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Commercial Property Fire: Important Considerations After a Fire

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

After your commercial or multifamily property experiences a fire, your brain will likely be going a mile a minute trying to figure out the next steps. Though the apparent structural damage will bring about thoughts of roof repair and rebuilding, there are other important considerations to make before the initial fire cleanup and restoration.

1. Safety and Self-Evaluation

The safety of employees, tenants and you are paramount after experiencing a fire disaster. After calling emergency services, you should be most concerned with getting everyone out of the building because the structural integrity of the property is most assuredly in question. Standard practices of fire safety should also be followed. For example, you should avoid drinking, eating or breathing in anything that has contacted soot, fire or smoke.

2. Financial and Insurance Contacts

You should immediately call your insurance company, mortgage lender and credit card institutions before starting any fire cleanup. Calling your insurance provider will ensure that the claims process begins immediately. Calling your mortgage lender will also help in getting through the bureaucratic procedures. Finally, if you lost any credit cards in the fire, you will be able to get replacements mailed to you sooner by notifying them.

3. Restoration Services

After ensuring your safety and making all the necessary contacts, you can begin the cleanup and mitigation process. As fires often create extensive damage, this process is better left to fire remediation specialists in the Olympia, WA, area. These services help to streamline the operations of mitigation, offering board up and tarp services, and restoration, ensuring that your property is functional as quickly as possible.

While the experience of a fire and the resulting damage can be devastating and emotionally taxing, it is necessary to keep your wits about you. Between general safety and financial obligations, you will need to focus on the process ahead. Thankfully, fire remediation services will help to restore your facility through the fire cleanup and restoration process.

How to Prevent Water Damage When Your Business Is Closed

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Flooding Risk Factors and Restoration

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed in the kitchen Storm damage in a Bonney Lake, WA home

Flood damage to your Bonney Lake, WA, home can be emotionally and financially devastating. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program can help homeowners who live in communities served by FEMA NFIP secure affordable flood insurance.

Risk Factors for Flooding

There are many factors that can make an area more vulnerable to flood damage. Some big risk factors include the following:

  • Low elevation
  • Springtime
  • Recent wildfire

Water accumulates quickly in low areas, so these places are more likely to flood than higher elevations. During spring, snowmelt often leads to flooding. Additionally, if the ground is still frozen it cannot absorb water. Wildfire damage also affects an area's ability to absorb water by destroying the vegetation that typically aids in this process. When the water is not absorbed, it accumulates on the surface of the ground and causes flooding.

Restoring Flood-Damaged Property
If you have insurance through FEMA NFIP or another program, the insurance can help you financially deal with flooding damage. Whether you hire a professional contractor or do the repairs yourself, there are several steps to the process. First, document the damage. The insurance company will likely be overwhelmed with claims, and it is important to begin cleanup as soon as possible to avoid further damage, such as mold growth. Take a detailed photo or video evidence of the damage. Next, extract the standing water. You can use buckets, pumps, or specialized vacuums for this step. Then dry out the remaining water using fans or dehumidifiers. Clean all affected items. There are a variety of commercial disinfectants available. Choose one that is appropriate for the surface you are working with. Throw out everything that cannot be fully cleaned and dried. Finally, begin repairing and replacing damaged items.
It can be overwhelming to deal with flood damage on your own. Fortunately, with insurance through FEMA NFIP and help from a certified restoration service you can get your home back to pre-flood condition quickly and safely.

4 Steps To Take Right Away Upon Mold Discovery

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking pipes cause mold growth Mold caused by leaking pipes in Graham, WA

Four Actions To Deal With Mold

Once you discover mold in your home in Graham, WA, it is important to take quick action. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 48-72 after moisture from a leak or flood is introduced to the indoor environment. Once it gains a foothold, mold can spread throughout a home by way of the HVAC system and other avenues. Black mold often forms unsightly colonies that can wear down structures, cause unpleasant odors, and look downright scary. Here are four actions that will help you deal with mold.

1. Call for Professional Help. An experienced mold remediation company is trained to treat a mold problem in your home. They will arrive at your home in a matter of hours and begin to work on mold cleanup by containing and removing black mold and all types of harmful fungi.

2. Deal With Water Leaks. A moisture problem is often what allows mold to grow in alarming colonies in the first place. If you know of an area of your home that is extra damp due to a leak or other issue, you should address it as soon as possible. More moisture generally means more mold.

3. Consider Safety. Breathing in mold and mold spores is not healthy for humans or pets, whether it is black mold or other types of mold. Upon finding mold in your home, keep people away from the affected area, and let the professionals treat the problem.

4. Contain the Spread. Mold spores are microscopic and can spread throughout your home with the help of fans, air currents, and the heating and cooling system. You can help contain the spread by not disturbing areas of mold growth.
A fast response to mold in your home has many benefits. It will limit the level of mold damage and it will help technicians defeat a mold outbreak in record time, allowing you to get back to enjoying your home.

Why You Should Not Clean Puffback Soot Yourself

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Background of puffback, with the phrase Avoid Puff back Cleaning puffback damage yourself can lead to further problems

If you walk into your business and find soot from your furnace all over the walls, you may be dealing with puffback damage. When a furnace does not ignite properly, oil can build up in the chamber. When the furnace finally ignites, a small explosion occurs, leaving the black substance you see around your building. By understanding what this soot is and the right actions to take, you can help avoid further damage to your property in Sumner, WA.

Why You Should Not Clean the Soot Yourself

Although the soot may look like a fine, powdery substance that can be easily wiped away, it is not. Instead, your oil furnace has left a greasy, sticky film that is hard to remove. If the wrong methods are used to try to remove the soot, it could cause further damage and make the restoration process more difficult. After a furnace puffback, most damage will be obvious, but some soot may lurk in places that are hard to see:

  • Inside closets
  • In drawers and on paperwork
  • Inside ductwork
  • Behind furniture

Since the soot is airborne before it settles, it can potentially reach anywhere within your building. Luckily, there are people who are experts at cleaning the sticky material off a variety of surfaces.

What To Do Instead
After assessing the extent of the puffback damage, call your insurance company and professional restoration service. The experts will take a look around your building and offer a plan of action. The cleanup crew may find that you need disinfection or odor removal services in addition to cleaning. Trained professionals have access to special tools and cleaning agents to get the job done properly.
Cleaning puffback damage yourself can lead to further problems since the wrong techniques can simply grind it into the surface more. By choosing to use a professional service instead, your building will soon look "Like it never even happened."

Hail Damage in Puyallup, WA

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

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 Know About Toilet Replacement

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber replacing broken toilet in a washroom Toilet replacement in Elbe, WA

A Few Things To Remember While Replacing a Toilet

It’s important when considering the replacement of a leaking toilet in your Elbe, WA, home to understand how to do so correctly. Understanding how things fit together and where to check for water damage can help you mitigate future problems. Here are three things you should remember.

1. Check for Water Damage

During a toilet replacement, it’s important to check for water damage before installing a new unit. In most cases, this will occur around the water line in the wall or the flooring around the wax seal. If water damage is found a water damage restoration service can help. Let them know you have an old toilet that has been leaking and where you think the damage may have occurred. These professionals can also check for any additional damages as well.

2. Turn Off the Water Before Removal

Before removing the water lines from a leaking toilet it’s important to turn the water completely off and drain the unit. Doing so can help prevent accidental flooding. In most cases, there is a valve behind the toilet that can be turned tightly to the off position. The tank can then be drained by holding the flush lever down until any water in the reservoir is gone.

3. Ensure All Fittings are Tight

Another important step in toilet repair or replacement is to ensure that all the fittings fit snugly before turning the water back on. Doing this should help prevent any future leaks and subsequent water damage.

If you need to replace a leaking toilet it’s important to turn the water off before removing the unit. Once the toilet is out of the space you can look for water damage and have a restoration professional may any repairs that may be needed. When the new toilet is installed it’s important to check that all the fittings are correctly tightened in order to prevent future problems with leaking.

What To Know About After Fire Content Cleaning

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Technicians cleaning content after being damaged by fire Fire damage electronic cleaning

Fire Content Cleaning Process

There are a number of content cleaning services, including Dry-cleaning, available after a fire at your South Hill, WA, home. These are designed to help restore personal items that may have been damaged by fire, smoke, soot, or suppression water. There are a few things you may want to know about this process.

1. Your Restoration Service Can Help

One of the first things to remember after a fire is that a local fire damage restoration service can help. These professionals can clean up the mess and repair the variety of damage types commonly associated with a fire. They can also work with your insurance agent to document damage and keep everyone updated on repairs. Additionally, these professionals may offer item cleaning services as well.

2. Methods May Vary

The methods used for cleaning may vary depending on damage severity and the material an item is composed of. Special dry-cleaning methods can be used for any items that cannot be submerged in cleaners. Other items may be wiped off with a solution or washed with a special soap. Paper items may be freeze-dried before the restoration process begins.

3. Many Items Can Be Cleaned

Many items can be salvaged after a fire depending on damage severity. These can include clothing, furniture, books, computers, and cabinetry. The professional working on the restoration will use the appropriate cleaning method for each piece. After an item is cleaned it will be temporarily moved to content storage until the repairs on the home are complete.

A restoration service can help with any cleaning and repair needs you home may face after a fire. This includes repairing and cleaning a variety of personal items and using the appropriate methods to do so. You may see them use special wash cleaners or dry-cleaning for more delicate items. If you have any additional questions these professionals should be able to help.

Advantages of Submitting an Electronic Insurance Claim

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form Take advantage of an electronic claims

When it’s time to submit an insurance claim at your commercial property in Puyallup, WA, due to water or fire damage, your first inclination is to fill out the paper form and send it in the mail. Submitting the claim electronically, however, has some distinct advantages to consider.

What Are the Advantages of Electronic Claims?

Earlier payout - A claim that is submitted electronically is typically paid quicker than the traditional paper claim. Plus, if you supply your bank’s routing information and your checking account number, the reimbursement can be sent directly to your bank account.
Quicker correction of errors - Submitting the form via the computer will mean that any errors made when filling out the form will be corrected much quicker.
Lower administrative and handling costs - Eliminating the physical handling of the paper insurance claim will improve efficiency and reduce costs for your insurance company. Storing information electronically will also greatly reduce the amount of storage space needed.
More efficient communication - Information is shared much quicker between your insurance agent and your restoration service. When all information is shared by hand, older paper records need to be found and reviewed, and then sent through the mail. This takes more time and increases the possibility of mishandling.

What Restoration Companies Utilize Electronic Claims?
SERVPRO is the leading emergency restoration service of choice for most major insurance companies because of the expertise and efficiency of its employees. The company also retains an electronic database that includes information derived from past claims. This stored information makes it much easier for your insurance agent to process your claim thoroughly and accurately. Your restoration professional works closely with your insurance representative to ensure that all information is shared in a timely manner.
When submitting your insurance claim, ask the professionals how you can take advantage of the electronic methods that are available. You will likely save time, money, and headaches.

SERVPRO® Can Restore Your Fire Damaged Structure

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Classifications

For a fire department to successfully battle and control an inferno or a small fire, they are trained to identify the different types of fires. Yes, fires have classifications based on what is fueling them. 

Different fires require unique solutions for cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO® of Puyallup/Sumner knows and understands how to work with fire damages, which can often be restored by our professional, IICRC certified technicians. We can handle the aftermath of residential and commercial fires. We specialize in fire and water damage cleanup. With our restoration experience, we can quickly restore your home or business to a pre-fire condition. "Like it never even happened." 

  • Class A: wood, paper or trash, anything that leaves ash. Water can extinguish this fire. Type A fire extinguisher.
  • Class B: oil, gas or flammable liquids. Smothering solutions extinguish this fire. Type B fire extinguisher.
  • Class C: electrical. Use carbon dioxide to extinguish this fire. Type E fire extinguisher.
  • Class D: combustible metal fires. A dry powder agents will extinguish this fire. Type D fire extinguisher.
  • Class K: kitchen fires. Small kitchen fires should be extinguished with powder or foam type extinguishers to prevent the splashing of hot oils and other materials.

SERVPRO® of Puyallup/Sumner is strategically located. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. Our main purpose is to help our residents get back on their feet as quickly as possible, after a fire or any natural disaster. We will provide the personal attention you deserve. We will keep you informed and comfortable throughout the fire damage repair process. Call us today at (253) 848-0800 so that we can help restore your home or business.