Recent Posts

A Flooded Toilet May Be a Sewage Issue

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Clogged pipes Clogged pipes can occur for a variety of reasons, including using too much toilet paper or flushing improper materials.

A Flooded Toilet Could Indicate A Sewage Problem.

Water has a sneaky way of impacting your commercial property in Fall City, WA. One common issue is a toilet that has flooded. While sometimes the issue is easy to determine, that may not be the case when there is underlying sewer damage.

Causes of a Flooded Toilet

There are three main causes of a toilet backup and flood:

  • Clogged Pipes: From too much toilet paper to inappropriate materials being flushed, clogs are very common. An aging toilet is also prone to more issues. Oftentimes, a clog is easy to fix without too many complications or excessive water damage. During any cleanup, it is important to remember that the water may contain contaminants, so it is necessary to take extra safety precautions.
  • Blocked Vents: The plumping system in your property is a complex one. The plumbing fixtures have vertical pipes that connect to a plumbing vent. This enables air to re-enter the pipes after the air has been released during flushing. Oftentimes, the outlet is on the exterior of the property. Leaves and other debris may work their way in and create an unwanted blockage.
  • Sewage Issues: Everything naturally flows to the main sewer line. From tree roots to flushing materials prone to clogging, it may lead to sewer damage. When that happens, whatever is being flushed starts to come up instead of going down. In some cases, there may be an issue further down the city’s line that is causing the overflowing.

Consider Calling a Sewage Company

Although every situation is different, anytime there is excess water on the property it is recommended to contact a water mitigation professional to ensure that the damage doesn’t spread and is properly cleaned. Along with the know-how to help determine the problem, a team of certified professionals will be able to address all aspects of the damage and have the proper industrial-grade tools to return the property back to “Like it never even happened.”

While a toilet issue may be common, the underlying culprit may be sewer damage. When that happens, extra care is required to repair the problem and water damage caused.

3 Tips for Preventing Flood Damage

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

the ceiling of a house damaged by a storm SERVPRO is your local flood and water damage restoration professional. Call SERVPRO today to learn more about how we can help you!

3 Flood Damage Prevention Tips.

Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster in the United States. Even if your home in Issaquah, WA, is covered by FEMA NFIP, you need to be prepared. Here are three ways to prevent flooding damage.

1. Take care of your sump pump.

Your sump pump can be your biggest ally when flooding occurs, so it's important to keep it in good working order by performing regular maintenance:

  • Your pump may vibrate during use, so confirm that it's upright and hasn't tipped over or started leaning.
  • Clean both the sump pump and the pit regularly.
  • Test that the pump is working properly by dumping water into the pit. The pump should start up on its own and drain the water promptly.
  • Check that the discharge hose is carrying water sufficiently far away from the house.
  • Make sure the ground fault circuit interrupter is plugged in and that the cord is dry and in good shape.
  • Rid the check valve of debris. (Be sure to disconnect it first.)

If you live in a rural area, whether it's at high risk according to FEMA NFIP or not, you should also make sure that the pump isn't delivering water to your septic field. If it is, it could flood the drainage field.

2. Keep your most valuable items off the ground.

Photo albums, home movies, yearbooks, personal records, and other important items should be stored on high shelves. Better still, make digital copies or hard copies of anything you'd have trouble replacing.

3. Avoid sewer backup.

When flooding occurs, that water can overburden the sewer system, causing it to flow into your basement via your home's water line. Capping your basement's sewer openings — thinks toilets, showers, sinks, and floor drains — can stop this from happening.

If you're familiar with FEMA NFIP and know your home's flood risk, a few preventative measures can go a long way toward lessening flood damage to your home. For those messes that you can't avoid or that require a little extra manpower and expertise, it may be wise to enlist the help of water damage repair specialists.

What Makes a Business Continuity Plan Work

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

business continuity plan A business continuity plan helps ensure businesses in Issaquah, WA, can continue to provide products or services during and after a disruption.

What Characterizes a Successful Business Continuity Plan?

In an ever-changing, volatile environment, disruptions to business can occur anytime. A business continuity plan helps ensure businesses in Issaquah, WA, can continue to provide products or services during and after a disruption.
When developing your continuity plan, there are five key elements to consider.

1. Assess the Risks
Your plan should include a threat and risk analysis that recognizes internal and external risks and vulnerabilities. Risks can be anything from natural disasters and cyberattacks to civil disorder and supplier failure. Identify any potential risks or threats and their possible consequences. Knowing a risk can help you anticipate its cost, determine its impact, and clarify recovery time.

2. Develop an Emergency Response Plan
Once you know your business’s potential risks, you should develop a response strategy for each one. Doing so can help minimize or prevent the risk. A response plan should identify each action needed and the people involved, resources needed, and a timeline for completing the actions.

3. Identify Key Roles and Responsibilities
When preparing your business continuity plan, include key people and clearly identify what their roles and responsibilities will be during and after a crisis. In most cases, these will be managers and senior staffers. You should also prioritize and allocate resources they will need to perform their duties.

4. Maintain Lines of Communication
Clear, effective communication, both internal and external, is essential during a crisis. Internally, effective communication can instill confidence in your company’s ability to deal with a crisis. Externally, an open line of communication can maintain a level of trust and satisfaction with your suppliers and customers.

5. Test Your Plan
Your business continuity plan should be shared with all of your employees and tested by using realistic scenarios. Testing will help find flaws in the plan and will help ensure key personnel understands the plan and what is expected of them.

A good continuity plan can help reduce your business’s recovery time, maintain customer satisfaction, and instill confidence in your employees if a disruption occurs.

4 Ways Homeowners Can Prevent a Sewer Backup

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Be cautious about what you put down the drain, respond quickly to problems, and install technical devices to divert water elsewhere.

Four Ways Homeowners Can Prevent Sewer Backups

When water comes up from the drainage system, homeowners experience a sewer backup. This water is likely highly contaminated with undesirable pathogens; as it saturates into the structure, it complicates the cleaning, requiring extensive drying, sanitizing and rebuilding. Owners in Fall City, WA, can take steps to prevent this situation by consistently following these safety measures.

1. Minimize Clogs

Do not flush anything or drain substances that are bulky or congeal. In the bathroom, only use toilet paper, and in the kitchen, toss rice, oil, eggshells and coffee grounds in the trash. If in doubt, dispose of something in the trash.
If you observe changes in water flow or an unusual odor, you may have a clog starting. Contact professional sewer cleaning services to inspect the plumbing.

2. Keep a Snake Handy

This tool is a long tube consisting of a cable with a coil and a handle. You can snake the drain with it, pushing out a clog and thwarting a backup issue. The tool comes in a variety of sizes. Smaller ones work well for bathroom sinks that often suffer from hair blockages. Larger ones provide depth for commodes.

3. Get Ahead of Storm Damage

Natural weather events may increase the local water levels, causing overflows from the nearby sewers. The water could enter the basement or downstairs floor of the home. You can install several devices to move water out, such as the standpipe, floor drain plug and backwater valve.

4. Observe Changes in the Yard

Along with flooding, sewer breaches can happen when external objects like tree roots harm the pipe. If a line punctures, dirt and sand can enter, leading to a significant clog. Monitor the lawn, and know where your sewage pipe is. If you observe dips or water accumulation, seek help.

Owners have options to mitigate backup concerns. Be careful what you put down the drain, react quickly to problems and install technical devices to move water elsewhere.

Why Basements Flood and What To Do About It

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break A flooded basement doesn't have to be a long-term disaster. Flood damage can be repaired with the help and advice of SERVPRO's restoration experts.

What Causes Basement Flooding And What You Can Do About It

A flooded basement is one of a homeowner's worst fears. Because flooding can have many complex and related causes, recovering from the damage and preventing a repeat event in the future calls for the help of a flood restoration company. These professionals can remove the water, mitigate any continuing damage, and get your basement back in tip-top condition. Typically, a basement flood is caused by one of the following issues.

Groundwater Intrusion

Basements occupy the lowest level of a home, making them highly vulnerable to water intrusion. Situations that could lead to water entering a basement include:

  • Heavy rain or snowmelt
  • Cracked foundation or walls
  • Clogged basement drains
  • Sump pump failure
  • Improper grading of property

Many basements have floor drains and sump pumps to quickly remove excess water, but these systems can be overwhelmed if water enters the home faster than it can be pumped or drained away.

Sewer Backup Flooding

Wet weather isn't a factor in every instance of a flooded basement. Backups in storm or sanitary sewers are another possible cause. While sewers are designed to carry water and waste away from a home, sometimes they fail and the flow stops or reverses. This backup might be caused by a break or blockage in the drain.

Leaky or Broken Pipes

A suddenly wet basement during otherwise dry weather might also be the result of plumbing issues such as damaged pipes. Leaky pipes can lead to a slow, steady accumulation of water that may go unnoticed for a while. Broken pipes, however, will make themselves known right away. A related problem to watch for is a failed hot water heater or water supply tank. Pipe repair by a professional plumber should address this source of water in your basement.

A wet or flooded basement in North Bend, WA, doesn't have to be a long-term disaster. With the help and advice of restoration experts, damage from today's flooding can be repaired and tomorrow's water problems can be prevented.

3 Procedures for Treating Employee Burns at Your Business

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. Injuries that may occur while you and a safety officer or team are dealing with the aftermath of fire damage are part of protecting employees at work.

3 Workplace Procedures For Treating Employee Burns

Protecting employees at your Issaquah, WA, workplace includes injuries that might occur while you and a safety officer or team are handling the aftermath of fire damage. Some areas or items may still retain heat and result in a burn if an employee tries to move or touch it. However, keeping a first aid kit with burn response equipment can help heal or treat a burn until an injured employee can seek professional medical help.

1. Examine the Seriousness of the Burn

Burns occur in degrees that vary from a first-degree burn, which is the least serious, to a third-degree burn, which is the most serious and usually requires immediate medical attention. You can treat most first-degree burns on your own with a medical kit. First, run the burned area of skin under cold water or apply ice. Avoid breaking any blisters that occur with the burn and keep the employee calm as possible during treatment.

2. Apply Bandages

If the burn is obvious or includes blisters, you can administer burn first aid by bandaging the area. Use a thin gauze and take care not to wrap the area loosely to prevent the gauze from sticking to the wound. Have the employee sit down and watch for signs of shock, such as paleness and a change in breathing.

3. Remove the Victim From Fire Damage

Removing the employee from the area where the burn took place can keep him or her calm and give you a better opportunity to examine the burn and treat it. You may want to call in fire restoration and mitigation service to complete the cleanup process, especially if you discover other areas that may pose a burn threat to your other employees.

When your Issaquah, WA, employees suffer burns at work while trying to handle a fire or its aftermath, knowing how to treat that burn and what he or she may need in the way of professional medical care can help you to better handle the situation.

5 Things To Try When Your Smoke Alarm Beeps

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light You fire alarm has a test/silent button. Try to use that to stop the beeping.

If Your Smoke Alarm Beeps, Try These 5 Things

You installed a fire alarm in each room of your home in North Bend, WA, when you moved in. You regularly test the alarms to make sure they're working. The worst thing, then, is when one of the alarms starts beeping. It can take a while to figure out which one is beeping. Then, how do you make it stop? Here are five things to try.

1. Change the Batteries

Start simple and change the batteries. Even if you just did it, it's possible one of them is faulty or you accidentally mixed up an old one with a new one.

2. Use the Silent Button

You fire alarm has a test/silent button. Try to use that to stop the beeping. This is probably also a good time to find the manual (or look it up online if it was thrown away) for ways to specifically test your brand of alarm.

3. Reset the Alarm

A slightly more complicated solution is to reset the whole device. Again, the manual or YouTube can provide help for how to conduct a full alarm reset. Don't get discouraged here, decide that it's not worth the effort, and leave the alarm unarmed. Fire damage occurs when you least expect it, so it's important to keep all of your detectors up and running properly.

4. Check for Dust

Some detectors are hardwired to your electrical system instead of using batteries. If dust is affecting the wiring, that could be a reason that your alarm is beeping. Use a keyboard air blower to clear out dust build up.

5. Replace the Whole Thing

When no other solution will stop the beeping, it's time to replace the detector. They don't last forever, and chances are that it's been longer than you realize that since you installed your fire alarm. Don't put this off. The safety of your family could depend on functioning smoke detectors.

Troubleshooting your smoke detector can be a headache, but it's worth the effort to keep your family safe from fire and smoke damage. If a fire does occur, a fire damage assessment will help you determine the cause.

Factors Affecting Water Damage Mitigation

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. The class of water damage that you have also affects the time and procedures required to fix it.

Mitigation Of Water Damage: Factors To Consider

There are three main factors that determine how flood restoration specialists approach the water cleanup process in your home in Mirrormount, WA. They must determine whether they are dealing with contaminated water or a leak from a clean source. Technicians also must survey how extensive the problem is according to area size and the damage class. Each detail helps them form a plan for returning your home to its normal state.

Contamination Level

A supply line leak or pipe burst releases clean water into your home, but what happens if the flood comes from another place? Category 3 damage happens when your home is flooded from a contaminated source:

  • Sewer line
  • Storm water
  • Groundwater

Even if the leak starts as Category 2 from an overflowing appliance, if the standing water lingers for too long or floods the floor below it, it can easily become a contaminated water problem. Extra disinfection steps are required to deal with extensive contamination.

Area Affected

It makes sense that the smaller the area that is affected by the flood, the less damage you will have. Conversely, if a whole floor of your home is flooded, the sewage cleanup process will be considerably more extensive. The technicians whom you hire to mitigate the damage can assess the issue and give you an estimated timeline for the completion of the repairs.

Damage Class

The class of water damage that you have also affects the time and procedures required to fix it. For example, Class 1 damage only affects part of a room and there is very little absorption into the materials surrounding the leak. Class 3 damage, however, means that the entire room from floor to ceiling is compromised and must undergo remediation. You need professional guidance to determine how much damage there really is.

There are several factors that affect the process and time frame for mitigation. To make sure the contaminated water damage in your home is mitigated thoroughly, trust your local restoration experts.

Flood Features To Look For When for Buying a Commercial Property

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

A Business protected from flooding with sand bags and plastic film. To help prevent tidal flooding, concrete blocks or sandbags could be placed strategically.

When Purchasing A Commercial Property, Look For Flood Features

A lot goes into planning for flood prevention. Whether you are purchasing a building or having one built, it is important to take a close look at what can help keep the water back in the event of a flood.

Areas of Concern

Flooding can be a major issue for any business in Mirrormount,WA. When building or purchasing a property, you want to look for:

  • Low lying areas
  • Bodies of water within a mile
  • Swampy areas
  • Areas that have flooded previously

Although this is not to say that other areas don't flood, it is important to be prepared no matter where your business is located. Otherwise, you might need the services of a flood cleaning company.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are usually built around levees, lakes, retention ponds and other smaller bodies of water. They are higher than the water at a normal level and allow the body of water to fill when it floods.

Flood Plain Planning

If your business is on or near a flood plain, it is a good idea to check to see what the city plan is for the area. They should have a plan in place or already instituted. Also, make sure they have flood prevention in mind when they issue building permits that might block natural water drainage.

Coastal Defense Walls

If you are near the ocean or other large body of water, you should look for coastal defense walls. This could be concrete blocks or sandbags placed in strategic areas to help prevent tidal flooding. This is particularly important because saltwater flood cleaning is much more difficult than freshwater.

Sand Dunes and Vegetation

Some places have natural or artificial dunes that help protect property from tidal flooding. Natural barriers often work best for preventing tidal surges, waves and incursion.

No matter where you are, flood prevention should be a factor in building or purchasing a commercial property. Checking for or implementing these measures can save you both time and money later on.

Fire Insurance and Your Small Business

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Fires are generally unexpected and very destructive. Call SERVPRO if you need help!

Your Small Business And Fire Insurance

Fires can be devastating to small businesses in North Bend, WA. Not only do they cause extensive damage to equipment and property, but fires often disrupt daily operations, leading to heavy financial losses. Fortunately, fire insurance policies are available, offering many financial benefits.

• Coverage for physical damages
• Replacement or repair of office fixtures
• Protection against lost business income
• Compensation for costs of doing business in a temporary location

In some situations, this type of policy covers lost data, the interruption of digital operations, and other computer-related business dealings. Ask your insurance provider for specific information.

Identify and Reduce Risks

If you own the property or building where your business operates, you may work closely with your insurance company or a fire restoration professional to identify the most common risks and take steps to protect your premises. Even if you don't own the building, you can look for problem spots such as overloaded power strips and extension cords, stacks of flammable materials near heat sources, aging appliances, and indoor smoking areas. You may be eligible for fire insurance that covers your business contents.

Look Outside of Your Business Walls

Fires are generally unexpected and very destructive. In fact, many businesses did have appropriate preventative measures in place before suffering damage. Fires aren't always the result of something that occurs within the workplace. Sometimes, the emergency is caused by the activities of neighboring businesses, extreme weather, rioting, or vandalism. You may require coverage for the costs of smoke cleanup even if flames never reach your building.

Understand Your Coverage Needs

As you consider your business needs and discuss coverage options with your insurance provider, be realistic about your needs. Too many business owners purchase minimum coverage and then don't have the necessary funding for complete fire restoration services. Ask your insurance representative about replacement cost versus cash value terms and about eligibility requirements. Make sure you have enough coverage to get you through the entire restoration process.

Small businesses may be particularly susceptible to damages, but the right fire insurance coverage offers important protection. Learn more today to make sure your business has the coverage it needs.