Recent Storm Damage Posts

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. 

When Lightning Strikes - Keeping Your Business Safe in a Thunderstorm

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be an underestimated source of property damage.

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.
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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.

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