Recent Water Damage Posts
What Is Black Water?
What Is This Water, and Why Is It Dangerous?
Black water is liquid presumed to house multiple contaminants. It’s a very common danger after floods especially from toilet or sewer related leaks. It could contain:
• Fecal matter
• Used toilet paper
Sewage systems frequently become compromised and leak after water damage. Then, they pose health threats to those who encounter the dirty liquid.
It’s also important to be aware of gray water. That type often comes from washing machines, dishwashers, sinks and showers and is not immediately as dangerous as the black variety, but can become more hazardous after 48 hours of contact with building surfaces. These contaminated waters contain bacteria that could be harmful to your health.
How Can You Stay Safe From Contaminated Water?
The best way to limit your exposure to hazardous water from flooding is to limit your exposure to it. Instead of trying to handle the cleanup process on your own call on a flood cleanup company to assess the damage and tackle the steps necessary for a thorough restoration of your home. SERVPRO if Bellevue west is available 24/7.
Black water is a likely contaminant after a flood, and it’s a primary reason why you should not deal with the water damage on your own. Contacting a professional team to assist with damage from flooding gives you greater protection from possible risks and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes.
Odor Treatment Methods
Odor treatment is a science and cannot be treated as a “One size fits all”. SERVPRO of Bellevue West uses the best Odor Treatment Method necessary for your home or commercial building to remove the odor as fast and efficiently as possible. Between the 7 methods of odor treatment there are many differences and all of them that work in different ways. The differences between each of them are as follows
Absorbents: Typically, they are solid materials made to keep the odor in place and smother it. By smothering, it captures and holds the odors on their surfaces. These solids can be cleaned up afterwards and take the odors with them.
Neutralization: Uses the equation “1-1=0” to eliminate the odor. This equation means that it uses a chemical to neutralize the odor and make it obsolete. This process is mostly used for halogens such as Chlorine, Bromine and Iodine.
Oxidation: Mostly used for organic decomposition or skunks. This process adds oxygen to the scent to control the odor. Oxygen is a great method to eliminate odors.
Biocides: Used to kill the growth of microorganisms. Killing the source of the smell is one of the most effective ways of odor treatment.
Counteraction: This means to work against the odor. It takes scentless odors and it combines with the odorous odor to eliminate the scent.
Masking: This process covers the bad smelling odor with a stronger, better smelling, pleasant scent.
Bioenzymatic digestion: Specially engineered bacteria are scent out to produce enzymes to consume and digest the odorous materials. Most often used while carpet cleaning.
If you have an odor issue call SERVPRO of Bellevue West at 425-454-3900.
The Importance of A Quick Response Time During Water Damage
When it comes to water damage, one of the worst things you can do is wait. The longer you wait the more damage is being caused, the longer it will take to fix and dry. Labor costs and job scope increase as the damage worsens. Within minutes of a water flood or leak, water quickly spreads in your home and infiltrates walls, floors and household items; becoming absorbed sometimes not visibly to the naked eye. Dyes in furniture may start to bleed causing permanent staining to other items. Also, pictures, arts and books can start to swell and warp. While this seems overwhelming, if you continue to wait the condition of your house will continue to get worse. Between 1- and 24-hours drywall, furniture and metal surfaces will begin to break down. A musky odor will start to become apparent around the affected area and start to take over your entire house. Days 2-7 is when mold and other biohazards start to appear. Metal can start to corrode, wood will start to swell and furniture starts to warp. If a week passes and there has been effort to mitigate then you may be facing a concern for structural safety, mold growth and more biohazards causing serious risks.
Don’t allow you water loss to become much more than a water damage issue; mold and biohazard issues can be avoided with a responsible response time. Bottom line, if you have water damage then call a professional and solve the problem as soon as you possibly can. SERVPRO of Bellevue West is trained, specialized and experienced for all the problems you may encounter during a flood or leak. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 425-454-3900!
Insurance and Water Damage Contamination Levels
When flooding strikes a home, it is 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 and how it should be treated. 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.
How To Recover From A Flood
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, discarding 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. The standing water should be professionally removed. 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’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 Contents
For hard surfaces, it is recommended that you use a mixture of water and detergent. While most non-porous surfaces are safe to clean, keep in mind that black water is a breeding ground for 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 and SERVPRO of Bellevue West can help! Visit http://www.SERVPRObellevuewest.com for more information on flood damage.
Water Damage Tips & Tricks
What You Need To Know About Water Damage
There are several ways you may fall victim to a water damage situation: a water supply line break, a pipe break or water damage after a fire rescue mission. All these situations pose a risk to the health of the structure and residents living in the property.
Steps to Take After Detecting Water Damage
Water related damage can be progressive. Do your best to isolate the issue and stop the source. Do you know where your water main shut-off is? Call a plumber if needed and call a trusted Restoration Professional that can utilize tools to give you an accurate description of damage.
Shut Down the Electricity Supply
Any case of flood damage and live electricity poses a risk of a fire or loss of life due to an electric fault. To prevent this, shut down the primary power source.
Call a Professional
Trust the professionals and don’t attempt to DIY. Water Restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Bellevue West are experienced in drying structures efficiently and correctly. We also work with major insurance companies to figure your coverage and streamline the process. The best time to call a restoration company is when you notice any water collecting in an unnatural state. We can quickly provide an inspection and Assessment of Extent of Damage
There is no doubt that water related disasters can be catastrophic. Utilize the professionals at SERVPRO of Bellevue West to ensure proper dehumidification, drying and sanitation practices. Call us at 425-454-3900 with any questions!
SERVPRO of Bellevue West Helps Condominium Boards Effectively Prepare for Emergencies
If you participate in a homeowners association or condominium association board you are likely a very useful and knowledgeable resource for owners and tenants alike. As a board member it is important to discuss all relevant issues and concerns that affect the health and safety of a property. Many boards have their own policies and procedures for handling emergencies, but how often are they discussed and reviewed? SERVPRO of Bellevue West offers complimentary emergency preparedness planning AND is happy to speak at board meetings about common issues that may be of concern when handling an emergency. We speak on topics such as;
- How to mitigate water damage during an emergency
- Causes of mold and mildew
- Questions about insurance coverage and responsibilities
- Routine inspections that can minimize water damage risks
- Emergency and evacuation planning
- How to choose the right emergency service vendors for your property
We are happy to speak in-person or virtually about any issues pertaining to the restoration industry. Call us at 425-454-3900 to schedule with us!
The Importance of Quick Response Time Following Water Damage
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.
Water Restoration Step By Step Process
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frozen Pipes? Call SERVPRO of Bellevue West
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