Archived Blog Posts
Mold 101: Covering the Basics
It’s important to know exactly where mold comes from and how it spreads so you can protect yourself and your family.
Mold is a fungus that can grow in any damp area of your home and it's not always easy to identify. This guide will help you understand what mold is, where it comes from and how to get rid of it permanently.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that reproduces by making spores. Spores are microscopic and can be invisible to the naked eye. Molds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They may be fuzzy or moldy looking and they will usually be some shade of green, black, white, or gray.
Molds reproduce by making spores that spread through the air and settle on surfaces where they can germinate into colonies of the mold with new generations of spores that continue to spread throughout your home or office space.
Where Does it Come From?
Mold is found everywhere, even in the air we breathe. It's also present in our food and on our pets. In fact, mold doesn't need to eat anything to survive — it can grow on wood, paper, and other organic material as long as there is moisture present.
Mold grows best when there's plenty of moisture around (think humid environments), but it can also grow in dry areas if they're warm enough. It will thrive in wet areas such as bathrooms or kitchens where there are leaks from pipes or roof damage; basements with poor ventilation; floors covered with damp carpeting; roofs with leaky gutters; under sinks without adequate drainage holes and windows without screens.
How Does it Spread?
Mold spores are microscopic and float through the air. They can travel through ventilation systems, be carried on shoes, clothing, and other personal items, or be carried by pets.
When it Comes to Mold, Knowledge is Power
Mold spores are everywhere; they're carried by air currents and wind, so no place is completely free from mold contamination—you just have to use common sense when determining if you need professional help to clean up an infestation problem.
It’s important to know exactly where mold comes from and how it spreads so you can protect yourself and your family. If you have any questions about removing mold from your house, please feel free to contact us here at SERVPRO of San Diego East for more information!
What Are 3 Types of Common Biohazard?
3 Types of Common Biohazards
A biohazard is any biological material that poses a risk to human health. It can be caused by microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, or fungi), wastes or toxins. Biohazardous materials include waste products from laboratory animals and humans, human blood and body fluids, infectious agents like bacteria and viruses used in research labs or clinics.
What is Biohazard?
Biohazard is a term used to describe biological hazards that can cause infection or disease. Biohazard also refers to waste products and toxins that are potentially infectious.
Biohazards can be found in many places in the home, office, or workplace.
Biohazardous diseases: viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
- Viral diseases
- Bacterial diseases
- Parasitic diseases
Biohazardous substances: waste products and toxins.
Biohazardous substances are common, too. However, unlike biohazardous waste, these things aren't thrown out with regular trash or recycled. Biohazardous substances have the potential to cause injury and illness because they contain pathogens that can be transmitted through contact with a human body or personal possessions (like clothing). Examples of biohazardous substances include blood and other bodily fluids; any substance that contains blood; needles and syringes; dead animals; infected plants or plant material (including soil); insects; animal carcasses; medicines and vaccines; food products that may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses (e.g., unpasteurized milk).
Biohazardous waste: biological materials that are either infectious or potentially infectious
Biohazardous waste is any biological material that is infectious or potentially infectious. Examples of biohazardous materials include blood, urine, feces, and vomit. Even though these are not the only types of biohazardous waste and there are other types of hazardous wastes which we will discuss shortly, it’s best to think about this type first because it’s so widely used in the medical field.
Examples of Biohazard Safety Levels
The EPA's Universal Waste Rule defines biohazard waste as any biological material containing potentially infectious materials that are regulated by the Federal government. Biohazard safety levels are determined by the potential for infection and include:
- BSL-1: Low risk of disease transmission.
- BSL-2: Moderate to high risk of disease transmission.
Biohazardous waste is a serious issue that deserves our attention. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with a biological disease, it’s important to be aware of what types of waste they may produce as well as how to dispose of them properly.
Cleaning Up Water Damage In Your Home
San Diego water damage
Water Damage Tips
Water damage is a serious problem that can strike at any time and cause costly, long-term damage to your home. If you've ever had to deal with water damage in your house, you know how quickly things can go from bad to worse if you don't act fast. So, what steps should you take after a pipe breaks or an appliance starts leaking? Here's what you need to know about cleaning up water damage in your home!
Water damage is a serious problem that can strike at any time. Is your home prepared?
Have you ever wondered what to do if you suspect water damage? If you have, then this expert guide will help.
What to Do if You Suspect Water Damage:
- Check the ceiling and walls for signs of moisture or discoloration. If they're wet or showing signs of mold, it's time to call in professionals like our team at SERVPRO. We'll assess your situation and let you know how best to proceed.
- Never use hot water extraction methods on your own; these methods aren't safe for untrained individuals who don't have access to the proper equipment and training required for their execution.
If a pipe in your house breaks, turn off your water supply at the main valve right away to stop further water damage.
Here are some tips from the pros on how to deal with a water emergency in your home:
- Turn off your water supply. If a pipe in your house breaks, turn off your water supply at the main valve right away to stop further water damage.
- Turn off the heater. If you have a gas-heated home, it's important to shut off or reduce power (if possible) to any heaters that may be affected by the flooding.
- Shut down electrical appliances in affected areas. It’s often not safe for you or anyone else to be around electrical equipment during cleanup because of potential electrical hazards like live wires and short circuits – so let professionals handle those repairs.
- Don't turn on any faucets until after they're dried out completely; this will help prevent any bacteria growth inside of them while they're still wet.
Don't hesitate to call a professional for help. It's better safe than sorry when it comes to water damage.
When you have a water damage issue, it's tempting to try and tackle things yourself. But it's important to realize that you may not be able to tell the extent of the damage or what kind of long-term effects there might be from water lingering in your home. It's better to be safe than sorry by calling a professional who can help resolve the problem for you and make sure everything is resolved properly.
Professional water damage cleanup is the way to go after any major leak or flood situation.
After a flood or leak, it's important to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible to prevent further damage. Professional water damage clean-up services are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to remove all your worries about the cost or time it will take to fix your property. If you choose not to hire a professional service, you may end up spending much more money on repairs than you would have by calling in the pros.
It is also important that you take care of any mold problems before they happen so that they don't spread throughout your home or office space. If left unchecked, mold can cause serious health problems such as respiratory issues and even death in some cases!
We hope this article has been helpful, and we wish you the best of luck in keeping your home safe from water damage. If you have further questions or concerns about any aspect of water damage repair, please contact us.
Who Pays for Fire Damage in a Rental Property?
Files damaged in a home fire.
Who Covers Damage from a Fire in a Rental Property?
Fire damage is a scary and intimidating event. When it happens, a lot of people ask this question: “Who is responsible in case of fire damage in a rental property. The answer is that both the renter and the landlord are responsible for different parts of the building and its contents. Let’s dig deeper into the details.
The Landlord’s Responsibilities:
The landlord is responsible for all structural damages caused by fire or other natural disasters that occur on their rental property like hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes. The tenant has full responsibility for their personal belongings and can file an insurance claim through their renter's insurance policy if they have one. If you need help understanding what your rights are during this stressful time, please feel free to reach out to us anytime (619) 280-2377.
Structural Damage to The Property
If the tenant's negligence was to blame for the fire, they will likely have to bear all the costs associated with repairs. However, if there were no known causes of ignition or negligence on behalf of the tenant and/or their guests or visitors, then it’s possible that your landlord may be held responsible for some expenses related to repairs following a fire at their rental property.
The first step in determining who pays for fire damage in a rental property is figuring out whether your landlord’s policy covers structural damages—the damage caused by fire spread through walls and floors rather than just flames themselves. Most insurance policies cover this type of structural damage if it is caused by external factors (like lightning strikes).
It’s important to know that renters’ insurance covers your belongings. If you rent an apartment and want to make sure your personal property is protected, it’s a good idea to invest in renters’ insurance.
This type of policy can be expensive, and landlords aren't required by law to ask tenants what kind of coverage they have. But it's still worth considering—especially if you're replacing expensive items like laptops or jewelry.
You can buy renters insurance online or through an independent broker who specializes in this type of coverage.
The tenant has full responsibility for their personal belongings.
If you are a tenant, your insurance should cover damage to your personal belongings. This is an optional service that is usually very inexpensive, and it is a good investment if you want to avoid paying out of pocket for damages.
Even if the landlord has insurance on the property, they are not responsible for damage to your personal belongings unless there was negligence involved (for example: someone else caused the fire at the house). In this case, the landlord's insurance will take care of anything that happened during their time of ownership and responsibility over the property. However, if there was no negligence involved in causing damage to one's personal possessions then tenants have full responsibility for their own things through their renters' policy or homeowners' policy with an endorsement stating content coverage while away from home.
The most important thing to remember is that both the tenant and landlord are responsible for certain parts of the building and its contents. If you need help understanding your responsibilities, contact us today!
4 Fire Safety Tips for Your Home
Smoke alarms are essential tools you can use to prevent a home fire.
Fire Preparation For Your Home
If a fire breaks out in your home in College West, CA, it can be deadly and cause lots of damage. However, by implementing fire preparation measures, you can minimize the risks. To help you get started, here are four tips that you can begin using today.
1. Make Smoke Alarms a Priority
Smoke alarms are essential tools you can use to prevent a home fire. They should be installed throughout your house, especially in and near the bedrooms. Test your alarms monthly and replace the batteries once a year. Also, never disable them, especially when you are cooking.
2. Use Electrical Appliances Safely
Check and replace damaged cords or wires on your appliances and other electrical items. Give devices such as lamps and space heaters proper space to prevent them from overheating. And never leave them on overnight or while you’re away from home.
3. Teach Your Children About Fire Safety
A big part of fire preparation is teaching your children the dangers of playing with fire. Keeping matches and lighters out of their reach will also help with this issue. You should also protect your little ones by installing safety caps over outlets. These simple tools will prevent them from sticking items into a wall socket and starting a fire or electrocuting themselves.
4. Have an Escape Plan
Create an escape plan for your family and practice it at least twice a year. Ensure it includes two ways to escape each room and a place to meet up once everyone gets out of the house. Also, make sure everyone knows to never go back in for important items. You can assure them that a trained restoration specialist will do their best to preserve your family photos and other sentimental things after the fire.
The best way to prevent a fire in your home is to prepare for it. Fire preparation is vital for the safety of your family and your home.
Water Conservation Upgrades
Consider touch-free faucets for an excellent water upgrade.
Water conservation can make a big difference in your building's profitability. Upgrading your commercial property in Grantville, CA, to prevent leaks and minimize waste is an excellent investment. You'll help the environment and your bottom line while preventing expensive water damage.
Common Water Issues
Rethink Your Irrigation
Irrigation is necessary to maintain your landscape, but it's also where you are probably wasting the most water. Here are some tips to help you conserve.
1. Maintain your irrigation system properly. This means inspecting it for leaks from cracks, worn fittings or washers, and poor connections. Water damage restoration experts agree that repairing water problems in a timely fashion is much less costly than repairing your building after a flood.
2. Only water when necessary. Over-watering is one of the simplest water issues to solve. Put in a sensor to prevent watering when the ground is moist or the weather is wet. Experiment with watering less often or for less time.
3. Select lower-maintenance plants. Drought-tolerant native plants require very little water and will thrive year after year.
Replace Older Appliances
It's not cost-effective to run out and purchase new appliances solely to conserve water. However, when it's time to replace that old dishwasher or washing machine, select replacements with energy use and water consumption in mind.
Select Efficient Fixtures
Consider touch-free faucets for an excellent water upgrade. While they do cost more upfront, you will eliminate one of the worst water issues: taps left running.
Swap the flush valves in your toilets. You may be using up to 5 gallons per flush. New valves use about 25% of that.
Update your aerators. This is a very cost-effective improvement and can save about half of the water used for washing hands.
Conserving water saves money. Maintaining equipment prevents water seepage and flood damage. Take control of the water usage in your building to improve your profitability and keep your property running efficiently.
Simplify Fire Restoration with SERVPRO
A local team is always ready to help you regain your pre-fire home
Fire Restoration Process
How do you pick up the pieces after a fire in your Allied Gardens, CA, residence? It's important to start restoration work immediately to prevent further damage or irreversible odors. Quickly resolve damage and cleanup problems by calling SERVPRO, the leading expert in fire mitigation and restoration. A local team is always ready to help you regain your pre-fire home. Here are the main steps in the fire restoration process.
1. Phone Consultation
We're available 24/7 for you to contact us about fire damage restoration. An expert will ask you questions to assess the situation and determine what resources they will need to help you.
2. In-Person Inspection
A SERVPRO team member will arrive on-site to assess the damage to your residence and create a fire rebuild plan.
3. Initial Fire Restoration Measures
If your residence's structural integrity is damaged, SERVPRO will install tarps and boards to protect against weather, animals and intruders. This procedure also gives technicians more time to survey damaged areas before starting repairs.
4. Water and Smoke Damage Removal
The next step of the fire damage restoration process involves drying any water-damaged structures and belongings. Technicians also detoxify your residence by removing soot and smoke from contaminated surfaces such as floors and ceilings.
5. Cleaning and Deodorizing
SERVPRO thoroughly cleans and deodorizes the residence and any damaged possessions before proceeding to more in-depth repair work.
6. Rebuilding Services
The last stages in fire damage restoration are rebuilding and refurbishing. Minor repairs may include painting, the installation of new fixtures and other surface-level improvements. Some restoration projects may require major reconstruction of entire rooms or sections of the residence.
Recovering from a residential fire doesn't have to be overwhelming. Simplify fire restoration by coordinating with your local emergency services. SERVPRO will quickly and efficiently help return your residence to its pre-fire state.
When To Repair a Roof With Storm Damage
Tarping over damage can help to protect your roof from further hail or wind damage
When Should a Storm-Damaged Roof Be Repaired?
"As soon as possible" is the short answer when it comes to roof repair. If a number of residences have sustained storm damage or prolonged inclement weather is expected in Del Cerro, CA, mitigation measures such as tarping over damage can help to protect your roof from further hail or wind damage and keep out moisture that might otherwise end up causing damage inside the structure.
After Documenting Damage
If the roof of your home is well-maintained, it may be possible to make a homeowners insurance claim to cover roof damage. If you plan to do so, you should take measures to document damage:
- Get an expert opinion
- Take photographs
- Record video footage
Once you have captured evidence of storm or wind damage, you should immediately arrange for mitigation or repairs. Mitigation measures can limit damage until repairs take place.
After Mitigation Measures
A damage restoration or roofing company may offer damage mitigation services to prevent further damage prior to roof repair. The most common measure involves tarping over a roof:
• Acquire a tarp large enough to cover damage and extend three feet over the ridge
• Wrap the tarp around plywood and secure with deck screws or nails
• Use strapping to tie down the tarp
A tarp can protect a roof surface and the interior of a home from further damage. Insurers seek proof that homeowners have taken every measure they can to limit the damage. Mitigation is helpful for making an insurance claim and reducing the cost of restoring primary and secondary damage.
A homeowner should try to schedule roof repair immediately after damage occurs, ideally within hours or days. Fixing any roof damage can be costly, but expenses will escalate as the damage becomes worse and potentially affects the interior of a residence in Del Cerro, CA. If this occurs, homeowners should contact a roofer and a storm damage restoration service.
How To Prepare for Water Damage With Business Insurance
Getting business insurance is a great way to save your business, time and money.
Preparing for Water Damage with Business Insurance
As a small business owner in San Carlos, CA, you need to be ready for anything. When water unexpectedly gets into places it is not supposed to, it can cause major problems. Almost all businesses, at least the ones with physical locations, are vulnerable to water damage, which can occur from things such as:
- Broken pipes
- Severe weather
- Damaged HVAC systems
- Foundation leaks
You can reduce costs and prepare for any issues caused by water by having insurance coverage for your commercial property.
Different Policies Cover Different Types of Costs
Dealing with water damage at your business is never fun, but there are a few different business insurances you can use. Commercial flood insurance, business income insurance and standard commercial property insurance policies are good options to have in times of crisis. Insurance companies can be a proper resource with the right policies; however, the source of the damage often determines the level of coverage you will have. Standard commercial policies will usually cover claims for burst pipes, but additional insurance could be needed for other causes and potential revenue losses.
Insurance Companies Can Assist With Water Cleanup
Insurance companies often work closely with cleanup and restoration professionals. These companies can provide water and material cleanup and emergency services such as mold remediation if needed. Damage assessment performed by these professionals can be directly used to help with filing your insurance claim so you can get back in business as soon as possible. It's worth having a conversation with your insurance agent about your policy's features to ensure you have the best protection and restoration plan in place.
No matter the cause of water damage, it is always best to jump in front of a possible emergency. Getting business insurance is a great way to save your business, time and money.
The Importance of Drying Time
SERVPRO technicians drying a restaurant.
The Importance of Drying Time
Before starting the remediation process during any water outbreak the drying process must be handled first. Drying time is important because residents can get their homes back into shape, business owners can start selling again, and cutting costs is ensured for insurance companies.
Drying time is the average number of days between the first air mover or dehumidifier being placed on-site until the last air mover or dehumidifier is removed from the job site. SERVPRO follows the IICRC S500 Standards in order to give customers the best drying time. There are three levels of drying time expectancy there are less than five days which falls under green, between five to seven days is yellow, and finally, more than seven days which lands in red. Our goal is to always have drying time in the green zone.
What causes a delay in drying time?
There are multiple factors that can cause a delay in the drying time. One of the most common factors is when residents or property owners unplug the air mover or dehumidifier. Unplugging appliances will surely increase the time needed to dry this also causes water to sit on surfaces which will cause the spread of mold and will further the damage to surfaces resulting in higher costs. Definitely do not unplug appliances.
Another cause of delayed drying time is moving appliances. When technicians set the appliances for drying time they are placed in areas that are most wet. This is not noticeable to the human eye therefore water levels are measured with water mapping tools for the most accurate drying placement.
Another common factor that may cause drying time is storms or more water leakage. Storms are definitely out of our control so make sure the technician that is working on your case is notified quickly to prevent further damage. If you had a water leakage make sure the water source is shut off every time water is not needed to be in use.
3 Ways To Reduce the Water Consumption in Your Business
Prevent those water issues by installing a hands-free faucet.
Three Ways To Reduce the Water Consumption in Your Business
Running a business means you have a lot on your plate. You not only have to ensure you have plenty of staff and inventory on hand at all times, but you must also continually look for ways to cut costs and keep your spending low. One way to save money – and prevent waste – is by reducing your water consumption. Here are three ways to reduce how much water your Santee, CA, business uses.
1. Look for Potential Water Issues
Even a tiny leak in your plumbing system can create a lot of damage to your building and add to your overall costs. Depending on the severity of the leak and the amount of damage your business sustained from it, you might also have to pay for water damage restoration services to fix everything. Ask a licensed plumber to scope your pipes and identify any problems. It's also helpful to have an irrigation specialist check your watering system to ensure it is in good working order.
2. Install Hands-Free Faucets
A typical bathroom faucet uses approximately 2.2 gallons of water a minute. Sometimes clients and customers mindlessly leave the bathroom faucet on when they leave the room, which can cost you a pretty penny in water costs. Prevent those water issues by installing a hands-free faucet. The faucet will only turn on when it senses hands underneath it, so you no longer have to worry about throwing money down the drain.
3. Upgrade Your Irrigation System
One water upgrade that will dramatically reduce your water consumption is changing your irrigation system. Install a rain sensor to your system to ensure the system doesn't turn on when it isn't needed. Additionally, make sure you water in the early morning or late evening, so the water doesn't evaporate in the day's heat. It's also important to regularly inspect the sprinkler heads to keep water issues at bay.
Reducing your water consumption doesn't have to be a time-consuming process. You can see a big difference almost immediately when you make a few minor changes.
What Is Secondary Flood Damage?
Water not treated right away can cause mold growth in your property.
Heavy rains and flash flooding create the potential for your San Diego, CA, home to be inundated with excessive water. After the storm dies down, it is essential to complete an assessment and contact your flood insurance provider as quickly as possible. While you wait for the adjuster, it’s just as imperative to take measures to minimize the chances of additional issues forming. If that happens, there is good chance insurance won’t cover the repair costs.
Types of Secondary Flood Damage
While there are many visible signs of trouble due to the storm, there are potential issues that need to be addressed before they arise. Common secondary issues include:
Mold Damage: Since mold spores have the ability to form mold within 24 hours, it is vital that the affected areas are dried as soon as possible.
Electrical Issues: Depending on the level of the standing water, the electrical sockets may be affected. While there may not be immediate signs of trouble, it may lead to an electrical fire down the road
Corrosion: Pipes, studs and other metal materials will begin to form rust and corrode if left sitting in water. This may mean the slow deterioration of structural components.
Wood Rot: Wood absorbs water, which may lead to warping, buckling and eventually rotting. Again, this creates the possibility of structural issues down the road.
Consult a Restoration Specialist
If any of the above happens, it’s likely you won’t be able to count on flood insurance. To avoid those secondary issues from arising, it’s recommended to contact a mold and water damage cleanup and restoration company. Along with 24/7 availability to take your call, most certified companies are able to have someone on the scene to conduct a thorough inspection and provide a detailed remediation plan. While waiting for the go-ahead on repairs, they will be able to start the process of removing water-logged materials, water extraction and drying out process.
After the storm, flood insurance offers peace of mind. If action isn't taken to prevent secondary damage, you may be left with additional costly repairs without assistance.
4 Ways SERVPRO Helps Expedite Insurance Claims
Disaster restoration experts in Lake Murray, CA.
Four Ways SERVPRO Helps Expedite Insurance Claims
In the aftermath of a commercial disaster, your company in Lake Murray, CA, is looking for solutions. This includes a fast cleanup and restoration, as well as efficient handling of insurance claims with an established process for claim services. This ensures your insurance company gets the documentation it needs to fully understand damage estimates and repair costs. Through several actions, a professional damage mitigation team makes sure claims are processed quickly and accurately.
1. Digital Documentation
Handwritten information from multiple contractors will slow down the settlement of claims. With SERVPRO, a preferred vendor for many U.S. insurance companies, the information will be passed onto the right department or person in an easy-to-read and accessible digital format. This will include digital photos to clarify services.
2. One Contractor
While you can deal with multiple companies to clean up and repair storm, water, or fire damage, that is seldom the best path. You could be dealing with different claim services that use unique methods, making things more laborious on your end. Dealing with a single, reputable restoration company streamlines the entire process, from beginning to end.
3. A Fast Emergency Response
It helps when restoration services begin immediately after a disaster. This leads to a quicker recovery and it reduces costs and damages. It will also result in fewer layers of documentation and paperwork for the insurance adjuster.
4. A Dedicated Team
Some companies place the onus of insurance paperwork in the hands of inexperienced workers. For best results, a project manager should handle all communications between the insurance company and the client. This eliminates confusion and the need for constant clarification on important matters. This approach also makes sure insurance details do not get lost or take a back seat to other issues.
A proven process for claim services makes sure your company receives the reimbursements it deserves. It also helps insurance workers meet the expectations of their clients.
Understanding Category Three Water Damage
Cleaning up water from the third category is best left to the experts.
Water damage to your College East, CA, home is classified into three categories. If this is the first time you've experienced such damage at your residence, you may have heard terms like black water and gray water but are unsure what they mean.
Water Damage Categories
The three categories of water damage are:
Category 1: This category includes water that is considered clean because it does not have contaminants. Examples of category one water damage are a leaking water supply line or an overflowing sink.
Category 2: This water classification is also known as gray water. Examples are water from sump pumps or washing machines.
Category 3: Also known as black water, this category includes storm surge, sewage water, seawater, standing water and ground surface water. Gray water can enter this category if it remains stagnant.
Cleaning up water from the third category is best left to the experts. A professional remediation company can remove this type of water from your home and ensure that the job is done safely. Porous materials such as drywall, carpet and wood can absorb water fast. Professional technicians have the knowledge and equipment needed to dry out the water as quickly as possible. They can also repair damage and replace materials where necessary, leaving you with a clean, dry home.
A remediation company sends technicians to your house to assess the situation and explain the level of damage to you. They can help you stop the source of the problem if it is ongoing. Technicians then use extraction equipment and industrial dryers to remove water. Once the area is dry, they implement special equipment to sanitize and deodorize your home.
If you have black water damage in your College East, CA, home, it's a good idea to call a professional to help with cleanup. It's the safest and easiest way to repair the damage and get back to normal quickly.
The Challenge of Fixing Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage in a home in College West, CA.
The Problem with Water Damage in Your Home
Your home in College West, CA, has a long list of items you probably would not want to see drenched with water. This makes unwanted water in the home a decidedly unpleasant event. Of course, these things do happen, so it is best to take appropriate action and make the best of things. If the situation involves a large degree of clean water or even a small amount of dirty water, calling for the services of a water damage mitigation franchise should be one of your first actions. A trained team can help you meet a host of challenges
Dealing With a Broken Pipe
When a pipe burst, hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water are likely to spread into your home. This water could drench furniture, clothes, and other personal items, even including paintings, paperwork and fabrics. The solution is not to throw out everything, as that could get expensive. Plus, with the right equipment, many items could be saved. After water in a home disaster, experienced technicians will use advanced techniques to restore items:
- Dry cleaning
- Immersive cleaning
- Abrasive cleaning
- Off-site cleaning and restoration
By using the right techniques for specified items, damage can be minimized. In some scenarios, family heirlooms and other valuable personal items can be restored to excellent condition. While most people do not have the skill and equipment to restore items, a professional franchise uses the best practices of the cleaning and restoration industry.
Recovering From a Water Spill
With water damage, a job that is not done perfectly could lead to additional heartaches. Insufficient drying could lead to mold growth down the road. Improper cleaning could lead to unpleasant smells that permeate your house. For these reasons, it is important to monitor the situation after a water spill.
A water-in-home situation presents many challenges to the cleanliness of your home. Taking the appropriate steps will allow you to move on with few if any worries.
Why Fire Damage Often Includes Water Damage
Commercial fire damage in Grantville, CA.
Any unexpected damage to your commercial building in Grantville, CA, is a setback, and fire damage is one of the worst disasters that can happen to a company. Not only can it disrupt your business operations and destroy company records, but it is also a notoriously difficult cleanup job. Fortunately, a full-service fire restoration company can arrive at your property soon after the fire and begin the process.
The Initial Stages of the Cleanup
After a fire, a building can be an unstable place full of hazards for employees. The first stage is to secure the building from additional harm and promote safety for everyone. This is typically done with urgency through several actions:
- A quick inspection of the property
- A board up and tarp coverage if necessary
- A cordoning off of dangerous zones
Once this is accomplished, the workers will perform an additional inspection. The focus at this point will be the development of an orderly and efficient restoration plan.
The Stage That Deals With Water Damage
In any significant fire scenario, fire fighting crews or company sprinkler systems have been utilized to douse the flames. This leads to issues of water in the building, sometimes enough to cause damage to structures, electrical equipment, records and other items. While a sprinkler system is targeted and might not release a lot of water, a fire hose can release hundreds of gallons of water in a short time, demanding attention.
The End Stage of a Cleanup
The next stage deals with cleaning up soot and smoke damage and restoring or replacing damaged items. This can happen fairly quickly in a minor fire, or it can take several days in a larger business fire. The emphasis will be on restoring your working operations as soon as possible.
Fire damage often must deal with multiple ancillary problems. Professional help often leads to the quickest possible recovery.
4 Essential Things To Do After Smelling Natural Gas in Your Home
It's important to take a look at your stove and make sure it's not on.
What To Do After Smelling Natural Gas In Your Home
If you begin to smell an odor similar to rotten eggs or sulfur in your Allied Gardens, CA, home, you may be experiencing a gas leak. This could lead to a fire or an explosion. In this event, it's vital that you take immediate action. So, here are four essential things to do after smelling natural gas in your home.
1. Avoid Electrical Charges
Any use of electricity should be avoided at all costs. If you do use something electrical, whatever amount of gas is present could spark and create an explosion. These are some things to avoid:
- Appliances (dishwashers, clothes dryers, etc.)
2. Look at the Stove
The last thing you want is to have a big scare over nothing. Therefore, it's important to take a look at your stove and make sure it's not on. If it is, you may not be in danger of a gas fire at all. However, you should still stay safe and ensure that everything's okay before returning to normal.
3. Create Ventilation
If you aren't in immediate danger of a gas explosion, take the time to create ventilation. You can do this by opening every door and window possible. However, you'll want to avoid turning on electrical fans. By creating ventilation, you may be able to get some of the gas out of your home.
4. Leave Your Home
As soon as you can, it's vital that you leave your home. This is hard but necessary. If the worst happens and a gas fire occurs, you'll want to be far away from it. Once you're at least across the street, you can call 9-1-1 and locate a fire restoration service.
Smelling gas in your home can be a daunting experience. Regrettably, you can't spend too much time gathering yourself. Assess the potential of a gas fire and get to safety as soon as possible. Even if this precaution is unnecessary, it's still worth taking.
3 Advantages of Using Professional Storm Services
Water damage in Del Cerro, CA.
Three Reasons to Hire a Professional Storm Service
Hurricanes, typhoons, heavy gusts, tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding and other weather-related disasters in Del Cerro, CA, have the potential to cause severe structural damage and create big messes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, reports that between 1980 and 2020, the U.S. has experienced 285 such incidents where costs hit or exceeded $1 billion. The combined total expense of storm restoration, storm response and repairs for these events is over $1.875 trillion.
Insurance companies provide much of the funds required for fixing flood damage and other harm done to commercial properties. It is advantageous for them to employ the services of a professional storm company for multiple reasons.
1. Faster Response
Situations needing storm restoration generally worsen as time passes. Water damage especially tends to spread, promoting mold growth and rendering certain items irreparable as they become saturated. Drywall, carpeting and other building materials often have to be thrown away in the wake of a deluge but may sometimes be preserved if swift action is taken. A faster response results in numerous benefits, including:
- More possessions can be salvaged
- The advance of damage is slowed or halted
- Cleaning costs are lower
- Restoration costs are lower
2. Quality Service
Professionals are trained to provide quality aid. They are capable of identifying existing issues, assessing the extent of the damage and prioritizing what needs to be done. They know the best methods for drying, sanitization and restoration.
3. Resource Availability
Storm response services also possess the necessary resources to get the task done. There are teams of experienced experts ready to mobilize at any given moment. They also have the tools needed to effectively perform their tasks readily at hand.
Having a storm restoration business on call also speeds up the claims and restoration process. Professional teams can help owners create itemized lists of needed replacements and repairs and evaluate and record damage. They also mitigate the impact of disasters.
3 Differences Between Flood Damage and Other Water Damage
Sewage water fall under the third category.
3 Key Distinctions Between Flood and Other Water Damage
If there is a serious storm in San Carlos, CA, then you can expect that your commercial building will be affected on some level. Water can come from a variety of sources, and not all of these will cause the same level of trouble. Damage from a flood, for example, differs in the following ways.
1. Contamination Levels
There are three categories of water that you could find yourself dealing with when water damage occurs. Each of these has a different level of contamination. Category 1 is clean; category 2, or gray water, is moderately contaminated; and category 3, or black water, is highly contaminated. Because it picks up debris, sewage and other contaminants from the ground, flood water falls under the third category.
2. Cleanup and Repairs
Because of the high level of contamination, it contains, category 3 water needs to be treated differently than the rest. Blackwater should be removed by a professional restoration service that has the necessary equipment and training to handle this type of emergency. Everything that has been affected will need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Absorbent materials that cannot be cleaned should be replaced.
3. Insurance Coverage
Another important difference between this and other kinds of water damage is insurance coverage. In many cases, your basic insurance does not cover floods. You will need to purchase an additional policy to ensure your business is prepared for this particular situation. If you are in an area where disasters of this nature occur often, you may be required to have additional coverage.
Although it is important to have any kind of water damage addressed as quickly as possible, there are some additional difficulties that can come with a storm. If your business is located in an area where this is likely, you should take precautions to ensure you are prepared for damage involving category 3 water. To keep your building safe, always have restoration of this kind done by a professional.
3 Ways To Prevent Burst Pipes on a Commercial Property
Insulation prevents the water inside of pipes from freezing.
Three Ways to Avoid Commercial Property Pipe Bursts
Burst pipes can be devastating for property owners in Santee, CA. Causes for bursting pipes range and can include:
- Increased water pressure
- Loose pipes
- Winter Storms
You can prevent your property's pipes from bursting by taking preventative measures before a winter storm and repairing damages to plumbing systems as soon as they become noticeable. Here are 3 ways to prevent burst pipes on a commercial property.
1. Insulate Your Property's Pipes
Insulation prevents the water inside of pipes from freezing. When water freezes inside a building's plumbing system, the water pressure increases causing pipes to burst under the added stress. To prevent this, contact a plumber to properly insulate the pipes. You can also take action when a storm is approaching by letting your water run at a drip and opening cabinet doors to allow warmer air around pipes. Storm damage is a common cause of leaks and pipe bursts but can be prevented with preparation.
2. Replace Old Plumbing Systems
Outdated plumbing systems do not have rust-resistant materials and are prone to tears. The materials used to make older plumbing systems include cast iron pipes, which become eroded with frequent water use and changing weather conditions. When a winter storm hits, these plumbing materials become more vulnerable to bursts. Update your plumbing system to ensure its best functionality.
3. Inspect Your Plumbing System Regularly
Be diligent with your plumbing system catching tears, worn joints and leaks before they surprise you. Keeping your system up to date will prevent leaks from worn pipes and protect your building from pipe bursts during inclement weather. Leaks and burst pipes are preventable with proper maintenance and insulation.
If you have experienced a pipe break due to a winter storm, contact a local water damage restoration service to help clean your property. A professional service will also help to dehumidify your property and restore it back to normal.
Tips To Protect Your Business From Disaster
As part of your plan, you may want to keep an emergency kit on site.
Disaster Preparedness Tips for Your Business
When severe weather strikes, you are undoubtedly worried about protecting your business. A tornado, hurricane or severe downpour can cause flooding and physical damage to your building and affect your ability to sustain your regular business practices. Designing a custom emergency response plan can be invaluable if your San Carlos, CA, business experiences a serious disruption.
Your Business Continuity Plan
Having a plan that addresses all types of potential damage is essential to your company’s risk-management strategy. These steps may help you create a solid plan that protects you.
Identify the risks particular to your business, such as a nearby flood plain, coastal hurricane vulnerability or a basement that often floods.
Assess the potential impacts on your staff, your property and your daily operations for each risk category.
Outline preventive measures that address each risk area, such as flood-prevention maintenance or fire-safety planning.
Formulate the specific steps to be followed by you and your staff in case of an emergency.
Regularly review, update and test your business continuity plan with live drills.
A well-designed plan can give you and your workforce a better chance of working together to prevent damage and minimize property loss.
Emergency Preparedness Tips
As part of your plan, you may want to keep an emergency kit on site. The kit might include items such as water, flashlights, extra batteries, protein bars, and a medical first-aid kit. It is also important to make sure you have fire extinguishers placed throughout your building. Many businesses find that a local fire department or disaster remediation service will happily offer your staff trainings in fire extinguisher operation, evacuation procedures and other preventive measures. For more detailed information about continuity planning and disaster preparedness, you can consult government resources like Health and Human Services or Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This brief overview may help you formulate a business continuity plan that can both protect your business and your peace of mind. Disaster preparedness may not be at the top of your list, but it can make a big difference when your property and your bottom line are threatened by an emergency.
Exploring the Different Types of Fire Extinguishers
Different types of fire extinguishers.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Responsible homeownership means having an insurance policy that covers damages to your house and its contents due to a fire. Usually, entities with a financial interest in your house, such as a mortgage company will require borrowers to carry this coverage, including properties in Del Cerro, CA. Being a good homeowner also means staying on top of fire preparedness. This includes being careful about the use of open flames on your property. It also means having the means to put out or control a blaze, such as having a sprinkler system that operates when a home fire is detected. Keeping a fire extinguisher in various rooms is also part of a complete plan, but not all types are created equal. Here’s what you should know.
Taking a Closer Look at Extinguishers
Extinguishers come in three different classifications based on effectiveness against a type of blaze. Class A refers to fires caused by trash, wood and paper. Class B includes fires started by flammable liquids, while class C is for blazes caused by live electricity. Each fire extinguisher has a label with the classification and a number that corresponds to the device’s effectiveness. Extinguishers come in different sizes that correspond to usage:
- Stove-top: Ideal for mounting above a range or oven
- 2-pound: Good for use in a vehicle
5-pound: Easily accessible in a kitchen or utility room
- 10-pound: Best for garages or workshops where a blaze can rapidly spread
It’s important to make sure that these fire defense items are stored properly. Should a home fire occur, you don’t want to learn that the extinguisher is not where you need it or has lost pressure. Extinguishers should be replaced or refilled after a single-use.
While you never hope to experience a home fire, you should be knowledgeable of what to do in advance. Professional fire remediation experts can help restore your home to pre-damage conditions, but proper use of a fire extinguisher can reduce overall damage. It can minimize the time it takes to repair your home.
How Do Experts Clean Up Sewer Damage?
When you find sewage in your commercial property, be sure to call the trained experts at SERVPRO for cleanup and restoration services.
How Do Professionals Repair Sewer Damage?
Water leaks in a commercial property can be either uncontaminated, such as a leak that originates from a broken supply line, or contaminated gray from flooded toilets or a sewer backup. Sewer cleanup involves contaminated water that may contain potentially dangerous substances such as chemicals or microbes and should be performed by certified professionals. Cleanup and restoration experts will follow several steps in commercial properties that have recently experienced a leak involving contaminated water.
1. Contain the leak and remove water and sewage: Cleanup experts will remove excess water and any traces of solid waste from the affected area to prevent water and sewage damage from spreading or worsening.
2. Clean and disinfect the affected area: Professionals use industrial-grade sewer cleanup equipment and may depend on pump sprayers or foggers to eliminate the presence of dangerous bacteria.
3. Dispose of ruined contents: Any materials that cannot be cleaned and decontaminated should be removed as soon as possible and replaced.
4. Drying and decontamination: Experts will thoroughly dry the affected area and decontaminate items that are capable of being salvaged.
5. Restore the area and contents: Restore the cleaned, disinfected, and dried area and contents to pre-damage conditions.
As soon as a commercial property experiences a sewage leak, you should call a plumber and address the source of the problem. Once the leak has stopped, contact a company that specializes in cleaning up sewer damage in commercial properties.
You can depend on the expertise of a certified sewer cleanup service to ensure that your facility is cleaned, disinfected, and dried in compliance with health and safety standards. If you are dealing with a sewage leak in a commercial property located in San Diego, CA, a sewer damage restoration company can help you ensure that your commercial structure is clean, dry, free of mold, and safe for tenants and visitors.
What To Look For When Choosing a Restoration Company
The SERVPRO San Diego East team is setting up for containment after a massive water leak. If your home suffers water damage, call us!
When It Comes To Choosing A Restoration Company, There Are A Few Things To Keep In Mind.
When a homeowner’s house in Santee, CA becomes damaged as a result of a flood, storm or fire, choosing a company to assist in the restoration process can be difficult. There are several factors to consider that can help homeowners find a company that’s Faster to Any Size Disaster.
After a disaster, damage to a home can be extensive and multifaceted. For example, water damage can also result in mold growth, and fires can make an area more prone to flooding. Though some companies specialize in certain types of disaster responses, it’s generally wise to choose a company that knows how to handle a myriad of issues. An experienced restoration company can also assist homeowners with their insurance claim and can answer questions.
2. A Quick Response
After a home becomes damaged, it’s often important for the restoration process to begin as quickly as possible. The longer it takes for restoration to begin, the more likely it is that the amount of damage will increase, meaning the cost and time it will take to complete restoration can drastically increase. A restoration company that is locally owned will respond Faster to Any Size Disaster, whereas a company that is not local will be more likely to have a slower response.
3. Access to the Right Tools and Equipment
When it comes to restoring a home, it’s often important that a restoration company can quickly access the tools and equipment necessary. When specialized equipment is needed to restore a home, waiting to equipment to arrive can bring the process to a grinding halt. However, a local business that is part of a franchise will have access to a myriad of helpful equipment and can also get the equipment to damaged homes in a timely manner.
Experience, response time and access to the best tools and equipment are important factors to consider when choosing a restoration company. Ultimately, a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can improve the process for everyone involved.
Managine Smoke Detector Power
By maintaining your smoke detection systems, you can prevent fire damage and loss of life.
Control The Smoke Detector's Power
Keep your home in San Carlos, CA, free from fire hazards by maintaining and monitoring your smoke alarm systems. Read on to glean a few tips related to these important home devices.
Know the power source of your chosen model of smoke detector. Some models can be wired directly to the wall, and thus will run on your home’s electrical system. Others use replaceable 9-volt batteries or non-replaceable lithium ion power sources. Some detectors may combine both of these methods as a backup in case of home power failure. Regardless, you should test the units each month to ensure that they are fully functional. If the device is blinking or beeping, this may be an indicator that the unit has insufficient power.
Smoke detectors are not built to last forever. Both ionization and photoelectric alarm types suffer from reduced effectiveness as they age. A typical smoke alarm will only last for about ten years. Luckily, they are inexpensive to replace, typically costing less than $20. A wide selection of models is available at your local hardware or department store. Examine the date of manufacture on the back of the unit to determine an appropriate time to rotate out your set of detectors.
By maintaining your smoke detection systems, you can prevent fire damage and loss of life. Many residential fires occur while most people are asleep, so it is extremely important to have an automated system in place to alert friends and family to fire hazards. The risk of health and property damage from fire goes down substantially when smoke detectors are well-distributed throughout the house, especially if they are connected to activate one another when any single unit detects smoke.
By taking care of your smoke alarm setup, you can prevent physical harm to your occupants and damage to your home that could require costly professional fire restoration.
Protect Your Home From Water Damage While You Are on Vacation
Make sure any exposed pipes are insulated to prevent a pipe burst.
The second most common cause for claims made against homeowners insurance in San Diego, CA, is water damage, causing damage in the millions of dollars every year. You may not need to do a water pipe repair, but you can help prevent such a disaster from happening in your home while you are away on vacation by taking stock of a few things and performing a few preventive measures.
Steps To Prevent Leaks While on Vacation
•Check all exposed pipes, including under sinks, for leaks and wetness
•Look at connection tubes and supply lines on washing machines, dishwasher, ice maker and so on
•Make sure any exposed pipes are insulated or have heat tape to prevent a pipe burst
•If you plan to turn the heat down while you are away, leave it high enough to keep pipes warm. Leave cabinet doors open under sinks.
After relaxing on vacation, the last thing you want to come home to is a frozen pipe or leak of some kind that has been causing damage since you left. Wet carpets and flooring left to sit can also damage subflooring and can grow bacteria and mold. Broken pipes inside of walls can produce enough water to disintegrate sheetrock, warp and weaken studs, and ruin electrical wiring. Even furnishings and other belongings can suffer water damage if left to sit in wet or damp circumstances.
Water pipe repair can be expensive in San Diego, CA, as can reclamation of your home and belongings. You may feel helpless and not know where to start. Get some help with your water damage repair process from professionals who understand what is needed and have the proper equipment for water removal and dehumidification. They can help check all sources of water in your home and make sure any necessary water pipe repair is done.
Fortunately, much of this damage can be prevented simply by taking the precautions listed above. You can take your next vacation worry-free and come home relaxed to a home where everything is intact.
3 Things To Avoid After a Flood
Storm remediation in Lake Murray, CA.
How To Handle Flood Damage
When storms send flood water into your Lake Murray, CA, home, you don't always know what to do. When is it safe to return to your house? Can you start the cleanup on your own? How you handle a flood will depend on the severity of the damage. It can be helpful to call about storm damage services right after the storm has left your area. You should also try to avoid doing the following:
1. Walking Into Standing Water
Did you know that 6 inches of moving water can cause you to lose your footing? Because even shallow waters can be dangerous, you should avoid walking into any standing water. Your flooded home may be full of stagnant water, but you should still avoid going into it. If the electricity is on, the water could be charged. Storm water could contain dangerous contaminants, too.
2. Waiting To Schedule a Cleanup
Do you want to try to tackle the water damage on your own? Unless you know how to effectively remove flooding and humidity from your house, you should turn to a professional. The sooner you can schedule your cleanup, the better it will be for your home. If you wait too long, you may have increased mold growth in your space.
3. Returning to Your Home Too Soon
While you want your life to return to normal, you need to make sure the flood water is completely gone before you return. Going home too soon can make it harder for the cleanup crew to properly remove excess humidity. The cleanup may require building materials to be replaced, which can leave your home dusty. If you wait until the entire process is finished, you can return to a more normal life right when you move back in.
Storm flood water may cause you to leave your home until the damage can be fixed. Taking the wrong steps after this type of flood can make the restoration process harder than it has to be, so remember what not to do.
What Documents Do You Need for a Commercial Fire Damage Claim?
Commercial fire damage in College East, CA.
Fire Claim Process
Experiencing a fire at your office building in College East, CA, can be taxing on you and your business. Filing an insurance claim after the incident may also seem like a daunting task without the right guidance. However, you can help your fire claim process smoothly by keeping documentation of the following items.
1. Evidence of Damage
Having proof of the fire damage is crucial when filing a claim. If it is possible, request a report of the fire from the police or fire department. Make sure that you have photographs of all the damaged areas and items. It is also handy to have pictures of the property before the damage occurred so that the insurance company can make a comparison of the property before and after the fire. Fire restoration service personnel may also assist in photographing the damage before cleaning up and restoring the space.
2. Temporary Repairs
If you must wait for an insurance adjuster to inspect the damage first before processing your claim, you should prevent the property from getting further damaged in the meantime. This may involve storing equipment in a safer area, boarding up windows and putting tarp over exposed areas. Remember to keep the receipts of any purchases made for these temporary repairs, as you may get reimbursed for them through your fire claim.
3. Business Value and Income
Submit copies of any records that show the value of your property, inventory and equipment, such as receipts and financial statements. For business income coverage claims, include all financial documents that prove your projected net income before and after the fire. The insurer will use the information to determine whether there was a loss of income due to fire damage and may compensate you accordingly.
Having insurance can help your business recover faster after a fire. When submitting a fire claim, the more documentation you have, the better your chances are at getting a fair amount of coverage for your repairs or income loss.