Keeping Your Attic and Crawl Space Healthy
Living in the Pacific Northwest has its share of positives and negatives; beautiful scenery and all major seasons of the year. Unfortunately an excess of rain and clouds is part of our typical weather pattern. The damp weather that we’ve grown accustomed can be difficult to keep molds and fungus at bay, or what we call microbial growth. Attics and crawl spaces are the perfect incubator for these nasty microbes. Short of keeping a webcam in your attic (out of sight, out of mind) here are five recommendations to keeping your attic microbial growth free.
- Water intrusion from a leaking roof is a common cause of microbial growth. Confirm your roof is tight and leak proof by having it inspected by a professional.
- The bathroom ventilation, in some homes, exit by way of the attic and through the roof. Make sure that ductwork is sealed, secure, and continuous. If not, warm moist air will blow directly into your attic and can cause unwanted visitors.
- A well-insulated attic stops moisture from escaping your house and entering your attic. It also helps with your home’s energy costs. Is your attic insulated?
- Air ventilation is essential; it makes for a cooler attic in the Summer but also reduces moisture and heat buildup. Air from outside enters the attic by way of soffit vents (under the eaves) and exits through turtle vents (at top of roof). These should be kept clear.
- Is it mold, or is it dirt? Not everything is mold, and for that matter, the scary and often misconceived “black mold.” Proper testing is the only way to know for sure what kind of growth you’re dealing with. Don’t get too worried, but if you have concerns, call a professional.
Microbial growth causes silent destruction in our attics and crawlspaces: wood rot, ruined drywall, and overall structural deterioration. If you discover an issue and feel there’s more than meets the eye, contact a company with experience such as SERVPRO of Bellevue West. It’s crucial to remove microbial growth adequately but also understand where the problem began in the first place. Count on our team to help you keep your attics and crawlspaces clean and healthy.
Restoring Your Home After A Leak
Your home may flood for a number of reasons caused by natural or man-made disasters, a broken pipe or a heavy rainstorm. If your home 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 such as SERVPRO 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 are more tricky. 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
Call your insurance company to see what type of cleaning coverage is included in your policy. 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 SERVPRO team can help you with cleaning all household items.
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. Document drying is available and should be done as soon as possible. Consult the professionals at SERVPRO for advice!
The cleanup of your flooded home does not have to be a miserable affair, SERVPRO professionals will walk you through the process- were are always on standby ready to help!
The Hidden Value of Personal Protective Equipment
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, SAFETY is the second most important factor of life only behind basic survival needs. At SERVPRO of Bellevue West we take safety very seriously. When our employees feel safe and comfortable while working with or around possibly hazardous materials it is important to our success. When workers feel safe, they work harder, smarter and help us retain high skilled, hard-working talent in our company. Keeping these people within our company is an easy way to make sure that we have properly trained and certified workers that can help with every and any job.
Investing in proper Personal Protective Equipment can also create a great return on investment opportunity because we have the right tools for the job. It is a great opportunity to set us apart from other companies while recruiting new workers and customers. Proper Protective Equipment shows how seriously we take our job, always being prepared with our PPE bag shows professionalism and that we are up for anything the customer need, wants or throws our way. When realizing that safety is not just a human need, but a key motivator in the success of our company is when we start to see our company thriving. When breaking down the pros and cons of investing in top tier Personal Protective Equipment, the Pros of return on investment and safety far outweigh the cons of the initial price.
Dealing with possibly hazardous material can be a big turnoff to people when they apply for a job, but here at SERVPRO of Bellevue West we take all possible measures to make sure that everybody is always safe and is always comfortable. If you have questions about biohazard regulations in the State of Washington or if you have a biohazard cleaning issue call us for more information at 425-454-3900.
Tips for Ventilation 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 microbial growth in your 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.
Preventative maintenance is a serious issue as moisture and microbial issues can increase when not properly addressed. If you think you may have an issue in your property call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900 or visit our website for resources at www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com .
What Is 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 especially from toilet or sewer related leaks. 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. These contaminated waters contain bacteria that could be harmful to your health.
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 on your own call on a flood cleanup company to assess the damage and tackle the steps necessary for a thorough restoration of your home. SERVPRO if Bellevue west is available 24/7.
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.
Odor Treatment Methods
Odor treatment is a science and cannot be treated as a “One size fits all”. SERVPRO of Bellevue West uses the best Odor Treatment Method necessary for your home or commercial building to remove the odor as fast and efficiently as possible. Between the 7 methods of odor treatment there are many differences and all of them that work in different ways. The differences between each of them are as follows
Absorbents: Typically, they are solid materials made to keep the odor in place and smother it. By smothering, it captures and holds the odors on their surfaces. These solids can be cleaned up afterwards and take the odors with them.
Neutralization: Uses the equation “1-1=0” to eliminate the odor. This equation means that it uses a chemical to neutralize the odor and make it obsolete. This process is mostly used for halogens such as Chlorine, Bromine and Iodine.
Oxidation: Mostly used for organic decomposition or skunks. This process adds oxygen to the scent to control the odor. Oxygen is a great method to eliminate odors.
Biocides: Used to kill the growth of microorganisms. Killing the source of the smell is one of the most effective ways of odor treatment.
Counteraction: This means to work against the odor. It takes scentless odors and it combines with the odorous odor to eliminate the scent.
Masking: This process covers the bad smelling odor with a stronger, better smelling, pleasant scent.
Bioenzymatic digestion: Specially engineered bacteria are scent out to produce enzymes to consume and digest the odorous materials. Most often used while carpet cleaning.
If you have an odor issue call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900.
The Importance of A Quick Response Time During Water Damage
When it comes to water damage, one of the worst things you can do is wait. The longer you wait the more damage is being caused, the longer it will take to fix and dry. Labor costs and job scope increase as the damage worsens. Within minutes of a water flood or leak, water quickly spreads in your home and infiltrates walls, floors and household items; becoming absorbed sometimes not visibly to the naked eye. Dyes in furniture may start to bleed causing permanent staining to other items. Also, pictures, arts and books can start to swell and warp. While this seems overwhelming, if you continue to wait the condition of your house will continue to get worse. Between 1- and 24-hours drywall, furniture and metal surfaces will begin to break down. A musky odor will start to become apparent around the affected area and start to take over your entire house. Days 2-7 is when mold and other biohazards start to appear. Metal can start to corrode, wood will start to swell and furniture starts to warp. If a week passes and there has been effort to mitigate then you may be facing a concern for structural safety, mold growth and more biohazards causing serious risks.
Don’t allow you water loss to become much more than a water damage issue; mold and biohazard issues can be avoided with a responsible response time. Bottom line, if you have water damage then call a professional and solve the problem as soon as you possibly can. SERVPRO of Bellevue West is trained, specialized and experienced for all the problems you may encounter during a flood or leak. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 425-454-3900!
Commercial Fire Damage Cleaning Process
Fire emergencies are one of the most common disasters that business owners have to prepare for in advance. Fire damage may be because of negligence, electrical fire, or accidental fire within your facility. Regardless of the cause of fire, soot damage, fire damage, and smoke damage are inevitable and one can only minimize their extent. The best way to deal with commercial fire accidents is putting in place preventative mechanisms; sprinklers and suppression systems. Every commercial building should have a utility room fire that stores all firefighter’s tools like fire suppression materials, fire sprinkler system, fire hose, and a fire truck should be easily available.
Below are general steps that are involved in fire restoration in case of commercial fire damage:
i. Emergency contact
After a commercial fire accident, the first step you should take is to contact a fire restoration company. The company’s agent will seek to know about the extent of the fire damage to know the number of fire trucks and firefighters to dispatch to your premise. The fire restoration agent may also seek clarification on any fire suppression and fire sprinkler system in place. You should ensure that electricity and water supply are cut to avoid electrical fire and water damage.
ii. Inspection and Assessment
Once you have informed your fire restoration company of the commercial fire damage, they will send their agents to carry out inspection and assessment. Inspection and assessment should focus on soot damage, smoke damage, and determine the extent of the damages. Fire damage inspection is necessary as it helps with the development of an action plan for fire restoration after a fire accident.
iii. Documentation of the damages caused by the fire
It is important to record videos and take pictures of your damaged premises, as this will help you in filling claim forms for compensation from your insurer. You should do damage documentation as soon as you are able to access the premises safely.
iv. Immediate board-up and roof tarp service
The restoration company personnel will then carry out board-up and roof tarp services because fire damages might compromise your walls, windows, and doors. This will ensure that you guarantee security of your personal belongings.
v. Water removal and drying
Firefighters often use water for fire suppression through the fire sprinkler system or fire trucks. A fire sprinkler system needs a long fire hose to be efficient when dealing with utility room fire or electrical fire. Water use by a firefighter can lead to further damage hence the need for water removal and drying.
vi. Handling smoke damage and soot damage on all surfaces
The unavoidable damages that accompany a fire are soot damage and smoke damage. There are specialized equipment and techniques that professionals use to remove soot and smoke traces from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
vii. Cleaning and Sanitizing
This stage involves restoring the state of belongings to the condition they were before the commercial fire damage. Deodorization will help in getting rid of odors while scrubbers and fogging equipment helps in addressing the soot and smoke traces. Sanitation is also a commercial disinfection process.
An effective fire restoration process is efficient and quick; call us at 425-454-3900 if you need assistance. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on fire damage.
The Importance Of Fire Damage Restoration
Fire ranks as one of the most dangerous events that a home or business owner can face. In a matter of seconds, flames can sweep the entire building leaving an empty shell behind. While the first course of action is to get people to safety, the effects of fire damage become apparent after the fire. Fire damage brings with it other forms of damage such as smoke smell, soot damage and smoke damage. These elements can be as destructive as the flames.
Smoke damage is inevitable after a fire in the home or fire in the business. Smoke can cause damage to the furnishings and other possessions. Items such as clothing, window treatments, upholstery, wall hangings and carpeting can suffer smoke damage. Smoke can be oily and sticky, and this makes it hard to remove. This is why affected persons should work with a restoration company. A thorough fire cleanup can restore a home or business to its previous condition.
Smoke also comes with a smoke smell that is pungent and unpleasant. The smoke smell can also linger in the rooms and clothing if proper fire cleanup is not done. A commercial fire damage company will install a board up. The board up is to prevent further exposure to the fire damage. A proper board up will also limit access to the affected areas.
Fire damage restoration must take care of the smoke damage. It is ill advised to ignore it or simply mask it. A professional restoration company will have ozone generators to help break down the molecules that cause the smoke smell. This is why it is important to let fire cleanup experts handle the task after a fire in the home or a fire in business. They have the experience and tools to carry out a systematic fire damage restoration.
Soot damage is another important part of the restoration process. Soot is the flaky black substance that is left after an incomplete combustion. Soot damage can affect the ceilings, walls and even the contents of the building. Soot can be dry or oily. Depending on the type of soot damage, there are cleaning agents that are used by commercial fire damage companies. A restoration company will conduct a test to ascertain the type of soot damage.
Another issue about fire damage is the subsequent water damage. While water is crucial in putting out the fire, it also exposes a home or business to water damage. Fire cleanup services from a restoration company will also include water damage removal. If the water damage is not addressed, it can create a breeding ground for mold and other fungi.
Water damage can also destroy furniture, fabric, and paper. A restoration company will use dehumidifiers and other water extraction tools to dry the home. They will also board up the area to prevent further damage. The commercial fire damage company will also assess the damage and advice the home or business owners on the items that can be salvaged. Immediate drying services can restore some items to their original condition. The ability to save the items depends on how fast one engages the services of a commercial fire damage company.
While fire can have devastating consequences, immediate fire damage restoration can reduce the extensive losses that come after a fire in the home or fire in the business. SERVPRO of Bellevue West expertise and experience can ensure that home and business owners return to their daily activities in a short period of time. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on fire.
SERVPRO of Bellevue's Fire Restoration Process
All fire damage is different depending on the unique situation. The type of fire, the areas affected and the severity all require calculated solutions. Despite all these factors, our proven process stays the same! Here is a list of the actions and precautions we take;
Step 1: First Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Services
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes most of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning, Sanitizing and Deodorization
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We are also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
SERVPRO of Bellevue West is committed to helping our customers during stressful and difficult times. If you have experienced a fire damage in your home or business, please call the professionals at 425-454-3900.