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The Stress-Free Guide to Flushing a Water Heater

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Stress-Free Guide to Flushing a Water Heater Flushing a water heater in Livingston, WA

When is the last time you flushed your water heater? It’s nice to think of it minding its own business and working perfectly with no assistance. However, as the unit operates, it will likely become clogged with debris and minerals that can shorten its lifespan. The best maintenance practice for this household staple is to perform a water heater flush every few years, especially if you have hard water in Livingston, WA.

No Rush, Just Flush

Here is a cheat sheet to keep handy as you flush your water heater.

1) Establish whether you have a gas or electric unit. If it’s gas, turn off the thermostat, then the gas valve. If it’s electric, switch off the heater’s power breaker.
2) Find the cold water supply valve; switch it off.
3) Run a hot water tap in a sink to keep water flowing through the pipes.
4) Find the pressure relief valve. Place a basin underneath and carefully open the valve, avoiding the hot water discharge.
5) While the water in the tank cools, set up a garden hose with one end in a large bucket.
6) Once the water is cool, connect the hose to the tank’s drainage spigot. Turn on the spigot and watch the water that emerges in the bucket until it is sediment-free and clean.
7) Flush! Turn on the cold water supply valve into the tank. Let the water run until the hose water runs clean again.
8) When you are satisfied with the water quality, start reassembling everything. Turn off the drainage, remove the hose, and close the pressure relief valve again. Wait until the tank is full again from the cold water supply; once it is, open the pressure relief valve. Check another sink in the house to let out any air. Either turn the gas back on and light the pilot light, or flip the breaker switch back on. In half an hour, check your sinks for hot water.

Congratulations! You have successfully flushed your water heater. Clean up, cross the task off your to-do list and relax this weekend. Don't feel like taking these steps yourself? You can always enlist the help of professional water restoration services.

Preventing and Eliminating Shower Mold

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Preventing and Eliminating Shower Mold Keep indoor humidity below 45% in your home to avoid the possibility of mold growth

Are You Worried About Shower Mold in Your House?

Bathroom mildew is a common issue among residential properties in Lacamas, WA, but it can be avoided and taken care of with a little bit of help. Here are a few tips that can help you with your own home.

Understand the Problem

With frequent condensation, high humidity, and leftover puddles, bathrooms are often the perfect location for mold growth. Homeowners can prevent bathroom mold from forming by taking some of the following precautions:

  • Wipe down walls
  • Use the fan during showers
  • Clean up spilled water

These safety measures can keep the bathrooms in your home spotless and clean. However, mold can still sneak up on you.

Disinfect the Area

Whether or not you think shower mold is a problem, it’s a good idea to disinfect your bathroom often. Vinegar, borax, or other mold cleaning solutions can be used to scrub down tiles and bathtubs. Moldy shower curtains are never fun, but you can avoid this by cleaning curtains and shower mats frequently.

Get an Inspection

If you notice spots or discolored patches around the shower area, you are likely dealing with fungi. A mold expert can determine what type of mold is growing and how to deal with it properly. This is an important step to take, especially if black mold is involved. This type of fungi normally looks green or black and is toxic. After the inspection, professionals can get started on the remediation process.

Start the Remediation Process

The remediation process consists of removing, cleaning, and restoring. While mold should be taken care of as soon as it’s spotted, sometimes it grows underneath floors and walls. Fortunately, professionals can take care of problems both small and large.

Mold problems can be dealt with carefully and efficiently. With the help of experts, contaminated items can be removed, and your house can be fully restored.

3 Ways Pretesting Can Lower Claims

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Ways Pretesting Can Lower Claims Fire damage in Brush Prairie, WA

Learn More About Pretesting

Pretesting can determine the extent of damage at a residence in Brush Prairie, WA. This testing method can identify traces of damage that may not be immediately apparent. Learn more about three ways that preliminary testing can result in a more accurate estimate and lower insurance claim.

1. Determine the Full Extent of Damage

A visual inspection may not be the best method for determining how much damage a property has sustained, particularly from soot or smoke. One of the most common preliminary testing methods is wiping down surfaces or contents with a chemical sponge. This can allow mitigation and restoration professionals to make more informed estimates with regard to how much of a home must be cleaned or restored.

2. Accurately Allocate Equipment and Experts

Pretesting can also be useful for anticipating which types of equipment and professional expertise will be necessary on a job site. If damage affects the majority of a structure, the duration of cleanup and restoration may also be longer than if only a limited area requires treatment.

3. Safely Limit Cleanup and Restoration

Homeowners and insurers run the risk of overlooking damage when they try to cut corners on an insurance claim for cleanup and restoration. This can lead to an incomplete job or secondary damage. Preliminary testing during an assessment can give all parties a clearer idea of the degree of damage and what will need to be cleaned, restored or rebuilt. This allows for a more complete estimate and reduces the risk of unexpected increases due to the discovery of further damage.

These are three ways that pretesting can be useful after a fire or other damage at a residence in Brush Prairie, WA. A homeowner or insurance agent should contact a certified and trustworthy Preferred Vendor to ensure that damage is handled properly and cost-effectively, from the initial assessment to the final touches.

What a Tenant Is Liable for After a Flood

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What a Tenant Is Liable for After a Flood SERVPRO of E.Vancouver/Clark Co responds to your flood and storm damage

Flooding at your property can be very stressful. The last thing you want is to go through a disaster and have no renter’s insurance or any idea how to proceed. As a renter, it is best to prepare and know for what you are accountable. This breakdown of duties can help you avoid confusion.

Tenant Responsibilities

As a renter, you are more protected than you might realize. For instance, if you can no longer occupy your commercial space because of flood damage, you have some options:

  • Most insurance coverage will take care of temporary relocation costs. If your business is unable to be used because of excessive damage, you will have the option to move.
  • You will not be obligated to pay for the amount of time that you have vacated the original space. What if you are not displaced but the damage is still significant? You might be able to ask for a rent deduction.
  • You should also have the option to cancel your lease when you need to relocate. Make sure to inform the property owner either before moving out or soon after.

One thing a tenant should always have is renter’s insurance. You can never predict when disaster will strike in Lacamas, WA. Since you are still responsible for your possessions, it would be better to know that you are covered.

Property Owner Responsibilities

The property owner is responsible for all damage done to the building they are leasing. That includes anything rented to the tenant, such as appliances. However, most property insurance does not include flooding. Property owners should look at their policies and buy flood insurance if needed. The number of a water damage repair service can also come in handy when an emergency arises.

At flood at your property does not need to be the end of the world. As a tenant, make sure you have good renter’s insurance and honest communication with the property owner. As an owner, flood insurance may be a wise idea. Stay prepared, and you can hopefully avoid stress and get back to normal in no time.

After a Home Fire, There Are Plenty of Cleaning Jobs To Go Around

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage After a Home Fire, There Are Plenty of Cleaning Jobs To Go Around House fire in a Orchards, WA home

Fire damage in a home is often less of a problem than smoke damage. The reason is simple. The fire may be small, but smoke travels everywhere. Everything smoke touches needs cleaning. Luckily, dry-cleaning solves this problem for many fabrics. They include:

  • Drapes and other window dressings
  • Tapestries and Persian carpets
  • Clothing that you would dry clean
  • Any other exposed material which requires dry cleaning

Removal and Cleaning Applies to More Than Fabrics

The general rule after a fire is to remove everything from the home that’s not nailed down. Attempting to clean anything in place only makes the situation worse. All content cleaning should happen outside the home, but where? Dry-cleaning is only part of the answer. Others are:

  • Electronics cleaners for home entertainment equipment, computers, and appliances
  • Sonic cleaners for window blinds and other non-porous non-electric items
  • Art restoration specialists for paintings, sculptures and other artistic pieces
  • Laundry service for everything washable

Don’t Bring Anything Back to Your Smoke-Damaged Home

Your home is still suffering from the effects of the fire. Don’t return your newly-cleaned items only to have them contaminated again. If your things are ready to pick up, you need to solve the problem of content storage. Before you go out looking for storage, try the following:

  1. See if the cleaner will hold your items as a courtesy. Free storage is the best of all the alternatives. Be appreciative.
  2. The cleaner will hold your items for a storage charge. You are going to pay someone for storage. Why not pay someone who knows how to take care of your items?
  3. The cleaner will not hold your items. Ask for any recommendations on storage conditions or facilities. Perhaps the cleaner would be willing to package your items for safe storage.

If your home has a fire, you will want the services of fire remediation experts located in the Orchards, WA, area. They will deal with the smoke and other damage and get you and your mountain of dry-cleaning home quickly.

Top 3 Common Places in Your Home Mold Might Be Hiding

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 3 Common Places in Your Home Mold Might Be Hiding Mold damage on wall in a Cascade Place, WA residence

3 Common Hidden Places Where Mold Is Often Found

If you notice a musty smell in your home or leaking water, it is possible that mold might be hiding in spots that you don’t check often. When it comes to combatting mold growth, immediate action is the key to preventing extensive damage to the structure of your home. If you suspect that mold might be lurking in your home in Cascade Place, WA, but aren’t sure where to look, inspect these three common hidden places where mold is often found.

1. Behind Your Walls

Mold often grows inside your walls when your home has recently experienced water damage due to flooding, a leaking roof, or a broken pipe. If you notice peeling wallpaper or mold on the surface of your wall, there’s a good chance that mold has already made its way inside. Once this has occurred, the removal process can be quite lengthy and require replacing sections of moldy drywall. It is essential you contact a mold remediation specialist who can determine the extent of the damage and take the appropriate action.

2. Beneath Laminate Flooring

Flooding and large, uncleaned spills on laminate floors can result in water damage if left unaddressed. Although this type of flooring is designed to be water resistant, large puddles of water can soak its ways into laminate and settle underneath. You can tell this might be a problem if you notice warping, cracking, crowning, or other damage to the surface of the floor.

3. Underneath the Sink

If you don’t often examine the area beneath your sink for mold growth, now might be a good time to start! Leaks, spills, and increased humidity can lead to this issue. If you notice mold on wood underneath your sink, the correct cleaning method will depend on whether the wood type is porous or non-porous.

When left untreated, mold growth in your home will only get worse. If you suspect there might be mold in your home but can’t easily locate it, try inspecting these three common, hidden places!

5 Things You Need To Know About Broken Pipes

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Things You Need To Know About Broken Pipes Water leak in a Camas, WA home

5 Things You Need To Know About Broken Pipes

To get the most out of your Camas, WA, home, you need a functioning plumbing system. After all, you probably use running water in your house every day. Therefore, you must watch for the warning signs of plumbing damage. Here are five things you need to know about a pipe burst.

1. Pipes Freeze

When temperatures drop, the water inside your pipes can freeze. As you probably know, water expands as it freezes. This expansion can cause your water line and other pipes to break.

2. Crowded Cabinets Hide Leaks

The areas beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks are good places to store household chemicals and other items. If you overcrowd these spaces, though, you may not notice a water leak. Accordingly, routinely clean out cabinets and inspect your plumbing system.

3. Plumbing Systems Should Not Be Loud

Pipes generally make a bit of noise when water passes through them. Knocking, creaking, moaning and other noises, however, are not normal. If you have noisy pipes, you may need to take steps to protect your pipes from extensive damage.

4. Water Heaters Require Flushing

While a pipe burst can cause a mess, flooding from an old, damaged or ineffective water heater can be just as bad. By regularly flushing your home’s water heater, you remove sediment before it can cause a catastrophic problem.

5. Water Damage May Be Extensive

Even with your best efforts, you may not be able to avoid a home flood. You must understand that floodwaters can cause extensive damage. If your home survives a flood, consider working with a floodwater restoration service to be sure you restore your house to its pre-flood condition.

Like most homeowners, you don’t want to have to deal with a pipe burst. By understanding some fundamental facts about broken plumbing, though, you can develop a plan for keeping your home’s pipes in excellent shape.

What Does a Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover?

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial What Does a Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover? Commercial storm damage in Vancouver, WA

What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?

Whether your business is big or small, new or old, property insurance is something you need. Despite how far reaching these policies are, there are important things that they don’t cover. Do you know the difference? Learn more about what commercial insurance can cover and how it benefits your Vancouver, WA, business.

Commercial policies are known for covering your building and all its contents, as well as things immediately outside of it. That list is long and can include:

  • Computers
  • Inventory
  • Furniture
  • Signs

But for all the things they do cover, these policies have many things they don’t cover. Knowing what those are can be important to avoiding complications following a disaster.

Weather Damage

Some commercial insurance policies limit coverage of damage caused by things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. Policies that do provide such coverage may have limitations, such as not covering outdoor property such as company vehicles or fences. It’s generally worthwhile to check your policy if you’re in a weather disaster-prone area.

Disaster Cleanup

Commercial property insurance typically is meant to float a company through a great loss, natural or manmade. But that doesn’t always mean it will cover the costs of cleaning, rebuilding, repairing, and such following the loss. Discuss what is covered and isn’t with regards to mitigation and remediation well in advance of a disaster so you don’t get a rude awakening.

Outdoor Property

Most policies limit their coverage to items inside the building, but some will cover property up to a certain distance away. This can be critical when it comes to damage of satellite dishes, fences, signs and other outdoor property.

Bills from fire damage or another business catastrophe can be enough to send a commercial property under. But the story doesn’t have to end that way. Learn the ins and outs of commercial insurance policies, and you’ll know what to look for to protect your business.

4 Tips for Preparing Your Building for Spring

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Many commercial building owners think that just because temperatures outside get warmer, the potential hazards of winter pass. A spring thaw can easily cause flooding in your building in Fishers Landing East, WA, however, if you are not prepared. Make sure your building is ready from the bottom to the top for those April showers.

1. Basement Preparation

The basement or lowest floor of your building is susceptible to a spring flood as soon as winter snow and ice start melting. In addition to taking the appropriate measures to keep water out, such as having your foundation inspected, you should also complete and check the following items off your list:

• Purchase an automatic sump pump
• Install flood sensors
• Elevate sensitive machinery off the floor

2. Plumbing Protection

A frozen pipe can burst even when it starts warming back up. If the temperature change is too sudden, the pipes may not be able to withstand the contrast. Keep the thermostat in your building set to at least 55 degrees all the time so that your pipes are still kept safe overnight.

3. Roof Inspection

The beginning of spring is a great time to have your roof professionally inspected. Contractors can identify damage and other weak spots, and water restoration specialists can remediate any flooding that occurred during the winter.

4. Drainage Clearing

Falling leaves and twigs that get blown into gutter and downspouts during the winter need to be cleared out before spring rains begin. When a spout is clogged, rain must find another path off the building, and it is usually not the path you would prefer. Clean your drainage system completely so that rainwater has somewhere to go.

When you see ice and snow melting, you know it’s time to prepare your building for warmer weather. Following these tips can help ensure a smooth transition from winter to spring and keep your building from flooding.

Holiday Home Maintenance: Water Heater Flush

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Holiday Home Maintenance: Water Heater Flush Check your water heater in Vancouver, WA

Prepare for holiday guests by making sure your water heater is working its best. If you are hosting some out-of-town guests at your home in Vancouver, WA, you are probably busy making sure your guests will feel welcome and comfortable. A lot of additional demand will be placed on your hot water tank this holiday season, so here is a brief guide that will help you be ready. This is an easy way to ensure holiday memories aren’t tarnished with cold showers and house floods.

Quick Guide for a Water Heater Flush

  1. Turn off electricity by finding the designated switch in the breaker box.
  2. Connect a hose and open the drain valve.
  3. Turn off the water supply.
  4. Refill the tank.
  5. Turn on power.

Because the water is very hot, be sure to use caution. Make sure you don’t touch the draining water and protect your hands by wearing gloves when handling the hose.

Read These Tips Before You Start

While the steps are simple, there are a couple of tricks that will help you after you start draining the water heater. First, make sure the pressure release valve is open. This is located on top of the tank. Close this valve again when you are ready to refill the tank.

Second, turn on the hot water at your kitchen faucet. This creates some air that will help with draining the tank. Don’t turn the faucet off until you have finished refilling the tank. The water at your kitchen faucet will start flowing normally again when the tank is full.

Ensure a Smooth Holiday

Low water pressure or a flood from an eroded water tank can interrupt your holiday and leave you unable to give house guests what they need. Prevent water heater problems by doing maintenance once a year. If you haven’t flushed your tank in a long time, do it now! Flood damage restoration is probably not something you want to do during the holidays, but thankfully there are experts available if you do have an emergency.