Recent Posts

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.

Why Does My Toilet Leak Every Time I Flush?

5/22/2022 (Permalink)

A woman checking the tank of a toilet Water from leaking toilets commonly comes from the tank.

How To Find The Source Of The Leak On a Toilet

No one wants to deal with a leaking toilet. Most homeowners never give their toilets a second thought and just expect them to work as designed every time they flush. The problem is, that the parts inside a toilet can be faulty or wear out over time. When this happens, the source of the leak needs to be identified and stopped before some serious water damage occurs. If you have a bathroom leak in Lake Forest Park, WA, there are a few things you can do to try to fix it. Here are some tips on how to find the source of the leak.

Where Does It Come From?

Water from a leaking toilet commonly comes from several places:

  • Hose attachments
  • Underneath the toilet
  • From the tank
  • Dry wax ring
  • Improper installation
  • Loose bolts
  • Broken tank flange

Identifying where the water is coming from can narrow down the source of the leak. If water is leaking into the subfloor or causing more than a surface water nuisance, you will need the help of a professional remediation service.

Repair or Replace?

Many sources of leaking toilets can be repaired by draining the toilet and replacing the faulty piece or tightening a loose bolt or hose connection. In some cases, it is best to replace the entire toilet before serious water damage occurs. If your toilet has a chrome-plated copper supply tube, it is recommended to replace it with a flexible stainless steel hose. These hoses last much longer and are less likely to spring a leak. While a broken tank flange can be replaced, it is not an easy task and many homeowners prefer the help of a professional.
Identifying the source of the leaking toilet is only the first step. If the leak cannot be fixed or the toilet replaced before water damage occurs, you will need the help of a professional water remediation expert to restore your bathroom to its previous condition.

Critical Actions To Take After a Toilet Overflows

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet The toilet in your home in Bothell, WA, could overflow for one of several reasons.

After a Toilet Overflow, Take These Important Steps

The toilet in your home in Bothell, WA, could overflow for one of several reasons. Sometimes there is a problem with the seal, allowing water to leak out the bottom of the commode. Other times the toilet clogs and water comes out the top, spilling onto the floor. A third possibility involves a sudden breakage of the porcelain which results in a small-scale disaster. In all cases, you have potential sewer damage and must take swift and appropriate actions. Do not rush right into things, as the spill could contain harmful elements that should be kept away from skin contact.

Assess the Severity of the Flooded Toilet
If you cannot stop the flow of water, or if the water has touched carpeting or is seeping into and through the flooring, you have a serious situation on your hands. At this point, you should call for the services of a professional water damage restoration firm. The sewage company experts will send trained technicians to perform the following actions:

  • Clean up all standing water with vacuums and pumps
  • Dry out moist areas with dryers and ventilation
  • Clean and sanitize impacted surfaces
  • Restore all damaged structures

Make Sure the Work Is Complete
In addition to cleaning up the sewer damage, the workers will use appropriate PPE such as gloves and masks for increased safety. They will also make sure the humidity of the bathroom is brought down to suitable levels, thus ensuring that mold growth will not occur. The final step of restoration should fix any problems with the toilet. You should be satisfied that things are as they were before the problem began.
Taking care of any type of sewer damage requires specialized equipment and skills and a focus on safety protocols. The job must be done professionally to prevent any additional problems.

Tips for Using a Home Fire Extinguisher

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

Different types of extinguishers Different fires require different types of extinguishers.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher at Home

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. This tool can help you put out a kitchen fire before it spreads. Here are some tips for utilizing extinguishers correctly.

1. Make an Evacuation Plan
Before you get too close to the fire, determine exactly how you will escape the room if the blaze becomes too big for you to handle. Make sure that no heat, smoke, or fire comes between you and your chosen evacuation path.

2. Pick the Right Extinguisher
Different fires require different types of extinguishers. Water or class A extinguishers are designed for ordinary combustibles such as plastic, cloth, paper, rubber, and wood. Class B extinguishers utilize carbon dioxide and work best on flammable liquids, including grease, gasoline, and oil. Electrical fires require Class C extinguishers, which utilize dry chemicals.

Of course, when you spot flames in your home, you do not always have time to figure out the correct fire extinguisher to use. Ideally, you should keep a multipurpose extinguisher in your house, as it works on fires caused by combustibles, flammable liquids or electrical equipment.

3. Use the P.A.S.S. Technique
The acronym P.A.S.S. can help you remember how to use an extinguisher. You just Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle and Sweep the extinguisher from side to side.

4. Know When To Evacuate
Most importantly, do not be a hero when trying to put out the fire. If the flames take up more than 60 square feet, if you feel radiating heat on your exposed skin, or if you have trouble breathing due to excess smoke, evacuate the house immediately. Contact firefighters to extinguish the blaze and fire damage cleanup specialists to restore your Shoreline, WA, home.

You can try to suppress a blaze using a fire extinguisher. Make sure you pick an extinguisher designed for the type of fire in your home. If the flames get out of control, evacuate immediately and let the professionals handle the situation.

What You Need to Know About Mold

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Damage on Floor in Bathroom Is it possible to find the mold? Our SERVPRO staff can help if mold damage has occurred in your home or business in Woodinville, WA.

Mold: Everything You Need to Know

If your business' building has suffered from any type of water damage, be it a broken pipe or a typical Woodinville, WA, flood, you know how challenging the restoration process can be. What you may not know is that the true danger lies ahead in the form of fungi like black mold, also known as Stachybotrys, which can grow on almost any surface with a moisture problem. The most common types of mold include:

  • Stachybotrys
  • Mucor
  • Fusarium
  • Cladosporium
  • Chaetomium
  • Aureobasidium
  • Alternaria

What Is Mold?
Mold is a category of fungus, a small organism that exists almost everywhere in the world. It can have a wide variety of appearances, from fuzzy to slimy and everything in between, and can appear in a range of colors, such as white, black, orange, purple, and green.
Where Does Mold Come From?
Mold spores, which are the equivalent of plants' seeds, are floating through the air almost everywhere around us, searching for a hospitable new home. They can land on almost any type of surface, but especially thrive in moist and dark areas. They grows at an incredibly rapid pace, so it is crucial to catch a new black mold growth right away.

How Do You Get Rid of Mold?
Even if you wipe away all the mold you can see, countless spores inevitably remain embedded into the surface on which they were growing. This means that home cleanup efforts are rarely effective at keeping the mold away for good. The most important step to take if you notice any mold growths in your building is to halt any water damage if possible, and then call your local mold cleanup experts. Professional techniques and equipment can exterminate the mold spores altogether, ensuring that it won't just grow back the next day.
Black mold spores can begin to spread within 24-48 hours of water damage, and the longer you let them grow unchecked, the more difficult mold cleanup will be, so don't wait to take action.

Understanding Commercial Storm Insurance

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Fallen tree over the roof of a house High winds, heavy rains, and other effects can damage your building and contents inside your Bothell, WA home.

Commercial Storm Insurance Explained

Bad weather isn't unheard of in Bothell, WA . You can't often anticipate a major storm, but there are ways you can be prepared. High winds, heavy rains, and other effects can damage your building and contents inside. Storm insurance should be an essential piece of your business, as it can protect you and your investment. It's important to know how it works and what it covers.

What General Property Insurance Covers
You are no doubt familiar with property insurance and have a policy for your business property. However, this plan will not cover all types of damage you'd encounter from a storm. It will help repair damage from the following:

  • Damage from hail and wind
  • Damage from tornadoes
  • Water damage from broken pipes or a leaky roof

Covering the Rest
You may wonder what happens with other types of flooding if your normal insurance policy won't cover cleanup and repair costs. Storm insurance is supplemental and takes care of water damage that results from overflowing waterways, sewer backups, or broken sewer lines. This coverage will also come in handy if torrential rainfall causes water to gather near the foundation of the building that then finds its way inside.

Filing a Claim
It's always best to file a claim as soon after the incident as possible. Insurance coverage is there to give you peace of mind and help you to rebuild. But the longer you wait to make a claim, the more difficult it will be to go through the process. Call your agent and describe what happened and what was damaged. It's best to include pictures of the affected area and a list of items that were lost. 

Once you file a storm insurance claim, your agent will coordinate with professional cleanup crews to assess the situation and begin cleanup and rebuilding efforts. If you don't have supplemental flood coverage, purchase a policy today.

Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Storm

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Workers installing concrete tiles on the roof while roofing house in construction site Storms can wreak havoc on commercial structures. You can reduce the risk of damage to your property by implementing strong storm preparedness plans.

Storm-Proof Your Commercial Property

Storms can wreak havoc on commercial buildings. By implementing some sound storm preparedness plans you can reduce the risk of severe damage to your property in Shoreline, WA.

1. Mitigate the Risks

Strong winds and heavy rain account for much of the damage during a storm. Before the storm hits, prepare your property to reduce the risk of extensive damage.

Bring in outdoor equipment, such as grills and lawn furniture to avoid items becoming airborne. Board up windows and glass doors so they don't shatter during the storm.

Inspect roofing materials to ensure they are secured. Fix any loose materials right away.
Trim any loose branches near the building so they don't damage the siding or break windows.

Disconnect computers and other electrical devices. Don't unplug the refrigerator, however.
Move loose items away from windows inside the building as much as possible.

2. Train Employees on Storm Procedures

Make sure all employees and visitors understand what to do in an emergency. Property management must develop work instructions to address the risks and then train workers on the procedures.

Conduct emergency drills with all employees so that they are familiar with the storm preparedness procedures. This will reduce the risk of people becoming panicked during a true emergency.

Designate evacuation exits and assign persons who are responsible to account for employees and visitors.

3. Inspect the Property After the Storm Passes

Wait until you are sure that the storm has passed before inspecting the building. If the emergency required persons to evacuate, don't allow employees to enter the building until authorities have given permission to do so.

Authorized personnel should inspect the property around the building to look for damage. They can identify issues to the structural integrity of the building and look for potential hazards that must be addressed. Call a storm restoration service if you need help with repairs.

Implement a sound storm preparedness plan to reduce the risk of damage during a storm.