Recent Posts

WATER DAMAGE FROM A DISHWASHER

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Have you experienced water damage from a malfunctioning dishwasher? Identifying the source of the problem can become a challenging task. Here we will list common causes for a dishwasher leak, discuss how quickly water damage can occur, explore if it's covered by insurance, and what can be done to fix the problem.

Common causes for a dishwasher leak include the following:

  • Worn gaskets
  • An dishwasher incorrectly leveled
  • Incorrect dish washing soap
  • Broken door
  • Defective dishwasher tub

How long does it take for damage to occur?

Water leaking from a dishwasher can cause damage within a few hours. Any visible pools of water should be mopped quickly; if it remains on the floor for too long, it can cause permanent damage. Some flooring materials are more susceptible to water damage such as wood or bamboo. For instance, wood will absorb water quickly, causing your flooring to warp and crack.

Is the damage covered by insurance?

Depending on your insurance policy, the damage might be covered. If the dishwasher is new, has shown no previous signs of wear and tear, and you report the damage in a timely manner, your insurer may cover the repair cost. If your dishwasher is old, shows signs of neglect, and has caused you problems in the past, your insurer will likely rule that the water damage is due to negligence on your part and not cover the damages. In addition, we encourage you to view your dishwasher’s warranty to figure out if you can receive a replacement washer free of charge.

Repairing the resulting water damage

Once you notice a malfunction with your dishwasher, make sure to turn it off right away. Call SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach / Signal Hill, and we can assist with pulling the unit out from under the counter to reach any water that has pooled beneath the machine. Additionally, we can identify the cause of the leak, test for moisture, and schedule any necessary repairs. Let us know how we can help, day or night, at 562-591-1788.

CRAWL SPACE WATER DAMAGE

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is incredibly invasive and often reaches a home's crawl space. This is the hollow area found under some houses between the ground and the first floor, roughly one to three feet high. Because it's rare for tenants to access this area, water damage can cause significant damage before the consequences become evident. Here are some common causes for water damage within a crawl space.

Excess Humidity

One possible source of water damage within a crawl space involves excess humidity. Homes with broken window seals or an unsealed crawlspace with a dirt floor will generally have humidity problems. Water can evaporate and become trapped in the crawlspace, resulting in a thin sheet of water. This may then lead to water damage, mold growth, or poor air quality.

Leaky or Broken Pipes

If a puddle of water is found in a crawlspace, a leaky or burst pipe may be the cause. This water could be either clean or contaminated, depending on which pipe it escaped from. A musty smell usually indicates clean water that has been sitting for some time whereas a foul stench may indicate sewage water.

Roof Leak

For homes that have crawl spaces directly attached to the roof, water damage will usually be evident on the ceiling and walls of the crawl space. You may even hear water moving from inside the attic to an inside wall, leading to the crawl space. We recommend calling a professional roofer to locate and patch the leak before addressing crawl space water damage.

What Should be Done if Water Damage is Found in My Crawl Space?

Since a wet foundation, damaged drywall, or sewage leaks can cause serious damage to your home in the first 24-48 hours, we recommend calling us for immediate restoration services. We will identify the source of the damage, use professional equipment to treat the area, and properly handle sewage water or standing water that has bred bacteria. Let us help you determine which materials can be salvaged, and we will repair the affected flooring and drywall. 

Call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood 24/7 at 562-420-0030 if you experience water damage within your crawl space.

STORING PROPANE TANKS SAFELY

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

As a clean and natural energy source, propane is an easy to use and affordable product to warm homes, provide heating, and allow barbeque and cooking. It comes in both gas and liquid forms and is also highly flammable. When misused, propane poses a strong fire hazard. Following these 3 tips to store propane tanks properly will keep your home safe and reduce the chance of fire damage.

First, always store propane tanks upright and outdoors on a hard surface. Should it catch on fire, the potential for loss is much less severe. The hard surface can help prevent the container from accidentally tipping over and causing unneeded damage or harm to the tank itself. Additionally, never leave a cylinder tank inside a car or vehicle.

If you smell gas or an odor like rotten eggs, shut off the propane tank and leave immediately if there are no visible sparks or flames. Avoid using a cell phone, lights, or appliances. Notify the fire department of a potential gas leak and do not return to the building until it has been declared safe for re-entry.

Always turn off the gas line or valve to an unused tank. Leaving it open could cause a leak, leading to dangerous situations where fire or explosion may occur. Remember to treat an empty tank as if it were full, just in case there was an error.

We hope these tips keep you safe when handling propane tanks. In the case of property damage, call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood 24/7 for restoration services.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM SEVERE WINDS

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather such as storms or hurricanes can bring strong winds traveling over 100 miles per hour. Even winds traveling 25 miles per hour have been shown to cause damage to homes and other property. Take note of the following points to learn about how you can prepare for the possibility of damaging winds.

  • Secure outdoor furniture and decorations, or store in enclosed areas.
  • Anchor and secure outdoor structures such as freestanding sheds or kennels to sturdy foundations.
  • Inspect and repair loose roof shingles, especially if you own an older home or have older roofing materials. Wind damage begins small by prying up a corner, but each gust of wind comes closer to removing the entire shingle and increases risk to surrounding roofing materials. Additionally, anchor your home's siding firmly. As with the roof, wind can tear away large areas once a small piece has loosened.
  • Remove overhanging branches by trimming and pruning your trees. This will help prevent unexpected debris from falling on your home and keep fire from spreading.
  • Reinforce doors with deadbolts and don’t forget to fortify garage doors.
  • Designate a safe area in your home or business to take shelter if necessary; a small, interior room with no windows is ideal.
  • Store vehicles in a sheltered area and away from trees or objects that may become projectiles in a storm.

In addition to these tips, stay tuned to your local radio station, TV weather report, or internet news site for frequent weather updates. Should you experience damage from high winds or a storm, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood for complete clean up, restoration, and repair.

SPACE HEATER DANGERS

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

During the cold months, space heaters are a great way to warm a room in the absence of central heating. Portable heaters, however, can pose certain threats to your home. If left unattended, a space heater can easily cause a house fire or electrical overload. Remain safe and warm by remembering the following safety tips.

  • Leave three feet of space around your heater to avoid igniting flammable material. Keep pets and children from disturbing the heater to avoid burns and injuries. Make sure to also remove any objects blocking air flow or covering cables or components.
  • Avoid leaving a heater running throughout the day, especially unmonitored. It may overload a circuit, causing power failure or a fire. Any unusual sounds or malfunctions should be fixed right away.
  • Don't use extension cords or power strips with a space heater. Plugging them directly into an outlet will help avoid a power overload.
  • Avoid using a space heater in a humid environment such as a bathroom. Water in the air may cause complications with the machine, causing it to malfunction.

As you shop for a portable heater, look for a safety certification label from an independent testing organization and the following safety features to keep your home safe from fire damage.

  • Shut-off features: A smart sensor will automatically shut off the machine when it overheats, and a tip-over switch does the same if the heater is knocked over.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug: This plug helps prevent electric shock. If your heater does not come equipped with one, avoid using it around moist areas.
  • Sturdy cord: Many heaters come with a cord around 6 feet long. Make sure it has a sturdy design and reaches the desired areas. Remember, extension cords or power strips can cause electrical issues.

Educating yourself about the safety hazards that come with the improper use of portable heaters will help you achieve better peace of mind as you keep your home warm and comfortable during this winter season.

SERVPRO EXPERTS WILL BOARD UP AND TARP YOUR HOME

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

After a residential fire, an emergency board up or tarping is an important step in protecting your home and assisting with your insurance claim. Because of the nature of the job, we recommend seeking the help of our professionals to assist in the process. We will do a better job shielding your home from secondary damage, securing the correct locations, and using the proper materials. By knowing how to a navigate around cracked windows and doors, our trained workers can detect areas that appear undamaged to the naked eye but may present leakage and stability issues.

There are several reasons to perform a board up or tarp over.

  • Helps your insurance claim: It is not uncommon for these services to be required by your insurance following a disaster. By not taking the appropriate actions on your end, insurance companies may find a reason to deny a claim.
  • Prevents further damage: Openings in the wall or roof provides access to harmful elements such as wind, water, and debris. Human or animal invaders could cause even more damage, adding to your existing issues and increasing your repair bill.
  • Reduces additional property loss and liability: Thieves may remove essential belongings or cause unnecessary destruction, and their injuries could become your liability.

Structures pose a strong hazard both during and after a fire. It is not recommended to re-enter your home until it has been deemed safe by the fire department or proper authority. Dangerous elements might be present including electrical hazards and harmful airborne particles.

If you find yourself in need of board up or tarping services, call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach /  Lakewood at 562-420-0030 for an estimate and any additional restoration services.

REVERSING WATER DAMAGE WITH INJECTIDRY SPECIALTY EQUIPMENT

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood, we use a variety of tools and equipment to help reverse damage caused by elements such as water, fire, and mold. Our Injectidry equipment, for example, helps immensely in water saturated projects by allowing us to reach inaccessible, water damaged areas.

The Injectidry is a piece of mat-panel drying equipment that provides a non-invasive process for drying high risk areas of moisture such as walls, cavities, and hardwood floors. First, holes are drilled into drywall or under cabinets in the least visible locations possible. Next, small nozzles are inserted into a long hose, and the pressurized air pump injects heated air through the nozzles and into the hidden air spaces. The air movement becomes a vehicle for moisture, and water can be suctioned out of cracks and crevices.  

This valuable tool supplements common drying equipment such as air movers, dehumidifiers, and air scrubbers, allowing us to remove less and restore more. With the Injectidry, we are capable of drying wall cavities without having to remove large sections of the interior wall. Instead, the small holes are simply patched, creating an easier and more cost-effective solution.  

This method is beneficial when a homeowner calls us within the first 24 hours of the water loss, and the source of the water is clean. If the drywall and materials are wet for more than 24-48 hours, repair may not be feasible, depending on the damage. Our expert technicians will tailor a plan to fit your situation.

With this effective tool, you can trust us to dry your home or business in the event of water damage caused by a storm, heavy rain, flood, or burst pipe to name a few. Don't hesitate to call us in the event of an emergency at 562-420-0030. We are available 24/7 to answer your call.

FOUR COMMON STEPS FOR MOLD ASSESSMENT AND REMOVAL

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

If significant mold is detected in your home, it is important to deal with it immediately. Assessing mold growth involves more than just a visual inspection, however. Mold acts as a hidden intruder, growing in spaces out of sight. Should you discover mold in your house, you can expect these four common steps for professional mold remediation.

Documentation

The first step is to document the situation with writing and photos. The documentation will be used to develop a remediation plan, which describes when work is slated to begin, when that work is scheduled to be completed, who will be performing the remediation, any testing that should be done, and if homeowners will be temporarily relocated.

Inspection

Next, it is important to calculate the extent of the mold contamination. Since mold may not always grow in one area, determining the precise amount and its specific location(s) will lead to effective mold removal. Once an exact assessment is made, mold remediation may proceed.

Remediation

Remediation will always involve cleaning up existing mold, avoiding exposure to oneself and homeowners, and preventing new growth by addressing the moisture source. After repairing the water or moisture problem, cleaning can begin. All contaminated, non-porous materials and wood surfaces that are moldy can be cleaned at the professional's discretion.

Follow-Up

Just because the mold is gone and there's no dirt or dust doesn't mean that the job is done. The last step is to inspect the home soon after remediation and make sure there is no sign of visible mold, mold-damaged materials, or moldy odors. Homeowners should be able to occupy the home without aggravated health complaints.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood for cleanup, restoration, and repair at 562-420-0030. We are available to take your call 24/7!

THE MOLD CLEANUP PROCESS

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold often thrives undetected due to water or moisture damage. It is important to identify the extent of mold growth before it reaches a hazardous level by reaching out to a remediation team. If you require mold cleanup in your home, you can expect a professional to perform an assessment and devise a plan for your situation. Typically, they will perform the following steps for safe and effective removal.

Before cleanup can begin, it is important to fix the cause of the mold to prevent additional spores from growing. This process may involve fixing a leak, drying down a room, or pumping out water. Next, a professional will isolate the contaminated area by closing all doors and windows between the contaminated area and other rooms of the home, based on their discretion.

Once cleaning begins, a remediation specialist will usually suppress dust by misting the contaminated areas. All wet and mold-damaged porous materials should be removed, since contamination has already permeated throughout. They should be discarded in durable plastic bags, tied, and disposed.

Generally, non-porous materials and wood surfaces that are moldy can be cleaned based on the extent of damage. A wire brush can be used on all moldy surfaces and then wiped with disposable wipes.

A mild contamination can be cleaned with a damp cloth or mop with detergent solution, while a more severe area may require special HEPA vacuums designed to trap extremely small, micron-sized particles. All areas should be visibly free of contamination and debris, and cleaned materials should be dried to allow leftover moisture to evaporate. Fans and dehumidifiers will help speed up the drying process, and materials that were moved should be replaced or repaired.

If you require mold cleanup, call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood at 562-420-0030. We are available to take your call 24/7 and develop the correct course of action.

THE LEVELS OF MOLD DAMAGE

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Often, it is difficult to determine the extent of mold damage, and there can be negative consequences caused from prolonged growth. When a contaminated area of any size is detected, a professional should be called to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of those occupying the home. Here we will discuss the 5 levels of mold damage and typical actions for cleanup and removal.

Level 1 (0-10 Square Feet)

When addressed quickly and properly, level 1 mold is unlikely to cause a serious problems. A professional is likely to wear protective gear, remove contaminated materials in a plastic bag, and leave the area dry and free of mold contamination.

Level 2 (10-30 Square Feet)

Level 2 mold involves the same steps as level 1 with a few extra precautions. Moldy materials should be covered with double plastic sheets and sealed with tape before any handling or removal of materials to contain dust and debris. When the mold removal is finished, the area should be cleaned with a damp cloth and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum, depending on the situation.

Level 3 (30-100 Square Feet)

Mold level 3 usually indicates an underlying problem in the plumbing or air conditioning system. In addition to steps for the previous two levels, a professional may seal ventilation ducts in the work area and areas directly adjacent with plastic sheeting. Those residing in adjacent areas should be vacated as an extra precaution based on the discretion of the remediation professional.

Level 4 (Greater than 100 Square Feet)

For level 4 mold damage, every worker involved should be equipped with full face respirators and disposable protective clothing. Workers should completely isolate their work area from the rest of the home with sheeting sealed with duct tape. Air monitoring should be conducted prior to moving back into your home to determine if it is fit to reoccupy.

Level 5 (Air Conditioners and HVAC Systems)

Remediation procedures for air conditioning units and HVAC systems usually involve shutting down the system prior to remediation. Growth-supporting materials that are contaminated should be removed and sealed in plastic bags. Antimicrobial agents may be employed for greater mold removal as well.

SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood is ready to help you with any project, big or small. Call us 24/7 at 562-420-0030 if you detect mold in your home.