Recent Posts

What You Should Always Throw Away After a Fire in Your Pleasant Hill Home

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

One of the most challenging aspects of a fire recovery is determining what can be saved and discarded. It’s heartbreaking to throw away sentimentally valuable goods, and it seems wasteful to toss food that has been exposed to smoke. The cost of restocking your pantry and refrigerator, on the other hand, is well worth avoiding the potential health effects of eating infected food! So follow our advice and throw away these four items after a fire, no questions asked, for your safety.

  1. Burned Clothing

It’s not always a good idea to clean and sanitize fabrics such as clothing and bedding after a fire. Chemicals found in smoke and soot can irritate the skin when they come into touch with it, and those chemicals can be inhaled if the items are worn or used.

  1. Cosmetics and Toiletries

Chemicals and minerals in your cosmetics and toiletries could be harmed by the fire’s intense heat, pollutants in the extinguishing water, and chemicals used by firemen to put out the fire. So even though the cosmetics may appear in good condition, it is safer to discard them.

  1. Medicine

Tremendous heat, smoke, soot, water, and chemicals used by firemen to extinguish the fire can all impact the potency of your medications.

  1. Food Items; Both Perishable and Non-Perishable

Food items such as cans and jars are frequently found in every home. Even if the food appears to be unharmed by the fire, the extreme heat within the cans or jars can activate bacteria. In addition, the water and chemicals used to put out the fire can contaminate the food in the home.

Who To Call for Fire Cleanup?

If your fire damage is sizable, you should call a fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda. We have the equipment and skills necessary to clear up any size fire. Cleaning smoke and soot stains, reducing flame and heat damage and returning your property to the way it was before the fire are all part of the process.

Call SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda today if you need help deciding what to toss away and what can be saved after a house fire. After a fire, our restoration experts will clean up and repair your home. For a free estimate on fire damage restoration services, call (925) 299-1323.

Can You Save a Flood Damaged Carpet or Rug?

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

A carpet may be an expensive investment, so finding it in a destroyed state and thinking it needs to be replaced can be worrying. The age and quality of the carpet are important considerations in determining whether it must be replaced. Furthermore, understanding the sort of floodwater involved is critical in determining whether damaged carpet cleaning is possible. In the water damage restoration industry, we classify floodwater into three main categories.

Category 1: Clean Water

Clean water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on the length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

Category 2: Gray Water

Gray water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or health effects. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

Category 3: “Black Water”

Black water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe health effects if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water form the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

Because every water damage situation is unique, you won’t know for sure if or when your carpet and pad can be saved unless you have a professional restoration company assess the damage. Time can mean the difference between saving your carpet and saving money by not having to replace it. However, in some cases, carpet replacement is unavoidable due to the toxicity of the water that caused the damage.  

Although there are some DIY solutions for dealing with water damage, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. Professionals trained in water damage restoration have the appropriate knowledge, expertise, and equipment to work on your water-damaged property. You secure your safety and well-being by have an expert work on the damage. Doing it yourself, depending on the type of water, might be dangerous and lead to health effects. You put yourself at danger of developing health effects if you don’t have the necessary safety gear.  

If you experienced water damage and suspect your carpet has been damaged, give SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda a call for a free inspection. Call us today at (925) 299-1323.

Can Water Intrusion Ruin Hardwood Floors in My Lafayette Home?

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

How to Save Your Hardwood Floors From Water Damage in Your Lafayette Home

Water and wood do not mix. Wood flooring is susceptible to moisture damage when there is a water loss in the home. Depending on the water source, any number of contaminants can erode the finish and potentially harm the wood. Therefore, to save hardwood that has been damaged by water, swift response time is critical.

Why are wood floors so quickly destroyed when a house floods?

When a property is flooded, the flooring is often the first to be damaged. The moisture that collects because the pooling is quickly absorbed by wood and carpet. When water lies on top of hardwood floors, the wood absorbs the water via its pores, producing warping and discoloration, which can be irreversible. A water damage restoration company in Lafayette is required to avoid significant damage. SERVPRO knows the value of speedy response times, which is why we react to callouts as quickly as possible.

What should I do when my hardwood floors are water damaged?

Call SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda right away. Water or flood damage to your wood flooring an unexpected event that may be intimidating, distressing, and costly. Water damage causes immediate harm to the construction materials used to construct your home. If  not addressed quickly, the damage can be irreparable. SERVPRO offers emergency water damage drying and restoration services to prevent further damage to your beautiful wood flooring. With our wood floor drying technology, we can often save your hardwood floors after they have been damaged by water. It is critical to recognize the various sources of water and moisture damage to hardwood floors. Here are the top 5 types of hardwood floor moisture issues:

  1. Cupping: When moisture builds up in the hardwood, it expands on the sides and edges, causing the flooring to be uneven. As a result, the sides protrude and are not parallel to the wood's core. 
  2. Crowning: Due to moisture build-up, the wood boards are pressed together in the case of crowning. Depending on the quantity of moisture present, the form of physical damage could result in wooden planks sticking out of the wood, which can cause shrinking permanently. The sooner you find the source of the problem and dry up the floors, the less likely you are to have to replace the hardwood floors.
  3. Buckling: Buckling is an uncommon occurrence in which individual hardwood pieces detach from the subfloor and protrude. Extreme water damage, such as that caused by severe floods, is the most common cause of buckling. Because buckling is one of the most serious forms of physical damage, replacing the hardwood floors is your best bet for the future. 

What is the Water Damage Drying Process for Wooden Floors?

When SERVPRO's professional IICRC Certified project manager arrives at your house, they will analyze the water damage and devise a plan to save your hardwood flooring. The following are some of the assessments we conduct:

  • Identify the cause or source of your property's damage.
  • Using thermal imaging equipment to determine the course of the water through the property.
  • Identifying the areas of the property that have been impacted by water damage, such as ceilings, walls, floors, fixtures, mechanical damage, and so on.
  • Establish a strategy, such as how SERVPRO will dry your property and what specialist equipment (such as wood floor drying mats) will be used.

Why choose SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda?

After a fire, smoke, or water damage disaster, SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda specializes in cleaning and restoring of residential and commercial property. We are an IICRC-certified company with highly trained staff in property damage restoration. We believe in continual training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to maintain regular IICRC-industry certifications, so you can rest certain that our team is up to date.

Got Water Damage? Call Us Today at (925) 299-1323.

After the Storm: How to Check Your Property for Damage

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

It is impossible to predict how much damage a storm may cause. Even if your home looks to have weathered the storm, a trip around your property may disclose hidden hazards that you would not have noticed otherwise. You will want to know where you stand what to do if you deal with a few missing shingles, shattered windows, or flooding in the basement.

In the event of a storm, here is a quick checklist of what to watch for damage.

1. Wind Damage

Check your windows for shattered glass, broken panes, or damaged frames up close and personal. Look for little holes or cracks in places you would not expect to see them. 

2. Roof Damage

Look for shingles that are loose or cracked. Unidentified black dots on an asphalt roof could signify storm damage. Check for any debris lodged beneath the shingles as well.

3. Clogged gutters

Heavy rains can pull down tree limbs, bringing leaves and small branches with them, which can clog your gutter. Look for any fragments stuck in the gutter or downspout.

4. Exterior Damage

Siding might rip, paint can flake, and stucco can come loose. A bad storm can damage even brick. Take a walk around your house and look for any damage that may have occurred. A storm's usual side effects include holes, breaks, and splits. Another indication is discoloration of the siding or brick. 

A storm's aftermath can be devastating. Following a storm, experienced storm damage restoration experts can assist you in repairing and restoring your home or building. Storm and flood damage restoration is a specialty of SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda. We can scale our resources in the event of a large storm or flooding disaster. We have access to specialized equipment and personnel through a nationwide network of 1,650 Franchise and elite Disaster Recovery Teams strategically situated across the country.

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

Storm Checklist for Your Orinda Home

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

It is a good idea to assess your property for storm damage and make sure you have the right equipment to protect your safety before and after a major storm. It is impossible to predict how much damage a storm may cause. Because you cannot escape mother nature, knowing what to do in the event of a natural disaster is critical. It pays to be prepared, so here are some pointers on how to get ready when a storm is on the way.

Inside Your Home

  • Make sure you have nonperishable food, medications, baby necessities, and pet food on hand.
  • Invest in bottled water. One gallon of water per person per day is recommended by the American Red Cross.
  • Examine emergency supplies, such as flashlights, battery-operated radios, extension cords, and emergency generators.
  • Purchase additional batteries.
  • Have extra cash on hand if you are unable to withdraw money from an ATM or bank due to a power outage.
  • Set your refrigerator to the coldest setting possible. This will keep food fresher for longer if the power goes out. Most food will stay frozen or fresh for up to 12 hours if the refrigerator is closed. 
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical devices that could cause injury.
  • Have a first-aid kit on hand.
  • Keep a manual can opener on hand.
  • Keep important documents in a safe raised box, such as birth certificates and insurance paperwork.

Outside Your Home

  • Keep an eye out for downed electrical wires and keep away from them when going outside. 
  • Clear debris from trees that are not near power lines.
  • Fill up your car's gas tank.
  • Bring loose, light objects inside, such as yard furniture.
  • If you have a pool, switch off all pumps and filters and cover them in waterproof fabric to prevent storm water from damaging them. 

After the Storm

If a storm has damaged your home, call SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda for help repairing and restoring your property. Our highly experienced workers can respond to storm or flood damage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have as storm-related emergency, call (925) 299-1323 to get your property restored to its pre-storm condition. 

Dryer Fire Prevention Tips: Do's and Don'ts for Your Lafayette Home

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

Avoiding a Dryer Fire in Your Lafayette Home

Dryer fires are one of the leading causes of fires reported each year. Dryer fires are much more common than many think. It’s essential to understand what causes dryer fires and how to prevent them from happening in your own home with so much at stake. Safeguard your home and follow the dryer dos and don’ts from the experts at SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda.

DO: Clean the Lint Filter

Remember to clean the lint trap every time you unload the dryer. Before loading the next set of clothing, ensure the lint trap is completely cleared out to lower your fire risk. A clean lint filter enables the dryer to run more efficiently, making dryer your clothes faster while also hindering your machine from overheating.

DON’T: Dry Clothes without the Lint Filter

Without a lint trap in the dryer, it only allows for accidents to happen. The filter protects the dryer’s mechanics from collecting lint. If this defensive shield is absent, a buildup of lint in the ducts can quickly lead to a dryer vent fire. To lower your risk for potential fires, always use your dryer with the lint trap in its proper place.

DO: Inspect the Ducts Regularly

Blocked ducts commonly cause dryer fires. Ensure your dryer is running correctly, check your ducts monthly to make sure there are no blockages. If you notice any blockages, clean them out before turning on your dryer again. To clean your ducts, disconnect them, clear them out, and reconnect them. If you witness any damage to the venting system, call a professional to repair the issue.

DON’T: Overload the dryer

Loading too many wet clothes or bedding into a dryer can accumulate an excessive amount of lint. Because lint buildup hinders a dryer’s ability to ventilate, that can cause the machine to overheat and create a fire.

DO: Replace Outdated Ducts

Older ducts made of plastic or foil are prone to sagging, interfering with the machine’s proper functioning. Accordion-style ducts can trap lint in hard-to-reach spaces, increasing your risk of fire. To prevent this, replace your older ducts with newer models designed with industrial-strength metal.

DON’T: Leave the Dryer Running Unattended

Be sure to never go to sleep or leave the house while your dryer is running. If a fire breaks out, your ability to extinguish it or call emergency services right away can significantly impact the damage caused and can lead to the total loss of your home.

Despite our best efforts as homeowners, accidents still happen. If your home has been damaged by fire and smoke, call SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda. Our residential fire and smoke damage restoration services can help get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. With the proper training, innovative equipment, and helpful guidance, our expert technicians will be with you every step of the way to get you back on your feet.

Home Fire Damage Prevention Tips in Your Moraga Home

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

Preventing Fire Damage in Your Moraga Home

Most people know the basics of fire safety at home, such as not leaving burning candles unattended and keeping a fire extinguisher on hand. Here are more tips you can use to prevent fires at home.

Home Fire Prevention

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Make sure to test your smoke and CO detectors every month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Additionally, install a smoke detector on each level of your home to cover all your bases.

Inspect your gas appliances

Maintain your appliance by checking your water heater, gas stove, furnace, and dryer once a year. This ensures all the appliances’ connections to gas lines are working as they should and are in the proper condition. In addition, do not under any circumstances put combustible materials near gas appliances.

Get an Annual Inspection

Have a professional carry out a preventative maintenance assessment of your home’s heating and cooling systems yearly. This gives you the peace of mind that you’re heating and cooling systems are installed correctly, thereby helping you avoid a disaster event.

Be Cautious While Cooking

When you are cooking, do not leave any stoves unattended. Make sure to turn cookware handles toward the back of the stove, so that young children cannot accidentally knock over a boiling pot. If a grease spill occurs, be sure to wipe away any grease residue as soon as it reaches a cool temperature because it can easily catch fire.

Remove dryer lint buildup.

Dryer lint that accumulates in your dryer’s removable filter is highly flammable. If the lint is not removed after each load of laundry, it can cause a fire. Also, look out for and remove lint buildup around the dryer’s exhaust hose at least once a year.

Repair damaged power cords

If the plastic casing around your power cords is damaged, it could lead to an electrical fire that can occur if the cord is in use. Remove any power cords or appliance cords that are damaged before continued use.

Do not overload electrical outlets

Ensure that you do not have too many appliances in one outlet because it can overload a circuit and potentially lead to a fire. You can prevent this by limiting the number of devices that are plugged into a power outlet.

About SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda

SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate facility to regular IICRC-Industry Certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Wildfire Prevention and Safety Tips

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Wildfires can occur at anytime and anywhere throughout the year.  Late summer and early fall is typically the peak time for wildfires in California.  People that live or work in an area prone to wildfires are at greater risk.  Wildfires sometimes start naturally by heat ignited from sun light or lightning strikes.  However, majority of the wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans.  Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, negligently discarded cigarettes or intentional acts of arson.  A wildfire can move as fast as 6.5 miles per hour in forest and 14 miles an hour in grassland, consuming trees, homes, natural resources, humans and everything in its path.  

By working together, we can make our residents and neighborhood safer from wildfires by taking safety precautions.  Here are some wildfire safety tips to help prevent wildfire from occurring.

Wildfire Safety Tips

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10  feet  of the  house.  This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris from accumulating.
  • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuildings.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair shingles that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose eaves and screen soffit vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember entry.

SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.  Call us today 925-299-1323.

Fire Safety Tips When Cooking

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

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

Got Mold? Leave It to the Experts

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Mold is a fungus that grows in dark, damp corners and presents significant health effects to the surrounding environment. This is why a professional mold removal company is essential to remediate a mold situation. Mold growth can occur in any home, so it's critical to keep an eye out for conditions that might promote mold activity. Leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

Mold occurs naturally in both outdoor and indoor environments. Mold growth materializes where there is moisture. It can occur in ceilings, floors, insulation, wood, drywall, clothes, carpet, and more. Mold also grows in environments with a warm temperature, with growth beginning in less than 48 hours of excessive moisture. Mold functions as a decomposer, consuming the dead materials on which it grows, and it can appear to be black, blue, or green. On the other hand, outside mold prefers shaded areas as ultraviolet sunlight deters the growth of mold.

A professional mold remediation service is the safe and most effective approach. The professionals from SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda understand industry protocols, and have the necessary equipment and training to do an effective job. Moisture meters, hydrometers, "air scrubbers," HEPA vacuums, and antifungal and antimicrobial products are utilized.

SERVPRO technicians know where to search for harmful, hidden molds and complete the mold remediation protocols. We also advise you how to best protect your home. 

SERVPRO of Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact it's a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals who use equipment and techniques to quickly and safely remediate your mold problem. 

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today - (925) 299-1323