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3 Reasons to Have Your Home Inspected by an Environmental Hygienist

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Spots of black mold on white wall You will need a hygienist to perform a more accurate test and inspection.

Three Reasons to Hire an Environmental Hygienist to Inspect Your Home

If you think that you have mold growing in your Shoreline, WA home, you might decide that you can just inspect your house yourself. However, this is generally not the best decision. While it may not be as convenient, having an environmental hygienist inspect for mold damage is the best way to determine if there is really a problem. Here are a few reasons that hiring a professional is preferable to doing it on your own.

1. There May be Hidden Mold in Your Home

You may sometimes need mold cleaning even if you don’t think you do. In some cases, you may have a musty odor in your home and be unable to locate the source. Don’t assume that there is no problem and that the smell will go away on its own. There may be a growth inside the walls or flooring that a hygienist will be able to find and remove.

2. Home Tests Are Inaccurate

Maybe you can’t see the mold, but a home test can find it, right? The answer is probably not. Because mold spores are present in most environments, many home tests will pick up mold even where there isn’t any damaging growth that requires mold cleaning.

3. They Are Trained and Experienced

You likely haven’t been trained to detect or clean up mold, so trying to do it on your own won’t give you the same results as hiring a mold remediation service. To ensure that the work is done well, you should leave it to the professionals.

Doing your own inspection and mold cleaning can seem like an appealing option, especially if you enjoy DIY home projects. In this case, however, it is best to hire a professional, since you could easily end up doing more harm than good if your actions result in mold spores spreading throughout your house.

Are You Covered for Storm Damage?

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Make sure your home is covered from storm damage.

Are You Protected Against Storm Damage?

Does your homeowner’s policy cover potential damages from flooding, or do you need dedicated flood insurance? While your average policy may cover you in the event of high winds causing broken windows and roof damage, the number of insurers covering natural floods on typical homeowner’s policies is few and far between, meaning that storm damages caused by a natural flood are not protected against. Therefore, before making a flood claim or choosing a more specific policy, it is necessary to understand storm damages.

Basic Weather Losses

The way insurers protect people and their property is by putting together universal policies, which means that they present standard homeowners policies that cover weather events that most of the population experience. Therefore, an insurance claim on a standard policy for wind damage will probably be accepted while property loss caused by a flood typically won't be. To understand this level of decision-making, consider standard homeowner plans as coverage for basic weather losses, like wind.

Rare Weather Losses

A flood claim is not standard, and therefore, it requires a special policy. While there are parts of the country that experience annual flooding, most of the country does not, making this weather phenomena rare in the eyes of insurance providers.
While policies will inevitably change, one thing remains the same: the need for emergency remediation services in the Woodinville, WA, area. Whether or not you have adequate insurance, you will need the help of qualified professionals to restore your property after a disaster strikes.

Granted, insurance helps to reduce the costs of restoration, but it is needed regardless of coverage. With the proper coverage, a flood claim does not have to be complicated. However, if you do not have flood insurance, then an insurer will likely pick your claim apart to reduce their liability. If you are concerned about potential flooding, then contact your insurance company and make sure you are covered.

Protect Your Building Envelope

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Construction details - framing installing the roof truss system Protect your building envelope.

Whether you work in an area of the country that gets a lot of rainfall or just a little bit, there are four ways that your building could experience rain damage:

• Bulk Water: Rain, runoff, and other sources of water-driven mostly by gravity
• Capillary Water: Water that moves through channels in the building, usually pulled along through tube-like means
• Airborne Moisture: This includes the humidity in the air whether it occurs naturally or is created by air conditioning
• Movement of Water Vapor: This refers to water from high-humidity sources, such as hot water baths or greenhouses, that move throughout a building to affect low-humidity levels

What Is the Building Envelope?

Without the right waterproofing steps, black mold could develop within the building envelope. As a business owner, you can work closely with water remediation experts to make sure your water is thoroughly waterproofed.

Take a close look at three elements of the building: the roof, gutters, and siding. These are some of the most common areas for water to infiltrate the "envelope." Regular maintenance and ongoing inspections from Shoreline, WA experts can keep these high-risk areas safe and water-tight.

The Roof

This one area of your building is the strongest protector against rain damage. Whether the weather brings rain or snow, that water will probably drop onto your business from overhead, so keep a close eye on the shingles, the underlayment, and any moisture barriers that make up the roof. Pay close attention to how the sun, wind, and falling debris affect roofing materials.


This element of your waterproofing system keeps water away from the windows and foundation of your building. Make sure the gutters are in good shape and free of debris.


Although most rain and snow come from above, the wind can blow some of this moisture against the walls of your building. Whether you have brick, stucco, or vinyl siding, make sure these materials provide a strong barrier against water with proper maintenance.

Rain damage doesn't have to penetrate your building. Locate the most likely trouble areas and work with professionals to prevent damages.

How To Save Your Belongings From Smoke Damage

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Residential fire loss. 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

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth found behind baseboards 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.

Safety Checklist

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.

Other Precautions

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.

More Protections

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

7/25/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. 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.

Next Steps

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

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Black spots on wall Mold damage.

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

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

Sprinkler with water 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
  • Plug
  • 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.

Installing Sprinklers

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.

Sprinkler Myths

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?

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet, flooded carpet. 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

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet 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.