Recent Commercial Posts
How To Detect Mold in Your Air Ducts
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cleaning Up After Sewer Damage
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.
Can Electronics Be Saved After Fire Damage?
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:
- Computer monitors
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.
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
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.
Why Mold Can Be a Scary Scenario for Property Managers
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.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
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.
The Top 3 Commercial Plumbing Maintenance Tips
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.
5 Common Water Damage Issues for Commercial Buildings
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.
3 Power Backup Options for Businesses
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.
What You Need to Know About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems
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.
Combating Water Damage Caused by Your 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.
Understanding and Dealing with Category Two Water Damage
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
• 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.
What Causes Fire Sprinklers to Activate
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:
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.
What To Do If Fire Sprinklers Accidentally Activate
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.
Beating Mold Growth With Quick Remediation
If mold is found, SERVPRO has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
Water damage can occur in a matter of moments. A pipe bursts, and you suddenly have a flood in your building. Your roof leaks, and you can begin to see ceiling tiles drip. From the minute excess moisture is present, you have a small window of time, usually within 24-48 hours, to fix the damage and dry the area before mold can start to grow. Here is a step-by-step rundown of how quickly you want to respond.
Call the Experts
Your best line of defense to prevent mold growth is to call water restoration experts as soon as you know you have water issues. They can arrive within hours to provide an assessment:
• Location of the problem
• Scope of the damage
• Tasks involved in restoration
• Cost estimate for job
As soon as you give them permission to do so, they can start the process of fixing your building.
Dry the Area
Mold loves moisture, so the first thing the technicians in Seattle,WA, are likely to do is to deprive it of a damp place to grow. They extract water so that the water damage doesn't spread. They take out all the saturated, unsalvageable material. Then they make sure every surface is dry before they start to rebuild.
Reinforce the Protection
Before they leave, experts will probably want to reinforce your building so that you are protected from future problems like the one that caused the damage. They may recommend mold prevention measures such as mold-resistant drywall or paint. It is also appropriate to ask technicians for tips on how you can provide a better seal to your building so that moisture stays outside and doesn't put you at risk for a mold problem.
If you have water damage in your commercial property, the best way to prevent secondary damage such as mold is to have the problem repaired as soon as you can. Stop mold growth before it has a chance to start.
24 hour response
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.
Smoke Damaged Electronics: Why You Should Always Call a Professional
A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics
Smoke Damaged Electronics
An electrical fire, or any fire, can leave your electronics in disarray. While it is tempting to turn everything on and see if it still works, it is best to avoid powering on most items. There are elements of a fire that can be hazardous to your electronics, and that damage may become irreversible if powered on. It is best to leave the cleaning and testing to the professionals and avoid these common smoke damage pitfalls.
1. Avoiding Magnetic Charges
Though it may not be common knowledge, smoke does have a magnetic charge. This charge can short your laptops circuit board, or damage other machinery and appliances. To protect your laptop, you should take it in for a professional computer cleanup, letting the staff know about your concerns. Best case scenario, they save your computer; worst case, maybe they salvage your files.
2. Dealing with Black Film
A regular and electrical fire can leave a smoke residue on your electronics called black film. This film infiltrates the internal components of your items, insulating them and making them vulnerable to overheating. It is necessary to dismantle all parts and thoroughly clean them.
3. Removal of Acidic Soot
In addition to magnetic charges and black film, the remnants of soot on your electronics are acidic which can lead to degradation. This means that if the soot is not adequately cleaned off, your item’s life span will diminish, likely substantially.
4. Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment
While most businesses employ janitorial staff, it is important to note that electronics cleaning is a specialized field. Many janitors do not have the necessary tools or experience to clean electronics after a fire. You will likely want to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Seattle,WA, area.
A regular or electrical fire can damage electronics. While the fire itself can be destructive, it is the smoke damage that does the most harm to these items. The intricate components and the variety of smoke, film and soot, make hiring a professional most beneficial.