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Top Causes of Water Damage Basement Flooding During the Winter In Your Spokane Home

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Top Causes of Water Damage Basement Flooding During the Winter In Your Spokane Home Basement flood Spokane

Basements can flood just about any time of the year, and you might be surprised that it can even happen during the winter. The reality is that winter can present the most risk and only some of these are preventable. It is never a bad idea to have a water damage restoration company as part of your home maintenance list of providers, so you can respond quickly if you experience a problem.

The main causes of water damage basement flooding are ice floes, frozen concrete, blocked drains, and faulty plumbing. If you live near a river, such as the Catawba River west of Charlotte, North Carolina’s city limits, you could find that an ice floe has blocked water flow and caused flooding in your neighborhood. This is not a common occurrence, but can happen. The other causes are more common.

The most common is a pipe break due to faulty plumbing or not having proper precautions in place to avoid pipes freezing. When water freezes, it expands and can cause a burst pipe. This is more common when pipes are weakened but can happen even with newer plumbing. Freezing water can also cause a problem in your home’s concrete foundation. Additionally, concrete expands and contracts during seasonal temperature changes, which can result in cracks that let water seep in, sometimes rapidly.

A blocked or slow drain is a problem any time of the year, but it can be a real problem during warmer periods during the winter when snow is melting and needing a place to drain.

During warmer months, you should take the time to check your property for good drainage and any cracks you might notice in your home’s foundation. Check your basement and plumbing throughout the year to reduce the chances of water damage from the causes you can control.

If your Spokane Valley property has been damaged by water caused by flooding or water leaks, we have the experience, expertise, and equipment to restore your property properly. Our water removal and cleanup process also provides validation and documentation that your property is dry.

Please follow our tips outlined in the Water Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide to protect yourself and your property.

Have Water or Flood Damage?

SERVPRO of The Spokane Valley

Call Us Today – (509) 926-6140

Always Open

Spokane and Spokane Valley Fire Departments giving out free Smoke Alarms

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Spokane and Spokane Valley Fire Departments giving out free Smoke Alarms Smoke Alarm Program Spokane Valley / Spokane

If you don’t have a smoke alarm or aren’t sure yours still works properly, most fire departments will happily do a home visit to check.

The Spokane and Spokane Valley fire departments both have programs to give out free smoke alarms, which a firefighter can install.

Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the program is intended for low-income people, but there are no screening criteria.

“It’s an honor system. If somebody calls and says that they need one, they need one,” he said. Firefighters also check smoke alarms when they go on medical calls to private homes.

“If they need a new one or the battery’s bad, we install them right then and there,” Schaeffer said.

In Spokane Valley, residents can request a home inspection, which includes inspection of heating sources, fireplaces, exit routes and carbon monoxide detectors. If new smoke alarms are needed, firefighters will install them during the visit.

Both departments have special strobe light detectors for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

For more information or to get a smoke alarm:

  • In Spokane, call (509) 625-7000 to request a free alarm or inspection
  • In Spokane Valley, call (509) 892-4153 or fill out this form to request a home visit

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Should you ever experience a fire and have fire or smoke damage. 

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO Spokane Valley is strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event. When a major fire or disaster event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,700 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (509) 926-6140

Always open.

Fire Damage and Restoration: Minimize Fire Damage to Your Home with These Tips In Spokane Valley

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage and Restoration: Minimize Fire Damage to Your Home with These Tips In Spokane Valley Fire Damage Spokane Valley

A fire in your home is a devastating experience, both for your family and all your personal belongings. You may be wondering what you can do to further protect your home, or if you should only let a professional take care of the area. Smoke and fire damage is a tricky thing to deal with, so it is very important to have a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of the Spokane Valley handle that aspect of fire damage restoration.

Before the professionals start your fire damage restoration project, here are some things to do after a fire:

  • Call SERVPRO of the Spokane Valley (509) 926-6140
  • Limit activity and foot traffic in your home. Staying off of carpet, furniture, and upholstery is key to preventing soot, dirt, and other particles from getting trapped all around your home.
  • If you do need to get around your home quite a bit, put down clean towels or sheets on the floor and furniture.
  • If possible, change filters in your home to keep dirt and soot from circulating.
  • Don’t try to wash the walls or carpet — leave that for the professionals to avoid permanent damage.
  • Don’t try to clean kitchen appliances yourself. After a fire, electrical connections and wiring may be damaged and could cause further problems if not cleaned carefully and correctly.
  • Don’t eat any food that may have been exposed to the fire and smoke.

With these tips and professional fire damage restoration services, you can minimize fire damage to your home and make the restoration process easier

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO Spokane Valley is strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event. When a major fire or disaster event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,700 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (509) 926-6140

Always Open

The Truth About Commercial Mold Removal and Mold Remediation in your Spokane Valley business.

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial The Truth About Commercial Mold Removal and Mold Remediation in your Spokane Valley business. Mold Growth Spokane Commercial Bathroom

Many contractors and even mold removal companies will try to confuse you as to the difference between mold removal and mold remediation. Some will try to tell you that for a small mold issue, you can get mold removal, but for a larger more dangerous issue, you’ll need a more complicated, and expensive, mold remediation. Out of fear, many will choose to go with remediation and spend the extra money. That makes sense, mold can be extremely dangerous, causing severe illness and other problems for your employees and regular customers, but the fact is that mold removal and mold remediation are interchangeable terms that mean the same thing!


Mold is endemic in our environment, meaning you can find it almost everywhere that water and oxygen are present. 

Some restoration companies advertise “mold removal” and may even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy because removing all mold from a house or business is impossible; microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Here are the facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - (509) 926-6140
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

SERVPRO Spokane Valley is locally owned and operated of over 25 years—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. We are proud to provide mold remediation services in our local businesses.

Causes of Mold in your Spokane Valley home

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Causes of Mold in your Spokane Valley home Mold Growth Wall Cavity Spokane Valley

Mold needs dampness, water, or mugginess to flourish. Mold spores can start developing inside as soon as they make contact with a wet surface. Some basic spots mold can flourish include:

  • Showers, baths, sinks, and toilets are normal spots for mold development. These regions have a tendency to be clammy, and without sufficient ventilation they give the ideal conditions for mold growth.
  • Air conditioners and heating ventilation.
  • Fireplace and stack. When not being utilized, chimneys and smokestacks are cool, moist, and dim—prolific ground for mold spores.
  • In the event that your rooftop has even the smallest of breaks, mold can develop and spread through the framework in the upper room. It can likewise flourish in the insulation and soffit vents.
  • In the cellar. That very old storm cellar smell is proof of dampness,humidity, and—more than likely—mold.Generally, it can be found around channels and pipes, or close to the foundation, sump pump, windows, or vents.

Indoor mold development can and ought to be anticipated and controlled by killing the sodden conditions inside. In the event that there is mold development in your house it's critical to manage it quickly and efficiently. The issue must be stopped at the source as well. In the right, or wrong,circumstance mold will spread rapidly—in as few as 24–48 hours.

Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - (509) 926-6140
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO Spokane Valley is locally owned and operated for over 25 years—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. We are proud to provide mold remediation services in our local communities

What You Should Do When Dealing with A Fire Damaged Home in Spokane

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What You Should Do When Dealing with A Fire Damaged Home in Spokane Fire Damage Spokane Valley

What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Spokane Home

Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can use the assistance of a professional cleanup/restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go up in smoke, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas. 

Small Fires can Pose High Risks 

While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Spokane home and business fire damage.  It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the pan and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water. 

With electrical fires the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard. 

After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage 

When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation.

Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can expedite insurance claims being resolved, as well. 

Learn More

 

Our Restore vs. Replace Mentality

Our “restore first” mentality helps to lower costs and get you back in your home or business sooner. This focus relies upon our specialized training and equipment to restore your property back to pre-fire condition.

Learn More

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO Spokane Valley is strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event. When a major fire or disaster event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,700 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (509) 926-6140  Always open 24/7

Crawlspace Mold in Spokane Valley

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Crawlspace Mold in Spokane Valley Crawlspace Mold in Spokane Valley

Do you have problems with moisture in your crawlspace? Has a water leak caused mold, mildew or wood rot?

Crawl spaces in Spokane 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 Spokane Valley at 509-926-6140. 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 Spokane Valley 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.

Call SERVPRO of Spokane Valley BEFORE you call your Insurance Company

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Call SERVPRO of Spokane Valley BEFORE you call your Insurance Company Flood Damage Home in Northwest Spokane

After a fire or flood, it’s common for people to pick up the phone to call the insurance company first; but there’s a better way to manage the relief process.

SERVPRO of Spokane Valley has been providing disaster cleanup and restoration for more than 25 years. We’ve seen it all and helped hundreds of individuals through the overwhelming claims process.

Below, we explain the steps you should take to ensure the best outcome for your claim and why contacting SERVPRO of Spokane Valley could save you time and money.

Step One: Safety First! 

Before you call anyone about a home fire or flood, respond to emergencies and make sure all home or building occupants are safe. Responding may also include calling the fire department or shutting off the main water valve.

Step 2: Assess…But Don’t Clean

Once the home or building is safe to visit, it’s time to assess the damage. During this step, homeowners may feel inclined to clean or salvage personal belongings; however, this can lead to problems with an insurer.

Insurance companies could require detailed proof of a disaster as well as any claimed property damage. Homeowners mistakenly think they’re helping when they clean, but they’re actually destroying important evidence that could significantly impact a claim, or get the claim denied altogether.

A broad assessment of damages will help homeowners communicate the disaster more effectively to an insurance agent as well as a disaster relief company.

Here are some general questions you should be able to answer once you’ve assessed the damage:

  • What kind of disaster occurred? (i.e., flood, fire, mold, etc.)
  • Where is most of the damage?
  • Is the home or building secure? Are there broken windows, holes in the roof or walls, etc.?

Whatever you do, resist the urge to clean or tidy up. If the scene is safe, feel free to take pictures of the damage; however, your insurer and SERVPRO of Spokane Valley will document the damage fully, so it’s not always necessary for homeowners to document the damage at this stage.

Step 3: Contact SERVPRO of Spokane Valley

Homeowners typically call their insurer at this stage, but calling SERVPRO of Spokane Valley first at (509) 926-6140- offers clear advantages.

For example, it may be less expensive to pay directly for the cleanup and restoration. Some insurance policies have high deductibles. It might be   and pay for the damage out-of-pocket. SERVPRO of Spokane Valley can help determine if insurance is the wisest course of action.

If you’ve made claims in the past, you might not want to use insurance for minor damage or cleanup. Furthermore, the number of claims you make will impact your future insurance rates.

Another advantage of delaying a call with your insurance company: you get to pick your preferred restoration company without hassle. By law, it’s a homeowner’s right to choose whatever disaster relief company they want. 

Finally, working with a trusted, local restoration company could help reduce the overwhelming stress of the disaster. Good restoration companies work with homeowners to ensure the best insurance outcome. This includes detailed documentation of the disaster, generating accurate estimates, and being available to negotiate with insurance companies. They can also help determine if you should work with insurance or pay for the damages directly.

SERVPRO of Spokane Valley has been locally owned in operated for over 25 years. Always open (509)926-6140.

Step 4: Contact Your Insurer

Don’t wait too long to contact the insurance company. A claim could be denied if you don’t report the damage in a timely manner. 

At SERVPRO of Spokane Valley, we pride ourselves on excellent customer service, speedy relief 24/7, and insurance experience our customers can count on.

(509)926-6140 ALWAYS OPEN

Fire Damage Cleanup by SERVPRO of Spokane Valley

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Cleanup by SERVPRO of Spokane Valley Fire Damage in Spokane Valley

Nobody ever plans on it happening, but sometimes fires start inside a building. If a fire ever starts inside your Spokane Valley home, the first thing to do is make sure everyone is safe. Next, either you or the fire department puts the fire out so that the danger gets eliminated and your home is safe to re-enter.

After the fire is extinguished and it gets confirmed that everyone is safe, it is now time to assess the damage caused by the fire. The best call is to SERVPRO of Spokane Valley fire damage experts to assess and mitigate the damage present. Our technicians are IICRC certified and have experience in dealing with all types of fire damage. 
 
Anytime a fire burns inside a structure, both the heat and smoke ruins contents and building materials within your home. SERVPRO of Spokane Valley trains all of their staff to know how fire and smoke behave so that all of the damage created by the fire gets found and mitigated. Sometimes smoke coming from fire affects areas of the home that are not in the direct location of the fire's source. 
 
Due to convection smoke initially rises straight up as the less dense hot air rises and cold air falls. Smoke then heads to other rooms of the structure leaving behind less and less soot the further it travels from the source. The longer a fire burns, the more evenly soot gets deposited onto the walls and ceilings. Smoke often follows the natural air flow inside a building and gets attracted to colder surfaces first. At times the partially combusted particles can ionize and attached to objects like iron filing to a magnet. People often mistake smoke tags (webs) as spider webs. This is often the case with furnace puff back in colder climes. 
 
Sometimes soot collects heavier in some areas of the home than others. As smoke follows the building's airflow, areas near intake vents and cavities above suspended ceilings sometimes attract more soot than in other places. Smoke travels through closed doors and leaves thicker soot deposits in cracks where smoke gets concentrated as it travels past the door. 
 
As a locally owned and operated business for over 25 years and counting, SERVPRO of Spokane Valley is strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (509) 926-6140 24/7

What to know about mold in Spokane Valley

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What to know about mold in Spokane Valley Attic mold damage- Veradale community in Spokane Valley

Mold affects more homes and businesses than you think - it’s everywhere in Spokane.  In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re breathing it in as you’re reading this blog.  Mold spores are ever present in nature and wet, damp environments are ideal breeding grounds for mold spores to grow and flourish.  Left unchecked, the mold will get out of control and an expert mold remediation service company, like SERVPRO of Spokane Valley, will be needed to get rid of the problem. 

Following are some mold facts in order to help you learn to understand the basics:

  • Bleach does not kill mold and industry leaders do not recommend it. It usually grows back within weeks after being sprayed with bleach.
  • All home buyers should require an inspection before buying a home. Even newly built homes can report active growth.
  • Mold spores exist almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors. It only becomes a problem when large amounts of spores exist in an area. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps 300,000 or more.
  • Often times, homeowner insurance policies do not cover damages directly related to mold.
  • Organic and/or porous materials only have to be exposed to excessive moisture for 24-48 hours before mold can begin to grow.
  • Mold growth usually does not happen directly on glass or concrete. However, it can grow on the dust that accumulates on these materials.
  • Serious infestation reduces property values.
  • Infestation usually means that there is a structural defect that’s allowing moisture access.
  • Live Christmas trees can be a significant source of mold spores.
  • Humidifiers can cause moldproblems because they could significantly increase indoor humidity making conditions right for mold growth. 
  • If you try to paint over porous surfaces, mold will grow through the paint.
  • Outdoors, it plays an important role in nature. It breaks down toppled trees, fallen leaves, and dead animals.

Things that you can do to minimize the risk of mold contamination include promptly mitigating any water damage that occurs in your home.  Drain backups, toilet overflows, leaky pipes and roof leaks, if not properly cleaned, disinfected and dried will create the wet environment that mold spores seek.  A dehumidifier placed in an overly humid environment will help reduce the humidity levels which will preclude and minimize the spread of mold. 

It is vital that you be continually look around your home or business for mold as well as follow your nose.  Oftentimes the damp, musty smell is a good indicator that a problem is developing.  Should you find yourself concerned about mold, please contact us here at SERVPRO of Spokane Valley.

SERVPRO Spokane Valley is locally owned and operated for over 25 years and counting—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. 

SERVPRO of Spokane Valley (509) 926-6140 24/7