Recent Posts

Classes of Contaminated Water

5/27/2024 (Permalink)

Category 2 water loss Category 2 water loss caused by recent flooding.

Water damage can be a dangerous experience for any homeowner, whether it is confined to one area in your home or spreads throughout the entire house. To keep yourself and your family safe it is vital that you understand the different types of contaminated water and the dangers they pose to you and your family. Water contamination can be caused by many different factors. The most common causes are sewage and dishwater, oil pollution, agricultural pollution, and radioactive substances. Contaminated water can easily spread disease causing viruses and bacteria and should be treated as hazardous material.

Classes of Contaminated Water

Category 1: Clean Water

This water originates from a clean source such as faucets, melting snow, water pipes or broken water supply lines. Category 1 water is considered safe, however if left untreated it can become harmful in as little as 24-48 hours. Untreated water damage can be affected by the environment’s contaminates and can cause toxic mold growth. This poses a threat as mold can cause serious damage to your home and health if left untreated. 

Category 2: Grey Water

Gray water comes from sources such as bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets. This water can contain harmful microorganisms and chemicals that can cause illness or discomfort. It is recommended that a professional do the cleanup to prevent health risks. A professional can properly clean and disinfect the area, which will significantly reduce your chance of falling ill.

Category 3: Black Water

This water can contain any number of harmful chemicals, bacteria, pathogens, and disease-causing organisms. There can be many sources of black water, the most common being sewage, floodwaters, any water containing fecal matter, and storm water. This water can cause severe health risks and should be treated as an emergency. You will need a professional company such as SERVPRO® to respond immediately to clean disinfect and remove any hazardous material.

Contaminated water can cause damage to both your home and your health. Any prolonged exposure to water can weaken the foundation of your home and deteriorate the materials that are responsible for keeping your property structurally sound. There are also health risks associated with untreated moisture in your home that can cause both temporary and long-term health problems. People can experience skin irritation, gastrointestinal problems, hepaticas or E. coli infections to name a few. 

The best thing to do when experiencing any kind of water damage in your home is to call professionals. Here at SERVPRO our technicians are trained to handle any size of disaster. We will do our due diligence to restore your home to its original condition and leave your property, “like it never even happened.”

Fire Safety Tips

5/24/2024 (Permalink)

With the summer months quickly approaching, bringing in warmer weather and longer days, we must keep in mind there is an increased risk of house fires we must be aware of. As we all are eager to enjoy the hotter temperatures out in the yard grilling, with the bonfires roaring to roast all the delicious summer delectable. We must be mindful, with the increased use of outdoor equipment also comes increased fire hazards. It is vital that proper safety measures are taken, as a fire of any magnitude can cause an abrupt end to your summer festivities. Ensuring fire safety at your home is crucial in protecting your property and your loved ones. SERVPRO® has gathered some helpful tips to ensure you stay safe during this summer’s fire season.

  1. Maintenance
  • Yard maintenance is one of the most important factors in keeping your summer activities safe and accident free. Regularly clearing dead vegetation, dry leaves and any flammable materials from the yard will significantly decrease the risk of brush fires.
  • Regular landscaping can also assist in creating a defensible space around your home. By keeping trees and shrubbery trimmed you can enforce a barrier limiting potential fire spreading.
  1. Fire Pits and Grills
  • Placement of this equipment is key to keeping any backyard burn under control.

Always remember to position fire pits and grills at least 10 feet away from structures and flammable materials.

  • Fueling the fire pit or grill with the correct agent is vital to a safe experience. Always ensure your equipment is working properly and check for active leaks.
  • Controlling the size of the fire is an important factor in keeping the surroundings and your loved ones out of harm’s way. Always have water or a fire extinguisher readily available.
  1. Handling Flammable Materials
  • Storing flammable liquids such as lighter fluids and gasoline in approved containers away from living areas is essential. Keep these items in a well-ventilated garage or shed away from your living area.
  • Use flammable liquids with caution, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safest results.
  • Fireworks contain highly combustible materials that must be handled with care. Always be sure to abide by your local firework regulations and only use fireworks legal to your area.
  • Creating a safety zone to light fireworks in a clear open area away from buildings, trees, and dry grass is recommended and will tremendously lower room for error.
  1. Smoke alarms and Fire Extinguishers
  • Smoke alarms play a key role in protecting your home from fires, as they will alert you of potential danger. Be sure you install smoke alarms throughout the entirety of your home, specifically near sleeping areas and the kitchen.
  • Regularly test your fire alarms to ensure they are functioning properly. It is recommended you test your alarms monthly and replace batteries annually.
  • Fire Extinguishers are vital to have in your home, specifically in the areas where meals are prepared. You will need to be informed as to how to properly use the extinguisher and when to have they maintenance or replaced.

Fire safety requires vigilance, it is important to stay proactive in your efforts of preventing fires this summer season. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the risk of fire damage to your home. However, if tragedy happens to strike your home this season rest assured knowing SERVPRO has you covered, as we respond, “faster to any size disaster.”

The 411 on Mold & Remediation

5/23/2024 (Permalink)

Mold found behind a shower wall Mold caused by moisture due to a shower leak.

Have you ever discovered mold in your home and asked yourself, what is mold? Where does it come from? Is this a health hazard for my family? What should my next steps be to treat it? These are common questions many people ask themselves on a regular basis. But do not fret, SERVPRO® has the answers to these questions and is prepared to act quickly to assist in saving your home.

First off, what is mold?

Mold is a microscopical fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments and can thrive in any organic matter. Mold can come in a variety of different colors and can break down plant and animal matter in the environment. Mold in nature plays a vital role in breaking down organic material such as fallen trees and other natural debris. However, mold in your home can be harmful to the materials holding your home together and can affect the integrity of the structure of your home. 

Well, what causes mold to grow?

Mold can only exist with the assistance of water and moisture. Moisture allows mold to grow on various materials including but not limited to, walls, carpet, insulation, wood, and paper. If mold is detected in your home, it typically means there is a moisture management problem that needs to be addressed as untreated mold can lead to serious health problems. You will want to consult with a professional mold remediation company to begin the mold remediation process before the mold can spread and cause more potential damage.

Now, how do I treat it?  

The process of treating mold is called Mold Remediation, this is the general term used to describe the entire process involved in eliminating harmful mold. The mold remediation process consists of the removal, cleaning, and disinfecting of the contaminated area. It is recommended that mold testing be performed after the completion of the remediation process to ensure the environment is clean and safe. You will want to hire a professional to ensure the mold is safely extracted and limit the possibility of contaminating additional areas in your home, that’s where SERVPRO comes in.

Who are the professionals?

SERVPRO is a leading expert in the mold remediation process. Our technicians are highly knowledgeable on the best practices in the mold remediation industry.  As each situation is unique, we will require an inspection to properly identify the mold and extent of the damage. Following the inspection the restoration team will have a consultation with you to review their findings and the extent of the services that will need to be performed. At SERVPRO we prioritize our customer and keep them informed on their job every step of the way.  We will not leave until you are satisfied, and your home is, “like it never even happened.”

Protect Your Home from Water Damage

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

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

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

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

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

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

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

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?

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

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.

Water Damage

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.

Storm Damage

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.

Other Damage

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

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

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

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

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.