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Property Damage Restoration Blog | ServiceMaster of Tacoma

Space Heater Safety Tips

A space heater is a necessity for homeowners in Tacoma during the winter months. Your heater will provide a comfortable source of warm air that you can bring around any part of your home.

Unfortunately, our team at ServiceMaster Tacoma has seen many instances where people don’t handle their space heaters properly. A space heater is a high-wattage appliance that can become deadly, as it can quickly cause fire damage if you aren’t careful. You could also burn yourself if you come in direct contact with a heater.

Our fire damage restoration team shared a few sensible space heater safety tips you can follow to keep yourself warm, and safe, this winter:

Setting Up Your Heater

Check your heater before you start using it to see it is safe. The cord and plug should not be frayed, and the physical build shouldn’t have any cracks. You can then use these steps after ensuring the heater is safe to use:

  • Provide enough room for the hot air to flow. Don’t keep your space heater in a cramped spot. You can maintain at least three feet of distance from the heater and other things in your room.
  • Keep the heater away from water. Water can cause an electric shock.
  • Never cover the space heater up with anything. Any obstructions over its vents could catch fire.
  • Avoid using extension cords with your heater, as they might not be as well-protected. Always use the cord that comes with your heater when plugging it into a wall outlet.

Running the Heater

The next few tips entail what you should do when running your space heater to prevent fire damage:

  • Be sure your heater has an automatic shutoff feature. The shutoff will stop the heater after a bit of time.
  • Don’t use your space heater for longer than necessary. You can use your heater a few minutes at a time and then turn it off for a while before starting it once more. The hot air that comes from your heater should flow through your room well enough and stick around for a while, making it unnecessary for you to keep it on all day.
  • Do not use the space heater for direct heat, whether it for warming linens, cooking foods, or thawing out other items. The space heater should provide supplemental heat and not work as a primary source of warmth.

Following these suggestions from our team, you can keep your family safe while extending the life of your space heater. ServiceMaster of Tacoma is proud to provide 24/7 emergency disaster restoration services to our neighbors. Contact us now for a quote. We’re ready to help!

Winter Water Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Winter water damage is a real concern, as the wet and intense amount of snow and ice that comes during the winter season can become a problem. Many threats can put your home at risk of winter damage during the winter, but you can keep these problems from becoming worse when you use the right plans for resolving these issues. Our team at ServiceMaster Tacoma wants you to recognize what works when keeping these problems under control.

Frozen Pipes

The pipes around your home might become frozen during the winter. One of the most common situations for water damage restoration entails repairing pipes that cause water damage.

A water pipe can freeze at night, making it harder for your home to receive hot water. The pipes may also crack and leak if they remain frozen for too long.

There are some things you can do to keep your frozen pipes under control:

  • Apply an insulating pipe wrap over your pipes. The wrap can block out cold conditions and works exceptionally well on exposed pipe bodies. Some wraps are self-adhesive, while others require duct tape.
  • Allow a faucet to drip overnight. The active tap provides consistent heat through warm water.
  • Keep the cabinets under your sink open if applicable. You will allow warm air to move around your pipes.

Ice Dams

An ice dam develops when the snow melts off your roof. The snow slides off the roof and reaches the eave, where it stays and freezes. You’ll see multiple icicles around your ice dam, but the added weight can cause harm to your roof. The water from the ice dam may leak into your roof and attic, causing water damage and mold.

You can prevent ice dams from building with a few steps:

  • Clean your gutters before the winter season. Clear gutters allow water to slide through and keep from sticking around.
  • Seal any leaks around your roof before the winter. Air leaks will allow water to seep through, plus they may trigger the melting that causes the ice dam to build.
  • Add ventilation around the roof body. Extra ventilation ensures warm air stays indoors.

Leakage Around Windows and Doors

Snow and ice can melt and leak around your windows and doors. You can prevent this problem by applying additional weather stripping around your openings. Weatherstripping provides a firm seal around these openings, plus it compresses when a door or window closes. Talk with a water damage restoration expert about finding the right weather stripping for your house.

Sump Pump Damage

The intense winds during the winter season can cause wind damage around your property. Wind can cause debris to enter your sump pump, keeping it from functioning. You can do a few things to resolve your sump pump issues:

  • Add five gallons of water to your sump pump. See how well the pump can clear out the water.
  • Check the inside for debris if the pump isn’t moving your water out all the way.
  • Review the battery on your pump. You might need to replace the battery every few years to ensure it stays functional.

Contact our team here at ServiceMaster Tacoma if you ever have concerns over how well your home can manage all these winter water hazards.

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

When the time arrives to spread love and enjoy the beautiful moments of the holiday season, people often forget to take safety measures. The attraction of the holiday celebration prevents them from thinking about possible damages from their decorations and preparations for the event. This leads to unexpected hazards in homes and offices.

This is why we have listed some important tips that you need to know to avoid any unwanted mishap. However, if something happens, you can contact the team at ServiceMaster Tacoma. We can help you restore your home and peace of mind.

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

Cooking and Baking

Of course, no celebration is complete without a feast. Make sure your family is taking safety precautions while making your holiday meal. Keep pets and children far from the kitchen. Put flammable items such as kitchen towels or grocery bags away from the oven and stove.

People usually keep items in the oven for baking and get busy with other tasks. This can be dangerous, as you can forget to turn it off. So it’s better to focus on meal preparation instead of multi-tasking. Clean the floor right after any spills to keep you from any unwanted disaster.

Christmas Trees and Lights

Overloading electrical circuits for Christmas lights or using cooking appliances can increase the risk of electrical outages and fires. Not to mention, it is the most common reason for Christmas tree fires. Be sure to inspect your lights before installation. Don’t use any lights strands that are noticeably damaged, worn, or frayed.

Avoid overloading any circuit. If you plan to use more than the average number of lights, use multiple circuits for different strands of light. Also, turn off the lights before going to bed and leaving the house to avoid fire damage. If possible, Install GCFIs to monitor the unbalance flow of electricity.

Fireplaces

Lighting a fire in the fireplace is an important part of the holiday season. How could you survive the chilly nights of Christmas and Thanksgiving? However, it’s important to act responsibly and practice fire safety while maintaining a fireplace in your home.

Keep wrapped presents and clothing items at least three feet away from the fireplace. You can use a fire screen to prevent the logs and embers from escaping. Lastly, make sure you extinguish the fire completely before you go to bed.

Candles

Many winter holidays involve candles. They provide an immensely warm and peaceful atmosphere if you light them in other holiday celebrations. While they look appealing, candles can also be dangerous.

You need to keep the flammable items, including decorations and curtains, distant from them. Place your kinara, menorah, or candle on a non-flammable surface to collect the melting candle wax. Keep children under supervision in the presence of candles. Be sure to blow out the candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

Make sure to practice fire safety during the holiday season to keep you and your loved ones safe. These things can become a cause of fire incidents. If you face any issues, contact us at ServiceMaster Tacoma for fire damage restoration. It’s better to take help from experts rather than making the situation worse.

 

Photo by photostock PhotoBank from Pexels

Sources

https://on.today.com/3lmYV3W

https://rdcrss.org/35oD7iJ

Clean, Sanitize, and Disinfect – What’s the Difference?

If you want to live and work in a safe and virus-free environment, you must carry out the necessary steps to kill germs and bacteria. To achieve this you have to properly clean, sanitize, and disinfect your space. ServiceMaster Tacoma is the best company to contact for all your cleaning and disinfection needs in the Tacoma region.

Many people think these three tasks are the same, but they’re not! Each task involves different steps and not all help in killing off germs.

Cleaning reduces the possibility of the spread of germs while sanitizing and disinfecting helps kill the germs, but both these methods also vary in their ability to kill germs. To clear out your confusion about the three, you should stick around and go through this article.

What is Cleaning?

Cleaning is the means to eliminate unwanted dirt, gunk, spills, and dust from the surfaces around you. These surfaces could include your kitchen countertops, crockery, closets, drawers, and any possible area of your house that needs immediate cleaning. People often mistake cleaning as a means to get rid of germs, and that’s not the case. Cleaning helps eliminate the germs lying around on the surfaces of your house. The cleaner your house, the fewer the chances of germs growth, thus, preventing the risk of contracting viruses.

What is Sanitizing?

Sanitizing is the step people usually carry out after cleaning as it helps reduce and may kill bacteria and germs present around the surfaces of your house. This is the best hygiene step you can take even without cleaning, as it’s pretty effective in killing and stopping the growth of bacteria. Sanitizing helps keep you safe from catching any virus; however, it does not kill the virus itself. You can sanitize surfaces like your countertops, food equipment, or anything that makes direct contact with the food you eat. Hand sanitizers are also helpful but are only effective on the skin.

What is Disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the ultimate bacteria and virus killer. Many health professionals believe that disinfecting helps kill many viruses present in your surroundings and is the best shield against COVID19. You can disinfect every and anything you make contact it. This includes countertops, doorknobs, your car, ATMs, books, workstations, etc. The essential chemicals in a disinfectant are Chlorine, Alcohol, and bleach.

This step is vital if too many people have contacted a similar object or have been present in a particular area. It would help if you carried out disinfection to stop the spread of different viruses. The most effective way to disinfect your house or office is to get in touch with a professional commercial cleaning company like ServiceMaster Tacoma.

Just learning about the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting is not enough. You must also use these preventive methods in your daily lives, especially during these uncertain times, as COVID-19 is rising again. For professional help, you should contact the best commercial cleaning service in the Tacoma region. ServiceMaster Tacoma can help you with all your disinfecting needs, ensuring you a safe and clean environment.

 

Picture from Canva

Fall Home Safety Checklist

It’s that time of the year again to arrange cozy coffee meet-ups and game nights with family. Fall is one of the most-awaited seasons of the year. No doubt, the winter can get a bit unbearable at times, but it’s the festive preparations and the smell of crisp leaves that motivates us to look forward to such a thrilling season. One of the best things about the fall is that it gives us a push to look at the house’s interior and exterior fixtures.

Many mishaps could occur if you don’t regularly maintain your house, and who would want a broken or messed up the house during one of the most exciting seasons? Many things in your house might need instant fixing. To help you, below, we have included a detailed fall home safety/maintenance checklist that will help you with some cleaning up around the house.

1.    Unclog Your Gutter

The last thing you want to experience during a fun thanksgiving dinner is to deal with clogged up gutters. To avoid this, you must clear out your gutters as you will see many leaves stuck in your gutters. The spikes in your gutter tend to get damaged due to the ice on your roof; hence you must see this and clear your gutters out to avoid further damage.

2.    Lawn Clean Up

If you want a fuller looking lawn in the summers, you must start preparing your lawn during fall by applying fertilizer. Many homeowners are unaware that plant roots are still active in the fall. Hence, you must regularly fertilize it during the winters to prevent any further damage.

It would help if you also cleared off all the fallen leaves on your lawn and do this almost every day. Always stay prepared by keeping all your yard equipment clean and ready to use. Clearance includes draining oil from your chain saw, leaf blower, lawnmowers, etc.

3.    Clean Your Windows!

If you want to deal with the extremely cold wind coming inside your house, you must clean all the windows around your house. This is a must if you experience heavy downpour in your area. Sometimes heavy rainfalls lead to poor window linear and could cause your windows to break, especially those in the basement.

4.    Detector Check

You need all your smoke detectors and heaters working in the fall, hence run a quick check on the batteries. Always keep an extra pair of batteries in case they stop working in the middle of the day. Clean all your heaters as well. This is one of the main tasks you should carry out before the beginning of the fall.

5.    Chimney Cleanse

If you have a chimney, you should get it cleaned, especially if you see moisture on the wood. Failure to do a chimney cleanse check could lead to a terrible chimney fire, which could practically set your whole house on fire.

Takeaway

For the perfect fall and winter experience, you must tick all of these tasks mentioned above. It’s better to be safe than sorry; hence you would want to miss any task on this perfect checklist. If you want to hire a team to help you with your fall cleanup and disinfect certain rooms, you should get in touch with ServiceMaster of Tacoma and get the best damage control services near you.

 

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Renew Your Clean

Schedule your disinfection services for the year now, before cold weather, back to school or the holiday season begins. As a business owner, you know that a clean business promotes a healthy and productive environment. At ServiceMaster of Tacoma, our team of experts provides high-quality disinfection that can’t be beaten. Working with our team for your disinfection services not only can save time and money, but it also provides the flexibility and customization of your business needs. Gain a professional team with the knowledge and equipment to get the job done right.

 

Disinfection Services

With the emergence and rapid growth of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States, our team is ready to help you take action and disinfect your facility. The ServiceMaster of Tacoma team can disinfect your entire facility with our EPA approved chemicals to lower the risk of spreading infections, such as COVID-19. We can create a routine or a one-time program designed to disinfect your building to help keep your patrons and employees safe.

 

Our Disinfection Process

Our team provides commercial cleaning and disinfection services in Tacoma. Our process includes:

  • Technicians are taking precautions and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Isolate and disinfect any points of exposure and high touch areas.
  • Provide deep cleaning of exposed areas and objects to ensure a successful application of a disinfectant.
  • Use EPA registered and approved products for disinfection appropriate to the situation.
  • Properly dispose of contaminated cleaning materials.

 

Specialization

Every business is unique. Our team has the knowledge and experience to handle industry-specific disinfection. We provide our technicians with regular training and updates that follow guidelines established by leading governmental organizations. Our team ensures that your business receives the best possible industry-specific disinfection services.

 

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Count on us to bring your business back to working order. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but you can count on us. Our compassionate professionals are here to help you through this uncertain time by bringing their expertise, training, tools, technologies and sympathies to your door. If you believe your business has been exposed, our team of experts can help. We also offer precautionary cleanings. Contact us today for more information.

 

Photo by scottwebb–30630

Business Re-Opening Disinfection Strategies

COVID-19 restrictions have slowly begun lifting across the country. There are many factors to consider if you’re business is newly re-open. This is a challenging situation that you probably haven’t had to deal with before. ServiceMaster of Tacoma compiled the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you develop a re-opening disinfection plan. If you don’t know where to start, schedule a professional disinfection service. Our team can create a multi-service plan or provide a one-time clean.

Reduce Potential Exposure

Consider behavioral changes like eliminating the need to touch certain surfaces, wiping down surfaces after every use or removing items in common spaces like utensils or straws. Figuring out a new layout for your business can take time. It’s important to take your time learning all of your options and know that you can change your plan at any time. Make sure you follow local news about COVID-19 transmissions to decide what is best for you.

Outdoor vs Indoor areas

Outdoor areas generally don’t need additional disinfection. However, there are outdoor surfaces that can benefit from it. Focus on high touch hard surfaces and objects.

The majority of additional disinfection needs to take place indoors. While developing a re-opening disinfection plan for the indoor areas of your business you should consider the material of your surfaces. Most hard surfaces can follow the same disinfection procedure, but items made up of soft and porous material are difficult to disinfect correctly. Evaluate if you need to keep items like pillows, curtains and area rugs in your public space. If possible, remove these items.

Unoccupied Areas

Another factor that can affect the type and frequency of disinfection in your business is when the area was last occupied. If your business has been empty for more than 7 days, you may not need to take any additional disinfection precautions. However, once your business does re-open and is occupied frequently by employees or customers, you need to implement a special disinfection plan.

Professional Disinfection Services

If you don’t know where to start when creating a re-opening disinfection plan for your business, contact us. ServiceMaster of Tacoma is trained to isolate, clean, disinfect and decontaminate each surface following OSHA cleaning protocol. Our team’s training and experience coupled with protective equipment and EPA approved chemicals make us your local disinfection experts. As re-opening starts, schedule a professional disinfection service. We can create a multi-service plan or provide a one-time clean.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Count on us to bring your business back to working order. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but you can count on us. Our compassionate professionals are here to help you through this uncertain time by bringing their expertise, training, tools, technologies and sympathies to your door. If you believe your business has been exposed, our team of experts can help. We also offer precautionary cleanings. Contact us today for more information.

 

Photo by: istockphoto.com/Nattakorn Maneerat

Disinfection Services & Tips to Stay Healthy

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our team at ServiceMaster of Tacoma is doing all we can to help our community stay healthy. As Washington begins phased reopening, now is the time to create a new cleaning and disinfection process for your business. Incorporate disinfection habits into your daily routine to help keep your patrons and employees safe around the clock. ServiceMaster Restoration Services compiled the following tips from the CDC to help you prevent the spread of illness as much as possible during this uncertain time.

 

Personal Hygiene

Stay Home: If you feel sick, stay home.

Cover Coughs: Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands.

6 Feet: When around others, keep 6 feet of distance to avoid the spread of illness from person to person contact.

Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands often throughout the day the correct way. Use soap and water for 20 seconds and dry completely. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Preventative Disinfection

Our years of experience with biohazard cleaning allows us to offer COVID-19 disinfections. We are trained to isolate, clean, disinfect and decontaminate each surface following OSHA cleaning protocol. Our team’s training and experience coupled with protective equipment and EPA approved chemicals make us your local disinfection experts. As re-opening starts, schedule a professional disinfection service. We can create a multi-service plan or provide a one-time clean.

 

Disinfection Maintenance

A professional disinfection service is a great first step, but you can’t stop there. Use the following tips to help keep your facility clean and disinfected between professional services.

 

High Touch Surfaces

It’s important to wipe down high touch surfaces daily. First, identify what areas are used the most in your space. Usually, these areas include tabletops, door handles, electronics, light switches, sinks and more.

 

Clean & Disinfect

While they’re both important, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt, debris and some germs. Disinfecting kills germs. Use the following process when cleaning and disinfecting your business or home.

  • Before you begin, protect your hands with gloves and ventilate your space with an open window and fan.
  • Start by cleaning surfaces, especially high touch, with soap and water.
  • After surfaces are clean, use an EPA-registered disinfectant. Follow the label instructions for safe and effective use.
  • Don’t forget to teach all employees or family members how to use your cleaning supplies correctly.
  • Place cleaning supplies around your space to encourage everyone to wipe down surfaces after use.

 

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Count on us to bring your business back to working order. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but you can count on us. Our compassionate professionals are here to help you through this uncertain time by bringing their expertise, training, tools, technologies and sympathies to your door. If you believe your business has been exposed, our team of experts can help. We also offer precautionary cleanings. Contact us today for more information.

 

Photo by Polina Zimmerman

How to Spot Spring Water Damage

The official start of spring brings warmer temperatures and often milder weather conditions. However, melting snow and spring rain showers can lead to water, mold and flood damage. Your home or business may have experienced damage during the winter. Now is the time to repair the damage your property may have sustained and pay attention to water-related damage that may appear throughout spring.

Water Damage

Look for signs of water damage in your home. Water damage is not always obvious so it’s important to keep an eye out for it, especially this time of year. The indicators can occur both inside and outside of your home.

  • Walk the outside of your home and look for pooling water. Downspouts should divert water away from your home.
  • While you’re outside, check gutters, roof doors and windows for damage or any gaps that water could seep through.
  • Start indoors by looking for warped or cracked hard flooring.
  • Water spots on your ceilings and walls are sure signs of water damage.
  • Look under your sinks for warping and discoloration.
  • Soft spots in your floors near toilets, bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines are also an indicator.

Mold Damage

Even small amounts of moisture can cause mold growth. If you find water damage in your home, you most likely also have mold damage. Use the following tips to find mold in your home. It’s not always obvious.

  • Visible mold is usually just the tip of the iceberg. If you see mold spores, always investigate further and contact a professional mold damage restoration team.
  • Your sense of smell can be a useful tool. Take note of damp or mildew smells.
  • A lingering cold or flu can be a sign of mold.
  • If you experience respiratory or breathing issues, you might have a mold problem in your home.

Flooding

The combination of snowmelt and spring rain can lead to flooding. Even a few inches of water can cause very expensive damage. Use the following flood damage prevention tips.

  • Consider buying flood insurance. Floods usually aren’t covered in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Create a disaster plan with your family. Decide on meeting places, communication and assign responsibilities.
  • Keep digital copies of your important documents like birth certificates, insurance plans and social security cards. Protect the originals by placing them in a waterproof container on a high shelf.
  • Pay close attention to weather warnings and follow directions issued by the National Weather Service.
  • When a flood occurs bring outdoor furniture indoors, roll up rugs, secure breakables and place electronics and sentimental items in a waterproof container on a high shelf.
  • Evacuate when instructed to, never drive through flooded streets and only return to your home once authorities have given an all safe.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Contact us to restore your peace of mind. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. When you need water damage restoration from Seattle to Tumwater, you can count on us. The quicker you call the more damage we can prevent.

 

Photo by brenkee

How to Prepare for a Snowstorm

Rainstorms aren’t the only winter weather hazard that the PNW is likely to see this year. Storms of all types including wind and snow are possible this winter. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this region will see the most snow from mid-December to late January. No matter which storm event ends up being the most prevalent this season, it’s important to be ready before it occurs. Use the following preparation tips to help you withstand a snowstorm with minimal damage.

 

Before

Before a snowstorm, stock up on essentials and be prepared to be confined to your home for an extended period of time. It’s important to put your winter storm plan to use in advance to avoid a last-minute dash to an empty grocery store.

  • Create an emergency kit containing non-perishable food and water that will last you a few days. Also include a flashlight, battery-operated radio and extra batteries. Don’t forget any medications or other personal necessities either you or your family members may need.
  • Subscribe to your local weather warning system.
  • Keep the cold air out by weather-stripping your doors and windows.
  • Fill your gas tank, keep blankets and some emergency supplies in your car.
  • Gather extra coats, gloves, hats and other warm clothes for your entire household.
  • Communicate with all of your family members about what to expect during a snowstorm.

 

During

Stay out of harm’s way and pay attention to snowstorm updates on your radio. Try not to wander outdoors until the storm warning is lifted.

  • Avoid driving or walking outside. Stay indoors if possible.
  • Pay attention to storm updates.
  • Check on neighbors. The elderly and young children may need extra help during severe weather.
  • Allow pets easy access to food, water and warmth. Setting up extra pet beds, blankets or even dressing them in boots and sweaters may be a good idea.
  • Make sure you set up generators correctly and limit their use to essential appliances.
  • Keep a close eye on space heaters. They use a lot of power and are highly flammable.
  • Learn the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Take steps to prevent cold weather-related injuries by drinking plenty of water, taking breaks indoors and staying active when you are outside.

 

After

Even though the snow has stopped falling, icy roads or melting snow can still be hazardous.

  • Use caution when venturing outside for the first time.
  • Use sand or ice melt on sidewalks and driveways.
  • Avoid driving until road conditions improve.
  • If you decide to shovel snow, do so with care. It’s easy to overexert yourself with a task you’re not used to.

 

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Contact us to restore your peace of mind. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. When you need winter weather restoration from Seattle to Tumwater, you can count on us. The quicker you call the more damage we can prevent.

 

Photo by Wolfgang Lützgendorf