How To Save Your Belongings From Smoke Damage
If your home suffers soot and smoke damage after a house fire, give SERVPRO of Shoreline/Woodinville a call.
How To Prevent Smoke Damage To Your Property
The effects of a house fire can be terrible. Your first concern is the safety of your family members. You’re probably then worried about whether you’ll be able to salvage your home. You probably also have many belongings you hope to preserve. While some things might be a lost cause, with proper dry-cleaning and other methods, you can save some belongings, even if they were damaged by the smoke.
Inspect Your Home
The best thing to do for full-scale content cleaning after a fire in your Bothell, WA home is to contact the professionals. A trusted company will send representatives to first inspect the affected area.
- Inspect and test rooms the fire directly affected as well as adjacent rooms.
- Check for smoke damage to the floor, walls and items.
- Check for leftover soot.
Board and Tarp
In order to prevent any further damage, the professionals will board up windows and place large tarps over damaged portions of the roof or siding. The company representative may also discuss your options for content storage while the restoration process is underway. By boarding your home and putting tarps over vulnerable spots, you can avoid further damage.
Get rid of Smoke and Soot
It’s vital to remove this damage as soon as possible. The professionals have high-quality methods to not only clean and sanitize affected areas but also to remove the lingering smells smoke leaves behind.
Clean and Sanitize
Smoke can do extensive damage to all areas of your home. The professional company you choose will send technicians to use dry-cleaning and other proven cleaning and sanitizing agents to help ensure your home is as close to the state it was in before the fire occurred.
Dry-cleaning, sanitizing and preservation are critical to this restoration process. When you have the pros on your side, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you will once again have a livable home.
Flood Hazards for First Responders
Mold after storm damage
First Responders' Flood Risks
When a flood hits The Highlands, WA, a first responder is the hero of the day as he or she works to protect lives, property and the environment. It is important for these trained professionals to look after themselves as well, and this work comes with its own set of potential risks. Rather than put yourself or others at risk, follow these simple steps to stay safe.
Flood response has its own set of hazards. Prior to heading out to help others, take time to review personal safety procedures.
• Immunizations for Hepatitis B and tetanus must be up-to-date.
• Protective clothing should include chemical-resistant outer clothing, goggles, boots and plastic or rubber gloves.
• Layer latex gloves over puncture-resistant gloves and discard them after use.
After cleaning, don’t wear contaminated clothes in your personal vehicle. Remember to shower and change into uncontaminated clothes when your shift as a first responder ends. Wear a disposable N95 mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold. Clean wet surfaces with clean water and disinfectant. Properly vent portable generators and avoid the risk of electrocution.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially when working near traffic. Watch for sinkholes and areas where the terrain has sustained damage. Seek medical care if you are exposed to raw sewage or chemicals. Frequently wash your hands in soap and clean water or with alcohol-based gel, especially before meals and after handling potentially contaminated materials.
The major cause of loss of life in floods is being trapped in a vehicle. It takes only a foot of water to float many cars and trucks, and once the wheels are off the road, rolling, flipping, or colliding with anything downstream can happen quickly.
A first responder is a welcome sight to flood victims and is the person who will lead the way to recovery and damage remediation. Though staying dry may be impossible, staying safe doesn’t have to be.
The Important Role of an Environmental Hygienist
Mold damage in a North City, WA home
If you have recently had a flood in your North City, WA, home or if you discovered leaky pipes, you should have a professional check for mold. This fungus thrives in wet, humid environments. Even if you extract any standing water and dry the area, you want to be sure no mold was left behind. Before you can move to the step of mold cleaning, you should hire an environmental hygienist to inspect the home and identify whether this fungus is present.
How Mold Can Grow in Your Home
Mold spores are always present in the air. Though microscopic, they are outside and inside your house, waiting for a place to grow and spread. When circumstances are ideal, colonies can appear within a few days. Common ways mold damage occurs include:
- Leaky or broken pipes under sinks or in walls
- Poor ventilation in showers or basements
- Leaks in appliances such as washers, dishwashers or refrigerators
What the Environmental Hygienist Does
This expert works with a professional mold remediation company to evaluate and clean up materials such as mold in businesses and residences. The hygienist has the knowledge and training to look for mold in the right places and to identify its presence. This professional also uses the necessary equipment and tools to test for this fungus in homes. The hygienist is certified to work with this substance and has experience checking for all types of mold, including black mold. After conducting tests, the hygienist will discuss the results with you and coordinate a plan to thoroughly clean the area.
The hygienist helps oversee the mold cleaning process. This not only includes scrubbing away the fungus but sanitizing the area as well. Remediation teams may also have to tear out porous materials such as carpet and drywall.
Prompt mold cleaning is essential if you find this fungus in your house. An environmental hygienist can help you confirm its presence.
3 Simple Cleaning Practices To Prevent Mold Spore Buildup
Prevent Mold Spore Buildup
The trouble with mold is that it exists nearly everywhere in the world, and spores are ever-present in the air. This is fine when talking about outdoor air, but indoor air takes some special management to keep mold spores from becoming too abundant and forming colonies. Some simple cleaning is all it takes to manage these populations and reduce the chance of mold problems. Here are three simple cleaning practices to reduce spores in your building.
1. Routine Cleaning to Reduce Spores and Dirt
Spores can accumulate in several places in your building. Because spores are microscopic, they tend to accumulate with dust and dirt particles. Molds feed on organic materials like cellulose, dust particles and human food. That's right, spores accumulate in the same places where their food sources exist. That's a big risk for the development of mold, but routine cleaning practices such as dusting and wiping surfaces, vacuuming, and carpet cleaning are all effective at reducing spore buildup, dust and dirt.
2. Proper Carpet Cleaning
Proper carpet and upholstery cleaning is dependent on many factors, including traffic and type of material. Carpets are fibrous and full of crevices that they act as a pitfall for spores, dust and dirt. Particles become trapped deep in the carpet as well as in the nooks and crannies of the fibers. Frequent vacuuming is essential to removing particles, but yearly professional carpet cleaning is essential to remove spores and soil that have settled deep in your carpets.
3. HVAC Maintenance and Cleaning
HVAC systems are a common place for mold to develop since spores and dirt easily travel through the air in this moisture-filled system. A yearly HVAC service will help this system perform at its best and reduce spore buildup.
Regularly cleaning in these three areas will help manage indoor spore populations, but you can also count on mold remediation specialists to help with spore control in addition to full mold problems. Professionals have the knowledge and equipment to clean up mold while minimizing the spread of mold spores.
How Fire Sprinklers Work
Installing a fire sprinkler system in your building can protect you and your assets
You may be wondering if you really need to install a fire sprinkler system in your commercial building. However, sprinklers are an important part of any structure. They limit fire damage and keep your employees safe.
How Sprinklers Work
A sprinkler system has four main components. They are:
- Water pipe
- Bulb filled with liquid
- Sprinkler head
The sprinkler is attached to an existing pipe in the building. When the temperature reaches a certain level, the glass bulb bursts. This frees the water from the pipe, which goes through the sprinkler head and onto the fire.
This fire suppression system allows sprinklers to work quickly. They often extinguish or contain a blaze before the firefighters even arrive at the scene.
You should not attempt to install sprinklers on your own. Instead, contact a contractor who understands the local standards and codes. Ideally, you should get the sprinklers installed while the building is being remodeled.
You may have seen television and movie scenes where a fire sprinkler system accidentally goes off in the absence of fire. This excess water then soaks the entire building and its contents.
Don’t let this myth preclude you from installing fire sprinklers in your North City, WA, commercial building. Sprinklers rarely activate unless there really is a fire in your building. That’s because sprinklers are triggered by the high temperatures that accompany fires. Burnt toast or cigar smoke alone won't cause them to operate.
You also don’t have to worry about all the sprinklers in a building going off at once and causing major flooding. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. Of course, sprinklers and fire hoses do often leave behind water damage. Fire sprinkler cleanup specialists can help dry wet items and restore your charred belongings.
Installing a fire sprinkler system in your building can protect you and your assets. While sprinklers are relatively simple devices, they can quickly extinguish a blaze and reduce smoke damage.
Does Carpet Need Replacing After a Flood?
Flooded carpet in Sheridan Beach, WA.
Experiencing flooding in your home in Sheridan Beach, WA, such as from a pipe break or severe weather, can be devastating and exhausting when having to clean up the mess and deal with damages to your belongings and the structure of the house itself. Especially if the flooding happened over a large area of your home, the longer it takes for the area to dry out, the more time mold can set in, which can cause further damage. It’s important to act quickly in these cases (mold can begin growing within 48 hours) while ensuring the damage is thoroughly taken care of.
Clean or Dirty Flood
If you’re trying to determine whether you can save your carpeting, it’s important to know where the water came from and how dirty it was. If the water was from a pipe break or rain, and you can dry out the material within 24-48 hours, it is likely that you can go without replacing it. A flood restoration company has the equipment to ensure carpeting is fully dried out in a timely manner. Carpet pads usually do need to be replaced, however, as they are like a sponge and may be too difficult to dry.
If the flood was caused by a backed-up sewage drain or contaminated river water, you may want to think about replacing the carpet. If there is sentimental value or it’s an expensive rug, a restoration company can take the extra steps to safely decontaminate it, but it’s not recommended that you do this yourself. An improper cleaning job can easily result in mold, disease, and further structural damage if left long enough.
Protect Your Home
Replacing carpeting can be a pain, especially if it’s not necessary, such as in the case of a pipe break. Working with a restoration company can ensure your home is fully dried out before mold has a chance to set in or more damage is done.
Beware of These 3 Common Sewage Issues in Commercial Buildings
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.
What To Throw Out After a Fire
Throw away medication that has been exposed to the fire
What To Throw Away After a Residential Fire
A fire can damage contents that are not directly burned. Items in surrounding areas may be exposed to high heat, soot and smoke. This exposure can destabilize medicine, personal care products and food items. Learn more about what to throw away and replace after residential fire in Shoreline, WA.
Health and Body Care Products
Medications have a safe temperature range printed on the labeling. Many personal care products are also formulated for maximum effectiveness at normal temperatures. Exposure to intense heat or smoke can destabilize any of the following items:
- Body wash
- Haircare products
Anything intended to be ingested or applied to the skin or hair should not be contaminated with compounds found in soot or smoke. These contaminants may result in irritation or exposure to chemicals that are otherwise removed during cleanup and restoration. Excessive heat can also render medicines and beauty products less effective.
Open or Bagged Food
It is important to throw away any food items that could be contaminated with soot, smoke, or destabilized by heat. This is particularly the case with the following items:
- Food stored in containers or bags
- Pet food stored in bags or containers
- Cans exposed to high heat
Cans that were not exposed to very high temperatures may be kept. Remove the label and write the contents on the can in a permanent marker.
Damaged or Porous Items
Any charred or burned items will probably not benefit from cleaning. Fire causes chemical changes that will continue to pose a contamination risk. It is particularly important to dispose of items that make direct contact with skin or food, such as bedding, clothing, cutting boards, dishware, or cups.
All of these contents are likely to contain the toxic residues of a fire. Fire damage restoration experts can identify items to throw away and other contents that may benefit from cleaning.
The Benefits of an Electronic Claims Service
Electronic claims submissions have a myriad of benefits
Restoration professionals have to complete a lot of tasks to serve their clients. In the past, they used traditional postage methods to mail their paperwork to insurance companies and homeowners affected by disasters, such as fires, floods, or mold outbreaks. Today, there are electronic services available to simplify filing an insurance claim. Electronic claims submissions have a myriad of benefits to everyone involved in the process.
The three steps to filing a claim are:
- Noticing that your residence is damaged and contact an insurance provider
- Waiting for an insurance adjuster to evaluate the extent of the damage
- Receiving financial reimbursement to cover repairs
An insurance agent may not have the knowledge to correctly look over a property. He or she often collaborates with a local restoration company that can provide a detailed report of what happened and how to affordably restore a home to a safe condition.
SERVPRO is a company in Richmond Highlands, WA, that many agents trust. Its focus on up-to-date electronic systems makes it a frontrunner for filing an insurance claim. Restoration professionals can enter estimate information, scan photographs and keep track of projects using the database, then email the information to an agent. The agent can respond promptly, which saves a large amount of time. Professionals are more productive, and homeowners can get a quicker resolution.
Professionals using an electronic database are not prone to filing errors that can result in inaccurate financial compensation. If a claim has missing or contradictory information, for example, it can be fixed in a flash. Top-notch claims are a frugal and ethical decision for companies looking to establish a good reputation with their clients.
Filing an insurance claim can be efficient and easy. Electronic claims submissions are an indication that an insurance company has the best interests of its clients in mind. They allow restoration professionals to focus on their work, agents to calculate reimbursement in little time, and clients to get their life back on track.
3 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings
Commercial toilets get a lot of use which means most of them will get clogged occasionally.
3 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings
One of the most common causes of water damage in commercial buildings is leaking pipes, however, that isn't the only problem to look out for. You may wish to add these three common water issues in commercial buildings to your maintenance routine.
1. Leaking or Running Toilets
According to the EPA, a leaking toilet can waste as much as 3,000 gallons of water a year. Additionally, leaking toilets can lead to water damage and mold. To avoid wasted water, higher water bills, and potential water or mold damage, toilets should be inspected regularly to ensure they aren't leaking or running constantly.
2. Toilet Clogs
Commercial toilets get a lot of use which means most of them will get clogged occasionally. Because clogs can lead to a toilet backup which may cause a flood in the bathroom, it may be wise to regularly check restrooms for clogged toilets and plunge them or call a plumber in Richmond Highlands, WA, to clear clogs.
3. Plumbing Leaks
Freezing temperatures or deterioration can lead to leaking pipes or a pipe break that may cause a flood. Water leaking from cracked or broken pipes or water supply lines is the most common cause of water damage in commercial buildings. These leaks can be difficult to detect because pipes and supply lines are often buried underground or hidden by walls. Because long-term leaks can lead to severe water damage, it can be important to watch for signs of leaks, such as standing water, bulging walls, spongy floors, water stains, and musty smells or mold growth.
Regularly inspecting your commercial property for leaking pipes and other potential sources of water damage can help keep water damage to a minimum. However, if you have suffered a broken pipe or an overflowing toilet, promptly contacting a water damage remediation and restoration company may help prevent further damage to your property.