WINTER IS HERE! PREPARE. PROTECT. PREVENT.
This is a before and after photo of a room with a large pipe in the wall that froze and cracked during the Kirkland Freeze of February 2019.
As temperatures drop there are many things to consider in how you manage your home. With heavy rains and freezing temperatures, this check list will help you prepare, protect, and prevent potential damage to your home.
Drains, Gutters, Downspouts
Winter comes after fall, some might say the two intertwine for a period of time. Regardless, fall creates a lot of debris that often creates blockages in our drains, gutters, and downspouts. This is one way outside water finds its way into our homes because it does not have a proper path to flow out and away. Be sure to clear any debris and check for any cracks or other damage. You want to make sure these systems can properly do their job to protect your home in leading all water away from the structure.
Exterior Inspection: Roof, Siding, Faucet's, and Tree's
Protecting your home from winters mayhem starts with an evaluation of the exterior of your home and the surrounding factors. Think of it as your first defense when it comes to winter. Your roof and siding take the blunt force of winter at its best. Be sure to check the shingles on your roof, look for cracked, damaged, loose, or missing ones. This will prevent moisture from finding its way in or giving heat a way out. Shingle repair is far more affordable than an entire roof replacement. Do the same for the siding on your house. Again, repairs on both are easier and more cost efficient than the damage that could occur as a result of not checking.
It is also very important to remove any hoses connected to exterior faucets and get those covered for the winter to prevent freezing and any damage that could occur from that. Lastly, do a quick evaluation of the trees surrounding your home. All the inspections and preventive measures mean nothing if a branch falls right through your roof.
Preparing for the Freeze Inside
While the exterior of your home is your primary defense, there are many things to consider inside as well. Frozen pipes can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a single home. Take time to insulate your pipes or check existing insulation and look for any leaks. One way to prevent pipes from freezing is to let the water drip when temperatures plummet.
Next you want to check all doors and windows. You want the cold to stay out and the heat to stay in. This can help with costs for heating in the winter. Caulking is great and inexpensive way to seal any leaks. Shrink film is another great inexpensive solution to keeping the cold out. Both are available at your local hardware store.
Another thing to keep in mind is issues with heating equipment can cause a buildup of Carbon Monoxide in the home. Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is virtually undetectable without a detector, sharing the same symptoms as the common flu. So be sure to get one for your home or test and replace the batteries frequently if you already have one. With that being said, its a good time to have your heating system serviced, this should be done annually.
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.”
SERVPRO of Kirkland is Your Best Resource for Your Fire Restoration Needs
This fire started outside the home, just outside the garage. The flames and smoke took no time making it inside causing significant damage.
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is now safe from further destruction, but without trained professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building may never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are on the surface fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it should NOT be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.
The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Kirkland should be called on immediately. We clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire to pre-fire condition, but we must be called to respond immediately to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause.
We know that the only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and spreads through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration.
The experts at SERVPRO of Kirkland will not only identify what can and cannot be salvaged, we will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, we will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may need to be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.
For more information on the services that SERVPRO of Kirkland provides regarding water and fire damage cleanup for your commercial or residential property, please visit us at:
Stay Safe With These Smoke Detector Tips From SERVPRO of Kirkland
Don't wait until its too late to check on your smoke detector, it could save your life!
Here's What You May Want to Know
When installing a smoke alarm in your Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Bothell, or Woodinville home, it’s important to follow the recommendations of professionals, including fire damage restoration services, to ensure the alarm functions properly in an emergency. Here’s what you may want to know.
1. Regular Maintenance
It’s very important to maintain your smoke detectors for fire safety. Many professionals recommend checking the batteries in all alarms located in your home once a year at the very least. Usually many choose to do this at daylight savings to keep the maintenance routine consistent. Making sure your units are dust free can help prevent malfunctioning. It’s also recommended to periodically test the unit according to the manufacturer's directions to ensure functionality. With most units, there is a test button you can press to hear the alarm sound. If your alarm is malfunctioning in any way it should be replaced entirely.
2. Alarm Placement
The exact placement of a smoke alarm in your home can also be very important. It’s recommended that at the very least one alarm be placed on each floor of the building. Make sure to place an alarm in high-risk areas such as a workshop or kitchen. Most fire experts recommend that you place one alarm inside each bedroom, and one alarm outside the bedrooms as well. It may be adequate in some situations to place a single alarm outside multiple bedrooms if they share a hall or living area.
A smoke detector does have a defined operation life. Many professionals recommend the full replacement of any unit over ten years old to ensure proper functionality during the event of an emergency. Older units often have a higher risk of malfunctioning which could certainly be costly to your home and family.
When installing a smoke alarm in your home it’s important to do regular maintenance of the unit, place the alarm inside and outside each bedroom, as well as in the kitchen area, and fully replace old units. Doing all of these recommended things can help keep your home and family safe.
Fires Are Not Planned But Your Exit Plan in Case of a Fire Should Be
Get an escape plan in place for your home and business. Make sure everyone knows it. It will save lives.
Is Your Exit Plan In Place?
Every second counts during a fire. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn really bad, making it critical to be prepared. Having an established escape plan in place is invaluable in these situations. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows that only a small percentage ( 6 percent ) of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical that all family members understand the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few good suggestions to help you develop an emergency plan for your family.
Draw a map of each, and every level of your home and make sure that it show all doors and windows. Find two different ways to emergency exit each room. Always make sure that all doors and windows that lead to the outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or bedrooms on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders that have been evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be best, and most easily used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance away from your home where everyone can meet after they've exited. Make sure to mark the exact location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Teach children exactly how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled family members.
Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime. To make sure that all scenarios are covered, and prepared for.
Escape Planning for Your Business
Although an emergency escape plan is not technically required for all businesses. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that you should build an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employers, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA has suggested the following steps when developing such a plan.
Organize an emergency preparedness procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals or professionals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Established good practices are needed to ensure that all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuation personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. It is important to designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, an evaluation of how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed is very important.
Levels of Commercial Damage
We are available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Ready to help with any emergency!
One of the areas SERVPRO of Kirkland has the capability to handle is commercial damage.
There are many factors that can contribute to extensive commercial damage occurring such as fires due to unforeseen circumstances, facility usage wear and tear, down to the most basic of unexpected water damage. No matter what the source of the damage is, this downtime can be costly to your business and your customers. When unexpected damage at your commercial property happens, how do you know to what level and extent? Below we have described our grading system that we use to determine the level of which your property is assessed and categorized to begin mitigation.
Small commercial losses typically involve 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was completely affected, small commercial losses may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or an administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Midsize commercial losses typically involve 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or divided spaces. If the facility was completely affected, examples of Level 2 losses may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can often be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will normally be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. At this level it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Once our experienced team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a strategic crew of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you have damage at your Commercial property...
Give SERVPRO of Kirkland a call at 425.820.0080
Steps to Prepare Your Business For Heavy Rains in Kirkland
Local Bellevue business flooded during a heavy rainstorm.
If heavy rains, river flooding, or other environmental acts are suspected, you may get a bit of a warning before high waters hit. When flooding is suspected for Kirkland, WA, you want to do whatever you can to get your commercial building ready for the potential damage. You don't always get a warning prior to a flood, so it's a good idea to use this time wisely. Consider using these steps to best prepare for a storm with high waters or river flooding.
Rearrange Your Equipment and Furniture
If there's a potential for storm or flooding damage involving high waters in your area, you want to do what you can to move your important furniture and equipment up high. You can rearrange in a variety of ways, including the following:
* Move as much as possible to upper floors of the building.
* Create stacks of furniture with water-resistant items at the bottom on lower levels of the building.
* Use watertight totes to protect files and equipment.
Moving around office furniture could help you save as much as possible. As you prepare to rearrange your space, think about the items will you be able to easily dry out and clean after a flood. Keep those at the bottom and move other, less water-resistant furniture and equipment first.
You can also try to make your building impermeable to flooding or high waters. Stacking sandbags near the doors and windows can help keep water from entering your commercial space. You can also build up a wall of sandbags around the perimeter of your building to help keep water away from the foundation.
Flooding can leave your building unrecognizable. That's why commercial building owners want to do what they can to stop water from damaging their building. If you were unable to prepare for flood damage, you can still call in a flood cleanup team to help you fix the problems caused by the high waters or river flooding.
Visit us at https://www.SERVPROkirkland.com/ for more information or give a call at (425)820-0080.
Getting to Know SERVPRO of Kirkland
Did we mention we are pet friendly? Meet Daisy the Demo Dog. Ready for any Disaster!
There is more to SERVPRO of Kirkland than meets the eye. Our team has a wide range of previous experience and knowledge that we bring to the table and the owners have always played a commendable role in the local communities.
We know the restoration industry, but we also know your policies. Here at SERVPRO of Kirkland, we do not only provide you with the best possible quality service in our industry, but our office staff comes with extensive background and experience in insurance. Our staff as a whole has worked for many insurance companies including State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, and Nationwide. You can trust that when it comes to working with your insurance company on your loss, we often know the coverage's that apply and the protocols that are required to help to remove the stress of the unknown when experiencing a water, mold, fire, or smoke loss. This knowledge can help us understand your situation better and even offer advice in how to move forward, especially if you are concerned about coverage's. We are here to help.
SERVPRO of Kirkland has many affiliations in the community. We are A+ Rated with the Better Business Bureau, a member of the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, Kirkland Downtown Association, Master Builders Association, and Puget Sound Adjusters Association. The owner has been a school board member of Faith Lutheran School and board member Beautiful Savior Church. Additionally, he has serviced as a paid employee for Snohomish School District for 2 years coaching football at Valley View Middle School.
We truly support our veterans here and pay special attention to applicants with military backgrounds as well. Our owner served active duty for the US Army as a Top Secret Code Breaker, as well as in the US Army Reserve.
It’s more than just business in the eyes of everyone here at SERVPRO of Kirkland. We consider our client’s happiness a win. Our Goal is to be undefeated!
Stay Safe and Dry During the Springtime Rainstorms
Water and mud came rushing into this residents garage from a springtime rainstorm. We were able to stop it before it got too far into the home.
Our home is to protect us from the elements, but heavy rains can weaken that protection. With a little maintenance and a lot of vigilance, it’s not hard to stay safe and dry.
'April showers bring May Flowers'. This is a saying we all grew up with and that we continue to teach our children. Spring rainstorms are unavoidable and are an essential part of keeping Washington green. However, as the rain gets heavier remember to think of the impact all that water might have on your home. The first step is finding and fixing any immediate problems as soon as it’s safe to do so. Then, you’ll want to take measures to prevent those problems from happening during the next downpour!
Where is all that rain going?
Your roof and gutters form a key line of defense for your home - and in a storm, they’re vulnerable, because so many things can damage them. Trees, hail, and other objects can create weaknesses that might lead to leaks in your roof, so check for missing shingles and other issues. And keep your gutters clear so all that water drains properly.
Are you checking everywhere?
Water dripping from the ceiling is hard to miss. Water in your crawl space, however, can easily go undetected because hardly anyone ever checks there. Don’t forget to look down there after a storm (or have a professional do it) to make sure everything is nice and dry. If you do see moisture, you’ll want to get it out with a sump pump as soon as possible.
And don’t just look up - another place to check is your home’s exterior, whether it’s siding, brick, or another material. Weak spots can be hard to see, so look at various times of the day in different lighting conditions.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed to keep the elements out, too.
What about around your property?
Storm water has to go somewhere, and if your property doesn’t drain well, or if runoff goes toward your foundation, you could have problems. So watch for patterns, and grade property so it drains away from your home if possible. Always be wary of hillsides and tilting trees after heavy storms, because the land might not be stable.
And don’t forget to keep storm drains clear of leaves and other debris. This can prevent flooding both on the streets and your own property.
What should you do during the storm?
During powerful storms, stay inside. This is not the time to check your roof, your exterior, or your property unless there’s an emergency and you know it’s safe to go out. Monitor your interior, making sure no water is getting in. If it is, do what you can to alleviate the situation in the moment, even if it means just placing something under a leak to collect the water. For more serious problems, though, remember that safety is the most important thing. If your basement is flooding, for example, don’t go down there - you could be trapped and even drown.
Thankfully, powerful storms only hit once in a while. Preparing for them, however, should be on your mind a lot more frequently, because the next one could be tomorrow.