Recent Posts


1/2/2020 (Permalink)

It’s getting colder outside and many of us are pulling out our winter clothes and starting our fireplaces and furnaces.  There is one task that many overlook during our winter preparations: the winterization of water pipes.  We are prone to cold snaps in the Pacific Northwest and when it gets cold, the accumulated water inside the pipes freezes, expands and creates extreme pressure.  Eventually, the ice creates enough pressure for the pipes to crack. A small 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water per day.

  1. Wrap outside faucets – Covering and insulating the exterior faucet can help protect any water inside the pipes from freezing in the winter.
  2. Caulk around pipes where they enter the house – You want to keep out as much of the cold air as possible. You can also check around dryer vents, windows, and electrical wiring.
  3. Disconnect garden hoses – Any water sitting inside the garden hose could freeze and damage the material. If you have a sloped driveway, lay them out and let them drain, then store them.
  4. Drain in-ground sprinkler systems – any remaining water in your sprinkler systems can expand and crack your underground pipes. Even Polyethylene pipes which are more flexible and expand under pressure can become damaged, water left inside can freeze and rupture the pipe walls.  To minimize the risk of freeze damage, contact your manufacturer for proper winterization.
  5. Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing – A little bit of water flow keeps pressure low in the pipes. Low pressure means less of a chance of burst pipes.
  6. Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom – Keeping cupboard doors open allows heat to reach the pipes, reducing the risk of them freezing.
  7. Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days – If leaving out of town during the cold months, you may consider shutting off your main water line and draining your water system. Empty pipes mean no water can freeze and rupture them.  Keep in mind, if you have a fire protection system, this may not be the best option for you.  Shutting off the water main means your fire system won’t work.

Call SERVPRO® of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000 today to get help with all your restoration needs. We specialize in water, fire, mold & bio-hazard cleanup. 

Dont get to fired up this Thanksgiving.

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving is just two days away (did you take out the turkey?) and I bet your ready to fry up that turkey! Doing it wrong could mean disaster and ruin your tasty diner. I have some helpful tips to ensure your turkey and home don’t end up in flames!

Safety first make sure you always have a fire extinguisher handy just in case and never leave the bird unattended.

 Always make sure your frying space is no less than 10 feet from your home or other structures. Also ensure that your area is flat and there is no risk of knocking over the fryer.

Next, make sure your bird is fully thawed and dried off, extra moisture can cause the oil to bubble over and cause a fire.

If you find yourself in an unsightly situation this Thanksgiving, just know your friendly SERVPRO is here to help.

Does your business have an emergency plan???

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

The first few minutes in an emergency can be critical. Do you know what to do? Does your crew know how to handle it? Who do you need to call? What steps should you be taking? When crisis hits know that you have a plan of action.

If an emergency breaks out, you want your employees to know what to do and who to call. Here are a few things that should be included in your emergency prepping.

Site and Facility Plans 

  • Maps of the building with meeting locations marked on them, these should be put up threw out the building.
  • Make sure all exits have signs and areas are well-lit.
  • Documentation of building systems such as the water and electrical showing shut off points.
  • You should also have a list of all emergency and utility companies in the area.


  • Ensure you have an alarm that can be heard threw out the facility
  • Check to ensure there are at least two exits that are marked for people to leave.
  • Keep a list of employees and anyone visiting the facility.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to go during evacuation.
  • Make sure that the exits are not blocked and if they are move whatever is in the way


  • Confirm there is a designated place for employees to meet in doors if the conditions outside take a turn for the worse
  • If there is a tornado or storm warning, ensure you have a location for everyone to fit and be sheltered from the store.

Shelter in Place

  • A procedure should be in place where the conditions outside are unsafe such as a chemical fire making the air contaminated
  • A communication system should be put in place to ensure there is away for everyone to either move indoors or stay indoors away from windows.
  • If it is a multi-story building people should gather on the 2nd or 3rd floor and not in the basement.

With the proper training and planning you can save time and money. Let us help you with your emergency planning.  SERVPRO of Tacoma can prepare an Emergency Ready Profile personalized for your business at no cost to you.

Protect your Commercial Building This Year!!!

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Is your business ready for the cold days ahead? Be sure your taking all the proper precautions to protect your business this winter. Here are a few things to look at before winter hits around your building.

On the outside

  • After the leaves fall in the fall take time to check and clean gutters to ensure there is proper drainage. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams causing major damage.
  • Make sure your weather stripping is in good condition to ensure there is no draft and no small animal can make its way under the door.
  • Check the foundation for any cracks or damage. Apply caulking to any areas where masonry meets siding or were any pipes or wiring entering the building. When these opening are left unsealed moisture can get in and freeze resulting in cracks and mold build up.
  • Make sure your roof is in good condition checking to ensure you shingles are all in place.
  • Inspect your driveway and fill any cracks with filler to ensure no more damage is done.

On the inside

  • Remove any A/C units that can be and store them away safely for winter.
  • Go threw and check for any drafts around windows or doors, if you find spots that are not sealed apply weather stripping.
  • Change the directions of ceiling fans to redirect the warm air down to the floor.
  • Test and change all batteries in smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check the basement to ensure there are no broken windows or drafts.

By taking time to check these places before winter hits can mean saving hundreds on repairs later.

Dont Get Stuck in Deep Water!

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Living in the PNW can get a little wet, know how to prep your home when a storms brewing.

When you hear that a big storm is coming, there are a few ways you can prep your home for the coming weather. Know what you can do to protect your home, so you don’t have to deal with major damage. Before it rains take some time to check a few things around your home.

  • Doors and Windows- Take some time to walk through your home and close windows and doors and check the seal.
  • Sump Pump- If you have a sump pump now would be a great time to look it over and make sure it is proper working order, this is the first defense for your home in a basement flood.
  • Gutters- Check to ensure your gutters are debris free and the water can run freely out of them and away from your home.
  • Roof- Walk around your home and make sure there are no missing shingles, sagging or damaged areas.

If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a nasty rainstorm stay inside and away from doors and windows. Watch the weather report to stay informed to ensure you know what to expect during the storm. Try not to do things like take a bath or do the dishes as electricity can be conductors.

When the skies clear and its safe take a walk around your home and do an assessment of any damages. Stay away from any fallen power lines as they may still be live. Don’t drive through any flooded roadways this could stall your engine and strand you.

Don’t find yourself in deep water, make sure your home is ready.

Storms, Rain & Floods...Oh My!!

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

House affected with storm flood. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can help you stay prepared with an ERP or Emergency Ready Program. Call us today to get more information! We

The National Weather Service (NOAA) has listed the most common flood hazards in the United States.

Check them out below and make sure your home is always safe!

- Flash Flooding

- River Flooding

- Burn Scars/ Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)

- Ice or Debris Jams

- Melting Snow

- Dry Wash ( Heavy Rainfall in Dry areas)

- Dam Breaks and or Levee Failures

- Storm Surge

- Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non- Tropical Systems

Are you prepared?

Did you know that 20% of all claims paid by the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) were for policies in Low-Risk communities?

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can help you stay prepared with an ERP or Emergency Ready Program. Call us today to get more information! We do more than just Water damage. We can help you with any size disaster. Give us a call at (253) 896-3000!

Staying Safe - Smoke Alarms

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Finger pushing on smoke detector button to test if it works. Smoke Detectors Save Lives

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 

Here's what you need to know!
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • More about installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms.

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

Thanksgiving Fire Safety

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Woman taking burning turkey out of oven. SERVPRO cares about our customers, check out these helpful safety tips for this Thanksgiving.

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for fire departments when it comes to home fires involving cooking equipment? With more home cooks cooking larger meals than they are probably used to, the number of home fires involving cooking equipment spikes to nearly 4 times the daily average on Thanksgiving! Whether you plan to be in charge of the kitchen or are just helping out, be sure to follow these important safety tips when preparing this year's Thanksgiving feast!

  • Start your Thanksgiving with a clean stove and oven! The weekend before Thanksgiving, remove any food or grease buildup from burners, stovetops, and the oven. 
  • Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. While items in the oven may not require as attentive an eye, food on the stovetop should have constant monitoring in case of spillage or splatter. 
  • Stay in the home while cooking the turkey. You don't need to set up camp and keep a constant eye on the turkey once it's in the oven, but you should stay inside and check on it frequently. The last thing you want is a burnt turkey that sets your kitchen on fire!
  • Keep a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder, or lid near your cooking space so that you can smother any flames before they get out of control.
  • Should an oven fire occur, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. This should allow the fire to burn out on its own. Once the fire has gone out, open your windows before carefully opening the oven door to release the smoke. IF THE FIRE DOES NOT GO OUT ON ITS OWN: LEAVE THE HOUSE AND CALL 911. 
  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and that your family knows the fire escape route in the event of a fire. Remember to always plan TWO WAYS OUT of every room. 
  • Avoid using turkey fryers, but if you must, make sure to follow the fryer's instructions. Also be sure to completely thaw the turkey before frying and always fry outside at a safe distance from the home. 

Stay safe this holiday season! Should your home experience any fire damage, be sure to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West to make that fire "Like it never even happened".

Flash Floods: Protecting Your Property

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, out in the country, or even in the desert, there is a potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.

A variety of events can cause flooding, like: heavy rains, when ocean waves come onshore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. A flooding event may occur over a long period and could last days, weeks or longer.

The most dangerous type of flood, the flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Flash floods are the top weather-related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders, tear out trees and destroy buildings and bridges. A flash flood is the rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours, caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms.

Nearly 50% of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past five years (2006-2010), the average commercial flood claim has amounted to just over $85,000.

With over 40 years experience, SERVPRO® has restored flood damaged homes and businesses from coast to coast. SERVPRO®’s Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure if not treated quickly and properly.

If a flood strikes your home or business call SERVPRO® of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.

Be Prepared Before Disaster Strikes

Call SERVPRO® of University Place/Lakewood West and talk about completing an Emergency READY Profile™ (ERP). They ERP provides you with an emergency plan: having a plan in place can help reduce business interruption in the event of a disaster. SERVPRO® of University Place/Lakewood West can help make a disaster, “Like it never even happened.”

Storm Proofing

7/26/2019 (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.