Recent Posts

Keeping Coziness In and Water Out

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

A kitchen of a home with water damage There is never a perfect time for water damage in your Auburn home, but SERVPRO is always ready to respond to your water damage.

Keeping Coziness And Water Away

Most properties in Auburn, WA, can be susceptible to some extent of water damage. Just one flash flood or leaking pipe can lead to an indoor catastrophe. Having water in the home is no easy problem to have; however, by becoming aware of these three common areas for water damage, you can be better prepared for issues down the road.

1. The Bathroom

When it comes to vulnerable rooms for water damage, the first area that likely comes to mind is the bathroom. With toilets, tubs, showers and sinks, finding a broken pipe or other point of leakage in the bathroom is typical. Drains also commonly see blockage, which can ultimately result in burst pipes. By inspecting pipes on a regular basis, you can stay in the know about any potential water invasion.

2. The Kitchen

Your oven may be the most reliable friend when it comes to making delicious meals, but is it contributing to water in the home? As appliances wear, their pipes and hoses can crack, causing them to develop leaks. Although pipe cleanup usually gets the job done, practicing a routine maintenance check on refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines is a wise step.

3. The Utility Closet

Regular HVAC checks can also help you prevent trouble in the future. One red flag to watch out for is a leaky indoor unit – water-damaged units usually point toward an underlying leak, drip or draining failure somewhere in the heating and cooling system. Evaporator coils naturally build up condensation but should be the only wet part of the unit.

A bathroom full of leaks, a malfunctioning appliance and a dripping HVAC system are no fun problems to have. Because these systems can be sensitive and complex, it is typically ideal to call on the professionals for help. Once you get to the bottom of water in the home, you can wave goodbye to the leaks and reclaim your coziness.

3 Items That Can Be Salvaged After Mold Damage

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a wall SERVPRO can help you to restore your beloved belongings from mold damage.

3 Items That Can Be Recovered Following Mold Damage

Mold growth can be a common result of flooding in your Auburn, WA, home. Mold can grow on a variety of items, from furniture to walls to wood and flooring. When it comes to mold cleaning, however, you may be surprised about the number of objects that can be salvaged when you know the steps for cleaning them properly.

1. Leather Goods

Leather bags, jackets and other items may be salvageable if you remove them from the affected area quickly. Because mold tends to spread faster in areas with high humidity, you can perform mold remediation for these items by transferring them to a room that is cool and dry. Once the leather has dried, you can sponge the surface with diluted baby soap to wipe away visible mold. Suede goods may need to be treated by a mold cleanup and restoration company.

2. Clothing

While not all clothing can recover from mold damage, you may be able to salvage some items. An Esporta Machine, which is designed to clean cotton clothing affected by mold, smoke and other substances, can be effective in removing mold. You may be able to soak some fabrics in diluted vinegar to remove the mold, but this depends on how fragile the fabric is. Your restoration experts may able to advise you about other mold cleaning processes.

3. Paintings

Paintings affected by mold require special treatment. You may want to remove any wooden framing, as mold is attracted by wood fibers. Store the painting flat, away from humidity and sunlight, before contacting a professional artwork restoration company. Avoid bagging or sealing it in any kind of tight container, as this may create humid conditions that could encourage further mold growth.

When flooding in your Auburn, WA, causes mold to grow on your belongings, you may not know where to begin with mold cleaning. Contacting professional restoration technicians and removing your items from areas where mold is present can help you salvage irreplaceable items and proceed with the rest of the cleanup with confidence.

Mitigation VS. Restoration: What You Need To Know

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Cars and vans from a restoration company SERVPRO can respond quickly to any storm or flood emergency. We have trained professionals for your service.

What You Should Know About Mitigation vs. Restoration

The best way to prepare yourself and your business premises in Enumclaw, WA, for disasters and disaster cleanup is to know what you’re up against in terms of work that needs to be done. When it comes to cleanup, that usually means knowing the difference between mitigation and restoration. The basic facts you should always keep in mind are that:

  • Mitigation comes first, and can be very quick
  • Restoration follows mitigation, and can be lengthy
  • Both are necessary in order to get your business back in order after a flood, fire or other disaster, and should be performed by a professional flood cleanup company

Mitigation

When you call up your flood cleanup company to take care of an issue, they’ll typically perform a few mitigation measures before getting to work on cleanup. Mitigation efforts are meant to prevent further damage and loss from occurring due to the existing threat, thus increasing the overall amount of work that needs to be done during the restoration itself. When dealing with flooding, this often means removing affected furniture from a home and drying out carpets and rugs to prevent them from damaging your subflooring. This is typically the quickest part of a cleanup project.

Restoration

After mitigation is done, it’s time for restoration. Restoration is performed on items that could not be saved by mitigation efforts, and items that were damaged before the restoration company arrived. This step is often much larger and much more lengthy, and may involve the complete replacement of floors, roofs, walls and other portions of your business that have been too damaged to save.

Knowing the difference between these two services is crucial, especially when it comes to submitting insurance claims and dealing with the financial aftermath. Your flood cleanup company can often offer more information on the subject, and explain its mitigation techniques and restoration times in a more in-depth manner if needed.

Commercial Property Fire: Important Considerations After a Fire

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

A wall half white and half black. Burned wall. Fire damage Fire damage in Auburn, WA.

Important Considerations Following a Commercial Property Fire

After your commercial or multifamily property experiences a fire, your brain will likely be going a mile a minute trying to figure out the next steps. Though the apparent structural damage will bring about thoughts of roof repair and rebuilding, there are other important considerations to make before the initial fire cleanup and restoration.

1. Safety and Self-Evaluation

The safety of employees, tenants and you are paramount after experiencing a fire disaster. After calling emergency services, you should be most concerned with getting everyone out of the building because the structural integrity of the property is most assuredly in question. Standard practices of fire safety should also be followed. For example, you should avoid drinking, eating or breathing in anything that has contacted soot, fire or smoke.

2. Financial and Insurance Contacts

You should immediately call your insurance company, mortgage lender and credit card institutions before starting any fire cleanup. Calling your insurance provider will ensure that the claims process begins immediately. Calling your mortgage lender will also help in getting through the bureaucratic procedures. Finally, if you lost any credit cards in the fire, you will be able to get replacements mailed to you sooner by notifying them.

3. Restoration Services

After ensuring your safety and making all the necessary contacts, you can begin the cleanup and mitigation process. As fires often create extensive damage, this process is better left to fire remediation specialists in the Auburn, WA, area. These services help to streamline the operations of mitigation, offering board-up and tarp services, and restoration, ensuring that your property is functional as quickly as possible.

While the experience of a fire and the resulting damage can be devastating and emotionally taxing, it is necessary to keep your wits about you. Between general safety and financial obligations, you will need to focus on the process ahead. Thankfully, fire remediation services will help to restore your facility through the fire cleanup and restoration process.

3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

A surface full of mold Call SERVPRO! We are mold experts.

Mold and Mildew: What's the Difference?

The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but there are significant distinctions between these types of fungi. In the most general sense, mold grows on moist organic surfaces whereas mildew is a parasitic fungus that grows only on living plants. If you want to seek an expert opinion concerning the extent of mold growth or mildew growth or mold damage in your home, you should call a certified service specializing in testing, clean-up, and restoration in Enumclaw, WA.

1. Mildew is a type of fungus. This obligate plant parasite grows on living plants and is recognizable by its white or light gray appearance. Mildew is very common and does not pose the same risks as mold.

2. Mold requires a combination of moisture and organic material to grow. Mold may appear in a variety of different colors. Even white or light gray growths on surfaces that are not plants are mold, not mildew. You should contact a mold damage expert if you find or suspect that mold is present in your home.

3. Mildew can be either powdery or downy in appearance. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes powdery spots or patches to appear and grow until they form a coating over the surface of the leaves of a plant afflicted with mildew. Downy mildew is visible along the undersides of leaves and may feature small black spots or cause leaves to become discolored.

It is easy to distinguish between mold and mildew once you know that mildew affects plants. If you are concerned about mildew growth, you may want to try removing and destroying affected portions of a plant, improving air circulation, changing the direction from which you water, or using a fungicide. If you see or suspect mold growth, contact a company that tests for mold and cleans up residential mold damage in Enumclaw, WA.

3 Water Heater Noises That May Indicate a Problem

8/14/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler If your water heater is noisier than usual it may be trying to tell you something.

3 Noises from a Water Heater That Could Mean There's a Problem

The water heater in your Auburn, WA, home can be a vital piece of equipment when it comes to providing your family with hot water for cleaning and bathing. Despite its importance, you may not give it much thought unless it acts up. The sounds a unit makes can be an indication of a problem, and there are several different noises you can listen for if you suspect a malfunction.

1. Screaming

This sound can be startling, especially if it happens suddenly. However, there is usually no cause to be alarmed. A screaming water heating unit may have loose valves that need to be adjusted or tightened. You may be able to chase down the noise by listening closely when someone turns on the water in the kitchen or bathroom.

2. Banging

Noisy pipes can be common in older homes, and banging sounds that emit from your water heater usually occur if the unit is not bolted down properly or if pipes move or jerk suddenly when the water in your home is turned on or off. Over time, this movement may cause damage to the pipes or the tank itself. You can prevent these problems by bolting down the pipes and the tank or by updating your home's plumbing.

3. Crackling or Popping

If you hear crackling, rumbling or popping as your water heats up, this may be a sign that sediment has collected inside your unit. This can be especially true of older units or those that have never been serviced. Calling in a professional restoration company to perform a water heater flush can eliminate these sounds. Having your heater inspected and cleaned can improve its efficiency and ensure that small problems do not get any worse.

If your Auburn, WA, home's water heater is noisier than usual, it may be trying to tell you something. Having the unit inspected and maintained can keep it running like new and quiet any troublesome noises.

What To Do If You Do Not Have Flood Insurance

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Double check your need for flood coverage

Many people who live far from major waterways assume that they do not need flood insurance. But with increasingly unpredictable weather in recent years, homes that are not on a flood plain can also be inundated. Even a few inches of water in your house is enough to cause major damage.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get help if you experience flooding but do not have insurance in Pacific, WA. There are also good reasons to consider insuring your home against flooding even if you have never thought it necessary.

What To When Your Home Is Damaged by a Flood

If water ravages your home but you don't have insurance that covers floods, there are three steps to take:

  • Consult the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine whether your home is in a declared federal disaster zone.
  • If it is, make an appointment with a FEMA inspector to visit your home and assess the damage as soon as possible.
  • Look for companies in Pacific, WA, that specialize in flood mitigation and restoration.
  • Even if you initiate the cleanup process, you can apply for reimbursement.

Why You Should Reconsider Flood Insurance
Even if you are confident that you live far from a flood plain, it is worth double-checking your need for flood coverage. On FEMA’s website, you can enter your address and see the agency’s assessment of the flood risk near you. You may be surprised at how close some waterways are to your family’s most valuable asset.

How To Stay Safe, Not Sorry
It's comforting that the federal government can assist in the event of an unexpected deluge. But if you are not in a declared disaster zone, you may not get the help you need.
Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth and can have serious consequences if it gets into your home, yet most homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program can be less than $500 per year, and some private insurance companies also offer flood-related insurance. It is an additional expense, but in today’s unpredictable world, the peace of mind may be worth it.

Clearing Drains and Gutters Before a Flood

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hand wearing an orange glove holding leaves from a dirty gutter, cleaning a dirty gutter. Keep your gutters clean.

Clearing Drains and Gutters in Advance of a Flood

Before flooding hits Wynaco, WA, you have the power to take action and lessen potential harm to your home. It is especially important to ensure excess water can easily drain away in a storm. At any time of year, leaves and debris can pile up in gutters and on top of storm drains, so be sure to always keep them clean. Following these simple steps while the sky is still clear can help prevent the worst of future flood damage.

1. Twice a year, clean your gutters. This approach is a great way to avoid severe flooding. Each spring and fall, remove the covers from dry gutters. Put on gloves, and use your hands or a small tool to brush away debris. With your hose, run water through the cleared gutter to confirm uninterrupted flow. Don’t forget to rake up leaves and debris and put them in a proper container when you’re done.

2. Practice other gutter etiquettes. This includes fixing leaky gutters, either yourself or with the help of a professional. You should also direct gutter downspouts away from your foundation and your neighbors’ properties.

3. Keep leaves and sticks in a yard waste bin. Yard debris left lying loose on your land can quickly end up in drains. This will exacerbate any flooding caused by a storm and lead to more problems in the long run.

4. Take time to check storm drains for debris piled on top. If you notice leaves and debris lying on the surface of storm drains, act rapidly to remove them with a rake or broom. As always, put everything you collect into a yard waste bin or other container.

Storm damage in Wynaco, WA, often includes floods, one of the worst disasters that can strike your home. In addition to taking smart steps after a flood, such as calling restoration professionals, use the above list now to keep gutters and drains clear and ready to do their job in a storm.

Reducing the Risk of Household Appliances Causing Water Damage

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

flood cuts performed in kitchen area and floor removal due to water damage SERVPRO is always ready to respond to water damage.

Regular Maintenance Can Prevent Potential Damage

It is not just burst pipes, flooding, and storms that can cause water damage to your home; faulty appliances also have the potential to cause significant problems. Dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters and refrigerators are some of the usual culprits in the home. However, there are measures you can take to significantly reduce the risk of them leaking and causing water damage to your property.

Check the Hoses

One of the most common causes of appliances causing water damage is the failure, damage or blockage of hoses. Both dishwashers and washing machines have hoses connected to them as they are water-drawing appliances. It is important to check the hoses regularly for degrading, cracks or blockages before further problems are caused. Realistically, hoses need replacing every three years.

Identify and Check Water Valves

You should make sure that everyone in the house knows where the main water valve and the water valves for each appliance are located. If a leak does occur, it can be dealt with swiftly by turning off the water. It is also important to check that the valves open and close correctly. SERVPRO® is often called out by people who have just returned home to find a flood or leak after a vacation or weekend away. A preventative measure you can take is to turn off the valves before you leave home.

Drains, Pumps, and Filters

Depending on the appliance, a piece of equipment may have drains, pumps or filters. Each of these components may become blocked with debris over time, and this will disrupt or prevent the flow of water. In turn, this can result in leakages or the appliance may stop working altogether. Check for blockages and debris at least twice a year to keep these parts clear.

Contacting the Professionals

There are some occasions when you will not be able to rectify a problem, and it is important you know when you need to call a professional rather than attempt to resolve an issue yourself. If your appliance has a warranty, then a qualified engineer will come to identify any problems and either fix or replace the parts as necessary. It is well worth considering an extended warranty, so your appliance is covered for longer. Having faults repaired quickly will minimize the chances of needing to use our services at SERVPRO® to tackle water damage. Although these tips reduce the risk of problems with household appliances, there is still the possibility of a fault or leak occurring that results in water damage to your home. 

When Good Intentions Turn Sour: How To Prevent Mold in the Break Room Fridge

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in refrigerator Mold loves old, leftover food.

How to Prevent Mold in the Break Room Fridge When Good Intentions Go Bad

Every day, good-intentioned office workers in Berrydale, WA, bring their leftovers to work, place their meals in the fridge and absentmindedly leave their lunches to languish for days, weeks, and even months. Unfortunately, mold loves old food, and these good-intentioned individuals have inadvertently created an atmosphere that is prime for mold growth. If you are battling fridge mold in your shared office space, here are five simple ways you can ensure that your lunchroom remains clean and mold-free.

1. Assign responsibility. Since office refrigerators inhabit common spaces, there is often no single person responsible for ensuring their cleanliness. If an individual manages the fridge, others will be inclined to pay attention to their behavior and remove old food.

2. Establish ground rules. Create agreed-upon guidelines regarding fridge use and place them prominently in the lunchroom. Asking that food be labeled or establishing limits on how long one can leave his or her lunch in the cooler are common policies in many offices today.

3. Consume meeting leftovers within 24 hours. Sharing leftover egg sandwiches from this morning’s board meeting is a great way to boost office morale, but these leftovers are also great incubators for fridge mold. Toss out any unclaimed food items within 24 hours.

4. Set up a cleaning schedule. Fridges should be cleaned out once per week. All old food items, with the exception of dressings, oils and other non-perishables, should be disposed of and shelves should be wiped down.

5. Disinfect quarterly. Fridges should be disinfected every three to four months, perhaps more if you notice any mold smell. Disinfecting a fridge does not require harsh chemicals and can be done with soap, warm water, and a sponge. Depending on the size, number, and extent of the job, some companies have decided to hire a professional to assist with this process.

Mold loves old, leftover food. Keep your shared office refrigerator in Berrydale, WA, clean and free of fridge mold by adhering to the above five simple lunchroom guidelines.