Recent Water Damage Posts
Mold 101: How to Identify Microbial Growth
No building is immune to mold growth. Any event that causes moisture to infiltrate the structure could very likely spur mold growth because the microscopic spores of mold are present throughout indoor and outdoor environments. A flood, broken pipe, roof leak, or prolonged exposure to moisture such as in a bathroom without good ventilation could create an environment where mildew and fungus can grow, reproduce, and inflict dry rot on the structure.
Unless a person notices a flood or leak, moisture buildup might go unseen until an abnormal smelly odor arises. The smelly odor comes from the metabolic function of the microorganisms that give off volatile organic compounds.
Deodorization alone cannot solve the problem because it would only cover up the smell of mildew and mold growth. When a smelly odor persists but mold growth cannot be seen, then mold growth behind a wall could be happening. Mold in a home could also occur inside heating and cooling ducts and vents or behind wallpaper. Visible mold like black mold represents a clear warning sign of mold in the home.
Black mold can appear as blotchy and expanding dark areas on drywall, studs, or under carpet. People need to take signs of fungus and smelly odors seriously. Technicians trained in mold removal, remediation, and deodorization will have special equipment that can test the microbial nature of the fungus or mildew to determine how to treat it. They will know how to assess both commercial mold damage and mold in homes. After determining the species of fungus present, SERVPRO of Edmonds will begin the mitigation of mold damage by first fixing the moisture problem. This can be as simple as cleaning up water from a flood or obvious leak that has already been fixed. In other cases, an investigation might reveal that poor drainage outside is causing water to seep into a basement or that ventilation needs to be installed.
The remediation and structural experts at SERVPRO of Edmonds will address these needs. Drying goes hand in hand with water cleanup. A mold removal contractor will have commercial-grade fans and dehumidifiers to dry up the infected areas and stop the spread of mildew and mold damage. Drying alone will not suffice to fix contaminated materials like carpet or drywall. The mitigation process will require removal and replacement, especially of wood that has experienced dry rot. Structural elements that cannot come out will be deeply cleaned and mitigation treatments will be applied to stop new problems. These efforts will achieve deodorization of the smell caused by commercial mold damage or mold in the home.
Our Mold Removal Professionals have the resources to begin mitigation efforts as soon as possible. The rapid cessation of mold growth behind walls or commercial mold damage is important to prevent spreading.
Visit http://www.SERVPROedmonds.com for more information on how to prevent and treat Microbial Growth.
How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom
6 Tips For Preventing Mold Growth In your Bathroom:
Bathrooms unfortunately present plenty of damp spaces for mold to grow and resolving lingering moisture is the first step for preventing mold. Check out these following tips to prevent mold growth in your bathroom:
- Monitor humidity levels. Just like for basements, the more humid a space is, the more mold-friendly it becomes. Humidity levels over 45% indicate excessive indoor humidity.
- Repairing leaks. Considering the significant volume of water being used daily, bathroom fixtures and piping can easily develop leaks. Those leaks will result in moist areas that welcome mold growth. It is important to promptly turn to a professional who can repair the leaks and mitigate damage. Additionally, it is always wise to schedule seasonal plumbing checks. You want to make sure that pipes are in good shape and no hidden leaking is taking place.
- Improving ventilation. Moisture can linger if the ventilation system is not allowing air to circulate. Circulation can speed up drying times for residual water in showers, bathtubs, sinks and any other “splash zones.” It is ideal to have an HVAC specialist assess the ventilation efficiency of your property’s bathroom. Ensure the bathroom exhaust fan is working properly.
- Replace moldy caulking. If you notice mold growing on the caulking or sealant of bathtubs and showers, our experts encourage completely stripping the moldy layer and having a professional re-caulk the area. This will ensure that the mold growing in the area will be completely removed, thus eliminating the likelihood of leftover spores starting a new growth.
- Avoid moisture-absorbing furnishings.Furnishing and decorating bathrooms with moisture-absorbing materials can impact the overall level of moisture. It’s best to avoid wallpaper and turn to a specialist for sealing wood counter-tops.
- Exhaust Fans. Residents should use exhaust fans when they take showers or baths. This will allow for condensation and lingering moisture to be removed. Additionally, it’s best if bathtubs and showers are kept as bare as possible. Mold can grow and hide in damp sponges, brushes and soap bottles.
If you have any questions about mold growth in your bathroom call the professionals at SERVPRO of Edmonds 425-775-5723 or visit out website at www.SERVPROedmonds.com.
How To Handle The Aftermath of a Flooded Home
If you have recently dealt with some water damage or flood damage, you know how frustrating it can be to get water cleanup done. Mitigation and restoration services are needed to get your home back to working condition. Experts at SERVPRO of Edmonds use their own labor force and tools to do the drying for you, ensuring that the water cleanup is done in a convenient and effective manner.
When Water Damage Happens
When water damage hits your home, you'll often have difficulty cleaning it up on your own. Water cleanup is imperative for you when you are trying to restore your home back to working order. SERVPRO of Edmonds will come into your house and do an inspection of the flooded home and water damage that is present. They will then do any and all drying mitigation for you so that restoration is done in a quick manner. Mitigation and restoration done by an expert restoration company can be costly, however you'll find that many insurance companies pay for this to be done. You do not need to feel alone or overwhelmed, let SERVPRO of Edmonds walk you through the process.
Restoration and Mitigation Services- Commercial
For those who have water in their home or are even dealing with water in a business, you should consider hiring a restoration company to do all of the drying for you. A flooded office can be handled quickly, and you will be able to have a licensed professional fix a pipe break or supply line break for you. If you do not know how to fix the pipe break on your own, hire an expert plumber.
Trust the professional at SERVPRO of Edmonds to take good care of your home or business during a stressful time. We will walk you through the process, provide excellent communication and get your home or building back to preloss conditions all while working closely with your insurance company. Call us at 425-775-5723.
Water Damage Restoration Methods
Water is one of the most destructive substances in the indoor environment. Excess flooding or moisture can cause rapid deterioration of structures and personal properties. In that case, water damage can be more dangerous when the water cleanup services are postponed. Also, the destructive effects of water can be sharply reduced by the effective intervention of a restoration professional such as SERVPRO of Edmonds within the first 48 hours. Although water damage can be severe, restoration and water cleanup can still produce amazing results.
Water is an important substance to homes and businesses. Businesses and homes cannot survive without water. However, water in home or water in business can be a mess and is often caused by the following factors:
- Leaking or bursting pipes.
• Faulty household appliances.
• Natural disasters such as storms and other weather-related problems.
• HVAC issues.
• Faulty plumbing systems.
• Problems with water in home or water in business are also caused by basement humidity and sewer back up, which is invaded by the clogged drain lines and tree roots.
• Flash Flooding
What to do when you experience a flooded home:
Normally, more than 80% of the disasters that are handled by a restoration company or mitigation experts include flood damage, supply line break, pipe break, and storms. Addressing the issues with water in business or water in home should be faster because it is one of the critical ways of securing the structures of your personal properties. Therefore, the following are the various steps to consider when dealing with a flooded home:
• The excess water should be removed by mopping, blotting, and drying.
• The process of water cleanup should be carried out after you have removed items such as lamps, jewelry, and electronics.
• In the case of a supply line break or pipe break, switch off the main water line.
• If you happened to experience a flooded home during the summer, turn on the air conditioning systems for maximum drying.
• Before the water cleanup or water damage mitigation, art objects should be moved to a safe and dry place.
• After the water cleanup, inspect on what caused the pipe break or supply line break.
• During water damage restoration, you should remove colored mats from wet carpets.
• Drying of a flooded home should start when you have already switched off the main power supply. Also, mitigation and restoration experts recommend that you turn off the main gas supply during the water cleanup.
• Before deciding on the drying method to use for the emergency mitigation, it is imperative that you consulted with a trained and licensed professional
• You can also take photos and documentation of items and structures that are affected by the flood damage. The pictures and documentation can then be presented to a restoration company, which will give you a proper directive regarding the type of claim to pursue. There are two types of claims, water damage claim, and flood damage claim.
Things not to do after experiencing problems with water in home or water in business:
• Do not use the household vacuum for water removal during the restoration process.
• Do not turn on ceiling fixtures when the ceiling is wet. You should also avoid the rooms that have sagging ceilings.
• Do not leave magazines or books on a wet floor after the damage restoration.
• Do not fix electrical appliances or electrical sockets if you are not sure of the procedure to follow.
Upkeep In Properties Inhabited by Aging Populations
A topic not always discussed but certainly a concern is the amount of upkeep and care necessary for property (specifically multifamily). A vast part of our population falls under ‘The Matures’, Baby Boomers, Generation X and is profoundly changing our economy, specifically real estate and financial markets. We often refer to these groups as an ‘Aging in Place’ individual or group in a multifamily community. It is necessary that we identify the special needs of the aging community – both the people and the physical structures they inhabit. Special considerations and planning must be made to keep things running smoothly such as mental health, medical and management (financial and maintenance) concerns. Being prepared for the unexpected is key; something we are very familiar with at SERVPRO of Edmonds.
Quick statistics regarding aging properties;
- 65% of the nation’s owner-occupied homes are inhabited by individuals older than the age of 55.
- By the year 2025 there will be 94.9 million senior adults live in our country
The two areas of major concern include the following:
Architectural Concerns for the property; is the property structurally sound? Damaged in any way? Are the energy efficiency issues?
Physical Concerns for the inhabitants; is the resident safe and in good health? Is their unit outfitted with the correct fixtures for their mobility level? Do they have enough set aside for their retirement income?
According to the Community Association Institute statistics over 60% of condos and HOAs throughout the United States are under-funded for reserve replacements and 4,000 associations have no reserves at all. This is a large concern considering unexpected maintenance and emergencies can happen at any time and we know this all too well at SERVPRO of Edmonds. If you think you have an emergency in your property don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723. We have vast experience in multi-family, commercial and residential properties.
Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Rental Property
How can you ensure protecting your property from damage? Take proper precautions and work smarter, not harder. Performing preventive maintenance on your investment properties will keep you from paying costly utilities, damage repairs, and renovations. At SERVPRO of Edmonds we enjoy working with Property Managers and helping them protect their client’s investments. Education and preparedness is a great part of success and we have put together some helpful tips for rental property owners or managers:
- Know Your Tenants Before signing a lease, always have a clear understanding of who you are renting to; set your expectations accordingly. Are they responsible? Trustworthy? Clean?
- Set Up a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
Put together annual and monthly maintenance schedules to share with your tenant so that they’re aware of your plans. Do regular inspections to check on any problem areas in the home, such as drafts, wall cracks, and leaks.
Some items to include on your maintenance schedules are:
- Pest control and prevention
- Carpet cleaning
- Landscaping upkeep
- HVAC inspection and cleaning
- Kitchen appliance inspection
- Maintenance tasks can pile up quickly. If you or your tenant feel overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional to handle one or more tasks. While cost is a factor, outsourcing maintenance tasks can conserve your most precious asset: time. Choose a professional company that is licensed, bonded and insured.
- Track Expenses. While maintaining a property will definitely help keep large costs down, maintenance costs can certainly cut into the bottom line of your investment if you’re not careful. Keep records to track profitability.
Tips To Reduce Moisture Problems Leading To Mold
Tips To Reduce Mold:
A moisture problem in your space can quickly turn into a mold cleanup problem. Mold grows best in damp conditions, and as it is airborne, it spreads easily. Spores grow and bloom into colonies, and those colonies can permanently alter the aesthetics of a space, in addition to releasing dangerous bacteria into the air. These tips will help you reduce the damage done by mold growth.
Turn Off Your Air Conditioning System
Mold spores are ever present in the air around you. Generally, that isn’t a problem, but it becomes one when those spores find a suitable place to grow and flourish. Mold spores move through the air easily, and an air conditioning system that moves the air through your property will spread the spores around until they land in the best environment for growth. Turning off your HVAC system will help to keep the spores stationary until they can be properly removed from the space.
Turn Off Your Water
Whether your moisture problem is from a leaky connection, a busted pipe, or flood conditions, turning off your water can only help to dry out your space. Moving water is always in danger of being deposited in the wrong place, and damp conditions are ideal for mold growth. Keep the problem isolated as long as possible by turning off your water at the main connection to avoid spreading the spores throughout the property, making mold cleanup easier.
Call a Professional
Mold spores cannot be completely removed from a space, because they’re airborne. However, a qualified professional can mitigate that mold growth to keep it at a normal level. They’ll use specialized equipment like dehumidifiers to remove the growth conditions and air filtration devices to remove the excess spores from the air.
Your moisture problem doesn’t have to lead to a black mold infestation; mold cleanup requires just a few special steps to isolate and mitigate the issue. Visit http://www.SERVPROedmonds.com for more information on mold.
Do You Have Mold In Your Crawlspace?
Do you have problems with moisture in your crawlspace? Has a water leak caused mold, mildew or wood rot?
Crawl spaces are prone to mold growth due to the high levels of moisture and humidity in these areas. Some of the most common causes of increased levels of humidity in the crawl space include water leaks, damaged insulation, and inadequate ventilation. To get rid of a mold problem in the crawl space, you have to control the moisture and humidity levels. Review our tips for how to prevent mold issues;
- Check for water leaks in the foundation walls and crawl space ceiling — make sure there are no cracks that allow water to leak inside the crawl space. While checking for cracks, be sure to also inspect the HVAC ducts and plumbing components for leaks.
- Ensure that the gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation. Water that flows toward your house could enter your crawl space and basement.
- Make sure your crawl space is properly ventilated — for every 150 square feet of crawl space area, there should be 1 square foot of ventilation. However, consult a professional to determine if you should keep the crawl space vents closed and, if so, find other ways to control the humidity in the crawl space.
- Use plastic sheeting covers to insulate/encapsulate the crawl space floor and foundation walls. Vapor barriers like plastic sheeting covers trap the moisture that is evaporating from the soil and walls.
- If your crawl space is already insulated, inspect the insulation once or twice a year. Make sure the insulation is not missing or sagging, which indicates that there could be a water problem.
- Make sure dryer vents always discharge to the outside and not into the crawl space, attic or other area of the house. If they don’t, this can lead to a major increase in humidity.If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Call SERVPRO of Edmonds. Our trained and certified mold remediation technicians can diagnose your crawlspace moisture problem and get your crawlspace dried out in no time. Our technicians will remove any wet insulation in your crawlspace, treat the mold and mildew with an anti-microbial solution, dry the wet floor joists or subfloor, and remove and reset the vapor barrier so that you have no more problems of moisture damaging your home environment.
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
- What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Edmonds for mold remediation services.
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
Frozen Pipes? Call the SERVPRO of Edmonds Team!
Severe winter weather ranks third as a cause of insured catastrophic losses, after hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Losses from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures across the United States average about $1.2 billion a year, according to the New York Times.
Preparing your home for cold weather can help avoid potentially costly problems, like frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if you put it into a freezer to chill quickly and forget it. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If the water expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes, and major damage can begin.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
So what can you do to avoid frozen pipes? First, make sure your heating system is working properly and that vulnerable pipes, like those that run close to your exterior walls, are insulated.
If you go away for several days in the winter, make sure you leave the heat on. The Insurance Information Institute recommends setting your thermostat at 65 degrees.
Have someone check your home and property, if you can. If you expect to be away for extended periods - say, you go South for the winter - have your water turned off.
Other actions you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing are:
- Seal air leaks surrounding or near your pipes
- Keep your garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage.
- Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
- Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Keep your heat at a minimum of 55 degrees at all times. Keep it at 65 when you're out of town.
- During severe cold turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
- Remove your outside hoses and store them inside during the winter.
- If you need to be away from home, consider draining your water system before you go.
- Identify the locations of shut-off valves so that you're prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.
If a pipe bursts:
- Shut off water at the main valve. Your shut-off should be easily marked with a tag. Call SERVPRO of Edmonds if you would like one.
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
- Call a professional restoration expert such as SERVPRO of Edmonds to mitigate the damage. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access!
Call us anytime at 425-775-5723.
Thanksgiving Cautions: Dangers to Consider before Deep Frying Your Turkey
Serving a deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving has grown in popularity over the years as people experiment more in their kitchens. While it may be a mouth-watering option is the risk truly worth it? Many of you may have seen the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires publicized online. Don’t run the risk of property damage or injury – make sure you take the proper precautions when menu planning this season; especially if you are taking on a deep fried turkey.
- Turkey Fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area. Consider placement of the fryer, is it flat, sturdy, out of reach from children?
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill when the turkey is put in and a frozen or partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter (sometimes with great force) when put in the pot
- Even a small amount of cooking oil spilt on a hot burner can cause a considerable flame or fire
- Without thermostat controls some turkey fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. Make sure it’s not too hot.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and handles can get dangerously hot. Protect you hands when maneuvering to prevent injury or spillage
Your friends at SERVPRO of Edmonds wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and remind you to stay safe. Remember, our team is on call 24/7 365 days a year, no matter what holiday or time of night. If you experience a fire SERVPRO of Edmonds will come to your rescue, don’t hesitate to call 425-775-5723.
How To Locate A Residential Water Shut-Off Valve
It’s important to know where your main water shut-off valve is in case of an emergency. If a pipe bursts, dishwasher fails or a toilet overflows, shutting off the water can significantly reduce water damage. It is also an excellent idea to turn off your water if you are leaving for an extended amount of time. Keep in mind; if the water has been off for a long time, open all the faucets in your home before turning the main water shut-off valve back on. In some cases, the surge of water in empty pipes may damage plumbing or faucet.
The locations of your water shut-off valves vary depending on your geographical location, water source and type of residence. Unfortunately, shut-off valves aren’t always obvious and its important to know their location before a disaster strikes. Utilize the tips below to locate your water shut-off valves.
How to Find Water Shut-off Valves
There are multiple shut-off valves in a house – typically one for each of your appliances that uses water and a main shut-off valve for the entire house. You can usually find shut-off knobs for your toilet, sink or washing machine behind the units or under the sink. If your toilet is about to overflow, don’t waste time by running around looking for the main water shut-off valve – simply turn the water shut-off knob behind the toilet.
Well Water (Main) Shut-off Valve
Wells usually have two main shut-off valves: There is a valve that goes from the well to the pressure tank and another valve from the pressure tank to your plumbing. Shut-off both valves if you are concerned about frozen pipes. .
Pressure tanks may be in the basement, garage or closet. To find the pressure tank shut-off valve, look for a valve or knob near the tank. The shut-off valve is usually connected to the same pipe that has the pressure gauge on it.
The well is usually located near the pressure tank but may be outside in a small well house or elsewhere. The well shut-off valve should be near the well or even in a small utility box buried in the ground near the well. If multiple valves are visible, only turn one at a time, and then check the corresponding faucet to see if it worked. Once you have found the right valve, mark it for future reference. You can also trip the circuit breaker to the well to temporarily deactivate the well pump.
City Water (Main) Shut-off Valve
In colder climates this main is usually located in your home’s utility room, along with the furnace or water heater. The main shut-off valve should be on the largest water pipe in this area. Look for pipes that lead directly out of the foundation toward the street.
In warm climates you may find the shut-off valve in a plastic or concrete utility box in the ground toward the front of your house, near the street and sometimes can be covered by dirt.
Did You Find the Shut-off Valve Too Late?
If water damage has occurred call SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 and our team will respond immediately. If you would like a complimentary water shut-off tag for your property one of our friendly staff members will send you one to your home or business.
SERVPRO of Edmonds Supports First Responders
WSCAI Earth Day
Did you know that national volunteer week is April 15-21st? At SERVPRO of Edmonds we would like to take a moment to thank all of the first responders in the community from firefighters, police, EMTs and military personnel. We value all of your hard work and dedication to keeping our citizens safe. Our team enjoys supporting our first responders by collaborating on Emergency Preparedness workshops in the community and donating care packages to local veteran’s housing. We understand the importance of being a first responder as we go above and beyond for our customers who have suffered a water or fire loss.
FEMA’s community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is comprised of volunteers that are trained to be prepared for local disasters such as fires, floods or earthquakes. These groups practice basic response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. With more than 2,700 CERT programs over 600,000 people have been trained nationwide. Several members of our staff have taken the initiative to become CERT members.
SERVPRO of Edmonds plan to support volunteer week with our annual commitment to WSCAI’s Earth Day Project. WSCAI (Washington State Community Associations Institute) spends a day each year focusing on a community improvement project that often incorporates cleaning and landscaping. To find out more about WSCAI’s Earth Day visit their website at https://wscai.org/