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Clean Homes Sell Faster: How to get your house ready for the market.

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Front door and porch of a home. Clean Homes Sell Faster: How to get your house ready for the market.

Guest blog by EverStar Realty

When it comes to selling a home, the value of appearances can’t be overstated. The same property can go for wildly different price points depending entirely on the level of finish and cleanliness that’s shown while it’s on the market. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure you home is clean before those photos are snapped for the listing to make sure your home sells fast. In this article we’ll cover some of the cleaning basics and get your home shining bright for that first showing!

Step 1: Declutter

Before you truly begin to clean, it’s important to first go through the home and remove any clutter. Personal photos and belongings, while part of your home, distract buyers from being able to visualize the house as their future space. By simply removing items and clearing off spaces, your home will feel both cleaner and more spacious. It’s a win-win! This is also the right time to rearrange your furniture or remove excessive/oversized pieces.

Step 2: Deep Clean

Now the actual cleaning can begin! Set aside some time for this, because a proper job will take quite a bit of time. Focuses should be on the entryway, kitchen and bathrooms. These rooms see the heaviest traffic and are the most likely stopping points where buyers will pause to consider or discuss. Once you’ve done the best possible job, it’s time to focus on getting those floors spotless before moving on to cleaning everything else.

Don’t forget the back patio or front door! Buyers will see these spaces and it’s just as important to keep them clean. Alternatively, you can opt for hiring experts like SERVPRO of Tri-Cities West – their cleaning services are quite thorough! More on that point below though.

Step 3: Smells

Hopefully, your Step 2 knocked this one off the list. However, it’s still a great idea to go through your home (after you’ve been able to air out the smell of your cleaning chemicals) and simply sniff around. See if there are spots with unpleasant odors – in bathrooms, under sinks and (for pet owners) corners of rooms. To make sure your nose isn’t ignoring smells, be sure to leave the house and come back inside – sometimes you’ll notice a scent your brain was ignoring!

Step 4: Faux-Buyer Walkthrough

You’re at the finish line now. As far as cleanliness goes, your home should be shining bright! Take the extra step now, and go through as the Buyer. Go from the driveway and proceed through the house as one might when viewing it for the first time. What do you notice as you go? An outlet cover in need of replacement? Furniture which requires stepping around? A cobweb tucked in a high corner? Noticing these small details now, allows you to take care of them before a potential buyer even gets a glance.

Step 5: Painting/Staging (optional)

At this point your home is clean – mission success! However, for the best possible appearance of your home, consider taking this last step. By moving furniture in step 1 you already started the beginnings of Home Staging (we have another article for that here). Now that your home is clean, you can do a final evaluation. Perhaps the walls could do with a lighter neutral color, or maybe you see a good spot for a decorative plant. Judge for yourself and decide on your own finishing touches. Either way, you’ve got a clean house – and those sell faster!

That does it for this article! Now if you’re like most people, that Step 2 is a real pain. Especially if you’re showing a home which may be free of furniture come the time of showing. Would-be Buyers tend to notice any grime or untouched corners. That’s why it may make more sense for your situation to go with a professional. Enter SERVPRO of Tri-Cities West! Their residential cleaning services include carpet, hard floor cleaning, upholstery cleaning, pack out cleaning and odor removal. They’ll help you get your home to the level of clean you need for listing day!

Keep Fall Fire Free

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Candles getting lit Fall Fire Safety

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to make sure it is safe and fire-free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches on fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or a battery operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn and out of the way of doorsteps and walkways.

SERVPRO wants you to stay safe, informed and prepared to help ensure you are ready for whatever happens. Call us today for a free Emergency Ready Profile

Mitigation Requires Quick Action

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damaged kitchen Fire Damaged Kitchen

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results including lower claims costs. Within four hours of a loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on-site to help ensure the fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:

Structural Cleaning:

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Your experienced SERVPRO Professional will pretest to determine the extent of the damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in the structure.

Contents Cleaning:

All of the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all of the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. SERVPRO also offers an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for agents and the policy holders.


SERVPRO provide specialized services that rid the home or business of offensive odors left behind by a fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance: they seek out the source of the odors and remove them.

Do you have fire damage, smoke damage or soot damage? Call SERVPRO today! (509)943-9290

Not Every Hero Wears a Cape

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home or business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!.”

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, “you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely” yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first priority after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.

How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves, and the people around them, safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be a heroin your household or community.

SERVPRO wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way. Call us today for a free Emergency Ready Plan


Why The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Kelsey and Tonya Presenting The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile in hand To schedule a complimentary custom ERP for your business call SERVPRO of Tri Cities West at (509)943-9290 and ask for Kelsey or Tonya

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business is “Ready for whatever happens”.

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing important information about your business, including emergency contact information and  shut-off valve locations specific to your building. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer, tablet or cell with a free downloadable app.

Knowing what to do and who to call in advance of an emergency situation  is key to a quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help reduce the amount of time your business is closed and get you back in the building faster following a disaster.

50% of businesses never reopen after a disaster and the ones that do reopen most often had an emergency plan in place. Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. The ERP is a no-cost assessment: all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you a lot of valuable time and money in the future.

To schedule a complimentary custom ERP for your business call SERVPRO of Tri Cities West at (509)943-9290 and ask for Kelsey or Tonya

Mold Cleanup and Remediation

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is everywhere in our environment and is a vital part of the ecological system. Molds have existed a long time yet in recent years due to increased knowledge about the subject, a new emphasis is given to the proper handling of mold contamination.

Water damages offer the opportunity for molds to grow and multiply since moisture and humidity levels increase in a home that has suffered water intrusion. Microbes can potentially amplify if a water damaged situation is left unmitigated. In general, a water damage left unmitigated for 24 to 48 hours can deteriorate from a clean water situation to a grey water situation or from grey water to black water. The longer water is left sitting, the more likely microbes can contaminate the environment and those microbes can make everyone in the property very sick. 

Call SERVPRO today for an evaluation of your mold problem. SERVPRO specializes in mold remediation and cleanup

SERVPRO’s primary concern with any wet residential property is to prevent damages caused by water and moisture from getting worse, which could lead to secondary damage. Effective mitigation will reduce the amount of damage a property suffers and the cost of restoring the property back to its preloss condition. The goal of mitigation is to control the moisture and contamination. We will first check for the source of the water or moisture in the home. The source must be stopped before the drying process can begin.

We have two objectives for mold remediation jobs: 

  1. Remove or clean mold contaminated materials, while containing mold spores and contaminated dust to the work area and
  2. Reduce contamination to a normal level as determined by a IAQ professional without spreading spores to clean areas.

Call SERVPRO today for an evaluation of your mold problem. SERVPRO specializes in mold remediation and cleanup and is the #1 local brand in Tri Cities, WA.

Call The Cleanup Team That Is Faster To Any Size Disaster

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water Cleanup

There’s no such thing as a small disaster – especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot and other unseen damages. Water damage can affect the value of your property. Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.

SERVPRO of Tri Cities West knows how disruptive water damage can be for you or your business. SERVPRO has trained professionals and state of the art equipment to manage the drying process from start to finish. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devises, your property will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help prevent secondary damages. With rapid response and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO professionals can help you regain control quickly by helping you ensure your property and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.

Before you risk further damaging the value of your property by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call your local water damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO.

Leave the Hassle of Board-ups to the Professionals

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Board-up after a fire or storm damage

Whether after a fire, storm or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through – especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damage such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Tri Cities West can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while making it “Like it never even happened."

The Science of Drying

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

specialty drying mats used to help dry hardwood floors

Did you know there is actually a science behind drying? Having the knowledge of physychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to the drier air in the surface of the material – but only if the air is drier.  The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of Tri Cities West has the tools, training and equipment to help Mother Nature along, Including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. SERVPRO also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

It’s not only the equipment but the technology too! SERVPRO has developed DryBook™, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook™ Mobile, you have the ability to know where your property is at in the drying process.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Tri Cities West has the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Cleanup When Wildfire Smoke, Ash and Soot Get Inside Your Home or Work Place

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfire Smoke Damage

Smoke , soot and ash can be invisible to the naked eye. Cleaning up smoke, ash and soot isn’t as easy as cleaning up dust. There are healthy and safety issues to consider while cleaning and getting rid of the wildfire smell inside your home.

What To Do To Help Protect Your Home From Wildfire Damage While The Nearby Fire Is Still Raging:

Wildfire smoke and ash can travel many miles. If you're not in immediate danger but smoke is permeating the air keep windows and doors closed, run an air conditioner but keep the fresh-air intake closed, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from smoke and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside, use a portable air cleaner to reduce indoor air pollution, use a vacuum with a heap filter.

How Does Ash Get Inside The House?

Even though you may have closed your doors and windows and turned off any cooling or heating systems, ash can still come into the home in other ways, such as through holes in the ceiling, cornices that are cracked or missing with visible gaps into the roof space, fans and vent points that are not sealed, gaps in ceiling, and through openings around doors and windows.

Health and Safety Issues:

Smoke, soot and ash can be invisible to the naked eye. Fire cleanup such as cleaning up smoke, ash and soot isn’t as easy as cleaning up dust. There are healthy and safety issues to consider while cleaning these particles. Smoke can remain after a fire has been extinguished, which means that ash particles can continue to settle on and inside your house and on the outside for hours or even days after a fire.

Fire cleanup work can expose you to ash and other products of the fire that may irritate your eyes, nose, or skin and cause coughing and other health effects. Ash inhaled deeply into lungs may cause asthma attacks and make it difficult to breathe. Ash is made up of larger and tiny particles (dust, dirt, and soot). Ash deposited on surfaces both indoors and outdoors can be inhaled if it becomes airborne when you clean up.

Is Ash Bad For Your Health?

Smoke is a mixture of particles, water vapor and gases. But fine particles called PM2.5 are the biggest health concern. These are the particles that can be present in ash and soot.

Ash and soot can be irritating to the lungs and the skin. Breathing these fine particles deeply into the lungs can cause breathing problems and worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

Signs of short term irritation such as itchy eyes, skin irritations, sore throat, runny nose and coughing usually clear up in healthy adults once they're away from the smoke however people that are particularly vulnerable are children, the elderly and people with preexisting heart and lung conditions such as asthma.

To help protect you from the dangers it is advised to let professionals do the fire clean up and clean up smoke damage from wildfires or damage from a neighboring structure fire.

SERVPRO of Tri Cities West is equipped with the knowledge, protective gear and highly trained technicians to clean your home or office of any smoke, soot, and ash or smoke odors.

If you have wildfire smoke damage Call Us Today (509) 943-9290