3 Steps for Handling a Flooded Basement
As a Santa Ana, CA, homeowner, few events are probably as stressful as a flooded basement. This type of flooding is usually caused by powerful outdoor storms, some of which can be sudden and unexpected in their intensity. If you find yourself facing a basement full of water, there are a few steps you can take until your water damage crew arrives.
1. Avoid Contact With Standing Water
While your first reaction to a basement flood might be to wade through the water and collect items you want to salvage, this could be dangerous. Electrical outlets, wiring and other sources of power are often housed in the basement, which could expose you to the risk of electrocution. You may want to wait for a qualified electrician to let you know it is safe to start taking items from standing water.
2. Prevent Humid Conditions
Flooding causes standing water that can increase humidity in your basement and lead to rapid mold formation, especially on the walls. You can work to keep humidity low by using dehumidifiers and fans, as long as they can be employed safely. Open basement windows if you can reach them and try to keep air circulating as much as possible until your water mitigation team arrives.
3. Ask for Salvage Advice
Whether your basement flood was caused by violent storms or a burst pipe, your water damage and restoration team can likely offer you advice about which items can be set aside for salvage. Important papers can be frozen for later restoration, once pipe repair is complete, but items affected by black water, which originates from outdoor flooding, may have to be discarded because of the toxicity of this type of flood.
Basement flooding at your Santa Ana, CA, home can cause you considerable stress and upset, especially when the event is unexpected. However, knowing what steps to take before and after help arrives can help you handle the situation with greater confidence.
Why and How To Test for Mold
Almost all homes have some mold spores in them because mold is a natural part of the environment. However, too much mold can lead to property damage. Proper mold assessment can help you spot mold problems and eliminate them before they become a bigger problem.
Reasons To Test for Mold
Many homeowners have heard conflicting information when it comes to the severity of black mold and other mold issues. There are several reasons you may want to consider testing for mold:
- You need to identify what type of mold you have
- Your home has a musty smell
- You suspect you have mold, but you are not sure where
- To determine if mold removal has been successful
Mold Testing Methods
The three main ways mold assessment is done is by surface, air and bulk testing. Combining these three methods is often advised because each method has positives and negatives.
Air testing measures the concentration of mold spores in the air. This method is useful when you are not sure where mold is growing; however, the results are not always consistent at different times.
Surface testing uses samples from household surfaces to determine how much mold growth there is in various areas of your home. Surface tests can also change over time and can not measure the amount of mold in the air.
When bulk testing is done, material samples are taken from the home and examined for mold. This test can identify whether you have a mold problem and approximate the concentration of mold spores in the home.
Professional or Home Test Kit
Home testing kits for mold and mildew are often unreliable. A professional mold testing company in Santa Ana, CA, can provide you with an accurate assessment of your mold problem.
The longer mold is left untreated, the more property damage it can cause. If you suspect you have a mold issue in your home, mold assessment can help you begin the process of eliminating it.
3 Flood Prevention Steps for Businesses
Planting native trees and shrubs reduces soil erosion caused by moving water
Here Are Three Steps To Get You Started
Preparing for a flood is probably not something you think about every day. Businesses tend to focus on day-to-day operations and how to make a profit. Unfortunately, major storms and hurricanes don’t give business owners advance notice. Intense rain and flowing surface water can quickly cause extensive water damage to buildings. Fortunately, flood prevention strategies don’t have to be complex or time-consuming. Here are three steps to get you started.
1. Know Your Risk
The first step is to determine your flood risk. Some areas are high-risk because they are prone to flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a flood map to help people understand their level of risk. This knowledge can help businesses make an appropriate flood plan. Another term to understand is base flood elevation. Buildings should be constructed at a minimum of three feet above this level to minimize the effects of flood damage. Even if your Santa Ana, CA, property is located in an area with low or moderate risk, consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your business.
2. Use Defense Methods
All businesses should employ flood prevention strategies to minimize harm. Defense methods include retention ponds, retaining walls and dry floodproofing techniques (e.g., sandbags, watertight shields, flood gates, etc.). Your city planning department can be a valuable resource for understanding what flood planning and building codes are in place to reduce water damage.
3. Plant Native Trees and Shrubs
Many people are unaware that proper vegetation can help lessen the damaging effects of a flood. Planting native trees and shrubs reduces soil erosion caused by moving water. Vegetation also breaks the force of moving flood water. Educate yourself about the various types of vegetation that can be beneficial in your area.
These flood prevention steps are a great start to preparing your business for a major storm or flood. If your business does experience flood damage, a restoration company can perform flood cleaning.
How Do You Estimate Fire Damage?
Fire damage restoration in Santa Ana, CA
Your Commercial Property Deserves Your Attention After A fire
After sustaining a fire on your commercial property, you need to estimate the extent of the damage you have incurred so that the insurance process can begin. Doing this properly can be tricky, since an underestimate can cost you, while an overestimate can prove equally problematic. Fortunately, a fire restoration company estimates damage by accounting for several factors:
1. Lost Possessions
Items that are lost to fire damage should be accounted for when filing an insurance claim. Because objects and equipment are as equally valid parts of your business as the surfaces of your building, you should be compensated for them accordingly. Anything that has been damaged to the extent that it must be thrown away is considered a lost possession. A professional can help you to determine which items are salvageable and which are not.
The cost of repairs necessitated by your commercial fire will likely make up the bulk of your service-related estimate. Depending on your situation, many costs, including that of hiring a restoration company to appraise losses, may be covered by your insurance. Other restoration activities, such as cleaning smoke damage or replacing burnt surfaces, are valid repairs to be compensated. A restoration professional keeps records of the costs of each service so that they can be easily reported later.
3. Current Value of the Property
The extent of the damage caused by an incident is only one part of the total estimated costs. Other factors, including the approximate value of the property and the location of the fire, go into determining what your overall claim is. Because these factors can influence your coverage, you should work with a professional to report your situation accurately.
Your Santa Ana, CA, commercial property deserves your attention after a fire. By working with an expert who can accurately estimate your damage, you can maximize your coverage and get your business back on track.
How To Carry Out Effective Preventive Maintenance for Your Plumbing
Preventive maintenance is the process of continuously checking systems in order to avert issues
Here Are Two Ways To Perform Preventive Maintenance Effectively
Ensuring an effective plumbing system is a priority for any responsible building owner in Santa Ana, CA. This is why carrying out preventive maintenance is essential. Preventive maintenance is the process of continuously checking systems in order to avert issues. Completing this successfully can help to avoid significant plumbing problems. .
Have a Thorough Professional Inspection
You may be tempted to carry out an initial inspection yourself, but you will save far more money by ensuring a disaster is prevented. The last thing a building owner wants is a broken pipe or a leaking water heater. Find a plumber with positive service testimonials to complete a rigorous walk-through. Just to be safe, these are a few important things that should be inspected:
- Water pressure
- Water heater
- Drain flow
Once you're sure that a proper inspection has been completed, ask for a detailed report of your building's condition.
Create a Plan For Maintenance
The next step is to make a plan to keep your plumbing system in tact. The plumber's inspection can't be your only preventive measure for damages. First, identify what needs special attention. For instance, if a water main needed repairs, be sure that its condition is checked frequently. Next, make a schedule for basic examinations. Everything looked at in the initial inspection should be surveyed on a regular basis. Numerous issues can crop up over time. This is particularly important if your building relies on water. A spa, for example, would greatly suffer if it experienced unexpected plumbing problems.
Plumbing maintenance may seem tedious, but it's vital for your building's welfare. Water damage can be a serious problem if it isn't properly mitigated. Pay attention to what the plumber checks so you can properly maintain everything. If you do have plumbing problems, these actions will encourage help from your insurance provider when hiring a water damage restoration company. When you inspect your building, make plumbing a priority for everyone involved.
How To Make a Flood Damage Claim
Three Steps To File A Flood Claim
If disaster strikes and your home in Santa Ana, CA, suffers damage from a flood, there are ways to recover. Tricky cleanup can be accomplished with the help of storm damage restoration specialists. Following these three steps to file a flood claim with your insurance can help you recover financially so that you can replace items lost beyond repair and accomplish any necessary rebuilding.
1. Contact Your Insurance Provider Immediately
Contact your insurance as soon as possible after a flood and note the specific steps required to file your insurance claim. As soon as everyone is safe and the floodwaters have receded, begin cleaning up what you are able to do on your own. Salvage what you can and begin small repairs. You do not need to wait for an insurance adjuster to visit before making your home safe, but take pictures to document the damage and the process of your restoration.
2. Keep Damaged Items
Keep all damaged items until the adjuster visits. Having these items as proof of loss will help your flood claim. You can remove damaged belongings from your home, but save these items so that the adjuster can document the losses.
3. Report Additional Losses
The adjuster will review your damage and losses, as well as any documentation and photographs you have regarding your cleanup and repairs. As part of this visit, you should have to sign a statement of loss. Be sure to give reliable contact information as well as taking the adjuster's. If you find additional damage and losses after the visit, contact the adjuster to report it as soon as possible.
If your property is damaged in a flood, check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered and then follow the required steps to file your flood claim. If you don't have flood insurance and the flood has been declared a federal disaster, check with FEMA to see if any help is available to you.
Minimize Lint to Avoid a Dryer Fire
The first step in avoiding a dryer fire is to remove lint from the screen before operating the dryer
Make Minimizing Lint a Priority
While there is nothing quite like freshly washed and dried clothes, not properly maintaining the equipment can lead to a lint fire in your Santa Ana, CA. If your dryer is located in the basement, a longer vent pipe is needed. Since it probably needs to twist and turn to work with your home, it increases the opportunity for lint to build up. Instead of dealing with a fire and needing a fire damage and restoration specialist to return your home to normal, make minimizing lint a priority.
The first step in avoiding a dryer fire is to remove lint from the screen before operating the dryer. Since these are easy to remove, it is recommended to give it a thorough cleaning once a month. Use a vacuum to remove lint and rinse with water until clean. While that can be an easy habit to form, remembering the vents need cleaned can be easily forgotten. They should be inspected and cleaned once a year. Below are some tips to make the process smooth and safe:
- Ensure the dryer is unplugged.
- Pull the dryer away from the wall to remove the exhaust hose.
- Carefully loosen the o-ring clamps.
- Dump out any lint and use a brush or vacuum to clean the interior.
- Clean inside the area where the hose attaches.
- This may require additional tools with a spinning brush to maximize lint removal.
- Reassemble parts and do a test run to ensure no air is leaking out.
Avoiding a lint fire also means remembering to clean the exterior dryer vent. Along with lint, other dirt and debris can accumulate, especially if the cover is broken, missing or not secured properly. Along with cleaning the outer vent, wash the cover to ensure proper ventilation.
Fire safety should also be a top priority. Small, preventive actions like cleaning and inspecting dryer vents can reduce the chances of a lint fire.
Why You Have To Take Mold Seriously
Mold remediation services in Santa Ana, CA
If you spot any sort of fungal growth in your home, it is imperative that you call in your local Santa Ana, CA, mold removal professionals without delay. Black mold removal costs an average of $500 to $6000, and it can get much worse than that if you don't take care of it in a timely manner.
Identifying Mold Growth
Some common signs of mold growth include:
- Musty odor
- Water damage
- Green, brown, gray, black, or white staining
It's always a good idea to be on the lookout for these tip-offs, because if you nip it in the bud, mold removal can be a relatively painless process.
Eliminating Mold Growth
Black mold removal is a delicate process that is best left in the hands of professionals. Mold growth does not ever go away on its own, even if you do manage to stop it from growing further. Plus, if even the tiniest bit of mold is left, all surrounding regions of your home are at much higher risk of a future fungus fiasco.
Preventing Mold Growth
Mold requires a warm and moist habitat in order to grow. Mold growth is very common in the wake of flooding, leaky pipes, or other water damage, but it can also take hold under perfectly normal circumstances if the humidity level in your home reaches a certain point. To prevent black mold growth in your home, it's a good idea to install a humidity meter, which you can find at any home goods store. With the humidity meter, you'll be able to rest assured that your house is not a friendly environment to mold, and you'll be alerted early on to any moisture problem.
Mold removal is never fun, but luckily, SERVPRO is Here to Help. Remember not to dilly dally — the longer you let the black mold growth, the more arduous and costly the mold remediation process will be.
How To Make a Water Damage Insurance Claim
Insurance adjuster inspecting
Steps To Follow When You File An Insurance Claim
From a massive flood to a small pipe burst, there are many ways a home can suffer water damage. When disaster strikes, a good insurance policy can be a big help. There are vital steps to follow when you file an insurance claim against your homeowner's policy in Santa Ana, CA.
Review and Report
If your damage was caused by a home invasion or any other type of crime, contact law enforcement first. Get a copy of the police report and make sure all involved officers are identified. Review your insurance policy to determine exactly what is expected from you when you file a claim. Contact your insurance provider and ask questions. Find out if your damage is covered under your policy, how long you have to file a claim, if your claim will exceed your deductible, how long it will take to process the claim, and if estimates are required for structural damage repairs.
Prepare Documents and Take Inventory
Fill out insurance claim forms from your insurer and return them promptly. Make a detailed list of all destroyed or damaged items. If you have receipts for any of the items, keep those with your list. Make copies of all information for your insurance adjuster and keep copies for your records. Take photographs or videos of any structural damage that requires immediate temporary repair. Make only the repairs that are necessary to keep your family safe.
Have an Insurance Adjuster Visit
Aside from things necessary to keep your family safe, all other repairs should wait until after an insurance adjuster visits. Show the adjuster all structural damage, including the temporary repairs. Show them pictures and videos of anything repaired prior to their visit and give them copies of everything. Show the adjuster all damaged items. Give them copies of your list of losses with receipts. Request authorization to contact a water damage restoration company to get started on the cleanup process.
The clearer the picture your insurance adjuster has of your losses, the more smoothly your insurance claim process will go.
How To Get Rid of Apartment Mold
Apartment mold in Santa Ana, CA
Steps To Take When Tenants Tell You They Have A Mold Problem
When you own rental property in Santa Ana, CA, you may occasionally get reports of mold growth in an apartment. If you have a fungus problem, mold cleanup experts can help get rid of the offending patches and get your building back to normal. Here are the first few steps you should take if tenants tell you they have a mold problem.
Get a Professional Test
Before you rush in to start cleaning or arranging for remediation, you want to make sure that mold is actually the problem. A test from a certified environmental hygienist performs several tests:
- Air test for concentration of mold spores
- Surface test to determine substance in growth
- Lab test to discover specific type of mold
Some property owners will try to use a home test they buy at the hardware store to determine if they have a mold problem. These tests will likely indicate that mold is present but they won't give you any of the vital information you need to address it properly.
Find the Source
Mold spores may be everywhere, but they need certain conditions to clump together and grow. The mold cleanup process includes locating the problem that led to the mold growth. It makes sense to fix the catalyst issue before starting mold remediation. Otherwise, the fungus problem is likely to return in a couple of days.
Ask for an Estimate
As a landlord, you are required to provide a habitable living space for your tenants, and quick remediation is the key to doing so. If the mold contamination was caused by a water loss covered by your insurance, your policy will likely cover the cost of mold mitigation, too. Make sure that the cleanup company includes it in the overall estimate for repairs. This can help you when filing your mold claim.
Quick mold cleanup protects both your building and your tenants' personal property. If you suspect you have mold, following these steps is a good way to handle the problem responsibly.