Recent Posts

Two Simple Space Heater Tips to Keep You Warm and Safe

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Space heater Space heaters are considered an economical

Every year in the United States, a whopping 25,000 home fires and 300 fatalities are attributed to a burned space heater. As many as 6,000 get burned seriously enough to go to the hospital for treatment.
Space heaters are considered an economical means to spot heat a home in Santa Fe Springs, CA, but when used incorrectly, the results are terrifying. If you plan on using one, here are a couple of simple facts you should know to stay safe and cozy.

Space Is the Key

An actual burned space heater is fairly unusual. What most typically happens is that it catches something else around it on fire. The three biggest culprits are

  • Blankets and bedding
  • Combustible furniture, especially upholstery
  • Curtains

Having adequate space around the heater is absolutely critical to safety. Even the safety devices installed in newer ones will do nothing if it lights a curtain on fire. A bare minimum of 3 feet must be clear around the heater. If the heat is aimed in a direction, it should be clear for at least 5 feet.
Safety Features Are Great but Not Always Reliable
Many space heaters include several safety features to reduce the risks. Any space heater you buy should be certified by either Underwriter’s Laboratories or a similar facility. Look for the UL symbol on the box.
They should always include an automatic shutoff when the unit is tipped over. You should check this sensor at least once a month by tipping the unit and ensuring it cuts off fully. If the cord is damaged in any way, either throw it away or have it repaired by a qualified electrician.
Some space heaters include GFCI protection. Never use a space heater around water that isn’t certified GFCI – and test it before you do.
Smoke damage from a burned space heater or items that it caught on fire can be a big deal. It gets everywhere and is incredibly stubborn to remove. Typically, smoke cleanup is best left to a professional restoration company used to dealing with major fire damage. The best smoke absorption solvents are generally restricted to licensed fire cleanup companies.

Should You Test Visible Mold?

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of a person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in Pico Rivera, CA

If mold is visible to the untrained eye at a building in Pico Rivera, CA, the property owner or manager may debate whether to call in an indoor environmental specialist prior to cleanup. While it is helpful to know more about the type of mold that is present, such as whether a species is toxigenic, the presence of practically any type of mold calls for remediation. Here are a few guidelines for determining when to contact a specialist.

Determine the Severity of an Infestation

Just because some mold is visible does not mean you see the entirety of the problem. Having a property inspected can provide a more informed sense of the extent of a mold infestation. Several factors may require the use of full containment measures:

  • A building with occupied areas
  • Mold contamination covering more than 100 square feet
  • Toxigenic mold species

Full containment requires double layers of polyethylene sheathing and an airlock or decontamination chamber. Testing by an indoor environmental specialist provides a clearer picture of the entirety of a mold problem early in this process.

Plan for Cleanup and Remediation
If the owner or manager of a commercial building pursues mold cleanup without advance testing, it is still necessary to inspect the property to identify the extent of an infestation. Restoration professionals can use thermal imaging technology and low-impact methods to check for mold without disturbing spores and spreading an infestation.

Do Post-Remediation Testing
Most experts recommend another mold test after remediation is complete. Clearance testing or a verification survey should indicate reduced spore levels and an absence of the microbial volatile organic compounds released during active mold growth.
An indoor environmental specialist has the equipment and training necessary to gather samples for lab identification. When it comes to scheduling testing, consult with a mold cleanup specialist about the situation at a commercial property located in Pico Rivera, CA.

4 Steps To Take After the Fire Sprinklers Accidentally Discharge

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler An accidentiall discharge from a fire sprinkler may cause disastrous flooding

Steps To Take When Sprinklers Accidentally Discharge

As a Santa Fe Springs, CA, business owner, you have a lot of projects and assignments on your plate. While the main goal is creating a successful business, you’re also responsible for overseeing the safety of your employees. Anything that you can do to prevent harm or injury is supremely important. Fire sprinklers are essential to employee safety, but accidental discharge can cause disastrous flooding. If you haven’t thought about what to do if the sprinklers accidentally discharge, here are four steps to take.

1. Turn Off Water
The sprinklers are made to go off when there is a buildup of heat. Unfortunately, there may be times when a person acts carelessly or intentionally and makes the sprinklers discharge. Fire sprinklers can spew anywhere from 8 to 24 gallons a minute, causing major damage. The first step to take after an accidental discharge is to shut off the water as quickly as possible.

2. Call Restoration Company
Once you’ve turned off the water, it’s time to call a certified restoration company. No matter how much water was dumped in your building, restoration experts are trained to handle any size of disaster. The restoration process includes inspection, water extraction, drying, cleaning and restoration.

3. Call Insurance
It’s important to contact your insurance company if the sprinklers discharge and cause flooding in your building. Whether the discharge was accidental or an act of vandalism, you should work with your insurance carrier to determine what is and is not covered.

4. Mitigation Techniques
The restoration company will work quickly to remove standing water and prevent water damage. Water restoration technicians have the training and tools to extract the water, dry the area and clean and sanitize belongings.
Fire sprinklers are an essential part of any commercial building to protect employees and belongings. Unfortunately, accidents or vandalism may unintentionally set off the sprinklers. If your sprinklers go off accidentally, turn off the water to prevent major flooding and follow the next steps to minimize damage.

What Kind of Damage Can Hail Cause?

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster marked the hail damage on a insureds roof. Roof damaged by hail

Hail forms when water drops freeze and clump together in the cold areas of thunderstorm clouds. It causes billions of dollars in roof damage, broken siding and cracked windows every year.

How Large Does Hail Have To Be?

So, how big does a hailstone need to be to damage your building?

1 inch (the size of a quarter) won’t cause much damage to your roof, but it might flatten some plants.
1.25 inches (a half-dollar) may cause minor roof damage and scratched siding.
1.5 inches (a walnut) can crack shingles and make indents in wood.
1.75 inches (a golf ball) can dent a car, gouge exterior paint and crack plastic roof vents.
2.5 inches (a tennis ball) can break windows and mangle crops.

What Can Hail Do to a Roof?
After a hailstorm, inspect your building’s roof and gutters. Look for cracked or missing shingles. Hail and wind can knock off a shingle’s granules (the sandpaper-looking texture), leading to shingles that wear out quicker than usual. It’s normal for some granules to come off with normal wear. However, lots of them in your gutters indicates a bigger problem.
There also might be issues with the fiberglass mat or base under the shingles. If it’s exposed or fractured, the shingles can break off easier in the future.
Hail can dent gutters, downspouts and flashing, which could lead to water leaks. You can buy impact-rated skylights that can withstand strong winds and hail.
Hail damage varies depending on the size of the stones, wind strength and roofing materials. Cosmetic issues can grow into larger problems if left untended. If you find significant water contamination, mold growth or wet insulation, call a storm restoration company in Pico Rivera, CA to repair the affected area.
The bigger the hail, the greater the roof damage. Have a licensed roofer inspect your building after a storm to ensure you don’t have any cracks or leaks that could affect your business.

What You Need to Know About Black Water

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Blackwater in toilets is considered a biohazard

When your home in Santa Fe Springs, CA, falls victim to water damage, it's natural to immediately try to dry all of the moisture. After all, getting rid of the water is the only way to prevent further disaster. However, it's just as important to make sure that you aren't exposing yourself, or your family members, to the dangerous contaminates present in black water.
Blackwater is a Category 3 contaminate, which is the most dangerous type of water contamination. Attempting to remove this type of water yourself is dangerous and best left to professionals.

Common Places to Find Black Water

Blackwater originates from sewage and rising floodwater. The following are a few of the most common locations in your home where this contaminate could be present:

Toilets: Human fecal matter is a common cause of contamination. Blackwater in toilets is considered a biohazard, especially when a member of the household is sick.
Kitchen Sinks: Neglecting to clean out your sink and/or garbage disposal can lead to contamination. Grease, decaying food, and oils can all contribute to water contamination.
Laundry Machines: A leaky washing machine can be dangerous as well. Again, this risk is enhanced when a member of the household falls ill.

Preventing the Issue
You should never attempt to clean black water yourself. Biohazards of any kind are incredibly dangerous, and this one is no exception. For this reason, your best course of action is preventing water damage before it occurs. Protect your home by regularly cleaning out your gutters, performing maintenance checks on household appliances and ensuring that all faucets are turned off when not in use.
Flooding and water damage are not always avoidable, especially in the event of a storm. If your home does fall, victim, make sure to contact remediation specialists as soon as you can. Don't take any risks when it comes to protecting your home and family.

Who Pays for Fire Damage to a Rental Property

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Apartment on fire Fire damage in a Santa Fe Springs, CA apartment

Who Pays for Fire Damage to a Rental Property

An apartment fire can be a terrifying event for both the resident and the landlord. Once everyone is safe, the next concern may relate to who is responsible to pay for which types of damage. While both the tenant and landlord should be able to work with their respective insurance agencies, there are certain types of damages that each party is generally responsible for.

Landlords Cover Structural Items

By law, landlords are responsible to keep a "warranty of habitability" for their tenants. This means that the unit is kept in a safe and livable condition. An apartment fire can cause a perfectly safe dwelling to suddenly not be habitable. The landlord is generally responsible to fix anything related to the structural integrity or habitability of the building:

  • Floorings such as carpet, wood, linoleum, or tile
  • Appliances that were there when the tenant moved in
  • Cabinets in any room, such as the bathrooms, kitchen, or laundry room
  • Light fixtures both inside and outside the unit
  • Walls, including drywall, paint, or wallpaper

Basically, you can think of the landlord as being responsible for anything that is part of the unit itself or that was there before the tenant moved in. Working smoke detectors and carbon dioxide detectors should also be installed to avoid potentially dangerous situations in the future.

Tenants Are Responsible for Personal Belongings
Regardless of the cause of the fire damage, tenants are usually responsible for personal belongings. If a renter brought the item into the unit, it is their responsibility to replace or repair the item. Personal items may include clothing, jewelry, photos, furniture, instruments, or electronic components.
If you have experienced an apartment fire in Santa Fe Springs, CA, you can enlist the help of a professional fire restoration company to clean and repair any damage you have sustained. Once the building is restored, it will be "Like it never even happened."

4 Stages of Mold Remediation

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic covers, mold containment concept Mold containment in Pico Rivera, CA

4 Stages of Mold Remediation

A common household leak could lead to black mold. As the water continues to drip, the moisture accrues, establishing a breeding ground for the microbes that love dark, damp locations. Residences could quickly see development, with fungus spreading within one to two days. When this occurs, avoid using household cleaners as they only handle surface level infestations. Instead, you'll need to get to the root of the problem, clearing away the issue. You'll want to consider the following four stages of mold remediation.

1. Restrict Access and Air Flow
The first stage of mold cleanup is establishing barriers, preventing the active spores from making their way to other areas of the home. Block off the impacted room, and encourage people to enter only when necessary. Place tape and signs of warning of water damage. Then, work with a mold remediation company in Pico Rivera, CA, to cut off the air movement. The crews can use negative air chambers, seals and HEPA air filters, keeping infected air in one location.

2. Extract Contaminated Materials
Black mold decomposes. In the home, this is troubling, particularly for organic, porous material as the items could begin to decay. Assess drywall, flooring, and valuables with excess exposure. Anything saturated thoroughly should be taken away, reducing the overall spore count and inhibiting additional growth.

3. Reduce Moisture Levels
Then, the mold remediation specialists remove excess water, cutting off the fungus's catalyst. Industrial dehumidifiers run around the clock, pulling out fluid that may not be overly discernible. Walls and flooring should be tested, ensuring they meet acceptable levels.

4. Wash and Disinfect
Once dry, antimicrobial spray can be applied, killing off remaining microorganisms. In addition, content cleaning occurs on non-porous valuables, scrubbing them free of mold development.
If you suspect black mold is in your place, take action quickly. Block off the space, discard polluted objects, and sanitize everything.

Safely Restore Electronics After a Commercial Fire

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

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.

How to Use Landscaping as a Tool to Protect Your Home

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

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.

How SERVPRO Serves Insurance Adjusters and Their Clients

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Female technician showing information in a tablet to a business owner The Claims Information Center provides you with the data you need in one easy-to-access location

How SERVPRO Serves Insurance Adjusters and Their Clients

After a disaster damages your client's commercial building, you have a lot of work to do. As an insurance adjuster, you must interpret the policy and make any necessary adjustments to the insurance claim. You shouldn’t have to deal with vendor issues. Of course, you also want to keep the repair costs as low as possible.
Above all, you and your clients need an emergency restoration company that is both reliable and efficient. That is why you should choose SERVPRO. It is a preferred vendor for most insurance agencies and gives you numerous competitive advantages.

Claims Information Center
The Claims Information Center provides you with the data you need in one easy-to-access location. This lets you quickly make decisions about how much of the expense you will cover. The CIC includes an electronic file with:

  • Photos of the loss
  • First notice of the loss
  • Scanned paperwork
  • Detailed estimate

Emergency Response
A good insurance adjuster provides top-notch restoration services for its customers. SERVPRO does this by going to the scene right away. This mitigates the risk of additional damage to the property.

Pretesting
Once the experts arrive at the building, they will pretest every item to see whether it can be restored. Restoration is less expensive than a complete replacement, so this process should save you and your clients money.

Qualified Professionals
The various franchises implement the best practices to serve your clients. The vendors must pass annual compliance checks. The franchises also are trained to meet the standards set by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
A SERVPRO franchise combines local knowledge of Pico Rivera, CA, with the corporate reach of a large organization. Qualified professionals will respond to the site immediately and take steps to reduce the cost of the claim. Meanwhile, the Claims Information Center allows the insurance adjuster to track the status of the project. Your managers, customers, and shareholders will all benefit from these services.