Recent Posts

Smoke From a Fire Can Cause More Damage Than the Flames

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Thick smoke engulfs a home, foreshadowing the blazing destruction to come. Smoke damage is nastier than fire damage in many respects.

A Fire's Smoke Might Cause More Harm Than The Flames.

Fire damage is easy to spot. Fires burn, char, melt and destroy everything they touch. Remediating fire damage is simply a matter of restoring damaged items to their former condition. Once restoration is complete, everything will look fine, but it won’t smell fine.
Smoke damage is nastier than fire damage in many respects. Particulates created by the fire spread throughout the home, leaving the telltale smell of the fire everywhere. There is nothing simple about smoke cleaning. Complete the following steps, and your home will smell fresh and clean.

1. Begin air filtration immediately after the fire. Don’t give the smoke odor the chance to permeate everything. It will settle in fabrics, carpets, flat surfaces and every crack and crevasse. The best way to avoid that is to capture particulates out of the air before they have a chance to settle.

2. Clean everything while air filtration is still in process. Clean carpets, fabrics, ceilings, walls and floors. Some of the particulates will be captured in cleaning while others may go back into the air. Air filtration will capture them.

3. Ozone removes odors that you cannot reach. You’ve done as much smoke cleaning as you can. Close up your home, load your family and pets in the car, and disappear for a few days. Local smoke and fire remediation specialists in Van Nuys South, CA, will bring in their ozone generators and do the rest. They will let you know when it is safe to return.

4. Thermal fogging is the final step. Any odor that survives the above three steps is in your home to stay. Masking that odor is the only remaining option. Thermal fogging is the process of heating a special deodorizer and spreading it as dry smoke, permeating your entire home.
As you can see, effective smoke cleaning requires special equipment and odor removal specialists with the skills to use it. If you have a problem with odors caused by a fire, it’s time to get some help.

What To Know About Furnace Maintenance

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen after fire caused by cigarettes Unfortunately, sometimes fire or smoke damage can occur from a furnace. In events like these, you can count on SERVPRO, call us!

What You Should Know About Furnace Upkeep

Properly maintaining your furnace in your Lake Balboa, CA, home may be able to help you prevent a costly accident, and the need for fire cleaning afterward. Fortunately, there are some easy maintenance steps that can be taken with most furnaces.

Steps You Can Take

If your furnace seems to be malfunctioning there are several things that could be wrong. Some of the most basic causes are things you can check for yourself.

• A fuse may be blown, or a circuit tripped causing the unit to lose power
• The thermostat may have been turned off
• The power switch may have been turned off
• On gas units, the pilot light may be out

When to Call a Professional

Calling a professional can not only help ensure that the furnace is serviced by someone familiar with it’s unit type, but may help you prevent the necessity of a fire cleaning down the road. If you are unsure what the problem is, or find a fuse blown on several occasions, it is best to call a professional for repair. If you smell gas then quickly exit your home and call your gas company or fire department. Do not try to turn on any lights or turn the gas off yourself.

If You Do Experience Problems

Unfortunately, sometimes fire or smoke damage can occur from a furnace. In events like these a fire damage and restoration professional may be able to help with any smoke cleaning and repairs your home may need. At that time, you may want to have your furnace repaired or replaced by a professional as well.

You can follow some basic steps to keep an eye on your furnace's maintenance needs. While some may be things you can do yourself, others should be done by a professional familiar with the furnace type. If the furnace does malfunction then a restoration and fire cleaning professional may be able to help with your home’s needs.

Water Heaters: What You Might Hear and What To Do About It

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance If you wake up to a groaning, rumbling water heater, there's a very good chance something is wrong.

What You Might Hear About Water Heaters and What You Can Do About It

If you wake up to a groaning, rumbling water heater, there's a very good chance something is wrong. The bad news is that ignoring the problem could lead to very expensive repairs. The good news is that you can usually identify the problem and work with Valley Glen, CA, residential plumbing professionals before the situation gets too expensive.

Popping

Those pops generally indicate too much sediment in the tank. Solid materials, such as sand or minerals, often settle to the bottom of the heater tank. The popping is the result of lime-scale build-up, mineral deposits, or floating sediment. A water heater flush should take care of the problem. Sometimes a reaction between water with high pH levels and an aluminum anode rod causes a popping sound. Switching to a magnesium anode rod could solve the problem.

Rumbling

This ominous sound indicates the presence of so much sediment that your water heater could quit working very soon. The rumbling usually occurs because water expands as it is heated and forces the sediment to move around. If you hear rumbling, contact a Valley Glen, CA, professional right away.

Sizzling

This may be a great sound when you're making breakfast, but if you hear hissing or sizzling in your water tank, the heating element is probably covered in sediment. This problem is often remedied by draining the tank and then removing and cleaning the element. Sizzling could also indicate restricted water flow. Check all of the valves. If the T&P relief, or safety, valve is hissing, shut down the heater and contact a professional.

Ticking

Pressure fluctuations are usually the cause behind ticking noises. Take a look at water inlet and outlet fittings; these hook-ups could be the culprits. If you're not sure how to find these hook-ups, check with a local professional.

Too much sediment in the water heater is a common cause of many annoying noises but isn't the only problem likely to occur. If you can't quickly pinpoint the problem, contact a professional for more help.

How To Salvage Water Damaged Documents

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Books protected from water damage SERVPRO can help you with any water damage in your business, call us and we will answer your needs immediately.

How To Recover Documents That Have Been Flooded

Even in the current age of digital records, it is likely that you still house some important paper files at your business in Van Nuys South, CA. When flooding occurs, what becomes of the wet documents?

What Types of Records Can Be Saved?

Depending on the severity of the flooding it is possible for a wide range of paper documents to be saved. Although not all papers may be salvageable, you increase the likelihood of restorable contents when you take immediate action. The following items may benefit from the document drying process:

  • Paper documents including personnel files, contracts or manuscripts
  • Commercial property blueprints or facility maps
  • Photographs, archival microfiche or film
  • Collections of magazines or books

What Document Drying Methods Are Used?

Restoration specialists use a multitude of professional cleaning and drying techniques to recover wet documents:

  • For storm water and sewage exposure, documents need to be disinfected and sanitized. Items are sterilized using gamma irradiation.
  • Some papers respond best to air drying or a dehumidifying environment.
  • Vacuum freeze drying is an advanced technological process used for antique papers or irreplaceable books. First the documents are frozen, then the air pressure is reduced causing remaining moisture to evaporate. Large quantities of items can be dried simultaneously.
  • Vacuum thermal drying is a quicker process than freeze drying, but it also may distort some materials. This less expensive method is best for common papers where the state of the dried product is not as critical.
  • While not a drying method, the process of digitizing documents is useful. Rather than restoration to a physical item, the documents are available as computer files that can be stored and backed up for future use.

When flooding strikes your commercial property in Van Nuys South, CA, wet documents are not necessarily lost forever. A variety of professional methods are available to save your important business files, photographs or book collections.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

A man is putting out a fire After fire damage, it is best to leave the rest to our team at SERVPRO. They are trained in fire damage cleanup, restoration and board up.

What Is A Fire Extinguisher And How Do I Use It?

A fire extinguisher is only useful if you know how to use the device. Be sure to check the class of extinguisher and identify a safe evacuation route. Follow these four steps to use an extinguisher to safely suppress a fire.

1. Check the Contents

There are four classes of extinguishers, and multi-class extinguishers can be useful for more than one class of fire. Class A extinguishers often put out fires involving commonplace combustibles such as paper or wood. Class B extinguishers contain materials designed to put out fires involving flammable liquids such as grease or gasoline. Class C extinguishers are designated for electrical fires. Class D extinguishers are suitable for use on flammable metals. Multi-class extinguishers may be labeled A-B or A-B-C.

2. Pull the Pin

Pulling the pin on a fire extinguisher will break the tamper seal. After you do so, an extinguisher will need to either be disposed of or refilled. Some extinguishers are designed for one-time use while others are refillable.

3. Aim the Extinguisher

Point the horn, hose, or nozzle of the extinguisher toward the bottom of a fire. You should be careful not to touch the horn on a CO2 extinguisher, as it may become extremely cold.

4. Squeeze and Spray

Spray horizontally from side to side across the base of a fire until it appears to be out. The fire may reignite, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on the area and call firefighters to ensure that it has been completely suppressed.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can prevent fires from spreading and destroying nearby residences in Lake Balboa, CA. If a kitchen fire or another type of fire breaks out in any part of your home, the right extinguisher class may limit the damage. Hire a fire damage restoration company to clean and restore the affected area.

How Cities and States Protect Businesses from Flooding

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded street If you don't know how to protect your business from storm and flood damage, call SERVPRO, we are always ready to help you.

Protecting Businesses From Flooding In Cities And States

Flooding causes high water levels that can contribute to significant property loss and business interruption. It is understandable that business owners want to understand the preventative measures cities may take to protect their investment. Below is a list of the most common tools used by states and cities to protect their populations.

1. Surge Barriers

Surge barriers may be one of the most common tools utilized to stop flooding. These barriers are usually made from steel and concrete and are built above sea levels. These floodgates are specifically designed to minimize the risk of flooding from surges.

2. Sluices

Sluices are a type of floodgate designed to reduce the risk of flooding during extended storms and rains. These gates operate on a system of pressure activated locks. When storms create high water levels, the increased weight and pressure force the gates to open, draining the water into canals and other designated low-lying areas.

3. Dikes

Dikes are likely the most common form of flood prevention. Dikes are equivalent to ditches and trenches. Either natural or human-made, these channels are below sea-level and are typically routed to other low-lying areas, so that when a flood occurs the water is directed away from populated areas where it can safely drain.

4. Emergency Managers

Beyond the constructed precautions cities take to protect citizens and businesses, most cities have an emergency manager and management office. The purpose of the emergency management team is to provide the population with the appropriate tools and knowledge to survive a disaster. Businesses can acquire a more personalized form of this planning by contacting an emergency and restoration professional in Valley Glen, CA.

High water is an intimidating element of storm season. The risk of property loss and business interruption may make many business owners uncomfortable operating in areas prone to flooding. Fortunately, areas prone to this type of disaster likely take appropriate preventative steps to protect their citizens and businesses from extensive damage.

Why Is the Roof Damaged and What Can I Do?

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

A roof in reconstruction If your commercial building is damaged by fire, SERVPRO is always ready to help you. Call us today!

What Can I Do About The Roof Damage?

Fires can do strange things to commercial buildings in Van Nuys South, CA. The flames may burn away parts of your walls and roofing. However, roof damage isn't always directly caused by the fire. No matter the direct cause of the damage, you need to start the fire cleanup as soon as possible. You can call in experts in fire restoration to help you through the process. These individuals will know how to clean up damage caused by fire, smoke and firefighters.

Taking Care of Roof Damage After a Fire

When it comes to your roof, you may want to act quickly to ensure other parts of your commercial building are not negatively affected.

• Cover holes. You can use tarps and boards to cover the holes in your roof and keep the elements out. Hiring a company that does tarp services makes this project easy.


• Start repairs. Roof repair is often a major part of a cleanup process. Get a contractor in as soon as possible to start looking at the damage and figuring out a repair plan.


• Call your insurance company. In some cases, the damage caused due to a fire may be covered under your commercial insurance policy. Call your agent to find out what your next step should be.

As you go through the fire cleanup process, almost every surface of your office will be touched.

Understanding the Damage

Some of the damage done to your roof may have been caused by firefighters. They often put holes in walls and roofs to increase ventilation. The fact is increasing ventilation helps slow a fire's growth and makes it easier to manage. With the holes in place, dark smoke can leave the building and give the emergency responders better vision. The holes make it easier to save your property and make sure no one is left inside the smoldering building.

Quick action is important when it comes to fire cleanup. This is especially true when making repairs to a roof.

Why Mold Keeps Growing Back

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on a white wall If you discover mold growth in your home, you can call SERVPRO, we want help you!

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

If you have mold in your home that keeps coming back, then you have a moisture problem. Many homeowners mistakenly think they can eliminate black mold by scrubbing it away with bleach. However, if you haven’t removed the source of excess moisture, the mold is virtually guaranteed to grow back. In order to get rid of mold growth, a full mold cleanup should be performed by a professional mold remediation service in Valley Glen, CA. The professionals can use hydrometers and infrared light to locate the source of moisture, eliminate it and completely dry out the affected areas.

What Makes Mold Grow

Mold releases spores, which are a bit like tiny, air-borne seeds. These spores are found everywhere, outside and indoors. Whenever a spore lands in a place with the right growing conditions, it blooms into the growth you see in your home. Any place that is consistently damp will foster black mold growth. The moisture can come from a variety of places, but the following are the most common causes of mold growth:

  • High indoor humidity (over 50 percent)
  • Poor ventilation
  • Leaking roofs and windows
  • Leaking water supply lines or water pipes
  • Groundwater seepage from poor drainage

Why Remediation Is Necessary

While some water sources are obvious, leaks that are inside walls or other hard-to-see places can be easy to miss. A professional mold service uses specialized equipment to locate hidden sources of moisture. This ensures leaks and other issues are addressed before cleanup begins. This is critical to prevent the return of mold.

A professional service in Valley Glen, CA, will also remove black mold from your home, completely dry out the affected areas and restore them to their original state. While it is impossible to rid your home completely of mold spores, removing visible colonies will reduce the spore count, and eliminating all moisture deprives spores of a place to grow.

3 Quick Tips for Cleaning a Barbeque Grill

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

Grill cleaning Proper grill cleaning may reduce the risk of fire or your need for fire damage and restoration service.

Cleaning a Barbeque Grill in Three Easy Steps

Few foods taste as good as those that have been cooked outdoors on a barbeque grill. From mouth-watering burgers to steaks and grilled veggies, there are dozens of meals to enjoy. However, one important aspect of becoming a grill master in Van Nuys South, CA, is learning how to operate your barbeque safely, including using effective cleansing techniques. Proper grill cleaning may reduce the risk of fire or your need for a fire damage and restoration service, and there are several steps you can take to ensure your unit is always clean and ready to use.

1. Begin While the Grill Is Warm

Removing thick grease and baked-on residue can be difficult when the grill is cold, so cleaning the unit while it is still somewhat warm may make the job easier. Wait until you can touch the racks comfortably and then prepare for grill cleaning by gathering a pair of rubber gloves and a grill brush before filling a bucket with hot, soapy water large enough to immerse the grates.

2. Disconnect and Dismantle the Grill

Before you perform any grill maintenance, check to ensure all the dials are in the off position, then turn off and disconnect the propane tank. Remove the grates and the drip pan and place them in the bucket of soapy water to soak. Next, clean the underside of the grill’s hood to remove residue that can build up there and cause a grease fire. You can guard the heating elements from dripping water and grease by covering them with heavy-duty foil.

3. Rinse and Reassemble

Once you scrub out the inside of the grill, pull the drip pan and grates from the soak bucket, scrub and rinse them with a hose and place them back inside the unit. Remove the foil and wipe down the outer surface to finish the job.

Becoming the neighborhood grill master in Van Nuys South, CA, includes understanding the importance of proper grill cleaning. When you put cleanliness first, your family, friends and neighbors can enjoy delicious barbeque meals safely.

Why Is There So Much Water Damage After a Fire?

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke on the glass modern building Fire damage and water damage tend to go hand in hand in these situations, and SERVPRO can help you in both case.

When A Fire Occurs, Why Is There So Much Water Damage?

A fire broke out in your commercial building in Lake Balboa, CA. When you go to assess the damage with a fire restoration professional, you're surprised to see that fire damage isn't all that has affected your property. Water stains the walls and floor. While fire can be detrimental to a structure, the water used to put out the flames can do just as much damage. You may notice water damage on your

  • Drywall
  • Furniture
  • Computers
  • Equipment
  • Flooring

Anything in a building that has caught fire could be damaged by the waters used to quench the flames. It may seem odd that these two sources of destruction come as a package deal, but they do and for good reason.

It's a Necessity

While it stinks that the fire hose spouts out so much damaging water, it is a necessary part of putting out a fire. If left alone, the flames could sweep through your entire building and spread to any structures nearby. The fire could leave you with a skeleton of your former office, so firefighters use loads of water to ensure the flames are stopped.

Unfortunately, the saving waters play another role in your property. It also fills your building, soaks your belongings and touches almost every surface.

It Needs To Be Addressed

Fire damage and water damage tend to go hand in hand in these situations. Both types of destruction need to be taken care of as soon as possible. If the water is allowed to sit untouched in your warehouse, you may come back to disintegrated belongings and mold-covered walls. The sooner you get a team of water and fire remediation experts in the sooner your business can go back to normal.

Fire damage rarely shows up in a commercial building on its own. When flames engulf your business, you may also have to deal with damage done by the water used to put the fire out.