Recent Posts

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.

The High Costs of Minor Water Leaks

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Hail and wind are one of the most common commercial property damage claims

With everything there is to worry about when managing properties, a leaky sink may not feel like your top priority. However, even a minor water leak can quickly add up. Some estimates say that one drip is equivalent to 1/3 of a millimeter, equaling 11,350 drips per gallon. It doesn't seem like much of a problem until you calculate 10 to 60 drips per minute. That's equal to up to seven gallons of water wasted each day! If there are multiple leaks on your property, those numbers increase very quickly.

Don't Overlook Minor Leaks

The most common commercial property damage claims are

  • Theft and burglary
  • Water and freezing damage
  • Hail and wind
  • Fire damage
  • Customer slips and falls

Claims relating to water come in second to losses from burglary. Those water damage claims are often related to damage due to weather, such as frozen pipes, and sudden events, such as a pipe break. The common occurrence of these issues prompts many property owners to maintain a clear focus on protecting the pipes. Those same property managers tend to overlook the costly results of a dripping faucet.

Recognize the Problem

A small water leak, anywhere along the plumbing system, can lead to extensive damage and expensive repairs. These costs are related to hikes in the monthly water bill as described above, unchecked mold growth, and damage to flooring and fixtures. In many cases, the damage builds up little by little and goes unnoticed until real harm has been done.

Watch for and Correct Leaks

What can you do? Of course, if you notice a leaky faucet, the best course is to complete repairs right away. Hidden leaks are trickier; of course, you need to know there's a leak in order to fix it. Watch out for signs of trouble:

  • Musty smells under sinks or near pipes
  • Unexplained water in the yard
  • Increased water bills
  • The appearance of water stains

Property owners can often tackle minor repairs, but major leaks require the attention of water damage repair and restoration professionals.
Is there evidence of a water leak on your Pico Rivera, CA, property? Take action right away to avoid financial losses and extensive property damage.

What Can You Do When You Discover Water Damage?

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

It is helpful to mop up what you can where water has collected

What to Do When You Discover Water Damage in Your Home

As a homeowner in Santa Fe Springs, CA, water damage from flooding can seem scary. It could potentially cause serious structural damage to your home and ruin precious belongings. It's important to know what to do when it happens to you.

1. Stem the Flow

If the water in home you discover is the result of a leak or plumbing issue, turn off the water line to prevent it from getting worse. It is helpful to mop up what you can and wipe down any surfaces where water has collected. Remove valuable items from the area if possible. You can protect your furniture by placing tin foil where it makes contact with the ground. Once you have finished this, stay away from the area to prevent injury by slipping and falling.

2. Contact Your Insurance Company

Your insurance company may provide some insight into how to proceed. If you are covered for flooding or water damage, they may have a list of reputable companies that they recommend. This will also make your wallet happy. If you're not covered, this is a great opportunity to discuss expanding your policy to include this in the future. As a natural phenomenon, floods aren't something you can prevent.

3. Call Professional Restoration Services

Your next step should be to call water damage restoration services to return your home to working order. First they will assess the damage- this is pertinent to your insurance company. They will attempt to remove all water, dry and dehumidify the effected areas, sanitize what doesn't need to be removed and restore what they can. This includes kitchen repair, as this room is a likely place for water damage to occur.

Water damage and flooding scenarios can turn into a nightmare if left untreated. Mold and structural damage can quickly follow. Be sure to take the appropriate steps if this should happen to you!

Commercial Water Damage in Pico Rivera

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage in Pico Rivera. SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Pico Rivera / Santa Fe Springs was there to help.

Recently, we received a commercial water job after hours in Pico Rivera, CA. A warehouse got completed flooded, about 8000 sq ft. was affected including offices and a bathroom. Water damage restoration was necessary.

Commercial Water Restoration

The different steps that we applied for water mitigation included:

  • Containment to prevent spores and dust escaping to clean areas.
  • Removal of wet drywall and insulation.
  • Cleaned and disinfected to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Set up equipment to fully dry the affected area.
  • After the drying process is completed, a test needs to be done to ensure its dry and bacteria won't grow.
  • Final step is construction.  

Our job is to help people restore their lives after a catastrophe. Give us a call at any time if  you or one of your clients needs our help.

Identifying Black Mold: It's Not Always Easy

5/26/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold damage in a Pico Rivera, CA home

Black mold is a term that sends shivers down just about anyone's spine for several reasons. One reason homeowners dread the term is because of the damage this type of house mold can wreak on the home's structure. If you suspect your home has mold, contact your Pico Rivera, CA, mold remediation team right away to perform a mold inspection.

Identifying the Most Feared of All Molds

Despite its name, black fungus is not always black. For this reason, it's not always easy for homeowners to identify this type of fungus on their own. Some ways you can differentiate between common, non-toxic house molds and black mold are as follows:

  • It's Slimy and Dark in Color: Black fungus is slimy to the touch and usually dark greenish-black in color. Sometimes it is gray. However, the color is drastically different than that of other molds, which tend to be white, green, blue or yellow in nature.
  • It Will Be Dampened Down: Black fungi looks like it's been wet down and stomped on.
  • It Will Be Concentrated: Though this type of mold can spread, it does not spread as easily as other types of mold. If a mold inspection reveals it's concentrated, you may be dealing with dreaded black mold.

Ridding Your Home of Mold

Regardless of the type of mold you're dealing with, the best thing you can do to preserve the integrity of your home is to let a Pico Rivera, CA, mold remediation specialist do what is necessary to rid your home of the growth. Professional remediation is the most effective way to get rid of house mold, as professionals know where to look for mold, how to identify it and what methods work best on which types of mold.

If your recent mold inspection revealed the presence of fungus, let the expert finish the job. Expert remediation can mean the difference between ridding your house of the fungus for good and having a recurrent problem on your hands.

How To File an Insurance Claim After a Fire

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Santa Fe Springs, CA fire restoration

There are many reasons why you purchase homeowner’s insurance though it won’t cover every incident that will occur on your Santa Fe Springs, CA, property. Insurance coverage for fires is essential to take care of fire restoration. In order to get the financial help you need to clean up after a house fire, it’s vital that you take the right steps.

Timing Is Everything

Your primary concern in the aftermath of a fire is your own safety and that of your family members. Your next step should be to act quickly and contact your fire insurance company. Here’s why swift action is necessary:

  • This can help get the rebuilding and cleanup process going so you can be back on your feet.
  • It’ll reduce stress and anxiety.
  • It’ll help ensure the insurance company and the professional fire restoration company works hand in hand.

Speak With Your Agent

The first item on your list to file a fire claim is to chat with your insurance agent. Explain to the provider the nature and extent of the fire — what caused it and what was damaged. After you speak to the agent, take photos of the damaged areas and items and send the photos to the company. This should all happen before any restoration takes place.

Keep Your Hands Off

After a fire, you’ll notice the need for smoke cleaning. This may tempt you to remove items from your home and try to clean them yourself. However, not only is it best for the professionals to handle this task, but also touching your belongings could damage them further. In this case, your policy may not cover the damages.

Protect the Structure

Quite often, firefighting measures may leave the residence vulnerable with broken windows or holes in the roof. Keep your home intact and avoid other issues by hiring a team of restoration specialists to board up the roof, windows and other gaps in the structure.

Once you complete all these procedures, the insurance team can assess the damage and determine coverage. Fire restoration can start once the insurance company approves repairs and payment.

What Is Black Water?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Floodwaters that contain sewage backup are classified as “black” water

Flooding in your commercial facility is concerning at any level. From a small leak to a large body of sitting water, extensive damage can occur quickly. While there are different degrees of water damage severity, one of the most worrisome forms of flooding to encounter is black water.

What Is It?

Essentially, floodwaters that contain sewage backup are classified as “black” water because of their contaminated nature. Raw sewage water is equivalent to filthy toilet water. When a severe storm occurs, excess water may overflow out the sewer system rising above ground level. These filthy waters may rise up through drains and into your Pico Rivera, CA, business place. Avoid contact with murky flood water at all costs as they can contain the following unsanitary substances:

  • Feces
  • Urine
  • Bacteria
  • Other hazardous waste

What Are Its Effects?

The water damage done by polluted water can affect many substances. Associated with this type of flooding is a high degree of stench and stain. Upholstered goods may be left with a dark tint that is difficult to remove. In addition, the smell of mildew and sewage odors may permeate your once-pristine workspace. Address black water flooding with caution and steer clear of touching or ingesting said waters.

How Can a Commercial Business Recover From Damage Caused by Black Water?

When facing commercial building damage created by contaminated waste water, there is no quick fix. First and foremost, instruct all staff members to leave the facility and avoid contact with contaminated water. Next, contact the local waterworks to inform them of the severity of the situation. Finally, to address the issue of restoration, work with a professional disaster cleanup team. Professionals have the right tools and safety training to ensure that safe and extensive sanitation takes place.

Remember, if you encounter contaminated water damage in your Pico Rivera, CA, business, think safety first. Restoration efforts should always follow the initial concern of human welfare.