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How to Protect Your Pets From a Fire

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Protect Your Pets From a Fire These simple steps can help you prevent fires and promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency.

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Promote the safety of the people and animals in your home in the event of a fire emergency by planning ahead. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan that includes pet safety, here are three pet preparation steps you can take today.

3 Steps to Protect Pets From a Fire

  1. Avoid open flames. Cats or dogs may knock candles over or singe their tails in open flames. Try a flameless candle alternative instead. You should also consider the risk posed by knobs on a gas stove. If you leave your pets unconfined at home while you are away, you may want to block the kitchen entrance or install protective covers to prevent pets from accidentally turning on the gas. 
  1. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Prepare to safely evacuate pets along with the rest of your family in a fire emergency. Obtain and put up a front window cling to inform firefighters of the number and types of pets living in your home.
  1. Gather pet records and supplies in a fire box. Store this box near an exterior door so that you can quickly grab all of these items during an evacuation. Make sure to include ownership and vaccination records as well as spare collars and leashes in case you need to control or restrain a frightened pet.

These simple steps can help you prevent fires and promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency. You may also want to keep other home ownership or insurance records in a place where you can also easily find and take them in the event of an evacuation. Depending on the extent of a fire, you may also want to keep the number of a certified residential fire damage restoration company in Laguna Beach, CA, with these records.

3 Cleanup Steps to Expect After a Toilet Floods

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Cleanup Steps to Expect After a Toilet Floods Cleanup, Drying, and Sanitation of the Area

3 Cleanup Steps to Expect After a Toilet Floods

If your company property in South Laguna Beach, CA, has experienced sewer damage then you may have decided to contact a water damage restoration service. There are a few steps you can expect to see these professionals perform when restoring your property.

1. Cleanup, Drying, and Sanitation of the Area

The first steps you can expect to see your restoration company take is to clean up, drying and sanitation of the effected area. If the water damage comes from toilet overflow or sewer backup then they may also contact your sewage company for any appropriate steps. When it comes to water damage it's important to get the water removed in the area dry as quickly as possible to help prevent possible mold. Sanitation of the affected area is important because it helps prevent potential contaminants from settling in to the property.

2. Inspection for Related Damages

In most cases, especially with sewer damage, you may see the professionals checking for any related damages. This may mean damp carpeting or flooring where water could have soaked in, damaged drywall, and other damage. Dampness left by the water could lead to potential mold growth. If problems are found, you can expect the restoration company to consult with you about making these repairs as well.

3. Replacement and Repairs

After the area is cleaned up and inspected for further damage, the repair and replacement process can begin. In some cases you may want to completely replace damaged property as opposed to repairing it. One example of this may be a flooded toilet in need of a new sealing gasket.

A water damage restoration service is trained on how to properly deal with sewer damage and other water damage types. This means they know how to properly clean up and dry the flooded area as well as how to sanitize it against potential contamination. You may also see these professionals inspect for related damages before they began any replacement and repairs.

Common Toilet Problems and Easy DIY Repairs

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Common Toilet Problems and Easy DIY Repairs A leaking toilet may indicate a problem in the water supply line

As a Capistrano Beach, CA, homeowner, you don’t want to call a plumber for every little repair job. In your frugal mind, a leaking toilet or clogged pipe is simply not worth the service fee. If you are experiencing one of the following three common toilet problems, consider fixing it yourself. Not only will you save a little money, but may also earn some bragging rights.

For the Toilet that Doesn’t Stop Running

A running toilet comes with the recognizable sound of running water. If your toilet is endlessly refilling, you may have a leaky flapper. Start by doing the following:

  • Turn off the toilet’s water supply
  • Remove the old flapper
  • Replace the flapper with one of the same size

If this toilet repair doesn’t seem to work, consider replacing the flush valve seat as well with parts found at your local plumbing supplier.

For the Leaky Toilet

No one wants to walk into the bathroom to discover sitting water around the base of their toilet. A leaking toilet may indicate a problem in the water supply line. Find the area where the shutoff supply valve connects behind your toilet or under your sink. Wrap the packing nut on the water supply line with cloth and tighten it with a pair of pliers.
If the leak persists, turn off the water main in your home and disassemble the toilet’s shutoff valve. When inside, bend and loosen the neoprene rings a bit before cleaning and reassembling them.

For the Wiggly Toilet

An old toilet may accrue gaps and shift overtime. Start by tightening the bolts at the toilet base with a crescent wrench or pliers. If wiggling persists, shims can be used to fill gaps that are making the toilet uneven to the floor. Once the toilet is stabilized, apply a fresh line of caulk around the base to hold it in place.

If water damage from your toilet has occurred in your home, look for a water cleanup team near you. Never let a simple toilet fix throw a wrench in your day. These DIY tips will help you repair a leaking toilet in no time.

Explaining How and Why Mold Grows on Bread

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Explaining How and Why Mold Grows on Bread Mold growth on bread

Reaching into your cupboard and finding fungus growth on your bread is a situation you’ve undoubtedly experienced before in your Aliso Viejo, CA, home. Bread mold is incredibly common, as is fridge mold overall, leading many to speculate what causes it to form on food at all. Read on to discover how and why mold targets food products like bread and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

How Mold Finds a Home on Your Food Products

The growth of mold is generally inevitable, as spores are everywhere, even in the air. Moreover, it likes to breed in places that offer conditions which are easily habitable:

  • In warm, humid climates
  • In darker environments
  • On items that act as a sustainable food source

Therefore, bread becomes an obvious choice for mold to grow on. Bread products are often left out in room temperature spaces, such as on kitchen countertops or shelves, or in darker bread boxes and cupboards, which see less light during the day.

Why Mold Chooses Bread and How To Prevent It

As earlier stated, mold thrives off of sustainable food sources, and it enjoys the nutrient-rich ingredients of bread for its growth. Once it has taken root, it can spread outwards to other feasible foods, such as wholesome fruits and vegetables. This allows for widespread fridge mold to occur. Even though a fungus might prefer warmer environments, it can still fester in cooler climates as well.

If your situation becomes dire, calling on an experienced mold remediation team is crucial for effective treatment. Overall, there’s no foolproof method for preventing bread mold, but only storing enough to be used over a few days and freezing the rest of the loaf for later is the best course of action.

How You Can Take Precautions

Now that you understand how and why bread mold occurs in your Aliso Viejo, CA, house, you can use this knowledge to better prevent its growth. This is the key to a happier, healthier home.

What To Expect in a Fire Restoration

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What To Expect in a Fire Restoration Fire damage in Dana Point, CA

Fire Restoration Steps Professionals Go Through

In the event that your Dana Point, CA, home has suffered fire damage, you may be looking at hiring a fire restoration service to conduct repairs. You may also be wondering what you can expect from this restoration process. Here are a few steps the professionals taking care of your home may go through.

1. Assessment and Planning

The first step that often occurs in a restoration is the assessment and planning of the repair process. This allows the professionals performing the restoration to look over the damage and formulate the proper restoration steps.

2. Mitigation

Another important step in a fire restoration is ensuring that any mitigation steps that are needed have been taken. These are things that can help prevent a fire again in the future, such as checking over wiring or other parts of the home that may create a fire risk.

3. Damage Removal

Once the team has formulated a plan and gone over any mitigation and safety steps that needs to be taken, they can begin the removal of debris and other damage. This may include damaged items, but smoke damage can be removed as well. Damage cleaning needs to occur before any repairs are made to ensure but no lasting harm remains in the home.

4. Repairs

Repairs are what many people expect to happen when a restoration is conducted at their home. However, this is often the last step. In order for repairs to occur a home must be cleared of debris and prepped so that everything can be safely restored back to working order.

When choosing to have a professional perform a fire restoration at your home, these are the steps you can expect to see them go through. An assessment will not only help them determine the best way to conduct the repairs, but may also lead to some additional fire mitigation that can help keep your home safe in the future. The service will be able to provide a variety of damage removal, including smoke, and then conduct repairs so that your home looks as though a fire never occurred.

Why Sand Bagging May Be a Sign of the Past

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Each time a community such as Laguna Beach, CA, faces flooding, the news channels are filled with people working tirelessly to fill sand bags. However, these barriers aren't the only choice for flood prevention. The sand bag has several major drawbacks, including:

  • Difficult removal
  • Environmentally hazardous
  • Labor intensive
  • Time consuming

There must be faster or more effective alternatives, particularly when companies are concerned with protecting commercial property from flood damage. Not surprisingly, new inventions and technology are improving the way communities protect against flooding.

Flood Fence Barriers

Large properties, such as those containing a building or factory, would be very difficult to sand bag. Several different types of flood fencing can work well. Basically, these are large fence-like barriers put around a property to act as flood dams. They are relatively easy to put into place, but they do need to be ordered ahead of time. Some flood fences need to be filled with water, while others work right out of the box.

Water-Absorbing Bags

For smaller flooding concerns, water-absorbing bags are a good option. These are lighter than traditional bags containing sand, and they can often last ten years. They can be very effective in front of doorways or warehouse garage doors. One drawback is that, although they can protect a building, they don’t protect an entire property.

Large Scale Solutions

Occasionally, a business is in close proximity to a particular creek or small river that is prone to flooding. Areas in northern England have used large steel barriers on the water's edge. These can be raised or lowered to prevent water from entering a particular area. This would only be appropriate if it diverted the water to a source with more capacity to handle it, but it is an effective alternative to regularly calling in water restoration specialists.

There are several ways to prevent flooding of a commercial property without resorting to the usual sand bag. Fence barriers, water-absorbing bags and even installing steel barriers are several viable options. Regardless of your choice, it is important to be prepared ahead of time and have a plan in place.

What to do After Fire Loss in Laguna Beach, CA

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

California is known for the wildfires that rage through the state in the winter and spring months, and if you have had to evacuate because of one of them, you know the fear and anxiety that you go through. The authorities allow a family enough time to pack important papers and a few clothes, and then everyone has to vacate the property.

Often, no one is permitted to go back until the fire is out, which could be several days. The worst case scenario is that when you go back, your beautiful home has been touched by the devastation, and you have to deal with the damage the fire left behind.

This is one of the worst situations that can occur, having all your possessions destroyed by fire, soot or smoke. Fires can be started in a variety of different ways: a cigarette or candle left burning and falling onto a chair or the carpet, a fire in the kitchen that gets out of control or an electrical appliance such as a space heater that is unattended.

Fires are unpredictable and often cannot be contained even if someone discovers it in time, so the fire department adds their water damage from fire to the existing damage and it creates a total loss. Fire Loss is typically covered in the Homeowner’s policy, but how is it determined?

Fire Loss Definition

There must be a definition of fire loss that is consistent, and the National Fire Incident Reporting System or NFIRS does that: “Fire loss is an estimation of the total loss to the structure and contents in terms of replacement in like kind and quantity. This estimation of fire loss includes contents with fire damage, smoke, water from fire. It does not include indirect losses, such as business interruption.”

Laguna Beach, California in Orange County is susceptible to brush and vegetation fires similar to one from last year that burned the south side of the canyon. In 2015, California was second in the nation for having the highest number of fires, over 8,700, reported in one year. In California, this is especially hazardous because the smoke and soot contribute to the air quality.

Fire Damage in Residential Homes

No matter what the cause of a fire, it is a catastrophe for the homeowners. Whether the damage is extensive or light, the owners have lost their precious possessions, and the house, if it's still standing, will involve a clean-up on smoke damage and soot damage. The firefighters that responded to the call also added extensive water damage from fire.

Each of these damages needs to be taken care of in a different way, so it is best to have a professional fire and water cleaning company address the problem. They have the professional solutions and tools to address the soot damage and smoke damage that comes directly from the fire and are also able to help with the water damage from the hoses.

Three Key Points for Calculating Losses from the Fire Department

  •     The estimated total loss both to the structure and the contents and is added to the replacement costs. These estimated costs should be equal to the same kind and quantity of the original items. Fire loss includes a total of everything.
  •     Fire loss is not an indirect loss, such as the loss of business or time at work.
  •     The U.S. Fire Administration recommends the use of the International Code Council’s Building Valuation Data formula to assist fire departments in calculating the total amount lost.

The ICC’s BVD is a worksheet formula to help fire departments determine the dollar loss from a fire and provides a price list to use in addition to the internet. The BVD formula provides the average construction costs per square foot, which can be used to evaluate the estimated value of any structure. When the entire building has been affected by the fire, this is the best method.

Next, a home inventory of the contents of your home needs to be itemized on paper, and this can be an emotional process. You must include as many of your personal items as possible until you come to the limits of your policy.

Making an Inventory

Here are several tips to complete your inventory in the least time-consuming and painless way possible: 1) List each item and assign a value to it. 2) Produce any receipts, photographs or other evidence that you have for the items. 3) If you need more time, get an extension by making a written request.

Time Savers to Help in the Process

Here are some time-saving tips for the process. 1) Use UP's Home Inventory Spreadsheet and the App, which will help with the prices. 2) Go to a box store with a scanner to list to value items. 3) Ask family and friends to help you remember items, so you can complete your inventory.

If the inventory is too difficult for you and you would rather avoid the process, you can negotiate a “cash-out” settlement at your policy’s limits. Remember, to stand strong on the amount because it is the insurer's job to keep a lower return.

These tips can be used for property owners who have lost all or lost only a small amount due to fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage. It doesn't matter which state you are in, the process is the same.

When you are dealing with the insurance adjuster, don’t allow him/her to become your friend. They have one job to do, and it’s to gain your trust, so the company can repay at the least value. Your evaluation and inventory are significant documentation because it will be what allows you to stand firm.

There is one type of damage that won't be able to be calculated, but it is definitely a considerable damage and that is the air quality affected by the fire. Unfortunately, a fire contributes considerably to the destruction of the ozone layer, but it is not available to be evaluated. by handling fire loss in a constructive and positive way, you will recover. 

3 Requirements For Flood Damage Restoration

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Requirements For Flood Damage Restoration SERVPRO uses equipment to dry properly to ensure no moisture is left for future damages.

Cleaning Requirements For Flood Damage Restoration

Flooding can introduce highly contaminated Category Three water into structures where it is likely to cause extensive primary and secondary damage. The cleaning requirements established by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the certifying and standard-setting body of the restoration industry, are necessary to reduce the risk of fungal and microbial growth after a flood damages a residence in Laguna Beach, CA.

1. Extraction

Restoration professionals must remove standing water prior to cleaning or attempting to restore materials or contents at a residence. These experts often use pumps. Depending on the portion of a home that is flooded, it may be possible to pump quickly. Otherwise, more gradual extraction will be necessary. It is crucial to allow the pressure on basement walls to gradually equalize to avoid structural damage.

2. Disinfection

Flood damage usually involves grossly contaminated Category Three water. Restoration specialists also refer to this type of water as black water. It may contain bacteria, chemicals, fungus spores, heavy metals, solid waste and other risky substances. One of the most important cleaning requirements involves using a flood disinfectant to prevent infection or mold growth.

3. Drying

It is essential to completely dry any part of a residence that has been exposed to water. Moisture and organic material combine to support many types of fungi. In addition to extracting water with a pump or wet vac, flood clean specialists may also recommend the use of a dehumidifier to lower relative indoor humidity levels to the range of 30 percent to 50 percent. Low humidity levels can inhibit mold growth.

Damage restoration professionals certified by the IICRC meet the cleaning requirements set forth in industry-leading standards. It can be challenging for non-professionals to properly clean up flood damage, but experts can use commercial-grade equipment and EPA-rated flood disinfectant to reduce the residual risks of storm or water damage at a residence in Laguna Beach, CA.

What Is Secondary Damage?

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Is Secondary Damage? SERVPRO uses equipment to remove water and dry properly to ensure no moisture is left for secondary damages.

While water is essential for your survival, it doesn’t suit you well in some situations, especially when it comes into contact with materials in your office building in large, sudden quantities or consistently over long periods of time. An immediate burst of flooding can cause terrible damage, but undetected water over many months or years can introduce secondary damage and other problems such as black mold. It’s important to understand the issues that can arise when gradual water damage occurs.

How Flooding Starts

You try to guard your Aliso Viejo, CA, business against disasters, but they’re not always possible to predict or prevent. Floods are among the most devastating emergencies you could face at work and one of the biggest causes of secondary water damage. Here’s how they can start:

  • Sewer backup
  • Leaky or broken pipes
  • Weak roof or missing roof shingles
  • Poor drainage
  • Water that finds its way into your building’s foundation

What It Leaves Behind

When water gets on the floor, onto furniture or on the drywall, you may face damage even after you clean it up. This is known as secondary damage. From this, you may find fungal growth and other bacteria in parts of your building. It usually requires a trained professional mold remediation specialist to remove.

What Happens If You Find Mold

If you spot this type of damage, there’s a good change black mold is present. This isn’t something you should try to clean up yourself, and you definitely don’t want to ignore it. A professional crew will use specialized chemicals and processes to get rid of the mold and sanitize the affected area so you feel comfortable resuming your work duties in the building.

What You Should Watch To Stay Proactive

Parts of your building with high humidity, such as laundry facilities, bathrooms with showers or exercise rooms, may be susceptible to mold growth before or after a flood. Also, you should check your plumbing systems regularly.

You don’t want to find black mold at work. Be on the lookout for problem areas and be prepared to call the professionals if water damage occurs.

Do You Know Anything About Mold: Understanding the Basics

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Do You Know Anything About Mold: Understanding the Basics SERVPRO has the expertise to treat any type of mold found in your business

Understanding Mold 

Mold growth may cause business interruption, especially if your building is exposed to a significant infestation. While every mold can be remediated, the cleanup also depends on a timely response. This means that there is a point when an infestation may result in the condemning of a property. Thankfully, most mold problems are discovered before that happens, especially in commercial properties where routine inspections are the norm. However, sometimes knowing that your business will survive isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to understand something to feel at ease about it.

1. Mold Versus Mildew

While both mold and mildew form in high humidity, they are very different. Mildew is flat and often easy to remove. Mold is fuzzy and plants itself deep into porous surfaces. Mildew is usually gray and white. Mold is shades of green, yellow and black.

2. Danger or Harmless

Any mold growth should be dealt with carefulness. While not all species are toxic, without testing it is impossible to know the potential risks of handling. At a minimum, you should wear a respirator, protective eyewear and gloves before interacting with a colony.

3. Causes or Cause

Water damage, inadequate ventilation or high humidity can lead to mold infestations. Therefore, moisture is the primary cause of mold development. The best ways to avoid this type of environment from developing is to install dehumidifiers and adequate ventilation systems.

4. Professional or DIYer

A mold remediation specialist in the Dana Point, CA, area is likely better equipped to deal with a mold colony. A DIYer may be able to handle a small mold problem, but anything significant should be dealt with by trained and certified professionals.

Business interruption is likely inevitable in most mold growth situations. However, that interruption doesn’t have to be long-lasting, especially if the infestation is caught early. Routine inspections play a pivotal role in early detection as does having certified mold removal expert on speed dial in case a problem ever arises.