How To Mitigate Mold After Flooding
Mold remediation in a Cascade Place, WA home
Mold may start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours immediately following a flood. If your home experiences flooding, you should get rid of standing water, clean, disinfect, and dry the affected area as soon as possible. The following measures may prevent or limit the severity of mold growth.
Eliminate Flood Water
The faster you get flood water out of your home, the less likely mold spores will be to multiply. There are several ways to make your home less inviting for mold:
- Pump out remaining water
- Tear out porous contents and building materials
- Use a wet vac to get rid of any puddles
Once all of the flood water is gone, it is time to clean and disinfect the affected area.
Clean and Disinfect
Flood water is classified as Category Three black water. This means that standing water may contain
- Heavy metals
For this reason, it is necessary to disinfect all surfaces and contents exposed to flood water. Mold also flourishes in undisturbed locations. Cleaning surfaces and eliminating porous contents that cannot be thoroughly cleaned, such as carpet or drywall, will make mold growth less likely.
Dry the Area
The more you can lower moisture levels following a flood, the less likely mold will be to grow. For this reason, homeowners or restoration experts should use equipment such as commercial- or industrial-grade
- Air movers
All of these appliances help to speed up drying. Dehumidifiers are particularly useful for maintaining low moisture levels in the air and drawing dampness out of semi-porous surfaces.
Removing water, cleaning and disinfecting, and drying are all ways to reduce the risk of mold growth. For the fastest mitigation process and less of an opportunity for mold to develop, rely on the professional equipment and extensive experience of residential water and storm damage specialists in Cascade Place,WA.
3 Lint Cleaning Techniques for Preventing a Dryer Fire
Protecting your Orchards, WA, home from fires can keep your family and investment safe. Homes fires can have many sources; however, clothes dryers are often the culprit. Lint and dust collect in several parts of the unit and increase the risk of a blaze that could spread quickly. You can lower the risk of a lint fire by using a few daily and weekly cleaning strategies, and most are simple to perform.
1. Clean the Lint Screen and Trap Area
Lint can gather in the dryer’s screen and down in the trap where the filter sits. This could cause a dryer fire because the accumulated lint might be difficult to see, even when the screen is removed. To clean this area, pull the screen out, remove the excess lint and then rinse the part with water. Next, use a slim vacuum attachment to clean the empty trap. Remember to dispose of all the lint carefully.
2. Vacuum Around the Dryer Weekly
Lint and dust can gather behind and under your dryer, increasing the odds of a lint fire. This can be especially dangerous if you have a large family with multiple individuals doing laundry throughout the week. However, you can keep the area clean with weekly vacuuming, which can be especially important if your dryer does not sit flush to the floor.
3. Clean the Exhaust Hose
Cleaning out your dryer’s exhaust hose can keep the unit functioning efficiently and prevent fire damage that could spread to other rooms. Before you begin, unplug the dryer to prevent the risk of electric shock. Vacuum the inside of the hose and use a hook tool to ensure it is completely empty of lint before you reattach it. You can ask a fire damage and restoration service to inspect your dryer if you are unsure about whether your cleaning techniques are effective.
A lint fire can devastate your Orchards,WA, home. Knowing how to maintain your dryer can reduce the risk and may even extend the life of the unit.
Weather and Your Business: Understanding that Flooding May Be the Least of Your Concerns
Water damage in a correctional facility in Camas,WA
Many building owners worry about flood damage, but a flood is not the only problem caused by storms. Storms produce a variety of elements that can be equally unfavorable to a property, and as a property owner or manager, you may want to be aware of each.
1. Water Damage
Floodwaters are only one type of water damage, and it is not the most common. Most damage stems from persistent leaks or holes in your roofline. These issues cause significant loss to occur over time. Leaks can cause sagging of ceilings, rotting out of joists, and even the spread of molds and mildews. Additionally, while not necessarily storm-related, persistent leaks from pipes can cause the pipe to corrode and fail, resulting in a flood.
2. Hail Damage
While flood damage can be a threat, hail damage may pose a more imminent concern. Hail occurs when temperatures allow for rain to develop into large chunks of ice, sometimes resulting in baseball size masses. These pieces of ice can cause significant property damage, from broken windows to holes in your roofline. Inspecting your property after a hail storm should be a top priority.
3. Wind Damage
The most common cause of storm damage is the wind. Wind damage can peel back siding and roofing shingles, and it can launch random debris, like sticks and lawn ornament, making them volatile projectiles. In high wind situations, property managers should keep employees and clients clear of windows.
4. Renovating the Damage
It may be wise for property owners to plan ahead. Some restoration companies in Camas, WA, provide an emergency planning service for businesses. This service may include an initial analysis of your property and a customized plan for restoration and recovery in the event of a disaster.
Flood damage may be a concern as a property owner or manager, but storms can produce hail and high winds that can be equally damaging to property. Granted, water damage is the most common cause of property damage, but even that is not only caused by flooding.
Fixing a Basement Flood in 3 Steps
Flooded basement in Vancouver,WA
Sometimes you do all the right things to prevent a flooded basement, but it still happens. This is often due to extreme weather or a mechanical failure with the sump pump. Basement flooding is a big job that needs your immediate attention. Though it is a lot of work, it comes down to three key steps:
1. Be safe
Electrical shock is the biggest, most immediate risk to your health when you have a basement flood. Once water is in contact with live electricity, you cannot enter or even touch the water. Be sure to have the electricity (and gas) to your property turned off if the water in your basement is high enough to reach electrical outlets or other appliances.
2. Remove water
Once the electricity to your property is turned off, you need to remove all the water from the basement flood. It’s ideal to have the water pumped, so the job can be done as quickly as possible. If you are waiting for professional help to arrive, go ahead and use any resource you can to start water removal. Materials begin to break down quickly in water, and mold can even start developing in the first 24 to 48 hours.
3. Clean and restore
Building materials that are below the flood line are going to need to be removed and replaced. This may include subflooring, carpet pads, and wallboard. Electrical outlets and wiring that have been submerged should also be replaced. Carpet damaged from a basement flood of Category 1 water may be saved and dried outdoors. Wallboard above the flood line may also be saved.
Don’t assume flood damage in Vancouver, WA, is included under your insurance coverage. Water damage is a complicated claim, and it’s typically not covered if the damage is from a weather-related event. Sudden and unexpected floods from pipe or line failures are typically covered; however, not if the damage is due to the neglect of a leaky pipe that had been ignored.
Cooking Can Cost an Estimated $853 Million per Year!
Stay safe while cooking.
Cooking fires are the leading cause home fires and fire-related injuries in the US. Fire Departments respond to an estimated 156,600 home structure fires every year and 2 out of 5 cooking related. More that $853 Million* in property damages each year are fires as a result of cooking. Thousand of cooking related fire injuries are reported every year. SERVPRO offers you these safety tips to ensure your safety and your homes safety.
Call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. @ 360-254-0049
- Don't ever wear loose clothing while cooking
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Check food regularly and never leave the house
- Keep children away from the cooking area
- Keep any flammables far away from the cooking area
- Clean cooking area often to prevent grease buildup
- Purchase a Fire extinguisher and be properly trained
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed
- Make sure smoke alarms are installed on each level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
- BE SAFE THE SERVPRO WAY
Home Fire Facts
Boarding up a home while working with the Red Cross
SERVPRO: Proud National Sponsor of American Red Cross Ready Rating Program.
Home Fires, America's Biggest Disaster Threat.
- Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
- On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.
- Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.
- During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.
- The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.
- Having a working smoke alarm reduces one's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Sources: American Red Cross, U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Fire Protection Association.
For further questions or help with fire clean-up needs, please contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049
Storm Damage Remediation
Air mover on a commercial storm damage in Camas, WA
As homeowners in Camas, WA, and other locations around the country are likely to attest, the clean up, repair, and restoration chores that emerge after a damaging storm are at minimum, a nuisance, and in many cases, a much more serious undertaking. Storm damage remediation can range from a clean up to a tear out to a rebuild, depending on the type and extent of the destruction.
The Usual Suspect: Water
One of the most frequent and frustrating problems property owners face is the damaging effects of water infiltration. To further complicate the challenge of inundation, floodwater from rivers and streams brings the specter of biological contamination, commonly known as black water. Once a destructive storm has passed, assessment of its damage may begin and progress to the following procedures:
- The extraction of water through pumping, mopping and dehumidification.
- Tear out of wet materials to prevent mold growth.
- Drying of the structure.
- Decontamination of salvageable materials.
- Repair and replacement of compromised building material and furnishings.
While it is true that many materials that have been subjected to black water contamination will have to be discarded, other types of water damage can be mitigated. A professional assessment can be very helpful in making the correct determination, especially with regard to the safety of the home and its furnishings.
Documentation is Vital
Document the damage before initiating storm restoration. It is likely to be necessary in filing flood insurance claims, and there may be a delay in the arrival of an adjuster if flooding is widespread. Digital pictures and/or video that can be easily emailed are the preferred media.
Humanity’s relationship to the planet’s most abundant natural resource can seem paradoxical, particularly in the midst of a tear out of the cherished furnishings of a home. Keeping water where it belongs and a balanced perspective are central to the experience of homeownership.
The EPA Has Guidelines for Do-It-Yourself Mold Removal
Mold damage in a Vancouver, WA residential
The government knows that house mold is a problem. They know that removal should be left to professionals. However, they also know that regardless of what they say, you will try to remove it yourself. With that in mind, the EPA has published guidelines for do-it-yourself mold removal. After seeing what is involved, you may decide to contact local mold removal specialists after all. You will find them in Vancouver, WA, and the surrounding area. There are several conditions under which you should not attempt the removal.
- Do not attempt removal if the mold growth extends beyond a single area of 10 square feet.
- If you have health issues, consult your health professional before attempting cleanup.
- If your plan is to solve your mold problem with paint and caulk, stop here. The mold needs to be removed and not just covered up.
Do Not Attempt Mold Removal Without Basic
House mold removal is serious business and safe removal calls for the use of safety equipment.
- Wear an N-95 mask. These are available at your local hardware store.
- Wear long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm.
- Wear protective goggles that do not have air vents. Your goal with goggles is to keep the mold spores away from your eyes.
It’s Time to Start the Actual Removal Process
If your mold situation meets the guidelines and if you have the proper equipment, then you are ready to get started. There are some things to keep in mind.
- Your job here is to clean the mold, not make it airborne and spread it through the house.
- Don’t expect things to return to the condition they were in before the mold.
- Anyone who is not properly protected should not be near or part of the mold removal.
As you can see, the safe removal of house mold is a detailed and complicated process. For this reason, many people eventually decide to call upon mold removal professionals to handle the job.
The Risks of Commercial Polybutylene Piping
Air mover on a bathroom leak over the basement in a Vancouver, WA church
If you have an older commercial property, it may have polybutylene pipes. As a staple of late twentieth-century construction, it was widely implemented as a cheaper alternative to traditional piping. This material was later found to have problems with longevity. Your Vancouver, WA, business could be at risk because of this pipe type, and here is what to look for and consider.
Identifying the Pipes
The most widely implemented use for this material was to feed water from a water line into a commercial building. The polymer typically comes in a few colors: white, gray and blue. These pipes are typically located in or around a number of locations:
- Water meters
- Shutoff valves
- Water heaters
If you are unsure of what material your business utilizes, an inspector or plumber may be able to give you a definitive answer. The tubing types often look similar and can easily be misidentified by untrained individuals.
Considering Reasons to Replace
A class action lawsuit in 1995, Cox v. Shell Oil, won in favor of consumers with the conclusion that polybutylene pipes damaged too easily and were not a proper installation. It phased out of the market in the United States following that.
Typical chemicals in the water supply, such as chlorine, deteriorate the interior of the pipe until it breaks. This risks a pipe break leading to costly water damage. Local building codes may even explicitly forbid the polymer piping from being used due to these risks.
Replacing the Pipes
With the knowledge of why the pipes are dangerous, you are likely wondering how to remedy it. You can work out what’s salvageable from your old system with the assistance of a plumber. Most likely, you will be advised to install new plumbing.
Treating a Broken Pipe
If you cannot replace the pipes in the near future, you should plan for potential damage. An expert water damage treatment crew can remove water from the affected areas of your property. Alternatively, updated plumbing and proper maintenance of the system can help prevent repair costs related to any problematic polybutylene.
How To Dry-Clean Your Smoke Damaged Clothing
Fire damage in storage on Lacamas, WA
If you recently experienced a fire at your Lacamas, WA, business, and have business clothing that was damaged and can only be laundered by dry-cleaning, you are probably wondering what you can do to fix the appearance and the smell. Fortunately, help is here. Follow these three steps to get your items back in shape.
1. Remove Any Visible Soot
If your clothing has a lot of soot just sitting on it, remove as much as you can before taking any further cleaning steps. You can use a vacuum cleaner or simply shake the clothes off in the outdoor air to get off as much debris as possible.
2. Find Good Content Storage
It is often a good idea to use a fire restoration company, or somewhere similar, to store your smoke damaged items after removing excess soot. This is an important step in the content storage and cleaning process as it gives you somewhere to house everything that needs to be cleaned, rather than forcing you to store it all somewhere that could become soiled from any remaining ashes.
3. Dry Clean Your Clothing
You will want to choose a dry-cleaning company with extensive experience in handling post-fire clothing in order to ensure that your clothing has the best chance of being fully restored. In some cases, the fire restoration and clean-up company that is storing your items may be able to clean them and return them to their original state. Do your research and make sure that the company handling your possessions is one that you can trust.
Dry-cleaning will be your best bet to get your work clothes back in shape after your business’s Lacamas, WA, fire. Understanding your preliminary steps and the importance of research before making any decisions will help you increase your chances of getting your clothing back to the way they were before the damage.