Recent Posts

What Goes Into a Toilet Replacement?

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

A man replacing a toilet For any water damage in your home, SERVPRO is always ready to respond.

What Is Involved In A Toilet Replacement?

Oftentimes, a leaking toilet or other water-related issue can occur when you least expect it. It is easy for these minor problems to result in major headaches. Many Puyallup, WA, homeowners are aware that such issues can be common, yet they can become overwhelmed at the steps involved in repairing the faulty system. The three pointers below help clarify the main steps professionals take during a toilet repair.

1. Leaky Systems

An old home can be especially vulnerable, mainly because it likely has an old toilet. Even if your home is relatively new, a pesky water problem can occur with any system. Usually, homeowners can spot leaks by tightening the bolts of the toilet; when this approach doesn't prove successful, the next step might be removing the toilet altogether.

2. Simple Steps

Of course, discovering that you need to replace a toilet is likely not the most exciting part of your agenda, but professionals generally complete replacements in a few steps. First, they go to the shutoff valve to cut off water. After removing the lid, it is important that as much water drains from the leaking toilet as possible. Professionals then disconnect the water supply tube and remove bolts that fasten the toilet to the floor.

3. Trusty Toilets

Once professionals remove the faulty toilet altogether, they can begin installing the new system. They may need to apply a pipe-joint compound to the fittings before getting the new toilet in place. After setting the toilet down on a wax gasket, the toilet can be refastened to the floor. Lastly, professionals may check to ensure the toilet is aligned with the wall of the bathroom.

Whether your Puyallup, WA, home has been loved for decades or is fresh off the market, a leaking toilet can become quite the nuisance. By updating your knowledge on the steps involved in a toilet replacement, you can have peace of mind that the problem gets addressed quickly and effectively.

Identifying Your Flood Water Threat Level

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Technician cleaning up the damage done to this facility by a storm water intrusion. If you have storm damage, give us a call. SERVPRO is ready for help.

Identifying The Level Of Flood Water Threat

No flood is a good flood, but did you know that some floods are much more dangerous than others? Flood water is graded on a system, ranging from clear, safe water to “black water,” which tends to carry a wide range of dangerous contaminants. In order to keep your business and employees safe in the aftermath of a flood in Sumner, WA, it’s imperative to learn the defining qualities and natures of:

  • Clean/Clear Water
  • Gray Water
  • Black Water

Learning the differences could very well help to save a life while you wait on your preferred cleanup crew to arrive.

Clean Water

This type of flood typically results from broken water lines, rainwater, toilet tanks and snow melt – sources of water that’s typically considered clean enough to drink. While floods of this water type can be pesky and promote mold growth, they’re not considered a health threat.

Gray Water

Gray water is, simply put, water that comes from sources that may be tainted with chemicals. This can include dishwasher and washing machine overflows, aquariums and other household belongings that deal with water and any sort of cleaner. While it’s mostly harmless, this type of flood water should still be handled by a professional cleanup crew.

Black Water

This is the type of water you’ll find in the aftermath of heavy storm damage, septic tank issues, sewage backup and other issues where unclean water and fluids find a way into your business. This water is likely to carry a wide range of bacteria and diseases, and has a high likelihood of making those who come into contact with it ill. A professional team should always be consulted for cleanup.

Identifying your flood water type is only the first step, of course. You’ll need to work alongside a team of professionals to dry out your property, replace damaged flooring and perform other restoration tasks to get your business back in shape. However, learning the difference between clean water and dangerous water can go a long way towards creating a safe cleanup environment in the meantime.

Top 3 Places Mold Can Hide in Your Home

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Mold caused by moisture from a leaking pipe. The mold in this image was caused by moisture from a leaking pipe that went unnoticed for a period of time.

Top 3 Mold-Hiding Spots In Your Home

You may think that your Graham, WA, home is free of mold growth. However, mold can hide in many places, almost completely out of sight, and spread across drywall, flooring and even interior walls. Knowing where mold likes to hide can be the first step in targeting and wiping out this unwelcome invader before it takes a permanent hold on your home.

1. Under Sink Cabinets

Hiding exposed plumbing with wooden cabinets can be a clever and attractive décor choice. However, if those pipes develop a slow leak that goes undetected for weeks, you may not notice it until the mold spreads enough to cause an unpleasant odor. It is wise to check your kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets at least once a month to prevent leaks and the mold that often comes with them.

2. Under Rugs and Other Flooring

After a flood, high humidity may cause mold to grow under carpet padding and underneath laminate floors. This can occur even if you had the floors cleaned and dried. Calling in a professional flood cleanup and mold remediation company may help you deal with this issue more effectively, as its technicians can find the source of the mold, remove the damaged flooring and eradicate it there as well as on wood moldings.

3. Inside Drywall

After a flood, mold growth can occur out of sight, behind interior walls. Not only can this affect the drywall, it might also spread to any insulation housed there. Over time, the insulation may begin to rot as the mold consumes both it and the drywall. If any room in your home suffered water damage from flooding, you may want to have your interior walls checked for moldy drywall or have your insulation replaced.

Mold growth can hide in your Graham, WA, home almost anywhere it finds a food source. Knowing its favorite hiding places can help you stop mold before it starts and prevent the costly damage it can cause.

Commercial Property Fire: Important Considerations After a Fire

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling complete damaged by fire Fire damage in Olympia, WA.

Important Considerations Following a Commercial Property Fire

 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.

Which Surfaces Support Mold Growth?

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a wall SERVPRO has professional cleaning techniques to clean any type of mold.

What Kind Of Surfaces Encourage Mold Growth?

Mold requires two things in order to thrive: moisture and organic materials. If both of these elements are present, you run the risk of mold growth or mildew growth. Take a moment to consider which materials and items are most likely to develop mold damage in each part of your home if exposed to excessive moisture or humidity.

Building Materials:

  • Mold can develop on walls and may be cleaned from non-porous surfaces. Porous surfaces with mold, such as drywall, must be removed and replaced.
  • Mold may grow behind walls or wallpaper.
  • Insulation exposed to water during a leak can be an ideal environment for mold and should be removed and replaced.
  • A moldy ceiling indicates either a condensation or humidity problem or a leaky roof.
  • Moldy floors may result from a combination of dirt and moisture.

Furniture:

  • Any furniture made out of organic materials, such as wood, is prone to develop mold if exposed to moisture and warm temperatures.
  • Upholstered furniture can absorb moisture between the layers, causing mold to grow.
  • Placing furniture against walls may cause condensation to build up and lead to mold damage.

Other Organic Materials:

  • Mold easily develops on moist and nutrient-rich food.
  • Mold is also likely to develop on damp or wet clothing.
  • Mold may develop on books or papers stored in a humid environment.
  • Mildew is a parasitic fungus that only affects plants.

As you can see, mold may develop in any part of your home. If you encounter moldy items, you should contact a cleaning, testing, and restoration service in Sumner, WA. In the case of either mildew growth or mold growth, you must address the source of the problem, which usually involves excess moisture. If you do not resolve the underlying problem, you may have to repeat the process of cleaning or replacing building materials, furniture, or other items with mold damage.

3 Steps to Making a Water Damage Claim

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Two men cleaning a flooded basement SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner is here if you need professional assistance.

Making A Water Damage Claim In Three Easy Steps

Taking in the damage after a flood occurs in your Puyallup, WA, home can be overwhelming. Ruined furniture, wet carpeting and damaged electronics can mean thousands of dollars in loss. Once flooding affects your home, one of the first actions you should do is file an insurance claim. To minimize stress, there are a few simple steps you can take when it comes to creating your claim.

1. Call Your Insurance Agent

Calling your insurance agent to report flooding in your home right away can help jump-start your claim and ensure that there is no delay on record later once the insurance company begins gathering data. Report when and how the flooding occurred, and ask your agent what he or she will need and whether your provider will be sending out another agent to assess the damage. Remember to give the representative your policy number and other information relevant to your coverage.

2. Take Photographs

Once you can safely enter your home again, take photographs of the damaged areas. If a pipe burst and caused the flood, snap a few photos of the broken plumbing. Photograph as many damaged items as you can, including big-ticket items such as televisions, washers and dryers, and mattresses. Once you finish taking photos, send them to your claims adjuster.

3. Meet With the Insurance Adjuster

Once your insurance company reviews your insurance claim, it may send the insurance adjuster out to speak with you and have you fill out additional paperwork. Have a list of questions ready for the agent, such as whether your policy covers the cost of a flood cleanup and remediation company to repair your home and whether your damaged items can be replaced at their full value.

Making an insurance claim for flooding in your Puyallup, WA, home can be a stressful ordeal. However, when you know which steps to take, you can move forward and focus on repairs with confidence.

Why You Should Not Clean Puffback Soot Yourself

8/12/2021 (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 puff back 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."

Three Ways To Prepare for Flooding From a Storm

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Pile of mud inside a kitchen area due to storm damage, ceiling collapsed Storm damaged kitchen area of a home in Eatonville, WA.

Three Ways to Prepare for Storm Flooding

A severe storm can occur at any time of the year. These storms can produce heavy rains, which may lead to flooding. In Eatonville, WA, this flooding can be devastating if flood water reaches the inside of your home. Being prepared in advance is critical to ensure the least amount of devastation. Here are three things you can do to make sure your home and your valuables are protected from a flood caused by a storm.

1. Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy. Understanding what type of insurance you have and what it covers – before a storm occurs – is critical. Regular homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover water damage from floods. Coverage for flooding must often be purchased in a separate flood policy obtained from the National Flood Insurance Program. If you need flood insurance, purchase it before the storm because it can take 30 days for coverage to start.

2. Be aware of the conditions in your area. Know when a flood is possible in your area. Most communities have an emergency alert system designed to notify residents of emergency conditions. You should also be aware of whether your home is in a flood-prone area.

3. Protect your items of value and important papers. To avoid damage from floodwater, any items of value or important papers (i.e. insurance policies, birth certificates, property deeds, etc.) should be placed in containers that are watertight. If possible, these items should be placed at a level that is high enough to prevent them from floating away if you have a flooded building.

In the unfortunate event that a storm occurs and your home suffers damage from floodwater, you may need the help of an experienced professional who specializes in water damage to clean up your home. Although a flood can be a devastating and destructive event, using the tips above to prepare your home, along with the assistance of a professional experienced in the cleanup of storm damage, can make the recovery process less stressful.

How to Prevent Water Damage When Your Business Is Closed

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Construction engineer, uniform safety application, inspection metal roofing works for industrial roofing Inspect your roof to avoid leaking in the future.

4 Ways to Protect Your Business From Water Damage

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.

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.

2. 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.

3. 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. 

4. 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.

Common Places To Find Mold in a Commercial Building

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on white wall. Walls can harbor mold, both on the surface and internally.

Mold Can Be Found Almost Anywhere in a Commercial Building

Regular housekeeping and maintenance in your Orting, WA, building may include an everyday checklist of tasks - keeping bathrooms stocked, ensuring that garbage is disposed of properly, and keeping things tidy and presentable. But something that can sometimes go unnoticed are the nooks and crannies of your building where mold is common. While some spring into action and hire professionals to fix and prevent future damage after an obvious event, such as a natural disaster or a plumbing mishap, it is also important to be proactive by checking areas that aren’t as obvious for mold growth in your building.

1. Walls and Ceilings

Walls can harbor mold, both on the surface and internally. Items pressed up against walls, leaks from the ceiling, and even the absorbent nature of materials used for masonry, such as bricks, can be the perfect foundation for mold to thrive and multiply.

2. HVAC and Air Ducts

The wrong temperature circulating through the closed, dark spaces in HVAC systems and air ducts can create lots of condensation. This can fuel mold growth.

3. Roof and Ceiling

Water damage from a leaky roof can stain your ceiling. However, it can also cause mold to form in the damaged areas, both visible and hidden.

4. Equipment and Office Supplies

High humidity plus damp, enclosed spaces are some of the most likely places to find mold. Paper products are absorbent and therefore can hang on to moisture from spills, drips, condensation, or even just the moisture in the air. Factor in the areas where these supplies are typically kept (cabinets, drawers, storage tubs), and one can see how mold would favor these types of environments.

5. Floors

Hidden, covered surfaces, or damp, neglected rooms without adequate air circulation can be another place where mold can be found. Carpet can absorb not only moisture but other substances that encourage mold growth, such as dirt and other organic matter that are tracked in from everyday foot traffic.

Take preventative measures to prevent mold, especially if your business is in a place that has high humidity. Don’t forget to regularly check specific areas before they become a more challenging chore to tackle.