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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 South Everett.

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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett, 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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett at 425-367-4484 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 South Everett 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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett, 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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett, 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 425-367-4484.

Choose SERVPRO® of South Everett for Your Cleaning and Restoration

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Choose SERVPRO® of South Everett for Your Cleaning and Restoration Why should you choose SERVPRO of South Everett?

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 South Everett, 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 South Everett, 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 South Everett, 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 South Everett, 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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett, 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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett.

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 425-367-4484.

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 South Everett, 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 South Everett 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 425-367-4484.