How to Prepare Your Home for Winter
It’s time to prepare your home for colder winter months. Preparing for the change in season can help save energy and prevent costly damage.
As winter fast approaches, it’s time to start preparing your home for the colder months of the year. Problems you may not have noticed during the rest of the year can become a bigger issue as the weather starts to shift. Properly preparing for the change in season can help you save energy and prevent costly damage.
Prepare Your Pipes
The last thing you want during the winter months is a frozen pipe. Water expands when it freezes, which can result in burst pipes, flooding, and major water damage.
Leaky pipes can lead to expensive problems if they’re left untreated when winter comes. Watch for telltale signs of leaky pipes such as unexplained high water use or water damage. If you suspect you might have a leak, get your home inspected.
If you have any pipes in unheated or uninsulated areas of your home, make sure to wrap the pipes with heat tape or pipe insulation.
If you plan to head south for the winter or go out of town for an extended period of time, you may want to consider shutting off the water completely and hiring a service to drain your pipes.
Shut Off Exterior Faucets
Don’t forget your exterior water systems. If you don’t properly drain water from your exterior faucets/pipes, they may freeze, expand, and cause damage. Disconnect garden hoses, and drain the water out of the faucets. Unless you have frost-proof faucets, you’ll need to use the shut-off valve located inside your house.
Inspect Your Heating Systems
Before the first frost, have your HVAC system inspected. This will allow you to identify potential problems early and enjoy energy savings throughout the winter months. Make sure to vacuum out the vents, replace furnace filters if needed, and check for issues like leaks, cracks, or an underperforming system.
Inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney as well. You’ll want both in top shape for those cozy nights next to the fire.
Reverse Your Fan
During the summer months, most fans turn counter clockwise, which allows the slightly angled blades to push air down. This creates a wind-chill effect, which cools down the occupants of the room.
Warm air rises, which unfortunately means the warmest part of a room is well above you. If you can force the cooler air upward, you can push the warmer air down to your level and not have to turn the heat on quite as high. If you reverse the fan to rotate clockwise, it will pull up the cooler air from the bottom of the room toward the ceiling, which will force the warmer air in the upper part of the room down.
Clear Your Gutters
It’s always a good idea to clean out the gutters, but it’s especially important right before winter. The fall months, while beautiful, come with a lot of natural debris. Unfortunately, fallen leaves, twigs, and pine needles can clog up gutters and cause ice dams and icicles in the winter. Regularly clear out the debris to prepare for winter.
Examine Your Roof
Even small leaks in your roof can cost you in both utilities and greater damage to your roof. Clear the debris off your roof, and take a look at its current condition. Watch for damaged or missing shingles, any pooled water, or other signs of potential roof damage.
Seal Your Doors and Windows
Check your weather stripping and re-caulk around doorways or windows as necessary. If gaps between siding and a window or doorframe are bigger than the width of a nickel, it’s time to re-caulk. Make sure you use caulk that’s recommended for home exterior use.
Whether you find problems while preparing your home or it sustains winter-related water damage, SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is here to help.
We offer 24/7 emergency service, and we can help prepare your home or restore water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 360-243-8313.
What to Do When Your Business is a Victim of Burglary, Vandalism, or Arson
Do you know what you'll do if your business is a victim of a crime?
If your business is a victim of a crime, it can be costly both financially and emotionally. After law enforcement comes and goes, you might find yourself wondering what to do next to get your business up and running again. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we offer a wide array of services to help you get back to business in no time.
After a break-in, you might expect to feel uneasy or angry. You might not expect the mess or damage that can come along with a crime scene.
First, there’s the damage the actual break-in may have caused, such as broken windows, damaged entryways, etc. There may even be blood and other bodily fluids or pepper spray residue. However, crime-solving can leave a mess behind, too. Your property might have substances like fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals as well.
After you file the paperwork and report what’s missing to the police, we can fix your property so you can get back to running your business. Whether you need someone to clean and disinfect or someone to handle larger repairs, we have the knowledge and training needed to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”
Vandalism can range in severity from graffiti on a wall to destruction of property. You’ll want to take quick action to restore your business for both office morale and safety.
Graffiti may create an unprofessional atmosphere that could potentially drive away clients. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe we can remove graffiti from most surfaces including, but not limited to:
More severe vandalism, like a broken window or entryway, can leave employees feeling unsafe, and it can leave your business open to weather problems and, potentially, more crime.
We have the tools and expertise necessary to get your business up and running in no time. We offer commercial cleaning services above and beyond what a maid service might provide. We can take care of everything from debris removal to board-up services to water damage restoration.
Even a small fire can cause significant fire and smoke damage to your property. Firefighting efforts may even cause water damage. While police can perform the important work of finding out who committed the crime, you’ll still need to get your business ready to open again.
Our trained professionals understand the urgency of restoring your workplace to professional standards. We work hard to efficiently restore your building and belongings to pre-fire condition. We even help manage the insurance claims process.
When you run a business, you know that time is money. We offer 24/7 service, so don’t hesitate to call us day or night to start the restoration process. If your business is the victim of a crime, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313, and we’ll make sure your property is cleaned up and ready for business.
Using Your 3 Senses to Find Mold in Your Home
It’s important to be able to identify potential mold growth in your home; luckily, three of your senses can help you find the common signs of mold.
Mold spores can exist just about anywhere inside or out. Unfortunately, that means it’s easy to develop a mold growth problem wherever moisture and a food source are present. However, there are many things you can do to control mold growth in your home.
It’s important to be able to identify potential mold growth in your home; luckily, three of your senses—sight, smell, and touch—can help you find some of the more common signs of mold.
The most obvious indication you have mold is seeing the mold itself. Mold tends to accumulate in moist, dark areas. Common places you might see mold include:
- Window sills
- Spoiled food
- Beneath counters
- Bathtub grout
- Inside toilet
- Shower curtains
- Attics and crawlspaces
Unfortunately, if the mold growth amount is small, many people assume it’s something else like dirt. If the mold is an unexpected color, some homeowners ignore it as well. Mold can come in a variety of colors like:
Pink, orange, and purple molds are less common, but they can show up behind wallpaper.
There are other visual indicators of possible mold, even if you don’t see the mold itself. Watch for water stains on your ceilings or walls. Look for leaking pipes and faucets as well.
Of course, some mold is hidden from view. Fortunately, your sense of smell can help point you in the right direction. If you notice a strange odor in your home, particularly if the smell is stronger in certain areas of your home, this may indicate you have mold.
Mold has a musty, distinct odor. The smell could also be described as stale, wet, and earthy. Moldy food may give off a more rotten smell.
Your sense of touch can help you identify mold risks. As mentioned before, mold flourishes in damp environments.
Pay attention to wet spots on your carpet. If your carpet feels soggy, do a little detective work and find out if anyone has spilled liquid in the area recently. If not, or if the spot consistently remains wet, you may have a leak, which can lead to mold.
Watch any wet, or warped, spots you feel on your walls as well, as they can also be a sign of water damage and mold.
Essentially, any time a surface in your home feels consistently wet without an immediate explanation, you might have a leak somewhere. Unfortunately, damp surfaces with food sources are perfect for growing mold.
Perhaps the most infamous of all mold is black mold. It’s important to note that not all mold that is black in color refers to the specific toxigenic variety that people worry about.
Stachybotrys Atra (or Stachybotrys chartarum) is commonly referred to as “black mold”. It has been linked by the Institute of Medicine to respiratory issues, like coughing and wheezing, in otherwise healthy people. It has also been linked with more severe symptoms in people susceptible to specific respiratory conditions.
It is often a dark green-black or gray color, and it may look slimy. It may also seem dry and powdery if it loses its water source. It gives off the typical musty, mildew smell common to other types of mold.
It is very easy to mistake black mold for other types of mold and vice versa. If you find signs of mold in your home, you should call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe to start the identification and remediation process.
We can help you locate both apparent and hidden mold in your home. We can also help find and fix sources of moisture that may have contributed to the mold problem in the first place. Call us at 360-243-8313 today.
How to Prevent Fires in Your Home
Seven people die every day from home fire. Read our tips to help prevent fires in your home.
According to the American Red Cross, seven people die every day from a home fire. While the causes of these fires vary, there are steps you can take to make your home safer. Apply these tips to help prevent fires in your home.
Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms
While smoke alarms will not prevent a fire from starting, they can save lives and potentially minimize property damage. You should install a fire alarm inside and outside of each sleeping area as well as on every level, including the basement.
Test the alarms monthly, and replace the batteries every 6 months. Replace the entire alarm every 10 years.
Space Out Your Heating Devices
It might be tempting to sit right next to a space heater while curled up in a blanket on a cold day, but it’s important to keep all devices with a heating element at least three feet away from flammable objects.
When your space heaters, curling irons, or other devices are not in use, make sure to shut them off and unplug them.
Be a Watchful Cook
It’s easy to get distracted while cooking, especially if you have children. However, kitchens are a high-risk area for household fires, so it’s important to remain diligent.
- Never leave food unattended while cooking, especially working with oil. Hot grease can splash and ignite.
- Keep flammable objects, like washcloths, pot holders, and paper towels, away from the stovetop.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
- Don’t splash water on a grease fire—smother it with a lid.
- Keep the door closed if a fire starts in the oven. Turn it off and wait for the fire to extinguish.
Smoking, if you aren’t careful, can create significant fire hazards in your home. To avoid fire hazards, it is best to smoke outside. When smoking, make sure the lit butts don’t fall beneath or near flammable materials such as furniture, debris, etc. Use a wide, sturdy ashtray and dispose of all butts and ashes properly.
While you always run a greater fire risk when you smoke indoors than out, it is particularly dangerous to smoke in bed. It’s too easy to fall asleep while lying in bed and start a fire.
Watch Your Candles
Candles can add a great ambience to your home, but if they aren’t watched carefully, they are a significant fire hazard. According to the NFPA, between 2009 and 2013 an average of 25 home candle fires were reported per day.
Minimize the fire risk with the following tips:
- Never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Blow out all candles before going to sleep, even for naps.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from flammable items.
- Make sure your candles are secure in their holders.
- Don’t place candles on furniture that can easily tip over.
Check Your Wiring and Appliances
Electrical fires can cause damage before you realize there is a problem. Regularly inspect your electrical appliances. Check to make sure they are still functioning smoothly and that the cords are in good repair.
The electrical wiring within your walls, if damaged, can also cause a fire. If your electricity shuts off regularly or trips fuses or breakers, you likely have a problem. Faulty or old wiring and outlets can be hazardous. If you aren’t an electrician, it’s best to call in a professional to work on the wiring.
These methods will help minimize potential fire risks in your home; however, accidents still happen. If fire damages your home, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.
We offer 24/7 emergency service, and we can restore your home “Like it never even happened.” To start the restoration process, call us at 360-243-8313.
How to Prevent Fires in the Office
Office fires lead to millions of dollars of damage every year. Simple changes in your office can prevent damage like this.
Have you reviewed your office’s fire prevention and safety procedures recently? Office fires lead to millions of dollars of property damage every year as well as employee injuries and deaths. Simple changes in your office can both prevent fires and prepare your employees for emergencies.
Avoid Overloading Circuits
Outlets were only designed to handle so much. You may be tempted to use power strips to plug in as many devices into each outlet as possible, but overloading your circuits can lead to fires.
Talk to your electrician to set rules for the outlets in your building, and communicate these rules to each of your employees.
Clear the Clutter
It’s easy to let paper, boxes, and the like clutter desks and other work areas. However, clutter provides easy fuel for fires to grow and spread faster. Boxes of papers near a stairwell or door can easily catch fire and block potential exits during an emergency.
Most accidental office fires start in the kitchen. It’s important to keep flammable materials away from kitchen equipment such as coffee machines and hot plates. Clean these appliances regularly so they can function properly.
Make sure all heat-producing equipment has room for air to circulate around it, especially copy machines, computers, space heaters, and coffee machines.
Shut Down Appliances & Equipment
While most office fires happen during the day, the most damaging fires happen while everyone is gone for the night. Choose a designated person to sweep through the office and turn off electrical appliances at the end of each work day.
Examine all electrical equipment employees bring in, such as space heaters and lamps, to make sure they are in good condition. Require employees to unplug these devices when they leave as well.
Establish a No-Flame Rule
Don’t allow employees to use lighted birthday candles or burn scented candles at their desk or in break rooms. Remember, accidents with small flames can lead to big problems.
Watch the Wiring
If any of your office’s electrical cords show signs of damage such as fraying or tears in the plastic covering, replace them immediately. Encourage your employees to report any defective wiring as well. Exposed wiring can encounter moisture, which may cause short circuiting and fires.
Don’t run cords across the floor where people may step on them or roll over them with carts or chairs. This leads to damaged cords, which can, in turn, lead to a fire hazard.
Secure the Building
Arson accounts for a significant portion of office fires. Lock up your building securely every night. Make sure any parking lots or alleyways near your building are well lit. You may want to invest in a security system as well.
Create and Implement an Office Evacuation Plan
Consider talking with your local fire department to create an office fire safety and evacuation plan. Identify all possible exits in your office, and establish an evacuation protocol including office safety officers and meeting places. Print out copies of the plan that highlight exits, escape routes, and meeting places.
Display your office evacuation plan in high employee traffic areas, like break rooms. Go over the plan with all new employees, and schedule fire drills every few months to practice.
Equip your office with fire safety items such as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Your fire department should know the exact requirements for your building.
At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we can create an Emergency READY Profile for your business. When disaster strikes, you don’t want to spend time trying to figure out who to contact for what. Our ERPs include a detailed assessment of your facility along with a profile document and guide to getting you back to business faster after an incident. We even offer a mobile app for convenience.
Even small fires can leave significant property damage; smoke can enter your ventilation system and spread soot and debris throughout your building. We can accurately assess fire and smoke damage and help make your office “Like it never even happened.”
If you’ve had a fire in your office, or if you want to set up an Emergency READY Profile, call us today at 360-243-8313.
Be Prepared: Gear Up with a 72-Hour Emergency Kit
If disaster occurs, it is important to be able to take care of yourself and your family. Be prepared to meet your family’s needs for at least 3 days.
Unfortunately, storms and natural disasters don’t wait until we’re ready before they strike—they’re on their own timetable. Earthquakes, windstorms, and floods, if severe enough, can even prevent emergency services from reaching all affected areas for days. Until they arrive, you’ll need to be able to take care of yourself. Don’t delay preparing an emergency preparedness kit for your family.
Picking a Pack
You should be prepared to meet your family’s needs for at least three days. Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit for each member of your family.
If a storm or other disaster is destructive enough, you may have to leave your home. These kits should be packed in something portable, like a suitcase or backpack. Back-to-school sales are a perfect opportunity to buy backpacks for your kits.
Make sure to store your kits somewhere easily accessible in an emergency, like a coat closet near the front door.
Food & Water
The first rule of food in an emergency kit is packing nonperishable items your family will actually eat. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Trail mix
- Granola Bars
- Canned vegetables and fruit
- Canned stews and other meals
- Baby formula (in at least two kits in case your family gets separated) if needed
- Pet food and supplies if needed
Remember—you must be able to open your food. If you pack cans, make sure you have a can opener. Scissors are great for opening plastic packaging. It’s a good idea to bring along a set of dishes as well.
Plan for about a gallon of water per person per day. Water bottles are an easy way to store and carry water. You can also consider buying portable water filtration systems. Filtration systems should not be considered a substitution for bottled water because you can’t depend on water, contaminated or not, being available everywhere.
Take note of expiration dates. As a general rule, check your emergency food storage every six months. A good trick is to check your storage when daylight savings begins and ends. You should check on your water every 6-12 months.
Medicine & Hygiene
All 72-hour kits should include a first aid kit. You can either buy one or put one together yourself. You can start to build a first aid kit with the following items:
- Various sizes of bandages and gauze
- Antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments
- Antiseptic wipes
- Oral thermometers
- Scissors and tweezers
- Cold compress
- Matches in a waterproof container
Don’t forget to include your personal medication as well along with children’s versions of medication if necessary. If your medication needs to be refrigerated, buy an insulated container to carry in your kit. Make sure you rotate medication according to expiration dates.
You’ll also want to pack hygienic and personal items. This will vary family to family. You can start with items on this list, if applicable:
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss
- Feminine hygiene products
- Glasses, contacts, contact cases and solution
- Baby wipes and diapers
- Soap bars
- Toilet paper
Clothing & Comfort
While it’s possible to wear the same clothes for three days, your family will be a lot more comfortable if they have a fresh pair of clothes to change into each day. If your clothing gets wet, it can even be a safety hazard if it’s cold out.
Along with clothes, bring along a sleeping bag or blanket (foil blankets can easily fit in these packs and sleeping bags can attach to bags with straps).
Tools & Electronics
A small tool kit can be very useful in an emergency. At least in adult kits, include a wrench, screwdriver, and Swiss Army knife.
Make sure every member of the family has a flashlight (with extra batteries), along with a battery or crank-powered radio. Include extra cell phone chargers in your packs as well, in case you end up somewhere with electricity.
Personal Documents & Cash
In an emergency, you may not have the chance to gather your personal items. Keep copies of important documents in your emergency kit. Include items such as:
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Social security cards
- Drivers Licenses or State IDs
- Pictures of your family members
You’ll also want to have cash in each kit because credit/debit cards may not work if electricity is out. It’s important to carry both bills and coins. Add money to your kits weekly to build up your reserve.
Three days is a long time without any kind of entertainment, especially if you are used to using electronics. Pack a few items to help the time pass for both you and any children. Some ideas include:
- Coloring and activity books
- Small puzzles
- Books to read
- Decks of cards
Anything small and easily portable that doesn’t require electricity will do.
If a disaster hits your home, it’s important to be prepared to act quickly. Preparing now can help keep you and your family safe in the future.
If your home sustains damage from a storm or natural disaster, we can help restore it “Like it never even happened.” Call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313 for 24-hour service.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: How to Prepare for Power Outages
Be prepared for when the power goes out so you don't have to be afraid of the dark.
Power outages can range from mildly inconvenient to a crisis depending on the severity of the cause and the amount of time an area goes without power. However, when it comes to preparation, you are anything but powerless.
Keep Alternative Sources of Light
Invest in flashlights for every major room in the house, and keep them in accessible areas such as:
- Kitchen drawers
- Bathroom cabinets
- Entertainment centers
Make sure you have the appropriate back-up batteries for each flashlight. For rooms where you’ll want to be more hands-free, like the bathroom, choose flashlights with a hook.
If you choose to use candles, keep a supply of matches in a cool, dry place. Place candles away from flammable materials like curtains and furniture. Keep all candles and matches out of reach of young children and pets.
Protect Your Electronics
After a power outage is fixed, your home may experience a surge of electricity, which can harm your electrical appliances. If the power goes out, unplug all your valuable electronics—especially TVs, laptops, phones, microwaves, etc.
Check your devices and outlets for scorch marks before turning them on after a power outage.
Store Food and Water
You’ll need at least two quarts of water stored for each person every day. However, it’s better to have a gallon. Remember to rotate your water storage as needed.
Include a couple of buckets in your emergency supply. You can fill your bathtubs full of water from the tap immediately as the power goes out and use buckets to flush toilets, depending on your type of pump, without using your drinking water supply.
Maintain a supply of non-perishable foods that don’t require a lot of cooking. Try to have at least a three-to-five-day supply of food your family will actually want to eat. Make sure you have manual can and bottle openers.
Avoid eating any potentially spoiled food. Your refrigerator, if full, should stay cool for around 24 hours if you keep it closed. A full freezer may last up to 48 hours.
Keep your pets in mind while gathering supplies. Make sure you have food and water for them as well.
Prepare First Aid Kits and Medicine
If you have any medications you need to keep cool, invest in an ice cooler. Make sure you have ice on hand to keep it cold. You can use coolers to keep some of your perishable food cold as well.
Either buy or put together first aid kits. The Red Cross provides a good guide on what to include. Don’t forget any medications specific to your family’s needs.
Charge Your Communication Devices
Your cell phone can be your connection to valuable information during an outage, but it’s useless if it runs out of battery. Invest in a car charger as well as a solar or crank-powered charger. You won’t regret having a few options.
You may also want to invest in a battery-, solar-, or crank-powered radio in case you don’t have cell service during an emergency. Don’t forget to keep extra batteries around.
Follow Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) for up-to-date information on power outages. Their website provides information on how to report power outages as well as more tips for what to do to stay safe. Keep a list of utility numbers to contact during an emergency.
Power outages can be stressful, but proper preparation can help keep you safer and more comfortable. If your home or property is damaged during a storm or outage, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
With our 24/7 emergency service, we’re there when you need us most. Call us at 360-243-8313.
Common Causes of Home Water Damage
Most causes of water damage are not as obvious as a leaking toilet. Finding the cause of the problem may take some detective work.
It might seem easy to find the source of the water damage if your basement floods, but most causes are not so obvious. Determining the origin of the problem may require a bit of detective work, and simply cleaning up the signs of damage often won’t fix the root cause.
Small leaks in your roof can lead to large amounts of damage. Flat roofs are particularly susceptible to water damage. Even though most flat roofs do have a slight incline, natural debris, like leaves and branches, can create areas where water can easily build up. Standing water can create cracks and leaks in your roof, which can result in water damage throughout your home.
Even if your roof has a steep incline, debris and freezing temperatures in the winter can create natural dams on your roof. Moss can also cause similar issues as it absorbs water and holds it in place on your roof. Regularly clear moss and debris off your roof to prevent damage.
Ideally, gutters direct water off your roof and away from your home. However, it’s easy for leaves, branches, and other debris to clog your gutters. Over time, water will build up and start to overflow onto your walls. Small holes can form as well. Instead of guiding water away from your home, water will constantly leak down its walls. This creates an ideal situation for water damage to occur.
Multi-level homes should regularly inspect the gutters on all roof levels. If gutters start to overflow from a higher level, water can impact lower roofs with greater volume and velocity than rain and cause damage.
Frequently clear out your gutters, especially in the fall or after a windy day.
Depending on the location and severity of a broken or leaking pipe, this can be one of the most obvious causes of damage or one of the most subtle.
Winter is a common season for burst pipes. Insufficient insulation can cause pipes to freeze, expand and burst. People might leave on vacation and forget to keep the heat on while they’re gone, and the pipes freeze. Rust and age can also damage your pipes.
Unfortunately, it can take a while to notice a leaking pipe, which can give water plenty of time to damage your property. Watch for telltale signs such as lower water pressure, discolored water, or staining on your walls.
While you might prefer to avoid sewage in your day-to-day life, tree roots enjoy easy access to sources of water and fertilizer. Tree roots will often grow into and clog drain lines, which causes the sewage to back up and results in water damage in and around your home.
These clogs will often affect multiple drains. If you flush your toilet and hear gurgling coming from the shower drain, you may have a sewer clog. To prevent tree roots from finding their way into your sewage lines, you can install metal or wood barriers running vertically by the lines. Make sure they are buried 6-12” deeper than the pipe.
Toilets and sewer lines can also clog after someone flushes inappropriate items down the toilet. Make sure everyone in your home knows to avoid flushing feminine hygiene products, rags, cotton balls, paper towels, baby wipes, diapers, etc. If it’s not toilet paper, don’t send it down the toilet.
Broken or Malfunctioning Appliances
As water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers age, they can develop rust, leaks, and cracks. Even a small trickle of water can cause damage over time. Keep an eye on your machines as they get older. Watch for any decreases in performance, and inspect the appliances regularly.
These are a few of the more common causes of water damage. The truth is, wherever there is water in your home, there is a potential for damage if something goes wrong. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we know how to fix water damage at the source of the problem. Using our experience and training, we offer long-term solutions to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
We know that water problems can occur at any time, which is why we offer 24-hour emergency service. If you find signs of water damage in your home, don’t hesitate to call us at 360-243-8313.
7 Tips to Prevent Mold in Your Business
Keep your business clean to help prevent mold growth.
Why should you worry about mold in your building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Additionally, if left unchecked, some types of mold have strong odors and may trigger allergic reactions or irritate existing respiratory conditions in some people.
Mold can grow anywhere with enough moisture and organic material. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your business.
Tip #1: Clean Out the Refrigerator
It can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others won’t. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Over time, mold can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator.
Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.
Tip #2: Look for And Repair Leaks
Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem.
Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around window sills and in attic spaces.
Tip #3: Keep It Clean
It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well.
Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.
Tip #4: Turn on the AC/Dehumidifier
Leaks aren’t the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.
Tip #5: Clean out Trash Cans
While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow.
Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.
Tip #6: Take Care of Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts.
Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.
Tip #7: Slope the Ground Away from the Foundation
If the ground around your building slopes toward the foundation, water can accumulate and weaken your building’s structure. Additionally, it provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. The ground should slope away from the building. You should also make sure your building follows the local building codes for drainage.
Mold is persistent. Even if you follow all the right steps it’s still possible for mold to grow and spread in your building. Fortunately, at SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we have the right experience in mold remediation to make your place of business “Like it never even happened.”
Unfortunately, mold doesn’t stay put—it grows quickly. You’ll want to give us a call as soon as you notice it, so we can start the remediation process. Our technicians have the training, equipment, and knowledge necessary to help locate and remediate mold efficiently.
If you find mold in your place of business, don’t hesitate to call us at 360-243-8313.
Choose SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe for Your Cleaning and Restoration
Why should you choose SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe?
When your business suffers damage from something like a flood, fire, or other disaster, the recovery process may be more extensive than you first realize. In many cases, the damage may exceed what your normal cleaning staff can handle.
At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we’re prepared to handle almost any disaster with a focus on safety, efficient service, and a dedication to restoring your business’s aesthetic.
Focus on Safety
No matter whether your building has been damaged by fire, water, or mold, at SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, our number one priority is making your building safe for you and your employees again.
Our technicians have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to comprehensively treat your place of business after it’s been damaged. We offer a variety of services, including, but not limited to:
- Fire and Smoke Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Odor Control
- Sewage Cleanup
- Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
- Vandalism Removal
Our dedication to safety includes the training and certification of our technicians. Our technicians are prepared to execute the best practices for a variety of restoration and cleaning services.
At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we understand that every hour you spend cleaning up and recovering from damage to your property is a lost hour of productivity for your business. Lost time is lost money.
When it comes to water and fire damage as well as mold, time is of the essence. Delayed treatment can lead to greater, more stubborn damage. We offer 24/7 service, which means we’re faster to any size disaster. We can even work with your insurance company to further streamline the process.
We offer long-term solutions, not short-term cover-ups. Often, the visible signs of water damage, like water-stained ceilings, wet carpet, mold, etc., are merely symptoms of a larger problem, like a leak in your roof, a burst pipe, etc. We don’t simply slap on a coat of paint or clean your carpet and leave. We help find the root cause of the problem to both treat the current issues and prevent future damage.
We focus on a “restore first” mentality to get you up and running faster with lower costs. We’ll prioritize restoring your building and property instead of replacement whenever possible.
We understand the importance of putting your best foot forward for your clients and customers. After a storm, fire, or flood, your building might be less than presentable. Our comprehensive services allow us to restore your building to its pre-damage condition. Our cleaning and restoration services include, but are not limited to:
- Carpet and Tile Repair and Installation
- Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning
- Drapes and Blinds Cleaning
- Drywall Removal and Installation
By the time we’re done, you’ll be ready to open your doors to your clients with pride. We work hard to make your building “Like it never even happened.”
At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we’re dedicated to making your building safe, providing you with efficient service, and restoring the aesthetic of your place of business. If your business suffers fire, water, mold, or any other type of damage, give us a call at 360-243-8313.