Recent Commercial Posts
Improper Ice Dam Thawing and Its Moldy Aftermath
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.
How to Protect Your Business From Water Damage During Construction
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.
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.
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.
3 Ways Smoke Inflicts Damage Upon Structures and Their Contents
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
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.
What Causes Mold and How To Prevent It
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.
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:
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.
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.
What to Do After a Fire
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.
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.
Understanding Your Business Interruption Insurance
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:
- 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.
How Do I Deal With an Accidental Sprinkler Discharge at My Business?
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:
- Mechanical damage
- 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.
4 Ways To Prepare for Adverse Weather
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.
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.
Get Peace of Mind After a Commercial Fire
Commercial fire damage in North Bend, WA
There are a lot of tasks to complete after a commercial fire. One of the first things every business owner should do is file a claim with an insurance company. To file a claim for the fire damage to your property, you need to gather documents, fill out forms and secure your property. Educating yourself on the process can help you to finish it efficiently so you can concentrate on other important matters for your business.
How To File a Claim
The five steps of a fire claim in North Bend,WA are:
- Contact your insurance company through the phone or internet
- Make minor repairs on your property and secure it from robberies
- Collect financial records such as tax returns, monthly sale receipts and business contracts
- Track every expense incurred in order to protect or repair your property
- Take pictures of every damaged item and all the debris on your property
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.
Why You Should Know About the Categories of Water Damage
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.
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
- Water lines
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.
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!
Do you have a personal disaster kit?
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.
When is the best time to call a restoration company?
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.
Preparing for Flooding
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.
Could There Be Mold Growth in Your Building?
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.
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.
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.
What You Need To Know About Smoke Damage Affecting Your Business
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.
4 Water Damage Mitigation Tips
Water damage in a Fall City, WA commercial building
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.