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5 Things to Include in a Fire Damage Estimate

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

image of the architectural project engineer. Vintage tone and engineering tools in the workplace. After a fire it is crucial to take the time to properly assess all the damage that has occurred in order to get a fair restoration estimate.

5 Factors To Consider When Estimating Fire Damage

If you were the victim of a fire at your business in Sumner, WA, you know how overwhelming the aftermath can be. But it's crucial to take the time to adequately assess all of the damage that occurred to get a fair restoration estimate. Here are five things to include in a claim.

1. Restoration Costs

Fire isn't the only element that can cause damage to your business during a fire. Water used during firefighting can also cause damage. An emergency restoration service can be on-site to assess all the damage and outline a plan to clean and restore your space as soon as the building is deemed safe.

2. Board Up Services

Windows often break during a fire, and doors may be damaged. Your restoration estimate can include the costs of board-up services. Tarps might also be used to keep water off of damaged roofs in the event of rain.

3. Debris Cleanup

One often forgotten side effect of a commercial fire is the amount of debris left behind. All damaged materials have to be thrown away, and the lot must be cleaned before you can begin to rebuild. A debris cleanup service does the work, removes the trash, and disposes of it responsibly.

4. Storage Costs

If you had a functional sprinkler system in your building, some of your belongings are likely salvageable. After the restoration process is completed and everything is clean, you'll need a place to store office furniture, product, and equipment while your building is repaired or rebuilt.

5. Repairs After Fire Damage

Results of fire damage look different for different businesses. A business in an older building might suffer more damage that needs heavy repairs than one in a newer building. Repair costs can be included in your claim.

When you file a claim with your insurance company after a fire, it's vital to have an estimate covering every aspect of getting you back to work so that you aren't stuck with steep bills later.

3 Major Reasons Why Security Fencing Is Necessary

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores on the Atlantic City Board Walk A security fence surrounding your business after a fire decreases the likelihood of intruders and all of their inherent problems.

Three Major Reasons Why Security Fencing Is Required

When professional restoration representatives work with you to recover your business from fire and smoke damage, they may offer security fence installation around your property. While this measure might not seem as immediate as tarps and boards, it does contribute to the overall process. Explore the following reasons why fencing can protect your commercial building and assist with the restoration.

1. Damage Prevention

After a fire, the location is most likely in a vulnerable state. The broken windows, damaged walls and other unexpected openings can allow people to enter the building without permission. They might seek to destroy the property further or just explore the area, but their actions can escalate the damage, delay the reconstruction efforts and increase the overall expenses. Wild animals can also wander inside and cause similar effects. A solid fence can prevent these intrusions and their consequences.

2. Crime Deterrence

Another advantage of surrounding your business with a security fence is the deterrence of crime. Fire damage can make this place the target of criminals who aim to vandalize the property or steal any potential valuables. Additionally, there might be some equipment left overnight during the clean up or repair. Its damage or theft can set back the procedures. Fencing adds a layer of security that can help you have some peace of mind.

3. Liability Issues

A building impacted by fire, even during restoration, can be hazardous. Anyone who trespasses can be injured by weak structures, sharp edges, exposed wiring and broken gas lines. Other possible dangerous elements include ash, soot, and contaminated water. All these factors can harm interlopers, and as the property owner, you could be held legally liable for their injuries. Sufficient fencing not only reduces possible breaches, but it also demonstrates due diligence in preventing harm.

While boards, tarps and other sealing measures provide safety and protection throughout your property, there is always room for improvement. A security fence that surrounds your Puyallup, WA, business decreases the probability of intruders and all their inherent problems.

Key Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. When it comes to flood damage, most businesses will need extra insurance to cover the damage.

The Significant Differences Between Storm Damage And Flooding

Business owners in Graham, WA, know the unexpected will eventually happen, which is why staying on top of insurance coverage is essential. When the next big storm hits, understanding what your unique policy covers ensures a smoother process. An important element of that is knowing the difference between flood damage and storm damage.

Storms vs Floods

While both may unleash excessive amounts of water, which often requires the help of a storm and water damage restoration professional, the source of the water and other factors determine the type of damage. The following are considered aftereffects of a storm and are typically covered:

  • Torrential rains and thunderstorms
  • High winds
  • Tornadoes
  • Ice, hail and snow

When it comes to flood damage, most businesses will need extra insurance to cover the damage. Flooding happens from:

  • Inland rivers, lakes or other waterways overflowing
  • Tidal waves and hurricanes
  • Rapid and extreme rainwater accumulation
  • Ice or snow suddenly melt
  • Surface water runoff
  • Landslides or mudslides

Dirty Nature of Floods

While any unexpected water may have contaminants, floodwaters are considered Category 3 water, also known as black water. This type is highly contaminated and may pose health risks. Depending on the source of the flood, it could be carrying sewage, organic matter, pesticides and other substances that require careful cleanup.

According to FEMA, it is considered a flood if two or more acres of land that is usually dry is partially or completely saturated or it affects more than two properties. Since the cleanup and restoration is often much more extreme, it is recommended that businesses in flood-prone areas get additional insurance coverage.

After the storm hits, it is not also easy to tell if you are dealing with storm or flood damage. Knowing a few basics of how they are categorized makes it easier to prepare for the cleanup process and helps the claims process be clearer.

5 Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires at Home

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Hand putting out a cigarette, cigarette butt on Concrete floor, bare cement. Whenever you smoke at home, there are certain factors to consider in order to prevent a cigarette fire.

5 Tips For Preventing Home Cigarette Fires

Cigarettes can be deadly in more ways than one. Between 2012 and 2016, the National Fire Protection Association reported that more than 18,000 residential fires started as the result of a cigarette fire.

When the weather becomes drier in Sumner, WA, it can create the perfect conditions for a blaze to easily start in a forgotten ashtray. With that said, there are several steps you can take to avoid having to call in a fire cleanup crew the next time you take a smoke break. Here are five to consider.

1. Smoke Outside

If you really want to prevent a cigarette fire at home, stay away from the house when you are smoking. Instead, choose a designated spot that is far enough away to minimize risks.

2. Make Sure Cigarettes Are Completely Out

To avoid an unnecessary ashtray fire, always be sure your butts are completely out before walking away. To be safe, sprinkle some water on the ashes.

3. Smoke When You Are Alert

If you take medication that makes you tired, avoid smoking when you take it. Likewise, make sure you are fully alert in general whenever you smoke so you do not accidentally drop your cigarette or fall asleep.

4. Stay Away From Medical Oxygen

When someone in your home has an oxygen tank, it is best to entirely avoid smoking anywhere nearby. Even when the oxygen is off, the tank can catch on fire or explode.

5. Never Smoke in Bed

No matter how tempting the comfort of your bed might be when smoking, do not do it! Even a small spark can be enough to ignite sheets, blankets and mattress.

Whenever you smoke at home, there are certain factors to consider in order to prevent a cigarette fire. Because smoking is usually a leisure activity that can occur in comfortable settings, you should be especially mindful of flammable areas like bedrooms and risk factors like your energy levels.

How To Repair Belongings After a Flood

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Above view of laptop with water drop damage liquid wet and spill on keyboard, accident concept. Before touching any electronics that have been in contact with water, make sure they are not plugged in to any outlets.

How To Repair Personal Effects After A Flood

When flooding occurs, it can damage your belongings. Whether the water in home is from a broken pipe, sewage backup, rain or another source, there are things you can do to repair your possessions.

Hire a Professional

A professional water damage restoration service can repair or replace many different types of items, including:

  • Upholstered furniture
  • Documents
  • Photos
  • Building materials
  • Flooring

A water damage restoration service in Puyallup, WA, should also treat the area to prevent mold growth once the water has been removed.

Fabric

When fabric items, such as clothing or curtains, are damaged by water in home, it is best to take them to a dry cleaning service. They can help remove water stains, restoring your belongings to their original condition. Thicker fabrics, such as upholstery, may need to be treated by a professional restoration service.

Building Materials

Water can cause building materials, including drywall and wood, to deteriorate. After cleaning up flooding, check the area for signs of moisture or deterioration. If the flooding is from a broken pipe, make sure to thoroughly check the surrounding walls. Deteriorated building materials typically must be replaced.

Electronics

Before touching any electronics that have been in contact with water, make sure they are not plugged in to any outlets. If they are, turn off the power in the area first to avoid electrocution. Some electronics can be repaired by taking off battery covers and any other removable parts and allowing the water to drain out. It can also help to place devices such as laptops and mobile phones in a bowl of rice to absorb the moisture. If drying the item and replacing the batteries does not fix the device, an electronics repair shop may be able to help.

If water in home has damaged your belongings, you can fix them by hiring a professional or fixing items, such as fabric, building materials and electronics, at home.

3 Cleanup Processes for After a Business Property Fire

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

fire damage in a warehouse SERVPRO responded to this warehouse fire to find damages to structure and equipment. Our professionally trained fire technicians are trained in all a

3 Procedures For Cleaning Up After A Business Property Fire

When cleaning up after a fire at your Puyallup, WA, business, getting everything fresh and repaired can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, your local fire restoration service can offer a number of solutions. From dry-cleaning for cloth items, to smoke odor removal, here are a few of the restoration techniques that your fire cleanup crew may use.

1. Options for Smoke Odor Removal

In many cases, it may be necessary to remove smoke odors from the property after a fire. Many professionals utilize an ozone machine for this process when cleaning the room itself. Items inside this area may be removed, cleaned, and placed in content storage until the damage to the building has been repaired.

2. Options for Cloth Items

For cloth items such as curtains, rugs, or clothing that may have been in the building at the time of the fire, dry-cleaning can be one possible solution for removing smoke damage. Other items may be washable in a cleaning solution.

3. Options for Solid Items

When it comes to content cleaning, it may be desirable to also wash items of a solid nature. These could be furniture pieces, electronics, or even office supplies. The method used will depend on the type of article. Electronic or mechanical devices should be serviced by a professional. Furniture, shelving or cabinet pieces can be washed with a cleaning solution. Some items may be freshened with a simple wipe down, while others may require dipping in the cleaner.

Fire restoration can involve several different cleaning techniques that vary with the damaged items. Dry-cleaning is often suitable for cloth articles, while dips or wiping solutions are used for solid pieces such as furniture. An ozone machine may help clear away smoke odor from the air. If you have any questions about the right method to clean a specific item, a professional can usually help.

How To Troubleshoot Your Commercial Sprinkler System

3/12/2022 (Permalink)

watering lawn with sprinklers A broken irrigation system can wreak havoc on your landscape. You could end up with brown grass or a flooded building.

Troubleshooting A Commercial Sprinkler System

Once you bought your irrigation system for your commercial property, you may have stopped thinking about it. You figured that the sprinklers would run smoothly, and that you could focus on other aspects of your Sumner, WA, business.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Irrigation problems can occur. Water could stop flowing to one part of your landscape, causing the bushes and grass to die. Malfunctioning sprinklers may even cause flooding that necessitates emergency restoration services. If your sprinklers do stop working, you can limit the water damage by fixing the problem right away. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

No Pressure

A zone failure occurs when one section of the sprinkler system no longer functions properly. Issues with any of the following could be a sign of zone failure:

  • Solenoid
  • Valve
  • Wire
  • Timer

The electrical impulse may be the source of the irrigation system breakdown. You can use a volt meter to test this impulse. Start by checking the wires operating the timer. Then move on to the solenoid.

It is not just electrical issues that cause failing zones. A tree root could also block the pipes in one area of the property. You may have to trim the tree or

kill the roots to solve this problem.

Sometimes, the entire sprinkler system malfunctions. If this happens, start by making sure all the valves are open. You should also use a wire locator to see if there are any cuts in the wires.

Low Pressure

If the water is flowing but the pressure is low, you should again check the solenoid. It could be loose or clogged by debris. The flow control valve may have also destroyed the diaphragm.

A broken irrigation system can wreak havoc on your landscape. You could end up with brown grass or a flooded building. Troubleshooting any issues immediately should limit the harm to your property.

3 Ways the SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Can Help Your Business

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Team of a restoration company in a work meeting When a major disaster strikes, you need a disaster recovery team you can trust. SERVPRO has the experience and training to provide professional.

3 Ways The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Can Assist Your Company

The SERVPRO disaster recovery team is staffed with the best of the best of our restoration professionals. We prequalify and strategically place our large-loss specialists to handle any size disaster quickly and professionally. These are three of the ways our team can help your business.

1. Timely Mitigation

Our network of strategically placed storm response teams is on standby 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The ability to mobilize 1,700 locally-owned franchises ensures that no disaster is too big for our team. All large losses are supervised by a commercial operations manager who makes sure all of our clients receive seamless communication and timely mitigation. SERVPRO professionals are Faster to Any Size Disaster.

2. Experience You Can Count On

Our disaster recovery team has worked with the hospitality industry, universities, municipalities, property managers and the Pentagon. We are ready to help whether you are recovering from a hurricane, tornado, flood or blizzard. Our professionals have responded to major disasters across the country, including the California wildfires, major hurricanes, widespread flooding events, severe winter weather events and more. Our team is prepared to handle unpredictable and rapidly changing conditions.

3. National Reach With Local Expertise

The partnership between our Commercial Large Loss Division and 1,700 local franchises provides our team with the resources of a big company and the expertise of a locally owned franchise in Puyallup, WA. Our locally owned storm damage mitigation experts are the preferred vendor of many insurance companies and are prepared to utilize local partnerships with vendors and insurance professionals to best serve our clients.

When a major disaster strikes you need a disaster recovery team you can rely on. SERVPRO has the experience, resources and training to provide fast, professional mitigation services no matter what size, type or severity of disaster you are dealing with. Our team is standing by to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How To Save Books and Documents From Water Damage

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Close-up image of weathered documents - aged file folders and sheets of paper inside them - exposed to elements and damaged b Document restoration is a delicate process, but SERVPRO professionals, have the training and tools necessary to do the job well.

How To Prevent Water Damage To Books And Documents

When your home has been hit by flooding or other water damage, your family documents, treasured diaries, and other important books and papers are at serious risk. The moisture and humidity are certain to do serious harm. What can you do to prevent further damage? How should you handle document restoration?

Identify the Extent of the Damage

The first step is to identify the type of damage your papers, documents, and books have suffered. For the best treatment results, you need to identify how much water you'll be dealing with:

  • High Moisture Content: High humidity or a light sprinkling of water through an open window could cause pages to curl or become discolored. Without attention, mold could develop in affected areas.
  •  Absorbed Water: A leaky window near a bookshelf or a stream of water from an upstairs room into a lower study could expose books and documents to damage within the very fibers of the papers.
  • Submerged Items: Flooding is a cause of serious damages. Water gets between all the pages and works its way through entire storage boxes or file cabinets. In some cases, writing becomes so blurred that documents are no longer readable.

Contact a Professional

As soon as you can safely do so, contact a professional to dry and restore important documents and treasured papers. SERVPRO provides document restoration within their own facilities. By handling document drying internally, costs can be kept lower, and quality can be monitored directly.

Inventory Affected Books and Documents

While you wait for drying and restoration professionals to arrive, resist the urge to move papers around. When documents are wet, they are at their most fragile state. In some cases, those papers may have been exposed to toxic materials. Instead of moving books and documents, make a list of the documents that have been affected (to the best of your ability without moving them.) It's helpful to know if there are birth certificates, family histories, or financial records in the stack.

Document restoration is a delicate process, but SERVPRO professionals in Auburn, WA, have the training and tools necessary to do the job well. The best time to contact them is before further damages are done.

The 3 Most Common Home Fire Causes

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Close up of ashtray full of cigarette, with man in background working on laptop computer and smoking indoors on early morning Cooking, heating, and smoking are three common fire causes.

The Three Most Common Causes Of House Fires

The most common causes of home fires can be prevented with basic fire safety measures and equipment. Find out more about three common fire causes to make more informed home fire safety decisions.

1. Cooking

Cooking often involves a combination of hot stoves or ovens, open fire, and flammable substances, such as animal or vegetable oils or grease.

It is important to monitor food while cooking. If you are cooking something that takes a long time, periodically check in on the progress to prevent burning. Make sure that smoke detectors in this part of a home are functional. A fire extinguisher can promote kitchen safety, but may also cause grease fires to spread. Keep baking soda and salt near the stove to smother these types of fires before covering flames with a metal lid or another pot.

2. Heating

Malfunctioning furnaces or the improper use of space heaters are common causes of heating fires. Schedule regular furnace inspections and perform periodic maintenance. Only operate a space heater on a hard, non-flammable surface while attended and at a safe distance from combustible materials.

3. Smoking

Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of a home fire. Avoid smoking in bedrooms or after taking medication that may cause drowsiness. Use stable ashtrays when smoking indoors and ensure that cigarettes are completely extinguished before leaving the room. It is safest to smoke outside and provide a wind-proof disposal solution, such as a bucket filled with sand.

Cooking, heating, and smoking are three common fire causes. A homeowner may be able to prevent or limit the damage resulting from a home fire by taking precautionary measures and installing and testing fire safety equipment such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. A damage restoration and fire cleaning service can help if a fire breaks out for any reason at a residence in Puyallup, WA.