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3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed in an empty room Water extraction after storm damage in Seattle, WA

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding

If you have experienced severe weather in Seattle,WA, and your building has been affected by flooding, it is important to handle it quickly and in the right way. Along with the initial damage, water can cause multiple kinds of secondary damage, including mold growth. The following are steps you can take to prevent this fungus from spreading.

1. Remove Excess Water

If large amounts of water remain in an area for an extended period of time, it will inevitably lead to more damage. Standing water, even if it came from a clean source, can become contaminated. It also makes it easy for mold to grow and spread. A colony can begin to form in as little as a day and can spread quickly throughout the building.

2. Dry the Building

Even if most of the water was removed, this doesn’t eliminate the problem entirely. Lingering moisture in the walls and flooring can contribute to mold growth, particularly in highly absorbent materials such as drywall, insulation and carpet. If you can, leave doors and windows open so air can circulate more easily. This will allow the building to dry more quickly. Dehumidifiers and fans can help as well.

3. Clean and Sanitize Thoroughly

Flood water can carry mold spores, chemicals, bacteria and other contaminants, so it is important to have your building thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. If it is not, it could contribute to more damage and health hazards later on. Mold spores that remain could easily turn into fungal growth with a small amount of moisture.
If you are concerned that a mold growth will form in your building or you think that you may already have one, you should contact a cleanup and restoration company. They will be able to inspect the building thoroughly to locate any mold and can remove it safely. These professionals can perform other repairs that you may need as well.

The Basics of Secondary Damage

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Drainage system under sink leaking Mold needs a water source to grow, whether it be a leak under the sink or a high humidity level in the air

Having water damage in your home in Seatac,WA, is bad enough. Finding out you have a black mold issue is worse. Preventing such problems requires timely professional water remediation. If you fail to do so, your cleanup process only gets more complicated.

What Is Mold?

The presence of mold in your home is inevitable. Mold spores enter your home by hitching a ride on several surfaces:

  • Hair
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Pets

Mold spores in the air are usually nothing to worry about. They only become problematic when the right conditions exist for them to land on surfaces and grow.

What Does Mold Need To Grow?

Like most organisms, fungus needs food and water to thrive. Mold can feast on any organic matter. This includes drywall, carpet fibers, wood and fabric. It also needs a water source, whether it be a leak under the sink or a high humidity level in the air. If those two factors are present, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to start to grow.

How Do You Detect Mold?

Black mold has a distinct odor. It's telltale musty scent is hard to ignore. Even if you don't see the slimy black or green mold growing on a surface, the smell alone can tell you that you have a problem. To identify its exact location, however, you need to have your home tested by a professional environmental hygienist.

How Do You Get Rid of Mold?

Secondary damage such as mold requires professional mitigation. Experts can get rid of fungus that is trapped under the surface or advise you on which materials are too damaged to be salvaged. They can then tear out and dispose of ruined materials and items properly. Then they test to make sure the issue is resolved.
While prevention of black mold growth is ideal, there are still things you can do if you discover a mold problem in your home. Contact the professionals and trust their expertise.

When to Clean Dryer Vents

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hand taking the lint out from dirty air filter of the dyer machine Cleaning the lint tray helps to avoid a dryer fire.

Several Areas That Need Special Attention In A Dryer

Dryers that are not properly maintained can cause a lint fire that results in fire damage. Different areas of a dryer can get clogged and keep it from properly venting hot air. Regular cleaning reduces the likelihood of a fire occurring. Many people are unaware that dryers need to be cleaned, which leads to around 3,000 fires each year. If this happens, a fire restoration company is needed to return the residence to its previous condition. Fortunately, by maintaining your dryer, you can decrease its drying time, increase its longevity, and reduce the risk of a fire. Here are several areas that need special attention.

1. Lint Tray

Cleaning the lint tray helps to avoid a dryer fire. These trays should be cleaned after each and every load of clothes. Letting the lint build up makes your dryer less efficient and increases the risk of fire. In addition, a lint brush should be used on the lint tray once every 6 months.

2. Dryer Hose

The hose that connects from the back of the dryer to the attachment that vents the air outside of the home can become clogged with lint or other materials. A lint fire can begin within the dryer hose. To keep this from happening, the inside of the hose should be cleaned every 3 months.

3. Exterior Vent

Make sure you have a flap installed on the outside of your house that sits flat against the exterior of the wall when the dryer is not in use. When the dryer is in use, this flap should open, allowing the hot air to properly escape. Check this area often to make sure it is free from debris and bird's nests.
Keeping your dryer in Tukwila, WA properly maintained will greatly reduce your risk of a lint fire. If you end up with a dryer that starts a house fire, you will need the help of a professional restoration service that can restore your home to its pre-fire condition.

What You Need to Know About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A red fire sprinkler Proper maintenance of the sprinkler system is vital.

What You Need to Know About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems

If your commercial building in Normandy Park,WA, catches on fire, the best way to minimize the damage is to put it out quickly. This is where having a fire sprinkler system comes in handy. Many businesses have saved valuable property and resources through the use of these sprinklers. If you already have a system or are considering getting on installed, here are a few things you should know.

Activation

Many people are under the impression that the fire sprinkler is activated by smoke, but that alone will not set off the system. The sprinkler will not go off until the temperature rises high enough for it to become active. Because heat rises, the system should go off relatively quickly once a fire has started; however, not all of heads will actually be triggered. Only those in the general vicinity of the flames should start working.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance of the sprinkler system is vital. Pipes that feed to the sprinkler heads are filled with pressurized water, which is released in the event of a fire. If this accidentally goes off or springs a leak, you are looking at quite a bit of water damage. Regular inspection can help prevent this type of catastrophe.

Cleanup

No matter what type of fire suppression you use, there will be some sort of cleanup that is necessary. One of the best ways to save time and money is to find a fire restoration company that will cover both the fire damage and the fire sprinkler cleanup for you. Talk to your insurance company following the fire to see if your policy will help cover the cost.
Having your fire sprinkler system properly installed and regularly maintained is the best way to ensure that it will go off when need be. Even with the system, your business in Normandy Park,WA, will likely have suffered from some destruction, but it should be less than what it would have been.

3 Ways Large Cities Can Reduce Flooding

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Storm surge barrier is closed to protect against storm and flood Storm surge barriers is a gate a city can build

3 Ways Large Cities Can Reduce Flooding

When high water floods cities, everyone within them is affected. As a business owner in Tukwila, WA, it is in your best interest to advocate for effective ways to prevent flooding at the municipal level.

Build Gates

Sandbags are the traditional method for creating barriers to rising floodwaters, but large gates offer a more high tech way to stop flooding. There are several kinds of gates a city can build:

  • Hydraulic gates
  • Storm surge barriers
  • Mechanical levees

In contrast to natural barriers which can be prone to erosion over time, mechanical barriers offer a precise level of control when it comes to directing floodwaters into designated areas and away from city structures.

Maximize Absorption

A productive method of flood prevention is to find a way to use the excess water. Intricate irrigation systems can be used to store floodwater for later use in city parks or other vegetation. Rooftop gardens can prevent flooding from runoff by trapping water and putting it to good use. Sidewalk gardens planted throughout the city can absorb high water before it reaches buildings where it can cause damage.

Maintain Flood Plains

One reason flooding has increased worldwide in recent years is the decision to build on flood plains. The purpose of a flood plain is to give water a place to go when the area has more than it normally can handle. When a city decides to build on top of the flood plain, it is no surprise that the buildings constructed there often need flood damage restoration services. If, however, contractors choose to build outside the flood plain, leaving it to do its natural job, business owners in the city are less likely to experience regular property damage during peak storm seasons.
Cities have a lot of options to keep high water from becoming a destructive force. By employing methods that control the flow of floodwaters, a city is better able to protect the property of its citizens.

How Flooding Can Continue to Cause Damage Over Time

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

An underwater view in the flooding interior Flooding in a Seatac, WA home

How Flooding Can Continue to Cause Damage Over Time

If you’ve ever come home to flooding in your home in Seatac,WA, you are likely aware of how it can wreak havoc almost instantly. Soaked carpets, foul odors or uncomfortably high humidity inside the home are just some things that you can encounter right away. However, if not properly remedied, there are a slew of other issues, such as Black mold, that you may also need to deal with.

Without professional remediation you may experience the following after a flood even after your initial cleanup:

  • Higher level of humidity indoors that leads to condensation
  • Warping of furniture and walls
  • An ideal breeding ground for microbes including Black mold

Why Invest in Professional Services

It can be tempting to clean up a flood yourself, but depending on the extent of the damage, and the likelihood of secondary damage to occur, hiring a professional can help ensure that the cleanup is done thoroughly the first time. When you hire specialists who are experienced with flood remediation, they typically bring with them commercial grade supplies and machines that can get the job done more efficiently than with the resources available to an average homeowner. High-power and high-capacity water vacuums, dehumidifiers not to mention prevention for future occurrences are just some valuable tools that will be at your disposal with a professional. Aside from the physical tools that come with these experts is the vast experience and knowledge to help you pinpoint what may have caused the flood in the first place, as well as the ability to fix or replace faulty equipment or piping as needed.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Once a professional has helped you to recover from any flooding in Seatac,WA, and given you recommendations to prevent a reoccurrence, it can be wise to take their advice and act sooner rather than later. Since water damage can bring your life to a standstill and cause more costly repairs resulting from both initial and secondary damage, such as Black mold, in the future, addressing the problem early on can ultimately save you time, money and stress.

3 Levels of Water Contamination

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Clean water flooded a luxurious kitchen Category 1 water is considered clean water

3 Differences Between the Three Levels of Water Contamination

Water damage in your home in Mercer Island,WA, that results from a heavy storm is contaminated water. Unlike damage done by a busted pipe or an overflowing bathtub, storm runoff is considered Category 3 water. To understand how this affects the remediation process to your home after flooding occurs, you first need to understand the difference between the three levels of contamination.

1. Category 1

A flood that results from Category 1 water is probably the easiest of the three categories for water restoration specialists to clean up. Once the water is removed and damaged materials are either dried off or torn out and replaced, the restoration process is basically done. This is because Category 1 water is considered clean water. It comes from pipes, supply lines or other sources that deliver water safe enough to drink to the different faucets in your home.

2. Category 2

If you have water damage from Category 2 water, a little more cleaning is necessary. This water often comes from household appliances. Washing machine or refrigerator leaks fall within this group. While minimal contact is probably not a problem, it is not recommended that you ingest Category 2 water. It is also a bad idea to throw it outside on your garden, as it may contain things such as soap or boron which can be harmful to plants.

3. Category 3

If your sewer backs up into your home or your toilet overflows, you likely have Category 3 damage. Storm water also falls under this category. Black water is typically teeming with bacteria. This makes it necessary to add disinfecting any surface with which it comes into contact to the cleanup task list.
Before the cleanup process begins, it helps to know where the floodwater causing the water damage came from. This information will tell you a lot about which category of contamination you're dealing with.

How To Stop Mold From Spreading

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold on ceiling Black mold damage on ceiling

How To Stop Mold From Spreading

Even the newest homeowner knows that mold contamination in a house is a serious problem. If left unchecked, it can spread into colonies and cause health risks. If you notice an area that appears to have mold damage, here are the steps to take to ensure your safety.

1. Stop the Water Source

The first priority is to determine the cause of the excess moisture. In a bathroom, it can be a leaking pipe or poor ventilation. If black mold cleanup is required on a ceiling, it often is a problem with the roof leaking. Either way, you need to stop the water source immediately.

2. Call the Professionals

The internet is full of home remedies for mold cleanup, but they aren’t nearly effective enough to ensure your safety. Often, well-meaning homeowners release mold spores into the air when attempting to scrub surfaces. Therefore, you need to call a mold remediation specialist, who can assess the extent of the mold contamination and the risks. They will competently remove the mold damage and ensure your home is safe.

3. Prevent Future Problems

In some cases, prevention methods are obvious. For example, if your problem was caused by a leaky roof, it stands to reason that you should have a roofing specialist check for weak areas on a regular basis or after a storm. In other instances, causes are less intuitive. If your problem is in a bathroom, but there aren’t plumbing issues, you need to focus on controlling the humidity. Make sure your ventilation fan is adequate, and you can even purchase humidity monitors to determine the moisture levels. Shower door mold is a little easier to prevent through regular cleaning and squeegees.
Mold contamination can seem like an overwhelming problem to face, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure to completely fix the problems contributing to the moisture, and then contact a competent mold remediation company. They will leave your home looking “Like it never even happened”.

Combating Water Damage Caused by Your Fire Sprinkler System

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial fire sprinkler system Several scenarios or errors can cause your fire sprinkler system to malfunction and initiate flooding

The fire suppression system in your commercial building is essential to promptly stopping a fire. However, any component is vulnerable to malfunction, which can unleash excessive amounts of water, leading to flooding and property damage. You might need to learn how to prevent such mechanical failures, as well as what actions to take when your sprinklers create water damage.

Causes for Accidental Discharge

Generally, the sprinklers fire system in a Harbor Island,WA, building activate when they detect air temperature that ranges between 155 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. There are other factors that can trigger these devices at inappropriate times.

  • Deteriorating corrosion
  • Frozen or burst caps
  • Unintentional heating
  • Other mechanical failures

Keep an eye out for these potential issues and resolve them. For instance, proper insulation can stop the sprinklers from freezing, while adjustment stops them from activating during warm temperatures. Regular inspection and maintenance by a professional can prevent corrosion and any other issue that causes the untimely water release.

How to Handle Discharge

Even though modern fire sprinklers use water more efficiently, you should take your property's potential exposure to it seriously. Whether the accident is flooding the establishment, or the equipment is superficially wet, it can harm your business if not handled immediately. After discovering the incident, immediately turn off the water to reduce further destruction. After that, call a water damage repair service as soon as possible. You might also want to gather necessary information and contact the insurance company.

Mitigating the Damage

While you wait for the restoration company to arrive, you should try to reduce some of the damage. If there is no electrical equipment or other hazards, attempt to move important items to an unaffected area. Drying out certain items can help the repair technicians perform their job effectively.
Several scenarios or errors can cause your fire sprinkler system to malfunction and initiate flooding. Stop these issues from emerging and create a plan to decrease the damage to your business.

Tips To Help Prevent Mold in Your Restaurant

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

food stored in storage containers in refrigerator Cover foods in cold storage

People love trying new foods, but they don’t bargain on mold being an ingredient. Taking a few precautions in your restaurant in Des Moines,WA, can help ensure that you serve only the freshest of foods, free of mold growth and other contaminants.

Mold Prevention Tips

Preventing mold growth is primarily a matter of routine and due diligence. It does not need to be a stressful process.

  1. Buy only the freshest food. Source your food at reliable shops and always inspect food before purchasing to ensure there are no signs of mold. Wash and refrigerate as soon as possible.
  2. Cover foods in cold storage. Mold spores float freely in the air and attach themselves to any moist surface. Keeping foods in clean containers and covered with lids or plastic film in the refrigerator can help prevent cross contamination and the ruin of otherwise sound food.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers quickly. Do not store opened items in the original cans or bags. Cover trays of warm or leftover food as soon as possible and put it into the refrigerator to prevent mold spores from taking hold in conditions of high humidity.
  4. Disinfect laundry. Make sure all towels, washcloths, aprons and other fabric items used in the kitchen are washed daily and dried thoroughly. Likewise keep mops and cleaning sponges fresh. If they smell, it is a sign of bacteria or mold.

In addition to making sure you follow safe food handling procedures, make sure your restaurant in Des Moines,WA, is in good repair. Avoid water damage and the mold that can come with it by regularly inspecting the roof, seals around doors and windows and all plumbing.

If water damage is found anywhere, call a mold remediation service to conduct repairs and handle the safe removal of mold growth. Proper prevention and maintenance can help you operate your restaurant operate without the fear of that concern.