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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why Immediate Fire Damage Restoration is So Important

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Service

First, and foremost - and this is the most important step - find a fire restoration contractor who can assess the damage, give you an estimate on costs and start the cleanup process. Contact your home insurance company to make them aware of the fire and ask them for referrals for reliable businesses in your area. It's essential that you enlist the help of a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company to reduce the risk of further damage to your home. They are trained to handle this type of damage and many will perform some of the following steps to help get you through the initial fire cleanup:

  • Smoke and fire damage restoration services will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings (such as appliances, furniture and clothing) as they can.
  • Document everything they remove from your home by taking pictures and/or keeping written records.
  • Return any salvageable furniture and appliances back to your home, after the fire restoration is complete.
  • Work quickly and carefully to get you back in your home as soon as possible, and stay in contact with you to make sure the repairs were done correctly and your home isn't experiencing any other problems.

Be sure to go through your home insurance company when hiring a fire damage restoration service, or do a thorough background check if you choose one on your own to make sure they are licensed and insured. Be wary of “fire chasing” contractors who target victims of house fires and pressure them into signing expensive repair contracts, perform extremely low-quality repair work and might not be licensed or insured.

Start Fire Cleanup Right Away

While it's best to have a qualified fire restoration company handle the smoke damage restoration, there are some small tasks you can do to help minimize the initial damage before the professionals come in to do the major cleanup. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until the professionals arrive. If it is possible to enter your house, make sure you’re wearing work gloves, long sleeves/pants, and proper respiratory protection, such as a mask because exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems and other medical issues.

  • Ventilation - Open all the windows and air out the house as much (and as often) as possible. Use box fans to force out dust and contaminated air. Fire damage restoration professionals will use industrial-strength fans and other air-moving equipment to help reduce the smoke damage your home has been subjected to, but in the meantime, proper ventilation is key to helping remove a lot of the polluted (and unsafe) air.
  • Cleaning - Scrub all surfaces (and inside cabinets and drawers) with soap and water. You can also use an alkaline cleaner, which neutralizes the acid that’s found in soot to help cut down on the smoky smell. Counteractants—chemicals used to break up smoke molecules to eliminate odors—may be used, but it’s best left to the professionals to handle such products.
  • Laundry - Wash all bedding, clothing, curtains and items that can be machine washed with an alkaline cleaner (you may have to wash items more than once). Delicate fabrics will need to be professionally dry cleaned by someone who is familiar with articles that have smoke damage. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or experienced significant fire damage.

Professional smoke removal and restoration companies will perform a thorough cleanup using industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.

Prolonged Smoke Damage

Fire damage is tricky because some signs are apparent—such as discoloration on walls and ceilings and dark stains from smoke on surfaces—but others are not, such as odors trapped in hidden places. Air conditioner vents, the space behind walls and the outside walls of your home are all areas where ash and soot can be deposited and continue to cause damage if they aren't taken care of in a timely manner.

Make sure to have the HVAC system, attic/roof, and exterior walls inspected and properly cleaned, too, because your home will continue to suffer from smoke damage until the soot is completely removed by a fire damage restoration service.

Source:https://www.resolvebylowes.com/guidance/fire/why-immediate-fire-damage-restoration-is-so-important/115003354947

5 Benefits Of Using SERVPRO!

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

The 5 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Service 

Residential and commercial water damage can be one of the most costly and challenging problems faced by those who own a property. From leaky toilets to general plumbing problems, there are a number of causes for flooding that often occurs. Although it may seem easy to clean and repair yourself, there are a few benefits to hiring a professional service to handle the task.

1. Prevent Mold Spores From Spreading

A SERVPRO of Marysville / Arlington water damage professional is skilled and trained to properly clean areas where water has leaked in between walls, under floorboards, and in places that are hard to reach. This can help salvage areas that would need to be replaced if proper cleaning didn't take place immediately. In locations where mold has developed, the professional can properly clean it with the right tools and prevent the spores from spreading.

2. Avoid Further Damage

For those who are inexperienced with cleaning or restoring areas where water damage has occurred, it can be easy to make the problem worse and allow it to escalate if it's not remedied immediately. SERVPRO Technicians will be able to visit the property right after the damage has occurred to prevent further problems from developing.

3. Identify Hidden Signs of Moisture

A SERVPRO of Marysville / Arlington water damage professional will be able to use sophisticated moisture tools to identify hidden signs of moisture that are often undetectable to homeowners. They can also take specific steps to prevent the water damage from occurring again in the future.

4. Protect Your Health

For those who attempt to clean mold that has developed after a Marsyville water damage has occurred, it can be easy to put your health at risk without the proper tools or products used. Hiring a professional will help prevent health effects during the cleaning process.

5. Quality Restoration Services

Water damage professionals will be able to restore and replace insulation or flooring for a final product that looks incredible with the highest quality of materials used.   

SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington Professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. SERVPRO of Marysville / Arlington proudly serves Marsyville, Arlington, Smokey Point, Stanwood, Camano Island, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your  structure

Fire And Smoke Damage Do's And Don'ts

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington is your stop for Fire & Smoke damage cleanup and restoration. We have been operating for over 40 years and have extensive knowledge and expertise in the Fire & Smoke damage cleanup industry.

DO:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

DONT:

Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces with our fist contacting your SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington Professional.

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV sets, radios, etc. that have been close to fire, heat or water with out first consulting an authorized repair service person.

Do not consume any canned or packaged food, beverages or medications that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated)

If you're home suffers a fire or smoke damage be sure to call SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington and as always is "Here to Help." 

Mold: What To Look For

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

When spring is here and temperatures are fluctuating, moisture is making its way into our homes in the most unexpected areas. As moisture sits and humidity rises within the home, mold begins to find its place to grow. According to Houselogic.com, the 5 most unexpected places for mold to hide in your home are chimneys, refrigerator drip pans, front-loading washing machines, dishes, and windows sashes and seals.

 1. Chimneys

As rain and snow collect down in the chimney, they combine with the dirt and other particles within the brick to create a breeding ground for mold to grow. 

2.  Refrigerator drip pans

The drip pan collects moisture and food spills over time and goes unnoticed from being located under the refrigerator where most people don’t think to clean or even look.

3.  Front-loading washing machines

The seal around the door of the front-loading washing machines often stay wet from being closed when not being used, which creates a great environment for mold growth.

4. Window sashes and seals

This is the time of year when the chill of the cold weather combine with the warmth of the inside to create condensation along windows and walls. The dirt and dust particles left on these surfaces mixed with the moisture create the perfect surface area for mold to grow.

5.  Air conditioners

The air conditioning units hold the dust, pollen and moisture from the air. With the AC sitting throughout the winter, it gives mold the chance to grow and still be hidden away.

SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington knows the ins and outs of mold damage and remediation, if you have any questions or concerns about mold damage or remediation give us a call at (360) 658 0506.

Source: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/air-quality/unexpected-places-mold-can-hide/

Understanding The Behavior Of Smoke

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

There are two different types of smoke--wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. SERVPRO technicians are trained in fire cleanup and restoration, and know the different types of smoke and its behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, the technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on your precious items. 

Smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps us to investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. 
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke dries. 

Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO technicians can, in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly. 

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

Our technicians are trained to handle even the toughest losses. And make any smoke disaster "Like it never even happened."

Fire Escape Planning For Your Business

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing a plan.

Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked, and will lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

Damaging Winds Basics

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

What are damaging winds?

Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.

Are damaging winds really a big deal?

Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.

Who is at risk from damaging winds?

Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.

People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.

http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/wind/

How Mold Gets Into Your Home

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and fungal spores occur naturally outdoors, where fungi are the earth’s most important recyclers. Indoors, mold needs moisture to grow; it becomes a problem only where there is water damage, elevated and prolonged humidity, or dampness. Common sources of excessive indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems include:

  • flooding from surface waters (i.e., overflowing rivers) or from severe storms;
  • roof leaks from damaged or missing roofing materials, ice dams or blocked gutters;
  • storm-driven rain through window frames, exterior walls or door assemblies;
  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows;
  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage; and
  • condensation on cold surfaces.

Call SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington today for a mold inspection

What Is Mold?

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

The term “mold” is a colloquial term for a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. This includes the green Penicillium species that produces penicillin, and fungi that spoil our bread, fruit, cheese and crops. Most of these are Ascomycetes that produce a lot of spores.

The majority of the molds that grow on damp building materials are found in the soil and are adapted to grow on a wide variety of materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any color. Different mold species are adapted to different moisture conditions ranging from very wet to just damp. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions. All of us are exposed to a variety of fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outdoors and indoors.

Types of Damaging Winds

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.

downdraft is a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground.

downburst is a result of a strong downdraft. A downburst is a strong downdraft with horizontal dimensions larger than 4 km (2.5 mi) resulting in an outward burst of damaging winds on or near the ground. (Imagine the way water comes out of a faucet and hits the bottom of the sink.) Downburst winds may begin as a microburst and spread out over a wider area, sometimes producing damage similar to a strong tornado. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, downbursts can occur with showers too weak to produce thunder.

microburst is a small concentrated downburst that produces an outward burst of damaging winds at the surface. Microbursts are generally small (less than 4km across) and short-lived, lasting only 5-10 minutes, with maximum windspeeds up to 168 mph. There are two kinds of microbursts: wet and dry. A wet microburst is accompanied by heavy precipitation at the surface. Dry microbursts, common in places like the high plains and the intermountain west, occur with little or no precipitation reaching the ground.

gust front is the leading edge of rain-cooled air that clashes with warmer thunderstorm inflow. Gust fronts are characterized by a wind shift, temperature drop, and gusty winds out ahead of a thunderstorm. Sometimes the winds push up air above them, forming a shelf cloud or detached roll cloud.

derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. A typical derecho consists of numerous microbursts, downbursts, and downburst clusters. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.

Commercial Storm Damage Restoration

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storms and inclement weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer 24 hour emergency service 365 days per year.

Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give our Professionals a call and they’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Disaster Recovery Team

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable. Learn more about the Disaster Recovery Team.

https://www.SERVPRO.com/commercial-storm-cleanup

Overview Of Commercial Service

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions? Call Today

Commercial Building Restoration Services

We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Service.

https://www.SERVPRO.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 1-800-SERVPRO

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

https://www.SERVPRO.com/fire-damage-tips

Fire Damage And Restoration

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Why Choose SERVPRO Franchise Professionals?

They’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with a fire or water damage event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

Learn More

They’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

They specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have extensive training and equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

Learn More

They Have a Restore vs. Replace Mentality

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean and restore your property using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. Their “restore first” mentality reduces interruption and gets you back to your life.

Learn More

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

https://www.SERVPRO.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

Safe Flood Clean-Up Tips

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Before entering a building where flood damage may have occurred, make sure it’s safe: check for electrical hazards and structural damage, and use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators. Before you start any construction or repairs, check for common hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos, which may require help from professional and State-licensed contractors.

Then, follow these tips:

  • Act quickly
    The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours. Have a list of professionals on hand to call, and understand your insurance policy, as some only cover mold damage up to a certain amount, while others don’t provide any reimbursement for mold.
  • Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth
    Mold loves moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. In order to mitigate or slow damage, open windows if weather permits and place fans inside of them to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
  • Assess damage to items and materials
    Assess the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. There are ways to salvage specialty items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item will vary depending on the dollar and sentimental value to the owner. It may not be worthwhile to salvage drywall, carpets and pads, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particleboard. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to restore costly Persian rugs, leather couches and antiques or heirlooms. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable through machine washing, and a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, to remove contamination and stains. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages where there are contaminants present (e.g., bacteria, sewage, mold) or where small children or immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be conducted by an appropriately trained restorer and remediator.
  • Expose pockets of saturation
    Hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage, wet materials and mold are discovered. Remove and discard the damaged drywall and wet wall insulation. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded. Wood base trim and hardwood can also be saved with the right equipment if they can be accessed and completely dried on both sides. Remember to investigate concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
  • Conduct a thorough cleaning
    Durable, non-porous or semi-porous materials, such as studs and joists, hardwood flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning products or specialized products with detergents. During cleaning, take care to protect areas that are unaffected by the water or mold. After a thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad. Professionals like water restoration and mold remediation contractors and indoor environmental professionals can help you decide what is best for your situation. Once you’ve cleaned the wet materials, conduct another round of cleaning. If you choose to vacuum, use a HEPA-filter vacuum to remove allergens, fine dust and spores.
  • Confirm drying before reconstruction
    In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.

3 Business Fire Prevention Tips

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can cause severe damage to business equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire and smoke damage. Here are three tips to help.

Assess the risk of fire hazards : The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses. If your local government offers it, a visit from a fire marshal is a great step for your fire prevention plan. If a marshal visit isn't available, ask for workplace fire risk assessment guidance from your building's property manager.

Have fire protection equipment : If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.

Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative

Prepare For Flooding

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

With all of the flooding that is happening in the Pacific Northwest SERVPRO of Skagit County, Marysville/Arlington wants to make sure that you are all staying safe! If you have yet to experience any flooding but are on alert remember to be prepared. Here is a list of essential preparation items that the American Red Cross recommends:

·  Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day

·  Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food

·  Flashlight

·  Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

·  Extra batteries

·  First Aid kit

·  Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)

·  Multi-purpose tool

·  Sanitation and personal hygiene items

·  Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)

·  Cell phone with chargers

·  Family and emergency contact information

·  Extra cash

·  Emergency blanket

·  Map(s) of the area

·  Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

·  Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

·  Tools/supplies for securing your home

·  Extra set of car keys and house keys

·  Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

·  Rain gear

·  Insect repellent and sunscreen

·  Camera for photos of damage

Remember that SERVPRO is always here to help if you experience any flooding or water damage within your home! Stay safe! Check out http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood for more great flood preparedness and safety tips!

American Red Cross and SERVPRO Team Up!

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

We’re thrilled to be partnered with the American Red Cross as a Disaster Responder because here at SERVPRO of Skagit County, we’re always “Ready for Whatever Happens” and we want you to be too! You never know when a disaster may strike, so it is important to have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go at a moment’s notice to use at home or to take with you in the event you must evacuate.

According to our friends at the American Red Cross, you should, at minimum, have the basic supplies listed below:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area

You should also consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit as needed. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to consider keeping at your home or in your emergency supply kit:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

You never know when a disaster might arise.

Keep your Emergency Kit somewhere easily accessible for if and when the time comes that you need it. You should also practice fire drills with your family and plan out multiple evacuation routes should you ever need to evacuate your home.

Make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. Whether it’s the Big One, a house fire, or an unexpected storm, we want you to be “ready for whatever happens!”

SERVPRO Equipment Guide: Direct In Systems

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPROs number one priority is restoring as much of your home as is possible, not only to keep your home “home”, but also to cause minimal disturbance to your day to day life. One of the many techniques that we use to make sure that your home remains as intact as possible during the mitigation process is the Directed In system.  The Directed In system is an attachment for one of our air movers that allows for the connection of many small tubes.  The tubes are run through an affected wall or tow kick, which grants access to an area that would otherwise be accessed with demolition   The air mover then blows warm, thirsty air (created by our dehumidifiers) into the affected space, creating an environment that is optimal for drying.  The Direct In system is another way that SERVPRO of Skagit County – SERVPRO of Marysville/Arlington ensures that your home is restored to preloss condition in a timely manner.