What's the Difference Between Damage Cleanup and Restoration?
A licensed damage restoration company does more than cleanup after a disaster. We can restore your property to its pre-damage condition.
When a water, storm or fire emergency strikes your home, the last thing you want to think about is the cleanup. First and foremost should be ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones.
But once the source of the problem has been addressed, the hard work of cleaning up can begin. That includes deciding who to call to handle the cleanup process.
There are several questions you should ask when choosing a damage cleanup company. But perhaps the first is, what's the difference between damage cleanup and restoration? And why is it important to choose a company that can handle both?
Water and Fire Damage Cleanup Process
Cleaning up after a water emergency, whether caused by storm flooding, plumbing leaks or something else, primarily involves three steps.
First, the water is extracted from carpets, furniture, walls and floors and removed from the property. Next, specialized equipment dries and dehumidifies the affected areas. Lastly, professional cleaners treat your property to clean, sanitize and remove odors as well as reduce the risk of mold growth.
Likewise, fire damage cleanup primarily involves removing smoke and soot from the ceiling, walls and other surfaces, followed by cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting structures damaged by the fire.
Water and Fire Damage Restoration Process
However, there is another step that a licensed damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO of North Hollywood, can take. That's restoring your property to its pre-damage condition.
This process can involve many things, from relatively minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting or installing new carpet, to major reconstruction. And SERVPRO of North Hollywood is licensed by the California State License Board to provide contracting services.
In short, to make it "Like it never even happened." requires more than just damage mitigation and cleanup. It requires qualified, licensed professionals capable of rebuilding your home or business to its pre-damaged state.
Following a water or fire disaster, having one company like SERVPRO of North Hollywood handling the entire process can save time and money, and provide Los Angeles area home and business owners with much needed peace of mind.
Why Call SERVPRO for Commercial Cleaning Services?
If your office space or store needs a deep cleaning, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood. We'll make sure your workplace always looks its very best.
Since we're best known for our 24/7 emergency response to water, fire and storm disasters, it's understandable if SERVPRO of North Hollywood is not the first name you think of when hiring a commercial cleaning service. But there are a number of good reasons to call us when you need a quality commercial cleaning service for your office building, retail store or restaurant. Here are but three.
We're Certified Cleaners
When choosing a water damage restoration company, it's important to choose one that is certified to IICRC standards. But even if the cleanup doesn't involve a backed up sewer line or a leaky pipe, our clean-up crew is trained and certified to adhere to a rigorous, deep cleaning standard to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for you and your employees.
And because our team also receives ongoing training and education, you can be confident that our professional cleaners are well-versed in advanced cleaning technology and techniques to make sure your workplace always looks its very best.
We Spot Problems Before They Become a Disaster
It's easier to clean up a localized mold infestation than one that's spread across multiple surfaces or into your air ducts. It's also better to repair a small leak in the roof than to deal with cleaning up water damage after the next big storm.
Even if you have a preferred cleaning service besides SERVPRO of North Hollywood, call us for a proactive commercial property inspection. Our trained eyes, and noses, can help you avoid a loss of business and customers from a future disaster.
We Offer Specialty Cleaning Services
Sometimes a business needs more than just vacuuming and dusting. Specialized clean up jobs, like vandalism and graffiti, odor removal or biohazard cleanup requires specialized techniques and equipment. SERVPRO of North Hollywood has the advanced technology, OSHA-approved cleaning agents and highly trained specialists to tackle even the most challenging cleanup job.
Property managers and operations directors have plenty to worry about from a never ending to-do list. But if you call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for our commercial cleaning services, that's one task you can permanently cross off your list.
Spring Rain Could Increase California Wildfire Risk
Soot and ash is highly acidic. If left unaddressed, it can corrode and discolor surfaces. Call SERVPRO to clean up wildfire damage right away.
Los Angeles and, indeed, all of Southern California has enjoyed - well, experienced anyway - a particularly heavy rainy season. While mudslides and storm flooding cause problems for many homeowners, particularly those living in the burn area of recent wildfires, there's no doubt that this rain should still be considered a good thing.
For one, most of the Los Angeles area is no longer experiencing drought conditions. So while water conservation is still important, we may not need to feel quite so guilty while we tend to our greener lawns or bask in a long, hot shower.
One drawback to all of this precipitation, however, is that it brings with it an increase in wildfire risk. That probably sounds counter-intuitive. After all, rain makes things wet and wet things don't burn. That's true. But water also helps make things grow. And if those things - trees, bushes, shrubs etc - grow well and then dry out over a long, hot summer, the result is a lot of prime fuel just waiting for a stray spark.
Which means now is as good a time as any to review your wildfire action plan. Or prepare your home for wildfire season by trimming back all of that newly lush vegetation. And if you're planning home improvement projects this year, consider using eco-friendly, and fire resistant, materials.
Preparation and prevention are the key to avoiding wildfire damage. But should the worst happen, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help. Call us anytime, 24/7, if your home or business experiences fire or water damage. We're highly trained and certified restoration specialists and we're faster to any size disaster, so don't hesitate to call on us to repair and restore your property "Like it never even happened."
5 Places to Check for Hidden Water Leaks
Minor hidden water leaks can become a major headache if they lead to a water damage emergency. An ounce of prevention can be the best prescription.
Plumbing leaks are one of the most common sources of home water damage. Sometimes the leak is plainly visible. If you see water spots on your ceiling or walls or feel damp areas around sinks, toilets or appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines, your first call should be to a local plumber to fix the leak and stop the water damage from spreading. And, of course, your second call should be to SERVPRO of North Hollywood so we can assess, repair and restore water damaged property.
Sometimes, however, the signs of a water leak aren't so obvious. If your water bill spikes or there's a noticeable drop in your water pressure, you may have a hidden water leak. So here are five places to check for hidden water leaks to help you save both water and money and protect your home from water damage.
Damaged Pipes and Pipe Joints
Many things can cause an otherwise solid pipe to start leaking. Over time, pipes can corrode and rust from prolonged use. Cold temperatures can cause any water inside the pipes to expand and the pipe to burst. Pipe connectors may become loose.
And because pipes are often hidden behind walls or in places seldom accessed such as attics and basements, you may be completely unaware of a problem. A licensed plumber that specializes in leak detection can detect and repair hidden pipe leaks.
Speaking of out of sight, out of mind, many homeowners don't even know where their water heater unit is located, much less pay attention to the vital role it plays in their home. To ensure optimal performance, service your water heater annually. In addition to inspecting for water leaks, you or a licensed plumber should also safely flush out mineral deposits, check the pressure valve and test the unit to help prevent leaks and other water heater malfunctions.
Another common source of a water leak is a water using appliance, such as a washing machine. Over time, pipes, hoses and seals become worn and, if not inspected and repaired or replaced, can start leaking water when the machine is in use. Always keep an eye out for damp areas around the washer and be sure to conduct annual washing machine maintenance to mitigate the potential for water damage before it happens.
Central Air Conditioning Units
It goes without saying that central air conditioning (HVAC) units get quite a workout in homes across Los Angeles during the summer, particularly inland areas like the San Fernando Valley. Often hidden in attics or crawl spaces, these workhorses should be inspected before the next heat wave arrives. In addition to checking for problems like clogged drain pipes, which can cause drain pains to overflow, an HVAC inspection should also look for dirt, mold and other particles that could compromise the air quality in your home.
Because the pipes are hidden underground, you may not notice leaks in your lawn's sprinkler system. There are, however, some signs you have an irrigation leak. For example, one symptom of an irrigation pipe leak is the appearance of mold or mildew on the grass. You can also look for pools of water between or around sprinkler heads. Or if you notice a dip in water pressure inside your home while your sprinklers are running, that can also point to a potential hidden leak. Specialized leak detection equipment may be needed to find the source of an underground leak.
Ultimately, an ounce of prevention can be the best prescription for homeowners concerned about potential water damage. Should a water damage emergency strike, however, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood anytime, 24/7, for help cleaning and restoring your property "like it never even happened."
3 Non-Emergency Reasons to Call SERVPRO
Mold and water damage isn't always this obvious. Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for an inspection today.
SERVPRO of North Hollywood is probably best known for our 24/7 emergency restoration service. We respond "faster to any size disaster," repairing and restoring residential and commercial property damaged by water and fire, including storm, flood and wildfire disasters.
But did you know that SERVPRO of North Hollywood offers a number of other residential and commercial services that don't require an emergency response? Here are just three reasons to call us beyond emergency cleanup and restoration services.
Specialty Cleaning Services
One of the reasons to choose SERVPRO of North Hollywood is for our IICRC certified cleaning technology and techniques. While these are obviously invaluable when cleaning up after a water or fire loss, our team of professional commercial cleaners can also handle other types of cleanup jobs.
For example, we are certified to handle particularly unpleasant jobs, such as biohazard cleanup, sewage and toilet overflows or trauma and crime scene cleanup. Or if you find your property is the victim of vandalism and graffiti, we can not only remove and clean the affected areas, we can restore it to its pre-damaged condition.
We can also handle more mundane, but still difficult or time consuming, chores, such as cleaning soiled carpet and upholstery, drapes and blinds or ceilings, floors and walls.
Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems are often out of sight, out of mind. At least until there's a problem. HVAC systems should be inspected at least once a year for dirt, debris and other contaminants that can affect air quality and degrade the performance of your HVAC system.
There are many benefits to servicing your HVAC unit, but, of course, duct cleaning is not always necessary, so we can also make other recommendations about the best way to address indoor air quality concerns and provide peace of mind on the health of your system and your employees.
Water Damage & Mold Inspection
When the sewage system backs up or storm water floods your basement, it's obvious you have water damage that needs to be cleaned up. Likewise, if you see mold on your walls, ceiling or around your windows, you should call us right away for mold remediation.
Sometimes, however, potential damage from water or mold isn't quite so obvious. Maybe it's that musty smell coming from behind the refrigerator in the break room. Or maybe it's the water spot on the office's ceiling that you noticed got bigger after the last rain storm.
Regardless, our team of highly trained restoration technicians is happy to inspect and assess any areas of concern on your property. Sometimes we won't find any problems and you can simply return to business as usual. Other times, we'll find a source of water damage or mold that you didn't even realize you had, allowing us to quickly and thoroughly remedy the problem before it becomes a true disaster.
Water Damage: How We Work With Your Insurance Company
The SERVPRO of North Hollywood team is here for you, 24/7/365. Let us help lessen the stress of a water damage loss.
Many water damage disasters are covered by your homeowner's insurance, though not all. If you're not sure what is, and is not, covered by your policy, be sure to consult with your insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you need. You certainly don't want to be worrying about whether or not you're covered when a disaster strikes.
Assuming your insurance policy provides the necessary coverage for a water damage claim, here are the steps SERVPRO of North Hollywood will take to work with your insurance company to assess the damage and restore your property following a disaster.
Pretesting to Determine Restorability
First, the source of the water damage must be identified and stopped. Second, standing water should be extracted to minimize further damage and prevent mold growth.
Only after these steps are completed can our certified water restoration technicians inspect and assess the damage to your property. Based on a variety of factors, from the type of water and the extent of the saturation to the type of materials damaged, our team can assess and test whether or not damaged items can be restored.
Restoration is typically more cost effective than replacement, but only an inspection by a qualified water restoration specialist can truly make help you and your insurance company make the right decision.
Claims Inventory Service
It is important to be accurate and thorough when assessing the extent of a water loss to your property. Our team can create and provide an itemized list to your insurance company to ensure your claim is processed fully and efficiently.
Electronic Mitigation Management
After assessing and estimating the costs to restore or replace your damaged property, SERVPRO of North Hollywood can upload the complete details of the water loss to an electronic database. This database is securely maintained and provides centralized access to the information your insurance company needs to process your claim, reducing paperwork and the risk of delays because of missing or inaccurate information.
Insurance agents and adjusters appreciate working with SERVPRO of North Hollywood because they can count on us to provide timely and accurate damage assessment. And homeowners prefer SERVPRO of North Hollywood for our fast response, highly-trained technicians and advanced restoration technology.
Combined, SERVPRO of North Hollywood strives to lessen the stress of a water damage loss and ensure the best possible results for all parties.
What are IICRC Standards for Water Damage Cleanup?
Why SERVPRO? Because we not only have the technology to effectively clean up water damage, we know how to use it.
One of the reasons to choose SERVPRO of North Hollywood is that our technicians are trained and certified to IICRC standards for water damage cleanup and restoration. But you might be wondering what, exactly, are IICRC standards and why does it matter when choosing a water damage restoration company?
What is the IICRC?
IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. They are the certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. As such, much of what SERVPRO of North Hollywood does, from water damage restoration and fire damage repair to mold remediation and trauma and crime scene cleanup is covered by IICRC standards.
What are IICRC Standards?
The IICRC is an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accredited organization. ANSI accredited organizations set voluntary standards for everything from food and water quality to building and construction materials handling to cutting-edge technologies like the RFID chip in your credit card.
The purpose of these standards is create consensus around the health and safety of consumers and environment while also safeguarding the integrity and effectiveness of the standards. Often, individuals or organizations who are trained to meet these standards are then certified by the governing organization as a testament to their level of education and knowledge of the standards.
Why is Certification to IICRC Standards Important?
By having our technicians trained and certified to meet IICRC standards, SERVPRO of North Hollywood ensures that we are most capable of safely and effectively restoring your damaged property.
For example, knowing how the composition of the damaged materials, be it carpeting or upholstery, wood or corrosive metals, is affected by water helps us determine the best way to dry and restore your water damaged property.
Indeed, every variable, from the type of damaged material, to the duration of water exposure, to the source of the moisture itself (rain water vs sewage, for example) should be properly accounted for when prescribing restoration methods.
Our training to IICRC standards ensures that we are well-versed in all of these variables and that we will select the appropriate technologies, treatments and methods for the specific kind of damage we encounter.
Further, to remain certified, the IICRC requires regular continuing education classes. This ensures that our team is always up-to-date on the latest in restoration techniques and technology.
Ultimately our goal is to make the repair and restoration of your water, fire or mold damaged property as painless and stress free an experience as possible. So when you choose SERVPRO of North Hollywood, you can be confident you are choosing a team of technicians that are true experts in the industry with the technology, experience and knowledge to help make the damage from a disaster "like it never even happened."
Preparing for a Cold Snap
Property managers should have HVAC systems inspected and cleaned regularly to keep it running efficiently and to save time and money in the long run.
A cold snap is making its way across the country, and while there's no risk of freezing here in the Los Angeles area, this winter has brought its share of chilly temps.
If you're in charge of a commercial property, whether an office building, retail location or warehouse, now might be a good time to ensure you're prepared to heat things up inside, safely, while temperatures drop outside.
Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
A friend of ours (not a customer) turned on their heat in response to complaints from patrons of their business that it was unbearably cold in their building. This heating system hadn't been used in longer than the building's manager could remember. So along with the blast of heat came wisps of smoke and an acrid odor, necessitating a call to the fire department and evacuation of the building.
This unfortunate incident could have been avoided if they'd asked us to come inspect and clean the HVAC system.
Over time, dust, dirt and other contaminants build up and hide in air ducts and other elements of your HVAC system. Having it inspected and cleaned on a regular basis improves air quality, helps it operate at peak energy efficiency and extends the life of your equipment, maximizing your investment and minimizing the inconvenience of problems arising during business hours.
Space Heater Safety
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires are associated with space heater use annually. So while employees might desire the added warmth from a nearby radiating space heater, some commercial buildings restrict or ban their use completely.
There are no federal workplace safety rules that prohibit space heaters, so if you decide to allow them to be used in your building, be sure to document and communicate the specific rules for use to your employees.
Building managers should inspect both the space heaters themselves as well as their placement to ensure they do not pose a health or safety hazard. And, as always, your commercial property should be equipped with up-to-date fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems to mitigate the risk of fire damage to your property.
Because it's made to last for a very long time (up to 100 years in some cases), your building's insulation is usually out of sight, out of mind. Still, you should have it inspected from time to time to make sure it's still doing its job as intended. Age and pests such as rodents can wear insulation and create enough gaps to cause problems.
More importantly, if you've discovered leaks in your roof during recent rain storms, not only should you have the storm damage repaired, you should also have your insulation inspected for mold and mildew growth. While the insulation itself may be mold resistant (e.g. fiberglass), dirt and other contaminants can support mold growth if the necessary moisture is also present.
And should you need help preparing for cold weather and storms, or cleaning up following one, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is always just a phone call away. Whether it’s a fast response to a disaster or a less urgent, but no less important, inspection and cleaning of your commercial property, we're here to help you keep your business operating at peak efficiency, warm or cold, rain or shine.
Fire Pit Safety Tips
It's fun to roast marshmallows over a fire pit. Just be sure to properly extinguish your fire to mitigate the risk of fire damage to nearby property.
Even though Los Angeles is well known for its sun and surf, it can get chilly at night, particularly during the winter months. Whether you are camping or just hanging out in your backyard, it's nice to keep warm by a cozy fire, perhaps while roasting marshmallows for s'mores.
But wildfires are becoming a year-round concern across California. With the devastating Camp, Hill and Woolsey fires so fresh in our memories, please keep these tips in mind to safely enjoy your next outdoor fire.
Softer woods, such as pine or birch, tend to crackle and release more sparks than hardwoods. Oak and hickory are better choices, particularly "seasoned" firewood, which has been left out to dry for a period of time. Avoid burning wet wood or composite woods like plywood as they produce more smoke, which may contain toxic chemicals, than dry hardwood.
Keep Fire Suppression Tools Handy
In addition to a fire extinguisher with a Class A classification (which is most effective on wood and wood products), keep other fire suppression materials nearby. A bucket of sand or a fire blanket can help quickly douse wayward sparks.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Planning ahead is often the best way to prevent problems from flaring up. Make sure your fire pit is at least 10 to 20 feet away from combustible objects, both natural (trees, bushes) and man-made (houses, sheds). Enjoy the fire from chairs positioned on stable ground and keep an eye on children.
Most importantly, when it's time for the evening's fun to end, be sure to properly extinguish your fire. Most fire pit manufacturers specify a preferred method to avoid cracking or damaging the pit itself.
Of course, should you become the victim of fire damage, don't hesitate to call on SERVPRO of North Hollywood. We're dedicated to responding immediately and specialize in water and fire damage restoration. We have the experience, training and advanced technology to restore your property quickly, thoroughly and safely.
SERVPRO of North Hollywood Sponsors Mobile MozArt Paint Night
SERVPRO of North Hollywood is more than a restoration company. We're honored to be a part of the community we serve.
When a disaster strikes, it is natural to focus on the process of repair and recovery that follows. Indeed, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is proud to be able to assist property owners across Los Angeles with water damage and fire damage restoration services to make it like such disasters "never even happened."
Often, however, the healing process requires more than patching drywall. Recovery from a disaster is also emotional and sometimes the best thing we can do is step away from the restoration of our property to instead focus on the restoration of our hearts.
With that in mind, SERVPRO of North Hollywood was happy to recently sponsor a paint night with Mobile MozArt, complete with food, friends and, of course, lots of paint. It was truly a "starry night" as the residents of a local community affected by flood damage joined several of members of our hard-working SERVPRO team in creating their own version of van Gogh's masterpiece.
Why Choose SERVPRO?
When your home or business suffers from water damage or fire damage, there's no shortage of restoration companies you can call. But SERVPRO of North Hollywood is more than a restoration company. We are members of the community we serve. Every opportunity to give back is an opportunity to help our community grow and thrive.
We look forward to sponsoring more such events in the future. In fact, if you are interested in having Mobile MozArt bring a paint night to your community, enter our photo contest. Just visit our Facebook page and share your best beach photo with the tag #MobileMozArt by January 31, 2019. We'll choose a winner for an evening of paint, food and fun later in the year*.
*Photo Contest Rules
One winner will be selected from all eligible entries submitted by 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2019. To be eligible, the entrant must live within 25 square miles of North Hollywood, CA. Entrants do not need to be current or former customers of SERVPRO of North Hollywood to be chosen. Entrants must be at least 21 years of age. Entrant must submit an original photo and own the rights to the photo or have written permission from the copyright owner. No stock photography etc. Selected winner's photo will be painted during a Mobile MozArt paint night party at a date and location TBD in 2019. Multiple entries from the same individual are allowed, but please do not spam our Facebook page. A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 individuals are required to host a paint night party and permission of the property owner and/or management company may be required.