Recent Posts

The Right Personal Protective Equipment for Mold

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Personal protective equipment keeps mold remediation specialists safe as they eradicate mold growth. There are several types of equipment that are commonly used to protect the respiratory system and skin from mold while preventing cross-contamination.

Respirators

Mold calls for the use of a respirator with a rating of N95 or better, particularly if the fungus is toxigenic. Several degrees of respirators are available:

  • Basic respirators for non-chemical substances
  • Premium respirators for cleaning chemicals
  • Half-face or full-face respirators for severe mold

Respirators may be reused if professionals carefully clean this equipment after each work session. Filtration cartridges should be replaced every day.

Coveralls

Tyvec coveralls protect clothing and skin from exposure to mold. Several features distinguish this protective equipment:

  • Full-body design
  • Attached hood and booties
  • Non-porous material

Not every infestation requires the use of coveralls. This protective suit is desirable when dealing with toxigenic mold growth or working in areas with poor ventilation. Workers may also wear long sleeves and pants to protect their arms and legs. Porous clothing should be bagged and discarded at the end of each cleaning sessions. Do not attempt to clean and reuse clothing contaminated with mold. Workers that do not wear full-body coveralls may want to put on shoe covers to avoid spreading spores to unaffected areas of a structure.

Gloves

Gloves are another critical piece of protective equipment. Experts recommend the use of gloves made out of:

  • Latex
  • Nitrile
  • Rubber

Gloves should be thick enough to resist tearing. It is important to dispose of gloves after each work session.

In addition to all of these types of personal equipment, mold remediation professionals may also use containment methods such as plastic sheeting or creating a negative air chamber to prevent cross-contamination. Even though non-professionals can put on personal protective equipment and attempt to remove mold from a commercial building in Salmon Creek,WA, remediation professionals will get the job done quickly and safely.

How To Manage Smoke Odor After a Fire

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Manage Smoke Odor After a Fire Clean up after a smoke damage in a Hazel Dell,WA home

Managing damage after a fire can be a daunting experience for any business owner in Hazel Dell, WA. Depending on the nature of the fire, water, soot and smoke destruction may all be present. Because miniscule smoke particles can scatter throughout your office, smoke cleaning can be particularly challenging. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can employ to combat the noxious odor.

Contributing Factors

Numerous factors may contribute to the amount of smoke odor present in your office space:

  • Magnitude of the inferno
  • Extent of fire damage
  • Amount of time blaze burned
  • Size of the affected area

Regardless of the scope of damage, ridding your building of the unpleasant smoky aroma often requires significant cleanup efforts.

Circulate Air

Circulating fresh air may help alleviate smoke odor intensity. If possible, open windows and use large fans to push smoke-scented air out of your building.

Clean Affected Area

Ridding the affected area of soot residue can also help eliminate smoke damage. You should use a dry sponge, water and mild detergent or a commercial cleaning agent to thoroughly clean walls and other hard surfaces. You should also steam clean or apply deodorizing cleaning products to carpets and upholstered furniture.

Use Odor Absorbing Substances

To further aid smoke cleaning efforts, you can also place activated charcoal or baking soda around your office space. Both products are odor-absorbing substances that may be particularly useful in small spaces.

Clean HVAC Ducts

Smoke particles and soot residue can also infiltrate your building’s HVAC ducts and filters. As part of your fire cleanup efforts, you should change your HVAC filters and complete a thorough air duct cleaning.

A Manageable Problem

Smoke damage is one form of destruction that your business may face after a fire. Although smoke odor may linger after the blaze is extinguished, you can alleviate the problem by completing a thorough soot and smoke cleaning.

The Basics of Sump Pump Maintenance

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Basics of Sump Pump Maintenance Sump pump maintenance can prevent flooding in a basement or crawlspace in your Salmon Creek, WA home

Sump pumps can prevent water from flooding the basement or crawlspace of a home in Salmon Creek, WA. These pumps must be regularly cleaned and maintained in order to function properly. Learn the basic principles of keeping the sump pump in your home working and ways to ensure that it will operate in an emergency situation without electricity.

Keep the Pump Clean and Functional

Dirt, gravel, and other types of debris may cause blockages that force a pump to work harder to do the same amount of work. Pump maintenance involves regularly cleaning out the

  • Bottom grate
  • Discharge pipe
  • Intake screen
  • Pit
  • Vent hole

You should also check the operation of the float mechanism. Buildup or malfunctions may result in damage to the pump or an eventual overflow.

Check Power Sources and Alarms

A sump pump should plug into a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlet. Make sure that

  • The outlet is functional
  • The power cord is in good condition
  • The backup battery is replaced every two to three years

Some pumps have battery-powered water level alarms. If your model features emergency notifications, you should

  • Turn on alerts
  • Know what alerts mean
  • Be able to receive alerts

Newer models may send alerts to a cell phone so that you will receive water level warnings no matter where you are.

Consider Backup Solutions

If the pump in your home does not have a back-up battery, you can rely on an alternative power source such as a

  • Car battery
  • Deep cycle boat battery
  • Generator

You may also want to consider a back-up water-powered pump that is capable of working without a power source.

Cleaning and maintaining a sump pump can prevent flooding in a basement or crawlspace of your home in Salmon Creek, WA. If a pump and backups fail and water levels start to rise, rely on a residential damage mitigation service.

3 Major Causes of Home Fires: Are You at Risk?

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Major Causes of Home Fires: Are You at Risk? Electrical fire in Felida,WA

As a Felida,WA, homeowner, you probably count fire prevention as a high priority when it comes to protecting your family and property. Teaching your children fire safety habits, avoiding clutter and storing flammable materials properly can all lower the risk of a home fire. However, since fires often stem from a variety of causes, understanding a few of the most common origins can help you bolster your current fire prevention efforts.

1. Cooking Mishaps

Cooking fires are common and caused almost 50 percent of house fires between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Grease fires and malfunctioning kitchen equipment can start a home fire, so it is important to know how to put out them out quickly. Snuff grease fires with baking soda or salt and replace worn appliances that spark or break down often.

2. Heat Sources

Candles, electric heaters and warming blankets can all cause fire and injury if they are not used correctly. Space heaters can fall over onto fabrics or spark a fire if they are placed too close to books or other clutter. Check electric blanket cords often for fraying or exposed wires and unplug them when you leave a room.

3. Outdated or Malfunctioning Electrical Outlets

If your home has old electrical outlets that are loose or discolored, they might malfunction or spark unexpectedly and when it comes to fire causes, this can be a major culprit. A fire cleaning and restoration service can help you gauge whether your outlets need to be replaced and which other fire risks might be present in your home.

Preventing a home fire at your Felida,WA, residence can help you protect your family and all you hold dear. Knowing the risks and which might be present in your home could make your prevention tactics even more effective for today and in the future.

Does A Business Need Flood Insurance?

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Does A Business Need Flood Insurance? Air movers on a flood damage due to storm in a commercial facility in Hazel Dell,WA

Flood insurance is a useful tool to combat the risk of natural disasters, but many business owners do not understand the requirements and basics of these potentially valuable policies. Keep reading for clarification and consideration.

1. Is Insurance Necessary?

While commercial insurance is likely mandatory, coverage for flooding may only be required in some regions of the country. However, just because it is not required does not mean it is not necessary. Only you can be the judge of the necessity of this type of insurance. If your business is located in a low-lying area or an area prone to even small floods, it may be a nice addition to your policy.

2. Does Insurance Protect Against Losses?

Flood insurance may protect against losses caused by flooding. However, there may be specific requirements for that coverage to kick in. For instance, your flood policy may make a stipulation that the flooding is caused by a natural disaster, like the overflowing of lakes, rivers or streams. Some plans may require an overflow to be a certain size before being labeled a flood. For example, many policies agree that water must cover a minimum of 2 acres or affect a minimum of 2 properties before being defined as a flood.

3. Does Insurance Cover Landscaping and Exterior Property Damage?

No, most flood policies do not cover damage done to the exterior of a property, including landscaping and septic systems. Additionally, business interruptions will likely not be covered by this type of policy. There are policies for business interruption as well as additional endorsements that can expand coverage to things like vehicles.

4. Does Insurance Cover Restoration?

Yes, if you have flood coverage, most policies will cover the costs of business restoration. While each policy is different, most will require that you receive a minimum of 3 estimates from restoration companies in the Hazel Dell,WA, area.

While every municipality does not necessarily mandate flood insurance, it may be beneficial for business owners. Ensuring that your property is protected against every potential risk is a way to preserve and maintain operations. Right, not every business needs flood protection, but it may be worth considering.

Prevent Water Damage by Caring for Key Home Systems

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevent Water Damage by Caring for Key Home Systems Home water leak in Grove,WA

When you get water in home building materials, the damage is unavoidable and costly. Most materials swell or breakdown, and mold can become a secondary problem if water is not dried thoroughly. While water damage is a common problem that many homeowners experience, most of it is preventable. Here are some key systems, in and out of your home, to check right now to reduce your chance of water damage:

Pipes and Plumbing.

Inspect pipes, hoses and connections in your search for drips and leaks since even the tiniest of these can develop into a significant pipe cleanup job. Sometimes you may not see leaking water, so you need to look for clues: rust, mold, stains, and damaged materials that peel or buckle.

Roof and Water Drainage

Check inside your attic and look for stains in the ceiling for signs of rain water in the home already. Check outside, during or after rain, to make sure gutters and downspouts flow freely. If you see areas that pool around your foundation, consider lengthening the end of your downspouts, adding French drains or grading the land away from your house.

Basement Pump System

Whether you have a storm or a broken pipe, the first line of defense in the basement is the sump pump. Clear debris from the pump so that it is ready for action. Periodically check your sump pump, by adding a little water to the sump pit, to make sure it works.

Septic Tank

You may think your tank doesn’t need pumped because you never have problems, but all that wonderful microbial digestion happening inside your tank still results in a byproduct of sludge that takes up valuable capacity and must be removed with periodic pumping. Check with your local extension in Grove, WA, for recommendations on septic pumping based on the size of your home and number of occupants.

Make flood water in the home an unlikely problem by routinely inspecting key home systems, and by doing maintenance routinely. You know you can count on professionals, day or night, to minimize damage by removing water fast.

Proactive Wild Land Fire Information

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Even though our local home town may not be at immediate risk of wild land fires, we do live in a region of strong possibilities.

In the teachings of the American Red Cross, wild land fires are the number one most likely disaster concern in our territory. Wild land fires can easily reach structures if in the path of the fire line. 

The best way to counter act that possibility is to prepare your surroundings and heed the warnings of the local media. Be aware of the different types of warnings. 

Take a moment to read and follow the advice below. 

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house. Learn more about the basics of defensible space on the Firewise website. 

If any type of fire disaster has affected your life, home or business, please call us. 

SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049

More tips on how to avoid a wildfire.

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Part 2 of keeping your home safe during the wildfire season.

  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your house, deck or porch. 
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground. 
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Don't let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for for fire.
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. 
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no longer than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.

Remember to give us a call if your home or business is covered in smoke or soot after a wildfire.

SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049

Prevention of Mold issues

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Effective prevention of mold problems information:

The primary physical damage from water or moisture usually includes wet floorings, walls, ceilings, and furnishings. Secondary damage to other furnishings and structural components can result from indoor humidity or molds that may developed as a result of improper drying. If water and moisture problems are not addressed promptly, molds and other microbes can begin to grow. These microorganisms can feed on a variety of materials including wood, paper, paint, adhesives, and backing materials.

Proper, prompt water mitigation is essential in preventing mold and additional damage from a water loss.  So if the unthinkable happens, please call SERVPRO @ 360-254-0049 so we can turn your tramatic "before" into a "happily ever after" ... "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO W. Vancouver/Clark Co.

3 Maintenance Tips To Avoid an Expensive Pipe Break

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Maintenance Tips To Avoid an Expensive Pipe Break Broken pipe in a Felida, WA shop

Making a business claim in Felida, WA, as a result of water damage is often an unpleasant experience. There are various steps you can take as a business owner or manager to maintain your pipes and decrease the likelihood of a pipe break.

1. Monitor Your Bills

Although pipe breaks can occur suddenly, there are often signs that a pipe is damaged before the pipe breaks entirely. Pipe leaks can be a sign that your pipes aren’t working properly, and knowing the cost of your business’s average water bill can help you catch a leaky pipe before it creates too much damage. Keeping a check on your water bills could save you from having to make a business claim at a later date.

2. Be Proactive

Pipes often burst if the temperature drops too low. One of the best ways to prevent your building’s pipes from breaking is to keep your building well above freezing, regardless of whether or not the building is occupied. Make sure you also inspect your pipes frequently to ensure that there are no hidden issues. Being proactive can help your business avoid having issues with pipes.

3. Have a Plan

Even with preventative measures in place, it’s still possible that your business may experience a pipe break. In the event that a pipe does break, it’s essential to know the safest and quickest way to shut off the water in your building. It’s also recommended that you tell others how to shut the water off in your building in the event that damage from water occurs when you’re not present. Shutting off the water in your building can prevent excessive damage and can ultimately save you time and money.

To avoid making a business claim due to water damage, there are various measures you can take to protect your building. By taking these steps and working with a team of experts to keep your pipes well-maintained, you’ll be less likely to experience damage from broken pipes in your building.