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Where to Check for Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

tan wall with water damage spots showing through Do you have any water damage to your home? Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South, we are your local water restoration experts.

There are few better things to invest your time into than keeping your home maintained, and one of the best ways to do this is by checking often for water damage. Not only will cosmetic issues arise from moisture buildup, but it can also lead to serious structural issues in your home which will only get worse over time.

You can do your own checks for water damage around the house so you know as soon as you need to call in a professional. Catching water damage early can help lessen the damage it causes and lessen the amount you have to claim on your homeowners insurance for the damages, too.

Do Your Own Checks for Water Damage Around the House

Inspect your walls and ceilings. The drywall in a home is designed to conceal structural elements, but it can also conceal leaks and moisture buildup. Knowing what to look for is key to making sure your home is not harboring any hidden leaks. Peeling or bubbling paint, discoloration or spots that are soft to the touch are often indicators that something is amiss.

Don’t forget to look down. The floor of your home is set upon a subfloor, which provides a level base for it to rest on. However, these subfloors can absorb moisture if there is a leak, causing waviness or buckling as they swell and retain water. If you notice sudden issues with your floor, it is best to get a restoration crew involved quickly.

Inspect your roof. It is good to keep your roof in good shape, as it has the big job of keeping water out of your home every time it rains. You can learn a lot about your roof by simply going outside with binoculars to check for signs of damage and wear, such as loose or missing shingles, that could be indicative that water is working its way in.

Pay close attention to the basement. Letting your basement become musty is not just unpleasant—it can cause serious household issues, too. Water can seep in through your foundation walls or begin to infiltrate the basement with heavy rain, leading to mold and mildew growth in addition to structural issues with your foundation.

If you have water damage anywhere in your home, we are here to help. You can contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damages. Get in touch today to speak with a water damage restoration expert.

What to do Immediately After a House Fire

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

  1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
  2. Know who to call.
    1. Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
    2. Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
    3. At this time you may request SERVPRO for contents cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.
    4. Another call may be to your landlord if applicable.
  3. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
  4. If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Van Nuys South to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
  5. Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.

For more information on contents and structural drying, extinguisher residue and soot removal call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South at (818) 780-7111.

Is your business emergency ready?

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope, and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed, or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage, and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare Your Emergency Plan Your employees and co-workers are your businesses' most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during, and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, consumers, and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant, or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don't open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

Restoring your Commercial Property? We're here to help!

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Van Nuys commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Van Nuys South

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Four Steps You Should Take If You Have A Leak

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

A roof leak from a major storm can cause serious long-term problems to your business in Van Nuys, CA if it is not identified and fixed immediately. If you suspect your building has a leak, act quickly to avoid additional damage.
There are four steps you should take if you have a leak, and calling for help from residential or commercial storm cleanup professionals can ensure these steps are completed in a safe and timely manner:

1. Identify the Location of the Leak.
The most important step to fixing a leaking roof is determining its location and source. Someone will need to climb up to the roof when the weather is dry and visually inspect the area above where the water is coming in through the ceiling. A roof leak is often spotted by searching for general signs of wear and tear, missing shingles, or loose flashing.

2. Determine the Cause of Damage.
Common culprits of a damaged roof include old mounting holes, clogged gutters, or a cracked chimney.

3. Repair the Roof.
Fixing the roof will stop additional water from coming into the building. Excess water can lead to additional damage to your business.

4. Inspect and Repair Additional Damage.
You will need to inspect any surrounding areas that need may repair. A professional can ensure that all wet materials are torn out and replaced and the affected area is dried and disinfected.
If left untreated, the damage could end up costing your business a hefty sum. Untreated leaks often lead to additional issues, including mold and mildew, structural damage, or even worse, potential fires if you experience any electrical problems where the water is seeping in.
It is recommended that you enlist the help of a residential or commercial storm cleanup service if you experience a roof leak. They are expertly trained in restoring roofs and ceilings that have been hit hard with storm damage. These professionals ensure that all risks are eliminated, keeping you and your business dry and safe.

3 Actions That May Be Necessary After a Fire at Your Business

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

3 Actions That May Be Necessary After a Fire at Your Business

When a fire impacts your Van Nuys, CA, business, the aftermath can be difficult to endure. Smoke damage, standing water from fire hoses, and charred building materials may make cleanup feel overwhelming. While the process can be daunting, there are a few actions you can take that may put you and your business on the path to recovery.

1. Call a Restoration Service
Soot damage to your inventory, office equipment, and carpeting can be difficult to remove with everyday cleansers, so calling in a mitigation and restoration service to assist you may be an effective first step after a fire at your business. Cleaning technicians may take some information over the phone, including the size of the fire, how many floors were damaged, and whether you need restoration services for documents that were affected by soot and water.

2. Secure the Property
If you have fire damaged doors and windows, you may want to board up open entryways to discourage further issues like theft and poor weather conditions, including wind and rain. Consider moving undamaged inventory and equipment to a secure location for storage until these problems are repaired and to protect them from smoke damage.

3. Meet With Cleanup Technicians
Once your smoke cleaning and restoration technicians arrive, they will likely survey the entire property and give you service options that may include the removal and replacement of damaged carpeting and other building materials, the removal of smoke odors and soot cleaning and water cleanup. Your technicians may also offer you a walk through of the restoration process and estimates so you can plan a repair budget before you reopen your business.
Smoke damage and other issues caused by a fire at your Van Nuys, CA, business can be difficult to remove on your own, especially if the fire affected a large area of the property. Working with a professional cleanup company and knowing which steps to take in the aftermath of a fire may help you get back on your feet quickly.

What is a Moisture Meter?

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

If you’ve ever had a restoration team repair flood damage to your home, you’ve probably encountered some sci-fi looking devices that the technicians pulled out and occasionally told you were saying something significant. It’s understandable if you wondered whether these are actually high-tech tools or just gimmicks meant to fool you into paying a contractor.

One of these mystery tools is called a “moisture meter” and today we want to explain them a little better so you know what our technicians are looking at. 

Obviously we can only vouch for our own technicians’ honesty, but we can re-assure you that moisture meters are a legitimate piece of technology used throughout the industry. In fact, consumer-grade moisture meters are widely available at hardware retailers or online.

How Do Moisture Meters Work?

There are two main types of moisture meters: resistance meters (pin meters) and capacitance meters (pinless).

Pin meters have two small sharp detectors that are inserted into wood. They detect moisture by measuring the electrical current that travels between the pins. This is a fast and proven method of measuring moisture in wood, but it will slightly damage the material that’s being inspected.

Capacitance meters are good for using on materials that can’t or shouldn’t be penetrated with pins. They work by creating an electromagnetic field that is affected by the moisture in the material.

How Do Technicians Use Moisture Meters?

Our SERVPRO technicians will make an initial moisture reading during their first visit to your building. At that time they’ll make a determination about the best drying method depending on the moisture level and material that’s being restored, and then they’ll get the restoration process started.

Every day after that, a technician will visit your site to take follow-up readings. They’ll use the same moisture meters on the same material to ensure consistency, so if they used a capacitance meter on the wall during the initial inspection, they’ll use a capacitance meter in every other reading.

If you have experienced water damage, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South and let us know how we can help you

How Can I Actively Keep My Home Safer From Fires? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

white fire alarm being tested by a person If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here for you. Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South to learn more.

Though going through a house fire is something that none of us would like to do, it is important to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent one, as well. Once a fire starts, it can spread in less than a minute, leaving severe damages in its wake.

There are many things you can do to increase your fire safety around the house, however, none of which are too difficult. Small, everyday safety precautions can go a long way in reducing your risk and keeping your family safe.

Everyday Safety Precautions to Reduce Your Fire Risk

Check your smoke detectors. The first thing we recommend for fire safety is making sure you have an adequate number of smoke detectors and that you are checking them regularly to ensure they are operations. Smoke detectors should be on every floor and near every sleeping area, and should generally be tested monthly to ensure they are operational.

Create a fire escape plan. When the smoke alarms in your home do sound, being able to get out quickly is so important. Experts recommend being able to evacuate in less than two minutes to avoid inhalation of smoke. Formulating a concrete plan and rehearsing it with your family is important for getting everyone to safety even in an emergency.

Limit your fire risks. There are many things you can do every day to limit your overall fire risks, as small habits go a long way. Cleaning out the lint trap on your dryer, avoiding overloading outlets and replacing frayed cords are all good tips for making sure you are not adding to your fire risk accidentally.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Any time you will be dealing with an open flame, it is recommended that you have a fire extinguisher nearby and are aware of how to use it. When it is safe to extinguish a fire, doing so can create the difference between a small incident and a major household disaster.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 247 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response.

Mitigate the Impact of Severe Weather on Your Family | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

large yellow storm warning sign in front of dark forming clouds SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here to provide you with a rapid response. Contact us right away if you experience any storm damage.

Because of how frequently rain moves through the area, it is common to discount the impact that more severe storms can have. However, it is important to remember that any storm has the ability to cause damage, and it only takes one to create serious issues.

Fortunately, by planning in advance, you can significantly reduce the storm damage that you are likely to sustain. Here are some tips to do just that:

Reduce the Storm Damage You Are Likely to Sustain

Prepare your home as much as possible. There are some storm damages that just can’t be avoided, but one thing homeowners can do to reduce their chances is maintaining the trees around their yard by trimming back any loose branches that could become projectiles. To increase your comfort in the aftermath of a storm, adding a household storm generator to your efforts is advised so you can continue to use your electricity.

Create a family communications plan. Whenever your family is in one place, it is easy to make sure you are all safe. However, if one or more of you is away from home when severe weather strikes, it can be frightening if you do not know everyone is OK. We always recommend creating a communication plan so every family member knows to check-in, and the others will have the reassurance that they are safe.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. One of the smartest considerations for disaster preparedness is packing an emergency kit for your family. Putting everything you might need for severe weather in one place can ensure you are never without the necessities and your family can stay as comfortable as possible until you can readily access resources again.

Consider getting a weather radio. While our phones allow us to receive more information than ever before, they can fail us during a severe weather emergency when it matters most. Unreliable cell networks are common during severe storms, so we always advise people to have a weather radio or other secondary alert system packed in their emergency kit.

If your home is damaged by a storm, you can depend on us to take care of any damages. Contact us at any hour to report damage and receive a rapid response.

Deciding in Advance on Your Storm Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South to set up an appointment.

While it is impossible to know just how susceptible your home or business is to storm damage, waiting until it happens to you to find out is not advised. Storm damage has grown more frequent in recent years, and with the cost of treating it on the rise, too, we always recommend people put a plan in place so that they are prepared.

Choosing the restoration company you will work with is the most important decision you will make regarding the entire process. They will set the tone for your entire restoration experience, and because they will be handling your property, they are also responsible for providing you with valuable peace of mind. Make sure you are choosing wisely by asking the right questions of each company.

Questions to Ask to Vet Your Restoration Company

How long have you been operating in the area? There will be so many people in need of restoration after a storm, leaving ample opportunity for post-storm scammers to infiltrate an area. Before you do business with any company you come across, be sure to make sure they have a long-standing reputation in the area and are considered well-respected restoration professionals.

How do you handle spikes in demand? After a storm, many people will likely be experiencing damage in a small area, which can get overwhelming quickly for those who are not equipped to handle it. Thankfully, we have a nation of other SERVPRO® locations on our side, allowing us to provide the same level of service whether we have one job or one thousand people needing restoration.

How do you handle calls after business hours? Having damage done to your home is one of the most stressful things you can experience, and calling your restoration company just to get an outgoing message can compound this stress. That is why we are here for you 24/7—no matter when you need to call, you can count on getting one of our friendly restoration experts on the other end of the line to begin formulating a restoration plan for you right away.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.