Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home
3 Ways to Avoid Water Damage in Your Home
As a homeowner, preventing damage to your Tacoma, WA property is probably a priority for you. Stopping mishaps before they happen helps you avoid thousands of dollars in repairs and lost belongings, and this can be especially true in the case of water damage. Water in the home can be devastating to furniture, electrical systems, and your home's structure, but fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this type of problem from happening.
1. Inspect Appliance Connections and Hoses Often
Your washer and dishwasher can cause considerable flooding if worn hoses or water lines break. Leaks are usually a sign that a hose or valve is failing, so it is important to address any leak right away. Preventative maintenance can keep your water appliances running at top efficiency, stop leaks or sudden floods in your kitchen or basement and may even save you money on your energy bill.
2. Watch for Warning Signs in Your Plumbing
Drips, leaks, and discolored joints may point to a faulty or broken pipe in your bathroom or kitchen. Because malfunctioning pipes can burst without warning, this is not an issue to be ignored. Have a plumber replace worn valves, pipes, and joints or perform pipe cleanup maintenance on sections that have become narrow inside due to calcium or lime buildup, as narrow pathways can cause water pressure to build and burst your pipes.
3. Check Basements and Crawlspaces
Clogged gutters and poor drainage can cause water to seep into your basement. If you fail to spot it, it can cause mold growth and damage stored items. A professional mold remediation and restoration company can remove water in your home and inspect your basement and crawlspace for signs of excess moisture and mold.
Water damage in your Tacoma, WA home can be costly and take months to repair. However, preventative maintenance might help you avoid the kind of trouble water in a home can cause and give you peace of mind that you are protecting one of your greatest investments.
How to Prevent Fire Damage from Grills
Summer is upon us here in the Tacoma, WA!
We all know what that means, it is time to fire up those grills! We all love the smells of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs but if you aren’t careful, that smell you are experiencing could be the smell of fire damage! SERVPRO of Tacoma has seen fire damage and smoke damage caused by the early celebrations of springtime. Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills? According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill. A good grill master knows that being unaware of grill safety can be a factor for seasonal fires. Below are some tips we got from our friends at Nationwide to ensure your grill season is a safe one! Grill Safety Tips:
- Grill away from any structure.
- Make sure your grill is stable.
- Keep your grill clean.
- Check for propane leaks.
- If the flame goes out, wait five minutes before relighting.
- Keep an eye on what is going on around the grill.
- Be cautious when using a charcoal starter fluid.
- Don't wear loose clothing or clothing that can dangle.
- Be prepared to put out a fire.
If your property is affected by fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Tacoma at (253) 896-3000
How To Keep Your Fire Sprinklers Ready
How do you know if your fire sprinkler system will do the job if there is ever an emergency? The only way to be sure is if you do your part in performing regular maintenance.
How Sprinkler Systems Work
Fire suppression systems are more complex than one might think. When a fire breaks out, the heat from the flames triggers the nearest sprinkler heads then pressurized water pours from the nozzles. This way, the water is concentrated on the actual fire and your property suffers less water damage.
When You Should Inspect Your Sprinklers
Aside from the sprinkler heads, there are a lot of valves and intricate piping that are hidden from view. All of these parts need to be routinely inspected to make sure your fire suppression system is in top shape. You should:
- Inspect for manual valve positioning (they should be in the 'open' position, leaks and build-up on sprinkler heads weekly.
- Examine valves, system gauges, alarms, fire department connectors and system water pressure quarterly.
- Conduct a professional assessment of your entire fire sprinkler system yearly.
By creating a routine for upkeep, you will know that if an incident does happen, you have done all you can to be ready.
What To Do After Sprinklers Deploy
While sprinklers do a great job of limiting fire damage, they can cause quite a bit of water damage in the process. If you suffer a property fire, it is best to reach out to a commercial fire and restoration services company in Tacoma for help. These experts can give you an accurate assessment of the damages and offer help and advice for dealing with fire sprinkler cleanup.
Your property’s fire sprinkler system might not be on your mind all of the time, but knowing how it works and performing regular maintenance keeps you and your system ready for when it needs to fight flames.
How To Minimize Business Interruption Amidst An Emergency
Don't let unexpected emergencies get in the way of your business!
Business owners in Tacoma know that the unexpected will eventually happen especially after seeing COVID's recent effects on businesses. Staying on top of insurance and putting emergency plans in place are key to navigating events, such as flooding from a broken pipe, found mold, or fires. Along with due diligence regarding the structure, a focus also needs to be put on what business interruptions may mean. Being prepared for downtime, lost revenue and other negative effects can make or break a business.
Formulate a Plan Although some things are unavoidable, having a good grasp on potential risks, what they may mean to the business, and how to bounce back is necessary. A good plan addresses the following:
Determine Risks Every business is different and may face different issues that could result in an interruption. Along with potential environmental problems, such as flooding, the human factor also needs to be considered. Once the risks are known, it is easier to figure out which may be preventable.
Know the Cost Analyzing the risks includes calculating their costs. Factors that come into play include lost income, additional expenses and possible penalties.
Have Insurance Coverage Clarity Insurance is easy to forget about until it is needed. If large water damage occurs, do you know what will and won’t be covered?
Take Prevention and Mitigation Steps Once the risks are known, you can determine if they can be prevented, then create a plan addresses that prevention techniques.
Make Cleanup a Priority With a plan in place, facing emergencies will be a little more manageable. The plan to minimize losses does require immediate action. Once you file a claim, contacting a damage mitigation and restoration company is the next step. Along with finding the source of the problem, water removal and drying process should be started as soon as possible.
Running a business comes with many unknowns, but figuring out how to deal with a loss doesn’t have to be one of them. Creating a plan of action and knowing the possible risks may minimize claim losses and get your business back to operating "Like it never even happened."
Download The SERVPRO of Tacoma App NOW!
Download SERVPRO Ready Plan!
SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your home or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business.
SERVPRO provides a mobile application for instant contact during emergencies.
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."
How to get started:
STEP 1: Visit SERVPRO.com/ready. Register for an account using your email address as your username and choose a password.
STEP 2: Choose your preferred SERVPRO Franchise Representative to contact in the event your home or business experiences water, fire, mold or other type of damage.
STEP 3: Begin creating ERPs for all of your properties.
STEP 4: Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan Application on your iPhone, tablet, Android or Blackberry device from the respective App Store.
STEP 5: Launch the Ready Plan App and sign in using the same username and password from STEP 1.
The ERP program makes sense, it is flexible in its usage and benefits, and can even be synced to other business connections like your computers, tablets, and smartphones. In times of stress, this app will help alleviate pressure and panic and provide you with a fast means of contacting the first responders and SERVPRO of Tacoma to mitigate losses.
We're Faster To Any Size Disaster and are just a phone call away at (253) 896-3000
Make Your Home Safer From Seasonal Storms
If you experience any property damage from spring storms, contact SERVPRO of Tacoma
Although Summer is nearing and we don't havw to worry much about stormy weather, this season is a great time to tackle home improvement projects and get prepared for future seasons.
Some of the most important tasks on your list should be those that protect your home from the most significant spring weather hazard—thunderstorms.
We can’t stop storms from hitting the community. But we can do things to protect our homes from them. Here’s what you might want to consider doing.
Make Your Home Thunderstorm-Safe
Here are ways you can ensure your home is ready to withstand bad weather:
Get all the clutter out of the gutters. When your gutters are clean, water moves the right way around your house. If they’re clogged, they can cause water damage.
Ensure your roof is ready to withstand storms. You don’t want to discover there’s a problem with your roof after a heavy rainstorm. Instead, you’ll want to be sure your roof is in good shape before a storm starts hitting. Check for things like missing shingles and signs of leaks. Repair them.
Look for possible issues around your home. Check for overhanging tree limbs, unsecured grills, and furniture or gazebos. Cut tree limbs that hang over your roof or garage and secure anything you can.
If your home has a sump pump, be sure it’s ready for wet weather. You don’t want your sump pump to fail when you need it, so test it before the storms hit. That’s a good way for you to be certain your basement stays dry and protected when heavy rains hit.
If a fire, flood or any other element causes damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you. (253) 896-3000
How Well Prepared Are You?
SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help before & after the storm 24/7
A well equipped disaster supply kit should include, but is not limited to, the following items:
- Water: 1 gallon per person per day.
- Food: 3 to 7 days worth of non perishable or canned food and manual can opener.
- Bedding: Blankets and pillows.
- Clothing: Remember, although it may be warm, you may be working and cleaning and need pants and long sleeves to protect your skin.
- First Aid Kit: In the very least, include sanitizers and bandages.
- Cash: Keep some cash and small bills on hand in case banks are closed.
Prepare your home:
- Paperwork: Secure important documents
- Windows: Remove debris, trim trees
- Gas: Fill your car, fill your propane tank
SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help before & after the storm. Proudly serving Tamarac, Lauderhill, Sawgrass and surrounding areas.
Call us (253) 896-3000 24/7
What to Look for to Prevent Water Damage
SERVPRO of Tacoma is a full restoration company. Our team of experts are on call and ready to help you determine the best course of action.
There is a lot to be said for having a house with a basement. Not only is it great for extra storage and a place to hide out from any severe weather threats, but it also opens up the potential to expand your home’s square footage if it is a finished area.
Overall, there are many pros to having a basement, but it is important to also acknowledge the cons that they can present.
Having a house with a basement can be a drawback when it comes to water damage. While not every basement will have water damage in its lifetime, it is something that many are notorious for due to their unique construction.
Fortunately, by being aware of the signs of water damage in the basement, homeowners can catch things before they grow out of hand. If you suspect water damage, it is important to be sure to address it as quickly as possible so you do not have a much larger issue on your plate.
Preventing Basement Water Damage By Knowing the Signs
Unpleasant, musky odors. The water that leaks into a basement is often clean water, but that does not mean that musky odors can’t still develop. Water leads to mold and mildew growth, and as the water evaporates and leaves the bacteria behind, a musty odor can develop. Oftentimes, this odor is the very first thing that homeowners notice when they have water damage on their hands.
Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Water damage can sometimes be temporarily masked with paint, which is the route that many well-intentioned homeowners take initially. While this may temporarily “solve” the problem, it is not a long-term solution by any stretch of the imagination. Water will always find its way in if there is an underlying problem, which can lead to issues with paint over time such as cracks, flakes and chips.
Foundational cracks. As temperatures fluctuate and the ground shifts and settles, it is normal for hairline cracks to develop throughout the home’s foundation. However, any cracks larger than a hairline should be immediately examined. Cracks that occur on the ceiling, walls or floor are often signs that water damage is occurring somewhere within the home and leading to damages.
If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more (253) 896-3000
Streamlining Recovery After a Pipe Bursts in the Home
If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe, contact us right away. SERVPRO of Tacoma is available 24/7.
When considering the various types of water damage, none of them seem like a favorable scenario—but when it comes to a burst pipe, it can be extra difficult to handle. Pipes discharge a high volume of water into an area, leading to full saturation if it is not handled quickly.
While it is impossible to predict if or when this might occur, knowing what to do in case it does is key. Annually, there will be one in 50 households that have some sort of water damage in them, and recovery tends to be much easier for those who already know exactly what to do.
A Guide to What to Do If a Pipe Bursts in Your Home
Shut off your water main. Pipes will continue to pump water after bursting, which can lead to an area becoming fully saturated. Being able to shut off your home’s water main quickly can stop the water from pouring in and prevent an area from becoming oversaturated.
Shut off your electricity. It is always good to keep water and electricity separated, so if it is safe to do so, cutting off your home’s electricity from the breaker box can prevent further issues from arising such as shock and fire risks.
Contact your restoration company. Being able to call your restoration company immediately after discovering damage is a great way to expedite the recovery process, so we always recommend choosing the one in advance so you know who to call.
Take a record of the damages. Keeping good records will help you all throughout the recovery process, especially if you are able to file an insurance claim. Taking photos, videos and keeping a list will help you stay organized and ensure nothing is forgotten.
Contact your insurance company. All insurance companies and insurance policies vary with how they handle water damage, so getting into contact with your provider quickly will help you figure out the next steps towards filing a claim.
Open windows and doors if possible. Speeding the drying and evaporation process is key to reducing the overall damages, so if it is safe to do so, open up the doors and windows near the area so you can increase airflow while you await assistance.
If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services. (253) 896-3000
How to Secure Your Home While On Summer Vacation
While you're away on vacation, a criminal may take advantage of this time to break and enter. The last thing you need while you're trying to relax is to wonder whether your home is safe. From leaving a timed light on to make it "look like you're home" to having a friend collect newspapers, here are the top five tips to safeguard your home.
1. Get an Alarm System
If you don't already have one, this is an easy way for peace of mind while you're away. Just by doing a bit of research, you can find an alarm system that works for you. Remember that thieves are also experts at their "jobs," and they know how to tell a fake alarm sign from a real one. If you are traveling often, consider installing a security camera near any entrances.
2. Take Care of Your Mail
An overflowing mailbox is a big sign to burglars that no one's been home for a while, making your house an easy target. Ask a friend or a neighbor to help you collect your mail; you can return the favor the next time they are away. Another option is to use USPS's Request Hold Mail Service to halt delivery while you're away.
3. Double-Check Before You Leave
This one might seem obvious, but it is still very important to do. Before you leave, walk around your house and make sure all the windows and doors are locked. It's also a good idea to shut your blinds and curtains so burglars can't see all the valuables you've got inside your house.
4. Let Your Neighbors Know When You'll Be Gone
Not only can your neighbors help keep an eye out for you, but they can also be a huge help with shoveling snow or mowing the lawn if you're gone for quite a while. Another idea is to ask a neighbor to park in your driveway to make it seem like someone is regularly coming home. And remember to look out for your neighbors when they go on vacation so the whole neighborhood will be safer.
5. Simulate Normal Light and Sound Patterns Using Timers
If you've seen Home Alone, one of the most iconic scenes is when Kevin is making a fake party to scare off the burglars. He uses cardboard shadow puppets, loud music, and lighting to make it seem like there are a lot of people inside the house. This is the same kind of idea but a bit simpler. You can buy a timer to turn on a light at night and do the same with a TV or radio.
SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help!
Contact us 24/7 (253) 896-3000