Picking up the Pieces After a Flood
Contact SERVPRO if you experience residential or commercial flooding.
Flood damage can be mitigated, but often even the best precautions fail to protect property against the water wrath of Mother Nature, especially in Costa Mesa, CA. A house can go from pristine to filthy after a flood, and the tricky part is going from flood to clean again. The EPA has certain cleaning requirements after a flood, which include regulations regarding:
• The type of flood disinfectant used
• In what manner waste is disposed of
• Air quality within the home post-flood
Damaged Items and Property
Personal items are often damaged during a flood. Items in lower floors of buildings are the most effected, while residual moisture can seep higher in buildings after the flood has passed and affect belongings on upper floors. Cleaning requirements regarding personal items are left to the discretion of the owner. If an item can be salvaged and is not too heavily damaged, it may be in the owner’s best interest to keep the article and restore it.
Making a House Livable Again
Beyond structural damage and loss of personal belongings, flood cleanup mainly focuses on making a structure livable again. This requires the removal of mud and sewage that was washed into a structure during high water events, the drying of the area to render the home dry, and the removal of microorganisms that may have spread during and after the flood. Human waste carrying pathogenic organisms could have been washed into the home as sewers were flooded. Mold often grows rampant after flooding, the spores of which are carried throughout the home by currents of air.
It can be important to follow EPA guidelines when it comes to the proper disposal of human waste if it is present in a home after a flood. Cleaning requirements concerning this type of muck can be found on the EPA website or on other pages that focus on flood cleanup. Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on storm damage.
How To Handle Commercial Storm Damage
A storm in Costa Mesa, CA has massive potential for destruction, whether it’s causing traffic accidents with slippery driving conditions or knocking down branches with harsh winds. The aftermath of a blizzard can often be severe, but a bit of planning and preparation can help protect your commercial property in extreme weather. Some causes of storm damage are beyond your control, but frozen pipes, common in the winter months, can be fairly easy to manage if you follow these steps.
The water inside your plumbing may freeze and expand in frigid temperatures, potentially causing a pipe break. To avoid this, try to keep pipes away from prolonged exposure to the cold. This may mean getting warmer air to them by opening bathroom and kitchen doors or closing garage doors to keep the worst of the cold out. Keep your thermostat at a reasonable temperature instead of turning the heat off at night. Running cold water through the pipes, even a tiny trickle, will keep things moving and reduce risk of freezing.
If you turn on the faucet during a winter storm and barely anything comes out, it’s likely that the pipes have already frozen. In this case, leave the tap running to help the ice melt as you try to thaw out the pipes. Plumbing on the exterior walls of your building is more exposed to the cold, making those sections your most likely culprits. Try applying heat with hot towels, a hair dryer, or a space heater. Avoid more dangerous methods such as using a blowtorch or charcoal stove. Keep thawing until your water is running at full pressure again.
If your attempts are unsuccessful, you may have to contact a plumber. If your pipes do break, consider having a professional help you with the water damage. The next time you see a winter storm coming, take the necessary precautions to keep your company running as usual. Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
How To Prepare for an Adjuster’s Visit
If you’re filing an insurance claim for damage to your home, your insurance company will require that a home adjuster, who is professionally trained to assess damage for insurance claims, review the domicile. While insurance companies are happy to send adjusters that work for them, you can also hire your own public adjuster in Costa Mesa, CA to do the assessment.
Either way, your claim will be most successful if you prepare for the adjuster’s visit in advance. In general, the more information and evidence of damage you can provide to the adjuster, the more likely your insurance company is to pay for damages. Follow these basic steps to get ready for an adjuster’s visit.
1. Make a Visual Record of All Damage
Take photographs or videos of all the damage in your home. This includes damage to possessions like electronics, furniture and carpets as well as structural damage to walls, floors, sheds and swimming pools. This provides irrefutable evidence of the damage. Make sure you don’t throw anything away or make any permanent repairs until after the adjuster’s visit.
2. Take a Complete Inventory of Damaged Items
At the least you’ll need to make a list of everything that was damaged. Information should include the make and model, the item's age and the condition it was in before it was damaged. If you have purchase receipts you should gather these together and give them to the home adjuster.
3. Get Estimates for Clean-Up and Repairs
Contact disaster mitigation services and building contractors in Costa Mesa, CA to provide official estimates for the cost of cleaning up and restoring your home. Give these estimates to the adjuster along with the inventory and visual record of damages. By providing evidence for how much everything will cost, you’re making it clear to your insurance company what needs to be paid for.
Before a home adjuster comes to assess damage to your home, make sure you have made detailed records of the damage. This means you can point it out to the adjuster and provide documentation of what everything is worth and how much it will cost to repair or replace. Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on water damage.
What Promotes Mold Growth?
This home suffered from Mold found in the ceiling. SERVPRO responded immediately and began clean up procedures.
If you’ve noticed patches of black, green or even pink mold around your house or on old food, you may wonder why you get mold growth in some areas but not others. Mold is a fungus, and like most fungus, it thrives in dark, moist places that provide adequate food. Mold can derive nutrition from almost anything, including:
• Fallen trees
• Decomposing leaves
• Wood floors
• The organic matter in dust
Since mold food is virtually everywhere, it’s primarily moisture that determines where it grows.
Leaks and Seepage
If you’re finding mold around your house, it may be a result of water leaking or seeping into your home. Roofs, windows and doors are all common places for rainwater leakage. Leaking pipes under sinks or inside walls can also be a source of water damage that leads to mold growth. If you live at the foot of a slope, water can collect around your foundation and cause seepage into your basement, creating perfect conditions for mold. Monitoring your home regularly for signs of water damage can help you prevent the conditions mold favors.
If your home experiences flooding, it’s important to call in a remediation professional in Costa Mesa, CA to handle the water damage as soon as possible, otherwise mold growth can begin within 24 to 48 hours.
In Costa Mesa, CA humid weather can create ideal conditions for mold growth, even in the absence of leaks or seepage. Keeping your home well-ventilated can help, as can running a dehumidifier or air conditioner on hot days. Opening your closet doors to allow air flow can help prevent mold growth. Leaving some space between your furniture and the walls can also allow for ventilation and prevent moisture from building up.
Mold spores are carried on air currents, so they can be found everywhere, outdoors and indoors. They can also get their nutrition from just about anything, including your home’s building materials. The one thing they can’t live without is plenty of moisture. If you want to prevent mold growth in your home, keep it dry and well-ventilated. Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on mold.
What should I do if the power goes out?
Losing power can be frustrating in general, but when your business loses power, it can be downright debilitating. Not only do you have to worry about the safety of your employees and customers, but also you must contend with the downed systems and, quite possibly, lost data and information that are par for the course with a power outage. While there is nothing that you can do to protect against losses accrued during that initial moment of blackout, there are some steps you can take to minimize further loss:
- Stay calm.
- Turn off unnecessary electronics and appliances.
- Turn on generator if you have one.
- Report the outage to your local Costa Mesa, California, electric company.
Follow these little steps to keep you company busy during a power outage.
Visit our website for more information about commercial storm damage.
Stay Calm During a Power Outage
Human Safety Comes Before Property
It goes without saying that you need to remain calm if you want to keep all of your employees and customers safe. A panic during a blackout may only result in unnecessary injuries and, therefore, increased liability for your business. Staying calm is the first step when taking care of those involved.
Though the power is already out, you need to turn off and unplug your electronics. This will help you preserve as much information and data as possible. When the power comes back on, you may experience a power surge, which could end up frying your systems and gadgets. Typically, it's when the power comes back on after a power outage that the most damage occurs.
Visit our website for more information about commercial damage.
Does your company have a generator?
If you have a commercial generator, a power outage is the time to bust it out. A generator or other alternative energy source, such as , can allow you to conduct business as usual even when every other business around is down.
Once everyone is calm and additional safety measures are met, reach out to your Costa, Mesa, electric company to report the outage. The company may have information for you regarding the source of the outage and be able to provide you with info about when it expects your power to be restored.
A power outage can be frustrating, but there are ways that you can help minimize loss. Stay calm, remember to unplug, turn to your generator and report the issue to ensure the outage goes as smoothly as possible.
If you have a damage due to the power outage, give SERVPRO of Costa Mesa a call at (949) 566-8887.
3 Reasons Household Bleaches Do Not Eliminate Mold
When mold invades your Costa Mesa, CA business, it can be difficult to eliminate. Mold can develop quickly where you may not see it, such as near an undetected leak in your building’s restroom. However, fungus cleanup may not be effective and the mold might return if it is not dealt with properly. Most commercial cleaning products, including household bleaches, do not eliminate mold, and there are several reasons you may want to avoid them and call in a professional instead.
1. Bleaches Add Moisture to Moldy Areas
Commercial bleach contains a great deal of water, so when you spray it onto areas affected by mold, you may be doing more harm than good. While some spores may be eliminated, the water contained in most bleaches can leave even more moisture behind, giving mold a new opportunity to start growing again. This can cause a cycle of cleaning and mold growth that can be both costly and frustrating for you as a business owner.
2. Treated Cloths Do Not Affect Mold Roots
If you have a mold problem in places such as your building’s restrooms, breakroom or employee fridge, you may think that wiping them down with cleanser-treated cloths will eliminate it. However, these cloths may not be completely effective for fungus cleanup because mold has roots that can grow down into porous surfaces. While scrubbing down countertops and shelves may wipe away visible mold, the roots can remain and allow it to grow anew.
3. Professional Mold Remediation Can Provide Long-Term Results
A professional mold remediation company can treat your commercial building by using machines and techniques that cleanup mold permanently. This includes isolating the area and using negative air pressure that eliminates surface mold and the roots as well. These treatments can be more effective than using commercial bleaches or other cleansers.
Mold issues can devastate your Costa Mesa, CA business. Because commercial bleaches are not always effective for fungus cleanup, calling in professional mold remediation can provide you with a permanent and long-term solution.
Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on mold.
The Smoke Damage Timeline
If you’ve suffered a fire in your commercial building then you know how difficult it is to get back up and running. Not only do you need to make sure that the fire doesn’t happen twice, but you need your company to thrive. The problem is that some people wait too long when it comes to smoke damage. If you don’t understand why this is a problem, here is what happens when you wait.
1. Minutes After a Fire
As soon as the fire is put out, the soot and residue starts to settle in. One of the reasons you want to catch smoke damage early is because it’s easier to stop the effects from happening as quickly. Most smoke will begin to stain surfaces right away.
2. Hours After a Fire
It only takes hours after a fire to start to see all of the effects that it had. Your wooden furniture may look rugged and in need of refinishing. You may recognize that anything metal has begun to rust and that the walls are turning yellow. Even your clothes may be permanently stained by the soot damage. In just hours following the fire, your flooring, walls and clothing may sustain enough damage to need replacing.
3. Weeks After a Fire
Once you wait weeks after a fire, the soot will have done further damage to surfaces. As the soot embeds itself into the surfaces, it becomes more difficult to clean out. It can completely bury electronics, cause short-circuiting and be impossible to clean out of fabrics.
You never want to wait to have a thorough smoke cleaning performed by restoration specialists. There is enough to worry about when it comes to fire damage to a commercial building in Costa Mesa, CA. It’s important that you take care of any problems with smoke damage as soon as possible. After all, time is of the essence. Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Preparing Pets for Fire Emergencies
Disasters such as fires can happen to any family in homes across Costa Mesa, CA. You need to consider pet safety as well as your own in the event of a fire. Your pets are vulnerable during fires, too, so it’s vital to have the right pet preparation to ensure they escape the devastating effects of fires and smoke damage.
1. Include your pets in your escape plans. If you don’t have a family escape plan in the event of a fire emergency, it’s time to create one now. Have an evacuation plan for pets. Have pet ownership and vaccinations records in a fire box. Decide how to quickly get your pets out without compromising your own safety. Time your escape and work on ways to shave seconds off of your route.
2. Practice is essential for your safety and for your pets. Going over your escape plan several times is critical for pet preparation. Train your pet, when possible and applicable to come when called.
3. Leave without your pets if necessary. It sounds terrible, but in a worst-case scenario, don’t go back inside to get a pet if it isn’t safe to do so. While you care deeply for your companion and for pet safety, don’t put your own life in danger or the life of a child to save a pet.
4. Reduce the risk of fire in your home. The best way to keep yourself and your pets safe in a fire is to never have a fire. Be wary of open flames in your home, such as candles, especially flames in reach of your pets.
A fire emergency is a real concern for any homeowner in Costa Mesa, CA. Pet preparation and safety are important factors as you consider how to avoid fires and how to get out of your home if one starts. Consult the trusted experts for advice on fire safety for pets. Visit http://www.SERVPROcostamesa.com for more information on fire damage.