Mold in Your Home - What to Know!
Significate mold clean up in Bellevue, WA home after roof leak. Tech is seen wearing a full personal protective equipment suit & using a Hepa Vacuum.
Mold is a very common household problem, it is said that over half the homes in the U.S. have some mold. Although unpleasant, mold surprisingly comes in a variety of miraculous colors including orange, yellow, green, pink, white, black, blue, and brown. Mold plays an important role in the outside environment by breaking down and digesting dead plants and organisms but it's not something we want inside our homes.
Bathrooms, showers, under sinks, behind refrigerators, in crawlspaces, and windows are just a few of the common areas mold likes to grow. Although, if given the opportunity it will grow anywhere. Mold spores thrive in warm, damp places and start out invisible to the naked eye at the size of just the tip of a needle! Mold can come inside a home from an outside growth through inadequately sealed windows or doors.
Although mold spores cannot be eliminated entirely, they will not grow in an environment that is dry and well ventilated. Growth can be prevented by drying wet areas immediately, preventing moisture with proper ventilation, and monitoring humidity within the home. Use air conditioners during the humid seasons and exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
Other areas to monitor moisture to prevent mold growth: exterior walls and surfaces in need of insulation where condensation can build, air conditioner drip pans, ensure crawl spaces are well ventilated, check for damaged seals around windows and door frames, and check for leaks around your refrigerator, tub, and sinks.
Make sure if you do spot mold and/or notice moisture in the area as well, never put a fan or any sort of air movement on the growth, this will only spread the spores quickly throughout your home.
These are a few simple tips for making sure mold is not growing in your home. If you do discover a mold growth, SERVPRO of Kirkland provides mold remediation services for all types of residential and commercial properties. Call us to schedule an inspection and discuss your options.
SERVPRO of Kirkland Tackles Water Damage Regardless of the Source of the Water
The dishwasher leak caused damage to the ceiling, walls, floors and homeowners contents. This photo is taken from the downstairs library.
Water damage restoration is not all about extracting water from a structure and ventilating the area so that drying can take place. Professionals in this area understand the drying theory and how to apply its principles to achieve the drying goal. So, do not make a mistake of thinking that placing drying equipment and spraying products are all that professionals do during the restoration process. We are going to look at the various aspects that professionals consider when attending to such incidents.
The amount of water in your property after a water damage event is also crucial. Our SERVPRO technicians start by determining its source - it can be black water, gray water, or clean water. Clean water does not contain waste products, and it is usually water from a treated source. It can come from faulty appliances, overflowing sinks, leaking roofs and burst pipes. Fewer health risks are associated with this category of water; though, it ceases to be clean once it flows across the soil. In most cases, carpets and pads exposed to clean water are salvageable.
Gray water is also known as category 2 water, and it carries waste products - minus human waste. If your washing machine malfunctions and overflows, the water it dumps on the floor is under this category. It may present health risks if a person drinks, touches, or experiences any form of contact. Our SERVPRO team thoroughly cleans carpets exposed to gray water and replaces saturated pads.
Category 3 water is known as black water - though it does not means the water must be black. It is majorly unsanitary water with much debris which exposes humans to health risks. Burst sewage back-ups and floodwater are examples of its sources. It is advisable to replace porous materials, pads, and carpets that are contaminated with black water.
At SERVPRO of Kirkland, we respond immediately to storm, mold, fire, and water damage disasters. Call us at (425) 820-0080 and let us make your property “Like it never even happened.”
Pet Safety During Storms
Daisy knows a thing or two about emergencies. SERVPRO of Kirkland is here for your emergency services 24/7, Call 425-820-0080.
We all know what we should do when a storm strikes or is about to strike – have an emergency kit ready, know the safest structure in your home, avoid electrical equipment, etc. Nonetheless, have you thought about what to do with your pets when a storm arises? Thorough emergency preparedness is important, particularly in areas where you may be forced to leave your home. As we all know Washington weather is sporadic and unpredictable.
Here are five tips from ASPCA (American Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Center that you can use to help keep your beloved pets safe during storms.
- Shelter – During severe storms it may be easier to take shelter in a basement or small interior room like a bathroom. Make sure pets are acquainted with – and comfortable in – that area of your house and will go there with you easily if need be.
- Poisons – Make sure the shelter inside your home is free of dangers for pets. Many people keep pest poisons in the same basement where they may be sheltering during the storm. Unfortunately, pets are very good at finding baits and many are all too eager to eat it.
- Anxiety – Many pets have storm or firework anxiety and may be prescribed medication to help them cope. Remember, it is always in the best interest to give pets a dose of medication prior to the storm to see how he or she will react – and pets should always get trial runs of medication during periods when the veterinarian is available in case questions arise.
- Evacuation – Among your belongings and in your emergency kits you should have leashes and/or carriers handy, food, medication and water. Pet owners should know where favorite hiding places are for pets so they can easily found during emergencies.
- First Aid – Help keep your pets safe by having a pet first aid kid handy.
SERVPRO of Kirkland is here for all your storm damage need call us at 425-820-0080
5 Pet Safety Tips for Storm Preparedness: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/shelter-health-poison-control/5-pet-safety-tips-storm-preparedness
Pet First Aid Kit: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/saving-lives-shelter-health-poison-control/how-make-pet-first-aid-kit
SERVPRO of Kirkland is Here for Your Water Damage Needs
Local Residential Home's Crawlspace had a pipe leak.
There are Numerous Water Cleanup Services, but SERVPRO is One of the Best.
SERVPRO of Kirkland got a call from a Local Commercial Business in the witching hours of Saturday Morning with extraction needing to happen ASAP. This Local Business was able to stop the water and then gave the SERVPRO of Kirkland Disaster team a call to get the water extracted. Within a few hours we rounded our team out of their sleep and got on the job fast. We were able to extract the water by early morning and assess the damage and where to go from there. Throughout the next few days, we set up our state-of-the-art Injectidry System, Air Movers and Dehumidifiers to get the job done quickly and efficiently. The buildings manager was pleased with how fast we responded and how efficient we were in order to keep their business running per usual. By the end of the work week, we were able to dry per IICRC Standards and get them on their way for reconstruction.
What Makes SERVPRO a Good Choice for Water Cleanup?
There are several reasons why our company is an excellent choice when you need Water Mitigation in the Kirkland Area. First, we have the training and experience to do the job right. Our company:
- Is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification IICRC – certified
- Has years of experience helping Kirkland area Homeowners and Commercial Businesses clean and restore their homes
- Employs technicians who are highly-trained, skilled, and certified in tasks, like water damage restoration and applied structural drying per IICRC Standards.
Second, not only are we expertly trained and skilled in handling all your water cleanup needs, but we also have the necessary tools to do the job right. Some of the state-of-the-art tools we use are:
• Injectidry systems
• Air movers
• High-tech foggers
SERVPRO of Kirkland is open 24/7 for all your Water, and Fire Emergencies Call 425-820-0080
Top 5 Water Damage Issues in Homes
Water Extraction in a Local Commercial Business due to a faulty sprinkler head.
Water damage in homes can be brought about by many underlying issues but there are couple issues that can more likely be the cause than others. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety did a study to find what causes the most water damage in homes, here are some of the things they found out. (*Tip – Make sure you know where your main water line is and that it is able to turn off [can possibly be rusted and unable to turn]).
- Plumbing System Failure- There are two types of plumbing system failures. The first is frozen pipes in which you would need to drain before winter comes (when the main water supply is off). The second would be material failures such as piping, fittings, molding and resin defects, etc.
- Plumbing Drain System Failure- Most failures occur when the sewer drain backs up and overflows into the home or is a result from material issues such as leaking or corroded pipes.
- Toilet Failure- This will happen if you have faulty valves or clogged drain lines. You should inspect your toilet’s inner workings about every 6th months.
- Water Heater Failure- These typically happen when your water heater has had some internal damage due to rusting, leaks, etc. *Tip – Know how old your water heater is by checking the serial number. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured.
- Washing Machine Failure- The cause behind washing machine failure usually from the supply-line, machine overflow or drain line failure.
What you should and should NOT do in the event of a water damage
These are DO's and DON'TS Emergency Tips for water damage which will assist you in taking quick proper action to help you reduce damage and increase the chances of successful restoration before help arrives.
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Do Not Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may occur.
- Do Not Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Do Not Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items including furniture with stain on wet carpets or floors as this may cause staining.
Contaminated Water-Gray, Black or Sewage
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Do Not Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Do Not Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do Not Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Do Not Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated area.
In the event of a water damage, make sure to call SERVPRO of Kirkland for your emergency Water and Fire damage mitigation. Contact us at (425) 820-0080! We are open 24/7/365!
Fire Hazards and Dangers of Hoarding
Kitchen fire in Kirkland, WA. Don't keep flammables near stove.
Hoarding can be a fire hazard. Hoarding is defined as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with a hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of said items. Saving an excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value.” Staggering amounts of items crowd the space and prevents regular use and navigation. Hoarding can lead to a serious fire risk in the home. There are 5 levels of hoarding level 1 being the least severe to the 5th being most severe. Your risks of fire, water, and mold damage will start to increase starting at level 2.
How Hoarding Increases Fire Risks:
- Cooking is unsafe if flammable items are close to the stove or oven.
- If you have a movable heating unit, make sure to not put on an unstable surface. If the heater tips over into a pile, it can cause a fire.
- Space heaters and baseboard heaters can ignite nearby materials if placed against or within 3ft front or to the side.
- Electrical wiring may be old or worn from the weight of piles.
- Pests that may have accumulated can chew on wires, and damaged wires can start fires.
- Exits may be hard to get to, or completely cut off by accumulated items.
- Those living adjacent to an occupied structure can be quickly affected when a fire occurs, due to excessive smoke and fire conditions.
- Open flames from smoking materials or candles in a home with excess clutter are no recommended and are VERY dangerous. Do not put an open flame on an unstable surface and/or near excess clutter.
Why Hoarding Affects First Responders:
- Firefighters cannot effectively fight the fire or evacuate inhabitants or animals when hindered by clutter.
- First responders can become trapped, as well as hurt by piles of items that may topple over.
- When hoarded items become waterlogged by firefighting efforts, their weight is dramatically increased. This can lead to structural collapse if enough items are present.
- Hoarding can be a fire hazard.
- Often, blocked exits prevent escape from the home.
- Many people who are hoarding are injured when they trip over things or when materials fall on them. When fighting fires in a hoarding home it is hard to provide medical care. The clutter stops the search and rescue of people and pets.
How you can help reduce the risk of fire and injury:
- When talking to a person who hoards, focus on safety rather than the accumulation of clutter. Be empathetic and understanding. Consider your body language and how you speak. You should match the person’s language. If they call it hoarding, then you can call it hoarding.
- Help the residents make a home safety and escape plan. Stress the importance of clearing any pathways and exits. Walk through the plan often as to make sure that it is still clear as to new items may come into the home after you have made the route.
- Install working smoke alarms in the home. Test them at least once a month.
- Reach out to your local community resources. Talk to members of the fire department to let them know of your concerns. They may be able to connect you with members of a hoarding task force for additional help.
To have a better understanding of hoarding there is multiple resources. Take some time to learn an evaluate each situation. These are just preventive measures to take, and why you should be taking them. SERVPRO of Kirkland has experience with cluttered cleaning homes. If you or someone you know needs this level of professional cleaning, give us a call today (425) 820-0080. We provide a judgment-free and thorough cleaning of any space.
Tips for Preventing Storm Damage in your Apartment Community
This was hidden behind drywall until it sprung a leak. This is what we found behind the drywall. Exterior inspections are needed in Washington.
There are situations that you cannot be prepared for, and an emergency situation may occur. As a property manager its best to be prepared before an emergency occurs. Looking out for your residents not only makes them feel better it will also make you look like a superhero. Take these measures to prevent Storm and water damage and get ahead of the game.
- Check On Aging Appliances Regularly– If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
- Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rainstorm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
- Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.
- Clear Downspouts Consistently – This is especially important here in the Kirkland area if there are a lot of large trees throughout your apartment community. When leaves, branches, and other debris clog the gutters, the risk of flooding is increased. Clear all debris from the gutters frequently. If you know a storm is about to hit, make sure everything is clear and that water is being effectively carried away from the building.
- Apply Dry-Proofing Methods – One cost effective way to prevent large scale water damage in low-lying areas is to apply waterproofing coatings and sealings. You can also elevate electrical equipment at least three feet off of the floor and install waterproof structures around circuits and electrical breakers.
- Check For HVAC System Blockages –If the line that moves condensation from the HVAC system is backed up, it can create serious water damage. Backed up water can seep through ceilings and through light fixtures or in between walls. When water leaks between walls, it can go undetected and result in mold damage in addition to water damage.
SERVPRO of Kirkland is here to help when a Storm has caused Water or Fire damage. We are here to take your calls 24/7/365. Give us a call at (425) 820-0080
Experts in Restoration
Utilized scaffolding and containment in a high area to help speed up the drying process.
When your building has undergone a Water, Fire, or Mold damage situation you need to contact the experts in the restoration business.
SERVPRO of Kirkland has qualified technicians to get your residence or commercial business mitigated properly and in a timely manner. We will work with your demanding schedule to get the job done.
Here is what to expect when working with SERVPRO of Kirkland:
SERVPRO of Kirkland technicians will inspect the affected areas to determine the extent of the damage done by water, fire, or mold. Our onsite technician will review the inspection with you to review the damage and what the next steps will be. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have before beginning any work.
SERVPRO of Kirkland will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as your personal belongings and other contents from the type of damage you may have whether it be water, fire, or mold. Our qualified technicians will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
Our technicians will have daily moister mapping to ensure the structure is properly drying. A SERVPRO technician will monitor the drying process everyday 24 hours until drying is complete. This will help to help ensure that your home, commercial business is dried to appropriate industry standards.
SERVPRO of Kirkland will help get you in the right direction of getting your home or commercial business back to preloss condition. SERVPRO has specialty drying equipment to properly dry the structure to IICRC Standards. After the mitigation process has been complete and we have cleaned the affected areas of your property and belongings, we can provide a list of contractors to help with your next steps after mitigation has been completed.
SERVPRO of Kirkland has technicians and staff on call 24/7/365. We have live operators who dispatch our calls directly to our employees and on call technicians who come ready to work on your issue. Call SERVPRO of Kirkland today at (425) 820-0080.
SERVPRO of Kirkland’s Do’s, Don’ts, and restoration process after A fire
House fire in Kirkland, WA.
What To Do After A Fire
- After the home has been assessed and the structural integrity of the home is not compromised Limit the movement in the home to prevent soot particles from embedding into the carpets, upholstery, rugs, or any high traffic areas.
- Place Clean towels or clean old linens over any furniture, carpet, upholstery, rugs, or any high traffic areas to prevent you from tracking any soot elsewhere in the home.
- Change the HVAC Filter as there may be debris, soot, or other foreign materials in the filter.
- If you are without electricity, make sure to empty your freezer and refrigerator and keep the doors open.
- To prevent any soot particles from entering any other air registers tape double layers of cheesecloth over the air registers.
- If you have plants in your home, make sure to wipe off both sides of the leaves.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls, painted surfaces, or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO of Kirkland Franchise.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or has visible damage. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor and ruin your clothes.
SERVPRO’s Fire Restoration Process
Every fire damage is unique, therefore, will require a unique restoration process. However, here are steps to our typical fire restoration services:
- Fire damage assessment: Our trained technicians at SERVPRO of Kirkland will thoroughly examine the house to determine the extent of the fire, soot, and smoke damage.
- Content Removal: Our SERVPRO of Kirkland contents processing technicians will help get all your belongings in order. If there are contents that are visibly damaged those will be removed first to prevent the transferal of soot particles getting on any other contents that could be salvageable. All other belongings will be removed from the home whether it is items being stored, non-salvageable, or going through a cleaning process to save what content we can.
- Water Removal: If there is water damage, we will extract any standing water and use our state-of-the-art Air Movers to dry soaked items, flooring, walls, and roof.
- Smoke and soot repair: We have the right products and techniques to remove soot from walls and other surfaces.
- Cleaning: Our skilled professionals will clean and sanitize all the restorable items damaged by the fire. We will also ensure that your home is free from the acidic fumes and odor of the fire by using a technique called thermal fogging.
If you ever need quick and professional fire restoration, do not hesitate to check out SERVPRO of Kirkland. Regardless of day or night, we are always available to help you! (425) 820-0080
Common Issues in your Commercial Property
An Inspection lead to a thorough cleaning of this commercial building. SERVPRO of Kirkland is here to help!
SERVPRO of Kirkland is here to help when an emergency arises in your business. We will be there fast with the help you need. Water, Fire, or Mold damage can be overwhelming for your Commercial Business. At SERVPRO of Kirkland we understand the importance of getting your back to your preloss condition in an efficient amount of time and to industry standards. Keeping your Commercial business safe and sound is necessary in operating smoothly. Many buildings have pre-existing small issues that have the capacity turn into larger ones if proper maintenance has not been maintained soon enough.
Here at SERVPRO of Kirkland we have highlighted some of the issues that occur more frequently in Commercial buildings. What to Expect with a Commercial Property Water, Fire, or Mold Damage.
What to inspect in your Commercial Property:
- Leaks – Whether you have a leak in your roof, foundation, or pipes, water can accumulate in areas of your building. Sedentary moisture almost always leads to rotting wood, foul odors, and mold growth.
- Asbestos – Although not used in construction anymore, older buildings may still have asbestos present. Exposure to asbestos is extremely dangerous and MUST be taken care of if found in exposed areas in your homes.
- Fire Safety Regulations – Make sure that your fire extinguishers are up to date and are in working order. Check your sprinkler system to ensure that in the event of a fire, they will work as intended.
- Electrical Faults – If you have older wiring in your building or have ever had a rodent problem, you should check for faults. Mice and rats tend to chew on wires, leaving them exposed and more likely to start a fire.
Tasks to expect from the SERVPRO of Kirkland Technicians:
- Detailed Cleaning – We will remove excess soot or other contaminants from impacted areas through HEPA vacuuming and dry sponge. SERVPRO Technicians clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.
- Selective Demolition – to remove unsalvageable materials or property. Removing and disposing of porous materials, like drywall and carpeting.
- Pack Outs – to remove salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.
- Air Filtration and Flow Management – SERVPRO technicians utilize “Air Scrubbers” to remove airborne contaminants and soot. “Dehumidifiers” which remove water vapor from the air which lowers the humidity ratio. The lower the humidity the more it increases the rate of evaporation of moisture. “Air Movers” are used in water damage restoration to enhance evaporation at the surface level and reduce drying time.
- Deodorization – to remove or mask offensive odors and return the affected area to a usable space.
SERVPRO of Kirkland will respond quickly and get you back to preloss condition. We have the training, experience, and equipment to manage your commercial Water, Fire, and Mold Damage.
We are here for you 24/7. Give us call at 425-820-0080