Fire Prevention for Your Home
Damage happens so quickly! Flames from the oven began to melt this microwave, spreading the awful smell of burnt plastic throughout the home.
Each year fires cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Please keep your family safe by reviewing with them a few of the ways that we as a fire cleanup company have seen home fires begin:
- Do not overload electrical outlets, this is SUPER DANGEROUS!
- Do not leave empty plastic home fragrance plug-in cartridges in outlets
- Avoid burning candles, but if used, keep under close watch, NEVER leave unintended
- Keep candles and lights away from combustible materials like paper, fabric, near walls, picture frames, etc.
- Before leaving for the day, going to bed at night, or leaving a room, turn off and unplug all lamps, fans, chargers, and electrical appliances
- Do not charge phones, tablets, or laptops on soft surfaces like carpets, beds, sofas, etc. Nor on wood tables, it's just a BIG No.
- When operating a microwave never use paper goods, fabric, or metal inside it
- If cooking food on the stovetop or in the oven, do not leave it unattended, leave, nor take a nap
Utilizing Fire & Safety Tips aims to prevent a fire from ever starting in your home. However, accidents do at times occur so please take the time to test your smoke alarms and remember to test annually and replace them every 10 years.
If smoke damage does affect your property, call SERVPRO of West Covina a team you can trust.
Hardwood Floors Saved with the Right Equipment
Utilizing our Injectidry System to repair the water damage to these hardwood kitchen floors in West Covina. This homeowner was super relieved!
Storms come and go just as quickly. Flood waters create a challenge and we will utilize a Category 3 protocol for cleanup. If the rupture is clean water from a supply line, a protocol of Category 1 water damage will be preferred by most, especially for the treatment of costly materials like real wood.
Honestly, no other flooring is quite the same as genuine hardwood. They add beautiful warmth to your home that no other flooring can do in quite the same way. Part of the commitment to this worthwhile investment is to keep them dry and away from drips and spills. However, when water damage occurs, moisture seeps into the grain of the wood that can quickly cause it to swell, warp, or buckle. Laminate will swell but the damage is irreversible and will need replacing. The floors may seem ruined... but with the right circumstances, if caught in time, they can be saved by calling a professional out for prompt treatment.
As a professional restoration company, SERVPRO utilizes specialty equipment to properly dry the hardwood floors. As the wood steadily dries, the planks settle into their pre-swelling condition and lay back down ‘as if it never even happened.' At SERVPRO of West Covina we are well stocked with all the right equipment, and the many years of knowledge and experience that makes us well prepared for any sort of property damage you may encounter. Do not wait, call now - 626.960.9145
Peace of Mind for Renters
What are your policy limits? Do they correlate with inflation and material shortages experienced during the pandemic?
As protection, most commercial property landlords will require tenants to carry business liability insurance. In addition to a homeowner’s policy, many landlords are now requiring their tenants to carry renter’s insurance because it can be protected if disaster strikes. If a tenant who holds such a policy causes damages to a suite or unit, their insurance may cover repair costs. It may also aid in reducing disputes between landlords and tenants as their insurance helps to identify where coverage applies.
Some policies may be a small monthly expense but well worth the investment in the event of a fire, water, or storm damage that could suddenly occur at your property.
“Our team witnessed a property fire claim loss where a landlord renting to her own daughter missed the mark in this regard. Sadly the fire (started by a burning candle) destroyed large sections of her property along with the vast majority of her daughter’s furniture and belongings. Making matters worse, her daughter/tenant failed to seek out her own insurance policy as a tenant. If she had, it would have provided a degree of protection. Can you imagine having to replace all of your day-to-day items used in your home or business all at once? Overwhelming to say the least but even more so without any financial restitution…”
Be Well Informed and Prepared
Most important is to be well prepared by knowing what your specific insurance policy covers and doesn’t cover. Signing up with your auto insurer, a multi-policy discount may result in surprisingly low premiums along the lines of $10-$15 a month, depending. What your renter’s or tenant’s business owners' policy may cover could be contents that help to cover the cost of replacing your effects if they are ruined due to water damage, smoke & fire, or theft. Additional endorsements or umbrella policies may help to better tailor to your commercial or residential needs. Included in most policies is liability. This helps protect you if someone gets injured inside your home or business and loss of use provides a place to stay temporarily and covers extra food expenditures if forced to relocate while repairs are being made.
What it doesn’t cover is the full value of some items. Some insurance companies place a cap on payouts and are limited on damage or theft claims. Living in Southern California, something to consider is potentially purchasing separate flood or earthquake insurance if you own expensive items that could be destroyed by a natural disaster. Ask lots of questions of your insurance agent and understand the extent of your policies so that you are adequately covered for any unforeseen event. Also, with costs of absolutely everything continuing to rise, it is important to notify and provide documented proof of any upgrades made. If your insurance was never updated, you will receive what you started with. Be proactive and do your due diligence each year by checking on details and especially on limits and make adjustments as needed. We have come across a policy coverage capping out at ten thousand because their policy was written thirty years ago. That type of reimbursement would not cover replacement costs of their damaged kitchen. For many of us, it is better to pay a small monthly increase in coverage than to suddenly have to come up with the funds to remodel an entire kitchen all on our own.
The 2022 Wildfire Season is Well Upon Us
Help preserve our priceless wildlife, beautiful land, and valuable homes by taking regular action towards fire prevention.
Back in the 1950’s Smokey the Bear became our mascot reminding us to do our part in preventing wildfires after an orphaned cub was rescued from a tree while local crews responded to a fire in the Captain Mountains of New Mexico. Unfortunately, our sunshine state of California is now the most wildfire-prone in the U.S. The contributing factors causing so much damage are the combination of our typical Santa Ana winds, dry brush, continuous drought conditions, and record-breaking heat waves that seem permanent. So far this year almost five thousand fires have been recorded, affecting almost one hundred fifty thousand acres.
Each year it is important for homeowners to take extra care in preventative measures. By being proactive and each of us doing our share, we can minimize the chances of fires starting near us.
Here are a few ways we can take preventative measures to safeguard our properties, our state, our home:
1. Never burn trash or leaves on a windy day.
2. Mind important city laws regarding fireworks.
3. Create a thirty-foot clearance radius around your structure, don’t forget to empty rain gutters and to over-grown trim trees and shrubs way back.
4. Do not park vehicles on dry grass and be sure to mow the lawn and/or use electric outdoor equipment prior to 10 A.M.
5. Be mindful when using outdoor cooking equipment like BBQs, smokers, turkey fryers, and of course fire pits to fully extinguish and use well beyond structural clearance guidelines.
Humans caused eighty-seven percent of wildfires in 2019. As prices of everything continue to soar, our insurance premiums and home policy coverages are and will continue to be affected due to many years of costly national natural disaster-related claims. Besides expensive property and structural damages, our brave firefighters put their lives on the line day after day and precious wildlife is lost. Remember that ‘Smokey the Bear’ says: ”Only you can prevent wildfires!”
Typical Water Damage Issues that can occur at Work
For around-the-clock emergency property assistance call on the trusted SERVPRO name with a team who cares about helping restore everything quickly.
Water is highly valued as it is life-sustaining. Despite all its benefits, water’s impact on, around, or in a structure can be destructive when building materials and dark crevices get wet that should not be. Moisture that remains on paper, wood, or other organic materials can within hours develop mold so acting quickly when water damage is discovered is the wisest choice. Preventing water damage takes continual effort and regular maintenance but even still accidents happen. By doing what you can, the chances of avoidable circumstances are lessened. The following are scenarios to be mindful of:
Overhead sprinkler system – Intended to save both lives and properties in a fire situation, these sprinkler systems have water under pressure for when an emergency occurs. Over time pinhole leaks or a malfunction can unfortunately arise. Computers, monitors, and other electronic devices can be adversely affected if it rains indoors.
Plumbing problems – Any (even brand new) plumbing fixture, water supply line (which is constantly under pressure), pipe, or loose-fitting has the potential to leak, or sudden rupture. Indoor and outdoor drains when clogged by soil, debris, objects, hair, grease, or sanitary products can cause backups too. If the leak is inside a cabinet, under an appliance, behind furniture, under a rug, in an inconspicuous area, or located in a room or part of a room not often used, it may go unnoticed until mold becomes visible.
Surface water intrusion – Severe weather from storms, forceful winds, or exterior water pipes can lead to flash floods. Groundwater may contain harmful bacteria that if left untreated will smell positively awful in just a few hours to days.
Roof or ceiling leaks – A dripping, paint bubbling, or new water-stained ceiling are all indicators of water intrusion. Temporary tarping and roof repairs may be needed as soon as possible.
AC or HVAC condensation or leaks – Condensation is a natural occurrence and each AC unit is equipped with a drip tray. If it becomes clogged or damaged an issue can occur. Also, newly installed units can begin having issues if a mistake was made.
Clogged gutters – Even newly installed rain gutters intended to keep rain swept away can cause water intrusion. When a clog occurs from dried leaves or debris, exterior/interior walls, ceilings, and/or floors can become soaked.
Water heater leaks –Old, improperly installed, or un-maintenanced water heaters increase the odds of an eventual leak. Hot water leaks that affect building materials and are not promptly addressed can rapidly develop mold due to the warmer temperatures.
If your business experiences any of these issues a quick response will keep damages minimized. Call now for immediate assistance. 626-960-9145
What is the Cleanup Process after a Water Damage?
By trusting a professional restoration company for specialty cleaning needs, property owners can confidently see their business resumes ASAP.
Water leaks can be slow or intermittent depending and many times go undiscovered until a puddle is visible or at other times moldy spots start to form…
Vs. flooding from either outdoors or indoor plumbing is typically more obvious depending on how much water is present.
Regardless of how water intrudes the premises, the important part is taking action quickly to avoid further damages. The process could be stressful and inconvenient but by hiring a professional company like SERVPRO to respond immediately to both Commercial or Residential property needs, then all imperative aspects will be properly addressed.
Our team will complementarily provide:
1st – Inspection to scope out the extent of damages, point out safety precautions and address your concerns
2nd - Recommend an IICRC protocol based on the cleanliness or bacteria content of the water
Once hired, our restoration team will:
3rd – Extract standing water from carpets and flooring
4th – Depending on the water source we will either:
a. Fully dry in place all wet materials if the water source is clean, using specialized equipment to save flooring
b. Safely remove affected materials if the water source has a high bacteria content and sanitize
SERVPRO of West Covina is ready around the clock to respond to your emergency water damage needs. To get everything back to normal the right way call us ASAP at 626-960-9145
How do I know If I have Mold?
Are you having mold concerns? Even if you are unsure if mold is actually present, worry no more... an experienced team member will assist.
Mold is naturally found in our environment and from time to time it is typical that a household may encounter it within the dwelling.
Concerns may arise though if the discovery and root cause is not addressed since mold can continue to grow and spread as it eats away at organic building materials. Mold will not go away on its own. If the water source feeding the spores stops, they may go dormant but if moisture continues to be present the mold will continue to grow and spread. The recommended protocol of treatment is removal by an IICRC Certified mold remediation or restoration company like SERVPRO.
Smell – A constant or intermittent damp musty smell could be an indicator that mold is present. As it grows it emits a distinct odor that is worth investigating further as soon as possible.
Visibly Present – If fuzzy or colored patches pop up along a wall, baseboard or cabinet there is a possibility that the mold has come from within the wall cavity and that the unseen areas have a bit to a lot more, depending.
Circumstance – If you experienced water leaking, excess condensation, or flooding and see new staining or spots of mold around, you will want to call a qualified professional out for an inspection or send photos for a mold technician to review.
Testing – If no mold is visible but you experienced water damage, water leak, water spill, or flood and suspect that mold could be present, we can schedule a mold test for your property. Lab results are returned within a few days.
You can trust SERVPRO of West Covina to assist with the microbial issues or water damages you are experiencing. Call now for more details. 626-960-9145
Common Mistakes made after a Water Damage
Call us first. We have moisture meters, and an infrared camera to inspect an issue without opening the walls up unnecessarily.
If you have ever experienced a flood or water leak at your property you do not quickly forget everything involved with the cleanup.
It typically is stressful due to first the unexpected occurrence, then wet materials begin to smell, plus professional drying equipment is noisy, loud, hot and a lengthy process. The flood that occurs so quickly, unfortunately, does not go away as quickly as it occurred and that can be inconvenient and frustrating. But, just as extra shine, volume, and fine results that you get in a hair salon from a professional blowout on your hair, despite the hot noisy blow dryer… it is a necessary step to achieve optimum results. To that endeavor, trust the professionals with your pricy investment and avoid mistakes that you could later regret.
Do not ignore the issue – Water spills, leaks, pipe ruptures, and floods never ever resolve on their own. A plumbing repair may be needed but in addition, wet materials left alone will start growing mold within only a few days. If bacteria are present in the water, they will quickly multiply and eventually smell horrendous enough that you will want to rip out all the carpet for disposal. Keep the air quality indoors healthy and safe by giving us a call as soon as you notice the first sign of water being present where it does not belong.
Do not take matters into your own hands – So many times, the calls we get are from hardworking tenacious individuals who start mopping up the flooded areas or run to Home Depot for a shop vac but things never turn out as well as they hope because you can only clean what you visually see. Water however soaks and seeps past walls, baseboards, and under flooring into crevices and dark cavities and secondary damages rapidly occur. If too much time passes we are no longer looking at only water mitigation, but also a mold remediation service. Save time and money by calling SERVPRO right in the beginning.
Do not hire an uncertified person – Industry standards are set by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) as a protection for all involved. Keep costs for repairs to a minimum by hiring a professional restoration company with superb online reviews that you can trust. SERVPRO saves national insurance companies millions of dollars each year by being a preferred vendor, responding immediately, and after evaluating the specific circumstances, creating the best plan of action.
Call SERVPRO of West Covina today. 626-960-9145
Is it Time for some Spring Cleaning at Work?
SERVPRO is always here to help. For any concerns or questions about unexpected property damages, call today. 626-960-9145
When spring cleaning comes to mind, we usually think it is in regards to our homes, but our office or job sites can benefit from a bit of extra attention as well. Our workplaces are our second homes because of the great amount of time we spend there each day. Our productivity and inspiration can be affected if clutter starts to visually collect around us and our allergies can act up right around springtime if dust has built up in keyboards, computers, windowsills, corners, behind furniture, and under rugs.
If you have time to set aside and allocate towards a deep cleaning endeavor, that’s wonderful but most of us have such a large workload that we can only chip away at tasks in short increments. A beneficial way to tackle these jobs is to set a 15-30 minute timer and do as much as you can during that time frame. By the end of the week, you will have completed quite a lot and will greatly benefit from your progress.
Disinfect - Since the beginning of the pandemic we all are more cognoscente of the importance of disinfecting high touch-point and common areas which is an excellent habit to maintain. Phones, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, water cooler knobs, coffee machine buttons, etc. can all be quickly addressed with a disinfecting wipe.
Organize – A virtual cleanup of our desktop screen, organizing files, and email inbox will freshen up your visual clutter. A change of scenery by replacing your screen background is a great idea too. Dusting and then sprucing up your desk, cleaning drawers, and wiping chords and anything under the desk will help. Decluttering takes an objective eye but if you mentally prepare to toss, donate, or take home things it can make a huge difference. Minimizing personal items and things collected all year long will give you a clean slate. A clean space feels so good and the sooner you get started the more productive your workday can be.
Many times while going through the deeper cleaning process, you come across dead insects or piles of dust bunnies wrapped in hair. What a relief to get these things cleared out so you can breathe fresher air. If you discover some water staining on the ceiling, a leak under a sink, or any moldy patches, give our team a call. We can professionally evaluate the circumstance and make the needed recommendations to keep your surroundings optimal for the remaining portion of the work year.
Do you have a Mold problem? PART 2
Water damage can quickly lead to mold problems if not cared for properly. Prevent the problem by calling SERVPRO when you first notice a leak.
If you suspect that your property may have mold, what can you do? If you cannot see mold and cannot smell mold but you really have concerns and want to investigate further, know that mold needs three things to develop and grow indoors.
For mold to grow and thrive it needs:
- Water or moisture (condensation, dripping, leaking, or flooding water)
- Organic materials (wood, paper, etc.)
- The right temperatures (avg. species - between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit)
All three of these are needed, if numbers 2. and 3. are present without number 1., mold cannot flourish.
You could be dealing with dormant mold that would activate once water is re-introduced… Is any moisture present? Did you experience a water leak at some point recently or in the past?
Was there a toilet overflow, bathtub overflow, shower drain backup, flooding from a washing machine, or leaking from your dishwasher? Or do you hear dripping from pipes inside walls, could a water supply line have a pin-sized leak, could the A/C condenser unit be dripping, is there a roof or ceiling leak, or could outdoor water sprinklers be hitting up against the house repeatedly and water barrier materials are worn away? Check the plumbing under kitchen and bathroom vanity sinks.
If you find nothing, you can call our team if you have questions. Our recommendation may be to schedule our technician to come out to your property and perform a mold air and surface sampling. In a few days, the lab report will give either you an all-clear or indicate an issue. If a mold problem is discovered, we can assist with getting the leak repaired, drying out the wet building materials, and removing the areas affected by mold in a safe and healthy manner for your protection by using the protocol set by the IICRC. Don’t wait, call now.