Recent Posts

Here’s What You Can Do if You Suspect You Have Hidden Mold in Your Home

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on white background, fungus on white background, bacteria on white surface, Mold growth on white surface Black mold growth in Pico Rivera, CA

Homes in Pico Rivera, CA, have seen a significant increase in black mold growth in recent years. This may not represent an actual increase of cases; it may be the result of better awareness and detection by an indoor environmental specialist. Either way, it can result in damaged walls and potentially impact the home’s structural integrity.
In some cases, you can perform a mold inspection yourself. Signs of mold include

  • Visible mold spots or black streaks on walls
  • A musty or mildew smell in a specific area of the home
  • A recent flood or water damage from a pipe leak

However, many cases of mold intrusion can be hidden behind walls. If you suspect that’s the case, you need to have an indoor environmental specialist perform a mold test.

Professionals Use High-Tech Equipment

Mold testing experts have a deep understanding of indoor air pollutants, and it’s this knowledge, combined with experience, that gives them the biggest edge in finding hidden mold. However, they also use cutting-edge equipment to locate elevated levels of moisture and mold spores.
Probably the most important tool the professionals use is the air sampling mold test. This will collect a set volume of air in your home, which will then be sent to an accredited laboratory for detailed analysis. Particle scanners also sample the air and provide an instant reading of the size and number of particulates suspended in the environment. If a positive test results, a full inspection should be performed.
Another set of tools is the hygro-thermometer and moisture meters. With the hygro-thermometer, an indoor environmental specialist can determine if a room has a relative humidity that’s too high. The moisture meter can detect if a surface is retaining too much water. Both conditions are excellent breeding grounds for mold.
If mold is discovered growing in your home, you need a professional mold restoration company to locate and fix the cause, then repair the damage. Ideally, choose a local company with years of experience dealing with black mold.

4 Things to Expect During Storm Damage Restoration

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Four air movers placed in a hallway on a carpet for drying purposes. Drying equipment. Storm damage and drying equipment placed in Santa Fe Springs, CA

4 Things to Expect During Storm Damage Restoration

If your business has been affected by a storm in Santa Fe Springs, CA, then you will most likely need to have repairs done before you can continue work as usual. There are many steps to the restoration process and, depending on the severity of the damage, a tear out may be required. If this is the case, you can expect the following steps.

1. Water Removal
The first step during storm restoration will be to remove any excess water that has accumulated. If left for extended periods, this moisture can cause damage to the building. It can warp wood, rust metal and increase the chances of mold growth.

2. Thorough Drying
After the water is removed, the building will need to be dried to prevent secondary water damage from occurring. If possible, windows and doors should be left open during this step to increase air circulation. The use of fans and dehumidifiers can speed up the process as well.

3. Material Replacement
Depending on the amount and type of water involved, you may need to have some of the materials in your building replaced. Carpet and drywall, for example, are very absorbent which can make them difficult to clean. Flood water carries high levels of bacteria and contaminants, so if this water has entered the building, the likelihood of needing to tear out and replace certain materials will increase.

4. Building Restoration and Repairs
The final step is to return your building to its pre-storm condition. During this step, any torn out materials will be replaced, and affected areas will be repaired. In some cases, this may include rebuilding walls, floors or roofing. Minor repairs, such as repainting, will be done as well. Electronics and furniture may also need to be restored.
Whether the damage is severe enough to require a tear out of materials or is contained to a few leaks, it is best to have repairs done by a professional. Hiring a clean up and restoration service will give you the best results. With their training and equipment, they can have your building back in shape quickly without sacrificing quality work.

How to Deodorize a Smelly Microwave Oven

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup of hand in protective glove wiping rag microwave. View from the interior of the oven Take a cloth and clean all the particles and dust from the inside of your microwave

Here are Some 3 Tips for Deodorizing Microwave Ovens

A microwave oven is a modern-day blessing that speeds up cooking while preserving most of the nutritional value. However, this trusty kitchen appliance can also be the source of a strong smell caused by the tiny pieces of burnt popcorn, fish and other food particles that stick on its surfaces. That is why you need to do regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it in good shape for as long as possible.
Here are some 3 tips for deodorizing microwave ovens that have worked for people in Pico Rivera, CA and beyond:

  • Replace filters regularly
  • Clean often

Replacing the Filters

The number one secret to an odor-free microwave oven is changing the filter regularly. A charcoal filter, for example, works by absorbing small particles. The tiny pores eventually fill up, leading to smoke smell when in use. Most manufacturers recommend that you should change charcoal filters every six months, but that only applies to setups with no vent grill.

Cleaning the Appliance

To eliminate smoke smell and other nasty odors from your oven, try steam cleaning it. Put a bowl of water with a little vinegar in the oven and heat it for 2-3 minutes. Take a cloth and clean all the particles and dust from the inside. You can also replace vinegar with baking soda, orange peels or lemon peels and still get the same result. Then repeat this process regularly to maintain proper hygiene standards.
Alternatively, open a new box of baking soda and leave it in the oven overnight. That will kill most of the microorganisms in the appliance. Then rub it clean with a cloth and alcohol.
There’s no doubt that smoke smell can be alarming, especially when it comes from an oven. Even so, that should not be a problem now that you have these tips. Besides, everything you need is in the kitchen right now.

Matters to Consider When Developing a Fire Contingency Plan

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Computer with hard drive Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive or cloud in case of fire damage

What Items Should Be Considered When Developing One of These Plans?

Your Pico Rivera, CA, business is your livelihood and you want to prepare it and your employees for any situation that might arise. After all, once a disaster occurs your mind will be racing and you’ll have enough to deal with. You won’t be in the frame of mind to try to think of everything that needs to be done. A contingency plan should be developed and shared with all employees so that if the unthinkable happens, the road to recovery will be as smooth as possible. So, what items should be considered when developing one of these plans?

1. Backup Critical Data

Oftentimes when commercial buildings experience a fire, computer systems will receive a lot of damage, possibly destroying not only the computers themselves but also the critical data that they hold. Ideally, they are backed up onto the cloud, but any form of secure backup that can be locked in a fire-proof safe or off-site could literally save your business.

2. Keep the Plan Updated

Things in your business are ever-changing. Regularly checking your contingency plan for possible needed updates ensures that all information is correct. Notify employees of any major edits to the information, especially to the evacuation plan.

3. Evaluate Insurance Coverage

Checking with your insurance agent is one step that you can take right away. Make sure that you have enough coverage to handle any possible disaster. Not carrying the proper coverage could bankrupt your business, possibly forcing you to close it permanently.

4. Plan for Backup Resources and Alternative Temporary Locations

Getting your business back up and running is crucial for you and your employees’ financial needs. Make plans for backup resources such as computer and other equipment leasing, as well as a temporary location from which to operate.
A contingency plan will serve you and your employees well, should a fire occur at your business. Be sure to call on fire damage remediation professionals to get your property back up to code as soon as possible.

Preventing Mold in Your Restaurant

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Professional technician cleaning a commercial kitchen Cleaning a commercial kitchen in Santa Fe Springs, CA

4 Rules To Reduce Mold Infestation

As a restaurant owner or manager, you know the importance of vigilance in mold growth inspections. Finding fungus growing in any area or on anything can lead to the shutdown of all operations, which is costly. Therefore, prevention becomes paramount. Stick to the following four rules to reduce the threat of a mold infestation.

  • Routine cleaning of heavy moisture areas
  • Regularly cycle stock
  • Maintain ventilation systems
  • Annual inspections or assessments

Routine Cleaning of Heavy Moisture Areas

Mold thrives in warm and damp environments. Unfortunately, commercial kitchens provide high humidity levels and plenty of warmth. Therefore, to aid in mold prevention, focus cleaning efforts on those high moisture areas, especially under and around appliances.

Regularly Cycle Stock

Restaurants should be mostly concerned about mold growth on food stock. The best way to prevent this is to cycle inventory, meaning using the oldest products first and disposing of anything that is expired. Also, be sure to clean your walk-ins and food storage often.

Maintain Ventilation Systems

Next, your ventilation systems are vital to reducing excess moisture and eliminating other mold-causing contaminants, like grease and food particles, in the air. Therefore, check these systems to ensure that everything is operating as it should.

Annual Inspections or Assessments

Last, contact plumbing professionals or mold remediation companies in Santa Fe Springs, CA, to inspect or assess your property for possible water damage. Again, mold needs moisture to thrive, be sure that your restaurant is doing everything possible to minimize access to water sources.
Mold growth is likely a constant threat to restaurants and other commercial kitchens because of the humidity levels and abundance of food. However, the threat of growth does not have to equate to actual development. If you are vigilant about mold prevention by cleaning, cycling stock, maintaining ventilation and performing inspections, then you can reduce the threat and risk of mold development and spread.

How Electronic Claims Services Can Benefit You and Your Client

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Claim Document . Electronic mail. Electronic claims services simplify the process for both the client and the insurance company

When your job is to help business owners recover from property damage and property disasters, you see first-hand how stressful the cleanup and restoration process can be. You likely want to do everything you can to streamline the insurance claim process, so that administrative lags aren’t among your clients’ list of worries. Electronic claims are state-of-the-art information platforms offered by some disaster remediation companies. When you see the benefits of this service to you and your clients, you may not want to do without it again.

Electronic Claims Platforms

SERVPRO is a national disaster restoration provider that has developed a convenient online claims platform. The service helps clients with the day-to-day organizational and administrative tasks associated with a claim for cleanup and restoration. Some of the items that may be available on an electronic insurance claim portal include:

  • A library of forms needed to file a claim
  • Centralized electronic storage for all claims
  • paperwork
  • First Notice of Loss paperwork
  • Detailed estimates
  • Inventories and digital photos of client losses

Electronic claims services simplify the process for both the client and the insurance company. Easy access to documents and important resources help all parties stay in control of each step of the claims process.

Benefits of Electronic Claims to the Insurance Company

With online access to claims, you can quickly access files from completed jobs, pending jobs and new claims. The electronic platform for an insurance claim will generally provide access to internal reports, such as job cost data and performance comparisons across the industry. Partnering with a vendor like SERVPRO, a preferred provider for many insurance companies, can give you a competitive advantage. When your Pico Rivera, CA, clients see the many benefits of an electronic claims platform, you may find new referrals coming in.
Recovery from a disaster is an unsettling experience for a business owner, and it requires a complex set of skills for the insurance agent. Any benefit that relieves stress and streamlines tasks for either party is a big plus. Electronic claims services fall squarely in the good-idea category for all involved.

Understanding Category 3 Water Damage

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flooded business in Santa Fe Springs, CA

Unwanted water in your Santa Fe Springs, CA, business should not be taken lightly. Even a little bit of standing water left unattended can turn into a big problem. If that water isn’t coming directly from a broken pipe or faucet, it isn’t ordinary water. Damage from events such as a toilet overflow or flood water is considered Category 3.

What Is Category 3 Damage?

Unlike clean water or grey water damage, which have few contaminants, Category 3 is black water. It is highly contaminated and should be cleaned up by a professional water remediation expert to ensure it is safely and properly removed. This type of damage typically occurs from:

  • Cracked or broken sewer lines
  • Sewer mains that are backed up
  • Flash flooding or extensive rain
  • Hurricane flooding

The bacteria in toilets can also cause this type of damage to floors, fixtures, walls and baseboards. It can quickly spread to porous materials in your business, which can lead to mold growth and extensive repairs.

Dealing with Damage

Once flood water stops rising, you may be tempted to get a mop and bucket out to start the cleanup process. Category 3 water has pathogens that require complex procedures to stop it from spreading to sheetrock, carpet, flooring, furniture and other items. By calling in an expert, you get a highly trained professional who adheres to industry standards and is certified in eradicating the damage. Doing so will reduce exposure for you, employees, customer and vendors. It also provides peace of mind that any hidden mold or other issues are addressed the right way. Water damage experts not only take care of the restoration, but they also strive to salvage affected items as much as possible.
Safety when dealing with flood water should be a top priority. Count on a professional to safely take care of the problem and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Three Categories of Water

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to the water flooding into your Pico Rivera, CA business, there are generally three types: black water, gray water, and white water. The differences between these categories are significant and definitely impact the actions you need to take as you work to correct water damage and get your business back into its previous condition.

Clean, or White, Water

This flood water may come directly from a kitchen sink or a hose attached to the building. It doesn't pose any serious threats to human health. However, when it is present in your company building, it could be absorbed into walls and floors within minutes. After just a couple of hours, furniture may begin to warp, and metal begins to tarnish. Within two days, mold begins to grow and spread. Finally, after a week, the structural safety of your building will be affected.

Gray Water

Water that falls into this category isn't suitable for drinking or consumption, but you may consider using it to water the landscape around your business. It hasn't come into contact with human waste, so the chances of being exposed to diseases and bacteria are much less than with other flood water. This water may contain soap, oil, fats, hair, and bits of human skin. Of course, housekeeping chemicals may also be present, so be careful before entering the water or trying to clean up water damage. It is possible for people to become sick or experience discomfort from exposure.

Black Water

This water may be wastewater from toilets or the sewer system, containing dangerous pathogens, feces, urine, and other contaminants. The waste in this water often carries disease-causing bacteria, and even a little bit of exposure can lead to illnesses. If storm damage has exposed your buildings, property, and belongings to this category of water, you need experienced flood cleanup experts to handle the mess.

Water damage isn't all the same. A quick response is crucial whether you're dealing with clean, gray, or black water. Any flood damage should be treated carefully for your own health and for the welfare of the people who come and go each day.  Click here for more information.

How To Make an Estimate For Fire Damage

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Short circuit - burnt cable Fire damage in a commercial Santa Fe Springs, CA

Fire damage is the fourth most common type of small business claim and the third most costly, according to The Hartford. The average insurance claim total is $35,000. There are several factors to consider when making an estimate of damage to a commercial structure in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

Extent of Damage

A minor fire will likely to cost less to restore than a major disaster. A property owner may want to consider:

  • How many square feet of a structure are damaged
  • Whether adjacent businesses or buildings have sustained damage
  • The condition of building materials and contents

Cleanup and restoration costs will be higher if most of a building is damaged or a fire has affected neighboring properties. It may not be necessary to file a claim if a small fire was extinguished before spreading.

Cleaning Costs

A commercial fire cleaning service has the expertise and equipment necessary to quickly clean up and restore damage. Professional cleaning may allow for a shorter interruption in business. Most commercial property insurance policies cover restoration services.

Repair or Replacement

The amount of building materials and contents that can be cleaned or repaired or which must be disposed of and replaced also impacts the overall cost of fire restoration. Gather proof of purchase when making an estimate and ensure your policy covers replacement costs.

Duration of Interruption

The longer a business is closed due to fire, the more revenue will be lost. An interruption rider on a commercial insurance policy can be applied to:

  • Continued expenses
  • Loss of revenue
  • Temporary relocation costs

Damage restoration can take weeks. Check policy limits to make sure that sufficient coverage is available. It may be possible to avoid filing an interruption claim if a business can operate out of another part of the affected structure or a temporary location.

These guidelines can be helpful in making preliminary calculations. Property owners should also obtain an estimate from a fire damage cleanup and restoration company in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

Quick Guide To Category 3 Water Damage

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Two cars and a house under dirty water - Text on image that says CATEGORY 3 Water damage in Santa Fe Springs, CA

Flood water at your business in Santa Fe Springs, CA, may be a minor inconvenience or a major undertaking. This depends on how much water is present, how quickly drying procedures are initiated and the category of water damage.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage?

There are three categories of water damage. Category 1 is considered fresh water from a clean source such as a broken supply line or overflowed sink. Category 2 is referred to as gray water, as it is contaminated but does not usually contain viruses or bacteria. Category 3 is the most time intensive to address:

  • Category 3 is otherwise known as black water due to the high level of contamination. Black flood water contains bacteria, viruses and microorganisms.
  • Touching or ingesting black water can make you very ill. Professional water restoration specialists use protective safety gear and equipment when dealing with this type of water damage to avoid contact.
  • Causes include toilet overflow, sewage back up from an exterior line or storm water.

How Is Black Water Cleaned?

With all types of water damage, take immediate action. Mold grows in as little as 48 hours after flooding. Steps for water damage from contaminated sources include:

  • A containment area is constructed to prevent other parts of your business from being contaminated by the black water or airborne bacteria and viruses.
  • Excess water is removed with professional grade pumps and vacuums.
  • Structures and contents that are porous easily soak up the black water, therefore the materials are removed from the premises and discarded.
  • The impacted areas are dried and monitored for hidden moisture.
  • Building structures and inventory are cleaned, disinfected and sanitized. Air is filtered.

Take immediate action when your commercial property in Santa Fe Springs, CA, experiences flood water from a toilet overflow or storm. Although the steps may be time consuming, it is necessary to properly clean and sanitize the building and materials to return your business to preloss condition.