Recent Posts

Three Non-Salvageable Items After a Fire

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged entryway and stairwell Give us a call for services or consultation, we're happy to help! (360) 695-4418

When a fire affects your Vancouver, WA, home, you may be left wondering how to restore your valued belongings and what to throw away. While circumstances vary, there are a few possessions that may need to be tossed to ensure the safety of your family. As you work to return your home to normal, there are several common household items you should consider replacing once they have endured a fire.

1. Medicine

The effectiveness of some medicines may be impacted once they have been exposed to high heat. When you can re-enter your home safely, check your medicine cabinet or other areas where you store prescription medications. If the plastic bottles appear warped or have been exposed to fire extinguisher dust, they should be thrown away. Ask your pharmacy about replacement options and whether you can be compensated for lost meds.

2. Cosmetics

When some cosmetics suffer fire damage, they may no longer be safe to apply to your skin. Any cosmetics left out on vanities or dressers in rooms affected by fire should be disposed of, as they might be coated with soot or ash that is difficult to see. It’s better to err on the side of caution, even if you take a loss on what you spent for your makeup.

3. Canned Foods

While you may be able to sanitize canned foods after a flood, fire and extreme temperatures can change the contents in ways that water cannot. Inspect your pantry’s contents carefully and throw away cans, dried goods and packages that have been visibly burned, appear warped or are coated with dried extinguisher foam.

Items inside your home can be affected by fire in different ways. Knowing what to throw away after a blaze can protect your family from the possible contaminants that may be lurking in everyday items. For more information, visit our website.

Will Your Flooring Need to be Replaced?

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

flooded bedroom If your home experiences a water damage, we're ready to answer your questions and help make it "Like it never even happened."

While there are a variety of things running through your mind after a pipe break or other situation has occurred in your home in Battle Ground, WA, dealing with the aftermath means taking quick and decisive action to save your furnishings. After all, restoration should be handled by professionals, and the faster they can stop the spread of damage across your carpet, the better. Here’s how to determine the extent of the problem and whether your flooring is going to need replacing.

Consider the amount of time that’s passed

If the water damage incident occurred within the last 24 hours, it can generally be handled fast enough for your flooring to be saved. Setting up a few fans around the room and opening the windows can help speed along the drying process until professionals arrive. Furthermore, if the mess was a result of a regular ground pipe break or a broken supply line running to your sink or dishwasher, your home’s rugs or flooring can often be cleaned quickly and efficiently. However, once that time period has passed or the water is deemed to be from a hazardous source, the possibility of restoring your floor becomes less likely.

Seek out the source of the water

A situation involving a clean water source, as described above, can generally be considered a non-hazardous zone when it comes to water damage. However, if a sewage line breaks or the damage was caused by an environmental flood, your carpet has been compromised due to bacteria, viruses, fungi and potential diseases. This result calls for professional help and often means your flooring isn’t going to be salvageable.

Whether you’re dealing with a pipe break or other causes of water damage, it’s always best to call on professionals to help recover your home’s furnishings. When you’re looking for clarification regarding the restoration of your flooring, follow these helpful tips to gain a better understanding of the situation and proceed from there.

Preparing Your Home for Wildfire Season

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning smoke damaged home with chem sponge We can never predict what wildfire season will bring us. Call (360) 254-0049 for smoke or fire damage restoration.

Are you prepared if your home is at risk because of a wildfire? With many wildfires surrounding the Pacific Northwest last summer here are some helpful tips to reduce damage and prepare your residence.

Maintain Defensible Space (0–5 feet)

Use noncombustible materials such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home.

Reduce Siding Risks

Maintain 6-inch ground-to-siding clearance, and consider noncombustible siding.

Clean Debris from Roof

Regularly remove debris from your roof, since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.

Use a Class A Roof Covering

Class A fire-rated roofing products offer the best protection for homes.

Clean Out Gutters Regularly

Keep debris out of gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be noncombustible.

Reduce Fence Risks

Burning fencing can generate embers and cause direct flame contact to your home. Use noncombustible fences and gates.

Keep Embers out of Eaves and Vents

Use 1/8-inch mesh to cover vents, and box-in open eaves to create a soffited eave.

Protect Windows

Use multi-pane, tempered glass windows, and close them when a wildfire threatens.

Reduce Deck Risks

At a minimum, use deck boards that comply with California requirements for new construction in wildfire-prone areas, remove combustibles under deck, and maintain effective defensible space.

Maintain Defensible Space (5–30 feet)

Remove shrubs under trees, prune branches that overhang your roof, thin trees, and remove dead vegetation. Move trailers/RVs and storage sheds from area, or build defensible space around these items.

The information found in this article was provided by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Firework Safety in Clark County

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Orange and green fireworks “happy Fourth of July” Enjoy your 4th of July safely!

With July 4th approaching soon this is a perfect time to review some of the basic tips for handling fireworks to prevent injury or damage to yours, or other's property. These tips are provided by The National Council On Firework Safety.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

We wish you a happy and SAFE 4th of July, and we definitely hope that you will not be in need of a restoration company this year. In the event that you experience any kind of water, smoke, or fire damage to your home or office all of us here at SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. are here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 695-1148

Why Renters Insurance is Crucial

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged exterior of commercial apartments Home disasters are hard enough already, you don't have to go through this alone, we are here to help 24/7!

One of the most common mistakes that tenants make is assuming that their landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings in the event of loss or damage. In addition, tenants may think that renters’ insurance is too expensive. However, the common myths associated with renters’ insurance that keep tenants from purchasing it can end up costing much more in the long run.

The Importance of Renters Insurance

It’s imperative to always read the fine print in your lease. You may assume that your landlord is liable for damages caused by leaky roofs or broken appliances, but there could be a clause in your lease that negates landlord liability, such as for theft, or injuries to a guest visiting your apartment. Also, your lease may require you to obtain renters’ insurance, especially if you live in an expensive apartment. Regardless of whether or not it’s required, here are some common situations when renters’ insurance can really come in handy. According to Effective Coverage renters insurance in Washington costs around $15.00 a month for most people. That's basic coverage of $10,000 of personal property and $100,000 of liability. "Only 37 percent of renters have renters insurance whereas 95 percent of homeowners have a homeowners insurance policy, according to a 2014 I.I.I. poll conducted by ORC International." - Insurance Information Institute

Natural Disasters

If your rental home and property is damaged because of a natural disaster, such as wildfire, hail, or tornado, the landlord may or may not repair the home damages, but your personal property usually isn’t covered. Renters’ insurance will protect you in the event that a natural disaster occurs, but keep in mind that a few natural disaster coverage options are considered “riders,” which means they are add-on coverage, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, and hurricanes.

Unnatural Fires of Short-Circuit Damage

Fires due to electrical issues and short circuit damage may or may not be covered by your landlord. In most cases, it will depend upon the fine print in your lease. If it’s not covered by your landlord, you’ll be liable for smoke and fire damage not only to your own belongings, but to the property as well. If you live in a multi-dwelling building and the fire spreads to other tenants’ apartments, you could be liable for damages to their belongings as well any property damage to their dwelling.

For questions regarding renters insurance, or to schedule an inspection contact SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/ Clark Co. (360) 695-4418

Storm Damage to Your Ridgefield Home?

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

storm water damaged hallway with standing water Flooding can happen in a flash! Give us a call, we can be there just as fast! (360) 695-4418

As homeowners in Ridgefield, WA, and other locations around the country are likely to attest, the clean up, repair, and restoration chores that emerge after a damaging storm are at minimum, a nuisance, and in many cases, a much more serious undertaking. Storm damage remediation can range from a clean up to a tear out to a rebuild, depending on the type and extent of the destruction.

The Usual Suspect: Water

One of the most frequent and frustrating problems property owners face is the damaging effects of water infiltration. To further complicate the challenge of inundation, floodwater from rivers and streams brings the specter of biological contamination, commonly known as black water. Once a destructive storm has passed, assessment of its damage may begin and progress to the following procedures:

  1. The extraction of water through pumping, mopping and dehumidification.
  2. Tear out of wet materials to prevent mold growth.
  3. Drying of the structure.
  4. Decontamination of salvageable materials.
  5. Repair and replacement of compromised building material and furnishings.

While it is true that many materials that have been subjected to black water contamination will have to be discarded, other types of water damage can be mitigated. A professional assessment can be very helpful in making the correct determination, especially with regard to the safety of the home and its furnishings.

Documentation is Vital

Document the damage before initiating storm restoration. It is likely to be necessary in filing flood insurance claims, and there may be a delay in the arrival of an adjuster if flooding is widespread. Digital pictures and/or video that can be easily emailed are the preferred media.

Humanity’s relationship to the planet’s most abundant natural resource can seem paradoxical, particularly in the midst of a tear out of the cherished furnishings of a home. Keeping water where it belongs and a balanced perspective are central to the experience of home ownership.

Guide to Preparing Your Home Before Vacation

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

exposed long term water damaged laundry room Prepare now, save later!

Your vacation should be relaxing and worry-free. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare your home before you leave on any long trip. Then, any problems on the home front are just one less thing to worry about. 

Make your house look lived-in

An empty house is like an open invitation to burglars. To keep your house looking occupied:

  • Stop the newspaper and mail – or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up 
  • Park your car inside the garage, if you have one
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally so there’s activity at your house 
  • Put at least one light in your house on a timer
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight. (Burglars hate outdoor lighting – and that’s why we love it)
  • Make sure your lawn stays trimmed

Take the necessary plumbing and electrical precautions

Running appliances while you’re away is not only a needless expense, it could also lead to costly problems. To avoid the possibility of an appliance breakdown while you're away:

  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices
  • Put the water heater in “vacation” mode
  • Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks 
  • Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside temps (warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) but which still protects your plants, pets and furniture 

General home preparation

Other things to consider doing before your vacation:

  • Notify your credit card company and home security company that you’ll be out of town  
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly 
  • Leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor 
  • Dispose of any food that could go bad before you return from vacation 
  • Take out the kitchen trash – especially anything that might start to stink 
  • Run your garbage disposal with a half-cup of vinegar and some water 

Following this home preparation checklist before you leave for your vacation could save you a headache later.

If you come home to water or fire damage pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. @ (360) 695-4418

Determining Your Classification of Water Damage

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

water damaged commercial hallway No matter what category your water damage falls under, call our office straight away to avoid further, more costly damages. (360) 695-4418

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

Your Recent Water Damage Resulted in Mold

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

water and mold damaged commercial dining hall If you had a recent water damage, call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/ Clark Co. for a thorough inspection. Our 24/7 line is (360) 695-4418

Your commercial property in East Vancouver, WA, can easily become a breeding ground for mold growth. Even with regular inspection and maintenance, mold problems can still occur. Excess dust and moisture can linger in hidden places and combine forces to cause a fungal infestation that can only be remedied by mold remediation experts. Here are the top four places mold likes to hide in commercial buildings.

Carpet
Carpet has many crevices where mold spores can hide and many surfaces to which it is easy for mold to adhere. While you can't prevent all spills and can't always control how well people clean up after themselves when they do spill, you can dehumidify the room by increasing air flow to the area. This can help dry out the carpet and prevent mold growth.

Ceiling Tiles
Ceiling tiles are often made of porous material, which allows mold to take root. Watch out for water damage in ceiling tiles and get it fixed as fast as possible. It only takes a day or two for mold to start to grow in places where leaks have occurred. Because the growth usually starts on the side of the tile that is hidden, it can become a big problem before it is noticed.

Walls
Walls present the same difficulty that ceiling tiles do. The moisture problem contributing to the mold issue is often inside the wall and thus can become significantly moldy long before it is detected. When this happens, it is best to let remediation experts handle the problem to ensure it is resolved completely.

Air Ducts
The dust in air ducts can attract mold spores and give them a place to grow. When coupled with high humidity, the mold problem gets larger. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the HVAC system is necessary to detect or prevent mold problems in the ducts.

Since mold spores are everywhere, you can't always prevent mold growth. You can, however, stop the problem before it gets out of hand if you are vigilant. For more information, head to our commercial mold remediation page.

Vancouver’s Commercial Cleaning Specialists

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fogging commercial space with servproxide Have Questions? Call Today (360) 254-0049

Whether you need cleaning for a commercial office or require industrial cleaning services, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional can help. You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office or warehouse. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to make your workspace or warehouse look its very best.

Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward to provide your employees and customers ongoing safety as you operate after the COVID-19 pandemic. As America’s #1 cleanup and restoration brand, we have developed a program that is grounded in our 3 C’s – Consult, Clean and Certify. Visit our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned page and let us show you how we can make your building safer and ready to get back to business.

Specialty Cleaning Services

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:

  • Biohazard
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Ceilings, Floors, and Walls
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Odor Removal
  • Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Vandalism