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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How Do I Flush A Water Heater?

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

Water Heater Flushing a water heater is a process that takes time and patience.

How Do I Flush A Water Heater?

If you're like most people, the first time you ever flushed a water heater, it was because something went wrong. Maybe you left the faucet running and flooded your bathroom. Maybe you forgot to turn off a pipe after doing some plumbing work. Or maybe you got too excited about a new home improvement project only to find out that your water heater is actually smaller than expected. Regardless of the reason, here's what to do if you need to flush your water heater:

Before you being, turn the power off to the water heater.

To turn off the power, you need to turn off the breaker that supplies power to your water heater. You may have noticed this when you first turned on your circuit breakers after installing new electrical outlets or switches—there were two separate boxes next to each other, one labeled "power" and the other labeled with a number (e.g., 120V). This is because there are actually two different kinds of electricity: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). AC flows back and forth between positive and negative while DC flows in one direction only.

This is an important step. Turning off the power ensures your safety and protects the machinery. 

Step 1: Turn off the water heater and water supply

The first thing to do is turn off the water heater and water supply.

To turn off a gas-powered water heater, you must first turn off its pilot light by pressing down on the knob until it clicks. Then, open up the gas valve cover and turn off any valves that are marked "gas" or "pilot." Finally, look for a lever that says "on/off," which should be located near where you turned off your pilot light. Push this lever towards you (so it is perpendicular to your main burner) in order to shut down your heating source entirely.

Next, you need to find out where your hot and cold water lines connect to your house's plumbing system so that they can be shut off confidently without causing damage or leaks anywhere else in your home's water system. This can vary depending on what kind of equipment was installed when they built out this part of their house - so don't worry if some connections are harder than others! Just keep trying different ones until something works! 

Step 2: Connect a garden hose to the drain valve.

You will need to have a garden hose long enough to reach all the way inside the drain valve. Attach the other end of your hose to your drain, and then turn on your water heater.

Step 3: Run hot water and open the drain valve.

Now, open the drain valve to let water out of the tank. The hot water will start flowing into your sink or tub and you'll be able to see if there are any problems with your heater as it empties. Be careful not to get burned by hot water!

Run hot water until the water coming out of the drain valve is clear and free of sediment. When you've flushed your tank well enough, turn off the tap at its end and close it back up again.

Step 4: Turn the water supply back on to flush the tank.

  • Turn the water supply back on.
  • Run water through the tank until you see it start to flow out of your faucet.
  • Close the drain valve (on older models, this is usually a large brass lever or knob) and fill up your tank with fresh water.

Step 5: Fill the tank and turn on the water heater.

Before you can turn the water heater on, you need to make sure that the tank is full of water. This will take some time, so be patient. When the tank is full, you can turn on the water heater.

Hopefully, we’ve given you a few ideas on how to flush your water heater. Remember that it is a process that takes time and patience, so don’t get frustrated if things don’t go according to plan at first! With enough practice and perseverance though, anyone can do this job themselves—and save money in the process.

Who should I call after a fire in my home?

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial fire If you have any questions about fire damage cleanup and restoration services, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Lacey team a call today.

Who Should I Call After A Fire In My Home?

After a home or building has been damaged by fire, the priority is to make it safe again. This means that the property owner will need to hire a mitigation & restoration company. It's not uncommon for these two companies to be different from one another, which adds more stress and confusion for homeowners. The good news is that there are companies out there that can do both phases of reconstruction (mitigation and reconstruction) in one seamless process!

Rebuilding a fire-damaged building is no easy task. 

Rebuilding a fire-damaged building is no easy task. In addition to all the general contractors, subcontractors, and materials needed, the property owner also needs to communicate with his or her insurance company, and insurance adjuster. These parties will be involved in determining whether or not it's possible to rebuild on your property after a fire. They may also be responsible for some of the decisions you make when it comes time to rebuild.

The loss has been devastating—but remember that you are not alone! 

Finding a "one-stop-shop" 

It can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster to have your home or business damaged by fire. When that happens, you'll want to make sure you're in good hands and get the best possible outcome for your situation.

In addition to finding a reliable contractor who will do quality work at an affordable price, it's also important to find someone who has experience working with insurance companies on claims like yours. Asking around among friends and family is another way of ensuring that you're getting honest feedback about potential contractors' abilities and character traits that may affect their performance as well as their reliability on future projects (like being clear when they report back after going out into the field).

SERVPRO of Lacey is a one-stop shop that can handle all the cleanup and restoration. Our team also works with your insurance company and takes care of the entire claims process from start to finish.

SERVPRO of Lacey offers mitigation and reconstruction services

Most people don't realize that a restoration company can also do the reconstruction of a damaged home or building. This is because many fire mitigation companies are also general contractors. They have experience in building construction and design, so they can do any type of work that needs to be done to repair or rebuild your home after it has been damaged by fire.

If you've experienced a fire, it can be a very stressful time. Finding the right people to help you through this process is crucial to getting your life back on track. If you have any questions or are in need of fire damage cleanup and restoration services, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Lacey team a call today. Our team is highly trained and experienced in residential and commercial fire damage cleanup and restoration and we offer our services around the clock, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

3 Tips for Handling an Overflowing Toilet

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow If your toilet overflows is being caused by sewer damage.

What Do I Do If My Toilet Overflows?

Few things might cause more stress for you as a Tenino, WA, homeowner than an overflowing toilet. There are several reasons a toilet might flood, from a pipe clog to local sewer damage. No matter the cause, the resulting overflow can mean quite a mess. However, there are several actions you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your home until you can call a flood cleanup and restoration service to handle the worst of the problem.

1. Shut Off the Water Valve

If you can reach the toilet safely, locate the shutoff valve. It is usually on the back of the exterior tank, near the bottom. Turn the valve until the water flow stops. You can also take the top off the toilet tank and lift the float ball to stop the toilet from running.

2. Clear the Area

If the toilet overflow is being caused by sewer damage due to heavy rains or localized flooding, it is a good idea to clear the area and make it off limits until the cleanup crew arrives because the flood water likely contains contaminants that may harm people and pets. Do not let anyone touch the water with their bare hands and try to seal off the bathroom as best you can. Once you contain the flood as much as possible, call the sewage company to let them know what has happened.

3. Note What You See

It is best to leave the aftermath of a flooded toilet to your cleanup crew. However, it may help the flood techs if you can tell them how the flood occurred and what you noticed directly before and after the incident. Did the toilet overflow very suddenly or did it happen slowly? Did you notice any unusual sounds or odors emanating from the toilet before the flood? Letting your cleanup crew know about these details may help them handle the problem with more efficiency.

Sewer damage, clogged pipes, and other plumbing issues can all cause a toilet flood in your Tenino, WA, home. However, knowing how to stem the worst of the damage until help arrives can help you protect your home and family.

Tips for Making a Claim After a Fire

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Home Insurance Claim form The insurance company is one of the first calls you make when a fire has destroyed your home.

After A Fire, Here Are Some Pointers On How To File A Claim

When a fire damages your home in Tenino, WA you may not be in the right frame of mind for making good decisions. The decisions you make regarding your fire insurance claim, however, can affect how much of the fire restoration is covered by your insurer. Here are three tips to help you think through the process rationally and hopefully get the settlement you need to restore your home.

1. Call Insurance Company

One of the first calls you make after a fire has ravaged your home is to the insurance company. Timely reporting is essential to getting your claim processed and approved. As soon as the company receives your call, an assessor can be sent to review the damage and substantiate your claim.

2. Call Professional Restorers

After a fire, your home is likely permeated with the odor of smoke and soot damage. Firefighters probably had to use a lot of water to put out the fire, resulting in water damage as well. Certified fire restoration specialists offer both smoke cleaning and water damage remediation to fix the problems in your home. They often offer board-up services to secure the house during the restoration process, and they can give you an estimate on what the repairs are going to cost, which can back up your claim with the insurance company.

3. Don't Touch Anything

Once you have made the necessary calls and the waiting begins, you may be tempted to start cleaning up the damage yourself. Fight the urge to do so. The insurance agent that comes to assess the damage needs to see it as it is, and without the knowledge and skills of the specialists, you may cause more damage. While you wait, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage as long as it is safe to do so.

You may feel powerless when your home suffers fire damage. By calling the appropriate professionals and waiting on their guidance, however, you can speed up the fire restoration process.

SERVPRO Provides The Expertise To Help Manage Your Insurance Claim

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a commercial building You may need to file an insurance claim for damages.

When a fire, flood, or another disaster leads to property damage or loss at your business in Olympia, WA, you may need to file an insurance claim for damages. SERVPRO disaster management professionals will handle the cleanup and gather and organize details to support your claim.

Documenting Your Claim

An insurance agent representing your insurance provider will require specific information to evaluate your claim. During the aftermath of a disaster, remembering to gather various details can be challenging. Fortunately, our field teams have experience gathering everything necessary to support your claim, including:

  • First Notice of Loss
  • Loss Photos
  • Loss Estimates
  • Restoration Estimates
  • Replacement Estimates

We inventory each of your items into an Excel spreadsheet, which we send to every claimant and their insurance agent.

Tracking Your Claim Through Electronic Records
Working with our experienced claims facilitators means that you and your insurance representative will always know your business's restoration status. Our Claims Information Center compiles electronic files for every job we undertake and updates them every step of the way. We include estimated completion dates and descriptions for additional services necessary to achieve the best possible results.

Accessing Your Claim Online
SERVPRO provides insurance adjusters and their clients with online access to every claim file. Adjusters can also get timely answers to their questions and compare our methods and costs to our competitors' to ensure we provide the best value.

Unparalleled Support
Our teams' full-service response to any disaster helps us stand as a leader in the restoration services industry. Our standards of excellence include using state-of-the-art technology to salvage and mitigate property damage. When necessary, our Resource Center recruits and vets industry partners who offer competitive pricing while maintaining our standards of excellence.

When you and your insurance agent need a trustworthy restoration service that goes the extra mile to manage and facilitate your insurance claim in  Olympia, WA, turn to SERVPRO.

Do You Have To Throw Away Contents That Have Been Mold Damaged?

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a home Mold damage in Yelm, WA.

Every year in the U.S., floods cause around $8 billion in damages. Houses that flood not only have the floodwater disaster to deal with, it’s also normal to experience an explosion of black mold growth afterward. Mold cleaning in Yelm, WA, should be an expected part of the restoration process.

When it comes to contents, it’s often cheaper to throw away items with significant mold damage. However, if the items are valuable or sentimental, they’ll need to be cleaned by the experts – a complicated process requiring the right equipment and techniques.

Why Do Floods Cause Black Mold?

Mold is a natural substance that helps eat dead plants and animal matter. In the outdoors, it’s strongly controlled by good airflow and UV rays in sunlight. Indoors, it not only finds shade and restricted airflow, but it also has plenty of substances to feed on, such as

  • Paper
  • Some fabrics
  • Wood
  • Drywall

All it takes is a source of moisture. The leftover humidity after a flood is more than sufficient to require extensive mold cleaning throughout your house.

Can Mold Remediation Save Contents?

In many cases, yes. However, the process isn’t easy or cheap, especially with paperwork and photographs. The mold literally eats away at these materials as it grows. You need to call top mold remediation experts to respond immediately to your home.

The process starts by removing all the floodwater and excess humidity from your home as quickly as possible. Damaged paperwork should be put in the freezer until it can be processed. All food should be discarded and anything to be saved that has mold growing on it should be isolated.

What Else Can Be Saved?

A special device called an Esporta Machine can save paper, textiles, cardboard, and even stuffed animals in many (but not all) cases. Items that are special enough to save rather than replace can be restored through modern mold remediation methods. In some cases, insurance will even pay for it.

Mold cleaning is an intense process that can save many items. However, time is working against you, so call the experts quickly if you want to save both items and money!

Are My Flooded Electronics Salvageable?

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Removed drywall after a flood Call a water removal company after a flood.

As a business owner in Olympia, WA, you may worry that flooded electronics caused by severe weather and faulty plumbing can make your valuable records inaccessible. Answers to the following questions determine if your equipment is salvageable after a flood.

Were Your Electronics Submerged?

When electronics spend any amount of time underwater, damage occurs quickly to parts, including:

  • Circuit boards
  • Lithium batteries
  • Monitors
  • Chips and memory cards

If devices, including computers, printers, and phones, are running while submerged, it is critical to shut off the main power supply before handling them to prevent electrocution. Submerged electronics are usually irreparable, making placement the only option.

Were Your Electronics Exposed To High Humidity?

Electronic damage can occur even when your equipment does not spend any time underwater. After a flood, contacting a flood restoration service to perform water extraction can prevent a dramatic rise in humidity. Moisture can cling to dust that collects within your electronic equipment to create a thick, muddy substance that reduces airflow, causing the device to overheat. Excessive heat causes computer motherboards and phone batteries to run slowly and inefficiently.
Electronics powered off while exposed to high humidity have the best chance for successful restoration; however, it is still worth attempting to clean and dry them if this is not the case. Experts who specialize in flooded electronics can do this if you do not feel comfortable handling devices yourself.

Was Water Dripping on Your Electronics?

Leaks are a common cause of flooded electronics in business offices. Leaks can expose devices to water with high concentrations of minerals, ions, or contaminants that can cause adverse effects by changing interior parts' conductivity. Attempts to dry your electronics do not guarantee their restoration, but doing so as soon as possible before corrosion sets will increase the chances of success.
If floods and leaks cause electronic damage at your business, a flood restoration company can coordinate your drying and repair efforts.

Odor Removal Following a Flood

7/8/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded commercial building Odor Removal Following a Flood

Cleaning Up After a Flood

Mold growth and sewage loss are severe complications following a septic system backup that causes a flood at your business in Olympia, WA. Although powerful water extraction methods can quickly dry your space, more drastic efforts are necessary for sanitization and odor removal.

Problems Following a Flood

Water that floods your business following a severe storm or plumbing damage requires careful handling because it may contain:

  • Salmonella
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Sewage
  • Parasites

Flood water at your business requires prompt removal before mold problems develop. Mold spores that quickly spread through the air are not visible, but you can detect them in your building by the musty odor they produce. Fortunately, knowledgeable mold remediation professionals can undertake odor removal efforts that purify the air.

Odor Removal Methods

The first step toward eliminating the odor that follows a flood involves air filtration. This technique involves industrial-grade HEPA vacuums that capture microscopic spores in the air and prevents them from spreading.

Mold growth and other contaminants leave behind stubborn odors, but ozone generators provide one of the most effective treatments for removing them. This method involves introducing ozone molecules into the contaminated space. Ozone is an oxygen molecule that has three rather than two oxygen atoms. The third atom breaks away from the others, attaches itself to the atom producing the offensive odor, and neutralizes it.

It is necessary to evacuate the premises while ozone treatment is underway and until the oxygen molecules in the atmosphere return to their normal levels.

Air fogging is another method that involves heating a deodorizing solvent and releasing it into the atmosphere as a mist. It is particularly effective for accessing the difficult-to-reach areas behind walls, under floorboards or within upholstery fibers and leaves behind a pleasant odor.

Odor removal professionals have the knowledge and skills to address unpleasant odors resulting from mold growth and sewage loss following a flood from a septic system backup at your business in Olympia, WA.

Get Help Faster With Any Disaster

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians loading a vehicle with drying equipment SERVPRO of Lacey services is available 24/7 for you to call and initiate an action plan.

With Any Disaster, You Can Get Help Faster.

Storms can result in catastrophic loss for individuals and communities. If emergency response is delayed too long, fires or floods can lead to secondary damage such as mold and loss of structural integrity. That's where SERVPRO comes in, with a team always on call to help. As one of the nation's leading remediation experts, they bring specialized knowledge and resources to any restoration project. Here are some ways their swift response helps you rebuild after natural disaster strikes Tenino, WA

1. SERVPRO Stands Ready to Serve You

Local SERVPRO services are available 24/7 for you to call and initiate an action plan. Once they determine the necessary resources to bring to your situation, a representative will arrive to inspect the site. If necessary, they can send multiple teams to storm-hit areas to provide the help you need.
SERVPRO services are available nationwide. So whether you need help restoring a residence or commercial building, they have a local franchise that can help you begin restoration work.

2.  SERVPRO Prevents Further Catastrophic Loss

When you need capable hands on-site following a storm, SERVPRO teams are ready and trained to fix the aftereffects of multiple disasters, including flooding. Using a combination of specialized equipment and know-how, technicians help prevent further damage and expense. These services can include:

  • Removing water
  • Identifying hazards
  • Drying salvageable structure
  • Preventing mold
  • Boarding up damaged walls or windows

3. SERVPRO Is a Preferred Vendor

The last thing you want to stress about while repairing storm damage is insurance issues. Worry less with SERVPRO, the vendor trusted by insurance companies. Swift response time and customer fulfillment have earned them the reputation as one of the most reliable emergency restoration companies. 

Get the help you need for catastrophic loss after a storm. No matter the extent of the damage, SERVPRO can help restore your property to its pre-disaster condition.

Top 4 Causes of Solar Panel Damage

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

Solar panel If you're considering solar energy for your house, you may be concerned about panel damage in the face of a storm.

Top 4 Solar Panel Damage Causes

Solar panels are a popular energy alternative for many homeowners in Yelm, WA. Despite the upfront investment, these panels are cost-efficient over the long haul. If you're considering solar energy for your house, you may be concerned about panel damage in the face of a storm. Below are the weather events that are the most likely to cause damage.

1. Hurricanes

Generally, solar panel technology is designed to handle severe weather conditions, including hurricanes. In fact, panels remain intact when exposed to winds as high as 140 miles per hour. However, there are cases in which panels become dislodged.

2. Rain and Floods

In some cases, rain and floods can do more panel damage than hurricane winds. The metal casings covering the panel wires are most damage prone. Roof damage is more likely with persistent rain and flooding post-hurricane. Under these conditions, the panels can also become loose.

3. Hail Storms

Many solar panel systems can hold up well under pounding hail downpours. Manufacturers factor in volatile weather when they design these panels. In most instances, the panels can handle one-inch hail that comes down at 50 miles per hour. If damage does occur, it may only affect one or two panels. However, constant hail hitting the same panel can result in major damage.

4. Debris

Despite the intensity of hurricanes, floods, rain and hail, they don't always cause the most damage. Often, the greatest panel damage comes from falling debris during storms. For example, trees falling on the panels can cause more significant damage than weather events.

Surviving the Storm

Generally, solar panels are built to handle a variety of extreme weather conditions. Minor damage can occur as a result of hurricanes, floods, heavy rains and floods. Nevertheless, falling debris tends to cause the greatest damage. Panels can become loose or dislodged resulting in water damage in your home. If this occurs, consider hiring a cleaning and restoration company.

3 Steps to Filing a Flood Damage Claim

6/24/2022 (Permalink)

How to File a Flood Damage Claim in 3 Easy Steps

A flood in Olympia, WA, is a life-changing event. After a natural disaster like that, you want to return your life back to normal. One of the most important ways to do that is by filing a flood claim. There are a few simple steps to follow to ensure the process is completed without delay.

1. Contact Insurance Provider

Get in contact with your insurance company or agent immediately after the flood. Provide basic information, such as your policy number along with a phone number and email address. You want to make sure you can be reached at any time. An insurance adjuster will be scheduled to visit your home within a few days to assess the flood claim damages.

2. Document Damages

An insurance adjuster needs a clear picture of how much flood damage occurred in your home. Prior to the adjuster's visit, spend a day or two taking photographs, recording videos and making a list of all the damages. Here are the most common things to document:

• Standing flood water levels
• Discarded objects
• Lost items
• Property and structural damage

Take note of anything affected by the flood. Whenever possible, provide receipts, value and purchase date of damaged or lost items. The more detailed information you provide, the better able the adjuster will be to prepare a repair estimate.

3. Consult With the Adjuster

An insurance adjuster can walk you through the insurance claim process. He or she can tell you what your homeowners' policy does and doesn't cover as relates to the flood. Once all the necessary paperwork is submitted, processed and proven accurate, the next step is that you'll receive payment.

A Return to Normal

A house flood is a stressful experience. However, things can return to normal quickly when you follow the simple steps for filing a flood claim. Once the claim process is completed, you can begin rebuilding your life. Often this involves hiring a restoration company to clean up the mess the disaster left behind.

Why You Need Professionals for Puffback Damage Cleanup

5/27/2022 (Permalink)

workers from a restoration company. After a fire it may be necessary to clean the smoke and water before the building can be used again, at SERVPRO, we are ready to help you, call us!

Why Do You Need Professionals To Clean Up Puffback Damage?

The furnace puffback happens when the furnace malfunctions, causing an explosion within the furnace. As a result of that explosion, puffback damage spreads on every surface exposed to smoke and soot. The resulting material is often acidic, sticky, and oily. It can spread quickly into small spaces, such as throughout your ductwork, inside electric outlets, and behind closed doors.

The cleanup process is tedious and time-consuming. It is also a process best left to experienced cleaning and restoration technicians in Olympia, WA.

1. Inspect Your Property

Soot released by the furnace explosion could spread through the ventilation system, reaching corners of rooms on the other side of the building. Keep a detailed record of the damage. Be aware that you could spread soot if you track it on your shoes or clothing. Take precautions to prevent this.

2. Report the Puffback Damage to Your Insurance Provider

Reach out to your insurance company as quickly as possible to get a referral to cleanup professionals. This type of damage is often addressed in insurance policies for commercial properties. Don't forget to take pictures of the affected rooms before any cleanup is done. Don't try to clean the property yourself; you may cause secondary damage.

3. Contact Technicians for Cleanup and Repairs

A puffback is a clear indication that something is wrong with your oil furnace. You need a reputable HVAC repair technician to complete repairs, or you could end up with another puffback. It's also important that cleanup services begin right away. As soot sits on the surfaces of your building and belongings, its chemicals interact with those surfaces, causing staining, deterioration, and increased wear and tear.

Professionals have the training, equipment, and protective gear necessary to thoroughly address puffback damage. As a property owner or manager, you want the best results possible. These come from a professional response.

3 Ways To Protect Your Business From a Fire

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Emergency exit - fire in the building Keeping clutter minimized in storage spaces, such as attics, basements and sheds is one effective way to practice fire and disaster preparation.

Three Fire-Resistant Strategies For Your Business

Your Yelm, WA, business is likely one of your greatest investments, so protecting it is probably a high priority for you. One of the dangers business owners like yourself often face is the risk of fire, but there are a few ways you can lower the odds by taking fire prevention steps in and around your commercial property.

1. Have Electrical Systems Inspected

One of the main causes of commercial fires is electrical fires, so having your building's electric systems inspected at least once a year can help prevent this issue. Your local fire company or an experienced contractor can help you gauge whether fuse boxes, wiring and HVAC systems need updating or if any other systems may pose a risk of fire damage. Overheated electrical systems often spark fires, so ensure all appliances, such as coffee pots and vending machines, are turned off or unplugged overnight.

2. Minimize Clutter

Keeping clutter minimized in storage spaces, such as attics, basements and sheds is one effective way to practice fire and disaster preparation. Cardboard boxes, stored paper files and other combustibles can increase the risk of fire, especially if any electrical sources are located nearby. You can reduce the risk by storing files digitally and investing in storage space offsite.

3. Create a Fire Preparation Plan

Sometimes, fires occur despite your best efforts, so having an evacuation and safety plan in place in case a blaze breaks out can help protect you, your employees and customers. Ensure that all exits are marked clearly and ask a fire cleanup and restoration service to help you create safety plans and inquire about mitigation plans if you should ever need them in the future.

Protecting your Yelm, WA, business from a fire does not need to be difficult, especially if you take steps to plan ahead of time. When you understand the risks and practice fire preparation, you may have increased peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your business.

Basic Facts About Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

sprinkler head, the device provides protection against fire in a room. Regular upkeep is another vital factor in keeping your property safe from fire damage.

Commercial Fire Sprinkler System Fundamentals

A fire sprinkler system is one of the best ways to protect your commercial property from fire and smoke damage, as well as property loss. Why invest in a sprinkler system?

  • The system is always ready to respond even when no one is in the building.
  • Commercial sprinklers quickly and effectively smother flames, often before the fire department arrives.
  • The amount of smoke, ash, and soot is decreased.
  • Sprinklers activate in affected areas of your building, limiting the spread of property damage.
  • Sprinklers use less water than the fire department.

Fire Sprinkler System Basics: Activation

The key to properly maintaining the fire suppression system in your Olympia, WA, building is understanding how the sprinklers work. Generally, the system is activated by temperatures above 155 degrees Fahrenheit. As the air heats up, it shatters the plug inside each sprinkler head, releasing water quickly. This leads to reliable activation and a response isolated to only the at-risk rooms in the building. If the fire spreads, sprinklers will activate as heat advances.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

The fire sprinkler system is just one component of your overall fire safety plan. Check with your local fire department or professionals who offer fire sprinkler cleanup and restoration to learn more about how many smoke detectors to install and where. Ask about which types of fire extinguishers are appropriate for your situation. Provide evacuation and first aid training to your employees and schedule opportunities to practice those skills.

Inspections and Maintenance

Regular upkeep is another vital factor in keeping your property safe from fire damage. Schedule professional inspections and testing as directed by the manufacturer or as outlined in applicable regulations. The system doesn't require much maintenance, but it is important that sprinkler heads are free from dirt, dust, and greasy residue.
An automatic fire sprinkler system can protect you from the loss of your property while dramatically reducing the amount of damage that occurs during a fire. Don't be misled by misconceptions about sprinkler systems; make sure your property is safe.

How Lightning Affects a Home

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. The most terrifying aspect of severe torment is not knowing when or where lightning will strike. If you hit your house, you may start a fire.

How Does Lightning Affect A House?

If you live in Yelm, WA, you know you will experience a few extreme thunderstorms every year. While most of the thunderbolts just light up the sky, they can hit your home. The worst part of a severe storm is never knowing when or where that bolt may come down. If it hits your home, the power behind it causes instant damage, including a potential house fire.

The Effects of Lightning

The two most common damage it causes is a power surge or lighting fire.

Surges: These are the most common issue that arises. Considering that a bolt may have tens of millions of volts and a standard home uses around 220 volts, your electrical system can’t handle the power. Any items, including appliances, that are plugged in may be damaged. There are surge protectors on the market that can help minimize the damage.

Lighting Fire: A bolt from the sky is extremely hot, even up to 50,000 degrees. No matter how sound your home may be, those kinds of temperatures are bound to cause some damage. In many cases, the fire may start in the attic or upstairs area. Surprisingly, the damage isn’t always immediately noticeable. Since it penetrates the home, flames could be spreading behind walls or other hidden areas.

After a Strike

Even if you don’t see visible signs of trouble, it is imperative to call emergency responders to inspect the home. They will have the tools to detect hidden dangers. Along with ensuring the home is safe, it is important to do the following:

  • Verify circuit breakers, outlets and light switches are functioning properly.
  • Use a resistance tester to ensure the wiring is not damaged.
  • Inspect plumbing fixtures and pipes for leaks.
  • Check that water supply lines don’t have any extra pressure or leaks.

If the strike results in a fire, contact your insurance company and a fire damage and restoration specialist as soon as possible to minimize the damage.

While a lighting fire may seem rare, the odds are higher than many people think. Knowing that it can happen and being prepared for anything is key to easing the unexpected situation.

How To Restore Water Damage in 4 Steps

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Professionals from a restoration company are drying a house SERVPRO has the equipment and experience to extract water from your home or business, leaving your property dry.

How To Repair Water Damage In 4 Easy Steps

Water damage to your Olympia, WA, home is a major hassle. Fortunately, swift action can prevent further problems. The following steps outline the water cleanup process.

1. Assess the Damage

The first thing you need to do after a flood is survey the damage. Identify and repair the source of the water. Fix broken pipes, patch leaks and take other necessary action to prevent further inundation. Determine whether the water source is clean or contaminated and if there are any electrical hazards. Some homeowners may feel comfortable completing the restoration process themselves, but others may choose to hire a certified restoration service.

2. Dry the Area

Keep in mind that water damage can lead to mold growth within 24 hours, so it is important to dry the area as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Use pumps, wet/dry vacuums, fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the water. If the humidity outside is low, open windows and doors to increase airflow.

3. Clean Affected Items

Depending on the source of the water and how long it has been stagnant, you may have to sanitize items that came into contact with it. Even clean water, such as from a water heater leak, can foster microbial growth and should be treated as contaminated after 24 hours.

4. Repair and Replace Damaged Items

After everything is clean and dry, you can begin the restoration process. Remember that some things, such as fiberglass insulation, affected by contaminated water cannot be completely cleaned and need to be replaced. Even if you can do some of the restoration yourself, professional assistance is often needed to restore delicate items like electronics, antiques and photographs.

Hopefully your home will never incur water damage. If it does, dry the property out, clean it thoroughly, and make any necessary repairs. Acting quickly helps prevent further damage and allows you to restore your home to its preloss condition.

Preparing Your Commercial Building for a Flood

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

A Business protected from flooding with sand bags and plastic film. If you need a flood cleanup after a storm, don't try to tackle the problem yourself. calling SERVPRO is the best solution.

Flood Preparation For Your Commercial Building

If your business in Olympia, WA, is located in or near a high flood zone, flood insurance is a must. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can be added to your commercial building insurance plan. There are some flood prevention techniques you should also consider to reduce the risk of flooding.

1. Determine Your Base Flood Elevation

This calculation, known as the BFE, determines if your lowest floor is above or below the acceptable flood level. If it is below acceptable levels consider elevating the building at least 3 feet above the BFE, if possible. Contact your county's floodplain administrator for details in determining your BFE.

2. Install Flood-Resistant Materials

Use materials that are flood-resistant wherever possible. Water-resistant wall coverings, flooring and wall insulation will reduce the risk of water damage. Most of these materials can handle contact with water for about 72 hours before extensive damage occurs.

3. Utilize Dry Floodproofing Techniques

Flood prevention techniques, such as dry floodproofing, help to make your building watertight and keep floodwaters from invading your building.

Water-resistant shields should be placed over doors and windows located at or below the BFE. Water-absorbent sandbags, plastic tarps and sheeting should be placed in strategic areas around the building before the storm hits. These devices help to stave off shallow floodwaters.
Permanent swing flood doors or temporary flood gates can be installed to prevent deeper water from entering your building.

4. Invest in Backup Electrical Power

Consider purchasing backup power for your mechanical equipment and air conditioning system. Humidifiers and blowers help dry out materials quickly. If you find yourself in need of flood cleaning after a storm, however, don't attempt to tackle the problem yourself. Contact a water restoration service as soon as possible.

By implementing some smart flood prevention techniques, you can reduce the risk of severe damage to your building.

4 Storm Preparation Measures for Property Managers

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning storm over city in purple light For the best results, storm preparedness should be a constant property management effort.

Property Managers Should Take These 4 Storm Preparation Steps

Property management can take measures to prepare for storms that may limit the amount of damage sustained by a commercial building. Here are four steps toward storm preparedness that owners or managers can take on a seasonal basis or whenever severe weather is on the forecast for Olympia, WA.

1. Check Doors and Windows

Many storms involve high winds. Exterior doors with worn flashing, sealant or tracks may be prone to blow open. This can quickly introduce rain and debris to a building interior and result in damage. Building owners and managers should make sure that doors close completely and windows are waterproof.

2. Clear Drainage

A functional drainage system is another crucial part of storm preparedness. Make sure that roof drains, gutters and downspouts are clear and that water is routed away from the foundation of the structure.

3. Trim Trees

Falling tree limbs can severely damage the roof of a building and result in damage to the interior. Owners or managers of properties with tall trees that have overhanging branches should contact a tree trimming service prior to storms with high winds or heavy snow and ice.

4. Secure Outdoor Items

Wind gusts can turn outdoor items such as patio furniture or trashcans into dangerous flying debris. Items may be fastened down or temporarily stored indoors. Don't forget about items on the roof. It may be a good idea to disconnect antennas or other equipment and store these items inside until the storm passes.

For the best results, storm preparedness should be a constant property management effort. Owners and managers may not have enough warning to take all of these steps prior to a major storm in Olympia, WA. It is a good idea to develop and follow a seasonal storm preparation plan to limit damage. If a structure suffers storm damage, contact commercial mitigation and restoration experts.

What To Do About Lingering Mold Odor

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

mold growth on the wall If you suspect or have discovered a mold problem in your Olympia, WA, home or business, give our SERVPRO of Lacey team a call!

What To Do If Mold Odor Remains

A mold smell at your Olympia, WA, business can create an unpleasant environment for you, your employees and your customers. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate the smell.

Cause of Mold Odor

Mold growth often releases mycotoxins that emit strong odors. Mold is commonly described as smelling


Although an unusual odor is often an early sign of a mold problem, the fungus smell can linger even after the mold has been removed by an experienced restoration service.

Removal of Mold Odor

Following the mold remediation process, there are several things you can do to eliminate any residual mold smell. Remember that air fresheners usually only cover up the odor, and the mildew smell will return when synthetic smell fades.

If the weather permits, open the windows and doors to let in some fresh air. Turning on fans while the doors are open improves air circulation and will help eliminate the odor more quickly. Run an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to trap some of the mycotoxins.

Baking soda and vinegar may seem old-fashioned, but these two cleaning products are great for getting rid of tough smells. Add vinegar to the washing machine to eliminate odors in washable items. Sprinkle baking soda over carpets or upholstered items and let the powder sit for about fifteen minutes before vacuuming up the musty odor.

Prevention of Mold Odor

The only way to prevent mold odor in the future is to prevent mold growth. The most effective way to do this is to keep your building dry. Keep the humidity below 50% if possible. Run a dehumidifier in particularly humid areas. Clean up spills and water damage as quickly as possible.

Even after a mold infestation has been remediated, the moldy smell can linger. Fortunately, fresh air and a cleaning session are often all you need to get your business smelling fresh and clean again.

How To Clean a Dryer Exhaust

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

using a bristle brush to clean the lint trap on a clothes dryer. SERVPRO of Lacey can take care of your fire damage restoration and cleanup needs in Olympia, WA, home or business

Cleaning A Dryer Exhaust

The accumulation of lint in a dryer exhaust can lead to a dryer fire. Thick winter clothing and bedding tends to increase seasonal buildup. Homeowners should thoroughly clean a dryer exhaust at least once a year and perform regular maintenance to keep the lint trap, vent tube, and exterior vent clear. It is not difficult to reduce the risk of a lint fire with the right tools.

Vent Pipe Cleaning Rods

Vent pipe cleaning rods have long attachments with circular brushes. These rods can clear lint out of a significant portion of dryer vent tubing. There are several styles of cleaning rods to choose from:

  • Manual rods
  • Rods with power drill attachments
  • Rods with extended brush heads

It may be necessary to remove and reinsert a cleaning rod several times to clear a duct. If you do not have a cleaning rod, try using a vacuum attachment to remove at least some lint from around the dryer end of vent tubing.

Long Wire Brush

A long wire brush can be helpful for extracting lint from an exterior vent. A blockage at any point of the exhaust system can increase the risk of a lint fire. Professional assistance may be necessary to clean out the entire duct.

Firm-Bristled Nylon Brush

Limit the amount of lint that ends up in the exhaust by keeping the dryer lint trap clear. Clean the filter by hand after each load. Use a nylon brush with firm bristles to remove impacted lint from the screen every six months or more frequently if necessary.

A homeowner can use all of these tools to avoid a lint fire. It is advisable to schedule a professional dryer duct cleaning about once a year. If a fire breaks out in the laundry room of a residence in Olympia, WA, a fire damage restoration service can help homeowners clean and rebuild.

Is a SERVPRO Franchise Right for You?

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Workers are carrying restoration machines from a company Our SERVPRO team offers emergency water restoration services and we are available to respond to your residential or commercial loss 24/7.

Do You Have What It Takes to Own A SERVPRO Franchise?

For the enterprising individual, owning and operating a franchise in Yelm, WA, is an exciting way to go. This is especially true of those with a strong business model, such as a SERVPRO franchise, that promises a comfortable return each month. How can you recognize those promising options? Do some research into the following factors:

  • Your specific goals
  • Your investment capital
  • Your expected level of involvement

What Do You Hope To Accomplish?

Before getting involved with any new business opportunity, you need to be certain of your goals. Are you looking for a hobby business? Will this new business be your primary source of income? Are you hoping to own multiple franchises? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a SERVPRO franchise is right for you.

How Much Money Do You Have Available?

A SERVPRO business opportunity comes with corporate support, but you'll still to have some money available for the startup. Some of the most common costs associated with new franchises include the franchise fee, working capital (few businesses are profitable from the get-go,) inventory purchases, and equipment rental fees. You'll probably need a significant amount of money set aside and a good credit score to get a loan.

How Involved Do You Expect To Be?

Franchises through SERVPRO are locally owned and certified. When you become a franchise owner for SERVPRO, do you plan to be hands-on with the fire and water cleanup and restoration services and the mold mitigation and remediation work? If you don't plan to participate directly, who will do the work? How will you pay employees?

Are You Ready To Get Started?

Each SERVPRO franchise is based on a great business model, and the franchises are some of the best to own and operate. With a lot of corporate support and access to local resources, you could operate a small local disaster business or work toward a much-larger multi-location system.

Inspect Your Commercial Building and Keep It Weatherproof

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Workers are checking and restoring a company after water damage SERVPRO of Lacey understands the stress and worry that comes with experiencing water damage on your commercial property. Call us!

Keep An Eye On Your Commercial Building And Make Sure It's Weatherproof.

Is your Olympia, WA, business in a building that is comfortable, dry and weatherproof? If so, thank the heroes responsible for exterior maintenance. It is their job to keep your building maintained. Proper maintenance ensures that the weather stays outside where it belongs.

Damage to the exterior lets in the weather. Some, like broken windows, is obvious and demands immediate attention. Other damage starts tiny and grows into serious maintenance problems. Examples of minor damage are:

  • Small holes in siding
  • Loose or cracked windows
  • Gaps around vents, pipes and other exterior features
  • Damaged masonry

Routine Inspections Are the Key to Preventive Maintenance

Every building has problems that are easy to overlook. They don’t interfere with the business operation, so they go unreported. The first step in fixing them is finding them. The best way to identify them is through a complete building inspection. Think of this as a close inspection of the building with the help of a checklist. Here are some of the tasks that an exterior maintenance inspection might include:

  1. Inspect the roof. Look for areas where the roofing material needs repair. Check the vents, air conditioner and other features attached to the roof to make sure they won’t leak. Check the gutters and downspouts. Make sure that rainwater will flow down and away from the building.
  2. Inspect the walls. Look for openings that might let water in. A structural engineer can help you determine if there is water damage.
  3. Inspect the masonry. Areas that are failing might provide a path for water to get inside. Bring in a professional to check the situation.
  4. Inspect the doors and windows. Make sure that they stop the flow of air and water.

Some exterior maintenance problems can’t wait. One of these is water damage. There are local water damage restoration specialists ready to come to your aid. They are just a phone call away.

Do You Need To Replace Your Bathroom Supply Lines?

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber repairing a toilet pipe with a wrench If you have water damage in your home, call SERVPRO. Our team has the right equipment for the job. Give us a call for your water damage, 24/7.

Do Your Bathroom Supply Lines Need to Be Replaced?

You use your bathroom every day. While you probably work hard to ensure your fixtures and flooring are clean, you may not give much thought to the supply lines that feed your bathroom with water. You should, however. Supply line damage can contribute to a bathroom flood that could destroy the comfort, value and appearance of your Olympia, WA, home.

Leaky Supply Lines Damage Bathrooms

If you have a supply line leak in your bathroom, you can expect significant damage to virtually all parts of the room. Specifically, you may need to repair or replace the following:

  • Drywall
  • Paint
  • Subfloor
  • Tile
  • Carpeting
  • Fixtures

Supply Lines Require Occasional Inspection

Like all parts of your home’s plumbing system, supply lines require occasional inspection. How frequently you need to take a look at your supply lines, though, depends on their makeup. If you have plastic lines, look for supply line damage every couple years. Metal supply lines tend to last longer, so you probably do not need to inspect them as often.

Restoration Technicians Limit Long-Term Damage

As you probably know, the long-term consequences of a bathroom leak can be significant. Even after you dry out flooded areas, mold and mildew can grow. To be certain you return your bathroom to it’s pre-flood condition, consider working with a reputable flood-restoration service. Technicians at these firms have the education, experience, skills and tools to analyze flood damage. They can also tell you whether you must scrap damaged items.

You probably don’t think much about the supply lines that feed your bathroom with water. Nonetheless, supply line damage can cause costly bathroom floods. By regularly inspecting your bathroom’s supply lines, you know when you need to replace them. Remember, if you can catch a flood before it happens, you increase your odds of keeping your bathroom in excellent shape.

How To Tell the Difference Between Mold and Mildew

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Scientist show molds in agar culture. If you find mold in your home, it is important to have SERVPRO remove it as quickly as possible.

Mold VS. Mildew: How To Tell The Difference

Although the terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, there are some differences between the two. Unless you are a microbiologist, you probably can’t identify the exact variety of fungus you may have in your house in Yelm, WA, but you can still learn about the basic differences and why it matters to you to prevent mold damage.

Helpful Questions

When you see a fungus growing in your home, you can ask yourself some questions to help you distinguish between mold and mildew.

• What color is it?
• Mildew growth is white, but molds can be a variety of colors including black, red, green, or blue.

• Is it fuzzy?
• Organisms in the fungus family are defined by having long filaments (hyphae), but mildew is less fuzzy than most molds.

• Does it seem to be deeply rooted or just on the surface?
• Mildew tends to be more superficial, while mold growth is usually deeper.

Why You Should Learn the Difference

Why does it matter if you have mildew or mold? Well, mildew is usually a lot easier to clean up. You can often use a solution of bleach or other disinfectant to scrub it off a surface.

Mold is a bigger problem because spores are everywhere in the environment, and they only need a moist area and organic food source to survive and reproduce. Mold is also very difficult to control due to the deep root system and the fast reproduction cycle. It can easily turn into a mold damage problem.

You need to act fast to get control of a mold problem in your home. Hiring a professional mold remediation company is the best way to get it done quickly and effectively. These experts have specialized equipment and take the necessary precautions, like the use of negative air chambers, to minimize the spread of mold spores while mitigating mold damage.