How Sprinklers Can Help Your Property During a Fire
Indoor Sprinkler Head
A fire can be devastating for any business or homeowner. Fire Damage often includes much more than what gets consumed by the flames. Smoke and soot can stain paintwork, papers, clothing, upholstery, and carpets. The water used by the fire department also can cause further damage and opens up the possibility for mold growth if not remediated quickly.
You can help protect your assets by installing a sprinkler system. The California State Building Standards Commission has adopted provisions of the International Residential Codes, making it a requirement to include a sprinkler system in all new build one and two family homes since January 2011.
Sprinkler systems have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of injury to people and damage to property. Because they operate automatically, sprinklers can start to wet down a fire long before the fire department is on the scene. The sprinklers work when buildings are unoccupied. While smoke detectors give a warning of fire to the occupants of a building, they do nothing to actually combat the problem and all too often battery operated smoke detectors are found to be not working properly. Some insurers offer discounts for homes protected with a sprinkler system as they know the likelihood of a large fire claim is reduced.
After any fire affecting your property, it is wise to call SERVPRO of Malibu/Topanga Canyon/Pacific Palisades to help assess the extent of the damage and to ensure that any insurance claim is fully calculated to include all the incidentals that may otherwise be missed. In addition, using the correct methods and specialist cleaning techniques, we can bring many items back to a usable and safe condition. With a sprinkler system installed, the fire damage in your property will be much less than without one.
Coming Home to a Pool in your Living Room
Water Damage Not a Pool.
The Claussen family returned home from a 3-day trip to find standing water in their residence. Wood floors were affected and house had mildew odors present.
Our SERVPRO technicians arrived within the hour and began performing emergency services. The technicians moved the clients' contents and extracted from the water in the home. Plastic barriers were placed to promote quick and efficient drying and two zones were created. Air movers and dehumidifiers were used for 3 days for drying the structure and flooring. SERVPRO provided monitoring of the drying progress with an infrared moisture detection camera.
Due to our fast response, the flooring had limited damage and was able to save 60% of it. Customers were allowed to stay at their home during drying the process while barriers were used to separate the working and drying areas. Limited wall and baseboard damage due to quick response.
We are always here to help!
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Water damage from the unit above
Condominium and Townhome owners really need to protect themselves when it comes to water damage. The typical fighting over who’s to blame, who’s going to pay and if the HOA is responsible.
When you are the unit below the leak, you end up with the most of the damage. We see the owners of the unit that received most of the damage hesitant to file their own water damage claims with their insurance company. They don’t want their rates going up when clearly it was not their fault. Ask questions to your agent so you are prepared if this happens to you.
We have seen it go both ways, the insurer covering the damage to the units below and others not covering the units below.
Leave that fight for your insurance carrier as they will figure out if subrogation is possible. The longer you wait, the more damage is being done.
Signs That You Have A Slab Leak.
It is important for homeowners to know both what causes slab leaks and how to identify one.
What is a Slab Leak?
A slab leak is a leak that has developed in copper water lines running below the concrete foundation of your home.
Since slab leaks are often not clearly visible to homeowners, they tend to go undetected for long periods of time. Leaving a potential slab leak unattended can lead to much larger problems, such as mold damage.
What Causes a Slab Leak?
- Pre-Damage and Poor Installation
- Ground/Foundation Shifts
Signs You Have a Slab Leak
- Sudden spikes in your water bill
- A sound of running water when pipes aren’t in use
- Moisture or mildew under carpeting
- A moving water meter dial when pipes aren’t in use
- Standing water around the perimeter of your house
- Unusually low water pressure
- Cracks in your baseboard or walls
- Damp or warm floors
- Mold or mildew smell
If you have wet carpet, buckling wood floors or unexplained pools of water call us.
Mold and Smells in Front-Load Washers
Front Load Washing Machine
We get a few calls a month with questions regarding mold in front loading washing machines. It is very easy to treat and you can save yourself money from hiring a company.
Step 1: Clean the seal
The seal catches, pet hair, lint, coins, paperclips and all kinds of pocket stuffers. If you don't clean the seal, those trappings can mold or make its way down to the trap. Swipe your hand around the seal and remove any debris. Then, wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Step 2: Clean the trap/filter
When items don't get caught in the washer door seal they end up inside the washer trap or filter. These items will deteriorate and form mildew until you remove them or the washer stops draining. Here is how you can clean your own trap:
- Unplug your washer.
- On the front or back of the washer, there should be a little door.
- Place a small bowl by the little door to catch drips.
- Pry open the door using a flathead screwdriver or a coin.
- There will be a black tube inside the door. Gently pull the top end of the hose out and pull off the plastic cap.
- Drain the hose in the bowl.
- Place a towel in front of the door.
- Next to the black hose will be the trap cap or filter cap. Twist it to the left and pull it forward.
- Clean out the trap and replace the trap and hose.
- Close the little door and you're done.
Step 3: Run the self-clean cycle with bleach Add one cup of bleach to the detergent cup before you start the cycle. This is our number one tip for getting rid of the nasty smells.
Step 4: Air It Out:
If possible, leave the door of your washing machine cracked open to allow it to dry thoroughly between cycles. Please note: you shouldn’t do this if you have children or pets who could be tempted to climb (and possibly become trapped) inside the machine.
Category 3 Water Damage
Category 3 Water Loss
Since no two category 3 water losses are the same, it is important to understand the category of your loss so the clean-up process can be tailored to your environment.
Category 3 water losses involve water that is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. Such water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.
Examples include, but are not limited to: sewage, toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap regardless of visible content or color, all forms of flooding from seawater, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events.
If you are unsure what your loss is, call us to come and inspect. 310-456-2135
Mitigating Water Damage
To Mitigate or Remediate?
Mitigation is often confused with restoration but they are truly not the same thing.
Water mitigation stops the water from spreading. In other words, help in reducing the cause of water issue to prevent any further damage.
Remediation is taking action to reduce, isolate, and remove all contamination from an environment by preventing further reproduction and spreading of contaminant. Simply stated, remediation is the process of clean up and disinfection.
Important steps to mitigate water damage:
• Remove rugs and unattached floor coverings
• Lift or remove furniture to prevent further damage
• Open drawers, closets, and cabinets to enhance drying if items inside were affected
• If available start extraction by using a wet vac or other machines able to extract water
• Place air movers and Dehumidifiers as soon as possible if you have them, If not give us a call.
Commercial Roof Leak
Commercial Roof Leak
A leaking roof at your business can create a lot of damage quickly and, if neglected, can compromise the building's structure. When roof failures happen, we are there to help. It is important to act quickly so secondary damages do not occur.
Roofs most often reach the point of failure when one or more of these conditions occur:
AGING ROOF - When roofs are old and not maintained, leaks can occur within the property and the severity of these leaks will increase over time.
SATURATED ROOFING - As a result of an aging roof, accumulated water isn’t dispensed properly and gets trapped in and under the roof and leads to saturated and ruined materials.
HIGH WIND DAMAGE -We have all experienced the Santa Ana winds. When they are high your roof is susceptible to partial or entire removal.
Always maintain your property and have your roof checked a few times a year.
Rain Overflowing Your Swimming Pool
Pool overflowing from rain
It seems that Mother Nature has certainly been giving us some much needed rain this last week. We have been inundated by torrential storms, with several inches of rain within a few hours. Make sure your pool does not overflow as the damage could be exponential. Here is some great advice we got from a pool guy.
Lower the water level in your pool to keep proper skimming action, and to avoid contamination from planters and deck area flooding. For most pools with a sand or DE filter, the simplest way to lower the water level is to place the multiport valve onto the waste position and roll out the backwash hose. If you have a slide(push-pull) valve, backwash the filter to lower the water level. Some pools have a hose spigot plumbed after the pump, or on the filter valve, which you can connect a garden hose, to lower water level. Or, you can use a submersible pump, aka pool cover pump, to keep the pool from overflowing. Finally, there is the siphon method. A pool vacuum hose works best. Prime the hose in the pool, to fill it full of water, and attach a vacuum head or use a heavy item to hold the hose on the first or second step, the pool ladder, or swim out. Cap the other end of the hose with your palm and quickly pull the hose away from the pool and a few feet below the level of the pool water. Uncap the hose at ground level and let it flow!
Playing in the Rain
A little water never hurt...
Spring 2018 has most definitely been a really wet one that is affecting outdoor sports. Chances are wherever you live the weather is probably subject to change at a moment's notice. Squalls, tornadoes, or electrical storms can occur with little warning. If your child is playing or practicing in less than ideal weather conditions, you need to be aware of the possible hazards and have a plan worked out ahead of time to avoid the kind of potentially dangerous situation that can develop.
Make sure that your child's team or club establish and enforce the policy to follow at every practice and game in the event of rain, thunder or lightning storms.
It is important to remember that rain and lightning are not the only weather hazards Heat on a sunny day can cause illness so make sure the heat index is not too high.
If the club or league won’t set a policy, you can always suggest to the coach at the first team meeting to put a plan in place to protect the kids. You not only need to educate your son's or daughter's coach, club and league, but your own kids as well.