Recent Posts

What Should You Do If Your Toilet Overflows?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Person unclogging a toilet Plunge the toilet

What Happens If Your Toilet Overflows?

If your toilet overflows, you need to act fast. When a toilet overflows, the first thing people tend to do is flush it again. That's the worst thing you can do. Flushing will only make the problem worse by sending more water into the bowl and potentially damaging your flooring. Read the article down below to learn what you should do if your toilet overflows.

Turn Off the Water Supply to the Toilet

If your toilet begins to overflow, turn off the water supply line to the toilet. Most toilets are connected by a control valve that is attached to the side of the bowl and can be turned using a wrench. This will stop water from entering your toilet through that line. This will prevent any damaged walls or floors resulting from the excess water overflowing.

Turning off this valve should stop any further overflow problems until you have time to take care of them.

Don't flush

If your toilet overflows, don't flush it. You've probably already figured that much out. The next step is to keep anything else from going into the toilet as well—don't put anything in there! If you think of something that needs to go down the drain while your sink isn't working, just use a bucket or something else instead.

And finally, don't use the bathroom at all! If you really need to go, try using an alternative means. That way you don't accidentally make things worse by adding more wastewater into an already overflowing system.

Remove the Excess Water from the Bowl

The next step is to remove as much excess water from the bowl as you can. While it’s tempting to reach down into the bowl, this isn’t a good idea because you may get hurt. Instead, use a wet vacuum or bucket to scoop up as much water as possible. Be sure not to use your hands—you might end up with cuts from broken pieces of porcelain or other objects that were in your toilet before it overflowed.

Plunge the Toilet

Plunging is an easy technique that can be used to remove the blockage from the toilet. To do so, put a rubber plunger on the drain opening and push down gently but firmly until all of the remaining water is drained away.

Call a plumber

If you don't know how to fix your toilet, call a plumber. This is one of those things that you might think you could do yourself, but as we've established in this article, there's more to it than just turning off the water. A good plumber should be able to solve your problem in no time at all—and charge less than if you tried to do it yourself.

When choosing a plumber to help with an overflowing toilet and other plumbing issues, consider these tips:

  • Talk with friends and family who have hired a plumber before; ask them which ones they recommend.
  • Check out online reviews from websites like Yelp and Angie's List or search for local companies on Google Maps.
  • Research any company's reputation by doing some research online.

By following these steps, we hope that you can avoid the unpleasant experience of water damage to your bathroom. If you have any questions or need more advice on what to do next, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

How Do I Keep My Building Secure After a Fire?

10/2/2022 (Permalink)

Board up windows and doors of a commercial building Board up services in a commercial property after a fire event.

Steps To Protect Your Building After a Fire

When a fire happens to your Bel Air, CA, business, you may be worried about the damage to your property and belongings. However, there are additional steps that should be taken to ensure that your building remains secure after the fire has been put out. If you do not take these steps, you risk having additional break-ins or other incidents happening at your business as well as running up costs on top of the other expenses associated with fire damage. Here are some steps you can take to protect your building after a fire:

Cover Any Open Doors or Windows

In the case of a fire, you should cover any open doors and windows with plywood to prevent entry. You can use a hammer and nails to secure the plywood over the opening; make sure that it is securely attached at all four corners. If you have broken glass, you may also want to cover it with cardboard or plastic sheeting before covering with plywood.

For large openings like sliding glass doors, use two pieces of plywood laid on top of each other so that they overlap slightly at their edges (see image below). This will make them stronger than one piece alone.

Monitor the Property Closely

The best way to keep your property safe post fire is to have a security system installed. A good system will alert you when there's an intruder and it can even deter intruders from entering in the first place by scaring them off with lights, loud noises and/or sirens. If you don't want to install a home security system yourself, hire a professional for installation or maintenance services.

You should also consider hiring a watchman or guard service if you live in an area where theft is common. This will help prevent any break-ins while you're away on vacation or business trips and make sure that no one steals anything valuable from inside the building or garage where they are storing their vehicle(s).

When shopping around for an alarm company, make sure they are monitored 24/7 by professionals who will respond quickly if there is an issue (such as smoke or heat detectors going off). Look for companies that offer all of these features:

  • Smoke and heat detectors
  • Motion sensors (to detect movement within the building)
  • An alarm

Protecting your building and your belongings after a fire means taking security seriously

After a fire, it is important to take security seriously.

  • Lock doors and windows.
  • Install security cameras that are monitored by a central station.
  • Get a business security system installed if your building qualifies for one of these services. This type of system allows the monitoring center to keep an eye on all the activity taking place inside your property with little effort required on your part.
  • Monitor the property closely and make sure everything always looks secure

We hope this article has been helpful to you. We know how terrifying it can be to go through a fire, whether you’re the one who suffered damage or someone else. However, don’t let that fear paralyze you—act and protect your building from intruders by following these tips!

How Can Renters Insurance Help After a Fire?

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets burned A kitchen fire in Melrose District, CA

Ways Your Renters Policy Can Work For You After A Home Fire Incident

One common misconception many renters have is the belief that they do not need an insurance policy. While renters aren't responsible for homeowners insurance, a renters insurance policy can go a long way after an accident, particularly after a fire. See the many ways your renters policy can work for you after a home fire incident.

Replacement Costs for Personal Property
One of the most common expenses to renters after a home fire is the cost of replacing personal property. If your personal belongings receive fire damage or are destroyed in a residential fire, an insurance policy for renters can be highly helpful. Rental insurance assists with the cost of replacing goods at current purchase value. This is good news if you have lost items to a fire that have depreciated over time. While your old TV or dining room set may not have much cash value if you were to put them up for sale, the replacement value of those items is the amount you would be likely to spend to replace them. Personal belongings commonly replaced by a renters policy include the following:

  • Couches
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Electronics
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • Appliances

Injury and Liability
If you are responsible for starting a fire by your own negligence, renters insurance may be helpful for covering medical costs for those hurt by the fire. For example, if a fire started at your residence causes smoke damage to neighboring tenants, liability costs may be covered or offset by your insurance policy. Each renters policy is unique. Talk to your insurance provider directly to understand the injury and liability coverage available in your plan.

Loss of Use Clause
Finally, an insurance policy for renters may assist you with loss of use. This means, if your dwelling becomes unlivable after a fire, renters insurance may kick-in to pay for the costs of lodging. Lodging expenses may include temporary housing or hotels while a Melrose District, CA, fire restoration expert cleans up the aftermath. Make sure you have a good insurance policy in place before a fire strikes so that you, as a renter, will be protected.

The 72 Hours After Roof Damage

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

ceiling damaged by water A ceiling leak in a home in Bel Air, CA.

What Can Occur During The First Three Days After Roof Damage

Leaks can undermine the seal of a building envelope in a matter of hours after damage strikes the roof of a commercial structure in Bel Air, CA. Within 48 to 72 hours, conditions may deteriorate to the point where black mold starts to grow on saturated surfaces. Learn more about what can occur during the first three days after roof damage without damage mitigation, roof repair and water damage restoration.

The First Day After Roof Damage
The severity of water damage caused by a roof leak depends on the degree of damage. Here are some potential risks associated with graduated levels of roof damage:

  • Minor roof damage exposes roofing materials to damage
  • Moderate roof damage admits water under a roof membrane or deck
  • Major water damage brings water into a building interior

While minor damage may only affect the utmost layer of a roof, more severe incidents may compromise the seal of membranes and permit water to penetrate down into the interior of a commercial building and cause a ceiling leak.

The Second Day With a Leaky Roof
The first 48 hours after roof damage are critical for preventing black mold. Property owners should periodically inspect the condition of roofing, especially after severe weather or potentially damaging incidents. It is important to schedule roof repairs and take mitigation measures, such as tarping over damage, within this time frame.

The Third Day of a Roof Leak
Mold growth may start within 72 hours after a leak. Airborne spores settle in moist locations, and many building materials such as insulation and drywall contain cellulose. Fungus converts this plant fiber into simple starches and sugars for nourishment.
Water that filters down through building materials becomes more contaminated and may become grossly contaminated Category Three black water over time. Thorough water damage restoration can keep black mold at bay at a building in Bel Air, CA.

4 FAQs About Using Public Adjusters in Disaster Claims

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Man with white helmet writing on clipboard The Insurance Adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish.

Four Common Questions About Public Adjusters in Disaster Claims

 An insurance adjuster is a person who will examine the damage to your business after a disaster, so you can get the funds you need to hire a disaster restoration company. Public adjusters work on behalf of a policyholder to examine your property and file a claim. They are licensed professionals who can help you save a lot of money by helping you get the most out of your insurance company.

1. What Is a Public Adjuster?
A public insurance adjuster is someone who works on a client's behalf to examine property damage. Businesses often hire them when they are having trouble with a claim or feel that the insurance company is withholding funds.

2. How Are They Different From Company Adjusters?
There are a few types of adjusters. The primary difference is who employs them. A company insurance adjuster will be paid by the insurance agency with whom you have your policy with.

3. How Much Do They Cost?
Many public adjusters in Spaulding Square, CA, offer a free consultation to determine if they are willing to work with you. If they decide to take you on as a client, you will typically be required to pay a percentage of your claim to the adjuster.

4. How Do You Choose One?
There are several ways you can choose a public adjuster to work with. The first thing you should do is make sure your candidate is licensed. They must be licensed in the state you are in. This ensures they know the law of your location. Additionally, find someone willing to work with your contractors. A qualified company, such as SERVPRO, will often be willing to share its findings with your adjuster, so cooperation is key.
Sometimes, business owners can benefit from getting outside help with examining damage and filing an insurance claim. Fortunately, public adjusters are available to help perform these tasks.

4 Ways Nature Can Be Used to Prevent Flooding

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Rain garden. Rain falling over orange flowers Rain gardens are designed to be just below the ground level to trap rainwater.

Four Ways To Reduce Flooding

When floodwaters rise in your Central Hollywood, CA, business, that high water means a messy cleanup best left to water damage and restoration company. While flooding can’t be completely eliminated, larger urban areas are turning to nature for flood prevention. Below are four ways to reduce flooding while also beautifying a landscape filled with concrete and buildings.


1. Rain Gardens
As older urban areas are being revitalized, planners are incorporating more green space to stop flooding. Rain gardens are designed to be just below the ground level to trap rainwater. They are shallow and flat, which helps the green vegetation and soil filter any pollutants as it absorbs the overflow. They are easy and cost-effective to build and maintain, making them a trending solution.


2. Planting Trees
When the goal is to reduce high water, trees make an excellent solution. Although they take time to grow, their eventual canopies slow the flow of runoff. As the water collects on the leaves, it eventually evaporates or trickles down to be absorbed by the soil below. Their extensive root systems can also benefit groundwater replenishment in a drought.


3. Green Roofs
Along with boosting plant life on the ground, green roofs are an ideal method to minimize the effects of stormwater runoff. Covered in vegetation, they absorb approximately 80 percent of the rainfall. That means less water running over sidewalks and streets getting polluted. Another bonus is that a building with a green roof can reduce city temperatures because heat isn’t getting trapped by rows of dark roofs.

4. Rainwater Collection

While heavy rainfall can be a bit dreary, using that rain in smarter ways can reduce flooding and minimize water usage. There are tanks that can be installed for large buildings to collect, store and use that water for other purposes. With the ability to hold thousands of gallons of water, it can be incorporated into a structure for flushing toilets, lawn and garden irrigation, and other cleaning purposes.

Although high water entering your property may eventually happen, largescale efforts are being made in many cities to use nature to fight flooding.

The Connection Between Swamp Coolers and Mold

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking swamp cooler A leaking swamp cooler in Weho, CA, should be fixed as soon as possible

In certain areas of the country, mostly in the southwestern states, swamp coolers are an efficient replacement for air conditioning. One drawback of these devices is that they have the potential to encourage mold growth, especially when a leaking swamp cooler or poor maintenance affects the operation. The components of the system include a central unit with a belt-driven fan and a cellulose pad moistened with water. The fan delivers moistened and cooled air to the rest of the house through ducts. Because mold likes high levels of moisture, the swamp cooler can create havens for mold growth in several areas of the unit.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

A leaking swamp cooler in Weho, CA, should be fixed as soon as possible since this creates standing water and excess moisture that permits mold growth. Other areas of the device call for the following attention:

  • The cellulose pad should be cleaned or replaced as scheduled
  • The central unit should be cleaned to remove any mold deposits
  • The air ducts should be cleaned by a professional mold remediation company

For those who live in a humid region of the country, it may be worth it to purchase a traditional air conditioning unit. This will cut down on humidity in the home and reduce the chance of mold.

The Importance of Mold Cleanup
Whether caused by a leaking swamp cooler or some other moisture problem, the appearance of mold in a home requires action. Left unchecked, mold will grow into bigger colonies and spread throughout the home. It reduces the value of a home. It causes damage to furniture, drywall, flooring, and contents while producing an unpleasant, musty odor. An inspection and damage assessment by trained technicians is a good way to ascertain the extent of mold in a home.

How To Help Your Carpet Recover From Water Damage

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers on top of wet carpet Drying carpet in a home in Melrose District, CA.

How To Clean Your Carpet and Help it Recover From Water Damage

If a pipe breaks or bursts in your Melrose District, CA, home, it can quickly lead to various forms of water damage. Porous materials such as carpets tend to be more severely affected by water, which means it’s crucial to restore your wet carpeting as soon as possible. Failing to take immediate action may lead to mold growth or other types of harm. Keep these guidelines in mind to properly clean your carpet and help it recover from water damage after a pipe break.

Dry the Area
To prevent any further damage from occurring, be sure to thoroughly dry all wet areas of your home immediately. Be sure to point fans towards your carpets as well as the surrounding space to ensure that all moisture evaporates completely. Drying your home during the restoration process can help accomplish the following:

  • Circulating fresh air
  • Removing excess moisture
  • Preventing mold growth

In addition, removing any leftover water from your carpeting can keep water damage under control until help arrives.

Inspect Your Home
Water damage has a way of hiding in the most unexpected areas of your home. To properly assess the level of damage after a pipe break, be sure to inspect your living space from top to bottom. This includes checking your carpet padding as well as the carpets themselves to identify any traces of moisture.

Call a Professional
After a pipe breaks in your home, it’s crucial to take the proper measures to keep any additional harm at bay. Once you’ve done your part, though, be sure to call an experienced professional who can handle the problem. An expert can identify any signs of water damage that you didn’t notice on your own and help restore your home immediately.
A pipe break is a major source of stress for many homeowners. However, with the help of water damage restoration professionals, your home can return to its normal state in no time.

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.