Recent Posts

Effective Ways to Clean up After a Water Heater Leak

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Two technicians removing water from a basement due to a water leak Water damage due to a leaking water heater

Effective Ways to Clean up After a Water Heater Leak

When you've got a home full of appliances and various systems, you know something is going to haywire eventually. You just hope the issues don't lead to a catastrophe. A leaking water heater can be a serious problem if you don't take care of it quickly. Without a fast response, you could face water damage from flooding. By following the right cleanup procedures, you can avoid ruined carpet, walls and other materials.

Survey the Scene

Your first clue that you've got a broken water heater will likely be obvious: You won't have any hot water. When you inspect this appliance, first look for obvious leaks. If you notice water coming out, make note of the extent of the damage. If there is a large amount of water on the floor, call a professional water removal company to assist you. You should then do the following:

  • Unplug any electrical devices in the area to avoid the risk of electrocution.
  • Remove any nearby materials and items such as carpet or furniture.
  • Extract what water you can and start drying out the area.

Involving the Pros
If you don't feel comfortable handling a failed water heater flood on your own, or if you don't have the right equipment, the water cleanup crew can take over. Professionals have the experience and tools to thoroughly remove all water, stop the source of flooding and restore your home to its pre-flood state.

After the Water is Gone
Soaking up the water and fixing the leaking water heater isn't enough to do the job properly. The pros will also use industrial-strength fans and humidifiers to get all moisture off the ground and walls. This will keep mold from growing. Also, the team will tear out and replace any damaged flooring or drywall.
You rely on your water heater every day. When you've got a leaking water heater, follow these guidelines so you can get it back in good condition and rid your home of water damage.

The 3 Essentials of Home Fire Preparedness

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher on a wall Having a fire extinguisher in your home can protect you and your property until emergency services arrive

The 3 Essentials of Home Fire Preparedness

What do a furnace technician, a fire extinguisher and a list of contacts have in common? They are all elements of home fire preparedness. Understanding the importance of fire prevention, readiness and early detection may help you reduce your risk level for fire in your Eatonville, WA, home.

1. Fire Prevention

Preventive measures can significantly minimize the potential sources of fire in your home. Consider the following suggestions:

Inspections – It can be important to have your natural gas lines inspected for leaks each year. If your lights ever flicker or dim, it is recommended that you have your electrical system inspected as well.
Maintenance – A blockage in a gas dryer vent or heat vent can ignite and start a fire. It is recommended that these vents be professionally cleaned each year.
Common Sense – Be sensible whenever interacting with combustible items such as cooking ranges, smoking implements or candles. Left unattended, these are potential sources for home fires.

While prevention minimizes the chances of a fire starting, it is still prudent to be prepared to address such an event, if needed.

2. Fire Readiness

Regular fire drills can help your family prepare to respond to a fire effectively. Most fire remediation specialists can provide training and ideas for drills. Having a fire sprinkler system and a fire extinguisher in your home can protect you and your property until emergency services arrive. Having quick access to assistance is essential; posting a list of emergency contacts, such as your insurance agent or a close neighbor, can make a big difference in a chaotic time.

3. Early Detection

Smoke alarms are required by building codes because they are effective at detecting fire in its early stages. The earlier it is detected, the more manageable it will be until emergency services arrive. Changing the batteries and vacuuming the exterior of the alarms every six months is recommended to ensure proper operation.
Having a fire extinguisher handy is smart, but it may not be enough. Consider creating a comprehensive fire preparedness plan. It can mean the difference between a little soot damage and a costly, devastating loss.

How To Determine the Seriousness of a Water Problem

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories Know the categories of water sources

Leaking water in a home is always cause for concern. This is especially true if contaminated water could come in contact with family members or pets. The urgency of the problem is determined by several factors, such as how much water is present, the location in the house and the type of water that is leaking.
Fortunately, there is a rating system that helps homeowners assess the seriousness of a leak. Property owners in Fairfax, WA, should know if they have a Category 1, a Category 2 or a Category 3 water problem. The higher the number, in general, the greater the urgency to get a water mitigation team to the home.

Know the Categories of Water Sources

The source of the problem water in your home determines its category most of the time. Here's a brief description of each category:

Category 1. This is water that comes from a clean source such as drinking lines, tub or sink overflows or the failure of a washing machine. It often poses little or no threat to the health of people.
Category 2. This is mildly contaminated water originating from toilet bowls, sump pumps and rainwater and often has a slightly discolored appearance. For this reason, it is typically referred to as greywater. It can have microorganisms present that could cause potential harm to humans.
Category 3. The presence of black water indicates a serious problem and a danger to health. Sources for this leak include sewage backups, toilet backups, floodwaters from rivers and streams and stagnant or standing water. It could also originate from a supply line that is carrying unsanitary water.

Take Immediate Action

Contaminated water in Fairfax, WA, is a serious problem. Professionals should be called to the scene as quickly as possible. All family members should do their best to stay away from unsanitary water to prevent contracting a waterborne illness.

Property Management Hurricane Preparedness

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency checklist Be sure to have a storm preparedness plan ready to go

Storm Preparedness- What Should Be Included?

As a property manager in Elbe, WA, you stay busy. Add in hurricane season and your job can seem downright overwhelming. When you realize that the current hurricane on the radar is heading your way, it’s good to already have a plan. Storm preparedness is crucial to saving time, property and even lives in some instances. An emergency plan isn’t something that you can draw up last minute. It needs to be well thought out and shared with others. So, what should be included?

1. Review Your Insurance Coverage

Check your insurance policy to make sure that you have the necessary amount of coverage. Take time-stamped pre-storm photos of buildings and other property in case you have to file a claim. After a storm, take photos of all of the damage as soon as it’s safe to do so. Then hire storm damage cleanup professionals to make sure everything gets back up to code.

2. Prepare Buildings and Grounds

During hurricane-force winds, the most mundane object can become a long-range projectile. Get residents to move all outdoor furniture, grills, potted plants and lawn decorations indoors. Also, clean gutters to avoid flooding or water damage to buildings. Make sure tree branches are trimmed back so they won’t hit buildings or power lines. Have a storm preparedness plan for the use of sandbags, storm shutters or plywood and keep these items easily accessible.

3. Meet With Staff

Assign tasks for each staff member to prepare for the approaching storm. Some staff should reach out to tenants and residents and assist them in getting ready. Other employees may be entrusted with making sure the property itself is ready for the storm.

4. Contact Tenants and Residents

Offer help to residents and go over the evacuation plan with them. Implement an automatic alert and notification system which will contact your tenants via phone and text messaging. Compile a list of all residents, their pets and emergency contacts. Also, take note of any residents with special needs.
When you’re in the property management field it’s important to keep your residents and staff safe. Be sure to have a storm preparedness plan ready to go.

The Best Way To Control Mold Growth

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

mold spores Once mold shows up in your home, it should be removed through a thorough cleaning process.

A damp home is an unhappy home. Though you might not be able to detect excess moisture in your home, or a high level of humidity, you may be able to sense it on some level. The microscopic spores that make up mold, though, will be able to sense an opportunity, as they love a damp environment. If you experience water damage of any sort in Puyallup, WA this may be enough for mold to gain a foothold and start growing on the walls of the basement or the tiles in a bathroom. It can happen quickly, too, as mold growth can spread in as little as 48-72 hours. Since mold is always present in the atmosphere, it is just waiting for the right conditions to colonize a new area.


Measuring Humidity


After any type of water damage, it's smart to call in a mold remediation team. They will have the right equipment to measure the humidity in your home. The following facts are helpful to understanding mold growth in your home:

Mold is present nearly everywhere
Mold spores thrive in damp conditions
Mold won't grow well in rooms below 45% humidity
Mold is an allergen and an irritant
Mold often produces a musty odor

The best remedy for mold prevention is to keep your home dry. If a leak occurs in your roof or from a burst water pipe the excess moisture should be removed quickly.


Cleaning Mold


The source of the moisture should be addressed, otherwise the mold will keep returning. Air filtration is one important step as this pulls the spores out of the environment through the use of HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers. After water damage has occurred in your home, antimicrobial agents disinfect surfaces and help prevent the mold from returning.

What To Know About Fire Alarm Maintenance

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

a smoke detector Many alarms also have a test button, which will allow you to hear the alarm sound so that you can recognize what the alert will be.

For a home in Puyallup, WA maintaining the fire alarm can be an important step in fire safety. There are a few things to know in order to keep any alarms in your home in working order. The following information may help.


1. What a Chirping Sound Means


A smoke alarm is designed to help you reduce fire damage by alerting you to the danger in time to begin suppression efforts. However, the alarm is not the only sound this unit can emit. Smoke detectors are designed to give off an intermittent chirping sound when the battery gets too low. The manufacturer's instructions for your unit will tell you exactly what sound to listen for. If you hear the sound, your first step should be to check the batteries.


2. When To Replace Batteries


Most fire damage restoration professionals recommend replacing the batteries in your fire alarm at least once a year to help ensure that they do not run low and cause the unit to stop functioning. Many professionals recommend choosing a regular day once a year on which to replace the batteries. For many people, this may be daylight savings. You may also wish to keep spare batteries on hand. If your alarm has already experienced smoke damage you may wish to replace the unit all together.


3. How To Test Them

In most cases this is located on the back of the unit and has the word test right next to it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper functionality when testing your alarm.
When maintaining a fire alarm, it's important to know the difference between the alarm sound and the low battery chirp. You will also need to know when to change the batteries and what type of battery your alarm takes. Finally, it's important to test your alarm to ensure it works. Visit https://www.SERVPROpuyallupsumner.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration for more information on fire and smoke damage restoration.

3 Differences Between Flood and Water Damage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

High water and flooded house Flooded house in Orting, WA

3 Differences Between Flood and Water Damage

A storm in Orting, WA, can cause various types of water damage to your home. You might think that, because they are all caused by water, they are all the same. However, this is not the case. The damage caused by flood water is different from others in multiple ways. The following are a few distinctions that you should keep in mind.

1. Water Source

While there are multiple ways that your home could become filled with water, flooding from a storm is much different from that caused by a broken appliance or cracked pipe. It is also not quite the same as damage caused by rain. The important characteristic to note here is the source of the water. When water comes from above, this is ordinary damage. When it rises from the ground, it is a flood.

2. Contamination Level

The water that accumulates during flooding is a different category than that from most other sources. When a pipe or supply line breaks, the water is coming from a clean source, so it is classified as category 1. Flood water is category 3 or black water. This means that it is highly contaminated and can carry significant amounts of sewage, bacteria, chemicals and debris. Because of this, it is more difficult to clean and can sometimes require you to replace materials and throw out items that could have otherwise been salvaged.

3. Insurance Coverage

Flood damage can be extensive and costly, so most insurance companies do not include it in their basic policies. If you want this additional coverage, you will need to purchase a separate flood policy. While this may seem like an unnecessary extra expense, it can be useful and may even be required in areas where floods occur often.
If there is flooding in your home, whether from a clean source or a storm, you should have the water removed right away. It can contribute to mold growth and other problems if it remains for too long. A cleanup and restoration company can clean the area and make necessary repairs.

Four Common Water Problems Businesses Face

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

clogged toiled Clogged toilet

Four Common Water Problems Businesses Face

Running a business in Eatonville, WA, requires a lot of time, know-how and investment. As you go about ensuring everything is going smoothly, something like leaking pipes can quickly catch you off guard. Water damage can be a long-lasting hassle, as well as jack up utility bills, so knowing the common culprits can make dealing with the unexpected a little easier.

Leaks

A pipe break may be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to leaking, but it is not the only thing that could be the cause. Toilets and sinks can also be behind the excess water. Hidden leaks are also a concern. From leaky supply lines to a potential sewer issue, getting a leak fixed can often provide the opportunity for preventive maintenance.

Clogs

Depending on your business, your restroom facilities could be used by hundreds of people a day. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the importance of being vigilant about what goes down the drain. If something gets flushed that shouldn’t, it can get caught in the pipes and cause slow drainage or a toilet backup.

Running Toilet

This annoyance can become a little more complex if not addressed. Just telling people to jiggle the handle is not only unprofessional, but it could mean avoiding a more serious problem of leaking pipes or component failure.

Bad Parts

Although most fixtures are built to be durable, they don’t last forever. Toilets and sinks are used frequently. That excessive daily wear and tear eventually leads to inner workings becoming damaged. If gone unchecked, that bad part could eventually turn into a flooded bathroom.
Education is key to most things. When business owners understand how their building works, leaking pipes don’t have to be the end of the world. For hidden leaks or bigger problems, find a trusted professional you can count on for all your water problems.

What to Expect During Mold Remediation

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

There is a plastic placed on a door used as a containment barrier when you have mold in your home Mold containment in an Orting, WA home

What to Expect During Mold Remediation

If you have found black mold in your Orting, WA, home, then it is important to have it removed quickly before it is able to spread throughout the building. This process can sometimes be a bit complicated and time-consuming, and you may not know exactly what to expect. While your home is being restored, the following steps will likely take place.

1. Inspection of the Home

Before they can begin work, the remediation company will need to inspect your home to determine the extent of the damage. During this stage, they will locate the mold growth as well as any water damage that may be contributing to the problem.

2. Containment of the Area

During mold cleanup, it is important to contain the area. If it is not properly blocked off, then mold spores can travel through the air and contaminate other places in the building. Tarps and negative air pressure can be used to do this. Vents will need to be sealed as well.

3. Cleaning and Sanitization

The next step is to thoroughly clean the area. Any visible black mold will need to be removed and the area should be sanitized to remove lingering mold spores. Air purifiers with HEPA filters may be used to remove mold from the air. Affected materials, such as drywall, carpeting and insulation may need to be removed. Protective gear should be worn during this process.

4. Thorough Drying

Once the area has been cleaned, it is important to let everything dry thoroughly. Black mold spreads quickly in moist environments, so any water that remains could cause it to return. Dehumidifiers can help speed this up.

5. Repairs and Restoration

The final step is to restore the building to its previous condition. If any materials were torn out, they will need to be replaced. If any of your belongings were affected by the mold, the remediation company can help restore those as well.
While the removal of mold can sometimes be difficult, a mold remediation company can get the job done right. They have the necessary training and equipment to remove this pesky fungus from your home.

Residential Sump Pump Maintenance

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump A sump pump can prevent flooding and save you money in repairs

4 Tips For Keeping Your Pump In Good Working Order

If you have a sump pump in your Bonney Lake, WA, basement or crawlspace, you know these devices can prevent flooding and save you thousands of dollars in repairs. However, they have to be properly maintained to do their job. Here are four tips for keeping your pump in good working order.

1. Clean Out Any Debris

All of the parts of the pump should be clear to allow water to flow freely. Otherwise, the liquid will back up which may cause flooding to your property and damage to the pump itself. Inspect vents, grates, pipes and other components for debris. If you have a submersible pump, you can pull it out of the pit to clean it.

2. Make Sure the Outlet and Cord Are Secure

Because the sump pump operates in wet conditions, the electrical components are particularly vulnerable. To prevent short circuits and other electrical problems, always plug your pump into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), and make sure the cord is structurally sound. Check the GFCI and make sure it is working. You may need to reset it occasionally.

3. Test Frequently

An integral aspect of pump maintenance is frequent testing. At least a few times a year and whenever heavy rains are expected, check that your pump is still operable. You can do this by dumping a bucket of water into the basin and making sure it drains properly.

4. Make Sure the Backup Power Supply Is Ready

Although some pumps are operated manually, most run on electricity. That means if the power goes out, your pump won’t work unless there is a backup power supply. Check the backup battery a few times a year and replace as necessary. If you use a gasoline or diesel backup, make sure you have an adequate supply on hand when storms are forecast.
Unfortunately, even a well-maintained sump pump can malfunction. If you find yourself with a flooded basement or home, a professional remediation team can help you get your property back to pre-storm condition quickly and safely.