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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

Toys for Tots 2019

‘Tis the season for Toys for Tots! Donate your new, unwrapped toys to a dropbox near you.

Case Study: Flood Damage

Project Manager: Jeff Filmer

THE DISASTER

A 3,800 square foot 2-story home suffered a water loss due to a failed toilet supply line. The homeowners were on vacation when the loss occurred and came home to standing water throughout a large area on the main floor. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that most of the storage and 3 car garage below the source of the loss were affected as well. Emergency water mitigation was contacted and the dry out process began immediately. There was an extensive amount of content in all rooms that required pack out. All hardwoods were buckled along with insulation and drywall hanging in the garage as the water had been sitting in the home while the customers were gone for an extended period of time. Once the non-salvageable drywall was removed, technicians found large areas of growth throughout the lower level, which required remediation.

THE PROCESS

Pack out crews began working along with water mitigation technicians due to the amount of content affected by the loss. All content was processed, inventoried, and packed out to be transferred to our facility while the dry out continued. Once the content was packed out, water mitigation continued upstairs, all carpets were lifted and addressed using specific drying techniques to salvage those rooms. Dehumidifiers, air movers, and drying plates were placed on tile and hardwoods upstairs. A containment was set in the garage below the source of the loss along with air scrubbers to help ensure proper air quality during the remediation process. Technicians successfully removed the affected material and remediated all affected material at the lower level. Upon completion of the remediation, drying equipment was set below and technicians were able to utilize a “sandwich” drying process to speed up dry out of the subfloor separating the garage and affected rooms above.

THE RECOVERY

All salvageable items were transported to headquarters to be cleaned, dried, and placed in storage for the remainder of repairs. Some memorabilia required the use of subcontractors to address, such as fine textiles, antique furniture, and high-end electronics. Remaining non-salvageable items were inventoried and processed with the customer prior to disposal in order to assist with the claim process. The contractor was contacted following the completion of water mitigation, remediation, and pack out to begin the repair process. Once construction was complete, all items were transferred back to the customer. Technicians were able to successfully complete all the processes mentioned above while allowing the customer to live in the home. This would not have been possible if it was not for the ability of crews to communicate and work with the customer throughout the process.

One of the drying techniques used.

Growth found in the lower level.

Remediation.

Case Study: Content Recovery

Project Manager: Courtney Reese

THE DISASTER

An electrical fire on the front porch caused fire and smoke damage to the whole 3800 square foot home. All contents in the home needed to be evaluated for smoke and fire damage. The home included a rec room with full-size arcade games, an entire room with NASCAR memorabilia that required extreme care with cleaning and inventorying, a weight room with several large pieces of equipment, and a full built-in bar needing to be disassembled.

THE RECOVERY

We coordinated the move out with various subcontractors on-site, including Golden West Games to handle the arcade games and pool table, World Wide Moving to dismantle the custom bar and bed frames, a specialty gym equipment company that could dismantle the work out equipment and reassemble once complete, a furniture refinisher for several wooden furniture pieces, and a textile company was contracted to handle soft goods throughout the home.

We evaluated and inventoried all content for salvageability. All salvageable content was brought back to our facility to be cleaned and stored until repairs were completed, roughly 15 months.

Arcade games in rec room.

Custom bar.

NASCAR room.

Collector NASCAR items including soft textiles.


October is National Fire Prevention Month

Do what you can to protect what matters most. Practice the following fire safety tips to help prevent a disastrous fire in the home.

  • Create a fire escape plan and make sure that everyone is familiar with the steps, including kids. Take the time to practice often, so that no one forgets what to do in case of a real fire.
  • Replace batteries in every smoke detector when Daylight Savings ends and begins (only a few more weeks!). According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org), 3 out of 5 home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with either no smoke alarm or homes with alarms not in working order.
  • Don’t overload an electrical outlet and go easy on your surge protectors.
  • If you have an in-home fireplace, have your chimney inspected before you make your first fire of the season.

If your home does have a fire, get out, stay out, and call for help.