The Water Damage You Can’t See
Living through a catastrophic storm of any kind in South Oceanside, CA can be devastating. In addition to the disruption of daily life, you home may also suffer physical damage that requires extensive repair. High winds, torrential rain, and infrastructure damage can easily leave you in the midst of a flood.
When you think of the water damage from flooding, you may envision waterlogged carpets and furnishings, structural damage, and ruined documents or keepsakes. However, the damage from contaminated water under these conditions can be far more dangerous and harder to fix.
What Is Contaminated Water?
Any floodwaters that include raw sewage are considered black water. They can carry a variety of potentially dangerous pathogens, including salmonella, E. coli, hepatitis, and rotavirus. These and other contaminants can cause serious diseases including the following:
• Hepatitis A
This kind of contamination can occur as a result of runoff from waterways, or backed up sewer drains or systems. People and pets can be infected by contact with contaminated water, by surfaces that have been saturated, or even by breathing in microbes that are present in the environment where this kind of water damage has happened. Most professionals suggest that you treat any residential flooding, particularly in urban and suburban areas, as if this sort of damage has occurred.
What Should You Do?
It’s important to take action as soon as possible, since even clean water left standing can become gray or black. It’s important to call a restoration professional as soon as possible; do not try to clean up on your own. Without proper cleaning, microbes may linger in the air and in dust, leaving you at risk of illness. Professional restoration experts in South Oceanside, CA can assess the damage, test for pathogens, and create an action plan. They have the tools and equipment needed to safely extract the water, thoroughly dry out and clean up your property, and repair the water damage left behind.
If your home is affected by a flood, call in the professionals quickly. Doing so can prevent further damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on water damage.
A Quick Guide to Smoke Detector Features
When it comes to fire safety, the best device you can buy for your home in South Oceanside, CA is a smoke alarm. The current recommendation is that you replace your alarm every ten years. Check out this quick list of smoke detector features to guide you in your replacement decision.
* Hard-wired or battery. Devices may be wired directly into your home's electrical system or use batteries. Batteries should be replaced yearly, but there are also devices that come with 10-year lithium ion batteries now.
* Interconnected. When one alarm is triggered, all alarms will sound. This has only been available with hard-wired alarms, but battery-powered smart alarms now offer this feature as well.
* Combination alarm. One alarm to sound off for smoke or high carbon monoxide levels.
* Ionizing detection. Fast burning fires are best detected with this type of alarm. These are also triggered easily in error by steamy showers or smoke from caramelized onions. If you are into either of these, you want to look for devices with a hush function so you never deactivate the alarm.
* Photoelectric detection. Smoldering fires are best detected with this kind of smoke alarm.
* Smart alarm. This works with your home's wireless internet to send you a push notification whenever the alarm sounds off.
* Room specific alarms. Some manufacturers are offering features, like no low-battery chirp as well as verbal alarms, to for in-bedroom alarms. Kitchen specific alarms feature sensors to detect true fires with less false alarms.
Firefighters recommend that you have both ionizing and photoelectric detection styles in your home. If your home is a little older, you may find that you have too few alarms. The current minimum recommendation is for one smoke alarm on every floor, including the basement, and one outside of each bedroom. This placement is critical to getting your family out of a burning house quickly. With your family safe, you know you can count on restoration professionals to help with any fire damage to your home. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on fire damage.
Effective Ways To Inform Employees About Mold Containment
Many employers are not sure how or whether to inform employees that the company will be undergoing mold removal. When talking about mold growth and removal, business owners can feel out of their depth. But "mold" doesn't have to become a four-letter word in South Oceanside, CA. Your employees' perception of safety depends upon whether you provide transparency during the containment process. Communication can prove more beneficial than leaving your team in the dark. You can do this. Here's how:
1. Anticipate Employee Concerns
Most of your staff is probably familiar with media hype surrounding black mold. In fact, the color of mold is not a true indicator of type. A good mold remediation specialist can brief you on general questions people have about mold removal and containment. Armed with the facts, you can address concerns and reassure your workers that their safety is your top priority.
2. Provide Employee Education on Mold Containment
Mold containment is generally necessary to stop mold from spreading. It may involve sealing off an area with plastics, shutting down HVAC or other systems that spread mold via air circulation, or even constructing airtight negative pressure chambers. By understanding how mold containment works, employees will often see the positives and understand the process.
3. Keep Employees in the Loop
Periodically issue updates about the changes your employees will see in their work areas as the containment process gets underway. Informal meetings or e-mails can help keep staff concerns to a minimum.
4. Designate a Contact Person
Name a point person in your organization. Make it clear that employees can contact this individual with any questions they may have as containment proceeds.
Take the time to address employee concerns, educate workers about mold removal and issue progress updates. If you do so, your employees will likely feel confident that their safety and their ability to work effectively will not be compromised. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on commercial mold damage.
5 Steps for Dealing With Damage Caused by Water
Water can be beautiful and relaxing. Unfortunately, it can also be completely unpredictable and create headaches for homeowners in South Oceanside, CA. Water damage is one of the most common issues plaguing homeowners. Whether it is from broken pipes, storm damage, or sewer backup, the most important part of the process when dealing with the situation is quick and efficient water cleanup. Delays could create conditions conducive to mold, mildew, and structural damage.
Dealing with cleaning can be stressful, but remembering the five steps – or the five Ds – can help you through the situation.
1) Disconnect all electronics and turn off the power. By removing electronics out of the water’s path quickly, you increase the chances of saving those items. In addition to electronics, move all the furniture, area rugs, and carpeting affected by the water damage.
2) Drain as much water as possible. While using a power extractor, such as a sump pump, is preferable, sometimes it is not the most feasible or safest option. Using mops, buckets, and towels can be just as effective.
3) Drying the area out is the most critical thing you can do to mitigate mold and bacteria growth. Once you have removed as much water as possible, use a dehumidifier and fan to circulate the air.
4) Disinfect the area once it has dried out. Stagnant water and moisture create a hotbed for breeding bacteria. Make sure you also include overhead beams and portions of the walls that were not affected.
5) Dispose of damaged items. Unfortunately, not all your things will survive. Keeping damaged items that can’t be disinfected increases the risk of mold and bacteria growth.
Dealing with water damage can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, in South Oceanside, CA there are repair and restoration experts available to assist you in the water cleanup process. Whether you choose to do it yourself or seek assistance, use the five Ds to get you started. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on water damage.
Commercial Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
A fire starts at your commercial property in South Oceanside, CA and you have been vigilant about regular sprinkler maintenance. A flood of relief washes over you, as you watch the fire sprinklers turn on and douse the flames. When properly cared for, such systems reduce property loss by 70 percent and life loss by 80 percent.
How to Maintain Fire Sprinklers
Monitor the status of your building’s sprinkler system through preventative maintenance. Be aware of the standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), especially NFPA 25 which references sprinkler systems. Follow these steps to decrease the likelihood of a system malfunction:
• Inspect the system to confirm that there is no physical damage present. Make sure the valves are open and in good condition. Check the pipes for leaks and verify adequate system pressure.
• Maintain the individual components, such as lubricating the valves and removing any debris.
• Test the system to confirm it is in working order.
What to Do After Accidental Activation
Sometimes, regardless of adequate sprinkler maintenance, an error occurs. If the system accidentally goes off, take the following actions to reduce water damage:
• Turn off the water supply to the sprinkler system. As a safety precaution, turn off the main electricity to the building first.
• Open windows to ventilate the area and increase air flow.
• Call a water restoration specialist as soon as possible. The sooner the experts arrive, the faster your property is assessed, dried, cleaned and restored to preloss condition.
• Contact your commercial property insurance agent. Most losses from water damage are covered as a part of your policy.
When working correctly, fire sprinklers can save property and lives. As a business owner in South Oceanside, CA conducting regular sprinkler maintenance is crucial to protecting your livelihood. If an accidental activation occurs, contact a water restoration company as soon as possible to reduce further water damage and restore your property.
Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Keeping Calm After the Storm
Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t take into account the hard work you’ve put in to get your business up and running. So when you’re hit with an unexpected storm that results in water damage, you may be at a loss as to what to do. Luckily, there are restoration experts that know exactly what to tear out of your business in order to ensure the damage is as minimal as possible.
Understanding Water Categories
An important part of storm restoration is assessing the destruction. The ability to tear out ruined material in a timely manner is important, so understanding the potential forms of damage is necessary. The categories of water are as follows:
• Category 1 - This situation involves a clean water source, such as a busted pipe or water heater, and cleanup is relatively quick and painless.
• Category 2 - Water responsible for this damage typically comes from a dishwasher or washing machine, and it is called “grey water.” There aren’t any dangerous contaminants, only detergent and/or dirt, making cleanup almost identical to Category 1.
• Category 3 – This is the most invasive level of water damage. It’s known as “black water” because it involves various contaminants and microorganisms that find their way in through sewage or outside sources. In this instance, a rebuilding process will likely need to be put into play, which can involve your insurance company and inevitably take more time.
Ultimately, the best way to prepare yourself for storm restoration is to know how bad the aftermath could be. Do your research and find a company in your South Oceanside, CA that values quick response time, thorough evaluation, and practical methods of cleanup. The last thing you want is a company that decides to tear out material in your business without properly determining the extent of its damage.
If you experience water damage in your place of business, track down a restoration company early on. Doing so can help your business to maintain its success even when Mother Nature has different plans.
Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on storm damage.
How To Clean Out a Fire-Damaged Computer Safely
Give SERVPRO a call after commercial fire damage.
An electrical fire can be incredibly hazardous, particularly when it involves fire-damaged electronics such as computers. If a fire doesn’t completely torch your device, the smoke and soot can damage the insides of your computer, rendering it unusable. Residual soot from the fire contains metal-corroding acids that can cause the device to malfunction. These acidic particles stick to the fan blades, circuit boards, and other essential components. Even if these materials are removed, any dust that accumulates in your computer can get sucked into the chemicals, making cleanup an arduous task.
Following Important Steps
To salvage their fire-damaged computers, residents of South Oceanside, CA are taking these critical steps:
1. Turn off your computer and unplug any external devices, such as your keyboard, mouse, printers, speakers, and monitor.
2. Carefully open your computer to remove any potentially damaged hardware. If in doubt, follow the instruction manual for your device on how to proceed safely.
3. Before cleaning, make sure your hands and face are covered with gloves and a dust mask. Soot from an electrical fire can be hazardous to your respiratory system.
4. Use a can of compressed air to meticulously blow dust out of the inside of your computer. Spray surfaces at a moderate distance and shoot short bursts of air, as opposed to a sustained stream. This prevents the cold compressed air from causing parts to frost over.
Putting Your Computer Back Together
Once the computer parts are thoroughly cleaned, it should be safe to place them in their proper locations. Turn the computer on. If your computer still isn’t working, it may be too late for repairs.
The clock is ticking, and the longer you wait the smaller the window becomes for you to conduct an effective computer cleanup. If you are still apprehensive about handling the situation yourself, contact a fire-damage restoration specialist to guide you through the process. No job is too big for trained professionals experienced in saving your precious valuables from electrical fire damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Get Your Home Mold Problem Under Control
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.
Many think of mold as an outdoor problem, but in truth, there’s no such thing as a mold-free home. There’s only a home free of the conditions required to allow mold spores in the air to flourish and grow. That’s why you can take precautions to keep your South Oceanside, CA home from turning into a breeding ground for black mold.
You don’t want to have a mold problem and then figure out how to fix it. It’s better to never have a mold problem at all through dedicated mold prevention. Water damage is one of the major culprits in mold growth; if you have mold, odds are you have a leak or have recently suffered flood damage. Here are a few ways to check for water damage that can lead to mold.
• Watch for dark spots on walls and ceilings. Dark spots are usually water damage caused by leaking roofs and windows, sometimes by damaged or leaking pipes. Don’t forget to check for out-of-the-way places, such as under sinks.
• Listen for dripping pipes and inspect periodically. As mentioned, damaged and leaking pipes can create an environment ripe for mold growth.
• Eliminate standing water. You might not think much of getting out of the shower and leaving a dripping mess, but that water can seep under your bathroom floor tiles and start mold breeding underneath the linoleum. Look for other sources of standing water, such as splashed dishwater or leaks beneath appliances.
• Control humidity. Your bathroom fan is a great way to get rid of mold-causing steam and condensation; your stove should also have a fan for the same reason. If your environment is extremely humid, invest in a dehumidifier.
When mold prevention isn’t enough, you need remediation next. Mold remediation involves professionals assessing the extent of your mold problem and taking steps to eliminate as much as possible from your environment. Mold remediation specialists can also offer advice on further prevention after a cleanup. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on mold.
How and When Do I Maintain My Furnace?
Having a healthy furnace is crucial for those living in South Oceanside, CA during the cold weather months. Performing preventative maintenance saves homeowners the hassle and heartache that comes from fire cleaning and smoke cleaning efforts if a problem arises. It is essential to keep the furnace in good working order year-round.
Before the temperature drops outside, take action with your furnace. Some important tasks are best done right before the cold weather hits:
• Replace or clean the furnace filter
• Make an appointment for your annual furnace cleaning and inspection with a reputable HVAC and furnace cleaning company
When the snow falls, your furnace works hard to keep you and your family warm. It is especially important during the winter to keep the following in mind:
• Change your furnace filter every 30-60 days
• If you have allergies, pets or smoke in your home, change the filter more often
• Be alert to any problems, such as a gas smell or unwanted change of temperature
• If a problem is noticed, immediately call a reputable HVAC and furnace company to inspect and fix the issue to avoid the need for a restoration and fire cleaning company later
As warmer weather sets in during the day, often your furnace is still working hard at night. During this time, the homeowner should take these actions:
• Continue to change the furnace filter regularly
• If the furnace was not cleaned and inspected in the fall, schedule the annual maintenance now
For those living in South Oceanside, CA you and your furnace are (hopefully!) getting a well-deserved break from the cold. Even though homeowners seldom consider heating in the summer, these few steps will make sure the furnace is healthy year-round:
• If you use air conditioning, an annual health check keeps the entire system running smoothly
• Be attentive and call a reputable HVAC and furnace company if you suspect any problems with your system
When it comes to furnace care, remember the old adage: An ounce of prevention (furnace maintenance) now is worth a pound of cure (heartache and fire cleaning) later. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on fire damage.
3 Strategies for Preventing Mold in Your Restaurant
Call SERVPRO if you notice mold growth in your business.
Keeping your Fallbrook, CA restaurant clean is probably a high priority for you. Not only is cleanliness necessary for following local and federal food handling guidelines, it can make a positive first impression on customers who come to dine for the first time. One major factor in keeping your restaurant clean is preventing mold growth, and there are several strategies you can use to help keep your business fungi free.
1. Keep Humidity Low
High humidity can contribute to the development of mold, especially in spaces where there is also plenty of moisture. Your walk-in coolers, dishwashing areas and prep areas may all be vulnerable, so monitoring the environment in these areas is wise. Ensure that there is plenty of ventilation, keep windows open and mop up dishwashing or prep food water spills right away so mold does not have the chance to take hold and spread.
2. Maintain Your HVAC System
Mold spores exist naturally in the air; however, when they are given the right environment in which to settle and grow colonies, their spread can happen quickly. These spores can travel faster when they invade your HVAC system, so having it checked, cleaned and maintained at least twice a year can go a long way in preventing mold. Have a qualified technician check for air conditioning leaks that may encourage mold growth and have repairs or improvements made as needed.
3. Have Your Building Inspected for Leaks
Hidden leaks in your restaurant can create significant water damage over time and give mold the ideal environment in which to thrive. To find and resolve leaks, call in a qualified water damage and restoration company that can also advise you on how to solve any water leakage issues. Remember to have both the inside and outside of your property inspected, especially if you run water lines to manage patio misters or other water features for your restaurant.
One important aspect of keeping your Fallbrook, CA restaurant clean is preventing mold growth. Fortunately, taking a few simple proactive steps can stop the growth of fungi before it affects your business. Visit http://www.SERVPROfallbrooksouthoceanside.com for more information on mold.