Recent Posts

Community Flood Prevention Efforts

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Retaining walls hold swollen soil in place

Weather Related Flood Events

Floods are a common risk across the country, causing many to evacuate towns until floodwaters recede. Within a place of business, proper maintenance on water systems helps prevent rising water, but outside forces are harder to control. The most common types of weather-related flood events include

  • Excessive rainfall
  • Rapidly melting snow
  • Dam failures

When rivers swell with water and major weather patterns leave the ground soggy, there are flood prevention steps communities such as Sumner, WA, can take.

Town Planning and Drainage Systems

As buildings go up, waterways must remain unblocked and drainage systems must be free from debris and blockage. Town planners can work to create neighborhoods that allow excess water to drain away without obstruction.

Community Education

Before business owners have to evacuate their property and work with flood damage cleanup and remediation professionals, it's best to educate them about the risk of rising water. For example, some landscaping elements are light enough that water washes it into drainage systems. This clogs the system and increases the risk of flooding. As business owners understand what causes floods, they're more likely to avoid behaviors that increase the risk and impact flooding.

Landscaping and Vegetation

Property owners in Sumner, WA, can reduce erosion (which sends debris into drainage systems and increases the risk of flooding) by planting grass, shrubs, and trees to hold soil in place. This flood prevention and landscaping tactic may also slow down the rush of water into communities.

Retaining Walls, Retention Basins, and Levees

There are many structures that provide safety from rising rivers and overflowing seas. A sea defense wall prevents tidal waves from sending water into communities. Retaining walls hold swollen soil in place, and retention ponds provide temporary storage spaces for floodwater.

The more you know about flood prevention tactics, the better you can avoid flood damage to your property. In addition to preparing for flood cleaning plans, take steps to protect your business from water damage.

Paying for Rental Property Fire Damage

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Puyallup, WA rental property

When fire strikes your Puyallup, WA, rental property, it can be confusing to work out the responsibilities between you as the building owner and your tenant. All landlords should possess comprehensive insurance coverage to protect themselves in the event of a fire, while tenants should be encouraged to purchase renter’s insurance. This will greatly reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for both parties in the event of an apartment fire.

Structural vs. Content Damage

After an apartment fire occurs, the general rules in terms of financial responsibility are as follows:

Landlord: responsible for all structural damage and fire restoration expenses to the building, including electric, plumbing, carpeting and walls, and the roof
Tenant: responsible for their own possessions damaged in the fire, such as furniture, electronics, decorations, and other personal items
Insurance companies: details regarding which items will be paid for by insurance companies will be laid out in the original policies, and it is up to the tenant and landlord to work out all details with their insurance companies to ensure fair compensation

Natural causes such as a storm, or some other reason in which no one person or party is deemed responsible will usually enact the straightforward rules laid out above. However, there can be exceptions to these rules due to neglect or fault.

Responsibility Exceptions

If the tenant is legally proven to be responsible for the fire, they may be court ordered to pay for some or all of the fire damage to the building. This includes destructive behavior by guests of the tenant, plus any pets living in or visiting the space, as well as the inhabitants themselves. Conversely, if the landlord is legally proven to be responsible for the fire due to property neglect, they may be liable for some or all of the tenant’s personal items damaged or lost in the apartment fire. Ensuring a thorough understanding of your own insurance policy, as well as that of your tenant, will help make the reimbursement, restoration, and rebuilding efforts cost effective and fair.

Do You Use Bleach To Cleanup Mold? Here's Why You Shouldn't

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Bleach is toxic

When It Comes to Fungus Cleanup Here Are Some Old Tricks

When it comes to fungus cleanup, there are a number of old tricks both homeowners and business owners use. A few of the more popular ones include the following:

  • Pour baking soda on the mold and scrub it away.
  • Use an antimicrobial treatment to kill the growth.
  • Paint over the mold with mildew-resistant primer.
  • Pour vinegar over the mold.
  • Kill the mold with borax.

The most popular trick of all, however, involves the popular household and laundry product, bleach.

The Popular Laundry Product Is Not the Answer

If you discover mold growth in your commercial building, the first product you're likely to reach for is the popular bleaching chemical. However, while many generations swear by this old fungus cleanup trick, the truth is that the chemical serves more as a band-aid than an effective remedy. In fact, in some cases, pouring the chemical over a mold-infested surface may exacerbate the problem.

3 Reasons You Shouldn't Use Bleach

There are three main reasons any experienced mold remediation specialist in South Hill, WA, will tell you not to use the popular laundry chemical to cleanup mold. The first is simple: It loses effectiveness over time. The chemical is essentially chlorinated water. Like with chlorinated water, if you leave the laundry product exposed to the air for a few days, the chlorine will evaporate, thereby rendering its cleaning properties ineffective.
The second reason you shouldn't use the product is because it can actually contribute to mold growth on porous surfaces. If you pour the chemical onto a porous surface, the chlorine will sit on the top while the water component will drip down, essentially feeding the growth.
Finally, bleach is toxic. You can avoid introducing a harmful chemical to your home, loved ones and pets by ditching the chemical and allowing a mold remediation specialist to come into your home and perform professional fungus cleanup.

How to Prevent Water Damage When Your Business Is Closed

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in Puyallup, WA.

Unless your business is open 24 hours a day, you may not have someone on premises at all times. This puts your business at an increased risk from water damage, because if a broken pipe starts spewing water in the middle of the night, it will do a lot of damage before someone arrives in the morning. What should have been a simple water pipe repair is now an expensive visit from a water mitigation expert in Puyallup, WA. The good news is there are things you can do to protect your business from water damage when it’s closed.

4 Ways to Protect Your Business From Water Damage.

  1. Inspect Your Roof.

The most common cause of water damage is a leaking roof. This is doubly true if you live somewhere that experiences storms with high winds, hail or sub-zero temperatures. Especially if your roof is getting older, regular inspections to make sure it isn’t leaking can save you big time in the long run.

  1. Keep Your Equipment in Good Repair.

If your business utilizes appliances that use water, make sure you keep them in good repair. Air conditioners, water heaters, ice machines, dishwashers and washing machines are all likely sources of water damage. Have them inspected regularly to replace filters and gaskets.

  1. Update Your Plumbing.

Everyone knows they should deal with a water pipe repair quickly to prevent damage, but you should also take a look at the supply lines in your building. Are they rigid plastic or vinyl? If so, they’re at a higher risk of failure than other types of supply lines. Ask your plumber to upgrade to flexible, braided supply lines. These are more reliable and they’ll last longer. 

  1. Install Water Sensors.

New water sensor technologies can detect leaks and burst pipes, alert you to the problem and shut off the main water supply in your building to prevent a simple water pipe repair from ballooning into a visit from a water mitigation specialist in Puyallup, WA. If you’re worried about your business becoming flooded, consider installing one of these new smart sensor systems to protect your business.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

An action plan can help you prepare your business for a fire.

As a business owner in Puyallup, WA, you need to be prepared for any type of event. Disasters can strike your commercial building, which is why a contingency plan is important. If you want to prepare your company for a fire, you may want to take these steps.

5 Steps To Help You Prepare Your Business for a Fire

  1. Use safety devices. Putting up smoke alarms can help make people aware of a fire sooner. You can also have fire extinguishers in areas prone to fires, such as kitchens, laboratories and areas with a lot of electronics.
  2. Make an evacuation plan. As the building owner, you need to help people find their way out in the time of a crisis. You can put up signs of your building’s layout with evacuation routes marked to make it easier for people to find their way out. Try to have more than one exit option to reduce congestion and give people more options if a fire is blocking a path.
  3. Set a meeting point. Not only do people have to get out of the building, but they also have to find a safe place to meet. It needs to be far enough away from the building that the fire won't affect it. Make sure the meeting spot is not in a dangerous or busy area.
  4. Know who to call. Part of your contingency plan may be figuring out what you would do after a fire rips through your building. Finding a commercial fire cleanup professional you trust can make the restoration process easier.
  5. Make plans for your business. Not only is your building affected by a fire, but so is the day-to-day operations of your business. Do you want to give your employees time off until the building repairs are finished? Will you want to rent a temporary workspace to continue working? Your after-fire plans depend on your business.

Creating a contingency plan for your business can help you stay afloat after a devastating fire. You may need to create other plans for different emergencies.

Fires That Are Not Covered by Your Insurance

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Any fire that occurs as a result of intentional harm is not going to be covered by your homeowner's policy

Fires That Are Not Covered by Your Insurance

Your homeowner's insurance policy is good protection to have when you suffer a home fire. It can cover the cost of fire cleanup, repairs and maybe even temporary relocation if the damage is too extensive for you to stay in your home. If a fire breaks out in your home in Elbe, WA, due to certain circumstances, though, your policy will likely not cover the cost of restoration.

Vacant Home

Homeowner's insurance typically only covers houses in which the policyholder is actually living. In addition to fire, your policy will probably pay to repair damage due to a variety of factors:

  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Hail
  • Pipe burst
  • Storm

A vacant home fire does not typically qualify for coverage under a general policy, though. Most insurance companies define a vacant home as any house that has been unoccupied for 30 days in a row. Therefore, if you have a vacation home that you only use one season a year, it is a good idea to purchase a separate vacant home policy just for that property. That way, you are covered just in case something happens when you are not there.


Any fire that occurs as a result of neglect or intentional harm is not going to be covered by your homeowner's policy. When a home fire is the result of arson, your insurance company will not pay for fire restoration services. Intentionally setting fire to your home to collect a payout is not only a criminal offense, it also constitutes insurance fraud. The adjuster who investigates the claim is tasked with verifying that the fire was accidental, and he or she will reject the claim if the investigation indicates otherwise.
Most of the time, a home fire is an event that your homeowner's insurance will cover. As long as you are living in the house and the adjuster finds a legitimate cause for the fire, you can expect coverage.

3 Travel Tips To Follow During a Flood

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Don't drive through flooded roads

How to React When a Flood Occurs

When a flood occurs in Fairfax, WA, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. However, certain actions, such as driving through a flooded street, can put you at further risk. It's often important to know what mistakes to avoid and how to react when a flood occurs.

1. Keep Informed

When storms with heavy rains occur, certain areas become more prone to flooding. In order to respond in a safe manner, it's important to keep informed about the weather in your area. The National Weather Service often will issue advisories that can provide you with important information about where flooding is likely to occur. Your local news stations, radios and weather apps can all be useful sources of information before, during and after a flood.

2. Don't Drive Through Flooded Roads

In an effort to leave an area that is under water, you may be tempted to drive through a flooded street. However, floodwater that appears shallow can be deceiving. Your vehicle can easily be swept away by rushing floodwater, and even if the water is not moving swiftly, your vehicle can quickly get stuck. Instead of attempting to drive through a street that is flooded, it's safer to turn around and avoid the area.

3. Don't Try To Save Your Home

During a flood, some people are tempted to stay at their houses in order to protect them. However, staying at your home can be dangerous during a flood. Items can be replaced, and emergency restoration services can assist you in restoring your property after a flood. Staying at your home during a flood can put you at risk, and it's often wise to take only what you need and to seek out higher ground elsewhere.

Knowing what travel tips to follow and what to avoid during a flood can help you to evacuate the area safely. In order to keep secure during a flood, it's often wise to stay informed, avoid driving through a flooded street and to leave your home when necessary.

Hail Damage in Puyallup, WA

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Hail Damage after a Storm.

The dreaded sound of ice pellets hitting your office window tells you that the storm has become more than just wind and water. When you experience a hailstorm in Puyallup, WA, it can cause extensive damage to your commercial property. You can hire professionals to take care of roof damage so that you avoid bigger problems in the future. Here are some other problems to check for after hail.

Types of Damage Hail Can Cause

  1. Cracked or Missing Shingles.

Hail damage to the roof can break your shingles. Some shingles may even come loose or detach completely. A roofing company is generally required to fix the roof, but luckily most building insurance packages have provisions to cover at least part of the cost. 

  1. Leaks.

Roof damage can lead to leaks, which in turn can lead to a whole slew of other problems. A wet attic that goes unnoticed can foster mold growth, turning a water problem into a mold remediation problem. It can also cause insulation to get wet, which renders it ineffective. If that happens, it needs to be replaced. Flood mitigation specialists can test areas with water damage to make sure they are remediated properly. 

  1. Broken Windows.

If the hail is particularly large, it may even break the windows of your building. If that happens, the first thing you need to do after the storm is find a way to board up the space so that as little additional damage as possible occurs. You may not be able to save the windows, but you can help curtail some of the water damage underneath them.

If your business in Puyallup, WA, experiences a hailstorm, it is likely to sustain significant roof damage, leaks and window damage. Keeping track of the damages and having professionals take a second look and clean up the damage can help you in the long run. Report damages accurately to your insurance company to increase your chances of a fair settlement.

What To Do After Commercial Roof Fire Damage

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Roof tarping after fire damage in an Eatonville, WA building

No one relishes dealing with the aftermath of a commercial fire, but some fire cleanup needs quick attention and action. Such is the case when a roof sustains fire damage. While other repairs inside may be delayed, the roof of your building in Eatonville, WA, is the only protection your business has from the elements.

Cover the Property Immediately

In the initial cleanup, you will likely need to have commercial building tarp services deployed promptly — even before regular roof repair can begin. Getting your commercial roof sufficiently protected by tarp coverage can help prevent these additional problems:

  • Water damage that can warp or otherwise ruin furniture, flooring, and other furnishings
  • Wind damage that can break items and otherwise wreak havoc inside the building
  • Sun damage that can dry out or bleach the interior of your business, including draperies and furniture coverings

During fire cleanup, a tarp can quickly and efficiently give your business the required protection that it needs until an insurance adjuster can come out to estimate the cost of your losses and the insurance company can send you the necessary funds for the repair.

Act Fact To Keep Costs Under Control

The damage that your commercial building sustains after a fire can be devastating. Even though insurance will likely cover some of the damage, sometimes the financial hit a business takes can bring about the end of its days. That's why it's important to act quickly to determine the source of the damage so you can address repairs appropriately. The most common sources of roof damage after a fire are heat, smoke, and the actions firefighters may've had to take to put out the blaze.

Roof damage from a fire at your commercial property doesn't have to be a catastrophe. By quickly covering up your workspace and remembering to act fast in general, you can keep your total cost of fire cleanup and restoration to a minimum and continue to keep the business you have worked so hard to build alive.

5 Crucial Steps To Salvage Wet Wood Flooring

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Wood is porous and susceptible to water damage

5 Crucial Steps To Salvage Wet Wood Flooring

Wood flooring may be an attractive feature inside many commercial buildings in Orting, WA. Unfortunately, wood is porous and susceptible to water damage. If a pipe burst or significant water seepage occurs, taking prompt action is crucial. Completing six essential steps can help every property owner salvage their wooden floors.

1. Remove Water

Quickly removing standing water from the wet floor should be a priority. To accomplish this, clear the damaged area of office furniture and any saturated items. Then, use a wet vac to suck up pooled fluid. To minimize the risk of mold growth, you should also remove and discard wet baseboards, drywall and insulation.

2. Apply a Disinfectant

Once the water is absorbed, apply a disinfectant. This can also keep mold proliferation at bay. If you do detect the fungus, contact a professional mold remediation company for assistance.

3. Employ Drying Aids

Because mold thrives in moist environments, quickly drying the wood floor damaged by the pipe burst is extremely important. To expedite the process, employ fans and dehumidifiers. If feasible, you can also turn on your air conditioner. To prevent wood splitting, avoid using heaters.

4. Relieve Swelling

Depending on the extent of water infiltration, it may take several weeks for the flooring to completely dry. During this time, swelling and warping may occur, causing boards to pop out of place. If these problems develop, you may remove a few planks to relieve excessive pressure and promote enhanced air circulation.

5. Sand and Refinish

Sanding and refinishing the wood floor are the final steps of the water damage cleanup and restoration process. Although you may be eager to begin these tasks, it's important to ensure the wood is fully dry first. Moisture meters can verify the absence of moisture, allowing you to successfully accomplish the project.
Enduring a pipe burst can be a challenging experience for any business. Taking prompt action can help every owner preserve existing wood flooring and minimize excessive restoration costs.