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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter

10/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter If temperatures sink below freezing level, your home may be at risk for frozen pipes, which can cause major property damage.

As winter quickly approaches, it is time to prepare your home for the colder months ahead. Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and icy sidewalks. If temperatures sink below freezing level, your home may be at risk for frozen pipes, which can cause major property damage.

When water freezes it expands, which can result in burst pipes, flooding, and major water damage. Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

To help prevent pipes from freezing in your home this winter, follow these tips and suggestions.

Tip 1: Check Pipes for Leaks

Make sure all leaky pipes are repaired before the winter season begins. 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.

Tip 2: Insulate Pipes

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. This can help reduce the risk of water freezing in these pipes when temperatures drop.

Tip 3: Let Water Drip

When temperatures dip below freezing, simply turn your faucets on and let them drip. Allowing water to flow in your pipes helps reduce the risk of freezing.

Tip 4: Keep It Warm

Keep the temperature in your home consistently above 55 degrees, even when you are away. Let warm air circulate to cold areas and pipes. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes.

Tip 5: Shut Off Exterior Faucets

Don’t forget your exterior water systems. If you don’t properly drain water from your exterior faucets and pipes, they may freeze, expand, and cause damage. Disconnect garden hoses and sprinkler systems and drain the water out of faucets. Unless you have frost-proof faucets, you’ll need to use the shut-off valve located inside your house.

Tip 6: Turn Off the Water

If you plan on going 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. With the water turned off you remove the risk of a pipe freezing, bursting and flooding your home while you are gone for a prolonged period of time.

If your home does experience water damage this winter, 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.

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl 2018 at Cotton Bowl Stadium

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO First Responder Bowl 2018 at Cotton Bowl Stadium Tune into the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on December 26 at 12:30 p.m. CT (1:30 p.m. ET) televised on ESPN.

In a joint effort to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s First Responders, the annual college football bowl game played at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas has been renamed the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. Kickoff for the newly christened SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is set for December 26 at 12:30 p.m. CT (1:30 p.m. ET) and will be televised by ESPN. The agreement between ESPN Events and SERVPRO was brokered by Denver-based Impression Sports & Entertainment.

"We are truly grateful for all first responders’ sacrifice and service,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. “It is a tremendous privilege to honor these brave men and women who protect our communities 24/7/365. As this game continues to grow, so do our ties with first responders. Additionally, having a sponsor like SERVPRO who works along-side and supports these community heroes reinforces our goals of recognizing our first responders.”

"We are proud to present the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl dedicated to honoring some of the hardest working men and women in our country" said Sue Steen, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. "We recognize the dedication and selfless acts of our First Responders and are honored to help highlight and celebrate the commitment of these everyday heroes."

The 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is the ninth edition of the bowl game, formerly known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and part of the 89-year history of games being played at Cotton Bowl Stadium on the grounds of Dallas’ Fair Park, which features 227 acres of museums, attractions, history, art and performances located in the heart of the ninth largest city in the United States.

First responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency.

“This is an exciting change, and we are humbled by the fact that an actual bowl game has been named exclusively for the first responders of this country,” Dallas Fire-Rescue Fire Chief David Coatney said.

“We are truly honored to have a bowl game here in Dallas named after the hard working men and women serving and protecting communities across this country. It always feels great to be recognized, and I know our officers and firefighters are touched by this overwhelming show of support,” said Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall.

The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl tickets started selling in September. Tickets for First Responders will continue to be underwritten by our corporate sponsors. Anyone wanting more information on the bowl game can visit www.firstresponderbowl.com.

Restoration Services for the Insurance Industry

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Restoration Services for the Insurance Industry Trust SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe to help with your customer's restoration needs.

As a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe offers your insurance company an array of competitive advantages. Our goal is to restore both your customer’s property and their peace of mind through timely mitigation and adherence to IICRC standards. The result? Lower claims costs and satisfied customers – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe is uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages. We understand your situation. As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claims costs down while still providing the best services possible for your customers.

Emergency Response to Claims

Restoring property is our first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage.

Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense

Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." Our highly-trained professionals make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.

Claims Inventory Service

At SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe we can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive a link to an inventory site that will provide pictures of important items and the status of the contents in the cleaning process.

Electronic Claims Information

Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, including:

  • A Complete Electronic Job File
    • First Notice of Loss
    • Detailed Estimate
    • Digital Loss Photos
    • Scanned Forms and Paperwork
    • All delivered by email or hard copy
  • On-line Access to All Files
    • New Assignments
    • Pending Jobs
    • Completed Jobs
  • Informative Reports to Improve Results
    • Job Cost Data
  • Performance Comparison to Industry Standard

Superior, Time-Tested Training

Effective training is the best way to help ensure your customers receive the service they deserve. Our staff is trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to all SERVPRO Franchise Professionals at SERVPRO Industries, Inc.'s state of the art IICRC Approved Training Facility.

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism

If you call SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in:

  • A National Call Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim
  • Implementation of best practices and job process programs
  • National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks
  • Crew and vehicle standards
  • Insurance requirements
  • File documentation requirements
  • Quality assurance program

Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

Our job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service and to report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim and not to deal with problems from vendors. Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files, while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours. Our documented, measured performance increases value to you and your shareholders, managers and customers.

Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe a leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. The SERVPRO System is geared to achieve customer satisfaction and mitigation results, adding to your company’s competitive advantage.

Call SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe today at 360-243-8313!

Hoarding Cleanup Services

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Hoarding Cleanup Services Hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, and SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging. Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe encounters hoarding situations several different ways. We may be called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on-site. We will communicate with the insurance company regarding the customer's contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored in our temporary storage in our warehouse so work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Another way SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call us today at 360-243-8313.

Restoring Versus Replacing - Taking Care of Your Belongings After Fire

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoring Versus Replacing - Taking Care of Your Belongings After Fire The first 48 hours after a fire can make the difference between restoring versus replacing damaged property and personal belongings.

The first 48 hours after fire damage occurs can make the difference between restoring versus replacing damaged property and personal belongings. Rapid response and timely mitigation can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems.

SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe understands that returning to normal is your primary concern. Our team is trained in caring for both you, your property and your belongings. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, we can help you get your home or business back up and running quickly and help protect your property and belongings. We provide the following content restoration services to help reduce the number of items that need to be replaced after a fire affects your home.

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Our expertise and restore versus replace mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition. We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe - Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Electronic Cleaning

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD/Blu-Ray players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore, the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year. That helps lower your insurance rates too!

If your home or business suffers a fire damage, contact SERVPRO of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe at 360-243-8313 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

10/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup Did you know we offer biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services for residential and commercial properties.

Along as being a leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry, SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe also offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

Our technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. We can help with a variety of biohazard, crime scene or vandalism issues.

Sewage Backups

Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. We remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Our technicians remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. We thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe helps property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. We also provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.

No matter what type of damage you have, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can help clean and restore your property.

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 experiences damage of any kind, 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.

Reduce Your Risk of Mold By Repairing Leaky Appliances

9/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Reduce Your Risk of Mold By Repairing Leaky Appliances Leaky appliances in your home can lead to extensive water damage and even mold growth if not taken care of quickly.

Leaky appliances in your home can lead to extensive water damage and even mold growth if not taken care of quickly. If the conditions are right, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to start growing. By keeping an eye on your appliances, you can help catch leaks early and reduce the risk of mold growth.

Follow these tips to help reduce the risk of leaky appliances and pipes in your home and reduce your risk of mold growth.

  • Regularly check your washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, sinks and toilets for signs of leaks.
  • Routinely check for leaky pipes, appliance hoses and faucets.
  • If you see signs of leaks, such as condensation or water collecting anywhere, dry it quickly and find the source of the leak and fix it.
  • Fix plumbing problems immediately.
  • Monitor your utility bills each month. An unusually high water bill can be a sign of an unseen leak.

By keeping an eye out for leaks from appliances and other water sources in your home, you can catch leaks early and reduce the risk of water damage and mold growth. If you do encounter mold growth or other water damage, give us a call at 360-243-8313. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Keep Fall Fire Free

9/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Keep Fall Fire Free The fall season can bring many fire risks. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. But the season also brings many fire risks. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

Decorations

Fall decorations, like dried flowers, leaves and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. Since these items are dry, they can ignite very easily and spread flames quickly.

Have A Plan

Be sure you have a fire preparedness plan and your family knows what to do if a fire breaks out in your home. Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.

Protect your family by teaching your children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Ensure your smoke alarms are in working order and that you have an easily accessible fire extinguisher.

Make Halloween Safe

Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabrics. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.

It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards.

Be Careful in the Kitchen

With the holidays quickly approaching, your kitchen may be working on overdrive. While cooking, it can be easy to get distracted, especially if you have children. However, kitchens are a high-risk area for household fires, so it’s important to remain watchful.

Never leave food unattended while cooking, especially working with oil. Hot grease can splash and ignite. Keep flammable objects, like washcloths, potholders, and paper towels, away from the stovetop.

If a fire starts in your oven, keep the door closed. Turn it off and wait for the fire to extinguish.

Safely Use Your Fireplace

As the weather turns cold and brisk, fireplaces can bring a warm and inviting atmosphere to any home. However, if fireplaces are not properly cared for, they can lead to an increased fire and smoke risk. Make sure your fireplace is clean and well maintained and never left unattended when lit.

While you can take precautions to prevent fires this fall, sometimes accidents happen. If your home suffers any fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.

After smoke or fire damages a home, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Call us at 360-243-8313, and we’ll assess the damage and make your home “Like it never even happened.”

Facts and information provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org and SERVPRO Industries Inc.

Commercial Fire Services

9/15/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Fire Services After fire damage, all of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for a typical fire damage restoration job.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

At SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we provide a large variety of fire and smoke restoration services. We can handle any sized fire disaster from start to finish. Here are some of the specific services we provide during the fire restoration process.

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Our technicians will pretest to determine the type of smoke damage, extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your structure. Depending on the amount of soot, we may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, we will clean to “prepare for painting”. This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. We begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. Our technicians can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, fabrics, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items if requested.

Deodorization

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe performs specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Our technicians can explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

Board-ups

In some cases it may be important to secure openings to your structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can perform necessary board-ups to help protect your building from further damage.

Inventory

Utilizing Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) technology, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable - allowing for easier contents settlement.

Electronics Cleaning

Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces when moisture is also present. If the residues are not removed, corrosion can eat away at the metal casing and can ultimately cause electronic failure in the device. Our technicians can clean the outside casing correctly, as well as refer your equipment to a qualified electronics vendor. We also have Ultrasonic Cleaners that we can use to clean electrical items such as cables, rods, and wires. 

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts at 360-243-8313 and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can take care of boarding up your property.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through— especially if it's your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can board up your damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

We have the skills and knowledge to board up broken windows, damaged roofs, burned drywall or any other damaged entrance to your property. Whether the damage is from fire, flooding, or debris during windstorms, we have the experience to board up your home and secure it from further damage. And we are available 24/7, so we can get there before the damage gets even worse.

If your property is in need of any board-up services, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call at 360-243-8313.

Is Your Business Prepared for Emergencies?

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Your Business Prepared for Emergencies? 40% of businesses never reopen after suffering a disaster. To avoid being one of these businesses, make sure you have a plan in place for emergencies.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.

According to FEMA, 40% of businesses never reopen after suffering a disaster. To avoid being one of these businesses, make sure you have a plan in place for emergencies.

The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers and the community. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be Informed

  • Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company?
  • Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

  • Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating?
  • Do you have backup plans for those operations?
  • Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible?
  • Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster?
  • Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

  • Do you have an evacuation plan?
  • Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident?
  • Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked?
  • Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan

  • Have you practiced your plan recently?
  • Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex?
  • Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage

  • Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

  • Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building?
  • Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what can be strapped down

Improve Cybersecurity

  • Do you regularly install patches to your software?
  • Have you installed a firewall on your computer?
  • Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness

  • Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business.

Also, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call at 360-243-8313 and we can help you set up an Emergency READY Profile so you’ll be ready in case of an emergency. And if disaster does hit your business, we can help make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today!

Be Ready for Whatever Happens

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Ready for Whatever Happens Are you ready for emergencies? Make sure you have an emergency kit for you and your family.

National Preparedness Month is just around the corner and it’s a great time to make sure you and your family is prepared for potential disasters. National Preparedness Month, which takes place in September, strives to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home and work.

Join in the effort to get your home ready for potential disasters. Only 51.5% of U.S. homes have an emergency kit ready. By creating an Emergency Kit you can be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below is a quick list of suggested items to include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of nonperishable foods
  • Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medication
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

Also, keeping a small emergency kit in your vehicle can be useful during an emergency. For more detailed instructions on creating an emergency kit check out our other blog post here and check out Ready.gov for a more extensive list.

How to Prevent Water Leaks In Your Home

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Prevent Water Leaks In Your Home Learn how to prevent water leaks in your home. Be sure to keep your gutters cleared.

Some water damage is easy to spot and receives attention immediately. But unnoticed leaks that are left unattended can lead to extensive damage in your home. So how can you reduce the risk of these leaks in your home? Follow these tips to help prevent water leaks in these common areas.

Tip 1: Inspect and Repair Your Roof and Chimney

Let's start at the top with your roof. Your roof is there to protect your home from the elements. But over time debris build up and natural wear and tear may lead to weak areas in your roof and potentially to leaks. These leaks can start causing unseen damage in your attic and elsewhere in your home.

Be sure to inspect your roof regularly. Check for broken shingles and clear your roof of debris. Also be sure to check your chimney for damage as well as the flashing. For more detailed information on what to keep an eye out with your roof, check out our other blog post.

Tip 2: Clear Your Gutters

Similar to your roof, your gutters often get filled with debris such as leaves and twigs. The debris can clog and dam up your gutters. This may cause excess water to flow onto your roof or walls of your home, weathering them quicker.

Over time, the water can start to leak through and cause mold to grow on the roof. Make sure to clear out your rain gutters regularly to prevent these dams from happening.

Tip 3: Seal Your Doors and Windows

Over time your home may shift and windows and doors may not fit as snuggly as they did when installed. If your exterior doors and windows aren’t fitting properly, small gaps may allow water leaks into your home.

Be sure to install weather stripping around doors and windows and apply caulk along edges to both sides of windows. This will help prevent water leaks around your windows and doors.

Tip 4: Check Your Plumbing

Broken and leaky pipes are one of the more obvious causes of water damage in a home. If a leaky pipe is hidden away or the leak is small, it may go unnoticed for quite some time.

Be sure to inspect your pipes regularly and fix any small leaks before they become bigger. Making sure your plumbing is functioning properly can help prevent future damage. Also make sure you know how to prepare your pipes for the colder winter months. Frozen pipes can lead to extensive damage.

Tip 5: Protect Your Foundation

Protecting the foundation of your home from water damage is important. Cracks in your foundation can lead to water leaks in your basement and can go unnoticed for great lengths of time, causing significant damage.

Be sure to inspect your foundation regularly for cracks and get them repaired. Make sure the ground surrounding your foundation is sloped away from your home to help avoid water building up around your foundation. Also, be sure to remove any trees that are too close to your home to avoid roots growing into and damaging your foundation.

Even small leaks can spread water throughout your home, causing both apparent and hidden damage. However, leaks don’t just cause water damage, they can also lead to mold growth.

At, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we have the training and experience to make your home “Like it never even happened.” Our technicians can help locate and fix the leak as well as handle the mold remediation process.

If you think you have a water leak in your home, or if you’ve seen signs of mold in your home, give us a call at 360-243-8313.

Dos and Don'ts After Mold

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Dos and Don'ts After Mold In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion.

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation. Give us a call at 360-243-8313 to start the Mold Mitigation Process.

A Business Plan For Fire Emergencies

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial A Business Plan For Fire Emergencies Do you have a fire emergency plan for your business?

You may have taken measures to help prevent fire in your office, but are you prepared in case fire does break out? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties each year. Make sure your business is prepared for fire.

Check Fire Alarms

The first key is to have functioning fire alarms in your property. Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the NFPA.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Create and Implement an Office Evacuation Plan

An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses; however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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 such 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 well 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.

Create a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®

At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we can create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. When disaster strikes, you don’t want to spend time trying to figure out whom you should 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. If you want to set up an Emergency READY Profile, call us today at 360-243-8313.

It is important to be prepared before a disaster like a fire hits your property. For the sake of your employees and your property, make sure your office is safe and prepared. If disaster does strike, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is Here To Help. Give us a call at 360-243-8313.

When You Have Fire Damage, Call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When You Have Fire Damage, Call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe The faster our technicians arrive on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results.

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster our technicians arrive on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results— including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe will be on-site to help ensure your fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Our experienced technicians will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, our technicians can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insurance claim.

Deodorization

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe provides specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is dedicated to restoring your property and getting your life back to normal. Contact us at 360-243-8313 before any further damage occurs to your property and belongings.

How to Use Your Fire Extinguisher

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Use Your Fire Extinguisher Do you know how to properly use your fire extinguisher?

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

P: Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

A: Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

S: Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

S: Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

You can also check out this video to see how to best use your fire extinguisher.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Keep your fire extinguisher somewhere you will remember and be able to access easily. Make sure your extinguisher is up to date and charged.

Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

It’s important to be prepared before disaster strikes. If ever you do need to use your fire extinguisher, have SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe take care of the cleanup. We can clean up any fire or smoke damage as well as the mess created from the fire extinguisher. Give us a call at 360-243-8313 and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vents

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vents Be sure to clean your dryer vents to reduce the risk of dryer fires in your home.

According to FEMA, failure to clean dryers and dryer vents causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, clean dryer vents regularly. Every few months be sure to wash the lint filter with detergent to get rid of residue buildup that might be impeding airflow. Also clean the whole exhaust duct line yearly to reduce clogs and risk of fire.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load, and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.

If you have a high efficiency dryer, look for easy-access panels and check inside for any additional lint buildup.

For more fire prevention tips, check out our other fire blog posts here.

Protect Your Home While You Are Out

5/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Protect Your Home While You Are Out Are you headed out of time any time soon? Be sure you know how to prepare your home before you leave.

Do you have exciting plans to head out of town this summer? Do you know how to prepare your home before you head out of town? Follow these tips to help prevent possible damage while you are gone.

Water Damage

The last thing you want to find on your return from a relaxing vacation is flooding and water damage in your home. There are a variety of potential causes of water damage. Plumbing and appliances in your home can malfunction and leak while you are away. When you leave consider turning off your water, or have someone come check your home regularly and have them flush your toilets and run several faucets to ensure they are working.

Make sure windows are closed and sealed, and check to make sure there are no small leaks before you leave the home. A small leak can lead to significant water damage and potential mold growth.

Mold Damage

To help reduce the risk of mold growth while you are gone, make sure to clean your kitchen and bathrooms before leaving. Clean out your refrigerator before you leave and get rid of any food that might spoil while you are gone, such as milk, meats and produce. Spoiled food can cause bad smells and even lead to mold growth in your refrigerator and freezer. Also, clear out any perishable foods in your pantries, and don’t leave any food open. Be sure to take out your trash, especially if it contains spoiled food or other smelly items. Clean your sink drain and disposer to get rid of food buildup.

Along with cleaning before you leave, check for any water leaks or wet spots. Wet, damp areas create a perfect environment for mold growth.

Fire Damage

Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order before you leave. Also unplug appliances like computers and TVs to reduce power usage, the risk of power surges damaging your devices and of cords shorting out and starting a fire. Finally, make sure your oven and grill are off before you leave.

Burglary/ Vandalism

This is one of the big concerns when leaving town. One of the biggest keys is to make your home look like it’s still occupied. Set lights on a timer in your home and have your mail and newspapers put on hold while you are out. Don’t say you are out of town on your answering machine or on social media. This tells the world that you are gone and that your home is unoccupied. Have a friend come check in on your home regularly. Make sure your doors are locked and windows closed and locked before you leave.

We all want our homes to be safe while out of town. These tips can help prevent potential damage to your home. If things do happen while you are out, give us a call and we can get your home back to normal in no time. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can clean and restore most damage, from broken windows and other vandalism to water and smoke damage. Give us a call at 360-243-8313 to start the restoration process. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tsunamis and How to Prepare

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tsunamis and How to Prepare Tsunamis are most likely to hit the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, so it is good to know what to do if one occurs.

Did you know tsunamis could hit any U.S. coast? Though the risk for tsunamis is low, they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, so it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike here, or where you may vacation.

Ready.gov says, “Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite.” Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being hit.

As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan. Create a 72-hour kit ahead of time so you can be ready to leave quickly. Know the evacuation plan and move inland or to higher ground and avoid the beach. “The first wave may not be the last or the largest,” according to the National Weather Service.

After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many aftereffects such as flooding and contaminated drinking water.

For more information on preparing for a tsunami, visit ready.gov/tsunamis.
 

Be Prepared with an Emergency READY Profile

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Be Prepared with an Emergency READY Profile Get prepared with an Emergency READY Profile.

Will you be ready when disaster strikes? The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP establishes SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to 50 years experience and a system more than 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever expects a disaster, but now is the time to plan for it.

In review, the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile is:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313 to start your Emergency READY Profile today.

4 Tips for Spotting Mold in a Potential Home Buy

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Tips for Spotting Mold in a Potential Home Buy It’s important to be able to identify potential mold growth before buying a new home.

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.

It’s important to be able to identify potential mold growth before buying a new home. Follow these four tips to help identify possible mold risks in a new home.

Tip 1: Use Your Nose

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 the home, particularly if the smell is stronger in certain areas of the home, this may indicate there is mold.

Mold has a musty, distinct odor. The smell could also be described as stale, wet, and earthy. Use your nose as the first sign that there may be mold in the home.

Tip 2: Look Around

While touring a potential home buy, it’s important to keep an eye out for potential mold growth. Mold tends to accumulate in moist, dark areas, so be sure to take a look in these areas. Common places you should check include:

  • Window sills
  • Beneath counters and under sinks
  • Bathtub grout
  • Inside toilets
  • Attics and crawlspaces

There are other visual indicators of possible mold, even if you don’t see the mold itself. Look out for water stains on ceilings or walls. Look for leaking pipes and faucets as well.

Tip 3: Ask Questions

Be sure to ask the current homeowners about past water damage and flooding. Also look into whether the home is in a flood zone. If there has been water damage in the past, pay extra attention to whether there is mold currently present in the home. Also inquire about how they remediated past water damage. Also ask as if water damage has been reoccurring or not. This can be a sign of future water and mold problems.

Tip 4: Have the Home Inspected

Home inspectors are trained to spot water damage and signs of mold in a home. Look to see if any signs of mold were noted in the inspection report. Also see if they provide any kind of mold guarantee.

If after buying a new home you find mold, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call. We can start the mold remediation process immediately and fix any other water damage the structure may have. Give us a call today at 360-243-8313. 

Cleaning Contaminated Water Vs. Clean Water

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Cleaning Contaminated Water Vs. Clean Water When your home has flooded, it is important to know the difference between clean and contaminated water.

When your home or business suffers from water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water.

Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated, allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Start drying the affected area and keep in mind that clean water becomes contaminated after about 48 hours.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; airflow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313. We will properly clean and dry your property and ensure it is safe.

What to Do and Not Do After Your Basement Floods

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to Do and Not Do After Your Basement Floods Here's an example of a flooded basement we took care of in Monroe a while back.

A flooded basement can be an overwhelming experience. It’s hard to know where to even start! But you don’t need to worry. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is Here To Help. While you wait for help to arrive, here are some Dos and Don’ts to follow.

What to Do After Flooding:

  • Stop the source of flooding.
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions to dry.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What Not to Do After Flooding:

  • Don’t enter your basement if water is high enough to cover outlets or other appliances.
  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances in the flooded area.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

When your home’s basement has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

Trust SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe to return your property to its preloss condition and make it “Like it never even happened”. Give us a call at 360-243-8313.

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flooding Can Happen Anywhere Just because your property hasn’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean it won’t in the future.

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. And we’ve had our fair share here in Snohomish County. Whether your home or business is near the coastline, along city streets, in the mountains or near a river—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because your property hasn’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean it won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000*. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

For more flood safety tips check out this great article from The Everett Herald. Also, take a look at Snohomish Country’s Real-Time Flood Information System to see what the current river level and rainfall depth data is in our area.

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can help. We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get your property back to normal as soon as possible.

At SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe we are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call at 360-243-8313.

*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov and the National Weather Service (NOAA)

Post-Construction Cleaning Services

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Post-Construction Cleaning Services After rebuilding your property, there is still more work to be done. We can help in the Post-Construction Cleanup of your property.

Along with our restoration and rebuild services, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe provides a variety of cleaning services. One of the cleaning services we provide is Post-Construction Cleanup.

After restoring and rebuilding your property, there is still more work to be done. It is important to get your property clean and ready to use. Let SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe get your property clean and ready to go!

Both interior and exterior cleaning is needed after rebuild and construction services. When cleaning, the following areas are usually dusted and cleaned:

Interior Cleanup

  • Walls (removing dust, dirt, scuff marks, and smudges)
  • Ceilings and light fixtures/fans
  • All trim (including baseboards and door and window frames)
  • Door faces, sides, and tops
  • Floors
  • Ducts, vents, and baseboard heaters
  • Windows (including tracks and frames)
  • Cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, and countertops
  • All trash and plastic coverings removed

Exterior Cleaning

  • Exterior windows and doors
  • Entry doorways
  • Driveway and paved surfaces swept and power washed
  • Exterior lights dusted
  • All trash on property (including lumber and debris) removed

If your property is in need of Post-Construction Cleaning, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call at 360-243-8313. No matter the size, we are Here To Help.

Keeping It Clean: An Overview of Our Cleaning Services

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Keeping It Clean: An Overview of Our Cleaning Services SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can handle any cleaning job you may have.

At SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe we offer a large variety of cleaning services. We can handle the simple cleaning that comes from general day-to-day wear and tear as well as major cleanups after sewage spills, biohazard contamination and crime scene messes. This article showcases the range of cleaning services we provide.

Standard Cleaning Services

Life is busy, and you don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your property. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.

Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris or other contaminants. Keeping your HVAC system clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by cleaning and maintaining your carpet and upholstery. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe offers a range of specialized cleaning methods and products to treat a variety of carpet and upholstery types.

Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floor Cleaning

Ceiling, wall and floor cleaning should be part of the cleaning maintenance of your home or business. These surfaces are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. We have specialized training in time-tested and industry-approved cleaning methods. Our proprietary cleaning system allows our Professionals to properly clean and restore your ceilings, walls and floors.

Odor Removal and Deodorization

As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources, both inside and outside a structure. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent. We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors.

Contents Cleaning

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their preloss condition. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, depending on the extent of the damage. We also specialize in restoring your damaged electronics. We have the training and equipment to restore many of your electronic devices.

Other Cleaning Services

When cleaning goes beyond the normal everyday cleaning needs, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call. We offer a wide array of services to help you get back to business after your property experiences a crime, death or other disaster.

Biohazard Removal and Cleaning

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.

Sewage Cleaning

Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. We remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized, making it “Like it never even happened.”

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.

Vandalism Cleanup

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from your home or commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.

Our large range of restoration and cleaning services allows us to restore your property, no matter what is needed. If your property has cleaning needs, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call at 360-243-8313.

Our Mold Mitigation and Remediation Process

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Our Mold Mitigation and Remediation Process Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a typical mold removal process.

1. Call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

2. Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water, which can be hidden from plain view.

3. Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

4. Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. Our technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

5. Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

6. Cleaning Contents & Belongings

We then clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. We are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

7. Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe understands mold and mold growth and has the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. If you see mold, give us a call at 360-243-8313. 

When Disaster Strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is Here to Help

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Disaster Strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is Here to Help As a member of SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is “Ready for whatever happens.”

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans experience an average of*:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,300 tornadoes
  • 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes

As a member of SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is “Ready for whatever happens.” When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised for any storm that may happen. With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team is there when large storms hit our area. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective: to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams included:

  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey
  • 2016 East Tennessee Wildfires
  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew  
  • 2016 Louisiana Flooding
  • 2016 Houston, TX Flooding 
  • 2015 Siberian Express
  • 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding 
  • 2014 Polar Vortex  
  • 2013 Colorado Floods
  • 2012 Hurricane Sandy

No matter the size of the disaster, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is Here to Help. With the help of SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, we can handle any size weather event. If disaster strikes your home or business, give us a call at 360-243-8313.

*Facts and figures provided by noaa.gov

Deodorization – Getting Rid of Unpleasant Odors

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Deodorization – Getting Rid of Unpleasant Odors Our training, specialty cleaning products, techniques and equipment help us to treat your unwanted odors.

Life is full of unpleasant smells. Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products we use various techniques and equipment to treat odors. These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. Some of the tools we use include:

Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator (shown above) is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke and more without the use of chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors.

Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process; though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke, as well as biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations and animal odors.

Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors.

Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority.

Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call at 360-243-8313.

The Science of Drying After Water Damage

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Science of Drying After Water Damage Our training in the science of drying helps us restore your home or business after water damage.

Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? Having this knowledge is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damage. If your home or business suffers from water damage, our team will:

  1. Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  2. Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  3. Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier.

The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Our technicians also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” If your home or business has water damage, give us a call today at 360-243-8313.

The Dos and Don'ts After Fire Hits

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Dos and Don'ts After Fire Hits After fire ravages your home, it's hard to know what to do next.

After fire ravages your home, fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt about the future of your property can be overwhelming. Once the flames have abated, it's hard to know what to do next.

Keep these Dos and Don'ts in mind if fire affects your home.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets throughout your home.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place towels on carpet traffic areas. Use dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas to limit damage.
  • Empty freezer and refrigerator. If electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
  • Wipe soot from chrome. Clean soot from chrome kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then apply a light coating of petroleum jelly to protect surfaces.
  • Wash houseplants. Wipe down both sides of leaves on your houseplants.
  • Change HVAC filters. Change your filters, but leave the system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Cover HVAC intakes. Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of your HVAC system.

DON'T:

  • Wash any walls or painted surfaces. First contact SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture. Before cleaning carpets by yourself, call us at 360-243-8313.
  • Clean any electrical appliances. TV sets, computers and other electronics that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water need to be looked at by an authorized repair service.
  • Consume food and beverages. Food and beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water, may be contaminated.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures. If the ceiling is wet, wiring may be wet or damaged and can cause electrical shock.
  • Dry clean clothing. Improper cleaning may set smoke odors. Make sure you use a service that knows how to remove soot and smoke from clothing.

Fires are stressful, and you shouldn't have to clean up the mess yourself. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe is here to help you restore your home. With our industry approved training, rapid response, professionalism, cutting-edge technology and open communication, we strive to restore not only your home, but your peace of mind.

Call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 360-243-8313. SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe has the technology and experience to make your fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

*Tips provided by SERVPRO® Industries, Inc.

Protect Your Family From Fire and Burns

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Protect Your Family From Fire and Burns Be sure to place pots and pans on the back burner with handles turned away from the edge of the stove.

Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in our county. Children, the elderly, and the disabled are particularly vulnerable to burn injuries, and almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children. In 2014, there were over 3,000 deaths from fires and over 50,000 people were treated in hospitals for burn related injuries.

Though treatment for burn injuries has improved over the years, prevention is still the bets way to protect your home and family. Follow the tips below, provided by the American Burn Association, to help protect your family.

General Home Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire in half.
  • If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If a pan of food catches fire, slide a lid over it and turn off the burner.
  • Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open lids away from your face, to prevent burns from hot steam.

Tips for Homes with Children

  • Set water heater temperature to no higher than 120°F or just below the medium setting.
  • Create a "no kid zone" in the kitchen around stoves, ovens and hot items.
  • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters.
  • Place pots and pans on the back burner with handles turned away from the edge of the stove.
  • Never hold an infant or child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid or carrying hot items.
  • Keep matches and lighters high out of the reach and sight of children, in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise older children when using microwaves, or have them prepare non-hot food. Many burn injuries occur from children pulling hot foods and soups out of microwaves.
  • Teach children to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire.
  • Test the water before placing a child in the tub. Fill the tub or sink by running cool water first and then adding hot water. Seat the child facing away from the faucets.

If you or someone else sustains a burn injury be sure to:

  • Cool the burn with cool (not cold) water to stop the burning process.
  • Remove all clothing and jewelry from the injured area.
  • Cover the area with a clean dry sheet or bandage.
  • Seek medical attention.

If you would like to read more tips like these check out the American Burn Associations page here and the ABA National Scald Prevention Campaign page here.

*Statistics and tips provided by the American Burn Association

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Windstorms

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Windstorms There’s not always a lot of warning before a large windstorm hits, so it’s important to prepare your home well beforehand.

Windstorms cause millions of dollars of damage across the Pacific Northwest every year. There’s not always a lot of warning before a large windstorm hits, so it’s important to prepare your home well beforehand. Small fixes now can prevent more costly repairs after a storm.

Trim Your Trees

Check your property for any tree branches that hang over your roof, cars, power lines, or shed. Overhanging branches can cause significant damage to your property if they fall, which you can easily prevent by cutting them down before a storm hits.

If you have dead trees or branches on your property, get them professionally removed.

Inspect the Roof and Garage

Any loose roofing material will be particularly susceptible during a windstorm. Further damage can occur when a windstorm rips loose material off the roof. Before the windstorm hits, check your roof for loose shingles, flashing, gutters, edging strips, etc. Make sure any problems you find are fixed ASAP.

Your garage door, if it is not in top shape, can be a liability as well. If you haven’t had it professionally inspected in a while, consider doing so.

Protect Your Windows

Strong winds and flying debris can damage windows, so make sure they are prepared before the storm comes in. If you don’t have stormproof windows installed, you can use aluminum or steel shutters or plywood to protect your windows from damage.

Secure Items Around Your Property

While wind can cause a lot of damage on its own, loose items around the yard can severely increase the damage potential. If you received a report of an impending windstorm, secure or safely store items like:

  • Grills
  • Patio Furniture
  • ATVs
  • Garbage and recycling bins
  • Container plants
  • Wind chimes and other decor
  • Trampolines
  • Swing sets and toys
  • Bicycles

Make sure to store cleaning chemicals, motor fuels, and pesticides in safe places as well. You don’t want chemicals to mix together or spread throughout your yard or home

Put Together an Emergency Kit

If the windstorm takes out the power, in some cases you may have to go without electricity for a few days until it gets fixed. Prepare emergency kits with food, water, and anything else your family might need to get through three days without power.

Even the most prepared home can sustain damage during a bad windstorm. Fortunately, at SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we’re prepared to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”

We offer a wide range of services (like board-ups, water damage restoration, tree removal, tarp-ups, and other roofing services) to help repair your property after a storm. We’re there when you need us with our 24/7 emergency service, so give us a call at 360-243-8313.

8 Ways to Help Prevent Mold Growth in Your Kitchen

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 8 Ways to Help Prevent Mold Growth in Your Kitchen Kitchens can contain spoiling food, water splashes, and crumbs, which can create an ideal environment for mold growth.

Cooking and eating both require a lot of food and moisture, which makes your kitchen a top-notch room for mold growth. Food spoils, water splashes, and crumbs can get everywhere. Implement the following 8 tips to prevent mold from growing in your kitchen.

  1. Keep surfaces dry: Mold loves moisture, so it’s important to keep kitchen surfaces dry. Immediately wipe up spills on the floor, countertops, or table. Rinse and wipe out the sink after doing dishes. Make sure your dishes and cutlery are dry before putting them into cabinets.
  2. Take out the trash: Leftover food, packaging, and other garbage makes your trash can a perfect place for mold to grow. Make sure to take out your kitchen garbage bin regularly to prevent mold growth.
  3. Use the exhaust fans: Humid environments are ideal for mold. When you cook on your stove, moisture can flood the air and condensate around the area. To cut down on humidity, use the exhaust fans when you use the stovetop.
  4. Clean the fridge: Old, spoiled food containers are one of the most common places to find mold in a kitchen. Clean out your fridge once a week to prevent food from spoiling and growing mold.
  5. Watch your fruit and potatoes: It doesn’t take long for fruit or potatoes to start growing mold, so it’s important to examine all fruit and potatoes on a daily basis, especially if you don’t keep them in the refrigerator.
  6. Clear the garbage disposal: Food can gather out of site within your garbage disposal. Even if your sink drains well, you should clean the disposal regularly. Remember to run it daily to clear out the debris. You should also pour vinegar down it weekly.
  7. Wash your cutting boards: Food particles and moisture can settle into your cutting boards, which gives mold everything it needs to grow. Use vinegar to wash your cutting boards at least once a week.
  8. Sweep and mop regularly: It’s easy for crumbs and other food particles to build up on your floor over just a few days. Sweep the floor every day, and mop it weekly.

If you find (or suspect you have) mold in your kitchen or any other room of your home, don’t hesitate to give SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call.

Our technicians have the experience, knowledge, and training necessary to restore your home through our mold remediation process. We inspect your home to discover the full extent of the mold growth, work to contain the problem, and clean your home and belongings. Call us today at 360-243-8313 to start the mold remediation process.

7 Tips for Safe Fireplace Use

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 7 Tips for Safe Fireplace Use If fireplaces are not properly cared for they can increase the risk of fire and smoke in your home.

Fireplaces can bring a warm and inviting atmosphere to any home. However, if fireplaces are not properly cared for, they can lead to an increased fire and smoke risk. Use these tips to keep your home safe and warm through the cold months of the year.

  1. Keep it clean: Before starting a fire, clear out ash from previous fires. Make sure there is no debris in the fireplace or flammable items, like newspaper, in the surrounding area.
  2. Cover it up: Glass panes may block the fire, but they also get hot. Install a safety screen to protect your family, particularly children and pets, from accidental burns.
  3. Inspect the chimney: Look at both the interior and exterior of your chimney. Watch for bird nests or other natural debris, like leaves, branches, etc. Make sure there are no tree branches that are above or close to the chimney. Examine the bricks and mortar to ensure they are in good repair. Inspect the chimney cap for damage.
  4. Stick to checkups: Have a professional check out your fireplace annually. They can identify problems you might not notice on your own.
  5. Use the right wood and starters: Use dry, aged wood. Green and wet wood don’t burn as well and cause more smoke. Never use wood that is painted or shows signs of rotting, mold, or disease. Don’t use particle board, cardboard, garbage, plastics, or foam either. Only start fires using newspaper or dry kindling. Don’t try to jumpstart a fire using gasoline.
  6. Stay by the fire: Don’t leave fires unattended, and do not leave children alone with a lit fireplace. Make sure all fires are completely out and cooled before sleeping or leaving home.
  7. Check and open the flue and/or damper: Examine the flue for debris like bird nests or leaves around the same time you check your chimney. Make sure the flue or the damper, which are used to let out gases such as smoke, is open before starting a fire in the fireplace. 

While you can take precautions to prevent problems, sometimes accidents happen. If your home suffers any fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.

After smoke or fire damages a home, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Call us at 360-243-8313, and we’ll assess the damage and make your home “Like it never even happened.”

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fire Safety Tips Learn how to keep your family and home safe from fire during the holidays.

The holidays offer many opportunities for family and friends to gather, but they also come with an increased fire risk. With a little extra attention and care, you can help your family have a happy and safe holiday season.

Cooking

The holidays don’t feel like the holidays without delicious food. While cooking always presents potential fire hazards, home cooking fires always spike up around the holiday season.

When you have lots of cooks in the kitchen, it’s easy for things to get messy and confusing. However, a cluttered, chaotic kitchen is a hazardous kitchen. Make sure to keep flammable objects, like towels, packaging, and potholders, away from the stove. Communicate with everyone in the kitchen so you don’t leave the stovetop or oven on when it’s not in use. Wipe up spills quickly, and don’t let grease pile up around a burner.

If a deep-fried turkey is on the menu, make sure you fry it on a flat surface outside at least 10 feet away from the house.

Holiday Lights

While holiday lights can add a fun ambience to your home, it’s important to decorate safely. When you first open a package of new lights or crack open a box of previously-loved strands, take time to inspect each strand. If you find frayed or cracked wires or any broken sockets, return them or throw them away.

Don’t put more strands of lights on your tree than the packaging recommends. Overloading trees (and outlets) are a common cause of holiday fires. Unplug your holiday lights (and tree, if applicable) before you go to bed or leave the house.

If you want to hang lights outside, don’t use nails or staples as they can damage the wiring. Invest in quality hooks or hangers. Once the holidays are over, take down all outside lights. Small animals, like squirrels, may start chewing on the wires if you leave them up all year.

Menorahs

If your family uses menorahs for Hanukkah, you could consider using an electric one to cut down on fire hazards. If you prefer traditional candles, just be careful.

Keep the menorah at least three feet away from flammable items, and make sure you place a non-flammable surface, like an aluminum foil-lined tray, underneath the menorah to catch the melting wax.

Christmas Trees

Setting up the Christmas tree can mark the beginning of the Christmas holiday for many families. Unfortunately, if they are not properly set up and taken care of, they pose a large fire risk.

Keep the Christmas tree at least three feet away from fireplaces or heating elements in your home.

If you prefer a live Christmas tree, make sure to care for it properly. A dry tree can start to engulf a room in flames within a minute of ignition. Help reduce fire risks with the following guidelines:

  • Buy a fresh tree. When you first choose the tree, the pine needles should be green and not easily broken.
  • Cut off the bottom. When you get the tree home, cut two inches of the bottom to create a raw cut so the tree can soak in water.
  • Water the tree daily. Well-watered trees are less likely to catch fire.
  • Throw it out promptly. No matter how much you water it, your tree will dry out over time. Once the pine needles start to fall off and the tree starts to dry, it’s time to throw it out.

If you choose an artificial tree, consider flame-resistant or flame-retardant options.

Taking steps to prevent holiday fires can help reduce the risk, but there’s always a possibility of a fire. If your home suffers fire damage, SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe can help.

We have the knowledge and experience to properly treat fire and smoke damage to make your home “Like it never even happened.” We offer 24/7 emergency service; call us anytime at 360-243-8313.

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 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.

Burglary

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

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:

  • Glass
  • Masonry
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Asphalt

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.

Arson

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

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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.

Sight

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:

  • White
  • Green
  • Black
  • Yellow
  • Gray-brown
  • Pink
  • Orange
  • Purple

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.

Smell

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.

Touch

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.

Black 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

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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.

Smoke Responsibly

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

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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:

  • Crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Granola Bars
  • Jerky
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Canned stews and other meals
  • Candy
  • Tuna
  • 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
  • Antacid
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Aspirin
  • 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.

Personal Entertainment

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

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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:

  • Nightstands
  • 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

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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.

Roof Leaks

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.

Gutter Buildup

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.

Broken Pipes

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.

Sewage Backup

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

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 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.

Efficient Service

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.

Restoring Aesthetic

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
  • Painting

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.

Four Tips for Finding and Preventing Roof Leaks

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Four Tips for Finding and Preventing Roof Leaks If left untreated, leaky roofs can lead to mold, structural damage, and electrical damage throughout your home.

Your roof is one of the largest exposed surfaces of your home, which also makes it one of the most susceptible to leaks. If left untreated, leaky roofs can lead to mold, structural damage, and electrical damage throughout your home.

It’s easy to forget that your roof, like most of your home, needs regular care to stay in top shape. While nothing can guarantee you’ll never have a leaky roof, the following tips can help you identify and prevent leaks.

Watch Your Shingles

The state of your shingles can tell you a lot about the status of your roof. Familiarize yourself with the shingles on your roof so you can notice when something changes. Buckling, curling, or cracked shingles could either cause or be a sign of a leaky roof.

Clear the Debris

It’s easy for debris to build up on your roof, particularly when you have a lot of trees on your property. Leaves and branches pile up and can cause mold and collect water, which can lead to shingle damage. Make sure to regularly clear debris off your roof.

Check the Flashing and Chimney

Both the flashing and chimney are particularly susceptible to leaks. Flashing covers the most vulnerable areas of your roof, so it’s a great place to start your search when looking for leaks.

Because a chimney penetrates the roof, it’s important to pay attention to its condition. Watch for cracks in the chimney crown as well as any damage in the step flashing.

Clean Your Rain Gutters

Leaves, branches, and other natural debris tend to clog up rain gutters over time. As the debris builds up, it creates dams in the gutter. Eventually, water will start to run out of the gutters and onto your home’s roof and walls. The dams can even cause the water to build up on the roof.

Over time, the water can start to leak through and cause mold to grow on the roof. Make sure to clear out your rain gutters regularly to prevent these dams from happening.

Even small leaks can distribute water throughout your home, causing both apparent and hidden damage. However, leaks don’t just cause water damage. Unfortunately, they can also lead to mold growth.

At, SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we have the training and experience to make your home “Like it never even happened.” Our technicians can help locate and fix the leak as well as handle the mold remediation process.

If you think you have a leaky roof, or if you’ve seen signs of mold in your home, give us a call at 360-243-8313.

Smoke Alarm FAQs

6/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarm FAQs Properly installed and regularly tested smoke alarms can save your family in the event of an emergency.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) claims that three out of every five fire deaths occur in a home without working smoke alarms. Properly installed and regularly tested smoke alarms can save your family in the event of an emergency. Have you ever wondered how often you need to replace and test your alarms? Use this guide to help keep your home and family safe.

Where Should I Place Smoke Alarms?

Because homes are filled with more manmade materials than in years past, fires can move more quickly through homes. It’s important to install enough alarms to give your family as much time as possible to get to safety in the event of a fire.

At a minimum, you should install smoke alarms on every level of your home (including attics, basements, and garages), in every sleeping area, and outside every sleeping area. Other important locations include the top and bottom of stairways and utility rooms.

How Often Should I Test Smoke Alarms?

Test all your smoke alarms monthly. Alarms are loud, and the noise will be less likely to scare children if they know when it’s going to happen. Make it a family event so your children will understand the importance of testing smoke alarms.

Make sure to dust or vacuum the alarm when you test it to keep it in top-working condition.

When you’re ready to test the alarm, strategically place a family member at the furthest point in the house away from the alarm you are testing. You want to make sure people can hear the alarm from anywhere.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions for testing the alarm, but most detectors have a button you can use for testing. Simply press and hold the alarm until you hear it go off. If you don’t hear an alarm, or if it sounds muted and weak, it’s time to replace the batteries.

How Often Should I Replace Batteries in Smoke Alarms?

You should replace batteries every six months even if the alarm passes the test. However, some circumstances warrant more frequent replacements.

  • If your alarm frequently goes off because of smoke while cooking, the batteries will drain faster.
  • If the detector gives out frequent false alarms or short beeps without being touched, the batteries likely need to be replaced.

After replacing the batteries, don’t forget to test the alarm to make sure it’s working.

Remember—under no circumstances should you take out and use the batteries for other devices in the home, like remote controls. Even if you’re sure you’ll remember to replace the batteries later, you run the risk of forgetting and putting your home in danger.

When Should I Replace Smoke Alarms?

The NFPA recommends replacing smoke alarms 10 years after the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm even if the alarm is still working. However, if an alarm does not respond to a test after installing fresh batteries, replace it sooner.

Per the American Red Cross, if all homes had working smoke alarms, around 890 lives could be saved every year. Smoke alarms can also help limit the damage done to homes by fires. If your home experiences a fire, please reach out to SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.

We have the knowledge and experience necessary to determine the extent of fire and smoke damage and repair your home so it is “Like it never even happened.” It’s important to start mitigating the damage as soon as possible after a fire, so we offer 24/7 emergency service. Give us a call anytime at 360-243-8313.

Identifying Different Types of Smoke & Soot Damage

6/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Identifying Different Types of Smoke & Soot Damage Smoke and soot can cause both visible and hidden damage beyond the original fire damage.

Fire damage is not limited to damage done by the actual flames. Smoke and soot can cause both visible and hidden damage far beyond the area of the original fire.

Different types of smoke damage require different cleaning approaches. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we have the experience and equipment necessary to identify and remove each soot residue type.

Dry Smoke

Dry smoke residue is usually powdery and dry. High-heat, fast-burning fires fueled by wood and paper typically produce dry smoke. The fine powder is often simpler to clean since it is easy to wipe off. However, it can fall into cracks and porous surfaces, and while the soot may be hidden from view, the smell will remain.

Wet Smoke

Wet smoke damage typically comes from low-heat, slow-burning fires. This thick, black smoke leaves behind an often thick and sticky residue with a strong odor. Wet smoke residue smears easily, which often makes cleanup more difficult. Both burning plastic and rubber produce wet smoke.

Protein Residue

Protein residue is left behind after the evaporation of organic material, like food. The residue is almost invisible. However, it discolors varnishes, paints, and finishes. It also gives off a strong, offensive odor.

Because, unlike wet and dry smoke damage, this residue is virtually invisible, an untrained eye might underestimate the efforts needed for restoration. Homeowners might get frustrated with the pungent smell since they can’t see the source.

Smoke damage can be difficult and extensive. Smoke and soot can permeate any porous surface like fabric, brick, wood, and drywall. HVAC systems can also carry smoke throughout your house.

Depending on the type of smoke damage and the surface that is affected, various cleaning techniques can be used to restore surfaces to their preloss condition. These techniques include:

  • Dry Sponging
  • Wet Cleaning
  • High Efficiency Particulate Air-filtration (HEPA) Vacuuming
  • Thermal Fogging

Fortunately, at SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe our technicians are prepared to find and treat smoke damage with our comprehensive inspections and services. We can make your home “Like it never even happened.”

Call us 24/7 at 360-243-8313.

Keep Your Family Safe with a Fire Preparedness Plan

6/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Keep Your Family Safe with a Fire Preparedness Plan Does your family have a Fire Preparedness Plan? Be sure to set aside some time to create a plan with your family.

Would your family be prepared if a fire broke out in your home? If not, now is the best time to plan. Family fire preparedness plans save lives every year. Set aside time to gather as a household and create a plan unique to your home.

Identify Exits

Identify two different ways to safely exit each room if a fire broke out, such as doors and windows. Teach each member of your household how to safely exit through windows, especially on non-ground level floors.

If you have members of the family who are unable to move themselves—such as babies, elderly relatives, or any individuals with disabilities—make sure to go over who can help them escape as well.

Choose a Meeting Place

Pick a spot outside of your home that’s a safe distance away to serve as your family’s emergency meeting place. Familiar locations like a mailbox, lamppost, nearby park, or a neighbor’s house are great. Walk out with your family to establish it as your official meeting place.

Make sure every family member knows that once they exit the house, they should go straight to the meeting place and not go back inside for any reason.

Teach family members to call the fire department only after they’ve safely arrived at the meeting place.

Draw it Out

Draw the layout of your home on a piece of paper. Mark the different exits and exit paths from every room. Don’t forget to include the family meeting place. Keep your plan somewhere accessible. When you have overnight guests, let them know about your safety plan.

Practice Safety

Once everyone knows the different paths they can take to exit the home and where to go, it’s important to know how to navigate through a burning house as safely as possible.

Teach family members the following safety tips:

  1. Choose the escape route with the least amount of heat and smoke, but be prepared for less than ideal circumstances.
  2. Before opening a door, lightly touch the doorknob. If it’s hot, the fire is close, and it’s likely better to choose another exit if possible.
  3. If it’s necessary to travel through a room or hallway with a lot of smoke, stay low and crawl as necessary! Smoke rises.

In addition to these tips, make sure your house number is easily seen from the road. Firefighters need to be able to quickly find your home.

Plan Realistic Drills

Schedule practice drills at least two times a year. This is a great time to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms, which should be switched twice annually and tested monthly.

If you have young children, warn them about nighttime drills. The point of the drill is to prepare them, not to scare them. If the fire alarm fails to wake up members of your family, assign someone to wake them up in a real emergency.

Practice the safety tips from above as part of the drill.

Nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Things, and even homes, can be fixed or replaced, but your family is irreplaceable. Your family fire preparedness plan can save lives.

If fire or smoke damages your home, give SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call at 360-243-8313. With our restoration knowledge and training, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Preparing for Wildfires

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Preparing for Wildfires Learn how to protect and prepare your home, family and business for wildfires.

Though this spring has been pretty wet, fires can still pose a risk. Wildfires in particular can cause vast amounts of damage. Wildfires are more common in drier areas, like Eastern Washington, but it is still important to be prepared in case wildfires do occur in our area, especially as we reach the hotter summer months.

Prepare Yourself

It's important to be prepared for any disaster that might occur. Read through these tips from FEMA to learn how to prepare your family, home and business for wildfires.

  • Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car.
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Protect your property from wildfires by designing and landscaping with wildfire safety in mind.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Ask your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional about starting a Disaster Recovery Plan for your business.

If Wildfires Do Threaten

If wildfires do occur near you, follow these tips from FEMA:

  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
  • Lock your home or business.
  • Tell someone when you leave and where you are going.
  • Choose a route away from fire hazards.
  • Close windows, vents, doors, blinds or noncombustible window coverings.
  • Shut off all utilities, if possible.
  • Open fireplace damper. Close fireplace screens.
  • Move flammable furniture into the center of the home.
  • Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with precut noncombustible coverings.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Place combustible patio furniture inside.
  • Connect the garden hose to outside taps.
  • Set up a portable gasoline-powered pump.
  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above ground fuel tanks.
  • Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet of the home or business.
  • Gather fire tools.

Wildfires can strike almost anywhere and can cause more than just the damage that you see. If fire or smoke damages your property, it can throw your life into chaos. SERVPRO® of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe is dedicated to restoring your damaged property back to its preloss condition and helping your life get back to normal.

If fire or smoke damages your home or business, give us a call at 360-243-8313. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Tips provided by FEMA and SERVPRO® Industries, Inc.

5 Reasons to Fix Water Damage Now

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Reasons to Fix Water Damage Now When it comes to water damage, putting off the problem can lead to costly, dangerous consequences. Learn why you should fix water damage now.

If the visible signs of water damage don’t interfere with your everyday life, it might be tempting to put off fixing the problem until a more convenient time. If the damage starts to bother you, you might simply fix the symptoms and feel like you’ve solved the problem.

However, without fixing both the water damage and the source of the issue, you may be putting off bigger problems that may lead to more costly damage in the future.

Reason #1: Water Spreads

Unfortunately, the signs of water damage don’t always tell the whole story. You might see a small water stain on your bathroom wall; you might not see water leaking down from the roof, through the attic, and into your bathroom.

Water flows into any open space available, fills that space, and continues to spread wherever it can. If you ignore the problem or even just treat the symptoms, water will continue to leak and damage your home until the original source of the problem is treated.

Reason #2: Mold Growth

Once there is moisture, it doesn’t take long for mold to grow. If leaks are not quickly fixed, or if water damage is simply painted over, mold may start to grow on any wet surface with enough organic material to feed it.

Leaks can lead to mold almost anywhere both inside and outside your home. Once you notice mold, or any sign of water damage, call us immediately so we can treat the damage and start the mold remediation process.

Reason #3: Water Contamination Worsens Over Time

Clean water damage can be frustrating enough on its own. Unfortunately, contamination levels rise over time. A small leak from a clean water pipe can escalate into a large, bacteria-filled problem if it’s not taken care of quickly. Not only will water pick up contamination from sources like dirt or dust, standing water breeds bacteria.

The sooner you start the water damage treatment process, the better. It’s a lot easier to clean and restore property and items exposed to clean water than contaminated water.

Reason #4: Rotten Wood

A wet floor or water spot on your ceiling might first seem like a simple eye sore or minor nuisance, but if left untreated, it can result in serious wood damage.

The combination of moisture and organic material, like dust or dirt, found on wood creates a perfect situation for fungi to grow and create wood rot in your home.

Prolonged exposure to water can cause wood to weaken over time. Water-damaged wood may even be more susceptible to dry rot once it dries out.

Damp wood can also attract termites along with other pests. If they go unnoticed, the damage from these pests can lead to costly repairs down the road.

If wood is continuously kept wet by a leak, it may begin to rot, which can cause significant problems in your home’s structural integrity.

Reason #5: Electrical and Structural Damage

A small leak might initially feel harmless, but over time, it can threaten the structure and electrical systems of your home.

Drywall may initially absorb a little moisture, but over time, it will begin to lose its cohesion and deteriorate. It may even crumble, or if it is used for ceilings, collapse if it is exposed to too much water.

Water, over an extended period of time, can even cause damage to your home’s foundation. A simple clogged gutter can cause water to run down the exterior walls and pool around your foundation. This creates pressure against your foundation, which can lead to cracks in the future.

As the water flows away from the foundation, it can cause soil erosion. Your house’s foundation can, in turn, start to settle. Over time, this can lead to cracked walls, uneven floors, and more.
When it comes to water damage, putting it off or painting over the problem can lead to costly, dangerous consequences.

At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we won’t simply cover over the symptoms, we’ll help locate the source of the problem to prevent long-term consequences as well as short-term aesthetic problems.

Using our training, experience, and equipment, we can make your home “Like it never even happened.” If you notice any signs of water damage in your home, call us at 360-243-8313.

What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your House

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your House If a tree falls on your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call any time, day or night—we offer 24/7 services.

Many things can cause a tree to fall on your home—windstorms, tree decay, soil erosion, rain, and more. Unfortunately, fallen trees can cause a lot of damage and lead to dangerous situations. It’s important to act quickly in order to be safe and prevent as much damage as possible.

Preventative Care

Powerful storms can blow down even well-rooted trees; however, there are steps you can take to help prevent trees and branches from falling on your house during a storm.

  • Watch for and remove dead branches/trees
  • Keep an eye out for tree diseases and decay
  • Prune stray or weak branches properly
  • Strengthen forked trunks with cables or braces
  • Look out for leaning trees
  • Examine trees for cracks
  • Check out the roots for signs of fungi or decay

Evacuate the House

Until a professional can fully assess the situation, it’s important to leave the home. The tree could have fallen on a powerline, damaged wiring with the house, or caused structural damage to your home. Even if you don’t suspect the damage was too significant, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do not attempt to remove fallen branches or trees from your property—especially during a storm. You could easily slip and fall off your roof, get blown off by a strong gust of wind, or even get hit by lightning.

Check Your Property for Electrocution Risks

When you leave the house, take a look at your property. Examine the fallen tree from a safe distance. Did it take a powerline down with it? Are there trees that have fallen against powerline poles? Have any powerlines fallen on your property? If the answer to any of these questions is yes—call 911.

Do not approach any fallen trees, poles, or wires.

Call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe

Once you’re safely out of the house, and (if necessary) have called 911, give us a call.

Safety and weather permitting, we’ll get the tree removed, assess the damage, and tarp up the roof to prevent further damage. If the storm is still going on, we’ll patch up the problem as much as we can and more fully assess the damage as soon as it is safe for our technicians to do so.

We offer a variety of services including water extraction and drying, small construction, window board up, and more. We work with homeowners to determine precisely what you want done. If you’d like, we’ll even call your insurance company on your behalf.

If a tree falls on your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call any time day or night—we offer 24/7 services. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe we can make your home “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 360-243-8313.

Recovering Your Business After Storm Damage

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Recovering Your Business After Storm Damage Storms and natural disasters can cause sizable damage to your business. We have the training, experience, and equipment to tackle your storm damage.

Traditional cleaning and janitorial services typically cover day-to-day cleaning. However, they often lack the resources to handle more substantial damage that a storm or disaster might cause. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we have the training, experience, and equipment necessary to tackle anything from deep cleaning your flooring to significant reconstruction projects.

Property Damage

Storms and other natural disasters can cause considerable damage to your business. Windstorms, for example, can result in anything from a littered parking lot to missing shingles to a tree falling through your building’s roof.

We understand that every hour you spend working on recovery is an hour of lost productivity. Let us help you get your business back to full speed in no time.

We offer a wide variety of services to handle storm damage. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Board Up
  • Electrical
  • Roof Tarping and Repair
  • Flooring Repair
  • Painting
  • Temporary Fencing
  • General Contracting
  • Tree Removal

Water and Mold

No matter whether a flood hits your building or rain leaks in through a broken window, water doesn’t take long to damage your property. Your janitorial staff likely won’t have the equipment and training necessary to help your business recover after a large storm hits.

We aim to get your building back at full productivity as quickly and safely as we can. We offer comprehensive services to make your business “Like it never even happened.” Our services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Water Removal and Drying
  • Mold Remediation
  • Odor Removal
  • Carpet Treatment and Installation
  • Commercial Cleaning

Our highly trained technicians can help locate and fix the source of the problem, remove the water, and treat the affected area. 

The longer water spreads through your building, the more damage it causes—especially as it becomes more contaminated over time. Prolonged periods of moisture in your business can also lead to mold problems. That’s why we’re committed to being faster to any sized disaster.

With our 24/7 service, we’re able to contain and treat water damage quickly, which allows us to save and restore as much of your building and property as possible.

At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we commit to a “restore first” mentality that prioritizes restoration above replacement to save you money and get you back into your building faster.

Fire and Smoke

While fire damage might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of storms, they do bring an increased fire risk. Flooding, downed electrical lines, and lightning all can lead to fires.

After a fire, significant restoration may be necessary to make your building safe to enter and work in again. Fortunately, we have the training, experience, and equipment necessary to restore your building to pre-fire condition.

Fire and smoke damage can have lasting, dangerous effects if not properly resolved. Smoke and soot can seep into fabric, carpeting, and more. Additionally, your HVAC system can spread smoke and soot into areas not otherwise affected by the fire.

Our technicians are trained in the following services and more:

  • Fire and Smoke Restoration
  • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning
  • Odor Control
  • HVAC Services

From windstorms, to floods, to fire, natural disasters can cause significant damage to your business. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we understand that time spent recovering from such a disaster leads to lost productivity and lost revenue. We’re dedicated to providing you with fast, quality service. We even work with your insurance companies, so you can focus on running your business. 

If your business has sustained damage from a storm or other disaster, give us a call at 360-243-8313, and we’ll get your business on the road to recovery today.

9 Common Hiding Places for Mold

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 9 Common Hiding Places for Mold Check your attic frequently to catch small leaks and mold before they become large problems.

Given food, moisture, and a dark space, mold can thrive in a variety of spaces. Unfortunately, that includes spaces that are hidden from your day-to-day view. Here are nine of mold’s favorite household-hiding spots.

Washing Machines

Damp dark places, like detergent chambers, are perfect for mold. Gaskets around doors of front-loading washing machines provide an equally appealing location.

To prevent mold growth, leave both the washing machine door and the detergent chamber open to allow airflow in between loads of laundry.

Behind Wallpaper

Unless you regularly change up the décor of a room, you probably don’t look behind your wallpaper too often. However, especially if it was not sealed properly, it can hide mold for quite some time. If you notice peeling edges, or if your wallpaper is getting old and in a moisture-heavy room, you may want to check for mold.

When applying wallpaper, make sure to remove all air bubbles and to use a high-quality adhesive paste. You may want to skip wallpaper altogether in rooms with a lot of moisture like kitchens and bathrooms.

Chimneys

Chimneys provide lots of crevices where moisture and organic debris can gather, which creates a happy home for mold.

Brick and mortar are already porous, but rusted or insufficient chimney caps are often the biggest culprits when it comes to chimney mold growth. Annual inspections along with well-functioning chimney caps should help to prevent mold.

Refrigerator Drip Pans

When it comes to refrigerator drip pans, out of sight is often out of mind. However, moisture, food spills, and the dark space underneath your refrigerator makes the drip pans a perfect place for mold to grow unnoticed.

Make sure to clean your drip pans at least once annually. Increase the cleanings if you notice mold more frequently.

Kitchenware

Obviously stacks of dirty dishes left in the sink for a long time can cause mold issues, but clean kitchenware can cause issues as well.

After you wash dishes, either the sink or the dishwasher, make sure they are completely dry before placing them in cupboards. Remember—dark, damp environments are perfect for mold growth.

If you are guilty of putting away dishes and silverware before they’re 100% dry, examine your dishes for mildew and check the shelves in your cabinets as well for mold.

If old leftovers leave mold in your plastic storage containers, a quick wash may not be enough to get rid of the mold. Make sure to rinse your containers well before throwing them into the dishwasher. After the load is done, make sure they are clear of mold before putting them away.

Roof and Attic

Unless you make frequent trips to the attic, you probably won’t notice mold growth up there. Attics typically have a lot of dust and not as much airflow. Small leaks in the roof or from pipes can lead to mold problems quickly.

Periodically examine your attic for mold and leaks. Frequent checkups can prevent small problems from escalating.

Underneath Carpet

Carpets collect much of the dirt and grime in your home, which provides perfect food for mold spores if the carpet or carpet pad gets wet. Moisture from concrete floors or crawl spaces can seep into the carpet pad, providing the perfect circumstances. If you have pets that frequently have accidents on your carpet, your chances for mold increase.

Unfortunately, if your carpet smells musty or feels wet, there’s a good chance you already have mold. To help prevent mold growth, regularly vacuum your carpets and get them deep cleaned periodically.

HVAC System

Your HVAC system can easily hide mold and distribute mold spores throughout your home. The air used to cool homes contains a lot of moisture. Over time, this moisture often condenses in duct lining materials. Mold spores feed off the moisture and dust particles. If there are leaks in your ductwork, moisture can also accumulate on the outside of the ducts.

If you smell a musty or mildew odor coming through your vents, your ductwork may have mold inside it.

Inside Your Walls

Leaks from outer walls, broken pipes, and roofs can all provide the moisture needed for mold growth. Because you likely don’t open up your walls very often, mold can easily grow unnoticed for quite some time.

Watch for signs of discoloration on your walls and ceilings as well as any musty odors, as both of these signs can indicate mold.

Our highly trained mold remediation specialists can help locate hard-to-find mold and begin the remediation and restoration process. We understand that mold problems can worsen over time, so we provide you with quick, effective service. We’re available 24/7 to better serve you.

If you find mold in your home, or suspect you have mold you can’t see, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313.

Our Water Damage Restoration Process

5/10/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Our Water Damage Restoration Process Step 2 of our water damage restoration process is the inspection and assessment that allows us to create a comprehensive plan of action.

Treating water damage is more than simply cleaning up the water, drying out your home, and hoping for the best. You need comprehensive services from assessment to restoration to bring your home back to pre-water damage condition.

We don’t just clean up a mess or paint over a problem, we help to identify the source to prevent damage along the road. We don’t just mop up the water, we sanitize, deodorize, and restore your damaged belongings.

If you have water damage, trust the training, experience, and knowledge of our water damage restoration process.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

When it comes to water damage, delays can be costly. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we offer 24/7 service to ensure you get the help you need any time day or night. Start the restoration process by calling (360) 243-8313.

When you call, you’ll work with a representative to start planning the next step. Be prepared for questions concerning:

  • Your name and address as well as contact and insurance information
  • The cause (if known) of the water damage and when the damage occurred
  • Availability of electricity onsite.

These questions will help us make decisions about what equipment to bring and how many of our highly trained technicians we may need.

Step 2: Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

Our first priority will be to help find the source and stop further damage from occurring.

Next we will work to determine the type of water (clean, gray, or black) because different levels of water contamination require different restoration processes.

We’ll establish the extent of the damage so we can make sure to put together a comprehensive plan of action. At this point, we’ll also move and block furniture to prevent further damage.

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Once we’ve determined the level of damage and fixed the source of the problem, we remove the water using powerful equipment such as industrial strength, truck-mounted wet/dry vacuums and submersible pumps. Our equipment allows us to quickly remove the water in efforts to prevent secondary water damage as well as mold growth.

To ensure we remove all hidden water from the property, we use technology such as (though not limited to):

  • Infrared cameras
  • Hygrometers
  • Moisture detectors

We’ll also inspect your carpet pad and carpet to find out whether they need to be removed to protect the subfloor from greater water damage.

If needed, we can move out your belongings to protect them from further damage.

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidifying

After we’ve removed excess water, the job is not quite done. We’ll dry the property to prevent porous materials like wood, drywall, and flooring from warping, breaking down, or developing mold.

Our industrial-grade drying and dehumidifying equipment paired with our knowledge and experience ensures the job is done well and quickly.

Our specialists use the following considerations to determine the optimal amount and types of equipment to use for your property:

  • Relative humidity
  • Temperature
  • Room measurements

We’ll monitor the moisture levels throughout the process to make sure the process is done correctly.

Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Once the room is dry, our specialists will begin the cleaning and sanitation process. We offer comprehensive, professional cleaning services for your home and belongings.

After your home is soaked in water, especially if the water was contaminated, there is a good chance that your property will need to be cleaned and sanitized to eliminate odors.

At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we take on a restore versus replace mentality. Our goal is to restore your home and belongings to pre-damage condition if at all possible.

Step 6: Restoration

Depending on your preferences and insurance, we can also handle the restoration of your home after water damage. No matter whether your home needs minor repairs, like paint touchups or carpet installation, or significant reconstruction of rooms or areas in your home, we have the training and experience necessary to make your home “Like it never even happened.”

We also take care of your home during the restoration process. If you need temporary protective measures, like a roof tarp, board up, or temporary fencing, we offer various building services.

When it comes to water damage in your home, trust the company that makes it faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe offers comprehensive services, which makes the process simpler for you.

While others might just mop up the mess, our wide-ranging services allow us to help you through the entire process from inspection to restoration. If your home sustains water damage, call us at 360-243-8313.

Clean, Gray, and Black: Understanding Water Classifications

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Clean, Gray, and Black: Understanding Water Classifications Do you know the differences between clean, gray and black water?

When it comes to damage, all water is not created equal. From a burst pipe or a flood, it’s important to understand how each type of water must be treated differently.

Classifications of Water

Water is typically classified into three groups—clean, gray, and black.

  • Clean Water: Clean water includes rainwater and water from broken pipes. You may also hear clean water referred to as white water. This water is safe to touch. Clean water can become gray water after around 48 hours.
  • Gray Water: Gray water refers to slightly contaminated water that needs to be thoroughly treated before it is safe to consume. Sources of gray water include dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. It does not contain bacteria that are as harmful as those found in black water. Gray water usually progresses into black water after about 48 hours if it is not treated.
  • Black Water: Black water is highly contaminated and contains harmful chemicals and biological matter. Sewage waters are considered black water. When it comes to floods, it should be assumed that all water is black water since a flood picks up contaminants along its path. Contact with black water can lead to serious illness.

Differences in Cleaning

Each classification of water requires different steps, tools, and knowledge to properly clean and dry. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we can help locate the source of the water, determine what type of water you’re dealing with, fix the cause of the problem, and properly treat the damage.

Clean Water

If your house sustains damage from clean water, cleanup and damage control mostly consists of:

  • Turning off circuit breakers to minimize shock risks. (Never touch water that may be connected to an electrical outlet or other electronics.)
  • Clearing out as much water from the premises as possible and drying out the affected area.
  • Removing items that could be further damaged by exposure to water such as electronics, art, important papers, etc.

Watch for signs of significant water damage, such as sagging ceilings, bubbling paint, and warping floors. If you see such signs, avoid those areas to avoid personal injury, and give us a call—we can help!

Remember, even with clean water, you face a time crunch, as clean water can progress into gray water within 48 hours. Mold can also become an issue if your home isn’t promptly and properly dried.

Gray Water

While gray water doesn’t contain the same level of harmful material as black water, it is still considered contaminated, and it may require certain tools and knowledge to correctly remove the water, dry the property, and, if needed, treat the area.

As a rule, don’t walk through or allow your skin to touch water you suspect is contaminated. Because of both the contamination and the timeliness of the problem (remember—gray water becomes black water in about 48 hours), you’ll likely need help from professionals to restore your home.

Black Water

Black water usually contains, or has encountered, fecal matter, urine, and/or other bodily fluids and wastes, all of which are considered biohazards. Because of these contaminants, black water is rife with bacteria and fungi—even the air around the water can be affected.

Contact with black water, or even extended exposure to the air around it, can lead to infections and serious diseases. Proper treatment, cleaning, and drying of homes damaged by black water requires special knowledge and equipment.

When dealing with such heavily contaminated water, it’s important to exercise caution.

  • If you don’t know how long water has been in the area, you must assume it is now black water.
  • Remember—all flood water is considered black water. As a flood progresses, it picks up all the contaminants that come across its path—including contaminants from sewers, chemicals, animal waste, etc. Do not touch or enter flood waters without proper protection.
  • Your HVAC system can spread contaminated air throughout the house. Do not turn on your HVAC system if your house contains contaminated water. Avoid turning on household fans as well, since they can also spread the contamination.
  • If you touch black water, thoroughly wash the exposed area of skin as soon as possible. Be careful to not touch and contaminate any objects before washing yourself.

Simply clearing out water and drying the affected rooms will not be enough to make your home safe again after black water. Call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe—we have the knowledge, skills, and tools to make your home “Like it never even happened.”

We have the experience necessary to determine the source and extent of the damage. We identify and fix the root of the problem as well as the resulting damage. We work hard to restore your home as efficiently as possible.

No matter the time of day or night, we offer you the services you need. Call us 24/7 at 360-243-8313 for professional, timely service.

Understanding Weather and Flood Reports

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Understanding Weather and Flood Reports Learn how to understand weather and flood warnings so you can be prepared before storms hit.

How many times have you watched the weather and expected a huge storm and ended up with a slight drizzle? Have you ever wondered when you should be worried about flooding in your area? Weather reports can be confusing if you don’t understand the terms used to describe storms and floods.

Learning the Weather Lingo

Meteorologists use different terms to represent the severity and imminence of a weather event. Once you crack the code, it’s easy to know generally what to expect. These terms are used to describe the status of anything from a wind storm to a blizzard.

  • Advisory: Advisories mean a weather condition is expected, but it’s often used for less severe kinds of weather. Advisories often indicate a weather condition that will happen within the next 24 hours or so. Meteorologists might refer to a wind advisory for relatively low-magnitude winds. Extreme winds, because of their potential for danger, would be indicated with a warning, not an advisory.
  • Outlook: Outlooks mean that a hazardous weather condition is possible in a few days. This is often your first notice that the potential for bad weather is on the horizon. You may hear a meteorologist refer to a weekend storm outlook.
  • Watch: Watches mean that a hazardous weather condition is possible or likely. This term is often used for weather conditions that could happen over the next few days across a large area. You might hear terms like “winter storm watch” while watching the news.
  • Warning: Warnings mean a hazardous weather condition is expected to happen or is already happening. This term is used for imminent weather conditions. Warnings are used for weather events that will likely be significant enough to cause damage to property or physical harm. Meteorologists might issue a heavy snow warning to indicate significant and imminent snowfall.

The terms watch and warning also apply to floods. If you hear about a flood watch, conditions are such that a flood could be possible, and you can start planning and paying more attention to weather reports. If you hear about a flood warning, a flood is either imminent or already occurring; you’ll want to watch for details about what areas the flood will likely impact and make the necessary preparations.

If you have questions about terms used for specific weather conditions, the National Weather Service provides a comprehensive glossary online.

Understanding Flood Phases

A large storm or consistent, heavy rain can cause a flood at any point in the year, but the winter months, November through February, bear the greatest flood risk.

Snohomish County breaks down floods into four phases, which each indicate a rising level of risk.

  • Phase 1: Phase 1 warnings are brought to the county staff’s attention. Although actual flooding is rare at this level, the county will prepare to open the Emergency Operations Center if necessary.
  • Phase 2: In Phase 2 and above, the Emergency Operations Center opens, and warnings will go out to emergency personnel such as the police and fire department. The news and schools will be alerted as well. The area may experience minor flooding with some road closures. Staff will monitor and report river gauge/level information hourly.
  • Phase 3: Levees, also known as dikes, are at risk of breaches/overtopping at Phase 3. Investigation crews will monitor levees and other flood control facilities. You can anticipate several road closures because of moderate to severe flooding.
  • Phase 4: This is the highest phase used to describe flooding conditions. Phase 4 warnings indicate major flooding and the potential for significant damage to occur.

Understanding weather and flood warnings can help you prepare before a storm or disaster hits. However, even the most prepared home can sustain significant damage during a severe weather event. If your home is damaged during a flood or storm, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.

Flood waters can be toxic, and water damage can create unseen damage within your home. We have the experience and training to safely handle any disaster. Call us anytime at 360-243-8313, and we’ll fix your home so it’s “Like it never even happened.”

Improving Indoor Air Quality at Your Business

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Improving Indoor Air Quality at Your Business We can help you improve the indoor air quality of your office.

Most people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. Much of that time, for adults, is spent in an office, or warehouse, environment. Indoor air quality can contribute to the health and comfort of your employees, customers, and all who visit your place of business.

Why Does Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Matter?

Many studies suggest that the level of pollutants indoors often surpasses the pollutants outdoors. Poor IAQ can potentially impact the health and wellbeing of your employees.

According to OSHA, the following symptoms have been linked to poor IAQ:

  • Nose, lung, throat, and eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration difficulty

OSHA also claims that specific air contaminants have been linked with varying ailments. Irritants and damp indoor environments may worsen or lead to various conditions.

After examining the potential symptoms of poor indoor air quality, it’s no surprise that good IAQ has been linked to higher productivity and fewer lost work days according to an EPA Report to Congress from 1989. Happy, healthy workers tend to take fewer days off and accomplish more in the workplace.

What Affects Indoor Air Quality?

Fixing indoor air quality is not as simple of a fix as changing a pipe or washing a window. Several independent factors, both indoors and out, can contribute to poor IAQ.

Potential factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Outdoor pollutants such as smoke, smog, etc.
  • Poor ventilation and/or insulation
  • Inadequate moisture and humidity control
  • Untreated smoke damage
  • Spilt chemicals and leaking gases
  • Dust, dirt, and animal dander
  • Fungi, pollen, and other biological matter
  • Tobacco 

What Can SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe Do?

As mentioned before, many factors can impact IAQ. Fortunately, we offer comprehensive services that tackle many of these factors. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we offer inspections with recommendations for the best course of action to leave your office with cleaner air.

HVAC Systems

Without regular attention, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can spread contaminants around your office. We offer regular inspections and cleanings so your office enjoys cleaner air and longer-lasting HVAC systems.

Mold Remediation

Mold, especially if left untreated long term, may pose health risks to your employees according to the EPA. Mold spores can travel through the air, impacting the IAQ and spreading the mold throughout the building. We have the training, equipment, and experience necessary to contain the mold, restore your property, and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire and Smoke Damage

Walls, carpets, and even furniture can carry smoke and soot long after the fire is put out, which can impact your IAQ. If your property experiences a fire, we can handle the damage both big and small. We can also make sure your building, and its contents, are properly cleaned.

Water Damage

No matter whether the water damage was caused by a leaky roof, a broken pipe, or a flooded basement, moisture and humidity may lead to poor IAQ, along with other significant problems. We can help to identify the source of the problem and fix any damage that may have occurred.

We also offer commercial cleaning services that go above and beyond typical janitorial or maid services. Regular cleaning can help combat potential air pollutants like dust, dirt, pollen, etc.

Cleaner air can lead to a healthier and more productive workforce. It also can improve your clients’ and visitors’ experiences with your company. If your company could benefit from any of our services, please call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313.

Breathe Easy This Spring: Why You Should Clean Your HVAC System

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Breathe Easy This Spring: Why You Should Clean Your HVAC System Get your HVAC system cleaned this spring and breathe easy.

Spring is finally here, and it’s time to open up those windows and let in some fresh air. As you embark on cleaning your home this spring, don’t forget about your HVAC system.

According to the EPA, pollutant levels inside can be two to five times higher than outdoors. The ventilation system is often the largest contributor to poor indoor air quality. Many systems go a long time before being inspected and cleaned. Your dirty vents might be circulating odors, mold and irritating dust throughout your home.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that contaminants or foreign objects such as rodents, insects, dust, dirt, debris, bacteria, mold and pollen can enter and collect in your air ducts. These may harm the indoor air quality of your home or cause other damages to your HVAC system.

Cleaning your HVAC system is no easy task, and we can help. SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe offers heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) inspections and cleaning. Especially after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning is essential to improve the air quality in your home.

Why Pick SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe?

Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, we use a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and sweep clean years of dust and grime.

This system allows us to:

  • Remediate Bacteria, Fungi and Mold
  • Reduce Potential for Mold Growth
  • Restore Peak Energy Efficiency
  • Eliminate Offensive Odors
  • Provide Free Written Inspections and Estimates

Our Duct Cleaning Process works like this:

  • First, we use patented equipment, such as the roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

Keeping your HVAC system and ductwork clean is key in ensuring good air quality in your home. Protect your family from polluted air this spring and set up an inspection today.

If you have other cleaning needs, SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe provides a variety of cleaning services. Click here to learn more about our cleaning services, or give us a call at 360-243-8313.

The Chore Schedule: Preventing Mold with Regular Cleaning

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Chore Schedule: Preventing Mold with Regular Cleaning Do you know how often you should clean everything in our house? Follow this chore schedule to reduce the risk of mold growth in your home.

Mold spores need moisture and food to flourish—but it can survive, dormant, without moisture, for a long time. In the meantime, dirt and grime can build up large reservoirs of food to feed the mold. Regular cleaning removes dust, dirt, grease, grime, and other potential feeding sources for mold.

Of course, you don’t need to deep clean your house every day. Use this basic guide to determine how often you should perform household chores.

Daily

Some molds can start growing on moist surfaces in as little as 48 hours. It’s important to clean wet surfaces often so mold spores won’t have any food. Performing these daily chores helps prevent small messes from becoming larger, stubborn problems.

  • Wash all dishes
  • Wipe down sinks, counter tops, and stoves
  • Clear any clutter
  • Collect dirty clothes left on bedroom or bathroom floors
  • Hang up bath towels after use
  • Wipe up any spills
  • Hang up and/or wash wet clothing
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Take out any full or nearly full trash cans

Twice a Week

The difference between whether a chore should be done weekly or twice a week is often determined by the size of your living space and the number of occupants. Most of these chores can be done weekly if you live alone. If any surface starts to be visibly dirty adjust your cleaning schedule accordingly.

  • Vacuum high-traffic areas
  • Do the laundry
  • Sweep any hard-floor entryways

Weekly

Over the course of a week, even with regular daily chores, dirt, dust, and grime build up throughout your home. Luckily, if done every week, these simple chores can help cut down on potential food sources for mold.

  • Vacuum low-traffic areas and rugs
  • Scrub toilets (spot-clean as necessary)
  • Clean the shower/tub
  • Dust surfaces throughout the house
  • Throw out expired food in refrigerator/freezer
  • Clean sinks and mirrors
  • Sweep and mop bathrooms and all hard-floor surfaces
  • Wipe down the oven door
  • Wash bed sheets and towels

Monthly

As mentioned previously, different households will require different cleaning schedules. Homes with kids, pets, or several occupants will likely need some chores done more regularly than homes with just one or two people.

  • Wash the windows
  • Wipe the baseboards and doors
  • Wash mattress covers
  • Wipe down the inside of your refrigerator
  • Clean your dishwasher

Seasonally

Even if you stay on top of your daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning, dirt and grime will still build up in some spaces. Help avoid mold growth by tackling some of these less common chores.

  • Scrub the oven (do so every 3-6 months)
  • Remove all food from your refrigerator and freezer (keep the food in coolers), and thoroughly scrub the inside of the appliances
  • Vacuum and flip your mattress
  • Wash your blankets/duvets and pillows
  • Replace or clean filters
  • Wash rugs per the instructions on their tags
  • Vacuum window screens
  • Move and clean under furniture

Changing seasons often means changing clothes. If you store clothes seasonally, make sure all items of clothing are laundered, dry, and neatly put away. Damp, dirty clothing is an ideal growing place for mold.

Annually

Even with regular care your home will likely suffer some signs of wear and tear that can’t be solved with a daily quick sweep or wipe down. These annual chores will help your home and belongings last longer and can help take out some of mold’s most stubborn food sources.

  • Shampoo your carpets/Get them professionally cleaned
  • Clean furniture/upholstery
  • Soak your shower heads
  • Clear and dust your bookshelves and books

Regular cleaning and home maintenance can help deny mold the food it needs. However, mold is tenacious in its efforts to find somewhere to grow. If you find mold in your home, or suspect it is growing in areas you can’t see, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe.

We will assess your home and start our mold remediation process. You can trust our training and experience to make your house “Like it never even happened.” Call us anytime, we offer 24/7 emergency service at 360-243-8313.

What to Do When Walking Through Your Home After a Disaster

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to Do When Walking Through Your Home After a Disaster Be cautious when walking through your home after a disaster. It may not be safe to enter.

Walking through your home after a large-scale disaster such as a flood, fire, or storm can be a difficult experience. Unfortunately, if your home was significantly damaged, it can also be dangerous.

General Safety Tips

  • Floods can uproot a lot of wildlife. When sorting through debris, make sure to use a stick to move things around. Snakes and other animals might be stuck beneath piles of debris.
  • Do not attempt to touch or remove wild animals that may have taken residence in your home during a storm or flood. Do not try to remove any dead animal carcasses, as they can carry diseases. When possible, contact animal control for removal.
  • Don’t allow small children to accompany you as you first walk through your home.
  • If negative conditions are widespread, use a battery-operated radio to listen for emergency updates and instructions.
  • Do not touch any exposed or fallen wiring.
  • Never use fire as a source of light until you are certain there are no gas leaks.

For information on how to prepare for and recover from specific disasters, visit the Red Cross Emergency Resource Library.

Before Entering Your Home

If you had to evacuate your home, or if you were simply gone when disaster struck, it’s important to determine if it is safe to enter the building. First, you’ll want to carefully walk around your home while it is still bright outside and look for signs of danger. Do not enter your home if:

  • You find fallen or loose powerlines
  • Authorities have not declared it safe after a fire (even if you think the fire is out)
  • You see or smell any evidence of gas leaks
  • There are indications of structural damage in your foundation, stairs, roof, chimney, etc.
  • Trees have fallen and damaged structurally important areas of your home

If you find any of these signs of danger, wait for the appropriate authorities to inspect your home first.

Inspecting Your Home

Once you decide it is safe to enter your home to examine the damage, make sure to dress appropriately. Wear heavy, waterproof boots as well as gloves, especially after a flood. Walk through the home carefully. If anything you see, hear, or smell violates the previous signs of danger list, leave immediately.

As you walk through your home, exercise the following cautions to ensure safety:

  • If you can reach the fuse box safely, turn off the electricity at the main fuse if you find wet or damaged appliances. Do not attempt to use any electricity until you know it is safe.
  • Watch for loose or frayed wiring as well as sparks or other signs of electrical danger.
  • Do not walk through any flood water, even if it blocks you from inspecting part of your house. Flood water often contains toxins that can harm you. Additionally, water conducts electricity. If you touch any flood waters that cover outlets, you could get electrocuted.
  • Watch for any broken boards, holes in the floor, chemical spills, exposed nails, wet or falling plaster/sheetrock, or compromised foundations.
  • If there was a flood, throw away food, water, cosmetics, or medicine that may have been exposed to the flood water. Do not drink water from the tap until a professional has verified its safety. If your home went without electricity for more than 24 hours, do not eat any of your perishable food.

As you walk through your home, you may want to take pictures for your insurance company if it is safe to do so.

If your home was damaged in a storm, fire, flood, or another natural disaster, you may find several safety roadblocks along your road to recovery. Fortunately, we have the necessary knowledge and training to take care of it for you. At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we know how to safely assess the damage, work with insurance companies, and repair your home so it’s “Like it never even happened.”

We offer 24/7 emergency service, so give us a call at 360-243-8313, and we can start making your house feel like a home again.

Nine Tips to Reduce Mold Growth in Your Bathroom

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Nine Tips to Reduce Mold Growth in Your Bathroom Want to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom? Follow these tips to help reduce the risk of mold growing in your bathroom.

Mold loves dark, damp areas, which makes bathrooms an ideal environment for it to grow. Regular showers and baths keep the room moist, and various crevices provide perfect spaces for mold to flourish. However, you can help prevent mold growth in your bathroom with these nine tips.

  1. Regularly Wash Your Rugs and Shower Curtain. These items retain water longer than other surfaces in the bathroom, so they are perfect targets for mold. Most rugs and fabric curtains can go in the washing machine, but read their tags for specific instructions. To clean plastic liners, simply soak them in your tub in either a mix of water and all-purpose cleaner or water and bleach for a half an hour. Replace these items as necessary.
  2. Turn on the Ventilation Fan. Whenever you bathe or shower, make sure to turn on the bathroom ventilation fan. Keep it on until your bathroom is dry. The bathroom will, weather permitting, dry even faster if you open windows and doors.
  3. Air Out the Curtain and Towels. After showering, make sure to extend your shower curtain. If it’s scrunched up, it will take longer to dry, and mold may start to grow in the folds. Hang up your towels and pick up any clothes off the floor so they will dry faster as well.
  4. Check for Leaks. Regularly examine all bathroom fixtures. Don’t forget the pipes under the sink. Water from small leaks can provide the perfect breeding ground for mold.
  5. Wipe Down Bathroom Surfaces. If you have a glass shower, make sure to squeegee the excess water off the glass panes before you hop out of the shower. Wipe any moisture accumulation off the bathroom walls and flooring as well.
  6. Manage Household Humidity Levels. If your house is already humid, it will be more difficult for your bathroom to dry out after a shower. If your house feels humid you can use the AC or a dehumidifier to help.
  7. Keep the Clutter Out of the Shower/Tub. Avoid storing toys, shampoo bottles, loofahs, and washcloths in the shower. These items often help retain moisture in the bathroom and all give mold an ideal location to grow and hide. Try storing bottles, washcloths, toys, etc. in wire hanging baskets, in mesh nets, or on hooks that will allow everything to drip dry.
  8. Clean the Bathroom Weekly. Mold spores can remain dormant for quite some time while waiting for the right circumstances to grow. It’s important to regularly clean your bathroom even if there are no visible signs of a problem. Scrub your toilets, counters, sinks, tub, and walls. Don’t forget to dust as well. Clear out your drains as needed so water remains in sinks and bathtubs for less time.
  9. Seal Grout Lines. If you have tile, it’s important to seal grout lines once a year. This will prevent mold from growing in between your tiles. You can usually use standard grout sealer.

While implementing these tips can help prevent mold growth, mold is persistent and, with the right conditions, can grow almost anywhere. If you find mold on your property, call us so we can start the mold remediation process.

At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe, we understand mold growth. We have the training and experience necessary to make your home “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 360-243-8313 or request service online.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Spotting Water Damage

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage A Homeowner’s Guide to Spotting Water Damage Do you know how to spot water damage in your home?

Water damage can potentially cause significant damage to your home, but sometimes the early warning signs seem like regular wear and tear. While you might think to look for water damage after a large storm or flood, leaky roofs, broken pipes, and the like can cause issues at any time. Use this guide to locate water damage in your home.

Examine the Flooring

Depending on the type of flooring you have in each room of your home, you’ll want to look for different warning signs of water damage.

In rooms with tile, laminate, or wood, look for warning signs such as:

  • Cracks
  • Warped, soft, or squishy areas along the surface
  • Bulges in the material (particularly with wood and laminate)

Look for white or dark stains on wood floors as well.

Carpet can mask problems that lie beneath the surface. Watch for more obvious signs like wet spots in your carpeting, but also pay attention to any gradual rises underneath the floor. Damp, moldy smells can also be a sign of water damage.

Check the Walls and Ceilings

Walls can easily hide small leaks, but the water buildup will usually reveal itself in time. Regularly examine your walls and ceilings for the following signs of water damage:

  • Soft spots, potentially with a swollen appearance
  • Cracks in the drywall
  • Staining or any off-color areas
  • Wet spots

If you’re not the original owner of the home, you may want to look for areas on the ceilings and walls with a lot of localized paint buildup. Make sure the previous owner did not simply paint over water damage.

Inspect the Bathroom and Kitchen

It’s easy to neglect the cabinets beneath your sinks—especially if you don’t keep anything you regularly use down there. Check the area for the following signs of a problem:

  • Standing water
  • Condensation
  • Leaking pipes
  • Water stains

In addition to looking under the sink, you should inspect all fixtures for signs of wear including missing grout, leaks, rust, or mold. Examine your laundry room and water heater for similar potential signs of water damage.

Survey the Attic and Roof

You can often find signs of roof damage in your attic; however, these signs may go unnoticed since attics tend to be a low-traffic area. Examine your attic regularly to look for key indicators of potential problems.

The insulation should be dry and in good condition. Pay attention to points where two roof planes come together and the flashing where the roof meets the walls. Watch for signs of damage such as:

  • Mold
  • Staining
  • Warped/cracked wood or drywall

Your roof is one of the largest surfaces of your home that is exposed to the outside elements. As such, even small problems, if unnoticed or ignored, can lead to potential home damage.

After clearing debris that could hide potential problems, search your roof for signs of damage including:

  • Broken or damaged flashing
  • Missing shingles
  • Curled or cracked shingles

While you are outside, pay attention to the foundation of your home as well. Make note of any standing water along the foundation, as this can also indicate otherwise unseen issues.

If you come across any water damage, don’t panic. Call us for help! At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe we have the experience and training to treat any water damage in your home. We don’t simply dry your home and slap on a fresh coat of paint—we identify the source, discover the extent of the problem, and then take the appropriate action to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”

We offer 24-hour emergency service. Call us today at 360-243-8313 to fix any water damage in your home.

Green Means Clean

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Green Means Clean At SERVPRO, green means clean.

As a SERVPRO® Franchise, we have access to SERVPRO Industries, Inc. resources and technology. Part of this includes the large range of cleaning products SERVPRO has developed. Over the years SERVPRO Industries has strived to develop green chemicals that are safe for your home and family as well as the environment. We have been members of the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative for a longtime. This allows us access to resources that help in formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products, known as “Green” chemistry. Our most notable green cleaning products are highlighted below.
 
Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean #251: This product is designed for cleaning both carpet and upholstery. It is truly a “one product does all” in that it can be used as a spotter, pre-spray and in-line cleaner for use with a variety of equipment.
 
All Surface Green Clean #250: This is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional surface cleaners. The product is designed as a one product cleans all for surfaces that can be wiped or mopped. It can safely be used on walls, ceilings, countertops, floors, etc. The exclusive formulation contains both ionic and non-ionic surfactants that are naturally derived and provide excellent multi-functional cleaning.
 
Window Green Clean #249: This cleaner is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional glass cleaners. The product is formulated with soft water to eliminate spotting and streaking.
 
All three products listed are pH neutral and contain no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant and biodegradable. Your home is our highest priority, which is why we strive to use green products, like these, when possible.
 
Despite our goal to use green products, many of our products cannot be classified as such. Our goal is to still use the safest products we can. Two areas the EPA/DFE does not address that are common in our restoration tasks are disinfectants and deodorizers.
 
Disinfectants are “kill” agents and are not considered green per the EPA/DFE. The EPA does classify disinfectants by the overall toxicity. The lowest toxicity disinfectants get a rating of category 3. We use a product called Sporicidin® as a low toxicity disinfectant and it carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating of category 3.
 
Deodorizers can be a problem because the fragrances used in these products can cause reactions with certain individuals. The EPA/DFE does not currently have green fragrances listed. We use air scrubbers with activated charcoal to serve as a green method of deodorization. This method scrubs the odor particles from the air and traps them in the activated charcoal filter.
 
If you have any cleaning needs for your home or business, call SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe. We don't just specialize in fire and water restoration and cleanup; we also specialize in the cleaning and deodorization of carpets, upholstery, draperies, hard floors, walls, ceilings, air ducts, and more. Give us a call at 360-243-8313 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Winter Heating Hazards

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Winter Heating Hazards 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.

Did you know 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February? During the winter, days are short and temperatures are low. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or a portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe at 360-243-8313 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Statistics and tips provided by the National Fire Prevention Association and SERVPRO® Industries, Inc.

Halloween 2016 Events in Snohomish

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

Community Halloween 2016 Events in Snohomish Fun Halloween events in Snohomish County this weekend.

It is the last weekend of October, and Halloween is here! Do you know what you are doing with your family to celebrate? Here is a list of what's going on in the area.

 Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches

This is your last weekend to make it out to your favorite corn maze and pumpkin patch. If you don’t know which to check out, here is a list of your many options in and near Snohomish.

Bailey Vegetable Farm

Address: 12711 Springhetti Rd, Snohomish, WA 98296

Attractions Include: pumpkin patch, play barn (with rope swings, hay bales to climb, tractor trikes and more), wagon rides, food, vegetable stand and u-pick vegetables.

Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm Fall Harvest Festival

Address: 10917 Elliott Rd, Snohomish, WA 98296

Attractions Include: pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes, fire pits, country store and treats.

Carleton Farms

Address: 630 Sunnyside Blvd SE, Lake Stevens, WA 98258

Attractions Include: corn maze, Zombie Paintball, Haunted Swamp, zip line, pumpkin cannon, pumpkin patch, play area, kids barn, bucket train, non-haunted night maze, hayrides, animals, market and food.

Craven Farm’s Fall Festival and Corn Maze

Address: 13817 Shorts School Rd, Snohomish, WA 98290

Attractions Include: Alice-in-Pumpkinland Corn Maze, Hayride through Minionville, barnyard animals, pumpkin patch, harvest market, food, s'mores and fire pits.

Stocker Farms

Address: 8705 Marsh Road, Snohomish WA 98296

Attractions Include: 50th Anniversary inspired Peanuts’ Corn Maze, pumpkin patch, hay rides, giant jumping pillow, campfires, food vendors and several haunted attractions including the Field of Screams and the clown infested Last Laugh.

The Farm at Swan's Trail

Address: 7301 Rivershore Rd, Snohomish, WA 98290

Attractions Include: Washington State Corn Maze, pumpkin patch, apple picking, flash-light maze, nine-hole putting course, wagon rides, duck races, pig races, kids area (with slides, hay jump, peddle carts, cow train) and a three-story high barn maze.

Thomas Family Farm

Address: 9010 Marsh Rd, Snohomish, WA 98296

Attractions Include: Zombie Paintball, haunted house, pumpkin patch, flashlight corn maze, fire pits, monster truck rides, duck races, putt-putt golf, hay maze, cow train, kid’s paintball blast and food.

Halloween Celebrations

Are you looking for a safe place to trick-or-treat with your family, or just looking for something new to do on Halloween? Check out these fun local community events.

Mukilteo-Boo-Bash

Address: 304 LIncoln Ave, Mukilteo, WA 98275

Boo-Bash is an annual event hosted by the City of Mukilteo. The event will be held on Sunday, October 30th from 1:00-5:00 PM at the Rosehill Community Center. Be sure to wear your costumes and enjoy Trick-or-Treating, games, crafts, a haunted house and other fun activities.

Downtown Snohomish Trick-or-Treat

Address: 1101 First Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290

Historic Downtown Snohomish will be hosting this Trick-or-Treating event on Halloween from 3:00-5:00 PM. Participating downtown shops will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Family Safe Halloween Festival

Address: Downtown Lake Stevens, Lake Stevens, WA 98258

The Lake Stevens Halloween Festival will be held on Monday, October 31st from 5:00-7:00 PM. There will be safe trick-or-treating with participating downtown businesses, fun games and crafts for kids with a Dia de los Muertos theme!

Have a great Halloween weekend, and stay safe! If you have any cleanup needs after the festivities, give SERVPRO of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe a call at 360-243-8313. We’ll make it “like it never even happened.”

Ethics Continuing Education Class for Insurance Professionals

10/3/2016 (Permalink)

Community Ethics Continuing Education Class for Insurance Professionals Join us for a Continuing Education Class in Ethics.

Do you need to earn additional CE Credits for your professional license?

SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe will be hosting a Continuing Education class on Ethics for Insurance Professionals. Lunch will be provided.

Class Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Time: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Registration: 9:30 AM 

Location: Everett Transit Station in the Mt. Baker Room. 3201 Smith Ave. Everett, WA 98201.

What You Will Learn:

The premise for this ethics course is that although we may have solid ethical foundations and usually make rational ethical decisions, ethical lapses are likely to come when we are stressed, angry, upset, worried, or otherwise disengaged.

Each and every day we are faced with decisions that could cause harm to others or ourselves. Facing ethical decisions can be very difficult, especially when we make decisions that may seem correct at first, but we later find out were not so great. As we explore what “Ethics” is, you will be challenged to become involved in hourly group activities. The group activities will help reinforce what has been learned, as well as the ability to better deal with ethical decision-making in our own lives.

To reserve your spot please contact Stephanie at 360-243-8313 or send an email to shouse@SERVPROeverettwa.com.

National Night Out 2016

7/22/2016 (Permalink)

Community National Night Out 2016 Come join us for National Night Out in Monroe. August 2, 2016 in Lake Tye Park.

National Night Out is tonight! 16,000 communities across the country will be gathering together to increase awareness for crime in their communities.

 About National Night Out

National Night Out, or NNO, is a community-building event that has been around for over 30 years. NNO’s goal is to bring communities and their police together to raise awareness for crime and drug prevention, foster support and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirits and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. In short, the goal is to create safer, better places to live.

Monroe Event

We will be hosting a booth at the National Night Out event in Monroe. Come visit with us and enjoy a fun night with your family. Monroe’s event details are as follows:

Monroe National Night Out

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

5:30pm – 8:30pm

Lake Tye Park

Monroe, Washington

The Monroe Police Department and the Monroe Rotary Club will be sponsoring this event. There will be refreshments and family activities, including:

  • Police K9 Demonstrations
  • Fire Rescue Demonstrations
  • Bouncy Houses
  • SWAT Demonstrations
  • Community Resources
  • Child Identification

Stop by our booth and be sure to take some fun pictures with our photo booth and props.

Other Events Near You

There will be community and neighborhood gatherings in most cities in our area. Below are some links to help you find events near you.

For National Night Out events in Everett, click here.

For National Night Out events in Snohomish, click here.

For National Night Out events in Mukilteo, click here.

For National Night Out events in Lake Stevens, click here

We hope to see you there!

SERVPRO hosting Continuing Education Class and Luncheon for Real Estate and Insurance Professionals

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

Needing to earn addition CE Credits for your professional license?

SERVPRO® of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe will be hosting a Continuing Education class and luncheon for Real Estate and Insurance Professionals on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Downtown - Everett located at 3105 Pine St. in Everett.

 
*Real Estate Agents should plan to attend the first class at 9am on Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry. This will award 3 CE Credit Hours towards real estate licensing.  

*Insurance Agents should plan to attend the second class at 1pm on Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry.  This will award 2 CE Credit Hours towards insurance licensing.

 We will be having a Business Networking Luncheon between the two classes from 12-1 and be providing an opportunity for new connections and friendships to form.  

**Bring your licensing number, plenty of business cards and a smile!  We will be having some giveaways and some great discussion!** 

To reserve your seat, please contact Stephanie at 360-243-8313 or send an email to shouse@SERVPROeverettwa.com .

Mother Nature Making Messes - SERVPRO® of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe Making It Better!

3/11/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Mother Nature Making Messes - SERVPRO® of North Everett/Lake Stevens/Monroe Making It Better! Mother Nature Making Messes - SERVPRO® of North Everett Making It Better!

We recently had some rainy days & high winds here in the Northwest.  This home is situated quite near the beach on Camano Island; their view is spectacular.  Rough seas made the waters come up, run through and swirl debris around the house. Check out the logs and driftwood strewn about. The floors are full of mud and muck, and you can see the water damage line on the walls and doors. 6" high!

SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe was there to help clear out the water and start the drying process. Now we are getting ready to clean the house of the mud & debris the water brought in.

If you have any water damage issues, give us a call. We'd be happy to help you get back to the comfort of your home, without all the water. We are here 24/7, 365 days a year. Give us a call at 360-243-8313!

We Can Handle Your Commercial Loss

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial We Can Handle Your Commercial Loss Local high school stadium suffering from fire and smoke damage. SERVPRO's here to help.

We are currently handling a large loss fire job at a local high school. The fire began in the first aid room under the stadium and smoke and soot was carried throughout the building through the HVAC system. The smoke and soot affected every room in the stadium. We’ve brought in the big guns: a lift to reach the ceiling and a dry ice blaster to clean the small crevices in the cement to properly remove all the smoke particles. We have had crews working around the clock on getting it all cleaned up and ready for the upcoming sports seasons!


If your home or business has fire or smoke damage, give us a call! We can handle jobs of all sizes. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened”.

Help out Edward Jones, Seattle Seahawks, and the U.S. Marines collect toys for Toys for Tots!

11/18/2015 (Permalink)

Edward Jones and Seattle Seahawks are helping the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve collect new, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots toy drive! The toys can be dropped off on November 29th at Century Link Field, or at any time at any of the Edward Jones locations in Washington! 

Snohomish Locations

602 2nd St Suite C

Snohomish, WA 98290

1101 Avenue D Ste D-104

Snohomish, WA 98290

Lake Stevens Locations

9623 32nd St SE Bldg B Ste 101

Lake Stevens, WA 98258

1905 Main St

Lake Stevens, WA 98258

9327 4th Street NE Suite 9

Lake Stevens, WA 98258

Monroe Locations

101 East Main Street Suite 103

Monroe, WA 98272

Everett Locations

Silver Firs Plaza 5714 134th Place SE Suite A12

Everett, WA 98208

2905 Hewitt Ave

Everett, WA 98201

8115 Broadway Ste 201

Everett, WA 98203

2927 Colby Avenue Suite 200

Everett, WA 98201

2511 Colby Avenue

Everett, WA 98201

10101 19th Avenue S E Suite A-1

Everett, WA 98208

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