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6 Essential Tips for Securing Your Building After a Fire

4/5/2023 (Permalink)

apartment fire Secure a building after a fire to help prevent secondary damages.

A fire can be a devastating event for any building, and its aftermath can be just as challenging. If your building has suffered from a fire, you'll need to take steps to keep it secure and safe, both for yourself and for any visitors or tenants. Here are some tips on how to keep your building secure after a fire.

Inspect the Building

After a fire, it's important to inspect the building for damage. If you're not sure how to do this, consider hiring a professional inspector to assess the damage. Look for any structural damage, such as cracks or bulges in the walls, floors, or ceilings, and make sure all doors and windows are secure. Don't forget to check the roof, as it can be a common place for damage to occur.

Secure the Building

If there are any holes or openings in the building's exterior, such as broken windows or doors, you'll need to secure them. This can be done by covering the openings with plywood or boarding them up. Make sure that all entrances and exits are secure, and consider installing security cameras to monitor the building.

Check the Utilities

Before anyone can enter the building, it's essential to ensure that all utilities, such as gas, water, and electricity, are turned off. If any of these utilities were damaged in the fire, don't attempt to turn them back on yourself. Instead, contact a licensed professional to inspect and repair them.

Remove Debris

The aftermath of a fire can leave a lot of debris, such as burnt furniture, building materials, and personal belongings. Not only is this debris unsightly, but it can also be a safety hazard. Hire a professional cleaning company to remove any debris and thoroughly clean the building.

Keep the Building Safe

Even after the building has been secured, it's important to keep it safe. If the building is unoccupied, consider installing an alarm system that can alert you if someone tries to enter. If there are any hazards, such as loose wiring or damaged gas lines, have them repaired immediately.

Be Prepared for Future Emergencies

Finally, it's essential to be prepared for future emergencies. Make sure that you have an emergency plan in place and that all tenants or visitors are aware of it. Consider installing smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment throughout the building.

In conclusion, keeping your building secure after a fire requires a combination of diligence and preparation. By taking the necessary steps to inspect, secure, and clean the building, as well as being prepared for future emergencies, you can help to ensure the safety and security of your building and its occupants.

Water leaks are the most common business losses

3/8/2023 (Permalink)

supply line break When water damage shuts down your business, give SERVPRO a call for your water emergency.

Water leaks can be one of the most damaging events to hit a small business. Not only do they cause damage in the short term, but they also affect productivity and have the potential to increase your insurance premiums. In fact, water is the most common cause of small business insurance claims and has been for decades.

The most common business loss is water.

Water leaks are the most common business loss. They can be caused by a variety of things, including broken pipes and flooding. The second-most common cause of water damage is from roof leaks.

The best way to prevent these losses is through regular maintenance and inspections by a professional plumber or contractor who knows how to identify potential problems before they become serious issues.

Water leaks are the leading cause of small business insurance claims.

Water damage is the most common business loss, but it's also one of the hardest to prevent. Leaking pipes are the leading cause of water damage and can be hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for. If you have a leaky pipe, there are ways to find it before it causes major problems in your building. Look for wet spots on floors or walls. These could indicate that there's a leak somewhere nearby.

Check any faucets on sinks or bathtubs periodically, if they're dripping slowly instead of flowing freely, this could mean that there's an issue with your plumbing system that needs attention soon!

Water damage costs small businesses.

Water damage is one of the most common business losses, and it can cause significant damage to your business. Water can spread quickly through your building and cause thousands of dollars in damage before you even realize what's going on.

Keep track of all leaks and make sure they're repaired quickly. This will help to prevent water damage from spreading further into the building or causing further damage to equipment or furniture within the area where it's occurring.

Keep up with maintenance checks so that any problems that do arise are fixed before they become bigger issues (such as burst pipes).

A leaking pipe.

One of the most common business losses is water leaks. A leaking pipe can cost you more in lost productivity than the cost of fixing it. The cost of lost productivity can be hard to quantify, but it's often significant and sometimes greater than the cost of fixing a leak itself.

SERVPRO of Auburn/Enumclaw is available 24/7 for your restoration emergency in your home or business. Our team is trained in water restoration and can get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

Washing Machine Tips to preventing a Water Loss

1/12/2023 (Permalink)

washing machine Check your washing machine for leaks

If you're a homeowner, your washing machine is an essential appliance that you likely use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, if you don't take care of it properly, it can cause major damage to your home. Whether that means flooding your house due to faulty drain hoses, or mildew build up inside due to not cleaning up after use. This guide will help keep washing machine disasters from happening at home.

Faulty Drain Hoses

Check the drain hose for kinks, obstructions and cracks.  If the drain has the least bit of wear and tear it is safe to replace to prevent any damages from happening in the near future.

Replace the drain hose if you find any of these problems immediately.

Don't overload your Washer

  • Don't overload your washer. The more laundry you try to cram into the washing machine, the more likely it is that something will get caught and tear up your clothes or cause damage to other items in your laundry room.
  • Don't put objects in the washer that are too heavy. This includes stuffed animals, pillows and blankets, large towels and sheets (which can weigh as much as 10 pounds), sheets with metal hooks attached (like hospital-grade bedding) and anything else that might damage your machine if it gets stuck inside while it’s running.
  • Don't put clothes in the washer that are too large or small to fit through the opening of your washer door when closed; otherwise they may get tangled up before reaching their designated cycle at all! Also avoid putting any clothing with sharp edges or corners into a top-loading machine since these items could puncture holes in inner drum walls over time. This can eventually lead them to leaking out onto floors below once washed regularly under hot temperatures conditions like those found inside modern home spaces here today.

Check the seal to your washer door.

  • Check the seal to your washer door. Keep the seal clear of debris and water build up can prevent the seal from breaking leaving your washer out of order.
  • If you find a leak, replace the seal immediately to prevent a water loss.
  • The brand and model of your washing machine will determine how to correctly install a new seal.

You should be able to make your washing machine last for many years if you take care of it. You can avoid many issues by making sure that the drain hose is not kinked, overloaded or damaged. You should also check the seal around the door to ensure that it's working properly so no water can leak out from there either.

How to Determine Kitchen Water Damage

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

Kitchen faucet leaking Listen for drips and leaks

How to Determine Kitchen Water Damage

You wake up in the morning to find your kitchen counters covered with water and you think, "Oh no! Something's wrong with the plumbing.” Then you realize that a pipe under the sink has burst, but this can happen all the time! Here are some ways to tell whether your kitchen has actually been damaged by water:

Wet Cabinets

Look for wet spots on the wall, baseboards and flooring. Check the ceiling for stains (check under kitchen cabinets too). Look inside the sink and dishwasher. If you can't find any obvious signs of water damage, inspect your refrigerator by removing its kick plate or looking underneath it with a flashlight.

Leaking Appliances

Leaky appliances are an obvious sign of water damage. If your dishwasher or refrigerator were to start leaking, a mess would quickly develop around the appliance and could cause extensive damage. If you're noticing a leak from any of these appliances, stop using them immediately and call for professional assistance. The same goes for any other type of leaking appliance—including hot water heaters, faucets, and more—that may be leaking into your kitchen.

Drips and Leaks

  • Listen for drips and leaks. The first step to determining if you have water damage is listening for the source of the leak. If you hear dripping or running water in your kitchen, investigate where it is coming from and see if there is any type of leak that can be fixed with a quick repair job.
  • Look for drips and leaks. If you cannot find the source of a drip or leak by listening for it, then move on to looking at your kitchen cabinets and drawers for signs of damage caused by water intrusion such as cracks or holes in woodwork; peeling paint; warped wood doors; warped cabinet panels; bubbling paint cans used on countertops under sinks (this means there was standing water at one time); discoloration on surfaces near plumbing fixtures like faucets or dishwashers (again indicating standing water).
  • Feel for drips and leaks. Sometimes it isn't easy to detect a drip or leak just by looking around because they may not be visible from every angle so take advantage of all senses including touch! Get down low where possible floors creak beneath my feet whenever I walk across them because my weight shifts causing vibrations that are magnified upon hitting those boards hard enough that they make noise when struck against something else like another board nearby making it vibrate until we reach equilibrium again.

Signs Your Kitchen Has Water Damage

You probably don't realize that your kitchen has water damage until it's too late. It's not uncommon for leaks to appear in the ceiling or walls, causing mold growth and structural damage. If you notice any of these signs, it's time to call in an expert:

  • Leaks or stains on the ceiling
  • A damp smell in the air (or a musty smell)
  • Mold growing on walls or ceilings

If you’re experiencing water damage in your kitchen, it’s important to know what to look for. If you see any of these signs, contact a professional right away to assess the situation and determine whether or not there is damage.

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.