MOLD-WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT ITS GROWTH
Mold in a storage unit in San Pedro
Mold is a type of fungi which grows in moist locations. Some mold is helpful and is used in medicines, some mold is delicious and is found in cheese or in the form of mushrooms. However, SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill knows that other types of mold can be harmful to our health. It’s not healthy to inhale any type of mold spores, but some types of mold actually produce toxins, known as mycotoxins, that frequently cause a variety of health problems.
Once it’s been determined that your home or business has mold that must be remediated (testing is done and a protocol is written by an environmental consulting company), SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is there to contain the area, follow the protocol and remove the mold to ensure that you are living and working in a safe environment.
So how can we prevent the bad type of mold from growing in the first place?
Mold thrives in dark, moist areas. If your home or business has suffered a water loss remember that prompt mitigation is vital to avoid mold growth which can be visible in as little as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions. Keep in mind that mold can grow on multiple places such as ceiling tiles, wallpaper, carpets, drywall and even wood.
Responding to water damages and other water intrusions immediately can prevent mold growth in those locations. When calling SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill make sure to let them know how long this water damage could have been going on so we can inspect for mold growth as well.
Make sure to keep gutters and drains clear of debris. By keeping clear of build-up this prevents moisture from staying in the drains and will prevent mold from growing.
Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.
Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.
Having a mold issue can be dangerous to your health. Taking preventative steps to defend against mold growth is an important proactive step. When water loss occurs, prompt action and a call to SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill at (562) 591-1788 to insure that the affected areas in your home or business is thoroughly dried and the loss is properly mitigated is key.
KID FIRE SAFETY- BE PREPARED!
Fire damage in a Signal Hill home
You may know what to do during a fire, but do your children? SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill has faced countless losses in homes and businesses due to fire damage so we want families to be prepared. With school coming back in session soon, it's important to make sure that your kids are educated on fire safety. You never want to leave your kids home alone without the proper fire safety education and since you can't predict a fire emergency, fire safety education is key. Here are some important items to remember:
Make sure that you educate your children on what a smoke alarm looks and sounds like. Make sure they can recognize when a fire alarm has gone off and what to do when an alarm has sound. Know two or more routes to exit your home/school during a fire as well as a meeting point away from the location a safe distance from the fire. The American Red Cross suggests "Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling, and meeting outside." It is crucial your children also know how to dial 9-1-1.
When making sure your home is up to fire safety standards, make sure to have escape ladders on the upper levels so that you can escape from windows to safety. The American Red Cross also suggests "use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device." It is important to make your children aware of which windows have quick releases on them and how to use them properly. Also have fire extinguishers readily available, and up-to-date and, at minimum, in the kitchen, garage and on the upper levels.
It's never too soon to start teaching your kids how to be prepared during an emergency, including fires, as they often occur in the home. SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is open 24/7 in case an emergency strikes. We are dedicated to helping restore your residence to pre-disaster conditions, making it “Like it never even happened”.
HOW TO PREVENT WATER DAMAGE: ON VACATION
Water Damage to a Long Beach Home
There may be nothing worse than coming home from a relaxing vacation to a flooded home! Water damage that isn't resolved quickly can turn into a mold problem. When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout the residence in as little as 48-72 hours. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. So avoiding water damage while you are away is key vacation prep! Here are a few tips, before you head out, to keep your property dry and, hopefully, damage- free:
-Inspect the hoses that connect to major appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerator ice-makers. Replace any old or damaged hoses.
-Clear all the debris out of your rain gutters, and check the downspouts for any blockages. This will enable water to exit your roof correctly without flooding or backing up.
-Ask someone to check on your home periodically while you are away to make sure all goes well. If there is a leak or flood, they’ll catch it in the early stages.
-Consider shutting off automatic sprinklers in the front and back of the house. This will prevent you from having a flood in your yard that can migrate into the property.
-Consider turning off the main water in the house. In this way, you are completely avoiding any in-home water damage from pipes that could possibly burst in your absence.
SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is ready to assist when your home is affected by water damage (fire damage, smoke damage, biohazard too) whether you've been away on vacation or not! Call us 24/7 at 562-591-1788 and let us know how we can help!
STORM - HURRICANE HARVEY 2017
A home in Houston ravaged by Hurricane Harvey
It has been nearly a year since SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill packed up three trucks to make the drive from Long Beach, California to Houston, Texas to help with water damage repair cleanup from Hurricane Harvey. So, what was it like?
The drive took three full days due to the heavy equipment we carried with us. As we came closer to Houston, we had trouble fueling up our diesel truck. Driving from small town gas station to small town gas station along our route, we were met with signs over the gas nozzles announcing “Out of Fuel.” The lines were very long, with tempers flaring as locals and long-distance truck drivers competed to fill up their vehicles.
On Day 3 we made it to Houston in the afternoon. The traffic was terrible – and this is someone from Los Angeles saying this. There were many main roads that were still underwater, some looking like rivers as we passed them. We were fortunate to have a friend with a small apartment in Southeast Houston that we could stay at. It became our office, kitchen, and sleeping quarters. A hotel was rented for our technicians who flew in to help with the cleanup work.
The first couple days in Houston was spent organizing supplies, getting the layout of the city, and generally preparing to get started on the work. SERVPRO Storm Team started to send us a steady flow of work after about 4 days. Now, when you are responding to storm damaged homes, there is only so much preparation you can do beforehand. The real problem solving happens in the field once you have your boots on the ground.
The first impression I had when we started working was the great resourcefulness of Texans. Friends and neighbors came to each other’s aid to help pull out damaged furniture, remove drywall, and provide moral support and humor. Driving down neighborhoods, we saw piles of drywall, clothing, and furniture piled high in front yards. After a few days of trash not being cleared, the smell started to fill the humid air. The odor was like what you experience when you clean out a dirty fish tank. Many cars were unusable due to being flooded, so they sat with steamy windows until the towing companies could come through to take them to the junk yards. Despite all this, restaurants were open, Home Depot and Loews were open for business, and people went about their days as best they could, patching the city back together.
The worst houses we worked on were the ones that had been completely swept through with mud. Imagine a tidal wave of mud floating through the entire downstairs of your home. The water lines were taller than me on some of the homes. The mud was everywhere – caked on the floors, on the wall studs behind the drywall, on furniture and clothing. We would remove the furniture, the affected drywall, complete a pressure washing of all the surfaces while extracting the runoff, and then finish by hand wiping, vacuuming, and mopping all the affected areas at least one or more times. The final treatment would be an antimicrobial application.
The customers with the most badly affected homes were the nicest and most grateful. When they could have been angry at their circumstances, they instead showed gratitude. Our crews put in long days with a smile fueled by the good attitudes of our customers. Even the massive number of mosquitoes from all the standing water couldn’t keep us down.
After a month in Houston, we made the long ride back to Los Angeles. The home office ran smoothly in our absence, thanks to our wonderful General Manager and the crews that stayed behind. It was a great adventure. We hoped to have some much-needed downtime when we got back, but Mother Nature had other plans. We returned home to blazing wildfires in Los Angeles and Orange County. Off to help with the fire damage cleanup we went because at SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill and SERVPRO NE Long Beach/Lakewood we are here to help with fire damage repair and water damage repair both on the road and in our own backyard.
COMMERCIAL - WATER DAMAGE
Moisture Meter shows atmospheric readings at this commercial loss in Long Beach
At SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill we do a high volume of commercial water damage services. The term "commercial" in our industry includes office buildings, industrial buildings, multi-unit properties, and retail businesses. So what is the difference between working on commercial water damage repair versus performing our services at residential homes?
While a water damage to a residential home is a huge inconvenience for a homeowner or renter, it can be devastating for a business owner. Instead of one family being troubled with damaged property, a business with a water damage can affect the families of everyone who works there! Quick turnaround time is essential so that the business can get back to normal as fast as possible.
If you dislike Mondays, imagine a Monday morning where you open up the front door to your office and water floods your feet. After the initial panic subsides, you call in SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill to help with the cleanup and repairs. Our initial crews will show up to assess the damage, as well as start the extraction of standing water and placing furniture up on blocks to stop further damage. No two jobs are alike, so our team kicks into problem- solving mode. Additional crews are called in, additional equipment arrives. The adjuster is contacted so he is apprised of the situation on the ground. Most likely testing will need to be ordered to comply with the Lead and Asbestos removal laws.
The needs of the business owner are the most important aspect of the entire process. Do they need to be relocated temporarily? SERVPRO takes care of that. Are there damaged servers or computers that need to be repaired? SERVPRO facilitates that. Was any specialty equipment damaged? Are there any safety hazards? Were any files damaged that need to be salvaged? Do we need to work around the clock? Can we only work through a night shift? There are so many variables. SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill has many resources to help put your business back together as quickly as possible. It is what we do on a regular basis.
Once the drying takes place, the construction repairs follow. An estimate is sent to the insurance carrier for approval. The goal is to complete the repairs quickly so that business can resume as usual. The benefit of having one company do the water damage repair and the construction repair is the smooth work flow. We can write the repair estimate while the drying is taking place, which saves many days of waiting for insurance approval. Many of our clients have special needs, requiring us to work weekends only or nights, and we accommodate them.
Commercial water damage repair is a service that SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill has been offering for 10 years. We are proud of our work product. If you have a water damage at your business, give us a call at 562-591-1788. SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is here to help.
GO GREEN IN YOUR OFFICE!
SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill supports an Eco-Friendly Office Environment
With heat rising and summer in full force we are all aware of how important it is to monitor the A/C to keep your electric bill from sky rocketing… but did you know it has an ECO-FRIENDLY impact?! SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is dedicated to making sure your business or home is disaster free, but we think it is important to stay up to date on some of the best green tips as well. These tips can not only save our environment but can also save you money! Here are some very simple changes you can make in your office that can have a great green & eco-friendly impact!
- Keep your A/C at a constant of 76 degrees and above (lower use of A/C =reduced water consumption and carbon emissions)
- Provide a readily available recycling bin. Employees will be more likely to choose it, when appropriate, over throwing all items in the trash
- Encourage workers to use 'real' or ceramic mugs at work instead of disposable cups (we have some fun mugs in our office!)
- Reduce the amount of printing in the office by relying on emails, white boarding and projectors during meetings. Here in our SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill office we like to use a projector to conduct meetings.
- Recycle used ink and toner cartridges for printers
- Replace standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED bulbs wherever possible. These use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs while delivering the same light output.
- Install low-flow faucet aerators to reduce the flow of water from taps.
- Use weather-stripping and caulking to minimize heat loss from windows and doors.
Unplugging your electronics from the outlets is a great example of an eco-friendly tip that could prevent fire damage in your office as well! Overloading outlets is not only an energy-waster but can result in electrical fires. If this occurs, SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is there to help. For fire damage, water damage and all types of emergency services, contact us 24/7 at 562-591-1788.
And for more ideas, search “green office tips” or check out articles like: www.thriveglobal.com/stories/27906-15-ways-to-be-green-at-work
READY TO RESPOND TO YOUR EMERGENCY 24/7
Water Damage in a Long Beach commercial building
A pipe bursts in the middle of the night, what do you do? Sprinklers go off, sewage backs up, thieves leave behind broken glass and damaged interiors, where do you turn? There is no time frame for when disaster strikes, whether it is water damage, fire damage, a biohazard emergency etc. … so SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is ready for you 24/7. We have employees available to take your call any time, any day, to respond to your disaster. We are fully prepared to help you when an emergency hits your home or business. We know the impact, personally, professionally and financially, lost days can have if an emergency strikes an office or property. That’s why we are committed to making sure that you get back to pre-damage conditions as soon as possible. If a disaster strikes, be it the middle of the night or during a busy work day, make sure to call SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill at (562)-591-1788. We’ll respond to your call, assess your damages and solve your problems!
TSUNAMI: A VERY REAL THREAT IN CALIFORNIA
Being on the coast, Tsunami preparedness is critical for Long Beach
Living in California, and especially along the coast, we’re aware that we can feel the negative impacts from natural threats such as tropical storms and Tsunamis. In fact, just off the coast of California lies the Cascadia fault – which is thought to be up to 30 times more powerful than its more famous neighbor, the San Andreas fault.
SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is here to assist when your home or business is affected by water, fire and storm damages. We also want to provide you information to help you avoid loss or damage to property, personal belongings or, in the worst case, people. Here are some insights about Tsunamis to keep you informed:
Ready.gov classifies a tsunami as "a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite." Tsunamis are also known as seismic sea waves and often mistaken for tidal waves. Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet about sea level have a greater risk of being hit, according to www.Ready.gov
It is important to be aware of evacuation routes close to the beach and have an emergency plan prepared in case one strikes. It is also very important to understand that the first wave often is not the last and could get larger. Once you have reached higher ground, make sure to stay away from effected sites until officials deem them safe. Flooding is the most common safety hazard but, in the aftermath of the event, landslides, floods, debris, and/or contaminated drinking water can also occur.
If you are traveling anywhere tropical, you may want to check out www.tsunami.gov in advance to determine if there are advisory warnings, threats, etc. Also, make sure you keep up-to-date on where to go during an emergency evacuation due to tsunami and who to contact once you reach a safe area.
If your property becomes damaged from a tsunami, or from any loss caused by water, fire, storm or biohazard, SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is here to clean up, restore and, when needed, reconstruct your home or business. Reach us 24/7 at 562-562-1788
FIRE SEASON IN CALIFORNIA CAUSES WIDESPREAD DAMAGE
Fire damage at a home in Long Beach
There have been recent Fires throughout the State, causing fire damage and smoke damage to residential and commercial properties. Here at SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill, we’ve already responded to a number of fire losses in the last month. The overall incidents across the region cause worry among officials and scientists that fire season may come earlier to California this year, amid drought conditions, raising worries of a destructive season ahead. Last year was the deadliest and costliest fire season in the state’s history. No one wants to see another year of deadly fires.
On a personal level, it’s important to be prepared. Stay tuned in to your favorite tv or radio station to keep informed about current fire locations and their status. An informative website is www.fire.ca.gov for up-to-the-minute reports. They not only tell you if there is a fire close to you, but also the level of containment of the fire and how many acres have been impacted. Be sure to have an emergency bag packed and kept up to date in case an evacuation is announced or your property is affected.
Should your property suffer from fire or smoke damage, SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is available, 24/7 to help. We’ll work closely with your insurance company, providing the needed documentation and photos to assist in getting the needed approvals to move forward in cleanup, restoration and, reconstruction of your home or business. We can pack up your belongings and keep them safely stored in our warehouse until they can be returned to your property. We have worked with numerous customers affected by loss caused from fire damage, assisting them through this overwhelming process. Look to the certified, trained professionals at SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill to help you through this difficult time. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened”.
STORM DAMAGE: HOW TO BE PREPARED
Storm Damage to a Home in Santa Barbara
The devastation caused by storm damage can be far-reaching. The residents and business owners in the Greater Santa Barbara area were victims to the cruel effects of the wild fires, mud slides and extreme water damage occurring this year. SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill was there to help with cleanup, restoration and reconstruction expertise.
When a wild fire has affected an area, it becomes susceptible to landslides due to destabilization of the soil or foundation. When a storm is threatening, preplanning and preparation can assist in lessening storm and water damage.
The most important thing to know is how to recognize when the storm will be approaching and the signs that come along with a landslide. Change in the landscape and sudden cracks in the pavement are major signs that a landslide may occur at your home. Indicators such as pipes bursting, and crackling of trees or light rumbling sounds are signs that the ground beneath is moving.
During a severe storm make sure to stay alert and awake. Move away from the path of a landslide or debris flow as quickly as possible. The danger from a mudflow increases near stream channels and with prolonged heavy rains. Make sure to stay clear of all rivers or open bodies of water. If escape from the landslide is not possible, authorities recommend you curl into a tight ball and cover your neck and head as much as possible.
After a landslide make sure you stay away from affected until advised otherwise. Look for and report broken utility lines and damaged roadways and railways to appropriate authorities. Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further home emergencies. SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach/Signal Hill is here to assist you with any storm damages, as well water and fire damages, affecting your home or business. Call us, 24/7, when emergency strikes: 562-591-1788