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Preparing for Storms in Santa Monica

1/19/2023 (Permalink)

Fallen tree on a house. You can’t completely prevent a storm, but you can prepare for it and take steps to ensure your family will be safe.

As residents of coastal areas, we know that storms can be devastating. But not all storms are created equal: some can cause flooding while others could knock down trees or even cause power outages. It's important to know what to do in case of an emergency. Preparing for severe weather is essential for your safety and peace of mind. Here are some tips on how you can prepare yourself and your household for any weather event.

Check Your Drainage System

A problem in your drainage system can be caused by a blocked gutter or downpipe. If you have these issues, it's not just annoying—it can actually cause damage to your house.

You should check your whole drainage system before the rain starts so that you know if it needs any work done on it beforehand (like cleaning out tree roots). To avoid this problem:

  • Make sure your gutters are clean and clear. If they're full of leaves or debris, then water will keep building up until it overflows and causes problems for neighboring properties.
  • Check that all downpipes are clear of leaves and debris—if they aren't cleared out regularly, then water will build up inside them until eventually, it spills over onto other people's property.
  • Check that no branches have fallen into the gutter guards on top of each downpipe—they should be kept clear at all times so that they don't block any rainwater from draining away from your home.
  • Finally, don’t forget about those pesky trees! Never underestimate their ability to cause mayhem during heavy winds by toppling over onto power lines or smashing into windows!

Look to the Sky

You should prune back any trees or branches that may fall on your house or neighbors' houses. You can do this by yourself, but it will be safer if you have someone help you.

Consider Back-up Electricity

No matter how prepared you are for a storm, it will be difficult to stay that way without power. If you have the money and the space, installing a generator is your best option. Generators require less maintenance and can run on a variety of fuel types; however, their initial cost is higher because they require an engine and alternator.

Check Your Insurance Policy

One of the most important steps in preparing for storms is to check your insurance policy to see what is covered.

You may be shocked to find that some items are not covered by your policy, or you might have a deductible that needs to be paid before coverage kicks in. It's imperative that you know the ins and outs of your policy ahead of time.

You can’t completely prevent a storm, but you can prepare for it and take steps to ensure your family will be safe. By taking these steps now, you can be ready when severe weather arrives.

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage on ceiling tile and mold growth Water damage on ceiling and mold growth

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.

Can Santa Monica Eateries Rely on SERVPRO to Provide Emergency Water Restoration?

12/29/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO understands the science behind the drying process to get the job done efficiently.

Fast and Efficient Water Restoration Service Makes SERVPRO the First Choice of Santa Monica Restaurateurs

Water damage incidents are not uncommon in the restaurant business. Still, failure to act promptly to resolve the issues can turn them into full-blown disasters. Involving professionals like SERVPRO for water restoration of your Santa Monica eatery can ensure that the situation is brought under control as rapidly as possible.  

SERVPRO's IICRC certified crew is experienced, trained, and equipped to handle any size commercial water restoration project in Santa Monica. As excess moisture can aid microbial growth, the main goal of the restoration process is to get the affected space dry as soon as possible. Three ways in which SERVPRO techs achieve this are:

  • Maintaining a low humidity ratio of the air
  • Increasing the air temperature 
  • Increasing the airflow across the moist surface

What Role do Air Movers Play in the Water Damage Restoration of Santa Monica Eateries?

Air movers enhance evaporation by introducing airflow at the surface level, replacing the cool, saturated boundary layer with warmer, drier air from dehumidifiers. SERVPRO of Santa Monica uses two types of air movers:

  • Centrifugal air movers:Consist of an impeller and produces airflow using centrifugal force. This equipment creates a high-pressure airflow and is suitable if airflow needs to be directed at a specific point. 
  • Axial air movers:Can move a larger air volume at a lower pressure than centrifugal air movers.  

How do Restorers Maximize the Efficiency of Air Movers?  

The restorers must understand the science behind the drying process to get the job done efficiently. SERVPRO technicians maximize the efficiency of the air movers in two ways:

  • Placing them strategically throughout the structure
  • Combining them with dehumidifying equipment

Call SERVPRO of Santa Monica / Venice Beach at (310) 395-9050; we are available 24/7.

Need Mold Inspection Done in Your Venice Beach Property? Call SERVPRO

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Have you noticed signs of mold in your home? Call SERVPRO!

A Team of Experts and a Fast 24-Hour Service Makes SERVPRO the First Choice of Venice Beach Homeowners for Mold Inspection

Have you noticed a moldy odor in your house lately, but there is no sign of visible mold? If your answer is yes, your Venice Beach home might require a professional mold inspection by SERVPRO.

SERVPRO technicians perform various activities during mold inspection of your Venice Beach home. If the mold specialists spot the signs of mold in your home, they often collaborate with the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) professionals and Indoor Environmental Professionals (IEPs). As science experts, the IAQ professionals and IEPs perform the initial tests and evaluations. The SERVPRO technicians follow the remediation protocols set by them.  

When Should You Consider Getting Your Venice Beach Home Inspected by Professional Mold Specialists? 

Getting your Venice Beach home inspected for mold can help control the damage before it blows up into a disaster. Consider getting an inspection done in the following situations:

  • Visible mold is not present, but a musty odor is present
  • If there have been water issues or plumbing leaks that might create a conducive environment for mold 
  • If you have had mold issues in the past and you suspect a recurrence
  • If you are unsure whether what you see is indeed mold damage

Is Mold Testing Essential? 

Mold testing can give professionals an idea about the type of mold present in your home. However, the EPA does not recommend testing if visible signs of mold are present. It is also worth mentioning that unlike what some companies might tell you, black mold is no different from any other kind of mold. 

Call SERVPRO of Santa Monica / Venice Beach at (310) 395-9050 regarding any questions on mold inspections and damage.  

SERVPRO Offers Quick and Reliable Flood Damage Repair Service to Santa Monica Homes

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

By carefully controlling various properties of air such as humidity, velocity, and temperature, SERVPRO restorers can create ideal drying conditions.

Why is it Essential to Seek Professional Help Quickly After Flood Damage to Your Santa Monica Home? 

The damage to structural components like wood, concrete, and metal due to flood water after a storm can be extensive. Involving professional restorers like SERVPRO as quickly as possible after flood damage to your Santa Monica home can limit the extent of the loss.

Once on-site, the SERVPRO professionals begin the restoration of flood damage to your Santa Monica home by evacuating as much standing water as possible. We use various types of pumps for the purpose including:

  • Trash pumps 
  • High-pressure pumps
  • Submersible pumps

With state-of-the-art equipment like these, SERVPRO technicians can quickly remove even large quantities of water.

How do SERVPRO Techs Take Advantage of Airflow During Water Cleanup from Santa Monica Buildings?

Even after SERVPRO techs remove the standing water from your flooded Santa Monica home, the residual moisture can keep damaging the building materials. Hence, it is crucial to dry the structure to preloss conditions before any additional damage occurs, and airflow plays a pivotal role in this process.

By carefully controlling various properties of air such as humidity, velocity, and temperature, SERVPRO restorers can create ideal drying conditions.

How do Restorers Control Airflow Characteristics During Water Damage Repairs?

Restorers control the humidity of the air using dehumidifying equipment, which can remove excess moisture from the air by either condensing or absorbing it. Air moving equipment such as centrifugal and axial air movers can increase the velocity of the air, and heaters are used to change the temperature.

Call SERVPRO of Santa Monica / Venice Beach at (310) 395-9050 with any questions you might have.

An Appliance Can Be Behind Fire Damage in a Santa Monica Home

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Appliances are often sources of fires. Inspect the area around the appliances and the cords for signs of wear and tear.

A Professional Fire Restoration Team Helps Return Santa Monica Homes to Mint Condition

Santa Monica, just like the rest of the state, has seen its share of natural disasters. While drought, fires, extreme storms, it feels like California has seen it all. Along with what Mother Nature delivers, homeowners are also susceptible to fire damage in their homes due to appliance and electrical malfunctions. When this happens, flames and smoke can wreak havoc throughout the house, leaving its residents needing professional help.

SERVPRO, our top team for fire damage restoration in Santa Monica, is available 24/7 to tend to the needs of our community. When a space heater, a clothes dryer, or a stovetop cause a fire, soot and ashes settle upon your furniture, walls, and personal belongings. Fire damage in your home varies in size and severity, but a professional team like ours can handle it all. Our advanced training with leaders in the smoke and fire restoration industry prepares us to apply the latest techniques to preserve as much as possible. 

It is not uncommon for SERVPRO clients to worry about burnt items in their homes and the lingering smell left behind by the fire. Odor control is part of the fire damage restoration process, and we treat each surface and room in your home carefully to neutralize and kill smell particles. Some of the equipment that helps us achieve our goal include:

  • Air scrubbers to neutralize airborne odor molecules
  • Ozone generators to clean the air in your home
  • Foggers to spray deodorizing agents onto each surface

Regardless of your fire damage and restoration needs, SERVPRO of Santa Monica/Venice Beach is here to help. Call us at (310) 395-9050 and let us partner with you until your home feels like your own again.

What Should Venice Beach Homeowners Do After Flood Damage?

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

It only takes an inch of water to cause $$$ of damage. SERVPRO’s rapid response team is always ready to go to begin the restoration process.

Flood Damage and Restoration Services in Venice Beach Help Return Homes to Pre-flooding Conditions

Flood damage can happen suddenly, even in homes not typically in the path of a storm. The rise in water levels, debris accumulated in nearby drains, and the sheer volume of water can threaten a home and its residents. Just like any other water event, the excess humidity can compromise floors, drywall, and furniture. Acting quickly to stop the entry of water and water extraction is crucial to protecting your home from escalating water damage.

To help you act quickly and efficiently when facing flood damage in your Venice Beach home, SERVPRO responds to your emergency around the clock. When you reach out for assistance, we focus our water cleanup efforts around minimizing your loss and disruption of daily life. Our team is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and ready to handle jobs of all sizes. 

At the core of our process, you can expect the following services:

  • Water removal and extraction- while wearing personal protective equipment, we utilize extractors and dehumidifiers to remove water and humidity. Floodwater carries debris and bacteria, so its disposal needs to be done with environmental regulations in mind.
  • Drying- using moisture sensors and thermal imaging, our SERVPRO staff identifies problem areas and acts accordingly. Restoring humidity levels appropriate to each surface in your home is critical in the water cleanup process.
  • Disinfection- the application of EPA-approved disinfectants protects your home from waste brought in by stormwater.

SERVPRO of Santa Monica/Venice Beach is at your service as soon as you call us at (310) 395-9050. Don’t let time waste away; contact us quickly and let us work to leave your home “Like it never even happened.”

Can Fire Restoration Companies Help a Santa Monica Homeowner Even if the Fire Did Not Start in Their Unit?

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fires leave charring and smoke and soot behind. SERVPRO is your one stop fire damage restoration shop.

Fire Damage Can Travel Quickly to Neighboring Homes. Calling a Fire Restoration Team Helps Restore Santa Monica Homes

Fires happen. Whether your property in Santa Monica is old or new, the electrical system may malfunction, or an aromatic candle may cause an accident. Regardless of the culprit, fire damage doesn’t only happen to the home where it first ignites. Soot, ashes, and the smell of smoke can easily travel to leave their mark in neighboring living units. To restore your home after a nearby fire, call a professional team for help.

Santa Monica dwellers looking for a fire restoration team need to look no further than SERVPRO. Our certified staff is trained to handle situations of all sizes and build plans specific to each client’s needs. Even though you may want to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning yourself, let our experts assess the situation before acting. Some cleaners may react with fire remnants and cause further damage, which is why our team makes decisions based on each surface and pre-treats each one of them as a precaution.

If you feel your fire damage is not extensive, but the smell is overpowering, SERVPRO can also help. Some of the techniques we may bring to your home to leave it smelling fresh may include:

  • Air scrubbers to neutralize odor molecules
  • Thermal foggers permeate each item and counteract the smell of smoke
  • Industrial-sized air movers to improve air circulation

Just like you would visit a medical specialist for a specific ailment, let the fire damage and restoration experts handle the fire cleanup of your home. SERVPRO of Santa Monica/Venice Beach is available 24/7 by calling (310) 395-9050. With our help, your home will feel “Like it never even happened.”