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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fire Insurance and Your Small Business

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Fires are generally unexpected and very destructive. Call SERVPRO if you need help!

Your Small Business And Fire Insurance

Fires can be devastating to small businesses in North Bend, WA. Not only do they cause extensive damage to equipment and property, but fires often disrupt daily operations, leading to heavy financial losses. Fortunately, fire insurance policies are available, offering many financial benefits.

• Coverage for physical damages
• Replacement or repair of office fixtures
• Protection against lost business income
• Compensation for costs of doing business in a temporary location

In some situations, this type of policy covers lost data, the interruption of digital operations, and other computer-related business dealings. Ask your insurance provider for specific information.

Identify and Reduce Risks

If you own the property or building where your business operates, you may work closely with your insurance company or a fire restoration professional to identify the most common risks and take steps to protect your premises. Even if you don't own the building, you can look for problem spots such as overloaded power strips and extension cords, stacks of flammable materials near heat sources, aging appliances, and indoor smoking areas. You may be eligible for fire insurance that covers your business contents.

Look Outside of Your Business Walls

Fires are generally unexpected and very destructive. In fact, many businesses did have appropriate preventative measures in place before suffering damage. Fires aren't always the result of something that occurs within the workplace. Sometimes, the emergency is caused by the activities of neighboring businesses, extreme weather, rioting, or vandalism. You may require coverage for the costs of smoke cleanup even if flames never reach your building.

Understand Your Coverage Needs

As you consider your business needs and discuss coverage options with your insurance provider, be realistic about your needs. Too many business owners purchase minimum coverage and then don't have the necessary funding for complete fire restoration services. Ask your insurance representative about replacement cost versus cash value terms and about eligibility requirements. Make sure you have enough coverage to get you through the entire restoration process.

Small businesses may be particularly susceptible to damages, but the right fire insurance coverage offers important protection. Learn more today to make sure your business has the coverage it needs.

How To Prepare for and Extinguish a Fire

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Make sure your building has the appropriate fire extinguisher for the type of fires you might face at your workplace.

How To Prepare For A Fire And Put It Out

Fires can happen at any time, at any place and often without warning. Having a fire extinguisher on hand is your first line of defense. If your building in Issaquah, WA, has a fire, it is vital to know the appropriate actions to take when fighting it. If used correctly, an extinguisher can help limit the amount of fire damage to your building. The following steps will help you prepare for and extinguish a fire:

1. Pick the Right Extinguisher

Make sure your building has the appropriate fire extinguisher for the type of fires you might face at your workplace. (This may mean having multiple extinguishers available for use.) All extinguishers are labeled in accordance with what type of fire they are to be used against. For example, a kitchen fire would require an extinguisher labeled with a ‘K,’ as it is designed for fighting fats, grease and oils.

2. Call Emergency Services

In the event of a fire, the most important step is calling emergency services. Fires can be unpredictable and quickly grow out of control. Always take the immediate step of pulling the fire alarm and ensuring back up is on its way.

3. Use the Extinguisher

Before choosing to use an extinguisher, always make sure there is a clear path for evacuation if necessary. Then follow the PASS method to operate the extinguisher:

  1. Pull - Pull the pin; this releases the locking mechanism.
  2.  Aim - Always aim low, toward the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze - Spray the extinguisher by squeezing the handle.
  4. Sweep - Use a side-to-side sweeping motion to most effectively cover the fire.

After following these steps, if the fire is not yet out or if it re-ignites, use your evacuation route and wait for emergency services to arrive.

While knowing how to effectively use a fire extinguisher can aid in limiting fire damage, personal safety should always be your top priority. Whenever a fire has taken place, it's wise to have a fire damage assessment to ensure the building's safety before returning.

What You Need To Know About Storm Damage and Flooding

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Storm damage is a headache. SERVPRO knows this, which is why we're available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What You Should Know About Flooding And Storm Damage

When it comes to storm or flood damage in Fall City, WA, knowing how these things are different may help you when it comes time to conduct repairs on your business property. Many insurance companies categorize these as two separate types of damage under your policy. Here's what you may want to know.

What Is Storm Caused Damage?

Storm damage is often considered to be any damage caused by nature. Damages in this category may include

• Wind damage
• Hail damage
• Flooding caused by rain
• Broken gutters
• Fallen tree limbs

What Is Flood Caused Damage?

Flood damage is often considered to be a separate category from damage caused by a storm. Floodwater can be caused by a number of factors not related to nature. These include

• Broken or leaking pipes
• Water from fire suppression efforts
• Water from irrigation systems
• Sewer overflow

What Are Clean Up Methods?

Understanding the type of damage caused to your place of business can help when it comes time to conduct repairs. Different types of damage can require different repair methods. In many cases hiring a damage restoration service can help. These professionals have the tools and knowledge needed to deal with a variety of damages, including flooding, storm-related property destruction, and any potential mold problems that could result.

If your business has suffered damages, it's best to begin the repair process quickly in order to prevent further issues. Your insurance company might ask you to board over the damaged area. It might also be necessary to thoroughly dry the zone and inspect for possible mold growth or structural damages. In many cases, your policy may include coverage for repair costs.

When it comes to flood damage you want to protect your business. Understanding the difference between flood and storm damage can help when it comes time to talk to your insurance company and begin the repair process. If you have any questions, a professional may be able to help.

3 Things to Know About Flood Insurance

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

In many cases flood insurance will not cover business property located outside the building.

Flood Insurance: Three Things to Know

In the event your Fall City, WA, business has experienced flooding then you may be wondering what exactly may be included in your flood insurance policy. Fortunately, while insurance policies may vary, many contain similar coverage.

1. What May Be Covered

Most commercial insurance policies will cover the cost of damages to your building and any contents in the event of a flood. In some cases, they may even recommend a water damage restoration service to conduct the cleanup and repairs. These services may also be able to restore electronics or any documentation that may have been damaged as well.

2. What May Not Be Covered

In many cases flood insurance will not cover business property located outside the building. This can include company vehicles or any landscaping. Most insurance policies also do not cover flooding caused by neglect. This means that it is the businesses responsibility to conduct any repairs as soon as a problem is found. Losses to the business caused by having to shut down for repairs may also not be covered.

3. How Risk Factor Is Determined

Many parts of your insurance policy may be impacted by your flooding risk. Factors that could play into your flood risk include the location of your business, and average weather type for your area. if the business is built in a flood zone or you experience heavy rains regularly, you may want to purchase extra coverage for anything not included under your policy.

Knowing what's contained in your flood insurance policy is the responsibility of the policyholder. However, many flood policies contain similar insurance coverage. These packages may include situations such a storm damages or broken pipes. It may not include property outside the building, or flooding caused by acts of neglect. To know what exactly is in your policy it is recommended that you talk to your insurance agent.

Disaster Recovery With SERVPRO

3/6/2022 (Permalink)

In SERVPRO we pride ourselves on being faster to any size disaster. We know that the faster we arrive and start restoration, less damage will spread.

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery

Have you ever wondered about the green SERVPRO trucks you probably see driving through Fall City, WA? You may know the service teams clean up after water emergencies for homeowners, but you probably didn’t know the teams also provide nationwide disaster recovery help in the following three ways.

1. Here to Help

No matter where the flood, tornado, temperature drop, or hurricane is located, there are over 1,600 SERVPRO local franchises that are ready to help when the corporate office calls. Furthermore, the corporate office can aid any type of disaster with crucial equipment that the individual companies may not have after a disaster strikes. SERVPRO’s corporate officers did just that after the storm damage of 2017 hurricane Irma and the recent California wildfires. The motto Here to Help has certainly been proven true.

2. Faster to Any Disaster

No matter what type of storm strikes, or whether the disaster is city wide or covers part of an entire state, the SERVPRO disaster recovery teams try to follow their slogan of being Faster to Any Disaster. Both the corporate personnel and franchise employees have proven time and again that they are ready to help at a moment’s notice; so, no matter where the floodwater, fires, or other disasters make strike, the team members are there to provide a quick storm response.

3. “Like it never even happened.”

Not only is SERVPRO’s corporate office able to rally the individual franchises to a disaster, but they can also use their many years of experience to direct the teams about where to go and how best to provide aid in the disaster scenarios. The goal of any of the specially IICRC trained franchise employees is to create a disaster scene that is “Like it never even happened.”

Whether the disaster is local or on the other side of the state, SERVPRO franchises and their corporate officers are both there to help. No wonder most insurance companies call SERVPRO to help their insured clients at the first sign a disaster recovery is needed.

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Broken Pipes?

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

To avoid costly cleanup from a flood restoration company, make sure you understand the limitations and coverage from your insurance provider.

Is My Homeowner's Insurance Going To Cover A Burst Pipe?

Most people in North Bend, WA, have experienced plumbing issues at home. In many cases, these situations are minor and lead to moderate cleanup and repair efforts. However, if a flood occurs in your house due to problems with water pipes, you could be in for a costly, time-consuming mess.

Fortunately, you have homeowner’s insurance. But does your policy handle such circumstances? The answers can vary.

How Flooding Can Occur From Broken Pipes

Anyone who has ever owned a home realizes that eventually most systems, components, parts, and appliances will eventually break down. However, you want to fix a broken pipe quickly to avoid disastrous water problems. Pipes can break due to the following causes:

  • Normal wear and tear and deterioration
  • Improper installation or faulty materials
  • Neglect or willful disregard on your part
  • Unexpected plumbing issues

When Insurance Won’t Provide Coverage

As a homeowner, you have the responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of your home. This includes paying attention to items that need repair and replacement. You can’t expect insurance coverage when you neglect to do your part. Worse, if you intentionally break something, the replacement will be completely up to you.

Plumbing Malfunction

Sometimes, incidents occur that are completely out your control. If a pipe suddenly breaks in your home and causes a flood, and it wasn’t something that happened because of gradual deterioration or your own neglect, your insurance should cover the costs and damages.

Poor Installation or Equipment

It’s crucial that a licensed, competent plumber installs your pipes. This way, you can have confidence that everything will function properly. If leakage or flooding occurs because the pipes themselves are faulty or because the plumber made an error in installation, you should have insurance coverage.

To avoid costly cleanup from a professional flood restoration company, make sure you understand the limitations and coverage from your insurance provider. Keep these guidelines in mind when you purchase a home.

Join SERVPRO – It’s a Great Entrepreneur’s Franchise

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s technicians are not only available for 24-hour emergency service, but they are also certified by IICRC.

Join SERVPRO - It's A Fantastic Entrepreneurial Opportunity!

There are many disaster remediation companies throughout the United States, but what other companies may be missing is the stanch and stalwart reputation SERVPRO has built up over the years. As the top-rated restoration and cleanup industry for the past decade, the insurance industry has come to rely on each local SERVPRO franchise to help with both flood disaster relief, and home water and mold remediation in Issaquah, WA. Here are three reasons to join SERVPRO today.

1. Industry Recognition

Although each of the franchises is locally owned, the brand name is nationally recognized as a water, flood, and mold remediation service that can be relied upon at a moment’s notice. Consumers could select any of the restoration companies, but when disaster strikes, it is SERVPRO the customer calls for help. That means when you join the company team, you already have a reputation for service at a fair price working for you.

2. Support System

A SERVPRO franchise doesn’t stand alone. There are more than 1,600 other franchises that are there to help you by answering questions or coming to your aid during a large disaster. That also means that customers can find a SERVPRO service almost anywhere they travel, and insurance companies can locate a trusted representative after a disaster that can help get their customer’s homes back to the point the disaster looks “Like it never even happened.”

3. Reliable Technicians

SERVPRO’s technicians are not only available for 24-hour emergency service, but they are also certified by one of the industry’s most stringent regulators, the IICRC. Trained in the lasted technology, they are leaders in the restoration field.

You know the name, why not join the team? Join the other franchises and let your crew provide peace of mind as they restore life in the midst of a disaster. If you like helping people, find a SERVPRO franchise and become one of the good guys that saves homes after a catastrophe.

Flood Damaged Documents Can Be Saved

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

If you find yourself, or one of your insured in need of document restoration services, turn to SERVPRO to help you restore those valued items.

Documents That Have Been Damaged By Flooding Can Be Saved.

Imagine if a three-foot wave of water hit North Bend, WA. The business documents, company records, and personal keepsakes that would be impacted by the water would be tremendous. Many of the documents can be critical to the every-day business of companies, while other documents, such as tax records or credit and debit accounts would be very difficult to replace. If you find yourself, or one of your insured in need of document restoration services, turn to SERVPRO to help you restore those valued items.

When Does Restoration Work?

Even 30 years ago, if a valuable paper item was flood damaged, it was considered an insurance write-off because most of the time it could not be restored. Not only were the pages bacteria infused, but the dirt and chemicals could not be removed.

Thanks to a special freeze-drying technique, that is no longer the case. Paper items such as

  • Business files
  • Manuscripts
  • X-rays
  • Photographs
  • Books
  • Parchment

can be put through a document drying process and restored to near pre-flood condition. The advanced technology is the same one the Library of Congress used to remove mold, bacteria, and dirt from their most valuable documents.

How Does Restoration Work?

There are two methods of document restoration often used by SERVPRO technicians. The first is making a digital representation of the document. This saves space and keeps them safe from future damage. The second is the freeze-drying method mentioned above which extracts all the water from the damaged documents while keeping the pages intact and doing so without the brittleness that often accompanies water soaked papers.

How Does Restoration Help You?

Whether you are an adjuster, insured, or company owner, SERVPRO’s document drying can save you money because they process the documents themselves. The technicians have been trained with the latest equipment available, and they can work quickly and efficiently to get the job done.

You can trust this reputable company with your document restoration needs. Give them a call and find out what services they have to offer.

Save or Keep: What Becomes of the Building Materials in Your Home When They Get Wet?

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

Is water damage present in your home? Call SERVPRO for all your restoration needs. Our crew is always available to take your call and answer any quest

When Building Materials In Your Home Get Wet, Should You Save Or Keep Them?

A lot can go wrong when you have a flood at home. Even moderate water issues can cause serious problems. This should put you on guard and look out for swelling wood in your countertops, cabinets, furniture and subfloor and for problems with drywall, cabinets and other items in your Issaquah, WA, house. Recognize important signs of damage, and you’ll know whether you can keep these items or whether you need to toss them out.

Flood Causes and Issues

No matter how well you prepare, you can’t completely prevent water damage in your home. Flooding can occur because of some of the following problems:

  • Supply line deterioration or malfunction
  • Broken pipes
  • Severe weather

In addition, the following are some of the most commonly affected areas in your home during a flood:

  • Drywall
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Electronics

What to Throw Out

A disaster restoration team can help you determine what you may salvage and what must go. Generally, if you see swollen wood, you won’t be able to save it. This often occurs in your floor or even with furniture and items such as shelves. Also, if you detect mold following a flood, you need to replace the affected area.

What to Keep

Following a flood, you’ll worry about things such as water pipe repair, but you’ll also want to save as much of your home as you can. Fortunately, you can often save drywall. A professional cleanup team will thoroughly dry and clean the area. As long as it doesn’t have mold, you should still be able to use it. Also, if the wood isn’t swollen, you can save it and continue to use it.

Unless you notice swelling wood or mold, you can salvage the building materials of your home after a flood. Consult a professional if you’re not sure it’s safe to keep these materials.

Effective Ways To Prepare Your Business for Winter Storm Damage and Restoration

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

You can trust our trained team to restore your business or home after a storm, so it's "Like it never even happened."

Ways To Prepare Your Business For Storm Damage And Restoration During The Winter

When a winter storm is threatening your business, your first priority will be preparing the building to withstand any damage the weather will bring. But it’s also important to develop a restoration plan in the event of any effects from snow, ice, and wind. By keeping a few simple guidelines in mind as you brace for the destruction of a storm, you can ensure your business in Issaquah, WA, will be up and running again after bad weather passes.

1. Check your plumbing.

A pipe break as the result of frozen water in your plumbing system can cause catastrophic flooding. To avoid this, conduct a thorough check of your business before the storm hits and seal off any drafts or cracks in the walls and roof that can allow cold air to leak in, causing a temperature drop. Be sure to shut off all plumbing during a winter weather event to prevent frozen water from accumulating inside pipes.

2. Develop a snow and ice removal plan.

Heavy snow and ice that lingers on the roof of your building can cause a dangerous collapse, and dirty snow piled in front of your business will repel customers and potentially increase the risk of liability claims due to slip and falls. Make sure you’re contracted with a reliable snow removal service before a winter storm hits so you can minimize its effects and reopen your business as soon as possible.

3. Maintain an inventory.

If the worst happen and your business sustains storm damage, you’ll need to submit records of all assets to your insurance company for coverage. Keeping detailed inventory will streamline the claims process while you work to repair the building. A professional storm restoration company can assist you in the cleanup process so you can recover as many assets as possible.

A winter storm can be a stressful event for any business owner. By taking the proper steps both before and after a winter weather event, you can protect and restore your building from damage.

Insurance Adjusters Don’t Have Time for Needy Vendors

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

An insurance adjuster can depend on SERVPRO to do the job quickly and to the highest standards.

Insurance Adjusters Are Too Busy To Help Needy Vendors

A favorite buzzword of advertisers is set and forget. It applies to devices that do their job without supervision. Ask an insurance adjuster if that should apply to contractors. Not surprisingly, the answer would be yes. Adjusters have more important things to do than deal with needy vendors. Their responsibilities include:

  • Processing insurance claims
  • Inspecting damage
  • Verifying coverage
  • Determining compensation
  • Negotiating settlements
  • Issuing payouts

Smart Contractors Understand That the Adjuster’s Time Is Valuable

When the adjuster and the contractor agree on the job and the price, the contractor takes over. The two shouldn’t connect again until the work is complete. Unless there is a change in scope, the contractor should complete the work unassisted.

An insurance adjuster never wants to hear that there is a change in scope. It shouldn’t happen, but it comes with the territory. Here are a few situations where the adjuster must get involved before the completion of the work.

1. The contractor discovers additional damage. The adjuster missed something. There was some hidden damage not in the original insurance claim. The contractor discovered unrelated problems like mold. These all require the adjuster to revisit the claim and adjust it.

2. The client is obstructing the work. The contractor may only have limited access to the job site. The client is requesting something more than a straightforward restoration. Any time the client inhibits the restoration effort, it is a problem for the contractor. It is a problem for the adjuster if the contractor cannot resolve it.

3. Restoration forces compliance with current zoning laws. Assume that an event covered by your insurance destroyed your front stairs. Also, assume that those original front stairs didn't follow current zoning regulations. The contractor discovered this, and the job has suddenly changed. The new stairs must conform to the current zoning restrictions.

An insurance adjuster can depend on SERVPRO to do the job quickly and to the highest standards. This quality work happens in North Bend,WA, and across the country. SERVPRO is here to help.

Burns in the Workplace: Understanding Basic First Aid for Minor Burns

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

First aid on minor burns requires the use of cool water, not cold. Cold water can increase the pain for the victim.

Understanding Basic First Aid For Minor Burns In The Workplace

While fire damage is a concern for many industrial businesses, many employers and employees may forget basic burn first aid. Granted, when a burn is significant it is obvious to call for emergency assistance, but when an injury is minor, it is easy to ignore the issue and assume it will get better on its own.

1. Cool the Area

When a minor burn occurs, you should either hold the wound under cool running water or apply a wet compress to ease the pain. First aid on minor burns requires the use of cool water, not cold. Cold water can increase the pain for the victim.

2. Remove Jewelry

Fire damage to property does not typically continue to worsen after a fire is over. However, a burned finger or limb will likely swell and blister after the initial injury, which is why you should remove all jewelry. If a finger swells with a ring on, it can lose circulation, which can create a further injury that may require medical attention.

3. Apply Lotion and Don’t Break Blisters

You can and should apply aloe vera lotion or moisturizer to a burn, but only after it has cooled. This lotion can help with pain and assist with healing. However, you should never break open a blister caused by a burn because these fluid-filled buildups actually protect against infection.

4. Bandage the Burn and Call for Help If Needed

Once you have completed the above steps, you can bandage the wound. You will want to use sterile gauze, wrapping it loosely to avoid putting pressure on the burn. The bandage minimizes exposure and protects any blisters on the skin. If pain persists or you have any further questions, you could contact a fire remediation specialist in the Issaquah, WA, area who may be able to give more insight into first aid practices.

Fire damage to property is apparent but burns and the necessary first aid may not be. Employers and employees should be aware of the above first aid steps in case of a minor burn injury.

How To Deal with Water Dripping From a Light Fixture

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Once you're sure the electricity is off, undo the cover of the light fixtures and drain away any water.

What To Do If A Light Fixture Is Dripping Water

If you've had water damage in your Mirrormount, WA, home, whether from a severe storm or a broken pipe, you might have flooding on the first or second story that could cause ceiling damage. This can lead to other problems, such as water in light fixtures, which poses a serious danger of:

  • Shock injuries
  • Electrical shorts
  • Breakers popping
  • Electrical fires

So what should you do if water is dripping from a light fixture?

1. Inspect the Ceiling

If you see water in a light fixture, look for water pooling around nearby fixtures, as more than one may be saturated. Make sure you've found all the affected areas before proceeding to the next step.

2. Turn off the Electricity

Next, turn off the electricity to eliminate any danger of electrocution. Make sure you turn off the circuit breaker and not just the wall switch! Once you're sure the electricity is off, undo the cover of the light fixtures and drain away any water. Then, take a towel and soak up any excess water.

3. Turn off the Water

If the damage has been caused by a plumbing problem such as a broken pipe or a backed-up toilet, turn the water off. This will not only stop the water from dripping through the fixture, but may prevent the ceiling from becoming saturated and collapsing.

4. Call a Professional

Once you've turned off the water and electricity, it's probably a good idea to contact a professional water restoration company. Trying to tackle this problem on your own may not be a good idea, as there can be hidden problems that could cause more damage, not to mention safety issues with the electrical repairs. The restoration technicians can come out immediately to assess the situation. They have the experience and specialized equipment to make a thorough, safe repair.

Having water in a light fixture is not something you ever want to have to deal with. But if you follow the tips outlined above, you'll know how to safely handle it if it ever happens.

How Do You Flood Proof a House?

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend team was recently called to a home that had experienced severe flood damage after recent heavy rains.

What Is The Best Way To Flood-Proof A House?

Flood damage may seem inevitable. Even if your home is located on a flood plain or near the coast, there are several measures you can take to increase flood safety and flood proof a residence in North Bend, WA.

Outdoor Flood Proofing

There are several retrofitting measures that may reduce the severity of flooding:

  • Adjust the grading or slope of your property so water will drain away from the foundation
  • Apply sealing treatments to exterior walls
  • Anchor and elevate HVAC units, fuel tanks, and generators

If flooding is a frequent problem, consider investing in foundation vents that allow water to flow through the base of your home.

Indoor Flood Proofing

You may want to consider a combination of preventative and flood safety measures inside. If the municipal sewer system or septic tank at your residence back up, you should consider installing preventative valves.

• A backflow valve can keep sewer water from flooding your home
• A gate valve can provide a stronger seal than a check valve or flap valve

If flooding is on the forecast, you should take immediate action.

• Raise circuit breakers, sockets, switches, and wires
• Situate powered connections at least a foot above the anticipated flood level
• Elevate appliances and contents

You should also keep basic safety tips in mind. Exercise care when switching off electricity, particularly if this involves crossing standing water. All of these measures may limit the extent of flood damage.

Preventative Measures

You may also want to obtain materials to prevent water from penetrating your house. Keep burlap bags, sand, and shovels on hand or invest in re-usable sandbag alternatives.

If a flood affects your home, focus primarily on flood safety. Trying to flood proof a structure is less important than staying safe in the event of a disaster. Rely on a water and storm damage mitigation company to restore your residence in North Bend, WA.

How To Keep Your Pipes from Freezing

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

If you've already had frozen pipes burst and the water has caused damage to your home, you can rely on SERVPRO, call us!

What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze

As the weather gets colder, the possibility of frozen pipes in your Fall City, WA, home becomes a real concern. If you have a pipe freeze, the water inside can expand and the pipe can burst. Luckily, if you follow the steps outlined below, you have a good chance of preventing this problem from ever happening.

1. Insulate

Any pipes in unheated places, like basements and crawlspaces, should be wrapped in insulation such as fiberglass or foam rubber sleeves. Use as much insulation as you can.

2. Maintain a Stable Temperature

Keeping the temperature the same all the time also helps prevent frozen pipes. Having the thermostat set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit will not only help keep the pipes from freezing, but it will also prevent contraction and expansion, which can weaken pipes and cause them to leak.

3. Keeps Faucets Running

Let your faucets run at a slow drip when the weather gets cold. This can prevent pipes from freezing by making sure that pressure doesn't build up inside. Even if the water freezes, it won't be able to cause the pipe to burst.

4. Close Valves, Open Valves

Any valves that supply water to the outside should be closed. Any outside valves should be opened to allow any water that's inside to flow out.

5. If a Frozen Pipe Is Found

If you turn on the faucet during a cold snap and hardly any water comes out, a pipe has probably frozen. Check along the exterior wall to find the pipe, or look to see where the water line comes through the foundation to enter the house. Once the problem area is located, use a heating pad or a hair dryer to warm up the pipe, allowing the water to run while you do it.

If you've already had frozen pipes burst and the water has caused damage to your home, you may want to contact a professional water restoration company to take care of the repairs. Hopefully, this hasn't happened yet, and by following the tips laid out in this article, you won't ever have to make that call.

3 Tips for Identifying Mold

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Call us when you have mold growth in your home, SERVPRO is always ready to respond when you need it most!

3 Mold Detection Techniques

If you’re looking at doing a mold inspection for your Preston, WA, home then odds are you have something in your home you want to identify. A mold remediation specialist can take a look at any trouble areas and let you know if you have mold, and what your best course of action may be. Here are a few things they may look at during this process.

1. The Color

Mold can have a variety of colors depending on spore type. Molds that thrive outdoors may be orange or red in color. Indoor molds tend to vary between whites, grays, lighter green, and brown. Black mold tends to be darker greens, grays and black as indicated by the name. While certain species of molds tend to have specific colors, it can be difficult to tell which is which by color alone.

2. The Shape

During the mold inspection the shape and appearance of the potential mold growth may give some indication as to if and what type of mold is present. Mold generally has more depth to it than mildew, and may look fuzzy or gritty depending on type. Molds thriving in wet conditions can look slimy as well.

3. The Growth Pattern

In many cases the growth pattern can be an indication of if you’re looking at house mold or mildew. Mold spreads quickly and often grows into the material where it has settled. Mildew had a slower growth rate and can be wiped off the surface in question. If it’s determined that mold is present, it’s best to begin the removal process as quickly as possible to prevent further infestation.

Using these traits, the professional conducting your mold inspection can determine if you have a mold problem in your home, and what type it is. If you do have mold then you can begin the mold removal process, and take any steps you may need to prevent future problems.

Why Is There Mold In My House?

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

A home found a major mold growth when the homeowner went up in the attic. They immediately called us, and we helped them quickly and efficiently.

What Is The Source Of The Mold In My Home?

If you've had to tackle a mold problem more than once, you may be wondering why it grows in your Issaquah, WA, house. The truth is that mold is a natural part of the environment. When it's outside, mold breaks down dead matter, such as leaves and old trees. Mold reproduces by shooting out spores that can hang in the air and are easily transported by the wind, pets, and your shoes. If there is a wet spot or high levels of humidity in your home, mold, including black mold, could get tracked in and begin establishing a colony.

The Right Conditions for Mold Growth

There are several common moisture situations that could increase the risk of your mold in your home, including

• Aging appliances
• Broken pipes
• Broken water supply line
• Flooding
• Hidden leaks
• High humidity

It's impossible to completely get rid of all the mold and spores in your home. After all, you're probably tracking it in on a regular basis. However, there are many things you can do to decrease the risk of black mold development.

Clean Up Existing Mold

The first step is to conduct a thorough mold cleanup process. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to do this yourself. If the affected area covers a large space, if it's difficult to find the source of the growth, or if you're not confident that you've found all of the mold, it's best to contact a mold remediation professional.

Cut Down the Moisture in Your Home

The next step is to focus on controlling your moisture problem. This means responding immediately whenever you find a dripping pipe or leaking house. Don't forget to look into dark, moist areas, such as inside your HVAC system. Although mold exists naturally, you can control black mold growth in your home with a quick response to any areas of moisture.

Beginning the Fire Insurance Claims Process

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Your fire insurance policy should cover alternative housing, such as a hotel or a rental home, until such time as repairs can be completed

The First Steps In Filing A Fire Insurance Claim

After the initial response to a fire, fire restoration cannot begin until the homeowner makes an accurate assessment of the expected costs. Contact your insurer to begin the claims process immediately, but keep the following tips in mind to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible in North Bend, WA.

1. Safety and Salvage

Comply with local building and zoning laws to ascertain whether your home is still in livable condition and compliant with relevant fire codes. Your fire insurance policy should cover alternative housing, such as a hotel or a rental home, until such time as repairs can be completed. If there is no immediate risk, then the homeowner should make sure that no further damage is in progress, as this may not be covered by the policy. For example, any water used to suppress the fire should be drained and adjacent surfaces dried. Be especially careful of any exposed wiring or other electrical systems that may have incurred damage.

2. Documentation

The insurance agency will prepare to send and adjuster to validate your claims. You can expedite this process by taking photographs of affected areas and making a detailed list of damaged items. Depending on your coverage, you will likely also need to keep a list of your immediate expenses related to the fire. Do not begin any fire restoration or repairs at this stage.

3. Claims and Repairs

Once the claim has been confirmed and the insurance agency has determined the amount and type of repairs needed, the steps toward restoring your property to its normal condition can begin. For example, a qualified fire cleanup service may begin a smoke cleaning method during which soot and residue are removed from the ceiling and walls.

A prudent fire plan includes not only an adequate insurance policy, but also the required knowledge to get the required fire restoration started. Prevent unnecessary delays by familiarizing yourself with your insurer’s claims process.

Water Damage to Two or More Floors: What Do You Do?

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

If your building has sustained sewer damage, help is just a phone call away. SERVPRO is always ready to respond.

What Should You Do If You Have Water Damage on Two or More Floors?

If a flooded toilet has caused sewer damage to two or more floors of your Fall City, WA, building, it's important to act quickly. If action isn't taken right away, it's likely that more destruction can occur. There may be pathogen contamination from bacteria or mold, as well as more damage to the structure. That's why you need to call a professional sewage company immediately.

A water damage mitigation specialist can assess the situation. Here's what they do to take care of the problem:

1. Inspection and Assessment

As soon as they get there, the water mitigation experts inspect the premises to determine the nature of the damage. They can sample the water to see what kind of contaminants are in it. Once they assess the situation, they can determine which specialized equipment and techniques are useful in tackling the problem.

2. Contents Removal

Next comes the removal of all items from the areas affected by sewer damage. All furniture, business equipment, electronics, important documents and other contents are taken outside or to a dry area of the building. After determining what can be salvaged, these items are cleaned, disinfected and dried.

3. Water Removal

Once everything has been taken out, special equipment, such as truck-mounted extraction units and sump pumps, is brought in to remove the water and debris. Any damaged and saturated materials, such as drywall and carpeting, are taken out at this time. All remaining surfaces are thoroughly disinfected.

4. Excess Moisture Extraction

After most of the water is removed, measures are taken to eliminate any remaining sources of hidden moisture and humidity. Heavy-duty dehumidifiers and air movers are utilized to make sure everything is completely dry.

5. Repair and Restoration

The last step is to make the necessary structural repairs and cosmetic restoration to the damaged areas. Depending on the extent of the damage, this might range from repairing drywall and painting to reconstruction of entire rooms.

If your building has sustained sewer damage, help is just a phone call away. A professional water restoration company can have you up and running again in no time.

3 Steps for Minimizing Water Damage

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

We arrived at this home to find standing water on the first floor. We immediately extracted the water and began the drying process efficiently.

Water Damage Prevention In Three Easy Steps

It doesn't take long for a kitchen leak to turn into kitchen flooding. When you have unwanted water in the home and while you're waiting for water damage restoration professionals to arrive, take the following steps to minimize or prevent damage. After addressing immediate circumstances, don't forget to contact your insurance agent.

1. Maintain Safety

Determine whether it's safe for you and your family to remain in the home. Sometimes flooding water in home settings leads to slips and falls or electrical hazards. Be careful about lifting water-logged objects. Stick to repair tasks that are you know are safe; don't mess with gas supply lines or work in areas where water and electricity are both present.

2. Shut Off the Water

Most of the water-related repairs you do in your home won't require more than shutting of the indoor supply valve. However, you should also know where your main water supply is located. There should be an indoor cutoff valve beneath the fixtures in your home. For instance, if you're completing a kitchen repair, check under the sink for a knob connected to the water pipes. The shutoff switch for many appliances, such as the dishwasher, is located on the appliance itself.

3. Remove Excess Water

Mop or vacuum water (with a wet-dry shop vac) as quickly as possible to prevent water from sitting on wood or carpeted floors. Remove wet furnishings and set up as much ventilation as possible to get the area dried out. Portable items, such as rugs, fine art, couch cushions, small tables, and appliances, should be carried into a dry area to prevent further risk of damage.

Water damage restoration professionals can do a lot toward getting your home back into good condition. When you take quick action to turn off the water and clean up as much of the flooding as possible before the Mirrormount, WA, professionals arrive, your home will be in even better shape.

Dealing with Fire and Water Damage After a Fire

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage in Fall City, WA.

If your business has experienced a fire that was put out by firefighters, you have more than just fire damage to contend with. A fire hose can easily deliver over 100 gallons of water per minute, sometimes even up to 1000 gallons per minute. While some of this will evaporate due to the heat of the fire, you’re likely to be left with significant water damage once the smoke clears. This can be disheartening, but an experienced fire restoration company in Fall City, WA, should be fully equipped to handle damage from both fire and water.

Cleaning Up After a Fire

When you contact a fire restoration specialist, the first thing the professionals will do is come to your building to assess the fire damage and make a plan for the cleanup. If the fire has burned large openings in your walls or roof, they will board these holes up and cover them with plastic sheeting. This prevents further damage from wind, rain or snow and ensures your property is safe from theft. Once these preliminary steps have been taken, the actual cleanup can begin.

1. Removing the Water

Water removal is usually the first step in a post-fire cleanup. Submersible pumps are deployed if there is a large excess of water. Otherwise, powerful vacuums and industrial dryers are used to completely dry out the area.

2. Soot and Smoke Removal

Once everything is dry, soot and smoke are scrubbed from the interior services. This process can include wet-cleaning carpets, foam cleaning furniture and ultra-sonic cleaning glass, plastic, rubber, metal or ceramic objects in hard-to-reach places.

3. Repair and Restoration

The final step is the removal of damaged materials. Burnt drywall and flooring are replaced with new materials and restored to pre-fire condition. Once the fire restoration company in Fall City, WA, has cleaned or replaced all the materials affected by water or fire damage, your business will be ready to reopen.

Dealing With Water Damage Post-Fire

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Home fire in North Bend, WA.

Managing Water Damage Post-Fire

Dealing with fire damage after a fire can be stressful in and of itself, but adding water damage to the mix can be the icing on a burnt cake. Prolonged use of a fire hose can result in moisture issues, damaged items and structural problems. Fortunately, you can prevent excessive damage by taking care of those water problems right away—or rather, by hiring a North Bend, WA, water restoration team to cleanup the damage for you. Your local remediation team can help reduce damage caused by a handful of common problems:

• Moisture damage from the hose
• Moisture damage from a sprinkler system
• Damage caused by burst pipes
• Cleanup after a sewage backup

Cleanup Efforts You Can Perform

Depending on the extent of the fire, your remediation team may or may not be able to arrive right away. Because mold can develop within 24 hours of a water problem, and because sitting water and fire damage can be harmful to your home’s structure, you may want to take measures yourself to prevent as much damage as possible. Here are a few things you can do before help arrives:

• Limit movement within the home to prevent soot particles from further embedding themselves into your carpet and upholstery.
• Place towels or old linens over carpet, upholstery and other furniture.
• Change your HVAC filter and tape cheesecloth over air registers.
• Wash the leaves of your houseplants and remove them from the home for the time being.

You should only stick around to do the above if your home is in a safe condition. If you think that your home is not safe to be in, use your better judgment and stay out of it until help arrives.

If your home was recently in a fire, it is understandable if you want to begin the remediation process as soon as possible. However, use your better judgment and only enter the home if you think it is safe to do so. More importantly, call your North Bend, WA, fire damage restoration team for help with the bulk of the cleanup.

Help I Have Mildew in My Bathroom

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Bathroom infested with mold.

Help My bathroom Is Infested with Mildew

Have you noticed mildew growth in your Issaquah, WA, bathroom? Tile and grout commonly house black bathroom mildew. While the growth is troublesome, you can easily get rid of it by scheduling regular cleanings with a mold removal team. As you tackle this issue, you need to know a few things.

  • Why is it there?
  • What cleaners can get rid of it?
  • How do you stop it from coming back?

Use this guide to help you better understand how to deal with this unfortunate mold problem.

Why Is It There?

Mildew, like other forms of mold, is typically introduced into a space due to a humidity problem. Bathrooms are notorious for having major issues with too much moisture. Whether you take steamy showers, have a faucet leak or splash bath water out of the tub, your bathroom could be damp enough to welcome mildew growth. If this moisture is left unaddressed, you may see various fungus growths in your space.

What Cleaners Can Get Rid of It?

Do you prefer natural cleaning methods? Do you want to use strong cleaners to get to the root of the problem? Regardless of the method you prefer, your mold remediation experts may offer a few different cleaners that can be used to get rid of bathroom mildew. The cleaning process is similar for both types of cleaners. You have to apply the solution, scrub the affected areas and rinse the cleaner away.

How Do You Stop It From Coming Back?

Once you have cleaned your bathroom of this growth, you likely don’t want to see it again. You may be able to prevent mildew by adding extra ventilation in your bathroom or finding other ways to control moisture. Wiping down the shower walls after showering can help remove extra droplets from the environment. Cleaning up spills and fixing leaks is another important step in prevention.

Bathroom mildew is a common problem in homes across Issaquah, WA. Regular cleaning and professional assistance can help you manage this issue.

Why a Business Continuity Plan Is Essential

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Taking the time to develop a strong business continuity plan today can provide peace of mind in the long run.

Every business in Northbend, WA, is potentially vulnerable to a variety of threats including natural disasters, fires, and computer system malfunctions. When disaster strikes, you need to quickly resume normal business operations, or you may face costly business losses. Because disasters can occur unexpectedly, your best protection is a well-devised business continuity plan.

Continuity Plan Benefits

A business continuity plan helps you prepare in advance for potentially destructive events. Businesses that develop emergency response plans often experience improved coordination and quicker recovery times, which provide several important benefits:
• Ensures the safety of personnel during and after the crisis
• Helps contain hazards quickly and efficiently, reducing the risk of additional damage
• Enhances ability to salvage equipment
• Minimizes financial loses
• Allows essential business operations to continue with minimal interruption

Common Misconceptions

There are three common misconceptions that cause some businesses to discount the importance of disaster planning.

1. Believing Personnel Will Know How To React

Fires, floods, and other disasters are frightening situations that can cause disorder and confusion. Without proper guidance and training, your staff may not know how to efficiently respond to a crisis, which may result in detrimental consequences.

2. Relying Exclusively on Insurance Coverage

Your insurance policy is a vital financial safety net that enables you to replace damaged equipment and successfully complete the cleanup and restoration process. However, it may not help you financially recover from losses such as delayed product release dates or diminished customer interest.

3. Deeming the Process Excessively Time-Consuming

Emergency response planning does require significant time and effort. However, if you do not have a plan in place and disaster strikes, you may jeopardize the welfare of your staff and waste critical time trying to devise a timely response that may be uncoordinated and ineffective.

Devise a Plan for Peace of Mind

Taking the time to develop a strong business continuity plan today can provide peace of mind in the long run. To complete the process, take the following steps:

• Conduct a risk assessment
• Analyze potential business impacts
• Brainstorm and implement prevention and mitigation strategies
• Test the plan and train staff
• Update the plan as needed

Your Most Pressing Questions Regarding Mold, Answered

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth can be a huge pain, but when you better understand it, you're better equipped to deal with it.

There is a lot of mixed information out there regarding mold growth, and it would require a lot of research to set all of the misconceptions to rights. While you could become an expert and read up on all the research, save yourself time and seek answers from your Issaquah, WA, mold remediation specialists. For your convenience, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

1. Can You Eat Bread With Mold On It?

It is not uncommon for individuals to cut out the green areas on a piece of bread and eat the rest of it. Doing this does not remove the mold from the slice, as it is likely inside the bread as well. Though most food molds are harmless, because there are a variety of types, it's recommended to steer clear of moldy food entirely. If your immune system is weak, it may respond poorly to foods with mold growth.

2. Where Is It Found?

Typically, mold is found in warm environments with high humidity. If you suspect that your home has it, look in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, the laundry room, and the basement.

3. How Do You Test for It?

Which mold test your water damage remediation team will use on your home depends on a number of factors. Some such factors include the location, the cause, and the extent of the damage.

4. Can It Be Prevented?

You can absolutely prevent mold and the damage it causes by taking a few simple measures, such as fixing any moisture issues as they arise, drying wet areas as quickly as possible, and ensuring your home is properly ventilated.

Mold growth can be a huge pain, but when you better understand it, you're better equipped to deal with it. For more answers to your mold-related questions, reach out to your Issaquah, WA, mold cleanup experts today.

Steps for Cleaning Your Crawlspace

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home.

A home flood in Issaquah, WA, can affect every inch of your home. Most of the storm damage is easy to see. Some areas, however, such as your crawlspace, may be flooded without your knowledge. After a thorough inspection, if you discover flood damage in your crawlspace, here are some tips for dealing with it.

1. Remove Items

While the name indicates a certain need for openness, in most homes, a crawlspace is not just an open space. Sometimes insulation is added, particularly in colder climates. They may also house parts of your HVAC unit, plumbing or wiring. Some homeowners may even use it as storage for keepsakes or seasonal items. When it is flooded, however, the restoration company you hire to remediate the water damage will need to remove all the items to determine if they can be salvaged.

2. Remove Water

After the space is cleared of items and debris, the next step of home flood remediation is removing the standing water in the space. An industrial sump pump or trash pump is typically used to complete this process. It siphons the water out of the crawlspace into a tank in the technicians' truck. From there they can safely dispose of it in another location.

3. Dry Surfaces

Once the crawlspace is emptied, the remaining surfaces may still be wet. They cannot be left this way or the space may develop a mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours, so the faster the area can be dried, the better. Technicians may use dehumidifiers to leach the moisture out of the air. High-powered fans can be used to increase airflow across the surfaces and evaporate moisture as the air moves outside.

Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home. Drying your crawlspace is an important factor in avoiding further water damage during a home flood.

Wading Through the Flood: Water Damage and Restoration Expectations

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage restoration services in Issaquah, WA.

Expectations for Water Damage and Restoration

The damage is done. Whether a burst pipe or torrential rains, a flooded home is a devastating thing to behold. The amount of tear out and restoration ahead may be too daunting to imagine. However, there are three basic steps that can help to guide you through this intimidating process.

Step 1: Remove Excess Water

While getting rid of extra water may seem like an obvious step, many homeowners fall into the trap of believing the water will recede on its own; however, basement floods and many other types of flooding need decisive action to minimize the amount of water damage. To mitigate extensive flood damage, it is imperative to remove water as quickly as possible, which can be done with the use of electric pumps.

Step 2: Tear Out Wet Materials

Mold can develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours; therefore, it is essential to remove all wet materials from the home. This especially includes drywall and insulation. Insulation can often be overlooked because it is hidden behind your walls, but it is the most likely culprit for mold growth after a flood.

Step 3: Dry the Remaining Structure

Once the water is gone and the damaged and dampened materials removed, it is time to start drying out your home. More often than not, drying a flood-damaged home will require the use of dehumidifiers and air movers to circulate the air through the home and ensure that there is no significant sign of moisture in the remaining structure.

Step 4: Restore the Home

Then, after the days and possibly weeks of tear out and drying, it will finally be time to make your house a home again. For that, you can do a quick internet search to find a storm restoration specialist in the Issaquah, WA, area. These companies are wonderful support for both your mitigation and restoration needs.

Floods are devastating, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you have water damage in your home, remove the water and wet materials, dry the structure, and contact professionals for help.

Improper Ice Dam Thawing and Its Moldy Aftermath

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage led to mold growth.

The Moldy Aftermath of Improper Ice Dam Thawing

Roof problems are not the only concern to have regarding an ice dam in Snoqualmie, WA. Your business can suffer from water damage and its secondary effects if it’s left untreated. As the roof heats up, excessive buildup seeps water into your property to create a wet environment that’s ideal for mold. Worst of all, the mold growth ends up in places where you may not notice without looking for it. Knowing how to deal with this winter nuisance saves your business from worse problems.

Stop the Dam Before It Accumulates

The drainage obstruction should be prevented to reduce the chance of having to deal with black mold. There are precautions you can take to stop one from forming during winter weather:

  • Ensuring periodic maintenance is done on the roof ventilation
  • Removing debris from drains, downspouts and gutters
  • Removing or relocating any trees that may spill leaves into the drainage system
  • Insulating areas above the ceiling properly
  • Removing snow or ice as it happens with a snow rake or professional service

Inspect Your Property

If an ice dam happens, it is important to know where to look for mold. Its melting makes water trickle and drip down the walls and ceiling. In as little as twenty-four hours, mold can grow between the walls by establishing itself deep in your building’s porous materials.

If your business has an attic, it is a location that should be inspected for mold due to its dark and warmer location. Even if the attic and interior seem clear, mold could still be lurking in less visible places.

Clean Up the Mold

Mold from an ice dam is most often not visible since it is between the walls. This makes it difficult to locate and remedy without the right tools and knowledge. Inspection and mold cleanup is best handled by an expert crew specializing in fixing water and mold damage. With the mold prevented or removed, your business can have a spring forward coming out of winter.

When To Maintain Your Furnace

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

A clean furnace that operates according to specifications can prevent this important appliance in your home from starting a fire.

Maintaining Your Furnace

Keeping the furnace in your home operating at maximum efficiency requires regular maintenance. The following tasks can prevent furnace fires and the need for fire cleaning. You can perform filter checks yourself, but you may want to schedule expert maintenance at least once a year in the fall before the cool weather starts.

Here are several simple maintenance tasks you can perform yourself:

  • Regular filter checks at least every month or two months, especially during the winter
  • Vacuum out dust or debris
  • Check burners for ignition and burner flame
  • Make sure the blower door forms a tight seal
  • Inspect fresh air intake and ventilation systems for any signs of blockage

An expert should perform a more thorough check of the connections, internal components, and outside termination of a furnace vent system once a year. This may lower the risk of furnace fires and reduce the likelihood that you will require fire cleaning as a result of a furnace fire. You may want to rely on an expert to:

  • Check gas pressure, static air pressure, and temperature rise
  • Perform an amp test draw on the blower motor
  • Test combustion gases to ensure that they meet unit specifications
  • Inspect the drainage system and internal hoses for blockage or leakage
  • Make sure the heat exchanger is not corroded
  • Clean the condensate drain and trap, and replace water in the trap
  • Remove and clean the blower wheel
  • Inspect wiring for any signs of damage

On average, furnace experts charge between $80 and $150 for an annual maintenance visit. Lower-priced furnace upkeep packages are not likely to be as thorough or include all of these steps. A clean furnace that operates according to specifications can prevent this important appliance in your home from starting a fire. If you do suffer a furnace fire, contact a residential restoration company in Snoqualmie,WA for both fire cleaning and smoke cleaning services.

Your Action Plan for Fixing Broken Pipes

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold reproduces by spreading microscopic spores throughout your home.

If you are like most homeowners in Fall City, WA, your home is your most significant investment. Not only do you expect your house to appreciate over time, but you also want it to be a comfortable place. As you probably know, few things can ruin the value and comfort of your home faster than a broken pipe. While bursting pipes require immediate attention, you must also take certain steps to contain secondary damage.

Water Gets Everywhere

Water is a liquid that has the potential to infiltrate virtually all parts of your home. Even if a broken pipe sprays water for just a few minutes, you could sustain damage to the following:

  • Drywall
  • Tile
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • Personal belongings

Plumbing Systems Break Down

Nothing lasts forever. Just as you must occasionally replace appliances, furniture and other things in your home, you must swap out old pipes for new ones. While you may be able to fix a broken pipe, you may also want to replumb your entire house to avoid future breaks.

Flooding Often Causes Extensive Damage

Some of your possessions should stay dry. If bursting pipes soak your belongings, you may need to throw them away. They may be salvageable, however. Before you toss your keepsakes into the trashcan, consider contacting a flood restoration service. Professional technicians have the equipment, knowledge and skill to analyze water damage and recommend a plan.

Mold Grows Quickly

Finally, you must think about post-flood mold growth. Mold reproduces by spreading microscopic spores throughout your home. As such, mold can show up within just a day or two of a flood. Fortunately, the same restoration service that can clean your personal belongings can likely remove mold from your home.

To preserve the comfort and value of your home, you must keep it dry. While bursting pipes can cause extensive damage, you can protect your home by acting quickly. With the right team, you can limit damage and make repairs quickly.

Are Your Smoke Detectors in Need of an Upgrade?

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Batteries in a fire detector can last up to 10 years.

These days it seems like everything's changing. Your phones want to be upgraded every year or two. Familiar logos become less familiar with each new rendition. Even that smoke alarm hanging in your kitchen may be in need of an update. As technology continues to improve, experts have found new and better ways to keep you and your family safe from home fires.

Modern Smoke Detectors

Did you know there are several types of detectors?

  • A heat detector is the oldest model. It sounds an alarm when the element inside reaches a specific temperature or when there's a rapid spike in temperature. These are generally not recommended for use in homes anymore because they don't sound an alarm quickly enough for residents to get out of the home.

  • The second type of smoke detector is the ionization alarm. This device contains a tiny bit of radioactive material. When smoke passes through the ionization chamber, an alarm sounds. This type of detector works well for fast-moving fires.

  • A photoelectric smoke alarm works by using a special light sensor. When smoke moves across the path of light, the alarm is activated. This detector is best for smoldering fires that take a while to develop.

  • Happily, there are combination alarms that combine the properties of ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends putting both types of detectors in your home, whether you choose models of each of the combinations.

Variations in Battery

There are also differences in where detectors get their power. The most common type of fire detector is the type that runs on 9-volt batteries. These batteries generally last for many years, in some cases up to 10 years, depending on the type of battery. Other alarms are interconnected and are powered through the same source.

Each smoke alarm in your home is a vital component in your family's fire prevention and safety system. Learn more about how and where to install alarms in your home by contacting a fire damage restoration company in Mirrormount, WA.

How to Protect Your Business From Water Damage During Construction

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

The best way to prevent your business from becoming flooded during construction is to plan ahead.

Doing construction on your business in Preston, WA, is exciting but can come with its own set of issues. Water damage can be one of these, but there are things you can do to help avoid water pipe repair and other causes. Follow these guidelines while construction is happening in order to reduce your chances of flooding.

Plan Accordingly

The best way to prevent your business from becoming flooded during construction is to plan ahead. This is something that you should do with your contractor before the crew begins work. Locate all mechanical and electrical equipment and move them away from high-risk areas. This is also a good time to check that the external walls have appropriate drainage planes. Obtaining a copy of the building plans can help with the planning stage.

Use Protective Coverings

Open areas are particularly vulnerable during construction. Using a protective tarp can help shield them from bad weather conditions. It is also a good idea to cover important documents and machines that are near the construction zone. In order to be extra cautious, you may want to consider getting waterproof containers for some of those essential items.

Perform Inspections

There should be a designated inspector to monitor the project throughout the day and go over the construction site each evening. This person is responsible for ensuring that protocol is being followed. If the weather is cold, there is a chance that you could end up with a broken pipe, so the person monitoring the site needs to make sure that they are all properly insulated, or you could end up having to do a water pipe repair.

Taking precautions goes a long way in preventing water damage, but it can still happen. If you do find yourself in this situation where you need a water pipe repair done, you should consider calling a professional mitigation company in Preston, WA to assist you. Getting the problem handled immediately can help keep the project on schedule.

Tips for Preparing Your Business for Storm Season

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flash flooding

Prepare For Storm Season

When it comes to dealing with the negative effects of storms in Issaquah, WA, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive, meaning the best time to prepare for storm season is before it occurs. There are plenty of ways to prepare your business for events such as:

  • Flood water
  • Power loss
  • Structural damage

Keep on reading for some tips on readying your business to weather the storm.

Waterproof Flooring
Many businesses are located in areas that do not have adequate drainage, making them prone to problems associated with flash flooding. Flood water that is able to make its way into a building can cause widespread damage.
Businesses that have experienced water damage thanks to a flood in the past should consider renovating to include materials that are less susceptible to damage. This can mean swapping carpet, which can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew if wet, for materials like vinyl flooring and tile that are less likely to be damaged and require replacement after a flood event.

Data Backups
Many businesses rely on their computer systems to store important information. These systems are almost always threatened in a flooded building. Water can soak components and make data unrecoverable or cause electrical problems that damage computer equipment.
To safeguard your data against flood water, invest in an offsite data storage solution. Cloud storage is a particularly good option in these scenarios, as it guarantees that data is being stored completely separated from any hardware that could be damaged in a storm.

Restoration and Cleanup
Despite all the preparations you undertake, the unexpected could still happen, leaving your business in need of post-storm restoration services. Knowing who your local storm cleanup specialists are is the first step in getting your business back to running “Like it never even happened.”
There are many ways to prepare your business and safeguard it against water damage caused by storms.

5 Facts About Mold in Your Crawlspace

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in your crawlspace is a big problem

Mold Beneath Your Home Is Something To Worry

Not only is mold in your crawlspace an eyesore, but it is also a big problem. Because it is so common, homeowners must read up on this fungus. Here are some crucial facts that can help you prepare for finding mold beneath your home.

1. Signs That You Have Mold
Detecting mold in your crawlspace early is the key to preventing an outbreak. Therefore, you need to regularly look for signs that you have active spores, such as visible growth and standing water.

2. Any Mold Is Too Much
When it comes to your crawlspace, a little mold is too much. Because this is where your house's structural support is located, the goal is no mold. This fungus eats the organic material it grows on, such as the wood your house is made of, meaning you can end up with serious structural damage due to an outbreak.

3. White Mold Facts
One of the most common types of mold in homes in North Bend, WA, is white mold on the floor joists. While it is uncommon in colder weather, be on the lookout for it during warmer months because it can do a lot of damage.

4. Remove Mold Quickly
Often, DIY tricks can provide temporary relief, but you will want to have a mold remediation company do the hard work. The professionals have the training and experience necessary to remove mold spores for good.

5. Cost of Removal
Depending on the extent of the outbreak and damage, you could pay a few hundred or several thousand dollars for remediation. Fortunately, if the mold stems from flooding or water damage covered by your insurance, you won't have to pay for this out of pocket.
Mold beneath your home is something to worry about. Looking for signs of moisture or patches of growth can give you a heads-up so you can take steps to protect your house. Take action quickly because even the smallest amounts of growth can cause serious mold damage. Prompt remediation by a professional is often covered by insurance companies and is the best course of action.

3 Ways Smoke Inflicts Damage Upon Structures and Their Contents

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Snoqualmie, WA.

3 Ways Smoke Inflicts Damage Upon Structures and Their Contents

Flames have the potential to cause severe, sometimes irreparable damage. However, they are not the only harmful aspects of a fire. Business owners often have to contact a professional cleanup and restoration service in Snoqualmie, WA, after a blaze to deal with smoke cleaning along with other physical implications of the incident. This is because the smoke produced may also negatively impact buildings and their contents in a variety of ways.

1. It Can Produce a Lingering Unpleasant Odor
A very common form of smoke damage is smoke odor. The fine particles of the substance sneak into cracks, crevices and porous materials. Generally, the affected items must be individually cleaned to fully remove the stench. Certain tools and home remedies may help, including ozone machines, thermal foggers, air filtration devices, fans and baking soda.

2. It Can Leave Behind a Residue
Four kinds of leavings tend to remain behind after smoke dissipation, namely:

Wet smoke damage - created when plastic and rubber burn, this is a sticky, dense residue
Dry smoke damage - this is a powdery remnant generally caused by the fire's consumption of paper or wood that is easier to remove during smoke cleaning and often leads to the aforementioned lingering odor
Protein residue - most often found in the wake of a cooking fire, this invisible leaving is caused by organic material going up in flames and also accompanied by a less than pleasing stink
Oil or fuel residue - when petroleum is stored in a space that catches fire or a furnace ignites improperly, releasing a burst of soot, it results in this also dense, sticky residue

3. It Can Result in Discoloration
Ash and soot can corrode metal and discolor materials like wood and vinyl. Protein residue is especially known for its staining and discoloring properties.
Most people worry mainly about the structural effects of the fire itself. However, smoke is also damaging. It is important not to neglect smoke cleaning.

What To Know About Mold Growth in Your Business

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on the attic.

Ways To Prevent Mold Growth

For a business in Preston, WA, mold growth can be a serious issue. Fortunately, a local mold remediation service can help. Here are a few things you may want to know about mold which may help you prevent problems before they start.

1. Where it Grows

Mold is a fungus that grows in areas of high humidity, such as those that have experienced water damage. These spaces are usually dim, and also contain organic material which the fungus can feed on. Areas like this usually occur and attic or basement spaces, as well as between walls where plumbing may be located.

2. What it Looks Like

In most cases what we see as mold growth is actually a colony of mold spores. This is because a single mold spore by itself is usually too small to be seen with the naked eye. As it grows it creates more spores which form a colony which then appear to be fuzzy or slimy in appearance depending on the mole type. The small colonies can vary in color from white, gray, green, orange, brown, and black. Your local mold remediation service should be able to identify what type of mold is growing and formulate a plan to properly remove it from the space.

3. How it Returns

Mold can return to space if it is not properly removed in the first place, or if the source of the water damage is not properly remedied. This is why it's important to fix any water damage problems as soon as they occur, as doing so can help prevent the space from becoming a mold-growing habitat. Your local mold remediation service can help.

If you want to prevent mold growth in your place of business understanding these three things may help. Knowing where it grows and what it looks like can help you locate potential problem areas while understanding how mold may return to space can help you take the proper mitigation steps.

4 Moves That Help a Company Deal With Fire

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Snoqualmie, WA.

4 Moves That Help a Company Deal With Fire

To be strong, a company must deal with the potential for disastrous events. At least some level of fire preparation is needed. Each company should decide how much time and resources it wants to put into either trying to prevent fire or working to minimize the aftermath of a fire. Smart moves can not only save thousands of dollars, they can also spell the difference between going out of business or having to shut down permanently.

1. Carry the Right Insurance. There is no getting around the fact that the right amount of insurance is a hallmark of disaster preparation. Business owners and managers should speak frequently with insurance agents to make sure they have adequate insurance to recover from a disaster. Property insurance, business interruption insurance and accounts receivable insurance all might help a company survive.

2. Work With Professionals. Fire preparation includes knowing who to call in difficult times. A professional fire remediation company can help with both fire prevention methods and fire recovery. A company should look for a local franchise in Snoqualmie, WA, that has highly-trained technicians that understand the devastating effects of fire. Certified workers are in the best position to help a company minimize fire damage.

3. Educate Employees. All employees should be informed of the company's plans to thwart a fire. They should be educated on who to call at different points in an emergency, as well as the procedures in place for evacuating a burning building.

4. Add Some Tools. Fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and fire alarms all are important should a fire break out. A fast response to an incipient fire can snuff it out completely, avoiding thousands of dollars in damage.
Each company will have different needs when it comes to fire preparation. Such things as a fire extinguisher only cost a few dollars, while a sprinkler system will be more expensive. A company should decide the best methods depending upon a variety of factors.

How To Avoid Grill Fires

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Do not let a grill fire ruin your summer plans.

Tips For Preventing A Grill Fire

As the weather gets warmer in Mirrormount, WA, you probably cannot wait to turn on your grill. Yet before you ignite your barbeque and throw on some meats, you need to make sure you are using the appliance safely. Otherwise, the flames could spread to your home and necessitate smoke damage cleanup services. Here are some tips for preventing grill fire.

1. Stay Outside and Away From Your Property
Once a barbeque fire starts to spread, it could destroy everything in its path. That includes patios, porches and balconies. These are thus not safe places to ignite your grill.
Using the grill inside your garage or sunroom is also dangerous. Instead, you should keep the appliance in your backyard and place it as far away from any structures as possible.

2. Cut the Fat
The fat on a piece of meat gives it that delicious taste. However, too much fat can cause flare-ups on the grill. You should thus trim any excess fat before you put the food on the barbeque.

3. Keep It Clean
Even if you do trim the meat before cooking it, some excess fat or grease could still stick to the barbeque. These pieces could spark a grill fire the next time you turn on the appliance. You should thus scrape them off with a wire brush between uses.
This can be done while the grill is still hot. However, most of your post-meal cleanup should wait until the grill has cooled. Putting the cover back onto a gas grill too soon could cause it to melt or catch on fire.
Once the grill is no longer warm, empty the remaining ashes into a metal pail. You should also perform a more thorough cleaning of your grill two or three times a year.
Do not let a grill fire ruin your summer plans. By placing the barbeque away from your house, trimming fat off the meat before cooking it, and cleaning the appliance after each use, you can make grilling a safe and fun experience.

How To Be a Good Landlord

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Consider installing cameras.

Ways To Improve Your Job Performance

Being a landlord in Preston, WA, can be a rewarding career. However, it is also a lot of work. You need to maintain the plumbing system and keep your property in good condition. You also must make sure your tenants are happy. Here are some ways to improve your job performance.

1. Emphasize Safety
Your tenants and future renters need to feel protected on your property. You also do not want vandals damaging the premises. You should thus take the necessary steps to deter criminal activity. Consider hiring security guards or installing cameras. At the very least, you should trim your landscape and add exterior lighting.

2. Train Your Staff
One bad employee can lead to many complaints and potentially sink your business. Make sure each worker is right for your company before hiring him or her. The employees should also be fully trained and receive an orientation booklet. This way, they will know exactly what you expect of them.

3. Be Present
Do not wait for your tenants to complain about plumbing problems or other concerns. Stay on your property as much as possible and check it regularly. This will help you be proactive. For instance, if you notice a small leak in one of the pipes, you can have commercial plumbing professionals fix the issue immediately.

4. Write Everything Down
Your word is not sufficient, and neither is your tenant's. Any important agreements, including leases and repair invoices, should be kept in writing.

5. Keep Promises
Your tenants trust you to be honest with them. If you say that a plumbing issue will be fixed within a day, you need to keep your word.
The above landlord tips should keep tenants satisfied for the duration of their lease. Your positive reputation will spread, leading more renters to seek out your building in the future. This should help you continue to grow your property management business.

What You Need To Know About Black Water

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage restoration services in Snoqualmie, WA.

The Following Are Some Things You Should Know

If you have recently had a storm in Snoqualmie, WA, then you might be dealing with some water damage to your home. If there was flooding, it is possible that the water involved is category 3. This water can be a bigger issue than other types. 

1. It Is Full of Contaminants
Perhaps the most important distinction between category 3, or black water, and others is that it is much more hazardous. It can contain debris, mud and sewage waste among other items that it picks up from the ground. As a result, it carries large amounts of bacteria with it. While category 2 water is considered contaminated as well, it is not as harmful.

2. It Can Cause Serious Damage
Any category of water can result in water damage to your house, but with category 3, it can be more difficult to remove. Because of the bacteria and waste that this water contains, absorbent materials will often need to be replaced if your home was flooded. If cleanup is not done thoroughly, the bacteria will remain in your home. It can often cause mold growth as well.

3. It Should Be Handled By a Professional
Because black water is hazardous to your health, it is best not to attempt removal on your own. Protective gear should be worn at all times when handling this category of water, so it is best left to the professionals. They are also better equipped to fully clean it from your home. Attempting to do this on your own can result in more issues later on.
This type of damage gets worse the longer you leave it, so you should have it taken care of as quickly as possible. For the best results, you should hire a water damage remediation company. They can remove the water, clean your home and salvage any damaged belongings.

Sensible Precautions To Avoid Water Damage

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Knowing where your shut-off valves are located can make a huge difference.

Avoid Water Damage In Your Homes

Few experiences are more distressing than loose water in a home. It can come from many sources, including clean water from a plumbing problem or dirty water from a flooding situation. While the list of sources can seem endless, these issues show up over and over again:

  • Floods
  • Toilet overflow
  • Sewage backup
  • Broken pipe
  • Roof leak
  • Water heater malfunction

Many situations can seem unpredictable and difficult to prepare for, such as the recent freezing water pipes in Texas, but others can be planned for and with luck avoided. Many precautions are relatively inexpensive, while others require some time and expense to put into place.

The Simple Precautions
A simple way to avoid or minimize water in homes in Fall City, WA, is to educate yourself about your water supply. Most importantly, knowing where your shut-off valves are located can make a huge difference. As soon as you notice water spurting from a water line or an appliance, turning off the water will reduce the amount of water released into your home. Other precautions that don't take much time or money include the following:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Maintain appliances according to recommendations
  • Winterize pipes
  • Keep an eye on water pressure
  • Monitor water bills

A pipe cleanup can be costly, so it is best to avoid it or catch it quickly. By monitoring your plumbing and looking for moisture, you can catch small problems before they become large ones.

The Large Precautions
Your roof protects you from the elements. It is important to keep up on its maintenance and to make necessary repairs in a timely manner. Also, professional landscaping can keep water away from your foundation, and an inspection of your plumbing system can ward off potential issues.
if you do discover water in your home, a professional water damage restoration franchise can arrive quickly and minimize your damages. It is another tool for preventing water damage to your property.

Tips for Handling a Continuously Flushing Toilet

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

A continuously flushing toilet in your commercial building is more than a minor nuisance.

A continuously flushing toilet in your commercial building is more than a minor nuisance. Toilet overflow can create the type of water damage that makes the bathroom difficult to use and can cause other types of damage such as the growth and spread of mold. The damage associated with a toilet flood may or may not be covered by your insurance policy. The continuous flushing adds more water to the bowl of the urinal, which can spill out onto the floor in your building in North Bend, WA. Another thing to consider is that the water may contain unpleasant odors, making it all the more critical to stop a toilet that keeps flushing.

Putting a Hush on the Flush

Follow these steps to handle continuous flushing or toilet overflow:

  • For a manual flushometer, use a flathead screwdriver to turn off the water supply.
  • For an automatic flushometer, hold the button down.
  • Remove any clogs using an auger, drain snake or toilet plunger.
  • Reach out to a provider of water damage repair services for cleanup.

The professional cleaners can remove any standing water or waste. They have the knowledge and tools to remove or repair other items affected, including floors, ceilings and walls. Your building may also require other types of care that can best be addressed by the pros including special cleaning methods, drying and disinfection techniques and odor control.

Getting Back to Pre-Damage Conditions
Toilet overflow may also involve sewer backup, which is an emergency situation. Your best course of action is to leave this work to the professionals who can remediate your building and affected areas with 24-7 availability. These pros work to restore your property back to pre-damage conditions as well as minimize the interruption to your business or that of the building’s occupants.
A continuously flushing toilet can lead to major damage that can spread from the bathroom to other parts of the building. While it may be possible for you to stop a toilet, the cleanup is best left to a professional remediation service provider.

The 24-Hour SERVPRO Advantage

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in Fall City, WA.

The 24-Hour SERVPRO Advantage

After a flood or other disaster, every second is critical. Water damage, in particular, is extremely time-sensitive, with the extent of damage and cost to repair increasing exponentially as time goes on. It’s good to know that SERVPRO’s 24-hour disaster recovery teams are always ready to take immediate action if disaster should strike your Fall City, WA, building.

Timing Is Everything
After a disaster, response time can often make an enormous difference in minimizing the overall extent of damage, and a fast response time can often substantially reduce repair time and cost. For example, consider how the severity of water damage increases with time:

  • Within the first few minutes: Water saturates surfaces and begins soaking into floors, walls, and furniture. Documents and electronics may be damaged. Staining may occur.
  • Within the first 24 hour period: Wood trim, flooring and framing may begin to swell, warp or crack. Drywall starts to break down. Mold spores begin to grow and multiply. Metal surfaces may start showing tarnish.
  • Within the first 72 hours: Paint starts to peel and blister. Mildew begins to grow, and mold spread becomes rampant. Window and door casings and studs show signs of warping. Rust or corrosion may appear on metal surfaces.
  • Biohazard contamination becomes a concern.

The SERVPRO Advantage
SERVPRO franchises are always open, including nights, weekends, and holidays, allowing them to respond Faster To Any Size Disaster. SERVPRO’s disaster restoration professionals are typically able to arrive on-site within four hours after a disaster and can usually deliver a verbal damage assessment and repair plan briefing within just eight hours. The company is already considered a preferred vendor by many insurance companies, which often means quicker insurance approval so repairs can begin sooner.
While it’s not pleasant to think about a disaster situation in your building, it’s important to be prepared. If the worst should happen, a cleanup service with 24-hour availability is likely your best option to get back to business as soon as possible.

What Causes Mold and How To Prevent It

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Keep indoor humidity below 50%.

Causes Of Mold And Its Preventative Measures

Mold growth is a very common problem in commercial buildings, but many business owners still have questions about it. It is important to understand the causes of mold and preventive measures you can take to keep your business protected.

Mold Causes
One of the most common questions about mold is what causes it. Mold spores are nearly everywhere, but several conditions must be met before the spores can turn into an infestation. The following are the three elements that must be present for mold to thrive:

  • Warmth
  • Food
  • Water

Most indoor locations are warm enough for mold growth, and most places have food and water sources. The ubiquity of these elements is what makes mold growth such a common problem.

Mold Prevention
Although a professional restoration service could quickly address a mold problem at your Issaquah, WA, business, it is always better to prevent the issue in the first place. As mentioned above, the factors necessary for mold to grow are extremely common. This may make you feel like mold is inevitable, but it is possible to control at least one of the elements: water. Clean up spills as they happen. Standing water is a major risk factor, so address water damage as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 hours. Although you may not be able to see the moisture, high humidity can foster a mold infestation. Keep indoor humidity below 50%. You may need to run a dehumidifier in particularly damp areas.
Additionally, decreasing the mold spores present helps reduce the likelihood of an infestation. Air purifiers with HEPA filters trap spores before they have a chance to grow. Carpet cleaning removes spores that have become trapped in the fibers.
Although the conditions necessary for mold growth are very common, it is possible to prevent serious problems by taking preventive measures. Reducing the moisture and mold spores present in the building goes a long way toward keeping your business mold-free.

3 Steps To Properly Start the Mold Remediation Process

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Mold remediation services in a home in North Bend, WA

Mold Remediation Process

The thought of mold in their home worries a lot of people. Though it is not as popular of a topic now as it was a few years ago, mold in your home is still a big problem. Because mold contamination can spread quickly, this problem needs to be handled quickly to protect the safety and durability of your house. Ensure a quick start on mold remediation. The following steps are how you can get your cleanup process going properly.

1. Learn About Moisture
Assessing mold growth involves more than just looking at what is visible. This fungus can be a big problem because it hides behind walls and in crevices. Therefore, to assess the extent of growth, you need to learn to think like mold.
Understand that mold only grows if there is a moisture problem. Therefore, you need to know where any moisture could get into your home in North Bend, WA, to identify all potential locations where mold could grow.

2. Document the Mold Problem
Before beginning the removal process, document the mold contamination with writing, photos, and videos. This documentation will help your cleanup team develop a remediation plan so they can get to work quicker, finish sooner, determine if any tests need to be performed, and tell you if you need to evacuate your home or not. It can also help you when dealing with your insurance company and point you in the direction of other potential mold problems.

3. Calculate the Extent of Contamination
You may not always be able to see all the mold that is there. Ask the professionals for a rough estimate of how much could be in your house. This will help your cleanup team contain all the growth in your home.
Having any mold contamination removed from your home immediately is the key to keeping your house safe. Be sure to learn about moisture, document your mold problem, and evaluate your contamination levels so that the remediation professionals can quickly get to work on your home.

What Happens After a Fire at Your Business?

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage in Fall City, WA

A fire can strike at any minute. The fire and smoke damage associated with one can cause many problems for your property in Fall City, WA. Even with fire-resistant materials and advanced suppression technology, they can still do a lot of damage. This can cost your business a lot of money in fire damage restoration. However, the good news is that you can reduce the damage that occurs afterward by hiring a restoration company. They are people who know how to deal with the harmful effects of the fire.

Why Should You Hire a Restoration Company?

Fire restoration professionals are an important part of the cleanup process. They are capable of helping business owners put their buildings back together. They do this through an intensive cleaning process. This can reverse any fire or smoke damage that your building sees. It includes the following steps:

  • Damage assessment
  • Fire mitigation
  • Building and content restoration

Why Is Smoke Harmful?
Fires leave behind a terrible odor, known as smoke, that embeds itself in the building and contents. This can cause a lot of smoke damage throughout your building. Additionally, if left untreated, it can contribute to the amount of soot damage in your business.

Why Is Water Dangerous?
Typically people think of mold as something that occurs after floods, not fires. However, the water used to extinguish the fire can lead to mold growth throughout your building. This is because the increased moisture will let mold spores grow. This lets it grow rapidly and spread across many surfaces. When smoke and water damage are combined, they can lead to terrible odors in the air. The longer these are allowed to sit, the harder they will be to remove.
Fires can come with a lot of damage. The best thing you can do after a fire is to start the water and smoke cleaning process. This is because smoke and water can lead to terrible odors, soot, and mold in your business. Cleaning it up will help you recover from the disaster quickly.

When Homes Get Flooded, Beware of Danger

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

There are many reasons your may experience indoor flooding

Besides a pipe burst, there are many reasons your house may experience indoor flooding. When a watery calamity occurs, the damage becomes compounded by significant health risks. Here are a few things you should know in case your home suffers unexpected dampness.

Causes of Indoor Saturation

Besides broken plumbing, some alternate reasons your home in Mirrormount, WA, might experience flooding include:

  • Environmental phenomena, especially hurricanes and tropical storms
  • A broken water line, causing a man-made geyser to shoot out of the ground
  • Leaking appliances, including water heaters and dishwashers

No matter the cause, repairing considerable water damage is a complex and time-consuming process. Ease the burden imposed by a pipe burst or other wet scenario by hiring a residential water cleanup service. Having a team of skilled workers to set matters right is a significant stress reliever.

Handling the Dangers of Indoor Saturation
Water has three classifications, each presenting a varying degree of health hazard.

  1. Clean water comes from sources such as rain and broken plumbing. Messes of this type can be safely dried without taking precautions.
  2. Gray water originates from areas such as toilets and washing machines. Because this liquid may contain contaminants, safety gear should be used during the removal process.
  3. Black water is highly toxic. Sewer backup is a prime example of this unwelcome waste. Professional removers are necessary for safe drainage.

Once the inundated area has dried, apply disinfectant. Bleach is the most commonly chosen solution, but making your own is also highly popular. Ways to do this can be found online.
Mold may develop in as little as 24 hours. Regularly inspect your residence for signs of fungal interlopers. Pay particular attention to hidden areas, such as behind walls and beneath floors.
A pipe burst or damper calamity is highly disruptive. Treat the situation with caution, as danger may be present, and always use qualified professionals to conduct restoration efforts.

4 Steps for Evicting Mold

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage in Preston, WA

4 Steps for Evicting Mold

As a rental property owner in Preston, WA, the last phone call you want from a tenant is a possible mold issue. Before you dash over with a sponge in hand, make sure you know the basics of rental mold cleanup.

1. Understand Mold
To get rid of mold, you have to understand the fungus. It spreads through airborne spores that get into homes in many ways including on clothing and pet fur. Mold spores are everywhere and only cause an issue when they find a moist place with a food source to settle and grow.
While you might think that any dark splotch on your wall is mold, it could be mildew. Mold and mildew look very similar on the surface, but mold will penetrate porous materials such as drywall and spread underneath, essentially creating a root system. This enables it to keep growing even after the surface colony has been wiped away. Mildew will not come back once cleaned.

2. Find the Source
For mold to grow, there has to be a constant source of moisture, so there is likely another issue causing the fungus to spread. Look for leaking pipes or appliances, any standing water or any instances of unexplained water damage such as dark water spots on ceilings.

3. Clean It Up
Mold cleanup is an extensive job that requires expertise. Once you have resolved the water problem, request an inspection from a mold remediation expert. They will create a plan and execute it quickly to take care of any mold problems.

4. Take Preventative Measures
Being a proactive property owner is the best way to prevent mold contamination. Conduct regular checks for leaking roofs, broken pipes, faulty HVAC systems and unexplained moisture to keep mold at bay.
Having a tenant find a fungus in your rental property can be daunting, but if you know how to handle it, mold cleanup does not have to be.

3 Steps Landlords Must Take After an Apartment Fire

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Apartment fire in Snoqualmie, WA area

Follow The Steps Listed

As a landlord, you must know what to do if an apartment fire strikes. You should know the steps you must take after a fire, even if you never need them.

1. Figure Out What Happened
Talk with your tenants and try to understand what caused the apartment fire. If the tenant is at fault, they will likely try to cover it up. While they may have been doing something against their lease, it could have also been an electrical fire. Whatever happened, you need to collect data while as soon as possible.
Fire departments also investigate the cause. Be sure to cooperate with them so they can get an accurate report. Then, take a look at the finished report.

2. Help Tenants Find New Housing
Depending on the severity of the apartment fire in your building in Snoqualmie, WA, you may have to find your tenants temporary housing. Many agencies can offer temporary housing. These can be local organizations or major ones like the Red Cross. Contact these groups to see what assistance they can offer.
Keep in mind that if you are at fault, you will be responsible for relocating your tenants. If it was not caused by negligence, this cost is covered by your insurance. While going through this process, have your tenants contact their renters' insurance company.

3. Begin Restoration As Soon as Possible
Do not try to do the restoration work by yourself. This is because the damage is unlike anything you will see in a fixer-upper. It can cause structural damages that could bring down your entire building. Damage caused by fires is something that should be handled by a professional remediation company.
A rental fire can be a nightmare if it is not handled properly. Because it doesn't happen very frequently, most landlords don't know the steps you should take immediately after the emergency. You need to remember one thing after your building sees fire damage: follow the steps listed. This will keep you level headed and help the disaster pass.

4 Types of Damage Resulting From a Building Flood

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Soaked carpet won’t dry entirely fast enough to save

4 Types of Damage Resulting From a Building Flood

Floodwater entering your commercial building will leave the structure susceptible to multiple types of destruction. It’s essential to begin the storm damage mitigation process as soon as possible to salvage whatever you can. Water — mainly black water (i.e., highly toxic water such as from a sewage backup) — will quickly render most materials unsalvageable. After a flood, be sure to inspect the following areas of your building thoroughly.

1. Floors
After extracting all standing water, you should remove all affected carpet. Soaked carpet won’t dry entirely fast enough to save. Water can also soak through to the sub-floor. You’ll have to replace it if it swells and buckles, or if it isn’t dried before mold growth begins. Mold can start growing as soon as 24 hours after the introduction of water. Saturated materials will also keep extra moisture in the air, preventing the overall area from drying completely.

2. Building Foundation
Floodwaters can, in some instances, damage a building’s very foundation. Check around the perimeter of the building to see if any mortar is missing between the bricks. If the foundation is still intact, you can have any absent mortar replaced.

3. Electrical Systems
Floodwater can cause significant harm to electrical systems. Silt can collect in wall outlets, if the water rises that high, causing short-circuiting. Electrical systems should be checked by a professional electrician to avoid serious injury. They’ll do a thorough inspection and repair.

4. Doors and Cabinets
Since doors and cabinets are usually made of wood, or worse, particle board or plywood, they’re likely to swell and peel. They might even fall apart. You may not see this damage for a few days after the flood. However, within that time, mold will also have had a chance to grow, making them unsalvageable.
If your Issaquah, WA, building sustains damage from floodwater, storm damage cleanup experts are Here to Help. They’ll return your building to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

Steps to Cleaning up a Leaky Roof

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles in your roof can lead to a roof leak

If the roof of your building has a leak, you may not notice any issues for days, weeks or even months. the results could be disastrous, however, especially if heavy rains hit. Not only could your building suffer water damage, but there could also be mold growth. The faster and more efficiently you clean up after this incident, the less likely it is that serious, lasting problems will result. Taking care of a roof leak does not have to be difficult.

How to Detect a Roof Leak

You can spare your North Bend, WA, building serious damage if you can spot roof problems before they get worse. The following are common issues that lead to leaks and water in your building:

  • Broken or missing shingles
  • Weak spots on the roof
  • Water dripping from the ceiling or light fixtures

Get Rid of Wet Materials
If the damage to your building is extensive, you should first call a professional disaster cleanup company. Technicians have the knowledge and training you can rely on to do a thorough job. The team will first tear out any wet items, including building materials, personal items and work equipment. You may not be able to salvage some materials, but the technicians will evaluate everything in the area that was wet.

It isn't enough to remove items from a damaged roof. Without properly sanitizing the wet area, mold and mildew could grow and spread. The cleanup company will extract any water and completely dry the surfaces. The crew will use powerful chemicals to sanitize the floors, walls, ceiling and other affected materials.

The final step following a roof leak is to rebuild and restore the damage. Crews will put up new drywall, lay new flooring, and replace the damaged portions of the roof (or the entire roof if necessary).
If you discover a roof leak, make sure you act decisively. These actions will help to ensure that you avoid significant flooding and lasting effects.

4 Difficult Areas To Clean After Storm Damage

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded home in North Bend, WA

4 Difficult Areas To Clean After Storm Damage

There is no doubt that a home flood is one of the most difficult moments in the life of a property owner. When dirty water comes rushing into your home in North Bend, WA, it can be hard to see all of the damage it causes, and the prospect of cleaning up this mess is overwhelming. The water will get into electrical systems, drywall, insulation, and just about everywhere else. A quality restoration company has experience dealing with difficult cleanups. A crew of trained workers will come to your home in a matter of hours whether it is night or day or on the weekend. The technicians will have the knowledge and the equipment to clean these tough areas of the property.

1. Basements - Flood waters frequently inundate the lower floors of a home and leave gallons of standing water. An experienced storm mitigation team will bring in powerful wet vacuums to suck water out of the basement. The use of air dryers will get rid of the excess moisture caused by a home flood.
2. Electrical Systems - Storm damage often results in harm to electrical outlets, computer systems, and lighting fixtures. Certified workers will turn off the power if necessary and work to restore sensitive electronics. They will restore where possible and replace when necessary.
3. HVAC Systems - Water has a way of getting into even the most difficult spots. Dirty water can compromise components of the HVAC system and coat the heating ducts. A qualified company will make sure all heating and cleaning elements are in good shape.
4. Hidden Areas - Not all damage from a home flood is easy to spot. Sometimes it is hidden behind walls or under floorboards. Trained workers will perform sophisticated tests that detect the presence of excess moisture. They will ensure that all traces of primary and secondary damage are treated, even the most difficult areas to address.

4 Ways To Prevent Water Damage

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Clean your gutters!

Four Ways To Get Ahead Of the Game

Homeowners in Snoqualmie, WA, should be concerned when moisture issues arise. It's not a simple fix; rather, water in home structures is problematic for several reasons. Not only does it contribute to the deterioration of the materials, but it could lead to mold growth. To avoid these complications, people should be proactive, reacting quickly to leaks as well as remaining vigilant about household maintenance. Here are four ways to get ahead of the game.

1. Tend to Plumbing Issues Immediately
Pipe cleanup should happen swiftly. The longer the water sits, the more likely it is to seep further into the walls and flooring. Owners should contact a water remediation company to assist in removing the fluid, determining the extent of damage, and cleanup. Run dehumidifiers to dry the room, extracting wetness from porous objects. Tear out anything too soaked.

2. Reduce Household Humidity
At times, water in-home air systems becomes a problem, spreading from one location to another via the air unit. The external humidity can penetrate drywall, activating fungal spores. Run the air handler, and check the humidity levels. A residence should stay between 30% and 50%. If that isn't happening, call in someone to inspect the unit. In addition, have units cleaned periodically and change filters every month.

3. Install and Inspect a Backflow Valve
A sewer backup could arise from a broken pipe. A backflow valve may keep that sewage from reentering the premises. It should be looked at every couple of years to ensure it's functioning properly.

4. Check the Roof and Gutters
Ruined shingles permit water penetration into the ceiling. This can go unnoticed for quite a while if no one goes up top. Set aside time to inspect the property. The gutters shouldn't be clogged and replace anything of concern.
Be vigilant. When water in home spaces isn't cared for properly, serious hazards could arise. Focus on keeping everything dry and getting repairs done quickly. These actions could prevent major hassles.

What to Do After a Fire

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage in Issaquah, WA

Here Is What You Need To Do After a Fire To Save Your Business

Immediately after a fire strikes your business, you will need to take certain steps to protect your building from looting, restore your business, and preserve your relationship with your employees and customers. Here is what you need to do after a fire to save your business.

Immediately Afterward
Even more important than contacting a professional remediation company to remedy the fire damage, you will need to deal with the disaster. Here is what you should immediately do after the fire:

  • Get wounded customers and employees medical help
  • Remain calm
  • Ensure your customers and employees are safe
  • Check with the fire department for a status update on your building

Look for Structural Damage
After the fire has been put out, check the exterior of your building for fire damage. Note any damaged utility lines, cracks in the foundation, and holes in the roof. If you see any of these, the building is no longer structurally sound. You should not enter the building.
If there are no signs of structural issues, you will want to check for potential hazards to your building in Issaquah, WA, like holes that could let rain in and cause water damage. Board up all your exterior doors. Search the exterior for holes. These would have been cut to allow heat to escape during extinguishing. Cover these with a tarp. This will keep your building safe until the remediation can begin.

Check the Building
After the exterior is protected, check to see if it is safe to enter the building. The fire department can tell you if it is safe. Never walk past caution tape unless you are certain it is safe to enter. Then, go inside and inspect your building for fire damage. Keep in mind that the site may contain hazards.
Before you even start the fire cleanup process, you will need to deal with the aftermath of the fire. Once you have done this, you can examine the exterior and protect it from potential hazards until it is ready for its remediation.

How to Protect Yourself Against Mold-Related Lawsuits as a Landlord

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in Fall City, WA

As a landlord in Fall City, WA, you are responsible for ensuring your tenant’s apartments maintain a habitable condition. So, when you’re made aware of a potential mold claim due to contamination or infestation, you should take proper action to protect yourself against potential lawsuits.

Who Is Liable?

If you’ve recently built or renovated your building and a tenant discovers mold, you may be able to pursue legal action against the contractor, especially if the mold insurance claims stem from their actions:

  • Using the wrong materials
  • Installing materials incorrectly
  • Damage caused by construction

If the mold issue is due to any of those reasons, it is worth exploring potential legal options to hold those liable responsible.

What About General Liability Insurance?
Purchasing general liability insurance is a good way to protect yourself should there be bodily injury or property damage on your property. However, insurers will often exclude damage caused by fungi or bacteria in these general liability policies. This means you may still be vulnerable to lawsuits stemming from damage caused by mold even if you have general liability insurance.
If you anticipate making multiple mold insurance claims, it may be wise to seek out environmental, or pollution, liability insurance. Some of these policies may still not cover all types of mold, so it’s essential to consult your agent or broker to ensure what is explicitly covered.

How Can You Protect Yourself?
Ideally, the best way to combat potential mold insurance claims is to prevent the growth of mold. You should be prepared to act immediately if you come across any common ways that allow mold growth:

  • The building is now used for a different purpose than originally intended
  • Interior standing water that lasts for more than 48 hours
  • Leaky pipes or windows
  • Noticeable musty odors
  • Sustained water damage

If your building is dealing with any of these issues, there’s a good chance that mold is present. Once mold is discovered, make sure to contact mold remediation specialists immediately to ensure a habitable environment for your tenants.

Understanding Your Business Interruption Insurance

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Purchase business interruption insurance for your business

Understanding Your Business Interruption Insurance

If you have faced large water damage or other disasters to your business in Mirrormount, WA, recently, you may be able to get benefits from your interruption insurance. Unfortunately, these policies can often be tricky to understand. However, there are a few things that you can look for when you are reviewing your policy.

Property and Income Are Treated Separately

During instances where you are temporarily shut down due to property loss from a fire, flooding from a natural disaster or broken pipe, theft, or other emergencies. Your regular property insurance policy will pay to repair or replace your building, inventory, and equipment that was damaged, but not the income you have lost. In other words, while your property insurance will cover remediation professionals, you will not receive any income while they are working. To substitute your loss of income during a forced shutdown, you will want to purchase a business interruption policy. Business interruption insurance will provide your company with to make up the difference between your typical income and the income you have while you are unable to operate.

These funds can be crucial to your business' survival because it will cover your necessary expenses. These include:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Loan payments
  • Supplier fees

Additionally, your business will may pick up additional expenses, shut as moving and storage fees, if you have to get your equipment out of a flooding area. If you have business interruption insurance, these fees will still be covered by your company's income. Some policies will continue to give you extra funds after you have opened until you return to your normal income. This can help your business get back to its pre-disaster stability and be strong.
Although business interruption insurance policies can be tricky to understand, you must read yours and know what to expect if you are faced with a disaster. These policies do not cover property loss but will help substitute your business' income if you experience flooding or another disaster that forces you to shut down.

Does Lightning Start House Fires?

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning causes thousands of fires every year

Is There Anything You Can Do To Protect Your Home?

Severe weather is dangerous on its own, but when it involves heavy lightning, the dangers are compounded. Lightning causes thousands of fires every year, and unfortunately, many of those fires involve homes. A house fire caused by lightning is more common in the summer months, but lightning can occur at any time. Knowing that lightning or even a lightning fire could potentially damage your home in Preston, WA, is there anything you can do to protect your home?
Aside from having a homeowner's policy that covers fire damage and damage that is caused by power surges, there are some things you can do to lessen the chances of lightning causing damage to your home.

Lightning Protection System
A protective system can be 99% effective in preventing a lightning fire to your home. With the use of a lightning rod, grounds, and surge protectors, this system utilizes copper and aluminum to provide a low resistance path to ground the electrical power of lightning. Having a lightning protection system in place could also lower your insurance premium.

Unplug Your Electronics
If lighting travels through your home's electrical wiring, it could cause serious damage. Unplugging your electronics and appliances before an electrical storm could save your equipment if your home experiences this type of power surge.

Protecting Your Home's Occupants
Aside from protecting your home and your possessions from lightning, always make sure to take precautions for the occupants of the home. Stay away from windows and don't use electronics that are connected to an outlet, including any landline telephones.
If you experience a lightning fire, once the fire has been extinguished by emergency crews, notify your insurance company. Never attempt to perform fire damage cleanup yourself, as there could be hazards. A professional restoration company should always assess the situation first and form a plan for keeping everyone safe.
Though the odds of experiencing a lightning fire are rare, it can happen. Understanding the dangers will help you keep your home and its occupants safe.

5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Make sure to regularly practice emergency protocol with all of your employees

Safety Measures To Take In The Event Of A Severe Storm

Protecting your commercial building in Issaquah, WA, is an important part of being a business owner. Disasters, such as severe weather, flooding and unwanted mold growth, can strike at any time and it's important that you take the necessary steps to protect your building. The following tactics can help you keep your property, your business and your employees safe in the event of a severe storm.

1. Pay Attention to Emergency Alerts.
Subscribing to a credible emergency alert system can help you stay up to date on severe weather activity. Pay attention to what the authorities have to tell you and make sure to follow their directions if they instruct you to evacuate.

2. Create and Practice an Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Meet with your employees to draft and discuss potential evacuation plans. Once you create an effective strategy, you need to make sure to regularly practice emergency protocol with all of your employees. This can help eliminate accidents and unnecessary panic, if flooding or storms do strike.

3. Protect Important Documents.
Any physical documents need to be sealed away in waterproof containers, as well as elevated on high shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood level. It's also important to create multiple backup copies of electronic documents. You can store these on the Cloud to protect them from flood damage.

4. Trim Back Overgrown Trees and Shrubbery.
Overgrown tree branches can quickly become dangerous projectiles in the event of a storm. Make sure to regularly trim back any plant growth that could potentially inflict storm damage on your building's roof or windows.

5. Install Backup Generators.
If the storm isn't severe enough to warrant an evacuation, you want to make sure that your employees can continue to conduct business. Install a backup generator to supply your building with power and reduce the amount of lost income.
The above precautionary measures can help you protect your property, business and employees from damage caused by severe storms. If your building has fallen victim to flooding or storm damage, make sure to contact storm remediation professionals as soon as you can.

Mold 101: Everything You Should Know

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in North Bend, WA

As a homeowner, it is your duty to be responsive when you see a problem in your house. Whether it’s evidence of termite activity or a leaky roof, you need to take decisive action and mold is no exception. It is important for you to be able to detect mold in your home in North Bend, WA, but first there are some important things to understand. You may hear people talk about things like black mold and removal without really knowing what mold is and how it grows.

What’s the Big Deal with Mold?

It’s critical that you understand some basic facts about mold and how it spreads:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere and your home may have mold spores.
  • These spores are microscopic in size and can be transported through the air or on objects such as your clothes or a family pet.
  • Mold needs water to grow. A mold problem indicates a moisture problem.
  • A mold remediation process will not be effective if the source of water isn’t addressed first.
  • One can detect mold through smell as it often produces a strong, musty scent.
  • Indoor humidity above 45 percent can lead to mold development
  • Black mold is one type of mold, but any type in the home should be handled by pros.

If you believe that your home requires mold cleanup, it’s important to hire an investigator who can determine the source of the problem and the degree of spread and refer you to a professional mold remediation services company.

How to Handle Mold?
Mold remediation and cleanup should be left to trained professionals. The right provider will not only address the mold damage, but the original moisture problem as well. Professional providers are fully equipped to repair any damage to get your home to pre-damage conditions, even if there’s black mold. They will work to restore your property as quickly as possible.

4 Smart Moves To Make With Water Damage

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage on a kitchen floor

4 Smart Moves To Make With Water Damage

The odds are fairly good that at some point in your life, your home in Issaquah, WA, will encounter water damage. This is certainly a disappointing situation, as unwanted water in a home can cause widespread damage. How you handle the situation in the first few days will, to some degree, determine how quickly you can recover from this event. Filing a quick and accurate insurance claim can be one of the most helpful things to do at this time. Some matters are out of your control, but the following actions are within your power to accomplish.

1. Contact a cleanup team. A trained and certified water remediation team should be one of the first calls you make. The team will arrive fast and work to minimize damage from a pipe burst or some other form of leaking water. Professionals will work to get your home back in shape as quickly as possible.

2. Contact your insurance agent. Your agent can help with the process of filing an insurance claim. The agent can also go over your policy with you and let you know what is and is not covered. In the case of a flood, it's possible you will need to have a flood policy for coverage.

3. Document damage and expenses. It is often helpful to take photos of the damage to items in your home. The better records you have, the more smoothly the claims process will go. This is also a good way to make sure you are not missing any damages.

4. Ask questions. The process of filing an insurance claim is bound to be confusing, and all of this is happening during a stressful time. It's okay and natural to ask many questions of your insurance agent and of the technicians that are there to cleanup the mess. These professionals can clarify the situation for you by letting you know how much coverage you have and how long the cleanup will take.

How Do I Deal With an Accidental Sprinkler Discharge at My Business?

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Automatic sprinkler systems are an important part of fire protection at your business in Issaquah, WA

Here Are Four Steps To Take

Automatic sprinkler systems are an important part of fire protection at your business in Issaquah, WA. Like any mechanical system, though, it can fail and accidentally discharge, leaving behind flooding and water damage. If your system discharges unexpectedly, here are four steps to take.

1. Shut Off the Water Supply
Fire sprinklers can discharge for several reasons, including:

  • Corrosion
  • Mechanical damage
  • Vandalism
  • Frozen pipes

Once they have discharged, shut off the water supply as quickly as possible. Many commercial sprinkler systems are designed to release more than 20 gallons of water per minute, so the faster you cut the water supply, the more damage you can prevent.

2. Call a Commercial Restoration Company
Your facility will sustain some water damage after a sprinkler system discharges, no matter how quickly you act. Carpets and walls will be wet, and flooding may have occurred. It's important to call a commercial building restoration service to assist you with cleanup as soon as possible. The longer areas stay wet, the more likely mold and mildew will set in, causing further damage to your property.

3. Notify Your Insurance Company
Be sure to contact your insurance agent as soon as it is practical so you can begin the claims process. You do not have to wait for the insurance adjuster to inspect your property before starting cleanup. In fact, it is best to begin as soon as possible to avoid incurring expenses that water damage leaves behind.

4. Begin Mitigation
Your commercial restoration professional will begin by inspecting your property and assessing the damage. He or she will also look for safety issues and explain them to you. Technicians will begin water removal almost immediately, using submersible pumps, industrial wet/dry vacuums and air-moving equipment as needed for your situation. They may use infrared cameras to check walls for hidden moisture. Once water is removed, cleaning and repair can begin.
Accidental sprinkler discharges are possible, but they can be resolved. Quick action will help you avoid flooding and long-term damage.

What To Do When You Smell Natural Gas

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Know what you should do when you smell natural gas

When you smell natural gas in your home, you should try to identify the source of the leak.

The following measures may lower the risk of a gas fire or gas explosion.

Check Your Stove and Furnace

A gas stove burner that has accidently been left on without flame is one of the easiest sources of gas to fix. It may be a good idea to take these steps when you smell the gas.

  • Turn off the burner
  • Ventilate the area
  • Avoid turning on the flame, lights, or electronics

In the event of a gas line leak from a stove or furnace, shut off the gas valve near the appliance and contact a repair service.

Shut Off the Main Gas Supply

If you are not sure where the leak originates, contact the gas company to determine whether it is safe to turn off the main gas valve. If it is, this is how you can turn it off:

  • Locate your gas meter and bring a 12-inch or larger adjustable wrench
  • Turn the valve on the pipe that runs from the meter into the ground a quarter-turn counterclockwise
  • The valve will be cross-wise when the gas is off

Stopping the flow of gas can reduce the risk of a gas fire.

Don't Turn On Lights or Electronics

Wired lights or devices may spark. Use a cell phone or battery-powered flashlight to locate the source of a leak.

Ventilate and Evacuate Your Home

Remove natural gas by opening windows and turning on fans. There may still be a fire or explosion risk until the concentration of gass drops to a safe level. Additionally, whether you successfully address the source of a gas leak or not, it may be a good idea to evacuate the premises. Be sure to shut off the gas and start the ventilation process before you leave.

Contact your insurance company if a gas fire or gas explosion occurs. A residential damage restoration company can remove rubble and restore your home in Fall City, WA.

4 Ways To Prepare for Adverse Weather

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Are you ready for the next storm?

Prepare for Adverse Weather

Bad weather can pose a threat to the safety of people and property. Although conditions can take a turn for the worse in any season, wintertime poses unique challenges. Here are four ways to prepare for a snow storm or any other extreme weather in North Bend, WA

Prepare Emergency Backups and Supplies

A commercial property can benefit from a manual or standby power generator. Make sure the generator is functional and that you have sufficient fuel to power critical systems during an outage, ideally enough for several days.

Limit Travel

If storms or snow are on the forecast, you may want to allow employees to work from home rather than coming into the office. Roads may become unsafe during heavy rain or a snow storm, resulting in delays or accidents. Planning ahead can help to reduce risk while sustaining productivity levels during bad weather. Be sure to make allowances for power outages or other unavoidable circumstances.

Protect Commercial Property

There are several measures you can take to protect a building from storms or snow. Schedule regular inspections, trim overhanging trees, and secure or store any items outside that can become flying debris. If the temperature will drop below freezing, be sure to heat the building and allow faucets to drip or trickle to prevent exposed plumbing from freezing and causing a pipe burst.

Monitor Weather Reports

It's a good idea to watch or listen to weather predictions if meteorologists anticipate storms or inclement weather conditions. Staying informed can help you make the right decisions when it comes to planning for personnel and property.

Whether a hurricane, tornado, tropical storm, or snow storm is coming, you can prevent damage and reduce risk by taking these measures to prepare a property in North Bend, WA. If storm damage or water damage does occur, hire a commercial damage restoration service.

Flood Water, the Agitator: Understanding the Increased Risks Associated With Burst Pipes

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

What is the risk? Do you know?

Increased Risks Linked to Broken Pipes and Water Damage

A pipe burst is often associated with flooding and water damage, but it is also related to electrocutions and other injuries that may be less obvious. Continue reading to understand the increased risks linked to broken pipes and water damage


A broken water line may cause substantial flooding, and with that comes the increased risk of electrocution. When water levels rise above electrical outlets that are low to the ground, or when water seeps into and around ceiling wiring, the power surge may interfere with the circuit. The initial circuit interruption does not mean that the electricity is completely off. There may be live wires in areas that appear to no longer have power. Do yourself a favor and turn off the electricity in your home, or at least the breakers associated with the affected area.

Risk of Slip and Fall Injuries

A pipe burst can cause sudden dampness and an overflow of water. The urgency of the disaster can result in carelessness while anxiously moving through the home, which can lead to an increased risk of slip and fall injuries. When treading through affected areas, walk purposefully and cautiously, maintaining a slow and steady pace while looking at the ground ahead for any potential hazards. 

Risk of Back Injuries

Water absorption leads to the increased weight of porous items. This can result in a higher risk of back injury when these items are lifted. A rug that weighed 5 pounds when dry can weigh more than 15 pounds when wet, depending on its size and how long it was soaked. By wearing a brace and properly bending while lifting, you may be able to protect yourself from any serious back injuries.

With the many increased risks associated with water damage, you may find it beneficial to search the Issaquah, WA, area for a restoration professional. Companies specializing in water cleanup can handle the process safely and quickly without risking your well-being.

A pipe burst can lead to many obvious problems, but sometimes the most harm can come from the hidden dangers that accompany flooding. Homeowners should be aware of the increased risk of electrocution, slip and fall, and back injury in the event of an emergent situation such as broken pipes. Stay safe and stay informed.

How Your Property Is Restored After a Flood in Your Business

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

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 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.


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)

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 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)

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 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)

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 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)

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)

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.

Professional Fire Damage Mitigation and Cleanup Services

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters use water and fire suppression chemicals to put out the flames

Professional Fire Damage Mitigation and Cleanup Services

When your Fall City, WA, home is affected by fire, the amount of damage can be overwhelming and certainly puts your life on hold. One of the reasons for this is that the fire sets a chain of damages in motion.

  • Flames and heat immediately affect anything in their path.
  • Smoke is absorbed by porous materials.
  • Firefighters use water and fire suppression chemicals to put out the flames.
  • Soot and ash affect any surfaces they contact.
  • Fire and smoke damage spread beyond the original reach of the fire.

The severity of destruction and the potential for further damages are two crucial reasons to contact fire restoration and cleaning professionals.

Damage Mitigation

Fire damage mitigation is one of the first steps professionals take when they begin their work. They'll assess the property, address immediate concerns, such as preventing water damage, and create a fire restoration plan.

Content Cleaning

Many of the furnishings, appliances, and belongings in your home can be saved through professional content cleaning. The technicians may remove those items, cleaning them in-house or sending them to an off-site facility for thorough damage cleaning.

Structural Security

Fire often affects the foundational structure of the home, including the roof. This creates areas of instability and weakness in your home. Professionals will address this with tarping and board up services, in addition to necessary repairs.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Throughout the fire cleanup process, professionals will use drying, dehumidifying, disinfecting, and deodorizing agents. Many of these products come with very specific instructions. For example, an ozone machine effectively removes odors but can be harmful when not used properly. As most of the major fire damage cleanup work is completed, technicians will focus on detailed cleaning and disinfection.

Fall City, WA, fire damage and cleanup professionals handle a lot of tedious and time-consuming fire restoration tasks. While they're focused on putting your home back in order, you can focus on the safety and well-being of your family.

Protecting Your Home From Flooding After a Wildfire

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Obtain flood insurance

Prepare for Potential Flood Problems

It may surprise residents of North Bend,WA to know that a post-wildfire area carries greater risks of flooding. A forest and its vegetation naturally absorb a lot of rainwater, but when the area has been decimated, the water can’t flow the same way into the ground. Homes that were previously unaffected by large rainfall can suddenly be at risk for flooding damage. The following steps will help you prepare you for potential flood problems resulting from wildfire damage in your area.

1. Obtain Flood Insurance

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods. Therefore, you need to obtain a separate policy. A good place to start is with the National Flood Insurance Program, or FEMA NFIP, which is a government program that helps people obtain affordable insurance. The FEMA NFIP encourages everyone to get flood insurance, since many areas initially deemed “low risk” end up being impacted. Any costs incurred will be well worth it if faced with a disaster.

2. Protect Valuables

Many people don’t start packing up valuables or moving furniture to higher ground until a flood is imminent. However, by this point, it’s often too late to save the majority of your belongings. The first step is to gather any important identification documents or titles and put them in a water proof safe or offsite location. Items prone to damage, such as artwork, photographs and furniture should be moved to upper levels or another location.

3. Contact a Restoration Company

If wildfire damage or flooding damage seems likely, it’s a good idea to contact a competent restoration company in advance. You can find your local office and discuss prevention ideas. They also will be able to tell you about the best recovery plan to set your expectations.
The best way to protect you and your property from flooding damage is to stay informed and prepared. If you obtain flood insurance utilizing FEMA NFIP and take basic prevention measures, you should have peace of mind. For any actual damage incurred, a restoration company is the best way to get your home back to normal.

Estimating the Cost of a Fire

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to contact your insurance adjuster immediately to estimate how much damage will be covered by your policy.

Has your business in Issaquah, WA, been impacted by a fire? An immediate concern is the cost of repairs to your establishment. A professional service that specializes in commercial fire restoration can assist in coming up with an accurate estimate. When assessing the total cost, these professionals will evaluate several factors.

4 Factors for Estimating the Cost of a Fire

1. Chemical Damage

The chemicals contained in fire extinguishers, while useful in putting out a fire, can also cause additional damage to the surfaces that they interact with. These chemicals can permeate certain materials and negatively impact air quality. This type of damage typically requires the use of ozone machines.

2. Smoke and Soot Damage

Smoke and residual soot from the fire is a lasting form of damage that is characterized by a lingering smell of smoke and visible ash on surfaces. The estimate should include the cost of the odor removal process, clearing of air ducts and structural repairs.

3. Water Damage

Water from sprinklers and hoses used to extinguish the flames can lead to extensive harm to your establishment due to moisture seeping into porous surfaces. This can be difficult to extract. Prolonged exposure to wet environments can cause mold buildup and rotting of materials. Water damage is treated with a thorough drying and dehumidifying process and structural repairs.

4. Fire Damage

Lastly, the impact of the fire itself will be evaluated. Fire damage presents itself in charred items and fire ravaged parts within your business. These are addressed through repairs made directly to the structure of your building and replacement of irreparable items.

The more time that passes after a fire, the more likely it is for the cost of repairs to increase due to cumulative damage that will continue to occur until repairs are made. It is important to contact your insurance adjuster immediately to estimate how much damage will be covered by your policy. It is also advisable to seek out the services of a professional fire restoration company to guide you through the restoration process.

Steps You Can Take to Salvage Water Damaged Belongings

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Belongings damaged by water

The flooding is over and the water is gone - but what’s left is ruined belongings. Fortunately, valuables damaged by water in home floods or a broken pipe don’t have to be lost forever. Follow these steps to increase the odds of saving belongings damaged by water in your Mirrormount,WA, home.

How Water Destroys

Water is invaluable for cleaning and drinking, but if allowed to pool, it can cause inestimable damage. Some of the main ways water can damage items includes:

  • Triggering mold growth
  • Infiltrating electronics
  • Delaminating furniture

Damage can be immediate and severe. But there are ways to fight back against water damage.

Dry, Dry, Dry

The most comprehensive drying is often done by professional remediators. But you can help by doing some superficial drying. Remove items like documents and artwork to a less-humid room and allow to air dry. Hang rugs and other textiles while they air dry as well. Most importantly, avoid putting things in sunlight as that can dry them too fast and cause new damage.

Clean Items

Bacteria is one of the biggest threats of water in home flooding, and disinfection is a critical part of flood cleanup. Rinse nonporous items with clean water or spray with a fine hose. If a hose is not practical, wipe items with a damp sponge. Next, reduce humidity by opening windows and turning on the air conditioning. This inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria.

Gather Debris

Water damage can cause items to fall apart. Gather all broken pieces - from disintegrating veneer pieces to detached parts - and put them in labeled, open containers. This will help professional restorers put items back together.
Standing water in home flooding can have devastating effects on your belongings. Professional flood remediators are the best bet for dry cleaning and restoration. Use the above tips to make their job easier and ensure you can get your belongings back in top condition.

3 Alternatives to Sand Bags to Protect Your Business During a Flood

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Preston, WA

Preparing Your Property For a Flood

For many years, sand bagging was the first line of defense against flooding. While this method may keep water out of your building for a short time, it requires some heavy labor and can also leave property owners with a big mess. A wet sand bag can hold pollutants and contaminants, which can pose hazards to humans and the environment. Fortunately, there are reliable alternatives that can be safer and more effective. If you own a business in Preston, WA, consider the following choices for preparing your property for a flood.

1. Inflatable Flood Dams

An inflatable dam is filled with water and placed as a barrier around your building. These are especially useful because they can protect against high water levels. Set up is typically very fast and convenient. Unlike a sand bag, the dams are usually reusable and can be easily stored between uses. Variations in design can make it easy to find the right style to suit your needs. 

2. Portable Flood Fencing

Portable flood fences can be installed around the perimeter of your property in relatively little time and can provide significant protection from flood damage. This temporary barrier shields against debris, as well as rising water. Some options include anchors, which can be helpful in a weather event with high winds. Flood fences can be reused multiple times and will need to be cleaned and dried before storing. 

3. Plastic Poly Tube Flood Barriers

Plastic poly tubes are another helpful design that can offer effective flood protection. These tubes can be as long as 50 feet, and are usually filled with dirt or sand. Once filled, these barriers can be placed exactly where you need them to prevent water from entering your building. 

These sand bag alternatives can provide a quick and convenient solution to help protect your business from flooding. If your property does sustain water damage, be sure to contact an emergency restoration service right away.

3 Key Areas Where Mold Loves To Grow

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold relies on moisture to grow

Three Key Places Where Mold Can Be Found

Mold or mildew growth in your Fall City, WA, home is always going to be an unwelcome visitor, and the removal of more extensive mold damage should be handled by professionals. However, if you’re simply trying to determine where mold would choose to set up shop, there are certain areas of your home that should be considered first. Here are three key places where mold growth can potentially be found in your residence.

1. Areas With a Lot of Moisture

Fungi relies on moisture to grow, so inspecting areas such as bathrooms or kitchens that consistently see a build-up of moisture and high humidity is a great place to start. Check around your windows and door frames for any signs of leaks after a brutal winter of heavy storms, or any spots where your plumbing might have sprung a leak, as well.

2. Areas That Have Seen Serious Water Damage

While some leaks can be stopped in time to prevent a major disaster, others can’t be. Whether a pipe burst within your home’s walls or a flood ravaged your property, mold damage can start to accrue just as quickly as water damage. Building materials such as drywall, wood, wallpaper, carpeting, ceiling tiles or even your upholstered furnishings can soak up enough moisture to lead to mold growth. If you experience such an event, it’s vital that you contact experienced mold remediation technicians to carry out a thorough and proper removal.

3. Areas That Have a Lot of Outdoor Influence

Since mold spores can be airborne, it’s hard to ever truly eliminate the possibility of an outbreak. However, covering any exposed clothing, bags or shoes worn during an outdoor activity that can track in spores is helpful in stopping their spread, as well as regularly cleaning your vents and HVAC system to impede their transportation around your home.

Taking a Stand

When you’re looking to prevent or stop the spread of mold damage in your Fall City, WA, home, turn to these key areas first and contact professionals for help with any hazardous mold removal.

The Importance of a Smoke Alarm in Your Home

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Including a smoke alarm in your North Bend,WA, home can be an important fire mitigation step

Including a smoke alarm in your North Bend,WA, home can be an important fire mitigation step. Not only can they alert you to the danger of a fire, but they can also help you react in time to have the fire put out before extreme damage occurs.

There Are a Number of Things To Know About Your Detector

When choosing a smoke detector for your home there are a number of things you may want to consider. These include

  • Knowing what type of sensor you want your alarm to have
  • Knowing where you intend to place the alarm
  • Knowing what type of batteries the alarm will take
  • Knowing how many alarms are recommended for your home

It’s Advised to Check Functionality Regularly

While many models of smoke alarm are designed to last for 10 years, it's important to check the batteries at least once a year. Many people choose to do this while they're already changing the time on their clocks. You may also choose to check on a specific date every year, or when making holiday preparations. Knowing that your fire alarm is working correctly is important fire safety and mitigation tip.

Know What To Do if a Fire Occurs

In addition to deciding which fire alarm is best for your home, it's also important to consider what you should do if a fire does occur. Come up with a safety plan and make sure that every person in your home knows what it contains. You may also want to have the number of a fire damage restoration service on hand so that you can quickly contact them to take care of any restoration needs.

When ensuring that you have a smoke alarm in your home there are a number of important things to consider. Think about what type of alarm you want, where you intend to place it, what regularly scheduled time you'll check on the batteries’ functionality, and how long the alarm will last. It's also important to know what to do if a fire occurs. Have a safety plan in place and know who you can contact if you have any restoration needs.

Surprising Ways Individuals Can Prevent Flooding

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

People can help this effort by planting trees

When faced with a natural disaster that results in flooding, people in Issaquah, WA, often feel helpless. Once flooding is inevitable, they can get involved by sandbagging to assist in creating manmade levees. However, there are several surprising ways individuals can be active in flood prevention.

Storm damage occurs unexpectedly from a variety of events. Floods can be caused by any of the following:

  • Hurricanes
  • Excessive rain over a short period of time
  • Levee or dams breaking
  • Overflowing rivers

Regardless of the cause, flood cleaning and water damage repair cost about $2.4 billion annually in the United States. That makes it essential for each person or company to do its part to help.

Natural Water Barriers

In rural areas, water makes natural pathways to get from one area to a larger body of water. When there is an influx of rain, flash floods can form in these pathways. Nature has its own way of flash flood prevention; it has natural barriers like trees and bushes to break up the flow of water. People can help this effort by planting trees, bushes or other vegetation along water paths. Particularly in areas of low elevation, this makes a tremendous impact.

Reducing Blockages

Flooding is often a result of drainage systems being blocked by vegetation or rubble. Debris can be natural or manmade, but people can help with both types. Natural debris, such as leaves or grass, can be minimized with proper disposal of yard waste. People need to be mindful of the consequences of dumping even natural waste in grassland or forest areas. Most cities have regulations and collections of yard or garden remains to prevent drainage clogs. People also have to be better about eliminating litter. Even small amounts can get clogged in drainage systems and sometimes take years to break down. Developing countries often have this problem since trash disposal isn’t as advanced.

Flood prevention is something everyone can participate in. Whether through planting trees or properly disposing of trash and vegetation, people can play a big part in helping their town.

What is the fastest way to clean up water after heavy rain?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will place air movers and dehumidifiers throughout the property to assist with the drying process.

What is the fastest way to clean up water after heavy rain

If you have water damage in your home or business after a heavy rain storm, contact SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend immediately. A member of our team will quickly get on site to begin helping with the mitigation process.

Every job is uniquely different, so SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will carefully assess the situation from start to finish. Once the scope of the job is determined, our team will first make sure all of the standing water is extracted and removed from the property.

After all of the water is removed, SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will place air movers and dehumidifiers throughout the property. This equipment will run around the clock to assist with the drying process. Once the property is dry, SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will remove all of the equipment and provide all photos and notes for you.

If you have any questions about the cleanup process, contact our office at anytime. We are always here to help!

SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend is the premier choice in storm cleanup

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend has the experience and qualifications to make sure the job is done right the first time.

SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend is the premier choice in storm cleanup

Have you ever had to cleanup after a big storm? It can be a stressful and traumatic time. SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend is the premier choice when it comes to cleaning up after a storm. Our team is quick to arrive on site and begin the mitigation process.

The first step is typically to remove all of the water and get the facility ready for drying equipment. At the same time if there is any damage to the roof or structure from trees or wind, it will need to be repaired to prevent further damage from happening.

SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will then begin to place drying equipment throughout the property. This equipment will run daily until the facility is registering as dried. Once dried, SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will remove all of the equipment and take care of any necessary repairs.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help.

What Makes Storm Damage Different Than Water Damage?

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO was called to a home that had experienced severe flood damage after heavy rains.

Storm damage differs from damage caused by other water sources in several significant ways. Water damage tends to result from plumbing issues such pipe breaks. Storm damage tends to be caused by heavy rains, high winds or flooded municipal mains and may result in damage to the interior. Here are a few broad distinctions between storm damage, such as flooding, and other water-related damage.

External Versus Internal

Storm damage tends to come from outside a home. This damage may originate from any of the following sources:

  • Floods
  • Roof leaks
  • Broken windows

Other forms of damage caused by water tend to be plumbing-related and caused by internal systems. External water may be Category Two or Category Three depending on the source, whereas water from a supply line break is clean, treated Category One water.

Flooding or Leaks

Flood water is considered highly contaminated Category Three water. Flood damage may affect a crawlspace, basement or ground level of a residence and increase the risk of mold growth and structural damage. Water from a roof leak may be slightly less contaminated, but can still cause irreparable damage to porous building materials such as drywall or insulation.

Secondary Damage

Any type of damage that involves water will increase the risk of certain types of secondary damage. Mold growth is the most common consequence of water or storm damage. Mitigation and restoration professionals can quickly eliminate primary damage and minimize secondary damage.

These are a few major distinctions between storm and water damage. Another important factor to consider is that flooding is usually excluded from standard homeowners policies, whereas many other types of water and storm-related damage are covered perils. If you are concerned that exposure to flood water will cause damage at a residence in Issaquah, WA, you should obtain a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer.

Cleaning up after a storm in North Bend, WA

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

  • Cleaning up after a storm in North Bend, WA

SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend is the premier choice when it comes to cleaning up after a storm in North Bend Washington. Our team is quick to respond and begin the mitigation process. It is critical that if you have damage to your home or business that you get the professionals at SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend on site immediately to start extracting the water. The longer the water sits, the higher the chance of secondary damage.

Once all of the water is removed, SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will place drying equipment throughout the entire property. This will help speed up the drying process. Each day a member of SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend will be on site to monitor the drying process. From start to finish, our team is here to make sure that the drying takes place quickly and efficiently.

Our team is sure to take plenty of photos and notes during the restoration process. These can be important if you need them for your insurance company or personal records.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help.

Water Damage to Your Small Business in Issaquah, WA

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend, we take pride in serving our community, that includes small businesses. We know small businesses can take a hit when they have to be closed for days on end for restoration purposes. 

With our team of licensed water damage restoration professionals, we can assure you that your business will be back up and running in no time. It doesn't matter if your water damage occurs during normal business hours or not, SERVPRO can be there at any time, day or night. For more information on our commercial water damage restoration services, click here. For water damage tips and what to do before SERVPRO arrives, click here. Give us a call to learn more about our commercial services. (425) 313-3100

Storm Damage in your Issaquah, WA Home

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can come as a shock to most people. After storm damage, your home can be left with structural damage due to fallen trees and water damage due to wind driven rain and flooding. 

Here at SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend, we know time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. Our team of licensed water damage restoration professionals are equipped with the skill and tools needed to restore your home back to normal.

Flooding doesn't wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. We have a team on standby 24/7 to assist with water damage emergencies. We are also available 365 days a year including weekends and holidays. 

For more information on our storm damage services, click here

Keep us in mind after a storm hits. 

Do you have a personal disaster kit?

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

You may have a 72-hour kit for your home ready for a disaster. But what if the disaster happens when you are at work? Having a small survival kit to get you home is a vital part of preparation. You can keep the bag in your car, in your office, or in a locker.

Essential Items for Preparedness Kit

Sturdy Shoes – If you go to work in dress shoes you will want to have these if you need to walk back home.

  • Set of clothes – Again, you don’t want to start out on a trek in a suit or skirt.
  • First Aid Kit – It’s easy to go overboard here. Keep it simple and only take the necessities
  • Food and Water – Take enough to get you home. Simple dried foods and a bottle with a filter as you come across water.
  • Comfortable Pack – A sturdy, but comfortable pack, that can hold your stuff and get you home.

There are many ways to build a work preparedness kit. Find one that works for you to be prepared.


Spring Cleaning your Grill to Avoid Fires

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Now that spring is in the air, there are some outdoor cleaning to take into consideration to avoid any fires when you start bringing out the grill.

Avoiding Fires While Grilling

  1. Cleanup any dead and decaying leaves left over from Fall. The leaves can catch on fire quickly potentially igniting your house.
  2. Place your grill at least five feet away from you home when cooking. Many grill fires start because they are placed under the eaves of the home.
  3. Clean out grease every time you grill. The buildup will eventually spill over and start on fire. It also leaves an unsightly mess on your patio or deck.
  4. Stay present while cooking. Leaving the grill to eat, serve, or surf the web will burn your food and possibly burn your house down.

When is the best time to call a restoration company?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

We understand that your maintenance crews have a lot of training and knowledge about how to have it clean. They do a great job day in and day out, and in most cases can take care of small water damage problems. They might even be able to take care of some larger problems as well. If they can do so much, why should I call a Commercial Restoration Company? 

Speed is The Answer

When your company needs to be back in business quickly is when you should give SERVPRO of Issaquah / North Bend. Large water losses need to be extracted and dried quickly to avoid any secondary damage. Although your maintenance team can clean up the water, if they can’t get to it quickly enough, you may be looking at a mold remediation down the road.

Distractions Causing Cooking Fires

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking fires are some of the most common fires that need cleanup from a restoration company. Today the distractions are more prevalent than even 10 years ago. These extra distractions are causing more kitchen fires today than ever before.

Heating Oil on the Kitchen Stove

One of the leading causes of a kitchen fire is heating up oil. We all need comfort food now and again, so we add oil to a pan and start heating it up to frying temperatures. At this time the food needing to fry is about done and now you’re waiting for the oil to heat up. Now is when the distraction happens. Instead of waiting patiently the homeowner turns on the TV or opens their phone to scroll through their social media. In a matter of minutes, the oil has reached a flash point and started a fire.

Avoid having a kitchen fire by being prepared, setting a timer, or staying away from distracting media. And if you do start a fire, call SERVPRO of Issaquah / North Bend.

What Causes Fire Sprinklers To Malfunction?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to monitor the condition of pipes in a fire sprinkler system.

A malfunctioning fire sprinkler system may activate when there is no sign of a fire. Accidental activations are typically due to mechanical issues, temperature extremes or plumbing issues. An incident such as a supply line burst can result in flooding at a commercial building in North Bend,WA. Find out more about common reasons why fire sprinklers malfunction and cause water damage.

Defects or Corrosion

Any component in fire suppression equipment may be defective. Regular inspections and testing should test the condition of the following components:

  • Alarms and sensors
  • Gauges
  • Sprinkler heads
  • Supply lines
  • Tamper switches
  • Test flow switches
  • Valves

A leak may cause sprinkler heads or pipe systems to corrode. It is also possible for pies or other components to wear out over time.

Excessive Heat or Freezing

Most fire sprinklers activate upon detecting high temperatures. These extreme temperatures greatly exceed normal interior temperatures and are usually in the range of 135 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (57 to 74 Celsius). Freezing temperatures can also cause pipes and other components to burst and result in flooding.

Plumbing Problems

Pipe problems can affect buildings with dry pipe or wet pipe fire sprinkler systems. In addition to pressure caused by frozen blockages, pipes can break for other reasons:

  • Age
  • Corrosion
  • Temperature variations

A burst pipe can release about 30 gallons of water per minute and cause extensive damage in a short amount of time. It is important to monitor the condition of pipes in a fire sprinkler system.

Regular inspections and testing can ensure that sprinklers function in the event of fire. Fire sprinkler system specialists can verify that every component is in working order and prevent accidental activations. If a system activates or a pipe bursts and results in flooding, a building owner or manager should have trained professionals from a water damage mitigation and restoration company assess and clean up damage.

Wind Driven Rain in Issaquah, WA

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

When a storm brings strong winds and rain, sometimes rain will get pushed up under your roof and cause ceiling damage. If that water damage is not discovered soon enough, mold can grow. When mold grows after water damage, that is called secondary damage. 

Our team at SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend is trained according to IICRC standards. We can safely restore your water damaged home and remove any mold that might have grown. 

We pride ourselves on being faster to any size disaster because we know how much a difference time can make when it comes to storm damage. 

If you are in the Issaquah, WA area and need storm damage restoration services, give us a call today. (425) 313-3100

We are available 24/7 to assist with water damage emergencies.

Preparing for Flooding

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

When you know there will be a large storm coming to Issaquah, WA, you might have some time to prepare your company for flooding. Here are some tips to get back to work quickly after a flood.

Flood Preparation Tips

Move furniture and desks from the bottom floor – This will save you money on any restoration or replacement costs.

  • Non-essential personnel should work from home – Gives you one less thing to worry about during the storm.
  • Backup information – All your computer systems and information should be backed up just in case the power goes out or servers are damaged.
  • Clean out drains – All the drains around your building need to be free of debris.

These tips should help with flood damage. The last thing is to call SERVPRO of Issaquah / North Bend. We can get your building clean and ready for business fast.

Does Water Damage Intensify Fire Damage?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can cause severe damage to a residence, and water damage may result from the effort to extinguish the blaze. A fire hose is capable of dispensing hundreds of gallons of water per minute and may result in flooding in addition to fire damage. The presence of both types of damage may have an intense combined effect on a home in North Bend, WA.

What Is Combined Damage?

Fire damage may be the major problem if a fire is minor and a fire extinguisher is used. If the fire department responds and uses a fire hose to put out a fire, standing water may also be a factor.

Water is usually the secondary cause resulting from an effort to put out a fire. Water may:

• Ruin porous materials and contents
• Cause corrosion or rotting
• Increase the risk of mold growth

Call SERVPRO of Issaquah / North Bend to take care of your Fire and Water Damage.

Could There Be Mold Growth in Your Building?

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO, professional specialists with experience to properly resolve the mold infestation.

Where To Look For Mold Growth

While performing regular maintenance tasks to ensure your commercial building in North Bend,WA, remains up to functioning standards, you may stumble upon spots of mold growth. It might be visibly spreading on the walls and ceilings or tucked away into the dark corners of a bathroom or kitchen. Seeking these problem spots on your own will make for a powerful start to the removal process. Here's where to look:

1. Heating and Cooling Systems

These are the perfect breeding grounds for mold spores, as they thrive in dark areas with high humidity and moisture levels. These systems commonly develop small leaks and provide ample condensation for the mold to take home.

2. Bathrooms

Toilets, sinks, and tile floors are all great areas for mold to fester. There is a higher chance for water damage in the cracks and crevices of this high humidity environment where mold loves to take space. It can be wise to install a dehumidifier in the bathrooms of your building to prevent mold growth in these ideal conditions.

3. Carpeted Areas

Mold loves to multiply under this absorbent material. If something spills on a carpeted area, it is imperative to give it a thorough cleaning as soon as possible. Water and dirt will provide an excellent breeding ground for mold spores.

4. Basements

It’s not uncommon for a building’s basement to get lonely from sparse visitation. Below ground level is a naturally damper and higher humidity environment than the above-ground space. You may also have a water heater and several pipe systems that are prone to leaks that may not be noticed right away.

Visible spotting can be the first indicator of mold, but it’s best to check these wet areas regularly. If you notice a problem, call a mold remediation specialist to fully assess and remove the damage. Afterward, you will be better prepared to identify and prevent mold growth before it affects your building.

Having Your Business Pretested: 3 Tips

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Fall City,WA

Contact a Storm Damage and Restoration Company for Pretesting Services

When a major flood strikes your Fall City, WA, business, you may not know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts and tallying up the cost of the damage. You may want to reach out to your insurance company to report the flooding; however, before you file a claim, it is also wise to contact a storm damage and restoration company for pretesting services. If you are unfamiliar with this process, there are a few points to keep in mind as you move forward with repairs.

1. Pretest Before You File a Claim

Flooding can cause a variety of problems that extend far beyond soaking walls and carpeting. It can also encourage mold growth and affect interior walls. This type of damage might not be apparent until after you have filed the initial insurance claim, and filing additional reports may raise your premiums. Pretesting before you file can prevent this issue and target different types of flood damage, even if you cannot see it.

2. Have Flood Water Graded Right Away

When flooding affects your business, the condition of the water can have a serious impact on what kind of damage it might cause. Water that comes from sanitary sources, such as from a burst sink pipe in the employee restroom, may not affect the surroundings as seriously as outdoor flood waters might if they reach the interior of your building. Having the water graded during a pretest survey can help you understand the degree of damage you will be reporting to your insurance agent.

3. Keep Notes During Testing

When your storm damage and restoration service arrives, and technicians begin testing your property, it is a good idea to take notes regarding what they discover. While you will likely receive a full report at the end of the test, jotting down a few notes during the process may help you better understand the process and its importance for keeping claim costs low.

Pretesting can be helpful when your Fall City, WA, business suffers flood damage and you want to keep insurance claim costs low. No matter the source of the water, this process may help you feel more confident when the time comes to file.

How to Make a Water Damage Claim

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Turn off the electricity to avoid the possibility of electric shock

How to Make a Water Damage Claim

Sudden water damage is a common and costly problem for homeowners and businesses. The usual culprits range from bursting pipes to ruptured hoses attached to water heaters, dishwashers or washing machines. Damage caused by these sources are typically covered by most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance in North Bend,WA. Making a claim can be a hassle, so take the proper steps to ease the process and recoup recovery costs.

1. Turn Off the Water and Electricity

When experiencing a water emergency, immediately shut off the main water valve usually located by the water meter. It is also crucial that you turn off the electricity to the affected area of the building to avoid the possibility of electric shock.

2. Contact the Insurance Provider

Contacting your insurance company should be done immediately. Be prepared to answer questions, such as what damage was done to your property and its source (i.e., bursting pipes). Ask plenty of questions to clearly understand what your policy covers and what costs each party is responsible for. This should also include what you should or should not do before any cleanup or repair is done. The insurance provider may send out a crew, or you may personally have to contact a restoration service specialist for cleanup and to fix the broken pipe. Depending on the severity of the damage, the claims representative will either provide you with an estimate of covered costs or send out an inspector before doing so.

3. Document the Damage

Take ample photos of the damage area and its source. Keep all records, including receipts and an inventory of your damaged items. You may be reimbursed for damaged or destroyed property based on your plan.

While water damage is not always predictable, it is wise to be proactive and review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Determine what existing coverage you have and whether you need more than just the standard policy that covers bursting pipes and even floods. This may prevent you from drowning in bills in the future!

Three Ways You Can Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity

3 Ways to Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Bathroom

Steamy showers and long baths are some of the small, simple joys of life, but sometimes they can cause nasty problems such as mold or bathroom mildew. Homeowners in Issaquah, WA, can take precautions to avoid mold that is caused by a severe humidity problem. Check out three simple ways to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom.

1. Use Your Ventilation Fan

Switching on the bathroom fan is one of the easiest ways to keep your bathroom mildew-free. A mechanical ventilation fan can draw out humid air and regulate the moisture within the bathroom, which eliminates a mold-friendly environment. Mold loves humidity, which is why flipping on your fan during your shower can make a big difference. It doesn’t hurt to leave the fan on for 30 minutes after your shower, too.

2. Clean Shower Curtains and Rugs

Shower curtains and bathroom rugs accumulate moisture every time you shower or bathe, so they shouldn’t be neglected. A general rule of thumb is to wash and dry them every two weeks. This will stop mold from forming and spreading throughout the bathroom. You can also purchase a mildew-resistant curtain for further mold protection.

3. Squeegee the Walls

Mildew can occur when there is leftover water after your shower. Using a squeegee to wipe away the water that clings to the walls and tiles is a simple way to lower the moisture level of the room. Keep a squeegee near the shower and vertically wipe down the walls after you’re done washing. If you notice any pools of water, wipe those up as soon as you see them.

If leaks or other problems cause mold, mold damage professionals such as SERVPRO of Issaquah/North Bend can target the mildew and make it seem “Like it never even happened." However, the best thing a homeowner can do to avoid bathroom mildew is to keep the bathroom dry and the humidity regulated.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Restoration training is IICRC approved

When you are processing an insurance claim for water damage in Snoqualmie,WA, you know that the response needs to be immediate. You’ve seen what happens to building materials and personal belongings in that first 24 hours and you know how fast mold sets in. With water, the damage becomes substantially worse in a matter of hours and secondary damage, like mold growth, can make claim costs climb exponentially. You need a preferred vendor that can get there, wherever there is, faster than any other contractor. That’s why many insurance companies rely on SERVPRO: because they are Faster to Any Size Disaster.

National, but Local

So, what do other insurance companies know that you don’t? Why are they using SERVPRO and what makes them Faster to Any Size Disaster? The simple answer is that it’s a national company, with locally-owned franchises. What does this mean to you

  • Service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

  • A national call center means your customer calls are returned within an hour.

  • There are more than 1,700 franchises so there is a location ready to respond wherever your customer lives.

  • Training is IICRC approved, consistent and provided from the national company so you can rely on knowledgeable remediation and restoration professionals and that translates into fast work because the crew knows exactly what to do.

  • A national company provides consistent standards and procedures, so work is done right the first time.

  • State of the art, commercial-grade equipment cleans, dries and monitors for quick and thorough cleanup.

With all the benefits of a national disaster restoration company and all the accessibility of locally-owned franchises, Faster to Any Size Disaster means significant cost reduction through the prevention of subsequent damage caused by delays and exposure. This provides more opportunities for restoration, which is much less costly than replacement. You can have the best of both worlds with SERVPRO.

4 Essential Steps for Fire Restoration

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage in a Mirrormount, WA home

4 Essential Steps for Fire Restoration

After a home fire occurs, the building that was once your home may only look like a shell of its former self. The devastating effects are even more unsettling when you see the damage that occurs inside. Fortunately, a fire cleanup company can work wonders in restoring your home and many of your belongings to their original condition. If you’ve recently gone through a house fire in your home in Mirrormount,WA, you may be wondering what you can expect over the next few weeks or months during the fire restoration process. Here are four essential steps that will be used to make your home livable again.

1. Inspection

After you contact a restoration specialist, the first important step they will take is inspecting the damage that occurred to your home. They will note of any water or smoke damage that has occurred and identify the best course of action.

2. Board-Up

In order to make your safe to enter and work in, the fire restoration company will need to immediately board-up structurally damaged windows and walls, and they will need to tarp up roofs and areas that are leaking to prevent further damage.

3. Mitigation

Before being able to start rebuilding your home, the restoration company will need to perform all necessary damage cleaning. This involves dealing with water damage and addressing the damage smoke and soot causes to the structure of your home. Finally, they will clean, sanitize, and restore any belongings that are able to be repaired.

4. Rebuilding

Once the mitigation process is over, your home can finally be rebuilt. Whether your home needs new walls, floors, or paint, this final step in the restoration process will get your home back to the way it was before the fire.

Fortunately, fire restoration specialists have the tools and expertise necessary to return your home back to its original state after a fire takes places. In their experienced hands, you can rest assured that your home will be livable in no time!

What You Need To Know About Smoke Damage Affecting Your Business

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage?

Impact of Smoke Can Have On a Business

When a fire occurs in your business in Issaquah, WA, you likely will want to begin the cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible. However, many business owners do not realize the impact smoke can have on a business and the importance of smoke cleaning.

1. Damage Smoke Can Cause

Though smoke does not cause structural damage to a building, can still have a drastic impact on a business. Soot and smoke damage can cause the odor of smoke to linger, and items in your building may be covered in a layer of soot as a result of the fire. In addition to the smell of smoke that can affect the building and items inside the building, some items may also be discolored.

2. How Smoke Is Removed from a Building

Even if a fire starts in a nearby building, insurance will generally cover the cost of cleaning smoke and soot. Smoke cleaning involves using different methods to clean and sanitize all surfaces, including everything from the ceiling to the floor, that have been affected by smoke. Often, air scrubbers and other devices are also used to ensure the air quality is returned to normal.

3. Time Matters

It’s often important to get rid of smoke odor and soot damage in your business as quickly as possible. The odor of smoke can permeate into walls, furniture and other items in the building, and soot can cause some items to deteriorate over time. As a result of this damage, some structures or items in your building may need to be replaced entirely. Generally, the longer soot and the odor of smoke remain in a building, the more damage is likely to occur.

Knowing how a fire can drastically affect your business and understanding why smoke cleaning is important can help you better prepare for the cleanup and restoration process. Consider working with fire cleanup professionals if your business has been affected by a fire.

How to Keep Water Away While You’re Out of Town

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Clean your gutters

Everyone needs some rest and relaxation from time to time. A vacation is an ideal way for hard-working people to get away from the stress of work and everyday life. Imagine the horror of returning home to find a flood and needing water pipe repair in your North Bend,WA, house. This disaster could quickly ruin any enjoyment your vacation just provided. Fortunately, there are some effective steps you can take to help ensure you keep water at bay while you’re gone.

What You Can Do

Don’t wait for a flooded basement to prompt you to take action. Don’t let this mishap cause you heartache and take up your time and money. Make sure you put these items on your flood-prevention checklist:

  • Ask someone to watch over your home while you’re gone.
  • Turn off the water to your home.
  • Check for leaks before you leave.
  • Clean the gutters.

Let a Neighbor Help

If you plan to head out of town for several days, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted neighbor or family member to keep an eye on your home. This way, if there is a broken pipe or other cause of flooding, the person can catch it quickly and notify you so you can contact a professional cleanup crew.

Shut Off the Main Water

If no one is available to help, find the main shutoff valve to your home’s water supply. You should also drain the pipes as well.

Check for Any Leaks

Do a quick run-through in your home and inspect the faucets and pipes. If you detect that you need water pipe repair, address that before you leave.

Clean the Rain Gutters

If a large storm hits the area while you’re on vacation, clogged rain gutters and downspouts could collect water and send it through the foundation of your home. Make sure these areas are clear and free of debris.

Water pipe repair needs, poor rain gutters, plumbing leaks and other issues can invite flooding. Don’t leave home for a trip until you’re sure these issues aren’t present.

3 Places Mold Likes To Hide

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO right away after a water damage to keep mold from growing

Where to Look for Hidden Mold

Excess water can lead to a mold infestation. Mold growth doesn’t always happen out in the open, though. Many homeowners in Fall City, WA, never know they have a problem until they smell the odor that indicates there is a collection of fungus somewhere in their homes. You are more likely to catch such a problem in its early stages if you know where to look for hidden mold.

1. Under Sinks

The dark cabinet that houses a sink’s pipes and supply lines is a prime location for a sneak patch of fungus to form. If your pipes have a small leak, you may not notice enough of a difference in your water bill to suspect that there’s an issue. The water is also unlikely to flow out of the cabinet unless the pipe breaks. It may be weeks, therefore, before you discover mold on the wood in the cabinet.

2. Beneath Flooring

Spills and floods on laminate flooring may seem like they’re easy to clean up. If moisture from these accidents seeps into cracks between the tiles, however, you may end up with a mold growth problem beneath them. Even if the surface looks fine, water that is trapped below the flooring can feed spores and cause them to multiply.

3. Behind Walls

If you do see mold on a surface, it is not uncommon for it to be behind that surface as well. Your walls are a good example. Walls tend to be constructed of porous material, so once mold sets in, it tends to grow not only across the wall but into it. This is how you end up with moldy drywall that ultimately has to be torn out and replaced by mold remediation specialists.

If you suspect that your home has mold growth, don’t just look on the surfaces. Mold can flourish in any place that is damp, even places well hidden from sight.

4 Water Damage Mitigation Tips

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in a Fall City, WA commercial building

Mitigation Tips

Water damage is a common problem at commercial properties. Building owners or facility managers should follow these four mitigation tips in the aftermath of a pipe break, sewer backup, flood, or similar damage at a building in Fall City, WA.

1. Remove Water As Soon As Possible

Removing standing water is the most important mitigation measure. Even leaks of clean, treated Category One water from broken pipes can degrade into more serious Category Two or Category Three damage in as little as 48 to 72 hours. It may be possible to clean up minor damage with a mop, towels, or a wet vac. More severe leaks may require a pump.

2. Check Building Materials and Contents

It is also necessary to assess the condition of building materials and contents after water damage. If the damage is caused by contaminated Category Two or Category Three water from a sewer backup, disinfection will necessary.

It may not be possible to thoroughly disinfect porous materials, which can increase the risk of mold growth. Damage restoration experts can help owners determine what can be cleaned and restored and which materials will need to be torn out and replaced.

3. Clean Up and Disinfect If Necessary

Category One water cleanup primarily involves removing water. If contaminated water was involved, disinfection will also be necessary. Remove damaged materials or contents prior to cleaning and disinfection to avoid recontamination.

4. Dry the Area As Soon As Possible

Regardless of the cause of damage, it is crucial to dry the affected area as soon as possible. Fans can speed drying and a dehumidifier will draw moisture out of the air and porous surfaces. Mold cannot thrive without moisture.

Follow these tips to lessen the severity of water damage in a commercial building in Fall City, WA. It is important to act quickly to limit primary damage and prevent secondary damage.

3 Things That Can Influence How Long Mold Remediation Takes

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall in a Mirrormount,WA business

Few business owners want to face mold removal. The cost, inconvenience and general interruption to your business can make the process a frustrating one. Among the biggest concerns is how long mold elimination will take. While it varies depending on the circumstances, here are few things that can directly influence how long you should expect before your Mirrormount,WA, business is mold free.

Most mold elimination takes no more than seven days. The process usually involves:

  • Determining the type of mold
  • Identifying the appropriate removal products
  • Completing the removal process

Outside of the time involved in those basic steps, there are a few other factors that can influence the process.

The Amount of Mold

As with many things, less mold is a good thing. Small amounts are easier to remove while larger amounts can increase removal time. This also extends to the number of instances of mold. So, a building with just one moldy area will be cleared faster than one with multiple areas needing remediation.

Location, Location, Location

Exactly where mold growth occurs can make all the difference. Removing black mold growing behind walls, for instance, may require different or more equipment, effort and time to locate and remove than just readily accessible mold growing beneath a sink. Keep that in mind as you begin mold remediation.

Contractor Experience

Like any skill, mold remediation tactics get better with time. Seasoned mold removal experts offer years of experience tackling different types of jobs and unexpected problems. These companies are likely to know how to identify and attack your mold problem faster than an upstart. Depending on the experience level, the difference in time to complete the job can range from days to weeks.

Mold removal is a dirty job, but it’s important that you find an experienced mold remover to do it. Use these tips to manage expectations when you do, and you’ll have a more pleasant experience.

5 Content Cleaning Methods for Fire Damage

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke damage in North Bend,WA

Content Cleaning Methods

Fire damage calls for specialized cleaning methods. While some items may need to be disposed of and replaced, others contents can undergo dry-cleaning or other techniques. Here are five content cleaning methods used by professional restoration services.

1. Abrasion

Agitation and blasting are two of the most common forms of abrasive cleaning. This method is best suited for durable semi- or non-porous contents, as some cleaning materials may cause erosion or etching. One innovative method is dry ice blasting. This method is clean, fast, safe, and can eliminate odors and stains.

2. Immersion

Immersion cleaning involves dipping non-porous items into a bath of cleaning solution. The effects of this cleaning method can be intensified through the use of high-pressure ultrasonic waves. These methods are best suited for ceramics, glass, plastics, metals, or even rubber.

3. Dry-Cleaning

This specialized restoration procedure removes smoke odors and staining. Delicate items may be ideally suited for this cleaning method. Experts may recommend that furniture, textiles, or upholstery be dry-cleaned.

4. Foam

Foam is suitable for cleaning delicate materials. This cleaning solution achieves even absorbency without introducing excessive moisture. Foam can be used to clean upholstery without causing bleeding or shrinking.

5. Wet Cleaning

Wet cleaning methods range from spraying and wiping to saturation with cleaning solution. Misting provides some of the benefits of wet cleaning without damaging or distorting delicate contents. Thorough wet cleaning can be useful for eliminating heavy residues from larger items that have soot or smoke damage without the need for immersion.

A mitigation and restoration service may use dry-cleaning or any of these other methods to eliminate traces of fire damage from the contents of a commercial property in North Bend,WA. Rely on cleanup experts when it comes to deciding which technique is best suited for specific items or materials and providing content storage until the restoration process is complete.

5 Steps To Clean Contents After a Flood

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Mirrormount, WA

Clean Contents After a Flood

The contents in a flooded home may suffer severe damage. Storm and water damage mitigation and restoration companies follow these five content cleaning steps to care for items exposed to flooding.

1. Determine What Can Be Cleaned

Most hard or non-porous items can be cleaned and disinfected, but porous contents and building materials may not withstand cleaning. It also might not be possible to ensure that these contents are completely clean and do not pose any recontamination risk. Ask restoration experts whether it is worth the time and effort necessary to try to clean porous items.

2. Clean and Disinfect Contents

The content cleaning process involves removing dirt and debris and disinfecting items. Both of these steps are critical. Flood water is considered Category Three, or black water, and may contain chemicals, microbes, or solid waste. For this reason, it is essential to make sure that all items exposed to flooding are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

3. Clean and Disinfect Flooded Areas

It is also important to clean and treat building materials exposed to flooding. Do not restore clean contents to an area that has not yet been cleaned, treated, and allowed to dry. Doing so can result in recontamination and prolong the mitigation and restoration process.

4. Allow Affected Areas To Dry

Moisture resulting from flooding can lead to mold growth. Experts recommend the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to prevent mold.

5. Restore Contents

Once an area has been cleaned, disinfected, and dried, you may start putting contents back into your house. Be sure to avoid re-introducing any items that have not been cleaned and treated.

Following these measures after a flood can properly clean the contents and affected areas of your home in Mirrormount,WA. Content cleaning professionals are capable of achieving the best results in the least amount of time, which can help to prevent secondary damage such as mold growth.

Aftercare for Water-Damaged Items

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure you know what items cannot be salvaged, and what you can do to salvage those that can be saved.

Even the most prepared household can experience water in the home. If your residence in Issaquah, Washington has been impacted by water damage, there are steps you can take to restore your belongings.

General Advice

Keep these tips in mind as you begin the cleanup:

  • Prioritize where to start. If any possessions need mending, wait until they are completely dry before attempting to fix them. However, if water damage is due to a broken pipe, repair it as soon as possible.
  • Gently use more water to rinse wet things. Be sure to use fresh water when cleaning, changing as frequently as necessary.
  • Avoid sunshine and warmth on your objects. They may cause further damage from the abrupt change in temperature.
  • Decrease humidity by creating airflow through any means necessary: fans, dehumidifiers, the breeze from open windows, etc. This can reduce water in your home, help pieces dry faster, and lower the risk of mold.

Suggestions for Specific Items

Certain belongings may need special treatment. Try these techniques for the following items:

  • Objects made of fibers like yarn or wool should be air-dried to avoid shrinking. Natural elements such as wood or leather should also be air-dried to prevent warping.
  • If paper items (including photographs) are stuck together, submerge them in fresh water to help them disengage. Be very careful to avoid contact on any picture images to avoid smudging and additional deterioration. Once they are separated, lay them out face-up on absorbent towels so they can dry.
  • You may need to contact a conservationist to save any water-damaged appliances, electronics, or fabric-covered furniture. If there are any markings or “halos” on painted or finished items, consult a restoration specialist for assistance on how to treat and preserve them.

Acknowledge that some items may not be salvageable or may require professional attention to rescue. Saving your upholstery may be as simple as a good dry cleaning, depending on the level of water in the home. Before discarding anything valuable or sentimental, you may want to contact an expert just in case.


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