Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How to Stop Mold From Growing in the Bathroom

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

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

How To Stop Mold Growth

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

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

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

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

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

Why Does Mold Have Such a Distinctive Odor?

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

mold growing on wall Musty odor in your business?

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

What Are Mycotoxins?

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

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

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

What Can You Do About the Smell?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.