Recent Posts

Why Mold Has an Odor and What You Can Do

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold buildup in the corner of an old house Mold in Pico Rivera, CA is not uncommon, but it is still unexpected, and special care must be taken to have it remedied.

Mold in Pico Rivera, CA is not uncommon, but it is still unexpected, and special care must be taken to have it remedied. Even before the professionals arrive, your nose may be the first to alert you that mold is alive and growing, even if not visible by the naked eye, and the mycotoxin is to blame. Mold thrives in damp, confined environments, which can be the result of anything from natural disasters to faulty plumbing. If left unchecked, it can become increasingly challenging to tackle. If you suspect you have mold, it is likely that your business will need to turn to a mold remediation service to assess and treat the situation.

What Are Mycotoxins?

That distinctive, musty odor can be attributed to MVOCs, or microbial volatile organic compounds. Because of the many effects it has on humans, one type of those MVOCs, the mycotoxin, is of particular concern:

• It's a toxic byproduct released by mold.
• It produces varying scents depending on mold type.
• It has different degrees of potency depending on type/amount.
• It's transferred to humans externally on skin and hair.

HEPA Air Filtration Device

While some may believe that the scent emitted by mycotoxins can be improved simply by masking it with fragrances, ventilating the area, or removing moldy items, it is much more effective to use specialized technology. The effects of mold go beyond the damage physically seen on furniture, flooring and walls. Measures also need to be taken to remove particles in the air. That’s where a High Efficiency Particulate Air filtration device may come in handy; it pulls the surrounding air through a fine filter that can trap any mold spores and each mycotoxin left behind.

The next time you smell that familiar musty odor wafting through the air, you can thank your nose for helping you take the first step in resolving a problem that can easily escalate without the proper attention. Visit http://www.SERVPROpicoriverasantafesprings.com for more information on mold. 

How To Determine if Your Flooded Basement Is Covered by Insurance

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement with dirty water This basement flooded after a severe storm hit the Pico Rivera area

Water can do great damage to your home, including the loss of personal items, and may uncover previously unknown structural issues or deterioration. Even with prompt removal of the water, your home may incur costly damage. Will your insurance company be there in the event of a basement flood? There are several factors that determine what is and what is not covered.

1. Where did the water come from? Most homeowner's policies typically cover damage from water that originates from the top down, such as rain or melting ice. If the water comes from the bottom, such as from the overflow of a nearby river, you will likely need specific flood insurance.

2. How fast did the flooding or water damage occur? A poorly maintained faucet or toilet that slowly leaked, for example, would not qualify for insurance coverage. However, if a pipe suddenly bursts and leaves your basement flooded, this is likely to fall within your coverage limitations.

3. What type of policy or policies do you have? A basic homeowner's policy with dwelling coverage will extend to water damage as described above to your flooring, drywall, and many other structures in your home. Furniture, appliances, and other personal items will probably not be covered. Personal property insurance is likely to cover items beyond your home’s structural elements in the event that your basement becomes flooded.

4. What else do you need to remember? All insurance policies have deductibles and coverage limitations. Read the fine print and consult your insurance company to be sure your situation in Pico Rivera, CA, will be covered.

If the worst happens to your basement, be sure to consult a professional to minimize damage, regardless of the cause or your insurance coverage. Dealing with a basement flood is no picnic, but with proper cleanup and drying, damages can be reduced to limit your out-of-pocket costs and to preserve the structure and aesthetics of your home.

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3 Facts About Smart Smoke Alarms

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light A smart smoke detector can be linked with your phone or tablet

Protecting your Pico Rivera, CA home from a fire can be achieved with the use of smoke detectors on each floor and in every bedroom. No matter the size of the fire, a smoke alarm can alert you instantly, giving you as much time as possible to evacuate your family. There are many different types of units on the market today, and smart smoke alarms are especially popular. If you are considering the addition of smart alarms, learning a few facts about them before you buy can help you make the best choice possible about how to protect your home from fire.

They Can Be Controlled From Any Location

A smart smoke detector can be linked with your phone or tablet and controlled from almost any location with that device. This allows you to test the alarm, shut down false smoke detection and respond to an alarm if you are at work or otherwise out of the house. If you enjoy the convenience of remote-control devices, then a smart detector may be a good choice.


You Can Link Multiple Units Together


Smart smoke detectors run on a wireless network and you usually have the option of wiring them together from one router. When connected, if one smoke alarm goes off, every unit in the house will sound as well. This can be convenient for larger homes or if you decide to include alarms in remote areas, such as the garage or your basement.


They Are Simple To Test


If you are concerned about fire safety and risk yet enjoy the convenience of smart items, then one of these wireless smoke detectors might be the right choice for you. For example, after a fire damage and restoration service helps you gauge your home’s fire risk, you can easily test your new detectors directly from your phone instead of having to do so manually.

A smart smoke alarm in each room of your Pico Rivera, CA home can help protect your family and property. However, it is important to learn all you can about these devices before you shop to make the most informed decision possible.

Don’t Face a Disaster Alone

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Standing water on floor of a home Standing water on floor from storm damage in Santa Fe Springs, CA

Homeowners in Santa Fe Springs, CA are likely accustomed to storms. When it goes beyond typical levels and turns into a natural disaster, such as a flood, people don’t have to deal with the aftermath alone. Homeowners may be able to get assistance from FEMA, a federal program designed to assist extensive damage not covered by insurance in a designated disaster area.

Filing a Claim

Once the flooding subsides, people need to register with FEMA online or via the phone if they want to make a claim. Within two days, an adjuster will be assigned to assess the property. Before the inspection, it is a good idea to be prepared and ready. This includes:

  • Contact your insurance provider to file a claim and report damage losses.
  • Document the damage by taking photos both inside and outside the home.
  • Have necessary documentation ready such as utility receipts, insurance information, mortgage bill, personal identification and photographs of the damage.

The Inspection

On the day of the inspection, it is important to remember that the adjuster is only there to asses the damage. They are not in charge of whether the claim will be accepted or denied. Their role is to determine the extent of damage.
During the inspection, which may take up to a couple hours, the inspector is focused on the damage of a home from top to bottom, as well as the items within a home. Their detailed assessment will include take notes and measuring the areas of a home as they note any damage. From flooring to ceilings and everything in between, they will take note of anything damaged by the disaster.

After the Inspection

The results of the FEMA inspection will then be reviewed. Typically within 10 days, a homeowner will receive a letter that lets them know if their claim has been accepted or denied. If accepted, instructions will be provided in to receive the funds and begin making repairs.
While a disaster may make it seem like things will never be back to normal, there is help out there. When it’s finally time to make the repairs, count on trusted professionals to make it “Like it never even happened.”

What To Do if Your Home Smells Musty

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone moving a plastic box from the wall and found mold hidden Mold damage found behind a plastic box in Pico Rivera, CA

There can be several signs that you may have a mold problem in your home. One of the most obvious signs is the odor given off by the mycotoxin in most fungus. Full remediation includes not only getting rid of the growth but the bad smell that goes along with it.

Find the Source

The first step of mold remediation is finding the location of the problem. Mold spores are in the air throughout your home in Pico Rivera, CA, but the mold that is giving off the stench will likely be a concentrated patch. You may be able to see the mold if it's on a surface, ceiling or wall. If you can't find it, though, it's a good idea to hire professionals to test for it. There are several places mold can hide out of sight:

  • Inside HVAC vents
  • Behind walls
  • Under floorboards or carpet

Certified inspectors can find mold even if it's hidden with a professional mold test.

Mitigate the Mold

Once the problem that is producing the mycotoxin has been found, the mitigation process can begin. Mold mitigation specialists remove the growth and then clean and dry the area. They will probably do a post-test to make sure that the whole mold growth is gone.

Clear the Air

Even after the mold is gone, the musty odor may remain. To get rid of the smell, technicians are likely to use industrial air purifiers. Not just any purifier will do, though. To catch the tiny particles causing the stench, the purifier should have a HEPA filter. Even after technicians leave, it's a good idea to invest in a purifier with a HEPA filter for your home to keep foul odors out and improve air quality.
Any fungus that releases a mycotoxin into the air can cause a bad smell. This smell can permeate your home even after the mold growth has been removed. Purifying the air completes the mitigation process, making it seem "Like it never even happened".

Best Practices for Cleaning Water Damage

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier in a room drying up an area that has been affected by water Commercial water loss in Santa Fe Springs, CA

Best Practices for Cleaning Water Damage

When water damage happens to a commercial building in Santa Fe Springs, CA, a property manager needs to act quickly and decisively. The longer the problem is left untreated, the harder it is to clear up. The harmful effects of water in a place of business include the following complications:

  • Damage to contents
  • Harm to the structural integrity of a building
  • Delays in a company's operations
  • Damage to the bottom line
  • Harm to a company's reputation and brand

Whether the damage is caused by broken pipes, a plumbing malfunction or a weather event such as flooding, a company should be prepared to act quickly. The faster water mitigation professionals are on scene, the more likely the damage to a building will be manageable.

Education Is Paramount

For the best results in a water cleanup, a well-trained and educated company stands the highest chance for success. Knowing whom to call in Santa Fe Springs, CA, is a first step.
Since flooding is a problem that is among the most common perils to face a business, it pays for a company to take the potential of water damage seriously. This includes developing a plan and making sure all employees are familiar with it.

An Inspection Is Critical

Once a water event has happened, it's important to have an inspection and damage assessment. The next step is to remove as much of the water and excess moisture from the site as quickly as possible. This often involves specialized equipment such as large fans, ventilation systems and dryers. This step is important as it may be able to salvage materials such as flooring and drywall and may be key to preventing the appearance of mold.
Trained water damage specialists will help a company recover quickly. The final process involves drying out the affected areas and cleaning and sanitizing the building. Restoration of damaged materials will have the workplace looking "Like it never even happened."

Who Is Responsible for Dealing With Mold Growth in an Apartment?

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold found in a rental property

When mold is found in an apartment rental, both tenants and owners may be confused about who is responsible for dealing with the mold cleanup and any damage that has occurred. Mold growth can occur due to excess moisture or water in an area and can be caused by improper cleaning, poor ventilation, flooding for storms, leaking plumbing, pipe bursts, or other reasons. Since mold will only become worse with time, it is important that if mold is found by a tenant in your apartment in Pico Rivera, CA, that you know how to handle the situation and act as quickly as possible.

Tenant and Landlord Liability

When it comes to mold found in rentals, both the tenant and the landlord have a part to play in the prevention and treatment of mold contamination. As the lease should state, it is the tenant's responsibility to do what they can to prevent mold from growing and to notify the landlord of any growth that occurs. However, it is most often the landlord’s responsibility to handle the following:

  • Inspection and testing of apartment
  • Handling maintenance and repair requests
  • The mold cleanup
  • The cost of hiring a mold remediation specialist
  • Relocation of the tenant if necessary

Prompt Action

As the landlord, it is important you take your tenant’s complaint about mold growth seriously and act right away. If a landlord does not handle maintenance requests or neglects to rid of mold spores once they are found, the tenant can potentially take the landlord to court or demand to have their lease terminated. Not to mention, the landlord might be responsible for paying much more money in the long run if the mold growth gets even worse and causes structural damage to the property.
It is important for landlords and tenants to understand their role in the mold cleanup process when fungus is found in a rental property. For both parties sake, it is important to act as quickly as possible.

What Should Be Thrown Away After a Fire?

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Cosmetics need to be thrown away after a fire

What Should Be Thrown Away After a Fire?

A home fire in Santa Fe Springs, CA, can cause serious fire damage to the house itself and to your belongings. Even a fire that doesn’t reach very far can send smoke everywhere to penetrate clothing and other items. As you begin to clean and box items up that you think are recoverable, it’s important to know what types of things you should really throw away after high heat, smoke, and chemicals have penetrated or ruined them.

Food

Most foods exposed to high heat, smoke, and especially firefighting chemicals you need to throw away. Any open packages or things stored in cardboard or packaging that is not air-tight must go. It might be tempting to keep sealed or nonperishable goods, but if they were exposed to heat, that heat can cause bacteria to overgrow and spoil the food.
What about things kept in the refrigerator or freezer? Sometimes these can be recovered, but you must be careful with your inspection. Items must be tossed if when you open the doors you notice these signs:

  • Something is sooty or has a smoky smell.
  • The food has an odd smell either immediately upon opening or when you start cooking.
  • The refrigerator lost power and food has been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees for over two hours.
  • Frozen food is no longer frozen.

Cosmetics and Medicine

These items are both sensitive to high heat, so check very carefully for damage and signs of heat, dust, fire extinguisher remains, etc. Altered skin-care products may cause an adverse reaction to your skin, and medications will likely not work the way they were intended, which can be very dangerous. It is usually better to discard items that you’re not completely sure about.
In the end, the health and safety of you and your family is more important than salvaging items that can be replaced easily. Fire restoration companies can help with any other belongings you’re unsure of whether you should throw away or recover.

How to Use Landscaping as a Tool to Protect Your Home

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Plant trees far enough away from your home to avoid root overgrowth damage to your foundation

Gardening Techniques that Will Work to Your Advantage After a Storm

Are you looking for motivation to get outside and working in the garden? The good news is, landscaping doesn't have to be just for looks. While bright flowers and well-trimmed hedged may add your Pico Rivera, CA home's curb appeal, a properly planned yard may do even more to protect your home from outside flooding. See how some of the most basic gardening techniques can work to your advantage after a storm.

Install Sloped Flower Beds

Proper drainage is everything when it comes to good gardening technique. While you want your plants to have access to the right amount of water, too much water can be bad for your landscape and your home. Sitting water can seep below the soil and become stored as ground water. Following a large rain storm, home flooding may not be far behind. Install flower beds with a slight slope away from your home to reap the following benefits:

  • Protect your home's foundation
  • Prevent water from pooling-up near your house
  • Allow runoff to flow away naturally

Plant Bushes and Shrubbery

While many homeowners tend to focus their landscaping efforts in the front yard, plants and shrubbery all around the home's perimeter can have protective benefits. Plants like small hedges or flowering bushes will soak-up water from storms providing naturally-occurring rain drainage. Water below the surface can be absorbed by the plants roots and prevent major outside flooding from destroying your landscape.

Place Trees Strategically

Although some homeowners are weary about planting trees in the yard, trees can pose several positive benefits for the prevention of flooding. Plant trees far enough away from your home to avoid root overgrowth damage to your foundation. Plant trees that get up to 40 feet tall to catch heavy rainfall and absorb groundwater before it reaches your home's interior. Use trees as a barrier to defend your home from heavy wind and rain storms. Be sure to keep drains cleared of leaves and debris each fall to avert water pooling on the roof.
Using these basic landscaping tools you can better defend your home from outside flooding and storm damage.

Safely Restore Electronics After a Commercial Fire

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

The best practice for any and all electronics, is to unplug them and leave them powered off

Safely Restore Electronics After a Commercial Fire

Commercial disasters are often unavoidable, and an electrical fire can be especially devastating, not only to your building but also to your electronics. Smoke can infiltrate even the smallest of crevices and can cause electronics a number of problems, from short-circuiting to overheating, if not cleaned properly. To ensure your electronics’ greatest chance of survival, follow these three steps:

1. Unplug

The most important rule when it comes to smoke-damaged electronics is to immediately unplug them and to avoid powering them up until a thorough cleaning is completed. Smoke damage can occur in rooms that weren’t directly affected by the electrical fire, so the best practice for any and all electronics, from kitchen appliances to cell phones, is to unplug them and leave them powered off until the actual damage is determined and remedied. 

2. Remove Storage and Memory

Many electronics have internal memory and/or storage, and you can use that to your advantage when it comes to computer cleanup and restoration. To protect the information your computer has stored, remove the hard drive and place it in a secure location to assess the amount of cleaning it needs before taking the next step: extracting the data. The other parts of the computer may not be salvageable, depending on the degree of smoke damage inside. 

3. Hire Professionals

Initially, it’s imperative to assess damage and take immediate action to minimize further issues. Now that you’ve done everything you can, it’s time to call on the services of emergency restoration professionals. To the cost-conscious business owner in Santa Fe Springs, CA, the do-it-yourself option may sound ideal. However, the risk of losing valuable electronics and data, plus downtime, could end up being much more costly in the long run.

Making sense of the damage from an electrical fire can be overwhelming to you as a business owner. Hiring a professional restoration service can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve taken every reasonable step available. Rest easy with the confidence that you have partnered with a reliable restoration company that is Here to Help.