Recent Posts

Effects of water damage

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

What’s the first thing that you are supposed to do after a major storm passes through your property? Apart from a storm, there are other factors that can cause flooding in your building, including burst pipes, appliance breakdowns, sewer back-up, faulty sump-pump and more. This can be a difficult time for you, but there are steps that you can take to feel in control of the situation. Here is what SERVPRO of Fairfield recommends:

Safety First

If the water damage was serious enough for you to leave your house to stay elsewhere, you should make sure that your flooded house is safe before you return. As a necessary safety precaution, check for any noticeable structural damage, such as loosened foundation elements, cracked walls, holes, and warping before entering your home. If there are any damages to sewer lines, electric devices, gas and water pipes, contact your utility companies immediately. Also, remember to switch off the fuse box and the main power source for your house because water and electricity don’t mix.

Take Pictures

Before you think about doing anything regarding the damage caused by water, make sure that you take clear photos or video for your insurer. Soft copies are useful because they can be copied and stored electronically. If you choose to dry out your property and make repairs before documenting the damage, you could significantly reduce your expected compensation.

Be Concerned About Your Health

The water in your flooded house may be clear, but there’s a chance it could be contaminated by household chemicals or even sewage. In light of this, you are advised to wear rubber gloves, high water-resistant boots or waders when you enter your home. Any food that may have been affected by the water should be discarded. Also, use only boiled water until the water entering your house is declared to be safe for consumption.

Contact Your Insurance Company

SERVPRO of Fairfield advises that you contact your insurance provider immediately. Homeowners insurance varies depending on the type of coverage that you have. Your provider will send someone (an insurance adjuster) to evaluate the damage and determine if it’s covered by your policy. This is why it’s essential to document every detail before cleaning out your home and making repairs. The photos and videos that you took may be used by the insurance company to assess the damage correctly. If there are any repairs that you want to be done immediately, you should talk to the insurance company about them. 

Cleanup

You should start the cleanup process after your insurance company has assessed the damage and advise you to go ahead. Anything that’s not safe for use should be thrown away. You may also be advised to remove the drywall, insulation, and flooring to prevent mildew and mold from spreading in your house. Also, furniture should be dried out, cleaned thoroughly or thrown away if the damaged caused is beyond repair. 

Mold starts to emerge 24-hours after a flood, and if left to grow, it can be very frustrating to eliminate them from your flooded house. In this light, you are advised to remove your belongings from water and dry them as soon as possible. However, you should seek the help of an expert to assess the damage before doing anything. SERVPRO of Fairfield is here to help you to assess your damage and advise you accordingly.

Storm Damage restoration process

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having SERVPRO of Fairfield to help during this type of emergency is a good option.

Here are some of the activities you can expect from SERVPRO of Fairfield.

  • Whether it is a business or residence, SERVPRO of Fairfield will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, SERVPRO of Fairfield will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
  • When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
  • Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.

If contacted in time, SERVPRO of Fairfield will be able to rescue your building from greater structural issues. 

As you can see, when you suffer from natural disasters, the storm damage restoration process is something the experts can handle.  

If you've recently suffered from storm damage and are looking for storm damage repair or water damage cleanup, contact the specialists at SERVPRO of Fairfield today to help reinstate your home.

Water Damage and Air Conditioners

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Air conditioners can cause water damage if not properly maintained. When a unit is working at its peak efficiency it can collect anywhere between 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Because most of the unit is typically tucked away and out of sight, many times you won’t be able to see the amount of damage until it has already accumulated into major water damage.

Common Causes of Air Conditioner Leak

Although there are a few different reasons why an air conditioner might leak, here are two of the most common causes of leaks in A/C units:

Clogged Drain Line

Ideally, water will drain off the condensation coil into a collection pan, after which it is then disposed into the sewer system. But if a drain becomes clogged it can overflow and lead to damaged floors, carpeting, as well as creating unhealthy molds. If you’re ever unsure about the type of mold you have, you should always seek an expert’s opinion.

Condensation Pump Malfunction

A dirty condensation pump can cause water to leak. The excessive build-up of water can lead to the growth of mold and mildew inside the unit which can lead to further health issues if not taken care of within an appropriate amount of time. Most mold isn’t that harmful to humans or pets, but if you ever suspect black mold, you should always reach out to an expert. If you ever need help or have questions don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us.

Preventing Grease Fires

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Grease fires most often occur when a pan is left on the fire for too long. Another way grease fires occur is when excess grease on the drip pan or stove top accidentally catches fire. A small mistake can lead to the need for fire damage repair services soon after the fire. Preventing grease fires is easy as long as you stay in the kitchen while cooking and take a few simple safety measures. Here’s a look at how to prevent and handle grease fires in your kitchen:

• When heating oil for deep-fat frying or pan-frying, stay in the kitchen at all times. Unattended cooking is the number one reason for kitchen fires.
• Before turning the heat on, ensure the burner or stovetop is cool. Also, clean any excess grease or oil spills from the drip pan and around the burner.
• Check the heat ratings of cooking oil. The ratings indicate the maximum temperature the oil can be cooked at before catching fire. The smoking point of most vegetable oils is around 450°F and of animal oils, around 375°F. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pot to gauge the temperature of the oil.
• When cooking oil is close to burning point, it will emit smoke and will ruin the taste of your food. If this happens, turn off the heat, carefully remove the pan from the burner and allow the pan to cool off.
• Don’t heat grease before dropping food into it. Otherwise, hot grease might splash out onto nearby objects, creating a fire hazard and causing injuries.
• Be extra cautious when putting food into hot oil. Use long utensils that allow you to gently put food into hot grease without dropping it and causing splashes.
• Use a lid or cover to prevent hot oil from splattering. If you need to stir the food, remove the lid carefully and put it back when you finish stirring.
• Clean oil and food spills immediately after they occur. First, turn off the stove and remove the food from the heat source. Then, wait for the stove to cool off and carefully wipe off the oil spills.
• If grease catches fire, don’t try to move the pan or pot. Put a metal lid on top of the pan to shut off the oxygen supply to the fire.
• A small fire that is contained within a pan can be extinguished by pouring baking soda on the fire until it outs. If you don’t feel safe controlling the fire yourself, immediately exit the house and call 911 for emergency help.
• Use a class K fire extinguisher to put out grease flames that are out of control.
• Lastly, NEVER use water to put out a grease fire! Pouring water may cause grease to splash and spreads the fire. Never move the pan or run while holding it either. You’ll risk splashing grease onto yourself and around the house.

However, even if you follow every one of these tips, accidents do happen. If fire damage strikes your home, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Fairfield to help you get your home cleaned up and looking like new quickly, with no stress to you!

What to do after a water damage

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

What’s the first thing that you are supposed to do after a major storm passes through your property? Apart from a storm, there are other factors that can cause flooding in your building, including burst pipes, appliance breakdowns, sewer back-up, faulty sump-pump and more. This can be a difficult time for you, but there are steps that you can take to feel in control of the situation. Here is what SERVPRO of Fairfield recommends:

Safety First

If the water damage was serious enough for you to leave your house to stay elsewhere, you should make sure that your flooded house is safe before you return. As a necessary safety precaution, check for any noticeable structural damage, such as loosened foundation elements, cracked walls, holes, and warping before entering your home. If there are any damages to sewer lines, electric devices, gas and water pipes, contact your utility companies immediately. Also, remember to switch off the fuse box and the main power source for your house because water and electricity don’t mix.

Take Pictures

Before you think about doing anything regarding the damage caused by water, make sure that you take clear photos or video for your insurer. Soft copies are useful because they can be copied and stored electronically. If you choose to dry out your property and make repairs before documenting the damage, you could significantly reduce your expected compensation.

Be Concerned About Your Health

The water in your flooded house may be clear, but there’s a chance it could be contaminated by household chemicals or even sewage. In light of this, you are advised to wear rubber gloves, high water-resistant boots or waders when you enter your home. Any food that may have been affected by the water should be discarded. Also, use only boiled water until the water entering your house is declared to be safe for consumption.

Contact Your Insurance Company

SERVPRO of Fairfield advises that you contact your insurance provider immediately. Homeowners insurance varies depending on the type of coverage that you have. Your provider will send someone (an insurance adjuster) to evaluate the damage and determine if it’s covered by your policy. This is why it’s essential to document every detail before cleaning out your home and making repairs. The photos and videos that you took may be used by the insurance company to assess the damage correctly. If there are any repairs that you want to be done immediately, you should talk to the insurance company about them. 

Cleanup

You should start the cleanup process after your insurance company has assessed the damage and advise you to go ahead. Anything that’s not safe for use should be thrown away. You may also be advised to remove the drywall, insulation, and flooring to prevent mildew and mold from spreading in your house. Also, furniture should be dried out, cleaned thoroughly or thrown away if the damaged caused is beyond repair. 

Mold starts to emerge 24-hours after a flood, and if left to grow, it can be very frustrating to eliminate them from your flooded house. In this light, you are advised to remove your belongings from water and dry them as soon as possible. However, you should seek the help of an expert to assess the damage before doing anything. SERVPRO of Fairfield is here to help you to assess your damage and advise you accordingly.

Why Buildings Fail Safety Inspections

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Top 10 Reasons Commercial Buildings Fail Safety Inspections

Safety inspections are crucial for all commercial buildings, especially inspections and testing of fire protection equipment. If your building’s emergency lights aren’t working properly or if your fire extinguishers are expired, you will not only fail the safety inspection, but you are putting all occupants and employees in danger. Continue reading to learn about the top reasons commercial buildings fail safety inspections to ensure your building is up to code.

Top 10 Reasons For Failed Inspections:

  1. The exit doors are difficult to open from the inside. All exit doors must be easily accessible in the event of an emergency for occupants to exit the building safely.
  2. The stairways, pathways, and/or walkways are obstructed.
  3. Emergency lights and exit signs aren’t working properly.
  4. Electrical outlets, circuit breakers panels, and junction boxes aren’t covered. Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of commercial building fires, so it’s crucial to ensure all outlets are covered.
  5. The use of extension cords for a permanent solution rather than temporary purposes.
  6. There are no fire extinguishers in the building. Also, if there are fire extinguishers, but they are hidden, expired, or not working.
  7. The sprinkler system hasn’t been serviced properly by a licensed fire protection official at least once a year.
  8. Hazardous materials aren’t properly stored or are stored without the proper permits.
  9. The building’s fire alarm system hasn’t been tested and serviced annually by a licensed fire alarm company.
  10. The area around the outside of the building is full of high grass, weeds, trash, or debris.

Tips to protect your exterior during a water damage

6/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water can infiltrate a property in many ways, causing damage to its components, including the roof, walls, foundation, and more. To prevent water intrusion, property owners must take preventative measures both on their home’s interior and exterior. This article deals with protecting a home’s exterior from water damage.

Roof

  • The roof needs to be inspected for missing or damaged shingles, flashings, and tiles.
  • The vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers must be installed properly and in good shape.
  • The roof should also be checked for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, and other specialized equipment.
  • Tree limbs that hang above the roof must be cut so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Gutters and downspouts must be kept clean, free from debris, and in good condition to allow water to flow freely.
  • Metal screens should be installed to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Downspouts must direct water at least two metres away from the home’s foundation. Installing downspout extensions may be needed to achieve this.

Doors and Windows

  • The corners of the doors and windows should be checked for leaks. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discolouration, and swollen frame.
  • Exterior doors and windows should be protected from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Doors and windows must close tightly. To check for a tight fit, there should be no cracks between the sash and frame of the windows.
  • Damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows should be repaired or replaced.

Walls

  • Cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing must be repaired.
  • Any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines must be sealed with foam or caulk. Also, the damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings must be repaired.
  • Checking for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around the foundation is also recommended. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • The exhaust vent doors must open and close properly.
  • Any shrubs and other landscaping features must be removed from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, directing water towards the house should be avoided to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

Keeping properties safe from water damage from the inside is also critical. The SERVPRO team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mold damage.

7 things not to do if you have had a fire

6/8/2019 (Permalink)

A fire and the damage it causes can be nightmarish. In just a few moments, an entire room can be destroyed, and a fire restoration services team will need to be called in. Hopefully you’ll never have to face such a scenario, but if you do, there are some things that you should never do following a fire.

Don’t Try To Clean Up Yourself

Vacuuming, wiping down the walls, touching the drapes, and any other attempt at cleaning the place up yourself can put you at risk of inhaling the extremely dangerous chemicals that are in soot and ash. Besides this, you could cause further damage to your property. Ash and soot require specialized, professional cleaning from a fire restoration services team.

Don’t Walk Around On Uncovered Carpets

Put clean sheets or towels over your carpet before you walk around on it. Otherwise you may get ash and soot setting into your shoes, and this is bad for your health.

Don’t Turn Appliances On

This goes especially for fires that took place in the kitchen. Don’t turn any electrical appliances on that were inside the room during the fire. They’ll need to be checked and cleaned professionally before being turned on again. If you turn them on when ash or other debris may be trapped inside of them, you could ruin them. Also, do not turn on ceiling appliances such as a light fixture or fan if the ceiling is wet. The wiring could be damp and could cause electric shock.

Don’t Deodorize

If you use the wrong type of deodorizer, such as a store-bought or a commercial deodorizer, you might offset the better formulas that the fire restoration services cleaning team will use that break up smoke molecules and improve odors.

Don’t Try To Clean Your Carpet

If you attempt to remove ash, soot, or water from your carpet or shampoo it, you’re again putting yourself at risk of inhaling very dangerous chemicals from that ash and soot. And in most cases, your carpet will need to be replaced anyway.

Don’t Turn On Your HVAC System

Keep your cooling or heating system turned off until your home is cleaned. By turning on the HVAC system, you’re inviting smoke to travel through your ductwork, which can cause secondary damage to your home.

Don’t Try To Keep Furniture

If there was heavy smoke during the fire, don’t try to continue using your upholstered furniture or carpet. If you keep using them, you’re putting yourself at risk of respiratory health problems. Your upholstered furniture and carpet will need to be replaced. In fact, you shouldn’t even sit or lie down on upholstered furniture that has been in a fire, even for a few minutes.

Knowing what not to do after a fire can make a bad situation a little easier, and can help prevent further damage.

At SERVPRO of Fairfield, we’ve seen our share of fire and smoke damage, and we’ve also seen it made worse when homeowners attempt to clean up themselves. Trust us—don’t try it! Just wait for fire restoration service professionals to come take care of it. If you ever find yourself in need of the best fire restoration services in the Bay Area, SERVPRO of Fairfield is here for you.

What to do after a fire

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours after a house fire is a critical time period. If the fire department knows anything, restoration companies have heard it on their radios and will send their “chasers” out trying to get you to sign a contract.  Whatever you do, do not make a decision while you are upset.  Fire clean up takes a long time and a fast decision could be a mistake.

  1. Getting You Home Boarded Up.  Ask the fire department if they have a recommendation (some counties have a rotating list of restoration companies)  or you can pick one of the chasers in front of you. Be clear that you are only hiring them for the board-up. Take the cards of all the chasers at the fire, tell them you will make a decision in the next few days on the restoration.

 

  1.  Find a Safe Place to Stay:  Smoke is a carcinogen.  If you can smell smoke, it is not safe.  Most insurance policies will put you up in a hotel,  family or friends can take you in or you can contact a  local disaster relief agency, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army.  

 

  1.  Research Local Restoration Companies:  Your insurance company will send out their preferred vendor, that company does a lot of work for the insurance company and will do everything they can to keep the insurance company happy.  Not necessarily the company you want working for you. An independent company will be your advocate. Yelp and BBB will give you the basics.

 

  1.  Contact your Insurance Company:  once you start a claim, they will cover living and other daily expenses and help you with the clean-up.  Whichever restoration company you choose will work with the insurance adjuster to help you decide on the best plan of actio.

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  1.  Recover your Possessions:  If you have enough insurance, the items destroyed in a house fire will be cleaned or replaced. The restoration company will make an inventory of your possessions. However, the best and easiest way to be reimbursed is to have your own inventory kept either on the internet or in a fireproof safe that includes the date of purchase, cost and description of each item whenever possible.

Fire damage restoration entails the total cleanup of your property and possessions to preloss condition. Trained and certified technicians use special equipment and cleaning products. Fire damage restoration also involves cleaning up the water damage caused by the fire department.

If you’re in need of fire damage recovery after a fire, give us a call at 707-2070122 today.

Ways water can damage your foundation

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

One of the things we often see when people call us for water and storm damage restoration is how flooding affects the very foundation of homes. In these cases, it is about far more than the cosmetic damage or even the mold damage that water can cause to your home, it is about your home’s very structural integrity. This being the case, let’s look at four ways in which water can threaten the foundation of your family’s home.

  • Soil saturation: Water can cause the soil around the foundation of your home to loosen. This can lead to water penetrating your home. To avoid this, make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and working in proper order.
  • Soil Erosion: Water can begin to slowly wash away the soil that supports your home’s foundation causing it to settle. Sometimes these signs are very subtle and take some time to occur. Signs of this include uneven floors, drywall cracks, tilting chimneys etc. That is why it is important to have experts look at all aspects of your home in the aftermath of a flood.
  • Hydrostatic pressure buildup: Hydrostatic pressure – which is caused by soil that is over saturated with water – can build up and cause your homes wall’s to push inward leading to cracking and bowing. This can happen suddenly or over time as a result of heavy rainfall.
  • Excessive tree root growth: Overly saturated soil can cause tree roots around your home’s foundation to grow. These roots can eventually begin to add even more pressure to the foundation of your home and cause your foundation to crack. This in turn can even lead to a home “leaning” noticeably.
  • Water can cause damage to wood structural components near your foundation: Foundations that are permeated with water could damage the wooden components of your home. This in turn can lead to mold growth. It is notoriously difficult to remove mold from wood as it is porous. Our professionals have experience in removing wood from homes permanently regardless of what caused it to grow. 

Most homeowners don’t even think about the foundation of their home until it is damaged in some way. But water is one of those forces that can affect the very core of your home. Therefore, flood repair is a very complicated part of recovery from storms. It takes professionals who have encountered these kinds of emergencies and know exactly how to mitigate the damage that flooding often causes.