Odors and how to conquer them
Here at SERVPRO Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we help conquer some of the most difficult challenges. Such as: fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, bio hazard clean ups, etc. In these circumstances odors can be an obstacle that is the last Hertel to jump.
Odors: An odor can be caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration.
Here are some examples of odors that we as a company run into on a weekly basis: smoke damage, mold or mildew, animal urine, biohazards, nicotine, and rodent/animal infestation odors. We have seen it all and worked with it all. As professionals we have the knowledge, equipment and trained staff to tackle your smelliest of odors.
Smoke odor: When it comes to smoke damages, soap and water won’t always do the trick. Furniture has pores and odors basically attach themselves within these pores. Here in our facility, we have an Ozone room which allows us to place furniture or household products within, the room is heated up to trigger the pores to open. The oxygen molecule breaks off and attached to the odor, this then dissipates the odor.
Water/Mildew odor: Have you ever forgot about your laundry in the washer for a few days? When you finally remembered you dread opening that door to the musty smell you encounter. Imagine that same smell and amplify it times 50. Concentrated mildew odor will breach into fabrics and other porous surfaces, which makes it hard to remove successfully. Our plan of action for odor removal varies by the material that we are trying to remove. For fabrics like couches and chairs we upholstery clean with a hot water extraction and a sanitizer. Things like raw wood if not directly affected by mold can be scrubbed down with soapy water and ozone. If it were affected it can still be scrubbed but it would need an additional environmental coating.
Animal urine: Oh, the joys of being a pet owner sometimes. Pets are great to have but let’s face it, they are not perfect and will have an occasional accident at some point. Cats and dogs have ammonia in their urine, this can discolor to the surface effected but can also seep into pores of concrete, wood floors, subfloor and its super difficult to get rid of. If drywall were sprayed by said pet, it can be sealed with a primer and painted to seal odors in. Carpet, if your pet has a favorite spot on the carpet, the carpet can be pulled back, the pad removed and seal the urine in the sub floor with a primer to lock in the odor. After the pad is replaced the carpet should be steam cleaned on the front and back to ensure that the urine is removed.
Nicotine: Nicotine odors are extremely hard to get rid of. Affected dry wall needs to be sealed and painted. In light nicotine circumstances the carpet can potentially be saved, remove the pad because it absorbs the odor and steam clean the carpet. Plastic items retain smell, so they should be replaced. Cabinetry can be cleaned and ozoned. If these steps have been completed, and odor remains then removal of the attic insulation should be disposed of.
Odors are a part of our everyday life, not all are bad and not all are good. It is important to know the process of removing them from the above. If you have any questions or concerns of an affected area, give us a call. Our employees are knowledgeable and helpful. We want those odors to be “Like it never even happened.”
Cold weather seems to be looming over our heads, it came in like a bandit overnight and robbed us of our 100-degree weather. Granted we have had some beautiful sunny days, its been hard to adjust back to rain and cold, after what seemed to be the most brutal winters I’ve endured since living here.
What we tend to forget about are the dangers our wood fires, candles and fireplaces can pose during the colder months. These are things I gravitate towards when keeping our home warm and inviting during these gloomy winter months.
Did you know that 9,300 structural fires were started by candles in-between the years 2009-2013? This is based on stats here in the US, from fire departments.
9,300 structural fires resulted in: 86 deaths, 827 injuries, and over $370 million in property damages.
More than half of these reported home fires happened with combustible material(s) left too close to the candle. That’s 58%!
December is a peak time of year this occurs more. Think about it for a second, how many of us pull a Clark Griswald and try to put way too many lights into one outlet? Most of those decorations are highly flammable. Take extra care and precautions when decorating. Timers are a great way to monitor that energy output.
The above stats are things we tend to overlook, and the causes are results of pure absentmindedness on our part.
Wood stoves/Fireplaces- here are some of the dangers these pose and what to watch out for. Maintain and clean your chimney, keeping this clean will reduce chances of creosote. Creosote is the property that can cause fires from smoke build up.
Fire Logs- if you are a fan of burning these please read these tips. Always have a screen in front of your fireplace, these logs tend to ‘spit’ while burning. Fire logs are a petroleum based product, so water won’t work when trying to extinguish a fire that gets out of hand. It will in fact spread more quickly. IF a Fire Log were to get out of hand, be sure to keep a dry-chemical fire extinguisher or sand nearby. Yes, packaging will state that Fire Logs are “clean burning” they have had experience in creosote buildup in the flue. More so than burning wood.
Make sure your fireplace is inspected annually by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
Candles- keeping candles in contained candle holders. Never leave a candle unattended, I am very guilty of this.
If you are one to forget, I think the safe bet is to not burn candles. Or if you have a special occasion, tea lights are great, they are small and fit into any kind of candle holder and their burning time is 3-4 hours. Votives last a little longer than that, and pillars are the long-lasting candles. Those are the ones I personally tend to forget about.
If this article has scared you out of using candles forever, there are awesome alternatives these days. Battery operated candles that look very realistic are great and easy to find.
With the holidays just around the corner, here at SERVPRO Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we hope that this article can serve as a reference guide when warming your home for the winter. Getting those decorations out, we hope you have a new awareness of what is a hazard and what isn’t, that is our goal. At the end of the day it’s not fun to clean up fire damages, to see personal loss, especially during a time of year that brings so much joy and love.
Commercial Building Insurance Claims
A commercial property insurance claim is a formal request to an insurance company asking for payment based on the terms of that company’s policy. The insurance company will review the claim for validity and then pays out to the insured or the requesting party (on behalf of the insured) once approved. Payment will be determined by the bill submitted by the mitigation company, and the estimate for repairs prepared by the general contractor selected for the repairs.
A commercial building can have multiple different types of property insurance claims. In a survey conducted by the Hartford, about 20 percent of small business owners filed a claim for burglary and theft in the previous five years. Water and freezing damage is also a frequent claim. About 15% of small business owners filed a claim against their policy for this type of damage. You may have filed a claim for wind and hail damage if you work in an area near a storm’s frequent path. Fire is a large risk to any building structure. It is also a claim about 10% of small business owners have filed in the previous five years. Something to take into consideration when dealing with a fire loss is that you may have more water than fire damages from the sprinkler systems and the fire department. Fire losses can range widely in terms of value, and can start from something as simple as a space heater left on after leaving the office for the day.
Every city has large commercial buildings, do you manage or work in a large commercial building? Consider having SERVPRO prepare an emergency readiness profile in place for your commercial building in the case of an insurance claim.
When the manager on duty or the facility coordinator determines that the damages are beyond their own employee’s capability it is time to file an insurance claim. This is when SERVPRO’s emergency readiness profile can come into play. The profile will create a plan that any employee can start implementing, it includes emergency contacts, utility contacts, locations of shut offs, etc. This will get the mitigation process started immediately. When the call is made to the insurance company informing them of the loss,SERVPRO will alreadybe responding to the loss and have the buildings information at hand in the emergency readiness plan.
Our SERVPRO technicians and managers are prepared to handle these insurance claims 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our managers are skilled communicators, explaining the entire process so you feel comfortable understanding the process. We take pride in our technicians training process and their thorough knowledge in the field. This may be your first commercial insurance claim, but with SERVPRO you get our experience along with all our franchises resources so we can handle any size of loss.
If you’d like to have a service agreement prepared between SERVPRO and your company, call us today and we can come out prepare an emergency readiness plan and review a service agreement. Here at SERVPRO Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma it is our goal to make sure its “Like it never even happened.”
Gearing up for Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner and we will be surrounded by trick or treaters in your work offices and neighborhoods. Who doesn’t love seeing cutie patooties running around in cleverly thought up costumes, polyester fabric as far as the eye can see, sugar crashes for the next two to three weeks? I mean, who doesn’t love paying for the rest of the year in cavities one incurs on this evening of candy? I do enjoy hearing what my littles want to be next year for Halloween before we even say good night on Halloween.
As a parent, Halloween isn’t all about sneaking my favorite candies while my kiddos dream of next year’s costume possibilities. I get extreme fear and anxiety over all the potential threats our children face in this short 24-hour period. So please take a cautionary moment to read my forewarnings. There is a chance it may not happen BUT if it were you can say you are prepared.
- Tip #1- your child may not be the only “Darth Vader” or “Belle”- surprise, I know. If your little one chooses a popular costume for this year, make sure they have a name and contact number somewhere on their costume or for one night written on their arm. You can also put it on their candy bucket or pillowcase, whatever their collection bag of choice is.
- Tip# 2-Make sure if they are wearing dark colors or a lot of black and you may be out- please be sure to invest in some reflectors or glow sticks to be able to catch drivers eyes.
- Tip #3- If you have a large landmark you can appoint for a meet up in case you get separated.
- Tip #4- After your sugary loot is collected and accounted for, as parents we need to make sure it all looks legit and not shady. Check for sharp objects, choking hazards, or maybe some candies that look like they have been previously opened. And as a parent who has had to deal with food allergies, you know to check for any potential anaphylactic producing candy.
- Tip #5- Try to stay on the sidewalks as much as possible. If this isn’t an option, make sure an adult is walking on the outside of where cars are passing.
- Tip #6- If all of this seems way to daunting to even leave the house for the day, there are many day time ‘Trick or Treating’ opportunities. The best thing about this, they are typically blocked off from traffic or are indoors. Score!
Trick or Treat without the all-night expense:
- Chapel Hill Preschool Park- Thursday October 26th 10-12:00pm: Great for the littler kids who may not make it past 7:00pm. Wear your costume, meet other Gig Harbor Mommas, no candy but there is usually a plentiful supply of Goldfish and water. Suggested $1 donation for the family.
- Sehmel Park Scarecrow Festival- October 6th (I know this one has passed but it’s a great one to mark your calendar for next year.)
- Macaroni Kid here in the Harbor is advertising the 1st annual Trunk or Treat- Saturday October 21st 4:00-8:00pm @ Gig Harbor High school. Canned donations are being collected. Come in costume and ready to get candy.
- Trick or Treat in the Harbor Tuesday October 31st 3:00-6:00pm: Trick or treat on our local business strip. Businesses close to hand out candy to our community kids, the fire department and police station represent as well. Grab a coffee and stroll with your kids and enjoy a stress-free Trick or Treating experience.
- And there is always the easy and most comfortable route: dress like an old person in their jammies and hand out candy to young whipper snappers until 5:00pm. Then it gets dark and it’s time to nestle up to the fire place with the candy you failed to give away and watch your favorite Halloween themed movie.
We hope this article is of some use to you this Halloween season. Take care, be safe, eat candy in moderation, or don’t. We won’t judge but unfortunately, we cannot make those calories or cavities “Like it never even happened.”
The Red Cross and SERVPRO
Did you know that SERVPRO is a National sponsor with the Red Cross? Allow me to elucidate. The Red Cross is an organization that assists in emergency disaster relief. Here at SERVPRO we have an understanding when it comes to disasters and how to attend to them. Like Red Cross, we too are here to act and aid others in times of need. Our relationship with the Red Cross is to focus on the good- our partnership is surrounded by the idea and intention to help others in a time of need, not to appear opportunistic.
The Red Cross has been serving others in the US. Locally and globally for over 130 years. It is the largest humanitarian network in the world. They are the first to jump into action and aid those who are in serious need. Here at SERVPRO, we act very similarly- we have techs on duty 24hr, 365 days a year. No matter the type of disaster, we are prepared. You and your situation don’t have time to wait for Monday when your “water damage” or “fire damage” happened on Friday evening. We take your call and are out to your property within 1-2 hours with equipment to start right away. Our techs are knowledgeable, attentive listeners, hard workers and sensitive to this type of loss.
Our nation has been struck hard with natural disasters: Texas hurricane Harvey, Florida Irma and Jose, and fires in Montana, Oregon and Washington. It feels like nature is hitting and she is hitting us hard. The Red Cross not only aids those in need but they also have a Ready Rating program. This program is a free online tool to help schools, organizations and businesses to prepare for emergencies. If you’d like more information on this program please visit: readyrating.org
Here at SERVPRO Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we love to help you prepare for the “What-if’s.” In fact, we will be present at this month’s Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition Fair. This event will feature many booths to help educate you and your family on readiness. Stop by our booth and we are happy to give you check lists or handouts to help you and your family, business, school, or commercial building be ready.
We are proud partners with the American Red Cross and want our brand to be as recognized and appreciated for the type of work we do, such as the Red Cross. SERVPRO wants to aid, help, repair and make your natural disasters “Like it never even happened.”
If you’d like to make your contribution to the American Red Cross to help our Gulf Coast, they are working endlessly to help this effected area. Please consider donating at https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/SERVPROindustries-pub
Fall into September Preparedness
September Is Preparedness Month
Welcome to September! It’s getting a tad chillier outside, the leaves are turning, school is back into swing, and I don’t know about you, but I am getting back into a schedule. After three months of soaking up the sun and being gone to make the best of summer with the family, I am ready to get back to a somewhat normal routine. Think of this as a syllabus for the upcoming fall and winter semester. Use this as a checklist or a “to-do” reference.
With the impending cooler months ahead of us, it’s time to take advantage of the nicer weather and make your rounds. Meaning, walk the perimeter of your home, check crawl spaces, outside hose spouts, gutters, roof, windows, etc.
Your crawl space is an easy place for critters to escape into. It has insulation, so it’s a little warmer than outside, and it’s easy to access. These pesky critters will take apart your insulation and make nice beds and homes out of this, lucky you!
Outside spouts, be sure to make sure they are not leaking. With freezing months, this is cause and effect of a burst pipe. That is not a pretty or easy clean up.
Let’s take a trip- safely- up to your roofline. Walk your roof and examine any nearby trees. Are their limbs hanging over your house? Should they be trimmed? The answer is Yes. Big branches tend to break with our windy winter months, leading to a temporary sunroof in your upstairs bedroom. Branches also serve as a type of highway for those great critters we mentioned above. They can come and go from their tree, onto your roof and into your attic space. Darn those furry nuances! How are your roots looking for your trees? Are they protruding from the ground, are the roots dead? These are some things that should be looked at and possibly evaluated by a professional.
While you’re up there, peek into your gutters and examine, if you can…are they clear? Or are they full of foliage and muck? Keeping gutters clean and clear is kind of important. Okay, really important. If your excess rain water can’t filter into the downspout it will cause over flow and you’ve now got a water damage waiting to happen.
Your windows are the gateway to moisture and mold. Have you noticed any condensation on your windows and wonder if those little black specks are pepper or maybe small signs of mold? Remember not all mold is bad, and not all mold needs to be cleaned by a professional. You can take the proper steps to procure that.
I know this is a lot of information and it is a little bit of work. Trust me when I say this, this little bit of follow up in and around your home is worth it to avoid a damage that would take time for a professional to come and clean up the true unfortunate disaster.
If your still unsure how to go about preparing for fall and winter, I have got a great opportunity for you.
Learn, prepare, protect yourself and your family at the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition Fair.This event features: classes, booths with materials, samples and hands on demonstrations, suitable for adults and children of all ages.
Learn to prepare, protect you and your family from some of the below options:
* First aid
* Insuring against disaster
* Emergency food store(s) venders
* Women's self-defense training
AND much more.....
**FREE to the public**
Saturday September 30th, 2017
Gig Harbor High School
5101 Rosedale St. NW
Gig Harbor WA 98332
Follow them on Facebook: @PEP-C Gig Harbor
SERVPRO will have a booth there. We look forward to seeing you there.
Good bye Summer, Hello Fall!
As Summer winds down and Fall quickly approacher, have you looked at what you need to do to prepare your home for the winter months?
Here are some friendly tips and reminders:
* Check those gutters, make sure they are clean and ready for rain.
* Is your sump pump in working order?
* How is your roof looking?
* Remember in the colder months critters search for warmth too, that could mean tearing up your insulation in your crawl space. Nasty critters!
* Outside leaky faucets can lead to burst pipes.
* Any overgrown tree limbs that could break in the windy times?
Walk around your house and make a mental check list. Because before you know it, Fall will be here. It will be colder, darker and you'll wonder where the time has gone.
If you are a business owner, call our office today and ask about our ERP (Emergency Readiness Plan) special!
Supply Lines and general information on them
Okay, I know what you're thinking. Mold and now Supply Lines? Where's the snooze button? BUT, here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor and North Tacoma we want to help educate you on the basics before you have a catastrophe on your hands. So here is some general Supply Line information in a Q and A format....ready? Set, go!
What is a Supply Line?
A supply line is a main water way from the plumbing in your wall into your faucet.
Where can you find a Supply Line?
Sinks, dishwasher, washer (clothing), toilet, refrigerator and hot water tanks.
Supply Line materials (made out of):
Here's what you can do and what you should know about your Supply Lines:
*Hot water tanks- look for rust and leakage
*Plastic Supply Lines- are not durable and crack with age
*IMPORTANT- make sure your braided metal Supply Line does not have plastic in the middle of it.
Supply Lines should be checked once a year and replaced every 3-5 years.
What happens when a Supply Line breaks:
Basically what happens or what this means, a burst pipe with full water pressure spilling out into the area it is in.
Supply Lines are super easy to replace- connected to a supply line you'll find an angle stop and that will turn off the water for only that supply line, you screw off the existing supply line and screw on the new one. Easy peasy, right?
New Supply Lines cost about $20 give or take.
Are you reading this blog post a little late? Are you currently dealing with a broken Supply Line, which is causing a water damage as we speak?
We are so sorry to hear this, give us a call and we can get you back in your daily routine. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma is here 24/7, 365 days a year for your reassurance. We go above and beyond to make these messy situations "Like it never even happened."
When I hear the word "mold" I think of gross, green, fuzzy, squishy mounds of questionable matter. It's not a topic that gets my "motor running" if you know what I mean?
But, in reality not all mold is dangerous. Mold comes is all shapes, sizes, colors, and levels of toxicity. Mold is an ecological substance and can produce some of our favorite foods. Fungi/mold is used for baked goods/bread, blue cheese, some alcoholic beverages, and penicillin.
Now when it comes to unhealthy mold, this is what we want you to know:
Our summer has been particularly warm with higher levels of humidity.
When dealing with water damages: dish washer or washer overflow, toilet "black water", storm flooding, a leak in your roof. These can all lead to mold if not treated properly.
Some common places/spaces to find mold: storage units, crawl spaces, or in organic materials (wood, dry wall, and insulation) All of these are where? Homes and business buildings.
Here are some signs or things to look out for:
* Visible mold (brown, black, red, green, white)
* Strong musty/ stale air
* Questionable effected areas (water spots on your ceiling, warped dry wall, bulging floor boards or molding)
* Excessive humidity
If any of these are a concern to you, give us a call. Our water technitians are certified and trained to handle mold. We are happy to put your mind at ease.
Cleaning up mold is not an easy DIY project. It should be evaluated, tested and treated by a professional. This is purely for your safety and health and those who can be affected.
We know mold is not a fun and happy topic BUT we want to educate you on something that happens naturally and can spiral if not looked at immediately.
We do our best to put you at ease when dealing with these kind of matters. It may be your first encounter, but it certainly is not ours and we are the best professionals to make mold "Like it never even happened."
When life throws you rain, sport your rain boots and jump in some puddles!
Splashing in puddles can be fun but not when it's in your downstairs basement.
When Storms or Floods hit Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma, SERVPRO is ready!
SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms:
When storms hit Gig Harbor or North Tacoma, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
We know your personal rain storm is not the ideal circumstance. That is why our trained staff will help clear away those storm clouds and bring the sun back into your everyday lives.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today: