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October Is National Fire Prevention Month

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

"october is fire prevention month"  black with flames SERVPRO Fire damage can strike at any time; are you prepared?

Home Safety Checklist

Smoke Alarms

There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

Smoke alarms are tested and cleaned monthly.

Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed. 

Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.

Cooking Safety

Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.

Kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.

Pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Electrical & Appliance Safety

Electrical cords do not run under rugs.

Electrical cords are not frayed or cracked.

Circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters are used for additional outlets.

Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

Clothes dryer lint filter and venting system are clean.

Candle Safety

Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won’t be tipped over.

All candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.

Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.

Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.

Smoking Safety

Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.

Matches and lighters are secured out of children’s sight.

Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.

Ashtrays are emptied into a container that will not burn.

Heating Safety

Chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.

Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters,   baseboards, and space heaters.

Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from   anything that can catch fire.

Extension cords are never used with space heaters.

Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

Have two ways out of each room.

Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.

Know that once you’re out, stay out. 

Know where to meet after the escape.

Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.

Practice your fire escape plan.

The Importance and Purpose of Mold Remediation

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

"there are 100,000 different types of mold out there" mold background SERVPRO When it comes to mold remediation, you should consider the service of SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049

Mold Remediation

Mold remediation is the removal as well as cleanup of mold present in indoor environments. It is very important to tackle your mold problem head-on before it starts to cause damage to your home and health.

Causes of Mold

Many building materials can sustain the growth of mold. It is mainly caused by the presence of moisture or water indoors and grows on organic materials. Organic materials consist of things that were once living. Most mold growth is found on wood floors or wooded studs. It can also be encouraged by a lack of drying of building materials like concrete. Leaky roofs, flooding, problems connected with plumbing, and building maintenance can result in the growth of mold indoors.

The first thing to do to solve mold problems indoors is to stop the source of the moisture within your home or office, followed by mold removal. Solutions for small instances of mold are the following:

  • Ventilation
  • Sunlight
  • Wall Insulation
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Non-porous building materials
  • Household Cleansers

If the mold growth is significantly high, it might be necessary to choose a professional mold remediation company to eliminate mold from every building material which has been compromised.

The aim of remediation is to clean or entirely remove all contaminated materials in such a way that is effectively checks the release of fungi-contaminated dust from spreading into unaffected areas.

DIFFERENT METHODS

Some ways to hinder mold growth are air conditioning, improved insulation, and also dry fog. Current technology allows mold remediation companies to pack a room with a kind of dry fog that exterminates mold and prevents its growth. This fog contains a chemical which is approved by the EPA and in no way damages or harms the health of animals or individuals. The idea is to attack the mold which is harmful to people and their pets, whatever it takes as long as it does not exacerbate the situation.

However, some companies use other methods of remediating by exposing it to high levels of heat, sunlight, UV light, Ozone, Dry air, and also by spraying fungicides. While such methods can make it non-viable, the mold, including any by-products might still produce harmful health effects and repercussions. The only correct tactic of remediation is to employ detergent solutions that eliminate the mold physically.

Other means of Mold Removal Are:

  • Dry ice blasting: gets rids of mold on wood and cement surfaces
  • Vacuum: removes accumulated water from carpets and floors.
  • Damp wipe: by scrubbing or wiping non-porous surfaces with water and detergent.
  • HVPA Vacuum: Vacuum cleaners equipped with HVPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters are meant for the final cleanup of affected areas.

After remediation is achieved, all mold-affected furnishings, as well as building materials should be put in closed containers or impervious bags and disposed of as conventional construction waste

A Word of Caution

While engaged in mold removal, do not, on any account, breathe in either the mold or its spores, since it can be highly damaging to your health.

Why Agents and Adjusters Use SERVPRO

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro employee shaking hands with customer Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO leaders in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. Call day or night (360) 254-0049

SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County understands your situation. As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claims costs down while still providing the best services possible for your customers.

SERVPRO is uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages.

Emergency Response to Claims

Restoring your customer’s residential or commercial property is our first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage.

Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense

Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County makes sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.

Claims Inventory Service

SERVPRO can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.

Electronic Claims Information

Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, including:

  • A Complete Electronic Job File.
    • First Notice of Loss.
    • Detailed Estimate.
    • Digital Loss Photos.
    • Scanned Forms and Paperwork.
    • All delivered by email or hard copy.
  • On-line Access to All Files.
    • New Assignments.
    • Pending Jobs.
    • Completed Jobs.
  • Informative Reports to Improve Results
    • Job Cost Data.
  • Performance Comparison to Industry Standard.

Superior, Time-Tested Training

Effective training is the best way to help ensure your customers receive the service they deserve. SERVPRO is trained to 

IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration.

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism

If you call SERVPRO, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in:

  • A Customer Care Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim.
  • Implementation of best practices and job process programs.
  • National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks.
  • Crew and vehicle standards.
  • Insurance requirements.
  • File documentation requirements.
  • Quality assurance program.

Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

SERVPRO’s job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service and to report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim... and not to deal with problems from vendors! Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files, while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours. SERVPRO’s documented, measured performance increases value to you and your shareholders, managers and customers.

Storm Damage Restoration in Southwest Washington

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

"flooding can happen in a flash" heavy rain, SERVPRO If your home or business has recently experienced flooding or water damage, call us today! (360) 254-0049

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

When it comes to water damage, it can cost you more if you ignore it.  Most homeowners and business owners only think of the costs of replacing products, equipment and personal property.  But what about those other costs?  You also have to consider costs such as rent, loans, wages, etc. Not to mention your business would lose operating profit from not being open and the inconvenience of having to relocate. 

SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County specializes in water-related cleanup and restoration services.  We have completed numerous restoration projects in the Southwestern Washington area. Our technicians are thoroughly trained both on-site as well as classroom instruction on restoration best practices. 

Here are a few of the water damage restoration services we provide:

  • Water removal
  • Cleanup
  • Damage restoration
  • Clothing restoration
  • Electronics repair
  • Deodorization and carpet cleaning
  • Photo documentation of the site
  • Insurance coordination

Disasters don't happen on a regular 9am-5pm schedule, so our services don’t either! SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County is available to you 24/7.

Water Damage is NOT a DIY Job

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

mitigated water damage, SERVPRO equipment Have a water damage situation? Call SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County to get the job done right!

Despite the magazines, television shows, and internet articles that may have you thinking otherwise, water damage restoration is a job that should only be performed by certified professionals. SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County technicians not only have the know-how to get the job done right, but they also have the specialized tools needed to thoroughly dry your home, preventing further damage and even mold. Additional benefits of hiring a professional water damage restoration company:

  • Health Hazards: Depending on the source of the water damage, safety can become a concern. There are three varying degrees of water damage, ranging from clean water to black water, each more hazardous than the next. Black water, the most dangerous of the three, is water that has come into contact with fecal matter, a haven for harmful bacteria and disease-causing pathogens.
  • Hidden Damage: Water damage is not always obvious. Sometimes it is found inside walls and under flooring. If you attempt a DIY restoration and fail to diagnose hidden damage, the resulting issues could be extreme…and expensive.
  • Peace of Mind: Hiring a professional restoration company gives you the peace of mind knowing you have done everything in your power to rectify the situation.

Restoring Your Commercial Property after a Water Damage Event

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged shoe store Commercial water damage events present unique challenges, but nothing SERVPRO isn't prepared to handle.

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County

SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Your Belongings and Water Damage

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Boxed, organized contents If You Have Questions or Need Help, Call Us Today (360) 254-0049

Water damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.

Contents Restoration

We specialize in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product. 

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. Move-out will provide several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. A SERVPRO Franchise Professional will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. They start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding..

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Pre-loss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

Residential Fire Statistics

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged apartment; bedroom and hallway If you do experience damages from a house fire, please don’t hesitate SERVPRO® of Vancouver/Clark County for cleaning and restoration services.

In life, especially during your youth, there are many different reasons you might hear the phrase, “Don’t become a statistic.” Often, that advice is trying to deter you from getting in trouble; warning against drinking, drugs, or other illicit activities. In life there are other dangers for which everyone should avoid becoming a statistic - one of the scariest being fires.

The following is a list of various home fire statistics (published in 2017) for you to consider.

  • Between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires with an annual average of
    • 2,510 civilian fire deaths
    • 12,300 civilian fire injuries
    • $6.7 billion in direct damage
  • The leading causes of home structure fires are
    • Intentional
    • Electrical distribution and lighting equipment
    • Heating equipment
    • Cooking equipment
    • Smoking materials
  • The leading origins of these fires are
    • Kitchen or cooking area
    • Bedroom
    • Confined chimney or flue fire
    • Living room, family room or den
  • People between the ages of 25-64 have a greater risk of death or injury in a house structure fire
  • 93% of structure fire deaths and 80% of all fire deaths are due to home structure fires.
  • Property use plays a factor in the amount of fires that occur as well. For example
    • One- or two-family home, (including manufactured home) amount to 249,500 - or 70% -  of home structure fires
    • Apartment or other multifamily housing amount to 109,000 - the other 30% - of home structure fires.
  • In America, an average of seven people die in fires per day.
  • Home fire deaths peak in the cooler months.

This list is a highly condensed version of the lists out there, provided by groups like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to keep you and those you love aware of the causes and effects of house fires. The most important thing to take away from the information included here is that no matter your age, the size of your household, etc. your home is at risk. Take precautions, make a plan, and trust your local rescue teams.

Don’t become a statistic.

Information retrieved from: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Building-and-life-safety/osHomes.ashx

Contact:
SERVPRO® of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049

Fire Damage Restoration Process

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged interior of residence Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today (360) 254-0049

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County  has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049, we available 24 hours a day. Our specialist will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The SERVPRO uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

What to Expect After a Fire

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damaged bedroom About 35% of residential insurance claims are from fire. Call a leader in the fire restoration industry (360) 254-0049

Fire and smoke damage is destructive and finding a restoration/mitigation company can be daunting. When it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration, SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County is trained and follow an extensive and thorough restoration process in order to get your home or business back to normal.

Each fire/smoke damage case is unique and is treated as such by SERVPRO. SERVPRO professionals will compose a detailed plan to rid your property of smoke and soot damage. Smoke odor latches onto and penetrates the surfaces of walls, ceilings, clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more. It is crucial that all affected contents and surfaces are properly sanitized by professionals. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine the source of the smoke odor. Experienced professionals know where to look for smoke and soot damage and how to best approach the restoration process.

If smoke damage is not taken care of by a professional, your property and its inhabitants may face greater damage. Smoke and soot can destroy the integrity of your home or business, damaging the ventilation system, air ducts, insulation, wall studs and even the framing/structure.

What Will SERVPRO Do?

Board Up and Security

Fires can destroy doors, walls and windows, leaving your property vulnerable to additional loss from weather or theft. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment and capabilities to provide board up for your home or business. Your home or business may need additional security. SERVPRO can also provide fencing or even security to oversee your property.

Demolition

All damaged structural material is removed from the structure in order for the mitigation and restoration to take place. Demolition is a planned procedure, completed with the utmost care and strategy.

Cleanup

The local fire department will use fire retardants and water to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO will assess and examine the extent of damage to the structure, walls, ceilings, floors, ventilation/HVAC system and contents while composing a thorough plan for mitigation and restoration.

Contents

Clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more that are affected by smoke may be salvaged and sanitized. All affected items deemed salvageable are sanitized and deodorized using specialized solutions and equipment. Contents go through an extensive inventory process ensuring all items are accounted for and stored in a secure location.