Recent Posts

Sneaky Leaks Can Create Big Expenses

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A leaking pipe, with a sign on top that says "Don't wait" Don't wait to fix a leaking pipe

Successful businesses in Yelm, WA have a pulse on all aspects of operations. Running a tight ship means ensuring money isn’t leaking out. The structure in which you operate out of also has the potential to create added expenses, especially when there is a water leak.

Money Down the Drain

A leaky faucet is not just a small, annoying thing that should be overlooked. Along with potentially causing water damage, each little drip can add up to gallons of water in a day. When the problem is more severe than a faucet not working right, so does the impact it can have on expenses.

Small Leaks Lead to Bigger Problems

While things like a toilet running too long may not be causing damage, most leaks can be hiding bigger problems or lead to extensive repairs that could have be avoided. Unfortunately, not all problems associated with a leak are as evident as a pipe break that brings on noticeable water. Damage leaks may be caused include:

  • Mold Growth – These fungi love moisture, warm conditions and getting nutrients from drywall and other materials. If left to its own devices, it will quickly grow and spread.
  • Damaged Floors and Fixtures – Gravity pulls water downhill. Although it may not be noticeable, water could potentially be pooling under floors. The water damaged can spread, affecting tiles, furniture, carpeting, etc.
  • Ceiling and Wall Damage – For structures with more than one floor, there is an intricate plumbing system in place. Rusty or corroded pipes could burst and seep into ceiling tiles, lights and walls.

Although a pipe break is often unavoidable, preventive maintenance and monitoring can deter a water leak from turning into much more. As soon as a leak is detected, get it taken care of to keep costs down. If the problem is too complex, count on a professional for help. Anytime there is extensive damage, it’s best to contact your insurance agent and have a restoration company complete the work.

Mold 101: What is Mold Anyway?

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on kitchen wall Mold on kitchen wall

Just about every homeowner is familiar with the hallmark signs of mold. Musty smelling, fuzzy looking, this fungus often starts as a black or brown speck and soon takes over a corner of your home. Besides being unsightly, black mold can trigger allergies and even damage property. If you don’t want to fight the battle of the mold, the first thing to do is educate yourself. Are you sure you aren’t inviting mold into your Olympia, WA, home? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Mold?

At a basic level, mold is a type of fungus. Comprised of various small organisms, mold spreads easily via lightweight spores that float through the air. When they land on a moist, warm surface like the area under a sink, they start growing. The result is often slimy or furry growths that take residence in:

  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces

What Causes Mold

Spores technically cause black mold, and they are all around us in the environment. The key to preventing their replication is disrupting their environment. Things like leaving wet towels or clothes hanging up, failing to install a fan in your bathroom, or even storing wet wood around your house can all encourage mold growth. Simply put, to discourage mold, you have to re-assess where you have a moisture problem and dry it out.

What Mold is Not

Every brown spot you see in your home isn’t mold. Mildew is a different fungus that also grows on surfaces. But unlike mold, it lacks roots. That makes it easier to remove, so it’s key to learn whether you truly have mold before embarking on removal efforts.Mold is a resilient little entity that can be a great help in nature. But in homes, it’s a smelly pest that warrants removal. Contact a black mold cleanup specialist today to learn what you can do to stop mold in its tracks.

3 Differences Between Flood and Water Damage

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

A house surrounded by flooded waters Flood damage in Lacey, WA

3 Differences Between Flood and Water Damage

While water damage from various sources often causes similar problems, such as mold, rot and rust, it is not all equal. There are some big differences between the water that comes from a flood and the water that comes from a leak or burst pipe. Keep the following distinctions in mind when you are dealing with excessive water in your Lacey, WA, home.

1. The Category of Water Involved

When you are dealing with flooding, this is much different from other water sources, because of the contamination level. Water from a flood is category 3 which means that it can bring bacteria, mold spores, sewage, chemicals and other harmful contaminants into your home. It requires thorough sanitization. On the other hand, rain water or water from pipes are usually category 1 or clean water. These do not pose as many risks.

2. Who Is Affected

After a storm, if you are experiencing flooding in your home, then it is likely that other people in the area are having similar problems. For issues such as broken pipes or leaks, your home is the only one involved. This difference may not seem important, but it can affect the amount of time it takes to have your house attended to since adjusters will be busy with many clients during a flood.

3. Insurance Coverage

Another big difference between these two is that flood damage is often not included in your homeowners insurance while other damage involving water is. If you live in an area that experiences floods often, you may want to purchase a policy specifically for this type of disaster. This will prevent you from having to make costly repairs on your own.
Whether you are dealing with flooding or another type of damage, it is important to begin mitigation right away to prevent additional problems. A professional cleanup and restoration company can make any necessary repairs and have your home looking great again in no time.

How To Deal With a Toilet Overflow

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded toilet is no joke!

What To Do When Sewer Damage Happens To You

For many homeowners, there's nothing worse than an overflowing toilet. Once the mess is dealt with, there's the obligatory troubleshooting and finding a resolution for the problem. Here's a quick how-to on what to do when sewer damage and backup happens to you in Tenino, WA.

1. Stop the Flow of Water. Most toilet overflows are caused by blockages or problems with the tank float mechanism. Locate your toilet's supply line, which is usually found toward the underside of the toilet bowl. Turn its valve perpendicular to the line to stop the flow of water to the bowl.

2. Determine the Problem. If your toilet started to overflow right after you or a household member flushed it, it's likely there's a clog. If so, you should be able to remedy the problem by using a plunger to clear the drain. If the toilet continues to overflow without you or someone else flushing it, it's likely there's a problem with your sewer line or sewer damage. This means your house's running water can't exit and instead backflows to your toilet, the system's lowest point.

3. Understand the Implications of Sewer Backup. With any form of uncontained sewage in your house, it could adversely affect your household and your ability to live and function in the space.

4. Call the Professionals. Due to the associated risks of raw, uncontained sewage in your home, you should immediately contact a professional sewage company that has expertise and experience in sewer damage and contaminant cleanup. Today's professionals have specialized training and state-of-the-art equipment and resources to quickly clean and restore your home.

A flooded toilet is no joke! Fortunately for homeowners like you, it's usually not too difficult to determine the problem. If sewer backup is the issue, waste no time in contacting a professional sewage company. The functionality of your household depends upon it.

The Contents of a Useful First Aid Kit

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

The best items in an emergency kit

When a storm strikes your business in Yelm, WA, you never know what you might encounter. If the storm comes when there are people in the building it's possible injuries may result. Anything serious, of course, should be referred to the hospital or an ambulance should be called in; however, there could be smaller injuries that will respond to some first aid on the spot. Having a well-equipped first aid kit on the premises is one of the first lines of defense in an emergency. So long as it is stocked properly, it can help take care of cuts from broken windows, minor abrasions from falls and small burns from hot surfaces.

The Best Items in an Emergency Kit

It's a good idea to check with OSHA to see if your company has to comply with specific standards for a medical kit. In general, a kit for a small business should have some or all of the following supplies:

  • A variety of sizes of sterile gauze pads
  • An assortment of adhesive bandages
  • Moistened towelettes to clean wounds
  • A resuscitation bag, pocket mask or airway device
  • Latex gloves
  • Scissors

It's also a good idea to have instructions in the first aid kit for calling emergency personnel. This includes medical contacts as well as a team of storm damage experts to call to the scene.

The Main Keys of Good Planning

When it comes to emergency preparedness, your company should have several plans in place for storms and fire control. A first step is appointing someone from the company to be in charge of the plan. This person can contact the local authorities and set up training sessions for the company. Every employee should know where to go in the case of a tornado, a fire or any other emergency. They should be aware of the location of the first aid kit and its contents.

What Your Fire Damage Estimate Includes

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Board up windows in an Olympia, WA building

Services That The Restoration Process Entails

A fire in your building in Olympia, WA, warrants a call to fire restoration experts. When they arrive, they will probably start with an assessment and produce an estimate of the costs you can expect for the work they need to do. While the number may seem large at first, it makes more sense once you know each of the services that the restoration process entails.

Security

Fire damage makes your building vulnerable. One of the first things the technicians have to do is make sure your building is secure. There are several ways to accomplish this task:

  • Board up windows
  • Place a tarp over damage on the roof
  • Post security cameras or a guard

Your building has already undergone enough damage. Security measures keep it safe from weather, vandals and thieves.

Water Mitigation

Many people don't think of water damage as a problem during a fire. Firefighters, however, have to use a lot of water to save your building, and this water can damage the structure and the items inside it. Don't be surprised if your estimate includes water mitigation procedures.

Fire and Smoke Remediation

Everything that the fire destroys has to be removed or repaired. You also have to take smoke damage into account. Smoke and soot particles get everywhere during a commercial fire. They must be removed from surfaces, cracks and the air itself.

Item Cleanup

Your building isn't the only thing damaged during the fire. Equipment, furniture, documents and other items inside it can often be restored by the technicians in charge of remediation.

Building Restoration

After everything has been discarded and cleaned, the rebuilding process begins. Technicians are not fully finished until your building looks and functions the way it did before the fire broke out.
You may balk at a high estimate when you first receive it. Knowing everything that goes into the restoration process, however, can help you understand the price you are quoted.

How a Leaking Roof Can Cause Mold Damage

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

A roof leak can cause mold damage

When it comes to battling black mold growth in your building in Lacey, WA, it is important to target all sources of excess moisture. A common way mold can enter your building undetected and cause plenty of other damage along the way is through a leaking roof. Continue reading to learn how a roof leak can cause mold damage and learn how to maintain your commercial roof to prevent leaks in the first place.

Preventing Roof Leaks

While storms can surely wreak havoc overnight and cause damage to your roof, there are often many warning signs that point to a damaged or leaking roof. A roofing professional can easily identify any of these signs and should inspect your roof periodically to look for any issues. Common problems that can lead to a leak include:

  • Improperly installed roof
  • Missing, curling, or damaged shingles
  • Improperly sealed roof valley
  • Clogged gutters or downspouts
  • Ice dams
  • Improperly sealed openings near HVAC units, vents, gas lines, and other systems
  • Damaged roof flashing or membrane
  • A roof that has met the end of its lifespan

Effects of Leaking Roof

Since roof leaks can go unnoticed for quite some time, it is important to make inspecting your roof a part of your regular maintenance routine. It only takes black mold or other mold species 24 to 48 hours to grow, so not checking your roof can lead to a very large issue. There are also other signs to look out for such as a ceiling leak, a foul smell, or wall and ceiling stains. If you find any of these warning signs, you should call a water damage cleanup company immediately to restore the affected area and address the source of the leak.
Since a leaking roof can lead to the growth of black mold in only one to two days, your best bet at protecting your building is to maintain your roof and focus on prevention. If at any point you find a leak in your roof, act right away.

The 3 Leading Causes of House Fires

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Not surprisingly, cooking is the leading home fire cause

Top Three Leading Fire Causes

Between 2012 and 2016, the National Fire Protection Association estimates U.S. fire departments in Tenino, WA, and around the nation, responded to 355,400 home fires with an annual direct property damage amount of $6.5 billion. That’s an eye-opener. Although this number has drastically decreased since the 1980s, the numbers are still staggering. The top three leading fire causes are given to provide you with a little more information.

1. Cooking

Not surprisingly, cooking is the leading home fire cause. During the five years, an average of 172,100 occurred, costing over $1.1 billion in property damage. Grease, oil and fat is usually the primary source. Setting flammable materials, such as dish towels, near the flame source is a problem as well. In most instances, the pots and pans contain the flames, so damage is minimal.

2. Heating

Heating equipment is number two on the list. Fireplaces and space heaters create the most destruction, usually from sparks landing on combustible materials. Of course, higher statistics come during the winter months. According to the NFPA, most heating fires take place during December, January and February.

3. Electrical Distribution and Lighting Equipment

The third leading reason for a home fire is electrical distribution and lighting equipment. The types of equipment involved include lamps, light bulbs and cords and plugs. These fires can start any number of ways such as outdated outlets, overloading electrical circuits and running cords under rugs. Concerning light bulbs, halogen lights are more likely to cause a fire than incandescent lights.
No matter the cause of a home fire, the result is catastrophic. The amount of loss, whether emotionally or monetarily, can take its toll on you and your family. Speaking with a fire restoration professional may ease your mind concerning the possibility of fire cleaning after a blaze. Keep you and your family safe by educating yourself on the leading causes of house fires.

3 Things You Should Know About Flood Cuts

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cut done in a Yelm, WA home

Flood Cut Process

If you have experienced flooding in your home in Yelm, WA, then you will likely need to have some work done on your house. You may be unfamiliar with some of the procedures used, such as a flood cut. Here are a few things that you should know about this process.

1. What Is a Flood Cut?

A flood cut is the process of cutting and removing a portion of your home’s drywall. It is done when there has been water building up in your house. The height of the cut will be about two to three feet about the level of the water. After the cut has been made, workers will tear out and replace the drywall and insulation.

2. Why Are They Necessary?

While flooding in your home may not always require a flood cut, they are sometimes a necessary part of the remediation and restoration process. They help to prevent the spread of bacteria in your house and can prevent the growth of mold as well. If a water damage restoration company believes that they cannot thoroughly clean and repair the drywall, they may determine that a flood cut is the best course of action.

3. When Will You Need One?

As its name suggests, a flood cut is most often needed after a flood has occurred. When this is caused by something like a broken appliance or burst pipe, it may be possible to salvage the drywall without replacing it. However, if the water has entered your home from outside after a storm, it will likely need to be removed. This is because flood waters carry bacteria and waste that can cause contamination. Porous materials, such as drywall, absorb this water easily which makes them difficult to clean.

If the flooding in your home does require a flood cut, rest assured that a professional service will be able to perform the procedure quickly while maintaining high-quality work. They can also perform repairs on other damaged and affected areas and belongings.

Cleaning Up After a Commercial Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning contents after fire in Olympia, WA

After a fire in your commercial facility, and after the firefighters leave, it would be understandable not to not know where to begin. Fortunately, there are commercial fire restoration services that assess and clean up fire damage every day in Olympia, WA. They know that with the right technology and know-how — using ultrasonic processes, dry-cleaning, or thermal fogging and ozone treatments — your items often can be restored to pre-fire conditions.

Hard-Surface Content Cleaning

Many of your nonporous items can be removed and cleaned ultrasonically at a restoration service’s own lab:

  • Hardware, including small appliances
  • Medical instruments
  • Glass and lighting
  • Sports equipment and toys
  • Plastics and metal
  • Ceramics

The ultrasonic process is eco-friendly and uses very little cleaning agent. Minute fire debris and soot is removed from hard-to-access places with generally good results.

Soft-Surfaces Cleaning

Water on porous surfaces — upholstery, carpet, clothing and draperies — can cause as much damage as fire and smoke. After items are dried as much as possible, restoration experts use the newest dry-cleaning technologies for restoring soft contents to their pre-fire condition. This technique will actually extricate the soot and fire debris, whereas cleaning by hand can work soot deeper into threads of fabric and textiles, causing irreparable damage.

Many items can be dry cleaned right in your building without removing them. Professionals have the expertise to test materials to determine which cleaning method will work for your fabrics.

Residual Smoke Smell

Soft surfaces can retain smoke smell after a fire. Without special equipment, it can be impossible to get rid of. Having these items dry cleaned is a start; thermal fogging can then remove residual odor, as can an ozone treatment. If you previously had some of the soft-surface items moved to content storage (that hadn’t been damaged by fire or soot), you will want to move those back into the building before smoke smell treatments are performed.

A fire restoration service can help you get through the process of getting your business back to its full potential. With its expert knowledge, equipment, and proven techniques such as dry-cleaning and thermal fogging, a restoration company can take the stress out of returning to normal.