When Fire Strikes
A few years back, a couple of college students were attempting to make pasta for a quick and easy dinner before a long night of studying. They put the boiling water on the stove but quickly realized they would need to go to the store for pasta sauce, garlic bread, and Parmesan cheese - the essentials for any pasta dinner. Without even thinking, the pair left their apartment and headed across the small college town to get to the store. What did they forget to do? Turn off the stove before leaving. By the time they got back merely twenty minutes later, their kitchen was in flames and the fire department was already on scene. After the two were cleared to enter, they found their kitchen was in black, smoky shambles, and the rest of their apartment had a gray residue staining the walls and ceiling.
Unfortunately, fire damage is much more common than most would hope. Simple tasks like remembering to turn off the stove or blow out a candle can be quickly forgotten in the haste to get somewhere. In the case of those two college students, they were relatively lucky. A few years ago in Pullman, WA, a similar instance happened; however, that couple wasn’t so lucky. The fire caught two other apartment buildings, and ended up destroying three in total.
Now, how does one come back from something like this? Smoke residue can be a pain to get off walls and ceilings. Smoke will seep into the smallest cracks in dressers, closets, and shelves so that even when everything is clean and back to normal, clothes, shoes, and furniture will still smell of smoke.
The easiest way to take care of this is to call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle to handle all of the cleaning - from walls to teddy bears. Not only do we have a large team of trained technicians who can come out and clean the walls and ceilings, but we will also pack up any belongings and bring them back to our facility to be cleaned and deodorized; leaving you with nothing but peace of mind that your items will be taken care of by our skilled employees.
There are also very simple things homeowners can to do help prevent smoke and fire damage. These may seem like no-brainers, but even the smallest slip of the mind can have devastating consequences:
- Never burn candles on shelving or near a window.
- The heat from the candle can catch the shelving on fire, and the air from outside could possibly fuel the small flame.
- Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start cooking.
- One of the most common ways to start a kitchen fire is from forgetting to turn off the oven or stove top.
- Have windows open and a fan running when cooking
- This will decrease the chances of a grease fire happening.
Now, what happens if a fire does start? If it’s small enough, there are a few ways to keep it from spreading:
- Coil stove-top: if a small fire (a flame no bigger than your pinky nail) happens, turn off the stove and pour salt over the fire. NEVER use water. This could cause a bigger electrical fire.
- Grease fire: Smother the pan with a lid and immediately put the pan in the oven. DO NOT turn on the hood fan, as that will draw the flames to a condensed area and could cause a larger fire.
- Fire in the oven: the best way to put this out is with a fire extinguisher.
- Note: Avoid any grease build-up in your oven by regularly cleaning
If a fire starts in your home and cannot be controlled by smothering, leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1. Smoke inhalation is just as dangerous as a fire itself, so do not linger if the fire is out of control.
Once the fire is out and the damage has been assessed, call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle at 425-225-2227 to schedule a cost-free estimate and start getting your life back to normal.
A couple months ago, Erika had a small leak in her basement powder room sink. She cleaned up the water, had a plumber out to fix the plumbing, and figured that was that. However, one day while doing laundry, she decided to use that room. Something seemed a little off. The room didn’t smell like the apple cinnamon air freshener that she had put in there. In fact, it smelled damp - as though the water had never been cleaned up. She called her local SERVPRO, who was able to take moisture readings in the walls.
It turns out that not only did the water from the leak a couple months ago soak into the walls, but it had seeped halfway up the wall! Combined with the fairly moist environment already present in the basement, Erika was looking at a lot more damage than she had originally feared. The technician pulled back the baseboard, and found colonies of black mold growing! In the end, half of the wall had to be demolition, and Erika ended up having to pay not only for the SERVPRO services, but also the services of a general contractor put her bathroom back together.
Mold is such a tricky microscopic beast, because the spores themselves are in the air around us at all times. They float through the air unnoticed by all (except those who are allergic) until they are exposed to water. Here in the Pacific Northwest, mold is especially prevalent because of the amount of rain we receive annually. The constant damp air combined with a water loss in a house is a perfect breeding ground for mold.
There are a few ways to help reduce or prevent mold from growing in your home, however:
- Make sure that all windows are air-tight.
- A faulty seal in a window, especially in the winter, can allow moisture in and give mold room to grow.
- If there is water damage, have someone out immediately to start drying.
- It takes only 72 hours for mold to start presenting itself.
- Ensure that laundry rooms are properly vented.
- The moist heat from the dryer is a wonderful place for mold.
- Ensure that crawl spaces, garages, and attics are properly insulated.
Even though mold may not be 100% preventable, it is 100% removable. If you think you may have mold present in your house, call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle at 425-225-2227 for a cost-free estimate today.
Harold and Jenny decided to go on vacation for a couple weeks. They did everything they thought they were supposed to: lock the doors, have someone watch their cats and water their plants, and make sure their heat was set to low so they weren’t charged for using it while they weren’t in town. However, one day the boy who was watching their cats and watering their plants noticed a small puddle of water in the basement. Of course, he thought nothing of it. He contacted Harold and Jenny, told them about the water, and went on his way. Fast forward to five days later the couple returned. Harold went to the basement to check out the “small” puddle of water. Turns out a pipe had cracked while they were on vacation, and now they were dealing with a flooded basement. That small puddle of water Jimmy had mentioned had turned into a small lake in the basement.
Some may say this situation is exaggerated, but this happens more often than people think. As the weather gets colder and many start taking vacations in warmer climates, the plumbing is often the first aspect of a house to suffer. When pipes aren’t run regularly, the small amounts of water left over in the pipes will collect in areas of the lines. If the temperature gets low enough, that water can freeze, which will cause the pipes to shrink and crack.
Now, some may think: “Well, what am I supposed to do when that happens?” There are a few answers:
- Turn off the water
- This will stop the immediate problem of leaking water.
- Call a plumber
- Get that leak fixed so it doesn’t become a future problem
- Call SERVPRO
This is probably the last thing someone wants to think about right after coming back from a relaxing vacation, so there are also a few steps to take prior to leaving that can save a call to a plumber:
- Keep the heat above 55 degrees in the house
- This is something a lot of apartment complexes recommend for people who leave during winter breaks (usually college students), but this also applies to homeowners. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing.
- Let the kitchen sink drip
- If it’s an older home or older plumbing this will keep water from standing in one place
- Make sure that parts of the home that may not be as well insulated (garage, basement, attic, etc) are well-heated.
- Space heaters are a simple way to heat large rooms.
- Note: This will probably increase your heating bill, but that is drop in the bucket compared to the price of a plumber and mitigation team. Not only will you be paying for the repairs, mitigation, and dry-out, but your family may also be displaced for a while, depending on the amount of damage.
- Especially with colder nights coming, pipes in the garage, basement, or attic are sometimes the first to freeze up.
Remember that mold spores can start growing into colonies about 72 hours: waiting to call if there is water damage can only make the problem worse!
If you do have water damage in your home, please call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle for a cost-free estimate at 425-225-2227 today! We can have a team out to your home to assess and mitigate the problem immediately.
Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti very hard and now is making its way to Florida, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. The governors in these areas have declared states of emergency and demanded everyone in evacuation zones leave at once before the deadly storm strikes. The extreme winds of a major hurricanes and storms can do a lot of damage. Hurricane Matthew’s winds are 140mph and destroying anything in its path.
Storm damage is not a joke. In the PNW we don’t see a lot of major storms; but when we do SERVPRO of South & West Seattle is right there to help you. When dealing with storm damage immediate action is very crucial for your home or building. SERVPRO of South & West Seattle is part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams set in place throughout the country in times of large scale disasters. Here are some tips on what you can do:
- Look for potential hazards on your property
- Branches leaning over 45 degrees over your roof
- Anything close to utility lines
- Check your gutters, remove debris to prevent water damage
During the storm:
- Follow all guidelines for evacuations
- Don’t hesitate to get help
- Stock up on non-perishable foods, drinks (water and drinks with electrolytes), gas, batteries, etc.
- Prepare in advance
After the storm:
- Stay clear from all utility lines, trees, hanging branches, unsecure areas
- Evaluate what you can and can’t handle for cleanup
- Call SERVPRO of Renton for cleanup and emergency services
Let us be faster than any disaster and call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle when catastrophe strikes.
Residential house vandalized by teenagers!
One thing about SERVPRO of South & West Seattle is that we are a “one stop shop”. Not only do we specialize in fire and water damage restoration and cleanup; we specialize in vandalism and graffiti cleanup!
In some areas of the PNW vandalism can happen on a reoccurring basis and require a lot of time set aside to cleanup, paint over, or tear down the damaged area. As we know vandalism can range from small pranks like throwing eggs at someone’s front yard to completely destroying someone’s house from breaking windows or spray painting on their private property. Luckily, SERVPRO of South & West Seattle specializes in both minor and large vandalism and graffiti cleanup and restoration.
In addition to removing spray-paint on walls we can also clean:
Don’t worry when someone intrudes and tries to destroy your personal property, SERVPRO of South & West Seattle will act fast and efficient to restore your personal items and remove all vandalism and destruction from your home or commercial building.
Call us today at (425) 255-2227 for any questions or concerns!
Residential home of an hoarding situation before cleanup.
Hoarding is actually categorized as a disorder of behavior where a person has the inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that end up eventually covering up all areas of their home or living space.
Hoarding is categorized as a biohazard due to the substances that might be found in your home, apartment, or commercial building. During hoarding situations there could be a wide range of things you could find from house supplies and magazines to hazardous materials and animal waste or remains. SERVPRO of Renton trains our technicians to specialize in hoarding cleanup and restoration. Hoarding cleanup includes not just removal of items but also recovery and restoration of useful and valuable objects.
Following the cleanup and restoration process, our technicians will deodorize the scene so eliminate any and all existing odors that could have come from a number of sources. If more cleanup is necessary like, carpet cleaning, mold removal, or water damage; SERVPRO of Renton will handle everything and continue to communicate with you throughout the process.
- A common problem 2-5% of Americans meet diagnosis requirements
- Hoarders see objects having significant value
- Often begins during adolescence around the age of 13 or 14
- Often environmentally related
- Depression is often related
- Most hoarders have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Consequences are more than a messy home- unsanitary living environment
- Increased risk of fires for occupants and their neighbors
- Accumulation of objects
- Blocked exits
- Unsafe cooking and heating environment – 39% of fires in hoarding homes result from cooking
- Safety and health risks to people, animals, and the community
If you are struggling with a hoarding situation and need help discarding any or all items, SERVPRO of Renton will be there to help you through this process. Give us a call today at (425) 255-2227 for any questions or concerns.
Quality Carpet Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning your home or commercial building you want the highest-quality possible. Rely on SERVPRO of Renton to provide you with your needs and wants in a cleaning service. SERVPRO of Renton specializes in carpet, upholstery, ceilings, floors, walls, drapes, and blinds cleaning.
As a company we offer a number of cleaning options based off of your type of carpets, upholstery, blinds, etc. Our cleaning services address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets.
Our specialized cleaning methods are:
- Bonnet Cleaning
- A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
- Hot Water Extraction
- A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
- Deluxe Precondition and Rinse
- Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
- Showcase Premier Cleaning
- The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
- Dry Cleaning
- When color-fastness is an issue.
Keeping up with your carpets:
- Vacuum regularly to reduce accumulated dust/dirt
- Remove spots immediately
- Move furniture to change traffic pattern
- Have people take off their shoes in your home
- Use walk-off mats to take of soil tracked into your home/building
You can count on SERVPRO of Renton to get the job done for you in a timely matter at the highest-quality of cleaning possible. Give us a call today to set up a time for us to come out at (425) 255-2227.