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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Category 3: How Storm Water Gets Contaminated

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flood water is considered Category 3 water.

Owning a commercial property in Lacey, WA means that occasionally, you may have to deal with storm damage. When flood water rises too high to keep it out of your building, it is important to call in expert mitigation services to fix the problem. Not only are these professionals certified to stop the problem from getting bigger, but they also know the proper precautions to take when dealing with contaminated water. Hiring professionals help keep you and your employees or tenants safe.

Contamination Categories

There are three categories of contamination that can be present when a building floods:

  • Category 1: Clean water from pipes or supply lines
  • Category 2: Gray water from dishwashers or washing machines
  • Category 3: Black water from sewers or flood water

The runoff from storms belongs in Category 3. It is not safe to ingest, as it likely contains bacteria and microbes. It is not advisable to let the water even touch your skin. Professional mitigation experts don protective gear before handling anything that has touched the water so that they are protected during the cleanup process.

How Storm Water Gets Contaminated

You may be wondering how rain can become contaminated. The water is contaminated as soon as it hits a surface. Buildings and the ground are infested with millions of types of bacteria or microbes, and all of them get swept up in waters from the flood. The sewer is also likely to back up if waters get too deep, causing further contamination. There is no such thing as clean storm water, so it's important to steer clear of it as much as possible when evacuating.

Flood water is considered Category 3 water, and that means that dealing with it is best left up to trained professionals. If your building is affected by storm flooding, make sure everyone is safely evacuated and let the experts do their job.

Putting Out a Grease Fire

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a kitchen oil fire. A firefighter investigating the cause. Kitchen fire in Yelm, WAa

How To Put Out a Grease Fire

Regardless if you are a novice chef or have mastered the art of cooking, the potential for a grease fire in your Yelm, WA, exists. If done correctly, they are often easy to extinguish. Once it has spread outside the pan, it’s best to leave the hazard to firefighters and the fire cleanup to professional fire and smoke damage experts.

Putting the Fire Out

If flames appear while cooking, below are steps to take to safely extinguish the fire.

Place a metal lid or baking sheet over the pan. Do not remove it until it is cool.
Ensure the heat source is turned off.
Baking soda or salt can be used to smother the fire. Never use water, other cooking powders, or towels. They can make the fire spread.
Use a Class B fire extinguisher, which is designed for flammable liquids. Other types of extinguishers may have water or other ingredients that may make the fire spread.
If the flames start to spread, get out of the home and call 911. Wait until you receive an affirmative from the firefighters before re-entering the home.

Tips to Avoid a Fire
While knowing how to put out a grease fire is important, avoiding one altogether is always preferred. Below are a few tips to consider to ensure safe cooking.

When frying, boiling or broiling, always stay in the kitchen.
Ensure the area around the stovetop is clear of potentially flammable objects.
Slowly heat oil and gently add food to minimize splatter.
Maintain a proper temperature when cooking with grease. Smoke or an odd smell means it is too hot.
Keep a lid or baking sheet accessible.
Ensure children stay away from the cooking area.

While a grease fire can be scary, quick action and using the right techniques can squash the flames. Remember to always keep safety in mind and don’t try to be a hero if the flames spread.

4 Ways to Ensure Fire Preparedness in the Home

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a shed fire in Olympia, WA Install smoke detectors in your home to help prevent fires.

Four Things You Can Do To Protect Your Home and Family

Too often, people need to rely on the work of a fire restoration company in Olympia, WA because they fail to take the necessary precautions in their home. Fire preparation should not be optional. Sure, no one expects to have a fire, but there are at least four inexpensive things you can do to protect your home and family.

  1. Install smoke detectors and extinguishers
  2. Prepare emergency escape routes
  3. Practice regularly
  4. Prepare emergency contacts

Install Smoke Detectors and Extinguishers

The first thing you should do to protect yourself and your family from a possible home fire is to install smoke detectors and extinguishers. Make sure that you install enough of each. You should have at least one extinguisher on each floor and in high-risk areas. Smoke detectors should also be in high-risk spaces and in bedrooms as well as every level of the home.

Prepare Emergency Escape Routes

The next objective for fire preparation is to prepare emergency escape routes. You should have a minimum of two exits from every room in your house. Also, make sure that paths are clear of any clutter, ensuring a safe exit. Remember, during a fire, there will be low visibility.

Practice Regularly

While planning escape routes is a significant first step toward fire safety, those routes mean nothing without adequate practice. Make sure that everyone in the family practices at least twice per year. However, more often is likely better.

Prepare Emergency Contacts

Last, make sure that you have a list of emergency contacts prepared for every family member. Always make sure that everyone knows how to call 911 and report an emergency. It may sound obvious, but many people freeze during high-stress situations, which can delay emergency responders.
Don't let the aftermath of a house fire be the first time your family talks about fire preparation. Install the appropriate safety equipment and prepare for possible disasters. Contact a fire mitigation company if you have any questions about fire safety.

Odor Removal Following a Flood

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded in Olympia, WA. Flood damage in Olympia, WA.

Mold growth and sewage loss are severe complications following a septic system back up that causes a flood at your business in Olympia, WA. Although powerful water extraction methods can quickly dry your space, more drastic efforts are necessary for sanitization and odor removal.

Problems Following a Flood

Water that floods your business following a severe storm or plumbing damage requires careful handling because it may contain:

  • Salmonella
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Sewage
  • Parasites

Flood water at your business requires prompt removal before mold problems develop. Mold spores that quickly spread through the air are not visible, but you can detect them in your building by the musty odor they produce. Fortunately, knowledgeable mold remediation professionals can undertake odor removal efforts that purify the air.

Odor Removal Methods

The first step toward eliminating the odor that follows a flood involves air filtration. This technique involves industrial-grade HEPA vacuums that capture microscopic spores in the air and prevents them from spreading.
Mold growth and other contaminants leave behind stubborn odors, but ozone generators provide one of the most effective treatments for removing them. This method involves introducing ozone molecules into the contaminated space. Ozone is an oxygen molecule that has three rather than two oxygen atoms. The third atom breaks away from the others, attaches itself to the atom producing the offensive odor and neutralizes it.
It is necessary to evacuate the premises while ozone treatment is underway and until the oxygen molecules in the atmosphere return to their normal levels.
Air fogging is another method that involves heating a deodorizing solvent and releasing it into the atmosphere as a mist. It is particularly effective for accessing the difficult-to-reach areas behind walls, under floorboards or within upholstery fibers and leaves behind a pleasant odor.
Odor removal professionals have the knowledge and skills to address unpleasant odors resulting from mold growth and sewage loss following a flood from a septic system backup at your business in Olympia, WA.

Do You Have To Throw Away Contents That Have Been Mold Damaged?

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in wall in Yelm, WA Mold damage in Yelm, WA.

Every year in the U.S., floods cause around $8 billion in damages. Houses that flood not only have the floodwater disaster to deal with, it’s also normal to experience an explosion of black mold growth afterward. Mold cleaning in Yelm, WA, should be an expected part of the restoration process.
When it comes to contents, it’s often cheaper to throw away items with significant mold damage. However, if the items are valuable or sentimental, they’ll need to be cleaned by the experts – a complicated process requiring the right equipment and techniques.

Why Do Floods Cause Black Mold?

Mold is a natural substance that helps eat dead plants and animal matter. In the outdoors, it’s strongly controlled by good airflow and UV rays in sunlight. Indoors, it not only finds shade and restricted airflow, but it also has plenty of substances to feed on, such as

Some fabrics

All it takes is a source of moisture. The leftover humidity after a flood is more than sufficient to require extensive mold cleaning throughout your house.

Can Mold Remediation Save Contents?

In many cases, yes. However, the process isn’t easy or cheap, especially with paperwork and photographs. The mold literally eats away at these materials as it grows. You need to call top mold remediation experts to respond immediately to your home.
The process starts by removing all the floodwater and excess humidity from your home as quickly as possible. Damaged paperwork should be put in the freezer until it can be processed. All food should be discarded and anything to be saved that has mold growing on it should be isolated.

What Else Can Be Saved?

A special device called an Esporta Machine can save paper, textiles, cardboard and even stuffed animals in many (but not all) cases. Items that are special enough to save rather than replace can be restored through modern mold remediation methods. In some cases, insurance will even pay for it.
Mold cleaning is an intense process that can save many items. However, time is working against you, so call the experts quickly if you want to save both items and money!

Does a Commercial Fire Always Require Water Cleanup?

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Outside of a building structure has been damaged by fire, board up has been placed on windows and door Commercial fire damage in Lacey, WA.

When businesses in Lacey, WA, have a significant fire, the fire department is going to do whatever it takes to save lives and extinguish the flames. This often includes copious amounts of water – up to 20,000 gallons! Yet, even with small fires, you can expect a significant water cleanup.

Why Do Fire Departments Use Water?

There are four reasons most fires are put out with water:

  • Water is cheap.
  • Water is available everywhere.
  • Water is better for the environment.
  • Chemical retardants may leave a toxic residue.

With a large public water system already installed in populated areas, the infrastructure strongly favors using it. It’s also extremely adept at smothering fires and transferring the heat to steam.

So, What’s Wrong With Water?

The water is going to pick up nasty residue from the smoke. It carries this soot and oil all through a building, getting behind walls and into electrical systems and appliances.

It also damages everything porous that it touches, warping construction material and causing wood rot, which attracts insects. The water cleanup can be the most expensive part of a fire cleanup process.

Does Insurance Pay for Water Damage Repair?

Insurance companies realize that the benefits of putting out a fire quickly far outweigh the cost of cleaning up the water damage later. In the case of a fire cleanup, all the firefighting activities will be fully covered by standard commercial insurance policies.

How Do You Get Water Damage Repaired?

Once water damage gets into the sub-flooring or walls, you need a professional water damage restoration expert to inspect your business. When excess moisture gets behind walls, you can get toxic black mold growth, causing terrible odors and damage to the building. The smoke cleanup can also be very extensive, which can be done by your water damage experts. The preferred method is to restore items instead of replacing them. This dramatically speeds up the process and will substantially reduce your cost if you don’t have insurance.
Water cleanup can be a significant cost of a fire in your business. Of course, it’s always better than the alternative. Fortunately, the experts have years of experience dealing with the results of firefighting.

How To Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

using a bristle brush to clean the lint trap on a clothes dryer. Clean your lint with a flexible dryer lint brush

Cleaning your clothes dryer often can prevent a lint fire at your home in Tenino, WA. The potential for a dryer fire decreases if you follow these steps.

Gather The Appropriate tools and Supplies

Among the tools and supplies you will need to clean your clothes dryer, include:

  • A vacuum with a long hose
  • A flexible dryer lint brush
  • A power drill
  • A microfiber cloth
  • White vinegar and soap
  • Water

You can also invest in a dryer cleaning kit that comes with everything you need or schedule a maintenance visit with an appliance cleaning service.

Clean Your Dryer's Lint Screen
Always peel off the dust film on your dryer's removable lint screen between loads. You can also wash the screen with soap and water to remove trapped dust. Remember also to check the lint screen compartment. Dust particles can cling to the sides or deep within this narrow chamber, but a vacuum can help you remove them and prevent them from overheating and causing a lint fire.

Clean The Drum
Wipe down your dryer's drum with a solution of white vinegar and water to sanitize it and remove particles that cling to it. Pay careful attention to the vent through which hot air leaves the drum. It can become clogged, causing the drum to overheat, increasing the risk for a dryer fire.

Clean The Exhaust Hose
The exhaust hose carries hot, moist air out of the dryer's drum through a vent and deposits it outside your home. Lint can accumulate in the vent's openings or clog the hose, where it remains in prolonged contact with hot air before igniting to cause a fire. Unscrewing the dryer's back panel will allow you to access and clean the vent and reach deep into the exhaust hose with a vacuum attachment to remove excess lint and let the hot air escape.
A professional fire restoration service can handle the cleanup and recovery if a lint fire damages your home in Tenino, WA.

5 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Snow Storm

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

horizontal view electric cable in corrugated pipe rolls of isulating tape heat shrinkable tubes on wooden board To prevent a pipe burst, insulate pipes with heat tape

Prevent Wintertime Hazards

Cold weather requires planning. Although many people make preparations for winter in Lacey, WA, business owners have to especially plan ahead.
Because a snowstorm can lead to power and heating outages as well as other risks such as building damage, knowing how to prevent these wintertime hazards can keep your company safer.

1. Have an Emergency Plan
One of the best ways you can prepare your business for inclement weather is by creating an emergency plan. What if the power goes out? What if the building sustains damages? Having contacts readily accessible can be helpful if you need to call winter storm damage remediation professionals.

2. Prepare Your Pipes
Without a doubt, the piping is one of the most vulnerable parts of a commercial property. When temperatures drop, it is not uncommon for freezing and water damage to occur. To prevent a pipe burst, insulate pipes with heat tape.

3. Keep an Eye on the Forecast
Although winter weather can often be unpredictable, keeping an eye on the forecast can at least give you an idea of what to expect. When there is a snowstorm advisory in your area, take time to notify employees and prepare to cover shifts, if necessary.

4. Be Ready To Shovel Sidewalks and Parking Lots
Making sure your customers stay safe while visiting your business should be another top priority. To prevent falls and unnecessary injuries, be ready to shovel your sidewalks and parking lots.

5. Keep Employees Safe
If you run a business where your employees work outside, help them stay safe by telling them to dress warmly ahead of time. In addition, encourage people to stay home if driving conditions become unsafe.
Wintertime can be fun and beautiful, but it can also present a lot of risks to commercial properties. As such, business owners need to prepare. By planning ahead, you can help keep your customers, employees and property safe during the next snow storm.

The Critical Steps for a Successful Sewage Cleanup

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Three women lowering an air mover out of a van in Olympia, WA Your local water restoration experts in Olympia, WA will arrive as quickly as possible.

The Critical Steps for a Successful Sewage Cleanup

A sewer cleanup ranks high on the list of homeowner nightmares. The sights and smells associated with this event are bad enough, but when you add in the potential for serious damage to the house, it becomes even worse. Fortunately, professional help is never far away. A SERVPRO franchise is always Faster to Any Size Disaster, and any water spill with contaminated water qualifies as a disaster. Your local water restoration experts in Olympia, WA will arrive as quickly as possible to make the scene safe and to minimize the damage. After donning PPE, trained technicians will inspect and assess your property and come up with a plan of action.

Advanced Techniques and Equipment

The success of a sewer cleanup hinges on the fast removal of filthy water. This is accomplished through the use of powerful pumps and wet vacuums that can remove thousands of gallons of water in a matter of hours. The benefits of this initial approach are numerous:

  • Restore safety to the household
  • Minimize damage to structures
  • Guard against future mold growth
  • Reduce unpleasant odors
  • Make way for additional steps

The next phase of drying and dehumidification targets water that is harder to access by using air movers and dehumidifiers. At this stage, the sewer backup begins to look a bit more manageable.

Experienced and Trained Workers

Quality workers make a big difference in a water disaster, whether it is caused by a flooded toilet or a clogged discharge pipe. They understand the value of a thorough cleaning and sanitizing regimen using antimicrobial agents. They also eliminate odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment. The final step of restoration is different in each situation but typically involves replacing drywall panels and insulation or the rebuilding of damaged structures. A sewer cleanup can seem like a Herculean task, but professionals have the knowledge and the equipment to restore your home to its original condition.

SERVPRO Provides The Expertise To Help Manage Your Insurance Claim

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged inside of a building You may need to file an insurance claim for damages.

When a fire, flood, or another disaster leads to property damage or loss at your business in Olympia, WA, you may need to file an insurance claim for damages. SERVPRO disaster management professionals will handle the cleanup and gather and organize details to support your claim.

Documenting Your Claim

An insurance agent representing your insurance provider will require specific information to evaluate your claim. During the aftermath of a disaster, remembering to gather various details can be challenging. Fortunately, our field teams have experience gathering everything necessary to support your claim, including:

  • First Notice of Loss
  • Loss Photos
  • Loss Estimates
  • Restoration Estimates
  • Replacement Estimates

We inventory each of your items into an Excel spreadsheet, which we send to every claimant and their insurance agent.

Tracking Your Claim Through Electronic Records
Working with our experienced claims facilitators means that you and your insurance representative will always know your business's restoration status. Our Claims Information Center compiles electronic files for every job we undertake and updates them every step of the way. We include estimated completion dates and descriptions for additional services necessary to achieve the best possible results.

Accessing Your Claim Online
SERVPRO provides insurance adjusters and their clients with online access to every claim file. Adjusters can also get timely answers to their questions and compare our methods and costs to our competitors' to ensure we provide the best value.

Unparalleled Support
Our teams' full-service response to any disaster helps us stand as a leader in the restoration services industry. Our standards of excellence include using state-of-the-art technology to salvage and mitigate property damage. When necessary, our Resource Center recruits and vets industry partners who offer competitive pricing while maintaining our standards of excellence.
When you and your insurance agent need a trustworthy restoration service that goes the extra mile to manage and facilitate your insurance claim in  Olympia, WA, turn to SERVPRO.

3 Tips for Irrigation System Maintenance on Your Building

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Automated sprinkler system at outdoor shopping center Irrigation system in Lacey, WA.

3 Tips for Irrigation System Maintenance on Your Building

Is it time for irrigation maintenance on your property in Lacey, WA? While maintaining your system sometimes feels like a hassle, there are a few simple tips that keep the work simple and efficient.

1. Frequent Inspections
Sprinklers are another one of those elements in life that need to be checked on frequently. While your to-do list is certainly already full, finding time to inspect your system often and early saves you time and money later. While inspecting, make sure the heads of your sprinklers are undamaged and completely upright on the lawn. Sometimes, people, lawn care equipment, and pets accidentally dislodge the heads. If one is dislodged, simply gently move it back to an upright position.

2. Check the Weather Report
As the coming seasons bring new weather challenges, it's best to adjust your system as the conditions change. Both temperature and the amount of rainfall affect your system. Performing irrigation maintenance at the right times ensures that your landscape receives the perfect amount of water. Most controllers have a seasonal adjustment feature that increases or reduces water flow or operation time across all areas of the system. This is based on a percentage of the time you program into the controller unit.

3. Have a Professional in Mind
Though they are rare as long as you stay on top of maintenance tasks, accidents do happen. As such, it's best to have a water damage cleanup and restoration specialist in mind in case of a sprinkler flooding. A valve or pipe break also spells disaster for your lawn and building. These pros use specialized equipment to remove moisture in a way that won't damage furniture or other amenities. Most experts also help you determine what building materials are salvageable and which ones need to be torn out.
With a licensed professional at your side and some helpful knowledge, irrigation maintenance is a simple task.

Avoid Mold Cross-Contamination Through Containment and a Professional Response

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation in Tenino, WA

Mold cleanup can be a particularly tricky task because of the potential for cross-contamination. This is especially troublesome if mold contamination has closed down part of the commercial property, and there's concern that other parts may get shut down as well. Sadly, when property owners turn to DIY cleanup efforts, spores are often transported to previously unaffected areas. Rather than risking the spread of spores, it's best to turn this task over to Tenino, WA, professionals.

The First Containment Efforts

When you first notice the mold problem, reach out to mold cleanup and remediation professionals. These technicians have the training, equipment, and necessary supplies to avoid spreading spores. As you wait for the professionals to arrive, there are a few steps you should take:

Cordon off the affected area. If possible, completely cut off access to the area. Closed doors may prevent spores from traveling beyond the area as well as discouraging people from walking through.
Limit traffic in and out of the contamination zone. Spores can easily travel outside of the affected area on shoes, clothing, or even a slight breeze.
Turn off the heating and cooling system. HVAC systems are efficient at providing ventilation, but they are equally efficient at housing and carrying mold spores throughout the entire building.

Once these steps are complete, it is safe to wait for cleanup technicians to arrive.

Professional Cleanup Methods
Technicians take further steps during cleanup to keep mold contained. These include wearing protective gear, such as boots, gloves, and filtration masks. If necessary, they will further seal off the affected room or rooms with plastic sheeting. Sometimes, exhaust fans are required to provide ventilation that only moves toward the exterior of the building. Technicians use airtight plastic bags for removing affected items and may create a decontamination zone.
Thorough mold cleanup requires swift containment efforts. It is also a project with the potential for many mistakes and should be turned over to professionals as soon as possible.

How Workers Stay Safe When Responding to a Flood

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Civil protection men with high visibility clothing during an exercise to prevent flooding in the city Responders will wear safety gear

Ways A First Responder Can Stay Safe

Floods are a catastrophe that can happen in Yelm, WA. They can be caused by excessive rain, tidal surges, ice storms, and dam problems. The workers that respond to these situations must be able to keep themselves. Here are some ways that a first responder can stay safe and how their employers protect them.

Safety Practices
While a first responder faces great risks, remediation companies, rescue squads, or other services that employ them will have established safety practices for them to follow. To prepare, the workers will learn their company's safety plans. This includes:

  • Evacuation plans
  • Emergency kit locations
  • Behaving in floods
  • Plan of action

Additionally, these employees are thoroughly trained in what hazards they should avoid when near floodwaters. For instance, they know to avoid driving vehicles through standing water, entering water that may have a current, touching mold with bare hands, and helping wild animals. Responders will also take preventative measures to ensure their safety, including getting appropriate vaccines and wearing safety gear.

Employer Responsibilities
Each company with a flood response team is required to take measures to protect its workers' safety. This means employers are required to offer each first responder training, appropriate safety gear, and adequate plans for different emergencies. Additionally, employers will likely be responsible for ensuring that workers have the necessary vaccines and follow directions while on the job. This also means that companies do not send their employees into unsafe conditions unless they can safely perform the necessary tasks, such as cleanup and evacuation jobs.
There are many ways that rescue and cleanup professionals can stay safe when dealing with emergencies. For instance, employees can take certain measures, such as getting necessary immunizations and learning their company policies, before entering a hazardous area. Additionally, employers have certain responsibilities they must perform to ensure their employees' safety, such as offering training and safety gear.

When Fire Damage Leads to Water Damage

1/2/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Fire damage in Olympia, WA

The last thing you expect when your home catches fire in Olympia, WA, is to have to deal with water damage. However, when it comes to putting out a fire, it’s inevitable that your home will be deluged with water. Let’s take a look at the types of water damage, how it happens, and how it can be restored.

What Are the Types of Water Damage?

Water damage can take many forms. Standing water can soak into wood and tile to warp them and erode away at any sealants. Dripping water can leave stains and residue, and can cause paint to bubble and peel away. Water has the capacity to significantly weaken structural integrity, and a waterlogged, fire-damaged building is a particularly vulnerable one.

How Does Water Damage Happen?

Depending on the size of the blaze, it may take firefighters hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water to subdue the flames. While much of the water will evaporate on contact with the hottest areas of the fire, much more of it will puddle and pool in your home. These ashy pools may be left standing for some time until cleanup, soaking into the floors or dripping down the walls. Fire hoses also eject water at high velocity, and sheer impact can cause damage. 

Fire hoses aren’t the only culprits, though. Immediate damage during the fire can cause water pipes to burst, flooding areas of the home. Structural damage from the fire can also expose the house to the elements, allowing rain, sleet, and snow inside to cause further water damage.

How Do You Recover a Water-Damaged Home?

Water damage can be almost as difficult to recover from as fire damage, but it’s not without hope. You may have to strip out wallpaper and carpet, dispose of electronics, and discard furniture that absorbed water and cannot dry out. You may also hire trained professionals to restore your home to the best shape possible.

Care for Water-Damaged Belongings

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

workers extracting water with a vacuum in a basement, contents from a home floating on flooded water Water damaged a basement in Olympia, WA

Care for Water-Damaged Belongings

Whether heavy storms create water in-home or a broken pipe floods the basement, it only takes minutes for your belongings to become water-logged and damaged. The good news is that Olympia, WA, water cleanup and remediation professionals can arrive quickly to prevent further damage to your home.

Clean and Dry Your Possessions
While professionals handle the bulk of the cleanup, there are several things you can do to salvage your belongings. One of the first things you should consider is the type of water affecting your home. If the water in the home comes from the sewer, it's best not to handle anything without first discussing possible contamination with professionals. If the water is from your sink or a broken pipe, however, you can start by cleaning your items:

  • Remove belongings from the wet area of your home.
  • Sort items according to how you'll wash them: dry cleaning, laundering, or spraying them off with a hose are some basic categories.
  • Consider applying a disinfectant when appropriate. For example, you can clean off surfaces with disinfecting wipes from the grocery store.
  • Place your belongings in a dry area with plenty of airflow until they are thoroughly dry.

Treat Books and Paperwork With Care
Some of your possessions, such as books and electronics, can be harder to clean. You may need to involve professionals to preserve these items. For example, photo albums and meaningful family documents can be salvaged but could easily be damaged. Let paper goods air-dry or store them in a freezer until you can give them to a professional.

Turn Electronics Over to Professionals
It's easy to damage electronics once they've been affected by water. Never plug-in devices after they've been in water. Instead, move them to a dry area and then contact a computer repair shop or talk to the water damage repair technicians.

Protect Belongings From Water
When you have water in-home, it's normal to experience confusion and frustration. After contacting repair professionals, take steps to clean and dry your belongings by using effective, prescribed methods.

Creating a Fire Escape Plan in 7 Steps

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks in our Olympia, WA parking lot We can handle any sized fire loss that may occur.

When a fire breaks out, it can cause chaos inside your business that only leads to the remediation professionals needing to clean up more damage. To avoid this, you want to follow these steps to create an outstanding fire escape plan.

1. Imagine Various Scenarios
The first step for creating your fire escape plan is to examine all of the potential threats and scenarios that could endanger your business in Olympia, WA. Consider where fires would start, how they would start, and what could happen at each location.

2. Establish Responsibilities
During a fire, your employees will look to their leaders to tell them what to do. Therefore, your fire escape plan should have a clear chain of command for emergencies.

3. Create a Communication Plan
Someone must be in charge of communication. Designate an employee responsible for calling the fire department and sharing information with employees, customers, the media, the community, organizational leaders, suppliers, transportation partners, and government officials.

4. Map Exit Routes
A good plan will include the primary and secondary exit routes. Establish these and then clearly mark them. Large buildings will require multiple maps throughout the office spaces.

5. Know Your Tools
Ensure that there are fire extinguishers and break out tools throughout the building. Then, regularly inspect them to keep them in working condition.

6. Rehearse Fire Evacuations
Fire drills should be a regular part of your business. This gives your employees practice and can help you ensure that your plans are working.

7. Adjust Plans As Necessary
As you run your fire drills, you will need to see how it flows for your employees. If you see room for improvement, adjust your plan to make it more efficient.
Whether you have a large or small business, having an emergency escape plan will help things go smoothly in the event of a fire. Following these steps will help you establish one that works for your company.

Are My Flooded Electronics Salvageable?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water and removed materials from a Olympia, WA business. Call a water removal company after a flood.

As a business owner in Olympia, WA, you may worry that flooded electronics caused by severe weather and faulty plumbing can make your valuable records inaccessible. Answers to the following questions determine if your equipment is salvageable after a flood.

Were Your Electronics Submerged?

When electronics spend any amount of time underwater, damage occurs quickly to parts, including:

  • Circuit boards
  • Lithium batteries
  • Monitors
  • Chips and memory cards

If devices, including computers, printers and phones, are running while submerged, it is critical to shut off the main power supply before handling them to prevent electrocution. Submerged electronics are usually irreparable, making placement the only option.

Were Your Electronics Exposed To High Humidity?

Electronic damage can occur even when your equipment does not spend any time underwater. After a flood, contacting a flood restoration service to perform water extraction can prevent a dramatic rise in humidity. Moisture can cling to dust that collects within your electronic equipment to create a thick, muddy substance that reduces airflow, causing the device to overheat. Excessive heat causes computer motherboards and phone batteries to run slowly and inefficiently.
Electronics powered off while exposed to high humidity have the best chance for successful restoration; however, it is still worth attempting to clean and dry them if this is not the case. Experts who specialize in flooded electronics can do this if you do not feel comfortable handling devices yourself.

Was Water Dripping on Your Electronics?

Leaks are a common cause of flooded electronics in business offices. Leaks can expose devices to water with high concentrations of minerals, ions or contaminants that can cause adverse effects by changing interior parts' conductivity. Attempts to dry your electronics do not guarantee their restoration, but doing so as soon as possible before corrosion sets will increase the chances of success.
If floods and leaks cause electronic damage at your business, a flood restoration company can coordinate your drying and repair efforts.

3 Safer Alternatives to Traditional Candles

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a shed fire in Olympia, WA The aftermath of a shed fire.

Candle Alternatives

Candles have long been home-decor staples in Olympia, WA. They give off a warm, inviting glow and many also fill your home with fragrance. Unfortunately, these long-time favorites are also notoriously dangerous. A candle fire can be devastating to your home, and fire restoration experts urge homeowners to switch to safer candle alternatives. Fortunately, there are many options available.

1. Flameless Candles

These battery-operated candle look-alikes mimic the soft, flickering glow of candlelight almost perfectly. They are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Since there is no actual flame or heat, these “candles” are safe to use anywhere inside or outside your home. They work in settings that would be impossible for a traditional candle, such as in an enclosed container. There are no wax drips, making them a great option for the dinner table.

2. Essential Oil Diffusers

Battery-powered candles do a great job of providing safe candlelight, but most are unscented. If the fragrance is what you’re after, try an essential oil diffuser. These candle alternatives use ultrasonic mist to fill your home with the scent of your choice. Just add a little water and a few drops of essential oils. Try mixing a drop or two of different oils to create a custom blend. Unlike scented candles, you can control the strength of the scent, and the diffuser won’t cause allergy flare-ups the way smoke can.

3. Wax Warmers

If you want that traditional candle glow and all the benefits of a scented candle, you may enjoy a wax warmer. There are countless options available, including designs that look like lamps, luminaries, or lanterns and use either steady or flickering light. Some wax warmers use special wax disks or beads; others are made to work with traditional jar candles, so you can still enjoy your favorite scent without risking a candle fire.
No home decor is worth starting a home fire. With so many candle alternatives on the market today, there’s really no reason to take a chance with traditional candles.

Reducing Exposure During Mold Remediation

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Personal protective equipment or PPE is crucial to protect workers

There are many regulations in place to protect mold removal professionals. This includes wearing PPE. If you have a mold removal scheduled for your business in Olympia, WA, you should expect to see many safety procedures in place. However, the amount that is used is dependent on the amount of affected area. Here are the standard safety practices for each project size.

Standard PPE

Personal protective equipment or PPE is crucial to protect workers. The general PPE used during remediation includes:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety goggles
  • Disposable gloves
  • Shoe covers
  • Respirator

Small Isolated Areas
For this type of project, workers need not use more than the standard PPE to protect themselves from spores. Aside from this, workers should clear the area of customers or employees and suppress any dust.

Mid-Sized Areas
Like for small projects, mid-sized areas only require the standard PPE. Workers will also want to clear the area of customers or employees and suppress any dust.

Large Projects
For large mold remediation projects, workers will need the standard PPE. However, this will require more safety measures than small and mid-sized projects. To start, they will develop a remediation plan based on their evaluation and consultant opinions. Then, they will clear the affected area and neighboring areas of employees and customers. Once the area has been cleared, a professional remediation company will use plastic to contain the spores. This includes sealing vents, doors, and any other openings. As with the small and mid-sized projects, they will take measures to suppress any potential dust.

Extensive Projects
When most of a building is affected, the standard procedures for a large project will be used. In addition to these practices, the crew will likely keep the building under negative pressure. They will also turn off the HVAC system.
When the remediation crew comes for your mold growth, you can expect there to be plenty of safety procedures in place. There is a set of PPE that will always be worn during the remediation process, although other safety procedures may change based on the project's size.

3 Ways to Control a Mold Problem in Your Home

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on kitchen wall Mold on kitchen wall

Here Are A Few Tips For Controlling A Mold Problem In Your Home

Your Lacey, WA, home is your most valuable investment. This is why it is crucial that you keep water damage and consequent mold damage out of your home at all costs. While preventing mold from growing is easy, dealing with an existing infestation can prove much more difficult.

1. Check for Leaks
Mold depends on moisture to grow. Although some mold is present in all environments, places with high levels of moisture are much more likely to host large mold colonies. Common sources of moisture in homes are leaking faucets, windowsills, shower areas, and leaking pipes. Routinely check these areas and any others that you suspect may be prone to mold growth.

2. Dehumidify
In many places, the air itself is a significant source of moisture. in humid environments, water will not evaporate quickly, so homes with a high indoor humidity are at risk for water damage. Purchase a good dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air in areas of concern in your home. This small investment can pay off in the future by protecting your home from expensive damage.

3. Contact an Expert
When mold prevention is no longer an option, you must deal with your mold problem directly. Mold restoration can be tricky and often requires equipment and experience to carry out properly. Contact a mold remediation expert who will know exactly how to handle your problem. Remember that an improper restoration can actually lead to a bigger problem, since spores can easily become dislodged, resulting in new colonies.
Having an infestation can be frustrating since it is often difficult for homeowners to understand the extent of their problem. By contacting a professional, you will better understand your problem. You may also be provided with a few preventative measures to take in the future. Controlling water damage is always the first step.

After the Flood: 3 Factors That Determine if Your Flooring Can Be Saved

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

floor and drywall removed from kitchen due to water damage Water damage restoration

Here Are Three Factors That Determine Whether Materials Can Be Saved

A pipe break in your home is every homeowner’s nightmare. This event is stressful and confusing, and you’ll probably wonder if the surfaces in your home can be saved. The good news is that they often can, depending on the circumstances of the leak. 

1. The Class of Water Damage
The class of water damage refers to the rate of water evaporation, and this depends on the material that absorbed the water. Materials that don’t absorb much water are considered class 1 and often are good candidates for restoration. Highly absorbent surfaces like drywall, cushions and carpet are prone to take up moisture and often are considered class 2 or 3. They may be able to be saved depending on the category of water contamination.

2. The Category of Water Contamination
There are three categories of flood water, and this will determine whether the surfaces in your home need cleaning or replacement. Category 1 water is considered a clean water source that is not harmful to people and animals; a pipe break from your shower or sink is considered category 1. Category 2 water, also known as grey water, may carry pollutants like microorganisms that can cause sickness. Category 3 water comes from a source that is highly unsanitary and is considered dangerous to humans and animals.

3. The Structural Integrity of Affected Building Materials
Your water damage restoration specialist will assess the integrity of the materials affected by the leak or flood. Often, surfaces like rugs can be restored with the proper cleaning and drying techniques. Materials like drywall that have been exposed to standing water for long periods may need to be replaced. Your specialist will make recommendations based on their extensive training in this area.
Hopefully, you won’t have to experience the inconvenience of a pipe break in your home in Olympia, WA. If you do, try to remember that many items damaged by clean water can be saved with the proper cleaning and drying techniques.

Preparing Your Company for a Snow Storm

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Before the winter season arrives, you should prepare for a possible snow storm

Prepare Your Company For A Snow Storm

As a commercial building owner in Tenino, WA, you do not just have to worry about hurricanes and thunderstorms harming your property. You have to prepare for the possibility of a snow storm, as well. Blizzards and winter storms can bring several types of hazardous weather, including:

  • Snow
  • High winds
  • Ice
  • Freezing rain
  • Extreme cold

Blizzards can last for several days and knock out both power and heat in your building. To protect your employees and your property from these storms, you should follow the below steps.

Before the Snow
The best thing you can do is prepare well in advance. Keep supply kits handy in the building in case anyone is stranded there for several days. Be sure to include food, water, first aid necessities and extra batteries for flashlights or radios. The kit should also have the phone numbers for local first responders and a reliable storm cleanup company.
You should additionally use caulking and insulation to keep your building as warm as possible. This should prevent a pipe burst from flooding the premises.
It is also important to sign up for local and national emergency alert systems. They can notify you when a snowstorm is coming. You can then have your employees work from home the day the bad weather is expected to arrive.

During the Snow
If the snow comes during the workday, have your employees limit their time outdoors. The roads could be particularly treacherous, so the workers should stay in the building until the storm clears.
Make sure they have coats and other warm clothing that they can wear if the heating system malfunctions. You can use a generator to keep the electricity running, but the generator should be outside and away from any windows.
Before the winter season arrives, you should prepare for a possible snow storm. Being proactive should limit the impact of a blizzard.

Why You Need To Hire a Pro for Fire Damage Restoration

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Commercial fire in Olympia, WA

Accidents happen and if your commercial property ever experiences a fire, it’s important to completely clean up any damage as soon as possible. The tenants of your property in Olympia, WA, need their units returned to pre-fire conditions quickly to minimize the interruption to their lives. While it may seem like a good idea to save money with a DIY approach, you need to hire professionals who are experienced when it comes to fire restoration and content cleaning. They will be most knowledgeable about repairing fire, smoke or water damage, and best equipped for dry-cleaning and major reconstruction.

Understanding the Professional Touch

A professional fire restoration company can save you money in the long run, as these experts understand the best way to repair your contents as opposed to replacing them whenever possible. They bring an expert eye when it comes to examining items that can be repaired. Moreover, the pros can leverage their knowledge of various cleaning processes to effectively restore your property:

Dry-cleaning: Used for removal of light dirt or a pretreatment for wet cleaned items
Wet cleaning: Recommended for medium to heavy levels of dirt and residue
Spraying and wiping: Used for objects that can’t be wet cleaned
Foam cleaning: Used to clean upholstery fabrics that may be ruined by a wet clean
Abrasion cleaning: Employed for surfaces that can withstand agitation
Immersion cleaning: Recommended for items best cleaned by dipping

Cleaning of certain objects, such as electronic items, documents and other surfaces that require dry-cleaning, are best left to the experts.

Exploring Other Advantages With a Pro
In situations where fire damage is more extensive, a professional fire restoration provider can assist with temporary content storage and move out of items to help expedite any remodeling or reconstruction efforts. This also helps control any further damage to your property and its contents. Restorers can help you take inventory of affected items and also assist with move-in. There’s a lot more to the restoration process than cleanup, and the right company can address all aspects of the job.

4 Steps to Minimize Water Damage to Wood Floors

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

Damaged wooden floor Damaged wooden floor

Four Steps That Can Minimize The Damage To Your Flooring

The beautiful wood floor in your Yelm, WA, home are resilient, but they have an arch enemy: water. In the event of a pipe burst, it may mean 100s of gallons of water penetrating into any cracks, broken seals or scratches. The longer that water sits, the higher the chance that you will need a water damage and restoration specialist to complete extensive repairs or replacement. The moment a moisture problem is discovered, the following four steps can minimize the damage to your flooring.

1. Remove Wet Objects
Any waterlogged items should be removed from the wet floor, such as rugs and furniture. If they are left in the affected area, gravity will continue pulling moisture down. This increases the chances of the issue spreading and secondary problems arising, such as mold and mildew.

2. Extract Excess Water
A pipe burst can unleash massive amounts of water. Extracting as much as possible is vital to save your floor. You start the extraction with an arsenal of towels, rags and mops. A wet/dry vacuum is also recommended. Even if the water is no longer visible, it should be continued to be used to suck up hidden moisture.

3. Dry It Out
On its own, wood takes a long time to dry. To speed up the process use fans and a dehumidifier. This will enhance airflow and reduce humidity levels. Be sure to regularly move the fans for optimal air circulation.

4. Test Moisture Levels
Even if it looks dry, there is a good chance it isn’t. The best bet is to use a moisture meter to test the levels. The process can take time, so don’t be surprised if the levels are higher than you thought they would be.
A pipe burst is a sure sign of trouble for your flooring. If you take immediate action, you can minimize the damage.

4 Ways To Protect From Flood Damage After a Fire

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags Outside Front Door Of Flooded House Keep floodwater away from your home using sandbags

Protect Your Home From Flooding After A Fire

FEMA NFIP, short for The National Flood Insurance Program, is a separate flood insurance policy that helps cover the costs associated with flood damage. Wildfires ravage many areas of the United States each year and seem to be increasing in frequency and severity. When wildfires burn through a forest, they change the terrain and take away most of the natural water barriers that protect against flooding. As a result, homes are more likely to flood after a forest fire. Although your best course of action is to have flood insurance, there are a few things you can do to help protect your home from flooding after a fire.

1. Install Water Barriers
One of the most common methods used to keep water away from homes is sandbags. Although, many new options have become available for restricting water flow. For instance, water barrier socks expand on contact with water. They are much lighter and easier to install than sandbags and can be used to encircle your entire property.

2. Seal off Doors and Windows
Water can seep in under doors and windows. Protect your home by placing watertight barriers across the seams. Some seals are made from plastic and can be easily removed and used as temporary barriers. If water still invades your home, FEMA NFIP will help you recover faster after the water recedes.

3. Install Sump Pumps
If you have a basement or other low lying area, a sump pump is a worthwhile investment. When the groundwater gets high, the sump pump will move the water away from your property to avoid flooding damage.

4. Use Obstacles
Wildfire damage can leave the ground covered in ash, soot, dirt, and debris. When heavy rain falls, the water can sweep this mud mixture downstream, causing additional hazards and damage. You can place obstacles around your property to divert or slow the destructive debris.
FEMA NFIP can be used to help cover the cost to restore your home. If you have experienced flood damage in Lacey, WA, call a professional flood remediation company to restore your house to its pre-flood condition.

3 Tips for Preventing Home Water Damage While on Vacation

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

The hands of a worker fixing a drain from a scaffold Be sure to check your gutters for debris or other blockages

Three Tips For Preventing Water Damage

Vacations should be relaxing and stress-free. One smart way to reduce unnecessary stress is to plan and prevent any unexpected water damage while you are away from home. The last thing you need when you return from your trip is to spend your first few hours calling a water pipe repair service or cleaning up a water leak in Tenino, WA.
Here are ­­3 tips for preventing water damage while you are on vacation:

1. Check Outside
Thoroughly inspect the outside of your house to ensure there are no major risks for water leakage. Be sure to check your gutters for debris or other blockages, disconnect any outdoor hoses and cover your outdoor spigots to prevent damage. You should also examine your roof for any damaged or missing shingles.

2. Check Indoors
Inspect the inside of your house, starting with obvious points of seepage, such as the seals around your windows and doors. Make sure they are in good condition before you leave town. Check for any broken or cracked pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks too. A broken pipe can leak water all over, and cause heavily flooded floors. In addition to pipes, check hoses that connect to major appliances to use water, such as your dishwasher, ice-makers, and washing machine.

3. Check-Ins
Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to check on your home periodically while you are away. If there is a leak, finding it early will mitigate damage and prevent a mild inconvenience from turning into a disaster. It may be handy to keep the phone number of a professional who focuses on water pipe repair and also a professional water cleanup and restoration service, so you can get a jump on scheduling and handling the problem before you get back.
Water damage can be a huge hassle, and planning ahead can prevent the headache of dealing with water pipe repair and flood cleanup. Prevention and quick action are key to ensuring that you can rest easy on your vacation without extra stress.

Bread: The Food of (Mold) Life

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Bread: The food of life

Bread: The Food of (Mold) Life

Bread is sometimes called the "food of life." It's also a food favorite of mold because of bread's nutrient-rich ingredients and moist texture, which feeds mold's growth. In the humidity and moisture of a kitchen, it doesn't take long for bread mold to appear, often in just a few days. Although mold thrives in warm, dark places, fridge mold can also develop in colder temperatures. How does this happen? Here's a quick overview.

Finding a Home
Mold spores—microscopic plants or the "seeds" of mature mold—float everywhere, both outside and inside our homes. The kitchen is an ideal environment to advance their growth thanks to its mild temperatures and high-energy food sources. Bread is especially tempting because of its high starch and sugar content. Here are some bread facts:

  • Packaged bread bags limit air circulation and spur mold growth.
  • Damp, dark spaces, like a pantry, refrigerator, or breadbox, are mold-friendly.
  • Preservative-free fresh bread attracts mold faster.
  • Freezer-stored bread avoids molding because mold can't survive in intense cold or heat.

Establishing a Colony
When mold spores come across bread, they literally take steps to establish a mold colony.

Spores sink their tiny "feet" (hyphae) deep into bread's porous spaces.
Spread rapidly as they burrow in across the bread's surface.
Sprout upward to form mold casings we see as bread mold—fuzzy gray- or green-colored patches.
Mold cases break open and allow its microscopic spores to go airborne.
The entire process repeats itself.

Kitchens in Yelm, WA, have the optimal conditions for fungus growth. Bread mold is a common nuisance that's responsible for trillions of dollars in global food spoilage each year. However, it's good to remember that millions of mold spores float all around us. Inspect regularly for mold that has found its "home" in your home and, if needed, bring in mold remediation experts to assess the problem and stave off the property and structural damage.

How a Fire Can Lead To Water Damage in Your Home

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

fire at suburban home with fireman in bucket appearing in smoke cloud behind house House fire in Olympia, WA

Fire and Water Damage

If your Olympia, WA, home has suffered from fire damage, then during the cleanup process you may want to look for areas of water damage as well. This may seem odd as fire and water are two very different things, however, there are a number of ways a fire can create conditions that lead to flooding in your home. Here’s what you should know.

1. Weakened Pipes

In some cases water damage can occur after the heat from the fire has weakened joints or other sensitive areas of the home’s plumbing system. These areas can then form crack, shake loose, or develop other problems which may lead to a pipe leak and home flooding. Fortunately, a local restoration service has professionals trained to deal with a variety of damage types that could occur after a fire.

2. Structural Damage

In some cases, fire damage can leave parts of the home’s structure weakened. This can lead to cracks or holes in the building which can then allow for weather such as rain or snow to get in causing further damage. A restoration team will usually look for these areas and tarp or board them over for added protection until the required repairs can be made.

3. Fire Suppression Efforts

Suppression efforts such as water from a fire hose can also leave damage in the home. This is because in many cases the water used to put out the fire can pool in a single location and begin to soak in if not quickly removed. A restoration service can use pumps to get rid of this water before it can cause any further problems.

When restoring fire damage in your home it’s also important to look for any water caused damage as well. Flooding can occur after a fire from heated pipes that can develop a leak, structural damage letting in rain, and even fire suppression efforts. Remember, after a fire, a restoration service can help will repairs from any damage that the residence may have sustained.

Answers for Your Mold Questions

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Corner of a wall affected by mold Mold damage in Tenino, WA

There is a lot of information floating around the Internet about black mold and other types of fungal home invaders. You likely visited this page because you're worried that your home in Tenino, WA, may have fallen victim to a mold problem. Well have no worry, here is all you need to know about this pesky fungus.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold is a type of fungus that can thrive wherever an adequate amount of moisture exists. If your home has experienced recent flooding or water damage, then you're at a particularly high risk of discovering mold growth. Here are a few other common places you might be able to find black mold:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms, showers and bathtubs
  • Carpets
  • Ceiling tiles
  • House plants
  • Window sills
  • Laundry rooms
  • Spoiled food
  • Basements and attics

What Does Mold Look Like?
Mold spreads across the surface of an object, almost like a stain. The most common species of mold are black, blue, brown, or green. The fungus may also have a slimy or fuzzy texture.

How Can You Prevent Mold?
Any type of moisture problem can attract mold, so the easiest way to prevent it from invading your home is to keep your property dry. Clean spills and repair leaks as soon as you find them. Maintain proper ventilation and indoor humidity levels to prevent condensation from building up.
Vigilance is key when it comes to keeping mold away. It's important to perform regular home inspections, and take care to spend extra time inspecting the potential problem areas listed above.

What if You Find Mold?
If you do find mold, don't panic. You aren't in any immediate danger, but you should still take action as soon as possible. Do not attempt to address the mold cleanup project yourself. Instead, you should call professional help in order to ensure the job is performed correctly the first time.
While preventative measures can certainly lower your chances of having to deal with black mold, the issue is never entirely preventable. If you do come across mold in your home, you should contact mold remediation specialists right away.

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 Puyallup, 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.

Commercial Property Fire: Important Considerations After a Fire

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

After your commercial or multifamily property experiences a fire, your brain will likely be going a mile a minute trying to figure out the next steps. Though the apparent structural damage will bring about thoughts of roof repair and rebuilding, there are other important considerations to make before the initial fire cleanup and restoration.

1. Safety and Self-Evaluation

The safety of employees, tenants and you are paramount after experiencing a fire disaster. After calling emergency services, you should be most concerned with getting everyone out of the building because the structural integrity of the property is most assuredly in question. Standard practices of fire safety should also be followed. For example, you should avoid drinking, eating or breathing in anything that has contacted soot, fire or smoke.

2. Financial and Insurance Contacts

You should immediately call your insurance company, mortgage lender and credit card institutions before starting any fire cleanup. Calling your insurance provider will ensure that the claims process begins immediately. Calling your mortgage lender will also help in getting through the bureaucratic procedures. Finally, if you lost any credit cards in the fire, you will be able to get replacements mailed to you sooner by notifying them.

3. Restoration Services

After ensuring your safety and making all the necessary contacts, you can begin the cleanup and mitigation process. As fires often create extensive damage, this process is better left to fire remediation specialists in the Puyallup, WA, area. These services help to streamline the operations of mitigation, offering board up and tarp services, and restoration, ensuring that your property is functional as quickly as possible.

While the experience of a fire and the resulting damage can be devastating and emotionally taxing, it is necessary to keep your wits about you. Between general safety and financial obligations, you will need to focus on the process ahead. Thankfully, fire remediation services will help to restore your facility through the fire cleanup and restoration process.

How To Keep Mold out of the Bathroom

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth behind a wall Mold behind a wall

Mold can find its way inside your house and grow in various areas. The bathroom is among the most common places where you may see it. Water damage is one of the leading causes of this fungus, but there are other factors as well. Be aware of why mold grows in your bathroom and what you can do to avoid this unsightly fungus in the future.

What Fuels the Growth of Mold?

You don't realize it, but mold spores are all around you outside. This fungus can make its way inside your Olympia, WA, house and begin to grow and spread under the right conditions. The following situations lead to mold growth, especially in the bathroom:

  • Leaking pipes
  • Bursting pipes and appliances
  • High humidity

Not Taking Care of Leaks
The bathroom is a common area for water damage. Whether from an overflowing toilet, a poorly sealed shower door, or deteriorating pipes, water can get onto your bathroom floor. If you don't clean it up right away and dry the area, mold can show up within a couple of days. If you notice a leaky faucet or pipe, take care of it immediately.

Poor Seals
Water can get from your shower or bathtub onto the walls or floors unless there is a good seal in the tub or shower door. Caulking these areas will help with mold prevention.

Airflow Issues
Humid rooms encourage mold to grow, and bathrooms are as humid as any place in your home. If you have working vents, you shouldn't have to worry about airflow problems. However, if you spot mold on shower walls or in other spots in the bathroom, check the vents. You may need to replace it or install a new one altogether.
A professional mold removal company is your best bet to take care of water damage and the appearance of mold. However, you can avoid the sight of mold as you understand why it grows in the bathroom.

Some Clever Ideas for Fire Preparation

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher on the gray wall Fire extinguishers on site

A fire can strike anytime in Lacey, WA. Therefore, it stands to reason that fire preparation should be an integral part of your company's business plan. A few clever moves now could save your company a lot of time, trouble and money later. You might even be able to avert a business fire altogether. The basics of preparation include three items: fire extinguishers on site, fire alarms in working condition and a fire sprinkler system. These elements are just the beginning. Other essential steps include taking advice from local fire departments and partnering with a local fire remediation team to help with recovery after a fire.

Additional Mitigation Actions

Strong disaster preparation includes looking at your insurance coverage to make sure it is adequate for your needs. It can be smart to insure to replacement cost and to add a business interruption policy. The following fire preparation actions are also worth considering:

  • Inventory all essential equipment
  • Store vital records in a separate location
  • Educate employees about disaster recovery
  • Complete a company risk analysis
  • Develop an emergency plan and practice it
  • Maintain a list of suppliers and vendors

All of these actions can help a company recover quickly from widespread fire damage. Even reducing your recovery time by a couple of days could save the company thousands of dollars in lost income.

Additional Considerations
Solid fire preparation is an ongoing process. Fire extinguishers need to be checked on a regular basis and fire alarms need to be inspected and tested at least once a year. Employee training should be conducted as often as is practicable. Key personnel should know how to operate a fire extinguisher. All employees should know where to evacuate to in the case of a fire. Employees should also be informed not to use an elevator in an active fire and to avoid entering rooms that have hot door handles. Smart preparation can save lives and property.

5 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Man Inspecting an Air Duct with a Flashlight Regularly inspect the home

Tips In Protecting Your Home

When a storm or broken pipe leads to too much water in the home, there’s a chance your Olympia, WA, residence could experience water damage. Fortunately, a local water damage restoration service can help with clean up and repairs. However, there are a few things you can do ahead of time that may mitigate damage severity, and protect your home from long term water damage problems.

1. Regularly Inspect the Home

Regularly inspecting the home can help you make repairs before there’s a chance for water damage to occur. You may choose to have professional help with this process to ensure that any problem areas are correctly located and repaired.

2. Make Repairs Quickly

It’s always important to make repairs quickly after a leak or break in the plumbing. Performing a pipe cleanup quickly can prevent water for soaking in and causing damage.

3. Use Flood Barriers

The use of a flood barrier can help prevent floodwater in the home during a storm. There are many types of collapsible or inflatable barriers that can be set up around vulnerable spaces during a storm and then removed afterward.

4. Keep Gutters Debris Free

Keeping your gutters and other drainage debris free can also help prevent damage. A blocked gutter can overflow and flood the roof. Removing sticks, leaves and other debris can help prevent this.

5. Install a Sump Pump

If your basement regularly experiences moisture problems you may want to consider the installation of a sump pump. This machine can help remove excess water and prevent potential water problems.

Too much water in the home from a storm or broken pipe can lead to water damage problems. Fortunately, there are a few things you can to help mitigate damage. Remember these tips to help protect your home, and contact a restoration service if damage does occur. If you have any questions a professional can help.

The 4 Main Benefits of a Claims Inventory System

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Tablet and cell phone. The SERVPRO claims inventory system is one of the reasons the franchise is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies

SERVPRO Claims Inventory System

When a disaster strikes, it can be difficult to remain calm. One of the advantages of dealing with a professional emergency response team is that trained technicians exert a sense of calm over the situation. A measured, methodical approach often works best. In the same way, the organization for an insurance claim helps everything get processed more efficiently. The SERVPRO claims inventory system is one of the reasons the franchise is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies. The system brings calm and organization to a hectic time in numerous ways.

1. Organization. An itemized loss inventory report includes an Excel-formatted sheet with expenses and damages backed up with photos. The full report is available to the insurance agent in hard copy and through an electronic format.

2. Thoroughness. A full report for an insurance claim is always provided. This includes first notice of loss, detailed estimates, digital photos, pending jobs, and completed jobs. The report also includes information to improve performance through job cost data.

3. Clarity. A disaster in Tenino, WA, demands clarity when it comes to settling an insurance claim. This can be achieved with the help of an established claims inventory system that serves insurance adjusters and their clients. A customer care center is available to answer questions at any time during the process.

4. Speed. A fast response is the hallmark of any restoration company. The handling of the paperwork for insurance is just as important. This speeds up the entire process and helps a claim get settled and paid quickly.
The processing of an insurance claim can be delayed if the information is missing or it fails to get to the right people. The purpose of a claims inventory system is to make certain things run smoothly during this part of the restoration process. Attention to detail and an understanding of the process through years of experience reduces frustration and errors.


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