Recent Posts

Call SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga for a mold inspection after water damage

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on drywall. If you run into a mold issue similar to the picture shown above, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is here to help!

Sometimes a slow leak occurs inside your home causing damage that goes unnoticed. Many times people do not know that water damage occurred until they notice a foul mildew smell or see the presence of black mold. Once mold exists, spores created by the fungus can travel to other rooms inside your house.

The spores easily become air-bound and travel to other areas of your home, possibly creating an issue with fungi in other areas besides the source. SERVPRO's technicians know how to mitigate mold. We always follow a strict set of procedures when mitigating fungal issues so that the fungus does not spread into other areas of the home or complex.

Water damage scenarios create increased moisture that makes a good environment for mold development. Mold needs water, food and the ideal temperature to form and become a problem. Mold feeds off of any organic materials including paper and wood.

Various strains of mold grow in different temperatures. Some rare mold strains develop in extremely cold or hot temperatures. However, most types of fungi develop between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most types of fungus need incredibly high levels of moisture to survive. Although, some mold strains exist in rooms that have a relative humidity of 65%. When trying to prevent mold growth after a water damage situation, we attempt to drop the relative humidity below 65%.

The time it takes for mold to develop depends on the conditions. Some forms of fungus grow within twelve hours of a water damage problem taking place. Other molds grow into colonies but take between 24 and 48 hours to develop.

Most houses offer many food sources for a fungus. Outside dirt, drywall, carpet, and paper all offer mold growth opportunities if the moisture levels and the temperature inside are ideal. The more time that passes, the worse a mold problem can get.

If water sits inside your home for a long time, then it spreads to areas where microbes already exist and cause mold to develop. For help preventing fungus growth, call SERVPRO  of Sunland/Tujunga 24/7 emergency service.  

Flood Watch vs Flood Warning – What’s the Difference?

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Cloudy skies Stormy weather is coming, make sure you are prepared for and ready to take it on.

Flooding can occur rapidly and can cause major damage to homes and businesses. The National Weather Service or your local weather service issues flood watches, warnings, and advisories. But what do they mean? Below are the differences between the announcements and what you need to do for each.

Flood Advisory – this is the lowest level of flood notifications. Flooding may be possible under the current weather conditions, but if a flood does occur it is usually less severe. It is best to pay attention to weather announcements and be alert to the risk of flooding.

Flood Watch – this indicates that flooding may be possible in your area within 24 to 48 hours. It means that conditions are favorable for a flood, but not guaranteed. Be ready to seek shelter because a flood watch can quickly turn into a flood warning.

Flood Warning – this means flooding is imminent or already happening in your area. Some things you should be aware of at this time include locating emergency shelters, evacuation procedures, avoid low lying areas, and stay tuned for weather updates. If officials advise evacuation, do so immediately.

Flash Flood Warning – flash floods are sudden and violent. This usually occurs within six hours or less when rain is heavy or levees and dams break. Because flash flooding happens so rapidly, there may not be time to send out alerts. If you become aware of this warning, seek higher ground immediately. Even if it is not raining in your area, flash flooding can still develop when the warning is issued.

Flooding can be very dangerous and sometimes very sudden. In inclement weather, always be alert to your local weather service or the National Weather Service for updates and how to protect yourself.

Common Fire Hazards That Can Be Found in Your Home

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Home on fire. Fire hazards are at times inevitable, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is here to help.

No one likes thinking about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for a multitude of Americans.

One way you can help protect your home is by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them. In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common household fire hazards.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a 5 year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.

Candles caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent of those fires resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires.

Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.

When burning a candle, be sure it’s kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home and always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.

While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths.

An estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage per the Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes. 

If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.

Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out and keep in mind that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.

While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that can be present in your home. 

Protecting Your Home From Flood Damage

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Debris on a street during a storm. During the worst of storms, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is the first response team to help.

No one likes to consider the possibility of flood waters compromising their home, but the gravity of the situation is that 90% of natural disasters include flood water. While your home may not be in a known floodplain, it’s still beneficial to know proper protocol if the threat of flooding is looming ahead.

We know that flooding cannot be prevented, but it is possible for you as a homeowner to minimize the damage to your property thanks to these steps:

Talk over emergency procedures. You should be creating and discussing disaster plans and various evacuation routes with your entire family. It’s vital that everyone is familiar with these. Be sure that the shut-offs for electricity and gas are known, too. Another smart plan is to have emergency supplies at the ready.

Know your risk. You can check with your local emergency management office or use the FEMA flood map tool to learn more about the risk of flooding in your area and what precautions you should be taking.

Raise valuables. Do you have important items stored in the basement? These could include family memorabilia, tax records and other documents. If so, you’ll want to make sure you have scanned them into a hard drive or have physical copies made. Also, invest in some shelving to help keep items off the floor.

Turn off electricity. While it might seem unlikely that floodwaters will touch your electrical outlets or electrical cords, it’s very possible. And if it occurs, significant damage can occur and the risk of fire greatly increases.

Prepare appliances. Appliances such as washers and dryers can be elevated on bricks or stands to protect the internal workings from water damage in the case of a shallow flood.

Raise hazardous materials. Things like oil, paint and cleaning supplies should all be stored in elevated areas. This can help prevent dangerous spills in floodwater.

Keep propane and fuel tanks anchored. If a fuel tank tips over during a flood, the spill could become dangerous and even a fire hazard. Be sure any fuel tanks on your property are either removed or anchored securely.

When disaster strikes, your No. 1 priority should be keeping your family safe. By taking advance precautions and understanding evacuation procedures ahead of time, you can help protect your home from extensive water damage and protect the family from danger as well.

Preparing for Unpredictable Spring & Fall Weather

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Radar of tornado on a map. During unpredictable storms, we are not prepared. SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is prepared for anything in the storms path.

It’s officially spring and that means one thing—it’s time to buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Springtime’s arrival comes with longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, also comes with the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

The changing weather is due to the unstable temperatures that can go from warm to cold even in the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are increasingly common throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

When looking at natural catastrophe loses in 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

These storms can bring about the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found in modern history that 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

We may not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, but fortunately, forecasters have the tools available to at least give us an idea of severe weather that could be coming. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather. 

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

The Nature of Different Types of Fire

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage home and banner with the SERVPRO slogan. SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga are aware of the different types of fires.

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 Alamo Heights 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. 

Sunland/Tujunga Emergency Fire Tips

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Burning stove top with a sentence in the middle of picture. SERVPRO of Sunland Tujunga will take care of your home fire, call before it is too late!

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until your local SERVPRO® of Sunland/Tujunga Franchise Professionals arrive. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts  to help reduce damage and increase  the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

    •    Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
    •     Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
    •     If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
    •     Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
    •     If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
    •     Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
    •     Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
    •     Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

    •     Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® of Sunland/Tujunga Franchise Professional.
    •     Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Sunland/Tujunga Franchise Professional.
    •     Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
    •     Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
    •     Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
    •     Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Understanding Mold Remediation

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo and Vehicles with Mold Remediation Process slogan. SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga knows beyond mold.

When water damage occurs in a home or commercial property, mold growth is likely to follow. In fact, mold can begin growing within 48 hours of exposure to moisture.

If you are faced with a mold issue, knowing what the next steps are is vital, which is why we’re providing an overview of what mold remediation is in this blog.

You’ve probably seen ads for mold remediation and mold removal, but the latter of the two is a fallacy. Removing all mold from a home or business is simply impossible. Instead, a qualified restoration company focuses on mold remediation, which has the goal of getting mold levels back to normal and natural levels.

Yes, mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They only become an issue when a minor problem is left untreated and turns into a major infestation.

During mold remediation, technicians will isolate the contaminated areas. Depending on the level of remediation, this can be done by either closing all doors and windows or effectively sealing off all doorways and openings with a polyethylene sheeting. Dust in the contaminated areas is then suppressed through misting.

Wet and mold-damaged materials are then removed and discarded in plastic bags. All areas exposed to and affected by the mold are then thoroughly cleaned and dried. A HEPA vacuum can be brought in during some cases to help remove contamination and debris.

The mold area is treated with a biocide and then left overnight to get to work killing the mold spores. The following day, the mold remediation crew will return to encapsulate the affected area and beyond.

If you believe your home or business may have a mold problem, you will want to act quickly. Evaluate the size of the problem, and if the moldy area is more than 10 square feet, it is time to call in the professionals.

The professionals you bring in should be highly trained and certified in areas like:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying

Sunland/Tujunga is Here to Help with Your Commercial Remediation and Restoration Needs

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Two men shaking hands in a construction enviroment.  No Commercial Claim is too big or tough for the SERVPRO Franchise of Sunland/Tujunga.

SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga has the expertise and experience to help with your Sunland or Tujunga commercial damages.  SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga has trained professionals to help with any fire, water, or microbial damage remediation.  From a small kitchen fire to a completely engulfed high rise building, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga can help you with your fire remediation needs.  From a small pipe leak to a fully flooded 10,000 square foot office, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is here to perform the water mitigation.  In addition to these emergency needs, we have the expertise to help with your microbial growth remediation.  As a full service SERVPRO franchise we are able to take any commercial claim from loss to reconstruction utilizing one team.  So, if you are looking for a local family owned company then, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is your remediation experts.  We are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 951-6780.

Commercial Damages

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Water will stop and or slow down business, unless you call the pro's at SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga!

Many commercial business owners know that moisture is often the enemy especially when it can shut your business down. With an average of 50% of businesses not reopening following a major disaster, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga can help make sure your business isn't one of them.

Water can penetrate into any space and take advantage of even the smallest crack, causing damage to the structure. How it enters the building is irrelevant; the response should be the same. Calling in a professional commercial water damage specialist can help ensure there are no lingering health threats to you or your employees once the water damage has been eliminated. 

SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is your local professional for all your commercial water damage needs. Call us today – 818-640-6425.