Recent Storm Damage Posts

Puget Sound Natural Disasters

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

photo about earthquake Do you know the basic earthquake safety measures?

This past year was unfortunately infamous with issues that impacted the world far and wide. Aside from the pandemic we experienced many natural disasters throughout our region, specifically climate fueled wildfires.  These trying times sharpen our awareness of our region's natural disasters. One of the best ways to prepare is by making our homes safer, more resilient and structurally sound. 

The state of Washington has the second highest risk in the country for large destructive earthquakes due to the North American plate and a network of related fault lines. While an earthquake could happen tomorrow or 200 years from now its important to be prepared for this reality. Here are a few recommendations to consider; 

Homes built before 1980 in King County should be inspected by a professional to evaluate if they need a seismic retrofit. This is due to the fact that older homes aren't generally tied to a solid foundation. 

Residents can take small proactive steps to increase safety measures such as stockpiling food and water along with a useful preparedness kit. 

Ensure you are knowledgeable about your major shut-off locations. In homes with gas connections automatic shut-off valves should be installed. Make sure these locations are well marked and contact SERVPRO of Bellevue West for shut-off tags if needed.  

Most important educate yourself about resources available in your community and what to do if a disaster strikes. Knowledge and preparedness are key. 

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.

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.

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.

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.