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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Why SERVPRO Blog Posts

We are Cleaning Experts

4/13/2020 (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 Santa Maria, 805-922-5457

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Emergencies and Insurance – How can SERVPRO help you?

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

There is never a good time for a disaster to happen and when it does happen chances are you already have so much on your plate. There’s a good chance you may be overwhelmed with stress from damages and trying to figure out how to get the repairs going.

On top of it all, now you need to contact your insurance and see if these damages will be covered or not. 

How can SERVPRO of Santa Maria help you?

When you experience a disaster please call SERVPRO of Santa Maria, the longer you wait to call professionals for disaster relief clean up the more secondary damages can begin to form. Let us restore while you rest. 

  • Insured parties have the right to choose any contractor or mitigation specialist, not just the one the insurance company suggests. Many people think that the only choice they have is the one company the insurance provider refers to. However, that is not true. The Insured ALWAYS HAS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. 
  • We will be in direct contact with the adjuster for approvals and updates, so you don’t have to. 
  • We also can schedule any necessary testing, abatement, storage pod, and dumpster deliveries. 
  • Not all people realize how important it is to stay in contact with their adjuster throughout the mitigation process. Your adjuster should be able to give you the information about how the claim process works if you have a deductible and how the payment process works. 

The office works well as a liaison between you and your insurance company. SERVPRO is the preferred vendor for nearly all the large insurance companies. We also go above and beyond insurance protocol. When a disaster happens you need the best, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Santa Maria, 24/7-365. 805-922-5457

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Calling all Insurance Agents!

Did you know SERVPRO of Santa Maria offers a variety of Continuing Education Classes FREE for professionals in the industry?

What is a Continuing Education Class you ask?

Insurance agents are required to take several courses that offer credits to keep their licensing up to date. In California, each hour counts as one credit, and 24 hours are required every two-year term. 

Here at SERVPRO of Santa Maria, we offer approved courses to our local agents at no cost! We offer a variety of courses such as Ethics, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry, Biohazard Cleanup, and more!

We have also found these courses to be beneficial to property managers, as well as realtors and maintenance crews. 

We feel it is important for individuals in the industry to get the correct information. Who better to teach than the professionals themselves? 

To make it even more convenient for attendees, we can come to you!

Give us a call to set up a Continuing Education Class in your office today!

805-922-5457

Document Drying

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

When you walk into a flooded room, your first concern may not be damp paper, but once you’ve cleared the room, you may find that to be one of the tricker problems you face. After all, a towel can dry your filing cabinet, but what do you do with all the files inside?

First Steps

The most important step to take is to freeze your documents immediately. Freezing halts the destruction of the paper—it won’t undo damage, but it prevents any further deterioration by the physical effects of water or the growth of bacteria and mold. This will work whether you have cabinets full of client files or just family photos that you’re trying to preserve.

At this stage, it is important to pack the documents as carefully as possible. If you throw them in the freezer while folded or rolled, they will remain in that shape even after drying and cleaning. Make sure that they’re flat enough to put in a file folder once you get them back.

When you call SERVPRO of Santa Maria and ask for help, we’ll transport the paper in its frozen state to our document restoration center. 

Safely Drying Documents

SERVPRO uses sublimation to dry water damaged documents. This is the physical process that happens when the water in an object goes from solid straight to gas without becoming liquid in between. This prevents paper from being re-damaged once it thaws.

This is the only method for document drying that is approved by both the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration

SERVPRO Document Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Santa Maria can provide you with document restoration services beyond just drying. We can decontaminate papers that are exposed to hazardous conditions, such as a sewage spill. We can digitize documents if your office decides that you want a backup in case anything happens again. If you decide that you don’t need the documents back, we can securely destroy them and provide you with a certificate of destruction.

Most importantly, we and all members of the document restoration team are HIPPA Master Certified, which means that patient records and private information are in a secure chain of custody while they are being restored.

At SERVPRO of Santa Maria, we want to make it “Like it never even happened,” after an emergency. From the floors to files, we’re here to help.

Top Burn Safety Tips

2/12/2020 (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.

SERVPRO of Santa Maria is Always Up to Standards

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of [Santa Maria is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Santa Maria

SERVPRO of Santa Maria 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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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 Restoration Technicians Respond Faster

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Santa Maria works to make the processing of each insurance claim easier

SERVPRO has more than 1,700 franchises located throughout the country. As a leader in restoration and cleanup work, the company has taken many steps to ensure that technicians are able to arrive faster to any size disaster. As a step toward ensuring this claim, Santa Maria, CA, technicians are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Timely Completion of Restoration Claims

In addition to providing top quality services for customers, SERVPRO works to make the processing of each insurance claim easier.

  • Emergency services every day at all hours
  • Training in and compliance with industry standards
  • Access to an electronic claims inventory
  • Local ownership of more than 1,700 franchises
  • Preferred vendor status for many insurance companies

Whether insurance agents represent residential or commercial customers, SERVPRO is ready to respond with water damage restoration teams, fire damage, mold remediation, storm damage, and cleaning services. Responding faster to any disaster is an important step in keeping the cost of claims in check.

Local Franchises Mean Fast Response Times

Franchises are owned locally, so technicians are available to reach properties quickly. This fast response is vital for the protection of property, furnishings, and inventory. In water damage cases, the first 24 hours are vital in protecting porous materials, such as drywall, carpets, flooring, documents, and metals. When damages result from a fire, the property could again be affected by water damage, as well. Smoke and soot settle in as time goes by, and properties left unattended can be harmed by trespassers.

A Quick Response Keeps Claims Costs Down

SERVPRO professionals are committed to responding immediately when Santa Maria, CA, clients need cleanup and restoration services for fire or water damage emergencies. The quick response from these teams reduces the severity of damages and keeps costs down. With specialization and training in fire and water damage restoration, technicians are ready to return properties to pre-fire conditions. Showing up faster to any size disaster keeps the cost of an insurance claim lower and prevents further damages.


3 Main Differences Between Mold and Mildew

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can cause large issues in your home

The Differences Between Mold and Mildew

People often wrongly assume that mold and mildew are the same thing. Although both are types of fungus that you might encounter in your home in Santa Maria, CA, mold damage should be treated differently than mildew. Both mildew and mold are pesky to deal with and are attracted to moisture, but there are several key differences that are important to know when identifying what kind of issue you have on your hands.

1. Mold Is Harder To Get Rid of

If you are able to identify the fungi in your home as mildew growth, you’re in luck! While mold often requires the help of a mold remediation company to completely clean it from your home, mildew simply lies on the surface of moist areas and can easily be cleaned using products you buy from the store. Unfortunately, mold damage can go as far as compromising the structural integrity of your home.

2. Mildew Has a Distinct Appearance

While mold growth takes on various forms, you can often tell when you’re dealing with mildew because it takes on a gray, white, or brown color and is a powdery consistency. Mildew also has a distinct smell. Mold on the other hand can be red, black, green, and several other colors. It will likely have a very foul odor and might have a fuzzy appearance.

3. Mold Penetrates Surfaces

Mildew is most often found on the flat, moist surfaces or on plant materials. On the other hand, mold damage can make its way deep into materials causing a much larger issue. This is why mold can be found within walls and deep in the structure of your home when left untreated.

While both mold and mildew are frightening to find in your home, mold growth is overall a much larger issue than mildew. Learn how to tell the difference so you can know whether you need to call in the professionals or if you simply need to grab some cleaning supplies and get scrubbing.

Reasons To Choose an IICRC-Certified Vendor

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Steps for Air Duct Mold Removal

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

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.