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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

SERVPRO of South/ West Seattle can help with Hoarding situation.

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of South/ West Seattle can help with Hoarding situation. Hoarding Situation of a Residential home 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 South/ West Seattle 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 South/ West Seattle will handle everything and continue to communicate with you throughout the process.

Beating Mold Growth With Quick Remediation

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Beating Mold Growth With Quick Remediation If mold is found, SERVPRO has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Water damage can occur in a matter of moments. A pipe bursts, and you suddenly have a flood in your building. Your roof leaks, and you can begin to see ceiling tiles drip. From the minute excess moisture is present, you have a small window of time, usually within 24-48 hours, to fix the damage and dry the area before mold can start to grow. Here is a step-by-step rundown of how quickly you want to respond.

Call the Experts

Your best line of defense to prevent mold growth is to call water restoration experts as soon as you know you have water issues. They can arrive within hours to provide an assessment:

     • Location of the problem
     • Scope of the damage
     • Tasks involved in restoration
     • Cost estimate for job

As soon as you give them permission to do so, they can start the process of fixing your building.

Dry the Area

Mold loves moisture, so the first thing the technicians in Seattle,WA, are likely to do is to deprive it of a damp place to grow. They extract water so that the water damage doesn't spread. They take out all the saturated, unsalvageable material. Then they make sure every surface is dry before they start to rebuild.

Reinforce the Protection

Before they leave, experts will probably want to reinforce your building so that you are protected from future problems like the one that caused the damage. They may recommend mold prevention measures such as mold-resistant drywall or paint. It is also appropriate to ask technicians for tips on how you can provide a better seal to your building so that moisture stays outside and doesn't put you at risk for a mold problem.

If you have water damage in your commercial property, the best way to prevent secondary damage such as mold is to have the problem repaired as soon as you can. Stop mold growth before it has a chance to start.

24 hour response

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 24 hour response Water Damage can be devastating for your commercial building. Getting back into your company after it has been damaged by water is our first priority.

Flooding in your commercial building doesn’t have to be as disastrous as it may seem. Using the services of SERVPRO of South/West Seattle for flood damage cleanup. If your company suffers a broken pipe or if the fire suppression system malfunctions you will need our expert cleaning and extractions crews. Call us day or night because we are available 24 hours a day.

Getting back into your company after it has been damaged by water is our first priority. We rely on your business as much as you rely on ours. Let SERVPRO of South/West Seattle be there for you in your time of need. We extract the water and place drying equipment quickly, even if it’s in the middle of the night. We respond to all calls at all hours of the day.

3 Benefits of Electronic Claims Services for Insurance Agents

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Benefits of Electronics Claim Services

As an insurance agent, you may find yourself handling multiple claims when a natural disaster, such as flooding, hits Seahurst,WA. Creating and processing each insurance claim and servicing your commercial clients in the most efficient way can be a challenge, especially in an area where you are the only representative available. Connecting with an electronic claims service via a storm damage and restoration service can help you handle an influx of claims, no matter their number.

1. Instant Access to Information

Having direct access to claim information, no matter where you are, can help you keep multiple files in order and improve the way you organize them. Most information centers offer mobile access as well, so you can view individual claim results when meeting with a client or an on-site insurance adjuster. This could help you be more productive, even when you are not in the office.

2. View Claim Changes at a Glance

Some disasters, such as flooding, can cause a variety of damages that might change or modify an insurance claim over time. When restoration agents create a repair estimate, they will upload these changes so they can be viewed instantly. These updates may allow you to serve your clients in a more efficient manner, which can be valuable when you are assisting more than one business owner in the area.

3. Compare Response Times for Clients

If an insurance client wants you to help him or her find a storm damage and restoration company, such as SERVPRO, you can use the electronic claims center’s dashboard to compare response times and other data with similar services to discover the best local or regional results. This can help you feel confident about the information you offer a commercial client who is looking for restoration services in the wake of a flood.

Electronic claims services can offer you a variety of benefits as an insurance representative working in Seahurst,WA. From helping a client file an insurance claim to finding suitable restoration services for a small business owner, a digital claims information center can help you handle any job with efficiency and confidence.

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)

Why SERVPRO 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 After Water Damage

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Tips To Prevent Mold After Water Damage 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.

Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage Drying and dehumidifying damaged area in a Harbor Island, WA commercial building

Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage

A flood in your Harbor Island,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, cleansed 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.

Does My Commercial Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Does My Commercial Insurance Cover Mold Damage? Ceiling mold damage in Seahurst,WA

Hurricanes, flash floods and even severe thunder storms can leave your Seahurst,WA, business struggling with water damage and mold. One of the first things that comes to mind is whether your commercial insurance policy will cover all or part of the damage. Here’s a primer to help you understand just what you may face when trying to get coverage following mold damage.

There are thousands of types of mold, which is defined as a fungus that thrives in continually moist environments. Most types don’t cause trouble. But some forms can create problems including

  • Discomfort among those who have mold allergies
  • Damage to wood, drywall, furniture and other materials
  • A musky, unpleasant smell

These are just a few of the things that make mold such a pain that business owners typically want to remove it immediately. Unfortunately, mold removal can be costly, so insurance help with the bill is ideal.

What Does Insurance Cover

Starting in the 1990s, many commercial insurance providers started adding mold exclusions. Before you sign up for a policy, or before you face mold damage, take a look at their approach to mold. Check for exclusions that refer to fungus. Fungus exclusions are common and apply to loss or damage caused by the presence, growth or spread of fungus, wet or dry rot or bacteria. This typically includes mold or mildew as well as their toxins, spores and even scents.

Fortunately, there are still limited coverage commercial insurance policies out there. If you have one, be aware that while they may cover fungus, they often require that it be the result of a specified cause of loss. Other times they may only provide reimbursement if flood coverage is specified.

Mold remediation can be costly, but with the right mold insurance coverage, you can keep more of your money in your pocket. Do your research when choosing or changing your insurance to lessen the expense.

Creating an Office Fire Escape Strategy: 3 Factors To Consider

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Creating an Office Fire Escape Strategy: 3 Factors To Consider Create a fire escape plan for your Seahurst,WA business

Creating a Fire Escape Plan

Imagining the possibility of a fire breaking out at your Seahurst,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 Seahurst,WA, business. Careful planning can reduce chaos and panic during such an emergency.

4 Ways To Prevent Mold Damage After Flooding

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 4 Ways To Prevent Mold Damage After Flooding 24 hour standing water in a Seahurst,WA residence means that mold may already started to grow

Prevent Mold From Becoming A Serious Problem

Flooding frequently leads to mold growth, as fungus requires moisture in order to grow and multiply. Homeowners should take immediate action to mitigate primary water damage and prevent secondary damage after a flood occurs in Seahurst,WA. Here are four ways to prevent mold from becoming a serious problem.

1. Drain Water As Soon As Possible

Standing water can lead to extensive damage in your home and significantly increase the risk of mold. Homeowners can start this process using simple equipment such as buckets, but flood mitigation professionals usually rely on pumps to drain water.

2. Start the Cleanup Process

Flood water is considered Category Three water or black water, which means that it contains potentially dangerous contaminants and even sewage. After all of this water has been removed, the affected area should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Remove debris and kill off bacteria that can facilitate the mold growth or pose additional risks to occupants.

3. Remove Porous Building Materials

Porous materials such as carpet or drywall will probably need to be torn out and replaced during the mitigation process to prevent mold from starting to grow. Restoration experts can help homeowners determine whether it is worth the time and money to attempt to clean or repair damaged contents or materials. More often than not, replacement is the best option.

4. Completely Dry the Area

Mold cannot flourish in a dry environment. Professionals may use commercial- or industrial-grade equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers to speed drying and draw moisture out of semi-porous surfaces.

These four measures may reduce the extent of mold growth following a flood in Seahurst,WA. If a residence has been exposed to standing water for 24 hours or longer, mold may already have started to grow. A water damage mitigation and restoration company can ensure that conditions do not remain conducive to mold.

Ruined to Rescued: Three Steps To Save a Wet Carpet

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ruined to Rescued: Three Steps To Save a Wet Carpet Wet carpet can be saved. Learn how!

If you’ve ever had a pipe break in your home, you know that the aftermath can be as costly as it is messy. Before you get out your credit cards, you should know in most cases it’s possible to rescue a waterlogged carpet!

As long as the source of your flood is clean, following a few simple steps can save you a lot of money.

Stem the Flow

The first step to rescuing your rugs after a pipe break is to make sure the water has stopped flowing as soon as possible. The less water that comes in contact with your floor, the easier your floor will be to save. Locate the source of the leak and turn off the water as soon as you can.

Start Blotting

Once you’ve stopped the flow of the water, it’s time to start drying your floors. Gather as many towels as you can find and start blotting! Lay the dry towels over the wet area and apply pressure to soak up as much water as you can. Once the towel is saturated, replace it with a dry one and keep going. If your carpet is white or light in color, just be careful not to use brightly colored towels that may bleed dye and cause staining.

Crank the Air

While you are blotting, get dry air flowing through the room. If it’s not humid outside, open doors and windows to create a cross breeze through the room. You can also crank up your air conditioner or turn on your central heating system. If you have a dehumidifier in your home, using it will also help.

Taking these three easy steps can put you and your rugs well on the way to restoration. In the event of a serious flood, you may want to contact an expert remediation specialist in Seattle, Washington who can help prevent odors or mold. When you have a pipe break, the key is to move quickly to avoid lasting damage to your carpets and floors.

The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage 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 Seattle,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 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.

3 Power Backup Options for Businesses

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Power Backup Options for Businesses Commercial generator in Mercer Island,WA

Power Backup Options

A power outage may slow down business, but it does not mean a commercial property must completely shut down. Power backup equipment can protect and sustain the core systems of a company. These three power backup options can provide electricity and prevent damage to computers and servers in offices in Mercer Island,WA.

1. Power Generator and Fuel Supply

Most business owners should consider a commercial standby generator. Three-phase designs have fortified components that provide more power than manual consumer-grade generators. Smaller businesses may be able to use a single-phase generator. Calculate your power needs over various periods of time to choose the right equipment.

Standby generators can be powered by diesel, natural gas, or propane. A smaller portable generator may run on gasoline. Operate a consumer-grade manual gas generator outside to prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating in a building.

2. Automatic Transfer Switch

An ATS monitors the supply of power and will automatically activate a standby generator in the event of a power outage. The ATS will also transfer the power source back to the utility and shut down the generator as soon as the power turns back on.

3. Uninterruptable Power Supply

A UPS is a useful solution for preserving data and functionality for computer systems and servers. This component sustains power to systems for a short period to cover the transfer between utility power to generator power and back again.

Regardless of which type of generator and backup equipment you choose, you can safely operate electrical equipment and core systems during a power outage. Make sure that you have enough fuel to meet your needs for at least several days in case of a severe storm or prolonged outage. Keep in mind that most fuel types have a limited shelf life. Contact a commercial damage restoration company if a property sustains damage during a storm in Mercer Island,WA.

The 3 Best Candle Alternatives

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The 3 Best Candle Alternatives Candles can cause a large number of fire to your Harbor Island,WA home

Candle Alternatives

Candles cause a large number of house fires. Children or pets can accidentally overturn a candle and ignite nearby combustible materials. These fires also frequently start when open flames are left unattended in a bedroom after the person who lit the candle falls asleep. Here are three flameless candle alternatives that you should consider to produce similar mood lighting effects or scents.

1. Electric Candles

Battery-operated candles are perfect for safer use for decorative purposes or as nightlights in the bedroom. These candles may be designed to flicker or disperse a scent. You can find an electric alternative for most colors, styles, and fragrances of candles, whether you desire a pillar, taper, or tea light look. You can place electric candles almost anywhere without worrying about starting a fire.

2. Christmas or Fairy Lights

Strings of lights are a safe way to add a magical touch indoors or outdoors with a lower fire risk. Use these candle alternatives to create a low-light look when decorating a room or for a holiday. You can select single- or multi-colored strings of lights and choose from standard bulbs or models with ultra-efficient LED bulbs. It is affordable to replace individual bulbs or an entire strand.

3. Candle Warmers

If you have standard scented candles that you would like to enjoy more safely, try pairing them with a candle warmer. These devices are available as low-profile bases or lamp-style designs. You can also spread a scent using oil or wax warmers or reed diffusers for a different look.

These candle alternatives allow you to create lighting looks you love or enjoy the scent of standard wax candles. All of these options also significantly reduce the risk of starting a candle fire. If a fire does break out at your home in Harbor Island,WA, schedule a consultation with a residential fire and smoke restoration service.

Mold Remediation

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

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.

Vandalism Cleanup

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Vandalism Cleanup 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!

Quality Carpet Cleaning

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

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.

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