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Knowledge is Power

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

water damage in kitchen Drying with drying mats

When SERVPRO is hired to mitigate a water damage job, the customer is counting on us to be the expert. We need to be knowledgeable about all the latest drying techniques, content management, occupant safety, air quality, etc. And one way to show that we know what we are doing and talking about is by staying on top of all aspects of the project. Here are just a few of the questions that we ask ourselves on every water job:

  • What other contractors need to be involved in this project? Plumbers, flooring, drywall, etc. If even needed.
  • How many items have been permanently damaged? 
  • Can I explain and justify each piece of equipment we’re using on the job? 

  • When should the amount of air movement be scaled back or removed?

  • Are the techs using moisture meters properly to get the most accurate measurements and have I made sure they’re using the same meter throughout the life of the job?

    These are just a few questions that someone without disaster restoration training wouldn’t even think to ask. But since the industry constantly evolves and improves, we at SERVPRO do not try to get by with only what we first learned when you got into this business, in 1967. We regularly perform in-house training, watch the latest SERVPRO corporate video training seminars and attend workshops and trade shows when available. Knowledge, after all, is power. When we at SERVPRO are confident, you the customer and client, can be confident that the job will be completed correctly.

Benefits of gutter cleaning:

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Before & After Clean Gutters Gutter Clean Out

The colder temperatures are coming to a region near you and gutter cleaning time is here. Spending time outside during the winter can be fun and exciting but to some it is not ideal, especially if it's to perform yard work and maintenance. 

Harsh weather is often accompanied by strong winds and drastic rain fall, which is why, during the dry days of late fall or early winter, it’s a great time to clean and check your roof and gutters. Performing these tasks is very important, to ensure your home is safe from flood and water damage.

To help keep water away from your roof and foundation, gutters need to be cleared of any clogs or blockage made by leaves and debris. It's recommended to clean your gutters at least 1-4 times a year, basically once a quarter, and more frequently if you have overhanging trees. Also, clean clogged gutters after big storms. Do not neglect this!

Benefits of gutter cleaning:

  1. To prevent water damage to your home.
  2. Avoid nesting areas for termites, birds, and insects.
  3. Avert mold and bacteria.
  4. Prevent destruction of expensive landscaping.
  5. Stop ice buildup and damage.
  6. Maintain the value and beauty of your home. 

Tips when cleaning your gutters:

  • Wear a shirt with long sleeves, and rubber gloves.
  • Have a good extendable ladder available. Standoff stabilizers are ideal to keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.
  • Use a small plastic scoop to remove gunk (a kid’s sand shovel works great).
  • Lay down a plastic tarp, to catch the debris.
  • After you’ve cleared the muck, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose (Also, a great way to spot any leaks).

However, we can't always prevent the inevitable, which is why SERVPRO is always prepared for all of your restoration emergencies. SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso Specializing in Fire & Water Damage cleanup and restoration (360)703-3884

Fall into Winter Heat Cleaning

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

The bright colorful changes on the tips of the trees signifies the change of the season. The falling leaves in Fall are so pretty but make a mess. The crackling sound from the wood in our fireplaces and wood/pellet stoves confirms the change in temperatures. Fireplaces and pellet stoves can really make a mess, of everything.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there has been a significant reduction of houses sold in recent years that has a fireplace. However, during the winter months, fireplaces and wood/pellet stoves are used greatly to heat many homes in our neighborhoods and across America which is why we want to remind everyone how important it is to maintain and properly operate your stoves and fireplaces.

In the United States, behind kitchen fires, the 2nd leading cause of home fires are from heating systems. Fireplaces and Wood/pellet stoves are a part of those statistics. Preventative maintenance and annually inspections are very important. A yearly chimney sweep by a professional is a must! An inspection of the exterior stone, mortar and piping is also of extream importance. Also, check your windows and door seals for drafts. It is amazing the amount of heat that can be lost due to cracks or gaps. Proper maintenance will help keep your heating system operating safely and you will get the best return of warmth.

Before enjoying your fireplace, correctly dispose of ashes. One inch of ash will cause a fire to make more smoke. It's important to never place ash in a garbage bin indoors/or out. To properly clean and dispose of ash, you have to make sure it is cooled before shoveling it into a metal container with a lid. Also, remember to never store it near your home or firewood. 

Consider the type of wood you are burning and where it is being stored. Green or young wood have higher moister content and cause a lot of smoke and more build up of creosote. https://www.doctorflue.com/blog/what-is-creosote/ It's best to use seasoned or dried wood  that has been split for a safer fire. Storing your firewood in a dry place is also something to remember either a wood shed or garage to avoid moister. 

A few safety tips to remember: 

  • Always have a fire extinguisher near your fireplace/stove.
  • Start fire properly.
  • Install a chimney cap.
  • Never store matches, lighters, or other fire starters within 3ft of the wood-stove or fireplace.
  • Keep area clear of flammable items; Drapes, carpet, furniture and newspaper ext.
  • Never overload a fire or burn other debris.
  • Supervise small children and pets.
  • Extinguish fire before bed. 

A small flame can get out of control within 30 seconds. So it's very important to be sure all smoke/ carbon monoxide detectors are working and everyone knows your homes fire escape plan.

We understand how damaging chimney fires can be to your home. If you ever experience a home fire, and need some help and guidance, give us a call (360)703-3884. 

Specializing in Fire & Water-Cleanup & Restoration. SERVPRO of Longview/kelso is locally owned and operated.

We're always ready to help!

Key water loss questions

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flood Cut Sheetrock cut out

When SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso receives the call for a water loss or emergency, We will ask you a few key questions like, "Where is the water coming from" and "How much of the area has it affected". Here at SERVPRO from the initial phone call, to when our technicians arrive. We are assessing the damage and categorizing the type of water and classifications. Assessing the severity of the damage is important to determine what is needed to start the restoration and water removal process. A few of the various reasons we categorize is: 1- To know the level of care our technicians must take to safely work. 2- Preparing what equipment or tools are needed to quickly respond to the job. And 3- To best advise you of other safety measures you may need to take and helpful advise to minimize damage if possible.

The 3 Categories and what they mean:

  • Category 1water/clean water: A clean source like a broken water line, appliances, sink overflow ext. The water in category 1 in other words is considered sanitary and is not yet a substantial risk.
  • Category 2 water/ gray water: Water is significantly contaminated and can be harmful if consumed. Sources that may cause this type of water damage include toilets, sump pumps, and sewage.
  • Category 3 water/ black water: Unsanitary water that contains bacteria, untreated sewage, harsh chemicals and microbes. Flooding rivers and sewage backups are a couple sources that may cause this water damage but standing water and storm surges also are highly contaminated too. 

We also use different classifications to help determine the extent of the water damage that you may have experienced. This is why we ask "How much has it affected". It's important because it helps us know what drying techniques to use, the amount of equipment to set-up and how long the drying process may take.

4 Water classifications:

  • Class 1:The least harmful because affected materials absorb only small amounts of the water and involves less absorption and evaporation. Commonly only a small portion of a room is affected.
  • Class 2:  A larger amount of water that has a fast rate of evaporation. Which means carpets and pads are affected, however water has not wicked up the walls more then 24 inches. Water damage repairs are more difficult. 
  • Class 3: The water in this class has the fastest rate of evaporation and the greatest amount of water. It is commonly from overhead sources or sprinkler system. It can affect ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet/pad and subflooring. Class 3 is when the entire area is affected.
  • Class 4: We often use this class for specialty drying situations. It affects materials with low permeance and porosity and can have longer drying times and methods. Types of damage can affect hardwood flooring, plaster and concrete. 

We are prepared to help, no matter the category or class of your water emergency. We have seen it all! 

SERVPRO of Longview/kelso is always ready when you need us. Trusted, local and ready to restore.

Your water damage needs are not going to wait, so why should you. Give us a call at (360)703-3884 and let our trained and certified water technicians do the rest

House Fires Suck

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

House Fire House Fires Sucks

Great! The cold winter months are here, said no one ever. Thermostats are being cranked up, wood piles are filled up and as we sit nestled in our homes all snug in our blankets, SERVPRO would like to discuss a few safety tips with you before you go get that space heater out to warm up that one deep back room in your house. 

Space heaters are popular for several reasons. They're small and compact, considerably cost efficient, and they can keep your room warm. However, they are also one of the leading causes of fires during the winter and are responsible for nearly 80% of home heating fires.

If you are going to use any sort of portable heaters in your home, we would like to share some important safety tips with you.

Essential safety precautions: 

  • Always plug your heaters directly into the wall (Never us extension cords or power strips).
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3ft away including blankets, furniture, drapes and electronics ext. 
  • Insure your smoke alarms/ carbon monoxide alarms are working properly.
  • Do not allow children or pets near.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Avoid placing them on carpet or area rugs.
  • Turn off heaters when unattended and before bed.

When improperly used, space heaters can carry a very high price if a fire happens. 

Extension cords and/or power strips are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for space heaters and can over heat and cause a fire. Although they are small the amount of electricity used to power them can overload the circuit and cause the extension cord to overheat.

Several of the newer models have a tip over switch, touch sensor, over heat protection, and also a longer power cord. Space heaters are one of those items that don't often get replaced and although it is recommended because the older models can potentially be more dangerous. Evan the newer models of heaters can be dangerous if used improperly. 

In an unfortunate instant, tragedy can happen. Always follow safely and be responsible.

As always if you or someone you know experiences a house fire we are always here to help. 

SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso Fire & water - Cleanup & Restoration 1425 Alabama St. Suit M Longview, WA 98632 (360)703-3884

Frozen

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen House Frozen House

Some parts of the country are coming into the time of year where the thermometer drops, snow starts falling from the sky and yes ice forms on many things. In the winter months we come across water damages that are due to pipes that freeze, then when they thaw, they pop and burst. Sure these accidents are caused by the season, but one can say that they are also caused by neglect. Pipes in the crawl space, basement, attic (if your house is on a concrete slab) are at risk of bursting if they are not properly insulated, thus resulting in extensive Water Damage and costly repairs. 

As the water in your pipes slowly freezes, the pressure will begin to increase. If the pressure is allowed to build, then the pipes will not be able to contain the frozen water within and can cause the pipes to break, crack and burst. Here are a few tips to help protect your pipes: Obviously insulate your pipes. Allow faucets to slowly drip, to minimize pressure build up and keep water moving. Open cabinet doors, to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing. Maintain pipes and routinely inspect to avoid unknown water leaks. Always keep the thermostat on even when you are not home.

It's important to winterize your home before winter sets in. Foam pipe insulation is an inexpensive way to protect and prevent freezing.

The locally owned SERVPRO in your area understands that not all disasters can be avoided. A leaky or burst pipe can occur anywhere and at anytime. Our highly trained water restoration technicians are fully prepared to respond to emergency services 24-Hours, Including holidays.

Immediate action is considerably important in limiting any water damage. We have the expertise and equipment to professionally restore your property. Give us a call SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso (360)703-3884. We'll conduct a advanced water-inspection, complete extraction, and use our high-end drying equipment and techniques to restore your home. We are “ready for whatever happens.”

Commercial Mold

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial buildings are huge investments, which would make sense why finding the right building to invest in requires a lot of vetting. Along with inspecting the square footage for any type of water damage that might have happened in the past, the plumbing will also need to be inspected. Where ever there could have been a moisture issue, mold would have also the opportunity for growth. We want our commercial businesses to grow but mold growth is definitely a growth we want to stop. We her at SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso provide a service that can remedy mold, but first an inspection will need to be preformed.

Even though SERVPRO has offered mold inspections for a few decades, professional mold inspections in commercial buildings are a fairly new concept. Health issues brought about by mold was not advocated for until the 90s, when a light was shed on the possible consequences of mold infestations. Now, homeowners and business owners alike are meticulously inspecting for mold when purchasing a building, as they should be.

Mold can grow on virtually any surface, so long as it is presented with a damp enough climate to persist. Mold spores can be extremely apparent via smell or sight, or it can only be detected through specific testing. Mold survives on or “eats” away at materials, causing damage and change to the look, smell, or structure of whatever it is affecting. Structural changes can include the reliability or strength for a building. For an investor or building owner, this could raise working hazards and building safety.

Allowing employees to work within mold-ridden spaces is another costly situation. Due to mold’s potential health risk, employers and building owners should be weary of allowing employees, visitors, tenants or vendors to inhabit the building. Even if the mold is quarantined to one specific area, it still has the potential to travel through HVAC systems, affecting other areas.

If you are purchasing or currently own a commercial building, a mold inspection should be mandated. A commercial mold remediation company such as your locally owned SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso can perform visual assessments, sampling, and mold remediation strategies. Even if mold is not found, remediation companies can provide insight into future issues. Any situation that is a potential playground for moisture accumulation and mold growth will be addressed by a professional. This includes a leaking roof, structural characteristics that may allow water into the building, building maintenance issues or more.

Scheduling pre-move in mold inspections as well as implementing routine inspections, especially in Southwest Washington, is vital to your building and business.

Hire a Professional

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

Why You Should Call a Professional like SERVPRO

  1. Each category of water is different

There are three categories of water: clean, gray, and black. Water falls into each category based on its source. Each source has different implications including safety precautions and cleanup needs. This means that just because a small flood at home may have water that is “clean”, the water can be potentially harmful, needing more than just a mop and some rags to clean.

  1. More than the floors may be wet

If there is slight flooding in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, these areas most likely are surrounded by tile; they are also surrounded by building materials like cupboards or drywall. Drywall, unbeknownst to you, may become saturated with water and extremely heavy. The more water the drywall holds the more unstable it becomes, causing structural damage that you may not be aware of.

Electrical wires or appliances may have also taken on water, causing a high risk to homeowners as this may pose damage later on for these items.

  1. You don't have the proper equipment

If a flood appears to be small and contained, there may not be a question as to the length of time the water has been apparent. Without properly vetting all surrounding areas and building materials, it is impossible to tell if a “small” flood was truly small and non-damaging. Homeowners lack the ability to make these assessments. Homeowners also lack the proper equipment to dry out areas that have experienced water damage. Even the smallest amount of moisture left, given the right environment, can pose the threat of mold damage.

When it comes to floods and accompanying water damage, leave the cleanup to the pros. Regardless of the size or area affected, water has the ability to permeate through many materials, locking moisture in where it should not exist. Call a local professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso to handle all of your water. 360-703-3884

Why Not SERVPRO?

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso Team From L to R back row: Mike, Tim Teressa, Owner Ryan, Braiden Haili, Dave. Bottom row: Shannon, Linda, Martha, Hector.

Why SERVPRO? Why not SERVPRO? SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso is a locally owned franchise based right here in Cowlitz County. We are part of the massive SERVPRO Corporate cleaning division that specializes on Fire & Water & Soot Cleanup & Restoration. There are many other services that we perform as well. They are, Mold Mitigation and Remediation, Content Clean Up, Electronic & Equipment Restoration. Pack Outs & Board Ups, Catastrophic Storm Response and Content Claim Inventory Service.

Certified SERVPRO Clean is a proactive deep cleaning service we provide to help prevent the spreading of germs and pathogens that are found in viruses. We also perform Biohazard Crime Scene & Vandalism Clean up, Carpet Upholstery and Ceilings cleaning along with Walls & Hard Floors and Deodorization. All of which are Residential and Commercial.

Why SERVPRO? Because we are pros in servicing (the word SERVPRO) individuals who have came in to some bad luck at their home or business. Also, because we all live here, we all eat here, we all entertain here, and we are involved in and care for our community. The spouse of the owner is a school teacher here. The marketing/public relations rep is on many various boards, committees and is a Rotary member, as is the owner himself, here locally. SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso cares about our community and gives back, and that attitude runs down to its employees.

As Consumers all of us select the companies we do business with based on trust and since 1967 SERVPRO corporate has built on that principle, and now today there are over 1800 nationwide franchises that are independently building their franchises based on that same principle, Trust. SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso is here to help you in your time of need.

Help with Your Insurance Claim

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO? Well, because when the unthinkable happens and your worst nightmare comes true with a house fire or a flood, it is so good to know that help is available. Different key groups play important key roles to ensure you can either stay in or return to your home quickly. Firefighters, disaster cleanup and restoration professionals, and your insurance company will do their job to make the process is as pain free as possible. If you choose an experienced, reputable and trusted clean up and restoration team such as SERVPRO, they’ll make sure your insurance claim goes smoothly.

SERVPRO Works for You!

When you need an emergency response cleanup and repair team, there are plenty of choices. But few can do what SERVPRO offers. The team will do the following for you:

  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Work effectively with your insurance company to process claims
  • Use best practices and techniques to clean up and restore your home.
  • Come on the scene in a timely manner and complete the job in a timely manner.

Importance of Insurance Coverage

Even small fires or floods can cause costly damage to your home. While you may not be able to replace all items, you can have peace of mind knowing that you shouldn’t have to front the bill. This is why you pay for and have insurance. Claim services shouldn’t have to be difficult to work with. You can make things even easier when you hire the professionals at SERVPRO. They know how to work in tandem with your insurance agent. Because of the team’s efficiency and reliability, the insurance company can process your claims quickly and without issues.

What the Insurance Company Wants

Your insurance agent or insurance adjuster will ask for details of the incident and the extent of the damage. The repair and restoration team will conduct a thorough investigation and will assess the damage and what needs to happen to repair or replace it. The team will share these findings with your insurance company.

Don’t waste any time following a flood or fire. Call you locally owned SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso (360) 703-3884 and your insurance agent for claim services immediately.