Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

3 Ways To Remove Lint From a Dryer Exhaust

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

dryer lint filter has been cleaned to prevent fires In the United States, clothes dryers cause more than 15,000 fires each year, with blocked exhausts accounting for up to 80% of these incidents.

3 Methods For Cleaning A Dryer Exhaust

Clothes dryers cause more than 15,000 fires every year in the United States, and up to 80 percent of these fires start due to clogged exhausts. The accumulation of lint in a dryer exhaust hose can increase the risk of a dryer fire. A homeowner can prevent a lint fire by cleaning out the lint screen after every load, deep cleaning the screen every week or two, and clearing out the exhaust hose several times a year. There are three effective ways to clean out a dryer exhaust.

1. Use a Vacuum Attachment

If a vacuum has an attachment that fits inside an exhaust hose, it can be used as dryer cleaning equipment. Make sure that you can insert and extract the attachment without difficulty. It is important to clean every side of the hose. It may be easier to use a specialized cleaning rod.

2. Use a Vent Cleaning Rod

A vent cleaning rod is narrow and has a round brush at the end. Some rods are made for manual use, while others can be connected to a power drill. Feed the rod into the vent and rotate to clean. For the best results, you should extract, clean off, and re-insert the rod several times to remove buildup that can cause a lint fire.

3. Hire a Cleaning Service

Some services specialize in cleaning dryer exhausts and have specialized equipment designed for this purpose. Hiring professionals will prevent a homeowner from having to move a dryer or risk damaging the clamps that hold the exhaust hose in place.

All of these methods can help to prevent a lint fire. If a dryer fire results in damage at a residence in Downtown Costa Mesa, contact a fire damage restoration service. Regularly cleaning a lint screen and taking measures to keep an exhaust vent clear can reduce the likelihood of a fire.

What You Need To Know About Mold

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

A wall filled of black mold Mold inside of your walls will cause many issues, but SERVPRO is here ready to help you remove any mold growth in your home.

Mold: Everything You Need to Know

When many homeowners in Mesa Verde, CA, hear the term ‘black mold,’ they automatically panic. However, black mold actually includes over 2000 species of mold, most of which are relatively harmless. The fact is, mold is everywhere. Related to mushrooms and yeast, mold is a type of fungus that decomposes decaying organic materials, like wood, plants and fallen leaves. Depending on the species of mold and its nutritional source, mold can appear:

  • Black
  • White
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Blue

Where Mold Grows

Mold spreads by releasing spores into the air. These are like microscopic seeds that travel on the wind and they are found everywhere, outside and inside. If they settle in a damp area with available food, they will grow and replicate into a large mold colony.

If you have a moisture problem in your home, whether it’s a leaking pipe or a poorly ventilated bathroom, then you have the perfect conditions for mold growth. The paper in your drywall, your wood floors, even the fine layer of dust, shed skin cells and other microscopic debris found on concrete walls provide enough nutrition for mold to thrive if water is present.

How To Get Rid of Mold

Because mold spores are airborne, it’s virtually impossible to have a 100% mold free home. However, if you keep your home well-ventilated and free from leaks, you can usually avoid the type of moisture problems that lead to black mold growth. If you do notice a small amount of mold on bathtub tile, bleach-based over the counter cleansers may be sufficient to remove it.

If the mold returns, however, or if you find black mold growing elsewhere in your home, like on walls or carpets, around fixtures or in your basement or attic, you shouldn’t attempt to address the problem on your own. Instead, contact a mold remediation professional in Mesa Verde, CA. Sometimes a larger mold problem is lurking inside the walls of your home and a professional will know the safest and quickest way to handle a serious mold cleanup.

Causes of Bathroom Mildew, Mold Prevention Techniques and Challenges of Cleaners

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on ceiling. If your home suffers from bathroom mildew, it needs to be removed properly.

Removal of bathroom mildew can be a time-consuming, energy-sapping endeavor. The easiest way to handle the issue is by calling on an expert, one who will instantly reach your home in Costa Mesa, CA, at the first sign of trouble.

Origins of Mildew

Mold can begin building in your bathroom without you even knowing. Here are four reasons you may experience mildew:

  • Poor ventilation, a very common explanation
  • Moisture of any kind, a particular obstacle in bathrooms
  • Cracked grouting, easily caused by shower steam
  • Humidity, the most likely culprit

Any of these weaknesses might create a giant headache.

Bathroom Mold Prevention Techniques
Using a bathroom fan for up to 30 minutes after each shower can help reduce your chances of needing immediate bathroom mold removal. Always use a mildew-resistant shower curtain or have it washed regularly. Bathroom rugs can easily hide bathroom mildew, so either clean them on a regular basis or eliminate them entirely. Most importantly, avoid having a humidity problem by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier. Be certain to monitor your home’s humidity level and ensure it never goes above 50%.

Challenges of Using Commercial and Home Cleaners
Tackling mildew removal on your own can be difficult. First, you’d need to decide between natural cleaning solutions and commercially available cleaning products. Commercial solutions typically use harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia, which must be thoroughly washed away before your bathroom may be safe to use once again. Mixing your own cleaner requires white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. After placing the mixture on the affected area, you must diligently scrub the surface using a tile brush before rinsing. Using either type of cleaner, this entire process will most likely need to be repeated several times before the spores have thoroughly disappeared.


If your home suffers from bathroom mildew, it needs to be removed properly. Call upon a professional who can handle your dilemma comprehensively and safely, relieving you from the stress and worry of executing this intensive procedure yourself.

Tips for Preventing Bathroom Mold

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth by bathtub. While water damage and building structure cannot always be helped, there are some things you can do to prevent the growth of mold in your bathroom.

The bathroom is one of mold's favorite places to grow. Hidden pipes and leaky supply lines set the room up for water damage. The daily use of water in the room increases humidity. To top it off, most bathrooms have notoriously bad airflow. You can prevent bathroom mold in your home in Costa Mesa, CA, however, by combatting these problems. Here are three mold prevention tips.

1. Resolve Existing Problems

If you already have mold in your bathroom, you may have to call mold remediation specialists to get rid of it before you put prevention measures in place. Tiny spots can be scrubbed away, but grout that is embedded with mold will probably need to be replaced completely. Cut the existing grout away and re-caulk the entire area so that the mold is completely gone.

2. Increase Air Flow

Even if your bathroom is a closed-off space or suffers frequent water damage, there are still measures you can take to make sure that the air does not become stagnant. Running a bathroom fan, particularly when you are taking a bath or shower and thus increasing the moisture level in the room, can get the air circulating and disrupt mold growth before it starts.

3. Control Excess Water

Unless you decide to stop bathing, you can't prevent running water on a regular basis in your bathroom. You can, however, prevent mold growth by getting rid of the excess water. After you shower, use a squeegee to wipe the shower walls and door. If you have a shower curtain, leave it open for a few minutes to allow the shower to air out while you're getting ready. If you get rid of the excess water, there are fewer places for mold to grow.

While water damage and building structure cannot always be helped, there are some things you can do to prevent the growth of mold in your bathroom. Habits that keep surfaces dry lessen the chance of mold.

What Should You Know About Mold Smell?

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Person using protective gear while putting inside a plastic bag debris Mold cleanup in a home.

If you've identified a musty odor in your home in Bristol, CA, you are probably wondering how to get rid of it. The bad news is that the unpleasant smell isn't going anywhere on its own. You will need to find the mold colony that is releasing the mycotoxin and fix the problem.

Do You Need To Approach Mold With Caution?

When you start your hunt for the source, there are some precautions you need to take. These include:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Using protective gloves
  • Having glasses on

What Does Mold Smell Like?
Mold is a fungus that grows in a variety of locations so that it can produce many smells. However, the mycotoxin it releases gives it the trademark musty smell that helps you identify the colony.

What Causes It?
Spores, basically mold seeds, are responsible for the growth. When these land in a moist area, they sprout and produce mildew or mold. As this fungus grows, it releases a mycotoxin that produces a nasty smell.

Is It Dangerous?
When most people smell mold, they start worrying about their health. That's because these tiny spores can easily be inhaled, and many people have mold allergies. However, the real danger from mold is that it eats the organic matter that it grows on, meaning it can damage your home's structure.

When Should You Call a Professional?
Sometimes, mold can be challenging to remove. When done improperly, you can actually spread colonies instead of stopping them from growing. If you can't see a colony, have more than 10 square feet of growth, or have repeated growth in the same spot, then you should call a mold cleanup company for backup.
Mold smell can infiltrate your home, and you need to remove the colony to restore a fresher scent. Although the chemical causing the smell is not harmful to your health, you should still consider mold remediation to remove it to protect your home.

What Are SERVPRO’s Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism Requirements?

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Business Communication Connection People Concept Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.

When a disaster happens in Costa Mesa, CA, a fast and effective response is needed to both prevent further damage and complete the restoration at a reasonable price. However, there are plenty of shady contractors eagerly waiting for an opportunity to cheat customers and insurance companies. It can be difficult for an insurance agent to know who to recommend.
That’s where the Preferred Vendor program comes in. To be part of the program, a company must meet certain stringent requirements – and to be a SERVPRO franchise, they need to go even further. No other company vets its franchisees as thoroughly.

What Is the Preferred Vendor Program?

Major insurance companies have agreed on several criteria that every restoration company they use must meet. These include:

  • Repairs are performed for a set price – no hidden fees.
  • Repairs must be completed to exact standards and specifications.
  • Repairs must be performed by qualified professionals.

To be part of the program, each franchisee must apply to the central Quality Assurance Department and prove they meet the requirements. Once approved, you’ll be able to trust their results and know in advance how much restoration will cost. It’s an insurance agent’s guarantee of a satisfied client and a less stressful experience.

What Does SERVPRO Require?
Each franchisee must apply for Preferred Vendor approval. However, most will be approved, since they already meet SERVPRO’s 21 specific guidelines to receive insurance client referrals, including background checks, IICRC certification and proof of the proper equipment.
The local company will hold a 15-day training session for its employees and managers, followed by their technicians attending water and fire damage certification classes. Continuing education is also expected of each local franchise.

Why Is This Important?
Under the Fairs Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, if an insurance agent recommends a restorer, they’re effectively guaranteeing the work done. When your company can be held liable, be absolutely sure you’re working with an established business!
The Preferred Vendor program is designed to keep prices reasonable and ensure quality compliance. It’s an agent’s best friend when disaster strikes.

Understanding Established Guidelines for Mold Damage

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

workers using protective gear while performing mold removal services Mold removal service in Mesa Verde, CA

Regardless of the type of business you run in Mesa Verde, CA, there are some things that are best left to specialists, such as a CPA for taxes or an electrician for electrical upgrades. Along with established rules and guidelines for those types of services, there are also mold standards that mold remediation and restoration specialists adhere to help you have peace of mind.

Established Guidelines

Before jumping into a mold clean up plan, there are set loss levels that may require different processes and safety precautions for damage identification, removal, and mitigation.

Small Isolated – Area affected is under 10 square feet in a contained area. General PPE should be worn, such as a face mask and gloves. (10 sq. ft. or less) - e.g., ceiling tiles, small areas on walls. Workers in adjacent areas can stay on-site during cleanup.
Mid-Sized Isolated – Mold growth is contained within 30 square feet. Similar conditions apply to the first level.
Large Isolated – This might look like multiple wall panels, up to 100 square feet, having mold damage. For this amount, it is recommended for an experienced professional to handle the cleanup. Additional PPE and containment procedures will be needed, as well as significant material removal and restoration.
Extensive Contamination – Considered anything greater than 100 square feet, this level of damage will require complete containment and the removal of all people during the cleanup process. Respirators with HEPA filters and full-body disposable clothing will be worn by the technicians to adhere to mold standards.

Remediation Plan
Eradicating the black mold in your business is the top priority. The above levels will determine the extent of the remediation plan needed. Regardless of size, an expert will work to identify the source of the problem, remove damage, and restore the property to preloss condition. They will also work to ensure that the cause of the problem is addressed and fixed to ensure no future mold colonies are established.
Like with most things related to your business, you want things done right the first time. Trusting a professional that is certified on established mold standards helps make that happen.

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.

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.

Top 5 Mold Prevention Tips

9/13/2020 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Maintain your gutters

Tips To Help Protect Tour Property

Mold is a tricky invader to keep out of your home. Where there's water damage, leaky pipes, malfunctioning household appliances or other types of dark, moist environments, mold is sure to follow close behind. Follow these tips to help protect your home in Mesa Verde, CA.

1. Carefully monitor your home's humidity.
A high humidity environment can generate excessive moisture and attract mold. If condensation regularly accumulates on your windows, then chances are the humidity in your home is too high. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends maintaining indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent.

2. Maintain your gutters.
Neglecting to clean out your gutters is a common mistake for homeowners. Clogged gutters can cause water to accumulate and leak down into your roof. A simple way to prevent this is to scoop the gunk out of the gutters from time to time. You should also repair any damage as soon as you discover it.

3. Keep your home dry.
Taking away moisture is the best way to prevent mold growth. Dry spills, repair leaky pipes, and remove wet furniture and carpets to help prevent mold from growing. If you've experienced a recent flood, you might want to enlist the help of water damage remediation specialists.

4. Know where the problem areas are.
Mold growth is more common in certain areas of a home than it is in others. Any rooms that come into frequent contact with water, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, have a much higher risk. Take care to check these locations regularly for mold.

5. Ventilate your home.
A big part of mold prevention is keeping your home dry. Properly ventilating your home is an easy way to maintain proper airflow and prevent moisture from building up. This is as simple as opening a window while cooking or showering, or investing in a dehumidifier.
While these tips can certainly help prevent mold growth, they can't ensure complete protection for your home. If you've recently experienced significant water damage, or have already uncovered a mold issue, make sure to contact mold remediation specialists to help resolve the issue.

Learn About the Different Types of Contaminated Floodwater

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories Water categories

Different Types of Contaminated Floodwater

If your client is dealing with flooding in Wimbledon Village, CA, it is important to assume that the flood is composed of contaminated water. Whether the excess originated from a leaky roof or a broken supply line, the water may contain dangerous chemicals and pathogens. One of the best ways you can help your clients is by learning about the different contamination types that commercial building restoration services handle.

Category 1
Water under this category is known as clean water. This type of water is the least harmful due to its sources lacking a significant amount of bacteria or contaminants.

  • Defective appliances
  • Rainwater and snow
  • Water from toilet tanks
  • Overflowing sinks and tubs
  • Damaged pipes

However, just because this water is relatively safe does not mean it is harmless. If left alone, it can damage commercial property and lead to mold growth. Immediate cleanup and repair are recommended.

Category 2
Category 2 contaminated water requires a stronger response by restoration companies like SERVPRO. Also known as gray water, it originates from sources that add chemicals to the water, such as toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, and more. Exposure to this tainted fluid can make people sick or uncomfortable, and prolonged existence can escalate the contamination to Category 3. Professionals need to remove and restore or dispose of affected material as soon as possible.

Category 3
The most severe type of flood is Category 3, also known as a black water flood. The water that makes up this flood is considered extremely dangerous because it comes from sources like sewers, rivers, ground-level bodies, and other similar places. These locations have a high number of bacteria, pesticides, and other components that can threaten the lives of your clients' customers and employees. A professional flood recovery company can help keep your clients' property safe.
Not all contaminated water is the same. Remediation specialists working in Wimbledon Village, CA, businesses need to know the specific categories to use the right equipment and tactics for the job.

Key Aspects of Mold Damage and Mold Growth

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. The word MOLD in the middle of the picture Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment

Is your business prepared for natural disasters or other emergencies. Incidents such as flooding could pose a danger for you and your staff members. Water damage can destroy building materials, electronics, furniture, documents, and other items. This isn't all that can happen if water infiltrates your office. Failure to thoroughly clean up after flooding can lead to the appearance of mold. You should understand how to prevent this from happening so you can maintain a comfortable working environment.

How Mold Grows

Mold spores are all around you. They float in the air outside and find their way inside buildings on the clothing and bodies of people coming inside. Once in the building, mold can grow and spread. Mold growth can occur in the following conditions:

  • Humid climates
  • Moist environments
  • Areas with poor ventilation
  • Areas with water

How Quickly it Appears
One alarming aspect of mold is how fast it can show up and spread in your South Coast Metro, CA, office building. Within 24 to 48 hours of water damage, it can begin to grow. Mold is usually green, brown, or black. It has a velvety texture and can grow on organic materials.

Prevention Methods
Mold prevention begins by inspecting your plumbing and HVAC systems at least once a year. Repair issues as quickly as possible. Make sure there is good airflow throughout the building, especially in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

How To Clean it Up
Even minor water damage can cause mold to grow in your building. If a small area has mold, you can use bleach to scrub it off. However, for widespread growth, make sure you call a professional mold remediation company. These technicians have the skills and equipment to remove the mold and test your office for other spots where there may be other fungal growth.
If you have water damage in your building, you should worry about mold. It can show up quickly, so make sure you act fast at getting rid of it.

5 Ways to Keep Mold From Growing In Your Bathroom

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom fan Use fans or open windows when showering

Keep Mold From Popping Up In Your Bathroom

Mold is a pesky little fungus that you don’t want to find in your Mesa Verde, CA, home. Unfortunately, it is common to find a growth if there has been water damage or if there are high levels of humidity in the building. Keep mold from popping up in your bathroom with the following tips.

1. Use Fans or Open Windows When Showering

When you take a shower, condensation can cause moisture to cover surfaces throughout the room. To prevent this, you can keep humidity levels lower by using the exhaust fan when you’re using the water. If you don’t have one of these, an open window can help as well.

2. Clean on a Regular Basis

Mold spores are very small, so you won’t be able to see them in your bathroom. To keep them from spreading and turning into excessive mold growth, you should clean your bathroom often.

3. Repair Leaks Right Away

The water damage caused by a leak might seem minor, but it can turn into a big problem if it results in growing mold. If you notice a leak, it should be repaired as quickly as possible, even if there is only a small amount of water coming from the pipe or faucet.

4. Dry Showers and Sinks After Use

If you have a history of mold growth in your home, then you may need to take extra steps after using the water in your bathroom. Using a sponge or towel to dry the shower or sink after you’ve used it can help keep the fungus from returning.

5. Replace Caulking When Needed

If the caulking or other seals in your bathroom have been affected by water damage, you might notice mold growing underneath. In this case, it is often best to have the caulking replaced after thoroughly cleaning the area.
While mold prevention is often easier than mold removal, you may not always be able to keep it from growing. If you have this fungus in your house, a mold remediation company can help. They will remove the growth and perform cleanup to prevent it from returning.

Cutting-Edge Document Restoration Services Your Clients Will Appreciate

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents SERVPRO offers document restoration

The number of commercial insurance claims filed due to weather-related disasters is on the rise. Insurance providers and remediation specialists are busier than ever helping their clients recover from property damage. This discussion about document restoration may help you match your South Coast Metro, CA, clients with the best state-of-the-art services for their needs.

Premier Document Services

When property becomes water-damaged, it is often the business documents – contracts, photos, proposals, maps, books, etc. – that cause business owners to lose sleep. Rare is the client who has everything backed up, which makes these items all the more valuable. Here are some of the specialized services your clients can count on from a document specialist:

  • Document drying and stabilization through vacuum freeze-drying
  • Sanitizing through gamma irradiation sterilization
  • Electronic inventory and digitizing service
  • Supervision by HIPAA-certified technicians to ensure security
  • Structural restoration through re-jacketing or pressing

Document restoration specialists are trained to work fast because paper starts to break down right away when it’s wet. Their job is to work quickly and carefully to restore all types of documents to readable condition.

Keeping Document Costs Down

The cleanup and restoration process can be unsettling for business owners. Your clients will appreciate your referral to the best, most affordable document experts available. Restoration companies often subcontract the document work because it is a specialized service that requires unique methods and equipment. More third-party vendors generally means higher cost is to you and your client. A restoration company like SERVPRO, a preferred disaster response provider for many insurance groups, is able to keep costs down with in-house document restoration capabilities. They are a national operation with local franchises, which can offer your client the benefits of a national resource network with hometown attention and support.
Quality work and lower claims costs can mean satisfied customers and new referrals. A reputable document expert can offer safe, specialized care of your client’s paper-based property while keeping costs reasonable. When your clients’ most sensitive documents are at stake, a full-service document restorer like SERVPRO can provide the quality, experience, and affordability that they expect and deserve.

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Basic Fire Fighting Simulation Training Using a fire extinguisher is easy once you know how to do it

There’s a good chance that your fire extinguisher will sit gathering dust for years. But there’s a remote chance that it could end up saving your property in a kitchen fire or other blaze - but only if you know how to use it. Keep reading to learn the steps to using an extinguisher. It could save your Fairgrounds, CA, home or business.

Extinguisher Fast Facts

A fire extinguisher is best defined as a device that propels an extinguishing material to eliminate flames. A few interesting facts about extinguishers include the following:

  • 13% of people don’t know how to use an extinguisher
  • 51% of people have actually used an extinguisher

With people so rarely using extinguishers, it’s no surprise that they don’t always know how to use them. Here are a few tips for doing so.

Pull The Pin

Look for a pin at the top of the device. Once removed, this allows you to engage the device. The next step is pulling the trigger.

Aim At The Fire

Pointing and shooting may work for cameras but not for extinguishers. You want to aim specifically at the bottom of the fires. This will quickly smother the flames. Make sure you squeeze with control as this will ensure you get most of the extinguishing agent on the fire where it can help, not on the floor where it can’t.

Use a Sweeping Motion

It’s important that you put out all of the flames as even a smoldering ember can be a risk. Achieve this by spraying in a sweeping motion. Most extinguishers will have no more than 20 or 30 seconds of discharge time, so this strategic spraying is critical. Keep spraying until you see no more flames.
Using a fire extinguisher is easy once you know how to do it. Use these tips and talk to your local fire damage pro to ensure you are ready to use an extinguisher when it matters.

How To Keep a Washing Machine Free of Mold

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning Clean your machine with baking soda and vinegar

How To Keep a Washing Machine Free of Mold

A high-efficiency washing machine can be good for the environment and your wallet. However, these machines can also be more prone to developing mold. Fortunately, if your machine has developed a mold problem, there are steps you can take to remove it and avoid the problem coming back.

1. Clean your machine with baking soda and vinegar. Running an empty cold-water cycle with ¼ cup of baking soda and 2 cups of white vinegar can help break up residue on the drum of your machine and kill mold. Add the baking soda and water to your detergent tray and pour the vinegar directly into the drum.

2. Wipe down the drum of your machine. Remove any residue left behind by the vinegar and baking soda with a damp cloth or kitchen sponge. It can also be helpful to wipe down the inside of your machine, including the rubber gasket, after every use, so that residue doesn't build up.

3. Don’t use fabric softener but do use high-efficiency detergents. Fabric softeners and detergents that aren’t designed for a high-efficiency washing machine can leave behind residue that promotes mold and mildew. Consider trying dryer sheets instead of fabric softener and look for detergents that say they are formulated for high-efficiency machines on the packaging.

4. Dry out your machine. Mold thrives in moist environments. You can reduce the chances of mold growth by not leaving dirty laundry sitting in the machine for long periods before you start a load and by removing wet laundry promptly. Leaving the door open after a cycle can also help the machine dry out faster.

A moldy, smelly washing machine can be an unpleasant experience. However, by taking steps to properly clean and maintain your machine, you can reduce mold problems. If cleaning up your machine doesn’t eliminate your mold smell, you may have mold issues elsewhere in your home. Consider contacting a mold remediation specialist in Westside, CA, to do an assessment.

4 Reasons To Make Sure Your Mitigation Experts Are Certified

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Containment barriers set up for mold removal in a room Setting up proper containment in a South Coast Metro, CA home

4 Reasons To Make Sure Your Mitigation Experts Are Certified

When you are looking for mold remediation specialists in South Coast Metro, CA , one of the factors you may consider is cost, but don't overlook certification. Hiring a certified mold expert may be a little more expensive at first, but it's worth it. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has certain standards that they require of all technicians before they are certified, and hiring professionals who meet these standards can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

1. Proper Training

Mold certification from the IICRC means that the technicians have received the necessary training to complete the remediation process thoroughly. They know every step to take to ensure that they don't cut corners and the problem doesn't return.

2. Knowledge of Safety Precautions

When you hire certified mold experts, you don't have to worry about whether they are taking the right safety precautions. They know all the personal protective equipment they have to use. They also tend to have insurance to back up their work. Both the workers and your home are protected during remediation.

3. Mold Containment

One of the things technicians learn during the certification process is how to contain a mold problem effectively. They know how to seal off the area so that it doesn't spread to other parts of the house.

4. Insurance Approved

When you need mold cleanup in your home, your insurance company may not cover it. Even if your policy does cover it, though, your insurer will likely require certified mold remediation. If you hire someone else, your claim will probably be denied and you may be stuck with the whole bill.
Certified mold cleanup may technically cost more up front than other remediation companies, but it will probably be less expensive than having to hire someone again to fix the problem when it returns. Save yourself time and money by hiring mold damage experts who are certified.

Understanding Your General Liability Policy When It Comes to Mold

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

a graphic that says are you covered Contact your insurance agent to understand which circumstances are and are not covered by your policy

If you have been in business for a while in Mesa Verde, CA, you probably keep up with your insurance policy renewals schedule to make sure you are never without adequate coverage. The next time you renew your policy, look out for language that indicates potential rejection of mold insurance claims. It's important to understand exactly what your property and liability policies cover.

What Are Exclusions?

Insurance exclusions help define the parameters of your insurance policy. There are common exclusions in many policies:

  • Pollution
  • Mold
  • Flood

For example, if you have a leaky pipe, and a visitor is injured after slipping on the water that leaks onto the floor, either your property policy or your general liability should cover it. If the air quality in your building is bad and you have not had the necessary mold remediation services needed to get rid of the issue, however, a mold exclusion puts the financial responsibility of any legal fees and damages awarded squarely on your shoulders. Exclusions set the limits of your policy.

Are You Covered?

Even if your policy has a mold exclusion, you may be able to get coverage for mitigation. Mold insurance claims may be accepted if the fungus growth in question was a direct result of a problem that the policy does cover. If employees or visitors to your building, however, sue you for mold exposure, your general liability policy may not cover your mold claim if it has an exclusion. Talk to your agent to understand exactly which circumstances are and are not covered by your policy. Then you know what additional coverage you need to buy to protect your building and your finances.
It's important to understand every policy that you purchase from your insurance company. Renewal is the ideal time to ask questions about any changes that are being made. Knowing your coverage helps you navigate mold insurance claims.

Understanding Your Home’s Mold Problem

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

grey and green discoloration on a white wall Stachybotrys known as the more ominous green-black mold

Understand What Type of Mold Is in Your Home

While coming across any kind of mold growth in your Downtown Costa Mesa, CA, home is an unwelcome surprise, finding yourself completely unaware of how to proceed can be even more troubling. Whether you’re dealing with the residual effects of high humidity or water damage in your residence, it’s time to start investigating the issue by understanding what type of mold is infiltrating your living space. Here are three common types of residential mold to watch out for throughout your home.

1. Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a highly common mold, with spores of its kind floating around in the air or growing anywhere it’s damp or moist. A typical place to find it is within your air conditioning system, or a cellar or basement. It can be found throughout basic planting soil, within building materials and any leftover plant debris that’s decaying around your home. Keeping a well-maintained yard and regularly cleaning your living space can help eradicate its spread.

2. Cladosporium

Cladosporium mold growth can be commonly found in bathrooms or kitchens, settling into areas where it’s consistently damp or moist on a daily basis. This is why it’s so important to have proper ventilation, in order to avoid high humidity that attracts such growth within your residence.

3. Stachybotrys

Known as the more ominous green-black mold, Stachybotrys focuses its growth on wet, porous materials such as drywall, wallpaper, ceiling tiles and any other absorbent building materials. If you’ve previously had water damage on your property, calling in professional mold remediation specialists to handle the cleanup is the most effective way to prevent this type from spreading throughout your home’s interior.

Educating Yourself is Key

Regardless of the type of mold growth found in your Downtown Costa Mesa, CA, home, any and all kinds should be treated and removed as soon as possible. Now that you’re educated in the more common types of mold, handling its removal can be a far easier process.

3 Benefits of Keeping Electronic Insurance Files With a Storm Damage Claims Information Center

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO offers insurance claim information service centers

Benefits of a Claims Information Center

When you are an insurance agent, keeping up multiple claims after a major weather disaster in Fairview Park, CA, can be daunting. Each insurance claim is different and your clients likely all expect top-tier service, no matter how many files you are handling. However, you can streamline these claims and help each claimant more efficiently by utilizing the many benefits of a storm damage and restoration claims information center.

1. Information at Your Fingertips

When you work with a national claims information center with a storm damage response vendor, you can access information for any file whenever you wish. A phone call or accessing an online dashboard gives you instant access to all types of claim information, from the type of loss to where the business is located. This type of information retrieval can help you assist your insurance clients more efficiently.

2. Access To Cost Information

If your insurance customers need help filing a claim for a business loss, working with an information center can help you do so with more speed and accuracy. Job files costs and estimates are available once you sign into the dashboard, and you can view the results from almost any mobile device. This can be useful when visiting damaged businesses and speaking with owners who need such information to finish filing their claims.

3. Consistent Claims Updates

Estimates and the circumstances of an ongoing claim can change. However, companies who offer insurance claim information service centers, such as SERVPRO, can help you track estimate changes easily. Each time a file is uploaded into the system, any changes made can be viewed and noted as you help your client complete the claim. This may result in a faster payout for the business owner and fewer stressful moments for you.

Working with multiple business owners after a natural disaster in Fairview Park, CA, can be difficult for you as an insurance representative. However, when you work with a claims information center, you may be able to handle each insurance claim with more efficiency.

What You Should Know About the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

A company that is IICRC certified can handle a variety of disaster-related issues

When a disaster has occurred in Bristol, CA and has affected local homes, finding the right restoration company to assist in rebuilding homes can be difficult. However, considering whether a company has been validated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or the IICRC, is often important.

What Is It?

Understanding what the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is helpful to homeowners and insurance agents alike. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has various purposes, and does the following:

  • Provides restoration and cleaning businesses with industry standards for commercial and residential assignments
  • Offers resources for homeowners and restoration professionals
  • Provides ongoing education for cleaning and restoration professionals
  • Partners with various organizations to strengthen standards in the restoration and cleaning industry

What Types of Disasters Can Certified Professionals Handle?

A company that is IICRC certified can handle a variety of disaster-related issues. Though each restoration company will be different, many restoration companies that have this mitigation certificate commonly work on:

  • Buildings affected by mold growth
  • Buildings impacted by fires
  • Buildings affected by flooding and wind damage

Why Does Using a Validated Restoration Company Matter?

Finding a company that has been validated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification can often be helpful when it comes to choosing a restoration company that will provide quality, reliable services. A company that has been validated by this organization is likely to have extensive restoration experience. Additionally, a restoration business that has this validation must adhere to a set of standards, which holds companies accountable for the work they do. Overall, homeowners and insurance agents can feel confident in companies certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Understanding what the IICRC does and knowing what trained professionals can assist with and why certification matters can help homeowners and insurance agents choose the best restoration company for the job. If homeowners or insurance agents have questions about the process of rebuilding, contacting certified restoration professionals may be helpful.

What To Know About Renter’s Insurance and Fire Coverage

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage to living room in Downtown Costa Mesa, CA

If you’re a renter and your home in Downtown Costa Mesa, CA, is damaged by fire, you need to understand that the value of your personal belongings is not protected by the insurance coverage your landlord holds. Your landlord’s insurance takes care of structural damage. What can you do to recover the value of your personal belongings? Consider renter’s insurance. Each policy is different so here are some coverage types you want to know about before you call an agent.

Coverage Considerations

Insurance policies may encompass different types of coverage. Here are some common features of these plans:

  • Loss of Use. This piece of the policy can help you pay for a place to stay if your rental abode is damaged.

  • Liability. This is a common feature of most renter’s insurance policies and is important to protect you from financial destitution in the case that you or your family may have accidently started the fire.

  • Medical Payments to Others. These are usually smaller payments for minor, no-fault injuries, but are still an important part of coverage.

Make sure you discuss these with your agent and decide what selections are right for you.

Item Valuation

Another important detail to check is if your plan covers replacement costs or cash value for items with fire damage. You don’t really want a policy that will only pay you cash value. That means that your belongings are depreciated and have a lesser value. This makes sense that the television you’ve had for ten years may only fetch a few bucks, but if you need to replace a TV damaged by fire, you would certainly have to pay more than that.

Recovery

If a fire does strike, a renter’s insurance policy can help protect you financially by helping with injuries, money for a place to live temporarily and replacement of your belongings. You may also benefit from calling a professional for damage assessment to see if any of your personal items may be recoverable. Professionals specialize in fire restoration and may be able to clean smoke or soot from your personal items.

Is a Mold Inspection Necessary Before Buying a Building?

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold containment in Westside,CA

Inspecting a property for mold can be expensive. If a building has sustained water damage and has a hidden mold problem, mitigation can be far more expensive. Before you buy a building in Westside, CA, check for signs of water damage. You may want to schedule a mold inspection if the structure has sustained this type of damage.

Does the Building Have Water Damage?

There are several signs of water damage to look for in a commercial building. Check for ceilings, walls, flooring, or other surfaces that are:

  • Bubbling
  • Cracking
  • Discolored
  • Expanded
  • Peeling
  • Sagging
  • Sinking
  • Warping

Keep an eye out for accumulations of water anywhere in the structure. If you smell a moldy odor, it may be worth your while to schedule a mold inspection.

Are There Any Signs of Visible Mold?

It may seem obvious that you should check for signs of a mold problem prior to buying a building, but it may be difficult to know what to look for. Wear and tear may resemble mold, and some types of mold may look like discoloration due to age. Keep a look out for:

  • Irregular growth patterns
  • Patterns of clusters or spots
  • Fuzzy or hairy textures

There are a variety of colors of interior mold. Look for growths that are:

  • Brown
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Blue
  • White
  • Yellow

If you smell mold but do not see any colonies, hidden mold may be present. Do not attempt to locate this mold on your own. If you are interested in the property, the expense of professional mold testing may be worth the peace of mind.

Whether you notice signs of discoloration, deterioration, or potential mold growth, a mold inspection can be helpful when considering whether to purchase a building with a history of water damage. If experts find mold and you still want to buy the property, rely on a commercial mold cleanup company in Westside, CA.

What Are the Tenants’ and Building Owner’s Responsibility After a Fire?

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Apartment fire damage in Downtown Costa Mesa,CA

An apartment fire in Downtown Costa Mesa,CA can be devastating for both tenants and the building owner. If your rental properties have been damaged by a fire, you may be unsure of your financial responsibilities as the building owner. There are several categories of damage, however, and this will determine who covers the cost of the damage.

The Building Owner’s Financial Responsibility

After a fire occurs, the building owner should file an insurance claim in order to see what home owner’s insurance will cover. Often, insurance will help to cover the costs, but regardless of what insurance will or will not cover, the building owner is responsible for:

  • The cost of structural damage to the building
  • The cost to fix or replace plumbing, electrical and other necessary systems

The Tenants’ Financial Responsibility

Once tenants’ apartments have sustained damage from an apartment fire, tenants may also find it helpful to contact their own insurance company to see what renter’s insurance will and will not cover. The tenants are responsible for:

  • The cost of personal belongings that have been damaged or destroyed, such as clothing, televisions, computers and other items
  • The cost of furniture and upholstery

Additional Responsibilities

After a fire, business owners and tenants have additional responsibilities that they should fulfill in order to make the restoration process as simple and quick as possible. Potentially helpful steps to take may include:

  • Both the tenants and the building owner documenting the damage and losses
  • The building owner discussing temporary housing options with the tenant; the cost of temporary housing is often covered by the tenant’s insurance
  • Checking with the fire department in order to know when it is safe to reenter the apartment

Knowing your responsibilities after an apartment fire can help to expedite the restoration process. When restoring your buildings, it might be helpful to work with fire damage restoration experts who can help to safely and efficiently clean and restore your building.

Your Flood Preparation Guide: What To Do When a Major Storm Is On the Way

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Fairgrounds,CA

If you live in a flood zone, it is imperative that you have a storm preparation plan in place that will keep both you and your home safe from flood water and the damage it can cause. If you don't currently have a plan in place, now is the time to create one, as storm season is well under way in most parts of the country, and floods can come out of nowhere and may do the following:

  • Result from excessive rain or snow, coastal storms, overflows or storm surges
  • Develop slowly or quickly, such as a flash flood
  • Cause power outages, result in costly water damage, disrupt transportation and create landslides

Because floods are often the result of common natural events, such as rain, and because they can come on suddenly, the best thing you can do for your safety is prepare.

What To Do When You Are Under a Flood Warning

If your area is currently at risk of being inundated by flood water, there are certain measures you should take to stay safe. Some such measures include the following:

  • Do not attempt to navigate the flood waters via any means, whether by walking, driving, swimming or boating.
  • Steer clear of bridges that go over fast-moving water.
  • Evacuate your home if ordered to do so.

What To Do During a Flood

If your home is at risk of becoming flooded, move to higher ground immediately, but only if there is a clear path out of the flooded area. Otherwise, stay where you're at. If you're trapped in a flooded building, turn on your radio and tune into NOOAA Weather Radio, EAS or the local alerting system for instructions on how to proceed. DO NOT go into the attic, as you may become trapped by rising water. If necessary, climb out onto the roof and flag for help.

What To Do After a Flood

If flood water has caused excessive water damage to your home, contact your Fairgrounds, CA, flood remediation team as soon as the waters have begun to recede. The right team can help dry out your home and restore it to pre-flood condition.

Fire Statistics in America & Tips To Keep Costa Mesa Residents Safe

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

A few examples of some fires that SERVPRO of Costa Mesa was involved in helping to clean and restore.

Every year homes, churches and office buildings catch fire. The numbers of reasons are endless as to why. Whether intentional or by accident, the statics for fires in America has been increasingly higher each year. Per www.nfpa.org (National Fire Protection Agency), the statistics below show the 2014 year (2015 has to be collected) for what is at cost when a fire occurs.

In 2014, there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,275 civilian deaths, 15,775 civilian injuries, and $11.6 billion in property damage.

  • 494,000 were structure fires, causing 2,860 civilian deaths, 13,425 civilian injuries, and $9.8 billion in property damage.

  • 193,500 were vehicle fires, causing 345 civilian fire deaths, 1,450 civilian fire injuries, and $1.5 billion in property damage.

  • 610,500 were outside and other fires, causing 70 civilian fire deaths, 900 civilian fire injuries, and $237 million in property damage.

    Beyond the numbers of what fire cost, the frequency in which fire occurs is listed below, also cited from www.nfpa.org.

    The 2014 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 64 seconds.

  • One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.

  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.

  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 41 minutes.

  • One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.

  • One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 8 seconds.

    So now that we know the numbers that affect us in America, what can we do to decrease such statistics listed above? For starters, having the knowledge of how to identify the risk of potential fires will help everyone stop a fire before it starts.

  • If outdoors, keep dry brush away from camping fires or BBQs. When done, be sure to water down any flames or embers that were burning, even if they have stopped smoking. Always keeping abucket of water nearby would be wise as well.

  • Keep front lawns and bushes cut to reduce potential fire hazards. Just because California is in a drought and we are limiting water, doesn’t mean you should let the wild brown grass or bushes grown wildly.

  • Home rooftops and exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh should be checked seasonally at the very least.

  • If driving a vehicle, pull over as quickly as possible, turn off the engine, get everyone out of the car and move at least 100 feet from the vehicle. Call 911 right away.

  • If indoors, keep plants and loose cloths/curtains aware from fire places, gas stoves and candles. Any open flame is a risk for a potential fire. Have a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, and hall closet to be extra safe.

  • Make sure that those around you know how to use a fire extinguisher.

  • Have an escape plan. Whether outdoors or inside, always plan an escape route in case a fire should occur. Two story homes could be just as dangerous as an open field. Keep in mind that fires can spread quickly and are more often than not, unpredictable. Inside a home or office can spread just as quickly as being in an open field and then being surrounded by flames.

  • Know how to read if a closed door is a safe exit away from fire or if it just a barrier between you and further flames. Place a hand on the door. If it is warm or bloated, it isn’t safe. If it is cool, it is ok to go through and should be closed behind you. Every door when leaving a fire should be closed behind you if possible.

  • Keep fire alarms operational and frequently check the batteries. If an alarm goes off, leave the premises immediately. If you must exit through smoke, sty low and crawl to your nearest exit. Each room should always have two escape routes.

  • Never use elevators if you live in a high rise apartment complex or are at a hotel. Stairs will be your go to in order to leave a building. 

There will be times we won’t be able to avoid fires, accidents do happen. If that is the case, once everyone is safe, let us come help you get everything back to "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO has years experience in a variety of fire claims. From natural disasters involving lightening storms to electrical fires to fireworks and Christmas Trees taking over a person’s home, we have seen it all and we know how to help. Contact your local SERVPRO straight away.