Recent Storm Damage Posts
The Dangers of Contaminated 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 into the problem it is important to know about the associated dangers of contaminated water also known as 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.
How to Categorize Levels of Water Damage and Contamination
Despite what many people think, not all water damage is created equal. There are a number of different classes and categories of water damage all dependent on level of contamination and severity. 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 your restoration needs!
How to Avoid Frozen Pipes In Cold Weather
The colder months in Snohomish County can threaten the pipes in your business. While most business owners know the risk of frozen pipes in the winter, many don’t know the correct steps to prevention. As the days get colder, your property is at risk for frozen and subsequently burst pipes, to keep your plumbing from freezing follow the tips below;
1. Don’t Turn Off the Heat
If you need to leave your building for an extended period, keep the heat on. The temperature of the building can be below your comfort level but not too cold. The idea is to keep the internal temperature high enough that the pipes cannot freeze in your absence.
2. Use Heating Tape
Heating tape is applied to your pipes. This tape comes in two different forms but can be quite useful.
3. Let the Faucet Drip
In most circumstances, a dripping faucet might sound like a problem. To prevent frozen pipes, however, you can let the faucet drip in order to relieve pressure in the system. After all, it is the pressure from a frozen pipe that can cause it to burst.
4. Add Insulation
Basements and attics are common places to find pipes. However, they aren’t always insulated rooms. You can combat this by insulating the room or insulating the pipes. To protect the pipes, you can fit foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves over them.
5. Don’t close interior doors to keep heat circulating.
If your pipes are located in cupboards, keep the cabinet doors open. This allows the heat from the building to keep your pipes warm.
Frozen pipes in the winter are avoidable. However, if you do find yourself with a frozen pipe situation, you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Lynnwood to help you. A frozen pipe can become a burst pipe very quickly.
What Is Mold and How Is It Caused?
Mold spores are microscopic organisms that can enter your home many different ways. Mold can enter your home by being carried in by a human or pet, or your home could be exposed to moisture (storms, plumbing leaks, rainwater, flooding) and humidity. Mold thrives on moisture and can rapidly spread when exposed to wetness. Mold produces a strong musty odor that can help bring attention to the problem or the source of the problem. If the mold problem is not treated quickly then it could cause health effects to both pets and humans. When you suspect mold or have found mold, call professionals immediately. Remediation cannot begin until the source of the water/moisture has been found and stopped. Even if no source of water is found, it is most likely the humidity in the air, if humidity is above 45% then it will allow mold to continue to grow.
You can control your mold several different ways. One of the most effective ways is to control humidity levels. If your humidity levels are high, then you might want to invest in a dehumidifier and place it in a very humid room you suspect mold might be able to grow in. Another method is to fix water leaks around your home. Mold thrives on moisture and any water in your house has the possibility of growing mold. Make sure that your shower, laundry, and cooking rooms have ventilation so there is no steam being left around. Finally, if there is a flood, make sure that your home is thoroughly cleaned and no longer wet by calling in the professionals at SERVPRO of Lynnwood.
When you see or find mold make sure to stay away from the affected areas, turn off HVAC system and air movement devices, then contact SERVPRO of Lynnwood. Some helpful tips on dealing with mold on your own is
1. Not to touch or disturb the mold.
2. Don’t blow air across any affected surfaces with possible, confirmed mold growth.
3. Do not attempt to dry the area yourself.
4. Do not spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
Leave the mold to the professionals at SERVPRO of Lynnwood; 425-774-1148.
Unexpected Flooding During Dry Seasons
If you live in Washington State you know the wet season is no time to take the weather lightly. However, flooding can realistically happen any season. A common issue we see in summer is unexpected flooding and difficulty for the ground to absorb water. Flood damage can be one of the costliest disasters that may strike a home, putting possessions and building materials directly in harm’s way. Flooding can often be mitigated or entirely prevented through proper preparation, however, much of which involves standard upkeep around the home. Reference these useful tips to help avoid storm damage this season.
How Floods Occur
You may wonder why your house can shrug off some rains but not others, but the answer is often further from home. Heavy downpours can create a variety of treacherous situations:
• Too much rain or melting snow for the soil to absorb becomes excess runoff.
• Nearby bodies of water overflow from too much rainwater.
• Waterways can become blocked and containment systems like dams can fail.
Because these factors are outside the realm of individual control, it’s important to address those flooding risks you can impact around the home.
How To Prevent Damage
A major key to keeping your property safe is advance preparation. Many of these recommendations may even be part of your normal routine already:
• Don’t let storm drains on your street become clogged. Dispose of yard waste and ensure other debris does not collect, particularly ahead of expected rainfall.
• Keep your downspouts clear. Even a single storm can create blockages, allowing for water to back up and create flood risks from above.
• Address potential runoff issues. Cisterns and rain barrels allow for collection of excess rainwater around the home. Absorbent rain gardens and use of permeable paving materials can also lessen storm-related impact.
Most flood damage recovery professionals recommend a proactive approach versus reacting to an existing problem. Keep a sharp eye on potential threats all around your property, from gutters to drains. Preventing flooding in Lynnwood, WA does take effort, but the safety you’re likely to enjoy from storm damage makes it worthwhile every time.
Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on storm damage.
Tips & Best Practices for Flood Clean-Up
When it comes to handling the aftermath of a flood in Lynnwood, WA one of the first questions on your mind may be how to take care of all the contents in your building. Content cleaning can be an important part of the restoration process. There are some important things to keep in mind when deciding how to handle water damage.
Identify the Extent of the Damage
Before you face the task of cleaning up after flooding, you should identify how far the damage has actually spread. Flood water may be classified as black water, which can be dangerously contaminated. You should figure out what has gotten wet, so you know exactly where you should focus before you begin. A flood damage restoration company such as SERVPRO of Lynnwood can help you decide exactly what needs to be done to ensure that content cleaning and structural cleaning is done where needed.
Throw Porous Materials Away
Porous materials may absorb contaminated water during flooding, leading to problems with mold or other issues at a later date. Items that are considered porous may include wood, carpets, cushions, and other objects or materials that water can soak in to. It can be best to dispose of these items as they may not be salvageable and can be unsafe.
Restore Non-Porous Materials
SERVPRO of Lynnwood water damage restoration specialists can help you restore items that are salvageable. Restoration can include disinfecting non-porous materials so they are suitable for use again. It may also involve evaluating electrical appliances and other equipment to determine if they are still suitable for use.
Get your building back to a functioning state as soon as possible by taking care of damaged contents. We can be helpful in the content cleaning process by evaluating damage and determining how to salvage and sort through items. While some things may have to be thrown away, others can be saved through water restoration processes.
Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on flood damage.
Storm Clean-Up Precautions
As Florida and surrounding states continue to recover from Hurricane Irma, we want you to know SERVPRO of Lynnwood is always here to help with local storm damage in commercial properties. We realize that in an unprecedented situation like this, in a business it may require all-hands-on-deck from you and your employees to help with clean up and rebuilding efforts. While it may be necessary for your employees to pitch in and get your business operational again – regardless of whether they are helping while on the clock or after hours – there are certain precautions you should take to prevent them from getting injured or sick.
If your business sustained extensive damage, the cleanup is usually best left to trained professionals who will make sure the work is completed safely and meets required building codes. If any of the following damage is present in your building, do not attempt cleanup without first consulting an expert.
- Contaminated Floodwaters. The floodwaters left in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma are contaminated with sewage and have unusually high amounts of coliform and E. Coli, which can cause respiratory issues, intestinal problems and infections.
- Downed Power Lines. Assume all power lines are live, and make sure to stay at least 10 feet away from them. Only trained utility workers or electricians should repair damaged power sources.
- Debris Removal. Water-soaked, contaminated materials should only be removed by trained workers with proper personal protective equipment such as a hard hat, a hazmat suit, steel-toed boots and eye and face protection.
Even if the damage your business sustained is less-extensive, there are still precautions you and your employees should take. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a helpful fact sheet that details potential hazards and preventive measures that can help keep your employees safe during disaster clean up and recovery. Some of the tips they recommend include:
- Provide appropriate personal protective equipment
- Prevent people from performing tasks they do not have the training, experience or physical ability to handle
- Be particularly mindful of wet, slippery, uneven or elevated surfaces that could lead to an employee getting hurt from a slip, trip or fall – the most common causes of employee injuries
- Be careful using portable generators – and always make sure they are properly ventilated – to prevent electrical fires, shocks or electrocutions, or harm from toxic carbon monoxide exposure
If your business has experienced a storm event please contact SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148 for assistance. We are here to help!
Extreme Winter Temperatures in 2020
Winter is in store for much of the United States this year and nothing keeps SERVPRO of Lynnwood more busy than extreme weather patterns. Locally, we have already seen snowfall in 2020 leaving us with many cases of frozen pipes and flooded properties.
The 2020 Farmers' Almanac predicts "yet another freezing, frigid and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country," with the worst conditions forecast for areas east of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians. The almanac anticipates a cold, wintry mix in the Northeast and New England regions of the U.S. with a frosty and wet forecast for the mid-Atlantic.
The Midwest should expect frozen and snowy weather while California, Arizona and Nevada will see cool weather with normal precipitation.
The most frigid temperatures will take hold from the northern Plains to the Great Lakes region. Residents in cities from Washington, D.C., to Boston will experience colder-than-usual weather, and above-normal precipitation will fall on the eastern third of the U.S., as well as the Midwest and Great Plains and Great Lakes regions.
With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected we will see a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain and sleet up along the coast. The harshest weather is expected currently- the first week of February- stay warm out there and remember to prepare your properties for wet and cool temperatures.
If you experience an emergency situation in your commercial space or residential home don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lynnwood at 425-774-1148 for immediate assistance.
Are Your Pipes Prepared For Winter Weather?
Have you ever noticed how a can of soda explodes in the freezer if left for too long? This is because water expands when it freezes quickly. The same happens in pipes full of water during cold weather. Expanding cold water places too much pressure within the pipe and causes it to burst. The following tips will help prevent this disaster from happening in your residence or business;
If your pipes aren’t insulated; get creative about protecting them until you can get pipe insulation from the grocery store. When the temperatures are going to dip use newspapers and plastic grocery bags as a quick fix. Wrap the newspaper around vulnerable pipes, secure the paper with strong tape and cover the newspaper with plastic bags. Keep in mind this is a temporary fix! It is important to insulate your pipes period. Heat tape and pipe insulation are important. When you can make it to the hardware store, purchase heat tape and pipe insulation. Place the heat tape around the most vulnerable pipes and cover them with insulation.
Let water flow steadily. One of the best ways to prevent water from freezing within pipes is by letting the water continuously flow. Surprisingly, running water does not freeze. Allow a trickle of water that is the same diameter as a pen to flow from a faucet to prevent bursting pipes. Although this method seems wasteful, there are creative ways to capture and use the water. For example, use the water to hydrate indoor plants or place the water in a rain barrel for summertime garden watering. Keep in mind that the cost of continuously running water is ultimately cheaper than having to repair pipes, damaged walls, floors and ceilings.
No matter the type of building, a burst pipe can prove to be costly and devastating. Take proper precautions and call SERVPRO of Lynnwood if you have a water issue at 425-774-1148.
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.
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
What To Do After the Storm
After the Storm - What Now?
Whether it's a hurricane, ice damming or hailstorm nature can be unpredictable. Frozen pipes, flood water, roof damage - anything can go wrong during a storm. Where does the clean-up process start? Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lynnwood. DIY home is futile after a disaster. A professional will be able to assess roof damage and structural problems with expert knowledge and the general public should not try to fix a roof leak or do roof repair if they are not qualified as this may result in future issues.
In colder climates there are the winter hazards of blizzards, extreme snowfall, ice damming, etc. Ice damage can come in many forms - roofs collapse, pipes burst and power lines fall. An ice dam can cause major damage by blocking water from running off of the roof. Wind damage sometimes accompanies a severe blizzard. Trees topple over, vinyl siding is blown off and telephone lines are blown down. In the cold weather zones be prepared for the possibility of:
Ice dams, frozen pipes, hail damage ice damage wind damage
SERVPRO professionals address the following:
Flooding, river flooding, storm damage, wind damage, roof repair, or temporary tarping roof leaks
Depending on geographic locations, some people may have hurricane damage or flooding in their areas. As water levels rise and storm surges swell, homes can sustain devastating blows. Ground water can become contaminated with bacteria and pests. River flooding can soak basements and ground-level rooms with sediment and contaminated water; each disaster brings it's own set of problems. Storm restoration is a process and water restoration after storm damage can be tricky. Immediately after the storm call for help and keep these numbers on the emergency contact list:
Water & storm restoration specialist: SERVPRO of Lynnwood- 425-774-1148
Visit http://www.SERVPROlynnwood.com for more information on storm damage.
Initial Steps of Storm Damage Restoration
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home or business. Some regions are more susceptible to storm damage than others. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, therefore having a strategy to respond quickly will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the building interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials creating the perfect environment for mold growth that may cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas and beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Lynnwood to help secure your property, assess damage and begin emergency services. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family or employees while your property is being restored to a safe condition.
Photograph The damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. Documentation is very important to insurance company process and procedures for replacing or restoring your personal items.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent or claims center to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. Insurance companies will send out a representative to determine the extent of the damage and to work closely with SERVPRO professionals to discuss job scope and approvals,
Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance
The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You would be required to file documents to receive these loans. When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your property to normal.
Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season with SERVPRO of Lynnwood’s Helpful Winter Tips
Happy Holidays From SERVPRO of Lynnwood!
Place Christmas trees, candles and other Holiday decorations at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove top.
Inspect roofs, water pipes, gutters and drains to ensure they are in proper working condition. Clear them of any build up or debris that could lead to obstructions.
Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water or ice could be present.
SERVPRO of Lynnwood is here to help! 425-774-1148