Recent Storm Damage Posts

What Is Black Water?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Is Black Water? 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.

3 Ways To Protect Yourself From Flooding After a Wildfire

4/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Ways To Protect Yourself From Flooding After a Wildfire FEMA NFIP can help you protect your home against water damage.

Although wildfires can be nature’s way of clearing the land to bring forth new growth, the area that is cleansed of plant life by the blaze may cause several problems for you as a homeowner. You may believe your home is safe now the fire has been extinguished, but there are other problems that can occur as a result of the wildfire. That is why there are three ways you can protect yourself from further harm, including the FEMA NFIP program.

1. Watershed

After wildfire damage near your home, the shrub, tree, and grass roots are no longer able to support the runoff and erosion rates of water surrounding your home. The possibility of soil detachment becomes much greater. There are probably also areas close to your home where the earth was baked to a point that water cannot seep into the soil and must find another area for penetration. What this means for your home is an increased possibility of flooding. Consider tilling areas at least 8 to 10 feet from your home to allow the water easier access to ground penetration. You may also want to plant vegetation to help retain the rain waters.

2. Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is not covered by most standard homeowner’s insurance policies. That is why the government developed the FEMA NFIP program. This national flood insurance can help protect your home and property should floodwaters invade the building and cause extensive flooding damage.

3. Barriers

If your home in Santa Fe Springs, CA, is especially susceptible to the possibility of flood damage, consider purchasing barriers or creating sand bags to prevent water from invading your home during heavy rainfalls. Stone or brick walls can also help keep water away from your yard as it flows along, though gates may allow some water to get through onto your property. Contact a water mitigation specialist for questions on how to protect your property.
One of the best preventative measures you can take to guard your home against flooding is to plan ahead. Buying FEMA NFIP insurance, building barriers, and planting shrubs can help you protect your home against water damage.

Understanding How Mold Spreads After A Storm

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Understanding How Mold Spreads After A Storm Stop mold from existing in your home

There are few homeowners who haven’t heard of mold, and many have unfortunately had to
deal with the expense of mold removal. More mysterious, however, is often how
mold spreads and what you can do about it before it’s a big problem. If preventing
spreading mold in your Pico Rivera, CA home matters to you, here are some clues
to understand just what helps this pesky fungus thrive.

What Mold Is

Smelly, destructive and seemingly everywhere, mold is best described as a fungus. It’s often fuzzy looking, though it can be slimy too, and has an unpleasant, musty smell. It’s often black or grayish, but it can come in a variety of colors including:

  • pink
  • green
  • brown
  • white
  • black

While black mold has a particularly nefarious reputation, all household mold is problematic and should be stopped from spreading early.

How Mold Spreads

Spreading mold occurs via spores, which are like seeds for fungi. These lightweight spores are invisible to the naked eye but are all around us. They’re not a problem, however, until they land on a surface where they can thrive. Such surfaces include leather, wood, paper, drywall and basically any organic surface they can use for nutrition.

Lightweight and Airborne

What makes these spores so easily spread is that they are airborne. That means a breeze can carry them over great distances to find a place to take root. In your home, the HVAC system can achieve this. A few spores landing in moist AC vents, for instance, can multiply and spread through your home as soon as you turn your system on.

Stopping mold from existing is impossible, but you can stop it from multiplying in your home easily. Start by minimizing dark, damp areas, especially in bathrooms, attics, crawlspaces and beneath sinks. Work with a mold remediation company to remove moisture and you’ll have taken a major step to stopping spreading mold in its tracks.

How To Handle Black Water in Your Building

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Handle Black Water in Your Building Water damage? Call SERVPRO for immediate help.

Flood Damage Caused By Black Water

If flooding occurs in Santa Fe Springs,CA, your business could be severely affected by water damage caused by black water. This type of damage happens when heavy rainfalls push wastewater into buildings or when the sewage system is compromised. It is a threat that should be taken seriously, and a building that has been affected by this type of flood should be given immediate attention. Complete sanitization is generally required, and time is of the essence. Here are some suggestions for you as you begin the restoration process.

1. Turn off all utilities. Be sure that the gas and electricity to the building have been cut off before entering the building. Stay away from fuse boxes and anything plugged into outlets until you are sure all power to the appliances has been turned off. Be wary of submerged appliances.

2. Begin the sanitizing process. The contaminated water should be removed as quickly as possible from the building to assess the water damage. All surface areas touched by the sludge should be thoroughly disinfected. Walls, fors, and countertops should be washed with warm water mixed with cleaning agents that will destroy all harmful bacteria. Sanitize the air by opening windows and running fans throughout the area. Be careful not to track debris into clean areas.

3. Evaluate the items in the flood area. Take all moveable objects out into the sun to dry. Appliances that have been submerged for a length of time will most likely need to be replaced. Rugs and carpets that cannot be cleaned and disinfected must be discarded. Throw away all food containers.

The flood damage done by black water can be severe. The cleanup process could feel overwhelming, but water damage professionals are there to assist you in ensuring that everything is done properly and efficiently. They can get your building back to pre-flooding conditions like the incident never happened.

Post-Flood Safety: What Not to Do

9/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Post-Flood Safety: What Not to Do Water damage after storm in Pico Rivera, CA

If your house sustained water damage after a storm in Pico Rivera, CA, you may not have any idea of how you should handle all of that flood water. Staying safe should be your number one priority, but how can you do so? Here are 5 things you should NOT do when you have a flooded home.

1. Touch Pools of Water

Do everything in your power to avoid touching water on the ground of your home. In many cases, these puddles can put you at risk for electrocution. Wait for professionals to arrive that can help you safely clean up your property.

2. Skimp on Protective Gear

Not only are there dangerous wet patches to worry about; your home may also be teeming with animals and other post-storm hazards that you are not prepared for. Wear sturdy gloves and knee-high boots made of rubber to keep your body protected from the unknown before you even think about venturing indoors.

3. Wade in Standing Water

It is just as dangerous to wade in standing water as it is to touch or clean it. Again, it is better to wait for the assistance of trained technicians than to attempt do-it-yourself remediation.

4. Let Your Phone Die

Staying connected to the world after devastation is important. If you can safely do so, keep your cell phone or other vital communication tools charged in any way possible. Consider using a portable charger if you have one.

5. Downplay Mold

With flood water comes the likelihood of mold growth. If you find significant amounts of mold spores inside your house, this is yet another situation where you should seek help in eliminating the infection. Attempting to handle things yourself could result in further decimation that threatens the security of the structure.

As a proud homeowner, you are going to be understandably upset when you find that flood water is causing your investment to be at stake – but you still need to think about your and your family’s well-being during such a time. The advice above will help you to form a plan of protection if a natural disaster should hit.

The Best Way To Test for Mold After Storm Damage

9/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The Best Way To Test for Mold After Storm Damage Mold damage in Pico Rivera, CA

With weather patterns changing nationwide, many regions are experiencing greater extremes in temperature and intensity and duration of major events. Those affected by increased rain and flooding may feel particularly vulnerable to mold in their homes and may want to do some mold testing. Regardless of location, taking steps to prevent the spread of mold before it becomes a problem is a good idea.

What To Look For

If you suspect you have a mold problem, there are a number of signs to be aware of:

  • A moldy smell — mold has a distinctive odor.
  • Visible colored patches (especially black) of growth around areas of condensation.
  • Past or present issues with humidity, moisture or flooding.

If you notice any of these signs, it can be a good idea to test for mold.

Who Should Test

If a homeowner is inclined to attempt DIY mold testing and utilize a mold kit, it should be noted that, in most cases, collected samples will need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Further, because of the constant presence of mold spores in the environment, a home test will almost always yield a positive result. Therefore, residents of Pico Rivera, CA, would be well advised to call a professional hygiene service to address any perceived or potential issues. A certified industrial hygienist has the knowledge, experience and resources to provide the assurance that homeowners want with mold testing.

What Can Be Done

An expert can perform a variety of tests to ensure the most accurate results. One strategy is testing the air to determine what types of mold spores are present. This is particularly helpful when there are no visible signs of mold. A second regimen uses several techniques to lift samples off of household surfaces. Third, bulk testing involves removing items from the home and lab testing them. Another option is to culture living spores obtained from the previous techniques in the lab. This can be the best way to determine which mold species are present.

Using a home kit may at first seem practical and efficient. However, the most reliable way to do mold testing is to use a professional.

Questions You May Have About Flood Cuts

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

No one likes the hassle of having to wait for repairs to happen before business as usual can continue. If your commercial property in Pico Rivera, CA, is flooded, though, it is in your best interest to halt operations long enough to complete repairs and avoid further issues. After flooding, a flood cut is often necessary to make sure all the walls are free from water damage. When are flood cuts necessary? What does the process involve? Here are the answers to the questions you may have about flood cuts.


Flood cuts are used to mark where water damage specialists will tear out the wall to replace it with an undamaged one. There are several reasons why a flood cut may be used:

• Soaked insulation behind wall needs to be removed and replaced.
• Floodwater is contaminated.
• Musty odor indicating that there is a mold problem on or behind wall.

Cutting out the wall after flooding lets technicians dispose of damaged materials safely. Then a new wall can be installed.


When it is determined that contamination or another factor necessitates the removal of a wall, technicians will make a mark 12-18 inches above the water damage. This is a flood cut. It may seem odd to tear out over a foot of wall that seems unaffected, but when it comes to water damage, it's better to play it safe and make sure you get it all than to cut corners and miss damaged drywall. After the damaged wall has been removed, the specialists can clean and dry the area and replace the wall and, if applicable, the insulation behind it.

When flooding occurs, it's not enough to just remove the water. You often have to repair damages, too. Flood cuts are used to ensure that the water damage done to your commercial property in Pico Rivera, CA, by the most recent storm is completely remediated.

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Minimize the Damage: Start Flood Cleanup Today

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Few scenarios are more stressful for a homeowner than the immediate aftermath of a significant flood event. If you are one of the fortunate ones with flood insurance, your first move likely will be to contact your claims adjuster. Of course, you won’t be the only one in Pico Rivera, CA making that call. With insurance companies stretched thin by the sudden demand, it could be days or even weeks before an adjuster makes an onsite visit to assess the flood damage to your home.

Don’t Wait on the Adjuster

Your flood insurance company will likely expect you to secure the property, so don’t wait on the adjuster before you begin cleaning up. At this stage of the process, every hour literally counts. Here are some early steps you should take while you are waiting for an official assessment:

• Assess the damage and call a restoration specialist in Pico Rivera, CA if needed.
• Take pictures of the damage and document the losses.
• Remove excess water from the house by mopping floors and wiping down furniture.
• Remove wet upholstery and rugs.
• Turn on air conditioning to help speed the drying process.
• Gather loose items from the floor.
• Remove damaged items from the house but do not throw away. Retain for proof of loss purposes and store outside on the property, if possible.

Stop the Mold Before It Starts

Amidst the obvious destruction caused by flood waters, the threat of possible mold damage is often an afterthought. But left unchecked, mold can take root on even slightly damp surfaces within the first 24 to 48 hours. Once mold has started, it is difficult to remove and can cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Stopping mold in its tracks is an important step in the process of repairing and renewing your home, and a speedy response after a flood is crucial. Following the steps above to clean up your property is a good beginning. Don’t wait on your flood insurance adjuster before getting started. Visit for more information on storm damage. 

Is Flood Insurance Necessary?

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

If you own a business on a flood plain or near a large water source, there’s always a chance of your workplace being flooded. Federal law requires some form of flood insurance for high risk areas in Pico Rivera, CA and in moderate to low-risk areas it can still be necessary to keep your company protected from disaster.

Action Plans

If you own a business in a high-risk area for flooding, there are several steps you can take to prepare for worst-case scenarios:

• Always have an action plan in place, and ensure that your employees know what to do in an emergency. For businesses, clearly marked emergency exits are a federal requirement, and having a back-up plan should something happen to your building is a necessity.
• For natural disasters or situations where you need to evacuate, a designated place for everyone to gather will help keep people calm and organized. In a flood, however, high ground is the way to go, and never drive unless absolutely necessary.
• Have a buddy system to ensure no one gets lost or left behind.
• Prepare nonperishable supplies ahead of time, and keep them in an easy-to-access but secure area.

Flooding Happens More Than You Think

FEMA states that floods are the most common natural disasters in the United States, causing millions of dollars in damages to businesses and infrastructure. Flood insurance may cover workplace damages in case of flooding or other natural disasters, but many other types of insurance policies don’t cover these types of damages. A commercial insurance policy is a good idea in high-risk areas, and business owners in these areas should consider a separate policy.

The key to preventing severe damage and loss in a flood is preparation. A good flood insurance policy, a disaster recovery plan, and an action plan should disaster strike are all necessary for high- or even moderate-risk areas. Your first priority should always be to keep your employees safe, and worry about restoration later.
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