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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.

What Do You Need To Know About Cleaning Belongings After Flooding?

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Do You Need To Know About Cleaning Belongings After Flooding? Roof damage after wind storm in Hazel Dell, WA

After a storm passes through Hazel Dell, WA, you may need to make some repairs to your house. This is especially true if the bad weather caused water to fill your space. However, repairing the structure of your house isn't all you'll have to do. You will have to start a content cleaning procedure if you want to repair and keep any of your possessions. Your residential storm remediation team can help with this task. You can also check out the following three tips for even more help through this unexpected situation.

  1. Not everything can be saved. While you may want to keep as much as possible, some items cannot be saved after they are affected by a flood. The waters brought into your home may include contaminants that leave your belongings beyond repair. Even if the water that filled your house came from a clean water source, porous items may be too waterlogged to get properly cleaned. You will have better luck cleaning nonporous belongings.
  2. Electronics require special consideration. Before you try to power on your computer or television, you need to make sure it is ready to get used again. If you do not properly clean electronics after they are filled with black water, you may end up doing even more damage to the device. Most electronics need to be cleaned by a specialist.
  3. The dry-out process is important. Not only do you want to make sure all of your possessions are properly cleaned, but you also have to take the time to dry everything out. If you undertake content cleaning, but forgot the proper drying out procedures, you may introduce mold spores and other contaminants back into your house.

When your home is flooded by storm waters, you may have a wide range of repairs to make to your house. If any of your belongings are affected, you may also have to do some content cleaning to get your Hazel Dell, WA, house back to normal

How To Know If You Have Mold Coverage

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Know If You Have Mold Coverage Mold remediation in Vancouver, WA

How To Know If You Have Mold Coverage

If you rent your home in Vancouver, WA, sometimes the lines between the damages the property owner's insurance and the problems your own rental insurance covers get blurred. When it comes to mold damage, the responsibility for remediation services can be determined by answering a few key questions. 


1. Did you know about it? Insurance companies expect their policyholders to be observant and responsible. If you know about a mold problem and you let it get out of hand, the insurance company is probably not going to cover the cost of mold removal. If, on the other hand, there is no way you could know that the damage exists, the expenses are likely to be covered by either the owner's property policy or your rental insurance.

2. Did you do something about it? The next step after knowledge is action. If you know there is a problem, and you do not report it or do nothing to fix it, you are going to have a hard time convincing your insurance company that you deserve compensation for the repairs. If, however, you reported the problem as soon as you discovered it, your agent is more likely to be willing to work with you to see if you can get money to pay for remediation.

3. Does your policy specifically mention mold? Most renters' insurance policies typically cover only the policyholder's belongings. The mold on the wall caused by high humidity, therefore, probably falls under your landlord's responsibility and thus his or her insurance. If the property owner doesn't fix the problem, however, you may be at a disadvantage. This is a time when it's good to have a specific mold clause in your policy to cover you in circumstances where the property owner refuses to do so.

In general, damage to your personal items is your responsibility, while damage to the building falls under the property owner's tasks. It's important to know what is and is not covered by your policy.

Important Watertight Features of Your Building

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Important Watertight Features of Your Building Air mover on a commercial storm damage in Cherry Grove,CA

If you expect your Cherry Grove, WA, building to keep water out during a storm, you need to make sure it is watertight. A leaky roof, for example, can lead to rain damage even in the mildest of storms. As you try to figure out how to keep water out of your commercial property, you need to think about the watertight elements, including the following:

  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Windows

Checking out these features before the stormy season can help you reduce the need for a commercial restoration specialist.

Roofing

This system acts as the top layer of your building envelope. Not only do the shingles play a role in keeping moisture from seeping into your building, but so does the underlayment, edging and roof deck. You need to make sure every component of your roof is in top shape to ensure your property is at its best.

Siding

The siding and sheathing work together to create a watertight barrier around the sides of your building. Cracked or warped siding could allow rain damage to affect your property. Even a loose board could spell disaster if the wind gets strong enough to rip it off.

Windows

The doors and windows of your property act as a vulnerable point. Rain may be able to pool along the frames of the fixtures if they are not properly installed. When water seeps through the frames, you may end up with black mold growth in places you don't want it. Before a storm hits, you need to check each window and door to make sure the weather stripping is in good condition. You could also check the panes and jambs for signs of defect.

The building envelope helps keep the rain damage to a minimum. If any part of this system is damaged or missing, you may end up with a lot of water in your space after any storm. It may be beneficial to hire a professional inspector.

Fixing Your Roof After Fire Damage: Three Helpful Tips

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fixing Your Roof After Fire Damage: Three Helpful Tips Electrical fire damage in a Ridgefield, WA home

If your Ridgefield, WA, business has recently suffered damage from a fire, there’s a good chance that your roof was affected. Approaching your roof repair in the best way is a crucial step in the fire cleanup process. Here are three tips that you can take to make the process easier on yourself.

1. Take Advantage of Tarp Services

Placing a temporary tarp on your roof is an excellent way to help keep the elements out of your property after a commercial fire. Take advantage of tarp services from fire damage companies who can install a high-quality tarp for you while you make repair plans.

2. Stay Away If the Building Is Unsafe

This may not seem like a typical repair tip, but you will be of no use in the fire cleanup process if you are injured by hazards present in a building that has not been cleared for reentry by the fire department. In some cases, flames can even build back up at the sight of a former fire. If you are not supposed to be on the property, stay away until the coast is clear.

3. Research Repair Companies

Make sure that the company making roof repairs knows what they are doing. Fire damage can range from holes cut by firefighters to help them during the fire process to destruction caused by the smoke and flames. In some cases a fire restoration company may be able to fix the damage, as well.

Fire cleanup is going to be an emotional process for you, especially when you have to think about the ways that any fire damage is affecting your business. Having a plan in place and using your best judgment where safety and repair decisions are concerned are important in order to get your roof fixed as soon as possible and get your employees back to work.

3 Types of Contaminated Water

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Types of Contaminated Water Water loss on a bathroom in a Felida, WA home

Water damages are a frustrating and time-consuming problem. When you take into account the risks associated with contaminated water and the possibility of secondary water damage, the entire situation can be very overwhelming. It's important that you identify the type of water you're dealing with before you decide to handle any repairs on your own. Sewer backups, for example, contain black water and should only be addressed by a Felida, WA, professional.

1. Clean Water

Category 1 water is safe to handle. During a flooding situation, clean water may come from a leaky faucet or a break somewhere in the supply line. Unfortunately, if the situation isn't resolved, clean water can become contaminated and turn into category 2 or 3 water. Work quickly to thoroughly clean up and dry out your home when it is affected by clean water.

2. Gray Water

This contaminated water may cause trouble, but isn't as hazardous as black water, unless left untreated. It may carry viruses, bacteria, or urine, but it doesn't contain any feces. Overflowing toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines are some sources of gray water. Depending on what's in the water, it may be safe for you to handle this type of flooding on your own. If you aren't sure, contact a water damage specialist.

3. Black Water

The most serious of the three categories of contaminated water is black water. This type of contamination often contains untreated sewage, bacteria and viruses, chemicals, and microbial growth. Any contact with this type of water could lead to severe, lasting damages. Any water entering your home from the sewer system or from outside your home should be treated as black water.

Water damage is assessed to ensure the well-being of your family and home. Work closely with professionals who have the right training and equipment to deal with a flooding situation. You'll have lasting peace of mind, knowing that flooding has been dealt with appropriately.