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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The more you know, the better.

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Storm picture We handle it for you!

We know that storms are always chaotic and that knowledge is invaluable when a disaster approaches; having a plan to keep us safe is of the utmost importance, so here are some tips about thunderstorms.

thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has 58 miles per hour wind gusts.

Every thunderstorm produces lightning, killing more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Severe thunderstorm watch:

Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a strict thunderstorm warning is issued. 

Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Unfortunately, people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms every year despite warnings. While some did not hear the warning, others listened to the warning and ignored it. The information in this section, combined with timely watches and warnings about severe weather, may help save lives. 

The above is of the utmost importance since sometimes we do not measure the great chaos that this can cause; hoping you consider all these factors.

If you are in that situation, don't hesitate to contact us, and we'll be right away. 

How to prepare for a storm

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Servpro We are here to help!

Storms can be as unexpected as the damage they cause. With the proper preparation, much of the storm damage can be minimized or prevented altogether. Here are some tips to help prevent the damages storms may cause.

Clean Your Gutters

When it rains, and your gutters are clogged, it could cause the overflow to run down into your home. Often, this water can go undetected and sit. Over time, mold can grow in these areas that remain wet having clean and sturdy gutters before the rain can minimize the damage a storm may cause.

Landscaping and drainage

Depending on the land your home is built on, water runoff can accumulate around your foundation and flood your homes. Fortunately, there are solutions to proper landscaping.

Better pathways can be created for water runoff, guiding the water away from your home. If you have noticed puddles or water accumulation near your home when it rains, contact a professional to help before a storm.

We have 24-7 service 365 days. Contact us! 

Winter storm

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Winter storm Unexpected winter storm

Hundreds of people get injured each year by exposure to cold, vehicle accidents on wintry roads, and fires caused by improper heaters. Prepare now so you can stay safe during winter storms.

-Listen to local news channels for critical information on snowstorms and blizzards from the National Weather Service.

 -Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow, or dense fog.

-If travel is necessary, make sure you have a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle, which includes: a shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit, extra batteries, and a sack of sand or cat litter.

-Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors, and the nature of the job.

-Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires. Keep all potential fuel sources like paper, clothing, bedding, or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.

-Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace get extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.

-If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.

-Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Your safety comes first; it is essential to take the measures we recommend; we have teams ready to help you with any inconvenience, and be prepared.

What to do when having a flooding

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Storms Flooding

Water problems are a nightmare for homeowners, especially when they lead to significant flooding. Dealing with water or flood damage is time-consuming and expensive; that's why we share with you five things you must do or check for your home. 

1. Call Your Insurance

Your home insurance can help you cover the costs of damage. However, if you ignore a water damage issue for too long, you could find it a struggle to make a claim. In addition, your insurance provider might not be happy to hear how long you waited to address the issue and contact us to solve the problem.  

2. Time Matters, Act Quickly!

An issue with ignoring water damage is that it can worsen and happen faster than you would imagine. It may not look like much now, and you might think that it will not get any worse. But if there's an ongoing cause that you do not know exists, you might find it quickly more significant. 

Sometimes you can't even see it. Try to analyze your water bills, always be aware of the estimate you always pay; if someday it's higher, you could have a water leak somewhere.

3. Protect Yourself and Your Possessions

If there's a storm and your house is flooded, you should think quickly and do these things: 

- Protect yourself and your possessions, like electric appliances, important documents, etc.

- Turn off the electricity

- If you're in danger of flooding, evacuate the flooded area until authorities deem it safe to return.

4. Get to Known Your House To The Fullest 

The source of the water problem must be identified and stopped to prevent the damage from compounding. 

The most likely cause of water damage is a burst pipe or water heater tank leak; in these cases, it's essential to know where the valves, keys, or lights switches are. 

5. Contact us, and we'll help you, "Like it never even happened." 

Call us as soon as possible after the damage occurs, and find out what steps the insurance company requires you to take so you know what your insurance covers; we'll assist you with an estimate and pictures and be in contact with your insurance. 

"We want you to be back in your restored home as quickly as possible. Whether you have minor storm damage or something larger to deal with, we have the experience and the equipment needed to clean up and restore your home and help get life back to normal following storm damage." - SERVPRO.

Fire extinguishers

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers Damage caused by fire

Keep fire safety in mind by following a few simple safety tips. Enjoy time with your loved ones, and keep yourself and your family safe from fire.
Here is a significant fact that we should consider in our spaces.

How many fire extinguishers should I have?
Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher, and most should have at least two or three. The number of fire extinguishers you should have in your home depends on the size of your house, if you have a garage or workshop, and if your household is multi-level or not.
The minimum recommendation is to have a single extinguisher rated 2-A:10-B: C or higher in your kitchen, garage, or workshops, near doors used as an escape route, and on every level of your home.

Flames need fuel, oxygen, and heat to burn. Fire extinguishers are designed to remove one of these elements by applying an agent that either cools the burning fuel or releases or displaces the surrounding oxygen. Fire extinguishers contain either water or a smothering material, such as CO2; by pulling out the safety pin and depressing the lever at the top of the cylinder, the fire extinguishing material is released under high pressure.

Don't hesitate to call us; we would love to take care of you! SERVPRO of Southwest Irving is always at your service.

Cooking

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Burned house Caution while cooking

Did you know that commonly fires start in the kitchen?
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries due to burning.

Remember to keep children away from hot foods, liquids, matches, utility lighters, and Sharp utensils. Cover your pot or pan with a lid and turn off the burner if you have a cooking tire. Think cooking safety - use safety tools such as kitchen gloves and an apron to protect skin and clothing.

Cook with care.
Remaining in the kitchen while food is cooking, don't leave cooking food unattended. Have a fire extinguisher readily available for use. Remember, Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep. Ensure you test your smoke detectors before cooking; never throw water on a cooking fire; this will only spread the flames.

Please take the following into account to prevent a fire from starting, do not hesitate to contact us at SERVPRO of Garden Grove West

Signs of water damage

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Servpro You call us, we fix it.

Sometimes it is essential to inspect our properties, homes, offices, apartments, etc. 

Here are signs you should check if there's some water damage early on:

1. Changes in floors, walls, and ceilings regarding paint, color, or texture

Many homeowners don't notice the changes to structural elements. They are hard to spot in familiar surroundings, even if you are good at cleaning up and upkeep; when water damage is on the cards, you can observe dry walls or ceilings being flaky. This condition, if left unchecked, can become bloated; also, tiles made of ceramic material often develop mold and cracks in the grout when damaged by water for being a porous material.

2. Running water sounds

Water damage isn't always visible but makes noticeable sounds. For example, drips creaks in the floorboards, and the sound of constantly running water may signify that you need repairs. In addition, tiny bubbles can result in holes in your concrete foundation, threatening the entire home's structure.

3. Increasing water bills

A sudden surge in utility bills is an excellent indicator of water damage. Ensure to check the visible pipelines and faucets in the house for any leaks. If you fail to find leaks in the visual areas, consider the possibility of water damage within the walls. If you spot any water damage, call a plumber as soon as possible.

Contact us if you see any signs that could show some mold in your residency or commercial business. 

WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

commercial restoration process

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Service 24/7 Here to help

GET TO KNOW US BETTER, WHY SERVPRO?

We understand each situation; we know it is unique, and your business must work again!

To mitigate fire and smoke damage as much as possible and minimize the interruption to your business, we may take the following steps: 

  1. Secure the facility
  2. Ventilate the premises to draw out dust and soot from the air
  3. Removal of any contents, separating salvageable and unsalvageable items in the process.

We at SERVPRO know how to handle these types of cases, and they will happen; you will always be safe with us, and this is something that we can apply:

  • Salvageable items are moved to a secure location for restoration and storage until complete reconstruction.
  • Cleaning the facility, including ceilings, walls, floors, and any permanent fixtures, to prevent further damage from the acidic effects of soot 
  • Clean carpets, and upholstery, if possible, to completely neutralize any acid contained in soot and minimize further damage. Using specialized equipment, deodorize the facility.

We’ll also clean and sanitize any salvageable items and decontaminate the ductwork and HVAC system.

CONTACT US; WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

Water services

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Satanding water We fixed for you!

It depends on the season the problem your property could have, so we want you to stay alert and have this in your mind:

There are some common problem areas to inspect for potential damage during spring, including your roof and gutter system, foundation and yard, plumbing system, and your property's exterior. From the top-down, these areas could get worse from the elements that winter can bring; here are some signs of wear to look out for:

  • Roof and Gutter System Damage
  • Window, Door, and Exterior Damage
  • Foundation and Other Drainage Problems
  • Plumbing Damage

Also, when winter begins, we know that storms create great chaos when they get to our homes; To ensure your space is well and in order, here are some tips for inspecting for damage; these will save you money in the long term prevent unnecessary property damage. 

Our local disaster restoration services include:

  • Inspection and Assessment of any damaged areas
  • Water Removal
  • Drying and Dehumidification
  • Cleaning and Repairs
  • Restoration and reconstruction, as necessary

If your home or commercial business deals with one of these issues, contact us! 

Spring cleaning tips

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Servpro products We are here to help

Finally, the months we have waited for have arrived; we must consider the climatic changes, and you must feel the upgrades to have a fresh start.  

We know that you want your business to reflect this season with fresh and clean surroundings and atmosphere; it is an excellent way for your business to invite your clients, customers, and workforce.

Professionals: 

Any commercial cleaning project needs professional assistance. Connect with area services that are well-established and highly respected. Those reviews on social media platforms can be a big help here. These companies will come right to you, and they will make sure that your spring cleaning is done right by following your instructions precisely.

Green: 

Using green products is always a good idea. These products aren’t of harsh chemicals, so there is no danger of adverse reactions to your working environment and those with sensitivities. In addition, there are many environmentally friendly cleaning items these days, and your customers will be happy to know that you are going green, too.

Weather:

Whenever you plan any seasonal job, always keep an eye on the weather. Sometimes, it can change at the drop of a hat, making your project difficult or impossible. 

When scheduling spring cleaning services for your business, select alternate days or a whole range to allow for a change of plans. Extreme temperatures can hurt some products, as well.

Every member of your team has something valuable to add. So when planning for the spring cleaning of your business, ask for input from everyone. Perhaps they have noticed something that needs attention that has escaped you, or maybe they have a perspective on how to streamline the process to help you avoid work disruptions. 

Teamwork will help any project get done faster and more efficiently, and a cleaning job is no exception!

Get to know us

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Servpro Choose SERVPRO!

WHY SERVPRO?

You should choose SERVPRO, and this is why!

You will wonder why you should choose us; it is not an easy question; we know that there are dozens of restoration companies that you can choose from and make a decision to work with them or not.

We also know that it is not an easy task to select one of them in Dallas. Great competition, extreme and fierce, but why choosing us as a franchise is the best option? We have the compassion you need.

We know that a problem can range from a water leak to painting or covering a leak. We will always treat you as a priority, no matter the minor inconvenience; we are the Top restoration company.

We have a great experience which we can demonstrate if you or someone you know needs our services, never be afraid to call no matter the time of day.

We are always before any disaster

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Logo 24/7 - 365 days

SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry, and its professionals are faster for any size of disaster.

SERVPRO is a restoration company that we lead and many people trust; we are 24/7 for all our clients. We know how to respond as quickly as it is crucial and can change the outcome of any water loss; this helps minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

We are ready to reconstruct or help your residence or commercial asset.

We have a professional for each position who acts quickly and appropriately to handle any work properly; our clients trust us 100%, and we are always before any disaster, no matter how small or how big, we are one call away.

Faster than any disaster, contact us!

5 Steps to proper mold removal

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Mold remediation It may be bigger than expected

Step 1: There is a water or moisture problem behind all mold growth. We need to know where moisture is coming from and how it gets into the house, not just what's immediately visible.

Step 2: Before the clean-up and removal, document the situation by writing any details, photos, and videos. The warranty team supervisor will use the evidence to develop a remediation plan; this will determine when the work will begin and be completed, who will be performing the remediation, any testing needed, and if homeowners will be temporarily relocated.

Step 3: Mold may not always grow in one area, so we need to determine how much contamination there is. Calculating the size will impact how we approach mold removal and clean-up. The goal is to stop the growth within the home and avoid exposing homeowners to large amounts of mold.

Step 4: Mold removal and remediation always involve cleaning up existing mold while avoiding exposure and preventing new growth by addressing the moisture source. Lastly, we proceed the adequate drying and air purification to ensure everything is "Like it never even happened."

Mold clean up process

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

professional equipmet Our team will ensure to develop the right plan according to your necessity.

* Repair or hold the water problem; this will help prevent new mold spores from growing.

* Close all doors and windows between the contaminated area and other household rooms. Also, cover all doorways and any other openings with polyethylene sheeting. Seal all sheeting seams with duct tape and slip openings in the sheeting to enter the contaminated area.

* Remove all wet and mold-damaged materials. Check with your SERVPRO supervisor and reference Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents on mold remediation if you're unsure which materials to remove.

* Discard all wet and moldy materials in plastic bags at least six mils thick, double-bag the materials, and tie the bags closed. They can be disposed of as regular trash once the outside of the bags is wiped with a damp cloth and detergent solution before leaving the contamination area.

* Clean the affected area and egress. HEPA vacuum and clean all surfaces with a wet cloth, mop, and detergent solution. 

* Visibility test. All areas should be visibly free of contamination and debris — no dust and dirt mean no mold.

* Dry. Cleaned materials must get dried to allow leftover moisture to evaporate. We use fans, dehumidifiers, or raise the indoor air temperature to speed up the drying process.

* Replace. All materials that were moved should be replaced or repaired.

Reference the remediation plan during the actual remediation to ensure it's being followed. For example, the warranty supervisor should update the plan if additional mold is discovered during the clean-up.

Why Choose SERVPRO?

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Why Choose SERVPRO, you ask?  Because we are fantastic.  Let me list the ways.  We are a very well developed and organized franchise, with offices nationwide.  We cover 90% of America within 2 hours’ response time.  And we are privately owned & operated!

Hot Credentials:

  • 2021 Award- Entrepreneur Magazine
    • We received the 2021 Entrepreneur award for # 1 in our category as a franchise, and the award for top 10 franchises overall.
    • We also received the # 1 Award in the category of Restoration Services for 19 years now consecutively, since 2003.
  • 2015 Acknowledgement – Women’s Choice Award
    • For Home Restoration Service, we received ‘America’s Most Recommended for Home’ Award
  • 2012 Acknowledgement- Forbes Magazine
    • We ranked # 5 in the ‘Top 20 Franchises for the Buck’ Category.

The list goes on, but I will continue.

History

In 1967, SERVPRO started out as a small painting contractor business by Ted and Doris Isaacson, in Sacramento, California.  They had a background in restoration and cleanup, and they decided to become a franchisor for professionals in the industry.  Over 50 years later, their fruitful first steps are evident and solid over all of America, with over 1900 offices nationwide.

Commercial Restoration Services Provided by SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know?

SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, is a one-stop shop for all your commercial construction needs.  Our team includes a highly reputable and experienced contractor of over 20 years in business.  Rest assured, your team here at Garden Grove West Stanton, is not only experienced, but highly skilled and highly reputable.  With the highest online rating, 5 stars, and the highest amount of online reviews to date of our local area, you can be confident you made the best decision for yourself and your family.

The Process

We work with insurance companies, owners, and vendors to restore your commercial property to its original condition, “Like it never even happened.”  Our desire is to complete your commercial restoration project with excellence in everything we do, running on time with set expectations and within a reasonable set budget, so that you may return to operating your business in as little as time as possible, yet still maintaining quality workmanship.

There are many steps involved in commercial restoration, and our team covers it all, from inspection and estimating, mitigating, restoring and reconstruction.  With the highest level of training available thru our SERVPRO corporate office located in Gallatin, Tennessee, rest assured you will receive not just excellent service but unparalleled nationally known trained professionals as well.

Commercial Restoration Services Provided by SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know?

SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, is a one-stop shop for all your commercial construction needs.  Our team includes a highly reputable and experienced contractor of over 20 years in business.  Rest assured, your team here at Garden Grove West Stanton, is not only experienced, but highly skilled and highly reputable.  With the highest online rating, 5 stars, and the highest amount of online reviews to date of our local area, you can be confident you made the best decision for yourself and your family.

The Process

We work with insurance companies, owners, and vendors to restore your commercial property to its original condition, “Like it never even happened.”  Our desire is to complete your commercial restoration project with excellence in everything we do, running on time with set expectations and within a reasonable set budget, so that you may return to operating your business in as little as time as possible, yet still maintaining quality workmanship.

There are many steps involved in commercial restoration, and our team covers it all, from inspection and estimating, mitigating, restoring and reconstruction.  With the highest level of training available thru our SERVPRO corporate office located in Gallatin, Tennessee, rest assured you will receive not just excellent service but unparalleled nationally known trained professionals as well.

In the Event of A Natural Disaster, Please Consider

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

In the event of a natural disaster, there are many factors to consider.  In the moment, a person may feel the stress, shock, and various other emotions after suffering a devastating loss to their home, such a fire loss or another natural disaster that has significantly altered their home and ability to safely dwell in it.

First and foremost, ensuring your family’s safety is top priority.

Afterward, there are a few practical steps to help you get back on track and living life as best as possible.

Here are a few topics to consider:

  1. Insurance Claim-  Contact your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to report the disaster and damage to your home.  They will guide you in the next steps with your claim.
  1. Bills and Creditors- Contact your local utility companies, internet provider, etc, if your home is temporarily or permanently uninhabitable, so they may turn off service immediately and you can stop paying unnecessary services for the moment.  Contact any creditors you may have and ask for an extension to pay, due to the circumstances.  Most creditors are willing to work with their consumers, and especially if they are notified before the payment’s due date.
  1. Replacing Vital Documents After a Fire/ Natural Disaster Loss – There are many documents that may need to be replaced if they have been lost or damaged due to a fire or other natural disaster. The Red Cross has provided a very resourceful article on where to replace vital documents in the event of a natural disaster here, which includes, government issued IDs’, passports, birth, death & marriage certificates and much more.  To access this list:  https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/recovering-financially.html
  1. Recovering Emotionally – Recovering emotionally from a severe loss is critical in a person’s overall health and wellbeing. There are many different ways to cope and seek healing, and this can be different from individual to individual.  A resource available, among many others is located here:  https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/recovering-emotionally.html

Please keep in mind, recovering from a significant loss takes time.  Please seek help in any and all necessary measures to safeguard your mental, emotional and physical health.  The American Red Cross, (Redcross.org,) is a distinguished resource with many related subjects pertaining to fire loss/ natural disaster loss & recovery.   We hope this article is of help to you and your family should you experience a natural disaster.

Environmental Topics – What is Mold?

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, their website states that, “molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors.  Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors.  The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. (…) Molds can have a big impact on indoor air quality.” 

That is why it is imperative to have professional help remediating any potential mold issue you may have.  Here at SERVPRO, Garden Grove West Stanton, rest assured, we are properly and professionally trained, with the highest industry standards, and training available nationwide. 

Here are a few helpful tips to help eliminate or prevent mold growth:

  1. For cold surfaces, such as windows, floors, the roof, etc., it is possible to reduce or prevent condensation by installing insulation.
  2. Any wet or damp building materials, clean and dry within 1-2 days to help prevent mold growth.
  3. Reduce your indoor air humidity (at approximately 30-60%,) to decrease chances of mold growth.

   Steps include: 

  • Using your exhaust fans when cooking, cleaning or washing dishes.
  • Increasing your ventilation.
  • Using de-humidifiers and your air conditioner.
  1. Address the source of the water problem to prevent mold growth.
  2. Consult your local professional, SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, if the problem persists or you need professional advice for remediation.

The Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, we are the qualified professionals in our community to properly and efficiently clean dirty ducts in your residential home, apartment building, or commercial property. 

With an outstanding reputation in customer service and excellence, we are the number one choice!

You May Consider Professional Duct Cleaning If:

  • If your ducts are obstructed with large amounts of dust and debris.
  • If there is significant mold growth inside your ducts or any other part of your heating and cooling system.
  • If there are any other blockages in your ducts, it may hinder its performance of supplying you with cool, clean air.

Benefits to Consider Having Your Ducts Cleaned:

  • Having your ducts cleaned can reduce pet dander and allergens.
  • Can eliminate strong and offensive odors.
  • Can improve air quality and satisfaction.
  • Can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, which can result in a reduction of your energy bill as well.

Possible Health Concerns?

Did you know - the EPA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, states on their website, epa.gov,

 “(…) if family members are experiencing unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think might be related to your home environment, you should discuss the situation with your doctor. EPA has published the following publications for guidance on identifying possible indoor air quality problems and ways to prevent or fix them.” 

(Resource:  https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/should-you-have-air-ducts-your-home-cleaned#deciding)

We desire and work towards being of great resource to our community, if you are interested in having your air ducts clean or wish to speak to a professional in this regards, contact your local SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton now!  We are here to serve!

Flooding Can Lead to Mold- Call SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton Now!  

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Air Quality - Did you know?

Flooding can affect the air quality in your home.  According to the United States EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, “Flood water can make the air in your home unhealthy. This is because when things remain wet for more than two days, they usually get moldy. Inhaling mold can cause adverse health effects for those that come into contact with it. Mold also can damage materials in your home. In addition, flood water may contain microorganisms, such as bacteria, or chemicals which may affect your health. As you clean up after a flood, other substances could get into the air in your home. These include carbon monoxide, lead, asbestos, and cleaning products, which may also affect your health.”  (Reference https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-09/documents/floods.pdf)

That is why it is important to call your local and trusted professionals, SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, for all your emergency water mitigation needs!

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for your emergency water mitigation needs.  Home flooding/ emergency water mitigation is a very common issue that homeowners, business owners and tenants face on a regular basis.  As your trusted professional for water mitigation, we are only a phone call away!  Here at SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, we have a superior reputation for excellent customer service and satisfaction, rest assured, you are in good hands!

Mold - What To Do Until Help Arrives

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Mold – What to do Until Help Arrives

When there is a water intrusion, like a leaking water line or a roof leak, mold can rapidly become a problem in your business or home in as little as 2 days.  Mold can negatively affect a person’s health and can also cause serious property damage.  With SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, however, our professionals have the training, skills, and specialized equipment needed to mitigate your mold problem effectively and efficiently, "Like it never even happened."

To Consider:

  • A distinct, musty odor can indicate that there may be mold hidden under carpeting or behind drywall.
  • People with respiratory problems, children, and the elderly pose a greater risk when exposed to mold.
  • Mold growth can happen as quickly as 48-72 hours.

Do’s:

  • Turn off your HVAC system and fans.
  • Stay away from the affected areas.
  • Call your local SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton office for proper mold remediation.

Don’ts:

  • Do not touch or become in contact with the potential mold.
  • Do not use ceiling fans etc, that may blow air across any of the surfaces with potential mold.
  • Do not pour bleach or any other disinfectants over the mold surface.
  • Do not try to remediate the mold yourself.

And always, your local team here at SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, is here to help!  We are only a phone call away, ready to be of service to our community!

Fire Damage Restoration

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Restoration at a Local Gas Station Our team of experts in action at a fire restoration project in Anaheim, Ca. Proudly serving the community & nationwide in disaster relief efforts.

Fire Damage Restoration

Our top priority in fire damage restoration is to restore your home or business to its pre-fire condition, "Like it never even happened." As the prestigious leading fire damage restoration company, SERVPRO is the premier provider for fire damage and water damage restoration, including removing smoke odors and deep cleaning soot from carpets, walls, and upholstery, in residential, commercial and multi-family buildings.

Restoring Your Home after Experiencing Fire Damage

Our main goal is to restore your home and valuables to its pre-fire condition in an excellent manner.  Here at SERVPRO, we are known nationwide for our high level of trained, experienced, properly equipped and knowledgeable staff.  We effectively and properly restore homes to their pre-fire condition, using the best industry measures and expertise, assuring home owners that every aspect of our service is professionally and efficiently handled, leaving homeowners with peace of mind, they are being taken care of properly from beginning to end.

Getting Back to Business After a Fire

Any disruption in business can critically affect a business owner’s bottom line.  Here at SERVPRO, we have an excellent and nationwide network of professionals ready to respond immediately to your emergency fire damage phone call.  Our top priority is to efficiently and effectively help you get back to business as soon as possible after a fire emergency.  Rest assured, you are in good hands every step of the way.

Help! I have water damage! What do I do until help arrives?

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

‘What do I do until help arrives?!’ this is a common question asked by homeowners when faced with an emergency water damage in their home. The good news is there is help! And the proper professional help will ease a homeowner’s anxious mind.

Here are a few steps to calm matters down until help arrives. Rest assured, this advice is coming from your local and trusted industry professional, SERVPRO Garden Grove West Stanton, where excellence is our key to quality work! Take a deep breath, one step at a time, and we will help you remediate your water damage concerns shortly!

Here are a few tips to consider before help arrives:

Water Damage from Clean Water

DO’S:

  • If possible, shut off the water source or contact a qualified individual to do so.
  • Turn off the circuit breakers in the wet areas of the home or building, when it is safe from electric hazard to access the power distribution panel.
  • Remove excess water if possible by mopping or using suitable towels for absorption.
  • For wet upholstery, remove and prop up wet cushions for proper drying.
  • Place wood blocks or aluminum foil between wet carpeting and furniture legs.
  • For valuable objects and/ or items sensitive to moisture, such as computers, picture frames, important documents etc, remove to a safe place to dry.
  • Wooden clothespins are effective to use for keeping furniture skirting off dampened floors.
  • To avoid exposure to wet floors or carpeting, use coated hangers to hang draperies.
  • For leather goods and furs, hang items to dry separately at room temperature.

DONT’S

  • Do not enter any rooms with standing water where electric shock may be a potential hazard. This includes, but not limited to, entering rooms where electrical outlets, circuit breakers, switches, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. ALWAYS avoid a potential electric hazard.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is dampened from water damage or enter any rooms where ceilings are visibly sagging from water damage.
  • Do not use any appliances, such as a microwave or TV, while standing on wet flooring, especially on wet concrete floors.
  • Do not use your vacuum cleaner to remove excess water, it can potentially cause electrical shock or damage to your vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not leave any colored rugs/ oriental rugs on wet carpeting, it can lead to staining.
  • Do not leave reading materials such as magazines, books, newspapers, or other colored material on wet floor, it can cause staining.

We hope you find these tips helpful, and rest assured, help is only a phone call away!

Reference: SERVPRO Corp.

When Buying a Home, Information to Consider (Water Damage History!)

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

Welcome fellow readers!  Have you ever bought a home before?  Went thru the numerous steps, ups and downs until finally closing?  Though it takes much effort buying a home, the rewards can be for a lifetime- enjoying a beautiful home that you love every day!

Here are a few critical steps that not even every realtor knows that will save you time and potential headaches along the way!

Quick Tips –

Did you know?

  • That water damage history goes with the house, not the owner, for 3-5 years! (It is true, ask your local insurance agent!)
  • Though a ‘Transfer Disclosure Statement’ is typically signed by the homeowner, disclosing any pertinent information they are aware of for a certain period of time etc, they do not always think of little details such as if there was any water damage, vandalism, or other claims on the home thru out the recent years.

Ask if the property has any water claims or any other type of insurance claims on the home in advance.  This can save you time and effort upfront.  In some instances, a buyer has backed out of purchasing a home due to the water claims history. 

An insurance agent told me recently, one of his clients was trying to buy a house, but when they tried to receive a quote for insurance on it, the insurance company said NO because there was a $125,000 water claim on the home.  Sometimes there are multiple claims etc as well and that will also determine the outcome for the insurance company if it will approve or deny coverage.

Knowledge is power, and we hope these tips help curb some of the potential bumps on the road in your home buying process. We wish much success to all our readers!

Preparing for Rain!

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Collect as much water to help prevent more damage.

Southern California tends to be sunny and dry through most of the year. Now that the rains are coming
down in Los Angeles, it is important for homeowners and business owners alike to take precautions that save can save you time and money in the long run. 

A Leaky Roof
It is easy to forget about in southern California, but a roof leak can turn things sour quick, causing
damage to the ceiling, carpets, hardwood floors and furniture. As a safety precaution, we suggest
tarping your roof with a thick plastic and weighing each of the 4 corners down with weights.

Prepare with Sandbags
If a heavy rainfall is predicted, it is a good idea to line your front entryway, back and crawlspace with
sandbags. This will block the water from flooding your home and minimize the chance of water damage.

Mop Up and Blot Excess Water
If water has already found its way into your home, do mope it up and dry quickly with towels (microfiber
towels absorb even more moisture). Collecting as much moisture as possible as fast as possible will help
from further damage.

If you experience water damage from the rain, give us a call at 1 (714) 622-5096 and speak to
one of our water specialists to schedule an appointment.

SERVPRO Techs Are Fast, Experienced and Certified

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Our technicians are highly trained to know what is exactly needed for any damage.

It may seem like an easy task to restore and clean after a water flood or fire, but our techs are
professionally trained to make it look easy. The truth is, each person on our production team has gone
through extensive training. In order to be a technician, they must attend classes for each of the services
that we offer.

Did you know there is a science behind drying? There are many techniques of how to dry say, hardwood
floor or even behind drywall (if it can be saved, that is). There are certain aspects to look out for when
extracting water. Does the job require our water extracting wands? Or is it going to need something
bigger? By being certified by the IICRC, it guarantees you expertise and quality work.

Be Storm Prepared with These Helpful Tips

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Be prepared for the next storm that hits, our tips can be helpful.

As busy as we are every day, the last thing on anyone’s mind is storm damage. From our experience,
when business and homeowners are storm prepared, they usually avoid watery situations. Imagine
stepping into a puddle of water inside your building in complete darkness! Follow these storm damage
tips and be prepared for the next rainfall that comes.
-Have a battery powered radio handy for the latest news
-Keep a flashlight handy with spare batteries
-Check for any storm warnings and weather advisories
-Be sure there is a good amount of canned and packaged food available
-Always keep a two-week water supply for every person in your household
If the storm has already hit your business or place of residence, reach out to us and give us a call at
(714) 622-5096

Important Water Damage Tips you Need to Know

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

If you come across a major water leak due to a pipe burst, try to shut the main water line off immediately.

When you walk into your place of residence or business and see that there is a watery mess everywhere, it is understandable to panic, be confused and not know where to start. Our best advice to you is to remain calm and give SERVPRO of Garden Grove West Stanton a call. After this important phone call has been made, here are a few things to keep in mind when water damage has happened.

Water Damage Tips You Need to Know

  • Stop the source of the leak if possible. If a major water leak happened due to a pipe burst, shut the main water line off and give a plumber a call
  • If your home is completely flooded, the safest thing to do is to turn the power off to avoid any real danger. Remember, water and electricity do not mix.
  • Be careful when picking up cardboard boxes, coats, rugs and anything else that maybe on the floor. Water makes adds a lot more weight, making them extra heavy
  • While waiting for our crew to get there (usually within the hour) try to soak up some of the moisture with towels, brooms or squeegees. The longer the water settles, the more damage it can cause

If you have more questions about water damage tips or are experiencing water damage right now, give us a call at (714) 622-5096 and we will be more than happy to assist you. 

Why Ash is Messy When Cleaning

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

All of our technicians have received the best training and knowledge to get the job done.

When a water or fire damage strikes, the aftermath can be stressful and a whole lot of messy. Did you know fire and water emergencies require major cleanup by specialists?

When a fire occurs, it is burning not only wood but everything else that makes up a structure. This includes insulation, paint, drywall, vinyl and plaster to name a few. Because these materials are not meant to be burned (the components can be harmful), the ash, soot and debris requires a specialist to handle it.

Ash for example is not easy to clean. Once wiped, it will smear and make the walls or furniture discolored. It can easily be sent up into the air when wiped just to settle back onto another section of your home or office. SERVPRO of  Central Glendale‘s commercial grade cleaning products gets the ash cleaned fast and our technicians have gone through hours of training for the knowledge on how to do so. 

If you are having trouble with the aftermath of a fire, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (714) 622-5096 to speak to a specialist today.

A soggy situation

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

The after math of this water damage was tough, but not tough enough for our techs.

When this soggy situation happened at a local  clothing store, the management did not know what to do. Calling our SERVPRO of Garden Grove West Stanton team was the best thing they could have done. It turns out an old water pipe busted from the cold weather, creating a slow slab leak. When the store’s opening team opened their back storage room, they found their merchandise wet and damaged. They tried to mop the water up, but it was just too much.

When our techs arrived at the scene, they measured the water to be 2 inches throughout their 1500 square foot storage room. They immediately began to extract the category 2 water while other techs in the team searched for items that could be saved. Once the water was low enough, they plugged in air movers and got down to business. The air movers ran for 3 days and with the help of a few dehumidifiers, this retail store was back to normal in no time.   

This clothing store gave us a chance and did not regret it. If you give us a chance, you will not regret it either. Give our office a call at (714) 622-5096 and let us show you what we can do.   

Smoke and soot clean up

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Garden Grove will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –  (714) 660-0701

Water Damage in a Boutique Store

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Our technicians are IICRC certified to extract water just like the our technician is doing above.

Silver lake, California is usually the place to go for good food, people watching and shopping for unique pieces of clothing. Our team’s visit to Silver Lake was a very different experience. When we arrived at the trendy boutique we were called to, the small vintage store’s floor was submerged by water. The employees were trying their best to sweep the excess water with brooms, but there was just too much water.

We got to work immediately and began extracting the water with our extracting wands. After there was less water, our techs placed 8 air movers and a dehumidifier to help dry and remove any excess water that was still there. In 2 days, they were back in business and the owner was relieved that he made the call to SERVPRO of Garden Grove West.

Water damage can happen anywhere at any time-in even the trendiest places. If you need water damage help for your business, give us a call at (714) 660-0701 and set up an inspection with us today.        

Reduce Your Risk of Mold By Repairing Leaky Appliances

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky Appliances Can Cause MOLD!

Leaky appliances in your home can lead to extensive water damage and even mold growth if not taken care of quickly. If the conditions are right, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to start growing. By keeping an eye on your appliances, you can help catch leaks early and reduce the risk of mold growth.

Follow these tips to help reduce the risk of leaky appliances and pipes in your home and reduce your risk of mold growth.

  • Regularly check your washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, sinks and toilets for signs of leaks.
  • Routinely check for leaky pipes, appliance hoses and faucets.
  • If you see signs of leaks, such as condensation or water collecting anywhere, dry it quickly and find the source of the leak and fix it.
  • Fix plumbing problems immediately.
  • Monitor your utility bills each month. An unusually high water bill can be a sign of an unseen leak.

By keeping an eye out for leaks from appliances and other water sources in your home, you can catch leaks early and reduce the risk of water damage and mold growth. If you do encounter mold growth or other water damage, give us a call at (714) 660-0701. SERVPRO of Garden Grove can make it “Like it never even happened.” 

When Rainwater Damage Attacks

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Garden Grove West to the rescue! Extracting water with the best equipment.

Discovering a flood in the restroom and rooms of this finance office was not making the property manager happy. After the not so common rain came to Los Angeles, it did some major damage to the carpet, drywall and baseboards. When we did our walk through with the property manager of the commercial building, our production manager suggested what should be done. After all of his questions had been answered, he was confident that we would have his building in tip top shape and the finance office back in business.

Our SERVPRO technicians began to measure every inch of the drywall to see exactly how much moisture was soaked up. After doing a sketch of the entire office and marking where the water damage was, we began to extract excess water from the carpet and dried it in place. As for the drywall, we had to do some demolition and cut about 1 foot up from the floor. This was not too bad, since we saved the rest of the wall in the office. We had a very trusted vendor do the reconstruction, while our team was closely involved.

The property manager was happy to see that we performed and completed everything that had to be done in under two weeks. If you would like to schedule an inspection for storm damage that has happened to your commercial property, call us at (714) 660- 0701 and we will explain the next step to you.

Effects of Water Damage

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration in the Works

Water damage is a problem that most property owners dread. When it rains heavily or snow melts quickly, the risk of this type of damage increases. Water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by damaging wood furniture, upholstery, electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. Water damage also increases the risk of mold growth, which is a very expensive problem to remediate. Hiring a water damage restoration company can make the cleanup process easier to handle, as these companies employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup.

Causes of Water Damage

There are several possible causes of water damage. Leaky dishwashers, clogged toilets, broken pipes, broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, and foundation cracks are just some of the possible causes of water damage in homes and businesses. Floods, heavy snow, and heavy rain are other possible causes of this type of damage and can lead to having water in basements. Too much water can lead to minor problems such as water in basement areas, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses. Once a home or business sustains water damage, it is important to start the water damage cleanup immediately. Starting water damage cleanup as soon as possible increases the likelihood of saving water-soaked furniture, carpets, rugs, clothing, and other items.

Categories of Water Damage

Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows. Category 2 water is also called gray water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness of ingested. This type of water contains microorganisms. Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage. Category 3 water is known as black water. This type of water is unsanitary, as it contains bacteria and other organisms that cause sickness. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options. Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation. Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage. Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture. Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete.

Restoration Process

The water restoration process is an important one. Using the right procedures and materials can help people save cherished belongings and even prevent their homes from being condemned. Water restoration companies specialize in mitigating the effects of water, but the success for water damage restoration depends on the severity of the damage and the amount of water that caused the damage. Water restoration companies may hire outside experts to assess a property and determine a water restoration and water removal plan. These water restoration companies typically use high-tech equipment and well-documented procedures to control water damage. Water in basement areas may only require a short cleanup process, but water in other areas of a property will require extensive remediation.

Health Hazards

It is important to hire one of these water damage restoration companies as soon as possible after water damage occurs. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other organisms, increasing the risk for serious health problems. Mold exposure may aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms, especially in children and people with compromised immune systems. Exposure may also increase the risk for respiratory diseases and other medical problems. Cleaning up immediately can help mitigate the health effects of water damage on everyone in a home or commercial space.

What to Do During a Fire

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Know What to do During a Fire

  • Get out as quickly and as safely as possible. The less time you are exposed to poisonous gases, the safer you will be.
  • If a stove fire starts, slide a lid over the burning pan and turn off the burner. Leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool. Using a lid to contain and smother the fire is your safest action. Getting the fire extinguisher or baking soda to extinguish the fire delays action. Flour and other cooking products can react explosively to flame and should never be sprinkled over fire. Moving the pan can cause serious injury or spread the fire. Never pour water on grease fires.
  • If you try to use a fire extinguisher on a fire and the fire does not immediately die down, drop the extinguisher and get out. Most portable extinguishers empty in 8 to 10 seconds. After some residential fires, people have been found dead with fire extinguishers near them or in their arms.
  • If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door, cracks, and doorknob with the back of your hand before opening the door. If it is cool and there is no smoke at the bottom or top, open the door slowly. If you see smoke or fire beyond the door, close it and use your second way out. If the door is warm, use your second way out. It is a natural tendency to automatically use the door, but fire may be right outside. Feeling the door will warn you of possible danger.
  • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. The less time you are exposed to poisonous gases or flames, the safer you will be.
  • If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit. Fires produce many poisonous gases. Some are heavy and will sink low to the floor; others will rise carrying soot towards the ceiling. Crawling with your head at a level of 1 to 2 feet above the ground will temporarily provide the best air.
  • Close doors behind you as you escape to delay the spread of the fire.
  • If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes and you cannot get outside safely, stay in the room with the door closed. Open the window for ventilation, and hang a sheet outside the window so firefighters can find you. Wait by the window for help. The first thing firefighters will do when they arrive at a fire is check for trapped persons. Hanging a sheet out lets them know where to find you. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.
  • Once you are out, stay out! Firefighters are trained and equipped to enter burning buildings. If someone is still inside, direct them to that person's probable location.
  • Get out first, away from toxic smoke and gases, then call the fire department from a neighbor's home or from an outside phone. If a portable phone is handy during your escape, you may take it with you, but do not waste precious time looking for one. Use your neighbor's phone, a car phone, or nearby pay phone to call for help.

Mold 101: The Effects on Human Health

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Inside Attic Home

Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of fungi - unwanted, unappealing patches of black, brown, yellow, pink, green, smelly, fuzzy growths. Countless species of mold are found both indoors and outdoors.

"Mold" and "fungus" have many connotations, most of them unpleasant: musty odors, damp basements, moldy carpets, water leaks, soggy drywall, athlete's foot, and poisonous mushrooms, among others. On the positive side, molds are also responsible for penicillin and blue cheese; yeasts are fungi (plural of fungus) used to make bread, beer, and wine; and some types of mushrooms are considered edible delicacies. And without fungi to break them down, the world would be buried in leaves, trees, grass, and garbage.

Although mold and its spores are literally everywhere, active mold growth requires moisture. Whether on visible surfaces or hiding behind drywall, in attics, or under carpets, indoor mold grows in the presence of excessive dampness or water. Also found in damp indoor environments are:

  • bacteria;
  • dust mites;
  • break-down products of bacteria and molds, such as proteins, cell-wall particles (glucans) and volatile organic compounds (the actual cause of the musty odor associated with mold);
  • airborne chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter caused by destruction of materials by growing molds.

Indoor mold may be unsightly and smelly, but the potential problems are more serious than that. By definition, actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity. In addition, mold is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections. (Some health effects attributed to mold may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mold-colonized environments. So-called "toxic mold" has been claimed as the cause of "toxic mold disease"; this syndrome remains undefined and "toxic mold" as a cause remains unproven. "Toxic mold" is also unproven as a cause of the various symptoms associated with "sick building syndrome".1,2)

Mold growth in homes, schools, and businesses should be eliminated for the sake of human health, structural integrity, and quality of life. Cleaning up small amounts of mold can be done by homeowners. Eliminating mold from large areas requires expertise and protection both for the removal specialists and occupants of the affected space.

Fungus and mold

Fungi comprise a vast world of organisms, perhaps as many as 300,000 species. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines funguses, or fungi, as "types of plants that have no leaves, flowers or roots." Fungi include such seemingly unrelated substances as poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms; organisms that can cause athlete’s foot, fingernail infections, and some types of pneumonia; molds found in cheese, peanut butter, mulch, hay, grains, and spoiled foods; and the black material growing in bathroom grout.

Fungi reproduce by means of spores which are spread through the air but land and survive on surfaces. Many spores can remain dormant for long periods under dry conditions, but typically develop into fungi in the presence of moisture.

Outdoors, fungi break down organic matter, including leaves, grass clippings, and dead trees. The fungi themselves constitute a large mass of material with many types of spores. These spores vary with the material on which they are found, the season, and the weather. At any given time, the same types of spores are found indoors because they enter through doors and windows and on clothing and shoes.

Molds are fungi. Homes and structures often provide many opportunities for mold spores to grow, even in the absence of frank water leaks: seepage through foundation walls and cellar floors, dehumidifiers and air conditioners, window condensation, defective plumbing, damp bathrooms, air filters, and potted plants. Different types of mold spores thrive on different surfaces; for example, the "yellow slime" found on hardwood mulch won’t be found growing in a tiled bath enclosure.

Common indoor mold species include Aspergillus, Alternaria, Acremonium, Cladosporum, Dreschslera, Epicoccum, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma. Specific types of molds can be tested for and identified. This allows comparison of indoor and outdoor mold species at a given location and time. If the two don't correlate, at least roughly, it is possible that indoor mold colonies have developed. Even if they're not in a visible location, such molds can release spores and other material into the indoor air.

The presence of molds or mold metabolites does not necessarily correlate with human illness, though. Tests identify the presence of these substances at a moment in time, and not necessarily the time frame in which individuals are exposed and illness develops. Also, the presence of these substances does not necessarily mean exposure: the fact that they are present doesn't necessarily mean they were inhaled.

Note that identification of specific mold spores is not necessary when cleaning up indoor mold colonies. It may or may not be useful when treating health effects of mold exposure, depending on the circumstances. In any case, the role of testing for indoor mold is undefined, because as yet there are no standards for interpreting these tests.

Health effects associated with exposure to indoor damp spaces and mold

Molds and other fungi grow easily in damp indoor environments. People who spend time in such environments sometimes complain of respiratory effects, headaches, and other physical symptoms. In addition to visible or hidden mold, damp spaces likely harbor mold break-down products, dust mites, bacteria, and chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter released from the materials on which molds are growing. Given the difficulties in testing for all of these elements, hard evidence of precise cause-and-effect can be elusive.

In an extensive 2004 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) did not find enough evidence to identify health effects which were definitely caused by spending time in damp indoor spaces. However, the experts found that being in damp indoor spaces seemed related to respiratory illnesses: nose and throat [upper respiratory] symptoms, cough, wheeze, and asthma symptoms. They also found limited evidence that these environments can be associated with shortness of breath, the development of asthma in people who did not previously suffer from it, and lower respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath) in healthy children. Based on available research, IOM was not able to substantiate claims of numerous other symptoms such as skin irritations, fatigue, cancer, lung disease, or respiratory infections. There was enough evidence of health effects overall, though, that IOM identified damp indoor spaces as a public health problem that needs to be addressed.

Publications in 2007, 2010, and 2011 did not substantially change those findings. They reiterate that there is evidence to support an association between damp spaces, indoor mold, and respiratory illnesses. Therefore, whether the precise cause is mold or an accompanying indoor contaminant, spending time in places damp enough to support the growth of mold is a potential cause of ill health. Whether or not mold is actually seen, finding and fixing the sources of excess moisture are important for health and to keep the structure from being further damaged. Researchers note that, if dampness and mold could be confirmed as a cause of ill health, controlling these conditions would make a substantial contribution to public health.

Commercial vs. Residential Fire

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Work

Commercial vs. Residential

There are three main reasons why we must approach commercial fires differently than residential fires.

Building construction: The average house has many compartments and at least some fire protection for the ceiling support members in the form of the drywall ceiling. In contrast, most modern commercial structures include lightweight open bar joist trusses that span a large, open area designed for retail or office use. Because commercial buildings lack the compartmented features of a house, the fire has the potential to grow much larger, much faster.

Consider this: In a 2,000-square-foot house with one or two involved rooms, the walls may limit fire spread to a few hundred square feet. In a 2,000-square-foot commercial building without such “compartments,” a small fire is more likely to grow at a much faster rate. Hence, buildings of the same overall size may produce vastly different sized fires. Add to this the open nature of many commercial roof assemblies, which are often unprotected from direct flame contact, and you get buildings that will fail faster than residential structures.

Hidden fire: The second major difference between residential and commercial structures is that moderate or large commercial structures can conceal a large fire without showing the classic indications of a working fire. One example: A fire in a 1,000-square-foot house will probably fill the house with a smoke layer that’s close to the floor. The same size fire in a 5,000-square-foot commercial structure may present with smoke only at the ceiling level. It’s the same amount of smoke; it’s simply dispersed over a larger area. We tend not to feel threatened by smoke that’s 12 feet above us; however, the roof assembly is directly exposed, increasing the potential for collapse.

This example shows why we cannot treat a commercial building the same way we treat a house. Moderate smoke showing from a 3,000-square-foot house may lead us to take an offensive approach. The same presentation from a commercial structure probably indicates a much larger and more dangerous fire. If we use the same offensive approach, we’re likely to get into serious trouble. Add to that the inherent difficulties in finding and attacking the fire in a large building, and you can see where the risk becomes compounded. It takes more personnel with longer, larger lines a greater amount of time to attack the fire. Plus, the bigger the fire and the longer it burns, the more likely it is to bring down the structure.

Access, egress & ventilation: The third significant difference between residential and commercial structures is the ease at which we can access, egress and ventilate the buildings. Doors in commercial buildings are grouped in a way that benefits the retailer in their effort to control the customer. They are typically located in a single area and are designed for easy egress only once you reach them. They are not evenly spaced around the structure. Have you ever been out the back door of a Wal-Mart? Although the exits are required to be large enough for the customer traffic, they were never intended to be spaced evenly enough for firefighting access or egress.

As for ventilation, even the most well staffed fire departments will find it a challenge to cut holes large enough or fast enough to keep up with the volume of smoke produced by a significant working fire in a commercial structure.

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