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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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/.
Category 3: How Storm Water Gets Contaminated
Flood water is considered Category 3 water, and that means that dealing with it is best left up to trained professionals.
Owning commercial property in Olympia, 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 helps 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 it gets 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 stormwater, 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. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROlacey.com/.
3 Tips for Handling an Overflowing Toilet
Sewer damage, clogged pipes and other plumbing issues can all cause a toilet flood in your Olympia, WA, home.
Few things might cause more stress for you as an Olympia, 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 in 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 out 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 Olympia, WA, home. However, knowing how to stem the worst of the damage until help arrives can help you protect your home and family. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROlacey.com/.
Tips for Homeowners After a Fire
Many homeowners in Olympia, WA, can easily relay tips to prevent fires. Most can communicate the actions to take when a house in on fire. But, how many know what to do after a fire? How do you file a fire insurance claim? What does fire restoration involve? What are you, the homeowner, expected to do? Take the following actions after a fire to begin the recovery process for your home and personal effects.
How Do I File a Fire Insurance Claim?
• Coverage and procedure depend on your specific policy, so call your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the details.
• The agent and adjuster walk you through the necessary steps and paperwork.
What Is Fire Restoration?
• Immediately contact a reputable fire and smoke cleaning company. The professionals communicate with you and your insurance adjustor throughout the process.
• The course to restore your home and belongings starts with inspection and assessment of the damage.
• For your safety and to reduce the risk of further damage, do not touch or attempt to clean your home yourself. If the area is exposed, the restoration experts may cover your home with a roof tarp or board up windows.
• Firefighters use a lot of water to put out the flames. The professionals will remove the excess water and use specialized equipment to dry your space.
• After your home is dry, professional soot and smoke cleaning commences. The area is then cleaned and sanitized.
• Finally, the process of restoration begins. Depending on the amount of damage, this may include minor touchups such as painting or major construction such as replacing walls. The goal is to return your home to its pre-fire condition.
Do everything you can to prevent fires in your home. If your home catches fire in Olympia, WA, call the fire department to put out the blaze. After the initial shock of your house fire wears off, call your insurance agent and a fire restoration company to help you put your home and life back together again.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROlacey.com.
Sourcing by Smell: How To Find Mold
It’s unmistakable, it’s musty, it’s overpowering, and it’s proven impossible to pinpoint: It’s a mold smell. When your Olympia, WA, business has been overtaken by the malodourous sensation, it’s a sure sign of mold growth – but where? Using the five common senses and some modern technology, you can pinpoint the location and perform remediation to leave the building safe, clean, and odor-free (at least from a fungus smell).
Using the Five Senses.
While all senses can affirm the presence of mold, only a few should be utilized to confront the growth. After assuming its presence due to the suspicious mildew smell, it can be frustrating to not see any visible signs of growth. Keep in mind that mold may be invisible to the human eye because it develops in dark, moist places:
• Behind walls
• Underneath carpet or floorboards
• Inside heating and ventilation ducts
Following the mold smell should lead you to an area where it is most pungent, even if that may be the ceiling or an interior wall. From there, it is important to protect the other three senses by limiting exposure to the infected area.
The sooner the mold problem is remediated, the sooner business can return to normal operation. A mold remediation team can utilize infrared cameras to check for mold growth in the areas invisible to regular sight:
• Infrared cameras can cover large areas in a short amount of time, efficiently identifying the growth and allowing remediation to begin sooner.
• Images of heat radiation can identify areas of moisture (a necessary element for mold growth).
• Temperature gauges can also be read, identifying areas that may be encouraging spores to develop.
Once the location has been identified, pictures can be taken to measure the impacted area and present options for remediation. Mold smell may be unpleasant but is a key indicator of its even more unpleasant source. Follow your nose, and call the pros!
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROlacey.com.
Flood Water Types Determine Cleanup
Whatever has caused flooding in your Olympia, WA, home will determine the required cleanup methods. A pipe break or hose failure from an appliance requires a different remediation response than water damage from a storm-related flood.
Categories of Water Losses.
Experts differentiate the categories of water that can infiltrate your home. Each requires its own response.
• Category One: water from a clean source that offers little to health risk
• Category Two: “gray water” that can create illness or discomfort
• Category Three: “black water” that is severely contaminated and contains pathogens or toxins
All three types of flooding require quick responses to avoid escalation of the damage. Mold begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of inundation and must be arrested as soon as possible. The longer any type of flood damage is left unaddressed, the greater the potential for structural deterioration or health consequences.
Flood Cleanup by Category.
Pipe breaks in the home are often a category one problem, and because the water is sanitary, floods can usually be safely addressed by thoroughly drying structural materials and drying and cleaning porous or semi-porous materials.
Gray water floods come from sources like dishwashers and washing machines, hydrostatic pressure leakage, and overflowing sump basins. Generally, gray water floods are remediated similarly to category one floods through thorough drying and cleaning because of the presence of microorganisms that can compromise health.
Sewage or toilet backflow floods and any rising groundwater, seawater, river, stream or storm-driven water is considered category three. Porous and semi-porous materials contaminated by this type of water must be removed and replaced.
Flooding inside your home can range from a nuisance to a nightmare. The important takeaway for homeowners is that a quick response is always in order, no matter the source of water, in order to prevent the growth of mold.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROlacey.com.