Recent Posts

At What Speed Does Wind Start to Cause Damage?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

When you live in an area that experiences periodic windstorms, it is helpful to be aware of the potential risks of what these storms can do. While the inland Pacific Northwest is not subject to the hurricane-force winds that occasionally hit places like Florida, it has been known to have its share of high-wind storms that have knocked down trees, blown off roof tiles, and downed power lines, causing power outages for residents that have lasted weeks. 

Residents in northern Idaho should know what can occur in severe wind events, and should take some steps to prepare, especially as fall arrives. Knowing the harms that can be caused by various wind speeds enables you to predict the likelihood of facing damage to your house or property. When you see a weather forecast or get a warning from the local utility companies that high winds are expected, take some steps to prepare your property, and know that SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene is ready to step in and help if you need restoration work done. 

Wind Speed and Associated Damage

0-25 mph: Winds in this range can feel pretty brisk, but rarely cause damage. If winds are a steady 10 mph, you can tell the kids to put a jacket on and get out their kites. But as they climb to the upper limits of this range, you can expect leaves to come off your trees, and you might want to take in your outdoor seat cushions or any other loose and light items off the porch or deck and stow them away so that you don’t have to hunt for them on the neighboring property when it’s all over.

25-50 mph: At this speed, it isn't unusual to lose a few shingles off the roof, especially when there are stronger gusts. Houses with aging roofs will, of course, be at greater risk for damage, and if you have a building that is not structurally sound, such as an old barn, you might see some destruction.

50-75 mph: At this speed, winds can be seriously damaging. Losing your roof shingles is common, and anything that is unsecured is likely to blow or tear off – including branches on dead or dying trees. If the ground has softened from rain, you can expect some trees to come down, especially if they have lots of branches and leaves or pine needles that will catch wind. 

75-100 mph: With winds at this speed, even healthy trees can be uprooted. Mobile homes, trailers, and sheds can be destroyed, and even large moveable objects can become airborne, flying into cars and buildings.

Over 100mph: If you are facing winds like this, hopefully, you have evacuated the area. Even solid, newly-built homes will experience significant damage. This is category 2 hurricane-force wind, which can flip cars and blow out windows. 

In the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane region, a wind storm that reaches 50 mph is not that uncommon in a storm season, and it can be accompanied by gusts that exceed 70 mph. To complicate matters, these storms may be accompanied by rain, snow, or ice, which can cause ice build-up on trees, roofs, and gutters, making them very heavy, and subject to collapse.

Protecting Your Home From Wind Damage

While there's nothing you can do to prevent bad weather, you can take proactive actions to help your home fare better in a storm by having a plan in place whenever a storm is a forecast. Here are some important items that should be part of your plan.

Declutter Your Yard: As the weather cools down, start putting away the items that you won’t be using, such as lounge cushions, decorations, lanterns, umbrella shades, shade sails, and so on. Even hoses and garden tools should be stowed for the season so that you don’t have to worry about them getting damaged from rain and ice. Take down the wasp traps, and hanging plants. Any easily moveable object is subject to get either blown away or may become a projectile if winds pick it up. Furniture, too, should be secured or stowed, so it doesn’t get knocked over and damaged.

Maintain Your Home: Check your roof to see if it needs repairs, and check other items on your roof: skylights, vents, chimneys. If they need repairs, do them before the storm season hits, or you may be looking at doing more extensive repairs later–and doing them in cold, unpleasant weather. Check your windows, outdoor light fixtures, and door seals. 

Check the Area Around Your House: Take a good look at the area around your home and property. Are any trees liable to hit your house if they fall down? Are there heavy, low branches that should be pruned? Are any of the trees dead or dying? Are the power lines and power poles clear? A few prudent steps now can save you from disaster.

Storm Restoration Companies Should be Available 24/7

Sometimes, even when you prepare well, you can still suffer from a natural disaster. If you suffer any storm damage, know that our team at SERVPRO is ready to help. We serve our community around the clock and arrive faster to any disaster, no matter what time of day. When disaster hits, put our number on speed-dial to contact SERVPRO and receive the professional help you need.

What Are the Risks of Ignoring Water Damage?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

When you think of water, you probably think of its beneficial properties: keeping you hydrated, helping plants flourish, washing away dirt, and clearing the air. But water is also one of the most destructive forces in nature: wearing away cliffs, flooding cities, and towns, and washing out highways. The fact is, water is a very powerful force, and that is why we do our best to control it by channeling it into culverts, drains, canals, pipes, and gutters.  

But what happens if all the things we do to keep water out of our buildings fail? Maybe you have a gap in your roof’s flashing, a leaking drain pipe, or a gap in your window header. Or maybe just too much moisture from the clothes dryer or shower is leaving condensation in your attic. The fact is, we use a lot of water in our homes and in our businesses, and even small water problems, if not resolved as soon as they are discovered, can lead to big damage.

The longer water damage goes unaddressed, the more damage it will do in your home or commercial building. That’s because the damage is not always just the water itself–although that, too, can be serious. Water can weaken and rot wood and drywall, destabilize the ground, and create the ideal environment for mold, mildew, and bacteria. 

When you discover water damage, It can be tempting to put off addressing it, especially if it is in a space like your attic, basement, or crawlspace, where it is not impacting you everyday and because you do not want to shoulder the cost of repair. But you should always treat water damage as an emergency, and call an expert in water damage restoration as soon as possible. 

Health Hazards Caused by Unaddressed Water Damage

One of the biggest risks of not remediating water damage is that dampness encourages the growth of mold and mildew. Mold, in particular, grows and spreads quickly, and not just in the sense of the unsightly green, black, or even pink muck found on surfaces. Mold spores are tiny, and can spread throughout your house with just a whiff of air, and get into your furniture, your air ducts, your bedding, and so on. And once the mold spores spread to these places, it is very difficult to eradicate them.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some people have allergic reactions to mold. If they are especially sensitive, they may experience symptoms similar to hay fever: itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, or even itchy skin when spores come in contact with the skin. For people with asthma, mold can sometimes trigger an asthmatic attack. 

Structural Damage

Water has an uncanny ability to get nearly everywhere. While it always flows down, it does not always flow the way you might expect unless it is carefully channeled, which is why we use channels, gutters, and pipes whenever we use water. But if it escapes the conduits specifically designed to contain it, it will seep into places we cannot reach, including down into the foundations of our houses. 

Once under the house, water can cause tremendous damage. By softening the ground underneath the foundation, it will cause the foundation structure, bearing all the weight of the house, to sag, and cause cracks in concrete, brick, and wooden beams and joists, compromising the integrity of the entire structure: floors, walls, ceiling, and roof. Trying to save your house by rebuilding the foundation is not a restoration project you want. As soon as you know that water is not where it should be, call in a professional to get it back under control.

Unsightly Stains and Foul Odors

In addition to the health impacts, mold, mildew, water stains, and buckled baseboards or flooring are unsightly, and can often emit an unpleasant odor that is hard to get rid of. If you are noticing a strong, musty odor in your building, or you see discoloration in your paint, it may be the first sign of a problem caused by water damage. If left too long, odors can permeate everything, from furniture to drapes, to bedding, and even your clothing.

High Water Bills

If you have a leak that is unseen, you may notice that your water bill is unusually high (or even that your heating bill is high, if the leak is at your water heater). If you see your utility bills take a bad turn and cannot understand why, leaking water may be the culprit. So one benefit of having your water problem addressed is that you can stop a problem that may be costing you money every month.

Electrical Issues

Water damage and electricity should never mix. So if you have a water leak, you also have to worry about your electrical. If water seeps into electrical wiring or components, you may be in store for an even bigger problem, causing shorts, power outages, or even shocks and sparks that can ignite a fire. If you know that a water leak has caused an electrical problem, don’t use any electricity; completely shut down the power from your central panel and have a professional come in and assess the damage.

Water Damage Restoration Companies in Coeur d’Alene

If you live in North Idaho, help is not far away. You can avoid the negative consequences of leaving a water problem unsolved by contacting our experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene. We service all communities surrounding our Coeur d'Alene location.

When leaks or flooding occur in a home or a commercial building, the damage can be minimized with a fast response time. As soon as we receive your call, we will get to work assessing the damage, stopping the problem at its source, drying out the area, caring for your belongings, and restoring your home. If you are in need of water damage restoration or mold remediation, contact SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene right away.

Local Spotlight: Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber of Commerce

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

You might not think of lovely Coeur d’Alene as a place where you would get much flooding damage, but at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene, we actually see our fair share. A lot of homes and buildings in northern Idaho have basements, and, since water always flows down, whenever there is water damage, a basement or crawl space is the likely site. Keeping an eye out for water damage in these spaces is an important part of the home and building maintenance. 

Frequently, the types of water damage problems we handle are from things like leaking or burst pipes, activated fire sprinklers, or faulty appliances. But another source of water damage in the Pacific Northwest is from storms, and when Coeur d’Alene is hit with a storm, some of them can surely dump a lot of rain! This was the case with a storm that hit Coeur d’Alene earlier this year.

During a storm with lots of rain and high winds, the storm door in the basement of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce could not hold all the water out, and started flooding the carpet, stairs, and the basement, which was used primarily for storage. The employees piled up sandbags, but they just were not keeping the water out. That’s when they made the prudent move and called the professionals at SERVPRO. 

SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene prides itself on responding quickly when a customer needs us. Not only do we know that our quick response can provide real, practical help, but it also gives our customers tremendous peace of mind. Sometimes a problem, such as flooding, is just too difficult to tackle yourself, especially when you don’t have the manpower, the know-how, or the equipment to do the job. For the Chamber of Commerce, we were able to have our personnel and the right equipment on-site within three hours. 

The first order of business was to stop the problem, and we were able to add more sandbags and stem the water flow. Then, it was a question of identifying the extent of the damage and cleaning up the water. SERVPRO got to work setting up pumps, dryers, fans, and dehumidifiers, and making a careful inspection of the site.

Thankfully, because the Chamber acted so quickly, we realized that simply drying everything out would take care of most of the damage. SERVPRO pulled off the rubber baseboard to inspect for additional damage and to help the dryers be more effective. Keeping the dryers and dehumidifiers going, and testing periodically, we were able to get the entire space dried out over the course of a few days. The only reconstruction required was to reapply the rubber baseboards. From beginning to end, the entire process of getting them back to full operational order was about 12 days.

Happy – and relieved – customers is our goal and the Chamber of Commerce let us know that we scored a “perfect 10” on helping them address and recover from their storm damage. 

If you have water damage, or experience any other kind of disaster–fire, storm, flooding, moldcontact the professionals at SERVPRO, any time of day or night. We can tackle any size problem, from minor damage all the way to complete building reconstruction. SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene is proud to serve the communities throughout Kootenai County including Post Falls, Rathdrum, and Sandpoint. We’ll be here when you need us.

What's the Difference Between Mold Removal and Mold Remediation?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

If you are unsure about the difference between mold removal and mold remediation, you aren't alone. Because the two terms are often used interchangeably, many individuals are confused about the difference, and may not realize that one might be better than another in solving their mold issue. Here's what you need to know about both processes and how to determine if it's time to call a mold remediation specialist.

Something many people don't realize is that complete mold removal isn't possible in most residential and commercial environments. Mold spores are everywhere, indoors and outdoors. They are microscopic, and they drift through the air. So mold removal companies cannot really remove all the mold, they only clean up visible mold, not the spores.

Mold remediation, however, is more than just the removal of visible mold. Mold remediation eliminates current mold growth and minimizes the potential for future growth in your space. Instead of cleaning only the visible mold, remediation takes a "big-picture" look at your mold problem to find the best solution to eliminate the current mold problem, prevent future mold growth at the site, and limit the release of spores during the cleaning process so that the mold will not easily spread.

The Remediation Process

Although each mold problem requires individualized treatment, most mold remediations follow the same general procedure. At SERVPRO, we have proven methods of mold cleaning and containment that we adapt to fit the needs of your unique situation.

Step 1: Call a SERVPRO Mold Remediation Specialist

The first step in addressing any mold issue is calling for help. Since mold releases spores into the air when disturbed, you don't want to DIY mold cleanup. When you call our emergency hotline, a SERVPRO team member will ask you questions about your mold problem so that we can arrive prepared to address your issue.

Step 2: Mold Inspection and Assessment

Determining the scale of your mold problem is essential to addressing it appropriately. Once we arrive at your home or business, a remediation specialist will evaluate the extent of the damage, the type of mold present, and the moisture source that is feeding its growth. This inspection goes beyond simply looking for visible mold. Our professionals use cutting-edge technology to find concealed moisture issues and gauge the amount of spores present.

Because mold can present a serious health hazard, there are laws regarding the proper inspection and handling protocol based on the affected area's size. Our team will inform you if your situation requires additional inspection or documentation.

Step 3: Containment

Preventing spores from traveling to other areas of your home or workplace is a top priority during the remediation process. Equipment such as negative air chambers and physical barriers will be utilized throughout the cleaning to prevent the spread of spores. In addition, you will have to turn off any HVAC units in the affected area, so that air does not flow through ducts to other parts of the building.

Step 4: Air Filtration

Since mold releases spores when disturbed, removing mold without air filtration is ill-advised. Services that only remove visible mold may clean up the mold you can see but can compromise your family's or staff’s health by triggering the release of millions of spores. Consequently, the next step is to run HEPA filtration equipment that pulls microscopic spores from the air throughout the process. 

Step 5: Mold Elimination

The best mold cleaning method will be determined by the material that has been affected. Some materials may need to be disposed of if they cannot be restored. For example, porous materials such as carpet and drywall are virtually impossible to clean thoroughly. Items that can be cleaned will be cleaned thoroughly and treated with antimicrobial solutions to prevent future growth.

Step 6: Disinfection and Odor Removal

Once your mold issue has been addressed, the last thing you want is a musty odor to remind you of the problem. Our professionals will use fogging equipment to deodorize the space. They will also clean and disinfect other items exposed to the mold.

Step 7: Restoration

Sometimes the mold remediation process will require the removal of structural elements, such as paneling, drywall, flooring, and subflooring. So the final step in remediation is rebuilding and restoring the areas affected by the remediation process to their previous condition – but this time, without the mold.

If you see mold or smell a musty odor in spaces of your home or business, it is important to address the issue quickly. But do not try to handle the problem alone without the know-how and proper equipment. Since mold problems will not resolve themselves, contact a professional mold remediation team at the first sign of trouble. Call SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene today.

Why is it So Important to Address Your Mold Problem?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

If you've found visible mold anywhere in your home or office space, or if you keep noticing musty odors, chances are you’re concerned about whether you have a serious mold problem. The first thing you should know is that any noticeable mold should be treated as a serious problem.

While visible mold may only be present in one or two places, mold is actually everywhere. Microscopic mold spores float through the air, and can spread extensively throughout a residence or an office in as little as 48 hours through the HVAC system. Fortunately, advanced remediation techniques can control the level of mold in your building and restore the cleanliness of your space – but the problem can become harder to resolve the longer it is left untreated.

No matter how much cleaning you do, there will always be at least some mold spores present, both inside and outside your home or business. It is when the spores come into contact with excessive moisture or cellulose that the mold can grow out of control, and you notice black spots or blotches on a wall or surface. Many types of mold can affect your home, including toxic “black mold.” Because mold is a health hazard that can affect the livability and value of your property, it is important to contain and remediate it as soon as possible.

What Types of Problems Does Mold Cause?

Visible mold is definitely unsightly, and no one likes to find moldy bread or cheese in the refrigerator or moldy oranges in the fruit bowl, so we throw those things out. But other than avoiding it when we see it, why is it bad? After all, penicillin, a beneficial drug, is made from mold. The blue part of blue cheese is mold – and we actually eat that. 

There are many different types of mold, and not only is much of it beneficial, it is actually necessary: molds help decompose dead material. But many people can have adverse health problems from too much mold, and, in particular, breathing in the mold spores that float through the air. So the problem is not necessarily mold per se, but the degree to which an area is infested with mold, and the type of mold you are dealing with.

As noted above, mold spores are tiny, even smaller than particles of pollen. And just as some people have allergic reactions to pollen, people can have allergic reactions to mold. According to the U.S. EPA, allergies to mold are fairly common. Inhalation of the spores can cause respiratory symptoms similar to hay fever, such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and wheezing, and some people can develop a rash from contact. For people with asthma, mold spores may trigger an asthma attack.

If Mold is Everywhere, How Can I Avoid These Health Problems?

You are likely to find visible mold in parts of your building that are damp, as dampness provides the ideal environment where mold likes to colonize. If you find mold or smell something that is “not right,” give SERVPRO a call. 

Keep in mind that, while you cannot entirely eliminate all mold, you can restore safe mold levels in your building through mold remediation. Be wary of companies that promise “mold removal,” because it may mean that all they really do is clean up visible mold, without doing enough to contain the further spread of mold or prevent future growth, which is critical to minimize adverse health effects.

As soon as you call us, we will ask some questions to determine what equipment we think we will need to bring. When our experts come to your building, they will do a thorough inspection to locate all the problem areas – not merely where you see or suspect mold growth. Once we identify the problem areas, we will begin the remediation process.

During mold remediation, we seal off the area or areas that need to be treated. We will ask you to shut down or seal off your HVAC system in that area. We use negative air chambers to isolate the air in that area, and set up an air filtration system that incorporates HEPA vacuums and “air scrubbers” to filter out any spores in the air. We clean all the surfaces with antifungal and antimicrobial cleansers. If there are infested materials, they are removed and discarded.

Finally, we will  rebuild and repair the parts of your structure that need restoration. We will clean and treat any items that are in the area that do not need to be discarded. By the time the process is over, your home or commercial building will feel like it's back to normal.

Find a Remediation Company Near Me

Our mold remediation experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene can be quickly dispatched to tackle mold problems in Coeur d’Alene, Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and surrounding communities.

Fast response times and thorough remediation techniques are the key to getting a mold problem under control. If you suspect mold, contact SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene today.

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow on Wet Drywall?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

If you've ever had the misfortune of having a water pipe break or your roof leak, you know the dread that occurs when you watch water seep into your home's drywall. If your first instinct is to search online for "water damage restoration contractors near me," that's a wise move. Not only can your drywall be physically damaged by the water itself, but the dampness and darkness also create the perfect environment for mold to run amok.

Most types of mold can experience significant growth in the first 24-48 hours following water intrusion. However, since mold spores are naturally present nearly everywhere, you shouldn't wait to see if mold develops before seeking help. Mold growth is almost always a given following water intrusion, even if it isn't in an easily visible area. Since hidden mold can contribute to a variety of health problems, don't put off calling a professional restoration crew.

Factors That Influence Mold Growth

Your Home’s Temperature: Mold spores can reproduce and grow more quickly in a warm environment. That's why mold growth increases during the summer months. If your home has been impacted by water damage, dropping the temperature might buy you precious time to dry out the area before mold spores develop. Since it's easier to address the problem before mold establishes new growth, you'll want to do everything possible to make your home inhospitable to mold.  

Organic Surfaces: Organic surfaces are a source of food for growing mold spores. If you have an organic surface, like many painted walls, mold will spread quickly throughout the room. The fewer organic materials you have in the area, the slower mold will spread. If you are concerned about the potential for mold or have areas in your home prone to moisture problems, such as laundry, bathroom, or kitchen, where water and steam are present, selecting an inorganic wall paint can help minimize mold's ability to spread throughout your living space.

Ventilation: Mold thrives in damp places like crawlspaces and basements. The main reason is that these areas typically suffer from poor ventilation, darkness, and moisture. When airflow is limited, it becomes easier for humidity levels to rise and for mold growth to explode. Conversely, maintaining airflow can dry out a damp space and make it more challenging for spores to get the moisture they need to grow.

Move Fast to Prevent Disaster

While you may be tempted to see if flooding or water damage dries out on its own, the time you wait before calling a restoration service allows mold growth to begin. Drywall is especially vulnerable to mold growth, and mold spores will multiply rapidly and exponentially if the moisture isn't addressed immediately. Remember, just because mold isn't visible doesn't mean it isn't there.

While mold colonies can form within 48 hours of water damage, the growths may not become visible for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the lack of visible mold often gives homeowners a misguided sense of relief. If you have water damage on drywall, you will have a mold problem unless the surface is completely dried out within 48 hours of being wet.

Don't Wait for Trouble: Be Prepared

The best time to plan for what you'll do if a leak or flood damages your home is before the situation occurs. Keep the SERVPRO 24-hour emergency hotline number on your fridge or stored in your phone for emergencies. If you need emergency service, call (208) 457-1234 anytime to connect with one of our skilled representatives. They will collect information about your situation and dispatch a team to help you.

Don't let water intrusion leave you with out-of-control mold growth. Contact SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene today and let our team restore your home.

Finding Water Restoration Companies Near Me: Do You Have Leaking Pipes in Your Walls?

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

If you find out that the pipes in your walls are leaking, it’s highly likely that you have incurred some damage to your home or business that requires professional restoration. If you find yourself searching for "water damage restoration companies near me" you will find that our experts at SERVPRO are top-rated for water damage repair and restoration. Whatever the damage, and however it has affected your building, you can count on our experts to resolve every issue.

Signs of Water Damage

Of course, the most obvious sign of a leaking pipe is water dripping and puddling inside of your building. But that is not the only thing that you should watch out for. Any wet areas that cannot be explained by a recent spill or other accident could be a sign that there is a leak.

If a leak is slow, it may take a while for any damage to show up. You may start to notice discoloration of your ceiling or walls, or a water stain may start to appear and grow larger. Another sign might be baseboards expanding or warping, or your floorboards beginning to buckle.  

In some cases, it may not be something you see. If you hear a drip when it is quiet, but cannot see where any water is, there may be a leak inside your walls that goes straight down to your subfloor, crawlspace, basement, or foundation that won’t show up visibly in any of the areas you inhabit. Or, you may simply sense a musty, moldy, or mildewy smell, or even a smell of decay, indicating that there is some moisture or water damage where you cannot see it.

Taking Action

It's important that you take action as soon as you determine that you may have a leaking pipe. Water has a way of seeping into areas that you would never suspect, and water can do some very serious damage to a building, from warping wall framing and floor joists, to causing mold problems, to rotting drywall and delaminating boards.

For suspected leaks, if you decide to “wait and see,” you may end up with more serious consequences that could be very expensive to fix. But if you hire an expert to do a thorough investigation, you will not only put your mind at rest, but you may save yourself from a true disaster by catching a leak before it has done serious and costly damage.

The Repair Process

With any water damage issue, our experts will begin the remediation process first by inspecting and assessing the damage and identifying the source of the leak. We will also determine what type of water is leaking–clean water, gray water (generally, wastewater from household uses, such as from a sink, dishwasher, shower, and so on), or black water (sewage)

The first order of business will be to stop the leaking. Then, we will develop and implement a remediation plan that will adequately address the physical damage as well as any contamination that has occurred. If required, we will also repair or replace the piping that led to the leak in the first place. 

Checking for Hidden Damage and Restoring the Area

One thing you can be sure of is that we will find not only the obvious water damage but any water damage that may not be apparent to the eye. In addition to a thorough visible inspection, we employ advanced water detection equipment, including moisture detectors and infrared cameras when appropriate.

To begin restoration, we utilize specialized equipment to remove moisture from the area. We will use water extractors and pumps for any standing or obvious water, and then employ commercial dryers to make sure the area is completely dried out. Finally, we will do any repair work necessary to restore your building to its original condition.

Preventing Water Leaks

Because water can be so destructive, the best way to address water damage issues is to prevent them from occurring. And while not all problems can be prevented, leaking pipes can be. To ensure that your pipes are functioning properly, schedule regular inspection and maintenance appointments. In this way, you will get an early notification if something needs to be repaired or replaced.

If you're concerned that you may have one or more leaking pipes in your home, we can help. Our experts can take care of the entire process, from the initial inspection to water removal and extraction, drying, and building restoration. Contact us today at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to learn more about our services.

Local Spotlight: Water Remediation Project at Kootenai Health, Coeur d’Alene

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

Automatic fire sprinklers are a tremendous asset in preventing a fire from getting out of control and burning down an entire building. At SERVPRO, we strongly believe in taking these types of preventative measures when it comes to fire damage or any other kind of damage. However, when fire sprinkler systems do get activated, they can pose a different problem: water damage.

And that is exactly what happened atKootenai Health in January, when the fire sprinkler system went off in response to a fire alarm. The good news is that there was minimal fire damage, but the sprinklers did release a lot of water in one section of a building, flooding several offices and a large hallway. Clinic personnel responded quickly, and the SERVPRO Coeur d'Alene team was onsite within one hour.

The first step was to inspect the extent of the damage. Staff boxed up all the papers, books, and other items, and any furniture that could be easily dried was wiped down. Then items that had been soaked–furniture, carpet protectors–had to be taken off the floor, so that the soaked flooring could be attended to. In this project, large items of furniture did not need to be taken out of the building, but were simply moved around as the project progressed.

The next step was water extraction to remove excess water from the carpets. Only after most of the water is removed can you bring in commercial dryers and dehumidifiers, to dry not only the carpet, but any other surfaces that might be damp or have absorbed moisture.

Thankfully, because Kootenai Health responded so quickly to get SERVPRO on the scene addressing the damage, there was little need for discarding or demolishing items. And although the baseboards had to be removed from the hallways and offices to complete the drying process, the same baseboard was able to be reinstalled after the area was dried out.

Overall, the job took less than a week and a half from the first call to the completion of the job, and hospital personnel were back in their offices at work, as if the flooding had never happened. Because water had no chance to sit, there was no need for any mold remediation.  

If you ever face a flood or fire disaster, the professionals at SERVPRO are ready to respond 24/7. As always, we work with our customers to accommodate their needs and their situation, so that they can get back up and running as soon as possible. In this case, the crew at Kootenai Health were happy to get back on the job in minimal time. To find out how we can assist you with disaster preparedness as well as disaster response, contact SERVPRO in Coeur d’Alene today.

Local Spotlight: Lake Cabin Water & Mold Mitigation

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene has helped numerous local families who face flood, storm, or fire damage to their homes. In one case, we assisted a family who suffered damage to a vacation home.

This family had a lake cabin, which they used only in the summer. Unfortunately, they did not realize that a roofer they had hired to work on the cabin had not done a very thorough job. As a result, when the winter came and snow piled up on the roof, part of the roof collapsed, and as the snow melted, other parts of the roof began to leak. This left the interior of the cabin exposed to weather for months, until the family finally visited their cabin when the weather got better. Not aware of the problem, they arrived to a complete disaster. 

The cabin was in bad shape, but in order to salvage what they could of both their possessions and their cabin, SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene came in to do a dry-out. Typically, a complete dry-out after serious water damage takes about a week, including demolition of the damaged parts of the structure. In this case, because the water had sat for so long allowing the leaks to penetrate into everything, the dry-out took much longer. 

Once the dry-out was complete, the family could determine what parts of the structure needed to be demolished and rebuilt. In this case, a lot of the drywall, even after being dried, was rotted out, and the carpets had to go. Only then could the family begin to rebuild.

When it comes to water damage from flooding, storms, or broken or leaking pipes or appliances, the usual course is to follow the following steps:

  1. Stabilize the situation (tarp the roof, for example) to prevent further damage;
  2. Set up dehumidifiers, with hepa filters to prevent the spread of any mold;
  3. Inspect and test contents and structure to develop a plan for demolition, salvage, cleaning, and discarding structural elements and contents;
  4. Determine what can be salvaged, pack it out for cleaning, discard what cannot be salvaged;
  5. Mold mitigation;
  6. Set drying fans after all mold has been removed, so that you do not spread any spores;
  7. Complete the drying process.

If you have suffered a disaster, whether from water, fire, or weather, contact the professional restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene today. Like our motto says, we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Insurance Claims For House Damage: What You Need to Know

7/26/2022 (Permalink)

Disasters happen that can affect your home: fires, floods, storms, and mold infestation. Thankfully, when these things happen, you probably have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place that should cover the costs of repair. 

But having the policy in place and having to utilize the policy are two different things. While having the policy gives you peace of mind while everything is fine, when disaster strikes, you are suddenly faced with having to go through the insurance claims process, and that can add stress to an already stressful situation. 

Under these circumstances, wouldn’t it be better if you could just focus on putting your life back together and restoring your family home, rather than having the headache of figuring out what your insurance company needs in order for you to utilize your coverage? Well, when you hire the right restoration company, you can delegate some of the insurance claim work to them, and trust them to get it right.  

Here are some tips on what to do when disaster strikes, to make sure you will get the maximum amount of benefits available under your insurance policy.

Don't Attempt To Clean Up 

Jumping right in to try to clean up a mess or poke around the damage is the number one mistake homeowners make before notifying their insurance company and filing a claim. As hard as it may be in the midst of disaster, calling your insurance company is critical. Most insurance companies have a claims specialist available at all times and, in many cases, their instructions or advice will be helpful, especially when the gravity of the situation makes it hard to think clearly or to make decisions.

Going through your things and cleaning up is very tempting, especially when you are worried about what you can salvage and what you may have lost. But the best course is to leave everything as is and wait for the experts. This is especially important if the house is in such a state that you could risk injury if you enter the structure.

If you know it is safe, it is okay to take some basic emergency measures, such as draining excess water in a flooded part of the house before it does more damage, or safeguarding your valuables. These steps can be accomplished without causing much disturbance. But you don’t want to alter the scene in a way that will hinder the ability of the claims specialist to inspect and assess the damage properly.

If you need to do anything major, take photos first. Make sure they fully capture the extent of the damage by taking multiple photos from different angles, both close up and from a distance. In the absence of a physical inspection, you need to be sure you have sufficient evidence to back up any damage claims that you file with your insurance company.

Contact a Professional Restoration Company Right Away

By law, it is your right to choose the restoration company that performs the restoration work; you do not need to wait for your insurance company to send you a list of approved vendors. So, as soon as you have notified the insurance company, call a professional restoration company that can respond immediately, no matter what time of day or night. They can do a professional evaluation and, if necessary, take steps to prevent further damage. They also understand what insurance companies need, and will make sure that any steps they take are well-documented and justified by the situation.

For example, if a fire or flood has damaged any structural parts of your home or to the roof, waiting may cause a ceiling to collapse, a wall to cave in, or more damage to occur from exposure to the elements. A licensed company whose staff are trained and certified, will respond appropriately, by shoring up the structure, for example, or tarping the roof. Preventing further damage means that your repair will be finished more quickly and more cost-effectively. 

Work with the Professional Restoration Company to Navigate the Claims Process

Unlike you, the experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene have extensive experience dealing with house restorations after a disaster has struck, not only as to restoring your home but in dealing with insurance paperwork. We’re used to all the forms, all the legal language, and all the documentation, and we’ll do a lot of the “heavy lifting” throughout the insurance claims process so that you can get your house and your life back in working order as soon as possible. 

When you trust the experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to handle your restoration, our goal is to make your house look and feel like the damage never even happened and, in working with your insurance, we’ll also try to make your bank account look the same. Contact us today at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to speak with one of our damage repair specialists.