Dry-Cleaning Your Smoke Damaged Clothing
Call us to help manage all of the contents in your home effected by fire.
If you recently experienced a fire and have clothing that was damaged and can only be laundered by dry-cleaning, you are probably wondering what you can do to fix the appearance and the smell. Fortunately, help is here. Follow these three steps to get your items back in shape.
1. Remove Any Visible Soot
If your clothing has a lot of soot just sitting on it, remove as much as you can before taking any further cleaning steps. You can use a vacuum cleaner or simply shake the clothes off in the outdoor air to get off as much debris as possible.
2. Find Good Content Storage
It is often a good idea to use a fire restoration company, or somewhere similar, to store your smoke damaged items after removing excess soot. This is an important step in the content storage and cleaning process as it gives you somewhere to house everything that needs to be cleaned, rather than forcing you to store it all somewhere that could become soiled from any remaining ashes.
3. Dry Clean Your Clothing
You will want to choose a dry-cleaning company with extensive experience in handling post-fire clothing in order to ensure that your clothing has the best chance of being fully restored. In some cases, the fire restoration and clean-up company that is storing your items may be able to clean them and return them to their original state. Do your research and make sure that the company handling your possessions is one that you can trust.
Dry-cleaning will be your best bet to get your work clothes back in shape after your business’s fire. Understanding your preliminary steps and the importance of research before making any decisions will help you increase your chances of getting your clothing back to the way they were before the damage.
Commercial Water Damage
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There’s no such thing as a small disaster especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot and other unseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.
SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County knows how disruptive water damage can be for your business. SERVPRO is trained and equipped to manage the drying process. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help prevent secondary water damages. With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO can help you regain control quickly, ensuring your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.
Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County for water damage cleanup and restoration.
Generator Safety Tips
We're available to answer questions and safety concerns during severe weather. Please don't hesitate to call (360) 254-0049
If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below:
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
- To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can't be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
- Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
A local alert option here in Clark County is Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA.)
In recent years, many different types of disasters have affected the United States. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business and community. During national preparedness month, your local SERVPRO of East Vancouver/ Clark County professionals want you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for mother nature’s worst.
If disaster strikes, will you be ready? It is important to prepare before disaster occurs consider the following steps to help you prepare for an emergency situation.
-Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
-Develop and test emergency communication plans.
-Assemble or update emergency supplies.
-Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
-Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
-Collect and safeguard critical documents.
-Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
-Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.
Vacation Preparation Checklist
If you come home to water or fire damage pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of West Vancouver / Clark Co. @ (360) 255-0049
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.
What to Know After A Fire
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Fire damage in a home is often less of a problem than smoke damage. The reason is simple. The fire may be small, but smoke travels everywhere. Everything smoke touches needs cleaning. Luckily, dry-cleaning solves this problem for many fabrics. They include:
- Drapes and other window dressings
- Tapestries and Persian carpets
- Clothing that you would dry clean
- Any other exposed material which requires dry cleaning
Removal and Cleaning Applies to More Than Fabrics
The general rule after a fire is to remove everything from the home that’s not nailed down. Attempting to clean anything in place only makes the situation worse. All content cleaning should happen outside the home, but where? Dry-cleaning is only part of the answer. Others are:
- Electronics cleaners for home entertainment equipment, computers, and appliances
- Sonic cleaners for window blinds and other non-porous non-electric items
- Art restoration specialists for paintings, sculptures and other artistic pieces
- Laundry service for everything washable
Don’t Bring Anything Back to Your Smoke-Damaged Home
Your home is still suffering from the effects of the fire. Don’t return your newly-cleaned items only to have them contaminated again. If your things are ready to pick up, you need to solve the problem of content storage. Before you go out looking for storage, try the following:
- See if the cleaner will hold your items as a courtesy. Free storage is the best of all the alternatives. Be appreciative.
- The cleaner will hold your items for a storage charge. You are going to pay someone for storage. Why not pay someone who knows how to take care of your items?
- The cleaner will not hold your items. Ask for any recommendations on storage conditions or facilities. Perhaps the cleaner would be willing to package your items for safe storage.
If your home has a fire, you will want the services of fire remediation experts. They will deal with the smoke and other damage and get you and your mountain of dry-cleaning home quickly.
The Importance of Renters Insurance
For questions regarding renters insurance, or to schedule an inspection contact SERVPRO of W. Vancouver Clark Co. @ (360) 254-0049
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.
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
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.
Mold Remediation Process
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What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy. We understand mold and mold growth. SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold will likely return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Learn more about our mold remediation process.
- Emergency Contact - (360) 254-0049
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
I Had A Water Damage, Will I Need to Replace my Carpet?
If you have questions or want one of our professionals to help assess the damage, we are open 24/7/365 just call (360) 254-0049
While there are a variety of things running through your mind after a pipe breaks or other situation has occurred in your home, 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. A few fans set up 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.
Toilet Overflow Troubleshooting
Don't know who to call or if you will need remediation services? Call (360) 254-0049 and we will walk you through the process.
An overflowing toilet is a frustrating problem, no matter what the circumstances involve. However, when the overflow involves a sewage backup, the problem becomes much more serious. Sewer damage could contain viruses, bacteria, and other illness-carrying microbes. The possible risks associated with contamination could affect your home and your family for many years.
- Toilet Overflow: Blockage in the plumbing system causes the toilet to overflow. In this case, the flooding water hasn't passed through the sewer system. Water damage may occur, but you won't have to involve the sewage company.
- Plumbing System Overflow: Water from the sewage system backs up through residential lateral pipes and into homes. This water is often filled with serious contaminants, such as raw sewage.
If you can't tell whether you have an overflowing toilet or a sewage situation, contact a professional immediately. If you have a flooded toilet, you may be able to handle the problem yourself.
Step 1: Stop Flushing
Much of the time when homeowners see something they don't like in the toilet, they flush. Unfortunately, this will only make a flooded toilet situation worse. Each flush contains more than a gallon of water that you'll have to clean up off the floor.
Step 2: Turn Off the Water
There should be a water shut-off valve located near the floor behind the toilet. Once the water has been shut off, you won't have to worry about more water making the situation worse.
Step 3: Clean Up Spilled Water
If the toilet was only flushed once or twice, you can probably put on disposable gloves and mop it up pretty quickly. If there were more flushes and the resulting four to five gallons of water, you may want to contact a professional to prevent water damage.
Step 4: Address the Clog
Hopefully, you'll be able to dislodge whatever was stuck in the pipes and return to your normal daily activities. Otherwise, you may need to contact a professional.
Remember to protect your home and family from sewer damage. Learn how to recognize the type of trouble you have and take the right steps for correction.