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4 Ways To Prevent Mold Damage After Flooding

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed inside a house, flood cuts performed on drywall to prevent secondary damage Mold cannot flourish in a dry environment.

Four Ways To Prevent Mold

Flooding frequently leads to mold growth, as fungus requires moisture in order to grow and multiply. Homeowners should take immediate action to mitigate primary water damage and prevent secondary damage after a flood occurs in Spaulding Square, CA. Here are four ways to prevent mold from becoming a serious problem.

1. Drain Water As Soon As Possible

Standing water can lead to extensive damage in your home and significantly increase the risk of mold. Homeowners can start this process using simple equipment such as buckets, but flood mitigation professionals usually rely on pumps to drain water.

2. Start the Cleanup Process

Flood water is considered Category Three water, which means that it contains potentially dangerous contaminants and even sewage. After all of this water has been removed, the affected area should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Remove debris and kill off bacteria that can facilitate mold growth.

3. Remove Porous Building Materials

Porous materials such as carpet or drywall will probably need to be torn out and replaced during the mitigation process to prevent mold from starting to grow. Restoration experts can help homeowners determine whether it is worth the time and money to attempt to clean or repair damaged contents or materials. More often than not, replacement is the best option.

4. Completely Dry the Area

Mold cannot flourish in a dry environment. Professionals may use commercial- or industrial-grade equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers to speed drying and draw moisture out of semi-porous surfaces.

These four measures may reduce the extent of mold growth following a flood in Spaulding Square, CA. If a residence has been exposed to standing water for 24 hours or longer, mold may already have started to grow. A water damage mitigation and restoration company can ensure that conditions do not remain conducive to mold.

Holiday Home Maintenance: Water Heater Flush

12/19/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler Make sure your water heater is working its best.

Water Heater Maintenance

Prepare for holiday guests by making sure your water heater is working its best. If you are hosting some out-of-town guests at your home in West Hollywood, CA, you are probably busy making sure your guests will feel welcome and comfortable. A lot of additional demand will be placed on your hot water tank this holiday season, so here is a brief guide that will help you be ready. This is an easy way to ensure holiday memories aren’t tarnished with cold showers and house floods.

Quick Guide for a Water Heater Flush

1. Turn off the electricity by finding the designated switch in the breaker box.
2. Connect a hose and open the drain valve.
3. Turn off the water supply.
4. Refill the tank.
5. Turn on the power.

Because the water is very hot, be sure to use caution. Make sure you don’t touch the draining water and protect your hands by wearing gloves when handling the hose.

Read These Tips Before You Start

While the steps are simple, there are a couple of tricks that will help you after you start draining the water heater. First, make sure the pressure release valve is open. This is located on top of the tank. Close this valve again when you are ready to refill the tank.

Second, turn on the hot water at your kitchen faucet. This creates some air that will help with draining the tank. Don’t turn the faucet off until you have finished refilling the tank. The water at your kitchen faucet will start flowing normally again when the tank is full.

Ensure a Smooth Holiday

Low water pressure or a flood from an eroded water tank can interrupt your holiday and leave you unable to give house guests what they need. Prevent water heater problems by doing maintenance once a year. If you haven’t flushed your tank in a long time, do it now! Flood damage restoration is probably not something you want to do during the holidays, but thankfully there are experts available if you do have an emergency.

Residential Fire Cleanup and Restoration Process

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen cabinet Fire damage in a Bel Air, CA home.

The Aftermath of a Fire

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in your Bel Air, CA, home can seem overwhelming. There's probably a lot of smoke damage and soot damage, as well as damage from the fire hoses. It's important to call on a professional fire restoration company as soon as possible to get the situation under control. They will follow these procedures to get your home back to normal as soon as possible:

  • Emergency Repairs
  • Damage Assessment
  • Cleanup
  • Repair
  • Restoration
  • Consultation

Emergency Services

The first thing the fire restoration experts do is make any necessary emergency repairs. This includes any boarding up that needs to be done as well as water removal or security fencing.

Assessing the Damage

As soon as the emergency repairs are completed, the fire experts needs to make an assessment to see how best to carry out the restoration and repairs. First, they will check to see what kind of harm has been done to the structure, then address issues such as water and smoke damage.

Cleanup

Once the assessment is done, they will begin the process of cleaning up. Any areas affected by water will be dried and sanitized, and whatever can be salvaged will be specially treated for smoke cleaning. Materials that have been severely damaged by the fire are removed at this time.

Repair

Once the cleanup is completed, repairs are made to any holes in the walls or the roof. Also, any leaks from water tanks or burst pipes are addressed.

Restoration Process

Next, the restoration begins. Salvageable furniture and other items are repaired, and repairs to the structure are completed. After the structural work is done, wallpapering, painting and carpet replacement are next.

Further Consultation

The fire restoration company can then consult with you about how best to avoid another fire. They may help you with ways to store materials properly or help you to select a good fire alert system for your home.

This outline should help you to get a general idea of what happens when you call for help with fire and smoke damage. A good fire cleanup company should put you at ease and quickly get your home back to normal.

2 Common Myths About Fire Sprinkler Systems

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Most sprinklers release about 10-20 gallons of water.

Two Popular Myths About Fire Sprinkler Systems

A fire sprinkler system is one of the most common methods of fighting fires in commercial buildings, but they are often viewed in a negative light. Whether it be through popular media or simply as a general opinion, fire sprinklers are sometimes looked down on. However, there are many benefits of having one in your commercial building, such as putting out fires quickly and reducing the risk of flooding. Here are two popular myths about fire sprinkler systems and the facts behind them.

1. They Cause Extensive Water Damage

It’s true that damage from the water can happen while putting out a fire, but this is a common occurrence with any fire extinguishing attempt. However, using a fire sprinkler system can save you from flooding, mold, or serious damage because each sprinkler puts out much less water than a firefighting hose would. Most sprinklers release about 10-20 gallons of water, while most fire hoses release 80-120 gallons.

Along with this, fire sprinkler systems quickly respond to a fire instead of having to wait for outside help to come to the rescue before damage is reduced. They are immediately set off and release a powerful spray of water. If water damage does occur, local restoration professionals can help. However, it will likely be a lot less work and time than fire restoration would have been.

2. They are Easily Triggered

A common opinion of sprinkler systems is that they are easily set off, making it seem almost illogical to have one of these systems in a commercial building. However, sprinkler heads are only triggered by high temperatures, which typically only happens when a fire emerges. Most are activated by temperatures of 135-165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sprinkler heads are also set off individually, minimizing the exposure to water and risk of flooding. If your commercial building in Spaulding Square, CA, has a sprinkler system or you are considering buying one, these myths are nothing to be concerned about.

Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover Broken Pipes?

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

Swollen wooden floor due to water damage Water damage caused the floor to warp in a home in Weho, CA.

What Is and Isn't Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

An all-perils homeowner's policy provides a wide range of coverage for your home. These policies may not cover issues that result from a lack of normal maintenance. Even if your policy does not cover the cost to fix a broken pipe, it should offset the restoration of water or flood damage caused by a burst. Find out more about what probably is and is not covered by homeowners' insurance.

A Broken Pipe

Most homeowners' policies consider plumbing problems preventable with regular maintenance. Schedule inspections to prevent your claim from being rejected on the basis of indications of negligence such as

  • Old or damaged plumbing
  • Signs of corrosion or rust
  • No recent inspections by licensed professionals
  • Lack of preventative measures such as heating your home or dripping faucets

If you can prove that you have done everything you can to prevent a pipe break, you may be able to file a successful claim. Even if your policy will not pay for the burst, flood or water damage from a broken pipe is usually covered.

Water Damage

Act quickly to mitigate damage to increase the chances of your claim being accepted. Shut off the water supply and collect as much water as possible. Contact a plumber to fix broken pipe and a restoration service.

A pipe burst usually causes Category One water damage. There are several categories that require more or less extensive cleanup.

  • Category One water is clean and treated
  • Category Two water may contain chemicals or microbes
  • Category Three water contains solid waste

Water from a pipe break can develop into Category Two damage if you wait too long. You can increase the likelihood your insurance coverage will pay for your claims by gathering evidence that you have done everything in your power to limit flood damage. Start by contacting a plumber and professional water damage restoration service in Weho, CA.

A Quick Look at Citywide Flood Prevention

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Release of dam water Dams are a common method of flood prevention.

Citywide Flood Prevention

As a commercial property owner in Central Hollywood, CA, you do what you can to prevent high water from affecting your building. While putting up barriers, working with water damage experts, improving the water seal, and installing sump pumps can help control flooding, it's not always enough to ward off all of the damage. Did you know your city can implement preventative measures to help protect not just your building but also the whole area? Common citywide measures include the following:

  • Surge barriers
  • Dam networks
  • Water gates
  • Moveable dams

The prevention solutions available in your area may vary.

Surge Barriers

Surge barriers help stop flooding by blocking spring tides and storm surges from entering an area. The barriers themselves may be computerized or made of earth. Some barriers may move to allow a space to be used differently during fair weather.

Dam Networks

Dams are a common method of flood prevention, but many cities choose to create a specialized network to improve the effectiveness. This network could include storm surge barriers, sluices, locks and dikes. The variety of solutions gives a city greater protection than a single option can.

Water Gates

Canals and water gates can help direct water away from cities. The engineering projects are often complex and include automated motors to allow the gates to open and close as needed. Some cities may use hydraulic motors to ensure the gates work even during storms that include power loss.

Moveable Dams

Permanent protection from high water is needed in some areas, but in others, this protection is only needed during a storm. Moveable dams can be stored out of the water to allow rivers to flow normally during low water periods.

While you may not be implementing high water protections like the ones listed above, it can be helpful for you to be aware of the options available as a commercial property owner. Citywide protection can help keep your building safe during potentially hazardous storms.

Which Fire Extinguisher Do You Need?

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Types of fire extinguishers The right fire extinguisher can help you stop a home fire before it spreads.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher is an essential piece of fire preparedness equipment. A variety of extinguisher classes are available. Learn about the differences between the four classes of fire suppressants and multi-class models to choose the right extinguisher to put out any home fire.

Class A Extinguishers

Class A fire extinguishers are suitable for standard combustibles such as

  • Paper
  • Plastics
  • Textiles
  • Trash
  • Wood

These extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate. This chemical works to smother fires.

Class B Extinguishers

Class B fire suppressants are suitable for flammable liquids such as

  • Oil
  • Gasoline
  • Grease
  • Kerosene
  • Paint

Class B extinguishers combine monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate to smother and cause a chemical reaction that will put out fire.

Class C Extinguishers

A Class C fire extinguisher is designated for use with fires involving live electrical equipment. These extinguishers also contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. The concentration of this nonconductive mixture may vary, and is formulated to pass standards set forth in UL711 and UL299.

Class D Extinguishers

Class D fire suppressants dispense a thick layer of inert agent over combustible or reactive metals such as

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Pyrophoric organometallic reagents
  • Sodium
  • Titanium

Most homeowners do not require a Class D extinguisher.

Multi-Class Extinguishers

You may find multi-class fire extinguishers such as A-B extinguishers designed to combat fires caused by standard combustibles or flammable liquids. B-C extinguishers are similarly capable of suppressing fires fuel by liquids or electrical sources. A-B-C extinguishers are some of the most versatile residential fire suppressants. Depending on the part of your home where you plan to extinguish fires, you may want to choose a multi-class extinguisher for common fire hazards.

The right fire extinguisher can help you stop a home fire before it spreads and causes serious damage. If a fire causes damage to your home in Melrose District, CA, rely on the expertise of fire and smoke damage restoration specialists.

6 Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detector Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen.

Keep Your Home Safe From Kitchen Fires

The fire department often responds to kitchen fires in Melrose District, CA, so it’s wise to take simple precautions to reduce fire hazards in your home. Here are tips to keep your home safe from kitchen fires.

1. Organize Your Kitchen With Safety in Mind

Anything that might catch fire should be kept away from your stovetop. Keep a baking sheet or pan lid nearby to cover a pan if there is fire. Turn pot handles so they point to the rear of the stove as this will minimize the chance that someone might knock them over.

2. Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking

Unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of kitchen fires. Stay in the kitchen whenever you are grilling, frying or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off and move your pots and pans off the heat because a grease fire is a danger.

3. Dress Safely While Cooking

Loose clothing can catch fire from a gas flame or electric burner. When cooking, wear short sleeves or rolled sleeves. If you have long hair, tie it back.

4. Remember To Turn Everything Off

Turn ovens or burners off after cooking. Other kitchen fire safety tips are to clean up food spills, grease or anything that could catch fire. Be careful when lighting the burner on a gas stove or a pilot light. Don’t put too much oil or grease in pots or pans as hot oil or grease might splatter and cause a grease fire.

5. Install a Smoke Alarm Near the Kitchen

Be sure you have a smoke alarm installed near the kitchen, but not in it. You don’t want cooking smoke or steam to trigger the alarm. Change the batteries every six months.

6. Install a Home Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system will provide protection for your home. If you are renovating or building, consider installing a sprinkler in the kitchen, the area of your home with the greatest fire risk.

Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips. Contact a restoration specialist for help if you have kitchen fire damage.

My Business Caught on Fire, Now What?

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building destroyed by fire, debris all over the building Commercial fire damage in Central Hollywood, CA.

One of the scariest things you can experience as a business owner in Central Hollywood, CA, is having your livelihood catch on fire. The flames are out, so now you can go back to business as usual, right? Wrong! Now the cleanup process for the smoke damage and soot damage begins. There are several important steps to follow throughout this time while you wait for your life to return to normal.

Immediately After the Fire

The first step is to take a deep breath and assess the situation. Before you attempt to go back into your place of business, keep the following in mind in terms of health and safety:

• Prior to smoke cleaning efforts, there may be things inside that could make you sick, such as items with smoke damage or standing water.
• Depending on the extent of the fire, there may be structural damage in floors and/or walls.
• An extinguished fire may start up again if left smoldering unknowingly.

During the Fire and Smoke Cleaning Process

Now that your safety is not at risk, it is time to evaluate the damage to your business and begin the process of recovery. Some belongings may have been lost to the fire and need to be replaced. However, most of what has not been damaged can be properly cleaned and restored to pre-fire condition. During this phase, it is important to keep excellent records and talk to the appropriate people:

• Contact the fire department for a copy of the fire report.
• As soon as possible, call your insurance company to find out the specific information required.
• Keep your mortgage company or landlord in the loop.
• Locate and hire a reputable restoration specialist to assess, clean and restore the smoke, water and soot damage left behind.

If you were impacted by a fire in Central Hollywood, CA, the process of getting back on your feet may not be something you considered before it happened. Fortunately, following the right steps and working with the right professionals should have your business back to pre-fire and smoke damage condition as soon as possible.

Great Ideas for Getting Rid of Mold Odor

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth in white wall SERVPRO is your local mold remediation specialist.

Excellent Suggestions for Getting Rid of Mold Odor

Mold odor is one of the worst smells imaginable. It’s at once musty and wet, sour and dry, and it can prompt the urge to sneeze or be ill. The dank, terrible smell is clinging and pervasive, and once it’s soaked into something it seems impossible to get rid of. It’s even worse when that odor gets into your hair, skin, and clothing, following you everywhere. This musty odor is caused by mycotoxin, but no matter the cause it’s important to evict mold from your Spaulding Square, CA, home.

Just Covering the Smell Isn’t Enough

It can be tempting to try to cover the smell with air fresheners, candles, and scented cleansers. All this does is mask the smell; it doesn’t get rid of the source. As long as you still have mold, you’re just creating a worse odor when the mycotoxin stench mixes cloyingly with the scented candles and air fresheners.

Instead, to eliminate the smell, you can use these solutions:

• Baking soda, one of the best household remedies for stenches
• Vinegar, another natural home remedy that kills mold and gets rid of smells
• Borax, a chemical cleanser and antifungal that destroys mold spores
• HEPA air filters, which not only eliminate the odors but help to remove some of the mold spores from the air

Mold Elimination Is Your Best Option

Believe it or not, there are likely millions of mold spores floating around you right now. If any one of them takes root, you could have a spreading mold problem. Your best bet to get rid of the mycotoxin stench is to get rid of the source. Professional mold remediation can kill mold odors at the source and remove much of the mold saturating your home in both spore and fungal form. Otherwise, while you may eliminate the odors, you haven’t gotten rid of the source — and as soon as the mold comes back, so will the smell.