Archived Blog Posts
Tips For Controlling In-Home Water Levels
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Moisture levels within a home can elevate the risk for mold growth. Whether the water comes from a leak, high humidity or the varying temperatures that can be found in different areas of the house, your best solution is to reduce these moisture levels as much as possible. If things are not taken care of in a timely manner then it could spell disaster for those in your household who suffer from allergies, asthma or other health related issues. SERVPRO of East Riverside City is here to help with just a few tips for you to keep in mind when dealing with any water-related issues in your home:
Dry Up All Moisture You Find
Unfortunately, even the smallest water leaks can turn into a major mold problem if they are not dealt with immediately. Make sure to check the pipes under all of your sinks for a leak. It is also good to check the water lines that connect the washing machines and refrigerators to the wall. Any leaks should be fixed right away.
Also keep in mind that water can spill from a pot when watering an indoor plant. Make sure to add a dish underneath any pots containing plants in case of a leak. It is also advisable to never leave a plant pot on a carpet, rug or other household item that contains fabric. These fabrics can be perfect for mold growth if moisture seeps into them
Monitor Hot-Water Heater & Moisture Levels of Below Ground Areas
Monitoring your hot-water heater and the area around it on a regular basis can save you from a major headache in the event of a leak. One way that this can be done is with a floor-water alarm that can be purchased and installed near your hot-water heater or can be tied in with your home's central alarm system if it has one.
Make sure to monitor areas that are below ground, such as basements and crawl spaces, for their relative humidity (RH). Not all mold growth requires standing water so use a thermo-hygrometer to measure the RH of these areas. You want the RH to be between 50-60%. It may also be a good idea to buy a dehumidifier for the less-dry months. This can help prevent mold growth and keep the RH at a consistent and safe level.
Keep Warm While Controlling Humidity
Don't allow humidity levels to climb for any above-ground areas. This can be especially true during the colder months when windows are less likely to be opened. Turing on the exhaust fan above a cooking area can help mitigate RH levels. After showering or bathing, make sure to use the exhaust fan to draw out the moisture in the air. Leaving the bathroom door open afterwards can also reduce RH levels.
Make sure to also keep any closets that have walls facing the exterior of a structure warm. These walls can develop mold growth. Also, make sure not to over stuff your closet with personal goods as this can prevent the heat from penetrating into the closet. Also make sure that the closet does not contain any carpeting as carpet can capture biodegradable dust and matter which can further encourage mold growth.
Keep All Rooms Warm During Winter
Though Southern California only experiences a brief time where it is cold, it is still advisable to keep all of the rooms at a comfortably warm temperature. Yes, it may make economical sense to only heat those rooms that are in use more often, but with colder temperatures comes higher RH levels even for those rooms that are above ground! This can lead to serious mold growth so keep your house warm.
Isolate Crawl Spaces & Monitor Moisture Levels in Attached Garages
Any crawl space should be isolated from the outside and should regularly be dehumidified. If your home contains a crawl space then it should be covered with a mesh-reinforced vapor barrier or even be completely cemented over. This will limit the evaporation from the underlying soil.
The moisture levels within an attached garage should also be closely monitored. Make sure not to introduce any unnecessary moisture. Though rare for Southern California, monitoring should be done especially for humid or inclement weather as the RH levels can rise. Keeping these levels of an attached garage under 70% should be sufficient.
These are only a few tips to help you keep your house safe from mold growth and should only be applied to small amounts of water. If your home experiences a major water loss, such as burst pipes, toilet or dishwasher overflow or any other major water source then make sure to give SERVPRO of East Riverside City a call. We will help navigate you through any of your major water loss needs!
Fire Weather Watch
Wildfires move quickly!
Not all storms are wet and windy. Extreme weather can cause wildfires, which is a deadly storm you do not what to risk playing with. Here in Riverside we are used to Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watches almost year round.
A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. A Fire Weather Watch is one level below a warning, but fire danger is still high.
The type of weather patterns that can cause a watch or warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or any combination of the above. Here are a few safety tips from CA.gov.
Equipment Use Safety
- Never mow or trim dry grass on a Red Flag Warning Day. (Mow before 10 a.m. on a day when it’s not hot and windy).
- Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.
- Spark arresters are required in wild land areas on all portable gasoline powered equipment.
- Before starting a campfire, make sure you have a campfire permit and that they are permitted on the land you are visiting.
- Afterwards, ensure that your campfire is properly extinguished.
- Residents should make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space around structures.
- Clear dead weeds and vegetation.
- Remove leaves and needles from gutters.
- Trim branches 6 feet from the ground.
- Never pull over in dry grass.
- Ensure trailer chains don't drag on the ground.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
- Have proper tire pressure to avoid driving on wheel rim.
- Never let your brake pads wear too thin.
- Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.
- Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on NO Burn Days or when it's windy or areas where not allowed.
- Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets.
- Report any suspicious activities to prevent arson.
If your home or office is damaged by a wildfire don't panic call SERVPRO we will make it "Like it never even happened."
Identify Mold Types
Know Your Mold
Most of the population can identify the fuzzy growth on their bread or dark patches under the kitchen sink as mold. Before you attempt to remove that patch yourself it is important to identify what it is first.
Disturbing mold can release into the air thousands, if not millions of spores! Which may plant themselves and start to grown elsewhere or end up in the lungs of any one nearby. Knowing whether or not the mold growing is toxic or not is truly beneficial.
Once you know what you are dealing with you can take the needed precautions to protect yourself and the rest of your home. This is why the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside not only "suit-up" but will set up containment around the affected area to prevent these spores from spreading.
How To Test
It is highly recognized that both surface and air sampling is done to get an accurate evaluation of both the indoor air quality and the specific mold type.
This is done through first a visual inspection; looking at microbial activity, water stains, moisture intrusion, musty odors, from room to room. Checking suspect areas with a moisture meter or thermal imaging camera to detect further moisture in wall cavities. Where there is moisture there is likely mold.
Then samples are taken of both the air in the room as the surface area in question either with a swab or a tape lift. These samples are then set to a lab to be tested and identified.
So, if you suspect you have mold in your home what should you do? Don't panic, call SERVPRO and we can help you through the process. For more information on how to identify mold visit Identify Surface Mold Type
Are You Prepared for Power Outage?
Are You Prepared for Power Outage?
With the heat comes power surges, which can bring the potential for power outages. We’re familiar with the suggestions to limit use of electrical appliance’s during peak hours. However, what can you do to prepare for an outage? Here are a few things to keep in mind before, during, and even after a power outage to keep you and your family safe.
The lights are out. Where is the flashlight? You know you have it somewhere. Is it in the emergency kit? Where is the emergency kit located? Having a preparedness kit is one thing, but keeping it in a location that is easy to access, especially in the dark, and keeping it stocked is another. Here are just a few suggestions that will help you be prepared for a power outage:
- Regularly restock your emergency kit with flashlights, batteries and first aid supplies.
- Have alternative charging methods available for your phones or electronic devices. Go to https://www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready for more information.
- Know where the electrical box is located to re-set the power if needed.
- If you have an automatic garage door, know where the manual release lever is and how to operate it.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent, like a medical device, devise a back-up plan.
In California, we have become accustomed to rolling power outages. Some can last just a few minutes but others can last many hours. These outages can become a cause for concern when it comes to our refrigerated food. Here are a few things to keep in mind when faced with a prolonged power outage:
- An unopened fridge will keep food cold for about 4 hours. An unopened freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for about 48 hours.
- If it's hot outside, look for a place that is spacious and has sufficient air conditioning such as the mall, movie theater or other local business that is open to the public.
- If you have a two-story home, move to the lowest level, drink plenty of water and wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fit clothing.
- Turn-off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power surge that can damage your devices, especially if you do not have them plugged into any surge protectors.
- Only use generators placed a safe distance away from your residence. Never run a generator inside the home or garage and do not connect it to your homes electrical system.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 F (4 C) or higher for 2 hours or more or that has an odor, unusual color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
- If the food in the freezer is colder than 40 F and has ice crystals on it, you can safely refreeze it.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries and any other supplies that were used.
For more helpful information check out the full list on https://www.ready.gov/power-outage.
A Hidden Fungus Among Us
What’s that smell?” A wife asks her husband after returning from a long day of work. “Did you leave wet clothes out again?”,she says as she checks the bathroom and hamper where the odor seems to be emanating from. The thought come’s to her mind: could it be mold? If you’ve experienced this scenario in the past, here are some places you may want to check.
There are two connections under each dishwasher that have the potential for mold and mildew growth. 1st the water supply line and 2nd the discharge hose. The Water Supply line needs to be lubricated and properly tightened periodically. The discharge hose involves a hose made of rubber and a clamp. The hose can wear out over time and the clamp can loosen. Check these if your dishwasher is over three years old or you notice an odd smell when opening the door.
Moving a fridge can weaken or break the water line connection to the ice maker causing leaks behind the fridge. Check the connection periodically to ensure that no leak has formed.
Remember, even the smallest amount of water creates the perfect environment for mold growth. All rubber washers need to be tight to prevent leaks. Also, regularly check any hose that supplies or drains water from the washing machine for cracks or leaks.
Hot Water Heater
Most states have laws requiring overflow pans to be installed so that the water is drained outside. Check that your water heater is properly installed. If your home contains an older model water heater, make sure that an overflow pan has been properly added to decrease chances of mold growth.
Under every sink in your home is a “P-Trap” which prevents sewer gases from entering inside. They are often made out of PVC, which has a tendency to expand and contract while in use. This causes the P-Trap connection to eventually loosen over time, allowing water to leak onto the base of the cabinet. Use Teflon tape to seal the P-Trap and check them periodically. Take care to not over tighten the PVC pipe which can cause it to crack.
The most common place on a toilet where mold growth can be found is at its base. The grout around the base serves as a filter between the bowl and floor to keep it from rocking, thus preventing the the wax ring from being compromised and allowing mold to grow.
Mold growth at the base of the tub may be from a leaking or improperly installed shower door. The door needs caulking on all three rails--the two side rails and the bottom rail--to ensure water does not leak out.
Cracks in the caulking allows for water to drip down underneath the tub, causing mold growth. If you have a slab floor, there is an even greater risk for mold growth as holes in the concrete will hold onto moisture and can allow moisture to come from the bottom up. These areas can be filled with liquid tar or expandable foam to seal them.
Exterior Hose Base
A poor connection, missing rubber washer or loose hose can result in water spraying out. This can cause the water to enter cracks or other inaccessible areas where mold can grow. Make sure all holes, gaps or areas around every outdoor water connection have been properly caulked and sealed.
Keep sprinklers away from the house and make sure they spray away from any structure. Also remind children or teens that they may water the garden or use sprinklers to play in, but not to spray the house directly.
By taking proper precautions and being vigilant with upkeep, you can avoid mold growth or catch it h before it spreads. If you do suspect mold in your home or office call SERVPRO of East Riverside for a courtesy inspection.
Why Does Mold Grow?
See something suspicious? Don't try to deal with it yourself but call the professionals at SERVPRO. We'll make it "Like It Never Even Happened!"
Mold and mold spores are a natural part of our environment, both indoors and out. Outside mold plays an important role in breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. However, indoor mold growth should be avoided. Mold spores cannot be seen by the naked eye and float through the air, traveling inside and outside. Mold begins to grow when the spores land on a wet surface. There are many different types of mold and they cannot grow without moisture.
Effects of Mold
Mold gradually destroys things that it grows on. The research of mold on health is ongoing. For information on health concerns, consult your health care professional or your local health department.
What Can You Do?
Because mold spores are everywhere it is impossible to eliminate spores completely. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. If you see mold growing in your home then you can be certain that you have a water leak or moisture problem. The source of the water or moisture needs to be addressed along with the mold cleanup. If you clean the mold and do not fix the source, the mold problem will return.
- The key to mold control is moisture control.
- If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
- It is important to dry water damaged areas within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
For more information on how to clean mold see our blog on the topic Mold Cleanup.
Protect Your Business with an ERP
SERVPRO's ERP is available to download onto your mobile devices and desktop. Contact SERVPRO of East Riverside City at 951-222-2224!
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses DO NOT REOPEN after a disaster and another 25% FAIL WITHIN ONE YEAR. The United States Small Business Administration shows similar statistics indicating that over 90% of businesses fail within 2 years after suffering a disaster.
Most business owners focus on protecting their businesses from earthquakes, floods and fires. However, the smaller incidents can be just as catastrophic such as burglary or water damage. These can result in immense losses due to damage and lost business.
What can you do to survive?
To survive, business owners must prepare for emergencies and take steps to prevent or, at the very least, minimize the effect of disasters. The first step is to be aware of the condition of your building. Document existing problems such as any and all wall cracks or plumbing issues and when repairs are made. This allows you, as the owner, to keep up with necessary repairs and maintenance before it becomes a problem. This will allow your employees to stay calm and productive, knowing that the building is safe and sound.
The second step is to have a Disaster Preparedness Plan. Have copies of your Plan in areas easily accessible to all employees with a list of emergency contacts, shut-off valves for gas and water as well as any other important contacts or documents. SERVPRO of East Riverside City can help you prepare an Emergency Ready Program (ERP) which will contain all of your necessary information at no cost to you. See more information on our blog The SERVPRO ERP Advantage.
Smoke & Soot Clean-Up
Smoke and soot can be very invasive and may penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage that is contained in your residence. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pre-testing. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Each situation involving smoke and fire damage is unique. This means that any solution must be tailored to the specific needs of each job. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We, at SERVPRO of East Riverside, make it a priority to treat your family with the utmost respect and empathy.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
SERVPRO of East Riverside is here to help 24/7 365 just call #951-222-2224
Restore Your Business After a Water Loss
Don't Panic Call SERVPRO - we're faster to any size disaster
Flooding and water damage to commercial properties can be very complex, requiring a knowledgeable yet flexible response in order to solve the numerous issues that can quickly present themselves. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate any and all areas affected. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we work diligently to restore the damaged areas.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of East Riverside City
SERVPRO of East Riverside City specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is 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.
- IICRC Certified Firm
- ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification - IICRC
- BNI Business Integrity Partner
- Riverside Chambers of Commerce
- Directors Bronze for Outstanding Sales Proformance
- Directors Silver for Outstanding Sales Proformance
- League of California Cities
Meet our crew: http://www.SERVPROeastriversidecity.com/crew-photos
The SERVPRO ERP Advantage
On average, 50% of businesses close down following a water or fire disaster. The majority of businesses that remained open had a preparedness plan in place. Being “ready for whatever happens” gives you, the business owner, peace of mind and lets your employees and clients know that in the eventuality of a disaster, your business will be well taken care of.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
This document takes little time to complete and will not draw you away from current projects. It will save your business both time and money in the event of a disaster.
A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and located near by.
Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage, which can save you time and money.
Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during such an even you are "ready for whatever happens” whether you are available or not.
No matter the size of your business or office, take advantage of this free service and call your local SERVPRO today to see for yourself how an Emergency READY Profile can help your business. For more information check out our ERP Commercial.
Dryer Vent Danger
One of the most dreaded household chores is Laundry! As annoying as these trips may be there is a benefit to going down to the laundry mat – not having to clean your Dryer Vents!
When was the last time you thought about cleaning out your dryer vent? Truthfully, I can’t remember either. Think about all the lint that gets trapped and collected with each load of wash. We all empty the lint trap with each load, which is just a small amount from what is sent down the vent. Now imagine how much is collected over 5, 10 or even 15 years!?
The old adage is true--out of sight out of mind. This oversight can actually cost us our home and potentially even our lives. Averages of 2,900 Dryer Fires are reported each year! The good news is is that this can all be easily prevented. How? Clean you’re Dryer Vents.
Easy way to test if your vents need to be cleaned:
- Your laundry takes longer to dry
- The dryer may be hotter to the touch than usual
- A burning smell may be present with the dryer is running
DIY is the big thing today, but some things are best left to the professionals. This is one of those things! Call us today for an estimate on cleaning out your vents, while we’re at it might as well look at your AC ducts. When was the last time you had your AC unit and ducts checked?
Click here for more information on Dryer Vents http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html
Mold can be a scary word, but the truth is: not all mold is bad. In fact, people can find certain types of mold quite enjoyable. Blue cheese is a result of mold. Edible mushrooms are a type of fungi. Even the antibiotic Penicillin is a product of mold. However, certain forms of mold can be harmful and may cause health concerns for some people.
Those at Risk:
- Infants and children
- Pregnant Women
- The Elderly
- People with compromised respiratory systems or asthma and allergies
- People with weakened immune systems
Where Does Mold Come From?
Mold is all around us. Some levels of mold in your home are common and normal. Mold becomes a problem when it becomes excessive. Certain conditions feed the normal levels of mold causing the mold to grow.
1- If you have a water leak or flood in your home, big or small, it needs to be addressed promptly and professionally to prevent harmful mold growth.
2- If the humidity and moisture levels are not properly monitored this creates an environment for mold spores to grow and multiply.
3- If water leaks are not addressed at the source any mold can return or even spread.
What Can You Do?
Be alert for moister problems in your home or office. Fix leaks or plumbing issues promptly. A strong, musty odor can be a sign of mold that may not to visible. If you suspect harmful mold, call the professionals.
Do not try to remove the mold yourself. True not all types of mold are bad but it's best to leave any clean up to the professionals rather than risk getting you or your family ill. If not removed properly, you risk spreading the mold spores.
Do not treat the area with bleach. This may treat the surface but may mask the mold growing under the surface or within the walls and other surrounding material.
Do not turn on your HVAC or use fans or air blower in the area with suspected mold. This will spread the mold spores to the rest of your home or office.
If you're unsure about the mold in your home or office call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City who are trained in mold remediation and can assist and advise you if further testing is required. Our team is IICRC certified and ready to make it "Like it never even happened."
Home Fire - Now What?
A house fire is one of the worst things that can happen to a homeowner. The fear, uncertainty and overwhelming feelings of helplessness can last long after the flames have been put out. SERVPRO is here to help.
When possible, our goal is to help you restore your home and belongings as if the fire had never even happened. This makes it so you can keep your memories instead of having to replace them.
If a fire ravages through your home or office do not risk doing any further damage by attempting to clean the damage by yourself. Your first call is to the heroes at the fire department; your second call should be to SERVPRO, the professional fire damage cleanup and restoration heroes!
In the mean time here are some things you can do to prevent further damage until help arrives.
What to do until Help Arrives:
- Limit movement in the home or fire damaged area to prevent soot from spreading and causing additional damage
- Place clean towels or old linens, if available, on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery
- Wipe any soot off chrome faucets, trim and appliances then protect these surfaces with petroleum jelly or oil
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet left behind after the flames were extinguished
- If electricity is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer completely and prop the doors open to help prevent odor
- If you have house plants wash, both sides of the leaves
- Change the HVAC filter but leave the system turned off until a trained professional can check the system
- Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces
- Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery
- Do not clean any electrical equipment
- Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner as improper cleaning may cause a smokey odor to set in
Remember SERVPRO of East Riverside is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. With industry-approved training, IICRC certification, cutting-edge technology and open communication, our crew is ready to restore not only your home but your peace of mind as well.
We know that living in California comes with the threat of earthquakes that can happen at anytime. However, only about 20% of all earthquakes are strong enough to be felt by humans. Is your family prepared for a large earthquake? What about flooding? Depending on where you live, you may not think flooding is a real danger. Did you know it only takes 6 inches of fast moving water to knock down an adult? Think of what it could do to your home.
We have all heard time and time again that it is a necessity to prepare an emergency kit for everyone within a given household. Have you taken the time to prepare one? When was the last time you went through your kit? Due to the unpredictability of disasters it is recommended that you have a kit: in your house; in each vehicle; and even one at your place of employment.
What should you put in an emergency kit?
1. At least 3 days’ supply of food and water
- 1 gallon of water per person
- Can opener and basic utensils
- Canned and packaged or freeze dried foods
2. Health and Medical supplies
- Minimum of 3 day supply of all medications/prescriptions
- Basic first-aid supplies
3. Toiletries and personal care items
- Soap, shampoo and sun block
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Baby wipes, toilet paper and paper towels
- Contact lenses or spare eyeglasses
4. Safety Items
- Multipurpose tool (Swiss army knife)
- Emergency blanket (or extra blankets)
- Radio – if battery operated includes extra batteries. Preferred to get a solar or hand-crank radio
5. Documents and Identification
- Insurance cards, Social Security cards (or copy of these documents)
- Medical records and immunization cards
- Family emergency contact information (recommended having a contact outside of the area as phone lines usually will be tied up during a disaster)
- Cash – electronics may be down so don’t plan on being able to go to the bank or use an ATM or credit cards
- Spare car and house keys
- Regional maps – everything is electronic these days but a paper map won’t lose its battery & doesn’t require and internet connection
Check your home for potential Hazards
Just put up your new flat screen? Have some artwork on the wall that you’ve had since college? A family portrait over the fire places? These are great items that turn your house into a home but in the event of an earthquake they can turn into flying weapons if not properly installed or secured to the wall. Here are a few things to double check, perhaps while doing your spring-cleaning this year.
1. Pictures and mirrors: ensure they are firmly anchored to the wall, avoid hanging anything over beds
2. Bookcase and shelves: bolt shelves to studs and strap bookcases to walls
3. Breakables: store in cabinets that have a latch to prevent these items from flying out
4. Curtains and blinds: good to keep closed at night in avoid flying glass in the event that the windows shatter
5. Appliances: retain with straps and hooks
6. Outdoors: secure furniture and accessories. It is a good habit to close any outdoor umbrellas when not in use.
7. Landscaping: regularly remove any dry debris and create a perimeter around your home in case of a fire.
Even though we hope that a major disaster will never strike we would hate for something to happen and not be prepared. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. You may have to put some time and effort into preparing now, but you’ll be glad you did.
Be Ready for Unexpected Events
For Fire, Water, Mold or Storm Damage call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City.
Be proactive to protect your home & wallet from costly insurance claims.
Did you know that weather-related damage makes up over 50% of homeowner insurance claims? Fire damage is the most expensive of weather related damage. Water damage caused by weather is less common than water damage un-related to weather, such as a leak in the water heater or bathtub overflow; which makes up about 1 in 5 claims.
These emergencies can happen without warning and to anyone. Here are the most common homeowner insurance claims and what you can do to mitigate the damage or even prevent it completely.
The roof of any structure is the most susceptible to be damaged by wind. Check the stability of your roof often; it will be worth the money to get a professional roofer to inspect it for you, especially if you’re unsure of when the last inspection occurred.
Be aware of potential hazards that could fall during strong winds such as tree limbs or large trees. Have any trees near your home trimmed regularly and remove any dead trees whose roots may be unstable under pressure. Bring in patio furniture or any other outdoor items that could become projectiles during strong winds.
Do not dismiss the potential for a flood to strike your area. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. You can easily prevent flooding from heavy rain by making sure your yard and driveway slope away from your home.
The main cause for water damage in the home is not caused by weather. Regularly check the caulking around bathroom fixtures. Look for cracks or wear in water lines. If your home was constructed more than 30 years ago, it is worth your time and money to get the pipes inspected for any cracks or potential leaks.
All homeowners should know where the water shut-off valve is in their home. If you’re not sure where this is, you can get help from SERVPRO’s ERP program, check the ERP blog for more information. http://www.SERVPROeastriversidecity.com/blog#11885
Examine the caulking around exterior drains, gutters and windows to make sure they are tight and not weathered or cracked. Regularly clean storm drains and gutters and make any necessary repairs so they can drain safely and away from the foundation of your home.
Majority of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. Keep the area around the stove clean and free of grease or food splatter. The laundry room is the next danger area. Keep dryer vents clean and have your air vents checked regularly. Fires are also commonly started by faulty wiring; this is true for new and old homes.
Though rare, lightning is the cause of an estimated $451 millions dollars in property damage each year.
Although there is not much you can do to prevent lightning from striking your home you can keep some safety tips in mind if it happens. It is best to call the fire department right away even if you do not see any signs of damage. Make sure to call from a cell phone as the electricity from another potential lightning strike can travel through a land line, causing serious or even fatal injuries. Stay away from electrical items and metal doors or window frames as they can conduct electricity. Also avoid using running water until you're sure it's safe to do so. Remember: water conducts electricity. If lightning strikes your home, the water supply line may become electrified.
If you find yourself dealing with any of these property damage issues call SERVPRO of East Riverside City. We can help you through the whole process and even let you know if it's worth filing an insurance claim.
Know Your Water
Know Your Water
Not all water is the same when it comes to water damage in the home or office. Water and moister can have a significant effect on drywall, plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces and more if untreated. SERVPRO of East Riverside is professionally trained to meet IICRC standards to properly assess and devise the best plan for restoration of any category of water damage.
Category 1 – Clean Water
As its name states, this category is from a clean source such as faucets, toilet tanks or drinking fountains. This is the lowest and easiest type to deal with by drying out any affected material. If untreated category 1 water can quickly downgrade.
Category 2 – Gray Water
Grey water has a level of contaminates that can cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources of grey water include washing machine, flush from sink drains and toilet overflow with some urine but does not contain feces. Clean up from gray water requires additional steps which may include containment of the affected area and removal of materials that presents moisture or damage. Category 2 can downgrade to Category 3 if left untreated.
Category 3 – Black Water
As the name suggests, black water is the worst classification and is grossly contaminated. This water can cause severe illness or death if ingested. Sources of black water include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth. Black water should always be avoided. never try to clean up black water on your own as it can cause severe illness! Clean up from Category 3 water requires a measure of safety precautions for all those involved. This includes containment of the affected area as well as hazmat suits to protect the technicians removing contaminated materials. Black water therefore is the hardest to deal with and the most costly.
Control Your Mold
A growing concern for homeowners and renters is the possibility of mold. It’s a valid concern as mold can pose real health hazards. This concern is especially valid with schools and commercial buildings which tend to have a high volume of foot traffic as well as occupants of varying ages and degrees of health. Being pro-active is the key to overcoming this concern.
It is important to come to terms with the fact that mold is everywhere. There is no such thing as a "mold-free building". Mold spores cannot be seen with the naked eye. They can become air born with even the slightest of movements and can attach themselves to any surface and begin to grow.
What’s the best way to control mold?
Here are 3 easy steps you can implement right away:
1.)Have good Ventilation
2.)Repair water leaks ASAP
3.)Act Quickly; dry wet areas within 48 hours
If you’re concerned that your home, apartment or office space may have mold, call the Mold Remediation experts at SERVPRO of East Riverside to take a look. The EPR has great information on mold in commercial buildings and school campus’s. You can find it at: www.epa.gov/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide/
Most Common Area's for Water Damage
Don't Panic! Call SERVPRO
Imagine: you wake up at the sound of the alarm and stumble out of bed making your way to the bathroom. You notice water on the floor. Then you hear the sound of running water, but it’s not coming from the bathroom. You make your way to the kitchen to investigate. Now you’re definitely awake! The kitchen floor is flooded! The culprit? The water heater. Where are other popular places to for water damage in the home?
The slightest damage to the roof can leave you exposed to internal damage which can be expensive to repair. To protect yourself from too much damage have your roof inspected by a professional every 3 to 5 years, depending on the age of the home. Have it inspected sooner if you live in an area with heavy rain, hail or snow.
The bathroom is the area of your house that has the most water running through it. What are you do? Inspect around the shower and toilet regularly, even turning it into a habit while cleaning. Look for leaks in areas containing caulking. Keep an eye out for moisture away from typical water source areas like the faucet, bathtub or toilet. Also check the pipes under the sink for any leaks.
Only 2nd to the bathroom in the amount of water and is notorious for water damage. Dishwasher, sink, and refrigerator are ticking time bombs when it comes to a water leak. Like the bathroom check pipes under the sink for moisture or large amounts of water. If your fridge has a water or ice dispenser, check under the fridge for any evidence of a leak. Even add the inspection to your spring cleaning check list. Regularly check the escape valve in the dishwasher that connects to the garbage disposal for blockages or leaks.
Water damage does not discriminate and can happen to anyone and at anytime. If you find yourself in a similar situation, SERVPRO of East Riverside can help with just one phone call! We are ready 24-hours a day, 365 days a year! Call us at (951)222-2224
Be Flood Smart
Be flood smart
Southern California is not known for flooding. But just because you have not experienced a flood or live in an area that is at risk doesn't necessarily mean that you never will. The lack of rain in Southern California actually increases the risk of flooding. According to Floodsmart.gov “more than 20% of flood insurance claims come from people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas.”
On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States alone! A 2,000 square foot home that has experienced 12 feet of water damage could cost more than $50,000 to repair. So what can you do to protect yourself and your home from flood damage?
Know your area
Again, just because you do not live in a high-risk area for flooding does not mean that you will not experience flooding during heavy rains. However, it would benefit you to know whether or not you reside in a high-risk area as this will have an impact on your mortgage and homeowners insurance. You can check your area on https://msc.fema.gov/ .
- Stay away from floodwaters. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet. Do not try to enter or cross a flowing stream of water that is above your ankles. Either stay where you are or try to find another way.
- If you are driving and come to a flooded road, turn around and go another way – do not try to cross! Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If you get stuck in rapidly rising water, stop the car, get out and move to higher ground if possible.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and can be tempted to play in the it. It’s not just the risk of being swept away but also getting ill from contaminates within the water itself.
- Always have emergency kits prepared in the house, as well as one in each vehicle, that do not contain perishable food items. Also have three gallons of water per person, a battery operated or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries, and personal hygiene and first aid necessities.
Be prepared with an ERP
SERVPRO of East Riverside would love to help you minimize damage to your office or business with an Emergency READY Profile or ERP. This comprehensive document contains critical information about your business including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP minimizes business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your specific facility. Call SERVPRO of East Riverside to set up an appointment so you can develop an Emergency READY Profile before you need one.
It's The Water You Don't See
Don't Panic, Call SERVPRO!
The key to avoiding costly repairs or restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of East Riverside has the experience to find and dry unseen water before additional damage occurs. Here are just a few things we utilize in our water mitigation process:
- Moisture Sensors – detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls to find the water you can't see.
- Moisture Meters – determine the actual moisture content of materials. This also provides accurate readings to monitor the drying process.
- Thermohydrometers- Measure temperature and relative humidity of the material. This allows our team to calculate and create a plan that is most conducive to drying the affected areas properly and efficiently.
When dealing with any water loss, it is not only important to dry but to also disinfect and deodorize the structure. There is no need to worry, however, as we have that covered too!
- Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers- atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor causing residues may accumulate. This can also inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Thermal Foggers- dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. This fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attaches to and neutralizes all odor causing particles.
With these tools, IICRC training and experience SERVPRO of East Riverside is the team to find and dry out any-size water loss. Don’t panic, call SERVPRO.
The Science of Drying
Some things are best left to the professionals
The first reaction to any-size water loss is to grab a mop or as many towels as you can to mitigate the amount of water present. You may think that placing a fan in the affected area will also help get it dry. The professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside are trained in the science of drying and follow the strict, industry approved standards that help lower the chances of any secondary damage, like mold. When the expert water technicians enter your home after a water loss, we have two very important questions that we must answer before drying can begin.
What is Wet?
The question sounds simple enough but the answer is often more complicated. Standing water is obvious but it almost always means that hidden cavities of water exist that must also be located. These hidden areas can be found under cabinets or laminated flooring. Water can also seep under tile floors or hardwoods. Beyond the floors, water often rests inside walls and insulation which can cause it to move to adjoining rooms. Our technicians will inspect the building to locate every component that is wet.
How Wet Is It?
Water found under cabinets or inside walls can cause extensive damage if left untreated. Wood will warp, wet sheetrock will lose its strength and insulation can absorb large amounts of water. To answer the question we use sophisticated metering equipment that can measure moisture levels in areas that are out of site. We may also use a special camera, called a FLIR, that is capable of reading temperature variations within walls, ceilings and even the foundation, to answer this critical questions. For more information on these tools, see the blog, It’s The Water You Don’t See.
Our equipment allows us to know if the material can be restored, can be dried out with our drying equipment or needs to be replaced. These tools also help our trained technicians monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
Speed up Mother Nature
What does that mean? Moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the wet material. This can only happen if the air in the affected area has lower moisture levels than that of the affected material. Nature can take a much longer time to dry the affected materials without mitigation which can allow for secondary damage, such as that from mold growth, to set in. Thus, SERVPRO of East Riverside uses specialized equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach places inside walls as well as dry the air in and around the affected area. Just another reason why SERVPRO was the #1 most trusted Restoration and Mitigation Company of 2017.
Do You Have A Plan
Don't Panic Call SERVPRO to get your ERP
How quickly your company can get back to business after a fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all types of emergencies. The following are some basic measures that business owners and managers can to be better prepared.
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.
Review Insurance Coverage
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary: check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruptions. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.
Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools you use.
Practice The Emergency Plan
Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in all of the appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.
Improve Cyber Security
Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don’t open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords and change them regularly. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Backup your computer data by using a secure cloud-based service and download security protection updates, known as patches, regularly.
Need help creating an emergency plan for your business? Don’t panic! Call SERVPRO of East Riverside City and we’ll help you set up an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) to meet all of your business needs. The call and ERP is free (951)222-2224
You've Suffered A Water Loss: Now What?
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to protect your property and increase the chances of a successful restoration before help arrives.
Shut off the Water. If you do not know how or where the water is coming from call a professional plumber or Leak Detection Company to stop the water for you.
Turn off Power. To prevent risk of electric shock, turn off the breakers for areas that have visible or “standing” water.
Prevent further damage. Try to remove as much water as you can by mopping up and/or stopping the water from going into other rooms with towels.
- If you have wood furniture, wipe off any water to prevent damage.
- Remove any wet upholstery cushions or pillows from the room that is affected and prop them up for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Place any paintings, art, computers, documents and other valuable or sensitive materials in a safe, dry room.
- If there are curtains or drapes in the affected area, hang them so the bottom is not touching the wet floor. Before you enter a room with standing water: make sure the power is off first to avoid electric shock. Do not use your vacuum to remove water. Household vacuums are not designed to remove water. If the electricity has not been properly turned off or checked you could cause electric shock to yourself and further damage to your home.
What if you have Contaminated Water?
- There are two different classes of contaminated water. 1st is “Gray Water” which is slightly contaminated with bacteria or other foreign objects. 2nd is “Black Water” which is highly contaminated, normally from sewage back up or a natural disaster. Black Water should only be handled by trained professionals!
- Turn off all appliances: with the risk of electric shock, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Concrete or carpeted floors can still contain an electric charge even after all appliances are turned off. This is the same for any ceiling fans or fixtures if the ceiling is wet or the wiring is connected to floor outlets that may be wet.
- Leave colorful items on wet carpet; such as area rugs, books, newspaper or magazines to avoid staining the carpet.
- Stay out of the affected area and call a professional. Do not attempt to clean up on your own.
- Avoid all contact with any sewage that has contaminated an area as well as any items that may be present . Wash hands thoroughly after contact with any contaminated items.
- Do not turn on your HVAC system or fans as this can spread the contaminated air to other areas of your home or office.
So if your home or office suffers a water loss, no need to panic. Follow these steps to reduce the damage and call SERVPRO of East Riverside, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can be reached at (95) 222-2224 to take care of any damage and make it "Like it never even happened".
Kitchen Fire? Don't Panic Call SERVPRO of East Riverside 951-222-2224
Having a kitchen full of friends and family adds to the joy of any dinner party, yet it can also be a distraction leading to disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) there were 1,730 home cooking fires started in 2014 on Thanksgiving Day. Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy says, “People are preparing multiple dishes for many guests and there can be plenty of distractions in the home, which can make it all too easy to forget what’s on the stove. That’s when cooking mishaps are most likely to occur.”
Here are some tips to reduce the risk of cooking fires.
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly. Using a timer may help you to do this more often. Remain in the kitchen while food is cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
What To Do If A Fire Starts
- 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.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path to exit your residence.
- 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.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Safety considerations for cooking with oil
Oil is a key ingredient found in the majority of today’s kitchens. Whether a recipe calls for frying or sautéing, we include oil in almost all of our daily cooking. When using any of the many oils to prepare your meals--like olive, canola, corn or soybean-- consider the following safety tips when cooking:
- Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
- Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
- Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
- Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.
For more tips and the full list go to http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking/safety-messages-about-cooking
Avoid Holiday Hazards
DID YOU KNOW: December is the peak time of year for home candle fires?
Candles and lights add a simple yet elegant touch to your home or dinner table during the holidays. However, without the proper precautions this season can go from festive to frightening in an instant.
Did you know December is the peak time of year for home candle fires? Reduce the risk of home fires with the following tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Keep candles 12" away from anything flammable. Flameless candles are a great alternative in achieving the same look without the dangers of an open flame.
- Use sturdy candle holders that don't easily tip over. Follow the "Three's" rule to have a clean uncluttered look while keeping things safe. The 'Three's' rule is to pair or group your decorations in three's of varying heights, shapes and sizes. This adds interest without cluttering the surface.
- Keep your tree, if you have one, 3 ft away from any heat source such as the fireplace, radiator, space heaters, candles or air vents.
- Not all holiday lights are for indoor use; double check the instructions for the lights you have before putting them up.
- Do not use lights that are worn, have broken cords or have loose bulbs. Yes, it can get expensive buying new lights each year but it's worth your family's safety!
- When your tree is dry it's time to get rid of it. Do not leave old trees inside your home, garage or outside leaning against your home or any structure. Check with your local community for safe tree disposal.
- Designate one person to properly ensure all candles and lights are properly extinguished and turned off after guests leave or before going to bed.
If disaster does strike during this holiday season, Don't Panic as SERVPRO of East Riverside City is here for you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Most Common Holiday Problem
Did you know that the most common holiday problem is sewage backup? With the fuss over planning for family and out of town guests visiting, not all homeowners take into consideration the condition of their plumbing.
Ask yourself, when was the last time I checked the plumbing? How old are the pipes under your home?
The average cost for a home inspection by a professional plumber is about $300 (according to Home Advisor). When you consider how much it could cost you to clean up after a sewage backup, it's definitely worth the cost.
Sewage clean up can cost you thousands of dollars and can be harmful to your families' health if not taken care of properly and swiftly! You can find out more on http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/plumbing/#closing-article
If you find yourself in a smelly situation Don't Panic - call SERVPRO of East Riverside City. We are here to help 24/7, 365 days a year!
Common Flammable Liquids in Your Home
Know the common flammable liquids that can be found in most households.
You may be aware that there is an abundance of combustible liquids in our homes but you may not know that more than 43,000 home fires are caused by these everyday items each year, resulting in 200 deaths, 2,500 injuries and $469 million in property damage. Here are some of the most common flammable liquids you probably have in your home.
Do not panic – there is little chance you will set your house on fire with these items as long as proper precautions are followed.
Nail Polish Remover
This every day liquid used by most women is composed of a highly flammable liquid: acetone. A woman in Cypress, Texas was burned when a nearby candle ignited her nail polish remover.
However, this is a rare occurrence. Be mindful of having open flames nearby while doing your nails.
We all have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in our medicine cabinets and we do not see this item as hazardous. If rubbing alcohol is used correctly it poses no harm to you our your house although it is very flammable and vaporizes quickly. Although some have used rubbing alcohol to kill bedbugs by pouring it over the affected fabrics, this is not a good idea! The alcohol then can easily catch fire, especially once placed into the washer or dryer.
Gasoline, Paint thinner & Turpentine
While it is a good idea to store gasoline in case of an emergency it must be stored properly to avoid fire hazards, along with paint thinner or turpentine.
Approximately 8,000 home fires are started annually due to the improper storage of these flammable materials. Gasoline needs to be stored in an UL-approved container at room temperature away from any heat sources such as a water heater or furnace. Paint thinners and turpentine should be in a tightly sealed container away from heat source.
Most grill masters are aware of the dangers of lighter fluids and take safety precautions to maintain a controlled burn for the perfect burgers or ribs. So shouldn’t you do the same while storing these items?
It’s common knowledge that aerosol cans contain flammable propellant. As seen in many movies, a flame mixed with any common aerosol can be turned into a weapon. While this is an exaggeration, it is unwise to leave any aerosol cans near an open flame or in an area where they can overheat, which can lead to the can exploding.
Fire Extinguisher ABC’s
Remember PASS--Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep
Most home fires start out small. A variety of factors contribute to a fire spreading from small to large, but with a fire extinguisher handy on each floor of your home – most importantly, one in the kitchen – you can quickly put out a small fire without calling 911.
Before You Buy
It is important to know that different kinds of fires often require different kinds of fire extinguishers. For the home, the best is an “ABC” dry chemical fire extinguisher. This multipurpose extinguisher is perfect for the home because it can put out the three most common types of home fire. Those are:
Class A: wood and paper fires
Class B: Grease and oil fires
Class C: electrical fires
It is important to remember that an extinguisher for a class A fire, which is water based, should never be used on a class B grease fire. This will not put out the flame. Rather, it will actually spread the flames.
Once you have chosen your fire extinguisher you should read all of the instructions. A typical fire extinguisher contains only about 10 seconds of extinguishing power, so knowing how to operate it ahead of time means nothing goes to waste. All extinguishers work in a similar manner. An easy way to remember how to use one is by memorizing the acronym “PASS”
PULL the pin at the top
Before you pull the pin make sure everyone is safely out of the house and that you have the exit behind you to escape safely.
AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire, not at the flames
SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent
SWEEP the spray back and forth across the fire until it’s out
Having a fire extinguisher in your home is not enough. Like any other tool it needs to be maintained. Every month, dry chemical extinguishers (like the recommended ABC) needs to be shaken to prevent the powder from settling. If your extinguisher has a pressure gauge, consistently check that it is not too high or too low. Keep the extinguisher clean and wipe off any oil or grease residue that may accumulate from cooking. Never use an old extinguisher with signs of damage such as dents or rust.
Water damage can be overwhelming, Don't Panic, call SERVPRO of East Riverside, we're faster to any size disaster #951-222-2224
A water leak or flood in your home can be overwhelming. It is at these times we tend to act without thinking, which can lead to bigger problems and even serious injury. Here are some things to keep in mind when you first discover water damage in your home or office.
Electric, Oil and Gas Risk
Water damage often creates a risk of electrical shock. If you see any standing water, then there is a chance that circuit breaker boxes, electric outlets or live wires are submerged, posing serious risks. If this is a possibility, DO NOT enter the building!!
Since your first call will be to SERVPRO, if you have standing water with the risk of having wires submerged, your second call should then be to your utility company to turn off the power to your home. You can, of course, turn off the power yourself, but it is a good idea to have the professionals check out the situation as well to be absolutely sure there is no risk of electric shock.
Similarly, turn off the fuel oil, natural gas, or propane lines including individual lines to appliances. This is important, as the water may have shifted appliances or loosened connection lines, creating potential leaks. Once you have determined that it is safe to be in the building check the rest of the building for damage including other appliances as well as the water heater.
Signs of structural damage include buckling floors, bulging ceilings or any evidence of weakness in weight bearing components of the building. Check that the foundation walls are not damaged, especially if a lot of water is standing in the basement or bottom floor of a large building.
If you notice the slightest sign of structural damage, have the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City assess the damage and determine whether or not it is safe to occupy the building.
Water can easily become contaminated. Therefore, protect yourself from bacteria and infection by wearing watertight gloves, clothing and boots. This can be determined by the height of the water level within a given structure or area.
If you need assistance, please call SERVPRO of East Riverside City @ 951-222-2224!
What to do Until Help Arrives
Toilet Overflow? Sewer backups may contain viruses, bacteria, and microbes. Call SERVPRO of East Riverside City at #951-222-2224.
Bio-hazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous as they can pose a serious health risk. Sewer backups and flood water are two common bio-hazard scenarios that can affect homes and businesses. SERVPRO Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.
After any bio-hazard or sewage contamination in your home or place of business, your primary focus should be safety. Remember the following:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.
- Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
- Only do activities relating to the Bio-hazard that are safe for you to perform.
What to Do After a Contamination
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
- Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
- Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.
What Not to Do After a Contamination
- Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don’t use television or other electrical appliances.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
24 Hour Emergency Service
Bio-hazards like flood water or sewer backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. The trained technicians at SERVPRO of East Riverside City are water damage restoration specialists and have specific training, expertise and equipment to safely remediate bio-hazard contaminants.
What is a Bio-hazard Disaster?
Bio-hazard is not a word that you hear often in regards to a home or office. SERVPRO of East Riverside is prepared to help you clean up any type of disaster, including bio-hazards, in your home or place of business. The majority of home bio-hazard disasters happen in the bathroom.
Here are a few bio-hazard scenarios to be aware of:
Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these bio-hazards also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. Our team of professionals will remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture and will help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected and deodorized.
Our team of professionals will remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. We will also clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a home or commercial building, which is why we follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
Don't panic, call SERVPRO of East Riverside City at 951-222-2224!
Sewer backups should always be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. Our team of professionals have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean sewage backups. Water damage is classified by Category, depending on the level of contamination, and how it is handled is based on the specific classification.
The three types of contaminated water:
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category 1 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 length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: "Gray Water"
Category 2 water is contaminated. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- May contain bacteria and viruses
- Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
Category 3: "Black Water"
Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
24 Hour Emergency Service
Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. The professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.
Benefits of choosing SERVPRO
Don't panic - call SERVPRO of East Riverside City at 951-222-2224!
We understand there is no such thing as a small emergency when it impacts your home, business or revenue loss. Timely mitigation is key to minimizing damage and getting your life or business back to normal. Don’t panic – call SERVPRO of East Riverside City first! Here’s why.
SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 service response guidelines ensures timely communication and response to minimize your loss.
- 1 – Within 1 hour of loss notification a SERVPRO professional will contact you, the tenant or property management to arrange a service call appointment.
- 4 – Within 4 hours of loss notification a SERVPRO professional technician will be onsite to start mitigation (the dry-out process).
Our technicians will communicate their assessment of the loss with you, whether you're the owner or property manager, in detail before beginning the mitigation process. Restoration services can include moisture detection, water extraction, de-humidification and content inventory and manipulation. We want our customers to be aware of and agree to all of these components before any work is started.
- 8 – Within 8 hours of loss notification a SERVPRO professional will communicate to you, the homeowner or the property manager (or other point of contact, such as your insurance company) with the status of the loss and scope of the work needed.
- As vendors with most major insurance companies our team will communicate directly with your adjuster, leaving one less thing for you to worry about.
We understand your family or business wants to make things "Like it never even happened" as soon as possible. Thus, we strive to complete all jobs in a timely manner. Our use of electronic claims reporting allows us to transfer information quickly and efficiently to the various parties involved, including your insurance company.
We hope you never have to call a restoration company, but if you do we hope you’ll call SERVPRO of East Riverside City.