Recent Posts

What To Do When Insurance Falls Short

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Fema Disaster Recovery Center FEMA grants are intended to serve those who need them most.

What to Do If Insurance Is Insufficient

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you probably have flood insurance. Ideally, this policy covers all your expenses when you need them. If a major disaster occurs in West Hollywood, CA, however, you may have needs that your coverage doesn’t quite meet. In these instances, you can apply for a FEMA grant.

What a Grant Can Cover

There are several types of emergency grants for which you can apply when you need disaster relief. These grants may cover expenses such as:

  • Property damage not covered by insurance
  • Medical expenses
  • Temporary housing
  • Emergency repairs

If you qualify for a grant, it does not have to be repaid, so you don’t have to worry about finding a way to come up with the money. While grants are not designed to replace flood insurance, they can help fill in the gaps.

What a Grant Doesn’t Cover

FEMA grants are intended to serve those who need them most. They are most commonly sought by people who live near a flood plain or other disaster-prone area. Although people of any income can apply for grants, those that pay for expenses such as repairs to personal property or moving expenses are awarded on the basis of income. You can apply for a grant even after flood mitigation specialists have already started the repairs on your home. Providing pictures of the damage before restoration began, however, may speed up the processing of your application.

Even if you have flood insurance, it doesn’t always cover all the expenses that come up when a major disaster strikes the area where you live. You may spend all your savings on your deductible and have nothing left for a place to stay while mitigation is in process. Government grants are designed to help you get the assistance you need without having to worry about paying the money back.

Irrigation System Maintenance

6/19/2022 (Permalink)

Irrigation system Irrigation maintenance is required throughout the watering season.

Irrigation System Maintenance

When the watering season rolls around in Bel Air, CA, be sure to check your irrigation system fixtures before you turn the water on. Flood restoration professionals agree that preventing a flood is much more cost-effective than cleaning up your property after one.

System Inspection
Before you start your irrigation system for the year, examine your equipment and confirm that it is in good working order.  Even a small crack or a pinhole leak can cause flooding and damage to your property.  When performing your inspection, consider all parts of the system:

  • Sprinkler heads, including stems and arms
  • Water lines from the source to the heads
  • Connections, screens, and valves
  • Controller panel and settings

Irrigation Maintenance
Sprinkler heads are very susceptible to breakage; pay close attention to them.  Be sure they are free of obstructions and debris and that they move freely and can cover their full range.  Examine closely for cracks or wear.
Water lines can leak, and you might not see the problem right away.  Walk the lines when you turn the water on and watch for spongy ground or pooling water.  Keep an eye on your water bill as well; a sudden spike can indicate that you have a leak.
Check all connections and intake valves on the system.  Be sure that screens are clean and that any worn or broken washers are replaced.  It is common for connections to leak, so check that they are tight and that the ground around them remains dry.
Your control panel is important as well.  Confirm that it is functional and that the settings are adjusted properly before you turn the water on.
Irrigation maintenance is required throughout the watering season. Keep an eye on your grass and other plant material. Watch for overly dry areas - brown, wilted, or curling leaves.  Pay attention to pooling water, mushrooms, or other indications of sprinkler flooding. 
Most importantly, address any irrigation issues as quickly as you can to protect your landscaping and prevent damage to your property.

Protect Your Home With the Right Smoke Alarms

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke detector The ionization alarm is one of the more common and affordable options.

Invest in the Right Smoke Alarms for Your Home

A smoke alarm is a crucial part of your Spaulding Square, CA, home's fire safety plan. It can detect a fire immediately so you can try extinguishing it before it grows or safely evacuates the house and call the fire department. Since there are several alarm types that operate differently and fulfill distinct functions, you will need to learn about them so that you can choose the right one. 

1. Ionization Alarm 
The ionization alarm is one of the more common and affordable options. Every device includes a small portion of radioactive material that ionizes the present air particles, an act that generates an electric current. The presence of smoke disrupts the current and activates the alarm. Unfortunately, it can also trigger false alarms in kitchens and bathrooms, so avoid installation in those areas. Ionization alarms are best suited for detecting visible flames and fast fires anywhere else in the house

2. Photoelectric Alarm
The photoelectric smoke alarm includes both a photosensitive cell and a built-in light source that avoids the cell. When smoke enters the alarm, the light's straight focus breaks and hits the cell. This reaction activates both the cell and the alarm. Unlike the ionization counterpart, the photoelectric alarm best detects smoky and smoldering fires. Be sure to install it near kitchens, bathrooms and areas where these fires would be more common. 

3. Combination Smoke Detector
Since ionization and photoelectric detectors work for different types of fires, it makes sense to unite their functions. A combination alarm, also known as a dual-sensor alarm, combines both technologies into one convenient device that you can place anywhere as it can cover most situations. Some combination alarms can include other functions such as carbon monoxide detection, intelligent systems that improve performance and voiced alerts. 
Choosing the appropriate smoke alarm for every room and hallway at home can make a difference. If it effectively detects a fire, you can escape in time and contact emergency services and fire restoration experts before the situation escalates. 

How To Prevent Grill Fires

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue party. Clean your grill frequently.

How To Prevent a Barbeque Fire

Grilling is a fun activity that brings families and friends together to enjoy great food and time outside. If you aren't careful, however, a grill fire may occur, potentially causing injuries and smoke damage. Here's how you can prevent a barbeque fire.

Know-How To Put Out a Fire
Knowing how to put a fire out and having the right supplies on hand is just as important as preventing fires. Here are some tips:

  • If the propane tank is on fire, get as far away as you can and call the fire department.
  • Cut off oxygen by closing the grill's lid.
  • Turn the grill off if possible.
  • If the fire does not stop, spray it with a fire extinguisher or cover it with baking soda to cut off the oxygen.

After the fire is extinguished, call a fire damage repair service in Central Hollywood, CA, to repair any damage that might have affected nearby buildings.

Choose a Safe Location
To prevent fires from spreading to your home, operate the grill at a safe distance away from the building. Avoid grilling on a balcony, patio, deck, or other areas that are close to your house. Instead, position the grill in a clear area of your yard.

Clean the Grill Frequently
Burnt remnants on the grill can catch fire easily. After you are done grilling, allow the grill to fully cool and then thoroughly clean it. Always check that it is clean before turning it on.

Trim the Fat
While some fat on your meat is a good thing, excess fat can be a fire hazard. These fatty areas catch fire easily, causing flare-ups that can turn into a fire if you aren't careful. Trimming away excess fat can help reduce this risk. You can also keep a spray bottle of water near the grill to put out small flare-ups, but never pour large amounts of water onto a grill fire.
It's easy to prevent grill fires by grilling far from the building, cleaning the grill frequently and trimming excess fat. You should also know how to put out a barbeque fire in case one occurs.

4 Types of Secondary Damage After a Water Spill

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Two air movers on top of carpet floor Drying carpet in a home in Weho, CA.

After a Water Spill, There Are Four Types of Secondary Damage

A water spill in your home is an unpleasant experience and one that could be quite disruptive. The primary event is bad enough, with a combination of standing water, saturated items and even ruined flooring and furniture. However, if the cleanup job is not done correctly or takes too long to begin, your home in Weho, CA, could also be at risk for black mold.

1. High Humidity
Your home is most comfortable under certain conditions. A water leak puts your home at risk of too much moisture in the air. You should aim for a level of between 30-60% humidity. Anything higher could cause mold growth. This is why professional drying by a professional water damage mitigation team is so important. It will significantly reduce the chance of black mold gaining a foothold in your home.

2. Lingering Smells
Ineffective cleaning and sanitizing can result in unpleasant odors. This could be a musty scent, or it could be something stronger. This type of secondary damage might not appear for a few days after a cleaning, but it will show up if proper cleaning methods were not utilized.

3. Additional Damage to Carpeting
After a home water spill, carpeting can absorb a lot of moisture. If the water is dirty, the carpeting must be thoroughly cleaned, including the underlying padding layer, and in some cases, it will need to be thrown out. If the carpeting isn't cleaned and dried, it could quickly deteriorate.

4. Additional Damage to Insulation
Wall insulation can also become collateral damage after a water spill. Since this occurs behind the walls, it can be easy to miss. Wet insulation will have a hard time drying out completely and it will lose some of its insulating value.
Black mold is one of the most serious results of poor water cleanup. Other forms of damage can also occur that require a follow-up from a professional company.

3 Tips for Filing a Commercial Fire Insurance Claim

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Inside of a local business, ceiling covered with black smoke, desks covered with debris, computers burnt Fire damage at a local business in Melrose District, CA.

Three Points to Consider When Filing a Commercial Fire Insurance Claim

When a fire damages your Melrose District, CA, commercial building, one of the first steps you may want to take is to notify your insurance company to make a fire claim. When you take steps to process your claim as soon as possible, the processing may occur faster, giving you the means to make repairs and reopen your business as soon as possible. 

1. Take Photos 
Once the fire is out and the building is secure, take photo and video evidence of all the damage you find. Include water cleanup needs from burst lines and fire hoses, as standing water can cause mold to form on many surfaces. Ask your insurance representative if any specific photos or videos are necessary. 

2. Secure the Building 
If a fire damaged your building's doors or windows, then securing these areas is important to prevent any further damage and to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the building before fire damage cleaning and other processes begin. Use sturdy planks of wood and thick sections of tarp to protect these areas. You can also hire security to monitor these vulnerable areas during overnight hours. 

3. Stay in Contact With Your Fire Claim Agent 
Remaining in the loop about your claim can help you understand which steps you need to revisit and whether your insurance will cover 100% of the repairs, including the assistance of fire restoration and mitigation service. Your insurance agent should keep you updated as your claim moves forward, but do not be afraid to call if you have any questions or if any problems come up during the insurance process. 
When you file a fire claim for your Melrose District, CA, business, understanding which steps to take can help you navigate this problem with more ease and make repairs in a timely manner so any work stoppage is minimal and you and your employees can get back up and running quickly. 

Popular Certifications Offered by the IICRC

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a kitchen Apartment restoration in West Hollywood, CA.

Popular Certifications Offered by the IICRC

The technicians who work for your local disaster restoration company in West Hollywood, CA, understand that it is important to maintain their certifications. The most rigorous training courses in the remediation industry are offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). These courses are designed to ensure that technicians meet the highest-quality industry standards. In other words, certified individuals provide the highest-quality restoration work. If you are a business owner in need of a qualified company, it is best to look for certified technicians. Each technician can have different certifications. Here are some of the more popular training courses they may attend.

Inspection

Although the IICRC offers many inspection courses, the one that focuses on flooring and subflooring is the most popular. The various information they learn in this course includes:

  • Substrate and subfloor inspection techniques
  • Carpet inspection techniques
  • Resilient flooring inspection techniques
  • Wood and laminate inspection techniquees

Inspectors will likely have more than one mitigation certificate. Each one allows them to focus on a different inspection area, determine mitigation procedures, and decide if materials are salvageable.

Restoration

The IICRC offers various restoration certificates that cover fire, smoke, moisture, odor, and safety regulations. In these courses, technicians learn the key trades that allow them to do their jobs, such as microbial remediation, structural drying, moisture thermography, commercial drying, fire and smoke damage restoration, health and safety precautions, odor control, crime scene protocols, and water damage restoration.
Materials
This organization offers a variety of training courses that deal with specific materials. This includes courses that focus on different carpet, drywall, leather, resilient flooring, stone, masonry, ceramic, upholstery, and wood cleaning methods.
If you want to ensure the highest-quality remediation work is done on your commercial building, look for a company that has trained professionals. These people will have the proper certifications required to do the work needed in your business.

Make Your Commercial Roof Last Longer

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Check for missing shingles on your roof due to wind damage.

Protecting your property in Bel Air, CA, comes in many forms, which should include keeping tabs on the roof. Once the property sustains roof damage, it may mean ruined property and facing water damage or mold issues. Ensuring upkeep stays on the regular to-do list is vital to avoid that and keep your roof lasting as long as possible.

Upkeep Tips

While it may be easy to forget the roof until a storm comes along, it is important to consider the following throughout the year:

Regular Maintenance: Especially after severe weather, owners should check for leaks, standing water and blocked drains, as well as missing shingles, flashing, or other components caused by wind damage.

Repair Leaks: If you discover an issue, don’t let it sit any longer than necessary. The faster it is fixed, the lesser the chance of a bigger problem emerging.

Annual Inspections: Have a professional inspect the roof at least once a year. An inspector will have the expertise to look for hidden issues and potential problems that may lead to roof damage.

Keep It Clean: Ensuring the roof is free of extra debris is key to damage slowly building up and spread. Leaves and branches should be removed to minimize the chances of algae growth, which can accelerate damage.

Trust Certified Professionals

Whether it is gotten to the point that you need a roof rebuild or have sustained damage that requires water damage and restoration services, getting the right help is essential. A roofing issue of any kind is a long-term situation, so choosing a qualified, experienced contractor is vital. Along with being able to perform the work that is necessary, an ideal contractor will walk you through the process, help provide a maintenance plan and identify steps to help ensure the longevity of your roof.
Although roof damage may not be completely avoidable, it can be minimized. Staying proactive and getting the right help ensures your investment lasts longer.

4 Things You Need To Know About Mold

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a white wall Mold damage in Weho, CA.

Four Things To Know About Mold

If you spot suspicious green or black dots on the walls or ceilings of your building, do not ignore them. There is a good chance those fuzzy spots are evidence of mold growth. If left untreated, the fungus can spread quickly and cause serious damage to your business in Weho, CA. Mold should always be treated and removed immediately to avoid costly damage and repairs.
Here are four things you should know about mold.

1. Mold Can Spread Quickly

Mold is a fungus and can grow on many surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpet. Once its microscopic spores enter your building and land on a damp surface, the mold will begin to grow and colonize. Depending on your building's moisture level, type of surface and temperature, the infestation can begin to develop within 24-48 hours and can cause problems throughout the entire building within a matter of days.

2. Mold Loves Moisture

High humidity and warm temperatures create a perfect environment for growth, making basements and bathrooms common areas for the fungus to form. Keep these areas well ventilated with plenty of airflow and use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture content in the air.

3. Mold is Common After Leaks and Floods

Flood and water damage can lead to mold growth when water seeps into porous and organic materials, often causing structural damage. In addition, broken pipes can leak behind a wall and provide an excellent home for growth. Performing routine maintenance on your plumbing can reduce your risk in these situations. If the fungus does appear, calling a professional mold removal service is your best bet for removing it and replacing the damaged materials.

4. Mold Can Carry an Odor

In addition to being unsightly, mold often carries a strong musty odor. In some cases, you may smell the odor before even seeing the infestation if it is growing behind a wall or in other hidden areas of the office.

Never ignore mold growth if you suspect it. It can take over your building quickly and cause severe damage. Keeping the humidity low and routinely inspecting your building’s plumbing can help reduce your chances of developing a mold problem, and swift action can save you from costly repairs to find any growth.

5 Steps To Take If Your Home Is Damaged in a Storm

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on a drywall due to floodwater entering the property Storm damage cleanup in Central Hollywood, CA.

Storm Tips

If you have experienced damage to your Central Hollywood, CA, home after a storm or severe weather, there are many steps that you can take to be proactive in the situation. Instead of just waiting for assistance to come, follow these storm tips to help get your home back in order more quickly.

1. Call Your Insurance Agent

The first thing that you should do if your home has suffered storm damage is to call your insurance company. It is best to get started on your claim as quickly as possible because it can be a long and time-consuming process.

2. Contact a Restoration Service

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to contact someone to help with cleanup and repairs. Sometimes, your agent will give you information for a preferred damage restoration company.

3. Take Pictures

One of the most useful storm tips to remember is to take pictures. You can give these to your insurance agent to facilitate the claims process. Before moving anything, you should document any damage, both to your home and any affected belongings.

4. Move Property to a Dry Area

Once you have photographed the property, you should salvage any items that you can. If you allow them to sit in the water, it will be more difficult to restore and repair them later on.

5. Take Steps To Prevent Further Damage

If the storm damage is contained to certain areas of your home, you should block them off to keep the water from spreading to other areas. Tarps are a useful and effective way to do this. If any doors or windows have been damaged, those should be covered as well.

While it can be easy to panic during an emergency, keeping these storm tips in mind may help you stay calm. You can use them to get the restoration process off to a good start even before the specialists arrive.