How To Salvage Wet Documents
Paper and ink, the two main components of a precious document, weren’t made to hold up in damp, wet, and waterlogged conditions. Ink dissolves and paper deteriorates quickly, so timely intervention is of the essence to prevent fragile wet documents from being lost forever. Taking action sooner rather than later by contracting a document restoration professional to do document drying is often a sound and wise decision.
Document-Saving Innovations to the Rescue
State-of-the-art vacuum freeze-drying technology can stop the progression of and prevent further damage by flash freezing the wet documents and then causing the frozen water to evaporate away without ever reverting to a liquid state. This same technology is used by The Library of Congress to dry and preserve historic artifacts and has National Archives and Records Administration and General Services Administration official approval.
Purifying gamma irradiation techniques can cleanse, sanitize, and deodorize articles such as files, papers, and blueprints that have been exposed to flooding or a sewage overflow incident in Vancouver, WA. Gamma radiation is often an excellent option because it can sterilize documents without heating or leaving behind a chemical residue.
Converting items into digital format helps ensure they are readily available and easily accessed when needed, helping make certain they’ll not be lost forever. These are common items that can be converted:
Privacy Protection for Sensitive Documents
Around-the-clock surveillance in a Document Restoration Facility can keep sensitive documents safe and secure. Generally, documents are handled and managed by HIPAA Master-Certified technicians who understand the importance of maintaining proper chain of custody and privacy standards for sensitive documents.
Drying, Decontamination, Deodorization, and Digitization
Spreading wet documents out on the floor and waiting for nature to evaporate the liquid is usually not a viable solution if paper files are to be wrinkle, ripple, tear, mold, and contaminant-free. Highly trained document restoration professionals can expertly handle drying services in Vancouver, WA, from the smallest Mom-and-Pop business to the largest commercial conglomerate. They often have in-depth understanding of the document-drying process and genuine concern for the serious nature of the situation.
For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROevancouverclarkco.com/.
Heads Up! 3 Questions To Answer To Prepare for a Storm
You've seen the devastation storms can bring. While it's true you can't always predict what a storm will do, you can prepare for it and the flood water it can bring. In Vancouver, WA, it is important you know what you can do in advance to mitigate the damage storm flooding can cause.
1. Are You in the Zone?
Knowing if your home is in a flood zone is a good place to start in preparing for a storm. There are almost 20 flood zone classifications. Do some research and find out which zone your home falls in. This can help you determine how extensive your plans need to be.
2. Are You Waiting Too Long To Make a Plan?
If you are in a flood-prone area, have a plan well in advance of any major storm event. Write it down and keep it in a visible area. Here are some things to consider:
• Flood mitigation supplies (i.e. sandbags, plywood, concrete blocks)
• Sufficient amount of non-perishable food and water for your family
• Evacuation routes
• Weather radio, flashlights
• Battery-powered chargers for your cellphones
• Important paperwork in a waterproof container
This list is just a starting point. If you need help getting your home and family ready for a storm, there are several resources available that can help.
3. What Do You Do After It Floods?
Flood water can rise rapidly. Exercise extreme caution. Do not enter flooded roadways. It only takes six inches of water to reach the bottom of your car and only a foot of water to wash it away. Don't wade in to find out how deep the water is either. That water could have washed through a flooded building, rising sewers and spill from surrounding waterways. It may contain bacteria, dangerous debris and even wildlife.
Knowledge is your best weapon against an impending storm and flood event. Know your flood zone, get your supplies and don't take any chances. Flood water will eventually recede. Water damage can be repaired. Preparing your home and family in advance can ensure your safety before, during and after a storm.
For more information, please visit us ashttp://www.SERVPROevancouverclarkco.com/.
Cold Weather - Another Cause of Flooding in Buildings
When you think of flooding in commercial buildings, your mind may turn to heavy rains.
Downpours are a common cause of water damage in buildings. However, rain flooding isn't the only cause of indoor floods in Vancouver, WA. Cold weather can lead to standing water on your property due to a burst pipe.
Why Pipes Freeze
Pipes often freeze when the weather gets extremely cold. Not all plumbing that transports water has the same risk of freezing. Some piping may freeze more often:
- Uninsulated plumbing in exterior walls
- Outdoor sprinkler lines
- Pipes in unheated spaces, like garages, attics or basements
- Exterior hose bibs
These particular pipes often aren't heated, so when the cold weather strikes, the water within freezes. The freezing action causes the water within to expand, which is why some plumbing may burst open.
What to Do If Pipes Freeze
A frozen pipe does not necessarily have to turn into a burst pipe. If you catch the problem early enough, you may be able to thaw the water before it becomes a problem.
First, open a faucet to give the thawed water somewhere to go. Next, locate the frozen stretch by looking at the suspects listed above. Finally, apply warmth to the pipe using a hair dryer, towel soaked in warm water or another soothing form of heat. If a pipe does burst, you may need to call in a water restoration expert for help taking care of the water damage.
How to Avoid Frozen Pipes
Because no one wants to deal with flooding in his or her business, you may want to take some precautionary steps. You can keep a trickle of water running through faucets or spigots because running water can help stave off freezing. Keep the heat on in the building even if no one will be using it for a while.
You can't always stop storm damages from taking place in your commercial building. If you're unable to stop a burst pipe from happening to you, you at least know who to call for help.
2 Ways To Determine If Your Carpet Needs Replacing
While there are a variety of things running through your mind after a pipe break or other situation has occurred in your home in Camas, WA, dealing with the aftermath means taking quick and decisive action to save your furnishings. After all, restoration should be handled by professionals, and the faster they can stop the spread of damage across your carpet, the better. Here’s how to determine the extent of the problem and whether your flooring is going to need replacing.
1. Consider the amount of time that’s passed.
If the water damage incident occurred within the last 24 hours, it can generally be handled fast enough for your flooring to be saved. A few fans set up around the room and opening the windows can help speed along the drying process until professionals arrive. Furthermore, if the mess was a result of a regular ground pipe break or a broken supply line running to your sink or dishwasher, your home’s rugs or flooring can often be cleaned quickly and efficiently. However, once that time period has passed or the water is deemed to be from a hazardous source, the possibility of restoring your floor becomes less likely.
2. Seek out the source of the water.
A situation involving a clean water source, as described above, can generally be considered a non-hazardous zone when it comes to water damage. However, if a sewage line breaks or the damage was caused by an environmental flood, your carpet has been compromised due to bacteria, viruses, fungi and potential diseases. This result calls for professional help and often means your flooring isn’t going to be salvageable.
Whether you’re dealing with a pipe break or other causes of water damage, it’s always best to call on professionals to help recover your home’s furnishings in Camas, WA. When you’re looking for clarification regarding the restoration of your flooring, follow these helpful tips to gain a better understanding of the situation and proceed from there.
3 Top Purifier Choices for Mold Spore Removal
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your busy life and pay little attention to the small things around you, but when you stop and think about even the tiniest particles in the air, you would undoubtedly be interested in air filtration. You can install an air filter in your own home to help ward off small invaders such as dust mites and pollen. If you’ve decided you need an air purifier, you likely want the peace of mind you’ve chosen something you know can do the best job protecting you and your loved ones.
1. Oransi Max
This purifier is one of the most popular on the market in Vancouver, WA. It is a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) purifier. This unit can help eliminate pollen, mold, dust, bacteria and pet dander from the air in your home. There may be a lot to like about this product, but perhaps the best thing is that you may have an easy time using it. It comes with an intuitive interface and a year’s worth of filters.
2. Blueair 450E
Have you ever had a difficult time knowing when it’s time to replace the filter in your air filtration device? With this model, you probably don’t have to guess. The Blueair450E has an indicator on the unit to let you know when you need a new filter. It has a dust and gas sensor, but it is usually not ideal for removing odors.
It can be important to find a product in Vancouver, WA, that can get rid of mold spores, but the OV200 may do the trick. It also comes with a handy remote control when you need to adjust settings. Also, with its carbon filter, it can take care of odors and gasses.
When you look for a top air filtration device, you should have something you can count on. Make sure it can remove mold spores, dust, and pollen.
Protect your Property this Winter
Freezing temperatures and winter weather can cause damage to your home and business if you aren’t properly protected. Freezing rain, high speed winds, sleet and snow can all cause costly damages to your home and business. We understand you can’t control the weather but you can take measures that will prepare you so you won’t feel the bite from the frost.
- Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to property and potentially cause personal injuries.
- Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, causing roof damage and interior water problems.
- Clean chimneys and exhaust systems to ensure they are free of debris.
- Test gas lines if they have been dormant to ensure they are in good working order with no leaks.
- Inspect your property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. Make sure all exterior pipes are properly insulated.
- If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
- Make sure all of your exterior doors, garages, roll-ups and windows have sufficient weather stripping.
- Ask your local SERVPRO franchise professionals about completing an emergency READY profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
Be Aware of Winter Heating Hazards
Are you prepared?
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
*Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
* Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
* Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
*Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
*Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
*Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacture's instructions.
* Test smoke alarms monthly.
If your property does suffer fire damage, please contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. @ 360-254-0049
"Like it never even happened."
9 Smoke Odor Removal Musts
For more information or to request the help of your local SERVPRO professionals please call (360) 254-0049
"I live in a crack house. Well, it used to be a crack house until the new owner threw out the old tenants and restored the home, to the relief of the neighborhood. But I’m afraid that it wasn’t completely restored. I’m a non-smoker, and on humid days the smell of cigarette smoke can be pretty pervasive in some rooms. I’m guessing a lot of it may come from the popcorn ceiling that was only painted over when it probably should have been removed. But on fire restoration jobs, this is a much bigger issue."
One of the most critical concerns for fire restoration contractors is failing to control or eradicate odors. This problem can lead to frustrated customers as well as potential legal and financial dangers. Eliminating this problem is made more difficult when remodeling work was undertaken by either inexperienced homeowners or unprofessional contractors, as their alterations may have contributed to hidden places for fire and smoke damage to linger.
Remediating a fire loss may also take longer, meaning you might have to wait a while before you’re paid. In fact, some contractors have avoided getting involved in fire restoration because it seems too complicated. But it’s not, as long as you appreciate the principles and correct techniques of fire restoration and odor control. Here are some things to remember:
- Make sure there’s a straightforward exchange of information between you, the customer, the insurance adjuster and any possible subcontractors. Communicating clearly and setting expectations is a critical component of the job.
- Get a written agreement from the homeowner on exactly what areas have been damaged by the fire and what items should be salvaged or discarded. You don’t want them coming back to you later claiming you’ve trashed an heirloom or didn’t finish the job.
- The way that fire and water damage jobs are handled do have some similarities, but they can’t be interchanged. Confirm that only techs with at least a Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) certification are allowed to work on the site. Being Odor Control Technician (OCT) certified is also helpful.
- Smoke and fire residues can be poisonous, as fires can include the demolition of plastic, foam, fabric, carpet, wood products, synthetic textiles, and asbestos-containing materials. Ash and smoke can also cause widespread corrosion, etching and staining, as well as persistent powerful odors. So removing these and their sources should be your first priority.
- If the damage is localized, contain those areas to assist in removing odors.
- Carefully inspect all areas that may have numerous layers of wall board. These may hide unexpected gaps and voids that turn into superhighways for circulating smoke and odor.
- Examine all wall cavities, duct work, and plumbing chases to establish whether they suffered any smoke residue or fire damage.
- Use a borescope to discover any damage that may otherwise have been impossible to see without having to completely remove a part of the structure. If the fire is recent, use of a thermal imaging camera may reveal hidden warmer areas, indicating possible fire damage.
- Aside from losing their valuables, the majority of homeowners are underinsured. They may even have to take up temporary lodging. So you’re going to be dealing with some very distraught people. Train yourself and your employees on how to be empathetic and ways to successfully communicate with them.
When eliminating malodors on fire jobs, remember that there are several factors that can impact the strength of the odor:
- Size - The bigger the fire, the more objects have burned, and thus there’s been more smoke.
- Length -The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply odor has seeped into porous materials.
- Space - When a fire occurs in a smaller room, the smoke odor becomes more intense and concentrated.
- Stuff - Not all odors are equal. For instance, burning wood, plastic and protein all have very different smells and consistency. This may influence the types of odor eliminators you use.
WHERE the damage occurred and WHAT burned will always be your two main concerns in fire restoration. Knowing the full answers to those questions will likely ensure that your restoration efforts will be complete and that you’ll be able to eliminate all of those irritating malodors, while at the same time eliminating any call backs.
What To Do When your Business Encounters Extreme Damage
Remain positive and hopeful because SERVPRO of E. Vancouver is here to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! 360-254-0049
Natural disasters can cause significant and costly damages to homes, roads and, of course, local businesses. While you should always be prepared for such events, by maintaining adequate insurance coverage and secure file backups, you sometimes get little warning before disaster strikes. And if something happens, you'll want to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, the road to recovery isn't always easy. A previous Business News Daily article about recovery from 2012's Superstorm Sandy reported that just 25 percent of small businesses had backups of critical programs and data before the storm, and even fewer (20 percent) said they had protected their buildings from the storm or prepared emergency survival kits.
Execute your business continuity plan
Your business continuity plan should prepare you for major disaster scenarios, such as the loss or unavailability of IT systems, key people or a facility third party. Make sure key personnel will have access to the plan on secured mobile devices immediately after a disaster.
Don't have a business continuity plan? This Business News Daily guideoutlines how to create one.
Check your backed-up data
You should have already backed up and safely stored your most critical data: your business license, major contracts and legal documents, tax returns and financial statements, and other critical business and customer documents. Following a disaster, make sure your vital records are still securely accessible from the devices you're using.
Communicate with your employees and external parties
Leverage your website, social media channels and text messaging to reach your employees, customers, partners and vendors. Reassure your customers that you're still in business, while making sure that no communications will inadvertently create legal liability or adversely affect service-level agreements.
Contact your insurance company
Once you and your employees are safe and accounted for after a disaster, survey the damage. Contact your insurance company to file a claim. You should always do an occasional check-up to ensure you have adequate coverage for major disaster types, including cybersecurity insurance. Office break-ins and vandalism may occur during a disaster, and if someone steals computer equipment or paper documents containing personally identifiable information, and the information was not encrypted, you may have a legal requirement to notify your customers. To be safe, encrypt your customer data, digitize paper documents and store all critical data in a secure, cloud-based document-management system.
If your insurance doesn't cover the full cost of the damage, you may be eligible for a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration of up to $2 million. The SBA may even provide working capital loans, even if you didn't have any property damage.
Remain positive and hopeful because SERVPRO of E. Vancouver is here to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!
Source: Business News Daily
What To Do Before, During, and After a Fire
Contact the fire experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. for further assistance in recovering from the fire @ (360) 254-0049
Before A Fire
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
If A Fire Starts
- Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
- Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
- Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
- If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
- If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
- If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
- Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.
Recovering After A Fire
- Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
- Let friends and family know you’re safe.
- People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
- Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.
- Contact your fire restoration and cleanup experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. for further assistance in recovering from the fire @ (360) 254-0049.
Source: American Red Cross - National Sponsor of SERVPRO