Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

HOW TO REMAIN SAFE DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

On Independence Day this year, a 6.4-magnitude hit Southern California, only to be followed by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake the next day, the strongest earthquake in the region for decades.

While none of the quakes resulted in any major injuries or fatalities, the incident did displace many residents in the towns located near the epicenter of the first two major temblors. 

Earthquakes can happen anywhere, without warning, and cause natural disasters such as tsunamis, landslides, and avalanches. If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away. Drop, Cover, then Hold On!

We recommend taking the following steps to prepare for, survive, and recover from an earthquake:

  • Make a Plan: Gathering your family will be a top priority. Choose a meeting place and an out-of-area contact to relay messages.
  • Secure Your Home: Make sure your house is as shake proof as possible by retrofitting weak spots, strapping down heavy furniture and securing loose objects.
  • Obtain a Kit: Store supplies to get your family through at least the first three days after a quake.
  • Drop, Cover, and Hold on: When a quake stars, drop down where you are, and cover your head. If you’re near heavy furniture, take cover underneath and hold tight.
  • Check for Hazards: When the shaking stops, check for injuries and for damage to home electrical wires, gas lines, walls, floors, and water pipes.
  • Stay Connected: Surviving a quake is a community effort. Get to know your neighbors now, and work together with local organizations to prepare.

With preparation, you can reduce worry and stress during an emergency. If an earthquake causes significant damage to Southern California, SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach/Lakewood is here to help clean the debris and restore your home or business back to preloss conditions.

HOW TO MANAGE COMPULSIVE HOARDING

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Not every home disaster comes from a storm, a burst pipe, or a fire in the kitchen, resulting in extensive water or fire damage. Hoarding is an increasing problem for many families that requires a professional cleaning and restoration service. A person living with the disorder experiences a compulsive need to keep everything, even trash or waste items. This excessive accumulation can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter, creating crowded and unsanitary living conditions. 

If you are trying to help a friend or family member manage their hoarding tendencies, we recommend the following:

  • Start Slow. Don't go through your home and throw everything into the dumpster at once. This may lead to strong feelings of regret and anxiety; rather, go through one small space or collection each week.
  • Be decisive. Make a rational decision about whether or not to keep an item. Handle objects only once and don’t revisit items you chose to discard. If you really can’t decide, store it in a box for six months. If you don’t open the box before then, you can let it go.
  • Minimize Collections. If you kept all of your childhood drawings or essays, choose to save only a handful of the most memorable ones and donate or recycle the rest. Explore opportunities to convert physical photos or writings into digital files to save space and prevent wear and tear.
  • Throw away unused items. Even if the item is brand new, if you don’t use it, it’s simply taking up space. If you bought items to start a new hobby, re-evaluate if the hobby is truly the right fit for you.
  • Consider Consignment. It’s easier to downsize if you know your possessions are going to a good home. Check if your items can be sold for money or donated to someone in need.

SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach/Lakewood offers a sensitive approach to these situations with the safety of the homeowner, as well as our technicians, in mind. We can remove the unwanted items from the house and address lingering issues such as odors and structural damages. We have the equipment and expertise to contend with bacteria and the effects of infestations. Our premier cleaning services can make hoarding situations “Like it never even happened,” and return your home to a livable condition.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTAINMENT

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach/Lakewood, building a containment is a critical part of our restoration, remediation, and abatement projects. These barriers, often made with poly-sheeting held in place by tape, are used for a range of jobs. This may include the abatement of mold, lead, and asbestos, the clean-up of damage caused by fire, smoke, or water, or to keep contaminants and even crime scenes contained. Containment systems are also useful in reconstruction projects, particularly where stone or wood cutting occurs and particles such as sawdust are released into the air. 

Building an airtight containment is paramount to protecting interiors during restoration projects and minimizing the risk of contact with hazardous materials during abatement. Containments serve to:

  • Prevent potentially hazardous substances such as mold spores, asbestos, lead-based paint, and silica dust from spreading throughout the entire structure. These substances are very small and can easily hitch a ride on normal air currents found in most buildings.
  • Address concerns for health and safety, especially where airborne hazardous materials are present. If not contained properly, these materials can cause health complications and affect the well-being of nearby tenants, workers, and others in the surrounding area.
  • Function as a barrier to keep dust and other particles confined within a work space, prevent further property damage, and make clean-up easier. Without proper containment, the cost of the loss can increase dramatically.

Containing the site remains not only a priority, but a necessity. A safer work site benefits all parties, and mold testing is more likely to pass the first time, reducing the cost of re-cleaning and re-testing. When you call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach/Lakewood, you can rely on us to construct a proper containment and restore your home or business back to new.

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.

ULTRASONIC-THE WONDER MACHINE

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Ultrasonic Machine - Works wonders on your fire, water or smoke damaged possessions

Fire or water damage affects more than just the physical property. When disaster strikes,  treasured possessions or important contents can also suffer from the effects of smoke, fire, mold or black water. Did you know that SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach/Lakewood and our Ultrasonic Machine, with it’s heavy duty cleaning capability, can restore your object back to near new condition?! From electronics to jewelry, from home décor to antiques, items both fragile and durable  may be saved by this technological wonder machine! Simply put, the process involves pressure waves, utilizing an implosion of bubbles occurring millions of times per seconds and producing tremendous vacuum energy. This breaks up the dirt and gently lifts the build up away, reaching every nook and cranny that has been damaged.

Don’t despair that your prized possessions can’t be saved. Look to SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach/Lakewood and our Ultrasonic technology to help make damage “Like it never even happened."

IMMEDIATE RESPONSE AND THE SERVPRO EMERGENCY READY PROFILE

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to our local communities. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night, if you experience an emergency in the greater Long Beach area.

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Fortunately, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. If you find yourself outside of our serviceable area, you may contact over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian franchise locations. Our immediate response helps to minimize the damage, cleaning, and restoration costs.

Many emergencies that we encounter include some type of water damage. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and permeating floors, walls, and furniture. SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

Within minutes, water quickly spreads throughout your property. It saturates everything in its path, absorbing into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings. Between 1 and 24 hours, drywall begins to swell and break down, metal surfaces begin to tarnish, and furniture begins to crack. Within 48 hours to a week, mold and mildew may grow and spread, and doors, windows, and studs start to warp. Metal begins to rust and corrode, and furniture distorts, showing signs of mold. After a week, restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

Even though disaster strikes unexpectedly, you can always plan ahead of time. By utilizing the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program for your business, you can create an Emergency READY Profile for your establishment, at no charge. You can work with SERVPRO to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the profile is created, you will have access to your information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.

With proper planning, you can land back on your feet faster than ever. Don’t incur more damage and expense by waiting to contact a professional. SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood is ready to respond any time or day of the year.

CLAIMS RESPONSE AND SERVICE

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claims costs down while still providing the best services possible for your customers. At SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood, we understand your situation and are uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a noticeable difference and make your job easier.

Our job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service, and to report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim, and not to deal with problems from vendors. Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files, while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. Damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours. Our documented, measured performance increases value to you and your shareholders, managers, and customers.

If you call SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in an implementation of best practices and job process programs, crew and vehicle standards, and insurance requirements. Our file documentation requirements and quality assurance program will also guarantee service at the highest standard.

Some of the services we provide involving claims include the following:

  • Emergency Response to Claims: Restoring property is our first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage.
  • Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense: Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." At SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood, we make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.
  • Claims Inventory Service: We can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.
  • Electronic Claims Information: Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, including a complete electronic job file, online access to all files, informative reports to improve results, and performance comparison to the industry standard.

Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood leaders in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. Our system is geared to achieve customer satisfaction and mitigation results, adding to your company’s competitive advantage.

EXCEPTIONAL TRAINING AND STANDARDS

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood, effective training is the best way to ensure our customers receive the service they deserve. Franchise owners and industry employees may learn a wealth of restoration and mitigation skills at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility.

At the facility, new franchises must participate in a 15 day in-house, hands-on training program covering fire restoration, water restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and mold mitigation. Employees may learn at their own pace and take advantage of video and web based training modules. Continuing education about emergency mitigation services is also offered in the form of credit and noncredit courses.

Our responders are trained to standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and complete various year-around education courses at the highest degree. Developed in 1972, the IICRC sought to set standards for the cleaning, inspection, and restoration service industries. The group boasts 53,000 active certified registered technicians and 6,000 certified individuals and firms, making it the premier certification and standard-setting body for the industry.

In order to obtain certification, technicians must first attend specialized classes in the field of cleaning, inspection, and restoration and pass a standardized test. After achieving certification, technicians must remain knowledgeable on current trends in their field and learn how to overcome new challenges by earning continuing education credits. The title of master technician can be only be acquired with additional training and 3 to 5 years of experience.

The scope of IICRC certifications qualifies a remediation and restoration company to adequately and safely restore a home. While not mandatory, this accreditation offers confidence and guarantee to homeowners and businesses affected by floods, fires, and other disasters. Rest assured, these technicians possess the training and expertise to work with specific machinery and products needed for comprehensive restoration.

SERVPRO has developed the most extensive performance guidelines in the industry. These guidelines assure you receive the best restoration service in the industry. At SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood, we maintain proper guidelines for business. From insurance to background checks on employees, each requirement is maintained continually to help ensure you get the best possible service providers.

ADVANCED EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Within just the past few years, technology and techniques within the restoration industry have evolved rapidly. These advancements allow professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood to restore properties back to preloss conditions more effectively than ever before.

Following guidelines and standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), our technicians use their skills and equipment at the highest caliber for all restoration and cleaning services. Following the IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide, we incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity to remove moisture, and dry a property effectively.

Water can easily saturate your Long Beach residence in undetected areas and damage begins faster than you realize. Our technicians rely upon specialized moisture and measurement equipment to detect, measure, and monitor a property’s moisture levels. Infrared cameras can help detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor, allowing for thorough water removal. Moreover, sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.

Powerful water extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the majority of the water from your Long Beach home or business. Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water are utilized for the most difficult jobs and provide efficient clean-up. Furthermore, truck-mounted and portable extraction units allow for rapid water removal and water displacement.

Once the water has been pumped out, industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from ceiling, walls, and floors of your Long Beach home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture, and high-speed air circulators cause moisture to evaporate at a faster pace. Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air, allowing for faster drying.

Water and fire damage often causes powerful odors. The machines we use remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process. Air scrubbers, thermal foggers, and deodorization agents create cleaner air for you and your family to breathe. The use of OSHA-approved cleaning agents may also be needed to clean and remove odors or contaminants on your property. Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture, and disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

You can trust SERVPRO of Northeast Long Beach / Lakewood to use the best equipment to bring your life back in order. Whatever the job requires, we have you covered. Call us now, and we will be happy to gather the proper equipment for your specific needs.

IMPACT OF SMOKE DAMAGE

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke damage can have a devastating affect on health and property. SERVPRO can help!

At SERVPRO of NE Long Beach / Lakewood, fire restoration and clean-up is one of our specialties. Smoke, comprised of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and soot, affects a building’s structure in unexpected ways. Depending on temperature, the environment, and air flow, smoke can distribute in many different areas and cause more damage than you realize. To protect your health and preserve your property investment, count on SERVPRO of NE Long Beach / Lakewood to restore your building back to new.

Because hot air rises, smoke residue is most commonly found on the ceiling directly above the source of the fire. Soot can also extend to the inside perimeter as cold air below opens a path for smoke to travel to exterior walls and windows. Because of this, noticeable staining and odor remains present throughout.

Furniture, decorations, and enclosed spaces interact with the smoke in unusual ways. As molecules become excited in warmer air, they move from hot areas to colder areas of the room, falling out of the air and onto relatively enclosed areas. These particles rest behind cool drapes or under shades, and they travel into drawers, closets, and cavities. Since smoke particles are often ionized (possessing an electrical charge), smoke damage may also occur on surrounding nail heads in the ceiling and synthetic materials such as vinyl, due to their greater ionization characteristics. You may also witness cobweb-like shapes in the corners of the room caused by the strong charge of burning plastics.

Furthermore, air currents may carry smoke away from the fire, causing damage in surprising areas. First, the smoke will find its way into the cool ductwork, damaging rooms located away from the fire. Airstreams may then carry it around doors, like water passing objects in a stream. As a result, residue builds on the far side of door openings with the pattern diminishing further away from the fire. Understanding the physics takes mystery out of stressful situation.

Smoke resulting from fire can behave in unintended ways. It permeates a house as it seeks new places to settle. The resulting effects can be long lasting and have an impact on your health. Until professionals repair the damage and replace smoke stained areas, the room is virtually uninhabitable. If you find yourself in such a situation, SERVPRO of NE Long Beach / Lakewood will have you breathing better.

ASBESTOS- SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Asbestos Fibers

At SERVPRO of NE Long Beach/Lakewood, we deal with a lot of unexpected problems and create a plan to solve each one. One common danger found in many homes includes the potentially harmful material, asbestos.

While Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act in 1976 to comprehensively regulate toxic substances including asbestos, it hasn’t prevented the material from appearing in buildings and many consumer goods. Most recently, on June 1, 2018, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made it easier for companies to use asbestos in new products.

Following the new presidential administration “framework” for evaluating risks, the EPA would only restrict products that pose a direct risk to workers instead of a general risk to air, ground, or water contamination. While asbestos imports are tracked and reviewed for new purposes, many worry the EPA will be too lenient as they have been for pesticides, air pollution from cars, and coal-fired power plants. Asbestos imports to the U.S., which have declined overall and in the last few years, rose 45 percent between 2015 and 2016

Asbestos was unable to reach a complete ban in the U.S. in 1991, and it is still responsible for the deaths of about 40,000 Americans annually.

So what is asbestos, the dangers it poses, and signs to look out for?

Asbestos fibers are a soft, flexible, mineral substance that are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. For decades, this material has been used in fireproofing and electrical materials, floor tiles, automobile parts, and consumer products such as hair dryers. Unfortunately, these microscopic fibers are odorless, virtually invisible, and can cause inflammation in lung tissue when inhaled. Symptoms may remain dormant for 20-50 years, making the elderly more susceptible to mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lungs. If you suspect a large amount of asbestos in your building, check for the following:

  • Surface patterns on roofing and shingles with dimples or shallow craters.
  • Interior and exterior joints where plastic, aluminum, or wooden runners were joined with asbestos sheets and adhesives, like window putty, drywall tape and joint cement.
  • Asbestos insulation in the attic or in bathroom floor tiles.

Notify SERVPRO of NE Long Beach/Lakewood for expert cleaning from us and our associated professionals. A licensed abatement specialist will perform an asbestos inspection and determine if it needs to be covered or removed. You can count on us to keep you and your family healthy and hazard free.