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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.

How the Experts Use Ozone To Get Rid Of Cigarette Odors

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How the Experts Use Ozone To Get Rid Of Cigarette Odors An ozone machine can get the smell of cigarette out of your Santa Maria,CA home

When people use cigarettes in your home in Santa Maria, CA, the smell gets everywhere. All the surfaces take on the telltale cigarette odor. Even if the surfaces are disinfected thoroughly, you will likely still smell smoke when you walk in the room because it seeps into crevices. Fortunately, in a few steps, smoke remediation experts have home deodorization methods such as ozone machines that extract the molecules out of even the tiniest of cracks to rid your home of the stench for good.

1. Close Off the Area

Before the ozone machine can be effective, it is important to establish the area where it will be used. To isolate the room, technicians close off vents and may use plastic sheets to block air flow. This allows the ozone to be concentrated in the space that needs it most.

2. Place Machine in Area

For home deodorization to occur, the ozone machine must be placed in the area and turned on. The machine produces ozone and releases it into the room. As the ozone spreads, it attacks the cigarette smoke and neutralizes the odor. Ozone can enter any area that smoke can, so this method allows technicians to completely permeate all the spaces the smoke goes. After the ozone has done its job, it reverts back to oxygen.

3. Leave Machine On

The amount of time it takes to get rid of the odor depends on how densely concentrated the smoke damage is. It can take a couple of hours, or it can take two or three days. Once all the smell is gone, the machine can be turned off and taken out of the area. Because ozone destroys the molecules that cause the odor, it won’t return.

It may seem like you will never get the smell of cigarette smoke out of your home, but an ozone machine can fix the problem. Experts in home deodorization trust ozone treatments as a safe, effective smoke neutralization technique.

The Top 5 Flood Safety Tips

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Top 5 Flood Safety Tips Flooded home in Santa Maria, CA

Five Safety Tips To Keep In Mind After A Flood

It is important to take flood safety measures to avoid unnecessary risks. Here are five safety tips to keep in mind after a flood in Santa Maria, CA.

1. Avoid Contact With Standing Water

Flood water may contain bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals, and sewage. Avoid skin exposure and do not consume or allow animals to drink flood water. Remove standing water as soon as possible by working with buckets, mops, brooms, or a wet vac. Mitigation professionals can quickly pump out water.

2. Exercise Caution With Electricity

Even if your circuit breaker is turned off, there still may be a risk of electrocution. Have a utility company employee or licensed electrician disconnect the meter for increased flood safety. Avoid downed power lines and report this damage to the utility company.

3. Throw Away Contaminated Food

Do not consume food or bottled water exposed to flood water. Canned items may be safe, but should be thoroughly cleaned prior to use. Throw out any open or packaged food, and do not risk infection.

4. Clean and Disinfect Surfaces and Contents

Reduce the risk of exposure to contamination or infectious bacteria by cleaning and disinfecting hard, non-porous surfaces and contents. Dispose of porous contents such as carpet, carpet padding, pillows, and mattresses to reduce the risk of re-contamination or mold growth. You should also tear out porous building materials such as drywall and insulation.

5. Thoroughly Dry Your Home

Mold is prone to grow after flood damage unless you dry your home. Professionals use air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the process and draw moisture out of semi-porous materials. Wait until the affected area has dried before restoring contents or materials.

These flood safety tips can reduce your risk of injury or infection. Restore the condition of your home more quickly by relying on experienced flood mitigation and restoration specialists in Santa Maria, CA.

Furnace Maintenance Tips

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Furnace Maintenance Tips Keep your furnace clean

Like many homeowners, you may wonder what you can do to keep your furnace well-maintained and when you should perform such maintenance. After all, a functioning furnace reduces the chance of a fire and related fire cleaning in your Santa Maria, CA, home.

Here are three tips for keeping your furnace in top shape throughout the year

1. Keep It Clean

Dirt is a troublesome yet common nuisance that can lead to furnace-related fires. The blower, motor and system itself all need regular cleaning to remove troublesome dirt and debris. Research how to clean your particular unit, or get help from a Santa Maria, CA, professional. Leaving dirt to sit can cause your unit to malfunction and cause a fire-related issue.

2. Replace Filters

Your furnace filters should be replaced regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change them once before cold weather hits, and then once a month during the times that the furnace is in heavy use. Dirty filters can lead to situations that require fire cleaning, much like with other furnace components, and will also not function properly when you are relying on them to keep you and your family warm.

3. Perform Maintenance Early

One of the most important things to remember is that any repairs or other maintenance tasks need to be completed before the cold comes. Otherwise, you will risk using the furnace while it is not in top shape, possibly causing a fire and leading to smoke cleaning. You also will likely have an under-performing furnace that does not quite do its job.

Furnace maintenance is not exactly fun, but neither is a fire. You owe it to yourself and your wallet to take precautions against having a furnace malfunction at home. You will not only avoid fire cleaning in the future - you will also have better peace-of-mind knowing your furnace is ready to keep you heated.

3 Easy Ways To Mitigate Wind Damage

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Easy Ways To Mitigate Wind Damage Roof leak in garage due to storm in Santa Maria,CA

Some of the most extensive storm damage can come from wind. Many insurance policies covering commercial businesses require you, the business owner, to mitigate damage to your property from a storm. That means you are on the hook for stopping further damage to your business in the wake of storm winds. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this, from tarping your building against a roof leak to securing loose debris. Here are few quick and easy ways you can mitigate wind damage in Santa Maria,CA before it’s a problem.

1. Reinforce Vulnerable Areas

Your roof can be especially vulnerable to wind damage, with fierce gusts blowing shingles loose. Those missing shingles can damage your roof’s integrity, resulting in a roof leak down the road. Investing in a tarp to cover your roof when a hurricane or other catastrophic storm approaches can mitigate some of this risk.

2. Replace Landscaping

Gravel tossed around by hurricane-force winds can wreak havoc on your building, shredding siding and even damaging windows. Prevent such damage by replacing gravel or rock landscaping walkways with softer materials. Mulch, pine straw or dirt is a great choice to provide an attractive appearance while minimizing storm-damage risks.

3. Trim Trees

Tree limbs can easily break off and fall onto buildings during a storm. The result can be a damaged roof and a high repair bill. Take steps to prevent such damage by trimming trees and shrubs away from your building. Talk to your local utility company to have limbs near utility lines trimmed as well, protecting your roof from falling lines or poles.

Severe storms with high winds can strike in any region at any time of year, bringing a roof leak or worse. Take some of these steps to mitigate damage or talk with a storm damage remediation specialist to learn more about how you can keep your business secure.