Recent Storm Damage Posts

How to Stay Safe When a Thunderstorm Threatens Your Business

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

When a rain storm threatens your business, it’s important to protect not only your building, but also any employees and customers who are trapped inside. Knowledge of proper storm procedures can mean the difference between a safe outcome or possible injury or death. By keeping a few guidelines in mind when inclement weather hits, you can ensure your business in University Place emerges safely.

1. Keep track of weather reports.

During peak thunderstorm season, you should familiarize yourself with your local emergency weather warning system and sign up for automatic text or email storm alerts. Monitor the weather using an online radar tracker every day, so you’ll have a head start if a system is approaching. A few hours of advance notice should give you adequate time to prepare your business and evacuate the building if necessary.

2. Avoid standing near windows.

High winds during a rain storm have the power to shatter glass and severely injure anyone in the building. If a storm hits while employees or customers are inside your business, direct them to an underground basement or gather everyone in the center of the building away from windows. Keep any trees or shrubbery surrounding your business trimmed to prevent strong winds from blowing them into the glass.

3. Stay inside until danger passes.

Just because it’s stopped raining and storm clouds have passed over doesn’t mean it’s safe to go outside. Flash flooding, fallen debris, and downed power lines can pose potential hazards in the aftermath of a storm. Keep staff and customers inside the building until local news and weather reports confirm it’s safe to venture out. If your building floods from heavy rainfall, try to keep everyone away from waterlogged areas and contact a certified water damage restoration company immediately to assess the damage.

A heavy rain storm moving toward your business can be frightening, but remember to stay calm and follow proper safety procedures before and after the storm. Protecting your employees and customers should always be your first priority in an emergency.

How To Get Rid of Odors After a Storm

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

If your building floods during a storm in University Place,WA, your primary concern may be the damage caused to the building. The odor left behind can be an unpleasant side effect, though. Whether the smell is caused by mold growth or some other element, storm damage remediation experts can help you not only get rid of the flood waters and the damage they caused but also the funky stench that they brought along.

Possible Causes of Odor

Many different smells can assail your nose when you walk into your building after a storm. It may smell musty or rotten. There are many things that can cause bad odors when you have flood damage:

  • Large patches of mold
  • Sewage loss
  • Bacteria growth

After technicians identify the source or sources of the odor, they are better able to address them. They may use a series of tests and inspections to discover exactly where the foul stench originates.

Possible Solutions for Odor

If the problem causing the smell is mold growth, technicians will often start by taking care of it before they disinfect the rest of the space that has damage. Large infestations of mold have to be mitigated by professionals to make sure you get rid of all of it. Otherwise, it is likely to return. If your building has sewage, the whole area has to be disinfected to get rid of the microbes in the contaminated flood water. Getting rid of the issue causing the smell is often just the first step, though. Air purifiers with HEPA filters or pre-filters with activated charcoal may be needed to filter odor-causing bacteria and spores out of the air.
Whether the odor in your commercial building is caused by mold growth, sewage or some other element, certified technicians can help you get rid of it. If you are plagued by bad smells after a storm, it's a good idea to hire someone who can identify and remove the smell completely.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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!

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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/

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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

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.

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