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Preventing Secondary Water Damage

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

When your business requires water damage repair and restoration, our crew is here to help! We're standing by 24/7 to respond to your emergency

Keeping Secondary Water Damage At Bay

Water damage in your Seattle, WA, business is something no one wants to experience. After calling in a plumber to take care of the immediate problem of a burst pipe or a backed-up toilet or sewer, you're still left with the resultant mess. It's important to deal with this situation as soon as possible, as secondary damage, including black mold or structural damage, can occur quickly. This kind of damage can be very costly.

Secondary Damage Explained

This consists of any damage not directly produced by the flooding. It can show up in several ways, including:

  • Wood floors buckling
  • Damage to finishes
  • Vinyl and other kinds of flooring curling up from the floor
  • Cracked or sagging drywall
  • Growth of mold, such as stachybotrys chartarum (black mold)

If the primary damage is not addressed properly or if it goes undetected for a long time, this more serious damage can happen. Problems can also occur if the area is not properly dehumidified after the flooding.

Prevention

Assuming you are able to enter the building, there are steps you can take immediately to help minimize the damage. If the flooding happens during summer months, use your air conditioning to help remove as much high humidity as possible. During colder months, open all the windows and turn up the heat. Try to remove as much water as possible by mopping and using a wet/dry vacuum. Move any saturated carpeting outside and remove items such as documents, electronics or furniture.

Next, make a call to a professional water damage restoration company. They can immediately inspect the structure to assess the damage, and then determine what specialized equipment is required. Using advanced techniques, they can completely dry and disinfect the area, making sure that any pathogens, such as black mold or bacteria, are completely eradicated. Then any necessary repairs to the property are made.

Water damage to your building can seem overwhelming. But by using the information outlined above, you have a good chance of preventing secondary damage before it happens.

How to Take Care of a Flooded Furnace

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Don't let a furnace flood put your Seattle, WA business at risk.

What to Do If Your Furnace Is Flooded

Broken pipes in your business building may result in flooding and widespread water damage to structures and appliances. If the water reaches the basement, the furnace could also be affected. Follow these guidelines to safely take care of a furnace flood in your Seattle, WA, commercial building.

1. Safely Contain Flooding
Call an emergency plumbing service to identify and treat the source of the flooding. While you wait for help to come, prevent further flooding by shutting off the building's water. Before entering any flooded areas, shut down power to the building to avoid electrical shock hazards. Contact an electrician if you don't know how to do so safely.

If you suspect water damage, call water remediation experts to come in and inspect your facility. They are experienced in removing water and assessing damage to structures and appliances. Once everything is dried out, they can begin cleaning and making repairs to salvageable items.

2. Arrange an Inspection for the Flooded Furnace

Hire a licensed professional to examine your furnace before using it after the flood. It may appear to be in good working order, but interior damage is not always visible from an untrained perspective.
The use of a furnace with unresolved damage may produce hazards, including:

  • Mold
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Fires

Help prevent hazards from developing after a furnace flood in your commercial facility. Schedule an inspection for your furnace without delay.

3. Begin Furnace Maintenance

An inspection of your furnace will determine the level of repair needed. Minor maintenance can include vent cleaning and changing the air filters. Some water remediation companies provide furnace cleaning and maintenance services, including air filter replacement and air duct cleaning. Significant damage could require the replacement of the entire furnace.

Don't let a furnace flood compromise your place of business. Follow these guidelines to take care of a damaged furnace before it becomes a severe hazard.

How To Deal With Mold Damage After Flooding

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO's Mold Restoration Specialists to address your mold problem. Their expertise can control your mold quickly and safely.

How To Handle Mold Damage After A Flood.

When your home in Seattle,WA, is affected by a flood, the excess moisture left behind can quickly lead to mold growth. The presence of mold can have a big impact on the health and safety of your household. Here are some steps you can take to address mold in your home after a flood.

What Should I Do First?

After the flood water has subsided, there is a handful of steps you should take immediately to minimize damage:

  • Bring your items out to dry. You can do this by removing items from your house and moving them to an open area unaffected by the flood to give them the opportunity to dry.
  • Air out your house. Opening doors and windows as well as strategically placing fans will increase air circulation and speed up the drying process.
  • Remove moisture from your home. This will require using specialized equipment such as wet vacs and dehumidifiers to suck the moisture out of carpets and other surfaces to mitigate the growth of mold. Any standing water must be addressed immediately.


How Do I Identify Mold?

Mold thrives in damp environments and is common in flood-damaged buildings. If there is enough moisture present in the area, mold and bacteria are likely to flourish and multiply. Mold is commonly located in walls, carpets, and wood with high moisture levels.

Mold growth can be identified by a discoloration that can encompass a wide variety of colors. It may be orange, white, or greenish brown or black. There is also a characteristic odor that can be described as stale or earthy.

Should I DIY or Hire a Professional?

Acquiring the services of a professional flood restoration company is a good investment, especially considering the specialized equipment and level of expertise needed to address such a scenario. No matter what, whether you decide to DIY or hire a service, addressing mold in your home is a crucial step in ensuring your safety and comfort for years to come.

Mold growth waits for no one. By acting quickly and enlisting the help of qualified, experienced professionals, you can minimize the effect of unwanted water on your home.

What To Do When Important Documents Are Water Damage

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

If your Mercer Island, WA, business experiences flooding, you will likely have many wet documents to deal with.

What Should You Do If Your Important Documents Have Been Flooded?

If your Mercer Island, WA, business experiences flooding, you will likely have many wet documents to deal with. If these papers are important, the prospect of losing them can be quite stressful. Fortunately, there are many modern restoration techniques for these situations.

Drying Wet Documents

There are two methods of drying water-damaged documents, freeze-drying, and air drying. Air drying is simply spreading out the documents and using a fan to speed the drying time. You can also use rags or paper towels to gently absorb some of the moisture. Freeze-drying requires the documents to be placed in a negative pressure chamber. Freeze drying water-damaged documents accomplish several things. The process halts:

  • Paper disintegration
  • Ink dissolution
  • Mold growth

Whichever method of document drying you use, it is best to act as quickly as possible to minimize damage.

Gamma Irradiation
Unfortunately, simply drying out water-damaged papers is often not enough for full restoration. Depending on the source of the water, the documents may have been exposed to bacteria and other contaminants. In such cases, it is important to sterilize the papers. Certified restoration specialists direct gamma radiation toward the documents. The radiation kills the microorganisms, preventing cross-contamination and further bacterial growth.

Digitization
Some businesses decide that they would rather not have the water-damaged documents returned to their premises and opt to have the documents digitized instead. Others choose to restore the physical documents and digitize them as a backup. After the documents have been scanned, you can choose to save them in the cloud or other digital storage system so that you always have access to them.  

If your business has wet documents after a flood or other water damage event, don’t panic. There are many ways to preserve the document, and digitization is an option for those who want to keep their documents in a safe location to prevent further damage.

4 Ways To Discover if Your Home Is in a Flood Zone

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

If your home is flooded after water damage, give SERVPRO a call. Our top priority is getting you back into your property as soon as it is safe to.

4 Ways To Determine Whether Your Home Is in A Flood Zone

Understanding whether your home sits in a flood zone is essential because it can affect the rules and regulations of homeownership. For example, if you live in a high-risk zone, flood insurance might be a requirement of mortgage lenders. You can speak to water damage services in Harbor Island, WA, to learn more about different zone arrangements or use one of the four tools or organizations to figure out where your house sits.

1. Flood Zone Maps

The best tool to review regarding flooding in your area are flood maps. These maps show boundaries for different zones throughout cities, counties, or states. The zones are differentiated by colors representing low-risk to high-risk territories.

2. FEMA

If you are concerned about the level of flood and storm damage your home might sustain, you can look to federal organizations like FEMA. FEMA will provide access to regional maps, and the organization will likely have professionals you can speak with about your concerns.

3. Local Government

You do not have to turn to federal organizations for assistance. Local government offices may be able to provide more accurate and regional data for your research. Most state and local governments have an emergency manager's office. Contacting the office can put you in touch with people who have relevant information about your property concerns.

4. Local Organizations

You can also reach out to local nonprofit organizations, such as the red cross. Any organization that offers help to people during natural disasters, such as floods, should be able to provide some insight or direction as to flood risks in your area.

Finding out if you are located in a flood zone is pertinent to homeowner decisions, such as purchasing flood insurance. While you might find information by simple searches online, the above four methods allow you to get information from authoritative sources.

3 Simple Tips for Preparing and Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

The most significant way to ensure optimal sprinkler functionality is to inspect the system’s water supply regularly.

3 Easy Ways To Prepare And Maintain Your Fire Sprinkler System

Fire sprinkler systems are one of the best tools for preventing and controlling devastating fires. Nevertheless, residential and commercial property owners often shy away from sprinklers, fearing that they are difficult to install, maintain, and manage.
On the contrary, fire sprinklers require little care and attention to function properly. A simple maintenance checklist is all you need to ensure adequate fire suppression and save both your property and your life.

1. Perform Fire Sprinkler Drain and Flow Tests Semiannually

The most significant way to ensure optimal sprinkler functionality is to inspect the system’s water supply regularly. You can either perform these inspections yourself or have a contractor in Des Moines, WA, complete the task for you.

Experts suggest that owners perform drain and flow tests at least once every few years but encourage inspections on an annual or semiannual basis. Drain and flow tests ensure that water flows freely through sprinkler pipes and that sprinklers emit adequate water when triggered.

2. Keep Sprinklers Uncovered (Usually)

It may seem intuitive that sprinklers should remain uncovered and unobstructed to do their jobs properly. In most situations, this is a critical part of the sprinkler maintenance checklist.
However, it is essential to shield sprinklers in specific instances. Sprinklers in paint shops, for example, can accrue enough residue to block water from escaping. The solution is to cover sprinklers with an approved plastic or cellophane cover and replace these coverings every few months to prevent inhibitive buildup.

3. Winterize Your Sprinklers

Like traditional water pipes, sprinkler systems can freeze when the temperature drops in cold winter months. Fortunately, the winterization process for fire sprinklers and traditional water pipes is the same, making it a simple addition to your winter safety checklist.

Keeping your fire sprinkler system in top-notch condition is simple with a short maintenance checklist. In the event of a fire, a fire restoration company ensures that fire sprinkler cleanup is equally easy. With this peace of mind, you can set aside your excuses for installing this life-saving system.

Things To Know About Cleaning Up After a Fire

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO franchisees are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can get to work quickly to fix fire damage to your business.

What You Should Know About Cleaning Up After A Fire

Responsible commercial property owners know that they need to have a comprehensive approach plan to protect the destruction of their buildings due to fire and other types of damage. When examining your coverage options for your property in Mercer Island, WA, keep in mind that smoke and water damage may also occur, so a post-fire cleanup should be completed by an experienced provider of commercial fire damage restoration.

Such a provider has the knowledge, tools, and techniques to expedite the time it takes to restore your property to pre-fire conditions, including dry-cleaning, water removal, and more.

Typical Steps for Content Cleaning and Restoration

After immediately notifying a professional fire restoration company, you can expect the following as a general outline of the cleanup process:

  • A full inspection of your property to assess the extent of damage, including that of fire, soot, and water
  • Installation of tarps and boarding up windows and doors to block further damage
  • Removal of water damage and use of water-drying tools
  • Content cleaning techniques for removal of smoke damage from items
  • Dry-cleaning and other approaches to disinfect affected items to restore to pre-fire conditions
  • Other work, including reconstruction, to finalize the process

Fire damage professionals will take a repair-then-replace approach to help lower the overall costs, whether covered by insurance or not.

Benefits of Working With Professionals

There are many ways to complete a full restoration, but the pros understand the most efficient and effective approaches. Besides cleanup, they can also rebuild damaged structures and provide content storage during the restoration process. The professionals understand big picture issues as well as the details.

As a knowledgeable commercial property owner, you understand that having insurance is good sense. You also know that the best thing you can do for your units in Mercer Island, WA, is to contact expert restoration specialists for the quickest and most cost-effective approach. From dry-cleaning to soot removal and more, they’ve got you covered.

Am I required to Have Commercial Flood Insurance?

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

FEMA has flood maps for much of the United States. If your building is in a high-risk zone, you may be required to have a flood insurance policy.

Is It necessary For Me To Have Commercial Flood Insurance?

Floods are one of nature’s most destructive processes. They can have a terrible death toll and carry toxic residue into every nook and cranny of commercial buildings. Unfortunately, this damage isn’t covered by your commercial insurance policy.

If you want or need coverage, you’ll need either a rider from your insurance provider or you’ll have to purchase a special flood policy to be covered.
So, Is flood insurance optional? Well, that depends on your situation. Here’s the three key factors that will determine if it’s mandatory.

1. Are You in a High-Risk Flood Zone?

FEMA has flood maps available for much of the United States. If your building in Tukwila, WA, is in a zone marked high-risk, you may have to have a flood policy. Some areas don’t have digital map data available, so you may have to consult your local authorities.

If your building is in a high-risk area, you probably should invest in flood coverage even if it's not required. Also, ask your local water damage restoration expert about having an assessment done on the property and develop an emergency plan in case of disaster.

Also, it’s always wise to consult flood maps before purchasing a commercial building. Local and state laws may require high-risk properties to be backfilled so the building is above the flood line, so definitely do your research!

2. Do You Have a Commercial Mortgage?

If a building has a mortgage on it, your lender may require you to have flood insurance. A few commercial insurance providers do have riders to cover flood damage, but most property owners prefer to use the NFIP flood policy, since it’s subsidized, lowering your premiums.

3. Is Your Lender Federally Insured?

To make mortgages more affordable, many are backed by federal insurance. These are typically called conventional mortgages. If you have a mortgage, your lender is covered by federal regulations and the building is in a high-risk flood zone, you’ll need coverage.

Ask your insurance agent or attorney if it applies to you. However, many experts recommend getting commercial flood insurance anyway. It can be the difference between closing your doors or staying open after a disaster.

How To Clean Your Gas Range

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Spilled grease on your gas range can start a fire, requiring smoke damage restoration and even structural repairs.

How To Clean A Gas Cooktop

When it comes to creating a culinary masterpiece, most Seattle,WA , cooks agree: An electric cooktop is no match for the power and control of a gas range. Of course, an electric cooktop is usually much easier to clean than a gas stove. Range cleaning doesn’t need to be intimidating, however. Try these tips to get your gas cooktop sparkling clean.

Basic Cooktop Cleaning

Cleaning as you go is the best way to keep your range looking its best, but for most ranges, a daily or every-other-day will be sufficient. Follow these steps for a basic, everyday cleanup job:

  • Remove the burner grates and set aside. If the grates are dirty, place them in a sink filled with hot water and a little dish soap.
  • Wipe any loose crumbs or other debris off the gas range cooktop surface, using a dry paper towel or brush.
  • Apply a few drops of liquid dish soap to a clean, wet sponge.

Wipe the entire cooktop surface down with the sponge.

If your sponge has a scrubby side, feel free to scrub a bit at any heavily soiled areas. In the alternative, you can mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray generously over the entire cooktop. Both vinegar and dish soap will cut through cooking grease to get your range clean. Wipe the vinegar solution or soapy water off using a clean paper towel or rag.

Stubborn Buildup

If your range has cooked-on spills that remain after basic cleanup measures, try a few drops of dish soap on a clean, wet toothbrush or other small, soft brush. Brush the soapy water onto the stained area and scrub using small, circular strokes. Wipe clean with a wet cloth or rag.

Because a gas range uses an open flame, it’s critical to keep yours clean. Cooking on a dirty stove can cause drips and spills to burn, filling your kitchen and home with a smoke smell. Worse, spilled grease can ignite into a home fire, leaving you to face smoke damage restoration and even structural repairs.

Unclog Your Drain Using These Safe, Simple Methods

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Drain snakes are commonly used by water damage restoration professionals, but you can also buy one for your own use.

Unclog Your Drain With These Simple, Safe Methods

When you discover a clogged or slow-draining sink in Renton Highlands,WA, your first reaction might be to go for harsh commercial chemicals. Although they're made to break up clogs, they can actually damage pipes, which is far worse than a clogged drain. Using natural methods is more cost-effective than commercial products. There are several methods to try before resorting to a harsh chemical drain cleaner.

1. Sink Plunger, Wire Hanger or Drain Snake

Most homes probably have a plunger for the toilet and sewage cleaning, but maybe not a sink plunger. A sink plunger should be your go-to when you first discover a clog. It could solve the problem immediately. A straightened wire hanger or a drain snake are also good options. Drain snakes are frequently used by water damage restoration professionals, but you can also purchase one to have on hand. They have blades that cut clogs, including material from fibrous foods and hair.

2. Dish Soap and Boiling Water

A clog caused by grease will quickly break up and go down the drain by using dish soap and boiling water. Pour liquid dish soap down the drain. Then, chase it with a pot of boiling water. Prevent a clogged drain by doing this once a week.

3. Vinegar Ice Cubes

Vinegar has a mild acidity, which is excellent for various types of cleaning. Create ice cubes made of half vinegar and half water. Once it's completely frozen, turn on the garbage disposal and then dump the ice cubes into the disposal. The vinegar will clean it while the chunks of ice will scrape the clog off the walls.

4. Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you ever created a "volcano" for a science project, you know that mixing baking soda and vinegar causes a very bubbly chemical reaction. This mixture can be an incredibly useful drain cleaner.

Before resorting to a harsh chemical drain cleaner for your clogged drain, try one of these safer approaches. You should be happy with the results.