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Reasons To Choose an IICRC-Certified Vendor

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Reasons To Choose an IICRC-Certified Vendor SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage. 

Reasons To Choose An IICRC-Certified Vendor

Leading damage mitigation and restoration companies help maintain the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is a third-party agency led by industry professionals that develop standards used nationwide and around the world. Here are three reasons to choose a vendor with this certification to mitigate and restore damage at a residence in Santa Maria, CA.

1. Higher Standards

Insurers appreciate the high standards of this agency. In addition to developing regulations for the American National Standards Institute, this certifying body also maintains BSR standards. The leadership of this organization consists of professionals from leading cleaning and restoration firms, and certified professionals take continuing education courses to stay up to date on best practices.

2. Advanced Methods

The IICRC combines industry experience and innovative research. Experts that specialize in treating different types of damage are on the cutting edge of their fields. Training for a mitigation certificate, or any other credential, involves learning about state-of-the-art developments in areas such as fire, mold or water damage restoration.

3. Preferred Vendors

Insurers recognize the rigorous nature of these certifications. A company or franchise must employ at least one trained technician in order to be considered certified. These credentials make it more likely that an insurer will cover claims based on estimates made by a certified franchise. SERVPRO is a top rated and approved training school, and franchises must satisfy the requirements of the participation agreement to receive insurance client referrals.

These are some of the most important reasons to choose a mitigation and restoration company that employs professionals with credentials from the IICRC. If you hire a company with this certification, you can trust that work will be done properly, and that primary and secondary damage can be limited as much as possible. Check to make sure this certification is currently held by the company you contact to restore residential damage in Santa Maria, CA.

How To Minimize Flood Damage to Your Business

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Minimize Flood Damage to Your Business If you have flooding, remember not to panic.

Prepare Your Business From A Flood Damage

There is never a good time to deal with flood damage in Santa Maria, CA. Different types of flooding include burst pipes, flash floods, and sewage backup. They can be hard to prepare for and even harder to predict. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are doing the most you can to protect your property from disaster.

Act Now

Sometimes you won't have time to prepare your business before a storm hits. If your property experiences flooding, remember not to panic. You can avoid most of the damage with these steps.

  • Stop the flow of water and turn off circuit breakers to reduce risk of injury.
  • Call your storm damage restoration company immediately.
  • Remove small furniture items, books, papers, and breakables to a higher floor or a dry room.
  • Put cinder wood blocks under the legs of furniture to raise them above water level.
  • Lift all cushions, rugs, drapes and other fabric items away from water, and set them outside to dry if needed.
  • Place sandbags around doors and windows to divert running water and soak up standing water.

Prepare for the Worst

While the forecast can be erratic, one of the best ways to avoid heavy damage is to be prepared before a storm descends. Perform routine maintenance on the building to prevent water from pooling in areas. Make sure to clean out storm drains and patch holes in parking lots. Regularly inspect doors, windows and drains, and bring them up to code.

Keep an Updated Flood Action Plan

Having a flood action plan can help you get your business running right after a disaster. Keep yourself and your employees updated on weather forecasts and storm warnings. Have the numbers of insurance providers and emergency services in one place. Make an evacuation plan and perform drills regularly. Know how to locate all utility taps and circuit breakers and how to safely shut them off in case of a flood.

When you have a well-constructed plan, you will feel much better about handling a disaster such as flooding. Just because the weather can be unpredictable doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers A fire extinguisher in your home in Santa Maria, CA can keep you and your home safe

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher in your home in Santa Maria, CA, can be an effective way to keep you and your home safe. However, there are a variety of things that are helpful to know about extinguishers to ensure they can be used quickly and effectively.

1. The Type of Extinguishers in Your Home

Different types of extinguishers exist, and it’s helpful to do some research before placing one in a location within your home. For example, Type B extinguisher would help in the event of a kitchen fire caused by grease, whereas a Class A extinguisher can stifle fires that use wood as fuel. Often, you can purchase combination extinguisher that will effectively put out different types of fires.

2. The Location of the Extinguishers

Just having a fire extinguisher in your home isn’t enough to prevent a fire if the location of the extinguisher is not convenient. It’s often important to place extinguishers in areas such as kitchens and laundry rooms since these areas are common places for fires to occur. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the extinguishers are within reach so you can access them quickly if needed.

3. How To Use the Extinguisher

In the event of a fire, it’s often helpful to know how to use an extinguisher quickly and correctly. Though extinguishers are labeled clearly with directions, it can save you time if you already know the appropriate steps to take. The term P.A.S.S. (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) is a common acronym that is used to give people an easy way to remember the key steps to take when using an extinguisher.

Making sure you have the right types of fire extinguisher in your home, putting extinguishers in convenient locations and knowing how to use an extinguisher can incredibly help if a fire occurs. If your home has been impacted by a fire, you may want to consider working with fire damage restoration experts.

Understanding Residential Fungus: The Key Differences Between Mold and Mildew

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Understanding Residential Fungus: The Key Differences Between Mold and Mildew Contact SERVPRO of Santa Maria for professional assistance

Differences Between Mold and Mildew

Mildew and mold damage are two very different sides of the same fungus coin. One is repaired easily without the need for professional intervention while the other is likely more invasive and requires removal experts. Understanding the differences between mold and mildew will help you determine the necessary course of action.

1. Different Colors

Mildew growth is not as vibrant as mold and is likely varying shades of gray and white. Mold is more colorful, typically appearing as either green or black. While there is a tendency to assume mold is black mold because of its color, that is not often the case; there are special tests that need to be performed to determine mold type.

2. Varying Textures

Mold damage is typically identified by its fuzzy texture and its nature to seep into porous materials. Mildew is generally flat and may even resemble a stain or slight discoloration of the material it is found on.

3. Diverse Infestation Methods

Mold growth will typically start near a cool, damp source and branch out, and it can begin colonizing with 12 days of the initial growth. Mildew is not as aggressive, but it can also spread fairly quickly. Mildew, however, will typically stay localized while mold will spread out in every direction, even jumping areas through ventilation and ductwork.

4. Various Cleaning Methods and Remedies

While mildew is a surface fungus that does not penetrate deep within materials, mold is more aggressive. Mold begins deep within, and when it appears on the surface, it likely means a bigger problem. Mold will probably require a mold remediation specialist in the Santa Maria, CA, area, but mildew can be remedied with many store-bought cleaners.

Mildew and mold damage are similar yet starkly different. Mildew is remedied quickly with inexpensive cleaners, but mold is persistent, and it lingers in crevices and cavities which is why mold often requires professional assistance.

Simple Steps To Making a Water Damage Claim

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Simple Steps To Making a Water Damage Claim Leaking pipes cause water problems in your home

If bursting pipes, severe weather, or other factors cause flooding in your Santa Maria, CA, home, you may rely on your insurance policy to cover the cleanup bills. It’s important that you fie a claim promptly and correctly to make this as smooth a process as possible. Understand your coverage and what steps you must follow.

Things To Initially Consider

Your insurance plan won’t cover all water damage and related issues. In the following cases, you’ll either need supplemental coverage, or you’ll need to take care of the repair costs yourself:

  • The damage occurred due to normal wear and tear.
  • The damage occurred due to your own neglect of maintenance and upkeep.
  • The damage occurred because you intentionally tampered with or broke pipes.

Assess the Damage

Before you start trying to fix a broken pipe or do any other maintenance, determine exactly what areas of your home suffered damage and where the water problems originated. No matter how large or small the incident was, it’s crucial to provide this information to your insurance agent.

Record the Damage

Write down different items of your home that bursting pipes affected and ruined. Also, take photos of the water damage and areas that will require cleanup and restoration. Save these pictures and records for your insurance representative.

Contact Your Agent Promptly

Obviously, you’ll want to get in touch with an experienced disaster cleanup specialist to remove water from your home and to make the area safe once again. But you’ll also want to speak to your insurance company without delay to start the claims process. It’ll be much easier to file a claim and get payment if you communicate with the insurance representative on the day of the incident.

You hate thinking about bursting pipes or other issues causes water problems in your home. It’s nice to know you can count on a competent insurance provider to ease your burden.

Top Burn First Aid Tips

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Top Burn First Aid Tips

When residents of Santa Maria, CA, think of fire damage, images of charred possessions and destroyed infrastructure requiring extensive cleanup and restoration may come to mind. Fire and extreme heat can, however, also burn skin. Knowing how to assess and care for burns is a valuable skill that may come in handy during an emergency or even in your daily life.

1. Evaluate Severity of Burn

The first step in burn first aid is to evaluate the severity of the injury. A minor burn may affect an area less than three inches in diameter and can present with blisters or superficial redness. Major burns covering a larger portion of the body, may penetrate deep into the skin and surrounding tissue and can cause the skin to appear dry or charred.

2. Seek Medical Attention

If your skin sustains fire damage and a major burn, you should seek immediate medical care. To help alleviate pain while you wait for emergency personnel, you can cover the burn with a cool, moist cloth.

3. Cool Minor Burns

You can often treat minor burns with basic first aid. You should initiate care by applying a cool, moist compress or holding the burned skin under cool water. Because swelling may occur, you should also remove rings or other tight items near the affected area.

4. Apply Soothing Lotion

Next, you can apply lotion to help further alleviate pain and prevent the skin from excessive drying. Special lotions containing aloe vera offer anti-inflammatory and cooling capabilities, making them an ideal choice.

5. Bandage Injured Area

As a final step, you can loosely wrap a sterile gauze bandage around the wound. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure to the damaged skin.

6. Manage Visible Blisters

Blisters may help protect damaged skin from infection. While addressing the burn, be careful not to pop any existing blisters. If a sore opens, clean it and apply antibiotic ointment.

Burns can happen almost anywhere. While skin sustaining significant fire damage requires prompt medical intervention, you can often address minor burns using simple burn first aid techniques.

Steps for Air Duct Mold Removal

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Steps for Air Duct Mold Removal Mold in ductwork in a Santa Maria, CA business

Steps for Air Duct Mold Removal

For a business in Santa Maria, CA, finding mold in the ductwork can be alarming, especially if it could be black mold. It’s important to get rid of this fungus as quickly as possible to help prevent its spread, and to keep your building and staff safe. Here are some steps you may need to take.

1. Identify Mold in the Ventilation System

When determining if there is mold in the air ducts, there are a couple of signs to look for. The appearance of black dust around vent openings is one. This dust may be patchy in appearance and difficult to clean. Another easy-to-recognize indication is the presence of a musty, unpleasant odor issuing from the ductwork. This may grow stronger when the AC unit is turned on.

2. Thoroughly Examine the Area

Because black mold can spread to other areas, it’s important to thoroughly examine the ventilation system. This includes any surrounding insulation or connected systems.

3. Clean and Sanitize the System

Once the mold is located, a mold remediation professional can be contacted if you have not already done so. He or she can thoroughly clean the ductwork and any other affected areas, perform the required sanitation, and help implement any further preventive measures that may be needed.

4. Prevent Future Growth

In order to maintain clean ducts, it’s important to do what you can to prevent future mold growth. Some maintenance steps to consider include regularly changing filters, having the ducts professionally cleaned bi-annually, fixing any water damage issues as soon as possible, and closely monitoring the building's humidity levels.

The removal of black mold from your company building is important both for the building and anyone who may work there. It’s essential for full mold removal to examine the area surrounding the ductwork as well as the ducts themselves. Fully clean and sanitize the system, and be sure to deal with any moisture or water damage you may find. A mold specialist can help with every step of this process.

3 Ways To Protect a Business From Fire

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Ways To Protect a Business From Fire Every commercial business in Santa Maria,CA should have smoke detectors

3 Ways To Protect a Business From Fire

Fires can swiftly destroy property and pose a threat to occupants in a commercial building. Here are three fire preparation measures that building owners and occupants can take to protect any business from fire.

1. Arrange For a Fire Hazard Analysis

A disaster preparation expert can perform an analysis of fire hazards in a structure. Risks may include combustible building materials, improper handling of flammable contents, or a lack of functional alarm and suppression systems. A hazard analysis can help building and business owners develop more practical fire safety and evacuation plans.

2. Test Alarm and Fire Suppression Systems

Every commercial structure should be equipped with operational fire detection and suppression equipment. For fire preparation purposes, smoke or fire detectors should be tested monthly and sprinkler system inspections should occur at least once a year or as needed.

Make sure that detection devices have a reliable primary and backup power source and are designed to function in the most useful ways for the purpose of the structure. Sprinklers should be functional and arranged to correspond to the current usage of a facility.

3. Perform Drills and Post Emergency Information

Occupants will need to practice evacuating from a structure at least twice a year. Be sure to inform new employees about fire safety policies, and post emergency information throughout the structure for the benefit of guests. Ensure that every occupant is aware of primary and secondary evacuation routes and knows not to use elevators in the event of a fire.

These measures can help to protect a commercial property and the occupants of a structure from fire. Fire preparation should be a consistent effort to ensure that building occupants will know what to do when a fire breaks out. A building owner or manager should maintain access to contact information for insurers and a fire damage mitigation company in Santa Maria, CA.

5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention Contact a water damage company in Santa Maria, CA

5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention

In Santa Maria, CA, damage from water in home environments can be problematic. Both to fix the damage and to find the source of the leak. If you’re worried about water damage occurring at your residence there are a few tricks you can try.

1. Fix Leaks ASAP

If you find a leak it’s important to take care of it quickly. Prompt pipe cleanup can lessen your chances of water damage, and allow you to take the steps you need to prevent potential issues before problems arise.

2. Inspect Your AC System

Regularly looking over your AC system can help you ensure that your home is receiving proper ventilation which can help it stay dry. It will also allow you to ensure that all your hoses and connections to the cooling unit are in working order.

3. Regularly Look Over Your Appliances

Damage from water in home appliances can occur as well. Common culprits are washers, dishwashers and refrigeration units. It’s important to look over connections and hoses so you can have them repaired or replaced before a leak causes damage.

4. Use the Right Tools When Fixing Issues

When fixing a broken pipe, tightening a connection or performing other maintenance, it’s important to always use the recommended tools for the job. Using the wrong tool can cause additional damage.

5. Know When To Call a Professional

Last but not least it’s important to know when to call a water damage professional. They can assess the situations and come up with a plan of action to help solve the problem and make repairs. If you don’t know where the water is coming from, what steps to take, or want the repairs fixed faster than you can do yourself, these are the people to call.

Whether you’ve found damage from water in home areas, or want to protect your residence, regularly looking over potential trouble spots may help. It’s also important to properly maintain plumbing and appliances, as well as fix any broken pipes as soon as you can. If you have any trouble a professional may be able to help.

3 Common Commercial Building Water Concerns

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Over time, sewer and water lines may deteriorate, making your commercial facility vulnerable to leaking pipes. Sometimes external conditions may also pose a threat. Understanding common water issues that can plague any Santa Maria, CA, business may help you evaluate your risks and address areas of concern before significant damage occurs.

1. Broken Pipes

Your building’s aging water infrastructure may be susceptible to cracks and leaks. Although a pipe break may sometimes be unavoidable, you can help reduce the risk by planting trees and shrubs away from exterior water lines.

Pipes are also susceptible to bursts during the winter. To help prevent freezing and alleviate this concern, you should insulate exposed supply lines, especially ones located against external walls or in colder areas of your building.

Since many plumbing structures are hidden behind walls and under flooring, leaking pipes may be difficult to detect. Because of this, it’s essential to recognize potential symptoms of water seepage, such as damp, bubbled or stained walls and ceilings, and promptly investigate any suspicious areas.

2. Condensation Buildup

Condensation buildup can also be a problematic moisture concern that may cause mold growth. To rectify this issue, you can employ dehumidifiers and use fans to enhance air circulation. You can also keep excessive condensation at bay by warming colder zones of your building, ensuring there is adequate insulation and addressing drafty windows and doors.

3. Leaking Toilets

An overflowing or leaking toilet can cause both unsanitary contamination and water damage. Routine inspections can help you evaluate internal components and detect drainage issues before a toilet backup occurs. You can also help reduce the risks of clogs and leaks by reminding staff and customers to refrain from flushing pads, tampons, diapers and paper towels.

Overflowing toilets, leaking pipes and significant condensation can wreak havoc on any business. Taking the time to address specific issues inside your building can help preserve the facility’s structural integrity and spare you from a messy water cleanup.