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SERVPRO Storm Damage Experts

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water flooding driveway of suburban area home. No type of storm is too much for SERVPRO of Van Nuys North. Call us today!

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO of Van Nuys North delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.
 

Storm damage in the Los Angeles area can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “like it never even happened.”
 
Placing your trust in SERVPRO of Van Nuys North for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore you and your family’s peace of mind.

Three Ways to Avoid Water Damage

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Supply line pipe with a slow leak. Follow these simple steps in order to prevent any future leaks.

No matter what time of year it is, if you’re going to be away from your home for an extended amount of time – even just over night – it’s a smart idea to turn off your water until you return home. Why? Because it doesn’t take very much water to cause a whole lot of damage! If your pipes freeze and burst while you’re gone, or if a washer hose ruptures or a supply line leaks, major water damage can occur! There are a few things you can do before heading out of town to give you peace of mind when it comes to the state of your home’s water.

Shut off the Main Water Valve

Your safest bet is to turn off the main water valve. Make sure the adults in your home know where the main shutoff valve is and know how to turn it on and off. (Knowing this will also come in handy if you’re at home during an emergency, so the water can quickly be shut off!) Locate the main water valve near your water meter usually located in the basement, near the front of the house, attached to the outside of the home’s exterior, or in an underground box in the yard.

There are two types of main shutoff valves. You’ll probably find what’s called a “gate valve” if you’re in an older home. Turn the rounded handles a certain number of times to open or close the valve. The “ball valve” is more common today. Turn the lever-like handle 90 degrees in order to turn the water on or off. If this valve crosses the pipes, it’s closed; if it’s parallel to them, it’s open.

Test shutting off the valve ahead of time by locating the main shutoff valve, turning it off, and running a faucet. If no water comes out, you’ve successfully turned off your home’s water supply!

Turn off Individual Water Valves

But what if you’re leaving during the summer and you can’t turn off your entire water supply because you have automatic sprinklers? If this is the case, you can simply turn off individual water valves to the water sources with the highest damage risk. These sources include the dishwasher, washing machine, and ice-maker. Individual shutoff valves tend to be located directly on the supply lines leading to most appliances, including toilets and faucets. Usually, this will be a small rounded handle that you’ll turn clockwise. Doing this will turn off the water to that source. (Take note that the ice-maker shutoff valve may be under the sink or in the basement!)

If you’ll be shutting off individual water supplies, it’s a good idea to kill two birds with one stone and check your supply lines themselves. They can become weak over time, resulting in leaks, cracks, or bulging. If you notice these or other forms of corrosion, you may want to repair or replace them before leaving.

Turn off Water Supply to Outdoor Faucets

If you’re leaving during the colder seasons, it’s a good idea to also shut off the water to your outdoor faucets as well. Their shutoff valve will most likely be located inside your house. Shut it off before you head out the door. Once you’ve shut off the valve, turn on the exterior faucet to drain any excess water. And remember to detach the hoses, too!

If you follow these simple steps, you can rest easy knowing your home won’t be at risk of water damage while you’re away!

Classification of Water Damages

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

A picture of clean water in a sink, a picture of grey water in a washer, and a picture of black water in a toilet. Know the types of water damages you may come across.

In this post we will be explaining some of the basics of water damage and how it can affect your home and health. Water damage is the leading culprit when it comes to property damage and restoration service needs.

Now this actually surprises a lot of folks, when they hear water damage they usually imagine a flood from a nearby river, a natural disaster etc. While events as such do occur, there are more common ways for water damage to affect your home, including:

  • appliance leaks from you fridge, ice machine, washing machines, etc.
  • toilet overflows
  • sinks and bath/shower overflows or left running without attendance
  • broken/leaky water pipes within walls and ceilings
  • drainage issues around the property
  • roof leaks and compromised exterior
  • rain/wind storms

As you can see, water damage can originate from either internal or external sources and once it gets into your home it is important to know what kind of water you are dealing with.

What do we mean by what kind of water? Well in the restoration industry we recognize water in THREE different categories:

  • CATEGORY 1 – Also referred to as “Clean Water”, this means that the water originated from a sanitary source and does not generally pose a risk to our health.
  • CATEGORY 2 – This could also be referred to as “Grey Water”, meaning it contains some contamination and would not be sanitary enough for human consumption, posing a health risk if ingested.
  • CATEGORY 3 – Commonly known as “Black Water”, this is water that is grossly contaminated and could contain disease causing organisms, pathogens, and other harmful materials.

Now you know the 3 different categories of water and how it can enter into your home. Each of these different categories of water damage comes with their own do's and don'ts on how to deal with them. Restoration professionals like SERVPRO of Van Nuys North have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience to handle any water damage emergency. 

Effects of Fire Damage

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Fire burning wood structure with a SERVPRO logo on the top right corner. Fire losses can be devastating in multiple ways.

A large fire in your Van Nuys home or office building can cause terrible problems. Even smaller or more moderate fires can be costly and destroy valuable materials and affect the structure’s integrity. Emergency crews come on the scene to eliminate the fire, mitigate fire damage and make sure everyone is safe. In the process of putting out the fire, however, additional damage from water can occur.

The Effects of the Fire

The thought of a fire starting in your office would probably be one of your biggest nightmares. This event would have the potential to bring your business to a halt. Consider the possible fire damage in.

  • Structural damage
  • Loss of electronic equipment
  • Ruined furniture, carpets and decor
  • Destroyed documents such as books, files and photographs

Firefighters’ Response

While witnessing a fire in your office can be agonizing, you can rely on the professional skill of fire crews to get things under control. Unfortunately, a fire hose sprays so much water to put out the fire that water damage can occur. This creates a whole new set of issues and may require the services of a professional restoration company. Excessive water can compromise flooring, walls and ceilings. You’ll have to keep an eye out for mold growth as well.

Other Concerns

Sometimes it is the flames you have to worry about but the smoke damage that can result. Smoke will leave a nasty layer of black soot in the area, which could ruin materials. It also leaves behind a strong odor that can linger for years if you don’t use effective remedies to get rid of it. Fire damage and water issues may not sound like common culprits in the same incident, but they can work hand in hand to wreak havoc in your building. Be prepared to call a disaster cleanup team immediately so you can resume your day-to-day work as soon as possible.

The Mold Remediation Process

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Specialist Utilizing a HEPA Filtered Air Purifier. When it comes to mold, SERVPRO of Van Nuys North does not only remove the culprit, but we also make sure there is not a chance for it again.

When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your SERVPRO® of Van Nuys North franchise has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process.

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Van Nuys North. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection and Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

How to Prepare for the Threat of Severe Storm Weather

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm causing damage to land. Tornado lifting a tractor in the air. Prepare yourself for upcoming storms with SERVPRO of Van Nuys North, Storm Guidelines.

Fluctuating temperatures that can go from cold to warm in as little as an hour. That temperature changes can result in extreme weather changes. It is important that you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

After studying natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, it was found that 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 flooding threats, high winds and even tornadoes given the right conditions. 

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.

There is no way to completely accurately predict the weather; however, forecasters have the tools available to them to at least give us an idea of the possibility of severe weather. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family. One recommendation is to download a local weather app and set it to alert you in severe weather is approaching.

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

If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO of Van Nuys North to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast. Call us at 8187-951-6780.

Commercial Building Water Damage

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Machines at work to aid in the drying process. SERVPRO of Van Nuys North taking care of your business.

Severe floods, cold spells or internal plumbing failures can cause water damage that brings your business to a standstill. The impact is immediate on employees as well as the bottom line. There are preventive measures that mitigate the impact of these emergencies and commercial restoration services to assist with the proper response.

Preventative Measures

In the office environment, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of damage due to water leaks.

  • It is beneficial to educate your office managers on water damage preparedness
  • This means that your managers should know how to turn off the water, electric, and gas supply
  • They should know who to call in order to have these items completed.
  • Keep basic tools in the office in the event of an emergency
  • Create and maintain a list of emergency contact phone numbers for all employees
  • Maintain contact information for your local fire and police numbers for medical emergencies

Response

Rapid response is critical to water damage in the office. The longer you wait before the area is restored mold can develop creating the need for commercial mold removal services.

Mold Remidiation and Restoration

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold remidiation in progress. pitcture of dirty, moldy studs before. After, the studs are cleaned and painted with IAQ. Before completing the mold remediation process and after.

Mold is found everywhere in the environment, and the spores can produce very rapidly in moist conditions. From the ordinary to the unhealthy, SERVPRO of Van Nuys North is here to help you remediate mold damage in your home or business. When water intrusion continues unnoticed and is not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. We work with the Van Nuys community to help remove the mold and demonstrate ways to help prevent future mold related problems. It is very important to help prevent moisture problems, in order to keep the mold at bay.  

Understanding Mold

Confusion and misunderstanding surround the topic of mold and mold remediation. Some restoration businesses even make claims to remove all mold from a building. This is a fallacy. Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems. Consider these 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 allergens and irritants.
  • 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.

Top 6 Fire Damage Restoration Tips

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Van Nuys North Fire Damage Professionals 6 Tips from SERVPRO of Van Nuys North

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Van Nuys North frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire. Here are six of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained professionals who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Van Nuys North highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Van Nuys North recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

High Quality of Work and Rapid Response Only

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Van Nuys North is ready to deal with any size storm damage. Call today!

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond quickly to your needs is an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO of Van Nuys North delivers the help you need quickly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,700 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is that great.
 

Storm Damage in California can feel overwhelming at times, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing SERVPRO of Van Nuys North puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.”