Recent Posts

After a Flood: What Not To Do

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded livingroom. Flood water in your home is a situation that calls for smart action.

If your home in Seattle, WA, is plagued by floodwater, you will undoubtedly get a lot of advice about what to do to make the recovery process smoother. Avoiding unnecessary or harmful behavior, however, is just as important, if not more so, than taking positive steps. Here are five actions to avoid so that you don't make a situation that's potentially dangerous worse for you and your family.

1. Don't Stay.

Step one of dealing with a flooded home is getting out of it. Don't try to stay in your house, especially if you have significant damage or if evacuation is recommended or mandated. You could be putting your family's safety at risk.

2. Don't Wade.

A number of problems could arise from standing floodwater. It could be charged with electricity, hiding sharp or dangerous items or filled with bacteria. At any rate, you don't want this water to touch your skin or be anywhere near you.

3. Don't Play.

If you are waiting to be rescued or waiting on an adjuster to arrive, you may feel bored. Fight the urge to play games on your phone or use it in any way that depletes the charge. You may need it for emergency reasons, and you may not have any place to recharge it.

4. Don't Buy.

Purchasing new furniture or replacing destroyed items is the very last item on the restoration to-do list. Buying these things before you have a clean, restored place to put them is inadvisable.

5. Don't Hesitate.

You may see widespread water damage all around you, but don't assume that your insurance company and flood restoration specialists won't have time to come and assess your property. Go ahead and give them a call to report the damage to your home. The sooner you call, the sooner they can help.

Flood water in your home is a situation that calls for smart action. Take the steps you need to take, and avoid the things that work against you.

What Is Mold? Your Guide To Understanding This Fungus Among Us

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Woman looking at black mold growth. It can be disheartening to find black mold or mold of any kind in one's home.

Mold is one of those dreaded problems that most homeowners are forced to deal with at least once or twice in their lifetimes. However, just because it is a common problem does not make it any easier to remediate—or understand. If you want to better understand black mold, its causes, and how you can prevent it, contact your Seattle, WA, mold remediation team to discuss your concerns and find answers to your most pressing questions.

What Are the Types?

If you want to know how to prevent mold and, when it's present, how to get rid of it, you need to first understand the different varieties and which may be present in your home. There are four main types:

• Cladosporium
• Penicillium
• Alternaria
• Aspergillus

Your mold cleanup team can help you identify the type present in your home and advise you on the best way to deal with it. If it is black mold, the team can act swiftly to prevent further contamination and prevent unwanted side effects.

Where Is It Found?

Mold can grow in just about any environment and all year round. However, its growth is typically encouraged by high humidity levels and warm conditions. Outdoors, you may be able to find it in moist, shady areas where leaves or other vegetation are decomposing. Indoors, you may be able to find it where humidity levels are high.

How Can You Prevent Exposure?

Preventing mold exposure does not have to be hard, and in fact, many proven prevention measures are things you likely do already. For instance, if you notice a moisture problem, you fix it. If your roof has a leak, you patch it. If the air in your home feels wet, you invest in a dehumidifier. In short, the key to preventing mold is moisture control.

It can be disheartening to find black mold or mold of any kind in one's home. If you discover the fungi in your home, reach out to Seattle, WA, mold remediation experts to correct the issue and prevent further problems.

Should You Prepare for a Flood?

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road Don't drive through flood water.

Is It Necessary to Prepare for a Flood?

Sometimes you live in an area where flood water is known to cause a problem, but sometimes the disaster is something you never expected. Living in Harbor Island, WA, you should prepare your family for a flood just as you would prepare for a house fire. Here are some ways you can get ready for a flood:

• Know your property's flood risk. Check FEMA's Flood Map Service Center for the likelihood of a flood in your area.

• Keep important documents safe and ready. You'll need a waterproof container or digital copies of your most important family documents.

• Sign up for emergency alerts. Receive warnings for flood water by signing up for alerts with FEMA, your local government, or one of the major weather broadcasting apps.

• Have an evacuation plan. Know evacuation routes and designated shelters for your area. Have a "go bag" prepared that includes medications, food, water, and batteries.

• Have an emergency communication plan. Designate a contact that lives far from your area to be a relay point for communication during a major disaster.

• Consider a flood insurance policy. Most home insurance policies don't cover water damage from floods.

• Place valuable property up high. In the case of a flooded building, put your more valuable personal items in a high place in your home.

• Protect your property. Help prevent water damage by making sure water flows away from your home. Clean gutters, use drains and landscaping elements, and consider a sump pump for a basement or crawl space.

If officials evacuate the area, be sure to leave on time. Leave your home and go to the predetermined location from your evacuation plan. Don't drive through flood water and don't cross bridges with fast water raging below. If you have water damage in your home, trained specialists are available to assist you with cleanup helping you know what to remove and what to restore.

How To Detect Mold in Your Air Ducts

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Mold damage in Mercer Island, WA.

Three Ways To Know You Have Mold

Mold is a fungus that lives everywhere. Outside, it can help organic material break down and release nutrients back into the ecosystem. Inside, however, it can make a smelly mess in your commercial property in Mercer Island, WA, and, if allowed to grow, can break down the materials that make up the building's structure. If you suspect there is mold growth in your air ducts, it may require professional HVAC cleaning by remediation specialists. There are three ways to know if you have mold for sure.

1. Sight

If you see mold, that is a clear sign that you have a problem. Mold spores from the air can attach to the dust in your ducts. If there is any moisture around at all, growth is likely to occur. Mold in your air ducts can be a variety of colors, such as brown or green, and it often has a fuzzy texture. When you're cleaning vents, you may see spots in and around the HVAC opening. If so, call on the specialists to take care of the problem by doing a thorough HVAC cleaning.

2. Smell

Another telltale sign of mold is a musty odor. If your building has a funky smell that you can't track down, it is possible that it is coming from a mold problem in your air ducts. Because the HVAC system moves air throughout the area it cools or heats, the smell is likely to permeate the entire building. If you have an odor that you can't eliminate or trace, call the experts to investigate.

3. Test

Even if you can't see or smell mold, that doesn't mean it's not there. Remediation professionals can test your system for mold so that you know for sure. Because they are certified to read and interpret the results of the test, professional testing is more accurate than home testing.

If you need HVAC cleaning in Mercer Island, WA, to take care of a mold problem, call in the experts rather than do it yourself. They can test before and after to make sure the problem is fully resolved.

4 Ways To Protect Your Pets From Fire

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dog dressed as a firefighter Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans.

How To Protect Your Pets From Fire

A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to keeping your pets safe in the event of a fire emergency. Here are a few pet preparation steps to add to your fire safety plan.

1. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Your family's fire evacuation strategy should account for pets. Plan how to get pets out of the house if possible. Keep in mind that pets may be frightened and keep carriers or leashes in a convenient location for making a quick exit.

2. Avoid open flames. This preventative step can help to reduce the risk of your pet sustaining minor burns as well as a full-scale fire emergency. Never light open-flame candles at low levels or near the edges of a table where a pet can knock these candles over or end up with a singed tail.

3. Make sure pets cannot turn on the stove. Some dogs are tall enough to turn the knobs of a stove. This can result in dangerous consequences that range from gas leaks to fires. Consider using a pet safety gate or other method for keeping pets out of the kitchen while you are not at home.

4. Gather pet ownership and vaccination records in a fire box. In the event of a fire, it is best to have all of the important papers for your home, family, and pets ready to go in a fire box. Make sure your evacuation plan accounts for the location of this box.

Taking these four steps toward pet safety can pay off in the event of a fire emergency. You can also reduce the likelihood that your pet will cause a fire that may endanger every resident of your home and damage your property. If you experience a fire at your home, contact residential damage restoration experts located in Seatac,WA.

The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

rusty metal pipes on a white background Water damage is caused by broken pipes.

List of Don’ts of Water Damage

A broken pipe creates many concerns for homeowners, and while it is instinctual to protect your belongings, that instinct can lead to injury or further damage. The list of don’ts below may help you minimize health risks while mitigating concerns over your belongings.

1. Do Not Use Electronics

While most people are preoccupied with the immediate risks to property, they may ignore the dangers of submerged outlets and water-soaked wiring. Plugging in or trying to use electrical appliances and tools may come with the threat of shock and electrocution. If you are uncertain of the safety of your home, you can seek help from a disaster specialist in the Tukwila, WA, area who can assess your property for any potential hazards.

2. Do Not Ignore Damp Fabrics

While a broken pipe can be overwhelming, you shouldn’t let it distract you from other threats to your property. Ignoring damp fabrics, for instance, can lead to mold growth, and it may also cause irreversible damage to hardwood floors and other surfaces. It is essential to remove wet materials and hang them somewhere to dry.

3. Do Not Leave Wet Dyed Items on Floors

Items like books and magazines may also stain and distress floors, countertops, and furniture. Their colorful bindings and pictures can bleed deep into porous surfaces if left to soak and dry on their own. Also, as paper is a porous substance, it can be a source of mold and mildew growth.

4. Do Not Handle Items without Protection

The buildup of water in a home can also lead to contamination, depending on the origin of the pipes. For instance, flooding from sewer lines can fill a house with black water, which is water conducive to bacteria growth. Unless you know the water classification, assume that water is contaminated and that you must wear protective clothing to handle any affected items.

A broken pipe presents many potential hazards for homeowners, and while it is easy to know what you should do, like removing excess water, it is less obvious what you should avoid. The above list of don’ts may help you avoid risks while mitigating your home repair.

Creating an Office Fire Escape Strategy: 3 Factors To Consider

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Create a fire escape plan for your Seatac, WA business

Creating a Fire Escape Plan

Imagining the possibility of a fire breaking out at your Seatac, WA, business is not very pleasant. However, preparing for such an emergency can reduce the risk of injury to your employees and customers, and one way to do so is to create a fire escape plan. Before you draw up your map, there are a few factors to consider that can make it more efficient and reduce the time it takes for everyone to evacuate the building.

1. What Are the Fire Risk Factors?

Understanding your office building’s fire risks can help you create a viable escape plan. For example, if your company occupies one floor and there are others either above or below you, consider where a fire might be most likely to start. Restaurants and manufacturing businesses both carry a considerable fire risk, so it is a good idea to keep the environment in mind when creating your evacuation plan.

2. How Many Exits Are There?

During a fire, the route to the main exit may be blocked by smoke or flames. To ensure everyone can leave the building by an alternate route, note all the available exits when you draw up an emergency escape plan and detail how they can be reached during a fire. Have smoke and fire damage cleanup service technicians tour the building with you and ask whether there are enough exits to accommodate the building’s maximum occupancy.

3. What Kind of Protocol Can Be Used?

When you create a fire escape plan, consider how to put it into action if a blaze should break out. For instance, if you have employees on different floors, then invest in fire protocol training across the board to ensure all employees knows how to react if the fire alarm goes off and that they know how to reach the nearest exit.

Remember to give yourself plenty of time to creating a viable fire escape plan for your Seatac, WA, business. Careful planning can reduce chaos and panic during such an emergency.

Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet Overflowing toilet in a Seattle, WA building.

How Do You Clean up After Sewer Back-Up 

A flood in your Seattle, WA, building can leave your business in awful shape. If you've had damage due to a sewer backup or flooded toilet, it's possible that your furniture, business equipment or important documents have become saturated, and that areas have been exposed to dangerous viruses or bacteria. It's important to enlist the help of a professional water damage restoration company to effect emergency repairs and do the sewer cleanup. Following the steps outlined below, their team of experts can use specialized skills and equipment to get your building back to its original condition.

1. Inspect and Assess

The sewer cleanup process begins with the water mitigation experts making a thorough inspection and assessing the damage. The water is tested to check for contaminants, and the exact nature of the damage determined. Based on these results, the water professionals determine the best techniques and equipment to employ.

2. Remove Contents

Any items, including office equipment, furniture, and appliances, are removed from the water-damaged area. Using a variety of specialized methods, salvageable items are completely dried, cleaned and disinfected, and electronic items are restored.

3. Removal of Water

After all, items have been removed from the affected areas of the building, water removal can begin. Various pieces of high-efficiency equipment, including trash pumps, sump pumps, and truck-mounted extractors, are used to take any excess water out of the building. All remaining contaminated materials, such as drywall and carpeting, are removed. Specially formulated cleaners are used to eliminate any remaining contaminants.

4. Dehumidifying and Drying

After all excess water is removed and the area disinfected, the technicians then completely remove any moisture that remains. Heavy-duty dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to do the job.

5. Final Restoration

Once everything has been thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and dried, the process of restoring the damaged areas can begin. This process can vary considerably depending on the extent of the damage, ranging from some drywall or carpet replacement to reconstruction of entire sections of the building.

Following the procedures outlined above, a sewer cleanup company can get your business back to normal, safely, quickly and efficiently.

4 Essential Safety Precautions After a Flood

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Electric generator, used in the rain on the ground. Fuel motor Be mindful of generator safety

Storm Restoration Process

After flooding in Normandy Park, WA, businesses will be eager to begin the restoration process. Downtime is unacceptable for many businesses and needs to be minimized. To start the recovery process, you need to access the damage to your business and begin to tear out any damaged property. However, even after the flood has passed, not all the danger is gone. Keep in mind each of these safety precautions when beginning storm restoration.

1. Look to Your Local Authorities
The local government and disaster relief agencies operating in your community should be your go-to resource on safety matters. Listen to all the information and instructions they provide and don't return to your business until it's declared safe.

2. Remember Many Dangers Are Difficult To See
Just because you do not see anything dangerous does not mean it is completely safe. When accessing water damage, watch out for:

  • Sharp underwater debris
  • Snakes and other animals
  • Downed powerlines in water

3. Protect Yourself During Cleanup
When accessing damages, wear the appropriate clothing. Waterproof work boots, protective clothing and heavy work gloves can protect you from any dangerous debris. Protective face coverings also keep you safe. In many cases, it is safer to get a professional restoration service to assist with damage assessment as well as tear-out procedures and other remediation efforts. With their help, you can be completely informed about the damage and what needs to be done to safely fix it.

4. Be Mindful of Generator Safety
When setting up a gasoline-powered generator during the storm restoration process, do not put it indoors and keep it away from all windows. This keeps anyone working safe from generator fumes.
The process of restoring your business after a flood involves many steps. Be mindful of your safety and the safety of others during damage assessment, tear out and restoration. Everything you do to minimize safety risks helps the process go more smoothly.

Tips for Tackling Mold Growth in Your Home

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Wall with mold growth, plastic bottle spray, brush,  yellow rubber gloves Mold cleanup

Tips for Tackling Mold Growth in Your Home

Mold is everywhere, and it only takes moisture and organic material for mold to grow in a room-temperature or warm environment. If you have small amounts of house mold in your Tukwila, WA, home, you can consider cleaning it up yourself.

What You Need
Before you begin, gather a few tools:

  • Scrubbing brush
  • Sponge
  • Old rags
  • Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves

It's a good idea to open windows to allow fresh air to circulate while you use bleach.

How To Clean Mold
Keep in mind that if you have mold growth caused by significant water or sewage damage, you may consider calling a professional mold remediation company with experience in cleaning homes and buildings damaged by contaminated water.
If the affected area is about 10 square feet or less, you can tackle the job yourself. Begin by eliminating the cause of moisture. Fix any broken pipes, roof leaks or other damage sources. Scrub hard surfaces with detergent and water and dry the area. You can use a solution of 10% bleach mixed with 90% water if you can't remove the house mold with detergent.
Porous surfaces, such as carpet, wood or drywall, may need to be replaced if you can't clean up the mold. If you have mold growth on expensive or sentimental objects such as fine art or tapestries, you can consult a professional remediation specialist.
Allow cleaned surfaces to dry completely before painting or caulking. Do not attempt to paint or caulk a moldy surface. Painting on top of the mold is likely to cause peeling.

Keeping Mold Away
It's hard to keep mold at bay, but removing as much moisture from the air and surfaces will help a lot. Keep the humidity level in your home at 50% or lower. Ventilate your bathroom while you bathe or shower, and use an exhaust fan in the kitchen while cooking. Regular cleaning can also help.
Most of the time, you can keep small amounts of house mold under control with common household cleaning tools.