Recent Posts

Change of Plans: Keeping Your Cool When Your Flight Is Canceled

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Yellow sign that says ¨Are You Ready?¨ By planning ahead and taking measures to make sure you stay as in control of your schedule as possible, you can alleviate some of that stress.

Sometimes when you make travel plans to go on a trip or visit family, Mother Nature has other plans. A delayed or canceled flight is a more common occurrence during storm season. If you plan to travel during seasons where bad weather is possible, here are some storm tips for staying calm and making the best of your altered schedule.

Make a Plan

Preparing for storms starts before you book your flight. There are some factors to take into consideration when planning your trip:

• Weather forecast, not just for your home in Renton, WA, but also for the path your flight will take
• List of hotels in the area
• Extra cash or credit available for emergency accommodations
• Cancellation policies on your destination accommodations

If you receive notice of a delayed or canceled flight after you've booked, you can still benefit from planning ahead. Pack light so that you don't have to worry about checked luggage as plans shift. Leave for the airport as if the flight is still on schedule to compensate for other last-minute changes or increased traffic.

Stay in Control

Your smartphone is your best friend when flight plans change at the last minute. You can keep the airline's number and an app for easy hotel booking so that you can skip lines, ask for compensation for your inconvenience and arrange alternate flights and stays from wherever you are. It is also a good idea to keep contact information for a local storm restoration company on your phone just in case you get reports of damaging conditions while you are away from home and need to get on their service waitlist.

Late changes in your schedule caused by a canceled flight can be frustrating, but they don't have to completely derail your plans. By planning ahead and taking measures to make sure you stay as in control of your schedule as possible, you can alleviate some of that stress.

Mold Prevention: It's Easier Than You Think

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth to ceiling and wall. Mold prevention is a necessary evil of homeownership.

Mold damage can be costly to remediate, and if allowed to spread, it can cause irreversible damage to your home. For this reason, you want to take measures to stop it in its tracks or, better yet, prevent it entirely. There are nine mold prevention steps you can begin doing today to prevent growth and to preserve the integrity of your home:

1. Identify problem areas and correct them immediately.

2. Dry wet areas as quickly as possible.

3. Equip rooms prone to moisture buildup with adequate ventilation.

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products.

5. Monitory indoor humidity levels.

6. Clean or repair gutters.

7. Direct water away from your home.

8. Keep mold off household plants.

9. Improve airflow in your home.

When you follow these nine steps, you can better keep dreaded house fungus at bay.

Inspection Is Key to Mold Prevention

Mold thrives in moist environments, which is why you need to regularly inspect areas in which there is a lot of moisture. These include bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and beneath any sinks. If you discover water damage, a leak or another moisture issue, correct it immediately and then dry out the area. This step is crucial in preventing mold.

Home Improvement Helps

You can also prevent mold growth by outfitting your home with all the right equipment. This includes dehumidifiers, adequate ventilation systems, and mold-resistant products.

There are improvements you can make to the exterior of your home to keep mold at bay as well. For one, direct water away from your home. This may require regarding your landscape. Make sure your gutters are in good working order and clean year-round. This can help prevent water from sitting on your roof and causing costly damage.

Mold prevention is a necessary evil of homeownership. If you want to preserve the integrity of your Renton, WA, home, implement the above measures and work with a mold remediation expert who can provide advice and help as necessary.

4 Weekend Projects to Reduce Flooding on Your Property

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Garden flowers in rain. Summer flower background. Natural backgrounds Rain gardens can help direct water flow and decrease flood damage to your home.

4 Weekend Projects to Help Your Home Flood Less

Not all home flooding is from a devastating local river flood or a hurricane. Sometimes floods happen when a hard rain overwhelms your property too quickly. You may experience this regularly in East Renton Highlands, WA. Here are a few weekend projects to help manage storm water on your property:

1. Clean gutters on your home. Help water flow efficiently and away from your home by regularly cleaning your gutters. Make sure downspouts are clear and point away from your foundation. This will help prevent pooling of water along your roof or at your foundation.

2. Keep storm drains clean. Don't throw anything in the storm drains along your street. Help keep trash picked up so it doesn't get washed into the storm drains. Clean storm drains mean water clears the streets more quickly with less standing water causing property damage. If your local municipality does not regularly clean the drains, contact them about forming a volunteer group to help keep your street clear.

3. Create a rain garden. It sounds like some trendy cause that is just for aesthetics, but actually rain gardens can direct the flow of water and reduce flood damage on your property. Focus on moving water away from your foundation.

4. Consider installing retaining walls or utilizing slopes. If there is a regular flow of water toward your foundation or water is regularly flooding the base of your home after storms, consider routing the water with the use of slopes and retaining walls. Realize that even your home garden beds around the foundation of your home should slope away from the home and not trap water along your structure's base.

You can help minimize damage from flooding with a few weekend projects like these. Your property will look nicer and you'll prevent costly damage to your structure when you divert water away from your home. When you do find water damage, it's important to address it right away because mold colonies can grow quickly and further damage building materials. Professionals are available and trained to help with storm damage, and can make the remediation process efficient and thorough.

3 Reasons Why Bleaching Mold Helps the Fungus and Not Your Business

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Empty room, walls with mold growth Take action as soon as mold appears.

Bleaching Is Not Good For Mold Cleanup

When you discover mold at your Newcastle, WA, property, you may seek out bleach to treat it. Bleaching has been touted as a potent biocide for fungus cleanup, but it is actually not effective or recommended. Here are three reasons why bleaching is not the most effective method of mold cleanup.

1. A Wet Environment Means More Mold

Mold is a quickly reproducing organism when it gets an opportunity. It reproduces by spreading spores that search for suitably moist and warm environments. While the mold may seem gone after a surface scrubbing of a chlorine product, it can return days later if the damp environment mold loves is still untreated.

Organizations such as the EPA have advised to avoid using biocides without professional judgment because of the risk of potentially worsening the fungus growth. The EPA advises that moisture control is the only completely effective way to kill mold.

Small levels of spores will always remain despite disinfection. The best way to stop them from recolonizing is to prevent them from having a suitable place to grow. Lingering water that mold needs to live can be removed from your business by a professional water and mold cleanup crew.

2. More Water Is Added With Its Use

The most available bleach products are 99% water. By using it for mold cleanup, you are only creating a better environment for fungus growth with additional moisture. While the surface mold may seemingly go away, the material instead becomes perfect for any lingering spores to resettle later.

3. It Is Not Thorough

For comprehensive cleanup, bleach does not cut it. Porous materials such as wood are where the roots of the fungus, known as hyphae, settle. By only cleaning the surface of these materials, the roots continue to spread the spores but more effectively with the help of water that seeps down.

When choosing the best route of cleanup for mold, bleaching should not be something considered. Fungus cleanup at your business can only be accomplished by sterilizing and creating an environment free of problems that allowed the mold to grow in the first place.

How To Prevent Fires When Grilling

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Fire grill Deep clean the grill at least once per season.

Avoid Fires When Grilling

There are several ways to prevent a grill fire from starting. This guide to safer grilling begins with recommendations about setting up the grilling area before moving on to grill maintenance and food preparation suggestions. Following these steps can help you safely cook outside in Coalfield,WA.

Where you grill can be as important as how you grill when it comes to preventing a BBQ fire. Here are a few tips for setting up the grilling area:

  • Avoid grilling on a porch or patio with a roof
  • Situate the grill at a safe distance from combustibles
  •  Do not kindle your grill inside or attempt to grill indoors
  • Never leave the grilling area unattended by an adult while the fire remains active
  • Once you finish, keep children and pets away from hot coals.

It is also important to keep your grill clean. A grill with a build-up of fat rendered from cooked meat can cause flareups and increase the risk of a grill fire.

  • Regularly scrape down the grill with a wire brush
  • Deep clean the grill at least once per season.
  • Don't put your grill away while it is still hot
  • Use caution when cleaning out ash.

Fire prevention starts even before the food gets on the grill. You can reduce the risk of flareups and save time on cleanup later with a little preparation.

  • Trim off excess fat before cooking
  • Avoid letting towels or napkins come into contact with open flames
  • Exercise caution if using an igniting agent

All of these tips are intended to help you prevent a grill fire and BBQ smoke damage. If a BBQ fire does break out, contact the fire department to make sure that the flames are completely extinguished. If any part of your home has sustained damage, you should also schedule a consultation with a residential damage restoration service in Coalfield,WA.

Burst Pipes and Paperwork: The Basics of the Water Damage Claim

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet, standing water on carpet, water damage Water damage due to burst pipe in Elliot, WA.

The Basics of a Water Damage Claim

An insurance claim, especially for burst pipes, is often a dreaded piece of paperwork, not only for the damage it represents but for the somewhat mysterious process involved. The basics have been broken down for you below to help demystify the process.

1. Request and Submit Claim Forms

After broken pipes cause a flood, call your insurance provider immediately and request any claim forms. During your initial conversation, it is appropriate to ask any coverage questions you may have. Understanding your policy now will mean fewer errors on the forms later and less likelihood of your form’s rejection after submission.

2. Mitigate Further Damage

While the insurance claim process can take several weeks to complete, you do not have to allow your home to sustain further damage. In fact, most insurers require homeowners take mitigative action to reduce the risk of continued loss. Therefore, you should remove excess water, board up any broken windows, shut off problematic water lines and clean out the affected areas.

3. Itemize Damages and Losses

After making a claim, your insurance company may send out an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and any potential liabilities. You can make this process more efficient by itemizing any structural damages and property losses. Additionally, an adjuster may want a record of any acquired expenses because of the pipe burst damage, such as cleanup and mitigation costs. Keep Receipts for cleaning materials and pictures of losses as proof.

4. Ask Questions and Seek Assistance

While your insurance company can offer you the most significant insight into your coverage, you may want to search the Elliot, WA, area for a restoration specialist who can answer your mitigation concerns. Mitigation professionals have the expertise to either help you understand the process or to complete the cleanup process for you. As most insurance companies prefer you work with a professional, it may be beneficial to secure several cleanup bids to show the adjuster when they come.

The insurance claim process may seem a bit daunting, but it really comes down to paperwork, mitigation, itemization and cleanup. The process, while intimidating, is manageable when you understand the basics above.

Can You Avoid a Clothes Dryer Fire?

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning lint fever Clean the lint filter of your dryer.

As dryer lint builds up in your clothes dryer, you'll have to deal with more than pesky bits of fluff falling out of the appliance. The lint invariably works its way deep inside the metal shell and negatively impacts the efficiency of the dryer. Your increased power and maintenance bills in Coalfield, WA, aren't the last things to worry about either. Perhaps the situation that should cause you the most concern is the growing possibility of a lint fire.

Did You Know?

There are many startling facts about home fires and clothes dryers from the United States Fire Administration.

  • Nearly 3,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported every year.
  • Failing to clean the dryer is the leading cause of those fires.
  • The fires happen most often during the fall and winter.
  • Each year these fires cause $35 million in property loss.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers several suggestions for preventing a lint fire. The first recommendation is to have your appliance installed and serviced by a professional. Don't run the dryer without a clean lint filter. Keep the back of the dryer clean and regularly check the venting system to be sure it is open and not damaged or restricted. Finally, make sure the outside vent covering opens when the dryer is running.

Cleaning the Lint Filter

How can you clean lint from the dryer? Of course, pulling the lint filter out and removing lint by hand is a convenient and simple task. If it's been a while since you cleaned the back panel and the exhaust hose, you should unplug the dryer and use a vacuum or cloth to clean the interior and exhaust areas. This deeper clean should be completed every six months or more to avoid a dryer fire. From time to time, you should rinse the dryer screen and vacuum out the lint trap.

If you aren't sure how long it's been or how to proceed, you may want to contact a fire damage professional in your area for more tips and pointers. Ultimately, regular maintenance is one of the best steps toward avoiding a lint fire.

Understanding the Terms of Business Interruption Insurance

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial bathroom flooded Commercial bathroom flooded in Renton, WA

When a broken pipe leads to flooding, your Renton, WA, organization could be out of business for days or months, depending on the extent of the damage. Without the appropriate protection, this could lead to huge financial losses. Fortunately, commercial property insurance and business interruption endorsements are available to help offset those losses.

Understand Important Insurance Terms

For the best results, make sure you understand some of the terms your insurance agent may use. The better you understand how your coverage works, the better prepared you'll be to work with insurance agents, cleaning and restoration technicians, and other professionals.

Actual Loss: This refers to the business interruption losses you experience as a direct result of physical property damage.
Business Income: This is the net income you would have earned if you had continued operating normally. This typically also includes expenses you would have incurred, including payroll.
Period of Restoration: This is the time frame covered by insurance, beginning at the moment when large water damage occurs and ending when your property should be restored.

Of course, you should always read the insurance policy declaration page that provides all the details of your coverage, including the time period, the insurer's responsibilities, and perhaps your duties, as well.

Protect the Extent of Your Coverage

In many cases, one of your responsibilities when flooding interrupts your business is to immediately inform the insurance company. You're also responsible to prevent further damages from happening. It's very important that you understand what your policy covers and does not cover. In many cases, trying to clean up water damage on your own could negatively impact your compensation from the insurance company. On the other hand, many insurers work directly with water damage remediation companies.

Large-scale flooding and other disasters can lead to heavy financial losses. The more you know about business interruption insurance, the better prepared you'll be to minimize those losses and recover from the catastrophe.

How To Know If You Have Black Water

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle What type of water are you dealing with?

If your commercial property in Kennydale, WA, has been affected by water damage from a flood or other water issue, it's important to know and understand some basics, such as steps for restoration and prevention tips. However, one of the most important things to learn is what type of water you are dealing with. Depending on the type of water your commercial building sustains, it could affect you and your employees’ safety and may change your steps for restoration.

What Are the Different Categories of Damage?

There are three types of damage categories, depending on the category of water. The categories are:

  • Category 1, or clean water
  • Category 2, or gray water
  • Category 3, or black water

The type of damage you have is based on the level of contamination in the water. Category 1 water damage is called clean water because it is not contaminated and does not contain harmful bacteria. It can come from things like broken appliances or overflow from the sink. Category 2 comes from water that has microorganisms in it or is otherwise contaminated. It may be caused by broken toilets or seepage. Category 3 is called black water because it is highly contaminated and contains bacteria. This type of water can be caused by sewage problems.

What To Do if You Have Category 3 Water
Black water, or category 3, causes the highest degree of damage and requires added protection when beginning to clean it out of your commercial building. Instead of trying to clean it yourself, call in a professional water restoration company to take care of it. The company will have professional cleaning and restoration equipment to get your building back to normal as quickly as possible while ensuring everyone is safe. Any objects that have been affected by category 3 water that can absorb water should be replaced.
If your commercial building has been affected by water damage, it's important to act quickly and begin restoration to get back to normal as soon as possible.

Tips for Swamp Cooler Maintenance in Your Home

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Rusty air conditioner leaking A leaking swamp cooler is often a breeding ground for mold.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance

While many homes in the U.S. use air conditioners to cool down in the summer, in some areas, particularly in the Southwest, homes use evaporative coolers, often referred to as swamp coolers. While these devices have several positives, such as using little electricity to run, they do have an association with mold in homes. In fact, a leaking swamp cooler can spread mold throughout a home. This is because the cooler can harbor mold in the central part of the device. From there, a fan distributes the mold spores throughout the house by way of the duct system.

The First Solution
A leaking swamp cooler should be fixed as quickly as possible. This mostly involves cleaning the device before mold has had a chance to grow. A person running this type of cooler should follow these steps:

  • Pay attention to the operation of the cooler
  • Be alert to signs of musty smells indicating the presence of mold
  • Clean the cooler of mold deposits
  • Replace cellulose pads as needed

A more permanent solution is to replace the cooler with a modern air conditioner. Newer air conditioners use less energy than in the past, and they are more likely to improve indoor air quality in a home in The Landing, WA.

The Second Option for stopping Mold Growth
A professional mold remediation team is trained to deal with mold problems. Highly-trained workers understand the characteristics of mold, know how to find it and have effective techniques to control it. In situations where mold spores have spread throughout the home and entered the HVAC system, the technicians will clean and disinfect the ducts and remove the mold. Certified professionals will also recommend the best method to make sure mold does not return.
A leaking swamp cooler is often a breeding ground for mold, especially in hot and humid conditions. It is best to make sure the unit is cleaned regularly or to replace it with a new system.