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Commercial Restoration Experts

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Equipment warehouse Equipment warehouse.

Our size and scalability allow us the ability to handle multiple commercial projects at once and enable us to perform work with maximum efficacy. Unforeseen events can have serious effects on your home or business and our business is to keep yours moving forward. We are well trained experts in performing this task. From minor delays to major disasters, we are there 27/7 to support you.

We pride ourselves on being a restoration company that knows what it takes to ensure business continuity, and with our immediate response we can maximize our mitigation services. Timing is key when determining your first response and we are faster to any size disaster. Make us your single remediation and restoration services partner. If your business or home is affected by fire, water, mold, or storm damage call SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks.

Reduce Structural Risk Against Wildfires

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

No symbol over wildfire symbol No symbol over wildfire symbol.

Readyforwildfire.org advises that a large step in reducing wildfire risk to your property is creating defensible areas or zones. These are described as (3) zones with varying defined distances and details to perform within each Zone: 0, 1, and 2.

Zone 0: (0) to (5) feet

The Immediate Zone is the area closest to the structure and the most vulnerable. Remove any combustible material surrounding your property. This can be dry grass or brush, outdoor furniture, trashcans etc. Clean any fallen leaves and needles regularly and repeatedly during the fire season.

Zone 1: (5) to (30) feet

The Intermediate Zone can include other buildings, structures, trees, etc. Keep it “lean, clean, and green.” Remove dead plants, dry leaves, pine needles, etc. from your rain gutters, roof, and yard. Regularly trim your trees to a minimum of 10 feet from other trees. Branches that hand over your roof should be removed and any dead branches should be kept 10 feet away from your chimney. Move any woodpiles at least 30 feet from any structure.

Zone 2: (30) to (100) feet

The Extended Zone includes space more than 100 feet away if defined otherwise by vegetation conditions, steep slopes, and or your local fire department. Cut down/back annual grass to the regulatory size in your area.

5 Warning Signs of a Burst Pipe

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

Burst pipe and water damage Burst pipe and water damage.

Not all broken pipes cause immediate water damage. It can sometimes be a slow leak that eventually causes water damage to your home or business. Be alert to the warning signs of a broken pipe.

  1. Fluctuating Water Pressure:

Don’t immediately blame the city. It may be a busted pipe. Pressure changes are hard on plumbing system and can damage pipe fittings.

  1. Water discoloration and or smell:

The water has taken on a brownish or “rust” colored feature and or smells of rotten eggs. Fun fact, that rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide, a naturally occurring gas that can also form in sewer lines. Make sure to call in a certified technician to handle this type of issue.

  1. Recurring sink puddles:

You try to stop any leaks under sinks to no avail. Inspect your home or business carefully just above pipe cover plates, additionally look for damp spots.

  1. Noisy pipes/water movement sounds within walls:

If no water is running in your home, you should not be able to hear water. A single broken pipe can influence the water pressure of an entire structure.

  1. Rising water bill cost:

Small drips can add up. Make sure to regular check your water bill and plumbing fixtures for leaks to lessen the chance a pipe burst will occur.

Wildfire Season Preparedness Tips

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency preparedness Emergency preparedness.

Should a wildfire start in your area you will need to be able to move quickly and efficiently. You may have to leave your home to stay safe. Have different escape routes planned out from your home or community. Make sure to understand the procedure your community follows when making your emergency preparedness plan.

  1. Emergency Supplies
    1. Go kit: (3) days of supplies
    2. Stay at home kit: (2) weeks of supplies for home confinement/stay
    3. 1-month supply of medication in child proof container
    4. Keep personal, financial, and medical records in safe, fireproof container.
  2. Communication Plan
    1. Sign up for local government emergency alerts
    2. Obtain back up battery/ies for any mobile devices
    3. Obtain a battery-powered radio
    4. Monitor weather conditions near you
  3. Emergency Skills
    1. First-aid training
    2. CPR training
    3. Be ready for no power. Plan for your needs, including cell phones and medical equipment.
  4. Download American Red Cross Wildfire Safety Checklist: https://bit.ly/Wildfire-Safety-American-Red-Cross

Current California Wildfires: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/.

Top 5 Difficulties Faced When Working Commercial Remediation

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage in commercial building Water damage in commercial building.

After your home or business structure becomes compromised from unforeseen events such as extreme weather, poor building techniques, or some other circumstance, owners must decide on the best course of action to take.

  1. Pathogens

There is a great deal of risk after a disease outbreak when it comes to water damage remediation and cleanup. There is a high risk of potential exposure to bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens. Water damage remediation and cleanup after a disease outbreak both come with the risk of exposure to bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens. This is a special concern relative to sewage and or fire sprinkler water damage. SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks ensures that our crews have training in and access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning equipment.

  1. Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals

Meth labs in homes or hotels, industrial spills etc. all require remediation to rid the chemicals on surfaces where they may be present. Knowing the chemicals which are potentially present will help determine what type of PPE is needed to protect crews from touching or breathing them in. Proper precaution is taken so as to limit exposure to the remediation chemicals and the pathogens being treated.  

  1. Decontaminating Both Large Areas and Hidden Surfaces

In your home or building, you may encounter a myriad of surface types and materials, including but not limited to:

    • Walls and ceilings
    • Metal, wood, or concrete
    • Ridged or uneven surfaces
    • Carpet, upholstery, and other fabrics
    • Hidden spaces behind walls or equipment

Some remediation chemicals require mechanical scrubbing to effectively remove contaminants. This can present challenges in large commercial spaces and can require a lot of manpower.

  1. Penetrating Walls to Reach Areas Behind Them

Mold remediation costs can also escalate when sections of walls must be removed to access the areas behind them. Those sections require replacement, which adds to the overall remediation cost, and will require additional work to return the space to its preloss condition. 

  1. Working in Areas with Limited Access

Small areas such as crawl spaces and attics are difficult to access for remediation and to perform the visual inspections needed to confirm surfaces have been treated. Fire damage remediation also present unique challenges where structural damage may occur preventing access to affected areas. It is important to have both the right products and equipment in order to ensure all affected areas are treated, no matter the difficulty in reaching them.

Call a SERVPRO certified professional. We are experts in all manner of remediation and restoration. Our Project Managers and Technicians are highly trained, certified, and committed to best in class service and production.

How Old is My Fire Extinguisher?

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler with hang tag Fire sprinkler with hang tag.

Fire extinguishers do not last forever. Manufacturers prescribe most extinguishers with a lifespan of 5-15 years. What you may not know is how long ago you received yours. Any fire extinguisher with one or more of the following should be headed towards retirement:

  • Hose or nozzle is broken, cracked, and or blocked with debris.
  • Locking pin is missing or unsealed
  • Handle is wobbly or broken
  • Inspection sticker or hang tag (the record of checkups and maintenance) is missing

There are different types of fire extinguishers. Those with compressed gas can leak contents slowly as their seals weaken, while those with ammonium phosphate will solidify over the years, rendering the entire device unusable. You’re being proactive and putting your safety first and by asking this question because the answers can mean the difference between successfully responding to an emergency and being caught empty-handed.

Top Five Reasons Fire Suppression Systems Fail

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

inactive sprinkler head above flames Fire damage caused by inactive fire suppression system.

Fire sprinkler suppression systems are common in commercial and becoming more common in residential. Top five failures for fire suppressions systems:

  1. Improper maintenance – most common: faulty pumps, failing suppression material supply.
  2. Typically, in hotels or apartments tenants hang a coat hanger on the sprinkler head.
  3. Influx in pressure to fire sprinkler system.
  4. Crack or break in the plumbing lines.
  5. System shut-off. This is the cause for nearly 2/3 of fire suppression system failures.

It is important to regularly get your Fire Suppression System checked. Four times annually is the recommended amount that it should be inspected.

Regardless of the fire damage source in your home or business, SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaks is there to support and educate you during your loss. Fire remediation and repair pose many questions and concerns depending on the nature of building materials burned. Our senior project managers are well trained in the science of combustion byproduct cleanup. SERVPRO of Encino/Sherman Oaksclaims managers will be designated to be your liaison between you, our onsite team, and the insurance carrier to make sure your home is restored to its preloss condition with all appropriate post clearance testing, city inspections, and most importantly our customer satisfaction form signed by you our client when we hand back the keys to your home.

How We Dry Your Home After Water Damage!

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

First a detailed assessment must be performed onsite to confirm the extent of water damage which has occurred. Depending on the building materials that are affected our team will provide a detailed scope of work and dry out/mitigation scope of work for your review and that of your insurance adjuster.

Sometimes, the damage is minimal and the dry out plan can happen very quickly with minimal cost. If this is the case an insurance claim may not be required as it the cost of mitigation will be less than your deductible amount possibly. In other instances where the damage is more significant, we are able to communicate all aspects of the scope and cost in a timely fashion. We divide the process into (3) phases. Phase (1) initial moisture mapping, and or fire mapping, stabilization through the use of engineering controls and equipment. Phase (2) is to assess our client’s contents such as furniture, artwork, clothing. Phase (3) is a detailed reconstruction estimate itemizing the building repair scope of work and cost to be performed.  

There are many different types of equipment that can be needed for a significant loss. Some of this equipment includes:

  • Dehumidifiers
  • Air movers
  • Water extraction vacuums
  • HEPA vacuum, both backpack and canister type
  • Submersible pumps
  • Moisture detectors
  • Hygrometers
  • Infrared
  • Floor mat drying system
  • Desiccants

Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoring Certification

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

IICRC logo IICRC is a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes standards detailing the proper procedures for safe cleaning and restoration.

Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoring Certification or IICRC for short. IICRC is a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes standards detailing the proper procedures for safe cleaning and restoration. All of our technicians and as well as our office staff are IICRC certified. Being up to IICRC standards allows all of our employees to have the best knowledge industry-standard training giving each and every one of our customers the best service.  We are constantly holding classes for employees and professionals to be up to date and work towards new certifications in areas such as Applied Structural Drying, Commercial Drying, Fire and Smoke, Mold Removal, etc. This helps us to ensure that no matter what situation clients can always rest assured that they are choosing the best restoration company.

Keep Your Home Safe From Fire

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

burned house Protect and fireproof your Encino home with these five tips.

Fire season is upon us and there are some things you can do to minimize damage to your property.  Here are five tips to fireproof your home:

  • Apply fire-retardant chemicals:  You can use eco-friendly fire-retardant sprays that can be applied to at-risk areas that are most prone to fire in your home.  They are a great line of defense and decrease the ability of materials to ignite. The chemicals in the fire retardant are applied to materials to create a barrier or slow the growth of the fire. 
  • Get rid of Vegetation:  Make sure there is no dry or dead vegetation around your home because it causes the highest risk. Be sure to prune highly flammable shrubberies that are dry. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends creating at least 30 feet of defensible space between your home and surrounding vegetation to reduce the potential for damage.
  • Limit roof combustibility:  Complex roofs with a lot of ridges are more prone to fire because wind can cause embers to get caught on the ridges and valleys. A safer option would be to consider replacing your roofing with fireproof material and applying fire retardant chemicals. Cleaning out debris such as leaves and pine needles is helpful along with checking for broken shingles then replacing them to reduce your home catching fire. 
  • Keep your gutters clean:  It’s important to clean your gutters because they can accumulate vegetation and other debris when it’s windy. Then the debris in your gutters is more likely to catch fire when the season is dry. Removing the debris regularly can help reduce fire risk.
  • Focus on protecting your windows:  Older windows may consist of a single pane of glass. Newer windows are “dual-pane” or “multi-pane.” In general, dual- or multi-pane windows are better choices from both a wildfire resistance and energy efficiency perspective.  Window failure can occur if the glass in the window breaks, allowing embers and flames to enter the building, or the combustible frame ignites and the fire is able to move into the occupied space. The most vulnerable window during a wildfire is one that is left open.