Recent Water Damage Posts

3 Simple Tips for Preparing and Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

The most significant way to ensure optimal sprinkler functionality is to inspect the system’s water supply regularly.

3 Easy Ways To Prepare And Maintain Your Fire Sprinkler System

Fire sprinkler systems are one of the best tools for preventing and controlling devastating fires. Nevertheless, residential and commercial property owners often shy away from sprinklers, fearing that they are difficult to install, maintain, and manage.
On the contrary, fire sprinklers require little care and attention to function properly. A simple maintenance checklist is all you need to ensure adequate fire suppression and save both your property and your life.

1. Perform Fire Sprinkler Drain and Flow Tests Semiannually

The most significant way to ensure optimal sprinkler functionality is to inspect the system’s water supply regularly. You can either perform these inspections yourself or have a contractor in Des Moines, WA, complete the task for you.

Experts suggest that owners perform drain and flow tests at least once every few years but encourage inspections on an annual or semiannual basis. Drain and flow tests ensure that water flows freely through sprinkler pipes and that sprinklers emit adequate water when triggered.

2. Keep Sprinklers Uncovered (Usually)

It may seem intuitive that sprinklers should remain uncovered and unobstructed to do their jobs properly. In most situations, this is a critical part of the sprinkler maintenance checklist.
However, it is essential to shield sprinklers in specific instances. Sprinklers in paint shops, for example, can accrue enough residue to block water from escaping. The solution is to cover sprinklers with an approved plastic or cellophane cover and replace these coverings every few months to prevent inhibitive buildup.

3. Winterize Your Sprinklers

Like traditional water pipes, sprinkler systems can freeze when the temperature drops in cold winter months. Fortunately, the winterization process for fire sprinklers and traditional water pipes is the same, making it a simple addition to your winter safety checklist.

Keeping your fire sprinkler system in top-notch condition is simple with a short maintenance checklist. In the event of a fire, a fire restoration company ensures that fire sprinkler cleanup is equally easy. With this peace of mind, you can set aside your excuses for installing this life-saving system.

Unclog Your Drain Using These Safe, Simple Methods

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Drain snakes are commonly used by water damage restoration professionals, but you can also buy one for your own use.

Unclog Your Drain With These Simple, Safe Methods

When you discover a clogged or slow-draining sink in Renton Highlands,WA, your first reaction might be to go for harsh commercial chemicals. Although they're made to break up clogs, they can actually damage pipes, which is far worse than a clogged drain. Using natural methods is more cost-effective than commercial products. There are several methods to try before resorting to a harsh chemical drain cleaner.

1. Sink Plunger, Wire Hanger or Drain Snake

Most homes probably have a plunger for the toilet and sewage cleaning, but maybe not a sink plunger. A sink plunger should be your go-to when you first discover a clog. It could solve the problem immediately. A straightened wire hanger or a drain snake are also good options. Drain snakes are frequently used by water damage restoration professionals, but you can also purchase one to have on hand. They have blades that cut clogs, including material from fibrous foods and hair.

2. Dish Soap and Boiling Water

A clog caused by grease will quickly break up and go down the drain by using dish soap and boiling water. Pour liquid dish soap down the drain. Then, chase it with a pot of boiling water. Prevent a clogged drain by doing this once a week.

3. Vinegar Ice Cubes

Vinegar has a mild acidity, which is excellent for various types of cleaning. Create ice cubes made of half vinegar and half water. Once it's completely frozen, turn on the garbage disposal and then dump the ice cubes into the disposal. The vinegar will clean it while the chunks of ice will scrape the clog off the walls.

4. Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you ever created a "volcano" for a science project, you know that mixing baking soda and vinegar causes a very bubbly chemical reaction. This mixture can be an incredibly useful drain cleaner.

Before resorting to a harsh chemical drain cleaner for your clogged drain, try one of these safer approaches. You should be happy with the results.

Appropriate Mitigation of a Water Leak Can Help Save Your Home

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Water heaters, pipes and faucets, dishwashers, tubs and showers – all have the potential to leak.

Appropriate Water Leak Mitigation Can Help You Save Your Home

Normal everyday life is generally free from water disasters, but homes everywhere are full of water-related items. Water heaters, pipes and faucets, dishwashers, tubs and showers – all have the potential to leak. Even a category 1, or clean water leak can cause damage if not acted on quickly. Your home in Des Moines,WA, is no exception. A leaking water heater or other plumbing failures can wreak havoc on your home and belongings. You should be aware of the following steps to secure your home if a failed water heater springs a leak.

What To Do When You Experience a Leak

1. Keep people out of the area and contact an emergency water damage service
2. Get an inspection and assessment of your water damage
3. Remove or extract water immediately
4. Use adequate means to dry and dehumidify the area
5. Sanitization and cleaning of home contents
6. Restoration of living conditions

A broken water heater can send gallons of water into the surrounding area, cause damage to flooring and belongings, and even wick up into sheetrock. It is imperative that upon finding a leaking water heater, you get help at once to clean up the water and start drying things out to optimize your chances of salvaging your belongings.

A water damage repair and restoration service in Des Moines, WA, will have heavy-duty equipment to extract the water from carpeting and industrial strength fans to dry things out. Timely dehumidification is essential if you hope to save your carpet or rugs. It is also critical to hardwood flooring that all water is removed and dried of moisture immediately. It is essential to prevent water from reaching the subfloor to stave off warping and swelling in that layer.

Observe proper maintenance procedures to prevent a leaking water heater before things get out of hand. But if the unexpected happens, following the steps above will help mitigate the damage for the best outcome possible.

The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Water Damage

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

Is water damage present in your home? Call SERVPRO for all your restoration needs. Our crew is always available to take your call and answer any time.

Primary And Secondary Water Damage: What's the Difference?

When you’re stuck dealing with the aftermath of an extensive leak or flood in your Seahurst, WA, home, there’s going to be water damage. The preliminary result of water damage is considered primary, while the onset of any effects thereafter are known to be secondary. This is when greater problems can begin to arise around your household, such as black mold and interior structural harm, that ends up becoming quite costly. Read on to discover more about the two distinct types of damage, and how to prevent the second type from occurring altogether.

Primary Water Damage Is the Immediate Result

Once a leak or flood has erupted in your home, the resulting damage to the residence is considered the primary damage. This can be seen visibly in numerous ways, such as through:

  • Wet drywall,
  • Damp or soaked carpets,
  • Damp or bubbling wallpaper, or
  • Wet upholstery that easily soaks up water.

It takes the skill and expertise of experienced water restoration specialists to fully take on a water-damaged home, properly drying and sanitizing the exposed areas to ensure they are effectively handled. They can utilize special equipment that seeks out any sources of extreme moisture or high humidity in order to prevent the potential growth of black mold or mildew in the future.

Secondary Water Damage Can Take Weeks To Appear — and It Can Be Doubly Destructive

If primary damage hasn’t been correctly restored from the beginning, a new set of problems can begin to appear as secondary damage. Drywall can fold in on itself and disintegrate; wallpaper can tear away from the walls completely, and hardwood floors can start to crack or warp. Most importantly, mold can begin to grow and fester in any of these areas, which can generally be found by sight or smell alone after a few weeks’ time.

Take control of your Seahurst, WA, home by clearing out water damage directly after it’s occurred, and keep your property from sustaining any further destruction like black mold that can leave you paying extensively as a result.

How Water Damage Can Affect Your Home

1/22/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO had an extra set of eyes upon them at this home. The family cat was very interested in what we were doing and was quick to get involved.

What Are The Consequences Of Water Damage To Your Home?

If your Des Moines,WA, home has experienced flooding you may be wondering what types of damage you may be facing. With the potential to cause problems with everything from swelling wood to possible mold growth, here are some things you may want to know how water damage can affect your home.

Possible Ways You Home Can be Damaged

Water damage can be caused in a number of ways.

• A broken supply line can lead to flooding in your yard and home
• Storm damage can lead to a leaky roof
• Pipes can freeze and break in cold weather
• Sewer backup can lead to flooding

Long Term Damages

If left unattended water can lead to long term damage which can cause problems for your home, and even lead to the denial of an insurance claim. Sitting water can lead to swelling wood in the floors or walls which can cause structural warping. Standing water also provides a prime habitat for mold growth. In basement areas water can seep into the foundation leading to potential cracking. These problems can be prevented by cleaning up flooding as quickly as possible.

What You Can Do

The first step is to get any flooding cleaned up quickly, and start the water pipe repair process. One the water is gone and any breaks or leaks fixed, you can begin to asses the damage. A water damage restoration service may be able to help you with this step. When looking over the damaged areas be sure to check for mold or rot so that the appropriate steps can be taken during the repairs.

Water damages can lead to swelling wood, foundation cracks, and even mold growth if left unchecked. This is why it’s important to quickly conduct any repairs necessary whenever you have problems with water in your home. If desired, a professional can help with the cleanup and restoration process.

What To Do When Your Flooring has Water Damage

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water flowed throughout the home damaging these beautiful floors. We arrived quickly to remove all of the damaged materials and properly dry the area.

What To Do If Your Flooring Has Been Damaged By Water

When dealing with a pipe break in Seahurst, WA, you may find that your carpet and other flooring retains water damage. When this happens it’s not uncommon to wonder if the material is salvageable. Here is some information you may want to know.

Know What Problems Water Damage Causes

Water damage can lead to a number of problems with flooring if not dealt with quickly. They include

• Swelling of wood in wooden floors or sub-floor leading to warping
• Carpeting can hold onto moisture long term which can damage to sub-floor
• Cracks in wood or tile if the water freezes
• Possible mold growth
• Porous flooring can soak in contaminants

Clean up Quickly

When dealing with a pipe break it’s important to clean up any remaining water as quickly as possible. Doing so can help you prevent further damage. It’s also a good idea to locate and remedy the source of the water damage. Doing so can help prevent future problems. Depending on the type of break, you may want to call in a plumbing professional or a water damage restoration service.

Call in a Professional

In many cases contacting a professional service may be your best bet for having your home restored quickly and preventing further problems. They can not only clean up the damage and make repairs, but many repair services can also check for mold and help restore any personal items that may have been damaged as well.

Salvaging your flooring after a pipe break is possible if the flooding occurred from a clean water source. If the water was tainted with sewage you will want to replace it. In both cases any flooding should be cleaned up as quickly as possible, and the source of the damage found and fixed. A local Seahurst, WA, restoration service may be able to help you get your home back in order.

Why Your Water Heater May Be Creaking and Groaning

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

If you already have water damage due to water heater in your home, call SERVPRO, we are ready to help you.

Why Is Your Water Heater Groaning And Creaking?

If you hear bumps in the night and creaking moans coming from your basement, there is a slight chance that your home is haunted, but an even greater chance that your water heater is just acting up. Before you sprinkle garlic around the perimeter of your home, contact your Harbor Island, WA, water cleanup team, or perform a few quick tests on your heater yourself to see if maybe it's not the old tank that's giving off the creepy vibes.

Troubleshooting Water Boiler Issues

There are a few telltale signs of a troubled water furnace for which you can look that can help you diagnose the issue and therefore identify a viable solution. Some such signs are as follows:

  • You have no hot water or not enough hot water.
  • The hot water is far too hot.
  • The water smells funny or is discolored.
  • Your water heater bangs, pops, gurgles, screeches, screams, shrieks or makes any other unsettling noise.

If you notice one or more of the first three signs in conjunction with the strange noises, rest easy knowing that your hot water tank is your ghost. Now that you know the furnace is to blame, however, what can you do about it?

Repairing a Troubled Water Tank

The requisite repair all depends on the issue. If the issue is lack of or insufficient hot water, you may need to check the gas pilot or the electrical connection. You may also want to check the dial on your heater to make sure that it's set to a sufficient temperature.

If the water is too hot, again, check the temperature gauge. It may be turned way up. If that's not the problem, and if you hear boiling noises coming from within the heater, the pressure relief valve may be improperly installed.

If the water has a strange odor, the source of the problem may be your water source and not the water tank. Iron, copper and discoloration often cause discoloration and bad smells.

Finally, if noise is the only complaint, there may be sediment trapped at the bottom of your tank. If that's the case, perform a water heater flush and see if that doesn't correct the issue.

Key Steps You Should Complete During Sprinkler System Maintenance

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty.

Depending on the nature of your Seattle, WA, business, your sprinkler system may be a vital component of your success. Because it’s idle during winter, it’s important to ensure that this system is functioning properly before you restart it at the beginning of the growing season. To accomplish this, you should complete routine irrigation maintenance.

Optimal Performance

An irrigation system evaluation enables you to identify any existing issues that may interfere with optimal performance, such as broken sprinkler heads, clogs, and water leaks. It also ensures your system is ready to go when you need it to perform, helping to minimize potentially harmful irrigation delays.

Initial Steps

Before you turn your system’s water on, you may want to remove sprinkler heads. This may help clear debris near valves, reducing the risk of obstructions.

When you’re ready to initiate water flow, increase pressure slowly. If you immediately turn the water on full strength, the intense initial pressure may cause some components to crack or burst.

Maintenance Checklist

Once the water is turned on, you can evaluate how individual components are functioning. To complete an efficient irrigation maintenance review, you should take the following steps:
• Ensure the system has adequate water pressure
• Confirm that each valve has the proper orientation
• Verify the rotation of heads and adjust as needed
• Clean filters, if necessary
• Inspect and clean sensors

It’s also important to check your system’s controller. You may need to reprogram this component to set up automatic watering. You may also need to replace backup batteries.

Avoid Sprinkler Flooding

Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty. Completing annual irrigation maintenance can help minimize the risk of performance issues as well as potentially destructive sprinkler flooding. Flooding can be costly, especially if it flows into your building and necessitates the need for extensive cleanup efforts. In short, an annual irrigation system evaluation helps to ensure optimal performance as well as protect your property and financial interests.

The 4 Don’ts of Water Damage

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is caused by broken pipes.

List of Don’ts of Water Damage

A broken pipe creates many concerns for homeowners, and while it is instinctual to protect your belongings, that instinct can lead to injury or further damage. The list of don’ts below may help you minimize health risks while mitigating concerns over your belongings.

1. Do Not Use Electronics

While most people are preoccupied with the immediate risks to property, they may ignore the dangers of submerged outlets and water-soaked wiring. Plugging in or trying to use electrical appliances and tools may come with the threat of shock and electrocution. If you are uncertain of the safety of your home, you can seek help from a disaster specialist in the Tukwila, WA, area who can assess your property for any potential hazards.

2. Do Not Ignore Damp Fabrics

While a broken pipe can be overwhelming, you shouldn’t let it distract you from other threats to your property. Ignoring damp fabrics, for instance, can lead to mold growth, and it may also cause irreversible damage to hardwood floors and other surfaces. It is essential to remove wet materials and hang them somewhere to dry.

3. Do Not Leave Wet Dyed Items on Floors

Items like books and magazines may also stain and distress floors, countertops, and furniture. Their colorful bindings and pictures can bleed deep into porous surfaces if left to soak and dry on their own. Also, as paper is a porous substance, it can be a source of mold and mildew growth.

4. Do Not Handle Items without Protection

The buildup of water in a home can also lead to contamination, depending on the origin of the pipes. For instance, flooding from sewer lines can fill a house with black water, which is water conducive to bacteria growth. Unless you know the water classification, assume that water is contaminated and that you must wear protective clothing to handle any affected items.

A broken pipe presents many potential hazards for homeowners, and while it is easy to know what you should do, like removing excess water, it is less obvious what you should avoid. The above list of don’ts may help you avoid risks while mitigating your home repair.

A Proven Process To Minimize Water Damage After a Leak

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Drying and dehumidification in a Tukwila, WA residence.

The actions you take immediately after water damage in your home are critical in several ways. How you respond can make a difference in hundreds of dollars in damages to your property in Tukwila, WA. As soon as possible, it is important to stop the flow of water, whether it is from an outside flood or from broken pipes within your home. The next step is to secure the area for the purpose of safety, making sure no person becomes injured from an assortment of hazards. At this point, you should call for the services of a water restoration company in your area.

The Process of a Successful Cleanup

Just as the homeowner has a priority list to follow in cases of water damage, so too does the restoration company. Unlike the homeowner, though, the company and crew have been through this a hundred times before, and have things down to a proven routine. Though each water cleanup is unique, the general process goes as follows:

  • Fast arrival to the scene
  • Inspection and assessment
  • Water removal and extraction
  • Drying and dehumidification
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration

Highly-trained technicians will arrive with advanced equipment to more efficiently proceed with the job. These tools include water vacuums, air dryers, dehumidifiers, safe cleaning agents and diagnostic devices.

The Goals of a Satisfactory Restoration

No matter how extensive the water damage, the goal of a SERVPRO team is to restore your home "Like it never even happened." There shouldn't be any excess moisture remaining in the house, and all odors should be eliminated. Using best practices for the cleaning and restoration industry, a local franchise will restore your home to its original condition. Technicians will also make sure future problems such as mold growth will not appear in the near future. By following an orderly, proven process, a professional team will minimize damages and expenses to your home after a water disaster.

How To Be Proactive About Plumbing Issues

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Fix plumbing leaks quickly.

How To Be Proactive About Plumbing Issues

Plumbing problems often occur without warning and leave you scrambling to clean up the mess and the damage left behind. As a business owner in Normandy Park, WA, being proactive about potential plumbing issues could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

1. Find a Good Plumber Now
When you find a surprise leak or a broken pipe, you want to know who to call right away. The quicker problems are addressed, the less damage is caused. Before you have a water crisis to deal with, do your research and find a good plumber. Read reviews and talk to plumbers who service your area and who are experienced in your type of building.

2. Schedule Maintenance
Once you have found a plumber, schedule routine maintenance for your building. Your plumber will work to keep your building in proper working order, addressing anything that could become a plumbing issue down the line. They can suggest repairs or upgrades to help prevent future plumbing problems. And, in the event you do have a plumbing emergency, a plumber familiar with your building may locate the cause of the problem quickly.

3. Review Your Water Bill Each Month
Every home and business owner should review utility bills each month, looking for sudden spikes in charges. While it is normal for water bills to fluctuate a little each month, or even each season, a water bill that is significantly higher than expected may be a clue that there is unknown damage somewhere. There could be a hidden slow leak or an issue with the water main. If you do receive an extremely high water bill, that's a great time to call your regular plumber to inspect your building to find the issue.
The mess and damages left behind by plumbing problems often require the help of water damage restoration specialists. You can greatly reduce the cost of repairs needed by remaining proactive about plumbing issues through an established professional relationship with a good plumber.

How To Navigate Insurance After a Flood

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

If you have experienced water damage in your home it is important to assess the damage quickly

After the initial water cleanup has begun, it's important to place a claim with your insurance company so you can get the ball rolling as soon as possible. The sooner you can get a home adjuster out to assess the damage and file a report, the sooner the cost of repairs will be covered. Here are a few helpful tips on how to navigate the claims process after you have a flood:

Ask The Right Questions Up Front

When you place your initial call after the event, make sure to ask your agent:

  • what your deductible is
  • whether your damage is covered under your policy
  • what the deadline is for filing and how long it
  • will take to process the insurance claim
  • what receipts or evidence you'll need to provide when filing

Address Immediate Issues to Prevent Further Damage
If cleanup is extensive, call a water damage remediation service in Mercer Island, WA, to remove the water and wet materials and begin drying everything out. It's important to do this right away to prevent avoidable secondary damage — which your home adjuster is sure to note — increasing the likelihood that those damages will not be covered.

Keep Meticulous Records of the Damage
Don't leave anything to chance. Take good photos or videos of every area of damage. Find receipts or research current replacement costs for damaged items and save them so the adjuster can see them during the visit. Get written estimates for repairs and make copies of all written correspondence with your insurance company and contractors.

Know What Happens Next if Your Claim Is Disputed
Don't panic if your insurance disputes some parts of your claim; you can ask for an independent appraisal if the claim department's manager isn't of help. In some cases, the insurance company may offer arbitration to reach an agreement.
Flood insurance is extremely helpful to have, even when it's not required by the government. It can save you a lot of money if the worst happens and your home sustains serious water damage. Your insurance agent and a home adjuster will work with you to see that the best possible outcome is reached, despite the unfortunate circumstances.

Prepare for a Home Adjuster Visit With 3 Easy Steps

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Prepare for a home adjuster visit

Three Steps for Preparing For An Adjuster's Visit

Filing an insurance claim for a flooded home can seem like a complicated process. Between handling the shock of the disaster, fixing the broken pipes, and restoring your home, squeezing in a visit from the home adjuster can feel overwhelming in Seattle, WA. If you have never filed a claim before, the process can be quite stressful. However, with thorough preparation, the process can go smoothly and quickly.

1. Prevent Additional Damage
Make temporary repairs to prevent additional damage while you wait for the adjuster to come. If the damage gets worse during this waiting period, some insurance companies may deny your claim if you neglect to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate your losses. Keep all receipts from these repairs and submit them to your insurance provider for reimbursement with your insurance claim.

2. Document the Damage
Compile a detailed list of any items that were destroyed or damaged during the incident and give it to the home adjuster. Gather copies of any receipts showing how much you paid for each item and its date of purchase. Take photographs or record a video of any damage and do not throw out any items until after the adjuster has visited. Make a list of any structural damage that occurred from the flood, including damage to walls, floors, and doors. Be sure to have an inspection of your electrical system as well. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of these inspections.

3. Keep Your Receipts
Keep a copy of all receipts for any additional costs related to the flood. For example, if you are unable to stay in your home due to the damage and need to seek temporary housing, record these costs, and hold on to the receipts. If you hire a professional water cleanup service to restore your home, keep track of these costs as well.
Dealing with a home adjuster may seem intimidating but following these simple steps and preparing ahead of time can help move the process along quickly. The more information you can provide, the faster your claim will be approved.

Sewage Cleanup Is Best Left to Professionals

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage backup is a job for the experts at SERVPRO!

Sewage Cleanup Is Best Left to Professionals

While any excess water where it shouldn’t be in your Des Moines, WA, home, it is even more concerning when it involves a sewer backup. Considered black water, it contains potentially harmful contaminants, debris, and microorganisms that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Depending on the severity, sewer cleanup is best left to water damage and restoration professionals who have the expertise, tools, and advanced techniques to return your home to normal.

When To Call For Help
If the damage is minimal and contained in one room, such as a bathroom with a flooded toilet, homeowners can tackle the problem themselves if they wear proper PPE and use recommended cleaning tips. In the following situations, consider contacting a professional to ensure a safe and efficient sewer cleanup.

  • If you have filed a claim, your insurer may request using a professional.
  • The issue has spread to multiple rooms are the scope of work is overwhelming.
  • The sewage water has been sitting for more than 24 hours.
  • Contaminated water has entered the HVAC system.

Professional Cleanup Process
Even if the situation requires help, you still want peace of mind that the process will be done right. When choosing the right company, ensure that the company and its technicians are all certified to do the work. After calling a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster, you can expect the following:

  • A quick response to inspect and assess the damage, as well as provide a detailed cleanup plan.
  • Removal of water and any solid waste.
    The affected area will be dried out using professional-grade dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, or air movers.
  • Mitigate any mold growth issues.
  • Clean and sanitize all affected areas.
  • Complete damage restoration, including cleaning carpets, upholstery, and belongings.

While it may be easy to want to start sewer cleanup, it’s better to assess the extent of the damage to determine the best and safest solution.

What To Do If Your Toilet Overflows While You Shower

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Use the snake in the toilet

Follow The Steps Below

There is nothing worse than stepping out of a nice, relaxing shower and into a pile of toilet water on your bathroom floor. This occurs when there is a clogged pipe between the sewer and the toilet. The running shower then backs up into the waste water lines, causing toilet overflow.
To limit the need for sewage cleaning in your home, you should address this clog as soon as you can. If the clog is small, you may be able to fix it on your own.
Start by grabbing a plumbing tool called a snake. A snake uses a flexible and thick wire used to clear a clog. You should look for a snake that is at least 25 feet in length. 

1. Use the Snake in the Toilet
First, run the snake through the toilet. You can also try removing the toilet and putting the snake in the floor drain. When you think you have eliminated the clog, turn on the shower to see what happens. If the toilet overflows again, move on to the next step.

2. Try the Drain Cleanout
The drain cleanout is the cap that covers the main drain in your crawlspace or basement. You can use a pipe wrench to take off the cap. You may need to do some sewage cleaning if liquid overflows from the drain. Then put the snake down the drain to eliminate any clogs. Put the cap back on the drain before you run the shower again.

3. Call a Professional
If the toilet still overflows after you clear the cleanout, the clog may be especially tough or located in an area that the snake cannot reach. You will need to call a plumber who has the commercial equipment necessary to break up the clog.
Once the clog is removed from the pipes, you will have to address up the mess in your bathroom. Sewage cleaning specialists in Seattle, WA, can sanitize and dry off your home.

The Basics of Secondary Damage

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Mold needs a water source to grow, whether it be a leak under the sink or a high humidity level in the air

Having water damage in your home in Seatac,WA, is bad enough. Finding out you have a black mold issue is worse. Preventing such problems requires timely professional water remediation. If you fail to do so, your cleanup process only gets more complicated.

What Is Mold?

The presence of mold in your home is inevitable. Mold spores enter your home by hitching a ride on several surfaces:

  • Hair
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Pets

Mold spores in the air are usually nothing to worry about. They only become problematic when the right conditions exist for them to land on surfaces and grow.

What Does Mold Need To Grow?

Like most organisms, fungus needs food and water to thrive. Mold can feast on any organic matter. This includes drywall, carpet fibers, wood and fabric. It also needs a water source, whether it be a leak under the sink or a high humidity level in the air. If those two factors are present, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to start to grow.

How Do You Detect Mold?

Black mold has a distinct odor. It's telltale musty scent is hard to ignore. Even if you don't see the slimy black or green mold growing on a surface, the smell alone can tell you that you have a problem. To identify its exact location, however, you need to have your home tested by a professional environmental hygienist.

How Do You Get Rid of Mold?

Secondary damage such as mold requires professional mitigation. Experts can get rid of fungus that is trapped under the surface or advise you on which materials are too damaged to be salvaged. They can then tear out and dispose of ruined materials and items properly. Then they test to make sure the issue is resolved.
While prevention of black mold growth is ideal, there are still things you can do if you discover a mold problem in your home. Contact the professionals and trust their expertise.

How Flooding Can Continue to Cause Damage Over Time

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding in a Seatac, WA home

How Flooding Can Continue to Cause Damage Over Time

If you’ve ever come home to flooding in your home in Seatac,WA, you are likely aware of how it can wreak havoc almost instantly. Soaked carpets, foul odors or uncomfortably high humidity inside the home are just some things that you can encounter right away. However, if not properly remedied, there are a slew of other issues, such as Black mold, that you may also need to deal with.

Without professional remediation you may experience the following after a flood even after your initial cleanup:

  • Higher level of humidity indoors that leads to condensation
  • Warping of furniture and walls
  • An ideal breeding ground for microbes including Black mold

Why Invest in Professional Services

It can be tempting to clean up a flood yourself, but depending on the extent of the damage, and the likelihood of secondary damage to occur, hiring a professional can help ensure that the cleanup is done thoroughly the first time. When you hire specialists who are experienced with flood remediation, they typically bring with them commercial grade supplies and machines that can get the job done more efficiently than with the resources available to an average homeowner. High-power and high-capacity water vacuums, dehumidifiers not to mention prevention for future occurrences are just some valuable tools that will be at your disposal with a professional. Aside from the physical tools that come with these experts is the vast experience and knowledge to help you pinpoint what may have caused the flood in the first place, as well as the ability to fix or replace faulty equipment or piping as needed.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Once a professional has helped you to recover from any flooding in Seatac,WA, and given you recommendations to prevent a reoccurrence, it can be wise to take their advice and act sooner rather than later. Since water damage can bring your life to a standstill and cause more costly repairs resulting from both initial and secondary damage, such as Black mold, in the future, addressing the problem early on can ultimately save you time, money and stress.

4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Secondary Water Damage

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Employ an air purifier

4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Secondary Water Damage

A significant water leak or burst pipe can occur inside any home in Seahurst, WA, potentially causing substantial damage. If not properly addressed, water infiltration can also result in extensive black mold growth. Fortunately, there are several steps every homeowner can take to minimize the risk of secondary damage mandating mold remediation.

1. Routinely Seal Grout

Tile is a popular flooring option. Because the grout that holds tile in place tends to be porous, tiled floors in your home may be susceptible to water seepage. To prevent damage and mold growth under the structure, it's important to routinely apply grout sealant. Completing this proactive maintenance procedure can help you avoid costly repairs in the event of a flood.

2. Remove Saturated Building Materials

Carpets, drywall and insulation are examples of other porous building materials that black mold can infiltrate and contaminate. Because of this, it’s imperative that you remove saturated carpeting and walls during the water damage cleanup and restoration process. To be efficient and thorough, you should complete a flood cut at least 12 inches above the highest water level.

3. Dry Affected Area

Because moisture is a key ingredient in mold growth, promptly drying the affected area is crucial. To expedite the process, utilize fans and a dehumidifier to reduce high humidity levels. You should also wait to replace drywall and flooring until the space is completely dry.

4. Employ an Air Purifier

Mold is present throughout the environment, which may complicate containment efforts. To address this dilemma, you can employ an air purifier that utilizes a HEPA filter. This filter is an efficient choice because it purifies the air and traps mold spores, further reducing opportunities for proliferation.
Recovering from water damage can be a daunting experience. Enduring substantial black mold growth can cause additional destruction, further compromising the integrity of your home. Diligent cleanup efforts can, however, spare you from costly secondary damage.

How Do Experts Handle Commercial Water Damage?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

If a broken pipe results in water damage it must be fixed by a plumber before damage can be mitigated.

Damage mitigation and restoration professionals have extensive experience with most types of water damage. Whether a broken pipe, leaky roof, sewer backup or flood causes damage at a building in Mercer Island,WA, experts can recommend the best water repair methods. Here are effective mitigation and restoration techniques for the most common causes of commercial water damage.

Damaged Pipes

A property owner must take several steps to fix a pipe break. More than one expert may be necessary to address the problem. The experts can include:

  • Plumbers
  • Mitigation specialists
  • Restoration professionals

A broken pipe can introduce a lot of water into a structure in a short amount of time. A plumber must fix the pipe before damage can be mitigated. Mitigation experts can then extract clean water from a supply line break and dry the affected area.

Fire Sprinkler Issues

A fire sprinkler system can cause water damage due to accidental activation or in response to fire. Water from a malfunction can be removed, and the area can be dried. If water mixes with soot, the affected area should be cleaned.

Roof Leaks

Water from a roof leak can damage a variety of building materials. Mitigation and restoration professionals can check the condition of the following components:

  • Ceilings
  • Drywall
  • Insulation

It may be necessary to tear out and replace porous materials saturated with contaminated water. The area must be completely dry before restoration.

Sewer Backups

A sewer backup or flooded toilet can release highly contaminated water. A plumber can clear the clog and cleanup professionals should immediately mitigate damage. This type of flooding can be extracted, and damaged materials should be torn out prior to disinfection.

If a broken pipe or any other incident results in water damage at a building in Mercer Island,WA, the owner or manager should arrange for water repair. Mitigation and restoration professionals can arrive on site within hours to assess the damage.

Flooded Basement

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Harold and Jenny decided to go on vacation for a couple weeks. They did everything they thought they were supposed to: lock the doors, have someone watch their cats and water their plants, and make sure their heat was set to low so they weren’t charged for using it while they weren’t in town. However, one day the boy who was watching their cats and watering their plants noticed a small puddle of water in the basement. Of course, he thought nothing of it. He contacted Harold and Jenny, told them about the water, and went on his way. Fast forward to five days later the couple returned. Harold went to the basement to check out the “small” puddle of water. Turns out a pipe had cracked while they were on vacation, and now they were dealing with a flooded basement. That small puddle of water Jimmy had mentioned had turned into a small lake in the basement.

Some may say this situation is exaggerated, but this happens more often than people think. As the weather gets colder and many start taking vacations in warmer climates, the plumbing is often the first aspect of a house to suffer. When pipes aren’t run regularly, the small amounts of water left over in the pipes will collect in areas of the lines. If the temperature gets low enough, that water can freeze, which will cause the pipes to shrink and crack.

What to do if my Basement Floods

Now, some may think: “Well, what am I supposed to do when that happens?”

There are a few answers:

  • Turn off the water
    • This will stop the immediate problem of leaking water.
  • Call a plumber
    • Get that leak fixed so it doesn’t become a future problem
  • Call SERVPRO of South/ West Seattle

This is probably the last thing someone wants to think about right after coming back from a relaxing vacation, so there are also a few steps to take prior to leaving that can save a call to a plumber:

  • Keep the heat above 55 degrees in the house
    • This is something a lot of apartment complexes recommend for people who leave during winter breaks (usually college students), but this also applies to homeowners. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing.
  • Let the kitchen sink drip
    • If it’s an older home or older plumbing this will keep water from standing in one place
  • Make sure that parts of the home that may not be as well insulated (garage, basement, attic, etc) are well-heated.
    • Space heaters are a simple way to heat large rooms.
    • Note: This will probably increase your heating bill, but that is drop in the bucket compared to the price of a plumber and mitigation team. Not only will you be paying for the repairs, mitigation, and dry-out, but your family may also be displaced for a while, depending on the amount of damage.
    • Especially with colder nights coming, pipes in the garage, basement, or attic are sometimes the first to freeze up.

Remember that mold spores can start growing into colonies about 72 hours: waiting to call if there is water damage can only make the problem worse!

If you do have water damage in your home, please call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle for a cost-free estimate at (206) 932-9033 today! We can have a team out to your home to assess and mitigate the problem immediately.

How To Handle Water-Damaged Building Materials

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Swelling subfloor after water damage in an Harbor Island, WA home

Three Key Tips for Handling Swelling Wood After Water Damage

One of the most difficult wet materials to handle is wood. Because of its porosity, wood tends to absorb a lot of water and become distorted. Read on for three key tips for handling swelling wood after extensive water damage.

1) Know the Different Types of Wood Damage

At first glance, it may seem like the damage to your home’s wooden materials is irreversible, but depending on their location, they may be salvageable. The way you would handle damaged wood in your cabinets or your subfloor, for example, differs from the way you would handle drywall and real wood. Your cabinets and subfloor would most likely need to be replaced, but fortunately, drywall and real wood can be dried and saved.

2) Stop It at the Source

A common cause of flooding in homes is water pipe damage. Your pipes, also known as your home’s supply line, carry water or gas from behind your walls to your fixtures and appliances.
Damage to these crucial pipes can come about from clogging, corrosion, or freezing, as just a few examples. Unfortunately, pipe failure often leads to substantial flooding and building material damage. If you encounter swelling wood or similar damage, it’s important to fix the structural issue rather than treating the symptoms of it. This will save you money and time in the long run.

3) Get Help!

With the proper equipment, water damage repair specialists in Harbor Island,WA, can accurately assess the extent of the damage to your home. From there, they can decide on the appropriate next steps to take, such as water extraction, dehumidification, and water pipe repair. Water damage is tricky for non-professionals to deal with, so it’s safer and more cost-effective in the long-term to enlist professionals with the right tools and experience.

Wet building materials are an all-too-common occurrence that can arise from a number of situations. An especially difficult part of dealing with water damage in your home is figuring out how to repair swelling wood. With some patience and help, though, you’ll get your home back to its dry, normal state before you know it.

How to Make a Water Damage Claim

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call your insurance representative in Mercer Island,WA and discuss the incident in detail

Do you ever pay your monthly insurance premium and cringe at the amount of money you spend? You’re not the only Mercer Island,WA, homeowner to stress out about these costs. On the other hand, with proper coverage, you can spare yourself grief and much more financial stress in the event of bursting pipes or other issues that leads to flooding at home. If water has damaged something in your house, you must understand the claims process so you can get the help you need.

Key Points to Know

You don’t want to have to make a claim for water damage, but you’re thankful you have that protection if something does go wrong. To alleviate your stress during this already anxious time, considering the following:

  • Know the extent of your coverage. What does your policy cover?
  • Document the type and extent of the damage.
  • Contact the insurance company as soon as possible.

Get Familiar With Your Policy

You have homeowner’s insurance for a situation just like this, so put it to good use. However, policies can differ, so it’s crucial you know what yours will cover and not cover. Find out whether your policy will cover the cost to fix a broken pipe and other problems that have occurred due to deterioration over time. These are often your own responsibility. However, more disastrous situations such as sewer backups or storm-related problems are usually covered.

Keep Records

Whether bursting pipes cause flooding in your home or whether the problems come from Mother Nature, you should take photos of all the affected areas and what caused the water damage. Also, describe in writing how the flooding occurred and what it damaged.

Get in Touch With the Insurance

Call your insurance representative and discuss the incident in detail. At this point, you can formally file a claim and ask any questions. This is also the ideal time to contact a disaster cleanup company.

Not sure whether your insurance will bursting pipes in your house? Follow these steps to make sure you properly file a claim.

3 Tips To Prevent Mold After Water Damage

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Control moisture and humidity in your Harbor Island,WA home

3 Tips To Prevent Mold

Dealing with water damage in your home in Harbor Island,WA, sometimes makes it seem like a mold problem is inevitable. It may be easier to prevent mold than you think, though. You don’t have to resign yourself to recurring patches of fungus on your walls, carpet and ceiling. Follow these tips to keep these issues at bay.

1. Maintain Optimal Air Flow

Stagnant air can contribute to mold growth. If you do not have sufficient air flow in your home, mold spores are more likely to settle on surfaces. You are also more likely to have moisture problems, which exacerbate mold issues by giving it sustenance. Make sure that the areas of your home that are prone to excess moisture, such as the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom, are properly ventilated.

2. Pursue Quick Remediation

If your pipes spring a leak, a fast response is the best way to prevent secondary damage such as mold. Call mold remediation experts immediately whenever your home has water damage. It only takes a couple of days for spores to settle and multiply on surfaces in your home. The quicker you can make the environment less hospitable for fungus growth, the more likely you are to prevent the problem.

3. Keep Moisture Levels Down

Mold loves moisture, so it logically follows that minimizing moisture in your home can help with mold prevention. There are two main ways to do this. First, make sure you keep the humidity level at 45% or below. You can purchase a humidity meter at most hardware stores. Second, dry all affected items thoroughly any time you have a spill or leak. Allowing moisture to remain on surfaces in your home is an invitation to mold.

You may not be able to prevent water damage, but you don’t have to resign yourself to further issues such as mold infestation. Hire specialists who are faster to any size disaster to keep your home free from secondary damage.

Insurance Claims and Rate Hikes: Should You File?

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Drying a flooded home in Seattle, Wa

When something happens on your property, you likely wonder whether or not it is worth filing an insurance claim. The general understanding is that filing creates a rate hike, and sometimes that hike may price you out of your policy. However, is every claim created equal, and are there ever times that you shouldn’t file?

Determine Responsibility

While a rate hike is likely part of any claims process, a lot of weight is put on the idea of responsibility. For example, if something happens that is entirely out of your control, then the hikes associated with the claim may be minimal. On the other hand, if it is proven that you were negligent, then rate increases will likely be severe because they are associated with the risk you present to your insurer.

Type of Claim

Beyond responsibility, the effect on rates is dependent on the type of insurance claim. For example, there are varying degrees of water damage. A home flood caused by sustained pipe damage is going to cause a higher increase than a sudden burst pipe.

The Cost of Filing

It is important that you consider the cost of filing a claim. Most claims can result in a 20 to 40 percent increase and, depending on your insurer, may stay in effect for two to four years. Also, if the claim is considered high risk, your insurer may drop your coverage, requiring you to acquire high-risk policies.

Should You File

Whether or not you file is entirely up to you. If the damage is your responsibility, meaning you are at fault, then filing could result in the loss of coverage. Therefore, it may be better to resolve the issue on your own by hiring an emergency restoration company in the Seattle,WA, area. However, if the incident is an unforeseen event, then a claim is possibly your best option.

The insurance claim process often causes anxiety because homeowners are concerned with the effect it will have on their policy. However, the crucial thing to understand is that your insurance is there to protect you from unforeseen expenses and disasters, so use it when you need it.

Ruined to Rescued: Three Steps To Save a Wet Carpet

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Wet carpet can be saved. Learn how!

If you’ve ever had a pipe break in your home, you know that the aftermath can be as costly as it is messy. Before you get out your credit cards, you should know in most cases it’s possible to rescue a waterlogged carpet!

As long as the source of your flood is clean, following a few simple steps can save you a lot of money.

Stem the Flow

The first step to rescuing your rugs after a pipe break is to make sure the water has stopped flowing as soon as possible. The less water that comes in contact with your floor, the easier your floor will be to save. Locate the source of the leak and turn off the water as soon as you can.

Start Blotting

Once you’ve stopped the flow of the water, it’s time to start drying your floors. Gather as many towels as you can find and start blotting! Lay the dry towels over the wet area and apply pressure to soak up as much water as you can. Once the towel is saturated, replace it with a dry one and keep going. If your carpet is white or light in color, just be careful not to use brightly colored towels that may bleed dye and cause staining.

Crank the Air

While you are blotting, get dry air flowing through the room. If it’s not humid outside, open doors and windows to create a cross breeze through the room. You can also crank up your air conditioner or turn on your central heating system. If you have a dehumidifier in your home, using it will also help.

Taking these three easy steps can put you and your rugs well on the way to restoration. In the event of a serious flood, you may want to contact an expert remediation specialist in Seattle, Washington who can help prevent odors or mold. When you have a pipe break, the key is to move quickly to avoid lasting damage to your carpets and floors.