Protect Your Home from Water Damage
You can protect your home from water damage in order to avoid costly insurance claims and ruined belongings. Follow these five steps to keep your house well-maintained in preparation for any event.
Locate Your Water Main
The best way to avoid water damage in your home is to locate your water main. If you can't locate the source of the water damage, turning off the water supply to your house will at least prevent more water from leaking in the meantime.
Check Your Water Pressure
If the water going through your pipes is too highly pressured, it may cause the pipes or hoses to buckle under all of that weight. Contact a local plumber for a checkup of your residential water system to ensure it is holding the pressure it was designed for. You can also get a damage assessment from SERVPRO of Lompoc if the water leak has already begun and you need additional assistance locating the source or repairing the damage.
Maintain All Appliances
Broken appliances and poorly-maintained HVAC units are common reasons why there is water damage in your home. Invest in regular maintenance schedules so you can stay on top of your appliances. Make sure they still function properly. If you see the signs of disrepair, you can get in touch with a SERVPRO of Lompoc representative and schedule a water damage assessment.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters should be cleaned 1-2 times per year to avoid too much blockage. Leaves, dirt, and other debris gathers in the gutters over time and can create cavities for water buildup after a downpour. It’s also important to double-check that your downspouts are facing away from the home so the water can freely escape outside of your house.
Watch Your Water Bill
Some water damage is subtle, and you may not realize that you have damage at all. This can happen when the location of the damage is somewhere such as a crawlspace or your backyard. Keep an eye on your water bill to see if your usage charges skyrocket from one month to the next for no reason. This can be a good indicator that water is leaking somewhere in your home.
Training is the Key at SERVPRO
Training is vital in our industry. Things are constantly changing. Our team needs to stay up on the newest technology as well as the newest information and requirements from insurance companies.
We train on the use of our proprietary software program that we utilize in the field to collect and record data in regards to clients losses. This information forms the story of the loss for insurance companies and the client for documentation. It is vital to record the information in regards to affected materials and the process of restoring the affected materials.
Our team has weekly Friday production meetings to go over any thing of importance but we also do more in depth trainings like these as needed to keep us up to date on information and well informed to make sure we are always ready to help our clients with the most up to date information.
What To Do About Water Damage at Your Commercial Property
What Should You Do If Your Commercial Property Has Water Damage?
Anything from faulty plumbing to severe weather can quickly become a problem for your Lompoc commercial property. Never fear, however, because there are several ways you can prevent damage and quickly respond when disaster strikes. Below you will learn about the causes of water damage, tips for cleanup and restoration, and tools to prevent damage in the future.
Causes of Water Troubles
Here is a list of common sources and access points for water damage:
Severe weather can range from flooding to freezing temperatures and harm a building’s foundation.
Fire will set off ceiling sprinklers and may require additional use of firehoses to extinguish, thus saturating the ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture.
Broken pipes, aged plumbing, and leaking HVAC are common causes of water leaks.
Roof damage and improper window seals are access points for weather damage and water.
Tips for Water Cleanup
If water has already damaged your property, it is important to respond quickly and appropriately. An important reminder: never enter a building with standing water until cleared in case electricity is still running to the building. Your first step is to call a professional water restoration company. These crews will assess the damage, pump the water out, remove damaged materials, and use industrial cleaners and equipment to clean and thoroughly dry the affected space.
There are actions you can take to aid the cleaning progress:
- Use buckets and mops to remove excess water to allow for better drying.
- Remove loose items from the floor.
- Remove and hang wet fabrics.
- Use fans and dehumidifiers when it is safe to use electricity.
Tools for Preventing Damage
Take care of your property by scheduling regular maintenance. Annually, schedule checkups for HVAC, roofing, fire sprinklers, electrical, and plumbing. Also, have a professional inspection and restoration company perform an overall water damage inspection.
Water can cause many problems for your commercial property, but there are steps you can take to prevent this damage. Understand your property’s risk factors to better prepare for water trouble mitigation and protect your investment.
5 Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires at Home
Cigarettes can be deadly in more ways than one. Between 2012 and 2016, the National Fire Protection Association reported that more than 18,000 residential fires started as the result of a cigarette fire.
When the weather becomes drier in Lompoc, it can create the perfect conditions for a blaze to easily start in a forgotten ashtray. With that said, there are several steps you can take to avoid having to call in a fire cleanup crew the next time you take a smoke break. Here are five to consider.
1. Smoke Outside
If you really want to prevent a cigarette fire at home, stay away from the house when you are smoking. Instead, choose a designated spot that is far enough away to minimize risks.
2. Make Sure Cigarettes Are Completely Out
To avoid an unnecessary ashtray fire, always be sure your butts are completely out before walking away. To be safe, sprinkle some water on the ashes.
3. Smoke When You Are Alert
If you take medication that makes you tired, avoid smoking when you take it. Likewise, make sure you are fully alert in general whenever you smoke so you do not accidentally drop your cigarette or fall asleep.
4. Stay Away From Medical Oxygen
When someone in your home has an oxygen tank, it is best to entirely avoid smoking anywhere nearby. Even when the oxygen is off, the tank can catch on fire or explode.
5. Never Smoke in Bed
No matter how tempting the comfort of your bed might be when smoking, do not do it! Even a small spark can be enough to ignite sheets, blankets and mattress.
Whenever you smoke at home, there are certain factors to consider in order to prevent a cigarette fire. Because smoking is usually a leisure activity that can occur in comfortable settings, you should be especially mindful of flammable areas like bedrooms and risk factors like your energy levels.
Can Employees Resume Work During Restoration?
Can Employees Return To Work During The Restoration Process?
Business owners may wonder when employees can safely resume work in a commercial building that has experienced damage. The answer may be sooner rather than later. Depending on whether black water, storm damage, or a fire caused the damage, employees may be able to return as soon as cleanup is complete and work through the restoration period.
There are several types of water damage that may affect the duration of mitigation.
• Clean Category One water from a burst supply pipe should not cause a major interruption.
• Category Two gray water is considered contaminated with chemicals or microbes but does not contain solid waste. Complete disinfection prior to resuming work is often required, and interruption might not be necessary if only a portion of the property sustained damage.
• Category Three black water in flood cleanup or from a sewer backup should be extracted, and the affected area disinfected and dried.
Keep in mind that nearly all categories of water contain salts that can cause corrosion and short-circuiting in electronics. Computers, electronic devices, or servers may or may not be able to be restored, which could cause delays.
If a storm causes a roof leak or breaks windows, employers should wait until cleanup and basic mitigation is complete before calling in employees. The same guidelines for water damage apply to flood damage resulting from a storm.
Fire or smoke damage may call for more extensive restoration and air filtration. It may take longer for a work space to be considered safe for employees following this type of damage. Consult with a restoration service to set a timeline for resuming regular business.
Employees should not work in a structure that is undergoing mitigation for black water or flood cleanup. They may be able to return during restoration. For the best results, hire an experienced commercial restoration company like SERVPRO of Lompoc.
How Insurers Benefit from the SERVPRO Franchise Model
How the SERVPRO Franchise Model Benefits Insurers
When a claim is filed that requires remediation and restoration services in Lompoc, it means that work needs to get started fast. Since it is vital the work is done right, choosing a SERVPRO franchise ensures that happens. This innovative business model was developed to maximize every part of the restoration process. Below are four reasons to choose this franchise.
1. Locally Owned
With more than 1,900 locations throughout the United States and Canada, help is right around the corner. No matter the disaster, you can be confident that you will have 24/7 access to a person to get the claim rolling and a team of professionals within two hours of nearly any zip code.
2. Corporate Backed
Along with have a local team right around the corner, you also get the peace of mind that the team is backed by a corporate team ready to serve. From experts in insurance to large loss emergency services, corporate backing means ongoing support and expertise to handle any size of a disaster.
3. Ongoing Training
As a franchise, it must adhere to the strict standards set by corporate. That means that all local technicians have been IICRC certified and receive ongoing training. Each new franchise must participate in a 15-day training program at the corporate training facility. After that, every technician must complete regular training to maintain certifications and stay up to date on the latest in the industry.
4. Preferred Vendor
As an insurance provider, you want the claim to go as smoothly as possible. When you chose a local franchise backed by a corporate team, it means you are getting the services of an established company. With more than 50 years of experience in the industry, SERVPRO has become a preferred vendor for many companies.
A SERVPRO franchise is much more than a reliable, local team of professionals. When choosing it is a provider, you get the backing of a corporate support team and a brand name trusted for decades.
Tips for Grilling Safely
Grilling Safety Recommendations
If you enjoy grilling at your Lompoc, home then you may already know some of the important safety steps for avoiding a grill fire. If you’re new to grilling, then some of these tips recommended by many fire damage professionals may help.
1. Before You Grill
One way to help prevent a barbeque fire before you even begin to cook, is by placing your grill in a safe location. It’s recommended to have a debris free area away from the house, awnings or overhanging trees. It’s also recommended to clean your grill before use, and on propane units to check all the connections to ensure there are no leaks.
2. While You Grill
There are also steps to help avoid a grill fire while you cook. Never leave your grill unattended, and keep children and pets away from the unit while it is on. Keep an eye out for any embers or sparks that may occur during the cooking process to ensure they don’t land anywhere where they can catch. If you smell gas while using a propane unit turn the grill off immediately. If the smell persists call the fire department.
3. After You Grill
You can help prevent fire and smoke damage by following safety steps after you finish cooking. Ensure that your grill is properly turned off after use, or if using a charcoal grill that all the coals or embers are completely cool before they are removed from the grill. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning.
With the right safety steps in place you can prevent a grill fire at your home. Keep your grilling area clear of debris, make sure the grill is placed away from any area where sparks could catch while you cook, and always make sure any embers are put out when the grilling is complete. If you do experience a fire, a restoration professional may be able to help.
Flooding at Your Place of Business
Preparing for a flood is one of the smartest things that a business owner can do, even if they are not in an area typically prone to flooding. Statistically, 90% of natural disasters involve flooding and commonly impact areas that are not usual flooding targets.
Increasing your emergency preparedness by planning for a flood is a great idea not only for the safety of yourself and your staff but also for the continuity of your business. By planning in advance and preserving documentation, you can be more prepared to reopen after the flooding passes.
How to Prepare
It is not uncommon for business owners to not know where to start on flood preparations, but thankfully there are many resources out there. Some things to do include:
- Use the FEMA Flood Map and locate your building in order to determine any geographical risks you might face.
- Place copies of important documents in a secure location you will be able to access following a flood.
- Educate employees on your official flooding action procedures, which will ensure everyone knows what their role is in a flood scenario.
- Identify evacuation routes from various locations around the building and host regular drills.
- Consider the idea of adding flood insurance to your business policy.
- Store non-perishable food and water in case you face wait times for emergency personnel to arrive.
- Raise up any valuable electronics out of the water’s path.
How to Decide What Documents to Copy
When it comes to copying documents, it is better to have anything you think you might need instead of failing to remember something. Some important things to include are:
- An outline of your business continuity tasks
- Means of contact for any staff members and third-party services you may need to contact
- Your insurance agent’s contact information
- Detailed steps for recovering computer files that have been backed up
- Financial documents such as bank account information
If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us at 805-733-8911 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.
Why You Need Deodorization After a Fire
Smoke and Fire Deodorization
Strong smells often linger after having a fire. The type of smells that develop are determined by the type of material that was on fire or smoldering. A hot fire that burned natural building materials will smell different than that of a protein fire from frying or a slow smoldering fire that burned plastics and rubber. These odors can cause years of problems if they are not handled by a professional. At SERVPRO of Lompoc we employ a multi-step approach to deodorization.
The first step in deodorization is to find the source. In the case of a fire the area may be obvious, however there are many causes of odor that may not be easily noticed. Once the source is found by our trained technicians we must remove it.
The next step in the process is to clean the effected areas. Many of the soot particles are deposited both on and often inside certain building materials depending on how hot the fire was. Our technicians are trained on different cleaning strategies dependent on the surface to be cleaned and the soils deposited.
We employ a combination of pairing and masking deodorization techniques depending on the situation. Hot fires open the pores of building materials where foul smelling soot can be deposited. When the fire is extinguished and the materials cool down, the pores of these material shrink, thus trapping odor molecules inside. In such cases we will use a pairing agent along with a Hot Thermal Fogger to reopen the pores. The pairing agent will attach to and change the odor molecule so that it no longer smells.
While sealing of wood is not always required, we will often do this on studs and structural members. One of the reasons for sealing is because these building components are often covered up by drywall, or they are located in hard to reach areas. Summer brings hot weather and as building materials heat up, these materials are capable of releasing odors. Sealing ensures that any soot not completely eliminated from cleaning remains trapped.
The Timeline of Your Water Damage Repair | SERVPRO Lompoc
The annoyance and ruination of water damage happens to U.S. homeowners a troubling 14,000 times a day. Statistically speaking, it’s happening at least once somewhere in America while you read this paragraph. And there it goes again.
Obviously, we hope your home stays bone dry as long as you live there, but should the day arise when you need emergency assistance from SERVPRO, here’s how all that will go.
Emergency Contact. When you reach out in a panic, we’ll reassure you and walk you though some guiding questions to help us understand the situation and start putting a plan together. Then we’ll set a time to meet in person. All of this will happen quickly.
Inspection and Water Damage Assessment. Once we arrive on the scene, we can flesh out the plan and stop any water that may still be flowing. We’ll make sure you know if the encroaching water has created any hazards on your property, and we’ll also give you an idea of the items or materials that will likely need replacement.
Water Removal. You’ll never get all that water out with a bucket or a regular water vacuum. That’s why we bring our pumps to make quick work of it.
Damaged Material Removal. The items that are unable to be restored can now be hauled away, expediting the process of restoration for the items and materials that remain.
Cleaning, Sanitizing and Deodorization. Water damage can leave a yucky mess. We’ll use our tools and some old-fashioned elbow grease to rid your home of unwanted stains, smells and depending on the nature of your emergency, harmful contaminants.
Drying. It’s only a short while after water invades that mold begins to grow. Even after the water is pumped out, your home will need some dehumidifying and drying out.
Monitoring. We’ll be carefully watching the entire process, making sure every box is ticked and every surface is cleaned and dried. Don’t you worry about a thing.
Repairs and Construction. Now that everything is dry and in order, we can go about the finishing touches, which may range from replacing carpet to reconstructing entire rooms. Large or small, we’ll be there to oversee every aspect of your water damage restoration.
When water damage strikes, make the call to SERVPRO for A-to-Z cleanup and restoration. We’ll make your damaged property look “Like it never even happened.”