So, What is Microbial Growth? AKA Mold
These homeowners ignored a water damage that cost them big time when mold took over their home.
You may not be able to see or smell it, yet it may be growing in your home and the reason you feel sick. So, what is mold? Molds are multiple types of fungi that grow in filaments and reproduce by forming tiny spores that sprout and fly away, invisible to the naked eye. Mold grows in damp, warm, and humid locations, inside and outside. Mold can grow in your bathroom, in the showerhead, or in the corner near your shower, especially if the room is not well ventilated. Mold can attach to your shoes, pets, clothes, carpets, furniture, books, and papers. Mold can circulate in your air system. Overall, water-damaged buildings create a complicated mixture of contaminants present in the air and dust, resulting in a toxic chemical stew. Additionally, mold produces toxic chemicals called mycotoxins, present on spores and fragments of mold released into the air. Would you believe that half of buildings in the United States are water damaged, leading to the growth of mold? Which means you should always call SERVPRO if you suspect microbial growth in your home or place of business. We have expert technicians and trained office staff prepared to deal with all mold emergencies.
5 Things You Need to Have in Your Earthquake Bag
A quick snapshot from a home that suffered earthquake damage. Thankfully homeowners were not home during.
Last Friday the Ventura County encountered a 5.3 magnitude earthquake near the Channel Islands. Some people mentioned they felt it in Simi Valley, Westlake, and even in Thousand Oaks. Most everyone in Southern California will tell you that the state is overdue for a massive earthquake, and SERVPRO thinks you can never be too prepared. We have compiled a quick list of 5 things you need to have in your earthquake bag.
1. The actual bag itself
2. Water purification tablets
3. First Aid kit
4. Light source
5. Sleeping bag
Obviously, there are other things you will want to consider such as: packaged food, batteries, etc. But in having these items in case of an emergency can alleviate some stress during an earthquake. SERVPRO is your emergency storm relief team.
One of the many medical rooms strategically placed with equipment to have the best drying time.
This fertility clinic suffered a large water loss due to a broken toilet supply line. Our technicians had to work carefully and quickly with this high-end fertility clinic because relocation of the IFV clinic was not an option nor was it allowed. The business was to remain open during business hours, which meant that our crews worked from 5PM to 6AM, this way not to disturb the business. Every morning when our large loss response team left you would never have known they were there all night taking care of the water damage that was in the clinic. Being an elite large loss destination means that we have the ability to accommodate any emergency circumstance such as this one where we had to work over night and in under a week to ensure that the company was able to still run smoothly and take care of their patients.
Building Code Violations Hiding in your Home: Mold, Fire, Water
By ignoring water damage you can find yourself in a gross mold situation.
Most local building codes require ventilation fans in bathrooms that lack operable windows. These fans carry steam and humidity outside through a ceiling or wall vent, thus eliminating moisture buildup that can lead to peeling paint or wallpaper, warped cabinetry, and mold growth.
All occupants of a building need a reliable means of escaping a fire, so basement bedrooms must have at least one egress window that measures at minimum 24 inches high and 20 inches wide. Without an egress window, a basement room can’t be labeled as a bedroom in a real estate listing.
Most new homes are required to contain hardwired smoke detectors with battery backups. If your dwelling is more than 15 years old, however, it may not have these important safety features. If you live in an older home, consider installing hardwired smoke detectors during your next remodeling project. In the meantime, make sure you have working battery-operated smoke detectors in every bedroom and in the hallways.
Every home is equipped with a water heater; most homeowners stick it in their garage and can forget about them until they cause a large water problem. For any water, fire, mold remediation you should always call SERVPRO. As the top leader in industry professionals we understand all aspects of home damage and how to get you back to living easier, and quickly.
Elite Commercial Restoration Designation
Our crews hard at work in one of the many rooms that were remediated.
Recently we had a chance to work closely with one of the premier health and wellness centers in Ojai that was affected by the Thomas Fire. Smoke and odor mitigation was performed using only natural green products, the latest deodorization technics, methods and equipment and utilizing locally sourced vendors while still providing 5-star service. All water was brought in from alternative sources to accommodate for the current drought that has affected the Ojai Valley; no contaminated water was introduced into the Ojai Water Table, as technics were used to re-clean and dispose of water. The up most care was taken restore the property to its preloss condition without compromising the majestic nature of The Oaks. As an elite commercial restoration designation it is our goal to treat all clients with white glove care, SERVPRO is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Precautions to Take After a Storm Damage
After a storm driven fire this golf course was turned upside down.
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm. A severe storm can change everything in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t always have to be a tornado or hurricane to cause destruction on your home or office, and poor restoration can leave you with an unhealthy home for your family.We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster. Always remember to be safe during and after a storm.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage
After a massive rain storm this home's walls were filled with rain water creating problems for the owners.
While Southern California may not seem like it has massive storm damage we do suffer from rain, fire, and mud slides. Those who were living here in December and January of 2017/2018 can attest to this. When it seemed like most of Southern California was in a havoc of storm related damages. Here are some steps to take immediately after a storm incident:
- Always take safety precautions
- Photograph the damage in your home
- Contact your insurance company
When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks is your industry professional; we are available 24/7 to provide emergency disaster relief.
Back to Basics: Water Damage
Containment in a home to keep the water damage from spreading.
Water damage is not a foreign term to our teams at SERVPRO. All of our technicians are IICRC trained and are equipped with the best equipment to remediate any and all water damage situations. We service from Ventura County to Los Angeles County and are available 24/7 for all emergency calls. Our team will come in remove the water from the structure or business. After the structure is dry we will clean up and repair damages brought about by the excessive water. It is our role to take care of all of the contents that are in the building and do provide content restoration as well as protection and moving. We have our own large warehouse space that allows us to store all clients’ items, safely. A typical water removal process can take a couple days to complete and in this time you can rest assured that SERVPRO will take care of everything and get you back to normalcy.
How to Identify the Different Categories of Water Damage
These windows have been contained to keep rain water from coming in and damaging any more of the home.
There are varied types of damage that water can cause to the home, and to repair different categories of water damage one has to first identify the damage category.
Category 1: comprises of water damage caused by overflowing water outlets like broken taps, leaky sink or bathtub. It is easier to repair as it does not pose any health risks though it can cause formation of mold in the bathroom or kitchen.
Category 2: damage that poses health risks to people in the nearby vicinity like crack in sewer line or water supply pipes and even leaking roof that can cause damage to furniture and people in the house.
Category 3: this type of damage has to be attended to immediately by a remediation specialist. In this situation excess rains or blockage can lead to stagnant water from drains and toilets backing up into the house that can damage drinking water and people’s health due to foul odor. Action has to be taken immediately for removal of this filthy water.
How Technology is Changing Insurance
Home fire in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Picture this. You’ve just left your house to head to work, and you forgot to turn off the front oven burner after cooking your morning breakfast. There’s a dish towel sitting on the stove that’s just a little too close to the burner, and it catches on fire. Soon your whole kitchen is in flames. But because you have a traditional smoke detector, all it will do is make a lot of noise. Hopefully, your neighbor sees something is wrong and calls the fire department. However, if your home was equipped with a smart smoke detector, cameras and fire sprinklers, you could receive a phone or email alert notifying you of smoke in the house as soon as the dish towel started to flame up. You could check then out the issue on your cameras, remotely enable your smart sprinklers, and hopefully, contain the damage. This is great news for homeowners because it’s going to keep damage from happening and their insurance low, SERVPRO works closely with both insurance agents/adjusters and homeowners and understands both of their needs. Technology will start to do the following: lessen risks with early warning, streamline the process of submitting a claim, decrease the number of claims, allow for a more personalized coverage. So, as long as we understand what our clients need we will forever be able to help them in a time of need.