Recent Posts

Stay Safe During the Next Flood and Avoid Getting Behind the Wheel

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road It is risky to drive on flooded roadways.

Avoid Getting Behind The Wheel During The Next Flood To Stay Safe

If you've never been in a flood yourself but have watched the news footage of such an event, then you likely assume that driving along a flooded street is no big deal. After all, thousands of people seem to do it every year and make it out alive. The news may show hordes of people trying to wade through floods in their vehicles, but what they don't show is what happens to those vehicles once the cameras stop rolling.

Driving through flooded roads is dangerous. Here are just a few reasons that you should refrain from traveling during a flood:

  • Vehicles begin to float in just 30 centimeters of water, which means that if you're out on the streets during a flood, you risk losing control of your vehicle.
  • If the roads are only partly flooded, meaning your tires still touch the pavement, you risk hydroplaning.
  • Oftentimes, flooding hides sinkholes, debris and other hazards.
  • If you drive at regular speed into just 15 centimeters of water, you will experience the same impact as a mild car accident.
  • Water is bad for your car's electrical system.

It is never a good idea to drive through a flooded street, not even in an emergency. If there is an emergency and you cannot leave your home, call 911 and a trained professional will come to your aid (in a durable vehicle, of course).

There are dozens of articles out there that offer "travel tips" for driving through flooded roads. Do not heed their advice. The only safe way to deal with flooding is to stay on high ground and off the roads. If you need help, phone it in. A Century City, CA, flood damage remediation team can come to your rescue as soon as it is safely able.

If you have thought about driving along a flooded street, don't. Doing so could put you and your loved ones in unnecessary danger. If you need help, call for it and someone will come to you.

Take These 5 Proactive Steps To Prevent Mold in Your Rental Home

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

A hand with white glove cleaning gutter. Concept of gutter maintenance Keep your gutters clean.

Mold Prevention Tips For Your Rental Home

Mold is a voracious eater that thrives on organic materials and can quickly expand from a small hidden colony of fungus to thousands of spore-producing colonies. When you have a rental unit, it can be difficult to monitor and deal with mold’s growth, but you can be proactive in Westwood, CA, and fight mold before it appears. Here are just a few of the many steps you can take to aid in mold prevention in your rental home.

1. Increase airflow inside the property. The flow of fresh air can be achieved by opening windows and turning on air conditioning or dehumidifiers. As the air circulates, the movement can inhibit moisture and mold growth.

2. If your rental home has a basement, prevent condensation. Musty basements are often filled with dank, dark areas that lack the circulation necessary to prevent colony growth. Install fans or dehumidifiers to enhance air circulation and remove excess moisture.

3. Promptly deal with plumbing leaks to prevent long-term water damage. Once your tenant notifies you of a plumbing problem, call a water restoration team and ask them to repair the broken pipe and remove the flooded water. The longer the water sits, the more chance there is for mold to grow.

4. Diminish moisture in bathrooms by hardwiring the exhaust fan to the light switch. By reducing the amount of liquid in the air after showers, you can prevent condensation from feeding hidden mold spores. Mold prevention can be essential in moist bathrooms.

5. Inspect gutters and downspouts twice a year. As gutters fill with debris, rain can backup and overflow onto the ground near the building. Downspouts can also move and redirect water near the building instead of away from it. Pooling water can breed mold in basements and crawlspaces.

Mold prevention in a rental unit can be difficult unless you become proactive. Since property owners have limited access to their tenant’s homes, request your tenants contact you at the first sign of mold growth. Together, you can prevent future mold damage to your property.

The Tricky Relationship Between Fire and Insurance

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen Fire damage in a Beverly Hills, CA home.

What Is The Relationship Between Fire And Insurance?

A standard insurance policy for residential fire damage typically covers most common causes of home fires and damage. The coverage can include cooking fires, electrical short blazes, and overheating Christmas light flames. The average policy can also cover fires resulting from lightning, theft, and vandalism. However, there are two types of fire damages that are not generally covered in Beverly Hills,CA  however. The two exceptions are arson insurance fraud and a vacant home fire.

Arson Insurance Fraud

A deliberately set fire is known as arson and is a criminal offence that is punishable by fines, restitution, and prison or jail time. Although torching is generally a result of burning someone else’s property or home, there have been individuals found guilty of setting fire to their own buildings with the following items

  • Matches
  • Combustible fluids
  • Incendiary devices

Insurance companies do not pay for intentionally set building fires because there has been a long-standing tradition of people paying to have the structure destroyed in order to collect insurance money. Insurance investigators now typically inspect the scene of suspect fires before paying any money to the insured.

Vacant Home Fires

Vacancy is legally defined as a building that has been unoccupied for 30 or more consecutive days. Furthermore, if the insurance company proves the home was vacant when the fire started, the policy will not cover the home fire damage, and no pay-out will be awarded to the insured.

There is one exception to the rule, and that is a vacant home insurance endorsement. Fire repair and restoration experts recommend the additional coverage because it often includes theft, hail, vandalism, wind, and fire damage to vacation homes. Year around coverage is required for this type of endorsement.

Insurance Coverage Inspections

If you have a home fire and an insurance inspector is part of the investigation, do not be overly concerned. Insurance companies have become leery of fire damage claims because so many fraud cases have occurred in the past two decades. If you find yourself working with an insurance fire inspector and your fire damage claim is denied, remember you can appeal the finding.

Having A READY Plan Can Help In The Event Your Home Suffers Fire Damage In Westwood

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

House on flames. Fire on a Westwood, CA home.

Having A READY Plan Can Help After A Fire

Few things in life can prepare us to cope with the effects of disasters and catastrophes. However, residents in Westwood, CA can help prepare themselves and their families to better deal with damage their homes sustain.

When homeowners in Westwood face predicaments such as fire damage, having a READY plan from SERVPRO can help. With one in place before a catastrophic event, homeowners can reduce the trauma their families experience while reducing the extent of the damage to their property.

To make things especially convenient for residents, we developed an app that you can download onto your phone or tablet. Taking the few minutes needed to complete the questionnaire provides us with crucial information whenever disaster strikes at your home. Gathering this information at the time of a fire damage event takes time that we could devote to other activities instead, but a READY Plan ensures this information already exists.

Because we know that some questions do not pertain to all homes, you can add as much information as you desire. Phone numbers and other contact information provided by you enable us to contact others who can also assist us in providing the services your home needs as soon as the fire department finishes.

Once extinguished, we can then begin to assess the damage and the work required to restore your home. Even small fires that did not necessitate a call to the fire department, smoke damage can ruin a home because of its widespread coverage. Charred pieces of belongings and construction materials, smoke and soot, and water all combine to form a hazardous jumble.

Electricity may not work inside your home after a fire due to burnt wires and outlets. SERVPRO can provide the necessary electricity to run our equipment inside your home. We can still mitigate both interior and exterior damage, so your home's restoration happens quickly.

SERVPRO of Beverly Hills / Westwood's customer service professionals can help you with your development of a READY Plan.

Smart Steps for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, drywall removed and mold growth found in it due to water leak. Water can find its way into your home.

Finding water in your home where it shouldn’t be isn’t fun and can be expensive to resolve. Fortunately, with simple preventative steps, you may be able to quickly repair a water leak before it becomes a pricey problem.

Where To Look for Water Leaks

The key to preventing water damage is to find and stop leaks as soon as possible. This means monitoring everything in your home that contains and carries water. You should look in and around the following appliances and systems:

  • Pipes
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Tubs and showers
  • Washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • HVAC units

Things You Can Do To Spot and Stop Water Leaks

Whenever you notice water in your home that doesn’t belong, don’t just write it off – look into it to confirm you don’t have a leak. When water is present, thoroughly dry the area with a fan or dehumidifier, and call a water damage restoration company.

You also should periodically inspect each appliance and system to spot leaks or anything that would indicate a leak, such as a musty smell or rusty water. Review your water bill; a higher one could indicate a problem.

Make sure you know how to shut off your water main. In the event of a major leak, turning off the water is the first step to stopping it. Turn off your water when you'll be away from home for a significant amount of time to reduce the risk of undetected leaks.

When To Call in the Professionals

Regular inspections and maintenance of your plumbing, appliances, and HVAC system are crucial for preventing water in your home. You can talk to a contractor in Century City, CA, to get a recommended maintenance schedule for each system.

In addition to spotting potential or emerging issues, a contractor also can perform needed maintenance or repairs. This can include replacing tubes and coils, performing pipe cleanup to prevent blockage and overflow, and fixing a broken pipe.

Professional contractors can also help you install a water detection system either for individual appliances or for the whole home. These detectors will spot what you can’t and give you an advanced warning of a developing leak.

Water damage is one of the most expensive things for homeowners to fix. By getting in the habit of looking for issues, such as a broken pipe, and regularly scheduling professional maintenance, you can avoid any unexpected problems.

Are Flood Cuts Necessary?

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cut, air movers placed on the floor A flood cut may be a necessary part of the flooding cleanup process.

How Do You Cut Drywall After Flooding?

If your commercial building in Westwood Village, CA, was affected by flooding after a big storm, you may hear your repair team talk about making a flood cut. You know you may have to throw out damaged materials, but is it really necessary for the commercial storm cleanup crew to cut out sections of your drywall? To better answer this question, you need to consider the following:

  • What is a flood cut?
  • How does it help?
  • How is it done?

Answering these questions may help you realize that this cleanup technique isn't as scary as it sounds.

Understanding What It Is

Before you can know if this tear-out is necessary, you need to know what it is. A flood cut is the removal of drywall that has gotten wet. Usually, the cut is made 12 to 18 inches above the flood line to ensure all damaged materials are taken out.

Looking at the Benefits

Now that you know what it is, how does it help your remediation? Drywall is an extremely porous material, which means it sucks up the water and holds it in. If there's any contamination, your drywall is now also contaminated. Removing the building materials that were touched by the floods removes excess moisture. It also helps your cleanup crew see behind the wall to know if the insulation is damaged or if there are problems with your plumbing.

Considering How It Is Done

When flooding affects your commercial building, a flood cut may be necessary. Chances are your cleanup crew won't go around to every room removing pieces of drywall. Instead, only the bottom portion of the building material will be touched. This cut only happens in rooms that were affected by the floodwaters. Your cleanup crew may make a mark on the drywall and use special equipment to cut out the bottom portion.

A flood cut may be a necessary part of the flooding cleanup process. This technique helps remove excess moisture and reduce the chances of mold growth.

Our Advanced Equipment Will Restore Your Home In Century City To Pre-Damage Condition

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal Thermal fogger

The Tools SERVPRO Uses For Smoke And Fire Damage 

One of the most noticeable effects of fire damage in Century City, CA is the presence of smoke odors in the home long after other signs of damage have been repaired or covered up. Smoke particles cannot be masked or neutralized by store-bought air fresheners and deodorizers and typically require the help of a certified restoration company like SERVPRO to remove from your home permanently. We arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster with the appropriate tools and chemicals necessary to eliminate smoke odors from a variety of different types of fires. With these tools in hand, our crews can take care of odors permanently and leave your home without a single scar to show from the fire.

Some of the most high-tech tools SERVPRO technicians use to take care of fire damage in Century City, CA are solely dedicated to the task of neutralizing smoke odors. Our thermal fogging devices create thick fogs of odor-eliminating compounds that mimic the spread of smoke throughout your home and target even the most deeply embedded smoke particles. For tight spaces and smaller areas, we also carry smaller Ultra-Low Volume fogging devices that perform the same functions in hard-to-reach places that may contain smoke residues.

These machines send out specialized mixtures of odor-neutralizing agents that can sometimes be designed for specific types of smoke damage. Fires that burn through wet materials can often produce different residues than dry fires, and if kitchen grease is added into the mix, this may force us to use even more specific chemicals. Our inspectors carefully evaluate the scene of the disaster to determine which mixtures should be used to eradicate all traces of odor from the area. When combined with our extensive cleaning work, HVAC system clean outs, and other restorative procedures, we leave your home looking like the disaster never even happened.

Plumbing Tips To Make You a Better Landlord

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

The floor of a room with standing water. Flooded room. Flooded room.

Tips Focusing On Plumbing

Being a good landlord is a great way to guarantee your property in Century City, CA, has as few vacancies as possible. Tenants who can rely on you for regular repairs will usually stay longer and provide you with a steady rental income. While there are many components to being a good property owner, here are some landlord tips focused on plumbing.

1. Have Clear Expectations
Even if you only rent one commercial property, you cannot be there all the time. You need to rely on your employees and tenants to let you know when problems arise. Make clear your desire to handle plumbing issues in short order since these can get worse over time.

2. Always Follow Up
As soon as you know about a problem, make a plan to deal with it. You could handle the repair yourself or hire commercial plumbing specialists. Depending on your experience, maybe you can handle a clogged toilet or leaky faucet. It is likely you need outside help for cracked pipes in your foundation.

3. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Prevention can go a long way with your property's plumbing. A water pressure check can catch small leaks before they become big problems. Maintenance checks can also spot weaknesses in your roof that could develop into leaks.

4. Create a Safe Environment
Everyone needs water for cleaning, cooking and consumption. Clean water is key to the health and safety of your tenants and their customers. One overlooked way to stay on top of water contamination issues on your property is to pay attention to local news. Water safety issues near you can spread, so get ahead of them by staying informed.
These landlord tips can help you have a safe and trusting environment with your tenant. Regular checks and staying informed are great ways to head off issues before they get worse. Similarly, an open relationship with your tenants creates mutual good feelings that translate to fewer vacancies.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold in Your Home

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

Detail of mold and dirt on the glass of window. Toxic mildew Prevent condensation on your windows.

Mold Prevention

Discovering mold in your Westwood Village, CA, home is one sign of a moisture problem. In addition to repairing water damage, you'll have to begin mold remediation immediately, as mold can quickly get out of control and spread throughout your home. Because mold can thrive virtually anywhere that dampness exists, the key to preventing mold growth is controlling the moisture level in your home.

1. Keep Relative Humidity Low
You should keep your home's indoor relative humidity between 30% and 50% and a maximum of 60%. You can measure relative humidity with a moisture or humidity meter. Many hardware stores have inexpensive ones that work well.
There are various ways to reduce your indoor humidity if it is too high. You can run fans and dehumidifiers in multiple rooms. It also helps to run exhaust fans while you're cooking, running the dishwasher or showering. Keep the exhaust fan on for 30 minutes after a shower, because there is typically a lot of humidity in a small space like a bathroom.

2. Dry Spills and Leaks Immediately
It's essential to immediately and thoroughly dry excess water resulting from a spill or a leak. Also, dry any damp or wet materials. Mold can begin growing within 48 hours of water exposure. If the water intrusion is extensive, it's best to call water damage remediation professionals to tackle the job. They can deal with large amounts of gray or black water and also do a thorough inspection for mold throughout your home.

3. Prevent Condensation
You may notice condensation on your windows. This moisture can also form on pipes or walls. Wherever it is, it's crucial to dry it immediately. Then, identify the source of the water. It could be simply that the humidity in your home is too high. Temperature changes due to poor insulation can also cause condensation.
Mold prevention depends on managing all water damage immediately. Once mold growth begins, it can be challenging to completely eliminate it to avoid it spreading into unaffected areas.

How To Prepare Your Home For Strong Winds

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Shingles can peel off during a heavy wind storm in Century City, CA.
Strong winds can strike at any time of year in Century City, CA, so it’s important to ensure that your home is ready to withstand any roof damage or other wind damage that can occur. While you can’t totally avoid it, there are some things you can do to mitigate a potential problem.

How To Prepare Your Roof For Strong Winds

Shingles can peel off during a heavy wind storm, especially if the edges haven’t been secured or the tabs no longer work properly. Call a roofing expert to inspect your roof to determine if you need roof cement added underneath the tabs. This will help to keep the shingles in place during high winds.
For even more wind resistance, consider having your roofing professional apply construction adhesive where the roof decking and rafters meet.

  • How To Ensure Doors, Windows, and Garage
  • Doors Are Wind-Ready
  • Roof damage isn’t the only consideration when preparing your home for strong winds.

Permanent impact-resistant shutters will protect your windows against heavy winds.
Entry doors should have dead bolt locks and three hinges for wind protection.
Impact-resistant glass is a must for all patio doors.
Check with the manufacturer of your garage door to see if bracing kits are available for more protection.

How To Keep Landscaping From Contributing To Wind Damages
You may not realize it, but the landscaping on your property can contribute to the problem. Rocks and gravel can cause a lot of damage if they become airborne. Consider wood chips or shredded bark instead.
Trees can also wreak havoc during a storm. Make sure all bushes and trees are trimmed regularly so that branches don’t touch the house. Also, inspect your trees periodically to make sure they are healthy and strong since a weak tree is more apt to fall over during heavy winds.
While you can’t totally avoid house and roof damage during a storm, preparing your home for strong winds can make all the difference.