Archived Blog Posts
How Ozone Generators Remediate Smoke Smell
After a fire, using ozone generators is a secure and efficient technique to eliminate smoke odor.
How Ozone Generators Eliminate the Smell of Smoke
Ozone generators are used to remove smoke smell from a property. In this article, we'll discuss how ozone is made, the science behind it, and how it's used to remove smoke smells.
What is an ozone generator?
An ozone generator is a device that emits ozone in the air. It's typically used to clean up rooms, buildings and other areas that have a bad smell. Ozone generators can be used indoors or outdoors, even after the smoke smell from a fire has already dissipated.
For example, if there was an electrical fire in your home and you had to get out quickly, there will still be lingering smoke smells left over after the flames have been extinguished. These odors can be hard to get rid of on their own; but with an ozone generator it's easy! With one quick pass of your unit through each area affected by the smoke smell — whether it be simply walking through all affected rooms or using some sort of fan system — the room will feel fresh again!
Ozone generators are also good options if there was mold in your home at any point before this incident happened (or if there is now). The high levels of humidity caused by flooding leaves behind spores which need cleaning up immediately because otherwise they'll spread throughout nearby areas quickly creating more problems down the line.
How does it work?
Ozone generators are powerful oxidizers that break down organic compounds in the air. Ozone, the ozone generator's product, is a gas that can be used in a variety of ways. It's produced by an ozone generator and acts as an odor neutralizer by attacking smoke odors at the source. Ozone is naturally occurring in the earth's atmosphere and created by lightning when it strikes oxygen molecules in the air.
Is ozone bad for my stuff?
Ozone is a natural element that comes from the air, so it's not harmful to people or animals. Ozone is safe to use in homes, offices, and other settings where ozone generators are used to remediate smoke smell.
Ozone does not damage furniture, carpet, clothing, or other household items. If you're concerned about using an ozone generator around your belongings, test a small area before using it all over if you have any doubt at all about whether it might be harmful.
Important factors in odor removal
Ozone is a powerful oxidizer. In the presence of smoke, ozone will react with the organic molecules and break them apart. When this happens, the odor will be removed from your home. Ozone is not effective at removing other odors besides smoke or mold and mildew. It can't remove pet odors because they're caused by bacteria that grow on the surfaces where pets spend time (their beds, for example).
If you want to neutralize a room filled with smoke odor, consider using an ozone generator in combination with another method like dehumidifiers or air purifiers (or both!).
What is the key to ozone's effectiveness?
The key to ozone's effectiveness is its ability to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold. In fact, ozone is an extremely powerful oxidizer. It can be used to purify water by oxidizing organic contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins in the water.
Ozone generators are also used for deodorization in a variety of industries such as food processing plants where they eliminate odors from smelly foods such as fish or chicken carcasses that may have spoiled during processing into products such as tuna fish cans or chicken nuggets.
Ozone generators also help remediate smoke smell from fire damage by using the same principle: killing bacteria with ozone gas so that no further contamination occurs after your home has been cleared out of fumes or toxic particles from a fire rescue effort
Why SERVPRO professionals recommend using ozone to remediate a home after a fire.
Ozone generators are a safe and effective way to remove smoke smell after a fire. They're also safe for use around pets and children. In addition, ozone generators are portable, so you can use them in any room of the home.
They're easy to use: Simply plug in your ozone generator, turn it on and set it on the floor near where you'd like to deodorize. Within minutes, that smoke smell will be gone!
There are many ways to remove smoke smell in your home. You can try cleaning products, air fresheners, or even candles (though those aren’t recommended). But the best way is to call SERVPRO of Beverly Hills/ Westwood who uses ozone generators. That way, you know that the job will be done right and that you won’t have to worry about any toxic chemicals being released into your indoor environment.
What Three Types of Contaminated Water Are There?
Water damage in Beverly Hills/ Westwood area
What Type of Water You Have and How To Deal With It
Water damage is one of the most common problems faced by homeowners and business owners. It can come from many sources, including pipes that burst or broken appliances. SERVPRO of Beverly Hills/Westwood specializes in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have handled all types of water damage, so we're here to help you understand what type of water you have and how to deal with it quickly and professionally.
What Are the Water Damage Categories?
To properly deal with contaminated water, it's important to know what category of water you're dealing with. Categories 1 and 2 are considered clean water, while category 3 is considered contaminated. Here are the three different categories:
Category 1—Clean Water: This includes runoff from rain or snow, as well as fresh groundwater that has not been contaminated by human activity. It can also include any other type of liquid that hasn't encounter any contaminants.
Category 2—Contaminated Water: This category includes all types of liquids affected by human activity, such as rivers adjacent to factories or sewers. This type of damage is often referred to as "blackwater.”
Let's look at the three categories in more detail:
Category 1 water is clean water such as a leaking faucet or supply line, or broken appliance. If untreated, Category 1 can quickly degrade into Category 2 or 3.
Category 2 water is contaminated with harmful microorganisms and/or chemicals that can cause illness if ingested. This type of contamination could be present in your home's private well system, as well as any municipal supply lines that have become damaged by recent weather events.
Category 1 Water is clean water such as a leaking faucet or supply line, or broken appliance. If untreated, Category 1 can quickly degrade into Category 2 or 3.
A leaky faucet is one of the most common sources of contaminated water in the home. A leaking tap will typically drip between 0.5 and 5 gallons per minute depending on its severity and how long it has been leaking. Leaks that occur over longer periods of time will likely cause higher volumes of wastewater to flow into your drainpipes than those that are repaired quickly after detection.
Category 2 Water has some degree of contamination.
Category 2 water damage is the next level down. While it still requires immediate attention, this type of water damage is not as serious as category 3 and should be handled by a professional contractor so that you don’t spread any contaminants further into your home.
Category 2 water can be caused by a variety of situations, such as a toilet overflow with some urine or feces, or a washing machine overflow. Category 2 also includes other incidents like broken pipes that are not directly connected to sewage lines but have seeped into or leaked out of the home’s walls, ceilings, and floors.
Category 3 Water is grossly contaminated from an outside source.
Category 3 water can include sewage, seawater, or floodwater: This type of contamination can come from sewage backups in your basement and other locations in your house. Flooding can also cause this type of contamination by mixing with storm runoff and groundwater seepage in the basement through a crack in the foundation or opening around a pipe. Heavy rains can also cause this type of contamination if not enough water is diverted away from structures before it reaches them.
SERVPRO Beverly Hills/Westwood specializes in water damage restoration.
The cornerstone of our business is the extensive water damage restoration training we give our technicians, which emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end.
In addition, SERVPRO’s process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end.
SERVPRO is here to help you with all your water damage needs. We have a team of highly trained professionals who can handle any situation, and we offer 24/7 emergency services for our customers in Beverly Hills/Westwood area.
Content Cleaning and Fire Damage
Kitchen damaged by fire
Content Cleaning and Fire Damage
We know what it’s like to lose your belongings to a fire. That’s why we offer content cleaning to help you recover from the effects of fire damage. If your clothes have been damaged in a fire, our professional team will spot and clean them for you. We can also advise you on what process is best for any specific piece of clothing or item.
Content cleaning is a service that can be done by professionals if your clothing has been damaged in a fire.
Although it may seem like a daunting task, each piece of content will be pre-spotted, pre-tested and thoroughly cleaned. Contents with smoke residue may need an additional ultrasonic cleaning process.
If you're feeling overwhelmed about how to proceed with cleaning your clothing after this unfortunate event, we've got you covered! We can help you get back on track and make sure that your items are restored to their former glory so that they look as good as new!
Each piece of content will be pre-spotted, pre-tested and thoroughly cleaned.
The first step in the cleaning process is pre-spotting, which involves a thorough inspection of each item to determine what damage it has sustained and whether it can be cleaned. If an item cannot be cleaned, we will discard it. Next, we thoroughly clean all items (including furniture) using our proprietary process that removes smoke residue while also preventing any new soiling from occurring.
Contents with smoke residue may need an additional ultrasonic cleaning process.
The contents of your items can be affected by smoke residue. Smoke can make an item smell like burnt or wet wood, or it may leave behind a yellow discoloration that won't wash out. Smoke residue can also cause the ink on labels to fade, which will make them illegible.
Smoke residue may need to be removed before you clean the item using other methods such as steaming and dry cleaning (using chemicals). Ultrasonic cleaning is one effective way of removing dirt and grime from objects but not all materials are suitable for this type of cleaning process so check with your dry cleaner first!
We'll help you get your belongings back in good shape after fire damage.
We're here to help with our expert post-fire cleaning services. Whether you need help getting rid of the smell or repairing some of the physical damage left behind by fire, we'll fix everything up, so it looks like nothing ever happened. We'll even make sure all those pesky stains disappear from your carpeting so no one will ever suspect anything was amiss.
Our experience with these situations makes us uniquely qualified to handle any situation involving smoke or water damage. So, whether you've been through a kitchen fire recently or have just gotten back from vacation (and found out about another family member's house burning down), let us do what we do best: restore order after chaos has taken over!
We are proud to say that we offer some of the best prices in town for a wide range of services. We’re confident that our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee will give you peace of mind when dealing with your fire-damaged items, and we can help you get back on your feet quickly after an emergency like this!
What To Do When You Smell Natural Gas
A potential gas fire is an emergency!
Steps To Protect Yourself And Your Family
If your home in Beverly Hills, CA uses gas for heating or cooking, it's important to know what to do in the event of a gas leak. On its own, natural gas doesn't have a smell, so providers put additives in that give it a scent in order to protect consumers. If you smell gas inside or outside of your home or hear a hissing sound, there are steps to take to ensure that you protect yourself and your family.
1. Don't Touch the Lights
When you first smell gas and you're not sure what's happening, the first step is to NOT turn on the lights. If there is a leak, turning a light switch on or off can trigger a reaction that causes a gas fire. Similarly, don't use matches, start or stop appliances, or use the phone.
2. Check the Stove
Check the stove to make sure that all the burners are off. One common reason that you smell gas but a gas explosion isn't imminent is that a burner was accidentally bumped on.
3. Open the Windows
If you can verify that the natural gas smell was caused by an improperly closed burner, it's safe to open the windows and doors to air out the house. However, if you've checked the stove and no burners are on, it's important to leave the windows closed to prevent oxygen from getting to a flame.
4. Leave the House
When the stove is ruled out as the cause of the smell, it's time to leave the house — and quickly. Worry only about getting the people in your home out; don't try to take extra items with you. A potential gas fire is an emergency!
5. Call for Help
Once you're safely away from the house (at least across the street), call 911 for help. In the event of an explosion that causes damage, an emergency restoration team will work with you to get you back in your home quickly.
A gas fire is a common way that homes sustain damage. If you think you smell gas, protect your family by leaving the house and calling for help.
Why Hidden Mold Causes Odors and How To Detect It
Mold remediation and removal in Westwood Village, CA
An odd smell in your commercial building that you can't locate the source of can be an extremely frustrating experience. There are several reasons why you may be noticing a mold smell on your property, even though you haven't seen any mold. If you discover any, it is important to have mold remediation professionals deal with it before the problem grows.
Reasons You May Smell Mold But Not See It
Fungus smell is often described as a musty odor. If you are smelling mold but not seeing any, it is probably because there are a variety of hidden places mold may grow:
- Behind walls
- Under flooring
- In-ceiling tiles
- Inside storage areas
- Under fabric on upholstered furniture
Causes of Mold Odor
Mold smell occurs because these fungi produce and release compounds, called microbial volatile organic compounds, that have strong odors and are quickly released into the air. If you are noticing mold or mildew smell in your building, you should investigate any surfaces that have recently been wet and current sources of moisture.
Detecting Hidden Mold
You can find some hidden mold by simply looking for it. However, mold that occurs behind walls, under flooring and other areas may not be able to be detected by visual inspection without tearing out material. Test kits are available that may detect the presence of mold, but usually are not very helpful at identifying the location of it. A mold professional in Westwood Village, CA, can inspect your property and use advanced detection systems, such as infrared cameras, to locate mold that is hidden behind surfaces.
To prevent future mold problems, dry out anything that is damaged by water within 24 to 48 hours. Repair any leaking plumbing or equipment. Take steps to control excess moisture from condensation in HVAC systems and other sources.
If there is a mold smell in your building, chances are you have mold growing somewhere. A professional inspection can help you identify and remove sources.
Why Choosing a Qualified Preferred Vendor Matters
Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.
Why It's Important to Pick a Qualified Preferred Vendor
A client calls your office to report that they have an insurance claim in Century City, CA. Like most business owners who are facing a disaster, they're anxious to get the cleanup and restoration process completed as quickly as possible. As an insurance agent, you have a responsibility to help your client get the help they need while keeping costs down for your company. Luckily, you have a list of preferred vendors, and you inform your client that the names on that list are truly the best. Here's why it matters to you and to your client that they choose a preferred vendor.
To participate in the vendor program, a company has to be able to verify that they are qualified to complete the services that they say they provide. Vendors who value their business will keep good records of certifications, but it's even more important to know that the staff receives regular continuing education in order to stay on top of the latest best practices. A company like SERVPRO has a set of twenty-one guidelines that employees of each franchise must meet in order to remain on preferred vendor lists.
In addition to qualified staff, a preferred vendor who wants to be recommended by an insurance agent must maintain compliance with all industry standards. This means that the tools they use, the standards to which they complete jobs, and the way they maintain project paperwork all have to be above board. The easiest way to ensure that these things happen is to work with a company that has consistent expectations for every franchisee.
The last thing that your client wants to deal with is a vendor who doesn't keep in touch. SERVPRO has the reach to ensure that calls are answered and the resources to keep every project organized.
As an insurance agent, you want your clients to be confident when they choose a restoration company after a disaster. Encourage your clients to use the preferred vendor list so that they can be confident that they are working with the best in the business.
Why Is There a Puddle Around My Toilet?
Leaking toilet in Westwood, CA
Why Is My Toilet Surrounded by a Puddle?
Happily, for most homeowners, toilets are one of the most reliable fixtures in the home. Sometimes, these essential items in the home will last upwards of 40 years. During all that time, the humble bowl only requires a little bit of care. Once in a while, however, you may run up against one of these situations:
- The flush handle becomes loose
- The toilet becomes clogged
- The flapper valve wears out or gets damaged
- Water leaks around the base of the toilet
For most of these situations, the repair is pretty straightforward, but what can you do when faced with a leaking toilet?
No matter what the cause of a bathroom leak, it could lead to an expensive visit from Westwood, CA, water damage restoration crews. Your best defense against extensive repairs and remodeling is acting quickly to correct the situation.
Leaky Wax Gaskets
A leak at the base of the toilet is usually the result of a worn-out wax seal. Use a towel to mop up the water on the floor and watch for water seeping from under the toilet. If the water comes from a different location, the problem could be a cracked tank, sweaty bowl, leaky shutoff valve, or a loose tube somewhere.
Try Tightening the Bolts
Sometimes, it's possible to apply more pressure on the wax ring by tightening up the bolts that hold the toilet in place. Tighten the bolts alternately, using consistent, gentle pressure. If the leak stops, you probably don't have to take any other steps. If the leaking toilet continues to be a problem, you'll need to replace the wax gasket.
This repair generally involves removing the toilet and, unhooking tubes and hardware, replacing the wax seal, and then putting everything back together. If you aren't comfortable doing these repairs on your own, you can hire a Westwood, CA, professional to fix the leaking toilet.
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.