Summer Storm Damage Risks
Storm floods can leave inches of water under your home. Stagnant water can collect bacteria, mosquito eggs and cause excess humidity
Summertime in Los Angeles brings beach days, barbecues and, usually, sunny, cloudless blue skies. Occasionally those skies darken with storm clouds and homeowners are at risk of property damage caused by a number of naturally occurring events. When the weatherman warns of impending summer storms, here are a few things So Cal homeowners should watch out for:
Summer rains often come down fast and hard, especially in the Valleys, leaving LA area properties at risk of flash floods. When your street seems more suited for transport by boat than automobile, keep a close eye on lower lying areas, especially if your house finds itself in the path of runoff from surrounding hills. Basement and crawlspace flooding is a common problem, but other disasters such a sewer backups or leaks from damaged roofs, windows and doors can create inhospitable conditions in your home.
Water damage isn't the only concern for homeowners during summer storms. High velocity wind gusts can join the rain and bring down power lines, sparking fires. Powerful storm winds can also tear shingles off roofs, rip large branches off trees and rattle old windows and doors. While you can prepare for potential water damage from storms even when it's dry, it's harder to prepare for when Mother Nature decides to cave in your roof. Fortunately, SERVPRO of North Hollywood has experience with such disasters and we can help make your home look as good as new.
While seemingly more rare than heavy rain and wind, summer storms also bring lightning and thunder. Indeed, in August, 2017 lightning struck 2,100 times across Southern California in just one week. So while the rumble of thunder might cause you to hide beneath your covers, it's the ensuing lightning strike that can cause bigger problems for homeowners. In particular, lightning strikes can spark fires, especially in the dry and heavily wooded areas of the hills and mountains in Los Angeles, creating wildfires that can rapidly spread and threaten residential and commercial property. While rare, lightning can also strike a home directly, such as one earlier this year in Whittier.
A rare occurrence, particularly in LA, hail can bring its own unique concerns for homeowners. Small hail in Los Angeles causes buzz on social media, but larger hail can actually put holes in your roof and break windows.
So should rain, wind, lightning or even hail damage your North Hollywood, Universal City, Toluca Lake or Los Angeles property, be sure to call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for a fast response, 24/7 and our highly trained restoration technicians will be on the scene to restore your residential or commercial property "like it never even happened."
What You Shouldn't Do When You Find Mold in Your Home
SERVPRO of North Hollywood is available to help if you have mold on your walls in your home or business.
Mold. Just the word can make a homeowner's skin crawl with the idea of the fungi growing in and around your home. Mold, of course, is not all bad. We eat some molds and fungi, such as mushrooms. Mold also helps fertilize soil by breaking down dead vegetation. It even helps cure illnesses with its role in the production of antibiotics, including penicillin.
But when left to grow unabated in your home, the CDC notes that exposure to dampness and mold can cause health effects.
So when you discover mold growing where it shouldn't, there's one thing you should do: call SERVPRO of North Hollywood. Our team of highly-trained and specialized restoration technicians will contain the infestation, remove the mold and contaminated materials, cleanse and restore your home "Like it never even happened."
Should you decide to DIY the problem, however, here are a few things you should not do to clean up mold in your home.
An outbreak of mold can spread quickly. Mold spores are carried throughout your home via heating, ventilation and cooling systems (HVAC). Once they land, staining and further spreading begins immediately. Within 24-48 hours, a small concern can become a huge problem if left untreated.
Don't Use Bleach
Bleach is a common treatment because it does, indeed, kill mold if it comes in contact with it. On non-porous surfaces such as a bathtubs or sinks, bleach may do an adequate job. However, bleach does not soak into porous materials such as wood or drywall. Because bleach kills mold by contact, any mold that takes root deeper beyond your seemingly clean surface will survive to spread another day.
Worse, because bleach is mostly water which is then usually further diluted, unless you use the kind of state-of-the-art dryers we have here at SERVPRO of North Hollywood to completely dry the treated area, you may be inviting a new infestation to grow in place of the old one. Remember, mold LOVES water.
Don't Cover Up the Problem
Given the plethora of mold resistant paints and primers on the market, it may be tempting to slap a coat over the offending area and just cover up the problem. First, there is a difference between a mold resistant coating and a mold killing one. Mold resistant paints and primers don't kill existing mold, but they can help prevent new mold outbreaks from taking root. And while mold killing primers may work on the mold residing on the outer wall, there may be an infestation within the walls that goes untouched. Most importantly, even a good coat of paint fails to address the underlying problems with moisture or water damage that caused the mold.
In short, while DIY options are available, SERVPRO of North Hollywood's seven step mold remediation process, certified technicians and specialized equipment can lessen the mold damage, limit further damage and reduce the remediation costs of a mold infestation. If you've got mold, don't wait, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood today.
How to Prepare Your Home for Wildfire Season
Wildfires are coming. Call us 24/7/365 if you experience fire, smoke or soot damage at your home or business.
Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles is not actually a desert. But given we Angelinos enjoy roughly 15 inches of rain each year, and that most of it falls during the winter months, it is fair to say LA is a pretty dry place to call home. While that has its benefits (hey, Dodgers games are seldom at risk of a rain out), it also means we find ourselves at risk for property damage caused by wildfires, particularly during the dry summer months.
Like the Boy Scouts, however, Los Angeles area homeowners can "be prepared" for wildfire season and protect their homes from fire, smoke, soot and even damage caused by the water to put out fires.
Create a "defensible space" around your home
Cal Fire recommends two zones that together would slow or even stop the spread of a wildfire while protecting the firefighters defending your property.
Zone 1 is roughly a 30 foot radius around all structures where you should clear any and all dead vegetation while keeping other plants and trees well trimmed and separated from flammable objects such as furniture, play structures or wood piles.
Zone 2 extends to 100 feet out and likewise requires the regular maintenance of grass, shrubs and trees in an effort to mitigate the rapid advance of flames and reduce the fuel available to stray sparks floating on the wind.
Have an evacuation plan
Once fire threatens your home, you may have the option or even be mandated to evacuate the area. Having a wildfire evacuation plan can help ensure you and your family stay safe. In advance of wildfire season, create or review your plan by establishing an emergency meeting location, assembling a supply kit and learning how to shut off gas, electric and water mains.
Use fire resistant materials for home improvement projects
From insulation made with eco-friendly materials such as cellulose to decks built with composite or pressure-treated wood, there are many ways to improve your home that enhance both its value and its resistance to fire damage.
When facing the threat of wildfires, your safety and the safety of your family is paramount. But remember, should wildfires cause damage to your home, whether from the fire itself, the soot and smoke or even water damage from fighting the flames, SERVPRO of North Hollywood has highly-trained and certified technicians who can respond quickly, 24/7/365, to emergencies around the communities of North Hollywood, Universal City, Toluca Lake and Los Angeles.
3 Ways to Prepare for the Rainy Season (While It's Dry)
Clogged gutters can lead to water damage.
Summer is here and while your mind may be on pool parties, day trips to Malibu and, of course, BBQ, SoCal's rainy season will be here before you can say "trick or treat!" While the memory of last year's wildfires may prompt you to take steps to protect your property from fire damage, now is also a good time to prepare for the coming storms even while it's dry.
Set up a rainwater collection system
Rainwater harvesting offers many benefits, including reducing your water bill and providing an alternative water source during droughts. The capturing, holding and controlled releasing of rainwater can also help reduce runoff, particularly in heavily paved urban areas which, in turn, can reduce the risk of flooding around both residential and commercial buildings.
Gutters and downspouts catch storm water and direct it away from your home. When properly cleaned, gutters help prevent the soil surrounding the building from becoming so heavy and saturated with water that it stresses your foundation. Over time, enough wear causes foundation walls to crack which can lead to a flooded basement (and, perhaps, a call to SERVPRO of North Hollywood).
Inspect for signs of leaks
Water marks, peeling paint or wallpaper, damp walls or floors and, in some cases, mold or mildew are all signs of leaks that should be fixed before they can cause major damage. Don't forget to also inspect your roof and look for loose or missing shingles which are prime places for rainwater to leak into your home.
Of course, if the worst should happen and you find yourself dealing with water damage in your home or business, call us right away. Our highly-trained water restoration technicians are "faster to any size disaster" and have experience, expertise and equipment to restore your property properly.
Storm Damage Disasters in Hollywood
Water damage is one of the serious issues people in California face and regardless if it is caused by a leak in the pipes or flood damage, it should be mitigated immediately to avoid financial drainage. The damage in homes and businesses being common, people should have the best company in North Hollywood, CA contacts to call when they have water in home or water in the business situation.
In cases of flood damage, there is not much one can do. However, it does not necessarily mean they sit and watch. Some mitigation can be done to this problem. In any case, the power should be switched off to avoid electrical issues.
First, the resident should move all their properties to a place where they are safe from the water, then make the call to a Water Restoration Company in North Hollywood. A company like SERVPRO works twenty-four hours in a day so there is no worry of not being able to reach them.
For leaking pipes, water in a home, the owner should close the main water supply this will ensure no more leaking is experienced; in water in business in case of rental premises, the owner can be contacted to shut the supply. Then, call the water restoration company to help out in drying.
Air movement is important, and windows should be opened; use of heaters and fans can also ensure sufficient air movement; without that, it can be risky to humans. An air inspector should be called to check the quality of air and reassure that air movement is good; they do have the equipment to check drying of walls. Complete drying will reduce the growth of mold this reduces dangers that can be caused by them.
There are specialists in California that come to check the extent of the damage caused by water, and how efficient the water cleanup and water restoration was. The inspector can recommend the next action to be taken after he does the inspection. Commercial buildings might have been significantly affected, and it might have become weak and demolition might be the answer; building from scratch can be the only way to be sure the occupants will be safe.
Dealing with insurance after such an event can be hectic, but at least the owners will not feel so much financial restraint. Most building in Hollywood, CA, has been insured against water damage and as much as it is not easy to do the claims, in the end, it will be easier. After the water cleanup filing claim is the next step; insurance company will not accept to pay for negligence, so mitigation is an important step. An advance from the insurer for moving as the repair is done will come in handy, but the owner should keep in mind it will be deducted from the overall payment.
Water damage in Hollywood can be a depressing situation, but the people of CA have taken measures to ensure that as much as they cannot avoid, they can reduce the stress after the outcome. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthhollywood.com for more information on water damage.
The 5 Stages of Commercial Fire Cleanup
Give SERVPRO if you experience commercial fire damage.
If you are dealing with fire damage, smoke damage, or soot damage at your business in Hollywood, CA you should contact a service specializing in commercial fire and smoke cleaning. There are five major stages of commercial fire cleanup and a full-service restoration company can complete them all.
1. Schedule an inspection: As soon as a fire has been put out, you should arrange for an assessment of the property damage. A company that specializes in commercial restoration can help you identify and record damage to include in an insurance claim.
2. Put up boards and security fencing: The property owner or a damage remediation service should board up broken windows and holes in the roof to prevent debris or precipitation from getting into the property. These barriers also prevent unauthorized access to the property during the restoration process, limit additional damage, and provide insurers with proof that you are doing everything you can to protect the property.
3. Remove damaged contents: Whether the contents of a commercial property have been ruined by fire or only suffered smoke damage, these items should be removed and either cleaned or replaced. Some commercial restoration services will help you store these items until the restoration process is complete.
4. Clean: A restoration company will thoroughly clean a commercial property damaged by fire or smoke. This may involve drying water damage before cleaning up soot damage.
5. Restore: The remainder of the restoration process may involve smoke cleaning with industrial air scrubbers or a specialized machine, such as an ozone generator, hydroxyl generator, or thermal fogger. Contents and occupants may return once restoration is complete.
A full service restoration company can help you clean up fire or smoke damage at a commercial property in Hollywood, CA. The sooner you start the process, the easier the restoration should be. Visit http://www.SERVPROofnorthhollywood.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Slippery, Sticky Lawn Slime
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold on your property.
Sometimes after a pleasant period of rain during a lovely time of year in Hollywood, CA the pastures, lawns, and mulched areas of the yard may suddenly appear to have foamy, stringy, or slimy spots. Some consider this slime a mold while others swear it is a fungus, but one thing for sure is how unsightly it is. Clumpy or stringy, the sticky, jelly-like substance can cling to any nearby surface, covering it in lawn slime.
Some experts postulate that molds and fungi began their existence as long as a billion years ago. The various types of mold include many shapes and hues:
• Grey-black clusters of Physarum cinereum
• Yellowish cushions of Fuligo septica
• Crumbly yellow masses of Mucilago crustacea
Having survived the long years without much evolutionary change, the strange blobs may now appear in a variety of colors such as yellow, orange, or green. The string-like or foam-based structures of lawn slime can cling to an individual blade of grass or cover a large patch of lawn, and can be difficult to remove.
The wet-looking globules are often short lived, with a life cycle of fewer than 72 hours. During that time, the spots can begin to harden into dull-colored, crusty masses. The reproductive cycle then begins anew as the crunchy splotch changes into a collection of nodules ready to break open and release millions of outdoor mold spores into the air.
Mold remediation experts suggest that one method the slime uses to travel unhindered is by attaching itself to mulch, which it can cover with spores waiting to attack the next unsuspecting nearby lawn. The spores can remain in stasis for many years, staying dormant until the next perfect wet period arrives.
Although the lawn slime may kill sections of the grass it invades, deterrents such as fungicides are not typically necessary. The stringy mass is usually a short-lived cosmetic problem for lawns that can be unsightly but not hazardous to humans. If the grass under the mold turns yellow, wait a few weeks for it to return to the lush green it once was after the slime is gone.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofnorthhollywood.com for more information on mold.
Safety Tips for a More Enjoyable BBQ
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience fire damage from grilling.
While many people in Hollywood, CA enjoy grilling out, a grill fire can make an afternoon cookout much less pleasant. By following some general safety tips, you can keep your family and your home safe from harm.
1. Keep the Grill Clean and Well-Maintained
Before using the grill, check that all stationary parts are secure and all moving parts, such as the lid or wheels, move freely. Remove any flammable material or excess grease that might have gotten near the burner. For propane grills, check for gas leaks and other flaws. To keep the grill properly maintained and functioning optimally, take it to be serviced by a professional.
2. Keep the Grill Away From Flammable Surfaces
Always use the grill outside to avoid BBQ smoke damage on the inside of buildings. Choose a level place for the grill at least 10 feet away from buildings where it won’t tip or roll. Make sure it is not leaning against anything such as chairs or deck railings. Avoid overhanging branches and keep flammable liquids away from hot surfaces.
3. Supervise the Grill at All Times
Do not leave the grill unattended while it is still hot or has hot coals in it. Be especially mindful of children and pets who might unwittingly start a BBQ fire or might try to play with potentially hazardous supplies, such as hot tools or lighter fuel. Don’t forget that the grill might still be hot long after you’ve stopped cooking, especially a charcoal grill.
4. Be Prepared and Use Recommended Equipment
Always use the recommended fuel in propane grills and the correct starter for charcoal grills. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand whenever the grill is in use. If a grill fire starts, you may be able to limit the damage by lowering the grill cover or turning off the fuel if it is safe to approach. Immediately contact emergency services if the fire gets out of hand.
By following general safety tips to prevent a grill fire, outdoor cooking will be a much more relaxing activity. Visit http://www.SERVPROofnorthhollywood.com for more information on fire damage.
Finding Mold at Your Commercial Property: 3 Common FAQs
As the owner of a commercial property in Hollywood, CA maintaining your building for cleanliness and safety is probably a high priority. However, disasters such as flooding may cause issues that you did not anticipate, such as mold growth. The spread of fungi is common once moisture enters your building, so it is wise to call in a mold cleanup and remediation company to handle the problem and to have them answer a few of the following questions about remediation and restoration.
1. What Is Mold?
Mold comes in many forms and colors, but one factor all varieties have in common is that they require moisture to grow and spread. While mold spores are usually present in the air, they can multiply after a flood because water vapor in the air creates high humidity in affected rooms. Once the mold takes hold, it can spread rapidly across walls, ceilings and organic material.
2. What Types of Water Damage Cause Mold?
While mold growth is most often found after flooding, even slow leaks or other minor water issues can cause it to grow rapidly. Leaky pipes, water lines and small indoor floods caused by an overflowing toilet may result in the development of fungi, so it is important to have your building inspected each time it experiences any kind of water damage.
3. What Is Involved in Mold Remediation?
When flood technicians arrive at your building, they may perform immediate mitigation to prevent fungi from spreading. Once the problem is contained, techs will likely tear out any affected drywall to check for mold in the interior walls and eradicate it. As a final step in remediation, flood experts may offer you sanitation and deodorizing services to eliminate any lingering smells mold might cause.
Mold growth at your Hollywood, CA business can be troubling. However, when you know which questions to ask your restoration specialists when they arrive, the more confident you may feel about the cleanliness and safety of your building. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthhollywood.com for more information on mold.
What You Need To Know About Category 1 Water Damage
Water Damage is not a DIY restoration project. SERVPRO is available 24/7 to take care of your residential or commercial water loss.
Not all water damage is created equal. Depending on the source of the issue, water damage is categorized as either 1, 2 or 3. Category 2 contains some sort of contaminants, while category 3 – or black water – contains harmful debris and fecal matter. Category 1 damage, however, is clean water and usually stems from a broken pipe or a burst supply line. Depending on the size of the area affected, you can clean up category 1 damage on your own. However, there are a few things you need to understand about water restoration procedures before you get started:
• Identify all safety hazards such as exposed electrical, standing water and loose drywall
• Locate the source of the water and turn off supply lines if necessary
• Move belongings out of the way of the damage
• Check for additional areas of water damage
• Get air circulating either with fans or open windows
• Employ a dehumidifier if you have one
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may want to hire a Hollywood, CA water restoration team, even if the water is clean water. A restoration team can quickly and efficiently dry out the affected area and mitigate as much damage as possible. They do this by utilizing pumps and other heavy-duty equipment to remove standing water and ensure a faster drying time.
Once all sitting water is gone, the team will remove carpeting, carpet pads and furniture that has been damaged. If necessary, they will make a flood cut in the drywall to remove damaged drywall and insulation so you can replace it with new materials.
Water damage is never fun to deal with, but the good news is that category 1 water is nothing to be worried about. Though it may prove to be a pain to clean up, clean water won’t harm you or your building’s occupants. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthhollywood.com for more information on commercial water damage.