Recent Posts

How Long Does Sewer Damage Cleanup Take?

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Contact a plumber to fix a flooded toilet or any underlying issue.

The Stages Of Sewer Cleanup

Cleaning up sewer damage may take a week or longer, depending on which building materials have been exposed to contaminated water. The following timeline can give building owners and managers a clearer sense of the stages of sewer cleanup.

As Soon As Possible

The minutes and hours immediately after a sewer backup are the most critical for limiting damage. An owner, manager, or cleanup service should take measures to

  • Prevent contaminated water from spreading
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Pre-treat an area with disinfectant

Contact a plumber to fix a flooded toilet or any underlying issue. Next, it is important to remove all standing water. Damage will intensify the longer water stands in a structure.

24 to 48 Hours

Sewer cleanup should take place during the first two days after sewer damage. A building owner may want to hire a damage mitigation service to

  • Eliminate water
  • Tear out damaged materials
  • Clean and disinfect

Drywall or carpet are porous and may not be able to be completely disinfected. These materials should be thrown away and replaced to avoid recontamination or microbial growth.

Several Days

Restoration experts should promote drying in the days after sewer damage occurs. Ventilate an area with air movers and fans or run a dehumidifier to maintain low moisture levels. Mold is less likely to thrive in an area that has been cleaned, disinfected, and dried.

7 to 10 Days

Depending on the materials involved, the sewer damage cleanup and restoration process may take a week or longer. Wood flooring calls for specialized treatments that will add more steps to the process. It is important to allow all surfaces to dry before attempting to repair or rebuild the damaged area.

While a building owner or manager may be able to clean up after a sewer backup, restoration professionals can obtain the best results in the shortest amount of time. Contact a sewer cleanup service in Los Gatos, CA.

3 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed from a house due to water damage Water damage in a Monte Sereno, CA.

Filing a Water Damage Claim

A pipe burst in Monte Sereno, CA, and you now have a flood covering the entire first floor of your house. In this unfortunate situation, it is fortunate that you have homeowners insurance. When do you file an insurance claim for the water damage? What is your responsibility as the homeowner? Review the following three tips to help the process of filing a water damage claim go as smoothly as possible.

1. Act Fast

The best time to contact your insurance company after a flood wreaks havoc on your home is as soon as possible. First, ensure that you and your family are safe. Second, call your insurance agent to report the loss and find out the next steps. Each insurance company has its own specific policies and procedures when it comes to filing an insurance claim, and by adhering to these you help speed the process along. Next, contact a water restoration company to assess the damage and begin the process of water removal, dehumidification and restoration.

2. Keep Records and Receipts

Before any work is completed, take pictures of the water damage and make a list of all damaged contents in your house. Keep copies of the claim forms you complete. Save every related receipt including work done by the water restoration professionals as well as expenses accrued from hotel accommodations if your home is unlivable.

3. Partner With Professionals

Communicate and share records with the insurance adjustor assigned to your claim. Keep in close contact with the restoration company, and request copies of all paperwork and receipts. The water restoration specialist and insurance adjustor may communicate directly with one another as well. If something is unclear to you, ask for clarification.

Filing an insurance claim for water damage at your home in Monte Sereno, CA, initially may seem overwhelming. By following the above tips, you can reduce the uncertainty and stress of the situation for you and your family.

Save vs. Dispose Of: What To Do After a Fire

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Burned household items. Damage to a house due to fire When your West Valley home experiences a fire, we are the team to call.

What To Do After a Fire

Dealing with fire damage in West Valley, CA, is devastating and costly. You want to save everything you can, but some items you should throw away immediately because they’re not worth the health risk. Be wary of:

  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Medications
  • Clothing/Bedding

For the least risk, it is recommended to discard all the above, but there are some things you can look for to see if any are salvageable.

Food and Beverages

All food and drink sitting out or in permeable containers should be discarded. Even if the items were not in direct contact with the fire or smoke, exposure to high heat and the hazardous chemicals that heat triggers can make anything exposed dangerous. Even food in sealed containers can be affected by the chemicals on those jars and cans reacting to the high heat. The only foods with a shot at being safe are the items in the refrigerator, but before trying to save them, make sure the following is true:

  • The food is still cold, and food in the freezer still has ice crystals
  • There is no smell of smoke inside
  • No soot is visible anywhere inside
  • The food has no visible damage or weird odors

Cosmetics and Medications

Since these are in direct contact with skin or are ingested, it is equally important to make sure they do not show any signs of damage. You should throw away any exposed cosmetics or medications immediately. Anything warped or covered in soot or fire extinguisher dust should be tossed as well.

Clothes and Bedding

Clothes and bedding are probably the most salvageable of all these items. Anything that is not burnt can often be saved after professional cleaning, but remember these come in direct contact with your skin and the skin of your loved ones. Take proper care to get them disinfected and be especially wary of any clothing or blankets for babies or young children.

Always make safety the priority. If you are ever in doubt about any items, it is better to throw away than test your luck. While they may be expensive to replace initially, preventing health concerns will save both heartache and money later.

Should You Invest in Flood Insurance?

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Purchase flood insurance for your commercial property.

Should You Buy Flood Insurance?

Natural disasters often happen without much advance notice, and the damage can be devastating. Fortunately, many types of damage caused by events, such as heavy winds or lightning strikes, are covered by your commercial property insurance, but what about problems such as:

  • Blocked drainage systems
  • Broken dams
  • Overflowing rivers
  • Heavy rains

Some types of disasters require special coverage. For example, you need a special insurance policy if you want protection from this type of water damage. Consider the following questions and answers to determine whether your business needs flood protection.

Q: Doesn't my existing policy cover floods?

A: No. Most commercial insurance policies do not coverage floods, even those caused by hurricanes and similar storms. You'll probably have to turn to a national flood insurance program to get the protection you need to recover after suffering extensive water damage. In many cases, you'll need to work closely with remediation specialists who understand the true depth and scope of flood damages.

Q: How can I determine whether I'm at risk for flooding?

A: There are many areas of the country that aren't at the same level of risk for flooding as others. Location is the top factor in determining whether your business is at high risk. Use an online flood map tool to measure the risk at your location. Consider other factors, such as which floor your business is on and where your inventory is stored.

Q: What does flood insurance cover?

A: It's important to understand that this type of coverage often doesn't protect you from all flood damages. This special insurance does typically cover damage to your building and the contents of your structure. The property outside of your building such as landscaping and business vehicles, may not be covered by this insurance. This insurance probably won't cover your losses due to business interruption.

If you live in a flood zone in Saratoga, CA, you may need the added protection of a flood insurance policy. Don't skimp when it comes to protecting your livelihood.

Post-Fire Checklist: 6 Things To Do Immediately

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Brick wall home covered covered with smoke damage after a fire, house is empty, windows are broken When it comes to fire damage repair and restoration, SERVPRO of Campbell is your only option.

What To Do After a House Fire

House fires don’t only happen to other Campbell, CA, homeowners. If you find yourself dealing with a residential fire, you probably want to stare fire restoration as soon as possible. Still, jumping the gun can be disastrous. Here are six things you should do immediately after a house fire.

1. Find a Place To Stay
Staying safe after a fire must be your primary concern. If your house has sustained fire damage, look for a long-term solution. Remember, you must find housing that accommodates you, your family and your pets.

2. Board-Up Damaged Windows and Doors
Your post-fire home may not be weathertight. It may also attract criminals. To protect your home until you can begin fire restoration, board up damaged windows and doors.

3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance adjuster will probably want to inspect fire damage as soon as possible. Once you are your family members are safe, contact a representative from your fire insurance company.

4. Work With Law Enforcement
Police investigators and firefighters will likely prepare an incident report. This report identifies the cause of your house fire. It is also essential for collecting insurance payments.

5. Prepare a Damage List
For both insurance and remediation purposes, you need a list of damaged property. Before a fire, try to create a list of your personal belongings. Add and subtract items occasionally to keep your list current and accurate.

6. Contact a Restoration Service
Even if your house fire is minor, you may have extensive smoke damage. By working with a reputable restoration service for smoke cleaning and other remediation, you put specialized skills and equipment to work for you.
House fires can be devastating. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave your home’s recovery to chance. By taking a few critical steps in the days following a fire, you increase your odds of having a successful fire restoration.

What to Do About Crawl Space Water

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Water in a crawlspace If you find you have a wet crawl space you should contact a professional.

When you live in San Jose, CA, finding a wet crawl space in your home may not be something you immediately think can cause problems in your home. However, if left unattended water in the crawl space can lead to foundation damage and eventual mold growth.

Reasons Crawl Spaces Get Water

While it seems like a small area to worry about, discovering water in the crawlspace is not uncommon. Finding flooding in your crawl space can happen for several reasons.

  • Broken water lines
  • Subterranean water
  • Heavy storm rains
  • Improper drainage from downspouts and gutters
  • Improper sloping of landscaping
  • Over watering of landscaping

The first two in this list are perhaps what most people think crawl space water is from. However improper drainage from spouts and landscaping, and over watering can be equally culpable, and more preventable.

How to Deal With Crawl Space Water

If you find you have a wet crawl space or potential flooding issue it’s best to contact a professional to deal with the problem. They can assess the area containing flood water, and do what's needed to take care of the problem, find the water’s source, repair any damages, and further protect your home.

Tips for Preventing Water in the Crawl Space

There are a few things you can do to help prevent flood damage in your crawl space on your own. You can grade your landscaping so it slopes away from your home, and include irrigation or base layers into your gardens or flower beds to help direct water away as well. Also, ensure all hoses have been turned off after the watering is completed. Downspouts should include a back-splash and be angled away from the building, while regularly cleaning and maintaining gutters can help prevent water overflow that pools around the home’s foundation.

If you find you have a wet crawl space it’s best to quickly contact a professional to discover the root of the problem. Remember, there are things you can do to protect your home as well.

No Water Problem, No Mold Problem

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wooden structure Mold found in Santana Row, CA.

If you have a mold problem, it’s likely that you had a water problem first. Proper mold prevention involves taking care of any water leaks, flood damage, water damage, humidity, and condensation in your home to ensure mold spores never have a chance to become actual mold growth. When it comes to mold prevention, you need a quick response after water damage in your Santana Row, CA, home.

Tips for Damage Control

Whether your home was flooded by a natural disaster or by bursting pipes, the most important thing to do for mold prevention is mitigate the water damage immediately. You can do this by:

Shutting off the water. Cut the water off at the source and immediately ensure that any pipes and fittings are completely drained dry.

Drying up the water. Mop up the water as quickly as possible. The longer water stands and stagnates, the more likely it is mold spores will feed on it to grow into a mold infestation.

Throwing out anything waterlogged. Even if those are your favorite curtains, if they’re soaked in water they need to be taken out into the sun to dry out – or thrown out if they’re already starting to pick up that musty mold smell.

Doing a complete tear-out. Water-damaged carpet, drywall, and wood can rapidly fuel mold growth with trapped pockets of water and organic materials. They may need to be completely torn out both to repair the water damage and prevent mold.

Inspecting for mold. Even with a rapid response, you may have been too late. Do a thorough inspection for mold throughout the house.

Call a professional. Even if you inspect for mold, you may not be able to detect hidden mold or spores just starting to grow into a fungal contamination. A professional can help you track down those tricky hidden mold spots and eliminate them.

Be Ready To Fight Small Home Fires

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

vector fire smoke carbon monoxide detector alarm Types of fire extinguishers.

How To Prevent a Small Fire In Your Home

Defense against a home fire starts with you. Thanks to the notification by the smoke detectors, you will see it first. Having the proper tools and understanding how to use them will give you an excellent chance of preventing a small fire from turning into a major disaster. The primary tool of choice should be a suitable fire extinguisher.

Look for a Suitable Code Rating

• Code A describes the effectiveness against normal combustibles including burning wood, paper and trash.
• Code B describes the effectiveness against burning gasoline, oil and burnable gasses such as propane.
• Code C means that it the extinguisher is safe to use on burning electrical equipment.

Ratings Can Be Confusing

For example, code 1-A:10-B: C means that it is 10 times better at B fires than a code 1-A:1-B: C unit. The best thing you can do is to go to a retailer with a knowledgeable staff. Explain what you plan to protect and they will help you select the best one for the job. They can also give advice on placement and use.

Choosing the Correct Size

Fire extinguishers are sold by weight. Heavier ones have more fire-fighting capacity but are also more difficult to handle. Lighter ones are easier to handle but there is a risk that they will empty before the fire is completely suppressed. The size decision gets easier if the extinguisher you choose has a hose. A 10-pound unit with a hose will be much easier to handle than a 10-pound unit without a hose.

Now You Are Ready

Owning a suitable fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it are the two keys to fire preparedness in the home. If you and your extinguisher succeed in extinguishing a fire, congratulations on a job well done. To help with the cleanup you can call upon the services of restoration specialists in San Jose, CA. Also, don’t forget to have your extinguisher refilled.

Partial Loss Due to Fire

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Following a fire, the extent of loss must be determined.

Fire Caused a Partial Loss

After a fire, there needs to be a determination of the level of loss. For example, in many cases, one doesn’t need to be an expert to see that a fire caused a complete loss. Along the same lines, there are many cases where one doesn’t need to be an expert to see that the loss is only partial. The question of fire loss becomes more difficult to evaluate when the structure houses a business. Commercial structures are more complicated, and the level of loss is not necessarily obvious to the untrained eye.


Structural Considerations

One of the most difficult things to evaluate in a fire-damaged business structure is the effect of heat. Very hot fires can soften or distort iron or steel or other features of structures. Before deciding that a structure is a partial loss, it is critical that a qualified engineer be engaged to evaluate the structure and look for any structural damage. It may turn out that a structure looks visually sound when, in fact, it is a total loss due to hidden damage.

Water

Water damage is one of the most expensive components of fire loss. Hopefully, water damage is limited to a specific area. Of course, this cleanup gets more complicated if the water puts out the fire on upper floors. Water needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible because it can continue to spread or cause other problems.

Smoke and Soot

Unlike water damage that can be limited to specific areas, smoke damage can affect the entire structure. The same goes for soot. This damage will generally be more widespread than water damage and will require a massive cleaning effort. In open structures, the fire loss due to smoke and soot can be extensive.

Cleanup

Cleaning up water, smoke and soot requires specialists in fire restoration who have the proper equipment and training and pay close attention to detail. Fortunately, West Valley, CA, has such a team ready to start the process on a moment’s notice.

How To Prevent Water Damage During Construction

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen flooding. A flooded site can derail the construction process.

Construction is generally a positive development for any business in Monte Sereno, CA. However, contractors must take proactive steps during the building process to protect the integrity of the site and avoid water damage and unexpected water pipe repairs.

1. Ensure Proper Drainage

Proper drainage is essential. Otherwise, water can pool and flood the work zone. For this reason, you must ensure the ground surrounding the building is properly graded, which will help divert rainwater away from the site.

2. Strategically Store Mechanical Equipment

To minimize the risk of damaging circuits and other vital components, avoid placing mechanical and electrical equipment is exposed, low-lying areas where water can easily collect.

3. Use a Protective Tarp

Without walls, doors, and windows, your building is susceptible to rain, snow, and other weather elements. Temporary building enclosure tarps create a barrier, helping to shield exposed internal components and building materials from potential damage.

4. Seal Windows and Doors

To prevent unintended water intrusion, you also need to ensure that all newly installed doors and windows are properly sealed and water-proofed.

5. Protect Pipes

Few contractors plan on a water pipe repair during the construction process. Protecting pipes is particularly important during the winter as temperatures drop around the freezing point. To safeguard against a broken pipe, you can insulate exposed pipes with rubber or fiberglass sleeves or direct a heat source toward them.

6. Keep Building Materials Dry

Plywood, drywall, and insulation are vulnerable to water damage. Wet plywood can warp, and saturated drywall is susceptible to mold contamination. Wet insulation loses its R-value, rendering it ineffective. To preserve these materials, find a location where they can be safely stored and protected from potential moisture exposure.

Staying on Schedule

A flooded site can derail the construction process. To minimize delays and the need for water pipe repairs, you should ensure that your team knows appropriate procedures to protect building materials and exposed pipes. If flooding does occur, professional cleanup specialists can assist you and help the project get back on track.