Some Quick Facts About Mold Growth
It’s not every day that you come into contact with mold. Therefore, knowing the warning signs of this fungal nuisance — like high humidity or neglected water damage — and determining the cause of contamination in your building can be understandably difficult. If your commercial property in Mill Creek, Washington, is under attack by mold growth and you’re lost as to what to do, here are some simple basics about mold and the effects it can have on your property.
*Mold and mold spores are ever-present entities. Mold spores are all around you anywhere you go, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, and more often than not they’re not harmful. The real issue comes when the mold finds perfect breeding grounds in high-moisture areas and begins to quickly grow out of control. This gives it time to mutate from a benign strain to something more dangerous to humans, like black mold.
*If you fear mold growth is present in your building, close off the area, turn the HVAC system off and call for professional help. Since mold spores are airborne, they can be spread through the airflow coming from your HVAC system. When you’re worried that one area of your property might be contaminated, turning off the building’s airflow keeps the potentially dangerous spores from spreading outward to other rooms or levels. This quick action also benefits the mold remediation team when they arrive to contain and clean up the mess.
*Never let water issues go untreated. Unhealthy mold development is triggered by moisture, so neglecting any water maintenance problems such as leaky pipes, poorly insulated windows or flood damage is simply asking for trouble. Contacting restoration specialists is the best move for finding the true source of water leaks and stopping further damage.
Once you acknowledge these common facts about mold, you’ll be more readily prepared to spot any potential warning signs in your Mill Creek, Washington, building. Knowing that you should treat water damage or high humidity immediately makes preventing mold growth a far easier concept.
More information about mold is on our webpage at http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com.
SERVPRO of Lynnwood Hosts NARPM® Clock Hour Class
SERVPRO of Lynnwood has been a long supporting member of King County NARPM® since the chapter was founded. NARPM® (National Association of Residential Property Management) is a premiere professional association designed for real estate professionals who know first-hand the unique challenges of managing single-family and small residential properties. They provide resources for residential property management professionals who desire to learn, grow and build relationships.
As a professional association NARPM® offers several different designations. These designations are earned with a combination of property management experience, NARPM® and industry education, service to the association through volunteer activities and clock-hour courses to maintain your license.
Master Property Manager (MPM®)
Residential Management Professional (RMP®)
Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC®)
Certified Support Specialist (CSS®)
Certified Maintenance Coordinator (CMC®)
Certified Residential Management Bookkeeper (CRMB®)
Over the years SERVPRPO of Lynnwood has hosted several clock hour classes at our facility. We enjoy supporting the organization by allowing them to use our classroom and providing breakfast and lunch for attendees. In February of 2018 SERVPRO of Lynnwood hosted the class Intro to Maintenance: Covering the Basics of Standards, Codes & Safety taught by the instructor Fred Thompson, MPM® RMP®.
This courses touches on aspects of the Uniform Housing Code, habitability standards & local codes, policies of insurance companies and NARPM®’s Standards of Professionalism. Participants will explore why it is important to know how buildings are put together and what to look at when taking properties into management.
Our SERVPRO of Lynnwood team enjoys supporting NARPM® education and we look forward to hosting more events in the future.
3 Reasons to Not Attempt Smoke Damage Remediation on Your Own
After a fire is put out, your thoughts then have to turn to smoke damage restoration. Between the flames, soot and smoke, a lot may need to be addressed. You may think it can be easy to handle this on your own or have some people who work for you attempt it. However, at the end of the day, you always want to leave this work in the hands of competent professionals in North Creek, Washington.
1. It Can Take a Long Time to Clean Up
Soot damage remediation involves a lot more than scrubbing the floor and walls. First, you need to address the damage caused by the fire directly. Then you need to look at the items damaged by smoke. There may also be water damage brought in by the firefighters. Fixing all of this can take a while, and if you do not know what you are doing, then it can take even longer.
2. You Do Not Know What to Look For
Smoke damage may not always be readily visible. The damage may have extended to behind the drywall and impacted the building’s insulation. Soot may have made its way inside various electronics that you need to address or risk short circuiting something valuable. Damage restoration experts will not stop until they have inspected every last area of the building.
3. No Access to the Right Tools
To adequately carry out smoke cleaning, you need some heavy-duty tools. Purchasing these items outright can be rather expensive, and you are honestly better off simply hiring professionals to come out who already have the necessary tools. Hopefully this kind of thing will not happen again, so you may never need to use a thermal fogger again.
Smoke damage can upset business operations for a while, which only makes it more paramount to take care of it posthaste. Do not waste time trying to fix things on your own. Always contact the professionals.
For more on smoke damage visit us at http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com.
SERVPRO of Lynnwood Supports Snohomish County Fire District 1: Commercial & Residential Preparedness
SERVPRO of Lynnwood has collaborated with My Edmonds News Network and Snohomish County Fire District 1 to bring disaster preparedness education to the community for residential and commercial property owners. We sponsor monthly videos that touch on a variety of safety topics from how to use fire extinguisher to administering CPR. Our team has also had the pleasure of attending several workshops hosted in the community that focus on safety processes.
Map Your Neighborhood
Neighborhoods that are prepared for disasters save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and trauma and reduce property damage. Another program offered is Map Your Neighborhood workshops which teach neighbors to rely on each other during the hours or days before fire, medical, police or utility responders arrive. Workshops are free to attend and are provide on a monthly basis at a variety of local fire stations in Snohomish County.
Snohomish County Fire District 1 has also instituted a CERT Program (Community Emergency Response Team). Following a major disaster, firefighters and other emergency service providers may not be able to meet the heavy demand for their services. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate lifesaving and life-sustaining needs. Community Emergency Response Team volunteers learn basic disaster preparedness skills so they can assist others during a disaster. As a CERT member you learn how to prepare yourself and your family to deal with disasters, how to put out small fires, basic disaster first aid and medical triage, conduct search and rescue operations and understanding the psychological effect of disasters. We are proud to say that we have supported and attended two CERT trainings.
For more information on how you can prepare yourself for the unexpected please contact SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers can be very important tools used to fight fires in Lynwood, Washington, homes. Many homes do not have a fire extinguisher and are without this valuable piece of technology. Fire damage can be prevented with the help of an extinguisher applied at the right time. Thankfully extinguishers are generally quite easy to use. They are designed to be straightforward and even have the instructions printed on the side.
1. Pull the pin.
2. Aim the nozzle.
3. Squeeze the handle.
4. Sweep the area.
3 Steps to Safety
Most standard home fire extinguishers in Lynnwood, Washington, can be activated with four simple steps. Start by pulling the round pin at the base of the handle. Doing so breaks the plastic tamper seal. Next, hold the nozzle and aim it toward the base of the fire. Next, squeeze the fire extinguisher handle using a firm pressure. Finally, sweep the nozzle side to side until the fire is entirely extinguished.
Spraying higher up in the air toward flames that are already burning may make it impossible to put the fire out. Instead, you should aim to where the flames are starting: the base of the fire. This is typically the most effective strategy in putting out fires with an extinguisher.
The Care of Fire Extinguishers at Home
Even a simple kitchen fire can pose a serious risk to the home and to human safety. Fire extinguishers can be kept in the kitchen, in hallways, and in garages. Anywhere with a high fire risk or where heating elements exist should be equipped with a home fire extinguisher. Used extinguishers should never be reused; promptly replace all used and expired extinguishers. Make a habit of checking the expiration date to ensure that each one is ready for use. They have a date printed on the side, so just use this as a reference. You can check your extinguishers as often as you check your smoke detector batteries; once a year is good practice.
Keep a fire extinguisher where you need it most. With this advice, you can help protect your home and your loved ones.
For more on fire damage visit us at http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com.
Is Your Business Ready for a Disaster?
SERVPRO of Lynnwood is a full service commercial restoration firm. We specialize in commercial drying, cleaning and decontamination needs. Our approach uses a collaborative method to reduce operational risks, minimize downtime and save you money in order to get your business up and running after a disaster.
Consider the statistic that 50% of businesses who suffer a major disaster will never reopen. Of the businesses that reopened, most of them had a plan in place.
Several questions a business owner may consider;
Do your employees know your chain-of-command?
Do your teams know where your water shut-offs are?
Would your employees be able to direct first responders?
The actions taken in the initial minutes of an emergency are critical. A prompt warning to employees to evacuate, shelter or lockdown can save lives. A call for help to public emergency services that provides full and accurate information will help the dispatcher send the right responders and equipment. An employee trained to administer first aid or perform CPR can be lifesaving. Action by employees with knowledge of building and process systems can help control a leak and minimize damage to the facility and the environment.
Thankfully, SERVPRO of Lynnwood has an excellent system in place to help streamline your emergency response plan. With the Emergency Ready Program SERVPRO will help you create a functional cloud based data set that can be used for things like staff emergency manuals, emergency contact information and building emergency critical information. Because disasters often happen when you are away, your team will have all of this data at their fingertips, wherever you need it, with a push of a button.
To strategically align your building operations to make sure you have the help you need in an emergency, give us a call today. The consultation and Emergency Readiness Program is offered at no cost to your facility, give us a call at 425-774-1148.
What Steps Should You Take After a Residential Fire?
- Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe until it has been cleared to enter. Respect yellow tape and wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of particulates in the air.
- Call and Inform Appropriate Contacts.
- Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
- Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging expenses (keep all of your receipts!) At this point the insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
- You may request SERVPRO at this time for restoration services.
- Another call may be to your landlord or property manager if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross who may provide additional resources.
- Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
- If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to assist with professional water and fire cleaning. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. Our team is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
- Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and sometimes need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process.
- For more information on contents and structural drying, smoke and soot removal call SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148.
Do You Have Mold in Your Crawlspace?
Do you have problems with moisture in your crawlspace? Has a water leak caused mold, mildew or wood rot?
Crawl spaces are prone to mold growth due to the high levels of moisture and humidity in these areas. Some of the most common causes of increased levels of humidity in the crawl space include water leaks, damaged insulation, and inadequate ventilation. To get rid of a mold problem in the crawl space, you have to control the moisture and humidity levels. Review our tips for how to prevent mold issues;
- Check for water leaks in the foundation walls and crawl space ceiling — make sure there are no cracks that allow water to leak inside the crawl space. While checking for cracks, be sure to also inspect the HVAC ducts and plumbing components for leaks.
- Ensure that the gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation. Water that flows toward your house could enter your crawl space and basement.
- Make sure your crawl space is properly ventilated — for every 150 square feet of crawl space area, there should be 1 square foot of ventilation. However, consult a professional to determine if you should keep the crawl space vents closed and, if so, find other ways to control the humidity in the crawl space.
- Use plastic sheeting covers to insulate/encapsulate the crawl space floor and foundation walls. Vapor barriers like plastic sheeting covers trap the moisture that is evaporating from the soil and walls.
- If your crawl space is already insulated, inspect the insulation once or twice a year. Make sure the insulation is not missing or sagging, which indicates that there could be a water problem.
- Make sure dryer vents always discharge to the outside and not into the crawl space, attic or other area of the house. If they don’t, this can lead to a major increase in humidity.If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Call SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148. Our trained and certified mold remediation technicians can diagnose your crawlspace moisture problem and get your crawlspace dried out in no time. Our technicians will remove any wet insulation in your crawlspace, treat the mold and mildew with an anti-microbial solution, dry the wet floor joists or subfloor, and remove and reset the vapor barrier so that you have no more problems of moisture damaging your home environment.
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
- What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Lynnwood for mold remediation services.
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
Important Things to Know About Black Water
Immediately after experiencing life-altering flooding in Lynnwood, WA the first thing you probably want to do is start dealing with the water damage from the flood. Before diving in to the problem it is important to know about the associated dangers of black water.
What is this water and why should it be avoided?
Black water is liquid presumed to house multiple contaminants. It could contain:
• Fecal matter
• Used toilet paper
Sewage systems frequently become compromised and leak after water damage, they can pose health threats to those who encounter the dirty liquid.
It’s also important to be aware of gray water. That type often comes from washing machines, dishwashers, sinks and showers and is not immediately as dangerous as the black variety, but can become more hazardous after 48 hours of contact with building surfaces.
How can you stay safe from contaminated water?
The best way to limit your exposure to hazardous water from flooding is to limit your exposure to it. Instead of trying to handle the cleanup process yourself depend on our SERVPRO team to assess the damage and tackle the steps necessary for a thorough restoration of your home.
Black water is a likely contaminant after a flood, and it’s a primary reason why you should not deal with the water damage on your own. Contacting a professional team to assist with damage from flooding gives you greater protection from possible risks and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes.
Call us at 425-774-1148 for more information on mitigating storm damage and how you can be prepared.
The Categories and Classes of Water Damage
Despite what many people think, not all home water damage is created equal. There are actually a number of different classes and categories of water damage. According the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), there are three categories of water/liquid and four classes of the damage.
Category 1 – This is basically any liquid from a clean and/or sanitary source like a faucet, a toilet, or fountain.
Category 2 – This refers to liquid/water that used to be called grey water, which can potentially cause illness if ingested. This includes things like dishwasher or washing machine overflow, toilet overthrow or sink drains.
Category 3 – This category used to be called black water; it is extremely unsanitary. This includes sewer backup, flooding from rivers, and stagnant liquid that has fostered bacterial growth.
Now let’s examine the classes;
Class 1 – This is very easy to deal with and only affects a part of a single room, with little to no wet carpet, with water only on surfaces like wood or concrete.
Class 2 – This class effects and entire room, and wetness has went up the walls about 12” or more, with moisture still in the structure.
Class 3 – This class basically means that ceiling, walls, carpet and insulation are all saturated with liquid or water. This is often due to water coming from overhead.
Class 4 – This class means that there has been enough water or time to saturate materials with very low levels of permeation, like hardwood or stone.
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Call SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148 for all of your restoration needs!