Recent Posts

Slow the Flow of Storm Water With Smart Landscaping

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded room with a floating couch. Outside flooding can cause damage to structures on your property.

Have you ever seen a school science demonstration of water being poured into two equal containers of soil, but one has plants growing and one does not? In the box void of vegetation, the water runs out the bottom nearly as quickly as it flowed in. In the box containing rooted plants, only a minimal amount of water trickles out. This experiment shows the importance of proper water management around your property. Learn how you can become one with the flow, using easy landscaping projects to prevent storm run-off from causing outside flooding around your home in Whittier, CA.

1. Slow the flow. Apply a deep layer of heavy mulch to slow rain drainage, giving it time to filter through the soil instead of pooling or running off to problem areas.

2. Cultivate plants. Installing plants and shrubs at the base of your home can help slow the flow of water and prevent outside flooding. If you have a particular area where water tends to pool during storms, consider making a rain garden. This shallow basin is not a bog or a pond, but it uses plants to filter the rainwater and facilitate its travels to the water table.

3. Be a water mover. During the next rainstorm, check the flow of water from your roof. Look for areas that need to be rerouted and consider adding rain chains, moving gutters, or adding flexible extensions to downspouts to direct water away from your foundation.

4. Keep water captive. Add a rain barrel to the end of a downspout and feel good about your impact on the environment when using that recovered water to help take care of your plants.

Outside flooding can cause damage to structures on your property. When water damage happens, it can quickly lead to mold trouble since mold spores are abundant in the environment and reproduce quickly. Professional water mitigation specialists can help clean up floodwater and ensure materials are dried thoroughly to prevent your minor problem from becoming a major one.

Tips on Keeping Mold From Spreading

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall with the text ¨Mold Damage?¨ You deserve a home that is fungus-free.

If you smell something musty in your home in Whitter, CA, you may have a mold problem. Your first reaction is probably to open up the windows and air out the smell by getting some fresh air flow going, but that could actually contribute to the problem. Rather than stopping mold, you could be spreading mold with increased airflow. There are two main ways you can stop the fungus from disbursing throughout your whole house.

Stop Air Flow

Mold spores travel through the air, so it logically follows that airflow can help mold spread. What is normally a natural phenomenon that poses no real threat to your home can become a big problem when you actually have significant black mold growth. Airflow comes from several sources:

• HVAC system
• Open windows
• Fans

To keep from spreading mold, you first have to contain the mold problem. Turn off your air conditioner or heater. Close your windows, and turn off all the fans in the house. If you need to close the doors to the parts of your home that tend to be draftier, do that as well. Do whatever you can do to limit the opportunity for mold to spread.

Get Pro Help

Don't try to fix your mold problem by yourself. If the problem is significant enough that it requires attention, that attention should come from professional mold remediation specialists. You can help contain the mold by shutting off airflow, but the professionals are probably going to seal the affected area entirely. You may have lots of detergent and elbow grease, but they have professional-grade chemicals to help them eradicate mold. They also treat the underlying problems, such as water leaks.

You deserve a home that is fungus-free. Instead of spreading mold by trying to air everything out and take care of it yourself, enlist the help of those who are certified to resolve the problem.

Mitigation vs. Restoration: What Is the Difference?

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

A burst pipe at the furnace and water tank has caused a leak on the basement floor. SERVPRO is a specialist in flood restoration, Call us!

What's The Difference Between Mitigation And Restoration?

Flooding can have a devastating impact on your business. Ruined furniture, mold growth and standing water will undoubtedly make it hard to know where to start. How can you handle the cleanup process? If you seek out a flood cleanup company in Whittier, CA, you should become familiar with two different terms. These are flood mitigation and flood restoration. The following will explain the differences between the two.

Flood Mitigation

During the mitigation process, if you can salvage it, you should. Never listen to advice that tells you it’s better to replace everything. Most professionals in a flood cleanup company would rather try to mitigate the damage before they have to restore components of your commercial property entirely. In fact, it can be cheaper for you to clean up the damage, to remove the mold and to siphon through you and your employees’ belongings.

Flood Restoration

The step following mitigation is to restore your commercial property. This is what a restoration company will usually undertake next. After a flood, there is a high chance you’re going to have to restore some of the building. For instance, porous items such as paper, insulation, carpets, tiles and other furnishings may need replacing entirely. The mold can seep through the gaps in the material and make it impossible to clean thoroughly. Mold spreads quickly through the air when not taken care of. Professionals in the business will make sure that there isn’t anything left over from the flood damage.

When it comes down to it, a flood cleanup company is going to do its best to restore your business to the state it was in prior to the flooding. It never has to be a matter of restoration or replacement, however. In many cases, you will have to do a mix of both. It’s true that you usually can’t expect to save everything damaged in a flood, but there are salvageable components worth restoring.

Sewer Water Cleanup: What You Can Expect

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

A room flooded in a home. Dealing with a sewer cleanup in your home can be a difficult prospect to face, SERVPRO is your best option!

What to Expect During Sewer Water Cleanup

When flooding occurs in your West Whittier, CA, home, facing the cleanup process can be daunting. However, different types of floods may require different cleaning strategies, and few are more difficult than a sewer cleanup. When a backed-up sewer causes a flood at your home, you may have to call in professional flood cleanup and restoration experts to handle the situation safely, and knowing what to expect when they arrive can help you feel more comfortable about the results.


Mitigation

When flood technicians first arrive, they will probably perform immediate mitigation efforts to prevent the contaminated water from spreading to other parts of your home. If the issue is being caused by a flooded toilet, they will most likely turn off the water and drain the tank and bowl. These actions can keep the water contained and confined to one room.

Drainage

Once the flooding stops, your flood techs will probably then take steps to remove the water and any other sludge caused by the sewer backup. They may bring in specialized machinery to drain water contaminated by pathogens that may also contain the following:

  • Urine
  • Feces
  • Soiled toilet paper

Some machinery your techs might use include trash pumps, which typically handle heavier sludge, and portable sump pumps, which can remove standing water.

Disinfection and Deodorizing

Once the sewer cleanup is complete, flood techs will probably treat the area to prevent mold growth and to remove any bad odors that might have been left behind. Since smells caused by a sewer flood might be especially challenging, this process may take several days and may require removing sections of wall and wet insulation; if it cannot be dried, it must be replaced.

Dealing with a sewer cleanup in your West Whittier, CA, home can be a difficult prospect to face. Calling in professional flood techs to lend a hand and knowing what to expect can give you peace of mind about cleanup efforts and their outcome.

3 Common Types of Mold You Might Find Inside Your Home

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall affected by mold. Mold can grow almost anywhere, including inside your home, but SERVPRO can help you!

Mold Types You May Find In Your Home

Mold can grow most anywhere, including inside your Friendly Hills, CA, home. You may believe that since you keep a clean home, mold growth is not possible. However, there are many different types of mold that can thrive indoors where you cannot see it. Being able to identify different species of mold can help you take faster steps toward remediation and protect your home.

1. Alternaria

This type of mold can be found in damp areas of your home, especially in the bathroom and around leaky pipes under your kitchen sink. You might be able to spot it by its color, which is usually green or light brown. It may also take hold anywhere water damage has occurred. Since it can spread fast, you might want to have it treated right away.

2. Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys is also known as black mold and is generally found in areas that experience high humidity for long periods of time. Stachybotrys can grow on a variety of substances inside the home, such as walls, wooden molding and outdoor furniture. You may be able to recognize it more by its texture than the color, as it is one of the few types of molds that appears slimy instead of fuzzy.

3. Ulocladium

Ulocladium can be found in shower or kitchen tile grout or in basements, where the conditions are prime for mold growth to occur. It may be mistaken for black mold because of its color. If you are unsure if what you are seeing is ulocaldium, calling in a restoration and mold remediation company to identify and eradicate the mold can give you peace of mind that the process was handled professionally.

Battling mold growth inside your Friendly Hills,CA, home can be daunting. However, when you know how to identify different types of mold and where they grow, you can take the first steps to winning the war against these unwanted invaders.

Managing Your Flooded Crawlspace: 3 Tips

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing A home flood can cause considerable damage to your property’s crawlspace.

3 Tips for Managing Your Flooded Crawlspace

Flooding can affect your South Whittier, CA, home in a number of ways. From soaked carpeting and drywall to salvaging furniture and other items, there is much to deal with. However, one area of your home that could be seriously impacted during a home flood is the crawlspace. Because of its location, this space and all the systems that might be contained there could be vulnerable to serious damage. If your crawlspace is flooded, there are a few strategies you can keep in mind for resolving the issue.

1. Assess the Damage

If you realize your crawlspace has been affected by storm damage, assessing the problem as much as you can be the first step in restoring the area. While it is wise to avoid crawling through flood water because of the contamination that could be present, powerful flashlights might help you see into the space. Take pictures if possible and contact your insurance company to let them know about your findings.

2. Avoid Touching Electrical Systems

If your crawlspace contains electrical panels, the controls for your HVAC system or other electric components, you may want to avoid trying to operate them, even if the flooding has abated inside the space. They may have taken on water and now pose the risk of electric shock. Call your electric company for advice and to have the power cut to that part of your home so flood technicians can enter safely.

3. Call in Flood Damage Professionals

Calling in the services of a storm damage and restoration company can be a major step in repairing a flooded crawlspace. Home flood experts will likely bring in tools that drain water and debris away so they can dry the area thoroughly afterward. Ask them about installing a sump pump or using encapsulation to protect the space from further flood damage.

A home flood can cause considerable damage to your South Whittier, CA, property’s crawlspace. However, knowing the steps required to repair it can help you reverse any flood issues and protect it from further harm.

Keeping the Office Bathroom Clean of Mildew and Mold

7/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold. Aspergillus. The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mold damage in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

Fungi love bathrooms because certain areas get constant moisture, allowing them to thrive. You might see black mold or a cloudy white film of mildew to clean in areas that stay wet, such as your plumbing fixtures. Follow these steps to keep your office bathroom clean of mildew and mold.

Getting Mildew and Mold Out

Experts recommend a good scrub to get your bathroom in shape. Direct your cleaning crew to take the following steps or do them yourself:

  • Protect your hands with rubber gloves.
  • Wet a microfiber cloth with closed-loop mesh and scrub at the affected areas.
  • Use a tile brush or toothbrush with tough bristles for small areas.
  • If plain water doesn’t work, try spraying a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and letting it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off.
  • If you have really tough mildew to clean, use a solution of half a cup of bleach and one gallon of water to scrub the area and wipe it with a clean rag.

For areas that don’t respond to any of these treatments, replace grout or caulking with materials that are resistant to bathroom mold and mildew.

Keeping Mildew and Mold Out

The best way to keep the bathroom clean of mildew and mold on a daily basis is by allowing air to circulate. You can do that in a few ways:

  • If there’s a window in the bathroom, keep it open throughout the workday.
  • Install an exhaust fan or ventilation fan.
  • If you don’t have a window or built-in fan, use a dehumidifier or portable fan.

You should also check regularly for leaks underneath faucets and toilets. Make sure you fix these quickly to avoid mold buildup.

Finally, it’s a good idea to clean the bathroom once a week. Use bleach or bathroom cleaning products that contain bleach for best results.

Preventing the buildup of mildew to clean is as important in the workplace as it is in the home. However, if bathroom mold is out of control in your  Santa Fe Springs, CA, office, call a reputable mold removal company to help you get rid of it.

5 Ways To Prevent a Cigarette Fire From Starting in the Home

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Ash tray containing cigarette butts If you do decide to smoke inside, be sure to get an ashtray that is deep and sturdy. Always put out your cigarette completely.

Five Tips To Prevent a Cigarette Fire

House fires are more common than you’d think. Along with thunderstorms and neglected stoves, cigarettes are one of the leading causes of at-home fires, despite their small size. If you or a household member smokes, here are five things you can do to protect your home and avoid dealing with the fire cleanup process.

1. Smoke Outside

The best way to prevent a fire within the home is to step outside while smoking. A cigarette fire often starts in the living room or bedroom. While outside, you can be sure that ashes or cigarette butts won’t ignite any flammable objects within your house.

2. Use Sturdy Ashtrays

If you do decide to smoke inside, be sure to get an ashtray that is deep and sturdy. This will prevent any ash from encountering rugs, magazines, or anything else that could ignite. Another way to prevent ashtray fire is by putting sand in the ashtray to completely put out the cigarette.

3. Don’t Smoke in the Bedroom

It’s dangerous to smoke in bed because there is a chance that you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette. Mattresses, blankets, and bedding are all very flammable. The bedroom should be a safe place to sleep, not an easy location to start a cigarette fire.

4. Keep Smoking Materials Out of Reach

Kids are often too curious for their own good. To prevent any accidental fires from starting, stash your cigarettes, matches, and lighters somewhere where they can’t reach.

5. Completely Extinguish Your Cigarette

If anything, always put out your cigarette completely. If a cigarette butt is still lit while left unattended, it’s easy for it to ignite something flammable close by. You can douse the cigarette in water or sand to help extinguish them.

Keep your home in Whittier, CA safe by following these five tips when preventing a cigarette fire.

How To Get the Smoke Out

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Bedroom damaged by fire. Bedroom walls, bed and personal items covered with soot. Room fire loss in Whittier, CA.

The smell of smoke permeates your clothes, curtains, sofas, and walls. After a fire at your home in Whittier, CA does the odor ever come out? Yes, there are steps you can take to get rid of that unwelcome scent. Through a combination of dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning, and other techniques, a professional fire restoration specialist can help you enjoy your home again.

Content Cleaning

The smell of smoke sticks to the majority of your belongings. What contents of your home can be cleaned, and how?

  • Smoke odors are removed from clothing using professional dry-cleaning.
  • Fabrics and upholstery including furniture, rugs, curtains, and bedding are tested to see which method of cleaning is most appropriate. Cleaning may be wet or dry, depending on the item.
  • Electronics can break down over time from exposure to smoke. The outside of these items is cleaned using proper techniques to prevent further damage.
  • If your possessions must be removed from your home, the professionals categorize, inventory, and pack items before transporting the boxes to content storage. Content cleaning and deodorizing occur before you retrieve your belongings.

Structural Cleaning

Smoke and grime coat the interior spaces of your house. What surfaces need to be cleaned?

  • Smoke adheres to walls, carpeting, wood floors, and ceilings. These surfaces are tested and matched with the proper cleaning method.
  • Many times, soot can be successfully cleaned. Other times, surfaces will be primed for painting or refinishing instead.

Deodorizing

The smell of smoke remains in the air, even after the rest of the contents and structures are clean. How does the air get refreshed?

  • The source of the odor is identified and targeted, rather than covered up by a fragrance.
  • Two professional methods used include Ultra Low Volume (ULV) and thermal foggers.

The last thing you want after a fire in Whittier, CA is the daily reminder of smoke in your home. Through proper wet and dry-cleaning procedures, smoke and soot are eliminated. Partner with your homeowner’s insurance agency and a fire restoration company to return your home and contents to pre-fire condition. 

Common Causes of Water in the Crawl Space

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing A wet crawl space can point to a variety of problems.

Do You Try To Be A Vigilant Homeowner?

If so, you may choose to inspect the crawlspace of your  South Whittier, CA, home regularly. These inspections may show you that you have a wet crawl space. Moisture in this part of your home can cause similar problems like standing water in any other part of your living space. You can work with a residential water restoration team to figure out what caused the damp conditions and what you can do to remediate the problem.

1. Ground Water: Water from outside of the home could be your source of flooding. A broken city sewer line or heavy rains may add to the moisture in the ground. When there's too much water built up there, it has no where to go but into your house.

2. Landscape: If you have recently redone your landscaping, it could be to blame for an increase in moisture in the subterranean levels of your house. The slope of land around your home should be aimed away from the foundation to better allow the waters to flow away. Sometimes changing the shrubs and flowers around your house could affect how the soil is positioned and lead to a wet crawl space.

3. Plumbing: Many plumbing lines run below your home. If a leak or burst takes place, your foundation space may be filled quickly with a flood of water. This deluge can even start in other parts of your house. A kitchen leak can pool under the sink and eventually travel to the lowest point in your house.

4. Downspout: The way you have your gutters positioned can easily affect how much moisture makes it back into your home. If a gutter is clogged, the waters may simply run over the trough and fester near the foundation of your house. If a downspout falls off, the liquid may simply pour out near the base rather than being directed away.

A wet crawl space can point to a variety of problems. You need to find the source to create a better cleanup plan.