How To Avoid Being Sued for Mold Damage
Building inspectors can check for condensation on vents
As a property manager, it’s your job to maintain property that is consistently in good condition. If an issue such as a mold infestation occurs, your tenants or employees may file a lawsuit against you. It’s crucial to keep your Factoria, WA, business free of any signs of mold in order to avoid being sued for mold damage in your building. Take the following steps to prevent mold insurance claims from being made against you.
One of the best ways to ensure that your commercial building is free of mold damage is to have it inspected on a yearly basis. Building inspectors can check for the following signs of mold growth:
- Poorly sealed doors or windows
- Condensation on vents
- Improper drainage
- Burst pipes
Any of these issues can cause a mold infestation and must be taken care of immediately. To prevent these problems from occurring, it’s vital to have your building examined by a professional. Being proactive in stopping mold growth can help your business thrive and keep your employees or customers from making mold insurance claims.
Be Aware of Warning Signs
It’s much easier to stop mold from continuing to spread when you notice the warning signs early on. Mold tends to thrive in wet environments, so pay attention to any condensation or moisture that has found its way into your building. Additionally, any musty odors that are present in your building can be a major sign of mold growth.
Contact Remediation Services
A mold problem will not go away on its own. If someone makes a mold claim against you, you need to do what you can to resolve the issue promptly. Regardless of what types of mold insurance claims you’re facing, contacting a professional can help control the problem. Call mold remediation services as soon as possible if you’re ready to bring your building back to life.
Purchasing Renter’s Insurance Is One of the Smartest Things You Can Do for Peace of Mind
Renter’s insurance policy is designed for those who don’t own their residence
Renters in Eastgate,WA, are purchasing renter's insurance in record numbers. This isn’t surprising, since lawsuits are creating unprecedented liabilities even for those who don’t own their property. Some landlords are now requiring it as well, since it not only protects your belongings but helps keep their liability covered as well.
One of the key benefits of a policy is that it covers fire damage, which is among the topmost common disasters to occur to residences. Perhaps the best part is that it’s very inexpensive – usually below $20 per month for most renters.
What Is Renter’s Insurance?
A renter’s insurance policy is designed for those who don’t own their residence. It covers a number of things, including:
- Fire damage.
- Stolen or lost property.
- Most other types of damage.
- Minor medical coverage for 3rd parties who are injured in your home or apartment.
These benefits occur whether the fire is due to your negligence or unforeseeable circumstances. It helps cover your neighbors to some extent as well, including some of their medical costs. It may even cover medical costs from evacuation, such as someone breaking their leg while rushing down the stairs. However, most policies won’t cover criminal acts either performed by you or at your direction. It also often won’t cover major medical expenses for 3rd parties, so make sure you read your policy carefully.
So, It Always Covers Fire Damage?
Except for the criminal exclusion already mentioned, the answer is yes! Even if you act with substantial negligence, it has you covered. This is peace of mind at a fantastically cheap cost.
Does It Cover Fire Restoration?
Renter’s insurance covers smoke damage and general fire cleanup that impacts you. Depending on the company and specific policy, it will often cover loss of use costs, such as needing a hotel during cleanup and repairs, as well as some additional living expenses that are normal to a fire. If you need a policy, ask your neighbors about their recommendations for a good renter’s insurance company, or talk to your automobile insurance company about a discounted policy rider if you own a vehicle.
How First Responders Can Stay Safe During a Flood
Wear proper personal protective gear
How First Responders Can Stay Safe During a Flood
As a first responder in Eastgate,WA, you are exposed to many dangerous situations, including flooding. However, there are numerous precautions that you can take to ensure you stay safe.
Wear Protective Clothing
Clothing acts as a barrier between you and the flood water, so it is important that your gear is well-suited to flood response. Make sure your gear is properly maintained and ready to go when you need it. The following items are typically helpful in flood situations:
- Chemical-resistant outerwear
- N-95 masks for areas with mold or mildew
Be Aware of Electrical Hazards
In flooded areas, the electrical systems are often compromised. Make sure to maintain a safe distance from downed power lines until the power company has cleared them. Upon entering water-damaged homes or businesses, turn off the power before beginning work.
Stay Up to Date on Vaccinations
Because flood waters often contain hazardous materials, it is important to be current on your immunizations. The CDC recommends emergency workers receive both a tetanus booster and the Hepatitis B series of vaccinations in adulthood. Additionally, check with your local health department to see if there are any immunizations you should receive in response to a specific outbreak in your area.
Practice Good Hygiene
Harmful bacteria and other toxic materials are often present in flood waters. Therefore, it is important to wash hands frequently. If clean water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. A first responder working in a flood area should wear gloves at all times. Layering disposable gloves over cut-resistant gloves decreases the likelihood of cross-contamination. Additionally, make sure to clean all protective clothing and gear after each use.
Use the Buddy System
Even the most conscientious emergency worker can find him or herself in an unsafe situation. It is important not to work alone. The buddy system reduces the risks of drowning, death from exposure, injuries due to heavy lifting and various other hazards.
Although floods pose many dangers, a first responder can stay safe with a little planning and proper gear. Additionally, a professional restoration service can help you do the job safely and quickly.
Are Temporary Security Fences Essential After a Commercial Fire?
Putting up a temporary security fence can protect your building after suffering fire damage.
After a fire at your commercial building in Bellevue, WA, the last thing you want is further loss. Insurance companies hold you responsible for mitigating losses — that means you are responsible for doing everything within your power to not allow even more damage. After a fire, there are immediate priorities before restoration begins. One of the first is putting up a temporary security fence.
Security Fences after a Commercial Fire
Isn’t a Temporary Fence Just Another Cost?
Security fencing is a minimal cost compared to the safety it lends to your property, especially in a situation where a building looks abandoned or business has been put on hold. Here is why:
• Fences are deterrents to trespassers. This includes vandals targeting an empty building, looters who see an opportunity to take what is left, homeless individuals looking for shelter, and people curious about the building, who then have an accident or are harmed on-site.
• Without a fence, animals otherwise deterred by an active workplace can move in, build nests, multiply and wreak havoc.
• Insurance companies may not pay out if anything happens to a property that might have been prevented by due diligence, like putting up a security fence. A temporary fence communicates vigilance on your part. You still need to be watchful and visit the site, but a fence goes a long way when you can’t be there.
Let Local Professionals Do What They Know Best
A commercial fire restoration company can help with every step, including making the entire property safe in its new after-fire condition. In addition to security fencing, that might include boarding up windows, placing tarps over holes in the roof, beginning the process of drying out water-damaged items and protecting the property from unwanted visitors.
If you are hiring a commercial fire restoration service in Bellevue, WA, get them on task to help set up priorities and put up a security fence before restoration even starts. They are Here to Help and have the required resources. Besides your insurance agent, you will need experts who have been there and can guide you through the process of getting back to work.
Categories of Water Damage in Your Commercial Building
Categories of water damage in you commercial building
Types of Water You Can Deal in Your Building
Many people do not realize that not all types of water damage is the same. The water is categorized based on how contaminated it is. This information is vital when your commercial property in Bellevue, WA, floods. If you aren't dealing with clean water, you could be looking at a potential safety hazard. These are the three types you may experience in your building.
Category 1 water is considered clean water. It is sanitary and means that the source was something like a broken pipe or leaking faucet. Patrons are not at risk when exposed to category 1 water, but it should be cleaned up quickly. If left untreated, this water could possibly turn into category 2. These leaks can also cause mold growth or pose other potential risks.
Category 2 is known as gray water and has some contamination. For instance, when a toilet overflows, the water is considered category 2 and should be cleaned up as so. If your commercial building contains washing machines, you may have a supply line: broken pipe, which can lead to flooding that is considered slightly contaminated. It may be beneficial to have a professional come handle this problem for you.
Category 3 is known as black water and is considered highly contaminated and potentially extremely harmful. On commercial properties, you find this type occurs mostly from a sewage problem. Black water should be cleaned up and disposed of properly. A water restoration company can help you handle the mess and fix the source.
If you are unsure if the source of the flood is clean water, or if you don't feel comfortable handling the damage yourself, call a water restoration expert in Bellevue, WA. Never let standing water go untreated as it can lead to mold or other problems. In addition to the cleanup, always find and fix the source so that the same issue does not happen again.
3 Tips for Avoiding Summer Water Damage
Remove debris from your rain gutters
3 Tips for Avoiding Summer Water Damage
With summer fast approaching and warmer weather on the horizon, many homeowners are making their summer bucket lists and preparing for more time outside. As you get your yard ready for summer barbecues, take the time to safeguard your property against summer water damage. The following three tips may save you from serious water hazards that require major cleanup and restoration services.
1. Locate the Main Water Shut-Off
Every Somerset, WA, homeowner should know the exact location of the home’s water main. A water shut-off valve can play a crucial role in preserving your home or yard in the case of broken pipes or unexpected leaks. If a water leak occurs, turn the valve to the “off” setting until repairs can be made. These are other times to consider turning off your water supply:
- Before leaving on an extended summer vacation
- When installing sprinklers or digging near a pipe
- While making indoor plumbing repairs
2. Clean Eves and Gutters
Sitting water can cause severe water damage and often goes unnoticed for a long period of time. To prevent water from seeping through the roof of your home, it needs proper drainage. Leaves, rocks, and other debris may have found its way into the eves and gutters of your home during winter and spring storms. Be sure to clear exterior drains so that your eves and gutters can do their job and prevent costly damage.
3. Take Care of Shrubs and Trees
While lawn care may seem completely unrelated to summer water incidents, careful landscaping is crucial for avoiding bad water leaks. Trees planted near water lines have been known to grow deep roots and wrap themselves around critical pipes. This type of rooting can crack and sever waterlines until water cleanup is inevitable. Strategically plant shrubs, bushes, and other deep-rooting plants away from known pipes. Consider cutting down or removing overgrown trees and shrubs that may interfere with underground water lines.
Stay safe this summer by preventing water damage in your home and yard. These simple preventative measures can go a long way in helping you avoid water incidents.
Mold or Mildew? Learning the Key Similarities and Differences
Mold vs Mildew
While coming across any form of fungus in your Factoria, WA, home is not a good sign, determining whether the invader is mildew or mold is crucial. While mildew growth is fairly common and isn’t considered harmful, mold growth can be just as common, but it presents a potentially more hazardous situation. Therefore, it’s important to read on and learn about the similarities and differences between the two, so you can figure out whether your home is dealing with light mildew issues or more substantial mold damage.
How They’re Similar
Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that can grow almost anywhere, indoors or outdoors and in various situations. Some of their similarities include:
- Enjoying humid, warm environments;
- Preferring darker areas that see less light throughout the day; and,
- Growing on various surfaces such as shower stalls, building materials and even food.
While the presence of either mildew growth or mold growth is never ideal, the repercussions of their growth can be vastly different.
How They’re Different
If you find fungus growth in your Factoria, WA, home, look for key signs in texture, size and color to determine whether it’s mold or mildew. Mildew is generally white or grey in color, and it grows in patches across moist surfaces or darker, humid corners. It’s not considered harmful and can quickly be cleaned and scrubbed away.
In contrast, mold can appear black or green, and it’s often slimy or fuzzy in texture. This type of fungus can spread as a result of extensive water damage on building materials such as drywall, wallpaper, or carpeting, so it needs to be checked out immediately. Having a proper inspection done by qualified mold remediation experts is important for identifying and removing such mold damage.
Use These Signs as a Guide
Should you come upon fungi in your home, searching for the right signs to determine whether it’s mold damage or mildew can help you figure out how to proceed going forward.
What You Should Know About Your Fire Alarm and Your Home
Change your smoke detector itself as recommended approximately every 10 years.
Things You Should Know About the Fire Detectors Located in Your Residence
Many fire restoration service professionals in Eastgate, WA, recommended use of a fire alarm as an important fire safety and mitigation tool. These units can help protect your home in the event of a fire. They can also alert you to heat or smoke which may allow time for the fire to be put out before it can cause extensive damage. Here are a few things everyone should know about the fire detectors located in their residence.
1. When to Replace the Batteries
One way to ensure that your alarm is working, and to help prevent fire damage, is too regularly replace the batteries in your smoke detector. Most experts recommend doing this once a year when also changing your clocks. You may also want to change your smoke detector itself as recommended approximately every 10 years.
2. What Type of Sensor to Use
You may find that there are two types of fire alarms to choose from. Photoelectric alarms are designed to sense slow burning, smoldering, smoky fires. Ionization alarms, on the other hand, are more sensitive to fast heat such as a quick burning flame. Many experts recommend including both types of alarm in your home. Fortunately, some smoke alarms now include both sensor types meaning you can have the benefits of both alarms in one unit.
3. Where Fire Alarms Should Be Located
To help avoid smoke damage an ensure the alarm can be heard, many experts recommend having at least one alarm per level, one alarm inside every bedroom, and an alarm outside each sleeping area often in the hallway the bedroom lead out too. You should also place a smoke alarm in your kitchen where the statistics show most fires start.
It's an important fire safety step to check on your fire alarm regularly. This includes replacing the batteries and ensuring that the alarm is functional. You should have a fire detector located inside each bedroom of the residence, and in any major hallways. If you have any questions about the proper way to set up your fire alarms, a professional may be able to help.
Key Essentials for First Aid Kits
Key items for a first aid kit
Emergency preparedness involves precautionary action to manage events such as fire, flooding, or storm damage. However, it is just as important to prepare for injuries that may occur. Does your building in Bellevue, WA, contain a first aid kit and the necessary equipment to manage a sudden injury?
All buildings should be equipped with an emergency kit that is stocked with essential items as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Having emergency care equipment on hand allows for immediate treatment of minor to moderate injuries and may help stabilize a victim before help arrives in the event of a severe injury. Here are the key items to keep in your building’s first aid kit:
- Stabilization equipment: Splint, elastic wraps and triangular bandages to stabilize a sprain or broken bone
- Wound care essentials: Antiseptic cleaner, self-stick bandages and several sizes and types of gauze pads
- Resuscitation gear: Pocket mask, resuscitation bag or airway
- Miscellaneous: Gloves, tweezers, scissors, blanket, adhesive tape and emergency phone numbers
Kits are only as effective as the items stored in them. Be sure to periodically check first aid kits to restock contents that have been used or removed. Check expiration dates on items such as wound cleaners and replace anything that has expired. It is also important to check the integrity of contents as they age — for example, gloves and adhesives can break down over time and may no longer be effective. Kits should be visible and centrally located in the building so that they are easily accessible during an emergency. Ensure workers are trained on the location of the kit and how to use the contents inside as well as the steps to take to summon emergency personnel for significant injuries. It's also a good idea to have the contact information for commercial building restoration services on hand, too.
Maintaining a well-stocked first aid kit is a simple step you can take to ensure the safety of workers and visitors in your building. It is a fundamental component of any emergency preparedness plan.
5 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings
Broken Pipes are a leading cause of Commercial Water Damage.
Commercial buildings in Bellevue, WA, require consistent maintenance to avoid water issues such as leaking pipes and fixtures. Besides guarding against severe weather and other unanticipated events, regular inspections and upkeep can prolong the integrity of your infrastructure.
Here are 5 common problems that you will likely encounter in commercial buildings:
1. Clogged Toilets
Toilets are designed to handle certain types of liquid and solid waste. However, items like rags, pet hair, and candy wrappers can clog piping, which leads to toilet backup. Though a plunger can clear most everyday clogs, some blockages can cause overflow and severe damage.
2. Dry Traps
Drain traps help keep sewer odors away from sinks, showers, toilets and appliances. However, infrequent use causes traps to dry out, which lets foul odors flow freely. Therefore, to prevent unwelcome aromas in public spaces, operate all fixtures regularly and clean any drain trap clogs.
3. Worn Seals
Gaskets, O-rings and washers help create watertight seals to prevent leaking pipes. However, they inevitably wear over time and require replacement. Ignoring worn seals or attempting to tape or seal around a leak only delays a larger problem. Thus, it’s best to replace seals to prevent significant issues down the road.
4. Slow Drains
Clogs and backups are common culprits of slow drains. Sinks, showers and floor drains are sized according to anticipated average flow, expected solids dimensions and average solids content. Hence, larger solids and viscous liquids can block drainage pipes and lead to backups and overflows.
5. Broken Pipes
Many problems in older buildings are due to brittle, damaged infrastructure. Even one small pipe break can wreak havoc on an entire system and cause mold and mildew contamination. Therefore, regularly inspect all piping and joints and replace severely worn or damaged pipes immediately.
Aside from natural disasters and unexpected events, there are ways to prevent leaking pipes and other sources of water damage in commercial buildings. Look out for common problems and devise a regular inspection and maintenance plan to keep your water issues at bay. For those issues that can't be prevented, consider enlisting the help of experts in water damage repair.