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Protect Your Home From Wildfire

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Protect Your Home From Wildfire If your home or business is affected by smoke or fire damage call your local experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. (360) 254-0049

Are you prepared if your home is at risk because of a wildfire? With many wildfires surrounding the Pacific Northwest this summer here are some helpful tips to reduce damage to your residence.

1. Maintain Defensible Space (0–5 feet)

Use noncombustible materials such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home.

2. Reduce Siding Risks

Maintain 6-inch ground-to-siding clearance, and consider noncombustible siding.

3. Clean Debris from Roof

Regularly remove debris from your roof, since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.

4. Use a Class A Roof Covering

Class A fire-rated roofing products offer the best protection for homes.

5. Clean Out Gutters Regularly

Keep debris out of gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be noncombustible.

6. Reduce Fence Risks

Burning fencing can generate embers and cause direct flame contact to your home. Use noncombustible fences and gates.

7. Keep Embers out of Eaves and Vents

Use 1/8-inch mesh to cover vents, and box-in open eaves to create a soffited eave.

8. Protect Windows

Use multi-pane, tempered glass windows, and close them when a wildfire threatens.

9. Reduce Deck Risks

At a minimum, use deck boards that comply with California requirements for new construction in wildfire-prone areas, remove combustibles under deck, and maintain effective defensible space.

10. Maintain Defensible Space (5–30 feet)

Remove shrubs under trees, prune branches that overhang your roof, thin trees, and remove dead vegetation. Move trailers/RVs and storage sheds from area, or build defensible space around these items.

The information found in this article was provided by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

If your home or business is affected by smoke or fire damage call your local experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. (360) 254-0049

Home Vacation Preparation Checklist

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

Community Home Vacation Preparation Checklist If you come home to water or fire damage pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of East Vancouver / Clark Co. @ (360) 255-0049

Your vacation should be relaxing and worry-free. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare your home before you leave on any long trip. Then, any problems on the home front are just one less thing to worry about. 

Make your house look lived-in

An empty house is like an open invitation to burglars. To keep your house looking occupied:

  • Stop the newspaper and mail – or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up 
  • Park your car inside the garage, if you have one
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally so there’s activity at your house 
  • Put at least one light in your house on a timer
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight. (Burglars hate outdoor lighting – and that’s why we love it)
  • Make sure your lawn stays trimmed

Take the necessary plumbing and electrical precautions

Running appliances while you’re away is not only a needless expense, it could also lead to costly problems. To avoid the possibility of an appliance breakdown while you're away:

  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices
  • Put the water heater in “vacation” mode
  • Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks 
  • Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside temps (warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) but which still protects your plants, pets and furniture 

General home preparation

Other things to consider doing before your vacation:

  • Notify your credit card company and home security company that you’ll be out of town  
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly 
  • Leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor 
  • Dispose of any food that could go bad before you return from vacation 
  • Take out the kitchen trash – especially anything that might start to stink 
  • Run your garbage disposal with a half-cup of vinegar and some water 

Following this home preparation checklist before you leave for your vacation could save you a headache later. If you come home to water or fire damage pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of East Vancouver / Clark Co. @ (360) 255-0049

This article is compliments of Nationwide Insurance and be found here.

Recommended Firework Safety Tips

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Recommended Firework Safety Tips SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. is here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 254-0049

With July 4th approaching soon this is a perfect time to review some of the basic tips for handling fireworks to prevent injury or damage to yours, or other's property. These tips are provided by The National Council On Firework Safety.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

We wish you a happy and SAFE 4th of July, and we definitely hope that you will not be in need of a restoration company this year. In the event that you experience any kind of water, smoke, or fire damage to your home or office all of us here at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. are here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 254-0049

Why Hire Your Local SERVPRO Professionals

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why Hire Your Local SERVPRO Professionals Please reach out to us with questions or concerns 24/7 365 days a year (360) 254-0049

Water damage can happen to your home or business when you least expect it. Sometimes it may be as a result of leakages that you have been ignoring, or it can be an aftermath of a fire or flooding. Therefore, it might find you when you are not prepared financially to hire external help. So the first thing that will come to your mind is how to fix the water damage on your own to save money. You can do a very good job at dealing with water damage in your home in some situations, but if the damage is too severe, you will need the input of well-trained SERVPRO professionals to fix it for you. Here are the reasons why hiring professionals to do the work is the most prudent thing to do;

Once on site, professionals can quickly determine what items have been severely ruined by water damage. They will begin by getting rid of any porous items that could have come into contact with water because they tend to absorb too much water which can act as breeding grounds for harmful microbes. These items include mattresses, particle board, box springs, and pillows.

SERVPRO professionals will also identify any pockets that are holding excess moisture and remove the water. They have special equipment that they can use to measure moisture in hidden areas such as beneath tiles and other materials that do not become wet easily. When they find the hidden pockets, they will expose them to air by taking out the tile or material above it. They will also clean all areas with moisture using methods such as pressure washing with strong detergents. They will also accelerate the process of drying to prevent mold growth or any harmful bacteria. If the SERVPRO professionals discover the presence of bacteria or mold in your house, they will use mechanical or chemical methods to eradicate it.

At SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co., we have experienced professionals who can spot compromised areas in your house and do everything possible to restore it. They are IICRC certified through a recognized organization. 

Please reach out to us with questions or concerns 24/7 365 days a year (360) 254-0049

Why Hire SERVPRO For Smoke & Fire Damage?

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why Hire SERVPRO For Smoke & Fire Damage? Please call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 254-0049

After a fire, your house is left with lingering smoke that can be harmful to your health and property. The best thing to do in such a situation is to clean smoke immediately because if you ignore it, the smoke will cause massive damage on your property which will require more money to clean than if you had cleaned it soon enough. If the smoke is not cleaned as soon as possible, the items that will be mostly affected by smoke are drapes, carpets, upholstery and walls because they will become permanently discolored. Glass will become extremely etched, and metals will tarnish which will require replacement.

You might think that you can do a good job at cleaning smoke by yourself without any basic knowledge and skills on how to go about it but this can lead to you causing further damage on the items. The best thing to do will be to hire experienced SERVPRO professionals to do the cleaning and restore the home to the state it was in before the fire disaster struck.

One of the advantages of using SERVPRO experts to clean soot is that we have specialized tools which are crucial in eliminating smoke. These are tools such as extractors, rotary scrubbers, and wet cleaning tools. Another advantage is that we have a lot of experience in doing such work; therefore, we will know the right steps to take in cleaning your home and preventing further damage on your property.

Indeed, bringing in a SERVPRO professional on site will save you a lot of headaches and ensure that you get rid of smoke and fire damage efficiently.

Please call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 254-0049

Storm Damage and Your Roof

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage and Your Roof During the Summer months is the perfect time to have the roof on your home or business checked out by a local roofer.

Storm Damage To Your Roof

As Summer quickly approaches us, and the cold, wet, Winter weather is leaving us for a few months. Now is the perfect time to have the roof on your home or business checked out by a local roofer. Even when there was no hail or rain produced during a storm, your roof can sustain damage. Strong winds make stress points on your roof which, over time, can weaken and be compromised. Roofs are made to resist typical winds; however, they can be damaged incrementally over years of high winds and debris blown around by the wind. It is important to fix the initial damage and replace missing shingles quickly to stop any high fuel costs and water damage that inevitably result from a roof which is damaged.

The effect that the wind has over your Vancouver home’s roof is not uniform. Areas such as the perimeter and corners of your roof are susceptible to high wind pressures and storm damage, while the center could have fewer stresses. Most wind damage begins at the edge of the roof. Anywhere the material of the roof is just a bit loose, the wind gets under it and pushes it up, therefore giving the wind more to grab onto during the next storm, which makes a peeling effect. This type of damage can begin quite small, but keep growing over time through repeated exposure to the wind.

SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. can be counted on to help get home or business repaired when storm damage has ravished it. With our professional training and courteous, timely work, we can help to prevent further damage to your home from intruding water by covering damaged areas with tarps or plywood for temporary protection. We then focus on restoring water damage of the attic and other affected areas. Our technicians may be able to do the roof repairs, but we can always get help from one of our roofing contractor partners to rebuild your roof to code when needed.

Mold Damage Can Signal Ongoing Water Leaks

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Damage Can Signal Ongoing Water Leaks SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. is available 24/7. You can call us at (360) 254-0049, and we respond quickly.

Mold Remediation and Water Fixes are Interrelated

Mold takes a while to grow, but visible signs of mold can seem to happen overnight, too. When you have found multi-colored circles on the ceiling or black streaks and patches on your walls, there can be no doubt that there is mold damage in other areas of your home. SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. can help locate other areas affected by mold before damage increases in severity.

Water, needed by mold and other fungi to grow, does not need to have outside sources when there is water dripping from a water line somewhere in your home. Mold only needs a tiny amount of water moisture to begin spreading through your home. Dormant spores spring to life with moisture. Technicians at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. use moisture meters, infrared sensors, and other devices to detect where water sources are located. Then we repair any dripping lines, preventing any more moisture to accumulate. Mold remediation can begin once the sources have been eliminated.

 
Lines can leak anywhere, but joints are a common spot for this to happen. If there is a tiny hole or small crack in a line, water could be spraying the inside of your wall, which can allow water to seep into areas that may seem uncontaminated by mold damage because the mold growth is not visible.
 
Water loss in a home from dripping lines may cause other problems with secondary water damage besides mold, so SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. checks for signs of these, also. Repairing lines that leak can also decrease your water bill, in addition to protecting your home from mold damage. Fungi must have a water source for growth to take place, and spots, streaks, and patches signal not only mold damage, but the presence of water where it should not be. We can make it "Like it never even happened” and decrease the risk of any future mold growth at the same time. 
 
We know that mold damage can be a scary situation in your home, so SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. is available 24/7. You can call us at (360) 254-0049, and we respond quickly.

Summer Safety!

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Summer Safety! SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer!

Celebrate Summer Safety 

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure  the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer!

7 Little-Known Benefits of Renters Insurance

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

General 7 Little-Known Benefits of Renters Insurance Contact a local insurance agent today to talk about adding renters insurance to your policy!

Owning a home is still the American dream for many, but renting has benefits — you don’t have to pay for building upkeep, risk getting underwater on a mortgage or be stuck in one place for too long.

But you still need to think about financially protecting yourself and your stuff. Renters insurance is the way to do that.

With the U.S. homeownership rate at its lowest point in 51 years, more American households need renters insurance. Yet only 40% of renters have policies, versus 95% of homeowners who have home insurance, the Insurance Information Institute says.

Why buy renters insurance

Your landlord’s property insurance won’t help you if disaster strikes. It covers the structure, but not any of your things. Renters insurance covers your belongings from all the possible bad events that are listed in the policy, such as fire, smoke, water damage, windstorms, lightning, theft and vandalism.

Even if you don’t think your stuff is worth that much, renters insurance is a good idea. The cost of replacing just a basic wardrobe and only a few pieces of furniture adds up quickly.

Plus renters insurance covers more than your personal belongings at home. Here are seven other things a policy covers:

  1. HOTEL COSTS AFTER A DISASTER

You don’t have to couch surf while your apartment is undergoing repair after a disaster like a fire. Renters insurance includes “additional living expenses” coverage if your place becomes uninhabitable after a disaster and you need to find somewhere else to live temporarily. The coverage would reimburse you for extra expenses, such as the cost to stay in a hotel or rent another apartment.

  1. MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR INJURED GUESTS

If a visitor is injured at your apartment, renters insurance would pay the medical bills up to the policy’s limit. A typical policy includes $1,000 to $5,000 worth of medical coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

  1. DAMAGE YOUR KID CAUSES OTHERS

Renters insurance provides liability insurance to cover injuries or property damage you and your family members cause others. So if your kid breaks a neighbor’s rare antique vase, your policy could pay to replace it.

  1. LEGAL COSTS IF YOU’RE SUED

If someone gets injured in your apartment or you accidentally hurt somebody and are sued, the liability coverage on a renters policy would pay your legal costs and court awards, up to the policy’s limit. You choose the amount of liability insurance when you buy a renters policy. Limits usually start around $100,000.

  1. DOG BITES

Most renters insurance policies provide coverage if your dog bites someone, either at your home or off the property. Check the policy, though. Occasionally insurers exclude or limit coverage for dogs.

  1. STUFF YOU’VE RENTED OR BORROWED

A renters insurance policy covers things “in your possession,” the Insurance Information Institute says. That means property you own or that you borrowed or rented.

  1. BELONGINGS AWAY FROM HOME

Your things are covered away from home, too, for the perils listed on the policy. So you’re covered if a thief steals stuff out of your car or swipes your luggage from a hotel room. This “off-premises” coverage is usually limited to a portion of your total coverage for personal belongings, such as 10%.

Defending Against Mold Growth

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Defending Against Mold Growth Are you experiencing water or mold damage? Contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. today! (360) 354-0049

When you experience a mold problem, prompt mitigation is vital to avoid mold growth which can be visible in as little as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions. We have put together a list of procedures that will help prevent and defend against mold growth.

  • Keep the humidity between 30 to 60 percent.
  • Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations.
  • Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.
  • Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.
  • Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building, and perform necessary maintenance.
  • Respond to all water intrusions immediately.
  • Contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. for professional assistance after water damage or if you discover mold.

Are you experiencing water or mold damage? Contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. today! (360) 354-0049