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How Workers Stay Safe When Responding to a Flood

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Civil protection men with high visibility clothing during an exercise to prevent flooding in the city Responders will wear safety gear

Ways A First Responder Can Stay Safe

Floods are a catastrophe that can happen in Yelm, WA. They can be caused by excessive rain, tidal surges, ice storms, and dam problems. The workers that respond to these situations must be able to keep themselves. Here are some ways that a first responder can stay safe and how their employers protect them.

Safety Practices
While a first responder faces great risks, remediation companies, rescue squads, or other services that employ them will have established safety practices for them to follow. To prepare, the workers will learn their company's safety plans. This includes:

  • Evacuation plans
  • Emergency kit locations
  • Behaving in floods
  • Plan of action

Additionally, these employees are thoroughly trained in what hazards they should avoid when near floodwaters. For instance, they know to avoid driving vehicles through standing water, entering water that may have a current, touching mold with bare hands, and helping wild animals. Responders will also take preventative measures to ensure their safety, including getting appropriate vaccines and wearing safety gear.

Employer Responsibilities
Each company with a flood response team is required to take measures to protect its workers' safety. This means employers are required to offer each first responder training, appropriate safety gear, and adequate plans for different emergencies. Additionally, employers will likely be responsible for ensuring that workers have the necessary vaccines and follow directions while on the job. This also means that companies do not send their employees into unsafe conditions unless they can safely perform the necessary tasks, such as cleanup and evacuation jobs.
There are many ways that rescue and cleanup professionals can stay safe when dealing with emergencies. For instance, employees can take certain measures, such as getting necessary immunizations and learning their company policies, before entering a hazardous area. Additionally, employers have certain responsibilities they must perform to ensure their employees' safety, such as offering training and safety gear.

When Fire Damage Leads to Water Damage

1/2/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Fire damage in Olympia, WA

The last thing you expect when your home catches fire in Olympia, WA, is to have to deal with water damage. However, when it comes to putting out a fire, it’s inevitable that your home will be deluged with water. Let’s take a look at the types of water damage, how it happens, and how it can be restored.

What Are the Types of Water Damage?

Water damage can take many forms. Standing water can soak into wood and tile to warp them and erode away at any sealants. Dripping water can leave stains and residue, and can cause paint to bubble and peel away. Water has the capacity to significantly weaken structural integrity, and a waterlogged, fire-damaged building is a particularly vulnerable one.

How Does Water Damage Happen?

Depending on the size of the blaze, it may take firefighters hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water to subdue the flames. While much of the water will evaporate on contact with the hottest areas of the fire, much more of it will puddle and pool in your home. These ashy pools may be left standing for some time until cleanup, soaking into the floors or dripping down the walls. Fire hoses also eject water at high velocity, and sheer impact can cause damage. 

Fire hoses aren’t the only culprits, though. Immediate damage during the fire can cause water pipes to burst, flooding areas of the home. Structural damage from the fire can also expose the house to the elements, allowing rain, sleet, and snow inside to cause further water damage.

How Do You Recover a Water-Damaged Home?

Water damage can be almost as difficult to recover from as fire damage, but it’s not without hope. You may have to strip out wallpaper and carpet, dispose of electronics, and discard furniture that absorbed water and cannot dry out. You may also hire trained professionals to restore your home to the best shape possible.

Care for Water-Damaged Belongings

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

workers extracting water with a vacuum in a basement, contents from a home floating on flooded water Water damaged a basement in Olympia, WA

Care for Water-Damaged Belongings

Whether heavy storms create water in-home or a broken pipe floods the basement, it only takes minutes for your belongings to become water-logged and damaged. The good news is that Olympia, WA, water cleanup and remediation professionals can arrive quickly to prevent further damage to your home.

Clean and Dry Your Possessions
While professionals handle the bulk of the cleanup, there are several things you can do to salvage your belongings. One of the first things you should consider is the type of water affecting your home. If the water in the home comes from the sewer, it's best not to handle anything without first discussing possible contamination with professionals. If the water is from your sink or a broken pipe, however, you can start by cleaning your items:

  • Remove belongings from the wet area of your home.
  • Sort items according to how you'll wash them: dry cleaning, laundering, or spraying them off with a hose are some basic categories.
  • Consider applying a disinfectant when appropriate. For example, you can clean off surfaces with disinfecting wipes from the grocery store.
  • Place your belongings in a dry area with plenty of airflow until they are thoroughly dry.

Treat Books and Paperwork With Care
Some of your possessions, such as books and electronics, can be harder to clean. You may need to involve professionals to preserve these items. For example, photo albums and meaningful family documents can be salvaged but could easily be damaged. Let paper goods air-dry or store them in a freezer until you can give them to a professional.

Turn Electronics Over to Professionals
It's easy to damage electronics once they've been affected by water. Never plug-in devices after they've been in water. Instead, move them to a dry area and then contact a computer repair shop or talk to the water damage repair technicians.

Protect Belongings From Water
When you have water in-home, it's normal to experience confusion and frustration. After contacting repair professionals, take steps to clean and dry your belongings by using effective, prescribed methods.

Creating a Fire Escape Plan in 7 Steps

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire breaks out, it can cause chaos inside your business that only leads to the remediation professionals needing to clean up more damage. To avoid this, you want to follow these steps to create an outstanding fire escape plan.

1. Imagine Various Scenarios
The first step for creating your fire escape plan is to examine all of the potential threats and scenarios that could endanger your business in Olympia, WA. Consider where fires would start, how they would start, and what could happen at each location.

2. Establish Responsibilities
During a fire, your employees will look to their leaders to tell them what to do. Therefore, your fire escape plan should have a clear chain of command for emergencies.

3. Create a Communication Plan
Someone must be in charge of communication. Designate an employee responsible for calling the fire department and sharing information with employees, customers, the media, the community, organizational leaders, suppliers, transportation partners, and government officials.

4. Map Exit Routes
A good plan will include the primary and secondary exit routes. Establish these and then clearly mark them. Large buildings will require multiple maps throughout the office spaces.

5. Know Your Tools
Ensure that there are fire extinguishers and break out tools throughout the building. Then, regularly inspect them to keep them in working condition.

6. Rehearse Fire Evacuations
Fire drills should be a regular part of your business. This gives your employees practice and can help you ensure that your plans are working.

7. Adjust Plans As Necessary
As you run your fire drills, you will need to see how it flows for your employees. If you see room for improvement, adjust your plan to make it more efficient.
Whether you have a large or small business, having an emergency escape plan will help things go smoothly in the event of a fire. Following these steps will help you establish one that works for your company.

Are My Flooded Electronics Salvageable?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Above view of laptop with water drop damage liquid wet and spill on keyboard, accident concept Computer damaged by water

As a business owner in Yelm, WA, you may worry that flooded electronics caused by severe weather and faulty plumbing can make your valuable records inaccessible. Answers to the following questions determine if your equipment is salvageable after a flood.

Were Your Electronics Submerged?

When electronics spend any amount of time underwater, damage occurs quickly to parts, including:

  • Circuit boards
  • Lithium batteries
  • Monitors
  • Chips and memory cards

If devices, including computers, printers and phones, are running while submerged, it is critical to shut off the main power supply before handling them to prevent electrocution. Submerged electronics are usually irreparable, making placement the only option.

Were Your Electronics Exposed To High Humidity?
Electronic damage can occur even when your equipment does not spend any time underwater. After a flood, contacting a flood restoration service to perform water extraction can prevent a dramatic rise in humidity. Moisture can cling to dust that collects within your electronic equipment to create a thick, muddy substance that reduces airflow, causing the device to overheat. Excessive heat causes computer motherboards and phone batteries to run slowly and inefficiently.
Electronics powered off while exposed to high humidity have the best chance for successful restoration; however, it is still worth attempting to clean and dry them if this is not the case. Experts who specialize in flooded electronics can do this if you do not feel comfortable handling devices yourself.

Was Water Dripping on Your Electronics?
Leaks are a common cause of flooded electronics in business offices. Leaks can expose devices to water with high concentrations of minerals, ions or contaminants that can cause adverse effects by changing interior parts' conductivity. Attempts to dry your electronics do not guarantee their restoration, but doing so as soon as possible before corrosion sets will increase the chances of success.
If floods and leaks cause electronic damage at your business in Yelm, WA, a flood restoration company can coordinate your drying and repair efforts.

3 Safer Alternatives to Traditional Candles

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

White Ceramic Wax Melt You may enjoy a wax warmer

Candle Alternatives

Candles have long been home-decor staples in Tenino, WA. They give off a warm, inviting glow and many also fill your home with fragrance. Unfortunately, these long-time favorites are also notoriously dangerous. A candle fire can be devastating to your home, and fire restoration experts urge homeowners to switch to safer candle alternatives. Fortunately, there are many options available.

1. Flameless Candles
These battery-operated candle look-alikes mimic the soft, flickering glow of candlelight almost perfectly. They are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Since there is no actual flame or heat, these “candles” are safe to use anywhere inside or outside your home. They work in settings that would be impossible for a traditional candle, such as in an enclosed container. There are no wax drips, making them a great option for the dinner table.

2. Essential Oil Diffusers
Battery-powered candles do a great job of providing safe candlelight, but most are unscented. If the fragrance is what you’re after, try an essential oil diffuser. These candle alternatives use ultrasonic mist to fill your home with the scent of your choice. Just add a little water and a few drops of essential oils. Try mixing a drop or two of different oils to create a custom blend. Unlike scented candles, you can control the strength of the scent, and the diffuser won’t cause allergy flare-ups the way smoke can.

3. Wax Warmers
If you want that traditional candle glow and all the benefits of a scented candle, you may enjoy a wax warmer. There are countless options available, including designs that look like lamps, luminaries, or lanterns and use either steady or flickering light. Some wax warmers use special wax disks or beads; others are made to work with traditional jar candles, so you can still enjoy your favorite scent without risking a candle fire.
No home decor is worth starting a home fire. With so many candle alternatives on the market today, there’s really no reason to take a chance with traditional candles.

Reducing Exposure During Mold Remediation

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Personal protective equipment or PPE is crucial to protect workers

There are many regulations in place to protect mold removal professionals. This includes wearing PPE. If you have a mold removal scheduled for your business in Olympia, WA, you should expect to see many safety procedures in place. However, the amount that is used is dependent on the amount of affected area. Here are the standard safety practices for each project size.

Standard PPE

Personal protective equipment or PPE is crucial to protect workers. The general PPE used during remediation includes:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety goggles
  • Disposable gloves
  • Shoe covers
  • Respirator

Small Isolated Areas
For this type of project, workers need not use more than the standard PPE to protect themselves from spores. Aside from this, workers should clear the area of customers or employees and suppress any dust.

Mid-Sized Areas
Like for small projects, mid-sized areas only require the standard PPE. Workers will also want to clear the area of customers or employees and suppress any dust.

Large Projects
For large mold remediation projects, workers will need the standard PPE. However, this will require more safety measures than small and mid-sized projects. To start, they will develop a remediation plan based on their evaluation and consultant opinions. Then, they will clear the affected area and neighboring areas of employees and customers. Once the area has been cleared, a professional remediation company will use plastic to contain the spores. This includes sealing vents, doors, and any other openings. As with the small and mid-sized projects, they will take measures to suppress any potential dust.

Extensive Projects
When most of a building is affected, the standard procedures for a large project will be used. In addition to these practices, the crew will likely keep the building under negative pressure. They will also turn off the HVAC system.
When the remediation crew comes for your mold growth, you can expect there to be plenty of safety procedures in place. There is a set of PPE that will always be worn during the remediation process, although other safety procedures may change based on the project's size.

3 Ways to Control a Mold Problem in Your Home

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on kitchen wall Mold on kitchen wall

Here Are A Few Tips For Controlling A Mold Problem In Your Home

Your Lacey, WA, home is your most valuable investment. This is why it is crucial that you keep water damage and consequent mold damage out of your home at all costs. While preventing mold from growing is easy, dealing with an existing infestation can prove much more difficult.

1. Check for Leaks
Mold depends on moisture to grow. Although some mold is present in all environments, places with high levels of moisture are much more likely to host large mold colonies. Common sources of moisture in homes are leaking faucets, windowsills, shower areas, and leaking pipes. Routinely check these areas and any others that you suspect may be prone to mold growth.

2. Dehumidify
In many places, the air itself is a significant source of moisture. in humid environments, water will not evaporate quickly, so homes with a high indoor humidity are at risk for water damage. Purchase a good dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air in areas of concern in your home. This small investment can pay off in the future by protecting your home from expensive damage.

3. Contact an Expert
When mold prevention is no longer an option, you must deal with your mold problem directly. Mold restoration can be tricky and often requires equipment and experience to carry out properly. Contact a mold remediation expert who will know exactly how to handle your problem. Remember that an improper restoration can actually lead to a bigger problem, since spores can easily become dislodged, resulting in new colonies.
Having an infestation can be frustrating since it is often difficult for homeowners to understand the extent of their problem. By contacting a professional, you will better understand your problem. You may also be provided with a few preventative measures to take in the future. Controlling water damage is always the first step.

After the Flood: 3 Factors That Determine if Your Flooring Can Be Saved

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

floor and drywall removed from kitchen due to water damage Water damage restoration

Here Are Three Factors That Determine Whether Materials Can Be Saved

A pipe break in your home is every homeowner’s nightmare. This event is stressful and confusing, and you’ll probably wonder if the surfaces in your home can be saved. The good news is that they often can, depending on the circumstances of the leak. 

1. The Class of Water Damage
The class of water damage refers to the rate of water evaporation, and this depends on the material that absorbed the water. Materials that don’t absorb much water are considered class 1 and often are good candidates for restoration. Highly absorbent surfaces like drywall, cushions and carpet are prone to take up moisture and often are considered class 2 or 3. They may be able to be saved depending on the category of water contamination.

2. The Category of Water Contamination
There are three categories of flood water, and this will determine whether the surfaces in your home need cleaning or replacement. Category 1 water is considered a clean water source that is not harmful to people and animals; a pipe break from your shower or sink is considered category 1. Category 2 water, also known as grey water, may carry pollutants like microorganisms that can cause sickness. Category 3 water comes from a source that is highly unsanitary and is considered dangerous to humans and animals.

3. The Structural Integrity of Affected Building Materials
Your water damage restoration specialist will assess the integrity of the materials affected by the leak or flood. Often, surfaces like rugs can be restored with the proper cleaning and drying techniques. Materials like drywall that have been exposed to standing water for long periods may need to be replaced. Your specialist will make recommendations based on their extensive training in this area.
Hopefully, you won’t have to experience the inconvenience of a pipe break in your home in Olympia, WA. If you do, try to remember that many items damaged by clean water can be saved with the proper cleaning and drying techniques.

Preparing Your Company for a Snow Storm

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Before the winter season arrives, you should prepare for a possible snow storm

Prepare Your Company For A Snow Storm

As a commercial building owner in Tenino, WA, you do not just have to worry about hurricanes and thunderstorms harming your property. You have to prepare for the possibility of a snow storm, as well. Blizzards and winter storms can bring several types of hazardous weather, including:

  • Snow
  • High winds
  • Ice
  • Freezing rain
  • Extreme cold

Blizzards can last for several days and knock out both power and heat in your building. To protect your employees and your property from these storms, you should follow the below steps.

Before the Snow
The best thing you can do is prepare well in advance. Keep supply kits handy in the building in case anyone is stranded there for several days. Be sure to include food, water, first aid necessities and extra batteries for flashlights or radios. The kit should also have the phone numbers for local first responders and a reliable storm cleanup company.
You should additionally use caulking and insulation to keep your building as warm as possible. This should prevent a pipe burst from flooding the premises.
It is also important to sign up for local and national emergency alert systems. They can notify you when a snowstorm is coming. You can then have your employees work from home the day the bad weather is expected to arrive.

During the Snow
If the snow comes during the workday, have your employees limit their time outdoors. The roads could be particularly treacherous, so the workers should stay in the building until the storm clears.
Make sure they have coats and other warm clothing that they can wear if the heating system malfunctions. You can use a generator to keep the electricity running, but the generator should be outside and away from any windows.
Before the winter season arrives, you should prepare for a possible snow storm. Being proactive should limit the impact of a blizzard.