7 TIPS TO AVOID BURSTING PIPES
It’s getting colder outside and many of us are pulling out our winter clothes and starting our fireplaces and furnaces. There is one task that many overlook during our winter preparations: the winterization of water pipes. We are prone to cold snaps in the Pacific Northwest and when it gets cold, the accumulated water inside the pipes freezes, expands and creates extreme pressure. Eventually, the ice creates enough pressure for the pipes to crack. A small 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water per day.
- Wrap outside faucets – Covering and insulating the exterior faucet can help protect any water inside the pipes from freezing in the winter.
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house – You want to keep out as much of the cold air as possible. You can also check around dryer vents, windows, and electrical wiring.
- Disconnect garden hoses – Any water sitting inside the garden hose could freeze and damage the material. If you have a sloped driveway, lay them out and let them drain, then store them.
- Drain in-ground sprinkler systems – any remaining water in your sprinkler systems can expand and crack your underground pipes. Even Polyethylene pipes which are more flexible and expand under pressure can become damaged; water left inside can freeze and rupture the pipe walls. To minimize the risk of freeze damage, contact your manufacturer for proper winterization.
- Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing – A little bit of water flow keeps pressure low in the pipes. Low pressure means less of a chance of burst pipes.
- Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom – Keeping cupboard doors open allows heat to reach the pipes, reducing the risk of them freezing.
- Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days – If leaving out of town during the cold months, you may consider shutting off your main water line and draining your water system. Empty pipes mean no water can freeze and rupture them. Keep in mind, if you have a fire protection system, this may not be the best option for you. Shutting off the water main means your fire system won’t work.
Call SERVPRO® of Tacoma at 253-896-3000 today to get help with all your restoration needs. We specialize in water, fire, mold & bio-hazard cleanup.
Don't Burn the Bird!!!!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we know how tasty a deep-fried turkey can be! Doing it wrong though can wreak havoc on your tasty diner. I have some helpful tips to ensure your turkey and home don’t end up in flames!
First and foremost, make sure your frying space is no less than 10 feet from your home or other structures. Also ensure that your area is flat and there is no risk of knocking over the fryer.
Next, make sure your bird is fully thawed and dry, extra water and moisture can cause the oil to bubble over and cause a fire.
Finally make sure you always have a fire extinguisher handy just in case and never leave the bird unattended.
If you find yourself in an unsightly situation this Thanksgiving, just know your friendly SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help.
Is your business protected from a fire??
Did you know that fire is the most common cause of property damage? The key to protecting your business is your employees having education on fire safety and protocol. Here are a few fire prevention tips!
- Reduce Clutter- Keep your workplace clutter free and items put away. Keep electrical appliances away from the fuel such as paper and cardboard. Also ensure things like computers has proper
- Maintain your fire extinguishers- Check with your local fire department to ensure your extinguisher is up to code. You should also educate employees on how to use the extinguisher.
- Install fire sprinklers or suppression system- all businesses have a fire alarm system, but you should also consider a sprinkler system.
- Maintain Outdoor Spaces- if your business is in a dry or forested area take time to ensure you keep brush and trees from growing against the building.
- Have Exit Strategy - Always have an emergency plan and make sure your employees are aware of this plan, include things like maps to exits and well-lit exit signs
- Clean and Inspect all equipment- Faulty equipment is a common cause of fires. Make sure machines are in proper working order and turn them off when not in use.
Taking these simple steps can help prevent fires ruining what you’ve worked so hard for.
Steps to take during a flood!!!
The extend of water damage can depend on how quickly you handle the situation. The steps you take in the first few minutes of can change the scope of damage drastically. Here are a few steps you should take in the event you find your business in crisis.
- Stop the water at the main valve. If there is a substantial amount of water also turn off electrical (if it is safe).
- Call your insurance company and file a claim, then give your local SERVPRO of Tacoma a call.
- Asses the water damage and take photos before
- Remove any irreplaceable items around your business.
- Mop up any standing water or use a floor squeegee to move it towards a door.
These steps can help manage the situation until technicians show up and can get started.
Don't Let the Cold Catch You Unprepared
Winter Storms are Just around the corner are you ready?
Did you know that with winter storms create higher risks in many parts of your life? Things like hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks from overexertion. With proper precautions are taken we can avoid these risks.
These storms can last any where from a few hours to a few days, know that you and your family will be secure during this time.
A few things you can do to prepare are:
- Create an emergency supplies kit for your family include things like (flashlights, radio and batteries, first aid items, space blankets, bottled water, non-perishable food, and warm clothes).
- Learn the signs of hypothermia and frostbite, also learn to treat them.
- Pay attention to weather warnings.
- Prepare your home by replacing insulation and weather stripping. Learn to protect your pipes from freezing.
- Check or install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (change batteries as needed).
If you happen to be stuck in the middle of a nasty storm Stay off the roads as much as possible. Limit your time outside, if your must go out layer up. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t be caught in the cold when the storm rolls in, put a plan into action to ensure your prepared!
Rain storm preparation
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.)
- 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
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
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
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 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!