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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

 

Tips to prevent mold growth in you local business in Spokane

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips to prevent mold growth in you local business in Spokane Mold damage Spokane Valley

The very idea of mold can make any home or business owner cringe. it can also be a really big problem when it is growing undetected somewhere on your business or belongings.

It can grow just about anywhere: on clothing, food, paper, carpet and the backside of drywall, just to name a few spots. It can produce allergens and irritants and, in some cases, toxins that are dangerous to your health.

Here are four steps you can take to protect your business and employees from a mold issue:

  • Do an audit of your property. Are there any areas that are full of moisture much of the time? Seepage into storage areas or accumulation from leaky pipes should be dried within 48 hours to avoid mold damage. Encourage workers to keep wet items picked up, hanging wet coats up and keeping rain boots and wet shoes in an area that won’t soak up moisture. Take steps to keep floors and windows dry at all times, but especially during wet weather.
  • Proper ventilation is a good way to keep mold at bay. Keeping bathroom and kitchen doors open can help, increasing air circulation and aiding in the drying process. Using dehumidifiers keeps areas dry and pleasant, and always keep an eye on them to make sure they are in good repair and not contributing any moisture themselves; the manufacturer’s information provided will give directions on cleaning and care of your unit.
  • Many products today contain mold-resistant materials, such as sheet-rock or paint. Shop around for helpful products when doing any renovation or repair to your Spokane business, especially in areas that will experience moisture, such as kitchens, break rooms, and bathrooms.
  • Monitoring the humidity indoors in your Spokane business can go a long way to mold prevention. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent; you can measure this with a moisture meter easily found at your local hardware store.

SERVPRO of Spokane Valley is owned and operated locally 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. Always open (509)926-6140

Tips to prevent a Sump Pump failure in your Spokane home

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tips to prevent a Sump Pump failure in your Spokane home Water damage failed sump pump in Spokane

The best way to prevent sump pump failure is with planning and maintenance. It’s true that your sump pump could be defective, but more often than not, problems arise due to a lack of maintenance or careless installation.

There are several reasons why your sump pump might be failing, and identifying these problems is key to preventing them. The most common cause of sump pump failure is a power outage. Sump pumps depend on your house for power, and blackouts can be problematic.

There are two ways to deal with this problem. First, it’s never a bad idea to have a backup generator in your home, specifically for instances like this. The other, less costly way to prevent sump pump failure during blackouts is to purchase a sump pump battery backup that operates when your power is out. Sump pump battery backups can cost anywhere between $275 and $500 plus labor to install. While the initial cost might not be attractive, they’re the best way to prevent basement flooding during a power outage.

Your sump pump might also be failing due to improper installation. Your unit could be too big or small for your house, which makes your pump more prone to failure. Make sure that your pump is the right for your home and the amount of ground water it will need to pump.

You may also have a sump pump switch problem, which is common because the float switch the moving part that gets the most use on a sump pump so it is often the part that wears out first.

Finally, maintenance is key to preventing sump pump failure. If you haven’t heard your pump run recently, test it by running a water hose into the sump pit or pouring in a five gallon bucket of water. When the water reaches a predetermined level, the pump should turn itself on, pump out most of the water then turn itself off again. If you have a backup pump, test it a few times each year to determine if it will work in the event of a blackout. And make a note of when the battery is due to be replaced. The backup pump won’t work if the battery dies. When testing your pump, make sure the discharge line’s air hole is clear. The float switch on the pump shouldn’t be restrained so make sure electrical cords aren’t tangled around the switch. Finally, remove any gravel in the sump pit and check that the screen that covers the sump pump’s water intake is clear of debris.

Have Water or Flood Damage from a failed Sump Pump?
Call Us Today – (509) 926-6140

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Spokane Valley is owned and operated for over 25 years, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or water emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Spokane Valley community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

Way to help a loved one with a Hoarding disorder in Spokane

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Way to help a loved one with a Hoarding disorder in Spokane Hoarder in Spokane Valley

First, take some time to learn about the disorder. Hoarding is a serious condition that can have emotional, social, financial and even physical effects on a person. The behaviors and situations below are hallmark signs of compulsive hoarding:

  • Avoids throwing away possessions that have no value to them or anyone else
  • Experiences mild to severe anxiety about getting rid of anything.
  • Repeatedly adding to the hoard without recognition that there is a problem.
  • Rooms in their home can no longer be used for their intended purpose
  • Possessions are negatively impacting their safety, health or hygiene.

Step 1: Talk About Cleaning and Organizing

The first step to cleaning a hoarder’s home is starting a conversation with your loved one who is challenged with a hoarding disorder. Talk about your plans and emphasize the ideas of safety and confidentiality. Discuss how organizing their home will make it safer to live in and communicate that you’re only there for support, not to judge.

Step 2: Make a Plan

  • Determine criteria for getting rid of items: Sit down with your loved one and help them create a list of criteria to determine if something can be thrown away. Remember that these are their belongings and they are in charge of this process
  • Make a schedule: Decide the order you will tackle the rooms and how much time you’ll plan to spend in each room.
  • Set goals: Setting goals is an important step in helping someone with hoarding tendencies. Set concrete and attainable goals to keep everyone motivated.

Step 3: Develop a Strategy for Waste Removal

When working with someone who has a hoarding disorder to clean their home, you will most likely be throwing away a lot of waste. Keep in mind that someone with a hoarding disorder may be tempted to remove items from the debris pile if left alone.

Step 4: Begin Organizing the Home

With your plan and waste removal strategy in place, you are ready to being cleaning and organizing the home. Follow your plan and go room by room. Using your pre-determined list of criteria, identify and throw away worthless clutter and create piles for items to be kept and items to be donated.

Need Biohazard Cleanup Services?
Call SERVPRO of Spokane Valley Today – (509) 926-6140

The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.

Clues of a Slow Leak behind walls in your Spokane Home

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Clues of a Slow Leak behind walls in your Spokane Home Waterleak from a leaking pipe from the floor above in Spokane

When a slow leak starts inside your home’s walls, it doesn’t attract attention, but it does leave solid clues. If you know how to detect water leakage in walls, you can minimize potentially serious damage. Be on the lookout for these six signs of water leaks behind your sheetrock.

1. Persistent Musty Odors

As water slowly drips from a leaky pipe inside the wall, flooring and sheetrock stay damp and develop an odor similar to wet cardboard, generating a musty smell that can help you find hidden leaks.

2. Mold in Unusual Areas

Mold usually grows in wet areas like kitchens, baths and laundry rooms. If you spot the stuff on walls or baseboards in other rooms of the house, it’s a good indicator of undetected water leaks.

3. Stains That Grow

When mold thrives around a leaky pipe, it sometimes takes hold on the inside surface of the affected wall. A growing stain on otherwise clean sheetrock is often your sign of a hidden plumbing problem.

4. Peeling Wallpaper or Paint

This clue is easy to miss in rooms that don’t get much use. When you see wallpaper separating along seams or paint flaking off the wall, blame sheetrock that stays wet because of an undetected leak.

5. Slowly Warping Sheetrock

Over time, sheetrock wicks up moisture from a slow leak, and that can cause the wall to develop bends and curves. Warped sheetrock is a sure sign of a slow water leak.

6. Buckled Ceilings and Stained Floors

If ceilings or floors in bathrooms, kitchens or laundry areas develop structural problems, don’t rule out constant damp inside the walls. Wet sheetrock can affect adjacent framing, flooring and ceilings.

Types of Storm Damage that Can Drastically Affect Your Home

12/31/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Types of Storm Damage that Can Drastically Affect Your Home Storm Damage Spokane

Severe weather can take a toll on your home. It’s not unusual for storm damage to affect your home’s exterior, leading to serious problems in the aftermath of the weather. SERVPRO of Spokane Valley provides 24-hour restoration services for weather-related damage to homes.

When a storm strikes, it’s important to be aware of the potential problems that can develop. You can’t control the weather, but you can control how you respond in the immediate aftermath. Here are three of the issues that could afflict your home after a storm hits:

  • Roof Damage: Roofs are susceptible to damage during any major storm, from heavy winds and torrential rains to snowstorms. Moisture can weaken already vulnerable areas of the roof, and strong winds can knock down loose shingles or cause visible damage to them. You may notice a leak in your attic or ceiling if a storm damages your roof.
  • Windows Are Vulnerable: A thoroughly sealed and weather-stripped window is unlikely to suffer severe storm damage, but old windows that haven’t been catered to recently could develop problems if it rains. For example, the moisture can seep into openings around the window, causing a leak inside the house. Rain can also cause wood to rot and mold to develop in the window’s vicinity. Rugs and carpets in the area could also be susceptible to water damage. Windows in the basement are extremely vulnerable if they aren’t protected, which leads to flooded basements and potentially damaged property.
  • Gutters Can Become Clogged: Gutters aren’t immediately obvious problems because you have to inspect them to see if they’ve become clogged after the storm. Rain can wash all kinds of debris into them, and once they become congested, they no longer filter water away from your home. The result could be water damage to your property, and the gutters could also suffer damage later since the excess weight of debris can cause them to sag.

Storm damage affects more than just the trees around the house. It can also have an impact on your home’s foundation. After a major storm, take a close look at your home and investigate for problematic signs. If you discover anything, call the restoration service team at SERVPRO of Spokane Valley (509) 926-6140 They’ll manage the situation and restore your home back to normal. 

Do You Think You Have A Mold Issue in Your Spokane Home

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Do You Think You Have A Mold Issue in Your Spokane Home Mold damage Spokane Valley home

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold 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.

If your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of the Spokane Valley can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to re mediate your mold infestation. (509) 926-6140

Tips for preventing frozen pipes in your Spokane Valley Apartment

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips for preventing frozen pipes in your Spokane Valley Apartment Broken pipe Spokane Valley

Frozen pipes are a real danger during the winter. When frozen pipes burst, you could be looking at flood damage and ruined possessions. And worse, depending on your renters insurance coverage, you may not be covered for reimbursements and repairs. That’s why renters should be especially vigilant about preventing frozen pipes during the Spokane winters. After all, the last thing you want is to come home from a hard days work to a dripping wet apartment.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid the perils of frozen pipes. Protect your pipes from freezing by using these 5 simple tips.

1. Set your thermostat.

Whether you are simply at work all day or are gone for a week-long vacation, never turn your heating off completely when you are gone from your apartment for an extended period of time. Your minimum thermostat setting in winter should be 55°F.

2. Open your cabinet doors.

Pipes that are located in cabinets are isolated by closed cabinet doors, making it harder for them to stay warm. Open your cabinet doors so that the warm air in the rest of the apartment can circulate around the pipes to help keep them from freezing.

3. Clear your gutters.

If your apartment is located on the top floor, you or your landlord should make sure gutters are clear so icicles or dams won’t form. If you’re concerned about doing it yourself, contact your apartment’s maintenance team.

4. Keep your garage door closed.

If your apartment has a garage, make sure you keep the door closed when temperatures are freezing. This prevents exposing water supply lines that run through the garage.

5. Let your faucets drip.

If you know temperatures will reach freezing, let your faucets drip, whether you’re at home or away. Even a small amount of water running through an exposed pipe helps prevent it from freezing.

Plan ahead for leaks and mold damage in your Spokane Valley Restaurants

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Plan ahead for leaks and mold damage in your Spokane Valley Restaurants Spokane restaurant

Leaks can happen in any business. Your Spokane restaurant maybe at risk from leaking appliances such as dishwashers, seepage from windows or roofs, or burst pipes. After a leak, there is a genuine risk of mold damage, which is something no business owner wants. In particular, there is a risk of mold growing in food storage spaces which could lead to spoilage and the costly loss of your stock. That is why it is important to plan to prevent leaks and therefore mold damage in your business.

Mold Damage is unsightly, and naturally, you want to take all the steps you can to prevent it happening in your Spokane Valley restaurants. One way you can plan is by carrying out a risk assessment and putting guidelines in place for what to do in the event of a leak. The sooner you deal with water in your premises, the less chance there is of damp settling in and giving mold a place to grow.

The first step is a risk assessment. Contact SERVPRO of Spokane Valley (509-926-6140) and a representative will provide a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). It only takes a short time to have a professional do one. 

Take a look at all the places water could enter, or leak or spill: Appliances, windows, doors, the basement, sinks, and faucets. Check for leaks or damage, and get necessary repairs done as soon as possible. Get your staff into the habit of cleaning up spills immediately.

Check out where your food is stored and make sure it is dry, so mold cannot form (the spores need moisture to grow). Plan how to keep food safe from damp in the event of a leak, perhaps by moving it to a different location in your store, or even to another location in the area.

SERVPRO of the Spokane Valley is on hand to help dehumidify and dry your premises before mold has the chance to grow. Our IICRC-certified technicians use moisture probes and penetrating moisture meters to look for hidden patches of damp and make sure your premises is thoroughly dry. 

 SERVPRO of Spokane Valley (509) 926-6140.