Recent Storm Damage Posts

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. 

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

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)

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/

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.

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.

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