Recent Posts

How To Care for Water-Damaged Items After a Flood

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling collapsed from kitchen area, debris on counters of kitchen Water damage in San Jose, CA.

How to Handle Water-Damaged Items Following a Flood

Flooding in your San Jose, CA, home can happen for many reasons. Water in the home may be the result of a burst water pipe, a leaky sink or toilet, or a flood caused by nature. No matter the reason, water can seriously damage precious keepsakes, documents and other important items that you cannot replace. If you find yourself with waterlogged photo albums, toys or other important keepsakes after a flood, there are a few ways you can try to salvage them.

Gathering Items After a Flood

Flood waters can have a different affect on a variety of items. However, there are a few valuables that require special attention:

  • Artwork
  • Paper documents
  • Photo albums

If a broken pipe caused one room to flood and you know the water is not contaminated with sewage or dangerous chemicals, you can carefully gather these items from the water and start dry cleaning them indoors in an area with low humidity and away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause paper documents and artwork to fade or curl.

Determining Condition

You may not be able to salvage everything after a flood, but once water in your home recedes, taking stock of what remains can help you determine what is worth keeping. If some items have mud or silt on them, wash them away carefully with a low-pressure hose and set the items indoors to dry. A storm cleanup and restoration company can advise you on whether some objects affected by black water can be properly sanitized.

Handling Items With Severe Damage

If books, photos, or other fragile items are badly damaged, they might require special care. Try to air dry these items as much as possible, and then store them in plastic airtight cases until you can contact a paper goods restoration specialist.

When water in a home damages precious items, the effects can be devastating. However, knowing how to react and handle these items in case of a flood in your San Jose, CA, can help you act quickly and allow you to salvage as much as you can.

Why Mold Testing Should Be Left to the Professionals

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold spots discovered in the corner of a wal. Mold damage in a Santana Row, CA home.

Why Mold Testing Should Be Left to the Experts

When you are considering the problem of mold damage in your home, you may not believe you need mold inspection. After all, if you can see the mold already, do you need an inspector to tell you it’s there? However, what you may not realize is that mold comes in various strains, and each strain requires different remediation techniques. If you want to fully eradicate the mold in your home, you need an assessment from a trained professional, and here’s why:

  • A Santana Row, CA, mold remediation expert can identify the species of mold in your home and figure out where it is hiding.
  • A professional can provide mold cleaning tips based on the species of mold you’re dealing with.
  • A professional knows that spores are everywhere and will conduct an air quality assessment throughout your entire home, not just in areas with visible mold damage.

You Get What You Pay For

Many homeowners opt to buy at-home testing kits to save money, but the truth is that DIY tests can cause more monetary waste than savings. At-home kits are designed to pick up the presence of mold (which all homes have) but cannot indicate from where a problem originates or what species of mold is present. This is unhelpful when it comes to mold cleaning and remediation efforts.

When homeowners rely solely on at-home test kits, they may miss spores or existing growth when cleaning. In other instances, they may invest in mold remediation efforts for an entirely different species of mold, which would do nothing to kill the species currently invading their home. Mold growth left unattended can eat away at a house’s structure and cause costly problems.

Professionals can detect dangerous levels of mold and give homeowners accurate assessments of where mold is hiding and what cleaning needs to be done to kill that particular species. If you don’t want your mold cleaning efforts to go to waste, invest in a professional inspection. Anything less may prove to be a waste of your time and money.

Flood Aftermath Dos and Don’ts

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road Do not drive into moving water.

Dos and Don'ts in the Aftermath of a Flood

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and it can happen in West Valley, CA, or more unusual locations. In the event that floodwater invades your home, there is a shortlist of what not to do to further complicate matters and potentially hamper your recovery efforts.

Don’t Tale Unnecessary Risks

After a flood event, keeping yourself and your family safe is the first priority. Take precautions to protect against injury and illness.

• Do not ignore evacuation advisories or mandates. Get to shelter and return to your home only when it is declared safe to do so.
• Do not drive into moving water. As little as a foot of water can sweep a vehicle away and tip or flip it. Most drowning deaths in floods involve vehicle use.
• Do not swim or wade in standing or moving water. Hidden objects and contamination can injure or sicken you and currents can carry you away.
• Do not wear clothing that is not protective. The contaminants in the deluge can cause serious illness. Debris and hidden hazards can puncture or cut skin.
• Wear rubber boots to protect yourself from electric shock.
• Keep your hands and face out of flood water to minimize the risk of infection.
• Avoid mold-contaminated surfaces that will begin to form within 24-48 hours of inundation.

There will be secondary concerns that you will need to handle correctly. It is natural to want to set things right as quickly as possible in a flooded home. Remediation efforts can begin right away, but first, call your insurer. Schedule an appointment with an adjuster to initiate your claim. Document all water damage with digital photographs and/or video. Thorough documentation will go a long way in negotiating a fair settlement with your insurer.

Flood water comes with certain perils. Make good decisions to stay safe while you wait for it to recede.

Four Common Myths About Mold

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a wall Mold growth in Monte Sereno, CA.

Mold Myths: Four Popular Myths

Mold is something that a lot of people have heard about but may not fully comprehend. It’s on old food, health inspectors look for it, and it can be costly for commercial building owners in Monte Sereno, CA. However, if someone is part of the last group, it’s important to know the truths and myths about mold growth.

1. Black Mold Is the Most Dangerous Type of Mold

This is partially false. Black mold is dangerous, but it isn’t the only type that should worry a commercial building owner. If any type of mold is found, it should be considered dangerous and immediately quarantined until a professional cleaning service can be called.

2. Water and Mold Damage Ruin Everything

This is a complete myth. While restoration of electronics should be left entirely to the professionals, it is very possible to clean items exposed to mold growth. It may take some time, but most, if not all, of the belongings can be brought back to normal.

3. Water Damage Is the Only Cause of Mold

Mold can grow in multiple ways. One involves water, but high humidity can cause mold to manifest as well. Unless the humidity inside is kept under 45 percent, spores can begin show up within two to three days. It is better to keep the interior of the building cool and dry to maintain the structure.

4. Mold Can Be Completely Eradicated

Probably one of the biggest myths is that mold can be completely removed. Unless the structure is a laboratory, spores of different varieties will be present. In fact, there is a level that is considered normal for most buildings. Mold can become hazardous when the concentration of spores goes over a certain threshold.

There are many responsibilities to maintaining any structure. That is why it’s always important to know the truths and myths about mold growth.

Why Is It So Important To Clean Electronics After a Fire?

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning a camera For proper fire cleanup, you need to tackle the cleaning of electronics as soon as you can.

Why Is It Critical To Clean Electronics Following A Fire?

When your Santana Row, CA home has a fire in it, almost everything in it may be affected. Smoke damage can hurt various parts of and items in your home, including the following:

  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Building Materials

The fire cleanup process you have to undertake depends on what gets damaged in your home. Porous building materials and clothing may need to be thrown out. Non-porous belongings may need to be cleaned with ultrasonic equipment. If you have television sets, radios, DVD players, computers, or kitchen appliances that get damaged by soot, it is important you get them properly cleaned before putting them back into use.

Could Present a Hazard

If you fail to clean your smoke damaged electronics, they could present a major hazard. For example, turning on a computer that is lined with soot can lead to an electronic failure due to corrosion. Smoke residue contains acid that can corrode the metal surfaces in electronic devices. If you turn on the electronics before they are properly cleaned, you may end up doing more damage than the fire did. A soot-lined computer, TV or radio could be the source of another house fire.

Can Stop Extensive Corrosion

Typically, electronics only get further damaged when they are turned on. However, sometimes even being exposed to moisture or different temperatures can cause the corrosion to begin without the device even being powered on. For proper fire cleanup, you need to tackle the cleaning of electronics as soon as you can. The longer you wait to remove the soot the better the chances are that you'll end up with a destroyed electronic device.

Sometimes electronics come out of a fire without obvious signs of damage. However, one important part of fire cleanup is knowing that these items still need to be cleaned. The smoke building that may be in them needs to be completely removed by a fire restoration specialist to ensure no more damage is done.

Signs That You Need A Hot Water Heater Repair

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Water heater It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs.

What Are The Signs Of Hot Water Heater Going Bad?

Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired.

1. Hot water has an off smell or off-color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced which will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.

2. Corroded pipes can also cause an off-color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.

3. Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.

4. Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.

It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.

5 Tips for Staying Safe While Using Space Heaters

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater Space heaters can be a great way to stay cozy.

Avoid Dealing With a Burned Space Heater

Space heaters can be a great way to stay cozy. During cold weather in Saratoga, CA, they can help you to be more comfortable in your home, but they can also be a fire hazard. Luckily, if you keep a few simple safety tips in mind, you should be able to avoid dealing with a burned space heater.

1. Keep the Area Clear

One of the easiest ways a space heater fire can start is if there are flammable materials in contact with the heater. Keep anything flammable, especially items made from paper and fabric, well away from the heater.

2. Choose the Right Location

Anywhere that is too confined can create a perfect recipe for a burned space heater. Don’t put the heater beneath desks or other furniture. Instead, try to put the heater in an open area where it won’t come into contact with anything.

3. Pay Attention

It can be dangerous to leave space heaters unattended. You should never leave them turned on when you’re out of the room or away from home. If you’re paying attention to the heater, you should be able to stop problems before they turn into emergencies.

4. Use Safety Features

When shopping for a heater, you can try to find one that has an automatic shut-off feature. While you still should never leave the space heater unattended, it can be one more layer of safety.

5. Keep Filters Clean

Space heaters have filters that can become clogged with dust, pet hair, or other debris in the air. Clogged filters can cause the heater to overheat and ignite. Clean the filter regularly to help prevent any issues.

Fires can be dangerous and lead to extensive (as well as expensive) smoke cleanup. Don’t get stuck with a burned space heater. Being mindful of how and where you use your heater can help you to stay safe.

Preparing Your Business for Bad Weather: 3 Tips

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house household Insulate exterior pipes.

Protect Your Business From a Snow Storm

When freezing temperatures and snowstorms arrive in Los Gatos, CA, they can impact your business. Slippery roads can pose a danger for employees trying to arrive on time for their shifts, and single-digit temperatures can wreak havoc with your building’s pipes. However, there are a few ways you can protect your business, employees and customers if a snow storm is in the forecast.

1. Remain Aware of Watches and Warnings

Watch the news the night before and the morning of the impending storm. If the forecast says bad weather is imminent, you may want to consider closing for the day to protect your employees. Your web designer, social media managers and data wranglers may be able to do their jobs from home. Have your web managers announce the closure on your business’ page so your customers do not get injured trying to reach your business.

2. Insulate Exterior Pipes

If a snow storm is due to arrive, you may want to wrap your building’s pipes to prevent them from freezing. Frozen water can cause a pipe burst and flooding, which can cause serious damage to your building. Use rags or foam insulation on basement and exterior pipes to protect them from cold temperatures.

3. Have a Mitigation Plan in Place

If the worst should happen and your business suffers damage during bad weather, having a mitigation and restoration plan in place may help you recover faster. Contact a storm damage and cleanup service before the winter season and learn about their services and how their technicians might be able to help in case of flooding or other disasters. Careful planning can mean the difference between a quick recovery and weeks of closure.

A snow storm in Los Gatos, CA, can interrupt your business. However, having a bad weather plan in place can help you protect your employees and building and give you peace of mind all winter long.

3 Kinds of Hidden Damage to Watch For After a Partial-Loss Fire

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in San Jose, CA.

3 Kinds of Hidden Damage to Watch For After a Partial-Loss Fire

Any type of fire loss can cause a major disruption to your San Jose, CA, business. However, things can get particularly complicated in the event of a partial loss. In the insurance world, the term partial loss refers to a situation where a fire occurs but does not destroy the entire building. A partial loss fire often causes unseen damage, which results in insufficient insurance claims and, consequently, inadequate fire restoration work. Be wary of these three commonly overlooked sources of hidden property damage after a partial loss fire.

1. Smoke Damage
Where there's fire, there's smoke and in a business fire, smoke, soot, and ash usually spread much farther than the flames themselves. In most cases, nearly every interior surface will need to be cleaned and deodorized to eliminate soot stains and smoke odors. This type of cleanup should only be done by a professional remediation company, using specialized cleaning agents and techniques. Some items may be too damaged to restore and will need to be replaced. Porous surfaces, such as carpet and upholstery, are at a higher risk of total loss from soot and smoke damage.

2. Water Damage
A common side effect of fire loss is water damage, usually caused by the high pressure and large volume of water used to put out the fire. Mold growth often begins within the first 24 hours after a fire and can spread through the building's air ducts to areas beyond the fire-damaged zone. Unchecked mold growth can cause serious property damage to your building. A certified industrial hygienist should conduct a full mold inspection after any fire.

3. Heat Damage
The intense heat produced by a fire can cause significant damage to your building. At extreme temperatures, the glass may warp, and window or door frames may blister or melt. Iron or steel can transfer heat to other areas, causing structural instability. An engineer's inspection is often the best way to detect this damage.
A fire loss doesn't have to destroy your entire building to cause widespread property damage. Checking for these damage sources will ensure that your insurance claim and restoration measures are adequate.

Storm Damage vs. Flood Damage: What's the Difference?

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Roof of an office has a hole due to storm damage, white plastic cover has been placed on roof hole Roof damaged due to storm in Campbell, CA.

Is Storm Damage The Same As Flood Damage

There are a lot of things you probably don't want to struggle with on your property, out of everything that could be on that list, flood and storm damage are likely at the top for most people. However, this begs the question: if they're both caused by water, how do you tell them apart? Here's a quick look at the difference between the two.

Storm Damage
Regardless of where it happens in Campbell, CA, damage to property qualifies as storm damage if it was caused by one of the following:

  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Cyclones
  • Hail
  • Waterspouts
  • Other natural disasters

The physical effects of a storm can usually be seen in the form of damaged shingles, a leaky roof, broken windows, holes in the wall and external house fixtures being torn away from the structure. As long as the damage wasn't caused by the overflow of a body of water during the storm, it should technically qualify as storm damage. It's important to note that earthquakes aren't typically covered in this category.

Flood Damage
Unlike a storm, damage from flooding is typically regarded as any normally dry land being covered by water that has escaped from a river, creek, lake, or other body of water. The damage is still considered flood damage whether or not it was caused naturally or by an external force even if the flood came from a canal, dam or reservoir after being modified, it still qualifies in the same category. If the damage came from a flood that was caused by inclement weather, it should still count as flooding so long as the storm itself isn't what damaged the building.
Whether you're dealing with floods or storm damage in Campbell, CA, it's important to know the difference between the two. Homeowner's insurance can be very particular about what is covered under a specific category, so speak with your agent if you're unsure what you're protected against.