If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (310) 395-9050

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage is a serious issue that can lead to mold, mildew and even structural damage. If you have water damage, it's important that you don't ignore it because if left untreated it could lead to more serious problems like structural damage. In this article we'll go over what category 2 water damage is and how to tell if you have it in your house so you can take preventative measures immediately!

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

Category 2 water damage is also called gray water. It’s water that has been contaminated by sewage or septic waste. You may think that if you don’t see any visible signs of sewage, the damage isn’t as bad as it could be. But this isn't always the case. When it comes to category 2 water damage, you should always call a professional—even if you don't see any visible signs of sewage in your carpet or other surfaces right away.

Gray water can be caused by a burst pipe, a toilet overflow or even a backed up sewer line (the latter two are usually found in older homes). This type of category 2 damage often happens behind walls where there aren't many people to notice it until after the fact when the smoke detectors go off due to discoloration on the ceiling from mold growth which happened as soon as moisture got into those areas and started growing spores much faster than usual because there wasn't enough ventilation for them at all!

Category 2 water damage

Clean water is the kind you drink, cook with and bathe in. Gray water is dirty water that comes from things like sinks, tubs and washing machines. It can contain soap residue and other contaminants that damage your Santa Monica, CA home or belongings if not handled properly.

This type of damage usually occurs after a flood or leak in your home's plumbing system, but it can also be caused by flooding due to an overflowing toilet or sink.

How can I tell if the water is clean or gray?

You can tell if the water is clean or gray by how it looks.

If your water is clear, then it's clean and there's no need to worry about any of the dangers associated with gray waters. This type of water does not contain any dangerous additives like bleach or other chemicals that could be harmful for you and your family. If yours is clear, you are safe!

However, if yours has a milky white color to it, then that means that there may be some contaminants present in your home from either sewage backup or flooding caused by high winds during a storm surge (a storm surge occurs when hurricane winds blow against low-lying areas). When this happens, these contaminants will travel into your plumbing system causing damage along their way before finally filling up in places such as bathtubs and sinks with no place else to go except for outside through drains where homeowners might not notice until much later on down the line when they start seeing problems arise due to dirty water being flushed through pipes leading outwards towards other parts of town where people live happily unaware until they come back home one day only find out things weren't quite right when they see their house flooded...

How do I prevent gray water from happening?

To prevent gray water from happening in the first place, shut off the water supply to your home. Then, call a professional to come and assess your situation. After that, do not use any of the water until they have tested it and found that it is safe for use. This is because even though you might think that taking a shower will be okay (because what else are you going to do?), using water when there is sewage present can lead to contamination of other areas in your home.

Additionally, don't flush toilets or run any faucets until testing has been done. If you do use anything that contains electricity while there's still sewage around (like an appliance), make sure it's unplugged before doing so! Lastly—and this one should go without saying—don't clean up any messes with cleaning supplies unless instructed by a professional as well!

If you suspect you have sewage, or gray water in your house, call a professional immediately.

A professional, like those from SERVPRO of Santa Monica/Venice Beach, can help you determine what type of water damage you have and how best to proceed with the cleanup process. If sewage or gray water has been released into your home, a professional will be able to identify it and begin the clean-up process immediately. If left unattended for any length of time, this kind of damage can become extremely expensive and dangerous.

What Do I Do After a Pipe Break?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

two green vans parked in front of a home When your property experiences a water damage disaster, you need to call our crew!

What Do To When a Pipe Bursts

Pipes break all the time, and they're not always a big deal. But when they are, it's important to know what to do quickly, and whom you should call. That's where we come in. SERVPRO of Santa Monica/Venice Beach is a local family-runs a business that has been helping residents just like you for many years. We know how much your home means to you and we want to help minimize your water damage as quickly as possible so we can get back to normal life again! Here are some common questions and tips related to what to do when a pipe bursts in your home or business. 

What is the most important thing to do after a pipe break?

If you have a pipe break, the most important thing to do is shut off the water supply. It may not be obvious where your main water line is located, but if you can't find it or need more information about shutting it off, call a professional.

Once you've done that, keep everyone out of the area and don't touch anything—it's always best to let professionals handle any potential hazards caused by flooding. In some cases (particularly when there are electrical wires involved), even using your phone could pose an additional risk because they emit radio waves that could cause sparking or short circuits in electrical equipment. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Shut Off the Water Supply

Shut off the main water valve so that you no longer have water being supplied to your home or business. If you have a well, shut it down. This will prevent contaminated water from entering your system and getting pumped into your home.

How do I find the right valve?

Once you’ve identified the pipe break, look for the water shutoff valve. It will be near the pipe break and marked with a tag or sign. The valve will likely be a lever, knob, or handle that is either on top of the pipe or underneath it.

How long do I have to wait for a SERVPRO technician to arrive?

The sooner you call, the faster a SERVPRO technician can arrive and begin cleaning up the damage. The longer you wait to report a leak, the more damage may happen.

SERVPRO has a 24/7 emergency response team ready to respond to any type of water damage. We will work around your schedule so that we don't cause any further delays in getting your home back to normal.

Can SERVPRO stop secondary damage from happening?

Yes! SERVPRO has the training and expertise to stop secondary damage from happening. Once they arrive on your Santa Monica, CA property, they will begin by assessing the situation and determining what caused the pipe break in order to determine how best to proceed. Once they have determined a plan of action, they will begin removing water from your premises so that you can safely clean up any messes or hazards that may exist in your home or business. After this phase is complete, our technicians will move onto restoring as much of your home or business as possible back to their original state before we arrived. This could mean folding up tarps, drying floors and walls using powerful dehumidifiers and fans, cleaning up debris from ceiling tiles or drywall (if needed), providing an odor removal treatment for stenchy areas like bathrooms where sewage backups often occur—the list goes on!

SERVPRO understands what it takes for you to get back into your house after a pipe break has occurred which is why we offer emergency service calls as well as quick repairs when possible so that we can help minimize the inconvenience caused by these unexpected events. 

If you are experiencing a pipe break in your home, it is important that you take action quickly. There are many steps to follow and SERVPRO of Santa Monica/Venice Beach can help you with all of them! We have extensive experience dealing with a variety of emergency situations, including pipe leaks and other water damage situations. Contact us today!

Not All Fire Damages are Structural: What About Smoke Odor Damage?

10/5/2022 (Permalink)

Doors and walls of a home covered with black smoke Fire damage in a home.

If you've ever had an odor problem in your home, then you know that it can make the place feel less than welcoming. A new house or apartment will always have some sort of odor, but it should fade after a while. When they don't, then you may have a bigger problem on your hands: smoke odor damage. Smoke damage and smoke odor are two different things that can happen after a fire breaks out in your home. The first is obvious—the fire itself caused damage to the structural integrity of your house or apartment building—while the latter is more subtle and may not be as noticeable at first glance.

How to Clean and Restore Smoke Odor Damage

There are many ways smoke odor can be cleaned and restored. It depends on the severity of the damage and what type of restoration is needed. If your home has sustained heavy structural damage from a fire, it may not be possible to completely clean or restore your home without first repairing those damages.

If you have minimal structural damage from a fire, there are still methods available for cleaning up after smoke odor in your home so that it’s livable again (and smelling fresh). The process is different depending on what kind of restoration is needed and should always be performed by professionals who know how to handle these types of situations safely.

Different Ways to Handle Smoke Odor

There are several ways to handle smoke odor after fire damage. The first is by using air filtration devices that remove harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals emitted by most materials and products, including paints, finishes, and adhesives; cleaning products; gasoline fumes; wood-burning stoves; floor coverings; furniture fabrics; upholstery foams or cushions; and dry cleaning chemicals.

Another way is through the use of ozone machines which produce ozone gas that oxidizes odors at their source. This method is effective in areas where it’s very difficult to remove smoke odor from carpets or drapes because they can be difficult to clean with water alone. However, this method only works if the materials are non-porous (made without holes).

Thermal foggers work by releasing tiny droplets of perfumes into the air when activated. This helps mask odors for a short period of time, but it doesn’t really eliminate them permanently as much as masking them until new smells take over again. These have to be used every couple of weeks until eventually all smells have been masked out completely. This may sound like a good thing but there really isn't anything good about thermal fogging except maybe as an alternative solution for those who don't want their whole house smelling poorly.

Smoke Damage and Smoke Odor Can Linger

Smoke odors are usually caused by the burning of materials, such as when you cook food on a stove or make toast on a toaster. Smoke damage can also be caused by natural disasters, like wildfires or earthquakes resulting in fires.

Smoke damage is often due to a house fire, but not always; some items that are not usually considered flammable can actually burn (e.g., candles). When something burns, it leaves behind ash as well as soot that settles into the fabric of your home's interior surfaces, including walls and ceilings; grime from these surfaces will cling to other objects with which they come into contact—like your clothes!

Different Types of Smoke Damage Need Different Cleaning Processes

Smoke damage is often a combination of different odors. One of the most common types of smoke damage is caused by fire and water, which leaves behind a burnt smell. However, not all fires or disasters result in smoke damage; some can cause water damage instead.

The different types of smoke damage may need different cleaning processes. For instance, if your home sustained water damage as well as smoke odor from an accident or other disaster, you’ll want to dry out your carpet and furniture before treating it with any cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals (like bleach).

Odor Control Techniques are Used Together as Part of The Restoration Plan 

Smoke odor can linger for some time, and the way that smoke odors are removed depends on the severity of the damage. If you're dealing with a small fire, you may be able to use simple techniques like baking soda and vinegar to remove smoke odors from your home or business. However, if your home or business sustained significant structural damage from a larger fire and needs extensive restoration work, odor control professionals will likely use thermal foggers and ozone machines as part of their overall restoration plan.

Smoke odors can cling to walls because they're left behind by soot particles when they settle into porous surfaces like drywall or plaster over time; these particles absorb the scent of whatever was burning at the time (e.g., wood). Some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to detecting smells—and even those who are very sensitive might have trouble detecting subtle scents—so it's important not only to get them out but also to make sure they aren't lingering somewhere else! This means using an air filtration device after everything has settled down (which is probably after all repairs have been made).

Smoke damage and smoke odor can linger for some time after a fire. The different types of smoke damage may need different cleaning processes. Odor control techniques are often used together as part of a larger restoration plan, so it’s important to have an expert on hand when working with a restoration company.