Cleaning Under Your Home After a Flood: Is It Necessary?
After a home flood, all most homeowners can think about is cleaning up and restoring the inside of their homes. Most never give a second thought to beneath their homes. Yet, some experts suggest that the failure to clean under a home after a flood could lead to mold, structural issues and costly damage. Some areas of your home to which you should pay attention during flood cleanup include the following:
Your attention to these areas could prevent costly damage and headaches down the road.
Cleaning Your Basement
Even if your basement isn't an HGTV-worthy one, it's still a part of your home and therefore needs to be cleaned thoroughly after a home flood. If your basement is bare, it won't take your [City, State], restoration company very long to dry out the area, wipe down the surfaces and clean the air. However, if your basement is used as a storage area or an extension of your living space, cleanup efforts will be much more comprehensive.
Cleaning Your Crawlspace
Whether your crawlspace is indoors or out, you should check it for storm damage. If you discover wet materials, direct your restoration team to beneath your home and let them work magic. Again, depending on what your crawlspace is used for, restoration efforts could take mere hours, or it could take days.
Cleaning Your Cellar
Cellars are usually bare, but some contain canned and jarred foods and excess supplies. Unfortunately, if your cellar was contaminated by flood water, you should dispose of all food – airtight or not. If you eat contaminated food or use contaminated supplies, you could become sick. Unfortunately, the best thing you can do for your health and the health of your loved ones is to dispose of the food and restock your collection (after you disinfect all surfaces of the cellar).
If you're dealing with a home flood, reach out to your Spokane, WA, restoration company regarding tips on how to clean beneath your home. Let them help you restore your home.
How To Prevent Bathroom Mold
Your bathroom can become a Moldy mess without the proper ventilation
When you think of mold that is caused by water damage, the places that come to mind may be the basement, the attic or some dark, neglected corner. One of the most common places for mold growth, however, is the bathroom. To prevent bathroom mold in your home in Spokane, WA, you must adhere to the following tips.
The best method of mold prevention is keeping the bathroom clean. At least once a week, thoroughly clean every part of the room:
If you use a cleaner that is specially formulated for tub and tile, it is likely to have enzymatic properties. Enzymatic cleaners are designed to eat through organic material. They help prevent surface mold, but they also keep drains clear of hair and other clogging agents that create mold-friendly environments inside your pipes.
Bathrooms are vulnerable to frequent leaks. Few other rooms in the house have such busy pipe systems or have so much need of running water. If one pipe leaks or one supply line breaks, the resulting water damage can lead to mold if the problem is not resolved quickly. The faster you contact water remediation specialists, the less likely you are to have a mold problem. It's also a good idea to re-caulk any areas between tiles that show signs of mold.
Proper Air Flow
While it's true that air flow can exacerbate an existing mold problem by spreading it, maintaining air flow to an area by keeping vents open can actually prevent mold spores from settling and multiplying on surfaces. Proper ventilation prevents stagnation and helps control the humidity in the room, two factors that often lead to mold contamination.
Your bathroom may have a few water damage cards stacked against it when it comes to mold prevention, but that doesn't mean that mold growth is inevitable. Keeping your bathroom clean, breezy and dry can help you combat mold.
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The Thaw Is Coming: Protecting Your Business From the Spring Thaw
Preventative steps to avoid stress during the season changes
In Spokane, WA, the spring thaw can lead to floods, and that can be devastating to your property or business. A spring flood may shut down your operation for weeks as restoration specialists dry out and restore your property. There are preventative steps you can take to reduce the risk of flooding and to give your business the best chance of surviving the spring thaw.
1. Remove Snow From Your Roof
While snow removal is part of routine winter maintenance, many business owners may forget to check the buildup of snow on the roof. Not only does snow increase the load on your roof, but when the thaw hits, the increased water flow can also find minor imperfections, turning minor issues into significant water and roof damage. Therefore, before the thaw, look for a way to remove any snow from your roof safely.
2. Shovel Sidewalks and Driveways
Though it may not seem possible, during a thaw, snow buildup on sidewalks and driveways can lead to interior flooding, especially if the grading of the property is inadequate. During heavy snows and close to the spring thaw, it may be necessary to remain extra vigilant about snow removal.
3. Clear Your Drains
Depending on the level of snowfall, you may want to ensure that all of your drains, roof and ground, are clear of any debris and that you don’t have a frozen pipe anywhere. As the weather warms up there can be a massive influx of water, which may be too much for some drains to handle.
4. Consider Flood Insurance
Beyond any preventative measures, it may be wise to purchase flood insurance. Many standard insurance policies do not protect against this type of water disaster, and having coverage may be the difference between a few hundred or a few thousand dollars lost.
The spring thaw can be a stressful time of year, especially for business owners who worry and depend on the continued operation and function of their property. These preventative steps can help to alleviate that stress and protect your business from flooding.
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Reasons To Purchase Interruption Insurance for Your Business
Natural disaster can occur anytime in your Spokane business
When a natural disaster or a plumbing problem renders your building in Spokane, WA, unusable for a period of time, you will want to have a plan in place for continuing your business while you rebuild. Property insurance may cover the actual damage recovery done by restoration experts, but you need business interruption insurance to cover lost revenue or the expenses associated with temporary relocation. Here are some reasons to purchase this additional policy.
Property insurance helps you cover the costs of water damage restoration. Additional coverage is needed for the myriad of other ways your business is impacted by a damaged building. Interruption insurance gives you working capital to handle continuity expenses:
• Lost revenue
• Utility payments
• Payroll coverage
• Relocation costs
You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not you will still have a business to run after you rebuild. Continuity coverage can give you the working capital you need to bridge the gap.
Most problems that occur as the result of a storm are not quick fixes. You need coverage for problems that last longer than a few days. Your business interruption service can kick in as soon as 48 hours after your business experiences a loss due to stormy weather, but the payout can hold you over for an extended period of time.
Interruption insurance helps you maintain momentum and keep your business afloat. Many businesses without such coverage find it hard to recover after damages make it impossible to continue regular operations, and sometimes that results in a permanently closed business. Continuity coverage helps you keep going despite the difficulties that storm damage have caused.
As you rebuild, you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not your company will stay afloat. When you add an additional policy to your business owner's insurance portfolio that handles expenses associated with the interruption of your business, you can get peace of mind knowing that your income doesn't have to take a hit just because your building did.
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Fire Sprinkler Checkup: A How-To
Check your sprinklers periodically to ensure they work incase of a fire
If you are a Spokane, WA, business owner, chances are that a few worrisome “what ifs” regarding the safety of your property in a fire have crossed your mind. You want to be prepared when it comes to disasters such as fires, but might not know what you can do to enhance your fire suppression plan. Doing a checkup of your fire sprinkler system is a great start. Not sure where to begin? Follow the advice below.
How can you perform a checkup on your sprinkler system? A business owner is not necessarily a fire safety expert, so identifying a damaged or failing sprinkler may seem like an unsurmountable puzzle. If the system is being properly maintained and is ready for use in a fire emergency, you will not notice any glaring issues. However, the warning signals below may mean that you will need to repair, replace or complete maintenance on your fire sprinkler system:
• Corroded pipes
• Any other damage to the system’s pipes
These warning signals should not discourage you about your commercial property’s system. Instead, your newfound awareness of these existing issues should prompt you to take action to put a sprinkler repair or replacement plan in place so you can increase the chances of having any future fires put out more quickly by your properly working system and avoid as much fire restoration as possible. There are many experts who can help you figure out whether repair or replacement will be the best solution for the safety and financial needs of your Spokane, WA, business.
You will also be more motivated to put a maintenance plan in place if you have not already done so, rather than continue to leave the fire sprinkler system unchecked as it has been. There is one more positive outcome that can be gained from this process: you now know how to identify future issues so you can fix them sooner and more efficiently. Having a better, stronger fire sprinkler cleanup plan in place, or a brand-new one if one did not exist before, will help keep you, your employees and your building safer than ever.
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In Chattaroy, SERVPRO's Mold Remediation Service Is Ready To Help.
Mold Damage in Chattaroy, Washington.
Mold remediation experts explain that water damage in Chattaroy can give rise to mold growth leading to the need for mold remediation. The fungus thrives in the moist, damp conditions, preferably also dark, created by the accumulation of excessive water or humidity. Because mold spores can and do exist anywhere on residential properties, mold colonies can form within a period as short as 48-72 hours after exposure to dampness. As long as the necessary conditions of moisture and a food source, such as a cellulose based product like drywall backing, are present. It's important to note that mold can start to grow in residential settings where water damage is not visible. For example, a leaky pipe can drip sufficient water and thus create the ideal setting for mold growth. These are a few of the factoids concerning mold that homeowners in Chattaroy should keep in mind.
Addressing Mold Issues. "Bad air" environment is often the result of spores and mold circulating through the HVAC ductwork. SERVPRO can offer a service to inspect and utilize a mold remediation process to eliminate this "bad air." Good internal quality air, relatively free of antigens and pollen, aid in the general well-being of all residents. These fungi can also affect drywall, furniture, carpeting and clothing in a negative manner. These damages can lead to costly repairs. Our skilled technicians not only have SERVPRO ongoing training to stay ahead of the curve but are also certified by the IICRC in cleaning techniques.
Allowing mold to thrive on your property is not prudent because doing so can entail substantive property damage. Once you realize that mold is growing in your home, it's time to call the professionals of SERVPRO. Our IICRC-certified mold remediation specialists work to eradicate all unwanted mold from your property.
Locally Owned, with National Resources
We are proud to be an active member of the Chattaroy community. SERVPRO of Northeast Spokane is locally owned and operated, so we’re already nearby and ready to help with any size mold contamination. Call us for a free inspection. (509) 474-9144
How To Unclog a Drain in 4 Steps
Clogged pipes is an inconvenience in your Spokane home or business
Just about everyone has been there. You turn on the faucet to brush your teeth, and the water doesn't drain properly. You step out of the shower to dry off, and there is still water standing. When you have a clogged drain in your home in Spokane, WA, you may have to use a drain snake to release it. Follow these four steps to use a snake effectively.
1. Insert the tip of the snake into the drain and thread it slowly. The snake, otherwise known as an auger, works by breaking up a clog or attaching to it so that you can pull it out of the drain. To avoid a pipe break, you want to thread the snake into the drain slowly at first. Hitting a clog with too much force might put undue pressure on the pipe.
2. When you feel resistance, increase pressure. You will know you need to increase the pressure you're applying to the auger when you feel it touch something that impedes its progress. It could be the bend in the pipe, in which case more pressure will help it ease its way through. It could also be the clogged area.
3. Once the tip of the snake touches the clog, rotate the snake. The rotating motion may break up debris that has stopped up the pipe, causing it to drain. It also may help the snake grab onto the clog, allowing you to pull it out. Either way, the motion helps you move the clog that is obstructing your pipe.
4. After the clog is removed, run water on high. This is the test that lets you know the clog is gone. If you notice a leak when you run the water, call water restoration specialists to fix the problem.
A clogged pipe is an inconvenience that is easily resolved. All you need are the right tools and the knowledge of how to use them.
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Grease Fire Do’s and Don’ts
Mouthwatering, salty, greasy French fries cook on your stovetop in Spokane, WA. All of a sudden, the smell turns from delectable to dangerous as the smoke fills your home. What happened? When oil gets too hot and is unattended, a grease fire can occur.
Know the correct actions to take:
• If the fire has spread beyond the pot or appears out of control, immediately get to safety and call 911. Inform the operator that you suspect a grease fire.
• If the fire is small and contained, first turn off the heat source.
• Use a metal lid to cover the pot. It is a good idea to keep this handy on the counter every time you cook with oil. Cutting off the fire’s oxygen supply is the quickest way to stop the blaze in its tracks.
• Pour baking soda or salt on the fire. This works best on a small, contained fire.
• A Class B or Class K fire extinguisher may be used. A multipurpose extinguisher is acceptable if it includes B, such as ABC.
Some actions do not work or make the situation worse:
• Never use water to douse the flames. Water may be your first thought when you see a fire, but in this case it is the absolute wrong choice. Water does not mix with oil, and this mistake causes an explosion of grease and fire.
• Do not pour flour on the fire.
• Do not try to fan the fire out. Fire craves oxygen, and this action feeds the flames and causes the oil to splash to other areas.
• Do not try to move the pot that is on fire, as this might spread the grease onto you or other surfaces of your home.
If you experience a grease fire at your home in Spokane, WA there is more at risk than just burnt French fries. Know the correct actions to take, and which to avoid. After a fire, if there is damage to your home contact your insurance agent to ensure coverage. As soon as possible, call a fire restoration specialist to begin the process of fire cleanup and recovery. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on fire damage.
Prevent Sewer Backups During Heavy Storms
In Spokane, WA and other areas of the country, heavy rains can lead to sewer backup problems and flooding. This leaves homeowners to deal with anywhere from an inch or two of contaminated water to several feet of black water in their home. This happens because public drain systems become overburdened with the excess rain water. It may also happen because of new developments in your area, the loss of grassy areas, and changes in weather patterns. What can you do?
• Discuss the possibility of plugging floor drains with a knowledgeable professional. Your plumber should know whether the drain has a purpose and whether plugging it will violate code.
• If you can't plug the drain, install check valves that prevent the backflow of water from the drain.
• Plumbing fixtures, such as basement toilets, must also be fitted with sewer check valves. Otherwise, the rising water levels will simply move from drains to toilets and sinks.
• Install a main house sewer valve. This backwater prevention valve is available in manual and automatic types and will protect your home from black water backing up from the public sewer. When this valve is closed, you won't be able to use your home's plumbing system until the flooding is resolved.
• Schedule routine visits from your plumber to inspect the underground house drain. During a sewer backup, the house drain may not be strong enough to withstand the steps you take to keep sewage out. Older pipes, porous pipe joints, and weakened pipe joints can all defeat the purpose of your preventative steps.
• Consider installing a sump pump. These pumps move water away from your home and are useful during heavy rain. Work with a professional to avoid code violations.
• Inspect the foundation and leaf gutters to be sure they direct water away from your home. The better you can direct water away from your home, the better your chances of avoiding the results of flooding.
These steps can help you avoid serious sewer backup. Learn more from a remediation professional in your area. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on water damage.
FAQS on Mold Growth
When mold growth is discovered in your facility in Spokane, WA you are overwhelmed with questions and you must act immediately. After you call the mold remediation professionals, you start to think of all the things you don't know and wished you had asked initially. While the experts do the hard work, here are some common questions and answers about mold:
1. Where does mold live? Mold lives wherever there is water, oxygen and organic material.
2. How do I prevent mold growth? Repair leaks and fix water damage quickly. High humidity (more than 45%) is enough moisture for mold colonies to grow.
3. How fast does mold grow? Infestations can take place in 48-72 hours.
4. Why does mold smell? Gases given off during mold digestive processes are smelly mycotoxins, but the presence of mycotoxins depend on the type of mold and the material being consumed.
5. Why didn't bleach work to clean mold? Bleach only removes stains and does not kill deep mold.
6. If spores are everywhere, are they in my building? Yes, spores are airborne and travel into your building through the HVAC system, windows, doors and on clothing.
7. How do I get rid of spores? You can do some regular cleaning (vacuum, HVAC cleaning, and carpet cleaning) to prevent spore buildup and bring spores levels down to normal.
8. What if the cleanup process causes spores to be released throughout my building? Spores naturally exist in the air, but professionals set up containment areas and use air scrubbers to manage indoor spore levels while cleaning.
9. Do I have to throw away special personal items? It depends on the material involved, but restoration specialists know how to clean different types of materials and will advise if any items can't be saved.
Now you are more knowledgeable about the situation and prepared for the work that will be done. Thankfully, you have professional remediators to get the mold cleaned quickly and safely, but you also know how to manage your building environment to prevent mold growth from happening again. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on mold.