Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold Call SERVPRO! We are mold experts.

Mold and Mildew: What's the Difference?

The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but there are significant distinctions between these types of fungi. In the most general sense, mold grows on moist organic surfaces whereas mildew is a parasitic fungus that grows only on living plants. If you want to seek an expert opinion concerning the extent of mold growth or mildew growth or mold damage in your home, you should call a certified service specializing in testing, clean-up, and restoration in Enumclaw, WA.

1. Mildew is a type of fungus. This obligate plant parasite grows on living plants and is recognizable by its white or light gray appearance. Mildew is very common and does not pose the same risks as mold.

2. Mold requires a combination of moisture and organic material to grow. Mold may appear in a variety of different colors. Even white or light gray growths on surfaces that are not plants are mold, not mildew. You should contact a mold damage expert if you find or suspect that mold is present in your home.

3. Mildew can be either powdery or downy in appearance. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes powdery spots or patches to appear and grow until they form a coating over the surface of the leaves of a plant afflicted with mildew. Downy mildew is visible along the undersides of leaves and may feature small black spots or cause leaves to become discolored.

It is easy to distinguish between mold and mildew once you know that mildew affects plants. If you are concerned about mildew growth, you may want to try removing and destroying affected portions of a plant, improving air circulation, changing the direction from which you water, or using a fungicide. If you see or suspect mold growth, contact a company that tests for mold and cleans up residential mold damage in Enumclaw, WA.

What To Expect After Contacting SERVPRO

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company If you've recently experienced damage to your Oceola, WA property and are in need of a restoration company near you, look no further than SERVPRO.

What To Expect When You Call SERVPRO

If a client has suffered damage to his or her Oceola, WA home, it is important to act quickly. SERVPRO’s 24 hour availability makes them a top choice for many insurance agencies. Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting the restoration company.

1. A Quick Response

When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in how time-consuming and how costly restoration will be. SERVPRO is always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour after you have contacted them about the emergency. Once you have provided them with the necessary information, they will begin preparing to address the needs of your client.

2. Arrival to the Damaged Site

With over 1,700 locations, SERVPRO can arrive quickly to any emergency. They can be on site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make a huge difference if your client’s home has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money.

3. Inspection and a Verbal Briefing

Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. This should all happen within eight hours of your initial call. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you and your client are aware of what will happen next. Their quick 24 hour response will allow them to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before they begin work on necessary repairs.

Because it can spread and worsen quickly, the 24 hour period after damage has occurred is crucial. SERVPRO’s fast response will save the agency money and allow your client to have their home back sooner.

Common Types and Causes of Mold Growth in Homes

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

specialists are checking mold growth in a home If your home has been damaged by mold, it can be wise to contact mold remediation professionals. SERVPRO is your best option, call us!

Mold In the Home: Common Types And Causes

There are a wide variety of causes for mold growth in homes in Black Diamond, WA, and there are also various types of mold that tend to grow in homes. However, knowing what types of mold grow most commonly in homes and why they grow can help you know how to react.

1. Alternaria

One of the most common types of mold that grows inside homes is known as Alternaria. This type of mold grows due to levels of high humidity. Areas such as bathrooms are likely to have this type of mold due to the high amounts of moisture. Alternaria can also grow close to appliances, like toilets or sinks, that use water.

2. Penicillium

If there is water damage throughout a home and the water is not removed quickly and effectively, Penicillium is likely to grow. Penicillium tends to grow most frequently on materials made of cloth, such as clothing, curtains, rugs, insulation and carpet flooring, though Penicillium can grow elsewhere in the home. This type of mold is known for its green-blue color and its musty smell.

3. Black Mold

Though all mold growth is unpleasant, black mold is often a type of mold that can be particularly worrisome due to the amount of damage it can cause. As the name suggests, black mold, or Stachybotrys, is known for its dark color. Like most molds, black mold grows in damp, moist areas. However, while many molds can grow within a few days, black mold can take a week or more to grow and requires an environment that is consistently damp or humid.

Though you may feel worried at the sight of mold growth in your home, it can help to know what causes the most common types of mold to grow. If your home has been damaged by mold, it can be wise to contact mold remediation professionals.

Insurance May Cover the Cost of Replacing Your Carpet After a Pipe Break

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

A vacuum cleaner is drying a carpet SERVPRO has a team of trained restoration technicians who know the exact steps to take after you've experienced water damage.

After A Pipe Burst, Your Insurance Company May Pay To Replace Your Carpet.

If your insurance company approves your water damage claim, it’s almost certain that they will do something about it and any other floor coverings affected. If the broken pipe released sewage, you should settle for nothing less than a complete replacement. If the water damage is from fresh water, expect them to do no more than have it restored.

Other Factors May Come Into Play

If it was new and was in perfect condition at the time of the break, and if the water was perfectly clean, the decision would be to restore. There may, however, be other issues to consider.

1. The water coming from the pipe break was clean but was contaminated by something after leaving the pipe. These contaminants might render the carpet unusable and require its replacement.

2. It could have been a valuable Persian rug. As a valuable item, it should have been listed separately on the insurance policy. If it was not, you might have trouble getting compensated. If the insurance company accepts the claim, the preferred method by all parties would probably be restoration.

3. Before the damage, it was old and in poor condition. The insurance company might balk at replacing this. They might, however, pay to have it restored.

4. Due to the break, it has developed a mold problem. At this point, it might be cheaper to replace than to restore it.

A Broken Pipe Usually Affects More Than Just Floor Coverings

The chances are that your water problem goes beyond the carpet. There is a water damage remediation specialist in Auburn, WA, that can take on the entire job, including the floor coverings. They can get started before mold has a chance to become a problem.

A Pipe Break Is Never Welcome in Your Home

Nothing lasts forever. When pipes break in your home, it’s good to have local restoration specialists for the cleanup and insurance policies to pay for it.

How To Effectively Remove Cigarette Odor From Your Home

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist is cleaning a home after a fire damage This home had significant smoke and soot damage to the entire home. Our team quickly removed content and brought it back to begin the cleaning process

How To Get Rid Of Cigarette Smoke In Your House

Space heaters can quickly warm a chilly room and create a cozier atmosphere. They are popular for kids’ rooms, basements and even garage areas. The misuse of space heaters, however accounts for many house fires and injuries each year in Black Diamond, WA . Even if a fire is quickly extinguished, the odor from a burned space heater and the accompanying smoke cleanup can be intimidating to say the least.

Always observe a few basic preventative rules when using a space heater. This will keep your home safer and may protect your loved ones from a disaster.

Space Heater Safety Tips

•Inspect the heater to make sure there are no loose parts, frayed or broken cords, or loose or bent prongs.

•Buy a heater with an auto-shut-off, tip shut-off and GFCI plug to prevent shocks

•Never use an extension cord or place cord where it will be walked on or that it could pose a tripping hazard

•Run it first in a safe place and check to see if there is a burning smell or whether the surface gets hot.

•Use it only on a hard surface and at least three feet from any materials that may easily catch fire, such as curtains, furniture or bedding

•With heater unplugged, vacuum often to remove surface dust and change filters regularly if applicable.

•Never leave a space heater unattended and always turn off before sleeping

When Things Go Wrong

A burned space heater can give off toxic fumes from melted plastic and other components that can be harmful as well as giving off a bad smell. In the event your space heater burns up, or worse, you are better off to call in a professional restoration service to ensure that the cleanup and odor removal are thorough. It may require cleaning, an ozone generator or more to restore you to pre-fire condition.

Don’t become a statistic in Black Diamond, WA. Following these safety tips can help prevent a burned space heater and keep your home the happy and safe place it can be.

The Smoke Cleanup Process

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Thick smoke engulfs a home, foreshadowing the blazing destruction to come. Odor smoke is annoying. If you need smoke cleanup in your home, SERVPRO can help you,

Cleaning Up After Smoke

Few smells linger like the odor of smoke. Even if a fire in your home in Auburn, WA, only affects part of the structure, smoke damage can permeate the entire house. Fire remediation experts remove smoke and soot after they have secured the area and extracted anything damaged by the fire and the water used to put it out. They may use several techniques to do so.

Dry Cleaning

Regular washing may not get rid of the total smell left behind by smoke. Many of the items that need odor removal can be handled by dry cleaning:

  • Draperies
  • Clothes
  • Furniture covers
  • Linens

When you wash smoke-infused clothing in a washer, there is an extended period of time where the clothes are sitting in smoky water. The smell can also get trapped in the machine itself. Dry cleaners often have special oxidation processes for getting soot damage out of textiles.

Thermal Foggers

Many professionals use industrial foggers to rid homes of smoke damage after a fire. A fogger is helpful because it gets the smoke out of cracks and crevices in a similar way to the process it underwent during the fire. Chemicals are heated to produce fog that permeates porous surfaces, traps smoke particles and neutralizes them. Once the fogger has completed its job, the air is usually noticeably cleaner.

Ozone Treatments

Another smoke cleaning method is the use of ozone machines. These devices create a similar atmosphere to the outside air after a thunderstorm. By releasing ozone particles into the air, the area gets refreshed. Soon, the clean air replaces the sooty, stale air, making your home smell clean and normal again.

A fire in your home will likely cause extensive smoke damage not only to items within your home but to the structure itself. Professional technicians can clean the damaged area and employ various methods to get rid of the smoke odors.

3 Items That Can Be Salvaged After Mold Damage

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a wall SERVPRO can help you to restore your beloved belongings from mold damage.

3 Items That Can Be Recovered Following Mold Damage

Mold growth can be a common result of flooding in your Auburn, WA, home. Mold can grow on a variety of items, from furniture to walls to wood and flooring. When it comes to mold cleaning, however, you may be surprised about the number of objects that can be salvaged when you know the steps for cleaning them properly.

1. Leather Goods

Leather bags, jackets and other items may be salvageable if you remove them from the affected area quickly. Because mold tends to spread faster in areas with high humidity, you can perform mold remediation for these items by transferring them to a room that is cool and dry. Once the leather has dried, you can sponge the surface with diluted baby soap to wipe away visible mold. Suede goods may need to be treated by a mold cleanup and restoration company.

2. Clothing

While not all clothing can recover from mold damage, you may be able to salvage some items. An Esporta Machine, which is designed to clean cotton clothing affected by mold, smoke and other substances, can be effective in removing mold. You may be able to soak some fabrics in diluted vinegar to remove the mold, but this depends on how fragile the fabric is. Your restoration experts may able to advise you about other mold cleaning processes.

3. Paintings

Paintings affected by mold require special treatment. You may want to remove any wooden framing, as mold is attracted by wood fibers. Store the painting flat, away from humidity and sunlight, before contacting a professional artwork restoration company. Avoid bagging or sealing it in any kind of tight container, as this may create humid conditions that could encourage further mold growth.

When flooding in your Auburn, WA, causes mold to grow on your belongings, you may not know where to begin with mold cleaning. Contacting professional restoration technicians and removing your items from areas where mold is present can help you salvage irreplaceable items and proceed with the rest of the cleanup with confidence.

Black Mold: The Bad Boy of the Mold Universe

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on kitchen floor in Auburn, WA Microbial growth on kitchen floor.

Even in a category not known for a positive image, black mold has a particularly dark reputation. While there are several types of this mold, the term often refers to Stachybotrys chartarum, a greenish-blackish mold that grows on materials with a high cellulose content. This includes such things as paper, drywall, insulation and fiberboard. It could definitely end up in your home in Auburn, WA especially if you have experienced a recent water problem.

To make things easier for you, though, if your home ever has a mold problem it should be cleaned up by professionals no matter the type.

The Importance of Mold Cleanup

There are several reasons why black mold and other types of fungi growth should be eradicated as quickly as possible. Allowing mold to grow unchecked could lead to the following issues:

  • Degradation of indoor air quality
  • Musty odors
  • Deterioration of materials from mold growth
  • Destruction of furniture, carpeting and wood
  • Health effects in some individuals

A fast response is important because mold can spread throughout your home fairly quickly. It can even colonize hard-to-reach areas such as the HVAC system and behind walls, making the cleanup more difficult and time-consuming.

The Process of Professional Mold Remediation

A certified mold mitigation franchise is often the best choice. Workers will come to your home quickly and assess your home. If necessary, they will do mold testing and then move onto containment and eradication. To complete the job safely, workers will often wear face masks, long gloves and goggles. Effective yet safe antifungal and antimicrobial cleaning and sanitizing agents remove as much mold as possible. The final steps of restoration include repairing or replacing any damaged materials.

Black mold and other types of mold should be cleaned from your home in a timely manner. An experienced crew can complete the job safely and efficiently.

How SERVPRO's Claims Information System Helps Insurance Agents

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Tablet and cell phone. The CIC is thus another benefit of using SERVPRO.

Three Benefits Of The CIC

As an insurance agent in Auburn, WA, you know that handling a claim can be complicated. Thankfully, SERVPRO's Claims Information Center helps streamline the process. With one system, you can track each insurance claim and perform the necessary research. 

1. It Makes Troubleshooting Easy
If you have had problems with claims in the past, you may have had to visit the site of the loss multiple times to fix the issues. You may have also spent hours on the phone trying to contact the contractor. The CIC makes communication simpler and lets you change a claim without the needless hassle.

2. It Lets You Research Past Claims and Costs
The CIC includes a database of prior losses. You can thus research various types of damages to find out the typical cost of restoration services following a flood or fire.
The CIC even lets you narrow your insurance claim search to a specific region, state, or county. You can also use the CIC to compare SERVPRO to other commercial cleanup companies. Once you register with the CIC, you thus do not have to waste time scrolling through pages of Google results to find the information you need.

3. It Helps You Track Claims
Finally, you can use the CIC to track the status of each restoration project. The Managed Dashboard makes it easy to see the stage of a claim so you can keep your clients informed. The CIC utilizes tracking software, so you can be sure the information on the dashboard is accurate.
The CIC lets you easily call contractors, research similar losses in your area and track an insurance claim from start to finish. The CIC is thus another benefit of using SERVPRO. You can spend less time tracking down contractors and wading through poor research and more time working with your client to get the repairs completed.

3 Reasons Why the Mold Keeps Coming Back

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

Mold found in the corner of a wall in Enumclaw, WA Mold damage in Enumclaw, WA

Reasons Why This Might Be A Recurring Problem

Most of the time, mold growth inside your Enumclaw, WA business is caused by singular incidents such as floods or expired food. These issues can be resolved and the mold can be removed. However, there are also times when mold manifests in a specific area multiple times even after cleaning it. Learn more about some of the reasons why this might be a recurring problem.

1. Roof Leaks
The roof above your business can sometimes get damaged by the weather or weakened by age. As a result, openings develop that let water into your building, especially during snow or rain. The liquids can leak and land on nearby surfaces such as floors and furniture. While this water damage might be noticeable, the source is not. Ensure that an experienced contractor inspects and repairs the roof to ensure leaks do not cause any more infestations.

2. Plumbing Issues
Staff and clients may also find mold growth alongside walls, ceilings and near toilets or fixtures. If this is a persistent problem in these specific areas, it might be caused by plumbing system issues. There is a strong chance the pipes might be leaky or broken, leading to water excess that attracts fungus. Contact a plumber to inspect the location and fix any existing issue. You can also prevent these issues by insulating the pipes during winter to reduce the pressure and stop potential damage.

3. No Air Circulation
An air conditioner is a useful asset to combat hot temperatures, especially when they are accompanied by high humidity. Unfortunately, if you barely use the AC, it causes the humidity to return and concentrate throughout the system. These conditions, combined with the dust and pollen trapped inside the unit, encourage mold to grow through the ducts, coils and other components. Once the mold remediation team cleans the system, remember to activate the AC daily and let the air circulate.
Various hidden water issues can cause reoccurring mold growth. Take a closer look near each affected area and call the right professionals to fix the root issue.

3 Considerations When Choosing an Effective Air Purifier

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Air filter for HVAC system - filtration concept Buy HEPA filters

There Are Several Factors To Consider When Shopping

Is your home in Enumclaw, WA in an area with high mold counts? If so, it is worthwhile to look into purchasing a home air purifier. There are several factors to consider when shopping.

1. Check the Room Size
All air filtration systems are designed to work with certain maximum room sizes, usually listed in cfm (cubic feet per minute) on the box. Multiply the square footage of the room by the ceiling height to find the size of the room in cubic feet. If a small-capacity purifier is chosen for a large room, it will not filter the large amounts of air and thus offers little benefit. Additionally, if multiple rooms need to be filtered, it's best to purchase separate units for each room or to buy a commercial-grade unit.

2. Buy HEPA Filters
There is no better filter than a true HEPA quality one. Testing has found that HEPA filters remove nearly 100% of airborne particles and allergens, including mold spores. Although the filter will need replacing with time, it does continue to filter efficiently even approaching maximum capacity. However, a lot of filters on the market claim to be HEPA but do not actually meet the standards. Be sure to check on the box if the filter is rated for particles of 0.3 microns and up.

3. Consider Other Options
While buying a good air filtration device may solve your problems of airborne spores, if your home has a mold infestation, it's time to call a professional mold cleanup service. The problem will not go away and, in fact will likely only worsen with time. A HEPA filter can take care of the spores, but more will continue to be released. Even worse, any gases or fumes will not be filtered out, as these are below the 0.3-micron limit.
While yearly springtime allergens can easily be taken care of with a good-quality air filtration device, home mold growth must be removed by a professional.

Common Types of Household Mold

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold Stachybotrys also known as black mold

Types Of Mold In Your Home

Mold typically thrives in dark, moist environments, making the secret corners of home in Wabash, WA, the perfect place for it to take up residence. Unwanted mold growth creates a problem for homeowners who just want to keep their property clean. In order to solve the problem correctly, you first need to figure out which type of mold species you're currently dealing with.

1. Alternaria
This is the most common form of allergenic mold. It's categorized by its dark black or brown coloration and velvety or hairy texture. It's commonly found in damp areas, such as bathrooms and basements that have suffered recent water damage.

2. Stachybotrys
Also known as the infamous black mold, this type of mold is commonly found in moist environments that have high humidity levels. Much like the name suggests, this mold is black or dark green in color and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. It's an extremely common mold species to find in residential homes.

3. Cladosporium
This is a unique type of allergenic mold that can thrive in both warm and cold conditions. This type of mold growth is most commonly found on textiles and fabrics, such as carpeting and upholsteries. It's typically olive green or brown in color.

4. Acremonium
This type of mold can take on several different appearances during its lifetime. It starts out small and somewhat moist, but eventually becomes a more powdery type of mold. Its color ranges between pink, orange, white and gray. You can commonly find it growing in humidifiers, window sealants and drain pans.

5. Chaetomium
This is another mold species that often appears in buildings or homes that have suffered from water damage. It has a cottony texture and starts out gray or white in color before darkening to brown and black. If your home smells musty, then this type of mold is most likely the culprit.
Mold growth can create serious problems for any homeowner. It's very important that you take action to resolve the issue as soon as you discover it. Contact mold remediation experts for help clearing mold out of your home.

Mold Prevention Essentials

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold found under kitchen floor Microbial growth on kitchen floor

Mold Prevention

Renting out your property is a great way to earn passive income, but you shouldn’t assume that your work is done once you’ve found a tenant. Caring for your building helps ensure that it becomes a financial boon rather than a financial burden. Something you should be mindful of as a property manager in Algona, WA, is mold prevention.

Mold Basics
To understand why mold is such an issue, learn basic facts about how this fungus develops:

  • Mold spores are invisible to the eye.
  • These spores are present throughout all indoor and outdoor spaces; thus all buildings are vulnerable to mold invasion.
  • Mold spores require moisture to develop into a colony.

Mold Prevention Strategies
Here are some helpful tips for stopping mold from growing on your property:

Educate your tenants about mold growth. Make sure they understand the importance of adequate airflow as well as the need to keep spaces dry.
Recommend that tenants open interior doors to improve circulation and open a window when bathing, cooking, and washing the dishes.
Suggest that tenants dry wet areas in the bathroom after taking a shower. They should also remove wet laundry from the washing machine promptly.
When building or renovating, use mold-resistant materials such as moisture-resistant drywall and mold inhibitors for paints.
Remove linen, carpeting, and furniture that has water damage caused by flooding.
Ensure that interior humidity remains between 30% and 60%. You can use a moisture meter to monitor humidity. Additionally, pay attention to condensation on pipes and surfaces — this is an indication of high indoor humidity.
If necessary, purchase a dehumidifier.

Mold Remediation
Mold prevention may not always be possible, especially if your tenants are not proactive about maintaining their living spaces. If you do discover mold on your property, you should act quickly to avoid a full-on invasion and subsequent mold damage. Using a professional mold remediation service can save you from having to address a much bigger problem.

Signs Your House May Have a Mold Problem

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold behind wall Mold damage behind a wall in a Diamond, WA home

How To Tell If There Is an Issue?

Do you know if you have mold contamination in your home? What are the signs of such a disaster? Is there mold lurking in your HVAC system or ductwork? Mold remediation companies in Black Diamond, WA, can help you determine if there is a problem, and if there is, they will help you remove it, but how do you tell if there is an issue?

Building Symptoms

Mold has a unique smell. It is musty. Many people associate the smell of mold with the scent of dirt crawlspaces. The reason mold is connected to a musty odor is that it thrives in humid and damp environments. If your home is often humid, and you smell mustiness, then consider having your space tested.

The surest sign of mold contamination is the appearance of mold. If you see dark staining around your ducts, or if you notice colorful patches appearing on a wall behind your washer, you may have mold. Mold differs from mildew. It has a 3D texture to it, and it seems almost soft. It can come in several colors, green, black, yellow, gray, etc.

Building Symptoms
Building materials often succumb to an infestation in standard ways. For example, you may notice drywall appearing brittle; insulation can change color, appearing dirty. Be especially observant of potential changes in porous items, because mold tends to root deep. Often the visibility of mold means there is a more significant problem. A mold remediation specialist can provide a more detailed explanation of residential warning signs.
Mold contamination is a common household problem, especially in humid climates. You need to be diligent about acknowledging the signs and symptoms of mold to respond quickly before an infestation spreads. If you suspect you have a mold problem in your home, then contact a remediation company in your area and ask if they offer to test.

The Value of Pretesting in the Restoration Process

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster inspecting abandoned building A pretest is one procedure that offers added value to the restoration process

The process of remediation of a water or fire disaster in Auburn, WA, has many components. Much depends on the nature and extent of the damage. Though highly-trained technicians follow a proven process, each situation is different. This requires the disaster mitigation team to call on its combined knowledge and experience. A SERVPRO franchise looks to save money and reduce expenses where possible through many different methods. Pretesting of items allows workers to determine whether an item impacted by fire or water damage is salvageable. If the item has received too much damage, it will need to be replaced. In certain conditions, though, the item can be restored. A restore versus replace philosophy is one way to save money on restoration.

How Pretesting Works

After water or fire damage, the mitigation team conducts an inspection and assessment of the property. Technicians will look at individual items such as clothing and furniture to determine their condition. They pretest selected contents to see if they can be restored. Promising objects may undergo one or more of the following cleaning methods:

  • Foam cleaning
  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Dry cleaning
  • Wet cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning

Items that can be restored help reduce the overall costs of the insurance claim. The goal is to restore the property and contents to excellent condition while keeping an eye on lowering costs.

Why Pretesting Matters
An insurance agent and a mitigation company have the responsibility of providing the best service to its customers. A pretest is one procedure that offers added value to the restoration process. A fast response to an emergency is also important, as is cleaning the property to the highest industry standards. When the job is done right the first time, all parties can feel more confident. Unpleasant odors will be removed. The likelihood of further problems such as mold growth will be reduced. A professional cleanup is what SERVPRO has done for over 50 years.