Archived Blog Posts
The Importance of Reviewing Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage
Storm damage in Beverly Hills, CA.
Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage
The right commercial storm insurance for your company in Beverly Hills, CA, can offer peace of mind and protect your business from a disaster. It's a good idea to meet with your insurance agent at least once a year to go over your policy. This allows you to update features if your business has expanded or changed in any significant way. It also enables you to see if rates have changed and if a better package fits your needs. When reviewing your policy, consider looking at the following items:
- The total you are paying for premiums
- The level of deductibles you have
- Any changes in the insurance industry that affects your policy
- Any gaps in insurance coverage that leave you unprotected
Your agent may also have ideas to improve your coverage. A good decision on insurance could save your company thousands of dollars.
You should be able to customize your deductibles on your storm insurance. In general, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your overall premium. It pays to understand some of the terminology related to this area of your policy. A dollar deductible refers to a dollar amount that the business owner must pay before the insurance company pays for damages. A percentage deductible replaces a fixed dollar amount with a percentage of the total loss, such as 2 percent; this type of deductible has become more common due to a trend of large storms in the U.S. The rules governing deductibles vary from state to state.
If your company is hit by a large storm, you will be glad you spent some time getting your storm insurance coverage in order. It can be a big help in the recovery process. Working with a professional storm mitigation franchise can also give you additional peace of mind. A trained company allows you to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Containment Key to Minimizing Mold Spreading
Contacting a mold cleanup and restoration company is essential in stopping the spread.
Key to Reducing Mold Spread: Containment
If mold makes an appearance in your Westwood Village, CA, business, immediate action needs to be taken to keep the problem from growing. Once mold spores get the moisture, nutrients and warm temps they need, they will quickly start spreading to other areas of the property. Contacting a mold cleanup and restoration company is essential in stopping the spread. They will work to contain the affected area and have the tools and expertise to mitigate the issue the right way.
Stopping the Spread
While you wait for help to arrive, there are a few ways to minimize the spread.
If possible, turn off vents to the affected area to minimize the chances of spores spreading. Consider sealing the door with plastic wrap and tape.
Lower the temperature and ensure humidity is below 60%. If possible, run a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture in the air.
Any moldy objects should be placed in sealable plastic bags and removed from the area. For delicate items, such as documents, bag and freeze them to deactivate the growth process.
Objects that can’t be removed should be wiped down or temporarily covered.
Once help arrives, a certified professional will inspect and assess the mold contamination. Depending on the extent of the issues, different containment and cleaning techniques may be used. They will create a containment chamber to isolate the affected area, which minimizes the chances of cross-contamination. In most cases, HEPA-filtered negative air will be used to better seal the area. It creates a vacuum effect, limiting contamination. Disposable personal protective equipment, including facemasks, gloves and full-body suits will be employed to keep spores from attaching to regular clothes and drifting to unknown parts.
Dealing with mold cleanup is not an easy task. It is a microorganism that wants to survive, so taking immediate action to contain and begin the removal process is essential.
Looking Out for the Helpers: First Responder Safety
Drive carefully and follow the rules of the road.
Safety Tips For First Responders
When disaster strikes Century City, CA, there is probably going to be an opportunity for the community to help. Those who take care of people during an emergency must also be mindful to take care of themselves. Here are some safety tips for every first responder.
Protection Against Disease
The potential for contact with harmful bacteria or viruses after a storm increases. If you are going to come into contact with floodwaters or people who are hurt, the CDC recommends that you get the following immunizations:
- Tetanus (if you haven't had a booster in the last 10 years)
- Hepatitis B
- Recommended shots for particular region where you are working
If you are going to be helping in and around floodwaters, flood mitigation experts suggest wearing the proper protective gear. Gloves, waterproof coveralls, rubber boots and a face mask with a respirator can help keep the microbes in the water from getting to you.
Protection Against Electrical Hazards
Fierce storms tend to bring down power lines. As a first responder, you need to be on the lookout for lines that have come into contact with standing water so that you can avoid it. If you are entering a home to rescue someone, it is a good idea to turn off the power at the main circuit breaker so that you can enter safely.
Protection Against Auto Accidents
During flood response, it is important to remember to keep doing the things you always do to stay safe. Drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. Do not drive through water that is too deep for you to see the bottom. Adjust your speed to accommodate for potential hazards, and remember to wear your seat belt.
When you are a first responder, you are not just taking care of other people. You must also take care of yourself. By adhering to safety tips and getting immunized against potential diseases, you can be more helpful to others.
Top 3 Reasons Why Irrigation Maintenance Is Important
Regular irrigation maintenance ensures the system works as intended or better.
Why You Should Maintain the Sprinklers
Before you use the sprinkler system to refresh the plants outside your Westwood, CA, business, it is important to perform irrigation maintenance. While it can seem tedious and challenging at times, it is important for the well-being of the system and your landscape. Learn about some of the reasons why you should maintain the sprinklers.
1. Prevents Sprinkler Flooding and Other Issues
Outdoor sprinklers are exposed to a variety of dangerous elements that can damage them. Animals, civilian traffic, severe weather and typical wear and tear can damage the sprinkler heads, pipes and valves that compose the system. Issues with these parts can cause improper irrigation that can malnourish the plant life or cause flooding in your property that can be fixed by commercial building restoration specialists. Frequent inspections can help you find these problems so you can fix them immediately.
2. Adapts System to Seasonal Changes
The development of your property's vegetation depends on each season's precipitation and temperature. As part of your irrigation maintenance schedule, you might need to adjust the direction and quantity of the water spread throughout the landscape, as plants might need more water in one season than another. Failing to adapt the system to each season can cause your plants to be either under or overwatered, which can result in dead grass, trees and flowers.
3. Encourages Upgrades That Improve Efficiency
Despite the straightforward purpose of outdoor sprinklers, manufacturers are always improving the ways that water is distributed throughout the property. New irrigation technology, especially when operated by computers, distributes water in a manner that reduces waste and reaches the most territory. Maintenance allows you to observe the current irrigation setup, then decide what components need upgrades and whether to replace the entire system for a more efficient counterpart.
Every device that services your business requires upkeep and your sprinklers are no exception. Regular irrigation maintenance ensures the system works as intended or better, which keeps your landscape and your business healthy.
Is a Smart Smoke Alarm Right for You?
Investing in smart detectors to improve your home's security can be a wise move.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Smart Smoke Alarm?
Changing your Beverly Hills, CA, smoke alarm to a smart device can seem like a big jump. After all, these detectors have performed well without any significant changes to their design. However, smart detectors add peace of mind and fire safety features you don't have with a traditional alarm.
A smoke detector is essential. It keeps you safe and helps you avoid the need for fire mitigation services.
Three main kinds of smart devices enhance the ability to detect smoke in your home:
- Smart detector
- Smart batteries
A smart smoke detector is an entire device that replaces your previous one. It connects to your phone, and you receive notifications through an app. You can silence false alarms and learn when it's time to change the batteries. Some models include carbon monoxide detection. Smart detectors usually run $100 or more per device.
Listeners are devices you plug into your wall. They listen for the specific frequency of a smoke alarm and send you a notification if one activates. If your home only requires one detector, a listener probably won't save you money since it costs around $100. However, a device can listen to one or more floors of your home, so you can potentially save money with a listener instead of purchasing several new alarms.
Smart batteries operate like 9-volt batteries. They connect to your phone and send notifications when the alarm goes off. They also notify you when the battery life reaches its end.
Choosing a Smart Smoke Alarm
The device you choose depends on your home's size, how old your current detectors are, and how much you're willing to spend. If you have one alarm nearly 10 years old, it may be worth it to replace it with a smart device. A listener or smart battery may be more economical if you have several newer alarms.
Enhancing the safety of your home with smart detectors can be a good decision. It helps first to consider the cost and return on your investment.
The Benefits of Regular Furnace Maintenance
Change the furnace filters and make sure there are no obstructions around the unit.
During times of cold weather, your furnace must bring you heat when you need it the most. To increase the likelihood of this happening, it makes sense to have a regular maintenance plan for this important item in your home in Westwood Village, CA. A few of these items you can do yourself, such as changing the furnace filters and making sure there are no obstructions around the unit. It is also a good idea to keep combustible items away from the heat source, so you won't need any fire cleaning services. For professional maintenance, it is best to call in a licensed HVAC contractor.
The Value of an Efficient Furnace
Dirt is one of the biggest enemies of your heating system. It can cause your unit to run less efficiently and it can cause wear and tear on components and hardware. A clean and well-oiled furnace provides many benefits to your home:
- A quiet and efficient operation
- A reliable heating unit
- An absence of emergency repairs
- A safe system
A well-maintained furnace is just one way to increase fire safety in your home. If you do need fire cleaning services, it is also important to hire a trusted fire mitigation franchise. Trained technicians will arrive at your home quickly and help you minimize damage and reduce costs.
The Importance of Smoke Cleaning
Even a small fire has the potential to cause soot and smoke damage. Fire restoration experts use advanced equipment and cleaning techniques to remove the most difficult stains and the most pervasive smells from a home fire. To deodorize a home, an odor control technician uses tools such as ozone machines, thermal foggers and air filtration devices. They understand the science behind smoke odors and can usually remove all hints of unpleasant smells. This is just one aspect of professional fire cleaning after a home fire, whether it is caused by your heating system or some other source.
Essential Steps for an Effective Sewage Cleanup
The last thing you want to experience in your home is some sort of sewage spill.
The last thing you want to experience in your home is some sort of sewage spill, but it does happen. This serious situation calls for a rapid response from an experienced water restoration company in your town of Century City, CA. A team of highly-trained and certified technicians will arrive quickly and get to work restoring your home to its original condition. They will follow a proven sewer cleanup protocol that prioritizes safety and minimizes damage to your home and its contents.
The Sewer Damage Restoration Process
Once a crew arrives at your home, they will immediately begin to assess the situation. In the case of a sewer backup, the workers will don the appropriate PPE, watch out for safety issues and contain the damage. They will come up with a plan, communicate with you and get your approval, and then follow through with some or all of the following actions:
- Complete water removal through the use of vacuums and pumps
- Thorough drying of impacted walls, flooring and other structures
- Professional cleaning and sanitizing of tainted surfaces
- Cleaning of salvageable personal items through advanced techniques
- Restoration of damaged structures such as drywall and insulation
While a flooded toilet might impact a smaller area, the process remains similar. The crew has one main goal: restoring your home to its original condition.
The Sewer Cleanup Results
A professional job makes sure that there are no lingering smells in the home. It also makes sure areas are dried enough to prevent the future growth of mold, which can be a possibility after water damage. A quality contractor will also make sure to look at the reasons for the spill in the first place and make recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
A sewer cleanup can be a traumatic event for you as a homeowner. A professional job allows you to continue on with your life without lasting consequences.
Why You Should Purchase Fire Insurance for Your Commercial Building
Commercial fire in Westwood, CA
Property fires may be more common than you think they are. In 2017, there were nearly 500,000 structure fires in America alone. These fires caused more than $10 billion in damage. While most of these blazes occurred in homes, they can harm commercial buildings, as well. That is why you need to purchase fire insurance for your business.
The Types of Damage During a Fire
Fire is destructive in multiple ways. They can cause damage via:
Most commercial insurance policies will pay for fire damage that results from all of these sources. Insurance can also cover fees charged by fire departments. Any harm that results from fire suppressants, such as fire extinguishers and sprinklers, should be part of your policy, as well.
If you do not have proper fire insurance, you will have to use company profits or assets to cover the cost of fire restoration and smoke cleanup services. Your business could shut down entirely if it cannot afford the remediation. Insurance should thus help your company survive a fire disaster.
The Proper Amount of Insurance
You may be tempted to lower your premium by insuring your property for less than what it is worth. Yet underinsuring your Westwood, CA, property is almost as bad as failing to insure it at all. For starters, you likely will not have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of the restoration. Your insurer may also impose a penalty if you fail to purchase sufficient insurance.
To make sure you insure your property for its actual value, have an appraiser assess the premises annually. When deciding how much insurance to purchase, use the appraiser's calculations rather than your agent's estimations.
Buying fire insurance is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. It should give you the funds to keep your company afloat following a blaze.
5 Advantages of Electronic Claims Systems
Exchanging information with your insurance agent just became much easier with electronic claims systems.
Electronic Claims Systems Have Five Benefits
Today, technology has made sharing data and filing an insurance claim for your business in Beverly Hills, CA, incredibly easy. This allows you to get your claim money quicker, so you can hire a disaster restoration company, such as SERVPRO, and get started rebuilding as soon as possible.
1. Earlier Payments
It can take a while for a traditional claim to receive a payout. However, filing an electronic insurance claim can result in earlier payments. This means you can start rebuilding your business sooner and reopen with minimal downtime.
2. Earlier Detection of Errors
Any information in your insurance claim that you submit electronically can be scanned for errors quicker. This means you can edit your claim as soon as possible and resubmit it if any errors are found. This drastically reduces the chance that your claim will be rejected or you will be denied payment.
3. Lower Administrative Costs
When you submit claims electronically, you lower the amount you have to pay to create paper copies and send them in. This is because you don't need to print documents and physically submit them to your agent. Instead, you can submit them all online through your customer portal.
4. Free Software Submissions
Most insurance companies now have their own electronic claims system. That means you no longer have to pay a third-party electronic claim submitter and submit your documents for free through a customer portal.
5. Available Support
Many insurance companies have a helpline for customers who are trying to submit their documents electronically. You can often find this number in the customer portal or on the company's website if you need it. In other words, even technophobes can submit their documents online.
Exchanging information with your insurance agent just became much easier with electronic claims systems. This lets you get connected faster and submit your critical documents for review. Many benefits come from a faster submission.
How To Get Tax Relief for Storm Damage
Storm damage to a commercial building in Westwood Village, CA.
How to Get Storm Damage Tax Relief
Storm damage to your commercial building in Westwood Village, CA, can end up costing a lot of money to repair. While a good insurance policy and timely response from storm restoration experts can significantly lower the hit to your budget, you probably will end up paying some out-of-pocket expenses that you weren't planning to spend. The good news is that you may be able to get tax relief.
It is likely that a portion of the financial loss you endure due to an unexpected storm is tax-deductible. There are several things that factor into how much you can deduct:
- Your property's fair market value
- Timeliness of your insurance claim
- Amount of reimbursement you receive from your provider
Typically, you can claim these deductions in the year in which the storm occurs. If the storm damage is due to a federally declared disaster, however, you may have a little more choice in which year's tax rules will yield you a higher deduction.
Another possible type of relief from both federal and state taxes is an extension on the due dates for filing and making payments. Your building does not necessarily have to be in the federally declared disaster area to qualify for these extensions. This reprieve can give you a little more time to get your business up and running again and recover some of the losses before having to make your tax payments.
No matter how good your record-keeping is, a storm can destroy your tax files along with your building. The IRS often waives the fees to get copies of tax transcripts when a disaster is involved. This is particularly helpful when you are claiming your deduction on a previous year you have already filed.
While storm damage can be devastating to a business, help is available. Talk to your accountant about the potential tax relief that you can receive after disaster strikes.
4 Ways To Prevent Damage and Prepare for a Winter Storm
Make sure your building is properly insulated.
Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
A winter storm can be beautiful, but it can also be a nightmare for your business if you are unprepared for it in Century City, CA. The heavy snow, wind and ice that accompanies the storm can cause severe damage and costly repairs. When these disasters happen, call your insurance company and a storm damage restoration service immediately to file a claim and begin repairs. While you cannot prevent a storm from coming your way, there are several steps you can take to prevent some of the damage from happening and mitigate loss. Here are a few ways to prepare your business for winter weather.
1. Insulate Your Building
Make sure your building is properly insulated. If temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing flood and water damage. Routinely inspect your building’s heating system to ensure it is working properly and keep the temperature above 55°F to avoid a pipe break.
2. Perform Regular Maintenance
Keep a regular maintenance schedule to make sure windows, doorways and the outside of your building are in good condition. Over time, building materials can wear down, allowing cracks and gaps to form which can reduce the structural integrity and insulation of your building and make it more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. In addition, you should routinely inspect your roof. Replace any broken shingles and make sure shingles are intact and firmly nailed down to prevent roof leaks and wind damage.
3. Stock Emergency Supplies
Create an emergency winter weather kit that includes snow shovels, ice-melting salt and a first aid kit in case a winter storm comes through unexpectedly. Keep non-perishable food items available in case you are stuck in your building overnight and cannot go home.
4. Watch Local Weather
During the winter months, stay on top of the local weather forecast. Start preparing early if a snowstorm is heading your way, and make sure your staff is adequately prepared.
A winter storm can cause severe damage if you do not take it seriously. Performing routine maintenance on your building and keeping an eye on the weather can greatly reduce damage and keep your business safe.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Flood
Create a plan for how you will leave the house and where you will go.
Keep Your Family and Property Safe During Severe Weather
If your Westwood, CA, home is located in an area that experiences a lot of flooding, then you likely need to take extra precautions to keep your family and property safe during severe weather. Here are a few ways that you can do that.
1. Maintain Your Home to Prevent Water Build-Up
In order to minimize storm damage to your home, you should be sure to perform proper maintenance, even when you are not expecting bad weather. To prevent moisture from building inside the walls, perform regular inspections of your home’s exterior to check for gaps or cracks. You should also make sure that all of your windows’ seals are working properly. Don’t forget to clean out your storm drains and gutters as well, since clogged ones can cause water to back up and leak into your home.
2. Protect Your Property and Belongings
If you know that you may have flood damage, you can prepare by protecting your belongings. A waterproof safe is a great option for any important documents. You can store smaller items in waterproof and air-tight containers while moving whatever you can to a higher location, like a shelf or a second floor. If you can move your furniture, you may want to do that as well. Covering it with plastic can reduce damage.
3. Have an Evacuation Plan
While your home is important, your family is more so. If the flooding becomes an emergency, you should be ready to move to a safer area. Create a plan for how you will leave the house and where you will go. To make sure that everyone is prepared, it might be a good idea to practice beforehand.
Being prepared for flooding can help you protect what’s important, but you will likely not be able to save everything. If your home or belongings are damaged, a water damage remediation service can help restore your house and any items that are not beyond repair.
How To Clean Up After a Commercial Fire
Commercial fire damage in Beverly Hills, CA.
You may be skilled and efficient at running your business in Beverly Hills, CA, growing your customer base and dealing with personnel, however do you know what your business needs after a fire? Fires can be an unexpected disaster that can feel difficult to overcome. Knowing what steps need to be taken can make the fire and smoke damage cleanup feel more manageable.
What Things Need Cleanup After a Fire
Following a fire, there are several things that need doing right away. Specific processes need to be used for specific damage in order to salvage content. Following is a partial guide to cleaning:
- Dry cleaning for clothing and fabric items
- Ozone for smoke cleaning
- Vacuuming for loose soot
- Ultrasonic for non-porous surfaces
- Inspection of the structural elements
Know the Difference Between Soot and Smoke
Soot can be a tricky substance to clean as it is greasy and sticky. It is composed of incompletely burned oily or greasy materials and can contain toxic chemicals, so it must be cleaned carefully. Soot also carries a foul stench that may need extra cleaning. It cannot be dissipated unless the actual soot is removed.
Smoke odor can also be a plaguing problem. Smoke damage can cause staining and may even cause certain materials to become brittle. It can leave a clinging residue on every surface it touches and carries odor as well. The smoke odor can be removed by using an ozone machine.
Structural materials that are otherwise salvageable may still be affected by soot damage and the odors it carries. Cleaning the soot from studs, sheetrock, ceilings, countertops and other surfaces is critical to the elimination of the smell. Once cleanup is finished the structural restoration can begin.
In Beverly Hills, CA, you can get the help you need from qualified fire restoration professionals that are trained in cleaning smoke damage and the smells that go with it. You can have hope that your commercial building will be sound and clean smelling again soon.
4 Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Bathrooms
Leaking pipes and faucets can be a serious problem
Four Bathroom Plumbing Problems in Commercial Buildings
As a business owner, you know how serious plumbing issues can be. If one pipe break occurs, your business needs to shut down for repairs. Due to heavy use, commercial bathrooms are prone to certain issues. Here are the most common issues they experience.
1. Toilet Clogs
Any business' toilet is going to get used a lot. While they are designed for heavy use, they're still prone to clogs. Clogs in commercial buildings can be so much worse than those in a house. Plus, if they are not caught quickly enough, they can flood your restrooms. This can force you to hire water damage restoration professionals.
If there are numerous bathrooms in your facility, leaking pipes and faucets can be a serious problem. While small leaks may not seem like a big deal, they can lead to a lot of wasted water over time and high increases in your utility bill. If you discover a leak, be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible.
3. Broken Toilet Handles
Excessive clogs are not the only thing that can be a problem with commercial toilets. They also are more likely to have a broken handle due to excessive use. To combat this, many companies decided to go with touch-free toilets. These can save money a lot of money by conserving water. However, if you are still using old school toilets, be warned that a broken handle can lead to more wasted water than leaking pipes.
4. Sewage Blocks
Another thing that's worse than leaking pipes is a sewage block in Westwood Village, CA. They can lead to foul smells throughout your business. This can drive away customers and ruin your relationship with your employees.
Some common problems to look out for in your commercial bathroom include a toilet backup, broken handles, sewage blocks, and leaks. If you find any of these, be sure to get them fixed quickly to protect your customer relationships and minimize your damage.
How To Choose and Use a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home
Identify the appropriate type of extinguisher.
You hope you never have to face a fire in your home, but taking appropriate precautions is an important way to prepare for emergencies. One of the first things you should do, in addition to installing appropriate fire and smoke alarms, is to put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Types and Classes of Extinguishers
The first step is to identify the appropriate type of extinguisher. There are several options available. These include:
- Water Mist
- AFFF Foam
- Carbon Dioxide
- ABC Powder
- Wet Chemical
It's important to understand which of these is best for your home. Look at the class designations to make this decision, for example water and foam fire extinguishers are only appropriate for class A fires.
• Class A: solid combustible materials, such as paper, coal, and wood
• Class B: flammable liquids, such as paints, alcohol, and paraffin
• Class C: combustion gases, such as propane, methane, and natural gas
• Class D: flammable metals, such as aluminum, sodium, and potassium
• Class K: combustible cooking materials, such as fats and grease
• Electrical: electrical appliances, such as stereos and fuse boxes
Why the Correct Choice Matters
Using the correct extinguisher is vital. For example, if you were to use a water mist extinguisher on a Class F fire, the water may send drops of burning oil or grease around the room, causing fire damage and injuries to your family members. The extinguishers recommended for homes are Class ABC with higher classification numbers, such as a 3-A:40-B:C unit.
How To Use an Extinguisher
Once you've chosen your extinguisher, follow the PASS sequence to put out flames before fire damage becomes too severe.
• PULL the pin.
• Aim at the base of the fire.
• SQUEEZE the lever or button about the handle.
• SWEEP from side to side.
If you already have extinguishers in your home, check the date. Even if you haven't used the devices, they may lose pressure or effectiveness if they are too old.
Keep Your Home and Family Safe
Fire extinguishers are a vital element of home and family safety. If you're not sure where to keep the safety devices or how many you need for your home, contact fire remediation professionals in Century City, CA.
3 Reasons To Own and Operate a Damage Restoration Franchise
If your home in Westwood, CA has suffered from damage seek the expertise of a certified mitigation company.
Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider Owning and Operating a SERVPRO Franchise
Damage mitigation and restoration services are always in demand. Whether a crisis impacts a single home, neighborhood, city or larger region, a one-stop cleanup and remediation business can meet the needs of homeowners and communities. Here are three reasons why entrepreneurs should consider owning and operating a SERVPRO franchise.
1. Perpetual Demand
When a home suffers damage, many homeowners will seek the expertise of a certified mitigation company. There are several factors that set SERVPRO apart from the competition:
- All-in-one mitigation and restoration services
- Fast response times
- Industry-leading certifications and standards
- National company with local franchises
These factors draw customers and explain why entrepreneurs may want to own and operate this business. If demand exceeds the capacity of a local SERVPRO franchise in the event of a catastrophe, the national company can offer regional support.
2. Professional Support
In the event of a disaster such as a hurricane, tornado or wildfire, a national restoration company can help a local franchise provide services to the affected area. This can enable a location to meet increased demand for mitigation and restoration services with the following resources:
- Additional equipment
- Certified experts
- Supplementary personnel
SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. When a catastrophe strikes, the company can mobilize more than 1,700 franchises nationwide.
3. Proven Success
SERVPRO was founded in 1967 and sold its first franchise in 1969. The company has continued to grow over the last 50 years. Today, it is the highest-ranked restoration company on the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500 ranking.
Entrepreneurs should consider opening a SERVPRO franchise for the same reasons that homeowners and insurers rely on this company in the event of a disaster in Westwood, CA. The business model enables one-stop mitigation and restoration businesses that are locally owned to benefit from the experience, name-recognition and national network of an established company.
Getting Ready for the Worst: Disaster Preparedness Tips
Invest in wind shutters or board windows with plywood.
How quickly can your company can get back on its feet after a tornado, fire or flood? If you don’t have a disaster preparedness plan, the answer is probably not very fast. Emergency plans aren’t often top of mind when the weather is good, but that’s exactly when you should prepare. Ensure your Beverly Hills, CA, business is ready to weather the worst in the future by following these tips today.
Learn the Risks
Disaster risks are posed by events both manmade and naturally occurring. Some of the top things to plan for include the following situations:
- Terror attacks
A good preparedness plan should be effective across all the above and more. Below are a few tips to get you started.
Create a Business Continuity Blueprint
Figuring out how to keep your organization on its feet during disaster is a key, but often overlooked, part of disaster preparation. Start by identifying your business’s critical operations. Determine which staff roles are crucial to keeping your company afloat and which suppliers, shippers and resources are integral to daily business.
Stash Emergency Supplies
Think about the basics as you prepare a storm supply kit. In addition to basic first aid items, your disaster preparedness kit should contain these necessities:
- Fresh water
- Flashlight with batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Battery-powered commercial radio
- Moistened towelettes
This is just a start. Evaluate your unique needs and build out your business preparedness kit throughout the year.
Secure Your Property
When a storm is imminent, taking basic steps to secure your property can reduce damage. Invest in wind shutters or board windows with plywood. Move garbage bins, furniture and other potential projectiles indoors and secure lids and other moving parts on items that can be brought inside.
Disaster preparedness isn’t glamorous, but it is necessary. Use these tips from top storm preparedness experts to ensure your business isn’t wiped out.
How Do Hygienists Check for Mold?
An environmental hygienist will take samples to send to a lab for analysis.
Sampling Techniques Professionals Use
Hiring an environmental hygienist to perform a mold test is the most accurate method for determining whether mold is growing in a residence. Learn about the sampling techniques professionals use and how test results can increase the effectiveness of mold cleaning.
An environmental hygienist will take samples to send to a lab for analysis. Depending on the situation, a hygienist may obtain different types of samples:
- Bulk (contents or materials)
Any of these methods can yield conclusive results about the type of mold present in a house. Air testing may include analysis of microbial volatile organic compounds and spores. Bulk testing may focus primarily on the presence of spores. All of these methods allow for targeted mold remediation measures.
There are several methods of lab analysis that a hygienist or mold specialist may recommend. The amount of detail and speed of these methods vary:
- A combination of these methods
Microscopy involves visual analysis and can provide results in as little as two days. Culturing is a slower process that involves growing mold spores in a petri dish. This process can provide more detailed results, such as the subspecies of mold, but is slower and more expensive.
A hygienist can provide test results and recommendations for mold cleaning. A homeowner may want to work with a full-service restoration company to ensure that mold remediation proceeds as efficiently as possible. Depending on the species of mold and the extent of an infestation, different cleaning or quarantining methods may be recommended.
These are the three major stages of checking for mold. An environmental hygienist can recommend the best mold cleaning methods for a particular species of fungi or type of infestation. If a homeowner is concerned about mold damage at a residence in Westwood Village, CA, he or she should hire a certified hygienist.
The Truth About Stainless Steel Braided Water Supply Lines in Your Bathroom
If you notice your supply line is leaking or it has already burst, immediately call a water damage specialist.
While many people incorrectly assume that supply line damage can’t occur to stainless steel braided lines, there are numerous unlucky individuals who have had to learn the hard way that this simply isn’t true. This situation can quickly lead to extensive water damage to your home in Century City, CA, especially if you are not home when the line breaks. Understanding why a bathroom supply line leak occurs and knowing what to do if the scenario does arise is important for preventing flooding and damage to your home.
Causes of Broken Supply Lines
If your braided supply line is broken and it’s causing a bathroom leak, there are a few reasons why it might have happened:
• Corrosion: Although stainless steel is resistant to many types of corrosion, it can be corroded over time by certain cleaning chemicals like Chlorine.
• Loose or Cracked Coupling Nuts: Since supply line nuts are often made from a cheap plastic, they are prone to cracking which can cause leaks.
• Crimp Points: The tubing underneath the stainless steel can be damaged due to bending the supply line or corrosion around the crimp collar.
How To Address Supply Line Damage
If you notice your supply line is leaking or it has already burst, immediately call a water damage specialist. If you know how, shut off the water supply immediately. If not, the specialist can turn it off for you when they arrive or direct you to do so over the phone. While waiting for the specialist to arrive, attempt to quickly dry up any water that has started building up in your home. It is important to note that many companies offer lifetime warranties for their supply lines, so take advantage of that to bring down the cost.
Dealing with stainless steel braided supply line damage in your bathroom is an extremely stressful situation that can damage your home. Knowing this ahead of time can help you prepare for the worst and know what to do if a leak does occur.
Important Guidelines for Checking Your Fire Sprinklers
A fire sprinkler is vital to your safety and well-being.
Checking Your Fire Sprinklers: Important Guidelines
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you can’t always prevent disasters from occurring in your Westwood, CA, workplace. There are ways you can prepare for the worst and reduce the risk of serious harm and costly damage. One of the best ways to combat a fire in your office is with a fire sprinkler system. If you don’t currently have sprinklers in your building, it’s time to install some. If you do have them, follow these steps to ensure they’re ready for action.
Overviews of Do’s and Don’ts
When you’re dealing with a potential fire in your office building, you don’t want to take any chances. It’s essential that the sprinklers work correctly and that you maintain them over the years. Keep these guidelines in mind:
- Hire a trusted emergency remediation professional to install this fire suppression system.
- Conduct a yearly test of the sprinklers to ensure they work properly.
- Schedule an annual inspection from a certified professional.
- Don’t do any of these things without the assistance of an expert.
The city in which your building is located probably has certain regulations for the fire code. A professional company will know these guidelines and be able to determine how many sprinklers your office needs based on its layout and size. The company can also install the appropriate size of sprinklers, set to expel the right amount of fire suppressant.
Inspecting your fire sprinkler system won’t just satisfy the local fire marshal but can give you peace of mind that these devices will perform effectively if the time comes. Make sure you schedule these inspections as often as required, or even more frequently if you have concerns.
Just as a fire drill helps you understand what to do in the event of a fire, a sprinkler test demonstrates how this system reacts in an emergency. A restoration crew can provide any fire sprinkler clean up after the test.
It should be easy to see why a fire sprinkler system is so vital to your safety and well-being. Proper installation, inspection and testing gives you the confidence that you’ll have the protection you need during a fire.
How To Minimize Losses From Business Interruption
Flood damage in Beverly Hills, CA.
How to Reduce Business Interruption Losses
How would your business be affected if your building in Beverly Hills, CA, was temporarily unusable due to flooding? Business interruption insurance can help offset some of the financial impacts, but a quick cleanup and restoration are the key to minimizing losses.
Business interruption insurance usually covers things like lost income during a temporary relocation, compensating you for revenue you would have made during that time period. This is great, but there are often limitations, including a waiting period and maximums. When you experience large water damage, you may have downtime due to things like:
- Damages to equipment
- Damages to office or warehouse space
- Inventory loss
- Temporary move-out for remediation and repairs
One of the most difficult financial hardships from a business interruption comes from the loss of long-term customer relationships when customers go elsewhere to fill their needs. Recovery from flooding can have a lasting impact in this way. The best solution to reduce these losses is to minimize the recovery time.
Minimize Recovery Time
A quick recovery is best to reduce losses from direct damages and from lost revenues, as well as those more harmful long-term customer losses. How can you minimize downtime after flooding? Work with a commercial water mitigation specialist. By doing this, you better your chance of a quick and effective recovery by relying on expertise and knowledge that is relevant to your exact needs. You will also benefit from the use of specialized equipment that removes water and dries materials effectively. In contrast, individual contractors are a larger gamble as they may or may not have flood experience, and you may have to work with multiple contractors to meet your needs.
Even though you have business interruption insurance, you can help minimize your losses from a broken pipe or other flood cause by calling a mitigation specialist right away. Working with a specialist is a great way to get back to business quickly so you can continue maintaining existing relationships with customers.
Water in Light Fixtures? Safety First!
When it comes to water in a light fixture, your first step is safety.
Water in Light Fixtures
Unless you live in a clam shell in Triton’s kingdom under the sea, you shouldn’t see water in your light fixtures. When your home is in Westwood Village, CA, water in such a place is a dangerous problem that needs to be addressed quickly. Here are some important things to do to resolve the problem and prevent further damage.
When it comes to water in a light fixture, your first step is safety. Here are three things to do to keep everyone safe:
1. Turn off the electricity. Throw the breakers for the affected locations. If you are in doubt, turn off the power to the whole house before proceeding.
2. Cordon off unsafe areas. You may have some ceiling damage, so look for sagging ceilings or stains to indicate its location and take caution until you find the source of the leak. Prevent children and other family members from being under or above the damaged area.
3. Stop the leak. Finding the leak may be a challenge, but once you have the electricity off, you can proceed without the risk of electrocution. Turn off the water supply to prevent further damage until you can repair the source of the leak.
Prevent Secondary Damage
A sneaky ceiling leak causes a lot of damage. You may need a professional for help with structural and electrical repairs, and prevention of subsequent damage is key. Water-damaged household materials are a prime breeding ground for mold. This is a key point of recovery when a professional flood remediator can save you time and money by working quickly to either remove materials or dry those that can be salvaged.
Keep in mind that mold starts to develop fast, in as few as 48 hours. Prompt and thorough action is key to minimizing damage. Remember that safety is the first step whenever you have water in a light fixture or flood damage in a ceiling.
Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher
Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
As a homeowner in Century City, CA, you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a house fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.
1. Assess the Situation
First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best idea may be to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have the right type for whatever material is burning.
2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire
Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:
• Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
• Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
• Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
• Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
• Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils
These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.
3. Remember: "PASS"
The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step. The "P" tells you to pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation. The "A" tells you to aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom, where the combustion is taking place. The first "S" tells you to squeeze the handle to start the flow, and the second one reminds you to sweep from side to side while spraying.
By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can safely prevent fire damage before it has a chance.
How To Deal With Kitchen Leaks
Keep an eye out for leaks in your home that can lead to flooding.
Two Common Kitchen Leaks
Water is used every day in your Westwood, CA, home, but it can be nerve-wracking when the water leaks. Any unwanted flooding may lead to ruined appliances, water damage, and mold. To prevent this from happening, learn about two common kitchen leaks and what you can do to fix them.
1. The Kitchen Sink
Plumbing fixtures don’t last forever. Sometimes the pipes get old or they malfunction. If you detect a puddle of water underneath the sink, act quickly. Remove all the items in the exposed cabinet and wipe up the water with a towel. Don’t forget to dry the underside of the sink.
Once you have soaked up all the water, leave the cabinet doors open to dry. Leave a towel and test for an actual leak by turning on the faucet and running the garbage disposal. If the sink continues to leak, call a professional.
2. The Dishwasher
Dishwashers can leak and lead to serious flooding. This is a problem most people want to avoid, especially because the water can seep into the floor and cause water damage problems below. To prevent any dishwasher mishaps, keep the kitchen sink unclogged. If kitchen repair is needed, it’s best to dry out the area and call a professional.
There are a few common ways to discover water problems in the home. If you are concerned about kitchen leaks or water damage in your home, look out for the following signs:
- Dripping water
- Stained ceilings or floors
- Swollen or wet walls
If you discover any of these, contact a professional for help. Water damage should be taken care of quickly to avoid further problems.
Keep an eye out for leaks and potential issues that can lead to flooding. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements are often the most vulnerable to leaks. By being aware and acting quickly, you can prevent unwanted water in home appliances and surrounding areas.
4 Alternatives to Sand Bags You Should Know About
Find the perfect sandbag alternative for your commercial building.
If you have to rely on sandbagging to protect your commercial building in Beverly Hills, CA, you may be ready for a quicker solution. A sand bag, after all, is only effective when you have enough warning to put it in place. The sheer number of sand bags needed to protect a space is part of what makes it impractical at times. What happens when a surprise storm strikes your area? Often, you end up with damage that can only be repaired by a commercial water damage remediation expert. If you use one of the following alternatives, you may be ready for a storm no matter when it shows up.
Not all flood dams have to be high tech or filled with sand. The QuickDam is a fabric product that can be placed around your property to absorb storm water. The 5-foot long barrier only stands a little over 3 inches high, so you may want to stack the product for even more protection. When water hits the barrier, it gets absorbed into the swelling barrier.
HydraBarrier helps protect against flood damage by using water. A 6-foot long tube is filled with water to create a dam-like barrier around a property. While it may seem like this could be a time consuming option, it reportedly only takes two minutes to fill up.
The AquaDam is a larger scale version of the HydraBarrier. It can be filled with sand or water. Many users found that it could be put in place 10 times faster than your typical sand bag.
4. Earth Shelters
If you want a permanent flood protection solution, you could consider building an earth shelter around your property. This dike-like design could direct water away from your foundation. It may even help shelter your building from standing water.
Finding the perfect sand bag alternative for your commercial building may take time. However, the time you put into it is worth it when you find a solution that protects your space from flooding.
The 3 Best Candle Alternatives
Fairy lights can add a magical touch indoors or outdoors with a lower fire risk.
Three Flameless Candle Alternatives
Candles cause a large number of house fires. Children or pets can accidentally overturn a candle and ignite nearby combustible materials. These fires also frequently start when open flames are left unattended in a bedroom after the person who lit the candle falls asleep. Here are three flameless candle alternatives that you should consider to produce similar mood lighting effects or scents.
1. Electric Candles
Battery-operated candles are perfect for safer use for decorative purposes or as nightlights in the bedroom. These candles may be designed to flicker or disperse a scent. You can find an electric alternative for most colors, styles, and fragrances of candles, whether you desire a pillar, taper, or tea light look. You can place electric candles almost anywhere without worrying about starting a fire.
2. Christmas or Fairy Lights
Strings of lights are a safe way to add a magical touch indoors or outdoors with a lower fire risk. Use these candle alternatives to create a low-light look when decorating a room or for a holiday. You can select single- or multi-colored strings of lights and choose from standard bulbs or models with ultra-efficient LED bulbs. It is affordable to replace individual bulbs or an entire strand.
3. Candle Warmers
If you have standard scented candles that you would like to enjoy more safely, try pairing them with a candle warmer. These devices are available as low-profile bases or lamp-style designs. You can also spread a scent using oil or wax warmers or reed diffusers for a different look.
These candle alternatives allow you to create lighting looks you love or enjoy the scent of standard wax candles. All of these options also significantly reduce the risk of starting a candle fire. If a fire does break out at your home in Bel Air, CA, schedule a consultation with a residential fire and smoke restoration service.
Uh-Oh… My Food Is on Fire!
A grease fire may result in your home requiring fire cleanup.
How To Extinguish Food Fire
If a grease fire occurs in your home, it is important you know how to properly extinguish it. These fires are different from other types of fires as they ignite as a result of oils becoming too hot, and they should never be extinguished using water. Fires that begin as a result of vegetable oil, animal fats, or other greases should be extinguished as follows:
1. Turn off the heat source. Simply turn the stove knob to the off position without removing any pots or pans from the stovetop.
2. Cover the flames with a metal lid. You can use a baking sheet if you do not have a lid large enough to cover the pot or pan that is on fire. This cuts off the oxygen that the fire requires to continue burning. Do not use a glass lid as they run the risk of shattering.
3. Throw baking soda or salt on the fire to further extinguish it. Only use these two common kitchen ingredients. Never use flour or baking powder as their individual chemical makeup can actually feed the fire rather than put it out.
As a last resort, you can use a fire extinguisher to put out a grease fire. Only use a Class B extinguisher and aim it at the lower portion of the flames, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
What To Do If You Cannot Put the Fire Out
In the event that a fire spreads in your home, evacuate immediately. Be sure to close the door when you exit to help contain the fire. When you have reached a safe distance, call 911 and wait for firefighters to extinguish the flames. Do not re-enter your home under any circumstances until you have been informed that it is safe for you to do so by fire officials.
A grease fire may result in your home requiring fire cleanup. Should you need these services in Westwood, CA, it is best to always hire a fire restoration company.
Three Steps To Prioritize After a Fire
Commercial fires in Century City, CA.
Fire Restoration Process
Commercial fires in Century City, CA, can be devastating, and knowing what to do after a building experience a fire can be overwhelming. Here are three essential steps to take to begin the fire restoration process.
1. Call an Insurance Company
After the fire has been put out and everyone is safe, you’ll need to alert an insurance company that a fire has occurred as soon as you can. The faster you get in touch with an insurance claims manager about fire insurance, the more quickly the claim can be processed and fire restoration can begin. The insurance company will need to notify an insurance assessor to carry out an inspection of the damage.
Additionally, start taking inventory of any items that were destroyed during the fire and their value. Avoid disposing of any damaged goods until after you have taken inventory.
2. Don’t Touch the Damage
Resist touching or moving around any damage done by the fire until after the scene has been surveyed by a loss assessor, as this could slow or stall the claims process. Plus, damaged areas may still be extremely dangerous. Roofs, walls and floors have the potential to collapse, and all the soot and dirty water in the area can cause sickness. Even though fires have been put out, they have the potential to start again. Reenter the scene only after the fire department indicates it’s safe to do so.
3. Hire a Board-Up Service
Board-up services are companies that have expertise in cleaning and restoring commercial buildings and other related items after disasters like fires. These companies will secure the building against additional damage, repair damage and even provide cost estimates to repair or replace personal and household items. Additionally, they usually offer smoke cleaning, item storage and property cleaning. Ask your insurance agent who he or she recommends.
Commercial fires in Century City, CA, are distressing. Knowing these three steps ahead of time can help you be prepared in the instance of a fire, speed up the fire restoration process and ensure the property is fully cleaned and restored.
Can I Still Have Mold if I Don’t See It?
Mold damage in Westwood, CA.
Just because there’s no visible mold on the surfaces of your home doesn’t mean you don’t have it. Mold can often proliferate in rainy weather in Westwood, CA, but if it’s hidden away in little crevices in your home then you might not find it until it’s done irreparable damage. This is where an indoor environmental specialist can help you by identifying mold growth before it spreads. By calling in a specialist, you may uncover a disturbing pattern of mold growth that’s been going unchecked for longer than you think.
Why Would I Suspect That I Have Mold?
If you can’t see the mold, why would you suspect you have it? There can be a number of tell-tale signs, including:
- Terrible odors caused by mycotoxins in the air
- Discolorations and stains on your walls, including water stains
- Cracking, peeling, or bubbling paint
- Problems with water leakage in the home – while you may not see visible mold, where there’s water leakage mold and mildew almost always follow
- Condensation clinging to places such as windowsills and door frames
If these signs make you suspect you have mold, you may try a home mold testing kit, but you can get better answers from a professional indoor environmental specialist.
Why Trust a Specialist?
Mold can be extremely difficult to get rid of, especially if it’s hidden deep in the corners of your home and in inaccessible areas. Indoor environmental specialists are trained in detecting mold in places the average person wouldn’t think to look, and recommending safe remediation activities that may not be accessible to the general public. Specialists also know a great deal about the types of mold, and the damage they can do to your home – and can advise you not just on mold remediation and cleanup, but future mold prevention.
The Risks of Commercial Polybutylene Piping
If you cannot replace the pipes in the near future, you should plan for potential damage.
If you have an older commercial property, it may have polybutylene pipes. As a staple of late-twentieth-century construction, it was widely implemented as a cheaper alternative to traditional piping. This material was later found to have problems with longevity. Your Beverly Hills, CA, business could be at risk because of this pipe type, and here is what to look for and consider.
Identifying the Pipes
The most widely implemented use for this material was to feed water from a water line into a commercial building. The polymer typically comes in a few colors: white, gray, and blue. These pipes are typically located in or around a number of locations:
• Water meters
• Shutoff valves
• Water heaters
If you are unsure of what material your business utilizes, an inspector or plumber may be able to give you a definitive answer. The tubing types often look similar and can easily be misidentified by untrained individuals.
Considering Reasons to Replace
A class-action lawsuit in 1995, Cox v. Shell Oil, won in favor of consumers with the conclusion that polybutylene pipes were damaged too easily and were not a proper installation. It phased out of the market in the United States following that.
Typical chemicals in the water supply, such as chlorine, deteriorate the interior of the pipe until it breaks. This risks a pipe break leading to costly water damage. Local building codes may even explicitly forbid the polymer piping from being used due to these risks.
Replacing the Pipes
With the knowledge of why the pipes are dangerous, you are likely wondering how to remedy it. You can work out what’s salvageable from your old system with the assistance of a plumber. Most likely, you will be advised to install new plumbing.
Treating a Broken Pipe
If you cannot replace the pipes in the near future, you should plan for potential damage. An expert water damage treatment crew can remove water from the affected areas of your property. Alternatively, updated plumbing and proper maintenance of the system can help prevent repair costs related to any problematic polybutylene.
Storm Damage Remediation
Keeping water where it belongs and a balanced perspective is central to the experience of homeownership.
As homeowners in Westwood, CA, and other locations around the country are likely to attest, the clean-up, repair, and restoration chores that emerge after a damaging storm are at a minimum, a nuisance, and in many cases, a much more serious undertaking. Storm damage remediation can range from a clean-up to a tear-out to a rebuild, depending on the type and extent of the destruction.
The Usual Suspect: Water
One of the most frequent and frustrating problems property owners face is the damaging effects of water infiltration. To further complicate the challenge of inundation, floodwater from rivers and streams brings the specter of biological contamination, commonly known as black water. Once a destructive storm has passed, assessment of its damage may begin and progress to the following procedures:
1. The extraction of water through pumping, mopping, and dehumidification.
2. Tear out of wet materials to prevent mold growth.
3. Drying of the structure.
4. Decontamination of salvageable materials.
5. Repair and replacement of compromised building material and furnishings.
While it is true that many materials that have been subjected to black water contamination will have to be discarded, other types of water damage can be mitigated. A professional assessment can be very helpful in making the correct determination, especially with regard to the safety of the home and its furnishings.
Documentation is Vital
Document the damage before initiating storm restoration. It is likely to be necessary for filing flood insurance claims, and there may be a delay in the arrival of an adjuster if flooding is widespread. Digital pictures and/or videos that can be easily emailed are the preferred media.
Humanity’s relationship to the planet’s most abundant natural resource can seem paradoxical, particularly in the midst of a tear out of the cherished furnishings of a home. Keeping water where it belongs and a balanced perspective is central to the experience of homeownership.
Swamp Cooler Maintenance Is a Key To Mold Prevention
Swamp coolers provide an economical way to keep your house cool, but they introduce moisture into an otherwise dry home. If you have a properly maintained cooler, monitor the humidity levels, and are on the lookout for mold or a musty smell, you are probably going to be mold-free. If you have a leaking swamp cooler and it goes unnoticed, you could have problems. Swamp coolers can leak for several reasons.
• The plumbing connections to the cooler could be loose or corroded.
• The pads are loose, have become dislodged, or need to be replaced.
• The float valve that maintains the water level allows the water in the reservoir to overflow.
• The reservoir is cracked or otherwise damaged, allowing water to leak into the house.
• The residue from hard water evaporation negatively affects its operation.
Have Your Swamp Cooler Checked Regularly
By the time you realize that you have a leaking swamp cooler, you may already have a mold problem. With swamp coolers, the best approach to leaks is to prevent them or catch them early. Schedule an appointment to have your cooler inspected and tested. That would also be a good time to have the pad changed and look for evidence of leaks.
Do Not Let Your Swamp Cooler Operate Unattended
This is not to say that you should turn it off before going to the grocery store and turn it back on when you return. This refers to times when you are away, and no one is keeping an eye on your house because changes in the weather or failure of your cooler can change the amount of moisture being delivered into your house.
You Don't Need a Swamp Cooler To Have a Mold Problem
A leaking swamp cooler is only one of many problems that can trigger mold growth. Mold problems can occur anywhere that mold can find moisture and food, including Century City, CA. If you have a mold problem, it’s best to have nearby mold removal experts address your problem quickly and completely.
Stay Safe During the Next Flood and Avoid Getting Behind the Wheel
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
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
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
- 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
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
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:
- Tubs and showers
- 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?
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
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
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
Prevent condensation on your windows.
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
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.
3 Types of Commercial Insurance Your Business Needs
Commercial fire damage in Westwood, CA.
Three Types Of Policies Businesses Should Purchase
There are many different types of commercial insurance and the terminology can be confusing to some business owners. The exact types of insurance you will need will depend on the type of business you own and your risk management strategy; however, these are three common types of policies that most businesses should purchase.
1. Commercial Property Insurance
This type of insurance protects the physical assets of your business, such as the building you operate out of, office furniture, computers, manufacturing equipment, inventory and other items. Some types of property, such as vehicles, are typically excluded because those items are usually covered by a separate policy. Typical causes of loss covered by commercial property insurance include fire damage, sudden and accidental discharge of water, wind damage and explosion. In addition to paying for the repair or replacement of damaged property, this type of insurance may cover cleaning and restoration services.
2. Business Liability Insurance
Liability insurance is another common type of commercial insurance. Some types of liability insurance may be required by law in Westwood, CA. Liability policies provide coverage for the money you are legally liable to pay to another party due to the negligent actions of you or your employees. These policies can be general liability policies that cover liability that isn't specifically covered by another policy or policies that cover specific types of liability, such as product liability, malpractice, or automobile.
3. Commercial Auto Insurance
This type of policy covers damage to your company vehicles from collisions, weather, theft and other causes of loss. It also provides liability protection for money owed due to the negligence of someone driving one of your company vehicles.
Every business does not require every type of commercial insurance available. However, these three types are required by most businesses. If you are unsure which policies you need to purchase, an insurance professional can assist you.
Don't Risk Losing Data When the Power Goes Out
Storm damage to a Beverly Hills, CA building.
Having A Plan Can Save Your Business
Out of all the variables that can pose risks to the health of your business, experiencing a power outage needn't be one of them. Loss of power can happen to anyone and at any time due to reasons such as:
- Planned brownouts
- Unexpected grid failures
Even if outages are unavoidable, you can take control of their impact on your business by having a plan in place when they occur.
Make Sure You Back Up Your Data
All businesses need to utilize reliable software to back up their databases. Since access to data is imperative for maintaining a stable, secure operation, this is not an area you should neglect. Make sure your company's IT department is up on all the latest tools for network security and data backups and will help you implement a disaster recovery plan if the worst should happen.
Have the Proper Equipment in Place
At a minimum, all your computers and other necessary equipment should be outfitted with a battery backup that will kick in when the power goes out. Even better, make sure you have a portable generator on hand that will keep the most essential equipment running throughout the power outage.
One step better is to install a standby generator that will kick on as soon as it detects a loss of power, so there is no interruption of service. Finally, if your business is large or complex, the best option is to get an industrial generator to eliminate risk and keep you running without a hitch.
Know Who To Call
In an emergency, every business should have a Continuity of Business Plan, which includes a chain of command and a list of who to call. Besides the power company and your IT service, make sure you have the number of a commercial storm specialist in Beverly Hills, CA, who can take care of cleanup, damage repair and remediation if needed.
Though accidents and natural disasters often happen without warning, you can take measures to mitigate the impact a power outage has on the viability and success of your business. Having a robust plan and the proper tools will save you time, money — and possibly your business.
What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks
Keep a leaking water heater from causing immense harm to your home.
What To Do When You Discover A Water Heater
If you have a leaking water heater, it can lead to much larger issues within your home. Even a small amount of water can harm your floor or surrounding walls. If you have a large leak, you may see quite extensive damage to your home. Here is what you need to do when you discover a failed water heater with a puddle surrounding it.
Examine the Unit
Puddles in the basement of your Century City, CA, home can form for a variety of reasons so be sure to take a close look at your unit to be sure that a leaking water heater is the source of the problem. Be sure to check:
- Pipes above and around the puddle
- Nearby floor drains
- Cracks in walls or floors
With a leaking or broken water heater, you need to get the power source turned off. An electric water heater can be turned off easily by flipping its designated circuit breaker switch to the off position. A gas version will have an on/off switch on its exterior.
Turn Off the Water Source
If you have a significant amount of water leaking, it is important to get the water supply turned off as quickly as possible. Most water heaters will have a valve located above them. Be careful not to come into contact with the water as you turn it off. If you cannot access the valve safely, you may need to turn off your home's main water supply instead.
Any water leak in your home must be properly cleaned up in order to avoid substantial damage, mold and mildew. Clean up water as soon as you can with towels, especially if it is in contact with drywall, carpet or flooring. For a large leak or a long-term leak that has just been discovered, be sure to contact specialists trained in water damage repair to ensure a thorough cleanup.
Proper care needs to be taken when any water incident happens within your home. Keep a leaking water heater from causing immense harm to your home by following these tips.
4 Stages of Creating a Business Continuity Plan
Business impact analysis.
4 Stages of Creating a Business Continuity Plan
If you own a business in Beverly Hills, CA, you want to make sure all your employees know what to do during an emergency. For this reason, business owners should take steps to ensure their company has an emergency response plan in place. Also known as a business continuity plan, this is a prepared set of processes and procedures to follow that aims to keep operations running in case any sort of disaster strikes. One way to think of it is like an instruction manual. These four FEMA-approved stages of the drafting process can help guide you on what to include in yours.
1. Business Impact Analysis
In the first stage of creating a business continuity plan, you will want to gather information about the impact of what will happen if various functions experience disruptions. You can validate the information with management via workshops and interviews.
2. Recovery Strategies
The next stage of drafting involves the identification of operation recovery strategies. If the emergency is a natural disaster, for example, how can you ensure your production line is up and running as soon as possible? Some verbiage in the plan might cover the procedures for hiring commercial damage restoration professionals for cleanup or using backup lighting sources until you can repair regular electricity.
3. Plan Development
After working through potential impacts and recovery options, you can begin developing a plan framework. Organize recovery teams, outline temporary relocation protocols and write out procedures.
4. Testing and Exercises
In the final stage, you will need to test your plans out. Validate test results with others in the company, and gain management approval. Conduct training and orientation exercises to help ensure everyone in your organization is on the same page.
In the event of an emergency, having a business continuity plan for your commercial property can be the difference between staying in operation and needing to close. To ensure you cover everything in your plan, you can use guidelines like the ones here to assist you.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
A healthy ERP plans for initial steps and long-term strategy.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
AN OLD ADAGE
There’s an old adage that says, “why do today what I can put off ’til tomorrow?” File that one in your folder, Words on Procrastination.
But there is a good answer to that old adage: important tasks demand action because the consequences of inaction can be detrimental, greater complexity and difficulty.
Action creates ease.
In the spirit of action I want to help you think about a SERVPRO Emergency Readiness Plan, also known as an ERP. An ERP falls into the category of “being proactive.” It’s something a business and institution can do to prepare for future difficult moments, think storm damage, fire damage, or water damage. An ERP helps property owners and managers think in advance what their course of action will be, who can authorize work, the identification of shut-off valve locations and other priority areas and much more — in other words, a readiness plan for emergencies.
Your ERP will lay the framework for action items, who to call and healthy expectations.
PLAN FOR DISASTER
Disasters disrupt businesses and threaten to level and close otherwise healthy operations.
Here are two stats that are staggering:
- Nearly 40% of small businesses fail to reopen after natural disasters.
- 75% of small businesses do not have a readiness plan in place.
Since a large portion of stores that close due to emergencies cannot reopen, and since disasters always strike without warning, businesses and institutions need ERP’s in place. With an ERP your business is protected, you create greater trust amongst employees and customers, the potential for business interruption is minimized and secondary damage is limited.
Some businesses and institutions do have ERP’s, but they’re limited and often not comprehensive at all. A healthy ERP plans for both traumatic natural events (acts of God) and more run-of-the-mill emergencies, whether human error or aging infrastructure. A healthy ERP also plans for initial steps and long-term strategy: first, how to we minimize damage, second, who do we call?, what is a path forward?
Find more information for the SERVPRO Emergency Readiness Plan at website at https://www.SERVPRObeverlyhillswestwood.com/.
5 Types of Hurricane Shutters to Consider
Rolling hurricane shutters are especially helpful in areas prone to storms
Here Are Five Types of Screens To Consider
If you experience a storm with high winds in your Century City, CA, home, you'll need to be prepared. One area to focus on is the safety of your windows. A broken window during a storm can wreak havoc on your house. In order to prevent this, you can use hurricane screens. If you're wondering what kind to get, here are five types of screens to consider.
Rolling hurricane shutters are especially helpful in areas prone to storms. This is because the coverings are installed above the windows, making storm preparation easy to undergo. These are a few other areas the screens can assist in:
The average price for this option is twenty five to sixty dollars per square foot.
Accordion hurricane storm shutters are a highly popular method of protection, mainly due to the cost and method of use. These coverings are stored next to a window and then unfolded (like an accordion) to be attached to your home. Most are around fifteen to thirty dollars per square foot.
If you want protection from high winds without a large investment, you may want to consider fabric storm panels. These cost only around five to fifteen dollars per square foot. The panels also require little to no professional help with installment.
4. Clear Polycarbonate
These screens are an excellent option if you need quick protection. This is mainly because the polycarbonate material makes these panels lighter and therefore easier to handle. The blinds generally cost ten to fifteen dollars per square foot.
This option is perfect for a homeowner that wants a stylish window panel. The screens are installed next to a window in two pieces, making the set-up easy to use before a storm. These screens cost about twenty five to thirty five dollars per square foot.
Hurricane panels may seem unnecessary at the moment, but getting some can be a lifesaver if you experience high winds. These blinds may greatly decrease the amount of storm damage restoration you'll need to undergo.
6 Steps for Handling a Leak in Your Kitchen
A leak under the kitchen sink is often the culprit of home flooding
A leak under the kitchen sink is often the culprit of home flooding. If you discover a leak in your kitchen, it is important to know what to do to minimize water damage in Beverly Hills, CA. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the situation from getting worse and keep repairs to a minimum.
Here Are Six Essential Steps To Take If You Find A Leak Under Your Sink
1. Stop the Water
Before you do anything else, find the main water valve and shut it off. This will stop additional water from leaking into your home.
2. Protect Your Belongings
Remove any valuable objects, such as artwork and furniture, and place them in a dry, safe place. Move as many items as possible off the floor to prevent additional damage.
3. Keep Electronic Devices Turned Off
Do not turn on the television or other electronic devices. If necessary, move any appliances from the room that are at risk of coming into contact with the flooding water.
4. Remove Excess Water
Use towels or a mop to blot and soak up any excess water in your home. Dry the area thoroughly by opening windows and using fans.
5. Call Your Insurance
Notify your home insurance provider to let them know about the flood. They will clarify what your policy will cover before you begin your kitchen repair and restoration process.
6. Call for Help
Enlist the help of a professional water damage and restoration service. They will have the necessary equipment to ensure that your kitchen is properly dried, disinfected, and restored to its pre-flood condition.
Flooding waters in your home can cause a tremendous amount of damage in addition to costly repairs. If you find a leak in your kitchen, the best thing to do is act quickly. Take care of the problem as soon as possible to mitigate the damage and costs.
What You Need to Know About Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial insurance is a policy that can protect your business from unexpected disasters
Here Is An Overview Of This Type Of Insurance
Whether you own or lease a building, you need commercial insurance. This can cover the cost of remediation professionals for your structure, contents, and exterior features. Having this can offer your business much-needed relief after a disaster.
What It Is
Commercial insurance is a policy that can protect your business from unexpected disasters. This includes events such as fires, storms, explosions, system failures, theft, and vandalism. It typically does not cover the cost of damage after a flood or earthquake unless you have purchased an add on.
How Much It Costs
The exact amount that your commercial insurance policy will cost is based on the many facets of your building in Beverly Hills, CA. The main factors that impact cost include:
- Exact address
- Construction materials
- Occupancy limits
- Fire and theft protection systems
When looking for a policy, you should gather all of this information to get the most accurate cost estimates. This will help you decide on a policy that fits your budget and offers all the features you are looking for.
What It Covers
Your policy will cover your building, its contents, and any exterior features you have. This means that your computers, furniture, equipment, important documents, and inventory will be covered if it was stored inside your building. Additionally, any signs, fencing, and landscape features surrounding your building will be insured. Depending on the policy you choose, any damage that spreads from your business to surrounding buildings could be covered. If you have purchased additional coverage, these items will still be protected in the event of a flood or earthquake.
Purchasing a commercial policy will help protect your business from any unexpected disasters. The cost that you pay will depend on several factors, although anything inside and outside of your business will be covered in the event of any fire damage or other disasters.
4 Steps To Take If Your Business Experiences Sewage Damage
Call a professional restoration company to cleanup a sewer damage
Four Things To Do If You Find Sewage Damage In Your Business
Discovering sewage damage in your Century City, CA, business can be both harrowing and disgusting. However, you'll need to be on your toes for the sewer cleanup. If it's more than a simple floor leak, specific measures need to be taken. While a restoration company can do the cleaning, there are a few procedures you may carry out. Here are four things to do if you find sewage damage in your business.
1. Unplug and Turn Off Nearby Electronics
First and foremost, it's essential to get rid of any safety hazards around the sewer backup. Make sure anything that runs on electricity is turned off and/or unplugged. Here are some items to look out for in a business setting:
- Video Equipment
Don't try to use anything electronic that was in the area. If the water touches one of these items, the surrounding area could become dangerous.
2. Open Windows
Mold is a serious concern after sewage damage occurs. Therefore, airing out your space is an essential task if you want to deter it. The fresh air also helps to get rid of any putrid smells from, for instance, a flooded toilet.
3. Remove Endangered Items
Anything that's been contaminated by the sewage should be left to the professionals, but it's prudent to remove non-contaminated items from the area. If the water keeps leaking, it's liable to reach more of your property. Keep in mind that contaminated items might be restorable.
4. Inspect the Damage
The entire sewer cleanup process will go faster if you know what needs to be done. Without coming in contact with the sewage, try to see what damage has been caused. Make sure that restoration experts know your findings. If you can tell that something can't be restored and must be replaced, you'll be able to start that process immediately.
Sewage damage is never pretty, but it doesn't have to be debilitating. Stay attentive and know what steps to take. Once the sewer cleanup is over, you can know you did your best for the business.
5 Ways To Prevent Your Pet From Causing a Fire
Never leave your pet alone with anything that is burning
Pet Preparation Measures
When working to avoid a fire emergency from breaking out in your residence, remember that there are steps you can take to prevent your pet from triggering an inferno. Here are five pet preparation measures that will reduce the chances your fur baby inadvertently sparks a blaze.
1. Reduce Flames
Open fires create pleasant atmospherics but always contain an element of danger. Place candles away from tables that might be jiggled by wagging tails or knocked down during overzealous rounds of fetch. Consider substituting electric candles, which also come with fun features, like dimmers and funky colors. Whatever you do, never leave your pet alone with anything that is burning.
2. Address Cords
Puppies and kittens chewing on electrical wires can cause a fire emergency. Cord protectors help keep temptation at bay. Pet stores also offer bitter sprays that can be applied to inhibit your feline’s gnawing impulses.
3. Take Away Oven Knobs
Despite lacking opposable thumbs, curious canines are capable of switching on stoves. If the dials on yours are removable, set them aside every time you leave home. Safety covers are another option that may prevent wayward paws from switching on burners.
4. Institute Monitoring Technologies
Install a camera to observe Fido in your absence. Using your phone, you can easily see what is going on at any time. Have a responsible neighbor on speed dial in case you detect a threatening situation.
5. Restrict Your Pet’s Movement
Use gates to bar animals from entering rooms where danger resides. Knowing Fluffy’s exact location during a fire also enhances pet safety. Quick access to your dog or cat during a crisis is essential. Leave hiring a residential fire restoration expert to repair your home’s damage until after your creature’s safety has been secured.
A fire emergency threatens your pet as much as it does the rest of your family. Inhibit your beastie from triggering a blaze in Westwood Village, CA, by observing the above precautions.
5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage
Water damage in a Beverly Hills, CA home
Residential Water Damage
As a homeowner, you need to make sure that you're prepared to protect your Beverly Hills, CA, home from peril. Water damage can manifest itself in all sorts of ways, whether it's from excessive rainfall, a pipe burst or toilet overflow. Arm yourself with knowledge and study the following tips regarding residential water damage.
1. Call Your Insurance Company Immediately.
If you discover flooding or another type of water damage, you need to contact your insurance company immediately. Your insurance agent can file a claim much more quickly, as well as walk you through the initial damage remediation steps.
2. There's No Time to Waste.
Remediating water damage is all about efficiency. Once the initial accident occurs, it's a race against the clock to see how quickly you can resolve the situation. Secondary damage, such as mold growth, only requires 24 hours to set in.
3. Flood Water Comes in 3 Different Categories.
Flood water is categorized based upon the types of contaminants present. Category 3, also known as black water, poses a significant health hazard and must be handled much more carefully than Category 1, which originates from your water line. Black water floods are also capable of inflicting significantly more damage.
4. Flood Damage and Water Damage Are Not the Same.
Your insurance company treats each disaster differently, depending on the source of the damage. Damage caused by a pipe burst, or other internal accident, is considered water damage. Damage that resulted from a nearby body of water that overflowed onto your property is considered flood damage.
5. Flood Damage is Not Covered by Homeowner's Insurance.
If you live in an area that is more susceptible to flooding, then it's a good idea to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. You also should sit down with your insurance agent to discuss exactly which scenarios your current homeowner's insurance policy actually does cover.
There are steps you can take to help deter water damage, but there's no way to guarantee absolute immunity. If your property has recently suffered a pipe burst, severe flood or other type of water damage, make sure to contact storm remediation experts as soon as possible.
How To Remove Plant Mildew
Plant mildew can be devastating to your plants
If you start noticing a white powder on the leaves of your houseplants in your home in Beverly Hills, CA, you might be dealing with plant mildew. Mildew is a specific type of mold that only grows on plants, and it can severely weaken and even kill them. Some factors that cause mildew growth include:
- Poor airflow around the plant
- Excess humidity
- An already weak plant
If you notice that one of your plants has mildew on it, here are some steps to take to get rid of it.
1. Take your plant outside and wash it with the heaviest spray it can reasonably take to remove the built-up mildew.
2. Cut away as many of the mildewy areas as possible to protect the rest of your plant. This will not only keep it from spreading to the rest of it, but it will also allow more air circulation, which will help keep the leaves drier.
3. If you need to, you can purchase a plant-friendly mildewcide to kill off the rest of the plant mildew. Just make sure you do your research so that you know it's appropriate for your particular plant. This is especially important if they're edible, since you don't want to ingest any toxic chemicals.
5. Help your plant continue to fight off mildew by preventing the humidity that causes the mildew growth in the first place. You can do this by placing your plant in a sunny area, removing any dead leaves or weeds around the base of it, and watering around the base of it instead of on the leaves.
Mildew vs. Mold
People often refer to the mold in bathrooms as mildew, but this isn't technically true. Mildew only grows on plants, so if you see something growing in other places in your home, it's a different type of mold. Call a mold remediation company to clean up these areas and prevent it from spreading elsewhere.
While plant mildew can be devastating to your plants, it doesn't have to be. Just follow these steps to remove and prevent it.
Considerations When Protecting a Building From Floods
As the global weather system changes, your company in Beverly Hills, CA, is at an increased risk of flood damage. In fact, the consequences of a flood are among the most common perils that a company faces in a changing world. Equally important, floods are devastating events that bring in a wall of water that is often contaminated with unpleasant substances. The costs for cleanup and for a business interruption can be significant. The options for floodproofing your facility are many and they range from the quick and simple to the complex and expensive. There is even the option of relocating your business if the flood risk is too high.
The Best Option
For urban structures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers states that a series of barriers, seals and pumps is the most cost-effective method to protect against flood damage. This approach can reduce the risk of flood and even lower your flood insurance premiums. It is a significant investment and a company should consider the following factors:
- Flood risk
Part of floodproofing includes the concept of warning time. This involves a system of monitoring for storms and letting employees and customers know as soon as possible that the potential for flooding is imminent.
The Best Plan
Your company should strengthen any measures it takes with a comprehensive flood damage plan. Features of a good plan include assigning specific duties for personnel, establishing evacuation procedures and setting up training exercises such as drills. To address storm damage, a company should establish a relationship with a storm remediation company in the area. A fast response from a restoration company is a good way to minimize damage and to shorten a business interruption. Trained technicians who arrive on your property in the immediate aftermath of a flood or large storm will develop a plan of action to restore your building as quickly as possible.
How To Deal With the Aftermath of a Fire in Your Place of Business
Broken window in a Century City, CA building
Have You Recently Had A Fire In Your Place Of Business?
The aftermath can be a difficult messy situation to deal with. In many cases, there is more to a fire cleanup than just the damage caused by flames. There will most likely be additional damage caused by:
- Broken windows
- Holes that firefighters cut through the roof and walls to properly put out the flames
- The water that was used to put out the fire.
Water cleanup can be a particularly difficult task because mold grows quickly in moisture that is difficult to remove.
The process of cleaning up after a fire in Century City, CA, can seem daunting at first. You may be wondering where to even begin. It is best to call your insurance company as soon as possible and find out if it will pay for the fire damage restoration. If so, the insurance company can advise you and refer you to good companies and contractors.
If you don’t have insurance or your insurance will not cover the costs of damage including smoke cleanup, there are state and local organizations that could help your business. The public health department may be useful, and you may have access to additional community services depending where your company is located. It may take research to find the different services available to help.
A large portion of the repairs after a fire will likely be water cleanup due to putting out the fire. Buildings that have fire sprinkler systems often can mitigate, if not completely put out, a fire. In these situations, the actual damage caused directly from the fire is often minimal. Most of the damage to the structure is a direct result of the water that put out the fire and the moisture it leaves behind. Mold can spread quickly to other areas that were not otherwise affected by the fire.
Fire cleanup can be daunting due to the additional problems that arise, such as mold. Just know that you are not alone. There are professionals available to help with water cleanup and whatever else is needed to restore your business.
4 Common Types of Water Damage That Could Hit Your Business
Toilet overflow in Westwood Village, CA
Here Are Four Of The Most Common Water Problems Businesses Face
Sooner or later most businesses face a water loss of some sort. It can be hard to predict exactly what your company in Westwood Village, CA, will encounter, but a few problems do show up with regularity. For example, damaged pipes often result in water leaking into walls and onto floors. A leak could be slow and steady or it could be bigger and release a large volume of water in a short time. With many leaks, the solution is simple: Call in a respected water remediation franchise to restore your building and its contents.
1. Leaking Pipes. The connections between pipes often spring a leak, resulting in water spreading into the office or the plant. This could cause damage to equipment and electrical systems.
2. Damaged Pipes. Your plumbing conduits can fail for a number of reasons. For many types of pipes, age will eventually cause them to break down enough for a hole to form. When this occurs, it is crucial to stop the flow quickly and then to remove any standing water. A professional team of technicians has the equipment and experience to clean up the mess.
3. Flooding. A flood in your facility could be the result of heavy rains or overflowing streams or be from a major plumbing malfunction. Either way, a flood could bring in contaminated water that requires advanced techniques to remove it and to disinfect all surfaces.
4. Toilet Overflow. This common problem should be addressed as soon as possible as it presents a slip and fall danger for employees and could also create unsanitary conditions. Once the toilet is fixed, the area should be cleaned and disinfected.
Damaged pipes and other water problems result in disruptions and extra expenses for a company. A fast cleanup minimizes damages and enables your company to resume normal operations.
What Are the Most Common Types of Storm Shutters?
Protect Your Windows From High Winds
When there’s a storm on the horizon, it’s important to protect your home’s windows from being damaged by high winds and flying debris. There are many ways to safeguard your windows if Westwood, CA, is in a storm’s path.
Some storm protection methods are temporary; you only put them up for storms. These methods cost less than permanent options, but they require more time and effort to install when a storm is approaching:
Plywood: The most inexpensive method of protection is cutting plywood panels to fit your windows. To be effective, they must be thick enough and installed correctly.
Fabric Screen: These are sheets of strong, storm-rated material that attach to the outside of your windows using clips or grommets. They’re lightweight and easier to install than plywood.
Storm Panels: These panels are made from aluminum, steel, or polycarbonate and bolt over the outside of your windows. They are typically lighter and easier to install than plywood.
Some types of storm shutters are permanently affixed to the outside of your windows. They are more costly than temporary methods but once installed can be put into place much more quickly:
Bahama: These decorative shutters are permanently attached to the top of a window, like large awnings. They can be quickly bolted closed when high winds are predicted.
Accordion: These window coverings are hinged, like an accordion, and are typically made of aluminum, steel or polycarbonate. They fold up into a box that’s permanently attached to one side of a window, and you pull them across the window and lock them into place.
Colonial: These hinged shutters attach to both sides of a window and can be latched together across the window.
Roll-Down: These coverings are mounted above a window. They roll into place along tracks that are mounted on both sides of the window.
Protecting your home’s windows from high winds involves an investment of time and money. However, when you consider the possibility of extensive storm damage restoration or even the loss of your home, storm shutters are worth the cost.
Mold and Masks Go Together
Mold remediation in a Westwood Village, CA
The word "mold" can strike dread in the hearts of homeowners in Westwood Village, CA. If you see patches of this fungus on carpets, furniture, drywall or anywhere else indoors, or if you smell a musty odor and can't locate its source, it's a good idea to opt for a professional inspection and hire a mold remediation expert to resolve the problem. Remediation professionals understand the high importance of mold safety, especially the use of face masks. They have the knowledge and know-how to restore your property quickly, thoroughly and cost effectively.
What Equipment Do Professionals Use?
To limit their exposure, mold technicians wear specially designed protective gear and use the latest user-safe equipment and technologies when treating mold damage:
Protective suits and long, mid-arm length gloves are essential. Because technicians use strong, professional-grade cleaning solutions, they use gloves made from natural rubber, polyurethane or other high-tech materials.
Among personal protective equipment, well-fitted face masks are a must. Many remediation professionals use an N-95 respirator, which is federally recommended as the best option to trap mold spores and to prevent breathing them in.
To keep mold or spores from getting into eyes, goggles without ventilation holes are also a critical piece of protective wear.
How Does Mold Develop?
Molds are a normal part of our natural environment. Problems arise when mold begins to grow indoors, in your house, where it can grow on any surface if one element is present: moisture. Water leaks, for instance, often trigger rapid mold growth that can spread in as little as 48 to 72 hours.
Mold remediation specialists employ state-of-the-art training, processes, and equipment to analyze and manage mold issues. Face masks and other personal protective items are vital to safety. Because a mold infestation can cause significant property damage and even property loss if left untreated, it is always a good idea to call in professionals immediately to assess a problem before it worsens.
Your Home's Supply Lines Are Critical to Your Plumbing System
Supply line damage in your home will get your attention real fast
Your Home's Supply Lines Are Critical to Your Plumbing System
Most people do not spend too much time thinking about the plumbing system in a home until things go wrong. Supply line damage in your home will get your attention real fast. As one of the larger lines in a residential property, a supply line carries fresh water from the home's main line to the different faucets and appliances. A supply line leak could release significant quantities of water into the home. This could result in the following types of damage:
- Structural damage to walls and floors
- Harm to carpeting, furniture and clothing
- Corrosion of soft metals
- Damage to electrical systems and devices
Moisture into your home in Beverly Hills, CA, can also enable mold growth. Therefore a professional water remediation team is often needed to treat any residential water problems.
More Information on Supply Lines
Your home's supply lines might be in need of attention. It is always better to replace the lines before a large leak develops due to supply line damage. Supply lines are usually made of plastic pipes or braided steel pipes. Steel construction is likely to last much longer and often comes with a lifetime warranty for materials. Plastic pipes might only have a warranty that lasts between five to eight years. Knowing the type of pipes you have gives you a good idea if maintenance us due.
More Information on Water Cleanup
A certified water mitigation team in your area will be experienced in cleaning up after supply line damage. Trained technicians will be able to handle everything from a simple bathroom leak to a major sewage backup. They will come to your home within 24 hours of a call and begin an inspection and assessment of the water damage. The next step will be to remove the water as quickly as possible from the home. They will restore any damage to the home "Like it never even happened."
Who Needs Renter's Insurance?
Renters insurance is a policy that covers you and your property when you don't own your home
After a fire moves through your rental home, one of the first questions on your mind will probably concern what your renter's insurance covers and what isn't covered. To set your mind at ease right from the start, the answer to your question is that when a fire destroys your Century City, CA, apartment, or rental home, your insurance will reimburse you for the lost items and cover the costs of staying somewhere else.
Who Pays for the Damage?
Residential fires are frightening for many reasons and can be especially concerning when you're worried about who will pay for the ensuing damage. Here are some key points to help you know what to expect:
Fires are covered when you have insurance for renters. Make sure you contact your insurance agent before you even move into an apartment.
If your home is uninhabitable, a loss-of-use policy provides you with the means to pay for a hotel in the vicinity.
When fire damage happens because of an accident for which you are responsible, a personal liability provision in your policy provides some reimbursement for the damage.
Your insurance doesn't cover damage done to the physical building and property belonging to the building's owner.
Install smoke detectors or sprinkler systems to reduce the risk of fire and to potentially have lower insurance rates.
Look for fire and smoke coverage in the personal property loss section of your policy. Make sure there is a loss-of-use provision or temporary housing won't be available.
How Do You Know Whether You Have the Right Insurance?
It's always a good idea to research your options when purchasing an insurance policy. Unfortunately, however, some people don't believe they need renters insurance if they have other types of coverage. Many renters believe that the owner of the property has insurance to cover their belongings. This isn't the case. Property owners are not responsible for your belongings unless you can prove negligence which is difficult to do.
Renters insurance is a policy that covers you and your property when you don't own your home. In addition to covering damage from fire and smoke, it also covers water damage, vandalism, theft, and lightning strikes. It may cover some fire restoration offered by qualified professionals, but it doesn't cover physical property that belongs to the property owner.
Can Air Ducts Have Mold in Them?
Mold present in commercial air ducts
Three Ways To Find Out Your Air Ducts Have Mold
Clean air ducts are important for the overall health and comfort of any indoor space. If your commercial facility uses indoor heating and cooling methods, regular HVAC cleaning and inspection is essential for high-quality, breathable air for all of your employees.
It is true that air circulation ducts can accumulate mold. More commonly, dust settles and sits over time and develops mold when moisture is added to the picture. Such fungus can be hard to find without getting into the ducts and inspecting them closely. You may not be able to get inside vents without the help of a professional, but there are other ways to detect mold in the early stages. To find out if any is present in your commercial air ducts, look for the following three traits:
One of the most common cues that leads building tenants to suspect mold is a distinctive smell. Mold can carry a wet, mildew-like stench that is unpleasant and heavy. If any fungus is growing in your AC ducts, the smell may not occur until the air conditioning or heating unit is fired up for the day. If you suspect a moldy smell, contact a local HVAC cleaning service to schedule a professional mold inspection.
2. Stale Air
Clean air starts with clean ducts, preventing irritants like mold from bothering workers on-site. Sometimes the air may feel thick, musty or stale when mold is present. In this case, your HVAC system could probably use some freshening up. Cleaning vents can reduce and eliminate mold in your commercial facility.
3. Visual Appearance
If you suspect mold in your AC or heating system, inspect the exterior of the intake vents and duct openings around your facility for the appearance of mold. If you find it on any of your vents, call a Westwood Village, CA, HVAC cleaning professional to access the situation immediately. Have mold removed to create clean, sanitary airflow in your workplace.
Commercial Water - 3 Signs of Irrigation System Problems
An irrigation system can do wonders for a property
Three Signs You May Have Water Trouble Your Way
Curb appeal isn’t just for homes. Ensuring your Beverly Hills, CA, property is appealing and welcoming makes a big impression on customers and employees. To ensure a luscious green lawn and decorative plants looking their best, and irrigation system is a great solution. Most systems are easy to use and reliable, but not properly maintaining them or ignoring issues can lead to flooding that makes its way into the property, potentially creating the need for a water damage and restoration professional to clean up the mess. Below are three signs that there may be water trouble headed your way.
Malfunctioning Sprinkler Head
At some point, an irrigation system will have a sprinkler head that gets damaged. This can happen from mowing, vehicles or improper pressure settings. Signs of a broken one include:
- Plastic casing is damaged
- Unit doesn’t come up
- Sprinkler head is missing
- Sprinklers with heads that are completely broken off
Low Water Pressure
A sure sign of irrigation problems is low water pressure. If the head isn’t popping up but not damaged or a minimal amount of water is coming out, there is an underlying issue. Potential culprits could be a misfiring backflow device or a leak. If there is a soggy area, it may mean the latter. If there is no obvious leak, compressed soil or tree roots could be causing the problem.
If one zone is not working, blocked electrical signals are often the cause. There could be insufficient voltage, which requires a new controller, or there could be damaged wires. The valve’s solenoid may also need to be replaced. If multiple zones aren’t working, it could again be related to power properly getting to the controller, which may mean replacing the transformer.
While an irrigation system can do wonders for a property, being diligent regarding maintenance and regularly checking this it is working properly are necessary to avoid added water issues.
4 Ways To Know if Your Business Is Prepared for Water Damage
Commercial water damage in Westwood,CA
Are You Ready?
Nobody plans to tear out a wall, but storms are unavoidable. How prepared is your commercial property for water damage due to rainfall, overflowing bodies of water, or even just bad leakage? Don't get caught off guard by flooding in Westwood, CA. Follow these steps to make sure you're as ready as possible tear out:
1. Learn your area's risk level for flooding. Use the tools available to you, such as FEMA's flood map service, to assess the chance of storm damage near you. It can also help you anticipate the potential extent of such damage. Once you've assessed whether you're at risk, it's time to start planning.
2. Protect valuable items and paperwork. There are a few easy ways for you to protect your business' necessities before a flood actually happens. First, if possible, keep water-vulnerable items or equipment above ground level. This way, only extreme flooding — think the kind that requires you to tear out and repair building materials — will put those items at risk. Second, keep paperwork, small electronics, and other small items in waterproof storage.
3. Get insured! Flood coverage isn't included in most basic insurance packages, but it should be easy to add such coverage to your existing insurance.
Are you looking to switch insurers altogether? One thing you should be on the lookout for is a company that partners with a fast and reliable storm damage cleanup and restoration company. Such a partnership will help ensure that you're getting the best service at the best price if your business ever suffers water damage.
4. Know what restoration will look like. Storm restoration is a process that may entail either very minor or very extensive cleanup. First comes the extraction of water. After that, loose detritus will be cleared and the affected area will be dehumidified and sanitized. Finally, work can begin on the structure itself. You may need to tear out flooring or, in extreme cases, entire walls.
You can't predict the future, but you can prepare for it. By formulating a plan to minimize potential storm damage, you can spare your organization from stressors both emotional and financial.
3 Alternative Ways to Block Flooding
Nothing is more synonymous with flooding than a sand bag wall.
Nothing is more synonymous with flooding than a sand bag wall. It might even be the only solution that comes to mind. Before you start gathering volunteers and truckloads of bags to fortify your property in Beverly Hills, CA, consider these three alternatives to prevent flood damage.
1. Temporary walls. Made out of steel, aluminum or PVC, temporary walls can be thrown up into a doorway to block unwanted water. On a larger scale, they can be erected quickly by a team of 8-12 people to protect whole buildings. They are as easy to take down as they are to put up. No mess to clean or water to drain. Just pull them down, store them and use them again when needed.
2. Inflatable dams. Why not use water against itself? These vinyl tubes are placed anywhere they are needed and then filled with water. You can buy them big enough to protect from massive flooding or smaller to guard against minor damage. On a smaller scale, they can be filled with a water hose in about 2 to 3 minutes and are easy to drain once floodwater has receded. They make for a quick cleanup, are reusable, and they are ecofriendly.
3. Absorbent Barriers. Light and easy to place, these sand bag alternatives roll out flat and can be positioned anywhere you want them. There is no other set up required. They are water activated. Once the rain starts, they absorb floodwater and grow to roughly 3.5 inches high in about 10 minutes. They come in various lengths and can be stacked to block higher volumes of water away from important areas.
While the sand bag has been a tried and true contender in flood damage prevention, decide if that is what will work for you best in Beverly Hills, CA. These other flood dams can be just as effective, a quick clean-up and less time-consuming.
Commercial First Aid Kit Requirements
Keeping commercial property safe is important, but a business owner's first priority should be employee and customer safety.
As a business owner, you're responsible ensuring the safety of, not only your commercial property, but also all of the employees and customers within. One of the most important requirements regarding safety involves keeping an adequately stocked first aid kit on site. Keep your employees, customers and building in Beverly Hills, CA, safe by ensuring that your emergency kits are up to the following standards:
Minimum Required Items
The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clear guidelines regarding the minimum required contents for each commercial building's first aid kit. The following items must be included in order to fit the requirements:
Two sets of differently sized gauze pads (4x4" and 8x10" respectively)
Gauze roller bandage (minimum 2" wide)
Band-aids or similar brand of adhesive bandages, including triangular-shaped bandages
Properly sealed moist towelettes, or other approved wound cleaning agents
One or more blankets
At least one pair of latex gloves
A roll of adhesive tape
Equipment that can be used to resuscitate an unconscious person(s), such as a resuscitation bag, pocket mask or airway
At least one splint
Two elastic wraps, minimum
Instructions that can direct the reader to contact emergency assistance
The above list is approved for an emergency kit that is located at a small work site (two to three employees). If your work site hosts more employees, you must provide multiple emergency kits to account for the increased personnel. Alternatively, you could increase the amount of supplies in each kit. These terms are non-negotiable, according to the United States Department of Labor.
Property and other physical possessions are replaceable, but human lives are not. Providing an adequately stocked first aid kit, containing the above items, is paramount to ensuring employee and customer safety. It could mean the difference between life and death in the event of an emergency, such as a severe storm or flood. Contact your local storm remediation experts for more information.
3 Reasons To Have Fire Insurance for Your Business
Maintaining a fire insurance policy for your business can be a good idea for a number of reasons
Three Reasons You May Want To Consider
When you have a business in Century City, CA, it’s also important to have a fire insurance policy. This type of insurance may prove beneficial in several ways after an emergency. Here are three reasons you may want to consider.
1. Insurance May Cover Restoration Costs
In many cases, a fire restoration at a place of business can include a number of costs for both structural repairs, fire cleanup, content cleaning, document restoration, and any additional services that might be recovered. That can be a lot of services you may not have initially realized may be necessary. Commercial insurance takes these types of repairs into account and may include them under your plan.
2. Insurance May Recommend a Restoration Service
Another important aspect of fire insurance is the fact that in many cases they have preferred restoration service vendors they live to work with. These are usually certified professionals who may have a number of tools that allow them to communicate and work with your insurance provider. This means you won’t have to waste time looking for a trusted team, as your insurance agent may already have their number on file.
3. Insurance May Cover Secondary Damages
If your policy includes secondary damage coverage you may find that the cost of some unexpected repairs may be covered. Secondary damages are damages that occur as a result of the initial problem. For example, the need for a smoke cleanup, or water damage repairs could occur after a fire.
Maintaining a fire insurance policy for your business can be a good idea for a number of reasons. A fire policy may be able to cover a number of costs associated with cleanup and repairs, including the services of a restoration crew. Your insurance provider may even recommend a specific team for you to work with. Additionally, depending on your policy, secondary damages may also be covered which can help with unexpected damages.
Unmonitored Space Heaters Can Cause Fire Damage in a Century City House
SERVPRO’s Tips to Prevent Fire Damage in Your Home
Space heaters can be a great way to warm up the coldest areas of your house throughout the harshest of winter months. They are not without their potential threats, however. Monitoring them carefully and not leaving these heaters running unattended can help prevent unnecessary damage to your Century City home, let alone those who live inside of it.
Electric and gas space heaters offer a great deal of warmth and can completely transform the coldest areas of your house into the most comfortable. They also put out lots of concentrated heat, and many of them feature grills or open flames that burn hot enough to scald a person or to catch loosely hanging fabrics or drapes on fire. There are some words of caution about these heaters if you want to virtually eliminate the possibility of fire damages to your Century City residence.
The first step is to consider the placement of your heater very wisely. While it might require being close enough to an outlet to plug in, you should be mindful of the furniture and other objects in the room that could inadvertently make contact with the heater. With the excessive heat and open design of many of the small room heaters, something left too close to the heat could catch on fire (even without directly touching).
As many of our experienced SERVPRO team would tell you, preventing fire damage is often as simple as walking yourself through all of the scenarios that might happen. People do not intend to set their homes on fire, but these accidents can happen with a lack of foresight. As an added precaution, you should not leave these types of heaters on unattended in a room that you are not currently occupying.
While regrettable, house fires and small incidents do occur when using space heaters. While it might not be significant enough to force you to leave the house, sometimes the remains of the soot or the lingering odor of burned materials can be more than you can repair or remedy on your own. Our fire restoration team is equipped with deodorizing equipment to neutralize smoke and foul odors, and our commitment to mitigating your loss ensures that we restore the damage promptly.
No matter what degree of fire damage you might have to deal with, you can trust us at SERVPRO of Beverly Hills / Westwood to make it right. Call us 24/7 at (310) 390-7540.
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You Need Our Experts When Your Beverly Hills Business Suffers Water Damage
Who To Call When You Face Water Damage In Your Beverly Hills Business
It's easy to believe that a leaking pipe in your wall or a faulty faucet is not a major problem. However, faulty plumbing in your Beverly Hills convenience store can burst overnight and can turn a small leak into a disaster for your business. A burst pipe can output hundreds of gallons per hour, causing widespread damage to your building's structure, so it is important to quickly contact professionals who can halt the spread of water.
SERVPRO water damage restoration technicians (WRT) are experienced in mitigating commercial water damage in Beverly Hills businesses and make sure to efficiently deal with water-related emergencies. We are flexible in our scheduling and can arrive during times best suited for your business, such as during off hours or during ebbs in the flow of customers. When we arrive, we can identify the source of the spillage and plug it. However, if the pipe has a significant leak, then it is recommended that you contact a plumber. Once we stop the source of the water, we can begin removing any standing water present in your business with the use of industrial-grade wet vacs.
Withstanding water gone, we can inspect your walls with moisture meters to determine if water has penetrated your wall cavities. If water is discovered, structural cavity drying equipment can be used to circulate air inside wall cavities, helping dry the interiors.
Insulation is a key component in stabilizing store temperatures to ensure that food does not go bad. However, insulation can lose its resistance to heat flow after exposure to water, making it more difficult and costly to keep temperatures level. SERVPRO can assist you with the process of stripping and replacing your insulation, if necessary.
Wooden shelving in your convenience store can warp and crack as a result of water damage, and metal shelving can rust. SERVPRO WRT teams can assist you with drying your shelving and can deploy dehumidifiers and air movers to speed up the drying process.
If you are threatened by commercial water damage, then call SERVPRO of Beverly Hills / Westwood at (310) 390-7540.
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Don't Wait To Call Our Experts After A Water Damage Disaster In Your Beverly Hills Home
In case of a water spill in your home, call SERVPRO of Beverly Hills / Westwood. You can reach us at (310) 390-7540 any time.
How To Get Fast Results When Restoring Water Damage In Beverly Hills
Incidents of water damage are common considering how often water is used in day-to-day activities. Even though you might panic in the aftermath of such an incident, there is a need to act quickly. Most of the severe damages associated with water take time to develop so taking quick remedial action limits the impact. We offer professional restoration services in Beverly Hills that help save items and restore the property to its preloss state.
Most cases of water damage in Beverly Hills involve copious amounts of water spilled when plumbing systems leak or burst. Rainwater from a leaking roof can also cause problems. Removing the water as fast as it spills is the best water to mitigate damage. Our SERVPRO technicians use high-speed pumps or truck-mounted water extractors, which can remove thousands of gallons within a short while.
When water spills, it migrates to different areas of the property as porous materials absorb it. Carpets, drywall and wooden materials in floors and other sections of the property easily absorb the water. Checking the level of migration helps ensure the right removal procedures can be utilized. Our SERVPRO technicians use many moisture detection tools to check levels of moisture migration. We use FLIR thermal cameras to detect wet areas, especially in concealed areas. We also have moisture sensors that we use to probe materials to check the level of moisture they hold and thermo-hygrometers, which help us, gauge the relative humidity in different sections of the property.
Drying the moisture from the affected property is perhaps the most daunting process because it involved evaporating which is a slow process. Various actions can help improve the evaporation rate including increasing the rate of airflow over the affected areas and content. Higher temperature also helps because it increases the amount of moisture air can hold. Our SERVPRO technicians use fast air movers and dehumidifiers for fast drying.
In case of a water spill in your home, call SERVPRO of Beverly Hills / Westwood. You can reach us at (310) 390-7540 any time. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.
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Protecting Your Water Damage Claim
Water damage in Westwood, CA
3 Things To Do To Protect Your Water Damage Claim
Bursting pipes, sewage backups, or overflowing toilets, there are so many catastrophes in residential properties, which is the primary reason to pay for insurance coverage. However, as most water mitigation companies in Westwood, CA, will tell you, insurance is only part of the battle. It is tricky enough to get full water coverage, but if you do, you need to protect any claim to ensure you receive payment. There are at least three things you need to do to protect your claim.
- Mitigate further loss
- Call your insurer
- Document everything
Mitigate Further Loss
When dealing with water damage, first mitigate further loss. An insurer wants to know you did everything possible to minimize the extent of the damage. For example, if you are dealing with bursting pipes, did you turn off the water supply? Or, if you have a hole in your roof, did you cover it with a tarp to prevent rain from entering the property? If you fail to implement mitigation steps, an adjuster may decline your claim.
Call Your Insurer
Call your insurer immediately after the damage occurs. Most insurance companies expect clients to call to report damage within the first 24 hours. If you wait any longer than a day, you risk the acceptance of your claim. Also, the faster you call the insurer, the sooner an adjuster is sent to your home.
While you may need to wait for a claims approval before you fix a broken pipe, there are likely other repairs you can make. However, document everything and keep receipts. Take pictures of the original damage to show the adjuster. If repairs cannot wait, Gather bids to prove you researched the companies before hiring.
Any home can have water disasters, like bursting pipes, but the approach to filing an insurance claim may differ from insurer to insurer. Make sure you contact your insurance company and know your responsibilities, so you avoid risking your coverage.
How To Prevent Space Heater Fires at Home
Some space heaters are safer than others
Space heaters can keep you warm during those cold winter nights in Century City, CA. Yet a burned space heater can be devastating to your home.
In fact, space heaters can cause major fire damage, especially if they are placed near flammable materials. Each year, space heaters lead to approximately 25,000 house fires and 300 deaths. However, by following the below suggestions, you can reduce the odds of a space heater destroying your house.
Some space heaters are safer than others. You should buy a heater that has features designed to reduce fires. These safety features include:
- A sturdy cord
- Proper certification from an independent tester
- Automatic shutoff sensors that power down the device if it tips over or overheats
A burned space heater can become a larger problem if it is put next to combustible items. Avoid using the heater near bedding, matches, or gas cans. Instead, place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable floor.
Fires can also occur if kids or pets knock the heater over while it is in use. You should thus take steps to keep animals and young children three feet away from the heater. The heater also should not be kept in a child's room.
Problems with the heater's electrical cord can be dangerous, as well. Do not use the heater if the cord appears worn or frayed. To limit overheating, avoid plugging any other electronics into the outlet used by the heater.
Finally, make sure that you turn off the space heater before you go to bed each night. You may also want to unplug it when it is not being used.
Even if you take proper precautions, you could still end up with a burned space heater in your home. If this happens to you, you and your family should get out of the house immediately. Once the fire has been extinguished, smoke cleanup experts can help you restore your property.
Call Us 24/7 After A Flood Has Damaged Your Beverly Hills Home
Get Effective Flood Damage Cleanup Services Your Beverly Hills Home
Flooding can be one of the most disastrous things homeowners can experience. Household flooding can occur if heavy winds tear the roof, causing rainwater to enter your property. When a roof leak occurs, the attic and the items stored there sustain damage. If a house does not have an attic and the hole is significant, it can damage the interior ceiling. Ceiling plaster can bubble and expand while ceiling paint can darken. The leaking water can also ruin plaster and paint on nearby walls.
In the long term, the most severe consequence of flooding caused by a torn roof is mold growth throughout the home’s structure, including the HVAC system and vents. To prevent costly flood damage to your Beverly Hills home, you can hire a professional restoration company like SERVPRO to clean it up. Our technicians have the expertise and equipment required to clean up, disinfect and dry a property to return it to its preloss condition.
Upon arriving at a water damage job site, SERVPRO technicians pre-inspect the area and then begin the mitigation process. The flood may have already receded when our technicians come to your property. If that is the case, our crew can use industrial strength wet/dry vacuums to remove the remaining water to minimize the drying time and prevent secondary water damage. If structural items like subfloors and walls need cleaning, we choose the appropriate cleaning method to clean them.
Our technicians also evaluate all contents exposed to high humidity or water for cleaning needs. We check clothing, closets and storage areas for materials, which need cleaning and deodorizing. We also check if wall hanging and photos have sustained damage from high humidity and condensation. We use different types of dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air, including the low-Grain Refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifier. This dehumidifier moves air over a cold coil to transform water vapor into liquid. It features a double cooling system, which lowers the temperature of air containing moisture, once it gets into the machine.
When your home has flooded, SERVPRO of Beverly Hills / Westwood is ready to assist you with the cleanup work. We're a leader in the restoration industry. Contact us now at (310) 390-7540 for flood damage restoration services in Beverly Hills, Westwood and Century City. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.
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How To Prepare Your Building for Storm Damage
A tree falls on a home in Beverly Hills, CA
As a property manager in Beverly Hills, CA, you know how important it is to maintain the building and grounds to create a safe, comfortable environment for your tenants. Not only do you want to keep the property looking nice, but you need to think about issues such as storm preparedness. If you are not ready to withstand the effects of Mother Nature, you should act quickly to put the appropriate safeguards in place.
Assess and Inspect
If you're behind in your storm preparedness, don't panic and start assembling a bunch of supplies without doing some planning first. You should start by looking over the property and identifying potential areas of concern. Here are a few ideas on how to do this:
- Inspect the room and make sure there are no weak spots, gaps or issues that might increase the chances of leaks.
- Make sure there are clearly marked exit signs and instructions on how to safely evacuate the building in case of an emergency.
- Evaluate the windows and consider purchasing shatter-proof ones.
Bolster the Windows and Doors
In a storm with high winds, these two areas of entry could be significant safety hazards. Consider purchasing items such as roll-up shutters or storm panels to place over the doors and windows when storms hit. Every property management emergency plan should have a way to protect tenants from damage that could occur from breaking glass.
Have Sandbags Ready
If you live in an area where heavy rains are common, flooding can always be a risk. The same goes for property owners whose buildings are near waterways. Purchase a set of sandbags that you could fill and place around doors, windows and the foundation when necessary.
Work with your tenants on developing an emergency exit plan. At least once a year, evaluate this plan. Practice evacuations are critical as well. This plan should also include knowing which emergency cleanup company to call when disasters strike.
Storm preparedness can give you peace of mind even during an emergency such as a flood or severe storm. Make sure you're ready at a moment's notice.
Alternative Flood Prevention Devices
A flooded street in Beverly Hills, CA
The sand bag is not a high tech device, but it has served the purpose of holding back flood waters for centuries. Its first use can be traced back to at least 1590. It has also been used in military fortifications to turn away gunfire and bomb explosions. It can be used in many different ways in floods, from building dikes, barriers and levees as well as reinforcing existing walls and gates. It is also inexpensive. However, the sand bag does have a few disadvantages. It requires a lot of labor to move around and since it is not watertight it also allows water seepage.
Alternatives for Flood Control
A number of newer products seek to replace the sand bag when it comes to flood control. These devices include the following items:
- Bags filled with water
- Flood dams
- Flood fences
- A comprehensive suite of solutions
- Absorbent cloth
As with the case of water bags, of which there are several variations, the advantage is that the water can be put in the bags almost anywhere. This eliminates the need for hauling heavy bags to and from a site. This is also the case with absorbent cloth products, as they just need to be saturated with water to expand. Flood dams and fences often are quite expensive and involve a bit of engineering to be effective.
Best Practices for Flood Recovery
Unlike the sand bag, new techniques in flood recovery employ a full compliment of the latest training, equipment and procedures to mitigate flood damage in Beverly Hills, CA. A professional storm remediation team arrives on site fast and performs an inspection and assessment of the situation, and then goes to work treating the damage. Water extraction and removal is accomplished with the help of powerful vacuums and fans. Further drying requires the use of even more specialized equipment. The end result is a building that is ready to be back in business.
How To Stop Large-Scale Flooding
A flood in a Beverly Hills, CA neighborhood.
Chances are good that you'll never have to worry about major flooding. Of course, your chances increase if you live in an area in Beverly Hills, CA, where there is high water or other flood risks. The smartest thing to do is be prepared and have measures in place to protect your building and materials. There are effective ways to do this, which you should implement right away.
Common Ways Major Flooding Occurs
You may be worried that plumbing issues in your building could cause a flood. However, severe flooding can affect the entire community or city in which you live and work. Here are typical ways this happens:
- Torrential rains that raise the levels of rivers and canals, causing high water
- Earthquakes breaking levees or dams
- The breaking of multiple main water lines in a city
This is perhaps the fastest and most cost-effective way to stop flooding. City and business leaders can organize groups to fill these bags and place them along the banks of waterways, roadways and in doorways and windowsills.
Storm Surge Barriers
Some cities have moveable barriers to hold back overflowing water. This flood prevention measure detects when water is rising. It then closes the walls, fills tanks with water, pushes the walls down and keeps the water from flowing onward.
Some communities, especially ones on islands, use flood gates to hold back the water. The gates sit in waterways and permit small amounts of water through. As water pressure increases on the gates, they open and close as appropriate. These are similar to moveable dams which can allow certain amounts of water though, depending on how high the storm surge may be.
High water can be a big problem if you live near bodies of water or where large storms are common. Before you rely on a professional flood cleanup company to intervene, cities turn to these protective barriers.
What Should Factor Into a Fire Damage Estimate?
Fire Damage to a home in Beverly Hills
An accurate estimate of the costs of cleaning and restoring damage caused by a fire is helpful when making a commercial property insurance claim. It is necessary to account for all of the following factors when calculating the total cost of fixing fire damage at a commercial building in Beverly Hills, CA.
A calculation of the costs of damage caused by fire should factor in the value of a property and the estimated expense to restore or rebuild any damaged building materials or systems. This may include any of the following components:
The cost of replacing structural components can cause the amount of an estimate to escalate. Calculations that account for the entirety of damage are essential for settling an commercial property insurance claim in a manner that will defray the cost of cleaning and restoring a building.
Content Cleaning and Replacement
A complete cost calculation should also account for the condition of the contents of a commercial structure. A fire damage mitigation and restoration service can help business and building owners make a complete list of contents that indicates whether items are candidates for restoration or require replacement.
When making estimates, experts attempt to account for hidden damage and secondary damage, both of which can drive up expenses. The location of a recent fire may have water damage from suppression that must be extracted and dried or smoke damage that necessitates surface cleaning, air filtration and deodorization.
The extent of structural damage will determine whether a commercial fire loss is partial or total. Property insurance should cover the building, contents and any damage caused by related and unavoidable sources such as smoke, soot or water.
Experienced restoration professionals can accurately estimate the cost of cleaning, rebuilding and restoring building materials and contents at a commercial property located in Beverly Hills, CA.
How To Plan for a Fire Emergency at Work
Fire damage to a building in Beverly Hills, CA.
A smart business owner will have a robust fire escape plan to protect employees in the event of a fire. The plan should consider the quickest and safest routes and must include awareness and training for all employees. There are a number of items to discuss when creating the plan.
The first step in creating an emergency escape plan is to select a fire safety team.
Assign Roles to Employees
Chief fire administrator - If your company has a safety manager, this would be the logical appointee. The manager of human resources or the plant manager could also lead the team. This person is responsible for the overall planning and preparation of the fire escape plan, and he or she will assign responsibility for alerting employees and the fire department.
Assistant fire administrator - This should be a person in management who would assume the role if the chief is absent and who would also assist in the planning. Fire handlers - These are people who are trained to extinguish a small fire that is still at the source. You should never attempt to put out a fire if it has left the source. Location monitors - These people make sure their assigned area has been cleared and that all persons are accounted for.
Conduct Routine Safety Meetings With the Team
Meet regularly with your team to review what to do in an emergency situation. Discuss questions like “Does the business utilize heat treating equipment?”, “Are employees allowed to have space heaters in their offices?” or “Is there a kitchen on the premises?” Determine the best escape routes that utilize the safest and quickest exits. Draw up a map showing the exits and post at several locations through the plant or office. Coordinate a training plan to educate all employees. Conduct routine fire drills to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. Discuss any weak areas or problems that need to be addressed.
If you have a robust fire escape plan for your business in Beverly Hills, CA, you will be prepared in the event of a real emergency.
The Difference Between Storm Damage and Flooding
SERVPRO of Beverly Hills/Westwood will respond quickly and arrive on site Faster to Any Size Disaster.
If your commercial property in Beverly Hills, CA gets walloped by a big storm, it might not matter much to you if it is called a storm or flood damage, but it will probably matter to your insurance company. The two areas of damage are handled differently, and your commercial insurance property is not likely to cover flooding that rises up from the ground. Typical commercial insurance policies cover damage caused by wind, rain, hail and roof leaks. These events result in water and property damage and can eventually lead to mold growth if not addressed quickly.
The Definition of Flooding
The Federal Emergency Management Agency defines flooding for legal purposes and the payout of insurance claims. The characteristics of a qualifying flood event include the following:
The water event was of a temporary nature
An inundation of water or mud occurs on normally dry land
The water coverage is of two acres or more
The water enters the property from the ground up as opposed to the sky
Flood insurance is covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, though you must still go through a regular insurance agent. If you cannot find an agent that deals with this insurance for flood damage, you can call the NFIP for referrals.
The Definition of Storm Damage
Any water damage that is not temporary and does not originate from the ground is likely to be covered by your commercial policy, though always check with your agent for specifics. This broader coverage typically includes damage caused by broken pipes and other plumbing problems. It is important that a company has the appropriate insurance to protect it from unexpected and potentially expensive weather events. Whether it is flood damage or storm damage, it is also crucial to mitigate expenses from either situation.
Property Management and Storm Preparation
SERVPRO of Beverly Hills/Westwood is your trusted leader in storm restoration services.
Property management is a significant responsibility. Depending on the facility you oversee, you are charged with caring for the safety of managers, employees, residents and consumers. Storm preparedness is an essential part of your job, and it typically encompasses four critical areas for you and your employees:
Procedures and responsibilities
Prepare a Playbook
The first thing you want to do to prepare for possible weather disasters is to create a playbook for you and other key managers. This book should include contact information for staff and emergency responders. As well, it should designate responsibilities for crucial team members to ensure the safety of teams. There should also be a page in your playbook dedicated to the protection and containment of essential documents and files.
Designate Shelter Areas
Next, every property manager needs to designate appropriate shelter and exit points. It is vital to inform all staff of these areas and run practice drills to ensure familiarity. One of the most significant aspects of storm preparedness is having emergency shelters and escape routes.
Determine Procedures and Responsibilities
It is necessary as a property manager to understand your limitations. Depending on the size of your property, it may be impossible for you to handle all storm preparations and evacuations. Therefore, it is best to distribute specific procedures and responsibilities to other managers.
Develop a Recovery Plan
Finally, it is crucial to develop a recovery plan to minimize business interruption. You can contact a storm restoration company in Beverly Hills, California to discuss the specifics of restoring the facility.
Storm preparedness is a crucial part of every property manager's job. By having preparations in place, you can minimize the panic and chaos that storms tend to bring. Also, by establishing a clear recovery plan, you can reassure employees that business will return to normal. In addition be sure to talk with a recovery expert so you can better prepare for possible disaster.
Become Skilled With a Fire Extinguisher
The proper use of a fire extinguisher has the potential to reduce the amount of worked needed for recovery.
Of all the skills an adult should have, few are more essential than learning the basics of operating a fire extinguisher. This tool can reduce the severity of a business fire in Westwood, California minimize property loss and save lives. The acronym PASS illustrates the principles of successfully using most types of extinguishers. The steps are as follows:
Pull the pin to break the tamper seal
Aim low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is out
Of course, there are a few more things to learn, and more skill comes with experience. If possible, instruction in extinguisher techniques by a local fire department can help employees feel comfortable with the device.
Good Things To Know
Once a fire starts, always sound the fire alarm and have someone call the fire department. Pay attention to an exit strategy if the fire grows too large. Make sure the correct type of fire extinguisher is used for the type of fire, whether it is a kitchen fire or one that is burning only wood and paper. To reduce fire damage, use the extinguisher within its effective range. If the device runs out of fire repellent before the fire is out, evacuate immediately. If the fire is too large, leave the premises and make sure everyone is safely out of the building.
Smart Things To Do After a Fire
Once the building cools, the process of fire cleanup should begin with the services of a professional fire mitigation team. Trained technicians will arrive on site fast and begin with an inspection and assessment of the property. From there a plan of action will be developed to restore a property to its original condition.
Your Rental Properties May Have a Ticking Time Bomb in Polybutylene Plumbing
Residential rental properties can be an excellent investment in Westwood Village, CA. Purchasing distressed housing and then renting the units is a time-tested way to quickly pay off the mortgage and start earning real income. However, purchasing older homes always comes with risk; older units are not only more prone to problems, but they also require more maintenance, and insurance premiums tend to be higher.
One component to look at carefully is the plumbing. Older PEX systems are prone to failure, but the biggest culprit is polybutylene (PB) piping. If you buy a property with either, you need to have it replaced before the problems begin.
The Key to Inexpensive and Long-Lasting Plumbing Wasn’t Polybutylene
PB seemed like a marvel when it first started to be used in 1978. The benefits were immediately evident:
- Substantially cheaper than PVC or copper
- Very flexible for tight areas and simple corners
- Promised to last much longer than PVC
Soon, around one in four homes in Westwood Village, CA, was probably using PB – at least until 1995. By then, the miracle plumbing was turning into more of a curse. Leaving the pipes sitting in the sun for a couple of days could erode the structural strength of polybutylene – something the manufacturer never told builders.
But the real problem was chlorine. Almost all municipal water systems use chlorine for purification, but it’s a very powerful oxidizer, which turned out to be terrible for PB pipes. They started to be eaten away from the inside out, and devastating water leaks started showing up. In some cases, the water damage would go unknown for a long time, drawing termites to the wood rot and leaving massive restoration bills.
PB plumbing is usually grey or blue with metal rings at the ends. The material should be labeled on the outside, but if you have any doubts, you should call an expert. They can advise about what pipes are in your rentals as well as repair any water damage already caused. Even if the PB hasn’t failed yet, it’s very strongly recommended by all the experts to have it replaced as soon as practical.
The Vocabulary of Mold
Stachybotrys chartarum also known as Black Mold
Whenever you face a new situation, you are likely to encounter words that are unfamiliar. This is true if you find mold in your commercial building in Beverly Hills, CA, for the first time. You might notice the presence of mold in your building by a musty odor. Blotches or patches of dark green on walls and ceilings are another common sign of a mold problem. Before you know it, someone will be throwing out a word such as mycotoxin, which sounds terrifying. Other unfamiliar words are likely to follow. Knowing the vocabulary of mold can help you understand the disruptive fungus, and it can help you make better decisions on taking care of the problem.
The Terminology of Mold
Mold is present nearly everywhere. Mostly it is not a problem, but under the right (or wrong) conditions it spreads into buildings and causes aesthetic, sanitary, structural, and health issues. A mold mitigation franchise is often needed to address the infestation. When this happens, you might hear some of the following terms:
Mycotoxin - any toxic substance produced by a fungus
Mold Remediation - the process of treating a mold issue through professional services
Black Mold - a certain type of mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, that grows on wood and paper under moist conditions
Fungus - a group of organisms that include mold, yeast, and mushrooms
Mildew - a destructive growth of fungi on plants
Mold Containment - the process of preventing mold from spreading throughout a building
The Clarification of Some Mold Issues
While mold in an indoor environment can have negative effects on air quality, the term mycotoxin often refers to the ingestion of mushrooms. Like all different types of fungus, black mold has its own set of characteristics; it is removed from a building in much the same manner as other types of mold. Mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different, with mildew most commonly associated with plant diseases.
3 Tools Used For Mold Removal
It’s not uncommon to see mold remediation professionals wear face masks and gloves
3 Tools Used For Mold Removal
When you contact a local mold remediation service to help with your Westwood, CA, home, you may be wondering what tools you might see them use to do the job. In many cases, three of the most common include containment barriers, face masks, and clothing covers. Here’s what you may want to know.
One of the first types of protective equipment a remediation team may bring in are the materials needed to contain the mold affected area. This may include plastic sheeting and a fan that can exhaust to the outside, creating a negative pressure zone. This is done both to prevent spore spreading to the rest of the home, and to create an environment where existing spore are less likely to become airborne during the cleaning process.
2. Masks and Gloves
It’s not uncommon to see mold remediation professionals wear face masks and gloves. This is done to help prevent physical contact with any mold spore that might stick to the skin and travel to other parts of the home. Masks may also be worn to help prevent inhalation of mold spores, paint flakes, dust and other debris that could result from mold removal.
3. Clothing Covers
Another thing you may see professionals do when cleaning up mold damage, is wear protective clothing covers. Items such as coveralls are worn while in the work area and then removed whenever the professional leave the containment zone. This is done to help insure that no mold spores get on the clothing over the course of the work, and then tracked through the rest of the home.
From containment barriers to face masks and clothing covers, the mold professionals working on your home will take a number of measures to protect the space. These are designed to both protect the individuals working, and to help prevent the spread of mold further into your home. If you have any questions, these professionals should be able to help.
6 Fire Preparedness Tips
Fire sprinkler system in a Beverly Hills, CA building
Tips For Businesses To Consider To Avoid Or Handle A Fire
Unfortunately, a fire can happen at any time. While businesses Beverly Hills, CA, can never truly fortify themselves against one, especially in cases of a lightning strike, there are fire preparation strategies to prevent accidental fires and limit fire damage. Below are six tips for businesses to consider to avoid or handle a fire.
The first line of defense for when the unthinkable happens is having the right equipment and ensuring it is accessible. If a building is equipped with a sprinkler system, regularly inspect it to ensure it will work when it needs to. Ensure fire extinguishers, alarms and control panels are not blocked.
2. Waste Disposal
A key component of a disaster preparation is establishing protocol for the disposal of any hazardous materials, which can range from chemicals to oils and include combustible materials.
Any hazardous or flammable materials need to be properly stored. They should be kept in a dry, secure location with good ventilation.
Along with the aesthetic appeal of a clean building, reducing clutter and keeping things organized to minimize the spread of a fire, as well ensures that exits are not blocked.
Every business should have an emergency and evacuation plan. A fire preparation plan should include a hierarchy of people in charge in order to ensure the plan goes smoothly. They can coordinate calling for help and important details needed to keep everyone safe and minimize damage.
A plan only works if people know about. Ensure the plan is regularly communicated and conduct drills to ensure the plan goes smoothly in case of a real incident. It is also important to conduct equipment demonstrations to ensure everyone knows how to use fire extinguishers and other tools.
Fire preparation can minimize risk and ensure the situation is handled in the best possible way. Even if a fire does break out, there are fire and smoke damage professionals that can help restore your business back to its glory.