3 Steps To Remove Mold From Air Ducts
SERVPRO can inspect, assess and remediate mold infestation.
Steps Mold Remediation Specialist Take To Remove Mold Growth From Air Ducts
Your commercial property in Vancouver, WA has many places where black mold may hide. All areas that are prone to excess moisture can foster fungus growth. If you believe the problem resides in your HVAC system, there are several steps that mold remediation specialists take to remove the growth and keep it from coming back.
1. Identify Mold Problem
The first thing technicians do is test to confirm that there is mold in your air ducts. There are several signs that this may be the case:
• Fuzzy or slimy patches on insulation
• Black powder on wall outside air vents
• Strong, musty odor
Professional testing gives technicians a lot of information to work with. They know not only the extent of the problem but also the kind of mold they're dealing with. Once they identify the black mold, they can choose better techniques to mitigate it.
2. Clean Ductwork
The main goal of remediation is to leave you with clean ducts throughout your building. Technicians may seal off the system while the cleanup is in progress. This keeps an intense concentration of mold spores from spreading throughout your building and growing elsewhere. After the mold growth is removed, more tests can be run to confirm that the problem is resolved.
3. Resolve Source of Problem
No matter how quickly or thoroughly your remediation specialists remove the mold growth, if you do not take care of the problem that led to it, it is likely to return. Make sure all leaks are fixed. You may need to re-caulk your tile floors or reduce the humidity in your building. Preventing further water damage can also prevent future mold damage.
When you see signs of black mold, you probably need to do more than just wipe it away with a wet cloth. Certified professionals are trained to get rid of the growth and keep it from returning.
Benefits of Calling a 24-Hour Response Team for Your Cleanup Emergency
SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. we are available 24 hours a day.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire, flood, or mold in your office building isn’t something you want to think about, but when you work with a reliable 24-hour emergency cleanup team, you’re grateful for that wonderful resource. The best disaster relief teams can help piece your business operations back together and make things safe for you to return to work.
What Does a Round-the-Clock Restoration Company Do for You?
If you experience the ordeal of a disaster in your LA Center, WA, office, there are plenty of options you can consider for help. Not all of these provide 24-hour response and care. Those companies that do can offer you the following benefits:
- Open seven days a week, even on holidays
- Will call you back within one hour of your first contact
- Will be onsite within four hours of your call
- Will talk to you directly about their findings and plans moving forward
Can Always Reach Them
Natural disasters or issues with plumbing, sewage, or wiring can occur at any time, so you need a disaster response and recovery team you can count on whenever the need arises. When a cleanup and restoration team is always open, you can have peace of mind that your emergency situation won’t get worse or develop further problems due to delays.
On the Job Fast
You can’t afford anything but a fast response in these urgent cases. You have a business to run and must ensure the safety of your employees and the vitality of your company. Within the day of your call, a qualified team of professionals will inspect the damage at your office and will start to formulate a plan of attack.
Because flooding and fire emergencies can happen at any time, you need 24-hour care from a disaster response crew. The best companies in the area have what it takes to get on the scene quickly.
Three Situations When Mold Growth is Covered by Insurance
Fungus in crawl space in a Sara,WA home
Ocassions When You Can Expect Your Insurance to Pay for Mold Damage
If you have discovered a fungus growth in your Sara, WA home, you might be wondering whether your homeowner’s insurance will cover this type of damage. The answer is sometimes. While mold is generally not covered under this kind of policy, there are exceptions. Here are a few occasions when you can expect your insurance to pay for mold damages.
1. When It Is Caused By a Covered Peril
Mold coverage often depends on the source of the growth. Damage caused by something that your insurance already covers will likely be included. Incidents such as broken pipes caused by freezing, overflow related to appliances or plumbing and water damage caused by snow, sleet or ice will usually be covered. If the water damage is caused by a flood, however, this will generally not be covered unless you have a flood policy.
2. When It is Sudden and Accidental
While your insurance policy may cover mold in some cases, this only applies if the damage was not caused by negligence on your part. If a pipe breaks because it was not properly maintained or if you fail to notice the damage until quite a bit of time has passed, then the insurance company may determine that the fungus growth is a result of improper home maintenance and they will refuse to cover it.
3. When You Have a Separate Mold Policy
In some cases, you may be able to have separate mold insurance added to your policy for an additional cost. Some companies might limit the amount of mold damage you can claim or the services that are included, but this is better than no coverage at all.
If you are concerned about a fungus growth in your home, it is a good idea to hire a professional mold remediation service. In some cases, the cost will be covered by your insurance. Always be sure to regularly maintain your home and check for damages to prevent the coverage from being denied by your insurer.
A Non-Plumber's Guide to Assessing a Leaky Toilet
Leaking toilet in a Ridgefield, WA home
Assessing a Leaky Toilet
Household repairs can be overwhelming for anyone, and leaks can be downright frightening if you’re not handy. It’s understandable if you don’t want to deal with a leaking toilet. However, if you’re noticing water on the floor every time you flush, it’s probably time for an assessment.
The good news is you don’t have to be an expert to make some initial determinations. Here are some easy steps that anyone in Ridgefield, WA, can use to evaluate a bathroom leak.
1. Observe the Leak
A good first step is to determine where the leak is coming from. You’ll want to study whether the seepage happens after flushing, if water is coming out from the floor, or if it’s a drip coming from a cracked bowl.
2. Make Sure the Tee Bolts Are Tight
You may not have known what they were called, but you’ve definitely seen tee bolts. Tee bolts are located on both sides of your toilet’s base and they’re covered with simple plastic caps, which can be easily removed. Use a standard wrench to gently tighten the bolts, but don’t over tighten as that can crack the pedestal and worsen your leaking toilet situation.
3. Replace the Wax Ring
If your toilet continues to leak after the tee bolts are tightened, you might need to replace the dry wax ring on the underside of the toilet. You will need to remove the toilet completely to do this, so if you’re not skilled in repairs you may want to call a professional.
4. Check the Tank Flange
The tank flange is simply a connector that attaches the water pipe to the toilet tank, and these can break. If you’ve determined you have a leak, tightened the tee bolts, and replaced the wax ring and still have a leak, you may need a new tank flange.
If you still have a leaking toilet after conducting these easy assessments, it’s possible that your toilet wasn’t installed properly, and you should contact a professional to re-install your toilet as soon as possible. However, you don’t need to be an expert to determine what kind of bathroom leak you have.
Why Should Insurance Agents Use a Claims Inventory System
4 Reasons Why Agents and Adjusters Rely on Inventory Systems
Insurers prefer to work with helpful and reliable mitigation and restoration services. SERVPRO provides access to estimates and data through a Claims Information Center and is a leading company in many vendor networks. Here are four reasons agents and adjusters rely on inventory systems when processing an insurance claim related to damage at a residence in Cherry Grove, WA.
1. Tracking Estimates
An inventory system makes it possible to view an estimate as soon as it has been uploaded by a franchise. This system can also be useful for monitoring the progress of a job. This is particularly the case if adjustments are necessary once cleanup or restoration is underway.
2. Accessing Data
These systems also make it easier for an insurance agent to determine whether an estimate is in line with regional and national averages. The Claims Information Center allows users to compare causes of loss, job file costs, types of claims and company and franchise performance. All of this information may facilitate the settlement of an insurance claim.
3. Communicating Efficiently
A claims inventory system also makes it easy for insurers to see information uploaded by a mitigation and restoration franchise. Estimates and other relevant files are submitted to an internal system and made available on the Information Center for authorized access at any time.
4. Streamlining Claims
The availability of information on individual claims and aggregated data can make it easier settle a claim. The Information Center offers all of this information, and SERVPRO also maintains a franchise Participation Agreement to increase the likelihood of coverage.
An agent or adjuster can use an inventory system to track and research claims. A service such as the Claims Information Center makes it easy to compare types of damage and restoration jobs. Insurers can access an individual insurance claim and data on national, regional, area or local damage in Cherry Grove, WA.
What to Know About Restoration and Your Company
Storm damage in Sara, WA
When your company in Sara, WA, experiences flooding and contamination by black water, your staff may wonder if it's safe to come to work during the restoration process. Many restoration experts recommend staying away from the building during certain steps in the process, however, staff may be able to return to work sooner than expected.
The Business Building May Need to Stay Closed for Some Steps
Many damage and restoration professionals recommend either closing or moving business off-site while certain repairs are underway. These restoration steps may include
- Water removal
- Decontamination of the affected area
- Necessary demolition or cutaway work
- Mold remediation efforts
Some Tasks Can Be Performed from Alternate Locations
While the company building is cleansed of black water and then decontaminated, some parts of your business may be able to continue from an alternate location. If your business’s electronic files are backed up onto a server, then your IT company may be able to set you up on an alternate computer. Phone calls may be able to transfer to a different line, and some employees may be able to work from home.
When it May Be Safe to Return
After the flood cleanup, staff may be allowed to return to parts of the building that are not under construction. Air filtration devices may still be in use to improve air quality while restoration efforts are underway. There may also be some areas of the building that are inaccessible until repairs are complete. However, with the permission of the restoration company, employees can get back to work.
During a black water cleanup at a place of business, it's important to remember that because of certain steps in the restoration process the building may need to remain closed for repair. Fortunately, the company may be able to perform some tasks off site. After any damaged material and water has been removed, staff may be allowed to return to the building and resume work.
3 Things You May Need To Throw Away After a Home Fire
Fire in a Salmon Creek, WA home
Items that Need to Be Thrown Out After a Fire
When a fire occurs in your home in Salmon Creek, WA, the process of cleaning up can be daunting. Often, people are unsure of what to throw away. There are several types of items that are often damaged in fires, and they commonly need to be thrown out.
Cosmetics, even if they are packaged, generally need to be stored in clean, cool environments to remain in good condition. Unfortunately, high heat from a fire can cause the packaging of many items, and the items themselves, to melt. As a result, smoke and soot can easily damage the cosmetics, making them unsafe to use.
After a fire, it’s often best to throw away the majority of food items in your home. Though some items may be visibly damaged, especially if the fire occurred in the kitchen, some pieces of food may appear to be unharmed. However, even if items are canned or wrapped up, smoke and soot can still affect the quality of food, and consuming food that has been harmed by soot or smoke damage can be hazardous. If you’re unsure whether or not food has been harmed, it’s generally best to discard the item.
Many medications need to be stored in relatively cool environments, and some medications may need to be stored in a refrigerator. During a fire, the temperature in a house can quickly rise. The high heat from a fire can damage the overall quality of the medication, which can ultimately make the medication ineffective and unsafe to consume. If you can document the medications that need to be replaced, you may be able to receive compensation from your insurance company.
Knowing that you may need to throw away cosmetics, food, and medication after a fire can help make the process of sorting through your belongings easier. Often, homeowners whose homes have sustained damage from fires find it useful to work with fire damage restoration experts.
The Pros and Cons of HEPA Filters for Air Purification
HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.9% of particles 0.3 microns in size from the air that passes through
By now, you’ve likely heard of the benefits of using air filtration in your home located in Felida, WA, to rid of mold that has made its way into the air you breathe. Many people choose to use air purifiers that are equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to rid of mold spores floating around. While these filters are often very efficient at completing this purpose, they can become problematic if not cared for correctly.
Applications of HEPA Filters
HEPA filters are used in several different settings including:
- Home purifiers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Tesla Model X
How a HEPA Filter Works
An air purifier with a HEPA filter cleans the air of mold by catching particles that are in your home. These filters are effective 99.97 percent of the time since they can only catch particles that are 0.3 microbes are larger. However, a large majority of spores are between 1 to 30 microbes in size, so only unusually small particles are able to get by undetected.
The Cons of a HEPA Filter
While a HEPA filter is considered to be an effective means of air filtration, there are a couple of cons to consider:
- When not cleaned regularly, mold can grow on your HEPA filter and be emitted into the air
- Unlike some other types of filters that are able to kill mold, HEPA filters only trap them.
- A HEPA filter cannot trap very small mold spores.
When a HEPA Filter Isn’t Enough
It is important to remember that an air purifier only removes mold spores from the air inside your home and does not tackle mold growth problems within your home. To address a serious mold issue, you will need to contact a mold restoration specialist.
No one wants to have mold spores floating around in their home, which is why air filtration is so beneficial. HEPA filters are especially effective at purifying your air. Just make sure you replace them regularly to avoid unnecessary mold growth!
What Do You Need To File a Water Damage Claim?
Water loss in a bathroom in Hazel Dell, WA
Documentation is required to file a homeowners insurance claim for water damage. A policyholder should provide photos, videos, maintenance records, and proof of purchase to an insurer as evidence of damage caused by a pipe burst or any type of leak. Learn more about what information a homeowner should gather as he or she prepares to file a claim for water damage.
Proof of Damage
Insurers will want to see proof of the full extent of the damage. There are several types of useful documentation:
- Footage dated prior to an incident
These records indicate that damage was caused by the incident that led a homeowner to file an insurance claim. It is important to document damage before taking any steps toward mitigation. Homeowners may also benefit from being able to produce maintenance records indicating that the incident was not due to negligence. Even if an insurer does not cover the cause of damage, coverage should be available for the effects.
Proof of Purchase
It can also be helpful to gather receipts or other proof of purchase for damaged contents. Check your policy to ensure that the replacement cost of items is covered rather than the actual cash value. Given depreciation, the latter may not be sufficient to replace items with severe damage.
A Restoration Estimate
Insurers prefer to work with an established water damage mitigation and restoration company. Obtain an estimate for the cleanup and restoration processes by contacting a company that provides both services. This calculation may be more accurate and complete than estimates from more than one business.
All of this information can help a homeowner filing an insurance claim for water damage. Be aware that homeowners insurance does not cover any damage caused by flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary for damage resulting from heavy rains or rising bodies of water in Hazel Dell, WA.
Answers to Basic Questions About Interruption Insurance
Flooded room in a Vancouver, WA office
Even if you've taken all the appropriate steps, your Vancouver, WA, business could still be affected by fire. When this happens, one of the most worrying aspects of the situation is how much money you could lose because of business interruption. Fire isn't the only emergency that could put your business in danger; other financial perils could include extreme weather, hail, windstorms, tornadoes, flooding, and other circumstances that may temporarily close your business. Protect your business with interruption insurance.
What Is Included in the Coverage?
Standard property insurance covers a lot of the physical damages and losses that fire leaves behind, but it doesn't cover everything. There are three main things that business interruption policies cover that your property insurance probably won't.
- Profits you would have earned during the time period
- Operating expenses you're still obligated to pay, such as rent
- Moving costs to your temporary location
Sometimes this type of insurance is called business income insurance.
Who Qualifies for Coverage?
Sadly, there are business owners who don't qualify for this protection. One of the primary qualifications for this type of insurance is a dedicated commercial location. If you run a small business out of your home, you probably won't qualify for the policy. However, you may be able to get a business owner's policy. Other aspects of your business that may affect your eligibility include the type of industry, your history of business interruption claims, and the location.
How Long Does the Interruption Coverage Last?
Fortunately for many business owners, interruption insurance is available for the entire period of restoration. This is defined as the length of time necessary for repairing, rebuilding, and replacing any of your property that is damaged or destroyed. It's a good idea to find out exactly what is covered before you talk to the fire restoration professionals.
As you put safety procedures in place and provide training for your employees, don't forget to research interruption insurance in Vancouver, WA. You'll want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business won't fail when disaster strikes.