Recent Storm Damage Posts

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.

IICRC Storm Damage Restoration Recommendations

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

IICRC Storm Damage Restoration Recommendations
The following information is submitted by IICRC as a public service to those who have suffered water-related losses due to storm damage (e.g., hurricane, tornado). Since there are many variables involved in deciding about appropriate restoration steps, users of this information assume any and all liability for implementing the procedures covered herein.

The following recommendations assume water-related storm damage to residential or light commercial structures. For recommendations regarding restoration of major commercial properties and building assemblies, it is important to consult with professionals who have specific training and experience in this area.

Whether insured or not, it is important for property owners to document damage with photographs or video, and immediately begin loss mitigation procedures themselves; or hire a qualified contractor to do this on their behalf. It is totally inappropriate to put off mitigation while waiting for an insurance claims representative to arrive on the scene to evaluate the loss. By that time, in all probability sufficient time will have passed to grow and amplify microorganisms, which may not be covered by insurance. Loss mitigation is defined by insurance policies as “reasonable and prudent measures designed to preserve, protect and secure property from further damage,” including microbial growth and amplification.

According to IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:

Category 1 Water – That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade. Examples: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, vertically falling rainwater.

Category 2 Water – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.

Category 3 Water – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of wind storm damage:

The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters as a result of damage to roof components or wall assemblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. This ground surface water (storm surge) may accumulate to a depth of several inches or several feet. When structures are partially submerged or remain substantially flooded for weeks, far more elaborate procedures usually are required.

Most household microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) typically require five conditions for germination, growth, amplification and dissemination. Generally, they include:

• organic food source, especially cellulose (e.g., paper, wood), which are found in abundance in construction materials
• moisture, even high humidity (67% RH plus)
• moderate temperature – 68-86°F/20-30°C
• stagnant air
• time – several hours to several days

Anything that can be done to control or minimize these optimum conditions will prolong the time required for microbial growth.

With the above background information in mind, loss mitigation procedures may include but are not necessarily limited to:

A. Foremost, consider safety:
1. Structural Integrity – Before entering a storm or flood-damaged structure, consider structural integrity, which may be impacted by the force of the wind on, or the force of the water entering the structure. When in doubt, obtain an evaluation by a licensed and qualified builder or structural engineer before entering.
2. Ventilation – Fresh moving air discourages the growth and amplification of microorganisms. Open windows and doors and air the structure out thoroughly. It is highly recommended that ventilation be maintained during and following the restoration effort, or until damp areas can be contained and subjected to mechanical dehumidification (HVAC or specialized equipment). This reduces, but does not eliminate, inhalation of microorganisms.
3. Shock Hazards – Ensure that electrical shock hazards have been eliminated by turning off the supply of electricity (circuit breakers) to damaged areas. Anticipate that electricity may be restored suddenly without notice.
4. Personal Protective Equipment – Wear protective clothing, boots with steel or fiberglass shanks, and a hard hat. Protect yourself from injury or exposure to microorganisms. Wear protective gloves before handling contaminated materials. Splash goggles are highly recommended to protect and prevent microorganism entry through the eyes. An organic vapor respirator (paint respirator) is highly recommended to prevent inhalation of most microorganisms or spores.

B. Remove quantities of debris (silt, vegetation, floating objects brought in by storm surge), if present, with shovels, rakes, etc. Carefully clean all tools with appropriate detergents after use.

C. Identify the source of water and extent of wetting:
1. When wind-blown rain water enters a building, it is important to identify the route of entry and to trace its path, as possible, to identify all wet components (ceilings, walls, insulation, framing). Professional water restoration contractors, when available, have specialized water-detection equipment and may be available to assist in this determination.
2. In rising water situations, typically there will be a visible water line on drywall or paneling. However, water may migrate or wick upward within the wall material itself or within insulation behind the wall.

D. Remove unsalvable or wet materials:
1. When wetting is caused by storm damage and comes from overhead or around openings in the building envelope, and especially when power has been interrupted in hot climates, it is important to remove wet components, as possible, to expose pockets of saturation to air circulation before microbial growth can occur.

a) Begin at the point of water entry and trace the path of wetting, removing ceiling and wall components and insulation as you go.
b) Although it may be possible for professionals with specialized equipment to dry carpet, pad and subflooring materials, when damage is wholesale in an area, seldom will qualified contractors be available to respond for this work. Therefore, it is normally prudent to remove saturated carpet and pad.
c) It is highly recommended that solid or laminated wood flooring, or sheet vinyl be removed to expose pockets of saturation.

2. In rising water situations (storm surge with contaminated ground water):

a) Remove and dispose of drywall (Sheetrock®), paneling or other wall materials up to a point 15-24″ inches above the water line visible on the wall. If possible, stay within four feet of the floor to salvage as much wall material as possible, since drywall is usually installed horizontally in 4’x8’ or 4’x12’ panels.
b) Remove and dispose of wet insulation materials exposed during wall removal. Look for evidence of moisture wicking up insulation materials. Leave only wall framing components that are durable and minimally porous, and which can be cleaned and decontaminated with relative ease.
c) Remove and dispose of floor coverings; carpet, cushion, pad, felt and sheet vinyl, laminate, or tile flooring materials. Porous materials may absorb considerable quantities of water and contaminant, and non-porous materials may trap moisture to prolong drying. The inevitable result will be rapid microorganism growth, along with associated odor and health hazards. Hardwood flooring should be removed since contaminants and moisture will collect underneath in the flutes or hollow areas between the hardwood and the subfloor.
E. With Category 1 (clean source) water (e.g., rainwater), drying is the next course of action required to prevent on-going damage due to microbial development.

The following procedures may require the assistance of a professional water damage restoration company, if available, which has trained technicians, specialized cleaners, biocides, extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment, and moisture measuring and monitoring instruments. A certified professional can be located by calling the nonprofit IICRC toll free at 800-835-4624 or by accessing www.IICRC.org.

F. With ground surface water (Category 3), steps for cleaning soil residues brought in by heavy rainfall or storm surge may include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Since many biocides are inactivated by quantities of organic contaminants, cleaning always should precede biocide application.
2. When fresh water is restored within the structure, mix an appropriate general-purpose household cleaner according to label directions and liberally spray it onto salvable components.
3. Brush agitation may be required to evenly distribute cleaning solutions, followed by at least ten minutes of “dwell time” for soil suspension.
4. Where appropriate, flush contaminants from salvageable surfaces with a water hose or pressure washer. Work from top-to-bottom and from walls-to-flooring.
5. Wet vacuum or mop up excess rinse water from flooring materials immediately. Be sure to thoroughly flush all contamination from wall frame (sill plate) areas. Pressure washing, if available, is specifically recommended to flush contaminants from hard-to-access areas, followed by removal of contaminated water with industrial wet vacuuming equipment.
6. Repeat steps 6-9 as necessary, until all surfaces are clean and contamination is physically removed.

G. Disinfecting:
1. Applying disinfectants or biocides usually is unnecessary with Category 1 (clean source) water, since this may only serve to introduce additional moisture into the building, which may prolong drying.
2. With Category 2 or 3 water contamination, while maintaining ventilation and skin and respiratory protection, liberally spray cleaned salvageable materials (studs, decking, joists, etc.) with an appropriate biocide. A 6% solution of household chlorine bleach (e.g., Clorox®) mixed 1 part bleach to 11 parts water (½%) may be used on durable, colorfast surfaces. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or strong acids! An appropriate alternative to chlorine bleach may be a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide.
3. In rising water situations, following application of properly diluted biocides, brush agitate all areas to encourage biocide distribution and penetration into cracks and crevices.

H. Dry structural components with plenty of air circulation, while maintaining constant ventilation (weather conditions permitting). If possible, take advantage of low outside humidity (check local weather reports). Use oscillating or box fans, repositioning them within the structure every few hours. Avoid temperature extremes that might slow drying, or promote microorganism growth (around 72-75oF/22-24oC is ideal). Rent high-volume professional drying equipment (airmovers and dehumidifiers) if available, especially in areas where ventilation is not possible (sealed buildings, security problems). It is highly recommended that electrical components that were wet be checked for operational safety by a qualified contractor.

I. Leave cleaned structural surfaces exposed to fresh air movement for several days or even weeks, or until you are sure that they have returned to within four percentage points of normal moisture content (MC) levels (generally the normal MC of structural wood is around 10%). Otherwise, subsequent structural damage and/or health effects may result after wall and flooring materials have been replaced or painted. Professional water restoration contractors with specialized, high-capacity drying equipment can shorten drying times considerably.

J. Reconstruct or replace components as required.

Where financial resources permit, it is highly recommended that comprehensive restoration be accomplished by trained, IICRC Damage Restoration Technicians. They may be located by calling IICRC referral line at 800-835-4624 or by accessing www.IICRC.org. Consider hiring a professional restorer to evaluate moisture levels in structural materials before reconstruction.

Greater Spokane Emergency Manaagement

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Spokane News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Homeowner, Renter, and Business, Flood/Water Damage Assessment

Greater Spokane Emergency Management is conducting a preliminary damage a...ssessment from Spokane County residents and businesses. If you suffered damage or loss due to the winter weather snow melt, flooding, and/or other water damage to your Spokane primary residence, property, personal property, or business.

Some residents may be covered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. Businesses affected may also be insured against these losses. We encourage you to contact your insurance company or agent regarding your damage.

Damage assessment forms can be found on our website at: www.gsem.us

Damage assessment information does not guarantee funding or assistance and only will be used to determine if Spokane County qualifies for disaster aid by meeting local, state, and federal guidelines.

For more information please reference the Frequently Asked Questions on our homepage: www.gsem.us

Flooding info from Spokesman Review

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Spokane mayor declares flooding emergency, closes river

Posted: Mar 21, 2017 3:54 PM PDT Updated: Mar 22, 2017 6:16 AM PDT

 

 
 
Courtesy @SpoRiverfrontPk

SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane Mayor David Condon has declared an emergency, closing the Spokane River through the city of Spokane and authorized additional city resources to address localized flooding caused by rising river levels fueled by the wettest winter on record.

Spokane County also closed Spokane River due to dangerous conditions.

Current National Weather Service models shows the river will most likely crest Tuesday night, at nearly 43,000 cubic feet per second. Water levels are expected to remain above flood stage up into next week.

“Rising river levels are posing a real threat to public safety so we are imploring people to stay out of the river and to view it only from safe vantage points,” Condon said. “We are also coordinating with emergency management to mobilize additional resources to monitor and address localized flooding.”

Upriver Drive is still closed from Mission Avenue to Greene Street. South Riverton under the Greene Street Bridge and Water Avenue at Ash Street also are still closed.

The Spokane Parks Department has closed the suspension bridges over the river in the park because of safety concerns, and the Centennial Trail under Division Street and the Washington Street because of flooding.

City crews in Spokane have dropped off sandbags in neighborhoods impacted by flooding and are evaluating whether or not more will be needed.

Crew are also monitoring in the Peaceful Valley, Riverview and Iron Bridge areas, and along Upriver Drive for additional flooding impacts. The last time the city experienced major flooding was back in 1997.

While the Weather Service models currently forecasts that levels will begin to stabilize if the weather remains mild, city officials warn that additional localized flooding is possible because Spokane is experiencing record soil saturation.

The city is also monitoring low-lying sewer pump stations near flooded areas to ensure ongoing operations. Bridge teams have inspected city bridges for potential impacts caused by rising water levels.

FEMA-identified historic flooding areas are available at maps.spokanecity.org by turning on the FEMA flood zone layer and zooming into your area

If you are in these flood vulnerable areas you can take these actions:

  • Move valuable off the floor or out of the basement
  • If you believe your power utilities may have contacted water, call 9-1-1