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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.

How to Remove Odors From Your Building After a Flood

4/12/2020 (Permalink)

Worker scrubbing the floor with a brush, wet floor surface Make sure to scrub all surfaces that were in contact with the water

How to Remove Odors From Your Building After a Flood

If your business was damaged during a flood in Lacey, WA, you could be dealing with a variety of problems afterward. This can include mold growth, ruined building materials, and lost computer data. One issue that you might not expect is lingering odor. If there is an unpleasant scent in your building after a flood, the following methods can help remove it.

1. Scrub Surfaces
Flood water is highly contaminated. It can carry sewage, dirt, and bacteria which can contribute to the odor you may be experiencing in your building. After the water is removed, make sure to scrub all surfaces that were in contact with the water to remove any remaining contaminants.

2. Clean or Toss Damaged Belongings
Items made with absorbent materials are more likely to be affected by a flood or sewage loss. This water can soak into the materials and they will hold bad smells longer as a result. Smaller items with less damage can sometimes be cleaned. Items like furniture or carpeting that have absorbed large amounts of water will often need to be replaced instead.

3. Inspect For Mold
After a flood, it is common to experience mold growth in a building. Mold can start to grow and spread in as soon as 24 hours after water damage has occurred. This will contribute to a musty odor throughout the building. If you have cleaned all visible surfaces but still have an unpleasant odor, it is a good idea to have a mold inspection done.

4. Use an Air Scrubber
If the previous methods do not work, particles in the air itself might be causing the smell. An air scrubber is a piece of equipment that moves air through a filter to remove these particles. Not only will this remove the odor, but it will also result in cleaner air in general.
Secondary damage from a flood, including mold growth and rotting or rusted materials, should be taken care of as soon as possible. It is best to have repairs done by a cleanup and restoration company. They will have the necessary experience and equipment to return your building to its previous condition.

An Explanation of Mold

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on baseboard Black mold growth on a baseboard

You may not realize it or think about it, but mold is all around you. Most of the time, you won't see it. However, under the right conditions, it can thrive and spread, creating various challenges for you and those in your household. You shouldn't have to worry about mold in most circumstances, but when black mold and other types begin to show up in your home, you'll want to call upon a competent mold removal company to get rid of it.

What it Looks Like

This small fungus floats in the air but can come into your home through windows and doors as well as on pets and people who come inside. Mold can appear in various colors, including:

  • Black
  • Green
  • White
  • Orange
  • Purple

Where it Shows Up

Mold spores won't start to reproduce rapidly unless the right conditions are present. When there is water or humidity, however, black mold and other types can rear their ugly head on many surfaces. You could see it on walls, ceilings or floors. Mold may grow on appliances or furniture as well. Think of the most humid and moist areas of your Tenino, WA, house. These are the biggest magnets for mold growth. These places include bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and under sinks.

How To Prevent It

If you do your part, you can eliminate mold and keep it from coming back. First, identify whether you have a moisture problem. Look for leaky pipes or pair airflow in your house. Repair these issues right away. Also, clean up water damage immediately.

How to Clean It

It's best to call a team of professionals for mold cleanup. For smaller jobs, you can use bleach or vinegar to remove mold. The faster you get on this task, the more likely you are to successfully clean it.
For black mold or other types of this fungus, you can eliminate it from your home for good. Learn more about mold so you can protect yourself and your family.

How To Access Assistance Through FEMA

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Structure being restored 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.

Get the Most Out of Your Commercial Roof With Upkeep

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Construction worker wearing safety harness and safety line working on a metal industry roof new warehouse The commercial roof over your business in Yelm, WA, plays a key role

The commercial roof over your business in Yelm, WA, plays a key role, even if it doesn't receive much praise, in the success of your company. It keeps your workers and customers dry, and it allows operations to proceed without interruption. It also represents a significant cost to your bottom line, especially if you own a large building. Therefore, your roof should be treated with respect. Decisions you make can reduce costs and extend the lifespan of your roof. Signs of damage, such as a roof leak, should be taken seriously and repaired as soon as possible.

The Role of Regular Roof Maintenance

Your roof is exposed to the elements day and day out. It faces high winds, hot and cold temperatures, hail and massive amounts of sunlight. A schedule of maintenance can treat the following roof issues:

  • Cracked and missing shingles from wind damage
  • Excessive wear from trees and vegetation that overhang the roof
  • Pooling water from clogged drains and gutters
  • Dried out tar from direct sunlight
  • A roof leak from ice buildup

Quality repairs can delay the time a replacement roof is needed by several years. Budgeting for a roof replacement allows you to absorb this large expenditure with less worry.

The Role of Timely Repairs

Your business remains strong with a sturdy roof overhead. It allows you to avoid the expenses and problems associated with water damage from a roof leak. This includes everything from damaged contents such as products and paperwork to the increased potential for mold growth. If problems occur from water damage, contact a local storm remediation team that is Faster to any size disaster. A local franchise can be on the scene in under four hours. The company can quickly assess the situation and begin drying out the affected areas with industrial fans, air dryers, and increased ventilation. Being prepared for a big storm with a strong roof and fast action protects your business.

How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater Fixing a leaking water heater is a DIY-friendly project that can save you money

How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater

Waking up to a broken water heater can be a nasty surprise, especially when it happens in the middle of a busy morning. Usually, problems start when someone does a lousy job installing the hot tank, resulting in a premature leak. That, combined with a bad pressure release valve, are the leading causes of hot cylinder issues in Olympia, WA.
Things you’ll need to fix a leaking water heater:

  • Socket wrench
  • Hose
  • Teflon tape

Disconnect the Power Supply

Safety comes first in every DIY project. In this case, turn off the electricity supply coming to the tank. It is as easy as finding the switch labeled “tank” on the main circuit breaker and flipping it to off position. That mitigates the risk of electric shock, especially when working on a failed water heater.
The same applies to gas-powered tanks. You have to find the valve that kills the gas supply and turn it off.

Drain Some Water

Next, you will need to drain the failed water tank partially. To do so, turn off the water supply, open a faucet to release some pressure, then turn on the drain valve. Depending on the tank size, you might have to empty the bucket three to four times before reaching the desired ¾ mark. This procedure will release some pressure from the tank, making it safe for this little project.

Remove the Valve

The culprit in a leaking water heater is typically a faulty valve. Use a wrench to loosen the old fitting and replace it with a new one. However, don’t forget to use Teflon tape on the threads before screwing it in place. Finally, please turn on the cold water supply and power to test it.
Fixing a leaking water heater is a DIY-friendly project that can save you money. Just remember to do regular maintenance to avoid unpleasant situations in the future.