Recent Posts

How To Handle Water-Damaged Building Materials

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Handle Water-Damaged Building Materials Swelling subfloor after water damage in an Harbor Island, WA home

Three Key Tips for Handling Swelling Wood After Water Damage

One of the most difficult wet materials to handle is wood. Because of its porosity, wood tends to absorb a lot of water and become distorted. Read on for three key tips for handling swelling wood after extensive water damage.

1) Know the Different Types of Wood Damage

At first glance, it may seem like the damage to your home’s wooden materials is irreversible, but depending on their location, they may be salvageable. The way you would handle damaged wood in your cabinets or your subfloor, for example, differs from the way you would handle drywall and real wood. Your cabinets and subfloor would most likely need to be replaced, but fortunately, drywall and real wood can be dried and saved.

2) Stop It at the Source

A common cause of flooding in homes is water pipe damage. Your pipes, also known as your home’s supply line, carry water or gas from behind your walls to your fixtures and appliances.
Damage to these crucial pipes can come about from clogging, corrosion, or freezing, as just a few examples. Unfortunately, pipe failure often leads to substantial flooding and building material damage. If you encounter swelling wood or similar damage, it’s important to fix the structural issue rather than treating the symptoms of it. This will save you money and time in the long run.

3) Get Help!

With the proper equipment, water damage repair specialists in Harbor Island,WA, can accurately assess the extent of the damage to your home. From there, they can decide on the appropriate next steps to take, such as water extraction, dehumidification, and water pipe repair. Water damage is tricky for non-professionals to deal with, so it’s safer and more cost-effective in the long-term to enlist professionals with the right tools and experience.

Wet building materials are an all-too-common occurrence that can arise from a number of situations. An especially difficult part of dealing with water damage in your home is figuring out how to repair swelling wood. With some patience and help, though, you’ll get your home back to its dry, normal state before you know it.

How To Prevent Mold Spores From Spreading in Your Home

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Prevent Mold Spores From Spreading in Your Home Regularly wipe away moisture to keep mold from growing around the windows

If you find mold hiding in one of the corners of your home in Mercer Island,WA, it’s time to act quickly. Mold spores are notorious for spreading far and wide in dark, damp areas of your home in as little as 48 hours. Once you discover the mold contamination, your first step is to call your local mold remediation services. While waiting for the professionals to come, here are a few ideas that can help you minimize damage in the long run.

Control the Moisture

The best thing you can do to prevent mold from spreading is to identify where the fungi’s stemming from. Undesirable water leaks or puddles are often the culprits. Common sources of moisture include the following:

  • Roof leaks
  • Humid basements
  • Condensation
  • Steam from bathrooms
  • Improper ventilation

Once you’ve identified the source, you can eliminate the moisture by fixing leaks, wiping up puddles, and opening the windows. Getting rid of the humid, damp atmosphere can stop the mold contamination from spreading. However, don’t turn on the HVAC. Airflow within the house can increase the risk of spores spreading.

Eliminate Contaminated Items

After purging the root of the problem, it’s time to get rid of the aftermath. While it’s important not to disturb the fungi and spread airborne spores, you can throw away any items that are contaminated and likely to spread the mold. Porous items such as carpet or clothing can be thrown away immediately. If you have items of significance such as family pictures or important documents, freeze them to keep the mold inactive. A restoration professional can help you clean and sanitize your valuables later.

Containing the mold as much as possible can make the remediation process easier. To prevent mold contamination even further, turn the temperature of your house down and keep an eye on the humidity levels. Avoid disturbing the mold spores and wait for a professional to come restore your home.

For Large Losses, SERVPRO Is on the Case

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO For Large Losses, SERVPRO Is on the Case Fire loss in a Seattle, WA home

At some point, most Seattle,WA, homeowners will experience some type of incident or mishap in their house. They can handle many of these minor issues on their own, but what happens when something severe such as a flood or fire produces catastrophic loss? This is precisely when you need an experienced professional to take over. SERVPRO fits the profile as the ideal disaster relief company. These experts have what it takes to tackle disasters of any size.

What Makes SERVPRO the Best?

In the aftermath of a fire or flooding, as an insurance agent you don’t want to trust cleanup, rebuilding and replacement to just anyone. SERVPRO is equipped with what you’re looking for in a high-quality disaster response team.

  • They have resources.
  • They have a proven track record of success.
  • They use best practices and techniques to clean up after large losses.
  • They have the skills and customer service you need.

Biggest Problems

Chances are, if a major storm or fire affects your client’s home, it may affect others in the areas as well. When it comes to catastrophic loss, SERVPRO has the ability to handle even the most challenging situations. This trusted disaster restoration company has a nationwide presence so that it can send technicians from several locations to your client’s home and neighborhood. This helps ensure a faster, more thorough response to the most significant problems.

True Professionals

SERVPRO is one of the most reputable names in the business because the entire staff prides itself in doing first-rate work. The team will start by inspecting the storm damage or damage from smoke and fire. Technicians will then decide what they need to replace altogether and what they can clean, repair and salvage. They use the most up-to-date techniques and equipment to ensure your client’s home is as close to the preloss state as possible.

SERVPRO is your top choice to help your insured recover from catastrophic loss. Call your local office during your time of need.

5 Methods to Avoid Urban Flooding

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

5 Methods to Avoid Urban Flooding

Flooding is an all too common form of natural disaster faced by cities around the country, including Des Moines,WA. While humans are unable to stop Mother Nature, taking proactive measures toward flood prevention can help towns and communities avoid some of the major damage and cleanup. Here are five tactics that urban areas can employ to prevent catastrophic flooding.

1. Renovate Drainage Systems

Many cities have combined sewer systems, where rainwater and wastewater travel a single pipe to the sewage treatment area. This means that excessive water from torrential rains or storms can cause an overflow. Revamping this system to include a second pipe can remedy this issue. While this can be an expensive endeavor, the money saved from avoiding flood cleaning and repairs can make it worthwhile.

2. Maintain Sewer Systems

Sewer systems can easily be compromised by debris, waste and tree roots. Rust and corrosion are also common culprits in causing issues. Regular cleaning and routine maintenance can prevent problems that may ultimately contribute to flooding.

3. Preventative Structures

Seawalls, levees, dams and floodwalls are designed to hold back or retain floodwaters. These barriers can be very effective forms of flood prevention in those cities that are located near a body of water.

4. Permeable Pavement

Most cities and towns have concrete or asphalt sidewalks and streets. These materials are not absorbent, and rainwater can easily overwhelm drainage systems and cause flooding. A number of porous surfaces can be used instead to allow water to infiltrate, eliminating runoff and controlling water from storms.

5. Increase Vegetation

There are many natural defenses against flooding, and vegetation is a highly effective one. Trees can hold water in leaves and bark, and their canopies can slow the flow of water until it evaporates or is absorbed by the soil. Grass and shrubs combat erosion and reduce the force of floodwaters.

Flood prevention strategies can help towns and communities dodge some of the damage caused by water, but when disaster strikes, emergency restoration specialists are available to assist in cleanup and rebuilding.

Three Types of Smoke Alarms and How to Maintain Them

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Three Types of Smoke Alarms and How to Maintain Them Alarm with replaceable battery

How Alarms are Powered and How to Maintain Each Type

Fire alarms are important safety tools for your Seahurst,WA home. They can warn you when a fire starts and, in some cases, allow you to prevent significant fire damage. Not all alarms are made the same way, so it is important that you know how your alarms are powered and how to maintain each type.

1. Alarms That Use Replaceable Batteries
When you think of a smoke alarm, you will likely think of this kind first. These alarms use a nine-volt battery that needs to be replaced at least once a year. The alarm will start beeping as a reminder when the battery starts to run low. When this happens, you should replace the battery right away to ensure that the alarm continues to work properly.

2. Alarms That Use Non-Replaceable Batteries
If you have a newer smoke detector in your home, then it might use a non-replaceable lithium battery instead. These batteries will last for up to ten years and you should not try to replace them. Instead, you will need to replace the entire alarm when it is time. The manual that comes with your alarm should have instructions on how to determine when you need to purchase a replacement.

3. Alarms That Use Electricity
Some alarms are connected to your home’s electrical system and do not require a battery to function. However, even if your smoke alarm is hooked up to the electricity, it should always have a backup battery in case of a power outage. You should replace this battery once a year, the same way you would with a battery-powered alarm. All types of alarms need to be tested monthly and should be completely replaced at least once every ten years.

No matter what type of smoke alarm you have in your home, you should be sure to maintain it properly by replacing the batteries or the alarms themselves when necessary. Fire damage restoration services are available in case of damage to your home, but keeping your alarms working can save your life.

Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics

Smoke Damaged Electronics

An electrical fire, or any fire, can leave your electronics in disarray. While it is tempting to turn everything on and see if it still works, it is best to avoid powering on most items. There are elements of a fire that can be hazardous to your electronics, and that damage may become irreversible if powered on. It is best to leave the cleaning and testing to the professionals and avoid these common smoke damage pitfalls.

1. Avoiding Magnetic Charges

Though it may not be common knowledge, smoke does have a magnetic charge. This charge can short your laptops circuit board, or damage other machinery and appliances. To protect your laptop, you should take it in for a professional computer cleanup, letting the staff know about your concerns. Best case scenario, they save your computer; worst case, maybe they salvage your files.

2. Dealing with Black Film

A regular and electrical fire can leave a smoke residue on your electronics called black film. This film infiltrates the internal components of your items, insulating them and making them vulnerable to overheating. It is necessary to dismantle all parts and thoroughly clean them.

3. Removal of Acidic Soot

In addition to magnetic charges and black film, the remnants of soot on your electronics are acidic which can lead to degradation. This means that if the soot is not adequately cleaned off, your item’s life span will diminish, likely substantially.

4. Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment

While most businesses employ janitorial staff, it is important to note that electronics cleaning is a specialized field. Many janitors do not have the necessary tools or experience to clean electronics after a fire. You will likely want to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Seattle,WA, area.

A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics. While the fire itself can be destructive, it is the smoke damage that does the most harm to these items. The intricate components and the variety of smoke, film and soot, make hiring a professional most beneficial.

How to Make a Water Damage Claim

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Make a Water Damage Claim Call your insurance representative in Mercer Island,WA and discuss the incident in detail

Do you ever pay your monthly insurance premium and cringe at the amount of money you spend? You’re not the only Mercer Island,WA, homeowner to stress out about these costs. On the other hand, with proper coverage, you can spare yourself grief and much more financial stress in the event of bursting pipes or other issues that leads to flooding at home. If water has damaged something in your house, you must understand the claims process so you can get the help you need.

Key Points to Know

You don’t want to have to make a claim for water damage, but you’re thankful you have that protection if something does go wrong. To alleviate your stress during this already anxious time, considering the following:

  • Know the extent of your coverage. What does your policy cover?
  • Document the type and extent of the damage.
  • Contact the insurance company as soon as possible.

Get Familiar With Your Policy

You have homeowner’s insurance for a situation just like this, so put it to good use. However, policies can differ, so it’s crucial you know what yours will cover and not cover. Find out whether your policy will cover the cost to fix a broken pipe and other problems that have occurred due to deterioration over time. These are often your own responsibility. However, more disastrous situations such as sewer backups or storm-related problems are usually covered.

Keep Records

Whether bursting pipes cause flooding in your home or whether the problems come from Mother Nature, you should take photos of all the affected areas and what caused the water damage. Also, describe in writing how the flooding occurred and what it damaged.

Get in Touch With the Insurance

Call your insurance representative and discuss the incident in detail. At this point, you can formally file a claim and ask any questions. This is also the ideal time to contact a disaster cleanup company.

Not sure whether your insurance will bursting pipes in your house? Follow these steps to make sure you properly file a claim.

3 Tips To Prevent Mold

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Tips To Prevent Mold Control moisture and humidity in your Harbor Island,WA home

3 Tips To Prevent Mold

Dealing with water damage in your home in Harbor Island,WA, sometimes makes it seem like a mold problem is inevitable. It may be easier to prevent mold than you think, though. You don’t have to resign yourself to recurring patches of fungus on your walls, carpet and ceiling. Follow these tips to keep these issues at bay.

1. Maintain Optimal Air Flow

Stagnant air can contribute to mold growth. If you do not have sufficient air flow in your home, mold spores are more likely to settle on surfaces. You are also more likely to have moisture problems, which exacerbate mold issues by giving it sustenance. Make sure that the areas of your home that are prone to excess moisture, such as the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom, are properly ventilated.

2. Pursue Quick Remediation

If your pipes spring a leak, a fast response is the best way to prevent secondary damage such as mold. Call mold remediation experts immediately whenever your home has water damage. It only takes a couple of days for spores to settle and multiply on surfaces in your home. The quicker you can make the environment less hospitable for fungus growth, the more likely you are to prevent the problem.

3. Keep Moisture Levels Down

Mold loves moisture, so it logically follows that minimizing moisture in your home can help with mold prevention. There are two main ways to do this. First, make sure you keep the humidity level at 45% or below. You can purchase a humidity meter at most hardware stores. Second, dry all affected items thoroughly any time you have a spill or leak. Allowing moisture to remain on surfaces in your home is an invitation to mold.

You may not be able to prevent water damage, but you don’t have to resign yourself to further issues such as mold infestation. Hire specialists who are faster to any size disaster to keep your home free from secondary damage.

Insurance Claims and Rate Hikes: Should You File?

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Insurance Claims and Rate Hikes: Should You File? Drying a flooded home in Seattle, Wa

When something happens on your property, you likely wonder whether or not it is worth filing an insurance claim. The general understanding is that filing creates a rate hike, and sometimes that hike may price you out of your policy. However, is every claim created equal, and are there ever times that you shouldn’t file?

Determine Responsibility

While a rate hike is likely part of any claims process, a lot of weight is put on the idea of responsibility. For example, if something happens that is entirely out of your control, then the hikes associated with the claim may be minimal. On the other hand, if it is proven that you were negligent, then rate increases will likely be severe because they are associated with the risk you present to your insurer.

Type of Claim

Beyond responsibility, the effect on rates is dependent on the type of insurance claim. For example, there are varying degrees of water damage. A home flood caused by sustained pipe damage is going to cause a higher increase than a sudden burst pipe.

The Cost of Filing

It is important that you consider the cost of filing a claim. Most claims can result in a 20 to 40 percent increase and, depending on your insurer, may stay in effect for two to four years. Also, if the claim is considered high risk, your insurer may drop your coverage, requiring you to acquire high-risk policies.

Should You File

Whether or not you file is entirely up to you. If the damage is your responsibility, meaning you are at fault, then filing could result in the loss of coverage. Therefore, it may be better to resolve the issue on your own by hiring an emergency restoration company in the Seattle,WA, area. However, if the incident is an unforeseen event, then a claim is possibly your best option.

The insurance claim process often causes anxiety because homeowners are concerned with the effect it will have on their policy. However, the crucial thing to understand is that your insurance is there to protect you from unforeseen expenses and disasters, so use it when you need it.

How Do House Fires Typically Start?

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Do House Fires Typically Start? Plugging in too many cords in one outlet can cause fire damage

It’s a nightmare scenario that no homeowner wants to think about: a house fire causing major damage or harm. The effects of a home fire can be devastating and even deadly. Fortunately, there are ways you can help prevent these awful situations in your Mercer Island,WA, house. When you understand some of the leading residential fire causes, you can take appropriate measures to keep you and your family safe.

Electrical Fires

You rely on electricity in your house every day of your life. It powers your appliances, your computers and forms of entertainment. It’s hard to imagine living without this convenience. However, electrical issues can also start fires. Here are some typical ways this occurs:

  • Plugging in too many cords in one outlet
  • Faulty wiring or faulty fuse boxes
  • Old, outdated appliances
  • Overheated space heaters

Smoking

If you smoke, take great care to dispose of cigarettes or cigars properly. Better yet, smoke outdoors away from your home and away from brush. Cigarette butts and ash can easily fall onto carpet, furniture, paper and other items. Once a home fire starts, it can spread quickly. If you choose to smoke indoors, use an ashtray and never leave a lit cigarette unattended.

Cooking

Many fires begin in the kitchen over a hot stove or in an oven. Not only can these issues lead to expensive fire cleaning, but they can cause extensive damage. Often, people will let pans get too hot or may even leave a stove or oven on. Keep a close eye on cookware when you’re baking or cooking, especially if grease is involved.

Candles

People love scented and other types of candles for the ambiance they can create. Regrettably, they’re also culprits for fires at home. If you light candles, keep them away from flammable materials.

Any of these problems could arise in your house and cause a home fire. While a restoration team can help clean up the damage, it’s better to know the causes of fires and avoid them altogether.