Recent Posts

Rain storm preparation

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Rainstorm in the northwest There is forecast of heavy rains this winter. Questions about water damage? Just ask! SERVPRO of Tacoma 253-896.3000

Sometimes a storm can bring some serious water damage, even a flood. Are you prepared for a flood? Most people aren’t, so here are a few tips to be storm and flood ready!

  • Water (A 3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day.)
  • Food (3+ day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food.)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7 – day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation/personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact info
  • Extra Cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of any damage

8 Things to Consider Before Filing a Commercial Fire Damage Claim

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

If you’ve just experienced commercial fire damage, you’ve probably already filed a claim with your insurance company. Before you get too far into the claim process, there are some important points to consider.

There’s a lot of “fine print” in the handling of these situations that some insurance companies won’t necessarily bring to your attention on their own. Having a solid understanding of the process, will help ensure you protect your own interests in the commercial fire damage claim. 

Below are 8 important points to consider:

1. Normally for water damage you send the insurance company documentation of the damages. But how do you do this for items or property that has been destroyed by fire damage? Are there good “before” pictures of the same space, on your phone or website, that you can compare with the “after” photos of the damage? Does your bank have record of the blueprint from when they helped you finance the property?

Does your business account have record of furniture, equipment, etc. that you purchased for the space? These would be good places to start, but you’ll want to ask your adjuster/agent for more specific protocol and requirements.

2. Is it a good idea to make repairs and restorations yourself? Your insurance company will pay less, but your premium may not increase as much. Weigh the costs and benefits of each option.

3. How did smoke or water from fighting the fire affect your electronics, equipment, and structural integrity. How do you claim those damages to trigger better coverage?

4. When making repairs, make sure your insurance company does not cut corners by using companies or contractors that repair with materials containing lead and asbestos. That could lead to greater costs and health risks down the line

5. Find out how your policy addresses code coverage and Green building upgrades.

6. If your coverage is limited, what can you do about it? How can your agent or a public adjuster help?

7. During the claims process, your insurance provider may engage a forensic accountant. Find out their role, which financial statements you are required to produce, and why. You should also ask if you can, and should, recast your financial statements. Don’t hesitate to get input from an accounting professional you trust, as well as your agent.

8. Find out what can be included as extra and expediting expenses, and what the difference is.

If your business or rental has fire damage don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Tacoma 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 253-896-3000. We are here to help!

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Tacoma Smoke and Soot Cleanup.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Tacoma will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke– Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke– Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue– Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today (253) 896-3000

Pet Safety During Storms

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

We all know what we should do when a storm strikes or is about to strike – have an emergency kit ready, know the safest structure in your home, avoid electrical equipment, etc. However, have you thought about what to do with your pets when a storm strikes? Thorough emergency preparedness is important, particularly in areas where you may be forced to leave your home.

But what about more common thunderstorms or tornadoes? Here are five tips from ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center that you can use to help keep your beloved pets safe during storms.

  • Shelter – During sever storms it may be easier to take shelter in a basement or small interior room like a bathroom. Make sure pets are acquainted with – and comfortable in – that area of your house and will go there with you easily if need be.
  • Poisons – Make sure the shelter inside your home is free of dangers for pets. Many people keep pest poisons in the same basement where they may be sheltering during the storm. Unfortunately, pets are very good at finding baits and many are all too eager to eat it.
  • Anxiety – Many pets have storm or firework anxiety and may be prescribed medication to help them cope. Remember, its always best to give pets a dose of medication prior to the storm to see how he or she will react – and pets should always get trial runs of medication during periods when the veterinarian is available in case questions arise.
  • Evacuation – Among the items your clients should have handy are leashes and/or carriers, food, medication and water. Pet owners should know where favorite hiding places are for pets so they can easily found during emergencies.
  • First Aid – Help keep your pets safe by having a pet first aid kid handy.

If you have any damages due to storms please call SERVPRO of Tacoma at 253-896-3000.

5 Pet Safety Tips for Storm Preparedness: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/shelter-health-poison-control/5-pet-safety-tips-storm-preparedness

Pet First Aid Kit: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/saving-lives-shelter-health-poison-control/how-make-pet-first-aid-kit

Summer Storm

7/20/2019 (Permalink)

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 Tacoma 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 253-896-3000. We are here to help!

What Happens After the Leak?

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Over flowed toilets, sprinkler systems and broken pipes can all be culprits in water damage to your home. When water issues in your home go undetected or ignored it can lead to major issues and large bills.  Water has away of getting in all those little tiny places and can be easily over looked. The average cost on a water is between 1,000 to 4,000. This is not including any construction to get your house back to its original state.

A few things to keep in mind

  • The longer your water damage goes unnoticed with, the more likely you are to have a mold issue.
  • If your furnishings are not dried out properly and in a timely manner they also have a high chance of mold.
  • The length of time the water sits can greatly affect the restoration costs.
  • How much water was involved in the loss
  • What kind of water was involved, clean water contains little to no contaminates, grey water contains significant amounts of contaminates, black water is extremely contaminated.

Water damage can’t always be avoided, but with the proper equipment and knowledge it can be cleaned up “Like it never even happened.” If you find yourself with a water emergency don’t forget your favorite crew, SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day you can reach us at 253-896-3000.

Generator Tips & Tricks

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Generators are very useful when a storm strikes and your power goes out. Generators can keep heaters running and refrigerators going which can make life a lot tolerable until your power gets turned back on. Generator maintenance is very important to ensure that your generator works. Here are some helpful tips to avoid common mistakes:

1. Don't Get Burned by Wattage Ratings

Every generator lists two capacity ratings. The first is “rated” or “continuous” watts. That’s the maximum power the generator will put out on an extended basis. And it’s the only rating you should rely on when buying a generator. The higher “maximum” or “starting” rating refers to how much extra power the generator can put out for a few seconds when an electric motor—like the one in your fridge or furnace—starts up.

2. Stock Up on Oil and Filters

Most new generators need their first oil change after just 25 hours. Beyond that, you’ll have to dump the old stuff and refill every 50 or 60 hours. So you need to store up enough oil and factory filters to last a few days (at least!). Running around town searching for the right oil and filter is the last thing you want to be doing right after a big storm.

3. Chill Out Before You Refill

Let your generator engine cool before you refill with gasoline. Generator fuel tanks are always on the top of the engine so they can “gravity-feed” gasoline. If you spill gas when refueling a hot generator, you are putting yourself and others at risk of fire. Always make sure your generator is cooled down before refilling.

4. Running Out of Gas Can Cost You

Some generators, especially low-cost models, can be damaged by running out of gas. They keep putting out power while coming to a stop, and the electrical load in your house drains the magnetic field from the generator coils. When you restart, the generator will run fine, but it won’t generate power. You’ll have to haul it into a repair shop, where you’ll pay about $40 to re-energize the generator coils. So keep the tank filled and always remove the electrical load before you shut down.

5. Old Fuel is Your Worst Enemy

Always use fresh, stabilized gas in your generator. Stale fuel is the number one cause of generator starting problems. Once storm season is over, run your generator until all the fuel is used up, this will prevent any issues when you go to start your generator next storm season.

6. Backfeeding Kills

Backfeeding is never completely safe, no matter what the internet says. If you want to prevent a bunch of extension cords around your house, hire an electrician to install a transfer switch. Backfeeding can (and does) kill family members, neighbors and power company lineman every year.

7. Store Gasoline Safely

Generator tanks don’t hold that much gasoline. Instead of buying a large gas can, buy two high quality 5-gallon cans. This will decrease your chances of overfilling the tank.

8. Lock It Down

The only thing worse than the rumbling sound of an engine outside your bedroom window is the sound of silence after someone steals your expensive generator. If you are leaving your generator out overnight, sure to make sure it is secure and can’t be easily stolen. Make sure you are combining both electrical and security safety when securing your generator.

9. Use A Heavy-Duty Cord

Generators are loud, so most people park them as far away from the house as possible. (Be considerate of your neighbors, though.) That’s OK as long as you use heavy-duty 12-gauge cords and limit the run to 100 ft. Lighter cords or longer runs mean more voltage drop. And decreased voltage can cause premature appliance motor burnout.

10. Exercise Your Generator

Try and exercise your generator at least once a month. This practice will prolong the life of your generator and keep it in tip-top shape.

Resources:

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/generator-maintenance-tips/

http://www.nyelectriccompany.com/why-should-i-exercise-my-generator/

https://www.haleyesgenerators.com/what-is-backfeeding/

Grilling Safety 2019!

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that 10,200 home fires are started by grills each year, on average? Did you know that July is the peak month for grill fires followed by June, May and August? 

We all love barbecuing. It's a summertime staple! Follow the following tips to prevent you and your family from being one of the statistics above:

<<SAFETY TIPS>>

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. 
  • The grill should be places well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. 
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and trays below the grill.
  • NEVER leave your grill unattended. 
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it. 

<<CHARCOAL GRILLS>>

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. 
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. 
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to an extension cord for outdoor use. 
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. 

<<PROPANE GRILLS>>

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it. 

Source: nfpa.org/education

Top 5 Water Damage Issues in Homes

7/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in homes can be caused by many things but there are couple things in your home more likely to be the cause than others. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety did a study to find what causes the most water damage in homes, here are some of the things they found out.

  1. Plumbing System Failure- there are two types of plumbing system failure the first would be frozen pipes, the second would be material failures.
  2. Plumbing Drain System Failure- most failures occur when the sewer drain backs up and overflows into the home or are a result from material issues such as leaking or corroded pipes.
  3. Toilet Failure- this will happen if you have faulty valves or clogged drain lines
  4. Water Heater Failure- these usually happen when your water heater is at its end of life and begins to corrode or rust.
  5. Washing Machine Failure- the cause behind washing machine failure usually from the supply-line, machine overflow or drain line failure.

For more information on what can cause water damage to your home and tips on prevention check out this page:

https://disastersafety.org/ibhs/water-damage-studies/

If you find yourself with a broken pipe or toilet over flow, don’t forget about SERVPRO of Tacoma when you’re looking for water restoration. Call us at 253-896-3000 any time of day, any day of the week, we will be there for you!

Tacoma 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

7/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Tacoma is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. 

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today 253-896-3000

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Tacoma has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration- in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representatives will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Tacoma

SERVPRO of Tacoma specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rst assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.