October is Fire Prevention Month
100 years of Fire Prevention Month!
October is Fire Prevention Month! The goal of Fire Prevention Month (and week October 9th - 15th) is to raise fire safety awareness, and help ensure your home and family is protected. In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) named the second week of October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, we celebrate Fire Prevention Week and Month by raising fire safety awareness and educating families, students and communities across the United States. During this month, fire departments provide education to their communities, and encourage parents and loved ones to practice fire prevention and whole home safety.
Did You Know?
Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to educate and talk with your whole family about fire safety – including testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.
- 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires with no working smoke alarms
- Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan*
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning in the US
- 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
- Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
- Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires
This information was provided by First Alert
Level Up Your Restoration Experience, We Did
Our team has the experience to handle whatever life throws your way. Give us a call (360) 254-0049
Paul McGraw, owner and operator of SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/ Clark Co. has been in contracting and restoration since 1987. He also served as president of the BIA of Clark County in 2013
Colette began with our franchise 18 years ago, working as a technician and now works in the office as our operations manager. She has the following certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC): Water Removal Technician and Fire Restoration Technician.
Erica started with our franchise 17 years ago as a field technician and now works in the office as our office manager. She holds the following certifications from IICRC: Water Removal Technician and Fire and Smoke Restoration.
Desiree began her career in restoration nearly 12 years ago. She has the following certifications from IICRC: Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician, Contents Technician, and BIO and Crime Scene/Trauma clean up technician.
Nick, Alex, Andrew, Cody, Ryan and Avori each have had up to 7 years of experience in the restoration industry. Each of these crew chiefs have their water removal certifications. Cody also has his mold certifications and Alex was one of the scholarship recipients from the Builders Industry Association (BIA) for continued education.
We have a staff of highly trained professionals the pride themselves on gaining the experience and certifications to better serve you! We're a compassionate team and we're here to help.
Preventing Reocurring Mold
We're here to help!
If you have a patch of mold that keeps growing back after you scrub it off, you may be wondering what you’re doing wrong. It can be even more frustrating if you’ve hired someone to handle the mold cleanup for you and it still grows back. The fact is, if you have a reoccurring mold problem, you have a problem with too much moisture in the affected area. An experienced mold remediation expert in Vancouver, WA, should be able to help you pinpoint the source of your moisture problem so that you can put an end to it.
Why and Where Mold Thrives
Mold releases spores, which are like tiny seeds that get carried from place to place by the wind. Mold spores can be found everywhere, outside and inside, so it’s impossible to completely remove all mold from your home. However, if spores don’t find the right growing conditions, they never grow into a visible mold colony. The key to keeping your home free from black mold is to make sure you don’t create the ideal conditions for it to grow.
Because spores are everywhere, mold only needs moisture and nutrition to grow. Most mold species can get nutrition from almost anything, including the paper in your drywall and the dust in the corners of your home. That means any area that is consistently damp is likely to grow mold. The most common sources of chronic moisture problems are the following.
• Poor ventilation
• Leaking roofs and windows
• Broken supply lines
• Leaking water pipes
Get Rid of Mold Forever
When you hire one of our SERVPRO mold mitigation experts, they will do more than remove mold from your home. They’ll also help you make sure it doesn’t return. With the use of hydrometers and infrared light, they can locate the hidden sources of moisture responsible for your mold problem. They also know how to open up walls to get at leaking pipes without doing unnecessary damage. Once you repair, replace or remove the source of dampness in your home, the mold won’t return.
Learn more at our East Vancouver site
We're Here 24/7 For Your Flood Damage Restoration
Give us a call whenever disaster strikes at (360) 254-0049
Can You Stay in Your Vancouver Home After Flood Damage?
Flooding can produce harmful and even dangerous conditions for residents. While no family wants to relocate or become displaced when flood damage occurs, an assessment of the severity and the apparent risks by professionals must occur to determine if staying in the house is a viable option. Understanding potential hazards and risks can help you to appreciate not only your need for professional restoration services, but also how your family and pets can become affected.
The more severe the flood damage, the more widespread its effects can be within a property. Instead of affecting a single room, powerful moving water or breaches to areas like your roof or exterior walls can allow unabated water flow that can move quickly from one point to another in the house. Even with the fast response that you can expect from our SERVPRO professionals when contending with flooding, much of our restoration efforts are reactions to existing conditions when our team first arrives at the property.
Some homes only have limited exposure, such as flood damage that originates in the attic where mitigation work can begin quickly. Containment efforts and effective drying solutions can prevent the spread of these damages to lower levels, so it is possible in some of these scenarios for families to remain in the home during the restoration and recovery efforts.
Unfortunately, there are also widespread circumstances in which contamination becomes a legitimate threat. In these situations, even with a lower threshold for affected areas and overall damage, the safest approach is to encourage homeowners to seek temporary accommodations elsewhere until our SERVPRO professionals can successfully disinfect and begin drying out damages.
While it can save you money to not have to seek out temporary housing for your family during an already traumatic experience, in certain situations, it is unavoidable. You can trust in the fast turnaround and quality output of our SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. team to get you back in the house quickly.
What Causes Water Leaks?
No matter the cause, we're happy to be the solution! Call us day or night (360) 254-0049
Water leaks can occur from a number of sources both in and outside of your home. Understanding the cause of water leaks can help you be prepared for the unexpected. By carefully inspecting your home’s plumbing and adjusting the runoff grade around your home, there’s a lot you can do to help keep your home watertight.
Clogged drains and gutters
Trapped water in your gutters can cause the wood fascia boards your gutters are mounted on to rot, allowing moisture to enter your house. Additionally, the clogged debris in your gutters can cause water to sit on top of your roof that could lead to roof leakage. Although you might only consider gutter cleaning necessary once or twice a year, your home can really benefit from a monthly gutter cleaning. By doing so, you can avoid water running over the gutters and pooling next to your foundation.
Rain runoff near foundation
Rainwater can pool and saturate the soil near your foundation and could leak through holes or cracks. Keep rainwater flowing away from your home with downspout extensions. Doing so can help water from infiltrating through foundation cracks and getting into your basement.
Sump pump damage
A blocked drain hose or inlet screen on your sump pump can prevent it from working properly and could lead to a basement flood. A key way to prevent expensive water damage is to be sure that your sump pump is operating correctly. Mark your calendar and inspect your sump pump.
Broken seals, corrosion and loose water connections in the plumbing can cause water leaks. By checking in frequently with your home’s plumbing lines, you’ll be better able to locate water leak issues as they surface. Many times, the key to preventing water damage is to catch it early where a nominal repair can save from a major expense.
Broken or missing shingles, cracked flashing and damaged vent booting are all common culprits that can cause your home’s roof to leak. One way that big water damage issues occur to homes is through the roof. By monitoring and replacing the components of your roof, you’ll help to prevent water damage to your roof that can sometimes go unnoticed. Another key way to keep your roof healthy is to manage ice dams by preventing ice buildup during the winter months.
Untamed vegetation and soil
It’s important to look for any roots from trees or plants that could wrap themselves around your exterior pipes causing damage. To prevent water from pooling near your home’s foundation and leaking in, ramp the soil down and away from the house to help with runoff.
Home appliances keep your home humming along — they’re also the leading cause of in-home water damage. Check and maintain your appliances regularly, especially washing machines and refrigerators.
-Information provided by American Family Insurance.
Don't Let Leaks Go Undetected
The longer the damage goes undetected, the more severe the damage becomes. Don't delay, call our SERVPRO office (360) 254-0049
When it comes to water damage, it is important to remember that it doesn’t take a major flood or a hurricane to cause severe damage to your home. Most water damage problems are actually the result of a small leak that goes undetected over a long period of time. By the time you notice it, it is too late. Your drywall can become swollen and stained, ceilings could be sagging, carpets ruined, floors warped and it could pose a threat to your home’s electrical system.
Whether you’ve discovered water damage from a broken or leaky pipe, a sewer line break, a sink or toilet overflow, or a malfunctioning appliance like a water heater, washing machine, dishwasher or refrigerator in your home, our flood damage technicians are equipped to handle any problem 24 hours a day.
Something as small as above average humidity levels are more than enough to cause you problems, namely in the form of mold, mildew, and other potentially dangerous toxins. According to the CDC you should keep the moisture levels in your inhabitable spaces between 40% to 60%.Molds slowly destroy the things they grow on, and if left unchecked, can cause serious structural damage.
The key to proper restoration is fast response time. The sooner you call SERVPRO the faster our team of certified service technicians can get to work to make the water damage "Like it never even happened."
Our water damage services include:
- Water extraction
- Structural drying
- Damage Assessments
- Mold Remediation
- Antimicrobial treatment
- Debris Removal
- Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Structural Repair
We strive for exceptional customer service.
Our top priorities are safety, quality, and exceptional customer service. We are an emergency restoration company that provides service to both residential and commercial clients. If you have flooding of any kind, our trained and certified technicians can handle any and all water damage situations. We make sure that any affected area is professionally cleaned, deodorized and sanitized. SERVPRO of East Vancouver/ Clark County is available to handle any opportunity 24 hours a day.
Ways to Protect Your Home From Water Damage
If you do experience a water damage, remember you are SERVPRO strong! We are "Here to help." Just call our 24hr number (360) 254-0049
One of the best ways to protect a home from water damage is by taking some preventative measures. Keeping up with routine maintenance and making prompt repairs is key.
Remember, homeowners insurance covers water damage that is “sudden and accidental” but not gradual problems or maintenance issues. If you have a problem like a leaky faucet, it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible.
Here are other steps you can take:
This information was provided by Forbes Advisor.
- Drain water heaters twice a year to help prevent sediment buildup.
- Install smart water leak detectors that will send an alert to your phone or email. (Some detectors can automatically shut off the water to prevent damage). In a LexisNexis study of 2,306 U.S. homes that installed a Flo by Moen water leak detector, water-related claims went down by 96% compared to the two years prior to installation.
- Inspect hoses going to and from washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and refrigerators. Repair or replace any damaged hoses if necessary.
- Inspect your roof and make any necessary repairs, such as replacing missing, rotten or damaged shingles. It’s also a good idea to clean out your roof gutters. Clogged gutters can overflow and allow water to pool near a home’s foundation, which could seep into your basement.
- Prevent frozen pipes if you live in an area that has extreme cold temperatures. Keep your heat set to at least 50 degrees and consider other precautions, like wrapping pipes with insulation.
- Remove snow from your roof to prevent potential ice dams. Snow can melt and freeze on roofs and in gutters, causing ice dams, which can lead to damage to both the exterior and interior of homes. A roof rake can help you remove snow from the roof to limit the possibility of snow dams.
- Remove leaves from your gutters each fall to reduce the risk of clogged drains, which can lead to ice dams in the winter.
Maintaining Your Commercial Building to Avoid a Water Damage
Our goal first and foremost is to inform you on how to prevent a water damage but we will be there day or night if you do!
Pay special attention to areas of the building where leaks are most likely to occur:
- HVAC system
- Toilets, faucets, and plumbing system
- Building foundation
- Sprinkler systems
Document the age and maintenance records for all building systems. Knowing your building equipment’s age – and having them regularly serviced and updated – can save you time and money down the road. It can also help you keep track of equipment warranties.
Your first sign of a water issue could be in your water bills. A small 1/8” crack in a pipe loses 250 gallons of water in a single day.
Signs of a water leak include:
- Dark or wet spots
- Cracking, bubbling, or flaking drywall, plaster, or wallpaper
- Pooling water or puddles
- Dampness or humidity in the air
- Sounds of dripping or gushing water
Consider installing a water sensor monitoring system at your business. There are different models and options available.
Before a wildfire threatens your area
Prepare for upcoming fire season with these helpful tips
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
- Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
- Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
- Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
- Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.firewise.org.
Information provided by NFPA.org
How To Classify a Fire
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Fire Damage Classifications
Removal of property from a home or business depends on the type of damage sustained to the structure and personal items. Our team is trained to determine whether the cause was the heat and flames, smoke residues, or as a result of the effects to extinguish the fire. Each type of damage will also fall into three levels or categories of damage: Minor, Medium, and Major.
With Minor Damage
- There is little need for removal.
- The fire was restricted to a single room, quickly extinguished and small.
- Only small items like dish towels and perhaps the pot or pan where the fire started must be disposed of and replaced.
- Most of the restoration involves light cleaning of residue covered ceilings, walls, floors, counters and cabinets.
With Medium Damage
- More property is removed.
- The fire was larger, spread into other parts of the home, and took longer to extinguish.
- Larger items such as furniture and drywall panels are physically damaged and require disposal.
- The cleaning method requires stronger chemicals and tools like scrub brushes.
- Odors are very noticeable and require further cleaning to eliminate them.
With Major Damage
- Items near the origin of the fire are severely burnt and need immediate removal and disposal.
- Structural components such as framing also suffer physical damage.
- Smoke residues are so thick that some items may need to be cleaned using ultrasonic equipment or may not be able to be completely cleaned and require replacement.
- Odors may be so strong that eliminating them can be more expensive than the option of replacement.
- Removal of contents does not necessarily mean they must be disposed. We can move salvageable items or those that simply need cleaning to either an on-site storage container on their property or to storage at our facility while repairs are being completed.
We’re always here to help. Our goal is to address your restoration needs as professionally and quickly as possible. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get your property and life back to "Like it never even happened."