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What’s That Smell? Is Black Mold Hiding in Your Home?

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What’s That Smell? Is Black Mold Hiding in Your Home? Mold Spores thrive in temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit with 50 percent of humidity

There's a suspicious, musty smell you often notice, usually when coming home after being outside. You know you haven’t had a flood, and you've inspected for any type of water damage. You’ve searched the nooks and crannies and can’t see anything out of the ordinary, yet the smell remains. Take these steps if you suspect that you have black mold invading your West Whittier, CA, home.

1. Listen to Your Nose

Mold is considered secondary damage to a primary event (such as flood or leak) and can persist long after the initial event has passed. If you smell something, there is something in the air. While any mold can cause problems, black mold is particularly dangerous as it is toxigenic and can cause a variety of health issues in humans and pets. If you smell something, it is time to do something.

2. Do Not Disturb

Even if you can find the source of the mold, it is advisable to have a professional home inspection and begin mold remediation as needed. Mold spores become airborne when disturbed and can spread to other areas of your house and even to your belongings. Your vigorous scrubbing may distribute the mold rather than inhibit its growth and can exacerbate any health issues.

3. Reduce Humidity Levels

Mold spores, while always in the air, thrive when temperatures are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit with over 50 percent humidity. It only takes a few days for mold to start spreading on porous surfaces where spores can linger long after the weather has changed. If high humidity is contributing to mold growth, you may need to take additional steps to ensure that the problem does not return.

4. Prevent Future Growth

Determining the cause of moisture in your home will help you prevent further mold outbreaks. In addition to getting rid of mold, you may need to improve ventilation, clean gutters, repair roof leaks, seal windows, or take other measures to make a less friendly environment for fungal growth.

It doesn't matter if mold is the musty, harmless variety or more toxic black mold. When you find spores, it’s time to evict your unwelcome guests.

How to Care for Mold Damaged Artwork

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How to Care for Mold Damaged Artwork Mold can grow anywhere, all it needs its moisture


It’s an art lover's worst dream – a flood or water damage in your home damages artwork. Even if it doesn't get wet, art can absorb moisture and become moldy. The good news is moldy artwork can be saved, with the right professionals and the right approach. Learn how mold cleaning on artworks and how you can restore mold ravaged art in your Whittier, CA home.

Understanding Mold Damage

Because mold feeds on organic surfaces, it can damage artwork in a variety of ways. These include:

  • attacking frames
  • eating away at canvases and paint
  • staining canvases

All of this causes breakdown and frank damage that will ultimately destroy artwork.

Cleaning Mold from Artwork

Artwork mold cleaning involves multiple steps. On the back of a painting, try spraying anti-germ or bacteria cleaner. Plain rubbing alcohol can help to clean the front. Blend it with water and dab it on to destroy mold.

A soft brush can lift dry residue, but use a vacuum to suck up mold dust. Be sure it features a HEPA filter.

The most important piece is thoroughly drying the painting. Set artwork in a sunny area to dry, but make sure not to leave it too long as that can cause paint color to fade. Speed up the process by putting the artwork on a flat surface and drying it outside in direct sunlight. Inside, placing it by a sunny window works.

Fungus damage is nothing that any art lover wants to face. It can wreak true havoc on your art collection and have costs both financial and emotional. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to destroy your collection. Use these tips for mold cleaning on your art or, if you have major damage, contact a mold remediation specialist and get your collection back in top shape.

How To Reduce Disaster Response Time

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Reduce Disaster Response Time Homeowners and insurers can count on SERVPRO to be Faster to Any Size Disaster in Whittier, CA.

How To Reduce Disaster Response Time

Every second counts after fire, storm, or water damage at a residence in Whittier, CA. Some mitigation and restoration services take longer than others to respond to damage. These four factors make SERVPRO Faster to Any Size Disaster.

1. Franchise Locations Nationwide

A local franchise can quickly respond to calls. In addition to returning a call within one hour, a nearby location can also have trained experts on site for an assessment within four hours. It is critical to act quickly to limit damage.

2. Trained and Certified Staff

The quality of training is a major benefit of relying on a local franchise of a national corporation. SERVPRO provides new franchise and employee certification training. This company is also an approved training school for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Trained professionals can respond Faster to Any Size Disaster.

3. Large Scale Loss Response

In the event of a major flood, storm or other large-scale loss, a local franchise can achieve the shortest response times. If a region is experiencing increased demand for mitigation and restoration services, the national corporation can call on nearby franchises to provide additional equipment and expertise and reduce wait times.

4. One-Stop Mitigation and Restoration

A service equipped to perform both mitigation and restoration is likely to shorten the length of the overall cleanup and restoration process. Rather than contacting two companies and juggling estimates and schedules when filing an insurance claim, homeowners or insurance representatives can rely on a single service to provide a complete estimate and restore a residence as quickly as possible.

Homeowners and insurers can count on SERVPRO to be Faster to Any Size Disaster in Whittier, CA. Calls should be responded to within one hour, and an on-site visit should take place within four hours. Professionals will follow up on this assessment with a verbal briefing and an estimate.

4 Steps to Expect in a Storm Damage Restoration

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Steps to Expect in a Storm Damage Restoration For a storm damage restoration call SERVPRO of Whittier.

Steps To A Storm Damage Restoration

If your business in Whittier, CA, experiences severe storm damage, there are a few things you may be able to expect in the restoration process. These steps include everything from a tear out of damage materials, to the removal of flood water. Here are four of the steps a chosen restoration expert may take.


1. Remove the Water

The first thing a professional restoration company may choose to do is remove any standing water or flooding the storm may have left behind. The quick removal of flood water is an important step to help prevent mold growth as well as any further water related damages. This process usually involves the use of dehumidifiers and water pumps.

2. Remove Damaged Materials

Another step many restoration experts employ, is to tear out and replace any materials that may be beyond repair. These may include soaked drywall or carpet, materials that may experience mold growth, or areas that may have experienced structural damage.

3. Dry the Flooded Area

To help prevent further water damage the restoration team will thoroughly dry the area before repairs can begin. This helps ensure that no water damage has been left behind which could otherwise lead to potential rot or mold growth. In many cases dehumidifiers may be used help keep moisture out of the air.

4. Begin Restoration

After these steps have been completed storm restoration efforts can begin. This process may include repairing of walls and flooring, mold prevention efforts, and working with the insurance company to figure out the cost of any replacement items covered under the policy.

In most cases the restoration team will remove the water, tear out any materials that are beyond repair, dry and decontaminate the affected area, and then began restoration efforts. Knowing that these are expected steps in the process, you can feel confident that that your business can be restored to pre-storm conditions.

3 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home After a Fire

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home After a Fire Firefighters putting out a fire in Whittier, CA

Ways That Water Cause Further Devastation After a Fire

A fire can wreak havoc on your home, but the flames aren’t the only things that can cause destruction to your property. Often times, water can cause as many or, in some cases, more problems as the fire damage itself. If you own a home in Whittier, CA, then you should be aware of the ways that water can cause further devastation after a fire.

1. Ruptured Pipes

During a fire, temperatures in your home can become extreme, and the intense heat can cause burst pipes and plumbing malfunctions. Falling debris can also lead to warped or broken pipes. Even if parts of your home are spared from burning, flooding can cause water damage throughout your residence, especially to walls and flooring.

2. Storm Damage

Fire damage often includes structural problems to the roof and windows. This can mean that water will be able to enter the home during any inclement weather that occurs before repairs can be completed. Placing tarps on the roof and boarding any broken windows can help mitigate these potential problems.

3. Water From Fire Hoses

When firefighters go to work to extinguish a burning house, their biggest ally is water. While absolutely necessary, the thousands of gallons that can come from a fire hose can leave behind a great deal of residual water that will need to be cleaned and removed. The longer this water sits stagnant, the greater the potential for incurring more damage and costly repairs. Fire extinguishers used by emergency responders can also contain compressed water, which can also leave behind destruction.

If you are dealing with the heartbreak of a fire in your dwelling, you are probably preparing to combat the fire damage you have suffered. However, you should also make a plan to deal with the destruction that water may have caused to your property, as well. Contact an emergency restoration specialist for more information to help you restore your home to the safe haven you deserve.

Will Mold Disappear If I Do Nothing?

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Will Mold Disappear If I Do Nothing? Mold damage in a West Whittier, CA home

No one in West Whittier, CA, wants to find out they have mold growing somewhere at home. The very word alone can give one anxiety. If you discover black mold or any other type of mold in your house, you want to do all you can do eliminate it so you can once again have peace of mind. But what happens if you do nothing at all? Will mold simply go away on its own? Consider how this fungus develops and how to get rid of it.

Causes

You may find mold at home in your drywall, under the carpet, in cabinets or cupboards, or in just about any other place you can think of. Usually, it develops due to a moisture problem in some of the following ways:

  • Humidity
  • Leaky pipes
  • Roof leaf
  • Condensation (such as in showers and basements)
  • Flooding

Remediation

The best way to get rid of mold is to call a mold removal specialist. You can find a qualified, experienced team of professionals that have the right equipment and techniques to safely and thoroughly remove mold from your house. These experts can come to your place promptly, address the severity of the mold growth and formulate a plan to get rid of it with as few disruptions to your life as possible. The team will typically be especially mindful of black mold.

DYI

There are some home remedies you can explore to eliminate mold. You could try a mixture of bleach and water or of laundry detergent and water. You would then apply the solution to the affected area. However, your safest bet is to call a professional who is certified and experienced in mold cleanup.

Nothing

If you remove the factors that encourage mold growth, such as moisture and condensation, you should be able to slow the growth of mold. However, this won’t make the mold vanish. The spores will still be there.

Make sure you actively do your part to get rid of black mold and other mold growth. Enlist the help of an expert right away.

How To Address Kitchen Sink Leaks

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Address Kitchen Sink Leaks Most common leaks are under kitchen sink.

It’s not uncommon for a homeowner in Whittier, CA, to contend with flooding issues or other water problems. One of the most likely places to find leaks is under the kitchen sink. These issues can develop over time and slowly occur without your immediate detection. They may also start suddenly due to a burst pipe or plumbing malfunction. If you can effectively respond to these situations, you can avoid disasters and costly cleanup.

Crucial Steps To Take

Once you realize you’ve got water in your home, you need to act appropriately and swiftly so you can minimize damage and remedy the problem. Here are your initial steps when you find a leak under your kitchen sink: 

  • Find the exact source of the problem
  • Shut off the water flow to the sink.
  •  Call a professional plumber

Find the source

The faster you can determine where the leak originates, the better chance you have of avoiding major flooding. When it comes to leaks in the kitchen sink, there are a few usual suspects. The problem could reside at the valve or supply line, which will be under the sink near or against the wall. If the leak isn’t come from there, it could be a problem with the drain or with the faucet base.

Shut Off the Water

Once you’re confident you know where the leak is coming from, you need to turn off the water so you can put an end to the leaking. It should be simple enough to turn the shutoff knob, but if for some reason it won’t turn easily, you can shut off the main water line to your home.

Call a Pro

Luckily, if severe flooding requires total kitchen repair, you can call a licensed restoration crew to help. Before it gets to this point, you can avoid severe problems and contact a plumber to help you put an end to the leak and get your sink in proper working order once more.

Kitchen sink leaks are annoying, but they’re usually easy to address. Follow these steps and enlist the expertise of plumber, and you shouldn’t have to worry about flooding in your kitchen.

4 Essential Water Damage Restoration Steps

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Essential Water Damage Restoration Steps Mold growth due to water damage on a commercial building in Whittier, CA

4 Essential Water Damage Restoration Steps

Regardless of your building’ age, broken pipes and water damage may be serious concerns. Because excessive moisture can cause secondary mold contamination, it’s essential to respond to leaks and flooding quickly. To help ensure a timely and efficient water cleanup, you may want to consider consulting a professional restoration service. To safeguard your facility’s integrity, the team you hire should complete four key steps during the process.

1. Document Damage

Most commercial property insurance policies cover damage resulting from leaking pipes. To file a complete claim, you may need to provide evidence of destruction. For this reason, you should ensure someone takes photographs or videos before cleanup efforts commence.

2. Remove Saturated Items

Any standing or pooled liquid should be promptly drained from the premise. It’s also essential to remove every saturated item from your building. This includes office equipment, upholstered furnishings and carpets.

Water can also seep behind walls and soak insulation. For this reason, you should also remove and discard wet drywall.

3. Dry Affected Space

Water damage can result in substantial mold growth. To help reduce this risk, it’s important to thoroughly dry the affected area as quickly as possible. Your water cleanup team may open windows and employ fans and dehumidifiers to expediate the process.

4. Verify Absence of Moisture

Depending on the severity of flooding, it may take several days before the site is dry. Because mold is adept at growing within hidden areas, it’s critical to verify the absence of moisture before replacing destroyed flooring and drywall. Your restoration crew can utilize moisture meters to ensure the site is adequately dry and ready for the final phase of reconstruction.

Recovering from broken pipes and extensive water damage can be a daunting experience for any Whittier, CA, business. By completing these four critical steps, a professional cleanup team can help you efficiently evaluate and address the situation, allowing you to focus on vital business operations.

3 Facts About Fire Damage at a Rental Property

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Facts About Fire Damage at a Rental Property Fire damage in West Whittier, CA

3 Facts About Fire Damage at a Rental Property

Rental property owners and tenants may be unsure about the limits of their responsibilities for fire damage. Here are three helpful facts about liability and insurance coverage in the event of an apartment fire in West Whittier, CA.

1. Property Owners Are Responsible For Structural Damage

A landlord is responsible for covering damage caused by fire to the property itself. This includes building materials, systems, and provided contents, such as carpeting. A homeowners insurance policy should cover the cost of cleaning, restoring, or replacing damaged materials and items.

2. Tenants Are Responsible For Their Contents

Tenants are responsible for restoring or replacing their own possessions following an apartment fire. These contents may include clothing, furniture, electronic devices, and personal effects. This is likely to be the case regardless of the cause of a fire. Renters insurance can help to offset costs that accrue due to a fire at a rented residence. Tenants should make sure that that the policy they choose will cover replacement costs and not actual value with depreciation.

3. Renters Insurance Can Cover Additional Costs

Renters insurance policies may also provide a limited amount of liability coverage for negligence as well as injuries or property damage suffered by third parties. These policies may also help to offset a variety of expenses associated with loss of a use of a residence, such as additional living costs or the cost of temporary relocation for the duration of the mitigation and restoration process.

After an apartment fire has been extinguished, renters should document damage to contents and make a list of items in need of restoration, repair, or replacement. Try to locate proof of purchase if possible. Property owners should also document structural damage to support a separate homeowners insurance claim. Renters and landlords can both benefit from the expertise of a fire damage cleanup and restoration company in West Whittier, CA.

How To Avoid Additional Damage After a Flood

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Avoid Additional Damage After a Flood Mold growth due to water damage in Whittier,CA

When your home floods, getting the water out and getting everything back to normal is probably your primary concern. If the process is not handled quickly or properly, however, your house in Whittier, CA, could suffer secondary damage. Problems such as sagging walls or black mold could appear. To avoid these situations, there are a few precautions you need to take.

Types of Damage

Aside from the primary damage caused by the leak and subsequent flooding, other issues could occur. Some of these concerns include:

  • Mold growth
  • Cracks in walls
  • Buckling hardwood floors
  • Damaged finish on floors
  • Detached tiles or peeling vinyl

There doesn’t have to be visible standing water for these problems to occur. Black mold can start to grow in high humidity that results from failure to dehumidify the area affected by the flooding. An incomplete repair process can cause just as much residual damage as a delay.

Prevention Strategies

To ensure that you don’t add secondary damage to your home’s issues, it’s important to hire certified water restoration specialists who can be trusted to see the repair process through from beginning to end. Of course, all water should be removed, and all surfaces cleaned. The restoration doesn’t stop there, though. Not only should they take away all saturated materials from the area, but they should also make sure the items are thoroughly dried and cleaned before bringing them back into your home. Wet areas should be well ventilated to reduce humidity levels and help rooms dry more quickly. After the entire cleanup process is finished, technicians should complete final tests for microbes and mold growth.

You cannot always prevent flooding in your home, but you can take back some control by calling in the experts and addressing the problem quickly. Call at the first sign of a problem. Avoid black mold, damaged floors and sagging walls with fast, thorough cleanup from qualified professionals.