Quick Guide to Understanding Fire-Related Damage
Fire damage isn't always the same from one building to the next.
After a fire in Anaheim, CA, it can be hard to know what the next step should be. As a commercial building owner, you need to call in a fire mitigation team to ensure your damage is taken care of in the best way possible. However, you also need to know what counts as fire damage. After all, flames can affect a lot, including:
Fire can even cause different kinds of damage, such as water and smoke damage. When you're making an insurance claim, what should be considered fire-related damage and how do you show it?
While the fire itself may not have caused the water and smoke damage, your insurance adjuster will likely consider these issues as part of the fire-related damage. This means your water-logged equipment may be covered by your building insurance because the machinery was damaged in the process of putting out a fire. Any interior or exterior surfaces affected by smoke can also be lumped in with your fire damage.
As a general rule of thumb, you can include anything affected by the fire on your report. This means any structural issues, equipment damage or lost belongings may be covered by your insurance policy. Of course, the exact coverage depends on your specific policy.
Documenting the damage done by a fire can be tricky. The flames may have destroyed certain documents, furnishings and other belongings, making it hard to show your insurance provider exactly what was destroyed. If you have an inventory list, you can send that in with the pictures of the fire-ravaged area. You may also be able to send in before-and-after pictures to better indicate what was maimed during the blaze.
Fire damage isn't always the same from one building to the next. Your insurance adjuster may deem the building and everything in it as fire-damaged, but back up your claim with documentation just in case. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com/.
Tips for Preventing Bathroom Mold
Dark patches on the walls, or behind the sinks and toilets, can indicate leaking pipes and a ripe opportunity for mold to take root and grow.
Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold. Even without significant water damage from floods or natural disasters, the pipes and fixtures can often leak – or just splashing and overflows can create standing water issues that lead to mold growth. For tips on mold prevention in your Anaheim, CA, home’s bathroom, let’s take a look at how to first keep your bathroom in proper working order.
Watch for Water Damage
Many people don’t think about the fact that water damage can still happen in a room where people constantly shower, wash their hands, and flush high volumes of water down the toilet. Yet damage from water can happen quite easily, and next thing you know there’s black mold creeping up your walls and surrounding the fixtures. To prevent mold growth, make sure you follow these tips:
• Dry up any bathtub or toilet overflows immediately. These overflows can seep underneath bathroom tile and cause it to buckle, creating pockets of standing water where mold can breed. Even if you have hardwood floors, water can cause the floors to warp and soften, allowing mold to grow in the cracks.
• Inspect any drips. Pervasive drips from faucets and shower heads or around the base of toilets can mean a problem with the sealant or with the pipes. Professional inspection is a must to ensure everything stays water-tight, or you may end up with a mold problem.
• Turn on the fans when you shower. Fans are designed to suck steam out of the bathroom so that the moisture can’t condense on the walls. When dampness condenses, it can not only ruin the paint but encourage mold growth.
• Watch for dark patches. Dark patches on the walls, particularly behind the sinks and toilets, can indicate leaking pipes and a ripe opportunity for mold to take root and grow. If these dark patches have black splotches in them, you may already have a mold or mildew problem. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com/
Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?
Contact a damage restoration service in Anaheim, CA, if your home becomes damaged by a lightning fire.
Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?
Fire departments respond to over 20,000 fires caused by lightning every year. This weather phenomenon caused as much as $451 million in property damage every year between 2007 and 2011. Different types of flashes pose varying levels of lightning fire risk. Flashes may consist of
• One or more leaders
• Return strokes
• Return strokes and continuing current
A flash may be considered either hot or cold, depending on the type of current.
• A hot flash has continuing current and illuminates with varying levels of brightness. An object struck by a hot flash may heat and ignite.
• A cold flash has return strokes and tends to flicker
• Other flashes combine return strokes and continuing current
Flashes travel through air and do not require conductive objects, but the following conductors facilitate the trip from the clouds down to the ground.
• Downspouts and gutters
• Electrical wiring
• Gas lines
• Phone, cable TV, or internet wiring
• Water pipes
• Window frames
A flash may travel down more than one conductive path or jump through the air to a path with better grounding. This phenomenon, known as side flash, may ignite flammable building materials or increase the risk of fire along electrical circuits. A hidden house fire within the attic, roof, or walls is the major lightning fire risk. Contact a fire department after a direct strike using a cell phone or non-wired device.
Strikes also pose a risk of close-range shock wave damage. The same conditions that cause thunder may
• Blow out plaster walls
• Cause shrapnel damage
• Crack foundations
• Damage chimneys
• Fracture brick, cinderblock, concrete, or stone
• Shatter glass
• Make soil trenches
If you live in a region with frequent strikes, you may want to have protection system installed in your home or add specialized coverage to your insurance policy. Contact a damage restoration service in Anaheim, CA, if your home becomes damaged by a lightning fire. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com/
What To Do When Mold Keeps Coming Back
Mold in a residential property.
For those of you who have had to deal with mold growth in your commercial facility in Anaheim, CA you may have noticed that mold often comes back in the same place as before. This is even more common if water damage has occurred at the location. It can be frustrating to clean out an area only to come back a little while later and see mold has taken over again.
Cause of Recurring Mold
Mold needs water to spread, which is why having an environment that is free of moisture is the best prevention for outbreaks. In a mold spore, hyphae are the root-like part of the fungus that grows and seeks out nourishment. Once it finds what it needs and takes root, colonies of mold can begin to build and take over an area. This means that it is difficult to get rid of a colony once it is in place.
Having a facility with high humidity can make it easier for mold to grow. When the air is damp, mold can draw the moisture from the air, just as it would from a surface that is wet. Too much mold growth can lead to the destruction of some parts of your building, so it is crucial to handle the situation as quickly as possible.
Mold Removal Options
If your facility has only a small amount of mold, scrubbing the area with soap and water may take care of the issue. However, if it grows back, or if you have a more pronounced amount of mold, professional cleaners are typically needed. These experts can inspect the mold, determine what is contaminated, remove the mold, and help to restore your building to its former glory.
Mold is something nobody wants to deal with, but handling it quickly is essential for the health of your building. Mold growth is not something to ignore or allow to spread. Take care of the problem now to avoid more trouble in the future. Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on mold.
3 Tips for Proactive Commercial Plumbing Maintenance
Flooded bathroom in a commercial property.
"Out of sight, out of mind" may be a fine strategy for cleaning your apartment, but it’s a terrible philosophy for plumbing problems. Whether you manage a hotel, an office, or the first cat café in Anaheim, CA there's a lot going on behind your commercial property's walls. Here are three tips for keeping things dry.
1. Keep an Eye on the Break Room
Managing a commercial property means you've got a lot on your plate. Still, it's important to inspect the break room from time to time to make sure your employees are emptying their plates in a way that's safe for your plumbing. Coffee grounds is one of your break room sink's worst nightmares. Installing drain screens can spare your sink from this and other common clogging culprits.
2. Keep an Eye on Everywhere Else, Too
Know how to spot the signs of plumbing problems before it becomes a plumbing catastrophe and you have a broken water main on your hands—or damp clenched fists. Contact a plumber if you notice
• sinks that drain slowly or won't drain at all,
• water that won't get hot,
• toilets that chronically clog or won't flush,
• low water pressure,
• standing water around your building,
• damp drywall,
• or unusually high water bills.
3. Treat Your Property Like Your Car
You don't wait until your beloved '93 Ford Tempo is spewing fumes on the side of the road to haul it into the auto shop; you have regular maintenance performed, such as oil checks and tire rotations. Treat your building's plumbing the same way. Scheduling regular inspections of your pipes and fixtures—inside and outside—can keep them working longer. A leaking or broken pipe that goes unnoticed loses an average of 3,000 gallons of water per year, and that can mean 3,000 gallons worth of water damage to your property.
Don't hesitate to call a professional commercial plumber in Anaheim, CA at the first sign of something wrong. Acting fast can prevent simple plumbing problems from turning into serious, "Hey, uh, does anybody have a rowboat?" problems. Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on commercial water damage.
3 Tips To Be Confident in a Flood
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience flood damage in your home or business.
It can be frightening to wake up in the middle of the night in Anaheim, CA and step into water as you put your feet on the floor. This can happen from indoor water sources such as a faulty toilet valve, a cracked water supply line, or a pinhole flaw in a copper water pipe. It can also happen due to external water sources such as storm damage, a failed dam, or an especially heavy rain. A home flood can be intimidating, but if you know how to deal with it and get the right restoration company, you can have peace of mind knowing that, in the end, your life can come back together again.
1. Stop the Water
Your first priority is to stop the source of water if possible. For indoor water sources, this usually means shutting off the water using the house water valve. You may not be able to stop external water sources, but do your best. Sand bags can be used to prevent or redirect incoming flood waters.
2. Call a Restoration Company
When you face a home flood, a quality cleanup and rebuild company can be your best friend. Contact it as soon as you can. One of the most helpful things these professionals can do is use specialized equipment to detect water in places behind walls that you can’t see unless you tear out the wall.
Your restoration specialists may also be able to help minimize damage by using specialized equipment. This equipment can dry out areas behind walls, in crawlspaces, and under flooring without needing to do much cutting.
3. Dry Out
Even before your restoration company arrives, you can do some things to start the drying process. You may even be paid for your work, since many restoration companies offer reimbursement for the work you do to help them. Specific items to dry out as soon as possible include the following:
• Carpet padding
• Important papers
• Fine furniture
Flooding from a broken pipe or storm doesn’t have to rock your world. These tips should increase your confidence in dealing with a home flood. Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on storm damage.
Prepping Your Business and Employees for an Incoming Thunderstorm
Thunderstorms are one of nature’s most astounding forces, and while they’re beautiful to watch, the can cause heavy damage to a business like yours in a mere instant if the right precautions aren’t taken beforehand. While it’s impossible for you to stop a thunderstorm before it reaches your building, you can prepare your premises and employees for when the threat arrives. There are some simple yet effective measures you can take in Anaheim, CA:
• Review the Be Red Cross Ready — Thunderstorm Safety Checklist with all of your employees
• Reach out to your fire department to inquire about installing lightning rods
• Invest in first aid training
• Pick a safe gathering place for your employees during an intense rain storm
• Discuss your local emergency weather warning system
Picking a Gathering Place
When a rain storm becomes truly dangerous, you should always relocate your employees to a safe space inside of your building. Ideally, the chosen space should be far away from any windows (especially if high winds are a concern), and any other types of glass that could be shattered from the incoming storm.
In the event that all of your prevention efforts fall short and you or one of your employees are harmed during a thunderstorm, it’s imperative that there’s a proper first aid kit on hand and that someone is present who knows how to use it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to invest in first-aid training for yourself and selected “safety leaders” among your staff in order to respond to storm-related injuries more effectively.
Knowing When It’s Time to Take Cover
If you can hear thunder, then you and your employees should be inside. Audible thunder means there’s lightning close enough to do damage. You and your staff should stay in your gathering place or otherwise indoors for a full 30 minutes after the last thunderclap has been heard to ensure the coast is really clear.
Following these safety guidelines won’t completely eliminate all risks during a severe rain storm. However, such precautions can certainly help to reduce the chances of injury occurring in your building. Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
Handling a Flooded Basement: 3 Actions You Can Take Right Away
When unexpected flooding affects your Anaheim, CA home’s basement, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with finding the source of the water and how to drain it away. Unexpected floods can occur for an array of reasons, from sudden thaws to a plumbing mishap. Knowing which steps to take can help you handle a basement flood calmly, even if it was the last thing you expected.
1. Find the Flood Source
Thawing snow and ice and the resulting runoff may be a cause of basement flooding, especially if your roof has poor drainage or if your gutters and downspouts are clogged. Check your home’s drainage system and clear any clogs, then check to make sure runoff is being channeled away from your home, not toward it. If you find a broken water pipe in your basement, turn off the water to prevent further flooding.
2. Determine Safety Levels
If your basement is flooded with water because of burst pipe, the water should be relatively safe to enter if you want to retrieve stored items right away or attempt pipe repair. However, you may want to cut the power to the room first to avoid any risk of electric shock. If the flood water is coming in from poor drainage or spring flooding, it may contain microbes and pathogens that cause illness, and you should avoid touching this water. Seal off the room until help arrives.
3. Call In Flood Cleanup Professionals
A flood cleanup and restoration company can be your first line of defense against dangerous or standing water after a basement flood. Restoration techs can remove contaminated water safely and advise you about what kind of water damage it left behind. If you are concerned about mold, they can inspect and treat affected areas to ensure no growth occurs.
When your Anaheim, CA home’s basement is affected by flooding, the resulting mess can be hard to handle. However, when you know how to react, you can minimize the damage and get the cleanup process started right away.
Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on water damage.
Potential Causes of Mold in Your Home
Mold has an unmistakable smell and can render your home in Anaheim, CA unpleasant and, in extreme cases, uninhabitable. Some molds, such as black mold, are particularly difficult to thwart once they have set into your walls or other components of your building’s structure. If the problem gets too bad, you will need to hire restoration specialists to rid your home of the growth. The best treatment, however, is prevention. The following issues could cause a moisture problem that leads to mold growth.
Whether your home floods as the result of an internal problem such as an overflowing washer or from an external problem such as a bad storm, the excess water that collects in places it is not meant to be can initiate mold growth. Hiring a professional team to extricate the water and dry out the affected areas can help prevent further damage. When your home floods, make sure the problem is resolved completely to avoid mold.
Your moisture problem may not happen as the result of a one-time event but rather an ongoing seepage issue. If you have a broken pipe or if a supply line gets busted, black mold may grow before you even know that the moisture is there. At that point, you not only will have a pipe to repair but also will need to hire professionals to test the area and, if necessary, start mold cleanup.
General humidity can lead to the growth of mold spores. If you live in an area that experiences high levels of environmental humidity on a regular basis, it is a good idea to have routine mold checks. Even if the humidity is seasonal or sporadic, taking measures to reduce it in your home is a good idea.
Excess moisture can lead to problems such as black mold. If you need mold remediation in Anaheim, CA the sooner you have the problem fixed, the less damage it is likely to cause. Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on mold.
Don't Let Mold Growth Continue
The unexpected discovery of mold in the home can cause frustration, anxiety, and confusion.
More so, mold (fungi) damages your home and can spread. The discovery reveals how homeowners often live for years with its presence, unaware of potential fungi dangers and residual effects.
There are sometimes warning signs, but often, either through ignorance or thinking it’s just mildew, homeowners believe the fungi will just recede, die, and go away permanently. Detection of fungi is serious and needs to be addressed immediately. Procrastinating on a mold issue allows the mold to spread thousands of tiny spores throughout the rest of your uncontaminated home. It potentially leads to costly replacement costs of sheet rock walls and ceilings, as well as microbial growth decontamination. The bottom line? Fungi growth will need to be remediated. The longer you wait, the worse it gets.
Visit http://www.SERVPROanaheimwest.com for more information on mold damage.