Recent Storm Damage Posts

How To Deal With Mold Damage After Flooding

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Close-up Of Person Hand Wearing Gloves Measuring Wetness Of A Moldy Wall. Call SERVPRO's Mold Restoration Specialists to address your mold problem. Their expertise can control your mold quickly and safely.

How To Handle Mold Damage After A Flood.

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

What Should I Do First?

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

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

How Do I Identify Mold?

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

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

Should I DIY or Hire a Professional?

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

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

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

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

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

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

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

1. Flood Zone Maps

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


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

3. Local Government

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

4. Local Organizations

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

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

Am I required to Have Commercial Flood Insurance?

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

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

Is It necessary For Me To Have Commercial Flood Insurance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Do You Have a Commercial Mortgage?

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

3. Is Your Lender Federally Insured?

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.