Recent Posts

Flood Bags Make More Sense

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

If you hear of a flood warning, you want to make sure that your commercial building in Auburn, WA, is safe and remains damage-free. A relatively small amount of water in your building can cause major problems. In flood-prone areas, sandbags have traditionally been the go-to method of flood abatement, but you will likely find flood bags to be a superior alternative.

What Is a Flood Bag?

A flood bag is a sandless sandbag made of a durable, long-lasting, permeable material. Instead of sand, this pouch is prefilled with a super-absorbent polymer, sodium polyacrylate, which gels when it gets wet. Flood bags have many advantages:

  • They are easily stored.
  • They require little or no prep.
  • They are less labor-intensive.
  • They activate immediately.
  • They are safe.

Sodium polyacrylate can absorb more than 150 times its weight in water, quickly creating a flood barrier and greatly reducing the risk of flood damage.

What Makes Flood Bags Better?

Flood bags are ideal because they are lightweight compared to sandbags. A sandbag typically weighs 30 or 40 pounds, whereas a flood bag weighs less than two pounds. This means that one person can quickly and easily install flood bags. A flood bag also requires less filler than a sandbag, and can last up to 10 years without disintegrating. They can be placed in a small area of your building until they’re needed.
Sodium polyacrylate activates immediately after getting wet, so as soon as rain hits the bags, the water turns to gel, which inflates the bags. If you need them to inflate before the rain, hose them down. This is ideal when you have rushing water heading your way, creating effective flood dams. Flood bags are eco-friendly and non-toxic.
As a business owner, you want to make sure your commercial property is protected. Flood bags are an ideal alternative to sandbags for a variety of reasons. If your building sustains storm damage, you can feel confident knowing that flood cleanup professionals will restore your business as quickly as possible.

Security Fencing for a Fire-Damaged Commercial Building

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Set up a security fence around the perimeter

After your commercial building has sustained fire damage, it may or may not be safe to enter depending on how severe the fire was. The emergency professionals in charge will instruct you on what to do next, and they may need to call the local building inspector to officially determine the building’s safety.
As you prepare to begin the repair and fire restoration process, in the meantime it’s important that you secure the property to prevent further damage from weather, vandals, and thieves. Securing the property is often required by insurance companies so the damages you claim do not become worse than what the original fire damage caused. A professional restoration company can help secure your building quickly:

  • Board up entrances and windows
  • Tarp the roof
  • Set up a security fence around the perimeter
  • Provide temporary power if needed

Fully Secure the Property

While a security fence may not seem necessary if the windows and doors are boarded shut, if the property is unsafe, the fencing can act as a safety feature to ensure no curious pedestrians get hurt.
Fencing also prevents wildlife from getting too close to the fire damage. While the boards do provide some security, the fence creates a second security layer, which discourages squatters and further losses from theft and vandalism. Insurance companies appreciate this and may require it in some policies. If only part of the commercial property was damaged, a fence can also be used to isolate that area while restoration and renovations take place.

Get Your Business Up and Running Again

Experiencing a fire in Oceola, WA, can be devastating, especially if it affects your business. Fire restoration companies are trained to deal with these types of problems quickly and effectively to have you back up and running to as close to the building’s original state as possible. Utilizing restoration tools like a security fence and board-up services helps ensure your insurance claim is accepted and minimizes the damages you have to deal with.

Reducing the Risk of Household Appliances Causing Water Damage

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Any appliances that have water coming into them or going out of them, have the potential to cause water damage. Call SERVPRO® quickly to remediate!

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. In the event of this happening, contact SERVPRO of Auburn/Enumclaw as soon as possible at (253) 848-0800. Once you have described your emergency, our team of experts will visit you to assess the damage and begin restorative work as soon as possible.

What To Do If Your Building Smells Like Mold

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Have a professional mold test performed

Steps to Follow When You Identify A Fungus Smell In Your Building

While many people have different ways of describing the smell of mold, such as a musty, rotten, or earthy, almost everyone agrees that it is unpleasant. If you are able to identify a mold smell in your building in Bayne Junction, WA, you might be worried that this harmful fungus is growing in your building. If you can identify a fungus smell in your building, make sure to take the following steps.

1. Look for Signs of Mold Damage

If you smell mold in your building, then it is very likely that mold really is growing in your building. While it is possible that it is actually a mildew smell which is less of a problem, you will need to search the building to find out for sure. Start by inspecting common areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, the attic, the roof, or the HVAC system.

2. Have a Professional Mold Test Performed

If you’re unable to find any mold in the building, professional mold testing can be very useful for finding fungus hiding where you can’t see it. There are several types of tests that can be done including air testing, surface testing, bulk testing, and culture tests. A thermal camera also is used to find sources of water that can be causing the mold smell.

3. Get Help From a Remediation Specialist

Once you are sure there is mold in the building, a remediation specialist can help remove it and get rid of any lingering foul odors. It is a good idea to talk with the specialist about what caused the issue in the first place so you can prevent future growth.
Complaints of a mold smell in your building should never be taken lightly. Make sure to find and remove mold right away to help prevent damage to your building and to get rid of odors that can drive customers away.

Preventing Heavy Storm Damage

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage due to pipe burst

When people think of flood damage, they often picture heavy rains. A burst pipe, however, can cause just as much water damage as external elements. To protect your business in Auburn, WA, from damage caused by a frozen pipe, you need to take a few precautions.

3 Steps to Protect Your Business From Storm Damage.

1. Insulation.

Many pipes burst as the result of poor insulation. There are several ways that pipes can be left vulnerable to extreme temperatures:

  • Efficiency timers that turn the heat in the building off when it’s not occupied
  • Pipes exposed to outside elements, such as water sprinklers
  • Supply lines in less insulated areas of the building, such as the basement
  • Bare pipes that touch outside walls

To protect against a burst pipe, consider adding insulation to cooler areas of the building. You can even add a specific type of insulation to the pipe itself. Keeping plumbing elements warm can keep them from breaking.

2. Maintain Flow.

A trickling faucet may be a sign that your pipes are frozen, but if you leave the faucet dripping a little, it can help prevent freezing. The flow of warmer water through the pipe acts as a type of internal insulation. Don’t allow standing water to remain in hoses or supply lines, though. The water must keep moving in order to be an effective guard against flooding.

3. Stay Warm.

Resist the temptation to turn the thermostat down too low or turn it off in order to save money on the utility bill. If you have to hire flood restoration specialists to clean up the water damage caused by a frozen pipe that bursts, you are going to spend much more money in the long run than if you just leave the heat around 55 or 60 degrees while no one is there.

A burst pipe in your building can wreak havoc upon your business. To avoid interruption of your day-to-day operations, take measures to prevent flood damage from leaky or broken pipes.

How To Clean the Lint Screen in Your Dryer

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning the lint screen of a dryer

4 Steps to Make Sure Your Screen is Clean

A common fire hazard in most homes is the buildup of lint that the dryer produces. Alleviating the risk of lint fire starts with cleaning the lint screen after every use. Here are four steps for making sure your screen is as clean as possible.

1. Remove Lint Screen Completely

After you have removed your clothes after a dry cycle, it's time to clean the screen. Remove it gently from the machine so that you don't bend or break it. Wait until you have the screen completely out of the dryer before you start to remove lint so that it doesn't get scraped off into the dryer's cavity.

2. Remove Lint From Screen

You can remove lint from the screen in several ways. The easiest method is by simply using your hands to gather it into a ball. You can also use a brush or the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner. To prevent a lint fire, make sure you get all the lint off the screen. For extra protection, rinse the screen with hot water. This helps remove the residue left by your softener.

3. Vacuum Vent Cavity

A dryer fire can start from lint left in the machine. To avoid this problem, fire restoration specialists recommend using the hose attachment to vacuum out the cavity that vents to the lint screen. That way, you get all the lint that was left behind.

4. Replace Lint Screen

Once all the lint is gone, you can slide the screen back into its slot. Don't forget to put it back! Operating the machine without a lint screen can lead to fire damage in your home.
Your home in Wabash, WA, can be susceptible to a lint fire if you don't clean your dryer regularly. The most basic step of this process is cleaning the lint screen every time you use the dryer.

Did You Know There Are Three Types of Water in Your Home?

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Each category of water requires a different approach and mindset

Learn About Water Categories

If you are dealing with water damage or flooding, the type of water you are confronting can be important. Depending on what is in the water, it may change your strategy for resolving the issue. In Wynaco, WA, it is a good idea to learn about what you are up against.

Black Water

This is the highest level of contamination and can be dangerous for people to come into contact with. It can also require specialized remediation services to properly remove if it has caused damage to your home. Specifically, this type of water has come into contact with human feces. It is most commonly seen in occurrences of backed up sewage or flood water.

Gray Water

This classification of contamination essentially covers all used water, so what it contains may vary. It is possible for it to be harmless or even useful to outdoor plants. However, it can also carry hazardous materials. Water damage caused by this type of water should be assessed on a case by case basis. Examples of gray water can include:

  • shower water that contains soap particles and
  • human skin remnants
  • water from your kitchen sink that holds dish
  • soap and food debris
  • drainage from appliances that use water, like
  • the washer or refrigerator

White Water

This may sound like a fun time on the river, but white water actually refers to clean water that is pumped into your home. It only becomes gray or black once it comes into contact with other substances. Remember that if you are in a flood or backup scenario, it can never be classified as white. Gray water can be treated, usually chemically, to become clean again. A water reclamation system can be installed into your home if you'd prefer to reuse water yourself.

Each category of water requires a different approach and mindset. Whether you have experienced water damage or simply wish to become a more efficient water user, you should learn the difference. Water is life!

Securing Your Property After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Board up open spaces such as unsecured doors and windows

Two Ways to Protect Your Property Against Unwanted Intrusions

If your Berrydale, WA, business has suffered fire damage, your primary concern will likely be the amount of destruction that has been caused to your property. However, in order not to compound the problem, it is a good idea to promptly take steps to secure what remains of the building and prevent further damage. Here are two ways to protect your property against unwanted intrusions by the weather, pests, and people.


If the bulk of the damage is to the exterior of the building, there will be exposure to the elements. Extreme weather, such as the following, can cause serious damage to your building:

  • Excessive rain
  • Thunderstorms
  • Hail
  • Sleet
  • Snow
  • Freezing rain
  • High winds
  • Freezing temperatures

One of the best ways to deal with inclement weather is to use tarps to seal off exposed parts as a temporary measure while you undertake the needed fire cleanup. Tarps can help protect the building against weather events such as rainstorms and wind while also preventing wild animals from venturing into the property for safety from the elements.


Fire damage, especially if extensive, invariably leaves a building vulnerable to unwanted human visitors who might see it as an opportunity to try to steal equipment and other expensive machinery that is still in good working condition. In addition to looting, there is also a risk of squatters trespassing. Use plywood with the appropriate amount of thickness to board up open spaces such as unsecured doors and windows. Be careful to firmly screw on the boards from the inside to prevent intruders from easily removing them.

The first step in recovering from fire damage to your business is securing the building. Once the premises are secure and you've got your insurance company involved, it's wise to enlist the experienced aid of a reputable restoration company to help you get back on your feet as quickly and painlessly as possible.

3 Tips for Saving Your Water Damaged Electronics

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged electronics in Algona, Wa

Tips for Saving Your Damaged or Flooded Electronics

Whether you accidentally spill water on your keyboard or have your phone submerged in floodwater, water damage can severely harm your electronic devices or cause them to stop working altogether. If you find that your devices are in poor condition, there are a number of ways you can help restore them. Here are some tips for saving your damaged or flooded electronics in your Algona, WA, commercial building before they break down completely.

1. Remove Batteries or Power Connectors

Before you attempt to clean or repair your devices, make sure that you remove any batteries or power connectors right away. This may stop the electronics from short-circuiting and also makes them easier to clean. Once the main connectors and batteries have been removed, you can begin to properly assess the extent of water damage.

2. Dry Your Devices

After you’ve taken out the batteries and connectors, start drying your damaged electronics. The difficulty of this task can vary based on how deeply the devices are submerged in water. If you are able to, try using a cloth or hair dryer on a cool setting to dry your devices. Ensuring that there is no residual water trapped in your flooded electronics can reduce the risk of water damage.

3. Disassemble Them

In order to prevent any excess water from remaining hidden inside your electronics, take the devices apart if you can. This can help residual water to drain completely and makes it easier for you to clean the devices’ internal parts. While you may not be able to remove all the water from your electronics, drying and cleaning them as best you can may help to reduce electronic damage and improve the condition of your devices.
If you’re struggling to save your damaged devices, don’t wait to call for help. A water damage professional can help restore your flooded electronics and protect them from further harm.

How To Manage a Leaking Water Heater

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

If you detect a leak, promptly shut off the power supply

How To Manage a Leaking Water Heater

Most homeowners in Pacific, WA, expect to have hot water readily accessible. However, like other appliances and components, a hot water heater is susceptible to eventual wear and tear. Over time, sediment buildup and other problems can arise, resulting in diminished functionality or leaks. If not addressed promptly, a leaking water heater can cause extensive damage. To avoid this, every property owner should understand how to manage a compromised unit.

1. Shut Off Power and Water Supply

If you detect a leak, promptly shut off the power supply by either flipping the circuit breaker or the on/off switch on a gas unit. You should also restrict water flow to your broken water heater by turning off the cold water supply.

2. Evaluate Your Device

A water heater may leak for a variety of reasons, including a loose connection, excessive pressure or a ruptured tank. If available, consult your owner’s manual or contact a licensed plumber for assistance. If you experience significant seepage, you should promptly drain your leaking water heater and commence cleanup efforts.

3. Drain Unit

To drain your unit, connect a hose to the drain valve. Before releasing the water, open the pressure release valve. Ensure that water is flowing into a functioning drain or outside away from your home’s foundation.

4. Address Water Damage

A failed water heater can saturate the surrounding area. You should promptly soak up any standing water and remove any damp objects. To reduce the risk of mold contamination, cut out wet drywall and replace saturated insulation. Soaked carpets can also harbor mold spores and may not be salvageable.

5. Expedite Drying Process

Efficiently drying the affected area is an important aspect of the water damage cleanup process. Utilizing fans and a dehumidifier can help eliminate excessive moisture, one of the key conditions for mold growth.

A leaking water heater can be an unpleasant surprise, especially if significant seepage occurs. Although you may have to purchase a new unit, a prompt response may spare your from secondary damage and additional repair needs.