Thermal Imaging is a savior when used correctly.
At SERVPRO of Bellingham we specialize in helping people and businesses with a number of issues, but our most common job to be contacted for is water damage. A faulty supply line to a refrigerator caused massive damage to a beautiful home in Bellingham, WA. Our initial call was to investigate cupping in hardwood floor. Our technician quickly diagnosed a much larger problem.
The water had to been leaking under the hardwood floor and had quickly spread to the surrounding rooms and walls. The use of Thermal Imaging helped us to find the affected areas before we stated demolition and allowed us to have a scope in mind well before the actual hard work started.
These tools of the trade can be the difference between success and failure.
Not our first rodeo
A failed hot water heater brought SERVPRO of Bellingham out to a home in Everson, Wa. The carpet and sheetrock were wet, the trim had to detached and the laminate flooring needed to be removed, but the real work was under the house.
We work in crawlspaces on regular basis. We see all sorts of things including animals, clothing, old building materials and mud. One of the main culprits of water and moisture retention is insulation. Our job is to get into the crawlspace and remove the wet insulation.
We also see a lot of prior water damage. This home was like many other that we have seen. The water damage that took place before the current hot water tank failure was easy to spot.
Luckily, we were able to document the issues and bring them to owner's attention.
A flooded basement can lead to mold.
A pipe burst in a basement while the owner was on holiday. When they returned the water was running out of the basement door. This is not the way you want to return from a vacation.
Immediately turning off the water and a quick call to the plumber fixed the initial issue, but the real work starts after the leak in fixed.
SERVPRO of Bellingham was the next call to be made. Our crew set up containment, negative pressure, attacked the wet sheet rock, pulled out the laminate flooring, treated the surfaces for microbial growth and began the drying process.
Our clients could not believe how quickly we had started to make a difference.
We took a miserable end to a vacation and began to make a house a home again.
Tools of the Trade
A small water intrusion quickly became a larger issue when hard rains and high winds rolled into Bellingham, WA.
The owners of the building knew something was certainly wrong but did not know how large the problem truly had become.
SERVPRO of Bellingham was called out to help address the water issue and also to help develop a plan for drying out the building.
The first step is always to stop the leak and once the roofer had fixed the leak we began to delve farther into the problems the water had created.
Our well trained skilled technicians were able to find hidden pockets of water throughout the structure and limit the amount of drywall removal by injecting dry hot air into the walls.
The team at SERVPRO proved once again that with the right knowledge and tools we are able to help businesses and building owners limit downtime and repair costs.
Mold In Garage Ceiling on San Juan Island
Mold on a ceiling in a garage in Friday Harbor, WA.
SERVPRO of Bellingham was working on San Juan Island and found a garage with a wet ceiling and a lot of microbial growth on both sides of the drywall.
Humidity and moisture in garage environments can lead to unwelcome mold growth on concrete, wood rafters, metal shelving, drywall and other surfaces.
Water intrusion and mold growth not only damage the structure of the garage and home in general, but they also negatively affect the vehicles parked inside. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from these negative effects is to take preventive measures against water intrusion to prevent mold growth and any further damage. Prevention is better than remediation.
SERVPRO of Bellingham had one option when dealing with mold like this and it was the removal of the affected drywall.
The green truck awaits a winter sprinkling of snow
The freezing level has fallen and the dark clouds have moved in. Now what?
We here in the Pacific Northwest are always ready for rain but always ready for snow. Here are a couple things to keep in mind as the fluffy wet cold white stuff starts to fall across our region
Let's think safety first.
- Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
- Sand to improve traction
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
- Sufficient heating fuel, like dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove
- Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm
Next do you have a plan?
- Make a family emergency plan — Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency
- Listen to a NOAA Weather or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service and be alert to changing weather conditions
Be smart and think about everyone and everything in the family.
- Minimize travel, but keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle
- Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather
- Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water
These few steps will help minimize any hardship as the snow storm closes in on us.
Emergency Ready Plan
Make a Plan.
Does your office or employer have a plan in place should an emergency occur?
Where do you shut off the water if a supply line fails?
Who should I call if the heat isn't on?
These are just a couple of simply questions that could be easily answered if SERVPRO of Bellingham were to give your office or building an Emergency Ready Plan or ERP.
We will come out and walk the property, photo document vital shutoffs, and help develop a plan of action should an emergency occur.
The most important part of the ERP is the fact that it starts the planning conversation before the emergency happens. It also helps to get a a business back up and going after an emergency.
This is no cost service we provide to local businesses and building owners.
Test before you disturb.
SERVPRO of Bellingham is called out to dry homes and businesses on a daily basis. Water damage is caused by mechanical failure, human error, many other failures in systems or just plain bad luck.
One if the first items of business for SERVPRO of Bellingham, as well as any contractor having to disturb building materials, is to take samples for asbestos testing.
Asbestos has been used in literally thousands of products because of its unique properties- fire resistance, high tensile strength, poor heat and electric conductivity and being impervious to chemical attack. We find asbestos in a wide array of materials from fire proofing to insulation, flooring to adhesive, texturing to roofing felt and thousands of others.
Before we can start any demolition or removal of building materials we must test for asbestos. We are trained to sample areas of concern and those that are going to disturbed. Always test before you cut, smash or remove. Safety and confidence in your contractor must be of utmost importance.
Informed and Accomplished
We are proud to be involved with many community associations, chambers of commerce and non-profits, but one of our favorite community endeavors is bringing Continuing Education Classes to our local Realtors and Insurance Agents.
Our classes are generally held in our facility and are based on subjects that are in our expertise. Water Mitigation for 4 credits, Fire in the Restoration Industry for 2 credits, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry for 3 credits are just a few of the courses we have offered. It's an excellent opportunity for professionals to get hands on experience in our industry as well as gaining credits towards their required continuing education.
SERVPRO of Bellingham is proud to have been a part of so many excellent community enriching programs and our continuing educational program is one of favorite ways to give back and build community at the same time.
Fire Escape Planning
Two ways out of every room.
SERVPRO of Bellingham helps families and businesses after fires, smoke damage and other scary challenges. We know that the most important part of escaping a fire is to have a plan in place. It's easy and makes sense.
Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm.
Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
Having a plan and practicing the plan saves lives.