Recent Posts

Mold vs. Mildew: How Are They Different?

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

man holding mold test To minimize mold damage, learn more.

Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, you have probably seen mildew buildup in your home. You may have associated it with mold, but there are some differences between these unwanted guests. Mold damage can cause significant concerns, while you should be able to take care of mildew without a lot of trouble.


There Are Some Similarities


It's easy to see why people confuse these two. Both are types of fungi that thrive in moist, humid environments such as showers, basements or under sinks. Other characteristics they share include:

Both mold and mildew growth can be rapid if ignored.
Both can grow on just about any surface.
Both can cause damage to your Pico Rivera, CA home.

Growth Differences


It is easier to see mildew than it is to detect mold growth. Mildew has flat growth, meaning it stays on the surface. Mold, conversely, can get beneath the surface. Mold also grows on food and inside structures, while mildew can be found on clothes, wet areas and paper.


Cleanup


Because mildew appears right on the surface, you should be able to clean it without professional assistance. With household cleaning products, you can wipe or scrub away mildew. Most of the time, however, you'll want to call upon the expertise of a professional mold removal company to get rid of mold. The professionals can tackle this problem, even if there is severe mold damage. These crews have the right equipment and tactics to clean and sanitize the area.


How They Look


Mold comes in different colors and has a slimy or fuzzy appearance. It also comes in splotches. Mildew looks more powdery and fluffy. Though it begins with a white or gray color, it will eventually turn brown. It also grows in a flat pattern across surfaces.


To minimize mold damage, it is important to differentiate between these two fungi. The more you know about each one, the better response you can have when you detect them.

Create Your Own Evacuation Plan

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

fire drill on wall Create a clear Fire Drill for your family incase of a fire

While it is something that is never expected, a home fire in Pico Rivera, CA, can happen quickly, often without warning. It can come while you are sleeping, while you are away or in the middle of the day. Depending upon the structure of your home, you probably won't need to construct a fire escape on the outside of your house, but you will need to think clearly about how to get everyone out safely. The goal is to get all beating hearts out of the house in a mater of seconds. Special attention should be given to children, the elderly, those with disabilities and pets.


Fire Preparation


A fire escape plan should be given some serious thought. The main features of a home plan include these critical steps:

Place fire alarms in each bedroom and on every level of the home
Check alarm batteries to ensure they are in working condition
Identify the best escape routes in a home fire
Engage in regular fire drills, say twice a year
Make sure everyone knows the emergency number for the fire department
Resist the desire to re-enter your home during a fire

If you have security widows with bars, make sure there is an override and everyone knows how o operate it. Make sure everyone has two paths to exit, even if one is a window.


Fire Cleanup


While safety is by far the most important concern with a fire, a few important steps can be helpful after a fire. Even a small fire makes a mess and results in everything from soot damage to water damage. By calling in a fire remediation team in Pico Rivera, CA, you help speed up this process.

One important concern is the protection of your home if it is exposed and less secure against intruders or weather. A fire escape plan protects your family from injuries, while a fast, professional cleanup protects against additional property losses.

5 Ways To Use Landscaping to Help Prevent Flood Damage

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Five Ways to Use Your Landscaping to Prevent Flooding

When you live in. Santa Fe Springs,CA, outside flooding may be one issue your residence faces. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to use your home’s landscaping to help mitigate this problem. Here are five possible ways to use your landscaping to prevent flooding.

1. Slopes and Swalls

One way to deal with an overflow of water from a rain storm, is to incorporate slopes and swalls into your landscaping. This uses the terrain to direct water away from the building and into designated drainage areas.

2. Drainage

Many water damage restoration experts recommend maintaining your drainage areas to help prevent water overflow. Whether you have concrete gutters or earthen irrigation ditches, it’s important to keep these areas free of debris such as sticks and gathered leaves.

3. Rain Gardens

Another way many people help prevent outside flooding is through the use of a rain garden. These are beds of plants that have been designed to allow water to pool and gradually soak back into the ground.

4. Deep Rooting Plants

The use of deep rooted and water loving plants can also help with potential flooding. These plants won’t wash away in times of heavy rain, and will also absorb the gathered water more quickly than other plant options.

5. Heavy Mulch

Another thing to consider with rain drainage is the use of heavier mulch. This will help prevent any from floating away in the water and clogging drainage areas.

These five landscaping treatments can help you prevent outside flooding before it causes damage to your home. Use the slope of the yard to direct water away from your home’s foundation, and keep any drainage areas clear of debris. Using heavier mulch can also help keep drainage pathways clear. You may want to consider utilizing deep rooting plants or setting up a rain garden. Remember, if you have any questions a professional may be able to help.

How Can You Prepare Your Business for Winter Storms?

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

A girl watching the news Keeping an eye on your local weather can make it easier to prepare for a storm

Take Several Measures to Prepare For a Winter Storm

A snow storm can cause devastating amounts of damage to a business in Pico Rivera, CA, especially if it isn't prepared. Fortunately, businesses can take several measures to prepare for winter storms.

1. Watch Your Local Weather

Keeping an eye on your local weather can make it easier to prepare for a storm. If meteorologists suggest that a winter storm is likely to affect your area, you can contact your staff ahead of time to remind them of any storm protocols. Additionally, if you know when a storm will likely affect your area, you can make contingency plans in case your organization temporarily needs to close its doors.

2. Prep Your Building

There are various steps you can take to prepare your building for a snow storm. To prevent a pipe burst, allow the faucets in your building to drip and keep the building temperature well above freezing. Additionally, check for any openings that allow cold air into the structure. It can be useful to have contact information for emergency restoration services handy in case the property sustains damage in the storm.

3. Allow Employees To Work From Home

A winter storm can make it difficult for your staff to commute to your business. Roads that haven't been treated prior to the storm may be slick, and cold temperatures can slow the melting process. Consider allowing your employees to telecommute when they are not able to get to work. Setting up a system beforehand that allows you to communicate online with your employees can ensure that your business doesn't come to a halt just because a storm has occurred.
Though you can't prevent a snow storm, you can avert damage and keep yourself and your staff safe by preparing for it. Watching your local weather, ensuring that your building is prepped and allowing employees to work from home can all help when preparing for a winter storm.

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. 

When To Contact Insurance After Water Damage

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Wooden bricks in the shape of a house, the hands of a person sliding a piece of wood with the word INSURANCE Most people only begin to scrutinize their insurance policy after disaster strikes

When To Contact Insurance After Water Damage

Water in the home is one of the most devastating and most common situations a homeowner can face. Everything from bursting pipes to a flood to a failed appliance has the potential to bring gallons of water where it is not wanted. When this happens in Santa Fe Springs, CA, it is time to make a few quick phone calls. The first should go to water mitigation professionals to get the situation under control. The next phone call should go to the insurance company to get a damage assessment and to find out what is covered. Since each policy is different it can be difficult for homeowners to know which types of water events are covered and which ones are excluded.

Insurance Tips

Most people only begin to scrutinize their insurance policy after disaster strikes. However, a good rule of thumb is to spend some time with the agent when the policy is being written. Special attention should be focused on the following situations:

  • Flooding
  • Bursting pipes
  • Overflowing toilets or sewage lines
  • Raining that comes into the house

In most cases, for the water damage to be covered, it has to be a sudden, one-time event. Gradual damage that occurs over time is often excluded; therefore, homeowners should fix broken pipe as soon as it occurs. Property owners who know the basics of their home insurance policy are less likely to be surprised by a claim denial.
Sometimes insurance coverage for water damage is unavailable or it is prohibitively expensive. For example, if a home exists in a flood plain the insurance company may be reluctant or unwilling to cover a property against flooding.

Cleanup Keys

If bursting pipes cause harm to a home, getting a water remediation team in Santa Fe Springs, CA, to the site quickly may limit the overall damage. This is a smart move no matter how much insurance will ultimately cover.

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".