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Beware of These 3 Common Sewage Issues in Commercial Buildings

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Overflowing toilet

Three Common Sewage Problems

Maintaining a functioning plumbing and drainage system is an important part of owning a commercial property in Shoreline, WA. Sewage mishaps such as pipe breaks or a blocked sewer can cause significant building damage, not to mention cost business owners thousands of dollars in lost revenue if the damage necessitates a building closure. In order to stay ahead of a serious issue, every commercial building owner should be aware of these three commonly occurring sewage problems.

1. Sewer Pipe Blockage

A blocked sewer happens when an obstruction within a pipe inhibits sewage from properly draining. Things such as tree roots growing in the sewer line or flushing foreign objects including grease, diapers or sanitary products down the drain can cause obstructions. When the blockage is not treated immediately, a sewage backup may occur. If your drains are slow-flowing or making gurgling noises, this could be a key sign that your sewer line is blocked.

2. Deteriorating Sewer Lines

Aging sewer lines become damaged over time, often leading to leaks and pipe breaks. Rusted or cracked sewer lines may require reconstruction or replacement. One of the best ways to know if your sewer pipes are in need of repair is to hire experts to inspect the sewer lines with a camera.

3. Overflowing Toilets

Toilets in commercial buildings typically get a lot of use each day. This increases the likelihood that commercial property owners will have to deal with a toilet overflow at some point. Never attempt to clean the overflow without taking safety precautions. Ingesting potentially contaminated water poses a dangerous health risk. A professional cleanup and restoration team can safely handle the emergency with proper knowledge and equipment.

Whether your commercial property in Shoreline, WA is experiencing hazardous flooding, or you just notice the warning signs of a blocked sewer, commercial building restoration specialists are available year-round to provide emergency services and regular maintenance to your commercial building.

Should I Change My Smoke Alarm Battery?

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Changing batteries to a smoke alarm The value of smoke alarms is undeniable. Help your devices work as they should by keeping the batteries fresh.

When To Refresh the Batteries in Your Home's Alarm

The vast majority of American homes are equipped with fire and smoke alarms. They add security against fire damage and injury, but only when they work. Replacing batteries on time can be the difference between an alarm that is effective and one that fails. When should you do it? Keep reading for tips on when to refresh the batteries in your Kenmore, WA, home’s alarm.

Experts estimate as many as 96 percent of American homes are equipped with either a fire or a smoke detector. But there remains a gap between how many are installed and how many work. As a result:

  • Nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no alarms or alarms that don’t work
  • Half of home fires in homes with alarms that failed were due to missing batteries

Fortunately, keeping your device working can be as easy as knowing when to perform basic checks.

Battery Type

Knowing your alarm’s battery type can help you know when to change it. If your home has a newer, lithium-powered battery, you’re good for a decade. Older alarms powered by a 9-volt battery need their batteries replaced annually.

Research Your Device

Smoke detectors don’t last forever. Get familiar with the owner’s manual that comes with your alarm. It can guide you on when your device will need fresh batteries or should be replaced entirely.

Heed the Beep

So-called nuisance alarms - that annoying beep that’s common when a smoke alarm is losing power - are a top reason many homeowners disconnect their devices. Sadly, this can have serious consequences. Instead of ignoring beeping, take it as a sign that it’s time to change the batteries.

The value of smoke alarms is undeniable. Help your devices work as they should by keeping the batteries fresh. Use these tips and any others from your local fire cleanup experts to help keep your alarms working properly.

Types of Electronic Damage That a Fire May Cause

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Electric wire on fire A short circuit occurs as a result of the magnetic charge that is found in smoke

Here Are Some Common Types Of Electronic Damage

A fire in your Lake Forest Park, WA, business can cause damage to many areas of your commercial building. Among the various sources of harm, you may come across signs of damage to your electronic devices. Whether you’re dealing with damaged computers or tablets, it’s crucial to have them restored as soon as possible. Here are some common types of electronic damage that may result from an electrical fire.

Black Film

If you notice a black film on any of your electronics, this may indicate that they have been damaged by smoke. While you might notice this film on a device’s exterior, it may also be hidden on the interior parts of the object. A black film can cause a device to:

  • Overheat
  • Break down prematurely
  • Have a shorter lifespan

To avoid dealing with these consequences, be sure to have the film removed immediately. When your electronics fail, it can cause you to lose money by paying for repairs and replacements.

Short-Circuiting

Devices that are damaged as a result of an electrical fire may also short-circuit. This occurs as a result of the magnetic charge that is found in smoke. In order to prevent your electronics from short-circuiting, it is vital to have the smoke removed from them as soon as you can.

Early Deterioration

Overheating isn’t the only form of damage that shortens a device’s lifespan. Early deterioration may also take place as a result of the acidic nature of soot. If any soot is left behind on your electronics after a fire, be aware of the effects of acidity.

If you have any electronics that have been harmed by smoke damage, be sure to call emergency restoration services immediately to bring them back to life. Trusting professionals to perform a computer cleanup or other restorative service can ensure that your devices receive the proper treatment that they need in the aftermath of an electrical fire.

The Responsibility of a Landlord To Prevent Mold Growth

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind baseboard. Mold growth behind baseboard.

How To Protect Yourself Against Mold

As a landlord, you bear certain responsibilities to your tenants. Among the most basic is to provide a living space that is clean and safe. The presence of mold in a rental unit represents an unclean and potentially unhealthy environment. In some cases, a landlord, property manager, contractor, or engineer can be sued or held liable for injuries or illnesses to tenants caused by mold. The conditions vary as to when you might be susceptible to actions against you. To protect yourself against mold insurance claims, the following steps could be helpful:

  • Rely on your general liability insurance, though this could be subject to interpretation
  • Purchase environmental insurance liability which could cover a mold infestation
  • Take action to prevent the spread of mold

Mold Remediation

The surest way to protect against mold insurance claims by tenants, either residential or commercial, is to make sure mold does not spread in your properties. Since fungi thrives in warm, moist conditions, it is a good business practice to maintain properties and to address any water issues such as pipe leaks or roof leaks. If mold does appear, quick, aggressive action can take care of the problem. A local mold mitigation company in Shoreline, WA, can arrive on scene fast and provide an inspection and assessment of the property. Mold testing is important since it will reveal how much mold is present and what strain. With fast action, a mold claim against the property owner can be avoided.

Mold Facts

Mold naturally occurs in the environment and is just about everywhere, albeit in low densities. There are hundreds of different types of mold, only a few of which are likely to cause a problem to homeowners or commercial property owners. Mold can grow on paper, drywall, cloth, wood, and other surfaces. Under the right conditions, mold colonies can form and spread in 48-72 hours. Mold insurance claims can be prevented by quick and effective mold remediation services.

How To Avoid Accidental Activation of Your Fire Sprinklers

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler System From a minor leak to a natural disaster, SERVPRO of Shoreline/Woodinville is here to help.

Thorough and consistent sprinkler maintenance is essential in Woodinville, WA. Not only is maintenance important to ensure your fire sprinkler system operates properly if a fire starts, it is also a key factor in the prevention of sprinkler system malfunctions, including accidental activation. For as much damage as a fire can cause, accidental activation of fire sprinklers can be costly as well. To help prevent unintentional activation of your sprinkler system, keep these five factors in mind.

1. Perform Regular Maintenance

Routine inspections and maintenance must be performed appropriately. Otherwise, regular wear and tear may not be addressed in a timely manner, which can increase the likelihood of accidental activation. Regular maintenance in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards can help alleviate this risk.

2. Prevent Freezing

If your sprinkler pipes freeze, the ice within them can damage the components of the sprinkler system and trigger accidental discharge of water once the ice melts. Sprinkler pipe routes should be assessed for freeze potential prior to installation. Antifreeze loops can be installed to help prevent freezing.

3. Address High Heat Areas

Identify sprinkler heads located near areas of high heat. Even without a fire, it may be possible for those sprinklers to reach a temperature high enough to unintentionally activate your system. In such locations, you should use sprinklers rated for higher temperatures.

4. Plan Ahead for Aging Parts

As your system ages, corrosion of pipes, fittings, and valves can become a concern. While routine inspections and sprinkler maintenance should identify issues in time to address them, it is important to be aware of these risks and plan for them in advance.

5. Exercise Caution and Care

Treat your sprinkler system with care. Do not hang items from pipes or sprinkler heads, paint over them, or otherwise modify your system without professional support.

Properly installed and maintained sprinkler systems are a key component in mitigating the risk of damage from both water and fire. Every business owner wants to be confident that his or her fire sprinklers will activate only in the event of an actual fire. Regular sprinkler maintenance with careful attention to detail can help prevent accidental activations. 

3 Tips To make handling a Canceled Flight Easier

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Canceled flight board No one enjoys a canceled flight, but it can be wise to prepare just in case

Things You Can Do If a Storm Causes a Delayed or Canceled Flight

Whether you're leaving your home in Bothell, WA, to travel for work or for leisure, an issue with your flight can be frustrating. However, there are several things you can do to keep calm and comfortable if a storm causes a delayed or canceled flight.

1. Strategically Pack Your Carry-On

What you pack in your carry-on can make a big difference if your flight is delayed or canceled. Bringing extra clothes can ensure that you're comfortable wherever you go, and keeping your toothbrush and toothpaste with you can help you to feel refreshed. It's also generally useful to bring along something to keep you entertained while you wait at a hotel or at the airport, such as a book, your phone, or crossword puzzles.

2. Ask Your Airline About Compensation

Though every airline has different policies, it's often helpful to inquire about your airline's compensation policy if your flight is delayed or canceled. Some airlines will cover the cost of connecting flights or will offer a voucher for a hotel, taxi, or food. Even if you don't receive compensation for your delayed or canceled flight, it's often useful to contact the airline in order to receive help rebooking your ticket.

3. Ask a Friend or Family Member To Check On Your House

After a storm causes an issue with your flight, the last thing you'll want is to come home to a house that has sustained storm damage. Though emergency restoration services can often assist in mitigation and restoration efforts, it's usually preferable to prevent damage, to begin with. When it comes to storm tips and preparing for a trip, you can often prevent major problems by asking someone you trust to check on your house to make sure everything is okay when you're gone.

No one enjoys a delayed or canceled flight, but it can be wise to prepare just in case you find yourself waiting in an airport or staying an extra night away from home. Strategically packing your carry-on bag, asking about compensation, and asking someone to check on your home while you're away can help you to handle a canceled or delayed flight like a pro.

Why Your Fire Alarm Is Beeping and What You Should Do About It

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Fire alarm maintenance. Always give maintenance to your fire alarms in your Bothell, WA home.

Why Is Your Fire Alarm Beeping and What Should You Do?

Have you ever heard an annoying chirp inside your Bothell, WA, home? It is likely coming from your smoke detector. Once you figure out the source of the noise, you must determine why the fire alarm is beeping. Here are three common types of smoke detector beeps and what to do about them.

1. Consistent Smoke Alarm Beeps

Sometimes, the detector will chirp at consistent intervals throughout the day. This could be a sign that the alarm has malfunctioned.

Without a functioning detector, you may not discover a blaze until it has already caused severe fire damage to your home. You should thus replace a defective alarm as soon as possible.

Consistent chirping could also be evidence of a battery malfunction. Press the “test” button on the alarm and listen for a loud sound. If you do not hear one, you should replace the battery. To do this, simply remove the detector’s cover and take out the batteries. Then put new batteries inside the device. Run another test to see if the alarm is working properly.

2. Erratic Fire Alarm Beeps

Erratic, irregular chirps from your smoke alarm could also be evidence of a battery issue. If the batteries are functioning, the alarm could be sounding due to extreme temperatures. The detector will chirp if it is too close to an HVAC system or open window.

3. Fast and Loud Smoke Detector Beeps

Loud and fast beeps usually indicate that there is a fire in your home. If you suspect a blaze is present, get everyone out of the house immediately and call 911. You may also want to contact smoke damage cleanup professionals who can assist with the restoration of your home.

Understanding the different causes of smoke detector chirps should help you respond appropriately to the annoying beeps. If your fire alarm is beeping erratically, you may just need to change the batteries. However, if the chirps are fast and loud, you may have a fire in your home.

What To Know About Storm Water Damage Cleanup

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Water Category There are three categories of damage due to water.

What You Should Know About Storm Water Cleanup

Homeowners know that they’re responsible for taking care of property needs, including repairs and cleanups. This includes damage due to water, which can range from an overflowing sink to flooding from a storm event. If you ever experience this type of damage in your home in Shoreline, WA, you should contact a provider of damage restoration services for cleanup and full repair. That said, not every type of damage is the same, especially when it comes to cleaning.

Understanding Water Damage Categories

There are three categories of damage due to water:

  • Category 1: Also known as clean water, this includes damage from a broken pipe or overflowing water without contaminants.
  • Category 2: Sometimes called grey water, this category refers to damage from water that contains contaminants, such as discharge from a dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Category 3: Damage in this category comes from flooding, rising groundwater, sewage backup, or seawater. Also known as black water, category 3 water is the most severe, containing unsanitary agents.

Water in categories 1 and 2 can become categories 2 and 3 respectively if left unattended.

Cleaning Up Damage

Cleanup should be handled by a professional, especially flood damage, which often involves unsanitary agents, pathogens, and toxins. It’s important that the actual destruction be correctly assessed and the proper remediation techniques are employed. This includes disinfection, advanced cleaning, removal of items, drying methods, and ventilation. What might look like a certain level of damage to you may be worse after professional evaluation.

While you never hope to have flooding in your home in Shoreline, WA it’s important to recognize the gravity of the situation. No two situations are the same, so it’s crucial to hire a pro to make a professional assessment. They’ll understand the key differences between the types of water damage and how to restore your place to pre-damage conditions as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

What You Should Know About Disaster Recovery

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency READY profile Advantage SERVPRO of Shoreline/ Woodinville partners with you to help you create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to put into action in the event of a disaster.

What You Should Be Aware Of When It Comes To Disaster Recovery

Commercial property owners and business principals understand that life can be unpredictable. Managing risk is often done through the purchase of insurance. Having insurance is just one part of the picture. You also need to have a plan in place for unforeseen issues such as a fire, storm, or other natural disasters. SERVPRO of Shoreline/ Woodinville is not just your provider of damage restoration services.

We also partner with you to make sure you have a thorough disaster recovery plan that minimizes interruption to your operations and restores things back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. 

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan
While no two businesses nor two disasters will be the same, a general plan should include the following elements:

  1. Emergency response plan: Established protocol on steps to take as part of a fire or storm response
  2. Business interruption: Strategy for resuming operations as soon as possible
    Insurance review: Knowledge of what your policies cover and a procedure for initiating a claim
  3. Emergency stockpile: Maintaining a supply of backup items, emergency kits, and other essentials
  4. Important contact info: Local emergency officials, clients, business partners, suppliers, vendors, insurance agents, etc.
  5. Communications plan: Bringing your customers up to speed on what’s happening and how they’ll be impacted
  6. File and critical data backup: Duplicates and electronic copies of important business records that can be accessed whenever and wherever in an emergency

Executing Your Plan
SERVPRO of Shoreline/ Woodinville, partners with you to help you create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to put into action in the event of a disaster. We work with you to determine the specific needs of your business, including commercial and large loss restoration, storm damage cleanup, and other services as necessary. We can also evaluate your current readiness to identify gaps before disaster strikes.

While there are many uncertainties and potential for loss in your business, you’re not alone. SERVPRO stands ready to help you come up with a disaster recovery plan that’s right for you, your operations, and the people connected to your business. 

Why Should I Install a Temporary Fence After a Commercial Fire?

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Fence Installing a temporary security fence around your commercial building post-fire can protect your business.

Why Do You Need To Fence Your Property After a Fire?

Sustaining damage from a major fire at your business in Kenmore, WA can cause many problems other than those related directly to the flames. The time between extinguishing the conflagration and completing the restoration process can be precarious because you may not be on the property for most of it. However, you must ensure that your building and contents are protected. Although not 100%, a security fence can help prevent these four issues.

1. Destruction by Animals
Wild animals are always seeking food and shelter, and an abandoned fire-damaged building can look inviting. With easy access, they will come in and are likely to cause more damage. Some animals will probably still be able to get in even with a fence, but it will go a long way to avert intrusion.

2. Theft and Vandalism by Trespassers
Some people may enter your property simply out of curiosity. However, others have bad intentions. Many times it is not even a planned crime but one of convenience. Without a security fence, owners of damaged property will often have issues with people vandalizing and stealing their property.

3. Injury to an Individual
One of the biggest problems for any business owner is someone getting hurt on their abandoned property, particularly a child. This occurrence could lead not only to severe injury but also to liability issues and costly medical payments for your business.

4. Trouble With the Insurance Claim
After a disaster, most insurance policies require you to do everything possible to avoid additional damage. Security fencing, roof tarping and window boarding are a few ways to mitigate loss until the fire damage restoration professionals complete their work. Otherwise, your insurer could refuse to pay part or all of the claim.
Installing a temporary security fence around your commercial building post-fire can protect your business and others from further disaster. It is a simple, inexpensive way to stay safe until your property is fully restored.