Essential Maintenance Tips for your Home
Keeping your home tidy and clean is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, a clean home is less likely to face issues like mold damage and other problems that stem from a lack of attention and care. In addition, maintaining the cleanliness of a home will help tremendously in the resale value of the home should the homeowner consider selling down the road. If an emergency does arise SERVPRO of Bellevue West is here to help.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (425) 454-3900
In the meantime perform these simple tasks to keep you home fresh and clean;
- Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads
- Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home’s paint and force you to have that side of the house repainted. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time
- Wash all windows
- Check window seals to make sure they are working properly
- Inspect and service your HVAC system to make sure all components are working properly
- Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose fixtures or deterioration
- Dust or wipe down ceiling fans and light fixtures
- Shampoo your upholstery and carpet with professional grade serums
- Clean out your refrigerator by disposing of expired items and sanitize each shelf
- Pressure wash roof and gutters to make sure there is no blockage
- Wash any moss or algae off of your driveways, sidewalks and roof
- Degrease kitchen surfaces that may have cooking residue
- Deodorize and clean out your garbage disposal from any lingering food products
By performing these simple maintenance tips you can possibly prevent water damage, or fire to your home. SERVPRO of Bellevue West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration.
5 Tips For Mold Prevention in Your Kitchen
Abundant plumbing and cooking-related moisture can increase the availability of moist spaces for mold to easily grow. Check out our following list of tips to avoid mold in you kitchen;
- Actively check for and repair leaks. Leaking sinks and pipes create new moist areas for mold to easily grow in. It’s important to ensure that leaks are repaired as soon as possible. It is ideal to schedule seasonal maintenance checks to make sure that there are no hidden leaks or damaged, leak-prone pipes in the property.
- Check cabinets. Kitchen cabinets that house or are found in proximity of main pipes are likely to entrap moisture. This is true especially if they are made of moisture-absorbing material, like unsealed wood. We recommend having a plumbing professional evaluate whether the location of pipes and the material of kitchen cabinets are adequate for your kitchen.
- Check the garbage disposal. Older and faulty garbage disposal systems will often fail to allow wet food scraps to be properly flushed and disposed. The garbage disposal then becomes a dark, wet, and organic material-filled space for mold to grow in. Repairing a broken garbage disposal as soon as it exhibits issues can prevent mold.
- Seal permeable surfaces. Countertops and cabinets usually take up the majority of the space in the kitchen. Some materials are prone to absorbing moisture more easily than others. Choosing materials for your countertops and cabinets is an important process and our experts find that wooden countertops have been known to rot due to lingering moisture. This can be prevented by regularly sealing the countertops. Following the suggested procedures and checkups is the best way to avoid wear and tear in the long run.
- Bonus Tip. Remind residents that cleanliness should always be a priority when it comes to the kitchen. Making sure that dirty dishes, food scraps and food in general are not left out will decrease the likelihood of mold to grow on organic material. Spills - especially underneath and behind fixtures and countertops - should be cleaned up promptly. Food should be always stored mindfully.
Mold preventative maintenance is a serious issue as mold can grow rapidly when it is not addressed immediately. If you think you may have mold in your property call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900 or visit our website for resources at www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com .
How Can You Tell if There’s Mold?
Do you see spots on the walls or ceiling? Does the same musty smell reoccur in the same place? If so, you have a mold problem. An indoor environmental specialist in Clyde Hill, Washington can help you determine just how bad the damage is by performing a mold test.
Why Mold Grows
Mold is a natural part of the ecosystem, and it plays a vital role by breaking down organic matter during the decomposition process. That’s all well and good outdoors, but when it grows aggressively indoors, it damages building structures and degrades air quality.
Mold multiplies under favorable conditions:
• Excess water that creates high humidity
• Still air that allows the spores to settle
• Proper temperatures that encourage colonies to grow
Mold commonly grows in places you can’t see. It hides under counters and behind large appliances. In many cases, it grows between walls or floors.
What the Signs Are
Mold shows up as spots on the surfaces of the infected material. It is most commonly black, white, green, or yellow, and it has a leathery or cottony looking texture. During certain stages of its growth, the colony expels gasses that give it the musty odor for which it's famous.
How Professional Testing Can Help
Even if you can identify the presence of mold growth yourself, you may not be able to determine the extent of the damage. That’s where a qualified indoor environmental specialist can help you.
These technicians use specialized equipment to test for mold. Then, a lab analyzes air quality samples. Results help the technician to estimate the type of mold and the extent of growth.
What to Do About Mold
With the information gathered, experts can help you figure out just how much work is needed to repair the damage. In some instances, cleaning is possible. When the damage has extended too far, complete mold remediation and replacement of critical structures may be necessary.
Don’t put off mold testing. If you suspect molds have invaded the inside of your home or office, contact an indoor environmental specialist today for testing.
For more information on mold visit us at http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com.
3 Tips for Preparing Your Business for a Fire
All commercial property owners hope nothing bad will ever happen to their building. However, it is best to still have a fire contingency plan in place. There is a chance you will never need to put it into action, but in the event you do need it, you will be thankful it is there. Develop this evacuation plan with your local fire department in Medina, Washington, to ensure you cover all essential points.
1. Create a Command Structure
When a fire breaks out, you want everyone to know what they are supposed to do. You should assign one individual to be in charge of communications and inform everyone in the vicinity of the fire. Someone will also need to be in charge of reaching out to the fire department to extinguish the flames. Finally, one person should oversee the recovery efforts and reach out to fire remediation experts so that restoration begins right away.
2. Train Employees to Prevent Fires
Your contingency plan should involve more than simply responding to a fire. It should involve how you are going to be proactive in preventing one in the first place. This may include hosting seminars where a professional firefighter teaches employees about common fire hazards around the workplace. Preventive efforts should also involve having your building’s fire alarms and fire extinguishers inspected regularly.
3. Create a Staffing Plan
Your business operations will naturally be interrupted immediately following a fire. You can reduce the financial impact of this by having a plan to maintain operations while the building is getting repaired. Some employees may be able to do some of their duties at home.
You will feel a lot more at ease once you have a detailed fire contingency plan in place. You may never need it, but it could help your business tremendously if it ever does need to come into play.
For more on fire tips visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com.
What To Do After a Fire
House fires can be terrifying experiences, and recovering from them can take a long time. Depending on the size and scope of the fire, fire restoration in Bellevue, Washington, can take several weeks, even a few months, to fully complete. Following these steps can help you recover successfully from this difficult experience:
1. Assess family member safety.
2. Contact insurance agency.
3. Contact board up services.
Check Everyone’s Safety
If you have a fire safety plan, all family members probably followed it to safely exit the house; everyone then should have met at a pre-determined location. After exiting the house, begin by assessing the safety of each family member and pet. Pursue medical care promptly for all concerns.
Contact Insurance Company
Fire restoration should be started as soon as possible, and your fire insurance coverage can help address these and other concerns. Once your family’s immediate care needs have been seen to, you can begin contacting your insurance company. It probably needs lots of information, some of which you may not have at this time. Simply beginning the conversation can be important since your insurance company can provide you with some helpful support following a City, State, house fire.
Arrange for Board Up Services
Your insurance company can probably help you contact board up services and disaster management companies. These service providers may help secure the scene so that no one can enter the property while it is still unsafe. Often, insurance agents must inspect the scene to help assess the degree of damage; this board up service helps agents do their jobs effectively. Your insurance agent may be a point person that you can contact for questions regarding any stage of fire restoration.
Cleaning is likely going to take a bit of time, depending on the degree of the fire and to what extent it damaged your home. Arranging for smoke cleaning can help you get back to your normal routine that much faster.
For more information visit us at http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more fire tips.
Essential Things to Know About Black Water
Immediately after experiencing life-altering flooding in Bellevue, WA the first thing you probably want to do is start dealing with the water damage from the flood. Before doing that, though, you must know about the associated dangers of black water.
What Is This Water, and Why Is It Dangerous?
Black water is liquid presumed to house multiple contaminants. It’s a very common danger after floods. It could contain:
• Fecal matter
• Used toilet paper
Sewage systems frequently become compromised and leak after water damage. Then, they pose health threats to those who encounter the dirty liquid.
It’s also important to be aware of gray water. That type often comes from washing machines, dishwashers, sinks and showers and is not immediately as dangerous as the black variety, but can become more hazardous after 48 hours of contact with building surfaces.
How Can You Stay Safe From Contaminated Water?
The best way to limit your exposure to hazardous water from flooding is to limit your exposure to it. Instead of trying to handle the cleanup process for your home or helping your neighbors in Bellevue, WA depend on a flood cleanup company to assess the damage and tackle the steps necessary for a thorough restoration of your home.
Black water is a likely contaminant after a flood, and it’s a primary reason why you should not deal with the water damage on your own. Contacting a professional team to assist with damage from flooding gives you greater protection from possible risks and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes.
Visithttp://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on storm damage.
Insurance and Water Contamination
When flooding strikes a home, it’s important for homeowners to have an idea of what to expect from an insurance, repair and restoration standpoint. Insurance companies generally have three different ways of categorizing flood water. Each level corresponds with how dangerous the water can be. Additionally, the varying levels help to inform both insurance companies and water restoration specialists how to best address the contaminated water problem.
How Do Insurance Companies Categorize Water?
Insurance companies generally separate floodwater into three types of categories.
• Category 1 – Clean Water. This comes from a sanitary water source, such as your supply line and water heater.
• Category 2 – Grey Water. This is usually from your washing machine and dish washer.
• Category 3 – Black Water. This comes from the outside in storm and flood situations, or when a sewer line breaks.
How Dangerous Are Each of the Categories?
Category 1 water levels are not dangerous, but can promote mold development if left untreated. For this reason, you want to ensure that you completely dry any flooded areas and follow a dehumidification process to discourage mold production.
Category 2 water levels can be somewhat toxic if consumed, but are not dangerous if a person is only exposed to them. The risk of mold production remains intact, however, with this kind of water.
Category 3 is for contaminated water that is toxic to the point that the rest of the house needs to be barred from the affected area. It is crucial to take the utmost precaution with category 3 water levels, so be sure to call your local water removal specialists if you are dealing with black water damage.
Even the cleanest water can make its way to unseen places and later cause mold problems. Therefore, regardless of whether your home is flooded with clean or contaminated water, you can benefit from the assistance of emergency flood damage restoration professionals in Bellevue, WA. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on water damage.
Business Restoration After a Flood
Your business may flood for a number of reasons. A flooded company can be caused by natural disasters, a broken pipe or a heavy rainstorm. If your building has water damage, it’s time for restoration. Most people are stumped by how to handle the cleanup process. They may not know which items to throw out, which items to clean or how to clean them.
1. Which Items To Clean
It’s wise not to try to handle the cleanup on your own. A restoration company can assess the damage done to your business. They can tell you which items can be cleaned and which cannot be. The rule of thumb to remember is that nonporous objects can be cleaned, whereas porous materials typically cannot be. For instance, carpeting, bedding and soft furniture may be difficult to clean. However, hard and smooth surfaces can be washed.
2. How To Clean Your Contents
Most people use a formula of detergent, vinegar and water to clean their contents after a flood. You do not always need powerful cleaners. If there is mold or mildew, an expert can assess how it should be cleaned and with what equipment. When clothing is damaged in a flood, it may be salvageable. The safest option is to take clothing to a dry cleaner. Dry cleaning will sanitize your clothes.
3. What Items To Throw Out
Upholstered furniture, bedding and paper products should be the first to be removed after a flood. These are objects that can be difficult if not impossible to clean. If the documents that were damaged in your flooded company are important, then you may be able to salvage them. For everything else, it is safe to toss it out.
The cleanup of your flooded company in Bellevue, WA does not have to be a miserable affair. The first step to accomplishing your goal is to have an idea of how you and your specialist can handle the mess.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Stop Mold in its Tracks With These 4 Tips
Stop Mold in its Tracks With These 4 Tips
The thing about black mold is that once it is present, it can spread like wildfire. Mold spores are tiny and lightweight, and even just a puff of air can send spores from one room to the next. If you have discovered mold in your home, the key to controlling the situation is to act fast. To stop mold in its tracks and prevent further damage, do the following four things:
Turn Off Your HVAC System
Mold spores can travel from room to room via your home’s HVAC system. Once in the HVAC system, there is no telling where the spores may go or what type of damage they will cause. To prevent extensive damage to everything from your possessions to your home’s foundation, turn off your HVAC immediately after discovering the problem.
Don’t let mold fester, and keep all rooms well ventilated. Turn on the fans in each room, open the windows if it’s not cold outside and check all of your exhaust systems to make sure that they’re working properly. The key is to get mold out, and not let it fester in still air.
Turn on a Dehumidifier
Black mold needs a humid environment to grow and thrive. Keep your home’s humidity levels in check; ideally, the humidity levels in your home should stay between 30 and 50 percent.
Call in a Mold Remediation Team
The best way to effectively stop mold in its tracks is to retain the help of your Bellevue, WA mold remediation team. A team that specializes in mold cleanup knows how to kill mold as well as where to look for the source of the problem. Once they identify the source, they can advise you on what steps to take to prevent future infestations.
Black mold is a major pain and can quickly spread given the right conditions. However, by taking the proper measures immediately after detecting it, you can prevent extensive damage to your home and save yourself the time, money and hassle of dealing with a larger infestation.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on mold.
Tips for Mitigating Mold Damage
Tips for Mitigating Mold Damage
When you find black mold in your home in Bellevue, WA it’s crucial to get professionals on the case as soon as possible. However, your mold cleanup crew of choice might not be available right away. You should never try to fight mold yourself, but you can reduce the size of your problem by taking a few key steps to slow its spread by:
Reducing air flow
Maintaining cool temperatures
How Mold Spreads
Black mold is a form of fungus, and like other fungi, it is known to grow in warm, wet conditions. Therefore, parts of your home experiencing a moisture problem are more prone to mold invasion than areas that are open and receive plenty of fresh air. Mold can travel through both moisture and airflow, so it’s imperative to reduce the presence of these two in your home to slow down the spread of mold while waiting for expert assistance.
The first thing you’ll need to do is turn off your HVAC system. This can prevent air from moving mold spores to different areas of your home where they might otherwise sprout and cause a much larger issue than you already have. Furthermore, you should attempt to keep your home cool without the use of your HVAC system, as mold tends to grow more quickly in warmer conditions.
Eliminate Excess Water
Turning off your water until the professionals arrive to assess the mold issue is the best possible way to reduce the moisture in your home. This stops running water from moving mold spores to other parts of your home and from directly contaminating the water you regularly use. The pros will let you know when it’s safe to turn the water back on.
Taking these precautionary steps won’t eliminate black mold, but it can certainly slow down its spread to make the overall damage more manageable when professionals do arrive. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on mold.