If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (206) 932-9033

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed in an empty room Water extraction after storm damage in Seattle, WA

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding

If you have experienced severe weather in Seattle,WA, and your building has been affected by flooding, it is important to handle it quickly and in the right way. Along with the initial damage, water can cause multiple kinds of secondary damage, including mold growth. The following are steps you can take to prevent this fungus from spreading.

1. Remove Excess Water

If large amounts of water remain in an area for an extended period of time, it will inevitably lead to more damage. Standing water, even if it came from a clean source, can become contaminated. It also makes it easy for mold to grow and spread. A colony can begin to form in as little as a day and can spread quickly throughout the building.

2. Dry the Building

Even if most of the water was removed, this doesn’t eliminate the problem entirely. Lingering moisture in the walls and flooring can contribute to mold growth, particularly in highly absorbent materials such as drywall, insulation and carpet. If you can, leave doors and windows open so air can circulate more easily. This will allow the building to dry more quickly. Dehumidifiers and fans can help as well.

3. Clean and Sanitize Thoroughly

Flood water can carry mold spores, chemicals, bacteria and other contaminants, so it is important to have your building thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. If it is not, it could contribute to more damage and health hazards later on. Mold spores that remain could easily turn into fungal growth with a small amount of moisture.
If you are concerned that a mold growth will form in your building or you think that you may already have one, you should contact a cleanup and restoration company. They will be able to inspect the building thoroughly to locate any mold and can remove it safely. These professionals can perform other repairs that you may need as well.

3 Ways Large Cities Can Reduce Flooding

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Storm surge barrier is closed to protect against storm and flood Storm surge barriers is a gate a city can build

3 Ways Large Cities Can Reduce Flooding

When high water floods cities, everyone within them is affected. As a business owner in Tukwila, WA, it is in your best interest to advocate for effective ways to prevent flooding at the municipal level.

Build Gates

Sandbags are the traditional method for creating barriers to rising floodwaters, but large gates offer a more high tech way to stop flooding. There are several kinds of gates a city can build:

  • Hydraulic gates
  • Storm surge barriers
  • Mechanical levees

In contrast to natural barriers which can be prone to erosion over time, mechanical barriers offer a precise level of control when it comes to directing floodwaters into designated areas and away from city structures.

Maximize Absorption

A productive method of flood prevention is to find a way to use the excess water. Intricate irrigation systems can be used to store floodwater for later use in city parks or other vegetation. Rooftop gardens can prevent flooding from runoff by trapping water and putting it to good use. Sidewalk gardens planted throughout the city can absorb high water before it reaches buildings where it can cause damage.

Maintain Flood Plains

One reason flooding has increased worldwide in recent years is the decision to build on flood plains. The purpose of a flood plain is to give water a place to go when the area has more than it normally can handle. When a city decides to build on top of the flood plain, it is no surprise that the buildings constructed there often need flood damage restoration services. If, however, contractors choose to build outside the flood plain, leaving it to do its natural job, business owners in the city are less likely to experience regular property damage during peak storm seasons.
Cities have a lot of options to keep high water from becoming a destructive force. By employing methods that control the flow of floodwaters, a city is better able to protect the property of its citizens.

3 Levels of Water Contamination

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Clean water flooded a luxurious kitchen Category 1 water is considered clean water

3 Differences Between the Three Levels of Water Contamination

Water damage in your home in Mercer Island,WA, that results from a heavy storm is contaminated water. Unlike damage done by a busted pipe or an overflowing bathtub, storm runoff is considered Category 3 water. To understand how this affects the remediation process to your home after flooding occurs, you first need to understand the difference between the three levels of contamination.

1. Category 1

A flood that results from Category 1 water is probably the easiest of the three categories for water restoration specialists to clean up. Once the water is removed and damaged materials are either dried off or torn out and replaced, the restoration process is basically done. This is because Category 1 water is considered clean water. It comes from pipes, supply lines or other sources that deliver water safe enough to drink to the different faucets in your home.

2. Category 2

If you have water damage from Category 2 water, a little more cleaning is necessary. This water often comes from household appliances. Washing machine or refrigerator leaks fall within this group. While minimal contact is probably not a problem, it is not recommended that you ingest Category 2 water. It is also a bad idea to throw it outside on your garden, as it may contain things such as soap or boron which can be harmful to plants.

3. Category 3

If your sewer backs up into your home or your toilet overflows, you likely have Category 3 damage. Storm water also falls under this category. Black water is typically teeming with bacteria. This makes it necessary to add disinfecting any surface with which it comes into contact to the cleanup task list.
Before the cleanup process begins, it helps to know where the floodwater causing the water damage came from. This information will tell you a lot about which category of contamination you're dealing with.

How To Prepare for a Storm

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare for a storm in Mercer Island, WA

How To Prepare for a Storm

A flood is the most frequent natural disaster in America, and flood water can cause severe disruption and damage to buildings. Floods have a variety of causes, including:

  1. Rain
  2. Coastal storms
  3. Storm surges
  4. Dam overflows
  5. Snow

While flash floods can appear without warning, other times you will have noticed that a major storm is coming. There are steps you can take to prepare your Mercer Island,WA, home in advance.

Protect Your Residence

To mitigate any damage to your property during a deluge, consider installing check valves or buying a battery-powered sump pump. You should also place any valuables in the highest floors of your home so they will be protected.

Plan Ahead

If a storm is coming, you need to be ready to leave your home at any time. You should thus gather any necessary supplies, including medications and phone chargers, in advance.
Most importantly, make sure that you and your family know what to do once the threatening weather arrives. Set up an evacuation route and determine the location of a safe shelter. Also, remind your loved ones that they should not swim, drive or walk through flood water.
In addition, you need to have a plan in case you are trapped in your car or a flooded building. If your vehicle is stuck, you should stay inside unless water starts to come through the doors. You should then seek refuge on the roof. Similarly, if your home starts to flood while you are still inside, seek shelter on its highest floor. Avoid closed attics and stay away from the roof if possible.

The Aftermath

Once the storm is over, don’t return to your home until authorities say it is safe to do so. Repairing your house on your own can also be dangerous, so consider professional emergency restoration services.
Flood water can cause severe water damage to your home and your belongings. That is why it is important to prepare yourself and your loved ones for a storm.

Effective Ways to Clean up a Roof Leak

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Missing shingles allow a trickle of water to penetrate the wood underneath

If you recently noticed water dripping from the ceiling of your Seattle,WA, office or moisture on the ground on walls at work, the culprit could be a roof leak. This is a common issue in older facilities, but problems could arise anytime, anywhere. The faster you call a team of professionals to address this problem, the less likely you are to experience severe flooding and loss of productivity.

Initial Response

If you suspect a leaky roof is the reason for your water issues at work, look for certain signs to confirm your hunch. You can do the following to get started:

  • Look for missing shingles on the roof.
  • Inspect the area and observe other damages.
  • Consider the age of the roof and building.
  • Call a professional restoration company.

Toss It Out

After evaluating the water damage and the actual roof leak, the restoration specialists will start by throwing out wet materials from the roof. The team will also dispose of other items that may have water damage to prevent mold growth.

Dry and Clean

Before the cleanup crew can repair the problem, it will first thoroughly dry the affected area to ensure bacteria won’t develop. Next, the company will use potent, high-quality chemicals to sanitize any wet areas on and around the roof.

Replace and Restore

Once the team has removed wet materials, it will board up and tarp exposed areas in preparation for the final step: fixing and restoring the damaged roof. Whether this is a big job or a smaller task, the team will have the right tools and experience to handle it in a timely manner so you can resume your business to its fullest capacity.

A roof leak can start small but quickly grow to introduce a significant amount of water into the workplace. The best restoration companies will transform the damage into a new roof.

What is the fastest way to dry out an attic after rain damage?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage can lead to rain damage in an attic.

What is the fastest way to dry out an attic after rain damage?

If you have water damage in your property it is important to make sure that you contact SERVPRO of South/West Seattle immediately to expedite the drying process in your home or business. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle has the manpower and equipment to handle any size loss in Seattle.

Once on site, a team member from SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will carefully assess the situation to make sure that everything is taken care of from start to finish. We have the equipment to possibly see water damage in your attic that might be unseen to the human eye. Finding every bit of water is important to prevent secondary damages from occurring.

Once the sources have been found, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will begin the drying process. We have various types of techniques to quickly and efficiently dry your property.Every job is uniquely different, so it is important to make sure SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can carefully assess the best way to handle your property.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at anytime day or night. We are always here to help!

What is the best way to keep mold from growing after a lot of rain damage?

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

What is the best way to keep mold from growing after a lot of rain damage

After a heavy rain, you could experience some water damage from above in your home or business. Sometimes the water can get trapped and you might not see the damage, until some form of secondary damage begins.

SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is here to help if you suspect that you have any type of damage from rain or other storms in the Seattle area. Our team will carefully assess your property inch by inch. Once all of the water damage is spotted, our team will carefully remove all standing water. Upon removal of the water, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can then place plenty of drying equipment to make sure the drying process happens quickly and efficiently. This will prevent secondary damage from occurring.

Throughout the process, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is sure to take detailed and accurate notes. There will also be plenty of photos and documentation as well. This can be critical if needed by your insurance company.

If you have any questions, contact our office at anytime. We are always here to help, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Who is the best restoration company for cleaning up after heavy rain?

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is by far the best choice when it comes to choosing a restoration company in Seattle. Our team has the experience and manpower to help with any size or type of loss. Timing is extremely important with any type of storm event, and SERVPRO of South/West Seattle is committed to get on site quickly.

Once on site a member of our team will begin extracting all standing water. This is important to prevent mold and other types of microbial growth from occurring. Once all of the water is removed, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can begin to place their signature green drying equipment.

After a few days of drying and monitoring, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will remove all of the equipment and help with any necessary repairs. This can be a simple process from start to finish if the right company like SERVPRO is hired. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help!

4 Steps To Repair a Storm-Damaged Roof

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has a specialized team in storm damage who are ready to restore your home

Four Steps That Will Guide You To Repair A Storm-Damaged Roof 

Hail, high winds and other adverse weather conditions can cause costly damage to the roof of a residence in Seahurst,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 in 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 cleanup, restore and rebuild a residence located in Seahurst,WA.

What to do after flooding in Seattle?

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

  • What to do after flooding in Seattle?

If you experience flooding in Seattle, it is critical to get the fine men and women of SERVPRO of South/West Seattle on site immediately. Once on site the team can begin to extract the water to mitigate damages. If the water sits for too long it can begin to cause secondary damages, like mold and other forms of microbial growth.

Once the water has been extracted, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can begin to place drying equipment throughout your property. Each day a member of SERVPRO of South/West Seattle’s team will be on site to monitor the progress. It is important to make sure accurate and we defined notes are being taken each day. If you have any questions on these days, it is a good time to ask. Our team always wants to be available to help.

After the drying is complete, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle can help with all repairs to complete the restoration process. It is nice to have a company that can help from start to finish.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at anytime day or night. We have water damage professionals standing by at all hours of the day.

How to cleanup water damage after heavy rains

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

How to cleanup water damage after heavy rains

If you have water damage in your home after heavy Seattle rains, it is important to get a restoration company like SERVPRO of South/West Seattle on site immediately. Our team is quick to respond and begin all emergency service processes.

Once on site our team will look at all the angles to make sure that all of the water is extracted, SERVPRO of South/West Seattle will begin placing air movers and dehumidifiers. This equipment will be strategically placed to get the home dry as soon as possible. SERVPRO has invested a lot of resources in understanding the true science of drying to make sure your home gets back to pre loss condition as soon as possible.

After the home is dry, any and all repairs can be completed. SERVPRO of South/West Seattle has the capabilities of helping you from start to finish. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. We are always here to help.

Storm Damage

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti very hard and now is making its way to Florida, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. The governors in these areas have declared states of emergency and demanded everyone in evacuation zones leave at once before the deadly storm strikes. The extreme winds of a major hurricanes and storms can do a lot of damage. Hurricane Matthew’s winds are 140mph and destroying anything in its path.

Storm damage is not a joke. In the PNW we don’t see a lot of major storms; but when we do SERVPRO of  South & West Seattle is right there to help you. When dealing with storm damage immediate action is very crucial for your home or building. SERVPRO of  South & West Seattle is part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teamsset in place throughout the country in times of large scale disasters.

What to do to be prepared

Here are some tips on what you can do:

Pre-storm:

  • Look for potential hazards on your property
  • Trees
  • Branches leaning over 45 degrees over your roof
  • Anything close to utility lines
  • Check your gutters, remove debris to prevent water damage

During the storm:

  • Follow all guidelines for evacuations
  • Don’t hesitate to get help
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods, drinks (water and drinks with electrolytes), gas, batteries, etc.
  • Prepare in advance

After the storm:

  • Stay clear from all utility lines, trees, hanging branches, unsecure areas
  • Evaluate what you can and can’t handle for cleanup
  • Call SERVPRO of South/ West Seattle for cleanup and emergency services

Let us be faster than any disaster and call SERVPRO of  South & West Seattle when catastrophe strikes.

5 Methods to Avoid Urban Flooding

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

5 Methods to Avoid Urban Flooding

Flooding is an all too common form of natural disaster faced by cities around the country, including Des Moines,WA. While humans are unable to stop Mother Nature, taking proactive measures toward flood prevention can help towns and communities avoid some of the major damage and cleanup. Here are five tactics that urban areas can employ to prevent catastrophic flooding.

1. Renovate Drainage Systems

Many cities have combined sewer systems, where rainwater and wastewater travel a single pipe to the sewage treatment area. This means that excessive water from torrential rains or storms can cause an overflow. Revamping this system to include a second pipe can remedy this issue. While this can be an expensive endeavor, the money saved from avoiding flood cleaning and repairs can make it worthwhile.

2. Maintain Sewer Systems

Sewer systems can easily be compromised by debris, waste and tree roots. Rust and corrosion are also common culprits in causing issues. Regular cleaning and routine maintenance can prevent problems that may ultimately contribute to flooding.

3. Preventative Structures

Seawalls, levees, dams and floodwalls are designed to hold back or retain floodwaters. These barriers can be very effective forms of flood prevention in those cities that are located near a body of water.

4. Permeable Pavement

Most cities and towns have concrete or asphalt sidewalks and streets. These materials are not absorbent, and rainwater can easily overwhelm drainage systems and cause flooding. A number of porous surfaces can be used instead to allow water to infiltrate, eliminating runoff and controlling water from storms.

5. Increase Vegetation

There are many natural defenses against flooding, and vegetation is a highly effective one. Trees can hold water in leaves and bark, and their canopies can slow the flow of water until it evaporates or is absorbed by the soil. Grass and shrubs combat erosion and reduce the force of floodwaters.

Flood prevention strategies can help towns and communities dodge some of the damage caused by water, but when disaster strikes, emergency restoration specialists are available to assist in cleanup and rebuilding.