Recent Posts

4 Places To Check for Leaks Before Going out of Town

3/18/2018 (Permalink)

When you go on vacation, the last thing you want to come home to is accidental water damage. A leaking or broken pipe, leaking appliance, or storm can all be problems, but if an accident occurs while you are away, the damage can be exacerbated. There is one simple way to avoid dealing with this situation: prevent it. It is worth finding someone trustworthy who can check on your home while you are gone, but be sure to check these areas for potential problems before you leave Universal City, CA if you are going to be gone for more than a couple of days, making a water pipe repair or two if needed.

1. Pipes: The first things to look for are existing leaks. Take a look at the pipes under kitchen and bathroom sinks and check for any water leaks. Be sure, also, to protect pipes from freezing by leaving your heat on low. Insulate exposed pipes with fiberglass or foam sleeves and cover spigots. This can keep you from having to deal with burst pipes or water pipe repair later.

2. Blockages: Check the gutters and downspouts on your house for leaves or other debris that may cause blockages. Clogged gutters can slow water drainage from your roof area and make leaks more likely.

3. Hoses: Sometimes, the hoses on major appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, or washing machines can leak. Take care to inspect these for leaks, kinks, or damage, and replace hoses as needed so you do not come back to a flooded home.

4. Exterior: Set some time aside to examine your roof and windows. Broken or displaced shingles and damaged window seals can cause trouble if a storm comes. Make sure that all windows are caulked and roof tiles are replaced before you leave town.

Be sure to follow these tips for prevention before leaving Universal City, CA for vacation. You should be able to avoid dealing with flooding or water pipe repair when you get back. Visit for more information on water damage. 

What To Do Before Allowing Employees To Return After a Flood

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial What To Do Before Allowing Employees To Return After a Flood The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard, earthquake or flood.

If a flood happens in Universal City, CA it is likely that your business could receive harmful damage. Backed-up sewage lines often lead to black water damage, and leaking water can ruin machinery and important documents. Flood cleanup can take a while, but it’s important to get your business up and running as soon as possible. Here are a few things to consider before calling your employees back into work.


Before you allow anyone back into your building, be sure to inspect the stability of the structure. You’ll likely use water damage repair services, but once you can safely reenter the building, it’s important to do a thorough check up on everything. There are a few things you might do to ensure the security of your employees:

• Examining water supplies for any contamination
• Confirming secure connections to all electrical systems
• Testing for asbestos or black water corruption
• Checking air filtration devices used during the cleanup and restoration process

Once you have thoroughly inspected your commercial building, you can consider contacting your workers.


Area-wide disasters can be scary. Be sure to take care of your workers during this challenging time, especially if some of them are dealing with their own loss of property or transportation. Consider accommodations such as flexible scheduling and on-site daycare to support your employees.


Don’t forget to keep your workers and customers informed. There are many ways to communicate, so use your resources to connect clearly and concisely. Your business should provide reassurance to your employees by sharing restoration plans and recent updates. When you are thinking about allowing your workers to return, notify them in advance so that they can prepare themselves.

Taking these steps to take care of your employees will not only provide security but will also improve their attitude towards your business. Black water damage may harm your building’s structure, but it doesn’t have to ruin your employees’ relationship with the company.

Visit for more information on commercial storm damage. 

3 Reasons Mold Has an Odor

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can take hold in your North Hollywood, CA business before you realize it. This fungus can grow for many reasons, but mostly due to the introduction of moisture into an area. A flood, leaking pipes or even a high moisture content in the air can cause mold growth, which releases foul-smelling mycotoxins into the air. While not all mold has a powerful odor, some can smell quite strong, and the reasons why may surprise you.

1. Initial Spread

Once mold spores take hold on a surface, they eat away at the material and start to grow. This growth can spread quite rapidly the more it eats, and its byproducts can produce the odor that is so often associated with mold. There are many ways to interpret this odor, but it is most often described as

• Damp
• Dirty (or like dirty laundry)
• Musty

If you catch a whiff of these smells often, you may have a mold problem in your building.

2. Environment

The musty odor of mold can change or grow stronger depending on the environment in which it grows. For example, if the space is humid and often exposed to sunlight, the smell may be more powerful. If other substances are present, the mold may bond or interact with them, causing the smell to change and become even more unpleasant. This is especially true when the mold releases its mycotoxin.

3. Rate of Growth

The faster mold grows and spreads, the stronger the scent may be. If mold grows unchecked behind a wall or under a restroom cabinet, you may notice the smell before you find the actual mold. A mold remediation company can help you target and eliminate the problem, then advise you how to prevent the issue from occurring again.

When mold invades your North Hollywood, CA business, it can cause unpleasant odors that air fresheners cannot eliminate. Having a professional eliminate mycotoxin and mold growth at the source can help your store, factory or office space smell fresh and clean again.

Visit for more information on mold damage.

How To Handle both Water and Fire Damage

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

A commercial fire in North Hollywood, CA presents more than a few problems for a business owner. Many can feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. After the fire has been extinguished by the fire department, for example, business owners may find that they now have to deal with water damage on top of the fire and smoke damage. Though your business insurance policy is referred to as fire insurance, it will usually cover any water damage to the premises as well. Thankfully, there are restoration professionals who are trained to handle both types of damage, even simultaneously. Here’s what to expect from these companies when treating your building for water and fire damage.


Restoration professionals will use state-of-the-art equipment to assess the severity of water and fire damage on the premises, including all surfaces, belongings and assets. This will include identifying areas that have been damaged by water and those that have been damaged by fire, smoke or soot.

Boarding and Tarping

If windows or ceilings have been destroyed, fire restoration professionals will cover them with boards and tarps. This will prevent any further damage, especially from water, to the affected area. This also creates a more secure environment for the restoration professionals to work in.

Removing Water, Soot and Smoke

A fire hose uses a lot of water in a short amount of time. This inevitably causes water damage on the surfaces on which it is used. Once the environment is secure and the property inspected, restoration professionals will remove any moisture before addressing soot and smoke damage. This is because soot can often mix with the water, and treating areas for soot that haven’t been treated for water is nearly impossible. Once the water has been dealt with, workers will get started on removing all soot and smoke damage.

The remainder of the fire restoration process will be devoted to cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring the affected areas to their pre-fire condition. Once that’s completed, a well-done restoration job will mean your building will look as good as new. Visit for more information on commercial fire damage.

Why You Should Get Water Damage Remediation After a Fire

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire, most homeowners focus on repairing the damage caused by the flames, smoke and soot. However, there is another pressing matter following fire damage in North Hollywood, CA. You also need to handle any water damage that may have occurred from the fire or from the firefighters’ efforts to contain the flames. A lot of water may come out of the fire hose to eliminate the fire, and you need to make sure you can restore your valuables from the water, too.

1. Prevent Mold

As with a flood in your basement, your biggest concern should be related to mold buildup. It only takes about 24 hours for mold to start to grow. Whether there are spots of flooding in your home from the relief efforts or from a burst pipe, you need to get rid of the moisture posthaste. You should always leave this work to the fire damage remediation professionals because it is dangerous to attempt to remove mold when you do not know what you are doing.

2. Eliminate Water Contamination

Even if everything seems to be all right on the surface, there could be contamination in your water supply. You need to have experts check the water in your pipes to ensure it is not filled with soot. You may need to check with your local and state environmental agencies to make sure the water is safe for consumption. Either way, you should avoid consuming the water or letting it come into contact with your skin until someone tells you it is safe.

It is always preferable to let professionals handle fire damage remediation so that you do not put yourself in harm’s way. Experts know how to look through an entire house to make sure every inch is secure. Professionals are also knowledgeable and know how to locate small problems that could escalate out of control if not handled properly. Visit for more information on fire damage.

Tools for Removing Basement Water

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Basements can flood for all sorts of reasons. No matter why you have found two feet of water in your basement, you need the right equipment to remove it. Here are a few things you might need:

• Sump pump
• Trash pump
• Truck mounts
• Safety equipment

Depending on the actual problem, you may need require equipment too. Furthermore, what you use may depend on what is available in North Hollywood, CA, at the time.

Trash Pump

This term is another name for a sewage pump. In many cases, this is the best tool for removing standing water from a basement. Some of these pumps are electric, which means you have to plug them in. This can cause obvious hazards and can also be an inconvenience.

If you go this route, choose a unit with a gas engine. It can run without being near a working electrical outlet. This setup is much safer.

Sump Pump

Check and see if your home has a sump pit. It so, you may be able to use to the corresponding pump to remove the water. You may need to dig a ditch to make this work. Do this at the lowest point of the slope for best results. Unfortunately, many homeowners can do more harm than good while trying to do this themselves.

Professional Assistance

Does all of this sound confusing or overly complicated to you? Sometimes, it takes a professional team to clean up the mess that a flooded basement leaves behind. You can call a restoration company in North Hollywood, CA, to take care of the problem for you.

Better yet, these companies have the equipment and experience to look for other problems. Not only will they bring their sump pump, trash pump, and other tools, but they can also look out for issues that might occur down the road. You can avoid mold and other problems by asking for help.

Visit SERVPRO of North Hollywood at for more information about storm restoration.

Tips for Preventing Water Damage When You’re Away on Vacation

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Vacations are great for relieving stress and reconnecting with family and friends. Opening the door to a flooded North Hollywood, CA, home on your return, however, can bring that stress right back. Dealing with a broken pipe and finding a plumber for water pipe repair are not what you planned on doing when you first got home, but you can’t put it off or you risk further damage to your home.

Check Off These Tasks

There are several things you can do to help prevent flooding before your next vacation. Make a checklist that includes these tasks:

• Turn off the water to your home and drain all the pipes by turning on faucets until water stops flowing.
• Flush toilets after turning the water off to remove as much water from the bowl and tank as possible.
• If you vacation during the winter, pour nontoxic marine antifreeze into the bowl to keep water from freezing.
• Wrap exposed pipes and open the cabinet doors beneath sinks. Opening cabinets allows air movement around pipes and can prevent the need for water pipe repair.
• Do not turn off the HVAC system, which keeps air moving and helps prevent condensation, which encourages mold growth.

Have Someone Check On Your Home

It’s also a good idea to give a trusted neighbor or friend a key to your home and ask the person to check on your home daily. If pipes do burst, water damage only gets worse the longer it sits because it has more time to soak into drywall, insulation, flooring and even ceilings. Harmful bacteria and mold can begin growing in 48 to 72 hours, which may require additional remediation.

A vacation is anything but relaxing if you worry about having a broken pipe and flooded rooms when you get back to North Hollywood, CA. If you do experience flooding despite your best efforts at prevention, having a friend or neighbor on-site can help limit the damage by getting a plumber started on water pipe repair. For water removal and repairs, leave instructions for them to contact a professional restoration company.

Visit SERVPRO of North Hollywood at for more information about water restoration.

Leaving Your Business in Good Repair

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

To many business owners in Universal City, CA, there's no place like home for the holidays— except when your facility is partially flooded while you're away at home. Water damage is bad at any time, but it's even worse when you and your neighbors aren't around to catch the problem early. Letting the problem slide could cause:

• Electrical fires
• Mold growth
• Severe material damage
• Longer remediation times

You can add the cost of these issues to your water pipe repair bill if you don't notice your leak early: That's why it's better to stop the problem before it starts. Here are a few things you can do to increase the chances that your business will be just as dry as you left it when you return after your holiday vacation.

Pipe Care

A broken pipe is by far the most common cause of water damage over the holiday season. Many of the other issues, such as flooding toilets or utility backups, are caused by active damage. Pipes can break from just about anything, whether it's changing pressure in the system or freezing. The absolute best way to avoid having to deal with water pipe repair over the holidays is to get maintenance done before the season starts.

Creative Scheduling

One useful trick is to use your regular maintenance scheme to your own advantage. Try to make maintenance appointments with plumbers a month or so before your scheduled break. This gives you enough leeway to deal with any problems before you leave, but not so much time that new issues are likely to arise before your vacation.

Plumbing inspection and maintenance is, by far, less expensive than water pipe repair and damage mitigation. Make sure you can hold onto that joy from the holiday season by preparing your business fully before you take off on vacation. When you get back, you should be focusing on reconnecting with your operations rather than performing emergency repairs.

Visit SERVPRO of North Hollywood at for more information about commercial restoration.

3 Things To Absolutely Replace After a Fire

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

3 Things To Absolutely Replace After a Fire

Whether the fire you experienced in your home was a big one or a relatively small one, the odds are good that you still have quite a bit of cleanup to do. On top of dealing with the general stress of the situation, cleanup of items affected by fire damage can be a huge chore, especially if you don’t know what can be salvaged and what should simply be replaced. While this debate is perfect for belongings such as clothes, pillows and some furniture, there are three things you should always throw away in the aftermath of a high heat fire:

1. Cosmetics

If you have any experience with cosmetics, you know well that they should be kept at room temperature to prevent them from melting and becoming unusable. However, in some instances, using cosmetics that have been exposed to unusually high heat can even be dangerous. The compounds contained in cosmetics of all sorts may begin to undergo chemical reactions when exposed to heat, transforming them and making them unsafe for use on skin later on.

2. Medicine

Like makeup, medicine is made up of a number of chemical compounds, and they are likely to alter when exposed to heat. In the best-case scenario, this could make the medicine ineffective, and in the worst case, it could make anyone who ingests it extremely ill. Throw away all medicine that’s been exposed to fire damage and replace it rather than taking this risk.

3. Food

Food that’s been exposed to high temperatures has the potential to be harmful in a number of different ways, such as:

Spoilage – meats that have been exposed to higher temperatures may have become spoiled
Foods may absorb harmful carcinogens from smoke and other burning materials
Plastic may have become partially melted to food

Even if you think your food looks undamaged, it’s worth your time to replace it.

The professionals in North Hollywood, California can help you to get your home smoke-free and back in livable condition, but in the end, it’s up to you to ensure you’re not keeping any potentially harmful belongings around by making the decision to throw away goods like these. Visit for more information on fire damage.

The Aftermath of Residential Fire Damage

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

The Aftermath of Residential Fire Damage

Residential fire damage has many effects, and the problems you can see may just be the tip of the iceberg. Here are some of the factors that you need to think about when restoring a smoke damaged home to its former habitability.

Smoke Sticks Around

Lingering smoke odors don't magically disappear just because you've replaced the worst bits of damage. Many of the surfaces in your home are porous, so they can trap particles that emit foul stenches for months. In addition to cleaning soot from walls, people often end up having to replace clothing, wooden and upholstered furniture, carpets, wallpaper and even paint.

It's Hard to Cope Without a Fire Damage Strategy

Although there are many ways to mitigate the side effects you'll face in a smoke damaged home, it's essential to adopt a comprehensive approach. Restoration professionals can use specialized machines to filter the particles from the air you breathe and attack odor-producing molecules with tools like ozone generators.

Smoke odors and soot can spread, so these forms of damage demand more than a mere spot cleaning or extra elbow grease. For instance, suppose you empty your home out and clean the walls thoroughly. If you bring back items that have lingering smoke odors, then you'll erase all of the hard work you did. Make sure you talk to a restoration professional before diving into jobs like cleaning soot from walls or replacing furniture.
Visit for more information on fire damage.