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Home Water Damage: What To Do First

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fasten faucet using a wrench to rusty water pipe If a leaky appliance caused your flood, turning off your main water valve should stop the problem

When water flows where it shouldn’t, it can be quite damaging to structures and property. If you have water damage in your Eastgate,WA, home, it’s best to address it as soon as possible. Stopping the source and addressing safety concerns are your initial steps.

Addressing Safety

Consider the following precautions to keep your family safe.

  • Deactivating your electricity before anyone steps in the water is essential.
  • Keeping children and animals away from the flooded area can protect them from injury.
  • Wearing waterproof gloves and boots can protect you from health hazards.
  • Opening windows and using fans will begin drying out the area and allow toxic gases to escape.


If stormwater caused you water damage or you can’t deactivate your electrical, it is recommended you not attempt the water cleanup yourself. Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage and other hazards, and calling a remediation service may be your best strategy.

Stopping the Water Source

If broken pipes or a leaky appliance caused your flood, turning off your main water valve should stop the problem. If your sump pump failed, obtaining a new pump immediately will minimize further damage. When floodwater is the source of the problem, you can try placing sandbags to redirect stormwater. Sandbags are generally available from building supply outlets.

Starting the Cleanup

If you have less than a few inches of water, you can start removing it with a wet vacuum and begin taking wet items to a drying area, such as a garage. If the water is deeper than a few inches, you may need to call for an expert or obtain special equipment.

Consulting Your Insurance Agent

Once the flooded area is ventilated and safety is addressed, it’s a good time to inform your insurance agent and discuss your coverage. The agent may also be able to provide helpful resources for cleanup assistance and equipment.

Experiencing water damage in your home can be unsettling, and you may not automatically know what to do. Stopping the source of the water and prioritizing safety are the first steps on the path back to normalcy for you and your family.

The Dos and Don’ts of Grease Disposal

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Stainless steel sink plug hole close up with water. Blue sponge in kitchen sink beside running water To help reduce the likelihood of water damage, never pour grease down the drain

Your home in Bellevue, WA, is more than just a home. It is intricate system that protects your loved ones and belongings. Maintaining it and ensuring everything is functioning properly is key to enjoy your personal oasis. When it’s time to cook, dealing with leftover oil and grease can be annoying and smelly. While you might want to pour the grease in drain, you are guaranteeing that will eventually have a drain clog.

Where Not to Pour Grease

Unfortunately, easy isn’t always better. When dealing with grease and oil, three places to not dump it are:

Drains – Anyone who has done some cooking knows that grease hardens. Hot water and garbage disposals won’t eliminate the grease. Instead, it will spread on the blades and go down the pipes, eventually leading to a drain clog and potentially costly repairs.

Outside – This might seem like an easy alternative, but the soil around your home will absorb the substances. This again can eventually end up in the sewer system and result in clogs. It can also cause issues for local wildlife.

Compost Piles – Minimal amounts are suitable for composting, but large amounts will have negative effects on the composting process. Along with damaging your future fertilizer, it can further increase the activity of vermin and bugs.

Proper Grease Disposal

Instead of dealing with a sink clog, take a little extra time to dispose of grease properly. First, allow it to cool and harden in the cooking pan or transfer to another container. Once cooled, scrape it out of the container directly into a lined trash bin. Use a paper towel to wipe pan to ensure leftover grease doesn’t make its way down the drain. You can also place it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
Even if you are careful, some grease can still make its way down the drain. To avoid a clog, call a professional to get your pipes clean and clear.

Why Your Commercial Building Needs Fire Insurance

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A man with a black suite holding a piece of paper that says "Are you covered?" on the right there's a small house on fire Talk to your insurance company to find out what kind of coverage you

Fire can cause a significant amount of damage to your commercial building in Somerset, WA. If you aren't properly insured, you could be paying for a large portion of these costs out of pocket. Not all fire insurance is the same though. Here are a few things you might want to check your policy for.

Reconstruction

No matter the size of the fire, your building could need major reconstruction done but will probably require some minor repairs at the very least. Most insurance policies cover this, but you want to make sure that you have valued your business correctly. This means if you have undervalued your property, you probably will end up paying some out of pocket costs to get it fixed. It is a good idea when first insuring your property to have a professional help you estimate the total cost of all of the assets in the building, including the structure itself. 

Cleanup

A fire causes a lot of destruction and typically requires a professional fire restoration company. You should make sure your fire insurance covers both cleanup both internally and externally. The professionals will help get your business back to its pre-fire condition and will do smoke cleanup to remove the odor from the building.

Income Loss

Business income coverage is something that most policies don't cover. In the event that your building is so badly damaged that you are unable to continue working in it, you may have to shutdown for a while. This can cause your profits to take a serious hit. Business income coverage can help to prevent your company from taking a financial hit.
If you feel that your building has a higher risk of catching fire, you may want to update your fire insurance to cover additional issues that may arise. Talk to your insurance company to find out what kind of coverage you have or to change your current policy. Spending the money now to keep your business protected can end up saving you from financial turmoil later on.

Before the Storm: Your Storm Preparedness Plan

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

What is your action plan? written in a piece of paper Create a plan of action well before storm season comes around

Before the Storm: Your Storm Preparedness Plan

When a major storm is heading toward Bellevue, WA, there are several steps property managers can take to minimize storm damage. Once the storm has passed, property management should take follow up steps.

  • Create a plan of action well before storm season comes around.
  • Put together training and practice scenarios to ensure the safety of staff and residents of the property.
  • Identify a response plan for after the storm is over.


Every storm is unique in the type of damage and the extent of destruction it causes. Property managers and landlords need to understand the most likely sources of storm destruction, so they can prepare accordingly. One of the first steps is putting together an instruction book. This should include contact information for all staff members, phone numbers for emergency system professionals, a list of staff roles and responsibilities, and a contingency plan for key personnel.

During the Storm

During an emergency, staff have dual responsibilities for remaining safe themselves while assisting community members. Your storm preparedness plan should take this into consideration. Identify the circumstances under which staff members will remain in their assigned positions and those at which staff will evacuate themselves. Your plan should include "plan B" scenarios in case of employee family emergencies.

After the Storm

When the winds and water have settled, property management personnel have the responsibility to report. This should include details about property damages and mechanical failures. It may include check-out information for residents of the property and their contact information. The records should also include photographic evidence of damages before local storm damage cleanup professionals begin their work.

Communication Efforts

Maintaining communication with residents is a key element of any storm recovery plan. Simply alerting residents to the cleanup progress can help them remain calm as they wait to return to their homes. Some building managers set up hotlines for residents where they can access up-to-date information.

The best time to develop and practice a storm preparedness plan is well-before the wind picks up. Put together your plan and run through emergency procedures regularly for the long-term safety of your staff and residents.

Top 4 Tips for Dealing With Water Damage

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

kitchen and wooden floor is damaged by water Water damage after a pipe break in an Eastgate, WA kitchen

Top 4 Tips for Dealing With Water Damage

When you have unwanted water indoors, it can cause water damage to your home, not to mention damage to your personal belongings. If you want to save your belongings and your home after a flood from a disaster or broken pipes, then you need to act quickly. When you’re suffering from flood waters in Eastgate,WA, do not take it lightly. Even a small amount of water can do a lot of damage.

1. Disconnect the Power

Never touch your electronics until you turn the power off to your home. This should be the first step due to the dangers that electrical appliances and devices can cause when submerged in water. Turn the power off at the circuit breaker and remove all of your electronics.

2. Remove Furniture

Once you remove the electronics, focus on the furniture and the other items that were affected by water damage in the home. If you have carpeting, then you need to remove all the wet flooring and padding. If you have clothes and other items, you may want to consider having them cleaned or take them for dry cleaning in an attempt to salvage what you have.

3. Disinfect Your Home

Once your home is dry, you can disinfect it. You can utilize a sanitizer to rid yourself of any bacteria. This is particularly good if you have any bacteria that came up through the sewer. Disinfect any area touched by floodwaters.

4. Prevent Mold

Next, you need to prevent any mold from growing. The best way to deal with mold remediation and prevention is to speak to a water damage repair company. They may be able to help you with your water cleanup and home disinfection.

When you’re dealing with water in the home due to broken pipes or natural disasters, you need to speak to a specialist right away to help clean up your house. With these four steps, your home will be good as new.

What to Know About Flooding After a Fire

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Pieces of wood that form a house. The hands of a man moving one of the wooden pieces that says "Insurance" If you are facing damage as a result of flooding, you should purchase insurance as soon as possible

Here Are Some Steps You Can Take After Experiencing Flooding Damage in Your Area

A wildfire can have many devastating consequences, and flooding is one of them. While you may not expect a flood to take place after a wildfire breaks out, this phenomenon is a common effect of wildfire damage. If you have any concerns about flooding near your home in Factoria, WA, be sure to contact FEMA NFIP or look on their website for further information. In the meantime, this guide can help you take the right steps after experiencing flooding damage in your area.

The Risks

Before you take any action, it’s helpful to understand the risks associated with flooding. Flooding may become more serious if you notice any of the following conditions:

  • Charred and/or barren land
  • Mudflow
  • Lack of vegetation
  • Abundant soil and sediment

If the land is barren, there is nothing to absorb the excess water, which can aggravate flooding. Additionally, rainwater may carry soil and sediment and cause more severe flood damage. Take extra precautions if you are around land that is lacking vegetation, as these circumstances can increase the risk of flooding.

Buying Flood Insurance

If you are facing damage as a result of flooding, FEMA NFIP recommends that you purchase flood insurance as soon as possible. A standard homeowner’s policy typically does not cover flooding damage, so make sure you buy your own insurance so you can be financially protected. Taking this step can help you have peace of mind during a challenging situation.

Contacting a Professional

The consequences of flooding can be severe, and requesting professional help is the safest way to have your home restored. No matter what type of loss you’re dealing with, a storm damage restoration company can give your home in Factoria, WA, the treatment it needs to return to normal. When you research FEMA NFIP’s flood safety precautions and trust experts to restore your home, you can sleep well at night knowing that you are one step closer towards recovery.

Keeping Plants Healthy in a Humid Climate

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew One of the biggest barriers to its health in a humid climate is plant mildew

How To Maintain Healthy Plants Throughout Humid Weather

Homeowners in Somerset,WA, know that growing plants can be a challenge in such a hot and humid climate. They can quickly get overheated, too moist or covered in plant mildew. The following steps will help you maintain healthy plants throughout the humid weather.

1. Choose Plants That Thrive With Moisture

Although it sounds obvious, you need to carefully select plants that do well with humidity and can handle the heat. Many gardener frustrations can be avoided by picking durable, region-specific greenery. There are dozens of good choices, but lily of the valley is a favorite. Its beauty and scent make it a great addition to any yard, and as long as it gets shaded partially, it will thrive with extra moisture.

2. Place Plants in Strategic Areas

Research the type of plant and its requirements before choosing an area in which to plant it. If you have one that doesn’t require as much moisture, place it in direct sunlight. For those that can’t handle the heat as well, choose areas that get a lot of shade.

3. Clean Mildew Promptly

One of the biggest barriers to its health in a humid climate is plant mildew. Often, this is confused with mold, but they are two different things. Mold damage occurs on or in walls or other household structures, and it requires a mold remediation specialist to properly handle the black mold cleanup. Mildew is a parasite specific to plants and appears light gray or white in color. In order to get rid of mildew growth, place the plant in direct sunlight and remove affected leaves. Keep weeds away from it, and a mildewcide product may help control it as well.
Humidity doesn’t have to be a barrier to a beautiful yard or home. It’s important to choose plants that work well with your particular climate and place them in areas where they get the proper amount of sunlight and shade. As long as you follow those instructions and regularly check for plant mildew, you can enjoy the beauty and peace they have to offer.

Minimize Water Damage To Flooded Floors

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Wooden floor came off due to water loss Damaged wooden floor in Somerset, WA

How Can You Protect Your Floor from Water Damage?

When a flood or a pipe burst happens in your commercial building in Somerset,WA, there's a lot to take care of. One of the largest concerns and most affected areas is probably your floor. How can you protect it?

Wood

Hardwood floors can be very valuable. If something happens, you should do you best to keep it that way. A wood floor can be susceptible to damage and discoloration from water. It is imperative that you dry it out as soon as possible if you don't want to have to replace it. After wiping up the pooled water, there are several ways you can soak up the rest:

  • A neutral powder, like talc- vacuum afterwards
  • Kitty litter- vacuum afterwards
  • Newspaper or tissue paper
  • Frequently changed towels

Carpet

Carpet is difficult because it is porous, so it will soak up a lot more of the water than a hard surface. That means your greatest concern will be to avoid a mold problem. Mold thrives in soft, moist and warm environments. In order to fully dry your carpet after an incident like a pipe burst you may need to call in a professional water damage restoration company- they have specialized equipment and knowledge to do the job correctly.

Linoleum

If your building has linoleum or tile installed, you are in luck. These are some of the most water resistant flooring materials you could hope for- there is a reason they are found most often in bathrooms and kitchens. Most of the time, all you will need to do is wipe up the wet floor. However, continuous water exposure over time can eventually do some harm. Be sure to check the caulking between the tiles and the sealant of the linoleum often for mold spots or discoloration.
The more time your building or business is shut down while you are restoring it after a pipe burst or flood, the more money you could be losing. Cut down on this time by preventing larger problems with your flooring.

How To Avoid Being Sued for Mold Damage

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Conduct Inspections

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:

  • Leaks
  • 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

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

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.