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How Your Property Is Restored After a Flood in Your Business

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded carpet in an office Flooding after storm in Preston, WA

According to weather data, the frequency and intensity of extreme storms are increasing, making flood risk greater for homes and businesses. If stormwater has damaged your Preston, WA, business, you are likely quite concerned about what will become of your valuable property. Because floodwater contains a high level of contamination, hiring professional assistance for content cleaning and restoration is the recommended first step.

Why Professional Assistance Is Important

Category 3 is the highest level of water contamination, and stormwater is in this category. Here's why the cleanup for this type of damage requires the assistance of water damage experts.

Category 3 contamination is called black water because it often contains toxic chemicals, sewage and other hazards that must be handled using specialized safety procedures.
Professionals work quickly, preventing additional damage that can develop as time passes.
Toxicity and other hazards are not always easy to spot with an untrained eye.

Turning your business over to strangers can be uncomfortable and the more information you have about what to expect, the better prepared you will be to support the process.

How Your Property Will Be Handled

Your business equipment, furnishings, and records are undoubtedly valuable to you on multiple levels. Once the flood has subsided and the water has been removed, content cleaning crews will begin working with your water-damaged property.
Desks and other furniture can often be dried, disinfected and refinished. Some veneered pieces may need to be discarded. Damaged electronics such as computers and printers may be salvageable, depending on the level of damage. Restoration teams will use specialized methods to dry, dehydrate and refurbish them, if possible.
Restoring documents and other paper products is challenging as wet paper deteriorates quickly. Most specialists provide document restoration services, which involve meticulous processes to dry, disinfect and restore your important papers. Document services generally include HIPAA-certified supervision to ensure confidentiality is prioritized.
A stormwater damage event in your business creates stress and unwelcome upheaval in your life. An emergency water remediation service is a good strategy for water removal, content cleaning, and restoration of your business and your peace of mind during a challenging time.

Save Valuables From Water Damage After a Pipe Break

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Personal belonging out of a home damaged by water Personal belongings damaged by water in Mirrormount, WA

Save Valuables From Water Damage After a Pipe Break

Personal belongings that have been damaged from water in home residences are often salvageable if treated quickly and correctly. After a disaster or pipe break in Mirrormount,WA, act quickly and use the following tips to preserve damaged goods in your cleanup efforts.

Rinsing

One of the first things to do upon discovering water sitting in your residence is to rinse belongings with cool, clear water. Avoid using high-pressure sprayers that may further damage your goods. A clear-water rinse is best used on durable materials that have become dirty or soiled after a broken pipe incident. Fill a large basin with clean water or use a gentle flowing tap to rinse items like the following:

  • Metals
  • Plastics
  • Upholstery

Air Drying

While you may feel panic setting in after you initially discover water in home basements or living spaces, take the time to allow your belongings to air dry. Avoid using high-temperature dryers like blow dryers or heaters on delicate heirlooms and valuables. Rapid heat drying can lead to splitting or fading of common household objects. Sun drying can even cause damage if direct rays lead to overheating. For the following items, attempt first to air dry them indoors using open windows for airflow and dehumidifiers to reduce moisture:

  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Artwork
  • Books

Brushing or Dabbing

Before attempting to save a precious keepsake or article damaged by a pipe leak, consider the best way to remove stains or debris. If the object is dry, start by removing caked-on mud, silt, dirt, and debris. Do so gently to keep from grinding particles into the object. A light hand is helpful to avoid scratches and smears. When it comes to upholstery or clothing, contact a dry cleaning company to see what attempts can be made to salvage your treasured goods.
No matter how severe the water in home problem may be, careful attention and timeliness work to your advantage. These basic cleaning techniques and practices should serve you well until home water damage professionals can arrive at the scene.

Beware of Lightning Strikes That Cause House Fires

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Extremely detailed lightning bolt behind electric utility pole Lightning in Fall City, WA area

Every year within the U.S., fire departments are called to over 20,000 fires caused by lightning strikes. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a minority of the strikes set off a lightning fire in individual houses, but most property damage and injuries occur in the home incidents.
Lightning strikes that are going to hit the ground find the path of least resistance to get as far into the ground as possible. Homes and other types of buildings can provide that path through pipes, electrical lines, downspouts, and many conductive metals. Of course, this electrical discharge does not need to use conductive materials throughout its entire path, so when it travels through your home, it could branch out and use various pathways. It could even jump through the air toward a different route.

Stay Safe Inside

While remaining inside your house might feel secure during a thunderstorm, you may still be at risk for injury. Avoid the following activities to stay as safe as possible:

  • Taking a shower or bath or using sinks
  • Using the computer
  • Operating wired appliances or tools
  • Playing video games

Prepare for a Lightning Fire

Preparing your family for an electrical storm in Fall City, WA, should be included in your emergency planning efforts. While there are lightning protection systems available on the market, they can be costly and may only be worth the investment for homes within areas of high thunderstorm frequency. For everyone else, insurance and surge protectors might be more cost-effective.
If your home is struck, it is often recommended to call the fire department. Even if a house fire is not immediately noticeable, one can begin in the attic or within the walls, going undetected until it has caused significant structural damage.
If your home has incurred damage caused by a lightning fire, utilizing the services of a fire restoration company can put your home back to normal quickly while restoring your valuables and belongings in the best way possible.

Get Peace of Mind After a Commercial Fire

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial building damaged by fire Commercial fire damage in North Bend, WA

There are a lot of tasks to complete after a commercial fire. One of the first things every business owner should do is file a claim with an insurance company. To file a claim for the fire damage to your property, you need to gather documents, fill out forms and secure your property. Educating yourself on the process can help you to finish it efficiently so you can concentrate on other important matters for your business.

How To File a Claim

The five steps of a fire claim in North Bend,WA are:

  1. Contact your insurance company through the phone or internet
  2. Make minor repairs on your property and secure it from robberies
  3. Collect financial records such as tax returns, monthly sale receipts and business contracts
  4. Track every expense incurred in order to protect or repair your property
  5. Take pictures of every damaged item and all the debris on your property

Stay Organized

Organization is key to filing a successful fire claim. Keep all your paperwork in a folder and purchase a ledger to write down notes. Important information to remember includes your insurance policy number and the phone number of the fire restoration company that can assist with your property repairs.

Prepare Your Proof of Loss Form

Watch for a proof of loss form from your insurance company to arrive in the mail. You can fill this out yourself or schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster to guide you through the process. An insurance adjuster is licensed to assess the damage of your property. There may be more than one sent to your location depending on the extent of the damage.
Filing a fire claim can be quick if you’re ready to do the work. Fire restoration of your commercial property can be a lengthy process; completing your claim is crucial so your business can thrive after a disaster.

Tips for Emergency Readiness

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Green button of the keyboard of a computer with the word "Disaster Plan" Having a disaster preparedness plan helps you respond efficiently in an emergency situation

Tips for Emergency Readiness

When you are a business owner in Fall City, WA, you must contend with the possibility that a disaster could occur, especially during storm season. Having a solid disaster preparedness plan is a vital part of protecting your building, your people and your business during an emergency.

Your Building

Your commercial property can be vulnerable to storm damage, but you also may need it to function as shelter. To keep your building up and running as long as possible, even during an emergency, there are several precautions you can take:

  • Install sump pumps.
  • Have a backup generator.
  • Keep smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in good working order.
  • Store sensitive equipment and important documents on higher levels.

If your building does need the services of a flood cleanup company, it's a good idea to know how much of the repairs can be covered by your insurance policy. Talk with your agent before disaster strikes so that you can make sure you have sufficient coverage.

Your People

A good disaster preparedness plan centers on the people who work in your building. Make sure emergency exits are clearly marked, and post evacuation plans in prominent locations. Set up a communication plan to initiate when you have to evacuate the building or direct people to a safe area within it so that everyone can be informed and accounted for.

Your Business

Even if your building needs extensive repairs before you can return to it, you still want to stay in business. A solid business preparedness plan helps you do so. Break down your work processes into the bare minimum you need to achieve to stay operational. Then figure out how you are going to maintain those processes until your building is functional again. Discuss the plan with key players so that everyone knows what their roles will be if it has to be implemented.
You can't always avoid a natural catastrophe. Having a disaster preparedness plan helps you respond efficiently in an emergency situation.

How to Care for Items After Water Damage

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement, there is a couch, chair and boxes floating in the water Flooded basement in Mirrormount, WA

How to Care For Your Belongings After a Flood

After a flood from a storm or broken pipe in Mirrormount,WA, you may have a lot of unwanted water in the home. Any amount of water that doesn’t belong in your home can cause serious damage to the structure and to your personal belongings. Here is how to care for your precious belongings after a flood.

1. Rinse With Clean Water

Your first course of action should be to rinse objects with clean water. You can do this with a hose spray, if you need to. You want to clean off any silt with a soft brush or damp cloth. In addition, rinse any metal objects that have mud or silt exposure. If there are heavy mud deposits, allow it to dry and ask for professional help to remove the mud.

2. Air Dry Objects and Reduce Humidity

Humidity can make matters worse when you have water in the home. A dehumidifier can assist in air-drying objects. You may also want to consider drying everything indoors if you can. Too much heat from the sun can lead to further damage. If you have any broken components, feel free to keep these parts in a clear, labeled container. You can sort through these pieces once dry. In addition, handle all documents, photographs and art with care. All of these should be air-dried if possible.

3. Remove Deposits of Mold Growth

To remove mold growth will help keep your home clean. It will keep further mold spores from spreading. Mold remediation specialists can use disinfectants on walls, floors and baseboards to discourage further growth.

Your valuable items matter. When you have a flood, you may feel devastated by the loss. With unwanted water in the home, there are options available. Some conservators can save valuable heirlooms and dry cleaning may help with any clothes damaged in the flood. The most important factor to caring for items after water damage is to act fast. Contact a water damage service for help.

4 Things You Should Do If You have Sewage Backup in Your Bathtub

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer water coming out of a bathtub and bathroom sink Sewage backup in a Preston, WA bathroom

4 Things You Should Do If You have Sewage Backup in Your Bathtub

Sewer backup in your bathtub is not a pleasant experience. This can occur for a variety of reasons, from damaged pipes to overgrown tree roots to clogged drains. Whatever the reason, if the water is not properly draining from your plumbing fixtures, this can cause some problems in your Preston, WA, home. If the damage is severe and the water begins to overflow, here are a few things that you might need to do.

1. Wear Protective Gear

If you need to be in contact with the sewer backup for any reason, make sure that you only do so while wearing protective clothing and gloves. This water is likely category 3 which means that it is highly contaminated and can carry harmful bacteria. Because of this, you should avoid touching it with your bare skin.

2. Turn Off Water and Electricity

If the backup is extreme and begins flooding your home, then you should turn off the water supply to the building. This can help keep it from getting worse. Because electricity and water are a dangerous combination, it is also a good idea to turn the power off. Use the breaker to do this to avoid shocks from appliances and light switches.

3. Move Belongings to a Safe Area

You will also need to move any nearby items to a safer location. If the water continues to overflow, it will spread to a larger area and can contaminate the items that it touches. Consider moving items to a different room or floor level.

4. Hire a Professional

Because the water from a bathtub backup can be unsanitary, the best choice might be to hire a professional to do the cleanup for you. A cleanup and restoration service is trained to handle these situations and can do so more safely.
Sewer backup can cause a lot of damage to your home and can contaminate the area. To reduce the effects of this and prevent bacteria or mold from spreading, you should have it taken care of as quickly as possible.

How to Stop Mold From Growing in the Bathroom

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on tiles of bathroom Mold growth in a Snoqualmie, WA bathroom

How To Stop Mold Growth

You know what happens when mold starts to grow. It doesn’t seem to stop. You want to take the offensive to prevent mold from growing, especially in your bathroom. Bathroom mildew and mold grows around pipes under the sink and corners around the bathtub. Leaky toilets are also prone to mold. You can find mold anywhere there is moisture. Preventing mold from occurring in your bathroom is a matter of keeping excessive moisture at bay. The following list will assist you in stopping mold growth.

1. There may be a humidity problem in your bathroom. Mold can begin to grow when the humidity level is at 55%. To combat this, keep it between 40 and 50. Some air-conditioners now have built-in de-humidifiers. If yours does not, you can buy them almost anywhere.

2. Always turn on the exhaust fan when taking a bath or shower. Allow the fan to continue to run for 30 minutes afterward. If you do not have an exhaust fan, open a window or keep the bathroom door open.

3. Get rid of the water. Mold and bathroom mildew love this. Clean up areas where water accumulates. When water splashes on the sink from washing your face or brushing your teeth, wipe it up. If you have a vanity, make sure to get the areas where there is caulking. Squeegee the tiles and glass after each time you shower. Wipe out the bathtub. Clean everything – bath, shower, sink, toilet – at least twice a week.

4. Toss the shower curtain in the washing machine if possible. Add the bathmats as well. These are all items bathroom mildew and mold can attach themselves to. After using your towels, don’t throw them on the floor and leave them there for a week. Put them in the washing machine along with the shower curtain and bathmats.
Stopping mold and mildew from growing in your bathroom will be an ongoing chore. A mold prevention specialist in Snoqualmie, WA, can give you more tips to keep the mold at bay.

Why You Should Know About the Categories of Water Damage

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Someones putting both hands under a running faucet Faucets are a common source of category 1 damage

Why You Should Know About the Categories of Water Damage

You may think all water damage is the same and requires the same response, from an overflowing washing machine to flood water. However, depending on the source, each situation requires a different level of care and procedure. Know what you're dealing with in Issaquah, WA, so that you can take the appropriate actions in your commercial space.

Category 1

This is the lowest level of water damage, from clean and sanitary sources of water. It should present no immediate risk to nearby people. You may be able to clean this up with just your maintenance staff if they know what they are doing. However, if it is left for more than 48 hours, it can evolve into category 2 water damage. Common sources of category 1 damage can include:

  • Drinking fountains
  • Toilet tanks
  • Overflowing bathtubs
  • Appliance malfunctions
  • Faucets
  • Water lines

Category 2

This type of water damage is from gray water, otherwise known as used water. This water is lightly contaminated with either chemical or biological components, and can contain microorganisms. This means that a cleanup of this category must include some form of decontamination. Some examples are water that comes from dishwashers, toilet overflow with no feces, sump pump failures, washing machines or fire sprinklers. Gray water can also level up to category 3 if left alone for 48 hours.

Category 3

Black water is the third category of water damage. This water is highly contaminated and can be dangerous for people and animals. It can come from flood water of rivers and streams, stagnant water that harbored bacterial growth, toilet overflow with feces or sewage backup. It will require specialized equipment and protocols to thoroughly clean it up. Workers will also need to wear personal protective gear so that they do not come into contact with the water. Please consider calling a professional water damage remediation company as soon as possible to handle the restoration.
There is a large difference in how you should approach flood water versus a faucet leak. If you are unaware, you could be putting yourself or your employees in danger. Stay safe and keep dry!

Why Does Mold Have Such a Distinctive Odor?

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

mold growing on wall Musty odor in your business?

Everybody has smelled mold; it’s literally everywhere, outside of specialized and tightly controlled environments. Normally, you can’t smell it; it takes millions of spores to become noticeable in most cases, and even then, it may not be a problem. However, once the smell becomes noticeable at a business in Mirrormount,WA, the mycotoxins that cause the scent have built up and you will need to address it.

What Are Mycotoxins?

Micro-fungi often have a complicated lifecycle, and different stages produce different byproducts. Broadly speaking, this is the substance that both creates the familiar moldy smell and can also be a problem for some individuals. Some molds actually produce “toxins” that are very helpful for humans, like penicillin. Anywhere that gets wet, especially repeat areas or places water isn’t supposed to be, can be the cause of a strong, musty odor, including

  • Drywall
  • Subflooring
  • Carpet
  • Ceiling tiles
  • HVAC units, condensers and ductwork

The odor associated with mold growth is unpleasant for most people, often being described as a rotting, fetid fragrance. Humans have a hard-wired connection between memory and smell, so customers, visitors and employees who smell it in your business may base their judgment about you on that scent.

What Can You Do About the Smell?

If normal cleaning doesn’t remove it, you may need a professional mold remediation company to perform an inspection and assess the problem. An investigation will usually find the cause – often an area that repeatedly gets wet ¬– and remove or contain the problem. They may use specialized air scrubbers, such as a commercial HEPA air filtration device, to reduce the mycotoxins and lower your spore count.

Remember: you can’t totally get rid of mold– it’s all about reducing the levels in air to a reasonable number. If the infection is severe, they may have to remove damaged items. The key is to not panic – once you call the pros in Mirrormount, WA, the problem is typically quite manageable, and even the most severe infection can usually be fixed. Once you get an inspection, you’ll have a better idea what’s causing the smell.