Recent Posts

Commercial Building Maintenance

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Tacoma we like to make sure our customers are ahead of the game. Building maintenance is valuable security tool to keep your building safe and prevent potential fire and water damages. Many things can affect your buildings conditions such as weather, and regular wear and tear. Here are some important ways to keep your commercial buildings maintenance up year-round:

  • Construction work – check your building’s walls, arches, gutters/downspouts and roofs to make sure they’re all in good shape.
    • Checking for clogging gutters/downspouts, standing water or tears in the roof flashing and prevent roof leaks.
    • Checking exterior walls and arches for cracks and other damage can prevent water damage to the building. It is not just exterior walls that need to be checked – internal walls can show signs of wear with cracks or bubbling which is a sign of moisture.
  • Doors, windows, and any other openings
    • They typically don’t need to be replaced very often, pieces such as the locks and hinges tend to wear down over time.
  • Lighting/Electrical
    • Schedule the replacement of bulbs. Removal of dust from lighting surfaces to improve efficiency.
  • Plumbing – Although it’s harder to identify plumbing issues till it’s too late, it’s best to pay close attention and do checks on all your plumbing.
  • Safety plans – It’s important to have a safety plan in place for in case of emergency. Making sure off your extinguishers and spill kits are kept up to date.

If something happens, know that SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help!

"How Soon Can You Get Here?"

12/17/2022 (Permalink)

“How soon can you get here?”, is one of the most common questions we get asked as an emergency response company. Often the customer who is calling is distraught, in a panic, and the most urgent thing that they want to know is how fast we can be there to help them in their time of need.

SERVPRO has a reputation for being the fastest restoration company in the industry. We have set the bar higher than any other restoration company nationwide when it comes to responding to disasters and emergencies.

How fast we can be onsite has something to do with our location in relation to theirs. Also, the availability of the nearest technician and available equipment. All these factors contribute to the emergency response timeline that we give the customer.

Let’s face it, when you are standing in the middle of your living room and it’s raining indoors due to an overflowed tub upstairs or a broken pipe, you aren’t worried about much else but getting your home or business stabilized as soon as possible.

So if you need fast response and trained professionals in hurry, call SERVPRO of University Place / Lakewood West @ 253.896.3000. We can get you back to preloss condition and make it "Like it never even happened."

What Can Be Saved After a Flood?

12/17/2022 (Permalink)

When a flood hits your Tacoma, WA, home, it means much more than just extracting the water and getting the house dried out. It also means content cleaning, which can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Determining what can and can’t be salvaged isn’t always clear.

Sorting Textiles

If the unexpected water was from a pipe burst, the cleanup process is much simpler because the water is considered clean. If it came from outside the home, there is likely a chance there is black water, which is potentially full of harmful contaminants. For the latter, before entering the home and going through belongings, protective equipment should be worn, including gloves, face masks, pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Unfortunately, some belongings will have to be tossed, such as:

  • Visibly discolored items that can’t be restored.
  • Items saturated with potential sewage water.
  • Anything that has come in contact with toxic chemicals or fiberglass insulation.

The good news is that a surprisingly large number of your belongings can be salvaged. Anything that can be washed, sanitized, and dried may likely be saved. This even includes artwork, furniture, photos, and clothing.

Confident Cleanup

When it comes to content cleaning and dealing with water damage, the best bet is to leave it all in the hands of trusted storm damage and restoration specialist. Not only will they have the tools and expertise to restore your home, but they also have the latest tools and techniques to clean items that may seem like a lost cause. Whether it requires dry, wet, foam, abrasive or immersion cleaning, your precious belongings are carefully sorted, packed away to avoid further contamination, and delicately restored to normal.

After the floodwaters go down, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, and like everything is ruined. With the right team on your side with content cleaning expertise, much more can be safely salvaged that what might initially be expected.

Five FAQs About Flood Insurance

12/17/2022 (Permalink)

In some areas, having a flood policy is practically required. In other areas, business owners may not have even heard of flood insurance. If you're in this category, you probably have a lot of questions. Here is some information that can help answer your questions.

  1. What Is It?

Flood insurance is a policy you can get to offer protection for your business against flood damage. It is either an add-on or a separate policy from your standard commercial insurance policy, which won't cover flood damage.

  1. What Does It Cost?

On average, flood insurance for small businesses in Tacoma, WA, is roughly $1,000 per year. However, what you end up paying for your policy is based on your deductible, how much coverage you want, and your risk levels.

  1. Is It Necessary?

You may never actually need your flood insurance. In these cases, you may feel like you are wasting your money on commercial insurance when you could be investing it in new equipment or other items. However, if you don't have flood insurance and you experience flood damage, your business could go underwater trying to pay to repair the damage.

  1. How Do You Buy It?

To purchase a policy, you're going to need to talk to your commercial insurance agent. You can also search for alternative providers who offer flood insurance. Before reaching out to an agent, ensure your business meets the requirements for the recommended policy. Pick a company that offers a policy in your price range that covers all of your equipment.

  1. Are Elevation Certificates Important?

In high-risk zones, elevation certificates are used to calculate the potential costs of hiring a storm remediation company. These are important because they tell your insurer your elevation, compared to typical floodwater heights.

Ultimately, whether you purchase flood insurance should be based on your comfort level with your current FEMA risk zone. However, you could end up in a situation where you need it to prevent your business from failing.

What to Do About Crawlspace Water

12/17/2022 (Permalink)

When you live in Tacoma, WA, finding a wet crawl space in your home may not be something you immediately think can cause problems in your home. However, if left unattended water in the crawl space can lead to foundation damage and eventual mold growth.

Reasons Crawl Spaces Get Water

While it seems like a small area to worry about, discovering water in the crawlspace is not uncommon. Finding flooding in your crawl space can happen for several reasons.

  • Broken water lines
  • Subterranean water
  • Heavy storm rains
  • Improper drainage from downspouts and gutters
  • Improper sloping of landscaping
  • Over watering of landscaping

The first two in this list are perhaps what most people think crawl space water is from. However improper drainage from spouts and landscaping, and over watering can be equally culpable, and more preventable.

How to Deal with Crawlspace Water

If you find you have a wet crawl space or potential flooding issue, it’s best to contact a professional to deal with the problem. They can assess the area containing flood water and do what's needed to take care of the problem, find the water’s source, repair any damages, and further protect your home.

Tips for Preventing Water in the Crawlspace

There are a few things you can do to help prevent flood damage in your crawl space on your own. You can grade your landscaping, so it slopes away from your home, and include irrigation or base layers into your gardens or flower beds to help direct water away as well. Also, ensure all hoses have been turned off after the watering is completed. Downspouts should include a backsplash and be angled away from the building, while regularly cleaning and maintaining gutters can help prevent water overflow that pools around the home’s foundation.

If you find you have a wet crawl space, it’s best to quickly contact a professional to discover the root of the problem. Remember, there are things you can do to protect your home as well.

Three Ways to Keep a Commercial Roof in Good Shape

12/16/2022 (Permalink)

If high winds, torrential rainstorms and other bad weather events impact Lakewood / University Place WA, will your commercial building be ready to withstand roof damage? Roofing materials can be vulnerable to such issues and result in leaks and flooding that could seriously harm your building’s interior. However, there are a few strategies you can use to ensure that your roof is protected.

  1. Order an Annual Inspection

Having your commercial roof inspected annually can uncover flaws and problems that might grow worse during a bad weather. For example, if your building’s roof is missing some of its tiles, rain and melting snow could weaken these areas and cause leaks. A thorough inspection by a roofing professional can shed some light on the state of your roof. If you suspect your roof is leaking from a recent storm, it is wise to call in a repair company right away, as leaks can damage drywall, insulation and wiring in your building’s attic.

  1. Consider a Roofing Refit

If you are concerned about your roof sustaining wind damage, you may want to consider having it refitted with tougher materials. Metal, synthetic rubber and treated asphalt roofs are all durable options that can last 20 years or more. A roof rebuild can help guard your business against all different kinds of bad weather all year round. Your local roofing contractor or a storm damage and flood remediation service can advise you on which material is best suited for your building.

  1. Waterproof Your Existing Roof

If you cannot fit the cost of a new roof into your budget, then consider having your existing roof treated with a waterproof material. Many types of roof damage occur during heavy rains, when tiles, flashing and other roofing materials are harmed or weakened by running or pooled water. Having your commercial roof waterproofed can prevent these issues before they begin.

Roof damage can be costly for you as a Puyallup, WA, business owner. Protecting your building’s roof with regular inspections and other types of preventative maintenance might be the first, best defense in keeping it in good shape.

Non-Fire Candle Alternatives

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Many homeowners in Tacoma, WA may enjoy lighting candles. Although they may enhance the ambiance and aroma of a home, these items can be a serious fire hazard. Fortunately, there are numerous appealing candle alternatives available that pose less of a safety threat.

Electric Candles

If you enjoy the way traditional candles look, an electric candle may be an ideal replacement. It’s battery-powered, can help brighten dim spaces and eliminates the threat of a candle fire.

Stringed Lights

Stringed lights are another appealing light option. Drape them around dressers, bookshelves, or the ceiling and maintain a festive atmosphere inside your home throughout the year.

Oil or Wax Warmers

If you want your candle replacement to emit light and distribute scent, an oil or wax warmer may be an ideal choice. These devices use a lightbulb, which warms the scented wax, helping to disperse it.

Plug-in Air Fresheners

Plug-in air fresheners are also attractive candle alternatives that distribute pleasant aromas through the air. Some models may also offer a light source.

Salt Lamps

Salt lamps are another electric, flameless option. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, these devices can help remove contaminants from the air. As a result, they may provide therapeutic benefits, such as enhanced sleep and decreased asthma and allergy symptoms.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffusers are popular aromatherapy tools that emit evaporated essential oils, which may help purify the air and promote a relaxed state of mind. In addition to appealing scents, some devices may also emit light.

Reed Diffuser

If you like candles primarily because of their scent, you may enjoy using a device that does not require electricity. A reed diffuser, for example, uses absorbent reeds and scented oil to emit fragrance.

There are numerous candle alternatives available on the market that dramatically reduce the threat of a fire and its subsequent cleanup and restoration requirements. Although not every flameless device emits both a pleasant aroma and light, some offer potential health benefits that may be worth investigating further.

Tips for Preventing a Fire Disaster at Your Commercial Property

12/6/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Preparation Tips

Nobody expects a fire to happen to them in Tacoma, WA. So it is in your best interest to do what you can to reduce the likelihood of such an event and to implement fire preparation policies in case it does happen to you.

Risk Analysis

A good place to start is to identify where a fire is most likely to come from in your building and then focus your disaster preparation in that area. You can also shore up your insurance to cover the types of damage you think it might incur. You should research the appropriate fire remediation services so that you don't have to worry about it after the fact. Some common fire sources are:

  • A kitchen or a grease fire
  • Electrical outlets
  • Wildfires

Develop an Emergency Plan

To mitigate the damage a fire can cause, fire preparation should also include your employees. You should choose an evacuation route and train employees regularly in their specific roles during an incident. So that everyone's lives aren't put on hold, you can come up with a plan for how to continue to run the business during the recovery period.

Protect Your Assets

To keep your fire damage losses to a minimum, you should back up all your important documents and files to a remote server or database. You could also consider keeping certain valuable equipment and materials at separate locations. It would be a good idea to maintain an updated inventory of all company property along with proof of each item's value.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to fire preparation. Although it can sometimes be inevitable, it is smart to do your best to prevent it from happening to your commercial property and have a plan in place should it occur anyway. As the scouts say, be prepared!

Common Places to Find Mold in a Commercial Building

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Regular housekeeping and maintenance in your Tacoma building may include an everyday checklist of tasks - keeping bathrooms stocked, ensuring that garbage is disposed of properly, and keeping things tidy and presentable. But something that can sometimes go unnoticed are the nooks and crannies of your building where mold is common. While some spring into action and hire professionals to fix and prevent future damage after an obvious event, such as a natural disaster or a plumbing mishap, it is also important to be proactive by checking areas that aren’t as obvious for mold growth in your building.

  1. Walls and Ceilings

Walls can harbor mold, both on the surface and internally. Items pressed up against walls, leaks from the ceiling, and even the absorbent nature of materials used for masonry, such as bricks, can be the perfect foundation for mold to thrive and multiply.

  1. HVAC and Air Ducts

The wrong temperature circulating through the closed, dark spaces in HVAC systems and air ducts can create lots of condensation. This can fuel mold growth.

  1. Roof and Ceiling

Water damage from a leaky roof can stain your ceiling. However, it can also cause mold to form in the damaged areas, both visible and hidden.

  1. Equipment and Office Supplies

High humidity plus damp, enclosed spaces are some of the most likely places to find mold. Paper products are absorbent and therefore can hang on to moisture from spills, drips, condensation, or even just the moisture in the air. Factor in the areas where these supplies are typically kept (cabinets, drawers, storage tubs), and one can see how mold would favor these types of environments.

  1. Floors

Hidden, covered surfaces, or damp, neglected rooms without adequate air circulation can be another place where mold can be found. Carpet can absorb not only moisture but other substances that encourage mold growth, such as dirt and other organic matter that are tracked in from everyday foot traffic.

Take preventative measures to prevent mold, especially if your business is in a place that has high humidity. Don’t forget to regularly check specific areas before they become a more challenging chore to tackle.

Avoid These Three Causes of Sewage Backup

11/13/2022 (Permalink)

If you are a homeowner in Tacoma, WA, whose house has suffered damage from a backed-up sewer, one of the biggest impact areas will likely be your basement. A flooded basement can be inconvenient and expensive to deal with, so putting in measures to prevent such an occurrence is highly advisable. Here are three possible causes of sewage backup to keep in mind.

  1. Sewage Overflow

Sewage systems are designed to have a maximum water-holding capacity. Thus, when there is a heavy downpour and the amount of water coming in exceeds the capacity of a sewer, there is a high likelihood of flooding even though the system may be in perfect working condition.

  1. Old Sewage Systems

The average age of many public sewage systems in the U.S. is 30 years. As a result, many of them are more susceptible to damage now than in the past. This means that if your home in Tacoma, WA, is connected to a public system, there is a bigger risk of suffering a flooded basement. Similarly, if you live in an older home, your plumbing may be nearing the end of its life span. Replacing old pipes and valves before they deteriorate can prevent a backup of sewage.

  1. Blocked Pipes and Drains

When foreign materials get into drains and pipes, it can result in water backing up and, ultimately, flooding. Pipes can get clogged when solid substances are thrown into sinks, flushed down toilets or washed into drains from the outside. To keep your pipes and drains clear, be sure to get rid of oil and grease properly. You should also take care not to use toilets and sinks to dispose of items that do not easily degrade.

A flooded basement can cause a lot of anxiety and discomfort to a homeowner. If you find yourself surrounded by unwanted water, consider consulting a reputable water damage restoration company to help.