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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How electrical fires start

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Electricity can be a scary element to work with. In our industry, we have found that electrical fires can be just as damaging as a fire caused by a flame.

Electrical fires can be scarier for the fact that they can typically start within a wall. Meaning the flame will not be out in the open at first until it breaks a barrier of some sort. Another fact about electrical fires is, they are usually contained well. Unlike a flame spreading throughout a home and its contents, an electrical fire takes more time because those wires are going through a heating up process behind walls and then they break through barriers such as walls, appliances, outlets, etc.

How do electrical fires begin?

Most electrical fires can be triggered by faulty or old outlets, outdated cords or appliances. It can also be due to overloading a circuit, common household items such as: space heaters or too many Christmas lights, extension cords, dated extension cords.

Some cords have asbestos within them. Its inside a fabric that wraps the wires together within the cord.

We understand and know that electricians can run costly, it is a special art form. In the bigger picture, it’s better to pay a smaller expense in maintaining and having someone check out your wiring to ensure you won’t have any electrical fire surprises. We understand, it’s like having a wedding ring and getting the prongs checked or having an entire antique wedding ring rebuilt. Its going to be costly, however you save losing what is really important in the long run.

If you have any questions for us, call our office today at 253-851-6711. We are here to help.

Leak detectors and water damages

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO gets many phone calls from potential customers asking us to help locate a leak. Occasionally we will get calls for restoration help, but the water source has not been stopped or located.

When a customer or potential customer calls our line, you can expect us to ask a lot of questions. Our office staff needs to ask a number of questions to get ears on the damage before we can place our eyes on the damage.

When a water damage occurs due to outside water from storm rains, we cannot always come out and begin mitigation work immediately. We can arrive and extract, but the outside source/water needs to be stopped. This will make sure we are not repairing damage with an ongoing leak. Otherwise, it would be similar to a hamster on a wheel- running in circles and getting nowhere, we could be doing a lot/damage to your home when it could be minimal if the source is located.

Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County, our goal is to get all the needed information from you, the customer to prepare us for the remediation portion of the job.

If a leak is potentially coming from your roof, we recommend Scott Larson Roofing a local roofer. This would be to tarp your roof temporarily until the source can be tracked down.

Sometimes leaks are coming from indoor plumbing, recently we had a customer who called a plumber to stop a leak. The plumber charged this customer $400, and the leak was not stopped.

In leak circumstances we recommend calling a leak detector. The trained professionals can look for and locate where water is coming from. Their fees are reasonable, and they are typically available the same day.

Have more questions in regard to leak locating? Call our office today at 253-851-6711

Why SERVPRO should be your #1 Choice

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO should be your number one choice when it comes to the following: water mitigation, mold remediation, fire/smoke damage, biohazard cleaning, COVID sanitation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and more!

During these times we understand how important it is to support local businesses, including mom and pop start up businesses. These establishments are the backbone to our local communities and our country.

You may think that SERVPRO is just another BIG business franchise, but we too are family owned and operated. Our founders were/are family oriented and run our brand with that in mind. Each franchise is locally owned and operated by members of that community.

Our owners have lived within Gig Harbor for the past 16+ years. Working within the community, growing relationships in community projects and groups.

We are involved and members of the Gig Harbor Chamber of commerce, a Pillars group formed within the Chamber, sponsors and supporters of local events as well. We are a 4x sponsor of Swing for Soldier an event raising money to help our first responders with PTSD.

Our owners are a father son, second generation ran company. The benefits of running a business within a franchise system are many:

  • SERVPRO has been established for over 50+ years.
  • When it comes to a damage there is not one we have not seen. We have a system that has been perfected and educated location wide throughout the country to each individual owner.
  • We are a team, there is no damage too small or too large. We have locations throughout the United States and now Canada. Our neighboring locations are always willing to lend a helping hand.
  • Education, we are constantly updated and educated with new and developing technologies. Training is at our fingertips.
  • Having family-owned businesses, our owners can relate to each employee when it comes to life’s uncertain circumstances.
  • We offer opportunities to work up within our company. There are many places you can grow in this field. We want you to excel and we welcome people wanting to grow with us as business owners.
  • Family, SERVPRO is family based. Meaning it began with a vision in Ted Issaacson, from there he and his family worked hard to grow SERVPRO into what you see today.

SERVPRO has over 2500 locations within American and Canada. We are individually owned and operated. If you are interested in beginning a career with SERVPRO today call our office 253-851-6711.

Emergency Ready Profile

3/6/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know we offer a complementary service for Commercial Business Buildings?

That’s right, complementary! And it is a service that is beneficial to the building owner, building leaser and the employees working within the facility.  Here at SERVPRO we work closely with building owners and managers to compile a profile called the Emergency Ready Profile.

In an emergency situation, not everyone can think clearly. It’s really difficult to rattle off which water company or electrical company and their after-hours phone number is.

Or how about, who do you call when there is a septic back up? Sure, doing a web search can work, but what if you had ALL of that information in one place?

Again, this is of no monetary cost to you, all we require is some of your time. This gives us a chance to get to know you and what’s most important in these building investments of yours.

We walk the location, we discuss utilities, special points of interest within and outside of the building. All we ask is for about 40-60 minutes of your time.

Our marketing department is who you want to contact and schedule yours today.

We compile all the needed information, and we can place it in a paper document, or app, OR Both!

The app is user friendly and can be uploaded by anyone you’d like to have access to that information.

It’s really a win win for you and your building. If you’re interested in scheduling a meeting and brief outline or orientation on this product, call and ask to speak with our marketing department today! 253-851-6711.

Fire Side Team

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Our fire crew is one of the best around. Sure, we may be biased but how can we not be?

Our fire crew consists of three employees currently. Our project manager Steve has been with our company for over 7 years. He started as a tech and moved up the line over time.

He manages Gina and Makayla our two fire techs. Both ladies started with us in 2019, and since have been key to our growth in fire jobs. They are detail oriented and great with customers. Not only do they work out in the field they are trained in the office as well to see how things work within the company.

Makayla is our wiz on content intake. She enjoys inputting each individual belonging and organizing accordingly. Makayla has helped with our office manager and is a team player.

Gina is our carpet cleaning expert; she has really taken ownership on learning how to extract nasty stains. Gina is awesome at cross training and is helping Makayla also learn this area better. Gina has been helpful in our marketing department. Learning how our marketing works.

Their manager Steve has been with us for over seven years and loves his SERVPRO family. Steve enjoys managing and working in the office, but he also misses the field work and interacting with customers. He is a great team player and will join the ladies when needed.

This dynamic group is looking to grow, and we are always accepting resumes and applications. Want to be apart of our SERVPRO Team/Family?

Call our office today: 253-851-6711

Crawl Space Damages

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

We often get the call about water damages inside a crawl space. These are sometimes tricky circumstances.

Below I will list when we can assist in a crawl space and I will also list when we cannot assist in a crawl space damage.

When SERVPRO can work inside your crawl space:

  • Did you have a water damage and water went through your sub floor and into your crawl space?
    • We can check and make sure no serious damage has happened down inside your crawl space.
  • When your crawl space is completely flooded, whether with storm water or a septic back flow we recommend calling Hemley’s or FlowHawk.
    • These two companies have better equipment and training when it comes to these conditions within a crawl space damage.

 Why is does this call for immediate attention on your part?

This is a question you will want to take seriously. An excessive amount of humidity will cause mold and affect the foundation of your home, resulting in potential rot. It can also attract unwanted pests.

There tends to be minimal air flow within your crawlspaces, please be sure to keep that in mind.

Here at SERVPRO we do our best to make sure your water damage is mitigated correctly and thoroughly. Our trained technicians are friendly and detail oriented. Our office staff will communicate with customers throughout the process to ensure our process is completely understood and handled in a timely manner.

If you have more questions regarding water damages within your crawl space, call our office today! 253-851-6711

Welcome to 2021 Winter Rain

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Welcome to 2021! With ringing this new year, it is our hope that 2021 is a great year for us all. It has come to our and probably your attention as well, that we have had a substantial amount of rain kicking off 2021. The Pacific Northwest winters tend to be fairly wet. This is the time of year we see unrelenting rain without much of a break. This is also the time of year Pacific Northwesterners get the itch to go someplace sunny and warm or enjoy the cold and ski some more.

Before you head out the door for your 2021 Winter adventure, we highly recommend considering the following information, then we will give some helpful tips to follow.

Consistent flowing water can be damaging to your home/business. Currently the rain is constant, it ranges from a light drizzle to a down pour. With this ongoing unpredictable rainfall, it is difficult to pinpoint a water damage sometimes. A water damage could have been from a slow leak from two months ago to potentially the down pour from two nights ago. Either way, water damages are not always something we can see before it happens. We recommend looking for the following before leaving your home this winter:

  • Check the water lines in your kitchen and laundry room appliances.
  • Are your outside spicketts covered in case of a drop into freezing temperatures?
  • Let a neighbor or close friend know your going out of town.
    • This helps with any packages you may have delivered, or unexpected people snooping around your home.
    • Example: one of our neighbors left town for a hunting trip, one day we noticed water streaming from his garage door. Luckily, we were able to help stop the water and let him know that everything was looked after while he was out of town. If that water hadn’t been caught right away like it was, the damage could have been substantial.
  • Have you replaced your roof recently? Or are you holding out for one more year before replacing? It is a tough trigger to pull for a roof replacement, we completely understand. Before holding off on your new roof consider the loss of personal belongings that could come with a bad roof.

If you have any other questions or would like some more information on this topic. Check out our other blogs on water damages or storms.

You can always reach our office 365 days a year, anytime of the day or night.

Thank you for choosing SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County.  

Commercial Business Buildings

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

ERP app description When you search for our Emergency Ready Profile you can reference this photo to make sure you found the correct app.

Commercial buildings are prominent in your city. What makes or constitutes a “commercial building”?

A commercial building is typically where businesses operate. They can come in the form of a business strip mall, where you have a variety of businesses all within the same building complex. Medical buildings are commercial buildings, where you can go to your doctor and get your prescription filled within the same building. Churches are also considered a “Commercial building.” Schools, city halls, banks, and restaurants.

SERVPRO handles commercial losses/damages with a system that has been defined and perfected throughout the past fifty years. No damage is too small or too large. With the SERVPRO system many locations can pull together and help for extreme losses and SERVPRO locations are able to tackle large damages without needing additional assistance.

SERVPRO also provides a complementary service called an Emergency Ready Profile. This is offered as an app for your smart phone. Simply search ‘SERVPRO ready plan,’ it is a free download.

An Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is an all in one place to locate contacts for if a damage or loss should occur in your commercial property or even your personal home. Within the app you can log your utility contact numbers, photos and locations of electrical panels, gas and water shut offs, generator capabilities and location, and any emergency contacts needed in case of a loss or emergency.

Our available marketing staff can consult you in person or we can schedule a virtual consultation to help you input and get your Emergency Ready Profile completed today! Call our office and request to speak with a Sale Marketing Representative today, 253-851-6711.

Don’t wait for disaster to strike, start yours today.

COVID Community Support

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

During this COVID year the Gig Harbor community has shown strong local business support.

Once the mandatory lockdown was announced, our business was one of such that could continue to operate. I remember it being such an uncertain time for us, as a business and as a family.

I remember our local businesses getting highly creative in their approach to keeping open and operating. Heritage Distillery began selling hand sanitizer to help businesses with the market demand of sanitizer. There would be a line down the street of customers waiting for the doors to open and purchase a bottle of locally made family business sanitizer.

Restaurants began approaching take out with a spin. Margaritas to go! Sign me up. Our local family owned restaurants jumped through several hoops to maintain a safe and healthy work environment but also serving the community in a large way.

Our office was able to reach out to many businesses to ensure a quick turn around if they should have a positive case. SERVPRO was able to develop at warp speed a proven and effective method for sanitizing local businesses. Our technicians jumped at the chance to help our community, we wanted to show how we too can be supportive to our struggling small businesses.

The great thing about being able to jump in quickly, we too have seen a large support in our community. It truly warms our hearts knowing that our local community members see a need and help to fill and support it.

We are grateful to our customers and everyone who refers our family owned and operated business. If you would like to learn more about having your business cleaned or sanitized by SERVPRO call our office at 253-851-6711

Ask us about a service agreement!

Why is it considered a biohazard?

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

In the water mitigation industry, there are three stages of water damages:

Stage 1- clean water (meaning the water is not contaminated by anything, the water is drinkable)

Stage 2- water that is somewhat contaminated (not safe to drink but not severely damaging to the body)

Stage 3- highly contaminated water (sewage and any water that needs full PPE to mitigate)

When we perform a biohazard job, there can be some discrepancies between us, the mitigation company and either the insurance company or customers. There are strict precautions we need to take as your mitigation specialist.

Let us explore a couple different biohazard situations.

Example One: A sewage damage from your toilet.

You are at work and when you come home you smell waste. You discover that your toilet backed up and your entire bathroom is covered in sewage and seeping into other rooms in that vicinity. Your first step is to call a plumbing company and look at your insurance policy. Some sewage damages may or may not be covered in your policy. Do NOT attempt to clean up a sewage loss without a professional company. Our trained professional staff have the knowledge and correct equipment when cleaning up human waste. We suit up in OSHA required PPE, respirators and use treatments to thoroughly clean and disinfect surfaces.  What is not always taken into consideration is porous materials that need to be completely removed and properly disposed of. The last thing you want is your home to still have harmful contaminates within your walls, floors, cabinets, etc.

Want to learn more about biohazard clean ups? Call our office today 253-851-6711.

Spontaneous combustion and your everyday products

8/22/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever thought about how your everyday cleaning products can cause a fire? Spontaneous combustion, ever heard of it?

Wikipedia’s definition explains:

Spontaneous combustion or spontaneous ignition is a type of combustion which occurs by self-heating (increase in temperature due to exothermic internal reactions

*Exothermic reactions consist of releasing heat.

Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County we have seen the effects of spontaneous combustion. Our fire crew has been on the frontlines after a fire had occurred from combustion.

Why does this happen?

You should know that when working with products that can cause spontaneous combustion.

When working with the following products: oil-based paints and stains, teak and linseed oils, varnishes and polyurethane, paint thinners, etc.

These are all products that can lead to a fire. Why and how? When heat has no way of escaping these oils when left in a heap can raise their own temperature. Heat needs to escape, but when its crumpled up it keeps all of that inside, leading to ignite the oils and resulting in a fire.

Here are some tips to avoid a spontaneous combustion:

  • When working with any of the above potential products that can lead to fire, keep a clean workspace. Yes, we understand after working on a project its easy to leave it as is and return the next day. But we strongly recommend cleaning up after yourself and keeping a clean work environment. The positive to this, you have a clean canvas to work with the next day on your project.
  • What to do with the rags? If you have rags that have been soiled with any of the above substances, you can lay the rags out on a concrete floor
  • Rags can go inside an airtight container: plastic, zip lock bag or a metal. The key is to make sure its airtight and fill the remaining space with water.

We hope we were able to provide light to what can cause a harmful danger to you. If you have any questions on how else we can help you in preventing fire damages, call our office today 253-851-6711.

Returning from vacation to a water damage

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Well it happened, our family left for vacation for ten days and returned home. The first person to use the shower (the man of the house, not to name names) caused a water damage.

Yes, while he was in the shower our girls rushed to me yelling “there’s a leak,” a leak? No biggy right?

When I arrived at the site, it was raining from the ceiling. Yes, a steady trickling of rain coming down into our butler’s pantry. So as water restoration owners, we must investigate our insurance policy and call and file a claim.

What does this process look like?

So, we will call our insurance company and speak with a claim’s representative, they will ask what happened?

They will get all the needed information and when they have that they will provide you with a claim number. Insurance companies may or may not refer a specific company, it is up to the homeowner to make that decision. If we have national accounts with the insurance company, they can mention those companies that do, but initially it is up to the customer to choose who they want serving in their home.

It can be a little scary, but insurance claims representatives are taking calls like this every day, they are trained and there to help.

Once you call SERVPRO, our representatives are remarkably similar. We help customers with water damages, fire damages, mold, COVID, biohazard clean up and more daily. Honestly, there is not much we have not seen. Our employees are specially trained to help you I your time of need, and we are exceptionally good at helping put our customers at ease and giving you reassurance you’re in good hands.

If you have questions about the process, give us a call. We can help guide you through the motions. There is a first for everything, even us! Call SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County today. 253-851-6711

Why SERVPRO cares

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County, we are always honored to serve and support our local community events. Even in times of pandemic we believe in supporting businesses and charities. 

We are very proud to say we have been a four time sponsor of the Swing for a Solider golf tournament. This year marks the fourth annual event and it is by far the funnest event we are apart of. 

The participants are always very grateful with us being there, but all participants come to have a good time supporting a very good cause. 

Swing for a Soldier is an event that benefits the Permission to Start Dreaming foundation. This foundation helps our wounded warriors battling PTSD and their families, providing them with funding, resources and more to help soldiers adjust back to what we consider 'normal life.'

COVID has made life difficult in general for everyone but one cannot imagine how difficult it can be for someone trying to cope PTSD on top of that.

We proudly support our military and service men and women. They are on the front lines risking all for our freedom. Their families sacrifice as much if not more.

It was such a breath of fresh air to be able to see returning faces, new faces and have a day where we can forget the pandemic and celebrate and thank those who work so hard for our country.

We are in awe of the organizers who put together one heck of a tournament with the current circumstances.

If you want to learn more about the Permission to Start Dreaming events, mission, support resources or if you would like to donate go to:

https://ptsdfoundation.org/

General information on carpet cleanings

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Here are SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma we can provide a multitude of services to residents and commercial clients. One service we have regular customers call for is carpet cleanings. Not everyone knows about this service we provide.

Basic carpet maintenance is particularly important to you, your family, business and employee’s health.

Did you know your carpet can accumulate up to five pounds of dirt in a year! Yuck! And in business offices it can be more due to the heavier foot traffic in and out.

We recommend you get your carpets cleaned every twelve to eighteen months. Personally, in our household we like to have them done twice a year, one time in the winter after the holidays and the second time in summer. We also have pets; it is a nice reassurance that we are maintaining our carpets.

I have heard one time a year in the summer is a good rule of thumb because the dirt from winter and fall months is done being tracked inside. Either way it is important to keep those carpets clean to avoid dust mites, mold, and food contamination. Having carpets professionally cleaned helps with you air quality as well.

Our friendly employees are trained to clean your upholstery, carpets residential and commercial. Retirement homes, churches, day cares, doctors’ offices, etc. You and your staff can be assured your carpets are approached with care and attention to detailed eyes.  

We recommend that you call to schedule an evaluation, you know your carpets but for us we like to get our eyes on the carpet to ensure we know what we will be cleaning. We evaluate the age of the carpet, the material of the carpet, we measure the space of carpet we would be cleaning, and we estimate the amount of man power and materials we would need to use in your situation. Every situation is different and we do our best to estimate it with having that in mind.

Call our office today to get your carpet cleaning evaluation scheduled today!

COVID Bio Hazard commercial building preparedness

7/5/2020 (Permalink)

Bio hazard cleanups are defined as cleanups that need extra attention, due to the fact that it is a risk to humans’ health or a risk to their environment. With that being said, there are certain protocols that we here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma must follow in order to ensure the safety of our staff as well as the proper cleanup and removal of the biohazard itself. A recent cleanup that our technicians performed was a precautionary cleaning due to COVID-19.

Many businesses are requesting these cleanings, not only for the customers but also their staff and everyone working within the offices health and safety. As a consumer it is reassuring to know that the building that you are going into has been professionally cleaned and poses very little risk to your health. As an employee you want to feel safe and healthy at your place of work, knowing that your workspace is clean and poses very little risk to you is hugely important.

Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma we have a Certified SERVPRO Clean service. After treating your local business building we have window clings, flyers and other ways of showing you, your employees and anyone coming in and out of your business office that it has been cleaned by professionals. Using the best of the best products, techniques and methods that are being used throughout the country. 

We are proud to service your commercial building today, call our office to schedule your evaluation!

Home buyer tips

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

First time home buyers or experienced home buyers, when searching for a home what are some of your major concerns?

Are they:

  •             How many rooms?
  •             What is the square footage?
  •             What schools are nearby?
  •             Is it a kid friendly neighborhood?
  •             Or do you prefer to be secluded no neighbor interaction?

When looking for that dwelling, are you thinking about:

  •             Is the plumbing up to date?
  •             How long has it been since the roof has been replaced?
  •             Are the gutters working and maintained?
  •             Are the windows old and need replacing?
  •             Has it had multiple water damages?

I think sometimes our focus can be on the outer exterior not the pieces that keep it together.

How much are you judging your future home by the cover and not the content within? How much are you hoping your home inspector catches all those potential future damages?

It is easy to get swept into the excitement of buying a home, we encourage you to make a list of what’s important when home shopping. Not just the outside important qualities but also long-term functioning aspects of the home.

These are all things your home inspector should be looking for. It will help you as a buyer show your concerns and awareness of what they should be checking for. Make sure you are interested in their process and value how they inspect the future residence.

Good and experienced inspectors use equipment such as Infrared cameras, and moister readers. They are hands on in every part of the inspection process. Inspectors look for water staining and moisture damage.

We want to help you avoid calling SERVPRO two weeks into living in your new home. Good luck in your future home shopping from us here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma.

Pool room mold damage

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is primarily caused by excess moisture in different areas. The best way to handle a mold problem is to bring in a mold specialist also known as a Mold Hygienist, they can properly determine how much mold is there and how dangerous it might be. A mold hygienist will compile their test results and create an action plan. They can give this information to the home owner or to us with the proper steps in cleaning the affected areas and your belongings the correct way.

Recently we had a mold damage in a pool room, the pool was in a room with very little ventilation. It looks like it was used as an exercise room as well. What started as a little mold spot grew and spread throughout the entire room. When you have humidity, moisture and poor ventilation that is a recipe for mold disaster. 

Our trained technicians went right to work removing all drywall and insulation within that room. They vacuumed and HEPA vacuumed all areas within the pool area. To be extra precautionary our technicians fogged all areas within the home and applied special treatment to prevent any further growth or damage from mold.

We were able to provide a triple treatment for these customers to ensure that the mold was fully remediated. Mold is not something you want to mess with, as stated above it can cause health effects.

Here are SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma we are here to help you through your mold damage, our technicians are here to put you and your family at ease. Trust you are in good and capable hands with us. 

SERVPRO fire technicians

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Our fire technicians are trained in more than just fire restoration. We hire amazing employees who are great with fine details and great with people. We ensure our techs are trained in all facets of our line of work. SERVPRO fire technicians perform many jobs such as: fire restoration, odor removal, sanitation, bio hazard clean ups, upholstery cleanings, carpet cleanings, and general cleanings.

In the fire restoration side, we can provide restoration and fire damage removal. We can collect items that can be restored, our technicians will log each item and bring them to our shop. We look at each item and place within our ozone room. This room opens the pores in items and sucks the odor and smoke smell from your items. We also work with personal photos, family photos. Whatever is important to you is important to us.

SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma is trained to perform sanitation, bio hazard clean ups. Anything from unexpected losses, murders, COVID precautionary and active clean up cases. Some cases of hoarders are similar to the above mentioned. Hoarder homes can have several concerns when it comes to cleaning or removing items within a hoarder home. Sanitary and safety for the occupants of the dwelling are things we look at and for when approaching a job like this.

Our technicians are happy to help you in any of the above instances, they are eager to get to work and provide top notch quality results. Here at SERVPRO we are proud to serve and provide a service that we can stand behind.

Unexpected rain

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

June still seems to bring showers here in the Northwest, I feel this time of year is difficult us. We are patiently waiting for that summer sun and warmth to arrive. January thru April we have a lull ready to get past the cold bare winter. April rolls in and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, June rolls in and it is like a flat tire before you turn into the parking lot of Disneyland. So close yet so far away.

In Michigan May brought unexpected heavier rains. This came as a shock when not one but two of their dams faltered and caused a massive wave of water throughout Edenville. What used to be a lake with lake homes left baren mud flats, homeowners are devastated by the damage left. 11,000 residents were evacuated before the dam broke. 5,000 were without electricity.

Fun fact: Something I learned was this damage amongst many others in the USA are privately owned. I read 75% of the dams in America are privately owned and maintained.

Heavy rains can be unexpected even in this time of year, it is why we here at SERVPRO feel its pertinent to educate, help spread awareness and preparedness not just the heavy winter months but throughout the entire year.

If you have any questions on how to better be equipped for a large storm or disaster, we are happy to assist in your planning process. Our friendly staff are courteous and available to help you today.

Storm tips and tricks

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Here in the Pacific Northwest our storm season can consist of wind, rain, hail, and snow. I remember the first year we moved up here from Southern California we had our first glimpse of the storms. We lived in a rural area here in Gig Harbor. We are surrounded by trees up here and where we lived at the time. Windstorms in Washington remind me of Santa Ana winds in Southern California, however in Southern California palm trees rarely fell from the winds. Nor did we experience power outages. That first year our main road had a tree fall that we had to drive under, and it took our power for over 7 days. We ended up packing some major essentials and staying with my in laws who were 20 minutes away and inside the city limits. They still had power, heat, water, lights, you know all the essentials.

I wish I had known how to be better prepared that first winter, so here is a list of quick tips and tricks that can help you get by next storm:

  • Keep a tote somewhere easy to get to
    • Have nonperishable food: top roman, soup, spaghetti sauce, noodles, etc.
    • Invest in a propane burner for camping
  • Keep flashlights on hand or candles
    • Check batteries before the storm hits
  • Keep a case of water on hand
  • First aid kit, every household should have one
  • If you have a wood stove, make sure you have matches and wood ready
  • Be sure to have spare warm blankets or sleeping bags
  • Invest in a generator

These are just a few of many ways you can prepare yourself before a storm hits. Be sure to check your supplies periodically. I hope these tips and tricks help for any future storms we have in the future. Remember SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County are here to provide you with awareness and prevention tools to avoid your next damage. 

Toilet water damages

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Toddlers/kids are curious beings, they discover something new they want to know why and how it works the way it does. One invention that brings curiosity and query is the toilet. Where does your business go after I flush that? If I plunk my favorite bouncy ball in there, will it come back? Or, if I do not ‘go’ number one or number two in the toilet, will the water still flush?

We have seen water damages of all kinds. One, the family had a little one who loved the flush the toilet. He/she loved it so much they flushed and flushed and continued to do so until it caused the toilet to start overflowing. Causing the water to overflow onto the tile, out the bathroom, through the floor to the downstairs ceiling and floor.

When our technicians arrive to a job, they introduce themselves, evaluate the entire damage and scene. Then they explain the next steps, and what needs to be done for that first day. We do our best to treat and set equipment the first day to control the temperature and environment as soon as possible to avoid any mold or further damage.

We understand that things happen, and it is not always in our control. Toilets can be fun and fascinating to little ones. We understand this was not the plan for you and your household. Our staff and technicians do their absolute best to walk you through the process and communicate the best they can. Remember SERVPRO is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We are trained and ready to help you through your water damage today.

Insurance Agents

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

As an insurance agent one difficult but necessary task is getting clients to renew their policies. Let's say a client of yours has a damage of some sort and wants to place it on a claim. Once that has been approved, you should recommend SERVPRO to your client. Let me tell you why, first off, you can ensure that they will receive the best care. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County offer a timely first response, to a quick, careful and efficient clean up, so we will make the process simple. We understand that any sort of damage to a home or business can be a traumatic and stressful experience for everyone involved. We also understand that the process can be confusing. Our staff will always make sure to break the process down (if need be) so that it makes sense to the client. Once the damages are taken care of whatever those may be, and everything is back up and running smoothly again it is a great time to talk to your client about renewing their policy. Going into the conversation knowing that your client has no stress and is happy with the work that has been done makes it so much easier. A lot of times clients don’t feel like they really know their insurance agent, whether that is for their home or business. This process can help facilitate that relationship, making it a lot easier to get that policy renewal. Not to mention the trust that it builds between you and your client. 

COVID business project and remodels

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

During the COVID Pandemic we saw local businesses taking advantage of the closed time to update and remodel their places of operation. Projects that have no doubt been on the mind but when to execute is always a difficult choice to make. You do not want to interrupt business flow and operation.

In this case we had a local gym, they decided to do some sprucing up for reopening. They were staining wood planks for an industrial look. Some rags were left inside staining buckets, causing these rags to combust. Resulting in a small fire damage, the fire and smoke were substantial enough to set off the sprinkler system. This in turn affected the entire commercial building, two levels!

Our team came in and evaluated the entire building. We had thirteen employees go in to remove all affected materials and set equipment. Because of the size of this damage we used all hands-on deck and set multiple air movers, dehumidifiers to maintain the environment and prevent mold damage. Our team worked quickly, efficiently, and cohesively with the building owners and renters.

We were able to get this gym back to remodel mode after we mitigated the fire, smoke, and water damage. Not every remodel will lead to this conclusion, but it is important to know what could happen. Do your best to clean up thoroughly after each day of work and materials used. Check your workstation to make sure things are ready to go the very next day.

Here at SERVPRO we here to provide a source of prevention and awareness before you run into a potential damage.

Fire contents and how we clean them

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to content fire and water restoration you can count on SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County to make it "Like it never even happened." Here at SERVPRO we understand the importance and value of our customer’s belongings, which is why our trained professionals have a restore vs. replace mentality.

How are my contents processed?

  • When our technicians first arrive at a job site they make an inventory that contains pictures and a description on contents that can and cannot be restored.
  • Once all information is entered, organization is key to this next step. Our valued customer’s belongings are carefully and strategically packed into boxes. In order to make sure that kitchen items don’t mix with bathroom or bedroom content, the fire technicians label every box
  •  When the last box is packed and ready to go, we bring them back to our shop, where our technicians set the contents in a designated area.
  • Then, they unpack the items in an organized manner and start the cleaning process. Our trained professionals have the knowledge on how to clean different items and materials.
  • Making sure that every item is shining clean, they transfer items into an ozone room where odor is eliminated.
  • Lastly, the items are repackaged into new boxes. Our technicians always triple check that our customers’ items are properly cleaned and free of any odor before delivery. 

SERVPRO professionals understand how overwhelming fire and water damage can be, especially when it comes to valued contents. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County are ready to help you in your times of need and make it "Like it never even happened."  

Commercial disaster recovery

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is the number once choice for your commercial disaster recovery. With 2500+ SERVPRO locations, we have the unlimited amount of resources and manpower to execute your large commercial building loss. Water, fire, etc. you name it and we can provide outstanding services to get your business back on the ground and running.

Did you know?

Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Similar statistics from the United States Small Business Administration indicate that over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster. It is a common misconception that insurance awards and aid from government agencies will allow merchants to pick up the pieces after a flood, major earthquake or like disaster — many types of disasters are not covered under normal insurance policies and aid from government agencies may be too little, too late.

Here at SERVPRO we understand how important a business can be, not to just the owner but all the employees, and the customers they service. Dependability can be super crucial to the people relying on a business and the services it provides. We off to all businesses an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), we can provide a paper binder or show you how to download our app. It is a easy to read tool to help you file and record all utilities, preferred vendors and people you need to speak with in case a disaster were to hit your business building. Do you know who you would call? What is the first thing you would do? These are all things you should think about, to avoid the above statistic. Our ERPs are complimentary and can be scheduled today! Call our office at 253-851-6711.

Commercial kitchen cleaning

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial cleanings are one of many services we can provide to business owners or managers. Commercial kitchen cleanings are great services to consider having done once or twice a year. Our crew can provide a deep cleaning to all the hard to reach and see crevasses.  We can clean thoroughly and use products that are effective in cutting through grease and are kitchen CDC approved. Our technicians can come in before or afterhours to wash and make your commercial kitchen brand new and ready to go. We are also able to provide cleanings for newly evacuated areas or a cleaning for an incoming business. We can provide the hands and professional cleaning equipment to each unique space. Our approach to each commercial space can vary. We ask that each business schedule an evaluation with our production manager before we give you a quote to perform services. From there our scheduling is done with our office manager. We schedule a time that is convenient to you and your hours of operation. Making it seamless for businesses and business owners. We believe in keeping your business up and running without any hiccups. If you are interested in a commercial general cleaning or maybe a Springtime commercial kitchen freshen up, call our office today. SERVPRO can also offer service agreements, where we can be scheduled to clean your business on scheduled times of year, month, week or days of the week. We are locally owned and operated within Gig Harbor for the last 40 years.

Storms and what they look like

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma is your local expert when it comes to large loss storm responding. SERVPRO has a long standing history of providing their local communities support in the aftermath of devastating storms.

Storms come in all different shapes and sizes; but all of them have the potential of causing homeowners lots of stress, heartache, and they can cost a small fortune to repair the damages they cause. Some of the types of storms that cause the damage to structures are listed below:

  • Tornado: a destructive vortex of winds having a funnel shape that forms from the clouds and touches down to the ground. A tornado can cause a whole house to be lifted and moved to a different location.
  • Hail: an event that rain freezes suddenly and causes pellets of frozen rain to shower down. A hail storm can cause roof, window, and other exterior damages.
  • Wind: a large storm when wind speeds can get high enough to cause roofing to peel up, windows to break, and debris can be picked up and slammed into structures.
  • Mudslide: an event that sudden appearance of water can cause the ground to be unstable and mass amounts of dirt, rock, and debris can suddenly be displaced.
  • Hurricane: a tropical wind storm where wind combines with rain and tropical weather. Entire houses can be flattened by hurricanes if the wind speed gets high enough.
  • Earthquake: a sudden shift of the earth that can range from a small rumble to the entire shaking causing foundation and structural issues.

When these types of natural disasters take place they can effect entire communities and when that happens SERVPRO is ready to make it "Like it never even happened." If you have any questions or concerns you can reach us 24/7 at 253-851-6711.

PNW Storms

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Living in the Pacific Northwest we experience nine months of rain. Sometimes the rain is a drizzle, a mizzle (mist and drizzle), downpour, freezing rain, hail, and snow. We see it all. Nine months can be gloomy, and we can experience all the following but it’s not always consistent. When we get “storms” we have rain for a long period of time and even though we live up here we can be prepared but our homes and business facilities are not always able to avoid it. After long periods of rain roofs start to deteriorate, concrete and asphalt crack and allow water to seep in. This is when we run into damages. As restoration professionals, we come in and mitigate after the initial problem has been solved. We have a list of recommended contractors and venders that we can refer to you. These are businesses we have close working relationships with, and we know the quality product you are going to get. We believe in supporting our local businesses. During this spring/summertime it is a good time to replace your roof, maintain or update some areas around your home or business office. Look for potential problem areas that could be a future problem. Don’t know where to look? Check out our other blogs on some ideas. We hope this helps you become aware and prepared for the next storm that may approach. Have some more questions? Give our office a call and our friendly knowledgeable staff can help put your mind at ease. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County 253-851-6711

Skylights and when they leak

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Skylights are nice to have here in the PNW (Pacific Northwest), when we have some many gloomy days a skylight adds natural daylight into a room without having to have too many artificial lights on. They can brighten up an area and add height to your ceilings.

As nice as they are, it’s important that you keep an eye on them if they are older. Look for leaks, have you had your roof replaced recently? This could also factor into that skylight. If you spot a leak coming from a skylight, it is super crucial you replace it immediately. Not only can it cause a potential water damage, it could lead to rot and make more of a problem to clean up.

The good thing about skylights, they are affordable and easy to replace. Personally speaking, we had one start to leak and we replaced it for around $200. Granted that was 5 plus years ago, but much cheaper than replacing an entire roof.

Do we replace them here at SERVPRO? Unfortunately, no we do not replace skylights. Contact your local roofing or window company. Should you have a water damage due to a leaking skylight, we recommend that you fix the leak before we come to your home to mitigate. Otherwise the leak would continue, and our efforts would be useless.

Skylights really add a special touch to a home, just be aware the damage that can happen if you do not act quickly. Remember SERVPRO is your number one choice for water damage mitigation. We make your leaky skylight “Like it never even happened.”

Storm Essentials

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have seen storms of every kind: hail, rain, snow, tornadoes, wind, etc. Its always a good idea to be prepared for any kind of emergency, especially un unsuspecting storm.

In your home you should try to have the following in place should you need it last minute:

  • Candles or flashlights- we like to keep these in easy to find places and we try to make sure the batteries are still working. We have about 6 flashlights/lanterns strategically placed throughout out home. Same with candles, we have these placed in areas where we might gather as a family.
  • A first aid kit- we have one upstairs and one downstairs. In each bathroom we tend to keep little stashes of band aids but for major injuries we have a designated spot for our first aid kits.
  • Emergency water and food: our family tries to keep a case of water bottles in an easy to get to place and our pantry is always supplied with the essential foods in case we cannot go anywhere. With COVID 19 it has prepared for ideas on the types of food items we should always be keeping on hand in case we should lose power.
  • Emergency ready to go tub/tote: should you need to evacuate; you only have a fifteen-minute window to get on the road and do it quickly. It’s a good idea to put a tote in an easy to get area that is already equipped with water, food, and the needs in case you and you family should need to leave immediately.

For more ideas of preparedness check out your local preparedness group. Here in Gig Harbor we refer to PEP-C (Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition)

Content cleaning

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

When we receive a fire damage a large part of what we do is clean and restore the contents affected by that fire damage. That is if we can, sometimes some content is too far gone, and we cannot restore it.

When we arrive at the job, we begin to pack out the job, going room from room collecting, logging and creating an organized list of all the items we are bringing back to our shop. We have a special software that keeps individual objects logged and when we pack it up, if the customer should need us to retrieve a needed item, we can look at our log and find it quickly.

When the pack out arrives at our shop, we begin the work on cleaning content. We use special products, tools and techniques to look at each item and give it all the attention needed.

We also have a special room that can remove the odor.

If an item is too damaged from the fire, we will communicate this to the customer and insurance adjuster. The customer will let us know what our next step is.

We document our process for the insurance company and customer. From the very beginning to the end we take care of every job with special care and attention.

Our customers can rest knowing that their personal items are in our very capable hands. SERVPRO goes above and beyond to restore your personal belongings. We understand the sentimental and personal aspect of each item.

Community support

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

“The team at SERVPRO was amazing. After the 2 straight months of heavy rain earlier this year, a basement room in our office had some water puddles. I called the SERVPRO team at 11:52 and they were on site by 12:15, talk about a fast response time! Nicole and Matt were great and completed a thorough analysis of the of the entire building, which uncovered other minor water damage concerns. I appreciated that they gave us a detailed list and explained what they found. They provided us multiple air scrubbers and had the standing water taken care of that day. Less than a week later, their team completed all the necessary drywall removal. Matt and Nicole stopped by multiple times during the process to check in on the office. They were very easy to work with and gave excellent service from start to finish. Thank you, Nicole, Matt, and your entire SERVPRO Team!” Jason E.

How can you not choose SERVPRO? We are community based, we live within the community and are active in our city. Gig Harbor is such a special gem of a city, it is supportive of small businesses. Especially during this COVID pandemic, it is so refreshing and reassuring to see throughout social media the constant shout outs to local businesses. Finding ways to stay open but being resourceful in a time of uncertainty. It’s a new way as businesses to find purpose in what we do, what we stand for and how we can put new meaning into the word Community.

Thank you to all the small businesses out there, keep your chin up, we are all in this together.

Leaky roofs

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

When your home runs into a roof leak, what to do next? When evaluating a job like this we will take meter reads and with the consent of the homeowner and proper filled out paperwork we will remove the affected areas. In one case the ceiling was warped and wrinkled from a leaky roof causing a water damage. Our tech removed the affected drywall, when he did this the insulation was saturated and behind that water droplets were dense in the wood that sits on top of the house tresses. We removed all affected material and set a containment to remove the moisture setting up some dehumidifiers and air movers. Keep in mind for our work to be effective you need to make sure the source of the leak has been stopped by a roofer, otherwise it’s like watching a hamster on a hamster wheel, running full force but getting nowhere. We use heavy plastic and tape to seal the hole, and we place a plastic tube that we hook to our dehumidifier into that plastic area. This pumps air into the tarped off area at a temperature that can dry and not cause mold or further damage. Water damages are hard to estimate a turnaround time, due to our environment. Environment temperatures are always fluctuating; this means we sometimes must adjust our equipment and approach. Like the environment a water damage is not always predictable, our methods are always changing and evolving within this industry. SERVPRO has been a well-known brand for 50 years, we strive for consistency in our employees, equipment, training and community presence.

COVID-19 Awareness in the community

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO we are doing our best to educate our community in the COVID-19, how we as a company approach each situation.

Our Instagram and Facebook social media is updated frequently. We do our best to educate our viewership in how we approach each facet of our job. Currently we are posting how long a virus can survive on different surfaces.

Did you know? The COVID-19 can survive up to 2-3 days on plastic, 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard, 4 days on glass, 2-3 days on steel and 5 days on shoes!!!!! Five days.

Our headquarters is communicating daily with each location on the ever-evolving pandemic we are facing as a nation right now. We are taking this very seriously and making sure each project is looked at and evaluated properly. This helps us to really listen to our customers needs and concerns. We then put together a game plan with our crew, we communicate daily and make sure every detail is laid out precisely.

If your workplace has a positive case of COVID-19 what now? When our team arrives on site, they wear their protective gear, a full body suit, boot covers, gloves, and a respirator.  Each employee has a personal box will this gear in it, along with any other materials they will need after or before the job. We approach the job with special product and tools that help us to fog an area, and then we manually wipe down every surface with hospital grade disinfectant.

We are very honored SERVPRO can be doing our part at this time. We know it is a very scary and uncertain time for the country. We are confident in how we operate in our industry. Call our office today at 253-851-6711 or 360-427-9332. We are here to help.

Fire and water

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and its heat can melt, burn, scorch, blacken, and damage almost anything it meets. During the warmer drier season’s fires are more likely to occur because the hotter temperatures dry out our grass, trees, etc. Fire can also be extremely hard to contain, predict and put out.

Water can eat away the hardest surfaces known to mankind. Tidal waves, tsunamis, hail, snow, freezing rain, etc. these are all forms of water within our atmosphere. Pressurized water can do substantial damage, picture a pressure washer. That water is forced out with great pressure to be able to remove residue, moss, dirt, etc.

What could happen if we put both powerful elements in the same room? What would this look like?

Take for example: a candle is left unattended. Jane Doe is burning a candle in her office during the day. She gets an emergency phone call and rushes out of the office but forgets to blow out the candle. The candle flickers and spurts off some its flame catching onto her files of work on her desk. The papers ignite rapidly, smoke pours throughout the office, the fire department makes it to the scene and drench out the flames.

The post fire picture: you must wait a certain period before entering the facility to ensure every ember is put out. Let’s say the fire didn’t do substantial damage to the entire building but maybe one office. For the fire to be put out either by extinguisher or water both materials can and will do damage to all content within that office. The building will have smoke damage, smoke is very potent, and the heat will open pores of the walls, furniture etc. When those pores close, they close all those harmful smoke particles within the pore.

Walls, carpet, ceiling, furniture, documentation/paperwork will all be affected. All the mentioned surfaces and materials will need to be cleaned, disposed of, sealed and properly treated by trained professionals.

Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County, our employees are trained and experienced to tackle any size loss. Any time of the day, and day of the week throughout the year we are here for you in your time of need.

Call our office today! 253-851-6711 or 360-427-9332

We are Cleaning Experts

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County. (253)851-6711

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Commercial disinfecting

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

Proactive cleaning in your workplace with the corona virus pandemic is crucial. How many times a day do you brush your nose, itch your eye, scratch your chin and not even think about the cross contamination you could be spreading. Anything from doorknobs, to bathroom stalls, faucets, work communal refrigerators, etc.

Visualize the heaviest trafficked areas in your work space, how many employees you have, now think about all the interactions we all have daily that can and will affect you and your workplace.

Spread of this disease can be between people who are in close contact with one another within 6 feet. This could be contacted through respiratory droplets with infected people through the air coming from mouths and noses of people nearby.

Now is the time to take time to create an action plan. Where to begin?

Communicate to all employees to sanitize each individual work space frequently throughout the day if not adamantly at the end of the day. Places to keep in mind for cleaning and wiping:

  • Tables and chairs
  • Counter tops
  • Cabinets and pulls
  • Doorknobs
  • Floors-hard surfaces/wood
  • Mats
  • Food contact surfaces
  • Light switches
  • Paper towel/napkin dispensers
  • Push doors
  • Bathroom stalls
  • Handrails
  • Sink hardware
  • Sinks soap dispensers
  • Book covers and binders
  • Carpets
  • Chairs
  • Computer equipment
  • Small hard surface items
  • Telephones
  • Shared office equipment
  • Water fountains
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Toilets
  • Diaper changing station
  • Fitness equipment
  • Lamps
  • Storage bins
  • Shelves and racking
  • Lockers
  • Stair handrails
  • Elevator cars

If you are interested in precautionary work, please give our office a call. We can give you pricing, schedule an evaluation and go over how we handle the process. We take specific steps on how to disinfect your business facility, our staff are properly dressed, protected, armed with the correct products to disinfect and keep you and your business operating smoothly. Our office number is 253-851-6711.

A frame homes and smoke damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

In my line of work we see smoke and fire damages frequently. At one point we had two jobs with the same style home, an A Frame. What’s an A Frame style home? Picture a capital A now put a door on it… and TA DA! That’s an A frame style home. Sometimes they are cabins and sometimes they are permanent homes. Not every home is a perfect layout, or can they be preventive of any type of damage.

Here are some things to be aware of with an A frame home:

  1. The roof can be an energy siphon if it is not properly insulated
  2. It is an expensive roof replacement
  3. Can be susceptible to termite damage due to the wooden framing
  4. They are not built to withstand strong winds

Let’s look at the above in a little more detail. Number one: it can be an energy siphon. What does this mean? When you need to heat your home, it could be a continuous stream of heat that escapes through the roof and walls. It’s escaping while your heating and paying more in your heating bill.

It can be a costly roof replacement when the time comes. Consider it, the roof doesn’t really expand in different directions, it juts down at a steep angle. This could take more time and care when the roofers are replacing it.

Termites. One of their food resources is wood. The A frame home is mainly constructed by wood. This could be a future problem if you’re A Frame isn’t taken good care of or if it is a vacation home and not occupied every day. Another reminder on how important it is to check the perimeter of your home monthly if not seasonally.

Up here in the Northwest, we are not always prepared for strong gusts of winds. Down in Southern California they have consistent Santa Ana winds and they can sustain those on a regular basis. In the Pacific Northwest we have dense tree coverage and when we get strong winds from Alaska, we suffer multiple power outages. I look at the A Frame home as two playing cards leaning against each other and if someone were to blow on them to see how long it would take for it to fall. The roof line is a large surface area for that wind to hit, meaning it could be a potential hazard to fall in on itself.

If you love an A Frame style home, here are some pro points for having one:

  • Steep sloped roofs make snow fall off easier for winter cabins
  • Affordable
  • They are quick to construct – they have prefabricated kits that you can build yourself
  • They are good for minimalists

Whether you are for or against an A Frame home you have some very handy information in case you should need to know. If ever you run into any structural damages; wind, snow, water, fire, etc. please call a SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO of Mason County.

Water damage from refrigerators

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Wet kitchen floor After a refrigerator line broke, the result was a substantial water damage. Those water lines can do a lot of damage.

Our refrigerators are such a convenience and yet they in turn can cause a major water damage as well. I’m not sure anyone or everyone thinks when shopping for a new refrigerator whether it will cause a water damage or not. Do you?

There have been several instances when a fridge water line breaks and will leak or pump consistent water throughout a house. Depending on if it’s a small unseen leak or a rude awakening the water can cause damage fast and substantial.

A leak from your fridge:

This can be a steady drip to a small leak. It can be something you don’t even notice and can be causing a ton of damage over time.

A large amount of water:

If one of the lines break, this could be a gushing of water. We have had to extract water from refrigerator lines breaking, where there have been gallons of water from these situations.

What can you do to prevent this?

Check your lines monthly, put a flashlight behind your fridge if you can. Be consistent in your checking. If you plan to leave town, turn off your line to avoid any unplanned damages. That seems to be the typical scenario: you’re on your family vacation in Hawaii and you get a phone call from your neighbor saying there’s water coming out of your garage…. Or if you don’t know your neighbor after a weeks’ vacation in paradise you come home to water everywhere and a strong musty smell that just about knocks you over.

Follow the above steps and hopefully this won’t be you.

Different types of water lines: braided, copper and the most typical are plastic.

If you are still unsure of what to look for, give us a call and our friendly knowledgeable staff can help you out. Just call our toll-free line 800-426-6540 or 253-851-6711 or 360-427-9332.

PEP-C

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

PEP-C Fair Owner Matt having a laugh with a visitor at the 2019 PEP-C fair.

Everyone has a passion of some sort, mine would be binge eating sweets and dancing all night. Or reading a book, on the beach in 90 degrees with never ending Pina Coladas…ok so a girl can dream.

Here in Gig Harbor is a small but fierce gem of a group called PEP-C (Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition). It’s a group of 14 (give or take) individuals whose passion is to help prepare for a large disaster. They provide training, seminars, trade shows, lists and endless resources to us as a community in case such a disaster should hit.

Remember a few years ago an article came out about the “Big One” can hit any day. Meaning, since we are located on the Cascadia fault like, Western Washington (Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia) will suffer severe disasters if or when it should happen. I’m not saying it will happen or that it won’t, but either way one should be prepared for any type of disaster. Shouldn’t we be educated on how much water to have on hand for each family member and for how long? This is exactly the information PEP-C can provide to you.

Their website provides a page with links/resources for: family preparedness, 12-month E prep plan, Peninsula hazards, regional hazards, disaster plan maintenance, neighborhood preparedness, community preparedness, hot topics and while traveling.

This group meets once a month at the Bujacich Fire Department (10222 Bujacich Road NW Gig Harbor WA 98332) conference room. Every other year the PEP-C group organizes and hosts a safety fair at Gig Harbor High School. There they have a day devoted to short classes on preparation in emergency/disaster related events and booths with local businesses and providers. You can speak with these booths and instructors who take preparedness seriously and learn the services they provide in any situation.

Want to learn more? How about get more involved? Here is the link to start now:

https://www.pep-c.org/

General cleaning basic information

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

We provide general cleaning for businesses who are moving to or from locations or need a good hard scrubbing. SERVPRO can also perform cleaning for your residential homes or rental houses. Our project manager will make an appointment to quote and estimate the areas. From there we schedule a day to come and clean.

Our employees are friendly, well trained and certified technicians who do a great job. They are detail oriented and strive to make sure our customers are happy with the end result. 

In the past we have performed business commercial kitchen cleanings for local Gig Harbor businesses such as Devoted Kiss, Tides Tavern and Green Turtle soon to be 7 Seas. Recently a local restaurant closed their doors and we provided the general clean for the incoming new business. Our employees work quickly and efficiently to complete the job at hand, to make your business or home clean with a quick turnaround or smooth transition. We perform services and similar cleanings such as Molly Maid, Servicemaster, and Scrubbles.

Whether you are in North Tacoma, Gig Harbor or Mason County we can clean floor to ceiling buildings or homes. Residential or commercial we are here to help and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Keep us in mind when your holiday season is done with family or company parties. What better way to start your 2020 new year than with a clean business building, rental house or just your day to day home? We can provide that for you no questions asked, call our office today 253-851-6711.

Giving Thanks

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

This month we are collecting canned meat for our local Food for Backpacks group. There are around 500 backpacks that go out with youth during the holiday school break. Have you ever had to go two weeks not knowing if you would eat regular meals? It's astonishing to think there are so many kids in school that rely on those meals throughout their week.

This is our second year partnering with Food for Backpacks and we love being able to provide and give back to the community. Last year we collected over 400 cookie and brownie packages as a treat inside the backpacks. This year we signed on to collect 500 cans of canned tuna and canned chicken.

Currently we have collected 180 cans and are hoping to grow that number. You can donate too! It’s as easy as selecting the below link, it will take you to our Amazon cart and make it even easier it will ship directly to us! http://a.co/ipeldT9

There are many ways you can help in our community to give back. We are also a drop off location for the JBLM Santa’s Castle, we are collecting toys for the Gig Harbor Chamber.

Looking for more ways to participate, many local businesses participate in events like this:

Treasures 4 Humanity across the street from Kelly’s is collecting coats and partnering with the Gig Harbor Lions Club with a Giving Tree. Toys must be dropped off by December 14th

Fondi’s is hosting their 3rd annual clothing drive, they are also asking for diapers, hygiene kits and newly packaged undies. *Every donation through December 31st receives a free flatbread.

Rush Companies is supporting “Be a Santa to a senior”- Rush Gives committee accepts a wish list from seniors in our local area and blesses them with their requests.

Chapel Hill offers Generosity Trees in the HeBrews lobby. Grab a tag and team up with one or more outreach partners. http://www.chapelhillpc.org./event/1682731-2019-11-23-generosity-tree/

These are just a few to name, be sure to check out your local businesses and participate in making someone’s holiday season. Remember to Give Thanks to someone you love or appreciate. You never know whose day you could make a special one.

SERVPRO and your aftermath blood clean up

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Bloody broken window and bloody couch After Maui (an American Bulldog) broke a window, he tracked blood throughout the house. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma was there to save the day.

Here at SERVPRO we have a large umbrella of what we clean and restore. One of many specialties is Bio hazard clean up.

When blood is involved, not only are you busy and preoccupied with what’s going on, one of the last things on your mind is how or when am I going to be able to clean this up?

Recently we had a call from a family whose dog made a large bloody mess. Maui an American Bulldog struggles with being left alone, his anxiety was so bad that he broke a window and cut himself badly in the process. Husband Justin was out of town for work, and wife Ana came home for something ‘real quick’ to find a broken window and blood everywhere! Blood on the windowsill, couch, curtains, bed, and carpet. On top of that broken glass was everywhere. Ana called SERVPRO, we showed up on the scene right as she was leaving to take Maui to the Emergency Vet Hospital. While Ana was gone and caring for Maui we were hard at work. Our trained technicians cleaned up glass, vacuumed up small glass pieces, cleaned their couch, bed headboard, white curtains and floors. We also boarded up where the window was and made it safe to prevent any future contact with that window area. All blood and any other potential bodily fluids were removed. When Ana arrived home, she was brought to tears at the finished result. She didn’t have to fear her child walking into their home looking like a crime scene. She was able to put focus and care into her family and we truly made what was a scary situation into something that looked “Like it never even happened.” Aftermath blood clean up is one of many things we do here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma and SERVPRO Mason County.

Burn bans and why we have them

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Living in the northwest is beneficial for air quality and let’s face it, the greenness of our surroundings is breath taking. Growing up in Southern California I am not a stranger to smog or heat warnings. I miss the 90 degree weather and the sun, but I have grown to call Washington state home. I have always struggled with asthma, due to secondhand smoke, smog and mold within my home. A trifecta of worse case scenarios to live with. When we moved up to Washington, I was astonished that I didn’t need my inhaler daily. I didn’t struggle with shortness of breath or heavy chest pressure to breathe. We moved up in the summer, summertime in Southern California always seems to be ablaze. We have had to pack up a family members house with important valuables while viewing flames yards away from their house. Talk about terrifying. In southern California I don’t feel like the trees are as compacted as here. So, moving I may have been a little naive in wondering why burn bans are so heavily monitored. Then I looked around and realized the atmosphere is not prepared to handle ninety-degree summers, sure it remains lush and green, but the dryness is what will act like a reactor to any type of flame. Our amazing first responders are very serious about this, it’s important that they keep us aware and using safe practices. If you are ever unsure of when or if a burn ban is in effect, you can call 253-798-7278 or visit the website: co.pierce.wa.us

On this site it provides general information in regard to burn bans, such as tabs that include:

what can I burn?

Can I use a fire pit?

Can I use my grill?

Can I use fireworks?

With firepits, it walks you through fire pit regulations and how to comply with the proper installation or whether you can burn in your fire pit. It provides information on who regulates the outdoor burning.

Did you know there are two types of burn bans in Pierce County? Fire Safety burn ban and Air Quality Burn Ban.

As you scroll down this site also provides your local Fire Districts, the station number, their phone number and location. This is very helpful information to have.

Our first responders are amazing hard-working men and women and they do their very best to provide awareness and prevention. First responders work hard to prepare everyday citizens to make our emergencies a little more manageable.

Consider SERVPRO as your second first responder. We do our best to provide awareness and prevention to all who meet us. We don’t want you to have a disaster or damage. No one wants their lives, or homes to be turned upside down. That is why we do our best to provide you with the knowledge and tools to prevent them.

Be sure to thank a first responder today and let them know how much their hard work is appreciated. Don't forget to mind our burn ban regulations for the safety of you, your neighbors, and our first responders.

The power of water

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water is one powerful element. Have you taken a moment to think about water and what it’s capable of? Think about the Grand Canyon, over millions of years the Colorado River created one of the most beautiful wonders of the world. It carved through rock layer by layer to display some of the most amazing colors and sights your eyes can see. Did you know that the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a depth of over a mile? Incredible!

 Our planet is 71% water, and only 5% has been explored/discovered. Five percent! Isn’t that mind blowing?

Being surrounded by so much water, one must realize that water can also be very destructive. Those of you on the coast can identify with this as well. Hurricane towns know the damage that water can cause. Coastal towns struggle with the long-term effects of saltwater to your car paint, your windows, etc. When your toilet, dishwasher or washing machine overflows and you have water running for a few minutes to hours the damage can be substantial to devastating. Think about the contamination that water is holding and transporting throughout your house, not just into the carpet, but into the carpet pad and sub floor below. It also moves to your base board that is more than likely wood, your wood will then warp and bulge. The water will then seep into your drywall and move upwards. Picture a paper towel, place a small corner of that paper towel into a cup of water, what happens? The paper towel absorbs that water and it travels to all the dry paper towel material until it is saturated. That’s exactly what happens to your drywall, it becomes soft and saturated. It’s holding the water it’s encountered. If this is your drywall, think of your drywall like that paper towel soaking up that contaminated. You DO NOT want to keep that in your house.

It is always best to call the professionals who are trained and certified in this area. Our employees receive continued education in our field to continually work on improving in our industry. We strive and want to be your number one choice when it comes to taking care of your damage. We want to make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Fast food vs. Sit down Restoration

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

Let’s take a moment to think about food, when you’re hungry sometimes you want what’s fastest or easiest. And sometimes when I’m hungry I want the ‘experience’. I am one of those people who get Hangry, angry and hungry when I hit that point, I need food and I need it now! Then there are other times when I want the ‘experience,’ sure I can go to Taco Bell and get a taco or burrito, but I love the experience of sitting down to a Mexican restaurant and having chips and salsa, an occasional margarita, and the choice of a combo plate vs. fajitas.

If we take it to the next level, there is the Primo Experience at a restaurant. Like fine dining, when the waiters offer you a black napkin for your black slacks’ vs a white napkin. Ever have that happen when the white lint gets on your dark garments? Party fowl.

In the end we make the choice of wanting something fast and that will “do for now” vs. an experience and something to get the taste buds tingling, salivating, and ready to truly enjoy every bite.

Attention to detail, that’s important to everyone isn’t it? What will be your takeaway?

Let’s spin this around, let’s look at a water damage now. You come home and your house is saturated in water from your washing machine from one side of your house to the other. You take a step and hear the squish squash of water. What’s your next step? (no pun intended)

  1. Call your insurance and place a claim
    1. Do you know what’s included in your claim?
    2. Do you know how much your deductible is?

These questions are typically how you establish who you choose to handle your water damage/fiasco.  We understand that money can be tight and typically water damages happen when we aren’t expecting them, right? I don’t typically budget a water damage insurance deductible into my family vacation. Because we all know that is typically when something of that inconvenience happens when we least expect. “Hi, yes water pipe, can you please choose to burst when I have a good savings built up and no big things to take care of?” In a perfect world we wouldn’t want a damage at all.

Sometimes our initial response is “I can do this, I can fix that watching YouTube videos,” I’ll be honest, been there and done that. Note: Do NOT try to fix your water damage yourself. The water can be contaminated, and you could need to remove and replace your carpet pad, linoleum, dry wall typically needs to be removed. We have special products that seal and treat the effected areas when a water damage occurs.

In the long run we are trained and certified professionals who have seen it and are trained to handle any size disaster. We are educated in knowing moisture temperatures and levels to properly dry and treat a water damaged area. We know how to treat and remove mold safely. We go above and beyond to produce a positive experience for you to remember and feel like your damage ‘Never even happened.’

When it comes to deciding on what to do, which company to use. Choose the number one performing company there is in our industry, SERVPRO.

Knowing how to handle mold

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

This is a picture of a mold project from summer 2018. Inside a car, mold grew at a fast pace covering the entire inside of the vehicle.

I recently attended a Mold CE class; continued education is important to our industry. As technology advances and we find new ways of researching, cleaning, and improving our methods, it is important to stay up to date on all of this. Not only is it beneficial to prevent liability, but who would you rather give work to, someone who has an idea of how mold should be handled 5 years ago compared to how it should be handled today?

We believe in prevention, taking the steps to prevent a little problem before it turns into a BIG problem. In this class, it covered a story that hit 48 hours back in 2000. You may even recall the story, Allison Ballard and her husband purchased their dream home in Texas. A 22 room mansion on 375 acres. You would think they had it all, until they discovered leak behind their refrigerator. They had a plumber come out to fix the problem but didn’t file an insurance claim. Three weeks later they noticed the hardwood floors became warped and buckled. They filed a claim with their insurance, the insurance settlement was delayed for a month. At this time toxic mold had developed and spread rapidly throughout the house. The water claim turned into a mold contamination throughout the entire house. Causing the family to experience several health problems: loss of memory, running noses, dizziness, asthma and coughing up blood. When they visited their doctor, their symptoms were compared to a “really bad flu.” Yikes!

Eventually the house was bulldozed and rebuilt, since the story was covered on 48 hours it caused national awareness.

The toxic mold that grew within the Ballard house was Stachybotrys, a black mold and highly toxic. Since 2000, steps to clean and treat mold have changed. In this documentary the family left their home the way it was and fled the scene for their lives. Leaving all personal belongings behind for fear of bringing contaminated items with them. Today, this would not have been the case.

If you discover mold in your home here are is a step by step list:

  • If you discover more that 10 square feet of mold call your local Mold Hygienist, here in Gig Harbor/North Tacoma we can give you a name and number of who we refer this service to. Call us at 253-851-6711.
  • A mold hygienist can come to the site and will take one or more tests of the mold. Initially they count the spores in the air and test the toxicity. The hygienist will then compile a ‘game plan.’
  • Be sure to review your insurance policy- depending on your policy the hygienist will either bill you the customer, or your insurance company, or us SERVPRO. All of this varies on the situation. We have seen the price start anywhere from $750 and go up from there, depending on how many ‘tests’ need to be taken.
  • The ‘Game plan’ will be forwarded to either you the customer, your insurance agent (if it’s covered) or us SERVPRO.
  • The next step is for us to come in and remediate the mold by the hygienist suggested manner of removal.

Ok, let’s talk about that $750, that’s a lot of money if you are A. not covered, or B. covered. Think of it this way, you are preventing this “little problem” from turning into a larger problem. Trust us, you don’t want long term health problems, or to leave your home. The Ballard family left all their possessions. We can come in, clean, remove and seal effected areas and make your mold damage “Like it never even happened.” It can be a scary and tricky thing to deal with, but we are trained professionals with the very best intentions of helping you in this type of situation. Call us today, we are here to help.

Why SERVPRO? Why not?

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

The benefits of being a franchise owner in the SERVPRO franchise world is receiving continued education. Our brand strives to be the number one choice of residents and commercial business owners nationwide. Having a number one performing company in the restoration industry means keeping their owners and their employees up to date on their resources. Our corporate office is based out of Gallatin Tennessee, meaning our trainers are constantly on the road, in the air, getting to a franchise location and providing education, mentorship, and support to each franchise owner and their employees.

Why is that important? How does that have anything to do with you? You may be asking yourself. It means we are consistently educating ourselves in our market to achieve perfection in our brand and industry. It also means that across the board throughout the United States, someone who needs help on a water damage in New York will get the same response and care as someone in California. Our technicians are all trained professionals, there is no job too big, no disaster we can’t handle.

Now, I’m going to be honest with you, not all franchise owners are the same person, personality, or same way of running a business. So, there can be situations where we differ in our execution, but overall, we all buy into the brand, we all buy into the SERVPRO system and we all want to see each other succeed in this business.

We take each customer experience personally and really try to achieve a customer’s approval. If we do not get these results, it not only makes our brand look inconsistent, but it also reflects the business owner, our production crew and believe it or not our families.

As a customer shopping for a dependable brand, consider our SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma, and Mason County business to be your number one provider. You will rest assured that we are nationally known, trained with the same standards expected from our corporate office, and family owned. We live here locally in Gig Harbor and service Gig Harbor, North Tacoma and Mason County territories.

Why SERVPRO, why not? Let us take care of you and help make your disaster “Like it never even happened.” We are ready for any size damage, any time of the day or night. Call our office today 253-851-6711.

Commercial loss with a speedy response.

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma will make your commercial business water damage, fire cleanup or mold remediation "Like it never even happened." At SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma we are locally owned and operated which gives us the quickest response time when you have an emergency in your business. When your commercial property has been affected by water damage call SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma. When you work with SERVPRO you are working with IICRC trained (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) & thoroughly background screened professionals.

SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma is the fastest responder for the Gig Harbor, North Tacoma areas. We will immediately start by containing the area that was damaged, so no further damage occurs. From there if it is a water damage from a broken sprinkler line, toilet overflow, or broken pipe, we will start by extracting water and cleaning the area with the appropriate method preventing microbial growth.

Water intrusion or smoke damage can spread quickly throughout any building, ruining carpets, upholstery, furniture, books, and other important items. When water damage occurs, exposed metal is susceptible to tarnish, and wooden furniture can swell and damage beyond repairable. Mold and bacteria’s can also grow in a rapid rate. If water damage is is not addressed further damage can occur to doors, windows, and walls. It is extremely important to start the cleanup process as soon as the water damage is found.

Step one: locate the cause of the damages, and stop it (I.e. water shut off valve, sprinkler shut off valve, etc.)

Step two: Call SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma to start immediately mitigating the damage

Step three: Call your insurance provider and update them with the current progress

Step Four: Organize the most essential areas of operation to get back up and running

We have worked with many local businesses and have multiple testimonials that we would be happy to provide you upon request. It is our goal to give you all available information so you can make the best educated decision on how you would like to move forward with mitigating the damages and get your business back up and running.

No matter what size of your commercial business, from a multi-building auto dealership to a smaller mom and pop run business we are prepared to take care of your business and get it back up and running. We understand here at SERVPRO that your business is your livelihood and your entire life’s work. We know that as long as your business is not fully functioning the financial impact increases daily. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma is a family run business and we promise to treat your business like it was our and get you back up and running as soon as possible. You can reach a SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 253-851-6711 and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke and the damage it can cause

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Occasionally we get a request regarding smoke damage, this can include a multitude of categories, causes and effects. How so? Smoke from fires, stoves, candles, oil lamps, fire places, smoke from tobacco or cannabis, BBQ smoking, incense, and vehicle exhaust.

First, lets look at the explanation of smoke.

Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates also gases.

We had a smoke damage once that was caused in a garage. The homeowner had been smoking some salmon in his garage, and some interested critters got in and tipped over the smoker. Causing quite a mess and fire too.

Other smoke damages we frequent are landlords whose tenants have odor from tobacco or cannabis residue.  It’s amazing the damage these can do within your home. One of our employees is a rental owner and used our services to remove tobacco stains from the walls. Nicotine can leave an orange-ish brown residue to your walls, and other surfaces. It can be an easy clean up on some surfaces and others it requires a little more grunt work.

We’ve had a fire/smoke damage where the client had a basket weave to her head board and bedroom set. She also had respiratory problems, because of that basket weave we could not guarantee all the smoke or soot had been completely removed. We cleaned the bed set, we placed it in our ozone room to remove all odor, we cleaned it again. And the truth is, as many times as we could clean that with the smallest of surface areas, we could not guarantee that that set was going to be clean enough for her health.

Smoke produces an odor that like its residue, is not the easiest to remove. Odors take some time to remove and proper precautions need to be taken. All our techs have experience in removing smoke, odor and smoke residue. A homeowner can attempt this on their own but will not always end with the desired conclusion. Sometimes they can get lucky, but it truly is best to let the professionals take care of your smoke, or odor damage. The Removal process can be anywhere from a small to extensive process. Ranging from cleaning and taking contents to our shop for the ozone room. The next step would be to be sealing and painting the effected rooms. And the most extreme case is to dispose of the items, this would-be worst-case scenario and best for you and your family’s health.

Just remember as trained and certified professionals, there isn’t much we haven’t seen. Let us provide you with excellent service with great communication, customer friendly technicians and office staff, and a quick and speedy response and turn around. SERVPRO Gig Harbor/North Tacoma strives to make every experience one that is pleasant. Nobody wants to have their lives turned upside down, and nobody wants their lives turned around for an extended amount of time. If something isn’t right, we have amazing accountability. We want to make it right and WILL.

We don’t wish for damages, in fact SERVPRO understands how devastating it can be to have a disaster. We just want you to know that we are a trusted, local family operated business. Our goal is to get in and get out quickly and help you get back to life, we want your damage to be “Like it never even happened.”

Why SERVPRO is your choice

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

The Betcher Family- Owners and operators.

Why SERVPRO? Our SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma franchise is locally owned and operated since 1979. We are the second owner of this franchise and a second generation ran company. Our family relocated from Southern California back in 2005 to begin our SERVPRO adventure. Since then, our current owner went from field work to management, and now ownership. Matt is a respected owner who cares about every employee that works for him. He invests in the SERVPRO brand, the employees who represent it and the work we provide to local homeowners and business owners like you.  

We take pride in having our certifications and trainings updated. Our employees come to you with the best knowledge and training in our field. Not only are we experienced in all areas, we provide excellent customer service and attention to details. Our office staff is knowledgeable when it comes to your damage and we do our very best when it comes to making it “Like it never even happened.” The last thing you want is to call an office and have someone answer the phone who sounds like they don’t care about your loss or damage. As an owner and a homeowner, we have been on the flip side too, we have experienced water damage to our home and belongings. We know it’s not fun and we also understand the stress it causes to have your home turned upside down in these types of situations.

In the scenario where the job may need more hands-on deck, here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma we can call on other close SERVPRO relationships. We believe it’s better to provide an overall spectrum of work with the same ethics and training than turn down a job. Our other local owners are all team players ready and willing to jump in and provide further assistance when it’s needed. We may be individually owned and operated but we all wear and represent the same brand- SERVPRO. Consistency and quality are crucial.

Our owners are active in the community. We support our local Gig Harbor Chamber, Relay for Life of Gig Harbor, donations to our local school auctions, Swing for a Soldier sponsor, and other community events. It’s important to Matt staying active in the community, it’s also important to provide the best quality service when living in the same community we work within. There is the occasional conflict with customers in our service, at that point our managers, employees and owner go above and beyond to make sure customers are happy with the finished product. Our tag line is “Like it never even happened” and we truly strive to accomplish this.

We hope you don’t have to use our services or find yourself in a situation where your house is a product of fire, water, mold or any other damage. If you should, our reviews and references show that we provide excellent, quality service. Don’t forget we are also on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Any size damage, residential or commercial, it doesn’t matter. We are here for you in your time of need. Let us make your damage “Like it never even happened.”

Winter temperature drops

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

What to do when your Gig Harbor/North Tacoma home’s pipes freeze?

Locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma takes pride in helping our local community in their time of need. When your Gig Harbor home’s pipes freeze you can count on SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma. We have 15 years of experience helping Gig Harbor and surrounding areas, homeowners after their pipes have frozen, thawed and then flooded their home. SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma will make it "Like it never even happened."

As we come into colder winter temperatures, we are all at risk of our pipes freezing and that can lead to pipes bursting. We have suggestions if you find that your pipes may be frozen, and list of suggestions on preventing pipes from freezing.

One of the first signs that you have a problem, and even possibly a frozen pipe, is no running water coming out of your faucets when you attempt to turn it on. If this does happen check to see that your home’s water supply is still turned on, and that there are no obvious leaks anywhere. If your search concludes that your pipes are more than likely frozen, but not yet burst, we recommend calling your local plumber to help thaw your pipes. This is a good path for those who are unsure if they can safely thaw pipes themselves or if you are unaware of where the frozen pipes are located/can’t access the area of the house where the pipes are frozen.

But we also want to help prevent frozen pipes, so be proactive and follow these recommendations:

  • Make sure all pipes that are exposed to the extreme temperatures are drained. This includes but not limited to swimming pool and exterior sprinkler system supply lines.
  • Disconnect any hoses from the exterior or your house. Drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure that you keep your garage door closed at all times.
  • Insulate the area around light fixtures, vents, and exterior faucets. This helps prevent freezing temperatures from gaining access to your home.
  • Open cabinet doors that have plumbing running in them. This helps the warm air to circulate around the pipes, keeping them warm.
  • Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze inside the pipes.
  • In your house never let your thermostat fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Night and day make sure that your home’s temperature never dips below freezing. This is one of the leading causes of frozen pipes, people do not want to pay for heating their homes when they are not it their homes. BUT – turning your heater off could lead to a risky game of frozen pipe roulette. 
  • Check all exterior seals on windows, doors, garage doors, etc. and complete any necessary repairs to make sure no heat is escaping your house.

Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a serious risk for people in areas that the temperatures dip below freezing, especially for an extended time period. When SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma responds to these types of claims we come prepared to help mitigate the damage and get your home back up and running as soon as possible. Because SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma is a local company we understand your concerns. because at the end of the day they are our concerns too. Give us a call with any questions or concerns you have about frozen pipes in your home or business 253-851-6711.

Food for Backpacks

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Marketing Rep. Nicole and a rep from Sound Credit Union. Sound Credit Union donated around 90-100 bags in their 12 days of giving champagne.

Welcome to the New Year.

Are you still recovering from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? In December, here at SERVPRO we committed to helping a local organization. Our office contacted the wonderful ladies at our local Food for Backpacks group and asked how we could help give back this 2018 holiday season.

Food for Backpacks is a local organization that is able to put together backpacks for kids who may not have the resources for regular meals. After speaking more and more with the organizers of F4B, our eyes were opened to the fact that there is a large percentage of kids who go to school to be provided with daily hot meals within our very community. When the holidays come into view, these kids who receive daily meals would now have to figure out daily meals at home for the holiday breaks to come. How scary!

When speaking with Food for Backpacks, we were met with enthusiastic feedback and asked to collect 400 cookie and brownie mixes. 400 seemed like a large number, in fact we were worried we wouldn't be able to collect that from people.

Our marketing department posted on social media platforms, such as: Facebook, Instagram and Linked in. We made flyers and sent them out to our local contacts and business, we let our weekly networking groups know of our goal and deadline. One of our employees even posted on their neighborhood Facebook page to ask their neighbors if they were interested in helping.

It's so amazing how the holiday season brings a community together to support those who don't have much of anything. Word spread and before you know it our office was seeing local neighbors, business owners, people who had heard from the grapevine bringing in bags and boxes. Out of state relatives got onto Amazon and had deliveries made to the office.

Here at SERVPRO we were overwhelmed by the generosity of others, who have a large heart to give back to these very deserving kids. No one should have to worry about their next meal, especially a child.

We can't wait to be involved in something like this again and look forward to the next opportunity to give back to the community.

Thank you to those who donated and a BIG thank you to the amazing volunteers and organizers at Food for Backpacks.

If you are interested in reaching out to help, check out their link:

http://foodbackpacks4kids.org/

Why SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/ N.Tacoma

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

When you are considering hiring a new company to come into the confides of your home it can be very stressful. You are trusting people in your space, with your family, to fix your home you have worked very hard to buy. This Blog will explain what makes our SERVPRO, SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma the company you should trust with your most valuable possession, your home.

As a SERVPRO employee I can be very honest about my review of SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma. Since day one of working for the Betcher family I have felt at home. Although the environment can be very stressful in a mitigation office, the Betchers always care enough to ask how my day is going. Along with the support that they give my family all year round, the Betchers always come together during the summer and host a summer BBQ for their employees, and at the end of the year with an amazing Christmas Party for their employees and their spouses. The Betchers believe in promoting in house, and there are always incentives to be given to those who deserve it.

Our SERVPRO treats each client more like family than just another paycheck. We understand that the damage to your home is more than a job site, but it is your home. This is where your kids grew up, or maybe its where you held your first Halloween party, either way this is your home and we will treat it with the care it deserves. We are constantly evolving and changing our methods to make our work for efficient and less intrusive to your home.

SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma takes pride in the training and certifications that we receive. We send all of our Water Restoration Technicians to get certified by the IICRC. The IICRC sets the standards for the restoration, mitigation, and cleaning industry. Come on into our office and you will be warmly welcomed by our front desk, and on the wall to the left you can see a plethora of awards, and certifications we display with pride. Another thing that SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma takes great pride in is our community involvement. We continue to grow in our community every year. We have been avid supporters of our local community events; Relay for Life, Swing for a Soldier, Maritime Festival, etc.

Being a part of a great team like SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma has given me a sense of pride that I have never felt before. We are constantly promoting change to help us become a better company.

Have a question about something negative you may have heard? Give us a call, and we will put you in touch with the project manager and they can explain how we handled the issue in a timely manner. Although we wish we were perfect, we realize that mistakes can be made, the difference with SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma is that we will address the issue and figure out what we need to do to make things right. You can reach me at 253-851-6711 and ask for Stephany.

Fall into Fall with us

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we love our growing community. There is no place the Pacific Northwest during the fall. I can't begin to describe the beauty of all the colors. Deep crimson, apple red, rusty orange, pumpkin orange, and marigold yellow. My personal favorite are the maples that do a spectrum of colors as the season changes. Although we would absolutely love partaking in all the different season events we can’t be everywhere at once, so we thought we could fill you in on some of our favorite upcoming Fall events in Gig Harbor.

Cider Swig – The Cider Swig is schedule for September 29th between 12:00PM and 5:00PM. This event is located at one of our favorite local parks, Sehmel Homestead Park. Approximately two dozen different regional cidermakers will be present, and there will be upwards of ninety different hard ciders to sample! Along with the fantastic cider there will be live entertainment! Yum.

NW Glass Pumpkin Patch – The NW Glass Pumpkin Patch is taking place on September 29th from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be a new location this year, the patch will be held at the Peninsula Market (Old Peninsula Gardens). Admission is free, and it is such an amazing site to see! Wander through a spectacular array of one of a kinds of glass pumpkins in every shape, size, and color imaginable! Each of the glass pumpkins is hand blown by local glass artisans.

Scarecrow Festival – The Scarecrow Festival is scheduled for October 6th between 10:00AM and 4:00PM. Once again, this event is located at Sehmel Homestead Park, and would be a great time for the entire family! This is an autumn celebration with all sorts of different decorated scarecrows, live entertainment, farm animals, hay rides, camel and pony rides, a hay maze, and fun food and fair treat vendors!

Trick or Treat in the Harbor – Trick or Treat in the Harbor will take place on Halloween October 31st, from 3:00PM to 6:00PM. There will be so much going on all at once… The Harbor Dance will be performing a “Spooktacular Surprise” at 4:30PM and 5:00PM in front of Skansie Brothers Park. The Harbor Wildwatch are presenting the Mad Scientist Laboratory at the Skansie Brothers House. Trunk or Treat will be at the Church of the Nazarene with fun carnival games and an inflatable bounce house! The also provide hot coco or spiced cider for a small price. Don’t forget to bring the kids to visit Paradise Theatre’s Haunted house from 4:00PM to 6:00PM.

Rain or shine all the above events are going to be a blast! We here at SERVPRO LOVE the fall and can’t wait to see you at all these wonderful events! SERVPRO is your locally owned and operated fire restoration, water mitigation, flood water extraction, mold remediation, biohazardous cleaning, carpet cleaning, content manipulation and content cleaning company. We hope that in the case that you are in need of any of those services you’ll call upon your local Gig Harbor specialists! With pumpkin spice in our coffees, and the leaves starting to change and fall there is no better place to live. We take pride in our community and want our community to take pride in our company. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

Raining indoors, a water damage.

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

We moved from a “fixer upper” into a new development home back in 2016. We had lived in our sweet home for about ten years and needed a little more space. Two kids later we discovered how quickly you can outgrow a space. We fell in love with a model home in a new development in our city. We couldn’t wait to move in. A brand-new home, this was a first for us and we were eagerly anticipating a smaller yard with less up keep, and “new” everything that wouldn’t need a ton of consistent attention.

The first two weeks were bliss, until our first bubble bath in our master bathroom. Heating the water was a little different from our last home and it took a little getting used to. So much so, that we filled the tub and added more hot water to the tub, relying on the drain to release the excess water. While this is happening, I noticed my husband was yelling- not his typical trait. I left the bathroom to hear better what the commotion was about, and as it turned out the kitchen ceiling was raining! He was yelling to tell me to stop filling the tub. I was confused, how was the water coming from our bathroom tub to the kitchen?

As it turns out, when the tub was installed they forgot to caulk the drain. It was somehow overlooked, and it caused this large water loss in the first two weeks of being in our brand-new home. Our kitchen floor had buckled rapidly, the water effected the base boards and drywall all within an hour or so. Thankfully under our year warrantee it was fixed but that too came with its ups and downs.

As a business owner of a water restoration company and a homeowner with a water damage, it was not a smooth sailing process to get our kitchen back to new. Keep in mind this all happened as we were expecting to have a holiday company party within the month. The holidays were in full swing and we all know that added confusion that can add to daily life in general. The replacement floor was replaced by someone who is color blind and installed the wrong color flooring. The dry wall was uneven and didn’t get painted until much, much later. It was a nightmare.

I could empathize and relate with customers who have not had the smoothest experience with our services. Hiccups happen, and it taught me to understand that some things are not in my control. Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we do our best to perform in high standards and quality. We also understand that this may not be what a customer expects, but we also will work until we fix what is wrong to ensure the customers upmost satisfaction. Our managers and techs work closely to communicate the process and time length expected to perform our job. Our goal is your happiness and to truly make sure your damage is “Like it never even happened.”

Summer Sun

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is the best, I personally look forward to record breaking heat waves and lounging in the sun while soaking up all the Vitamin D that I can. This may not sound appetizing to 99% of you. While rustling and bustling during this busy season, here are a few things that we can bring to your attention.

While traveling, be sure you take the steps to prepare your home. Do you live in a busy neighborhood? Are your neighbors friendly enough to keep an eye out for you? Make sure if you have packages arriving that someone can retrieve those for you, the last thing you need is your Amazon or Nordstrom package on your porch for a week and a half. Much less someone who is not so friendly to take your package and extend the favor into taking all valuables from your home. Keep a car in the driveway, its best to make it look like nothing new is going on.

When leaving town, DO NOT post on social media. This is like posting a “FREE LIQUIDATION SALE AND ALL ITEMS ARE FREE,” on your lawn. If you have someone housesitting or live in a gated community you may have a little more security, but anything can happen if the opportunity is given.

We understand that summer months the heat is super uncomfortable for those who don’t have air conditioning. Sometimes the best way to cool down your house is to have windows open all day and all night. Take certain steps to make or place dowels in the window track to keep windows from sliding all the way open for easy bodily access. Fans are great, but not if they are the high industrial fans from the 60’s, 70’s. Check cords and make sure wiring isn’t exposed, this could lead to a potential electrical spark that could result in a major fire damage. Whatever you do, do NOT use a power strip, these are not made to handle that kind of electrical output.

Here in the Northwest, Summer time is a great time to get to know your neighbors and explore the beauty of our surroundings. I have two little girls and when we drive to new places I try to make sure we always have a first aid kit in the car and a mini one in my bag. I try to take a few plastic bags along as well for a make shift trash bag and in case of the rare stomach ache, if you know what I mean? Also, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The heat is not new, but its easily forgotten how it can sneak up on us and make us dehydrated. And don’t forget to apply your choice of sunblock if out in the sun for an extended time.

Help us help you avoid the above helpful hints. Take care and stay cool. Enjoy what’s left of the summer and all it has to offer us. Remember here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we are always striving to hit our motto, Like it Never Even Happened.

Biohazard Clean up

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

We get an occasional biohazard call: homicide, suicide, unexpected death, animal infestations or medical accident. Biohazards must be handled correctly and professionally. Bloodborne pathogens can be dangerous, and we handle these situations with the most discrete and delicate of manner. We have special certifications and training for these unfortunate events. Statistics show that 1 out of 24 people have Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. Depending on the environment our biohazard is in, these diseases can survive up to 16 days in the effected person. It’s not something we enjoy doing but we are proficient and courteous to our customers during this difficult time. Our protocol for this Is the following:

Call: we get your call and send a certified technician to the site within one hour depending on your location. Our technicians are professionally trained and are also empathetic to the type of situation we could be working with.

Evaluation: our tech(s) evaluate the extent of this damage. Our techs wear special bio uniforms and respirators. This is to protect them from any kind of disease that could spread while cleaning. As mentioned above these diseases can survive up to 16 days in certain biohazard environments. Exposure can happen with any kind of open skin, scrape or wound, sharp fragments that may puncture while cleaning, inhalation, or potential splatter resulting in exposure through the nose, eyes or mouth.

Restoration: restoration to floors are much like a water damage. Carpet is pulled away and the sub floor is treated and sealed. Carpet padding is replaced and the carpet itself is cleaned on the underside and top. Any kind of dry wall exposure is cleaned and sealed. Depending on the situation some drywall may need to be replaced all together. Each damage is unique and requires special care and evaluation.

To perform biohazard cleanups its highly recommended that the professional you have cleaning is OSHA certified. What is OSHA?

O- Occupational

S- Safety

H- Hazard

A- Association

Rest assured that our techs are OSHA (Occupational Safety and Hazard Association) certified and trained. Anyone who is not OSHA certified, is fined heavily. When looking for a company it’s important to know if they are certified and aware of the OSHA requirements. We take all the extra steps needed to qualify for this certification.

As mentioned above, not all biohazards are human related. Animal infestations are more common than you would think. Rats, squirrels, otters, birds, etc. Pests are not hygienically clean, they carry many diseases. Rats alone can directly transmit the following: Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, Lassa Fever, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM), Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever, Plague, Rat-Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, South American Arenaviruses (Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Sabia-associated hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever), and Tularemia. That is just rats alone, not including the other above-mentioned animals.

If in doubt, let a professional check it out. Our professionally trained and certified techs take care of it all for you. Let us save you the headache and stress. Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we are happy to help and make your biohazard “Like it never even happened.”

Call us today @ (253)851-6711

Spring Fever and Easter Sunday

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is finally in the air, with the recent Groundhogs day news of 6 more ongoing weeks of winter. We are finally anticipating more sunshine, flowers, new life and a light at the end of our cloudy and endless rainy tunnel.

Here in the PNW we have 9 months of brutal weather and it can dampen ones spirit. Spring gives us that small reprieve of what's to come. It also helps us gear up for Summer: family vacations, constant activity, outdoor projects, etc.

With that said, Spring is a great time to assess your outside perimeter and observe projects that can be done before the hustle and bustle of Summer and before Autumn and Fall months. Its a great way to stay on top of your house but also see how you can prepare and avoid those nasty disasters and damages that are an everyday threat in Winter months.

Here at SERVPRO Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we want you to be proactive not in a pickle.

Take time to enjoy the sun and warmth as it fast approaches us. 

Our sweet little harbor is starting to ramp up in their community activities. Mark your calendars for the Maritime Festival the 1st Saturday of June. Where you can enjoy our one and only parade purely devoted to Pirates and harbor spirit. That same weekend also kicks off our Trolley system. 

Relay for Life is approaching May 5th in our Uptown shopping center in Gig Harbor.  

This coming weekend is Easter weekend, the official kick off to Spring. If you are looking for a place of worship this Sunday simply search Easter Services for the city in which you plan to attend. Some larger churches try to get a RSVP to account for larger services. We would also suggest showing up 10-15 minutes early for parking and getting situated for Sunday school.

Here at SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/N. Tacoma we hope you enjoy what's to come in your sunny future. Leaving these winter months in our dust and treating them "Like it never even happened."

Odors and how to conquer them

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

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.”

Candle Safety

10/21/2017 (Permalink)

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

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

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

10/6/2017 (Permalink)

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

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

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

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

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

10:00-3:00pm

Gig Harbor High School

5101 Rosedale St. NW

Gig Harbor WA 98332

Follow them on Facebook: @PEP-C Gig Harbor

or http://www.pep-c.org

SERVPRO will have a booth there. We look forward to seeing you there.

Good bye Summer, Hello Fall!

9/4/2017 (Permalink)

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!

(253) 851-6711

Supply Lines and general information on them

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

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):
*Metal braided
*Plastic
*Rubber
*Copper

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."

Got Mold?

7/29/2017 (Permalink)

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!

9/18/2016 (Permalink)

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.

Faster Response:
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:

1.253.851.6711

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