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3 Steps To Take When Making a Water Damage Claim

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

Home Insurance Claim Documenting flood damage for your insurance claim can help you retain proof of what you file.

When Filing A Water Damage Claim, Follow These 3 Steps

It can be hard to plan for flooding and how it might affect your Renton, WA, home. However, there are a few ways you can prepare in case an incident should occur. Knowing how to make a flood insurance claim is one way you can be ready to handle the damage, and there are a few steps you can take when the time comes to file.

1. Contact Your Agent

Once you and your family are safely out of your damaged home, it is a good idea to call your insurance agent right away. Let them know the details of the flooding, such as where it came from, how deep the standing water is and what you need to do in order to get your claim started. Your agent can advise you about whether you can file from your insurance app or if they need to send a claims adjuster out to evaluate the damage.

2. Take Photos

Documenting flood damage for your insurance claim can help you retain proof of what you file. However, it is important that you only take photos if you can do so safely. Remember to leave items as they are for the photos so your insurance company can help you estimate the cost of the damage before cleanup efforts begin.

3. Call in a Professional Restoration Company

Getting an opinion about what it will take to restore your home can help you create a viable recovery budget. Calling in a water damage and restoration company may be helpful, as they can advise you about any possible problems with structural issues or mold growth after a pipe burst or water line break causes deep standing water in your home.

Making an insurance claim after flooding affects your Renton, WA, home can be stressful. However, when you know which steps to take, the process may go more smoothly.

Tips for Preventing Mold Growth and Contamination After a Flood

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded home It's vital to handle water damage as soon as possible after a flood in your home to avoid secondary flood damage.

After A Flood, Here Are Some Suggestions For Preventing Mold Growth And Contamination.

A storm or leak that causes your Newcastle, WA, home to flood can lead to mold growth that exacerbates the damage you must address. Mold mitigation is an essential aspect of a post-flood recovery plan and involves the following.

Immediate Water Removal
It is critical to remove water from your space as quickly as possible after a flood to avoid mold damage. You can start by taking these steps:

Open windows to create cross-ventilation
Run dehumidifiers to draw water from the air
Run fans to speed the water evaporation
Remove absorbent furnishings to a dry environment
Use a water vacuum to extract water

Professional Services To Prevent and Mitigate Mold Growth
Although you can take steps to dry out your space and belongings, severe flooding that affects large areas of your home requires assistance from a professional emergency disaster recovery company. These companies provide various services to dry your space, prevent mold from growing and spreading and prevent further contamination by removing it after it forms.

Mold begins to grow in a moist environment within 48 hours after a flood. Therefore, emergency crews will take extensive measures to remove water and prevent mold damage. For example, they may use industrial-strength water extraction equipment, including HEPA vacuums, humidifiers, and air movement devices.

Next, mold specialists will inspect your property for moisture pockets using various technologies, including infrared cameras. It is vital to detect and address water in invisible parts of your home, including behind walls, before it causes significant mold damage.

Finally, mold removal professionals can prevent the spread or growth of new mold by removing spores from the air and interior surfaces. This process includes isolating areas of contamination and using air scrubber machines that create negative pressure to prevent mold-infested air from migrating to other spaces and causing further damage.

After a flood at your home in Newcastle, WA, it is critical to address water damage as quickly as possible to eliminate secondary flood damage due to mold growth.

Tips for Removing Foul Odors After a Flood

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Mold growth and lingering odors are just two of the issues you'll have to deal with after a flood. at SERVPRO, we help you solve it.

After A Flood, Here Are Some Tips For Removing Foul Odors

The water damage that occurs when your home floods in Renton,WA, often comes with odors and mold growth that continue to permeate your residence long after the water has subsided. You can take care to eliminate odors and preserve the safety of your dwelling with the following measures:

1. Air Things Out

Open all doors and windows to allow air to circulate in your residence. This should help dissipate any lingering smells that remain and will also facilitate drying of the affected areas.

2. Dry the Wet Areas

You may install dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Removing moisture from porous and absorbent surfaces such as carpet and upholstery can greatly reduce the chance of foul aromas remaining after the flood and can mitigate the appearance of mold.

3. Deodorize Your Home

There are natural and inexpensive methods that you can utilize to expedite the deodorizing process in your house. Baking soda sprinkled into carpets and other absorbent surfaces then vacuumed up can help greatly with getting rid of foul odors. On less porous surfaces, vinegar applied liberally can aid in combating persistent smells.

4. Keep an Eye Out for Mold

As with any area that has had prolonged exposure to moisture, mold growth can be a threat that, if not addressed immediately, poses a potentially recurrent problem that can present itself throughout the life span of your residence. It is imperative that proper steps are taken to ensure that mold and spores do not have the opportunity to spread in your home.

5. Be Aware of Contaminants

Sewage loss can lead to your home being contaminated by sewage contents when flood water finds its way past your threshold. This can leave behind an overpowering smell even after the moisture has been removed due to the bacteria in the water. These smells often cannot be removed by household cleaners and require the services of a professional flood restoration company.

Mold growth and lingering odors are just two of the issues you may have to contend with after a flood. Fortunately, with experienced mold remediation specialists, you don't have to go it alone.

How to Care for Electronics Damaged by Water

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a camera Hire a water remediation company to restore your electronics safely and quickly.

What to Do If Your Electronics Have Been Damaged by Water

Burst pipes or storms can cause flooding and water damage, potentially affecting not only flooring and furniture but electronic devices, as well. Flooded electronics must be cleaned and repaired differently from other water-damaged items due to the dangers of electric shock. Here are some steps to take if your electronics are damaged by water.

1. Put Safety First

Electronics plugged into outlets pose an electric shock hazard. Therefore, ensure electricity to your home is shut off before attempting to handle them. Never touch electronics while standing in water or while your body or clothes are wet. You should also remove batteries from devices before attempting to clean them.

2. Dry Your Devices

Despite popular rumors, rice is not an effective technique for removing water from electronics. Instead, use a dry cloth to wipe down the exteriors of your electronics. You can also gently rotate each device or take it apart to drain the interior components. Stop handling a device immediately if it begins melting, bubbling, sparking or smoking.

3. Store Flooded Electronics 

If possible, determine which electronics can be restored and which ones need to be replaced. You may still want to keep unsalvageable devices to be recycled or sold. Then, store the items in a safe, dry place. It's not recommended that you attempt to repair electronic damage yourself due to the following reasons:

  • Electric shock hazard
  • Corrosion in circuitry
  • Broken wiring

Even if a device appears fine after water exposure, it may eventually develop corrosion and stop working. A professional inspection of your electronics is merited to prevent further hassle down the road.

4. Hire Professional Help

Contact a professional restoration company to help restore your electronics. Water remediation experts are trained to safely remove water from your belongings, including electronics, using specialized methods and equipment.

 Hire a water remediation company to restore your electronics safely and quickly.
 

What To Do If Water Collects in a Crawl Space

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Water in a crawl space in your home can cause significant damage if not treated quickly; at SERVPRO, we can assist you in dealing with this issue.

What Should You Do If Water Collects In Your Crawl Space?

Water in a crawl space of your East Renton Highlands, WA, home can lead to major damage if left untreated. There can be a number of issues at the root of the problem, but no matter the cause, it is vital to quickly remove the water to avoid harmful rot and mold. Follow these tips if your home has a wet crawl space.

Determine the Cause

Moisture buildup in a home can be attributed to several factors, some with easier solutions than others. It's important to narrow down exactly what led to the wet crawl space. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Plumbing leaks
  • Clogged gutters
  • Underground water seepage due to heavy rain, foundation issues or insufficient drains

If you cannot pinpoint the source, a water damage restoration company can assess the property to determine where the problem lies.

Use a Sump Pump To Handle Flooding

Removing excess water is easy with a sump pump, a reliable tool for preventing flood damage. You can clear liquid out of a space in a pinch using a battery-powered backup pump. However, you may want to install either a submersible or pedestal sump pump in the room for long-term protection. This ensures excess water will be sucked into a basin instead of remaining in your home.

Take Steps To Waterproof Your Home

In addition to a sump pump, there are several ways to keep your home free of water issues. A dehumidifier can remove lingering moisture in the air. Avoid seepage by clearing your gutters and positioning them to drain away from the house. Seal any visible cracks within a crawl space to stop rain from coming in.

Don't let a wet crawl space damage your home. If you see water, quickly work to determine the cause, invest in a sump pump and execute consistent waterproofing practices to prevent future issues.

Sewage Backup: When To Call a Professional

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

The living room of a flooded house If you are having flooding issues and suspect storm or water damage, give SERVPRO a call at our 24-hour service line.

When Should You Hire A Professional For Sewage Backup?

If you return to your Newcastle, WA, home and find sewer backup in your bathtub or sink, you know it’s time to call a plumber. Regardless of where the blockage may be, the main sewer line may force dirty water up, resulting in bathtub backup. Getting to the root of the cause makes it easier to know if you should handle the mess yourself or get cleanup assistance from a professional storm and water damage restoration company.

Versatile, Trained Technicians

There may be a number of reasons that your sewage line back up. Typically, there will be signs, such as gurgling or slow draining. The main causes of a sewer backup include:

  • Tree Roots: Trees need water, which means their roots will go wherever they can find them. For homeowners, that may mean roots pushing into pipes and creating holes or crushing lines.
  • Clogs: Regardless if it is a clogged toilet or the mainline, there is the potential for sewage to make its way where it shouldn’t. Since a home’s water system all leads to one place, grease, hair and other materials being flushed or rinsed down the drain may quickly lead to a backup.
  • Damaged Lines: Depending on where you live, the sewage system may have old pipes that are prone to corrosion or decay.

If it is determined that the above is causing the problem, there’s a good chance that there will be minimal sewage leaking in. Once the problem is corrected, it can be cleaned if safety protocols are followed.

Flooding Requires a Professional

Another source of sewage issues is heavy rain and floodwaters. If that is the cause, there is also a good chance that there will be unwanted water in other areas besides the bathtub. Along with sewage, that floodwater may contain other contaminants that will require special equipment and gear to ensure it is properly cleaned.

A sewer backup is never a fun situation. Finding the cause is essential to fixing the issue and determining what cleanup method is best.

3 Tips To Secure a Building After a Fire

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

The higher portion of the roof was covered with blue tarp A fire can destroy windows and doors, exposing your structure to Mother Nature. Tarp vulnerable areas to protect them from wind and rain.

3 Ways To Secure A Building After A Fire

As a business owner in Renton, WA, you make careful plans for every possible event. You keep your employee records up to date and ensure that the fire safety plan is reviewed regularly, so your staff will be safe in an emergency. After a fire occurs, how would you secure your building until the fire damage repairs could be completed? If you don't have a plan, here are three tips to make one.

1. Assess the Fire Damage

Never enter a burning building. Once the building has been cleared by fire personnel as safe to enter, document all damage and contact your insurance company. Get detailed information on the extent of the damage as quickly as possible. Document all the fire-related damage so that if other damage occurs from rain or vandalism, you'll be able to file appropriate claims. A fire restoration company can execute a recovery plan.

2. Cover All Holes

A fire can burn out windows and doors, leaving your building susceptible to Mother Nature. However, fire cleanup can also cause holes as the professionals check for hot spots or other dangers. If possible, cover compromised parts of your building with tarps to keep out wind and rain. It may also be necessary to board up some larger holes or ground floor access to prevent anyone or anything from getting into the building.

3. Invest in Security

Unfortunately, a damaged building often attracts bad actors. Looting is a common problem after a fire because security is more lax. Protect your building by investing in security measures. Use portable floodlights to keep the area well-lit. Remove sensitive materials. Hire security guards and use cameras.

Restoring a building after fire damage often takes time. Make a plan to secure your building from weather, critters, and vandals so that you can focus on getting back to business quickly after a disaster.

How To Clean Your Microwave

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning Maintain the cleanliness of your microwave to ensure that it functions properly and that it removes any unpleasant smoke odors from your home.

How To Clean A Microwave Oven

Microwaves, like any other kitchen appliance in your Newcastle,WA, home, must be cleaned periodically to stay in top working condition. An unpleasant smoke smell can also appear if your device isn’t cleaned properly. If you need help restoring your after a kitchen fire, contact a fire restoration service right away.

Cleaning Tips After Every Use:

  • The inside of the microwave should be cleaned every time you use it.
  • Wipe the inside walls and the tray with a wet cloth right after use.

If food becomes hardened, place a bowl of water with a small amount of vinegar inside the unit and warm it up for several seconds. This acts as a steam clean to loosen the food particles. If the tray is especially dirty, place it in the sink filled with warm, sudsy water for a few minutes. Rinse and dry before replacing it.

Maintenance Steps For Periodic Cleaning

There are a few working parts within the appliance that need to be cleaned or replaced periodically. The charcoal filter should be changed a couple times a year. Since this filter absorbs pollutants, replacing it before it stops working helps to keep any smoke smell at bay. It’s important to note that the charcoal filter is only significant on units that have recirculating air. If your model vents to the outside, you can skip this maintenance step.

In over-the-counter ranges, the grease filter should be cleaned frequently. Manufacturer’s recommendations may vary, so follow the instructions in your operator’s manual. As a rule of thumb, however, once per month is sufficient to keep it working well. Remove the filter and place it in hot, soapy water. You can lightly scrub the filter with a soft brush if necessary.

The vent grill should be cleaned periodically as well. Refer to your owner’s manual for details on how to clean it.

Keep your microwave clean so that it functions well and removes unpleasant smoke smell from your home.

3 Tips To Prepare Your Business For a Disaster

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

evacuation plan - first floor Knowing your business’s risks and vulnerabilities is key to creating a disaster preparedness plan.

3 Disaster Preparedness Tips For Your Business

A natural disaster can strike with little or no warning, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Catastrophic events can be particularly devastating for business owners. While no one can completely prevent disasters from occurring, having a solid disaster preparedness plan in place for your business can go a long way to keep your employees safe, reduce your repair and remediation costs, and minimize your overall loss. Try these tips to establish a disaster plan for your business.

1. Understand Your Risks

Most businesses are at a greater risk for some types of disasters than others. The weather patterns in Renton,WA, are a key factor in assessing your disaster risk and understanding whether your business is more or less likely to experience a weather disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or blizzard.

In addition to weather, be aware of the risk factors that are unique to your business property. A restaurant, for example, might have a greater fire risk than an attorney’s office. Some businesses have a primary interest in safeguarding data while protecting inventory is a major concern for others. Knowing your business’s risks and vulnerabilities is key to creating a disaster preparedness plan.

2. Plan and Practice

Create a business preparedness plan that includes:

  • How and when to evacuate, including the route and meeting place
  • Procedures for backing up, shutting down, or transporting files and equipment
  • Role assignments, such as evacuation leader or first aid provider (make sure each assigned person is comfortable with his or her duties)

You may need multiple plans for different types of disasters.

3. Keep Emergency Contacts Handy

Compile a list of contact information for anyone you might need to contact immediately after a disaster, such as emergency responders, insurance agents, property managers, and contractors. Include phone numbers, email addresses, your policy numbers, and any other important information. Keep a copy in the business, a copy in your phone, and a copy in your vehicle.

Creating a disaster preparedness plan takes some effort, but the rewards will be well worth the effort if a disaster hits your property.

What To Do When Your Toilet Overflows While You Shower

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Larger or unreachable clogs may require a professional plumber to deal with the clog and sewage cleanup professionals to dry out your bathroom.

What Should You Do If Your Toilet Overflows While You're Showering?

Have you stepped out of your shower only to find a puddle on the floor near your toilet? Your toilet may have overflowed while you were washing yourself. This typically results from a clogged pipe between the sewer and the toilet. The excess water could flood your bathroom and necessitate sewage cleaning services.

Below are tips for removing the clog from your sewage system. Keep in mind that you should only handle small issues on your own. If these steps do not work, you need to contact an expert in Renton,WA.

1. Grab a Snake

A snake contains a flexible, thin wire that you can push down a drain. The wire then breaks up the clog. Look for a snake that is at least 25 feet long.

2. Try the Toilet

Start by pushing the snake into the toilet itself. Alternatively, you can remove the toilet and put the snake through the drain in the floor.

3. Check the Drain Cleanout

If this does not solve the issue, remove the cap from the primary drain in your crawlspace or basement. This typically requires the use of a pipe wrench. Some overflow may spill onto the floor, so prepare to do a bit of sewage cleaning once you remove the cap. You can then run the snake through the drain.

After steps two and three, run the shower to see if the problem has resolved. If not, you may have a clog deep in the main sewer line. There may also be a collapsed pipe or tree roots in the line. All of these issues require trained experts to resolve.

A toilet overflow can be particularly messy, especially if it takes place while you are in the shower. You may be able to clear a small clog by yourself. Larger or unreachable clogs, however, may require a professional plumber to deal with the blockage and sewage cleaning professionals to dry your bathroom.