October is Fire Prevention Month
Smoke detectors save lives - Talk to your loved ones about the importance and have an escape plan.
Fire Prevention week is the perfect time to educate and talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.
- Three out of Five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
- Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
- More than one-third(37%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present
- The risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
- Install smoke alarms at every level of the home along with every bedroom.
- Be sure to test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps", the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years with brand new smoke alarms.
What to do When you Experience Mold in Clark County
Are you experiencing water or mold damage? Contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. today! (360) 254-0049
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 W. Vancouver & Clark Co. for professional assistance after water damage or if you discover mold.
Benefits of Calling SERVPRO’s 24hr Response Team
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You never know when you’ll need us!
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire, flood, or mold in your office building isn’t something you want to think about, but when you work with a reliable 24-hour emergency cleanup team, you’re grateful for that wonderful resource. The best disaster relief teams can help piece your business operations back together and make things safe for you to return to work.
What Does a Round-the-Clock Restoration Company Do for You?
If you experience the ordeal of a disaster in your office, there are plenty of options you can consider for help. Not all of these provide 24-hour response and care. Those companies that do can offer you the following benefits:
- Open seven days a week, even on holidays
- Will call you back within one hour of your first contact
- Will be onsite within four hours of your call
- Will talk to you directly about their findings and plans moving forward
Can Always Reach Them
Natural disasters or issues with plumbing, sewage, or wiring can occur at any time, so you need a disaster response and recovery team you can count on whenever the need arises. When a cleanup and restoration team is always open, you can have peace of mind that your emergency situation won’t get worse or develop further problems due to delays.
On the Job Fast
You can’t afford anything but a fast response in these urgent cases. You have a business to run and must ensure the safety of your employees and the vitality of your company. Within the day of your call, a qualified team of professionals will inspect the damage at your office and will start to formulate a plan of attack.
Because flooding and fire emergencies can happen at any time, you need 24-hour care from a disaster response crew. The best companies in the area have what it takes to get on the scene quickly
Protecting Your Roof After a Storm
We are here for you day or night because water damage never arrives at a convenient time.
High winds can do crazy things to your roofing system in Vancouver, WA. When storms cause shingles to tear off, it can be hard to know exactly what to do. You want to fix the problem before a roof leak starts, but where do you start?
Protect the Damaged Area
Your first step should be to call in a storm damage specialist. These experts will be able to help you locate the damage, come up with a repair plan and work with the insurance company. However, these specialists may not be able to get to your building right away. If you can't get professional help right away, you need to protect your roof so it doesn't get damaged further. If you want to stop a damaged roof from becoming a bigger problem, you need to use certain tools to cover the damaged area.
• Use tarps and plywood to cover any ripped, cracked or missing shingles.
• Remove weakened tree limbs to ensure they don't crash onto your building.
• Get rid of debris from the roof as this can tear up more shingles if high winds return.
Doing everything you can to protect the vulnerable part of your roof can help you avoid larger headaches. Your contractor may be able to give you more tips on how to get by until he or she can arrive.
Start a Repair Plan
Once the damaged roof has been assessed, you need to quickly enact a repair plan. If you wait too long to fix the issue, the missing shingles can turn into a roof leak. As you know, leaks can lead to major water damage that can take a lot of money to fix. It's better for you and your building if you can start a repair plan as quickly after the storm as possible.
The last thing you want after a storm is to worry about a roof leak. However, damaged shingles can lead to that exact situation. Taking the proper steps after a storm may help you mitigate your problems.
Prevent a Water Damage by Knowing Where to Look
You know you can count on SERVPRO professionals, day or night, to minimize damage by removing water fast!
When you get water in home building materials, the damage is unavoidable and costly. Most materials swell or breakdown, and mold can become a secondary problem if water is not dried thoroughly. While water damage is a common problem that many homeowners experience, most of it is preventable. Here are some key systems, in and out of your home, to check right now to reduce your chance of water damage:
Pipes and Plumbing
Inspect pipes, hoses and connections in your search for drips and leaks since even the tiniest of these can develop into a significant pipe cleanup job. Sometimes you may not see leaking water, so you need to look for clues: rust, mold, stains, and damaged materials that peel or buckle.
Roof and Water Drainage
Check inside your attic and look for stains in the ceiling for signs of rain water in the home already. Check outside, during or after rain, to make sure gutters and downspouts flow freely. If you see areas that pool around your foundation, consider lengthening the end of your downspouts, adding French drains or grading the land away from your house.
Basement Pump System
Whether you have a storm or a broken pipe, the first line of defense in the basement is the sump pump. Clear debris from the pump so that it is ready for action. Periodically check your sump pump, by adding a little water to the sump pit, to make sure it works.
You may think your tank doesn’t need pumped because you never have problems, but all that wonderful microbial digestion happening inside your tank still results in a byproduct of sludge that takes up valuable capacity and must be removed with periodic pumping. Check with your local extension for recommendations on septic pumping based on the size of your home and number of occupants.
Make flood water in the home an unlikely problem by routinely inspecting key home systems, and by doing maintenance routinely.
Renters Insurance; Yes, It's Necessary
Home disasters are hard enough already, you don't have to go through this alone, we are here to help 24/7!
One of the most common mistakes that tenants make is assuming that their landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings in the event of loss or damage. In addition, tenants may think that renters’ insurance is too expensive. However, the common myths associated with renters’ insurance that keep tenants from purchasing it can end up costing much more in the long run.
Importance of Renters’ Insurance
It’s imperative to always read the fine print in your lease. You may assume that your landlord is liable for damages caused by leaky roofs or broken appliances, but there could be a clause in your lease that negates landlord liability, such as for theft, or injuries to a guest visiting your apartment. Also, your lease may require you to obtain renters’ insurance, especially if you live in an expensive apartment. Regardless of whether or not it’s required, here are some common situations when renters’ insurance can really come in handy. According to Effective Coverage renters insurance in Washington costs around $15.00 a month for most people. That's basic coverage of $10,000 of personal property and $100,000 of liability. "Only 37 percent of renters have renters insurance whereas 95 percent of homeowners have a homeowners insurance policy, according to a 2014 I.I.I. poll conducted by ORC International." - Insurance Information Institute
If your rental home and property is damaged because of a natural disaster, such as wildfire, hail, or tornado, the landlord may or may not repair the home damages, but your personal property usually isn’t covered. Renters’ insurance will protect you in the event that a natural disaster occurs, but keep in mind that a few natural disaster coverage options are considered “riders,” which means they are add-on coverage, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, and hurricanes.
Unnatural Fires of Short-Circuit Damage
Fires due to electrical issues and short circuit damage may or may not be covered by your landlord. In most cases, it will depend upon the fine print in your lease. If it’s not covered by your landlord, you’ll be liable for smoke and fire damage not only to your own belongings, but to the property as well. If you live in a multi-dwelling building and the fire spreads to other tenants’ apartments, you could be liable for damages to their belongings as well any property damage to their dwelling.
Classifying Types of Water Damage
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Water damages are a frustrating and time-consuming problem. When you take into account the risks associated with contaminated water and the possibility of secondary water damage, the entire situation can be very overwhelming. It's important that you identify the type of water you're dealing with before you decide to handle any repairs on your own. Sewer backups, for example, contain black water and should only be addressed by a professional.
1. Clean Water
Category 1 water is safe to handle. During a flooding situation, clean water may come from a leaky faucet or a break somewhere in the supply line. Unfortunately, if the situation isn't resolved, clean water can become contaminated and turn into category 2 or 3 water. Work quickly to thoroughly clean up and dry out your home when it is affected by clean water.
2. Gray Water
This contaminated water may cause trouble, but isn't as hazardous as black water, unless left untreated. It may carry viruses, bacteria, or urine, but it doesn't contain any feces. Overflowing toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines are some sources of gray water. Depending on what's in the water, it may be safe for you to handle this type of flooding on your own. If you aren't sure, contact a water damage specialist.
3. Black Water
The most serious of the three categories of contaminated water is black water. This type of contamination often contains untreated sewage, bacteria and viruses, chemicals, and microbial growth. Any contact with this type of water could lead to severe, lasting damages. Any water entering your home from the sewer system or from outside your home should be treated as black water.
Water damage is assessed to ensure the well-being of your family and home. Work closely with professionals who have the right training and equipment to deal with a flooding situation. You'll have lasting peace of mind, knowing that flooding has been dealt with appropriately.
Why Hire SERVPRO to Deodorize After a Fire?
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After a fire, your house is left with lingering smoke that can cause health effects and affect your 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.
Wildfire Tips Around Your Home
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Keeping your home safe during the wildfire season.
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your house, deck or porch.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Don't let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for for fire.
- Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
- Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no longer than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
- Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
Remember to give us a call if your home or business is smoke or soot damaged after a wildfire.
Smoke Odor Removal
Don't tackle smoke odors alone, let SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/ Clark Co. help make it "Like it never even happened."
A lot can go wrong if a fire starts in your home. At the very least, you will deal with inconvenience and hassle. No matter how large or small the fire may be, you’ll probably encounter the need for smoke cleaning. The nasty odor smoke leaves behind can overwhelm anyone and make it difficult to remain in your house. Fortunately, there are some effective methods the professionals use that can help get rid of this nuisance.
Whom Should You Call?
Cleaning up after smoke damage isn’t an ordeal you should tackle alone. There are some outstanding professional cleanup companies that boast the expertise to get your home back in shape. Here are some reasons why trained professionals are your best source of help:
- They have years of experience cleaning up after residential fires.
- They have the right equipment and techniques to thoroughly remove traces of smoke.
- They work quickly and efficiently.
- They have excellent customer service.
Air Filtration Devices
One of the most common ways a professional will help restore your home and rid it of smoke odor is by using air filtration devices. An experienced company will use heavy-duty equipment to remove toxins and other harmful materials from the air in your home. This will give you peace of mind that you can once again breathe clean air and not worry about illness or other health effects.
In small doses, ozone is effective in removing the particles in smoke that cause odor. Only a professional should administer this form of smoke cleaning, as it can be toxic in large amounts. Ozone breaks down the bacteria and other materials so they will no longer smell.
Another way to eliminate unappealing smoke odor is through a thermal fogger. This method is best used in conjunction with other steps such as the use of baking soda. The fogger takes in a deodorizing solution and then blows it out into the affected area.
When you need deep smoke cleaning, get in touch with the pros. A reliable technician will use these steps to help remove terrible odors from your house.