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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

4 Tips for Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in an office SERVPRO knows that time is of the essence when it comes to storm damage. The faster we can start the drying process; the less damage will be spread.

4 Ways To Save Money On Taxes By Deducting Storm Damage

If you’ve experienced damage to your business in Harbor Island, WA, due to a flood, hail, wind, hurricane, or other natural disaster and insurance wouldn’t cover you for whatever reason, your company is likely in a rough spot financially. Fortunately, storm damage that isn’t covered by insurance can often be deducted on your next tax return as a casualty loss. Here are five tips to keep in mind when deducting casualty losses.

1. You Will Need To Prove You Experienced a Loss

In order to be qualified to claim casualty loss as a tax deductible, you will need to prove that you are the owner of the property and the one experiencing loss. You will also need to prove the value of the property before the disaster and show you are unable to cover the costs.

2. Special Rules Apply to Presidentially Declared Disasters

If the president declared a disaster in your area, you can deduct the losses due to storm damage for either the year the disaster occurred or the year after- whichever saves you the most money.

3. There are Different Rules for Deducting Casualty Losses for Personal Property and Businesses

While personal property damage only allows you to take a write off for itemizers and requires you to reduce the loss by $100 and 10 percent of your AGI, this does not apply to business casualty losses.

4. Wear and Tear Is Not Considered Casualty Loss

Since a casualty loss is defined as a loss that occurred due to an unexpected or sudden event, normal wear and tear that occurs to your business will not be tax deductible. However, work done by a storm damage restoration company as a result of an unexpected disaster would be covered.

Although a natural disaster of any sort can be extremely difficult for your business to recover from, it helps to know a lot of your losses are tax deductible. When filling out this year’s tax refund, remember these four tips!

How To Respond When Fire Damages Your Roof

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Workers installing concrete tiles on the roof while roofing house in construction site SERVPRO is here to help in your time of need. We are fire damage restoration experts who are available 24 hours a day to respond when you need us.

When Your Roof Is Burned, What Should You Do?

The roof over your head from the beginning of the workday to the end is responsible for protecting everyone and everything within your Seattle, WA, business. Unfortunately, when fires affect offices and warehouses, the roof is often one of the places most likely to suffer damage. Your response following a fire will affect the speed and cost of repair and fire cleanup efforts.

Assessing the Extent of the Damage

Some roofing damage doesn't require an emergency response. At times, the damage may be only minimal, and your building is still secure and protected from the elements. You will need emergency roof repair and tarp services if there's significant damage.

• Underlying roofing substrates are damaged
• Damages extend entirely through roofing materials
• Roofing structure is weakened and unsafe
• Water and/or other elements are getting into your business

When your building has been affected by one or more of these situations, you'll need an emergency response from fire cleanup and repair professionals.

Dos and Don'ts While Waiting for Professionals

What should you do while you wait for experts to arrive at your location?

• Do not climb up on your roof. There are many dangers involved in climbing onto a roof that has been affected by fire.
• Do not try to enter your business until emergency response professionals tell you it's safe.
• Do shut off the primary water and electrical supply switches.
• Do keep your phone on, so local authorities and fire restoration professionals can reach you.
• Do communicate with your insurance company.
• Do record damages and losses. Write down specifics as you learn them and take photos when it's safe and appropriate to do so.

Short-Term Protection for Long-Term Results

When Seattle, WA, professionals arrive to conduct emergency tarp services, their first priorities involve securing your property and preventing further damages. Installing a tarp is a quick and effective way to keep the elements away from equipment and furnishings. This short-term response protects your business until professionals can complete fire cleanup and restoration efforts.

3 Steps To Keep Your Business Free of Mold

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold grows in spaces that are consistently damp, so if you notice growth in these areas, pay attention. Call SERVPRO for more information.

3 Mold-Resistant Steps for Your Business

If you find evidence of black mold at your place of business, you'll want to contact a mold remediation expert as quickly as possible. A mold infestation can damage your building's walls and other surfaces, so a quick mold cleanup process means fewer lost working hours for your business. Here are three steps toward maintaining a mold-free space for your business in Harbor Island, WA.

1. Identification

Although mold is naturally occurring in many spaces, a build-up of mold needs to be remedied quickly. Mold grows in spaces that are consistently damp, so if you notice growth in these areas, pay attention. Black mold can be identified by its color. In addition, it often has an unpleasant musty smell. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, call a professional mold remediation service to help.

2. Removal

The first thing mold experts will do is perform an air test in your space to determine where contamination exists and what types of mold are present. After they've identified the areas needing cleaning and disinfection, containment is the next step. They will isolate these areas from the rest of your indoor space.

Using commercial mold cleaners and other professional equipment, such as air scrubbers, they will thoroughly clean the space and dry any wet materials. A post-cleanup mold test ensures that all mold has been removed from the space. At this point, you should being taking steps to prevent future mold contamination.

3. Prevention

To keep mold from contaminating your business in the future, be sure to keep your indoor spaces clean and dry. Indoor humidity levels should be kept below 45 percent. Use one or more dehumidifiers as necessary to maintain this level. Air filters can also help remove mold spores from the air as they circulate air through your indoor spaces.

If you suspect you have black mold in your place of business, be sure to have a professional inspection done as soon as possible. With quick mold cleanup, you'll be back to making money in no time.

Appropriate Mitigation of a Water Leak Can Help Save Your Home

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber repairing a bathub leak Water heaters, pipes and faucets, dishwashers, tubs and showers – all have the potential to leak.

Appropriate Water Leak Mitigation Can Help You Save Your Home

Normal everyday life is generally free from water disasters, but homes everywhere are full of water-related items. Water heaters, pipes and faucets, dishwashers, tubs and showers – all have the potential to leak. Even a category 1, or clean water leak can cause damage if not acted on quickly. Your home in Des Moines,WA, is no exception. A leaking water heater or other plumbing failures can wreak havoc on your home and belongings. You should be aware of the following steps to secure your home if a failed water heater springs a leak.

What To Do When You Experience a Leak

1. Keep people out of the area and contact an emergency water damage service
2. Get an inspection and assessment of your water damage
3. Remove or extract water immediately
4. Use adequate means to dry and dehumidify the area
5. Sanitization and cleaning of home contents
6. Restoration of living conditions

A broken water heater can send gallons of water into the surrounding area, cause damage to flooring and belongings, and even wick up into sheetrock. It is imperative that upon finding a leaking water heater, you get help at once to clean up the water and start drying things out to optimize your chances of salvaging your belongings.

A water damage repair and restoration service in Des Moines, WA, will have heavy-duty equipment to extract the water from carpeting and industrial strength fans to dry things out. Timely dehumidification is essential if you hope to save your carpet or rugs. It is also critical to hardwood flooring that all water is removed and dried of moisture immediately. It is essential to prevent water from reaching the subfloor to stave off warping and swelling in that layer.

Observe proper maintenance procedures to prevent a leaking water heater before things get out of hand. But if the unexpected happens, following the steps above will help mitigate the damage for the best outcome possible.

5 FAQs About Non-Revenue Water Loss

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

A business with water damage Our team was called out to this building after a pipe leak caused standing water on a few floors. You can trust SERVPRO for any water damage!

5 Common Questions About Non-Revenue Water Loss

In today's business world, water loss is a major problem. Even small leaks from damaged pipes can have major financial implications. The idea of non-revenue water loss is something that all business owners should understand. Here are some of the most common questions about it.

1. What Is It?

Non-revenue water is lost when water doesn't make it from the water source to the end-user. This loss can come from physical damage, broken meters, poor record-keeping, or water theft. Even minute losses can add up and put a financial strain on your business in Mercer Island, WA. Additionally, any physical damage to your plumbing can result in impurities in your water.

2. What Is a Water Distribution System?

Water distribution systems are the method used to deliver water to a user. There are multiple points in this system. This includes sources of water and delivery methods. When you have issues in your delivery method, such as damaged pipes, water can escape your distribution system.

3. Where Does Loss Occur?

If a distribution system is solid, there is no chance that water can be lost. However, water can escape from those that have issues. Typically, damaged pipes inside or surrounding your building are responsible for these losses. Additionally, people can tap into a water line after a meter and steal water from your business.

4. Is This a Problem?

When water loss is due to aging systems, you have a problem. This is because water is probably seeping out into your business. This can do serious damage. You will likely have to hire water restoration professionals and replace a lot of your equipment. If it is due to a slow leak, these costs won't be covered by your insurance.

5. How Can You Remedy Loss?

The first step is to locate the leaking pipes or other sources of water loss. Once you have done this, you can take the necessary steps to correct the issue or fix the damage.

Slow leaks and water loss can result in flooding and water damage to your business. Therefore, all business owners must know the basics about non-revenue water loss.

What To Know About IICRC Certifications

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

logo from a certification company SERVPRO professionals, certified in damage mitigation and restoration, are prepared for almost any disaster, Call us!

What Should You Know About IICRC Certifications?

The IICRC, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, sets the industry standards for disaster remediation companies. The focus of this company is to continuously improve the standards of operation for this type of work. Although headquartered in Nevada, they shape work standards everywhere, including in Seattle, WA.


While the IICRC is not affiliated with the United States government, it works closely with the American National Standards Institute that monitors different industries' standards. This means that professionals who have this type of certification are highly knowledgeable about the remediation industry. This organization is responsible for establishing the terminology, technology, techniques, and safety protocols of restoration work. By creating certain requirements, it improves the safety of businesses and customers dealing with remediation work. This is critical for ensuring public health. The areas it sets the standards for include:

  • Textile floor coverings
  • Stone restoration
  • Hard floor coverings
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Water damage restoration
  • Crime scene cleanup
  • Mold contamination assessment
  • HVAC cleaning
  • Fire and smoke damage restoration


The various areas that have standards set by the IICRC all have a corresponding certification. In other words, a mitigation technician will have a mitigation certificate. As a business owner, it is especially important to ask for verification that the technicians you hire have these. This ensures that your business is in good hands after a disaster.

Maintaining Certification

After technicians complete a course and pass the exam, they are issued a certification card. To keep this certification, you must earn a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. These credits come from additional related courses that you pass the exam for.

Becoming a professional in any field requires ensuring that you are properly trained and certified. The restoration industry is no exception. If you are a business owner looking for a qualified remediation company, ensure they have a certification from this organization. This will help you get the highest quality of work available.

The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Water Damage

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. Is water damage present in your home? Call SERVPRO for all your restoration needs. Our crew is always available to take your call and answer any time.

Primary And Secondary Water Damage: What's the Difference?

When you’re stuck dealing with the aftermath of an extensive leak or flood in your Seahurst, WA, home, there’s going to be water damage. The preliminary result of water damage is considered primary, while the onset of any effects thereafter are known to be secondary. This is when greater problems can begin to arise around your household, such as black mold and interior structural harm, that ends up becoming quite costly. Read on to discover more about the two distinct types of damage, and how to prevent the second type from occurring altogether.

Primary Water Damage Is the Immediate Result

Once a leak or flood has erupted in your home, the resulting damage to the residence is considered the primary damage. This can be seen visibly in numerous ways, such as through:

  • Wet drywall,
  • Damp or soaked carpets,
  • Damp or bubbling wallpaper, or
  • Wet upholstery that easily soaks up water.

It takes the skill and expertise of experienced water restoration specialists to fully take on a water-damaged home, properly drying and sanitizing the exposed areas to ensure they are effectively handled. They can utilize special equipment that seeks out any sources of extreme moisture or high humidity in order to prevent the potential growth of black mold or mildew in the future.

Secondary Water Damage Can Take Weeks To Appear — and It Can Be Doubly Destructive

If primary damage hasn’t been correctly restored from the beginning, a new set of problems can begin to appear as secondary damage. Drywall can fold in on itself and disintegrate; wallpaper can tear away from the walls completely, and hardwood floors can start to crack or warp. Most importantly, mold can begin to grow and fester in any of these areas, which can generally be found by sight or smell alone after a few weeks’ time.

Take control of your Seahurst, WA, home by clearing out water damage directly after it’s occurred, and keep your property from sustaining any further destruction like black mold that can leave you paying extensively as a result.

A Timeframe for Damage Restoration Response

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company Here at SERVPRO, we understand that time is of the essence when it comes to storm damage. The faster we can start the drying process, the less damage.

An Estimated Timeline For Damage Restoration

Owners of homes that have sustained damage should start the mitigation and restoration process as soon as possible. Leading restoration companies are always open and can respond to a call, provide an on-site consultation, and offer a verbal briefing within a 24 hour window. Learn more about the timeframe for responding to any type of damage.

Call Response

A fast call response within one hour is ideal for a mitigation and restoration service. The initial communication should cover the following information about damage:

  • Location
  • Type
  • Extent

The next step is scheduling a consultation. For the best results, homeowners should make this call within a 24 hour period after damage occurs.

On-Site Consultation

Experts should arrive on location within four hours of a call response. These professionals can assess the degree of damage and recommend strategies to avoid additional damage. Homeowners should document damage for insurance purposes before taking any mitigation measures.

Verbal Briefing

A company should provide a verbal briefing within eight hours of an on-site assessment. This briefing should provide an overview of the remediation process:

  • Mitigation measures
  • Cleaning methods
  • Restoration timeline

Each of these factors will impact the duration of the cleanup and rebuilding process and the overall estimate. A one-stop shop can oversee this process from start to finish.

Estimate and Schedule

A company can then provide an estimate for homeowners to forward to their insurance provider. Depending on the cause and type of damage, an insurer may or may not cover losses. Limits may also apply. Homeowners should review the terms of their coverage prior to filing a claim.

A mitigation and restoration company should provide a fast response and clear description of mitigation and restoration procedures. It may also be possible to obtain mitigation services within a 24 hour period, such as boarding up or tarping over structural damage at a residence in Seattle, WA.

How Contaminated is Flood Water?

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

flooding car in basement carpark at condominium. When your building becomes a victim of flood water, it is important to take every step necessary to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.

Flood Water: How Contaminated Is It?

Anyone who played in a puddle after a spring rain as a child (or maybe even as an adult) may have a hard time associating the flood water from a storm with contamination. The truth, however, is that this water is considered Category 3 water. As a result, cleaning it up when it floods your commercial property in Seattle,WA, involves more than fixing the water damage.

What is Category 3 Water?

Category 3 water, is dirty. It can contain:

  • Dangerous microbes, bacteria or fungi
  • Harmful chemicals
  • Sewage
  • Dirt or debris from the ground

If water from a storm floods your building, you must take special care not to let anyone touch it while unprotected. Full personal protective gear must be worn before entering or handling the flood water. You and your employees should not let it touch skin, and it should never be ingested.

How Do You Handle Category 3 Water?

Cleanup of storm damage should be handled by flood restoration experts. They are trained and certified to remove the water, tear out unsalvageable materials and disinfect every affected surface that remains before replacing the floor, walls and ceiling that were removed.

The first step is extraction of the contaminated water. A pump that removes both water and debris will likely be used. Then technicians assess the damage caused by the flooding and remove all materials and items. They dry and sanitize everything that this water touched. After the area is tested and confirmed clean, they restore the building and make it look “Like it never even happened” by matching new walls to old walls and new floor tile to the remaining tile.

When your building becomes a victim of flood water, it is important to take every step necessary to ensure the safety of everyone in the building. Keep people away from Category 3 water, and let the experts handle the rest.

4 Steps for Recovering From Storm Damage

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

A home damaged by storm Here at SERVPRO of South/West Seattle, we understand that time is of the essence when it comes to storm damage. Call us any time you need it!

4 Steps To Getting Back On Your Feet After A Storm

Heavy storms can turn your life around without much warning at all. Strong winds and record levels of rainfall could damage your home, leaving you and your family to pick up the pieces for a long time after the last clouds have drifted away. Happily, there are a few things you can do to speed up the recovery process and ensure that you're left with a safe, attractive home, hopefully without having to tear out sections of it.

1. Ensure Your Family's Safety

Water damage due to storms or natural disasters in Mercer Island, WA, often poses many hazards to your safety. These may include the following:

  • Broken glass, shards of metal, exposed nails
  • Damaged electrical or natural gas systems
  • Downed power lines
  • Damaged gas or sewage lines

If you notice any of these things, it’s best to wait for professionals to arrive before beginning any cleanup.

2. Assess the Level of Damage

Depending on the type of storm causing the destruction, you may have roof issues, flooding in the basement, or damaged windows. The exterior of your home could be chipped, discolored, or dented. Carefully move debris away from the home so you can visually inspect your property.

3. Avoid Causing Additional Damages

Much of the cleanup and some of the repairs can be handled without professional help. Families can often handle tasks such as moving branches, garbage, and wind-blown debris away from the home. Before you start to tear out any of your exterior coverings or interior home décor, consider asking for professional help.

4. Contact Professionals

The extent of insurance coverage can vary a great deal. It's best to talk to your agent to get a good idea of what you can expect. You may also want to talk to home restoration professionals with water damage experience. These professionals have the training and equipment necessary to perform repairs you aren't able to complete on your own.

These four storm restoration steps can help you get your family's lives back on track. Before you tear out any carpeting or landscaping, establish your family's safety, assess the damages, separate DIY work from repairs that require professionals, and contact necessary specialists.

How Water Damage Can Affect Your Home

1/22/2022 (Permalink)

restoration machine is cleaning a house after a water damage SERVPRO had an extra set of eyes upon them at this home. The family cat was very interested in what we were doing and was quick to get involved.

What Are The Consequences Of Water Damage To Your Home?

If your Des Moines,WA, home has experienced flooding you may be wondering what types of damage you may be facing. With the potential to cause problems with everything from swelling wood to possible mold growth, here are some things you may want to know how water damage can affect your home.

Possible Ways You Home Can be Damaged

Water damage can be caused in a number of ways.

• A broken supply line can lead to flooding in your yard and home
• Storm damage can lead to a leaky roof
• Pipes can freeze and break in cold weather
• Sewer backup can lead to flooding

Long Term Damages

If left unattended water can lead to long term damage which can cause problems for your home, and even lead to the denial of an insurance claim. Sitting water can lead to swelling wood in the floors or walls which can cause structural warping. Standing water also provides a prime habitat for mold growth. In basement areas water can seep into the foundation leading to potential cracking. These problems can be prevented by cleaning up flooding as quickly as possible.

What You Can Do

The first step is to get any flooding cleaned up quickly, and start the water pipe repair process. One the water is gone and any breaks or leaks fixed, you can begin to asses the damage. A water damage restoration service may be able to help you with this step. When looking over the damaged areas be sure to check for mold or rot so that the appropriate steps can be taken during the repairs.

Water damages can lead to swelling wood, foundation cracks, and even mold growth if left unchecked. This is why it’s important to quickly conduct any repairs necessary whenever you have problems with water in your home. If desired, a professional can help with the cleanup and restoration process.

Security Fencing: Keeping Your Property Safe After a Fire

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores on the Atlantic City Board Walk The main concerns after a commercial property fire are looting and vandalism.

After A Fire, Use Security Fencing to Keep Your Property Safe

Many property owners may wonder why a security fence is put up after a disaster, especially when so much of the property has already been damaged or destroyed. The simple answer is to mitigate further loss and to comply with most insurer requirements. However, fencing also helps to reduce liability risks and ensure a safe and controlled environment for the restoration process.

1. Looting and Vandalism

The main concerns after a commercial property fire are looting and vandalism. This type of disaster can create several access points for potential criminals, and without the proper preventative measures, an insurer can dismiss the losses as owner neglect.

2. Squatting or Trespassing

Additionally, a security fence not only prevents criminal activity, but it also minimizes the risk of any type of trespassing, even squatting. When your business has been shut down, the last thing you want is rebuilding to be slowed down because of people attempting to live in your building.

3. Wildlife

Beyond people, both criminal and destitute, a fence can reduce the chances of wildlife trampling through your property and causing more damage. Granted, the safety perimeter may not keep birds out, but it may keep larger animals at bay while your property is cleaned and restored.

4. Further Damage

Fencing in combination with a full-scale board-up is meant to mitigate further damage and reduce liability concerns for insurers. Damage can be caused by people, animals and Mother Nature, which is why you should contact a disaster restoration specialist in the Seattle, WA, area to perform both of these services and keep your property safe.

A security fence is only part of the fire mitigation and restoration puzzle, but it is necessary. Without a secure perimeter, you risk criminal trespass, squatting and even wildlife intruders. Keep your building safe and fence off the boundary or hire a skilled and experienced professional to help you.

3 Things To Know About Mold Removal

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. It’s recommended to have a professional handle the removal process as they have the tools and knowledge to do the job thoroughly.

Mold Removal: 3 Things You Should Know

Mold can cause a number of structural damage. This is why it’s important to take care of any mold issues as soon as you become aware of the problem. When looking at mold removal for your Seattle, WA, home there are a few things you may want to know.

What Your Insurance Covers

When it comes to mold, the specifics of each individual policy may vary. However, the following are usually covered.

• Mold growth after emergency efforts in fire suppression, such as a sprinkler system or water from a fire hose
• Mold growth after an accidental pipe break
• Mold growth after storm damage
• Mold growth after flooding, if you have flood insurance in your policy

Insurance will not usually cover damages or remediation costs if the mold growth is due to neglect on the part of the homeowner. So, it is best to take care of any mold related problems as soon as they are discovered.

What A Remediation Professional May Do

In some cases, it may be best to hire a mold remediation service to thoroughly remove any spores from your home. During the mold removal process these professionals can look for any spreading, and take the steps necessary to help prevent future problems. They may also be able to repair damaged areas.

What the Costs Could Be

A mold inspection usually costs between $200 and $600. When it comes to mold remediation costs can vary depending on the mold type, and area of infestation. Small cases can cost as much as $500 dollars while large infestations resulting in structural damage could cost up to $30,000. Black mold removal may have extra costs depending on the methods used.

Having your mold removal process started as soon as you find the problem can not only save you money but may help when it comes time to file your insurance claim. It’s recommended to have a professional handle the removal process as they have the tools and knowledge to do the job thoroughly. If possible, it’s also recommended to take any steps you can to prevent future problems.

The 6 Roles To Assign for Your Office Fire Escape Plan

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Escape plan There are several roles to consider when creating an emergency escape plan in case of fire for a commercial business.

The 6 Roles Your Office Fire Escape Plan Should Assign

Unless you are a firefighter, odds are that you rarely think about what to do in the event of a fire at work. Alas, creating and practicing a fire escape plan is a terrific way to ensure a sense of security and unity among staff members. There are several roles to consider when creating an emergency escape plan for a commercial business:

1. Door Shutters

Shutters should be responsible for closing interior doors on their way out of a burning building. This helps to slow the spread of flames and indicates to others when rooms are empty.

2. Space Checkers

A select few may visually sweep hallways or less-crowded work spaces along their escape route to ensure that all coworkers are moving. This assignment would include checking break rooms or bathrooms for stragglers.

3. Progress Reporters

Administrators may be responsible for communicating progress across the building as a fire escape plan is unfolding. Walkie-talkies can help ensure that route adjustments, injuries or obstacles are reported in an effective way.

4. First-Aid-Kit Grabbers

Select employees may be in charge of retrieving first aid kits during their escape. Once outside, they can offer help to injured parties while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

5. Attendance Takers

Managers should take roll call outside, noting any people still missing or badly hurt. Walkie-talkies can help locate missing people if they managed to escape at another exit point.

6. 9-1-1 Caller

Most importantly, a point person should be in charge of dialing 9-1-1 as soon as possible. This ensures that the task isn’t overlooked or presumed finished during the excitement.

After everyone is safe from the blaze, there will be time to consider what happens next. Some emergencies require trauma therapists in the weeks that follow. Others require that a fire damage assessment be performed for insurance purposes. As the aftermath evolves, you will be thankful for the immediate precautions handled in your emergency plan.

Safety is one of the most important gifts a person can receive at work. When fire escape plan roles are assigned, communicated and practiced, employees across Mercer Island, WA, can feel more confident in the workplace.

4 Steps to Storm Preparedness

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

A home damaged by storm SERVPRO has a team of licensed water damage restoration professionals who are ready to restore your home or business after storm damage at any time.

Storm Preparedness In Four Easy Steps

If you are a homeowner in Mercer Island, WA, you have probably thought about what might happen if a storm causes your house to flood. Planning is always important where storm safety is concerned, especially if you live in a flood zone. Here are five steps that you can take to prepare your home and family for a potential storm involving flood water.

1. Sign Up for Local Alerts

If your community offers an emergency warning system, sign up for it as soon as you can. Alerts are also provided by the Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio.

2. Determine Your Flood Risk

Do you live in a flood zone? If you don't know, it may be time to visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Map Service Center online to find out. If it turns out that floods are a significant concern in your area, you will likely want to purchase flood insurance for your property.

3. Protect Valuables

Valuables can easily become damaged from flood water. Protect yours by keeping gutters and drains cleared, purchasing a battery-operated sump pump and moving said items to higher levels in your house. Important paperwork should be digitized and stored in a waterproof box to protect it from water damage in a flooded building.

4. Plan Your Escape

Having a smart escape route in place is important when a flood is threatening your home. Put a plan for emergency shelter in place, and practice various escape paths with your family on a regular basis. Having supplies such as batteries and medicine on hand is also very important.

Your first priority with flood water is to get yourself and your loved ones to safety. Your property also matters, but storm damage restoration specialists can typically help you resolve any damage that does occur. Planning ahead of time by following the steps above puts you in a better position to keep your family and your investments safer in a flood-related storm.

What To Do When Your Flooring has Water Damage

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water damages flooring in Seattle home Water flowed throughout the home damaging these beautiful floors. We arrived quickly to remove all of the damaged materials and properly dry the area.

What To Do If Your Flooring Has Been Damaged By Water

When dealing with a pipe break in Seahurst, WA, you may find that your carpet and other flooring retains water damage. When this happens it’s not uncommon to wonder if the material is salvageable. Here is some information you may want to know.

Know What Problems Water Damage Causes

Water damage can lead to a number of problems with flooring if not dealt with quickly. They include

• Swelling of wood in wooden floors or sub-floor leading to warping
• Carpeting can hold onto moisture long term which can damage to sub-floor
• Cracks in wood or tile if the water freezes
• Possible mold growth
• Porous flooring can soak in contaminants

Clean up Quickly

When dealing with a pipe break it’s important to clean up any remaining water as quickly as possible. Doing so can help you prevent further damage. It’s also a good idea to locate and remedy the source of the water damage. Doing so can help prevent future problems. Depending on the type of break, you may want to call in a plumbing professional or a water damage restoration service.

Call in a Professional

In many cases contacting a professional service may be your best bet for having your home restored quickly and preventing further problems. They can not only clean up the damage and make repairs, but many repair services can also check for mold and help restore any personal items that may have been damaged as well.

Salvaging your flooring after a pipe break is possible if the flooding occurred from a clean water source. If the water was tainted with sewage you will want to replace it. In both cases any flooding should be cleaned up as quickly as possible, and the source of the damage found and fixed. A local Seahurst, WA, restoration service may be able to help you get your home back in order.

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Fire Alarm for Your Home

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light SERVPRO has the experience to handle any fire damage in your home and we're available 24/7 to answer your call.

When Selecting A Fire Alarm For Your Home, There Are Three Things To Keep In Mind.

You want your home in Mercer Island, WA to be safe, and a smoke alarm can be lifesaving if a fire occurs. However, there are many different fire alarms available and you may be unsure of what alarm is best for your home. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right detector.

1. Not All Alarms Are the Same

There are often different ways in which alarms detect smoke. If you want an alarm that is sensitive to smoke, an air-sampling smoke detector might be best. Alternatively, photoelectric alarms will detect slow-burning fires, an ionization alarm detects quick-moving fires. Overall, knowing what you want out of your alarm can help you choose the best fit for your home.

2. Alarms Can Have Different Functions

While the primary function of a fire alarm is to alert you and others in the home if there is a fire, some people also expect their fire alarm to alert them of carbon monoxide. Some fire alarms will alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide and smoke, but some alarms are only made to detect and alert you to smoke. If you’re uncertain whether your smoke alarm will alert you to carbon monoxide, examine the alarm and read over the instructional booklet that came with your alarm when it was first purchased.

3. Understand the Noises Your Alarm Makes

Part of fire safety often means knowing how to react to your alarm, and noises from alarms can mean different things. If you have an alarm that detects both carbon monoxide and detects smoke, you can test your alarm to familiarize yourself with the different noises your alarm will make if it detects smoke or carbon monoxide. Additionally, a smoke detector can start chirping if the batteries need to be replaced.

Knowing the differences between the types of alarms can help you determine what type of smoke alarm is best for your home. If your home has already sustained damage from a fire and you want your home restored, it may be helpful to contact fire damage restoration professionals.

Why Your Water Heater May Be Creaking and Groaning

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance If you already have water damage due to water heater in your home, call SERVPRO, we are ready to help you.

Why Is Your Water Heater Groaning And Creaking?

If you hear bumps in the night and creaking moans coming from your basement, there is a slight chance that your home is haunted, but an even greater chance that your water heater is just acting up. Before you sprinkle garlic around the perimeter of your home, contact your Harbor Island, WA, water cleanup team, or perform a few quick tests on your heater yourself to see if maybe it's not the old tank that's giving off the creepy vibes.

Troubleshooting Water Boiler Issues

There are a few telltale signs of a troubled water furnace for which you can look that can help you diagnose the issue and therefore identify a viable solution. Some such signs are as follows:

  • You have no hot water or not enough hot water.
  • The hot water is far too hot.
  • The water smells funny or is discolored.
  • Your water heater bangs, pops, gurgles, screeches, screams, shrieks or makes any other unsettling noise.

If you notice one or more of the first three signs in conjunction with the strange noises, rest easy knowing that your hot water tank is your ghost. Now that you know the furnace is to blame, however, what can you do about it?

Repairing a Troubled Water Tank

The requisite repair all depends on the issue. If the issue is lack of or insufficient hot water, you may need to check the gas pilot or the electrical connection. You may also want to check the dial on your heater to make sure that it's set to a sufficient temperature.

If the water is too hot, again, check the temperature gauge. It may be turned way up. If that's not the problem, and if you hear boiling noises coming from within the heater, the pressure relief valve may be improperly installed.

If the water has a strange odor, the source of the problem may be your water source and not the water tank. Iron, copper and discoloration often cause discoloration and bad smells.

Finally, if noise is the only complaint, there may be sediment trapped at the bottom of your tank. If that's the case, perform a water heater flush and see if that doesn't correct the issue.

What You Should Know About Emergency Board Ups After a Fire

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration in a home Our local team of fire damage experts can respond to your home or business faster than any other restoration company

What You Should Know About Fire Emergency Board-Ups

When a fire occurs in your home in Seahurst, WA, it’s often important to keep your home secure. Understanding the purpose of a board up, a common method used to protect homes after fires, can help you feel more at ease about the security of your home after a fire.

1. What Is It?

After a home is damaged by a fire, large areas are sometimes left exposed to the outside. In some situations, an insurance company may require you to have your home boarded up, though it’s best to check your policy if you’re unsure what your insurance company requires. Although an emergency board up isn’t always required by insurance, many people still choose to keep their homes covered after a disaster has occurred.

2. What Are the Benefits?

The primary benefit of a board up is that it keeps your home protected and safe. If your home is exposed, it is often easier for thieves to enter and take items that were not damaged in the fire. An exposed home is also more likely to become damaged by wind or water, and debris in the home may result in additional costly and time-consuming repairs.

3. Are All Areas Covered?

While boarding up your home will keep others from entering, it isn’t always practical to use this method on areas such as on roofs or in areas with leaks. In areas where using boards isn’t practical, tarps can be used. When structural and superficial damage has occurred in a home, both methods can be used together to maximize security.

Knowing the ways in which a board up can benefit the security of your home after a fire can reassure you that your home is protected from outside forces. If you are in the process of restoring your home after a fire, it can be helpful to work with fire damage restoration experts.

4 Important Parts of the Fire Cleanup Process

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke on a commercial ceiling Fire and smoke damage can have a significant impact on your commercial building.

Fire Cleanup Process

After a commercial fire in Seahurst, WA, you may want to learn more about the fire cleanup process. Fire and smoke damage can do a number on your property. However, a fire restoration professional can help you get your business back to normal. Most professionals do the following:

1. Remove Soot: Smoke can land on your drapes, walls and ceilings. The soot within the smoke can actually cause staining and other soot damage to your building and belongings. Cleaning the soot out of the space is an important part of the cleanup process. If you skip this step, your building may always look dirty.

2. Control Odor: Smoke can also leave an odor clinging to the nooks and crannies of your building. Part of smoke cleaning is clearing out the odor. Thermal foggers, air filtration devices and ozone machines can help completely remove the smell. If you skip this step, the aroma in your building will always remind you of the fire.

3. Repair Structure: Smoke damage isn't the only type of harm you need to clean up. You also have to repair the structural damage caused by the fire itself and the water used to put it out. Structure repair may require your team to tear out some damaged drywall, 4x4s and other building materials. Even the roof may need to get fixed up after a fire. If you skip this step, it may not be safe to go inside the building.

4. Clean Belongings: Finally, your restoration team may be able to help you get your furnishings, equipment and machinery back in working order. Content cleaning is an important part of getting back to normal after a fire. If you skip this step, you may have to spend more money to replace everything that was dirtied or damaged in the flames.

Fire and smoke damage can do a lot to your commercial building. Going through a thorough restoration process done makes it easy for you to get your business up and running again.

Choosing and Using a Home Fire Extinguisher

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Set Different Types of Extinguishers (Water, Foam, Dry Powder, Halon, Carbon Dioxide Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand to keep your home safe from flames.

Fire Safety Equipment

To keep your home safe from fires, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. While any number of things can cause a home fire in Harbor Island, WA, from faulty wiring to smoking in bed, many of the most common causes are concentrated in the kitchen. Electrical appliances, cooking grease and pots and pans forgotten on the stove, can all result in a kitchen fire that causes extensive fire damage. Follow the guidelines below to select and operate this vital piece of fire safety equipment.

Choosing an Extinguisher

From aerosol spray cans to fire blankets, there are a lot of options on the market for home fire safety. However, opting for a fire extinguisher usually give you the most versatility and protection when it comes to stopping blazes.

Different extinguishers are made to fight different kinds of fires and every extinguisher has a label telling you what types of fires it puts out. Fires are classified as A, B, C, D and K.
• A – Solid materials like wood, paper, plastic or fabric
• B – Flammable liquid or gas like kerosene, paint, or natural gas
• C – Electrical fires
• D – Combustible metals like magnesium or aluminum (almost never an issue in the home)
• K – Liquids used in food preparation like grease and cooking oils
Choosing an extinguisher that covers, A, B, C and K fires is an option, though it will likely be less effective for some types than others. Another option is to keep both a K and an ABC extinguisher in your kitchen.

Using an Extinguisher

Local fire departments in and around Harbor Island, WA, may offer home fire safety training where you can get hands-on training on how to use a fire extinguisher. If not, remember the acronym PASS.

• P – Pull the pin out of the top of the extinguisher
• A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire where the fuel for it is located
• S – Squeeze the handle to begin spraying the water, powder or foam inside the extinguisher
• S – Sweep the spray from side to side to cover the whole base of the fire

Are Environmental Hygienists Really Necessary?

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment Mold remediation services in Mercer Island, WA.

Is the Need for Environmental Hygienists Really Necessary?

When you can see (and smell) mold growing up the walls and on the surfaces of your Mercer Island, WA home, do you really need a certified environmental hygienist to tell you that you have a problem and you need a proper mold cleaning? In short, the answer is yes. While you can find the mold that’s visible with the naked eye, an environmental hygienist can do so much more. The resources available to most homeowners only allow you to scratch the surface of mold identification and remediation.

So What Can an Environmental Hygienist Do That I Can’t Do?

Environmental hygienists are trained and certified in mold identification, mold cleaning, mold remediation, and more. Understanding mold infestations in the home is a complex science. Environmental hygienists can:

• Use complex instrumentation to detect mold in hidden places
• Identify the types of mold and the dangers they may pose to your home
• Ensure proper use of protective safety equipment when dealing with mold on surfaces and throughout your home
• Counsel on appropriate mold remediation methods
• Effectively address the source of the mold to prevent future outbreaks, including identifying leaks or humidity issues

What an environmental hygienist’s certification promises are safety. Environmental hygienists are certified to ensure they handle any mold contamination or infestation as safely as possible without further spreading the outbreak or causing additional issues that might damage your home.

Can’t I Just Use a Home Test?

Home tests aren’t as reliable as you think, and can often either lead you down the wrong path or cause greater frustration. You’re constantly surrounded by mold spores in your natural environment, so a mold test will always return false positives without pointing you to the source of a real infestation. An environmental hygienist’s equipment and knowledge can provide laser-sharp accuracy in pinpointing the actual source of a mold outbreak, and recommending mold cleaning and remediation solutions.

Key Steps You Should Complete During Sprinkler System Maintenance

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding in kitchen. Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty.

Depending on the nature of your Seattle, WA, business, your sprinkler system may be a vital component of your success. Because it’s idle during winter, it’s important to ensure that this system is functioning properly before you restart it at the beginning of the growing season. To accomplish this, you should complete routine irrigation maintenance.

Optimal Performance

An irrigation system evaluation enables you to identify any existing issues that may interfere with optimal performance, such as broken sprinkler heads, clogs, and water leaks. It also ensures your system is ready to go when you need it to perform, helping to minimize potentially harmful irrigation delays.

Initial Steps

Before you turn your system’s water on, you may want to remove sprinkler heads. This may help clear debris near valves, reducing the risk of obstructions.

When you’re ready to initiate water flow, increase pressure slowly. If you immediately turn the water on full strength, the intense initial pressure may cause some components to crack or burst.

Maintenance Checklist

Once the water is turned on, you can evaluate how individual components are functioning. To complete an efficient irrigation maintenance review, you should take the following steps:
• Ensure the system has adequate water pressure
• Confirm that each valve has the proper orientation
• Verify the rotation of heads and adjust as needed
• Clean filters, if necessary
• Inspect and clean sensors

It’s also important to check your system’s controller. You may need to reprogram this component to set up automatic watering. You may also need to replace backup batteries.

Avoid Sprinkler Flooding

Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty. Completing annual irrigation maintenance can help minimize the risk of performance issues as well as potentially destructive sprinkler flooding. Flooding can be costly, especially if it flows into your building and necessitates the need for extensive cleanup efforts. In short, an annual irrigation system evaluation helps to ensure optimal performance as well as protect your property and financial interests.

After a Flood: What Not To Do

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

1. Don't Stay.

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

2. Don't Wade.

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

3. Don't Play.

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

4. Don't Buy.

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

5. Don't Hesitate.

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

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

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

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

What Are the Types?

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

• Cladosporium
• Penicillium
• Alternaria
• Aspergillus

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

Where Is It Found?

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

How Can You Prevent Exposure?

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

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

Should You Prepare for a Flood?

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

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

Is It Necessary to Prepare for a Flood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Detect Mold in Your Air Ducts

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

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

Three Ways To Know You Have Mold

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

1. Sight

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

2. Smell

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

3. Test

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

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

4 Ways To Protect Your Pets From Fire

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

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

How To Protect Your Pets From Fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

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

List of Don’ts of Water Damage

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

1. Do Not Use Electronics

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

2. Do Not Ignore Damp Fabrics

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

3. Do Not Leave Wet Dyed Items on Floors

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

4. Do Not Handle Items without Protection

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

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

Creating an Office Fire Escape Strategy: 3 Factors To Consider

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

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

Creating a Fire Escape Plan

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

1. What Are the Fire Risk Factors?

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

2. How Many Exits Are There?

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

3. What Kind of Protocol Can Be Used?

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

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

Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

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

How Do You Clean up After Sewer Back-Up 

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

1. Inspect and Assess

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

2. Remove Contents

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

3. Removal of Water

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

4. Dehumidifying and Drying

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

5. Final Restoration

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

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

4 Essential Safety Precautions After a Flood

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

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

Storm Restoration Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips for Tackling Mold Growth in Your Home

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

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

Tips for Tackling Mold Growth in Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Electronics Be Saved After Fire Damage?

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

danger, office in a fire , a burning computer Electronic damaged by fire in Des Moines, WA.

If you have recently experienced an electrical fire in your Des Moines, WA, business, you may have many concerns about where to begin in the restoration process. As you face the major task of inventorying your material losses, take time to address electronics that have been damaged by smoke. Before you scrap all of your business' valuable computers, contact a local fire restoration professional to learn more about what needs to be done to reverse the smoke damage.

Which Electronics Can Be Saved After a Fire?

When it comes to saving your electronics after fire exposure, salvageable items usually depend on the severity of the damage done. When you see soot and smoke residue all over your workplace, it is easy to assume all is lost. However, many of the following items can be professionally cleaned and restored to their previous condition:

  • Cameras
  • Videorecorders
  • Computer monitors
  • Televisions
  • Transistors

How Much Does Restoration Cost?
If you have a current fire insurance policy for your Des Moines, WA, business, many of your repairs and restoration costs could be covered. An electrical fire can cause extensive damage to your workplace electronics. Rather than paying up-front to replace all of your office computers, cameras, phones and monitors, try working with your insurance company along with your local restoration expert. The computer cleanup process can cost far less and will save you plenty of time as you avoid installing new technology.

Getting Reimbursement
If smoke or soot damage has taken place at your business place due to a neighboring electrical fire, you may still be eligible for reimbursement. Look to see if any of your electronic equipment is still covered under warranty. Likewise, contact your insurance provider to seek compensation to cover fire damage caused by someone else. Careful documentation and submission of necessary forms to your insurance company will also ensure the most timely reimbursement possible.

What To Know About Roof Leaks and Mold

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

White ceiling tiles wet and with black mold growth due to roof leak. Leaving a leak unattended could lead to potential mold problems.

How A Leak Can Lead To Mold

If you're worried about the possibility of black mold, at your Harbor Island, WA, business, then you may be wondering what sorts of mitigation steps you can take to help prevent this problem. One step you can take is preventing roof leak damages. Here’s what you should know about how a leak can lead to mold.

1. A Leak Can Cause Water Damage

A leak can lead to further water damage such as a ceiling leak if it is left unattended too long. Water can seep into the surrounding material causing it to weaken, crumble or grow soggy. These damages if left unattended could lead to further damages such as Weakening the structural integrity of the property.

2. Water Damage Can Lead To Mold

Water damage can lead to mold. If left unattended long enough mold can even turn into black mold which may be hazardous to both the building and your staff. Because mold is a fungus that feeds off the organic material surrounding it such as the drywall, wood, or carpeting of the building. This means that mold can cause even further damage than the water leak which may have been the source of the original problem.

3. Leaks Should Be Repaired Quickly

If you do have a roof leak at your place of business it’s important to contact a local mold remediation service as quickly as possible. These professionals will have the tools and knowledge needed to find any leaks, fix water damage, and also look for potential mold problems. If you have any other questions these professionals can help.

It's important to understand that leaving a leak unattended could lead to potential mold problems. All mold, including black mold, requires dim and damp conditions in which to grow, and the leak can create the desired habitat. If you do find a leak it’s important to have it fixed as quickly as possible.

3 Steps for Protecting Online Business Data

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Green external hard drive Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive or cloud in case of fire damage.

3 Steps for Protecting Online Business Data

It's just as important to prepare your business files and operations for a major storm as it is to protect your building and physical property in Seahurst, WA. You may have plans for securing any signs, decorations, or other business property on the outside of your building, but do you have plans for saving and retrieving information if you lose internet access or if flood water forces you to evacuate? Consider the following three tips for making sure your files and data as just as secure as your building:

Prepare an Off-Site Storage Location

It's almost always a good idea to keep physical copies of documents, files, and business-critical information in an off-site location. Do the same for your saved files. It isn't enough to simply save to the cloud; if the internet goes down, you won't have access to the information that keeps your business functional. Making backups to portable hard drives or even thumb drives is a good way to access vital info even in the middle of a significant storm and a flooded building.

Make Information Accessible by Smartphone

If the phone lines go down, it may still be possible to use your cellphone to access the internet, as well as your website. This step allows you to update your website as the storm progresses and contact suppliers, clients, and employees as necessary to continue operations as much as possible. If flood water has made it impossible for you to work from the office, you can still continue to work from home or a temporary location.

Prepare a Business Continuity Plan

Work closely with your insurance company and other professionals who understand the importance of a business continuity plan. Once your plan is created, spend time testing, adjusting, and perfecting the plan. Include contact information for water damage restoration technicians, your insurance agent, and other professionals.
Your first-aid plan, safety protocols, security measures, and other plans for keeping your physical property safe are vital. Make sure you also plan to protect your online information when floodwater forces you out of your building while you work to maintain daily operations.

What To Know About Home Lightning Fires

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderbolt over the house with dark stormy sky on the background and moon shining through the cloud A lightning fire can destroy your home.

Not every house fire results from an indoor spark or grease spill. Weather events can lead to fires as well. Lightning, in particular, caused 22,600 fires in America between 2007 and 2011. You should thus learn a bit about these types of fires and how to stay safe during storms.

Understanding Lightning Fires

The majority of these fires do not take place in homes. Still, a lightning fire can cause personal property damage. The fires are most common in the late afternoon and early evening and typically occur during the following months:

  • June
  • July
  • August

Protecting Yourself
Ideally, you should remain inside during a thunderstorm. Once you hear the claps of thunder, head for a building, your house or a hard-topped vehicle. Outdoor locations with only a roof, including picnic areas, sports fields and golf courses, are not safe. Standing under trees can be dangerous, as well.
Of course, if a lightning fire occurs in your home, you may need to evacuate. You will thus need to find another indoor location. Talk to a neighbor ahead of time to see if you can take shelter at his property if necessary.
Even if you do not see flames right away, call authorities if you suspect that a strike has hit your home. The flames may be hiding in wiring or plumbing.
Electrical storms can be dangerous even if they do not start a fire. Once you get inside your home, unplug any electronics and avoid using them. You should also stay away from windows. Do not wash your hands, shower or wash dishes, either.
A lightning fire can destroy your home. This weather phenomenon can be harmful in other ways, as well. If a thunderstorm is heading to Seatac, WA, you and your family should stay indoors and away from electronics if possible. If a blaze does occur, head to a neighbor's home for shelter before dialing 911 and contacting fire damage restoration professionals.

3 Steps To Take After a Fire

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling of a commercial building covered with smoke A fire can be a major disruption to your business operations.

Three Steps To Take After A Fire

A fire can cost your business thousands of dollars to repair or replace damaged property and recover lost income. However, taking these three fire restoration steps after a fire can help get your business up and running faster and reduce the amount of your financial loss.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company
One of the first things you should do is contact your fire insurance company to file a claim. Your claims adjuster will be able to advise you on temporary measures you can take to mitigate damages. The adjuster will also start the process of assessing your damages so that repairs can be completed as quickly as possible. If you have business interruption insurance, you may be compensated for the period of time your business is unable to operate due to the fire.

2. Begin the Cleanup Process
The smoke and soot from the fire and the water used to put out the fire can leave behind a mess that can lead to further damage if not addressed promptly. Additionally, property that remains wet for too long can promote mold growth. However, do-it-yourself cleaning options can often cause more harm than good. Contact a fire restoration company in Seattle, WA, to assist you with smoke cleaning and water mitigation.

3. Mitigate Your Damages
The terms of your insurance policy likely require you to take steps to mitigate your damages while you are waiting for permanent repairs to be completed. If the fire has created openings in the roof or exterior of your building, board them up or cover them with a tarp to prevent leaks. Keep your receipts for any materials you purchase or labor you pay for. Your insurance may reimburse you.
A fire can be a major disruption to your business operations. However, taking the proper fire restoration steps after a fire can minimize the impact on your business.

How To Use Landscaping to Protect Your Home

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

hands holding heavy mulch Heavy mulch is a better option in areas that are prone to flooding.

How To Use Landscaping to Protect Your Home

When severe storms strike, outside flooding can threaten your landscape and your home. The best way to avoid damage to your property is to direct the path of the rainwater. There are several methods commonly used to divert water away from unwanted areas and encourage it to take a more desirable path instead.

1. Using Heavy Mulch
Mulch helps flower beds to look beautiful. However, a heavy rain storm can leave light mulch, like pine, scattered about your property. Mulch can make flooding worse if it is swept into drains because it can cause the drains to clog. You can avoid having your mulch scattered by opting for heavier mulch that does not move unless a more forceful current pushes against it. Heavier hardwood mulches and man-made alternatives are better options in areas that are prone to flooding.

2. Planting a Rain Garden
Rain gardens can add beauty to any landscape and are used to give the water a place to gather, which minimizes runoff. When using native plants, you can make a rain garden into a low maintenance feature. Plant the most water tolerant plants toward the middle since this is where the garden will remain the wettest for the longest. Most rain gardens are between fifty and one-hundred square feet, but even a smaller one can significantly help with rain drainage.

3. Diverting Rain Spouts
Rain spouts protect from outside flooding by providing a path for the rain water as it rolls off your home. If the land around your home is flat and the soil is clay-based, then three feet should suffice. If your land is flat, a ten-foot downspout is recommended. If your land is sandy and flat, your rain spout may need to extend more than ten feet to successfully divert the water away from your foundation.
Outside flooding can be a problem in Mercer Island, WA, but by taking a few precautions, you can decrease your chances of sustaining water damage. If you have experienced a flood and need help getting your property back to normal, call a professional flood restoration company for help.

A Proven Process To Minimize Water Damage After a Leak

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Air mover Drying and dehumidification in a Tukwila, WA residence.

The actions you take immediately after water damage in your home are critical in several ways. How you respond can make a difference in hundreds of dollars in damages to your property in Tukwila, WA. As soon as possible, it is important to stop the flow of water, whether it is from an outside flood or from broken pipes within your home. The next step is to secure the area for the purpose of safety, making sure no person becomes injured from an assortment of hazards. At this point, you should call for the services of a water restoration company in your area.

The Process of a Successful Cleanup

Just as the homeowner has a priority list to follow in cases of water damage, so too does the restoration company. Unlike the homeowner, though, the company and crew have been through this a hundred times before, and have things down to a proven routine. Though each water cleanup is unique, the general process goes as follows:

  • Fast arrival to the scene
  • Inspection and assessment
  • Water removal and extraction
  • Drying and dehumidification
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration

Highly-trained technicians will arrive with advanced equipment to more efficiently proceed with the job. These tools include water vacuums, air dryers, dehumidifiers, safe cleaning agents and diagnostic devices.

The Goals of a Satisfactory Restoration

No matter how extensive the water damage, the goal of a SERVPRO team is to restore your home "Like it never even happened." There shouldn't be any excess moisture remaining in the house, and all odors should be eliminated. Using best practices for the cleaning and restoration industry, a local franchise will restore your home to its original condition. Technicians will also make sure future problems such as mold growth will not appear in the near future. By following an orderly, proven process, a professional team will minimize damages and expenses to your home after a water disaster.

Why Choose SERVPRO for Your Business's Document Recovery

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Box with lid, office boxes and folders for storing documents and files Document restoration is just one of the many services SERVPRO can provide.

When a flood at your office soaks or submerges vital documents, you need to undertake urgent document restoration measures. Fortunately, professional document drying and data preservation professionals from SERVPRO can safeguard your data to ensure you never worry about losing it again.

Urgent Cleaning

Taking action as soon as possible is the best way to ensure your water-damaged documents' recovery. Our 24-hour response service means we can get to the disaster scene in time to remove your papers and send them to our restoration facility, where they may undergo various disinfecting, cleaning and odor removal procedures. Among the methods we may use include:

  • Air drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freeze drying
  • Vacuum freeze drying
  • Vacuum thermal drying

Depending on the type of documents we encounter, it may not be possible to restore your papers fully. However, we can often significantly improve their structural integrity and sanitize them to allow you to handle them safely.

Preventative Measures
SERVPRO document restoration professionals can undertake the digitalization of your documents and records to ensure you will never worry about losing your valuable data to a future disaster. Our team members take care to provide a thorough transfer of records that eliminates a need for costly and cumbersome physical storage solutions.

Thorough Tracking
Our team will update you at every stage of the document drying and restoration process so that you always know the status of your sensitive papers. Our goal is to maintain detailed process records and open communication with you and your representatives so that we can address your questions or concerns as soon as they arise.

Document Destruction
Whether your documents are unsalvageable or you no longer require hard copies of your data, you can count on our team to handle your papers' destruction with care and confidentiality on your premises.
Document restoration is just one of the many services SERVPRO can provide to help your business recover from a flood, fire or another disaster in Seatac, WA.

How To Be Proactive About Plumbing Issues

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Repairing a sink Fix plumbing leaks quickly.

How To Be Proactive About Plumbing Issues

Plumbing problems often occur without warning and leave you scrambling to clean up the mess and the damage left behind. As a business owner in Normandy Park, WA, being proactive about potential plumbing issues could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

1. Find a Good Plumber Now
When you find a surprise leak or a broken pipe, you want to know who to call right away. The quicker problems are addressed, the less damage is caused. Before you have a water crisis to deal with, do your research and find a good plumber. Read reviews and talk to plumbers who service your area and who are experienced in your type of building.

2. Schedule Maintenance
Once you have found a plumber, schedule routine maintenance for your building. Your plumber will work to keep your building in proper working order, addressing anything that could become a plumbing issue down the line. They can suggest repairs or upgrades to help prevent future plumbing problems. And, in the event you do have a plumbing emergency, a plumber familiar with your building may locate the cause of the problem quickly.

3. Review Your Water Bill Each Month
Every home and business owner should review utility bills each month, looking for sudden spikes in charges. While it is normal for water bills to fluctuate a little each month, or even each season, a water bill that is significantly higher than expected may be a clue that there is unknown damage somewhere. There could be a hidden slow leak or an issue with the water main. If you do receive an extremely high water bill, that's a great time to call your regular plumber to inspect your building to find the issue.
The mess and damages left behind by plumbing problems often require the help of water damage restoration specialists. You can greatly reduce the cost of repairs needed by remaining proactive about plumbing issues through an established professional relationship with a good plumber.

How Pretesting Keeps Insurance Costs Down

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Moisture meter on a wall Pretesting will help to keep more damage from happening to your structure, inventory and business equipment.

Unfortunately, insurance prices are rising. As the owner of a company, you want to keep your insurance costs as low as possible. You can do this by keeping your claims down. Pretesting can help you do this.

What Is Pretesting?

A certified company that works with your insurance agent can:

  • Assess the damage
  • Stop the source of damage
  • Check for contamination
  • Inspect the premises for safety issues

This can help your agent determine what sort of claim is necessary.

How Does This Help You?
Once your business is damaged, you might think that it can't get any worse. By quickly stopping what is causing the problem, it can prevent the damage from getting worse. Pretesting will help to keep more damage from happening to your structure, inventory and business equipment. When it comes time for the insurance to pay the claim, they will have to pay less and keep their costs low. This usually will help you save money on premiums down the road.
It will also help by giving your insurance company a more accurate assessment of the damage. The company that does the initial inspection should be able to spot what needs to be fixed right away.

How Does This Help With Your Claim?
Most companies that do pretests in Tukwila, WA also work with various insurance providers. Your insurance agency can recommend the correct company. Since the cleaning company and the insurance company are used to working together, your insurance claim may be processed faster, and the repair work can begin sooner.

What To Do First?
The first thing you want to do is call your insurance company and ask about any procedures they use before you file a claim. They will be happy to tell you if having a company come out before you file is best for both parties. Make sure you operate within your policy guidelines when you contact a company for advanced services.
When disaster strikes, pretesting can help you limit the amount of damage you have and ultimately help you file with your insurance. This process saves you time and money when you need it the most.

Why Mold Can Be a Scary Scenario for Property Managers

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity A SERVPRO franchise can restore your building "Like it never even happened."

If you run a company that leases out buildings to clients or that deals with the rental of apartments, you might not be as familiar with mold insurance claims as you should. The presence of mold in your building in Des Moines, WA, could lead to lawsuits. For example, if mold is discovered in an apartment, the renter might be susceptible to health effects. These could range from minor to serious, depending upon many circumstances. If you don't act quickly, your company could be sued. In the past, courts have awarded large compensation verdicts for tenants in these situations. This could put your company at risk of a devastating financial loss.

How To Prevent a Mold Claim

You have a number of tools to minimize your company's exposure to a mold lawsuit. Prevention is your first line of defense. By taking these actions, you insulate your company from detrimental mold insurance claims:

  • Regular inspections of your property
  • Timely repair of any water leaks or issues
  • Fast response to any complaints of mold
  • Professional cleanup if mold is discovered

Whether you are dealing with an industrial client or apartment tenants, you have a responsibility to maintain your property to local and perhaps federal standards. Failure to do so makes it more likely you will be sued.

How To Mitigate Mold
Unlike some maintenance issues, mold remediation is something that is best left to professionals. An experienced mold restoration company employs certified technicians that know how to deal with this difficult menace. A SERVPRO franchise can restore your building "Like it never even happened." An experienced crew knows how to stop the fungus from spreading and it knows the best way to remove the mold in an efficient manner. When the problem is taken care of quickly, you are unlikely to face any mold insurance claims that deal with liability. This makes handling a mold outbreak a little less scary.

Protecting Your Commercial Roof From Storm Damage

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Construction engineer wear safety uniform inspection metal roofing work for roof industrial concept with copy space It's important to perform inspections in your building

Protect Your Building From Storm Damage

Sooner or later, some type of severe weather is bound to wreck havoc on your commercial roof. Even mild storms can cause roof damage over time. It's important to act promptly and repair damage as soon as you discover it. Abide by the following tips to help protect your building in Seahurst, WA, from storm damage.

Perform Regular Roof Inspections
It's important that you perform inspections on your commercial roof at least twice a year. The building's owner, maintenance crew, engineer or anyone else performing the inspection needs to keep a careful eye out for the following during their search:

  • Peeling edges
  • Areas that are broken or cracked
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Blocked drain pipes
  • Excessive debris in the drainage system

It's also important to inspect the trees and bushes that are growing near your building. Heavy winds can knock down trees and rip off branches, resulting in the need for an expensive roof rebuild.

Repair Damage Immediately
If you do come across any roof damage during your regular inspections, you need to repair it as soon as possible. Cracks and fissures only grow larger and more costly to repair over time. Blocked drainage systems can cause ponding on the top of your roof. The additional water weight causes a lot of unnecessary stress on your roof. In severe cases, this can even result in a complete collapse. Waterproofing is a good technique that you can use to protect your roof against rain and wind damage. There are several different products available to help achieve this effect.
Unchecked roof damage can result in extremely expensive repair jobs over time. Just because your building hasn't had to endure a severe storm doesn't mean that it's immune to regular wear and tear, either. Mild rain, wind, and even sunlight can cause damage over time. It's important to perform regular roof inspections. Contact storm remediation experts if you do come across any serious weather damage.

What To Know About Business Insurance and Your Company

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water in an office Water damage in a Seatac, WA office

Here Are a Few Things To Remember

When your Seatac, WA, business experiences water damage you may want to turn to your business insurance for help covering the costs of repairs. Knowing exactly what may be covered in your plan can be helpful.

1. How Insurance Can Help

In the event of damage caused by broken pipes on your business property, your insurance coverage may help cover the costs needed for repairs and inspections. Your insurance provider may also be able to recommend a trusted restoration service to help with the water cleanup and restoration of the property.

2. What’s In the Policy

It's Important to know exactly what is in your policy as water damage coverage may vary by policy type or your location. Most plans will cover damages from accidents or forces of nature such as a broken pipe, or a large storm. However, they may not cover damages from acts of negligence such as failing to have a pipe break fixed quickly. It should also be noted that flooding may be covered under a separate policy if your business is located in a high-risk location. Make sure to talk with your agent about your business’s needs so that they can help you choose the plan for the coverage you need.

3. Who To Contact About a Claim

In most cases, you should have a designated agent, or agent’s office to work with this should make it easier to remember which person you should contact if you need to file a claim. You can keep their number someplace where it can be easily found when needed, such as in a policy reference binder. You may also want to keep a copy of your policy there as well.

When dealing with water damage on your business property, it’s a good idea to know what’s included in your plan. Your insurance company may be able to help with the costs of clean up and repairs from accident damage or forces of nature. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your policy and the number for your agent easily accessible in case you need to file a claim.

How To Navigate Insurance After a Flood

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

drying equipment in a home after a flood If you have experienced water damage in your home it is important to assess the damage quickly

After the initial water cleanup has begun, it's important to place a claim with your insurance company so you can get the ball rolling as soon as possible. The sooner you can get a home adjuster out to assess the damage and file a report, the sooner the cost of repairs will be covered. Here are a few helpful tips on how to navigate the claims process after you have a flood:

Ask The Right Questions Up Front

When you place your initial call after the event, make sure to ask your agent:

  • what your deductible is
  • whether your damage is covered under your policy
  • what the deadline is for filing and how long it
  • will take to process the insurance claim
  • what receipts or evidence you'll need to provide when filing

Address Immediate Issues to Prevent Further Damage
If cleanup is extensive, call a water damage remediation service in Mercer Island, WA, to remove the water and wet materials and begin drying everything out. It's important to do this right away to prevent avoidable secondary damage — which your home adjuster is sure to note — increasing the likelihood that those damages will not be covered.

Keep Meticulous Records of the Damage
Don't leave anything to chance. Take good photos or videos of every area of damage. Find receipts or research current replacement costs for damaged items and save them so the adjuster can see them during the visit. Get written estimates for repairs and make copies of all written correspondence with your insurance company and contractors.

Know What Happens Next if Your Claim Is Disputed
Don't panic if your insurance disputes some parts of your claim; you can ask for an independent appraisal if the claim department's manager isn't of help. In some cases, the insurance company may offer arbitration to reach an agreement.
Flood insurance is extremely helpful to have, even when it's not required by the government. It can save you a lot of money if the worst happens and your home sustains serious water damage. Your insurance agent and a home adjuster will work with you to see that the best possible outcome is reached, despite the unfortunate circumstances.

Prevent Cigarette Fires in Your Home

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Hand putting out a cigarette,cigarette butt on Concrete floor, bare cement. Avoid fires caused by cigarettes

Although smoking has declined dramatically, puffing away still comes with danger. Inappropriate usage can easily cause a cigarette fire and subsequent residential destruction. Thankfully, basic safety measures can prevent tragedy from striking.

Facts Regarding Fires Caused by Cigarettes

If you believe smoking poses no considerable or preventable risk, ponder these statistics:

  • Around 7,600 residential fires are caused by this habit every year.
  • Smoking materials create 5% of all house fires.
  • 67% of smoking-related accidents happen because of improperly discarded smoking products.

Absorbing these numbers, the seriousness of the problem should be obvious. Additionally, any residential burn site requires fire cleanup, an extensive and complicated process best handled by a fire restoration professional.

Avoiding Fires Caused by Cigarettes
To avert a cigarette fire, those who insist on smoking in Seattle, WA, must follow all guidelines. To begin, never smoke when tired, drinking alcohol, or taking medication that causes drowsiness, as passing out mid-puff is a primary cause of smoking-related incidents. Better yet, only indulge outside and insist on others doing the same. If you must partake indoors, never inhale when sitting on upholstered furniture, which quickly ignites and releases nasty toxins.
Avoid an ashtray fire by only using heavy receptacles placed upon flat surfaces. Never balance them on your lap or a puffy cushion and definitely do not allow any lit tobacco to go unattended. Douse half-smoked cigs in water and only dispose of them in trashcans once you are positive the flame has been fully extinguished.
Most importantly, remember that children are curious and prone to playing with matches and lighters. As an adult, it’s your responsibility to keep anything that creates a spark out of reach.
Those who smoke shoulder the responsibility of preventing a cigarette fire that puts others at risk and causes building damage. Reduce the odds of one of these blazes from becoming a reality by adhering closely to the above recommendations.

Don’t Forget Pets in Your Emergency Escape Plan

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Cute border collie puppy with an emergency kit isolated Create a pet emergency kit

Ensure That Pet Preparation Is Part Of The Discussion

When a fire emergency happens in your Mercer Island, WA, home, the No. 1 goal is to get everyone out safely, which includes furry family members. While the home itself may be restored by a fire damage and restoration professional, a beloved pet is irreplaceable. Every home should have an emergency plan that is clear and communicated to others. Ensure that pet preparation is part of the discussion.

Create a Pet Emergency Kit
If the time comes to evacuate, humans may know the drill and are able to deal with not having the necessary supplies on hand. When it comes to pet safety, even if they are safely evacuated, you don’t want them lost in the chaos likely to happen in the designated safety zone. Preparing an emergency kit that can be easily accessed during an evacuation can help ensure pets are kept safe. The kid should include:

  • A leash, harness or carrier
  • Food, water and bowls
  • Medical record copies
  • Medications
  • First-aid supplies
  • Up-to-date photo of pet
  • Veterinarian information

Make Plans for After an Incident
After a fire emergency, there are many things going on. Depending on the loss, it will likely mean finding a temporary place to stay. While humans can easily find a place to stay, pets may not always be welcome. As part of the plan, have a discussion with emergency contacts to see if they are willing to house the whole family. If not, call ahead to area hotels to see if they accept pets to ensure you will all have a place to go.
Another important detail that can be overlooked is ensuring your pet has a collar and tag on. While it can be easy to take them off to let pets have a little freedom, an emergency can happen at any time. Ensure that the tag has the pet’s name and your contact information in case you get separated.
A fire emergency is a scary situation. Plan ahead to ensure that all family members, including ones with four legs, are safely evacuated and cared for in the aftermath.

4 Flood Prevention Tips When Choosing a Business Site

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

The stacking of roll green lawn grass Consider landscaping

Four Tips When Choosing A Site Location

You’re ready to choose a site for your business. However, have you thought about flood prevention? While flood damage may not top the list of considerations when choosing a building location, business owners in Harbor Island, WA, need to be aware of the potential of water damage to halt productivity. Here are four tips to keep in mind when choosing a site location.

1. Check the property’s flood risk. Use FEMA’s online Flood Map Service Center to search the property address. The map will show the area’s flood zone hazard. While your business site may not be in a high-risk zone, keep in mind that areas in moderate- or low-risk zones can still experience damage from sudden, heavy rain or water system overflow.

2. Consider landscaping. Grass, bushes, and trees interrupt the flow of moving water. Well-designed, attractive landscaping around the property brings curb appeal to your business and helps with flood prevention by breaking up those powerful erosive forces, especially in low-lying areas.

3. Look at drainage systems. Make sure drains around the business site are properly covered so water will flow freely during a sudden rainstorm. Trash and debris, such as large pieces of cardboard, have the potential to quickly and effectively block a drain and create a flooding hazard. Any storm cleanup should include a check for debris that may have blown onto the property.

4. Know who to call for help. In spite of the best preparation, water damage can still happen. Plan ahead and research a commercial building restoration service in Harbor Island, WA, ahead of time. Because disasters don’t always happen during business hours, look for a company that is prepared to respond 24/7 to your flood cleaning. Keep this information handy in case you need it quickly.
Flood prevention is important. With planning, you will be able to choose a site that works for your business.

The Relation of Wildfire Damage and Flooding

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

firefighters battle a wildfire Wildfire damage increases the risks of floods in numerous ways

The reasons and causes of flooding in the U.S. are many and varied. It is a complex subject that scientists have studied for hundreds of years. The FEMA NFIP is a great resource to learn more about the impacts and causes of flooding. In a constantly changing world, homeowners should be aware of the devastating impacts of high waters and the amount of damages they can cause to a home. They should also understand when and if their home is at an increased risk of a catastrophic water disaster. Seasonal changes in weather patterns, alterations to landscapes and recent wildfires all can make a property more vulnerable to a flood.

The Wildfire Connection

While the FEMA NFIP has been around since 1968, the landscape of flood protection has changed over the past decade or so. One aspect of this is the increase of wildfire threats, both in terms of the number and the intensity of fires. Wildfire damage increases the risks of floods in numerous ways:

  • It alters the terrain, often creating steeper slopes
  • It removes vegetation that absorbs water
  • It creates a layer of charred soil that speeds runoff

Homeowners that are downslope of a burnt face an even greater risk of flooding. These properties are also subject to the dangers of mudflows as well.

The Restoration Solution
Any time a flood sweeps through a home in Tukwila, WA, a professional restoration franchise can help improve the situation. A SERVPRO team is Here to Help in the darkest of times. Trained technicians have expertise in dealing with flooding damage, whether it is after a wildfire or the result of torrential rains. If the water disaster is a large one, a Disaster Recovery Team will pool resources and bring the necessary equipment in to handle the situation. They will even help document damages and expenses for the FEMA NFIP to ensure homeowners get paid what they are due.

Prepare for a Home Adjuster Visit With 3 Easy Steps

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Inspecting damaged roofing shingles Prepare for a home adjuster visit

Three Steps for Preparing For An Adjuster's Visit

Filing an insurance claim for a flooded home can seem like a complicated process. Between handling the shock of the disaster, fixing the broken pipes, and restoring your home, squeezing in a visit from the home adjuster can feel overwhelming in Seattle, WA. If you have never filed a claim before, the process can be quite stressful. However, with thorough preparation, the process can go smoothly and quickly.

1. Prevent Additional Damage
Make temporary repairs to prevent additional damage while you wait for the adjuster to come. If the damage gets worse during this waiting period, some insurance companies may deny your claim if you neglect to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate your losses. Keep all receipts from these repairs and submit them to your insurance provider for reimbursement with your insurance claim.

2. Document the Damage
Compile a detailed list of any items that were destroyed or damaged during the incident and give it to the home adjuster. Gather copies of any receipts showing how much you paid for each item and its date of purchase. Take photographs or record a video of any damage and do not throw out any items until after the adjuster has visited. Make a list of any structural damage that occurred from the flood, including damage to walls, floors, and doors. Be sure to have an inspection of your electrical system as well. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of these inspections.

3. Keep Your Receipts
Keep a copy of all receipts for any additional costs related to the flood. For example, if you are unable to stay in your home due to the damage and need to seek temporary housing, record these costs, and hold on to the receipts. If you hire a professional water cleanup service to restore your home, keep track of these costs as well.
Dealing with a home adjuster may seem intimidating but following these simple steps and preparing ahead of time can help move the process along quickly. The more information you can provide, the faster your claim will be approved.

Sewage Cleanup Is Best Left to Professionals

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians getting inside a van a dehumidifier, drying equipment Sewage backup is a job for the experts at SERVPRO!

Sewage Cleanup Is Best Left to Professionals

While any excess water where it shouldn’t be in your Des Moines, WA, home, it is even more concerning when it involves a sewer backup. Considered black water, it contains potentially harmful contaminants, debris, and microorganisms that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Depending on the severity, sewer cleanup is best left to water damage and restoration professionals who have the expertise, tools, and advanced techniques to return your home to normal.

When To Call For Help
If the damage is minimal and contained in one room, such as a bathroom with a flooded toilet, homeowners can tackle the problem themselves if they wear proper PPE and use recommended cleaning tips. In the following situations, consider contacting a professional to ensure a safe and efficient sewer cleanup.

  • If you have filed a claim, your insurer may request using a professional.
  • The issue has spread to multiple rooms are the scope of work is overwhelming.
  • The sewage water has been sitting for more than 24 hours.
  • Contaminated water has entered the HVAC system.

Professional Cleanup Process
Even if the situation requires help, you still want peace of mind that the process will be done right. When choosing the right company, ensure that the company and its technicians are all certified to do the work. After calling a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster, you can expect the following:

  • A quick response to inspect and assess the damage, as well as provide a detailed cleanup plan.
  • Removal of water and any solid waste.
    The affected area will be dried out using professional-grade dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, or air movers.
  • Mitigate any mold growth issues.
  • Clean and sanitize all affected areas.
  • Complete damage restoration, including cleaning carpets, upholstery, and belongings.

While it may be easy to want to start sewer cleanup, it’s better to assess the extent of the damage to determine the best and safest solution.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration The P.A.S.S. method is the appropriate way to use a fir extinguisher

No matter the source, training employees to use a fir extinguisher can limit the amount of damage your building sees and lower the cost of hiring a remediation company for your business in Normandy Park, WA. To best protect your employees, make sure they know the steps for using an extinguisher and the P.A.S.S. technique.

Steps for Using a Fire Extinguisher

If you wish to prevent fire damage from budding flames, you need to have your employees react properly. Here are the steps that they will need to know to use a fire extinguisher safely:

  • Activate the fire safety plan
  • Identify a safe evacuation route
  • Retrieve the nearest extinguisher
  • Discharge the extinguisher according to the
  • P.A.S.S. method
  • Back away from the source
  • Evacuate if unsuccessful

The P.A.S.S. Technique
The P.A.S.S. method is the appropriate way to use a fire extinguisher. The P stands for pulling the pin. This should be the first thing you do and breaks the tamper seal, readying the extinguisher for use. A stands for aiming the nozzle at the source of the fire. At this point, you should be gripping the handle, not the plastic discharge nozzle. The first S stands for squeezing the trigger to discharge the contents of the extinguisher. As you do this, perform the second S, which entails sweeping the nozzle across the fire until the flames are out.
After completing this technique, watch the fire. If it reignites, repeated A through the second S until the extinguisher is empty. If the fire is still not out, evacuate.
Whether your employee's space heater spontaneously combusted or you have a small kitchen fire, training your employees to fight fires is the best way to promote safety in your company. It will also limit the amount of damage to your building. Make sure your employees know the proper steps for using an extinguisher as well as the P.A.S.S. technique.

Decreasing Mold Spores

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth in the corner of a window Mold can do serious damage to your Harbor Island, WA, commercial building

Mold can do serious damage to your Harbor Island, WA, commercial building. Fortunately, carpet cleaning and other preventive measures can decrease the likelihood of your business suffering a mold infestation.

Understanding Mold

In order to prevent mold problems, it is first important to understand what mold needs to thrive. Mold spores are invisible and nearly everywhere, but there are three things that spores need before they can develop:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Warmth

Ideal food sources for mold include dust, paper products, and other organic materials. Water can come from leaks, spills, or even high indoor humidity. Most indoor locations are warm enough to support mold growth. Because of the widespread nature of mold-supporting conditions, many businesses will suffer from mold growth at some point.

Preventing Mold
Because many buildings naturally have the conditions necessary to support mold growth, decreasing the number of mold spores present is an ideal way to minimize the chances of a mold infestation. Spores can be brought indoors on the soles of shoes. Having mats at the entryway allows customers and employees to wipe their feet, decreasing the number of spores that make it further into the building. The use of vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and routine carpet cleaning can remove many of the spores that do get into carpet fibers. Cleaning air ducts and running air purifiers can decrease the number of spores floating in the air. HEPA and activated charcoal filters are ideal for this purpose. Certain plant species, such as peace lilies, can also help remove airborne spores.
Although carpet cleaning and other preventive measures can reduce the number of mold spores in a building, they can never be fully eliminated which means there is always a chance of a mold infestation. If your Harbor Island, WA, commercial building suffers mold damage, a certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

The Top 3 Commercial Plumbing Maintenance Tips

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Male Plumber's Hand Repairing Sink Pipe Leakage With Adjustable Wrench Quickly resolve minor issues

Plumbing Maintenance Measures

Owners of commercial properties should maintain plumbing to reduce the likelihood of pipe breaks and major damage that requires making a business claim. While specific types of upkeep vary based on the use of a building located in Seahurst, WA, practically any commercial structure can benefit from the following plumbing maintenance measures.

1. Keep Sewer Lines Clear
Blocked sewer lines are the sources of some of the worst commercial water damage. Keeping these lines clear requires regular maintenance and good daily practices. Building owners or managers may want to post signage about only flushing toilet paper and disposing of all other waste products inconveniently located in trash bins. Commercial kitchens should also maintain grease traps and limit the number of fats and oils that go down the drain.

2. Get an Annual Inspection
An annual sewer line inspection can be helpful to monitor lines for the formation of blockages. It may be necessary to arrange to have sewer lines cleaned every 18 to 22 months to keep backups at bay. Most commercial insurance policies exclude sewer damage cleanup. Property owners should keep records of inspections and cleanings in the event of making a business claim.

3. Quickly Resolve Minor Issues
Commercial property owners and managers should take issues involving water pressure or leaking pipes seriously. A timely response to plumbing problems as they arise may help to prevent a leak from causing major water damage and increasing the likelihood that mold will flourish in a structure or prevent a pipe break.
Building owners that do regular plumbing maintenance tend to be less likely to have to make a business claim. Keeping detailed maintenance records can be helpful in the event of an emergency at commercial property in Seahurst, WA. The more documentation policyholders can provide to a commercial property insurer, the more likely a claim is to be covered.

How to Reduce Fires Caused by Space Heaters

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Space Heater You can prevent a burned space heater by avoiding usage in certain areas

Responsible adults understand the importance of fire prevention. However, most associate accidental burns with triggers such as unattended fireplaces, faulty wiring, and improperly discarded cigarettes. While these can all cause serious incidents, a burned space heater may also create a disaster.

Space Heater Safety Features

When purchasing a space heater in Des Moines, WA, only choose one with:

  • A safety certification label.
  • A durable cord measuring at least six feet long.
  • A ground fault circuit interrupter plug to prevent electric shock.
  • An automatic shutoff and tip-over switch.

Choosing a device that includes these features will reduce the odds of yours going up in flames and inducing a debilitating house fire. Should an event such as this occur in your home, a licensed fire damage restoration company will become necessary for handling the smoke cleanup.

Safely Using Space Heaters
Even using warmers without the above-mentioned advantages, you can prevent a burned space heater by avoiding usage in certain areas. For starters, only place your system on a level, non-flammable surface, taking special care that it remains at least three feet away from anything combustible. Similarly, never place your heater inside a garage where gas cans are sometimes present. Children’s bedrooms should also be avoided, as curious fingers can easily get burned.
Before heading to bed, double-check that your machine has been set to the off position. Take care when removing your system’s plug from an outlet, as doing so haphazardly can trigger a combustible spark. Periodically inspect the cord and find a replacement if you detect damage. Reduce the chance of overheating by using different outlets when plugging in other devices.
Obviously, smoke detectors and escape plans remain basic tools of general fire safety. If you have not done so already, implement these measures in your household as soon as possible.
A burned space heater is more than just an inconvenience. At worst, it will cause untold devastation. Avoid heater-related blazes through proper use and a bit of quick consumer research.

How Does Water Damage Hurt a Building's Structure?

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cuts, drying equipment inside a room (building) Commercial water restoration in Seattle, WA

Here Are Three Things To Understand About Water's Impact On A Building's Structure

When commercial property owners in Seattle, WA, spot water damage, they need to act quickly, contacting specialists to assist in proper cleanup procedures. Something that seems so innocent can create major issues, requiring time-consuming and expensive repairs. It's important, therefore, to consult the experts, allowing them to guide owners through the appropriate methods to sanitize and restore an establishment's integrity. 

1. Is All Water Harmful?
Moisture exposure creates several problems. Not only can excess saturation lead to rot, but it can create a hazard as well. Black water is particularly concerning because it houses high levels of bacteria and fungus. These organisms enter with the deluge; they stay, residing with anything porous. Reproduction occurs quickly, permitting the microbes to spread throughout the premises within a day or two.

2. Is Water Type Detectable?
Proprietors should contact a water remediation company as soon as water damage is detected. The specialists arrive promptly, assessing the situation. The team tests the air quality and wet sections. The samples are evaluated for microorganisms. The data may be used to guide remediation efforts. In addition, awareness matters. Certain forms of flooding are prone to excess contamination. For example, river beds, oceans, and sewer pipes have large numbers of organisms, and usually classify as blackish water.

3. How Is This Issue Handled?
The flood soaked various items. Because bacteria are microscopic, it's hard to determine if the spread has been eliminated with cleaners. For this reason, bleach and chemicals are not always enough. Many absorbent pieces, therefore, are likely to be discarded, eradicating the concern from the premises. This includes taking out any impacted dry wall, carpeting and roofing. Belongings that have sentimental or financial value might be salvaged through content cleaning services. Speak closely with the crew about what is available. Proprietors may be able to save photos, documentation or electronics.
Lingering water damage leads to secondary complications. Take action immediately to avoid making matters worse.

Mold FAQs

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores. In the middle of the picture it says: Thrive on moisture. Mold spores thrive on moisture

Mold FAQs

Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the vast majority of homeowners do have to deal with at some point. Ensuring that you take care of the problem quickly and effectively is the best way to prevent a tiny mold problem from spiraling out of control. Read on to have some of your common questions answered, especially if you suspect that your Mercer Island, WA, home is suffering from a mold issue.

1. Where is Mold Commonly Found?
Mold thrives in damp, dark places. This means that rooms, such as your kitchen, bathroom, garage and basement are all especially susceptible to unwanted mold. Any areas in your home that have recently suffered some type of water damage are also at risk.

2. How Can You Tell Whether You Have a Mold Problem?
You can usually spot mold with the naked eye. Black mold, one of the most common residential varieties, looks like a dark black or green stain that spreads across the surface of an object. A musty or dank smell is also a good indication of a mold presence.

3. How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
Keeping your home as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent a mold issue. This involves cleaning spills and leaks as soon as they occur, ensuring your home doesn't suffer from high humidity levels and properly ventilating your home to prevent condensation from building up. Performing regular mold inspections can also help you catch the issues while they're still small.

4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that you'd be able to get rid of it simply by depriving it of its vital nutrients. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Cutting off the mold's access to water and organic matter could potentially halt its spread, but it won't kill the existing mold.
It's important that you address a mold issue swiftly and effectively in order to prevent the situation from becoming worse. If you discover unwanted mold growth in your home, make sure to contact mold remediation experts immediately.

What To Do If Your Toilet Overflows While You Shower

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber unclogging a toilet with manual auger Use the snake in the toilet

Follow The Steps Below

There is nothing worse than stepping out of a nice, relaxing shower and into a pile of toilet water on your bathroom floor. This occurs when there is a clogged pipe between the sewer and the toilet. The running shower then backs up into the waste water lines, causing toilet overflow.
To limit the need for sewage cleaning in your home, you should address this clog as soon as you can. If the clog is small, you may be able to fix it on your own.
Start by grabbing a plumbing tool called a snake. A snake uses a flexible and thick wire used to clear a clog. You should look for a snake that is at least 25 feet in length. 

1. Use the Snake in the Toilet
First, run the snake through the toilet. You can also try removing the toilet and putting the snake in the floor drain. When you think you have eliminated the clog, turn on the shower to see what happens. If the toilet overflows again, move on to the next step.

2. Try the Drain Cleanout
The drain cleanout is the cap that covers the main drain in your crawlspace or basement. You can use a pipe wrench to take off the cap. You may need to do some sewage cleaning if liquid overflows from the drain. Then put the snake down the drain to eliminate any clogs. Put the cap back on the drain before you run the shower again.

3. Call a Professional
If the toilet still overflows after you clear the cleanout, the clog may be especially tough or located in an area that the snake cannot reach. You will need to call a plumber who has the commercial equipment necessary to break up the clog.
Once the clog is removed from the pipes, you will have to address up the mess in your bathroom. Sewage cleaning specialists in Seattle, WA, can sanitize and dry off your home.

5 Common Water Damage Issues for Commercial Buildings

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet Clogged toilet

Common Water-Related Problems

Some plumbing issues may seem insignificant, but identifying and fixing these problems while they're small is vital when it comes to protecting your building. A small problem, such as a drop in water pressure, is often indicative of a larger issue, like a broken pipe. Make sure you regularly inspect your building in Seattle, WA, for the following common water-related problems.

1. Pinhole Leaks
Pinhole leaks are common water repair issues for older buildings. Cast-iron pipes are only designed to last approximately 25 years, although certain circumstances can cause them to deteriorate sooner. Keep an eye out for silent leaks by checking for spikes in your water bill or a drastic drop in water pressure.

2. Dripping Faucets and Toilets
Much like pinhole leaks, dripping bathroom appliances can slowly, yet steadily, drive up your monthly water bill. Take the time to inspect your commercial bathrooms and make any necessary repairs.

3. Clogged Drains
Customers tend not to treat commercial bathrooms with the same respect that they would their own residential ones. This can lead to many undesirable items getting flushed and ultimately clogging your drains. This can cause a wide range of issues, from an unsightly bathroom to severe toilet overflow.

4. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is a good indicator for several issues, such as leaking pipes. The low pressure is a result of water escaping through the leak, and not making it to the faucet where it's supposed to make its exit.

5. Structural Damage
Cracked, bulging or otherwise warped walls, ceilings and foundation can signal the presence of a serious leak. These deformities are caused by water accumulating within the walls and ceiling and are a good indication of a major flooding problem caused by a leaking or broken pipe.
A broken pipe, backed up toilet, and clogged drain are all common plumbing issues for commercial building owners. Staying on top of the issue can help reduce the amount of damage your building suffers and keep your business running smoothly. Contact water restoration experts for professional help.

Water damage can cause mold

10/27/2020 (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. 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 our team 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.

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.

The 3 Best Candle Alternatives

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Candle Alternatives

A large number of house fires are a result of unattended open flames. Children or pets can accidentally overturn a candle and ignite nearby combustible materials. 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

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

3 Power Backup Options for Businesses

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

White generator for a commerical property ready for use on a large storm loss There are solutions to power outages for your business

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.

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.

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.

Uninterruptible 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

3 Things You Should Know About Smoke Alarms

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Having a smoke alarm in your house will help alert when a fire starts

Take the Following Precautions to Prevent a Fire in Your Home

It is important to take precautions to prevent a fire in your Seahurst,WA, home. It is also important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Having a working smoke alarm in your house will help alert you when a fire starts so that you can prevent it from spreading or, if necessary, leave the building. The following are a few questions about these devices that you should know the answers to.

1. How Many Alarms Should You Have?

Having one smoke detector in your house will likely not be enough. The number of alarms that you need will vary depending on how large your home is. You should have at least one on each floor of the building, including basements and attics. The kitchen is a common area for alarm placement as many fires start in this room. You also need to place one outside each sleeping area as well as inside each bedroom.

2. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?

How often you need to change the batteries will depend on the type of detector you own. Traditionally, a smoke alarm has often used a nine-volt battery. These will need to be changed at least once a year. Lithium batteries in newer alarms will last the life of the device and will not need to be replaced. If your alarm is hooked up to your electrical system, you should treat it as a traditional unit and change the battery annually.

3. When Should Alarms Be Replaced?

A smoke alarm will usually last for ten years before you need a replacement. However, this can vary depending on the model, so always check the manual for more information. Be sure to test it at least once a month to ensure that it is still working properly.
While a detector can help you stay safe during a fire, it cannot always prevent an emergency. If you have experienced fire damage to your home, call a fire restoration company to perform cleanup and repairs.

How To Prepare for a Storm

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare for a storm in Mercer Island, WA

How To Prepare for a Storm

A flood is the most frequent natural disaster in America, and flood water can cause severe disruption and damage to buildings. Floods have a variety of causes, including:

  1. Rain
  2. Coastal storms
  3. Storm surges
  4. Dam overflows
  5. Snow

While flash floods can appear without warning, other times you will have noticed that a major storm is coming. There are steps you can take to prepare your Mercer Island,WA, home in advance.

Protect Your Residence

To mitigate any damage to your property during a deluge, consider installing check valves or buying a battery-powered sump pump. You should also place any valuables in the highest floors of your home so they will be protected.

Plan Ahead

If a storm is coming, you need to be ready to leave your home at any time. You should thus gather any necessary supplies, including medications and phone chargers, in advance.
Most importantly, make sure that you and your family know what to do once the threatening weather arrives. Set up an evacuation route and determine the location of a safe shelter. Also, remind your loved ones that they should not swim, drive or walk through flood water.
In addition, you need to have a plan in case you are trapped in your car or a flooded building. If your vehicle is stuck, you should stay inside unless water starts to come through the doors. You should then seek refuge on the roof. Similarly, if your home starts to flood while you are still inside, seek shelter on its highest floor. Avoid closed attics and stay away from the roof if possible.

The Aftermath

Once the storm is over, don’t return to your home until authorities say it is safe to do so. Repairing your house on your own can also be dangerous, so consider professional emergency restoration services.
Flood water can cause severe water damage to your home and your belongings. That is why it is important to prepare yourself and your loved ones for a storm.

Treating Burns in the Workplace

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

It's important to have a first aid kid in the workplace to treat minor and major burns.

As an employer, the safety of your employees is a high priority, but no matter what type of business you run, accidents happen. While you may already have business insurance for fire damage, you also need to think about your workers. Every year, hundreds of people are taken to emergency rooms in Seattle, WA, and around the United States for treatment of burns. According to the American Burn Association, between 2005 and 2014, 8% of those were occupational. In order to minimize burn injuries on the job and maximize the health and safety of your employees, you may want to implement safety procedures and train your workers in the basics of first aid for burns. The following are treatments to use in the case of minor and major burns.

Treatments for Minor and Major Burns in the Workplace

Minor Burns

Minor burns can result in redness, pain and blisters and are usually considered first-degree or second-degree injuries. First aid for minor burns includes the following:

• Place the area of the burn under cool, running water.
• If there is blistering, DO NOT break the blister. If the blister breaks on its own, wash the area gently and apply an antibiotic ointment.
• Apply aloe vera or a moisturizing lotion on the wound for relief.
• If needed, bandage the area loosely with sterile gauze.

Major Burns

While fire damage to your business can take some time to assess, major burns to flesh are serious and require quick emergency care. This type of injury is usually categorized as third-degree or fourth-degree trauma. The burned area will be deep and could be blackened and charred. Dial 911 immediately and give the following burn first aid:

• Make sure any evidence of fire on the person is put out.
• Remove clothing around the area of the burn. DO NOT pull clothing off if it is stuck to the injury.
• Cover the burn lightly with gauze or a clean cloth.
• Watch the individual for signs of shock.

Your personnel and their work environment are of great importance to you. Contact a biohazard cleanup and restoration specialist to help not only with fire damage but also chemical and electrical accidents.

Understanding and Dealing with Category Two Water Damage

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Gray water has chemical and biological contaminants

While it may come as a surprise for many commercial property owners, there are several types of water damage. Also, a failed water pipe repair may lead to different categorizations of water damage. For instance, the broken pipe may be from a clean source, but when left to sit, the water becomes contaminated by other components. While it is beneficial to learn of the different water categories, the focus of this article is on type two.

Category Two Water Loss

Many refer to category two water as gray water because of its color. However, flooded areas may change the color tone, so color alone cannot describe the water category and classification. While it has not reached the level of class three, often polluted with raw sewage, gray water has similar characteristics.

• Chemical and biological contaminants

• Microorganisms

• Nutrients of microorganisms


While a failed water pipe repair can lead to category two water loss, there are other causes. For instance, though sewage is not the main component of gray water, a toilet backup or a sump pump failure can also lead to this category developing. However, more commonly, a pipe break on a multilevel property causes flooding on an upper level that then seeps through building materials to the lower levels. The water that reaches these lower levels can become gray water, or category two water.


While you can clean up category one water damage because it is clean water, you are better off contacting a water removal specialist in the Des Moines,WA, area to remove category two water. Category two water loss requires certain protections that professionals know of and prepare for. Therefore, it is better and likely safer to hire a cleanup company.

Although water pipe repair is likely in a commercial property flood, it is not the only cause of water loss. Also, while there may be an urge to remove the water immediately from your property, you are likely better off outsourcing the work to a company equipped for the variety of water categories that may be present.

4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Secondary Water Damage

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Employ an air purifier

4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Secondary Water Damage

A significant water leak or burst pipe can occur inside any home in Seahurst, WA, potentially causing substantial damage. If not properly addressed, water infiltration can also result in extensive black mold growth. Fortunately, there are several steps every homeowner can take to minimize the risk of secondary damage mandating mold remediation.

1. Routinely Seal Grout

Tile is a popular flooring option. Because the grout that holds tile in place tends to be porous, tiled floors in your home may be susceptible to water seepage. To prevent damage and mold growth under the structure, it's important to routinely apply grout sealant. Completing this proactive maintenance procedure can help you avoid costly repairs in the event of a flood.

2. Remove Saturated Building Materials

Carpets, drywall and insulation are examples of other porous building materials that black mold can infiltrate and contaminate. Because of this, it’s imperative that you remove saturated carpeting and walls during the water damage cleanup and restoration process. To be efficient and thorough, you should complete a flood cut at least 12 inches above the highest water level.

3. Dry Affected Area

Because moisture is a key ingredient in mold growth, promptly drying the affected area is crucial. To expedite the process, utilize fans and a dehumidifier to reduce high humidity levels. You should also wait to replace drywall and flooring until the space is completely dry.

4. Employ an Air Purifier

Mold is present throughout the environment, which may complicate containment efforts. To address this dilemma, you can employ an air purifier that utilizes a HEPA filter. This filter is an efficient choice because it purifies the air and traps mold spores, further reducing opportunities for proliferation.
Recovering from water damage can be a daunting experience. Enduring substantial black mold growth can cause additional destruction, further compromising the integrity of your home. Diligent cleanup efforts can, however, spare you from costly secondary damage.

How to Remove Mold Damage From Paintings

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Steps to Remove Mold from Art Work

If you have mold growing in your Harbor Island,WA house, the mold damage may not be contained to the building. In some cases, the fungus finds a home on your belongings. When this happens to be a priceless photograph or piece of art, it can be upsetting; however, you may not need to say goodbye to this object after all. Using the following steps, mold can be removed from artwork and other porous items.

1. Dry the Item

Because mold grows most easily in moist environments, the first step in mold cleaning is to dry the damaged item. Reducing the moisture keeps the mold from spreading further and allows it to be removed from the object. There are several techniques that can be used depending on the extent of the damage, including thermal drying, freeze drying and simple air drying.

2. Remove the Mold

Once the item is dry, the mold can be removed. In some cases, mold cleaning will be simple, and the mold will turn into a powder that can be easily brushed away. Depending on the severity of the damage, more aggressive techniques may be required.

3. Clean and Sanitize

After the visible mold has been removed, the item will likely need to be sanitized to get rid of any lingering mold spores that could cause the growth to return. Gamma irradiation is one way to do this. This mold cleaning process will not damage your items but will eliminate mold spores as well as other bacteria and contaminants that may be present.

If your belongings have been damaged by mold, you don’t need to despair. A mold remediation service can often save many affected items with their thorough cleaning process. Some objects may have lingering signs of damage, but for those where the mold growth was less severe, a professional service will be able to return them to you in their previous condition.

Common Causes of Home Fires

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Keep space heaters away from flammable items.

Frequent Causes of Residential Fires

A home fire can devastate a family, and a multitude of residential fires in Mercer Island,WA, share common causes. It’s often helpful for homeowners to learn about frequent causes of residential fires

1. Misuse of Cooking Equipment

Grease fires and other fires that begin in a home’s kitchen can result in damage throughout a home. It’s often helpful to know how to properly handle any type of cooking equipment before you begin to cook. Additionally, it’s useful to know what methods should be used to extinguish different types of fires in the kitchen. When homeowners put water on a grease fire or use other improper extinguishing methods, the fire can actually spread more rapidly and cause more damage.

2. Faulty or Mishandled Heaters

During the winter, space heaters are commonly used to keep homes warm. However, space heater fires are incredibly common. As a result, extensive fire cleaning by fire damage restoration experts is often necessary. In order to prevent a space heater from causing a home fire, it’s often wise to keep space heaters away from flammable items, and if you suspect your heater is no longer working well, it’s generally best to replace it rather than risk the chance of a fire.

3. Misused Electrical Equipment

Electrical items often cause fires in homes. A fire is more likely to spark if electrical items have frayed wires. Additionally, plugging in several power strips simultaneously and plugging in an item in each slot makes a fire more likely to occur. Though these types of fires cannot always be prevented, it can be useful to unplug items that aren’t needed prior to going to sleep. Replacing items with frayed wires can also help to reduce the chance of a fire starting in your home.

Knowing common causes of residential fires can help you take steps to prevent a home fire. Misusing cooking equipment, old or mishandled heaters and misused electrical equipment are all common fire causes.

Effective Ways to Clean up a Roof Leak

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Missing shingles allow a trickle of water to penetrate the wood underneath

If you recently noticed water dripping from the ceiling of your Seattle,WA, office or moisture on the ground on walls at work, the culprit could be a roof leak. This is a common issue in older facilities, but problems could arise anytime, anywhere. The faster you call a team of professionals to address this problem, the less likely you are to experience severe flooding and loss of productivity.

Initial Response

If you suspect a leaky roof is the reason for your water issues at work, look for certain signs to confirm your hunch. You can do the following to get started:

  • Look for missing shingles on the roof.
  • Inspect the area and observe other damages.
  • Consider the age of the roof and building.
  • Call a professional restoration company.

Toss It Out

After evaluating the water damage and the actual roof leak, the restoration specialists will start by throwing out wet materials from the roof. The team will also dispose of other items that may have water damage to prevent mold growth.

Dry and Clean

Before the cleanup crew can repair the problem, it will first thoroughly dry the affected area to ensure bacteria won’t develop. Next, the company will use potent, high-quality chemicals to sanitize any wet areas on and around the roof.

Replace and Restore

Once the team has removed wet materials, it will board up and tarp exposed areas in preparation for the final step: fixing and restoring the damaged roof. Whether this is a big job or a smaller task, the team will have the right tools and experience to handle it in a timely manner so you can resume your business to its fullest capacity.

A roof leak can start small but quickly grow to introduce a significant amount of water into the workplace. The best restoration companies will transform the damage into a new roof.

What is the fastest way to dry out an attic after rain damage?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage can lead to rain damage in an attic.

What is the fastest way to dry out an attic after rain damage?

If you have water damage in your property it is important to make sure that you contact SERVPRO of South/West Seattle immediately to expedite the drying process in your home or business. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle has the manpower and equipment to handle any size loss in Seattle.

Once on site, a team member from SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will carefully assess the situation to make sure that everything is taken care of from start to finish. We have the equipment to possibly see water damage in your attic that might be unseen to the human eye. Finding every bit of water is important to prevent secondary damages from occurring.

Once the sources have been found, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will begin the drying process. We have various types of techniques to quickly and efficiently dry your property.Every job is uniquely different, so it is important to make sure SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can carefully assess the best way to handle your property.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at anytime day or night. We are always here to help!

What is the best way to keep mold from growing after a lot of rain damage?

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

What is the best way to keep mold from growing after a lot of rain damage

After a heavy rain, you could experience some water damage from above in your home or business. Sometimes the water can get trapped and you might not see the damage, until some form of secondary damage begins.

SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is here to help if you suspect that you have any type of damage from rain or other storms in the Seattle area. Our team will carefully assess your property inch by inch. Once all of the water damage is spotted, our team will carefully remove all standing water. Upon removal of the water, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can then place plenty of drying equipment to make sure the drying process happens quickly and efficiently. This will prevent secondary damage from occurring.

Throughout the process, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is sure to take detailed and accurate notes. There will also be plenty of photos and documentation as well. This can be critical if needed by your insurance company.

If you have any questions, contact our office at anytime. We are always here to help, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Who is the best restoration company for cleaning up after heavy rain?

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is by far the best choice when it comes to choosing a restoration company in Seattle. Our team has the experience and manpower to help with any size or type of loss. Timing is extremely important with any type of storm event, and SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is committed to get on site quickly.

Once on site a member of our team will begin extracting all standing water. This is important to prevent mold and other types of microbial growth from occurring. Once all of the water is removed, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can begin to place their signature green drying equipment.

After a few days of drying and monitoring, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will remove all of the equipment and help with any necessary repairs. This can be a simple process from start to finish if the right company like SERVPRO is hired. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help!

4 Steps To Repair a Storm-Damaged Roof

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has a specialized team in storm damage who are ready to restore your home

Four Steps That Will Guide You To Repair A Storm-Damaged Roof 

Hail, high winds and other adverse weather conditions can cause costly damage to the roof of a residence in Seahurst,WA. Here are four steps you can take to address roof damage.

1. Document the Damage

Extensive photographic or video evidence of hail, wind or other storm damage will be necessary if you plan to file an insurance claim for a damaged roof. It may also be necessary to demonstrate a history of regular inspections and maintenance to avoid liability on the basis of negligence.

2. Cover Any Breaches

Any damaged roofing materials or missing shingles may result in leaks that affect the attic, insulation and ceilings of a structure. As soon as signs of roof damage become apparent, you should make arrangements for mitigation. An all-in-one restoration service or roofing company can tarp over the damaged portions of the roof to protect against wind damage and leaks.

3. Arrange for Repair

Mitigation is only a temporary protective measure until repairs are possible. You should schedule roof repair as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further exterior and interior damage.

4. Restore Interior Damage

Water that leaks through a roof can damage building materials and the contents in a structure. This water is generally considered contaminated Category Two gray water. Cleanup should involve disinfection, tearing out saturated porous materials and thoroughly drying the affected area prior to reinstalling materials such as drywall or insulation.

These four steps will guide you through the quickest and most effective ways to fix a damaged roof after adverse weather. It is a good idea to check for roof damage after every severe storm. Regular professional inspections and maintenance can also reduce the risk of a leak or collapse due to cumulative damage. A restoration company that specializes in storm damage can quickly cleanup, restore and rebuild a residence located in Seahurst,WA.

What to do after flooding in Seattle?

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

  • What to do after flooding in Seattle?

If you experience flooding in Seattle, it is critical to get the fine men and women of SERVPRO of South/West Seattle on site immediately. Once on site the team can begin to extract the water to mitigate damages. If the water sits for too long it can begin to cause secondary damages, like mold and other forms of microbial growth.

Once the water has been extracted, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can begin to place drying equipment throughout your property. Each day a member of SERVPRO of South/West Seattle’s team will be on site to monitor the progress. It is important to make sure accurate and we defined notes are being taken each day. If you have any questions on these days, it is a good time to ask. Our team always wants to be available to help.

After the drying is complete, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can help with all repairs to complete the restoration process. It is nice to have a company that can help from start to finish.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at anytime day or night. We have water damage professionals standing by at all hours of the day.

How to cleanup water damage after heavy rains

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

How to cleanup water damage after heavy rains

If you have water damage in your home after heavy Seattle rains, it is important to get a restoration company like SERVPRO of South/West Seattle on site immediately. Our team is quick to respond and begin all emergency service processes.

Once on site our team will look at all the angles to make sure that all of the water is extracted, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will begin placing air movers and dehumidifiers. This equipment will be strategically placed to get the home dry as soon as possible. SERVPRO has invested a lot of resources in understanding the true science of drying to make sure your home gets back to pre loss condition as soon as possible.

After the home is dry, any and all repairs can be completed. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle has the capabilities of helping you from start to finish. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help.

Reasons To Secure Your Damaged Property

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

To prevent further issues, it is smart to make sure your property is secure by blocking holes in the structure.

Fires typically cause extensive damage to the structures where they occur. Not only does a fire in your commercial property in Seattle, WA, often render the building unsafe, it can also leave it vulnerable to further problems. Once firefighters and other emergency personnel have cleared the scene, your building once again becomes your responsibility. To prevent further issues, it is smart to make sure your property is secure by installing a security fence and blocking holes in the structure.

Protection From Other People

There are several things that may occur in your unsecured building after a fire:

• Theft
• Vandalism
• Unauthorized occupation

While you might like to believe that no one would take advantage of a property owner who has clearly already had his or her share of bad luck, the fact is that others may see your damaged property as an opportunity for their own gain.

Securing your Building after a Fire

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Additional security measures are often necessary to prevent further issues.

A security fence is barrier against further damage. It can help ensure that no one can get into your building when it is vulnerable and help protect what is left until repairs can be finished.

Additional security measures are often necessary to prevent further issues. After a fire, your building probably has extensive soot and water damage that may need to be mitigated by professional remediation specialists. To prevent extra damage from rain or debris, it can be necessary to place boards or shutters on any broken windows or significant holes in the outside surface of your structure. Guard against additional problems by protecting your building from the outside elements.

Coverage From Insurance Company

If you neglect to protect your building from other people or further damage, it is unlikely that your insurance company will cover the cost of those additional repairs. Depending on the extent of the secondary damage, you could face significant out-of-pocket expenses. Following suggested security protocols can save you money.

A commercial building fire loss can be significant enough by itself, but the problem can get even bigger without protections such as shutters or a temporary security fence. Save yourself extra time and costs by guarding your property against intruders and inclement weather.

What Causes Fire Sprinklers to Activate

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Sprinklers undergo tests to prevent unintended activation. It is important to allow a sprinkler company to inspect every part of the sprinkler and review environmental conditions at the time of the activation. This can help to prevent the problem from recurring in the future.

There are several likely causes of Fire Sprinkler activation.

Fire sprinklers may turn on due to:

• Corrosion
• Damage
• Defects
• Freezing
• Fires

Clean Up and Restoration after the Fire Suppression Systems Activates.

Depending on how many sprinklers activated, extensive water damage may be present. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will start with:

• Remove standing water
• Promote drying
• Restore or replace damaged materials

The sprinkler company should replace any sprinklers that didn’t work properly. If environmental conditions were the cause, it is crucial to prevent activation from happening again. Have sprinklers regularly inspected and maintained to reduce the likelihood of another malfunction.

If the sprinklers in a building activate, it is important to find out why. This can prevent future false alarms and reduce the risk of damage. If a sprinkler system or any other source causes flooding, rely on a mitigation and restoration firm in Seattle, WA.

How Do Experts Handle Commercial Water Damage?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

If a broken pipe results in water damage it must be fixed by a plumber before damage can be mitigated.

Damage mitigation and restoration professionals have extensive experience with most types of water damage. Whether a broken pipe, leaky roof, sewer backup or flood causes damage at a building in Mercer Island,WA, experts can recommend the best water repair methods. Here are effective mitigation and restoration techniques for the most common causes of commercial water damage.

Damaged Pipes

A property owner must take several steps to fix a pipe break. More than one expert may be necessary to address the problem. The experts can include:

  • Plumbers
  • Mitigation specialists
  • Restoration professionals

A broken pipe can introduce a lot of water into a structure in a short amount of time. A plumber must fix the pipe before damage can be mitigated. Mitigation experts can then extract clean water from a supply line break and dry the affected area.

Fire Sprinkler Issues

A fire sprinkler system can cause water damage due to accidental activation or in response to fire. Water from a malfunction can be removed, and the area can be dried. If water mixes with soot, the affected area should be cleaned.

Roof Leaks

Water from a roof leak can damage a variety of building materials. Mitigation and restoration professionals can check the condition of the following components:

  • Ceilings
  • Drywall
  • Insulation

It may be necessary to tear out and replace porous materials saturated with contaminated water. The area must be completely dry before restoration.

Sewer Backups

A sewer backup or flooded toilet can release highly contaminated water. A plumber can clear the clog and cleanup professionals should immediately mitigate damage. This type of flooding can be extracted, and damaged materials should be torn out prior to disinfection.

If a broken pipe or any other incident results in water damage at a building in Mercer Island,WA, the owner or manager should arrange for water repair. Mitigation and restoration professionals can arrive on site within hours to assess the damage.

What To Do If Fire Sprinklers Accidentally Activate

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler systems are designed and extensively tested for reliability. A fire safety system may still accidentally activate and cause flooding in a commercial building in Seattle, WA. A property owner or facility manager can take measures to limit damage, identify the cause of activation, and ensure that the system will function in the event of a real fire.

The best ways to immediately minimize damage include:

• Turning off the water supply
• Removing as much water as possible
• Contacting a mitigation company

Depending on the severity of flooding, it may be advisable to contact the property insurance provider and initiate a claim. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can provide an estimate.

Storm Damage

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti very hard and now is making its way to Florida, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. The governors in these areas have declared states of emergency and demanded everyone in evacuation zones leave at once before the deadly storm strikes. The extreme winds of a major hurricanes and storms can do a lot of damage. Hurricane Matthew’s winds are 140mph and destroying anything in its path.

Storm damage is not a joke. In the PNW we don’t see a lot of major storms; but when we do SERVPRO of  South & West Seattle is right there to help you. When dealing with storm damage immediate action is very crucial for your home or building. SERVPRO of  South & West Seattle is part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teamsset in place throughout the country in times of large scale disasters.

What to do to be prepared

Here are some tips on what you can do:


  • Look for potential hazards on your property
  • Trees
  • Branches leaning over 45 degrees over your roof
  • Anything close to utility lines
  • Check your gutters, remove debris to prevent water damage

During the storm:

  • Follow all guidelines for evacuations
  • Don’t hesitate to get help
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods, drinks (water and drinks with electrolytes), gas, batteries, etc.
  • Prepare in advance

After the storm:

  • Stay clear from all utility lines, trees, hanging branches, unsecure areas
  • Evaluate what you can and can’t handle for cleanup
  • Call SERVPRO of South/ West Seattle for cleanup and emergency services

Let us be faster than any disaster and call SERVPRO of  South & West Seattle when catastrophe strikes.

When Fire Strikes

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

A few years back, a couple of college students were attempting to make pasta for a quick and easy dinner before a long night of studying. They put the boiling water on the stove but quickly realized they would need to go to the store for pasta sauce, garlic bread, and Parmesan cheese - the essentials for any pasta dinner. Without even thinking, the pair left their apartment and headed across the small college town to get to the store. What did they forget to do? Turn off the stove before leaving. By the time they got back merely twenty minutes later, their kitchen was in flames and the fire department was already on scene. After the two were cleared to enter, they found their kitchen was in black, smoky shambles, and the rest of their apartment had a gray residue staining the walls and ceiling.

Unfortunately, fire damage is much more common than most would hope. Simple tasks like remembering to turn off the stove or blow out a candle can be quickly forgotten in the haste to get somewhere. In the case of those two college students, they were relatively lucky. A few years ago in Pullman, WA, a similar instance happened; however, that couple wasn’t so lucky. The fire caught two other apartment buildings, and ended up destroying three in total.

What to do when Fire strikes.

Now, how does one come back from something like this? Smoke residue can be a pain to get off walls and ceilings. Smoke will seep into the smallest cracks in dressers, closets, and shelves so that even when everything is clean and back to normal, clothes, shoes, and furniture will still smell of smoke.

The easiest way to take care of this is to call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle to handle all of the cleaning - from walls to teddy bears. Not only do we have a large team of trained technicians who can come out and clean the walls and ceilings, but we will also pack up any belongings and bring them back to our facility to be cleaned and deodorized; leaving you with nothing but peace of mind that your items will be taken care of by our skilled employees.

There are also very simple things homeowners can to do help prevent smoke and fire damage. These may seem like no-brainers, but even the smallest slip of the mind can have devastating consequences:

  • Never burn candles on shelving or near a window.
    • The heat from the candle can catch the shelving on fire, and the air from outside could possibly fuel the small flame.
  • Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start cooking.
    • One of the most common ways to start a kitchen fire is from forgetting to turn off the oven or stove top.
  • Have windows open and a fan running when cooking
    • This will decrease the chances of a grease fire happening.

Now, what happens if a fire does start? If it’s small enough, there are a few ways to keep it from spreading:

  • Coil stove-top: if a small fire (a flame no bigger than your pinky nail) happens, turn off the stove and pour salt over the fire. NEVER use water. This could cause a bigger electrical fire.
  • Grease fire: Smother the pan with a lid and immediately put the pan in the oven. DO NOT turn on the hood fan, as that will draw the flames to a condensed area and could cause a larger fire.
  • Fire in the oven: the best way to put this out is with a fire extinguisher.
    • Note: Avoid any grease build-up in your oven by regularly cleaning

If a fire starts in your home and cannot be controlled by smothering, leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1. Smoke inhalation is just as dangerous as a fire itself, so do not linger if the fire is out of control.

Once the fire is out and the damage has been assessed, call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle at 425-225-2227 to schedule a cost-free estimate and start getting your life back to normal.

Flooded Basement

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Harold and Jenny decided to go on vacation for a couple weeks. They did everything they thought they were supposed to: lock the doors, have someone watch their cats and water their plants, and make sure their heat was set to low so they weren’t charged for using it while they weren’t in town. However, one day the boy who was watching their cats and watering their plants noticed a small puddle of water in the basement. Of course, he thought nothing of it. He contacted Harold and Jenny, told them about the water, and went on his way. Fast forward to five days later the couple returned. Harold went to the basement to check out the “small” puddle of water. Turns out a pipe had cracked while they were on vacation, and now they were dealing with a flooded basement. That small puddle of water Jimmy had mentioned had turned into a small lake in the basement.

Some may say this situation is exaggerated, but this happens more often than people think. As the weather gets colder and many start taking vacations in warmer climates, the plumbing is often the first aspect of a house to suffer. When pipes aren’t run regularly, the small amounts of water left over in the pipes will collect in areas of the lines. If the temperature gets low enough, that water can freeze, which will cause the pipes to shrink and crack.

What to do if my Basement Floods

Now, some may think: “Well, what am I supposed to do when that happens?”

There are a few answers:

  • Turn off the water
    • This will stop the immediate problem of leaking water.
  • Call a plumber
    • Get that leak fixed so it doesn’t become a future problem
  • Call SERVPRO of South/ West Seattle

This is probably the last thing someone wants to think about right after coming back from a relaxing vacation, so there are also a few steps to take prior to leaving that can save a call to a plumber:

  • Keep the heat above 55 degrees in the house
    • This is something a lot of apartment complexes recommend for people who leave during winter breaks (usually college students), but this also applies to homeowners. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing.
  • Let the kitchen sink drip
    • If it’s an older home or older plumbing this will keep water from standing in one place
  • Make sure that parts of the home that may not be as well insulated (garage, basement, attic, etc) are well-heated.
    • Space heaters are a simple way to heat large rooms.
    • Note: This will probably increase your heating bill, but that is drop in the bucket compared to the price of a plumber and mitigation team. Not only will you be paying for the repairs, mitigation, and dry-out, but your family may also be displaced for a while, depending on the amount of damage.
    • Especially with colder nights coming, pipes in the garage, basement, or attic are sometimes the first to freeze up.

Remember that mold spores can start growing into colonies about 72 hours: waiting to call if there is water damage can only make the problem worse!

If you do have water damage in your home, please call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle for a cost-free estimate at (206) 932-9033 today! We can have a team out to your home to assess and mitigate the problem immediately.

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

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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


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.


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.


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.

Does My Commercial Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

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.

4 Ways To Prevent Mold Damage After Flooding

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Vandalism Cleanup

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

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)

Carpets being cleaned with proper equipment We have the training and equipment to get your home or business clean

Carpet cleaning handled properly can refresh your home or business.

Cleaning your home or commercial building requires the highest-quality possible. Our team here at SERVPRO of Renton to provide you with the highest level of cleaning services. We have the proper training and equipment to specialize in carpet, upholstery, ceilings, floors, walls, drapes, and blinds cleaning.

As a company we offer a number of cleaning options based on your type of carpets, upholstery, blinds, etc. Our cleaning services address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your home or business. 

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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