Recent Storm Damage Posts

Why Your Company Needs Business Interruption Insurance

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. A few factors determine what you should expect to pay for business interruption insurance

When storms compromise an office building’s integrity, business must be paused while those responsible for operations rebuild. Meanwhile, anyone owed money still needs to be paid, even though earnings have been momentarily suspended. The ensuing budgetary gap can be disastrous. Prevent this financial bind from harming your venture with insurance specifically tailored to deal with this potential issue.

What Business Interruption Insurance Covers

While your company in Orting, WA, is shuttered, policies designed to bridge these monetary shortages may be used to cover:

  • Lost income
  • Loans
  • Employee payroll
  • Rental or lease payments
  • Taxes

With necessary expenses like these accounted for, other funds are freed to employ a commercial storm damage restoration company to bring your enterprise back to operational status.

How Business Interruption Insurance Works
Regardless of policy payout, the amount spent on your rebuild remains at your discretion. Carefully monitor expenditures. You will not receive reimbursement for utility damages, disasters not specified by your agreement, losses related to pandemics or undocumented income.
Determine how much coverage you require by estimating projected gross earnings. Executing this step accurately is vital, as you must cover any shortfall while your closed business is not generating income.
A few factors determine what you should expect to pay for business interruption insurance. Your type of work and how many people you employ, as well as prior claims experience, are all factors that impact the cost. Location is also a significant variable, as areas prone to severe weather events inevitably feature higher premiums.
Keep in mind that policies can be endlessly tailored. If you anticipate needing cash for other expenses, such as equipment leasing, temporary office rental or replacement of electronics, your agreement may be supplemented with additional clauses.
When storm damage halts your company’s operations as you rebuild, the resulting financial shortfall may be a major problem. Prepare for this eventuality by getting exactly the coverage you need.

How to Properly Manage Sewage Backup

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Severe flood in the bathroom. Water on the bathroom floor Sewage backup from a bathtub in Sumner, WA

Use The Following Tips If You Are Dealing With Sewage Backup

Your bathtub is supposed to be a safe haven where you can relax, unwind and clean yourself up after a long day. Unfortunately, sewer backup can invade your tub when you least expect it, dashing your hopes for a calm evening. If your bathtub in Sumner, WA, has fallen victim to sewage back flow, just use the following steps.

1. Protect Yourself and Your Household.
Sewage floods are considered Category 3 floods, as they contain a plethora of harmful biohazards. Protect your household by removing all children and pets from the area until the mess is cleaned up. Make sure you do the correct protective gear before tackling the mess as well.

2. Turn Off the Main Water Supply.
Prevent the flood from getting any worse by immediately shutting off your main water supply. You can usually find this valve in your basement.

3. Inspect Your Vent Pipe.
It is possible that the flood causing bathtub backup is a result of a blocked vent pipe. The vent pipe is typically located on the roof of your home, just above your bathroom. Use a flashlight to check for obstructions and remove any that you discover.

4. Snake the Bathtub Drain.
If the vent pipe isn't causing the flooding, then head back to your bathroom and attempt to snake the drain for clogs. Feed the snake down the drain, carefully, and twist counterclockwise as you slowly pull it out. If this method is successful, the sewer backup should begin to drain.

5. Thoroughly Disinfect the Area.
The biohazards present in black water are hazardous, so you absolutely need to make sure that you are thoroughly clean and disinfect any surfaces that the flood water came into contact with.
Sewer backup can be messy, but the clogs are typically easy to fix, even if you don't have any prior plumbing experience. If the techniques described above did not fix the problem, then you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.

How To Prepare Your Business for Storm Season

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Green external hard drive Back up data frequently

Tips To Help You In The Aftermath Of A Storm

As storm season in Fairfax, WA gets closer, it's important to know your business's building is protected from flooding. Despite all precautionary measures you might take, however, a heavy storm can still cause damage. The following tips can give you more control in the aftermath.

Minimize Damage
Even if floodwaters get past the sandbags at the doors and your exterior drainage system, you don't have to be resigned to utter destruction. A few extra precautions can help you prepare for storm season:

  • Back up data frequently.
  • Move equipment off the floor or to a higher level.
  • Install a sump pump in the basement.
  • Train employees with emergency procedures.

The great thing about these measures is that you can put them in place before you ever get the notification that a storm is on its way. You cannot always keep your building from flooding, but you can minimize the damage the water does.

Purchase Coverage
Make sure both your property and your business are protected in the event of a disaster. Most property policies exclude flood damage from storms, so you need to purchase an extra flood policy to cover your losses. Business interruption insurance helps to secure your income if a flood shuts you down. It can replace lost capital or maybe even cover the cost of temporary relocation of your operation.

Mitigate Quickly
If your building does sustain flood damage, don't hesitate to call flood restoration experts. The longer you put off mitigation, the more damage standing water does to your building. In as little as 24-48 hours, mold can start to grow on any surface the black water has touched. A delay in cleanup can mean a larger delay in getting your business back to normal.
You may not be able to avoid all flooding during storm season. You can, however, protect your commercial property from some of the damage by being prepared for it.

Is Your Business Prepared To Evacuate in the Event of an Emergency?

8/16/2020 (Permalink)

While an emergency in the workplace is never expected, disasters happen every day in businesses all around the country. That’s why it’s so important to implement a fire drill plan for your employees and customers. By keeping a few simple guidelines in mind when designing your evacuation procedure, you can make sure your business in Olympia, WA, is prepared for a worst-case scenario.

1. Pay attention to details.
Where is a fire most likely to break out in your building? How is the customer traffic flow designed? What are the locations of sprinklers and fire extinguishers? These are factors that will need to be considered when planning for an emergency. Map your evacuation route to bypass dangerous areas and allow for the fastest possible exit from the building.

2. Communication is key.
Even the most well designed fire drill plan is useless if you don’t ensure that every employee knows how to implement it. Keep in mind that your employees will need to guide customers to safety in the event of an emergency, so it’s imperative that they have access to a printed evacuation route and are aware of where all the building exits are located.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Even the most level headed employee can panic if a fire breaks out at work. That’s why evacuation drills should be rehearsed on a regular basis to make sure that everyone knows their role in an emergency. Address any issues or confusion after each drill to develop a reliable exit strategy. Shift leaders and managers should have the contact information for a reliable fire damage restoration company to call after ensuring that all customers and employees are out of the building and first responders are on the way.

While no business owner wants to think about a life threatening emergency in their building, it’s crucial to have a fire drill plan in place to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. By remembering to prepare for the worst-case scenario, you can prevent a tragedy from occurring.

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.

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.

3 Things All First Responders Should Know About Floods

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

N-95 mask Consider wearing an N-95 protective mask as well to reduce your exposure to mold spores

Three Things You Need to Know As a First Responder

During a flood response, emergency personnel provide potentially lifesaving care to injured and scared individuals. As such, it’s crucial for those delivering aid in Orting, WA, to stay informed. Here are three things you need to know as a first responder.

Required Immunizations
The Centers for Disease Control requires all first responders who will be handling patients directly to receive two vaccinations: one for tetanus, and one for hepatitis B. Vaccinations for several other diseases aren’t explicitly required by the CDC but may be wise:

  • Meningitis
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis A
  • Rabies

Other countries may also have their own immunization requirements, so be sure to check online before venturing outside of the United States to provide health care during a disaster.

Protective Clothing
Proper clothing is paramount during a flood response, as the water may include bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants. Consider the following gear as a first responder:

  • Boots
  • Goggles
  • Plastic or rubber gloves
  • Water-resistant outerwear

If you’re working in a home that hasn’t yet been sanitized by a water damage mitigation company, consider wearing an N-95 protective mask as well to reduce your exposure to mold spores.

Stress Management
First responders spring into action at a moment’s notice in taxing and traumatic situations. It’s imperative, therefore, that emergency personnel closely monitor themselves to identify stressors so they can respond appropriately. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may require follow-up with a physician or other health professional:

Emotional outbursts

Stress may be "all in a day’s work" for first responders, but coping tools and self-care should be, too. It’s important to remember that traumatic stress symptoms may not present themselves for days or weeks after a flood.
As a first responder, you play an incredibly important role in flood response and other natural disasters. By taking care of yourself and following all recommended precautions, you can provide superior assistance to those who need it in times of distress.

Swift Action Could Save Your Water-Logged Business From Mold

4/12/2020 (Permalink)

Technician cleaning with a vacuum Technician working at a Graham, WA business

Swift Action Could Save Your Water-Logged Business From Mold

You could have bigger issues than musty odors and mushy carpeting. The floodwater that infiltrated your building, if allowed to sit, can become a breeding ground for mold growth, turning your soggy mess into a major working hazard. As a business owner in Graham, WA, you should be aware of this possible event and know how to quickly act, hopefully avoiding major trouble down the road.

1. Work Quickly

The standing water brought with it all of the microbes from outside, and they've started to make your building their new home. Easily, they absorb into anything porous, especially drywall and flooring. That means your place is now contaminated with bacteria and fungal spores, both of which develop in damp, moist areas. After all, they only need water and organic material to grow. The spread happens immediately, often blooming within one to two days. Don't waste time. Minimize pollution. Contact a water restoration company to evaluate the situation, attacking the contamination early.

2. Why Is Decreasing Humidity Necessary?

To eliminate mold growth, the specialists perform tests, determining the extent of water penetration. Then, they use their high-tech equipment to do two things: tear-out and dry. Removing as much as possible is helpful. This depletes the room of the microbial trouble. It also reduces the fluid. Dehumidifiers work with what is left, pulling out moisture that can't be seen. With the humidity gone, the mold loses its catalyst and development halts.

3. How Is the Location Sanitized?

Antimicrobial spray can be applied to any sections that may house lingering bacteria. In addition, fixtures and other belongings can be cleaned using various methods, leaving them ready to use again. Testing occurs at this time to verify the space is good, and the crew repairs and rebuilding anything left.
Don't underestimate mold growth. You may not see it, but if water sits, it can be there. Therefore, to ensure your establishment is okay call someone and dry out rooms.

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.

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.

Community Flood Prevention Efforts

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Retaining walls hold swollen soil in place

Weather Related Flood Events

Floods are a common risk across the country, causing many to evacuate towns until floodwaters recede. Within a place of business, proper maintenance on water systems helps prevent rising water, but outside forces are harder to control. The most common types of weather-related flood events include

  • Excessive rainfall
  • Rapidly melting snow
  • Dam failures

When rivers swell with water and major weather patterns leave the ground soggy, there are flood prevention steps communities such as Sumner, WA, can take.

Town Planning and Drainage Systems

As buildings go up, waterways must remain unblocked and drainage systems must be free from debris and blockage. Town planners can work to create neighborhoods that allow excess water to drain away without obstruction.

Community Education

Before business owners have to evacuate their property and work with flood damage cleanup and remediation professionals, it's best to educate them about the risk of rising water. For example, some landscaping elements are light enough that water washes it into drainage systems. This clogs the system and increases the risk of flooding. As business owners understand what causes floods, they're more likely to avoid behaviors that increase the risk and impact flooding.

Landscaping and Vegetation

Property owners in Sumner, WA, can reduce erosion (which sends debris into drainage systems and increases the risk of flooding) by planting grass, shrubs, and trees to hold soil in place. This flood prevention and landscaping tactic may also slow down the rush of water into communities.

Retaining Walls, Retention Basins, and Levees

There are many structures that provide safety from rising rivers and overflowing seas. A sea defense wall prevents tidal waves from sending water into communities. Retaining walls hold swollen soil in place, and retention ponds provide temporary storage spaces for floodwater.

The more you know about flood prevention tactics, the better you can avoid flood damage to your property. In addition to preparing for flood cleaning plans, take steps to protect your business from water damage.

3 Travel Tips To Follow During a Flood

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Don't drive through flooded roads

How to React When a Flood Occurs

When a flood occurs in Fairfax, WA, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. However, certain actions, such as driving through a flooded street, can put you at further risk. It's often important to know what mistakes to avoid and how to react when a flood occurs.

1. Keep Informed

When storms with heavy rains occur, certain areas become more prone to flooding. In order to respond in a safe manner, it's important to keep informed about the weather in your area. The National Weather Service often will issue advisories that can provide you with important information about where flooding is likely to occur. Your local news stations, radios and weather apps can all be useful sources of information before, during and after a flood.

2. Don't Drive Through Flooded Roads

In an effort to leave an area that is under water, you may be tempted to drive through a flooded street. However, floodwater that appears shallow can be deceiving. Your vehicle can easily be swept away by rushing floodwater, and even if the water is not moving swiftly, your vehicle can quickly get stuck. Instead of attempting to drive through a street that is flooded, it's safer to turn around and avoid the area.

3. Don't Try To Save Your Home

During a flood, some people are tempted to stay at their houses in order to protect them. However, staying at your home can be dangerous during a flood. Items can be replaced, and emergency restoration services can assist you in restoring your property after a flood. Staying at your home during a flood can put you at risk, and it's often wise to take only what you need and to seek out higher ground elsewhere.

Knowing what travel tips to follow and what to avoid during a flood can help you to evacuate the area safely. In order to keep secure during a flood, it's often wise to stay informed, avoid driving through a flooded street and to leave your home when necessary.

4 Ways To Prevent Roof Damage Caused by Strong Winds

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Protect your roof with tarps it can help prevent shingles from lifting off your building

4 Ways To Prevent Roof Damage

The roof of your business in Graham, WA, can struggle to combat strong winds and may experience damage, such as a roof leak, that shortens the life of your roof and causes harm to other parts of your building. This can eventually cause other serious issues like water destruction or mold growth if not addressed immediately. Although a water damage restoration company can help you reverse the effects of these issues, you can prepare for storms and avoid a damaged roof with these four preventative actions.

1. Keep Tall Trees Away From Your Building

While trees can improve the appearance of your business’s landscape and create shade for your customers when they’re outdoors, they are vulnerable to falls during a storm. Additionally, branches are prone to break and fly off with strong winds. To prevent extensive roof damage from a fallen tree or flying branches, keep all trees and limbs a safe distance away from your building.

2. Protect Your Roof With Tarps or Plywood

If you know a large storm is coming, placing tarps and plywood on your roof can help prevent shingles from lifting off your building. By holding shingles in place and creating an extra barrier, tarps keep water out and avert a roof leak.

3. Remove Debris and Large Objects From Outside

Debris that is picked up by strong winds and hits your roof can cause extensive damage to your business. Make sure to clean up any debris left outside and store any furniture or other loose outdoor objects. Secure all fence boards as well.

4. Use Strong Roofing Materials

If your business encounters high winds often, and you’re tired of dealing with missing shingles and a roof leak, consider replacing an asphalt roof with a metal, plastic, or stone one. These materials may hold up better during strong storms.

A damaged roof can be a very costly expense, especially if it results in more harm occurring to your business. Protect your roof from the effects of wind and storm damage with the above four tips.

How Does FEMA Help Homeowners After Storms?

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can cause a vast amount of damage to a home, and it’s important that each home is assessed on an individual basis.

After your home in Sumner, WA has been affected by storms and flooding, it can be helpful to seek assistance. Understanding how FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) can assist homeowners can be useful to you after a flood.

1. Evaluates the Home

Once your application for assistance has been received and when it is safe to do so, the agency will send someone from the organization to evaluate your home. Storms can cause a vast amount of damage to a home, and it’s important that each home is assessed on an individual basis. Homes that have sustained widespread damage may require more thorough evaluations, whereas homes that have only been minorly impacted will likely be quicker since damage can be more easily spotted.

2. Provides Documentation

In addition to evaluating the damage that has occurred to your home, FEMA also will document the damage as well. This documentation is often necessary in order for the agency to determine whether or not you qualify for financial aid. Many insurance companies require documentation after a storm has occurred, so it can also be helpful to send the information to your insurance provider.

3. Offers Compensation

In some circumstances, the agency offers financial aid to homeowners whose homes have been majorly affected by a disaster. Regardless of whether or not you do receive aid, you the organization will send you a letter explaining how the decision was made. If you have received aid, the letter will generally suggest that you spend the money on services and items that will improve the state of your home, such as emergency restoration services. Those who were denied aid, however, can make an appeal.

Knowing how FEMA can aid you after a storm can you determine what additional assistance you may require. After a storm, the agency will evaluate your home, document what has occurred and may provide you with compensation.

Why Does Sewer Backup Occur During Heavy Rains?

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage backup in Puyallup, WA

Why Does Sewer Backup Occur During Heavy Rains?

When heavy rain water comes to town, a lot of it makes its way into the sewer system of Puyallup, WA. As a result of poor upkeep or inferior drainage systems, the water accumulates pieces of sewage and makes its way into buildings. This is known as sewer backup and presents an extremely dangerous situation because black water can enter a building and pose various problems for the people within. 

Too Much Buildup

Sewers can only handle so much. This is particularly true in areas where sewage maintenance has fallen to the wayside. Depending on the direction in which sewage needs to flow, the pipes may not be capable of adequately flowing the liquid. It needs to go somewhere, so it flows upward into the nearest exit, which, in some cases, is a drainage pipe inside your building. 

Another reason why sewage water will back up into commercial buildings in Puyallup, WA is obstructions in the sewer system. Tree roots can grow at an excessive rate, causing cracks and breakages in the sewer line. Additionally, sewer systems are only meant for certain types of waste. If too many solid objects get in the system, then it can completely block off an entire section of the sewer. Instead of the water flowing through the sewer, it has to flow out of the nearest exit.

Visit for more information on water damage.

3 Easy Ways To Avoid Frozen Pipes

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes are frequently easily avoidable.

3 Easy Ways To Avoid Frozen Pipes

A burst pipe doesn’t equal holiday fun in Puyallup, WA but pipes do freeze, and consequently break, all winter long. Things like electronics and documents can be destroyed by flooding from a broken pipe in seconds. Buildings that are not inspected after freezing may harbor standing water, which can seriously damage the building itself and endanger human health. Fortunately, frozen pipes and resulting flood damage can largely be avoided with minimal effort.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. Most water pipes do not, and the force of the freezing water inside often ends in pipe breakage. Follow these three guidelines to keep your water from getting pushy and damaging your pipes:

1. Keep Your Indoor Temperature Up

As long as the water is on, even a vacant building should never have its thermostat set below 55 degrees. In addition, doors to rooms with plumbing should be open if those rooms don’t have their own heat sources. Indoor heat combats the cold that attacks underfloor pipes and those in exterior walls. If the inside temperature is too low, you may wind up with a frozen pipe.

2. Let the Faucet Trickle

On the coldest nights, leaving vulnerable faucets to trickle can prevent a burst pipe. Water freezes fastest when it’s not moving, and a small amount of flow can disrupt the freezing process.

3. Insulate and Install Heating Devices

Pipes located in places like garages and outbuildings are often especially vulnerable. This plumbing may be adequately protected with foam insulation. In colder climates, however, some pipes may require a little extra help. Heat tape is one option. It wraps around a pipe, providing warmth to keep the water inside from freezing via the use of electricity. Other, similar products can be purchased at home improvement stores.

A burst pipe can cause a lot of problems. Nevertheless, frozen pipes are frequently easily avoidable. Keep pipes at a reasonable temperature and let faucet water flow a little when it’s really cold, and you should avert any need for water damage repair this winter or next.

Black Water, Not the Trendy Drink: Top Three Questions About Black Flood Water

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

The dangers of black flood water go well beyond the idea of normal water damage.

Water damage is one of many concerns after a flood. The more significant worry is honestly not the damage but the water itself. Many people worry about the effects of flood water, but few people understand what black water actually is.

1. What Is It?

Water has three levels of classification: category one is clean water, category two is slightly contaminated water, and category three is highly contaminated water. Black water is considered a category three water. This level of classification means that it is water that can now support bacterial growth. Mostly, this type of water is a mixture of sewage, rivers, and rain, making it highly contaminated.

2. Is It Dangerous?

Yes. There is significant water damage associated with this type of water, and it goes beyond damage to material goods. This water is considered highly toxic to both people and animals, and there is evidence to suggest that ingestion is not necessary for producing these adverse effects. Merely inhaling or coming into contact with the water may cause illness or disease, such as hepatitis, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, leptospirosis, and many others.

3. Can You Remove It Yourself?

No. It is not advisable to remove black water on your own. The adverse health effects of the water make it a hazardous substance. Instead of putting your health at risk and attempting to clean up the water yourself, you could check the Puyallup, WA, area for restoration specialists who have expertise in dealing with this type of substance. These experts have the appropriate tools, protective clothing, and knowledge to ensure that you get back in your home only when it is safe to do so.

The dangers of black flood water go well beyond the idea of normal water damage. It is a highly dangerous substance that presents a significant health risk to anyone who comes in contact, and should therefore only be handled by experienced professionals. For more information, visit

How to Maintain a Sump Pump

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

For the majority of homeowners in Puyallup, WA, and throughout the country, home ownership and home maintenance go hand in hand. And while your house’s sump pump is surely not its most aesthetic feature, it is vital in keeping your home free of the need for flood remediation services. Keeping this behind-the-scenes hero humming along requires some relatively easy maintenance.

Seven Simple Steps.

A thorough quarterly pump checkup is recommended. Whether the pump’s design is submersible or pedestal, the maintenance steps are the similar.

1. Be sure that the pump safely connects to its power source, ideally with a GFCI. Have a look at the integrity of the cord, as well.
2. If you have the recommended backup battery, check to make sure it is working.
3. Before cleaning, unplug the unit.
4. Clean the grate in the basin.
5. Clean the sump pump’s screen or inlet.
6. Inspect drainage pipes to confirm sound connections, and clear any blockages in the vent.
7. Replace the pump and make sure it is level. Refill the basin if necessary and plug in the pump. It should run right away.

Troubleshooting Tips.

When a pump isn’t working, the float’s position is often the problem. If the pump has shifted as a result of vibration or for any other reason, the float arm and switch will not operate correctly. Reposition the pump so that it is level. Another common interruption in a pump’s smooth operation can occur when the impeller has disengaged from the pump shaft. This problem can occur when backflow forces the impeller to reverse direction. Installing a check valve and reattaching the impeller is the solution in this case.

The life of a sump pump is hard to predict, but the average is ten years. A consistently performed pump maintenance routine increases the likelihood of trouble-free service.

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Understanding Ice Dams

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

The aesthetic pleasure of sparkling snow and crystal ice can bring its share of challenges during a Puyallup, WA, winter. Unfortunately, the beautiful appearance of icicles on your roof may be a sign of wintery damage that if left alone could lead to a hefty spring cleaning of black mold.

What Is an Ice Dam?

As warm interior temperatures rise to high areas of the roof, snow can begin to melt and create a stream of meltwater to the lower roof and gutters. The lower level of the roof and the gutters that hang off the side of the building have little access to the warm air circulation inside. Thus, a dam can be created as the meltwater hits these frozen spaces and has nowhere to divert. There are a few common signs that a dam may be forming:

• Large amounts of snow on the roof
• Significant ice blockade on the edges of the roof, gutters, or soffits
• Icicles
• Water damage appearing on interior ceilings or walls

What Issues May Arise?

When a blockade of ice begins forming on the edges of the roof, melting snow has nowhere to drain. The warmer temperatures of the higher levels of the roof create meltwater that ends up draining into the interior structure of the building. Insulation, ceilings, and interior walls are often impacted, potentially creating water damage that can lead to mold growth.

Can It Be Prevented?

Prevention of an ice dam requires certain measures:

• Adding insulation to ensure heat is kept away from the roof
• Verifying there is proper ventilation in roof soffits and vents
• Closing areas that may leak warm air upwards

Furthermore, maintaining clear gutters is vital to their ability to keep drainage flowing away from the roof and interior. If ice has begun forming on the edges of the building, heat tape can be used to melt it off.

Snow and ice may be inevitable in a Puyallup, WA, winter, but they needn’t be destructive. Prevent an ice dam in the winter to avoid a mold cleanup in the spring!

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3 Steps Flood Technicians May Take To Drain Your Flooded Basement

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

When flooding occurs in Puyallup, WA, it can affect your home in many ways. However, one of the most common results of localized flooding is a flooded basement. While this can be a troubling issue, flood technicians from a storm cleanup and restoration company have the equipment and know-how to remove this water efficiently and safely.

1. Gauging Water Levels

When flood technicians arrive at your home, the first step they might take is to gauge the water level in your flooded basement. This can help them decide how to proceed and what type of equipment they might use to remove the water. For example, if there is more than two feet of water, the techs may need to use submersible sump pumps to drain it away.

2. Grading the Water

Grading the type of water involved in a basement flood can help flood techs set up safety measures before they start draining it. Flood waters are usually graded in three categories, with level one being clean water, as from a burst kitchen pipe. Category two is grey water, which may contain detergents or other cleaning chemicals. Outdoor flood water is usually graded as category three, or black water, as it might contain sewage runoff and other debris. This type of water will usually require the use of safety suits and other precautions that help keep the techs safe.

3. Removal of Trash

Outdoor floods can cause debris, mud and sludge to enter your basement along with the water. Flood techs may use a trash pump to drain away heavy or thick silt, as well as other types of flood waste, before the rest of the water is removed. This type of thorough cleaning can help ensure your basement’s floor is properly restored after a flood.

When your Puyallup, WA, home’s basement floods, it can be a troublesome issue that may cause damage to the room’s walls and floor. However, calling in professional flood technicians and their powerful water remediation equipment can solve the problem with efficiency.

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Continuing Education for Storm Certification

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC Develops the Standards for The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner 

SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Dangers Posed by Sewer Backup

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

Black water can contain various types of harmful bacteria.

Even if the rest of your building has protections in place to prevent flooding, you need to be certain there are also items in place to prevent sewage from backing up into the building. Even if there does not seem to be much rain water, it only takes a little to wreak havoc within your local sewer systems.

Additionally, contact a professional water removal service to handle a backed-up sewer instead of handling the contaminated water yourself. Sewage damage should only be cleaned by a certified restoration company. 

SERVPRO of Sumner/Puyallup is a locally-owned franchise with national resources that helps homeowners to overcome mold, water, and fire damage at as little cost and strain as possible. Give us a call at (253) 848-0800.

Removing Mold Odor After Water Damage

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth can be a huge problem after water damage has occurred.

Whether the moisture is due to flood water, a leaky ceiling, or even sewage loss, the dampness left behind can cause mold growth to proliferate in walls, ceiling tiles, carpets, or other porous surfaces. It’s important to clean and use disinfectant on affected areas as soon as possible to eradicate mold, otherwise serious health problems can be caused by its presence. Avoid endangering your employees and customers this way by making sure the mold is dealt with appropriately by a trained professional in Lacey, Wa.

Ultimately, if you suspect mold or have noticed any strong, musky odors, you will need to have a professional service come in to inspect your property. Once the source of the problem is found, removal and remediation efforts can begin.

SERVPRO of Puyallup is a locally-owned franchise with national resources that helps homeowners to overcome mold, water, and fire damage at as little cost and strain as possible. Give us a call at (360) 438-2066. 

Understanding Black Water

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

When flooding invades your home in Puyallup, WA the results can be devastating. After the water recedes, your first instinct may be to enter your home to survey the water damage and rescue some treasured or valued items. However, doing so can be dangerous because of contaminants in the water. Water that enters your home during flooding is black water, and it is important to understand why it should only be handled and removed by a professional flood restoration company.

Identifying Black Water

As flooding occurs, local sewage systems may back up and overflow, combining with water that is already overflowing from nearby streams or rivers. Unlike grey water, which usually drains from sinks and washing machines, black water often contains a variety of contaminants, which can include these:

• Urine
• Human and animal feces
• Rotting food

Coming into contact with this type of water can pose a variety of dangers to you and your family. Because of the possible presence of many different types of bacteria, it is wise to call in a professional flood restoration company to remove any standing water in your home.

Getting Professional Removal

As a homeowner, you probably want to assess water damage as soon as possible after flooding for insurance purposes. However, even if water levels are relatively low in the interior of your home, it is a good idea to wait for a cleanup and restoration company to remove it. Flooding experts have the equipment and know-how that is necessary to safely remove contaminated water from your residence. This is important because even if you cannot see evidence of sewage in the water, it may be present and contain many harmful toxins.

When your Puyallup, WA home sustains water damage from flooding, there may be invisible dangers present from black water. This contaminated water cannot be handled in the same way as that from a backed-up dishwasher or sink. Calling in professional support can help get your home back to normal in a way that is safe and efficient.
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We are an IICRC Certified Firm

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

How to help prevent flooding to your home in the Puyallup/Sumner area due to a storm.

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

1.    Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.

2.    Make sure your roof is secure and protected.

3.     Clear gutters and drains

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate