Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Mold Claims and General Liability Issues

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Claims and General Liability Issues

When it comes to mold insurance claims against your business, straight answers can be hard to find. That's because the coverage for mold has changed over the years and still depends upon a variety of factors. In short, a landlord or property owner can be sued for failure to protect tenants of employees from the damages and health effects associated with a mold infestation. That does not mean a suit will always be successful. The following factors could influence the judgment on a liability claim for mold damage:

  • The jurisdiction of the lawsuit
  • The source of the mold problem
  • The acceptable upkeep of the building
  • The actions of the tenants or the renter of the building

Landlords, property managers, and business owners have a responsibility to keep a building in decent shape. Failure to do so makes it more likely that a mold claim against a company will be successful. By the same token, renters have a responsibility to maintain a unit or building to acceptable standards and to notify the property owner of water damage and other issues.

Speak With Your Insurance Agent
For questions on mold insurance claims in Whittier, CA, it is always best to consult with your insurance agent or to seek legal counsel. The complexities of coverage for mold issues involve such factors as the mold rules and regulations of the state, as well as applicable building statutes and codes. At present, there are no federal standards for mold limits in buildings, but it may be helpful to consult with state and local authorities on the status of mold standards.

Consult With Professionals
An experienced mold mitigation franchise is likely to be familiar with mold insurance claims in your area. They are also your best source for mold remediation services. A fast, professional response to mold growth will limit damage, reduce expenses, and halt the negative effects of mold. Professional technicians are trained to remove mold infestations and prevent mold from returning to an apartment complex or commercial building.

3 Things To Know About Mold Odor

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall covered with mold. Words that say MUSTY ODOR? Odors can occur from the mold spores releasing gasses into the air

3 Things To Know About Mold Odor

You may already know a little about the mycotoxin produced odors that come from mold, but did you know that there’s a possibility this could be the musty odor in your South Whittier, CA, home? Fortunately, a mold remediation service can help. Here’s what you may want to know about mold odors, and how to get rid of them.

1. Why Mold Odor Occurs

As mold grows it produces microbial volatile organic compounds in a gaseous state. This is the source of the musty odor that many people associate with mold. Secondary metabolites called mycotoxins may also be present in these gasses. You may be tempted to try some home remedies to get rid of these odors, but if you think the smell may be mold caused, it’s best to contact a professional as untreated mold may cause problems for your home.

2. What Mold Odor Means

Mold odor can mean that mold is growing in or around your home. Depending on the mold type mycotoxin metabolites may be present as well. The odor can be unpleasant for you, and the spores could eventually cause problems for your home if left untreated. If you believe you may have a mold problem in your home it’s best to contact a local professional as quickly as possible.

3. How To Get Rid of Mold Odor

The best way to get rid of mold odor is to contact a professional for mold remediation. They can test for mold to confirm its presence and then begin the removal process if any is found. In some cases, these professionals may need to implement containment measures to prevent mold from spreading to the rest of the home.

Odors can occur from the mold spores releasing gasses into the air. These gasses can include levels of mycotoxin metabolites, and the musty scent can indicate a possible mold problem in your home. Fortunately, a mold remediation service can help test for and remove any mold that may be present.

How SERVPRO Technicians Are Trained

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

A man speaking to other people in an office. Concept Training employees Our technicians undergo extensive water restoration training

Making sure your staff is prepared for whatever issues come their way is vital to building and maintaining a good reputation. When a business owner opens a SERVPRO franchise in West Whittier, CA, the company can provide training for all technicians and employees. Its training school is certified by the IICRC, so you can be confident that what your technicians are learning is the latest in remediation technology and procedures.

Topics Offered

The company offers in-house training on a variety of topics for owners and their employees. Different jobs require different skills, so SERVPRO offers a mitigation certificate in five main areas:

  • Water Cleanup
  • Fire Damage Mitigation
  • Carpet and Upholstery Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Applied Structural Drying (in specialized ASD facility)

After technicians complete the coursework and get some hands-on training, they become certified remediation specialists who know how to handle tough mitigation problems. They return from their 15-day program ready to join your team.

Online Training

Employees may also benefit from online training modules. Online learning is a great way to complete certification according to the schedule and pace that is best for the employee. The modules are IICRC certified and offer a test at the end of each one to verify that the student has a solid grasp on the material.

Educational Opportunities

The initial certification program is not the only way that SERVPRO staff are trained. The company wants everyone involved in the mitigation process to have a broad understanding of the tasks required to complete it. Continuing education courses are offered for not only SERVPRO employees but the people with whom they partner to take care of customers, including insurance and real estate professionals.
The IICRC backs SERVPRO's training school with third-party certification. When you own a SERVPRO franchise, there is a wealth of training opportunities to ensure that your staff offers the best possible service to your customers.

Fire Disaster: Mitigating Both Fire and Water Damage

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Living room walls are damaged by soot and smoke Fire loss in a South Whittier, CA property

Fire Disaster: Mitigating Both Fire and Water Damage

A fire disaster consists of more than flames. A property may also experience flooding during rescue efforts as well as toxicity in soot and smoke remnants. Therefore, such a disaster is three-fold and, depending on the extent of the damage, you may wish to call in an expert to assist you in the fire and water cleanup of your building. Fire mitigation companies in South Whittier, CA, clean disasters by performing a minimum of three tasks.

  • Reducing exposure
  • Drying the premises
  • Removing fire and smoke damage

Reducing Exposure

The first objective of any fire cleanup effort is to reduce exposure to the elements and possible trespassers. Therefore, the company you hire will typically suggest boarding up any damaged windows and doors. They may also suggest placing tarps over any large holes in the roofline. By taking advantage of these services, you know that your facility is protected.

Drying the Premises

Next, while water cleanup might sound a little out of place in fire restoration, you need to remember the rescue efforts and possibly suppression systems in use in your building. Fire hoses produce gallons of water per minute, which collects on your floor when attempting to put out the flames. Therefore, a mitigation crew will spend some time using pumps, fans, shop vacs and dehumidifiers to dry out your property.

Removing Fire and Smoke Damage

Once the premises are dry, the crew will begin the fire and smoke cleanup phase. At this point, the team will remove damaged structure and clean the remainder of the building, ensuring that they have a sanitary foundation for restoration work.
Fire, smoke and water cleanup are all a part of the fire restoration and mitigation process. While minor blazes may be manageable on your own, for more significant disasters, you may require the assistance of a qualified mitigation expert. Don't hesitate to call when disaster strikes.

Will Mold Disappear If I Do Nothing?

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Girl found mold in the corner of her bathroom Mold damage in a West Whittier, CA home

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

Causes

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

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

Remediation

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

DYI

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

Nothing

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

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

How You Can Create a Fire Escape Plan at Work

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

People walking down on the evacuation stairs - Text on image that says PRACTICE OFTEN Be sure that you have a fire escape plan and practice it often in your West Whittier,CA office

Remember back to your school years when you’d have to participate in regular fire drills? You may have disliked these experiences, but if the time comes when you need to put the drill into practice, you’re grateful. What would happen if a fire broke out in your West Whittier,CA, workplace? Do you have a fire escape plan? If you don’t, it’s time to develop one. Even if you do have one, you should review it to ensure it’s effective.

The Rundown

If a fire started in your office right now, would chaos ensue, or would you and your staff know how and where to exit safely and orderly? You can develop a good emergency escape plan by following these simple guidelines:

  • Inspect the building.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities
  • Draw a map of escape routes
  • Practice, practice, practice

Inspect the Building

You can’t have a very effective fire escape plan if you don’t know the layout of your own office space. Conduct a walk-through of every square foot of the building. Identify all exits and how close they are to each office and cubicle. Identify fire alarms as well as potential hazards.

Assign Roles and Responsibilities

Communication is critical during these events. Every floor in your building needs some to guide others to the exits. You also need other roles such as floor monitors to ensure everyone has left as well as wardens to help gather everyone.

Draw a Map of Escape Routes

Your employees to a visual representation of the escape plan. Draw a clear picture of where all exits are in relation to each floor. Make sure you clearly mark the meeting place.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Everyone must know the plan well enough that if the real event occurs, there will be no hesitation. Practice your escape a minimum of once a year.

If you need help with your fire escape plan, the Red Cross has some excellent resources. You can also rely on the expertise of fire cleanup and restoration companies.

4 Tricky Places To Keep a Watch on Mold in Your Home

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

mold on wall Call the professionals to detect mold in your Whittier, CA home or business.

Black mold is a quiet home invader. It begins in dark, damp places and before you even notice it, it can get a grip on your home in Whittier, CA. This may not be too unexpected if you have recently had a flood or leak, but you may be surprised to learn some of the other places mold damage can occur.


4 Places Mold can Grow


Mold growth and even mildew growth are damaging to many materials throughout your home. Here are some places you might want to keep a watch on.

Paper—Including wallpaper, stacks of old newspapers, even cardboard boxes stored up against an outer wall
Drywall—Any drywall in the home is susceptible, especially in damp areas like the bathroom or under sinks
Wood—Wood in bathrooms including inside cabinets, the subfloor and even the studs behind the shower surround or under the tub are all subject to mold damage if dampness is present
Organic materials—This includes such things as cork flooring or wall covering, cotton fabrics, leather and even soil such as the floor in a crawlspace

Preventive Measures


Fix any leaks when they first appear, before they have a chance to attract mold spores. You can add mold inhibitors to both indoor and outdoor paint before applying. In the bathroom, you may wish to install a ventilation fan or at the least, get in the habit of opening windows to let the room dry out after bathing. Use a Borax, bleach or vinegar-based anti-fungal products for mold cleanup in areas prone to dampness.


Of course the best defense against the effects of mold damage is to keep your home dry and clean. In the event of a leaking pipe fitting or even a pipe burst, water extraction and thorough drying should be top priorities. A professional mold remediation service in Whittier, CA can assess and manage any black mold cleanup and take the needed dehumidification measures.

Why is Mold Spreading in My Home?

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

An empty room with a chandelier, walls are white but are all covered with mold Mold infestation in a Friendly Hills, CA home

3 Reasons Mold Spreads in Your Home

One of the great frustrations of a mold problem is the fungus’s resistance to leaving. If you’re at your wits end with spreading mold in your Friendly Hills,CA home, you’re in the right place. Here are three reasons mold is spreading in your home.

About Mold

We know mold as a dark, smelly substance that creeps up walls and settles in wet corners. Scientifically, mold is a fungus that replicates via spores in our environment. These lightweight spores are extremely mobile, and can enter the home:

  • Through windows and doors
  • On pets
  • On our clothes

Once inside, these spores only need moisture and relative warmth to start growing. But many homeowners are also guilty of behaviors that are spreading mold.

Not Getting Rid of Moisture

Few of us lose much sleep over a leaky pipe, but we should. That’s because moist areas around your house provide a literal breeding ground for mold. Identify moisture hotspots - under your sink or in your laundry room, for example - and take steps to dry those areas out to help curb mold growth.

Not Keeping Tidy

Mold feeds on nutrients from organic items. Those include wood, paper and even dust. Wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom daily and do a bigger cleanse every few months to minimize food sources and keep spores from thriving.

Not Reducing Humidity

Mold spores begin to replicate at about 70 percent humidity. If you live in a particularly humid climate, investing in a dehumidifier is a good way to make your home less mold-friendly. For bathrooms, getting a fan can minimize humidity following showers and baths, cutting the likelihood that black mold can grow.
Mold spores aren’t going anywhere. But you can take steps to limit spreading mold. Use the above tips or reach out to a mold remediation specialist to learn more about keeping household mold at bay.

How Long Does it Take for Mold To Grow in Your Business After Water Damage?

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

black and yellow spots on shower tile Moisture in bathroom can cause mold to grow

If your commercial building in Friendly Hills,CA, has experienced any water damage from a burst pipe, storm, or other cause, you might be wondering how long you have until you need to worry about mold starting to grow. You might be surprised at just how quickly mold growth can occur in the right conditions, which is why it so important to call for help from a water restoration company as soon as excess water is discovered. Here is some information on what causes mold to grow and how long it takes for it to begin growing.

Common Causes of Mold Growth

The main thing mold needs to grow is a continued source of moisture. Whether due to high humidity levels or standing water in your building, wet areas can eventually lead to mold growth. Common ways moisture enters buildings and causes mold to grow includes:

  • Roof leaks and improper ventilation
  • Excess humidity or moisture in bathrooms
  • Water damage from faucet leaks or pipe bursts
  • Flooding from rain or outdoor water sources
  • Sitting puddles and spills
  • Improper cleaning of wood and laminate flooring

How Long for Mold to Grow

Given enough moisture to live on, mold can grow as quickly as 24 to 48 hours. This means that if a pipe does burst in your building or a storm causes flooding, you need to start thinking about mold prevention right away. If possible, turn off the source of the water and do what you can to dry the area. Don’t wait to call in the restoration company to help address all water damage that has occurred to your building, including areas that are hard to see such as inside drywall or underneath carpets and flooring.
While dealing with excess water in your commercial building is stressful enough, dealing with mold growth makes the situation even worse. Always act quickly to prevent more damage from occurring.

3 Reasons To Work With a SERVPRO Franchise

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Call our office team and we make it "Like it never even happened."

Running a remediation business can have its challenges, and unfortunately, sometimes those challenges get passed on to the customer. When your clients use the services of a SERVPRO franchise in South Whittier, CA, you know they aren't stuck with a business with questionable skills and resources. Having the backing of a corporation with over 50 years of experience in the remediation industry can assure your clients they are getting the best service possible.

1. Local Independence

Each franchise is locally owned. Franchisees enjoy the benefits of owning a small business, such as working for themselves and leading a team. They are granted the independence to get to know their area and tailor their services to its needs. For example, if they live in a region that experience frequent flooding, they can focus on sharpening those skills to be the best flood damage specialists around.

2. Corporate Support

No SERVPRO franchise is left completely on its own, though. Each owner has the backing of the corporation. If a disaster strikes a particular area, the local SERVPRO has access to corporate resources. Extra equipment and help can be there in no time to assist with the increased demand for remediation.

3. Exceptional Training

Every SERVPRO team is certified. This certification guarantees that they have gone through training and testing to make sure their work meets industry standards. They have the knowledge, skill and experience to get the job done right the first time. You don’t have to worry about your clients’ property being handled unprofessionally when you make SERVPRO your preferred vendor.

If your clients need water, fire or mold mitigation in their buildings, you can confidently recommend their local SERVPRO franchise. Combining local commitment with corporate support, the team of specialists at SERVPRO can assess, clean and repair your clients property, restoring it to its former glory “Like it never even happened."

How To Reduce Disaster Response Time

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners and insurers can count on SERVPRO to be Faster to Any Size Disaster in Whittier, CA.

How To Reduce Disaster Response Time

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

1. Franchise Locations Nationwide

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

2. Trained and Certified Staff

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

3. Large Scale Loss Response

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

4. One-Stop Mitigation and Restoration

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

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

3 Ways to Avoid Mold in Your Restaurant

12/2/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your kitchen ventilated in South Whittier, CA

3 Ways to Keep Mold From Growing in Your Restaurant

With all the work that it takes to manage a restaurant in South Whittier,CA, you want to ensure that customers enjoy themselves and that your building is clean and safe. Although mold growth can disrupt any business, it can be especially devastating for a restaurant. Luckily, there are several ways to keep mold from growing in your restaurant.

1. Keep Workspaces Clean

Water damage from a broken appliance or a leak can help to create the perfect environment for mold to grow. In order to prevent mold from growing, it can help to make sure your kitchen staff uses the best practices when it comes to cleaning the kitchen. It is also often helpful to make certain that other areas in your restaurant that may be close to water sources, such as bathrooms, are kept clean.

2. Be Aware of the Quality of Food

Make sure that you know when all food products should be used by, including canned goods, produce and other food items. Often, it is helpful to create a system so your cooks and chefs are aware of what methods to use when storing food in order to keep the food fresh for as long as possible. It can also be helpful to use food shortly after it is purchased, as older food tends to be more susceptible to mold growth.

3. Keep the Kitchen Ventilated

Mold tends to grow in areas with levels of high humidity, though mold can also grow in dry locations. Since kitchens are likely to become humid and warm with so many people present and appliances being used constantly, it’s often helpful to keep the area as cool and dry as possible. Using fans and keeping the temperature cool can help to prevent mold from growing in your restaurant.

Knowing how to prevent mold from growing in your restaurant can help you ensure your business runs smoothly. If you notice signs of mold growth in your restaurant, consider contacting mold remediation professionals who can help you safely restore your business.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Canceled

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Stormy weather in Whittier,CA

Traveling during storm season is often a gamble, but you can still have a successful trip even if your flight is canceled. If the weather forecast in Whittier, CA, includes stormy skies when you are scheduled for takeoff, there are several things you can do to make the process of navigating a possible canceled flight easier on yourself.

Stick to the Plan

One of the most frequent mistakes travelers make when their flights are canceled is to change the timeline on their itinerary. While it's true that some scheduling issues are out of your control, try not to let your own planning become lax in the process. Some habits to keep include:

  • Departure time for the airport
  • Security-ready luggage
  • Light packing

Just because a flight is delayed or canceled at the moment, don't assume that status won't change. As any storm remediation professional can tell you, the weather can shift in a moment. If that happens, a canceled flight can turn into a slightly delayed flight or an alternate flight, so it's generally in your best interest to behave as if your plane is right on schedule.

Take Control of the Situation

If the flight is canceled once you are at the airport, you will likely be directed to line up and wait for an alternate flight. Instead, try calling the airline directly. You can often rebook much more quickly if you don't wait to go through the line at the airport. If there is a possibility of cancellation, it's helpful to know the compensation the airline offers. You may be eligible for a partial reimbursement or even meals or hotel stays if you have an extended delay, but you are unlikely to receive compensation if you don't know to ask for it.

While smooth skies are preferable, your canceled flight doesn't have to ruin your travel plans. With these storm tips, you can still reach your destination with relative ease.