The Presence of Mold and Lawsuits
Mold damage in a Fairfax, WA building
The Steps of Mold Remediation
If you own a property with tenants or are the manager of such a property, you have a responsibility to respond to complaints in a timely fashion. Failure to do so could result in a lawsuit against the property. Mold insurance claims result when mold is present in a building and this affects the desirability of the property or the health of tenants. While this can happen in a wide range of businesses, it is more common in places such as apartment complexes and other rental units. To avoid lawsuits, a property owner should take all complaints of mold seriously, and begin the steps of mold remediation as soon as possible.
When a tenant in Fairfax, WA, notifies you of a problem, there are a few things to do right away. The following steps might reduce your exposure to mold insurance claims:
- Acknowledge the complaint
- Let the tenant know you will begin action quickly
- Call a mold remediation team to conduct an inspection and damage assessment
- Follow the recommended process for mold cleanup
Since mold can cause health effects to certain people, it makes solid business sense to treat the problem seriously and to avoid a mold claim. Both common law and many state laws require landlords to provide a healthy living environment for tenants. This is also true for business that have employees and clients who could be harmed by the presence of mold.
So long as your business has responded appropriately, you should be able to manage your vulnerability to mold insurance claims. It is important to respond quickly to the situation, and to follow through until the building is safe. This will include mold containment and mold removal with the help of a qualified team. It is crucial that you understand your business liability insurance policy and that you protect your business against a mold claim.
A Proven Process for Claims Service
SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner
Most businesses, if they are lucky and vigilant, only go through a real disaster once every few decades. While the company may have taken precautions to be prepared, the workers most affected may not have a lot of experience and training dealing with floods or fires. In these trying circumstances, a professional disaster remediation team will be a big help. Once SERVPRO franchise technicians arrive on-site, in as little as four hours, an inspection and damage assessment begins, while simultaneously attention to claim services starts. This attention to detail on insurance paperwork makes for a seamless process that is appreciated by insurance adjusters.
The Value of an Emergency Response
Quick action is vital to preventing further damage to a building and keeping expenses low. A fast response has the following benefits:
- Increased safety
- Prevention of additional damage
- Prevention of mold outbreak from water damage
- Faster recovery
- Decreased business interruption
Proven claim services benefit from a streamlined process. Steps along the way include a notice of loss, detailed records of damages and mitigation efforts, digital photos, scanned copies of paperwork and communication to stakeholders. The process is meant to make things easier for insurance adjusters so they can better serve clients.
The Value of Trained Technicians
A Disaster in Elbe, WA, demands an effective response. Mitigation professionals are trained in the latest IICRC standards and proficient in equipment such as wet vacuums, industrial fans, and gamma irradiation measures. Experience and knowledge allow for damages to be minimized and provide the ability to restore items when possible, instead of more costly replacement. Pretesting of items also is an effective cost-containment measure.
Insurance agents needn't worry about paperwork that is missing details, is unclear and that is delayed. Organized and detailed claim services make SERVPRO the preferred disaster relief company for many insurance companies. It is one of the final steps in a successful recovery effort.
Common Places To Find Mold in Your Business
Mold caused by leaking pipe in a Eatonville, WA bathroom
Places Where Mold Commonly Grows
As a business owner, you know the importance of keeping your business in Eatonville,WA clean and safe. However, mold growth can affect both the appearance and the safety of your building, and mold can sometimes be overlooked if you don’t know where to look. There are several places where mold commonly grows.
Areas that are frequently damp and humid can help to create the perfect environment for mold to grow, making bathrooms a common area to find mold. Sinks or toilets may have mold growing near them because mold grows close to wherever water is present. Additionally, pipe leaks or even pipe breaks in a bathroom can result in water damage, which can allow for mold to grow.
Basements can often be a common site of mold growth. If a flood occurs, a building’s basement is likely the first place to be impacted, and floodwater may be left to sit. Mold can grow in a matter of days, and the longer water remains stagnant, the more likely it is for mold to grow. Basements are also likely to experience pipe leaks, and in combination with high humidity if a basement is not well-ventilated, mold can quickly grow.
3. Water Heaters and Air Conditioners
Although it may seem odd that mold would grow close to large appliances, water heaters and air conditioners are often areas in which mold grows. Both water heaters and air conditioners are often placed in areas that do not experience much foot traffic, like a basement, and such spaces often are susceptible to mold. Additionally, both water heaters and air conditioners could have leaks or could create condensation, and the increased moisture makes it more likely that mold will grow in that area.
Understanding areas where mold growth is likely can help you prevent mold from occurring in your business. If your building has been affected by mold, many people find it helpful to work with mold remediation professionals.
How to Remove Smoke Odor From Your Building
Fire damage in an Elbe, WA warehouse
How to Remove Smoke Odor From Your Building
If a fire starts in your building, you may be lucky to escape serious damage from the flames. Smoke can be just as problematic, though. Leaving soot and ash, smoke can ruin walls, floors, furniture, electronics and other materials in your Elbe, WA, building. The strong odor can be unbearable, too. Without effective smoke cleaning, it may be impossible for people to work effectively and safely. When you call the pros, you can have peace of mind that your workplace will soon be back to normal.
What the Specialists Can Clean
The sight of smoke damage can be scary for a business owner. You may not think you'll be able to recover from such a disaster. Fortunately, professional fire restoration companies have the training and knowledge to salvage many items in your building. Crews can clean the following:
- Documents such as maps, books, photographs and paper
- Computers, printers, servers and telephones
What You Can Do
For significant smoke odor problems, you should let the pros take over. However, if the fire was in a smaller area, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage. Open windows to get air flowing through the building. You can also turn on fans throughout the area.
Fire cleanup specialists will arrive at your office with the right tools and equipment to handle smoke cleaning. Technicians may begin with ozone machines. This device sends ozone gas in the air to kill airborne particles that the smoke left behind. Thermal fogging machines are another technique where a deodorizing solution absorbs the odor molecules. Some companies may use air filtration devices to remove the smell. Chances are good that the crews will use a combination of these techniques.
Smoke cleaning is critical after a fire. Professional crews will use these methods to make your office a safer, more pleasant place to work.
How To Maximize the Value of Your Commercial Roof
Men working on a commercial roof in Fairfax, WA
Though it is often taken for granted, few things are more important to your business than your commercial roof. If you have a large building, construction and the care and maintenance of the roof is a significant expense. Even a smaller roof space represents a sizable capital outlay, so it is important to make smart decisions on all things to do with roofing. A simple roof leak has the potential to cause damage to your property, harm equipment and even shut down your business. A powerful storm in Fairfax, WA can be an existential threat to your company without a strong roof overhead.
The ABCs of Commercial Roofing
To prevent storm and wind damage, a solid roof is essential. Pared down to the basics, a successful roof program consists of the following elements:
- Hire an experienced, reputable roofing contractor for all of your needs
- Choose the best type of roof for your geographic locality
- Schedule regular inspections by a professional to keep an eye on developing problems
- Clean gutters and storm drains for good water movement
- Repair such items as a roof leak and missing shingles as needed
- Replace roof when necessary
Always have a category for roofing in your budget. It's better to plan ahead than to be surprised by a major expense.
The Fundamentals of Storm Recovery
If a roof leak, or something worse, impacts your business, call in a professional storm remediation team in Fairfax, WA. Look for a company that is located nearby and that can arrive Faster to any size disaster. A rapid inspection and assessment of storm damage is the first step, followed by removing any standing water from the premises. The storm cleanup team will work safely, bring in advanced equipment and use proven techniques to restore your property to its original state. A rapid response means your company can be up and running again Like it never even happened.
Effective Ways to Clean up After a Water Heater Leak
Water damage due to a leaking water heater
Effective Ways to Clean up After a Water Heater Leak
When you've got a home full of appliances and various systems, you know something is going to haywire eventually. You just hope the issues don't lead to a catastrophe. A leaking water heater can be a serious problem if you don't take care of it quickly. Without a fast response, you could face water damage from flooding. By following the right cleanup procedures, you can avoid ruined carpet, walls and other materials.
Survey the Scene
Your first clue that you've got a broken water heater will likely be obvious: You won't have any hot water. When you inspect this appliance, first look for obvious leaks. If you notice water coming out, make note of the extent of the damage. If there is a large amount of water on the floor, call a professional water removal company to assist you. You should then do the following:
- Unplug any electrical devices in the area to avoid the risk of electrocution.
- Remove any nearby materials and items such as carpet or furniture.
- Extract what water you can and start drying out the area.
Involving the Pros
If you don't feel comfortable handling a failed water heater flood on your own, or if you don't have the right equipment, the water cleanup crew can take over. Professionals have the experience and tools to thoroughly remove all water, stop the source of flooding and restore your home to its pre-flood state.
After the Water is Gone
Soaking up the water and fixing the leaking water heater isn't enough to do the job properly. The pros will also use industrial-strength fans and humidifiers to get all moisture off the ground and walls. This will keep mold from growing. Also, the team will tear out and replace any damaged flooring or drywall.
You rely on your water heater every day. When you've got a leaking water heater, follow these guidelines so you can get it back in good condition and rid your home of water damage.
The 3 Essentials of Home Fire Preparedness
Having a fire extinguisher in your home can protect you and your property until emergency services arrive
The 3 Essentials of Home Fire Preparedness
What do a furnace technician, a fire extinguisher and a list of contacts have in common? They are all elements of home fire preparedness. Understanding the importance of fire prevention, readiness and early detection may help you reduce your risk level for fire in your Eatonville, WA, home.
1. Fire Prevention
Preventive measures can significantly minimize the potential sources of fire in your home. Consider the following suggestions:
Inspections – It can be important to have your natural gas lines inspected for leaks each year. If your lights ever flicker or dim, it is recommended that you have your electrical system inspected as well.
Maintenance – A blockage in a gas dryer vent or heat vent can ignite and start a fire. It is recommended that these vents be professionally cleaned each year.
Common Sense – Be sensible whenever interacting with combustible items such as cooking ranges, smoking implements or candles. Left unattended, these are potential sources for home fires.
While prevention minimizes the chances of a fire starting, it is still prudent to be prepared to address such an event, if needed.
2. Fire Readiness
Regular fire drills can help your family prepare to respond to a fire effectively. Most fire remediation specialists can provide training and ideas for drills. Having a fire sprinkler system and a fire extinguisher in your home can protect you and your property until emergency services arrive. Having quick access to assistance is essential; posting a list of emergency contacts, such as your insurance agent or a close neighbor, can make a big difference in a chaotic time.
3. Early Detection
Smoke alarms are required by building codes because they are effective at detecting fire in its early stages. The earlier it is detected, the more manageable it will be until emergency services arrive. Changing the batteries and vacuuming the exterior of the alarms every six months is recommended to ensure proper operation.
Having a fire extinguisher handy is smart, but it may not be enough. Consider creating a comprehensive fire preparedness plan. It can mean the difference between a little soot damage and a costly, devastating loss.
How To Determine the Seriousness of a Water Problem
Know the categories of water sources
Leaking water in a home is always cause for concern. This is especially true if contaminated water could come in contact with family members or pets. The urgency of the problem is determined by several factors, such as how much water is present, the location in the house and the type of water that is leaking.
Fortunately, there is a rating system that helps homeowners assess the seriousness of a leak. Property owners in Fairfax, WA, should know if they have a Category 1, a Category 2 or a Category 3 water problem. The higher the number, in general, the greater the urgency to get a water mitigation team to the home.
Know the Categories of Water Sources
The source of the problem water in your home determines its category most of the time. Here's a brief description of each category:
Category 1. This is water that comes from a clean source such as drinking lines, tub or sink overflows or the failure of a washing machine. It often poses little or no threat to the health of people.
Category 2. This is mildly contaminated water originating from toilet bowls, sump pumps and rainwater and often has a slightly discolored appearance. For this reason, it is typically referred to as greywater. It can have microorganisms present that could cause potential harm to humans.
Category 3. The presence of black water indicates a serious problem and a danger to health. Sources for this leak include sewage backups, toilet backups, floodwaters from rivers and streams and stagnant or standing water. It could also originate from a supply line that is carrying unsanitary water.
Take Immediate Action
Contaminated water in Fairfax, WA, is a serious problem. Professionals should be called to the scene as quickly as possible. All family members should do their best to stay away from unsanitary water to prevent contracting a waterborne illness.
Property Management Hurricane Preparedness
Be sure to have a storm preparedness plan ready to go
Storm Preparedness- What Should Be Included?
As a property manager in Elbe, WA, you stay busy. Add in hurricane season and your job can seem downright overwhelming. When you realize that the current hurricane on the radar is heading your way, it’s good to already have a plan. Storm preparedness is crucial to saving time, property and even lives in some instances. An emergency plan isn’t something that you can draw up last minute. It needs to be well thought out and shared with others. So, what should be included?
1. Review Your Insurance Coverage
Check your insurance policy to make sure that you have the necessary amount of coverage. Take time-stamped pre-storm photos of buildings and other property in case you have to file a claim. After a storm, take photos of all of the damage as soon as it’s safe to do so. Then hire storm damage cleanup professionals to make sure everything gets back up to code.
2. Prepare Buildings and Grounds
During hurricane-force winds, the most mundane object can become a long-range projectile. Get residents to move all outdoor furniture, grills, potted plants and lawn decorations indoors. Also, clean gutters to avoid flooding or water damage to buildings. Make sure tree branches are trimmed back so they won’t hit buildings or power lines. Have a storm preparedness plan for the use of sandbags, storm shutters or plywood and keep these items easily accessible.
3. Meet With Staff
Assign tasks for each staff member to prepare for the approaching storm. Some staff should reach out to tenants and residents and assist them in getting ready. Other employees may be entrusted with making sure the property itself is ready for the storm.
4. Contact Tenants and Residents
Offer help to residents and go over the evacuation plan with them. Implement an automatic alert and notification system which will contact your tenants via phone and text messaging. Compile a list of all residents, their pets and emergency contacts. Also, take note of any residents with special needs.
When you’re in the property management field it’s important to keep your residents and staff safe. Be sure to have a storm preparedness plan ready to go.
The Best Way To Control Mold Growth
Once mold shows up in your home, it should be removed through a thorough cleaning process.
A damp home is an unhappy home. Though you might not be able to detect excess moisture in your home, or a high level of humidity, you may be able to sense it on some level. The microscopic spores that make up mold, though, will be able to sense an opportunity, as they love a damp environment. If you experience water damage of any sort in Puyallup, WA this may be enough for mold to gain a foothold and start growing on the walls of the basement or the tiles in a bathroom. It can happen quickly, too, as mold growth can spread in as little as 48-72 hours. Since mold is always present in the atmosphere, it is just waiting for the right conditions to colonize a new area.
After any type of water damage, it's smart to call in a mold remediation team. They will have the right equipment to measure the humidity in your home. The following facts are helpful to understanding mold growth in your home:
Mold is present nearly everywhere
Mold spores thrive in damp conditions
Mold won't grow well in rooms below 45% humidity
Mold is an allergen and an irritant
Mold often produces a musty odor
The best remedy for mold prevention is to keep your home dry. If a leak occurs in your roof or from a burst water pipe the excess moisture should be removed quickly.
The source of the moisture should be addressed, otherwise the mold will keep returning. Air filtration is one important step as this pulls the spores out of the environment through the use of HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers. After water damage has occurred in your home, antimicrobial agents disinfect surfaces and help prevent the mold from returning.