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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How Can I Dry Up Water Losses Quickly in My Mount Vernon Gym?

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO warehouse with drying equipment SERVPRO has the equipment and experts to your business needs after a water incident occurs.

Standing water and excessive moisture can lead to hazardous conditions in your gym, so our professionals can help with efficient and effective extraction and drying solutions. 

No matter how water losses originated in your Mount Vernon gym, how you respond to this emergency can make the difference in how much this disaster ultimately costs. For businesses like yours, the most considerable losses happen when the structure must remain shut down to allow for restoration and recovery efforts to occur. Because we recognize how water losses can devastate your gym, we work to take whatever possible steps exist to keep your doors open to your members during the restoration the building needs. 

From addressing standing water concerns to utilizing multiple drying tools, our professionals take direct actions against water damage in your Mount Vernon gym. Because of the expensive equipment throughout the main areas of your structure, as well as the costly flooring material to reduce the shock on joints during cardio, we begin our restoration of your gym with a thorough assessment of the damage and the spread of water loss effects. 

What are the Benefits of Pre-Job Assessments? 

In nearly all of the restoration jobs that our SERVPRO team undertakes, we ensure that all of our technicians and specialists are on the same page. Through a process known as job scoping, we can compile several pieces of critical information about the current water loss and determine what personnel and equipment are necessary to make a difference. There are specific benefits to allowing this evaluation to occur before much of the mitigation or restoration processes, and these include: 

  • Current Conditions - The most direct benefit of a pre-mitigation assessment of the property is a determination of the existing damages to the gym. These are the immediate conditions that must get addressed. 
  • Content Assessment - With several valuable pieces of equipment throughout the facility, our content management team can determine which of these units is in harm's way. If machines can get relocated or protected from migrating water, this can save time and money during the restoration phases. 
  • Documentation for Insurance - Because many commercial structures like yours would lean on their insurance policies to help absorb some of the costs of this restoration, this pre-job scoping process compiles the needed documentation for these insurance adjusters to approve damage claims. 

How Can I Remove Trapped Water in My Gym Floor? 

Some of the most significant investments that you make in your gym is in its flooring materials. Whether you go with a rollout rubber mat floor style or textured soft tiling, it is sturdy and built to last. Ideally, our responding technicians focus on addressing these moisture concerns in the flooring as soon as possible to protect this investment. Some of the tools or processes that might be a part of this include: 

  • Air MoversHigh-velocity portable turbine units blast air to specific points where moisture and dampness are concerns. If water has moved beyond the surface, centrifugal units can get directed against the subflooring. 
  • Drying Mats - Drying these flooring materials can sometimes prove successful with the use of our floor mat drying system. These mats draw steady moisture from the affected material, which can get continually monitored with surface moisture meters. 
  • Controlled Demolition - In some cases where water damage is too widespread or flooring materials have begun to warp and distort with oversaturation, controlled demolition is the only suitable solution. Our in-house contractors can remove only the damaged portions of flooring to make reinstallation more efficient and less costly. 

How Can I Be Sure the Problem is Gone? 

There are many concerns that business owners have from a disaster, even after restoration work completes. You want assurances that the money invested in drying out the gym was well-spent and that worse conditions do not await you in the immediate future. We have several tools and devices that can provide that peace of mind by showing you the extent of our drying efforts. Also, we can ensure that we have successfully addressed the cause of the water damage so that this same situation does not threaten your gym again. We utilize several strategies to give you peace of mind after restoration, including:

With effective containment, it is possible to keep your doors open in a limited capacity while restoration and drying complete. If not, we can work around the clock to get your doors back open as soon as possible "Like it never even happened." Give our SERVPRO of Skagit County team a call today at (360) 873-8744. 

Can My Mount Vernon Kitchen Be Restored From a Cooking Fire?

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage in home Fire damage can be very tricky when it comes time to restore your home back. Call the team of professional from SERVPRO in Mount Vernon.

SERVPRO Can Clean and Restore Damage Done by Kitchen Fires Using Specialized Equipment and Cleaning Agents

Kitchen fires may not do as much damage as large fires but can still leave you with a mess in your Mount Vernon kitchen. Odors can quickly spread. Residue gets left on walls, ceilings, and appliances and needs removed. Our emergency mitigation handles the fire restoration necessary in your Mount Vernon home. We leave your kitchen, “Like it never even happened.”

Do I need a professional cleaner for a cooking fire?

Cooking fires in a Mount Vernon home differ from other kinds of fires. When proteins, such as meat, catch fire, the kitchen becomes coated in a fine mist invisible to the eye. These soot particles can ruin porous surfaces and leave nasty odors. There are several steps SERVPRO accredited Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) technicians follow when dealing with fire damage like this.

  • Inspect the area – this determines how far the soot and smoke have extended into the home.
  • Identify residue – more than one type of residue can exist and can call for different cleaning methods.
  • Identify surface types – different cleaning agents are used depending on the type of surface. Wooden cabinets are different than metal stoves or curtains.
  • Remove residue – capturing and cleaning the residue. A combination of wet and dry cleaning may be required depending on how the residue has bonded with the surface.

Is Fire Loss Mitigation is Crucial?

Cleaning your walls and ceilings yourself may sound like a good idea, but using the wrong cleaning material can lead to further damage. Our IICRC technicians use the proper agents to restore surfaces and tackle other problems that can occur as well.

  • Airborne particulates – air scrubbers may need to be used.
  • Immersion Cleaning – cleans non-porous items with smoke or soot damage
  • Neutralizing odors – includes thermal fogging, and hydroxyl generators

 Fire restoration is what we do best. Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Why Should I Get Professional Help to Clean My Carpets After a Water Leak in my Mount Vernon Home?

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Woman in wellington boots on flooded floor We make it, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Has the Knowledge and Professional Equipment to Help You Quickly in Mount Vernon

Even after a minor water leak in Mount Vernon, there may be extensive damage to your carpet, especially if the moisture under the carpet pads was not detected immediately. Our professionals come in, assess the situation, address the loss, and mitigate any further damage from happening, such as warped floorboards or mold growth.

What Does SERVPRO Use to Get Rid of the Water From my Carpet?

Our Technicians Use Extraction and Drying Equipment to Clear Away Excess Moisture
Our IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) technicians use best practices to deal with the water damage in your Mount Vernon home. They typically extract all standing water with portable or truck-mounted extraction equipment before going about treating and cleaning the carpet. Technicians remove the pad underneath the carpet and usually replace it.

After Extraction, What Do SERVPRO Technicians Do to Treat and Clean the Carpet?

    •    They treat the surfaces of the carpet, first checking to ensure there is no mold or damage.
    •    Use deodorizers and antimicrobial cleaners to treat the flooring and carpet backing.
    •    After putting the carpet back down, treat the front of the carpet with the same deodorizers and antimicrobials.
    •    Extract more water if needed.

After technicians treat the carpets and flooring underneath, they set about the task of thoroughly drying the room. They place air-movers around the room to forcefully push airflow over surfaces. While air movers work, dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air and exhaust warmer air, causing the carpet to dry more quickly. Using our professional services promotes more thorough restoration in a shorter amount of time than if you were to attempt it on your own.

For premium restoration services, Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Cleaning Your Mount Vernon Business Is More Important Now Than It’s Ever Been

5/24/2020 (Permalink)

male spraying a white desk and wiping with a yellow rag in an office Your regular cleaning staff works hard already. We are here if you need a little more help.

SERVPRO of Skagit County Offers a Helping Hand During Challenging Times

Whether you have an essential business or your business is currently not operating, consider SERVPRO if you are considering bringing in extra help to provide cleaning services. Our team in Skagit County wants you to know that you are not alone learning how to reduce the chances of spreading the virus. You can count on the fact that as a leader in the cleaning and restoration industry, we have the training and expertise required to provide emergency and disaster services in Vernon.

Here to Service Essential Businesses

Our SERVPRO team is here to support Mount Vernon and all of Skagit County. We are so grateful for the essential services you are offering in our community to help maintain the health and safety of our residents. A vital service, too, our team is available to conduct deep cleaning operations in Mount Vernon around your schedule. 

Recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, our crew knows how to properly clean up and apply a disinfectant to all surfaces in your business. We focus on touchpoints, including countertops, doorknobs, light switches, handles, and drawer pulls. To improve air quality, we deploy high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) scrubbers that can trap 99.97 percent of the particles in an indoor environment.

When you need us, we are here to help you. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to talk to us about how we can be of service.

Click here for more information about Mount Vernon.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open in Mount Vernon, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Skagit County today at (360) 873-8744 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

How Are Flood-Related Microbial Growths and Odors Dealt with at Commercial Sites?

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration equipment outside of commercial property No matter the size or scope of the water loss event, SERVPRO can handle the restoration project.

Commercial Flood Damage Remediation Companies in Mount Vernon Use High-Tech Gear to Eliminate Microorganisms and Neutralize Unpleasant Odors

When your commercial site in Mount Vernon floods, the immediate resulting physical damage is readily apparent, but that's not all of your concern. Airborne moisture brought into your building by raging floodwaters promotes microbial growths that could cause unpleasant odors, structural deterioration, and adverse health effects. Not effectively handling microbes can cause harmful effects that could appear days, weeks, months or even years after the initial flooding. Poorly trained and less experienced remediation services are often unable to deal with these microorganisms properly. Luckily, though, there are reputable companies like SERVPRO that know how to do the job properly and have the right equipment.

What are the Potential Consequences of Failing to Eliminate Flood-Related Microbes from Your Commercial Structure?

Numerous problems could develop if flood-borne microorganisms are allowed to remain in your building. So, you need the help of a knowledgeable Mount Vernon commercial flood damage restoration service. With that said, here a few of the issues that might arise from a flood-related microbial infestation:

  • Persistent strong, musty odors that are hard to mask or eliminate
  • Black, green, pink, or white stains on ceilings, walls, and flooring resulting from mold and mildew growths
  • Dry rot that weakens and destroys wooden structural elements
  • Adverse health effects impacting you and your employees 

While this is not a complete list of all the ways flood-borne microbes could affect your Mount Vernon business, it does give business owners good reasons for taking these microscopic organisms seriously.

When Dealing with Bacterial and Fungal Infestations, What Equipment Does Companies Like SERVPRO Use?

Successfully resolving or mitigating the effects of bacterial and fungal infestations takes special remediation gear. Some of the tools SERVPRO uses to sanitize and deodorize your business are:

  • Advanced air scrubbers that remove airborne microbes/odor particles and those on surfaces around your facility
  • Thermal foggers that create a fog of neutralizing disinfectants, fungicides, or deodorants inside rooms of your building
  • Ultra-low volume (ULV) foggers, which atomize liquid disinfectants, fungicides, or deodorants and inject them into cavities and hard-to-reach places
  • A host of EPA and OSHA-approved deodorants, fungicides, and disinfectants 

Using this arsenal of anti-microbial weapons, our technicians in Mount Vernon can often successfully eliminate most microbes on surfaces throughout your business, those in your HVAC system, and those in other difficult-to-access areas.

How Does SERVPRO's Anti-Microbial Equipment Work?

SERVPRO's state-of-the-art microbe-eliminating gear is remarkable. Our air scrubbers draw contaminated air into their series of HEPA filters, remove particles and odor-causing molecules, and blow out the clean, filtered air. First, the pre-filters remove larger particles, and a carbon filter attracts and captures odor-causing molecules. Finally, the primary filter takes even the smallest remaining impurities out of the outgoing air. Thermal foggers are also essential pieces of equipment. These instruments heat up and vaporize large volumes of solvents, making it easier for them to bond with and neutralize odor-causing particles. ULV foggers atomize deodorants and anti-microbial agents, creating a fine mist that can access hard to reach places.   

Where Have We Successfully Used Our High-Tech Hardware in Mount Vernon?

SERVPRO technicians have effectively used their advanced equipment to resolve issues at a wide range of governmental, public, commercial, and industrial sites. Some of the locations we have operated at are:

  • Municipal offices and facilities
  • Universities
  • Small office buildings
  • Large office towers
  • Small retail outlets
  • Massive retail stores
  • Motels, hotels, and resorts
  • Restaurants of all sizes
  • Industrial and manufacturing plants

So, whatever kind of business you operate in the Mount Vernon area, help is available if you ever experience flood damage and related microbial issues.

As a business owner, you constantly concerned with protecting your investments and continuing operations. Unfortunately, unpredictable disasters can occur at almost any time. When these events do happen, they can cause significant financial losses and potential business closure. Floods are a particularly troubling threat for businesses around Mount Vernon, because the city, located near bays, lakes, and the Skagit River, is more prone to flooding than other areas. Intense storms with torrential rains and the associated snowmelt from neighboring mountains often cause floods in the spring. When this happens, your first instinct is to have the floodwaters removed, but you should also be mindful of unseen microbes and the long-term damage they can cause.      

If and when your business experiences flooding, remember that there is practical help available. There are local flood damage mitigation and restoration companies with the skills and tools to help you. If your commercial property is ever affected by flooding, contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 for assistance.

How Does Cleanup Work After a Flood?

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged hallway SERVPRO can mitigate your flood damaged home. No Mount Vernon home has to succumb to the struggles without any help.

After Flood Damage, You Can Trust SERVPRO to Restore Your Mount Vernon Home to Pre-Loss Condition

When your Mount Vernon house gets flooded, the water interacts with your belongings and building materials in a variety of ways. Your rugs become saturated as well as anything at the water level. This exposure means that careful measures must be taken to ensure that everything gets cleaned properly. SERVPRO has the techniques and training to address all aspects of your flooded interior adequately.

What Happens with My Contents During Cleanup?

Once we address your flood damage in Mount Vernon by extracting all of the standing water and removing any materials that have deteriorated, we begin cleaning the contents of your home. This is a challenging process, but our team has steps in place that allow us to address contamination, rusting, and other forms of degradation while working on salvaging whatever we can. Some of the steps that our skilled technicians use during the cleaning process include:

• Pre-treatment of any of the washable items. We sometimes use clean water on wet fabrics to work on removing mud and other debris.
• Separation of materials – salvageable vs. unsalvageable. Our team removes any items deemed unsalvageable and dispose of them so that we can decrease clutter and focus on items to be saved.
• Packout services, partial or complete. Often, cleaning salvageable contents in a designated area away from the flood zone expedites the restoration process.

We understand that each flood loss incident is unique. This is why we take the time to tailor a service plan to your needs. We take the time to assess every aspect of your home to ensure all moisture is adequately addressed and that full disinfection takes place. We get you back in your home and enjoying your daily routine, “Like it never even happened.”

To deploy a flood damage mitigation crew to your property, call SERVPRO of Skagit County 24/7 for emergency service at (360) 873-8744.

How Can I Find and Remove Safety Hazards in my House After I Suffer from Fire Damage?

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage in kitchen Let SERVPRO handle all the hard work when it comes to your Mount Vernon home fire problems.

SERVPRO Can Find and Mitigate Safety Hazards After you Have a Fire in your Mount Vernon Home

Nobody ever plans on having a fire ignite inside their Mount Vernon house, but it can happen quickly. According to statistics furnished by the Insurance Information Institute, fire departments respond to fires in the U.S. every 24 seconds, with a home fire occurring every 87 seconds.

What is a hazard?

During fire damage restoration in Mount Vernon, hazards can be defined as anything that could pose a threat or cause harm to a person, your property, or the environment. Before any work on your house begins, our SERVPRO technicians inspect your property to identify any potential safety risks.

What types of hazards can exist in my home after I have a fire?

• Overhead risks, including burnt pieces of ceiling hanging down.
• Electrical shock threats from damage to wiring.
• Slip, trip, and fall hazards due to loose debris.
• Inadequate lighting.
• Occupant or bystander safety risks during work activities.

What can you do to fix the hazards?

• Elimination/Substitution: Sometimes, our SERVPRO crew can eliminate the item causing the hazard altogether or substitute it using a safer method that can perform the same task.
• Engineering: In other cases, we can design the work activity or environment to eliminate or reduce potential safety risks.
• Administrative: During certain projects, we may be able to either train the employees to complete the work at hand in a safer way or schedule the workers in a way that helps eliminate any possible threats.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): During most restoration situations, our technicians can wear PPE that will reduce health risks by creating a barrier between the worker and the hazardous environment. For example, sometimes wearing gloves and protective clothing can protect a worker from dermal exposure to cleaning solutions.
If your house in La Conner or Concrete ever happens to be one of the nearly half-million houses in the country that suffer from a structural burn every year, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

How can I Save my Home from Further Loss after Storm Flooding?

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Storm flooding Flooding can quickly damage your home. Contact SERVPRO for water removal and remediation efforts.

Addressing Issues That Can Lead To Long-Term Problems after Flood Damage Incidents in Mount Vernon.

Flooding can happen any time from extreme weather events such as storms or even regular events such as torrential downpour. Each flood damage incident has the potential to cause long-term problems if not adequately addressed.

Keeping proper records

Although the restoration of flood damage incidents in Mount Vernon can cost much money, your insurance cover is likely to take care of the expenses. Failure to document the loss properly can lead to problems because the insurer might not cover the cost involved fully. Documentation should start before any restoration step, including water removal or repairs. Our SERVPRO technicians help document the loss by taking photos inside and outside the structure. We also take a full inventory of the contents and indicate which ones are salvageable and unsalvageable.

Contamination remnants 

Flooding incidents involving groundwater leave properties contaminated with biological agents and chemicals. There is a need to clean and sanitize all the affected areas to remove such contaminants. The use of disinfectants and other cleaning agents helps deal with most contaminants. However, some contaminants can remain hidden within materials posing health risks to your family. Our SERVPRO technicians have a deeper understanding of the decontamination process. Therefore, we know which materials can be sanitized through cleaning and which ones cannot. We remove all porous materials such as carpets, pad, drywall, and insulation directly affected by the floodwater since cleaning leaves them with traces of contamination. We clean hard surfaces such as tiles, concrete, or metal surfaces with disinfectants and anti-microbial agents to remove all contaminants.

Hidden moisture

Although most of the floodwater remains on the surface of materials, porous and semi-porous materials also absorb a significant percentage. Some of the water might also filter into cavities and other hidden locations. If left unaddressed, such water can cause several problems, including bad odor, deterioration of materials, and mold. Our SERVPRO technicians use advanced moisture detection equipment such as thermal cameras and moisture meters with probes to identify such hidden moisture pockets. We use advanced removal equipment such as drying mats, and structural cavity-drying equipment to remove such moisture, "Like it never even happened." 

Problems can linger long after a flooding incident. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to help address them. We are available 24/7.

More about Mount Vernon.

Some Tips to Help With Water Damage Remediation in Mt. Vernon

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

guy sitting on couch in middle of water damaged living room Trust your water damaged home to our SERVPRO technicians. We arrive quickly and make it "Like it never even happened."

What Can You do to Limit Losses When Large Bodies of Water Enter Your Home?

By contacting SERVPRO, you are reaching out to a Mt. Vernon team of expert technicians with training in all aspects of water restoration. You can trust us to get the job done honestly, on-time and on-budget.

How can I prevent a water emergency in my property?

While water spills can seem like a random event or an act of god, there are many things you can do to prevent the need or water cleanup in your Mount Vernon home. Conducting regular maintenance of your property can go a long way toward preventing water emergencies from occurring, and you should take special care during the fall or winter months to avoid a costly disaster. 

What can cause water damage in my home?

  • Malfunctioning washing or drying appliances
  • Pipes with poor insulation, installation or age
  • Large amounts of rainfall or overflowing gutters
  • Sump pumps as well as crawl space vapor barriers
  • Human errors like leaving on faucets 
  • Road overflow, flash flooding or other external events

What should I do in a water-related emergency?

Your safety is the priority, which is why you should call your insurance provider to check coverage and then a professional restorer to perform the cleanup. In some cases, you may be able to stem the flow of water, which can be vital. You can shut off the water supply at the source or unplug malfunctioning appliances to prevent more water from releasing into the home. Closing doors and sealing them using old towels or sheets can also help to prevent the migration of water while you wait for a SERVPRO technician. 

How can you extract water from the home? 

Moving water can be a challenging task that requires equipment with sufficient lift capacity as well as volume. Water can damage a Mt. Vernon home vacuum cleaner while different types of water, as well as where in the house it is, can influence the type of extraction you need. Most residential properties benefit from a combination of light and weighted extraction tools. Weighted extractors are suitable for fabrics or carpets, whereas lighter wand extractors are suitable for smaller spaces where there is limited moisture absorption. 

How quickly can you extract water from the home?

The initial extraction phase is possible to complete within a day. More copious amounts of standing water that reach over two inches in height may take longer; however, by using electric submersible pumping equipment, we can remove a massive amount in a short period. SERVPRO trucks have storage tanks of up to 100 gallons for clearing away wastewater from residential properties. Usually, the extraction phase is significantly quicker than the drying stage, which takes more attention to detail and expertise. 

Does water damage lead to mold growth?

Increases in moisture and humidity can lead to microbial growth issues. However, these issues are not an inevitable symptom of home with exposure to moisture. The critical factor in whether or not mold becomes an issue is a time. Mold colonies take around seventy hours to form. SERVPRO can apply safe, antimicrobial chemical products to your home during cleaning that can disrupt the stages of microbial growth. By preventing mold spores from moving through the stages of growth, we can focus on effectively drying the property and eliminating the issue.

Will the interior of my home dry naturally after a water spill?

In nature, water evaporates naturally. Natural evaporation occurs because there is air movement, temperature, and low-relative humidity in outdoor spaces. Your home is an enclosed space, which means there may be areas of the home that do not receive enough exposure to evaporating naturally. Commonly, the center of the room dries without too much input, however areas beneath furniture, wall cavities, crawlspaces, or hallways can dry slowly or become damp spots, which can lead to mold issues. 

How can you dry the home thoroughly to avoid microbial growth issues?

By using a combination of various pieces of equipment and knowing the evaporation process inside-out, we can effectively dry your home. Evaporating water from wet surfaces raises the indoor humidity. With little air movement, evaporating moisture can form a barrier that slows drying at a surface level. SERVPRO uses air movement equipment in combination with dehumidification equipment and temperature to ensure that we create the optimal conditions for a reduction in drying times.

What can I use to measure dryness in the home?

  • Borescopes for cavities or areas that are challenging to reach
  • Moisture meters for walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Moisture sensors for testing moisture content inside materials
  • Thermal hygrometers to assess the relative humidity within the affected area
  • Thermal imaging cameras to assess water migration in cavities and floor spaces. 

To test if your home is adequately dry or not, you can take humidity readings from an unaffected room of the house. This reading is your home's natural humidity, which means you can use it to measure the effectiveness of the drying setup. You may also need to use invasive measures to assess wetness within walls or other cavities within the home. 

Overcoming water emergencies is challenging without the correct equipment, training, and qualifications. Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744.

Should I Invite A Professional to Remove Water Behind A Mount Vernon Bathtub?

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician loading restoration equipment into SERVPRO vehicle Each of our vehicles is fully stocked with water restoration equipment. Call us for any of your water damage restoration needs.

SERVPRO Can Help Evaluate Situations that necessitate Water Removal from Your Mount Vernon Home 

In an area like the bathroom where water use is constant, you might not expect water damage since engineers construct the surfaces to contain or withstand high moisture levels. Even when you notice some signs of damage, you might dismiss them as minor and thus procrastinate on finding a solution. Delaying worsens the situation since it lengthens the period of intrusion. 

What problems develop when such intrusion goes unabated?

You should not postpone water removal from your Mount Vernon home for any reason. After all, the cost of confirming whether there is hidden intrusion is not as high as remediating a problem, after waiting until the signs are apparent. A simple intrusion can lead to:

  • The caulk around the bathtub falling off
  • Mold development
  • Damage to wood studs and frames
  • Common wall damage 

What steps does SERVPRO take for effective removal?

Water intrusion in hidden areas presents many challenges. Unlike water spilled in the open, which only requires extraction equipment, the hidden intrusion may require the demolition of the surrounding materials. Such demolition removes deteriorated materials or helps create access points for water extraction equipment. 

Before starting the demolition, our SERVPRO technicians first confirm whether there is water in the bathroom wall cavity. We also confirm the moisture content in the wall materials determining whether to remove or save them through drying. We carry out such checks safely using sophisticated tools such as:

  • Thermal cameras
  • Borescopes
  • Moisture meters

Depending on the results, we can punch vent holes and use cavity-drying equipment for water removal. We can also demolish the entire area to access the water and replace all the materials destroyed by the intrusion. 

A seemingly minor water intrusion can lead to complicated issues during restoration. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to help. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

More about Mount Vernon.

Fire Damage in a Mount Vernon Home can have a Very Unusual Cause

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

"We are here to help" No matter when you make the call, we have technicians who can assist you.

SERVPRO Warns you to be Cautious of the Items in your Home and Their Placement

A house fire in your Mount Vernon residence can create a significant amount of stress for your family. Depending on how much of your property becomes a charred disaster, your family might need to seek temporary shelter elsewhere. Unfamiliar surroundings often add to the uncomfortable amount of stress. Because of this, SERVPRO wants to help make recovering and getting things back to normal as simple and stress-free as possible.

Following the well-known fire prevention tips might not protect your home in Mount Vernon from fire damage in some more unusual situations. Fire does not always start with a spark or a direct flame to combustible materials. Something as benign as a transparent glass figurine or vase in a sunny window to add a dash of color can concentrate the sun enough to start a burning circle in closed curtains, a sweater hanging on a chair, or the carpet. Before placing such decorative items in the window, keep in mind how much sunlight that area of your home receives, especially in the afternoon.

Other causes of house fires include batteries, either loosely stored or in devices. When the ends of batteries touch their positive and negative ends to the same piece of metal, it can produce sparks or intense heat. This can happen with 9-volt batteries very easily because both the positive and negative ends are so close to each other. Storing these very carefully can prevent a fire. Adding a piece of tape to the ends can make them safer for longer storage. Overcharging a device can cause it to overheat, as can leaving it in a sunny location. Charge devices only as long as necessary, and place them in shady locations, avoiding the sun.

The convenience of having a pull-chain light in a closet can also cause a fire. It is easy to forget these lights, and they quickly heat the area around them to intense temperatures. Storing things in cartons, papers, and other highly combustible items can become a very costly and destructive combination. Using a battery-operated light that sticks to the interior surface of the closet can help prevent fire damage.

SERVPRO of Skagit County is always near you, including Anacortes, WA, Sedro Woolley, WA, and Burlington, WA, ready to help your family recover fast after fire damage strikes. Call (360) 873-8744 for more information about how to prevent house fires, or to start the process of restoration and rebuilding.

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Water Removal and Cleaning Terminology in Your Mount Vernon Home

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

"Call Now" Call us today, SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 and we can take a look for you!

Learn the Lingo used by the Professionals

Water can be one of the most damaging things to home in cases of leaks or overflows. Most damage occurs in the bathroom or kitchen area, which can impact textiles, upholstery, carpets, walls, and other materials within your home. 

Quick and efficient water removal in your Mount Vernon home after a spill can mitigate secondary damage like warped flooring and the growth of mold infestation. Knowing some of the cleaning terms explicitly associated with the cleaning and restoration industry may assist in understanding the process to restore your home to its preloss condition. 

Absorption

This is the action where gases and liquids go into the fabric or material fibers through chemical, osmotic, or capillary action. In cleaning, absorption transfers soils or liquids from fabrics and upholstery to something else like towels or stain absorb powder.

Adsorption

The transference of substance from one surface to another surface. This means that the substance does not absorb into the surface but is instead attached to the surface. SERVPRO restoration technicians use the adsorption process when applying topical treatments like fire or stain retardants. 

Agglomeration

The process of agglomeration stops the re-depositing of fine particles of soil into small openings such as scratches, fibers, or pores. In agglomeration, these fine particles merge together to form a larger mass. 

Agents

Oxidizing bleaching agents break down soils by adding oxygen while reducing bleaching agents to remove oxygen to counteract oxidation. Chelating agents are cleaning products like Powdered Emulsifier that reacts with hard water salts to make them water-soluble. 

Dispersion

Breaking up of solid soils in order for separation and suspension to occur within the cleaning solution. This process, also known as deflocculation, suspends soils to stop re-depositing of soils onto the surface. 

Foam Modifiers

Chemicals that increase or decrease foam, allowing technicians to customize detergents depending on the amount of foam needed for the effectiveness of the cleaning process. 

Penetration

Even the smoothest surfaces have small crevices that can hold dirty that becomes difficult to remove. Penetration ability refers to the ability of the cleaning product to get into these small crevices. 

Surfactants

Surfactants lower the surface tension of water-based cleaning products. The thick-skinned surface tension in water causes it to slow penetration; a surfactant fosters faster penetration into porous materials.  

For assistance after any water or fire emergency, contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We are available 24/7 and are Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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Water Removal in Mount Vernon

2/29/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged property “Like it never even happened.”

Proper Management of Water Removal Process in Mount Vernon

Water loss incidents can happen at any time, whether caused by extreme weather or human error.  When such incidents happen in Mount Vernon, you have to find a way to remove the surface water and dry any wet contents or building materials. Professional restoration by SERVPRO helps in many ways to deal with the problems that arise.

Instant Response
Water removal processes in Mount Vernon should start immediately after the spill is discovered. Every minute that passes increases the damages to the property.  One way SERVPRO ensures quick response is by having customer service on call 24 hours a day. Apart from dispatching the restoration crew immediately, the support staff also gives useful tips that you can use to stop or minimize damages. For example, you can use towels to mop vulnerable surfaces such as wooden floors to minimize chances of permanent damage such as cupping or buckling.

Assorted Equipment
Water removal is rarely a smooth process. The spilled water might reach hidden sections of the property or affect a wide range of materials making the removal process challenging. One way to deal with all these challenges is having a variety of equipment to handle specific tasks.  Our SERVPRO crews have access to a huge variety of equipment, including portable and truck-mounted water extractors, different types of pumps, including submersible ones and specialized equipment such as the injectidry system, which remove water from cavities.

Understanding of What Happens After a Water Spill
Water spills may happen at once, but the resulting damage happens in stages. A clear understanding of these processes helps ensure the response is appropriately structured to address any issue that arises. For instance, microbial growth, which results in mold, can happen after a water spill. However, there is a window of 48 hours before the processes start.  This is different from an issue like staining, which happens almost immediately after the water spill occurs.  Our technicians rely on their training to schedule the removal properly, preventing these problems.

When correctly done, water removal should help prevent severe outcomes after a water spill. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to help address any issue sparked by the incident, “Like it never even happened.”

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Pre and Post Construction Cleaning After Mount Vernon Water Losses

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Carpet padding being pulled up off of subflooring with mold spots. We want to make sure your home is mitigated properly after your Mount Vernon water damage, don't let it get this bad.

Your Mount Vernon water loss will take vital build back efforts, let SERVPRO help.

There are many instances in which our SERVPRO professionals must respond to emergencies swiftly and implement demolition and extraction for Mount Vernon homes to help prevent further and more considerable losses. These emergency services are less calculated and precise as controlled demolition later during the mitigation phase. Cleaning technicians with cutting-edge equipment and potent cleaning agents can help to improve the look and function of your home before and after vital build back efforts.

Water cleanup for Mount Vernon homes can encompass many of the steps necessary to fully restore the property. Controlled demolition is often an essential component to recovery, as it provides access for our technicians to use positive pressure systems, low profile centrifugal air movers, and other evaporative drying techniques to manage current loss conditions.

Pre-construction cleanup involves both eliminating debris and preparing the area for the reconstruction to follow. Prepping the workspace can often begin with shoveling out any loose debris and construction material remnants such as deteriorated drywall or wet insulation. Removing this debris, along with deliberately controlled demolition techniques, allows us to remove overly saturated materials and better protect undamaged areas from migrating moisture.

During both the demolition and the reconstruction phases of this process, our SERVPRO team can employ air scrubbers and other HEPA filtration devices. These tools can help to reduce harmful contaminants or particles circulating in the environment until the rebuilding completes. Any loose dust and debris from the new construction by our licensed in-house contractors can get removed using dry vacuums. Wiping down surfaces near to newly installed components can also help to return the property to preloss condition without requiring sophisticated equipment or tactics.

Offering customers a comprehensive approach for restoration can ensure that each phase of scoping and ultimate recovery get accomplished as efficiently as possible. We can help damaged properties through the initial stages of mitigation and clean up the property both before and after build back. No matter how our SERVPRO of Skagit County professionals can help, give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

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Determining Content Loss After Floods in Mount Vernon Homes

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded home Don't let flood damage take over your home. Call us day or night at (360) 873-8744.

Flood Damage Mitigation For Your Mount Vernon Home

Many homeowners see flooding situations and assume that their Mount Vernon property and its contents have suffered a total loss. While there are inevitably areas that cannot get restored or recovered with even the advanced techniques and products of our SERVPRO team, often properties are not total losses. Identifying the severity of the situation and the condition of the contents of your house requires the experience and training of our content management technicians.

While many structural concerns might exist after flood damage in Mount Vernon homes, saturated or potentially contaminated contents can get restored with the appropriate response. Assessing the condition of these items and personal belongings is often the responsibility of our competent project manager. During the scoping of the job, it can get determined which items must get disposed of, which can get restored on-site, and which must get focused cleaning and deodorization at our nearby facility.

Disposal 

We are very conscious of items and belongings that have become exposed to hazardous or damaging conditions after a flood. Many materials like drywall must get removed, and similarly, contents that are sensitive to moisture exposure often become too severely damaged to preserve.

On-Site Cleaning

One of the most cost-effective solutions for content management is the ability to clean, deodorize, and dry contents on-site rather than packing them up and moving them to our SERVPRO warehouse. Once cleaning and restoration have occurred, the items can get safely stored in an unaffected area of the property until mitigation and restoration in the flooded portions of your residence completes.

Pack-Out / Off-Site Cleaning

There are other scenarios where there is no feasible solution on-site for the drying, cleaning, or odor removal of damaged possessions. With residues and contaminants, we can disinfect items and also utilize advanced tools for complete off-site cleaning before safely storing them to await return to your house.

Content management is an essential aspect of flood recovery, as many homeowners believe that a disaster can irreparably affect all of the belongings in their house. Our SERVPRO of Skagit County team can work quickly to protect what matters most after a flood. Give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

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Water Cleanup in Mount Vernon

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged home Each water loss situation in Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, and Burlington is unique.

Thorough Water Cleanup in Mount Vernon to Ensure Sanitary Conditions

Water may be the most well-known cleaning agent, but uncontrolled spills lead to soiling and deterioration of contents or materials in a house. It is crucial to carry out thorough cleaning after such an incident in your property. When correctly done, cleaning can achieve several goals, including restoring sanitary conditions in the affected areas.

Discouraging microbial growth
The likelihood of microbial growth and mold is high after water intrusion. When carried out properly, water cleanup exercises in Mount Vernon can help nip such proliferation at the bud. Our SERVPRO technicians ensure this by using cleaning agents with antimicrobial properties or applying such agents on the cleaned surfaces. For example, after cleaning carpets, we apply the antimicrobial agents on the backing of the carpet and on the floor surface where it is laid. Antimicrobial agents stop or limit microbial development.

Stain removal and prevention
Intruding water affects materials and contents in different ways. Fabrics materials such as carpets, draperies, and upholstery items can stain easily because of running dyes or residues deposit by the water on these materials. Our SERVPRO technicians take various steps to fight stains. Inspecting the affected materials helps establish their properties to ensure the cleaning agents used do not react with them, causing stains. If we notice any stains, we remove them promptly to prevent them from setting.

Removing stubborn residues
Water can soak up residues such as dust in the house, leaving stubborn soiling on items. Alternatively, if the leaking water is not from a clean source, it might contain dissolved residues, which it transfers to the areas it affects. Removing such residues takes effort, including considerable levels of agitation. Our SERVPRO technicians use sophisticated tools, including rotating brushes and power washers, to remove such residues.

Each water loss situation in Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, and Burlington is unique. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to help perform the appropriate cleanup exercise to restore sanitary conditions making it, “Like it never even happened.”

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We Are The Team You Can Trust In Mount Vernon After A Flood

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

A flooded basement with water ankle deep after a storm This flooded basement came after a storm and the water was ankle deep, we arrived right away to start the restoration process.

Fast Extraction Strategies for Flooded Mount Vernon Homes

When flooding occurs in a Mount Vernon home, there is a finite time before irreparable damage happens to exposed materials and contents. Addressing these concerns with a prompt response and effective water removal and drying strategies is the foundation of our SERVPRO water restoration process. This approach is the same strategy we utilize when flooding has occurred as well.

It is undeniable how quickly flood damage in Mount Vernon residences can get out of control without direct intervention from qualified personnel like our water restorers. While one of the initial needs of your house involves board up and tarping from our in-house team of general contractors, how the mitigation of your property gets handled is also a top concern. While emergency construction services and temporary fencing get established, our restoration technicians work on containment and mitigation strategies.

As you might expect, water removal is one of the most vital elements of flood damage recovery. Direct exposure to flooring, trim, wallboard and other materials can lead to structural compromise. We can deploy practical extraction tools like our electric sump pumps, truck-mount extractors, and trash pumps for any standing water that might also contain solids and debris.

Specialty water removal tools are also essential to restore many of the more challenging materials that water can affect after clean water flooding in your house. Carpets can quickly absorb standing water to the subflooring and padding materials, making their drying a vital task to protect underlayment and supports like the plywood and 2x6 framework. We have weighted extractors that utilize the natural weight of our SERVPRO technicians to force moisture to the surface for collection by an onboard powerful vacuum system.

Drying your home might also be a vital component to making flood losses “Like it never even happened,” but that cannot happen until water removal and surface water hurdles have gotten overcome. With premier equipment and experienced technicians, our SERVPRO of Skagit County team can help. You can reach our emergency response team and licensed general contractors 24/7 by calling (360) 873-8744.

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We Are The Right Choice For Your Mount Vernon Water Damage Restoration

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Shelves in our warehouse housing our restoration equipment We are available 24/7 and understand that being able to get equipment on-site to begin the drying or cleaning process is crucial.

Water Damage Left a Funky Smell In My Home

Sometimes we forget just how beautiful Mount Vernon is. Our lush landscape and proximity with nature make the air feel crisp and clean. As homeowners, we are lucky to invite that sense of purity and cleanliness into our homes and lives. However, every so often, accidents happen in our home and leave behind consequences that tarnish the wholesomeness of the environment around us. For example, when plumbing issues cause water to seep into carpets or upholstery, you may find yourself with an odd smell lingering in your home well after the water extraction process.

Our professional SERVPRO crew mitigates water damage to your Mount Vernon home. Our technicians prepare in the classroom and on the job to tackle jobs of all sizes, including water restoration and deodorization. As much as store-bought air fresheners promise to eliminate any unwanted scents, it takes a professional team to neutralize the odor instead of merely masking it. By placing a call to our 24/7 hotline, you gain access to a wide array of deodorizing methods suitable for eliminating the smell once and for all.

At SERVPRO, we pay close attention to the chemical composition of the smell in your home. For some smells, we may use water-based solutions, while other times, we might opt for a solvent-based deodorizer. It depends on the smell we are trying to counteract and its severity. Aside from the solutions, we apply to the surfaces of your home, you might see us employ industry-grade filtration devices and air movers. These tools encourage air circulation to complete our deodorizing efforts. In some instances, we may choose to deodorize your home by vaporizing deodorizing agents and applying them with a thermal fogger. One of the advantages of using a fogger is the penetration of the agent into crevices within your home.

How you tackle the smell left in your home following water damage does not need to be overwhelming. Our SERVPRO of Skagit County team is ready to guide you through the pros and cons of each deodorizing option. Call (360) 873-8744 and let our teamwork to leave your home “Like it never even happened.”

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The Appeal of a Reputable Fire Damage Remediation Company in Mount Vernon

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

bubbled and smoked up ceiling after a kitchen fire Many odors and residues can linger after a fire.  Contact our experienced team for effective fire damage remediation services.

Most Effective Fire Odor Removal Practices for Mount Vernon Homes

Smoke odors are a common concern after fire loss incidents in Mount Vernon homes. Though the fire itself can sometimes remain contained to specific areas of the residence, this is not always the case for the effects that can accompany it. Odors and airborne contaminants require cutting-edge equipment and potent products to address successfully.

While many solutions can reduce and remove odors and other fire damage from Mount Vernon homes, choosing the best approach is the responsibility of our project management and crew chief. During the scoping of the job, we can determine the concentrations of these destructive effects and the best places for containment barriers to limit the spread and migration of smoke damages.

Removing odors from your residence relies on the equipment our SERVPRO team uses and the physical practices we can implement as well. When our team first arrives at your damaged house, we can take note of the charred remnants of where the structure fire burned through specific materials and contents of the house. Ash and debris are significant odor catalysts and must get removed. Our technicians can shovel out this rubbish and begin projects like controlled demolition with our licensed general contractors. Eliminating sources of smoke damage odors can limit the work that deodorizing agents and tools must perform.

We have several potential options when choosing deodorization equipment. Depending on the location and the traffic, options like our ozone machines can be powerful tools for neutralizing odors over large areas like a high vault ceiling living room. Thermal and UV foggers are another reliable choice, and these get selected on their ability to penetrate porous construction materials with their generated vapor and their lightweight portability. Thermal foggers can reach more challenging areas because they are not stationary units.

No matter how challenging and harsh smoke odors can be after a fire, our SERVPRO of Skagit County team can help. We have sophisticated tools and powerful products to make harsh odors “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

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How Refrigerators Cause Water Damage in Mount Vernon

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Silver modern refrigerator with water and ice dispenser in front Water lines for ice makers are frequent causes of leaks in homes. Inspect your line often for damage.

Technicians Provide Fast Refrigerator Water Removal in Mount Vernon 

While appliance leaks are not uncommon, particularly with items like dishwashers and washing machines, refrigerator leaks can pose many challenges for homeowners. Approximately 10% of homes have water leaks that can waste as much as 90 gallons of water per day. To put this another way, that's 131,040 gallons or more each year that can potentially damage possessions, furniture, and structures. 

If an appliance leak requires water removal in your Mount Vernon residence, you can count on SERVPRO technicians to come to your home within hours of your call to restore your home to a preloss condition. No matter the scale of the disaster, this team brings cutting-edge tools and reliable techniques backed by scientific theory to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and dry your home.

Preventing Refrigerator Water Damage

Install a water alarm. These battery-powered devices can detect any water that touches their sensors and can be especially helpful for detecting leaks behind your refrigerator.

See if the fridge is tilted. While water naturally accumulates in the fridge from temperature variance and condensation, a fridge that is tilted forward or sitting level can cause floor leaks.

Look for clogs. Lines that drain water from the fridge or freezer can sometimes get clogged, but a little bit of cleaning can usually clear this up.

Check on the ice maker. Ice makers are a common cause of refrigerator leaks, as the tubes connecting them can sometimes come loose or get damaged. Shut off the water connection to the fridge and see if the leak stops.

Check your fridge's insulation. Condensation that's developing outside the unit might mean that the door gasket is not tight enough. 

How SERVPRO Saves the Day

There are two main types of systems that SERVPRO technicians use to restore a home after a water loss disaster: open and closed. Open systems use dry outdoor air and exchange it with moist indoor air to accelerate drying and improve ventilation. Because of the specificity of the conditions, open systems are not always feasible or ideal for drying.  

Closed systems, on the other hand, contain the affected area, and we use dehumidification equipment to dry indoor air. Technicians can hang plastic sheeting to create drying chambers for a more effective closed system. Relative humidity in a closed system drying chamber should not exceed 40% for porous materials.  

SERVPRO of Skagit County wants to make sure your home looks, "Like it never even happened." Call (360) 873-8744 today for a cleanup service you can count on every time. 

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Flood Damage Mitigation In Anacortes

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

flooding caused by a storm For help with any moisture-related problem, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 any day of the week.

Flood Damage Mitigation In Anacortes Involves The Use Of Various Types Of Equipment

Anyone who has lived in the Anacortes region for a decent amount of time knows that severe storms can occur. Excessive rains and high-speed winds can create conditions that could cause your property extensive flood damage. Any time water from the outside enters your home from incidents like a leaking roof or broken window, your building materials and contents could be at risk. Problems not treated promptly can become worse as time goes on.

Whenever our SERVPRO technicians work on a flood damage situation in Anacortes, we attempt to remove all standing water and dry out any wet materials as quickly as possible. To achieve this goal, our team utilizes a wide variety of techniques and tools of the trade. Most professional restoration companies use a combination of the following five different types of equipment when removing moisture from a structure after a storm devastates your property.

1. Detection Devices
Before any restoration or mitigation procedures begin, our SERVPRO crew first uses instruments to detect moisture levels. We use detection devices to figure out where the water that entered your residence traveled. We can also use detection instruments to figure out how wet items got by testing unaffected areas as well as affected regions.

2. Extraction Equipment
To help speed up the restoration process, our SERVPRO technicians can use heavy-duty extractors to pull out water while it is still in its liquid form.

3. Air Moving Equipment
Air movers and large box fans sometimes get used to create air circulation within an affected room. Circulating the air pushes moist air that is next to wet surfaces away so that more water can evaporate from the affected items.

4. Dehumidification Equipment
Dehumidifiers get used to pull water vapor from the air and control your house's indoor relative humidity levels. These machines pull in wet air, dispense the moisture out in liquid form, and then exhaust out warm, dry air.

5. Deodorization Equipment
When foul odors exist after your structure gets dried out, we can use equipment to apply chemicals that can help deodorize your structure.

If you ever notice that your contents or building materials inside your home got wet after a storm, it is best to call in the professionals. For help with any moisture-related problem, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 any day of the week.

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Mount Vernon Water Loss? Attention DIY-Selfers--Call SERVPRO for Cleanup and Restoration

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

moisture droplets inside of a window Removing Moisture is a Key Factor in Water Loss Mitigation in Mount Vernon Homes--So Call SERVPRO!

How Dehumidifiers Assist in Turning Around Water Damage in Mount Vernon Homes

If you have water damage in your home, you might be tempted to handle it on your own. In some cases, this works out okay, and in other circumstances, it can make the damage even worse.

Doing DIY cleanup of water damage in your Mount Vernon home may involve mops, towels, wet/dry vacuums, and fans. These are fine for drying surfaces, but blowing a fan on a damp carpet, for example, may only manage to dry the tops of the fibers. That means the padding and lower part of the carpet remains damp. This leaves the residence open for further damage from damaged subflooring, mold, and musty odors.

Professional Detection and Extraction Equipment
The technicians use many kinds of moisture detection devices to determine all areas of water migration. When SERVPRO technicians work on a water spill in a home, they use portable pumps and different types of removal equipment dependent on the types of surfaces they are working on.  

Dehumidification Makes the Difference
The dehumidification equipment used in tandem with the air movers starts a cycle that thoroughly dries carpets and surfaces. As the air movers send high-velocity airflow over the wet areas, it causes moisture to rise. The dehumidifiers capture that moisture and remove it from the room. As the cycle continues, progressively drier air circulates. SERVPRO technicians often "float" carpets where they loosen one side and direct air movers to blow both above and below, resulting in a completely dry carpet and padding.

Monitoring the Process
As a water loss area dries, technicians take moisture readings during and afterward to ensure drying goals are reached. This attention to detail assists in the inhibition of both mold and foul odors happening in the home. The average indoor humidity goal is 50% or less, so naturally occurring mold spores do not germinate.

Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 when your home has water damage. The technicians show up quickly, dry, and clean the property to make it "Like it never even happened."

Use SERVPRO’s Expertise When Facing a Flood Damage Scenario in Mount Vernon

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

flooded luxury room with ornate green couch Don’t let flood damage destroy your home. SERVPRO can hope with drying both contents and structure.

The Most Cost-Effective Drying for Mount Vernon Homes

With every flood loss and water loss situation that threatens Mount Vernon homes and businesses, our project management and crew chiefs must thoroughly assess the damaged properties for the best restorative approach. While formulating a plan tailored to the needs of your residence, hundreds of drying decisions must get made to ensure that every affected surface and belonging in your structure gets the specific attention necessary to restore the house to preloss condition.

Cost efficiency is one of the main focuses of our SERVPRO team when addressing flood damage in Mount Vernon homes. In some situations, we have the technology and capability of fully restoring damaged items or construction materials after flooding, but it is most cost-effective and fastest to remove it and reinstall it at a later point when drying completes. With a full-service team of general contractors in-house, we have the versatility to make a broader range of choices from one item to the next.

We have learned through our years of experience in the restoration industry that preserving and drying affected and saturated materials are often more cost-effective than replacement. With natural flooding, cost efficiency takes a backseat to reducing hazards and potential contamination in the house. In these scenarios, our SERVPRO team leans on the side of replacement to eliminate threats to your family and continued risk to the unaffected areas of the structure.

For structural elements and framing that can remain after material removal, the disinfection of this framework can allow it to remain despite controlled demolition of neighboring construction materials, flooring, and ceiling tile. Biocides, disinfectants, and antimicrobial agents can eliminate spores and microorganisms present on the structural skeleton of your household. By making the surface uninhabitable to microbes and colonization, proper drying can allow a strong and reliable base for reconstruction by our licensed general contractors.

Many factors play into the possibility of drying materials and contents after flood damage. No matter how we can help, give our qualified SERVPRO of Skagit County professionals a call today at (360) 873-8744.

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When Floodwater Becomes a Display at Your Mount Vernon Museum

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

man loading SERVPRO equipment into a truck Each vehicle in our Green Fleet is stocked with equipment to restore you flood damaged building. We are always on call and ready to go!

Removing Floodwater from a Mount Vernon Museum 

The Pacific Northwest is rife with history and culture, and with so many stories and folklore of the region, it is no wonder that places like your Mount Vernon museum experience so much foot traffic. With nearly forty inches of annual rainfall expected throughout the state, there are also causes for concern with conditions like natural flooding, flash flooding, and structural damage that allows for water penetration. 

As the steward of historical artifacts and relics, you must act quickly to protect your business from the destructive power of flood damage to Mount Vernon buildings. There are some steps that you can take initially to help, but ultimately the recovery should get left to the qualified and fast-responding hands of our SERVPRO flood recovery team. We have years of experience and can respond with the right equipment to get extraction and drying efforts started within hours of your initial call. 

We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster, but there are some steps that you can take while our technicians are en route to help best protect the items in your possession at risk from the current flooding. The first of these steps is to install any temporary damming or sandbags to prevent the movement of water effects, especially to susceptible areas with valuable cultural exhibits. You can also work to remove items likely to come into contact with migrating floodwater to a safe, elevated location or another site entirely. 

Extraction is a crucial element to the work that we do after a flood, and our SERVPRO team has multiple options. From our light wands and wet-vacs that can work around tight spaces and confined areas to our trash pumps offering continual draw on the water more than 2 inches in depth, we have solutions that can get us to the crucial drying phases as promptly as possible. 

The exhibits of your museum can capture the eye and the wonder of those passing through the museum, but they are also among the first to suffer damage from spreading flood effects. Let our SERVPRO of Skagit County team help with our experience and premier equipment. Contact us 24/7 by calling (360) 873-8744. 

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How to Handle Every Damage Situation in Mount Vernon With Ease By Calling SERVPRO

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

extensive mold damage on a drop ceiling Don't let mold send you packing! Contact SERVPRO to evaluate the situation and remediate any damage.

The Advanced Guide to Damage Remediation Services in Mount Vernon

Through a blend of honesty, hard work, and advancements in the technology of restoration services, our SERVPRO team has become a trusted name for Mount Vernon homes and businesses over more than a decade. Skagit County properties experience damaging effects of fire, storm, mold, and water losses. Our professionals have training and accreditations through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to become knowledgeable assets of our growing brand.

Fire

Cleaning is one of the strong suits of our fire recovery team. As challenging as fire loss effects can be in Mount Vernon homes or businesses, we have a full division of qualified employees that can help. Through the application of modern restoration techniques and cutting-edge tools and equipment designed for deodorization, cleaning, and residue removal, we can make more fire emergencies “Like it never even happened.” 

Our SERVPRO team focuses on caring for the contents of your Mount Vernon home, beginning the moment that we arrive. Soot and other particulates can threaten your belongings swiftly, so our contents department can work to protect these possessions right away. As much as possible, our team works to restore these items on-site and return them to their original location. If the effects are too severe, we might pack-out belongings to our nearby facility for cleaning and storage instead.

Part of providing our customers with the full-service experience after fire damage in Mount Vernon homes is offering reconstruction and repair. Fires can quickly cripple structural elements, and part of returning your property to preloss condition hinges on controlled demolition, debris removal, repairs, and even full-scale reconstruction of destroyed areas.

Storm

As part of the Pacific Northwest, our communities remain susceptible to the severe weather that we can experience both from our neighbor to the north and what hits the west coast from the Pacific Ocean. These powerful weather events can quickly compromise Mount Vernon homes ranging from several feet of heavy snow on roofs to hurricane-strength winds that can break windows and tear off the siding. These situations can be unsettling without a plan, but our SERVPRO team is here to help.

Flooding is an unfortunate effect of structural breaches and prolonged rainfall typical to Washington. With this threat looming for many properties, our professionals have developed fast response plans that have our IICRC-Certified Water Restoration Technicians (WRT) and our Applied Structural Drying (ASD) specialists in route and arriving quickly. With our effective mitigation strategies, we can remove standing water and eliminate saturation to Mount Vernon construction materials and contents.

We have a focus on protecting flooded properties from bacteria and microbial growth when possible. The use of sporicides and disinfectants can help us to eliminate threats on contact and reduce the need for material removal if the contamination levels are not at the highest rating. In situations where demolition and build back is necessary, we have a full-service team of general contractors ready and able to help return Mount Vernon homes to pre-flood condition.

Mold

Mold damage in Mount Vernon homes and businesses is a more common threat than many property owners might realize. With the higher humidity levels and excessive rainfall expected throughout the year, homes can easily encounter persistent damp conditions that lead to mold production. Our objective as a remediation team is not only to remove the colonies discovered on the property but to provide lasting solutions that prevent similar recurrences in the future.

As with any mold situation, containment is one of the first steps to protecting your property and its occupants from the effects of colonization. Mold can emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can exasperate respiratory problems for those exposed and lead to other detrimental health effects without the appropriate intervention. By containing the damaged area, we can regulate the concentration of spore activity and begin filtering out threats as our team works inside the zone to remove the mold colonies spreading in your Mount Vernon residence.

Debris removal and controlled demolition are both effective processes that can reduce the concentration of harmful particulates and debris circulating. Through the oversight of our licensed contractors, we can remove damaged portions of drywall and other organic material to make cleaning easier and faster. When remediation completes, these same professionals can perform full-scale build back and reconstruction for recovered Mount Vernon homes.

Water

Much of the success that we have had in the water recovery niche comes from our commitment to the best tools and equipment available in the industry. Our connection with the larger SERVPRO organization warrants us access to the latest machines, cleaning products, and techniques that set our restoration services apart from the competition. Water loss incidents are an everyday concern somewhere in Mount Vernon, and our IICRC-Certified WRTs can help.

We have a firm reliance on the changing scope of technology to bolster our efficiency and productivity addressing water damage in Mount Vernon properties. Because so many parties become involved in the restoration of a home after a loss incident, we have developed unique software exclusive to our brand called DryBook that documents the drying process and milestones that our professionals reach in the restoration of a home. We can also utilize this same information to coordinate efforts with insurance companies and our customers to keep everyone knowledgeable about the process and what is still to come.

Cleaning is a vital element to the work that our team does following a water loss incident, as residues and debris can be a challenging situation to overcome. Much like the personnel that we provide to address the water damage effects and structural drying, we also have IICRC-Certified technicians endorsed for Carpet Cleaning (CCT) and Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning (UFT.) These accreditations help our technicians to address nearly all hurdles in getting you back in your Mount Vernon property as quickly as possible.

Restoration services are not exclusive to one company or another, but when disasters strike, you have a small window of time to make a decision that best for your property. Our SERVPRO of Skagit County restoration specialists can help with a prompt response and confident recovery approach. Give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vernon,_Washington

Our Experts Will Restore Your Fire And Smoke Odor Damaged Home In Mount Vernon

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Charred Remains of Kitchen Destroyed by Fire Call us at (360) 873-8744, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Reclaiming Your Home from Fire and Smoke Odor Damage in Mount Vernon

Cooking brings many in Mount Vernon great pleasure – seeing family and friends enjoy a home-cooked meal and time together. Our hectic lives can leave us less able to multi-task in our home's more relaxed atmosphere, and this can lead to accidents in the kitchen. Grease fires only take a few seconds to get out of hand, so quick thinking and a handy lid can make a huge difference in how badly your home suffers.

Your home's entire interior in Mount Vernon can smell of fire and smoke odors no matter how many candles you burn, cans of air freshener you use, or hours spent airing out the house. Calling SERVPRO gets things placed in the right direction. We can perform mitigation that corrects both fire damage and the odors that seem to overpower your nose continually.

Odors do not appear out of anything. The odors you smell come from airborne molecules that broke away from larger particles. This is why fire produces generally the same type of odor, although different things produce slightly different scents when they burn. While we clean things up using different methods, these all accomplish the same thing – ridding your home of these smoke and soot particles.

Cleaning with soap and water might seem correct when the soot feels greasy like it does with cooking or grease fires. However, special cleaning agents provide us with a much better result, including a fresh scent immediately. Some surfaces hold more soot than others. These places often remain cooler than other areas, and smoke fills such areas more densely.

Getting things cleaned up and soot-free must happen before our Odor Control Technician (OCT) can get started with fogging and neutralizing the odors. Afterward, the particles that caused odors and possible health effects remain where they may have hidden before, during the fire. This happens at the microscopic level because the fogging binds these particles and makes them much heavier.

SERVPRO of Skagit County is always near homes in Anacortes, Sedro Woolley, and La Conner. Smokey odors and the physical damage caused by fire needs mitigation as soon as possible to protect your property, Call us at (360) 873-8744, 24/7, 365 days a year.

For more about Mount Vernon click here.

Fast Drying Is Vital For A Water Damaged Hotel In Mount Vernon

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Beautiful modern hotel room and suitcase There are multiple points of concern when even minor water loss incidents occur in your hotel.

Reducing Water Migration with Fast Drying of Mount Vernon Hotels

One of the most challenging threats of a water loss incident that originates in a guest room of your Mount Vernon hotel is how quickly this situation can spread. With rooms adjoining the problem unit beneath and to each side, the likelihood of multiple areas experiencing loss effects is higher than you might think. Ideally, the best approach for these emergencies is to reach out to our rapid response team to have our skilled professionals implementing mitigation tactics as quickly as possible.

Identifying the source of water damage to Mount Vernon hotels must be something that your staff works to locate before our SERVPRO team even arrives at your building. Isolating the breach in your system could affect multiple guests as well in the plumbing grid, but staying ahead of this crisis would have likely had you moving these guests to a different area of your hotel until mitigation and restoration efforts completed.

Fast-drying solutions are the foundation that our successful water recovery team builds our reputation upon, and our SERVPRO team can mobilize quickly with equipment to help. The inspection of your damaged areas is critical to determining the right tools and tactics for drying and even extraction if necessary. A loss on the fourth floor of your facility can get much easier handled with our self-propelled weighted extractors, air movers, and dehumidifiers than attempting to move bulkier and noisier equipment like our gas-powered trash pump.

The application of these drying tools to the outer limits of the spread of water loss effects can reduce the migration of these effects and prevent further exposure to your guests. Because of how susceptible drywall, stucco, and other common construction staples for hotels are to moisture damage, we can work tirelessly to reduce the bloating and deterioration of these structural elements.

There are multiple points of concern when even minor water loss incidents occur in your hotel. With paying guests to care for, our SERVPRO of Skagit County can fixate on drying and restoring all affected areas to make the incident “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

For more about Mount Vernon click here.

We Have State Of The Art Equipment To Restore Your Mount Vernon Home After A Flood

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Daycare with a flooded room This flood in a daycare kept them closed for several days. They were in a rush to get open again and we arrived right away and began restoration.

Picturesque Transforms to Flood Damage in Mount Vernon

The propensity of the Skagit River to flood keeps Mount Vernon businesses near its beautiful banks on their toes. Torrential autumn rains in recent years caused officials to close Skagit Riverwalk Plaza when the waters rose to dangerous levels. If the newly installed floodwall does not protect your downtown restaurant, our highly-qualified team of managers and technicians have the training, skills, experience, and equipment to respond.

Equipment Inventories Beyond Compare

Because you need fast and reliable flood damage recovery in Mount Vernon, we invest in high-efficiency, commercial-grade water removal and structural drying equipment. Some businesses try to clean up flood damage using their contracted or in-house cleaning staff. The intensity and specialized nature of the need are often beyond what housekeeping services can support. We select and purchase our submersible pumps and extractors for their ability to clear large spaces of vast amounts of water.

Attentive Assessment of Contaminants and Rapid Removal

SERVPRO commits to mitigating any flood damage activity in your commercial building, followed by remediation of the effects quickly so you can return to serving delicious meals and drinks without disappointing your customers. Floodwaters are by definition Category 3, risking occupant exposure to blood and fecal-borne pathogens, dead animals, mud and sit, and chemicals. Our technicians are skilled and certified in containing the tainted water safely and disposing of it as required by local regulation. Submersible pumps and truck-mounted extractors assist in rapid removal. Our service vehicles provide power generation if electricity is temporarily unavailable.

Final Safety Steps

When water removal is complete, the SERVPRO crew moves on to thorough cleaning and disinfection of the spaces affected. Our crew uses EPA-registered products approved for use around food preparation. Once the surfaces are disinfected, applied structural drying commences. Air movers and heat facilitate the movement of moisture absorbed by your commercial building’s structural components into the air as vapor. Our dehumidifiers capture the airborne water for permanent disposal outside the premises. Technicians measure and monitor moisture levels throughout the process, ensuring that when your wait staff takes their next order all is clean, dried, and disinfected.

SERVPRO of Skagit County has the capacity to manage commercial water losses, including overland and waterway flooding. Call us day or night at (360) 873-8744. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

See more about Mount Vernon.

Fixing Unique Problems after Fire Damage Affects Your Mount Vernon Home

9/15/2019 (Permalink)

Piano with soot and fire damage on the keys of the piano. SERVPRO will help with everything from soot damage, to feather dusting when you have fire damage in your Mount Vernon home.

We will handle all your fire damage problems in your Mount Vernon residence.

Fire consumes materials within a short while necessitating tear down and rebuilding to restore the affected property to its preloss state. However, unique yet simple problems can prevent you from achieving the intended goal. Although the problems may appear mild, addressing them might not be easy unless you get help from professional fire damage restorers since they encounter such problems regularly in their line of work.

Dealing with Rust

Rust can develop after fire damage in your Mount Vernon home. Fire produces a wide range of debris, including fine ash and soot. Soot has acidic properties and tends to corrode metal items and metallic finishes on fixtures such as doorknobs and furniture stands.  Rust causes stubborn stains on fabrics such as silk, wool, linen, and even synthetic fabrics. Such stains can also damage carpets. Our SERVPRO technicians use specialized rust removers such as oxalic-phosphorous acid solution, which alter stains chemically. We also pre-clean and apply a thin oil film on metallic items to prevent rust development.

Water Stains

Water plays different crucial roles in restoring fire loss sites, from the process of quelling the flames to cleaning up.  However, water can also contribute to some of the problems you face. Water stains can be one of these problems. Such stains develop because of over wetting and appear as browning on fabrics. Our SERVPRO technicians can deal with such stains easily using peroxide water stain remover. The product works through oxidation.

Dislodging Soils That Need Mild Mechanical Action  

As smoke moves through conventional currents, soot and other residues adhere to surfaces indiscriminately. While most surfaces are easy to clean, some might are too delicate and vigorous agitation or chemical action can cause more harm. Choosing a method that removes soils effectively without damaging the underlying material can help. Our SERVPRO technicians can choose from a wide range of cleaning methods depending on the conditions including:

  • Feather dusting
  • Vacuuming
  • Compressed air blasting
  • Soda blasting

Simple problems can ruin the outcome of a rigorous restoration process. Call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to ensure all problems are addressed. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.   

If you would like to know more about Mount Vernon, click here.

We Can Save Your Flood Damaged Mount Vernon Warehouse

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

Office with lines of desks with water covering the floor We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

How Costly Recovery Efforts Can Be For A Mount Vernon Warehouse

Mount Vernon warehouses provide a stable location for merchandise, products, and equipment to get stored when they are not yet ready for distribution or awaiting purchase. With so many facilities like this throughout the area, you have a dedicated list of clients that you support. Those that depend on your facility can become alarmed at the discovery that flooding or other disasters have taken place, and the best approaches involve saving the most money.
 
With a facility full of someone else’s belongings, flood damage in Mount Vernon can be an overwhelming circumstance. We strive to provide our commercial customers and residential properties with the same levels of attention and care. As part of a large loss recovery crew, we can ensure that even substantial properties like a warehouse spanning several thousand square feet have the right equipment, personnel, and products to restore.
 
Content management is a considerable element to flood recovery by our SERVPRO technicians, especially when many of the stacked and stored items can get safely stored offsite. Reducing these pressing threats to the items in your care can allow our specialists to get to work unhindered by a fully-stocked facility. The items removed get unique QR codes, allowing us to immediately tell our customers where the items are and escort them to these storage pods in our facility right away. Our cataloging of items and their condition can help with insurance claims as well.
 
Attempting to recover flood loss on your own can initially seem like it is a time and money-saving solution, but this is rarely the case. Our efficient professionals have state-of-the-art equipment and tools to remove standing water and to thoroughly dry the entire building in a matter of days. We can even track our progress to provide transparency to your insurance provider to ensure that as much of the work gets paid for by your provider as possible.

Flooding can be stressful and hit quickly to your entire facility, and that is why our SERVPRO of Skagit County professionals stay prepared for these emergencies 24/7. We can help you when you call (360) 873-8744. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

For more about Mount Vernon click here.

We Understand That Quick Action Is Crucial In Mount Vernon After A Flood

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Technician cleaning flood damage with drying mop Our technicians mitigate water as soon as possible after a flood. We have drying techniques to prevent further damage, so call us right away.

My Watering Hole is Flooded

Your bar should belong in a TV show.  Your loyal clientele feels comfortable sharing their lives with you and with each other over a drink or two.  For many, it is a necessary stop on the way home from a busy day at work, and they cannot imagine Mount Vernon without your friendly ear and refreshing drinks in it.  As much as people love you, they cannot protect you from overflowing bodies of water that may result in floodings in your neighborhood, your bar included. While your patrons have their problems to deal with, you are left with damage both real and potential, and in need of professional services to get you up an running again for the sake of your business and the mental health of your clients.

If you want to minimize the impact of flood damage to your Mount Vernon bar, SERVPRO is here to help.  Quick action is crucial to avoid potential damage from becoming real. Above all things, you want to protect the structure and foundation of your locale by removing water as soon as possible.  Our crew can help you by using our truck-mounted pumps, as well as submersible ones and handheld extraction devices. The extraction prevents your walls and structural features from weakening as a result of water saturation.  

As we work towards drying your bar, after flood damage hits, we work within appropriate health department parameters applicable to your establishment.  Our SERVPRO technicians are well-versed in the intricacies of a thorough restoration job and can intersect that process with your own regulatory needs to complete the job in the most efficient manner.  As we work, we identify the disinfecting needs of your place as well as ready relevant spots for any contractors that need to come in for repairs. Through it all, our staff is there to work and guide you towards a prompt reopening.

Flood damage can be overwhelming for you as a business owner and to all the patrons who frequent your place, especially if their own homes are also in distress.  Commit to opening your doors as soon as possible by calling SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 and let us leave your business "Like it never even happened."

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Professionals in Mount Vernon Give Fire Prevention Tips

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can wreak major havoc in your home. Call the professionals at SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.

What You Can Expect from Professional Fire Damage Remediation in Mount Vernon

Thankfully significant residential fire losses are rare. When it happened in your Mount Vernon home, it can be a life-changing event. Successful recovery from fire requires a partnership with an experienced disaster response team. Our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained managers and technicians have a solid foundation of fire mitigation and remediation theory, on the job experience, and state-of-the-art equipment that transform post-fire chaos to “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage Resolution is Job One

Because of the quantities of water used to limit your Mount Vernon fire damage our crews need to address that first. Water can be just as destructive to structural components and contents as fire, plus it is a major safety hazard. Slip and fall accidents and electric shock risks quickly decrease as the water evacuates. We are a full-service disaster recovery company making the transition from water to fire remediation seamless.

Secure Pack-Out Procedure for Contents

Fire damage mitigation and remediation are easier to accomplish if furnishings and personal possessions are relocated to our production facility. Our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) creates a digital listing of the affected property, very helpful when corresponding with your insurance company. Specialized contents technicians evaluate the packed-out items’ conditions and recommend and implement efficient strategies to clean, dry, deodorize, and disinfect them.

Customized Soot Removal

Fire residues or soot are found not only in the immediate burn area but also in rooms and floors far away. Soot deposits on surfaces cooler than the smoke that carries it away on air currents or through HVAC systems. One fire can challenge SERVPRO technicians with several kinds of sooty deposits. Each kind needs cleaning products, tools, and methods to match its consistency. 

Our IICRC-trained Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) are uniquely qualified to customize soot removal. Dry, ashy soot vacuums and dry sponges away. Thick, sticky soot needs loosening with wetting agents and surfactants, with agitation to facilitate wipe off. Protein-based soot from kitchen fires spreads widely, smells strong, and might need abrasive tools and products plus agitation for removal. 

SERVPRO of Skagit County has the tools, techniques, and training needed to clean up after residential fire damage. Contact us at (360) 873-8744 immediately after the firefighters release your home so we can assess, plan, and get to work.

Click here to see more about Mount Vernon. 

We Act Fast To Limit More Damage To Your Mount Vernon Home

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

We have state of the art equipment to restore your home 24/7 so call us right away to prevent further damage.

Why SERVPRO Is the Mount Vernon Water Damage Industry Leader

The cause of a water crisis in Mount Vernon can be dramatic or mundane. Regardless of what event exposed building materials or fixtures to excess moisture, the crucial issue is how you respond. A misstep at the onset of a water loss can result in progressive deterioration of structures and secondary damage such as mold growth. Mitigating and remediating the harm water brings requires skill, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training, experience, and appropriate equipment. 

Expert Assessment and Project Planning

Our focus on hiring and supporting highly-qualified managers and technicians is why we deliver industry-leading results to Mount Vernon homeowners facing water damage emergencies. Because our team continually prepares our response is fast and effective. As our crew lead evaluates the damage done by burst pipes, malfunctioning appliances, negligent overflows, and more, our technicians are poised to implement the plan immediately.

Comprehensively Stocked Service Vehicles

We avoid delays because all the water removal and structural drying equipment needed accompany our IICRC-certified Water Damage Restoration Technicians (WRT) to the job site. The signature green trucks our crews drive carry commercial-grade submersible pumps, truck-mounted water extractors, air movers, heaters, dehumidifiers, and power generators. Sensitive probes, meters, and thermal imaging technology help us detect moisture levels and trapped water hidden behind walls or in other recesses. Our team’s expertise with the state of the art equipment is why SERVPRO can halt further damage and begin remediation efforts within minutes of arrival.

Restoration Industry Best Practices Structure Our Response

You can rely on us to follow research-based protocols proven to limit permanent damage to your precious home and its contents. The IICRC is an international standard-setting organization, committed to developing reliable and efficacious responses to even the most challenging water damage scenarios. Adherence to these standards is why SERVPRO delivers consistently successful results.

Dedicated Employees On-Site and at Our Production Facility

Outcomes are better when everyone works well together, why SERVPRO values the team approach. We might recommend a pack-out of water-damaged contents for specialized care while the crew at your home concentrates on water removal and drying. Throughout your water damage recovery project, you can count on our management and office staff representing your best interests with insurance carriers and governmental entities.  

Premium customer service during every step of recovery is why SERVPRO of Skagit County stands head and shoulders over other disaster recovery companies. Call (360) 873-8744 for an assessment and rapid transition from water damaged to “Like it never even happened.”

See more about Mount Vernon.

Does My Business Need Flood Insurance

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

Natural disasters can be devastating to businesses. While damage caused by some types of natural events—such as lightning or wind—will usually be covered by commercial property insurance, you need a special policy if you want protection from flood damage. This Q&A will help you understand this type of coverage and determine if your business needs it.

Frequently asked questions about flood insurance

Q. Does my commercial property insurance include flood coverage?

A. No. Damage from flooding, including flooding generated by hurricane-generated storm surge, typically is not covered under a standard commercial policy, including a Commercial Package Policy (CPP) or a Business Owners Policy (BOP). Flood insurance is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Q. What does flood insurance cover?

A.Flood insurance covers damage to your building and contents caused by flood. This includes losses resulting from water overflowing rivers or streams, heavy or prolonged rain, storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, broken dams or levees, or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties. Generally if water comes from above—for instance from rain or melting snow overflowing gutters and leaking onto your inventory—you’ll be covered by your standard commercial property insurance.

Q. What isn’t covered by flood insurance?

A. Property outside your building generally will not be covered. For instance, landscaping and septic systems will not be covered. In addition, flood insurance will not cover damage to your business vehicles, but this can be included in the optional “comprehensive” portion of your business vehicle insurance. Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property are also not covered.

Q. Do I have to purchase flood insurance?

A. If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood area and you have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy.

Q. How do I determine my risk for flood damage?

A. Location is the most important factor for weighing your risk for flood damage. Is your business located in or near a flood zone? (Flood map search tools can be found online.) In what part of the building is your businesses equipment and inventory located? Anything housed on a lower floor, for instance, will be at greater risk.

Q. Where can I purchase flood insurance?

A. Flood insurance is available from the NFIP and some private insurers. However, NFIP coverage can only be purchased through an insurance professional; you cannot buy it directly from the federal government. To find a local insurance professional who is familiar with the National Flood Insurance Program, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531 for an agent referral.

Q. How long does it take to get flood coverage?

A. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.

Q. Does my flood policy cover mold?

A. Damage from mold and/or mildew resulting from the after-effects of a flood is covered, but each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Mold/mildew conditions that existed prior to a flooding event are not covered, and after a flood, the policyholder is responsible for taking reasonable and appropriate mitigation actions to eliminate mold and mildew.

Q. How much flood coverage can I get?

A. Commercial flood insurance provides up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and up to $500,000 for its contents.

Q. What if I need more coverage?

A. You can purchase what’s called excess insurance coverage to rebuild properties valued above National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) limits. Excess coverage includes protection against business interruption.

Content Restoration

12/15/2018 (Permalink)

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

How To Survive Severe Storms

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

What to do during a severe storms

  • If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces.
  • You may want to go to the sheltered area that you and your family chose for your emergency plan.
  • If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
  • You can use a cellular telephone during a severe storm, but it's not safe to use a land-line telephone.
  • Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. Always check the marine forecast before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise.
  • If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you). Stay there.

What to do during

Blizzards

  • When a winter storm hits, stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress for the weather. Outer clothing should be tightly woven and water-repellent. The jacket should have a hood. Wear mittens - they are warmer than gloves - and a hat, as large portion of body heat is lost through the head.
  • In wide-open areas, visibility can be virtually zero during heavy blowing snow or a blizzard. You can easily lose your way. If a blizzard strikes, do not try to walk to another building unless there is a rope to guide you or something you can follow.
  • If you must travel during a winter storm, do so during the day and let someone know your route and arrival time.
  • If your car gets stuck in a blizzard or snowstorm, remain calm and stay in your car. Allow fresh air in your car by opening the window slightly on the sheltered side - away from the wind. You can run the car engine about 10 minutes every half-hour if the exhaust system is working well. Beware of exhaust fumes and check the exhaust pipe periodically to make sure it is not blocked with snow. Remember: you can't smell potentially fatal carbon monoxide fumes.
  • To keep your hands and feet warm, exercise them periodically. In general, it is a good idea to keep moving to avoid falling asleep. If you do try to shovel the snow from around your car, avoid overexerting yourself.
  • Overexertion in the bitter cold can cause death as a result of sweating or a heart attack.
  • Keep watch for traffic or searchers.

Hail

  • Take cover when hail begins to fall. Do not go out to cover plants, cars or garden furniture or to rescue animals. Hail comes down at great speed, especially when accompanied by high winds. Although no one in Canada has ever been killed by hail, people have been seriously injured by it.
  • When a hailstorm hits, stay indoors, and keep yourself and your pets away from windows, glass doors and skylights which can shatter if hit by hailstones. Avoid using the telephone during a storm, and do not touch metal objects like stoves, radiators, metal pipes, and sinks.
  • When a hailstorm hits, find shelter and avoid underpasses or any low lying areas that may flood.

Ice storms

  • Ice from freezing rain accumulates on branches, power lines and buildings. If you must go outside when a significant amount of ice has accumulated, pay attention to branches or wires that could break due to the weight of the ice and fall on you. Ice sheets could also do the same.
  • Never touch power lines. A hanging power line could be charged (live) and you would run the risk of electrocution. Remember also that ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of the precipitation.
  • When freezing rain is forecast, avoid driving. Even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery. Wait several hours after freezing rain ends so that road maintenance crews have enough time to spread sand or salt on icy roads.
  • Rapid onsets of freezing rain combined with the risks of blizzards increase the chances for extreme hypothermia. If you live on a farm, move livestock promptly to shelter where feed is available. Forage is often temporarily inaccessible during and immediately after ice storms. Animal reactions to ice storms are similar to that of blizzards.

Lightning

  • Always take shelter during a lightning storm.
  • There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. Safe shelter can be found either in an enclosed building or a hard-topped vehicle.
  • If you can see lightning or hear thunder, you are in danger of being hit. Seek shelter immediately.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike in a severe storm before venturing outside again.
  • Do not ride bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, or golf carts. These will not protect you from a lightning strike.

Thunderstorms

  • During thunderstorms, you should also stay away from items that conduct electricity, such as corded telephones, appliances, sinks, bathtubs, radiators and metal pipes.

Floodwater After A Disaster Or Storm

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

 

Don’t drive in flooded areas — turn around, don’t drown!

Floodwater can pose a drowning risk for everyone— regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children.

  • Always follow warnings about flooded roads.
  • Don’t drive in flooded areas—cars or other vehicles won’t protect you from floodwaters. They can be swept away or may stall in moving water.

Stay out of floodwater.

Floodwaters contain many things that may harm health. We don’t know exactly what is in floodwater at any given point in time. Floodwater can contain:

  • Downed power lines
  • Human and livestock waste
  • Household, medical, and industrial hazardous waste (chemical, biological, and radiological)
  • Coal ash waste that can contain carcinogenic compounds such as arsenic, chromium, and mercury
  • Other contaminants that can lead to illness
  • Physical objects such as lumber, vehicles, and debris
  • Wild or stray animals such as rodents and snakes

Exposure to contaminated floodwater can cause:

  • Wound infections
  • Skin rash
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • Tetanus
  • Leptospirosis (not common)

It is important to protect yourself from exposure to floodwater regardless of the source of contamination. The best way to protect yourself is to stay out of the water.

If you come in contact with floodwater:

  • Wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If you don’t have soap or water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.
  • Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent before reusing them.

If you must enter floodwater, wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles.

Prevent injuries.

Floodwater may contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, that can cause injury and lead to infection. Prompt first aid can help heal small wounds and prevent infection.

If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, have a health care professional determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records.

For more information, visit: Emergency Wound Care After a Natural Disaster

Prevent infection of open wounds and rashes.

Open wounds and rashes exposed to floodwater can become infected. Vibrios, for example, are naturally occurring bacteria that live in certain coastal waters and can cause skin infections when an open wound is exposed to them. This can happen during floods. To protect yourself and your family:

  • Avoid exposure to floodwater if you have an open wound.
  • Cover clean, open wounds with a waterproof bandage to reduce chance of infection.
  • Keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing well with soap and clean water.
  • If a wound develops redness, swelling, or oozing, seek immediate medical attention.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible if:

  • There is a foreign object (soil, wood, metal, or other objects) embedded in the wound;
  • The wound is at special risk of infection (such as a dog bite or a puncture by a dirty object);
  • An old wound shows signs of becoming infected (increased pain and soreness, swelling, redness, draining, or you develop a fever).

For more information, visit: Emergency Wound Care After a Natural Disaster

Protect yourself and your loved ones from diarrheal diseases.

Be aware that floodwater may contain sewage, and eating or drinking anything contaminated by floodwater can cause diarrheal disease (such as E. coli or Salmonella infection). To protect yourself and your family:

  • Wash your hands after contact with floodwater. Also be sure to wash children’s hands with soap and water often and always before meals.
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas.
  • Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater and have not been disinfected.
  • Do not bathe in water that may be contaminated with sewage or toxic chemicals. This includes rivers, streams, or lakes that are contaminated by floodwater.

For more information, visit:

Protect yourself from animal and insect bites.

Floodwater can displace animals, insects, and reptiles. To protect yourself and your family, be alert and avoid contact.

For more information, visit: Protect Yourself from Animal- and Insect-Related Hazards After a Disaster

Be aware of possible chemicals in floodwater.

Floods can cause containers of chemicals to move from their normal storage spots.

  • Don’t attempt to move propane tanks you might find— they’re dangerous and can cause a fire or explosion. If you find any, contact the police, fire department, or your State Fire Marshal’s office immediately.
  • Be extremely careful when removing car batteries. Even if they are in floodwater, car batteries may still have an electrical charge. Use insulated gloves and avoid coming in contact with any acid that may have spilled from the damaged car battery.

For more information, visit:

Avoid electrical hazards inside or outside your home.

After a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster you need to be careful to avoid electrical hazards both in your home and elsewhere.

  • Shut off electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks in your home to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions.
  • NEVER touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report fallen power lines. Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other activities.
  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.
  • If you believe someone has been electrocuted, call or have someone else call 911 or emergency medical help.

For more information, visit: Protect Yourself and Others From Electrical Hazards After a Disaster

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/floodsafety.html

Mold: What To Look For

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is here and temperatures are fluctuating, moisture is making its way into our homes in the most unexpected areas. As moisture sits and humidity rises within the home, mold begins to find its place to grow. According to Houselogic.com, the 5 most unexpected places for mold to hide in your home are chimneys, refrigerator drip pans, front-loading washing machines, dishes, and windows sashes and seals.

1. Chimneys

As rain and snow collect down in the chimney, they combine with the dirt and other particles within the brick to create a breeding ground for mold to grow. 

2.  Refrigerator drip pans

The drip pan collects moisture and food spills over time and goes unnoticed from being located under the refrigerator where most people don’t think to clean or even look.

3.  Front-loading washing machines

The seal around the door of the front-loading washing machines often stay wet from being closed when not being used, which creates a great environment for mold growth.

4. Window sashes and seals

This is the time of year when the chill of the cold weather combine with the warmth of the inside to create condensation along windows and walls. The dirt and dust particles left on these surfaces mixed with the moisture create the perfect surface area for mold to grow.

5.  Air conditioners

The air conditioning units hold the dust, pollen and moisture from the air. With the AC sitting throughout the winter, it gives mold the chance to grow and still be hidden away.

Source: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/air-quality/unexpected-places-mold-can-hide/

The Growing Problem Of Mold

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is prominent in the news. But why now? This article summarizes some salient issues involving mold, including: (a) the current status of mold “science” and regulations; (b) what causes mold within indoor environments; (c) how the presence of mold is evaluated, and its implications for exposure; and (d) basic considerations in mold remediation projects.

Media attention and the public’s perception or fear of “toxic mold exposure” hit a peak in 2001 when a Texas couple was awarded $32 million in a lawsuit {(Ballard v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 99- 05252 (Travis Co., Texas, Dist. Ct)]. A December 19, 2002 Appeals Court verdict disallowed $17 million for mental anguish and punitive damages; however, the Court still awarded $4 million plus interest as well as lawyers’ fees. An appeal is expected.

Mold is prominent in the news. But why now? This article summarizes some salient issues involving mold, including: (a) the current status of mold “science” and regulations; (b) what causes mold within indoor environments; (c) how the presence of mold is evaluated, and its implications for exposure; and (d) basic considerations in mold remediation projects.

Mold: Why Now?

Actually, “mold” is a general, conversational term for visible fungal growth. It is roughly equivalent to a gardener’s use of the term “weed” for a plant growing where it is unwanted. The term “fungi” includes molds, bacteria, and viruses. Molds are the largest component of the fungal classification, so the two terms are often used interchangeably and indiscriminately. The earliest reference to mold contamination and remediation can be found in the Old Testament (Leviticus 14:33-47]). Mold is ubiquitous in the environment, and is commonly due to construction defects that cause water intrusion in buildings. Fueling media attention and the public’s concerns is the relatively poor understanding of health effects by general medical practitioners, and the lack of comprehensive regulations or standards concerning allowable exposure criteria for the numerous, known genera of fungi that are known. Add this factor to the various known species of fungi, and the research that needs to be done is staggering.

The Basics

The very presence of mold spores is normal in the environment. However, the presence of mold growth indoors is not normal and may pose health and/or comfort risks to some exposed occupants. Mold growth requires spores (“seeds”), favorable temperatures, a food supply, and moisture. Like plants, mold grows by spreading, and the release of spores. Mold easily spreads outward under favorable conditions. However, if conditions are unfavorable for growth, mold will go dormant and release spores into the air so they can find a suitable environment for survival.

Moisture, nutrients, and favorable temperatures can lead to mold growth in water-damaged materials in 24 to 48 hours. Affected materials should be dried promptly to prevent germination and subsequent mold growth. Relative humidity levels less than 30% yield little growth. Humidity levels greater than 70% yield optimal growth. Nutrients include dust, dirt, soiled surfaces, and organic building materials (e.g., wood, latex paint, drywall, and carpet). Ideal temperatures for mold growth range from 40° F to 100° F. Since this range encompasses comfort temperatures for occupied spaces with ordinary nutrients already available, it is no wonder that mold has many opportunities to propagate. This growth can result from inadequate design, installation, operation, and/or maintenance of the site, building envelope, HVAC system, and/or building. In fact, we can only really control moisture.

Status Of “Mold Science” And Regulations

Unlike workplace exposure levels for physical and chemical agents, no regulations, comprehensive standards, or guidelines currently exist for determining safe levels of mold. There is a lack of information on specific human responses to mold contaminants. Current exposure assessments are based on the judgment of an experienced industrial hygienist, or other qualified indoor air quality professional, using indoor and outdoor comparisons of fungal counts and types.

This may change shortly as a number of possible organizations emerge to shape the science of mold. They include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), guidelines such as the “Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments” published in April 2000 by the New York City Department Of Health, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/Americans with Disabilities Act, and the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) May, 2001 “Report by the Microbial Growth Task Force.”

The lack of well accepted regulations, standards, and guidelines is the largest reason why mold litigation has faltered. Daubert/Frye challenges have been successfully used to prevent fungal testing and medical testimony from being admitted into many court cases (the Ballard case was ultimately based on insurance bad faith issues).

However, recent developments may change the information and facts that we use. The US Toxic Mold Safety & Protection Act of 2002 (HR 5040), a/k/a the “Melina Bill”, was sponsored by J. Conyers, Jr., (DMich.). The bill was introduced into Congress on June 27, 2002, and addresses mold in residential homes and government buildings. The full text is available at www.house.gov/conyers/Mold_Bill.pdf. The bill’s basic provisions include (a) establishing guidelines and defining acceptable mold levels; (b) establishing minimum training levels and requirements for the licensing of environmental inspectors and environmental laboratories; (c) providing funds to the CDC and NIH to conduct extensive research and testing to determine the range and magnitude of the black mold infestation problems; (d) providing a 50% tax credit to home owners who pay for a mold inspection, and the creation of a national database of homes found to be infested with toxic mold; (e) requiring the EPA to establish construction standards and techniques; (f) establishing mold remediation criteria; and (g) establishing a national toxic mold insurance program to protect homeowners who are victimized by toxic mold.

Various states have introduced regulatory initiatives regarding mold or indoor air quality in general. With the exception of California’s Senate Bill 732, which became effective in January 2002, these initiatives have largely stalled.

Also lacking are comprehensive standards for mold testing. In April 2002, the “Standards of Practice for the Assessment of Indoor Environmental Quality” was published by the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO). The first five standards in this document reflect commonly accepted guidelines for sampling mold on surfaces, in air, and within carpets. The last two sections, however, contain new criteria for evaluating mold colonization on surfaces, and for inspecting residential structures for mold contamination. These documents are the first of what may become a family of standards for mold investigations. ASTM International has recently announced plans to develop a “Standard Practice for Transactional Screening of Readily Observable Mold in Commercial Buildings” through its E50 Committee. The goal is to define standards of care that will: (a) establish the indicated industry standard practice; (b) improve the quality and consistency of mold screening reports; and (c) ensure that the practice of mold screening is appropriate, reasonable, and reflective of good industry practice. The E50 Committee is just forming. Their first meeting is scheduled for April, 2003, so it is unlikely that a new standard will emerge soon.

A standard exists for mold remediation. Published by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), their “IICRC S500, Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, 2nd Edition (1999)” serves as the written body of knowledge in the water damage restoration industry.

Causes of Interior Mold Growth

Building defects leading to moisture intrusion include non-continuous vapor retarder installation; substandard flashing, roofing, waterproofing, or window installation; poor wall waterproofing; storage and handling of construction materials that contributes to their exposure to rain; the presence of construction debris; and the formation of ice dams. These defects cause moisture inside the structure which then contributes to mold growth.

A number of potentially responsible parties may be involved in building defect claims involving mold. For example, construction managers, project architects, mechanical engineers, and subcontractors may be responsible for improper design or maintenance of buildings and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems; specifying improper materials or methods; and poor workmanship. Product manufacturers may be responsible for the design and operation of equipment or building materials. Landlords, and property management companies may be responsible for failing to properly maintain the building or its systems, allowing tenant actions that lead to mold growth, or failing to disclose facts relating to water events that caused mold growth. Tenants that fail to maintain their HVAC systems properly, or engage in activities that foster mold growth are also potential parties. Water extraction (“remediation”) companies may not completely remove all moisture or mold, resulting in additional growth and contamination. Property inspection companies may fail to discover mold propagating conditions.

What Are The Potential Health Effects From Mold Exposure?

Health effects of fungal exposure are reported to include sensitization, infection, irritating effects (rashes, etc.), Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome (ODTS). Other reported toxic health effects include headaches, respiratory ailments, inhibition of the immune system, lung disease, cognitive memory loss, and brain damage. The lack of dose-response data, as well as time variability of exposure, makes it difficult to establish exposure limits such as those that currently exist for workplace chemicals. However, the Mayo Clinic and others have published studies associating dampness with cough, wheeze, asthma, and respiratory infection. Exposure may be due to spores, or the mycotoxins that fungi emit. Mold’s characteristic “musty odor” is due to these microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) released by fungi.

Why Test?

How should one approach a mold situation to determine its impact on the health of these exposed occupants? If mold is visible, some investigators suggest that sampling is not necessary, and remediation should begin as soon as possible to correct health, structural, or aesthetic concerns. Testing during fungal investigations may be expensive. However, not performing environmental sampling leaves unanswered questions of what types (genera and species) and levels of mold were present. This information may be especially important if adverse health effects to occupants are known or suspected.

Therefore, a simple visual inspection should not be equated with a competent investigation. Mold sampling attempts to characterize typical and worst-case exposure assessments to develop a building baseline. Sampling may also be useful to maintain acceptable levels while a remediation project is on hold, or to challenge the effectiveness of a remediation project.

At best, sampling involves acquiring random grab samples. Practical considerations for environmental sampling involve: (a) making sure that the sampling actions are repeatable; (b) the availability of time, people, and appropriate sampling equipment; (c) whether the investigation should test for viable or nonviable organisms and, if viable organisms are important, whether data at the genus or species level is important; and (d) expenses.

Using an accredited laboratory services is key. Over 120 laboratories participate in the AIHA’s Environmental Microbiology Proficiency Analytical Testing Program (EMPAT). However, currently only 14 laboratories (12 in the US and two in Canada) have successfully achieved accreditation under the AIHA’s Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP). A list of EMLAP laboratories is available at http://www.aiha.org/LaboratoryServices/html/emlap.htm.

A basic sampling protocol generally involves at least one air sampling location outdoors, indoors in an anticipated high exposure (“complaint”) area, and indoors in an anticipated low exposure (“noncomplaint”) area. Air samples may be complemented by surface samples, carpet dust samples, and wall cavity samples (as appropriate) to adequately characterize mold presence. Surface sampling is a nondestructive technique that allows for the determination of possible surface contamination on walls, and content items such as furniture. Carpet dust samples help determine if poor carpet maintenance and water incursions provide organisms with moisture and a nutritional substrate to proliferate to problematic levels. Wall cavity sampling is a minimally intrusive method for determining if mold growth has occurred within walls, even though mold may not be visible.

Interpreting the Test Data

The generally accepted guidelines for interpreting mold sampling data are: (a) indoor levels should not be significantly greater than outdoor levels; (b) non-complaint areas should be less than complaint areas; and (c) in complaint areas, mold types should be consistently present. Relative levels and their relative orders of magnitude are also important. The analysis should consider the rank order assessment of mold found (e.g., those with health effects versus those that are relatively common and benign), and the presence of dominant species. Data interpretation should be performed by an industrial hygienist or other qualified indoor air quality professional.

Mold Remediation

Mold spores can be easily dispersed. Correcting significant mold conditions, which is not a job for the home handyman. Renovation is not equivalent to remediation. In addition to the standards for water restoration and remediation, some guidelines exist for mold remediation. Examples include the previously mentioned NYC DOH “Guidelines” and “Fungal Contamination in Public Buildings: a Guide to Recognition and Management” published by the Federal-Provincial Committee on Environmental and Occupational Health, Environmental Health Directorate, Health Canada ( June 1995). However, their guidance is not without controversy.

Mold remediation should only be attempted after the conditions that caused mold growth have been identified and corrected. Porous materials that show extensive mold growth should then be removed. Nonporous materials should have their surfaces cleaned to typical background levels. Moisture levels should be reduced to and maintained at levels that do not promote mold growth. The amount of contamination governs the level of containment (use of critical barriers), work practices (HEPA vacuuming, negative pressurization, wet methods), and personal protective equipment (respirators, fullbody covering) necessary to prevent the release of mold spores into unaffected areas and protect human health. Mold contaminated materials are not considered as hazardous waste.

Post-remediation validation (a/k/a “clearance”) testing should be performed after remediation activities have ceased, but before critical barriers have been removed. The first step in testing is a visual inspection to ensure that no visible dust or fungal growth exists. If it does not meet this and other qualitative criteria, the job “fails” and recleaning is required. Only if all visible mold and dust ahs been removed should environmental sampling be performed. Typically, more extensive testing is done than in pre-remediation mold testing to ensure that building occupants will have a healthy environment in which to live.

Summary

Molds are complex and can form large colonies indoors under appropriate conditions. Human exposure data causally linking health effects to molds is currently unavailable. Is the fear of “toxic mold” being overblown? Only additional scientific studies will answer that question. But one must not ignore the significance of properly managed building environments to prevent the aesthetic, structural, and potential health effects of mold growth, and the need to promptly and properly evaluate and remediate conditions where mold growth is suspected or known.

https://www.robsonforensic.com/articles/the-growing-problem-of-mold-expert-article

SERVPRO Equipment Guide: Direct In Systems

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPROs number one priority is restoring as much of your home as is possible, not only to keep your home “home”, but also to cause minimal disturbance to your day to day life. One of the many techniques that we use to make sure that your home remains as intact as possible during the mitigation process is the Directed In system.  The Directed In system is an attachment for one of our air movers that allows for the connection of many small tubes.  The tubes are run through an affected wall or tow kick, which grants access to an area that would otherwise be accessed with demolition   The air mover then blows warm, thirsty air (created by our dehumidifiers) into the affected space, creating an environment that is optimal for drying.  The Direct In system is another way that SERVPRO of Skagit County – SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington ensures that your home is restored to preloss condition in a timely manner. 

American Red Cross and SERVPRO Team Up!

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

We’re thrilled to be partnered with the American Red Cross as a Disaster Responder because here at SERVPRO of Skagit County, we’re always “Ready for Whatever Happens” and we want you to be too! You never know when a disaster may strike, so it is important to have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go at a moment’s notice to use at home or to take with you in the event you must evacuate.

According to our friends at the American Red Cross, you should, at minimum, have the basic supplies listed below:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area

You should also consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit as needed. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to consider keeping at your home or in your emergency supply kit:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

You never know when a disaster might arise.

Keep your Emergency Kit somewhere easily accessible for if and when the time comes that you need it. You should also practice fire drills with your family and plan out multiple evacuation routes should you ever need to evacuate your home.

Make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. Whether it’s the Big One, a house fire, or an unexpected storm, we want you to be “ready for whatever happens!”

Where To Use An Air Mover

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Air movers are a great tool. They are similar to fans in that they circulate the air of the spaces in which they are placed. Unlike fans, however, they have the ability to start and stop immediately. They also blow over a more concentrated area rather than a wide space. Most commonly they are used for drying dampened areas after water has seeped in, however, commercial air movers have many uses for any workplace environment.

Drying

The most common use for an air mover is drying out water damaged areas. An air mover is considered a water damage restoration piece of equipment. It is designed to blow lower to the ground at high speeds, forcing water to quickly evaporate from floors and carpets. Being lower to the ground, it can be directed under cabinets or other heavier pieces of furniture. A huge benefit of reduced drying time is the prevention of mold growth. They can also be used to dry paint or other applications.

Cooling

As air blowers are similar to fans, they make excellent cooling devices. They can be used to ventilate stuffy work zones. They can also be directed onto specific objects that may get hot while being worked upon.

Removing Fumes

Depending on the type of work being done, contractors may want to buy a commercial air mover to help their employees. Workers could be subject to working in a poorly ventilated area with equipment and chemicals that produce unpleasant and even harmful fumes. In this instance, an air mover makes a great tool in directing these fumes away from and out of the area, creating a safer work environment.

Blowing

Since air movers circulate air at high speeds, they make great tools for removing unwanted debris, dust, dirt or leaves for instance, from a work area. They also work well for keeping insects away.   For example, when placed high above grocery store doors and directed downward, the draft created prevents insects from entering the building.

There are several uses for an air mover. While similar to a fan, it is much more effective. It has the ability to start immediately at the desired speed and stop just a fast. It can quickly remove unwanted fumes from a poorly ventilated work space as well as keep it cool. It can also help dry damp areas, preventing possible water damage. All of these show the air mover as an invaluable tool for any site.

What Is Black Water And Why Is It Dangerous?

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Black water is waste water loaded with biological material such as grease or feces. It is colloquially referred to as "sewage" and contains highly dangerous materials that can pose real health hazards to you and your family.

Not a problem, right? Just avoid it. However, some people are deeply unaware of how easy it is to come into contact with this dangerous water type. One of the most obvious sources of black water is the toilet. Human waste, fecal matter, is generally regarded as a biohazard, especially when people are sick: it can contain bacteria and pathogens that could potentially be passed on to others with improper handling. Kitchen sinks can also be a source of black water as they contain grease, oils, and food chunks that can decay and carry germs with them. Even laundry water from a sick person's house can be considered black water, for reasons already stated above: airborne bacteria and pathogens.

Black water can also contain a large amount of pharmaceuticals, especially if it is coming from a home in which a sick person resides. This water should never ever be released into the environment, as its toxic makeup can harm the ecosystem.

Algae is a phytoplankton that feeds directly on fertilizer and reacts the way plants do when exposed to that fertilizer: it grows rapidly, creating algal blooms. Not all of them are harmful, but some are deeply detrimental to one's health and can cause diarrhea, memory loss, nausea and vomiting, and liver failure. Toxic algal blooms can be found in black water.

Black water should be left strictly for a professional to handle in the Indianapolis area: it is too dangerous and toxic for the average homeowner and homemaker to tackle by themselves. Specialized equipment is required in order to clear an area of black water and black water damage safely without causing harm to the health of both the humans and animals who reside in the space. Extended exposure to black water can lead to infections, illnesses, and long-term respiratory problems, while coming into contact with it exposes a human to even more serious health risks and even death in certain cases. The money you think you might be saving is clearly not worth the grave danger to your health.

How Mold Gets Into Your Home

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and fungal spores occur naturally outdoors, where fungi are the earth’s most important recyclers. Indoors, mold needs moisture to grow; it becomes a problem only where there is water damage, elevated and prolonged humidity, or dampness. Common sources of excessive indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems include:

  • flooding from surface waters (i.e., overflowing rivers) or from severe storms;
  • roof leaks from damaged or missing roofing materials, ice dams or blocked gutters;
  • storm-driven rain through window frames, exterior walls or door assemblies;
  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows;
  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage; and
  • condensation on cold surfaces.

Call SERVPRO of Skagit County today for a mold inspection

The Basics Of Water Damage Restoration Training

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration training is one of the important skill sets that a team of professional cleaners need in order to offer comprehensive services. This is a service that involves going into a home or business after a wet disaster, such as flood, burst pipes, or snow destruction, and not just cleaning up the mess, but actually drying and repairing the substructures that high volumes of moisture will affect, such as plaster and drywall, wood, concrete, and metal. Mold is a concern, of course, but there can be many other problems related to moisture damage; crumbling drywall and plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces, and more. If the moisture is left to sit long enough, it will eventually bring the house to ruin. By having professional water damage restoration training, a cleaning crew will be able to properly assess the situation and devise the best plan for repair.

According the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), which sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are several different levels and classes involved in liquid destruction. From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, there are three categories describing the type of liquid involved.

•    Category 1. This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into category two.
•    Category 2. This category of liquid used to be called grey water, and is described as having a level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces.
•    Category 3. This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.

Next are the classes of destruction.

•    Class 1. The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.
•    Class 2. With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.
•    Class 3. This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead.
•    Class 4. This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone.

The education involved in water damage restoration training teaches the technician to tell the difference between all the classes and categories and form a restoration plan based on those factors
. Whether the work is done with a professional, broad-spectrum cleaning company, or if it’s a company limited strictly to moisture damage work, it’s important to make sure the technician has the right knowledge and tools for the job. Infrared probes are used to tell the extent of the destruction, as well as air movers, air scrubbers, different sizes and types of dryers and blowers, special hardwood dryers, and dryers designed specifically for drying the sub-floor and inner wall cavities.  Armed with water damage restoration training and the proper tools, most situations are salvageable.

http://www.IICRC.org/the-basics-water-damage-restoration-training-a-23.html

Damaging Winds Basics

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

What are damaging winds?Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.Are damaging winds really a big deal?Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.Who is at risk from damaging winds?Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.

People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency?
Call 1-800-SERVPRO

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

https://www.SERVPRO.com/fire-damage-tips

Fire Damage And Restoration

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Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Why Choose SERVPRO Franchise Professionals?

They’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with a fire or water damage event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

Learn More

They’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

They specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have extensive training and equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

Learn More

They Have a Restore vs. Replace Mentality

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean and restore your property using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. Their “restore first” mentality reduces interruption and gets you back to your life.

Learn More

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

https://www.SERVPRO.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

Commercial Storm Damage Restoration

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Storms and inclement weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer 24 hour emergency service 365 days per year.

Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give our Professionals a call and they’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Disaster Recovery Team

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable. Learn more about the Disaster Recovery Team.

https://www.SERVPRO.com/commercial-storm-cleanup

Overview Of Commercial Service

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Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions? Call Today

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Service.

https://www.SERVPRO.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

What To Expect When Mold Remediation Takes Place

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Day 1: Kill Mold with Biocide

  • Company Prepares:  The mold remediation company will park a truck as near as possible to the doorway, lay down plastic sheeting, and run hoses through the house to the mold area. If the mold area is accessible from the outside (such as a crawlspace), so much the better. A good mold remediation company will take care to keep your house clean while they do the work.
  • Suiting-Up Process:  As with any other potentially hazardous process, such as the removal of lead-based paint or asbestos, mold remediation workers fully suit up for action: head-to-toe white suits, booties, respirators, and goggles.  This does not necessarily mean that the mold remediation company will be removing toxic mold. This is the usual procedure for any job they are dealing with.
  • Spray Down:  The first step of this two-step process is to spray the mold area with biocide. Biocide is an EPA-approved liquid which kills mold. Note that bleach is not approved by the EPA for killing mold. Typically, this first step should take less time than the second step.
  • Wait:  After the workers leave, the biocide goes to work, killing the mold spores.

Day 2: Spray Mold Area with Encapsulant

Next day, the mold remediation company returns. Again, clear access is needed.

  • Encapsulation:  The workers will spray the area with a type of paint or whitewash that encapsulates the remaining mold spores. The mold remediation company should spray well beyond the moldy area to ensure that no more mold grows. For example, if only a limited area of an attic exhibits mold, the company will probably still spray down the entire attic. This is more desirable, and you should confirm with the company that they will do this.

Safe Flood Clean-Up Tips

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Before entering a building where flood damage may have occurred, make sure it’s safe: check for electrical hazards and structural damage, and use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators. Before you start any construction or repairs, check for common hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos, which may require help from professional and State-licensed contractors.

Then, follow these tips:

  • Act quickly
    The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours. Have a list of professionals on hand to call, and understand your insurance policy, as some only cover mold damage up to a certain amount, while others don’t provide any reimbursement for mold.
  • Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth
    Mold loves moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. In order to mitigate or slow damage, open windows if weather permits and place fans inside of them to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
  • Assess damage to items and materials
    Assess the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. There are ways to salvage specialty items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item will vary depending on the dollar and sentimental value to the owner. It may not be worthwhile to salvage drywall, carpets and pads, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particleboard. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to restore costly Persian rugs, leather couches and antiques or heirlooms. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable through machine washing, and a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, to remove contamination and stains. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages where there are contaminants present (e.g., bacteria, sewage, mold) or where small children or immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be conducted by an appropriately trained restorer and remediator.
  • Expose pockets of saturation
    Hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage, wet materials and mold are discovered. Remove and discard the damaged drywall and wet wall insulation. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded. Wood base trim and hardwood can also be saved with the right equipment if they can be accessed and completely dried on both sides. Remember to investigate concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
  • Conduct a thorough cleaning
    Durable, non-porous or semi-porous materials, such as studs and joists, hardwood flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning products or specialized products with detergents. During cleaning, take care to protect areas that are unaffected by the water or mold. After a thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad. Professionals like water restoration and mold remediation contractors and indoor environmental professionals can help you decide what is best for your situation. Once you’ve cleaned the wet materials, conduct another round of cleaning. If you choose to vacuum, use a HEPA-filter vacuum to remove allergens, fine dust and spores.
  • Confirm drying before reconstruction
    In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.

Water Damage Overview

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Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.

6 Principles Of Mold Remediation

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  1. Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals and occupants. Mold-contaminated buildings can be associated with a number of health problems. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls.
  2. A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert. An      effective mold remediation cannot be developed without first determining the extent of the contamination to be removed. To ensure that remediation work is being properly performed, it is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
  3. Control of mold before it spreads further. Eliminating mold at the source of      contamination is essential. Once mold spores spread through the air, it will be much more difficult to capture.
  4. Oversee the proper physical removal of the mold. The mold must be physically removed from the structure. Attempts to isolate mold or remove signs of mold on the surface are not adequate. Note that bleach alone cannot kill mold.
  5. Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination. Mold growth is virtually inevitable if moisture is not controlled. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.
  6. Application of these principles may involve multiple disciplines and professionals from a wide range of restoration and indoor environmental fields

Overview Of Mold Remediation

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Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there's excessive humidity or moisture for an extended period of time. The problem can originate from sudden water releases, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. It's always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified professional.

Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing on the wall's opposite side. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the outside and could create a perfect haven for mold. If the wall remains wet for a prolonged period, it's almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the back side will be worse than on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options.

Certified professionals have the training and experience to:

  • Identify moisture sources
  • Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
  • Contain damage to the smallest area possible
  • Physically remove contamination
  • Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
  • Perform or recommend procedures for returning property to a preloss condition

What Would You Do If Your Business Flooded?

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Flooding, whether it occurs as a flash or from a slow buildup, is a common occurrence in many parts of the country. If you're wondering how to prepare your business for a flood, the post below highlights some key steps you should consider in your flood disaster planning.

Flood Planning Need-to-Knows 

National Flood Safety Awareness Week took place from March 16 to March 22 and with the recent flooding we've had along the east coast of the country, it's a perfect reminder of the importance of flood preparedness for your business.

Even if you think the flooding risks are low in your area, it’s important to be vigilant. For example, during the 2013 floods in Colorado, a very rare weather event hit Boulder County and surrounding areas hard. A stalled weather front dropped 21 inches of rain very quickly, and the resulting damage to businesses, homes and civic infrastructure was devastating and widespread.

The first step to prepare for flooding is to understand your potential exposure. Fortunately there are some convenient resources. For example, the NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service provides quarterly updates and maps showing areas that are higher risk during certain times of the year. Historic flood maps are also a great resource for understanding the potential risks in your area. Knowing how high water could potentially rise and how long it will take to drain are valuable insights for developing a response plan.

In addition to getting flood insurance, here are some other important steps to keep in mind for preparedness:  

  • Safeguard key information—be sure you keep copies of flood insurance and other key business information in a safe place where it won’t be damaged or swept away by flooding.
  • Prepare your building—depending on your building layout, it may be worth getting a sump pump to help minimize potential damage. Be sure to keep gutters and drains clear of debris, and to anchor fuel tanks. Also, if possible, minimize storage of especially valuable assets in the lowest-lying areas of the building.
  • Develop an emergency plan—design a flood evacuation route and share it with employees so they can get themselves and customers to higher ground, if it becomes necessary. Also, be sure to have an emergency kit onsite, in case people are stuck in the building. 

 Key Take-Away

And take it from the experts—preparation pays. "Flooding is dangerous and costly, killing nearly 100 people and causing an average of eight billion dollars in property damage in the United States each year," said Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, director, NOAA's National Weather Service, which produces an array of flood outlooks and forecasts, including watches and life-saving warnings. "A weather-ready nation is a prepared nation; one that will reduce flood losses by planning ahead, staying abreast of weather forecasts, and heeding the warnings."

Reduce Flood Damage To Your Business

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Your plan for disaster preparedness should include flood information and outline how to prepare for floods. Read on for information about floods and flood safety tips, and how to make them part of your emergency preparedness plan as you prepare for a flood.

Types Of Flooding

Topography and weather conditions play a prominent role in the impact different types of flooding have on specific locales. The following are some examples of specific types of flooding.

  • Rising water may be the greatest risk to inland areas away from a river bed after a heavy snow pack begins to melt or after heavy rainfall.
  • Moving water is a serious risk in areas near rivers or in coastal storm surge areas because it creates significantly larger lateral forces on a building.
  • Overtopping, breaching or opening of dams, levees, and other flood control mechanisms, which are designed to divert the flow of water to provide protection, can lead to flood damage that may be more significant than if the levees were never installed. The Mississippi and Missouri River floods of 2011 included breaches of levees, as well as controlled flooding by the opening of various flood gates on levees. The result was thousands of acres of farmland, crops, livestock and fish farms being destroyed to protect urban areas.
  • Flash flooding can occur in every region as a result of slow-moving thunderstorms or excessive rainfall from any storm system.
  • Large, slow-moving tropical storms can dump excessive amounts of rain on coastal locations and then move inland to continue the devastation, resulting in widespread flood damage.

Floods can occur anywhere, often with little or no warning, and with devastating consequences. Protecting the bottom line in order to remain open, or to re-open quickly after a flood disaster, requires taking steps now to prevent or reduce flood damage should your business be in the path of rising water. Below is a brief overview of issues that small businesses must address to reduce the likelihood of flood damage and to prepare financially and operationally should a flood occur. Many of the topics covered here involve complex issues that are best addressed by hydrological, engineering, regulatory or insurance experts; the goal here is simply to outline the basics in order to help business owners understand why they need to mitigate against flood risk and some of the challenges they may face.

Tropical Storm Allison (2001): A Case Study in Flooding

Often, businesses and homeowners let down their guard when a tropical weather system does not result in hurricane-force winds. Tropical Storm Allison is a good example of how rains associated with a tropical system can be equally devastating. The storm dumped approximately 32 trillion gallons of rain (enough to meet U.S. water needs for an entire year), according to the Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project. This included 28 inches of rainfall during a 12-hour period just northeast of downtown Houston, and rainfall amounts ranging from 10, 20 and 30 inches in locations throughout the Southeast—earning Allison the infamous distinction as the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

Understanding Your Flood Hazard

There are several flood principles that should be considered to determine your facility’s exposure to flood waters and the type of protection to be deployed:

  • Duration: It is important to know if flood waters are expected to recede quickly or may be trapped due to the slope of the land. The longer a facility is exposed to flood waters, the greater potential for flood-proofing failures due to a breach in the protection.
  • Depth: Flood waters greater than 3 feet create hydrostatic pressure on walls that can cause cracks in masonry and greatly increase the potential of collapse to unreinforced masonry. When estimating the potential depth of flood waters, it is always best to include a safety factor to account for inaccuracies in the estimate.
  • Velocity: As flood water velocity increases, so does the pressure exerted on flood protection. River flooding can be very fast moving water at first and then may settle down. Coastal locations may be exposed to wave action from storm surge.
  • Water Condition: Many times flood waters are dirty, brackish or contaminated with biological and chemical materials including waste water, sewage, pesticides, industrial waste, toxic and non-toxic chemicals, or oils. Debris that is churning in the water can impact buildings and flood protection systems, create breaches in the protection and cause extensive damage.

Location, Location, Location

Proximity to water is the number 1 risk factor for flooding, but property owners should not assume being out of the floodplain will help you entirely avoid the possibility of flooding. It is always a best practice to locate your property as far away from bodies of water as possible. Flood maps available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) identify 100-year and 500-year flood zones throughout the United States. The flood zones also delineate participation in the NFIP, as well as permitting and other requirements that communities adopt in order to meet NFIP standards and qualify their citizens for lower flood insurance rates. By definition, the 100-year and 500-year flood zones mean there is a 1 (.20) percent chance of flooding annually in an area based on topography and historical data; it does not mean that flooding will occur only once in a century (or 500 years). There also are other important points to consider.

  • Floods can and very often do occur outside the 100-year flood zone. In fact, approximately 25 percent of all flood damages occur in relatively low risk zones commonly described as being “outside the mapped flood zone.”
  • Specific boundaries on some flood maps may be arbitrary or include inaccuracies. For example, a property lying just outside the 100-year flood zone is almost equally likely to be flooded as one just within.
  • Obstructions or landfill can change the topography, storm-water drainage patterns, and flow of water over natural floodplains. Although permits are required for flood zone fill (and must be based on engineering assessments demonstrating “no impact”), it is possible that non-permitted work has occurred near your property.
  • Floods show no respect for the estimated probabilities. As Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate observed following a spate of natural disasters, “It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves. The term ‘100-year event’ really lost its meaning this year.”

The Importance of Elevation

When it comes to flooding, there really is no better solution than adequate elevation, aside from choosing a location well outside of a 500-year flood plain. If such a location is not possible, the best way to increase the safety margin against flood damage is to raise the elevation of your building above the 500-year flood elevation. Flood-proofing your building is another option to reduce damage. Through the NFIP, there is extensive regulation of floodplain development at the community level.

Permits are needed for a wide range of activities including construction of new buildings, additions to existing buildings, and substantial improvement to the interior of existing buildings that are within the most hazardous flood zones. Part of the permitting process involves whether your building site is higher than the base flood elevation (BFE), which is the elevation at which your property has a 1 percent chance of flooding annually, as indicated on the NFIP flood maps. Major storms and flash floods can cause waters to rise higher than the BFE—therefore, it is always a good investment to build in a safety factor several feet above the BFE. This safety zone is called “freeboarding.”

For example, IBHS’s FORTIFIED for Safer Business™ Standards, a package of enhanced voluntary construction standards that greatly increase a new light commercial building’s durability and resilience to natural hazards, requires FORTIFIED buildings to be at least 3 feet above the BFE or above the 500-year flood elevation. There are also ways to retrofit your existing building so that it meets or exceeds BFEs. While only a structural engineer/design professional can determine what is right for your property, the options include raising foundation onto pilings or columns or adding landfill, as long as “no impact” floodplain requirements are met.

  • When elevating a building so that the walking surface of the lowest floor is at the minimum elevation, areas under the BFE can be used only for parking and limited storage—under-floor bathrooms, utilities, and ductwork are not allowed.
  • Equipment, utility connections and all interior utility systems including ductwork must be elevated above the BFE. In addition, fuel and propane tanks must be properly anchored, since they can become buoyant even in shallow water.

What is “Dry Flood-Proofing”?

Sealing a building so that water will not enter is called “dry flood-proofing” or “flood-proofing.” Flood-proofing protects your building by coating the exterior with a membrane to prevent flood waters from entering. NFIP regulations allow flood-proofing as an alternative to elevation above the BFE for newly constructed or substantially improved non-residential structures only—new and improved homes must be elevated above the BFE to meet NFIP requirements. It is important to determine whether dry flood-proofing will provide the protections your property needs before choosing this option. This also applies if your business is located outside the 100-year flood zone, but you want to invest in additional flood protection. Dry flood-proofing is a complex procedure that should be done by professional experts. If done incorrectly, it may not protect your property and can lead to decay, mold, or termite damage:

  • As a general matter, dry flood-proofing is best suited to areas with clay soils where floods are short in duration and less than 3 feet deep.
  • Buildings in poor structural condition should not be dry flood-proofed, as the exterior walls will be under extreme pressure during a flood.

There are a variety of dry flood-proofing measures; a professional can help to determine whether any of them are right for your situation:

  • Applying a waterproof coating or membrane to exterior walls
  • Sealing all wall penetrations including where utilities enter the building
  • Installing waterproof shields over all openings, including windows and doors
  • Anchoring the building to resist flotation
  • Strengthening walls to withstand flood water pressures and flood debris

The Vulnerable Basement

Even above the BFE or outside the floodplain, basements are prone to floods because water may flow down into them. They also may have an increased hydrostatic pressure exerted upon them when the surrounding ground is saturated. Recognizing that elevation is the best form of mitigation, there are a number of additional measures business owners can take to reduce the likelihood and scope of basement flood damage.

  • Thoroughly inspect your basement and the surrounding property for evidence of water entry and sources of water flow and leakage.
  • Correct potential problems—for example, extend and redirect downspouts, re-grade sloping landscape, and caulk any interior wall cracks.
  • Basement walls should be designed to resist hydrostatic pressure.
  • Use flood-resistant materials where possible, including floor coverings, wall coverings, and wall insulation. Most flood-resistant materials can withstand direct contact with water for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged.
  • Do not store valuable equipment, documents, or inventory in any crawlspace or basement where flooding is possible.

The “Green” Factor

In addition, there are steps you can take now to reduce health and environmental damage should a flood occur.

  • Anchor fuel and propane tanks to prevent them from being swept away. When they break away, the contents may leak, creating fire, explosion and pollution risks that can adversely affect health and the environment.
  • Install sewer backflow valves to block drain pipes from sewage back-up, which can occur if there is flooding in your area.
  • If you are supplied by well water, protect your well from contamination. A licensed well drilling contractor can inspect your well and suggest improvements.

What To Do If Your Business Has A Fire

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Although many of us go through great efforts to fireproof our home, we rarely bring this outlook into the workplace. While there’s no replacement for a little bit of forethought and diligence, a fire at your place of business doesn’t have to mean the end of your company altogether. In fact, approximately 60 percent of all U.S.-based businesses reopen their doors after a disastrous fire. Some companies have even gone on to achieve a great amount of success and profitability after such an event.

Determine the Responsible Party

The first thing you should do in the wake of a fire at your business is determine the responsible party. This depends on a number of different factors, including whether you lease or own the building, the exact cause of the fire and even your specific amount of insurance coverage. Keep in mind that some insurance policies only cover the contents of the structure and not the materials used in the actual construction of the building.

Sometimes, you may need to wait until an investigation has been completed by your local fire department, police department or insurance company. If this is the case, make sure to maintain communications for further information and instructions.

Safeguard and Secure Your Remaining Property

If the fire has caused significant damage to the exterior walls, doors, windows or roof of your building, you’ll want to act quickly in order to safeguard and secure your remaining property. Smoldering remains should be fully extinguished and any large holes should be temporarily patched. Not only will this prevent vandalism after the fact, but a little bit of effort can go a long way towards minimizing the overall amount of damage caused.

Contact Anyone Who May Be Affected

Next comes the daunting task of contacting anyone who may have been affected as a result of the fire. This includes employees, board members, external partners and, in some cases, customers. If any activities or services need to be postponed or suspended, make sure to communicate that news, too. The last thing you want to do after a fire is to leave your valuable employees and business partners in the dark about the future of your company.

Furthermore, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. A simple call or email will typically suffice, though large claims may require face-to-face consultation or even an on-site inspection of the damaged property.

Get Your Documentation in Order

Your insurance company will require proof regarding any claimed losses as a result of the fire, so be sure to have any pertinent documentation, including receipts, user manuals and credit card statements, at the ready. You may even want to take digital pictures or video of your property. Not only can this be used in determining your overall losses, it could serve as hard evidence in case any court proceedings should follow.

Repair and Restore Damage

If the structure isn’t a total loss, you might be able to rebuild, repair and restore your business back to its original state. Calling a reputable restoration company like SERVPRO of Skagit County can save you a lot of time.

Initiate the Recovery of Sensitive or Critical Data

Depending on your exact case, you may need to take steps to recover any sensitive or critical data that was lost in the occurrence. Damaged servers, hard drives and even personal computers can all hold data critical to the day-to-day operations of your business.

If the situation warrants, you may even consider hiring a third-party that specializes in data recovery and restoration, specifically in the event of fire. Such individuals are more likely to be equipped with the right hardware and software tools than a company that offers general disaster recovery services. Most data recovery experts will also be able to work with you in order to introduce techniques in disaster recovery planning and data loss prevention.

Getting Back to Business

Once everything has been restored to order, it’s finally time to get back to business. Make sure to outline a comprehensive fire safety plan when moving forward, just in case your business experiences another fire. You might also consider increasing your insurance coverage for the future. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

3 Business Fire Prevention Tips

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A fire can cause severe damage to business equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire and smoke damage. Here are three tips to help.

Assess the risk of fire hazards : The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses. If your local government offers it, a visit from a fire marshal is a great step for your fire prevention plan. If a marshal visit isn't available, ask for workplace fire risk assessment guidance from your building's property manager.

Have fire protection equipment : If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.

Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

What To Do After Smoke Damage Has Happened?

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners  will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.

What happens only minutes after the disaster?

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more.  Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored.

IICRC suggests the following steps after the incident:

  • Remember safety comes first. Do not enter the property without proper work gloves and  appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue causes respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.
  • Bring along a few box fans. Upon entering the property open the windows and place the box fans in the windows to force out the contaminated air and dust. Proper ventilation helps to prevent further smoke damage and reduces potential injury to people.
  • Remove loose smoke contamination with a professional dry cleaning soot sponge.
  • Clean every surface with soap and water. Begin at the top and work down to the floor. Be sure to get inside cabinets and cupboards.
  • Using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter, vacuum upholstery and carpet. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum prevents the soot from being blown back into the cleaned space. Clean or change the filter regularly.
  • Launder bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. An alkaline cleaner neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Fine materials should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner who is experienced in smoke damaged articles.
  • Clean the exterior walls and eaves using a water hose attached to the proper cleaner. Agitate and loosen stuck-on soot. The smoke damage to the outside of the property will continue until the soot is removed.


Though heavy residues require the assistance of professional restoration technicians, a certified technician may be contacted for any amount of smoke damage. Improper processes can further harm the property or belongings.

Mold Cleanup

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in all cases it is recommended to call a reputable mold mitigation company:

    • If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
    • If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building.
    • If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.
  • If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.*

Is Your Company Prepared For When Disaster Strikes?

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that upto 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen? Are you, and your property prepared for an emergency or disaster situation? Don't worry SERVPRO of Skagit County is Here to Help.

SERVPRO of Skagit County is offering Emergency Ready Profiles (ERPs) to local businesses and community members. The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save your business in the future. 

What is the ERP you ask? The ERP is a compliation of everything you may need handy when disaster stirkes.

The information incudes (but is not limited to):

  • Emergency Tips
  • A facility overview
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Facility entry points.
  • Utility shut-off locations
  • Other crucial source information.
  • Fire extinguisher locations.
  • Urgent Contacts

As you can see, the ERP is a great resource for when disaster occurs. The better prepaired you are the better you are able to minimize business interruption in a disaster situation.  Feel free to call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873 - 8744 to schedule an ERP appointment!

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