Recent Storm Damage 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.

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.

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.

4 Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Generator Lasting

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator A generator is an essential part of keeping your business going when the unexpected happens.

Four Essential Tips To Provide Added Peace Of Mind

For businesses in South Whittier, CA, the next big storm is likely not far off. If the storm is severe is enough, you don't want to have to worry about lost power and business on top of securing a storm damage and restoration company. To ensure your business keeps running when the power goes out, you trust that your generator will kick in. While a typical commercial one will provide up to 20,000 hours, which is nearly 14 years, that only happens if it is properly maintained.

1. Conduct Regular Inspections
While it may be easy to forget about the what-ifs when the weather is nice, daily, weekly, monthly and annual inspections of your backup power system need to be conducted. Daily service should include checking oil and coolant levels and signs of a leak or damaged parts. The battery should be checked weekly. An annual professional inspection is recommended. This will ensure that hidden problems are discovered.

2. Maintain Spare Parts
Knowing that the weather can change in an instant, it is essential to have spare generator parts around. Ideally, that should include a spare belt, oil filter and coolant. These are parts known to be common culprits of trouble, so it is also important to regularly replace them.

3. Keep Vicinity Clean
If you are experiencing generator problems, the problem may be caused by its location. Any leaves, dirt or debris make it harder to spot a leak, as well as may potentially create a blockage or improper ventilation.

4. Perform Test Runs
Depending on your backup unit, it may run regularly through its own test cycle. Tests are important to ensure everything stays lubricated, the battery rechargers and excess moisture is burned off. If yours is not on a regular cycle, it should be manually run for about 30 minutes each month.
A generator is an essential part of keeping your business going when the unexpected happens. Ensure you can count on it by keeping maintenance a priority.

Storm Damage Is Far More Than Flooding

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Roof shingles ruined in a South Whittier, CA building.

What May Seem Like Flood Damage Might Not Be

Major storm systems pose a serious flood damage threat to commercial buildings in South Whittier, CA. Rising waters can devastate the foundation, valuables and overall structure, leaving proprietors with a great deal of sogginess. Owners, though, should be aware that storms have other hazardous impacts that demand attention. To minimize concerns, know the answers to the following three questions.

1. What Other Factors Should Owners Prepare For?
Storm damage is a broader category than flood trouble. A hurricane or thunderstorm can have intense wind speeds, capable of harming the roof and turning minor objects into projectiles. Roof shingles may be ruined, exposing the roofing to moisture. This isn't considered flood but water damage. Hail can also occur, creating bumps and holes in the roof.
Furthermore, external items such as furniture, branches or trees can slam into the walls, windows and doors, breaking glass and exposing the room.

2. What Exactly Falls Into Flood Damage?
As the rain pounds down, waters rise, possibly overflowing external bodies of water. Rivers, oceans and the sewer system all dangerous, pouring category three fluid into the premises. Floodwaters such as these can ruin property. The source of the exposure must come from the rise in the water and not the storm itself. Insurance companies examine these case-by-case. Storm complications leading to saturation would not fall under this category.

3. How Should Owners Handle These Events?
When flooding happens (whether it's storm-related or not), commercial owners should turn to professionals at a water and storm restoration company. These certified experts examine the space, test the walls and air and initiate mitigation efforts immediately. This phase is essential to ensure that excess fluid doesn't spawn mold and mildew growth and prepare an appropriate sanitation plan.
What may seem like flood damage might not be. If the water comes from the roof or a structural breach, it's likely to fall into the storm zone. Either way, it's important to act quickly to reduce secondary complications.

Flooded Roads: The Dangers and How To Pass Through Them

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding poses many dangers. Besides the risk of electrical shock and sewage contamination, rushing waters can inundate homes, necessitating repairs from a residential flood damage restoration provider. Traveling via car through a flooded street is extremely hazardous. Here are a few reasons why driving in floodwaters should be avoided whenever possible and how to navigate these roads when no other option remains available.


Dangers of Driving Through Flooded Roads
Operating vehicles on flooded roads is a precarious situation because:

  • Navigating to your destination in Whittier, CA, can become impossible
  • Waters as low as a foot can carry away a small car
  • Drivers of washed away vehicles may lose control and crash


One of the best travel tips anybody can observe is to set their phone to receive automatic weather alerts. Knowing when and where a flooded street might develop can help avoid perilous scenarios.


What To Do When Encountering Flooded Roads
High standing water can appear suddenly, leaving drivers no other option than to traverse through them. When passing through becomes unavoidable, stay within the center of the road, as this tends to be the shallowest area. Moving through waterlogged streets may require taking turns with other cars. Never rush to beat another vehicle and endanger your situation further by getting into an accident.
Drive slowly and stay in water that does not rise above the center of your wheels. If you are operating a manual vehicle, remain in low gear. Automatics should be driven slowly enough that their speed matches the equivalent of first or second gear.
Brakes that become wet have the added risk of causing cars to spin out. Dry them by lightly applying pressure while driving.
Traveling upon a flooded street is an extreme risk you should always attempt to avoid. If you find yourself with no choice but to drive through floodwaters, use these tips to help safely survive what will no doubt be a harrowing ordeal.

When To Replace Your Generator

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Having a properly humming generator is an important part of keeping your office running smoothly

When To Replace Your Generator

When severe storms hit, there is a significant chance your business will lose power. Thankfully, a properly working generator can keep you up and running in Whittier, CA. Still, no machine lasts forever and yours will eventually become outdated and fail. Know when to expect problems and purchase a new one before it malfunctions.

Backup System Failures
Generator problems prone to developing over time include:

  • Overheating complications
  • Coolant and oil leaks
  • Circuit breaker shorts
  • Battery system failure
  • Switchgear trouble

Having no power during a severe weather event is distressing, but it is even worse when your building sustains severe structural damage. Should yours become compromised, hire a storm renovation expert to rush to your site and make everything look “Like it never even happened.”

Backup System Replacement
Expect your generator to run properly for 10,000 to 20,000 hours. Typically, it takes 20 to 25 years to reach this much usage. Have yours evaluated after surpassing either of these milestones to determine whether an upgrade should be considered.
Constantly improving technology means newer models are much smaller than their previous iterations, yet they are still able to produce the same amount of power. Newer devices are also optimized to comply with current air quality regulations, unlike those manufactured prior to 2000.
Even though your backup machine may have plenty of life left to give, its manufacturer may have discontinued support. When replacement parts become impossible to obtain, it is fated that yours will eventually become inoperable. Contact your distributor and ask if service can be reasonably expected.
Whichever model you select, choose one sized correctly for the job you intend to handle. Larger systems running below their full capacity collect undesirable carbon deposits. When smaller systems get pushed beyond their limits, the excessive wear causes early failure. Avoid either situation by researching and consulting a knowledgeable salesperson.
Having a properly humming generator is an important part of keeping your office running smoothly. Check that yours has not fallen out of date and, if it has, selects an improved version that accurately matches your needs.

Steer Clear of Flooded Streets

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Pickup truck on a flooded street If you ever encounter a flooded street, the best practice is to find a new route or to stop your car

Avoid Becoming A Passenger In A Floating Projectile

There are many unknown dangers one encounters in a flood. It's impossible to tell the depth of the water or the speed at which it's moving. If you ever suffer through an unexpected flood in West Whittier, CA, you should never drive on a flooded street.

1. Floods Are Destructive
Floods are unpredictable and cause lasting damage. Flooding in a home can cause damage great enough to require storm damage restoration services for cleanup. Flooded roads have the capability to cause equal damage as they turn vehicles into massive, heavy, floating projectiles.

2. Your Vehicle Could Be Carried Away
Despite the size and weight of a car, any vehicle has the potential to be moved by rushing flood waters. It takes only twelve inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. We've all seen the video footage of cars being swept away during hurricanes and floods. Never try to navigate through a flooded street.

3. You Could Lose Control
Cars that get carried away on flooded roads are no longer under the control of their drivers. The obvious concern is that you cannot navigate the car once it begins to float and have no control over the direction it travels. But, your car may also flip over or even sink. If you ever do find yourself in a floating car and the water is not moving, get out and move to higher ground. However, you should never get out of a car to enter moving water.
If you ever encounter a flooded street, the best practice is to find a new route or to stop your car. Watch or listen to the news reports during a weather emergency for travel tips and information about which roads to avoid in your area. Make every effort to avoid becoming a passenger in a floating projectile.

Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Every business needs flood insurance

Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

If you rent your business space in West Whittier, CA, you probably have renter's insurance to cover these possibilities:

  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Legal and medical liability
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Plumbing and electrical malfunctions

Suppose the office or retail space you rent becomes flooded after a storm. The National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or private supplemental insurance coverage, can pay for the following.

Contents
Your landlord's flood insurance policy likely only covers structural damage to the building you rent; however, an NFIP policy covers repair or replacement of your furnishings, records or inventory for up to $500,000. You can also buy an excess insurance supplemental plan for a higher threshold of coverage.

Mold Remediation
When floodwater damage is excessive, it is necessary to extract water immediately. Renter's insurance typically does not cover water removal services. NFIP and supplemental insurance will pay for this and for professional mold remediation services to perform air filtration to remove mold spores lingering in the air. For these claims to be approved, a business must demonstrate that it acted promptly and in good faith to remove excess water leading to mold.

Temporary Relocation
Renters may need to relocate temporarily while storm restoration professionals undertake cleaning. NFIP policies and renter's insurance will generally not pay for your business's temporary relocation. Fortunately, you can count on supplemental coverage to pay for things like temporary rent and equipment until your space is ready for your return.

Business Interruption
NFIP policies do not cover the costs to keep your business running after a flood causes an interruption. You need to purchase a separate insurance policy to include things like vendor bill payment, employee salaries, and rent on temporarily unusable office space.
Whether or not your West Whittier, CA business operates in a flood zone, supplemental flood insurance coverage can ensure protection from unexpected damage that can lead to permanent closure.

5 Things To Expect During a Home Restoration

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on a hallway Drying equipment placed on damaged area

5 Things To Expect During a Home Restoration

After flooding at your Friendly Hills, CA, home you may choose to contact a local storm damage restoration service. These professionals can help get your home back to pre-damage conditions. Here are five things you can expect to see the restoration team do when repairing your home.

1. Water Removal

One of the first steps that may often be seen during a storm restoration is the removal of any flood water. This needs to be done quickly in order to help prevent long term problems. A restoration team will often use a pump as part of the process.

2. Sanitizing the Space

After the water is removed and the area dried, it will next need to be cleaned. Restoration teams follow this procedure because flood water may carry bacteria which could be hazardous if not cleaned out. Cleaning the space helps avoid contamination.

3. Damage Assessment

You will also see the professionals working in your home perform a damage assessment after cleaning up the flooding. This allows them to know where the damage occurred, if there are secondary damages, and create a plan for the restoration.

4. Remove Damaged Material

After the assessment is done damaged material can be removed from the home. This may involve a flood cut, or tear out, which is the process of removing a portion of damaged wall and replacing it with new material. This process can help prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

5. Repairs

Once everything is cleaned and the damaged materials are removed, the repair process can begin. The professionals working on your home should have the tools and materials needed to make the damage look “Like it never even happened.”

After flooding in your home it’s highly recommended to contact a restoration service for help with cleanup and repairs. These professionals can remove the water, sanitize the space, assess the damage, take care of removing damaged material, and make the necessary repairs. Soon your home can look “Like it never even happened.”

When Lightning Strikes - Keeping Your Business Safe in a Thunderstorm

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that a thunderstorm can be more deadly than a hurricane or a tornado? Aside from the direct risk of lightning, a heavy rain storm can produce significant water and wind damage that can affect the productivity and safety of your business. Even before a watch notifies you of a potential storm or a warning alerts you of immediate danger, ensure that you have prepared your company with these seven steps.

7 Steps to Prepare Your Business For Storms

  1. Have a system for alerts. Find out how you can best receive notifications in Whittier, CA. Often there are email alerts to which you can subscribe so that you can easily communicate with your employees.
  2. Plan for a safe room. Ideally, identify an interior room without windows within your place of business. Clearly mark this room with a sign, and train all staff members for emergency preparedness. 
  3. Assign a staff member. This person can be responsible for gathering any items that are outside in preparation for a storm. Having a list of items to collect is ideal to ensure timely preparation.
  4. Regularly inspect trees and shrubbery. Limbs surrounding your building pose a risk during a storm. Removing dead limbs can reduce the risk of damage caused by high winds.
  5. Implement a schedule for inspecting the roof. This will help to ensure that it is structurally sound. After a rain storm, be sure to check that rain spouts and drainage systems are working properly.
  6. Consider the need for lightning rods. These can be vital to further protect your place of business. Lightning rods redirect the electricity and can be helpful even in a steel building. Consult your local fire company for advice on placement.
  7. Be prepared to respond to flood damage. Have a reputable company in mind to call immediately in case of water damage sustained in a heavy storm.

Thunderstorms can be an underestimated source of property damage as well as a tremendous safety risk for your business. Even a substantial rain storm can cause lasting damage. With the proper preparations, your company can be ready.

How To Handle Contaminated Water in a Flood

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers drying out the floor of a home that has been exposed from floodwaters Drying equipment in a Friendly Hills, CA home

How To Handle Contaminated Water in a Flood

In many situations, water has the reputation of being a pretty benign substance, especially if it is clean. However, when water is in the wrong place in your home, it can be quite destructive. Many situations unleash water into your house, from broken water pipes to powerful storms that break through the defenses of your roof and walls. When this happens, water damage can occur and cause the following problems:

  • Ruined contents
  • Corroded materials
  • Degraded electrical systems
  • Soaked documents
  • Saturated insulation

The emphasis should first be on stopping the source of the water. Once this is accomplished, the next step should be to remove the water from your home in Friendly Hills, CA, to minimize additional damage.

Black Water
For the cleaning and restoration industry, water is often categorized by its level of cleanliness. Level 1 water refers to clean water that is suitable for drinking and washing. Level 2 water, also known as gray water, has impurities in it that make it unsuitable for human contact; examples of this include overflows from aquariums, washing machines or dishwashers. Level 3 water is highly contaminated and could originate from flood waters, toilet overflows, or sewage backups. Because it could contain dangerous pathogens and be harmful to human health it should be handled by a professional water remediation franchise. It can cause significant water damage to a home.

Water Cleanup
Contaminated water in your home is an emergency. It should be removed from the home as fast as possible by a company trained in the best industry standards. Certified water damage technicians will use specialized equipment to extract the water, and then they will dry out the area with powerful fans and ventilation. All areas and contents affected by the flood waters will need to be cleaned and sanitized with approved cleaning agents. Some items might need to be destroyed. The recovery process includes the elimination of odors from the home.

How To Prepare for a Disaster

4/11/2020 (Permalink)

Causes of business interruption Business interruption insurance can help your business in Whittier, CA

Few scenarios are more daunting for a business owner than having to shut down your company for any reason. A large storm, though, has the capacity to render your building in Whittier, CA, unusable for an indefinite period of time. If you have to rebuild, what can be done to pay for the expenses you incur while your company's revenue stream has been reduced or is nearly nonexistent? One possible answer is business interruption insurance. This coverage is added to your regular commercial property insurance. It can help you weather the down period until you are up and running again.

What Interruption Insurance Covers

During a rebuild, you could be unable to sell and manufacture your products, or even offer the normal services that keep your company afloat. Though there is no magical formula, it is important to get enough coverage to sustain your company for a reasonable time period. Business interruption insurance works in the following ways:

  • It compensates you (based on financial records) for lost income due to a closed business
  • It covers operating expenses such as electric bills
  • It normally includes a 48-hour waiting period before benefits begin

Working with a local storm remediation company is another way to limit your expenses by speeding up recovery. The faster you can reopen the less severe your expenses will be.

What Extra Expense Insurance Covers

This type of insurance reimburses you for extra efforts made to avoid a business interruption during a rebuild. For example, if you bring in extra equipment such as generators that allow you to operate, this would be covered. Or if you pay a company to build a temporary office that enables employees to handle phone calls and orders this action would be covered as long as it was a reasonable expense that reduced interruption costs. Extra expense insurance could be added to business interruption insurance, or it could be sufficient on its own, depending on the needs of your company.

3 Things To Know About Storm Shutters for Your Home

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

A brick wall and windows with rolling shutters Rolling shutters in a West Whittier, CA home

3 Things To Know About Storm Shutters for Your Home

Experiencing high winds in your West Whittier, CA, is not unusual. Unfortunately, this can lead to possible storm damage. However, there are a few tips that many storm damage restoration services recommend for mitigating potential problems. One of these includes the installation of storm shutters. Here are three things you may wish to know.

1. Type

There are several types of shutters to choose from. Some of these are permanent additions to the home that hang above or beside the window until needed. These are then swung or lowered over the glass when a storm arrives. Temporary shutters are also available. These are storm resistant panels that are stored in an alternate location, such as a garage, which can be secured over the window when needed. Permanent storm solutions may be chosen in areas of frequent storm weather, while temporary panels might be preferable in areas of seasonal weather.

2. Material

You may want to choose the material of your storm shutters based on the weather in your area. Metal solutions are most often recommended for areas that experience high winds and hurricane force rains. For milder weather you may consider a wood or cloth based shutter system instead.

3. Position

The position the storm shutters hang in when closed may also impact your decision. Folding shutters or accordion style units, may swing inward from the sides, while others may lower over the window. The style you choose may depend both on what you like best with the style of your home, and the severity of the weather in your location.
When protecting your home from high winds, the installation of a shutter system may be one solution you may wish to consider. Think about the style of shutter you prefer and its position over your window when choosing the right shutter for your home. You may also want to consider the benefits of various materials for the weather patterns in your local area.

The Benefits of Business Interruption Insurance

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Causes of business interruption It's smart to look into buying insurance coverage for a business interruption

When a powerful storm sweeps through Whittier, CA, it can leave your business in a shambles. There could be a period of days, weeks or even months when you are unable to operate at full or even partial capacity. You could be faced with the prospect of having to rebuild much of your company. While this is happening the doors will be closed to customers or you won't be able to manufacture products. In a short time, this could exceed the cost of all other damages combined. While your insurance coverage will likely cover a large percentage of property losses, it may not cover your loss of a revenue stream. Because of this, it's smart to look into buying insurance coverage for a business interruption.

The Key Factors of Interruption Insurance

A closed business is a hardship for owners, employees and customers. While a rebuild is underway, money is lost even though expenses still pile up. The basic facts of interruption insurance are as follows:

  • It is vital to the success of your business
  • It provides compensation to a company for lost income in a disaster
  • There is often a 48-hour waiting period before benefits kick in
  • The cost of the policy is related to the risk of disaster for a particular company
  • Business interruption coverage is added to the property insurance policy

For many small business, having coverage for an interruption can spell the difference between survival and bankruptcy. During the restoration period, a business can also be covered for extra expenses related to higher operating costs.

The Advantages of a Comprehensive Business Plan

While it is difficult to prepare for all emergencies, a sound business plan takes into account a variety of factors through a risk/benefit analysis. Insurance is part of that calculation. Minimizing losses by calling in disaster remediation specialists can also be helpful. They help speed up the rebuild process and pave the way for a quick recovery.

Staying Safe Before and After a Flood

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded street with a sign on top of the picture that say "Turn around, don't drown Avoid driving through flooded areas; when in doubt, remember “turn around, don’t drown”

Flood Safety Tips

You’ve seen the weather reports. A hurricane or tropical storm is headed your way. It’s possible you live in a low-lying area, known as a flood zone, and you may want to take extra precautions before the raging flood waters invade your home in West Whittier, CA, causing further damage. These flood safety tips will help you prepare for an upcoming storm as well as the catastrophic aftermath.

Before the Storm Arrives

During a flood watch or warning, please follow these safety tips:

  • Prepare an emergency supply of extra water, consisting of one gallon of water per day, for each person and each pet, for three days.
  • Gather emergency supplies.
  • Bring grills, lawn furniture or trash cans inside or make sure they are secured and less likely to blow away.
  • Evacuate if you live in an area prone to flooding.
  • If planning to evacuate, turn off all utilities, including water, power and gas, before leaving home.

After the Storm Has Gone

Flood safety still continues to be of importance in the aftermath of the storm. Here’s what you should do once the storm has passed:

  • Avoid driving through flooded areas; when in doubt, remember “turn around, don’t drown”.
  • Don’t drink flood water, or use it for brushing teeth, washing or preparing food.
  • If you evacuated, return home after the local authorities have announced it is safe.
  • Use only bottled, boiled or treated water in the meantime.
  • Use generators at least 20 feet away from any windows, doors or vents, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the event your home is flooded, you may want to call an emergency restoration company to assist with the cleanup. This company is Here to Help and is Faster to any size disaster.
Flood safety is of the utmost importance when preparing for a storm. While a storm is never welcome, following these tips can give you greater peace of mind when preparing for the inevitable.

What Does Performing a Flood Cut Involve?

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Damage due to heavy rains.

Flood season is never a great time in Whittier, CA. In the best-case scenario, residents are prepared for this season, and it’s only a mild annoyance when preparations for flooding are tested. However, in the worst-case scenario, water damage can result in intensive repairs to a home. Sometimes these repairs involve getting a flood cut. And since “flood cut” isn’t a well-known term, here is more information about what’s involved.

Flood Cuts 

  1. What Is a Flood Cut?

A flood cut is a fairly simple process. The definition is in the name. A flood cut is when a professional cleanup service comes into a home after the flooding has been drained away to tear out the drywall that has been damaged. While this does mean that a large portion of the drywall is removed, it also means that mold growth and other structural issues may be avoided. In this way, a flood cut can be an important step in ensuring the recovery of a home after heavy rain, sewage bursts, or other sources of water damage.

  1. When Is It Used?

Considering drywall replacement can be costly and time-consuming, it’s a good thing that flood cuts aren’t always necessary. Often, there are ways to simply dry out the drywall without having to tear out the damaged portion. However, the times when flood cuts are used are generally the most crucial. When the water has high levels of contamination, or has concerning levels of bacteria or other growths, it may be important that this step is used. The drywall that was soaked, even once it looks dry, may contain traces of the bacteria or other substances that were present in the water.

Cutting out drywall after flooding may seem like a time-consuming task, but it is generally worth it. It may remove the chance of a home retaining contaminants after the residence is dried out, and it may lead to something worth its weight in gold: safety and peace of mind. 

Hurricanes and Insurance Nightmares: Why Reviewing Your Policy Matters

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are immense forces of nature

Hurricanes and Insurance Nightmares

Hurricanes are immense forces of nature. As homeowners, the thought of such a disaster is enough to cause nightmares, and while you have an insurance policy, is it enough to cover the potential property loss? Hurricanes can lead to many problems in your home, such as flooding, roof damage, sewer backup and mold growth. While the high winds of the storm can wreak havoc, the rising waters and storm surges are likely the causes of lasting damage. Unfortunately, many residential owners do not have flood insurance, which means their flood claim may be denied leaving them to cover costs out of pocket. Knowing typical coverages is essential to understanding your needs and future costs.

Water

In reviewing your standard policy, you will find many stipulations and definitions which apply to water damage caused by storms. While many insurers will cover water loss resulting from wind damage or other storm-related issues, they will typically draw the line when it comes to external and natural flooding.

Mold

Another cause of damage that is often not covered under a homeowner's insurance plan is mold growth. However, it depends on the size of the infestation and the cause. For instance, if storm winds created a hole in the roof, which led to moisture buildup and resulted in mold, your policy may cover the repair.

Wind

High winds are frequent in storms and therefore often covered by standard policies. However, make sure you use shutters and protect your property to preserve your coverage.

Remediation

While an emergency remediation service in the Friendly Hills,CA, area can help in recovery and recommend preventative measures, like storm shutters, your insurer will need to approve the costs. If flooding caused the damage and you do not have a flood policy, you will have to cover the expenses.
The high winds of a hurricane can cause significant structural and roof damage, which a typical homeowner’s policy may cover. However, a storm surge can lead to flooding, which will likely require a flood claim on a flood insurance policy to reduce remediation expenses. To know what you are protected against, you should review your plan with your insurer.

How to Set Up a Business for Storm Survival

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

It is a good practice to back-up digital files regularly

Storm Survival

With storm season just around the corner, many business owners recognize the importance of commercial storm preparation. Storm survival takes some planning and research, but when done correctly may save your company thousand of dollars and hours of time in the long-run. After-storm recovery often includes water removal, tear out of wet goods and more. Prepare for the unexpected to increase your odds for storm survival.

Mental Preparation

First and foremost, for your company to successfully withstand an oncoming storm, you must be mentally ready. Each employee must know their role if a storm strikes as well as what action they should take. In order to be mentally ready for ugly weather conditions that could come your way, you should pre-meditate on the following ideas:

  • Assess your biggest assets including employees, technology, inventory etc.
  • Draw-up an evacuation plan
  • Appoint emergency response leaders

Physical Preparation 


When addressing the structural protection of your business site, consider common weather conditions that occur in the Whittier, CA, area. A post-storm scene may present anything from heavy wind destruction to flooding and water damage. While a flash flood might lead to the post-flood tear out of carpeting or upholstery, you may be able to prevent some losses with simple preparation.

It is a good practice to store your documents in a water-proof safe and back-up digital files regularly. Keep valuables and other important goods at higher levels to avoid rising water levels. Stay informed about weather conditions in your region. Before the storms come, be prepared by signing-up for local weather alerts.

After the Storm

If evacuation has taken place, stay safe and listen to local authorities to know when you can return to your commercial facility. You may be anxious to start the clean-up process, but risking personal safety is never worth the cost.

While a storm restoration specialist can help you with the tear out and drying of your workplace after a storm, nothing can replace the good that can come from having a solid plan in place beforehand. Follow these simple tips to get your business storm-ready.

How To Fix a Sewage Backup in Your Bathtub

4/27/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO for your Sewage Backup

It’s a problem you as a homeowner in Friendly Hills, CA, never want to face – sewer backup into your shower or bathtub. How does it happen? You may flush your toilet one day and notice the drain is slower than normal and then the next time you flush, the waste and water suddenly appear in your bathtub. Since the problem is hidden deep inside your plumbing pipes, you may not know how to handle the situation. Here are four helpful hints.

1. Assess the Situation

Turn the water valve to the toilet off to ensure it doesn’t get flushed again. Then, although it sounds unpleasant, look to see what type of bathtub backup has blown up through the pipes with the sewage. Check for dirt, rocks, or plant roots because it could mean a broken sewer line in addition to a clogged line.

2. Contact a Professional

You may be tempted to try and fix the sewer backup with the help of a plunger, but if the clog is serious enough to completely block the line, you probably need the advice of a water mitigation technician. He or she has access to tools such as cameras and line-snakes that can often open the blocked line quickly to prevent further flooding.

3. Clean the Area

Once the line is open, and the water is running free, the water specialist can begin cleaning the area to remove the residue that is still inside the bathtub after the liquid drained back out. Most experts use the help of a specially designed vacuum.

4. Disinfect the Tub

The last step in the sewage cleanup process is generally to disinfect the area to keep your family safe. The technician knows which cleaner and disinfectant to use in the cleanup to fight the bacteria and germs associated with sewage problems.
A sewer backup can damage your home if left unattended. However, with the help of a water technician, the situation can quickly be remedied.

Ventura Storage Units Flooded: SERVPRO of Whittier Saves Contents

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Our goal at SERVPRO of Whittier is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

Imagine all of your most precious possessions, most important keepsakes, and dearest memories being destroyed by water damage from a broken sprinkler while they sit in a storage unit you thought they would be safe in. Due to SERVPRO of Whittier’s incredible response time, we were able to get to the loss site quickly enough to prevent this tragedy from happening in over 30 units at Power Self Storage. SERVPRO of Whittier has a strong policy in regards to our response time. Since water damage gets more and more severe as time goes by, we make it a priority to get out and begin emergency services before contaminated water allows mold-causing bacteria to grow and affect contents.

            The owner of Power Self Storage in Ventura gave us a call when they needed our help to clean up after a sprinkler broke in some of their units. Our crew managed to save contents from all 30 units thanks to our ability to arrive within hours of the call for our assistance. Our crew chief Jose Arcila was able to separate the items that had a possibility of being saved from those that we had to create an inventory with descriptions and pictures for. He and our technician Martha created the inventory on our Assured Software Program to offer a very detailed report for our customers that is customizable for our customers’ needs. This is something our customers are able to use to appraise their belongings. SERVPRO of Whittier always strives to be as helpful as possible in situations like this by enforcing our rule of arrival within four hours of the call.

4 Steps to Expect in a Storm Damage Restoration

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Remediation 101: Basic Flood Cleaning Requirements

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

We have the equipment ready for any flood cleaning in West Whittier, CA

Many companies advertise flood remediation services, and for homeowners eager to get back in their West Whittier, CA , home, it can be tempting to choose the first company they find. But flood damage carries special risks to both your belongings and your health. It’s critical that your flood cleanup plan take into consideration immediate concerns such as water damage and distant risks such as mildew and insect infestation. However you choose to handle flood remediation, make sure your remediator meets these three basic cleaning requirements.

1) Addresses HVAC Cleanup

Your heating and ventilation system can provide one of the easiest ways for potentially harmful flood materials to circulate through your home. Your remediator should remove contaminated materials and dispose of flood-damaged insulation in and near core HVAC system components, as well as in any affected filters. Flood-contaminated HVAC system component surfaces should be cleaned with a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner, with attention to filter racks and other areas where debris often collects.

2) Includes Steps for Drying and Evaluation
Drying your home is a big part of flood cleaning. However, a good remediation plan also includes a thoughtful evaluation of the drying process. Thorough cleaning requirements include steps to consistently monitor and evaluate the drying process, rather than simply setting down blowers and leaving. Making sure that carpet padding and subfloors are truly dry can prevent expenses from mold and mildew removal later.

3) Considers Sanitizing Measures
Floodwater is full of dirt that can contaminate your home’s surfaces. A thorough remediation effort should include plans for cleaning using specialized flood disinfectant sprays and cleaning techniques such as antimicrobial treatments, air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
It can be tempting to rush to recover from a flood, but it’s important that things are done right to ensure the safety of your home and family. Consider these flood cleaning requirements as you choose remediation experts to trust with your home’s future.

Solving the Most Disgusting Floods

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Sewer backup after a severe storm hit the Whittier area

The sewers in Whittier, CA, could be susceptible to various storm-related problems that make them back up into your building:
• Storm overflow
• Continuous rain
• Debris blockages


However, major weather events aren't the only reasons that sewer backup occurs. You might not expect some of the causes, and others you might not really want to think about. However, you need to know the risks so you can be informed while choosing your insurance policy.


Flood Overflow


Major rain water inflow can cause sewers to back up — even if they don't directly flood your facility. That's because there are some times when the storm drain system kicks into emergency overload mode, spilling into other drainage infrastructure. The sewers and drains are all engineered for this purpose, of course, but there are sometimes situations when unexpected levels of rainfall combine with other factors to exceed the limits of the design.


Other Natural Forces


Storms are one of the most common causes of sewer backup, but there are usually complicating factors involved. One of these might surprise you: landscaping features. The root systems of trees and large shrubs often extend deep into the ground, far past the level at which the sewer mains are buried. The roots often grow around the pipes, but they will happily sneak into any cracks in the sewer line in their quest for moisture. As the plant grows and the root thickens, this causes an obstruction that could eventually lead to you needing to call a sewage cleanup company.


Blockages


If you're ankle-deep in black water from sewer backup, the last thing you want to think about is where the flood came from. However, the stuff that people flush down the drain can sometimes get stuck, causing increasing blockages. Public works engineers try to stay on top of this type of problem, but there's really no end to the stream of waste building up in the system. In short, it's often a good idea to get a sewage cleanup rider on your business insurance given the inevitability of sewer obstruction.

For more on Whittier click here