Recent Posts

Tips for Making a Fire Claim

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

A fire in your home Tacoma home can leave you with a million thoughts running through your mind. The fire restoration process is fairly straightforward, but you want to make sure to do everything in the right order so that you get the most money you can when you file your insurance claim. Here are some tips for how to handle the process well.

  1. Make Your Calls

One of the first things you should do is make the right calls. The company that carries your fire insurance needs to know about the damage to your home, as quickly as possible. It is also advisable to call fire remediation specialists. The sooner they can arrive on the scene, the better, particularly if you need emergency cleanup to prevent secondary damage. They can also help you itemize costs, which may be helpful when filing your claim.

  1. Secure Your Home

The insurance adjuster will likely check to make sure you have taken the correct measures to protect your home from further damage. The more damage your house sustains, the more it costs to fix it. If you do not board up windows and doors, or if you leave holes in your roof or skylights open, the insurance company may not cover part of the damages as this looks like neglect of the property.

  1. Leave Damage Alone

It may seem counterintuitive to delay the beginning of the fire restoration process until professional help arrives, but that's exactly what you need to do. Any smoke cleaning you do may cause more damage. If it doesn't, it can still hurt your chances of getting a full settlement, because the insurance company is not going to pay for damage the adjuster doesn't see. No damage remediation should begin until the entire area has been photographed and documented.

A large part of filing a claim is knowing how to prove the damage. By following these three tips, you can increase the likelihood of getting a settlement with your insurance company that covers most, if not all, of the fire restoration services you require.

How To Save Books and Documents From Water Damage

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

When your home has been hit by flooding or other water damage, your family documents, treasured diaries, and other important books and papers can be a risk. The moisture and humidity can cause some damage. What can you do to prevent further damage? How should you handle document restoration?

Identify the Extent of the Damage

The first step is to identify the type of damage your papers, documents, and books have suffered. For the best treatment results, you need to identify how much water you'll be dealing with:

  • High Moisture Content: High humidity or a light sprinkling of water through an open window could cause pages to curl or become discolored. Without attention, mold could develop in affected areas.
  • Absorbed Water: A leaky window near a bookshelf or a stream of water from an upstairs room into a lower study could expose books and documents to damage within the very fibers of the papers.
  • Submerged Items: Flooding is a cause of serious damages. Water gets between all the pages and works its way through entire storage boxes or file cabinets. In some cases, writing becomes so blurred that documents are no longer readable.

Contact a Professional

As soon as you can safely do so, contact a professional to dry and restore important documents and treasured papers. SERVPRO provides document restoration within their own facilities. By handling document drying internally, costs can be kept lower, and quality can be monitored directly.

Inventory Affected Books and Documents

While you wait for drying and restoration professionals to arrive, resist the urge to move papers around. When documents are wet, they are at their most fragile state. In some cases, those papers may have been exposed to toxic materials. Instead of moving books and documents, make a list of the documents that have been affected (to the best of your ability without moving them.) It's helpful to know if there are birth certificates, family histories, or financial records in the stack.

Document restoration is a delicate process, but SERVPRO professionals in Tacoma, WA, have the training and tools necessary to do the job well. The best time to contact them is before further damages are done.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Staying safe from Carbon Monoxide is so important. Carbon Monoxide is a clear odorless gas that can result badly if inhaled. Knowing what to do if you suspect it, how to prevent it and knowing symptoms of monoxide poisoning can really help. If you suspect a leak IMMEDIATELY move to fresh air. Here is a list of symptoms caused by poisoning:

  • A dull headache
  • Weakness/Dizziness
  • Nauseous/Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of conscious ness

Below are some tips to you keep you and your family safe from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

  1. Never use gas range or oven to heat a home
  2. Never leave a running vehicle in an enclosed or even partially closed area.
  3. Never use any gas-powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage.
  4. When using a generator, use a battery powered detector in your home

Us at SERVPRO of Tacoma like to help keep our customers a little safer and informed. If you have any more questions or concerns. Visit

How to check for a leaky roof

6/11/2022 (Permalink)

Roof’s get old and worn down. If not replaced can start leaking water during rain periods. Let’s talk about how to detect a roof leak, that way you can do regular checks to be on the safe side.

  • Go in the attic with a flashlight, during or shortly after a heavy rain, being careful not to step through the ceiling. In the absence of rain, use a garden hose to thoroughly wet down the roof to create a manmade leak.
  • Examine the roof decking (the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof) and rafters in the attic above the spot where the ceiling is wet.
  • Follow any water stains or wet spots up the rafters or roof decking to their highest point.
  • Measure down from the roof peak to the highest point of the leak and over from a gable end to the leak.
  • When the roof is dry, go on the roof, and transfer the measurements to the roof, allowing for any overhang on the end of the roof.
  • Examine the roofing closely for signs of the leak at the location you measured.
  • If you can’t see the source of the leak, continue to look higher up on the roof, since water can run down behind the shingles before emerging in the attic decking or rafters.

Always remember if you ever find yourself with a failed roof causing water damage to your home and in need of repairs after call SERVPRO of Tacoma at (253)896-300 and we’ll be there to help you!

Defending you business from a Fires

6/11/2022 (Permalink)

Staying prepared for the event of a fire is very important. Workplace fire statistics show that almost 7,500 fires are reported each year. Let’s talk about ways you can help prevent a fire from occurring. Having fire extinguishers handy can help you put out small controllable fires. Make sure you have an evacuation strategy on hand for you and your employees. You should regularly check to see if all your alarms are in working a good condition. Having signage for emergency exits and location of alarms placement is very important and helpful. Lastly make sure you are keeping preventable situations from happening by keeping fuels, oils, and flammable liquid away from high voltage electrical equipment and in a ventilated space.

We hope this helps you in keeping your business safe. Always remember if you ever find your self in the unfortunate event of a fire, SERVPRO of Tacoma will be there to help clean up the mess. Just call us at (253) 896-3000.

First Aid in your business

6/11/2022 (Permalink)

Keeping your employee's safe is one of the most important things you can do for your business. SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to give some helpful facts and tips to help that.

Do you know the 5 major area's of First Aid?

Major Injury or Trauma

Minor Injury (Such as a cut)


Employee Comfort (cold relief, allergy, headache relief)

Burn care

ANSI (The American National Standard Institute) provides a list of non-mandatory minimum requirements for workplace first aid kits. Keeping up with these may prevent larger/extensive injury's in your work place.

First aid supplies should be put in an easily accessible area, that doesn't require you to travel through many doorways, halls, or stairs. You should increase your first aid stock if your company size increases in employees.

Inspecting your first aid kit periodically would help with noticing low stock or expired supplies.

Thank you for trusting for SERVPRO of Tacoma!

The Key Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Business owners in Tacoma, WA, know the unexpected will eventually happen, which is why staying on top of insurance coverage is essential. When the next big storm hits, understanding what your unique policy covers ensures a smoother process. An important element of that is knowing the difference between flood damage and storm damage.

Storms vs. Floods

While both may unleash excessive amounts of water, which often requires the help of a storm and water damage restoration professional, the source of the water and other factors determine the type of damage. The following are considered aftereffects of a storm and are typically covered:

  • Torrential rains and thunderstorms
  • High winds
  • Tornadoes
  • Ice, hail, and snow

When it comes to flood damage, most businesses will need extra insurance to cover the damage. Flooding happens from:

  • Inland rivers, lakes or other waterways overflowing
  • Tidal waves and hurricanes
  • Rapid and extreme rainwater accumulation
  • Ice or snow suddenly melt
  • Surface water runoff
  • Landslides or mudslides

Dirty Nature of Floods

While any unexpected water may have contaminants, floodwaters are considered Category 3 water, also known as black water. This type is highly contaminated and may pose health risks. Depending on the source of the flood, it could be carrying sewage, organic matter, pesticides and other substances that require careful cleanup.

According to FEMA, it is considered a flood if two or more acres of land that is usually dry is partially or completely saturated or it affects more than two properties. Since the cleanup and restoration is often much more extreme, it is recommended that businesses in flood-prone areas get additional insurance coverage.

After the storm hits, it is not also easy to tell if you are dealing with storm or flood damage. Knowing a few basics of how they are categorized makes it easier to prepare for the cleanup process and helps the claims process be clearer.

Fast Water Removal Will Save Your Home

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Western Washington residents should know that a great threat to their homes comes from outdated and rusted plumbing. If left untreated, the property can be just as damaged from a failing water heater as a severe storm.

Tacoma water removal often means getting water out of brownstones and other multi-level homes. For SERVPRO restoration teams, that means pulling water from parts of the residence where it normally does not appear, like ceiling tiles, trim, and drywall panels on the upper half of the walls if the leak source is on the second or third floor.

It made for an interesting work site in one home. A pipe rusted out in a third-story bathroom and sent water overnight down into the kitchen. As it flowed, the water-soaked the third-story rugs and wood floors in the hallways and bedrooms. It damaged ceiling panels and soaked one wall completely on the second story before getting into the kitchen, damaging more drywall.

Surprisingly, except for a cheap bookcase and a few books on the third floor, and a toaster oven in the kitchen, no furniture or other personal property was damaged. When the water reached the kitchen, there were only puddles on the linoleum.

After turning off the water and replacing the short section of pipe, SERVPRO technicians started removal operations with extraction wands. Fortunately, since the team arrived within a couple of hours after the owner woke up to the problem, they were able to draw water out of the rugs and from between the floorboards. Technicians dried the boards using air movers to direct a warm airflow over the surface without splitting or cracking them.

The home used drywall for the walls and ceilings, so team members replaced half the ceiling and one wall on the second floor. They used fans to dry out the wall frame before hanging the new panels. Other technicians performed the same work in the kitchen, removing half the ceiling and two panels on an interior wall.

At SERVPRO of Tacoma, we carefully examine each home to determine which methods and tools can best help us return it to the owner in a dry condition, safe to live in again. If your home needs our services, call us today at (253) 896-3000.

Preparing for a power outage

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Dark room, with slight light gleaming through window during power outage. Power outage leaving home pitch dark with only outdoor sunlight gleaming through window.

One of the things we dread the most with the winter time is the high winds that can cause power outages. Let's go over some helpful tips that could come in handy during an outage.

  • Create a family emergency plan (this tells you what each family member is in charge of during the emergency.
  • Have an emergency contact list prepared ahead of time
  • Get a functional weather radio 
  • Keep your cell phone charged
  • Disconnect all surge-prone devices, or surge protectors for those devices. 
  • Purchase extra batteries
  • If you own a house think about purchasing a home generator and learn to use it.
  • Know how to manually release your garage door
  • Keep an emergency kit with necessary items. (Flashlight, First aid kit, batteries, masks, etc.)
  • Keep fridge and freezer doors shut
  • Fill your cars gas tank 
  • Think of places you could go to stay warm
  • Come up with activities to keep your family calm and distracted

These are some simple things that could help you be a little more prepared for an outage. 

Stay safe and stay informed, SERVPRO of Tacoma will be there for you after the storm. 

Your homes pool safety!

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Warm weather brings lots of join to many people. Warm weather means beaches and pools! Pool safety can be a really big deal. Let's go over some things that can help you and your family be safe and still have fun with your pool this summer.

  • Teach your children basic water safety tips/enroll them in swimming lessons
  • Keep them away from pool drains and other opening.
  • Keep things like first aid kit, flotation devices, and pool covers nearby.
  • Don't rely on fun water toys like noodles, and water wings.
  • Share safety instructions with all of your family.
  • Install door alarms so if someone goes outside near the pool someone can be alerted

It's important that you’re prepared and knowledgeable of the dangers. Following as many of these water safety steps as possible is a good way to assure a great experience.