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What To Do In A Storm

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

What to do in a storm

There are a number of things that you can do to make sure you and your property stay safe during storms. For life-threatening emergencies call 911.

What to do before the storm

Ensure you do the following before a severe storm arrives:

  • Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured.
  • If it is safe to do so, check gutters, downpipes and drains are not blocked.
  • Park your car undercover and away from trees.

What to do during the storm

Ensure you do the following during a severe storm:

  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • If outdoors, shelter away from drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
  • Be prepared for power outages.
  • Floodwater is dangerous – never drive, walk or ride through floodwater.
  • Floodwater is toxic – never play or swim in floodwater.

What to do after the storm

Ensure you do the following after a severe storm:

  • Check your home and property for damage.
  • Keep clear of damaged buildings, powerlines and trees.
  • Be aware of road hazards such as floodwater, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
  • Do not drive through affected areas unless it is necessary.

How To Prepare For The Next Big Storm

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Damage from a neighbor’s tree is usually covered by your insurer, not your neighbor’s.

Cover windows properly. Experts used to recommend taping windows to limit breakage to a few large pieces, rather than many smaller ones. But small and large pieces can be equally deadly. A safer bet: Keep windows shut and close blinds, shades, and drapes. Longer-term, consider impact-resistant windows or hurricane shutters (about $40 per square foot), which might also net you an insurance discount.

Secure outdoor items. High winds can turn lawn chairs, potted plants, trash cans, and other outdoor items into deadly projectiles. Move whatever you can into a garage, a shed, or a basement.

Park cars on high ground. Two feet of floodwater can carry a car away. What’s more, driving in water just 8 inches deep can ruin the engine if the water seeps in through the air intake. Park at a high elevation or on a hill—but not beneath trees.

Protect your valuables. Move what you can to higher floors if you expect flooding. Also think ahead by documenting and photographing items you’d include in an insurance claim if lost or ruined.

Stock up on essentials

Build an emergency kit. It should have a whistle to attract help, dust masks, duct tape, a wrench or pliers to turn off water if needed, flashlights and batteries, and local maps. Plan on 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Include moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation. Also consider changes of clothing and sleeping bags or blankets.

Be prepared for injuries. A first-aid kit should be stocked with bandages in various sizes, sterile dressings and gloves, hand sanitizer and antibiotic towelettes, a thermometer, pain medicines, tweezers, and scissors.

Fuel up. Fill all of your vehicles’ tanks, because gas stations could lose power. ­Remember that most gas generators ­require roughly 12 to 20 gallons of gas per day. Also figure on at least a gallon of gas for extensive chainsawing. Store all fuel away from the house.

Have the right phones. Keep at least one corded phone because cordless phones require AC power. Our post-Sandy survey also found that cell phones were more reliable than landline phones, though we lack data on differences for fiber and cable vs.older copper-wire systems. Be sure cell phones are charged. And have an out-of-town contact you can call, because long-distance phone service can be more reliable than local service during and after a storm.

Get the right foods. Frozen food may last two days without power, but refrigerated items can spoil after 4 hours. Keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable foods such as crackers, whole-grain cereals, and canned foods. And don’t forget the manual can opener.

Check your fire extinguishers. You should have one with a minimum classification of “2-A:10-B:C” on each floor. Check the dial or pop-up pin for adequate pressure each month. Professionally repressurize extinguishers older than six years, and replace any older than 12 years.

Prepare for special needs. Tell your utility and local fire department before a storm if someone in your home uses an oxygen concentrator, ventilator, or medical bed; your power could be restored sooner. And keep a one-month supply of medication during hurricane season.

Tune in. A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio will keep you connected if your computer or the Internet is down. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radios are also handy for emergency information.

Have some ready cash. Banks and ATMs could be out of service, assuming you can get to them.

Stay safe during the storm

Find the safest place. Stay in a central room without windows. Have kids? Ease the fear factor with books, a toy or two, and if you have power or a generator, some movies and video games.

Avoid electrocution risks. Don’t use any plug-in device if flooding or wetness is nearby. Landline phones can also be a shock hazard in an electrical storm. If you must make a call during a storm, use a cell or cordless phone if possible—or use a land­line phone’s speaker mode to reduce contact with the handset. Avoid baths and showers until the storm passes. And watch out for downed power lines and live wires.

Use cars safely. Obey emergency crews and follow designated routes. If your vehicle stalls in water, shut off the ignition and seek higher ground; the leading cause of Sandy-related deaths was drowning.

What To Do After Smoke Damage Has Happened?

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners  will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.

What happens only minutes after the disaster?

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more.  Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored.

IICRC suggests the following steps after the incident:

  • Remember safety comes first. Do not enter the property without proper work gloves and  appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue causes respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.
  • Bring along a few box fans. Upon entering the property open the windows and place the box fans in the windows to force out the contaminated air and dust. Proper ventilation helps to prevent further smoke damage and reduces potential injury to people.
  • Remove loose smoke contamination with a professional dry cleaning soot sponge.
  • Clean every surface with soap and water. Begin at the top and work down to the floor. Be sure to get inside cabinets and cupboards.
  • Using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter, vacuum upholstery and carpet. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum prevents the soot from being blown back into the cleaned space. Clean or change the filter regularly.
  • Launder bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. An alkaline cleaner neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Fine materials should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner who is experienced in smoke damaged articles.
  • Clean the exterior walls and eaves using a water hose attached to the proper cleaner. Agitate and loosen stuck-on soot. The smoke damage to the outside of the property will continue until the soot is removed.


Though heavy residues require the assistance of professional restoration technicians, a certified technician may be contacted for any amount of smoke damage. Improper processes can further harm the property or belongings.

Understanding The Three Categories Of Water

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage in your home or business, there are three different types or classifications of water that we use: Clean, Gray, and Black water.

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a positive health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington if you need services in your home!

Available 24/7 

360 873 3431

SERVPRO of Skagit Marysville/Arlington is an IICRC certified firm.

Content Restoration

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

Is Your Company Prepared For When Disaster Strikes?

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that upto 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen? Are you, and your property prepared for an emergency or disaster situation? Don't worry SERVPRO of Skagit County - SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington is Here to Help.

SERVPRO of Skagit County - SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington is offering Emergency Ready Profiles (ERPs) to local businesses and community members. The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save your business in the future. 

What is the ERP you ask? The ERP is a compliation of everything you may need handy when disaster stirkes.

The information incudes (but is not limited to):

  • Emergency Tips
  • A facility overview
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Facility entry points.
  • Utility shut-off locations
  • Other crucial source information.
  • Fire extinguisher locations.
  • Urgent Contacts

As you can see, the ERP is a great resource for when disaster occurs. The better prepaired you are the better you are able to minimize business interruption in a disaster situation.  Feel free to call SERVPRO of Skagit County - SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington at (360) 873 - 8744 to schedule an ERP appointment!

Where To Use An Air Mover

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Air movers are a great tool. They are similar to fans in that they circulate the air of the spaces in which they are placed. Unlike fans, however, they have the ability to start and stop immediately. They also blow over a more concentrated area rather than a wide space. Most commonly they are used for drying dampened areas after water has seeped in, however, commercial air movers have many uses for any workplace environment.

Drying

The most common use for an air mover is drying out water damaged areas. An air mover is considered a water damage restoration piece of equipment. It is designed to blow lower to the ground at high speeds, forcing water to quickly evaporate from floors and carpets. Being lower to the ground, it can be directed under cabinets or other heavier pieces of furniture. A huge benefit of reduced drying time is the prevention of mold growth. They can also be used to dry paint or other applications.

Cooling

As air blowers are similar to fans, they make excellent cooling devices. They can be used to ventilate stuffy work zones. They can also be directed onto specific objects that may get hot while being worked upon.

Removing Fumes

Depending on the type of work being done, contractors may want to buy a commercial air mover to help their employees. Workers could be subject to working in a poorly ventilated area with equipment and chemicals that produce unpleasant and even harmful fumes. In this instance, an air mover makes a great tool in directing these fumes away from and out of the area, creating a safer work environment.

Blowing

Since air movers circulate air at high speeds, they make great tools for removing unwanted debris, dust, dirt or leaves for instance, from a work area. They also work well for keeping insects away.   For example, when placed high above grocery store doors and directed downward, the draft created prevents insects from entering the building.

There are several uses for an air mover. While similar to a fan, it is much more effective. It has the ability to start immediately at the desired speed and stop just a fast. It can quickly remove unwanted fumes from a poorly ventilated work space as well as keep it cool. It can also help dry damp areas, preventing possible water damage. All of these show the air mover as an invaluable tool for any site.

Why should I choose SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington for my water damage clean up?

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Why should I choose a professional restoration company for water intrusion/ damage?

  • Homeowners should not risk doing the work themselves as there may hidden water or moisture that may go undetected to the untrained eye. Taking into account that mold growth can occur in as little as 24-48 hours in the presence of moisture, undetected water damage can pose long term problems if not properly handled.
  • Due to the potential hazards associated with water-related damage, moisture and water should be handled by properly trained and equipped professionals to ensure complete and necessary drying to prevent future harm, extensive structural damage and possible contamination.
  • Improper cleanup could hinder property resale value.
  • Professional restoration companies have essential tools and techniques to measure moisture in the area to ensure proper and complete drying in a timely manner.
  • Water technicians should be fully aware of water or moisture-related characteristics to locate leaks or water damaged areas that may otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Homes and other properties are large and often expensive assets. Why run the risks associated with improper drying, deodorizing and disinfecting which can lead to potential secondary structural damage? Help protect your property’s value by calling upon a Professional.
  • According to a “Residential Water Claims” article on the International Risk Management Institute website, restoration companies and contractors are often an asset in a water claim situation. The article states, “a major concern in today’s insurance climate is the problem of mold and mildew. When most restoration companies deal with water claims, every effort is made to prevent any problem with mold and mildew.” Restoration companies are in the business of salvaging rather than replacing, which could serve as a benefit to the insurance company.

Why should I choose SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington for water cleanup and restoration?

  • SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington recognizes the necessity for prompt and accurate response and offer 1-4-8 Response Guidelines to help minimize additional, secondary or permanent damage and contamination. In addition, SERVPRO of  Marysville/Arlington is available for emergency response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Knowledge and training are key elements in effective water removal and moisture damage. SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington applies their industry knowledge, training and understanding of hoe relative humidity, temperature, vapor pressure and air movement influence drying conditions.
  • Powerful and professional equipment is essential for proper mitigation and efficient restoration of water damaged areas. SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington is outfitted with state-of-the-art industrial grade equipment and products to measure the extent of moisture saturation and offer proper drying, deodorizing and disinfecting of water damaged areas.
  • SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington offers content restoration to restore water damaged contents and personal belongings. Often when water damage occurs, personal possessions are also damaged by water or moisture. SERVPRO Technicians work diligently to try and return personal contents to preloss conditions.
  • SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington works with insurance, real estate, contracting and property management companies to offer complete file management, estimates and detailed explanations of work, including status updates, changes and feedback to keep companies fully aware of a property’s drying, cleaning and restoration status. At SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington, we know you want quality information and proof of results. SERVPRO technology is designed to support your efforts!
  • Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process. Restoring property is the SERVPRO Professional’s first priority. You will appreciate the immediate response, and you will know everything possible is being done to limit the damage. Even if a loss is below the deductible amount, fast action helps assure the event will stay small!

Water Damage Overview

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.

5 Principles Of Mold Remediation

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals and occupants. Mold-contaminated buildings can be associated with a number of health problems. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls.
  2. A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert. An      effective mold remediation cannot be developed without first determining the extent of the contamination to be removed. To ensure that remediation work is being properly performed, it is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
  3. Control of mold before it spreads further. Eliminating mold at the source of      contamination is essential. Once mold spores spread through the air, it will be much more difficult to capture.
  4. Oversee the proper physical removal of the mold. The mold must be physically removed from the structure. Attempts to isolate mold or remove signs of mold on the surface are not adequate. Note that bleach alone cannot kill mold.
  5. Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination. Mold growth is virtually inevitable if moisture is not controlled. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.
  6. Application of these principles may involve multiple disciplines and professionals from a wide range of restoration and indoor environmental fields.