Recent Posts

Weather Safety Tips

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere.  Each year, per, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

*10,000 severe thunderstorms

*5,000 floods or flash floods

*1,300 tornadoes

*2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all Presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.  Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others. 

KNOW YOUR RISK:  The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand they type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family.  Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain an NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

TAKE ACTION:  Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business.  Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

BE AN EXAMPLE:  Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook & Twitter.  Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

DIY Sewage Cleanup

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

The Dangers of DIY Sewage Cleanup

If you’re like most homeowners, when faced with a problem you probably head STRAIGHT to Google! 

And if you’re dealing with backed-up sewage, it only takes a few seconds of searching to find out that you probably want to hire someone to do it for you.

Cleaning up raw sewage on your own is something you should never do! 

Here’s why:

#1 – It can be hidden. – SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co crew member can tell you stories about customers that decided to clean-up their own feces only to call in weeks or months later complaining about smells and disfigured walls, cabinets, and floors. Sewage will find its way into any and all porous surfaces. 

Even things like drywall and cabinetry aren’t safe. And it’s not as simple as just spotting the sewage with your eyes. It requires state of the art equipment, which SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co, to identify areas that have been damaged by sewage. So unless you have an infrared detection system handy and know how to use it, call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co.

#2 – It can be costly. – Times are difficult for everyone and money is tight. It’s easy to justify doing it yourself instead of paying to have SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co clean and disinfect for you. But today’s shortcut is tomorrow’s nightmare! Again, you’re dealing with a toxic situation that if not handled properly can create very real health dangers for you and your family. 

Not only that, if not properly mitigated, you could be looking at a serious mold issue in the not so distant future on top of all of the other issues described above. And if you think sewage cleanup is costly, wait until you’re stuck with a bill for mold remediation services! At least your sewage clean-up is covered by insurance…that’s not typically the case if you’ve got mold and it’s the result of you not taking appropriate measures when dealing with the sewage issue that created the mold!

So, if you’ve stumbled upon this article due to a sewage back-up that’s spilled into your home or office, do yourself a favor and call us, SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. Our technicians are certified to perform raw sewage cleanup and can provide you with peace of mind knowing the area affected is professionally cleaned.

Have you Checked on your Toilet Lately?

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

The question we are sure that most of you were hoping to be asked today. But we are here to ask the tough questions. Many times, people do not think of their toilets as a possible liability. Unlike a fine wine, they do not get better as they age. Infact, parts of the plumbing within the fixture can deteriorate as time goes on. 

An unchecked toilet can go from, fine, to funky incredibly quickly. An easy example of this, is your toilet overflowing. This can happen from a reservoir issue, or something as simple as a clogged pipe. The tile, or laminate flooring within your bathroom will also be affected, and saturated. Protecting your floor from severe water damage is likely to be tricky if not acted upon almost immediately. 

Our SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co will arrive guns-ablazing with the best equipment for your severe damages, or smaller damages. We will also set up our advanced drying equipment to protect and preserve exposed cabinetry, fixtures, and flooring. In turn making your bathroom look like no toilet issues ever even happened.

How We Work with Your Insurance Agent:

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co, we pride ourselves in blending customer service with accountable communication between us, you, and your insurance agent.

SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co knows how critical it is that everything goes as smooth as possible. When something traumatic happens, we are here to ensure your clients trust you to take care of them. WE are here to make it like it never even happened.

We are trained and motivated to mitigate the damages as quickly as possible. Whether it’s fire, water, mold or any other cleanup; we are here to help, 24/7. 

Within our history of working with insurance agents, we have gained lots of skills and information. We are aware of how crucial it is to provide a timely solution in crisis. 

Some insurance agents passively recommend a call center solution. But our team members are ready to help your client right off the bat! Our team personally works with your client, walking them through, one step at a time. Our team is ready to offer a listening ear, and support in any way they can.

We will ensure help arrives quickly,and gets the job done. The faster SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co team can arrive onsite to perform the cleanup, the better for you and your client. Find out how we can help you, or your client by reaching out to us directly today! You’ll be speaking directly with one of our amazing team members!

Why Fast Water Extraction is Necessary for Vancouver Homes

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment inside home We had to remove drywall to extract water from this home's structure. Fortunately the damage was small and the home was restored in no time.

Managing Water Removal on Behalf of Vancouver Residents

Wet rooms can quickly cause problems to your upper floors and lower ceilings. The source of the problem could be a backed or blocked pipe or the deterioration of vital sealing materials. The outcome is nearly always the same, migrated water that takes passage either through electrical outlets like ceiling lights or onto the upper levels, weakening carpets and other areas. When you face this situation, you should first attempt to shut off the water outlet, as well as any electrics. Next, contact both your insurance adjuster and a professional restorer.

Even relatively small quantities of moisture may require professional water removal for your Vancouver home to return to normal.  Drying the surface texture alone can often lead to problems further down the line if the partition between your floor and ceiling holds onto moisture. Over time, the prolonged exposure to moisture can cause floorboards to warp, buckle, or cup. Equally, temperature changes can affect indoor humidity levels, and cause condensation on surfaces causing discoloration and yellowing.

SERVPRO technicians are trained to remove and restore parts of your home's water damaged structure safely. These activities may include temporarily removing floorboards or tiles to allow airflow into the cavity. We can speed up drying time by using heated air-circulation, as with an air mover, or by using non-heated circulation by placing box fans. During this procedure, we can also deploy dehumidification equipment to prevent overnight microbial growth issues.

Often structural contents, like hardwood floors, need to be treated separately by a SERVPRO technician. Woods holds a natural moisture content of around 12%, any more than that and the woods could expand, buckling under the pressure of their fittings. We monitor the moisture content using moisture meters and ensure the drying procedure does not reduce moisture content levels too low.  Moisture levels too low could result in further damages to your flooring. Once the property is dry, we can begin restoring floorboards by sanding them down and refinishing them to a like-new condition.

Do not let prolonged exposure to moisture ruin your upper floors. Contact SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. at (360) 695-4418.

More about Vancouver.

We Can Help Prevent Puffbacks In Your Vancouver Home

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Let our SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. professionals show you how we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Cleaning The Furnace In Your Vancouver Home To Prevent Puffbacks

With winter always feeling perpetually around the corner for parts of Washington, it is vital to take the necessary steps to protect your Vancouver home from entirely preventable circumstances. Through the harshest winter months, your home’s furnace sees excessive use attempting to regulate and maintain a constant, comfortable temperature. Especially in oil-based furnaces, lack of proper maintenance can lead to an alarming situation: puff backs. This phenomenon sends soot and carcinogens throughout your ductwork, attaching to registers, vents, and the corners of affected rooms.

An excellent way to identify this need for fire cleanup in Vancouver homes is by looking along the ceiling of your property for black groupings that look like spider webs. The misfiring of your furnace results from a buildup of vapor in the ignition chamber of the furnace which powerfully combusts when the system does eventually ignite. The explosion sends debris, soot, and other particulates throughout your system at an alarming pace, allowing it to circulate through areas even far from the incident. Our SERVPRO professionals can help.

There are two primary focuses that a homeowner should have when faced with these circumstances, to clean out the system and to efficiently remove the soot damage throughout the property. To accomplish the first, you have to get the furnace system serviced. You have to get the ignition chamber cleared of any further threats and work to make the other elements of the system more efficient to prevent this buildup from occurring again. To reduce the risk of recurrences, this maintenance and inspection should happen annually.

Removing the soot is something that many homeowners mistakenly believe that they can address on their own, but this can be more of a hurdle than many realize. Soot becomes easily smeared, which can mar surfaces and materials to the point of requiring replacement, or a fresh coat of paint. All of these added steps take time and require more out of pocket expense from the customer to accomplish. Instead, you can trust in the many approaches our SERVPRO team has for removing soot in your house, including HEPA vacuums and chemical sponges.

Furnace puff backs are a common problem with oil furnaces throughout the area, but a fast reaction on your part can protect your home and its contents from staining soot damage. Let our SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. professionals show you how we can make it “Like it never even happened.” by calling (360) 695-4418.

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How Does SERVPRO Clean Fire Damage from Vancouver Walls and Ceilings?

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the training and cleaning methods to restore your home after fire damage.

Types of Cleaning After Fire Damage in Your Home

After fire damage occurs in a home, it is not automatically a given that the walls and ceilings require repainting. Depending on several factors, including the amount of smoke damage and blistering of the paint from the high heat, the walls and ceilings may very well have restoration potential through our proprietary cleaning applications.

When SERVPRO arrives onsite to restore fire damage in a Vancouver home, we work hard to ensure there is minimal loss of possessions and building materials. We have access to specialized equipment and the training as taught by the approved methodology through The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. On a case by case basis, this training enables us to lessen the loss homeowners experience after a fire.

As we clean the fire loss areas in the home, we inspect the walls and ceilings and ascertain the cleaning necessary through both visuals as well as testing the residue. We utilize three main methods for cleaning these areas in the home: 

  • Dry Cleaning-this type of cleaning works best for powdery residue left behind by the burning of wood or paper. We use dry cleaning sponges to pick it up and remove it.
  • Wet Cleaning-a sponge wet with the application of our professional-quality cleaning solutions assists with the lifting off of heavy, greasy residues. Our technicians use this approach most often to clean walls, ceilings, metal, or wood.
  • Peroxide Active Cleaning-this is a cleaning method developed by SERVPRO to clean acoustical ceilings and porous surfaces without harming the exterior coating. 

When we clean walls and ceilings, SERVPRO designates them as "cleaning for paint" or "no paint." The latter designation means after cleaning, the surface does not require painting. As a fire burns, the hot air expands and drives soot into heated paint, in cases like this, the areas probably need repainting. When "cleaning for paint," our technicians take into consideration during mitigation that we are also preparing the surface for repainting as part of the restoration services. 

SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. at (360) 695-4418 is available 24/7 to help local property owners limit their loss from fire damage through our exclusive methods and equipment. Our goal is to restore every home to its preloss condition and make the damage to your home "Like it never even happened."

Vancouver, WA

What Vancouver Flood Damaged Big Ticket Items are Restorable?

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

We had to remove furniture and flooring to dry this home. Some furniture was salvageable, but some required discarding.

Handling Large Items Damaged by Flooding in Vancouver 

One of the most damaged items in a Vancouver home is the flooring. Everyday wear and tear already compromise carpets and rugs. Its position makes soiling inevitable, and disasters only place more of a burden on a home's floors. Other furnishings in a home also suffer during a disastrous event. SERVPRO helps families recover by restoring their home and its contents.

After the water drains away from your house in Vancouver, seeing the flood damage's extent becomes possible. Some things we can more easily restore, while other items require disposal. Many items fall in between these two ranges. Then, the customer and the insurance adjuster should discuss the replacement costs and the expense involved with restoration, along with the likelihood of success.

Carpeting is one component of the typical home that rarely survives the flood. The work required to bring it up to adequately safe condition again, coupled with the need to replace the pad, dry the sub-floor, and remove any discoloration can become extensive. However, we regularly restore damaged rugs, including larger ones, which helps to bring back the personality of the customer's home.

Other significant items that carry a higher price tag include many furniture items. When flooding happens and saturates the wood and upholstery, we need to dry these, get them deodorized, and treat them to eliminate any pathogens. Cleaning the upholstery also removes sand, soils, and chemicals that flooding draws into your house. We treat wood, including frames, trim, and entire pieces with unique oil treatments that prevent splitting. Cracking along the grain and warping commonly happens in items that become too dry after a period of saturation.

One exception to furniture that we can salvage after a flood is your family's mattresses. We do try to save box springs, but many places only sell mattresses when the customer also purchases a box spring. While we can restore the frame in most situations, the mattress, poses more risks than what restoration saves you. Tall cabinets, wardrobes, and other items need to be wiped down, dried and then deodorized.

Appliances often become so waterlogged during a flood that restoring them becomes futile. While the interior might seem cleanable, we cannot reach into the sealed compartments found in so many modern appliances. Insulated doors on refrigerators can lose the ability to keep food cold, as well as become a breeding ground for all types of pathogens. Interior parts on stoves can rust, becoming fire hazards. Other household items can pose electrical hazards. Replacing them becomes the safest option, and SERVPRO can correctly dispose of these for you.

Restoration of a home with flood damage means getting everything back how it was before, "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. has the resources and skilled technicians to make this a reality for your family. After flooding affects your home in Salmon Creek, Ridgefield, or La Center, call us at (360) 695-4418 for fast service from a reliable team.

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An Education on How Water Damage Affects Vancouver Schools

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

We want to help your water damage so that you can keep school in session.

Crucial Steps to Deal with Commercial Water Damage in Your Vancouver School

Water spills that happen in your school can be accidental or even acts of truancy by some students.  However, what matters once the incident happens is the steps you take to mitigate the loss, and restore normalcy. Stopping the water source fast helps ease the other steps that follow. Although the janitorial staff and other workers can manage some aspects of the loss, involving a professional team helps guarantee thoroughness.   

The intensity of a commercial water damage incident in Vancouver schools depends on how it unfolds. If a main supply line bursts, it can release vast amounts of water within a short while even when you manage to stop the source quickly.  A spill that happens in the middle of the night can also go unnoticed for a long time, leading to widespread damage. We help you deal with disasters when they occur. Our SERVPRO team can also help you prepare a proper response plan that your staff and restoration teams can follow when there is a loss. We do this by creating a digitized ERP, Emergency Ready Profile, which can be promptly accessed.  

With the large open hallways in a school setting, water from a single source can spread over vast areas.  Although the spilled water may not damage the materials in the halls easily, it exposes the students and everyone else to the risk of slip and fall accidents.  Fast extraction of the standing water is therefore necessary. Our SERVPRO team can handle such expedited water extraction using truck-mounted water extractors and wet vacs.  

Water loss incidents can damage building materials in the walls and the ceiling if the spill originates from an elevated source. Restoration in such cases requires controlled tear-down of the affected areas to remove all damaged materials and access any water that finds a way into concealed cavities.  Our SERVPRO technicians have the expertise to make flood cuts and punch vent holes or weep holes without causing unnecessary damages.  

For a faster and thorough restoration of water damage in your Salmon Creek, Ridgefield or La Center school, call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. to help. You can reach us at (360) 695-4418 any time. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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We Are Available 24/7 For Your Vancouver Flood Damage Restoration Services

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Contaminated black water usually means a controlled demolition of the affected materials in a Vancouver home.

Can You Stay in Your Vancouver Home After Flood Damage?

Flooding can produce harmful and even dangerous conditions for Vancouver residents depending on the severity of these disasters inside of a house. While no family wants to relocate or become displaced when flood damage occurs, an assessment of the severity and the apparent risks by professionals must occur to determine if staying in the house is a viable option. Understanding potential hazards and risks can help you to appreciate not only your need for professional restoration services, but also how your family and pets can become affected.

The more severe the flood damage in Vancouver homes, the more widespread its effects can be within a property. Instead of affecting a single room, powerful moving water or breaches to areas like your roof or exterior walls can allow unabated water flow that can move quickly from one point to another in the house. Even with the fast response that you can expect from our SERVPRO professionals when contending with flooding, much of our restoration efforts are reactions to existing conditions when our team first arrives at the property.

Some homes only have limited exposure, such as flood damage that originates in the attic where mitigation work can begin quickly. Containment efforts and effective drying solutions can prevent the spread of these damages to lower levels, so it is possible in some of these scenarios for families to remain in the home during the restoration and recovery efforts.

Unfortunately, there are also widespread circumstances in which contamination becomes a legitimate threat. In these situations, even with a lower threshold for affected areas and overall damage, the safest approach is to encourage homeowners to seek temporary accommodations elsewhere until our SERVPRO professionals can successfully disinfect and begin drying out damages.

While it can save you money to not have to seek out temporary housing for your family during an already traumatic experience, in certain situations, it is unavoidable. You can trust in the fast turnaround and quality output of our SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. team to get you back in the house quickly. Give us a call whenever disaster strikes at (360) 695-4418.

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