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Check your gutters before a storm.

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Check your gutters before a storm. Overflowing gutter

Did you know that a large percentage of damage homes suffer during a rain storm or hurricane is to the roof?  Keeping your gutters clear and in good condition can help reduce the amount of damage your roof receives and how much water seeps into your home.  The more prepared your are, the less damage you will have to face.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your roof gutters before a rain storm/hurricane:

  1. Get out your ladder. Go around your house and make sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris. This is a top tip from every government agency and safety service.  By late fall, it’s likely more than half full of leaves that have fallen and they’ve clogged your gutters.  Add a lot of rain, and it’s a receipt for water in your basement, leaky ceilings, and more.
  2. Extend you downspouts. Keeping water away from your foundation is critical when there is a lot of rain. A downspout that only extends the length of the curve can be dangerous.  Even one that extends three feet isn’t good enough.  Downspout extenders or even length of downspout attached to the downspout elbow can keep the ground around your home from getting over saturated.  Water can seep through the walls of your foundation if the ground gets too wet.
  3. Check your window wells. Cover them if you can keep out excess water and debris.  If a gutter were to clog, it’s often a window well that fills with water first.  The seals around the windows won’t keep water from pouring into your home.  Keep a bucket handy and check your window wells often during the storm.  A little preemptive bailing can keep from a wet basement.
  4. Be courteous and don’t dump your leaves in the street. After gutter cleaning, you may want to dump all those leaves out to the street for pick up.  Do your street storm drains a big help by not dumping them out there just yet.  You’ll wind up putting a strain on local resources and services that, in a situation like this, should be going to more important issues.  Storm drains will clog if the streets are taxed with extra leaves. They also make it more difficult to get to power lines or downed trees.
  5. Protect stuff in your basement. If there are places around your home prone to flood occasionally, even if you have dealt with your gutters before the storm, make sure you get them off of the ground.

Water damage after the storm can be devastating.  Don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 253-896-3000.

https://mastershield.com/season/summer/gutters-before-a-hurricane/

Mold in the Attic

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in the Attic This is mold growth in the attic caused by poor ventilation.

Attics (like crawl spaces) are highly susceptible to mold growth because moisture can easily accumulate in these spaces.  It’s not every day that we think to check the attic for moisture. 

Attic mold is mostly caused by poor ventilation.  A good tip to check your attic space for moisture is by looking at the nails; if there is excess moisture, chances are you’re the nails will start to rust.  Eliminate or reduce the amount of moisture in your attic space by using the following helpful tips.

  • Look for Roof Leaks – Check for discoloration at the joints where two types of material meet, or repair/replace deteriorating spots on the roof.
  • Check for raised shingles – When shingles become brittle and dry, they are subject to nails pushing the shingles upward. High winds can also push old and damaged shingles upward.
  • Beware of any gaps where moisture can enter – a few common culprits are skylights, duct work, plumbing and insulation (check for missing portions/sagging)

Although there is a plethora of other items to check for excess moisture, by keeping an eye out for these potential problems, you’re giving your self a head start against Attic Mold Prevention.

Do you have any questions about attic mold? Just ask - call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 253-896-3000.

Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Indoor Air Quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. 

Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professionals evaluate the quality of the air inside a structure.  Some specialize and are skilled in testing buildings for the presence of molds.  Using various testing devices, these professionals collect air and surface samples to compare the indoor mold spore count to the outdoor environment.  If you have concerns about mold, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can assist you in locating a qualified Air Quality/Environmental Professional.

Have questions about this blog?  Just ask!  SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West cares about your health and the  proper restoration of your home.  Call us at 253-896-3000, we'll be happy to help.

Water Will Hide From You

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Will Hide From You This leak caused water to travel under the wall into the next room.

One of our customers had a toilet leak that went into the hallway.  She didn’t think it went under wall into the bedroom, because the carpet felt dry.  Boy was she surprised!  Our technicians came in with our moisture meters and were able to show her that the water did in fact travel under the wall and affect the carpet, pad and subfloor in one of her bedrooms. 

Water will hide from you, it can seep under areas that are hard to see with the human eye or feel by touch.  If your home has a water leak or flood, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood WestCall us at 253-896-3000 any time of the day, any day of the week.  Our technicians will be there to help.

Commercial Property Summer Maintenance

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Property Summer Maintenance In the case of water or fire damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West- 253-896-3000

Sunny weather is the best time to spruce up your commercial property, and in Washington State our window of dependable sunny weather isn’t as long as we would like it to be.  Let’s go over a few maintenance tips that can help your University Place or Lakewood property.

  1. Clean your gutters and downspouts – pine needles, leaves and debris can build up gutters and clog downspouts over the fall and winter months. When the rainy season hits, the clogs will cause water to pool which may lead to water damage, including damp spots, mold growth, dry rot, and peeling paint. 
  2. Get your roof inspected – getting your roof inspected once a year is one of the best ways to prevent roof leaks. If you notice any loose tiles or shingles call a roofing company for repairs.
  3. Wash off your property’s exterior – the wet Washington weather can bring in dirt and moss to the exterior of your building. With a pressure washer, you can easily remove, dirt, dust, grime, moss and the like from walls, fences, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks to maintain the outside of your property.
  4. Apply a fresh of coat of paint – this will boost curb appeal for your property. The paint will provide an resistant layer against the elements, and could reduce the need for major exterior repairs in the future.
  5. Clean up vegetation around the building – the summer months can be dry and the heat can make flames spread easily. Remove any excessively dry plants, and trim back bordering plants to avoid a preventable disaster.

CALL 8-1-1 BEFORE YOU DIG

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is here time to start those new garden beds, shrubs and trees to increase the curb appeal of your business. There are millions of miles of utility lines buried all over the world, hitting a line could not only cause an issue for you but your neighbors around you as well. So, before you dig don’t forget to call 811 (it’s FREE) a few days before you plan to start your project.

5 Steps to Safer Digging

  1. Pre-mark your dig site with white paint
  2. Call 8-1-1 or go online to (callbeforeyoudig.org) to submit a request.
  3. Wait the required time (normally 2 days)
  4. Respect the marks don’t move them or adjust them in anyway
  5. Dig with care, when getting close to markers it is best to use hand tools.

Please keep in mind this summer, when starting your projects don’t forget to call 8-1-1. You or someone who is around you could be injured, or lines could be damaged, this all becomes very costly. If you call before you did this can be avoided.

Storm Proofing

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

When we think about being ready for a storm it’s the obvious things like food, water, blankets, clothes, batteries and of course flashlights. It’s also important to remember to protect our home, after all, this is where we will be waiting out the storm for the most part.

Here are a few things that might be helpful in preparing your home for storms:

  • Clean up outdoor items if you here a major storm is headed your way. Make sure lawn tools are put away and any furniture is either secured or brought into a place they won’t be thrown around or broken.
  • Trim trees and shrubs around your home. Take time to inspect your trees to make sure there are no branches hanging or ready to be removed.
  • Think about getting Storm Shutters installed, glass windows can be damaged or broken if debris get picked up by the wind.
  • Make sure to have an option for standby power. Having a generator is a great plan in case of a long-term power outage, if this happens you’ll still need to power your fridge, stove/microwave and a few other things in your home.
  • If you live in an area with high chances of flooding, you may want to consider Flood-proofing your home. There are two options when it comes to flood-proofing Dry and Wet.

If you find yourself with water damage or flooding after a storm. Don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 253-896-3000.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your University Place / Lakewood Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 253-896-3000

Preventing Mold Growth

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Preventing Mold Growth Got Mold? Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. Our technicians are trained in mold remediation.

Mold, the very word causes people to cringe.  It does not take much for mold to grow, but there are ways you can help prevent the growth from starting and spreading.

The Washington State Department of Health has some handy tips for preventing mold growth.

  • Stop water leaks, repair leaky roofs and plumbing. Keep water away from concrete slabs and basement walls.
  • Open windows and doors to increase air flow in your home, especially along the inside of exterior walls. Use a fan if there are not windows available.
  • Make sure that warm air flows into all areas of the home.
  • Install and use exhaust fans in bathroom, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
  • Ventilate and insulate attics and crawl spaces.
  • Clean and dry water damaged carpets, clothing, bedding, and upholstered furniture within 24 – 48 hours, or consider removing and replacing damaged furnishings.
  • Vacuum and clean your home regularly to remove mold spores.
  • Check around your windows for signs of condensation or water droplets. Wipe them up right away so mold can’t grow.

Taking the necessary precautions now can save a lot of time and money for future remediation. 

Top 5 Water Damage Issues in Homes

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Top 5 Water Damage Issues in Homes Water wicking up a wall after a pipe burst.

Water damage in homes can be caused by many things but there are couple things in your home more likely to be the cause than others. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety did a study to find what causes the most water damage in homes, here are some of the things they found out.

  1. Plumbing System Failure- there are two types of plumbing system failure the first would be frozen pipes, the second would be material failures.
  2. Plumbing Drain System Failure- most failures occur when the sewer drain backs up and overflows into the home or are a result from material issues such as leaking or corroded pipes.
  3. Toilet Failure- this will happen if you have faulty valves or clogged drain lines
  4. Water Heater Failure- these usually happen when your water heater is at its end of life and begins to corrode or rust.
  5. Washing Machine Failure- the cause behind washing machine failure usually from the supply-line, machine overflow or drain line failure.

For more information on what can cause water damage to your home and tips on prevention check out this page:

https://disastersafety.org/ibhs/water-damage-studies/

If you find yourself with a broken pipe or toilet over flow, don’t forget about SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West when you’re looking for water restoration. Call us at 253-896-3000 any time of day, any day of the week, we will be there for you!