Recent Posts

It Rained? Top 5 Places to Check for Water Damage on Your Property.

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

A rainy day in Los Angeles. When it rains, it pours. But hopefully not into your commercial property! After the storm, check these areas for water leaks to prevent water damage.

Did you know? Mold can start growing within 24 hours following water damage from a rainstorm. The best way to prevent that is detecting and eliminating any moisture that entered your property. Because it seldom rains in Los Angeles, you may not know where or how to look for evidence of a water leak. So here are the Top 5 Place to Check for Water Damage on Your Property following a rainstorm.

  1. Beneath and Around Windows
  2. By Exterior Doors
  3. In the Basement or Crawl Space
  4. Near Ventilation Units
  5. Between Walls and Siding

Now that you know where to look, what should you be looking for? Besides any obviously wet or damp areas, that is.

Around windows and exterior doors, pay close attention to the sill, molding and framework. These are places where mold goes unnoticed and can thrive because moisture may linger. Look for dry, cracked or discolored wood as signs that water is leaking into your building when it rains.

In your basement or crawl space, checking for standing water following a storm is a must. Poor drainage can damage your property's foundation if left unaddressed. This is another place where mold can grow thanks to the dark and damp conditions.

Ventilation features, like central air conditioning units or chimneys are designed to let the smoke, heat or water vapor out. But, of course, if they can let these small things escape your property, they can also let others, like water, in. Plus, while you're up on your roof, you might look for missing or damaged shingles and clogged gutters. These are two common culprits when looking for ways rainwater may leak into your home or business.

Last, but not least, you should look for signs of lingering moisture in your walls. Outside, water can slip between gaps in your siding or absorb into stucco and other porous materials. Inside, leaks from your ceiling can flow down your drywall and damage studs. You may not be able to see it, of course. But if you spot peeling paint or discoloration, bubbles or soft spots or smell musty odors, these are sure signs of trouble lurking behind your walls.

How can SERVPRO of North Hollywood help?

If you suspect you may have water damage on your commercial property, call us anytime, day or night. Our highly trained commercial water damage restoration specialists know what to look for and have the tools, like moisture detectors, to find the problem fast. With industrial air movers and dehumidifiers, we make water cleanup a snap, minimizing inconvenience and downtime. And should you need further repairs, we're licensed contractors who can fix or replace damaged drywall, cabinets, flooring and more.

Plus, if we discover mold while inspecting for water damage, we can remove it and perform mold remediation services. In short, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here, 24/7, to make property damage from a rainstorm "Like it never even happened."

Why It's Hard to Completely Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Your House

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke cloud Smoke is more than visible clouds of ash and soot. Invisible particles get absorbed by porous surfaces and make it hard to get rid of smoke smells.

Maybe you live near a recent wildfire. Or had a fire on your property. Either way, you know it's hard to get rid of smoke smell. The pervasive odors may make it hard to move on following a fire disaster. But why?

It's because smoke is more than the visible, black or white clouds of ash and soot. These invisible particles are microscopic, smaller than 2.5 micrometers, known as PM2.5. For reference, a single human hair is 60-80 micrometers, while a red blood cell is 6-8 micrometers. That's tiny!

Smoke particles stick to non-porous surfaces. You can wipe down this residue using natural deodorizers like vinegar and baking soda. But a porous surface, including curtains, fabric, carpet, walls, furniture and upholstery, can absorb these fine particles. Some of these materials can be laundered to help wash away the lingering odors. But others need specialized technology and treatments to remove the smoke particles.

Tiny smoke particles, like those from a wildfire, can also linger in the air for weeks, even after the flames are out. While you may not smell them, you could inhale them. To remove smoke particles like these may require professional air scrubbers, fans, thermal foggers and deodorization agents.

Last, but not least, modern ventilation systems, like a central HVAC unit, can suck up these smoke particles. When the heat or air conditioning kicks on, it blows them out and all over your home. You should routinely have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned, but more so following a fire.

For these reasons, over-the-counter smoke eliminators do little more than mask smoke odors. Without a proper deep cleaning and restoration service, the acrid smoke smell may stick around.

Get Rid of Smoke Smell by Calling SERVPRO of North Hollywood

The scent of smoke odors won't dissipate, no matter how often you open windows, scrub surfaces or vacuum? SERVPRO of North Hollywood is your solution. We're smoke removal specialists with the training and technology to eliminate smoke, soot and ash to make fire damage "Like it never even happened."

3 Reasons You Need Expert Mold Remediation

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold covering the ceiling. Got mold? Call SERVPRO at (818) 754-0050 to make a mold infestation "Like it never even happened."

If you find mold on your commercial property, it may be tempting to try cleaning it up yourself. Mold remediation is expensive, or so you've heard. Maybe you don't want the hassle of an insurance claim. Or maybe you don't have time for proper mold removal, and you think a vinegar-soaked rag will do the job. Whatever your reasons, if you're unsure whether you need professional mold remediation, here are a few reasons to call in the experts.

1. You Have Water Damage

Mold needs several things to grow. Oxygen. An organic food source, like wood or drywall. Warmth (which is abundant in Los Angeles). And, most important, moisture.

If your property suffers a burst pipe or a water leak, removing the water is but the first step. Water seeps into porous surfaces quickly, so even if the surface appears dry, there might be moisture present. And moisture, coupled with the above elements, can spur mold growth.

A professional restoration company, like SERVPRO of North Hollywood, has advanced technology to detect hidden moisture. Whether behind drywall, under hardwood floors or soaked beneath carpeting, our water damage restoration technicians ensure that no moisture is left behind. And because we also handle mold remediation, we can remove any mold spores we find at the same time.

2. The Smell Won't Go Away

You cleaned the visible mold spores, and they haven't grown back. But there's still a musty odor coming from the affected area. Guess what? You probably still have mold spores hiding, inside the walls, under the flooring, in the crawl space etc.

While the cause of water damage can be obvious, sometimes it can go undetected. A leaky central a/c unit, for example, hiding in the attic. If you cleaned the mold, but didn't find the source of the moisture, the mold may grow back. And if the spores get behind or under the surface? You'll need professional mold remediation to open up the walls or pull up the floors and remove the mold. Otherwise, the room, or the entire building, will continue to smell like a locker room or bread that's gone bad.

3. There's a Lot of Mold

If mold covers a small area, like a window frame or the corner of the ceiling, a DIY approach may get the job done.

Sometimes the mold outbreak is so extensive, it's just not viable to try and wipe it all away. Mold can cover an entire crawl space, or infest the walls and ceiling in multiple rooms.

But no job is too big for SERVPRO of North Hollywood! Our certified mold specialists have the PPE, EPA approved biocides and professional contractors to remove mold no matter where it's found.

If you find mold on your commercial property, call the professionals at (818) 754-0050. And we'll take care of your mold problem "Like it never even happened."

3 Keys to Effective Disaster Response & Recovery

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Flood damaged flooring. If flood water is left standing for too long, it can cause serious damage. Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for fast flood damage cleanup & repairs.

There are many ways a water disaster can damage your property. The most common are a burst pipe or sewage overflow. An aggressive sprinkler system, leaky water heater or air conditioner could also be culprits. But rainstorms, as infrequent as they are in Los Angeles, can be devastating disasters for an unprepared property owner. To increase the likelihood of restoring your property to its preloss condition, read on for three keys to an effective disaster response and recovery. While the focus of this post is flooding, our advice applies to any disaster, including fire, mold or biohazard cleanup.

1. Be Prepared

Rainstorms in Los Angeles are hardly inevitable. But if one does arrive, you don't want to get caught off-guard. Like Disney advised, "be prepared." How?

First, ensure your flood mitigation measures are in proper working order. Clean out rain gutters and test your sump pump. Diverting the water from your foundation can help prevent your basement or crawl space from flooding.

Inspect your roof and look for broken or missing shingles. Through your roof is a common way water can find its way into your home or business. Look for water spots or discoloration on your ceiling and fix those weak spots before the storms arrive.

This is a good time to check the seals around doors and windows. Worn seals won't allow in a large amount of water, but any moisture can wear wood framing and drywall and spark mold growth.

Last, but not least, review your evacuation plan. Don't have one? Now is as good a time as any to make a plan. It should include resources for emergency alerts, an evacuation route, shelter and contact information for your family or colleagues.

2. Take Mitigation Steps

No matter how well you prepare, effective disaster recovery requires fast action when a disaster occurs. How you respond to an emergency disaster in those first critical minutes and hours can make all the difference.

First, cut the electricity to any area affected by a serious leak or standing water. You can do this from a local circuit breaker or the main electrical switch. Water and electricity don't mix, and you don't want to compound a water disaster with a fire disaster too.

If you can reduce or stop the flow of rain water, do it. Use towels or other absorbent materials to sop up as much water as possible. If the water is confined to a room, move furniture and critical possessions to a drier area.

Does the damaged area, like a broken window or door, make your property accessible to intruders? Consider boarding it up. If you're unsure how, we can help you. Boarding up your property following a disaster can help prevent access and further damage from opportunistic humans and animals.

3. Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for Disaster Response & Recovery

We're here to help when you need us, 24/7. We provide emergency disaster response support, and can be on-site to most areas of Los Angeles in as little as one hour. An immediate response is critical to an effective cleanup and restoration process. And you can count on SERVPRO of North Hollywood for insurance claims assistance and superior customer service every step of the way. Part of your community and a local restoration leader, with national resources, we'll make any size storm disaster "Like it never even happened."

After a Fire: The Benefits of Boarding Up Your Property

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

A boarded up, fire damaged home in Los Angeles. One of the most important first steps to restore your home after a fire is to board up your property. Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for help 24/7.

The aftermath of a fire is a confusing and stressful time for any property owner. With luck, you won't have to deal with fire damage in your lifetime. But if a fire does strike your home or business, knowing who to call and what to do is crucial to effective disaster recovery.

One of the most important, but overlooked, first steps is to board up your property. Damage to windows, doors and walls, whether by the fire or the first responders fighting the flames, is common. If your property isn't secure, it can become vulnerable to animals, thieves and weather. Dealing with fire damage is stressful enough. Having to clean up vandalism or animal waste only adds more time, expense and stress to the restoration process.

Plus, after any disaster, it can take insurance companies time to assess the damage and determine what they will, and won't, cover. Properly securing your property with boards and tarps protects your valuables before and during the inspection, clean up and repair process. It may even be required, so be sure to consult with your insurance carrier soon following a fire.

And because disasters happen at all hours, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help, 24/7. For example, these photos are from a 1,600 square foot home damaged by an electrical fire. The homeowner wisely called us to board up and secure their property at 10 p.m. at night.

To ensure the best possible fire restoration service in Los Angeles, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood day or night. We'll make fire, smoke and soot damage "Like it never even happened."

How do Wildfires Start? What Can You Do to Limit Wildfire Damage?

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Wildfire burning a forest. Wildfires can be devastating natural disasters. If you need wildfire damage cleanup for your home or business, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood 24/7.

Wildfires are devastating fire disasters that can damage houses and commercial buildings and destroy forests. They can be a terrifying experience for any Los Angeles homeowner. And wildfires are getting more frequent and more intense with climate change. They are a regular occurrence across California, since it is one of the drier and warmer states in the country.

What causes these roaring infernos to ignite and burn everything in their path? And what can a responsible resident do to protect their belongings and reduce the risk of fire, smoke and soot damage to their home?

How Do Wildfires Start?

To light and spread, wildfires need three essential components, known as the fire triangle.

1. Heat

Heat sources from nature and human beings can be responsible for igniting a wildfire. Lighting strikes are a frequent source, and they're often larger and spark greater damage than human caused fires. However, humans are mainly responsible for them, accounting for "nearly 85 percent."

A range of human activities drives wildfires. Some examples are:

Campfires – People fail to extinguish fire pits. Or they build fires in dry or inappropriate locations. In both scenarios, sparks from the pit may blow onto leaf litter, setting it on fire.

Power Lines – Wind gusts and car accidents can knock down electricity lines. Those sparking power lines ignite a flame that spreads further with strong winds. Mitigating this risk is one of the reasons California's utilities enact controversial planned blackouts.

Cigarettes – Because it's a hazard to public health, California cities began banning smoking indoors in public places over 30 years ago. The state added state parks and beaches to the list of restricted areas in 2019. Of course, people don't always follow the rules and often discard their cigarette butts with little care to their surroundings. Plus, California's national parks, including Yosemite and Joshua Tree, do not currently have similar smoking restrictions.

Machinery Usage and Malfunctions – Believe it or not, lawnmower blades, weed whackers and other metallic machinery can create sparks, which fall on parched vegetation. A metal grinder sparked the Zaca Fire, a wildfire that remains the 10th largest in California's history.

Arson – Unfortunately, people do start wildfires on purpose. The Los Angeles Police Department detained multiple arson suspects accused of starting the Palisades Fire earlier in 2021.

2. Fuel

Wildfires burn hottest in dry, arid regions and drought-stricken places with dry, dead grass, leaves and trees for fuel. As a result, woods, meadows, and forested regions are susceptible to flames. For most of the year, thanks to limited rainfall in our area, they're a literal hotbed of flammable material. With enough heat, fires can also use living foliage as a fuel source. Pine trees and other evergreen trees also have combustible oils that burn when exposed to an intense heat source.

3. Oxygen

Fires need heat and fuel to ignite, but it's wind that spreads the flames to burn millions of acres. How quickly can wildfires spread? The stronger the wind, the faster the blaze spreads. Believe it or not, a wildfire can move up to 14 miles per hour, a threat to everything, including homes, in its path.

Strong winds also blow embers and ash to fresh fuel sources, creating new hot spots and flames. The Thomas Fire in 2017 is an excellent example of the way high winds can increase a wildfire's spread. The largest California wildfire at the time spread fast, with reports of it moving at the pace of a football field per second!

What Can You Do to Limit Wildfire Damage?

Weather satellites have made it easier for firefighters to anticipate the path of existing fires by tracking smoke and heat signatures. This gives communities a chance to plan evacuations, so emergency responders can work on containment while reducing the risk to human life.

However, there are several things you can do to both reduce the risk wildfire and help your community recover from one:

Be Careful With Fire – Being fire smart and fire safe is the main thing you can do to limit wildfire damage. When breaking camp, smoking a cigarette or dousing a fire pit, take extra care to fully extinguish the heat. One careless act and one small ember can literally destroy acres of forest and threaten lives, buildings and more.

Prepare Your Home or Business - Creating a defensible zone around your property. Draw up an evacuation plan. There are many things you can do today to prepare your home or business for wildfires.

Reduce Your Impact on the Climate – Human-caused climate change is increasing and exacerbating natural disasters, including wildfires. Consider carpooling, avoiding single-use products, saving water and engaging in other environmentally beneficial activities to help reduce the impact of climate change.

Give Back – Choose a charity and donate money or items to areas impacted by wildfires. You can also support relief efforts by volunteering your time with a national recovery organization, such as the American Red Cross.

Need Wildfire Damage Cleanup? Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood!

Should you become the victim of wildfire damage, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of North Hollywood for LA's best fire damage restoration service. We're here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an emergency response to any size fire disaster. Let us clean and restore your home or business from fire, smoke and soot damage "Like it never even happened."

P.S. Twitter is a great resource for staying informed whenever wildfires threaten Los Angeles and surrounding cities. Follow @LACoFDPIO and @NotifyLA for real-time incident updates. You can also follow us @SERVPRONoHo for water, fire and mold damage mitigation tips.

Sewage Cleanup Is a Difficult Job (but Someone's Got to Do It)

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Crawl space flooded with 500 gallons of sewage. This crawl space was flooded with over 500 gallons of sewage. Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood to clean & restore it "Like it never even happened."

We don't often think about what's going on under our home, and not in a creepy, haunted house movie kind of way. If all is as it should be, your crawl space is out of sight and out of mind. But what if there's a sewage leak under your home? Or worse, what if you need sewage cleanup under a 21,620 square foot multi-family condo? Well, with an unforgettable odor permeating the property, you certainly can't ignore that forgotten area of your home anymore!

Enter SERVPRO of North Hollywood. We answered the call of a property manager with a big, stinky problem at their Los Angeles multi-unit condo. An individual is responsible for about 50 to 70 gallons of wastewater per day. Multiplied by all the occupants of a large, multi-family residential property and this number quickly increases. It should come as no surprise that a sewage pipe leak flooded this crawl space with over 500 gallons of sewage and blackwater!

The Sewage Cleanup Process

First, with any size sewage backup or leak, call the professionals. All sorts of bacteria and other microbes contaminate blackwater. For safety reasons, experienced and highly-trained restoration technicians wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) should clean it up.

Second, sewage cleanup, especially on this scale, requires specialized equipment. In this case, the restoration process included water extraction, moisture detection, air movers, dehumidifiers and SERVPROXIDE, our hospital grade disinfectant. We needed to remove the contaminated water, clean up the affected area, dry the support structure and disinfect everything. Any dampness or moisture left behind provides the perfect conditions for mold growth.

Of course, crawl spaces, by their nature, are difficult to access. And with numerous residents displaced from their homes, this job required immediate attention.

If this sounds like a dirty and difficult job, well, it is. Of course, there are things you can do to decrease the risk of costly water damage repairs. Inspecting toilets, pipes and plumbing fixtures regularly can help prevent a disaster in the future. But sometimes, well, poop happens.

And when it does, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help. We respond immediately, 24/7, with an experienced cleaning and restoration team capable of handling any size sewage damage emergency. In most cases, we can be onsite anywhere in Los Angeles within an hour. So call us at (818) 754-0050 and our damage restoration and cleanup service will make even the dirtiest disaster "Like it never even happened."

Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Fire Restoration Company

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

Fire & smoke damage on a home's walls. Dealing with fire damage to your property is stressful. Let us clean and restore your property "Like it never even happened."

A fire disaster is one of the most devastating things that could happen to your home or business. In an emergency, things move quickly, and you may find yourself with unanswered questions. Whether you need fire restoration services, or are preparing yourself for the worst case scenario, you've come to the right place.

Before you hire a fire damage restoration company, here are five questions you'll want answered before anyone sets foot on your property.

1: Do I have to hire whatever restoration service my insurance recommends?

In short: no. While your insurance company may recommend a service provider, you are under no obligation to hire them. Some service providers, including SERVPRO of North Hollywood, work closely with insurance companies to streamline the cleanup process. But ultimately you should be comfortable with your restoration provider. Choosing an experienced, professional team helps to ensure your peace of mind in a difficult time.

2: Do I have to file an insurance claim?

In most cases, we recommend filing a claim and working with your insurance company throughout the restoration process. Fire damage restoration can be costly, after all. But we will work with a property owner if they choose to pay for the cleanup and restoration services out of their own pocket. That said, it is impossible for us to estimate the cost of our service over the phone. A technician will need to inspect the damaged area to understand the full extent of equipment, manpower and time necessary to do the job.

3: How long will the restoration process take?

Like estimating the cost, it can be tough to determine how long the fire damage restoration process will take. It depends on the extent of the damage. But here are some of the factors that can affect the length of the cleanup and restoration process:

  1. Is there water damage? If first responders used water or fire suppression chemicals to put the fire out, you'll need water damage restoration services. We'll need to dry out your carpet, floors and furniture to reduce the risk of mold growth.
  2. How big is the affected area? Cleaning smoke and soot off walls, ceilings, floors and furniture takes time. The bigger the affected area, the longer it takes.
  3. Are there lingering smoke odors? We'll need to deploy air scrubbers, ozone generators and other tools to remove it.
  4. Are construction services required? If the fire damage is serious, we may need to tear out, repair and restore walls and other structural elements.

4. Can you give me some references?

Every professional damage restoration company should be able to provide you with references. SERVPRO of North Hollywood proudly displays testimonials on both our website and Google. But if you'd like to speak with a former customer about their satisfaction with our damage restoration service, we'd be happy to arrange it.

5: Can I enter or occupy my property during the restoration process?

Sometimes. It depends on the extent of the fire damage. Our first priority is your safety. There could be any number of hazardous places in your home or business as we clean and restore it to it's preloss condition. So it may be possible, but we would evaluate it on a case-by-case basis.

Need Fire Restoration? Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood!

Dealing with fire damage to your property is stressful enough without feeling left in the dark. Since 2007, SERVPRO of North Hollywood has been the local damage restoration provider of choice for thousands of home or business owners across Los Angeles. We're here to help with an emergency response, 24/7. Let us clean and restore your property "Like it never even happened."

How to Inspect for Leaks & Avoid Costly Water Damage Repairs

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

Broken sewer pipe in a trench. Some water leaks are really hard to spot. Knowing what to look for is the key to mitigating costly water damage repairs to your commercial property.

Water damage can happen as a result of rainstorms and flooding. But there are many places inside your commercial property where water damage can occur. Small water leaks may seem more of a minor inconvenience than a major problem. But, over time, a small leak can cause significant damage and require costly water damage repairs.

You can mitigate damage from small water leaks by inspecting the areas where water damage is likely to occur. Where should you look?

Toilets

In a commercial property, toilets get a lot of use. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that toilets, including key parts like the gaskets, valves and flanges, suffer from wear and tear.

These components typically last for years, though they will wear out faster with more frequent use. Keeping track of the date of plumbing repairs will help you know when it's time to replace worn parts.

Of course, if your toilet is running, failing to flush, or you find dampness around the toilet, call a local plumber ASAP. An unexplained spike in your water bill could also be the sign of a problem with your toilets.

Faucets and Fixtures

Leaky faucets are also common in commercial buildings, and they often go unnoticed or neglected. The drip, drip, drip of a faucet may seem like a “small thing.” But did you know a single leaky faucet can waste several gallons of water every day?

Plus, over time, the water from a leaky faucet can damage fixtures, pipes, cabinets, floors and ceilings.

Ceilings and Floors

Speaking of, if you spot, well, spots on your ceiling, you may have a faulty, or absent, waterproofing membrane. This thin material is used to waterproof concrete slabs, roofs and floors. If improperly installed, of low quality or simply missing, water from plumbing leaks will seep directly into porous wood, drywall and tile.

Take a walk through your facility and look both up and down for signs of dampness on your floors and ceiling. If you find any, but are unsure of the source, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood. We have advanced moisture detection equipment to help pinpoint the source of the water damage. Our highly-trained water damage restoration techs can then clean up and restore the affected area to its preloss condition. Because if you don’t address such problem areas right away, the water damage can lead to mold growth and structural damage to your property.

Pipes and Plumbing Systems

Your water pipes can burst during cold weather (yes, even in Los Angeles), while your sewer drains and pipes deteriorate over time. Like leaky toilets and faucets, they can cause serious damage to your commercial building. They may require your business to close and the building to be evacuated. But these plumbing systems are behind walls and underground, so it can be challenging to detect leaks. 

But there are signs, if you know what to look for. One common sign of an underground plumbing leak is wet soil. You may notice areas of your landscaping where plants and grass are growing faster or otherwise flourishing compared to other areas in your yard. 

Other signs are water stains, blistering paint, cracked or loose tiles, bulging walls, and grout gaps. You may also notice musty smells and a significant increase in your water bills. 

For this type of leak to be found and repaired, call a professional because specialized leak detection equipment is necessary.

HVAC Systems

Air conditioning units get a workout in the heat of a Los Angeles summer. There are also numerous places where water can build up or leak. Drip pans can fill up and overflow. Condenser coils and drainage lines can leak. Condensation can build up on nearby walls and cause mold. An annual HVAC system inspection and regular maintenance will help prevent these common issues.

Need Water Damage Repairs? Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood!

Regular inspection of your commercial facility is crucial to mitigate these common water leaks. By doing so, you can prevent more severe water damage while keeping your plumbing systems operating at peak condition.

If you do discover water damage to your building, SERVPRO North Hollywood offers emergency water damage repair service. We're here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our highly-trained restoration specialists are available for any size commercial property in North Hollywood, Universal City, Toluca Lake, and Los Angeles. Call us at (818) 754-0050 and make commercial water damage "Like it never even happened."

How to Protect Your Home from Damage During Summer Vacation

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Benjamin Franklin If "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," these tips will help you prevent water, fire or mold damage from ruining your summer vacation!

There's nothing worse than returning from a relaxing vacation to find water, fire or mold damage to your home. Here is a quick checklist of things you can do to reduce that risk before you leave.

Water Damage Prevention Tips

The simplest way to avoid water damage inside your home is to shut off the water main while you're gone. If there's no water, there's no risk of a burst pipe or leak.

But if you need to irrigate your lawn or garden, shutting off the water main isn't an option. Instead, turn off the valves under sinks, by toilets and appliances like washing machines to stop leaks. Then double-check sprinkler settings to mitigate excess water from flooding around your home.

It doesn't often rain in Los Angeles during the summer months. But cleaning out gutters and downspouts helps reduce the risk of flooding during a freak storm. Got a sump pump? Test it out to ensure it can do its job should rain be in the forecast while you're away.

Turn air conditioning units down or off. This saves both electricity and money if there's no one home to enjoy the cool air. And before you go, inspect your HVAC system for leaks. Overflowing drip pans or condensation buildup can cause both water damage and mold if left unchecked.

It's also a good idea to inspect your water heater. Look for worn or loose drain valves where water can leak out. For extra peace of mind, have a local plumber check the pressure release valve and flush out sediment buildup.

Fire Damage Prevention Tips

Wildfires are a year round concern in Los Angeles and across Southern California, but especially during the dry summer months. Ensure there is a defensible area around your home by trimming trees, shrubs and other naturally flammable landscaping. Store lawn chairs, shades and other materials that can burn away from your home.

Unplug TVs, ovens and other appliances and devices that won't be in use while you're gone. Test and replace the batteries in smoke detectors so that the alarm will sound should something cause a spark to flame.

Last, but not least, ask a friend or neighbor to check on your home. They can look for potential problems, pick up mail and help make your home appear occupied to deter theft or vandalism.

Got Property Damage? Call SERVPRO of North Hollywood!

While "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," property damage can happen to even the most diligent homeowner. If you return from your summer vacation to find water, fire or mold damage to your home, give us a call at (818) 754-0050. Our highly-trained and professional damage restoration team is here to help anytime, 24/7. We can be on-site anywhere in Los Angeles in as little as one hour to clean up your damaged property quickly.