Recent Posts

"Mold Removal" vs. "Mold Remediation"

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth going half way up the wall. Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation that is the question that we must consider when considering mold jobs.

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, removing all mold from a home or business area is simply not possible. Did you know? Some restoration businesses advertise complete“mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a lie.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise 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.

Signs of 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 produce allergens and irritants and 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.

For more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (818) 951-6780!

Controling Mold Growth

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Problem? Call SERVPRO image. Mold growth can occur anywhere in your home that is unclean, warm, and moist.

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Humidity levels change throughout the day as changes occur in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans, which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture. 

Know Your Fire

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters attempting to put out 2 story home fire. Know your fire before it is too late! SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando can help with any fire based questions.

Your best way to prevent fire is to understand the conditions fire needs to exits. A fire cannot happen unless four elements are present. Take away or prevent one of these four elements and you can protect yourself from fires at your home, business, or anywhere. So, what are the four elements and what causes them to occur?

Heat

Heat is necessary for a fire. Unfortunately, heat can build up and start a fire in many ways. A fire in your home or business may start by flammable material coming in contact with a flame, too much friction, or mechanical generation (like with your car’s spark plugs). Heat can jump from an area where you want it (in a fireplace or stove, for example) to somewhere you don’t want it in one of three ways:


1. Direct contact: The heat source touches another object. A flame reaches a piece of paper.
2. Radiation: Heat can travel in an electromagnetic way. That’s like when you put your hands near a campfire. You don’t touch the flame or fire but you still receive the heat.
3. Convection: The heat transfers from one location to the next by the movement of fluids. This is what happens when a stove burner heats a pot of water.

Fuel

No matter how much heat you have, you won’t have a fire if there’s nothing to burn. All fires require fuel. The fuel can be wood, fabric, gasoline, ethanol, hydrogen, butane, or one of many, many other substances.

Oxygen

A third element every fire needs is oxygen. The air we breathe is about 21 percent oxygen. That’s enough to support combustion but oxygen itself does not burn. Air with a greater percentage of oxygen in it will burn more intensely.   

Now here is a fire prevention key that many people don’t know. Ask most people what you need for a fire and many will list the three elements we just talked about. But you can have the right amount of heat, fuel, and oxygen and still not have a fire. What is this fourth element?


Chemical Reaction

The first three elements must be in an environment where a chemical reaction will occur. That type of chemical reaction happens when the exact mixtures of heat, fuel, and oxygen blend in the right concentration. That cause ignition, the chemical reaction, the fire.

Take away any of these four elements and you can prevent or stop a fire. Spraying water on most fires, for example, removes the element of heat and stops the fire. Shutting off the value to the burner on your gas stove takes away the element of fuel. If you put a lid over a grease fire in a frying pan you eliminate the oxygen and stop the fire.

For fire prevention tips see the American Red Cross’s Home Fire Safety section and the National Fire Protection Association’s safety tips sheets. 

4 Items to Remember Before a Storm

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster Storm photo with a SERVPRO logo. Setting aside a supply of food, water and essentials means it will be easier surviving a storm and the resulting damage.

The time before a big storm hits is critical! Don’t wait for the governor to declare a state of emergency and don’t get caught scrambling or waiting in long lines to prepare. Stock up now—and have an easier time getting through the storm.

1. Lights & Batteries

When the power fails, you’ll need an alternative light source and the batteries to power it. Consider a lantern that is compact, yet offers abundant light. Lay in an ample supply of batteries for the lantern and for flashlights and portable radios as, well.

2. Food & Water

Aim to keep a two-week supply of food and water for storm-related emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends storing at least one gallon of water per day for each member of your family. Include foods that are high in calories and nutrition, and that don’t require refrigeration, water or special preparation, such as canned food, dry mixes and cupboard staples. Keep your stores in a cool, dry place—dark, if possible. Monitor the expiration dates and replace as necessary.

3. First Aid Kit

Be ready to handle minor injuries, because emergency workers will be stretched thin during a major storm. Have a first-aid kit on hand in a portable carrying case with bandages, gauze, a cold compress, scissors, tweezers and more.

4. Documents & Records

Recovering from a storm disaster is hard enough—and it’s even harder if you can’t prove who you are. Protect your important identification documents, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage certificates, adoption papers, passports, naturalization documents, wills, living wills, powers of attorney and property deeds/titles, in a portable waterproof, fire-safe security chest. If there’s room, you can also store important DVDs, portable disks and flash drives.

SERVPRO Provides Commercial Cleaning Services

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Carpet cleaning taking place in a commercial setting. Your workplace will shine when you use SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando's commercial cleaning services.

Did you know that SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando offers commercial cleaning services? We are total professionals when it comes to thoroughness, attention to detail, safety and reliability!

When you contract with SERVPRO for your commercial cleaning, you’ll enjoy:

  • an improved business image
  • a safer environment for your workers
  • options tailored to your needs
  • highly trained personnel using top-of-the-line equipment and products
  • specialized services if you need them, including biohazard/sewage, air duct/ HVAC and odor removal

Among the workplaces we clean are:

  • small office buildings
  • high-rise and large office buildings
  • apartment and high-rise residential buildings
  • restaurants
  • hotels and motels
  • small retail stores
  • large retail and big box stores
  • manufacturing and industrial facilities
  • government and military workplaces

SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando is here to help you keep your workplace clean, safe and productive for your employees. We’ll make your business shine!

Call SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando for Commercial Biohazard Cleanup

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage backup in a commercial space. A biohazard contamination in your commercial space requires remediation by experts like SERVPRO, who follow all OSHA and health regulations.

Trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills or other biohazards at your place of business can happen suddenly and must be dealt with quickly and professionally. Call on SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando to safely remove and dispose of biohazards in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants at your commercial building can pose serious health consequences for your workers and customers. SERVPRO has the right training, procedures, tools and products to transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe workplaces.

We provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations, including

  • Crime Scenes
  • Sewage Backups
  • Deaths by suicide, accident or homicide
  • Blood and bloodborne pathogens
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical spills
  • Meth labs

If your commercial property encounters a biohazard situation, follow our Biohazard Emergency Tips—Until Help Arrives guide to protect yourself and your building. And remember: we are available 24 hours a day for your emergency.

Saddleridge Fires

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Saddleridge Mountains on fire Last week the Saddleridge mountain caused havoc on Thursday and Friday commuters shutting down parts of I-5, I-118 and I-14 for 48 hours!

Recovering Property from Fire Damage

Recovering property from fire damage can be a difficult process. While the fire itself often wreaks havoc on one's home or business, it only accounts for a portion of the overall damage. There's also soot damage and smoke damage to worry about, which can be more destructive than the initial fire itself. Whether there's been a fire in the home or fire in a business, it's crucial to react swiftly. This involves taking control of things that are in your hands, and deferring to a restoration company when professional assistance is necessary. In cases of major fires, there's often some degree of irreparable damage. By reacting quickly and addressing the following issues, however, it's possible to minimize the eventual long-term costs of fire damage restoration.

Soot Damage

Soot damage is particularly problematic because it's something people often assume they can put off. When there's an active fire in a home, the need for immediate action is obvious and palpable. When there's a fire in a business, everyone in the building typically understands the urgency of the situation. Even though soot may not feel as threatening in some ways, it's an equally urgent issue in terms of fire cleanup.

Soot damage begins immediately after a fire dies down, settling into materials throughout the entire property. Initially, it may cause some degree of discoloration in porous materials. However, by acting immediately it's possible to prevent it from discoloring other materials.

Smoke Damage

Equally disastrous is the potential for lingering smoke damage. Whether someone is dealing with commercial fire damage, fire in a home, or fire in a business, taking action against smoke damage is an essential part of fire cleanup. Some preventative measures can be taken by individuals, while others may require specialized equipment from a fire restoration company.

Smoke damage can cause discoloration of walls, as well as rust and corrosion to metal objects. One of the worst effects, of course, is the notorious smoke smell that so many fire damage restoration sites end up being left with. After the smoke smell has set in at a fire cleanup site, it can be almost impossible to get rid of without the help of a professional restoration company. This is particularly problematic for small businesses, as the stench of smoke from commercial fire damage often results in customers being driven away. In some cases, the smoke smell forces companies to board up their building and go out of business, even if the structural foundation of the building is still solid.

Fire Damage

Fire damage, of course, is always the most immediate concern both during and after any fire. Whether it's a fire in a home or a fire in a business, the damage inflicted by the extreme temperatures can be devastating. Businesses with lots of flammable merchandise are especially susceptible to commercial fire damage. Of course, a fire in the home can be just as troublesome. Even if the fire cleanup doesn't involve trying to salvage millions of dollars of merchandise, the items that get damaged may have more sentimental value.

Having to board up a business or a home can both be painful. Whether you're dealing with home fire damage restoration or commercial fire damage, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.

What To Do

Wash all surfaces with soap and water, before soot and smoke smell have a chance to set in.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filtration system on carpet and upholstery.
Board up any areas where the building has become unstable or dangerous.
If you lack the proper equipment, contact professionals to help with fire damage restoration.
Above all else, stay safe. Many things - like having to board up a room due to fire damage - are best left to a restoration company.

Taking on Storms with Technology

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO app on a smartphone being used in a storm. Combat storms this season with the best Franchise using the best technology in the business. SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando.

These days, it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice! Technology working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. Get an Emergency READY Profile® SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepares you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business! 

4 Ways To Ensure Your Home Is Safe From Water Damage

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged bedroom Don't let this be you! SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando will help with any water damage needs!

Vacation is supposed to be a relaxing occasion. No one likes to worry about whether or not they will return to find they need water pipe repair and water restoration services. Here are four ways to ensure your home is safe from water damage while you are away.

1. Inspect Home

Before you leave, you need to check several areas of your home in Sylmar/San Fernando to make sure they are intact:

  • Foundation
  • Weather stripping around windows
  • Intake hoses and supply lines
  • Water heater and furnace
  • Shingles on roof
  • Sump pump

If anything is cracked or broken or is covered with condensation, you may want to have it repaired before you go on your trip. It only takes one small problem and a little excess water, and you may come home to a flooded house.

2. Insulate Pipes

When you travel during the winter, make sure your pipes are sufficiently insulated. This is especially important for pipes that are near an exterior wall, as it is easier for them to freeze than pipes that are near the interior of your home. Proper insulation and a consistently warm temperature in your home can help you avoid water pipe repair costs.

3. Clean Gutters

Clogged gutters and downspouts can leave excess rain with no place to go but into your home. If it can't find its way off the roof, it is likely to seep into cracks or under flashing on your roof, resulting in extensive water damage.

4. Enlist Neighbors

Have someone watch your house while you're gone. Despite your best prevention efforts, a broken pipe can still happen. If your neighbor is checking your home regularly, he or she can handle emergency situations. If you don't know anyone who can watch your home, just turn off the water main before you leave.
There are several ways to make sure your home is as intact when you return from vacation as it was when you left. By following these tips, you are more likely to save yourself the cost and hassle of water pipe repair.

Let SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando clean up your home after a burst pipe

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Black pipe leaking water out of the side. Leaking pipes may cause severe damage in the long run if not attended to quickly.

A burst pipe can cause significant water damage in a home. Water leakage can also be terribly expensive, possibly causing personal schedule changes and insurance claims. Additionally, mildew and mold can become a problem long after the initial damage.

Leaking Pipes

Pay attention to leaking pipes! Diligence can minimize the collateral damage from a burst pipe. Pay attention to where water has leaked. The water and moisture may have already caused a small amount of damage.

Preventing Structural Damage

The possibility of structural damage is the key reason homeowners should be extra vigilant regarding the plumbing in their homes. Structural damage may be difficult to spot. You should always contact an experienced contractor like SERVPRO can help assess possible structural damage from leaky or burst pipes.

Additional Considerations

The above factors illustrate how complicated the ramifications of a burst pipe can be. A homeowner should not attempt to deal with any of these issues without the assistance of an expert well versed in water damage repair and mold remediation. Homeowners that attempt these tasks quite often worsen the existing problems. SERVPRO has the experience  to rectify and repair all the problems related to a burst pipe.

We’re available to help you 24/7. Call SERVPRO of Sylmar/San Fernando at (8180 951-6780 for more information.