How To Choose The Right Dehumidifier To Help Prevent Mold Damage In Spokane
Mold is a fungus, and the spores eat into organic materials in your home and bring a real danger of damage to your home and belongings.
Prevent Mold Damage
As a homeowner, it is important to be aware of the risk of mold. Mold is a fungus, and the spores eat into organic materials in your home and bring a real danger of damage to your home and belongings. A home that has mold might smell musty, and the patches themselves are unsightly. Fungus in the home can even cause health effects.
Humidity is a key factor when it comes to mold damage in your Spokane home. Humidity means the amount of moisture present in the air. As mold loves a moist environment, high humidity increases the risk of fungal growth.
One way to reduce moisture and help prevent mold damage is investing in a dehumidifier for your home. A dehumidifier is a straightforward and portable piece of equipment that lowers the humidity level of the air in your house. Dehumidifiers work by drawing in the damp air and forcing it over cooling coils, where the moisture in the air forms condensation which is collected by the machine. The unit pumps drier air back into your room and causes the humidity to go down.
SERVPRO has a range of powerful dehumidifiers on hand to help you with any damp problems you have. However, if damp is an ongoing concern in your home we highly recommend investing in your dehumidifier, too.
You might wonder how best to choose your dehumidifier. Most manufacturers label dehumidifiers according to how many pints of moisture they remove per day. So, a 20-pint dehumidifier removes 20 pints of water from the air in a 24 hour period. Your choice of dehumidifier relies on two things: How big an area you need it for, and how damp the area is.
The Association Of Home Appliance Manufacturers states the following sizes as a starting guide:
500 square feet – 10 pints
1000 square feet – 14 pints
1500 square feet – 18 pints
2000 square feet – 22 pints
2500 square feet – 26 pints
These recommendations are accurate for a moderately damp home with some musty odor in humid weather. A higher capacity dehumidifier is better for damper homes.
If you are concerned about humidity, give SERVPRO a call. As well as a range of dehumidifiers, we have testing equipment such as moisture probes and thermal hygrometers on hand to assess the damp levels in your home and advise you on the best next steps to take. For help dealing with humidity, call SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane at (509) 487-4700.
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Post-Vacation Water Damage Surprise From Your Spokane Garden Sitter
Watering done too enthusiastically, especially near a foundation, threatens basements and crawl spaces with damage.
Water Damage Surprise
When homeowners take a week or two off during growing season, they often hire a local youngster to take care of watering chores. Watering done too enthusiastically, especially near a foundation, threatens basements and crawl spaces with damage. Call SERVPRO if your welcome home gift is a wet basement.
A local teenager agreed to keep your flower and vegetable gardens maintained while you and your family traveled out of state. He accidentally ran a soaker hose next to your foundation overnight, causing water damage to your Spokane bungalow. Engaging a local restoration company with experience drying out a partially finished basement is the first thing you need to do. Our certified and licensed team fits the bill.
SERVPRO offers full-service restoration, able to manage the range of tasks necessary to dry out cinder block, drywall, paneling, and all types of flooring. Technicians measure moisture levels in all of the structures and components, assigning appropriate drying goals to each. Carpeting receives thorough water extraction, taking care not to stretch or pull fibers away from the backing. We assess tile, laminate or hardwood floors, using our powerful wet vacuums for surface water and drying mats if subfloor moisture is a concern. If necessary, we pull up portions of the floor coverings to expose the moisture we need to remove.
Cinderblock lines the entire foundation, and the crew scans for hidden water trapped in cells. A low impact, high result method to release water drills holes in the mortar joints, but we also search for openings at the top of the blocks to pull water out with flexible tubing. Sheetrock or paneling in the finished area add a layer or more and increases the number of recesses where water hides. SERVPRO uses advanced technology to locate pockets of moisture, removing portions of the wall covering if required to reach and extract the water.
Air movers and dehumidifiers continue decreasing the moisture level, aimed under the carpeting and between the foundation bricks and paneling or sheetrock via tubing or through slots we create by removing pieces of the material. Restoration is the goal, but if crumbling, saturated drywall or separating pressed wood is a problem, we suggest replacing some materials.
We also assess furnishings and personal belongings, taking them to a dry area in the basement or outside. Before you commit to off-site drying, we discuss what items you want to be selected for special drying treatments and keep a complete inventory of what we remove for further processing.
Rely on SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane to develop a water damage restorations plan that returns your sense of home and peace of mind. Call (509) 487-4700 day or night to schedule an assessment.
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It Takes A Team To Recover From Storm Damage in Spokane
Spokane Storm Surges Call on SERVPRO for Water Removal and Cleanup
Call on the Experts from SERVPRO for Storm-Related Cleanup and Recovery
Local forecasts frequently suggest homeowners may soon shoulder the burden of significant storm damage. Severe weather visits residents of the Inland Northwest several times a year, some households experiencing considerable damage from the wind, precipitation, and falling and propelled objects, among other challenges. SERVPRO partners with the victims of these storms, making every effort to restore homes to preloss condition.
After a long run of good luck and near misses, recent straight line winds and torrential rains cause storm damage to your Spokane home. You need the structure secured, the harm assessed, and an action plan developed by experienced restoration specialists. Our local disaster recovery company is familiar with the process and procedures required to transform damaged elements to “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO provides emergency response services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Within just hours of your first call, a crew arrives with the tools, equipment, and materials to make the first assessment of your situation and proceed with initial tasks. We board up and tarp areas of your home open to the elements and determine if downed power lines or other problems specific to your circumstances make the house unsafe for you and your family until further actions occur.
From the start we reach out to your insurance company, encouraging honest communications to expedite claim approval. Many insurance companies prefer to work with SERVPRO during your storm damage restoration process, reviewing each step for efficiency and thoroughness. A supervisory project manager designs the recovery plan, stressing restoration and insurance coverage. Though we do emphasize, we are not an insurance company, but work in close collaboration with you, our client, and the capacity you wish with your agency.
We are a full-service restoration company prepared to handle a comprehensive array of cleaning, repairing, and abatement tasks for any size disaster. This wide-ranging skill set is one of the characteristics that lifts SERVPRO to its reputation as an industry leader. The compassion and work ethic with which we approach each customer’s case guarantees you call on us again.
Over the first hours and days expect prompt and professional action from our team. Even if power is down our truck mounted equipment permits standing water removal and extraction. Technicians stabilize damaged walls, windows, and ceilings, Debris removal commences, and trained workers measure moisture levels of floors, floor coverings, and interior structures. Drying goals and cleaning targets established by the manager guide positioning of fans, humidifiers, and heaters and the order of areas scrubbed down and disinfected. One phase of restoration follows another until SERVPRO completes all tasks and your refreshed and rehabbed home reemerges proudly from the post-storm chaos.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane answers your call to (509) 487-4700 all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year. Engage us to be your restoration specialists when a patch of bad weather damages your home.
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Discovering Mold Damage in Your Spokane Home and What We Can Do to Help
SERVPRO, Not Bleach, Is the Answer to Mold Cleanup in Spokane
SERVPRO Utilizes Varying Methodologies for Mold Remediation in Your Spokane Property
Most people have heard about mold and how it can affect homes in damaging ways, but sometimes what has been circulated by social media or other sources is incorrect of exaggerated. One myth that has propagated online is that mold is only a problem if it is black in color. The fact is that all mold can cause damage to your home, regardless of the color, and many types of mold have the potential also to cause health effects in people.
Residents in Spokane who have mold damage in their home should not panic. Finding mold does not mean that you need to move. The professional technicians at SERVPRO are highly experienced and trained according to standards set by the IICRC, giving them the ability to remediate your mold situation effectively. This brings up another point that you may have heard. Mold cannot be eliminated from your home, only remediated. This is true.
Remediation puts mold back into a normal state. However, mold can never be entirely removed because the fungi have many pathways to re-enter your home and spores are present, even in minute amounts. Excess water and moisture need to be eliminated to mitigate the chances of reinfestations.
Water, one of mold's needs, must be eliminated from the environment in your home. Water should be in the tub, your sinks, and your pets' water bowls, and no other location. Even a small drip is enough to let mold grow and cause substantial damage to your residence. Another myth is that mold can be destroyed by using bleach.
Bleach that you buy at the grocery store is mostly water, the very thing needed by mold. The bleach can make it seem as if the mold is gone, but this is only because of the bleach's color-destroying properties. The bleach never penetrates into the material being cleaned of mold, remaining on the surface. The water, however, finds its way in, then slowly evaporates, giving the mold the nourishment needed to 'return' again. Mold is never actually removed with this method.
What SERVPRO can do to combat mold and any damage may seem complicated, but it is based on very sound science. There are many steps involved, and these measures begin with stopping any water from being where it should not exist. We use moisture meters and humidity detectors to locate areas that are higher in moisture than they should be by comparing readings from one area to another one inside your home. We trace these spaces back to the water's source and stop it from coming in anymore. Installing a dehumidifier when the source of water in your home includes the basement's floor is highly recommended, and we can assist you with this, also.
Then we begin to remove materials that are not salvageable, and quickly replace them. Locations in your home that are not damaged are cleaned. Both types of areas are treated with a mold inhibitor, a very strong preventative measure that is safe around both children and pets once dry. Fungicides, of industrial strength, when applied properly, do kill mold colonies.
Because mold travels by air, heavy duty commercial grade HEPA air filters called air scrubbers are used to filter the air, trapping any mold particles or spores that pass through. When mold damage has created a stagnant odor, we also perform deodorization techniques. These can fall into two groups – agents that change the dominant scent in a room, and neutralizing techniques that remove the minuscule particles that are the cause of the odor.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is your local source for mold damage restoration and remediation. We know you love your home and can help you restore it to the state it should be in, healthy and safe, so that your family can live there worry-free. Call us for answers to your questions. Our number, (509) 487-4700, is answered 24/7, so there is no reason to hesitate to call.
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SERVPRO: Your Experts in Commercial Water Damage in Spokane, WA
Commercial Water Loss
Handle Your Spokane Commercial Water Damage with SERVPRO
If you have recently become a victim of commercial water damage in Spokane WA, you may be wondering what you can do to mitigate your damages. There is a critical period in which certain actions must be taken to preserve as much of your property as possible and to decrease any health risks when water damage has occurred in a commercial space.
Preparing a Space for Water Damage Restoration
Before you enter your commercial space or any flooded building, you will need to make sure the electrical power to the structure is shut off. You should also be aware that during a flooding event, small animals or reptiles tend to seek shelter inside of buildings. Be prepared to deal with the discovery of wild animals in your space.
Protect yourself from entering any flooded building by wearing an organic vapor respirator. You can purchase these at any local paint and building supply stores. You also want to have rubber gloves, protective clothing, and eye protection. The first thing you should do is ventilate the affected areas by opening the windows and placing fans where possible.
Unfortunately, there likely will be items that you need to throw away. Any items that are porous and have absorbed contaminated floodwater cannot be restored. If your commercial space has drywall, mattresses, pillows, box springs, particle board, carpets or carpet pads, these will need to be discarded if they have become saturated. However, there is good news: If you have clothing or household fabrics that can be machine-washed, you may be able to salvage them. Use your washing machine to clean these items with a 10-minute soak at the minimum in hot water with detergent. The soap and normal wash should remove most of the contamination and any staining that is present.
Be aware that your commercial space will need a thorough professional inspection, cleaning and possibly restructuring. Water damaged walls and installations must be removed and repaired, and pockets of saturation should be exposed for drying and sanitizing. Always remember that mold growth could take a few days to appear as it thrives in a moist environment with organic-type materials such as paper or particle board and in temperatures that range between 60 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep good airflow throughout the interior environment, and maintain moderate temperatures to decrease the risk of any mold growth. It is also important that you let your space dry out before any rebuilding occurs.
Services You Can Count On in Spokane, WA
You can depend on SERVPRO to provide reasonable prices for commercial damages and other services in the Spokane area. Our restoration services include cleanup after water damage, fire damage, and storm damage. We also assist with mold remediation, and we're qualified to provide cleaning and building services. Our trained and certified IICRC technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to begin your restoration. Whether you require cleanup after a commercial water damage or simply need a carpet cleaning, call us at (509) 487-4700.
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Commercial Fire Damage Cleanup in Spokane
A fire can engulf your business. Call SERVPRO quickly to help recover!
Your Business Needs to Look and Smell Inviting after Fire Damage Restoration
Presentation is important for any business, and doubly so in the service sector. If you own or manage a store or restaurant, your customers will likely be discouraged or even scared off by obvious signs of damage and visual blemishes on your property. SERVPRO knows first-hand that some of the most thorough visual damages to a building can come from fires, whether through the burn itself or any associated events and factors. These blemishes and issues are commonly cleaned up by our restoration teams, to ensure that once a company's doors get back open, they stay open.
Burns and char easily rank among the most visible types of commercial fire damage in Spokane, immediately giving away to any observer the fact that a fire has burned in the area. Blackened or darkened materials, even if they have no other major damage beyond discoloration, can still be resource and time-intensive to cover up, often requiring a wide cleaning and repainting job to make sure colors blend well and no burn material remains.
Smoke and Ash
Smoke and ash leave a profound impact on a building, to both the sight and smell of anyone nearby. Smoke is a pervasive scent and easily noticeable in most cases, but can also leave behind a great deal of smearing and coat surfaces. Depending on the type of smoke and conditions of this fire, this may be a relatively easy cleanup job, or a more thorough repainting may be in order.
SERVPRO can also help to restore mild structural damage caused by a fire, rebuilding walls, floors, supports, and other elements of a building if they have been burned through or collapsed on. We always aim to restore before replacing, and in this way can potentially save you thousands in reconstruction costs where they are not necessary.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane helps businesses to get back on track after a disaster. Give us a call at (509) 487-4700.
Help After A House Fire in Spokane
Call SERVPRO To Restore Your Home
How To Handle A House Fire In Spokane WA
Having your residential property undergo extensive fire damage in Spokane can be a very traumatic occurrence. In addition to adversely impacting your emotional equilibrium, the fire can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your property. However, learning more about what fires entail and how to handle them effectively can help you remain calm if and when the natural disaster or accident strikes your home. Get the information and advice you need regarding this important matter by reviewing the short outline provided below:
Physical Damages. Because the fire's temperature exceeds 1,200 degrees F, the heat from the fire can cause more problems than the flames did. Additionally, the smoke from the fire can make its way through the structure and possessions on your property. In so doing, the smoke can leave unpleasant odors and unsightly stains from soot. This cleanup is very challenging and should only be performed by certified IICRC specialists from SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane.
Returning Home. After the flames are extinguished, and you can return to survey your home, the result can be a difficult experience. Seeing your property in fire damaged shape or utter ruin can leave you feeling heartbroken and helpless. If the damages are severe enough, the fire department may not allow you to enter your property. To minimize the current fire damage and to thwart extensive secondary water damage, you will need to get in contact with all the right people as quickly as possible.
Who To Call. The first individual you'll want to get in contact with is your insurance agent. If the fire damage is severe, they will dispatch out an insurance adjuster. This individual will walk through the structure taking pictures of damages, and listing fire damaged items and materials. Ask the adjuster, or previously your agent, for a referral to a fire damage restoration company - chances are they will suggest SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane. This local franchise is on the approved vendor list for over 315 insurance companies, property management companies and federal and state entities. Our inspectors will also create a list (CCIS) of damaged items and categorize them as salvageable, questionable, or candidates for tossing. By working in conjunction with you and your adjuster, we can assist in the claims process and save you time and money. Not to mention that we will relieve you of most of the stress from this unfortunate event.
Clean-Up Services. There is a specific protocol for fire damage control and restoration. SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane has heavy duty pumps and wet-vacs to extract water from the fire department's work. We will secure the grounds against vandalism and theft and use plywood, tarps, and all means available to protect your home from the weather. An arsenal of equipment can be utilized to dry out furnishings and building materials. We will dispose of unsalvageable materials such as drywall, flooring, and carpeting. We can also repair and have replaced structurally destroyed materials.
Let Us Help You Now. As a team of experienced fire damage restoration specialists, the professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane respond immediately to your emergency in Spokane and throughout Eastern Washington. We understand the trauma that results from a large-scale home inferno and will treat you and your family with empathy and understanding. Allow us to get you back home into your house like it never even happened.
Faster to Any Size Fire Emergency
When water and fire damage strike, a fast response is critical. We’re dedicated to responding immediately day or night to your Spokane, WA home. A faster response helps to prevent secondary damage and helps to reduce cost. Call us 24/7 for help. (509) 487-4700
How Do You Clean Up A Flooded Basement In Spokane, WA?
SERVPRO Dries Out a Flooded Basement in Spokane, WA
A Flooded Basement In Spokane Requires A Professional Restoration Company
Torrential rains over a period of several days can saturate the ground so thoroughly that even a typically sound basement experiences flooding. Standing water in your lower level can be a real problem if you have no sump pump system in place, but SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane has the equipment and the expertise to remove the water and dry the flooring and structure to prevent secondary damage. Whether you use your basement for living areas, storage or mechanical systems like your water heater and furnace, or some combination, excessive water and moisture must be managed swiftly. If the water has seeped in because of rain, it may not contain a lot of contaminants. Removing storm water fast avoids the risk of more aggressive contamination and often permits water logged flooring and possessions to be restored rather than removed and discarded.
A flooded basement causing water damage in Spokane can be dried out in a straightforward manner if our technicians are on the job within the first hours after the water began to collect inside. Depending on the amount of water in the basement, we will use submersible pumps or extractors to remove it. Our attention will then move to any residual moisture that may be trapped in flooring, floor coverings or the walls. As basements usually have concrete floors, we will use air movers and dehumidifiers to pull moisture out. Tiles or carpeting will be assessed as to whether they can be dried in place, off-site or need to be removed and replaced.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane professionals will also take care to evaluate the condition of any heating systems and appliances in the basement due to the risk of electrical shock and the potential leaking of fuel into the flood water. Technicians will also inspect the walls, particularly the cinder block that often comprises the outer dimensions of the basement. Using specialized moisture probes, our technicians will determine if extra actions are needed to release water trapped in the cinder blocks. Holes may be drilled in grout joints to move water out, and our team will also be looking for insulation or vapor barriers that may complicate the complete drying of cinder block construction. Establishing a free air flow over and through the wet areas of the basement is the key to safe restoration.
SERVPRO is proud to be the water damage restoration company insurance companies and homeowners rely upon. If your home or vacation property suffers a flooded basement call (509) 487-4700 anytime - day or night - to schedule our water damage professionals to inspect and advise on how to get the water out and dry out your flooded basement.
Wood-Burning Stove and Fireplace Safety in Spokane and Eastern Washington
If you’re planning to burn wood, make sure your stove (or fireplace) and chimney have been thoroughly checked by a chimney professional.
Not much compares to the warm pleasure of gathering around your fireplace or wood-burning stove on a cold winter’s night. Enjoy the warmth, but do be safe. Here are a few wood-burning stove and fireplace safety tips:
1. Have a professional annual inspection
If you’re planning to burn wood, make sure your stove (or fireplace) and chimney have been thoroughly checked by a professional chimney sweep. Stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year. Wood-burning stoves should be inspected annually for ash and creosote buildup, cracks, and animal or bird nests.
Concerned About Your Wood Stove or Fireplace? Call Us Today – (509) 487-4700
2. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Make sure you have enough smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Are they in good working order? Important in all homes, these detectors are especially essential in homes with wood-burning stoves.
3. Check your wood-burning stove’s ventilation
Venting the stove is the most important part of the wood-burning system. According to Nationwide Insurance, 90% of all stove-related fires originate within the venting system. A venting system is not a chimney – it consists of lengths of 24-gauge or heavier stovepipe which connects the stove to an approved chimney.
4. Consider a moisture meter
If you stack wood outside in the weather, the Environmental Protection Agency advises you to consider purchasing a moisture meter. You can use one to make sure your timber is dry and safe to burn. Meters can be purchased online for a little as $20. Hardwoods—such as maple, beech, ash, hickory, or oak—are the best fuel for a wood-burning stove. Your wood should be cut, split, and air dried for at least a year before burning.
5. Keep flammables away
Keep furniture, drapes, rugs, and anything flammable away from your fireplace or wood-burning stove. Sometimes people move furniture closer to the fireplace or stove during warmer months. If you do that, move the furniture and any home decorations back a safe distance before lighting up your fireplace or stove.
6. Always have the right flooring
Never have carpet installed directly in front of your fireplace or wood-burning stove. A spark could land on it and start a fire. Good flooring to have near your fireplace or stove is linoleum or brick. You want a floor that’s not as combustible as carpeting.
7. Keep your insurance company informed
Tell your insurer you have installed a fireplace or a wood-burning stove. If a spark from the fireplace or the wood stove pops out and burns your couch and a large portion of a neighboring wall, you could be stuck paying the entire bill if the insurance company doesn’t know about that particular heat source.
8. Inspect the dampers
If your wood-burning stove has an automatic draft regulator controlled by a thermostat, carefully follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. A manually operated damper can be installed on the pipe near the stove. This damper should not obstruct more than 80 percent of the pipe area. A second damper higher up on the vertical section of the stovepipe is advisable to permit shutting down the stove in case of a chimney fire.
9. If you’re buying a wood stove, buy quality.
Be sure any stove you buy is made of sturdy, suitable material, such as cast iron or steel. Look for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label. If you purchase a used stove, check it carefully for cracks or other defects. The legs, hinges, grates, and draft louvers should also be checked carefully.
10. Never do these six things
Be careful with how you install, monitor, and maintain a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Five things you should never do are:
1. Connect your wood stove to a fireplace chimney unless the fireplace has been sealed off
2. Connect your wood stove to a chimney serving another appliance burning other fuels.
3. Start a wood stove fire with flammable fluids, such as gasoline
4. Extend the stovepipe through a wall or ceiling (unless there’s no alternative)
5. Burn trash in a wood-burning stove. That may start a chimney fire.
6. Let a wood fire burn unattended or overnight
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is here to help anytime, 24/7. At SERVPRO, we are trained in many restoration services & know the safest, most advanced, and quickest ways to help you recover from damage to your home or business.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane
IICRC Certified Technicians
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Homeowner Insurance Tips for Water Damage Coverage in Spokane
Water damage coverage in a homeowner’s insurance policy, and even renter insurance, has changed over the years. It is helpful to review your policy annually, to understand what is covered and what may have changed from previous years.
Normally, these conditions would be covered by an insurance policy.
- Burst water pipes and water heaters
- Sudden or accidental overflow of a toilet, tub, or sink
- Sewer backup from drains and sump pumps (there may be a relatively low policy limit)
Most existing homeowner policies probably don’t cover the following conditions:
- Ground flooding
- Slow, dripping leaks
- Overflowing streams or rivers
Regular maintenance is required for a roof, such as replacing shingles or tiles and keeping the roof cleared from debris, and this regular upkeep is a determining factor in insurance claims. However, inside content damage from a roof leak might be covered by your policy.
Slow, dripping leaks, such as those from an incorrectly installed toilet, sink, shower or bathtub are usually not covered. Whenever something is considered maintenance-related, chances are the insurance expects that you properly maintain your dwelling.
Flood damage from an overflowing river or nearby body of water might be covered, depending on the area where you live. Homeowner policies have changed greatly over the years, especially if the property is located on or near a water table. An additional flood insurance policy is usually required, because a normal homeowner policy will not cover damages resulting from a flood of this type.
Usually, an insurance investigator will determine if the water damage is a result of negligence or lack of maintenance. After they ask you questions about the problem, they usually schedule an appointment at your home to physically inspect the damage and where it originated from.
If you have sudden water damage, call SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane, we can assist with coordinating the insurance claim, and when the underlying cause is proven to be insurance-related, we will work with the adjuster for inspections, proper repairs, and restoring your home again. SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane staff knows how to handle insurance claims and perform the repairs needed on your home.