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.
4 Ways to Prevent a Fire Disaster
Fire Debris Cleanup after a Fire Damage in Bellevue, WA.
Every business may have some level of fire risk. This risk may be higher or lower depending on whether the buildings only have electrical devices and heating equipment or specialized machinery. There are a few fire preparation measures that property owners, employers, and staff can take to prevent fire damage.
Take these 4 disaster preparation measures today to lower your risk.
1. Keep the Workplace Clean
Clutter can close off evacuation routes and feed a fire. Try to reduce the number of boxes, papers, or other materials that are left lying around a workplace. It is also a good idea to properly dispose of all waste, especially flammable materials.
2. Maintain Fire Safety Equipment
Regular maintenance can prevent malfunction and reduce fire risks whether a business only has standard office machines or additional machinery. Employees should be made aware of potential overheating dangers and monitor the status of equipment. Have a licensed electrician fix any problems that arise to reduce the risk posed by faulty wiring. Property owners can also regularly test fire suppression systems and ensure that fire extinguishers are frequently inspected and ready for use.
3. Post Emergency Information
One of the most critical fire preparation steps is to ensure that emergency numbers are posted in convenient locations. Managers and employees should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for fire safety in the workplace. Property owners may also want to schedule fire drill and tutorials on using extinguishers.
4. Provide Smoking Areas
Provide designated outdoor smoking areas and make sure that there are safe receptacles for smoldering cigarettes in these areas. Consider a self-extinguishing design that will hide unsightly cigarette butts and reduce the risk of fire.
Taking these fire preparation steps can prevent a workplace disaster. If a structure sustains fire damage, rely on a commercial fire mitigation and restoration service in Bellevue, WA.
Simple Steps to Operating a Fire Extinguisher
To avoid Fire Damage it's important to know how to use the fire extinguisher accurately.
If you discover a small fire in your Bellevue, WA, office, you shouldn’t have to wait until the fire department arrives to attack it. You need to act quickly to keep it from spreading. A fire extinguisher is an effective tool for putting out these flames. You and your employees should understand how to appropriately use them.
When Should You Use Them?
The nice thing about these extinguishers is that you don’t need specialized skills or lengthy training to effectively operate one. Small fires can quickly get out of control and consume huge areas. The longer you wait to use one, the more damage the fire will cause.
Here are some ideal occasions when you should use an extinguisher:
• A kitchen fire such as on a stove
• A fire in a garbage can
• Electrical fires
4 Steps to Operating a Fire Extinguisher
Step one: Pull the Pin
In order to operate the fire extinguisher, you must locate the pin on the handle, located on the top of the extinguisher. Grasp the pin and firmly pull from the handle. This will now allow you to squeeze the handle and release the extinguishing agent.
Step two: Aim
You don’t want to randomly start spraying foam everywhere. This could delay putting out the flames and lead to more fire damage in your office. Secure the handle in one hand and the hose in the other. Then, aim for the base of the flames, not the top.
Step three: Squeeze the Trigger
Squeeze the trigger, found by the handle. Do this with control so you can ensure the chemical will come out.
Step four: Sweep
Don’t simply hit one spot of the fire. You need to move the hose from side to side in a sweeping motion. Also, as the fire gets smaller, move closer to the flames.
A highly trained fire restoration specialist can help get your office back to normal following a fire, but you want to minimize the damage. A fire extinguisher can be a valuable asset in these occasions.
Do You Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Pet? You Should!
Are you ready for an emergency? Are your pets and family members ready? It's important to prepare your family and pets for a fire emergency.
Pets are family too, and as such, they need to be included in their families' fire emergency preparation plans. If you have a furry friend, you need to establish a pet preparation plan that guides you and your other family members on what to do in the event of an emergency to ensure that your canine, feline or other pet makes it out of the home safely, too.
Some considerations to make when devising your plan are as follows:
• How to keep your pets from causing fire emergencies
• What supplies your pet will need in the event of an emergency
• How often you should practice your pet safety plan
• What to do if you are forced to evacuate
By taking each of the above into consideration ahead of time, you can devise a plan that will better help you respond in the face of a real fire emergency.
Prevent Your Pets From Starting Fires
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that approximately 1,000 house fires are started by pets each year. You can prevent your pets from starting fires by practicing the same safety measures as you would with your children. Remove stove knobs, extinguish open flames, use flameless candles and secure young pets when you leave the house.
Know What Supplies You'll Need, and Practice!
To increase your response time, have an emergency bag ready to grab and go in the event of a fire. This bag should contain everything your pet will need to stay comfortable and healthy while away from home, such as canned dog food, medications, identifying tags and the like.
In addition to preparing a bag, practice the plan. Train them to come when you call that way you're not looking for them when you should be running out of the house.
Prepare for Evacuation
Evacuation in the event of a fire is a very real possibility. Have a safe place to where you and your pet can go until it is safe to return to your home.
Your fire emergency plan should provide for what to do with your pet in the event of an emergency. If it doesn't, work with your Bellevue, WA, fire safety team to devise an effective plan today.
Getting Ready for Bad Weather
Having an Emergency Storm Plan can protect your business from inclement weather.
When Old Man Winter rises from his slumber and wreaks havoc on your business in Bellevue, WA, there may be little to no warning. That’s why preparation is the key to protecting your business from inclement weather, such as a snow storm.
3 Steps to Get Ready for Bad Weather
1. Know the Area’s Winter Storm History
Nobody can predict the severity of a winter season, but it doesn’t hurt to know what the past winters have brought to your area. If you have just opened a business in an unfamiliar city, look online for storms and temperatures from previous winters.
2. Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
Getting ready for a snow storm should begin before the mercury in the thermometer begins to dip. When the weather is still warm, you should start doing an assessment of your business in preparation for the winter. Do a close examination of the windows and doors to see if any air is getting inside the building. Caulking and weather stripping are great tools for insulating your business. Inspect your pipes and do what is necessary to prevent a pipe burst.
3. Create a Storm Plan for Your Employees
Encourage your employees to sign up for your area’s storm warning system and to pay attention to local forecasts when there is a chance of a winter storm. If possible, allow your employees the option of working from home. Have an alert system in place to let your employees know if the office will close due to inclement weather.
Unless you live in a tropical area, there’s a good chance Old Man Winter will punish your city with a snow storm at some point during the season. Good winter preparation is the best line of defense against a fierce wintery storm. Sometimes a storm could be so severe that some damage is unavoidable. If your business is affected, be sure to have a good contact for a company that handles storm damage restoration.
Can SERVPRO handle any type of storm damage?
Can SERVPRO handle any type of storm damage?
SERVPRO of East Bellevue is available 24 hours a day to help with any type of storm damage your might experience. If you have water damage it is important to get SERVPRO of East Bellevue on site as soon as possible. Our team will quickly begin emergency services by removing all standing water. Once all of the water is removed, our team of trained technicians will begin to place the right amount of drying equipment throughout your facility.
Each day, SERVPRO of East Bellevue will monitor the drying process from start to finish. This is important to make sure that the process is working and the job is correctly completed. Each job is uniquely different, but SERVPRO makes sure to carefully document and take plenty of before, during and after pictures.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. Our team is always here to help, 24/7, 365 days a year.