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.

Prepping Your Home For a Flood

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Hand holding an umbrella over a home being rained on. Prepping your home for a flood is a very vital thing to look ahead for.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you would to do if you knew your home was going to be in a flood? Or what all you can do to help minimize damage? Stopping flood waters may not be an option, but there are steps you can take to help limit the amount of damage. Making sure you have flood insurance is a start, but you can do things within your home to minimize the amount of damage. Like:

  • Getting electrical cords up off the ground higher than the expected water intrusion can help with avoiding a fire and make the structure safer during the recovery process.
  • Putting appliances and utilities up on blocks could possibly help save them. Shutting power off to structure is also another option if you aren’t sure what the expected level of water is going to be.
  • Shutting off power, however, it will also shut down any sump pumps you may have running. • Shutting off gas supply to the house is another way to avoid further issues such as fire, or gas leak and will also eliminate any pilot lights.
  • Waterproofing your basement is another option. It can lessen the amount and speed water enters the home, possibly giving you and your family more time to respond.
  • Putting in gate valves in drains will help stop sewer water from backing up into the home. These should be installed on every pipe coming into the home.
  • Having an emergency ready kit with supplies for everyone in your house to survive on for minimum 3 days is recommended. Kit should include things like, food, water, blankets, flashlights, medication, etc.
  • Make sure you got paperwork for everyone in the family in case your home gets completely ruined and you must start over.

Having a plan in place for what needs to be done before a flood, can save time and gets everyone out safety quickly and efficiently. Be sure to practice this plan so everyone knows their roll.  If the flood waters are slowly rising and you have more time, household items can be moved to a higher level or another location.  Having a plan, of what to do in a flood situation, can save time and money.

A Small Water Leak Can Be a Big Problem

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Copper pipe experiencing a small leak. Very small leak can lead to a very large water loss.

A sudden faucet break with water spewing all over the bathroom, you’d call the plumber to get the damage fixed right away. But, when you have a small drip under your sink, you wait another day, or even weeks to repair the leak.

It might not seem bad in the beginning; even small leaks can become too big for you to handle. By the time you realize it, you’re dealing with a major headache from all the damage and expenses that one simple leak has caused.

Monthly Water Expenses Increase

A dripping sink will affect your water bill. Drips from a leaky faucet or sink can add up to a lot of money on your monthly water bill.

Water Leak Statistics:
The following shows the amount of water that can be lost for various size leaks.

Common water Loss examples:

Leaking Pipe @ 30 drips per second = 2 Gallons per Day
Leaking Pipe @ 60 drips per minute = 5 Gallons per Day
Leaking Pipe @ 120 drips per minute = 11 Gallons per Day

Typical Normal Water Uses:

1 Bath = 42 Gal
1 Shower = 17 Gal to 50 Gal
Wash 1 Load of Clothes = 45 Gal
Flush Toilet = 3 Gal

You can do your own calculations to determine water loss.

Extensive Damage in Your Home

If you think that small leak will always stay small, think again. The damage from the leak can extend to other parts of your home.

Water Extraction

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Vaccum extracting water on a green carpet. Multiple benefits to extracting water first, whenever a water loss occurs.

As an insurance agent, adjuster or property manager you may wonder why SERVPRO extracts water from soaked rugs and carpets that will most likely end up being thrown away anyway! There are a few reasons for this; first, the weight of a wet carpet or rug requires more manpower to remove and move, so extracting water reduces the weight of the carpets to be removed significantly. This not only makes the material easier to lift and requires fewer technicians but it is safer for our technicians to handle, reducing on-site injuries. Also, by removing the weight of the water we reduce the amount of total weight of the waste removed, helping to keep waste removal fees down. Finally, by extracting and removing the water from wet carpets and rugs we are removing the water from the property entirely! The importance of this cannot be understated because removing water from the property quickly is the first step in preventing further structural damage and mold growth. Dragging wet rugs and carpets from a property without extraction can leave water behind and exasperate an already frustrating  situation.

Importance of HVAC Maintenance in Your Business

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Dirty HVAC vent and grill. Why regular HVAC maintenance is important

As a business, you might have your HVAC inspected yearly, but do you have the duct work itself inspected? A buildings duct work should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year, or as needed. A clean filter in the HVAC can help reduce what goes into the duct work, but it won’t catch everything. Duct work can potentially trap harmful allergens and dust within the system. Trapped particles within the system can come loose and circulate around the structure. This can cause employees or customers to have ill side effects. Simply servicing the HVAC system, itself, will not keep your duct work clean. Having your HVAC and duct work serviced and cleaned regularly, can help remediate bacteria, fungi, mold and any bad odors that may be in the duct work. Cleaning duct work can will also, reduce the potential for mold or fungi growth within the system and can also help restore peak power in your HVAC helping it run more efficiently thus saving you money on energy costs!

Restoring Your Commercial Property

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Green Commercial Water Damage Banner with a water damaged office. Restoring your Sunland/Tujunga water damage commercial property.

We're here to help. Flooding and water damage events in the Sunland/Tujunga commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga

SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

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