Recent Posts

How To Keep Mold out of the Bathroom

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth behind a wall Mold behind a wall

Mold can find its way inside your house and grow in various areas. The bathroom is among the most common places where you may see it. Water damage is one of the leading causes of this fungus, but there are other factors as well. Be aware of why mold grows in your bathroom and what you can do to avoid this unsightly fungus in the future.

What Fuels the Growth of Mold?

You don't realize it, but mold spores are all around you outside. This fungus can make its way inside your Olympia, WA, house and begin to grow and spread under the right conditions. The following situations lead to mold growth, especially in the bathroom:

  • Leaking pipes
  • Bursting pipes and appliances
  • High humidity

Not Taking Care of Leaks
The bathroom is a common area for water damage. Whether from an overflowing toilet, a poorly sealed shower door, or deteriorating pipes, water can get onto your bathroom floor. If you don't clean it up right away and dry the area, mold can show up within a couple of days. If you notice a leaky faucet or pipe, take care of it immediately.

Poor Seals
Water can get from your shower or bathtub onto the walls or floors unless there is a good seal in the tub or shower door. Caulking these areas will help with mold prevention.

Airflow Issues
Humid rooms encourage mold to grow, and bathrooms are as humid as any place in your home. If you have working vents, you shouldn't have to worry about airflow problems. However, if you spot mold on shower walls or in other spots in the bathroom, check the vents. You may need to replace it or install a new one altogether.
A professional mold removal company is your best bet to take care of water damage and the appearance of mold. However, you can avoid the sight of mold as you understand why it grows in the bathroom.

Some Clever Ideas for Fire Preparation

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher on the gray wall Fire extinguishers on site

A fire can strike anytime in Lacey, WA. Therefore, it stands to reason that fire preparation should be an integral part of your company's business plan. A few clever moves now could save your company a lot of time, trouble and money later. You might even be able to avert a business fire altogether. The basics of preparation include three items: fire extinguishers on site, fire alarms in working condition and a fire sprinkler system. These elements are just the beginning. Other essential steps include taking advice from local fire departments and partnering with a local fire remediation team to help with recovery after a fire.

Additional Mitigation Actions

Strong disaster preparation includes looking at your insurance coverage to make sure it is adequate for your needs. It can be smart to insure to replacement cost and to add a business interruption policy. The following fire preparation actions are also worth considering:

  • Inventory all essential equipment
  • Store vital records in a separate location
  • Educate employees about disaster recovery
  • Complete a company risk analysis
  • Develop an emergency plan and practice it
  • Maintain a list of suppliers and vendors

All of these actions can help a company recover quickly from widespread fire damage. Even reducing your recovery time by a couple of days could save the company thousands of dollars in lost income.

Additional Considerations
Solid fire preparation is an ongoing process. Fire extinguishers need to be checked on a regular basis and fire alarms need to be inspected and tested at least once a year. Employee training should be conducted as often as is practicable. Key personnel should know how to operate a fire extinguisher. All employees should know where to evacuate to in the case of a fire. Employees should also be informed not to use an elevator in an active fire and to avoid entering rooms that have hot door handles. Smart preparation can save lives and property.

5 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Man Inspecting an Air Duct with a Flashlight Regularly inspect the home

Tips In Protecting Your Home

When a storm or broken pipe leads to too much water in the home, there’s a chance your Olympia, WA, residence could experience water damage. Fortunately, a local water damage restoration service can help with clean up and repairs. However, there are a few things you can do ahead of time that may mitigate damage severity, and protect your home from long term water damage problems.

1. Regularly Inspect the Home

Regularly inspecting the home can help you make repairs before there’s a chance for water damage to occur. You may choose to have professional help with this process to ensure that any problem areas are correctly located and repaired.

2. Make Repairs Quickly

It’s always important to make repairs quickly after a leak or break in the plumbing. Performing a pipe cleanup quickly can prevent water for soaking in and causing damage.

3. Use Flood Barriers

The use of a flood barrier can help prevent floodwater in the home during a storm. There are many types of collapsible or inflatable barriers that can be set up around vulnerable spaces during a storm and then removed afterward.

4. Keep Gutters Debris Free

Keeping your gutters and other drainage debris free can also help prevent damage. A blocked gutter can overflow and flood the roof. Removing sticks, leaves and other debris can help prevent this.

5. Install a Sump Pump

If your basement regularly experiences moisture problems you may want to consider the installation of a sump pump. This machine can help remove excess water and prevent potential water problems.

Too much water in the home from a storm or broken pipe can lead to water damage problems. Fortunately, there are a few things you can to help mitigate damage. Remember these tips to help protect your home, and contact a restoration service if damage does occur. If you have any questions a professional can help.

Putting Out a Grease Fire

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Set Different Types of Extinguishers (Water, Foam, Dry Powder, Halon, Carbon Dioxide Know which type of fire extinguisher to use

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.

The 4 Main Benefits of a Claims Inventory System

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Tablet and cell phone. The SERVPRO claims inventory system is one of the reasons the franchise is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies

SERVPRO Claims Inventory System

When a disaster strikes, it can be difficult to remain calm. One of the advantages of dealing with a professional emergency response team is that trained technicians exert a sense of calm over the situation. A measured, methodical approach often works best. In the same way, the organization for an insurance claim helps everything get processed more efficiently. The SERVPRO claims inventory system is one of the reasons the franchise is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies. The system brings calm and organization to a hectic time in numerous ways.

1. Organization. An itemized loss inventory report includes an Excel-formatted sheet with expenses and damages backed up with photos. The full report is available to the insurance agent in hard copy and through an electronic format.

2. Thoroughness. A full report for an insurance claim is always provided. This includes first notice of loss, detailed estimates, digital photos, pending jobs, and completed jobs. The report also includes information to improve performance through job cost data.

3. Clarity. A disaster in Tenino, WA, demands clarity when it comes to settling an insurance claim. This can be achieved with the help of an established claims inventory system that serves insurance adjusters and their clients. A customer care center is available to answer questions at any time during the process.

4. Speed. A fast response is the hallmark of any restoration company. The handling of the paperwork for insurance is just as important. This speeds up the entire process and helps a claim get settled and paid quickly.
The processing of an insurance claim can be delayed if the information is missing or it fails to get to the right people. The purpose of a claims inventory system is to make certain things run smoothly during this part of the restoration process. Attention to detail and an understanding of the process through years of experience reduces frustration and errors.

Escaping a House Fire: Teach Your Kids How

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is the reason for National Fire Prevention Week each October. This time is used to educate the public about ways to prevent fires. Take this time yearly to teach kids safety in the event of a fire.

Here are some important tips:

  1. Make a fire escape plan. Draw a map, with your kids, that includes two exits for every room.
  2. Check doors. Feel doors for heat and choose another path if the door is hot. When leaving a room, close a door behind you to slow the spread of smoke and fire.
  3. Crawl. Teach your kids safety for exiting a house by crawling on their hands and knees. Teach them also how to military crawl if the air is too smoky or too hot above them.
  4. Bed roll. The temperature of the air can be drastically hotter just a foot above you. Teach kids how to roll out of bed to avoid sitting up and getting burned.
  5. Designate a meeting place. This is a clear location, at a safe distance from your home, where you can meet quickly.
  6. Get out and stay out. Don’t go back inside for anything, not a toy, not a pet and not even a sibling.
  7. Signal if trapped. If a fire is blocking your exit, try to get to a room with a window. Teach kids safety by telling them to close the door behind them and open the window so they can breathe and signal for help. Teach them to use bedding or clothing to signal while yelling for help.
  8. Don’t hide. Firefighters look a little scary in all their protective gear. Tell kids not to hide from them or the fire.

Fire is scary, but you can teach kids plans and techniques for escape can help keep them safe. If you do have a fire in your home in Tenino,WA, look for a professional restoration company to get you through the damage recovery. The right company will have experience and knowledge to help cleanup and rebuild from your home fire.

How To Stop a Commercial Toilet From Flushing

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

A commercial restroom is a necessity for a business in Tenino, WA. Most of the time the components work fine, and everyone can go about their business, but sometimes things go awry and a toilet overflow occurs. For this reason alone it's helpful to know a little about the anatomy of a toilet. A flushometer is a device used to flush toilets in office buildings, restaurants, and sports stadiums. When it malfunctions, it repeatedly flushes. There are both manual and automatic flushometers. The trouble-shooting steps are fairly similar for either design and only require, in most cases, some basic skills and tools.

Steps To Fix a Manual Flushometer

To avoid a toilet overflow, and to stop the constant flushing, you can repair a haywire flushometer in about six steps. Follow these directions for a quick fix:

  • With a flat head screwdriver, turn off the water to the flushometer
  • With a wrench, take off the lid of the device
  • Remove the flange cover by hand
  • Take out the exposed gasket and clean off sediment
  • Return all parts to their original location

This should do the trick. If it doesn't, the gasket might need replacing. For a better idea of how this all works, watch a tutorial on how to stop a toilet from flushing.

Steps To Repair an Automatic Flushometer
After turning off the water as in the first step above, the next step is to hold down a chrome button (the manual flush mechanism) on the back of the toilet. If you hear two clicks two seconds apart, you will need to clean or replace the diaphragm kit. This is done by removing the top of the flushometer. Once you have fixed the problem, a toilet overflow is less likely to occur. In the case of a toilet flood, you should hire the services of a local water mitigation franchise. A crew of certified technicians will arrive on the property fast and clean up the mess according to the highest professional standards.

Important Facts About Mold in Your Business

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Important Facts About Mold in Your Business

Do you smell a musty odor in a bathroom or utility room in your business? If so, it may be important to find out some facts about how to spot a mold infestation. Mold is a microscopic fungus that loves moist environments. Bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other high-humidity areas are most susceptible to mold growth.
Mold is not harmful or destructive in its natural environment. Outdoors, it assists in breaking down organic substances and improves soils. When mold finds its way indoors, it can damage wood, drywall, and other porous surfaces. Mold can appear as moist patches with a brown, pink, green, or black coloring. Certain species, such as black mold, may be toxic as well as destructive.

Where To Look For Mold
In higher humidity environments, most any porous surface is susceptible to mold. Here are some areas in your business where, upon inspection, you could discover mold growth:

  • Near a previous or current water leak
  • In or near washing machines and refrigerators
  • In crawl spaces
  • On drywall
  • On and inside books
  • In carpets

Your senses are your best mold detector. If you smell a strange odor in a humid area, it could originate from mold. An irregular stain on any surface may also indicate a mold infestation.

What To Do When You Suspect Mold
If you do spot a discolored area or smell something unusual in your Lacey, WA, business, it is prudent to have the area evaluated by your local mold remediation specialist. They will be able to test for the presence of mold growth and recommend cleanup and restoration protocols. Once the mold is removed, you will want to make sure you remedy any leaks or other conditions that caused the high humidity.
If your eyes and nose are telling you mold may have taken hold in your business, it’s important to contact a mold expert right away. A specialist can safely remove the mold and repair any water damage. Before you know it, your facility, your operations, and your peace of mind will be back to normal.

Who Can Help After a Flood?

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup There are three agencies that can assist you after a flood

Agencies That Can Assist You After a Flood

If your Yelm, WA, home suffers flood damage, flood insurance is a reliable way to receive financial support. However, not all homeowners or renters, especially those who do not live in a flood plane, have this type of insurance. Fortunately, there are other organizations that can provide assistance. The following are three agencies that can assist you after a flood:

1. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) FEMA offers grants to people who live in disaster-designated areas. These grants can be used to pay for home repairs, medical bills and other flood-related expenses. Everyone in the disaster area, including renters, is eligible to apply for the loan. If you begin making repairs to your home before an inspector visits, take pictures of the damage before any repairs are done because you may be eligible for reimbursement.
2. Small Business Association (SBA) Despite the organization's name, the SBA does provide disaster loans to homeowners and renters. These low-interest loans are ideal for people whose flood insurance payout and FEMA grant money do not cover all of their expenses. Unlike some other loans provided by the SBA, applicants need not be denied a loan by their own bank before applying.
3. The American Red Cross For those who need immediate assistance, the Red Cross can provide food, shelter, and other basic necessities to individuals and families. Red Cross workers can also provide emotional support, such as playing with kids residing in the shelters. The Red Cross is in all 50 states as well as U.S. territories.
If you do not have flood insurance, or if your insurance does not cover all your flood-related expenses, there are many organizations that can help you get back on your feet. After you and your family are safe and it is time to begin the restoration process, a certified restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Smoke Damage Can Be Incredibly Stubborn

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke on a white background Black smoke in Olympia, WA

Smoke Damage Can Be Incredibly Stubborn

Once the flames have been put out, a business fire in Olympia, WA, still leaves a great deal of effort left to clean up the mess and restore operations. Water damage from the fire suppression can be very severe, and rain will add to that if the exposed areas aren’t tarped and boarded. Fire damaged items must be cleaned or replaced, and structural issues need to be identified. Smoke cleaning may be the most difficult part since it gets everywhere and has amazing material penetration abilities.

Virtually Every Remaining Item After a Fire Will Have Smoke Damage
Building fires tend to be very smoky, due to the materials that are burning and the tendency for them to smolder. Common items that will need cleaning after a fire include

  • Drywall
  • Carpets
  • Drapes
  • Furniture
  • Hard flooring

Inside smoke is a toxic combination of ash, gases, and oils that will spread and diffuse well past the fire itself. Because it is airborne, it finds its way into nooks and crannies with remarkable deftness and penetrates deeply, especially into porous materials.

Removing Smoke Odor Can Be Tricky
You may be able to successfully clean hard surfaces yourself. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is often the most effective method of smoke cleaning. TSP itself is usually no longer available, but TSP substitute is still widely accessible in most hardware stores and works well. For items such as throw rugs and clothes, use a little TSP along with laundry soap in a washing machine for best results. Be careful using TSP when cleaning electronics.
Severe smoke damage will normally require professional smoke cleaning. They have a much wider range of tools at their disposal and have decades of experience attacking the foul, acrid odor. With the right combination of commercial air filtration devices, HEPA air scrubbers, ozone machines, and deodorizing foggers, the odor can be effectively eliminated.
Drywall and exposed wood may also require replacement, depending on the severity of the damage. The decision to clean or replace is ideally left to the fire damage cleanup company since they will always try to find ways to avoid replacing unnecessary items if possible.