Recent Posts

Commercial Cleaning Tips

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

A good commercial cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers. Here is a list of some important areas to inspect during your deep cleaning:   

OUTSIDE

  • Windows

Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to keep clean.  Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals.  Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term. 

  • Landscaping

This is very important for the presentation of your business.  Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape.  Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes.  Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business. 

  • AC/HVAC

When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system.  Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing.  Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside.  Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts.  It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period.  

  • Pest Maintenance

Along with the re-birthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests.  Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem.  It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems each year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in. 

INSIDE

  • Dusting

Simple and effective.  Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas.  

  • Flooring/Carpets

As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up.  Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top-quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean. 

  • Reorganization

Reorganizing comes in two parts.  The first is the organizing of all the previous year's files into a consolidated area for ease of access.  Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed.  The second is the reorganization of the office itself. Ideally, this is a continuing process year-round.  If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up and breathe some fresh air into the workplace.  Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of cleaning takes priority. If you need extra help or an even deeper clean call SERVPRO of Tacoma to help!

Types of Storm Damage

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

Flood damage, wind damage, and hail damage are all possibilities here in the Tacoma, Washington area. If storm damage hits your home or office, here are a few tips to help:

Flood Damage & Recovery
If your home or office space is near water, or in a low-lying area, flood water damage is a risk. Heavy rains and flooding may cause water damage. If the land around your home or business cannot redirect the additional water, flooding can happen. Even homes and businesses at higher elevations can sustain flood damage if frozen pipes break. As soon as you see flooding in your home, contact SERVPRO of Tacoma (253) 896-3000 to start the water mitigation process.

Wind Damage Restoration
Tornadoes often cause severe wind damage. Roof damage from strong winds may lift roof shingles, causing cracks, or even removing parts of an entire roof. Repairing roof damage may prove difficult for homeowners and business owners after a disaster due to damages that is not easily seen. If you have wind damage, make sure to ask for a professional to check your roof for moisture and signs of roof leaks.

Hail Damage & Recovery
Hail damage may be the most overlooked cause of major storm damage. Hail can damage not just your roof but also your siding, exterior walls, and windows. You may think your home or office has survived a hailstorm without damage, but hail damage can be difficult to identify. It would be a good idea to hire a roofing professional to inspect your roof and exterior walls for damage.

Impact Damage & Recovery
During a major storm it is not just wind, hail, and rain that can cause major damage to your home or business. Trees can cause horrendous damage just like weather can. Big trees are a huge bonus in a yard because they can produce shade but during a storm, they can cause damage. You will want to make sure that your trees are at least alive and there aren’t any branches that extend over your home or are breaking off. If you happen to have a tree fall on your home, not only could it damage the roof of your home or business, but the force from high winds and size of the tree could cause it to enter the home and damage the walls, flooring and content inside.

SERVPRO of Tacoma is just a phone call away. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No matter the size of your storm damage we will work to make it “Like it never even happened.”

What is Really in Storm Water?

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?". Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water. 

Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters often pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it. 

Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they can cause health effects. Therefore, it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have. 

Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed. 

SERVPRO of Tacoma deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (253) 896-3000

Five Common Causes to Water Damage

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding causes more than water damage. Over time, excess water can result in unwanted mold and mildew. Beginning the water damage restoration process as soon as possible is essential to a successful recovery.

SERVPRO of Tacoma understands the value of speedy and effective storm damage restoration. Their efficient commercial cleaning services in University Place restore any part of a home and prevents further issues such as mold.

Five Causes of Flooded Basements

1. Drainage Failure

Every home uses a drainage tile system to prevent water from coming in. Basement flooding is often the result of poor drainage tile installation or failure.

Severe rainstorms can weaken the integrity of a drainage system and cause basement flooding. If the basement floods immediately after a heavy storm, it is likely due to a damaged drainage tile.

2. Basement Sealing

The home’s basement sealings surround the foundation and prevent water from seeping in. Storms with strong winds and heavy rains, such as hurricanes, can affect the securing capabilities of the basement sealing.

Poor basement sealing allows water to flow into the basement and leads to flooding. A storm damage restoration team can restore the basement and secure the sealing.

3. Clogged Gutters

Gutters run along the top edges of a home to collect and direct water away from the house. Without regular cleaning, outside debris such as leaves and bugs will gather in the gutters and eventually create clogs.

A clogged gutter cannot collect rainwater, which means water runs down the side of the house and into the basement. The best way to prevent this from happening is to clean the gutters regularly. Heaving winds and rain will quickly fill up the gutters, so clearing away any debris right after a storm is essential.

4. Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems, such as issues with the water heater or pipes, quickly lead to basement flooding. Plumbing pipes are responsible for carrying wastewater out of the house. If there is a crack or break in the pipe, water will seep out into the basement. Pipelines will break due to old age, improper water pressure, or structural failures.

Water heaters and sump pumps hold a significant amount of water and should receive regular maintenance. Although these appliances are especially useful for houses, if either of them breaks, the potential for basement flooding increases.

5. Home Location

Unfortunately, the location of the house can be a factor when it comes to basement flooding. For example, homes on top of a hill are far less likely to flood than houses in a valley.

Another factor is the weather. Homes located in areas with heavy snow or frequent rain storms have an increased chance of flooding, mainly if located near the bottom of a hill.

Water Damage Restoration in University Place 

Whatever the cause may be, contacting a water or fire restoration company as soon as a flood occurs is the best way to minimize damage. SERVPRO of Tacoma understands that time is valuable during storm damage restoration. Their experts are always ready to provide professional commercial cleaning and water damage restoration.

Call SERVPRO of Tacoma (253) 896-3000 for effective water and fire restoration

Electric Heater Safety

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

As winter begins to hit and temperature begins to drop, you may choose to buy a space heater for warm up your home, apartment, or workspace. Space heaters are a good alternative if you do not want to turn up your thermostat to heat up your home. However, space heaters, if not used correctly, can cause fire damage to your property. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent any disaster caused by a space heater:

  • Leave the heater on level floor, don’t place on carpet - it can overheat and start a fire.
  • Do not use in bathroom, unless it is designed for it - moisture can damage the heater.
  • Keep three feet away from flammable materials and out of the way of children and pets.
  • Should always be plugged directly into wall outlet, don’t use with extension cord because it can cause overheating.
  • Don’t leave heater unattended, make sure to unplug when not in use.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor.

If you run into any issues with fire damage, call SERVPRO of Tacoma.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOUSE FROM HEAVY SNOW

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Keep the Pipes Warm,

    Hot water changes from a convenient amenity to a commodity during the winter season. You need it to keep yourself from experiencing chills. Warm baths and hot cups of coffee will be your best shot at surviving the cold winter nights. However, you will fail to get hot water if you forget to insulate       your pipes. The metallic properties of pipes make them vulnerable to cold, which means you may not get your supply of hot water during a time of need. It is ideal for your household to hire an expert to help with proper pipe insulation.

Learn How to Melt Ice

    Snow and ice are common problems during the winter season. However, it is not the same as raking leaves during fall. If snow settles on your driveway and pathways, you might let sheets of slippery ice develop. You will not be able to play on concrete or drive your car if you have ice on the ground. To solve this, you must come up with a spray of ice melting solution to help you turn snow into water.

Protect the Glasses

    Blizzards and hailstorms have the chance to destroy glass windows and walls. If you let winter pass without providing glass with any protection, you might end up spending on costly repairs. For one, you can protect your house’s entry points by installing screens. A screen will prevent the ice from contacting your doors and windows, making it a good investment during winter.

Prevent icicles and ice dams

       Icicles look enchanting, but they present risk of injury and ice dams—which damage the outside of your home and cause melted water to get inside. Ice dams occur when there are air leaks in your home or inadequate insulation in your attic. Consider asking a professional to identify and correct these potential problems before it’s too late. Another preventative measure is to opt for roof heating cables.

       If you already have icicles on your home, there’s no need to be a hero. Hiring a professional to remove them is the safest route. If you do attempt DIY removal, wear a hardhat and safety glasses, and always warn children to avoid icicles.

Keep your driveway and walkways clear

      During winter weather conditions, remove snow and ice from sidewalks and driveways. Prepare for snow by stocking up on winter tools like snow shovels and giving your snowblower or plow a tune-up. After it snows, immediately plow, or shovel all trafficked areas. If you go the shoveling route, invest in an ergonomic handle, lift with your legs (not your back), and push snow rather than lift it. Take frequent breaks away from the wind chill to let your body warm up and your muscles relax.

Follow up with ice melt or rock salt on steps and walkways to prevent ice buildup. Always wear protective clothing like gloves and hats to prevent frostbite.

Information from

6 Tips to Help Your House Survive the Winter Season - Powell Renovations

Winter Safety Guide: 7 Ways to Keep your Home Safe | SafeWise

After the fire...

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

There are several problems that a fire in your home or business leaves behind even after the immediate danger has passed. It is often the case that a thorough cleaning of walls, ceilings, carpeting, woodwork, and flooring will need to be professionally done. There are also several steps that can be taken in order to prevent further damage until SERVPRO of Tacoma arrives on the scene. The chances of an effective restoration will be boosted by reducing damage by following a few tips:

  • Try to keep movement in the home to a minimum. Soot can become ingrained in the upholstery or carpeting from repeated movement in the home.
  • Use old towels or linens to cover up high traffic carpeted areas and upholstery.
  • If the power is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer of all contents and prop open the door to help prevent unpleasant smells.
  • Be mindful of what you are touching. Your hands can become soiled with soot and that can be transferred to other items in the home.
  • If you can immediately wipe all the soot off sink faucets and metal window molding, then coat with petroleum jelly to prevent the soot from pitting the metal surfaces.

Following just a few of these steps can be a game changer in the restorability of your home and personal items. SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help you through a catastrophe that is a fire loss. If you suffer a fire or smoke damage, remember SERVPRO of Tacoma are your fire restoration experts backed by years of experience and a team of knowledgeable individuals.

Commercial Water Damages

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage can completely interrupt the day-to-day operations of your business.

In retail stores, this may result in a loss of inventory or lost sales if your storefront is closed for cleanup and repairs. In offices, employees may be unable to enter your building to work if there is standing water or saturated walls and carpets.

No matter what kind of business you own, it is clear that a water loss event creates a loss of productivity and revenue. If this is an inevitable result of commercial water damage, what can you do as a business owner?

For water damage at your business, SERVPRO® of Tacoma is the answer. 

SERVPRO® of Tacoma specializes in Commercial Water Damage Remediation and Restoration. Our technicians are available for emergency service 24/7, 365 days a year. Our goal is to make the process as efficient and non-intrusive as possible to get your business back up and running as normal. 

Storm season brings a wide range of storm types.

11/13/2021 (Permalink)

Anyone of these storm types could easily cause damage to your home or business. It is important to know the different damages that a storm can cause and be prepared for wind, flooding and lighting that can cause to your home.

Wind Damage

Storm damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof due to fierce winds that may loosen flashing. This can cause your roof shingles to be removed from your home or business causing leaks. Even a subtle roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions. One of our restoration experts can help property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding Damage

Heavy rains can cause river/lake flooding all around. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems which call for experts to assess groundwater and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Our team can assist in your cleanup process after flood damage has occurred.

Lighting Damage

When a storm occurs, many times it brings the loud sounds of thunder which mean lighting is striking. Your home or business may have objects attached to the building that can attract a lightning strike that can cause a fire. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures of 30,000 kelvins (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightning strikes, or discharges of massive charges of static electricity, cause about 2% of all fires.

Have storm damage? We can definitely to help when disasters strike. We go beyond to do what we can, and always will. So, never fear, just call (256)896-3000 SERVPRO of Tacoma is here to help!

How To Prepare for and Choose New Smoke Detectors

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

A key component in maintaining your home involves updating safety equipment on a regular basis. After installation, it is easy to forget about that smoke alarm in the kitchen or bedroom. However, keep in mind these devices may no longer work effectively. The following pointers outline how to prepare for and choose new smoke detectors.

1. Scope Out Your Space

When it's time for those old alarms to retire, make sure you've revisited the rooms in your home to best assess where new alarms should go. Today's many flammable household materials make the average home susceptible to fires, so add a smoke detector to your shopping list for the kitchen, bedrooms, and every level of the house. Also, be sure to estimate the size of each room as you may need multiple detectors on each floor.

2. Know the Ropes

Since fires can spread in a matter of seconds, you'll want to consider which alarms have the most reliable detection. There are three general types of smoke detectors: ionization alarms, photoelectric alarms, and dual-sensor alarms. Ionization detectors are usually best for detecting smaller smoke particles that can lead to quick fires. Photoelectric alarms are better at identifying electrical fires or fires spreading from bedding or drapes. Dual-sensor detectors might be more costly than other options, but some fire safety professionals claim these alarms work best as a whole.

3. Read the Labels

You may have crossed off all the above steps on your checklist while shopping for the right smoke alarm for your home, but have you checked the product labels? One way you can ensure you've chosen a reliable device is by looking for a "UL" logo on the packaging, manual, or detector itself. An Underwriters Laboratories label confirms that your device has been through proper testing and received appropriate safety certifications.

Following these tips can help you leave the stress behind when choosing a smoke alarm. Assess the size of your home and pay attention to the details and fine print of alarms to make sure the one you select is reliable.

For more information, check the National Fire Protection Association website at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms