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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Importance of Quick Response Time Following Water Damage

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Fast response is the single most critical factor in restoring water-damaged materials and is important is picking a quality, reliable company. SERVPRO of Bellevue West averages a maximum of 1 hour response time for all emergency service calls. The longer moisture is present means more time for building materials to absorb and consequently break down material structure. We pride ourselves on responding quickly with a large network of certified technicians.  

Materials like sheetrock and installation act like a sponge, unfortunately soaking up water and bacteria. The longer that sheetrock, installation sit the less likely they are to be able to be dried in place and could cause further problems such as microbial growth.

Carpet and carpet pad also act like a giant sponge and can take a long time to dry out. If you experience storm or flood damage to your home or business call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900 for quick response time to minimize your water damage 24/7 365 days a year.

How To Mitigate Water Issues Leading To Microbial

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

When you find mold or water issues in your home or business it’s to get professionals on the case as soon as possible. You should never try to fight mold or water issues yourself, but you can reduce the size of your problem by taking a few key steps to slow its spread by:

Reducing air flow

Reducing moisture

Maintaining cool temperatures

How Microbial Growth Spreads:

Microbial growth 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.

Reduce Airflow

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 microbial growth, but it can certainly slow down its spread to make the overall damage more manageable until professionals arrive. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on mold cleaning and steps to mitigate water from your home or business.

Eliminating Microbial Growth

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

The unfortunate thing about microbial growth 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.

Increase Ventilation

Don’t let mold fester; 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: SERVPRO of Bellevue West

The best way to effectively stop mold in its tracks is to retain the help of your Bellevue, WA mold remediation team at SERVPRO of Bellevue West. 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.

Microbial Growth is a major pain for homeowners to deal with 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, water issues and our cleaning process.

STEP: Students and Teachers Towards Emergency Preparedness

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Disasters impact children and youth across the United States. We know this from a first-hand experience and have seen families (and children) displaced from their homes due to flooding and fire issues. This is a tough reality to face; interruption in children’s lives can cause distraction in school and emotional distress. Even the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted students and their families with unexpected health threats. This is one of the many reasons SERVPRO of Bellevue West works hard to make sure families and their children can get back into their homes as quickly as possible following a disaster.

When children prepare and practice for an emergency, it improves their ability to take immediate action and feel more comfortable, less shock, in an emergency situation. With training, they can actively take part in preparedness in their communities, from home to school. But students, teachers, and parents know that between classes, testing, and extracurricular activities, making the time can be challenging. A new program in place helps teachers be proactive about implementing emergency preparedness training. Many schools nationwide have begun using Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP). FEMA piloted STEP in 2008 for fourth and fifth grade classrooms. STEP’s basic lessons are only an hour long. Students learn skills to build an emergency kit and a family communications plan. These basic lessons taught together build the foundation for the program, or can stand alone. Children are able to bring home what they have learned and share with their families.   Teachers can add lessons and customize situations about disasters that might happen in their area- for example tsunamis for coastal cities and hurricanes in the mid-west. STEP includes lessons about fires, severe weather (including extreme heat and cold, tornadoes, and hurricanes), and earthquakes. There are also lessons to include geography, science, English, art, and math. Throughout, instructors can use STEP’s Disaster Dodgers” video series, handouts, homework assignments, and classroom activities to bring the lessons to life. These features make it adaptable on every level and help create real life situations that children can relate to. Practice makes perfect and this si certainly something worth practicing in school and at home.

SERVPRO of Bellevue West is passionate about emergency preparedness in schools and our local communities. If you are a teacher and would like emergency preparedness coloring books or emergency kit flyers for your classrooms please contact us at 425-454-3900.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

If you have recently suffered commercial fire damage, it is important that you get fire restoration done by a company that has experience. SERVPRO of Bellevue West can handle fire damage, smoke damage and even soot damage that has been left behind from a utility room fire or electrical fire. After the firefighters have left with their fire trucks and fire hoses, you need to get fire restoration done by professionals who specialize in commercial fire damage.

The soot damage that has been left behind from a utility room fire or electrical fire is best left to the professionals. Unfortunately, firefighters with their fire trucks and fire hoses will not be able to handle the damage that has been left behind after they have left. This is why it is important for you to contact a local company so that they can come out and assess the damage and give you a quote for how much it is going to cost to restore your office back to preloss conditions. This is an option best left to The Experts, since many people do not have the tools or skills necessary in order to do fire damage cleanup on their own. If you have some type of insurance on your property, you may even find that you save money simply because of the fact that they cover the cost of the cleanup for you.

There are many different options available to you when it comes to getting the most from your fire cleanup options. Because there are lots of companies out there that do this type of work, it is important for you to contact them to get a quote for having the job done. Once you have the job done, you are able to get back into the office and work with clients and employees on a regular basis. This ensures that nothing with your business goes on the back burner simply because you have recently dealt with a fire and do not know how to clean it up properly. There are many different professionals out there who are going to be more than willing to help you with the fire clean up, so make sure that you contact them to find out what they are able to do for you and how much they charge for their services before you make the decision to hire them to get the project done. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on commercial fire damage.

The Importance of First Aid and CPR Training

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

As emergency responders SERVPRO of Bellevue West experiences daily the importance of a rapid and efficient response. Life can change in a matter of minutes which is why we know the best way to expect the unexpected is to be prepared. What better way to celebrate preparedness than to certify our employees in CPR and First Aid training?

We teamed up with one of our favorite associations; PHCCWA (Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors of Washington) to host a CRP and First Aid class at our facility. Many of our association members and our team members attended to renew their certifications.

We think CRP and First Aid training is important in the work place for many reasons;

  • Having trained employees can make a substantial difference in your ability to maintain a safe work environment. They will be able to respond more quickly and effectively when medical emergencies occur.
  • This training and knowledge provides a sense of security and promotes a more confident work environment.
  • As staff becomes more prepared and responsive – they also become more aware of their surroundings and more likely to spot potential hazards. This inspires a ‘safety culture’.
  • 25% of all emergency room visits can be avoided with basic first aid and CPR certification.
  • Safety precautions and preparedness applies to ANY industry of ANY size. 
  • There are many local resources that can help you get CPR and First Aid Certified such as The Red Cross or local Fire District.

Call SERVPRO of Bellevue West and speak to one of our Marketing Specialists to learn more about how you can be personally prepared; 425-454-3900

Importance of On-The-Job Training

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Even when hiring someone that has experience in the Restoration Industry, on the job training is still a necessity. On the job training goes much farther than making sure your staff is trained for any job they might come across. On the job training ensures that everybody in the company understands what’s going on throughout every job and are up to the company’s standards.

Everybody being on the same page ensures that Restoration Technicians, Project Managers and all office personnel know what is happening, and therefore anyone can explain it to the clients.

Often, companies’ standards differ in some ways from the industry standards because the industry standards are set to just the necessities and SERVPRO of Bellevue West goes above and beyond. Employees being trained should understand why we do a job a certain way this will advance their career and further their abilities. Getting the job done isn’t good enough, getting the job done right and making sure that the problem will not arise again is the SERVPRO way. The more training that employees have means that your company can take on more expert level, higher paying jobs increasing revenue and our reputation. It also is a benefit for the employee because they will be smarter at their job, helping them make their job easier, and they can make more money with the more they know. Job training is so important to the success of the company, and it makes sure everybody is on the same page, doing the job right, all the time. Whether we are performing service for a commercial building or residential home, you can ensure the job will always be done correctly and efficiently. If you are interested in joining the SERVPRO of Bellevue West team call us at 425-454-3900.

The Dangers of Black Water

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

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
• Urine
• 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.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on storm damage.

Preparing Your Business for Unexpected Events

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Are you looking to become more prepared in your business? Consider calling SERVPRO of Bellevue West for an Emergency Ready Profile.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. Your business can receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

The SERVPRO ERP Advantage:

A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.  

A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects.   But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.  

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.  

Establishes SERVPRO OF Bellevue West as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by. 

Identification for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.  

Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” communicated trust and peace of mind to your clients and employees.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you help to minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do, who to call and what to expect in advance is helpful in receiving timely mitigation and can help minimize the effects water and fire damage can have on your business.

Call and schedule an appointment today! 425-454-3900

SERVPRO of Bellevue West Hosts Effective Safety Meetings

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

OSHA requires that every employer make safety and health a top priority and ensure a safe working environment. OSHA's job is to provide leadership and encouragement to employers to take that responsibility seriously and provide educational or awareness opportunities to employees so they know of their rights to a safe workplace. It is important that every employee receive proper and adequate training to ensure they are able to safely and competently perform their jobs. This also applies to temporary, part-time and contract employees. Regular safety meetings should be documented and attendance should be recorded. 

Employers have a duty to protect workers from injury and illness on the job by developing and implementing a safety and health program. According to OSHA, there are five components that every effective safety program should have.

  • Management Leadership and Employee Participation
  • Workplace Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health Training and Education
  • Program Evaluation

In high risk industries like construction and restoration repeat safety discussions can have a positive impact on good habits that start in the office and are carried out on each and every jobsite. At SERVPRO of Bellevue West we hold weekly safety meetings for our team to make sure they are following the best protocols while servicing commercial and residential customers. To have a successful safety meeting we always follow these steps;

  • Let your employees, crews, and teams know that you will be holding a safety meeting or starting a safety meeting program.
  • Decide on the theme, subject, or topic of the safety meeting.
  • Prepare for the safety meeting- use demonstration, photos and props
  • Send out a reminder of the safety meeting the day before the meeting is scheduled to be held.
  • Present the information clearly, with expectations and save time for questions

Several common safety topics that SERVPRO of Bellevue West reiterates are;

  • Respiratory Protection and proper PPE
  • Distracted Driving
  • Handling Power Tools Safely
  • Temperature Extremes
  • Working in Confined spaces and on Ladders
  • Asbestos and Lead Protocols
  • Proper hazard reporting and handling

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Process

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Steps in Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

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.

Water Restoration Step By Step Process

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Steps in the Water Damage Restoration Process

Water damage can occur for dozens of reasons, including a pipe break, a sink that overflows, a supply line break, a flood or a large amount of rainfall. When water in a home or water in a business appears, it's time to take steps to prevent the spread and worsening of that water damage. Some property owners may wonder why they should call SERVPRO of Bellevue West instead of doing the work in-house. The simple answer is that our mitigation professionals will take all the steps necessary to repair any visible and not visible water damage and flood damage.

Assessing the Damage

The first step in the water cleanup process is a full assessment. Assessment involves looking at all the water in a home and finding out where that water comes from. In the case of a flooded home caused by a supply line break or pipe break, they can repair the pipe or hire a subcontractor to repair the pipe to keep it from leaking. Restoration experts will also shut off the pipe to prevent any more water from spilling out.

Extracting the Water

Extracting the water in a business is the next step. One of the best ways to get rid of that water is a pump. Though some homes may have a pump because the owners worry about flood damage, many people do not bother investing in a pump because they rarely see a flooded home in their area. A pump works well when placed directly on the floor in the basement or on the first floor. It pumps all the water out of the home or business and creates a dryer space.

Drying Techniques

Mitigation and restoration offer drying techniques during the water cleanup process. Proper drying removes any water from the space and creates an environment that repels the mold that might otherwise grow. Water in a home can impact any carpeting as well as the padding beneath the carpet. With water in a business, the owner needs to worry about the water causing tile and other types of flooring to peel off the ground. Drying methods remove every trace of water.

Mitigation Steps

A restoration company will also provide the property owners with mitigation help, which essentially refers to the process of offering help that keeps the water damage or flood damage from seriously impacting the property. Those who call their insurance company sooner after experiencing a flooded home have a greater chance of saving that home and spending less on the cost of repairs.

Insurance Claims

One of the most important things that a restoration company can do is provide owners with help filing water cleanup insurance claims. After a pipe break or a supply line break, that owner needs to call and find out whether their insurance will cover the water cleanup. The company may only agree to pay a certain amount or require that the owner go through a specific company. If an owner calls after seeing water in a business and already knows what water damage company to use, the process of filing a claim becomes much easier.

Call SERVPRO of Bellevue West if you ave questions about the restoration process, we are available 24/7 at 425-454-3900. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on water damage.

Tips on How to Deal With Storm Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Severe storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes can cause massive losses in the areas that they affect causing home flooding, river flooding, roof damage, hail damage, roof leak, flood water, and ground water. Just look at the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas or Irma in the Caribbean islands, they left devastating effects on communities. Dealing with water or wind damage in the event of a tornado or a hurricane is both dangerous and difficult. You need a professional water restoration or home restoration company to do the storm remediation.

Damages resulting from a storm can be in many forms depending on the nature and magnitude of the storm. There could be flood water from river flooding — if you live in a place located close to a river — or from the ground water. There could be ice damage, hail damage, wind damage, frozen pipes, ice damming, et cetera. The best thing to do is always to be prepared to deal with such through storm restoration and storm remediation. This is particularly important for people who live in storm prone areas. Here a few tips on how to deal with storm damage after a hurricane damage or river flooding.

Stay Safe from Storm Damage

In the event of a storm, most of the losses occur from wind damage, i.e., falling trees, blown off roofs, etc. and flood water, river flooding, ground water, and home flooding. While it's not possible to prevent high-speed winds from knocking down trees, there's a lot that can be done to prevent flood water from finding its way into the house. Homeowners should ensure that any roof leak is mitigated through roof repair to prevent roof damage and flooding within the house. Hail damage can also result in massive property destruction like shattered windscreens and frozen pipes. Only a qualified water restoration and home restoration company can effectively mitigate hail damage and hurricane damage with their specialized equipment like flood pump.

If there is a roof leak, make sure that it is sealed before the storm hits. Ground water can also find its way to the house via the basement, so there should be a flood pump in there to pump it outside and prevent water level rising down there. As soon as the storm subsides, homeowners should call storm restoration professionals immediately before the damage spreads to carry out storm remediation. The water restoration or home restoration company should act swiftly after a hurricane damage to clear off the water using a flood pump.

Dealing with Ice Dams

Ice damming is the formation of a ridge of ice at the roof of a house. An ice dam keeps water from melting snow from draining off the roof, the water is held behind the ice dam and can easily find its way into the house leading to flooding and frozen pipes. If the water seeps through the shingles into the house, it could lead to damage on the walls, ceiling, and other parts of the structure.

Ice dams or ice damming can be dealt with by breaking them into small pieces with a blunt mallet. Using a sharp tool can damage the shingles and lead to further roof leak — its best to let a professional ice damage company do the work of removing ice damming before you carry out roof repair. Ice dams can also lead to ice damage on the roof and rather than dealing with them after a storm, homeowners should seal air spaces beneath the roof and prevent the format of these ice ridges in the first place. Frozen pipes are another cause of ice damage during storms.

Dealing with Roof Damage

Roof damage can be caused by falling objects or the roof itself getting blown away by the strong winds. If the roof of a house is destroyed as a result of a hurricane damage, homeowners are advised not to climb to the unstable roof in an attempt to carry out roof repair. They should call professionals to do the roof repair for them.

The first thing homeowners should do after storm damage or wind damage is getting in touch with a storm restoration, water restoration, or home restoration company such as SERVPRO of Bellevue West. We are experts in matters to do with storm remediation. For a typical homeowner, trying to undertake the storm restoration process without professional help can even be dangerous.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on storm damage.

The Importance of Fire Damage Restoration

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

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 West Decontaminates COVID-19

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

We Are Here To Assist If you need a COVID-19 Decontamination reach out to the professionals at SERVPRO of Bellevue West.

SERVPRO of Bellevue West professionals are here to help the local community and are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. If you have an office, restaurant or retail store that has a confirmed case of coronavirus we are Here to Help® get your building back to safe conditions.

SERVPRO is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect and sanitize their properties. All our cleanup practices are in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities. If you are interested in inquiring about our services we are here to help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while life gets back to normal in the communities we all call home.

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 meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims.

Our SERVPRO of Bellevue West team can respond quickly and effectively to help minimize business interruption. We are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that a regular janitorial staff would perform. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces.

SERVPRO of Bellevue West continues to help our communities and we encourage you to stay positive, safe and healthy during this difficult time. Please call us if you need assistance or if you have questions about decontamination at 425-454-3900.

No Job is Too Big for SERVPRO of Bellevue West

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bellevue West is just one of SERVPRO’s 1,700 franchises, however we are one of the most capable and well-equipped franchises in the state of Washington. Our highly capable team and has strengths in effort, good communication and experience in all jobs you could possibly imagine. We have performed small jobs that are only a couple of square feet and we have done jobs in multi-floor commercial buildings. Our team is part of the LLRT: Large Loss Response Team in the SERVPRO network meaning we are well equipped to handle large scale losses.

Water, fire, mold, big or small it does not matter. SERVPRO is committed to giving excellent service on every job and will not stop until the job is finished and our customers are satisfied. We define ourselves as an emergency service meaning that if is an emergency, we will have a crew out to a new loss as fast as humanly possible; our rule of thumb in under four hours and is always met typically closer to 2 hours.  We have a response policy to guarantee fast response time called “1-4-8”. The 1 in “1-4-8” stands for 1 hour. Within 1 hour we will contact you about the proper services needed for the job at hand. On average it only takes around 15 minutes to complete this process, our team is quick! The 4 stands for 4 hours. Within 4 hours a SERVPRO Professional will be on site to manage this job. This step is so crucial step in minimizing the damage and getting the scope of work and needed equipment. The 8 stands for 8 hours. Within 8 hours a briefing of the project will be shared with the appropriate individuals or groups. The better informed all parties are the better understanding they will have about the scope of work we are performing and why we are performing it.

No matter the size of the job please consider giving SERVPRO of Bellevue West your next call at 425-454-3900. We are always happy to be of service!

Content Restoration Methods

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bellevue West is committed to keeping costs as low as possible. We can do this by having the most advanced methods and fast response times for our customers. Effective cleaning methods and getting to the job early are 2 factors that can keep costs WAY down especially while dealing with contents.

While experiencing a loss many clients have questions about how to handle the cleaning and storage of their possessions. Instead of making snap judgments about replacing an item SERVPRO of Bellevue West will closely examine items to deem if they are salvageable; if it can be restored there is no use in replacing it. Restoring an item can save the customer money especially when it comes to big items such as couches, rugs and other valuables. SERVPRO of Bellevue West has serval different methods to make sure we preserve and clean our customers possessions in the most effective way possible.

Below we have listed our different content restoration methods and a brief explanation of each;

  1. Dry Cleaning: Mostly used to remove light residue. Also used prior to Wet-Cleaning
  2. Wet Cleaning: Effective when used to remove moderate to heavy residues
  3. Spray and Wipe: Used for sensitive or fragile items that cannot withstand wet cleaning
  4. Foam Cleaning: Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed when wet cleaned
  5. Abrasive Cleaning: Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned
  6. Immersion Cleaning: Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product  

Between these 6 different methods we are bound to have a strategy that will work for your unique cleaning needs. SERVPRO of Bellevue West is committed to making sure we save as much money as possible for our clients. If you have questions about content cleaning or would like to tour our content cleaning warehouse please give us a call at 425-454-3900!

The Importance of Quick Response Time with a Water Loss

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

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!

SERVPRO’ s 7 Step Fire Restoration Process

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

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. Below is a step by step list of the actions and precautions we take;

 Step 1: Emergency 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 the majority 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 of 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’re 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.

Maintaining A Healthy Attic and Crawlspace

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

How to Keep Cooling Costs Down in the Summer

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

During the summer it can become very hard to keep your business a decent temperature as the weather gets increasingly warmer. Large amounts of square footage to cool can result in a very high AC bill. Keeping the air conditioner running can add up fast and surprise you when the bill comes; no one wants to spend a fortune on this intangible product. Listed below are some very helpful tips to keep your bill down and your business cool without overspending.

  1. Do not cool rooms when you are not in them. A typical work day is 8 hours long. If you turn off your AC for the other 16 hours of the day then you are saving 2/3rds of your bill. This is one of the most effective ways of saving money.
  2. Replacing a used AC filter. Changing out your AC filter can help it run up to 15% more efficiently saving energy, money and cooling down your building faster. Do you know how old your filter is?
  3. While it may be tempting do not turn down your thermostat colder than usual. You might think that turning your temperature down more will cool your building faster but that is not true. It will take just as long to get just as cold and will use more energy raising your bill. Keep your thermostat at your normal temperature and it will cool just as fast and not raise your bill as much.
  4. Ceiling fans can make your building colder without and extra cost. Ceiling fans will allow you to raise the thermostat roughly 4 degrees without noticing an increase in your energy bill.

Hopefully these tips can help your building stay cool while not raising your energy bill. If you have more questions about keeping your cooling bill down during the heat call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900. We will you help you get prepared!

Happy Fourth Of July From SERVPRO of Bellevue West

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

On July 4th, 1776 a great country was founded; The United States of America! Every year we celebrate by wearing red, white and blue, barbequing and shooting fireworks high into the night sky. While this is a long-lasting tradition, it does not mean this is safe and shouldn’t be done without taking caution. According to the National Fire Protection Association fireworks cause roughly 18,500 fires per year in the US alone. Due to this risk, King and Snohomish counties have banned fireworks in some areas during the 4th of July and you can be fined up to 5,000 dollars. Dry conditions and firework do not mix well, and we never recommend shooting fireworks in illegal areas and drylands. If you are in a safe and legal place and plan to partake in fireworks, here are some tips that will keep your family and homes safe. 

  • Always follow the directions written on the firework, never relight a dud or make/operate any custom fireworks
  • Make sure that the area you are shooting fireworks and the area where they land does not have any fine grass, dead/dry branches and all debris
  • IF you are near your house make sure you have insurance that covers any firework accidents
  • Clean your gutters of anything that could catch fire. Even though gutters are made for water, during droughts they can become kindling
  • If you are leaving town during the 4th, make sure you have a neighbor keeping a close eye on your home
  • Have a water bucket near so you can put out any dud fireworks or fires you might encounter.

These few simple tips can help your family and home stay safe on this most patriotic of holidays.

From all of us at SERVPRO of Bellevue West, Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

The Hidden Value of Personal Protective Equipment

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

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.

2019 Restoration Trend Predictions

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

The Restoration Industry has and will continue to change throughout the years as rules and regulations evolve. Below, our SERVPRO of Bellevue West team has researched and written some possible predictions for the restoration industry in 2019 based on industry trends. None of these are guaranteed, but only what experts think will continue/start to happen.

  1. Labor Shortages: There is a shortage of all positions in the Restoration Industry. It is incredibly hard to find highly skilled workers in any market. A lot of businesses are limited in growth because of their staff shortages.
  2. Weather Events Continue: There have been a record number of insured losses due to mother nature in the last couple years and that number will most likely will continue to rise. During times of catastrophic events restoration companies tend to be exposed and stretched short.
  3. Actionable Technology: As new technology continues to make our jobs easier, it will also help us keep costs down and help us provide better, more accurate estimates to our customers.
  4. Cost Inflation: While this is not a new trend, costs will continue to rise as time goes on.
  5. Cyber Crime: While not an industry trend at the moment, it could easily ruin a business or distract workers from being able to focus on their job.
  6. More Flexibility in Program Work: Workers will start to have more leverage when it comes to their jobs. Reducing zip code coverage, labor shortages, increasing costs, expectations and a strong economy will help the laborers gain more leverage in this industry and take the job back into their hands.

For more questions about restoration trends call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900.

Differences Between Odor Treatment Methods

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

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.

An Emergency Supply Checklist for Bellevue Residents

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Most storm, fire, and water damage happens unexpectedly and emergencies can catch Bellevue residents unprepared.

It is very smart to have an emergency supply bag or container already stocked with the basics you need should an emergency happen. When the New Yorker published an article in 2015 called ‘The Really Big One” many people began re-evaluating their personal preparedness. Our SERVPRO team recommends the following items for personal preparedness;

Emergency survival kit

  • Store a kit at home, at work and at each child’s school or daycare facility.
  • Dry or canned food and drinking water for each person
  • Can opener
  • First aid supplies and first aid book
  • Copies of important documents such as birth certificates, licenses, and insurance policies
  • "Special needs" items for family members such as infant formula, eyeglasses and medications
  • A change of clothing
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Battery powered radio or television
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof matches
  • Toys, books, puzzles, games
  • Extra house keys and car keys
  • List of contact names and phone numbers
  • Food, water and supplies for pets

Additional items you can store at home for emergency use:

  • Cooking supplies
  • Barbecue, camp stove
  • Fuel for cooking, such as charcoal or camp stove fuel
  • Plastic knives, forks, spoons
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Sanitation/Personal supplies

  • Large plastic trash bags for trash, water protection
  • Large trash cans
  • Bar soap and liquid detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Feminine and infant supplies
  • Toilet paper
  • Household bleach with no additives, and eyedropper (for purifying drinking water)
  • Newspaper — to wrap garbage and waste

Comfort

  • Sturdy shoes
  • Gloves for clearing debris
  • Tent

ImportantTools

  • Ax, shovel, broom
  • Crescent wrench for turning off gas
  • Screwdriver, pliers, hammer
  • Coil of one-half inch rope
  • Plastic tape and sheeting
  • Knife or razor blades
  • Garden hose for siphoning and fire fighting

In Washington flood recovery, earthquake recovery, and recovery from other natural disasters will be much easier if you’re prepared with emergency survival tools and supplies like these. Call SERVPRO of Bellevue West for more information regarding how you can appropriately prepare for an emergency: 425-454-3900.

SERVPRO of Bellevue West Proudly Renews Their Chamber Membership

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bellevue West Proudly Supports the Bellevue Chamber as a renewed member for 2019. Our SERVPRO team is thrilled to be involved with the Bellevue Chamber again: a wonderful organization supporting local businesses growth and development. We have immensely enjoyed participating in a multitude of events, keeping up to date on local news and making new connections.

The 4 main reasons SERVPRO of Bellevue West is involved in the local chamber:

  1. Local Visibility in our community
  2. Access and connections to other business partners
  3. Resources related to training (workshops, featured speakers and mentors offer a wealth of knowledge)
  4. Advocacy to learn about local politics

The chamber provides its members with a wonderful and strong voice in the community. The Bellevue Chamber is a leader in Eastside public policy discussions affecting the business community and is committed to ensuring that our members’ concerns are heard on a wide range of issues at the local, regional, state and federal levels of government. Local businesses know that the Chamber is championing business issues on their behalf and is very thankful to have this support.

Battling Mold Damage

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Battling mold can be an arduous process if the correct steps aren't utilized from the beginning of the process. Remediation of the mildew, fungus and black mold the first time around can save a home or business owner worry, time and money. 

SERVPRO of Bellevue West can properly assess what scope of work is necessary for your unique situation and oftentimes each job is different depending on source and severity.

Is it black mold? Could it possibly lead to dry rot? Does the smelly odor need deodorization or will it go away on its own? These are questions the general public doesn't typically have answers to. Oftentimes mold growth isn't visible; which is why it is important to consider the quality of your indoor air and to call in the professionals if you sense a strange odor.

Keep in mind; mold growth can spread and this condition could lead to dry rot. Dry rot occurs when the wood that supports the home or business starts to decay because of the extensive mold damage. This dry rot damage could lead to a potential rebuild of the dwelling in question which is why it is important to tackle a microbial situation as soon as possible.

Mitigation is the lessening of the damage seen with mold; this involves deodorization and sometimes demolition in an isolated area; each situation is unique. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on mold.

Essential Maintenance Tips for your Home

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Summary

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?

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

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

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Insurance and Water Contamination

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

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

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

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.

How to Come Back After a Flood

12/2/2017 (Permalink)

How to Come Back After a Flood

As the storm settles, the battle to restore homes and businesses begins. After a flood, the damage can be extensive and beginning the cleanup can be daunting. Where do you start? Commercial property owners in Bellevue, WA struggle with this question every year, but by removing water, throwing away ruined items, and content cleaning, your business will soon be back to normal.

1. Eliminating Standing Water

Before you can determine what can be cleaned, there can’t be any water left in the building. If the standing water doesn’t flow out naturally, then it may need to be professionally removed. Given the bacteria and mold that is often found after major flooding, it’s important that you don’t come in contact with the water itself. It can make you and your employees incredibly sick. In addition, it’s easier for you do a full cleanup if there isn’t any water to contend with.

2. Removing Loose Items

Unfortunately, not all items can be saved. This is especially true for porous surfaces. Porous materials include certain types of tile, laminate and granite. These permeable materials don’t have a smooth surface and because of this, content cleaning is more difficult and complex. Certain pieces of furniture or appliances may have to be removed from the property entirely to properly disinfect the building. If you’re ever confused about what to keep or throw out, a professional can help.

3. Cleaning Content

For hard surfaces, it is recommended that you use a mixture of water and detergent. While most non-porous surfaces are safe to clean, if the mold has spread over 10 square feet, then professional help is strongly encouraged. Keep in mind that black water is the best breeding ground for dangerous molds, so if you suspect or know there was waste water involved, be sure to get expert help.

It may seem like a long road to restoration, but it’s easier to consider if you break it up into simple stages. Clearing out the water, removing the items, and proper content cleaning should have your business back on track in no time. Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on flood damage.

Professional Storm Damage Restoration

11/5/2017 (Permalink)


Professional Storm Damage Restoration

Most people live for decades without ever thinking of storm damage restoration. Others mull over it every two, three years. A house might suffer storm damage for years without anyone's notice. In some other extreme cases, the storm damage is devastatingly visible. In case of a storm, a wise first step would be to avoid any live wires and any pools of water. Flooded and damaged houses should be vacated. Storm damage should later be assessed and records and photos of the house made.


Wind damage makes up for a lot of devastation both in cost and frequency. Roofs, doors, and windows must be checked for cracks and holes. Care should be taken to avoid cuts from glass shards. Wind damage is easily noticeable sometimes. Winds of 50 mph easily topple power lines and trees. It can be very severe when a tree falls on a roof: roof repair is needed almost immediately. Sometimes it just causes chipping and cracking of tiles and slate in roofs, quite manageable roof damage. Contractors have to be hired in cases of severe damage. For roof repair, licensed roofers may be needed for roof damage if it goes beyond roof leaks into structural damage.


Pieces of slate, tile, and metal around the chimney as well as leaking roofs and dents on gutters are also signs of wind damage.

Hurricanes have some of the most devastating effects on houses. Hurricane damage usually includes flooding, wind damage, and hailstorms. Most homeowners have insurance against most of these disasters associated with hurricane damage. Insurance agents check the extent and type hurricane damage after being informed, sometimes on the very next day. The hurricane damage repairs can then be done accordingly.

Damage also comes in the form of floods, especially for people who live close to rivers. River flooding causes a lot of home damage. During river flooding, contact with flood waters should be avoided during storms. Every time river flooding occurs the floodwater mixes with ground water to create a nightmare for homeowners around it. With river flooding, the ground water and river flood water may raise several inches above the ground sometimes. After securing his health, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the homeowner should check for visible structural damage in the house such as warping and loosed foundation elements. He then should contact his insurance company. Most home insurance plans, however, do not offer flood insurance. Homeowners in hurricane-prone zones also ought to get flood insurance. This is because hurricane damage also includes flooding.

Flood insurance is valid only after 30 days and must be purchased before a storm. A go-ahead from the insurance agent should help facilitate the pumping of flood water from your home. Flood pumps are most commonly employed to remove the floodwater. Property salvaged should also be secured.


Aftermaths of a storm may include thinking about home restoration. Everything in the house would then need to be restored, including flooring, cabinets, wall finishes and plumbing and electrical systems. Home is done after consulting one's insurer since it can be very costly. This is because it might involve house remediation and water restoration.


Water restoration is done in the house after it gets flooded. The longer the building is exposed to water the more damaged it gets. Toilet overflow and sewerage backups coupled with ground water and flood water are also quite a nuisance with the odor and filth. Competent home restoration professionals should be contacted. The source of trouble should be identified by the storm restoration professionals to stop the flooding, whether roof leak or crack. They then rid the house of the excessive water using flood pumps and clean the place up. In some cases, the floor might be affected by the water, and the storm restoration experts ought to sanitize the area to avoid molding. This is renown of storm remediation.

House remediation always should come after water restoration. This is because house remediation cannot happen unless all sources of extra moisture in the house such as roof leaks are addressed. Otherwise, the mold might recur, leaving home musty and the homeowner uncomfortable. The image can also be quite a huge health issue. Most storm restoration companies offer both water restoration and house remediation services too. Some house remediation companies also offer a warranty as long as humidity does not rise. Storm restoration professionals advise homeowners to keep the attic and basement dry and ventilated.

Blinding snowstorms and freezing temperatures can also cause extensive damage to a house in myriad ways. Homeowners in areas in which temperatures prone to fall to zero and beyond are supposed to consider the weather issues and take necessary measures as responsibility dictates. Storm and ice may damage the roof with the combined weight by collapsing it. With ice damage, ice accumulating on tree branches break them on roofs and vehicles.

Frozen pipes storm remediation.
Pipes cracking because of ice damage is also a standard issue. Frozen pipes may also cause water to back up and seep into the house walls and flooring, causing structural damage. The flooding caused by cracked frozen pipes plus ground water might require the services of a home restoration expert. Melting of snow and ice is a must after snowing. Flood pumps can be used to deal with flood water in the basements of such buildings. Experts recommend the use of strong and durable pipes which can withstand frozen pipes pressure. At times, pipes with bigger radius help solve the issue of frozen pipes.

Ice dam or ice damming storm remediation.
Ice damming can also contribute to the damage of a house, especially a roof damage. Ice dam prevents snow from draining off the roof leak. They are formed when a ridge of ice acts as a barrier on the roof's edge. This is ice damming. Signs of ice dam include damaged walls and leaking ceilings. Thick snow accumulations cause ice dam scenario. Gutter systems are damaged every year by the ice dam or ice damming, and the ice damage can sometimes take a week to repair. Roof repair and gutter replacement can be costly.


Hailstorms can take place anywhere and can be either be light and sporadic or devastatingly damaging. Hails the size of golf balls cause considerable roof damage. Insurance is offered to alleviate the burden of hail damage. Small hailstorms can also cause both roof and window damage hail damage. Patio furniture, air conditioners, and doors should also be inspected for cracks, dents or breaks since hail damage can be subtle. Regardless of damage levels, the homeowner should report immediately to his or her insurance company for roof repairs, among others, and possibly involving an expert in storm remediation. or home restoration. Hail damage might also leave behind standing water that may require the use of a flood pump too.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on storm damage.

Frozen Pipes? Call SERVPRO of Bellevue West

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Severe winter weather ranks third as a cause of insured catastrophic losses, after hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  Losses from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures across the United States average about $1.2 billion a year, according to the New York Times.

Preparing your home for cold weather can help avoid potentially costly problems, like frozen pipes.  When water freezes it expands.  That's why a can of soda explodes if you put it into a freezer to chill quickly and forget it.  When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way.  If the water expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes, and major damage can begin.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

So what can you do to avoid frozen pipes?  First, make sure your heating system is working properly and that vulnerable pipes, like those that run close to your exterior walls, are insulated. 

If you go away for several days in the winter, make sure you leave the heat on.  The Insurance Information Institute recommends setting your thermostat at 65 degrees.

Have someone check your home and property, if you can.  If you expect to be away for extended periods - say, you go South for the winter - have your water turned off.

Other actions you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing are:

  • Seal air leaks surrounding or near your pipes
  • Keep your garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage.
  • Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
  • Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Keep your heat at a minimum of 55 degrees at all times.  Keep it at 65 when you're out of town.
  • During severe cold turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
  • Remove your outside hoses and store them inside during the winter.
  • If you need to be away from home, consider draining your water system before you go.
  • Identify the locations of shut-off valves so that you're prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.

If a pipe bursts:

  • Shut off water at the main valve. Your shut-off should be easily marked with a tag. Call SERVPRO of Edmonds, Lynnwood & Bellevue West if you would like one.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a professional restoration expert such as SERVPRO of Edmonds, Lynnwood & Bellevue West to mitigate the damage. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access!
  • Call us anytime at 425-774-1148

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