Recent Water Damage Posts

Homeowner's and insurance policies

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

It is important to know as a policy holder what you can and cannot do. What do I mean by that?

As business owners we have friends and neighbors, and we like to be able to help them. We do not typically like to see a van from our competitors in our neighbor’s driveway.

When I speak with neighbors or friends on how the process is going, typically the other brand is doing a good job, and that is great. Our main priority is to help those in need, and we are glad to hear when someone we know is being taken care of. However, as a homeowner you need to know what you can say to your insurance company.

We live in a newer suburban neighborhood and the builders have a contract with SERVPRO, this is great, but it is not our SERVPRO. It is a SERVPRO 40 minutes away, not ours (2 minutes away), when I speak with our neighbors about calling our office the answer is “I can’t. our Builder says we have to use this SERVPRO”

Same thing with insurance companies, agents or adjusters will say “you have to” or you are “recommended to” use a specific company.

But here is the truth, You are the owner, You pay the bills. You have every right to select who you want coming into your home and performing work. In the end you can have the final say. Insurance companies don’t want to loose your business.

We trust you have a good working relationship with your insurance agent, but if this is not the case know that you are the one paying the bills, you are the one living in the house, and you are the one who has people coming into the house to perform the work.

If you have any questions related to this topic, you can call your insurance agent or our office at 253-851-6711. Whether you choose SERVPRO or another company, the important thing to remember is you have the choice.

Leak detectors and water damages

4/15/2021 (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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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."