Recent Posts

The Rain is Coming

11/13/2021 (Permalink)

We have all had a great summer. Unfortunately, that has come to an end. Now we need to get ready for the rain. Water damage isn't limited to rain, but rain can be a definite cause. Before it starts to pour take precautionary measures to keep the rain out of your home to prevent a water loss.

  • Maintain your Roof

Your roof's primary purpose is to keep water out of your house. neglecting it could lead to a whole lot of problems.

  • Seal Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are common vulnerable areas for water leakage. Water can seep through the space around window and door frames if they're not properly sealed.

  • Maintain Your Home's Exterior Finish

Periodically inspect your exterior walls and look for signs of damage such as holes, wood rot, or warping. If caught early enough, you may be able to clean out the wet materials and repair the affected. (SERVPRO can help with that!)

  • Clean Your Gutters

Make sure your gutters are properly functioning and clean. It is critical to do so as it protects your home from water damage. (SERVPRO can help with that!)

  • Ensure Proper Drainage

You can always take measures to keep water out of your home but if water isn't properly diverted away from the base of your home, your foundation could be at risk.

  • Check Your Downspouts

Functioning gutters send water out through a downspout, which funnels the water from your home. If the downspout does not extend far enough, it could funnel directly into a puddle at the bottom of your house thus flooding your crawlspace. (SERVPRO can help with that!)

  • Redirect Runoff

If your home sits on the bottom of a slope, water runoff from your yard should be redirected away from your home. If it is not, then you will most likely have problems with standing water near your foundation. This could cause the ground near your foundation to erode overtime, making it vulnerable.

Be sure to waterproof your home before it leaks into bigger problems. And remember who to call in case the water still makes it's way in …

SERVPRO of University place!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned (CSC) program is designed to provide our communities with a way to know that a structure has been cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected to minimize harmful pathogens. If a structure is sanitized and disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure as well as a separate window decal which should be dated by us to let everyone know when it was last sanitized and disinfected. This can be schedule as one time or recurring service.

Here is a list of some of the most common questions:

  • What is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?
    Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a proactive viral pathogen cleaning process.
    • Can you explain the process of proactive cleaning?
    We apply EPA registered disinfectants to touch point services in a variety of methods including but not limited to ULV fogging.

  • How often do I need cleaning performed?
    That will vary by location, number, and activity of occupants. We can setup a recurring cleaning schedule to fit the needs of your location.
  • What type of cleaning products are you using?
    We only use EPA registered disinfectants for proactive pathogen cleaning.

  • How long is a proactive cleaning effective?
    After a structure is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, maintaining that level of clean is dependent on occupants in the structure and how closely they follow health and safety protocols. We can schedule a recurring cleaning schedule to ensure that your location maintains that level of clean going forward.

  • What are your safety protocols?
    Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned crews follow all safety protocols and social distancing guidelines dictated by local, state, and federal guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all involved individuals.

  • How long will it take to perform the proactive cleaning?
    That varies on size and complexity of the structure. 

  • Is there anything I should do in between scheduled Certified: SERVPRO Cleanings?
    Continue with your regular janitorial services. If you would like, we can change your recurring schedule to a more frequent cleaning.

  • Is it safe to be in the structure when it is being cleaned?
    We recommend that the structure is empty when we perform the cleaning.

  • How long do I have to wait to return to the structure?
    Our EPA registered disinfectants have a dwell time of about 10-15 minutes. After that dwell time, it is completely safe to reenter the structure.

Interested about a Certified SERVPRO Cleaning at your facility? Just call SERVPRO of Tacoma at (253)896-3000.

What Type of Smoke Alarm Do You Have?

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

We all know that having working smoke alarms installed in the proper locations is crucial for residential and workplace safety.  But not all alarms are the same.  One main difference that they have is how they are powered. And how they are powered dictates their maintenance schedule.  Learn more about the three types of smoke alarms below.

Conventional Batteries

These units use regular batteries that many other household items use.  This makes them easy to maintain, as changing the batteries is as easy as changing them in your TV remote.  These units will beep when batteries are low.  Even if you don't hear the beep, you should check these units monthly to ensure that they are in working order.

Long Life Batteries

These alarms are a great middle ground between cost and ease of use.  Once you buy them, all you need to do is place them in the correct location in your home or business.  The batteries in these units are designed to last ten years, at which point, you replace with a new unit.  Of course, faulty units can occur, so you need to regularly test these alarms as well.

Hardwired Alarms

These units are by far the easiest to maintain, but not everyone can use them.  They also require professional installation or someone with electrical knowledge.  These units are wired directly into a building electrical system, where they draw their power.  These units should come with a battery backup, to ensure that they still maintain properly if the power goes out, or is otherwise compromised.  

SERVPRO of Lakewood West / University Place is here to help with any fire damage that you may have at your home or business.  We pride ourselves on around-the-clock service and quick on-scene response time.  Give us a call at 253.896.3000 to learn more or get assistance.

What To Do When You Experience Refrigerator Damage!

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

The common cause for these water leaks is the plastic water line behind the refrigerator will crack, a slow drip begins and water pools behind the fridge unnoticed. Another common cause is excess condensation buildup which has the same effect. Water damage from your fridge can cause numerous problems in your home especially since the problem can go unnoticed for so long, at this point the damage has already taken a toll on your floors and surrounding areas. Moisture and heat in the dark environment create perfect conditions for mold to form and your floorboards to rot. Somewhere like an apartment or enclosed area these mold spores can cause issues and a problem like this should not be overlooked. Over at SERVPRO we are experts in mold remediation and will gladly remove and prevent further frustrations for you.

So now what?

It is important to first clean up any visible water to avoid further damage and possibilities of mold occurring. Once this is done you should inspect your fridge and see if there are any noticeable leaks or areas where condensation may be forming to excess. It is important to replace any faulty connections to stop the immediate leak if possible. If you are able to, assess the damage done to the area under and around the fridge. Most of the time floorboards will show visible damage, but the real problems can occur underneath where you cannot see. We recommend you give us a call at SERVPRO of Lakewood / University Place (253.896.3000) where we are available 24/7 to assist. We will send a team out to stop any further damage and spread of mold and help prevent this issue from occurring again. While you may be able to swap out the damaged areas of flooring, mold can continue to grow and cause more problems in the future. With many years of experience we will make the cleanup a quick and easy experience.

Pro tip: add a water alarm behind/under your fridge to catch any further problems from getting far

Should Your Business Remain Open During a Commercial Fire Damage Cleanup?

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

equipment Call SERVPRO and let their IICRC certified technicians do the job for you (253) 896-3000

SERVPRO Supports Local University Place Business Properties With Any Size Commercial Fire Damage Cleanup Needed

In most cases, a business, particularly one open to the public, should not remain open during fire mitigation actions. This is because the air quality and airborne soot particulate can be irritant for some individuals. 

Some of the most common issues during commercial fire damage cleanup in University Place properties include smoke residues, foul odors, and water damage. SERVPRO techs carefully scope the area to determine:

  • The full scale of the cleanup needed
  • Tag articles that are too charred for restoration and need removal
  • Test residues to ascertain the type of smoke damage on surfaces

Multiple threats exist post-fire that can cause harm to stock, computer equipment, and essential paperwork. SERVPRO technicians can store these items in an entire area on-site or securely outside of the work area. Whenever a pack-out situation arises, it gets done in a very organized manner, with each item moved documented as to its location, condition and included in a report. 

SERVPRO of University Place is available for commercial fire damage cleanup at (253) 896-3000. The techs answer calls 24/7 and make the damage, "Like it never even happened."

Space Heater Fire Safety

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

In the colder months of the year, Washingtonians look for ways to make chilly areas warm and comfortable. While space heaters can be useful to keep small areas warm, it’s very important to use them with caution. Using a space heater can be safe if you follow these simple recommendations.


  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Supervise children when a fireplace, fire pit, or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy, metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are even more common than flame burns.
  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never use your oven for heating.
  • Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment, according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

Portable electric space heaters

  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.

Fuel burning space heaters

  • Always use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer.
  • When refueling, allow the appliance to cool and refuel outside or in a well-ventilated area.
  • When using the heater, open a window to ensure proper ventilation.
  • In portable kerosene or other liquid-fueled space heaters, always use the proper grade of the proper fuel.
  • All new unvented gas-fired space heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor that detects a reduced level of oxygen in the area where the heater is operating and shuts off the heater before a hazardous level of carbon monoxide accumulates. If you have an older heater without this feature, replace it.
  • If the pilot light of your gas heater goes out, allow 5 minutes or more for the gas to go away before trying again, do not allow gas to accumulate, and light the match before you turn on the gas to the pilot to avoid risk of flashback.
  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not attempt to light the appliance. Turn off all the controls and open doors and window. 

SERVPRO of University Place is here to help you recover from any fire.  Our trained technicians will remove the smoke and soot from your home. Call us at (253) 896-3000 for any fire restoration needs!

What NOT To Do After a Flood

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

flood Call us for water damage mitigation! (253) 896-3000

During a storm, flood water can invade your home and cause considerable damage to your property. However, your main priority should always be to get yourself, your family members, and your pets to safety. Once the storm has passed, you can return to assess the damage and begin the cleanup process. Here are four things you should not do when returning to the site of a flood.


1. Make Contact With the Water
Floodwater can contain many different types of contaminants including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and debris. Help protect your skin from harmful water by wearing rubber boots and gloves and keeping your hands and face from making contact with the water. If contact occurs despite your best efforts, wash immediately with soap and clean water.

2. Enter Standing Water 
After a flood, homes, yards, streets, and other areas can be covered in standing water. Powerful winds often accompany heavy storms, so it is not uncommon to find downed powerlines after a storm. Since water from a flood is usually murky, you cannot always tell what lies beneath the surface. If the water has been electrically charged, you could experience an electric shock if you enter a flooded home. Rubber boots will help protect against the risk of electrocution.

3. Let the Water Sit
The longer water sits, the more time bacteria have to multiply. When items are left to sit in water for long periods of time, the structural integrity of those items can begin to break down. The water should be safely extracted as soon as possible. By cleaning the water faster, you can help to lessen any water damage to your home. Since mold can begin forming in as little as 24 to 48 hours, it is important to begin the drying process as soon as the water has been extracted.
By following a few precautions, you can help keep yourself safe from the dangers of floodwater.

If you have experienced a flood or any type of water damage in University Place, a professional flood restoration company can help get your home back to its pre-flood condition. Give our team a call at (253) 896-3000 for a free assessment.

Simple Ways To Prepare For a Storm

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

rain We can help with storm damage! Call us at (253) 896-3000

Storms can be as unexpected as the damage they cause. Often, with the right preparation, much of the storm damage can be minimized or prevented altogether. Here are some tips to help prevent the damages storms may cause.

Clean Your Gutters

When it rains, and your gutters are clogged, it could cause the overflow to run down into your home. Often, this water can go undetected and sit. Over time, mold can grow in these areas that remain wet. Having clean and sturdy gutters before the rain comes can minimize the damage a storm may cause.

Landscaping and drainage

Depending on the land your home is built, water runoff can accumulate around your foundation, and flood your homes. Fortunately, there are solutions with the right landscaping. Better pathways can be created for water runoff, guiding the water away from your home. If you have noticed puddles or water accumulation near your home when it rains, contact a professional to help, before a storm comes. That can make the difference in whether your home is damaged or not.

Damaged or Dead Trees 

Storm damage often occurs when a tree or limbs break off and falls onto a home. Snow and rain can weigh down trees, while wind can make them bend. If this happens to trees and limbs that are dead or damaged, there’s a high chance that they will break. Before the storm season comes, be sure to trim your trees, and remove all dead limbs.

What To Expect If There Is Flooding In Your Apartment

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

apartment When your apartment building floods, SERVPRO of Tacoma has the experience, training, and resources to put it back together.

When the fire sprinkler system accidentally goes off or a water heater malfunctions on the 10th floor of an apartment building, the water damage can be extensive and overwhelming. A water loss in an apartment building can quickly become a literal disaster. Here, we will review what to expect if there is flooding in your apartment building. 

1.  Water Damaged Ceilings

When you live in or manage a multi-level building and there is flooding on one of the upper floors, you can expect widespread ceiling water damage. Water will have nowhere to go but down, seeping through carpet, hardwood, penetrating subfloors, and make its way to the apartments below. 

2.  Water Damage to Floors 

Expect to replace and dry wet carpets or pull up hardwood floors.

3.  Electrical Issues 

Flood water may have entered your apartment through light fixtures or even poured out of electrical sockets. In cases of major flooding, your apartment building may even have to turn off the power for a certain amount of time until it has been deemed safe to turn it back on. 

4.  Possible Mold Growth 

Flooding in an apartment building is widespread and it can be a while before the moisture on every level is addressed. Mold may begin to grow in as little as 48 hours after water damage, so you should keep an eye out. 

5.  Loud Equipment 

Your apartment management company will likely call their preferred water damage restoration company to handle the cleanup and repairs. This will include stationing commercial grade fans and dehumidifiers throughout the building and even in your apartment. The equipment is usually left for 3-5 days, depending on the extent of damages. 

6.  Demolition 

Since water will freely flow between the floors of the apartment building, the water damage restoration process will surely include opening up ceilings, pulling up carpets, removing trim and moldings, or even removing portions of wet walls. While it may be overwhelming in the moment, these steps will ensure your building is dried out after water damage and will help prevent a widespread mold problem down the line. 

7.  A Flooded Basement 

If your apartment building has a shared basement with laundry or storage - you may not be able to access it for a certain amount of time. When floods happen in apartment buildings, the water will usually collect in the basement. Do not enter it until it has been cleaned up and deemed safe to enter. 

8.  Possible Need to File an Insurance Claim 

The apartment’s management company’s insurance will likely be footing the bill for any structural damages and drying out the building, but if any of your personal belongings or contents are affected by flooding, it won’t be covered by their claim. In these cases, you will have to file your own claim with your renters or condo insurance.

Apartment Building Flooded? Call SERVPRO of University Place For 24/7 Service - 203-769-9238

SERVPRO of University Place is a 24/7 damage restoration company dedicated to restoring your property after any sized disaster. SERVPRO of Tacoma accepts all insurance carriers and will handle the process for you. Our goal is to make your damage "Like it never even happened." 

Streamlining Recovery After A Pipe Bursts in the Home

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

pipe If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe, contact us right away. SERVPRO of University Place is available 24/7.

When considering the various types of water damage, none of them seem like a favorable scenario—but when it comes to a burst pipe, it can be extra difficult to handle. Pipes discharge a high volume of water into an area, leading to full saturation if it is not handled quickly.

While it is impossible to predict if or when this might occur, knowing what to do in case it does is key. Annually, there will be one in 50 households that have some sort of water damage in them, and recovery tends to be much easier for those who already know exactly what to do.

A Guide to What to Do If a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

Shut off your water main. Pipes will continue to pump water after bursting, which can lead to an area becoming fully saturated. Being able to shut off your home’s water main quickly can stop the water from pouring in and prevent an area from becoming oversaturated.

Shut off your electricity. It is always good to keep water and electricity separated, so if it is safe to do so, cutting off your home’s electricity from the breaker box can prevent further issues from arising such as shock and fire risks.

Contact your restoration company. Being able to call your restoration company immediately after discovering damage is a great way to expedite the recovery process, so we always recommend choosing the one in advance so you know who to call.

Take a record of the damages. Keeping good records will help you all throughout the recovery process, especially if you are able to file an insurance claim. Taking photos, videos and keeping a list will help you stay organized and ensure nothing is forgotten.

Contact your insurance company. All insurance companies and insurance policies vary with how they handle water damage, so getting into contact with your provider quickly will help you figure out the next steps towards filing a claim.

Open windows and doors if possible. Speeding the drying and evaporation process is key to reducing the overall damages, so if it is safe to do so, open up the doors and windows near the area so you can increase airflow while you await assistance.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services. (253) 896-3000