Recent Posts

The Danger of Frozen Pipes in the Winter

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A pipe showing freeze damage A frozen pipe can cause damage to your property

Frozen Pipes

When you think of storm damage, you usually picture flooded floors or shattered windows. Yet storms can also cause another type of harm to your Yucaipa, CA, property. Winter storms bring cold temperatures that can cause pipes to freeze. A frozen pipe can then burst, spraying water throughout the property.
Certain pipes are particularly prone to freezing. You should be especially cautious regarding pipes in cold locations such as:

  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Unheated walls
  • Basements
  • Outdoor areas

A burst pipe occurs when the water expands as it freezes. The frozen water soon runs out of room and presses against the pipe until it breaks.

Protecting Your Pipes
Before the winter season begins, you should protect your pipes from freezing. Any outdoor hoses should be stored inside, and valves supplying outdoor bibs should be closed. You should also drain any excess water from the sprinkler supply lines. Avoid putting antifreeze in these lines, as this could damage the landscape.
If your building has an attic or basement, you should consider adding insulation to those areas. This will limit the chances of a burst pipe flooding those rooms.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
Once the cold weather arrives, you should keep the interior temperature of your building higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit — even when the office is closed. Otherwise, the pipes will get too cold. While this may increase your heating bill, a flood from a broken pipe is much more costly.
You may also want to keep any bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors open during the winter. This will allow warmer air to circulate through the pipes in those areas.
A broken pipe is a potentially harmful consequence of winter storms. Left unaddressed, the standing water from a shattered pipe can soak your assets and encourage mold growth. You should thus take steps to protect your pipes from cold temperatures. If water from a burst pipe does flood your property, storm cleanup professionals can help with the restoration.

Can Electronics be Salvaged After a Fire?

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Electronic damaged with smoke, on the middle of the picture it says ELECTRONIC WITH SMOKE DAMAGE Smoke can cause extensive damage to electronics

If your home in Mentone, CA, should become damaged by fire, it's important to know all is not lost. Your insurance company will work with you to make sure your home receives professional fire cleanup, your home is restored and your losses are recovered. There may even be some items, such as electronic, that can be cleaned and brought back to working order.

Smoke Damaged Electronics

During a fire, smoke damage will occur throughout the home. It can seep into the smallest crevices and cover them in residue. Smoke can cause extensive damage to electronics, even when they weren't in the actual fire. You may have electronics in your home that are irreplaceable. For those electronics, your restoration company has the expertise to bring them back to life, if that is a possible option.
Electronic items are valuable to the owner. Items that you can be restored include:

  • computers
  • phones
  • televisions
  • printers
  • medical equipment
  • antique and collectible electronic equipment

The Fire Cleanup Process for Electronics
The restoration technician who works on your electronics uses special equipment to ensure further damage doesn't occur during the cleaning process. The longer smoke, soot, and residue stay on the components inside your electronics, the more prone they are to further and irreversible damage. The technician can make sure every crevice is reached and cleaned.
Afterward, your device will be deodorized, as the smell of smoke can be powerful and unpleasant. Last, the tech will do any necessary repairs and replace any components that have been lost. Once your item is refurbished, it will be returned to you in its fully functional state.
While experiencing fire damage to your home can be devastating, the cleanup phase can offer some bright moments. Many of your possessions are easily replaced or repaired, and your home can be restored. As you go through the process of recovering, try to focus on these bright spots and the people who are there to see you through.

What Is Category 3 Flood Water?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

If your business in Redlands, CA, has recently experienced flooding, you might be wondering whether or not it is safe to stay in the area and try to clean up the water until help arrives. While water that comes from a clean water source such as a leaking faucet or burst pipe is safe to interact with, you have a larger problem on your hands if dealing with Category 3 flood water. Here is some useful information on what Category 3 water is, where it comes from, and how to clean it up.

What Is Category 3 Water?

Also referred to as black water, Category 3 water is considered contaminated water that can cause serious harm or even death to people or pets that ingest it. This type of flood water might contain feces, dangerous chemicals, or other substances that can serious diseases such as hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, tetanus, norovirus, tuberculosis, or West Nile virus.

Where Does It Come From?

The easiest way to determine if you are dealing with Category 3 water is to identify the source of the flood water. Common sources include:

  • Overflowing toilet
  • Backed-up sewer main
  • Broken sewer lines
  • Flash flooding
  • Storms

Additionally, standing water that is clean or lightly contaminated can eventually become Category 3 water over time if not quickly dried and cleaned.

How Do You Clean It?

It is important to never try and clean black water on your own. Anyone who tries to clean contaminated water without the right equipment and expertise can become seriously sick or spread the disease. Instead, call a water damage cleaning and restoration company to get rid of the Category 3 water, address any storm damage, and completely sanitize the area.
There is no question that no one wants to have to deal with Category 3 flood water in their commercial building. However, if the situation ever does arise, is important to act quickly and get help from a qualified team of restoration specialists.

Top 5 Mold FAQs

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Commercial mold damage in Mentone, CA

Read Up On The Following Frequently Asked Mold Questions

A mold infestation can be overwhelming. If you don't have experience dealing with mold growth, it can be difficult to figure out where to start in order to resolve the issue. Arm yourself with knowledge and read up on the following frequently asked mold questions if you believe that your home in Mentone, CA, may be at risk.

1. What does mold look like?
Mold spreads across a surface like a stain. It's typically black, green or blue and may have a fuzzy or slimy texture. Each species of mold is different and will have a different look as a result.

2. Is mold common?
Yes, mold growth is very common. Buildings that have experienced flooding or some other type of water damage are at a particularly high risk if the water isn't dried up immediately. Mold will also fester in high humidity environments.

3. How can you tell that you have a mold problem?
If you see mold, then you have a mold problem. There's also a good chance that you'll be able to smell it.

4. How can you prevent mold?
There are many methods that can help prevent mold. Many tactics are centered around staying vigilant and keeping moisture to a minimum. Controlling the humidity in your home is key, as is repairing leaks and water damage as soon as possible. Regular mold inspections for problem areas can also help catch mold infestations early.

5. Where does mold usually grow?
A good rule of thumb is to look for mold in places that come into frequent contact with water. This includes the showers and tubs in your bathrooms, the sinks, and dishwashers in your kitchen and the washing machines in your laundry room.
Mold growth education is a good first step when it comes to combating the problem. However, you can still fall victim to a mold problem even if you do manage to stay on top of all the proper preventative measures. If this happens, make sure to contact mold remediation specialists as soon as possible to help resolve the issue.

What Is Considered Category 3 Water Damage?

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Refrigerator Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source.

If you are dealing with water damage in your facility in Redlands, CA, you should be aware of the three types of damage that can occur. Flood water is listed in the most serious category, but let’s take a brief look at all three categories.

Types of Water Damage

The type of water determines how much care must be taken cleaning it up:

Clean Water Damage (Category 1): This type of damage is caused by a burst pipe or broken water supply line. Because the water has not been contaminated with sewage and toxins, it is considered "clean."
Grey Water Damage (Category 2): Water that has leaked from appliances like dishwashers and sump pumps is classified as grey water. This water has come in contact with potential contaminants, such as detergents and other cleaning products.
Black Water Damage (Category 3): Black water is the most serious kind of water damage and must be dealt with quickly. It can be caused by such things as flood water, sewage, toilet overflow and ground water.

Solutions for Removing Water Damage
While black water damage is the most severe, all types of damage must be handled by a professional water damage repair service as soon as possible. Technical experts are trained to identify the type of damage you have, and they can offer the best solutions to restore your property and equipment.
Industrial pumps and vacuums are used to remove the water. Specialized dehumidifiers and air movers dry the entire area, including furniture and structures. A number of different cleaning techniques can be used to remove the dirt. Antimicrobial treatments can sanitize and remove mold from carpeting and drywall, and air scrubbers remove odors from the air. Restoration can take place once the entire area has been cleaned and sanitized.
Don't attempt to clean flood water and other types of water damage in your facility. Call a water damage expert right away to ensure your commercial building is restored quickly and thoroughly.

Sprinkler System Service is Everyone’s Responsibility

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Sprinkler maintenance is not a job for your in-house plumbers and electricians. Your local fire department and insurer expect licensed fire sprinkler technicians to perform those tasks. Still, your in-house personnel can fill essential roles in sprinkler system maintenance. These roles fall into three categories.

Inspect the Sprinkler System Network

Your in-house plumbing system gets constant use. Meanwhile, your fire sprinklers quietly stand guard over your business, waiting for a fire that may never occur. Like all plumbing, this network of pressurized pipes is susceptible to leaks and other problems. Review of the network should include:

  • Inspection of the pipe-hangers to make sure that the pipes are secure.
  • Checking for leaks and signs of corrosion.
  • Testing all valves to make sure that they turn and can shut off the water when necessary.

Perform this inspection with great care, especially near the sprinkler heads. One tiny slip-up could result in a wet workspace and a very unhappy fire chief.

Monitor the Water in the System

Your sprinkler system requires pressurized water to do its job. It’s important to monitor the pressure. A problem with the water pressure requires an immediate call for sprinkler maintenance.
During the winter months, sections of your sprinkler system may be susceptible to freezing. Check for frozen pipes during those times. Introducing an approved antifreeze solution into the water supply might help alleviate this problem.

Test the Electronic Components of the System

If your equipment has a self-test capability, you should perform that test periodically. You should also test the phone line used to contact the fire department. Before testing, it is always a good idea to tell your fire department what you are doing. After the test, be sure to tell them that testing is complete.
Hopefully, nobody accidentally triggers a sprinkler head during routine sprinkler maintenance. If it happens, take comfort in the fact that there is a local team of water removal specialists in the Yucaipa, CA, area ready to move in and handle your problem. They are just a phone call away.

What You Should Know About Cleaning Sewage Backup

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO technicians trying to get equipment inside a van Sewage cleanup is best left to the professionals.

Perhaps a less common but nevertheless serious consequence of a bad storm is sewer backup into your home or property. Raw sewage is not only disgusting in sight and smell but dangerous as well due to the presence of disease-causing microbes such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. If you ever have to deal with backed-up sewage in Yucaipa, CA, you need to understand the steps necessary to not only clean up your property but to also keep you and others safe. With the exception of a minor spill from a toilet, sink, or bathtub backup, sewage cleanup is best left to the professionals.

Important Steps After Backup

There are four key steps to follow after a sewer backup or flooding has occurred in your home:

  • First, determine if it’s safe to enter your home. Not only are there dangers associated with exposure to raw sewage, but there may be hazards posed by electrical and mechanical systems.
  • Assess whether the sewer or septic systems connected are continuing to back up. You may be able to shut off the water supply to prevent further backup.
  • Clean up any spillage. In addition to the dangers posed by the contaminants in sewage, mold growth also poses issues. Again, it is recommended that you get a professional cleanup service to handle it.
  • Prevent future backup. You should call a professional to make repairs to prevent future recurrence of the problem.

Other Actions To Take
If the sewer backup came by way of an external wastewater line, you should notify your local jurisdiction to explain the problem so that repairs can be made. If the backup occurs in your yard, you should still be cautious about exposure, especially if you have pets and children that play outside. Outdoor elements such as rain and soil bacteria may be sufficient for cleanup as long as the root cause of the malfunction is repaired.

How To Prevent Water Damage and Mold

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on walls and floor Microbial mold growth in Redlands, CA

Preventing Water Damage and Mold In Your Property

A damp indoor environment for any amount of time is never a good thing for the structure of your home in Redlands, CA. Standing water and damp surfaces are an invitation to feast for wood-eating insects and fungi such as mold. Mold prevention should always be your priority if you suspect water damage is present. Such damage occurs when indoor surfaces are exposed to water for extended periods of time.
Preventing mold begins by ensuring the materials in your home stay dry. A damp environment can be caused by the following:

  • Uncontrolled humidity
  • Wet carpeting that has not been dried properly
  • Wet ceiling insulation caused by leaking roofs
  • Moisture in the floors caused by leaking pipes

When Damage Occurs
Once moisture damage is suspected, anticipated or proven, homeowners need to take action immediately to mitigate further damage to problem areas. Homeowners should never attempt to address these issues themselves. Once mold growth has presented itself, certified remediation specialists need to be brought into the home with specialized cleaning equipment to ensure the home is safely brought back to its pre-damage state.

Maintaining the Health of Your Home
Most people don't realize how easy water damage and mold prevention can be. You can stop a wet mess before it happens by doing the following:

Know your attic. Inspect the roof for signs of water leaks with the change of each season.
Regularly inspect under sinks and anywhere water runs in your home, including the lines to the refrigerator and washing machine. If there are leaks, water could be building up beneath your subfloor.
Have your HVAC inspected before switching from heating to cooling and visa versa.
Control indoor humidity with air conditioning and fans.

The better you know your home, the more able you'll be to identify any abnormal changes. Taking a little time for mold prevention measures can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road.

Do You Need a Security Fence After a Fire?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire A security fence will reduce the risks of further damage and theft to your property

After you have sustained fire damage to your commercial property in Mentone, CA, you may not realize that a temporary security fence is important. If you don't secure your building, however, you increase the risk of further damage and liability. Let's look at the reasons why fencing and covering exposed areas can reduce your concerns.

Protect Your Property From Trespassers

Some people get very curious when they see a damaged building. They may just want to explore the property, but it could be unsafe. They might be exposed to a gas leak or slip on a wet floor. The fence will not only discourage the curious person from entering, but it will protect you from liability.
There are some people who's intentions are not as innocent. They may see an abandoned building as an opportunity to vandalize or steal equipment or property.
Animals, who can cause serious damage, may want to scavenge the empty building.

A security fence will reduce the risks of further damage and theft to your property. Some insurance companies state that any damages that occur after the firefighters leave may not be covered. You could be financially responsible for the aftermath. Contact a fire damage assessment professional as soon as the fire department leaves your property. The technical expert can not only help with the entire restoration process but will give you advice on the type of fencing and other materials that will be best to secure your property.

Protect Your Building From Weather Conditions
In addition to protecting your building from trespassers, you need to keep out rain and snow. It's important to board up the exposed areas as soon as possible and cover the roof with plastic sheeting or a tarp.
Your property has likely sustained significant damage after a fire. Installing a security fence will reduce or prevent any further damage, as well as theft and liability.

Items To Throw out After a Fire

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Makeup products with cosmetic bag and macaroons on light background You shouldn't keep any cosmetics that may have been close to the fire or in contact with smoke

What Contents Should You Throw Away After A Fire?

The nightmare of suffering a fire in your home can be devastating. There's a high risk that you could lose your home and everything inside. The good news is that you can salvage many belongings, especially when you hire a reputable professional fire cleanup company. Keep in mind, however, that some damaged items in your home will suffer too much smoke damage and pose dangers to your health if you save them. Others will be far too ruined. It's important to know what contents in your home you must throw away after a fire.

Building Materials
The flames and high heat of a fire can devastate your Redlands, CA, home. The building materials will often bear the burn of this disaster. Fire crews and cleanup teams will assess the damage of the following items, though it is likely that professionals will have to replace and rebuild them:

  • Drywall
  • Wood
  • Roofing material
  • Carpet

After a fire, it's best to not hang onto any food you have in your kitchen. This includes the refrigerator. If it's safe to go into your home, evaluate what items you can salvage. In the meantime, throw away food in your pantries and fridge. The intense heat will make your food unsanitary, so it's not worth the chance of eating them. Play it safe and toss even those items you think may have not been affected such as canned goods.

Cosmetics and Medicine
If you have makeup in your home, there's a good chance they suffered too much fire damage after the incident. The cleanup professionals can advise you on what to do, but in most cases, you shouldn't keep any cosmetics that may have been close to the fire or in contact with smoke. You should also dispose of any medication after a fire. This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter items.
It may be difficult to throw away these items. However, your safety and well-being are critical.