Educating Communities to Prepare for the Unexpected
Most storm, fire, and water damage happens unexpectedly and emergencies can catch Washington residents unprepared. You’re smart to have an emergency supply bag or container already stocked with the basics you need should an emergency happen. When the New Yorker published an article in 2015 called ‘The Really Big One” many people began re-evaluating their personal preparedness. We recommend the following preparedness supplies;
Emergency survival kit
- Store a kit at home, at work and at each child’s school or daycare facility.
- Dry or canned food and drinking water for each person
- Can opener
- First aid supplies and first aid book
- Copies of important documents such as birth certificates, licenses, and insurance policies
- "Special needs" items for family members such as infant formula, eyeglasses and medications
- A change of clothing
- Sleeping bag or blanket
- Battery powered radio or television
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Waterproof matches
- Toys, books, puzzles, games
- Extra house keys and car keys
- List of contact names and phone numbers
- Food, water and supplies for pets
Additional items you can store at home for use during an emergency
- Cooking supplies
- Barbecue, camp stove
- Fuel for cooking, such as charcoal or camp stove fuel
- Plastic knives, forks, spoons
- Paper plates and cups
- Paper towels
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Large plastic trash bags for trash, water protection
- Large trash cans
- Bar soap and liquid detergent
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Feminine and infant supplies
- Toilet paper
- Household bleach with no additives, and eyedropper (for purifying drinking water)
- Newspaper — to wrap garbage and waste
- Sturdy shoes
- Gloves for clearing debris
- Ax, shovel, broom
- Crescent wrench for turning off gas
- Screwdriver, pliers, hammer
- Coil of one-half inch rope
- Plastic tape and sheeting
- Knife or razor blades
- Garden hose for siphoning and fire fighting
Need Cleanup? -- Call SERVPRO of Edmonds, Lynnwood & Bellevue West (425-774-1148)Links:
If you are interested in having us speak on Emergency Preparedness at your next COA, HOA or neighborhood meeting please contact our marketing department at: courtneyg@SERVPROofedmonds.com.
In Washington flood recovery, earthquake recovery, and recovery from other natural disasters will be much easier if you’re prepared with emergency survival tools and supplies like these.
Quick Facts About Mold Growth in Commercial Buildings
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 Washington is under attack by mold growth and you are concerned here is some basic information about effects of mold.
*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 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.
Unwanted Spores: Understanding Mold Growth in Your Home
The air in your home is full of different substances, and there are always continuous spores floating around. While they normally have no harmful effects on your building, the right conditions could allow them to take hold and create dangerous black mold buildup.
If a moisture problem or other circumstance occurs in your Lynnwood, WA house, it’s important to get help from a licensed mold cleanup service as soon as possible. Here’s everything you need to know about this potential household hazard;
Favorable Conditions for growth are like any other living thing, mold needs the right environment to flourish, and there are a few areas of your house where these circumstances are more likely. Go through your home and make a note if you notice the following: Indoor humidity levels above 50 percent
Lack of sunlight
Permeable surfaces such as newspaper and blankets
You can prevent some of the favorable conditions for mold on your own by opening window shades, operating fans and installing dehumidifiers, others might require intervention by experts such as basement waterproofing contractors.
Your goal should be a space with plenty of moving air and low humidity levels. Common Types of Household Mold Molds come in every color of the rainbow, but there are only a few that normally grow in homes. Here’s a brief overview and how to identify them:
Penicillium is a green or blue growth usually found in areas damaged by water.
Cladosporium is quite common and usually manifests as black or green dots in fabric and carpets.
Stachybotrys chartarum, which is commonly referred to as black mold, forms in areas that are constantly wet, such as air conditioning ducts and around leaky pipes.
It’s important to understand many species look alike, so contact a remediation specialist if you suspect growth in your home. Once black mold and other growths take hold, it can be difficult to contain their progress, which is why you should take action as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on mold.
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.
5 Tips For How To Handle Mold Remediation
Mold has had its fair share of controversy and sensationalism over the past few years. Despite the media frenzy quieting down, mold in home is still a significant and important issue for most homeowners. An increase in consumer complaints has resulted in homeowners engaging in mold remediation and cleanup process. A property owner's goal is to retain consumer confidence in home quality, safety standards, and home durability. In regards to mold in a home, there are two important factors to remember. First, you can prevent mold damage from your home by immediately addressing any of its manifestation. Second, use the proper protocol for mold mitigation. As a property owner should have a trusted team ready to respond if any issues arise. Below is a recap of five tips to help you create an effective mold removal plan.
Tip # 1: Understand Moisture’s Role in Mold Formation.
Evaluating mold in home infestation involves more than a visible check for mold growth behind wall, flooring, or in corners. For that reason, any commercial mold damage assessment requires analytical approaches. Understand that the presence of free moisture affects mold growth significantly. Secondly, familiarize yourself with how moisture originates and gets into your home. As a homeowner you must determine the sources of moisture in your property and use its presence to locate mold growth; SERVPRO of Lynnwood specializes in providing these services at competitive prices.
Tip # 2: Create an Appropriate Remediation Plan and Documentation.
Document your mold situation in writing, video, or photography. Documentation assists cleanup experts to develop an appropriate mitigation strategy. Details of the plan include what renovations or repairs are scheduled, necessary evaluation tests, or tenant relocation during remediation. A mitigation plan helps you manage liability and identify mold growth trends.
Tip # 3: Identifying Mold Contamination Extent
As indicated before, growing mold in home can be deceptive, so it is necessary to determine the extent of contamination in your home. Determining your level of contamination influences the approach used in addressing mold damage within your home and lets you avoid exposing others to contamination.
Tip # 4: Mold Mitigation
Mitigating mold growth involves a combination of various methods inclusive of Level 1 and Level 2 remediation practices. Both levels comprise the following listed steps: Fixing leaking plumbing. This approach significantly reduces mold growth, black mold, fungus, mildew as well as using deodorization to eliminate smelly odor. Isolate contaminated areas; this entails closing all windows and doors on contaminated doorways, and other access conduits. These help to avoid the spread of black mold, fungus, mildew, dry rot, and mold spores to other locations within the home as well as reduces smelly odor. Use misting and deodorization to reduce smelly odor caused by growing mold. Discard all mold-infected, black mold, fungus, mildew, dry rot, and other materials using appropriate disposal bags. Entrust the removal of contaminated material to a certified restoration company; such as the team at SERVPRO of Lynnwood. Ensure that you clean all wood surfaces and nonporous materials of any mold damage, dry rot, mildew, fungus, or black mold. Perform a visibility test. Inspect all infected areas of any visible contamination and mold debris, dry rot, black mold, fungus, mildew.
Tip # 5: Evaluate the Mold Removal Plan The last step in this activity is determining whether the mold removal project achieved its objectives. Pay particular attention to any mold growth behind wall. You should implement a comprehensive mold mitigation strategy to avoid future issues.
Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on our services provided.
Understanding Why Mold Grows
Many homeowners worry about mold growing in their house and causing damage or lowering the value or putting residents at risk. Mold is a very specific problem with predictable causes, so it is unlikely to affect any home that does not have a moisture problem. Learn the truth about mold growth, different types, and the causes. If you find mold in Lynnwood, WA be sure to call a restoration specialist from SERVPRO of Lynnwood for expert advice and cleaning protocol.
What is Mold?
Mold is essentially a type of fungus that grows in wood or other materials commonly found in buildings. Mold spores can be found everywhere, and the only thing mold needs to grow is excessive moisture. There are multiple types of mold, including black mold and grey mold. Mold can be difficult to get rid of once it is found, especially if it has spread. It is important to understand and be on the lookout for it, especially during the rainy months in the Pacific Northwest.
Preventing Mold Growth
Because mold requires moisture to grow, the best way to prevent it is to control water and humidity in your home. The most common causes of mold growth are: broken or leaking pipes, broken water supply, leaking roofs, humid weather or Flooding.
Make sure your roof is not leaking and that your gutters and water spouts direct water away effectively. Check your basement, crawl space, and attic occasionally to find signs of moisture or the early stages of mold. Always be aware of any moisture that develops on your walls, floors, or ceiling.
Is Mold Dangerous?
The vast majority of mold is not dangerous to your health; however there are some types of mold that can cause health problems therefore should be addressed. No one type of mold is toxic or poisonous on its own, but it does create toxic spores which should be remediated.
Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information about the services we provide.
Checklists: A Good Resolution For Your Property
Remembering to upkeep general maintenance around your home and business can be difficult at times with how busy daily life can be. In the first week of every quarter we recommend you set aside about an hour to make sure everything is running properly and address anything that needs attention. This will help you be more prepared for the unexpected. Make sure if something needs attention you address it right away- it’s never too late to start a good habit!
- Check and possibly change batteries in smoke detectors and CO detectors
- Check and possibly change water filters under kitchen sink and in ice makers in fridge
- Change furnace filter and be aware of next maintenance due date
- Check fire extinguishers and replace if needed
- Check and test earthquake valve at the gas meter
- Check all outdoor faucets and cover if weather is cold
- Check water heater and be aware of next maintenance due date
- Check all faucets and drains for normal flow
- Check all major appliances to ensure no leaks are present; washing amchine, dishwasher, garbage disposal
- Inspect crawl space and attic to ensure proper ventilation and that the space is free of pests
- Complete a walk-around and check siding, roof, walkways and general exterior
- Check outside lights and replace as needed
SERVPRO of Lynnwood hopes that this list will help you plan for a successful and emergency free New Year! Call us for more information about emergency preparedness; 425-774-1148.
Water Damage Restoration Process
Water Damage Restoration: A Timely Topic
This year many households in the United States witnessed the devastating impacts of torrential downpours and flooding first hand. Water in business environments today often prompts managers to seek professional water cleanup and mitigation assistance by hiring a restoration company. These water damage specialists handle the messy moisture extraction and drying process efficiently. Many restoration firms even assist companies when water in business settings accompanies widespread flood damage within the immediate vicinity. What should you do when you encounter a flooded home?
To rapidly and efficiently resolve flood damage in residential settings, follow the example of many corporate risk managers and seek water cleanup, drying and mitigation assistance from a full-time restoration company. By taking charge of the water extraction and drying process as soon as possible after a natural disaster, a water damage restoration firm such as SERVPRO of Lynnwood may help minimize overall property losses.
A water damage restoration specialist has received comprehensive training in caring for commercial and residential property in the aftermath of flood damage. Our experts learn the best procedures to follow to perform water cleanup, moisture extraction and drying. Additionally, a restoration company will use professional-grade specialized equipment to expedite water removal from a flooded home or business. This equipment speeds the water extraction process.
An Illustration: Cleanup Involving a Pipe Break: Just consider the plight of people contending with water in their business or home following a flood which resulted in a supply line break. This type of pipe break in the past sometimes allowed water to gush through a neighborhood. (Fortunately, today water company personnel usually detect the rupture quickly and cut off the water flow.) Yet cleaning up the premises during an extended period without access to clean water can prove challenging indeed. Hiring a professional water damage mitigation firm to restore your residence helps enormously in this situation.
If you have sustained a flooded home this year, consider retaining the services of a water damage restoration specialist at SERVPRO of Lynnwood. Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on how we can assist you.
The Water Damage Process: What to Expect
Restoring a home or business after water damage comes in many different forms. It can be as simple as vacuuming up water and leaving the room to dry, or as severe as reconstructing an entire flooded home from a pipe break or supply line break.
To provide mitigation, call upon a restoration company and familiarize yourself with the process of water damage restoration. This will put you one step ahead when the unexpected occurs. What Goes Into Restoration Whether it’s a pipe break or a flooded home, water cleanup is crucial. Standing water in a home or business can quickly lead to bigger problems. Moisture creates the perfect atmosphere for mold and bacteria to grow and breed. Certain materials are also at risk when there is water or flood damage, and will have to be assessed by a restoration company to determine if they must be replaced. Carpets and drywall often develop bacteria that, if not treated immediately, can’t be removed. In order for mitigation to be effective, determining what class and category of damage caused by water in a business or home is imperative. For a better overview of this, refer to the outline below:
Water Cleanup Classes
Class 1: Little moisture has been absorbed by part of a room.
Class 2: An entire room has been affected and water has absorbed into the walls and carpet. This is often from a supply line break or pipe break.
Class 3: Water in a home or business completely saturated most of the area and walls, and may be coming through the ceiling. This is considered flood damage.
Class 4: Materials in a flooded home such as stone, concrete, and hardwood require specialty drying due to severe damage.
Water Cleanup Categories
Category 1: Damage has been caused by a clean water sources such as a broken pipe or a supply line break. In order for mitigation to be effective, immediate action is required to lessens the risk of further damage caused by water in a business or home.
Category 2: Flood damage is caused by “grey water” containing contaminates such as detergents or urine from a pipe break or supply line break.
Category 3: Completely unsanitary water, such as that found in sewers or rivers, has caused the damage in a flooded home, and a bacterium has begun growing. The Process of Restoration Restoring a home or business to livable conditions generally involves water removal, decontaminating the area, and drying. In more severe cases, entire parts of the building may need to be replaced. The process is delicate and should only be handled by a professional restoration company. For more information on the steps involved, continue reading below.
Step 1: Inspection – Getting a thorough inspection is the most important factor in mitigation with regards to water cleanup. Professionals will inspect the walls, floors, and ceiling and fit them into a class and category. This will be used to best determine a restoration plan.
Step 2: Water Removal - Vacuums and pumps are used to remove water in a business or home, and the process must begin as soon as possible to prevent mold.
Step 3: Drying – After all standing water is removed and absorbent materials are vacuumed, dehumidification and drying begins. This can take several weeks to complete.
Step 4: Cleaning – Personal items such as clothing and drapery need to be sanitized to prevent mold and bacteria growth from water in a home or business.
Step 5: Restoration – When there is severe damage from water in a business or home, materials such as walls, flooring, and broken pipes are replaced. When dealing with flood damage or general water damage it's always best to call a restoration company. They are specially equipped to handling water in a home or business, and will be able to act fast to prevent further damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on water damage.
SERVPRO of Lynnwood: Experts in Frozen Pipes
Severe winter weather ranks third as a cause of insured catastrophic losses, after hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Losses from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures across the United States average over a billion dollars a year.
Preparing your home for cold weather can help avoid potentially costly problems, like frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if you put it into a freezer to chill quickly and forget it. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If the water expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes, and major damage can begin.
To Prevent Frozen Pipes from Occurring:
First and foremost, make sure your heating system is working properly and that vulnerable pipes, like those that run close to your exterior walls, are insulated.
If you go away for several days in the winter, make sure you leave the heat on. The Insurance Information Institute recommends setting your thermostat at 65 degrees.
Have someone check your home and property, if you can. If you expect to be away for extended periods - say, you go South for the winter - have your water turned off.
Additional steps you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing are:
- Seal air leaks surrounding or near your pipes
- Keep your garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage.
- Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
- Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Keep your heat at a minimum of 55 degrees at all times. Keep it at 65 when you're out of town.
- During severe cold turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
- Remove your outside hoses and store them inside during the winter.
- If you need to be away from home, consider draining your water system before you go.
- Identify the locations of shut-off valves so that you're prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.
If a Pipe Bursts follow the proper procedures:
- Shut off water at the main valve. Your shut-off should be easily marked with a tag. Call SERVPRO of Edmonds, Lynnwood & Bellevue West if you would like one.
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
- Call a professional restoration expert such as SERVPRO of Edmonds, Lynnwood & Bellevue West to mitigate the damage. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access!
Call us anytime with questions or concerns at 425-774-1148