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Preparing for a Fire with Pets and Kids

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

a girl and a white puppy If you do experience a fire in your Auburn home, give SERVPRO of Auburn/Enumclaw a call.

Preparing for a Fire with Pets and Kids

When you've got children and pets, fire safety can be especially challenging. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help keep your family safe. We'll explore how to prepare for a fire when you have kids and pets, including how to create a plan for everyone in your family -- especially small children and pets -- as well as how to make sure everyone knows how to use emergency equipment like fire extinguishers and fire ladders. Once we're done here, we'll dive into some specific tips on making sure your pet is safe in case of an emergency as well!

Create a Fire Safety Plan

As a parent, you want to keep your kids safe from all the things that can hurt them. But when a fire breaks out and you have to get out quickly, it can be hard to think rationally about what to do next. A fire plan will help everyone in your family understand how to react if there's ever an emergency so that if something does happen, everyone knows what their role is in getting out safely. When it comes to pets, it's also important for everyone in the family -- including children -- to know which doors or windows are accessible for animals as well as people, and where they can go once outside.

Know How To Use Emergency Equipment

Fire extinguishers are a great way to get the flames out quickly. But if you’re not sure how to use one, you may need some training.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Read the instructions that come with your fire extinguisher before you use it for the first time and make sure you understand them completely
  • Keep your eyes on what you're doing at all times
  • Have someone else nearby who knows what they're doing when using an extinguisher as well

Know Two Ways Out of Each Room

If you are unable to exit your home, do not go back in. Smoke and heat can kill within minutes. This is why it is important that everyone in the house knows at least two ways out of each room and where they go when they leave the house (e.g., a neighbor’s or friend’s house). If you have pets, make sure they know how to get out too!

You can also use an escape ladder as a last resort if all other options are unavailable.

Make a Plan for Pets

If you have pets, make a plan for them as well. Locate all their favorite hiding spots and make sure that those are the places where you can reach them in an emergency. Make sure you have a way to get them out if they get stuck. Pets can be extremely resourceful when it comes to escaping from danger, but they might need your help getting over a fence or finding an alternate escape route if their usual one is blocked by debris.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Whether it's a fire in your home or elsewhere, you need to be prepared before you leave. Pack a bag with the following items:

  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Important documents (like birth certificates and insurance policies) that can be grabbed on the way out of your home.

If you have pets or kids, include an extra set of keys for them as well so they don't get locked inside. You'll also want to include a whistle so that everyone can find each other easily once outside

Use an Escape Ladder

A fire escape ladder is a tool to help people escape a burning building. It is not a substitute for having an escape plan in place, which should include knowing two ways out of every room and being able to identify the closest exit in any emergency situation. The ladder should be placed in the bedroom window closest to the ground, securely fastened to the wall, and easily accessible from inside without obstructing access by other occupants who might need it as well.

Teach Kids Fire Safety

As you're teaching your kids about fire safety, it's important to explain that smoke rises. This means that if there's a fire in the kitchen, they should not go through a door or window to escape. Instead, they should position themselves as low to the ground as possible and crawl under the smoke until they find an exit or get help from an adult.

You can also teach them that smoke is often trapped around vents, windows and doors—because it gets sucked into these areas by air currents—so keeping low is even more important when escaping from these areas of your home.

We know that preparing for a fire can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember that you are not alone. You have your friends and family who can help you prepare for the worst and make sure everyone is safe in case of an emergency. If you do experience a fire in your Auburn home, give SERVPRO of Auburn/Enumclaw a call to restore it back to its preloss condition! 

What to Do When Water is Dripping from Your Light Fixtures

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

water leaking from a light fixture Hire a professional if you have a water leak from your light fixture.

What to Do When Water is Dripping from Your Light Fixtures

We've all been there—the first spring rainstorm pours down, and you realize that a pipe in your ceiling has sprung a leak. First of all, don't panic. The good news is that most leaks are pretty easy to fix. The bad news: They can be expensive and time-consuming, especially if the source of the problem is something as complex as an ice dam or other roofing issues. But with some basic knowledge about what kinds of leaks occur and how to detect them, you can make sure that your home stays dry (and dry-looking) for years to come!

Check You Ceilings

If you see evidence of water damage—water stains, discoloration, or mold—on the ceiling, you likely have a leak that needs to be repaired. Hiring a professional to fix the problem is your best bet for resolving the issue and getting it back in working order.

Another Source of Leaks

You may have an ice dam that formed on your roof when the snow melted and refroze on the eaves of your house. The water backs up and causes leaks inside the ceiling. If you find a leak, it will be difficult to identify if this is the case because there won't be any standing water or puddles outside of your home.

Turn the Electricity Off

Before you do anything else, call your electric company to turn off the power to your Auburn, WA home before you start investigating leaks. The last thing you want to do is work on electrical wires or cords if you are not qualified, and in this case, it's imperative that someone who knows what they're doing take a look at the source of any leaks before moving forward with repairs. If a professional electrician isn't available immediately, wait until one can get there before continuing any work yourself. You should also turn off all lights in rooms where leaks have been found so as not to accidentally create an unsafe environment for yourself or others. As you may know, water and electricity don’t mix, so you want to avoid being around the two together for your own safety. 

Call SERVPRO— Your Local Professionals

If you’re not sure what to do and cannot identify the source of the leak, it might be best to contact SERVPRO of Auburn/Enumclaw they can inspect your home for leaks and fix any problems that they find. They will also be able to diagnose problems with your plumbing or roofing systems before they worsen and become more costly to repair.

Pipes can get clogged, but they don’t have to cause you stress. If you notice water leaking into your home or hear strange sounds, it may be time to call your insurance agent, a plumber, and a professional restoration company like SERVPRO! We hope this article has given you some helpful tips and advice on how to deal with frozen pipes. Good luck!

Everything You Need to Know About Fire Sprinklers

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler system If you own a business, fire sprinklers are something that should be taken seriously.

Everything You Need to Know About Fire Sprinklers

If you own a business, fire sprinklers are something that should be taken seriously. They are an important part of your facility and can help save lives in the event of a fire. While fire sprinklers may seem intimidating to many people, they really aren't as scary as you may think. Here is what you need to know about these devices:

What is a Fire Sprinkler?

A fire sprinkler is a device that automatically releases water onto burning fires to extinguish the flames. These devices are engineered for use in commercial buildings, and they play a critical role in keeping people safe from fire. A properly installed and maintained system will put out fires before they become too large or spread too quickly.

All sprinklers can be activated by certain conditions: heat, smoke, or other indicators of a possible blaze. When these conditions are detected, a small amount of water is sprayed onto the fire source to suppress it until firefighters arrive on the scene.

Fire Sprinklers Save Lives

If you are a homeowner, it is important to know that fire sprinklers can save lives. Fire sprinkler systems are required by law in most commercial places and they can be installed in a variety of locations, including businesses and other non-residential spaces.

Fire sprinklers are often thought of as something that exists only in businesses, but the truth is that they also provide an important service in homes. It's easy to forget about how important these devices are until you need them most—when there is an emergency situation at hand, such as a fire or flood. In addition to providing safety against fires themselves, fire sprinklers often prevent damage from spreading. They do this through their ability to limit oxygen supply within their areas of coverage. When a sprinkler head is activated by heat or smoke detection, it floods the room with water.

What Do I Do When They Go Off?

If your fire sprinklers go off, you should shut off the water valve first thing and then call a professional to help you clean up. You need to ensure that your insurance coverage is adequate and that you have an inspection plan in place for your sprinkler system. Additionally, it's important to know that your maintenance program should be in place as well.

What Happens If They Unexpectedly Activate?

If your fire sprinkler turns on unexpectedly (and without a fire), make sure to shut off the water valve first thing so you don't create extra water damage problems. The water valve is usually located near the fire sprinkler or in an outside faucet. Shutting off this valve will stop any further flow of water into your home and prevent further damage from occurring.

Water damage can quickly enter a structure after a fire sprinkler activates. Water seeping into walls, floors, and other parts of your home can cause mold growth or lead to structural issues such as cracks or rot down the road.

Fire sprinkler cleanup for business professionals

If your home or business has just experienced a fire sprinkler activation, you may be wondering how to clean up the mess. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make sure that no lasting damage is done by the water and other debris that comes with it.

  • First, we recommend taking some time to be sure everyone in your building is safe before stepping foot inside again. Once you feel it's safe to proceed, turn off any power sources in the area that might have been damaged by the water (like electrical outlets). 
  • Next, remove anything from the area that was impacted by the water from the sprinkler and place them safely aside until they can be cleaned up later on. 
  • Then call the professionals to help clean up your home or business.

The best way to keep your fire sprinklers happy is to make sure that they are always in good working condition. You can check this by making sure there aren't any leaks or clogs inside the pipes, and that there isn't too much water pressure coming through them (since too much pressure can cause damage).

For help with cleanup after a fire or an unexpected trigger of your fire sprinkler system in your Auburn, WA home or business, give SERVPRO a call! 

Tips for Troubleshooting Your Irrigation System

9/17/2022 (Permalink)

irrigation system Keep your irrigation system in top working condition by following these troubleshooting tips.

Follow These Troubleshooting Tips

When your commercial irrigation system in Enumclaw, WA, works well, it keeps your lawn and landscaping green and plush. If something in the system breaks down, however, it can cause costly problems. Fortunately, there are some smart troubleshooting tips to keep your system working as intended.

1. Inspect Sprinkler Heads
Sprinkler heads are damaged by lawn mowers, vehicles and foot traffic. Check each head periodically for breakage or missing features, and make sure they pop up properly. Remove dirt and debris, and replace any missing sprinkler heads right away.

2. Look for Leaking Around the Sprinklers
Zone valves within the irrigation system can become dirty or damaged over time, preventing the valves from closing all the way. Remove the valve and clean it thoroughly. If it is broken, replace it promptly.

If the leakage isn’t handled right away, water can begin to pool in areas on the lawn. Surface water can drain into the building causing serious water damage. If this occurs, call a water repair service as soon as possible to investigate the damage and determine a plan of action.

3. Check for Low Water Pressure
If you notice that water only trickles out of a sprinkler, you most likely have low water pressure. There are a couple of reasons this may occur.
The least serious of the irrigation problems could be that the backflow device’s water valves may not be fully turned on. If that doesn’t solve the problem, there may be a pipe leaking somewhere in the system. At that point, it is best to call an irrigation repair service to inspect the entire system.

4. Look for Sprinkler Zones That Don’t Turn On
Generally, this is caused by faulty electrical signals between the valve solenoids and the controller. Someone with professional electrical training should inspect the system and fix the problem.
Keep your irrigation system in top working condition by following these troubleshooting tips.

3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew

9/12/2022 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold Call SERVPRO! We are mold experts.

Mold and Mildew: What's the Difference?

The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but there are significant distinctions between these types of fungi. In the most general sense, mold grows on moist organic surfaces whereas mildew is a parasitic fungus that grows only on living plants. If you want to seek an expert opinion concerning the extent of mold growth or mildew growth or mold damage in your home, you should call a certified service specializing in testing, clean-up, and restoration in Enumclaw, WA.

1. Mildew is a type of fungus. This obligate plant parasite grows on living plants and is recognizable by its white or light gray appearance. Mildew is very common and does not pose the same risks as mold.

2. Mold requires a combination of moisture and organic material to grow. Mold may appear in a variety of different colors. Even white or light gray growths on surfaces that are not plants are mold, not mildew. You should contact a mold damage expert if you find or suspect that mold is present in your home.

3. Mildew can be either powdery or downy in appearance. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes powdery spots or patches to appear and grow until they form a coating over the surface of the leaves of a plant afflicted with mildew. Downy mildew is visible along the undersides of leaves and may feature small black spots or cause leaves to become discolored.

It is easy to distinguish between mold and mildew once you know that mildew affects plants. If you are concerned about mildew growth, you may want to try removing and destroying affected portions of a plant, improving air circulation, changing the direction from which you water, or using a fungicide. If you see or suspect mold growth, contact a company that tests for mold and cleans up residential mold damage in Enumclaw, WA.

3 Ways To Clean Items After Flooding

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles If you have water damage in your home, call SERVPRO

After A Flood, There Are Three Ways To Clean Your Belongings.

If you’re dealing with a flooded company or home in Enumclaw, WA, you may be wondering if it’s possible to salvage any items located in the structure. You may be relieved to know that as long as the water wasn’t contaminated this should be possible. Here’s what you may need to know.

Items Will Need To Be Cleaned

Any item that has come into contact with the flooding should be cleaned. There are many methods available depending on item type.

• Clothing and cloth items may be washed with hot water
• Dry cleaning is an option for non-washable cloth items
• Sanitizing dips are available for small items
• Furniture and large pieces may be wiped over with a cleaning solution
• Electronics should be looked at by a professional service

Some items May Need To Be Replaced

In the case of a flooded company or home some items may need to be replaced. It's a good idea to look over each piece thoroughly to see if there is any irreparable damage. Fortunately, many insurance policies cover damage to items resulting from a flood, so you may want to talk to your provider when these items are discovered.

A Professional Restoration Company Can Help

If you don’t feel comfortable conducting repairs yourself you may choose to work with a water damage restoration service. Many such companies can help with cleanup, sanitation, repairs, and even help with damages caused to personal items. In many cases, they may also be able to take steps to help prevent future issues.

When salvaging items in a flooded company or home, whether it’s from storm damage, a broken pipe, sprinkler system failure, or other sources, you may be relieved to know that you can save the items and equipment in the building, as well as repair the structure. Remember, each item will need to be cleaned according to its type, and some items may still need to be replaced. Fortunately, a professional team may be able to help with this process.

4 Steps To Repair a Storm-Damaged Roof

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking roof Water that leaks through a roof can damage building materials and the contents of a structure.

Four Steps to Restoring a Storm-Damaged Roof

Hail, high winds, and other adverse weather conditions can cause costly damage to the roof of a residence in Auburn, WA. Here are four steps you can take to address roof damage.

1. Document the Damage

Extensive photographic or video evidence of hail, wind, or other storm damage will be necessary if you plan to file an insurance claim for a damaged roof. It may also be necessary to demonstrate a history of regular inspections and maintenance to avoid liability on the basis of negligence.

2. Cover Any Breaches

Any damaged roofing materials or missing shingles may result in leaks that affect the attic, insulation, and ceilings of a structure. As soon as signs of roof damage become apparent, you should make arrangements for mitigation. An all-in-one restoration service or roofing company can tarp over the damaged portions of the roof to protect against wind damage and leaks.

3. Arrange for Repair

Mitigation is only a temporary protective measure until repairs are possible. You should schedule roof repair as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further exterior and interior damage.

4. Restore Interior Damage

Water that leaks through a roof can damage building materials and the contents of a structure. This water is generally considered contaminated Category Two gray water. Cleanup should involve disinfection, tearing out saturated porous materials, and thoroughly drying the affected area prior to reinstalling materials such as drywall or insulation.

These four steps will guide you through the quickest and most effective ways to fix a damaged roof after adverse weather. It is a good idea to check for roof damage after every severe storm. Regular professional inspections and maintenance can also reduce the risk of a leak or collapse due to cumulative damage. A restoration company that specializes in storm damage can quickly clean up, restore and rebuild a residence located in Auburn, WA.

3 Essential Tips When Your Business Experiences Flood Damage

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician checking for mold after a flood Checking for mold growth after a flood.

Flood Damage In Your Business

When flood damage hits your business in Auburn, WA, your work life may come to an abrupt halt and your priorities have to shift to recovering from the disaster. It's essential to move quickly getting things cleared up, but there are a few important things to keep in mind as you go about content cleaning.

1. Avoid Turning On Electronics

Although some or all of your electronic devices may have been caught up in the flood, there's a chance they would survive it if they're handled correctly. Most importantly, do not try to turn them back on yet. Instead, they need to be carefully restored and thoroughly dried first, at which point they may be able to turn on and operate normally. As with any restorations after water damage, though, time matters. The longer they remain water damaged, the more extensive the repairs will be or the greater the likelihood that replacement will be necessary.

2. Remove Unharmed Items From Danger

Items not already damaged in the storm should be removed from the vicinity until all has been resolved. Storm damage can bring black water with it, so the more you can save from coming into contact with it the better. This will also make content cleaning easier as there will be fewer things to clean and restore or dispose of.

3. Steer Clear of Moldy Areas

If enough time passes while areas stay wet, mold will begin to grow. Avoid messing with or placing items near mold, as the spores can shoot out and latch onto more surfaces. Mold needs to be properly remediated to prevent it from spreading.

You can't afford for your business to stay down for long. Every day may mean lost revenue. If the damage is extensive or you need it fixed faster than you can manage, it might be time to turn to professional content cleaning services to put your business right again.

4 Steps for Preventing Major Roof Repairs After a Storm

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Furnace in a basement It’s prudent to have a professional perform a thorough inspection

Four Steps To Take After Experiencing A Storm

All homeowners hope to avoid costly repairs to their homes, and roof repair is certainly a costly project. Fortunately, there are some things that Enumclaw, WA, homeowners can do to ensure that their roof is safe and in good condition. 

1. Inspection

There are storm restoration specialists who have the training and skills necessary to ensure that your roof and home are free from damage after a storm. Even if a storm seems to have caused little damage, such as hail or wind, it’s prudent to have a professional perform a thorough inspection. Your roof should be inspected in the following three areas:

  • Roof membrane
  • Insulation
  • Flashing

A professional will also document the event, including storm details and identified roof damage. These details can assist with insurance claims.

2. Mitigation

Mitigation is the process of reducing the amount of harm caused to your roof. Though hail and wind damage may seem minor, a weakened roof can lead to more expensive repairs or replacement in the future. Storm restoration professionals can perform mitigation techniques that will extend the life of your roof.

3. Drying

A major part of roof repair includes structural drying. All building materials need to be inspected to understand the extent of water damage. Water is pervasive and can cause additional issues like mold. The entire roof system, including the membrane, insulation, and flashing, should be inspected for water. Fortunately, emergency technicians are available 24/7 to assist with unexpected storms.

4. Restoration

The final step is restoration. Restoration specialists will ensure that the roof and your belongings are free from hazards. Building materials, carpeting, rugs and other belongings may need to be replaced due to water damage.

Homeowners should have a professional roof inspection done after a storm. Storm restoration specialists can help homeowners identify roof repair that needs to be done.

3 Facts That Will Make You Want Flood Insurance

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Technician extracting water in an office Commercial water mitigation in Black Diamond, WA.

Protect Your Business With Flood Policy

Business owners from high-risk flood zones have probably seen commercial insurance policies that offer protection against natural disasters. Meanwhile, many business owners in Black Diamond, WA, do not understand this option's importance. These people are too worried about the cost of the policy, which can range from a reasonable FEMA policy to a high-end private one. They often overlook the fact that a flood can cause excessive damage that needs to be restored by a storm remediation company. If you are in this boat, some facts may convince you that flood insurance is a good idea.

1. Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover Flooding

Even commercial insurance only covers damage from rainwater that has not touched the ground. For instance, if a tree goes through your roof while a storm rages and rainwater ruins your floor, it is covered. Once water hits the ground, it becomes a flood and is no longer covered. In other words, a rising creek caused by rain is not covered. Only flood insurance will cover this type of situation.

2. Every Business Is at Risk of Flooding

Rather than if, you should ask how much flood risk you have. The national flood maps can give you an idea of your exact risk. Certain zones are high-risk. Others are medium- or low-risk. Remember that low does not mean no. You are still at risk for flooding in low-risk zones.

3. Government Aid Is Not Insurance

Unlike commercial insurance, government aid is primarily loans that you'll need to repay. Plus, you cannot receive aid unless your area is federally declared a disaster zone, which happens for only a few major flooding events.

Unfortunately, standard insurance doesn't cover flooding. To protect your business, you'll need a flood policy. To make things worse, you can't rely on government aid for your company. These are simply loans that you will need to pay back. Plus, you can't always receive these loans. Since every business is in a flood zone, proper insurance is a must. This ensures that any damage you incur to do a flood is covered.