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SERVPRO of Kirkland’s Do’s, Don’ts, and restoration process after A fire

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

House fire in Kirkland, WA 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

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Cleaning Job in Kirkland, WA 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 

Tips for Preventing Storm Damage in your Apartment Community

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Roof leak in Kirkland, WA 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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration process in a Kirkland, WA Home 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:

Inspection:

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.

Emergency Services:

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.

Monitoring:

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.

Restoration Services:

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.

Fire Hazards and Dangers of Hoarding

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire in Kirkland, WA home 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.

The Fourth of July

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Fireworks display in Kirkland Fireworks display in Kirkland, WA

The Fourth of July is almost here which means FIREWORKS! Statistics reported from NFPA between 2014-2018 (averages) only nine percent of firework fires were structure fires. However, it accounted for almost all the fire deaths, 74% of the fire injuries, and 45% of the fire property damage. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires. Please keep these tips in mind when you are setting off fireworks with your friends and family.

Firework Safety Tips

  • Follow the directions on all fireworks and do not use them for anything other than what they are intended for.
  • Do not attempt to alter or combine fireworks products.
  • Never ignite in a container
  • Never use homemade fireworks.
  • Never use illegal fireworks. Report illegal explosives to the nearest fire or police department.
  • When lighting fireworks, always have water handy. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that do not go off or in case of fire.
  • Spectators should remain a safe distance from the fireworks being lit.
  • Make sure you are not setting off fireworks near dry grass, brush, or forestry. These account for three of every five (59%) of firework fires. Only light fireworks outdoors on a smooth, flat surface, away from all flammable materials including dry leaves and paper.
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Whoever lights the fireworks must be sober, wear safety glasses, and keep clothing well away from the flame when lighting.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both used and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep sparklers away from clothing and other flammable materials.

From SERVPRO of Kirkland to you and your family We hope everyone has a fun and SAFE 4th of July!! Stay Hydrated! 

Summer maintenance tips for your Kirkland Commercial business or home

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Exterior growth on the side of a commercial building in Kirkland Exterior Inspections are just as important as Interior Inspections.

Sunny weather is here and as you know in Washington it comes and goes fast. Take some time to spruce up your home or commercial business while it is nice out. Here at SERVPRO of Kirkland we would like to provide some maintenance tips that can help your Kirkland property.

Outdoor Maintenance:

  1. Clean your gutters and downspouts – pine needles, leaves and debris can build up in gutters and clog downspouts over the fall and winter months. When the rainy season hits, the clogs will cause water to pool which may lead to water damage, including damp spots, mold growth, dry rot, and peeling paint. 
  2. Get your roof inspected – getting your roof inspected once a year is one of the best ways to prevent roof leaks. If you notice any loose tiles or shingles call a roofing company for repairs.
  3. Wash off your property’s exterior – the wet Washington weather can bring in dirt and moss to the exterior of your building. With a pressure washer, you can easily remove, dirt, dust, grime, moss and the like from walls, fences, parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks to maintain the outside of your property. While you are checking the exterior of your property check for rotted, dirty, or loose siding.
  4. Apply a fresh of coat of paint – this will boost curb appeal for your property. The paint will provide an resistant layer against the elements, and could reduce the need for major exterior repairs in the future.
  5. Clean up vegetation around the building – the summer months can be dry and the heat can make flames spread easily. Remove any excessively dry plants, and trim back bordering plants to avoid a preventable disaster. Add a layer of mulch if you have plants, the extra mulch will help fight off weeds and help your soil retain moisture during those scorching summer months.
  6. Get your deck inspected – Check your deck to see if there are any boards that look like they are rotting. Have them replaced. Hammer any nails that are loose. Take the extra step of checking if your deck needs to be resealed by pouring a little water on it. If the water beads into little puddles, you are good. If it sinks into the wood, you should get your deck resealed against water.
  7. Check for outdoor leaks – Check around your property’s outdoor faucets for any leaks. Check your hose as well because you can waste a lot of water if there is a tiny hole in your hose. Use electrical tape to repair any small holes in your hose.  
  8. Inspect the caulking around the windows and doors of your home – Not only is this good to make sure when it does rain that the extra moisture does not come into your Kirkland property. You can keep ants and bugs at bay in the kitchen by adding fresh caulking to your windows and doors.

Indoor Maintenance:

  1. Do a test of your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors – Replace batteries if needed.
  2. Get your cooling system ready – Consider getting your air-conditioning serviced if you have one on your Kirkland property. Proper air conditioner maintenance can help you AV last longer and prevent air conditioner fires.
  3. Change your Ventilation system filter – When dirt and debris clog up the filter, it can pollute the entire system, and cause a need for more repairs or replacing the unit. In addition, It will help give you healthy air quality in which will be good for anyone in your household who has asthma or allergies.
  4. Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct – Clean out all the dust and lint trapped int the vent and exhaust duct. Clothes dryers can be a fire hazard if they are not cleaned and maintained. Get your washer and dryer serviced if needed.
  5. Get your chimney cleaned – You may not be using it in the summer months but that means they will not be as busy, and you can get that out of the way to use right away when the colder months come around. Regular maintenance is usually overlooked. However here are some reasons to clean your chimney this summer. Obstructions or cracks in your chimney can cause water to be able to get in which if not found can end up molding. As we all know in Washington when it rains it pours. Inside a chimney is dark and humid the perfect place for mold spores to grow and spread.
  6. Clean the baseboards of your home – Wipe away all dust and grime. This will also help you inspect the perimeter of your household to see if you need any repairs or maybe a small water spot you did not know was there.
  7. Check you Attic, Basement, and Crawlspace – Check in your attic for signs of dampness, mildew, leaks, holes in the roof, and pests. While you are in the attic make sure to check that the vents are not being blocked. You want to make sure that the proper air flow is going through as to not trap hot and humid air that could cause molding. In the basement/Crawlspace check for leaks, pests, mold, mildew, and any openings that are out of the usual.

SERVPRO of Kirkland is here to help with any of your Water, Fire, and Mold damage 24/7/365. If you have any of these losses in your Kirkland home or commercial business give us a call at (425) 820-0080.

Levels of Commercial Damage

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Mascot. 24 Hr. Emergency Serivce. 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.

Level 1

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.

Level 2

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.

Level 3

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

Fires Are Not Planned But Your Exit Plan in Case of a Fire Should Be

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Escape Plan from SERVPRO 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.

Stay Safe With These Smoke Detector Tips From SERVPRO of Kirkland

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector 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.

3.Operation Life

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.