Recent Posts

Tips for Homeowners After a Fire

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Many homeowners in Olympia, WA, can easily relay tips to prevent fires. Most can communicate the actions to take when a house in on fire. But, how many know what to do after a fire? How do you file a fire insurance claim? What does fire restoration involve? What are you, the homeowner, expected to do? Take the following actions after a fire to begin the recovery process for your home and personal effects.

How Do I File a Fire Insurance Claim?

• Coverage and procedure depend on your specific policy, so call your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the details.
• The agent and adjuster walk you through the necessary steps and paperwork.

What Is Fire Restoration?

• Immediately contact a reputable fire and smoke cleaning company. The professionals communicate with you and your insurance adjustor throughout the process.
• The course to restore your home and belongings starts with inspection and assessment of the damage.
• For your safety and to reduce the risk of further damage, do not touch or attempt to clean your home yourself. If the area is exposed, the restoration experts may cover your home with a roof tarp or board up windows.
• Firefighters use a lot of water to put out the flames. The professionals will remove the excess water and use specialized equipment to dry your space.
• After your home is dry, professional soot and smoke cleaning commences. The area is then cleaned and sanitized.
• Finally, the process of restoration begins. Depending on the amount of damage, this may include minor touchups such as painting or major construction such as replacing walls. The goal is to return your home to its pre-fire condition.

Do everything you can to prevent fires in your home. If your home catches fire in Olympia, WA, call the fire department to put out the blaze. After the initial shock of your house fire wears off, call your insurance agent and a fire restoration company to help you put your home and life back together again.

For more information, please visit us at

Sourcing by Smell: How To Find Mold

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

It’s unmistakable, it’s musty, it’s overpowering, and it’s proven impossible to pinpoint: It’s a mold smell. When your Olympia, WA, business has been overtaken by the malodourous sensation, it’s a sure sign of mold growth – but where? Using the five common senses and some modern technology, you can pinpoint the location and perform remediation to leave the building safe, clean, and odor-free (at least from a fungus smell).

Using the Five Senses.

While all senses can affirm the presence of mold, only a few should be utilized to confront the growth. After assuming its presence due to the suspicious mildew smell, it can be frustrating to not see any visible signs of growth. Keep in mind that mold may be invisible to the human eye because it develops in dark, moist places:

• Behind walls
• Underneath carpet or floorboards
• Inside heating and ventilation ducts

Following the mold smell should lead you to an area where it is most pungent, even if that may be the ceiling or an interior wall. From there, it is important to protect the other three senses by limiting exposure to the infected area.

Using Technology. 

The sooner the mold problem is remediated, the sooner business can return to normal operation. A mold remediation team can utilize infrared cameras to check for mold growth in the areas invisible to regular sight:

• Infrared cameras can cover large areas in a short amount of time, efficiently identifying the growth and allowing remediation to begin sooner.
• Images of heat radiation can identify areas of moisture (a necessary element for mold growth).
• Temperature gauges can also be read, identifying areas that may be encouraging spores to develop.

Once the location has been identified, pictures can be taken to measure the impacted area and present options for remediation. Mold smell may be unpleasant but is a key indicator of its even more unpleasant source. Follow your nose, and call the pros!

For more information, please visit us at

Flood Water Types Determine Cleanup

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Whatever has caused flooding in your Olympia, WA, home will determine the required cleanup methods. A pipe break or hose failure from an appliance requires a different remediation response than water damage from a storm-related flood.

Categories of Water Losses. 

Experts differentiate the categories of water that can infiltrate your home. Each requires its own response.

• Category One: water from a clean source that offers little to health risk
• Category Two: “gray water” that can create illness or discomfort
• Category Three: “black water” that is severely contaminated and contains pathogens or toxins

All three types of flooding require quick responses to avoid escalation of the damage. Mold begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of inundation and must be arrested as soon as possible. The longer any type of flood damage is left unaddressed, the greater the potential for structural deterioration or health consequences.

Flood Cleanup by Category.

Pipe breaks in the home are often a category one problem, and because the water is sanitary, floods can usually be safely addressed by thoroughly drying structural materials and drying and cleaning porous or semi-porous materials. 

Gray water floods come from sources like dishwashers and washing machines, hydrostatic pressure leakage, and overflowing sump basins. Generally, gray water floods are remediated similarly to category one floods through thorough drying and cleaning because of the presence of microorganisms that can compromise health.

Sewage or toilet backflow floods and any rising groundwater, seawater, river, stream or storm-driven water is considered category three. Porous and semi-porous materials contaminated by this type of water must be removed and replaced. 

Flooding inside your home can range from a nuisance to a nightmare. The important takeaway for homeowners is that a quick response is always in order, no matter the source of water, in order to prevent the growth of mold.

For more information, please visit us at

What To Do if You Have Wind Damage

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Damaging winds can wreak havoc upon your commercial property in Olympia, WA, but you can take measures to lessen the damage. Taking precautions before the storm can prevent some wind damage so that after the storm you can focus on your roof leak or other issues that are harder to avoid.

Before the Storm.

A regular survey of your building and the area around it can reveal potential hazards if a storm were to strike. Look for the following things when storm season is coming:

• Debris or lightweight items in the area surrounding your building
• Trees that are too close to power lines
• Shrubbery that is too close to your building
• Landscaping that uses hard, loose materials such as gravel or stone

If you can identify potential problems, you can make small changes periodically to get your building ready for storm season. This can provide a little protection from problems such as a severely damaged roof once the storm hits.

During the Storm.

If you see that a storm is about to be in your area, it is a good idea to start to collect tarps and buckets in preparation. A roof leak can be slowed down with a simple tarp placed strategically over the weakened area. If windows get broken, having plywood handy to board them up can protect your business against additional wind or rain.

After the Storm.

When the winds die down, it is time to assess the damage. Look for missing shingles and other signs of exterior weakness. Flood restoration specialists can help you assess problems and may find those you don’t even think to look for. They can help you prevent further damage by taking care of the most dire circumstances first. Try to get a quote as soon as possible so that you can report it to your insurance company.

You can’t stop the wind, but you can help prevent some of its damage. When you can’t prevent a roof leak or other type of wind damage, professional restorers can help you get your business back to normal.

For more information, please visit us at

Understanding Category 1 Water Damage

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

When your business experiences a flood, the source of the water determines what category the flood water belongs to. Flood water can be category 1, 2 or 3. Category 1 water is the cleanest while category 3 is the most contaminated. Water mitigation specialists in Olympia, WA, use this categorization system to help them determine how to approach cleanup because clean water can be dealt with differently than toxic water.

What Is Category 1 Water Damage?

Category 1 water is the cleanest category of water. In theory, it’s water that would be safe to drink. It can come from several different sources.
• A leaking supply line
• A broken pipe
• Rainwater directly from the sky
• Tub or sink overflow
If it’s cleaned up quickly, category 1 floods pose the least risk to human health. Unfortunately, category 1 water can quickly develop into category 2 water or even category 3 water.

Category 1 Water Can Become Category 2.

In general, category 2 water, or ‘grey’ water, has enough biological or chemical contamination to make people sick if they ingest it. It comes from sources such as the following.
• Washing machines
• Dishwashers
• Sump pump failure
• Flooded toilets with urine
If category 1 water stands stagnant for more than 48 hours, it becomes category 2 water. This is because when clean water comes in contact with other materials, they may release chemicals or microorganisms into it and bacteria can flourish in standing water.

Category 2 Can Become Category 3.

Category 3 water, or ‘black’ water, is the most dangerous. It contains chemicals or bacteria that will cause serious illness or death if ingested. Category 3 water comes from the following sources.
• Backed up sewers
• Flooded toilets with feces
• Flood water that has traveled over the ground
Category 1 water that flows over contaminated surfaces, stands stagnant for long periods or otherwise comes in contact with potentially toxic substances can eventually develop into category 3 water. That’s way even if you think you’re dealing with clean water, you should still contact a water mitigation expert in Olympia, WA, to determine necessary safety precautions.

For more information, please visit us at

Is Carpet Doomed by Water Damage?

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

It can happen unexpectedly – a squelch when you step, a rising suspicion as water bubbles up from underneath. With a (hopefully!) quick examination, the source is found: a pipe break. Water damage is a woe for all homeowners, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your carpet.

When Might it be Saved?

There are 3 categories of water damage used for cleanup and repair purposes:

• Category 1 comes from clean sources and has no threat of toxins or harmful material. A pipe break, overflowing sink or tub, or appliance malfunction are all examples of clean water.
• Category 2 is dubbed grey water for its potentially harmful contaminants. Dishwasher overflow, washing machines, or sump pump failures are often culprits of this water damage.
• Category 3 contains high levels of toxins and can be dangerous if contacted or ingested. This includes broken sewage lines and any flooding from the outdoors.

If the water in your home can be classified as category 1, then your chances of restoration are excellent, with the appropriate timing and attention.

Who Might Save it?

A professional water cleanup and restoration company will have the appropriate training and supplies to address your pipe break and resulting damage. With a quick response time and industrial strength machines they may salvage your carpet with minimal issue to you. Of course, every water damage situation is different, but here are just a few examples of what the professionals can do:

• Truck-mounted wet/dry vacuums can remove tons of water in little time.
• High-tech moisture detectors alongside infrared cameras can source remaining moisture embedded in places unseen to the naked eye.
• Industrial strength fans and dehumidifiers will circulate air more rapidly in your home, speeding up the vital drying process.
• Professional cleaning and sanitizing can ensure your carpets are fully restored and safe.

Time is of the essence when water damage infiltrates your home. Be sure to know the number for a cleanup and restoration company in Olympia, WA, and save the squelching for the beach.

For more information, please visit us at

Beginner's Guide to Cleaning Up Electronics After a Fire

5/20/2018 (Permalink)

When an electrical fire breaks out in your Olympia, WA, business, you may wonder if your electronics can be salvaged. A fire cleanup professional may be able to add to the information found in this guide.

Considering the Damage

Before you can have a computer cleanup done on your device, you need to figure out what kind of damage was done. During a fire, your electronics could be susceptible to multiple kinds of damage:

• Acidity Buildup: Smoke is often made up of soot, which can have a high acidity level. The acidity buildup can start to destroy your devices unless cleaned up promptly.
• Char: If the flames of the electrical fire engulf your computer, it may become charred. It may be hard to repair electronic devices that have this type of damage.
• Magnetic Charge: Depending on the fuel of the fire, smoke can also have a magnetic charge that can cause electronic devices to short circuit. Cleaning out the interior of the device may be enough to fix this issue.
• Soot Layer: Smoke can also leave a black film with insulating properties on the interior parts of electronics. Because of the added insulation, your equipment may start to overheat, so a thorough cleaning is often needed.

Before you can fix damage done to your electronics, you need to know what kind of damage to look for.

Doing the Repairs

As you get ready to do your computer cleanup, you may start to realize that you don't know what you're doing. Even if you know there is an acidity buildup, how do you get rid of it? It's often best to get professional help when cleaning up after a fire. Experts know not to give the computers power until the cleaning is done. They also know what kind of cleaners can be used on every surface of the electronics.

An electrical fire can cause a lot of damage to your commercial building. In some cases, your electronics may be salvageable.

For more information, please visit us at

Why Do I Keep Finding More Mold?

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

Time and time again, you scrub the mold from your Olympia, WA home. Yet every time you think you’ve eradicated it from your home, you find another spot of black mold in a new place – or even worse, it shows up right where you scrubbed before. You’ve tried airing out the house, you’ve searched for leaks and water damage, and you’ve even fallen back on chemical cleaners. So why does the mold keep coming back?

Mold Is Everywhere

It may be disappointing to hear, but it’s impossible to remove 100 percent of mold from your home. Mold is a prevalent part of your environment even when you can’t see it. The reasons you can’t eliminate all your black mold problems are:

• You can’t always see it. Mold may be hidden in nooks and crevices you can’t see, or even inside the walls. This makes it almost impossible to get rid of it entirely without professional help.

• Mold spores are prevalent in the air. You’re constantly surrounded by mold spores. You breathe them every day, but in such small concentrations that generally your immune system processes and rejects them. Those spores can easily take root at any time and start to grow into mold on surfaces in your home.

• Mold can be immensely resistant to cleaners. Most of the methods you use to clean and kill mold only kill what’s on the surface. Mold can resist chemicals and only responds to certain special treatments.

So What Can You Do About Mold?

The instant you find black mold, the first step is to begin mold cleanup and remediation. Mold remediation involves doing everything you can to eliminate the source, such as leaky roofs or appliances. You may require professional assistance if the mold is inside your walls or in other inaccessible areas of your home where only a mold test will be able to point to its existence.

For more information, please visit us at

Five Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Safe From Fire

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke billowing out of the oven. Alarms blaring. Panicked home chef standing on the front lawn in bare feet waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. It’s a nightmare scenario, and one that need never happen to you or your family if you follow a few simple tips for keeping your home safe from kitchen fires.

Five Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Safe From Fire

1) Never leave cooking food unattended. Whether you’re baking, broiling, boiling or frying, it’s important to keep a close watch over those pots and pans. In most cases, the signs of a possible fire are obvious and there’s time to intervene before flames take hold. Often, turning off the burner or adding more water can stop a fire in its tracks.

2) Keep small children away from the stove and other hot surfaces. Sometimes, curious little hands can’t resist the allure of a bubbling pot, and disaster can ensue.

3) Don’t wear scarves or loose sleeves in the kitchen. Any article of clothing that might touch a stovetop without the wearer’s notice is a no-no in the kitchen.

4) Clean all cooking surfaces regularly to avoid grease buildup. If a spark lands on a greasy surface, a grease fire can erupt and grow quickly. Vinegar and baking soda both cut grease, and many cleaning products are designed specifically to target grease.

5) Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and know how to use it because accidents do happen. Being prepared to extinguish a fire yourself will help you minimize fire damage.

Keep Your Kitchen Experiences Positive

Olympia, WA, is fortunate to have an abundance of talented home chefs, and for most of us, spending time in the kitchen is a rewarding experience. Sometimes, following the instructions on a package is enough to create a delicious meal or snack; other times, only exotic ingredients and culinary creativity will do. Regardless of which is more common in your home, follow the tips above to ensure that the result of your time in the kitchen doesn’t involve smoke, flames, or sirens.

For more information, please visit us at

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lacey 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.