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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

FEMA’s Help After a Storm

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

House with roof damage in the woods. You can receive crisis counseling and legal assistance through FEMA's program.

After a storm hits your house in Old Town Riverside, CA you may face extensive home damage. If your insurance policy does not cover the damage to your house, you can be stuck paying a lot of money for repairs. Fortunately, FEMA stands by individuals after a natural disaster and can offer assistance to those who need it.


FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program
The Individuals and Households Program provides both financial assistance and services for damage and losses caused by a natural disaster, such as flooding. Through this program, FEMA can offer financial assistance for:

-Home repair or replacement
-Personal property damage
-Medical or dental injuries
-Funerals
-Child care
-Vehicular damage


The program can also cover other miscellaneous yet necessary expenses for individuals who face various types of storm damage. For instance, someone who has extensive flood damage can receive compensation for hiring storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

Additionally, individuals who qualify for this program may receive direct services to try to remedy the damage done by a natural disaster. If your house has been destroyed, you may be put into a temporary housing unit. Furthermore, you can receive crisis counseling and legal assistance through this program.


To be eligible for the Individuals and Household Program, you must live in a presidentially declared disaster zone, be a citizen of the United States, and have necessary expenses or needs that are not covered by your insurance benefits. It is also important to keep in mind that there is a limit on how much financial assistance individuals can receive for certain things. This amount can be adjusted based on the severity of the storm and the consumer price index.


The Individuals and Households Program provides helps provide services and financial assistance to people after natural disasters. If you face serious damage due to a storm or other disaster, you may be eligible for the assistance FEMA provides through this program.

How To Keep Your Business Prepared in Case of a Fire

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

Smoking building with a fireman. Have inspections done regularly to catch potential hazards before they become a problem.

It may not be second nature to think about a fire happening in your business, but fire preparation is necessary to keep you and your employees safe and to protect your Banning, CA building. Be sure to take the following steps before you find yourself in an emergency situation.


1. Make Sure You Have Insurance


Paying for fire damage repairs out of pocket can be pricey and can potentially have a negative impact on your business. If you don’t already have insurance that covers this type of damage, consider adding it. Ensure that it covers the following:

-Business building
-Office equipment
-Attached/detached structures
-Inventory


2. Maintain Your Fire Alarms


Making sure your fire alarms are working properly is an essential part of fire preparation and should never be overlooked. You should have at least one alarm on each floor, and they should be tested at least once a month.


3. Reduce Fire Hazards


There are many things that can create an increased risk of fire in your building. They can range from overloaded outlets and blocked windows and doors to faulty wiring in the electrical system. Have inspections done regularly to catch potential hazards before they become a problem.


4. Create an Escape Plan


Another important part of disaster preparation is creating an escape plan. Locate all potential exits, including windows on lower floors, and determine multiple exit paths from each area of the building. You should practice the plan at least twice a year. Posting maps in each room of the building can be helpful as well.


5. Make Copies of Important Documents


You probably have many documents, both physical and digital, that are important to your business. Making sure that you have copies of paperwork can help limit the damage if a fire does occur. Make physical copies of paper items, and back up files to external or cloud storage.


Taking the right steps toward fire preparation can help minimize its effects on your business. However, you may still end up dealing with fire or smoke damage. A cleanup and restoration company can perform mitigation and repairs so you can get back to work more quickly.

What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. There are many incidents that could lead to business interruption

A fire in your commercial building in Beaumont, CA, can cause extensive damage. You may not even be able to continue business as usual until the damage is repaired. When this happens, it's useful to have business interruption insurance to cover the costs to keep you on your feet.

Operating Expenses

Entrepreneurs know how to be flexible and adapt to new circumstances. No matter how seamlessly you change your business model to accommodate for the temporary loss of your facilities after a business fire, however, it is likely that you won't see as much cash flow as you're used to. Unfortunately, the costs associated with operation don't go away:

  • Payroll
  • Taxes
  • Loan payments
  • Monthly bills
  • Temporary location

Your interruption policy can help cover these costs. Talk to your provider about the specific exemptions for your particular policy.

Lost Income
Business interruption insurance may also cover the income you lose while fire cleaning experts are working on your building. The amount your policy covers depends on a combination of previous and projected earnings. Using recent profit and loss statements, your provider estimates how much you would have earned if you were able to operate your business as usual during the down time. The policy is designed to protect that income so that you don't get behind or have to shut down completely.

Government Shutdown
If a pandemic or some other widespread disaster happens, the government may decide that all non-essential businesses must close for a certain period of time. During these events, your interruption policy should cover the same things it would cover if your building was damaged or destroyed. A shutdown that is out of your control doesn't have to put your business in jeopardy if you have the right insurance coverage.
There are many incidents that could lead to business interruption. It just makes sense to have a policy in place to cover the money you lose because of it.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe During a House Fire

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter When you make your escape strategy, do not forget about your furry friends

Take The Steps Below To Keep Your Pet Safe

You have probably prepared your family for a fire emergency. Your children likely know how to escape a burning home. Pets, however, usually do not understand what to do during a blaze. You should thus take the below steps to keep them safe.

1. Include Pets in Your Fire Escape Plan
When you make your escape strategy, do not forget about your furry friends. Practice bringing your dog or cat with you as you leave the burning home. As part of your pet preparation plan, you should also keep a separate supply kit that includes the animal's food and other essentials.

2. Keep Your Pets in Easily Accessible Areas
Of course, a fire emergency can also occur when your pet is home alone. If this happens, rescuers will try to save any trapped animals in your Downtown Riverside, CA, house. To make the firefighters' job easier, keep your pets near an entrance when they are home by themselves. You may want to keep their leashes in an easily accessible location, as well.

3. Ensure Firefighters Know How Many Pets You Have
Firefighters also need to know exactly how many pets may be inside. You may not have time to tell the firefighters this key information when they arrive at the house.
You should thus put up a piece of static cling in your front window that states how many pets you have. Update the list every time you get a new pet.

4. Make Sure Your Pets Have a Place To Stay
You and your family may have to temporarily move into a hotel while fire restoration professionals clean up your damaged home. Call in advance to find out which hotels in your area allow pets.
You should consider pet safety when making your fire preparation strategy. While you should not risk your life to rescue your dog or cat during a fire emergency, you can increase the pet's chances of survival by planning ahead.

3 Sewage Damage Types You Might See At Your Business

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom floor with sewage water. Sewage backup Sewage backup in a Calimesa, CA bathroom

Three Possible Causes For A Sewer Overflow

After an overflow or storm back up at your Calimesa, CA, business, it may be best to contact a local water damage restoration service to help with a sewage cleaning. Sewage damage can occur a few ways and for the cleaning to be successful it’s important to know the source of the problem. Here are three possible causes for a sewer overflow at your business.

1. Storm Flooding Overflow

A storm can cause problems where the weather puts out more water than the sewer system can handle. In cases like this water is pushed into the only areas where it can go. This means there's a possibility it may come back through the drains and into your business. A restoration service can help with clean up and repairs, and a professional can look over the plumbing to see if there are any preventative fittings than could be installed.

2. Toilet Back Up

There are a couple of reasons toilet overflow could result in the need for a sewage cleaning. These can include a lack of water in the flush tank, an object stuck in the trap, a clog in the draining line, or a clog in one of the house lines. In any of these cases, a professional should be contacted.

3. Drain Back Up

Another possible source for sewer damage is a drain back up. These can occur either as a result of a clogged pipe or a blockage in the sewer line itself. Because it can be difficult to know which it is, it’s highly recommended to contact a professional rather than trying to clear the problem yourself.

A restoration service can help with any sewage cleaning that may bee needed after an overflow, but it’s important to know the source of the problem. This can include a storm sewer overfilling, a toilet clogging and backing up, or a similar clog occurring in a drainage area. If you experience and overflow problem it’s highly recommended to contact a professional for help.

Pipe Issues and Insurance Coverage

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall removed Water damage in a Yucaipa, CA home

You may not spend much time thinking about the plumbing and water supply in your house. However, if you experience a problem such as a flood, your attention will quickly turn to fix the issue. The damage from water spilling out of pipes onto the floor can be severe, so you'll depend on your homeowner's insurance to help cover the repair costs. In some cases, your plan will take effect. There may be other instances where you'll be responsible for the repairs.

When Your Insurance Would Deny Your Claim

Insurance coverage does not include flooding from sewer backups and overflowing waterways. It will cover pipe issues in some cases. However, you will have to pay a professional water cleanup company for costs and repairs when the following occurs:

  • A pipe breaks because of your failure to maintain and repair it.
  • A pipe breaks because you installed it incorrectly.
  • A pipe breaks because you deliberately damaged it.

Sudden, Unexpected Issues
In your home, you could experience disasters due to no fault of your own. If you need to fix a broken pipe because it suddenly burst or sprung a leak, your insurance company should approve your claim. Despite your best efforts of upkeep, accidents happen. Water damage can cause problems in your home from supply lines, sewage pipes, or appliances.

Defective Materials
If there is a flood in your house because of substandard equipment and materials, you shouldn't have to pay for cleanup or repairs. Technicians in Yucaipa, CA, could have improperly put in the pipes, or the pipes themselves could have had defects. In either case, you can depend on your insurance company to cover any losses you suffer. If you have any questions, you can speak to your agent.
Broken pipes are a common cause of a flood in your home. You should understand when you can file a claim and when you will have to handle this maintenance by yourself.

Why Materials Matter in Your Plumbing System

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Heating System of the building. Efficient Water Treatment The plumbing system in a Banning, CA building

Why Materials Matter in Your Plumbing System

If your business is housed in an older building, you know that sometimes in the past the best materials were not always used. Sometimes it was a matter of economics, and other times it was because the flaws in a particular material were not fully appreciated. For polybutylene piping, the culprit was a mix of both. The inexpensive material was commonly used throughout commercial properties in the 1970s through the 1990s. Over time, this piping material was found to have the following defects:

  • It was susceptible to cracking and breakage
  • It became brittle when water treatments such as chlorine were used
  • It affected water quality caused by pipe degradation and breakdown

The Solution for Outdated Plumbing
If your property in Banning, CA, has polybutylene piping, it must be replaced. Building codes in the U.S. and Canada no longer recognize this material for plumbing systems. Just as importantly, if it is present it will eventually fail and cause water damage to your facility. Therefore, new plumbing will be needed to replace any sections with this outdated material. Though this retrofit of your plumbing system is likely to be expensive, the good news is that new materials will last for decades and won't degrade water quality.

The Answer for Plumbing Leaks
A professional water remediation franchise will be able to handle the full array of plumbing leaks that can plague a business. This goes for small amounts of water from a leaky pipe, to big jobs like a failure of polybutylene piping. Technicians have the advanced training and specialized equipment to quickly and safely remove water from your company. They can handle the contaminated water from sewage backups and flood waters and they are Here to Help in any situation. They know that you are eager to get back to work again, so they work with purpose to restore your building to good shape.

Why You may not See the Mold You are Smelling in Your Building

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

You may not always know if you have mice running around until you see the evidence they leave behind. But of the many things you may not know about your company building, the one you cannot afford to be oblivious to is the presence of black mold. Unlike mice, it initially leaves no visible traces, but that unmistakable mold smell is a heavy warning to a business owner in Yucaipa, CA.

Determine Where the Odor is Coming From

The smell of mold is damp, pungent, and unpleasantly musty – often described as dank. The mold smell is usually one of the first signs that spores have come out of dormancy and are alive and well somewhere in your building. They can reproduce enough to produce the odor within as few as 24 to 48 hours. You will need to call a trained mold cleanup and mitigation technician in Yucaipa, CA to find and remove the problem. The technician will do a thorough inspection, in the following areas:

  • Around and beneath water heaters, toilets, sinks
  • The plumbing system including any valves, faucets, and connections
  • Air conditioning duct systems
  • Attic spaces and crawlspaces
  • A moisture meter may be needed to check room air for high humidity

Mold and Mildew Act Differently
Both mold and mildew are types of fungi. Each produces a type of fungus smell. Mildew smell is a bit milder. Mildew is a cottony looking growth that is easier to clean because it stays on the surface of items and in many cases, is more easily cleaned from surfaces. Mold smell, however, is significantly stronger and more offensive. Mold penetrates any non-porous surfaces it colonizes on and can work so deeply into wood or sheetrock, for instance, that those materials must be removed and replaced.
Remediation can catch the problem early and prevent excessive damage. If you are noticing a distinct musty mold smell in your commercial building, follow your nose and find the problem.

Precautionary Steps

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says flatten the curve We have taken every possible measure to protect customers and team members alike.

It is important to us that our customers know the steps SERVPRO of North Riverside City is taking to reduce the risk of team member exposure to the virus.  These precautionary steps we have taken as a company include:

  • All tools and equipment coming into your property have been cleaned and disinfected.
  • All workers wear personal protective equipment to protect themselves while performing work.
  • We’ve all been provided with training to safely work in contaminated environments.
  • We’ve all been provided with training to identify coronavirus symptoms and carefully monitor ourselves and our co-workers.
  • We have stringent safety and health policies and procedures; and we continually strive to follow and improve our safe work practices.

Overall, we are taking the appropriate measures to ensure we don’t cross contaminate our customers, our co-workers, or our families.  We cannot make any guarantees that the virus could not enter your property, but we can tell you that we have taken every possible measure to protect customers and team members alike.

Whether it is a water loss, fire damage, or a cleaning request, please know that SERVPRO of North Riverside City is still here for the entire Riverside  community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

FEMA Can Be A Huge Help After a Flood

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA app in play store. close-up on the laptop screen. FEMA is the primary governmental organization that coordinates a response after a disaster in the United States

FEMA Can Be A Huge Help After a Flood

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the primary governmental organization that coordinates a response after a disaster in the United States. Among their many activities, they provide both immediate and long-term assistance to individuals who have been impacted by a flood. There are a few services they provide, including

  • Assistance finding shelter
  • Assistance with medical costs
  • Money to cover damage to homes
  • Moving expenses
  • Replacement costs for essential household items

Flooding Is the Leading Cause of Disasters
Floods are the leading cause of natural disasters in the U.S., causing around $2 billion in damages each year. In fact, according to FEMA, you’re over 6 times more likely to experience flood damage to your home than fire damage.

Insurance Policies Don’t Usually Cover Flooding
Most homeowners aren’t aware that floods aren’t covered by their policies. This is where FEMA’s Individual Disaster Assistance can help. First, they set up local disaster assistance centers to find shelter for those who are suddenly homeless. Then they’ll send out a general inspector to note damaged areas. Next, they will send in an adjuster to specifically list the details of the amount of damage and take pictures.
You’ll need to make a list of household and personal items that have been damaged or destroyed by water. Also, they’ll need to know what, if any, insurance you do have so they can coordinate your payments. For major disasters, long-term temporary housing, such as mobile homes, may be brought in, since it can take months – or years in the worst disasters – to get things back to normal.
Also, note that this assistance is not only for homeowners; renters are also qualified for many types of assistance, including payments and help to find new places to live. To qualify, all applicants must be impacted in a declared disaster zone; you can check this FEMA website to see if that zip code has been listed.
A flood in Moreno Valley, CA, can be devastating, but there is help. Once everyone is safe, contact a local restoration company that specializes in water damage to help get your life back on track.

Simple Tips to Filing a Fire Damage Claim

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

A woman is upset about her house which has burned down. Fire damage in North Riverside, CA

When you purchased your commercial property insurance, you probably never expected to be the victim of a fire in the office. This emergency could cause widespread damage in the workplace. Without the right plan, you could face some expensive cleanup. Thankfully, once you make a fire claim, you can expect to have the financial help you need to rebuild.

The Right Response

In the immediate aftermath of an office fire, you need to take appropriate steps to ensure you effectively file a fire claim. After safely getting out of the building, make sure you do the following:

  • Contact the fire department and other first responders.
  • Contact a professional fire remediation company to start the cleanup process.
  • Call your insurance agent to report the incident.

Gather Information
After making an initial call to the insurance company, you should collect vital information to share with your agent in a subsequent conversation. If it's safe to re-enter the building, and if authorities allow it, take pictures of the fire damage. If you cannot go inside, coordinate with cleanup technicians to get these photos. You should also document equipment, materials and items that were damaged or lost in the fire. Make sure you are accurate and honest as you furnish this information to the insurance company.

Coordinate With the Cleanup Company
You will work closely with the fire restoration team and your insurance company during the cleanup and rebuilding phase. Once your insurance company approves your claim, it should pay the restoration crew for its services. Communicate often with your agent. Be prepared to answer questions and provide much information as requested. In the meantime, if you have to pay for any repairs before getting your settlement money, keep the receipts and records so you can give these to the insurance company.
Despite your best preparation, you may not be able to prevent a fire in your North Riverside, CA, building. If you have to file a fire claim, follow these guidelines.

Best Methods for Keeping a Commercial Roof in Good Shape

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Workers installing concrete tiles on the roof while roofing in construction site Commercial roof maintenance in Old Town Riverside, CA

Anyone who has ever experienced a failing roof knows how critical this structure is to the health of your business. Hidden roof damage caused by neglect can cost you much more than a timely roof repair. The best methods for protecting the health of your roof system can be summed up in the following three basic steps:

  1. Work with a licensed and insured roofing contractor in your area
  2. Schedule a roof inspection at least twice a year
  3. Repair problems as soon as they are discovered

A leaking roof in Old Town Riverside, CA, can damage documents, equipment, and drywall. A good roof protects everything beneath it.

The Roof Inspection

Depending on the size of your roof, a thorough inspection takes a few hours to complete. It is one of the strongest tools you have in your arsenal to keep your roof strong and to prevent wind damage. You can attempt to do it in-house, especially if you have an experienced maintenance staff, but a knowledgeable roofing contractor may be better able to locate early signs of roof damage. The roofing company will also have the right equipment and tools to do the inspection safely. If enough problems are found, a roof rebuild may be called for, but many issues can be taken care of with inexpensive repairs.

The Cleanup Process

If a storm sweeps through when you have extensive roof damage, you could face a substantial cleanup process. Water leaking into the attic and to the floors below can cause water damage and even lead to mold growth. A qualified storm remediation company in your area can arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster. Once on site, the company can perform an inspection and assessment of the situation. From there, the company can work to get your building back in good shape again. A strong roof avoids many of these problems by keeping a weatherproof seal above your building.

Proactive Cleaning Around the Clock by Team Jeffrey Padgett

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says team Jeffrey Padgett Team Jeffrey Padgett is your trusted leader in cleanup and restoration.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of North Riverside City is here to help 24/7, 365. You can trust Team Jeffrey Padgett with your Commercial Space.

Keep Your Business Operational During a Power Outage

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Portable generator Buy a portable generator and make sure you get one that is strong

A big storm in Beaumont, CA, can shut your business down for days, maybe even weeks. A power outage will shut down computers, affect security systems, shut off refrigeration capability and turn your building dark. It's always a good idea to have a backup plan and to prepare for the worst. Business interruption insurance can reduce the impact on your company's bottom line. Contact with a local storm remediation team allows you to get to work on recovery in a matter of hours. Anything you can do to minimize the scope of storm damage is time and money well spent.

The Importance of Keeping Your Business Going

With some forethought, and consultation with experts, a power outage can be handled with some grace and style. Consider these steps to protect your business from a major storm:

  • Install an uninterrupted power supply source for all computers; this allows the computer to run on battery power and at least allow time for saving critical files.
  • Make use of the pervasiveness of WiFi; this enables you to use your phone for emergency communications.
  • Buy a portable generator and make sure you get one that is strong enough to power up critical systems such as computers or refrigeration.

Keeping part of your business going is better than having everything shut down. A good plan may still allow you to service customers, keep employees occupied and save vital inventory.

The Value of a Plan
There are many facets to a storm preparedness plan. It's not something you can make up under pressure. Some things to consider include making sure your insurance protection is current and will cover losses. Employees can be a big asset if they are trained in what steps to take during a power outage. Knowledgeable employees will also increase the safety of customers. Finally, make sure you have a plan in place to speed up the storm damage recovery process.

What To Do After an Accidental Sprinkler Discharge

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

a fire sprinkler head on a ceiling Flooding from a sprinkler discharge can cause extensive water damage.

Accidental sprinkler discharges are relatively rare, but they do sometimes occur due to overheating, freezing, mechanical failure or sabotage. Flooding from a sprinkler discharge can cause extensive water damage, so it can be important to take immediate action to mitigate the damage. Consider following these steps after an accidental sprinkler discharge.


1. Shut Off the Water


The first thing you will probably want to do is shut off the water to the fire sprinklers system. Because sprinkler heads are individually activated, you may be able to directly shut off the discharging sprinkler using a tool designed specifically for this purpose. If you don't possess a sprinkler shut off tool, you can stop the discharge by turning off the water supply at a shut-off valve.


2. Mitigate Your Damages


The more of your property that gets wet and the longer it stays wet the more water damage you are likely to have. Flooding from a sprinkler discharge can lead to mold growth and other problems if not remediated promptly. For this reason, you may want to contact a water remediation professional in Riverside, CA to assist with drying out your property. It may also be a good idea to move any valuable property out of the wet area to prevent further damage.


3. Contact Your Insurance Company


Your commercial property insurance may cover damage from an accidental sprinkler discharge, so you will likely want to report a claim promptly. Save the sprinkler head that discharged. Your insurance company will probably want to examine it for defects as part of their investigation. Take photographs of your damaged property and keep the receipts for any expenses you incurred to mitigate your damages.


Flooding from an accidental sprinkler discharge can cause extensive damage. You can mitigate your damages by taking steps to promptly shut off the water, dry out your property and file an insurance claim.

Filing an Insurance Claim After a Home Fire

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Home Destroyed By Fire With Caved In Roof Vacant home fire in Calimesa, CA

A home fire can be a very upsetting ordeal. Fortunately, homeowners' insurance will cover many fire losses.

What Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover

There are a few instances where most homeowners insurance will not cover fire damage, including the following:

  • Arson
  • Wildfire
  • Vacant home fire

In addition to the above exclusions, insurance policies have coverage limits. This means that they will not pay for damages above a certain amount. It is important to talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate homeowners' coverage and determine whether you need an additional policy, such as vacant home insurance.

How To File a Claim

After the home fire has been extinguished and all family members are safe, it is time to call the insurance company. The agent will let you know what information you will need to submit. Take detailed photo or video evidence, and make a list of all items that will need to be repaired or replaced. If you have original receipts or a record of how much the items cost, include this information. Additionally, keep detailed records of all the expenses you incur, including those for repairs and temporary housing. Finally, do not let the insurance company close out the claim until you are sure all the damage has been discovered and documented. Often, homeowners find damage later on that they were unaware of when initially filing the claim. The insurance company is not obligated to cover damage discovered after the claim has been closed.
After you have filed an insurance claim, it is time to begin repairing your property. It is important to act quickly because water from the extinguishing efforts can begin to grow mold, and smoke and soot can cause permanent damage if left for too long. You may wish to hire an experienced restoration team to help you get your Calimesa, CA, property back to normal after a home fire.

3 Ways To Avoid Mold-Related Lawsuits

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

black spots on a white wall Commercial tenants may want to obtain environmental insurance coverage that extends from pollution to a mold claim.

The presence of mold can make a building potentially unsafe for commercial tenants. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Act does not set precise standards for mold contamination, property managers and owners can still be liable for mold infestations, particularly if they do not take timely action to restore water damage or maintain coverage that extends to mold insurance claims. Here are three ways to avoid lawsuits related to mold damage at a building in Riverside, CA.


1. Quickly Mitigate and Restore Water Damage


Mold can start to form within 48 to 72 hours following water damage. Commercial tenants should be able to quickly notify property owners or managers about damage. Water damage mitigation and cleanup is more cost effective than waiting until damage becomes more severe and mold remediation may be needed.


2. Regularly Inspect Commercial Properties


Some types of water damage, such as slow roof leaks, may not be immediately apparent to tenants. Regular inspections are the best way for owners and managers to stay apprised of any risks and observe signs of mold sooner rather than later. Plan to inspect a commercial property at least once a year, and document each inspection to support future property damage or mold insurance claims.


3. Protect Businesses With Environmental Insurance

These policies protect enterprises from third-party claims that are not covered by general commercial property or liability insurance. Environmental insurance can be especially helpful for businesses located in structures undergoing black mold cleanup.


These measures may help property owners and managers deal with legal liability for mold. Mitigating and restoring water damage as soon as possible may eliminate the need for making mold insurance claims. Regularly monitoring the condition of commercial properties in Riverside, CA is the most effective way to resolve potential problems before mold cleanup is necessary.

3 Things To Know About a Noisy Water Heater

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater A water heater may make noises from a number of reasons

3 Things To Know About a Noisy Water Heater

If the water heater in your Downtown Riverside, CA, home makes noises you may be wondering if it’s an issue for concern. Over the course of a lifetime of use there are a number of sounds you may hear from this appliance. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Many Noises May Be Normal

In many cases a humming sound may occur as water flows around the heating element. This is a normal sound, but may be corrected by ensuring that the element is secured tightly. Similarly screeching sounds may occur and are not indicative of a damaging problem. This sound occurs as water tries to fit through a tight space, and ensuring that the valves are properly opened should correct the noise issue.

2. Some Noises May Indicate Issues

In some cases you may hear rumbling, cracking or popping sounds coming from your water heater, these sounds can indicate that sediment may have gotten into the tank. This sediment can cause damage if left in the tank such as a leak which may lead to flooding. If flooding does occur it’s best to contact a water damage restoration service to help with any repairs.

3. Regular Maintenance May Fix the Problem

One of the main ways to ensure that your unit is not experiencing problems is to perform regular maintenance on the unit. This may include asking a professional to conduct a water heater flush, which is the process of washing out any sediment or other debris from the tank. Regularly maintaining your unit will allow your to spot and fix any problems that may occur in a timely fashion, as well as help prevent long term damage.

A water heater may make noises from a number of reasons. Some of these sounds may be normal depending on your heater type, but others could be indicative of a problem. If you have questions or concerns about your heater model it’s best to contact a professional.

What Is Category 1 Water Damage?

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

It can be difficult to tell whether water in your building is contaminated or not.

If your business in Riverside, CA has experienced any flooding, you may have heard the phrase "Category 1 water damage." Simply put, this label means that you are dealing with clean water, as opposed to contaminated water in your building. While you will still need water damage restoration services to quickly address any harm that has occurred, you can take a sigh of relief knowing that the area is sanitary and acceptable to enter. Here is some general information about how flood water is categorized and how you can tell if it is contaminated or not.


The Three Categories of Water Damage


When flooding occurs in a structure, it is important for the restoration company to categorize the type of water damage for insurance purposes and so the specialist knows how to best proceed. There are three main categories water is put into depending on the level of contamination:

Category 1 Water: Clean water that is free from all contaminants
Category 2 Water: Contaminated water that may be harmful if ingested
Category 3 Water: Severely contaminated water that is severely harmful or even lethal if ingested

While all three situations need to be handled immediately by remediation experts, Category 3 Water poses a serious threat to the wellbeing of anyone it comes into contact with and needs to be treated as an emergency.


Determining the Level of Contamination


First, you need to determine the source of the flooding. While water from a supply line: broken pipe is sanitary, water from a clogged toilet or from outside are a few examples of contaminated sources. Additionally, water that has been sitting for a long time, especially in elevated temperatures, is likely hazardous.


If flooding occurs in your building, it is unsafe to assume that you are always dealing with clean water. If you are not sure if the water is contaminated, your best bet is to wait for professional help.

What To Do When There Is Mold in Your Apartment

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

The first thing you should probably do if you discover mold is to notify your landlord.

Mold spores can spread rapidly if mold cleanup is not done promptly. For this reason, it can be important to immediately address any mold concerns in your apartment. Familiarizing yourself with your rights and responsibilities and with the steps you should take may help you avoid unnecessary mold damage.


Tenant's Responsibility


Landlords are generally not responsible for mold damage that results from a tenant's actions. Tenants may wish to avoid the following conditions that can promote mold contamination:

Lack of ventilation
High humidity
Lack of cleanliness
Unreported leaks
Spills or floods that are not cleaned up promptly

Landlord's Responsibility


There is no federal law and only some states and localities have laws that specifically govern permissible mold exposures in rental units. However, many states have laws that require landlords to maintain their property to a standard that provides safe and livable housing. In some instances, these laws may require landlords to be responsible for mold cleanup in their rental units and to be liable for any damages that result from failure to address mold issues.


What To Do If You Find Mold


If you notify your landlord by phone, it may be a good idea to follow-up by e-mail so you have a written record that you contacted them about the problem. You may want to include photos of the mold in your e-mail. If your landlord does not respond to your phone calls or e-mails, you may want to send a certified letter advising them of the issue. Include a deadline for them to respond by. Follow up with a second letter if they still don't respond. If your landlord remains uncooperative you may wish to consult an attorney in Riverside, CA to discuss your options.


Your landlord's legal obligations depend on the laws in your Riverside, CA but most landlords will probably want to know about any issues with their property so that they can address mold cleanup. Notifying your landlord promptly whenever you discover mold or conditions that can lead to mold is usually the best course of action.

How To Address Mold in Your Air Conditioning Ducts

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold damage in Riverside, CA

When you think of mold damage in your building, you probably picture large spores lurking on the walls or ceilings. Sometimes, however, the black mold is less obvious. It may be hiding somewhere in your Riverside, CA, commercial property.
Air ducts are a common location for mold. They feed off the dust and moisture that is common in HVAC systems.
Musty odors and black dust near the air vents are signs of a possible mold problem. If the issue is not properly handled, the mold could spread and cause severe harm to your property.

Removing Air Conditioner Mold

Mold thus needs to be addressed immediately. Below are the basic mold cleanup steps:

  • Have a certified inspector check the property for mold
  • Replace the insulation, if necessary
  • Disinfect the ductwork
  • Find and address the source of the mold growth

Cleaning black mold improperly can just cause additional damage. Instead, you should use specialists who know how to remove the mold and prevent it from coming back.

Limiting Mold Growth

Because the black mold cleanup process can be costly and time-consuming, you should take steps to prevent an infestation before it starts. That means making sure your property has clean ducts. Bring in a technician at least twice annually to perform maintenance and fix any issues.
Dust and debris within the air conditioning vents can also promote mold growth. You should thus get the filters changed regularly.
There are also steps you can take to limit mold growth in the rest of your building. Be sure to dry wet areas immediately, clean clogged gutters and lower the indoor humidity.
Black mold can damage building materials and temporarily shut down your commercial property. Since mold often grows in damp places, you should regularly clean and inspect your air conditioner ducts. If you see spores or smell an unusual odor, mold remediation specialists can address the problem before it gets worse.

Why Insurance Agents Prefer Dealing With Professionals

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded building in Riverside, CA

To be honest, a commercial flood is a big mess, and in more ways than one. First and foremost, of course, is the damage caused to a building. Excess water where it doesn't belong often involves safety issues with black water, as well as the potential for electrical damages. The job of storm restoration is a big one. A nearby, highly-trained storm mitigation team is up to the task. Insurance agents know trained and certified professionals will yield the best results, work safely, make good decisions and finish the job quickly. That's why a SERVPRO franchise is a preferred vendor for many agents and adjusters.

The Traits of a Professional

Rapid storm response is not for the faint of heart or for the person with a little bit of knowledge. A valued professional has the following characteristics:

  • Highly trained
  • Certified in several areas
  • Trustworthy
  • Efficient
  • Safe
  • Properly equipped

Storm restoration in Riverside, CA, often involves unique challenges. Each situation is different. A flood may envelop an area of sensitive electrical equipment or it might degrade important documents or even artwork. In many cases, flooding involves the presence of black water, which could be contaminated with harmful materials. A professional will know how to deal with each situation and will have access to equipment that aids in cleanup, water removal, and mold containment.

The Results of a Professional

Flood damage is not easily managed. It's a major problem that should be entrusted to a trained team. A water damage restoration technician and an applied structural drying technician are just two examples of certifications that help in dealing with storm restoration. Flooding comes in many shapes and forms, from hurricanes and tornadoes to broken pipes and heavy rain events. Insurance agents prefer working with a company that can handle each disaster with success, and that will make smart decisions to minimize costs and a business interruption.

What to Expect During A Sewer Damage Restoration

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Carpet damaged by water in Calimesa, CA

Three Things Professionals Do When it Comes To Restoring Your Property

After a sewer cleanup at your Calimesa, CA, your company property may be in need of a sewer restoration. Fortunately, a local restoration service should be able to help. Here are three things you may see these professionals do when it comes to restoring the property.

1. Safety Gear

The use of safety gear in a restoration is especially important when dealing with sewer contamination. You may see the crew conducting the project wearing gear such as coveralls, gloves, shoes covers, and face masks. This is because sewer water has been contaminated by a number of bacteria causing substances, and the cleanup needs to be handled safely.

2. Water Removal

One of the first steps for a sewer cleanup is water removal. This needs to be done quickly as allowing water to stand can lead to additional damage such as warped or swollen wood, or foundation cracking. In many cases, professionals will use a water rated pump of vacuum for the bulk of the removal, but you may also see the use of squeegees or rags for harder to reach locations. Once the water is removed the drying process can begin, often with the help of a dehumidifier.

3. Sanitizing

After a sewer backup, flooded toilet, or other sewer related flooding, it's important to thoroughly sanitize the affected area. Because sewer water is contaminated with fecal mater and other bacteria causing materials, sanitizing is an important step in the cleaning process. It helps ensure the space is free of possible pathogens to keeps your workplace healthy and safe.
During a sewer cleanup and restoration after damage on your business property, you may see the professionals in charge wear various safety gear. They will also use special equipment to remove the water and dry the area. The restoration crew should also sanitize the affected space to help remove any possible sewer contaminants.

Smoke and soot

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can 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, SERVPRO of North Riverside City will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. 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

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (951)977-5294

The Mold Remediation Process

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Sample of mold

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - (951)977-5294

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

  1. Mold Containment

Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

  1. Air Filtration

Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

  1. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting.

  1. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

  1. Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, sub floors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.

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