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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How To Reduce Fire In Your Home

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

There will never be a good time to experience a house fire, but never experiencing one at all is certainly preferred. Practicing prevention can go a long way in reducing the likelihood that you will experience a house fire. It only takes 30 seconds for a fire to spread through the home and cause serious damages, but by preventing them altogether, you can keep your household significantly safer.

Reducing your overall risk profile is so important to your safety when it comes to house fires. By making sure your home is equipped with safety features, your family is prepared and you are practicing good habits, you can mitigate a fire’s likelihood and impact.

How You Can Reduce Your Household Fire Risk

Check your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are always the first step in improving your household fire safety, as they will be the thing that notifies you if a fire has started. Be sure to do a monthly test to make sure they are operational, and keep track of when they were installed so you know when to replace the unit altogether.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure that your family members feel comfortable escaping your home quickly in case of a fire is so important. Fire escapes should be done in under two minutes to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation. By drafting a solid plan and practicing it often, you can be certain that everyone will know exactly what to do.

Limit your fire risks. Practicing good fire safety habits on a daily basis can really add up, as you are reducing the chances that a fire can even start. Simple things, like not running cords under rugs, always attending to open flames and avoiding using frayed wires, will go a long way in ensuring your home will not be impacted by a fire to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Fire extinguishers are so important for having nearby while using any open flame. Though it is important to only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained, having one nearby can be the difference between a small flare-up and a large-scale house fire that causes significant damage.

Three Common Places For Water Damage

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Take this scenario: You come home from a long day at work. You make yourself some dinner, relax a bit, and enjoy the rest of the evening. It's now 10pm and you decide to go downstairs to get some water before bed.

Let me tell you...You got water alright.

You turn on the lights and your kitchen is soaked! The culprit? Your dishwasher. With all the water running from your sink and dishwasher your kitchen becomes a popular location for water damage. Where are other popular places to find water damage? 

  1. Roof: Your roof is a huge protection to your home from the outside elements. The slightest damage to your roof can leave you exposed to internal damage. If you have multi-story home, damage can penetrate not only the 2nd floor but the 1st one too.

          What can you do? Have your roof inspected by a professional on a regular basis. About every 3-5yrs depending on the age of your roof and the elements it's exposed to like, rain, hail, or snow.

  1. Bathroom: This room, much like the kitchen, has allot of water running through it as well. You have your sink, toilet, and shower. But unlike the kitchen, Black Water aka Sewage Water, can be a real mess.

          What can you do? Inspect around your shower & toilet. Look for leaks in the caulking or moisture spots. Under the sink, check the pipes. Make sure they are all tightened.

  1. Kitchen: As was stated, Kitchens are notorious for water damage. Your Dishwasher, Sink, & Refrigerator can be time bombs waiting to burst. 

         What can you do? Check your pipes under the sink, much like your bathroom. If your refrigerator/freezer has a Water & Ice dispenser, check under the fridge for leaking water. As for your Dishwasher, check the escape valve that connects to your garbage disposal. When all the water leaves the dishwasher, it escapes to that valve.    

Water Damage In Certain Places

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage from a leaking appliance or from a flood can be easily identified (although that doesn’t make it better). When water damage like that happens, it is very noticeable, but, there could be water damage in your house that you can’t even see. Here are 5 overlooked spots that could have water damage:

  1. In the wall beneath a window:Rain can seep in between the window sash and jamb and trickle down to the framing studs in the wall. Prolonged leaks can rot the studs and other framing, leading to expensive repairs.
  2. Under the siding:Unsealed gaps allow water to enter the siding and eventually rot the plywood beneath.
  3. The exterior door threshold:Since this is exposed to water every time it rains, eventually the wood will swell and become spongy. This damage may not be noticed until the wood rots and can no longer support the metal threshold.
  4. Beneath the dishwasher:Leaks can develop in the water supply line that runs to the dishwasher. Since you can’t see under the dishwasher, over time a slow leak can do serious damage to the subfloor. You may not notice until you move the washer to replace it with a new one, only to find you’ll have to replace some of the floor as well.

Under a wobbly toilet: Water can leak from around the wax ring at the base of the toilet. It is likely you would not see any water at all but it will be soaking into the subfloor the whole time. Sometimes the first indication is the toilet starting to wobble due to the floor supporting it rotting away.

Super Cool Equipment

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that staying on the cutting edge of technology in our industry will help our customers the most. That's why we add new equipment to our inventory on a regular basis. We are proud to be able to offer the best to our customers. You may be wondering why this is important. Check out this information found on aboveboardchamber.com: 

Many homeowners feel that if the water is removed, the work of water damage cleanup is done. This is because it is difficult to see or feel the extent of the saturation of water in building materials without moisture detection equipment used in the water damage industry. What follows is that either the homeowner will attempt to remove the water and simply place household fans around, with or without removing drywall; or they will tell the water damage restoration contractor to leave when the water is extracted and before equipment is placed. The paradox here is that these decisions are made to save time and money. In some cases, they may have done just that. However, in most cases, the resulting long term water damage is both costly and time consuming in addition to being inconvenient and stressful. Added to that is the fact that the cost of mold remediation consequent of an improperly dried flood damage will likely not be covered by insurance policies because the water damage or sewage damage was not dried properly to begin with.

You have probably noticed by now that it is not the water removal service that is the important part of taking care of water damage. It is actually the drying part that makes your home safe from long term mold or building material damage. In fact, there is no time to waste when it comes to drying a water damaged home. Mold begins to start growing within 24 hours and continues “growing like a weed” damaging building materials as it spreads.

Water damage restoration companies spend a tremendous amount of money on drying equipment for a very good reason. They dry quickly, effectively, and safely. After all, think about it, if we could just use household fans and a couple of blowers, we would save a tremendous amount of money on equipment. If I thought those types of equipment did an effective job, I would be all over saving money by purchasing those at less than $50 each rather than a $300-400 blower and $3000 dehumidifiers. However, I know the importance of having industrial equipment to keep your home safe and dry. Further, all of the equipment works together to both dry the structural materials (blowers), remove the moisture from the air as the wet materials dry and the water from them turns to vapor (dehumidifiers), and clean the air to prevent allergens that permeate through the air during drying (air scrubbers).

Ways To Prevent Pipes Freeze

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage during a winter storm usually happens when your pipes freeze. When water freezes, it turns into ice. As it turns into ice, the space that the water takes up in the pipe gets bigger. The bigger the expansion, the more pressure that is created inside the pipe. Some pipes may just get bent out of shape, but others will eventually break. Pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside the home that are exposed to the cold air. Other vulnerable pipes are those indoors that don’t have access to heat, like those under your kitchen cabinets or in the garage.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

The best way to handle water damage is to do your best to prevent it from every happening. Although we have seen some pipes still burst even after precautions were taken, the damage that resulted was considerably less. You can’t always prevent things from happening, but you can always be prepared.

  • Insulate exposed and vulnerable pipes. You can do this by installing pipe sleeves or even wrapping the pipes with newspaper.
  • Keep the garage door closed to prevent cold air from coming in.
  • Allow warm air to circulate around the pipes by opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
  • Keep your home heated about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Are below freezing temperatures coming your way? If you notice that the weather is going to be getting a bit frigid start taking precautions now.

Our crews are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SERVPRO of West Concord is available to help! We can be reached anytime at (925) 681-9093.

What We Use To Dry Your Residence

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of West Concord has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our highly-trained technicians.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of West Concord to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor- causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of West Concord has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 925-681-9093.

Board Up Those Windows

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Windows boarded up A commercial property windows are being boarded up after a fire.

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

Fire Prevention For The Apartment

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

A fire in a small space, such as your apartment, can spread quickly and become a deadly fire within just a few minutes. Just a few precautions taken beforehand can protect you, your apartment, and your belongings. Today, we’d like to share some fire prevention tips with you:

  • Inspection First. Take a good look around your home to make sure all potential hazards have been identified and eliminated:
    • Use surge protectors in place of overloaded circuits or extension cords
    • Appliance cords that are frayed or cracked are replaced immediately
    • No cords are being extended under rugs or between rooms
    • Space heaters are not being used near flammable materials, such as furniture and drapery. Make sure your space heaters are always turned off when the room is empty or everyone is going to bed
    • No matches or lighters are within reach of children
    • Candles and incense are never left unattended - make sure these items are used far away from curtains and other flammable materials
    • Items such as gasoline cans or propane tanks are not stored inside your apartment 
  • Kitchen Safety:   
    • Never leave food cooking on your stove unattended
    • Keep towels and potholders away from cooking areas
    • Don’t wear loosely fitted sleeves while cooking
  • Laundry Room Safety
    • Have your dryer installed and serviced by professionals
    • Always use a lint filter in your dryer, and clean it before or after every load 
    • Remove lint that collects around the drum of your dryer regularly
    • Make sure the right plug and outlet are being used and that your machine is connected properly
    • Never leave the dryer running when you go out of the apartment or when you go to bed
  • Smoke Alarms

Make sure there are smoke alarms in your apartment, and that they function correctly. There should be one installed outside of every sleeping area, and they should be tested once a month, with batteries changed at least once a year.

Did You Know After A Fire…

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

Mold Myths

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

When it comes to mold, there are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation that can lead to confusion for homeowners. Just the mention of the word "mold" can cause people to panic. While mold can be a very serious problem and should be taken seriously, it is important to have all the facts to be able to discern myth from fact so that you can make proper and informed decisions when necessary. 

  1. "Bleach Kills Mold"
    While bleach may be able to kill some types of mold on non-porous surfaces, it is unclear whether or not bleach can kill all types of mold, or if it can kill mold on porous surfaces like wood. Bleach is also a very corrosive agent and can pose its own health effects if used to kill mold. It's best to leave it to the professionals. 
  2. "You Don't Have to Remove Mold If You Kill It"
    Even if you are able to kill mold, you may not have removed the allergens that live in the mold. They can still be present even if the mold is killed. To fully protect yourself, removal of the affected areas is often necessary. You have to be careful not to spread the mold spores throughout your home when removing areas affected with mold. Professionals, like us, know how to set proper containment so that the mold allergens don't spread and further contaminate your home. 
  3. "A Little Mold Is Nothing to Worry About"
    If mold has become visible in your home, then chances are it has been growing for some time. Once mold becomes visible, it is important that you have the situation looked at, as there is more than likely more mold behind the surface. 
  4. "Mold Remediation Is Easy to Do On Your Own"
    This is usually not the case. Small areas of mold can sometimes be handled rather easily, but if the problem appears to be pervasive, it is best to call a professional. SERVPRO is always "Here to help!"

Why Does My Carpet Smell?

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Moisture or dampness

Sometimes, moisture can get underneath the carpet and carpet pad, leading to musty odors.

This moisture can come from humidity, spills or potted plants that drip onto the carpeting.

A flood can also cause carpet odor, such as when a finished basement floods during a rainstorm.

If not addressed properly, continued moisture exposure can cause mold and mildew to grow under the carpet padding. Not only will it increase the smell, it also creates a health risk.

Pet odor

When pets use the carpet as a bathroom, the smell can really linger.

Even after a carpet cleaning, the smell of pet urine may return. This is due to the gases released by the bacteria that are digesting the urine. If any of the urine remains in the rug fibers, it will continue to smell.

The same is true for vomit, another common problem associated with pets and carpeting.

These bacteria are activated by water, which is why the smell may intensify after a thorough cleaning.

Dry carpet cleaning treatments or treatments that use enzymatic odor removal products are the best solution for eliminating pet smells. Enzymes are particularly effective because they attack the bacteria, thus eliminating the source of the smell.

Cigarette smoke

If a smoker lives in the home, the carpet can collect the cigarette smoke odor.

While the homeowners may not notice the stench because they live with it, visitors or someone who purchases the home will definitely notice the smoke smell.

A professional carpet cleaner may be able to remove the smell, but if the smoking was excessive, a carpet deodorizer may not be enough, and the carpeting may need to be replaced.

Old age

Carpeting is made from fibers. Over time, those fibers break down. When the carpet begins to smell old, there is little that can be done.

Carpet cleaning cannot take the old, musty smell from carpet. This is when it simply needs to be replaced.

In addition to the smell, old carpet starts to release dust, which can contribute to indoor allergies.

Food and drink spills

Food and drinks that spill onto carpet can lead to odors.

Like pet smells, these organic products attract bacteria. As the bacteria break down, they release smelly gasses. Again, professional carpet cleaning is the best solution to remove the smell.

Once you find the source of your carpet odor, you can decide on the best treatment. For organic smells like pet odors or food spills, consider two professional cleanings to thoroughly remove the bacteria.

Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings

Commercial Water Damage Mitigation Procedures

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

If you have a water emergency at your business such as a pipe burst cleanup or other flooding scenario, you'll need to call on the services of a professional water cleanup company to ensure that the job is done right. A restoration company will take the following steps to deal with the damage:

  1. Inspect and Diagnose

Once you make the call, the water mitigation company will come to the scene to make an inspection and test the water in order to determine which specialized equipment and methods are best suited to fixing the damage. 


2. Haul Out Contents
As soon as the situation is assessed, any items in the affected area, such as office equipment, electronics, furniture and documents, will be removed to a safe, dry area. Items will be sorted to determine what can and cannot be saved. Whatever can be salvaged will be cleaned, dried, deodorized and sanitized using specialized equipment and cleaning agents.

3. Extract the Water
Once everything has been taken out of the area, the water removal can begin. Depending on the cause of the water damage, whether it's a pipe burst cleanup, a supply line cleanup or removal of sewer water, different high-efficiency equipment will be used to remove the mess. Specialized sump pumps and trash pumps, in addition to truck-mounted water extractors, will be used to suck out as much moisture as possible. Any contaminated surfaces will be thoroughly sanitized.

4. Dry and Dehumidify
After the bulk of the water is extracted, steps will be taken to remove excess humidity from the air and moisture from hard-to-reach places. Heavy-duty air movers and dehumidifiers will be brought in to make sure everything is completely dry.

5. Restore
When everything has been completely dried and disinfected, structural restoration can begin. This might entail only minor repairs and painting or require the complete rebuilding of entire rooms, depending on the severity of the damage. 

Beating COVID-19 One Step At A Time

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning for your business - workers in PPE "Like it never even happened."

COVID-19 has hit multiple businesses in many different ways. Some are slowly beginning to re-open, while others have closed their doors for good. Here at SERVPRO of West Concord, we are committed to getting your business as clean as possible. The first step to keeping you safe, is to keep our workers safe as well. Before we clean your infected or possibly infected area, we ensure that each of workers are wearing the following:

-Facial protection (at minimum a N-95 respirator)

-Nitrile gloves

-Protective eye wear

After we are properly equipped with the required gear, we move on to the next step, the cleaning process. When dealing with a virus like COVID-19, it is crucial to pay extra attention and be thorough with our procedures. 

Some materials cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged. Cleaning methods typically used on water sensitive materials such as vacuuming or dry sponging would not be capable of removing enough soil and residue to be effective. Carpets can be sanitized with SERVPROXIDE, and other porous materials like rugs, upholstered items, and draperies can be wet cleaned using a Hot Water Extraction and rinse method. 

ServpOXIDE is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against similar viruses like SARS-CoV-2. It is EPA-approved, and proper PPE use is of the utmost importance. 

All tools and supplies are properly cleaned and disinfected to ensure there is no potential contamination to other parts of the structure. 

We want your business to be back on its feet in no time, trust us with your cleaning precaution needs. Please call us at (925) 681-9093 to answer any of your COVID-19 cleaning related questions. 

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Steps to Take After a House Fire

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire is traumatic event that can certainly leave you with a mix of emotions. You’ll be nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it.  First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.

We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire.  This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!

(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire.  The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.

(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team, such as SERVPRO should also be one of the first calls made.  We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be "Like it never even happened."

(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.

(4) Make sure to secure your property.  If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of its remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.

(5) Begin the clean-up process. Interior and exterior clean-up will most certainly be required, and more often than not there is damage that you cannot locate with the naked eye.  That said, you should definitely hire a professional service like SERVPRO to do a thorough cleaning of all areas and of all soot, smoke, and odor.

Make Sure You Have A Fire Extinguisher In Your Commercial Building

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers are required in all commercial buildings in California, and there are specific requirements regarding training of your employees in many areas of fire prevention and safety.

Cal OSHA regulations stipulate that fire extinguishers must be placed in areas that the employees can easily access, such as in a cabinet or mounted to a wall.  They should be placed near exits to reduce the risk that people will be trapped by fire inside a building.  OSHA regulations also mandate that all employees must be trained on the basic principles of using fire extinguishers, as well as the hazards that are typically involved with firefighting.  They should also be trained on the process for reporting a fire, how to evaluate the size of a fire, and how to keep an exit route in good condition in your place of work.

Training must be provided to every new employee, for employees assigned to emergency response teams, and to all other employees on an annual basis.  In order to be safe, make sure your company is following all of these guidelines.

In the unfortunate event that your business does experience a fire, call the professionals at SERVPRO 

Help Protect Your Commercial Building From Fire

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Fires in Commercial Buildings can cause a great amount of damage, but there are three easy things a business can do to prevent the most common commercial building fires. 

  1. Surprisingly, the top cause of commercial building fires is cooking fires. But a fire extinguisher placed near the kitchen area can give employees the power to stop a small cooking fire from spreading.  Be sure to train your employees on how to use the extinguisher and make sure they are still in good working condition.
  2. Fire alarms can save lives and property from damage, yet many are left unchecked and are not properly maintained. Be sure to check the fire alarm in your building or office to make sure that it working correctly.
  3. A commercial fire sprinkler system can put out a potentially deadly fire in a commercial building. Have the one in your commercial building tested annually.

Be sure that your business has what it needs to protect itself from a crippling fire and be proactive in helping prevent damage to your business by following these three easy guidelines.

If you do experience a fire in your commercial building, call the experts at SERVPRO.

FIRE DAMAGE DANVILLE | CONCORD FIRE | WATER DAMAGE | COMMERCIAL FIRE DANVILLE

Protecting Your Commercial Building From Water Leaks

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Undetected water leaks can cause a great amount of damage, especially if they continue for an extended period of time.  Here are a few of the most common types of leaks in commercial properties and how to fix them.

  • Faucet Leaks – With frequent use, faucet parts can wear out over time and when the seal or other components begin to leak, it can lead to water loss. This can substantially increase your water bill as well as cause major damage to your building.  In order to avoid loss, prepare any dripping sinks as soon as you see them start to leak.
  • Toilet Leaks – Like faucets, toilets have a number of parts that can deteriorate and lead to issues. One faulty or leaking part leads to other damage, so be sure to replace toilet components as soon as you see them begin to deteriorate. 
  • Underground Leaks – These types of leaks can often go undetected, but there are tell-tail signs of their existence, such as areas of wet soil, areas where grass or plants are growing faster than surrounding areas (due to increased water supply from your leak), and a significant rise in your water bill.
  • Hidden Leaks – These types of leaks are the most difficult to detect, but can cause the most damage because they remain undetected for long periods of time. If you notice water marks or swelling of walls, ceilings and floors, you likely have a hidden leak. 

If any of these types of leaks are detected in your commercial building, call the professionals at SERVPRO

DANVILLE | CONCORD | CALIFORNIA | RESTORATION

SERVPRO Can Provide So Many Services

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is on call and available 24 hours day/7 days a week to respond to your emergency.  We specialize in fire and water restoration services along with mold remediation, but we also provide so many other services.  Here are just a few of the services we can provide: 

  • Odor Removal
  • Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanup
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning
  • Biohazard Cleanup
  • COVID Cleaning
  • Commercial Cleaning Services
  • Board-Up Services

SERVPRO works closely with many large and small insurance companies, property management companies, and government entities.  We also have experience working in:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

 Call Us Today!

SERVPRO is on call 24-hours a day to respond to residential and commercial property damage emergencies. Our highly trained technicians have the experience and equipment to mitigate property damage. Call us today. We’ll restore your property and make it “Like it never even happened.”  

Which Phone Should You Use In An Emergency - Landline or Cell Phone?

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

In the event of an emergency, most people know that they should call 911.  This patches us through to our local emergency responders who are dispatched to a specific location.  But with the introduction of cell phones into our daily lives in the 1980’s, a crinkle was added to the 911 dispatch system. 

Previously, all 911 calls coming from cell phones were automatically routed to the California Highway Patrol 911 dispatch centers, which overloaded the call centers and slowed down responses to potential victims.  Now cell phones use either GPS or cell tower triangulation so that a dispatch center can be identified and the call is routed to the proper location. 

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) does have jurisdiction over state freeways and handles emergency calls on these roadways.  So some cell calls made from city streets that are near a freeway will be routed to the CHP.

One way to ensure that a 911 operator can pinpoint your location is to use your landline to make a 911 call whenever possible.  A landline is plugged into a specific address, so an Emergency Response Team will know exactly where to respond. 

However, if you find yourself in an emergency situation and you only have your cell phone, use it to call 911.  Your call will be routed to an emergency response team who will send help to your location no matter how you place your call.

Remember, don't delay calling 911 in the event of an emergency.  The professionals who are answering the phone will find you help whether you are calling on a landline or a cell phone.  Reach out, call and stay safe.

Commercial Water Loss

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Stabilize Structure After Water Damage

After a severe water damage event like a flood or major interior water leak. Your building might have suffered some structural damage. To remedy this, your restoration contractor will need to fix these problems before finishing out the building.

Structural problems could include things like:

  • Roof damage that is causing leaks
  • Wood rotted from water damage or saturation
  • Shifting soils that undermine your building’s foundation
  • Rusted or weakened building components like metal studs and fasteners
  • Leaning or damaged window and door frames

Replace Water Damaged Mechanical & Electrical

HVAC and other mechanical equipment may need to be replaced.

Electrical wiring, conduit and outlets may need to be replaced due to corrosion.

Water saturation in electrical motors or electrical infrastructure can cause irreparable damage.

Light fixtures may require replacement.

Local code may dictate some of replacement requirements as well.

Replace Water Damaged Windows & Doors

Depending on the source of the leak and how deep the water accumulated.

You might need to replace some windows and doors.

Roof leaks or pipe leaks inside ceilings can flow down and around windows.

When that happens.

Wood framing or window components may swell or warp, rendering the windows useless.

With any standing water, you may need to replace your doors.

Hiring The Right Water Damage Cleanup Company

Finding the right water damage restoration company for your needs doesn’t have to be tough.

While you’ll likely be in a rush to get someone out as soon as possible, you still need to ask plenty of questions to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Here are a few tips to help with the hiring process.

Ask About Experience with Commercial Water Damage Cleanup

There are a ton of water damage cleanup companies out there. However not all of them specialize in commercial services. Most cater to residential customers that require a different set of needs.

Ask about certification by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Determine Cost for Water Damage Cleanup Services

Some providers work by the entire job.

Others have a running list of totals where each action or use of equipment means a separate charge.

Insurance Experience

Most commercial building owners want their insurance to cover the cost of repairs.

Which is highly understandable considering the scope of the work that needs to be done.

Biohazard remediation; also known as crime scene cleanup

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows biohazard cleanup can be a stressful and demanding process that requires trained professionals to work long hours and be subjected to a range of catastrophic circumstances.  Biohazard cleanup is NOT the same as a standard cleaning company or janitorial service. Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to forensic cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials.  It is also referred to as biohazard remediation because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed. SERVPRO provides biohazard remediation and recovery services for many biohazard situations.  These include the following:

  • Coronavirus - viral pathogen.
  • Sewage backups.
  • Crime scene cleanup.
  • Natural death cleanup.
  • Suicide cleanup.
  • Homicide cleanup.
  • Accident cleanup.
  • Blood cleanup.
  • Hoarding scenes.

The job of a biohazard cleaner is to thoroughly cleansanitizedisinfect, and deodorize the site where a crime, natural death, suicide, homicide, trauma, or accident occurred.  It is important to understand each service offered and the differences between them:

  • Cleaning removes food and other types of soil from a surface such as a countertop or a plate. 
  • Sanitizing reduces the number of pathogens on that clean surface to safe levels.  It is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Disinfecting a surface will “kill” the microscopic organisms.
  • Sterilizing is the process of making something free from bacteria or other living microorganisms.
  • Deodorizing is to remove or conceal an unpleasant smell.

Cleaning alone will always positively contribute to the health of occupants because allergens (a substance that causes an allergic reaction) and microorganisms (a microscopic organism, especially a bacterium, virus, or fungus) are removed from surfaces.  There is still a risk of cross-contamination because the solutions and the cleaning tools used could be spreading disease.

Sanitizing reduces the number of bacteria present by 99.9 percent but it does nothing about viruses and fungus.  Sanitizing is better than cleaning alone, however, the reduction of pathogen populations on environmental surfaces is exponentially better when you disinfect.

Disinfecting is the process of killing (inactivating) harmful and objectionable bacteria, and other microorganisms (pathogenic) by various agents such as chemicals, heat, ultraviolet light, ultrasonic waves, or radiation. Disinfection is usually considered a 99+% kill compared to sterilization that generally attains 100% kill.

Sterilizing is the removal of 100% of the organisms.

Storm Damage

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Preparing Your Home for Fire Season!

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

  • Create a defensible space around your home:  A defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation, debris, and other types of combustible fuels have been treated, cleared, or reduced to slow the spread of fire to and from the building. 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.
  • Apply fire-retardant chemicals:  Fire-retardant sprays can be applied to at-risk areas of your home and yard.  Fire retardants are chemicals that are applied to materials to prevent the start or slow the growth of the fire. They decrease the ability of materials to ignite. These chemicals work by creating a barrier between the fire and the structure.  The chemical creates a reaction that can help slow the fire.
  • Limit roof combustibility:  A "complex" roof (with lots of ridges and valleys) can be particularly susceptible to fire damage because wind can cause embers to catch on the ridges and valleys.  In addition to applying fire-retardant chemicals, consider upgrading the materials used on your roof, regularly cleaning off debris like pine needles and leaves, and inspecting and replacing broken shingles. 
  • Clean your gutters:  Routine removal of debris from trees and vegetation should be cleared out of gutters.  Debris can cause structural damage to your gutters and even to your house, which may provide space for embers to blow in. Debris also can catch fire, particularly during the dry season.
  • Protect your windows:  A heat differential driven by an outside fire can cause the exposed glass to crack and even shatter inward. A window will break after one to three minutes of exposure to intense heat or flames. The California Building Code recommends that buildings constructed in wildfire-prone areas use dual-pane

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, we understand that fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts.  SERVPRO  professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to its pre-fire condition.  Our technicians are experts in knowing the processes and protocols required to remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.  We strive to leave your home or business "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.

Why is this important?  Our professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with a fire or water damage event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.  All insurance companies specify that the policyholder (you) have a duty to mitigate any further damage or vandalism to your property.  To do this, you need a professional fire and water cleanup and restoration expert like SERVPRO.

We specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. Our technicians have extensive training and equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition. 

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

We will clean and restore your property using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques.  Our "restore first" mentality reduces interruption and gets you back to your life.

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

We understand how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable.  Listed below is the fire damage restoration process which will guide you during this difficult time:

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO. Our staff will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch our crews with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Storm Readiness Plan

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Keep Emergency Kits on hand

There are many things you can do to prepare for a bad storm or other emergency.  One of these is to have a Home Emergency Kit/Car Emergency Kit on hand.  These kits are usually a collection of basic household/automobile items that you will need in an emergency, whether it’s a bad storm, a fire, or any other unexpected emergency. Try to assemble your kit as soon as possible so that it will be ready in case of an emergency and don't forget to rotate new items in so when you need it there will not be expired or out-of-date items.  You can also purchase premade kits from The Red Cross or other resources.

Have an emergency plan prepared

Depending on the severity of a storm or other event, it may take some time for help to arrive. Services like electricity and phone might be cut off for over a week. Emergency plans should be prepared with this information in mind. In addition to your emergency kit, which should include flashlights, batteries, and water, make an overall emergency plan with your family. Determine a place to meet if you need to leave your home in a hurry. Assign each member of your home with a task to make sure everyone gets out safely, including pets. SERVPRO offers an Emergency Readiness plan for businesses, but households should have a plan as well.

Know who to call to help with storm damage

Should your home experience significant damage during a storm, know who you can contact quickly to come out and assess and repair the damage. SERVPRO offers storm damage cleanup and restoration. With 24-hour emergency services offered, we’re “faster to any disaster”, with our highly trained technicians ready to help. Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO can help with storm, water, fire, or mold damage. Keep our information on hand as part of your emergency preparedness.

Enjoy BBQs and Independence Day with Safe Office and Home Parties!

4/18/2021 (Permalink)

With the holiday weekend finally here, we want to make sure everyone stays safe while still having fun! Fireworks cause an average of almost 20,000 reported fires per year; and in 2013, sparklers caused 41% of fireworks injuries. When firing up those grills remember that July is the peak month for grill fires. Here are some tips to ensure your 4th of July Barbecue is disaster-free!

-Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
-Keep your grill clean by removing any grease buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
-When using a charcoal grill, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them
-Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby in order to extinguish fireworks that don’t go off.

Stay safe and have fun this holiday weekend!

What Does IICRC mean anyway for your commercial facility

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • OSHA - 30-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Damage

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

If there's any good news about flood damage, most people know it could and probably will occur in advance. While flash floods and other water damage from leaks and burst pipes are often unpredictable, flood damage from storms is almost easy to predict. Storm surge, torrential rain, and rising water levels cause massive water damage for those who live along the coast or in other low-lying areas. Flood damage is terrible in every instance, but the good news is many homeowners and business owners have enough time to adequately prepare their home and/or business for the impending water damage as best they can.

When a storm ends, and it's safe to return home or to work, many people are shocked to see how much water in the home or water in the business they find. It seems impossible water levels can rise so high, but it's entirely possible. When floodwater causes the water in a home or water in an office to damage things, it's devastating. Before anyone decides to handle this situation, they must learn how to properly handle this kind of water damage.

Do Not Go Back Without Permission

Anyone who evacuated would like to know how much water is in the property or the kind of water they're dealing with; never return to the property without being notified first that it's safe to return. Flood damage is hazardous, and it's easy to forget it's so much more than just water on the road or in a home. Water in a home is dangerous, water in a business is dangerous, and water is dangerous. Wait for the green light when proper authorities give it. No one ever knows if a power line is down, active, and just waiting in the water to electrocute the next person who walks through.

Beware of the Many Dangers

Before anyone enters a home or office with water damage to begin the water cleanup process, they must know how much danger potentially awaits. The water cleanup process should begin as quickly as possible to prevent more damage from occurring, but it cannot be done until people check for proper dangers. The first is live electricity. Don't assume just because the power is out in a specific neighborhood or city; there's nothing to worry about. The power could come back on at any given moment, which means it could cause serious bodily harm to anyone working out of their home or office. Turn off all electricity before entering any building with standing water.

The second danger is what might be waiting for people in the water. There could be alligators, snakes, dangerous water creatures, or even bacteria or other harmful stuff. Always let the local authorities do a neighborhood sweep before beginning the water cleanup and drying process.

Call the Pros

Finally, anyone can do the most crucial thing when water damage occurs and call a professional restoration and mitigation company to handle the drying process. Restoration companies have powerful equipment designed to allow adequate drying to occur in minimal time. Professional mitigation and restoration are imperative because any missed moisture leads to much larger problems.

It's not uncommon for people to want to begin the water cleanup and drying process independently. Still, it's the help of a professional restoration and mitigation company that provides the best possible results. Restoration is designed to clear out all the water in places others might not realize it's hiding. The more prolonged moisture sits in a home or business, the more dangerous it becomes. It can cause mold to form; it can cause further damage to furniture, flooring, and even walls. Call for professional restoration and mitigation rather than handling the drying process without a pro's help to remove water in a business or home.

Storm damage Concord | Concord Flood | Flood damage | Concord Flooding

Did You Know?

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings called smoke webs!

Does Your Business Have a Plan?

Protect your people: Your employees are your most crucial business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 

  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 

  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

Concord Fire | Fire Damage Concord| Concord Water damage | safety tips

Home Fire Safety Tips

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

The rate of home fire accidents has been rising for so many years. There have been many incidents related to Fire Safety Tips that have claimed the lives of so many people. It just goes to show that a lot of families didn’t pay attention to taking preventive measures. And that’s really very worrying. Although it sounds so simple it is really important for every family.

Everyone knows that fires are usually caused by an accident. However, this does not mean that it is inevitable. If you are fully aware of the security measures in your home, you can always prevent this from happening. Remember, fire can be stopped. You just have to know how to do it before it gets worse.

It is important to observe proper preventive measures because it can save lives not only for you but also for your family. Nothing bad can happen in a person’s life without putting your house on fire. So if you are not a victim of this horrific incident, check out the rest of this article for more fire safety advice.

The best way to avoid a fire is to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire in your area. In case of emergency, fire tactics should be done which you should be fully aware of. You should also inform all family members who are with you. That way, they won’t panic whenever an emergency occurs.

It helps to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. These devices can help give you an early warning. There are different types that you can choose from. There are water sprinklers and fire extinguishers. For others, they thought these alarms were only for businesses. This is not entirely true; These can actually be installed in your home.

All electrical devices and applications should be plugged in to secure. Do not leave them in the still mode as they still use a small amount of energy. Check regularly to see if they are still in good condition. There are many times that electrical gadgets are already broken but still used can cause fatal events like fire. So don’t ignore the condition of your tools.

If there are no leaks, always check your gas tank and gas limit. You should monitor when the tank needs to be replaced and the gas controller installed correctly. This can be really dangerous as you can smell the leaking gas which is harmful to your health.

There may be plenty of fire safety tips that every family should consider. But regardless of what these preventive measures are, homeowners should not underestimate the importance of getting to know them. It is very important to learn how to stay away from dangers and how to prevent them from happening. Doing so will not only save your house from burning, but you will also save your family and family.

Can Flooring Impacted by a Severe Water Leak be Saved?

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

It is Possible to Save Flooring in Your Home That Has Been Affected by Big Water Leaks?

Whenever a pipe in your home ruptures, your floors are often suddenly covered in inches or even feet of water, and water can quickly inundate your carpeting, wooden floors, tilework, and subfloors. Experts estimate that this catastrophic issue could result in more than 160 gallons of water per hour leaking into your residence. In a matter of hours, this could rapidly produce thousands of gallons of standing water in your home. Luckily, trained professionals can quickly remediate clean water damage if you call them soon enough. Water cleanup services like SERVPRO can help and save most kinds of floors.             

How Does Water Damage My Carpets, Wooden and Hard Floors, and Subfloors?

SERVPRO has encountered various types of water damage affecting flooring. Our experience with water damage has ranged from relatively minor in effect to quite severe. Of course, each flooring material handles water exposure differently, and some react to it better than others. Some of the forms of water-related damage that affect carpeting are:

  • Bubbling from water washing away the adhesive that binds it to the subfloor
  • Delamination, or when the primary and secondary backing layers of carpeting separate
  • Latex deterioration that leads to the loss of carpet fibers and reduces carpeting’s overall integrity

Although these effects can force you to replace this floor covering, you can usually avoid experiencing them if you address your standing water issue quickly.

Water’s impact on wooden flooring often depends on the construction, but the damage is usually more severe and costly. Moreover, it does not take long for these effects to result. A few examples of wood floor impairments due to water exposure are:

  • Water stains or discoloration
  • Swelling and warping, or deformation, of the wood
  • Buckling that tents, or forces upward, floor sections at joints where they meet and at the walls
  • Delamination of particleboard or oriented strand board (OSB) layers
  • Dry rot resulting from fungal growths

If water ever covers your wood flooring, remember that the faster cleaning occurs, the less damage it usually does. The longer the liquid remains on floors, the more their wooden surfaces absorb. The water causes the wood segments of your flooring to change shape and eventually buckle against each other—also, ground coverings comprising weaker wood products like particleboard and OSB. Glued-together layers, which are more likely to delaminate, the more prolonged exposure to water occurs, compose these boards.

Hard flooring, like concrete, asphalt or vinyl tiles, and ceramic tiles, is much more resilient to water damage than carpet or wood floors. Often, it is also much simpler and less expensive to remediate. With that said, however, these ground coverings are harmed by water in the following ways:

  • Blistering or flaking of painted concrete surfaces
  • Mineral deposits from evaporated water in concrete
  • Mold growth fostered by dirty, wet surfaces
  • Separation of vinyl and ceramic tiles from the floor
  • Warping and expansion of subflooring

Concrete and asphalt tile floors are least at risk of substantial water damage. Concrete floors mostly suffer minor surface cosmetic issues like paint flaking and calcium deposits. Often, water can only remove the finish from asphalt tiles. Since the adhesive of vinyl tiles dissolves relatively quickly, the tiles themselves are prone to separating from flooring if submerged for a sufficient period. Water can penetrate the grouting between ceramic tiles, causing the subflooring to swell and warp and break away from the floor.

What Can SERVPRO Do to Save Your Flooring? 

When dealing with water-damaged flooring, SERVPRO employs various advanced tools and methods. Once our technicians extract all standing water with truck-mounted/portable extractors or wet vacs, they get to work on remediating your floors. Some of the tools and techniques they use to do the latter are:

  • Wands using hot water extraction and shampoo to clean and extract excess water from glued-down carpets
  • Heavier extraction devices to squeeze excess water out of thicker carpeting and padding
  • Moisture meters that identify and measure moisture levels in affected flooring and subflooring
  • Injectidry panel drying systems that dry out subflooring
  • Sanders to sand out cupping and other forms of warping in wood surfaces
  • Brushes and HEPA vacuuming to clean concrete surfaces

Another Day At The Office? No, Not Really.

11/7/2020 (Permalink)

Imagine this. You head off to work just like any other day, and about lunchtime, you get a call from your neighbor saying that there are several fire trucks in front of your house, and he thinks your home is on fire. You bolt out of the office as fast as you can, worrying terribly about your family all the way there. Luckily, the kids had gone off to school, and no one was home.

This is precisely what happened to one of our former customers. An electrical fired occurred while they were at work. Fortunately, the fire department arrived quickly and contained the fire to just the downstairs living room. What a complete nightmare to have a fire happen, and now your home is full of smoke, soot, and water and smells terrible.

Fire and Water Damage is our specialty.

House fires are more common than you may think. Some of these fires are contained quickly and extinguished by the homeowner, while others get much larger and do way more damage. Fire damage cleanup and restoration is our specialty and is something we see and deal with every day.

With this smaller electrical fire, there was not that much material that burned; it was mostly smoke and water damage. Our crews were able to clean and restore all of the homeowner's personal belongings onsite while cleaning and repairing the structure. It's often better to remove the contents to a safer environment while the house is being cleaned and repaired. We didn't need to do that in this case because there was not very much demolition needed or fire damage to the home.

Sometimes a fire does so much damage that the home or business is a total loss. Some fires cause so much damage that a complete demolition is required down to the frame and then rebuilt with all new building materials. Luckily, that's not the case for this family. They stayed with some of their family while we made it "Like it never even happened," to their home.

I had a dishwasher leak, what do I do?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Our dishwashers are an appliance we depend on every single day.  They simplify our lives and they are something most families in San Diego use day in and day out. But like most appliances, they need a little bit of TLC to continue to function properly.

It all starts with dishwasher installation. If your dishwasher is not installed correctly, this is where major issues can begin.  And sometimes, due to the way the dishwasher is installed, you may not know a slow leak is occurring.

If your appliance hose cracks or loosens, hundreds of gallons of water can be seeping into your floors and walls.

Our certified technicians are on-call 24/7/365 to extract water for you, place drying equipment, and walk you through the entire process

Prepare in Advance for Severe Weather

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

It is difficult to know if a storm that is forecasted to move through an area will be severe enough to cause damage before it arrives. Storms—as well as the damage they cause—can vary wildly, which is why we always recommend taking an approach grounded in advanced preparation to remain as safe as possible.

By taking steps to protect your home, you can be certain that no matter what type of storm moves through your area, you are as protected as possible.

Be as Protected as Possible From Storms

Prepare your home as much as possible. Though the nature of storm damage might seem erratic, by doing some preparation work in advance to protect your property, you can ensure you are taking the right steps to mitigate any possible damages. Trimming back any dead or overhanging trees is a great start, as is securing any objects that could possibly become loose during a storm. Many homeowners also have whole-home generators installed, allowing for utility usage if your power is out.

Create a family communications plan. When your family is all at home when severe weather is forecasted to come through the area, you can move as a group to your designated sheltering area and be certain you are all safe. However, if a storm catches one or more of your family members while they are out and about, it is important to have a communications plan so you can check in and be certain that everyone is safe.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. The best thing you can do to be prepared for any emergency is to have an emergency kit in your home, and storms are no exception. Your emergency kit can house everything your family might need, both during the storm and after the fact. Items like flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, food and water are all good to keep on-hand just in case.

Consider getting a weather radio. Having cell phones has made it much easier to receive emergency weather alerts no matter where you are, but in case of severe weather, it is always good to have a backup such as a weather radio. Storms can cause power outages and even knock out cell towers, so having a weather radio that is either powered by replaceable batteries or a manual system is smart.

Doing What You Can to Reduce Your Fire Risk at Home

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

There will never be a good time to experience a house fire, but never experiencing one at all is certainly preferred. Practicing prevention can go a long way in reducing the likelihood that you will experience a house fire. It only takes 30 seconds for a fire to spread through the home and cause serious damages, but by preventing them altogether, you can keep your household significantly safer.

Reducing your overall risk profile is so important to your safety when it comes to house fires. By making sure your home is equipped with safety features, your family is prepared and you are practicing good habits, you can mitigate a fire’s likelihood and impact.

How You Can Reduce Your Household Fire Risk

Check your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are always the first step in improving your household fire safety, as they will be the thing that notifies you if a fire has started. Be sure to do a monthly test to make sure they are operational, and keep track of when they were installed so you know when to replace the unit altogether.

Create a fire escape plan. Making sure that your family members feel comfortable escaping your home quickly in case of a fire is so important. Fire escapes should be done in under two minutes to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation. By drafting a solid plan and practicing it often, you can be certain that everyone will know exactly what to do.

Limit your fire risks. Practicing good fire safety habits on a daily basis can really add up, as you are reducing the chances that a fire can even start. Simple things, like not running cords under rugs, always attending to open flames and avoiding using frayed wires, will go a long way in ensuring your home will not be impacted by a fire to begin with.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Fire extinguishers are so important for having nearby while using any open flame. Though it is important to only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained, having one nearby can be the difference between a small flare-up and a large-scale house fire that causes significant damage.

Why is Professional Commercial Restoration Cleaning so Important?

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Professional commercial restoration cleaning is among the most vital services available to owners of commercial property. Let’s face it, most commercial properties get a lot of wear and tear over the years, especially multifamily housing units and office complexes. Why is professional commercial restoration cleaning so important? You’re about to find out!

What Can Go Wrong, and Why You’ll Need a Professional Commercial Restoration Cleaning Service

There’s a lot that can go wrong with a commercial structure, especially if it’s an older one. Commercial buildings can be damaged by mold, water, fire, or most unfortunate of all, a sewage backup. You hear about that kind of stuff happening all the time, but most people never think that it could actually happen to their own properties. Unfortunately, it can, and as time goes on, the chances of experiencing at least one of the preceding types of damage rises steeply.

At this point, you might be thinking that you still won’t need a professional commercial restoration cleaning service because you’re on top of everything and confident that you can prevent any such damage. While confidence is great, you’re going to need something more than a little bravado to fall back on.

Fire is spontaneous, you never know when or how one might start, especially since it might not even start in your building at all. For example, say you did everything right, you bought a bunch of smoke detectors, had them installed, check them regularly, and replace the batteries. What happens if the owner of the building next to you didn’t do any of that stuff? What if that owner doesn’t have any functioning smoke detectors in their building and they have an ancient electrical system? The building will burn and it’ll probably set your building on fire too because they’re so close together, that’s what’s going to happen.

Now consider this, after paying a professional plumber to inspect and maintain the pipes in your building for several years, there’s a flood. No one has any control over flooding, it just happens, and always at the most inopportune time, it would seem.

Why SERVPRO

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

#1 IICRC Certified Professionals

The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification, and standard-setting body in the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. When choosing water damage, mold remediation, and fire and smoke restoration company, be sure to ask if they are properly accredited.

We Can Handle Any Disaster

 Not only can we handle any size disaster, but we can also handle almost any type of emergency.

Our highly trained crews and fully equipped warehouse of equipment and materials are ready 24/7 365 to respond to your disaster. If you've just experienced a fire in your home, we can help you. If your business only suffered from massive flooding, we've got the tools and experience to help. If your basement flooded and your suffering from water and mold damage, we can help. We can handle fire damage, smoke damage, mold damage, water damage, storm damage, and more.

Give the Residential and Commercial Restoration and Cleaning Pros a Call

If your home or business should suffer from mold damage, water damage, or fire damage, give the restoration and cleaning pros at SERVPRO of West Concord.

Whether it's in the middle of the night, a holiday, or on the weekend, we are willing and ready to assist you in your damage cleanup and restoration. No job is too small, and no job is too big

Reasons To Call SERVPRO Today

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Ready for Any Emergency 24/7

A disaster can strike at any time and any day, which is why SERVPRO of West Concord is ready to answer your call 24/7. With water damage, time is of the essence, and it’s essential to start the process of removing the water quickly before it can cause further damage or lead to mold growth. We realize that every water damage situation is an emergency, which is why they are ready to help out whether it’s day or night. 

Advanced Equipment

SERVPRO has treatments and techniques with over 50 years of experience and 50 years of learning the best techniques and the right procedures for cleaning and restoring business and homes from fire and water damage.

Along with the best treatments and techniques come some of the most advanced equipment in the industry. Trust and reliability and excellent results come from 50 years of experience dealing with every disaster imaginable. 

Contact the Damage Restoration Pros Who Are Faster to Any Disaster

The pros at SERVPRO of West Concord are here to help make it “Like it never even happened,” if one of those disasters comes your way. They’re only a call away! Faster to any size disaster.

Leading The Way in Storm Damage Restoration

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damage knows no schedule. We respond 24/7/365 to meet residential and commercial customers' cleanup and restoration needs. Whether it be water damage from a flash flood, roof and window damage from wind and hail, or a fire from a lightning strike, SERVPRO of West Concord has the trained personnel and specialized equipment to handle any size job. 

We have the technology, the equipment, and the expertise to handle any size disaster, anytime, and anywhere. Our team is ready to mobilize and start the cleanup and restoration process 24/7. Our large loss services are much like our small scale restoration services, just more extensive and capable. Large loss recovery services include:

  • Water Damage Restoration - Whether from a natural flood or broken water pipes, we can extract the water, dry the damaged area, clean up the mess, and restore your water damaged property quickly and efficiently.
  • Fire Damage Restoration - We have the equipment and resources to handle even the largest of fires. We have the expertise to clean up the fire and smoke and restore any damage to the property. SERVPRO has decades of experience removing smoke odor and fire damage. 
  • Commercial Mold Remediation - Mold can happen slowly or quickly after a devastating flood or sewer backup. Our team has the knowledge and training in mold remediation to ensure mold spores are removed safely and effectively.
  • Commercial Cleanup - Our team can provide deep cleaning for facilities that have suffered a viral outbreak, like the recent Coronavirus outbreak. We can also clean up after sewer backups, vandalism, or just from normal wear and tear. 
  • Storm Damage Restoration - Major storms like tornadoes and hurricanes can bring substantial damage to businesses and homes through flooding, fires, wind damage, and more. Our commercial restoration team is prepared and ready to be on the scene should a major disaster strike. 

Time is of the Essence 

The quicker you call us, the less secondary damage may occur. The faster we respond, the less amount of business interruption will occur. There's never a convenient time for fire, water, or storm damage to strike your business. We understand that business downtime means lost revenue and no productivity. We'll arrive fast and work diligently to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. 

Our Commitment to the Customer

So when an emergency arises in your home or business, give us a call, and we'll be there fast with the help you need. Our goal is to be "faster to any disaster" meeting our customer's needs. We are here to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

We're only a call away! Faster to any size disaster. This is not just another tag line for SERVPRO—it is a commitment to be there when you need them most. If you should suffer a fire, water, storm, or mold damage, give SERVPRO of West Concord a call for a fast response to any and every disaster.

Don't Allow Water To Destroy Your Home or Business

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Comes With Many Restoration Challenges

There are a lot of things that require restoration when water damage happens to a home or a commercial property. Depending on the amount of damage caused, a water damage restoration project could include the removal and offsite storage of furniture and computer and other equipment, the cleaning and deodorization and restoration of water damaged furniture, and document and photograph drying and restoration.

The type of water involved in the damage also informs the direction a water damage repair will take. For instance, water contaminated by a sewage spill will need to be treated differently than water damage caused by a leaking faucet.

We have the specialty training and state-of-the-art equipment to respond to any size and type of water damage emergency!

Different categories of water damage

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

When you call SERVPRO asking for help with a water damage emergency, you'll probably have one of our office assistants ask you if you know what caused the water damage.  One of the reasons why is it's important for us to have as many details as possible, so our crews know what equipment to bring and how to handle the damage. For example, did you know there are different categories of water?  Most people only know of one.

The first.  Category 1 water is "clean" water, and is like fresh water from a supply line, for example. The second category, grey water, consists of water from dishwashers, washing
machines. The last category, commonly referred to as black water (Category 3), is the most dangerous. You can become seriously ill if you ingest this category of water. It consists
of raw sewage and pesticides. Black water consists of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It is
imperative that you contact professionals to handle this kind of water.  We have the
proper protective equipment, training, and experience needed to safely disinfect, and treat
the affected area.

Recovering at Your Business After a Disaster Strikes

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Careful planning and strategizing is a key part of being a business owner, both for all of your everyday business decisions and when it comes to emergencies. Disasters devastate businesses every single year, leaving many business owners confused and unsure of how and if they will be able to reopen. Through careful planning, you can mitigate quite a bit of this uncertainty.

When you are considering how a disaster could impact your business, the first thing to be aware of is safety. Plan ahead to make sure you and your staff will be safe when a dangerous situation arises, and then consider how you will recover if there is damage to your building. Your restoration provider, your insurance company and your customers will all want to keep in touch, and you will have many resources available to you from organizations for financial assistance.

Ensuring Your Business Can Recover From a Disaster

Make contact with your insurance and restoration providers. No two commercial insurance policies are the same, so getting in touch with your insurance provider quickly after damage occurs is recommended. The process of filing a claim will vary, but once you get the details settled with your insurance company, you should reach out to your restoration provider as quickly as you are able so they can begin working on the damages.

Give customers updates on your status. Because of social media, it is easier than ever to keep in touch with your customers in real-time—and after a disaster, you absolutely should. Consider providing updates on your reopening timeline and any options customers have for supporting you while you work to recover (i.e. purchasing gift cards, making online orders, etc.).

Consider all your options for assistance. While a disaster is always a difficult thing to endure, business owners do have plenty of resources available for recovery through the Small Business Administration. Their disaster loan program is quite possibly the biggest help, as it is easy to qualify for, offers flexible repayment solutions and provides financial assistance for a variety of post-disaster expenses incurred.

Make a Water Damage Check Part of Your Routine Maintenance

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

There are many ways in which a house can develop issues, but one of the most detrimental things for homeowners is hidden water damage. Not only will there be problems with water spots, mold and more because of it, but it can also lead to structural problems in the home’s walls depending on what parts are effective.

Thankfully, there are many things you can look for to check for water damage in the home as part of your regular home maintenance routines. This can help you catch any issues before they become too serious and has the added benefit of not being as expensive of a claim on your insurance.

How to Check for Water Damage Around Your Home

Inspect your walls and ceilings. Walls tend to hide leaks rather well, but if you look closely at your drywall, you can often find evidence that they are there. Small things like discolored areas, paint that is peeling or soft spots might be indicative of a hidden leak that you should have a professional check out ASAP.

Don’t forget to look down. If water damage is present, it can gradually work its way down and get into the floor of your home, soaking into the subfloor and causing problems. If you notice any soft spots or buckling of your floor, it might be a sign that the subfloor has become saturated with moisture.

Inspect your roof. Your roof is your home’s best defense against water damage, so it is wise to check on it often. You can inspect it easily from the ground with binoculars to look for loose shingles or other signs of wear. You can also go out during the next rain shower to make sure your gutters are properly functioning and keeping water away from your foundation.

Pay close attention to the basement. Basements are not supposed to be the damp and musty places they have been given the reputation of being—in fact, they should not be. Check your basement often for signs of moisture and mold, and if you do notice any issues, be sure to have a professional check it out right away.

A Comprehensive Plan To Deal With Fire Damage

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

A complete plan includes the following elements:

  • A quick response from fire remediation specialists
  • Action to secure the building from looters
  • Equipment in place to deal with water removal
  • A dry-cleaning strategy for uniforms and other fabrics
  • The storage of contents
  • The restoration of the building

All of these steps are necessary to get your business up and running again. The fire remediation professionals will work quickly to restore your building to its condition before the fire happened.

Why Content Cleaning Is Crucial

When a fire sweeps through your commercial building, there is likely to be some structural damage. There will also be damage from smoke and soot and this will have to be addressed before the building will be functional again. Specialized equipment in the hands of trained technicians will be needed. For clothes, dry-cleaning is the most effective approach, as it removes smoke odors and cleans away soot. For non-porous items, ultrasonic measures provide the best cleaning.

Another immediate concern is removing the excess moisture in the building. This can come from flooding due to a storm or from the efforts of the fire fighting crew. ventilation devices, scrubbers, and thermal foggers are employed to remove excess water and humidity. This is a crucial task to make certain mold doesn't begin to grow in areas of the building. Water removal will also help with retaining the viability of electrical equipment such as computer software and hardware. Content storage may be needed to remove items from the building while the cleanup is going on. This gets the items out of the way and keeps them protected while the work is going on.

Relying on a smart plan is the quickest way to recover after a commercial fire. Actions such as dry-cleaning, water removal, and drying allow your business to get up and running as rapidly as possible.

What to Consider When Choosing a Full Service Fire Damage Restoration Company

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Concord provides each certified estimator with a kit that helps provide damage estimates during your homes initial inspection. This kit helps test fire and smoke residues on your home’s structure and contents to determine whether restoration through cleaning remains possible.

If you agree to allow SERVPRO to handle the fire restoration in your home, we work with your insurance adjuster to stay within your policy limits and keep you informed throughout the process. We can provide you with quality cleaning and restoration services that help limit any losses you might experience. If you have concerns about specific areas of your home or want special attention given to family heirlooms, make sure to let your on-site restoration supervisor know.

SERVPRO of West Concord technicians handle a variety of specialty fire restoration services that focus on electronics, art, collectibles, books, and other personal belongings. Even if we do not offer these services directly, we have a relationship with a sub-contractor who does. Full-service solutions you can count on while you direct your attention to keeping your family safe.

SERVPRO of West Concord provides quality fire damage solutions to customers throughout Concord and surrounding areas. Call today to begin work with a cleaning and restoration company that you can trust to deliver quality results. (925) 681-9093.

Why to Board Up After a Fire

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Natural disasters have an enormous impact on small businesses, especially start-ups and cash-only businesses. The livelihood of both the owner and employees are jeopardized, an a plan must be in place to protect all parties involved. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40% of small businesses fail to re-open after a natural disaster. With preparation, you can greatly increase the chance of your business recovering.

An emergency plan should be formed when the business is formed. Insurance becomes a key component of this plan, requiring careful consideration of all assets and deciding on the best insurance policy. For example, will natural disaster or looting insurance be included or added on later? Use the following steps as a guide to develop a post-disaster plan to keep your business running after an emergency.

  • Follow up with employees: Address their concerns, and note if they are able to find temporary work or aid in the recovery process.
  • Develop a communication strategy: Delegate someone trusted to communicate with disaster relief services, suppliers, and financial institutions
  • Keep your data safe: Have a back-up of your business' files in multiple locations. Consider cloud based services since the data is stored remotely and can be accessed from multiple devices.
  • Seek a restoration expert: Restoration companies such as ours will come to your aid to listen to your concerns, minimize loss, fix damages, and find the best value out of your insurance coverage.
  • File an insurance claim: Examine policy and make sure there are no gaps. Also ask the questions, "Are additional damages covered? What are my deductibles?"
  • Disaster loan assistance: There are various government agencies and organizations that can help your business recover. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website to learn about their Disaster Loan Program to help fix property and restock supplies.

Preparation is vital to recovering from any disaster; no one is immune. With the right plan, your chance of re-opening will increase significantly. SERVPRO of West Concord is ready to answer your call and restore your small business back to new.

SERVPRO Knows Mold

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold colonization can be a dangerous and threatening situation for homes, especially when the situation goes unchecked and unresolved. While you might not necessarily believe that you need the services of professional mold remediation technicians like our SERVPRO team, there are many reasons that you might reconsider. The first of these is how quickly this situation can get out of control if allowed to grow and spread unabated. Without addressing the underlying cause of the colonies, they can continue to grow and thrive unchallenged.

Our SERVPRO professionals have advanced training and education in the remediation of mold damage from West Concord homes through the IICRC. This continual coursework ensures that we can provide our customers with technicians that have the confidence and expertise to address even widespread mold concerns immediately. Once we have arrived at your address, we can begin to assessing the full scope of the damage and working with our production management leadership to determine the best recovery solution for the property.

Our strategies for colony removal vary depending on the material hosting an organism and where the mold has gotten discovered within the property. How severe this colonization has become also plays a role in the best solution for removing it. Lighter presences, for example, can often get remedied by the application of our efficient antimicrobial spray. This product can kill off the spores spreading within the material, effectively starving out the entire hyphae and eliminating the organism.

The remediation professionals of our SERVPRO team also have effective strategies for removing more deeply rooted organisms spreading throughout your property. If you’ve noticed mold growth in your home or business call us at SERVPRO of West Concord at (925) 681-9093.

How to Prevent Roof Leaks

10/25/2020 (Permalink)

Maintenance is crucial for the longevity of your roof. Being exposed to all elements of weather can take a toll on your roof. What can you do if your roof is leaking? Inspecting it yourself can seem daunting, and hiring a roofer may be costly. Is there a simpler solution?

What to Do During a Storm:
If you catch a leak during a storm...

  • Locate the Source of the Leak

If you don't have a leak detector, infrared camera, or infrared camera app, you can locate the source manually.

Leaks most commonly occur near roof protrusions such as chimneys, vents, plumbing, or anything protruding through your roofing material. Look closely for water staining. If it's currently raining you may be able to trace the drips.

  • Prevent Further Damage

Once you've located the leak, take the necessary measures to prevent further damage. Use a bucket or pan to collect dripping water. If water is pooling in ceiling, a small puncture will relieve the pressure and allow the water to drain.

Use roofing materials such as traps, sandbags, or boards to cover the leak and prevent water from entering home.

Prevent Future Leaks to Your Roof:
1. Check the Attic

Common attic problems could be a direct culprit to your roof leaks. During your next roof inspection, don't forget to check the attic. Signs of Mold, Soaked insulation, Stains around Nails, or Clogged Intake Vents will be clear signs.

2. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect!

Gutters, Shingles, and Protruding Parts can all lead to leaks. Clogged gutters can cause a water back up under your shingles or other roofing materials. Shingles need to be properly secured, and missing/broken shingles need to be replaced. As we learned earlier, protruding parts are the main culprits of roof leaks. Make sure the seals are tight so water can't leak through.

SERVPRO of West Concord is here to Help

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Using the right tools and equipment makes a massive difference during water damage restoration. The goal is to minimize damage and return your property to its preloss state through water extraction, cleaning, dehumidification, deodorization, and mold remediation. To achieve all that, we perform thorough restoration procedures in your West Concord home.

Our SERVPRO technicians move, and block boxes, appliances, and furniture and other items within your water damaged West Concord property. The reason as to why we remove the items such as papers, rugs, curtains, and books from the floor is to lower the possibility to transferring stains. Once the site is clear and accessible, it is time to extract water from the area. Depending on the type of surface and the amount of water, our SERVPRO technicians may decide to use a portable extractor or submersible pumps. When working on hard surfaces, we make use of a squeegee attachment. This step is crucial since it reduces the drying time and limits the development of furniture stains and rust.

To effectively dry the site, we have to introduce a balanced drying system. We can set up air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Where necessary, we ventilate the inside of the ceiling and wall cavities and appropriately position dehumidifiers to absorb excess water vapor. It is the role of our SERVPRO technicians to continuously monitor the site and take the relative humidity and moisture content readings.

SERVPRO of West Concord has Advanced Strategies for Mold Colony Removal

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold colonization can be a dangerous and threatening situation for homes, especially when the situation goes unchecked and unresolved. While you might not necessarily believe that you need the services of professional mold remediation technicians like our SERVPRO team, there are many reasons that you might reconsider. The first of these is how quickly this situation can get out of control if allowed to grow and spread unabated. Without addressing the underlying cause of the colonies, they can continue to grow and thrive unchallenged.

Our SERVPRO professionals have advanced training and education in the remediation of mold damage from West Concord homes through the IICRC. This continual coursework ensures that we can provide our customers with technicians that have the confidence and expertise to address even widespread mold concerns immediately. Once we have arrived at your address, we can begin to assess the full scope of the damage and work with our production management leadership to determine the best recovery solution for the property.

Our strategies for colony removal vary depending on the material hosting an organism and where the mold has gotten discovered within the property. How severe this colonization has become also plays a role in the best solution for removing it. Lighter presences, for example, can often get remedied by the application of our efficient antimicrobial spray. This product can kill off the spores spreading within the material, effectively starving out the entire hyphae and eliminating the organism.

The remediation professionals of our SERVPRO team also have effective strategies for removing more deeply rooted organisms spreading throughout your property

Is Your Home Winter Ready?

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazer potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

Tips For Building Your Emergency Plan

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

Choose at least two pre-planned places for your family to meet in case of an emergency. One should be right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as fire. The other should be outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

Hold evacuation drills at home, practice getting out of the house quickly and drive your planned evacuation route. The more you practice, the more confident you will be if you really need to evacuate.

Communication is a key component to your safety; make sure you have an out-of-town contact that will help your household reconnect after an emergency. Store an “In Case of Emergency” contact in your phone, have regular conversations about whom to text or call if you need help and where to go during and after an emergency.

Create a personalized plan and supply kit for your specific daily needs and responsibilities, taking into consideration any additional friends or family that may be included in your emergency plan, such as elderly neighbors or grandparents. Some key factors to consider when creating a supply list are: different ages within your household, medical and dietary needs including medications, children.

4 Steps to Minimize a Water Damage

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Unexpected things happen and we've all experienced something unexpected sometime or another. In the same vein, water damage happens. It's not a matter of If, but When. We all need to be prepared when it does strike. Follow these 4 steps and lessen the damage of water.  

Cut Off the Source:

Take for example a toilet overflowing. You come home to find water all over the bathroom. The first thing you may want to do is clean it up, but we'll get to that part later. Shut the water off to the toilet first. Now, no more water can cause damage. If the source isn't an appliance like a toilet, find the shut off valve to the house and turn that off.

Preserve Your Home: 

Now, if the extent of the water is small enough, you can proceed to clean up the water. Rags, mops, & buckets will be useful. You may need to move around furniture to prevent damage. Sewage water should be left alone to prevent further contamination to other parts of the home. 

Contact Remediation Company:

Water often causes unseen problems like Mold. To the naked eye we may have dried and cleaned everything. However, under the surface various materials can still be wet. Whether the extent of the water was minor or major, contact a Water Remediation Company. The situation can be assessed by professionals and tested with specialized technology.

Do Not Panic:

Lastly, don't panic. It may be hardest thing to do on this list, which is understandable. Panicking may cause us to make decisions we might regret. We don't want to remove any flooring or carpeting. When all seems lost, professional restoration experts can restore items such as flooring and carpet.  If walls are opened, possible exposure to lead and/or asbestos could result.

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Water damage happens, don't be caught off guard when it does. Follow these 4 steps to help minimize the damage and help ease the restoration process.

3 Places to Find Water Damage

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Take this scenario: You come home from a long day at work. You make yourself some dinner, relax a bit, and enjoy the rest of the evening. It's now 10pm and you decide to go downstairs to get some water before bed.

Let me tell you...You got water alright.

You turn on the lights and your kitchen is soaked! The culprit? Your dishwasher. With all the water running from your sink and dishwasher your kitchen becomes a popular location for water damage. Where are other popular places to find water damage? 

  1. Roof: Your roof is a huge protection to your home from the outside elements. The slightest damage to your roof can leave you exposed to internal damage. If you have multi-story home, damage can penetrate not only the 2nd floor but the 1st one too.

          What can you do? Have your roof inspected by a professional on a regular basis. About every 3-5yrs depending on the age of your roof and the elements it's exposed to like, rain, hail, or snow.

      2. Bathroom: This room, much like the kitchen, has allot of water running through it as well. You have your sink, toilet, and shower. But unlike the kitchen, Black Water aka Sewage Water, can be a real mess.

          What can you do? Inspect around your shower & toilet. Look for leaks in the caulking or moisture spots. Under the sink, check the pipes. Make sure they are all tightened.

      3. Kitchen: As was stated, Kitchens are notorious for water damage. Your Dishwasher, Sink, & Refrigerator can be time bombs waiting to burst. 

         What can you do? Check your pipes under the sink, much like your bathroom. If your refrigerator/freezer has a Water & Ice dispenser, check under the fridge for leaking water. As for your Dishwasher, check the escape valve that connects to your garbage disposal. When all the water leaves the dishwasher, it escapes to that valve.    

Commercial Mold remediation

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. As in this case when the builder unknowingly put a few holes in the pipes during construction. 

Commercial property can quickly become infested with mold if a source of water is present. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 72 hours. Since mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should call us 24/7  to inspect your building if you suspect you have a mold problem. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation quickly, which will keep your business running and loss of revenue to a minimum. 

Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Antioch can respond quickly, working to first contain and isolate the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Which is essential when you need to keep business going. 

Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to pre loss condition.

Causes of Commercial Fires

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

COMMON CAUSES OF COMMERCIAL FIRES

If you own a business or manage a building, fire protection should be among your primary concerns. There are many instances of commercial fires, so it is always best to be prepared with proper fire safety precautions. One of your best defenses against commercial fires is to understand and mitigate your risks.

Most Common Causes of Commercial Fires

Commercial fires are more common than you may think. It is always better to be prepared by knowing the common causes of most of these commercial fires. By knowing what may cause a commercial fire, your business can take proper precautions to prevent damage to your property.

Cooking Equipment

When you think of buildings with cooking equipment, restaurants probably come to mind first. However, any business that serves food is likely to have a kitchen area. Because of high cooking temperatures, flammable oils and grease, and the hectic nature of commercial kitchens, this is the single most common cause of commercial fires.

Cooking equipment is responsible for:

  • 65% of fires in healthcare facilities
  • 61% of fires in restaurants
  • 38% of fires in educational institutions
  • 29% of fires in office properties
  • 13% of fires in stores and mercantile properties

Heating Equipment

Depending on the climate, commercial buildings require heat to stay comfortable for several months of the year. As with other mechanical equipment, furnaces, boilers, and radiators are at risk of overheating. This, in turn, can lead to a fire.

Heating equipment is responsible for:

  • 14% of fires in industrial or manufacturing properties
  • 11% of fires in office properties
  • 9% of fires in restaurants
  • 5% of fires in healthcare facilities

Electrical & Lighting Equipment

All modern buildings feature electrical wiring behind the wall for light and power. Unfortunately, electricity carries inherent fire risk. Old or defective wiring, overloaded circuits, loose connections, faulty fuses, imbalanced electrical loads, and many other electrical or lighting problems can develop that lead to overheating or sparks that ignite a fire.

Electrical problems are responsible for:

  • 12% of fires in office properties
  • 10% of fires in stores and mercantile properties
  • 9% of fires in restaurants
  • 5% of fires in healthcare facilities

Smoking Materials

Lighted cigars, cigarettes, and other smoking materials can start fires if disposed of improperly. Fortunately, the rate of fires caused by smoking materials has decreased in recent years because of declining popularity and the introduction of “fire safe” cigarettes with reduced ignition strength. Still, smoking materials remain one of the top five most common causes of commercial fires.

Smoking materials are responsible for:

  • 9% of fires in office properties
  • 7% of fires in restaurants
  • 5% of fires in healthcare facilities

Intentional

An intentional fire is one that occurs as the result of the deliberate misuse of a heat source. Arson fits into this category, though to be considered arson, the fire starter must have malicious, criminal intent.

Intentional fire-starting is responsible for:

  • 36% of fires in educational institutions
  • 10% of fires in office properties
  • 6% of fires in healthcare facilities
  • 4% of fires in restaurants

What's In Your Storm Kit?

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

While your family’s emergency preparedness supply kit and other essentials will be unique to you, there are a few basics that will help to prepare you for success, and get you started on the right track. Your kit should be organized and easily accessible, make sure your kit is easy to carry and contains these basics: water, medical supplies, medications, non-perishable foods, a hand powered radio, a manual can opener, a flashlight, batteries, spare clothing items including socks, blankets, cash, tools including a wrench and pliers, local maps and your emergency plan, contact information, important personal and financial information, and a first-aid kit.

It’s also recommended that you have backpack kits for each individual and secondary kits in cars, school lockers and work locations in case you are separated during an emergency situation. The point about Emergency Preparation is that you never know when or where a disaster could happen. It’s important to take steps now to help make sure you and your family will be prepared with needed supplies and essentials if a disaster strikes later. It’s our goal at SERVPRO of West Concord to be here to help you restore your property after a disaster, but we also want to try and help you be prepared to face a disaster and to take steps to try and avoid one.

If you have experienced a property disaster in the Concord area and require some restoration help, give SERVPRO of West Concord a call at (925) 681-9093.

An Overview of Our Drying Equipment

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of West Concord has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our highly-trained technicians.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of West Concord to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor- causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Concord has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 925-681-9093.

Keeping Your Bathroom Mold Free!

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

A nice warm shower or bath can be a great way to end the day or re-energize in the morning. You aren’t alone in being drawn to the comforts a bathroom can provide. Lingering dampness after bathing and potential water damage create welcoming environments for mold growth.

While sometimes obvious, mold damage can also be sneaky. Hidden water damage may likely be the culprit if you notice the distinct musty odor without the visual cues. When finding the source, check the following areas:

  • Inspect toilets, sinks and pipes for signs of a leak or mold.
  • Check caulking around tubs and showers.
  • Remove ventilation fan cover to look for signs of growth.
  • Inspect walls, grout, wallpaper, drywall, rugs, and other porous materials for dampness.

The pesky fungus may be annoying, but luckily mold prevention is easy. Incorporating a few daily habits and regularly checking for damage can keep it at bay. Some tips include:

  • After bathing, squeegee walls to eliminate lingering water.
  • Always use the ventilation fan when bathing and keep it running for 30 minutes afterward.
  • Mold loves humidity. Try to keep levels below 50% in the home via a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
  • Keep bathrooms clean. Washing the rugs and towels and cleaning toilets, sinks and showers can eliminate conditions that mold and mildew love.

Understanding Water Types

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals, and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

  • Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminates.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Fire Prevention Month 2020

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Fire Prevention Week 2020

October is Fire Prevention Month! The goal of Fire Prevention Month (and week October 4th – 10th ) is to raise fire safety awareness, and help ensure your home and family has a plan and is ready for the unexpected. In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) named the second week of October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, we celebrate Fire Prevention Week and Month by raising fire safety awareness and educating families, students and communities across the United States. During this month, fire departments provide education to their communities, and encourage parents and loved ones to practice fire safety and whole home safety.

The NFPA's 2020 campaign for Fire Safety Month is "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen." At First Alert, we are proud to support their mission and this year’s theme to 'Be Ready for the Unexpected', especially while cooking. For Fire Safety Month this year, First Alert is urging families to improve their home’s safety. Be ready at home by installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as having fire extinguishers at home. First Alert is dedicated to helping protect what matters most because a home emergency can happen at any time, and we want to help you be ready.

Did You Know?

Fire Prevention week is the perfect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*
  • Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires

Fire Safety for Kids

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Fire safety

A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible cautions in your home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.            

Prevent Your Child from Starting Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.
  • Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.
Help Your Child Survive a Fire
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. 
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside..
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.
  • Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.
  • Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows. 
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Pet Fire Safety

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Pet Fire Safety Protect your pets

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable.

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
  • In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets

  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

5 Tips to Prevent Mold & Mildew in your Commercial Business

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Why should you worry about mold or mildew in your building? Over time some mold may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold or mildew growth in your business.

#1: Clean Out the Refrigerator

It can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others won’t. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Over time, it can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator. Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.

#2: Look for and Repair Leaks

Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around window sills and in attic spaces.

#3: Keep It Clean

It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well. Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold and mildew growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.

#4: Clean out Trash Cans

While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent growth.

#5: Take Care of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.

Beating COVID-19 One Step At A Time

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning for your business "Like it never even happened."

COVID-19 has hit multiple businesses in many different ways. Some are slowly beginning to re-open, while others have closed their doors for good. Here at SERVPRO of West Concord, we are committed to getting your business as clean as possible. The first step to keeping you safe, is to keep our workers safe as well. Before we clean your infected or possibly infected area, we ensure that each of workers are wearing the following:

-Facial protection (at minimum a N-95 respirator)

-Nitrile gloves

-Protective eye wear

After we are properly equipped with the required gear, we move on to the next step, the cleaning process. When dealing with a virus like COVID-19, it is crucial to pay extra attention and be thorough with our procedures. 

Some materials cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged. Cleaning methods typically used on water sensitive materials such as vacuuming or dry sponging would not be capable of removing enough soil and residue to be effective. Carpets can be sanitized with SERVPROXIDE, and other porous materials like rugs, upholstered items, and draperies can be wet cleaned using a Hot Water Extraction and rinse method. 

ServpOXIDE is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against similar viruses like SARS-CoV-2. It is EPA-approved, and proper PPE use is of the utmost importance. 

All tools and supplies are properly cleaned and disinfected to ensure there is no potential contamination to other parts of the structure. 

We want your business to be back on its feet in no time, trust us with your cleaning precaution needs. Please call us at (925) 681-9093 to answer any of your COVID-19 cleaning related questions. 

How Water Damage Can Affect Your Business

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Every business owner knows about risk; after all, starting a business is a risk in and of itself. Yet many business owners fail to consider the real possibility that they could be affected by disaster at any time, often when they least expect it. In fact, many commercial properties in the area have had water damages, which have negatively impacted businesses in several ways.

  1. Electronics can be destroyed. It’s no secret that water and electricity don’t mix, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that any affected electronics will likely be either faulty or unusable. Depending on your company’s reliance on technology, this can be an expensive blow to your operations. If you have important files, be sure to regularly back them up.
  1. Important documents can be ruined. Although most businesses have switched to digital records, we’ve found that many still have paper documents lying around the office. Unless you’ve already scanned these documents, water can cause documents to deteriorate and become effectively useless. Fortunately, our team has the ability to preserve wet documents, depending on the amount of damage.
  1. Mold can begin growing. Mold can be a major problem for any business. It can cause health issues, structural damage, and damage to your furniture and belongings. If water damage isn’t addressed quickly and thoroughly, it can encourage mold growth, which can occur in as quickly as 24-48 hours.

Water damage can do a number on your business, which is why it’s important you’re prepared if and when it occurs. If you do have water damage, you need to call professionals immediately. Our team at SERVPRO of West Concord is always available at 925-681-9093.

Tips to Prevent Mold in Your Commercial Business

10/27/2019 (Permalink)

Why should you worry about mold in your building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your business.

Take Care of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.

Clean out Trash Cans

While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.

Turn on the AC/Dehumidifier

Leaks aren’t the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.

Look for and Repair Leaks

Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to o unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak. 

Disaster Recovery: Need to Know Facts for Small Business Owners

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Natural disasters have an enormous impact on small businesses, especially start-ups and cash-only businesses. The livelihood of both the owner and employees are jeopardized, an a plan must be in place to protect all parties involved. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40% of small businesses fail to re-open after a natural disaster. With preparation, you can greatly increase the chance of your business recovering.

An emergency plan should be formed when the business is formed. Insurance becomes a key component of this plan, requiring careful consideration of all assets and deciding on the best insurance policy. For example, will natural disaster or looting insurance be included or added on later? Use the following steps as a guide to develop a post-disaster plan to keep your business running after an emergency.

  • Follow up with employees: Address their concerns, and note if they are able to find temporary work or aid in the recovery process.
  • Develop a communication strategy: Delegate someone trusted to communicate with disaster relief services, suppliers, and financial institutions
  • Keep your data safe: Have a back-up of your business' files in multiple locations. Consider cloud based services since the data is stored remotely and can be accessed from multiple devices.
  • Seek a restoration expert: Restoration companies such as ours will come to your aid to listen to your concerns, minimize loss, fix damages, and find the best value out of your insurance coverage.
  • File an insurance claim: Examine policy and make sure there are no gaps. Also ask the questions, "Are additional damages covered? What are my deductibles?"
  • Disaster loan assistance: There are various government agencies and organizations that can help your business recover. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website to learn about their Disaster Loan Program to help fix property and restock supplies.

Preparation is vital to recovering from any disaster; no one is immune. With the right plan, your chance of re-opening will increase significantly. SERVPRO of West Concord is ready to answer your call and restore your small business back to new.

Getting Prepared for Bad Weather

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Business owners control many things, but weather isn’t one of them. Be it a snow storm, heavy rain or flooding, sooner or later, bad weather is bound to cause an inevitable hiccup in your business. Are you ready? The time to prepare is not when the forecast predicts a hurricane. Check out these ways to prepare your business for bad weather in West Concord long before it shows up.

Create a Bad Weather Plan

Surprisingly, while business owners make a written plan for many things, weather isn’t always one of them. But bad weather can create a perfect storm of issues, from pipe burst issues to logistical problems. Before those worst cases scenarios become realities, come up with a plan for how to operate in bad weather. It should cover

  • Who will communicate with employees in a weather crisis
  • Evacuation or shelter
  • What the overall business weather policy is

There are times when weather poses immediate danger. One example is if a snow storm leads to a fallen tree or debris that damages part of your facility. Having a plan for leaving the building is ideal for such scenarios. Outline the route employees should take to safety and have appropriate maps to ensure everyone knows how to get out. After your employees, protecting your building is the next priority. Invest in backup generators to keep critical devices running and safe while you’re out of the office for bad weather. If flooding is expected, gather sandbags for doors and windows and consider moving furniture and electrical equipment to higher levels to prevent water damage. Whether your business is devastated or merely derailed by a snow storm or other bad weather depends a lot on how well you prepare. Use these tips as a starting point for facing bad weather and storm damage with ease.

What is a Small Business Fire Safety Plan?

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

If a fire breaks out in your office, responding promptly and effectively can keep your employees safe and prevent damage to the premises and valuable equipment. As a business owner responsible for the safety of your employees, drawing up and sharing a fire safety pan with your team and your city fire protective service is essential.

As a general rule, a fire safety plan provides relevant information about a building’s layout, its fire protection systems and equipment, and its emergency evacuation procedures. If you don’t own the building, the owner should hopefully have a fire plan that you can review and adapt for your business. However, to ensure you’re following best practice, contact your local fire prevention department for a template or guidelines.

The plan should include floor plans that show evacuation routes from each floor, along with fire exits, places of refuge and external meeting points. An additional floor plan designed to aid the fire department should show fire protection systems, and include a description of the building, along with potential access issues for fire fighters. The plan should also specify how the fire alarm system operates and whether it communicates directly with your local fire service as well as the nature of fire protection equipment, such as extinguishers and sprinklers, and the location of standpipe and hose systems. There are normally additional requirements for tall buildings and industrial units.

An important element of your plan is an up-to-date list of your staff, contractors and visitors on site, enabling an audit in the event of a fire. This list can also indicate team members with specified fire safety responsibilities. To ensure all employees are aware of your fire safety plan and what to do if they discover a fire, make this part of on boarding, and carry out regular drills help ensure all your employees become familiar with evacuation routes.

Putting together a fire safety plan might feel like a chore, but there are no short cuts when it comes to safeguarding your people and your livelihood. A well- thought-out plan gives everyone peace of mind and helps the fire service do its job effectively.

What are Common Pieces of Equipment Used During Mold Remediation

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

There are a variety of tools and equipment that are often needed during mold removal and remediation. Common protective gear used during remediation can include:

  • Goggles that protect the eyes
  • Hair masks
  • Disposable gloves and disposable shoe coverings
  • Coveralls
  • Masks that filter out most mold spores

Why Does the Equipment Matter?

Mold spores aren’t visible to the naked eye, but they can still be hazardous. Protective gear helps to ensure the person involved in the mold remediation process remains safe. Wearing improper equipment and then moving the equipment to an area in your home that isn’t affected by mold can actually increase the spread of the spores. For this reason, disposable equipment is often used.

If you’re dealing with mold growth in your home or business call SERVPRO of West Concord! We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (925) 681-9093.

Is Your Business Prepared for Disaster?

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Many businesses are not prepared to respond to a man-made or natural disaster. Statistics show that, of the businesses that close because of a disaster, at least one in four never reopens. Small businesses are particularly at risk because they may have all of their operations concentrated in one location that is damaged or destroyed. That is why disaster planning is a critical part of every business’ operational objectives.

SERVPRO of West Concord is an experienced specialist in the mitigation and restoration of commercial properties of all shapes and sizes. We have a long history of dealing with business interruptions and working expediently to get these businesses back up and operating quickly.

Water extraction, humidity control, emergency power, document drying, emergency lighting, electronics cleaning, textile cleaning, temporary power, temporary fencing are among the services that SERVPRO of West Concord can handle to help get a business under control and secured.

Being a leader in the commercial restoration industry requires a lot more than simply drying a building. It revolves around putting in place the right strategy for getting the business back up and running as quickly as possible. The longer a business is offline due to an emergency the more customers they stand to lose to competitors.

SERVPRO of West Concord provides an Emergency Response Profile (ERP) as a FREE service. This ERP is a concise and individual report that puts all the information in one place that a business needs in case of a disaster. Contact SERVPRO of West Concord to schedule for your free visit and report that places all the information you will need in one booklet, binder, or flash drive to help you get the help you need when you need it.

What to Consider When Choosing a Full Service Fire Damage Restoration Company

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Concord provides each certified estimator with a kit that helps provide damage estimates during your homes initial inspection. This kit helps test fire and smoke residues on your home’s structure and contents to determine whether restoration through cleaning remains possible.

If you agree to allow SERVPRO to handle the fire restoration in your home, we work with your insurance adjuster to stay within your policy limits and keep you informed throughout the process. We can provide you with quality cleaning and restoration services that help limit any losses you might experience. If you have concerns about specific areas of your home or want special attention given to family heirlooms, make sure to let your on-site restoration supervisor know.

SERVPRO of West Concord technicians handle a variety of specialty fire restoration services that focus on electronics, art, collectibles, books, and other personal belongings. Even if we do not offer these services directly, we have a relationship with a sub-contractor who does. Full-service solutions you can count on while you direct your attention to keeping your family safe.

SERVPRO of West Concord provides quality fire damage solutions to customers throughout Concord and surrounding areas. Call today to begin work with a cleaning and restoration company that you can trust to deliver quality results. (925) 681-9093.

Most Commonly Used Drying Equipment with Water Damage Restoration

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Commonly used equipment includes:

  • Air Movers: Used to accelerate air flow and evaporation of moisture from materials for restorative drying.
  • Dehumidifiers: Used to reduce moisture levels, accelerate the drying process in water restoration
  • Floor Drying System: These are high-pressure air mover mats, used during water restoration to dry hardwood floors. This system draws evaporated moisture out of damages areas and creates a vacuum seal on mats to move air from the subfloor to the surface.
  • Air Scrubbers: used for cleaning and controlling air quality in restorations.
  • Hygrometers: Moisture meters used to detect or monitor moisture in most building materials.
  • Submersible pumps: drains standing water from any surface - ideal for flooded basements, farm use, draining standing water from swimming pools, fountains, flooded basements, etc.
  • Extractors: usually used for water extraction from carpet and hard surfaces.

A successfully water damage restoration always begins once the standing water has been removed - though it may not be visible in puddles.  Nevertheless, there are specific methods used for each and every situation. 

If Your Home Gets Caught in a Flood, Count on SERVPRO for Assistance

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is a normal part of our lives, so cleaning up from water in our homes is a regular occurrence for residents and restoration services. Performing a water cleanup in West Concord takes much more than just a large Water-Vac and a push broom. SERVPRO of West Concord have to identify the category of water that floods a home to determine the cleaning method and what precautions they need to take to keep our technicians and the homeowners safe.

Category One is Clean Water. It does not contain waste products. Burst pipes, leaking faucets, and some failing appliances are the usual sources of clean water. Natural disasters can damage roofs and expose homes to rain and snow. This category presents minimal health risks during removal and requires no special requirements for cleanup. If the water flowed over the soil before entering the home, however, it is not considered clean water. As a caveat, if rainwater intruding through the attic soaks through insulation and items, it is not clean water. 
 
Category Two is Gray Water. It is water that was used but does not contain human waste. This category includes water from an overflowing washer that drops detergent-filled water on the floor. An overflowing toilet with no solid waste also is included in this category. Gray water is not a vector for spreading disease, but people can become sick by touching it, drinking it, or walking through it without protective footwear. Carpet soaked in gray water needs thorough cleaning for restoration and furniture needs to be sprayed or wiped down with an anti-bacterial cleaner. 
 
Category Three is Black Water. This unsanitary water often contains human waste and presents a health threat to anyone who comes in contact with it. SERVPRO technicians wear protective gear while removing it from each home. Before starting removal, our teams also spray the surfaces with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cleaners to reduce the risk. They treat all floodwater as black water since it is impossible to know what it traveled through before it entered a home. Team leaders dispose of carpets soaked in Black Water and only recommend attempting to clean high-value rugs since technicians can lift them from the floor and soaked them in a biocide solution that kills all living organisms. 

SERVPRO cannot emphasize enough the need for grappling with floods differently than from a water line leak. Safety first, and we are proud to help our neighbors. If you’re dealing with flooding don’t hesitate to give SERVPRO of West Concord a call. (925) 681- 9093

SERVPRO of West Concord is here to Help With Your Water Damage

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Using the right tools and equipment makes a massive difference during water damage restoration. The goal is to minimize damage and return your property to its preloss state through water extraction, cleaning, dehumidification, deodorization, and mold remediation. To achieve all that, we perform thorough restoration procedures in your West Concord home.

Our SERVPRO technicians move, and block boxes, appliances, and furniture and other items within your water damaged West Concord property. The reason as to why we remove the items such as papers, rugs, curtains, and books from the floor is to lower the possibility to transferring stains. Once the site is clear and accessible, it is time to extract water from the area. Depending on the type of surface and the amount of water, our SERVPRO technicians may decide to use a portable extractor or submersible pumps. When working on hard surfaces, we make use of a squeegee attachment. This step is crucial since it reduces the drying time and limits the development of furniture stains and rust.

To effectively dry the site, we have to introduce a balanced drying system. We can set up air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Where necessary, we ventilate the inside of the ceiling and wall cavities and appropriately position dehumidifiers to absorb excess water vapor. It is the role of our SERVPRO technicians to continuously monitor the site and take the relative humidity and moisture content readings.

SERVPRO of West Concord has Advanced Strategies for Mold Colony Removal

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold colonization can be a dangerous and threatening situation for homes, especially when the situation goes unchecked and unresolved. While you might not necessarily believe that you need the services of professional mold remediation technicians like our SERVPRO team, there are many reasons that you might reconsider. The first of these is how quickly this situation can get out of control if allowed to grow and spread unabated. Without addressing the underlying cause of the colonies, they can continue to grow and thrive unchallenged.

Our SERVPRO professionals have advanced training and education in the remediation of mold damage from West Concord homes through the IICRC. This continual coursework ensures that we can provide our customers with technicians that have the confidence and expertise to address even widespread mold concerns immediately. Once we have arrived at your address, we can begin to assessing the full scope of the damage and working with our production management leadership to determine the best recovery solution for the property.

Our strategies for colony removal vary depending on the material hosting an organism and where the mold has gotten discovered within the property. How severe this colonization has become also plays a role in the best solution for removing it. Lighter presences, for example, can often get remedied by the application of our efficient antimicrobial spray. This product can kill off the spores spreading within the material, effectively starving out the entire hyphae and eliminating the organism.

The remediation professionals of our SERVPRO team also have effective strategies for removing more deeply rooted organisms spreading throughout your property. If you’ve noticed mold growth in your home or business call us at SERVPRO of West Concord at (925) 681-9093.

Rain Tips!

10/20/2019 (Permalink)

Safety Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain

  • If you must drive in the rain, drive slowly and steadily. Pull over and stop if it is raining so hard that you cannot see.
  • Do not drive through floodwaters.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
  • One foot of water will float most vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles – including SUVs and pickups.
  • Stay off your cell phones while driving.

Safety Tips for Walking or Cycling on Urban Trails

  • When rain is falling, it’s best not to walk or bike near a river or stream, even on urban bike and walking trails; water flow can quickly increase and flooding can occur without notice.
  • Move to higher ground and never go into a culvert! If you are on a streamside trail during a rainstorm use the alternate trail up to street level to avoid underpasses and culverts.
  • Never take shelter in a culvert, under a bridge, or in an enclosed space, especially in low elevations by rivers and streams. Always go to higher ground out of the flow of water.
  • If lightning is present, do not stand under or near an isolated tree or group of trees.

Key Points for Building Your Emergency Plan this Month

10/19/2019 (Permalink)

Choose at least two pre-planned places for your family to meet in case of an emergency. One should be right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as fire. The other should be outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

Hold evacuation drills at home, practice getting out of the house quickly and drive your planned evacuation route. The more you practice, the more confident you will be if you really need to evacuate.

Communication is a key component to your safety; make sure you have an out-of-town contact that will help your household reconnect after an emergency. Store an “In Case of Emergency” contact in your phone, have regular conversations about whom to text or call if you need help and where to go during and after an emergency.

Create a personalized plan and supply kit for your specific daily needs and responsibilities, taking into consideration any additional friends or family that may be included in your emergency plan, such as elderly neighbors or grandparents. Some key factors to consider when creating a supply list are: different ages within your household, medical and dietary needs including medications, children.

What You Need in a Disaster Supply Kit

10/19/2019 (Permalink)

While your family’s emergency preparedness supply kit and other essentials will be unique to you, there are a few basics that will help to prepare you for success, and get you started on the right track. Your kit should be organized and easily accessible, make sure your kit is easy to carry and contains these basics: water, medical supplies, medications, non-perishable foods, a hand powered radio, a manual can opener, a flashlight, batteries, spare clothing items including socks, blankets, cash, tools including a wrench and pliers, local maps and your emergency plan, contact information, important personal and financial information, and a first-aid kit.

It’s also recommended that you have backpack kits for each individual and secondary kits in cars, school lockers and work locations in case you are separated during an emergency situation. The point about Emergency Preparation is that you never know when or where a disaster could happen. It’s important to take steps now to help make sure you and your family will be prepared with needed supplies and essentials if a disaster strikes later. It’s our goal at SERVPRO of West Concord to be here to help you restore your property after a disaster, but we also want to try and help you be prepared to face a disaster and to take steps to try and avoid one.

If you have experienced a property disaster in the Concord area and require some restoration help, give SERVPRO of West Concord a call at (925) 681-9093.

How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage during a winter storm usually happens when your pipes freeze. When water freezes, it turns into ice. As it turns into ice, the space that the water takes up in the pipe gets bigger. The bigger the expansion, the more pressure that is created inside the pipe. Some pipes may just get bent out of shape, but others will eventually break. Pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside the home that are exposed to the cold air. Other vulnerable pipes are those indoors that don’t have access to heat, like those under your kitchen cabinets or in the garage.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

The best way to handle water damage is to do your best to prevent it from every happening. Although we have seen some pipes still burst even after precautions were taken, the damage that resulted was considerably less. You can’t always prevent things from happening, but you can always be prepared.

  • Insulate exposed and vulnerable pipes. You can do this by installing pipe sleeves or even wrapping the pipes with newspaper.
  • Keep the garage door closed to prevent cold air from coming in.
  • Allow warm air to circulate around the pipes by opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
  • Keep your home heated about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Are below freezing temperatures coming your way? If you notice that the weather is going to be getting a bit frigid start taking precautions now.

Our crews are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SERVPRO of West Concord is available to help! We can be reached anytime at (925) 681-9093.

Types of Storm Damage

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Here in the Concord region of California we can suffer from many types of storm damage. Some of these are wind damage, flood damage, and hail damage. Here are a few quick tips to consider should storm damage hit your home or commercial property.

Wind Damage Restoration

Your roof is particularly susceptible. Roof damage from strong winds may lift roof shingles, cause cracks, or remove part or the entire roof. Harsh winds and rain can shear away asphalt tiles. Flying debris can also cause cracks and holes in your roof and siding. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners and business owners after a disaster, especially because a roof leak may not be obvious.

Roof Leaks

A small roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions inside your home or business. Your best bet is to secure roof repair immediately after the wind damage. Doing so can prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage restoration expert, like the professionals at SERVPRO of West Concord, will help assure the homeowner or business owner receives a comprehensive roof assessment and roof repair services when wind damage hits the West Concord area.

Flood Damage & Recovery

If your home or business is near water or in a low-lying area, flood water damage is a risk. Heavy rains and flooding may cause water damage many miles from the coast or from any large body of water. If the land around your home or business cannot absorb the additional water flooding may happen. Even homes and businesses at high elevations can sustain flood damage if frozen pipes break. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some California locations, too.

Impact Damage and Recovery

In a major storm practically anything can become a creator of damage to your home or business. Think about trees. Your home may survive storm damage only to have a tree on your property succumb to the wind, hair, or rain and fall onto your house. A neighbor’s outdoor lawn furniture can become wind—blowing projectiles. Extreme wind pressure turns regular outdoor items into tools of destruction. After storm damage, the professionals at SERVPRO of West Concord can do a walk around to look for signs of these types of unusual damage.

The team at SERVPRO of West Concord has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, and mold remediation. Our staff is highly trained in building services and property damage restoration. We study IICRC standards and best practices in cleaning and restoration. Call SERVPRO of West Concord (925) 681-9093 at anytime.

Is Your Property Winter Ready?

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazer potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of West Concord to strike back! We can provide anything from temporary heat, desiccant dehumidification to water damage cleanup and repair. 

Smoke Alarms Can Save Lives When Properly Installed and Maintained

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms can save lives when properly installed and maintained.

  • In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement.
  • Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years.
  • Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years.
  • If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.
  • Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm.
  • Many fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.
  • If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department or a licensed electrician.
  • Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

Have questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage? Call Today – (925) 681-9093

Fire Prevention Tips for Your Apartment

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

A fire in a small space, such as your apartment, can spread quickly and become a deadly fire within just a few minutes. Just a few precautions taken beforehand can protect you, your apartment, and your belongings. Today, we’d like to share some fire prevention tips with you:

  • Inspection First. Take a good look around your home to make sure all potential hazards have been identified and eliminated:
    • Use surge protectors in place of overloaded circuits or extension cords
    • Appliance cords that are frayed or cracked are replaced immediately
    • No cords are being extended under rugs or between rooms
    • Space heaters are not being used near flammable materials, such as furniture and drapery. Make sure your space heaters are always turned off when the room is empty or everyone is going to bed
    • No matches or lighters are within reach of children
    • Candles and incense are never left unattended - make sure these items are used far away from curtains and other flammable materials
    • Items such as gasoline cans or propane tanks are not stored inside your apartment 
  • Kitchen Safety:   
    • Never leave food cooking on your stove unattended
    • Keep towels and potholders away from cooking areas
    • Don’t wear loosely fitted sleeves while cooking
  • Laundry Room Safety
    • Have your dryer installed and serviced by professionals
    • Always use a lint filter in your dryer, and clean it before or after every load 
    • Remove lint that collects around the drum of your dryer regularly
    • Make sure the right plug and outlet are being used and that your machine is connected properly
    • Never leave the dryer running when you go out of the apartment or when you go to bed
  • Smoke Alarms

Make sure there are smoke alarms in your apartment, and that they function correctly. There should be one installed outside of every sleeping area, and they should be tested once a month, with batteries changed at least once a year.

What is Soot?

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that the highest cause of house fires is from cooking? Usually when a homeowner leaves a pot or pan unattended and then only remembers it when smoke invades their home. It may not develop into fire damage to your property but rather smoke and soot damage that usually is worse than you would think. Although your kitchen cabinetry isn’t on fire and ruined there is still some specialized clean-up needing to be done from the smoke & soot.

Soot is a powdery, flaky substance composed of mostly carbon that is a result of incomplete combustion of materials like coal, oil, and wood. Not only is it harmful but it can also be a pain to remove due to its stickiness which can cause staining if not treated properly.

A chemical sponge is used to clean soot from walls. Commonly a chemical sponge may also reveal soot you did not notice was there.

When treating textiles, a heavy duty vacuum must be used before trying to clean them. Do not try to wash these in regular dry-cleaning or wash. Professional cleaners will need to use counteractants to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors.

It is highly recommended to hire a professional to properly handle clean-up and restoration to eliminate chances of staining and odor.

Have any questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage? Call SERVPRO of West Concord today! (925) 681-9093.

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Home dryer fires can cost millions of dollars in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, SERVPRO of West Concord can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. For more information on cleaning dryer vents, contact SERVPRO of West Concord at 925-681-9093.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

A leading cause of dryer fires in homes is the lack of dryer maintenance. Homeowners are reminded to take the following precautions:

Always:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the safe use of the dryer.
  • Inspect and clean the lint screen after each load of laundry. The build-up of lint can lead to a fire. Regularly remove lint from metal ducts and exhaust vents. The inside of the dryer cabinet should be cleaned as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Regularly inspect the air exhaust to ensure it is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer is operating.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer clear of items that can burn.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home if using a natural gas or propane dryer.
  • Ensure there are working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas.

Do Not:

  • Overload the dryer.
  • Exhaust the dryer indoors.
  • Dry materials or fabrics that have been saturated by chemicals, oils or gasoline (e.g. mops and towels and cloths saturated with wax, flammable solvents or vegetable oils). Even after washing, these substances can start a fire during the drying cycle.
  • Dry natural or synthetic rubber, rubber-coated sneakers, galoshes, foam pillows or any garment with foam padding (e.g. blouses with shoulder pads, bras, bicycle shorts)
  • Dry garments that have been cleaned with dry-cleaning fluid.
  • Use a dryer without a lint filter, or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services

Campfire Safety

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you prefer your campfires in the great outdoors or at the comfort of your own home, it is important to be safe before, during, and after enjoying some time by a fire outdoors. Here are 5 safety tips to consider before your next fire.

Look Up and Look Around- When choosing your fire pit, make sure it is not under any low-hanging branches or near any brush or bushes which can easily go up in flames. You should also keep a radius of 8 to 10 feet around the fire pit clear of tents, chairs, food, and any other items.

Safety Proof Your Pit- Before starting your fire, clear all debris from around the fire pit, including garbage and grass. There should be a five-foot perimeter of soil around the campfire space. If there is no metal ring, circle the pit with rocks. If your fire grows in size, this will help keep it within the borders of the fire pit. Keep any flammable items far from the fire, including aerosol cans and pressurized containers.

Keep Water Nearby- A big gust of wind or new piece of wood could cause your fire to grow larger than anticipated. In that case, always keep water, dirt or a shovel nearby to help reduce the flames or put the fire out completely if necessary.

Always Watch- Whether you are camping alone, with friends, or family, it is easy to get distracted and walk away from the fire. Regardless of what is going on around you, make sure someone always has an eye on the fire. It is especially important to keep an eye on pets and children that may be sitting or walking near the fire.

Extinguish Before Bed- When it is time for bed, you need to put out the fire. You can do this by putting water or dirt on top, then stirring the embers around with a shovel to ensure another fire won't start. Ideally, the coals should be wet and cold.

These tips will help keep your campfire or bonfire under control so you can sit back and enjoy some s'mores without worry.

Why Board Up After a Fire

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in West Concord, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Concord, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (925) 681-9093.

5 Places Water Damage Could Be Hiding

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage from a leaking appliance or from a flood can be easily identified (although that doesn’t make it better). When water damage like that happens, it is very noticeable, but, there could be water damage in your house that you can’t even see. Here are 5 overlooked spots that could have water damage:

  1. In the wall beneath a window: Rain can seep in between the window sash and jamb and trickle down to the framing studs in the wall. Prolonged leaks can rot the studs and other framing, leading to expensive repairs.
  2. Under the siding: Unsealed gaps allow water to enter the siding and eventually rot the plywood beneath.
  3. The exterior door threshold: Since this is exposed to water every time it rains, eventually the wood will swell and become spongy. This damage may not be noticed until the wood rots and can no longer support the metal threshold.
  4. Beneath the dishwasher: Leaks can develop in the water supply line that runs to the dishwasher. Since you can’t see under the dishwasher, over time a slow leak can do serious damage to the subfloor. You may not notice until you move the washer to replace it with a new one, only to find you’ll have to replace some of the floor as well.
  5. Under a wobbly toilet: Water can leak from around the wax ring at the base of the toilet. It is likely you would not see any water at all but it will be soaking into the subfloor the whole time. Sometimes the first indication is the toilet starting to wobble due to the floor supporting it rotting away.

Understanding Water Types

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals, and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

  • Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminates.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call your local professionals at SERVPRO of West Concord at 925-681-9093.

Where is my water shut off valve located?

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Do you know where your main water shut-off valve is located?

It’s important to know where it is in case of an emergency. If a pipe bursts or a toilet overflows, shutting off the water can help reduce water damage. Sometimes homeowners will shut off their water if they are leaving town or replacing plumbing as a precaution.

The location of your water shut-offs can vary, depending on location, water source and type of residence. Shut-off valves can be hard to find, so grab a flashlight.

More Than One Shut-Off Valve

There is usually more than one shut-off valve in your home – once for each appliance that uses water and a main shut-off for the entire home.

Shut-off valves are usually located near the item that needs the water supply, for instance your valves for your toilet, sink, or washing machine are usually behind the units or under the sink.

For example, if your toilet is going to overflow, don’t waste time running to the main shut-off, use the knob behind the toilet.

Main Valve Locations

If you have well water, you may have two main shut-off valves, one that goes from the well to the pressure tank and another from the tank to your plumbing. If you need to shut off the well quickly, you can trip the circuit breaker to the well to deactivate the well pump.

If you have city water, your valve may be located in your homes utility room, along with the furnace or water heater. It may also be located in a plastic or utility box in the ground in front of your home.

Too late for the shut-off valve?

If your home or business has experienced water damage, SERVPRO of West Concord can help.

If your home has water damage from flooding, a leaking pipe, or other source, you need the company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. We use advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help find the moisture and to remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.

State of the Art Equipment for Water Damages

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that staying on the cutting edge of technology in our industry will help our customers the most. That's why we add new equipment to our inventory on a regular basis. We are proud to be able to offer the best to our customers. 

You may be wondering why this is important. Check out this information found on aboveboardchamber.com: 

Many homeowners feel that if the water is removed, the work of water damage cleanup is done. This is because it is difficult to see or feel the extent of the saturation of water in building materials without moisture detection equipment used in the water damage industry. What follows is that either the homeowner will attempt to remove the water and simply place household fans around, with or without removing drywall; or they will tell the water damage restoration contractor to leave when the water is extracted and before equipment is placed. The paradox here is that these decisions are made to save time and money. In some cases, they may have done just that. However, in most cases, the resulting long term water damage is both costly and time consuming in addition to being inconvenient and stressful. Added to that is the fact that the cost of mold remediation consequent of an improperly dried flood damage will likely not be covered by insurance policies because the water damage or sewage damage was not dried properly to begin with.

You have probably noticed by now that it is not the water removal service that is the important part of taking care of water damage. It is actually the drying part that makes your home safe from long term mold or building material damage. In fact, there is no time to waste when it comes to drying a water damaged home. Mold begins to start growing within 24 hours and continues “growing like a weed” damaging building materials as it spreads.

Water damage restoration companies spend a tremendous amount of money on drying equipment for a very good reason. They dry quickly, effectively, and safely. After all, think about it, if we could just use household fans and a couple of blowers, we would save a tremendous amount of money on equipment. If I thought those types of equipment did an effective job, I would be all over saving money by purchasing those at less than $50 each rather than a $300-400 blower and $3000 dehumidifiers. However, I know the importance of having industrial equipment to keep your home safe and dry. Further, all of the equipment works together to both dry the structural materials (blowers), remove the moisture from the air as the wet materials dry and the water from them turns to vapor (dehumidifiers), and clean the air to prevent allergens that permeate through the air during drying (air scrubbers).

An Overview of Our Drying Equipment

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of West Concord has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our highly-trained technicians.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of West Concord to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent- based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor- causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Concord has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 925-681-9093.

The Myths About Mold

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to mold, there are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation that can lead to confusion for homeowners. Just the mention of the word "mold" can cause people to panic. While mold can be a very serious problem and should be taken seriously, it is important to have all the facts to be able to discern myth from fact so that you can make proper and informed decisions when necessary. 

  1. "Bleach Kills Mold"
    While bleach may be able to kill some types of mold on non-porous surfaces, it is unclear whether or not bleach can kill all types of mold, or if it can kill mold on porous surfaces like wood. Bleach is also a very corrosive agent and can pose its own health risks if used to kill mold. It's best to leave it to the professionals. 
  2. "You Don't Have to Remove Mold If You Kill It"
    Even if you are able to kill mold, you may not have removed the allergens that live in the mold. They can still be present even if the mold is killed. To fully protect yourself, removal of the affected areas is often necessary. You have to be careful not to spread the mold spores throughout your home when removing areas affected with mold. Professionals, like us, know how to set proper containment so that the mold allergens don't spread and further contaminate your home. 
  3. "A Little Mold Is Nothing to Worry About"
    If mold has become visible in your home, then chances are it has been growing for some time. Once mold becomes visible, it is important that you have the situation looked at, as there is more than likely more mold behind the surface. 
  4. "Mold Remediation Is Easy to Do On Your Own"
    This is usually not the case. Small areas of mold can sometimes be handled rather easily, but if the problem appears to be pervasive, it is best to call a professional. SERVPRO is always "Here to help!"

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