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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Water Damage Blog Posts

Preventing Frozen Pipes, the Right Way

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Copper pipe on white with connector When frozen pipes have already happened, a professional can take a close inspection to see what action might be necessary

The Correct Method For Preventing Frozen Pipes

Even though spring has begun to blossom away, those chilly winter nights in Yelm, WA, can still be prominent. One common maintenance issue homeowners can have during colder weather involves frozen pipes. The following three tips discuss some ways to avoid pipe problems when ice is in the forecast.

1. Ice Alert

Scientifically put, water expands when it is at freezing levels. Metal and plastic pipes could face serious pressure when the water inside them freezes, causing them to break. Pipes that are prone to freeze frequently include ones that are exposed to the cold elements, pipes that run along outside walls and pipes in unheated indoor areas. Watch out for these vulnerable locations that can quickly cause an issue.

2. Cooler Areas

Many homeowners wouldn't think twice about a lowered thermostat or a minor leak, but such aspects can become a concern when they contribute to frozen pipes. A thermostat set at too low of a temperature can result in your pipes freezing – especially when temperatures plummet at night. Sealing leaks can help you prevent cold air from coming inside, which could also play a role in pipe complications.

3. Freeze Prevention

Another common factor that can lead to a water line repair involves your faucets. During colder evenings, you can leave a faucet trickling lightly to keep water flowing. Faucets against outside walls are notorious for getting too cold. If you plan on leaving your home for an extended period of time, having a friend check on your home to ensure no pipes have frozen is another wise step.

Even if you don't live in a cold climate, chilly weather can bring on all sorts of pipe problems. When frozen pipes have already happened, a professional can take a close inspection to see what action might be necessary. Once you've kept your pipes in line, both your water and your life can get back to their regular flow.

3 Tips for Handling an Overflowing Toilet

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet If your toilet overflows is being caused by sewer damage.

What Do I Do If My Toilet Overflows?

Few things might cause more stress for you as a Tenino, WA, homeowner than an overflowing toilet. There are several reasons a toilet might flood, from a pipe clog to local sewer damage. No matter the cause, the resulting overflow can mean quite a mess. However, there are several actions you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your home until you can call a flood cleanup and restoration service to handle the worst of the problem.

1. Shut Off the Water Valve

If you can reach the toilet safely, locate the shutoff valve. It is usually on the back of the exterior tank, near the bottom. Turn the valve until the water flow stops. You can also take the top off the toilet tank and lift the float ball to stop the toilet from running.

2. Clear the Area

If the toilet overflow is being caused by sewer damage due to heavy rains or localized flooding, it is a good idea to clear the area and make it off limits until the cleanup crew arrives because the flood water likely contains contaminants that may harm people and pets. Do not let anyone touch the water with their bare hands and try to seal off the bathroom as best you can. Once you contain the flood as much as possible, call the sewage company to let them know what has happened.

3. Note What You See

It is best to leave the aftermath of a flooded toilet to your cleanup crew. However, it may help the flood techs if you can tell them how the flood occurred and what you noticed directly before and after the incident. Did the toilet overflow very suddenly or did it happen slowly? Did you notice any unusual sounds or odors emanating from the toilet before the flood? Letting your cleanup crew know about these details may help them handle the problem with more efficiency.

Sewer damage, clogged pipes and other plumbing issues can all cause a toilet flood in your Tenino, WA, home. However, knowing how to stem the worst of the damage until help arrives can help you protect your home and family.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.