Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

The Responsibility of a Landlord To Prevent Mold Growth

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind baseboard. Mold growth behind baseboard.

How To Protect Yourself Against Mold

As a landlord, you bear certain responsibilities to your tenants. Among the most basic is to provide a living space that is clean and safe. The presence of mold in a rental unit represents an unclean and potentially unhealthy environment. In some cases, a landlord, property manager, contractor, or engineer can be sued or held liable for injuries or illnesses to tenants caused by mold. The conditions vary as to when you might be susceptible to actions against you. To protect yourself against mold insurance claims, the following steps could be helpful:

  • Rely on your general liability insurance, though this could be subject to interpretation
  • Purchase environmental insurance liability which could cover a mold infestation
  • Take action to prevent the spread of mold

Mold Remediation

The surest way to protect against mold insurance claims by tenants, either residential or commercial, is to make sure mold does not spread in your properties. Since fungi thrives in warm, moist conditions, it is a good business practice to maintain properties and to address any water issues such as pipe leaks or roof leaks. If mold does appear, quick, aggressive action can take care of the problem. A local mold mitigation company in Shoreline, WA, can arrive on scene fast and provide an inspection and assessment of the property. Mold testing is important since it will reveal how much mold is present and what strain. With fast action, a mold claim against the property owner can be avoided.

Mold Facts

Mold naturally occurs in the environment and is just about everywhere, albeit in low densities. There are hundreds of different types of mold, only a few of which are likely to cause a problem to homeowners or commercial property owners. Mold can grow on paper, drywall, cloth, wood, and other surfaces. Under the right conditions, mold colonies can form and spread in 48-72 hours. Mold insurance claims can be prevented by quick and effective mold remediation services.

What You Should Know About Disaster Recovery

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency READY profile Advantage SERVPRO of Shoreline/ Woodinville partners with you to help you create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to put into action in the event of a disaster.

What You Should Be Aware Of When It Comes To Disaster Recovery

Commercial property owners and business principals understand that life can be unpredictable. Managing risk is often done through the purchase of insurance. Having insurance is just one part of the picture. You also need to have a plan in place for unforeseen issues such as a fire, storm, or other natural disasters. SERVPRO of Shoreline/ Woodinville is not just your provider of damage restoration services.

We also partner with you to make sure you have a thorough disaster recovery plan that minimizes interruption to your operations and restores things back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. 

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan
While no two businesses nor two disasters will be the same, a general plan should include the following elements:

  1. Emergency response plan: Established protocol on steps to take as part of a fire or storm response
  2. Business interruption: Strategy for resuming operations as soon as possible
    Insurance review: Knowledge of what your policies cover and a procedure for initiating a claim
  3. Emergency stockpile: Maintaining a supply of backup items, emergency kits, and other essentials
  4. Important contact info: Local emergency officials, clients, business partners, suppliers, vendors, insurance agents, etc.
  5. Communications plan: Bringing your customers up to speed on what’s happening and how they’ll be impacted
  6. File and critical data backup: Duplicates and electronic copies of important business records that can be accessed whenever and wherever in an emergency

Executing Your Plan
SERVPRO of Shoreline/ Woodinville, partners with you to help you create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to put into action in the event of a disaster. We work with you to determine the specific needs of your business, including commercial and large loss restoration, storm damage cleanup, and other services as necessary. We can also evaluate your current readiness to identify gaps before disaster strikes.

While there are many uncertainties and potential for loss in your business, you’re not alone. SERVPRO stands ready to help you come up with a disaster recovery plan that’s right for you, your operations, and the people connected to your business. 

Third Party Certification: Upholding Standards and Maintaining Excellence

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Truck from a restoration company Our SERVPRO team is dedicated to being there to help when disasters strike your home or business in Wallingford, WA.

Third-Party Certification: Maintaining Excellence And Upholding Standards

When homes in Wallingford, WA, need remediation, you want to be sure that the company handling the problem adheres to the highest industry standards. The standards for the restoration industry are set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is a third party certification organization, which means it approves instructors and schools to teach the skills needed to meet its values of expertise, integrity and excellence.


Training programs such as the ones offered by SERVPRO are IICRC-certified. Classes are offered in various categories:

Receiving a mitigation certificate after completing these courses means that the individual has the knowledge needed to do the job right. When clients hire someone to fix a problem in their homes, you want to be able to verify that the technicians are certified mitigation experts.


It is not enough that technicians know what they are doing. They also need to be honest and trustworthy. When a company or individual is certified by the IICRC, you know you have found someone on whom you can rely. They adhere to a strict standard of ethics and can be expected to be upfront about their assessment and treatment of your clients' homes.


When specialists are trained by a certified school or instructor, they learn how to exhibit high standards of service. Continuing education courses improve knowledge, turning technicians into industry leaders. These classes also serve to educate insurance and real estate professionals regarding various mitigation processes. Shared knowledge strengthens these partnerships so that together, they can offer more excellent service to the customers they share.

A third party certification organization sets the industry standard that all mitigation professionals must meet. The values of the IICRC are reflected in each training program and instructor it approves. To ensure quality, professional service, recommend certified mitigation professionals to your clients.

What You Should Know About Mold Growth on Paintings

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

expert restoring an artwork There are various methods of mold cleaning that allow the mold growth to be eliminated and the painting to be restored.

Mold On Paintings: What You Should Know

Mold growth on your painting in Bothell, WA, can be devastating, and you may be unsure what caused the mold to grow or if the mold damage can be fixed. However, having a better understanding of mold and the mold cleaning process can help you protect your paintings.

What Causes Mold To Grow on Paintings?

Mold most often grows in wet or damp environments. There are several reasons mold may grow on a painting, including:

  • High levels of humidity in the room where the painting is stored or displayed
  • Water damage on a painting
  • Having appliances that use water located near the painting

What Can Mold Do to a Painting?

In addition to making a painting less aesthetically pleasing, mold can damage a painting. There are several ways the presence of mold on a painting can affect a painting, including:

  • Causing pieces of paint to flake off of the painting
  • Causing discoloration or dullness
  • Resulting in cracks on the surface of the painting

How Is Mold Removed From Paintings?

Many paintings that have been damaged by mold can be remediated. There are various methods of mold cleaning that allow the mold growth to be eliminated and the painting to be restored. One of the first steps in restoring a painting is to remove it from the environment that has caused the damage. After the painting is removed, professionals will then assess the damage in order to decide what needs to be done next. Finally, different paints, solvents and treatments are applied in order to bring a painting back to life.

Understanding common causes of mold growth and knowing how mold can affect a painting can help you take preventative steps to avoid mold growth on your paintings. However, if you do notice mold on your paintings, it can help to contact mold remediation specialists who can assist you in the mold cleaning process.

Five Leading Causes of Home Fires

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Residential Fire Loss If your home suffers soot and smoke damage after a house fire, give SERVPRO a call. Our team of fire damage experts will restore it efficiently.

The Top 5 Causes of House Fires

Have you ever wondered if one type of incident or action is more likely to lead to a home fire than another? As it turns out, there are five fire causes that are more prevalent than others. Read on to learn what they are and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Cooking

Cooking fires are the number-one cause of all fires in the United States. They usually occur when someone leaves a kitchen appliance unattended while cooking. Frying creates the greatest threat.

2. Heating Appliances

Devices such as furnaces and space heaters also pose a great fire risk. Much like with cooking fires, many of these accidents happen when a piece of equipment is left unattended or if it is operated incorrectly.

3. Electrical Gear

A home fire can also be caused by equipment used for electrical or lighting purposes. This includes lamps, power outlets and other objects that run on electricity. Once again, careful and attentive operation of electrical devices is crucial to stay safe.

4. Intentional Situations

Unfortunately, many fires are started intentionally by those wishing to create chaos and destruction. Arson makes up the fourth largest category of household fires in the United States. Many perpetrators are under the age of eighteen.

5. Smoking-Related Accidents

Smoke-related fires are the fifth most common kind in the United States. Always practice common sense safety procedures if you are planning on smoking in or near your Bothell, WA, home.

A home fire is never pleasant to think about, but knowing the leading causes of these disasters can help you to avoid some of them and the aftermath of a fire, which can include fire cleaning. Remember to always call for help and evacuate the premises if a fire begins at home. Being educated is one of the first steps to take in order to keep your house, your family and yourself safer each day.

A Quick Primer on Mold

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Damage on Floor in Bathroom If you fear you have a mold problem, it may be helpful to consult with SERVPRO, we are always ready to help you.

Mold: A Quick Overview

You may be familiar with the presence of mold in your home, but without truly understanding what mold is and how it thrives, it can be difficult to prevent or eradicate it. Black mold in particular is extremely pernicious and persistent, and even mold cleanup might not be enough to clear it from your Bothell, WA home. Let’s break down what mold is, and why it’s so hard to eliminate.

Mold Is a Fungus

That’s right, the same type of growth as mushrooms – but unless you know proper methods for making moldy cheese, mold isn’t safe to eat. Here are a few things you need to know about black mold:

  • It grows where there’s moisture to feed it and organic matter to infest
  • Like other fungi, it grows from spores – and you’re typically surrounded by invisible mold spores in your environment
  • Mold isn’t always visible to the naked eye, and can take root in hidden crevices
  • It’s impossible to wholly eliminate mold from your environment due to the prevalence of atmospheric spores
  • Mold can come in many colors, including green, white, yellow, and black, but it’s almost always a fuzzy, thick growth
  • Mold can often be easily recognized by an extremely strong, musty smell

So How Can I Get Rid of Mold?

As mentioned above, it’s impossible to wholly eradicate microscopic mold spores in the air – but you can control mold to keep it from growing past the spore stage. Keep moisture in your environment under control by addressing any leaks, flooding, or other sources of water damage. Use a dehumidifier to cut down on heavy moisture in the air. Check your appliances for leaks or condensation issues. Get an air purifier to cut down on the number of spores in the air. If you fear you have a problem, it may be helpful to consult with a mold remediation specialist for additional assistance.

3 Reasons to Have Your Home Inspected by an Environmental Hygienist

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Spots of black mold on white wall You will need a hygienist to perform a more accurate test and inspection.

Three Reasons to Hire an Environmental Hygienist to Inspect Your Home

If you think that you have mold growing in your Shoreline, WA home, you might decide that you can just inspect your house yourself. However, this is generally not the best decision. While it may not be as convenient, having an environmental hygienist inspect for mold damage is the best way to determine if there is really a problem. Here are a few reasons that hiring a professional is preferable to doing it on your own.

1. There May be Hidden Mold in Your Home

You may sometimes need mold cleaning even if you don’t think you do. In some cases, you may have a musty odor in your home and be unable to locate the source. Don’t assume that there is no problem and that the smell will go away on its own. There may be a growth inside the walls or flooring that a hygienist will be able to find and remove.

2. Home Tests Are Inaccurate

Maybe you can’t see the mold, but a home test can find it, right? The answer is probably not. Because mold spores are present in most environments, many home tests will pick up mold even where there isn’t any damaging growth that requires mold cleaning.

3. They Are Trained and Experienced

You likely haven’t been trained to detect or clean up mold, so trying to do it on your own won’t give you the same results as hiring a mold remediation service. To ensure that the work is done well, you should leave it to the professionals.

Doing your own inspection and mold cleaning can seem like an appealing option, especially if you enjoy DIY home projects. In this case, however, it is best to hire a professional, since you could easily end up doing more harm than good if your actions result in mold spores spreading throughout your house.

The Important Role of an Environmental Hygienist

7/25/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. Mold damage in a North City, WA home

If you have recently had a flood in your North City, WA, home or if you discovered leaky pipes, you should have a professional check for mold. This fungus thrives in wet, humid environments. Even if you extract any standing water and dry the area, you want to be sure no mold was left behind. Before you can move to the step of mold cleaning, you should hire an environmental hygienist to inspect the home and identify whether this fungus is present.

How Mold Can Grow in Your Home

Mold spores are always present in the air. Though microscopic, they are outside and inside your house, waiting for a place to grow and spread. When circumstances are ideal, colonies can appear within a few days. Common ways mold damage occurs include:

  • Leaky or broken pipes under sinks or in walls
  • Poor ventilation in showers or basements
  • Leaks in appliances such as washers, dishwashers or refrigerators

What the Environmental Hygienist Does

This expert works with a professional mold remediation company to evaluate and clean up materials such as mold in businesses and residences. The hygienist has the knowledge and training to look for mold in the right places and to identify its presence. This professional also uses the necessary equipment and tools to test for this fungus in homes. The hygienist is certified to work with this substance and has experience checking for all types of mold, including black mold. After conducting tests, the hygienist will discuss the results with you and coordinate a plan to thoroughly clean the area.

Next Steps

The hygienist helps oversee the mold cleaning process. This not only includes scrubbing away the fungus but sanitizing the area as well. Remediation teams may also have to tear out porous materials such as carpet and drywall.
Prompt mold cleaning is essential if you find this fungus in your house. An environmental hygienist can help you confirm its presence.

How Fire Sprinklers Work

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

You may be wondering if you really need to install a fire sprinkler system in your commercial building. However, sprinklers are an important part of any structure. They limit fire damage and keep your employees safe.

How Sprinklers Work

A sprinkler system has four main components. They are:

  • Water pipe
  • Plug
  • Bulb filled with liquid
  • Sprinkler head

The sprinkler is attached to an existing pipe in the building. When the temperature reaches a certain level, the glass bulb bursts. This frees the water from the pipe, which goes through the sprinkler head and onto the fire.

This fire suppression system allows sprinklers to work quickly. They often extinguish or contain a blaze before the firefighters even arrive at the scene.

Installing Sprinklers

You should not attempt to install sprinklers on your own. Instead, contact a contractor who understands the local standards and codes. Ideally, you should get the sprinklers installed while the building is being remodeled.

Sprinkler Myths

You may have seen television and movie scenes where a fire sprinkler system accidentally goes off in the absence of fire. This excess water then soaks the entire building and its contents.

Don’t let this myth preclude you from installing fire sprinklers in your North City, WA, commercial building. Sprinklers rarely activate unless there really is a fire in your building. That’s because sprinklers are triggered by the high temperatures that accompany fires. Burnt toast or cigar smoke alone won't cause them to operate.

You also don’t have to worry about all the sprinklers in a building going off at once and causing major flooding. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. Of course, sprinklers and fire hoses do often leave behind water damage. Fire sprinkler cleanup specialists can help dry wet items and restore your charred belongings.

Installing a fire sprinkler system in your building can protect you and your assets. While sprinklers are relatively simple devices, they can quickly extinguish a blaze and reduce smoke damage.

The Benefits of an Electronic Claims Service

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fingers pointing at the words ¨Insurance Claim.¨ Electronic claims submissions have a myriad of benefits

Restoration professionals have to complete a lot of tasks to serve their clients. In the past, they used traditional postage methods to mail their paperwork to insurance companies and homeowners affected by disasters, such as fires, floods, or mold outbreaks. Today, there are electronic services available to simplify filing an insurance claim. Electronic claims submissions have a myriad of benefits to everyone involved in the process.

Save Time

The three steps to filing a claim are:

  1. Noticing that your residence is damaged and contact an insurance provider
  2. Waiting for an insurance adjuster to evaluate the extent of the damage
  3. Receiving financial reimbursement to cover repairs

An insurance agent may not have the knowledge to correctly look over a property. He or she often collaborates with a local restoration company that can provide a detailed report of what happened and how to affordably restore a home to a safe condition.

SERVPRO is a company in Richmond Highlands, WA, that many agents trust. Its focus on up-to-date electronic systems makes it a frontrunner for filing an insurance claim. Restoration professionals can enter estimate information, scan photographs and keep track of projects using the database, then email the information to an agent. The agent can respond promptly, which saves a large amount of time. Professionals are more productive, and homeowners can get a quicker resolution.

Reduce Errors

Professionals using an electronic database are not prone to filing errors that can result in inaccurate financial compensation. If a claim has missing or contradictory information, for example, it can be fixed in a flash. Top-notch claims are a frugal and ethical decision for companies looking to establish a good reputation with their clients.

Filing an insurance claim can be efficient and easy. Electronic claims submissions are an indication that an insurance company has the best interests of its clients in mind. They allow restoration professionals to focus on their work, agents to calculate reimbursement in little time, and clients to get their life back on track.

How To Protect Your Home After a Fire

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Room burned, walls covered with smoke and soot, belongings damaged by fire, window boarded up Board up home after fire damage.

Ensure To Protect Your Home As Best You Can After a Fire

When fire has erupted inside your Richmond Highlands, WA home, the days following the disaster are crucial to the overall cleanup and restoration process to follow. Homes that have suffered from fire damage can be restored, but they can also receive additional secondary damage from other elements. This is because fires can create holes in the roof and siding, and break windows and doors, and since you likely cannot live in the home, there are few options to protect your property when it is left open and exposed. As such, it is imperative to consider board up services after a fire.


Protecting the remaining structure and items within the home become paramount after a fire. Once the fire is out, it is recommended that you move forward with an emergency board up services in order to:

Minimize additional damage to the home – Board up services will cover holes in your walls and siding, as well as replace broken windows and doors in order to prevent wind, rain, snow, and other natural elements from entering the structure and further damaging it
Prevent thievery – Abandoned homes left unprotected are prime targets for intruders to steal your remaining possessions
Secure insurance claims – Some insurance companies require emergency board up services after a fire since they do not want to pay for preventable secondary damage
Protect against injuries – Those who enter your home, even unlawfully, can be injured, making you liable to pay for their medical expenses

Additional Considerations

While board up services are almost always needed after a fire, tarp protection may also be necessary. Tarps are primarily used when roof damage has been sustained, so it is important to ensure you work with professionals to understand the full extent of the damage and act accordingly to prevent further issues. Either way, ensure you are protecting your home as best you can after a fire, as the up front cost could save you a fortune in the long run.

3 Signs of Black Mold

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage on floor bathroom Mold removal on the bathroom floor.

Three Signs To Look For During a Mold Inspection

Do you dread walking into the bathroom and seeing black mold line the ceiling? Mold can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. Although mold spores are everywhere, when colonies form in your house, they are both unappealing and damaging to the house. Prevention is key when house mold forms. However, if you do need the help of professional mold services, you may need to learn how to recognize it first. 

1. Colored Spots
One of the biggest signs of mold is discoloring on your walls or ceiling. If you notice some weird colors or bulging, this should be addressed immediately. Leaky roofs can cause water damage in the ceiling, causing it to bulge or warp. If left untreated, this can quickly become a breeding ground for mold.

2. Musty Odor
Musty smells can come from a variety of things, which is why routine cleaning is just as important as any mold inspection. However, if the constant cleaning doesn't seem to help with the smell, you might be dealing with a mold problem. You may need to look around for the source of the odor and determine further. Be sure to let professional services in Lake Forest Park, WA, know so that they can properly identify the mold and help you get the problem fixed.

3. Deteriorating Walls
If you notice peeling wallpaper and chipping paint, you may want to take a closer look. Humidity and water damage may have occurred, which can lead to mold. Mold can cause damage to your house, so you may want to get those areas tested to prevent further damage.
One of the best ways to have proper mold inspections is to routinely check all areas of your home. Next time you see any colored spots, smell a musty odor or find deteriorating walls, you'll know what to do. 

3 Tips for Handling Mold Damage

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

A digital humidity and temperature monitor for indoor home marking 25.2 for temp and 42% humidity level Keeping indoor humidity below 45 makes it harder for mold to grow

Take Measure to Prevent Mold Damage in Your Home

No one wants to think about all the places mold can hide in a house. Sometimes, however, mold does find a place to flourish. If your home in North City, WA, has a black mold problem, there are a few steps you can take to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

1. Call for Help Quickly

The first thing you should do when you find a mold growth in your home is hire mold cleanup professionals. Mold is not something you want to leave alone. It starts with something as simple as excess moisture. It can start to grow within a few days, and the longer it is left to its own devices, the more damage it can do. The sooner technicians can get to your house, the faster the problem can be contained and mitigated.

2. Shut Down HVAC System

Mold spores travel through the air. A black mold problem in one area of your home can easily spread to the rest of your home if you keep circulating the spores through your air ducts. Spreading mold could complicate and prolong the remediation process. Turn off your air conditioner or heater until the remediation is complete.

3. Minimize Moisture

One of the most common factors that lead to mold damage is excess moisture. If you have a moisture problem in your home, it's probably only a matter of time before mold growth develops. Conversely, one of the best ways to prevent mold from growing or returning is to control the moisture levels. Fix leaks and clean up water damage quickly. Keep the humidity level in your home between 45 and 50%. Use a dehumidifier if you need to take moisture out of the air.
It can only take a couple of days after a water issue for black mold to grow in your home. If you find mold, respond quickly, keep it from spreading and take measure to prevent its return.

Business Property Insurance Can Help When You Have Water Damage

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, the last thing you want to see when you walk through the front door on Monday morning is water covering the floor or dripping from the ceiling. If this happens, you'll immediately think of everything that needs to be thrown out, replaced, and fixed as a result of the water damage. However, with the right business property insurance, you can rest a little easier and focus instead on finding someone to take care of water cleanup at your Shoreline business.

Business property insurance usually covers damage resulting from the following four issues (and possibly others depending on the policy):

1. Broken Pipes

These are often the result of frozen pipes. The water inside freezes, expands, and cracks the pipe, sending torrents of water into your business. General corrosion can also be the cause of this headache, as can a sudden increase in water pressure.

2. Roof Leaks

If your roof drainage isn’t working properly because of clogs or a broken system, water will pool on your roof and eventually find its way down into your place of business, potentially causing water damage. Also note that points where pipes and wiring enter through the roof are weak spots where water could sneak in.

3. Appliance Issues

Things like AC units, dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters all involve water, and they all have the potential to leak.

4. Sprinkler Systems

Maybe there was a fire that led to the sprinklers going off, or maybe they randomly malfunctioned. Either way, everything is now wet. Computers and other technology will likely have to be replaced, furniture thrown out, and new inventory purchased.

A good business property insurance policy will cover these four primary types of water damage and help you get started with water cleanup as soon as possible. Your Shoreline, WA business will be on the road to its grand reopening in no time flat.