How To Keep Your Rental Properties Free From Mold
Mold damage on ceiling.
How to Keep Mold Out of Your Rental Properties
When you own a rental property in Olympia, WA, there are many things you may want to do before renting out an apartment or commercial space to a new tenant. Minor repairs and a new coat of paint may be the most visible improvements, but it’s also important to do regular checks to ensure that the space doesn’t need mold cleanup.
Mold comes in many varieties, and mold spores can grow wherever moisture is present, especially if an area isn’t well ventilated. It’s very important for landlords to check periodically for mold contamination and address any growth before it spreads. There are four main reasons that a rental property may need mold cleanup.
1. Storms and flooding can cause significant water damage. A thorough and immediate cleaning of any affected areas is crucial and may best be handled by a professional restoration specialist.
2. A leaky roof, damaged plumbing, or a broken appliance can bring unwanted water into a building, often in areas that cannot be seen. Landlords should make repairs as soon as they happen, then immediately dry and clean the affected areas, keeping them well ventilated to avoid mold contamination.
3. Clogged gutters and drain pipes may cause water to be misdirected into the building’s interior. Frequent gutter cleaning and tree trimming can help to prevent this problem.
4. Careless tenants may not be as exacting as you are about taking care of the space. Leaving wet towels on the floor or being inattentive to spills can create a breeding ground for mold growth. While this is not the landlord’s fault, owners can help deter such issues by checking the property periodically and informing new tenants of ways they can avoid the growth of mold spores.
Storms, water damage, clogs, and careless tenants cannot always be avoided. However, by making regular building checks and taking immediate action when mold cleanup is needed, landlords in Olympia, WA, can effectively prevent and address mold before it spreads.
Tips for Making a Claim After a Fire
The insurance company is one of the first calls you make when a fire has destroyed your home.
After A Fire, Here Are Some Pointers On How To File A Claim
When a fire damages your home in Tenino,WA you may not be in the right frame of mind for making good decisions. The decisions you make regarding your fire insurance claim, however, can affect how much of the fire restoration is covered by your insurer. Here are three tips to help you think through the process rationally and hopefully get the settlement you need to restore your home.
1. Call Insurance Company
One of the first calls you make after a fire has ravaged your home is to the insurance company. Timely reporting is essential to getting your claim processed and approved. As soon as the company receives your call, an assessor can be sent to review the damage and substantiate your claim.
2. Call Professional Restorers
After a fire, your home is likely permeated with the odor of smoke and soot damage. Firefighters probably had to use a lot of water to put out the fire, resulting in water damage as well. Certified fire restoration specialists offer both smoke cleaning and water damage remediation to fix the problems in your home. They often offer board-up services to secure the house during the restoration process, and they can give you an estimate on what the repairs are going to cost, which can back up your claim with the insurance company.
3. Don't Touch Anything
Once you have made the necessary calls and the waiting begins, you may be tempted to start cleaning up the damage yourself. Fight the urge to do so. The insurance agent that comes to assess the damage needs to see it as it is, and without the knowledge and skills of the specialists, you may cause more damage. While you wait, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage as long as it is safe to do so.
You may feel powerless when your home suffers fire damage. By calling the appropriate professionals and waiting on their guidance, however, you can speed up the fire restoration process.
3 Tips for Handling an Overflowing Toilet
If your toilet overflows is being caused by sewer damage.
What Do I Do If My Toilet Overflows?
Few things might cause more stress for you as a Tenino, WA, homeowner than an overflowing toilet. There are several reasons a toilet might flood, from a pipe clog to local sewer damage. No matter the cause, the resulting overflow can mean quite a mess. However, there are several actions you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your home until you can call a flood cleanup and restoration service to handle the worst of the problem.
1. Shut Off the Water Valve
If you can reach the toilet safely, locate the shutoff valve. It is usually on the back of the exterior tank, near the bottom. Turn the valve until the water flow stops. You can also take the top off the toilet tank and lift the float ball to stop the toilet from running.
2. Clear the Area
If the toilet overflow is being caused by sewer damage due to heavy rains or localized flooding, it is a good idea to clear the area and make it off limits until the cleanup crew arrives because the flood water likely contains contaminants that may harm people and pets. Do not let anyone touch the water with their bare hands and try to seal off the bathroom as best you can. Once you contain the flood as much as possible, call the sewage company to let them know what has happened.
3. Note What You See
It is best to leave the aftermath of a flooded toilet to your cleanup crew. However, it may help the flood techs if you can tell them how the flood occurred and what you noticed directly before and after the incident. Did the toilet overflow very suddenly or did it happen slowly? Did you notice any unusual sounds or odors emanating from the toilet before the flood? Letting your cleanup crew know about these details may help them handle the problem with more efficiency.
Sewer damage, clogged pipes and other plumbing issues can all cause a toilet flood in your Tenino, WA, home. However, knowing how to stem the worst of the damage until help arrives can help you protect your home and family.
Category 3: How Storm Water Gets Contaminated
Flood water is considered Category 3 water.
Owning a commercial property in Lacey, WA means that occasionally, you may have to deal with storm damage. When flood water rises too high to keep it out of your building, it is important to call in expert mitigation services to fix the problem. Not only are these professionals certified to stop the problem from getting bigger, but they also know the proper precautions to take when dealing with contaminated water. Hiring professionals help keep you and your employees or tenants safe.
There are three categories of contamination that can be present when a building floods:
- Category 1: Clean water from pipes or supply lines
- Category 2: Gray water from dishwashers or washing machines
- Category 3: Black water from sewers or flood water
The runoff from storms belongs in Category 3. It is not safe to ingest, as it likely contains bacteria and microbes. It is not advisable to let the water even touch your skin. Professional mitigation experts don protective gear before handling anything that has touched the water so that they are protected during the cleanup process.
How Storm Water Gets Contaminated
You may be wondering how rain can become contaminated. The water is contaminated as soon as it hits a surface. Buildings and the ground are infested with millions of types of bacteria or microbes, and all of them get swept up in waters from the flood. The sewer is also likely to back up if waters get too deep, causing further contamination. There is no such thing as clean storm water, so it's important to steer clear of it as much as possible when evacuating.
Flood water is considered Category 3 water, and that means that dealing with it is best left up to trained professionals. If your building is affected by storm flooding, make sure everyone is safely evacuated and let the experts do their job.
Putting Out a Grease Fire
Kitchen fire in Yelm, WAa
How To Put Out a Grease Fire
Regardless if you are a novice chef or have mastered the art of cooking, the potential for a grease fire in your Yelm, WA, exists. If done correctly, they are often easy to extinguish. Once it has spread outside the pan, it’s best to leave the hazard to firefighters and the fire cleanup to professional fire and smoke damage experts.
Putting the Fire Out
If flames appear while cooking, below are steps to take to safely extinguish the fire.
Place a metal lid or baking sheet over the pan. Do not remove it until it is cool.
Ensure the heat source is turned off.
Baking soda or salt can be used to smother the fire. Never use water, other cooking powders, or towels. They can make the fire spread.
Use a Class B fire extinguisher, which is designed for flammable liquids. Other types of extinguishers may have water or other ingredients that may make the fire spread.
If the flames start to spread, get out of the home and call 911. Wait until you receive an affirmative from the firefighters before re-entering the home.
Tips to Avoid a Fire
While knowing how to put out a grease fire is important, avoiding one altogether is always preferred. Below are a few tips to consider to ensure safe cooking.
When frying, boiling or broiling, always stay in the kitchen.
Ensure the area around the stovetop is clear of potentially flammable objects.
Slowly heat oil and gently add food to minimize splatter.
Maintain a proper temperature when cooking with grease. Smoke or an odd smell means it is too hot.
Keep a lid or baking sheet accessible.
Ensure children stay away from the cooking area.
While a grease fire can be scary, quick action and using the right techniques can squash the flames. Remember to always keep safety in mind and don’t try to be a hero if the flames spread.
4 Ways to Ensure Fire Preparedness in the Home
Install smoke detectors in your home to help prevent fires.
Four Things You Can Do To Protect Your Home and Family
Too often, people need to rely on the work of a fire restoration company in Olympia, WA because they fail to take the necessary precautions in their home. Fire preparation should not be optional. Sure, no one expects to have a fire, but there are at least four inexpensive things you can do to protect your home and family.
- Install smoke detectors and extinguishers
- Prepare emergency escape routes
- Practice regularly
- Prepare emergency contacts
Install Smoke Detectors and Extinguishers
The first thing you should do to protect yourself and your family from a possible home fire is to install smoke detectors and extinguishers. Make sure that you install enough of each. You should have at least one extinguisher on each floor and in high-risk areas. Smoke detectors should also be in high-risk spaces and in bedrooms as well as every level of the home.
Prepare Emergency Escape Routes
The next objective for fire preparation is to prepare emergency escape routes. You should have a minimum of two exits from every room in your house. Also, make sure that paths are clear of any clutter, ensuring a safe exit. Remember, during a fire, there will be low visibility.
While planning escape routes is a significant first step toward fire safety, those routes mean nothing without adequate practice. Make sure that everyone in the family practices at least twice per year. However, more often is likely better.
Prepare Emergency Contacts
Last, make sure that you have a list of emergency contacts prepared for every family member. Always make sure that everyone knows how to call 911 and report an emergency. It may sound obvious, but many people freeze during high-stress situations, which can delay emergency responders.
Don't let the aftermath of a house fire be the first time your family talks about fire preparation. Install the appropriate safety equipment and prepare for possible disasters. Contact a fire mitigation company if you have any questions about fire safety.
Odor Removal Following a Flood
Flood damage in Olympia, WA.
Mold growth and sewage loss are severe complications following a septic system back up that causes a flood at your business in Olympia, WA. Although powerful water extraction methods can quickly dry your space, more drastic efforts are necessary for sanitization and odor removal.
Problems Following a Flood
Water that floods your business following a severe storm or plumbing damage requires careful handling because it may contain:
- Hepatitis A
Flood water at your business requires prompt removal before mold problems develop. Mold spores that quickly spread through the air are not visible, but you can detect them in your building by the musty odor they produce. Fortunately, knowledgeable mold remediation professionals can undertake odor removal efforts that purify the air.
Odor Removal Methods
The first step toward eliminating the odor that follows a flood involves air filtration. This technique involves industrial-grade HEPA vacuums that capture microscopic spores in the air and prevents them from spreading.
Mold growth and other contaminants leave behind stubborn odors, but ozone generators provide one of the most effective treatments for removing them. This method involves introducing ozone molecules into the contaminated space. Ozone is an oxygen molecule that has three rather than two oxygen atoms. The third atom breaks away from the others, attaches itself to the atom producing the offensive odor and neutralizes it.
It is necessary to evacuate the premises while ozone treatment is underway and until the oxygen molecules in the atmosphere return to their normal levels.
Air fogging is another method that involves heating a deodorizing solvent and releasing it into the atmosphere as a mist. It is particularly effective for accessing the difficult-to-reach areas behind walls, under floorboards or within upholstery fibers and leaves behind a pleasant odor.
Odor removal professionals have the knowledge and skills to address unpleasant odors resulting from mold growth and sewage loss following a flood from a septic system backup at your business in Olympia, WA.
Do You Have To Throw Away Contents That Have Been Mold Damaged?
Mold damage in Yelm, WA.
Every year in the U.S., floods cause around $8 billion in damages. Houses that flood not only have the floodwater disaster to deal with, it’s also normal to experience an explosion of black mold growth afterward. Mold cleaning in Yelm, WA, should be an expected part of the restoration process.
When it comes to contents, it’s often cheaper to throw away items with significant mold damage. However, if the items are valuable or sentimental, they’ll need to be cleaned by the experts – a complicated process requiring the right equipment and techniques.
Why Do Floods Cause Black Mold?
Mold is a natural substance that helps eat dead plants and animal matter. In the outdoors, it’s strongly controlled by good airflow and UV rays in sunlight. Indoors, it not only finds shade and restricted airflow, but it also has plenty of substances to feed on, such as
All it takes is a source of moisture. The leftover humidity after a flood is more than sufficient to require extensive mold cleaning throughout your house.
Can Mold Remediation Save Contents?
In many cases, yes. However, the process isn’t easy or cheap, especially with paperwork and photographs. The mold literally eats away at these materials as it grows. You need to call top mold remediation experts to respond immediately to your home.
The process starts by removing all the floodwater and excess humidity from your home as quickly as possible. Damaged paperwork should be put in the freezer until it can be processed. All food should be discarded and anything to be saved that has mold growing on it should be isolated.
What Else Can Be Saved?
A special device called an Esporta Machine can save paper, textiles, cardboard and even stuffed animals in many (but not all) cases. Items that are special enough to save rather than replace can be restored through modern mold remediation methods. In some cases, insurance will even pay for it.
Mold cleaning is an intense process that can save many items. However, time is working against you, so call the experts quickly if you want to save both items and money!
Does a Commercial Fire Always Require Water Cleanup?
Commercial fire damage in Lacey, WA.
When businesses in Lacey, WA, have a significant fire, the fire department is going to do whatever it takes to save lives and extinguish the flames. This often includes copious amounts of water – up to 20,000 gallons! Yet, even with small fires, you can expect a significant water cleanup.
Why Do Fire Departments Use Water?
There are four reasons most fires are put out with water:
- Water is cheap.
- Water is available everywhere.
- Water is better for the environment.
- Chemical retardants may leave a toxic residue.
With a large public water system already installed in populated areas, the infrastructure strongly favors using it. It’s also extremely adept at smothering fires and transferring the heat to steam.
So, What’s Wrong With Water?
The water is going to pick up nasty residue from the smoke. It carries this soot and oil all through a building, getting behind walls and into electrical systems and appliances.
It also damages everything porous that it touches, warping construction material and causing wood rot, which attracts insects. The water cleanup can be the most expensive part of a fire cleanup process.
Does Insurance Pay for Water Damage Repair?
Insurance companies realize that the benefits of putting out a fire quickly far outweigh the cost of cleaning up the water damage later. In the case of a fire cleanup, all the firefighting activities will be fully covered by standard commercial insurance policies.
How Do You Get Water Damage Repaired?
Once water damage gets into the sub-flooring or walls, you need a professional water damage restoration expert to inspect your business. When excess moisture gets behind walls, you can get toxic black mold growth, causing terrible odors and damage to the building. The smoke cleanup can also be very extensive, which can be done by your water damage experts. The preferred method is to restore items instead of replacing them. This dramatically speeds up the process and will substantially reduce your cost if you don’t have insurance.
Water cleanup can be a significant cost of a fire in your business. Of course, it’s always better than the alternative. Fortunately, the experts have years of experience dealing with the results of firefighting.
How To Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire
Clean your lint with a flexible dryer lint brush
Cleaning your clothes dryer often can prevent a lint fire at your home in Tenino, WA. The potential for a dryer fire decreases if you follow these steps.
Gather The Appropriate tools and Supplies
Among the tools and supplies you will need to clean your clothes dryer, include:
- A vacuum with a long hose
- A flexible dryer lint brush
- A power drill
- A microfiber cloth
- White vinegar and soap
You can also invest in a dryer cleaning kit that comes with everything you need or schedule a maintenance visit with an appliance cleaning service.
Clean Your Dryer's Lint Screen
Always peel off the dust film on your dryer's removable lint screen between loads. You can also wash the screen with soap and water to remove trapped dust. Remember also to check the lint screen compartment. Dust particles can cling to the sides or deep within this narrow chamber, but a vacuum can help you remove them and prevent them from overheating and causing a lint fire.
Clean The Drum
Wipe down your dryer's drum with a solution of white vinegar and water to sanitize it and remove particles that cling to it. Pay careful attention to the vent through which hot air leaves the drum. It can become clogged, causing the drum to overheat, increasing the risk for a dryer fire.
Clean The Exhaust Hose
The exhaust hose carries hot, moist air out of the dryer's drum through a vent and deposits it outside your home. Lint can accumulate in the vent's openings or clog the hose, where it remains in prolonged contact with hot air before igniting to cause a fire. Unscrewing the dryer's back panel will allow you to access and clean the vent and reach deep into the exhaust hose with a vacuum attachment to remove excess lint and let the hot air escape.
A professional fire restoration service can handle the cleanup and recovery if a lint fire damages your home in Tenino, WA.