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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How To Stay Safe During a Flood

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Storms can create unexpected circumstances in Tacoma, WA. One minute your home may be fine, but the next you have rising waters in your basement. Because the situation can change so quickly, you need to know how to stay safe during a storm-caused flood. Keep these flood safety tips in mind whenever bad weather approaches.

Stay Out of the Water

Did you know that as little as six inches of moving water can cause you to lose your balance? Because it doesn't take high waters, you need to be careful whenever you walk through any type of flood. If you must walk through a flood, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use a walking stick
  • Hold on to something sturdy
  • Walk quickly and cautiously

While the waters may not be moving in your house, they can still pose a safety risk. However, as a homeowner, you cannot always avoid the flooded parts of your space. You also want to avoid standing water outside of your house even if you're in your car.

Avoid Electrical Equipment

Water conducts electricity, so you want to avoid electrical equipment whenever you are in standing water. If you know there is electricity running through your basement flood, you should turn off the power to your home before anyone enters the lower levels for the best flood safety. Even if you are damp and not currently in water, you should avoid electricity.

Call for Help

Storm-caused flooding can trap you in the upper levels of your home. If you need emergency help during a storm, you should call someone as soon as you can. After the danger has passed, you may need help restoring your home. Getting in touch with storm restoration services can make your cleanup process much easier.

The heavy rains of a storm may cause flooding in Tacoma, WA. Knowing the best flood safety techniques can keep you and your home in one piece during a disaster.

Public Pool Safety!

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Pool safety can be a really big deal. Let's go over some things that can help you and the public be safe and still have fun with your pool this summer.

  • Hire/or get volunteer Life guards
  • Keep them away from pool drains and other opening.
  • Keep things like first aid kit, flotation devices, and pool covers nearby.
  • Share safety instructions with all of your family.
  • Learn CPR , just in case.
  • Install a 5' or taller fence around your pool and use self-latching gates
  • Make sure your pool has complaint drain covers installed.
  • Always keep your pool cover in good shape

Following as many of these water safety steps as possible is a good way to assure a great experience. Here at SERVPRO of University place/Lakewood we like to stay ahead and make sure our customers are safe.

Firework Fun!

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West like to help our customers stay a little bit safer with some helpful information. Let’s talk about how to stay safe this 4th of July.

  1. Keep your pet away from firework.
  2. Never try to take apart or create your own fireworks.
  3. Don’t try to light more than one firework at a time
  4. Don’t point fireworks at places, people, or even objects.
  5. Do not let children handle fire works
  6. Always keep a fire extinguisher close
  7. If a firework doesn’t work, do NOT try to relight it.
  8. Keep a supply of water close by.
  9. Whomever is lighting fireworks should wear eye protection
  10. Store fireworks in a safe, dry, cool area.

Always remember to be safe. We hope these tips help. If you want access to where and what in regard to safety. Click this link that will take you to pierce county’s website.https://www.piercecountywa.gov/3893/Fireworks Thanks for trusting SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West.

Where is your home's water shut off valve?

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Water Valve behind toilet Water valve which can be found behind a toilet.

Do you know where your home's water shut off valve is? Water gushing through your house is hazardous and dangerous. Knowing where your valve is located may help with lowering the amount of flood damage caused to your home. 

The first line of defense to stop a leak would be from inside your home (under sinks, toilets, and next to water heaters.)

Next, check your home's main water shut off valve, Typically, this is located on the perimeter of the house. since that is where the water first enters your house. Also, stay on the side of the house that is facing the street. Your water main begins at the street and usually heads in a straight line to your home. When you find the valve, turn the handle or knife-style valve. Typically their low in the ground so if you want to stay prepared I would keep a water meter key handy. (long tool used to turn off switch).

If you can't locate your shut off valve after searching for it. One alternative is to check the property inspection report. which was completed for you when you were in the final stages of purchasing the home. 

If both previous methods failed, there could be a valve located at the becringing of your water main, at the boundary line of your property and the street or sidewalk called a curb valve.

I hope this helps, If you ever find yourself in this wet situation 

However, if you ever find yourself with a basement flood, Call SERVPRO of University place/Lakewood at (253)-896-3000 right away so we can fix your water damage

Burn Bans – what is it? What else could I do?

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

A burn ban is a temporary ban on open burning during extended periods of elevated fire danger due to widespread amounts of dry natural vegetation compounded by weather conditions and/or outdoor activities. What are some alternatives to a fire during a burn ban?

  • Using a propane fire pit
  • Propane grills
  • A portable campfire
  • Camping lantern
  • Propane stove
  • Tiki torches

Or consider other activities you could participate in without needing a fire:

  1. Go for a hike
  2. Play a game
  3. Go swimming
  4. Tell stories
  5. Stargaze

You should always keep up with your city’s burn bans to make sure you aren’t the cause of an accidental fire. For more info on your cities burn ban check the link attached. Thank you for trusting SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West to help you stay a little safe! https://www.piercecountywa.gov/982/Outdoor-Burning

What to Consider Before Filing a Commercial Fire Damage Claim

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

If you’ve just experienced commercial fire damage, you’ve probably already filed a claim with your insurance company. Before you get too far into the claim process, there are some important points to consider.

There’s a lot of “fine print” in the handling of these situations that some insurance companies won’t necessarily bring to your attention on their own. Having a solid understanding of the process, will help ensure you protect your own interests in the commercial fire damage claim.

Below are 8 important points to consider:


1. Normally for water damage you send the insurance company documentation of the damages. But how do you do this for items or property that has been destroyed by fire damage? Are there good “before” pictures of the same space, on your phone or website, that you can compare with the “after” photos of the damage? Does your bank have record of the blueprint from when they helped you finance the property?

Does your business account have record of furniture, equipment, etc. that you purchased for the space? These would be good places to start, but you’ll want to ask your adjuster/agent for more specific protocol and requirements.

  1. Is it a good idea to make repairs and restorations yourself? Your insurance company will pay less, but your premium may not increase as much. Weigh the costs and benefits of each option.
  2. How did smoke or water from fighting the fire affect your electronics, equipment, and structural integrity. How do you claim those damages to trigger better coverage?
  3. When making repairs, make sure your insurance company does not cut corners by using companies or contractors that repair with materials containing lead and asbestos. That could lead to greater costs and health risks down the line
  4. Find out how your policy addresses code coverage and Green building upgrades.
  5. If your coverage is limited, what can you do about it? How can your agent or a public adjuster help?
  6. During the claims process, your insurance provider may engage a forensic accountant. Find out their role, which financial statements you are required to produce, and why. You should also ask if you can, and should, recast your financial statements. Don’t hesitate to get input from an accounting professional you trust, as well as your agent.
  7. Find out what can be included as extra and expediting expenses, and what the difference is.

Commercial Fire Damage? Call Us Today – 253.896.3000

Driving After Heavy Rain

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy storms are an inevitability during the summer season.  Rainfall can accumulate quickly, which can lead to property damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles.  This can also cause adverse travel conditions.  While you should avoid driving in flood conditions, you may already be on the road when this weather occurs.  Keep these tips in mind so that you can stay safe under these hazardous conditions.

Avoid Pooling Water

Do your best to drive around areas of the road where water has begun to accumulate.  When the depth reaches .5 inches or more, hydroplaning becomes a very real risk.  Your car can even begin to float in six inches of water, especially if it is moving water.

Drive Slowly

This seems like an obvious tip, but many people don't realize just how slow they need to go to avoid losing traction on the roadway.  A maximum of five miles per hour is recommended to maintain control of your vehicle.  Slower speeds, such as one or two MPH, should be used when entering or exiting a roadway.  This is because during acceleration and deceleration, the risk of losing control is greater.

Drive Where The Water Is Most Shallow

Most paved roads have a slight grade in them to help rainwater and other debris flow off of the surface.  This can be used to your advantage during heavy rainfall and roadway flooding.  Drive as close to the center of the road as possible, as this is where the water will be the least deep.

If the heavy rainfall and water happen to also affect your home or business, SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West can help return you to preloss condition.

Clean Your HVAC Machine NOW!

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Yes, you read that right. If you haven't had your ducts or HVAC cleaned in a while, it is probably time to get it done. Air quality is very important for employees’ overall health, and has only become more important over the last 12 months.  Having clean ductwork goes a long way to improving air quality inside your office or building.

But why is it so urgent?

  • You will improve the air quality immediately
  • You may save money, as clogged ductwork is less efficient, and may require expensive repairs if left for too long.
  • Your office will smell better
  • Your office will look cleaner, as more dust particles will be sucked into the ducts and out of the building.

Signs that you need a cleaning:

  • Foul smells with no known origin
  • Excess dust buildup around the building or office
  • You have just recently completed construction
  • It has been more than five years since your last cleaning 


Now you know that time is of the essence for improving air quality by cleaning the ducts in your business. Protect yourself by calling SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West. You can reach us at 253.896.3000 at any time for immediate assistance.

Have a Fire Action Plan

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Once someone knows how to properly operate a fire extinguisher, they should then also be trained to follow fire safety protocol. Such training should enable anyone to be able to:

A fire action plan is crucial for any home or business in the event of a fire.  It can save lives.  Take the time to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and knows what the plan is when danger occurs.  This is especially important when children are involved.

  • Alert others
    • If you are at work, pull the fire alarm.
    • If you are at home, make sure that others in the house are aware of the danger
  • Call the fire department
  • Assess the situation
    • If the flame is small, you can attempt to put it out with a fire extinguisher. If the flame is large, or multiple areas are affected, get everyone out immediately. 
  • Evacuate the building
    • Plan an evacuation route in advance.  If this is for your home, you can put in on the fridge, so that kids see it often.
  • Wait until the fire department clears you to go back inside


SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West 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.

How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher

1/18/2022 (Permalink)

Whether at home or at work, the occurrence of a fire is more common than you think. Similarly, a really great way to be prepared in both places is to have a fire extinguisher, and have the knowledge to use it. A commonly taught (and easy to remember) method is the P.A.S.S. method.  Each letter corresponds to an action that leads to proper use.

(P)ull the pin on the extinguisher. This will break the anti-tampering seal.

(A)im the nozzle of the hose.  You want to aim for the base of the flames.

(S)queeze the handle.

(S)weep the nozzle from side to side.  Hit all base areas of the fire.  If the flames are not extinguished, aim and squeeze again. 

In the event that a fire becomes too large, you need to call 911 to get immediate help.  Once a fire gets out of hand, safety is the only concern.  Get you and your family or coworkers out of the building as soon as possible.

An important thing to note is that fire extinguishers don't last forever. A good one will last between 5 and 15 years. Make sure to keep one that is safely within these ranges on hand.


SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West 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.

How Storms can Lead to Water Damage

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

When we get a call to help with flood damage, we can never be certain how serious it is until we show up to assess the circumstances. Various levels of rising waters influence the restoration techniques that we use. We search for the following indications of destruction to decide how broad the issue is. A predictable marker of most extreme flood damage is the existence of standing water. At the point when water stays in your home, and does not drain, it can start to cause costly and lasting harms to the structure. The water will almost immediately seep into flooring, but there are other forms of damage that may result if the issue is not addressed promptly. 

Waterlogged Walls 

We always anticipate that ground surface materials will be drenched because of flood damage, yet when the walls of your home have suffered critical harm, this might be an indication of extra issues that require an increasingly intensive examination to find and eliminate. Some of the time, when water pours in quickly and later subsides, it can leave dampness in the walls.  This can lead to mold growth and misshapen materials. SERVPRO professionals utilize the latest techniques and specialized equipment to remove the moisture.

Outside Destruction 

Despite the fact that the outside of your home may be considerably more impervious to the impacts of flood damage than inside spaces, it can still take on water. This can lead to roof leaks, flooded basements, and weaknesses in siding. We can help with identifying these issues, as well as remediating the damage that has been caused by the flood waters.

Call us if any standing water is present in your home or business. SERVPRO of University Place can assist you with recouping from flood damage (253) 896-3000

Pet Safety During Storms

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

Our furry friends are very important to us, and it goes without saying that we hold their wellbeing and happiness similar to one of a family members'. When storms occur, animals can be especially vulnerable. Use the following tips to keep your pets safe during these events:

  • If your pets are outside, thunder and lightning may cause them to scare and run. Make sure that they are all microchipped and tags are current.
  • If you know that a storm is coming, keep pets indoors if possible
  • Dry pets off if they get wet to prevent chills and illness
  • If you have outdoor pets, ensure that enclosures and cages are insulated from wind and rain
  • Make sure that no trees are close to enclosures in the event that they fall down
  • Keep in mind that older and smaller pets are more sensitive to cold temperatures and dampness
  • Make an emergency kit for your pets with items like extra food, toys, and a blanket
  • Bring your pets with you if you leave your home

If storm damage hits your home, call SERVPRO of University Place (253) 896-3000. We are ready to respond quickly to help.

What could a Water Leak be Costing You?

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

While some leaks are very obvious and easy to discover, smaller leaks are often left undetected. Even when you're aware that there might be a problem, leaks behind walls, or in the ceilings or floors can be difficult to find. There are many ways a water leak in your building in University Place could be costing you money.

On Your Water Bill

The most obvious and direct way a water leak can cost you money is on your water bill. A slow dripping leak can waste between seven to ten gallons of water per day. Severe leaks can waste closer to ninety gallons per day. This all adds up to your water bill. By not addressing small leaks, you are wasting money. Take the time to fix leaks as you discover them. The cost of the repair will likely be less than the amount of money wasted by allowing it to continue to leak.

In Equipment Repairs or Upgrades

Leaks left unaddressed could lead to the need for pipe repairs and plumbing upgrades sooner than you would have needed them. A small leak can lead to a pipe break if allowed to go on long enough.

In Damages

Broken or leaky pipes can lead to damage to the structure of your building. Pipes are generally hidden behind walls or under floors. When a leak goes undetected, this allows time for the water to seep into the building materials. Water-soaked floors and walls can be susceptible to mold, often requiring extensive cleanup and repairs or rebuilding. Water damage specialists can help you recover from large leaks that cause major damage.

In the age of bills being automatically paid or deducted from bank accounts, it is still a good idea to review monthly charges for utility bills. A sudden spike in your water bill could be a clue that you have a water leak hidden somewhere. Consult a plumber to help locate the source of the leak and fix it as soon as possible to avoid wasting more money.

Call SERVPRO of University Place (253) 896-3000 if you have any questions about water leaks / damage in your home. 

What To Do When Your Toilet is Leaking

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

No one enjoys a leaking toilet. If you find one in your University Place home, it's imperative to fix the problem quickly. So, here are a few steps to take when you find a leaky toilet in your house.


Locate the Leak
First, you'll need to figure out where the leak is emanating from. The location can tell you a lot. If it's coming out of the top, there's a good chance that you'll able to engage in toilet repair. Unfortunately, a leak that begins from underneath the toilet points to larger issues. Here are some other places to check for leaks:

  • The feed line
  • The gaskets
  • The bowl (in case of any cracks)


You may be able to simply tighten the applicable bolts with a screwdriver or a similar tool. If it comes to pass that the leak can't be fixed, you'll probably need to replace your toilet.


Call Experts
Before going any further, it's wise to seek out help. Restoration experts can help you determine whether your leaking toilet is repairable, thus saving you substantial funds. If not, the professionals can handle the replacement process with care. Otherwise, you could end up severely damaging your house and your belongings.


Turn Off the Water
The last thing you want is to start a flood in your house, especially when it consists of water from an old toilet. In order to avoid this, turn off the water. There should be a shutoff valve somewhere behind the toilet. Try to drain the remaining water as well, especially if the toilet is being removed. This can prevent further leakage during the cleanup process.


Clean Up Surrounding Water
A toilet leak is bad enough without adding in a mold problem. One of the most essential things to do after discovering a leak is to mop up the water surrounding your toilet. If you don't want to ruin your towels, you can use paper towels and any available buckets.
A leaking toilet may certainly be a nuisance, but it can be dealt with efficiently. Just to remember to stay calm and act quickly.

Call SERVPRO of University Place (253) 896-3000

12 days of Christmas fire safety

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

With the lights around the Christmas tree twinkling, the candles burning bright, and the glow of the warm fireplace, your home is never quite as cozy as it is during Christmastime. It can feel downright magical this time of year. However, while your home may look prettier than ever during the holidays, those warm and fuzzy additions also bring an increased risk of fire to your humble abode. But with these expert-backed Christmas fire safety tips from former firefighters and other safety professionals, you can still make your home festive, while also keeping it safe this holiday season.

Don't use your oven for storage or heat.

Though many people place their cookie sheets and other bakeware in their ovens when they're not using them, it's never a good idea to use the appliance as storage space. Fire Department’s explicitly warns against it, noting that something flammable could accidentally be left behind and cause an oven fire.

Also, even when it gets extra cold this Christmas season, think twice before using your oven or stove as way to provide some extra heat to your home. Chuck Roydhouse, a retired professional firefighter, says that although this is not uncommon for people to do, ovens and stoves are not specifically set up for heating purposes, so it is unsafe to use them as such.

Water your Christmas tree if its real.

The quickest way to accidentally make your tree go up in flames. Let it go unwatered. Harry Knowles, home safety expert with My Handyman Services, warns homeowners with real Christmas trees to frequently check that their trees don't have "any tinder-dry areas." Just one spark anywhere near dry wood can start a fire in a mere 30 seconds, he says.

Don't throw wrapping paper in your fireplace.

It's easy to get caught up in the joy and excitement that comes with unwrapping new goodies on Christmas but be sure to monitor exactly where all that ripped wrapping paper is going—and definitely don't dispose of it by throwing it in the fireplace.

"On Christmas morning, don't make the mistake of throwing the wrapping paper from the gifts in the fireplace," says Roydhouse. "Wrapping paper creates way too much heat, and it's quite easy to have a chimney fire that way. It puts too much heat in the chimney, and if you have any combustibles in there, that heat will ignite it."

Follow the "rule of three" when it comes to power strips.

With Christmas lights, space heaters, and all the electronics of everyday life, there's a lot to be plugged in during the holiday season. And with electrical fires being a real concern, you need to follow the proper precautions. The experts at Mr. Electric, a residential electrical service throughout Canada and the U.S., recommend following the "rule of three" when it comes to power strips, meaning no more than three electronics should be plugged into a single strip at one time.

Never use an extension cord or power strip with your space heater.

When it comes to space heaters and extension cords, the two should never meet. "When you buy a space heater, it will come with a certain length of cord, and you never want to extend that by using an extension cord," says Roydhouse. "When you extend the cord length, you overload the cord, and it gets hot. As a result, it can burn through a rug or the insulation and set something on fire or create an electrical shock. And you never want to plug a space heater into any type of multi-socket power strip—you want to plug it directly into the wall."

Make sure your home is equipped with functioning smoke alarms.

Having a working smoke detector in your home can mean the difference between life or death when it comes to a holiday home fire. The experts at First Alert note that "smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, inside every bedroom, and outside sleeping area." They also recommend you "test alarms every month and change batteries every six months."

Information provided by

17 Christmas Fire Safety Tips from Firefighters and Other Safety Experts (bestlifeonline.com)

mrelectric.com

Candle Safety

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Candle Flame Candles create the perfect ambiance, but a lit candle can easily ignite anything flammable in its presence.

Fast Facts:

  • 38% of home candle fires start in bedrooms and cause 35% of associated deaths. 
  • More than 50% of all candle home fires start because the candle was too close to a a flammable item (I.E. mattresses, bedding, curtains, cabinetry, or furniture are ignited). 
  • In 12% of home candle fires and in 25% of associated deaths and injuries, the household occupants were asleep when the fire occurred.
  • Unsupervised children are involved in 20% of home candle fires. 
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50%.
  • 11% of home fires are caused by falling asleep while a candle is lit
  • 58% of home fires started when something flammable was too close to the lit candle
  • 36% of home fires start in the bedroom

Preparedness Tips:

  • Remember that lit candles are fire. Keep them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn, such as curtains, bedding, mattresses, paper, books, flammable decorations, clothing, and upholstered furniture.
  • Never leave a room or go to sleep before blowing out all lit candles.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily. Candle holders that are made from a material that cannot burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax would also be a good idea.
  • Place candles where they cannot be reached or knocked over by pets or children.
  • During an emergency, always use flashlights instead of candles as light sources.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. Additionally, keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Keep all lit candles and any other open flames away from flammable liquids.

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.

Heating

  • 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.

DO NOT: 

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

What To Look For To Prevent Water Damage

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

water damage SERVPRO of University Place is a full restoration company. Our team of experts are on call and ready to help you determine the best course of action.

There is a lot to be said for having a house with a basement. Not only is it great for extra storage and a place to hide out from any severe weather threats, but it also opens up the potential to expand your home’s square footage if it is a finished area.

Overall, there are many pros to having a basement, but it is important to also acknowledge the cons that they can present.

Having a house with a basement can be a drawback when it comes to water damage. While not every basement will have water damage in its lifetime, it is something that many are notorious for due to their unique construction.

Fortunately, by being aware of the signs of water damage in the basement, homeowners can catch things before they grow out of hand. If you suspect water damage, it is important to be sure to address it as quickly as possible so you do not have a much larger issue on your plate.

Preventing Basement Water Damage By Knowing the Signs

Unpleasant, musky odors. The water that leaks into a basement is often clean water, but that does not mean that musky odors can’t still develop. Water leads to mold and mildew growth, and as the water evaporates and leaves the bacteria behind, a musty odor can develop. Oftentimes, this odor is the very first thing that homeowners notice when they have water damage on their hands.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Water damage can sometimes be temporarily masked with paint, which is the route that many well-intentioned homeowners take initially. While this may temporarily “solve” the problem, it is not a long-term solution by any stretch of the imagination. Water will always find its way in if there is an underlying problem, which can lead to issues with paint over time such as cracks, flakes and chips.

Foundational cracks. As temperatures fluctuate and the ground shifts and settles, it is normal for hairline cracks to develop throughout the home’s foundation. However, any cracks larger than a hairline should be immediately examined. Cracks that occur on the ceiling, walls or floor are often signs that water damage is occurring somewhere within the home and leading to damages.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more (253) 896-3000

What Personal Protective Equipment Should Your Remediation Crew Use?

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

ppe Call us for mold remediation @ SERVPRO of University Place (253) 896-3000

Mold spores are a commercial hazard. They spread quickly, creating growths throughout a building. When that happens, operations must cease, halting revenue. Stopping the reproduction, then, should be a commercial owner's top priority. A mold remediation company in University Place, WA, tends to the matter, removing contamination and sanitizing the space. To avoid breathing in the spores or moving them into other areas, the crew should protect themselves by wearing appropriate safety gear. Expect the staff to use the following four pieces of equipment.

1. Face Mask
During cleanup procedures, the crewmen may have to tear out structural pieces. When this happens, the spores can enter the air. Workers should wear a respirator mask that filters out the mold particles. Typically an N99 mask suffices.

2. Shoe Covers
Don't permit microbes to move from room-to-room. Organisms can be transported by foot traffic; therefore, to control the situation, employees should wear disposable shoe covers. When they walk around the working zone, they can do as they wish. Before leaving, the booties should be removed and disposed of within a trash receptacle. 

3. Removable Clothing
Fungal spores cling to cloth. If staff arrive in their daily attire and then begin to renovate, they'll pick up fungus and possibly move it elsewhere. Avoid additional mold growth by encouraging others to use work suits. These should be taken off immediately upon exiting the facility. If, for some reason, someone enters in their regular outfit, encourage them to not sit on anything. The exposed items should be washed in hot water with soap.

4. Goggles
Drywall and flooring are likely to be torn out. They're often fraught with infestation. During the process, debris can fly up. Goggles block obstructions from entering the eye and hurting vision. 
Limit trouble by encouraging others to protect themselves and the premises. Proper materials should be used throughout the duration of the project.

4 Reasons To Have a Mold Inspection Done

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

mold Call us for a mold inspection! (253) 896-3000

Reasons To Have Mold Inspection and Cleaning Done

Mold that is left unchecked can spread and cause serious damage to your property. If you suspect you have a problem in your home, it may be a good idea to have mold cleaning and inspection done.

1. Not all mold is visible on the surface. You may first become aware of potential mold damage in your home when you spot a patch of it growing in your shower or notice a musty odor. However, not all growth is easily detectable by a visual inspection. An industrial hygienist can detect growth inside walls or hidden under other surfaces in your home.

2. Home testing kits can be misleading. Some homeowners may be tempted to purchase a home test kit, rather than hiring an industrial hygienist in University Place, WA. Unfortunately, home kits can be inaccurate for a variety of reasons. Some kits are not sensitive enough to detect hidden growth. Others may have become contaminated during the packaging process or while sitting around on a store shelf and give a false positive. Accurate detection is essential for drafting an effective mold cleaning plan.

3. An industrial hygienist can help you plan how to address your problem. Industrial hygienists can assess the situation in your home and suggest the best mold remediation strategies. Working in concert with your mold cleanup company, they can help you thoroughly and efficiently eliminate issues in your home.

4. You may need the inspection report if you plan to sell your home. In many states, sellers are required to disclose issues, such as past mold problems, to potential buyers. You may need to furnish an inspection report as proof that past problems have been addressed and your home is now mold-free.
A professional inspection can be a critical first step in the mold cleaning process. Identifying and removing mold as soon as possible will help you avoid unnecessary mold damage to your home.

How To Spend Less On Maintenance

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Home maintenance costs can add up to a considerable sum. The best way to lower maintenance cost for any structural system or appliance is to handle issues sooner than later and anticipate potential problems. Most systems, such as HVAC or plumbing, can be maintained for years without major emergency incidents as long as homeowners schedule routine upkeep. Here are three of the best ways to keep service costs low and maximize the operational life of every system in a home.

1. Fix Minor Problems
It’s a good idea to start small when it comes to maintenance. Addressing issues that seem minor when they arise can help to prevent serious issues from developing down the road. In general, scheduled or preventative maintenance is more affordable than emergency repairs in terms of the cost of parts, labor and incidentals.

2. Do Preventative Maintenance
Homeowners should schedule periodic inspections of the structural systems, appliances and other aspects of a residence. Inspections may draw attention to issues that require maintenance. Cleaning components and getting the parts necessary to prevent problems from occurring down the line tends to have a lower maintenance cost than fixing broken parts and restoring damage.

3. Get Jobs Done Right
It is important to have trained professionals install, service and repair home appliances and systems such as HVAC and plumbing. Maintaining high facility management standards may cost a little more per job, but the risk of experiencing major problems that prove very costly is significantly reduced. Bonded and insured professionals also typically guarantee their work.
The longer a problem persists, the more severe it may become and the higher the maintenance cost. When it comes to structural systems and appliances at a home in Tacoma, regularly scheduled inspections, maintenance, preventative measures and timely repairs can help homeowners avoid costly emergency fixes for major problems that can cause major damage.

Commercial Cleanup For Sewage Leaks

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

broken pipe When sewage leaks affect your business, SERVPRO of Lakewood is here to make it "Like it never even happened."

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 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 or dry wet carpets and pull up damaged 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 awhile 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 stationed 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 Tacoma For 24/7 Service (253) 896-3000

SERVPRO of Tacoma 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." 

What To Do When Your Refrigerator Line Leaks

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

fridge leak A leaking fridge in your home can cause extensive water damage and mold growth in your kitchen.

When you think of kitchen water damage, you usually think of a sink leak or a broken dishwasher. But did you know there's a high risk of water damage from your fridge?

Refrigerator water line leaks can damage your kitchen floor, the wall behind the appliance, and even cause extensive mold growth in your home.

What can you do when your refrigerator leaks to prevent water damage in your kitchen? As your local water damage restoration company for appliance leaks in Lakewood, we'll review what to do when your fridge leaks, how to repair it, and when insurance will cover the damages.

Why Is My Fridge Leaking Water?

The most common cause of water damage from a fridge is a clogged or leaking water supply line. These supply lines are used to carry water to your ice maker, water dispenser, or to carry melted water. This means that, depending on the model of your fridge, there's many places where the leak could be located.

Many times you won't realize that this appliance is leaking until it's already caused considerable damages. Water line leaks usually start small and worsen over time, saturating flooring, drywall, warping baseboards, or even damaging the subfloor. You may not even notice the damages until there's visible mold around the appliance.

What To Do If Your Fridge Water Line Breaks & Leaks

1.  Clean up water.

Before doing anything else, you should make sure to clean up any standing water to prevent it from seeping through floors, walls, or cabinetry. If you have any fans or dehumidifiers, set them out to help dry the area. 

2.  Try to Find the Source of the Leak.

If you can find the source of the water leak, you may be able to make the needed repairs by yourself. Slowly pull the fridge away from the wall and inspect the plastic supply line that's located on the back of the appliance.

If you can't see any visible damage to water lines, use your hands to feel for moisture and pinhole leaks.

3.  Turn Off the Water to the Appliance.

To prevent further water damage until the appliance is repaired, you should turn off the water and then disconnect the fridge from power. The shutoff valve should be located behind the fridge or underneath your kitchen sink.

4.  Replace the Leaking Water Line.

Remove the bolt that secures the water intake valve to the supply line so that you can remove the faulty line. Measure the length of the water line and be sure to purchase one that is the same length or cut it to the correct size.

To install the new water line, attach each end into a coupling connector until it's firmly sealed. Make sure that everything is tight and secure.

Lastly, turn back on the water to the fridge and watch for any slow leaks before pushing it back to its normal place.

You can also call a professional to repair your leaking fridge if this isn't a project you want to take on yourself.

5.  Inspect for Signs of Water Damage Around your Home.

Depending on how long your refrigerator leaks water onto the kitchen floor, you may need to take additional steps to restore your kitchen back to pre-damage conditions. Look for signs of warped walls or floors, bubbling or peeling paint, musty odors, or water stains on the ceiling underneath the fridge.

If you find any signs of additional water damage, you should call a local water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Lakewood for a detailed inspection.

Preventing Refrigerator Water Damage

The best way to prevent your fridge from leaking and causing water damage is to regularly inspect and maintain the appliance. Note when water supply lines should be replaced or consider upgrading plastic water lines to braided steel supply lines to minimize the chances of them leaking.

Dealing With Refrigerator Water Line Leak Damage in Lakewood / Tacoma? We Can Help!

With over 10 years of experience in cleaning up water damages from leaking appliances, SERVPRO of Lakewood can quickly restore your kitchen to pre-damage conditions.

  • 24/7 Emergency Services

  • Advanced Drying and Dehumidification

  • Damage Inspections and Estimates

  • We Handle The Insurance Process For You

Call SERVPRO of Lakewood Today For Immediate Assistance (253) 896-3000

Frequently Asked SERVPRO Water Mitigation Questions

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

water damage When you experience water damage in Lakewood, you may have may questions about the process and insurance. Our team answers your questions here!

As your local water damage restoration company, SERVPRO of Lakewood receives many questions regarding the water restoration process, costs, and insurance coverage. 

To help out our local home and business owners, we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about water damage and answered them ourselves! 

Should you have any other questions about water damage in Lakewood, feel free to call our office 24/7! (253) 896-3000

Answers To Your Frequently Asked Water Damage Questions

How Much Does SERVPRO Charge for Water Damage Restoration Services? 

The cost of water damage cleanup services in Lakewood is dependent on many factors, making it hard to create a generalization on what SERVPRO charges. 

Factors that affect cost include:

  • Size of area affected
  • Type of building materials affected
  • Amount of water
  • Category of water (1, 2 or 3)
  • Amount of equipment needed
  • Need for mold, lead or asbestos testing
  • Need for mold, lead, or asbestos removal
  • Whether or not there is a need for demolition

Since there’s such a wide range for the cost of water damage restoration services (varying from $1,000-$10,000) SERVPRO of Lakewood provides estimates to all customers. Our Project Managers will also explain the restoration process in detail with you and answer any further questions you have. 

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage? 

When it comes to water damage, your insurance coverage is dependent on the cause of your loss. Damages must be sudden and unforeseen, and not caused by lack of maintenance or neglect. 

  • Covered water damage: An appliance leaks and damages your kitchen floor, or your water heater bursts and floods your basement.
  • Not-covered water damage: Your basement floods after heavy rains. Flooding caused by natural disasters is not covered by standard policies, and requires additional flood insurance.

Does SERVPRO Take Insurance? 

Yes, SERVPRO of Lakewood accepts all insurance carriers. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many major insurance companies in Lakewood and the United States. 

Once you’ve filed your insurance claim, our team handles the rest of the insurance process. This includes taking photos, communicating with your insurance company/adjuster, and settling your claim directly with them.

How Long Does Water Damage Restoration Take? 

The length of the restoration process is dependent on the amount of flooding, extent of water damage, whether or not demolition is required, and simply how long it takes to completely dry building materials. 

For smaller water damage projects, the restoration process can take as little as 3-5 days. For larger amounts of damage, it can take weeks. Your Project Manager will clearly explain the restoration process timeline.

How Does SERVPRO Restore Water Damage? 

Our team at SERVPRO of Lakewood creates a specialized plan for every water damage project. However, the general process remains the same. Our team closely inspects your property using advanced moisture detection equipment and quickly begins the restoration process.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5: Cleaning and Repair

Step 6: Restoration

Can Carpets Be Restored After Water Damage? 

Many times, carpets can be saved and restored after water damage, but this depends on the type of water damage and whether or not mold has began to grow. 

To save carpets, our team will rip out the carpet padding and position fans underneath the carpet to completely dry it out. 

Will Mold Grow After Water Damage?

Because mold thrives on moisture, it can develop in as little as 48 hours after flooding, water leaks, or water damage. However, this doesn’t mean it has to grow after flood damage!

If you take fast action when your home or business is damaged by water leaks or flooding, you can avoid the growth of mold and mildew. If your property does develop mold, our professional mold removal specialists in Lakewood can handle the removal. 

Have Questions or Need Help With Water Restoration? Call SERVPRO of Lakewood 24/7 (253) 896-3000

What Should Be Expected When You Contact Us?

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

roof leak Mitigating your damage starts with great communication and customer service from our SERVPRO of Lakewood team!

First and foremost, expect our 24/7 availability! Whether you are calling day or night, weekday or weekends, and even during the holidays, you can always expect to speak with a real person about the emergency you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Lakewood is the top choice for many insurance agencies in the Pierce and King County areas. 

Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting SERVPRO of Lakewood: 

Quick Response - When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in determining how long and how costly restoration will be. SERVPRO is always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour after you have contacted them about the emergency. Once you have provided them with the necessary information, we will begin preparing to address the needs of your situation.

Arrival Time - Depending on several factors, our technicians can be on-site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make the difference if your home or commercial business has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money.

Inspection/Verbal Briefing - Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. Our team has the ability to let you know in the emergency is claim worthy or not as well. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you are aware of what will happen next. Our team's quick 24-hour response will allow us to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before we begin work on necessary repairs.

Call Our Office! SERVPRO of Lakewood (253) 896-3000

What Being an IICRC Certified Firm Means

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lakewood is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

SERVPRO Earned a Spot in the Top 10 of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Franchise 500 graphic Ranking #10 Overall Franchise in the Nation!

We're celebrating being the #1 franchise in the cleaning and restoration industry for the 21st year in a row! We also placed #10 ranking overall for top franchises in the nation!

This is the result of hard work and working as one cohesive team, with one goal in mind, to help people in their times of greatest need and make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood will continue to work diligently to provide the best fire & water cleanup & restoration, mold remediation, biohazard cleaning & sanitizing in our community. We proudly serve the Pierce, King County and surrounding areas.

Available for 24/7 emergency services! (253) 896-3000

Maintaining Good Air Quality in Your Business

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Air Flow in building Fans and Air Purifiers are a Great Way to Promote Healthy Air Flow Indoors!

Keeping air quality at a healthy level is important for your employees' and coworkers' overall wellbeing. Contaminants in the air can lead to a number of adverse health effects. The number of contaminants can drastically rise in the wake of a flood, where mold is more likely to grow in damp conditions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “the term ‘sick building syndrome’ is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term ‘building related illness’ is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.” 

There is no question that the air quality in your business can have a direct affect people’s health. This is especially true in the present, as many people are concerned with dangerous airborne particles. To protect your employees, you can take steps in order to control the level of moisture and subsequent mold after any water damage with just a few key steps.

  • Make sure the original source of the water is fixed, whether it was a pipe, the roof, etc.
  • Keep the areas around air conditioners and humidifiers free from moisture and pooling water
  • Be aware of your building's air flow

If you experience any water damage or mold damage, please call us at SERVPRO of University Place, as soon as possible. Time is of the essence to keep your business's air quality at safe levels.

(253) 896-3000

How to Prevent Sewer Backups After a Storm

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

sewer line problems Identify Common Sewer Line Problems that can Lead to Flooding, and are Accelerated by Storms

After a major storm in Washington, your basement may experience flooding. The fluid that enters your home may not be clean water, either. If the water contains a foul smell, you may be dealing with a sewage backup.
Emergency restoration professionals are available to sanitize and deodorize your property. While your homeowners' insurance policy likely covers sewer cleaning services, making a sewage claim could increase your premiums in the future. In extreme circumstances, the insurance provider may refuse to renew your policy. This could leave you on the hook for storm damage expenses in the future. Consider using the following precautions in order to prevent sewer water from backing into your home.


1. Standpipes
Standpipes are surrounded by a rubber seal and placed inside the floor drain. During a flood, water that leaves the drain goes into the pipe instead of your basement.

2. Backwater Valves
A backflow prevention valve is a more expensive option. It typically requires a construction permit and installation by a licensed plumber. However, the cost pales in comparison to the thousands of dollars you could spend after a sewage backup.

3. Floor Drain Plugs
Contrastingly, a floor drain plug is the easiest and cheapest way to prevent sewer water from entering your house. Place a one-way plug below the drain grate before the storm arrives. The plug contains a float that deactivates once the sewer water subsides.

4. Overhead Sewers
This is the most effective yet also most costly option. This system collects sewer overflow into the sump below the floor level. The water is then pumped into overhead pipes and drained into the main sewer line. As with the backwater valve, installing an overhead sewer requires a permit and a plumber


A sewage backup is a nasty consequence of storms. To keep your home clean and limit your insurance claims, you should reduce the odds of dirty water entering your basement during a flood.

CONTACT US (253) 896-3000

Commercial Water Damage Procedure

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

flood in office space SERVPRO of University Place is faster to any size commercial disaster!

When your business or commercial property has water damage, it may be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

SERVPRO of University Place will assist you every step of the way in restoring your commercial property. We understand that every hour of our work is an hour of lost work for your business. Because of this, our goal is to be as efficient and non-intrusive as possible while restoring your property. 

To clear up any uncertainties, SERVPRO of University Place will always answer any questions or concerns around the process. 

Water Damage Restoration Process:

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection & Water Damage Assessment
  3. Water Removal / Water Extraction
  4. Drying and Dehumidification
  5. Cleaning & Sanitizing
  6. Restoration

Our technicians are available 24/7 for emergency services and will respond day or night. We even offer free estimates and will help you through the insurance process. 

Call SERVPRO of University Place for any Commercial Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration Needs.

(253) 896-3000

Fire Evacuation Practice in Your Business

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

fire evacuation Know Your Evacuation Route!!!

For those of you who own your own business, being aware of your potential risk is key—from both unpredictable natural or self-inflicted emergency situations. Commercial fires can be devastating for businesses, and tend to hit hardest for the ones that had no preparations in place.

Preparing for a fire at your business is something that involves many aspects, but our recommendation is always to start with safety first. Making sure you and your staff are able to quickly and calmly leave the building when the fire alarm sounds is the top priority, which is why we recommend starting with fire drills.

Starting Fire Safety With Workplace Evacuation Drills

Consult with your local fire officials. Researching your fire safety options online is a great way to gather information, but be sure to make use of your local resources as well. You can often work with your local fire department for them to visit and provide advice regarding what your options for fire safety improvements and evacuation routes are.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. Once your evacuation routes have been determined, you should mark them clearly within the building and alert staff that a drill is forthcoming. By better preparing everyone in the building, you can be certain that the drill will go more smoothly.

Have fire drills frequently. Though taking time out of your day for a fire drill is not ideal, generally doing them once every few months is sufficient enough for everyone’s safety. Keep them on the schedule regularly enough so that everyone can remember the protocols, but not so often that they become mundane.

Run different fire scenarios. Fires can be extremely unpredictable, so it is wise to add some variance into your drills to better prepare for all possible scenarios. Fires can occur in many spots, so experiment with blocking off certain evacuation routes to reflect this and get your staff accustomed to using every possible exit point instead of just the one closest to them.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

(253) 896-3000

Be Safe this Valentine's Day

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

candle fire safety Keep your Flames Under Control!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re sharing some fire safety advice to help you stay safe and make it a day to remember for all the right reasons.

Candles

Not just on this holiday, it is always important to practice safe candle usage to avoid fires. Candles are supposed to give a romantic glow, not actual flames. Follow these tips when burning and extinguishing candles to stay safe.

  • Never leave candles unattended. Put burning candles out when you leave the room and always remember to check that they are completely put out at night.
  • Make sure candles are put out long before you go to sleep to avoid the danger of you accidentally knocking over a burning candle whilst asleep. Also, put candles out with a snuffer or spoon as sparks can fly if you blow them out.
  • Once lit, don’t move any candles and don’t burn several candles close together as this could cause the flame to flare.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, which is out of the way of draughts, vents or air currents. This will help to prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot and dripping.

Lastly, make sure that you know your escape plans in the event of a fire. 

We proudly serve University Place and surrounding areas. (253) 896 - 3000

How to Prevent Damage During a Big Storm!

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Rainy storm. After examining the building for any storm damage call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at (253) 564-1494 to contact our professionals!

After a bad storm, falling trees may cause you to lose power. Follow the steps below to prevent any fire damage once the power is back at your home or business.   

At SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, we know how power outages can go from inconvenient to damaging in no time. While it might not be the actual power outage causing damage, it can cause a domino effect and lead to other things. 

Unplug Appliances to Prevent Fire Damage 

NEVER run a gas powered generator inside your home. This can cause carbon monoxide build up which can be dangerous to your health. And never use a gas powered stove or grill to warm your home. 

In the unfortunate situation where you may be cooking and the power goes out, be sure all stove units are off, as well as the oven.

Turn all knobs on the stove to be 100% positive they are off. 

Go around the house / building and check the smoke detectors to make sure they're in working order, in the case a fire does break out, you'll be alerted. While waiting for the power to turn back on, the last thing you'll want is a fire! 

Unplug all non-essential appliances like toasters, coffee makers, mixers, and electronics such as gaming consoles, computers, TV's etc. When the power does come back on, these could cause a surge that can cause damage. 

It's especially important to unplug appliances that don't have surge protection built in. 

After Power is Restored 

After you get your power back, take a walk in and around the house, check for any water leaks, functioning appliances, and check and extinguish any candles that are still lit for light. 

After examining the building for any damage call PROSERV of University Place/Lakewood West at (253) 564-1494 to contact our professionals!

Get back to business after a costly fire!

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial fire image AT SERVPRO, we're experts in cleaning smoke damage as well as fire damage restoration. Cal us today at (253) 564-1494.

When your University Place/Lakewood West business suffers from a fire, every minute that your business is closed is lost money and lost clients. 

At SERVPRO University Place/Lakewood West, we understand the urgency to get your business back up and running.  We have a large dedicated team that will help you get back to business! 

Even if the fire didn't cause major structural damage, smoke and soot damage can be extreme, even if you can't see it. 

AT SERVPRO, we're experts in cleaning smoke damage as well as fire damage restoration.

Your facility will be inspected and cleaned, as well as restored! We use a variety of different methods to clean and deodorize everything!

Fire damage is more than what has been burned 

  • Ash and smoke can cause corrosion and damage to other materials 
  • Smoke odors can be very unpleasant if left untreated 
  • Smoke causes etching in glass, as well as discoloration to walls, equipment and other surfaces 

Although each fire is not the same, the restoration process is typically the same because it is proven to help us as well as you!

  • Inspecting the damage
  • Identify the source of the fire
  • Identify any additional water damage that was caused by firefighting efforts
  • Remediate the water damage
  • Remove contents from the area or building

Call our professionals SERVPRO University Place /Lakewood West at (253) 564-1494.

Fixing the Drip

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

As you go about your day, it can be easy to not notice the quiet drip of a leaking faucet. Once the hustle and bustle slows down, that little drip can become surprisingly loud. Along with raising your water bill, a constant drip can indicate a bigger problem. Luckily, most leaks are relatively minor fixes.

What Is Causing the Drip?

Ring Issues – The faucet handle is attached with a stem screw that is on top of an O ring. If this ring becomes loose or damaged, it will cause a leak

Corrosion – Water sediment eventually begins to affect the components of a faucet. A valve seat, the faucet, and spot connector can lose its integrity.

Washers – The washer and valve seat come into contact every use. Over time, this friction will begin to wear the part out. Additionally, if a washer isn’t properly installed, it can contribute to leaking.

Steps to Fix the Leak

When dealing with a leaking faucet, many of the fixes are relatively easy. Below are some helpful tips in completing a proper repair.

Turn off water at the main supply to avoid a small leak turning into a river of water.
Any knob or decorative parts will need to be removed before a repair can be made. These fixtures are typically screwed in.
The packing nut will need to be loosened. Depending on your faucet, the stem may either gently pull off or require twisting. Once off, inspect it for any damage.
If there was no visible damage to the faucet stem, inspect the O ring, washers and valves for wear.
Once the culprit is determined, ensure the replacement part is properly installed and an exact fit.

If after you have fixed leak there are still problems, it may be time to call a plumber. A leaking faucet could mean hidden plumbing issues and unseen damage that may require the services of a water damage professional.

Treating Wet Content in Your Home

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

If you experience a storm that results in flooding, you may have a significant amount of damage to your home and the items that it contains. While content cleaning can be done for some of your belongings, this is not always an option when contaminated water is involved. Keep this in mind when dealing with the following types of items.


1. Hard Surfaces
Items with hard surfaces are the easiest to deal with. Content cleaning for these will consist of removing dirt, debris, and contaminated water and then sanitizing the object. Because the water cannot penetrate the surface, scrubbing or wiping down these items with a cloth and antibacterial cleaner will often be good enough.


2. Porous Materials and Fabrics
Unfortunately, porous materials are much more difficult to clean. Smaller items can sometimes be saved with a washing machine or dry cleaning, but building materials and large furniture often absorb too much black water to be thoroughly cleaned. These items will likely need to be removed and replaced.


3. Electronics
Electronic devices do not mix well with any type of water, but flood water can be even more damaging because of the debris that it carries. For the best chances of saving these items, do not attempt to turn them on until they have been inspected and cleaned by a professional.


4. Food and Drinks
Because black water carries high levels of bacteria, it is best not to take any chances when it comes to items that will be consumed. Anything that is not within airtight packaging should be tossed. Some items, such as canned foods, may be saved.


If your home has been affected by flood water and you need to have content cleaning done, a cleanup and restoration company, like SERVPRO, is a great option. These professionals have the training and equipment necessary to thoroughly remove the water from and sanitize your house. They can also perform necessary repairs.

University Place / Lakewood West 

(253) 564-1494

6 Steps of Water Damage Restoration

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

When you discover water damage, you can count on SERVPRO of Tacoma's six-step restoration process to truly restore your property to its pre-damage condition.

  1. Initial Emergency Contact
    • You can call us 24 /7 to begin the water restoration process because taking immediate action is crucial after water damage occurs. When you call us, we will ask you questions to get an overview of the damage and to help us determine what resources to dispatch to you.
  2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
    • When we arrive on the scene in response to water damage, we will do a detailed property inspection to assess the scope of the damage and to develop a thorough plan of action. We will identify the water source, the category of water, and check for safety concerns.
  3. Moisture Extraction
    • The water extraction process will remove the majority of moisture via our vacuum and pump units. We will start this process as quickly as possible to lessen the likelihood of more damage occurring and to reduce drying time. We can also help you move out of your belongings in the event that they might be damaged as well.
  4. Dehumidifying and Drying
    • After the excess water has been removed, we can begin fully drying all porous materials that have absorbed water. Our industrial-grade equipment moves air quickly and helps moisture to evaporate as fast as possible, which will dry out floors, walls, and carpets as well as discourage mold growth.
  5. Cleaning and Repair
    • After sustaining water damage, impacted surfaces will typically require professional cleaning. In addition to structural cleaning, we will clean your belongings that are able to be restored. We will also do odor removal to prevent the musty odor that water-damaged objects develop.
  6. Restoration
    • The final step is ensuring that your property is restored to its pre-water condition. This will involve things like drywall and flooring repairs or even reconstruction. By working with us, you are working with a company that can handle all elements of the restoration, including the difficult reconstruction parts that truly restores things back to their pre-damaged state.

Common Causes of Commercial Water Loss

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Most commercial property owners in University Place, WA assume their property can only suffer significant water damage during torrential downpours and rare flooding from rainstorms. While this can be true, weather isn't the only cause of property damage in Western Washington. 

The most common commercial water damage disasters happen from the following:

1.) Sprinkler systems

Some office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work with fire protection systems. While these sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they need replacement. 

2.) Appliances and Equipment

We see this most often in restaurants and catering halls, as well as businesses that have appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance falls and sends water across your building, especially on a Friday afternoon when no one is in until Monday morning, you may come in to face a water emergency! Unfortunately, this happens A LOT!!

3.) Broken pipes and plumbing

Just like in residential properties, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails, water damage could happen! 

If your business or commercial property is suffering from commercial water damage, SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West is here to get you back up and running. Call us at 253-564-1494 and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Cleaning Your Chimney Yourself

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Burning fires in a chimney leads to the accumulation of soot and creosote, a flammable, sticky substance that can cause chimney fires if it’s not removed. Hiring a professional chimney sweep can get expensive, so if you use your fireplace frequently, consider picking up a few tools from the hardware store and cleaning your chimney yourself. This article provides instructions on three different methods for cleaning a chimney, as well as tips on chimney cleaning safely.

  1. Determine whether the chimney needs to be cleaned. If you only clean your chimney once a year, do it in the Fall before the burning season begins. Otherwise, you risk sparking a chimney fire the first time you light up your fireplace in the Winter
  2. Check the chimney for animals. Shine a flashlight up the chimney from the fireplace, and if you find an animal remove it
  3. Measure your chimney flue. You have to have properly sized tools to clean the chimney properly
  4. Buy chimney cleaning supplies such as a wire brush, rope, plastic tarp or drop cloth, broom, dustpan, mask, goggles and ladder
  5. Dress in appropriate clothing. You should wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting messy with soot. Cover your hair and make sure you wear a mask and googles
  6. Prepare your house for the cleaning. Drape a drop cloth around the fireplace and move back furniture and rugs
  7. Remove the damper from the chimney flue
  8. Start the cleaning process

SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West is here to help with all your fire restoration needs. 

253-564-1494

Our Fire Restoration Process

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

If your home in has experienced a fire, then you may need to contact your local fire restoration service company, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, to help with the repairs. The knowledgeable professionals at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West have the tools and knowledge necessary to restore your home back to pre-fire condition. During this process there are a few things you can expect to see.

  1. Assessment of the Damage

One of the first steps you will see our restoration technicians perform is the assessment of the affected area. Our certified professionals will look for fire, soot and smoke damage, as well as any water damage that may have occurred with the fire suppression efforts. Knowing the damage types will allow them to formulate a plan for restoration.

  1. The Repair Process

During the fire restoration process, you can expect our technicians to start with damage cleaning, followed by any structural repairs that need to be made. It's also a good idea to talk with our restoration technicians about any mitigation steps you can take at this time as well.

  1. Restoration of the Space

Our technicians are trained to have the ability to return your home back to pre-fire condition. You can expect this to take a little time, but you can also expect to find that any smoke, fire, or soot damage has been completely removed. We will also be able to replace the damaged interior. At the end of this process you should be able to find that your home looks as though the fire never occurred.

If your home suffers from a fire, call the professionals at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. (253) 896.3000

What's in Your Emergency Storm Kit?

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

If a community is not prepared for a severe storm, the results can be devastating. Although the Tacoma area a stranger to severe storms, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West wants to share some of the following tips to keep in mind while putting together an emergency kit in the event of a severe storm approaching. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has stated that emergency kits should include some of the following:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Any medicine currently being taken
  • Emergency food and water
  • Extra change of clothes and shoes
  • Pet supplies if you are taking care of an animal

These are just a few examples of what an emergency kit should contain. Residents can add whatever else they may need. There should be an emergency kit in every residential building as well as all commercial buildings if possible. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside the home or office, occupants should head there with the emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources they can be easier to deal with.

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West wants to make sure the surrounding Tacoma Areas are prepared!

Steps to Take When your Home Floods

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

flooded kitchen Take the right steps when your home is affected by water!

Whether it be plumbing issues or a natural disaster, water can do some serious damage to your home, your floors, ceilings, walls, and personal belongings. That's why it is important to act quickly when you discover a flood in your home.

First and foremost, if it is safe to do so, shut off your water supply. Try to dry up as much water as possible to avoid severe water damage or mold growth.

Then, call SERVPRO! We offer 24/7 emergency service so that you never have to handle emergencies on your own, no matter the time or day. Our technicians are trained to mediate and extract standing water that needs immediate attention. We come prepared with equipment to help dry down the affected areas right away, preventing further damage and mold-growing environments. The quicker you start drying, the better!

It is SO important to detect the cause of the leak and have it repaired in order to prevent the same thing from happening in the future. Trying to dry down your home while water is still leaking is nearly impossible, so having it fixed is very important.

Depending on the amount of damage or cause of leak, we recommend you file a claim with your insurance. 

Once you have done all of that, we here at SERVPRO will take care of the restoration! We'll monitor your home daily to ensure the areas are drying quickly and efficiently. We'll complete all that is needed to be done in order to restore your home and/or contents correctly so no problems arise in the future. We'll communicate with your insurance company every step of the way. And of course, we'll make sure all of your questions are answered and your concerns are gone over. 

Call SERVPRO of Tacoma/University Place!

253-564-1494

Six steps of Water Mitigation

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee extracting water Within hours of your loss, a SERVPRO of University place/Lakewood west will be on site helping to restore your home.

When a water damage occurs in your home or work place, acting quickly is important to help preserve your home. Here at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood west, we are dedicated to enduring your safety. We have compiled a list of steps to follow in the event of a water damage. 

  1. Initial Emergency Contact
    • You can call us 24 hours a day to begin the water restoration process because taking immediate action is crucial after water damage occurs. When you call us, we will ask you questions to get an overview of the damage and to help us determine what resources to dispatch to you.
  2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
    • When we arrive on the scene in response to water damage, we will do a detailed property inspection to assess the scope of the damage and to develop a thorough plan of action. We will identify the water source, the category of water, and check for safety concerns.
  3. Moisture Extraction
    • The water extraction process will remove the majority of moisture via our vacuum and pump units. We will start this process as quickly as possible to lessen the likelihood of more damage occurring and to reduce drying time. We can also help you move out of your belongings in the event that they might be damaged as well.
  4. Dehumidifying and Drying
    • After the excess water has been removed, we can begin fully drying all porous materials that have absorbed water. Our industrial-grade equipment moves air quickly and helps moisture to evaporate as fast as possible, which will dry out floors, walls, and carpets as well as discourage mold growth.
  5. Cleaning and Repair
    • After sustaining water damage, impacted surfaces will typically require professional cleaning. In addition to structural cleaning, we will clean your belongings that are able to be restored. We will also do odor removal to prevent the musty odor that water-damaged objects often develop.
  6. Restoration
    • The final step is ensuring that your property is restored to its pre-water condition. This will involve things like drywall and flooring repairs or even reconstruction. By working with us, you are working with a company that can handle all elements of the restoration, including the difficult reconstruction parts that truly restores things back to their pre-damaged state.

Feel free to call us at 253-896-3000 for any more information or help with a water damage. 

Protecting your business from Storm Damage

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

wet floor sign on flooded floor If you experience flooding from a storm, call SERVPRO of University Place to help restore your business back to normal!

Have you taken steps to protect your business and employees?

When we experience a thunderstorm in University Place, Wa, they can potentially cause extensive damage to your business. Power outages downed tree limbs, and flooding from rainstorms are all possibilities. SERVPRO of University Place has a few preventative steps you can take to ensure you are able to protect your business when these storms happen.

1. Keep Your Lightning Rod Maintained

lightning rod is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. If lightning hits the structure, it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through a wire, instead of passing through the structure, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution. If your business is located in a tall building that may attract lightning, then maintaining the lightning rod can be essential. Have the rod checked annually for damage and ask your certification professionals to verify that it is up to code. If your business is located in an area where lightning is common, it is wise to have the unit cleaned and inspected at least twice a year.  2. Maintain All Trees on the Property  High winds can turn tree limbs into projectiles that may shatter your building’s windows and cause serious injury to your customers or employees. Make sure you are maintaining your landscaping so dead branches do not detach and strike people entering your business below. Trimming trees away from your building’s power lines can protect its power source during a thunderstorm 3. Have a Flood Plan in Place  Having a flood plan in place can possibly prevent flooding in your business, especially in the case of mitigation services. Contacting SERVPRO of University Place before the wet season can be a wise choice because if your building should experience flooding, our team can have help on hand right away.

SERVPRO of University Place is here to protect your business

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo and employees SERVPRO of University Place is here to help protect your business!

As the owner of commercial property in University Place and the greater Tacoma area, you are responsible of maintaining the building and its pipework and the repairs the are needed. Due to the large amount of time buildings spend vacant, like on nights and weekends, the potential for water loss is very high. However, there is no need to fear. SERVPRO of University Place has a list with a few, simple tips to help prevent commercial water losses. 

  1. Clean your gutters and downspouts often
  2. Maintain trees and vegetation near your building
  3. Know where your water main is located. If you plan on leaving for a extended amount of time, shutting off the water is a great way of lowing the risk of a water leak
  4. upgrade hoses and pipes in a timely fashion to insure the products do not give out and cause major damage
  5. Install water detection devices to alert you right away if there is a leak
  6. Make sure your water pressure is not to high to avoid pipes cracking under pressure.
  7. Monitor your water bills. If the bills are higher than normal, that could be a tell tale sign that there is a leak. 

These tips are key to avoiding water leaks in your business and commercial properties. In the worst case scenario of a flood or water damage, SERVPRO of University Place will restore your building back to normal, if not even better! 

Sewer backups in your business

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! Call us at (253)-896-3000 to make it "Like it never even happened."

When you find a sewer backup in your business, it's never a fun experience for anyone, which is why we here at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West have become experts at jobs like this. Because of our years and years of experience, we are able to develop a tried and true process for making your building "Like it never even happened."

The first thing to do is find out where the water came from. This is a very important consideration in allowing us to deal with your building. Dealing with a broken pipe is a far different process than dealing with sewage water.

Making sure your cleanup crew is using proper PPE  is very important. Even if the water appears "pretty clear" you may still need to treat it as sewage water, depending on how it entered your building. The waste water needs to be put back into a sanitary sewer line and the affected area needs to be cleaned properly.

Call SERVPRO of UP/LW when you want to make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold in your business

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! Call us at (253)-896-3000 to make it "Like it never even happened." and SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can help you avoid secondary damage!

One of the problems with water damage is that if it is not corrected quickly and properly, secondary damage can occur. Secondary damage is when items that are within the affected area of a water damage are not treated or dried out properly. This can occur when the humidity in the area is not reduced to an appropriate level. Our dehumidifiers help reduce humidity, which will help reduce the odds of mold growing in areas around your water damage.

What happens often happens is moisture, often humidity, gets trapped in a dark, low ventilated space, such as behind drywall, where mold finds the right conditions to grow undetected. The best way to avoid this is proper treatment of the initial water damage, where spending more on proper repairs can save you so much more time and money in the long run, as it can allow you to avoid costly secondary damage.

Call SERVPRO of UP/LW making it "Like it never even happened." at (253)-896-3000

Vacation Proofing Your Home

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Summer is fast approaching. And for many of us, that brings with it vacation season. However, far too many families return home from a relaxing family vacation to find a home racked with water damage. Here are some tips you can take to help vacation-proof your home!

  1. The day you leave for vacation – Most importantly!!  Turn off your main water supply.  Typically located in the ground near your street curb, for those in town.  If you are in the country on a well, turn off your supply line between your well and your house.
  2. Identify your potential water hazards in your home! Note - Any water fixtures in your home or office are potential water hazards. i.e. sinks, toilets, refrigerator water lines, ice maker water lines, dishwashers, washing machines, bath tubs, showers, hot water heaters, AC drain lines, toilets, and even outdoor faucets that are close to exterior of house. check each of potential water hazards, make sure there are no leaks.  A small leak might not seem like much to you now.  However, if a small leak goes unnoticed or not fixed for several days, it can not only cause damage to the wood surfaces around it.  It can also cause mold to grow. 

After you take all the necessary precautions and follow these steps, you are vacation ready! If you ever have any more questions, or need water damage help, call us at (253)-896-3000!

SERVPRO does the jobs you need done, even biohazard

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster! Call us at (253)-896-3000 to make it "Like it never even happened."

What does biohazard mean? Essentially it is a substance or material that is harmful to the health of people or the environment.

The most often cause is as a result of a serious injury or death. Cleaning up a biohazard has many aspects to it. Our primary concern is the health and safety of everyone involved, from our SERVPRO workers, to you, to the people who dispose of the material.

Proper personal protective equipment is just the start. Anyone working with at a biohazard site require proper training in order to stay safe and to protect the health of everyone involved.

Materials that have come in direct contact with blood need to be properly disposed with a licensed waste hauler. This may include PPE, clothing, items used to do the cleanup such as paper products and rags, and any cloth material that needed to be removed from the affected site such as cushions, carpeting, bedding, etc.

And remember, if you need help when the unexpected happens, call us at (253)-896-3000

Immediate actions you can take until SERVPRO arrives to your water damage

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! Call (253)-896-3000 to make it like it never even happened!

As everyone knows, one of the first steps in solving your water damage, whether at home or at work, is calling SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at (253)-896-3000! While there are some things that only SERVPRO can do, there are a few things that you can do to help out until the restoration experts show up to help you out. Some of these things are: 

  1. Shut off the water source. If you're reading this because you have a water loss, chances are tyou have already done this, it is the action that comes most naturally to most people, and serves as a very logical first step in stopping the water damage from spreading and creating a bigger issue.
  2. Shut off electricity. This is not necessary in the whole building, but shutting of electricity in the area of the water damage can help lower the risk of both fires, and electrocution, as well as protecting the electrical system.
  3. Remove excess water from floors, furniture, wood surfaces
  4. Prop up any cushions and upholstery, in order to promote even drying
  5. Use plastic, wood, or tin foil to separate the legs of furniture, tables, and chairs from wet carpet and flooring
  6. Remove all sensitive material such as electronics, valuable paintings, or important documents to a dry, safe area away from the water
  7. Call SERVPRO of UP/LW and we will show you why we are faster to any size disaster!

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is Always Ready

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! Faster To Any Size Disaster!

When you have a disaster, the last thing you want is people showing up to help, and for them to be unprepared to help. With SERVPRO of UP/LW, that's not what you get. We regularly update our information, our restoration methods, improve our chemicals and constantly upgrade the quality of our gear and equipment, to give you the fastest, safest, and most complete restoration possible. Additionally, and most importantly, we are always improving our training, and sending technicians to different training courses, allowing our staff to be as educated and capable as possible. Due to our constant diligence, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is able to make it "Like it never even happened." To learn more about how WE can help YOU! call us at (253)-896-3000

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West Has the Best Rebuild Team in the Biz

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! (253)-896-3000 will make it "Like it never even happened." for you!!

In the restoration process at your home or business, many restoration companies are unable serve you through the rebuild phase. While the companies that can, often don't strive to the same level of quality and service that we here at SERVPRO of UP/LW are able to provide to our customers. With a recent addition of a new rebuild technician, we are more than ready to serve any of the rebuild jobs you may have. Even if you used a different restoration company, or you didn't have a fire or water loss at all, feel free to give the rebuild experts here at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West a call at (253)-896-3000! And you'll see how SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can make it "Like it never even happened."

Cooking Fire Prevention

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, Faster to any size disaster! SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, Faster to any size disaster!

Cooking of all kinds are the number one cause of home fires in America.  Here at SERVPRO, we are all about safety and serving our customers, so we are going to go over some fire prevention tips! According to the National Fire Protection Association, some important things you can do to help ensure you are cooking safely are:

1) Be alert! If you have consumed alcohol or are feeling overly sleepy, it may be unsafe to cook, and you may be unable to prevent or catch a fire while you can

2) Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking! Staying in the kitchen allows you to monitor your cooking and adjust as needed, helping to prevent fires.  If you are grilling or cooking outside, staying outside with your cooking can be essential in preventing a fire outside too!

3) If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.  Avoiding overcooking or forgetting about food can be essential in preventing fires!

4) Keep anything that may catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from your stovetop. Non-cooking materials catching fire is a very dangerous, yet very common start for many kitchen fires. 

Now that you're set to cook safely, what do you do if you find a cook fire in your home?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should - 

1) Get out! When you do, make sure that everyone else is as well, and shut the door behind you in order to help contain the fire

2) Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services as soon as you are out and in a safe place away from the flames

3) If you do decide to attempt to fight the fire, be sure that others are out and clear, and that you have a free and unobstructed path away to safety

4) Keep a lid nearby when cooking in order to smother grease fires. If a grease fire breaks out, do not throw water on it!! Slide the lid over the pan, turn the burner off, and leave the lid on the pan until it has completely cooled

5) If an oven fire breaks out, turn the oven off and keep the door closed, dio not open it to attempt to fight the fire

For more information on cooking fires, and any other fire questions you may have, visit https://www.nfpa.org/ . And remember, if you ever have a fire in your home or business, call (253)-896-300 to make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO and Environmentally Safe Cleaning

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! Clean is now Green!!

Here at SERVPRO, we pride ourselves in being able to offer a range of environmentally safe cleaning products.  From carpet cleaning, to general all-purpose cleaners, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is able to do our job, and accommodate our obligation to the environment. However, not everyone has the resources we have to clean consciously. Well, SERVPRO is here to help! Today we are going to go over some environment saving tips that you can use when cleaning your home! According to Toxic-FreeFuture.org, some things that you can do are:

1) Make your own detergent! Whether it's a blend of ingredients such as baking soda, white vinegar, and dish soap or a simple all purpose 50/50 vinegar/water mix, not only are homemade cleaners better for the environment, but the can be much easier on you, your children, and your pets.

2) Use fewer products.  Instead of using multiple cleaners for separate rooms, sticking to one or two general all-purpose cleaners can be a safer, cleaner, and more efficent choise for your home!

3) Learn How To Read Labels! 

Avoid products with the signal words Poison, Danger, and Warning. Don’t be misled by vague, unregulated claims including “natural,” “eco-friendly” and “non-toxic.”  Look for third-party certified products, such as those endorsed by Design for the Environment.

4) Buy from companies that completely disclose ingredients. If a company does not list all of the ingredients, then it can be hard if not impossible for you to make sure that you are cleaning safely!

5) Avoid unidentified 'fragrance' in products, or choose fragrance-free. Synthetic fragrances can trigger asthma and may contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. Instead of masking unwanted odors with fragrance, tackle the source.

6) Where possible, avoid antimicrobials. Disinfecting, by nature, aren't the best products to use on your countertops and other exposed surfaces. 

7) Focus on safer cleaning techniques.  For example, use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, replace kitchen sponges regularly, disinfect sponges by boiling them, and always wash hands after using the bathroom.

8) Regularly wash your hands, even outside of the bathroom

9) Practice safe storage and usage. 

Never mix products, even homemade green cleaners. Chemicals can have dangerous reactions when combined – for example ammonia and bleach together create poisonous fumes. Always store cleaning products out of children’s reach.  Ventilate, use gloves, and other precautions as recommended. Dispose of old, hazardous cleaning products through your county’s household hazardous waste collection program.

10) If you are a fan of toxic free future, follow the link above to become a member. Additionally, if you approve of SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West's use of environmentally safe cleaning products, leave us a review on Google, Facebook, or Yelp!!

If you have any commercial or residential cleaning needs, give us a call at (253)-896-3000, and you'll see how SERVPRO of UP/LW is faster to any size disaster!!!

SERVPRO Provides a Wide Range of Services 24/7

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster! Call (253)-896-3000 and see why SERVPRO of UP/LW is faster to any size disaster!

SERVPRO of University PLace/Lakewood West is here to serve you, which is why we are available all day, every day to provide for your restoration needs, whatever they may be.  From carpet cleaning to mold remediation, from water damage to fire damage, we are here to help! But the real reason people keep coming back to SERVPRO UP/LW is our outstanding customer service. Whatever service you may need when you call us, we will be there to help you all day, all night, even weekends! When you call us, you get a real person answering your phone call. From there, one of our managers will get in touch with you and go over the details, set a time, and if you need someone on site immediately, we can send someone out to your job as soon as we can, whether or not it's during business hours. So just remember, with exceptional customer service, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is faster to any size disaster!

Storm Season is upon us

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Here in the great PNW, peak storm season is from May to July. What does that mean for you? It means it's time to start preparing for the inevitable thunderstorms that will roll in from the coast and batter our homes.  What can you do to prepare for storm season? a great start is to follow Red Cross Thunderstorm Safety checklist: 

  • Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
  • Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
  • Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
  • Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
  • Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods

 During a thunderstorm, you can: 

  • Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
  • Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

For more information on storm safety, follow the link above to the Red Cross storm Safety page.  If you have any storm cleanup needs, call us anytime at (253)-896-3000!

Water Damage Prevention

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

With everyone being stuck in their homes, people are discovering new leaks and drips they didn't know they had.  Today we are going to go over some of the most common causes of water damage that you should be aware of, among many.

Roof - This issue may be worsened with the arrival of storm season.  Here in the Pacific northwest we see our fair share of rain, coupled with the damage your roof can take from wind and falling branches, it's no wonder this is a common cause. Additionally, if your gutters clog, this can cause overflowing water to spill back onto your roof, leaking down through the roof into your walls and ceilings.  Because of this, as well as just wear and tear your roof can take, it is good practice to check your roof for leaks regularly.  

Large Appliances - Another common cause are appliances.  This can be a rather large category, as the average household has numerous appliances that use water. Some common appliances that cause leaks and other issues are water heaters, toilets, fridges, laundry machines, and dishwashers.  All of these have the potential to leak in different ways, and are susceptible to different failures, so it can be difficult to spot leaks. However, it pays to be diligent, as it can allow you to catch a leak before it becomes a large issue.  

Plumbing - This one is probably the one most people are aware of.  Weather it's a clogged drain, backed up plumbing, or a leaky pipe in the basement, being aware of the possibilities can be slightly time consuming yet worth your while. Additionally, listening for drips and leaks can be another effective tactic to detecting the beginning of water damages. 

And always remember, when in trouble, call (253)-896-3000 whenever you need!!

24/7 Customer Service

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood, customer service is a priority.  Unlike other companies, when you call us we have an actual person answering your call. Every day. 24 hours a day.  If you call us after work hours, we either determine from your call that your water/fire damage is safe to sit until morning, and if not, we dispatch a Restoration Technician that night to make sure that your house will be safe OK until the next day when we can start the restoration process during work hours.  If you call us during the weekend, we will send a Tech to your house that day, where we can start the restoration process as soon as possible.  One thing to always remember, the faster we can get on the scene, the lower the cost and effort will be throughout the whole restoration process. When in doubt, call (253)-896-3000!

WINTERIZE YOUR PIPES

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.

Evacuation

  • 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

Sheltering

  • 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.

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)

6/14/2018

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.

Summer Safety!

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Each summer, family and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. In order to enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to help ensure you have fun in the sun.

According to the United States Fire Administration, nearly 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by grill fires, annually. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and always supervise children when near the water.

Summer is a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will help keep you safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks.
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD (personal flotation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFDs. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire. Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.
  • Always build a campfire down wind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover the dirt or pour water over the fire.

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West wishes you a safe and happy summer!

Fire Damage and Your Business

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

The leading causes of fire in a business include cooking equipment, electrical, and heating units. No matter how the fire started, a feeling of concern about business closures, employee safety and equipment replacement seems to follow. After calling the Fire Department to put out the fire, who do you call to clean up the damage cause by the fire?

To you, it’s more than just a business, it’s your livelihood. Business closures due to a fire damage don’t just affect the business owner. It affects the employees, their families and the community. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West professionals understand the feelings of frustration and overwhelming concern related to handling fire damage. Their priority is to help you regain control and get your doors open again. Within eight business hours of arriving at your facility, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will discuss the extent of the damage and the steps we will take to help restore your building, equipment and furniture. Responding quickly to a fire damage can save your company money, reduce more extensive damage and shorten the length of down time.

Armed with industry-approved equipment and expertise, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will make every effort to restore your business to preloss condition when possible. We use the latest equipment, products and processes to properly remove smoke, soot and fire damage from walls and flooring and restore furniture and equipment. We are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get your business back in business.

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specialists are trained in the cleanup and care of your business and equipment following the fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

7/20/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water events affecting University Place and Lakewood commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable, quick, and flexible response.  Whether we are dealing with a relatively small water cleanup or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area.  In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you find your business in need of water or fire restoration, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West.

Top 5 Water Damage Issues in Homes

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

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!

Grilling Safety 2019!

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that 10,200 home fires are started by grills each year, on average? Did you know that July is the peak month for grill fires followed by June, May and August? 

We all love barbecuing. It's a summertime staple! Follow the following tips to prevent you and your family from being one of the statistics above:

<<SAFETY TIPS>>

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. 
  • The grill should be places well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. 
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and trays below the grill.
  • NEVER leave your grill unattended. 
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it. 

<<CHARCOAL GRILLS>>

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. 
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. 
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to an extension cord for outdoor use. 
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. 

<<PROPANE GRILLS>>

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it. 

Source: nfpa.org/education

What Happens After the Leak?

7/14/2019 (Permalink)

Over flowed toilets, sprinkler systems and broken pipes can all be culprits in water damage to your home. When water issues in your home go undetected or ignored it can lead to major issues and large bills.  Water has away of getting in all those little tiny places and can be easily over looked. The average cost on a water is between 1,000 to 4,000. This is not including any construction to get your house back to its original state.

A few things to keep in mind

  • The longer your water damage goes unnoticed with, the more likely you are to have a mold issue.
  • If your furnishings are not dried out properly and in a timely manner they also have a high chance of mold.
  • The length of time the water sits can greatly affect the restoration costs.
  • How much water was involved in the loss
  • What kind of water was involved, clean water contains little to no contaminates, grey water contains significant amounts of contaminates, black water is extremely contaminated.

Water damage can’t always be avoided, but with the proper equipment and knowledge it can be cleaned up “Like it never even happened.” If you find yourself with a water emergency don’t forget your favorite crew, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is here to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day you can reach us at 253-896-3000.

University Place 24 Hour Water Damage Service

7/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. 

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today 253-896-3000

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration- in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representatives will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. 

Summer Projects and Unforeseen Risks

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fall, winter, and spring are over and now it is time to start working on summer projects around the home. Washington Utility Notification Center reminds us to call before you dig in the ground; however, many of us forget when working on repairing the home or business to consider where utilities lie within the walls, under flooring, and possibly in the ceiling.

Creating the smallest hole in a water pipe or a tiny water leak can cause a lot of damage to the structure’s walls, insulation, flooring, and ceiling. When it is discovered water damage is occurring, first turn off the water supply immediately, and then call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. The professional, highly trained technicians are ready to respond quickly with water extraction equipment, removing water as quickly as possible, and restoring your home or business properly while monitoring and documenting the drying process.

To read more about Washington’s Utility Notification Center, visit:

http://www.callbeforeyoudig.org/washington/

Summertime Safety Tips

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

SUMMER IS HERE! Keep these tips in mind as you and your family enjoy summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics and the Fourth of July.

  1. Build campfires at least 25 feet away from tents, shrubs and anything that can burn.
  2. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts. Sparklers can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and cause third-degree burns.
  3. Use chimineas, outdoor fireplaces, and fire pits outdoors only and at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn.
  4. Use propane, charcoal and wood pellet barbecue grills outdoors only. Indoor use can cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Place your grill well away from siding and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Do not store or use a grill on a porch or balcony.

When fire damage takes control of your life, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will help you take it back. Call us at 253-896-3000 for your fire damage needs.

Undiscovered Leaks in your Business

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Undiscovered leaks and moisture build-up can cause damage to the floors, walls and ceilings of your business, leading to soft dry wall, stained ceiling tiles and other more serious problems. Although the damage may go unnoticed for an extended period of time, proper cleanup is vital to the restoration of your property and equipment. 

Follow these maintenance tips to avoid a water damage event in your place of business.

  • Inspect ceiling tiles regularly for discoloration or leaks. This could be a sign of leaks in the HVAC unit or piping.
  • Check water lines in coffee makers, refrigerators, and water filtration systems for kinks or leaks, annually.
  • Remove standing water with a mop and seek professional assistance for complete drying and restoration.

If you suspect water damage, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West use the latest technology to locate and detect even the smallest amounts of moisture in a home or business. After locating the water damage, our technicians are trained in water extraction and drying to help you get back in business. Contact us to help you protect your business from further damage due to water. 253-896-3000.

What to do Before, During and After a Power Outage

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

We’re more vulnerable to power outages this time of year because of new growth and leaves that are still on the trees, which can pull branches down. Ready, a national public service advertising campaign, gives us these tips to follow before, during, and after a power outage.

Before

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps,. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device, determine a back-up plan.

During

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for you home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.

After

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degree Fahrenheit and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods, and other supplies.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West’s main priority this season is safety. For any water or fire damage needs, feel free to call us at 253-896-3000.

How is your Air Quality?

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

When we think of pollution we think of the air outside, when we should also consider how dirty the air is inside. Indoor Air Quality refers to the air quality in and around your home. When you try to control indoor pollutants you can help reduce your risk of illness. Air quality can have major effects on people of all ages but children, elderly, and people with preexisting conditions are at high risk.

Some major pollutants in homes are:

  • Fuel burning appliances (gas stoves and heaters)
  • Tobacco products
  • Cleaning products
  • Central heating and cooling systems if not correctly maintained
  • Excess Moisture

Here are a couple options to help the air quality in your home or business:

  • Source Control
  • Improved Ventilation
  • Air Cleaners

By doing just a few of these things you can reduce risk of illness in your home or business. If you or someone you know needs Air Quality Testing done call us here at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000 and we can point you in the direction of some one to help you with it.

Flooding DOs and DON’Ts

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy, be careful!

What to Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place
  • Gather loose items from floors

What NOT to Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods
  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water
  • Don't use your television or other household appliances
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceiling are sagging

Water Damage DOs and DON’Ts

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Any water damage is disruptive and often overwhelming. These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper actions until SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives. Please follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DOs

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water sources.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON'Ts

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazard may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

If you experience water damage in your home or place of business, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. We are faster to any size disaster, bringing the latest equipment and training to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”

Fire and Smoke Damage DOs and DON’Ts

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

A home or business fire is stressful and inconvenient for all who are involved. As a homeowner or business owner, knowing what to do in the case of a fire may be foreign to you. These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper actions until SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives. Please follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chance of a successful restoration.

DO

  • Limit movement in the home or business to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and  turbs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
  • Chance HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to sstop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Tacoma
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Tacoma
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverage that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water (they may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire damage takes control of your life, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will help you take it back. Call us at 253-896-3000 for your fire damage needs.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Many households and businesses forget about hot water heater maintenance until it's too late. Learning ways to maintain your water heater before a water damage event is important. This Old House Magazine published an article written by lance Marques, HVAC contractor, Swezey Fuel Co., sharing 6 easy tips to maintain your hot water heater.

  • Test the TPR Valve
  • Check the Anode Rod
  • Drain the tank and wash out sediment
  • Adjust the temperature
  • Insulate the pipes
  • Insulate the heater

If you are noticing water damage around your hot water heater, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. Our professional technicians specialize in quickly and properly inspecting the water damage, drying out the damp areas, and monitoring and documenting the whole drying process.

Be sure to notify SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West West if you have water damage as soon as possible. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration costs.

To read more on how to maintain a water heater, visit:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20351985,00.html

Smoke Alarm Safety

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports nearly two-thirds of these fire-related deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm or no smoke alarms present at all. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when they are properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The NFPA recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.

Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Once smoke alarms are in place, it is important to maintain and regularly test the alarms to ensure they are in the proper working order. Review the tips provided here regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A preparedness plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. For tips or information on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.

Smoke Alarm Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old

Water Damage Timeline

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 253-896-3000

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes. 

Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve blood borne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

  • Fingerprint power and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood and bodily fluids

For more information, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.

7 Reasons to call a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000!

7 Reasons to call a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional:

  1. 24 Hour Emergency Response:

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals work to exceed customer expectations. We respond to emergency losses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  1. Communication:

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals keep you informed from start to finish.

  1. Reduce Recovery Time:

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals help you minimize interruption. 

  1. Lower Recovery Costs:

The SERVPRO® System helps you save money.

  1. Home Emergency Kit:

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals help you plan before disaster strikes.

  1. Full Line of Services:

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals help to solve your cleanup needs.

  1. A Leader in Storm Response:

Help when you need it the most.

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. 

Faster to your UP/Lakewood West Water Damage Event

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000!

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 253-896-3000

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Spring Cleaning 2019!

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000 to get help with your Spring cleaning needs!

Spring is here! It’s time to start cleaning out the closets and cleaning those hard to reach areas we look over throughout the year. Here are a few tips to get you started and to stay focused during your spring cleaning.

  • Always start from the top- as you clean higher items, like ceiling fan blades and top shelves on bookcases, you’ll knock down dust to a lower level. Cleaning from the top down will prevent soiling areas you have already cleaned.
  • Stay focused on the task at hand- when cleaning out a closet or drawer, it’s easy to get drawn in by old photo albums and keepsakes. Set aside time for the fond memories later; you’re on a mission!
  • Don’t be a pack rat- You don’t want to throw away precious keepsakes but try to limit junk laying around your home or office. If you haven’t used it in a year or two, throw it out!
  • Hit the hidden areas. We all avoid the dreaded hidden areas in our homes, but now is the time to face the dust bunnies!
  • Tackle the big projects first. It happens every year, we start with the best intensions to scrub our homes from top to bottom, but somewhere in the middle we run out of steam. Tackle the biggest projects first or you may never get to them.
  • Yard sale time! Don’t just chuck your unwanted items. Put them up for sale; you may be surprised to see what could bring in a few bucks.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, call the cleanup team that’s faster to any size disaster- SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000

Identifying & Treating Unseen Water Damage

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Everyone knows that the water damage that you can clearly see is causing damage to your home is not good and should be fixed as quickly as possible. However, do you know that even the smallest water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. SERVPRO Professionals have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. Having the right equipment to use makes a significant difference when dealing with water damage. Here are a few examples of what our team uses to help any unseen water damage in your home:

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.

The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO Professionals to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO Professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

If you are having any problems dealing with water in your home or property, call SERVPRO immediately so that we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of University Place/Lakewood West is Faster to Any Size Disaster

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Our large fleet is ready to make your water/fire loss "Like it never even happened."

Your home is truly a reflection of you, your tastes and your personality. Suffering damages to your home can feel like a part of you has been damages as well. We recognize a loss can make you feel vulnerable, invaded or robbed of part of your life. Your loss is unique – in how it started, the emotions experienced and the extent of the damage.

When damage affects your home, you want it to be restored to preloss condition. You cannot afford to let the marketability of your home be affected. That is why SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have professionally restored property for over 39 years.

SERVPRO® is the trusted choice for hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, because they know SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the experience to do the job right.

  • Recognized Industry Leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration
  • SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals Serving America Since 1967
  • Over 1,400 Locations Nationwide
  • IICRC* Approved School for 5 Cleaning and Restoration Categories:
    • Fire
    • Water
    • Carpet
    • Upholstery
    • ASD (Applied Structural Drying)

*Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO® of University Place/Lakewood West for any of your water, fire or cleaning restoration needs. We are a full-service franchise – we work to dry out your home and restore it to its previous condition. Contact us at 253-896-3000 to inquire about our services.

Check your gutters before a storm.

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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!

How can you help your dogs during a storm?

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Some of our canine friends are afraid of thunder and lightening.

We all wonder what we can do for our dogs during those loud storms? Some dogs are extremely sensitive to the loud noises and sounds that come along with a thunder storm. Most of the time we have an idea that a storm is coming, whether it is the cloudy skies or warnings on the news/radio.  If you find yourself with a nervous or scared dog here are a few things that could help your four-legged friend out.

  1. If possible be home with your dog, if you are there your dog may not be as affected by the storm. If you can’t be home with your dog, try to set a up a person to be with your dog in your absence.
  2. Bring your dog inside of the home, if your dog’s left outside, he/she may try to escape out of the yard or inscape into your home. This not only can cause damage to your fence and home but could hurt your dog.
  3. Put your dog in a sound proof room such as a walk-in closet as these usually have no windows and are surrounded by many walls which helps to block out the noise.
  4. Play other noises such as a radio or tv turned up, this will help to mask the noises from the storm. You can also use thunder sound tracks to help your dog learn to cope with the noises outside.
  5. Use medication only as necessary and only as directed by your vet.
  6. Finally, do what ever helps your dog to be calm may that be a belly rub or sitting on the couch together for a quick snuggle.

If you find yourself needing any information here are some helpful sites to check out:

http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/nine-steps-to-calm-your-dog-in-thunder-noise-fears

https://www.purina.com/dogs/dog-articles/behavior-and-training/calming-your-dog-during-a-thunderstorm

If you find yourself needing any help with water damages after a storm. Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 253-896-3000.

What happens after the leak?

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold started to grow underneath the carpet due to an unnoticed leak.

Over flowed toilets, sprinkler systems and broken pipes can all be culprits in water damage to your home. When water issues in your home go undetected or ignored it can lead to major issues and large bills.  Water has away of getting in all those little tiny places and can be easily over looked. The average cost on a water is between 1,000 to 4,000. This is not including any construction to get your house back to its original state.

A few things to keep in mind

  • The longer your water damage goes unnoticed with, the more likely you are to have a mold issue.
  • If your furnishings are not dried out properly and in a timely manner they also have a high chance of mold.
  • The length of time the water sits can greatly affect the restoration costs.
  • How much water was involved in the loss
  • What kind of water was involved, clean water contains little to no contaminates, grey water contains significant amounts of contaminates, black water is extremely contaminated.

Water damage can’t always be avoided, but with the proper equipment and knowledge it can be cleaned up “Like it never even happened.” If you find yourself with a water emergency don’t forget your favorite crew, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is here to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day you can reach us at 253-896-3000.

University Place/Lakewood West 24-Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West Provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration service in University Place/Lakewood West.

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today – (253) 896-3000 

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Summer Storms

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Summer Storm

Summer comes with many fun things BBQ’s, swimming at the beach, camping and spending time with family. Summer seasons can also come with wind, rain, and thunder/ lightning storms. When heavy rains come we risk floods, and high winds can wreak havoc on the power lines and trees around your home.

Here are a few help tips to keep your home safe during the summer months:

  • Have an emergency kit ready in your home including these items: flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, canned and dry foods, water, can opener, first aid, fire extinguisher, blankets, extra clothes and shoes, flares or whistle to signal for help.
  • Cut down any dead or unwanted trees and branches around your home.
  • Know the safest structure of your home to go during a severe storm, make sure everyone in your household knows to meet here.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and telephones, instead use your battery powered TVs and radios.

If you happen to be caught outside during a thunder storm:

  • Never take shelter under a tree or tower, lighting tends to strike the tallest object in the area
  • Leave if you’re in an elevated area such as on a hill, mountain or peak
  • Get out and away from any body of water
  • Stay away from anything that conducts electricity including wires and fences.

If your home is affected by a summer storm don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 253-896-3000. We are here to help!

Basement Mold

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

An unnoticed water heater leak, caused mold to grow on the walls.

The basement.  In many homes, it is the one room that is used the least.  With little to no sunlight, and little ventilation, this room is also susceptible to mold growth.  Even finished basements are a good candidate.  Mold can make a home anywhere in your house, but basements offer the best environment for it bloom. 

The best line of defense is preventing the living conditions mold needs to stay alive.  In order for mold to thrive, it needs an organic food source, oxygen and moisture. Below is a list of items to keep an eye out for to keep mold and mildew at bay:

  • Leaks: since a lot of plumbing goes below the house, leaks are very common in the basement. Foundation leaks happen after years of wear and tear, and clogged drains or downspouts can divert water to the basement windows causing the water to well up and eventually leak into your basement.
  • Flash floods: When this happens, it will cause water to rise in the soil and against the basement’s foundation.
  • Sump Pump Failure: Most basements have sump pumps, sump pumps divert any water that accumulates around the foundation. These can fail if there is a power failure, or if they aren’t regularly maintained.  Serious water damage can occur if a sump pump fails.
  • Water Heater Failure: Even a small leak from a water heater can create enough moisture that may lead to mold. If it fails completely, it can cause flooding.

If you notice mold or water in your mold basement, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West (253) 896-3000.  Our certified technicians have the tools and the training to help you.

https://moldpedia.com/basement-mold

https://www.howtoremoveblackmold.com/mold-in-basement/

Smoke Alarm Safety

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarm

We all know that annoying beep that the smoke alarm makes when its battery is about to die. This helpful sign may be annoying but what if you needed your alarm and it was dead. The National Fire Protection Association says that dead batteries caused 24% of smoke alarm failures. Keeping a routine of inspection of such devices is so important.

Here’s what you should know about smoke alarms:

  • Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once per month
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds they all sound
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years

Smoke alarms save lives, the only way they can do their job is if you do yours by making sure they are working properly. In unfortunate event you do have a fire in your home SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is always available to help with fire and smoke damage call us at 253-896-3000.

How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth under roof deck.

How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage

Water damage can be a big issue, if not taken care of properly the left over moisture can turn into mold. Whether hidden in your walls or out in plain sight, mold only needs a little moisture and a dark space. A few things to keep in  mind when you find water some where it shouldn’t be in your home.

  • Clean water as quickly as possible
  • Use fans to dry the area
  • Dehumidify the room
  • Sanitize the area
  • Check all furniture in the area to make sure it is not damp as well.

When water creeps in make sure you know the proper way to handle it, this can keep you from spending more than needed. If you have a water issue and need help to ensure you don’t end up with mold growth call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 253-896-3000. We are here to help!

How is your Air Quality?

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Air Quality

How’s your Air Quality.

When we think of pollution we think of the air outside, when we should also consider how dirty the air is inside. Indoor Air Quality refers to the air quality in and around your home. When you try to control indoor pollutants you can help reduce your risk of illness. Air quality can have major effects on people of all ages but children, elderly, and people with preexisting conditions are at high risk.

Some major pollutants in homes are:

  • Fuel burning appliances (gas stoves and heaters)
  • Tobacco products
  • Cleaning products
  • Central heating and cooling systems if not correctly maintained
  • Excess Moisture

Here are a couple options to help the air quality in your home or business:

  • Source Control
  • Improved Ventilation
  • Air Cleaners

By doing just a few of these things you can reduce risk of illness in your home or business. If you or someone you know needs Air Quality Testing done call us here at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000 and we can point you in the direction of some one to help you with it.

Commercial Floods

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded Conference Room

Flooding and water damage events in Tacoma commercial properties are often complicated with many issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a larger event, we work swiftly to assess the damages and isolate the area. More often than not, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility. Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When an emergency arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Protect your kids from fires and burns

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips

From a hot cup of coffee to boiling water on the stove, burns are a huge hazard in every home.  Burns are the most (especially hot water and liquids) are the most common accidents related to kids.  Here are a few ways to help avoid burn related accidents.

  • Always use the back burner on your stove when possible.
  • Keep an emergency aid kit close at hand in your home.
  • Install a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
  • Keep matches, lighters, candles and chemicals put away out of reach.
  • Put child safety plugs in your outlets.

For more information on childproofing your home check out these sites:

www.kidshealth.org (Burn Safety)

www.nsc.org (Emergency Fire Preparedness)

Your child's safety is important to us here at SERVPRO.  In the event of a fire or smoke damage keep in mind SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (253) 896-3000

BBQ Safety

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

BBQ fire was caused by a propane leak.

That time is here school is out, the sun is bright, and we are ready to be outside! After a long winter cooped up in your house, your ready to bust out the BBQ and have your friends and family over! Some don’t realize when hosting these events your increasing your chances of a housefire.

Here is a list of helpful hints to keep you and your guests safe this summer:

  • Make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from other objects including your house, trees, fences, and outdoor furniture.
  • Remember starter fluid should only be used in charcoal grills not gas grills.
  • If you think your gas grill could have a leak, turn it off and fix it before use again.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill.

For more information check out these websites:

http://www.mbhinsurance.com/grilling-safety-reminders-for-your-summer-bbq/

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Outdoor-entertaining

If your summer event doesn’t turn out as planned, SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We pride ourselves in being on site within 4 hours of our first notice of the loss. For your fire restoration needs, contact us at 253-896-3000.

Smoking Safety

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

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

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that "smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2014. As the air gets dryer, it's important to remember that it's much easier to start fires than other times of the year. If you are a smoker, smoke responsibly and follow these smoking safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

Smoking Safety

  • If you smoke, use only fire-safe cigarettes.
  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that started in the living rooms, family rooms and dens or in bedrooms.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.

Put It Out

  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.
  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
  • Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing them in water or sand is the best way to do that.

For more information, visit http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/top-causes-of-fire/smoking

University Place Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Be sure to call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your water restoration needs!

As residents of Washington, we know it doesn't matter the season- it's bound to rain. A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your University Place basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 253-896-3000

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 253-896-3000

Mold and Your Crawlspace

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

Microbial growth needs three components to grow: organic materials, moisture, and heat. The crawlspace is subject to all three, making it vulnerable to mold growth, along with the location of the crawlspace.

Location, Location, Location

The location of the crawlspace plays a key factor in microbial growth. As it sits on top of the earth, moisture in the dirt may rise up to the subfloor and framing. These organic materials are a breeding ground for mold growth. Moisture typically evaporates, however, it gets trapped in the crawlspace. High humidity levels also encourage mold growth.

The crawlspace is also located beneath the home. If you have any water damage in the interior of the home, it is not uncommon for water to find its way into the crawlspace. It's standard for our technicians to check the crawlspace during a water damage event to remove any standing water, as well as non-salvageable, wet materials, such as insulation.

Combine the organic materials, any moisture from the earth or water damage, and high humidity, the crawlspace is susceptible to mold growth. 

For mold remediation services, call SERVPRO of Tacoma- 253-896-3000

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces, or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backups

Sewer Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today- 253-896-3000

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes. 

Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve blood borne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

  • Fingerprint power and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood and bodily fluids

For more information, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.

Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner. 

SERVPRO will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic and masonry. Our highly trained technicians can offer the following services:

  • General cleaning and graffiti removal
  • Brick, stone, and concrete cleaning
  • Odor removal and deodorization
  • Debris removal
  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire damage restoration
  • Mold damage restoration
  • Contents Cleaning

Are you in need of vandalism and graffiti cleanup services? Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West today 253-896-3000.

Wildfires

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Summer of 2015 was one of the most severe wildfire seasons in the history of the Pacific Northwest. The US Forest Service reported and detailed over 3,800 wildfires within Washington and Oregon which burned more than 1.6 million acres. Wildfires cause more than just burnt forests; the fires also cause poor air quality and smoke damage to structural buildings.

Smoke damage can cause a pervasive odor and the need for a deep-clean of soot from upholstery and carpet if the structure is nearby a wildfire. The professional team comprised of specialized trained technicians at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West respond quickly to disasters. Our technicians can clean upholstery and fabrics, eliminate odors, and restore your business or home to pre-fire condition.

As the 2016 wildfire season begins, the team at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West supports the US Forest Service and its many firefighters in an effort to prevent structural building losses and wish everyone a safe, summer.

To read more on the 2015 Fire Season, visit:

http://www.wfmrda.nwcg.gov/docs/_Reference_Materials/2015_Timeline_PNW_Season_FINAL.pdf

Statistical data provided by:

http://wildfiretoday.com/2016/02/14/review-of-the-2015-wildfire-season-in-the-northwest/

Firework Safety

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fourth of July weekend is a fun time of year as we celebrate our Nation’s Independence. According to the Washington State Patrol, in 2015 there were 481 fireworks- related emergencies in Washington. In an effort to promote injury and fire prevention, here are some recommended safety tips provided by the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

·         Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.

·         Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

·         Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

Keep your home and family safe this Fourth of July. From all of us at SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood, have a safe and Happy Fourth of July weekend.

To read more tips on fire safety, visit:

http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips

http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/statistics.htm

Aluminum Wiring in Your Home

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

As residents of Tacoma, we recently received a letter from the city of Tacoma fire department warning us about the effects of aluminum wire failure. Residences and buildings built or modified between 1965 and 1972 may potentially contain aluminum electrical wiring. Small aluminum wires are associated with an increased risk of fire. If your home was built or modified during this time, be sure to check for aluminum wiring in your home or business. The city of Tacoma has provided information on how to determine the presence of aluminum, signs of aluminum wiring failure, and how you can fix the problem.

Determining the Presence of Aluminum Wiring

The best way to determine whether or not your structure contains aluminum wiring is to have an electrical professional conduct an inspection. As an alternative if you have sheathed wire visible in unfinished basements, attics, or garages, you can perform a visual check of the plastic sheathing on the cables. The word aluminum or 'AL' may be written on one side of the wiring. After turning off power at your electrical box, you can also look at the exposed wires in outlets or switch boxes. The color of the aluminum wire is silver rather than copper.

Signs of Aluminum Wiring Failure

  • Hot electrical outlet faceplates
  • Unidentified smell of burning plastic
  • Flickering lights
  • Failed electrical circuits

How You Can Fix the Problem

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has researched the fire problem associated with aluminum wiring and recommends three permanent repairs:

  • Rewire the entire home
  • Professionally install COPALUM crimp connectors
  • Professionally install AlumiConn connectors

For more information or questions about aluminum wiring, please contact the Fire Prevention Division by calling 253-591-5740.

Outdoor Events

6/23/2017 (Permalink)

Summer is here! It's the perfect time for outdoor parties, family get-togethers, and BBQ's. Something most of us don't consider is that outdoor events increase the risk of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association. Luckily, they've provided us a list of tips to consider when hosting an outdoor event.

  • Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won't tip over easily
  • Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames
  • Use battery-operated, flameless candles and solar-powered patio or tiki torches in place of an open flame

In the case your outdoor event doesn't go as planned, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We proud ourselves in being on site within 4 hours of our first notice of your loss. For your fire restoration needs, contact us at 253-896-3000.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/wildfire-and-seasonal-fires/outdoor-entertaining

Pool Safety

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Safety is our main concern this summer- make it yours too! Follow these tips to keeping our community youth safe!

Days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. It's time for more trips to the pool whether at home or at your local community pool. This summer, safety is SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West's main concern. Keep yourself and your children safe by following these pool safety tips provided by The Washington State Department of Health.

  • Never take eyes off children in the water.
  • Don't allow a young child in the pool without an adult
  • Knowing how to swim doesn't make a child drown-proof. Never use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first. 
  • A barrier, such as a fence that is at least 4 feet high, must surround the pool or spa. The gate or door must be self-closing and self-latching with the latch out of reach of children.
  • For above ground and inflatable pools with ladders, remove or secure the ladder when the pool is not in use. 
  • A power safety pool cover or safety cover for spas is another barrier option.
  • Don't play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools.
  • Keep long hair away from suction drains by using hair braids, bands, or swim caps.
  • Never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broke, or missing drain cover.
  • Know where the electrical cut-off switch for the pool or spa pump is and mark it for quick turnoff.

For more pool safety information, refer to The Washington State Department of Health's website at http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/WaterRecreation/PoolSafety.

Summer Projects and Unforseen Risks

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Fall, winter, and spring are over and now it is time to start working on summer projects around the home. Washington Utility Notification Center reminds us to call before you dig in the ground; however, many of us forget when working on repairing the home or business to consider where utilities lie within the walls, under flooring, and possibly in the ceiling.

Creating the smallest hole in a water pipe or a tiny water leak can cause a lot of damage to the structure’s walls, insulation, flooring, and ceiling. When it is discovered water damage is occurring, first turn off the water supply immediately, and then call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. The professional, highly trained technicians are ready to respond quickly with water extraction equipment, removing water as quickly as possible, and restoring your home or business properly while monitoring and documenting the drying process.

To read more about Washington’s Utility Notification Center, visit:

http://www.callbeforeyoudig.org/washington/

Undiscovered Leaks in Your Business

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Undiscovered leaks and moisture build-up can cause damage to the floors, walls and ceilings of your business, leading to soft dry wall, stained ceiling tiles and other more serious problems. Although the damage may go unnoticed for an extended period of time, proper cleanup is vital to the restoration of your property and equipment. 

Follow these maintenance tips to avoid a water damage event in your place of business.

  • Inspect ceiling tiles regularly for discoloration or leaks. This could be a sign of leaks in the HVAC unit or piping.
  • Check water lines in coffee makers, refrigerators, and water filtration systems for kinks or leaks, annually.
  • Remove standing water with a mop and seek professional assistance for complete drying and restoration.

If you suspect water damage, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West use the latest technology to locate and detect even the smallest amounts of moisture in a home or business. After locating the water damage, our technicians are trained in water extraction and drying to help you get back in business. Contact us to help you protect your business from further damage due to water. 253-896-3000.

Smoke Damage Cleaning

5/17/2017 (Permalink)

The recovery process following a fire in your home or business can be overwhelming and stressful. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. 

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West understands the need to restore order and are equipped with the technology and training needed to help ensure your property is restored to its preloss condition. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration.

  • Wet smoke- plastics and synthetics, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary
  • Dry smoke- includes paper and wood; fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, no smeary residue
  • Protein- virtually invisible, discolors paints/varnishes, extreme pungent odor
  • Fuel oil soot- furnace puff backs
  • Other types- tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue

If you are in need of cleaning, water or fire related, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West to make it "Like it never even happened." 253-896-3000

Unseen Water Causes the Most Damage

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

Remember, water damage can go deeper than the surface. Make sure to call your SERVPRO of Tacoma professionals for your water damage needs!

There's no such thing as a small disaster- especially when a small leak now could blossom into a big claim later. Unseen water can soak through walls, seep through carpet and pool on subfloors, causing major problems over time. Instead of trusting untrained eyes, help ensure the value of your property by calling SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West.


Our technicians are trained to safely clean and restore your home, utilizing the following procedures:



  • Identify the source/type of water

  • Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis

  • Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises for hidden moisture

  • Perform emergency water extraction

  • Move and block furniture and contents

  • Inspect carpet pad/carpet and provide services

  • Apply necessary treatments (disinfectants/deodorization)

  • Utilize advanced drying and monitoring equipment

  • Dispose of refuse


SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages set in. To stop leaks from becoming a big problem, dial 253-896-3000.

Fire Damage in Your Home

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage in your home can be a stressful event. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns. The first 24 hours can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. Our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. 


We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claim inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.


What you can do until help arrives:


Do



  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring

  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery

  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil

  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet


Don't



  • Wash any walls or painted surfaces

  • Shampoo carpets or upholstery

  • Clean any electrical equipment

  • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor


SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West understands your home is more than four walls. Your home includes your memories and personal belongings. We are trained in caring for both you and your home. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can help you restore your home and personal belongings.


Before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 253-896-3000.

Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for Your Water Damage Needs

5/10/2017 (Permalink)

Leaks from piping, roofs, and other water sources can cause water damages that can go unnoticed for weeks, even months. Attempting to clean up water from a leak can lead to further damage and contamination if not handled properly.


SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West's trained professionals are equipped with a full line of cleanup and restoration services that handle water damages caused by leaks and excessive moisture. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, our specialists can help protect your business and property from further damage and get you back to normal business functions.


So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the water yourself, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, your cleanup and restoration professionals. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West ensures we will arrive on-site within four hours to start mitigation services and within eight business hours, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person. Contact us at 253-896-3000 to protect your home or business from further water damage.

Water Damage in Your Business

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water leaks within a business can seep into flooring, carpets, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure, potentially creating mildew and staining walls. Quick action is critical in avoiding costly repairs and expensive downtime. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West understand the water damage event can not only disrupt your facility, it can also interrupt day-to-day business functions- possibly closing the business and ultimately affecting your revenue.

To avoid your business closure, here are a few leak prevention tips:

Exterior

  • Check roofing for deterioration
  • Check gutters and down spouts for blockage
  • Check basements and crawl space for moisture

Interior

  • Check appliances in break rooms and cafeterias
  • Check sinks and toilets in restrooms
  • Check HVAC for leaks and blockage

There's no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens to shut down your business. Turn to the company with the resources and experience to be a national leader in cleaning and restoration. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West ensures to arrive on-site within four hours of loss notification to start mitigation services and within eight business hours, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person. We understand that every minute counts. Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your water damage needs. 253-896-3000

Indoor Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

For your water or fire damage needs, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West! 253-896-3000

It's important to keep up on home maintenance to avoid mold, water, or fire damage. With better weather, Spring is the perfect time to work on home improvements. Travelers Insurance Company gives us a list of indoor maintenance tips.

Electrical Outlets and Cords: Check electrical outlets and cords throughout your home for any potential fire hazards such a frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Outlets, fuse boxes and extension cords also should be checked to make sure they are not overloaded.

Fire Extinguishers: Check your fire extinguisher at least once yearly, including the hose, nozzle and other parts, to make sure they are in good condition and that the pressure gauge is in the "green" range. If necessary, move your fire extinguisher to an accessible place.

Air Conditioning: Before turning it on for the season, have your air-conditioning system inspected and tuned up by a professional.

Water Heater: Check for leaks and corrosion.

Furnace: Clean or replace your furnace filter.

Dryers: Dryer lint can build up inside the vent pipe and collect around the duct. Clean both the clothes dryer exhaust duct and the space under the dryer. Use a specialized brush to clean out the vent pipe. Lint can also build up inside the dryer enclosure and should be cleaned and serviced by a profession.

Smoke Detectors: Daylight savings time is the perfect time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Inspect each smoke detector to ensure all are in working order, and make sure to test them monthly. Ideally, there should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home, including the hallway or area outside of each set of bedrooms, and one within each bedroom itself. If necessary, install additional smoke detectors as needed.

Light Bulbs: Check each light bulb in every fixture for the correct recommended wattage and replace any burned out bulbs. Also, consider replacing all high-intensity bulbs with fluorescent or LED bulbs to reduce energy and the amount of heat produces.

https://www.travelers.com/resources/home/maintenance/spring-home-maintenance-tips.aspx

Smoke Alarm Safety

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Follow these smoke alarm tips to ensure your home or business is prepared in the event of a fire.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports nearly two-thirds of these fire-related deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm or no smoke alarms present at all. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when they are properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.


The NFPA recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.


Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.


Once smoke alarms are in place, it is important to maintain and regularly test the alarms to ensure they are in the proper working order. Review the tips provided here regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.


Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A preparedness plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. For tips or information on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.


Smoke Alarm Tips:



  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

  • Test smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button

  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away

  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old

Commercial Fire Damage

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage

A fire damage in a business can be stressful for the owner, property manager, employees and tenants. Property damage, equipment damage, document loss and temporary business closure are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns.

The first 24 hours can make the difference between restoring verses replacing your business property and belongings. Our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems.

We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services ensure your property and belongings are restored to preloss condition when possible while providing security in knowing normal business functions can resume in a timely manner.

What you can do until help arrives:

DO

  • Limit movement in the facility to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between office furniture legs and wet carpet

DON’T

  • Wash any walls or painted surfaces
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery
  • Clean any electrical equipment
  • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West understands returning to normal business operations is your primary concern. Our specialists are trained in caring for both you and your business. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, we can help you return to business quickly and help protect your facility and belongings.

Before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 253-896-3000.

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West Knows Deodorization

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.


As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard to reach places. Unless fat, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to content and may result in periodically resurfacing odors. 


SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West provides specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Any restorable items in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including: furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, and more.


We do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. We seek out and remove the sources of the odor.


If you or someone you know suffers a fire damage- or some other accident- and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. Whether it's fire, water or mold damage- or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away- we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Harmful Wastes DOs and DON'Ts

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. In case of a biohazard, follow these DOs and DON'Ts:


DO



  • Stay out of affected areas

  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening

  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated


DON'T



  • Attempt cleanup of any kind

  • Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids


If you find yourself in need of biohazard, crime scene, or vandalism clean up, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000. We are faster to any size disaster and will ensure your property is back to its preloss condition.

Understanding Mold

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Confusion and misunderstanding surround the topic of mold and mold remediation. Some restoration businesses even make claims to remove all mold from a building. This is a fallacy. Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems. Consider these facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet. 
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent. 

If you find you have mold present, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. 253-896-3000

What to do When You Have Mold

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

For your mold remediation needs, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. 253-896-3000

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. 


If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider these DOs and DON'Ts until help arrives.


Do



  • Stay out of affected areas

  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans

  • Contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for mold remediation services


Don't



  • Touch or disturb the mold

  • Blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth

  • Attempt to dry the area yourself

  • Spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold

What's Your Fire Plan?

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

In an emergency situation, like a building fire, every second counts. How quickly you respond could depend on how prepared you are before the emergency. Emergency planning and training directly influence the outcome of an emergency situation. Facilities with well-prepared tenants and well-developed plans are likely to incur less structural damage and fewer or less severe injuries.


When preparing a fire evacuation plan, it is important to designate multiple evacuation routes and exits. This ensures more than one way to exit the building, should an exit be blocked by fire. When choosing emergency exits, consider the following recommendations:



  • Exits should be clearly marked and well lit.

  • Exit routes should be wide enough to accommodate the number/volume of evacuation personnel.

  • Exit routes should remain unlocked and clear of debris at all times. 


If you prepare drawings that show evacuation routes and exits, post them prominently for everyone to see. Once an escape plan is created, it should be practiced to help familiarize everyone with emergency exit routes. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends practicing fire and emergency evacuations at least twice a year. It is important to talk to your local fire department, as local codes may required more frequent drills for various facilities. 


Fire Escape Safety Tips:



  • Make a plan- remember, every second counts

  • Practice your plan- make sure you, your staff, and/or your family are well-versed in escape routes from every area of your home or business. Practice leaving the property with your eyes closed, feeling your way out.

  • Leave immediately- don't stop for possessions or keepsakes. Exit as quickly as possible. If the smoke has already grown thick, crawl low and cover your mouth to avoid smoke inhalation.

  • Never open doors if they are hot to the touch- when you come to a closed door, use the back of your hand to see if the door is hot to the touch. If it appears the fire is on the other side of the door, leave it shut and find another escape route.

  • Designate and outside meeting place- designate a meeting location away from the building. Take attendance to ensure everyone is accounted for and safely evacuated. 

Spring Cleaning Tips

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Follow these spring cleaning tips to get you started!

Spring is here! It’s time to start cleaning out the closets and cleaning those hard to reach areas we look over throughout the year. Here are a few tips to get you started and to stay focused during your spring cleaning.

  • Always start from the top- as you clean higher items, like ceiling fan blades and top shelves on bookcases, you’ll knock down dust to a lower level. Cleaning from the top down will prevent soiling areas you have already cleaned.
  • Stay focused on the task at hand- when cleaning out a closet or drawer, it’s easy to get drawn in by old photo albums and keepsakes. Set aside time for the fond memories later; you’re on a mission!
  • Don’t be a pack rat- You don’t want to throw away precious keepsakes but try to limit junk laying around your home or office. If you haven’t used it in a year or two, throw it out!
  • Hit the hidden areas. We all avoid the dreaded hidden areas in our homes, but now is the time to face the dust bunnies!
  • Tackle the big projects first. It happens every year, we start with the best intensions to scrub our homes from top to bottom, but somewhere in the middle we run out of steam. Tackle the biggest projects first or you may never get to them.
  • Yard sale time! Don’t just chuck your unwanted items. Put them up for sale; you may be surprised to see what could bring in a few bucks.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, call the cleanup team that’s faster to any size disaster- SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000

Flooding DOs and DON'Ts

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

Have a water damage emergency? Call 253-896-3000

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:



  • Is it safe to stay in the house?

  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.

  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy, be careful!


What to Do After Flooding



  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items

  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions

  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting

  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer

  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting

  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place

  • Gather loose items from floors


What NOT to Do After Flooding



  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods

  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors

  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water

  • Don't use your television or other household appliances

  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceiling are sagging

Be Prepared for the Next Big One

3/22/2017 (Permalink)

Safety is our goal at SERVPRO of University Place. Make it yours too and be prepared.

In July of 2015, The New Yorker posted an article relating to "The Big One"- a massive earthquake that is predicted to hit California, Oregon, and Washington. Unfortunately, these things are never planned. It's important to be prepared for emergency situations. To help, the American Red Cross has provided safety tips to follow during an earthquake. 


If you are inside when shaking starts:



  • Drop, cover and hold on.

  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.

  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.

  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and it is safe to exit. Use stairs to exit the building rather than an elevator. 

  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire. 


If you are outside when the shaking starts:



  • Find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights and drop to the ground until the shaking stops.

  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses, and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seat belt fastened until the shaking stops. 

  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.

  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes. 


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one


http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Are-You-Ready-for-the-Next-Big-One

Prevent Your Basement from Flooding

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Prevent your home from getting a roof leak with these easy steps!

It’s that time of year. The rainy season is among us and it’s the best, or worst, time to find out you have a roof leak. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent a roof leak, according to USA Roof Masters.

  • Tree branches that are touching or hovering over your roof/gutters should be trimmed.
  • Gutters should be clear from leaves, broken tree branches, and other types of debris.
  • Got hanging or loose gutters? Get them replaced or repaired right away. The purpose of a gutter is to prevent water from accumulating on the roof. A clogged gutter will stop the process of allowing water to flow and escape from the roof.
  • If you have any loose bricks, get them reset.
  • Get your chimney caulked. If you have a skylight, get that caulked as well.
  • Houses with attics should have plenty of ventilation and insulation- this will help prevent leaks.
  • Replace missing shingles. If you have patches on your roof with multiple colors, that’s a sign your roof has missing shingles. You should also consider replacing loose or cracked shingles.

If you notice you have a roof leak, causing water damage in your home, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is here to help! Call us today 253-896-3000.

http://usaroofmasters.com/7-tips-to-prevent-roof-leaks/

Fire Damage and Your Business

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage to your place of business? Call us today!

The leading causes of fire in a business include cooking equipment, electrical, and heating units. No matter how the fire started, a feeling of concern about business closures, employee safety and equipment replacement seems to follow. After calling the Fire Department to put out the fire, who do you call to clean up the damage cause by the fire?


To you, it’s more than just a business, it’s your livelihood. Business closures due to a fire damage don’t just affect the business owner. It affects the employees, their families and the community. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West professionals understand the feelings of frustration and overwhelming concern related to handling fire damage. Their priority is to help you regain control and get your doors open again. Within eight business hours of arriving at your facility, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will discuss the extent of the damage and the steps we will take to help restore your building, equipment and furniture. Responding quickly to a fire damage can save your company money, reduce more extensive damage and shorten the length of down time.


Armed with industry-approved equipment and expertise, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will make every effort to restore your business to preloss condition when possible. We use the latest equipment, products and processes to properly remove smoke, soot and fire damage from walls and flooring and restore furniture and equipment. We are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get your business back in business.


SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specialists are trained in the cleanup and care of your business and equipment following the fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West at 253-896-3000.

Biohazardous Water Damage

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

Any water damage in your home is bad. Especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of your family and the value of your home. Toilet over-flows, sewage backups and other dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a home, as well as the moisture necessary to support their growth.

A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for black water intrusions. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specialists are trained to safely clean and restore your home utilizing the following procedures:

  • Identify the Source/Type of water
  • Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis
  • Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises
  • Perform emergency water extraction
  • Move and block furniture
  • Provide floor service
  • Inspect carpet pad/carpet and provide service
  • Apply necessary treatments (disinfectants/deodorization)
  • Utilize drying equipment and monitor drying
  • Dispose of refuse

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West understands how disruptive black water damages can be for your entire family. For this reason, we offer 24-hour emergency response and under normal circumstances, will have trained, uniformed technician on-site of a water damage within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can help you regain control quickly while drying, deodorizing and protecting your home and belongings. We abide by OSHA guidelines and all applicable health regulations when removing moisture, sewage, and contaminants, disinfecting and deodorizing as they safely clean your home and restore belongings.

Before you risk your health by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West, your water damage cleanup and restoration experts at 253-896-3000.

Spring is Just Around the Corner!

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

Get ready to start your spring cleaning with SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West!

The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. Spring is in the air, but you can’t shake those winter blues! Spruce up your home or business with a deep cleaning.


Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our environment and get a head start on the hectic season of spring and summer. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can help. Our specialists are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: upholstery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, odor identification and deodorization.


A clean environment is a healthy environment. Improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, don’t worry, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West has all of the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time. Give us a call at 253-896-3000.

Prevent Your Basement from Flooding

3/2/2017 (Permalink)

A few tips to keep your basement from flooding!

Bob Vila, television show host from This Old House, shares 7 steps to prevent a flooded basement on his official website. 


Gutters & Downspouts- Keep gutters free of debris and position downspouts away from the foundation . The goal is to drain storm water at least three feet away, so if necessary, consider running extension cords through troughs.


Foundation Cracks- Inspect the exterior foundation and your basement's walls and floors. Use epoxy to fill any foundation cracks and if warning signs are detected, apply masonry sealer indoors.


Sump Pumps- If you have a below-grade sump pump, check to make sure it's well is free of debris. If you have a portable pump, position it in the lowest part of the basement and be sure it's connected to a power source.


Sewer & Septics- If you haven't had your sewer inspected or your septic tank cleaned, spring is a good time to address these concerns. During periods of prolonged, heavy rainfall, clogged sewers and over-taxed septics are disasters waiting to happen.


Window Well Covers- If you have below-grade basement windows, install window well covers that will fasten securely to your home's foundation. Clear acrylic covers allow light to enter, even as they keep out rain, leaves, and pests.


Generators- Remember, a sump pump only works if you have power. If you live in an area plagued with frequent storms and power outages, a generator may be a long-term investment worth considering.


Insurance- Review your property insurance policy and consider additional coverage, especially if you have  a finished basement. usually, homeowner's insurance does not cover flooding or sewer backups. 


For all your water damage needs, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. 253-896-3000.


http://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/7-steps-to-avoid-a-flooded-basement-44256/septic-tank-cleaning

National Ladder Safety Month!

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

National Ladder Safety Month!

March has been named National Ladder Safety Month by the American Ladder Institute. As we begin our spring home improvement projects, it is important to keep these ladder safety tips in mind, provided by the American Ladder Institute.

  • If you feel tired or dizzy, or are prone to losing your balance, stay off the ladder
  • Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
  • Wear clean slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use since they are not considered sufficiently slip resistant.
  • Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected. Rickety ladders that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
  • The ladder you select must be the right size for the job.
  • The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies, and other objects placed upon the ladder. The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
  • When the ladder is set-up for us, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
  • Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber.
  • Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • Read the safety information labels on the ladder. The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.

As you begin your spring home repairs or remodels, please remember these ladder safety tips!

http://www.americanladderinstitute.org/?page=BasicLadderSafety

Electrical Safety Month

2/28/2017 (Permalink)

It's time to check for electrical hazards in your home. Follow these easy steps to ensure your home is safe.

February is National Electrical Safety Month! It’s time to inspect your home for potential hazards. NOVEC, an electric distribution company based out of Northern Virginia, gives us these home electrical safety tips to keep our homes and families safe.



  • Check electric cords often for damage. Have damaged cords repaired right away. Worn cords can cause shock, short circuit, or fire

  • Pull the plastic housing of the electric plug to take it out of the wall socket, never pull on the cord

  • Do not overload electric outlets with too many items plugged in at once

  • Water and electricity do not mix. Do not operate electric appliances such as radios or hair dryers near a bathtub of sink full of water

  • Never stick your fingers, toys, or anything except electic plugs into electric outlets

  • Unplug any appliance that emits sparks or that does not work properly

  • Always unplug an appliance before cleaning or repairing it

  • Always unplug the toaster or other appliance when removing a piece of stuck food

  • Remember that at turned-off appliance is still connected to electricity until it is unplugged

  • Limit use of extension cords. Make sure the cord is the appropriate size for use. Some appliances or equipment required heavy-duty cords


In case of an electrical fire, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your cleaning needs. 253-896-3000


https://www.novec.com/Safety/HomeElectricalSafety.cfm

Beware of Mold

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Call us for your mold remediation needs! 253-896-3000

Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks, and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall, and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.


Concerns are more likely to arise for “at risk” people, which might include immune suppressed or compromised individuals, infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with chronic inflammatory lung disease such as asthma and sever allergies. However, anyone may experience health problems associated with exposure to mold in damp buildings. Possible health effects include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat, or inflammation of the sinuses.


If you think you might have a mold problem call us at 253-896-3000. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood cares about proper restoration of your structure. In most water damage situations, excessive mold growth is not a problem and we can safely restore your building to preloss conditions “Like it never even happened.”

Winter is Coming!!!

12/5/2016 (Permalink)

Follow these tips to avoid pipe bursts and puff backs this winter!

Cooler temperatures, morning frost, rain, and snow fall tell us winter has begun. Not only must we prepare for these changes ourselves, it’s important to prepare our homes for winter weather as well. Pipe bursts and puff backs can occur without the proper precautions. In order to get ahead, here is a list of preventative methods for losses that occur most during the winter.

Frozen Pipes

A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To prevent burst pipes and prepare for winter weather, follow these easy steps:

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off.” Then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.

Puff Backs

A puff back is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, covering the inside of your home in grimy soot, or a puff back can leak soot particles more gradually. Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.

  • Keep your oil heating system free of dust
  • Inspect and service your heating system yearly

In case of water damage or damage caused by a puff back, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is faster to any size disaster, bringing the latest equipment and training to help make your property damage “Like it never even happened.”

Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather

11/29/2016 (Permalink)

Prepare your business and your customers for winter by following these steps!

Cooler temperatures, morning frost, rain, and snow fall tell us winter has begun. Not only must we prepare for these change ourselves, it’s important to prepare our businesses as well. Water damage seem to occur at the most inconvenient times, as does the flu. Follow these steps to prepare your business for winter weather.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous area. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Help prevent the spread of flu germs. Businesses can depend on SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces, and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants.

For all of your winter weather needs, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is faster to any size disaster, bringing the latest equipment and training to help make your property damage “Like it never even happened.”

Safety Tips for Using a Turkey Fryer

11/14/2016 (Permalink)

Follow these tips when using a turkey fryer, if you so choose!

As delicious as a fried turkey may be, the method of cooking can be very dangerous. Using a turkey fryer should be avoided at all costs. There are many concerns surrounding a turkey fryer including burns and fire hazard. If you choose to use a turkey fryer during the holidays, Allstate Insurance has compiled a list of cooking tips when using a fryer. 

  • Keep fryer in full view while burner is on.
  • Place fryer in an open area away from all walls, fences, or other structures.
  • Never use in, on, or under a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Raise and lower food slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
  • Cover bare skin when adding or removing food.
  • Check the oil temperature frequently.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply off.
  • If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. Do not attempt to extinguish fire with water.

In the event of a fire, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your fire restoration needs. We are available 24/7, 7 days a week. 253-896-3000.

https://www.allstate.com/resources/allstate/attachments/tools-and-resources/pz-holiday-cooking-safety-tips-nov-2013.pdf

Holiday Fire Safety

11/14/2016 (Permalink)

This holiday season, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is making safety our first priority. Make it yours too!

During the holiday season, it's easy to get distracted while in the kitchen. It's important to keep safety your first priority. Allstate Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance has compiled a list of safety tips to follow during this holiday season.

  • Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking. Most fires in the kitchen occur because food is left unattended.
  • Keep the cooking range free of clutter such as oven mitts, food packaging, and decorations. Even though you have myriad dishes to prepare, don't overload a cook top with too many pots and pans. Trying to cook all your dishes at once could cause grease to accidentally spill onto a range top and cause a fire.
  • Grease can ignite quickly, so be sure to wipe the stove top and oven before cooking to remove previous grease spills or splatters.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire, it's best to smother the fire by pl;acing a lid on the pan.
  • Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy while cooking. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on a flame-resistant oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until the food has cooled.
  • When removing lids on hot pans, tilt them away from you to protect your face and hands from steam. If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
  • Never wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Long, open sleeves could ignite and catch fire from a gas flame or a hot burner. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back.
  • Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking. Smoke alarms can save lives. Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working.
  • Unplug small appliances that aren't in use. Not only will you save the energy, but you will also avoid the potential dangers if they were to be turned on accidentally.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency and know how to use it. Make sure the fire extinguisher is UL listed and rated for grease and electrical fires.
  • Never put a glass casserole dish or lid on the stove burner; if it gets too hot it could crack or shatter.
  • Establish a "kid free" zone of 3 feet around the stove and use the back burner first.
  • Never hold a child on your hip while cooking as it greatly increases the likelihood for burns.
  • Turkey fryers should be avoided, as they can be extremely dangerous.

If you have fire damage, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your fire restoration needs. 253-896-3000

https://www.allstate.com/resources/allstate/attachments/tools-and-resources/pz-holiday-cooking-safety-tips-nov-2013.pdf

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342203271656096941/

 

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

This Thanksgiving, stay safe when cooking by following these safety tips provided by the National Fire Prevention Association:



  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey to check on it frequently.

  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.

  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.

  • Keep the floor clear so you don't trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.

  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.

  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children- up high in a locked cabinet.

  • Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.

  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.


This time of year, kitchen safety is SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West's main priority. Let it be yours too!


http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/wildfire-and-seasonal-fires/thanksgiving-safety

Clean Homes Sell Faster

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your home cleaning needs!

Looking to sell your home? It is a fact: A clean, fresh smelling home will sell faster. Veteran realtors will encourage you to keep your home in top condition for very important reasons including increased market value. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West offers a variety of services to help revive your home to top show condition including carpet and upholstery cleaning, ceiling, wall, and hard floor cleaning, deodorization, and mold mitigation and remediation.

One problem many homeowners come across when selling their home is mold. Molds are found in every environment and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present. An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, causing public  health problems. The EPA advised that the potential health concerns from molds are an important reason to prevent moisture problems. leading to mold growth. It is especially important to clean up existing indoor mold growth to increase property appeal and retain its value. If a property has experienced a water intrusion, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can inspect the damage to see whether moisture has penetrated materials or is allowing mold growth. 

Prior to listing your property, the following steps can be taken to reduce the potential for moisture buildup or mold growth. Should a water damage event occur, timely response is the key to preventing further damage- act within the first 24 to 48 hours.

  • Correct any water leaks or standing water
  • Remove standing water under cooling coils or air handling units
  • Properly maintain humidifiers, if used
  • Replace wet or visibly moldy insulation materials
  • Steam cleaning and other methods involving moisture should not be used on any kind of duct work
  • Install a ventilation system

As a home owner looking to sell your home, you may have trouble spots to address before you list or schedule a home inspection. Whether the problem is a water stain on a hardwood floor or a mildew smell in the basement, rest assured that SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West can get your home in top show conditions and ready to sell. When you decide to sell your home, call us for cleaning and restoration services that will help showcase your property to potential buyers. 253-896-3000.

Fire and Smoke Damage DOs and DON'Ts

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

Fire damage to your property? Follow these DOs and DON'Ts until help arrives!

A home or business fire is stressful and inconvenient for all who are involved. As a homeowner or business owner, knowing what to do in the case of a fire may be foreign to you. These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper actions until SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives. Please follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chance of a successful restoration.

DO

  • Limit movement in the home or business to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and  turbs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
  • Chance HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to sstop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

DON'T

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverage that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water (they may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire damage takes control of your life, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West will help you take it back. Call us at 253-896-3000 for your fire damage needs.

University Place/Lakewood West 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. 

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today 253-896-3000

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration- in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representatives will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rst assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. 

Meet our crew! http://www.SERVPROuniversityplacelakewoodwest.com/employee-photos

 

Vandalism DOs and DON'Ts

10/21/2016 (Permalink)

Vandalism to your private or business property can be disheartening and even dangerous. As a homeowner or business owner, knowing what to do in the case of vandalism to your property may be foreign to you. These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper actions until SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives. Please follow these dos and don’ts to help reduce damage and increase the chance of a successful restoration.

DOs

  • Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Vacuum glass particles from carpets or upholstery
  • Save containers which reveal the ingredients of spilled inks, cosmetics and paints

DON'Ts

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains
  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances.
  • Discard furniture wood chips, broken pieces from porcelain, furniture, or art objects.

In the case that you experience vandalism to your property, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your cleaning needs. We will restore your property to pre-loss conditions “Like it never even happened.” 253-896-3000.

Mold Remediation

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your mold remediation needs!

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West handles water damages every day and knows prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for

  • The presence of visible mold
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
  • Excessive humidity

If extensive mold growth is present, additional assistance may be required. Some situations require the addition of an Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional with the specialized equipment and services needed to assess and/or repair property.

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 Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional.

If you think you might have a mold problem, SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West professionals are trained in mold remediation and will examine the structure for any visible signs of mold. Call us at 253-896-3000!

What to do Before, During, and After a Power Outage

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

Stay safe this season by following these tips to know what to do before, during, and after a power outage!

We’re more vulnerable to power outages this time of year because of new growth and leaves that are still on the trees, which can pull branches down. Ready, a national public service advertising campaign, gives us these tips to follow before, during, and after a power outage.

Before

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps,. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device, determine a back-up plan.

During

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for you home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.

After

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degree Fahrenheit and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods, and other supplies.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West's main priority this season is safety. For any water or fire damage needs, feel free to call us at 253-896-3000.

Prevent Your Home From Fires This Halloween

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

Follow these steps to prevent a fire from occurring in your home this Halloween!

Halloween is a time for tricks and treats, but it's also a time to be cautious about fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorations are the first thing to ignite in more than 1,000 reported home fires each year. Here are a few things you can do this Halloween to prevent fires in your home from NFPA and the American Red Cross.

  • Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. 
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways, and yards. 
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • When using a real candle to light your jack-o-lantern, make sure the candle gets blown out when you can't monitor it, especially when you leave your home.
  • Always remember to turn off any running electric appliances before you leave home, blow out candles, and unplug fire hazards, such as lights, that might get too hot.

https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/328439.pdf

http://redcrosschat.org/2015/11/04/hidden-dangers-halloween-decorations/

In the event of a fire, contact SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West for your fire damage needs. We can be reached 24/7 at 253-896-3000.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water events affecting University Place and Lakewood commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable, quick, and flexible response.  Whether we are dealing with a relatively small water cleanup or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area.  In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

About SERVPRO of Tacoma

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you find your business in need of water or fire restoration, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Don't forget to check your hot water heater!

Many households and businesses forget about hot water heater maintenance until it's too late. Learning ways to maintain your water heater before a water damage event is important. This Old House Magazine published an article written by lance Marques, HVAC contractor, Swezey Fuel Co., sharing 6 easy tips to maintain your hot water heater.

·         Test the TPR Valve

·         Check the Anode Rod

·         Drain the tank and wash out sediment

·         Adjust the temperature

·         Insulate the pipes

·         Insulate the heater

If you are noticing water damage around your hot water heater, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. Our professional technicians specialize in quickly and properly inspecting the water damage, drying out the damp areas, and monitoring and documenting the whole drying process.

Be sure to notify SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West if you have water damage as soon as possible. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration costs.

To read more on how to maintain a water heater, visit:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20351985,00.html

Contaminated Water Damage DOs and DON'Ts

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

Act fast when water damage occurs to steer clear of possible health effects.

Any water damage is disruptive, especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of your family and the value of your home. Toilet overflows, sewage backups, and other dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a home. As a homeowner, knowing what to do in the case of contaminated water damage in your home may be foreign to you. These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper action until SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives. Please follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DOs

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON'Ts

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry affected materials and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

About SERVPRO of Tacoma

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you find your business in need of water or fire restoration, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West.

Water Damage DOs and DON'Ts

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

Follow these DOs and DON'Ts if you have a washing machine overflow in your home.

Any water damage is disruptive and often overwhelming. These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper actions until SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West arrives. Please follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DOs

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water sources.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON'Ts

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazard may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

If you experience water damage in your home or place of business, call SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West. We are faster to any size disaster, bringing the latest equipment and training to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”

IICRC Certified Firm

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.


IICRC Certified Firms must


• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.


• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.


• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.


• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.


• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.


The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry


The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.


Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.


About SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West


SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

University Place/Lakewood Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

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

When Storms or Floods hit University Place/Lakewood, SERVPRO is ready!

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West is faster to any size disaster and specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West professionals specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage restoration training with an emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit University Place/Lakewood, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 253-896-3000

Faster to your University Place/Lakewood Water Damage Event

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of University Place/Lakewood West provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.


Faster To Any Size Disaster


Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of University Place arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.


Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 253-896-3000


Water Damage Timeline


Within Minutes



  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.


Hours 1 - 24:



  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.

  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.

  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

  • A musty odor appears.


48 Hours to 1 Week:



  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.

  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

  • Paint begins to blister.

  • Wood flooring swells and warps.

  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.


More Than 1 Week:



  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.


About SERVPRO of University Place


SERVPRO of University Place specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

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