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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Pack out, Pack Back and Storage with SERVPRO

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

If your business suffers water, fire, smoke or mold damage, the cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO are the premier choice for content restoration and pack-out.

Content Pack-Out

There are scenarios that require business content removal and relocation for prompt and thorough cleaning and restoration. If a business suffers fire and smoke damage, for example, it is often easier, more secure and cost-efficient to take certain contents to another location for restoration work.

SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms provides complete pack-out services. We will carefully and respectfully take the contents of your home or business to be restored, packed, and delivered to an off-site facility. The pack-out process involves meticulous documentation to ensure your items receive the best possible care, including photo documentation, identification numbers and detailed lists.

  • Artwork
  • Documents
  • Books
  • Photographs
  • VHS and DVD media
  • Clothing
  • Electronics (televisions, computers, stereos, etc.)
  • Furniture
  • Rugs
  • Retail Inventory

Storage

Meanwhile at a SERVPRO restoration location, your items are stored in a secure, climate-controlled environment. They remain there until the cleaning and restoration process is complete.

Content Pack Back

After content cleaning and restoration, items are returned to your business using the same inventory procedures and documentation employed in the pack-out process. Your items are loaded, transported and delivered with great care and then reconciled with original pack-out inventories.

Content cleaning and restoration is offered at SERVPRO locations and on select jobs and services performed. The availability and scope of content cleaning and restoration varies by location, job, insurance provider (if applicable) and other factors.

Infrastructure

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

In places like California where storms don't occur often,  the infrastructure and plumbing is not entirely ready for large scale storm flooding. There have been scenarios such ass the example that is about to be written, where the infrastructure failed and cased massive damage. This example is a case when there was a storm in Southern California and the flood waters that came from the storm filled he storm drains to a point where they went beyond capacity and cracked, this caused the flood water to flood into an apartment building nearby the affected area. This type of damage is sometimes a freak accident such as this is unavoidable, but the best thing to do is  always keep in mind that such scenarios can occur, so when disaster strikes you can act quickly. SERVPRO is always ready to help!

Hurricanes in California?

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Although California is more known for its dry and hot weather that causes fires, it’s not devoid of it’s wet season either. Although there has never been a record of a tropical hurricane making landfall in California, there have been a few close calls with huge hurricanes coming dangerously close to California's shores and breaking just before reaching land. This means that California is most likely safe from a hurricane large enough to cause severe damage reaching the homes of its citizens, but as we know, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you would rather be prepared for such a scenario, you can call SERVPRO at the number listed above and we can set you up with an emergency readiness plan that will prepare you for any kind of disaster to come.

Storm Damage Tips!!

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Commercial Storm Damage

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Damage to your commercial property due to a flood and other types of water damage can mean lost revenue and potentially, lost customers.

If your business requires water damage restoration due to broken plumbing, flooding or as a result of fire suppression, time is absolutely of the essence. That's why SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms is on call 24/7 to provide your business with a reliable lifeline when water damage restoration is needed. Let us partner with you to help minimize business interruption and get you, your employees and your customers back to business as quickly as possible.

There is a sense of urgency associated with a flood or other types of water damage. That's because fast, effective water remediation prevents the further complication of mold. At SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms, we have the labor, equipment and expertise to handle disasters both large and small, from water damage due to a plumbing leak to large loss situations due to major flooding. Our commercial water damage restoration expertise spans all industries, from retail and hospitality, to healthcare, government and industrial clients.

 

Water Damage Tips!!

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Before entering the affected area:

  • Turn off the power
  • Attempt to locate the source of water and shut it off, if possible.
  • Use caution when walking on the wet floors

Once the area has been secured:

  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe furnishing dry.
  • Block furnishings with pieces of wood on styrofoam. Be careful not to place anything with dye or color against damp surfaces as they may bleed.
  • Lift any Window treatments off carpet, loop through a non-metal coat hanger and hang on drapery rod.
  • Remove wet area rugs on other floor coverings
  • Move photos, paintings and art to a safe, dry area
  • Open furniture drawers, closet doors and luggage to enhance drying.
  • Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry

Call a Professional Restoration Company 

  • To ensure proper drying 
  • To prevent possible mold growth 
  • To ensure proper clean-up 
  • To restore your property back to its normal state

Don't Wait On Repairs

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

If your roof is damaged on in a storm, neglecting to do repairs can result in serious damage (such as shown in the photo). In this specific case, the property had a dilapidated and old roof that blew apart from winds, then was flooded by rains.  The fault lies with failing to keep old buildings up to modern standards with repair and renovation. Mold can also develop in the affected home due to moisture, making restoration even more difficult and causing a potential living hazard. For these reasons as a property owner you must-

  1. Upkeep and renovate your property as to avoid such issues.
  2. Call for help immediately as the longer you wait, the worse the issue will get.

Whenever you suspect your roof is damaged or that you may have water damage from recent rains, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms at (310) 801-3312.

How To Get Rid Of The Fire Smoke Smell

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire, the cleanup can seem like a never-ending process. Beyond repairs for items burnt, soot-covered or damaged by water from firefighting efforts, there's the question of how to get smoke smell out of the house. Whether your home has suffered smoke damage from a house fire or from the effects of a wildfire, SERVPRO professionals have the expertise and know-how to get rid of smoke smell in the house quickly and effectively.

Fire smoke infiltrates all areas of a home. It can seep into carpeting, furniture, clothing, draperies, books and even woodwork. Removing fire smoke smell from a home is a process best left to the professionals with the expertise, specialized equipment, and ability to work safely within your home without causing further damage. Often homeowners attempt to dissipate smoke smell with spray deodorizers and scented candles. These tactics only mask the odor of smoke and won't remove it from the home. Smoke particles bury themselves into fabrics, fibers, and other porous surfaces. In order to remove smoke smell completely, items need to be deeply cleaned.

CLEANING

 Essentially everything in a home affected by fire smoke needs to be cleaned. Some items may only require thorough airing to remove smoke smell, but most items like carpeting, rugs, curtains, upholstery, and clothing will need a thorough cleaning and possible sanitization. If the items also are soot-covered, we recommend to handle the item as little as possible and trust it’s cleaning to a professional to prevent further damage. When working out how to get fire smoke smell out of house carpets and upholstery, trust the cleaning experts at SERVPRO for the job. We'll make sure the smoke smell and ash residue are completely removed from deep within the fibers and fabrics. Wash down all hard surfaces with a mild detergent and water — this includes painted surfaces, baseboards, doors, window frames/sills and the outside and interiors of all cabinets and drawers.

Safety Tip: Never eat any food or allow pets to eat food that has been exposed to fire smoke.

Fire safety, But For Kids!!

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire safety is one of the most important procedures to know for possible emergencies. Adults may already know what’s important and the do’s and don'ts in a fire emergency but children may not be so knowledgeable, here are some fire safety tips to make sure your young ones know! 

  • Smoke detectors - what they are for, how they work and the sound that they make is crucial knowledge for a child so that they know to associate the alarm with a fire emergency. 
  • Escape routes - Knowing the best possible way to get away from a potentially dangerous area during a fire is very important.
  • Practice opening windows - Knowing how to quickly open a window in an emergency is important to teach your young ones so they are better prepared to quickly act in an emergency.
  • Touch the door and check for heat - A fire raging on the other side of a door is a huge danger, teaching children to check a doorknob for the heat of a fire is important as the fire could spread faster if the door is opened.

 Use these tips to make sure your children are properly prepared for a fire emergency.

Faster Than The disaster

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

When a big disaster strikes, you need a company that can handle all the work in a well organized and efficient manner. Here at SERVPRO we cut out the middle men and we are your one and final stop for any size remediation job. We can handle anything from a small leak in a home to a multi-unit and multi-level commercial building that has flooded entirely just for example. If you are the owner or resident of a large scale commercial building that has had the misfortune of having a disaster in need of remediation, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO and we’ll provide you with the best service that you can possibly receive. Our contact information can be found on our webpage above and we are open to calls and responses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Mold In Commercial Buildings

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

It may come as a surprise but mold can be severe enough to condemn entire buildings. This has been the case with many types of commercial buildings that can be susceptible to mold because of the nature of the service or capacity they provide, for example refrigerated or special warehouses and buildings that have moist air. Other issues that can cause large scale mold are things such as leaky pipes, flooding, organic materials, or faulty basement sealing. Although a majority of the time most buildings will notice and remediate mold before it becomes so severe that the building would have to be condemned but in certain cases the mold is not as noticeable and causes large scale damage before being serviced.  To prevent these types of issues be weary of the conditions that cause mold and where it can occur.

Risks Of The Job

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Some jobs are quite dangerous due to their nature or the nature of their remediation. For example, a mold remediation job most of the time requires that the affected areas are sprayed with bleach and other chemicals harmful or hazardous to human health. When this process is done on a large scale we have to ensure the safety of our technicians so we ensure they wear the proper protective materials such as light or heavy hazmat suits and air filtration masks that seal the body off from harmful chemicals. These measures are also taken in bio-hazard jobs where there might be contaminated bodily fluids or raw sewage that pose serious health risks if consumed in any way. If you have any questions in general or about our safety procedures don’t hesitate to give us a call at the number listed above.

SERVPRO Makes Sure the Job is Done

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

When SERVPRO finishes a reconstruction or remediation job, we don't just leave you to clean the aftermath. In construction once the floors and drywall are up, we clean the area to properly prepare for interior design and painting. Construction can also possibly trap moisture in the building. To ensure this doesn't pose any future issues we dehumidify and dry the areas with drying equipment. Finally we provide a service to clients to make sure they are ready to open their doors with the confidence it looks good as new. This includes carpet, floor, wall, fixture, and duct cleaning. 

We strive to help our clients until the very end to ensure that they are beyond impressed with the finished product. 

SERVPRO will make sure it looks like "It Never Even Happened".

Fire Safety

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that fire related emergencies can seem like they are very easy to prevent, but you would be surprised to see what other precautions you can be taking.  Some of the most common causes of fires include; cooking, candles, heating equipment, fire places, electrical appliances, smoking, flammable liquids, Christmas trees, etc. to name a few. Below we have a list of recommendations we have to prevent fires. 

  • Never leave a stove top in use unattended
  • Use a cooking timer
  • Keep any & all kitchen surfaces (including ceiling) free from grease build up
  • Place heaters at a safe distance away from flammable materials & disconnect when not in use
  • Avoid plugging in too many electrical appliances into one extension cord
  • Keep candles away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles, and make sure candle holders are stable or simply use battery operated candles
  • If possible, smoke outside. If you smoke inside, avoid doing so when tired/sleepy, and use large and deep ashtrays
  • Keep flammable liquids in approved containers and away from electrical and heat sources. If possible, store them outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use decorative lights that have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. In addition, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Install a fire sprinkler system
  • Install a fire extinguisher

Protect Your Home From Heavy Rain and Flooding

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms has released these tips on how to protect homes from heavy rain and flooding: 

  • Check for basement leaks – take a few minutes this weekend to inspect both the interior and exterior of your home’s foundation, walls, floors and windows for any cracks that may have developed during the winter months. Even a minor crack can lead to major water damage during a heavy spring shower. You can use a basic waterproof epoxy and a paintbrush or putty knife to patch any small cracks you find.
  • Inspect sump pumps – a sump pump removes water that accumulates underneath a home and is one of the best defenses against flooded basements and subsequent costly repairs. All too often, though, homeowners don’t find out their sump pump is not working properly until it’s too late and spring showers are already wreaking havoc on your home. It is recommended that you inspect your sump pump each spring to ensure it’s working properly.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts – leaves and debris from spring storms can lead to clogged gutters and downspouts, and the number one cause of basement flooding is roofs not draining properly. Cleaning your gutters each spring is an inexpensive way to make sure your home is ready for the rain to come. Also, check that downspouts extend away from the home’s foundation by at least three feet, this will help effectively move rain water away from the home.
  • Consider back-flow valves – sewer back-flow valves are small, inexpensive parts that are installed in sewer drainage lines to help regulate water flow. These small valves can save big headaches by preventing sewer water from entering a basement during heavy rain and go a long way to making your basement flood proof.

Packout

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO we believe our job is to make the whole process as smooth as possible. We offer a pack out service to accomplish this goal. A pack out is the practice of collecting a clients belongings out of there home or property for safekeeping so they are not affected by the disaster they may be experiencing whether it be water or fire. We store all the belongings safely in crates in out warehouse until the job is finished. This saves our clients from the overly expensive costs of storage units and moving costs along with possible further damage to their belongings. We also offer specialized cleaning for certain materials that require a deeper, more specific cleaning. This is just another reason why you should choose SERVPRO to make sure your needs are met in a cost effective and safe way. 

Get to Know Mold

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold isn't always the toxic crazy dangerous mold you hear about. Mold is generally non-toxic and not always harmful. If mold is left unchecked to grow in your home or business it can become harmful in large amounts. Mold already exists in homes just at a microscopic level. When the area experiences water damage from leaks or floods it can trigger the mold to grow. This is when the mold growth can get problematic. Mold spores grow in humid environments. SERVPRO has tips to help prevent mold growth. 

  • make sure your home's roof is sufficiently protected from rain
  • make sure to fix any leaks in your home
  • make sure your appliances are not malfunctioning

If you do discover a mold related issue make sure to call SERVPRO.

Heavy Rain and What it Brings

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

In the U.S. especially in areas of heavy rains, Flash floods pose a risk on homes and businesses. Heavy rains can cause ash floods, mud flows, or even cause debris to damage properties. Here at SERVPRO of Cheviot Hills/Palms we have some tips to help protect your home or business from suffering from extensive damage.

  • Purchase flood insurance so your property is covered in case of a flood emergency.
  • Install gutter systems to insure water flows off of your property, and clean them regularly.
  • Fix any leaks in your property immediately.
  • Possibly install extra roof protection such as a rubber liner or a waterproof barrier that goes under the shingles of your roof.

With these tips your property should be ready for any rainy season and save you possibly thousands on damages and repairs!

Differences in Fire Damage

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged by fire Kitchen damaged by fire

Fire damage is almost always devastating, regardless of size and damage. An important thing to know though is the type of fire damage you may have endured. SERVPRO is always here to help in any way we can, even if it's just to educate the community. If you take a good look at the picture here from a past job you can see that this home suffered a major loss due to a house fire. There's damage from smoke, soot, and ash on the walls leaving a black layer and a strong odor. There's regular physical damage that fire tends to cause when something is directly touched or set on fire. Something many people may not realize though is the water damage that comes with a fire. Anytime the fire department is called to battle a fire you can count on water damage from the fire hoses. If the home is left long enough with the water soaking into the furniture, carpets, flooring and everything else in the home, mold can form. If your home suffers a loss from a fire, don't wait! Call SERVPRO to come and get the job done.

What To Do After Flooding

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

When you encounter flooding SERVPRO has some procedures we recommend doing. First off before even beginning this process you should assess whether its even safe to stay in the home, are their electrical poles that have fallen from the flooding that has direct contact with your home? Also note that water is very heavy, one gallon of water weighs 8.345 pounds. Don't overexert yourself trying to move furniture because wet furniture is a lot heavier then you would think. We recommend attempting to remove excess water by mopping, wiping  excess water from wood furniture, remove wet upholstery and cushions, turn on A/C for maximum drying, remove colored rugs so dyes don't bleed and remove art objects and personal possessions with sentimental value. We also encourage people to NOT leave wet fabrics in place, don't leave books or other colored items on wet carpet or floors, don't use a household vacuum to remove water and don't use household appliances or ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.

What To Do If You Encounter Biohazard Contaminents

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Biohazard contaminents are very dangerous and can pose serious health risks. SERVPRO prides itself on the expertise of our teams in how to safely deal with these issues while using their training, protective gear and special equipment that homeowners don't have. Two f the most common biohazard scenarios encountered are sewer backups and flood water. If you encounter any type of hazardous contaminants its important to decide whether its safe to stay in the house. We encourage our customers to try and stay out of the areas affected and call emergency service personnel. SERVPRO has a 24 hour call service and will always be there to help, do not hesitate to call.  Our experts will come and assist you as soon as possible to ensure your safety along with your home's safety. 

Emergencies Are Not Planned

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to deal with your Fire and water related restoration needs. The incident that can cause such an issue can happen at any time and are often unexpected. A broken pipe, flash flood, electrical fire and so much more can occur when you are least expecting it. That's why our team at SERVPRO holds pride in the fact that we make ourselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer these emergency services to ensure that our clients receive the best professional treatment out there. we believe in the importance of making our customers happy. Our team of experts understands what you may be going through and are here to deal with all types of disaster damage. There's nothing our expert technicians can't take on. Don't hesitate, give us a call!