How to Clean Up a Space After Hoarding
What is hoarding? Hoarding is a subtype of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that causes people to resist parting with possessions, ultimately accumulating them in large quantities that can take over a home and interfere with daily functioning.
According to the International OCD Foundation, as many as 1 in 50 people have at least some level of hoarding tendencies.
It’s a serious issue that can eventually lead to dangerous conditions in a space.
As possessions and even trash are allowed to pile up in a home or commercial space, they present fire hazards, tripping hazards, and can hide pests, rodents or mold growth.
If you discover that a space you own has been used for hoarding, what should be your next move? Call in a team of specially trained professionals to make the space usable again.
<h2the-cleanup-process:a70b757925e62f6be8aa4ee8e8a9f199">Defining the Cleanup Process
While you might think that you just need to clear out the clutter and clean up, there are special considerations when it comes to a space that’s been used for hoarding.
A professional team will understand those considerations and provide a comprehensive clean-up that mitigates any safety hazards.
<h4of-dangerous-substances:a70b757925e62f6be8aa4ee8e8a9f199">Removal of Dangerous Substances
Hoarding leads to piles of clutter and other objects, which can conceal serious health-related hazards, including toxic mold growth, along with insects and rodents.
To ensure you are safely cleaning the space and not putting anyone at risk, partner with a team of professionals educated in best practices and outfitted in specialized safety gear.
<h4of-items:a70b757925e62f6be8aa4ee8e8a9f199">Removal of Items
This is likely the part of cleaning that comes to mind. This stage involves removing all clutter, including items like newspapers and even trash that’s collected over time.
Because these items can become hazardous over time, professionals will ensure safe removal. They may also need to remove objects within the space that have become contaminated over time, like carpets or kitchenware.
After the space has been cleared out, deep-cleaning is the next step of the process.
During this cleaning, professionals will restore the space by removing all residue, odors and stains, making it usable again.
In need of a team to help restore a space where hoarding has been an issue? Contact our team at SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South, and we’ll make it like it never even happened.
3 Causes of Storm Damage in Hurricanes
Pacific hurricanes are not as common as on the Atlantic Coast, but they have been known to happen. Just in August, Hawaii was devastated by Hurricane Lane. California and the mild Los Angeles climate may be relatively safe from hurricanes, but if you were to travel to the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, or even Hawaii then the odds go up and it’s important to be prepared.
While hurricanes often get the most coverage, they are only one of ten common types of storm in the United States. The others are hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, snow storms, hail storms, thunderstorms, lightning storms, tropical storms, ice storms and Derecho storms.
Of the ten, Derecho storms are actually considered to be rare. Have you heard of a Derecho storm before? This storm occurs when several large storms create one giant storm that reaches speeds of 58 miles per hour (at least) and crosses 250 miles.
Hurricanes, even if more common in some areas than others, can reach far past the coast they occur on.Hurricane Sandy had a reach of over 20 states.
Since hurricanes cause so much damage, it’s vital to be familiar with the damage they cause even if they aren’t common to California.So, how do hurricanes cause so much damage?First, by wind.
Wind accompanied by hurricanes can be linked to most damage caused by these storms. In some cases, the wind is so strong that it forms tornadoes. Wind speed commonly ranges between 74 - 155 miles per hour, strong enough to cause intense wreckage. The sturdiest of structures, even trees, are in danger from this kind of wind. Storm winds hoist up and fling debris of all sizes and shapes, which causes further destruction.Second, by storm surge.
Have you heard of a “wall of water” caused by hurricanes? As a hurricane rages toward the coast, its winds are pushing water with it, disrupting the normal flow of tides. The winds push so much water toward the shore that it amasses high above the predicted tide level and it surges onto the shore and farther inland. As the water rushes inland, it has nowhere to drain and causes flooding. Storm surge also creates strong currents and the weight of the water is so heavy that it can cause severe damage.Third, by flood.
As mentioned, storm surge is primary reason for floods during hurricanes. But this happens primarily on the coast. Hurricanes can cause floods 100 miles out from where the hurricane lands. This is because a hurricane is so powerful as to affect other weather systems, creating excess precipitation that is far ranging. This heavy excess rain often overwhelms an area and causes floods when it can’t drain properly.
Storm damage, caused by hurricanes or flood or otherwise, can be severe and difficult to clean up on your own. Call SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South for expert water damage restoration services.
Mold: Do You Need a Professional?
If you own a home, or even if you rent, you probably already know that mold is a very common household annoyance. But even though it’s common, it sometimes requires a more than common solution.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need to hire professional remediation services to get rid of mold in your home.1. Does it keep coming back?
Mold only needs a damp or humid space to grow, which means there are three common culprits in any home: bathroom, attic, or basement. The bathroom is an obvious one: there’s plenty of extra water lying around to create mold. But basements or attics often aren’t very well ventilated, which also creates ideal conditions for mold. If mold keeps returning to these spots, your problem might be more significant than you think.2. Does it require handiwork?
Did you know that mold can grow in walls? Especially in drywall, if it’s porous or untreated. It can be hard to quickly identify mold growth in the walls, which means a mold colony can get quite large before it’s found. If it’s grown too big, the infested section of the wall has to be removed.3. Is it causing poor health?
Just like mold is common, so are mold allergies. A little less common, but more serious, are the other respiratory issues that mold can cause. Mold has also been known to cause skin infections or irritations. Mold spores are airborne, so even if you can’t see the mold, it could still cause poor health.
If your answer was yes to any of the above questions, it’s time to call for help. Call SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South today for expert mold remediation services. SERVPRO® makes it like it never even happened.
Water Damage and Restoration
With many of the properties making up the Van Nuys neighborhood being constructed quite sometime ago, Many have experienced water damage caused by failed water pipes, air-conditioning units leaking, cracked water pipes from overgrown trees and earthquakes.
Since we typically cannot see these water pipes it is difficult to conduct any sort of maintenance before the leak presents a problem and we notice it after the fact. What’s worse is if you live in a condominium unit on the bottom floor, your neighbor above you could have a leak that will also affect you even if your pipes have no damage whatsoever.
When water damage affects our home it affects our lifestyle and causes anxiety and discomfort. SERVPRO Van Nuys South knows this fact and because of that we do our utmost to get in and get out leaving you with the feeling as if it never even happened.
How You Can Prevent Mold Growth Following Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South
Any home or business owner that has been affected by water damage knows what a devastating problem it is—both due to the damage it can cause and also due to the unique health hazards and risks it can present.
One of those dangerous risks is mold growth. Many negative symptoms associated with mold exposure have been reported by the CDC, and the problem is exacerbated because of how quickly mold can begin growing.
If your home has been affected by water damage and you’re concerned with mold growth, here are the steps you can take to help stop mold before it takes hold.
Before You Start
- Take photos and videos of damage throughout for insurance claim purposes, making sure to include furniture and walls.
- Never re-enter your building before officials have deemed it safe and are positive all water has receded.
Tips for Drying
- Make use of fans, dehumidifiers and heaters to speed up drying time.
- A heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum can be used before the professional cleanup crew arrives.
- Weather permitting, open windows and doors to maximize airflow for as long as possible.
Sorting Items Exposed to Water
- Porous materials, such as wood, upholstery and paper of any kind, should be discarded, as they can trap mold spores.
- Due to the non-porous nature of metal, plastic and glass, they can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
- It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores if they’ve already begun to grow.
A Professional Should Always Be Consulted
In some cases, carpets can be salvaged after water damage, but at minimum, experts typically recommend replacing the carpet pad. Mold is commonly associated with discolorations and foul odors, but can often lurk unnoticed long before it is seen, posing a serious danger.
While a pad replacement is less costly than a full re-carpeting of the home, only a professional can determine if this is adequate enough to keep the harmful spores from invading your home.
If you’ve encountered water damage, SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South can help you restore your home and remediate for any mold issues that arise.
Easy HVAC Maintenance | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South
Every homeowner appreciates the comforts of a central heating and air system, but there’s no question about the substantial costs associated with operating them. In fact, Energy Star reports energy costs from HVAC systems make up about half of a household’s electric bill. While that’s a significant chunk of change, with a little bit of maintenance, you can make your investment extend much further.
Because the HVAC system is so important, performing regular maintenance is equally important.
Along with twice yearly professional cleaning services, homeowners should perform the following maintenance themselves and educate themselves on how their HVAC system works.
- When the AC runs, the cooling coils in the HVAC system work to remove water from the air. Drain pans and nearby surfaces should be regularly checked for moisture accumulation to stop problems like mold and water damage before they start.
- Change your HVAC filters every 30 to 90 days depending on the type of filter used. This will help you maintain maximum air quality and efficiency. Other ways to improve heating and cooling include using the highest-rated filter for your HVAC model and ensuring a secure fit when filters are installed.
- Include your HVAC in your routine dusting and vacuuming to clear the dust and debris out before it has a chance to invade your air flow system. This does wonders for your HVAC cleanliness. Additionally, always use the highest efficiency filter for the vacuum and purchase one with a HEPA certification if possible.
Tip: And of course, if home renovations are causing excess dust, seal off supply and return registers in the house before the dust has a chance to infiltrate the ducts.
- Always schedule regular maintenance checkups and cleaning. Having a professional survey your system twice per year is the best way to ensure your HVAC system is as healthy as it can be. While there are quite a few things you can do on your own for maintenance, a professional cleaning makes a marked improvement in air quality and the efficiency of your unit.
If you’d like a consultation for your HVAC system, [contact SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South today] http://www.SERVPROvannuyssouth.com/)!
The Pollution Types Relating to Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South
You can’t escape terms like “black water” and “clear water” when talking about water damage and the pollution left behind, but what do they mean? Though it’s true that black water is hazardous, there are actually three types of water damage that can all cause problems.
Because we know the devastation that lies in the aftermath of water damage, we’ve outlined the water contamination types you might encounter so you can be informed.<5f4163caf5d60f2c34d841a890f1c4c5>Classifications of Water Damage
Category 1: “Clear water,” which is the first level, refers to water originating from a source free of contaminants (aka clear). Water from leaky faucets, direct rainwater, broken inbound pipes or water supply lines are all categorized this way, and category 1 water should not pose health issues if consumed.
Category 2: Grey water, the second category, is a bit more serious. This is wastewater generated from appliance or drain overflows, as well as other types of household flooding. This water is often contaminated on its own and/or has come into contact with a variety of surfaces. Therefore, category 2 water is somewhat contaminated and can cause illness if consumed.
Category 3: Category 3 water is the most notorious and is commonly known as black water. Rising flood waters, sewage overflows or water that has begun breeding bacteria due to stagnation are all cause for concern. Black water can also lead to illness or death if consumed.<5f4163caf5d60f2c34d841a890f1c4c5>Categories Can Be Dynamic
Water damage continues to become more complicated after the initial flooding because water that starts as one category can quickly advance to another. Water that develops higher pollution levels from coming into contact with surfaces and/or breeding bacteria can become even more dangerous as time progresses.
Because this is impossible to determine solely based on appearance, professional water restoration is essential to obtaining peace of mind and a properly restored property.
If you’ve fallen victim to water damage, SERVPRO® can help! Our team of water damage professionals can get your place back to normal, faster.
Should You Make Carpet Cleaning a Priority? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South
For most homeowners, carpet cleaning is rarely considered a routine chore. While most assume that vacuuming is sufficient, it often isn’t enough for the heavier debris.
Carpet companies often require regular cleaning to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty, but there are several other reasons why carpet cleaning is a wise choice. By allowing for easier floor maintenance, extending the life of your carpet and banishing bugs and mites, carpet cleaning is a smart choice for any homeowners looking to have clean and well-maintained floors.
Still not convinced? Here are some ways that carpet cleaning can benefit your home:
Have simpler floor maintenance. Though vacuuming handles only the surface, it can happily coexist with regular carpet cleaning to make your life much easier! Regularly cleaned carpets are simpler to vacuum because the heavy-duty dirt and debris have already been removed.
Extend your carpet’s life. In remodels, carpet is often replaced for looking “tired”—often simply a result of being too dirty for too long. Every time dirty carpet is walked on, the debris becomes more embedded, working like sandpaper against the fibers and shortening the lifespan tremendously.
Remove mites and bugs. As with any other soft surface, mites and bugs are more than happy to take residence within plush carpet fibers. Thankfully, professional cleaning creates an inhospitable living environment for the critters, and staying on a regular schedule will discourage them from coming back.
Improve indoor air. Not only do carpets contain dirt, but there are also more dangerous pollutants and bacteria that might be lurking within the fibers. When doors and windows are opened, contaminants from the outside air are also brought into the home. Because vacuuming only handles surface-level debris, the other pollutants are free to degrade indoor air quality until they’re professionally removed.
Still unsure about carpet cleaning? Our team of professionals is happy to discuss why it might be right for your home!
Restoring Your Van Nuys Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
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.
Van Nuys 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 818-780-7111
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of [[Franchise Name]] has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Van Nuys South
SERVPRO of Van Nuys South specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.