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Properly Caring for Your Furnace to Reduce Fire Hazards

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

furnace air filter replacement Inspect and change your furnace filter regularly.

Properly Caring for Your Furnace

Your furnace has gotten you through some pretty tough winters in Los Gatos, CA, and continues to help make your home a comfortable, great place to live for you and your family. Unfortunately, no furnace is a self-sustaining system, and you’ll need to maintain yours to avoid a number of serious issues, such as:

  • Smoke damage to your home and belongings
  • Blockage of the vent, which can lead to a buildup of unsafe air in your home
  • House fires

Luckily, maintaining your furnace correctly is a fairly simple task when approached properly, and costs much less in the long run than paying for professional fire cleaning or smoke cleaning services when things go wrong.

Filtration

The easiest thing you can do to prevent the need for fire cleaning in your home is to inspect and change your furnace filter regularly. Your filter prevents dirt and debris from entering the furnace. An extreme buildup on these filters can lead to furnace malfunction, which may, in turn, lead to a house fire.

Clean Your Vents

If your exit vents become clogged with dirt and dust, the hot air your furnace creates will have nowhere to go. The buildup of heat in your ducts can not only damage the furnace and its channels but can very well lead to more serious issues down the road. Cleaning your vents is a quick, easy way to reduce strain on your furnace.

Inspect the Fan

Your furnace fan is, of course, the component that gets warm air moving throughout the vents to warm your home. If the fan is malfunctioning, hot air will simply stay in place and may cause overheating of various furnace components. Having a professional check out your fan or ensuring it’s working correctly yourself is always advisable when maintaining your furnace.

Following these steps helps to reduce the likelihood of furnace-related fire and smoke damages occurring. At the end of the day, spending a little more time on maintenance is much better than spending your hard-earned cash on fire cleaning services.

3 Things You Need To Do After Water Damage To Avoid Bigger Problems

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

A tool box on standing water. Water damage in a house. Water damage in a Cambrian Park, CA.

3 Things You Need To Do After Water Damage

A broken pipe can leave your Cambrian Park, CA, home full of water. With this unexpected deluge, you may not know how your home is ever going to go back to normal. If you want to bounce back from the water damage quickly, you need to make sure to take the right steps as quickly as possible.

1. Start the Cleanup Right Away

Waiting around to get quotes from various cleanup specialists can leave you with a bigger problem than when you started. Water in the home can get contaminated, which means you have to worry about disinfecting your water-logged items as well as drying them out. If you start the cleanup as soon as possible, you give the water less time to start causing secondary damage.

2. Let Professionals Do the Work

As a savvy homeowner, you may want to take on the cleanup process on your own. After all, how hard can it be to remove water and make a few repairs? The fact is if you don't do everything correctly, the flooding may end up leading to mold growth and other long-term problems. You should turn to a residential water remediation group rather than try to do the restoration on your own.

3. Get Your House Totally Dry Before Starting Repairs

You want to get back into your house as quickly as possible. No one can really blame you for that. However, you need to take the proper time after a broken pipe to make sure everything is in its place. If you start moving furniture back into your home before it is completely dried out, you may exacerbate humidity problems and take your repair back a couple of steps. Let everything get totally dried out before you start bringing in furnishings or making repairs.

Knowing what to do after water damage affects your home can help you get everything back to normal much quicker. If a broken pipe leaves part of your house soaked, you need to avoid secondary problems by making smart choices right away.

How To Recognize Secondary Damage and Why You Should Avoid It

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded office, copier, standing water in a building concept of water damage Commercial water damage in Lexington Hills, CA.

If your business in Lexington Hills, CA, has experienced primary water damage, then you may relate to how time-consuming it can be to repair your building. However, business owners should also be aware of secondary damage, as it can lead to problems such as black mold and cracked walls.

Types of Water Damage

There are two types of water damage. Both present different challenges and should be fixed as soon as possible.

• Primary water damage: This is easily noticed through wet flooring, walls and furniture.
• Secondary water damage: When primary damage is left alone or not completely resolved, it may lead to structural issues such as black mold and warped flooring.

When water issues are not taken care of immediately, it can lead to costly and harmful consequences. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of secondary water damage and have a plan ready if it does happen.

Signs of Secondary Water Damage

It may take weeks or even months to notice any signs, but if there are indications of secondary damage, you should call a commercial building restoration service to take care of the problem right away.

Signs include black mold, warped flooring, cracked walls and a distinctive odor. When moisture is trapped inside your building, it can contribute to high humidity levels, which can make doors, door casings and baseboards swell too.

Why Avoiding Secondary Damage Is Beneficial

Secondary water damage can lead to many additional issues, which is why it’s best to avoid it by calling professional technicians when you notice the first warning signs. These experts should be able to perform tests for hidden moisture and humidity levels, complete professional extraction and drying, and implement other types of restoration where needed. This should stop any further damage from happening.

Although maintenance and prevention are your best defenses against water damage, there’s no need to worry if it does occur. With an excellent plan and a team of experts, your business can be restored to its original condition.

How To Distinguish Between Commercial Flood, Storm and Water Damage

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

standing water in a commercial building, flooded commercial building Commercial water damage in Saratoga, CA.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Commercial Flood, a Storm, and Water Damage

As a business owner, you must think about potential hazards to your organization. When water accumulates inside our outside your building, business operations may be affected. To mitigate risk, you may choose to purchase flood or water-damage insurance. When shopping for coverage, you need to know the difference between flood damage and other types of damage.

Business Damage Due to Flooding
For both insurance and other purposes, flood-related damage refers to damage caused by a specific type of event. If your business has sustained damage due to the following, the damage may constitute flood-related damage:

  • Water covers a large area of typically dry land
  • Water overflows due to a unforeseen circumstances
  • Water breaches a containment area, such as a reservoir or lake

By contrast, water that falls from the sky usually does not, by itself, cause flood-related damage. This type of weather event may, however, result in storm-related damage.

Business Damage Caused by Storms
Storm damage occurs when your business sustains damage during severe weather. Some common types of storm-related damage come from the following weather events:

  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Blizzards
  • Ice
  • Tornadoes

While water may accumulate during severe weather, storm-related damage is different from flood damage in a significant way. That is, with storm-related damage, water does not breach a container. Instead, it accumulates in an area as a result of severe weather.

Business Damage Related to Water
Additionally, water damage is different from both flooding and storm-related damage. With water damage, a system inside our outside your building fails. Broken or leaky pipes are commonly to blame, but they are not the only source of water damage in Saratoga, CA, businesses. On the contrary, clogged gutters or ice dams may also cause your building to sustain water-related damage.
For insurance and other purposes, you likely need to know the difference between water, storm, and flood damage. If your business has been damaged, a restoration service can likely help you return it to its pre-damage condition.

3 Steps for Restoring Your Home to Its Pre-Fire Condition

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

mud on floor, burned items of a home. Fire damage in a home Los Gatos, CA fire damage.

Restoring Your Home to Its Pre-Fire Condition

No homeowner wants to watch his or her Los Gatos, CA, home go up in flames. Whether your house has survived a minor, moderate or severe fire, you likely want to begin cleanup as soon as possible. As part of a complete cleaning process, restoring your home involves dealing with fire, soot and smoke damage.

1. Overall Structure
Fires often weaken studs and floor joists. They may also ruin drywall and tile. The first step in any fire-cleanup process is to evaluate the safety and habitability of the home. Once a professional deems the house is safe to occupy, cleanup can begin. Technicians have the skill, equipment and knowledge to remove fire marks and other remnants from surfaces throughout the home.

2. Accumulated Soot
Soot can be as bad or worse than fire or smoke damage. Not only does accumulated suit discolor walls and carpeting, but it can also ruin furniture and personal keepsakes. Unfortunately, you may have to throw away uncleanable items. Some, however, are probably salvageable. Since you are not an expert, you likely can’t know which items to preserve and which ones to toss. As part of the cleaning process, restoration technicians do the analysis for you.

3. Smoke Infiltration
As you probably know, smoke can work its way into small places throughout your home. Even if you haven’t sustained much fire damage, you may have a tremendous amount of smoke infiltration. To effectively remove smoke, professional restorers use a variety of smoke-cleaning techniques. In addition to replacing HVAC filters and scrubbing walls, technicians often rely on ozone machines to remove smoke odors.
Fire damage, soot damage, and smoke damage can destroy the comfort, value, and appearance of any home in Los Gatos, CA. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the negative effects of fires. By working with the right restoration service, you can likely return your home to its pre-value condition.

Why Basements Flood

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water on the floor, black tool box on standing water. Concept of water damage and flooded basement Basement flood in Campbell, CA.

Storms and flooding in Campbell, CA, can lead to water buildup in the basement. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what to do in these situations, how water gets down there in the first place, and ways to help prevent lasting damage.

How Water Gets Into the Basement

The first reaction for many when looking at a basement flood is to wonder how the water got there in the first place. There are several factors that may come into play.

  • An improperly functioning sump pump
  • Poor drainage around basement walls
  • Cracks or holes in the walls water can leak through
  • Issues with basement plumbing, such as a water heater
  • Heavy storm rains

Water buildup in the basement can cause further problems for your home. As water tends to flow in the least resistant path, it will find holes and cracks to flow through and continue to puddle at the lowest point unless otherwise prevented.

How To Take Care of Water in the Basement

If you find flooding in your basement, it’s best to contact a professional as soon as possible. He can assist with pipe repair, if needed, take care of the water removal, and assess your basement for the source of the problem. Many services also offer help with the drying and sanitation of the affected areas, as well as repair and mold remediation.

How To Prevent Floods

In some cases, there may be ways you can help prevent damage from a basement flood. These can include installing a sump pump if you do not currently have one, regularly checking to make sure plumbing is intact, and sloping your yard and landscaping away from your home. A professional may have further ideas on ways to help prevent water damage.

Understanding the how and why of basement flooding can help you contact the team you need for repairs and restoration. Knowing these things can also help you take the steps necessary to help protect your home.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Home for a Fire

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Plan an evacuation route.

5 Steps to Fire-Proofing Your Home

Most people take active measures to prevent house fires, but not many people have implemented fire preparation techniques. Yet, fire prep is just as important as fire prevention, and in fact may be more so when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones. If you have yet to implement fire safety procedures, it’s time to do so. Below are five things you can do to get started:

  • Test your smoke alarms.
  • Plan an evacuation route.
  • Teach your children what to do in the event of a home fire.
  • Devise a communication strategy.
  • Practice.

Test Your Alarms

Though your smoke alarms should inform you when they’re low on batteries, it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically. Test them once a month, and to err on the side of caution, replace their batteries at least once a year.

Plan an Evacuation Route

This should be at the top of your fire preparation list. Identify all possible exits for each room in the home and make sure that each family member is aware of where those exits are. Designate a family meeting spot outside.

Teach Your Children

If you have young children, show them what the fire alarm sounds like and advise them on what to do if they hear one. Inform them of evacuation routes as well.

Plan a Way To Communicate

Put together an emergency contact list and make sure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. Have your young children memorize important phone numbers, beginning with 911.

Practice

The best way to ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of an emergency is to practice. Host a fire drill every couple of months and devise different scenarios. In doing so, you can increase the odds that everyone knows what to do and how to escape in a real emergency.

Your San Jose, CA, fire remediation team or local fire department can review your fire preparation plan and provide additional tips for how to improve it. Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire safety and start planning today.

Figuring Out If Theres Mold in Your Home

10/24/2021 (Permalink)

Green spots of mold wood A mold infestation can cause major damage to your home

Determining the Presence of Mold in Your Home

Did you recently buy a house in Lexington Hills, CA? If so, you may want to make sure there is not any mold currently in the home. Working with a residential mold remediation team and an indoor environmental specialist can help you determine if this fungus is currently calling your house home. Whether you recently bought the house or have been living there for years, you can use these tips to figure out if mold is already present.

• Use Your Nose: Mold growth often lets of a musty smell. Even if you can't see the fungus, you may be able to sniff it out.

• Look Around: Some signs of mold are visible to the eye. If you notice patches of growth on your bathroom wall, around your vents or in your crawlspace, you can have a pretty good idea that there is mold in your house.

• Do a Test: You can do a mold test to determine if this fungus is growing in your home. While there are some do-it-yourself tests available, it is often best to hire an indoor environmental specialist to run the test for you. The DIY tests may pick up the spores that exist in the air and be unable to differentiate these spores from actual growth. A specialist, on the other hand, will know how to better perform and read the test.

• Get an Inspection: While your nose and eyes may be able to detect some mold growth, chances are a professional will be better equipped to determine if there is fungus in your house. You can hire a remediation team to come to check out your living space. Be aware that they may suggest hiring an indoor environmental specialist to double-check their findings.

Mold does not always show noticeable signs of growth. You can have a professional perform a mold test to determine if you are sharing your space with this fungus growth.

Contact Our Crew After A Flood To Avoid Potential Dangers In Your Cambrian Park Home

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Floor with mud, flood damage in a home The aftermath of flooding in a Cambrian Park, CA home

Major Hazards Arise From Flood Damage In Cambrian Park

While all-natural disasters can carry safety hazards and become a serious risk for any homes and homeowners caught up in them, flood damage in communities like Cambrian Park can catch many people by surprise. Many of the most severe safety hazards associated with the average flood remain unseen while representing a constant or growing threat, but with advance knowledge of what to look out for, you can avoid most or all of the potential health effects of a flood.

Illness
Both during and after most flood damage in Cambrian Park, anyone without sufficient personal protective equipment may be at a very high risk of illness or infection. Storm floods give microscopic organisms an excellent chance to grow and multiply at unprecedented rates. Mold, bacteria, and other bacteria can cause health effects when exposed to open wounds, and with a high risk of being scratched or cut in a flood-damaged environment, these risks pose such a significant threat that we recommend you never enter a wet area without the permission and guidance of an on-site SERVPRO employee.

Electrocution
Electrocution hazards may be ubiquitous in the aftermath of a flood. Electrical outlets and electronic devices can both send strong electrical currents through anything in contact with a wet area, and in some cases, loose wires may pose additional problems after they are severed by debris carried by flood waters. Particularly strong storms may also knock over power lines, potentially creating a fire and electrocution hazard throughout the entire home. Once again, stay away from wet areas and avoid electronic devices to protect yourself from these threats.

Other Hazards
Floods can cause many more safety complications to arise. Fire hazards can present themselves, gas leaks can create additional threats, and many more unfortunate situations can pose a threat to your health. The best way to safeguard yourself from the unexpected is to wait for a SERVPRO inspector to arrive and evaluate the situation before entering the flood-damaged building.

How To Address a Broken Pipe

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting. Cleaning up your office space after bursting pipes can be a daunting project.

The issue of bursting pipes can cause significant water damage inside any San Jose, CA, business. Knowing how to efficiently address the situation is key to preventing additional destruction.

1. Turn Off the Water

Your first step is to shut off the water supply to the affected pipe. To accomplish this, you may need to access the building’s water main and turn off the water to the entire building. You may also need to shut down the water heater as well as electrical flow to the affected area to prevent electrical shock.

2. Drain Water From the Pipe

Before you fix the broken pipe, you may need to drain any remaining water. To help empty pipes, flush nearby toilets and allow faucets to run until dry.

3. Assess and Repair the Damaged Pipe

Once the pipe is drained, maintenance personnel or a licensed plumber can properly assess the damaged pipe, commence repairs, and restore water flow.

4. Clean and Dry the Saturated Area

Bursting pipes can release significant amounts of water. If you do not quickly dry the saturated area, your business may suffer mold damage. For this reason, you should work diligently to dry the water-damaged space while the maintenance team is working to fix the broken pipe.

The cleanup process involves several important steps:

• Drain standing water with a sump pump
• Remove all wet items including furniture, office equipment, and carpets
• Make a flood cut to discard saturated drywall and insulation
• Use fans and dehumidifiers to expedite the drying process

5. Replace and Restore

Before you can return to normal business operations, you must complete repairs and determine the salvageability of computers and other office equipment. It’s important to ensure that the affected area is completely dry before you replace drywall and flooring. Completing repairs while the space is still damp makes you susceptible to mold contamination.

Professional Assistance

Cleaning up your office space after bursting pipes can be a daunting project. A professional cleanup and restoration team can assist you throughout the process and ensure that your building is successfully restored as soon as possible.