land on nearby surfaces such as floors and furniture. While this water damage might be noticeable, the source is not. Ensure that an experienced contractor inspects and repairs the roof to ensure leaks do not cause any more infestations.
2. Plumbing Issues
Staff and clients may also find mold growth alongside walls, ceilings and near toilets or fixtures. If this is a persistent problem in these specific areas, it might be caused by plumbing system issues. There is a strong chance the pipes might be leaky or broken, leading to water excess that attracts fungus. Contact a plumber to inspect the location and fix any existing issue. You can also prevent these issues by insulating the pipes during winter to reduce the pressure and stop potential damage.
3. No Air Circulation
An air conditioner is a useful asset to combat hot temperatures, especially when they are accompanied by high humidity. Unfortunately, if you barely use the AC, it causes the humidity to return and concentrate throughout the system. These conditions, combined with the dust and pollen trapped inside the unit, encourage mold to grow through the ducts, coils and other components. Once the mold remediation team cleans the system, remember to activate the AC daily and let the air circulate.
Various hidden water issues can cause reoccurring mold growth. Take a closer look near each affected area and call the right professionals to fix the root issue.
How To Create a Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan can help ensure that you are prepared for business disruption
How To Create a Business Continuity Plan
Business interruptions caused by weather events, natural disasters or other disruptive events can result in thousands of dollars in lost revenue. A business continuity plan can help minimize the impact of business interruptions.
Constructing Your Plan
Your emergency response plan will need to address every aspect of your business operations. When drafting your plan, you should seek input from managers and employees in all departments as you proceed through a six-step process:
- Determine the scope of the plan.
- Identify critical functions.
- Identify key business areas.
- Calculate allowable downtime for all critical functions.
- Analyze how different business areas and functions are dependent upon each other.
- Create your plan to keep operations functioning.
Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster recovery plan should be part of your business continuity plan. If you do not already have a disaster recovery plan, you will need to create one.
Test Your Plan
Sometimes plans look good on paper but do not work out very well in reality. You do not want to find out that your plan does not work while you are in the middle of recovering from a disaster, so it is important to test it out. You should test your plan two to four times per year and make sure the scenarios are challenging. The goal is to find any weaknesses in your plan and fix them. Popular testing methods include structured walk-throughs, simulations and table-top exercises.
Review Your Plan
You should not create your plan, test it once and then forget about it. You will need to periodically review and improve your plan to account for changing technology, personnel and business operations. Solicit feedback from employees during this process. It may also be helpful to consult with a disaster recovery professional in Auburn, WA.
A business continuity plan can not prevent business disruptions, but it can help ensure that you are prepared for them when they occur. Proper preparation can minimize your downtime and save you money.
How To Choose a Fire Extinguisher
There are a wide variety of fire extinguishers available
As most fire preparedness sources will tell you, having a fire extinguisher on hand is the best way to prevent major damage to your Enumclaw, WA home if a fire should break out. However, there are a wide variety of fire extinguishers available.
There are three classes of household extinguishers, and each is effective against different types of fires. Most extinguishers will put out more than one type of fire. The classifications appear as A, B, or C on the label. Here’s what they mean:
Class A: Common flammable household materials, such as paper, wood, or textiles
Class B: Combustible liquids, including liquids such as cooking oil, lighter fluid, or gasoline
Class C: Live sparks or flames from an electrical fire
Reading the Label
Every fire extinguisher has a rating on the label that looks like a series of numbers and letters. This rating lets you know how effective this particular extinguisher is at combatting each class of fire. Bigger numbers mean greater effectiveness. The number before the letter A corresponds to gallons of water, multiplied by 1.25. So, 3-A means the extinguisher is equivalent to pouring 3.75 gallons of water on a fire. The number before the letter B indicates how many square feet of fire the extinguisher covers. 12-B means the extinguisher can put out 12 square feet of fire. There are no numbers for class C: The chemicals in the extinguisher either conduct electricity or don’t. The rating on the extinguisher looks like this: “3A:12-B:C.”
Choosing the Right Size
There are many sizes of extinguishers available. A small two- or five-pound model is best for the car or kitchen, while a 10-pound extinguisher is better for the garage. Bigger is not always better: An extinguisher is not effective against a home fire if it’s too heavy for you to hold with one arm.
According to fire damage restoration specialists, the majority of home fires are preventable. Having the right kind of fire extinguisher on hand can help you avoid a devastating home fire.
3 Considerations When Choosing an Effective Air Purifier
Buy HEPA filters
There Are Several Factors To Consider When Shopping
Is your home in Enumclaw, WA in an area with high mold counts? If so, it is worthwhile to look into purchasing a home air purifier. There are several factors to consider when shopping.
1. Check the Room Size
All air filtration systems are designed to work with certain maximum room sizes, usually listed in cfm (cubic feet per minute) on the box. Multiply the square footage of the room by the ceiling height to find the size of the room in cubic feet. If a small-capacity purifier is chosen for a large room, it will not filter the large amounts of air and thus offers little benefit. Additionally, if multiple rooms need to be filtered, it's best to purchase separate units for each room or to buy a commercial-grade unit.
2. Buy HEPA Filters
There is no better filter than a true HEPA quality one. Testing has found that HEPA filters remove nearly 100% of airborne particles and allergens, including mold spores. Although the filter will need replacing with time, it does continue to filter efficiently even approaching maximum capacity. However, a lot of filters on the market claim to be HEPA but do not actually meet the standards. Be sure to check on the box if the filter is rated for particles of 0.3 microns and up.
3. Consider Other Options
While buying a good air filtration device may solve your problems of airborne spores, if your home has a mold infestation, it's time to call a professional mold cleanup service. The problem will not go away and, in fact will likely only worsen with time. A HEPA filter can take care of the spores, but more will continue to be released. Even worse, any gases or fumes will not be filtered out, as these are below the 0.3-micron limit.
While yearly springtime allergens can easily be taken care of with a good-quality air filtration device, home mold growth must be removed by a professional.
What To Know Before Making Your Next Water Damage Insurance Claim
Basement damaged by water
Water damage is the second most common cause of residential insurance claims. In fact, 1 in 50 homeowners makes a water-related claim each year. The below information will come in handy the next time your home suffers bursting pipes or a similar disaster.
Types of Water Damage
Several types of water emergencies may force you to file a claim. Some of the most common are:
- Water or sewer backup
- Storm-related damage
Insurance usually pays for harm cause by sudden and accidental discharges of water. Yet you may have damage that occurred over time, such as a leaky faucet or cracks in your wall. If the insurer determines that the water entered your home gradually, it may not pay for the cost of repairs.
Even bursting pipes may be considered gradual damage. However, your policy may cover the damage that results from the ensuing flood even if the insurer will not pay to replace the pipe.
Filing Your Claim
Before your next disaster, you should take steps to ensure the insurance provider accepts your claim. Since your policy likely does not cover gradual damage, you should do regular maintenance twice each year. You should also keep track of any repairs you or a contractor perform.
If your claim was denied, contact your insurance provider to find out exactly why. You should also ask who made the decision to deny the claim: Was it the adjuster, a contractor or your agent? Do not be afraid to seek a second opinion.
It may simply be that the language of your policy did not allow you to make a claim for your bursting pipes or other disaster. If that is the case, consider switching insurance companies or adding an endorsement.
Most water damage caused by a sudden and accidental discharge is covered under a homeowners' policy. You can use the insurance money to pay emergency restoration professionals in Auburn, WA, who fix broken pipe. To save yourself some headaches, read over your policy in advance and be sure you understand it.
Businesses Can Almost Always Write Off Losses From Storm Damage
Personal property located at a business may not be deductible
Businesses Can Almost Always Write Off Losses From Storm Damage
On average, storm damage amounts are increasing every year. This is due to a variety of circumstances, including
- Changing climate
- Lax construction codes
- Larger population
- More expensive homes and commercial buildings
Unfortunately, private property damage from storms and wildfires may not always be tax-deductible. However, in almost all cases, it will be deductible for commercial properties in Black Diamond, WA.
Items That Can Be Deducted
Basically, if it’s an “ordinary and necessary” expense related to operating a business, you can usually write it off. If a storm has caused damage to your building, vehicles or any other item needed to operate, that’s a legitimate business expense. Common forms of storm damage include:
- Wind damage
- Water damage
- Tree damage
- Fire or heat damage
Items That Can’t Be Deducted
Personal property located at a business may not be deductible. This varies somewhat; for instance, if a customer’s vehicle was damaged on your business’ property and you reimburse them for it, that may be a legitimate tax deduction.
If it’s your personal property – or the personal property of your employees – you may be able to write off reimbursing these losses. However, this can cross the line in some cases, and it can raise red flags, so your best bet is to talk with your attorney or CPA.
In a declared disaster zone, many homeowners and some businesses may be eligible for loans and grants. This usually comes in the form of a federal disaster, but states can also make a declaration.
Most of the grants won’t be available for businesses, but this is not always the case. However, the chief form of aid usually comes from the Small Business Association in the form of low-interest loans.
The key factor is to get your business back in operation as soon as possible. Small businesses that don’t reopen to some degree within days are far more likely to fail within a year.
You need a preferred restoration company to immediately tarp and board exposed areas and make rapid repairs to storm damage. Afterward, they can work on restoring your building to its original condition.
Protecting Your Business After a Fire Is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
Commercial building boarded up
Protect Your Business After A Fire
Owning a business comes with many risks, but one risk you may not have considered is fire and its aftermath. If you face this situation in Auburn, WA, you need to take certain steps to make sure you not only survive the actual fire damage, but also prevent any subsequent loss or destruction.
1. Call for Help
One of the first steps you should take is to call your insurance company, your utility companies and a commercial building restoration company. Your insurance company should be able to get things moving in the right direction by opening a claim, inspecting the scene, and telling you what information you will need to submit.
Your utility companies will turn off your services until you know it's safe to restore them. You don't want to suffer subsequent damage from a gas or water leak, so services shouldn't be turned back on until everything has been inspected and cleared.
The commercial restoration company will give you the immediate help you need with the fire cleanup, including addressing fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage. Getting this type of help quickly is imperative because it can keep the damage from getting worse or spreading.
2. Protect Your Building
Next, you need to make sure your property is not left vulnerable to looting and natural elements. If a business has missing windows, missing doors or gaps in the walls, looters will have free access to the building and anything inside. It’s imperative that you board up any points of entry and relocate expensive equipment to a safe location. Similarly, if the roof of your building is compromised, you should use tarps to seal the openings and prevent exposure to rain or snow.
3. Document Everything
During the restoration process, it is imperative to maintain meticulous records. Keep all documents related to the cleanup process together, including contact information, phone logs, contracts and receipts for all expenses incurred.
Fire damage is not something a business owner wants to face, but if you get the help you need, your business can survive. These first steps will place you on the best path for recovery.
Why a Restoration Company Should Be Your First Call for Water Damage
Commercial water damage in Enumclaw, WA
Reasons To Bring In Restoration Professionals After Water Damage In Your Building
A tiny bit of pipe burst cleanup in an otherwise dry building is no big deal to a business owner. Often, they will try to handle it on their own and save a few bucks. However, there are many reasons why bringing in restoration services professionals when you first notice a water problem will help you in the long run.
1. They Help You Minimize Damage
If they cannot be there immediately, most experts are glad to give you tips so that you can kickstart the cleaning process. They might suggest that you find the main water supply and shut it off or advise you on the best method to start removing excess water to prevent further damage.
2. They Find the Source of the Problem Quickly
There are many ways water gets into your facility other than a broken pipe. Sometimes the problem is not easy to determine. Professional restoration companies are skilled at discovering the source of even the most mysterious puddles. The faster they discover the problem and create a cleanup plan, the faster your operation will be up and running.
3. They Are Versatile, Safe and Efficient
Restoration companies can handle more than pipe burst cleanup. Sewage backup is a common form of water damage, so the professional you call might be a sewer cleanup company, too. Through assessment, they can determine the type of water and the safest and most efficient way to proceed with removal, drying, cleaning and restoration.
4. They Can Advise Future Preventative Measures
From creating a daily checklist to helping you include important details such as a map of shut-off valve locations in your contingency plan, experts can advise you on the preventative steps you should take for your property.
Handling pipe burst cleanup yourself can create more problems. Calling the expert restoration company in Enumclaw, WA, as soon as you find any issues will save a lot of unneeded cleanup down the road.
How To Stay Healthy as a First Responder to a Flood
When you're working on a flood response team, it's especially important to remember to wash your hands
How To Protect Yourself While Taking Care Of Others
If you're working as a first responder in Oceola, WA, it's important to know how to protect yourself while you're taking care of others. After all, you can't be there for others if you're sick from coming into contact with bacteria at a disaster site.
1. Keep Up With Your Immunizations
Getting the proper immunizations is a big part of keeping you safe when you're working on a flood response team. Here are a few that are required by the CDC:
Tetanus - This immunization prevents diseases that can come from contact with rusty metals. Most Americans received this as a part of a TDAP vaccine as a child, but you do need to get a booster every 10 years.
Hepatitis B - This vaccine series is required for those who will be in contact with bodily fluids while caring for patients. Even if you don't plan to be doing this, it's still a good idea to have in case you find yourself in this situation during your work.
2. Wash Your Hands
When you're working on a flood response team, it's especially important to remember to wash your hands before touching your face or eating. There is a wide variety of pathogens that you're encountering in the flood water, so keep them from entering your body by using a generous amount of soap and warm water or by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Wear Protective Gear
Even the flood waters have receded, it's important to make sure you're protecting yourself from mold and harmful bacteria that may have been left behind. Wear an appropriate mask, eye protection, rubber boots and rubber gloves while working as a first responder. Wearing two pairs of gloves or a pair of rip-stop gloves is never a bad idea, either.
As a first responder, it's important to protect yourself so that you can continue helping others. Flood remediation companies take steps to protect their employees in less dramatic situations, so make sure you are following safety protocols as well.
3 Types of Contaminated Water
Types Of Contaminated Water Floods
While all floods are certainly capable of causing massive amounts of damage, that doesn't mean that you can always treat them the same way. There are three main types of floods, each categorized by the types of contaminants present in the flood. Read on to see how you can best remediate the damage if your home in Bayne Junction, WA, recently suffered a contaminated water flood.
1. Clean Water Floods
Clean water floods, also known as Category 1 floods, are the least dangerous types of floods. These floods originate from sources that are not harmful to humans, such as a burst supply line, bathtub overflow, excess rain water or snow melt and much more. Theoretically, this type of water is safe for human consumption, but you should still never attempt to drink any type of flood water.
2. Gray Water Floods
These types of floods, also known as Category 2 floods, contain some degree of contaminated water, due to the flood's source. Gray water floods originate from flooded household appliances, such as dishwashers or washing machines, sump-pump failures and broken aquariums, to name a few. If not treated in less than 48 hours, gray water floods can turn into Category 3 floods.
3. Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods are the most dangerous type of flood water. These floods are categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human fecal matter, raw sewage, pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. They typically originate from toilet back flow, surface ground water, overflowing river banks and sewage overflow. You should never attempt to remediate this type of flood by yourself, and instead enlist professional help.
It's a good idea to contact flood remediation experts for assistance handling all types of contaminated water floods, not just Category 3 black water floods. It's the only way to guarantee that the job is performed quickly, efficiently and effectively. Don't take risks when it comes to protecting your property.
Common Types of Household Mold
Stachybotrys also known as black mold
Types Of Mold In Your Home
Mold typically thrives in dark, moist environments, making the secret corners of home in Wabash, WA, the perfect place for it to take up residence. Unwanted mold growth creates a problem for homeowners who just want to keep their property clean. In order to solve the problem correctly, you first need to figure out which type of mold species you're currently dealing with.
This is the most common form of allergenic mold. It's categorized by its dark black or brown coloration and velvety or hairy texture. It's commonly found in damp areas, such as bathrooms and basements that have suffered recent water damage.
Also known as the infamous black mold, this type of mold is commonly found in moist environments that have high humidity levels. Much like the name suggests, this mold is black or dark green in color and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. It's an extremely common mold species to find in residential homes.
This is a unique type of allergenic mold that can thrive in both warm and cold conditions. This type of mold growth is most commonly found on textiles and fabrics, such as carpeting and upholsteries. It's typically olive green or brown in color.
This type of mold can take on several different appearances during its lifetime. It starts out small and somewhat moist, but eventually becomes a more powdery type of mold. Its color ranges between pink, orange, white and gray. You can commonly find it growing in humidifiers, window sealants and drain pans.
This is another mold species that often appears in buildings or homes that have suffered from water damage. It has a cottony texture and starts out gray or white in color before darkening to brown and black. If your home smells musty, then this type of mold is most likely the culprit.
Mold growth can create serious problems for any homeowner. It's very important that you take action to resolve the issue as soon as you discover it. Contact mold remediation experts for help clearing mold out of your home.
How To Recover from a Fire in Your Home
Kitchen fire damage in Wynaco, WA
How To Get the Coverage You Deserve After a Fire
It is a devastating experience when your home is damaged by a fire. If you live in Wynaco, WA, and experience a house fire, then there are several steps to keep in mind before filing a fire claim with your insurance company. By following this process and also contacting a fire restoration team, you can make sure that you get the coverage you deserve.
Keep Detailed Notes
Your insurance company will need specific information regarding damages before providing approval. Some common items to note include:
- Type of claim
- Location of the fire
- Repair estimates
- List of injuries sustained
- Date that the fire occurred
- Condition of the residence
Documentation is essential when filing a fire insurance claim. In addition to keeping track of information related to the fire, you should take pictures of all damages before fire restoration commences. Even small details can serve as crucial evidence. It is also important to file any documents provided by your insurance company.
Ask for Emergency Help
Some fires are so extensive and severe that you can no longer stay in your residence. You should reach out to your insurance company if there is an immediate need to vacate the home and seek out other shelter. It may be necessary to leave your residence so that thorough smoke cleaning can be conducted. You can also inform your insurance provider if you require certain necessities, including clothing. Be clear and specific with your requests so that you get the most out of your insurance.
Restore Your Home
Once you have a claim filed, you can start getting your home back into shape. With the help of a fire restoration team, you can clear your home of that awful smoke odor. In the event that your home has sustained water damage from fire engine hoses, then a professional team can also be of assistance in returning your home to its former condition.
Why You Need To Know About Black Water
Stormwater enters in a building in Wynaco, WA
Levels Of Water Contamination
When water encroaches where it doesn’t belong, it can cause costly property damage in a short time. If water damages your Wynaco, WA, property, the toxicity of the water greatly affects the methods you must use to clean up. Whether a broken pipe or flood water caused your problem, it helps to understand the three levels of water contamination.
Water from this lowest contamination level is called clean water. It may originate from any of the following sources:
- Broken water supply lines
- Leaking roofs or windows
- Leaking water heaters or other appliances
The cleanup for Category 1 water damage is relatively simple. It involves basic water extraction and restoration of any damage.
When your property is damaged by water leaking from a sink, dishwasher, or washing machine drain, it is considered greywater. It is not as benign as clean water but not as toxic as floodwater. The water has been used by the consumer or appliance and has taken on traces of grease, dirt, or food. Disinfectants and basic sanitation methods minimize the spread of the contamination during cleanup.
When a sewer pipe leak or stormwater enters your building, you have Category 3 water damage. This level of contamination, also called black water, requires professional cleanup and restoration services because it often contains sewage, toxic chemicals, bacteria or physical hazards. Restoration teams wear specialized safety gear and use special filtrations systems to extract the excess water and begin the cleanup process.
If flood water caused your property damage, be aware that your conventional business insurance will not generally cover the damage. A specialized government flood insurance policy would be needed. Your insurance agent can advise you about purchasing a flood policy.
When your business is affected by storm damage or any water-related property damage, you have some decisions to make in a short period. Once you determine the level of contamination, you can implement the best cleanup process and begin working toward restoring your property and your business to normalcy.
Mold Prevention Essentials
Microbial growth on kitchen floor
Renting out your property is a great way to earn passive income, but you shouldn’t assume that your work is done once you’ve found a tenant. Caring for your building helps ensure that it becomes a financial boon rather than a financial burden. Something you should be mindful of as a property manager in Algona, WA, is mold prevention.
To understand why mold is such an issue, learn basic facts about how this fungus develops:
- Mold spores are invisible to the eye.
- These spores are present throughout all indoor and outdoor spaces; thus all buildings are vulnerable to mold invasion.
- Mold spores require moisture to develop into a colony.
Mold Prevention Strategies
Here are some helpful tips for stopping mold from growing on your property:
Educate your tenants about mold growth. Make sure they understand the importance of adequate airflow as well as the need to keep spaces dry.
Recommend that tenants open interior doors to improve circulation and open a window when bathing, cooking, and washing the dishes.
Suggest that tenants dry wet areas in the bathroom after taking a shower. They should also remove wet laundry from the washing machine promptly.
When building or renovating, use mold-resistant materials such as moisture-resistant drywall and mold inhibitors for paints.
Remove linen, carpeting, and furniture that has water damage caused by flooding.
Ensure that interior humidity remains between 30% and 60%. You can use a moisture meter to monitor humidity. Additionally, pay attention to condensation on pipes and surfaces — this is an indication of high indoor humidity.
If necessary, purchase a dehumidifier.
Mold prevention may not always be possible, especially if your tenants are not proactive about maintaining their living spaces. If you do discover mold on your property, you should act quickly to avoid a full-on invasion and subsequent mold damage. Using a professional mold remediation service can save you from having to address a much bigger problem.
How To Deal With Electronic Damage After Your Business Floods
Drying equipment in commercial building
Steps For Dealing With Flooded Electronics
When your Berrydale, WA, business experiences a flood, the toll on your office equipment can be devastating. These are some essential steps for dealing with flooded electronics with damages due to:
Turning off the power is the most important thing you can do when first dealing with flood-related electronic damage. You must first turn off circuit breakers if you can safely do so and before touching electrical devices, plugs or outlets. It is best to avoid all contact with submerged electronics or any equipment that remains plugged in if you or your clothes are wet.
Get Professional Assistance
After a flood at your business, you should contact a commercial cleaning company as soon as possible to extract excess water using heavy-duty equipment. This essential step can prevent the development of mold that can spread quickly. Prompt attention to water extraction can prevent further damage to your flooded electronics to determine whether they are salvageable.
Commercial flood remediation professionals are skilled at assessing office equipment, including computers, phones, copy machines, and other electronic devices essential for your business. A knowledgeable professional can safely handle your electronic devices to determine the extent of damage and apply the best methods to restore them.
Generally, submerged items are beyond repair and require replacement; however, it is possible to treat electronic damage resulting from high humidity and some direct water contact. Commercial flood restoration teams work with experienced electricians to remove dirt, debris, and water from the delicate interior parts of your devices. Consulting with a professional cleaning service is the best way to determine what you should replace and what is worth keeping.
Floods can devastate any Berrydale, WA, business if flooded electronics prevent access to valuable data. It is always best to back up all sensitive files in case your electronic devices are beyond repair.
Is Your Business Prepared To Evacuate in the Event of an Emergency?
While an emergency in the workplace is never expected, disasters happen every day in businesses all around the country. That’s why it’s so important to implement a fire drill plan for your employees and customers. By keeping a few simple guidelines in mind when designing your evacuation procedure, you can make sure your business in Auburn, WA, is prepared for a worst-case scenario.
1. Pay attention to details.
Where is a fire most likely to break out in your building? How is the customer traffic flow designed? What are the locations of sprinklers and fire extinguishers? These are factors that will need to be considered when planning for an emergency. Map your evacuation route to bypass dangerous areas and allow for the fastest possible exit from the building.
2. Communication is key.
Even the most well designed fire drill plan is useless if you don’t ensure that every employee knows how to implement it. Keep in mind that your employees will need to guide customers to safety in the event of an emergency, so it’s imperative that they have access to a printed evacuation route and are aware of where all the building exits are located.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Even the most level headed employee can panic if a fire breaks out at work. That’s why evacuation drills should be rehearsed on a regular basis to make sure that everyone knows their role in an emergency. Address any issues or confusion after each drill to develop a reliable exit strategy. Shift leaders and managers should have the contact information for a reliable fire damage restoration company to call after ensuring that all customers and employees are out of the building and first responders are on the way.
While no business owner wants to think about a life threatening emergency in their building, it’s crucial to have a fire drill plan in place to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. By remembering to prepare for the worst-case scenario, you can prevent a tragedy from occurring.
Signs Your House May Have a Mold Problem
Mold damage behind a wall in a Diamond, WA home
How To Tell If There Is an Issue?
Do you know if you have mold contamination in your home? What are the signs of such a disaster? Is there mold lurking in your HVAC system or ductwork? Mold remediation companies in Black Diamond, WA, can help you determine if there is a problem, and if there is, they will help you remove it, but how do you tell if there is an issue?
Mold has a unique smell. It is musty. Many people associate the smell of mold with the scent of dirt crawlspaces. The reason mold is connected to a musty odor is that it thrives in humid and damp environments. If your home is often humid, and you smell mustiness, then consider having your space tested.
The surest sign of mold contamination is the appearance of mold. If you see dark staining around your ducts, or if you notice colorful patches appearing on a wall behind your washer, you may have mold. Mold differs from mildew. It has a 3D texture to it, and it seems almost soft. It can come in several colors, green, black, yellow, gray, etc.
Building materials often succumb to an infestation in standard ways. For example, you may notice drywall appearing brittle; insulation can change color, appearing dirty. Be especially observant of potential changes in porous items, because mold tends to root deep. Often the visibility of mold means there is a more significant problem. A mold remediation specialist can provide a more detailed explanation of residential warning signs.
Mold contamination is a common household problem, especially in humid climates. You need to be diligent about acknowledging the signs and symptoms of mold to respond quickly before an infestation spreads. If you suspect you have a mold problem in your home, then contact a remediation company in your area and ask if they offer to test.
Understanding How Fire Sprinklers Work
A fire sprinkler system is connected to a network of pipes that are filled with water
As a commercial property owner, not only should you have property insurance that covers damages and losses due to a fire, but you should also have fire suppression measures in place. From fire extinguishers to hoses to sprinkler systems, your building should have these items as part of an overall fire safety plan. If a blaze breaks out in your property in Enumclaw, WA, you’ll feel better having an automatic fire sprinkler system that immediately kicks in to minimize damage through extinguishment and limiting the spread of smoke.
The Benefits of Fire Sprinklers
You might think having extinguishers is good enough for minimizing damage. You might also think that the proximity of your property to a fire station eliminates the need for suppression measures. A fire sprinkler system is connected to a network of pipes that are filled with water, so it can immediately begin quenching flames when detected. This system isn’t triggered by smoke, but rather by the high air temperature caused by fire. These sprinklers react quickly and can either fully extinguish any fires or limit the spread and damage long before firefighters reach the location of the blaze. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to worry about the following with a fire sprinkler:
- Significant water damage from accidental operation
- Sprinkler activation by smoke
- The wrong sprinkler being triggered by flames
In the event of a blaze, the nearest sprinklers will engage to extinguish the flames.
After an accident, you should consult a qualified provider of fire sprinkler cleanup services. A professional commercial restoration service can quickly clean up any damage from fire or water, bringing your property back to pre-fire and pre-water conditions. A rapid recovery helps to minimize your total damages and potentially reduce the amount of your claim. The faster the cleanup process goes, the less interruption and impact to your business operations.
Smart Ways to Prepare for Flood Response
Wise companies know that emergency response is an important aspect of maintaining a productive business. You probably practice fire drills and even teach your employees basic first aid. However, do you have plans in place to react to flooding in the building? If you haven’t addressed this situation yet, now is the time.
The Possible Consequences
Water issues are nothing to take lightly. Flood damage can threaten your business’s viability and even harm employees. If you aren’t prepared, the following could affect your company:
- Loss of work days due to relocation or shutdown
- Loss of equipment or files
- Unhealthy atmosphere for workers
The first thing you can do is help prevent flooding by ensuring systems and processes work properly. Inspect the plumbing in your Auburn, WA, building each year, or more often if your facility is older. Check the rain gutters and downspouts and make sure they divert water away from the foundation. Have a flood response specialist identify any sewage concerns with the main lines coming into your office.
Have a Backup Plan
You no doubt have sensitive files and data on your computers and servers. Water can wreak havoc on electronics, which could destroy this valuable information. Make sure you back up all essential data on the cloud.
Have a Business Continuity Plan
A flood at work could be minor and do little to interrupt your daily activities. However, in more significant incidents such as when black water comes onto the premises, you could be out of the office for weeks or even months. Make sure you have a plan to keep your business running, whether this occurs in a secondary office or with employees working from home.
If water does find its way into your workplace, contact a professional flood response and cleanup company without delay. This will help ensure efficient restoration.
Know what to do if you have flooding at work. Follow an effective plan.
Basement Flooding: What Your Insurance Covers
Flooded basement in Bayne Junction
Basement Flooding: What Your Insurance Covers
Flooded basements account for a large number of residential insurance claims. If you’ve descended your stairs only to discover a basement flood in your Bayne Junction, WA, home, you are suddenly tasked with protecting your property and scrambling to orchestrate a cleanup. It may help you move forward to understand what kind of reimbursement to expect from your insurance company.
Home water damage is addressed by two separate insurance areas, depending on the origin of the offending water. Your conventional homeowner’s insurance will generally cover the most common types of damage, but it’s important to understand the exceptions.
Conventional Insurance and Water Damage
Your homeowner’s policy will generally reimburse a portion of the cleanup and restoration costs for a basement flood, as long as the water originated from inside your home. These scenarios would likely be allowable for reimbursement:
- A leaking appliance, such as a water heater or ice maker
- A broken plumbing pipe
- An overflowing toilet or bathtub
Water damage should be reported to your insurance agent right away, so you are informed of the coverage possibilities. If water entering from the exterior ground level caused your problem, your conventional policy will do you no good. You would need to have purchased a government-issued flood insurance policy.
Government Flood Insurance
A flood occurs when normally dry land is inundated with water or mud. If your basement flood was caused by exterior water, a specialized government flood policy would be needed to cover the damages. Flood insurance can be purchased from the US Government, though your insurance agent can broker the sale and answer any questions. Your agent or your local flood remediation service can help you determine your risk, which will inform your level of need for flood insurance.
Understanding water damage insurance coverage is essential to protecting your home from unwanted water. If you do have water damage, you are likely in the midst of a disruptive time. Being prepared with the proper insurance and resources may reduce your stress level and help you restore some normalcy to your home and your life.
The Value of Pretesting in the Restoration Process
A pretest is one procedure that offers added value to the restoration process
The process of remediation of a water or fire disaster in Auburn, WA, has many components. Much depends on the nature and extent of the damage. Though highly-trained technicians follow a proven process, each situation is different. This requires the disaster mitigation team to call on its combined knowledge and experience. A SERVPRO franchise looks to save money and reduce expenses where possible through many different methods. Pretesting of items allows workers to determine whether an item impacted by fire or water damage is salvageable. If the item has received too much damage, it will need to be replaced. In certain conditions, though, the item can be restored. A restore versus replace philosophy is one way to save money on restoration.
How Pretesting Works
After water or fire damage, the mitigation team conducts an inspection and assessment of the property. Technicians will look at individual items such as clothing and furniture to determine their condition. They pretest selected contents to see if they can be restored. Promising objects may undergo one or more of the following cleaning methods:
- Foam cleaning
- Abrasive cleaning
- Dry cleaning
- Wet cleaning
- Immersion cleaning
Items that can be restored help reduce the overall costs of the insurance claim. The goal is to restore the property and contents to excellent condition while keeping an eye on lowering costs.
Why Pretesting Matters
An insurance agent and a mitigation company have the responsibility of providing the best service to its customers. A pretest is one procedure that offers added value to the restoration process. A fast response to an emergency is also important, as is cleaning the property to the highest industry standards. When the job is done right the first time, all parties can feel more confident. Unpleasant odors will be removed. The likelihood of further problems such as mold growth will be reduced. A professional cleanup is what SERVPRO has done for over 50 years.