Recent Posts

3 Causes of Sewage Backup in a Basement

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break A flooded basement is commonly caused by old sewage pipes, clogged pipes, and storm damage.

Three Reasons For Basement Sewage Backup

There is nothing quite as stressful as coming home to a flooded basement, especially if that flood is due to a sewage line backing up. There are a number of causes of sewage backup in Eastgate, WA. Understanding the causes can help you find the best cleanup method and learn to prevent the problem in the future.

1. Old Sewer Pipes

Sewage pipes are often susceptible to damage, especially if they're older. Older pipes are made of clay and cast iron, which don't last as long as newer systems. They break down more easily, which leads to sewage backup in your basement, your backyard, or both. If you're noticing water in your basement and you know that your pipes are very old, they are likely the culprit.

2. Tree Roots

Tree roots are another huge culprit that causes a flooded basement. The larger a tree is, the deeper and wider its roots will grow. Depending on how close that tree is to your home and its piping, eventually, those roots can grow around and through pipes that are under your lawn. As they become entangled in your sewage line, they can cause the pipes to burst. Once that happens, you could see the results in your basement. Keep in mind, too, that if you live in a neighborhood where homes and lawns are close together, even a neighbor's tree can cause a problem for you.

3. Storm Damage

When serious storms roll through the area, they can wreak havoc on your underground sewage lines. Too much water can cause the soil to shift and thereby cause the underground pipes to become unstable. When storms cause sewage backup in your basement, you'll need specialty cleaners to ensure you remove any mold, mildew, and standing water.

Old sewage pipes, clogged pipes, and storm damage are all common causes of a flooded basement in Eastgate, WA. Understanding why it happens, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from happening again is vital.

Who Covers the Damage to a Rental Unit?

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Typically, a tenant's renters insurance will cover the loss of personal items due to fire, smoke, or water damage.

Who Pays For Damage To A Rental Unit?

When it comes to your home, it’s usually recommended that you have an insurance policy that covers damage to the structure of your property as well as loss or destruction of items within. What would you do for a commercial property such as a multi-family unit? What if there’s an apartment fire at your property in Bellevue, WA? Do you know what you’re responsible for as a landlord? Are you expected to cover your tenant’s items inside each unit? It’s important to understand your responsibility when it comes to covering damages to your property.

Exploring Fire Damage Responsibility and Causes

When it comes to responsibility for an apartment fire, you should be aware of common causes, especially ones that are tied to negligence or poor maintenance, such as these:

  • Lack of smoke detectors and fire protection devices
  • Malfunctioning smoke alarms
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Poorly maintained or improperly installed appliances
  • Gas leaks
  • Lack of or blocked fire exits
  • Presence of flammable materials/objects
  • Other building code violations

While your property insurance policy may cover damages to the structure of your building, it may not cover you for negligence or lack of upkeep. Now’s a great time to examine your current coverage and familiarize yourself with restrictions and limits.

Understanding a Renter’s Responsibility

Usually, a tenant’s renters insurance will cover the destruction of personal items due to things like fire, smoke, and water damage. Acts of vandalism aren’t usually covered by a landlord policy or a renter’s policy. You may need to look into getting an umbrella policy for better coverage.

While you never hope to experience an apartment fire, being a responsible property owner means knowing what is and isn’t covered. Should you experience major damage in your units, reach out to professional providers of commercial restoration services for a thorough cleanup, bringing your building to pre-damage conditions.

How To Stock Your Workplace First Aid Kit

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

front view of green first aid box An employee could injure oneself on the job, or a major storm or another natural disaster could strike during work hours.

How To Stock A First Aid Kit At Your Workplace

Whether we can predict them or not, accidents at the workplace do happen. An employee could injure oneself on the job, or a major storm or another natural disaster could strike during work hours. Having a first aid kit can prevent small injuries from becoming bigger issues that require serious medical attention in Somerset, WA. In addition, being equipped with the right emergency supplies can also be the difference between life and death.
At a minimum, your first aid supplies should include:

  • Instructions for calling for help
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Gauze pads and roller bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Elastic wraps
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Latex gloves
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Resuscitation equipment

Make Your Kit Accessible

While it is imperative to have emergency supplies on-site, it is equally important to keep the kit in an area that employees have access to. Make sure the first aid kit is clearly marked and your employees are informed of its location. Check the contents regularly and reorder supplies as needed to ensure the kit is always well-stocked with items that meet ANSI standards.

Train Your People

Provide training for your staff and show them how to access and use the contents inside your first aid box. These supplies are effective if medical attention cannot wait, and help is not immediately available. Make sure your staff knows who to contact in the event of an emergency, including a disaster recovery service to mitigate loss.

Know Your Responsibility

Keeping an emergency kit is not just practical; it is also the law. You have a responsibility to protect your employees and keep safe working conditions for them. If you do not have one, you could risk being held liable for accidents, injuries and the inability to prevent additional harm.

Hopefully, you will never have to use your first aid kit, but having one and being prepared will bring peace of mind that you are ready to handle accidents and disasters if they come your way.

3 Steps to a Sparkling Clean Grill

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue party. Regular grill cleaning can help keep your food tasting great. It can also prevent a serious grease fire that requires professional fire damage help.

3 Easy Steps To A Clean Grill

Getting your grill clean will not only make it look great on your deck in Factoria, WA but will also improve its longevity. The food you cook releases grease into the belly of your grill and leaves food bits and burnt particles on the grate. This can be a hazard and can also affect the taste of the next meal you cook on it. Here is how you can complete your grill cleaning in 3 easy steps.

1. Gather Your Supplies

You need the proper tools to get this job done. Here are the supplies you need for your grill cleaning:

  • Gloves
  • Grill brush
  • Paper towels
  • Bucket
  • Dish soap

Fill your bucket with very hot water and several drops of dish soap. Be sure to use a grease-fighting soap for better results.

2. Scrub the Grate and Belly

After donning your gloves, use the grill brush to thoroughly scrub your grill's grate. If there are stubborn bits you may want to soak this piece in hot, soapy water while you complete the rest of your grill maintenance. Remove and clean any other drip pans or accessories in your grill. Use your brush to clean the bottom of your grill thoroughly. Be sure to remove any debris. Gently brush your burner tubes and make sure your gas ports are open and clean. Dry everything and put the parts back inside.

3. Wipe Down the Outside

Once the inside is clean, you'll want to use your soapy water to thoroughly wipe down the outside of your grill. Grease can splatter while you cook and even if you cover your grill, some dirt and debris may still get on it. Be sure to rinse away any soap and dry your grill completely before re-covering it.
Regular grill cleaning can help keep your food tasting great. It can also prevent a serious grease fire that requires a professional fire damage assessment. Follow these easy steps to get the job done.

3 Tips for Determining Whether You Should File an Insurance Claim After a Flood

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

insurance claim form, paperwork and legal document, accidental and insurance concepts If you need the help of water damage restoration experts, you'll have to decide whether or not to file a claim.

Three Points To Consider When Deciding Whether Or Not To File An Insurance Claim After A Flood

In the event that your Eastgate, WA, home goes through a flood, one of your initial instincts may be to file a claim with your insurance company. Doing so can potentially alleviate any reparations costs. However, this may not be the best idea. You could be denied a policy renewal or receive a rate hike from your insurance company if you file too many claims. If you're unsure about what to do, here are three tips for determining whether you should file an insurance claim after a flood.

1. Examine the Nature of the Damage

The exact nature of your home flood claim usually plays a part in determining how it will affect your status. If you're the one at fault for the damage, it's highly likely that your rates will be increased. You should also consider the type of harm that occurred. Unfortunately, many kinds of damage claims aren't appreciated by insurance companies. These are some to be wary of:

If you file too many claims for this type of damage, your policy may not be renewed.

2. Study Your Policy

One of the most essential things to do during this process is studying your policy. Few companies handle claims the same way, so you'll need to do research yourself. If possible, it may be best to speak with an agent directly. However, you should avoid doing so after a flood occurs. You can be negatively affected if you openly discuss not filing an insurance claim for recent damages.

3. Consider the Damage's Size

While you may be hesitant to pay for restoration efforts by yourself, it might be in your best interest. One too many filed claims could result in you losing insurance before a worse event occurs. After a flood takes place, get a sense of how extensive the damage is. If it's extreme, you'll probably want to file an insurance claim. However, you shouldn't waste your claims on smaller problems.

If you need the help of water damage restoration experts, you'll have to decide whether or not to file a claim. Stay calm and make the most informed choice possible.

How To Tell If You Live in a Flood Zone

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Destroyed home after flood mirror reflection Hurricane Harvey Do you have a flood problem in your home? SERVPRO can help you deal with that. Call us!

How To Determine Whether You Are In A Flood Zone

Do you live in a flood zone? Knowing the answer will leave you better prepared to handle any storm-related issues that may come your way and help you decide if you need flood insurance. Here are three steps you can take to figure out whether or not you're in an area prone to flooding.

1. Visit Your Community Planning and Zoning Office

The floodplain administrator at your local planning and zoning office should have your property’s Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, in its community map repository. This panel outlines specific areas of your property or community that are at risk for potentially damaging floods.

2. Use FEMA's Map Service Center

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also a useful resource. Its online Flood Map Service Center can provide you with the same FIRM panel that your local community map repository has. Simply type in your address, latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates or a prominent location in your community, such as a school, park, or store, to get your area-specific results. Most maps are extremely thorough and include everything from the annual chance of flood hazards to relevant structural details, including levees, culverts, and storm sewers.

3. Consult the NFHL Website

The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) is another flood zone finder featured on the FEMA website. The NFHL database allows you to view, download and print flood maps for your geographical area and is designed to help people determine their need for flood insurance.

It can be difficult to learn that you live in an area prone to flooding. However, being prepared for a disaster before it strikes Factoria, WA, and creates a need for residential storm damage restoration could greatly benefit you in the long run. Utilizing tools from FEMA and other helpful organizations allows you to take control of your property’s security, purchase flood insurance if necessary, and help your family create the kind of smart safety plan that is required when living in a flood zone.

3 Facts About Smoke Alarm Replacement

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hands taking home smoke detector apart with white ceiling background Placing a smoke alarm on each floor of your home is an effective way to protect it.

3 Things You Should Know About Smoke Alarm Replacement

Having a smoke alarm in each room of your Eastgate, WA, home can reduce the risk of injury to your family members during a fire. However, even if you have multiple alarms on each floor of your home, they might not do much good if they are old or outdated. If you want to replace your current smoke detectors, there are a few facts to keep in mind as you purchase and place them in your home.

1. Old Smoke Detectors May Appear Functional

You may not give much thought to your home’s smoke alarms because they appear normal and you assume they will function properly during a fire. In truth, it is difficult to assess how well a smoke detector works by its appearance, and it is this assumption that causes three out five fire deaths in homes where old smoke alarms failed to function, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Consider replacing alarms if they are more than a decade old.

2. New Alarms Have Multiple Features

As you shop for new smoke detectors, it is wise to consider those that have smart features and can detect different types of blazes that may reduce overall fire damage to your home. For example, some alarms feature split-spectrum detection that senses whether a fire is slow burning or whether flames have already erupted. Others can connect directly to your smartphone to alert you when a fire breaks out and you are not at home, while others have strident voice alarms instead of traditional ones.

3. Pairing New Alarms With Inspection Can Reduce Fire Risk

Placing a smoke alarm on each floor of your home is an effective way to protect it. However, you can bolster that protection by having fire damage and restoration company technicians come out to inspect your property for possible fire hazards. The more dangers they find, the lower the risk of a blaze breaking out.

Your Eastgate, WA, home can benefit from the presence of a smoke alarm on every floor. However, ensuring each is in good working order and knowing when to replace them likely increases the chances of early detection and a lower instance of damage to your property.

When To Clean Away Dryer Lint: 3 Tips for Preventing a Fire

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

dryer lint filter has been cleaned to prevent fires A lint fire can ignite almost anywhere inside the dryer, from the drum to the hoses.

When to Clean Your Dryer Lint: 3 Fire-Prevention Tips

Having a washer and dryer at your Factoria, WA, home can make the chore of cleaning your clothes convenient and affordable. There are no quarters to save and no tedious weekly trips to the local laundromat. However, there are a few dangers that come with owning these large appliances, especially when it comes to clothes dryers. The risk of a lint fire can grow if the dryer is not cleaned properly, so it is important to perform daily, weekly and monthly maintenance to reduce this risk.

1. Daily: Clean the Lint Screen

It is helpful to get into the habit of cleaning your dryer’s lint screen after each load is complete. Pull the screen out completely and dispose of the lint into a lined, lidded trash can so it cannot blow around the room with drafts and regather in corners. Make sure the can is placed well away from any electrical outlets and heating vents. Rinse away stubborn dust and lint by placing the lint screen under running water.

2. Weekly: Vacuum the Lint Trap

Over time, clothing lint may become trapped in the area under where the lint screen sits, and this accumulation can increase the risk of fire damage if it ignites while the appliance is running. To prevent this, vacuum the lint trap weekly, either with a handheld unit or a shop-vac with an extendable hose. This step is especially important if multiple family members use the dryer during an average week.

3. Monthly: Perform a Deep Vent Cleaning

A lint fire can ignite almost anywhere inside the dryer, from the drum to the hoses. However, performing a monthly deep cleaning of all the unit’s parts can prevent a damaging dryer fire. Have a fire remediation and restoration service help you unhook your dryer and perform the deep cleaning to ensure it is completed safely.

Having a dryer in your Factoria, WA, home can increase the chances of a lint fire. Knowing when and how to clean the unit could lower this risk and keep your family and property safe.

What to Do When Your Basement Has Flooded

3/11/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break 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.

When Your Basement Is Flooded, What Should You Do?

When you own a home in Eastgate, WA, there's always a danger that your basement can become flooded, whether from a broken pipe, a bad storm or other causes. The aftermath can be overwhelming, especially if it's never happened to you before. When there's a basement flood, it's important to take care of the problem quickly before more damage occurs. So what steps should you take?

1. Call the Insurance Company

Hopefully, you have insurance coverage for flooding. Call your agent and find out what you can expect to be reimbursed for. This can be helpful if the flooding is severe, and you need to call on a water remediation company to assess the situation and do the necessary work to get the basement back in order.

2. Protect Yourself

If basement flood has reached above the electrical outlets, there can be danger of electrocution. Even if there's only an inch or so of water, you should wear rubber boots just to be safe.

If the amount of water is manageable, and the electrical service panel is in the basement, set down dry lumber or a use a step stool to get above the water and shut off the basement circuits. Then plug in a wet/dry vacuum into an upstairs outlet and use it to get the excess water out of the basement. For more severe flooding, you may have to rent a heavy-duty pump.

If there are gas appliances in the basement, you should turn off the gas at the meter. The meter can be found outside the house. Turn the stub on the side of the meter with a wrench, making it perpendicular with the pipe.

3. Call a Professional

The best thing to do may be to call on a professional water remediation specialist. They are specially trained to handle the aftermath of a basement flood, and can check for any secondary damage such as mold. While you may want to handle it yourself, these experts can make sure your basement is dry, clean and sanitary, and completely restored to the condition it was in before the flood.

Disaster Recovery Teams Assist Local Franchises in Large Loss Situations

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

disaster restoration teams from a restoration company. Our team of licensed damage restoration professionals can restore your property after storm damage. Call SERVPRO!

In The Event Of A Large Loss, Disaster Recovery Teams Assist Local Franchises.

There is one group of professional water remediation specialists that is well known for it “Faster to any disaster” responses within big cities and small towns of the United States and Canada. But did you know that SERVPRO also has a large loss response program that activates its own Disaster Recovery Teams? These teams are made up of technicians from unaffected franchises to go to communities where major storms or flooding have hit.

They helped following 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, for instance, to assess and mitigate situations where the catastrophic loss occurred on a large scale, and they can help the people of Factoria, WA, as well, should it ever be needed.

Falling victim to storm damage may make business owners feel that all is lost. They may not even know where to start, or whether it is possible to recover from such devastation. SERVPRO teams assist hundreds of overburdened local franchises in the affected areas in order to reach hundreds of more businesses quickly.

What SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams Offer:

  • They educate about how to stay safe around contaminated water from flooding and what can reasonably be done while waiting for professionals.
  • They reach many more businesses that may otherwise have to wait.
  • As a preferred provider, the teams can consult in the process of filing catastrophic losses with insurance companies.

Educating people about the difference between clean, gray and black water and their health and safety implications is a priority, as is recommending things that may need to be done while waiting for help. Wearing protective clothing around floodwater and debris, and keeping people out of any seriously compromised structures may also be advised.

Filing for coverage following storm damage is something that a professional water damage restoration company is trained to do and want both the business owner and the insurance company to be satisfied with services rendered.

The Disaster Recovery Teams make every effort to support the local franchises in Factoria, WA , in reaching the many catastrophic loss situations that accompany a major storm system or rising floodwaters.