Recent Posts

Being Prepared With an ERP

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO ERP photo description. SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile

For a business owner and homeowner, a worst-case disaster scenario involving fire or water damage can seem unthinkable until it suddenly becomes a reality. In the aftermath of a disaster, a quick response time by a disaster recovery company such as SERVPRO® of Sunland/Tujunga can help minimize property damage. 

Owners need to have a quick and convenient emergency disaster plan that connects them with vendors, necessary contacts, and pertinent information when disaster strikes. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) is a respected industry tool during a disaster event. An ERP is so valuable, that in the midst of the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, an owner or manager can be provided a sense of calm and clarity in reaching out for expert help.

When building an emergency plan, there are four keys to remember:

  1. Identify your facility’s greatest threats in order to assess the overall severity of the event. During this discovery mode, what are your greatest threats (i.e. fires, tornadoes, floods, etc.)? Look at your locations. Do you have any that would be in a “tornado alley,” at risk for hurricane damage, or subject to deep freezing temperatures? Try to think outside the box, without becoming a doomsday prepper!
  2. Document all vital information and establish clear communication activities. An ERP needs to contain critical property information that can help speed up response time after a disaster occurs. Consider including any documented prior loss history, identify and label utility shut off locations, and prioritize your key contacts. Prior loss history can provide first responders and restoration vendors with historical information on your facility’s condition. Proper utility identification will allow for quicker response times for emergency shut off, requests and key contact information is vital to starting the recovery process, allowing you to quickly contact key personnel and answer priority questions.
  3. Practice! Practice! Practice! There is no “textbook” event, so expect the unexpected. You should conduct practice sessions to make sure everyone is clear on the process. Always have clear evacuation routes in your ERP, and set a distribution chain for your disaster recovery plan amongst key contacts and various locations.
  4. Keep it updated, and have all necessary information communicated with your insurance company and emergency restoration vendors. The best way for the recovery to begin is remaining proactive by always keeping your ERP updated. Your SERVPRO representative can help keep your ERP up-to-date. People will come and go, updates will be made to the facility, and utilities can change. This should be a dynamic document that changes as your business does. If you don’t keep it updated, you’ll be several steps behind when disaster strikes.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

How to Help Home Fire Survivors

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Yellow caution tape with fire trucks in the backround. How can you help when someone in your community loses everything to a fire?

As restoration professionals, we at SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga frequently work with homeowners going through the worst disasters of their lives. We’re proud to be able to help and to fix what’s been damaged. We know the joy of making homes “Like it never even happened.” But what do you do when someone’s home is actually destroyed by fire?

How can we as a community step up when a family loses everything in a fire? If you know the family, the simplest way to help is to give your neighbors the items that survivors of house fires need the most:

  1. Immediate necessities. Imagine walking into a hotel room with no bags. What do you change into after your shower? How do you brush your teeth? Gently used clothes from your own closet are generally considered appropriate since they’re immediately available and don’t require the time and effort of wardrobe shopping. But on your way to deliver them, stop by Walmart or Target and grab some new socks and underwear.
  2. Short-term basics. Now imagine moving into a new apartment with no boxes—no towels to put in the linen closet, no dishes to put in the cabinet. As you’re preparing to help a neighbor in need, mentally walk through your day and think about all the things you use daily. 
  3. Long-term help. Now if you really know the family, work with them to provide assistance as they go through the process of recovery. Are you good with organizing? Maybe you can help them work with the insurance companies? Do you know their kids? Suggest a playdate while the parents work their to-do lists? Create a meal calendar for their friends or just take them out and let them talk.

If you don’t know the family affected by fire damage (or if it’s a community-wide disaster you’ve seen on the news) the best way to help is to donate money. You can give through gofundme.com or local charities, but the Red Cross is a consistently reliable organization with years of experience helping in exactly this sort of situation.

No one can know exactly what it's like to survive a house fire, but we know enough to know that we're needed and that's where we need to start. 

The Process of Making an Insurance Claim After a Flood

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Bedroom after storm damage. Call SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga for any of your storm damages.

Following a Flood, How to File an Insurance Claim

It’s never enjoyable to be on the wrong end of a flood at home. At the very least, these incidents are annoying, take up a lot of your time and cause some stress. In more serious situations, floods can cause extensive damage and may even destroy portions of your home and possessions. As soon as flooding occurs in your home, you should contact your insurance company and make a flood claim. This will get the ball rolling on providing the cleanup and financial assistance you need.

Get Information Together

Regardless of the size of the flood, if there is any damage, you should file an insurance claim. Before you call your insurance representative, gather relevant documentation and information. These include:

  • Insurance company name
  • Policy number
  • Your contact information (This is important because you may not be at your home during and after the incident, so you need to provide the agent with a phone number where you can be reached anytime.)

Make Note of the Damage

Your insurance company will need evidence that the flood in your home damaged property and possessions. First, start by taking photographs of anything and everything the flood-damaged. This includes walls, floors, furniture, books, electronics and any parts of the home’s structure. Your flood claim should also include items that you may have lost in the flood. Keep in mind, the insurance company will likely only replace the items if you document value and date of purchase.

Fill Out the Necessary Forms

Your insurance company will ask you to fill out a Proof of Loss document. Make sure you do this as quickly after the flood as possible.

A flood claim is an essential part of your recovery and cleanup process following an incident of this magnitude. You don’t have to handle the aftermath of this disaster on your own. It will go more smoothly if you understand the claims process.

24-Hour Emergency Services - Board Up

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

This is an after picture of a local commercial building that had been hit by a car. SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is here to board up your home or business in case of emergency.

Boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through, especially if it is your property that has been damaged.  

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making your stressful situation even worse.  Not to mention boarding up after damage, can be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga has many years experience is boarding up both commercial and residential properties.  Board-ups after fires, or abandoned homes are something that we are called out often to do. SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga will also board up commercial properties if a car runs into your building, a rock is thrown through your window, or any other situation that would benefit from closing the damaged space.

Your SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind.  

Mold Remediation vs. Mold Removal

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growing intensely. What the home owner thought was going to be a simple mold remediation, could possible turn into an insurance claim to complete the job.

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga understands the science behind mold and mold growth. Our professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Our Customers are our TOP PRIORITY

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga, our number one priority is to make our customers feel safe and valued. It may sound like that is impossible to do when we arrive under stressful circumstances, which can be devastating. It could be a fire in your home, a broken water pipe that has caused damage, or mold in your place of business.  These are difficult situations and for that reason our employees are sensitive to the needs of our customers. Many times, depending on the damage, a customer may spend days, weeks or even months out of their home or place of work.  We get to know our customers one by one.  Sometimes all they need is for someone to listen and reassure them it will be alright. At the end of the day, we are just people helping people. Our trained crews are there to explain what will happen and help our customer navigate the whole process from start to finish.    

SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga takes pride in our customers knowing that they are our main priority! Call 818-951-6780 to schedule an appointment today!

Is Mold Lurking in Your Home?

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Mold anywhere Mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce health effects.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Fires are Overwhelming

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Dealing with a fire can be overwhelming, every homeowner should take two important actions after a fire:

Keep everyone in your family safe and stay away from the damaged home.

Remember you are safe; Items can be replaced.

A fire is a very serious matter! Fire damage happens fast and among the issues that can take place in the aftermath of the fire, it is important to remain calm and follow some simple rules to help the restoration process go smoothly.

My home just had a fire. What do we do now?

Get everyone to safety!  After a fire, you want to make one important phone call, SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga is your local professional restoration experts!

Your living arrangements are going to change. If your house has only minor damage, and the utilities are working fine, you might be able stay in the home. your family is most likely safer off the premises.

Can you stay in the home?

The final answer comes down to the extent of the damage, and whether is safe to do so.

What items should I take with me?

Any item that is of value to you should be kept in your possession. Difficult to replace items such as photographs, keepsakes, and firearms should also be kept with you. Never leave personal information, cash, medications, or important documents at the site of the fire. Take these items with you to keep them safe!

Storm Damage Cleanup & Restoration

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Ready to help In any event of a storm, contact SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga.

Cleaning Up After a Storm 

Storm loss emergencies can have disastrous effects on your home or commercial property, making it vital to not only secure restoration professionals but also a team of qualified contractors that can help with repairs and reconstruction. Our SERVPRO of Sunland/Tujunga team can help in both of these areas with a full-service approach ranging from assessment and mitigation to restoration and rebuilding. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Structural Damages Caused by Storms 

Our area has been known to suffer some severe weather situations rolling off the ocean. While some of these systems have been large enough to cover the entire state at once, they can also arrive with a violent force that can damage roofs, siding, windows, and more. High winds can knock down trees and smaller structures, and these situations can also have a damaging effect on the main house. Our professionals can help with temporary construction solutions like roof tarping and board up that prevent flood water penetration and seal up unnatural openings to the outside.

How SERVPRO Contends with Flooding in Your House

Flooding is one of the unfortunate side effects of brutal weather conditions, and our fast response in these situations can help to remove standing water from affected areas. With powerful extractors and drying tools, we can eliminate surface water concerns and work on removal from flooring and wall systems with tools such as:

  • Carpet wands
  • Weighted extractors
  • Wet vacuums

If your property has suffered from any type of water or storm damage, please contact our office at 818-951-6780 to get on our schedule to eliminate further damage!

Blackout! How to prepare for "After the Storm"

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Checklist When the storms roll in, "Be Prepared, not Scared!"

Are you prepared in case there is a blackout (loss of power) after a storm? Follow are the 10 tips for how to prepare in the event of a power outage.

TLDR: Watch the following video from FEMA for the 10 tips:

https://youtu.be/4eH7VbMXir4

The American Red Cross suggests the following:

Coping with Power Outages
Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible. 
Energy Conservation Recommendations
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer's lint trap after each use.
  • When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights

While blackouts are not fun, if you are prepared, they can be a lot less stressful for the family. If you have pets, children, anyone with disabilities, senior citizens, or anyone else who may have special needs staying in your home, make sure you have supplies, medicine, and comfort items that will help them cope through the blackout time also.