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Salvaging Mold Damaged Items

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food If there is visible mold on your food it needs to be tossed

Mold spores only need moisture, warm temperatures and an organic food source to grow in your Downtown Costa Mesa, CA, home. Since organic materials are everywhere in a house, even a small leak can lead to the perfect environment for fungus to flourish. Although some items may not be salvageable, procuring the mold cleaning services of a mold damage and mitigation specialist may help you save more of your belongings.

What Should Be Tossed

When porous items have been immersed in water or have been close enough to unwanted water to start forming mold, many of them will need to be tossed. Items that should almost always be discarded if they have visible mold include:

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Carpet padding
  • Stuffed animals
  • Mattresses
  • Food and food appliances

While some upholstered furnishings and sentimental documents or photo albums may be lost, it is important to talk to a professional before discarding them. They have many high-tech mold cleaning techniques that may be viable solutions.

What May Be Professionally Cleaned
When choosing the mold remediation services of a professional, you get experts who are trained to save as many of your belongings as possible. These methods include dry, wet, spray and wipe, foam, abrasive and immersion cleaning. These methods are often used on furniture, clothing, shoes, curtains and similar items. When it comes to more sensitive items, such as photo albums and important documents, the degree of damage and type of item will determine the restoration route, which includes air drying, dehumidification, freezer drying, vacuum freeze drying and vacuum thermal drying. Many of your electronic devices may also be restored. A specialized technician will inspect, clean and test them to ensure they safely work.
When faced with an unwanted fungus in your home, it is important to remember that although there may be some losses, professional mold cleaning services may be able to restore many of your cherished items.

5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Turn off the main valve right before you leave for vacation

Save Your Property From Disaster

Few things are more frustrating than returning home from a lovely vacation just to find that your Costa Mesa, CA, home flooded while you were gone. Simple tactics, such as a water pipe repair, a gutter sweep and several other methods could be enough to save your property from disaster.

1. Shut Off Your Main Water Valve.
This is the easiest way to prevent water damage. Turn off the main valve right before you leave for vacation to prevent water from entering your home. After you do so, test to see whether you were successful by turning on a faucet.

2. Clear Out Your Gutters.
Your home's gutters are intended to catch water running off of your roof and divert it away from your property. When they become obstructed, water pools on the roof and runs down the sides of your home, resulting in a flooded basement. You should regularly clear out your gutters, but make sure to also do so before you leave for vacation.

3. Prevent Freezing Pipes.
Always take your region's temperature into consideration. If you plan to leave during the colder months, make sure to turn your home's heat up to at least 60 degrees while you're gone to prevent the pipes from freezing.

4. Upgrade to Stainless Steel Supply Lines.
Plastic supply lines are significantly more likely to rupture while you're away. Upgrading to stainless steel can help prevent a broken pipe. The good news is that these supply lines are not costly to replace, and are significantly less expensive than an unnecessary water pipe repair job.

5. Shut Off Valves to Major Appliances.
You should have already shut off your main water valve, but you can never be too careful. Make sure to turn off the valves for major appliances, such as your washing machine and dishwasher. You should also shut off the supply valves for your toilets and sinks.
Preventing unnecessary damage is significantly easier than having to deal with bigger issues, like a water pipe repair or a flood. Contact water remediation experts for more information and assistance protecting your home from water damage.

What Is a Flood Cut?

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak Flood cuts are needed after floodwaters have been inside a building and caused damage

After flooding in your commercial building, a flood cut may be necessary in certain areas. This involves cutting open a wall at least a foot above where water was, so that you may lose a good portion of the wall. If you need to have this done in your business, you probably have many questions about the process.

When Is It Needed?

Flood cuts are needed after floodwaters have been inside a building and caused damage. Disasters which can lead to such damage include:

  • Hurricanes
  • Thunderstorms
  • Broken dams

Aside from flooding, you may need a cut after contaminants touch your walls. However, there are very few situations this would happen outside of a flood.

Why Is a Flood Cut Needed?
These are necessary because floodwaters are contaminated. Anything this water touches needs to be either cleaned or removed. Drywall cannot be cleaned, so it needs to be removed by a flood cut.
During this process, your damaged drywall is cut, removed, and thrown out. This can be a hazardous procedure, and PPE is often required. Extensive cleaning can continue after the flood cut is completed.

How Does This Help With Decontamination?
Making a flood cut is the beginning of the decontamination process. Your floors, furniture, and other items have all been exposed to the same contamination. Therefore, you need to have your space thoroughly cleaned. This involves removing all items from your building and drying all exposed surfaces so they can be decontaminated. Bactericides, fungicides, and virucides may be used to clean every surface.
Any business in Costa Mesa, CA, is susceptible to flooding. If it happens to you, you may need to have extensive work done on your building, such as a flood cut. If you are not comfortable performing this cut and tear out of drywall, you should hire qualified storm damage restoration professionals to perform your building's decontamination.

What Are a Landlord’s Obligations After an Apartment Fire?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

apartment fire Apartment fire in Fairview Park, CA

When the smoke clears after an apartment fire, who pays for what can seem anything but clear. Make sure you understand your obligations, as well as what to expect your tenant to handle.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

After a fire, the property owner is responsible for restoring the property to a livable condition. This means:

  • Repairing any damages to the structure
  • Restoring all major systems, such as electrical and plumbing, to working order
  • Repairing or replacing any fixtures or appliances that were included per the rental agreement

Your homeowners insurance should cover most repair costs and fire restoration expenses. You’ll need to pay your deductible, as well as the cost of anything that is specifically excluded from your policy. If the tenants were clearly at fault for causing the fire, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the tenant’s renters insurance company. If your tenant does not have renters coverage, your insurance provider may seek reimbursement from the tenant directly.

Tenant’s Responsibilities
In the event of an apartment fire, tenants are responsible for all personal property that did not come with the apartment, such as clothing, furniture and electronics. In most cases, these will be covered by renters insurance. The tenant’s renters insurance should also cover the cost of temporary housing in Fairview Park, CA, for the tenant(s) while repairs are being made.
Note: Unless you’re providing or paying for temporary housing, you’ll need to pro-rate and/or refund any rent paid for the days when the apartment was uninhabitable. If the fire damage is extensive, or the property will be uninhabitable for an indefinite period of time, you and your tenant should consider the lease to be terminated, and any deposits should be refunded.
No one likes to think about an apartment fire, but it’s important to understand the division of responsibilities between you and your tenant(s). If possible, include an emergency clause in your lease agreement that clearly spells out each party’s obligation well in advance of a disaster.

What Are the Different Types of Water Damage?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle There are three categories of water damage

Three Categories Of Water Damage

If your business in Fairview Park, CA, has experienced a recent flood, broken pipe or other type of significant water damage, the first thing a water mitigation company will do is determine the category of water damage to understand how to properly fix it. The company may address issues such as a water pipe repair to help mitigate damages before they become a bigger issue.
There are three categories of water damage, which are based on how contaminated the water has become.

Category 1
Category 1 water damage refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a health risk to humans. Examples of category 1 water damage include:

  • Bathtub or sink overflow
  • Broken water supply lines
  • Appliance issues

This is referred to as "clean water" because it is free of toxins and sewage.

Category 2
Category 2 is known as gray water. Gray water may come from toilets, dishwashers or washing machines.
Gray water can also be a result of category 1 water that has been left out too long or water that has come into contact with building materials. If a water pipe repair is needed but is put off for too long, although it is initially a category 1, it could seep through building materials onto a lower floor. The water on the lower floor would be classified as category 2.

Category 3
Category 3 is called black water. Black water is the most unsanitary type of water because it can contain bacteria and viruses. Black water requires immediate action from a water restoration company. This category includes sewage, seawater and rising flood waters. Even after mitigation, your business may need to be disinfected and items or materials may need to be removed.
In the event your businesses becomes flooded, either through natural causes like a storm or by putting off a water pipe repair, the clean-up process may seem overwhelming. Your first step should be to call in a professional restoration company to assess the category of water damage.

Hail Damage: Inspect To Protect Your Roof

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster marked the hail damage on a insureds roof. Roof damaged by hail

Inspect To Protect Your Roof

High winds and hail are a climatic duo that can wreck havoc on homes in Wimbledon Village, CA. Your roof—the most exposed part of your house—is especially vulnerable to wind damage and the destructive effects of hail. Together they can cause cracked, dented or missing shingles that require timely roof repair. Regular inspection of your roof, especially after a hail storm, gives you the leeway to fix relatively small roofing problems long before they morph into big (and expensive) ones like a roof replacement.
When it comes to roofing, deferred maintenance is never a good idea. Credentialed, commercial roofing inspections provide assessments that are highly detailed, technologically advanced and scientifically based. ISO-certified companies, in particular, meet international standards of quality management and quality assurance for their industry. These firms can accurately determine roof damage and recommend the best roof repair solutions. Here are some capabilities to look for.

1. Core analysis testing. Examines all the roof's components to judge its condition—from the decking down to the roof membrane.

2. Moisture survey. Using infrared thermography, establishes the amount of water embedded in the roof's insulation to reveal the scope of the roof repair needed—a full or partial roof replacement, or a less costly alternative.

3. Visual inspection. An experienced technician locates—and can possibly mitigate right there and then—roof damage that would otherwise be scheduled for later repair.

4. Weather documentation. Cutting-edge software programs identify weather events—to include the severity and size of hail—to confirm the occurrence of destructive weather at your location. This determination can assist in insurance claims.
Mitigation is the first step in roof maintenance. Initiate a relationship with a roof repair specialist as a just-in-case precaution. And if you see or suspect major damage, for safety's sake, it's best to contact storm damage professionals to tarp your roof and avoid secondary damage before it's commercially inspected.

How To Choose an Air Purifier To Combat Mold Spores

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Air purifier machine in a house Air purifier in a home

How To Choose an Air Purifier To Combat Mold Spores

Every home in Bristol, CA, contains a certain amount of mold. Investing in an air filtration system is an excellent way to reduce the number of mold spores floating in the air. A portable air purifier can

  • Remove unpleasant odors
  • Trap dust
  • Eliminate allergens

Look for the following features to ensure your unit can combat mold in the air.

HEPA Filter
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters use very tight mesh to capture foreign air particles as small as .03 microbes. They are considered the gold standard of air filters and can trap nearly every airborne contaminant. Mold spores have a size of at least 3 microns, allowing HEPA filters to remove them from the air efficiently.

Carbon
A tell-tale sign of mold-contaminated air is a musty odor. The best way to eliminate this problem is with carbon-lined HEPA filters. Mold particles trapped in the filter's mesh come in contact with the carbon, causing a chemical reaction that neutralizes their odor.

Clean Air Delivery Rate
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers establishes this criterion for residential air purifiers. The clean air delivery rate (CADR) reflects how many cubic feet of purified air the unit can produce per minute through contaminant extraction, which equals what it would be by adding clean air to the environment. The rate varies depending on the contaminant.

Air Changes Per Hour
The number of times the unit replaces the air in the given area per hour is an indicator of its efficiency. For instance, an air purifier that can filter the entire volume of air three times per hour will take 20 minutes to complete a full filtration cycle. If the system can perform four filtration cycles per hour, it is more efficient and can filter all the air in only 15 minutes, giving it a high rating.
If mold spores are difficult to control, a mold remediation company in Bristol, CA, can provide effective air filtration services.

How Cleanup Pros Will Restore Your Home After a Water Heater Leak

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking water heater If you ever discover a leaking water heater, do not attempt to clean up the mess yourself

How Cleanup Pros Will Restore Your Home After a Water Heater Leak

Imagine coming home from work or vacation and finding water all over your house. After some searching, you discover the culprit is a leaking water heater. This scenario is a nightmare for many homeowners in South Coast Metro, CA, and needs to be dealt with promptly. Thankfully, you do not have to let a broken water heater destroy your home. Local emergency restoration professionals can clean up the mess and salvage your belongings. The cleanup process involves several essential steps.

1. Emergency Call
Mold can start to grow in standing water within a few hours. You should thus contact the restoration company as soon as you discover the failed water heater. A customer representative will ask you the location and cause of the water damage.

2. Assessment
Next, a cleanup professional arrives at your home to inspect the damage. They stop the leaking water heater and determine if the fluid is contaminated. They may also move furniture to prevent it from being damaged.

3. Water Removal
Trained experts will use various equipment to measure and remove the water. For instance, gas-powered and submersible pumps can safely eliminate high amounts of liquid.

4. Dehumidification and Drying
Porous materials, including those used in walls and floors, often retain water even after they are dried. The pros use air movers and dehumidifiers to eliminate the remaining moisture and prevent additional damage.

5. Sanitizing and Cleaning
Your valuables may be contaminated following a water leak. Cleanup experts disinfect these items and remove nasty odors. While they always try to restore your valued keepsakes, some belongings may have to be discarded.

6. Restoration
Finally, the water restoration experts work to restore your home to the way it was prior to the leak. This can mean adding new paint and carpet or repairing drywall.
If you ever discover a leaking water heater, do not attempt to clean up the mess yourself. Mitigation professionals will know the best ways to dry your valuables and remove the water from your home.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration If your fire extinguisher is like most, it can be effectively operated by using the P.A.S.S. technique

A fire extinguisher can be an invaluable tool for putting out small fires. However, you must know how to correctly use your fire extinguisher to be effective.

Steps To Take When a Fire Is Detected

A kitchen fire or other fire in your home can be a frightening experience, so it is important to know what you should do before a fire occurs, so that you are less likely to panic. You should familiarize yourself and anyone else in your household with the proper steps to take when a fire is detected:

  • Call 9-1-1
  • Determine how you can safely evacuate your home before attempting to extinguish the fire
  • Discharge your extinguisher by using the pull, aim, squeeze, sweep method
  • Move away from the fire, so that you will be safe it flares up again
  • Evacuate the building if you are unable to extinguish the fire or the fire worsens

P.A.S.S. Technique
If your fire extinguisher is like most, it can be effectively operated by using the P.A.S.S. technique. You should first pull the pin on the extinguisher. Then, aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire. Avoid contact with the discharge horn on a CO2 extinguisher, because it may get cold enough to harm the skin. Squeeze the handle to deploy the extinguishing agent. Finally, sweep the nozzle in a horizontal motion until the fire goes out. If the fire flares up again, repeat the steps, beginning at aiming at the base of the fire.

When To Evacuate
Not all fires can be safely extinguished. If your home has a large, rapidly spreading fire, or there is a lot of smoke in the air, you should evacuate immediately, rather than attempt to extinguish the flames. If you feel unsafe in any way, do not attempt to extinguish the fire.
Proper use of a fire extinguisher can mitigate fire damage. However, even small fires may cause damage that needs professional fire cleanup in Fairgrounds, CA.

How To Establish an Emergency Escape Plan

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

How To Establish an Emergency Escape Plan

No commercial property is entirely free from the risk of fires. Unfortunately, it only takes minutes for a small flame to become a destructive blaze. With this in mind, business leaders must have a fire escape plan in place for every building within their responsibility. An effective emergency escape plan should move people out of the building and to a safe gathering place. The first step is identifying all possible causes of fire:

  • Worn wiring, short circuits, and electrical failures
  • Inappropriate disposal of waste products
  • Improper storage of flammable products
  • Severe weather and lightning strikes
  • Inappropriate use of fire, such as leaving candles unattended

Once you've reviewed the possible scenarios, create and enforce policies regarding each situation. Even with the proper training, however, fires still happen.

Escape Routes

Your fire escape plan should include several elements. Begin by putting together routes of escape. For the best results, contact a professional fire trainer to help determine the most effective routes for escaping the workplace and maintaining clear paths along those evacuation routes.

Quick Response Team

Next, put together a quick response team. These employees will be the people responsible for helping other employees leave the building and gather together in an assigned meeting place. They are also responsible for communicating with local fire authorities and with each other.

Evacuation Responsibilities

Assign specific evacuation responsibilities to employees who are not part of the quick response team. This step increases the speed of evacuation and gives those employees a single-minded purpose that reduces the amount of panic that might otherwise set in.

Safety Training

Regularly conduct fire safety training for all employees. This step is essential for the safety of everyone who works inside your buildings. Work with professional fire trainers who may conduct training sessions and provide fire safety tips for your organization.

Westside, CA, fire damage cleanup companies are available to respond after fires have been put out. Make sure your employees are safely out of the building before those professionals arrive by developing an effective fire escape plan and making sure regular training takes place.