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Emergency Water Damage Tips

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Emergency Water Damage Tips If you experience water damage emergency at your home SERVPRO of Lafayette/Orinda/Moraga is Here to Help. We're just a phone call away (925) 299-1323.

Water damage is the most serious emergencies that can happen to your home.  Your primary focus should be safety first. Water damage can come from many different sources such as; roof leaks, broken pipes, leaky dishwashers, toilet backups, or flooding due to heavy rainstorm.  No matter where the leaks or flooding originated from, it doesn’t take a lot of water to cause tremendous damage. Just an inch or two can destroy carpets and dry wall, warp wood floors, building components, electronics and personal items.  Not to mention, it can lead to possible mold growth if not addressed immediately.  Water damage can be a traumatic experience for homeowners.  Being informed about the causes, consequences, and ways to handle water damage can help you overcome the problem more efficiently.  Here are some useful emergency water damage tips that will assist you in taking proper action in case of water damage to your home.

What to DO After Flooding

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.

What NOT to Do After Flooding

  • Don't enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water.  Always avoid electrical shock hazards
  • Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Don't use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

Water damage is best left to professional emergency restoration technicians.  Hiring a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Lafayette/Orinda/Moraga can quickly extract the water and then dry your home using state-of-the-art equipment.  Our staff are highly trained in property damage restoration.  From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Have a water damage emergency? Call us today at (707) 588-8226.  We are always Here to Help!

Ways to Help Prevent Wind Damage to Your Home

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Ways to Help Prevent Wind Damage to Your Home SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can help with the restoration and reduce secondary damage to your home. Call Us Today (925) 299-1323.

There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home.  Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property from broken windows and fallen tree branches to more severe damage to the roof, garage, or car.  It can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house. 

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.  Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs. 

It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.   These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.  Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof damage can be reduced during the construction phase when the roof deck and the shingles or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will firmly anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material must be properly fastened to the deck. Weakly connected shingles will lift easily from the deck.

Siding damage can be reduced at the construction phase as well. Properly fastened siding is less likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger and more storm resistant structure.

 Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of the structure being damaged.

Mitigating Damage after a Storm

Close any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.

Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a very serious personal and structural safety issue. A tree may look as if it will not shift position. But it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. A fallen tree may also mask other very serious safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be live and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (925) 299-1323

The Most Common Causes of Commercial Fires

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial The Most Common Causes of Commercial Fires If you experience commercial fire, SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda has the training and expertise to make disasters “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial fire can be devastating, harming both human and property.  Every year, there are as many as 75,000 commercial building fires in the United States.  U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year.  These fires caused an annual average of 85 civilian deaths, 1,325 civilian fire injuries and $3.2 billion in direct property damage, according to the (NFPA) National Fire Prevention Association.  Though some are small and cause relatively little harm, many others pose a great risk to life and property.   Fortunately, many fires can be prevented if you’re aware of the potential hazards. Here are several of the most common causes of commercial building fires.

Human Error 

Many commercial fires can be attributed to human error and are not meant to be malicious. For example, spilling liquids on electrical equipment, leaving a coffee pot on, or burning food in the kitchen can easily cause a fire to break out. To decrease the chances of this happening in your commercial building, perform risk assessments to determine if any changes need to be implemented, provide proper staff training, and ensure fire extinguishers are easily accessible throughout the building. 

Negligence fires are the result of someone not following proper procedures and can usually be easily avoided by proper staff training. For example, storing or handling flammable items improperly or covering electrical equipment that must have air can result in a fire that causes significant commercial fire damage. 

Unfortunately, arson is a frequent cause of commercial fires, particularly in industrial buildings and factories. This may be an act of vandalism, an attempt to collect insurance money or even the work of an unhappy employee. To minimize the damage associated with arson, you may want to consider installing an automatic sprinkler system. 
Faulty Wiring/ Electrics 

Electrical issues are another frequent cause of commercial fires. For example, outdated equipment, loose or frayed wires, and overloaded plugins can spark a fire with little to no advance warning. This is why it is so important to make certain your electrical equipment, including boilers, hot water heaters, and furnaces are in good working order and able to handle their workload. To ensure your equipment/ appliances are functioning properly, you may want to invest in a portable appliance tester (PAT). 

SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can respond immediately to your commercial fire damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (925) 299-1323

Mold Removal and Remediation in your Home or Business

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Removal and Remediation in your Home or Business SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can help mitigate your mold infestation. Call us today (925) 299-1323.

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more.  They can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation.

When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth can occur, particularly if the moisture problem goes unaddressed for some time.  It is impossible to eliminate mold and mold spores outdoors. But indoor mold can be effectively controlled.  By deploying proven mold removal and prevention strategies, indoor mold can be managed.  To fully assess your mold situation, it is best to hire highly trained restoration specialists like SERVPRO that can conduct mold tests to determine the exact type of mold you are dealing with.

Mold Removal and Remediation

Many homeowners feel they can address mold issues on their own utilizing bleach or other products.  This can be a dangerous choice if you are not aware of the type of mold you are dealing with.  If mold is improperly handled, it can easily spread, multiplying the problem many times over. 

You have probably heard a lot about the health risks associated with mold.  Mold can be a health problem but more often it is more of a nuisance than a toxicity problem.  If you have occupants in the home that suffer from allergies, compromised immune systems, or other health disorders mold can be an increased, and very serious problem.

At SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda, our highly trained restoration specialists are Here to Help! We’re a trusted company that specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can also mitigate mold and mildew. Should you have mold problem in your home or business, call us today (925) 299-1323.

Grilling Safety Tips

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Grilling Safety Tips Follow these simple grilling safety tips to keep your family and friend safe during the cookout season.

When the weather gets warmer, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill. Grilling and cookouts are the most popular activities outdoor. It’s a great way to relax and have fun with family and friends. Weather the barbecuing takes place at the beach, picnic area, camping site or just out in the backyard, grilling can poses risk of fire if not handled properly. According to a (NFPA) National Fire Protection Association report, nearly 9,000 homes fires are caused by grilling in the US and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. 

Causes of Grill Fires: 

The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to clean, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire and leaving the grill unattended. 

A leak or break was the leading cause for outside or unclassified grill fires. Leaks or break were primarily a problem with gas grills.

General Grilling Tips:

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

If you encounter fire damage during this cookout season, give SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda a call.  We're dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, has the training, equipment and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. We’re close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We make disaster "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at (925) 299-1323

Fire Safety Tips When Cooking

5/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Tips When Cooking Follow these fire safety tips, be alert and watch what you are cooking at all times.

As we look forward to the upcoming holiday season of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor day (to name a few) many of us will invite our family and friends to celebrate these major holidays.  These can be exciting especially preparing some delicious dishes for the party.  Whether you’re cooking indoor or outdoor, there is always a potential for fire hazard in the kitchen or in the backyard.  Did you know that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 166,100 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year? The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.  So before you turn on your stove, here are some fire safety tips prevention. 

Here's What You Need to Know:

• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stove top.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
• If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains—away from the stovetop.

What to Do During a Fire:

• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
• For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
• Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

If you have the unfortunate experience of fire or smoke damage in your home or business call SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda!

We are available 24 hours a day and are always Here to Help! Have Questions? Call Us Today – (925) 299-1323

Commercial Storm Damage Restoration

2/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Storm Damage Restoration Storm Damage? No problem. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your business and quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition.

Mother Nature can strike at anytime and at any place.  When a severe storm blows through, it can bring with it heavy rain, flooding, high winds, lightning, hail, and even tornadoes.  The damage that storms can inflict on buildings will vary depending on the type and severity of the storm.  Some of the potential kinds of damage that different storms can cause are cracked or shattered windows, roof damage from hail, damage from fallen branches/trees or even water damage from flooding.   If that damage isn’t repaired quickly, interior damage, mold, and damage to equipment and inventory can follow - not to mention the disruption caused for your employees and customers.  The costs of repairs to commercial buildings in particular are likely to be substantial due to the high concentration of glass used in these structures. Without the full and timely payment of insurance benefits, rebuilding and repairing can be prohibitively expensive.

SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda understands that severe weather can happen without notice and cause water damage to your commercial property.  As a trusted restoration company, we’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.  We have the experience and advanced training that enables us to restore your property quickly. We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete. 

We are Here to Help!  Have Questions? Call Us Today – (925) 299-1323

Mold Remediation to a Commercial Building

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold Remediation to a Commercial Building Got Mold? No Problem. SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda is here to help with remediation process and to prevent mold growth in your business.

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Commercial property can quickly become infested with mold if a source of water is present. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48 hours. Since mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should call us to inspect your building if you suspect you have a mold problem. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges

Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to preloss condition.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Us Today –925-299-1323

Flooding and Flash Floods Can Strike Anywhere

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flooding and Flash Floods Can Strike Anywhere Flood or Storm Damage? No Problem. SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda is Here to Help! Call us today 925-299-1323

Flooding and flash floods can happen almost everywhere, and at any time during heavy rains, when ocean waves come on shore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break.  Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.  According to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) more than 20% of all flood insurance claims come from areas in low to moderate risk flood zones.  On average, floods cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. 

Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods, because they combine the destructive power of a flood with incredible speed and unpredictability. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.  Flash floods occur when excessive water fills normally dry creeks or river beds along with currently flowing creeks and rivers, causing rapid rises of water in a short amount of time. They can happen with little or no warning.

Many residents and business owners are unaware that they qualify for flood insurance. You can take steps to reduce the financial impact of flooding before a disaster strikes.

Preparing for a Flood

Residents and business owners need to prepare for flood conditions. Before the threat of flooding becomes imminent, residents and business owners should:

  • Purchase a flood insurance policy if they do not already have one. 

  • Review their current insurance policy, become familiar with what is covered, and ensure the limits are adequate for their building and personal belongings.

  • Make an emergency kit, plan evacuation routes, and keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place.

  • Itemize and take pictures of possessions.

If you are experiencing water damage due to flood, give SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda a call 925-299-1323.  We're Here to Help restore your home or business back to pre-water damage condition.  We can quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment.

Mold Infestation? We Can Help!

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Infestation?  We Can Help! SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda is Here to Help with your mold problem. Call Us Today – (925) 299-1323

Mold can be found just about almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.  Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores.  Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.   Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water.  These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.  Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation.

If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your home or business, it is important to be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold.

  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.

  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.

  • Excessive humidity.

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda can inspect, assess, remediate your mold infestation and make it, "Like it never even happened!"

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (925) 299-1323