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Furnace Floods Should Get Immediate Attention

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

A burst pipe at the furnace and water tank has caused a leak on the basement floor of a house. Furnace flood in Haller Beach, WA

Furnace Floods Should Get Immediate Attention

You walked into work prepared for a busy day. You weren't necessarily ready, though, to handle the magnitude of a furnace flood. Overnight, a pipe burst, leaving you with a very wet, soggy mess of carpet and drywall. Now, unfortunately, you stand staring at a river in your basement, facing the task of trying to fix it. Is this a major problem? Yes, it really is. It's not a time to procrastinate or attempt a do-it-yourself method. Without a doubt, business owners dealing with this strife should seek assistance as soon as possible.

1. How Do I Know if the Furnace Is Okay?
Side on caution anytime water comes near a flooded furnace. It is a severe hazard. If water entered anywhere near the circuits or gears, an electrical fire could start. To ensure this doesn't happen, contact a water restoration company in Haller Beach, WA. The team can assess the damage, determining the best methods for cleanup. While you wait, shut off gas and electric to the area; then, remain elsewhere.
2. Does It Require Replacement?
Because a furnace flood poses a danger to the overall building, most often business owners may be asked to change out the unit. Bear in mind that water can seep into crevices, possibly rusting the interior of the device. If that happens, simply replacing circuitry or valves is not enough. For peace of mind, it's often best to get rid of the furnace and pick up something new.
3. What Other Precautionary Steps Are Needed?
It's possible moisture and microbes made it into the duct system. For this reason, don't neglect air duct cleaning. Your crew can ensure that the system is not only dried out but free of mold and particles.
When a furnace flood occurs, call in specialists to evaluate the severity of the situation. Using their background knowledge, they'll prepare a remediation plan and get to work, putting your establishment back together again.

The Best Techniques for Preventing Mold Spread in Your Building

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic covers, mold containment concept Containment is the isolation of the work areas to prevent cross contamination of clean, unaffected areas of the building structure

The last thing you want to do when you discover a problem such as back mold is to make it worse. A good principle with mold is to keep it contained in one area as this will make mold removal faster and easier. To do this, it helps to understand a little bit about how mold spreads throughout a building. All types of mold are made up of microscopic scores that float on the tiniest of breezes. They also like warm, damp locations, such as moist attics and basements, bathrooms, and sometimes laundry areas. There are hundreds of different types of mold, and though they might require slightly different cleaning approaches, most types spread in a similar manner.

The Importance of Air Ducts

One avenue of spreading for black mold is your HVAC system. Once the mold spores are in the furnace ducts, they can easily spread throughout the building. Every time the heating or cooling is turned on, more spores are carried to all corners of the building. The drifting spores will likely only take hold in those areas that have high humidity. One of the first actions a qualified mold remediation company will take is to turn off the furnace. The following measures should be taken to facilitate mold containment:

  • Physical barriers
  • Negative air pressure chambers
  • Air filtration
  • HEPA vacuums

Steps to clean ducts will also be taken by technicians. Once the mold is contained, the process can move onto mold removal and restoration.

The Value of Professional Testing
Testing for mold can tell you the extent of your mold problem, as well as if you have black mold or a different strain of fungus. It could be necessary to test after the restoration process is complete, to determine if mold is still present or if it has returned. Store-bought mold kits sometimes show confusing positives, since most buildings are likely to have some mold present. A certified mold tester is better able to decipher the results of a test.

What To Expect from a Storm Restoration

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Flooding may occur in basement areas while the roof has loose shingles from the wind

Things You Can Expect To See During a Restoration

When your home experiences Ballard, WA, flooding, you may come to realize that the cleanup job will be different from normal repair work. Fortunately, a local storm damage restoration service can be there to help. From damage location to various repair needs, these professionals can soon have your home looking “Like it never even happened.” Here are a few things you can expect to see during a restoration.

1. Multiple Damage Types

A heavy storm can leave you dealing with multiple damage types in your home. Water damage can come from leaks or flood issues, and mold damage can appear if water isn’t cleaned up quick enough. Storm winds can cause problems and sharp drops in temperature can cause pipes to freeze. In some cases, there may even be damage caused by hail.

2. Damage in Multiple Locations

A storm has the ability to cause damage in multiple locations simultaneously. Flooding may occur in basement areas while the roof has loose shingles from the wind. This is why if you believe your home has sustained storm damage it’s important to inspect the entire property.

3. Various Repair Needs

A storm can leave various repair needs around your home from fixing loose shingles on the roof to cleaning up flood damage. This can quickly become a much larger scale repair job than you may be used to. Many restoration services have the ability to handle various types of repair work, and with a full crew, many jobs can be completed at the same time.

A restoration service can clean up any flooding and the related damages after a storm hits your home. They will also be able to handle the variety of repair needs that storm damage can bring above and beyond a normal repair job. From damage types to damage location and repair type, These professionals should be able to take care of any issues and have your home looking “Like it never even happened.”

How Do Partial Losses Differ From Total Losses?

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Empty building damaged by fire Fire damage in a Wallingford, WA commercial building

A partial loss indicates that a structure was not irreparably damaged. In general, this level of damage may require restoration and repairs, but not a complete rebuild. Find out how to determine the extent of fire loss at a commercial building in Wallingford, WA.

The Damage Is Limited

If a particular area of a structure has sustained fire damage while other areas are only affected by heat or smoke, the loss is likely to be partial. The following are some of the most common forms of partial loss:

  • Burnt or charred building materials or contents
  • Heat-damaged building materials or contents
  • Smoke-damaged building materials or contents

Buildings that remain structurally sound can still suffer an extensive partial loss. An actual total loss involves a situation in which a property has burned down or sustained such extensive structural damage that a complete rebuild is necessary.

Restoration Is An Option
A fire loss is likely partial if a building can be cleaned and restored. This even applies to situations in which a certain portion of a structure sustains significant damage and may have to be rebuilt, but the building remains structurally sound on the whole and safe for occupation after cleaning and restoration.

Contents Can Be Restored or Replaced
Fire damage at a commercial building is likely to involve damaged contents. Getting a professional verdict on the condition of equipment can facilitate claim settlement. Any assessment should account for fire, heat and smoke damage. It is helpful to have an insurance policy that covers replacement costs rather than actual cash value with depreciation.
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage. Fire damage that appears minor may actually be more extensive. Experienced fire restoration professionals can inspect and accurately identify the extent of loss for the purpose of making a commercial property insurance claim.

Tips on Conducting a Fire Drill at the Office

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to exit door Practicing a fire drill can help keep everyone safe during a fire or storm

One of the best ways to protect your employees and facility in Greenlake, WA, when an emergency arises is adequate preparation. If you design and practice a plan with all staff members, it will help keep them safe. Conducting a fire drill also identifies any problems that need to be remedied, such as blocked exits or faulty alarms.

Prepare Your Emergency Evacuation Plan

Before conducting a drill, you need to create a comprehensive written plan with the help of an assigned safety team. Your plan should include several important considerations:

Assign a person to account for each employee. Depending on the size of your company, you may need several people to fulfill this role, including a backup person in case one of the others is absent.
Designate the preferred exit routes for employees. If your company is large, you may have different exits for different departments. It is important to stress that if the alarm sounds, choose the closest exit even if it isn’t the designated one.
Decide how to alert all employees about the drill, such as using an alarm system, paging system or other means of communication. Make sure the system you choose is accessible to all employees.

Conduct the Drill

Before conducting the fire drill, have training sessions with all employees to go over the exit routes, the meeting place outside and the person to whom they report.
Always alert your local fire department before you pull an alarm so they are aware of the drill.
Once the alarm is activated, start a timer. Have each designated person accountable for their group. Once everyone is accounted for outside, stop the timer and assess how long the drill took.

Assess the Results

Review the results of the drill with your safety team to identify any weaknesses in the plan. Continue to practice until you are satisfied with the response time.
Preparing an emergency plan, communicating it to employees and practicing a fire drill can help keep everyone safe during a fire or storm. If an unexpected event does occur, contact a commercial cleanup and restoration service to quickly get the business back to normal.

The Cost of Mold Damage

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Girl found mold in the corner of her home Mold damage in a Seattle, WA home

You may think that a bit of mold damage to your Seattle, WA, home is not a big deal. Yet the problem will not go away on its own. If you allow the mold growth to continue, you may have to call in professional mold removal specialists. The more extensive the damage, the more the mold cleanup will cost.

Mold Inspection

If you suspect a mold problem in your home, you should first bring in an inspector to confirm if your suspicions are correct. This can cost between $200 and $600. A qualified mold inspector should have:

  • An undergraduate degree in science or engineering
  • Proof of mold investigation coursework
  • Industry certification

Mold Remediation

Once an inspector has confirmed the presence of mold in your home, the cleanup can begin. The process typically starts with mold removal. Experts will also clean and disinfect any personal items, walls or carpets affected by the mold.
The cost of this service can vary. If you only have mold in your crawlspaces, you will likely have to pay between $500 and $4,000. However, if your home has major structural damage, the repairs could cost $10,000 or more.
The expense doesn’t end there. If the infestation is severe, you may need to temporarily move out of your home during the black mold removal. You would then have to spend more money on hotel costs.

Insurance Coverage

While insurance may pay for this black mold cleanup, the coverage only applies in certain circumstances. If the mold growth resulted from a burst pipe or a similar emergency, you will likely be covered. However, if you failed to properly address a water leak or flood in your home, and this excess moisture led to the mold, you may be responsible for the cost of mold removal.
Finding and cleaning mold from your home is an expensive process. Insurance may not cover the costs, either. You should thus do what you can to limit the buildup of mold in your house.

Proactive Cleaning Around the Clock

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says here to help you disinfect SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest is working around the clock to provide proactive cleaning.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest is your trusted leader in cleanup and restoration.

How Property Managers Can Prepare for Storm Damage

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Broken window in a commercial building Commercial storm damage in Broadview, WA

As someone in property management, you know there are various risks that you face each day. One of the costliest dangers that you must prepare for is storm damage. Without proper preparation, a storm can cause severe harm to your property and lead to steep repair and replacement costs. However, equipping yourself for the next storm on your Broadview, WA, property is only a matter of following a few simple steps. Here are some essential storm preparedness guidelines to follow before a natural disaster targets your area.

Gather Relevant Information

Having all of your information in place before a storm will allow you to feel in control once the bad weather hits. Be sure to verify that you have the following key pieces of information well in advance of the storm:

  • Updated contact info from renters
  • Renters’ emergency contacts
  • Contact info for service providers (roofers, general contractors, etc.)
  • Current service agreements

Taking inventory of this necessary information ahead of time can prevent you from feeling unprepared in the event of a storm.

Prepare Your Renters
It’s completely natural for your renters to feel nervous or overwhelmed at the thought of an imminent storm. That’s why a crucial storm preparedness guideline is to clearly communicate with residents so that they understand what to do in a severe weather event. The more informed your renters are, the more confident they will feel.

Take Every Detail Into Account
To be as prepared as possible before a storm, you need to create an elaborate plan that takes every potential risk into account. Everything from employee roles to your insurance policy should be included in your emergency plan. For extra safety, be sure to outline what each employee should do before, during and after the storm to ensure that they have adequate guidance every step of the way.
Taking storm preparedness seriously is vital for anyone who works in property management. To keep your building in optimal condition after the weather incident, be sure to contact storm damage restoration professionals immediately.

What to Expect in a Fire Damage Restoration

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Board up window in a home after a fire loss Board up services after a fire in Fremont, WA

Basic Procedure For a Fire Restoration Project

Seeing your home go up in flames can be an emotionally draining experience. However, you have to act quickly to prevent further destruction. Any delay could potentially drive the damage cleaning costs through the roof as the structure sustains more water damage, and mold builds up in the walls.
Here’s the basic procedure for a fire restoration project in Fremont, WA:

  • Initial contact
  • Assessment
  • Board up and tarp
  • Cleanup and rebuilding

Call a Restoration Company

Call a fire restoration service as the first thing you do after getting off the phone with insurance. Regardless of the time of day, a representative from the cleanup service should pick your call and schedule an inspection ASAP. Consider that as an essential feature of a restoration company when shopping around.


The cleanup service should come to check out the damage. During this visit, the expert will be assessing the extent of fire, soot and smoke damage throughout the house. They will also identify things that can be salvaged and those that need replacement. At the end of this exercise, the service should be able to give an accurate quote for the job.

Board up and Tarp Services

On the first day of work, the restoration team will start by sealing any holes in the house. For example, if a fire burns a hole through the roof, sealing it will keep rainwater out, preventing further water damage and mold growth.

Clean up and Rebuilding

Your average restoration services will clean up the soot, get rid of burnt materials, and remove water from a fire-damaged home. Only the best will go the extra mile to rebuild the structure and make it habitable. Look for a service that covers cleanup to finishing work and everything in between.
Generally speaking, fire restoration is a multistep process that will breathe life into your burnt structure, making it a home again.

How To Handle Water Leaks Near Light Fixtures in 3 Steps

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture The presence of water in light fixtures is especially dangerous

3 Easy Steps You Can Take To Control This Scenario

Water leaks are always concerning, as they can greatly damage your North Beach, WA, home and property. The presence of water in light fixtures is especially dangerous since water and electricity together can harm you. You will need to handle these situations carefully. Continue reading to learn more about three easy steps you can take to control this scenario.

1. Shut Down Electricity
Before conducting repair efforts, it is important to disable the danger of electricity immediately. If it is safe to do so, head straight to your house's service panel and shut down the main source of power. Even if the damage is limited to one specific area, it is better to turn off all power until the area is secure. Test the lack of electricity by using a non-contact voltage tester on a dry appliance.

2. Turn Off the Water Valve
Another important step in mitigating the situation is cutting off the main supply if the water in the light fixtures comes from a leaking pipe. Water, alongside any chemicals in the water, can conduct electricity and endanger anyone in the area. Look above to detect any water drops, ceiling damage, mold or other signs of a plumbing failure. You will need to locate your house's main water valve and shut it down immediately.

3. Call the Appropriate Professionals
Now that the affected appliances and location are free of danger, it is time to call the professionals who can resolve the problem. If there are broken pipes, a plumber can repair the system and stop further damage. Call an electrician to fix the light fixture or device in question and to ensure it is the right time to bring back power. After that, an emergency remediation specialist can help restore your home to its former state.
Water damage can harm you and your loved ones and further destroy your home, especially when it comes to water in light fixtures and other electronic devices. Take the proper steps to minimize the hazards and keep your household safe.