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An Unnoticed Water Leak Could Cost Your Business Thousands

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky tap Even a small drip can lead to a large loss of water over time

An Unnoticed Water Leak Could Cost Your Business Thousands

Every year many businesses are affected by water leaks that have long gone unnoticed. A leak can not only cause a significant amount of damage to your building and its contents, but it can also skyrocket your water bill. The drip … drip … drip of a water leak seems harmless enough, but multiply those drips and they can become a giant problem. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect and identify spots where water leaks are most likely to occur.

1. Leaky Toilets

Commercial buildings typically have several toilets. You can see and hear many toilet leaks, but sometimes they aren’t visible or audible. In most cases, a sure indicator would be your water meter, but toilet leaks tend to be slow. If you can determine that your water use has dramatically risen, a malfunctioning toilet isn’t probably the culprit.

2. Leaky Faucets

Even a small drip can lead to a large loss of water over time. If you have one faucet that drips one drop per second, approximately five gallons of water would be wasted every day. That’s over 2,000 gallons each year. Fortunately, most leaky faucets are easy to repair and usually involve the replacement of washers.

3. Leaky Underground Pipes

If water main pipes spring a leak on your side of the meter, you'll be responsible for paying the bill. The water bill may be the only indication that there’s a water leak. You won’t know that there’s a possibly even a pipe break until you receive your monthly water bill unless you monitor your water consumption weekly. Talk to your provider and see what they can do in terms of weekly monitoring until the problem is resolved.

4. Leaky Plumbing

Pipes are located throughout buildings. So, leaks can occur behind walls, above ceilings, and under flooring. Sometimes the only way you realize that there’s a leak is noticing wet drywall, discolored ceiling tiles, mold or smelling a musty odor.
If your Haller Beach, WA, commercial building sustains water damage from a water leak, be sure to hire restoration professionals. They'll return it to its preloss condition as soon as possible.

The Role Insurance Agents Play in Your Cleanup Efforts

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Business Communication Connection People Concept Contact both of these professionals immediately after you learn of a disaster in your office

You run a business, so you understand that takes many key components to efficiently operate an organization or system. If you experience a catastrophe at work, the right pieces need to be in place so you can rebuild and avoid long-term interruptions to your daily operations. Filing an insurance claim is one of the most critical steps. It works hand in hand with hiring the right professionals in Ballard, WA, to restore your building.

In the Immediate Aftermath

If you discover any damage in the office from fire, smoke, water or mold, you can't wait a moment to start the remediation process. Getting professionals involved in the cleanup effort will help ensure a smoother and more efficient process. Follow these steps after a disaster:

  • Get everyone safely out of the building and away from harm.
  • Contact the proper authorities to stop the source of the damage.
  • Contact a certified disaster response team to evaluate the incident and make a restoration plan.
  • Contact your agent to file an insurance claim.

How the Insurance Company Works With the Cleanup Company

Before initiating the cleanup and rebuild procedures, you need to file a damage claim with your provider. The insurance agent will want to know how the disaster occurred, how severe the damage is and what intervention is needed to restore your office. These steps are critical in helping the agent know what the insurance will pay for and in processing the claim quickly. The agent will use a claims inventory system to track the claim and make sure everything is organized. The agent will use this from the time you report the incident until the crew from SERVPRO completes the cleanup and restoration.
It will give you peace of mind knowing your needs are in good hands when you pair a reliable emergency cleanup company with your insurance provider. Contact both of these professionals immediately after you learn of a disaster in your office.

How Mold Can Happen Even in Dry Climates

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Warped wall paper with mold Avoid mold damage!

As a commercial property owner in Wallingford, WA, you are likely keenly aware of fire safety measures, but do you consider the threat of black mold? Many property owners in this area feel that the dry climate protects them against the possibility of mold growth, but that is not true. Ask any mold remediation company, and they will tell you mold spores exist everywhere, meaning there is always a possibility for growth and damage. However, there are three likely causes for concern that you should watch for.

  • Weather Damage
  • Undetected Leaks
  • HVAC or AC Systems

Weather Damage
Even in Wallingford, WA, rain and wind damage can be a problem for businesses. While monsoons don't frequently happen, when they do, buildings can suffer a significant amount of damage, especially to the roof. However, because of the lack of frequency of these storms, many property owners don't think to inspect their roofs for damage, which means that attic spaces can have water damage that goes unnoticed. If left unabated, water damage can lead to mold development.

Undetected Leaks
Other common causes of black mold and different fungal varieties are undetected leaks. Now, if you own a warehouse, this may not be as much of a problem for you because most of the facilities plumbing is open, making leak detection a breeze. However, if you own a more conventional or traditional building, the plumbing is typically situated behind walls, making early detection nearly impossible without the help of a plumber. Therefore, as a property owner, make sure to keep an eye on water bills and usage, ensuring that nothing is out of the ordinary.

HVAC or AC Systems
Mold cleanup also occurs quite often in HVAC and AC systems. These units typically have problems with condensation buildup, which can lead to mold. Therefore, check filters routinely and stick to annual inspections.
While not every mold is toxic black mold, all varieties can exist and develop even in dry climates. Therefore, it is necessary to be vigilant about the inspections and maintenance schedules of your commercial property.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Snowstorm

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Snow storm Snowstorm in Ballard, WA

Simple Ways To Prepare for an Upcoming Snowstorm

The winter season brings frigid temperatures, high winds, and severe weather. If your business in Ballard, WA, is gearing up for a big winter storm, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re properly prepared for the event. Equipping your business for inclement weather can boost your reputation and prevent you from losing customers. Here are some simple ways to prepare for an upcoming snowstorm.

Form a Plan

To keep your business running smoothly during a winter storm, you need to know exactly what to do once the snow hits. Be sure to keep the following factors in mind while you form your plan:

  • Emergency supply kit
  • A safe place to store important documents
  • Arrangements for professional snow removal

By taking each of these steps, you can provide your business with an extra layer of security. Make sure that you consider all the possible threats you may face during a storm to keep yourself safe under any circumstances.

Communicate Effectively

A good plan can only be successful if you communicate it to your employees before the snowstorm. Make sure that all of your contact information is accurate and up to date, and send out an email to all of your workers that clearly illustrates your emergency plan. In addition, confirm that you have a way to notify customers of any updates so that they know what to expect during the storm.

Check for Existing Problems

A winter storm can have many devastating effects on your business. If there are any problems in your building that haven’t yet been addressed, they can become even more vulnerable to the bad weather. Make sure you thoroughly inspect your property for any existing issues, such as a pipe burst or a damaged HVAC system, and resolve them before the storm hits.
Preparing for a snowstorm is crucial to the safety of your business. If you happen to run into any problems despite your best efforts, be sure to contact commercial building restoration services as soon as possible.

What Happens to Your Building in a Partial Loss After a Fire

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Partial fire loss on a roof of a building Partial fire loss on a roof in a building

Structure fires come in all sizes. They can inflict damages in wide ranges as well. Even if a fire doesn't appear to cause visible problems, there could be hidden issues in your Greenlake ,WA, building. While a total loss insurance claim would mean the complete destruction of your office, a partial loss is also common. A fire loss can be difficult to detect on your own. It's important to let a professional inspect the entire area for problems.

Where Issues Can Hide

Some types of smoke damage are easy to spot. Soot and ash can cover floors, furniture, electronics and documents. However, when there is partial loss in the building, the problems will show up in some of the following areas:

  • Air ducts in the heating and air conditioning system
  • Roof integrity
  • Inside walls
  • Window frames

Inspecting the Roof

A certified professional will check for smoke, fire and water damage on the roof. Shingles or outside layers may appear fine, but the wood underneath can be wet due to water the firefighters put down to extinguish the fire. This can lead to mold growth. Excess heat from the fire may even make the roof weak and may be at risk of collapsing.

Air System

The need for fire restoration may not be evident in some areas of your building. Professional smoke and fire cleanup teams will inspect the ventilation system in the facility for soot buildup. Left undetected, this could compromise the air quality in the office.

Looking at the Siding

Regardless of the type of your building's exterior, a partial loss can affect this area as well. Aluminum siding can melt under extreme heat, and stucco can crack. The building's foundation is prone to damage too.
A fire loss can affect many parts of your workplace. Even if you don't easily spot problematic areas, you should call a professional to look for damage.

Keys to Being a Good Landlord

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Happy asian couple receiving apartment key from real estate agent Being a landlord in Seattle, WA, requires a lot of work

How To Be a Terrific Landlord

Being a landlord in Seattle, WA, requires a lot of work. You need to find good tenants, and make sure that everything is in good working order. It's also important to make sure you are doing what you can to be a good landlord. Things include things like making sure the plumbing is in good working order, as well as taking complaints seriously. Here are some landlord tips for how to be a terrific landlord.

Just about any relationship depends on good communication. This is true for the landlord and tenant relationship. When a tenant contacts you about an issue with their plumbing, be sure to respond in a timely manner. Let them know when it can be fixed, and when they can expect the repair person to be there. You also need to communicate with issues regarding:

  • Late rent
  • Complaints about neighbors
  • Infestation issues

These are all issues that should be addressed and handled as quickly as possible.

Remember Safety

As the landlord, it is your job to make sure your tenants are safe. Everything needs to be up to code, from the electricity to your commercial plumbing. After a storm, have professional storm restoration experts come and fix the damage as soon as you can. Ensure that everyone has proper plumbing, such as running water, and that smoke detectors are working properly.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can prevent big repairs later. Things like replacing HVAC filters, smoke detector batteries, and cleaning fireplaces can ensure safety and keep things in good working order. Be sure to communicate the times when you are having these things worked on so that your tenant isn't inconvenienced. This will also give your tenant the opportunity to make sure their space is clean, and that animals are put away on the day the worker is coming.
These landlord tips can all help ensure that your tenants are happy and that you are doing everything you can as a landlord. This can help keep a positive landlord and tenant relationship.

3 Steps for Minimizing Flood Damage After a Kitchen Sink Leak

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Leak under sink Kitchen sink leak in Broadview, WA

Three Basic Steps When Dealing With Water Cleanup After a Kitchen Sink Leak

If you have experienced flooding in your kitchen due to a leaky sink, you should act quickly to minimize further water damage. The longer you ignore a water issue, the more destruction that is likely to result. Follow these three basic steps when dealing with water cleanup after your kitchen sink leaks.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Once you realize you have a leak, the first step is to shut off the supply of water. Locate the shut-off valve for the sink. This is usually located in the cabinet below the sink. Some sinks have two valves; one valve is for hot water, the other is for cold. Turn both valves clockwise until the water supply is blocked off. When shutting off the water to your kitchen sink, keep the following in mind:

Always Close Valves By Hand

Turning your water on or off with pliers or other tools can overtighten and damage the valve.
If your kitchen sink does not have a local shut-off valve built into the pipe, water can always be shut off at your home's main water line.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Now that the water in the home is safely turned off, you should get in touch with your insurance provider. Whether you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, reporting a flooding incident right away is critical for filing a successful claim. You may be asked to submit pictures or a written statement about the incident to receive funds for repairs.

Work With a Restoration Crew

As you wait out the process of filing an insurance claim, don't hesitate to move forward with hiring a local flood damage restoration crew in Broadview, WA. Your kitchen repair should begin with a full sanitation and evaluation of the area. The cleanup team will ensure the safe removal and restoration of items ruined by water. Be sure to act promptly in order to minimize damage caused by flooding.

Top Reasons One Fire Alarm Isn't Enough

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Having at least one fire alarm definitely increases your protection against a fire

Top Reasons One Fire Alarm Isn't Enough

The value of smoke detectors has been well established. Experts estimate that having a fire alarm in your house can significantly cut the risk of fire damage or injuries. But many homeowners think just one alarm is enough to reduce the risk. The truth is that not having enough alarms in your Fremont, WA, home can be almost as bad as having none at all. In fact, there are several reasons why one alarm isn’t typically enough.
Public awareness has made fire detectors one of the most common fire-prevention devices in a home. As a result of public awareness efforts:

  • As many as 96 percent of American homes are believed to have alarms
  • Smoke alarms have contributed to cutting the risk of home fire fatalities by nearly half

Clearly any alarm is better than none. But to be effective, it’s key that you have more than just one.

One Per Room

It’s natural to think that an alarm in a common area is enough. But experts say at a minimum, you should have one alarm per room. This can help protect your property against fires that can start in unexpected places like bathrooms.

Bigger Means More

A typical detector is only effective for about a 900 square-foot area of a building. Use your home’s measurements when buying detectors. For example, a 2,000 square-foot home should have at least three alarms.

Level Up

Fires that start on one level often result in destruction to other levels of the home. This can be prevented by having detectors on every level, which experts suggest.
Having at least one fire alarm definitely increases your protection against a fire. Take things a step further by equipping your home with the ideal number of alarms. Use these tips or talk to your local fire and smoke damage cleanup experts to learn more about how many alarms your home truly needs.

Certification Standards for a Remediation Company

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

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

When you encounter mold in your home in Broadview, WA, it's a cause for concern. You want to take care of the problem but know that not all companies will do an equally effective job. This is where standards can be helpful for your search. Look for a certified mold company that has the experience and the knowledge to clean your home safely and completely. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is among the most prominent professional groups that develop standards for mold cleanup. The group works to establish the right protocols for the inspection and evaluation of properties suspected of containing mold. These standards have been developed through a rigorous process involving a large group of stakeholders.

Why Mold Certification Matters

Mold is a complex organism and should be handled by a worker with mold certification. It consists of microscopic spores that grow well in a humid environment. A certified mold cleaning company will follow a process that includes the following critical steps:

  • Inspection and assessment
  • Containment of mold
  • Treatment of the source of moisture
  • A process of cleaning and sanitizing
  • Treatment of affected structures and contents
  • Restoration

A certified mold remediation company will have the training and equipment necessary to clean your home. Look for a remediation team that follows IICRC standards.

Why Mold Should Be Cleaned From a Home

Mold contains irritants and allergens that can compromise the health of your family and your pets. It can also cause a musty odor to be present in the home. The visual affects of mold are also unpleasant and can affect the property value of a home. The mere presence of mold growing in a home also indicates there is excess moisture and high humidity present, so it is smart to identify the source of this moisture. A certified mold technician can locate the presence of moisture and safely clean your home. A professional can also clean the contents in your home that have been tainted by mold.

FAQs About Solar Panels and Storms

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Solar panels broken Broken solar panel in a North Beach, WA home

FAQs About Solar Panels and Storms

The use of solar panels is becoming increasingly popular for homeowners in North Beach, WA. However, many homeowners are unsure about panel damage that may occur during a storm. If you have or are considering installing panels, it can be useful to know what they can withstand during a storm.

What Are Common Types of Damage to Panels?

Panels are often more durable than traditional roofing options. However, panels may still sustain damage in a storm, and this can ultimately result in damage to your home. Homeowners whose houses have sustained storm damage may find it helpful to contact emergency restoration services. Common types of damage from a storm may include:

  • Leaks as a result of long-term water damage
  • Scratches from large tree limbs, which can limit the amount of energy panels can take in and put out
  • Malfunctions due to a lightning strike

Can Panels Handle Hail?

For many homeowners, hail is a common concern when it comes to panel damage. However, the majority of solar panels made today are constructed to withstand the impact of hail. In general, repeated strikes in the same spot are necessary for hail to damage a panel. If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, it can be useful to research the strength of several different types of panels prior to purchase and installation.

How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Panels?

Although you can't prevent a storm, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of roof damage with your panels. Strategically placing a lightning rod on the top of your house, in an area that isn't touching or covering the panels, can help to redirect a lightning strike, which can ultimately prevent damage. Additionally, cutting dead limbs and trimming healthy tree limbs can reduce the chance of damage to your panels.

Panel damage can be a costly and frustrating issue to deal with after a storm occurs. However, knowing the types of damage that may occur to your panels during a storm, what panels can withstand and how to prevent damage to your panels can help you to prepare for the effects of a storm.