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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why SERVPRO Will Be There for You After Any Disaster | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

a group of employees with restoration tools walking away from SERVPRO van No matter what type of disaster you face, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is only a phone call away.

Because we are independently owned and operated, we can relate to the hardships you as a business owner face. You must account for countless things to succeed, and an unexpected disaster could put you off-track or out of business.

While none of us are able to predict or prevent natural disasters perfectly, we are all able to prepare for them.

However, we know that damage to the home can be just as stressful as business damage. Attempting to recover after sustaining any level of damage can be an overwhelming and downright horrible process.

So that you can have your household ready for handling disasters, you should craft an emergency plan. This process is started by taking some time and learning about the disasters that we commonly see here in our region.

The Red Cross has made a website with many great resources using data from around the country so that you can understand what disasters we face here in the United States. Our state government has created the initiative Be Prepared California to prepare us for the disasters that affect us most. On this page, you can better understand what risks you face and get detailed steps to get ready for them.

So if you own a home, business or both, it’s quite likely that you’ll face damage of some kind during your time. However, you always need to act quickly so that you prevent even more serious problems from happening. This is why we should be at the top of your list:

Why Choose SERVPRO?

We understand that no two situations are alike. Many events require restoration across this country each year, but every situation will be distinct, depending on a number of factors.

For example, there are more than 14 million homes facing flood risks each year, but the level of damage is variable.

Our professionals are trained to handle every type of damage regardless of the extent, which helps you feel confident in choosing us. We examine the special qualities of your situation so that we can provide the right solution every time.

We are available 24 hours a day. In terms of restoration, it’s a requirement to act quickly. Not only will this have you back in your home or business sooner, but it will also help prevent the damage from becoming more severe over time.

To show this, think of water getting inside your home. It will likely damage your flooring, fabrics and furniture almost immediately. Even worse, as water is allowed to soak in, it will allow mold to grow exponentially throughout the affected areas. This is why our team is on call 247 so that you can get started immediately.

We provide more than simply damage restoration. Along with restoring the physical damage of your home, we can cover every part of the process.

We can help you clear your home of damaged and undamaged items to prevent further destruction, and we can provide assistance when speaking with the insurance companies to smooth that process for you. We always try to give you the best possible outcome and have you back in your home fast.

So whatever damage or disaster strikes near you, call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South for a shoulder to lean on. Our expert teams come with industry-leading equipment that will return your home to its preloss condition in no time.

When you suffer damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Don’t Allow Your Backyard Fire to Become the Next Disaster | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.

Most people in America have enjoyed the warmth of an outdoor fire on a cool night, either for eating hotdogs and telling stories or just to watch the flames burn.

Fires are used in many ways—for survival, enjoyment or as a way to clean out dead leaves and debris. However, fires are always potentially dangerous, and according to the National Park Service, almost 85% of wildfires are started by humans.

In California, we understand the risk of wildfires all too well. In the past 10 years, we have seen record-setting flames consume much of our beautiful state’s vegetation, and unfortunately, many of our homes. In the San Fernando Valley region, we see a slightly lower risk due to our area’s geography, but we should still have extreme caution with these disasters.

This shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying and using fire for all of your needs. Outdoor fires can be done properly by using the right safety procedures, allowing you to grill food and char marshmallows as much as you desire.

Recreational Fire Hazards

All types of fires come with some risk, but fireworks and grills are two of the most common ways outdoor fires begin. Grills alone start approximately 8,800 fires each year, mostly due to user error. It’s crucial to double-check that the propane is off and that the gas lines are secure before leaving your grill alone.

If you decide to have a backyard fire, pick a location that is away from your home, vehicles or any excess piles of wood. Additionally, you should only burn wood in the fire and pay attention to the area surrounding the fire so that embers don’t ignite something else.

Many American families have added fire pits to their backyard, as it gives a campsite feel while still on your own property. These pits carry similar risks to other kinds of fire, though, so make sure that you follow the same precautions that you would with any flame.

Additionally, a lot of people choose to get rid of household or construction debris with fire, but this is dangerous to both your home and your health. Only burn approved firewood to reduce your risk of starting the next natural disaster.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Although fires have risks associated with them, they can still be a useful tool for us in more rural areas. When leaf buildup happens fast, using a controlled fire to eliminate the debris can often be the most efficient way.

Because of our region’s extreme risk of wildfires, outdoor burning is usually banned year-round in our state. However, our government understands that burning excess material safely is sometimes the best way to prevent an even worse uncontrolled fire. Check out this official page that lists the permit requirements and burn bans for various areas in California.

Removing the dead plant material is a key part of protecting your property from outdoor fires. Dead leaves and limbs serve as additional fuel for any wildfire, so understanding what to burn and learning the proper safety measures can help you clear your land correctly.

Most homes store gas and oil in their shed or garage for a variety of reasons, but improper storage can put your home at serious risk. Only use approved containers for these materials and keep them out of the reach of children or animals.

Whenever you have a fire outside, it’s important to check the local weather and advisories for any signs that you should stop. When the air is dry and the winds are blowing, it’s a good idea to save the fire for next time.

However, if you do suffer fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. Our restoration team is equipped with industry-leading technology and decades of experience handling every type of damage.

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Knowing Your Storm Alerts Could Save You From Disaster | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

a red and white severe weather alert sign If you suspect any damage to your home from a recent storm, call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.

In our country, there are 42 different kinds of weather alerts that are used for various events across seven categories. During a storm, you won’t have much time to read through paragraphs about what each alert means because you’re preparing for what could be a dangerous storm.

By knowing what a warning, watch or advisory means for each event, you can be more prepared for the damage that they might cause. In addition to understanding the alert system, there are steps you can take to keep your home safer from damage as well.

While everyone should have knowledge of all kinds of weather, it’s most important to learn about the events we commonly see here in Van Nuys.

How Alerts Are Issued

Do you know how weather alerts are issued and planned? Well, the process is complex and affected by multiple factors. Weather forecasts make a prediction, but the severity, location and size of the storm require a lot of data to understand.

The National Weather Service is the main organization responsible for forecasting, collecting data, and issuing warnings. They have split the country into six categories, each with its own headquarters, along with hundreds of local offices. In the San Fernando Valley region, we fall under the Western Regional headquarters, which gives us highly specified alerts year-round.

The NWS has many employees, including meteorologists and astronomers who collect data and formulate forecasts for the country. They use information from satellites, seismic meters and even the sun’s activity to create the most accurate predictions possible.

The Most Important Alerts to Understand

A “watch” and a “warning” are the most basic kinds of alerts, and everyone should know what they mean. These terms are used during nearly all weather events, including floods, thunderstorms and winter storms.

watch is an indicator that storms in the area could potentially become dangerous and threaten your area. These are usually issued for large areas, as the goal is to get everyone aware of the possible danger.

Warnings are used when danger is coming fast, and these are typically relegated to a small area like a single city or county. When a warning is issued, you should take steps to be safer by following your local officials.

Besides knowing your various kinds of alerts, it’s important to recognize the weather that we see frequently to better prepare for the damage. We don’t see much rainfall annually, with only 22 inches on average, but this means that our infrastructure is not set up to handle these problems.

Even though the level of rain we see is below national averages, it’s important to be prepared because you never know when a dangerous storm might strike.

Protecting Your Home During a Storm

Besides knowing your emergency alerts, you can make efforts to prepare your home and mitigate potential damage to your property from weather events.

Clearing your gutters and securing your outdoor furniture is a great place to start. Outdoor furniture is often lifted up by powerful winds and then thrown into the home’s walls, roof or windows.

When the storm is gone, you should take plenty of photos or videos of the damage that your home has suffered. Afterward, give us at SERVPRO of Van Nuys South a call. We’re always ready to jump into action and help you get back on your feet.

Learn the weather most common in our area, and pay attention to weather alerts so you can be prepared for the dangers ahead.

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today for a quick response!

How Commercial Damage Can Affect Your Business | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

a large commercial building with extensive damage to roof and siding SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your local commercial disaster team. Contact us to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services.

In the United States, we pride ourselves on the success of our businesses and our economy. Every single person utilizes a business, or multiple, in daily life.

The men and women who run our country’s businesses have a lot to handle, from managing daily operations to handling the complex economics of the company that customers never see. So when a disaster strikes, it can really put a damper on the business and have dire consequences for the owners.

We’ve witnessed a steady increase in natural disaster damage as time goes on. The NCEI reported that over the last five years in the United States, there was approximately $153 billion worth of damage annually, which is a meaningful jump from the last period of data.

Thankfully, we’ve collected some important information on the most common causes of commercial damage around the country, and we hope that it can help you better prepare your business for a disaster.

<h2damage">Water Damage

High levels of moisture and water are constantly a threat to businesses in every part of our country. These issues can arise from nature or can be manmade or a result of a simple appliance malfunction, but every kind of water damage is capable of doing serious destruction.

When flooding begins outside the structure, like a flash flood, water will often find its way inside through the seals on the doors and windows. If possible, it’s a good idea to landscape your surrounding area so that it directs water away from the building, as prevention is always the best way to reduce damage.

However, water damage doesn’t always happen quickly, as minor leaks inside the building can cause major problems over time. It’s smart to routinely check your plumbing for leaks, and your walls and floors for warping or change in color.

<h2damage">Storm Damage

Storms are the next leading cause of damage to businesses, and it’s because the destruction can be widespread. While most leaks only damage one building, a storm has the potential to destroy entire blocks of businesses.

Even small storms are able to disrupt the power grid and tear trees out of the ground that can wreak havoc on a building’s structure. More powerful storms are capable of ripping commercial roofing off and even doing irreversible structural damage to the property.

It is true that most storms have winds ranging between 10 to 45 mph, and these winds usually cause minor damage. But strong storms like the kind we see during spring and summer can create winds of over 100 mph. Storms like these will frequently pull walls down and even throw vehicles around like toys.

Many businesses opt for storm-protective window and door covers or strengthening the roof, but preventive tactics like these can become expensive very quickly.

Fortunately, you can also perform simple tasks to better prepare for storms and reduce the potential for destruction and costly repairs. This includes checking the seals on your windows and doors and inspecting your building’s plumbing regularly as acts of prevention.

Before a storm, it can also be helpful to take time to clear your property of any potential hazards that could uproot and hit people or property.

<h2who-to-call">Know Who to Call

Commercial damage happens in many different ways, but water and storm damage are the most common in the United States. Unfortunately, these events frequently cause businesses to close for repairs, and can even force a permanent closure if the business owner is unable to overcome the damage.

We understand this and to help we offer 247 availability so that we can be there whenever you may need us. Our restoration professionals will walk you through every step and help you develop the right restoration plan for your business’ needs.

If you have experienced damage to your business or want to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.

Have You Properly Planned for Severe Storms? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

a dark cloudy sky with lighting strikes off in the distance If you discover storm damage to your home or business, reach out to SERVPRO of Van Nuys South right away

During the warmer months, severe weather becomes increasingly common. Things like lightning, floods, winds and hail all put you and your home at risk. These weather events are extremely common, and in fact, there are around 100,000 thunderstorms throughout the United States every year, so these storms are happening all the time.

In California, specifically Van Nuys, many people disregard the potential risks of storms. These people have the mindset that their area is largely unaffected by storms, but we know that’s not the truth.

Our geography makes windstorms one of the most dangerous events, with this instance from last year that caused road closures and power outages in mere moments.

It would be nice to hit a button and get rid of any dangerous weather, but unfortunately, we can’t do that. However, we can and should prepare for storms. Build an emergency kit, plan a good strategy for communication and take action to be ready for when storms strike near Van Nuys.

Your Severe Weather Communication Strategy

As they often say “communication is key,” and this is especially true during dangerous weather. By knowing where your loved ones are, you can focus on yourself and everyone that is in the home instead of being distracted.

Second, it’s a smart idea to have multiple ways to receive weather alerts from officials. Television works great, but storms often knock out the signal, and cellphones always seem to run out of battery right when you need it most. An NOAA weather radio with spare batteries close by is your best bet to stay informed.

Finally, creating a communication strategy between the people in your household is crucial. This includes designating a room in the home to take shelter in, ideally in the center of the home with no windows nearby.

Your Severe Weather Emergency Kit

Planning for severe weather also includes having the essentials for survival. This includes nonperishable food, an excess of water, batteries, first-aid supplies and flashlights that aren’t your phone.

You should keep at least 72 hours worth of supplies because you never know how long you might have to shelter.

These kits should be kept in your designated safe room so that you can access them when you take shelter. By taking this extra step, you will be more prepared for the potential disasters that come from storms.

Your Severe Weather Aftermath Checklist

After the extreme weather is over, you should take a few additional steps in order to stay prepared for the next event. Taking account of how your planning and strategy worked or didn’t work will allow you to improve it and stay ready.

Lastly, once it’s safe to exit the home with your family, take some time and check your property for damage.

While we hope that your home never suffers damage, it’s important that you know who to call when it does. Your local restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Van Nuys South have a trusted reputation with over 50 years of restoration experience. We provide service day and night so that we can be there immediately to start solving the problems.

Finally, after assessing your home for damage, it’s always good to go through your safety plan and look for ways to improve. Explore where things went wrong, or what things went right, and build on that for the next time you face extreme weather. Taking these steps, and calling your local experts, can help you stay safe and keep your home or business in working order

If you discover storm damage to your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the restoration. We’re here 247 to spring into action—get in touch with us today.

Improve Your Fire Prevention With Simple Techniques | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

interior view of a room with items completely destroyed by fire If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration need.

The risk of fires in our country continues to rise, and in fact, so far this year the American Red Cross has attended to over 20,000 house fires, which still only represents a small fraction of the total fires in the United States in 2022.

Smoke detectors continue to hold the top spot in terms of preventing loss of life and fire damage, but there are multiple other steps you can take to give you added protection. Some are more extensive than others, but many of them are relatively simple.

Cleaning Your High-Risk Areas

When it comes to your house, there are certain areas that stay hotter than others because of the appliances or features of the home in that area. Some of these zones include air vents, the fireplace and chimney, and especially the kitchen.

It’s important that you keep these areas clear of any blockages or excessive dust to reduce the risk of a fire.

The water heater is another high-risk area in your home. The outside boiler of the device gets so hot that it can ignite clothing, cardboard and paper with relative ease. Keeping this area clear and open allows proper airflow, and keeps flammable objects away from high levels of heat.

Dusty outlets and appliances are two other common sources of fire in the home. These spots get packed with dust that needs only a small spark to become a massive problem.

Create a Defensible Space in Your Yard

Fires that begin outside can spread by over 14 miles per hour. When they come knocking at your door, your yard is the last thing standing between your home and destruction.

Recently, there have been innovative landscaping methods that protect your home from the spread of outdoor fires and allow firemen to work with plenty of space while trying to work.

These techniques have been so useful, in fact, that states like California are imposing defensible zone requirements for yards, so following suit might also be a smart idea for you.

However, following these techniques doesn’t prevent you from tending to the garden and planting new flowers in your beds—they focus on placing plants in specific locations to prevent the fire from expanding.

The fire will weaken with the flammable objects spread further apart, so you should take the time and clear out any dead plants or leaves that could become fuel during a fire.

Keep It Clean & Keep It Safe

In addition to maintaining your appliances and yard, setting a good cleaning routine can help you limit fire hazards. Set a block of time, roughly a week, that you will spend a bit of time each day working on it. This will help lighten the load and accomplish it piece by piece.

However, taking steps toward fire prevention doesn’t have to be a complex regimen. Easy jobs like dusting regularly can help reduce the risk of a fire. Focus heavily on dust near any appliance or outlet, as these are likely spots for dust fires to begin.

If you have experienced fire damage or want to learn more about our fire damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.

How Water Damage Affects Your Home or Business Over Time | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

a bathroom sink showing signs of a water leak SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your 24/7 water restoration expert. Call us right away if you need immediate service.

When moisture spreads inside the walls and floors of your home, the events can be disastrous. Many homeowners overlook the clear indicators that water damage is taking place, like a leaky faucet or water spots on the walls and ceilings.

Household leaks don’t seem overly important, but an average household leak can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water in a year.

Weather-related problems may not seem like a huge problem in California, but manmade water damage often does just as much destruction as natural disasters. So while you may not have to worry about hurricanes, a leaky pipe could be slowly degrading your home or business.

Excessive moisture allows the damage to progress rapidly by seeping into walls, floors and any soft surface. Identifying the problem and handling it immediately is the only way to produce the best results at the cheapest cost to you.

We’ve compiled a timeline of how water damage affects your home:

In the First 24 Hours

If you live in a house in a high-risk area, there is a one in four chance of a flood damaging your home within a 30-year period. Knowing what to do next is essential.

Once water damage affects you, it’s important to act quickly during the initial 24 to 48 hours to protect your home from further destruction. There are many items located in the home that will immediately be at risk of damage.

Soft furniture, carpet, rugs and upholstery will absorb water fast. Wooden structures, supports and furniture will begin to soak through and can end up swelling drastically.

Unfortunately, many personal items like clothing, books, photos and documents are especially vulnerable to the effects of water.

It’s best to keep these items located in waterproof containers or higher on shelves and in closets to reduce the risk of losing them. If you aren’t prepared and your personal belongings do suffer water damage, it’s essential to act quickly.

Our SERVPRO experts specialize in restoring your items instead of merely replacing them, which can save you money while protecting your precious valuables. If there is anything that we cannot restore, you’ll be notified immediately and these items will be removed to prevent the spread of moisture.

Within the First Week

Once the water has been present for longer than 24 hours, the damage accelerates and goes deepr into your building. Mold growth can explode at this point when excessive moisture is left unaddressed, potentially affecting your home’s structure.

Even worse, any porous surfaces like drywall, wood flooring, studs and walls will lose structural integrity and be at an increased risk of collapse. Metal surfaces, piping and appliances will begin to corrode and suffer severe damage during this period as well.

After One Week

After water and excessive moisture has been left to sit for extended periods, there will likely be catastrophic damage to your belongings and potentially to the structure of your home. Many homes that are left to suffer in water for this long have irreversible damage.

As time goes on, the costs and efforts to restore the structure will increase significantly, and the risks associated with structural damage are much greater.

How SERVPRO Will Help

At SERVPRO, our unique restoration process will begin with a phone call, ideally inside the 24-hour mark. We then begin our service work by thoroughly extracting any standing water inside or around the home.

This step helps stop moisture from spreading further into your home, and reduces the overall drying time.

Odds are that floors, furniture and any other affected belongings, like clothes, will need a deep-cleaning, sanitizing and deodorization. Once we have removed as much water as possible, we send in our expert specialists with industry-leading equipment that can remove the water you can’t see.

After these initial steps, your home may need construction work to get your property back to its preloss condition. This step could include minor repairs or rebuilding entire areas of your home.

By choosing SERVPRO, we’re able to simplify the restoration process for you like no one else. We handle both the initial damage mitigation, and tackle the rebuilding of any affected areas.

We know that your input is important, so we keep you up to date through every step of the process. As always, our main goal is to have you back in your newly restored home or business as soon as possible.

Regardless of the type of water damage sustained, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover. Contact us 247 when you need a dependable team to help you recover.

The Fire Safety Tips You Need for the Warmer Months | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

fire embers flickering from a fire at night SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your local restoration team. Contact us to find out more about our restorative services.

Warmer weather is a time for fun, but it’s also important to make sure that you, your family and your home are prepared for fire safety.

It’s a fact that spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year.. Think about it: Many of the things we enjoy most in the spring and summer involve fire.

But the good news is: You can take steps to protect yourself. Start here:

The grill. Warmer weather months usually have more frequent grill-related fire injuries than any other time. It’s important to take extra steps to prevent fire risk at your home when you’re cooking outdoors. Make sure that the grill is in good working condition, have it placed at least three feet away from everything and clean it before each use. The cleaning part is particularly important, since almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

Fire pits. It might seem like a good idea to take a quick, cozy nap in front of the fire pit, but the truth is, it’s dangerous. Stay alert and aware around fire. Be sure to keep a bucket of water nearby, or drag a water hose close to the pit. You should also keep your fire pit three feet away from anything that can catch fire, and finally, put the fire out slowly to avoid scattering embers.

Chimneys and dryer vents. Yearly maintenance on your home can save you so much time and money. The spring and summer months offer a good time to get that done, particularly when it comes to your fireplace. Your chimney and your dryer vent hose should be cleaned at least once a year. These places hide potential fire hazards, and if you take these extra precautions, you are possibly doing some lifesaving maintenance.

At SERVPRO, we have technicians ready and waiting, no matter the cause of fire, to take care of the cleanup and treat your family and property with respect. Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South today to talk with a specialist.

How To Replace a Toilet

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber replacing broken toilet in a washroom Over time, a leaking toilet can cause problems and require help from a water damage specialist.

What Is The Best Way To Replace A Toilet?

Over time, a leaking toilet can cause problems and require help from a water damage specialist. Sometimes you can remedy the situation by replacing a faulty component. However, if your toilet repair is unsuccessful, replacing the entire unit may be your only option. Although the task may seem intimidating, the process is typically straightforward. Following a few essential guidelines can help you successfully accomplish this home improvement project.

Measure Before You Begin

Before installing a different commode, you should verify that the new device can fit into the allocated space. To accomplish this, complete a few important measurements:

  • Distance from the back wall to the floor bolts
  • Space between the current bowl and side walls
  • Distance from the tank to water supply lines

Remove Existing Toilet

Disconnecting a leaking toilet can be messy. To minimize water seepage, you should complete the following steps:

  • Turn off the water supply
  • Flush commode to remove fluid
  • Absorb remaining liquid with a sponge
  • Place a bucket under tank before removing supply line

To disassemble your old toilet, unscrew the tank from the bowl. Then, loosen and remove the nuts holding the unit to the floor and place the detached commode on a garbage bag. You should also remove the old wax ring and any excess wax remaining along the top of the drain.

Set up New Toilet

Before connecting your new unit, you should install new floor bolts and place a new wax ring on the base of the toilet outlet. Then, lower the bowl over the new bolts, pushing it straight down to prevent ring damage. Once the base is firmly in place, secure the nuts. To prevent cracks, avoid overtightening.

After installing the base, carefully attach the tank. You should ensure the unit is level, and then reconnect the water supply. Before finalizing the project, verify the absence of leaks and adjust components as necessary.
A Simple Project

Replacing an old, leaking toilet with a new model doesn’t have to be a hassle. Measuring before commencing the project and taking steps to minimize water seepage can help every homeowner in Van Nuys South, CA, efficiently accomplish the task.

How Does Heavy Rain Cause Sewage Backup?

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet The reason that a sewer backup happens is that the city sewage lines are often overflowing with rain water after a storm

What Causes Sewage Back-Up When It Rains A Lot?

You were already worried about flooding from a heavy storm, but suddenly from the lower levels or basement of your building, you catch the tell-tale stench of contaminated water. You have a sewer backup, but how do backups happen after storms? How can you prevent your Van Nuys South, CA, sewer lines from flooding your building?

1. Too Much Rain Water

The reason that a sewer backup happens is that the city sewage lines are often overflowing with rain water after a storm. Because the sewage lines cannot contain any more water, they begin to back up into everything from sinks to bathtubs, and they can overflow with disturbingly odious contaminated water. Sometimes, the problem is mild, and sometimes, it can be severe enough to require evacuation of a building.

2. When Older Buildings Suffer

Older buildings are particularly vulnerable to more severe flood damage and backup from the sewer. Soil erosion and soil softening can make the foundations of older buildings more vulnerable, and the pipes often have less integrity. A backup can lead to a pipe bursting or can seep through weakened foundations to completely flood the basement level of a building.

3. Play It Safe

If you have contaminated water coming up through your drains, don’t try to brush it off. Do not try to use the faucets. Exit the building and immediately contact the city to let them know the city’s main sewer lines are compromised and backing up into your building.

4. Keep It Clean

One of your first priorities after dealing with sewer backup should be cleanup once the sewer mains have stopped overflowing. If you need to hire professionals to ensure sanitation, they may be able to provide you with more intensive options for deep cleaning and removing any contaminated water. Contaminated water can lead to mold growth, so be careful when entering the building after a sewage backup flood.

Garage Flood Removal Made Easy

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

flooding car in basement carpark at condominium If your business suffers flood damage after a storm, give SERVPRO a call. Our team of flood damage experts will restore it efficiently.

Getting Rid Of A Garage Flood Is Simple

Having a garage in your business building makes life easier for you and your employees. It gives you storage space for extra supplies, a place to park company vehicles to protect them from the weather in Lake Balboa, CA, and in general more square footage for operations. Unfortunately, these useful additions, like every other part of your business building, aren’t immune to flooding. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get your garage water-free again in no time:

  • Install a sump pump and other equipment beforehand
  • Use a trash pump to remove water
  • Call the pros for help

Installing a Sump Pump

There’s no cure like a bit of prevention, especially when it comes to taking care of your business building. Sump pumps act as a preventative measure for spaces that are likely to flood. These pumps are typically installed in special spaces in garage floors called “sump pits.” They’re used to prevent additions like these from flooding in the first place by pumping out invading water as needed to keep floors dry.

Trash Pump

A trash pump is a piece of equipment that can be used to pump out massive amounts of water from a space whenever the need arises. These pumps aren’t just limited to liquid wastes, however. They also handle solid waste and other issues so you’re sure to get the full removal work you need. This equipment isn’t installed in a space beforehand like a sump pump is, being used as a form of treatment rather than prevention.

Professional Assistance

If you’re not comfortable running either a sump or trash pump on your own, you always have the option to call in the professionals to take care of your business’s garage flooding issue. They have both the equipment and knowhow to take care of the problem in a hurry, so you’ll get your space back as soon as possible.

Regardless of whether you live in an area with high flood risk or an area with practically no flood threat at all, it’s always a good idea to consider one of these options before inclement weather hits. That way you’re prepared whenever an emergency arises.

Landlords Have Insurance, Tenants Should Too

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Burned Contents Of Home Fire Your policy should cover the actual fire, the water damage from dousing the flames and the soot damage that can harm items that do not actually burn.

Landlords Are Covered By Insurance; Tenants Should Be As Well.

Lots of people think that insurance is only for homeowners, but they are wrong. When you choose to rent rather than own a home in Van Nuys South, CA you need to consider protecting yourself with renters insurance as well. Property landlords have insurance that cover their buildings but it does not always cover their tenants. It is best to take the time to research insurance options for you and your personal property that will be kept or stored in the landlords' buildings. Here are four things to consider when choosing a policy.

1. Fire Damage

Make sure the insurance you purchase provides protection in the event of fire damage. Your policy should cover the actual fire, the water damage from dousing the flames and the soot damage that can harm items that do not actually burn.

2. Medical Reimbursement

Make sure the renters insurance coverage that you select includes reimbursement of medical costs for you and your visitors. Some policies only cover your physical property and neglect to protect you or your friends and family if there is an injury in your home.

3. Coverage Limits

Some insurers can put a limit on exactly how much they will pay to replace your damaged items versus the actual value of the items, or how much the insurer will pay towards fire restoration services and cleanup. Check the coverage values before you sign the policy.

4. Liability

Check if you will be covered if you cause a fire as well as if it is caused by negligence or through the actions of another person. Making sure fire damage is covered regardless who caused the fire is important to know before a catastrophe hits.

Don't miss the opportunity to protect you, your visitors and your property when leasing your home. Renters insurance in Van Nuys South, CA can be a lifesaver if you get the right policy.

How SERVPRO Helps During a Disaster

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

A specialist is removing water damage in a home Call SERVPRO when you need help. Our technicians take great pride in the work they do, and they finish the job looking sharp.

How SERVPRO Can Assist In A Disaster

When disaster strikes, rebuilding can be a daunting task. If a storm has caused catastrophic loss in Lake Balboa, CA, SERVPRO is a great company to depend on. Here are a few reasons why you should rely on them during a large-scale emergency.

1. They Have a Large Number of Franchise Locations

If there has been flooding and there is a lot of damage that needs to be repaired, SERVPRO can call on locations across the country to assist in rebuilding and restoration work. This can cut down on repair times and prevent the damage from spreading or getting worse. With over 1,700 locations nationwide, there will always be help available.

2. They Are Available 24 Hours a Day

When there has been a catastrophic loss, waiting is not an option. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day so you can always get the assistance that you need. They can be on the site quickly to begin the restoration process right away.

3. They Do the Job Right

During a crisis, especially if there has been catastrophic loss, you want to begin restoration as soon as possible. While getting the work done quickly is important, you also want to make sure it is done correctly. Using a reliable company with competent workers is a must. SERVPRO uses highly-trained and experienced professionals to do all repairs, so you know you can trust them to do the job well.

Starting and finishing the restoration process as quickly as possible is important when there has been a lot of storm damage that has affected a large area. You want residents to be able to return to their normal lives as soon as they can.

When you choose an emergency restoration company like SERVPRO that takes pride in their ability to do good work in a timely manner, you can feel confident that you are making the right choice.

Commercial Roof: Owner Inspections and What To Look For

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Workers installing concrete tiles on the roof while roofing house in construction site A roof leak can evolve into a detrimental problem for a business of any size, if you need help, contact SERVPRO!

Owner Inspections And What To Look For On A Commercial Roof

Most business owners would rather spend time worrying about strategy and promotions rather than property inspections and maintenance issues. However, if neglected, small problems can turn into big issues. For instance, a small roof leak can lead to mold and even potential collapse if not remedied. To prevent this, owners can perform simple inspections that are meant to find small areas of concern before a disaster occurs.

1. Flashing and Seals

Wind damage is a common cause of flashing and sealant issues. In strong storms, the flashing can be pulled away from the sealant which will eventually lead to leaks. When inspecting your roof, look for areas where the flashing has been torn away and be sure to reseal these areas promptly.

2. Standing Water

While puddling doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a roof leak, it is likely the step before it happens. Puddling occurs when there are issues with the sheathing. It is possible that sheathing bows due to age, but water damage is also a contributor. If you see standing water on your roof, it may be a sign that you need professional assistance.

3. Bubbles

When walking your roofline, be on the lookout for bubbling. If you see bubbles, it likely indicates that there is a weak or old seal somewhere close. Tiny air bubbles mean that water is seeping beneath the shingles and possibly beneath the underlayment.

If you have significant concerns, you can contact a disaster remediation specialist in the Valley Glen, CA, area to seek further assistance and possible solutions. These companies have a lot of experience in water-related issues and can help.

A roof leak can evolve into a detrimental problem for a business of any size, but it is a problem that can most often be avoided by vigilant and routine inspections. Keep an eye out for damaged flashing, standing water and bubbling so you can attempt to rectify a problem before it becomes a full-blown disaster.

How Often Do the Batteries in Your Fire Alarm Need To Be Changed?

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hands taking home smoke detector apart with white ceiling background The type of smoke detector in your home will determine how and when batteries need to be replaced.

How Frequently Should Your Fire Alarm Batteries Be Replaced?

While you might take your smoke alarm for granted, it can be the difference between life and death if a fire does occur in your home. In fact, 60 percent of fire deaths occur in buildings without working smoke alarms. The truth of the matter is that a fire in your home in Van Nuys South, CA, is possible and needs to be taken as a serious risk. Be proactive in ensuring your family’s safety by making sure you change your fire alarm’s batteries on time!

Types of Fire Alarms

The type of smoke detector in your home will determine how and when batteries need to be replaced. There are three main types of alarms to be aware of:

  • Alkaline battery alarm
  • Lithium battery alarm
  • Wired smoke alarm

Alkaline Battery Alarms

Many fire alarms are powered by 9-volt alkaline batteries, or even AA batteries. Rather than waiting for the battery to run out, replace alkaline batteries yearly. You will need to replace the entire detector every 10 years. This will ensure your alarm will be loud enough to warn you if a fire does occur in your home.

Lithium Battery Alarms

Lithium batteries last longer than alkaline batteries; however, you cannot simply replace the battery when the time comes. Rather, you will need to replace the entire detector after ten years. Make sure to keep up on this battery type since they give a shorter warning time before dying than other alarm types.

Wired Smoke Alarms

Many people opt for wired smoke alarms since they are reliable and reduce fire damage caused by accidental shocks. You definitely don’t want to have to call in a fire restoration specialist because a fire started while changing out an old smoke detector! For these types of alarms, replace the backup battery yearly and the entire alarm every 10 years.

Don’t wait until you start to hear chirping from your smoke alarm to change your batteries! Keep your home and family safe by following the recommendations in this guide.

Tips for Cleaning Personal Belongings After Water Damage

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a home. When you find water damage in your home, be sure to call the trained experts at SERVPRO for cleanup and restoration services.

Cleaning Your Personal Effects After Water Damage

Following water in a home in Lake Balboa, CA, your affected belongings should be properly cleaned to prevent issues from making the situation worse. It is also important that you know when items are not able to be saved. Executing the cleaning process quickly following a broken pipe or another situation that caused water problems can ensure that you are able to preserve as many of your possessions as possible and get them adequately cleaned.

Items To Throw Away

Not all items can be saved after water in a home causes damage. Knowing what you should throw away can make this process a bit easier, saving you valuable time by not wasting energy trying to clean what cannot be saved. These are items that are usually good to toss:

  • Medicines and supplements
  • Food items touched by the water
  • Wood that has become completely soaked
  • Personal hygiene items touched by the water
  • Anything with mold growth

Bedding and Clothing

Dry cleaning is a common method used to clean bedding and clothing items after they experienced water damage. It is typically best to take the items to a professional dry cleaner and let them know why they are being cleaned. They can then use the most effective products and methods for the job.

Solid Items

Items made of materials such as plastic, glass and metal can often be cleaned using a low-suds detergent. Then once you scrub them completely, simply use a sanitizer to help make sure that they are safe to use and touch. For solid materials such as wood, if water did not penetrate it, you can use this cleaning method, but if penetration did occur, you may not be able to save it.

You can surely see that following water in a home, there is a lot of work to be done. Use this information as a guideline to save as many of your personal belongings as possible while also ensuring that you get them completely clean.

Simple Steps to Keeping Your Restaurant Kitchen Free of Mold

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth found in the kitchen Our technicians responded to a kitchen that has been flooded. While we were surveying the extent of the damage, we found this mold growth in the sink

Mold-Proofing Your Restaurant Kitchen In 3 Easy Steps

The last thing you want to see is unsightly mold growth in your restaurant kitchen in Valley Glen, CA Unfortunately, kitchens are known to be highly active areas of mold development with prime conditions for growth due to high humidity and possible water damage. Help keep your restaurant free of mold by following these simple steps to a clean and pristine kitchen space.

1. Clean the refrigerators on a regular basis. Using only one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a quart of water, you can easily wipe down, rinse and dry the interior of your fridges every 2-3 months and prevent any traces of mold. If mold is visible, it’s best to call professional mold remediation specialists to handle the task of eliminating any significant growth and mold spore buildup.

2. Use vinegar more generously around the kitchen — and not just in meals. Vinegar has always been praised for a variety of reasons, but it acts as a powerful disinfectant, making it especially handy for cleaning purposes. Prevent mold growth by using vinegar throughout your regular cleaning regimen, including washing your cutting boards with it weekly and pouring a small amount into the garbage disposal once a week before running it.

3. Leave exhaust fans and vents running while you cook. Moisture is a calling card for mold, and places with higher than average humidity levels are guaranteed to see it grow over time. Keep ventilation systems open and activated while preparing and cooking food to avoid excessive humidity.

4. Take extra precautions to keep food mold-free. Avoid potential mold on your food by paying more attention to what you buy. Follow expiration dates, pass on bruised produce and cover cooked foods after they’re served to deflect any mold spores in the air.

Never let mold become an added ingredient. Avoid mold growth by following these steps to a clean restaurant kitchen in Valley Glen, CA, or call experts in to take care of any mold development. Make changes like lowering high humidity levels and storing fresh foods to ensure more pristine conditions and a happier environment.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

How To Handle a Toilet Overflow

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Depending on the extent of the leak caused by a flooded toilet, you can contact SERVPRO.

How To Deal With A Toilet Overflow

You should act quickly after a toilet overflows to limit the secondary damage caused by a sewage leak. Depending on what category of water is involved, the risk of sewer damage goes up. If the leak is large and involves black water, you may need to call a sewage company that provides restoration services in Van Nuys South, CA, as well as a plumber. Find out about the three different categories of water and simple steps you can take to fix a flooded toilet and clean up the mess.

There are three categories of water in a leak scenario:

  1. Clean water: Clean water should simply be removed and the area of the leak should be thoroughly dried.
  2. Gray water: Gray water includes the water from appliances such as washing machines and toilet water that only contains urine. Cleaning and disinfection are important steps.
  3. Black water: Black water contains contaminants with microbes and may pose a threat of infection to individuals with compromised immune systems. Leaks involving black water should be dried and disinfected as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.

As soon as you realize that a toilet is overflowing, you should try to see if you can handle the clog on your own with a plunger. If you cannot, minimize the extent of a leak by using towels to prevent water from spreading and contact a plumber. Once a plumber solves the underlying issue, it is up to you to limit the extent of secondary sewer damage or call on experts to completely restore the affected area.

Depending on the extent of the leak caused by a flooded toilet, you may want to contact a sewage company that specializes in restoration. Look for a cleaning and restoration service that specializes in sewer damage in Van Nuys South, CA, if you are concerned about lingering unwanted smells or the risk of mold.

5 Things to Do Before a Storm

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. For any storm damage in your business, SERVPRO is always ready to respond.

5 Things You Should Do Before a Storm

When a storm is heading your way, you want to do whatever you can to prepare for it. Of course, it is hard to predict how a storm will affect Lake Balboa, CA. Will you end up with flood water, hail damage or wind damage? Will the storm pass you by and leave you unscathed? Because there's no way to know the answer, you have to prepare for the worst possibilities.

1. Backup your data. Get your business ready for potential water damage by backing up your important business data. Put it on a secure server that will be unaffected by the upcoming storm.

2. Get surge protectors. Surge protectors may be able to help save your computers and other electronic equipment from certain issues. Investing in these protectors could save you some money in the long run. Of course, surge protectors may not help against flood water.

3. Protect windows. Storms with high winds can act as a threat to your windows and doors. You can put up storm shutters to better protect your windows. Putting sandbags near your windows could help keep your building from flooding.

4. Rearrange furniture. A flooded building will likely be full of unusable furniture. If you think you could have high waters, you should move your furniture to upper levels of your commercial building. If you only have a single level, consider making sturdy stacks.

5. Schedule a restoration inspection. While you may not have any damage to inspect now, you can schedule a restoration team prior to a storm striking Lake Balboa, CA. Chances are the restoration experts will get a lot busier after the storm, so you may get faster service by scheduling an inspection in advance.

You can't always be prepared when storms bring flood water. However, keeping these five tips in mind before a storm could help save you a major headache after the system has passed, and save your business as well.

The Truth About Mold Kits

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

A professional checking mold damage in a home. If you suspect mold growth in your home, in SERVPRO, we want to hear you and help you.

The Real Deal About Mold Kits

If you are like many residents in Valley Glen, CA, and enjoy the comfort of your cozy home, chances are you have worked hard to maintain it. The general upkeep of a house can be difficult, but finding that your space is also housing mold can make for a real challenge. The following facts can tell you a little more about mold testing and its effectiveness.

The Tests

Simply put, a mold kit is a device used to test for fungal growth in a variety of spaces. Most reveal results within 48 hours. Depending on the type, some kits can also analyze the type of mold that's causing all the ruckus.

At-Home Approaches

Homeowners have long turned to DIY mold tests as a way of discovering the truth behind those walls and under those carpets. The real truth, however, lies in the fact that these kits always test positive. To the surprise of many, only a professional can accurately tell you whether there is mold growing in your house. Other problems commonly found in these tests include faulty analyses, defected kits, and ambiguous results.

The Fine Print

Once you've consulted a professional to take over the mundane task of mold testing, there are certain aspects for the mold pros to consider. Usually, professionals must understand the following parts of a home before testing for mold:

  • Water sources
  • Construction
  • Drainage and leaks

These aspects of your home may seem unimportant but can actually give way to complex fungal problems. When a trusted professional can assess all angles of your pad, chances of full remediation are more likely.

Although the popular consensus may be that at-home mold testing is the way to go, the reality is that these kits simply don't catch all the problems. This is the point at which a proper test can show what's really going on with your cherished lair.

3 Ways To Tell Mold From Mildew After a Flood

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Fungus on a surface Our technicians can respond to any mold damage in your home.

3 Methods For Distinguishing Mold From Mildew Following A Flood

Finding evidence of mold damage in your Van Nuys South, CA, home can be a cause for concern. However, you may not be able to discern if the damage was the result of mold or if you are dealing with mildew. There are several differences between the two, and understanding how they differ can help you proceed with cleanup efforts after a flood.

1. Texture

While mold and mildew are both fungi, mildew growth can be identified by its texture. Unlike mold, mildew is often thin and scummy and can be wiped away easily, where most mold species are typically fuzzy and harder to remove. If what you see is fuzzy, then you are probably dealing with a mold problem.

2. Color

Mold comes in many different colors, which range from brown to green to black. Mildew, however, tends to look more greyish instead of growing in vibrant colors. Mold damage on walls and furniture after a flood or plumbing mishap will likely be green or a mixture of white and green, and its cleanup should be left to a professional storm cleanup and mold remediation company.

3. Spread Pattern

Both mold and mildew can spread. However, mold growth tends to be more aggressive in its spread pattern and can move quickly from one surface to another in the space of several days. Mold spores in the air can attach to almost any surface capable of feeding it, including wood, fibers and cardboard. If your home has been damaged by water and you see black or green spots on your belongings, this is probably mold, not mildew, and it may require immediate remediation.

It can be hard to differentiate mold damage from mildew after your Van Nuys South, CA, home suffers water damage. However, knowing how to tell the difference between the two can help you understand what kind of assistance you need to eradicate either of these funguses quickly.

The Importance of Mitigation After a Water Heater Flood

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber installs a compression tank on a hot water heater A leaking water heater in your home can happen without warning. SERVPRO can help you to prevent and restore!

The Importance Of Water Heater Flood Mitigation

Floods can happen in your Lake Balboa, CA, home for a variety of reasons, but one you might not expect is a leaking water heater. Whether this appliance develops a steady leak or bursts all at once, it can cause considerable flooding. Taking quick action afterward by calling in a professional flood cleanup service may prevent further damage to your home and the costly repair bills that can come with it.

Immediate Safety Measures Implemented

Flood techs can inspect a failed water heater safely and prevent dangers that might cause serious harm to you and your family. The hazards of this type of failure can even cause death and may include the following:

  • Scalding from hot water
  • Electrocution
  • Fire from shorted electrical circuits

Reducing the risk of these immediate dangers can protect everyone working to stop the flooding and give you peace of mind that your family is safe, despite the mishap.

Containment of Water

If a broken water heater bursts and causes a sudden flood, containing the water can be an important step in protecting the rest of your home. Quick mitigation may prevent water from entering rooms with carpeting or reaching electrical outlets in other rooms. This action may also provide additional protection to curious young children and pets. Flood techs may work to turn off the water first before they attempt to stop the water from spreading.

Removal of Standing Water

Even a few inches of water from a leaking water heater can cause damage to a room's walls and floor. If you store your water heater in your basement, shallow water can spread and ruin nearby stored items, such as precious handmade Christmas ornaments or boxed photos. Removing standing water quickly can prevent leaking water from causing long-term damage to your home and treasured items.

A leaking water heater in your Lake Balboa, CA, home can happen without warning. Acting right away by calling in flood mitigation professionals might help you prevent severe water damage and reduce the risk of danger to your family.

How Flood Water Is Considered Black Water

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded commercial building in Pacoima,CA. SERVPRO was called out to this flooded commercial building in Pacoima, CA

How Flood Water Is Classified As Black Water

When water floods your Van Nuys South, CA, business, you may have to consider how safe that water is to maneuver through. Maybe you have items that you need to gather or save. If you have ever been through a flood, you may have heard the term black water. This is the third category of water and the most dangerous. Here is what you need to know about flood water and when to be concerned with contaminated water.

Gray and White Water

The first two categories of water are the cleanest and safest to wade through. Gray water may have cleaning or cooking agents in it. Often, dishwashers backing up or washers leaking lead to gray water floods. While not completely clean, this water can usually be reabsorbed into the ground. It’s not dangerous. Category one, on the other hand, is even cleaner and more pure. This is clean flood water.

Black Water

The difference between black water and the other categories is the disease-causing pathogens that it can contain. This is because the water encounters human waste. This can be from the bathroom plumbing backing up, a sewage leak or even extensive flooding that will bring water from outside your business into the interior. Once the water is contaminated, you should not enter it without the proper equipment or without a professional to aid you in the process.

Flood Water

Floodwaters are not always contaminated. However, after a couple of days, they often are. If there is any risk from a sewer backup or if mold has already begun to grow, you could have a larger scale problem on your hand. When flooding is extensive outside and begins to enter the building, the water usually already was exposed to human waste.

When dealing with contaminated water, a professional is your safest bet. Never wait around when handling storm damage. Your business can lose money if the damage is not taken care of quickly.

Commercial Property Fire Restoration

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

putting out a fire Commercial property fire restoration!

It can be devastating when a fire occurs to your business. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South knows that dealing with the physical damage is challenging enough, as well as the emotional distress that follows.

Fire, smoke and soot may have caused partial damage to the property and water damage from firefighting efforts may have further damaged the property. Often the physical effects of a fire are deeper than the eye can perceive and even the smallest of fires can have lasting effects. The physical destruction can have severe implications on your building or office structure such as charred sections, broken pipes, and crumbling infrastructure. Inventory affected by smoke means damaged inventory. Smoke damage on office furniture and equipment, if left untreated, can negatively affect the health of anyone working in the environment.

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South begins the fire restoration of your commercial property with an inspection and damage assessment.

We immediately will board up and roof tarp any compromised windows, walls and roofs. 

If water is present, water removal begins immediately until the drying process is complete. 

Removal of smoke and soot from all areas through use of specialized equipment and techniques. 

All restorable items and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized including odors.

Restoration will bring your business back to whole.  That may entail rebuilding of structures, drywall, painting and carpets.

Where damage from fire and water is at, hand the clean-up over to our team at SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.  We will stay with you until even the smallest detail is taken care of. From ready, to restored, to rebuilt. From small areas to large losses from fire, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will get your building or office safe and secure, enabling you to get back to business “Like it never even happened.” 

Solar Panels and Extreme Weather

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

Broken solar panel Solar panel damaged.

Extreme Weather and Solar Panels

As they gain popularity throughout Valley Glen, CA, and the nation because of their benefits to the environment and consumer budgets, solar panels are popping up on residential roofs and ground arrays in increasing numbers. A consideration in adding them to your home is whether panel damage can occur in the event of a storm.

Solar Panels are Resilient

The good news is that solar panels can withstand extreme weather and retain their structural and functional integrity. In fact, in a strong storm, roof damage would be the greater concern. Research that has spurred the development of the solar energy industry has created materials that can withstand many environmental challenges including the following:

  • extremely high temperatures
  • extremely low temperatures
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • humidity
  • electrical stress
  • mechanical stress
  • winds up to 140 mph
  • direct hits from hail

Two extreme weather phenomena that pose the greatest threats of panel damage are hurricanes and hailstorms. However, the high volumes of wind-driven water in a hurricane have been documented to cause a perhaps surprising lack of damage; flexible racking designs enable the arrays to flex instead of break. Moreover, an unplanned test case in Golden, Colorado produced an astonishing result: a hailstorm that shattered car windows and dented vehicles broke a single panel in a 3,000 panel roof array at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The expanding solar energy industry continues to evolve, and with it, the materials that make it a safe, reliable, nonpolluting and affordable alternative are subject to ongoing development. Durability, sustainability and reliability are the watchwords that propel exciting new advances in the generation of electricity without the negative impact of fossil fuels.

Consumers today have every reason to begin harnessing the power of the sun to keep their homes humming. Because panel damage is exceedingly unlikely, storm-related repairs are generally not a consideration in taking the leap to solar power.

Rental Safety 101: Stop Mold in Its Tracks

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth starting to spread from the bottom moving up on a wall Mold growth in Lake Balboa, CA property.

Stop Mold in Its Tracks with Rental Safety 101

There are few household problems that set off more alarm bells than the discovery of mold. The best way to deal with mold growth in your Lake Balboa, CA, rental home is to stop it from ever happening by practicing safe mold prevention techniques. There are many reasons to monitor your rental for signs of mold:

  • You can avoid the unpleasant sights and smells of a mold growth
  • You want to minimize exposure to side effects of mold
  • You may be found liable for repair costs, depending on the cause of the mold and the structure of your lease

By carefully checking your rental home regularly and creating an environment that is not mold-friendly, you can save yourself the headaches of a mold outbreak.

Find Potential Sources Immediately

Mold growth flourishes in damp environments, so the most common source of the fungus is water damage from leaks and spills. Be sure to clean up any spills in your rental home immediately before they have a chance to seep into the baseboards where mold can develop. If you see signs of a leak in your ceiling or walls, such as damp or soft spots, you should find the source and address it immediately. Shut off water at your main line and locate the leak yourself or contact a service professional to prevent it from spreading.

Eliminate the Climate Mold Needs

With the leak stopped, you should focus on making your place as inhospitable to mold as possible. Dry air is key to mold prevention, so you want to remove as much moisture from the air as possible. An air conditioner in the summer will help to suck moisture out of the air while running your heater in cold months will inject fresh, dry air into the rooms.

Although it can be a scary proposition, mold prevention is easy with preventative measures. Stay vigilant about identifying possible sources of mold, then fight them as soon as you find any. You’ll be glad you did when your rental stays fresh and healthy year-round.

The Homeowner's Guide to Life After a Fire

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of house burned Professionals can help you set up a cleanup plan and start restoring your house.

Life After a Fire: A Guide for Homeowners

Has your Lake Balboa,CA home recently been affected by a fire? If so, you may wonder what you can do yourself to start returning things to normal. Fire restoration requires a professional touch, so most homeowners don't understand what their role in the cleanup should be. Use this guide to help you better understand what you should and should not do.

• Make Calls: As soon as you are safely out of the building, you can start reaching out to people who can help you return your life to normal. Your first call may be to emergency responder. Next, you'll want to call your insurance provider. Your fire insurance policy may help cover the costs of the fire damage cleanup. Soon after this call, you need to get in touch with a residential restoration specialist. This professional can help you set up a cleanup plan and start restoring your house.
• Avoid Damage: As you look at the smoke and fire damage in your house, you may be tempted to start the cleanup on your own. After all, anyone can use a rag to wipe down walls, right? The truth is smoke cleaning takes a lot of know how. It's better to leave the damage untouched than to try to fix it yourself. You may end up making the problem worse for the professionals.
• Secure Property: Fire can leave your house susceptible to the elements and intruders. Part of the fire restoration process may be boarding up your home, getting a tarp over your roof and fencing off your property. Some restoration teams also do boarding-up services. Make sure someone is going to get this job done for you as it can help reduce the amount of repairs needed.

After a fire, there's not a lot of action for you to take. You need to call in the fire restoration specialists, and then let them get the work done.

Caring for Water-Damaged Possessions

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Book shelf covered with plastic. We will take care of your items like they are our own.

How Do You Clean Items Damaged By Water?

Water leaks and flooding can quickly harm your home as well as some of your most prized possessions. It is imperative to act quickly as you remove your items from any excess water in a home and begin to dry them. If you live in Valley Glen, CA, and have had any damage, the following four suggestions can help restore these objects to their original glory.

1. Rinse soiled items with clean water. Dab off any debris from the surface with a clean dry cloth. Make sure you are careful not to grind any particles further into the material. Dry cleaning can also help to remove any light residues that are visible on certain fabrics and materials. Place the drying objects away from any remaining water in the home.

2. Remove pictures, paintings, and paper from casings or holders. For example, take photographs out of frames and let both sides of the paper dry. Take books off of shelves and open them up, switching to different pages every couple of hours. Keep paper and paintings away from direct sunlight, as it might damage them further.

3. Hang or prop objects so they can dry completely on all sides. Soiled furniture should be propped on stable blocks. Allow fans and air conditioning to blow directly onto the items. Opening windows can also help reduce the amount of humidity in a wet room. Avoid attempting to repair or restore anything while it may still be damp on the inside.

4. Carefully handle electronics. Do not try to run any electronics that you think may have been exposed to moisture. Unplug the electronics if necessary, dry their external frames, and contact a professional restoration company. Qualified electronic technicians can tell you which pieces are still in working condition and which others might be salvageable.

Damage from excess water in a home can result from many different sources such as a leaking roof, a broken pipe, a faulty sink or toilet leak, or another natural flooding. Regardless of the water source, however, time is always of the essence when it comes to properly caring for these wet items.

Freeze Up a Grease Fire With These Unusual (but Effective) Tips

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Pot on flames A grease fire can get out of hand very quickly.

Ways To Put Out Grease Fire

A grease fire is probably one of the worst-case fire scenarios you can encounter in your own kitchen, as grease fires aren’t combatted like normal fires. Instead of snuffing them out, water can aggravate a fat fire and cause a small stovetop flare-up to quickly turn into a raging inferno. If you ever encounter a fire caused by grease, it is important that you know what to do to put it out, and quickly. The fire cleanup experts in Van Nuys South, CA, provide these tips for you to implement in the event of a stovetop fire caused by animal fat:

  • Do NOT throw water on the fire.
  • Turn off the heat source ASAP.
  • Remove all the oxygen from the flame, which you can do by covering the flame with a pot or pot lid.
  • If covering it up is not an option, dump baking soda on it, and lot of it!

Salt Works, Too

If you don’t have an abundance of baking soda on hand (because let’s face it, not many people do), salt works too. Depending on the size of the grease fire, you may need to dump a cup or more of salt over the inferno to squelch it. Salt works by sucking the heat out of the grease so that it simply cannot sustain its combustion anymore. In fact, it is so effective that experts recommend keeping a tub of salt on hand whenever you plan to cook with grease.

Do Not Pour Any Other Baking Ingredient on the Flame

Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda…they’re all white powders, so they should work the same, right? Wrong. Baking soda is effective for small fires, while salt is best for larger ones. Accidentally (or purposefully) dousing the flames in flour or sugar could spark an inferno.

A grease fire can get out of hand very quickly, especially if you don’t know the best way to put one out and accidentally use the wrong methods. Use the tips from the National Fire Protection Association to freeze up a kitchen fire fast and before it causes too much damage.

3 Tips for Performing an Emergency Drill at Your Business

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Conducting a fire drill means protecting your employees.

How Do You Prepare For A Fire Drill At Work

Safety is probably a big priority for you as a Lake Balboa, CA, business owner. Proper safety practices can protect your customers, employees and property in case of a crisis, including knowing how to evacuate your building when necessary. Whether you want to conduct a fire drill or teach your employees how to leave the building in case of a power outage, there are several planning strategies that may help you do so.

1. Talk About Different Disaster Scenarios

Before you conduct an emergency drill, get together with your employees and talk about different scenarios and how likely they are to happen inside or near your building. Consider exit strategies for a gas leak, a tornado warning or severe flooding. Each plan may be different depending on the number of exits in your building, as well as their location.

2. Tour the Building Together

Give your employees a tour of the building, even if they have worked there for some time. Refresh them on where the emergency exits are, whether they should use the elevator in a given situation, and how to avoid getting trapped on an upper floor. This can be especially important during a fire, as smoke and heat tend to rise quickly. Include a flood and fire damage technician from a storm cleanup and renovation service in on the tour if possible so he or she can point out possible problems that may prevent people from exiting.

3. Perform the Drill

On the day of the fire drill, make sure everyone participates. Have someone time how quickly everyone leaves the building and whether they follow the appropriate plans. If you are not happy with the results you can always repeat the process in a few weeks until you feel positive everyone can leave the building safely in the event of a disaster.

Conducting a fire drill at your Lake Balboa, CA, business can give you peace of mind that you are doing everything possible to protect your employees. Remember to repeat the drill every so often to keep everyone up to speed on evacuation plans.

Seeking Financial Assistance for a Commercial Fire? Here's How To File A Fire Claim

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Van Nuys South, CA.

Here's How To File A Fire Claim

Sparks start small, but those tiny embers can cause severe devastation. Commercial owners in Van Nuys South, CA, are likely to face high bills during restoration efforts. Owners rarely have ten to twenty thousand dollars set aside for repairs. By filing a fire claim with your insurance company, proprietors can seek coverage to alleviate the burden.

1. Seek Help ASAP
Insurers have two purposes: to assist clients and to evaluate the accuracy of claims. It's imperative to seek compensation quickly, showing good faith and solid effort. Be clear about the date and time for the fire. Provide report information, and ask about insurance policies for how to proceed.

2. Focus on Mitigating Secondary Conditions
Don't wait for a check to arrive in the mail. Your agent appreciates proactive approaches that keep the overall costs low. Your property demands immediate action to prevent additional damage. Work with a fire restoration company to mitigate further concerns and secure the location. The team should begin assessing moisture problems, working to avoid mold development. They may also tear out structural pieces that pose a hazard.

3. Secure the Facility
The agency desires responsibility. This goes a long way to backing your fire claim. Safeguard the building. The fire burnt holes in the walls and ceiling. These should be tarped and boarded up to avoid unwanted visitors. Animals and humans often find fire-ravaged spaces intriguing. Trespassers are a significant issue. If someone gets hurt, the injured party could sue.

3. Create an Effective Organizational System
The next few months are going to be busy, and the paperwork is going to build. Maintain clear communication with the insurance company and provide thorough documentation of fire damage. Think about how you plan to store receipts and photos.
Capture images of everything, and write out an inventory list of anything replaced. Share records for lost income as well as the price of temporarily relocating. Some policies offer help in these areas too.
A fire claim is a lifeline for many business owners, creating an opportunity to rise from the ashes and begin again without having to face expensive loans and long-time bills. Be sure to get organized and document as much as possible.

FAQs About Diesel Engine Generators' Life Expectancies

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Commercial power generator

FAQs About Diesel Engine Generators' Life Expectancies

Every business needs a generator that is going to work when it matters. With climate change bringing in more storms, it is necessary to be prepared. After all, you don't want your business to be without power after a storm hits. Therefore, you need to learn more about this important machine's life expectancy, setting you up to keep producing during disasters.

Does Maintenance Prolong Their Life?
Any piece of equipment needs maintenance. This crucial machine is no exception. If you want it to last longer, then you need to maintain it. This includes:

  • Performing routine maintenance
  • Exercising your machine regularly

Do They Last Longer Than Natural Gas Alternatives?
While diesel is the primary choice, a natural gas generator also has unique benefits. Diesel has traditionally been popular because these machines are more readily available. Meanwhile, natural gas machines are growing in popularity because they make it easier to store fuel and work in various conditions. However, diesel will still outlast natural gas, giving you an edge while you are waiting for the storm response professionals to get your power back on.

How Long Do They Last?
Because many factors impact life expectancy, there is no single answer. However, there are several trusted approximations. Since a diesel generator is cooled by water and runs at lower RPMs, it will last longer than a standard or natural gas option. If you maintain them properly, they can run for more than 20,000 hours before needing an overhaul. This is a fairly long time. Most commercial models last about 15 years before they need to be replaced or overhauled.

Does Size Matter?
Since diesel engines work at approximately 80% to 90% of their capacity, size does matter. You need to pick the right size machine for your business in Lake Balboa, CA if you want it to last longer and avoid problems.
Choosing the right machine is one way to avoid generator problems and improve the life expectancy of your equipment. Knowing these basic facts about them can give you an edge and help your business stay alive after a disaster.

Everything You Need To Know About Mold In Your House

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on ceiling Mold is everywhere.

Mold is an unwanted guest in any home. It's often a surprise when a homeowner finds or smells it, and then it takes time to remove it. Although mold cleanup in Valley Glen, CA, isn't too complicated, you can do what you can to prevent mold (especially black mold) from thriving in your home.

What Is Mold?

In reality, mold is everywhere. Mold has microscopic spores that float around both outside and inside. Mold is a very natural thing, especially because most of it is simply recycling dead organic matter. What isn't good is when it begins to grow in your home.

What Causes Mold?
Mold only needs moisture to start thriving. Here are a few places where it is most often found in the home:

  • The bathroom
  • Roofs and ceilings
  • Dark, damp areas of the basement
  • Areas with water damage

A moisture problem can lead to a mold problem. If you have any area of your home that has been exposed to water, be sure to contact professional clean-up and restoration services to address any of these areas to prevent black mold. Once a colony emerges, you can tell where it is by its black, blue or green colors.

How Do You Prevent Mold?
Knowing where you might have potential places for mold colonies is your first defense. Keep in mind that humidity, leaking pipes, poor ventilation and home flooding can all create damp places where mold colonies can form.
Be sure to address any potential moisture issues when they occur. Otherwise, keep humidity levels low by ventilating and improving airflow. Also, clean and disinfect humid areas of your home often. This is a great way to eliminate any forming colonies while also giving you the opportunity to inspect problem areas.
Knowing what mold is can help you recognize it and prevent it from occurring in your home. All types of mold colonies, including colonies containing black mold, should never be a permanent resident in your house.

What Are Some Signs That My Basement Has Water Damage? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is a full restoration company. Our team of experts are on call and ready to help you determine the best course of action.

Basements can be a great, versatile space for your family home. They can provide anything from simple storage space to a music studio, from a movie room to an extra living room. And they’re so helpful as a storm and earthquake shelter that many homes in the greater Los Angeles area are being retrofitted with basements.

The downside of basements is that they carry the inherent risk of being both the lowest point in your home and a part of your home that is dug into the earth, making them a prime place for you to have to deal with water damage at some point.

While this is not a certainty, it is at the very least a likelihood. You would do well to keep abreast of the potential risks in your home for water damage, and to know the telltale signs that portend them.

Let’s take a look at the most likely water damage scenarios and how you can hopefully see them coming before they result in something major.

First Signs of Basement Water Damage

Unpleasant, musky odors. Water gets into the basement by leaking in from outside soil or rain, or by indoor plumbing or appliance issues. Once it comes in, it soaks into surfaces and begins to allow bacteria to grow, causing a familiar musty odor that you could probably make yourself smell even as you read this. Many people have grown to believe this is simply the way basements and underground rooms smell, but that shouldn’t be the case. This smell will only arise when mold and mildew are present in the environment, and though you may not yet see them on walls or floors, the smell should tip you off that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. If your paint is bubbling or cracking, you can almost be sure there’s a water issue behind it somewhere that needs to be searched out. Even waterproof paints that kill mold and mildew can’t prevent water from coming through, and in fact they may merely mask a greater problem. If you see flaking and bubbling, water is almost certainly the culprit.

Foundational cracks. While homes have been known to shift over a period of years, a legitimate crack in the foundation requires immediate attention, and may be a sign of a significant water leak or loss under the house. Foundation cracks may manifest themselves inside the home as well: Cracks can show up in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, a sign that a foundation crack is putting strain and lopsided pressure on the rest of your home’s structure. Hairline cracks inside are no cause for immediate alarm, but keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t increase in number or size.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more.

What is asbestos?

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Environmental Hygienist Technician pulling sample of ceiling texture for asbestos testing Have building materials tested for asbestos in buildings constructed prior to 1986.

What is asbestos? 

Asbestos is a natural mineral product that's resistant to heat and corrosion. It was used extensively in the past in products such as insulation, cement and some floor tiles.  Most peoples homes with asbestosis acquired it on the job before the federal government began regulating the use of asbestos and asbestos products in the 1970s. Today, its handling is strictly regulated. Although in most cases, materials containing asbestos are fairly inert and won't release asbestos fibers into the air unless disturbed, during reconstruction or renovation this will happen.  So it’s crucial to test for asbestos prior to any demolition. The materials containing asbestos will need to be removed by a specialist. Otherwise, the microscopic fibrils in asbestos are so abrasive once broken down that, if inhaled, they can cause health effects.

Testing for asbestos 

Because asbestos can’t be seen with the naked eye, materials must be submitted to laboratory certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for testing prior to a remodel. Even removing a sample to send to the EPA requires stringent precautions, and in many states it’s illegal to do sample removal yourself.  To test building materials for asbestos, different methods are employed. Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) is the most frequently used technique for this category of materials. This technique uses the unique properties of polarized light to analyze mineral-specific properties in fibers, allowing researchers to: 

  • Identify asbestos particles as well as the various species of asbestos particles that exist.
  • PLM tests show the percentage of asbestos within a certain material after analysis.

Companies such as Dynamic Environmental Services, Inc are certified asbestos consultants (CAC) who can aid in the prevention, control, or can act as your governmental agency liason.

Safe Removal & Transport of Environmental Contaminants 

Asbestos abatement removal, repair and encapsulation of materials or products in a structure is handled by a professional asbestos abatement company in alignment with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licensing.  


  •  Work area established
  •  HVAC and electrical systems disabled.
  •  New electrical system installed to power negative air pressure units that avoid contamination of air outside work area.
  •  Decontamination enclosure systems installed.
  •  Seal openings with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
  •  Wet wipe or use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter on non-movable objects to keep asbestos from becoming airborne.
  •  Seal immobile items with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
  •  Cover surface not getting abated with plastic sheeting.
  •  Clean up using a HEPA vacuum.
  •  Disposal requires asbestos-containing waste be sealed in leak-tight containers while still wet, then labeled clearly and taken to qualified landfills that have specific requirements for securing the waste and preventing fibers from escaping into the air.
  •  Vehicles that transport the waste to the landfill have specific requirements and labeling instructions.

Companies such as Burns Environmental Services offers a comprehensive range of asbestos removal services, to meet abatement and regulatory obligations in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

What Makes a Thunderstorm So Dangerous? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South if you experience any damage.

California sees its fair share of beautiful weather, but we also see our share of inclement weather. Thunderstorms are common for this time of year, but some can be more dangerous than others.

What aspects go into the level of damage a storm can do? It varies from high winds to lightning to flooding, but ultimately it’s dependent on two main factors that turn the storm into a “severe” thunderstorm.

A thunderstorm is classified as a storm that has thunder, and since thunder is a byproduct of lightning, this is necessary to the makeup of the storm as well.

For a storm to be considered a severe thunderstorm, it has to have both hail and high winds in addition to lightning and thunder. The winds in a severe storm are at least 58 miles per hour and the hail is at least one inch in diameter.

3 Major Players in the Severity of a Thunderstorm

Damage from lightning strikes. Lightning strikes are certainly one of the most dangerous elements of thunderstorms, and it is reported that they cause around 300 injuries every year. This is not even factoring in the damage that lightning causes to property, specifically in the way of starting house fires and causing trees and limbs to fall on permanent structures.

Damage due to hail. Due to the size and speed of hail, it can cause damage to almost anything it impacts. In a severe storm, the hail is an inch in diameter or larger and it can bust windshields and dent unsheltered cars, put holes in shingles of a roof, and cause injuries to people, pets and livestock that are not adequately covered.

Flooding. Flash floods can occur any time under the right conditions, even if you’re not in a designated area that is prone to flooding. Even without the heaviest of rains, if a storm drain isn’t working properly or a small ditch by the road overflows with water, the roadway can quickly become flooded and be a very serious hazard for drivers.

Thunderstorms are capable of causing serious damage to homes or commercial spaces. If your property has damage due to a thunderstorm, you can contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

Trust a Team With Expertise for Your Home Restoration Jobs | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

insurance document, pen and blue book sitting on black tabletop Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South today. We work with you and your insurance company to get things back to normal quickly.

Discovering any type of damage to your home is a disheartening experience, and many homeowners are entirely unsure of what to do next. One of the most important things is that you choose the right restoration company to work with so you can be certain you are getting the best service possible.

It is natural to underestimate the likelihood that your home will be damaged, but it is important to know the truth. The Insurance Information Institute estimates around one in 350 U.S. homes will have fire damage in any given year. If you add fire damage in with other types of damage such as water and storm-related problems, the likelihood skyrockets to one out of every 20 homes.

It is important to not let this statistic scare you and instead focus on how you can make a solid plan. Having a restoration company with the right expertise for the job is key—that is why we train all of our technicians extensively so they can be ready to respond to any type of damage at a moment’s notice.

Trusting an Expert Team for Your Restoration Needs

If you are trusting SERVPRO of Van Nuys South for your home restoration, you can be certain that you will be responded to with expert, highly trained technicians every time.

We train our technicians extensively using our time-tested restoration program, but we also give them the opportunity to learn from the best in the business: the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This nonprofit is the gold standard for the restoration industry, and through their certification process, our technicians are able to receive current, detailed information pertaining to every type of restoration.

The knowledge that our technicians have gained is what enables us to be so confident that we can handle restoration jobs of any size. No matter what type of damage you have in your home, we can help you out. We are available 247 and have the experience and expertise to restore your home to its pre-damaged state.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Protect Your Home from Damage From Heavy Rains l SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

bright blue rain splashing into a pool of water If you need help dealing with any damage caused by water, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South today.

When asked how the water damage happens, many homeowners jump straight to some of the most obvious causes.

Those include problems like natural disasters—think floods and severe storms like tornadoes or hurricanes. Water damage can come from more mundane home problems, as well. A backed-up sewer or kitchen sink can be very damaging. So can a burst pipe.

Here’s something you might not have thought about when considering ways water can damage your home: heavy rains.

Keep in mind, this is a little different from the damage that comes from a flash flood. Heavy rain causes damage over time, and it can be so slow that homeowners don’t even notice there’s a problem until it becomes severe.

That’s why basic home maintenance is such an important task for homeowners.

Don’t Let Wet Weather Hurt Your Property

These projects will help you get your home maintenance plan moving in the right direction.

Choose plants, flowers and shrubs that will protect your home. Native plants are a great resource for homeowners because they can help stop water damage. Think of them as a way to both make your home more beautiful and protect it. If you don’t know a lot about plants that are native to our area, research the topic or visit a native plant sale.

Treat your yard like it’s a line of defense against water damage. Don’t allow water to pool in your yard or drain improperly. Instead, if you notice water moving toward your home instead of away from it, start working with a landscaping professional about ways to protect your yard.

Take steps to prevent roof leaks. Sealing your roof can help protect your home from wind and water damage. Experts estimate that almost 95% of water damage is caused by water seeping through gaps in your roof and shingles, which can be prevented with this step.

If you need help dealing with damage caused by water, fire or any other issue, we’re here to help you restore your home. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about us and how we can help you restore your home to its original state.

We're Here for Valley Glen Businesses During Changing Times | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

a crew of SERVPRO employees in PPE gear walking inside commercial building If you need cleaning assistance at your business, we’re here. Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South to learn more.

Here’s an important question our team would like to ask Valley Glen business owners. You’ll probably be able to answer it immediately.

Have you made drastic changes in the way you operate your business over the past year?

If you said, “yes,” you aren’t alone. The majority of business owners have been searching for new ways to connect and interact with customers and clients since the pandemic began. Given everything that’s happened over the past 12 months, that’s understandable.

Many people who own and operate a business would also say that these changes have been stressful at times. That’s understandable, too. We’ve never been asked to rethink how we do live, interact and do business in such a short time before now.

Not everything has changed, though. SERVPRO teams here in Van Nuys are supporting you. So is the rest of the community. And that makes all the difference.

So, whether you’ve decided that home offices and digital services are the way to go or if you’ve opted to open the doors to your business again for in-person connections, our technicians are here for you.

Tips for Business Owners in Changing Times

You can connect with powerful resources, including business loans and tips, advise and more from sources you can trust.

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to keep your employees and the customers you serve safer when it’s time to open your doors. That’s where our team comes in.

We’re here to ensure your business is “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.” What does that mean? Here’s what to know:

The process begins when we consult with you about your business’ needs and put together an individualized cleaning plan.

Then, we’ll get to work and clean your space. Our technicians use a high-level system to ensure you’re ready for customers. We use proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions. Plus, we use cleaning and decontamination standards directly from the CDC.

Finally, we’ll certify your space. That means you (and your customers) can rest assured that you’re ready to be open for business.

If you need cleaning assistance at your business, we’re here. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency.  Contact us at any time to learn more about our cleaning services and how we can help you.

Is Your Home Ready for Stormy Weather? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

3/2/2021 (Permalink)

heavy rain coming down from dark clouds If you experience any property damage from spring storms, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.

Does watching the snowy scenes from different parts of the country make you grateful to live in this part of California? If so, you probably aren’t alone. But for many of our friends and neighbors in other places, there’s a lot of gratitude now that spring is in the air.

Spring is a great time to tackle new projects. Many people find themselves planting flower gardens, deciding to grow vegetables or herbs, or just dreaming of painting their front door a different color.

While these projects add to the beauty of our homes, it’s a good idea to also look for options that help make our homes safer and keep them well-maintained. These steps are especially important when protecting your property from spring storms.

We can’t stop a thunderstorm from hitting our neighborhood. But we can do things to make our homes safer. Here’s what home maintenance experts recommend.

Get Your To-Do List Ready

Why not add some of these projects to your spring weather to-do list? You can knock several of them out over a weekend.

Get your roof ready for stormy weather. Don’t let the first time you realize your shingles are loose or your roof is leaking be when it starts storming. You can take steps to prevent this by checking your roof on a sunny Saturday. Look for missing shingles and signs of leaks. Then you can repair them.

Check and clean your gutters, if needed. Gutters that aren’t maintained can lead to water damaging your home. You should consider cleaning them every season.

Remove overhanging limbs. Having mature trees can add character to your yard. But don’t let them hang over your roof, garage or powerlines. Cut back limbs and branches that could cause damage.

If a fire, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.

Helping Valley Glen Businesses Rebuild After a Natural Disaster | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee wearing black shirt reviewing restoration plans on tablet with business owner in gray suit SERVPRO of Van Nuys South knows the commercial restoration process inside and out. Here are some of our best tips in choosing the right restoration co

We have a wealth of experience helping businesses in Valley Glen and the surrounding areas to know that it’s possible to open again. It’s also possible to thrive and be more successful than before the disaster.

Our team has put together solid advice for dealing with the restoration process that comes after a natural disaster damages your business.

How You Can Move Forward After a Disaster

These tips can help you thrive after a natural disaster:

Your disaster plan is your guide. Think about how you can keep serving your customers if your business is damaged. You can even think about moving your business to a backup location. Some businesses can keep operating from a new location without serious disruption.

Partner with your insurance company. Be sure to take photographs of the damage and take inventory of everything that was damaged. If your insurer asks for documents, provide them as quickly as you can. You’ll want to work to keep this process running smoothly.

Stay in touch with your vital stakeholders. Communicate with with your suppliers, your employees, your customers and your wider community.  Social media and email marketing lists can make this step easier.

Prioritize your physician and mental health. Dealing with a disaster is stressful. You can help yourself deal with the stress by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep and talking with people you trust about how you’re feeling.

Carefully choose your restoration partners. The restoration process is easier if you’re working with highly qualified people who use advanced technology to restore your business. Read reviews, talk with other business owners and check certifications to help you make a choice.

If a fire, flood or any other cause damages your business, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.

Understanding What Sets Quality Home Restoration Services Apart l SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

black glasses and pen sitting on top of white insurance policy If your home is damaged due to a disaster, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. From start to finish, we will be here to help.

Can you guess the most common reasons homeowners filed insurance claims for home restoration services last year?

The answers might surprise you.

Californians can deal with many kinds of severe weather and national disasters, such as wildfires. Nationally, severe weather issues, such as wind, hail and rain, are among the most common causes of home damage.

Home accidents and appliance malfunctions can also cause significant damage to homes. But these events can range in seriousness from minor water damage cleanup to extensive fire damage repairs.

Our team has never worked on two identical restoration projects. But every restoration project we complete does have one thing in common—it’s vital to start work quickly to contain the damage.

The damage process moves faster than you might think. Water can start to ruin wood within a few days, leading to warping and cracking. Fabric can begin to fade and stain. Mold can start to grow in some cases within a few hours.

SERVPRO Can Help You Move Fast

Because we understand how the damage process works and why it’s so important to move quickly, we are to help you at any time you need us. Our teams are available to you 247. All you have to do is call, and we will get the process started.

Our technicians are all highly trained and hold the proper certifications to restore your home up to the best standards. Because we’re a national company, we also have access to the newest and latest restoration technology. We bring that mix of skill and technology to every job we do.

If your home is damaged due to fire, water or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Don’t Wait to Lower Your Risk for a House Fire | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

large image of red, yellow and orange flames House fires trend to peak during the winter. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

Almost 890 Americans die every year in winter house fires.

Fires aren’t just a seasonal threat, but more deaths and injuries happen during the winter months than at any other point during the year. That can be due to heating mishaps in colder parts of the country, but Southern California residents still need to be aware of ways they can make their homes safer because fires aren’t really a regional risk, either.

How You Can Reduce Your Family’s Fire Risks

These tips can help you and your family stay safer all year round. Plus, they don’t take much time or money to add to your routine.

Faithfully maintain your smoke detectors. Don’t ever forget this step because smoke detectors are designed to help the people and pets you love stay safe. Don’t forget to test them each month and change the batteries a couple of times every year. They should be replaced altogether at least every 10 years.

Be mindful of how you use candles. Your candles need to be at least three feet apart and placed away from spots in your home that can be easily accessed by young children. Also, don’t forget to blow out your candles before you leave home. It may sound like fundamental advice, but candles are the culprit for many house fires every year.

Make your kitchen safety a priority. Do you know how to put out a grease fire? Grease catches fire quickly.. Water may cause a grease fire to grow. It won’t put one out. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen to put out these dangerous fires. Baking soda or a metal lid will work, too.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Can You Find Signs of Water Damage in Your Valley Glen Home? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

white wall with water damage spots and peeling paint Do you have any water damage to your walls or ceiling? Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South, we will help guide you through the restoration process.

If your Van Nuys home has been restored after water damage, you aren’t alone. You’re one of the millions of other homeowners in America who had to seek restoration services. In fact, one in every 50 American homeowners has to file one of these claims each year.

The numbers are continuing to grow—even as fire damage claims are dropping each year. Insurance industry statisticians have found that water damage claims are continually among the most common that are filed each year.

Would you know the signs of damage in your own home?

Recognizing the Signs of a Major Leak

Homeowners struggle to know exactly when they should call in a restoration service. After all, getting a professional to evaluate a problem can seem like a big step. And it is. But it’s also necessary when the water has done damage that can’t be mopped up or cleared with a shop vac.

If you notice the signs below, it’s time to call in a professional to help you deal with water damage.

You notice wood warping in your home. The wood in your home will be among the first places you’ll notice the damage. That means your furniture, floorboards, doors and windows might start to warp, bubble or stain. This is a sign that your water damage needs professional attention.

Fabric, like curtains and upholstery, starts to fade or stain. Exposure to water damages fabric. If you notice issues with heavy fabrics (like your curtains), you’ll want to be sure and call for an evaluation.

You smell a musty odor. A musty smell can be among the first signs of mold damage. That means if you notice that scent, it’s time to call in a professional to repair your home. Mold damage worsens over time, so the sooner you get help, the easier it will be to remediate and restore the damage.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Meet Van Nuys’ Winter Fire Damage Experts | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

firefighter with water hose trying to put out large flames engulfing brick home If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of Van Nuys South to fully restore your home.

Fires can happen at any time, but they’re more common during the winter months—even in warmer climates like we enjoy here in California.

Decorating for the holidays presents several unique fire hazards. Christmas trees are a common cause of winter fires.

But heating system malfunctions and kitchen fires also cause their share of issues for homeowners. Kitchen fires are widespread around Thanksgiving and Christmas—when more people are in the kitchen making large meals.

SERVPRO Offers Expert Help

Here’s why we are Van Nuys South’s best resource for fire damage restoration:

We’re available 247. House fires don’t happen on a set schedule, and starting the restoration process quickly is vital to repairing your home. Because we know that time matters when dealing with home restoration, our team is here for emergencies.

Our team values restoration. We have the experience necessary to ensure you can get the help you need by working to save you money on both repairs and your insurance. Additionally, it can allow you to stay comfortable in the home you already own. We can make it like it hasn’t happened at all.

We can help with the entire process. Fire damage includes many things—and they aren’t necessarily things you would think about before you have to deal with the aftermath of a house fire. Water damage can result from putting out the fire. You’ll want the smell of smoke removed and the area repaired. We can even help with upholstery repair. If you need it, our team can help you do it.

We’re a local team. While SERVPRO is a national company, we are locally owned and operated. That means our team can access resources, equipment and training necessary for the highest quality restoration work. But we also live here in the community and want to treat those we meet like our friends and neighbors.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen, heating or other fire, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Tips for Decoration Fire Safety as the Holidays Approach | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

string of holiday lights Safety Precautions are encouraged while installing and using Holiday lighting

As many of us are getting into the holiday spirit, decorations are going up and our homes are decked out in festive cheer—but have you thought about fire safety as you have begun the decorating process? Unfortunately, many households have their holiday celebrations derailed every year by fires that could have been prevented by decorating with safety in mind.

Fortunately, many of these decoration-related holiday fires are preventable if you know what to look for—and that is why we are here with all the fire safety tips you need this holiday season. Read on to learn more!

Decorate Your Home For the Holidays With Fire Safety in Focus

Safety Considerations for Christmas Trees and Lights

While Christmas trees and decorative lights are a great way to add a warm glow to your home, the addition of so many electrical components can cause hazards, too. Around 25% of Christmas tree fires are due to electrical issues. Experts recommend always checking your light strings for frays or wear, never leaving them plugged in when you are asleep or away from home and being extremely careful to not overload outlets with too many decorations at once. Additionally, if you opt for a real tree, be sure to keep it well-watered throughout the entire season so it does not become an ideal source of kindling.

Safety Considerations for Candles

While candles can provide an electricity free decorating alternative, having open flames in the home can increase your fire risk in other ways. The National Fire Protection Association has found that candles are responsible for a third of all home fires related to decorations, often starting when they are placed too close to other flammable objects. While candles are a great way to be festive, it is important to remember that they are open and unguarded flames in the home. This year, it might be better to consider upgrading to battery powered or LED models to make sure you are not increasing your home’s risk levels.

If your home sustains damage due to a fire, we are here to help you with the recovery process. We will answer your call 24/7 so you can always count on us to be there when you need us. Contact us today to learn more.

Do You Know How to Recover From a Burst Pipe? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

water leaking out of a gray pipe showing signs of erosion If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe, contact us right away. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is available 24/7.

Having household damages is never a pleasant experience, especially if that damage is due to water that is a result of a pipe bursting. While there are many types of water damage that can cause risks, the sheer volume of water from bursting pipes makes it a difficult thing to contend with.

Though preparing for a scenario that is hypothetical may feel difficult, knowing how to react to water damage is so important. Out of every 50 households, one will have water damage each year, but planning ahead can significantly reduce the extent of the issues that occur.

Recovering From a Burst Pipe in Your Home

Shut off your water main. As water is continually ejected from a burst pipe, it can fully saturate the impacted area and cause significant damage. Finding and cutting off your home’s water main will put a stop to this, reducing the extent of the damage that is able to occur.

Shut off your electricity. If it is safe to do so, turning off your electricity from your home’s breaker box is key after a pipe burst. If water and electricity come into contact with one another, there can be risk of fire and electrocution in addition to the water damage dangers.

Contact your restoration company. Knowing what restoration company you will work with in advance is a great way to streamline the recovery process, as you can call them right away if you discover damages.

Take a record of the damages. Being able to keep thorough records is a great way to keep things organized, both on your behalf and on the behalf of your insurance company. Taking photos, videos and keeping a list can keep you from forgetting about anything amidst the chaos.

Contact your insurance company. Because there is so much variance in insurance policies and how the claims process works, it is best to get in touch with your insurance provider quickly so you are aware of the next steps.

Open windows and doors if possible. If you are able and it is safe to do so, opening windows and doors can be a great way to speed up the evaporation process in the impacted area as you wait for restoration help to arrive.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

What Types of Damage Are Associated With House Fires | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

fireman spraying water on active flame House fires can cause more damage than meets the eye.

A house fire is a traumatic and frightening event for any family to endure, and after getting to safety, being able to return to a sense of normalcy is generally the first thing on everyone’s minds. While the damages are often significant after a fire, being aware of what types of damage can be present and having a solid restoration plan can help tremendously with the recovery process.

While the flames scorching a home is what immediately comes to mind in regards to house fire damage, that is rarely the only issue that will be present in the home. Damages from smoke and soot as well as water are often present, but fortunately, we are here to help with all of it.

A Look at the Types of Damage a House Fire Can Cause

Damage From the Fire Itself

From the moment a flame starts, it will be looking for ways to grow and spread—which is why house fires can happen so quickly and burn at such high temperatures. Because of the prevalence of synthetic materials in home construction and furnishings, experts estimate that house fires spread much more quickly than they used to and can more easily consume everything in their path. This means that the damage from the flames can be far-reaching and severe, even compromising the structural elements of the home.

Smoke and Soot Damage

As substances burn, they produce smoke and harmful soot residues that can quickly spread throughout the home and impact even areas that were nowhere near the fire. This smoke and soot can cause health concerns and lingering odors, but a restoration company can help you deodorize objects and scrub the air of these particles.

Water Damage

Firefighters are experts at putting out house fires, often using thousands of gallons of water in the process. While this achieves the most pressing goal of extinguishing the flames, it can also lead to water damage throughout the home from the area being fully saturated.

If your home has been damaged by a house fire, we are here to help you with all of your restoration needs. From fire, smoke, soot and water damage, we can handle it all. Contact us today to learn more.

The Dangerous Conditions Surrounding Flash Floods | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

flooded water running over blacktop road SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your local water & storm restoration expert. We will get the job done right, contact us today.

Any type of severe weather scenario has the potential to cause danger for multiple reasons, but few present more risks than flash flooding. Flooding causes more weather-related deaths than anything except for heat in the United States, and flash floods are the deadliest of all the flood types.

If it is a possibility that a flash flood could happen, being aware of what to do is key, as you must act quickly to get out of harm’s way. Being aware of the speed of flash floods, the way you can find out if you are at risk and how you can safely evacuate can prepare you much more effectively.

What Causes Flash Floods to Be So Hazardous?

Any type of flood will cause a certain level of danger, but flash floods cause even more because of the speed with which they occur. After rain begins, a flash flood will occur within six hours, but often much faster, and can impact nearly any area where the warning was issued. For those in the flash flood’s path, quickly getting to safety is key so you are not caught up in the waters.

How Can I Determine My Flash Flood Risks?

Staying tuned into broadcasts from local weather officials will be the best source of real-time information in regards to the weather conditions. If a flash flood alert is issued, that simply means to stay alert and aware of changing conditions.

For a flash flood warning, begin evacuating and moving to higher ground with your family. If there is a flash flood emergency called, know that is extremely rare and get to higher ground via whatever means necessary.

What Safety Precautions Should I Know to Evacuate?

Acting quickly is key if you find yourself impacted by a flash flood warning, so knowing how to evacuate with safety in mind is so important. Here are some of the best safety tips to memorize beforehand:

  • Get real-time updates from local weather officials through approved channels.
  • Be sure everyone in your home is aware of your evacuation plan.
  • Avoid attempting to cross areas that are flooded, even in the car.
  • Stop children from touching or playing near floodwater.
  • Know of multiple evacuation routes, as those blocked by water are impassable.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damage to your property.

Does Your Business Have a Proper Emergency Kit? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

No one wants to consider the worst-case scenario happening, but for business owners, preparing for the worst is part of making sure your business is protected in any situation. It is important to make sure that you have considered how you will react to a disaster or emergency scenario, both to protect the longevity of your business and to protect your employees from harm.

Creating a business disaster plan should always be your first step, which includes assessing your overall risk level, creating a plan for evacuation and preparing the business itself to be as safe as possible in the event of a disaster—and one of the best ways to do this last bit is by assembling an emergency kit for the workspace.

Assembling An Emergency Kit for Your Business Workspace

Putting an emergency kit in the workspace is a great way to ensure you have the means for handling an emergency or disaster scenario so you can keep your employees safer. Ideally, an emergency kit should have enough food, water and medical supplies for several days at minimum, and it is wise to include comfort items such as emergency blankets and entertainment in case you must seek shelter overnight. Below is a checklist of the most necessary items that are wise to have on hand:

  • One gallon of water per person, per day
  • Non-perishable foods (and a can opener, if you have packed canned goods)
  • Eating utensils
  • An NOAA weather radio or other battery powered method to receive alerts
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • A first aid kit, including over the counter medication and wound care supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and baby wipes

In addition to these items, if you have the room and the means, the following can be helpful:

  • Emergency blankets for each person
  • Plates, cups and napkins
  • Cards, books or other games for entertainment
  • Important documents such as your insurance policy and identification
  • Cash or traveler’s checks

If your business is damaged in a disaster, you can depend on us to help you with all your restoration needs. We can help businesses of any size in any industry—contact us today to learn more about our services or to report damage.

Stay Vigilant About Cooking Fires This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking is something most of us do on a daily basis, but did you know that cooking is also the top cause of house fires in the United States? While most cooking occurs without incident, it only takes one mistake to create an emergency scenario where a cooking fire starts and gets out of control.

While this is something to be aware of throughout every time of the year, it is extra important to keep this in mind as we move towards the holiday season. The period around the winter holidays is when the most fires occur every year, due in part to an increase in cooking and baking as we prepare for gatherings and holiday meals. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways you can make every cooking or baking session safer—read on to learn more.

How to Keep Cooking Fires From Starting Around the Holidays

A fire in the kitchen is the last thing any of us want, but are you sure you are doing everything you can to prevent it? Here are some of the top safety tips so you can be certain you are taking every precaution necessary:

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Within Reach

Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and knowing how to use it is a must for any cook or baker. Be sure that it is not expired and that it is in a convenient spot to grab in an emergency. Using a fire extinguisher can prevent a small incident from becoming a full-on house fire if you catch it quickly enough, but it is important to only use a fire extinguisher if it is safe to do so.

Do Not Cook While Distracted

Holiday meals often lead to a lot of extra hands in the kitchen, which can create a chaotic environment ripe for mistakes. Distracted cooking can lead to leaving utensils and dish towels near the stove or oven, which can quickly catch fire if they become too warm. Make sure you are always vigilant about keeping a buffer free from flammable items around any cooking appliance just in case.

Never Leave Food Unattended

For long-term meals that require simmering or roasting, it can be tempting to step away and leave the food unattended while the flavors work their magic. Be sure you check up on food regularly and do not stray too far while something is cooking just in case.

If your home is damaged by a fire of any type, we are here to help. Contact us at any hour for more information or to get restoration assistance.

Make Sure Your Winter Is Safe From Fires | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will be here to help.

No matter the season, keeping fire safety in focus is something that we always recommend—but during the long nights of winter, it is extra important. Winter sees the most fires out of any season according to the Red Cross, and though we do not receive a deep winter freeze in Van Nuys, it is still something to be aware of.

More people cook and bake in the winter, which is always the leading cause of household fires starting. Additionally, when things do turn chilly, using a space heater is a common way to warm up the home—and as the winter holidays approach, this can be compounded with the use of decorations that lead to electrical concerns. It is wise to be aware of the possible risks so you can keep fire safety at the forefront of your entire winter season.

Staying Fire-Safe as the Holidays Approach

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking large meals and undertaking delicious baking projects is a great way to celebrate the season, but kitchen incidents do cause the majority of house fires both during winter and year-round. Implementing safety in the kitchen is a wise thing to focus on, which can include purchasing a fire extinguisher, keeping flammable items away from the oven and stove and never leaving the room while cooking is in process.

Heat the house with proper precautions. When things turn chilly in the evening, many people will find themselves reaching for a space heater to provide some auxiliary heat in the home. This can be done safely if proper precautions are taken, but otherwise, it can be dangerous. Be sure your space heater model has safety features to address tip-over and overheating hazards, and never use it near anything flammable or while you will not be in the room.

Decorate with care. As the holidays draw near, adding festive elements such as lights and other decorations is commonplace, but these electrical wires should always be checked thoroughly before use each year. Christmas tree fires are often caused by malfunctioning strings of lights, but by checking for frays and never leaving lights plugged in overnight, you can significantly reduce your risk.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Why We Should Be Your First Call When You Need Restoration | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Discovering that you have damage to your home or office is a frightening thing, especially if you are not sure what to do to proceed with the restoration. While sorting out the details can be a complex matter, it is something you certainly do not want to delay—many types of damage are time-sensitive and can worsen if they are not treated quickly.

For this reason, we are here 24 hours a day to take your call and begin assembling a quick response. We understand what a difficult time it can be as you work to recover, but you can count on us to make the process as easy as possible from beginning to end.

Why Trust Us When You Need Restoration

We Will Get to You Quickly

In the event of nearly any type of damage, allowing it to sit unattended is one of the worse things you can do. Damage from a fire can lead to smoke and soot odors permeating far away areas of your home, and untreated water damage can quickly give rise to mold and mildew. We always guarantee a quick response so we can begin mitigating your damages quickly and give you peace of mind in the process.

You Can Count on Our Technicians

Our technicians are highly trained in accordance with the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, and they are also trained extensively on our own SERVPRO® standards to ensure they are ready to respond to any situation. Additionally, our employees are all given ample opportunities to continue their education through classes and online learning programs, so they are always up to date on current trends and techniques.

Our Restoration Model is Scalable

Not only do we have a local office of trained technicians ready to help out, but we also have a country filled with national partners that are always ready to jump in and help in a crisis. Any time a large area needs restoration, we can call for backup to scale up our workforce and our equipment as much as is necessary, meaning no job is too big for us to handle.

If you are in need of restoration for your home or office, you can count on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to receive a quick response from our expert technicians.

Keeping Your Business Compliant With Fire Safety | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Fire safety is something that everyone should be concerned with both at work and at home, but if you own your own business, it should be even more of a priority. Not only can a fire cause serious damage to your building and equipment, but it can also put you and your staff in harm’s way. It is better to be prepared and as safe as possible than risk having a fire catch you off guard. Below, we will look at some of the most important fire safety tips to incorporate into your business operations so you can be certain you are practicing fire safety adequately.

Make Sure You Are Meeting OSHA’s Fire Standards

Depending on what industry and type of building you are in, OSHA will have specific standards your business should adhere to in regards to fire safety. This should be where you start to make sure you are upholding all of their requirements to keep your business safe.

Have the Proper Number (and Type) of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a must-have for any business, especially if your building has flammable materials, electronics or an employee kitchen. Make sure you choose an extinguisher that is the proper class for the fire hazards you might be likely to encounter in the workplace and that you have briefed all your employees on how to properly use them.

Have an Evacuation Plan and Practice Regularly

You should have an evacuation plan in place in case a fire does break out in the building so you and your staff can quickly get to safety. Be sure every area has at least two clear pathways to get out of the building and designate a meeting spot outside so you can do a headcount of your staff. Host regular fire drills so everyone can practice the protocol often—this can prevent panicking and make the evacuation process go much more smoothly in a real-world scenario.

If your commercial space is damaged by a fire, we are here to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about what sets us apart, or use our 24/7 emergency line to report the damage. 

Planning Ahead to Recover From a Disaster at Your Business | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

insurance policies binders and pen sitting on black table in large conference room SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your go-to in case a disaster occurs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Planning ahead is something that business owners understand the importance of inherently, but when the concern to be planned for is more abstract, it can be difficult to prioritize. That is why many business owners fail to plan for natural disasters—but those who do not can be devastated by their impact. While it is impossible to know when and how a disaster might happen, knowing the details of how you will recover is key.

One of the most important things you can do is to prioritize the safety of yourself and your staff, which is why we always recommend beginning with your emergency plan. After this, however, planning for recovery is wise. Thinking through the insurance process, creative ways to generate revenue and qualifying for financial assistance can all go a long way in getting your doors reopened.

After a Disaster Strikes Your Business, Know What to Do

Contact your insurance agent and your restoration company. Every commercial policy will vary in regards to what disaster-related damages are covered, so contacting your agent quickly after you discover what damage has occurred is key to getting your claims process started. From there, contact your commercial restoration company right away so they can begin handling the damages and preventing secondary issues from arising.

Keep customers informed of changes. It is impossible to know if or how you will be able to continue operating in some capacity after a disaster, but regardless of the scenario, keeping your customers informed is key. If you are able to do partial service or fulfill online orders of gift cards or other products, letting them know via social media is key to getting all the support you can.

Research your financial assistance options. The impact from lost revenue on top of damages puts most businesses in a precarious situation, which is why the disaster loan offerings from the Small Business Administration can be so impactful. After a disaster, applying for a loan is a great way to gain extra funds during a difficult time.

If your business has been damaged due to a disaster, we’re here to help. Contact us at any hour to report your damage or to learn more about our commercial restoration services.

Why We Advocate for Restoration Instead of Replacement | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South.

Experiencing damage to your home is always a difficult experience, regardless of the cause. However, if the damage was due to an emergency, the emotional impact can be extremely difficult to recover from as well. As you and your family work to rebuild, having a trusted restoration partner can make all the difference.

Restoring your home is something we do not take lightly, as we have seen firsthand what a traumatic experience that going through a disaster is for a family. Therefore, we do everything we can to put your items and your home back in the state they were before the damages, instead of recommending a liquidation of everything you own. This saves you time, money and hassle, ensuring that you can focus more on your recovery and let us handle the rest.

Let Us Focus on Restoration So You Can Focus on Recovery

We can help you save money on your insurance. Every insurance policy will be different, but you can often claim damages with your provider. For incidents such as water damage, this can be costly, leading to an increase in your premium. By focusing on restoration instead, we can help you keep the amount you have to claim with your insurance lower so you can save money.

We can protect your sentimental items. In the event of a disaster or emergency, a quick evacuation is often required to keep your family safe—meaning you will typically have to leave behind many of the objects you love. That is why we have invested in cutting-edge restoration technology, which allows us to restore even the most delicate of items such as family photographs and documents that have been damaged by fire or water.

We make sure your home feels like home again. After any sort of emergency scenario, the first time you re-enter your home will be an emotional one regardless of the restoration—but when you trust us, you can be sure you will recognize your house as your home when you return. We handle cosmetic issues such as painting, flooring and all the finishing touches that truly make a house feel like it is your home again.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more.

Three Common Reasons for House Fires in Your Van Nuys Home

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.

Electrical Outlets

Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.

-If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.

-Do not overload your circuits.

-Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.

Kitchen Fires

Carelessness in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

-Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.

-Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.

-Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top

-Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.


Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.

-Clean out the dryer vent regularly.

-Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.

-Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here for you if you experience a home fire.

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.

Know the Essentials of Grilling Safety | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

a person in grilling chicken and hot dogs on an outdoor grill SERVPRO of Van Nuys South are the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

Grilling is one of our favorite ways to make use of a summer afternoon with the family. Not only is it a great way to prepare delicious meals, but it is also an ideal scenario to practice fire safety skills, as well. Because of the prevalence of grill fires, remembering to keep safety in mind when it is time to cook outdoors will keep every grill session safe.

Grill fires are not uncommon—it is reported by the U.S. Fire Administration that they occur nearly 6,000 times a year, mostly in the summer months. We always try to remind everyone to be safe during the warmer weather to prevent a grill fire from happening to them.

Keep Every Grill Session Safe With These Fire Safety Tips

Create a safe zone around your grill. The convenience of where your grill is located is probably the top thing you consider when placing it in your yard, but remembering safety considerations is just as essential. A three-foot buffer around the grill should be the minimum that is kept free from flammable materials and people.

Clean your grill grates often. Bits of food and grease can adhere to your grill grates when you are cooking, which can not only alter the cooking temperatures of your grill but can also lead to a fire hazard. These bits of food can ignite suddenly if they are left undisturbed, so experts advise cleaning them off after every meal.

Never leave the grill unattended. In many instances of a fire, catching it quickly was the thing that prevented it from becoming a full-on catastrophe—but if no one is watching the grill, you will not have this chance. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times and make sure someone is designated to watch the grill if you must step away for any reason.

Inspect the grill regularly. Just like any other tool you use around the house, checking your grill for wear and tear is a valuable part of your routine. Propane tanks and lines can all become worn with time, but a quick visual inspection can help you be certain you are not at risk for gas leaks or other issues.

If you have a grill fire that does damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

A Few Key Safety Tips for Sudden Summer Storms | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

lighting striking hillside during storm at night Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

If the skies are clear on a gorgeous summer day, you may not be thinking a bit about sheltering from severe weather. However, because summer storms are so sudden, it is important to know what to do no matter where a storm catches you.

These safety tips can help you find shelter and stay safe any time a sudden storm pops up anywhere you are.

Find Shelter and Stay Safe Any Time a Storm Pops Up

Know your options for shelter. Ideally, you will find out a storm is incoming while you are somewhere safe where you can wait out the severe weather, but this is not always the case. If a storm catches you when you are on the go, taking shelter in your car is recommended as long as you can do so safely.

Practice electrical safety. Thunderstorms always have the possibility to produce lightning, which can be dangerous even if you are in a building. Lightning sends electricity through a home’s wiring, which is not made to handle such high voltage. In turn, it will transfer this voltage to electronics that are plugged in, potentially ruining them. If you can, unplug everything nearby if a storm is inbound. For a long-term solution, surge protectors are a great option.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. Concrete buildings are sturdy, but they are sturdy in part due to the metal within their walls. This metal, when struck by lightning, can transfer the charge outward through the concrete and to anything against it—including people. It is best to avoid direct contact with concrete if you shelter in a concrete building.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. When a storm interrupts your fun, getting back outside is top priority—but doing so too quickly can still put you in danger. Lightning has been documented 25 miles from storm clouds, so it is recommended that you wait at least a half hour after you can no longer hear thunder to head back out.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Starting Workplace Fire Evacuation Drills | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South specializes in commercial fire restoration.

Preparing to handle changes and adversities that may face your business is a component of a business owners’ job, especially when it comes to emergency preparedness. Workplace fires occur often enough that they should be considered in your emergency planning efforts, especially because of how devastating they can be.

Considering all the fire safety information out there makes it difficult to know where to start, so we always suggest starting with safety as your signpost. Creating a system for workplace fire drills is perhaps the most important thing you can do for you and your staff’s safety, as you will equip everyone to calmly and quickly exit the building if flames begin.

Creating a System for Workplace Fire Drills

Consult with your local fire officials. You have so many options for online research regarding workplace fire safety, but make use of your local resources as well to create the most effective plan. You can often get in touch with your local fire department for personalized recommendations on evacuation routes and other safety measures based on the specifics of your buildings.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. Once you have consulted the local fire department regarding the best escape pathways, mark them clearly and alert staff of the upcoming drill. Preparing everyone for the drill will make it go much more smoothly, as your staff can study the evacuation routes ahead of time instead of making decisions in the moment.

Have fire drills frequently. Having fire drills too often could make them lose their impact, but they should occur with enough frequency that the lessons learned in them are not forgotten. Many businesses find doing drills quarterly or even every six months to be a good level of practice for their organizations.

Run different fire scenarios. Workplace fires can be unpredictable, as they can be caused by numerous things—something your fire drills should reflect. Change up the routes and exits you have employees use in the drills so they become familiar with all of them and can make quick decisions in a real situation.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

What to Expect From the Recovery Process After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

Everyone hopes that they will never have to experience a house fire, but to be as safe as possible, it is important that you have a plan in place for one just in case.

Making sure that you and everyone in your household know how to safely evacuate, and being proactive about the recovery process is the best way to ensure that you can recover from such a terrible event.

Being Proactive About the House Fire Recovery Process

Prepare yourself for what to expect. No two fire damage incidents are the same, but having a general idea of the damage a fire has caused can help lessen the emotional impact that re-entering your home can have. Understand that fire damage can often look more severe than it is and reach far areas of the home due to the way that smoke and soot can travel.

Wait to enter your home. Safety is key when it comes to planning for every aspect of a house fire, including re-entering your home in the aftermath. Officials will tell you when the structure has been deemed stable enough to enter, and you should always wait for their word before you go back inside.

Contact your insurance company. Make sure that you set yourself up to get the most out of your claim by contacting your insurance company right away. Every coverage provider is different regarding what is covered and how to file a claim, so talking with them directly is best.

Document the damages. To avoid overwhelm, make sure to stay organized by documenting all of the damages for your records. A thorough inventory list of the damaged items as well as photos will come in handy for insurance as well as your personal record-keeping.

Contact your restoration company. Working with a restoration company you can count on is one of the best things you can do after an event such as a house fire. The emotional impact can be long-lasting, but knowing that your home is in good hands and will be restored as quickly as possible is extremely comforting.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Before Severe Weather Is Predicted, Make Sure You’re Prepared | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

person on a white tablet using weather alert app If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will respond quickly to assist in any repairs.

Understanding the impact of severe weather is the first step toward being prepared against it. Though many storms may cause no damage at all, they all have the potential to be dangerous and even deadly due to high winds, hail and lightning strikes that all thunderstorms can produce.

Making sure you are prepared in advance of the prediction of severe weather by listening to local weather alerts, having household emergency supplies handy and finding a reliable way to get weather alerts will help you have peace of mind and know you are as prepared as possible for whatever weather events occur.

Listen to Local Weather Alerts

The local weather alerts dispatched by officials are a great way to stay informed as long as you are aware of what commonly used terms mean in their system. When a thunderstorm watch is released, that is their way of telling people to stay tuned, as conditions make a storm possible but one is not actively occurring. For a thunderstorm warning, the concern is more immediate as there has been a storm spotted nearby.

Have Household Emergency Supplies Handy

Keeping household emergency supplies handy is always a good idea, as you never know what could happen, but especially concerning the threat of severe weather. Just having the essentials, such as household medical supplies, sources of light, food and water, can go a long way in keeping everyone comfortable if the power goes out. You should keep these supplies in a shelter-safe area of the home, such as a stairwell or hallway that is protected from the outside elements.

Find a Reliable Way to Get Weather Alerts

Though our cell phones are typically our main source of news, updates and anything else going on in the world, when it comes to severe weather, having a more reliable alert system is recommended. Weather radios are not dependent on cell reception or electricity, which can be spotty during a storm, and provide you with updates directly from the weather experts regarding the current situation.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

Where Water Damage Is Often Found After Rainfall | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

heavy rainfall on top of metal roof of yellow house Heavy rains can cause serious water damage. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South has the trained technicians to fully restore your home.

Water damage can be extremely disruptive regardless of the cause, but when it sneaks up on you, it can feel especially difficult to handle.

Many times, water damage is a result of heavy rain showers that come through the area, instead of being a result of flooding or plumbing issues. These leaks can occur covertly, but knowing where to check after heavy showers can help you keep an eye out.

Household Leaks That Can Occur After Heavy Rainfall

Around clogged gutters. Gutters are responsible for draining water away from your home, but if they are clogged past the point of doing their job, the water may not be able to drain away and can instead work its way into the roofline of the home.

Leaks around windows and doors. The seals surrounding the outside openings of a home are made to be impervious to leaks, but over time, they can wear down and allow water to work its way in. Discoloration, softening of the wood and warping are all signs that this might be happening.

Poor drainage around the foundation. When water is unable to drain away from the foundation, it can instead begin to seep inward into the block. There are many creative landscaping solutions that can help route the flow of water away from the home and prevent this.

Leaks in and around the roof. If conditions are right, roofs can start leaking early in their lifetimes, so it is never too soon to start checking them for signs that an issue may arise. Roof leaks can often be sneaky as they start with an attic space, so a visual inspection can help you be vigilant.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. The base level of most homes can benefit from having a sump pump installed, but it is important to take care of them as well. Pump malfunctions can arise from poor maintenance, leading to floods in the places they should be protecting.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. The seals around anything that intersects with the roof can decay over time and begin to let water in, especially in the event of persistent rainfall. If you have things like this, they should be included with your roof inspection to watch for leaks.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

Our 6-Step Process for Restoring Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

interior wood floor partially submerged in water When dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. Contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South for prompt & dependable service.

When you discover that you are the victim of water damage, it is important to quickly start the restoration process even though it is a devastating experience.

That is why we are here 24/7—whenever you decide to call us, you can count on our friendly service and proven process to help you recover. Here’s what we will do:

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

1. Initial Emergency Contact
As soon as you call us, you will receive help from one of our restoration experts in order to get the details regarding your damage so we can assemble the right response team to dispatch out to you. We are here 247 to take your call and take action.

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
We take safety seriously, so we will establish that the scene is safe as soon as we arrive before proceeding. Following this, we will fully inspect and assess the damage that has occurred and create your custom restoration plan.

3. Moisture Extraction
We have some of the best equipment in the industry for extracting mass quantities of moisture quickly, which is exactly what you want when you are tackling water damage. We will start by moving out all the standing water to make room for our technicians to work on your surfaces.

4. Dehumidifying and Drying
Getting the moisture out as quickly as possible is always key, including from the air and from impacted objects. We will make sure that all surfaces are thoroughly dried to reduce the chances of mold and mildew growing in the aftermath of the water damage.

5. Cleaning Belongings
Following the dehumidification and drying of objects and surfaces, everything will be fully cleaned and sanitized. Doing this ensures that everything in your home is safe to use and will also prevent musty odors from permeating your household.

6. Restoration and Repair
We pride ourselves on being full service restoration professionals, meaning we handle everything from beginning to end. This means we can handle structural and cosmetic tasks once everything is dried out to truly make it like the water damage never occurred.

If your home has been water-damaged, you can count on us to help. Call us 247 to get the process started.

Taking Steps Toward Flood Recovery With Speed & Safety in Mind | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

three large houses in a neighborhood with home and street flooded If you’re experiencng any water damage from flooding, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is available 24/7 to assist with any repairs.

There has been an increase in flood-related damages in recent years, prompting many people to wonder what they should do in the event that they need to be concerned with recovery.

While speed is a priority when it comes to handling the aftermath of a flood, staying safe is also equally important as you do so. It is normal to want to get to work right away in cleaning up and repairing your home, so we have put together some tips to make sure you stay safe while you do so:

Taking Steps for Speed and Safety During Flood Recovery

Avoid further safety hazards. If you were ordered to evacuate, not knowing the damage done to your house can be difficult, but it is important to not rush home before you have been cleared to do so. There are many auxiliary dangers that can pop up after a flood, so emergency officials will need to inspect the area to make sure it is safe.

Air out the home. While water damage is a hassle on its own, after a flood, mold can begin growing within hours and lead to its own set of issues. Mold spores can take hold anywhere, but if you can open the doors and windows when you return to your home, you can increase the airflow and discourage the mold from landing on your belongings—plus, this will keep the air safer to breathe and decrease the adverse health risks that mold can pose.

Document the damages. Walking into your home and surveying the magnitude of the flood damage can be an overwhelming experience, and many people will want to start sorting through their items right away. We always recommend documenting the damages for your records first, however. Take thorough photographs of all impacted areas, and create an inventory list to keep track of everything that has been damaged before you make any changes.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. For those who have a flood insurance policy for their household, talking to them about the claims filing process should be a high priority so you can get it started. Afterward, you can give us a call at any time—the longer flood damage is untreated, the worse it can become, so we guarantee that we can respond quickly and begin moving moisture out.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.

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.

How We Provide Thorough Cleanup After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

black smoke coming out of windows from a burning house Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here to help when a fire strikes.

Did you know that it is recommended to increase your fire preparedness efforts for the winter months? According to the Red Cross, most house fires occur during the winter with a peak in December and January.

As a homeowner, it is important to prepare your household for all aspects of a fire, including having an evacuation plan for the moment a fire breaks out and knowing what restoration company to call when you are ready to begin the recovery process. By starting the process right away, you will be able to have peace of mind while we handle the cleanup process on your behalf.

The Thorough Fire Restoration Process We Use

With a 24-hour response line, you can call us at any time of day or night so we can begin preparing our response. By setting this in motion right away, you are ensuring that your home will be back to its pre-fire state quickly following a house fire and that you can begin to recover more quickly. This is our time-tested, multi-step cleaning process:

Structural Cleaning

Because of how important structural integrity is to a home, we do thorough testing for damages before we even begin repairs so we can understand their extent. After testing is complete, our technicians will begin cleaning, removing debris and reconstructing areas as needed. We can handle walls, floors and ceilings, even priming drywall for fresh paint if required.

Content Cleaning

Not only can restoring your contents after a fire save you money, but it also means there is not as much change to grapple with as you emotionally recover from a house fire. Using our wet and dry cleaning equipment, we are able to clean, deodorize and disinfect many items, including kitchenware, bedding, area rugs and more.

Deodorization Services

The airborne smoke and soot particles that a fire leaves behind can lead to dangerous health impacts for you and your family. That is why we consider air purification to be extremely serious, and we utilize air foggers and scrubbers to be sure that all of these harmful particles are fully removed.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

A Guide to Business’ Flood Preparedness | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

flooding in large room with staircase partially submerged in water A flood can happened when you least expect it. If your business experiences any water damage, contact SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. We will work quickly

Even for business owners who are not located on a historic floodplain, it is crucial that they prepare for flooding. It has been reported that over 90% of natural disasters involve flooding, meaning they are more likely to happen than most think.

Increasing the safety of yourself and employees is the most important aspect of flood preparedness, but it can also be valuable for the continued success as well. By preparing the right documents in advance, you will be prepared to begin the reopening process right away.

How Businesses Can Be More Prepared

The information regarding preparing for floods might seem overwhelming, but we’ve assembled some of the most important tips in one easy place:

  • Use FEMA’s website to access their Flood Map to view your annual risk factor and other important information specific to your location.
  • Use the list below to determine what documents to copy and safely store.
  • Provide regular training on the official Emergency Action Plan for employees.
  • Have regular drills where you and all personnel complete an emergency escape.
  • Talk with your insurance agent about flood insurance as it is not always included with regular business policies.
  • Make sure your office emergency kit is stocked and any food stores are not expired.
  • Use elevated surfaces for computers so they are out of the water’s pathway.
Document Protection and Flood Preparedness

Having the right documents on hand can have a big impact on how quickly you can reopen following a flood. Here are the best paperwork pieces to keep stored safely away:

  • All the checklists and tasks necessary to complete for reopening
  • Contact information for anyone you should check in with, such as staff and vendors
  • The information regarding your insurance agent and flood insurance, if applicable
  • Backup recovery guides for computer files
  • Financial paperwork such as leasing information, tax return copies and other information

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

Solving disasters for Corporate, Industrial and Apartment properties

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Corporate buildings, Industrial facilities and Apartment complexes are all exposed to natural disasters including fires, flooding from storms and Plumbing leaks. These emergencies require immediate attention so as to avoid the problem from getting worse. Once the problem is solved, we ensure that your property and its contents are thoroughly checked and cleaned before re-use. This is where SERVPRO of Van Nuys South comes in. We’re the fastest to respond and the first to action! Our technicians are highly trained and we use best equipment in the restoration industry. Because of this you save money and you save down time. This allows you to get back up and running before you know it, like it never even happened.

  • Air conditioning HVAC units can, and do leak and cause water damage and the growth of dangerous mold to threaten your facility and the health of employees, not to mention slowing or even halting your company’s production stream.
  • Water leaks caused by underground tree roots nearby can disrupt your operations.
  • Smoke damage can render a properly uninhabitable ever if a nearby fire didn’t directly affect your building. Items like carpets, walls, ceilings, electronics and woodwork, not to mention sensitive proprietary documents can be destroyed from damage caused by smoke unless properly handled in a timely manner. In addition the HVAC system and ductwork are restored from any allergens, soot, and ashes that may be out of plain sight. 
  • Landslides from higher terrain have devastated the lower lying properties.
  • Whether damage is caused by water intrusion or smoke/fire, our technical skills and know how with regard to structural drying and/or odor control will give you peace of mind.
  • Insurance Company’s and Insurance Adjusters? We’ve got you covered. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South works very closely with all insurance companies which makes your entire restoration process painless. 

Services SERVPRO of Van Nuys South handles include; Commercial Water Damage Restoration, Commercial Fire Damage Restoration, Commercial Mold Remediation, Commercial Storm and Flash Flooding and Disaster Recovery Assistance. These emergency response services are given to name a few for; Property Management & HOA’s, Retail Facilities, Education Facilities, Healthcare Facilities, Hospitality Facilities, Food Service Facilities, Entertainment Facilities, Sports Arenas, Government Offices, Banks, etc. 

Did you know? Since 1969 SERVPRO is the leader in disaster restoration offering the best customer service backed by the highest levels of equipment utilization and training. When you experience an unexpected disaster, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your best solution.

24/7 Emergency Service

(818) 780-7111

Smoke Damage Restoration in Van Nuys

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Some have erroneously concluded that the odor from smoke damage will just go away on its own in due time. Not a safe bet, consider the following facts: “What’s in the particles creating the odor depends on what was burned. Wood from house trim and framing cause a “camp fire” smell. Gases from wood smoke causing a “camp fire” smell include acetic acid, benzene, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, formic acid, heavy metals, nitrogen-oxides (NO2), phenols, sulfur dioxide (SO2). What’s worse are chemicals liberated from burned plastics and fabrics.” 

In her article, “Smoke Damage: The Lingering Hazard after the Fire” Cynthia Freeney of Patch.com wrote, “Even a small fire can spread smoke to every room of your home. Smoke particles get into your HVAC system and can cause breathing problems.”

To be health safe and free of the lasting odor of smoke damage requires professional equipment and techniques to be certain all trace elements have been removed for good. SERVPRO Van Nuys South has expertise in detecting and eliminating smoke damage. What’s more is that smoke particles find their way into your air conditioning system. Breathing these particles is a health risk and can lead to the irritation in and could scar your lungs. 

To professionally clean smoke damaged property and get you back up and running like before, here is a snapshot of how we will proceed. First we inspect the property, decide a plan of action, secure the property and begin ongoing ventilation using air scrubbers. Cleaning the facility, including ceilings, walls, floors and any permanent fixtures to prevent further damage from the acidic effects of soot. Clean carpets and upholstery to completely neutralize any acid contained in soot and minimize further damage including your HVAC system and ductwork. Upon completion, we conduct a final inspection and leave you feeling like it never even happened. 

24/7 Emergency Service

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South

(818) 780-7111

How to Choose the Best Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South's green work van with SERVPRO logo at clean up site A quick response from SERVPRO of Van Nuys South ensures your Damage Restoration needs are professionally completed.

Receiving damage to your home will always be a shock, but with some preparedness planning, it can be a shock you are ready for.

By picking a restoration company to work with in advance, homeowners will immediately know who to call once the damage is discovered. But how do you make that decision?

Keys for Finding a Restoration Company

With the information surrounding the restoration industry, it can be hard to determine what is important and what is not—that’s why we’ve put together some important things to consider if you want to choose the best restoration company:

If They Can Do a Complete Restoration

It may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many restoration jobs that require several different aspects in order to be complete. Whether it’s removing toxic air particles after a fire or taking care of structural damage that water can cause, we can provide a complete restoration following any damage that occurs.

If They’ll Really Be There for You

Because damages can occur at any time, picking a company that sticks to strict business hours will leave you unprotected for many hours of the day. That’s why we have a 24-hour emergency line, so you can call us at any hour and know that our technicians will spring into action.

If They Invest in Training

Being a restoration technician is a highly skilled job, and you want to be sure your company is educating their technicians so that they are enabled to learn all the skills they will need. We base our training on the highest of industry standards, which ensures our technicians get the best education before they work on your home.

If They Can Scale

We are locally owned and operated, but we also have other franchises across the country that we can call in for backup if need be. That means that there is no damage too big for us, and we can treat every incident with the same level of care and expertise.

If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.

Fire Damage Restoration - San Fernando Valley

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage is devastating to your home or business. Smoke permeation from an adjacent structure fire is bad enough but if your property is the fire source then another disaster is added on. Yes it’s the tremendous amount of water firefighters use to combat your burning structure, adding another level to your situation at hand. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South understands and can help you fix your emergency situation. We have knowledgeable trained crews and the equipment to restore your home or office to its pre-fire condition.  

As we’ve seen time and again, Wild Fires strike southern California often and without warning. Your neighbors home or business may burn to the ground while yours is surprisingly left unscathed. But does that mean you’re out of the woods? Try walking back into your home or office once the fire is contained. You will immediately notice that you cannot breathe with all the smoke has done to damage each and every pore of your interior contents as well as every surface of the structure itself. If this happens to your home and you have young children or pets, you simply can’t stay there at all. SERVPRO Van Nuys South will immediately respond to your emergency and come to your rescue. In a painless short period of time, you will be back to living in your home or working in your business and forget it ever happened. 

How do we do it?

It’s no secret, we work tirelessly to wipe and scrub and rinse and clean using state of the art “elbow grease”. Kidding aside, we do all that but add to that, we know exactly which equipment to utilize for your specific situation. We know exactly with safe for the environment cleaning solution to use for each different surface that needs cleaning. We have accurate sensory devices that can detect the most minute particle of smoke or water intrusion available to mankind. Time is of the essence, so as soon as possible, or quicker than that even, contact us so we can get started. Every square inch of your home or office will need our detailed attention. The ceilings, the walls, carpets, clothing, books, decorations, upholstery, kitchen items, bedding, window treatments, glass, mirrors, yes, everything that smoke touches, which is everything. We clean and sanitize your HVAC system and air ducts, the list goes on, but know you may be asking:

What about the exterior of my property?

Great question, yes even your, especially your exterior will be affected by smoke damage. Your windows will need a thorough washing after we pressure wash your homes exterior surfaces including retaining walls, fences, gates, lights, boulders and even tree trunks that have absorbed soot and ash. Your garage and its contents also gets a deep meticulous cleaning from head to toe. In a short time you will gladly say, It’s like it never even happened. 

24/7 Emergency Service

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South

(818) 780-7111

Rebuilding After flood Damage Hits

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding necessitates rebuilding operations in affected homes for several reasons. If flood damage occurs because of severe weather such as a hurricane, various forces such as wind and fast-moving water can teardown different sections of the property necessitating rebuilding as part of the restoration. Exposure to water also leads to deterioration of materials this necessitating removal.

Proper rebuilding after flood damage in your Van Nuys home is only possible if you identify all affected areas before starting the process primarily when water is the leading cause of deterioration. Leaving water in concealed areas can force you to redo the process or lead to extreme problems such as mold. Our SERVPRO technicians use a wide range of moisture detection tools to establish all wet areas. The common ones include:

  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Moisture sensors
  • Manometers
  • Moisture meters

The rebuilding process can pose risks such as injury to the people involved or further damage to the structure, especially when tearing down deteriorated materials. For example, it is possible to cut power cables or plumbing lines when opening up concealed areas such as walls and floors. Our SERVPRO technicians consult building plans to establish the position of utility lines. We also use different tools for different tasks, including rubber hammers, to minimize the chances of unintended damages and injuries.

When flooding only affects a section of the property, there is a need for containment to limit the spread of debris and even fumes from finishing products such as paint. If such materials are left to spread uncontrollably, the restoration process can take longer than expected. Our SERVPRO technicians use different containment approaches. We can place plastic sheets over air vents, doors, and windows when doing controlled demolition. We also have heavy-duty plastic bags to hold materials such as carpets removed from the structure.

Flooding incidents can leave a wide range of physical damages in your Van Nuys or Greater San Fernando Valley home. Call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South at (818) 780-7111 to help with the rebuild. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Common Culprits for Hidden Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

water damage and flooding on kitchen tile Every water disaster is different. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely. Give SERVPRO

For water damage to occur, extreme rains and heavy flooding are not required. There are quite a few reasons water damage can occur in a home, often going unnoticed in inconspicuous places.

Hidden water damage can be costly to treat, because of how long it takes to find. Water damage claims are over $6,000 on average, and that does not account for the fact that most insurance companies will not extend coverage for water-related claims. Keeping tabs on the common culprits for hidden water damage will help ensure that the problem does not continue for long without being noticed.

Where to Check for Hidden Water Damage

  • Windowsills. While windows themselves are not often privy to leaks, the seal around them can be. The seal joining them to the exterior wall can weaken with time, allowing water to seep underneath.

  • Joints in siding. Siding panel joints typically found where panels overlap or at corners can let water in, allowing it to cause damage to the plywood underneath.

  • Under metal threshold plates. The metal plate over a threshold does not serve as a weather sealer, meaning the wood underneath can become soft and swollen with water over time.

  • Painted exterior elements. When there are layers of paint atop one another, there can be micro-gaps that allow water to come between the layers and cause issues.

  • Dishwasher cubbies. Dishwashers are not typically moved from their cubby until they are replaced, and homeowners are often surprised by years-old water damage at that time.

  • Walls in the bathroom. Water pipes can develop slight leaks that turn into big problems, leading to water spots and discoloration on the walls.

  • The seals of the toilet. As the seals inside a toilet weaken, they can drip water onto the floor below, resulting in a wobble that occurs as the wood grows softer.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

Why choose SERVPRO of Van Nuys South?

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

  • Because we are highly trained and certified to safely restore your home to a comfortable dwelling in a timely manner offering 24/7 emergency services, as if it never even happened. 
  • Because we understand you need us to respond quickly, with respectful technicians who are highly skilled and will respect your belongings and your privacy. Because we SERVPRO folks care! 
  • Because we understand the whole scope of the situation either as a homeowner, Insurance agent or adjuster. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are uniquely qualified to help provide the best services possible for you and your customers.
  • Because SERVPRO is the largest best home damage restoration company in North America since 1969. We’re happy to prove it to you and provide you with the best service in the industry.
  • Because we service both commercial and residential restoration.
  • Because SERVPRO technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. 
  • Because we’re faster to any disaster. 

Water Damage: When you have an unexpected water leak in your kitchen or bathroom, SERVPRO Van Nuys South fixes it quickly, as if it never even happened

Mold Damage: Upon discovering that your family is/has been exposed to harmful mold, black mold etc, and that long term health hazards can be removed safely, SERVPRO Van Nuys South fixes it quickly, as if it never even happened.

Fire and Smoke Damage: Last year’s fires left many families displaced due to toxic smoke damage permeating every inch of those homes. SERVPRO Van Nuys South came to the rescue so families could move back in quickly, as if it never even happened

Other Disasters: It happens when you least expect it; water heater leaks, dishwasher leaks, garbage disposal leaks, foundation plumbing leaks, AC, Air Conditioner leaks, small house fire, fire damage, smoke damage, vandalism and graffiti removal, odor removal, trauma and crime scene cleanup, toilet overflow cleanup and many other home/business emergencies. 

SERVPRO Van Nuys South

(818) 780-7111

Our Professionals Can Restore Your Van Nuys Apartment Building To Pre-Damage Condition After A Water Damage Incident

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

An apartment building can sustain water damage because of burst pipes. The water can ruin flooring, walls, ceilings and the possessions of your tenants. Water in an apartment building can also force multiple tenants into hotels if it pools in the adjoining apartments.

Water can also have a safety impact on the apartment building if it enters electrical fittings and a health impact if mold grows. Commercial water damage repair in your Van Nuys apartment building requires a knowledgeable and experienced company to be confident that your tenants are comfortable and safe. The SERVPRO team has experience with water damage restoration of any size and is ready to assist you in restoring your apartment building.

Dealing with water loss is stressful, especially when the comfort of other people depends on how you deal with it. Our technicians know that the well-being of your tenants is important to you. Some tenants may be impatient or put out of their dwelling until we can repair the damage. We can remove the water and dry your building quickly to minimize the inconvenience to you and your tenants.

Our SERVPRO technicians also know that apart from the initial structural damage from the water loss itself, it is likely for more permanent structural damage to occur if water enters the structure of the building. It can jeopardize the integrity of the foundation and materials. Cosmetic damage like yellowing may also cause stains and reduce the market value of an apartment building. We can clean up the water quickly to prevent this from happening.

We have state-of-the-art equipment like truck-mounted vacuum units and pumps that remove water efficiently. We also have humidification and air moving equipment that enables us to dry the affected areas thoroughly. Air movers create airflow across carpeting, pads, and furniture to speed up the evaporation of moisture. Our technicians can also use hygrometers and moisture detectors to monitor the drying process to ensure proper moisture removal in your apartment building. We can also use infrared cameras to find moisture that may not be apparent behind ceilings and walls.

When there is water damage in your apartment building, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is ready to assist you to extract the water and dry the affected units. Contact us today at 818-780-7111 for restoration services.

What to Check Following a Lightning Strike

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

A lightning bolt arcing across the sky serves as a perfect reminder of how powerful a thunderstorm is. By causing damage to electrical systems, appliances and even a home’s structure, a lightning strike is a force to be respected.

What Creates Lightning?

Every thunderstorm is electrically charged, which is how lightning and thunder are developed. When the storm opts to expend some of this energy, it creates a bolt of lightning, which makes shock waves that we hear as thunder when it strikes across the clouds.

The atmosphere does not make a good insulator, so lightning striking toward the ground will often travel through an object to travel more efficiently—and this is why the damages can be so severe.

A Home Inspection Checklist for After a Lightning Strike

There are a few ways lightning will typically cause damage to a home—and knowing what to look for after a storm will go a long way.

1. Check your electrical system. Lightning can ignite a building on impact, as bolts regularly reach around 500,000 degrees. However, it can also cause significant damage to wires, creating the potential for an electrical fire in the future. The local fire department can often test for hot spots and identify areas that could be replaced after a strike.

2. Check your electronics. Lightning carries a powerful electrical charge that can overload the electronics when it strikes a home. Always use surge protectors in outlets, and check electronics after a storm to ensure operation.

3. Check the home’s structure. As powerful as shock waves are, at close range it is not uncommon for them to cause serious damage to a home. By cracking foundation or shattering glass, they can create severe damage when lightning has struck nearby. Doing a visual inspection of the home will let you know if there are any problems to address.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Do You See What I See

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

There are a couple things we hear almost every time when arriving on a water damage job.

"It's OK, everything will dry on its own."

Or, worse . . .

"Everything is dried up. Nothing is wet."

With the first statement at least the property owner is acknowledging that the building materials are - or may be - wet. However they are misinformed. Building materials will not dry by themselves, at least not quickly enough. It's the reason that fully half of our business consists of mold remediation. We do mold remediation when the building materials don't in fact dry up quickly enough, and mold grows. We would love to take these customers to the current mold remediation jobs that we have ongoing at any given moment and they'll realize that, in fact, building materials don't dry by themselves quickly enough, and that is why we have to do mold remediation.

The second comment is more concerning because the customer isn't even acknowledging and sometimes isn't willing to learn that the building materials are indeed wet.

This is when the capabilities of a professional, experienced water damage mitigation expert can be of benefit. We at SERVPRO ofVan Nuys Southpossess the equipment that will help identify what building materials are wet and what building materials are not wet.

We are happy to come out to our community at any time and help a property owner know whether or not they have water damage. It isn't always obvious – many times you can't even tell a wall is wet until you start smelling nasty odors or seeing mold colonies form on the building materials.

The moisture detection equipment we possess allows us to identify whether or not materials are wet, and where exactly they are wet. They are allowing us to mitigate and dry the structure quickly and precisely in a rifle-shot manner. One example is in the picture below – infrared cameras help us quickly scan an area that has come under attack by a water damage. Water is tricky and will find its own way to make it down to lower floors. In this photo we see that the water has clearly come from above down a certain vein. Only a small section of this wall was affected. This precision diagnosis allowed us to attack this small area quickly efficiently and cost-effectively, eliminating the risk of a costly and potentially harmful mold situation.

Ignorance is bliss. Except when it isn't. When it comes to water damage, ignorance can cause unnecessary and preventable property deterioration, which can powers financial hardships or worse yet harm to the health of building occupants.

Picking the Right Restoration Company

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to property damage from natural disasters, business owners face especially high risks. FEMA has reported that 40 to 60% of business owners are unable to continue operating following a disaster.

The best way for business owners to prepare for a disaster is by putting a plan in place, and picking the right restoration company is an integral part of that. By knowing what to look for, business owners can trust that their business is in good hands. Here are some of the qualities to look for in a commercial restoration company:

<h3they-have-a-quick-emergency-response">1. They Have a Quick Emergency Response

Following a natural disaster, damages should be addressed quickly. Even a few hours of letting water or fire damage sit idly can cause the damage to compound, requiring more time to restore and thus impacting the business’ bottom line. Finding a company with a quick emergency response is key to getting back to business faster.

We’re able to guarantee a quick response time in part due to our emergency line, which is on 247. This allows us to take action right away when damage is called in so business owners can focus on other important tasks involved in reopening.

<h3they-value-training-their-staff">2. They Value Training Their Staff

An employee’s training is an investment, but it is one that has one of the largest impacts on the quality of work. Knowing you are getting a well-trained team will provide reassurance that your business is in good hands.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) releases guidelines for what restoration professionals should know, which is what we use as the basis for training our employees. We also provide supplemental education such as online learning courses and certification programs to encourage a continued environment of learning.

<h3they-keep-their-equipment-updated">3. They Keep Their Equipment Updated

The technological advancements in the restoration industry have revolutionized the equipment used. Working with a company that keeps equipment updated will ensure that you are getting the most advanced machinery on your restoration project.

We select our equipment to comply with the IICRC recommendations for restoration equipment. This ensures we are taking advantage of all avenues that will help get your business back open more quickly.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.

You Need Our Crew At SERVPRO When Your Van Nuys South Home Requires Water Cleanup Services

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

A Comparison Of What Can Happen With Or Without SERVPRO In Van Nuys South

Water damage to your Van Nuys South home can be a complete disaster, but with the help of professional damage mitigation services like SERVPRO, you can overcome both immediate and long-term problems with relative ease and minimal costs. However, if you choose to skip out on a certified restoration service, you could end up with much more serious issues that take significantly more time and money to fix. If you have more questions about what SERVPRO can do to help your issues and how much your insurance can cover, get in touch with one of our representatives.

What Happens With Help? 
With the help of a company like SERVPRO that is certified to restore your Van Nuys Home after water damage makes its mark, all signs of the damage should be eliminated within a few weeks for even the most extensive problems. Many smaller restoration procedures take only a few days, but the result is the same: your home looks just as good as and possibly better than it was before the incident took place. We remove any water remaining in the building, dry your home out down to the deepest reaches of its materials, and then work to repair any structural or cosmetic damage the moisture may have caused to your home.

What Happens Without Help? 
If you choose to go without the aid of a professional damage restoration service, the problems can add up and cost you much more in the long run. Excess water can seep into the foundation and structural elements of your home, breaking them down and necessitating expensive reconstruction efforts. On top of that, your home could also develop a mold problem, as fungal spores grow quickly and easily in climate controlled environments with plenty of moisture and humidity. You might still end up making a call to us, but for a much more involved and costly set of issues.

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South helps homeowners around the Valley and Greater LA take care of their finances and belongings after a water damage incident occurs. Call us 24/7 at (818) 780-71111

SERVPRO: Your Experts in Commercial Water Damage

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

If you have recently become a victim of commercial water damage, you may be wondering what you can do to mitigate your damages. There is a critical period in which certain actions must be taken to preserve as much of your property as possible and to decrease any health risks when water damage has occurred in a commercial space. Preparing a Space for Water Damage Restoration before you enter your commercial space, or any flooded building, you will need to make sure the electrical power to the structure is shut off. You should also be aware that during a flooding event, small animals or reptiles tend to seek shelter inside of buildings. Be prepared to deal with the discovery of wild animals in your space. Protect yourself from entering any flooded building by wearing an organic vapor respirator. You can purchase these at any local paint and building supply stores. You also want to have rubber gloves, protective clothing, and eye protection. The first thing you should do is ventilate the affected areas by opening the windows and placing fans where possible. Unfortunately, there likely will be items that you need to throw away. Any items that are porous and have absorbed contaminated floodwater cannot be restored. If your commercial space has drywall, mattresses, pillows, box springs, particle board, carpets or carpet pads, these will need to be discarded if they have become saturated. However, there is good news: If you have clothing or household fabrics that can be machine-washed, you may be able to salvage them. Use your washing machine to clean these items with a 10-minute soak at minimum in hot water with detergent. The soap and normal wash should remove most of the contamination and any staining that is present. Be aware that your commercial space will need a thorough professional inspection, cleaning and possibly restructuring. Water damaged walls and installation must be removed and repaired, and pockets of saturation should be exposed for drying and sanitizing. Always remember that mold growth could take a few days to appear as it thrives in a moist environment with organic-type materials such as paper or particle board and in temperatures that range between 60 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep good airflow throughout the interior environment, and maintain moderate temperatures to decrease the risk of any mold growth. It is also important that you let your space dry out before any rebuilding occurs.

Why Use A Certified Technician

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Why use a certified technician?

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.

     Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

Certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

The Facts About Cleaning Smoke Damage After a House Fire

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

The Facts About Cleaning Smoke Damage After a House Fire

Many homeowners think that they can clean-up smoke damage to their home after it has been burned in a fire. Unfortunately, that is never a good idea. Cleaning up smoke and soot damage requires professionals to do the job.

Bring in the Fire Damage Pros

First off, a house that has been burned in a fire is typically not safe to enter or spend time in. The integrity of walls and floors may have been damaged, along with other hazards. It’s important not to enter the home until professionals tell you it is safe to do so.

While you should not undertake trying to clean up smoke and soot damage from a house fire yourself, you should get the professionals into your as soon as possible. Ash and smoke, if left untreated, will cause corrosion, discoloration and a lingering powerful and offensive odor. Ash, specifically, will start causing damage and discoloration almost immediately and the damage may be permanent and irreversible. Anything that was made of plastic will begin discoloring within minutes. Metals will easily tarnish and corrode and fiberglass will begin to yellow.

If you get fire damage restoration professionals in soon enough after a house fire, they can mitigate or eliminate the smoke and ash damage from the fire and prevent further damage to your property. Unfortunately, if you don’t get the pros in early, the damage becomes worse and worse and the costs to repair will begin to skyrocket within just a few weeks!

Know Who to Hire

Many companies claim to be fire damage restoration specialists, but they may not actually have the proper training and certification to do the job. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the primary oversight agency for the industry. Companies recognized, registered and certified by the IICRC will have taken extensive coursework to earn their certification.

What a Trained and Certified Fire Damage Restoration Professional Does

A trained and certified fire damage restoration professional will first identify all affected materials and the source of odors, if possible. They will be extremely thorough. They will identify what can be salvaged and cleaned and what cannot be and must be completely replaced. They will then begin the clean-up process by removing built-up ash residue. Once the ash is cleaned, they can better identify the sources of odors, which they will treat with special detergents made to neutralize the odors. Once fire damaged materials are treated, they will be sealed to prevent future odors from emitting into your home.

If you or anyone you know is in need of smoke or fire damage restoration services.

Are Yearly Airduct Cleanings Needed?

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Do you know where the average American spends 90% of their time? Indoors. Whether you’re lounging around in the comforts of your home, hard at work or simply trying to escape the insufferable California heat, you’re likely to find yourself in an enclosed, air-conditioned environment. While sitting in the refreshing air conditioning, it’s easy to forget that impurities could be lurking in the air around you. In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), concentrations of pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outside. Yikes! Now you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s impossible! I keep an impeccable home!” and though that is probably true, dust is a devious enemy and yearly air duct cleanings are an essential tool in defeating it. Let us explain.

The average house collects 40 pounds of dust, dirt and allergens each year. This combination of contaminants is made up of pollen, hair, fibers of paper and fabric, soil mineral, pet dander, dead skin cells and more. When these different particles come in contact, they stick together like pieces of Velcro creating dust. These pollutants get inside your home every day by traveling on your clothing, shoes, shedding off your pet and even from you and your family. In fact, the average person creates 1/3 an ounce of dead skin cells each week; about the weight of a house key. That isn’t even the grossest part. Numerous people believe that they are allergic to dust, however many times they are having an allergic reaction to dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic, spiderlike, creatures that live inside of dust and enjoy munching on pet dander and dead skin cells. While you might think that means they are helping clean up the problem; that isn’t the case. Many people who claim to have dust allergies are having a reaction from encountering decomposing bodies and fecal matter of dust mites. According to the EPA, indoor levels of dust mites are substantially higher than outdoors. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America(AAFA) claims that dust mites may be the most common cause of year-round allergies and asthma.

One of the most common reasons these pollutants can become problematic and persistent is due to an unclean Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. It makes a lot of sense why these systems become dirty over time when you consider how your unit works. Anytime your unit is off, dust begins to settle and collect. Once your unit switches on again, the collected contaminants are distributed throughout your home. When your HVAC system is running, it recirculates air throughout your house 5 to 7 times a day. As the air is pulled through the ducts to be heated or cooled, it goes through your filters. Over time these filters become clogged, resulting in unclean air being continuously cycled all over your home.

This is why SERVPRO of Van Nuys South strongly recommends having a Yearly air duct cleaning and HVAC inspection. Yearly air duct cleaning is an excellent way to improve the air quality inside of your home, reduce the potential for mold growth, extend the life of your HVAC equipment, remove unpleasant or stagnant odors, and even save you money!

Did You Know There Are Three Types of Contaminated Water?

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Van Nuys South we understand that water damage could strike at anytime. Our local North Arlington technicians are ready to respond to your emergency 24/7! 

In the U.S alone it is estimated that over 14,000 homeowners rush to deal with water leak emergencies every day. It is important that you know the source of the damage when you call your local SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. Because without knowing the source of the damage it is difficult for our technicians to decipher how to assess and repair the damage. To avoid a longer repair time knowing the category and source of the leak or damage is instrumental in restoring your property to pre-disaster condition. 

Did You Know There are 3 Types of Contaminated Water?

When your local SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is called you will be asked a number of questions such as; do you know the source of the damage? How severe is the damage? And with this information we will then categorize the damage type and prepare your repair plan with in minutes! 

The Three Types of Contaminated Water 

Most home or business owners are unaware that there are three types of contaminated water. These three are broken up into categories depending on the source.

Here are the three types of contaminated water:  

  1. Category 1: "Clean Water"- Clean water is from "clean" source such as a broken water line. A category one water damage originates from a source that does not contain waste. This category is less severe as it presents less risks for humans conducting the restoration.
  2. Category 2: "Grey Water"- Grey water is water that may contain bacteria and viruses. Harmful, if consumed by humans and may cause sickness. Examples of category grey water include dishwater, washer water and more.  
  3. Category 3: "Black Water"- Black water is extremely unsanitary and harmful to humans. Black water may contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals and microbes. Examples of black water are sewage backup and flood water.  

If left untreated these categories may degrade.It is imperative that water damage is treated immediately. Time is of the essence when a disaster hits. Our local SERVPRO of Van Nuys South technicians are standing by 24/7 to help! 

If your home or business is suffering from water damage call your local SERVPRO of Van Nuys South 818-780-7111

What should you do when your business floods?

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine waking up in the morning and going about your normal routine. You get out of bed and stretch out the drowsiness. Rub the sleep out of your eyes. Head to the bathroom brush your teeth,wash your face and get ready for the day. And as you're making your coffee you receive a call from the commercial building owner at your business to inform you that a pipe has just burst! And your entire livelihood is covered in water. The floor is up to four inches in water and counting!

What should you do?

Here at SERVPRO of Van Nuys South we understand that disasters can happen at the drop of a hat or in this case at the burst of a pipe!

Here are a few steps to help guide you through this stressful situation.

  1. Gather your insurance information.

  You would be surprised at the number of business owners that do not know their policy details and at disastrous times such as these it is very important to have your insurance information on hand and ready to go!

   2. Remain Calm & Call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South

At SERVPRO of Van Nuys South we strive to fully restore the damaged area in a prompt and professional manner. 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.

The Startling Facts About Residential Fires

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fires are a devastating occurrence and one that happens more than most people might think. Once a flame begins to spread, it can quickly envelop an entire residential building and put everyone in harm’s way.

While there is no sure way to guarantee a house fire will never happen, reducing fire hazards around the home will provide essential peace of mind.

Residential Fires: The Statistics

In the time it has taken you to read to this point, a fire has likely occurred. That may seem unlikely, but the National Fire Protection Agency estimates that a fire happens every 24 seconds.

In residential buildings, over half of the fires reported are cooking-related. Though other fire causes are not nearly as common, they can be just as dangerous.

Residential Fires: Prevention Tips

Because flames can so quickly get out of hand, the best fire safety strategy is to stop them before they start. By understanding things that often cause accidental fires around the home, you can prevent fires from ever beginning:

Malfunctioning smoke alarm. A smoke alarm is the best defense against a fire, so making sure yours are operational is key. A test should be performed every month to check the battery life.

Lint tray overflow. Dryers produce a lot of heat, which is great for your clothes but not so ideal for fire risks. Lint trays should be cleaned out after every load to prevent accidental combustion.

Unguarded open flames. While many use open flames on a daily basis with no repercussions, it is advised to never leave a flame unattended.

Wear in cables. Electrical cables and extension cords can become worn and spark. Check cables often for fraying and always replace at the first sign of wear.

Improperly stored chemicals. Car fluids, household cleaners and other everyday objects can contain flammable chemicals that should be treated with caution to avoid combustion. Always check the label for storage instructions if you are unsure.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Smoke And Fire Curtains

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and Smoke Curtains for Commercial Buildings

Fire and smoke control is an integral part of a fire safety and prevention system. Between detecting a fire and extinguishing it, there is an opportunity to reduce the impact of a fire by getting it under control. This is best done through the use of fire and/or smoke curtains.

Fire and smoke curtains deploy from the ceiling of a building, forming a barrier between doorways, rooms, staircases and elevators. This barrier cuts off air flow and limits the smoke to only those rooms affected.

Deployable curtains compartmentalize smoke and limit fire spread to enable building occupants more time to egress from a building. This limits damage to the building and allows firefighters to more quickly find, access and extinguish the fire.

After a fire is detected and curtains or other control systems deploy, the final step of extinguishing takes place. This can be an active approach, such as a trained employee using a fire extinguisher, or a passive approach, such as an automated sprinklers system. Sprinklers systems are a vital piece of equipment and, when combined with fire and smoke curtains, they can quickly stop an otherwise deadly fire.

Fire prevention is a critical component of commercial building management. If you're concerned with your system or haven't had it inspected within the last year, we strongly consider hiring a professional inspector to review your building. If your building is deemed safe, move onto staff fire safety training as well as the installation of additional fire safety equipment like Smoke Guard Fire and Smoke Curtains.

What Every Employer Should Know

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Look for Signs of Mold

With all of this attention, you may think that mold infestation is something new or uncommon. It is not. Mold is present in all buildings in some form and quantity. However, certain species of mold spores, in large enough concentrations, can be toxic. Although the health problems of mold exposure are in debate, there is literature tying some health effects to mold exposure. People with immune-compromised systems may experience permanent health effects.Physical symptoms related to exposure to mold or sick building syndrome include eye, nose and throat irritation; respiratory complaints; skin irritation; nausea; dizziness and fatigue. Alert your human resources department and/or office manager to be aware of any such symptoms. If numerous employees complain, or if employees complain of moldy smells, put the building owner on notice and request an investigation. If you own the building, consider hiring an air quality investigator. Although these symptoms could result from other factors, it is important to address them.

Look For the Cause

Mold needs water or moisture and oxygen to grow. Water does not have to flow into the building for there to be enough moisture to promote the growth of mold. Although one-time leaks or burst water pipes may not be a problem if repaired, even a one-time leak, if not properly addressed, can cause unacceptable mold growth. There are a number of potential causes of moisture or water entry:

  • Lack of building maintenance
  • Poor building design or construction
  • Using wet building materials
  • Leaky pipes, windows, or doors
  • Regular, or even one-time flooding
  • Simple plumbing mistakes
  • Excessive humidity and condensation
  • Improper landscaping design or maintenance outside the building, causing water to flow toward the building
  • Any other serious water related problem
  • Address Moisture or Water Issues Promptly

If your building is experiencing water penetration, consistent moisture or leaks, demand that the landlord investigate the cause and promptly provide you with an action plan. If the landlord does not act, put it on notice that you intend to act and that you will hold it responsible for the costs. Give notice to your insurer. Do the same if you are the building owner.

Call in professionals to make an assessment. To stop further mold growth, the landlord or you must investigate and fix the source of the water or moisture. Ask for the help of contractors, the building designer and environmental experts to assess, identify and repair the source. A number of companies investigate mold and will come up with action plans to address it. Responding to mold involves more than just determining and fixing the source of the water. Often several experts must be retained, including experts in toxicology and epidemiology. Expert testing may cost thousands of dollars. If mold is found in large enough concentrations, the building must be cleaned and remediated to ensure the safety of the occupants before they return. Once the problem is fixed, ask the expert to certify that the building is "clean," or demand such a certification from the landlord.

Water Damage!!!

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Nobody is prepared for a water damage in your home or business. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Vann Nuys South is prepared and here 24/7 365. We’re faster to any size disaster, we can provide an immediate emergency response to help prevent secondary damage and mold. We’re highly trained water damage specialists with advanced training and expertise, not to mention the tremendous amount of hands on experience. We use advanced drying equipment and techniques. Our technicians extract standing water then dry out your property quickly and efficiently. We then finish our job with professional-grade cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products for your comfort and safety. 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.

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is always ready to serve you in all of your restoration needs.

When A Fire Happens In Your Home | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

When any type of fire occurs in your home, there may be an inclination to handle the acute damage to the property yourself. Without knowing it you may be putting your belongings and your loved ones at a greater risk. After a fire has damaged any part of your home or property, there are certain precautions that one must take in restoring the area. More often than not, certain tools and knowledge is required. 

SERVPRO of Van Nuys South can respond faster, with the skill set needed to mitigate the fire damage. Therefore allowing you to resume your quality of life, "Like it never even happened."  We are so happy to be a part of the Van Nuys South community which includes Lake Balboa and Sherman Oaks.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage can feel catastrophic for a business or commercial building. In addition to fire, smoke and soot damage; water damage caused in firefighting efforts weighs heavily. We understand that every moment spend out of the office costs your business productivity and accumulates lost revenue. If you have a fire emergency, call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. We are fully equipped to handle any size loss.   

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  •  Faster to Any Size Disaster
  •  A Trusted Leader in the Fire and Water Restoration Industry
  • Highly trained Water and Fire Damage Specialists 

We will put you back into business with the expertise and professionalism that you can only get with SERVPRO of Van Nuys South. Our team is licensed and certified to ensure that your restoration needs are fully met. 

Determining the Different Causes of Water Damage

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

We can’t live without water, but we’d much rather live without the damage it can bring to our property.

There are a number of ways that water damage can occur at home—do you know what some of the most common ways are?

Identifying the Causes

For the period covering 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. reported that the five top causes of home claims were:

  • Damage caused by wind
  • Water damage not involved with the weather
  • Hail
  • Water damage related to weather
  • Crime

Water damage is included two times, recognizing its significance. It is either caused by the weather or some other accident within the home and is listed as such.

Non-weather-related water damage is your biggest problem-maker at home and results from plumbing and appliance breakdowns. Weather-related water damage is not as prevalent but is just as much of a hassle if it occurs. Rain and snow are responsible for this situation.

In your house, there are, essentially, five causes for water damage. They are plumbing, appliances, water pipes, water heaters and weather.

Stopping It Before It Starts

You already know that water damage is quite the expense, but imagine if none of it was covered by your homeowners insurance policy. It’s best practice to review your policy so that you know exactly what is covered. The damages normally covered in a standard policy are:

  • Damages caused by winter weather
  • Water from discharge and overflow, including accidental
  • Disintegrating or damaged pipes for a steam heating system
  • Frozen plumbing

Luckily, preventing some water damage conditions is possible—this means less muss and fuss for you.

These preventive measures can help limit the circumstances of water damage in your home:

  • Use water sensors and automatic shut-off valves.
  • Hire a professional plumber to install back flow valves and standpipes for your basement drains.
  • Keep your washer and dryer off the basement floor.
  • Make sure the connecting hose for your washer and dryer are the metal mesh type.
  • Clean your gutters.
  • Flush your hot water heater at least twice per year.
  • Keep grease out of your kitchen drain.
  • Have your sump pump in good running order before the wet season.

If you follow these ideas, you just might be able to avoid most water damage incidents in your home.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

Learning About Damage Done by Thunderstorms

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

As warmer weather moves in during the spring and summer, it brings with it the chance for more fun in the sun. But it also brings with it the increased risk of thunderstorms.

Do you have a good understanding of these storms and why and how they form?

Here in the United States, there are typically around 100,000 thunderstorms per year with 10% of those that are considered severe. This is just a small portion of the estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year that occur worldwide.

The formation of a thunderstorm requires certain conditions, which include moisture and rising unstable air that is accompanied by a “lifting” mechanism caused by either hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion.

Every thunderstorm has three main life stages—when it forms, when it matures and when it dissipates. It’s during the mature phase that most danger occurs, including things like lightning and hail.

There are many different dangers that result from storms, but one of the greatest risks is debris flying around as a result of high winds.

Wind speeds during severe thunderstorms can gust up over 57.5 mph. That is more than enough to createchaos and damage to your property.

These items could turn into dangerous projectiles in your yard:

  • Tree branches
  • Gravel
  • Mailboxes
  • Fencing
  • Lawn furniture
  • Garbage cans
  • Potted plants

Be mindful of this fact and make sure items in your yard are secured if there is a severe thunderstorm threat.

Thunderstorms can also produce the following damage besides wind damage:

Lightning damage. When lightning strikes a building, it can surge through the wiring, damaging appliances and even increasing the risk of electrical fire.

Tornado damage. While not common in all areas of the United States, these intense storms bring winds up to 200 mph, and all the danger you’d think would accompany such intense winds.

Hail damage. Did you know that according to NOAA, the cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year?

Flood damage. During the summer especially, an intense amount of rain can often fall within a small amount of time. This makes it difficult for the rain to saturate into the earth, causing flash flooding.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration.

SERVPRO - Quick And Professional Water Removal For Van Nuys/ Sherman Oaks Homes

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Kitchen and Living Room

Van Nuys is not a regular recipient of the flooding that follows a massive storm or another severe weather event. Common water intrusions here are the results of a broken inlet pipe, failed dishwasher, or another faulty, plumbing issue. If not handled quickly, though, a bad water heater can cause as much damage as severe rain. 

Water removal from a Van Nuys home needs to be accomplished quickly to reduce the effects of water in the home and to prevent further damage. SERVPRO response team technicians train on a variety of equipment to remove amounts from knee-deep to just barely covering the kitchen floor. 

Team members start with submersible, commercial-grade water pumps. These devices can empty a single room of visible water in a few hours and even a mini-mansion in a day or two, depending on many are needed for the task. 

Once the pumps complete their work, technicians then switch to water extractors. They can adjust the vacuum speed and heat of these devices to carefully draw water off every type of surface from wood floors to deep pile carpeting without splintering floorboards, or separating the carpet layers. 

For concrete and linoleum floors, SERVPRO response teams can use long-handled squeegees to push water off the surface and out the nearest exit, or toward another technician with an extractor to draw it out of the home. 

After contacting us, it is best to stay out of the home. Floors and carpets underwater are more dangerous to walk across and to attempt to move property, especially large furniture can lead to accidents that cause more damage to your home and property. It is far safer to wait for us to remove water and then relocate all property from the affected parts of the home. 

Our task at SERVPRO of Nuys South is to return every home to a dry, safe condition as quickly as possible, and use every tool available to reduce or eliminate the effects of any water intrusion. If you need our assistance, call our office today at 818-720-7111

Why Us? It All Comes Down to Our “Restore First” Mentality

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

One of the reasons you should call SERVPRO first when disaster strikes is that we get there faster. But that is not the only reason why we should be one of your first calls if the worst should occur.

In fact, a bigger reason might be our dedication to a “restore first” mentality. Through every stage of a fire restoration project, from a client’s initial call through completion of the restoration work, we are guided by this principle.

During the stress of the situation, knowing what to do after a fire has damaged your property is often confusing, but that’s where we come in. One call to us and we will start working for you at your request.

No two fire damage events are the same, and while our highly trained team works to develop a unique plan that is tailored to your needs, the general process remains the same.

1. Initial contact. When you reach out to our team, the first step is for us to ask you a set of questions. These questions are designed to help us capture a full and complete picture of the damage incurred from the fire and your individual needs. This step informs all the rest.

2. Inspection and assessment of fire damage. At the next step, we visit your home. During our visit, we aren’t just assessing the rooms in your home that are visibly damaged. We’re also looking at other spaces to ensure there’s no less obvious smoke or soot damage.

3. Boarding up of windows and tarping of roof. During a fire, windows are often broken and the roof often incurs damage. This can then lead to further damage, particularly if it rains, since rain and debris can make their way into your home. This step helps mitigate that damage.

4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Since water damage often accompanies fire damage, we’ll begin the process of removing wet items right away. Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. Soot and smoke tend to cling to surfaces and objects in a home or business following a fire. During this step, we work to remove both, using special techniques and tools.

6. Cleaning and sanitizing. If it’s possible, we look to clean and restore your property to usability. At this stage, we also take steps to mitigate any odors that are still present in the home.

7. Restoration. This last step of the process is highly dependent on the severity of damage to your home. If damage was minor, you may only need minor repair work like repainting or carpet replacement. If damage was more severe, though, more intensive restoration work may be required.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Methods to Protect Your Home From Flood Damage

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Considering that flooding is associated with 90% of natural disasters, it is prudent for homeowners to consider their risks, even if they do not live in a known flood zone.

Protecting Your Home From Flood Damage

Homeowners will never be able to prevent disaster-related floods altogether, but they are able to take steps to limit the extensive damage a flood may cause:

Know your risk. Use the Flood Map Tool provided by FEMA to research your particular area and understand what risks you face. Additionally, make a call to your local emergency management authorities in order to learn how floods are handled in the community.

Have a conversation about emergency procedures. Discussing a disaster plan and evacuation route with everyone in your family will ensure everyone knows what actions to take should an emergency occur. Show all household members where to turn off electricity supplies and make sure emergency supplies are easily accessible.

Digitize valuables. Precious and irreplaceable items, such as family memorabilia, tax records and household documents, should be digitized and the physical copies kept off-site or in a waterproof safe.

Protect appliances. In the case of a shallow flood, appliances such as washers and dryers can be elevated on bricks or stands to protect the internal workings from water damage.

Elevate hazardous materials. Hazardous materials can leach into flood water and cause pollution and even fire risk. Any cleaning chemicals or other hazardous household waste should be sealed and elevated to alleviate risk.

Turn off electricity. Water and electricity do not mix—that is why it is essential to turn off the electricity in areas of the house that are flooded. This can be done by using your main breaker box or calling the electric company in most cases.

Anchor fuel and propane tanks. A tipped fuel tank can lead to a dangerous spill or even a fire, and floodwaters can often be the cause. Remove fuel tanks from the property or anchor them securely.

While thinking about floods is not pleasant, it is essential for keeping your home and your family safe in these disaster scenarios. Plan ahead to protect your belongings and your loved ones.

If you’ve experienced flood damage or water damage from other causes, SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in water remediation, and our 247 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call.

Watching for Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchens these days are made to be a wonderfully versatile place—a place for family and friends to gather, for spending quality time and where meals are prepared and shared. However, without proper precautions, the kitchen can be a place where many home fires break out.

The No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries is cooking fires and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

In 2017, over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims were paid out by State Farm. These claims were related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Cooking Fire Safety Tips

Cooking should not be left unattended, but this is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Don’t wear clothing that could easily catch fire. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Don’t place flammable objects on or near the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Don’t leave your home unequipped with a fire extinguisher. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Don’t throw hot grease in the garbage can. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Don’t forget to prepare a fire escape plan. Being prepared for the worst thing that could happen is better than being caught by surprise and not being prepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Spring Weather Can Be Unpredictable. Are You Ready? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

We have entered into the spring season, which means we also need to be aware of the weather Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

The Highs and Lows of Spring Weather

Spring, of course, means longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, it also means the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s an unpredictable season, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

The unstable temperatures of spring are the cause for the changing weather. They can go from warm to cold in just an hour, and that temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms become a more common occurrence during spring and are what can cause severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

In a past study, one of the causes for natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017 were severe thunderstorms—and they were responsible for some of the costliest losses. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

Those storms can bring with them the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

How to Be Prepared

Weather prediction is tricky, and while we may not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, forecasters have the tools available to forewarn us that there is the possibility of severe weather. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Van Nuys Southto get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Do You Know How Floodwaters Are Classified? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage situations are not all created equal when it comes to the water that is involved. There are three different classifications for that water: clean water, gray water and black water. If you have an understanding of the differences in these types of water, you will then understand how to better handle the situation.

There will always be a cleanup and restoration process to go through regardless of what type of water has caused damage. The most important step to take is to get all of the moisture and damp items out of your home or building quickly, so mold will not have an opportunity to grow and flourish in its ideal environment.

<h4water">Clean Water

The description of clean water is basically what its name infers. Clean water is free of contaminants and is not the type of water that will pose an immediate threat to your health. It is generally a byproduct of:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

Clean water will be the easiest type of water damage to clean up after because there will be fewer microbes living in this water. But you only have a 48-hour window of opportunity, because after that time and after the water has had contact with the surfaces of a building, it becomes gray water.

<h4water">Gray Water

Water from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. are examples of gray water. When gray water is involved, water damage cleanup and restoration can become a bit more serious as it is water that may pose a health risk due to it containing chemical or biological contamination.

The slight contamination in gray water means that it will need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume. Here, again, the 48-hour exposure time applies here as it will turn into black water if not property treated.

<h4water">Black Water

Black water is the most dangerous of the three types of water and is highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter, including floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is known to be contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be harmful to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember to treat all floodwater like it is black water since it will pick up contaminants as it travels along its path.

These three different classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

Tornado Safety Tips for Everyone | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

With springtime comes unpredictable weather—and knowing this means you should always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to perfect conditions for tornadoes.

April and May have, historically, been reported to have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are now in the midst of tornado season all throughout the whole United States. Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

These Conditions Can Cause Tornadoes

Severe thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells,” are responsible for the roughly 1,200 tornadoes that occur in every state of the U.S. each year.

The formation of a tornado begins when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

You will most likely not see the tornado’s signature funnel cloud at first because it starts out transparent, but that funnel will become visible as water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up.

A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster storms have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Ideal conditions for tornadoes occur during the late afternoon hours in the spring and summertime as the air becomes unstable in the cooling temperatures. However, remember that tornadoes can occur anytime and anywhere and no state in our country is exempt.

Safety Tips

Get to know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

A tornado watch alerts you to be aware that the weather conditions are unstable and could change, but a warning for your area means you should take immediate action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Equip your home shelter with working flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra fully charged batteries. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, use furniture items like couch cushions, mattressesor blankets to keep your head and neck covered and protected.

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, NEVER try to outrun it! Instead, seek shelter or exit your vehicle and lay flat on the ground covering your head and neck.

Tornadoes leave devastation and chaos in their paths. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.


Prepping Your Family for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

While there is advanced warning for some types of severe weather, there are also those occasions where there will be no advanced warning and we will be caught off-guard.

Fortunately, there are steps to take and safety tips to check out that will ensure your family is prepared for these severe weather occurrences.

The Importance of Planning for Severe Weather

Putting together an established family emergency plan is one of the best ways to begin preparing your family for these weather situations.

If your family does have an emergency plan in place, be sure to practice and review it at the beginning of each season so it is fresh in everyone’s mind.

If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, here are some ideas to take into consideration when creating your plan:

1. Receiving emergency alerts

Thanks to today’s technologies, it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on your smartphone that is equipped with Google or a weather app. These technologies enable you to quickly receive emergency alerts, which can provide you with valuable time in severe weather situations. But don’t forget warnings and alerts are also broadcast over radio and TV.

2. Evaluating storm shelter options

Establish a place to take shelter if you live in an area where tornadoes are common. lt’s best to choose a basement or, if there is no basement, an interior room on the lowest level that is away from windows and doors. There are other reasons a shelter should be designated, and by visiting ready.gov you can learn more about this.

3. Mapping out evacuation routes

You should always have several routes mapped out that can serve as an evacuation routes. Hurricanes, flooding and fires can force you from your home in a hurry, and it’s wise to have multiple routes should one route become impassable. Also find out if there are places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members to evacuate with.

4. Communicating during a storm

Communication is key, so it’s only natural to rely on cell phones to keep in touch with your family, but there will be times when that will not be possible. Cell phone towers can damaged leaving you without a signal, there could be no power leaving you unable to charge your phone, or cell phones could be lost or left behind.

So, your family will need an emergency communication plan in place and a safe meeting place for your family so that you can all meet there if separated.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South to get the cleanup and restoration process started.

Protecting your business from fire risks | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Business owners have much to take into consideration regarding risks to their business, staff and visitors. As a business owner, one of those risks you need to spend a little extra time planning for and working toward preventing is a fire.

Top Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011, listed in order, were:

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Three of those causes—intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment—were responsible for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15%, respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

In looking at more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. Those fires resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

Ways to Protect Your Commercial Property

So, what steps can you take to protect your business and employees from the risk of fires? By placing an emphasis on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you are taking steps to reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, make an assessment of your facility, looking for any fire hazard risks. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right fire protection equipment in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Last, and most important, you must make provisions for the human aspect of your business—your employees. Create a fire plan and review it regularly with your staff, thereby ensuring that everyone is aware of the procedures to follow in the event of a fire. By conducting fire drills at least once a year, you keep fire safety procedures fresh, and it will also afford you the opportunity to review evacuation plans and first-aid kit locations.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Why Choose SERVPRO? Because We Can Get There Fast | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of disaster striking your home or business, time becomes an especially precious commodity. When it is your home or livelihood involved and on the line, it is imperative that you receive help right away.

A fast response is crucial. We understand this, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

Why a Fast Response Matters

When it comes to having your belongings or business on the line, time is not on your side when it comes to disaster cleanup. This is especially true when water damage is part of your disaster, which can be caused by various things such as flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and fire damage, as water is used in the firefighting effort.

It only takes a matter of minutes for water to begin spreading throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path. Everything from the walls, the floors and upholstery to your belongings become water damage casualties.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage will continue to worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours and a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination

Water damage that is left untreated for over a week can lead to increased restoration costs and time and can also impact structural safety.

How We Can Help

We will provide an immediate response to any size disaster, helping to minimize the damage and keeping the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists will be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

We are a locally owned and operated franchise close by, ready to respond whenever the call comes in. As a major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises, we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Woolsey-Hill Fires

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Arial Map of Woolsey Fire Burn Area

Our community suffered nearly 97,000 acres burned in recent Woolsey-Hill Fire affecting Los Angeles & Ventura counties 2,000 structures destroyed, 670 Structure alone in Malibu city limits.  Assessment of the damage is still ongoing, yet much of the community was spared the worst devastation. Smoke damage affects many whose homes are left standing.  Before disposing of smoke damaged furniture & clothing, much can be done to restore your belongings. We at SERVPRO Van Nuys South have been proud to provide Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration Services in our community throughout the devastating wild fires.  We at SERVPRO Van Nuys South have been working tirelessly with homeowners, insurance companies & HOA’s to restore your personal possessions from the fire, smoke, soot & ash damage. SERVPRO Van Nuys South also offers contents restoration including, carpet, upholstery, drapes and blinds cleaning and deodorization service of the acrid smoke odor left behind.  Our highly trained team at SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is here and ready 24/7 to help you!  Call us at (818)780-7111.

Learning About Fire Hazards in Your Home

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

When thinking about protecting your home from fire, one way to do this is by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them.

Thinking about the possibility of seeing your home damaged by fire is unpleasant, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for many Americans. In this blog, we’ll be discussing two of the most common household fire hazards.

Be Careful With Candles

Did you know there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015? During that time period, fire departments across the United States answered an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles.

There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires. Candles caused 2 percent of the reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent in injuries.

Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in the bedroom and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.

When using a lit candle, be sure it’s kept at least 12 inches from anything that could catch fire and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. If oxygen is being used in a home, never use a candle—and remember to never leave candles unattended. Always blow them out before leaving a room or going to sleep.

Smoking Indoors Is Risky

While cooking is the No.1 cause of home fires, smoking indoors is the No.1 cause of home fire deaths.

An estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking materials like cigarettes, pipes and cigars. According to the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage.

Be sure to extinguish all cigarettes and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out, and keep in mind that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker—it is the innocent bystander.

If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths resulted from fires that began in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.

Info on Lesser-known Fire Hazards

While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.

Some types of glassware in your home could actually be a fire risk. When placed in direct sunlight in front of a window, the magnified sunbeam passes through them, and could ignite a flammable object in its path. Therefore, it’s best to move glass accessories away from windows.

Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas, like behind the entertainment system, can help prevent the buildup of dust bunnies from collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters.

Also, watch out for loose electrical outlets in your home. The movement of these loose electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can also be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is here to help you restore your home to its original pre-fire condition.

Fire Safety Basics for Your Home

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that every year in the United States, over 350,000 house fires occur, adding up to more than $5.5 billion in property damage? Aside from the financial loss, these fires also lead to close to 3,000 deaths and another 10,000 injuries.

Your best defense against a fire is advance preparation. It’s important that each member of your household know how to prevent fires and what actions to take if one should occur.

Start by teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines at a young age. Let’s also consider these three other fire safety precautions you can practice together:

Come Up With a Fire Safety Plan

If there is a fire, each person in the family must know how to react and stay calm—including how to safely get out of the house and where to go once they’re out.

However, creating a plan is just the beginning.

We’ve all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect.” Regular practice of your routine will make you more likely to remember the steps if a fire breaks out.

Learn to Identify Fire Hazards

How many fire hazards would you spot if you were to look through your home? You might be surprised what you find! Take time to go through every room and your outdoor space to uncover these hazards.

  • Are your appliances are in good working condition?
  • Are your electrical cords intact and not frayed or otherwise damaged?
  • Have you overloaded your outlets and/or extension cords?
  • Are you using the correct wattage of lightbulbs in light fixtures?
  • Have you checked to ensure that electrical wiring is not covered up by rugs or carpet?
Be Safe in the Kitchen

Cooking is the biggest single cause of house fires. That’s why it’s important to be especially mindful in the kitchen.

Anyone who’s cooking needs to apprise themselves of basic cooking safety. For example:

  • Cooking when tired or otherwise unable to pay attention is not advised.
  • It is advisable to always supervise kids and teens when they are cooking.
  • Have a lid available when cooking on the stove. If a small grease fire occurs, you will be able to cover and smother the fire with the lid.
  • If the oven catches on fire, turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed.

If a kitchen fire spreads, leave the room immediately and close the door behind you.

If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.

How to Clean Up a Space After Hoarding

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

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.

<h4cleaning:a70b757925e62f6be8aa4ee8e8a9f199">Complete Cleaning

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

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

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?

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

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.

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.

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

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

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

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Air mover and dehumidifier drying a wall 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

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Van Nuys Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Van Nuys Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

How to safeguard my home from dangerous mold caused by water damage?

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

How to safeguard my home from dangerous mold caused by water damage?

The risks of dangerous mold growing in our homes often goes undetected. Have you ever noticed standing water under your kitchen or bathroom sink? A bulging brownish-bubbling spot on your ceiling? Or the distinct odor of mildew in your closet? Any one of these can be a tell tell sign that you are already in danger of a dangerous mold growth in your home, putting you, your family and pets at risk of known health dangers. What should you do about it?

First and foremost is to call a trained expert immediately. An expert will have the best professional methods and instruments to detect the exact level of risk you are experiencing if any and be able to provide you with the safest solution. In some cases all you’ll find is that you need to ventilate while in other cases you may be in great risk of expensive damage to your home and your families health. Why trust SERVPRO to solve these potential dangers to your home in health?

Flooding and water emergencies are indiscriminate as to who is affected, but SERVPRO of VanNuys South cares, and skillfully provides the emergency cleaning and restoration services you need 24/7. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. Hopefully you’ll never experience a problem with mold or water damage causing mold in your home. However if you are reading this article because it has happened to your home, call us and rest assured that we have you covered.

We work with your insurance.
For a stress free claims process, SERVPRO of VanNuys South can help manage the insurance paperwork and process. Call for details. (818) 780-7111

or email us at JFowler@SERVPROvannuyssouth.com


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