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Determine How Prepared Your Business Is for an Emergency | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

office furniture and supplies submerged under water in an office room Taking measures to reduce the time that your business is closed is crucial for any company. Let SERVPRO of Van Nuys South be your partner in the resto

Planning ahead is a skill that is essential for business owners, but it should not simply be reserved for operational considerations.

Making sure that your business is prepared for a disaster is one of the best ways to ensure you can recover from one—many businesses find themselves devastated due to damages and unable to reopen their doors. With disaster preparation, however, you can help lessen the risk of this happening to you.

There are many things to consider when it comes to being prepared, so to avoid it being an overwhelming task, we have separated our top tips into three main categories. Staying organized is the key to understanding where you are adequately prepared and where you should strengthen your efforts so you can protect your investment.

Your Commercial Insurance Coverage

Commercial insurance policies are a must for business owners, but they are still often inadequate for the damages a disaster can cause. Many commercial policies are still not large enough to cover the damage, on top of excluding common culprits, such as any damage caused by flooding, and the most difficult aspects for businesses such as a loss in revenue. Determining exactly what is covered in your policy and purchasing extra insurance where needed is a smart first step to preparedness.

Your Emergency Plan and Supply Kit

When an emergency or disaster is imminent, there are often only moments to react and get to safety—which is why an evacuation plan is essential. You should practice executing your plan with staff so everyone knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Additionally, pack an emergency supply kit to keep in the office in case you must await help for whatever reason.

Your Plan for Restoration and Recovery

Keeping your doors closed while you recover from the disaster can be devastating, as it creates an interruption in cash flow that many businesses simply cannot afford. By planning ahead and choosing your commercial restoration company in advance, however, you can start the restoration process right away and cut down on the time the process takes. Additionally, look into the disaster assistance offered by the Small Business Administration to help you obtain liquid capital during revenue interruptions.

If your business has been impacted by a disaster, you can contact us 247 for guidance on how to begin the commercial restoration process.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Van Nuys South, 818-780-7111


Methods for Increasing Household Weatherproofing | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

a person placing weather stripping on a white window If you have any storm damage, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here to help. We are available 24/7 and ready to assist you when you need it most.

When you hear that severe weather is on the way, do you immediately begin worrying about damage to your home? While there is no way to guarantee you will not sustain damage, taking measures to increase your home’s weatherproofing can give you valuable peace of mind—and when you consider that half of insurance claims from homeowners are due to storm damage, it is something that is wise to avoid when possible.

For most homeowners, implementing weatherproofing efforts is something that only takes a weekend and can have serious benefits. Read on to learn more about our top recommendations for preventing storm damage to your home.

Increasing Household Weatherproofing

Keep Your Shingles in Shape
Do not make the mistake of assuming your house is too new to have a roof leak. Roof leaks develop due to a variety of causes and can cause serious damage if left unnoticed. Check your shingles for signs of wear and tear and prioritize repairs to prevent excessive damage.

Beat the Weather With Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is highly regarded not only for adding storm resilience but also for how well it insulates the home and saves on heating and cooling costs. Weatherstripping prevents water from working its way into microscopic cracks around doors and windows, and it can often be installed in an afternoon.

Gut Debris From Your Gutters
When your gutters are clogged, water can back up and begin to seep into places it should not be—namely, into your home. Clean your gutters at least every six months to prevent this from happening, and check them regularly for cracks, wet spots or any other signs that something is amiss.

Pick the Right Paint
Choosing an exterior paint is a decision that involves more than just coloring these days. There are paints engineered with extra weather protection now, from waterproof coating to UV ray-blocking technology. The next time it is time to add a coat of paint to your home’s exterior, consider choosing something of this nature to increase your home’s resilience.

If you have issues with storm damage to your home, we are always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

Understanding Industry Specific Fire Risks for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

a green exit sign surrounded by flames If your business has experienced a fire, call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. We provide a full service from mitigation to restoration.

There are so many risks that a business can be exposed to throughout the course of its life, and it is vital that business owners are cognizant of the risks specific to their situation. One of the most commonly underestimated risks for businesses is a commercial fire. These can devastate businesses, and in many cases, force permanent closures.

One of the smartest things that business owners can do to combat this is to understand the risks specific to their industry in order to practice preparedness in a strategic way. Knowing what fire dangers your business is likely to face will help you plan ahead and take measured steps to prevent an emergency and protect your investment.

Planning for Industry Specific Fire Risks

  1. Identify your specific risks. Not every industry will face the same fire risks, so you should know exactly what yours might be to begin your planning. For restaurants, cooking fires are generally the most common cause of fires, while factories might be more concerned with chemical reactions or equipment short-circuits. Regardless of what risks you might face, it is important to put in the effort to identify them so you can make more informed planning decisions.
  2. Increase safety measures with these things in mind. Now that you know where and why fires are most likely to break out in your business, you can begin to plan strategically to prevent them. Increasing necessary safety measures is a smart first step here—for example, adding more accessible fire extinguishers near grills or fryers, or installing sprinklers and extra fire detection equipment near machinery can go a long way in stopping a fire quickly once it starts.
  3. Involve your staff in your fire safety planning. As you work to take more fire safety measures, be sure to include your staff in the process for best results. Go over your fire safety plan with them so everyone knows key information such as where fire extinguishers are located and how to perform a quick evacuation if need be. By involving your staff in your efforts, you can create a safer and more prepared workplace for everyone.

If your business has experienced a fire, we’re here 24/7 to respond and begin restoration. Call us today to learn how we can help you.

Have Storm Damage to Your Home? Give Us a Call | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

a yellow storm damage sign in front of a large damaged roof SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your Damage Restoration expert. If you experience any storm damage call us right away.

Storm damages are a common occurrence, but if they are severe, they can be devastating. In 2018, homeowners filed for approximately $2 billion in storm-related damages to their homes, and storm-related claims are a leading cause of insurance filings.

Knowing what to do in advance in case storm damage occurs to your home is one of the best ways to prepare. That is why we are here to tell you about the services we offer and how you can count on us to get your household back on track following storm damage.

What’s Included in the Storm Restoration Process

A Complete Approach to Storm Damage
Every damage is unique, which is why we approach everything with a holistic attitude. Treating structural damage, moisture buildup and mold growth in unison is the only way to achieve full restoration, which is why we make sure we are fully certified to do all of this work on your home. This way you can be certain that all of your damage will be handled.

A Team of Technicians Who Care
Our technicians’ training is something we take very seriously, which is why we invest heavily in making sure they have access to educational materials throughout their career. From their initial training to educate them about the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification guidelines to the seminars and ongoing classes we provide, we make sure that they are fully educated and ready to take on all kinds of damage.

An Adequate Amount of Resources
Because we have the SERVPRO® brand behind us, we have access to national resources when the damages to our community are severe. Whether we need extra equipment, additional workforce or other support, other locations are ready and willing to band together and ensure everyone in the area receives the restoration they need.

A Trustworthy Reputation
We have been working on restoration in the community for many years and have unfortunately seen many companies try to take advantage of those who have sustained damage after a storm. Because we are known leaders in the restoration industry, you do not have to be concerned with the legitimacy of our business—instead, you can be certain you will receive professional, quality work.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

Implementing Strong Fire Safety Measures in Your Household | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

a person laying another wood log into hot burning fireplace A house fire can occur when you least expect it. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is on call 24/7 and will guide you through any fire restoration project.

From working with local families to restore their homes after a fire, we have seen just how impactful experiencing a house fire can be. While fires can often occur in unprecedented ways, there are many fire safety tips to implement that can significantly reduce the chance that your household will experience one.

Keeping track of all the various guidelines for fire safety is a task that prohibits many people from learning the must-know facts. For your ease of use, we have put together a guide that encompasses the most important fire safety tips, so you can access the information easily.

An Overview of Fire Safety

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Keeping your household’s smoke detectors operational and testing them on schedule is one of the best things to do for fire safety. By ensuring your family members will know as soon as a fire starts, you can help make sure everyone gets to safety quickly.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. When the smoke alarm sounds, it’s important to evacuate quickly, which is much easier if there is already a plan in place. Knowing the designated exits and where to meet your family members will expedite the evacuation and keep everyone safer.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Purchasing, storing and learning how to operate a fire extinguisher is a great investment in fire safety. Research the various classifications of extinguishers to make sure you are purchasing the right one for your anticipated needs.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Even small flames can pose large risks when it comes to house fires. Every year, candles, fireplaces and stove tops start an unprecedented amount of fires—generally because they were left in a room unattended. Remember to be cautious any time a flame is present, no matter how small.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. It is alarming but true: The most dangerous fires are the ones that occur at night. Thankfully, by sleeping with bedroom doors shut, you can greatly increase the time your family has to react to the smoke alarm sounding as a shut door will act as a barrier for the flames.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

Hidden Water Damage From Appliances | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

frustrated woman on floor looking at broken washer If your home experiences any flooding or other water issue, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here to dry, clean and repair any damage.

Any kind of water damage is alarming for homeowners to deal with. While some causes create apparent issues, when it comes to appliance leaks, there may be extensive damage before the problem is discovered.

Fortunately, by making sure that you are checking up on the right appliances and putting the proper prevention measures in place, you can help prevent this hidden damage from occurring.

Check These Appliances for Household Water Damage

Hot Water Heater
A well-maintained hot water heater can last up to 15 years, but leaks from the components and pipes may start much sooner. Checking the seals and pipes surrounding the heater is important, as well as monitoring the drain pan to ensure any accumulated water is being drained away sufficiently.

Because they are not frequently moved, refrigerators can harbor hidden water damage for years before it is brought to light. Ice and water dispensers are connected to a home’s main plumbing system, and if there is any issue with the seals or tubing, leaks can occur and compound with time. Making it part of your home maintenance checklist to check behind the fridge is wise.

The same things said about refrigerators can be said about dishwashers, but dishwashers are an even higher risk appliance. They use quite a bit more water, and insurance coverage of their damages is not guaranteed. To avoid a large and expensive problem, check behind the dishwasher just as often as you check the fridge.

Washing Machine
The hoses that run to washing machines are common leak culprits and should be inspected monthly to ensure there are no issues. Because these hoses can also deteriorate from the inside out, it is recommended that they are replaced at least every five years to avoid hidden damage.

Air Conditioner
An HVAC system will typically drain water away as it operates, ensuring that any condensation it creates does not become backed up. However, water damage to and around the unit can occur if there are issues with this drainage system. Regular maintenance is one of the best preventatives—your manufacturer should have frequency guidelines so that you can be made aware of any issues before they turn into water damage problems.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

Reducing the Danger a Disaster Poses to Your Business | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

preparedness and readiness sayings in bold lettering with red background Having a disaster plan in place is crucial for any business. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your full service commercial restoration company.

Natural disasters will always pose dangers to areas they impact, but through careful planning and consideration, small business owners can reduce the risks they are subjected to. Natural disasters continue to occur more frequently in all parts of the world, but being prepared is the best way to ensure your business is well-poised to recover fully from one.

When making your plans, considering both what to do during the disaster and how to pick up the pieces left behind is important to the restoration and reopening process. Recovering quickly is one of the most vital things for business owners to focus on, so they can get back to business faster.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Small Business Owners

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Though a business insurance policy is designed to help you in case of damages to your commercial property, there are some things related to a disaster that your policy may not cover. Discuss the details of your policy with your agent and inquire about whether you need additional coverage added on to your policy in order to fully protect your assets.

2. Create Your Action Plan
When it comes to safety, planning for the moment a disaster strikes is one of the safest things that anyone can do. Knowing where to seek shelter and what routes to take if an evacuation order is presented is important, as is making sure your location has emergency supplies sufficient for if officials order you to stay put. Food, water and a well-stocked first-aid kit are all good items to keep on hand and in an accessible place.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
If you have staff on-site, it is wise to include them in your disaster plans as well. Train staff on the emergency and evacuation procedures, and be sure to set aside time to do workplace drills in order to help staff conceptualize what should be done in a disaster scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
The restoration company you choose to work with for your commercial repairs is one of the most vital aspects of your entire recovery plan. This is the company entrusted with getting your business back up and running by working both quickly and effectively to do a quality job. Choosing this company ahead of time will do wonders for peace of mind, as you can do thorough research without feeling the pressure to decide right away.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Causes & Prevention Strategies for Wintertime Fires | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

snow covered christmas tree branches Practicing prevention is the best way to reduce the chance of a fire, however if you do experience a loss contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.

Winter features many holidays and cozy activities, but unfortunately, it can bring an increased risk of a house fire as well.

Even for areas like ours that do not get extremely cold temperatures, winter is the most likely time for a fire to occur in the home. Understanding the factors that go into this and how activities can be performed more safely is key to fire prevention during the winter months.

The Causes Behind the Likelihood of Winter Fires

An Increase in Cooking
Time of year aside, it is consistently found that cooking is the No. 1 cause of house fires—and even this number is increased in the winter months. An increased frequency of time spent in the kitchen baking, cooking with family members and preparing large-scale holiday meals can all contribute to the likelihood that a fire will occur.

The Risk of Heaters
When Southern California gets its chilliest nights, being able to fire up the fireplace or plug in the space heater is a wonderful way to stay cozy at home. However, it is important to take safety precautions when doing so—heaters and fireplaces are the second leading cause of winter fires. Be sure your heater has adequate safety features and your fireplace has a grate or grill to harness wandering sparks.

Candles and Decorations
Holiday decorations bring out an extra festive air, but it is important to choose safe ones in order to lessen your risk of a fire. In general, candles are not recommended by experts due to the risk of introducing an open flame to an area. Electronic decorations are generally recommended, but checking cords and cables is important to prevent overheating or sparking.

Prevention Strategies for Fires in Winter

The causality of wintertime fires is important to note, as are the strategies for preventing them. When enjoying the festivities and fun of winter, be sure to exercise caution during common fire-risk activities, and remember the following tips:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.

Ways That Floods Are Damaging to Homes | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

water damaged furniture, home items and ripped up carpet sitting on driveway of brick home Do you have water damage or flooding? Let SERVPRO of Van Nuys South guide you through your water-related issues.

Once a chief concern only for low-lying areas, flooding has become a more common occurrence around the country, causing more and more homeowners to be concerned.

While floods can happen for many reasons and cause various types of damage, we have treated an abundance of flood-damaged homes and can help you know what to prepare for.

Ways That Floods Can Lead to Damage

Foundational Damage. The ground below a home’s foundation is generally sound, but when floodwaters are introduced, it can quickly become unstable. As soil becomes oversaturated with water, it can begin to swell, causing the foundation above it to shift irregularly and cause damage.

Drywall Damage and Mold. The drywall that has been exposed to flood waters will typically have to be replaced due to mold growth concerns. Not all drywall will show water damage, but it is best to err on the side of caution to prevent mold damage.

Insulation Saturation. A home’s insulation is generally protected via the drywall, but if drywall becomes soaked through, it can easily become oversaturated with water as well. Not only is this something that can stop the insulation from being effective, but it can also lead to an increased chance of mold within the walls.

Temporary Frame Swelling. A house frame made of solid lumber is a sturdy design and one that is typically impervious to water damage. Though swelling may occur and is normal, the structural integrity of the frame will generally remain intact, requiring only thorough drying and cleaning to be restored.

Appliance Ruining. Every appliance manufacturer constructs products differently, but some appliances contain insulation that is at-risk for damages after a flood. However, because they are all different, it is best to get a professional inspection to determine what is safe for continued use.

Furniture Damage. The materials furniture is made of is generally the best indicator of how well it will weather a flood—soft materials such as upholstery and even composite wood can become irreparably damaged, but pieces of a sturdier construction (such as acrylic or metal) will generally be alright following a thorough cleaning.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.