Recent Posts

So You Sent The Restoration Company Home Early...

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation So You Sent The Restoration Company Home Early... Look closely.. the wallpaper looks as though it is in good shape. As it peeled away from the wall it revealed the scope of the mold problem.

A home owner or business owner wants to get back to normal as soon as possible. Working to make that happen is our goal. That being said water damage or fire damage is never a pretty thing. The right expectations need to be understood. Beyond that what needs to be understood is the reason for the time frame and process.

Let me explain. All too often especially with water damage issues we are asked to cease and desist. Pack up our stuff and leave before the work is done. There are even times that we recommend opening a wall, or pulling up the floor. Home owners and business owners will refuse to let us to do this sort of work. Why would they do that you ask. There are a number of reasons but the main one is that they do not want the inconvenience of more intrusion into their home. This is always a bad idea.

Restoration companies have extensive training and certifications that most do not. They also have years of experience working with insurance companies and property adjusters. This leads to a great understanding of the scope of work that is needed to properly mitigate your building. This ensures what they call secondary damage is not an option.

First let us get into what secondary damage actually is. Secondary damage is something that would not have happened even if the first occurred. Let me explain. If you do have a pipe break, you call and get the plumber out and stop the water. Moisture damage is what happens when you do not mitigate the water that intruded into your home fast enough.

Some key examples of what is considered secondary damage is when your wood floors start to buckle. This is not from the water intrusion it is from the wood sitting in the water that is underneath . The wood warps. This warping forces the finish to crack and the floors are not salvage able.

Ok, so you don’t have wood floors. Vinyl is not much better, look at that edging popping up. That is damage from the water getting under the floor and damaging the glue.

Cracks in sheet rock and sagging ceiling are a result of moisture continuing to collect if they did not have an outlet to release the water.

Mold colonization. This is probably the most problematic. The challenge here is many times it will be somewhere you cannot see until it is a real problem. Similar to an iceberg you only see a fraction what is there. Lurking behind a wall under a floor or even where you see nothing at all such as in a duct system.

Let us get back to the reason for this post. We have clients that ask us to leave early and no explanation in the world is going to change their minds. Business owners are looking at the short term issue they have to be closed. Closing means so money is coming in and many do not have the proper insurance to cover loss of business. Additionally they tend to have very high deductibles or inadequate coverage.  Coupled with lack of income there are a lot of bad decision made. They only want the visible water dried out. They will not allow demolition to occur for it will delay the process of reopening. Another problem is that they do not want to pay for anything more than absolutely necessary.

Home owners often as us to leave early but not always for the same reasons as a business owner. The equipment that is used in the drying process is industrial. It is not like the fan you put on your night stand to lull you to sleep. These are high powered fans used to circulate the air and create a tornado like event that forces strong air movement. They are positioned in such a fashion that they are pointed at wet objects , such as a wall.  This positioning is tied directly to where the dehumidifiers are located as well. This will force the air to push the moisture out of the wet materials into the air and the dehumidifier will capture the wet air and release it as drier air. This requires the area to be warm. We ask people to turn up their heat and the equipment itself gives off quite a bit. All too often the home owner will say the fans are too loud. They are too big and in the way. I have a party planned for this weekend. It is just too hot inside I cannot stand it anymore.

All of these decisions are bad ideas. We have 3 different kinds of waivers that are required. One that states you know we do not advise removal of equipment. One that advises you are declining the scope of work we are recommending. There is also a limitation on standard compliance form when we are not allowed to perform the necessary scope of the work. We have to make sure when the mold appears down the road we are not held liable and the parties in question were explained the scope of possibilities for this refusal.

We try to work with the residents of the property to the best of our ability. At the end of the day they are the ones affected and we will honor their wishes. You must know the potential ramifications for your actions and know that down the road be it 1 week, month, one year or even several years later. Mold can be a very serious problem. Kicking off a professional can be expensive. Now we agree not everyone may be doing the work up to par and that is your right to change whom it is that is doing the work. Have a plan in place to get it completed in a timely fashion. Do not kick them off totally without a solid replacement plan.

The cost associated with Mold Remediation far exceeds what a few days of inconvenience could ever be. So before you kick a remediation company off the job, think about what is going on and have a plan.

Safety - After You've Had a Fire

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Safety - After You've Had a Fire If there's this much soot on the walls, it's likely in the air. Don't go in without proper respiratory protection!

It is traumatic to experience a fire in your home or business. And the dangers don't present themselves only during the fire. They can appear after. It is important to take specific actions to minimize hazards to your health after the flames are gone.

One of the biggest concerns after the fire is out is air quality. It is likely that materials caught fire and debris were sent airborne. These could be toxigenic. Without proper respiratory protection you will be consuming these items.

Another big concern has to do with "slip and fall" hazards. If you must go into the structure, make sure to wear proper shoes, and avoid areas that may be wet from the water that was sprayed to put out the blaze.

Use the buddy system.  Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Use your legs to lift things -- don't use your back!  Be very careful.

There are some things you should do, following a fire. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. f electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open. lean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil. Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves. Change HVAC filter. Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Most of all, remember that the contents can be replaced. Take care of your health and the health of your loved ones. Getting injured after the fire is something that can be avoided!

Commercial Losses Bring Unique Challenges

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Losses Bring Unique Challenges Water, fire and mold losses present challenges that are unique versus residential losses.

Flooding and water damage events at Spokane-area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. Many business owners understand that the business downtime can be more devastating to the property damage -- we understand that many times the most important thing to Spokane-area businesses is to get back in business . . . fast.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage 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. We can be reached at (509) 534-0566.

Emergency Water Damage Process

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

ONE HOUR:

Within one hour from notice of loss, SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Professionals will contact you to arrange for service. You'll know help is on the way!

FOUR HOURS:

Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Professionals will be on-site to start mitigation services. the key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.

DETAILED EXPLANATION:

A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Professional will walk through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.

PRETESTING:

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Professionals will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.

EIGHT HOURS:

Within eight hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager.

CLEANING & RESTORATION:

SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help to regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

FINAL WALK-THROUGH:

After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

SERVPRO OF SOUTH & WEST SPOKANE COUNTY IS HERE TO HELP!

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WATER DAMAGE OR YOU THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE A WATER DAMAGE DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL US @ 509-534-0566!

Prevent Water Damage in Your Spokane Home This Spring by Watching for Sump Pump Failures

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Prevent Water Damage in Your Spokane Home This Spring by Watching for Sump Pump Failures Sump pump diagram Source - http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/sump-pump1.htm

Sump pumps are headache savers when it comes to saving our basements from flooding whenever a downpour occurs. The sump pump sits in the lowest part of our basement or crawlspace and is automatically activated when it detects that there is water starting to fill up the hole it is sitting in. As the pump runs, it sends the water out of the discharge line and away from the home making sure that the home does not flood. Like any other mechanical device, sump pumps still have the possibility of failing.

Causes of sump pump failure

  • Power failure– The most common cause for failure of a sump pump is a power outage. As we know, most power outages happen when we need the sump pump most, during a storm. Purchasing a backup generator to keep your sump pump moving during a storm can save your home from a flooded basement.
  • Improper installation– The installation of a sump pump is crucial to it working properly. One mistake or misstep in following the manufacturer instructions can lead to water to be displaced. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s manual or consult a professional to make sure the sump pump is installed correctly.
  • Frozen or clogged discharge line– The discharge line is where the water exits the home. It is important to make sure that the line is protected from freezing and does not have debris such as dirt, rocks and sticks. A grated discharge line will give water a separate way to flow in case of a blockage.
  • Lack of maintenance – Manufacturers recommend testing and running the pump every 2-3 months.
  • Switch problems – The purpose of the sump pump is to automatically turn on when a sensor notices that there is water build up. If the pump gets shifted and moves position inside of the basin, it can cause switch to be inaccurate and not know where the correct water level is, making the pump not switch on at the correct time.
  • Manufacturer defect – Although it is rare to get a bad machine right out of the store, it still is possible. It is important to test the pump after installation to ensure that it is running properly so that you aren’t finding the defect when it is already too late.

 Source - http://renewservices.com/7-causes-of-sump-pump-failure-what-to-do/

SERVPRO Professionals are the Storm Damage Experts in Spokane & Spokane County

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO Professionals are the Storm Damage Experts in Spokane & Spokane County SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is ready to deal with any size storm damage.

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great. 
 
Storm damage in Spokane can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “like it never even happened.” 
 
Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling. 
 
Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County. Dial (509) 534-0566 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

SERVPRO Storm Teams Are Ready!

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of over 1,600 Franchises, the SERVPRO® System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States allowing for a faster response time, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team®, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters.

Providing experience, additional manpower, equipment and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team® assists your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® has responded to hundreds of disaster events, including those listed here. 

In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.” 

2017 Hurricane Irma: Extreme winds and abnormal amounts of flooding in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia & Puerto Rico.

2017 Hurricane Harvey: Caused extreme flooding in parts of Houston.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, effecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO® Franchise system. 

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up to 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities. The Disaster Recovery Team® responded with 109 crews from 48 Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO® Franchises in the emergency response. 

2013 Alberta, Canada Floods: Heavy rainfall triggered flooding affecting more than 120,000 residents, and ultimately, the costliest disaster in Canadian history with damages estimated at C$5 billion, with C$1.7 billion in insurance damages.

2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine. The Disaster Recovery Team® placed nearly 1000 crews in affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO® Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

2012 Hurricane Isaac: Hurricane Isaac caused flooding and damage across five states before weakening, including Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Nearly 100 SERVPRO® Franchises were activated to assist in the cleanup and restoration efforts. 

2011 Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee: With storm damage spanning from North Carolina to New England, activation of the Disaster Recovery Team®, combined with local resources, placed approximately 1,000 crews in affected areas. 

2011 North Dakota Floods: SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provided restoration services to more than 400 residents and businesses, including municipal buildings and the area hospital. The SERVPRO® System sent hundreds of crews to help.

Important Tips for Choosing a Biohazard Cleanup Service in Spokane

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Important Tips for Choosing a Biohazard Cleanup Service in Spokane SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Offers Biohazard Cleanup & Remediation Services

Always Choose a Trained Professional

  • Because it’s traumatic: No one should have to deal with the personal impact of cleaning up after the traumatic loss of a loved one. A SERVPRO professional can get a situation cleaned up quickly, compassionately and discreetly.
  • Because it’s safer: Federal regulations classify all human and animal remains, including blood, urine, feces, vomit and bodily fluids, as biohazards. This is because they have the potential of carrying life-threatening pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C, AIDS, HIV, MRSA, Tuberculosis and many more. The safe cleanup and removal of biohazardous materials involves extensive analysis and detailed work, and the use of state-of-the-art cleaning and odor removal technologies.

Licensed Bonded & Insured

  • It is important to use licensed professionals because they conduct safe cleanup, removal and disposal of biohazardous waste. Additional considerations include being registered and compliant with OSHA and FEMA, federal agencies that oversee disasters and workplace safety. Cleanup crews will be coming into your home or the home of your loved one, so be sure the professional you choose is bonded and insured.

Will Work with Insurance Companies

  • In most cases, insurance will cover much or all of the cost of traumatic even cleanup. You can minimize or eliminate your out-of-pocket expenses by working with licensed and bonded professionals such as SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County who will deal directly with insurance companies, saving you one more headache in this already difficult process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I just use my regular cleaning or janitorial service for biohazard cleanup of blood or bodily fluids?

A: Not unless your regular cleaning or janitorial service has been properly trained and equipped to handle biohazard cleanup and waste such as blood or bodily fluids, and has a legal place to dispose of the recovered biohazardous waste.

Q: Who pays for bio-recovery services?

A: In many cases home, business or auto insurance will pay for bio-recovery services. Ultimately the property owner may be responsible for cost of the service.

Q: Can I have an employee of my business clean the scene?

A: Federal Regulation 29cfr1910.1030 states that no employee can be placed in a position to be exposed to biohazard cleanup of blood spills without first:

  1. Receiving Blood Borne Pathogen (bbp) training.
  2. Having a written BBP exposure control plan.
  3. Having been provided personal protective equipment.
  4. Having been offered Hepatitis B vaccine and exposure evaluation and follow-up.
  5. Being provided with a method to remove and properly store the bio-hazardous waste in properly marked containers for disposal at an approved site.

For more information please visit:

Washington State Insurance Fraud - Most Wanted

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Community Washington State Insurance Fraud - Most Wanted Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

The total cost of (non-health) insurance fraud is estimated at more than $40 billion per year, meaning the average U.S. family pays between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums. The Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) identifies and investigates insurance fraud by organizations and individuals, including medical fraud, staged auto collisions, property, inflated bodily injury claims and other types of fraud.

These Individuals are wanted for arrest because they failed to appear to answer to charges of criminal insurance fraud and theft. Do not attempt to apprehend any of these fugitives. If you have information that may lead to their arrest, please contact your local law enforcement agency or contact CIU.

Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. Please report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/insurance-fraud

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane Named Among Best in Washington State

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Community Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane Named Among Best in Washington State Congratulations to our local friends at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital!

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital has been recognized as one of the Best Hospitals in Washington State and recognized in eight types of care by U.S. News & World Report.


The medical center is listed as the #2 hospital in the state and recognized as high performing in the following specialties and procedures: 

Orthopedics 
Pulmonology 
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair 
Aortic Valve Surgery 
Heart Bypass Surgery 
Heart Failure 
Hip Replacement 
Lung Cancer Surgery 

For the 2017-18 rankings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 152 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care. 

The U.S. News methodologies include risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care and other care-related indicators.