Recent Posts

What is a Foundation Leak?

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Foundation leaks are very serious to the overall health of your home and undiagnosed can lead to worse issues. There are certain steps you can take to minimize damage, but first let’s understand what a foundation leak is;

A foundation is a single concrete base also known as a slab which your home sits on.

 A slab leak is a term used to describe a leak that has developed in the copper water lines running below the concrete foundation of your home.

Why Does It Leak?

  • Corrosion: your pipes are underground, therefore weather changes and influences from soil can cause your pipes to corrode over time
  • Installment issues: it's possible that when your house was built there were mistakes or damage that did not create an ideal foundation – this can also be known as a construction defect
  • Wear and Tear: pipes expand and contract with the weather and if a pipe freezes it can burst from the pressure. The pipes must also have room to contact and expand so if there is anything that it could come in contact with like concrete or gravel the pipes may rub against them and cause damage.

What Are the Signs?

  • The floor has hot spots
  • High water bill
  • Wet floor or carpet
  • Low water pressure
  • Standing Water
  • Visible mold growth or a musty smell

What Should You Do?

You should always call for professional help with a leak. Sometimes you may need a plumber or leak detection specialist to assess where the issue is coming from. SERVPRO of Lynnwood can provide water mitigation services to address standing water or mold. It is important to get to the root of the problem by hiring a foundation contractor who can stop the leak so further damage doesn’t occur.

How to Prepare For A Fire Systems Inspection

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Fire marshal inspections are a guaranteed part of running a business whether you manage a restaurant or an office. The more time and energy you invest into preparing for the visit, the less time and resources you will be required to put forward into fixing issues later on.

 Clear A Path

Start by clearing hallways and pathways. There should always be a clear path to exit doors and windows. These paths must be at least 36 inches wide and clearly marked and illuminated. Always make sure that exit doors are clear, marked and that they are easily opened from the inside of the building.

Check Suppression Systems

Fire suppression is critical in buying your business time for first responders to arrive in an emergency. This means you will need to verify that all extinguishers and fire suppression systems are properly charged and functional. In addition, these should be clear of debris and properly serviced by a trained professional.

If your building has fire sprinklers confirm sufficient clearance around sprinkler heads and that inventory isn’t blocking the system. NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) requires maintaining at least 18 inches of clearance to be compliant.

Check Electrical Systems

Confirm that sockets and breakers are not overloaded. Ensure breaker boxes and electrical panels are free of obstructions and easily accessible. If you have any electrical issues, be sure a qualified electrician promptly and properly addresses these.

Inspect Control Panels

Make sure your fire alarm panels are fully operational. These must be professionally inspected and serviced annually to comply with fire codes. You should also review inspection tags and documentation that confirms the tests and services were performed.

Ultimately remember to always hire a professional! 

Common Appliances That Cause Water Damage

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Certain appliances or systems in your home or business can actually increase your risk of flooding. Listed below are the top five sources of water damage culprits that you should be aware of.

Hot Water Heater

Among the top five sources leading to water damage is your hot water heater. A small investment in an annual inspection will help prevent leaks and the expensive repairs that come with it. Be attentive to corrosion and other factors as your heater ages and replace it every 10 years. Keep in mind that after 12 years 75% of water heaters will fail. Flushing the tank every 6 months to remove sediment is a good maintenance practice.

Air Conditioner

Installing a drainpipe will remove the overflowing water and direct it outside or to a household sewer; this is an alternative to using a drain pan, which will only help contain a small amount in the event of a leak. Attic air conditioners typically cause the most damage because water can leak throughout the entire home affecting multiple rooms from top down. Be aware that the average cost of flooding damage from an air conditioning leak is roughly $5,000.

Washing Machine

Leaks around or clamps in the water hose are a warning sign of future failure. Do a monthly personal inspection on your hoses to look out for cracking, dryness or rust, leaving space between the machine and the wall for movement as the wash cycle is running. Replace your hoses every five years despite their outward appearance. Don’t forget to follow your washing machine instructions and turn off water supply when you leave home for extended periods. Unfortunately 78 percent of hose failures occur in an appliance that is less than 11 years old.

Refrigerator

The most common cause of a leaky refrigerator is the defrost drain experiencing a freeze or clog. Improper sealing can cause excess condensation. Check the rubber seals along the door to assure a tight close. Inspect you ice maker by checking the hose or waterline to assure they are connected properly.

Dishwasher

Hoses, valves or switches are the plumbing connections and can all malfunction to cause water damage issues. Refrain from adding too much detergent to each cycle and if your dishwater is more than 9 years old it may be time for a replacement.

If you suffer water damage from any of these common household appliances do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lynwood at 425-774-1148 for emergency services. We are available 24/7 365 days a year.

How to Proceed with Suspected Mold Growth

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Musty smell? Discolored drywall? Do you suspect you could have mold? Knowing the warning signs that can indicate microbial growth — like high humidity or neglected water damage — and determining the cause of contamination in your building can be understandably difficult. If you have questions about how to remedy this issue here is some basic information about effects of mold, which is oftentimes a gray area for many.

Mold and mold spores are ever-present entities. Mold spores are anywhere you go, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, and typically they’re not harmful but simply part of our atmosphere. The real issue comes when the mold finds perfect breeding grounds in high-moisture areas and begins to quickly grow out of control.

If you fear mold growth is present in your building or home, 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. If you’re worried that one area of your property might be contaminated, turning off the building’s airflow keeps spores from spreading outward to other rooms or levels. This quick action also benefits a mold remediation team when they arrive to contain and clean up the mess.

Never let water issues go untreated. Mold development is triggered by moisture, so neglecting any water maintenance problems such as leaky pipes, poorly insulated windows or flood damage can lead to 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 or home. Knowing that you should treat water damage or high humidity immediately makes preventing mold growth a far easier concept.

If you are concerned about air quality we can connect you to an Industrial Hygienist who specialize in mold testing. SERVPRO of Lynnwood works hand in hand with industrial hygienists to perform mold cleanings based off their written scopes and recommendations. Call our team at 425-774-1148 if you have any questions.

NARPM Continuing Education Class August 2022

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lynnwood has been a long time supporter of King County NARPM, Snohomish County NARPM and now the Washington State Chapter of NARPM. Not only do we enjoy participating as an affiliate we love to host CE classes for our professional members. The next CE class initiated by King County NARPM will be for August 23rd and will take place in our Lynnwood classroom. Lunch will be provided and this will count for 3 real estate clock hours. Check out our King County NARPM website for more information: Here.

We encourage all property managers and real estate professionals to join for the class! SERVPRO will provide a complimentary lunch and there will be fun raffle prize giveaways as well.

Spots are filling up so we urge you to register sooner than later! RSVP by contacting our chapter leader Lawton at The Joseph Group, Lawton.coursey@thejosephgroup.com.

SERVPRO Teams Unite for SERVPRO’s Annual Convention

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Every year SERVPRO franchise owners and select team members from around the United States meet for SERVPRO Convention hosted in a different city each year. Our Corporate team from Gallatin, TN plans and executes the Convention to be a motivational, thought-provoking experience. This week long endeavor entails a variety of workshops, leadership and management training, networking and inspirational speakers, complete with a tradeshow featuring products and equipment from all of our national vendors.

This event is a wonderful opportunity for owners and their leaders to hear about the latest and greatest in our industry. It sparks new implementation and helps franchises plan for future growth. We recognize franchises who have exceeded performance goals complete with an awards ceremony. Workshops cover topics from Marketing to Human Resources to Production and are available for virtual attendance as well!

SERVPRO convention 2022 will take place in Dallas, TX and a golf tournament will be held to raise profits for the First Responder Children’s Foundation. Our team at SERVPRO of Lynnwood has attended convention every year since our doors opened in 2008 and we always look forward to embracing what we learn and applying it to our everyday operations. We are proud to be a part of the SERVPRO brand!

How To Maximize Your Home Inspection in Lynnwood, WA

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Are you a buyer or seller interested in getting a home inspection? A home inspection is always a great idea so you can be in tune with any potential issues that may need to be addressed. Pest control? Drainage Issues? Roof or plumbing problems? We recommend maximizing your inspection by following these steps:

Get A Recommendation. Your real estate professional should be able to recommend a reliable and highly rated inspection company. Make sure your agent knows that you don’t want to cut corners. The cheapest option may not always be the best option.

Be Present for the Inspection. The inspector will most likely want to point some things out to you and explain any notes he or she is making on the report. This is an important step, but it’s only possible if you’re present and engaged for the inspection. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. It is important you understand the functions of the systems in your home and the overall health of the property.

Ask Questions: Ask as many questions as you want, and make sure you feel comfortable with the answers. After all, a house is the biggest investment most people will ever make in their lives and it is important to understand what problems may need to be addressed.

Bring in Additional Specialty Professionals if Needed: If your inspector does not look at the plumbing system or does not offer something specific like mold testing, feel free to bring in a third-party specialist. There is nothing wrong with having someone else come in to look at a specific portion of the home, especially if they are an expert in their field. SERVPRO of Lynnwood is here to provide a professional scope for water, mold or deodorization remediation that may be needed in the home. Call the professionals at 425-774-1148. 

Preparing Your Business for a Weather Emergency

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Many businesses today will have an action plan and checklist in place for their employees should a natural disaster or emergency strike. What steps have you taken to ensure a proper plan for your team? SERVPRO of Lynnwood is well versed in disaster preparedness and is willing to come speak to your local business about emergency preparedness free of charge. Call us at 425-774-1148 to learn more about getting prepared.

Preventative care is very important and can save you thousands in the long run. You may know that you’re at risk for a wildfire or a tornado or a flood, but you’ll never know when an extreme weather event will hit. Even with some advance warning of a super storm, you won’t know the true intensity until you’re in the thick of it. And an event does not have to be of Katrina or Sandy-sized proportion to have a devastating impact on your business. A long-term local power outage could shut your doors for days. Consider a comprehensive emergency plan that includes worst-case contingencies.

As you design your plan, here are some key considerations:

  • Protect your employees 
    Saving lives always comes before saving property. Design safe evacuation procedures and designate offsite meeting areas to make it easier to ascertain who is safe and who is missing. This is particularly important in larger buildings and for businesses operating potentially dangerous machinery or handling hazardous materials.
     
  • Minimize potential damage to your physical property 
    Identify essential structures, products, equipment, inventory and utility services and install prevention and safety systems to protect them. For example, surge protectors and uninterrupted power supplies can prevent damage to electronic equipment. Storm shutters can protect windows and prevent debris from entering your buildings. Secured tarps can minimize water damage to inventory stored outside.
     
  • Secure records and data 
    If your business relies heavily on the bits and bytes on your computers, you need backup plans with multiple redundancies. Use software to automatically run scheduled backups to external local hard drives and also regularly backup to remote servers using a cloud-based service. Scan important documents and include them in your digital backups. Keep originals in a safe approved by Underwriters Laboratories or at a secure offsite location. Maintaining current photo and video records of your business assets can make it easier to itemize losses that may help speed up insurance assessments.
     
  • Operate from remote locations 
    Create a business continuity plan that spells out how you will continue to serve your customers and clients if your primary facilities are damaged. Identify different locations outside your immediate area where you can at least conduct some of the administrative and strategic planning parts of your business. Your emergency plan may also include setting aside “rainy day” funds to help in recovery efforts.
     
  • Communicate with your workforce and customers 
    In a disaster, if you don’t know what’s going on, the stress level goes way up. It’s important to have several ways to communicate internally and externally. Weather disasters often knock out electrical power, phone and cable lines, even cell towers. For backup electrical power, consider gas generators. If phone lines are down and cell systems are overloaded, making voice calls difficult, text messages often can get through because they require so little bandwidth. Mass texting apps can broadcast alert messages to large groups from a single triggering phone call or text message. Keep your customers up to date on your status with emails, texts, and social media posts.
     
  • Apply for assistance from state and federal agencies 
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA – is the main federal resource for providing relief and assistance to individuals and businesses during and after a disaster. Keep the FEMA contact points in your emergency kit and on your phone. The U.S. Small Business Administration also offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans. Check with your tax professional to see if you can deduct certain disaster-related losses.

The Do's and Don'ts of Fire Damage Cleaning

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

Coping with the results of a fire can be overwhelming and emotionally draining. SERVPRO of Lynnwood understands the stress and worry that comes with property damage. In the unfortunate event of a fire happening in your home or business there are many safety measures to consider. Check out our following tips and tricks to staying safe and protecting yourself and your household items. Always remember to call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Lynnwood for assistance; 425-774-1148.

What to Do:

  • Limit movement in the structure, this will prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets, saving them making them not need to be replaced.
  • Keep your hands clean so you do not to further soil upholstery, walls and wood.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity has been turned 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 removing all soot, tar, or other particles.
  • Turn off HVAC system, then upon cleaning change HVAC filters making sure you have clean air circulating throughout your home.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What Not to Do:

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

SERVPRO of Lynnwood Hosts Effective Safety Meetings

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

OSHA requires that every employer make safety and health a top priority and ensure a safe working environment. OSHA's job is to provide leadership and encouragement to employers to take that responsibility seriously and provide educational or awareness opportunities to employees so they know of their rights to a safe workplace. It is important that every employee receive proper and adequate training to ensure they are able to safely and competently perform their jobs. This also applies to temporary, part-time and contract employees. Regular safety meetings should be documented and attendance should be recorded. 

Employers have a duty to protect workers from injury and illness on the job by developing and implementing a safety and health program. According to OSHA, there are five components that every effective safety program should have.

  • Management Leadership and Employee Participation
  • Workplace Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health Training and Education
  • Program Evaluation

In high risk industries like construction and restoration repeat safety discussions can have a positive impact on good habits that start in the office and are carried out on each and every jobsite. At SERVPRO of Lynnwood we hold weekly safety meetings for our team to make sure they are following the best protocols while servicing commercial and residential customers. To have a successful safety meeting we always follow these steps;

  • Let your employees, crews, and teams know that you will be holding a safety meeting or starting a safety meeting program.
  • Decide on the theme, subject, or topic of the safety meeting.
  • Prepare for the safety meeting- use demonstration, photos and props
  • Send out a reminder of the safety meeting the day before the meeting is scheduled to be held.
  • Present the information clearly, with expectations and save time for questions

 Several common safety topics that we reiterate are;

  • Respiratory Protection and proper PPE
  • Distracted Driving
  • Handling Power Tools Safely
  • Temperature Extremes
  • Working in Confined spaces and on Ladders
  • Asbestos and Lead Protocols
  • Proper hazard reporting and handling