Recent Posts

The Office Fridge: Tips for Preventing Fridge Mold

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

3 Ways to Prevent Fridge Mold

Mold needs oxygen, moisture and organic matter to thrive, and since people need those same elements, it seems there could be potential for mold growth in your building in Lacey, WA. One place where you will find these mold-friendly elements is in a refrigerator. The shared fridge is a scary place, often a source of contention over cleanliness and food property rights. Here are three ways to prevent fridge mold and ensure that your office fridge is a friendly harbor of food storage:

  1. Monitor the environment. Don’t rely on mold smell to monitor the fridge. Keep a thermometer in the fridge to ensure the temperature stays below 40° F, discouraging mold growth.

  2. Communicate procedures. Create a procedure for removing food and disinfecting fridge shelves and drawers weekly. Communicate the procedure with email and signage. Include information on proper food storage, such as using sealed containers. If compliance is a problem, consider paying the janitorial staff an additional fee to ensure the weekly purge.

  3. Provide tools. You can encourage weekly fridge cleanings if you make cleaning materials accessible. Keep a fridge-care basket that includes detergent, baking soda, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, plastic bags, plastic wrap, and a permanent marker.

Special Situations

Company gatherings create the need for additional fridge care. Be sure to store food in sealable containers soon after the event is over. Help maintain a cool temperature by storing larger amounts of food in shallower containers and by keeping the doors closed while packing.

Another special situation is a power outage. If your fridge sat at temperatures of 40° F or above for longer than 2 hours, you need to throw everything out to avoid fridge mold problems.

When All Else Fails

If you have fridge mold, you are not alone. Many companies have had to call professional mold remediators to help return their food storage environment back to a healthy state. When you call a professional, make sure they are experienced with proper mold removal procedures to ensure containment and prevention of additional problems.

What Is Considered Fire Damage for Commercial Buildings?

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Is Considered Fire Damage for Commercial Buildings? Commercial fire in Yelm,WA

What Costs Insurance Will Cover if a Fire Affects Your Business

If a fire affects your business in Yelm, WA, you may be unsure of what costs insurance will cover. When you know what is included under the category of fire damage, you can have a better idea of what to do next.

1. Structural Damage Is Covered

Whether a fire is widespread or more contained, fires often cause a building to sustain structural damage. The damage that occurs to a building after a fire is covered by insurance. In order to receive an accurate estimate of the damage, it is often useful to provide your insurance company with any photos that show what the damaged structure looked like prior to the fire.

2. Loss of Goods or Equipment Is Covered

Any products or pieces of equipment that were damaged in a fire are generally covered. An insurance adjuster will often help determine the exact cost of the fire damage, but it’s often helpful to provide information to the adjuster as well. If you know how many products were damaged and can provide the wholesale price of such products, this can sometimes be helpful information for your adjuster.

3. Business Interruption Is Not Covered

Once your business has been damaged by a fire, the process of restoration can often be time-consuming. A building must be made structurally sound, but before this can occur, the building must be sanitized, and items must be removed from the building. As a result of the restoration process, your business will probably need to close its doors for a period of time. The financial cost of not having your business open for the time it takes to restore the business is not covered by insurance.

Knowing what your insurance will and will not cover in the event your business experiences fire damage can help you better prepare yourself for the financial costs for which you’re responsible. If your business has already sustained damage and you are beginning to make repairs, it can help to work with fire mitigation and restoration experts.

How To Access Assistance Through FEMA

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Access Assistance Through FEMA Repairing a flood damaged structure in Yelm,WA

Around 85 percent of flood damage is not covered under homeowners’ insurance policies. If a storm were to damage your home in Yelm, WA, would you be in that majority? If so, learning about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may save your bank account.

What Is Covered?

This federal government agency coordinates financial and other supports for those impacted by a declared natural disaster. Annually, flooding is the most common calamity that damages homes, vehicles and personal property. FEMA offers the following:

  • Grants are available to restore homes to a livable condition. Although this money does not need to be paid back, it frequently covers only the minimum repairs to ensure your home’s safety.
  • Grants are also available for other related costs, such as temporary housing, medical costs or funeral expenses.
  • Disaster loans need to be paid back. This funding often covers expenses accrued by working with a storm restoration specialist to return your property and belongings to preloss condition.

What Is the Application Process?

In order to apply for assistance, homeowners must meet set criteria. This includes evidence that damage was caused by a federally declared disaster, citizenship (including non-citizen nationals and qualified aliens) of a household member and non-duplication of insurance benefits when applicable. If these requirements are met, take the following steps:

  • Initiate the process online on the appropriate government website.
  • Schedule an appointment with an inspector contracted with the federal agency to visit your home. The role of these inspectors is to survey the damage caused by flooding or other declared disaster. They verify eligibility and document that you are the owner of the impacted structure or property. They also take pictures of extent of the damage.
  • Following the inspection, wait for an adjustor to review the specifics of the damage and assign a monetary value for the cost of repair.

In the aftermath of a flood or other catastrophe in Yelm, WA, homeowners may be eligible to receive funding for disaster related expenses. FEMA provides both grants and loans to help you get back on your feet when devastation strikes.

Escaping a House Fire: Teach Your Kids How

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Escaping a House Fire: Teach Your Kids How Have a fire escape plan in your home in Tenino,WA

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 Limit Flood Damage In a Commercial Building

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How To Limit Flood Damage In a Commercial Building Landscaping may help reduce the severity of flooding to your commercial property in Olympia,WA

Flooding may seem inevitable, but there are many ways to limit flood damage. From inspections to strategic landscaping to gathering emergency equipment to keep out flood waters, here are several steps you can take to limit damage in a commercial property in Olympia,WA.

Flood Proof the Building

Start with a thorough inspection to make sure the building is watertight. This inspection should extend to

  • Doors and other openings
  • Drainage systems
  • Flood panels
  • Floor slab
  • Windows
  • Walls
  • Roof

Regular inspections can identify breaches or damage that may become a source of leaks or flood damage. This inspection may also lead to recommendations for storm shutters or other preventative features.

Strategically Design Landscaping

Landscaping decisions may help to reduce the severity of flooding. Make sure that the grade of the soil slopes away from the foundation of a building. Seek expert advice on how to use plants or trees to ground soil, prevent erosion, and break up the flow of flood water.

Gather Flood Supplies

It is a good idea to keep a variety of flood prevention supplies on hand. These may include burlap bags, sand, and shovels for making sandbags or reusable alternatives to sandbags such as

  • Collapsible reinforced fences
  • Water-filled cofferdams or tubes
  • Materials designed to absorb water

    Alternative designs may be more expensive than sandbag materials, but these methods may also be more environmentally-friendly, faster to fill or deploy, and more cost-effective over time. Effective use of sandbags or alternatives can help to keep water out of a commercial property.

All of these measures can limit the amount of flood damage or storm damage sustained by a commercial building in Olympia, WA. Property on a flood plain should be insured through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurer. If flood waters damage the property, contact a commercial storm and water damage cleanup and restoration service.

3 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Tips for Preventing Water Damage Water damage problem never addressed in a Lacey,WA home

One of the most significant causes of homeowner loss is water damage. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent serious damage.

1. Maintain Your Yard

If you fail to disconnect your hose during the winter, water inside the hose may freeze and expand into the pipe, creating an ice block that bursts the pipes and lead to a waterfall of melted snow gushing into the basement. It may also result in structural damage to the walls and foundation of your home. For similar reasons, keep the gutters clear and inspect them at least twice a year to be sure they are functioning effectively. Don't forget to clear away shrubs and trees that have grown to close to pipes. This includes removing tree roots that may have wrapped around pipes or grown into cracks in the line.

2. Immediately Address Leaks

Routinely inspect major appliances, such as the washing machine and refrigerator, and your plumbing system. Watch out for signs of moisture damage, mold, pools of water, moisture buildup on pipes, and old hoses. If you can catch those problems early on, you can often complete those minor repairs without sacrificing too much time or money.

3. Prevent Problems You Can't See

Many home disasters happen when owners aren't home or while they are sleeping. If you're not at home to complete water cleanup right after flooding occurs, you may be faced with very expensive water damage. Avoid this serious problem by shutting off the water main when you go away for long vacations. You can also install a water detector (many connect to your smartphone) that will send you an alarm when the sensor is exposed to water.

Your home doesn't have to be at risk for water damage. A little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your Lacey, WA, home safe and intact. Otherwise, you may end up getting to know a home remediation company very well.

Black Mold Comes in a Variety of Colors

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Black Mold Comes in a Variety of Colors If your mold inspection report shows that you have a mold problem, your next step should be to find a mold cleanup specialists.

Black mold also goes by the name Stachybotrys, but it is not always black. It can be blue, green or even orange. If you are concerned about mold that is black or any other color, your first step should be to retain the services of a certified mold specialist in Olympia, WA, to perform a whole house mold inspection.

The typical testing for mold is a several step process

1. Test the Air
If you took biology in high school, you might remember Petri dishes with a thin layer of nutrient in the bottom. One common way of testing the air is to set open detection dishes throughout the house and letting mold spores in the air collect on them. After a predetermined time, the dishes are covered, labeled, collected and sent to a lab for analysis.

2. Test the Surfaces
This test involves taking samples from hard surfaces throughout the house. A common way to collect these samples is to lift them off the surface with tape. The tape strips are then packaged, labeled, collected and sent to a lab for analysis.

3. Test Materials
This portion of the mold inspection process involves taking bits of fabric and other materials from inconspicuous areas of chairs, carpets, curtains, drapes and other soft items from all over the house. The bits are packaged, labeled, collected and sent to a lab.

4. Analyze Results
With the air, surface and material test results in hand, the specialist has enough information to create a room-by-room mold assessment. If there are areas of unusually high spore levels, the specialist can then return to the house and attempt to identify their source for future cleanup.

It’s Time to Decide What to Do Next

If your mold inspection report shows that you have a mold problem, especially a black mold problem, your next step should be to find a mold cleanup specialists to carry out the recommendations in your in the inspection report. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROlacey.com/.

3 Water and Sewer Problems Building Owners Can't Afford To Ignore

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Water and Sewer Problems Building Owners Can't Afford To Ignore When commercial properties experience pipe troubles and water-related damages, it's time to call on a professional cleaning service in Olympia, WA.

Many plumbing issues commercial property owners encounter can't be solved with a plunger. Many common sewer system problems cause serious water damage in buildings throughout Olympia, WA. Even a seemingly minor issue such as leaking pipes can turn into a major water-related disaster. This is why it's important to use a professional cleanup company for these situations.

1. A Pipe Break

In most cases, repairing a plumbing system is less expensive than replacing one. For instance, broken copper pipes result in water leakages. Instead of a replacement, these lines can be repaired with the right commercial-grade tools, equipment and resources. From a maintenance standpoint, this is good news because it extends the system's lifespan and reduces the need for a costly replacement in the near future. Additionally, insurers often cover water-related damages due to broken pipelines.

2. A Leaky Pipe

The problems with leaking pipes are often slow and gradual to develop. If this issue persists over an extended period of time, it can cause extensive damage to your building. Look for these signs of water damage to your ceilings, floors and walls:

• Water stains
• Lumpy ceiling tiles
• Warped walls

Additionally, you may notice leaks coming from the faucets, sprinkler systems and HVAC units. There are also invisible leakages that occur in underground pipe systems. In all cases, leaks can lead to issues ranging from high water bills to mold infestations.

3. A Toilet Backup

A backed-up toilet is one of the most unpleasant plumbing problems a commercial property can experience. This issue normally occurs when foreign objects get flushed down the commode. In more serious cases, you may have tree roots blocking the sewer line or blocked plumbing vents.

When commercial properties experience pipe troubles and water-related damages, it's time to call on a professional cleaning service in Olympia, WA. Problems with broken copper pipes, leaking pipes and toilet backups often require expert attention. The sooner you get the hazards resolved, the sooner you can get back to focusing on what matters — running your business. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROlacey.com/.

You Should Have Bought a Houseboat: Four Steps to Prepare for Flood Season

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage You Should Have Bought a Houseboat: Four Steps to Prepare for Flood Season Flood season can be a scary time of year, and you don’t want to get caught in flood water without a paddle.

The idea of being stuck in a flooded building, or on the roof of your car in the middle of flood water, is not appealing to most people. While living in Olympia, WA, may mean that some level of flooding is unavoidable, it doesn’t mean that you have to be caught off guard when the waters rise. The four steps below will help you know your risk, prepare for potential danger, and plan for a possible emergency.

1. Know Your Zone

The easiest thing you can do to prepare is to know your zone. FEMA has designated most geographic regions, specifying their likelihood of flooding. If you are in a moderate to high-risk area, then flood preparation is for you. FEMA designed flood zones to help homeowners and governments plan for emergencies and protect their properties.

2. Create an Emergency Kit

When flood water starts rising, you don’t want to be scavenging for things. An Emergency Kit is a good idea to save valuable time when you need to get out of your house in a hurry. You should take note of medications, charging devices, and any other specific needs of individuals or pets in your home.

3. Make Sure You’re Covered

You should check your homeowner's insurance policy and make sure that it covers flooding. If your plan does not include flooding and you are located in a moderate to high-risk zone, you may want to consider getting the additional coverage to protect against any potential damage.

4. Update Your Contacts

Lastly, you should update your family and friends about any emergency plans, this way they’re in the know and can inform first responders. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt if you have the contact numbers of emergency services, and even restoration specialists for after the storm to clean up any water damage.

Flood season can be a scary time of year, and you don’t want to get caught in flood water without a paddle. You should take the time now, when things are safe, to plan and prepare for the worst. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROlacey.com/.

How To Recoup Lost Revenue After a Fire

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Recoup Lost Revenue After a Fire Interruption insurance is essential to protecting your business in times of disaster.

When you put together your business insurance portfolio, you probably didn't think you would actually have to use it to recover your losses after a fire. If a fire breaks out in your building in Olympia, WA, however, a good commercial property policy can pay for fire restoration services. Many property policies also cover some of the costs of lost revenue, but it is better to have interruption insurance to be fully protected.

Coverage

A business interruption policy comes into play when the damage done to your property is so extensive it affects your ability to conduct business as usual. This policy typically covers a variety of losses:

• Operating expenses
• Temporary relocation
• Lost revenue
• Extra training needed to make operating changes with staff
• Extra expenses

It is important to have a separate interruption insurance policy that kicks in specifically for the purpose of keeping your business alive while repairs are being made. Without it, many businesses never recover after fire damage.

Limits

Most interruption policies cover the time period from the date of the event to the date your property is restored to its former condition. Because it may take some time to get a payment from the insurance company, though, it's a good idea to have money set aside so you can carry on right away when tragedy strikes. It should also be noted that your policy only covers the interruption of your business. If you work closely with other companies on which your business operations rely, it is advisable to purchase contingent coverage for business interruption. That way, if an accident or natural disaster interrupts their operations, you are still protected from the effect that halt in production has on your business.

Interruption insurance is essential to protecting your business in times of disaster. It gives you the time you need to restore your building thoroughly without having to worry about whether the problem is going to ultimately ruin more than your walls and equipment. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROlacey.com/.