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FAQs About Mold Damage

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a home Mold and moisture go hand in hand.

If a storm has caused flooding in your Puyallup, WA business, you have approximately one to two days to act if you want to prevent mold growth. Since mold can destroy your building, you want to act. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the prevention of mold after a storm.

What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Mold and Water Damage?

When dealing with standing water after a flood, there are some basic things you need to do immediately before help arrives. This includes:

  • Turning off the water
  • Turning off the HVAC units
  • Turning off the fans
  • Pick up any irreplaceable items from the floor
  • Move furniture and equipment out of the wet areas

Can Business Owners Dry Water by Themselves?

While you may believe you can prevent mold growth by setting up fans and shop vacs to remove the water, you are not actually getting all of the moisture. Instead of attempting this on your own, you should hire a storm remediation company with the proper tools to dry your building.

Does Water Always Lead To Mold?

When your business has not dried out within 24 hours of the disaster, mold growth is certain. Despite folk tales, mold grows without discrimination, no matter the season. In other words, unless you experienced minimal water intrusion, it is almost guaranteed that you will get mold after flooding.

Can You Remove Mold Yourself?

Although most people will attempt to kill mold with bleach, you will likely do more damage using this method. In other words, you should avoid removing mold yourself and hire a professional with the proper cleanup methods.

Can Mold Die When It Dries?

Mold does not die when it dries up. When there is no moisture, it simply goes dormant. Once dormant mold finds more moisture, it starts to grow. Unless you remove it, you will not remedy it by leaving it alone.

As a business owner, you want to protect your site from mold and other harmful bacteria. Therefore, you need to know more about flooding and mold.

How To Stay Safe During a Flood

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO drying equipment ready to remove moisture in a home Let us help when you experience storm damage.

Flood Safety Tips

Storms can create unexpected circumstances in Sumner, WA. One minute your home may be fine, but the next you have rising waters in your basement. Because the situation can change so quickly, you need to know how to stay safe during a storm-caused flood. Keep these flood safety tips in mind whenever bad weather approaches.

Stay Out of the Water

Did you know that as little as six inches of moving water can cause you to lose your balance? Because it doesn't take high waters, you need to be careful whenever you have to walk through any type of flood. If you must walk through a flood, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use a walking stick.
  • Hold on to something sturdy.
  • Walk quickly and cautiously.

While the waters may not be moving in your house, they can still pose a health and safety risk. However, as a homeowner, you cannot always avoid the flooded parts of your space. You also want to avoid standing water outside of your house even if you're in your car.

Avoid Electrical Equipment

Water conducts electricity, so you want to avoid electrical equipment whenever you are in standing water. If you know there is electricity running through your basement flood, you should turn off the power to your home before anyone enters the lower levels for the best flood safety. Even if you are damp and not currently in water, you should avoid the electricity.

Call for Help

Storm-caused flooding can trap you in the upper levels of your home. If you need emergency help during a storm, you should call someone as soon as you can. After the danger has passed, you may need help restoring your home. Getting in touch with storm restoration services can make your cleanup process much easier.

The heavy rains of a storm may cause flooding in Sumner, WA. Knowing the best flood safety techniques can keep you and your home in one piece during a disaster.

5 Common Types of Household Mold

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

5 Common Types of Household Mold

It's not uncommon to discover mold growing in your Puyallup, WA, home. Mold growth can occur under several different circumstances, depending on the type of fungi in question. Before you begin your mold remediation process, you should identify which species is the culprit.

1. Stachybotrys
More commonly referred to as the infamous black mold, Stachybotrys is perhaps the most common type of residential mold. Much like the name implies, it has a dark green or black color and may feel slimy to the touch. It's very common in places that come into frequent contact with water, or in areas that have recently suffered some form of water damage.

2. Alternaria
This species of mold is often confused for black mold, as it thrives under the same damp or high humidity conditions, has a very similar appearance and is just about as common as its cousin. Instead of feeling slimy, Alternaria has an almost velvety texture due to the wispy dark green or brown hairs that sprout on its surface.

3. Chaetomium
Once again, this type of mold growth is quite common in water damaged structures. When it first appears, it boasts a white or gray color before slowly fading to dark brown or black over time. You're more likely to smell this species before you see it, due to its musty odor.

4. Aureobasidium
You should check for this type of fungus behind your wallpaper or on painted wooden surfaces. This mold appears pink or brown in color when it's young and slowly fades to black over time, much like chaetomium.

5. Cladosporium
This versatile species of mold can thrive in both warm and cold environments. You're most likely to find it growing in your carpeting, upholstery and other types of fabrics. It boasts a soft, suede-like texture and green coloring.

You could potentially find several different mold species growing in your home, so it's important that you know which common varieties to look for. Contact mold remediation experts like SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner for assistance if you do discover mold growth in your home.

How to Prevent Black Mold in Your HVAC System

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Mold with basement Walls in the basement were damaged by water and mold

Black Mold Is Very Dangerous But Easily Preventable

By now, everyone has heard of black mold. In case you haven't, it is a dangerous form of toxic mold that grows in a variety of environments. It is named for its color and can cause a lot of effects, but there are ways to prevent it.

Keep Your Filters Clean
If you use replaceable filters, replace them every 30 to 60 days, depending on your business. If you have washable filters, make sure you wash them regularly with an approved mold preventative cleaner. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it also prevents other issues.

Look for Wet Spots
Wet spots can appear in several ways. Some of these ways are:

  • Brown spots
  • Sweating ducts
  • Grey areas
  • Black spots

When you see wet spots, it is extremely important to dry them as soon as possible because black mold grows very quickly.

Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned
You should have your air ducts professionally inspected and cleaned at least twice per year. This should happen in the spring and fall and can prevent mold or mildew build-up. It isn't difficult to find mold cleaning companies in Enumclaw, WA.

Keep an Eye on Humidity
Assuming you have clean ducts, you can use a hygrometer to measure the amount of humidity in, on or near your ductwork. These instruments are not expensive and can be placed almost anywhere you need them. You can also use a portable meter to measure humidity in whatever area you need to.

Fix Water Damage Immediately

In the event of a flood or leak, fix the damage immediately. It takes just 24 to 48 hours for mold to start to grow. Damaged ductwork and drywall need to be removed and replaced before mold has a chance to form.

Black mold is very dangerous but easily preventable. With a little bit of work, you can stop a major problem before it starts.

The Importance of Tending to Both Primary and Secondary Damage

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Water and mold damage in a home Water and mold damage in a South Hill, WA home

The Importance of Tending to Both Primary and Secondary Damage

Black mold is a fungus that thrives on dampness. When water penetrates something organic, it triggers the mold's development, permitting fast reproduction. Homeowners may concentrate on the mold but not think much about how it started. Both the source, though, and the result are significant. If one isn't fixed, then the other may just continue to reappear down the road; therefore, homeowners should be aware of the house's secondary and primary damage. When both are understood and cared for, the property can be properly restored.


What Is Primary Damage?
Something initiated the trouble, causing a level of high humidity or excess wetness. This is considered the primary cause. For example, any of the following would fall into the classification:

  • Pipe burst
  • Sewer backup
  • Leaky faucet
  • Missing shingles


A water restoration company in South Hill, WA, should investigate the premises, searching for the source. The experts then should shut off the water supply, fixing any plumbing issues. By taking this step first, the professionals mitigate the devastation.


What Is Secondary Home Damage?
Secondary complications stem from primary cause. A broken pipe, for example, allowed moisture to penetrate a space. When it soaked into the walls and flooring, the fluid started secondary concerns. Black mold, for example, might begin to grow. In addition, wood can rot, carpet can get contaminated and valuables are likely to become ruined.

The team tends to the secondary damage by extracting moisture, sanitizing the property and replacing spoiled items. Drenched dry wall and carpeting is pulled out. These porous materials are too difficult to fully clean. Instead, replacements are needed. Content cleaning can be applied to things that fall into the following categories:

  • electronics
  • pictures
  • documentation
  • fixtures


Speak with the crew about anything special. They can advise of the proper treatment.
Black mold isn't something you want in your home.

To keep it at bay, you'll want to be aware of primary water damage. With that under control, residents are less likely to suffer other headaches.

Can Employees Resume Work During Restoration?

7/8/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a commercial building Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water restoration services, SERVPRO is here ready to help you.

Can Employees Return To Work During The Restoration Process?

Business owners may wonder when employees can safely resume work in a commercial building that has experienced damage. The answer may be sooner rather than later. Depending on whether black water, storm damage, or a fire caused the damage, employees may be able to return as soon as cleanup is complete and work through the restoration period.

Water Damage

There are several types of water damage that may affect the duration of mitigation.

• Clean Category One water from a burst supply pipe should not cause a major interruption.

• Category Two gray water is considered contaminated with chemicals or microbes but does not contain solid waste. Complete disinfection prior to resuming work is often required, and interruption might not be necessary if only a portion of the property sustained damage.

• Category Three black water in flood cleanup or from a sewer backup should be extracted, and the affected area disinfected and dried.

Keep in mind that nearly all categories of water contain salts that can cause corrosion and short-circuiting in electronics. Computers, electronic devices, or servers may or may not be able to be restored, which could cause delays.

Storm Damage

If a storm causes a roof leak or breaks windows, employers should wait until cleanup and basic mitigation is complete before calling in employees. The same guidelines for water damage apply to flood damage resulting from a storm.

Other Damage

Fire or smoke damage may call for more extensive restoration and air filtration. It may take longer for a work space to be considered safe for employees following this type of damage. Consult with a restoration service to set a timeline for resuming regular business.

Employees should not work in a structure that is undergoing mitigation for black water or flood cleanup. They may be able to return during restoration. For the best results, hire an experienced commercial restoration company in Graham, WA.

What To Do About Water Damage at Your Commercial Property

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial building damage due to storm If your home or business experiences storm or flood damage, call our SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner team today!

What Should You Do If Your Commercial Property Has Water Damage?

Anything from faulty plumbing to severe weather can quickly become a problem for your Graham, WA, commercial property. Never fear, however, because there are several ways you can prevent damage and quickly respond when disaster strikes. Below you will learn about the causes of water damage, tips for cleanup and restoration, and tools to prevent damage in the future. 

Causes of Water Troubles

Here is a list of common sources and access points for water damage: 

Severe weather can range from flooding to freezing temperatures and harm a building’s foundation.
Fire will set off ceiling sprinklers and may require additional use of firehoses to extinguish, thus saturating the ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture.
Broken pipes, aged plumbing, and leaking HVAC are common causes of water leaks. 

Roof damage and improper window seals are access points for weather damage and water.

Tips for Water Cleanup

If water has already damaged your property, it is important to respond quickly and appropriately. An important reminder: never enter a building with standing water until cleared in case electricity is still running to the building. Your first step is to call a professional water restoration company. These crews will assess the damage, pump the water out, remove damaged materials, and use industrial cleaners and equipment to clean and thoroughly dry the affected space. 

There are actions you can take to aid the cleaning progress:

  • Use buckets and mops to remove excess water to allow for better drying.
  • Remove loose items from the floor.
  • Remove and hang wet fabrics.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers when it is safe to use electricity. 

Tools for Preventing Damage

Take care of your property by scheduling regular maintenance. Annually, schedule checkups for HVAC, roofing, fire sprinklers, electrical, and plumbing. Also, have a professional inspection and restoration company perform an overall water damage inspection. 

Water can cause many problems for your commercial property, but there are steps you can take to prevent this damage. Understand your property’s risk factors to better prepare for water trouble mitigation and protect your investment. 

How Insurers Benefit from the SERVPRO Franchise Model

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO crew Our team prides ourselves in being "Faster to any size disaster," and provides a 24-hour emergency service 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

How the SERVPRO Franchise Model Benefits Insurers

When a claim is filed that requires remediation and restoration services in Sumner, WA, it means that work needs to get started fast. Since it is vital the work is done right, choosing a SERVPRO franchise ensures that happens. This innovative business model was developed to maximize every part of the restoration process. Below are four reasons to choose this franchise.

1. Locally Owned

With more than 1,900 locations throughout the United States and Canada, help is right around the corner. No matter the disaster, you can be confident that you will have 24/7 access to a person to get the claim rolling and a team of professionals within two hours of nearly any zip code.

2. Corporate Backed

Along with have a local team right around the corner, you also get the peace of mind that the team is backed by a corporate team ready to serve. From experts in insurance to large loss emergency services, corporate backing means ongoing support and expertise to handle any size of a disaster.

3. Ongoing Training

As a franchise, it must adhere to the strict standards set by corporate. That means that all local technicians have been IICRC certified and receive ongoing training. Each new franchise must participate in a 15-day training program at the corporate training facility. After that, every technician must complete regular training to maintain certifications and stay up to date on the latest in the industry.

4. Preferred Vendor

As an insurance provider, you want the claim to go as smoothly as possible. When you chose a local franchise backed by a corporate team, it means you are getting the services of an established company. With more than 50 years of experience in the industry, SERVPRO has become a preferred vendor for many companies.

A SERVPRO franchise is much more than a reliable, local team of professionals. When choosing it is a provider, you get the backing of a corporate support team and a brand name trusted for decades.

How to Deal with Weather-Related Flight Cancelations

6/24/2022 (Permalink)

Canceled flight board When facing a weather-related canceled flight stay calm.

How to Handle Flight Cancellations Caused by Weather

With the modern convenience of around-the-globe travel, people young and old enjoy flights year-round to some of the world’s most exciting destinations. But one thing all air-travel customers have in common is the fear of a canceled flight due to bad weather. While it can happen to anyone, a flight cancelation can be both inconvenient and stressful to the average airplane passenger. If you find yourself in this common travel predicament, consider these three tips for dealing with your weather delay.

1. Contact the Airline

Once you receive word that your flight has been cancelled, you will likely be instructed to get in a line to reserve further travel arrangements. As the masses throng to the airline service desk, take out your cell phone and contact the airline directly. A customer service rep should be able to look-up the current cancelation status of your trip and assist you in rebooking immediately. When calling a commercial airline, have the following information readily available to speed up the process:

• Your personal information
• Flight itinerary including flight number
• Credit card number used to book the flight

2. Make Hotel Reservations

Now that you are sure you have a canceled flight on your hands, assess how long you are willing to sit at the airport. If you have to wait over 12 hours for weather conditions to improve or for alternate travel arrangements to take place, you may want to consider booking a hotel room. Adding exhaustion to an already stressful travel day is a recipe for disaster. Instead, stay the night in a local Puyallup, WA, hotel to feel refreshed when flights do become available again.

3. Be Polite

Finally, in all of the chaos of traveling and gathering storm tips don’t forget that at the end of the day there is only so many people can do in the case of inclement weather. It is likely the airlines are just as frazzled by the delays as the many stranded passengers. Good manners may go a long way in getting what you want in all of the disorder.

When facing a weather-related canceled flight stay calm. Follow these three simple tips to get you back on your way as soon as possible.

Do I Need Fire Insurance for my Commercial Building?

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Cleanup and restoration can be completed quickly for businesses with fire insurance because the costs are primarily covered by the insurance company.

Is Fire Insurance Required For My Commercial Building?

While a mortage company will most likely require a business to carry fire insurance, once a property is free of any liens, the business owner may or may not choose to continue to carry coverage. Yet, in Graham, WA, it is in the best interest of all businesses to have fire insurance in addition to other types of business insurance. 

Risks Associated With Not Having Fire Insurance
Fires remain one of the most common types of disasters businesses experience. They can also create devastating damage that can be hard to overcome without insurance. 

Fire insurance protects a business in several ways:

  • It covers costs associated with smoke cleanup.
  • It covers repairs for structural damages.
  • It covers repairs associated with fire suppression materials. 
  • It may also cover any fees charged for fire-fighting services. 

How Do Businesses Recover From Fire?

Once a fire has occurred, many structures are uninhabitable until fire restoration takes place. It is the job of the restoration company to assess the damage, take action to prevent further damage, and finally, restore the structure to its former state, which is hospitable to the work that takes place within the structure. 

For businesses that have fire insurance in their policies, the cleanup and restoration can happen quite speedily due to the expenses being mostly covered through the insurance company. The insurance company and restoration company work together to ensure that business can resume as quickly as possible.

For a business without insurance, the recovery process can be more painful to the business, assuming it has the capital to make recovery possible. Unfortunately, for many businesses, this type of disaster was not in the short-term budget. 

Nobody plans to experience disasters such as fires; they simply happen and at the most inopportune times. Keeping an updated insurance policy that includes fire insurance will ensure business operations can continue despite the inconveniences of fire damage.