Fire Fighting Efforts Can Cause Secondary Mold Damage
As the threat of extensive damage reduces through fire-fighting efforts, the possibility of mold damage developing is rarely considered.
As the threat of extensive damage reduces through fire-fighting efforts, the possibility of mold damage developing is rarely considered. Once you step back and consider how much water is used to control a blaze or reduce the possibility that fire takes off in your home you understand that secondary water-accelerated mold damage can become a crisis in its own right.
Mold damage basics in Lake Oswego, as elsewhere, emphasize that where standing water or residual dampness remains unabated for just a couple of days, microbial growth is almost inevitable. Our area of Oregon is one of the wettest in the country, and the 73.2 percent average ambient moisture can by itself support mold growth. Add water-based firefighting efforts, and it is not surprising that area homeowners so often seek our mold remediation skills.
If mold damage does take hold in your home, abating it becomes as important as cleaning up soot or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn offers full-service restoration, able to handle your water damage issues, smoke and soot cleanup, as well as providing the mold remediation protocols developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Your reliance upon our ability to respond professionally and successfully whatever your restoration needs is well-founded. Our technicians train in a broad variety of strategies and methodologies supported by courses developed with the backing of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC), an international restoration industry standards-setting organization.
Expect the mold damage remediation process to emphasize the safety of you and your family as well as the professionals providing the services. SERVPRO technicians wear full personal protective gear during the abatement and contain the moldy areas with physical barriers and modern technologies, like negative pressure air scrubbers, preventing particles from contaminating mold growth-free areas of your home. Any porous materials infiltrated by mold growth will be removed along with the mold colonies, and the infested items disposed of according to local codes for hazardous waste.
Final mold remediation steps include sanitization with professional grade antimicrobials matched to the fungal growth and a careful consideration of the water incursion that activated the mold in the first place. Any water or moisture remaining after all restoration services complete can contribute to another wave of mold growth. The water and fire damage efforts must completely eradicate excess moisture issues to prevent further mold damage.
Often home restoration is a complicated matter, and SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn has the skills, experience, and trained technicians to manage mold, water, and fire damage issues, as well as other. Call (503) 635-6233 to set your individualized remediation processes in motion.
The Steps of Water Restoration
In the event of a water related disaster, SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn is your first line of defense. Call us today. 503-635-6233
In the event of a water related disaster in your home, your FIRST line of defense is to call a reputable water restoration company such as SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn. Most of the damage will occur in the first 48 hours. The longer water has a chance to sit, the more expensive the repairs will be.
Upon arrival, SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn will likely perform a variation of the following steps:
This step consists of a walk though of the area in question. Information and photos will be gathered. The surrounding area will also be inspected. Many times, water can seep into neighboring regions and can sometimes go undetected without the aid of a trained water restoration professional.
SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn will then begin to remove the standing water. This process will involve vacuums and extraction pumps. This step is a race against time, as the longer the water sits, the more chance for secondary damage.
Once all of the standing water has been removed, the drying process can begin. This stage will utilize strategically placed industrial air movers and dehumidifiers. SERVPRO utilizes scientifically proven methods and state of the art equipment to decrease the dry time. Every job is different and will require its own “dry plan”.
This step includes the removal of unsalvageable materials such as damaged carpets, drywall and other waterlogged building materials. This step will reveal how much of the area was able to be restored to a preloss condition.
Each water restoration job comes with its own unique set of challenges, and is assessed on a case by case basis. This list is intended to merely explain the general procedures of water restoration. Our blog contains a wealth of information on the subject of water, fire and mold restoration. If you are looking for a reputable and dependable disaster restoration company, SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn is an industry leader and we take pride in every job we perform. Call us today to set up an assessment. We are available 24/7. 503-635-6233
After Storm Tips
When April showers become spring storms, damage can occur.
Spring is in the air! After the long, grey and dreary winter, those of us in the Lake Oswego & West Linn area welcome this time of year with open arms. As the sun starts to peak its head around the corner, many northwest residents start their gardens and begin to make plans to get out in the much anticipated sunshine. Although we are finally seeing a bit more blue sky, we are not quite in the clear just yet. Spring often brings some severe wet weather and flash flooding mixed in with the sunshine. Spring storms can sometimes prove to be the most severe in terms of rainfall for some Clackamas County area residents. Knock on wood, but it is very seldom that we get through the spring without at least ONE major rainstorm. After the storm, it’s important to know what to do, as well as what not to do. We’ve put together a few tips that you and your family can use in the event of a spring flood.
- Photograph The Damage. You can never take too many photos. Your insurance company will thank you and you will have a much easier time with your claim if you have good photos.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider. As soon as you have gathered preliminary information, you should contact your home insurance provider. In the event that your vehicle has suffered damage, contact your auto insurance provider.
- Safety First. Be mindful of fallen power lines and take care not to come in contact with electrically charged water.
- Inspect Plumbing. Turn of your water main if necessary. Contact a trusted plumbing contractor if you discover plumbing damage.
- Disconnect electrical appliances that have come in contact with water. Turn off main power at the power source. Contact a electrician if you discover damaged electrical wires.
- Inspect your roof. Heavy rains and wind may have dislodged some of your roofing. If you discover any damage, contact a roofing contractor.
- Contact SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn. If the storm has resulted in flooding, call SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn immediately to start the water remediation process. Secondary water damage can occur in as little as 24 hours.
- DO NOT attempt to remove fallen trees yourself. Contact a reputable arborist if the tree is on your property or the appropriate municipality if it has fallen across public lands or roads.
- Always work with trustworthy local service providers. Unfortunately, there are some companies that attempt to take advantage of storm events. Always obtain a written contract that outlines the service expectations and a breakdown of costs.
SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a storm event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
What To Do After a House Fire
SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn can help you navigate the sometimes scary situations after a house fire. We are always here to help.
A house fire can be one of the most devastating events to occur in the life of a homeowner. In an attempt to save money, insurance companies will actively look for ways to penny-pinch fire insurance claims. It is likely you have lost a tremendous amount of personal belongings and have suffered a substantial amount of mental anguish. You don’t need an insurance company giving you grief about your claim. Here are a few tips that you can proactively implement in the event of a fire loss.
Review your policy
You may have replacement coverage for you home, but it may only be for “actual cash value” for your lost personal items. Upon contacting your insurance company, the agent should be able to tell you about this and may suggest purchasing an endorsement to ensure that your personal belongs will, in fact be covered under a replacement policy.
Secure Your Property
Most homeowner’s coverage policies require the insured to make reasonable efforts to minimize secondary damage to their property. Without getting overly complicated, this is what is known as your duty to mitigate damages. These are usually simple items such as covering exposed areas with plastic or shutting off the water main in the event of a burst pipe. It is likely that you will be reimbursed for any expense incurred when you start your claim.
Immediately File Your Claim.
All homeowner policies require that you report the damage as soon as possible. Your first step is to submit a “proof of loss” claim to your agent. This document will consist of an itemized list your losses and the value of each item. The longer you put off this step, the longer it will take your insurance company to send an adjuster to address your claim.
Record Your Living Expenses
All homeowner’s policies contain a “loss of use” clause which entitles the insured to be reimbursed for additional living expenses incurred while their home is uninhabitable. Be mindful that these expenses only include additional living expenses, meaning the difference between your normal expenses and what it is costing you while you are kept from your home. An example of this would be If your families normal food budget is $600, but due to your circumstance, your family spends $750 in a week by going out to eat, you can claim that additional $150.
Fire damage remediation is a long process, and navigating your insurance can prove to be difficult without the correct knowledge. Regardless of if you have experienced a small kitchen fire or a complete burn down, you will need an experienced restoration company to help assess the damage. SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn is ready when fire strikes, 24/7. Our team of highly trained, IIRC certified professionals see this every day. Let us be your partner on the road to recovery. Call us today. 503-635-6235 We are always here to help.
Tips To Prevent Mold In Carpet After Water Damage
It is important to get your carpets dry before they have a chance to grow mold.
If you have recently had any amount of water damage in your Lake Oswego home, be it a small leak or a major flood, there is a heightened chance for mold to take hold. Very little moisture is necessary for mold to become harmful and start to spread. Mold has the potential to cause various health issues, such as repertory issues and fungal infections. Below are a few tips to help prevent mold growth in your carpet after water damage.
If you have had recently experienced a flood or a leak, it is important to get the water up as fast as possible. Utilize fans to increase the effectiveness. This will not only help to dry the carpet, it will also circulate the air in the area.
Use a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture in an area. They will make the air feel cooler and inhibit the growth of mold.
Call SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn
SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
For help restoring home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn at 503-635-6233. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
Causes of Commercial Water Damage
We hope you NEVER come to work to find this scenario! If you do, you know EXACTLY who to call. SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn has your back!
When a business owner imagines water damage, their mind might immediately go to a catastrophic storm that takes down trees and power lines, closes blocks of infrastructure and causes business closure. It is true that a good percentage of commercial water loss is caused by heavy rains and storms, particularly here in the wet climate of Clackamas County, but that is far from the only cause of commercial water loss. Here at SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn, we see the full spectrum of water damage on a daily basis. Below are a few common causes of water damage that we’ve seen that can affect your business.
Improperly Functioning Sprinkler System
As buildings age, their fire protection systems can become outdated and worn out. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), your sprinkler system’s internal piping system should be checked every 5 years. NFPA 25 outlines an industry standard inspection schedule. A fire protection system is crucial to any commercial building, but a malfunctioning system can cost your business in both damages, as well as business closures.
Broken Appliances or Equipment
This poses an issue in restaurant or catering industries, but can also affect any facility that uses appliances or tools that utilize water. A failing appliance can cause substantial damage, particularly if it fails on the off hours while your business is closed. A regular inspection of your appliances can save your business a lot of time and money.
Pipes & Plumbing
As in any building, broken and failing plumbing can result in water damage. Older buildings tend to be more susceptible to this sort of damage.
Sewer Line Back Up
We have previously covered some of the causes of sewage back up here. Sewage and other “Black Water” accidents can cause health effects and wreak havoc on your building and the products and furnishings therein. Special equipment and training is necessary when dealing with this sort of commercial water damage. Do not attempt to clean this sort of damage yourself.
If your business has encountered any of these scenarios, especially one that involves Black Water, call the professionals at SERVPRO Lake Oswego/ West Linn today. Our team is IIRC certified and can get your business back up and running fast. 503-635-6233
The Cause of Sewage Back Up
A bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way when it comes to your Lake Oswego home's sewer/ drainage system.
Black water is defined as any floodwater containing contaminants or viruses that can potentially cause illness or infection. Sewage would qualify as Black water. Any event of sewage back up needs to be addressed immediately. Arming yourself with the knowledge of what causes a sewage back up may help you prevent this occurrence at you home.
Causes of Sewage Back Up
- Clogging – When your home’s main sewer line or drain pipe’s become clogged, there is potential for a sewage back up. An example of this would be if one toilet creates a sewage back up, the drain connected to that particular toilet has become clogged. If all of the toilets in your home begin to back flow, this is a signal that your main sewage line has become clogged. Clogs are caused by solid materials, such as hair or grease.
- Plant Roots – A tree’s root system has the potential to intertwine with sewage lines. Roots can grow into pipes and make holes in it and can also grow around the pipes and potentially crush them. Roots from nearby trees can also travel to your sewage line and cause damage.
- Aging Sewer Lines – Pipes used to be made of easily deteriorating materials such as cast iron and clay. Older systems made with these materials have the potential to break down and split, causing backups and flooding. Fortunately, durable plastic materials have become the plumbing standard.
- Heavy Rains – Sudden heavy rainfall can overwhelm Lake Oswego's sewage system. If a public sewage system can’t withstand a sudden influx of rainwater, the excess water may travel into adjacent sewer lines. This can put your home at risk for backflow.
Preventing Backup at Your Home
- NEVER pour cooking grease down your drain. Oil can harden inside of your pipes as it cools and clog your pipes. The proper way to dispose of cooking grease is to pour it into a heat resistant container and place the container in the trash when it cools off.
- Do not flush paper products. Paper towels, diapers and feminine hygiene products have no business being flushed down the toilet and can very easily clog your drainage system. Dispose of these items properly of risk potential backups later.
- Update the pipes in your drainage system or remove tree roots. A good preventative measure to avoid costly repairs later is to replace your lead or clay sewer lateral pipe (the line in your yard) with an updated plastic pipe. It is also good to cut the tree roots back as they grow near your drainage system.
- Consider installing a backwater prevention valve. This fixture can prevent sewage from backing up into your home. Typically, backwater prevention valves are installed into a sewer line and sometimes into the basement drain line.
If you experience a sewage backup in your home, call SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn immediately to begin the remediation process. Handling black water yourself puts you at risk for disease and infection.
Our highly trained technicians are ready to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your Lake Oswego property. We have the experience, expertise, and training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to remove the black water quickly. Our technicians will monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal. 503-635-6233
Understanding the Process of Fire Restoration
Soot on the walls of this West Linn business after a fire.
Following a fire, the restoration process should get underway immediately. Waiting will only increase the chances of secondary damage or cause already existing damage from smoke and water to increase. Many times, a home can be restored to its original condition. SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn is an IIRC certified company and our technicians are well equipped to make your Portland area home of business “Like It Never Happened.”
Fire restoration involves the repair of anything within the building that has been damaged by fire, smoke of water. Flooring may undergo chemical processes to remove the odor of smoke. The sub floor will be inspected to find anything that may need replacement. Upholstery, curtains and furnishings may be taken to our advanced facility to be restored to a preloss condition by our contents department. The entire structure will be aired out for as long as may be needed to remove the effects of odor and smoke. Deodorization efforts will continue throughout the entire process. The team at SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn is also well versed in walking you through the insurance process and working with your insurance provider.
Helpful After Storm Tips For Lake Oswego Homeowners
Storm damage can be especially traumatic. It's good to have a plan together in the event of a disaster.
In the Pacific Northwest, storm damage can occur almost year round and can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your home. Heavy rainfall can potentially cause flooding, and those strong winds coming out of the Columbia River gorge can equal down trees on your property. After the storm damage can also create health and safety challenges as well. It is wise to have a strategy in place to help you be ready in the event of storm related damage to your home.
Strong winds and rain can create tangible physical hazards such as falling or collapsed roof materials, broken window glass, compromised wall structure and standing and possibly stagnant water in the basement or crawl space. Additionally, moisture can permeate into carpets, furniture, drapes and walls, creating an ideal environment for unhealthy mold to flourish. Turn off your main gas line if you smell gas. Use caution and keep an eye out for broken glass, exposed nails and other sharp objects. Contact SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn as soon as possible to start the remediation process. It may be necessary to make alternate housing arrangements while your home is being restored.
If you can safely navigate around your property, take as many photos of your property as you can to provide to your insurance company. This will help with insurance compensation.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Alert your insurance agent of your homes damage immediately. An adjuster will be dispatched to assess the damages to your home. SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn can help your navigate this process.
When storm related disaster strikes, you may be filled with a myriad of emotions, but having these steps in place can help you start the process of getting your life back to normal. SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn offers 24/7 disaster restoration services. We are always here to help. 503-635-6233
Obtaining an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business
Is your business prepared for a disaster? Call SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn TODAY to schedule a free assessment of your building. 503-283-3658
Is your Lake Oswego business ready for a water or fire damage emergency? The moments immediately following a fire or a flooding or water damage event are the most crucial. Putting an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) into place can make the all the difference. Did you know that SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn can help you put together an ERP free of charge?
Here are a few advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP):
- This service is provided to you free of charge.
- A compact electronic document containing the critical information necessary in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you obtain entrance into your building proceeding a disaster.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration specialist.
- Identifies the line of command for authorization of commencement.
- Provides personnel and staff with pertinent details about the building, such as the location of water and gas main shut of valves, electric breakers as well as emergency contact information.
Contact SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn today to find out more about scheduling an appointment at your facility with one of our qualified representatives. This complimentary assessment of your building will help you and your staff save crucial time in the event of an emergency and establish SERVPRO of Lake Oswego/ West Linn as your fire and water mitigation provider. 503-635-6233