Earthquakes & Wind Storms: How Ventura Residents Can Protect Themselves
Always Be Prepared For an Earthquake or Wind Storm!
Throughout the United States, different regions deal with different types of disasters. You have the Midwest, who live under threat of Tornadoes. Northern & Eastern States deal with freezing temperatures. In the South, we will hear of Hurricane Warnings from June-October. In our local community of Ventura, we have Earthquakes and High Winds that fuel aggressive Fire Seasons.
When Earthquakes hit, it can cause damage to water and sewer lines. These problems don’t always reveal themselves right away. Before you know it, your home can have water within the walls, ceiling or floor. Gas lines can also become disconnected during an Earthquake and cause a fire. If you notice a sulfur (rotten egg) smell, call the gas company right away. It is important to check your home after you have experienced an earthquake. You can find more information on preparing for an earthquake here.
High Winds come and go throughout the year in our Ventura Community. Make sure you are receiving alerts for your local area. When a High Wind advisory goes out there are a few things you can do. Move all patio furniture indoors. Keep all yard tools and equipment covered or within your shed. Keep debris around your home clear and dispose of large branches. Keep surrounding trees trimmed regularly. Inspect your roof for any loose shingles and repair if needed. When replacing your roof, keep extra shingles for situations like this. Loose or broken tiles can lead to water leaks in your home so it is important to take care of them early.
Always keep SERVPRO in mind when you have Storm Damage. SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County can help you through it! 805-507-5507
Differences Between Commercial & Residential Restoration
Regardless if it's Residential or a Commercial property SERVPRO has your back! 805-507-5507
There are many factors that differentiate the restoration process between a commercial building and a residential one. This is apart from the obvious size differences of the two. SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County takes each commercial restoration as an opportunity to solve a challenging situation. In order to successfully complete the restoration process, we have to look at what type of commercial building we are dealing with.
First of all, what constitutes as a commercial building? It can be a large business, a restaurant or an apartment complex with multiple housing units. When dealing with multiple units it is not uncommon to have multiple claims open with multiple insurance companies. You are now dealing with multiple insurance adjusters, different requirements and expectations from those different insurance companies. On top of having the building owner/manager requiring daily updates, you have the individual tenants who also need to stay informed on the process. It can be daunting to say the least but SERVPRO knows proper procedures and can determine the best route of action.
In situations where you are dealing with an office setting, where the office cannot afford to shut down during the restoration process, we have to look at the overall needs of the company and employees. In this case we have to be mindful of noise from our machines and make sure walkways are clear so as not to be a tripping hazard to employees. In this case equipment set up can require a bit of problem solving in which SERVPRO is ready to tackle.
Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County, our teams are experienced in the above scenarios. We take pride in our work ethic and ability to solve problems. In a situation like this where most would call challenging, we view it as an opportunity to show you why you should be confident when working with us.
Don’t forget SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County is here for you when your business or commercial property needs help! Call us 24/7 at 805-507-5507!
Ventura Residents: We Specialize in Flood Cleanup and Restoration!
When a flood like this happens, you may not know where to start! Call SERVPRO to take it from here
Basements can flood at any time. Heavy rains and stormy weather can cause severe water damage to your home and business. Basements are inherently prone to flooding due to them being located at the lowest level of a building. As we all know, water likes to travel downward and seep into lower levels. Although there are several reasons a flooding can occur, water damage has the same characteristics. Here are a few other reasons a Ventura basement can flood:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
Have Questions about Flooding?
Call Today – 805-507-5507
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Don’t put your home’s integrity on the line. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County to handle the situation safely and correctly. Check out our client testimonials.
We are Flood Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We abide by IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Flooded Basement? We are here to help just give us a call at 805-507-5507
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH! HERE IS HOW VENTURA COUNTY CAN BE READY.
It is never too late to be prepared. SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County is here to help when disaster has struck 805-507-5507
September is National Preparedness Month and SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County is here to help you set up a plan. Don’t wait until disaster is knocking at your door to have a plan ready. Disasters never wait for you, and NEVER wait for a convenient time.
*Emergency Alerts: Make sure you are set up to receive emergency alerts in your area. For Ventura County residents, check out Ready Ventura County for your VC Alert.
*Evacuation Plan: Start by creating a simple map with the layout of your home. Identify all exits and windows. Make a plan for both floors if you have a two story home. Have all evacuation routes covered. Have two routes in mind and discuss with your family members especially you’re your ones.
*Preparedness Kit: Create a kit that is tailor made for your family. What medical needs do they have if any. Here is a great website from the Department of Homeland Security to get you started.
*Shelter: Have a plan to either shelter in place OR shelter offsite. Check within your community for shelter locations. You may have a family member who lives out of town that may be able to accommodate you in an emergency. Whatever the case have a plan and make sure your family knows where they can find you in the event of an emergency.
*Communication Plan- If your electricity goes out, communication devices like computers and mobile phones can be unreliable. You may not be able to charge your phone and all your contacts will be unavailable. Have a hard copy of important numbers in your preparedness kit. Have a car charger ready. Note that text messages sometimes send when phone calls cannot get through. Text messages will also auto send when service is available again. Here is a great resource from ready.gov
Storm Damage in Ventura County?!?
Flood Damage can happen anywhere. SERVPRO can handle any size disaster. Don't hesitate to call 805-507-5507
When you think of Stormy Weather you don’t typically think of California however as we know, California can still get Flash Flood warnings and High Wind Advisories, not to mention Excessive Heat Warnings. It is always a good idea to be ready and prepared for what may come.
Flash Flood Warnings: Sudden and severe rainfall. Rivers around us that may typically lay dormant will be flowing with several ft. of water. It is important to watch and avoid driving into high water areas. Some damage that can arise are:
*Water damage to first floors
High Wind Advisories: We see these most often starting in October when the Santa Ana winds start blowing. You can see gusts of winds with winds as high as 60 mph.
*Tree Uprooted or falling down on home or power lines
*Wildfire Danger-High Winds can fuel wild fires and make them uncontrollable
Excessive Heat Warnings: When temperatures rise to triple digits, you may receive alerts for excessive heat. Mixed in some rain and you have a perfect storm.
*A/C Leaks are common when we have High Temperatures
*Over use of electrical devices can cause power shortages
National Weather Service will have updates on your area. Be sure to also watch your local weather forecast and sign up for local alerts!
SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County is here for you when you need us the most. Call us if you have any damage due to Water, Fire or Mold- 805-507-5507
5 Common Causes of FIRE
Over the five-year period of 2013–2017 as a whole, cooking was the leading cause of home fires
SERVPRO is here for you when FIRE Damage occurs. Check out our website information for Fire Restoration. Below is a list of the top 5 Common Causes of Fire:
Cooking Fires: Cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires. Usually these fires are caused by unattended cooking and typically involve the kitchen stove. It is important you stay in the kitchen and don’t leave food unattended, especially when you are baking, roasting, frying, boiling etc. Keep flammable items away from the stove such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, aprons or towels. If you have a small grease fire, you can slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. For oven fires, turn the oven off but keep the oven closed. If the fire is too large, GET OUT! Close the door behind you and call 9-1-1!
Electrical Fires: First of all, always have a qualified electrician complete electrical work in your home. Faulty electrical outlets and old appliances can cause electrical fires. It is important that all major appliances are plugged directly into a wall outlet. Don’t use extension cords.
Some things to look out for:
*Circuit breakers are tripping and fuses are blowing out.
*You get a tingling feeling when you touch an appliance.
*Wall outlets look discolored or warm to the touch.
*Sparks from an outlet.
Make sure cords aren’t running under the carpet as they can heat up and cause a fire. There are circuit interrupters that can be installed to shut off electricity when it becomes overloaded.
Heating Equipment: During the winter months, we can expect to see an increased use in space heating equipment. It is important however that you take a few precautions to protect yourself and your family. Always make sure to leave at least three-feet of space from the heating equipment and anything that can catch on fire. Make sure you never leave heaters on overnight while you sleep. Make sure fireplaces and chimneys are cleaned regularly and that a screen is in place to stop ash and sparks from flying into the room. All fuel burning heaters should be vented to release fumes outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your CO2 Alarms are working properly.
Candles: We all love a good scented candle filling out homes with wonderful aromas. However, those decorative candles can lead to a fire in your home. Make sure you blow out candles when you leave a room. Avoid putting them near cluttered areas. They should be on a solid surface away from flammable objects. Use flashlights for a power outage. Avoid using candles. And of course keep candles and matches away from children.
Smoking: If you smoke make sure you use fire-safe cigarettes. Smoke outside as most cigarette fires occur indoors. Keep lighters and cigarettes away from the reach of children. Put out cigarettes in a deep sturdy ashtray. E-cigarettes have also been known to catch fire while charging. So do not leave them unattended. NEVER smoke in a home were medical oxygen is being used.
The National Fire Protection Association has great information on keeping you prepared.
When fire damage has occurred, SERVPRO is here to help you rebuild the pieces. 805-507-5507
White Mold, Green Mold, Black Mold What’s The Difference!?!
Here are a few examples of MOLD on different parts of a home. This is what happens when water is left to saturate into walls.
White Mold: Although white mold is not technically a mold type, you may notice mold that looks white and fuzzy. This usually marks mold in its early stages. You may find this mold growing on furniture, attics and wood framing, crawlspaces. Sometimes efflorescence can be confused for white mold. Efflorescence is the salt/mineral residue left behind when water moves through a concrete structure.
Green Mold: Green mold commonly falls under the name Trichoderma. It usually grows on plants and food however you will see it affect cellulose-containing materials. It is a light greenish color and is at times referred to as toxic house mold.
Black Mold: Black mold known as Stachybotrys or toxic black mold commonly grows on drywall and is a common site after water damage. Stachybotrys Chartarum falls under the Black Mold umbrella and can have a mix of Black and greenish tint. Check out the CDC website on information regarding Black Mold and your health.
Trained mold inspectors can determine what type of mold you have. Do not always assume solely based on color. Call us if you need a referral for mold testing. When it comes to removal, we’re here to assist!
SERVPRO takes mold very seriously and in some situations, a cleaning and sanitation of the area is all that is needed. However when mold exceeds 10 sq ft. you are going to want to call SERVPRO for removal. SERVPRO offers FREE Inspections, so if you are not sure and would like to get a professional opinion.
CALL US 805-507-5507
Check out the Environmental Protection Agency for more information regarding Mold in your home.
WATER DAMAGE TIMELINE
Extracting water, setting up drying equipment and monitoring temperature and humidity are crucial to mitigate water damage.
- Water will quickly spread and saturate everything it touches.
- Walls, floors, upholstery and all your belongings will absorb water.
- Photographs, books and other paper materials will swell and start to warp.
- Furniture finishes and carpets may bleed and cause permanent staining.
What should you do?
- Shut off the source of your leak. Turn off water if needed and call a plumber to fix the leak. It may not always be easy to detect where a leak is coming from. Check out our post on common water leaks
- Call SERVPRO to start water extraction and set up drying equipment.
- Drywall will start to swell and breakdown
- A musty odor appears which comes from mold starting to grow
- Furniture will swell and crack
- Metal surfaces will start to tarnish
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper materials will spread and stain
What happens now?
- If you called SERVPRO early, drying equipment will be set up to stabilize the environment. It is important that we do not allow the moisture to continue to spread. Drying the areas that are not as saturated is important to minimize costly expenses.
48hrs to 1 Week:
- Mold and Mildew start to grow and spread
- Wood Flooring starts to swell and warp, you also may see it cupping.
- Paint will blister and you will notice bubbling.
- Metal will begin to rust and corrode.
- Furniture will show signs of mold and warping
- Serious bio-hazard contamination is possible
What Happens Now?
- When SERVPRO is called out, we monitor moisture levels daily and track the drying progress. Typically, after 3 Days we can have small water spills dried and free of excess moisture saving you money on costly teardown. However materials that are not showing steady progress after 3-5 days, will need to be removed. Mold needs moisture to grow, and the longer the moisture sits, the more opportunity it has to grow. That is why having the proper equipment in place is crucial to do early. Check out EPA for more info on mold in your home.
1 Week or Later:
- After 1 Week, you will see your restoration time has now been dramatically increased. At this point with no prior treatment of the areas, you will be looking at removing and replacing the affected materials. Structural rebuilding can be extensive. Make sure you call SERVPRO early so you can reduce the amount of removal that will need to be done on your home or business.
- Take note that once you have a water leak, that water will continue to move throughout your home if not properly contained. Containing and stabilizing the environment is exactly what our equipment is designed to do. Check out our blog on the Water Drying Process.
Never wait on Water Damage.
CALL SERVPRO right away! 805-507-5507
5 Common Water Leaks
Remember with any significant water spill. Call SERVPRO to make sure there is no hidden moisture left behind! 805-507-5507
Leaks can cause expensive repairs to your business or homes. Below are common water leaks home and business owners can run into. Check out our previous blog if you suspect water damage:
- Clogged Drain: Some clogs are just an inconvenience and can be solved with a plunger. Some clogs however lead to bursting pipes and overflowing. Obstructions in your gutters can lead to serious water damage. HVAC units can clog and overflow drain pans. Make sure you keep your gutters clear of debris and check your HVAC system periodically to make sure it is properly draining.
- Broken Seals or Loose Water Connectors: When you install an appliance in your home, contractors will seal all water connections. If you start noticing condensation or puddles around your appliances, you may have broken a seal. Seals over time wear down and the seal can break. You may notice leaking coming from water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines. Sometimes water connectors can loosen from shifting. For example, a washing machine hose may leak due to the shaking of the unit during its spin cycle. Or as we know in California, you may have an earthquake that can shift or shake your appliance.
- Corroded Pipes: Over the years, your plumbing system will age. With that rust will eat away at your pipes. If you notice warping on your pipes or discoloration, you may want to have a plumber assess it right away. You might want to consider replacing old plumbing systems with a newer system.
- Water Pressure: Who doesn’t enjoy a nice shower massage from the high water pressure? However, sometimes that excessive or uneven water pressure can cause unnecessary strain on your pipes.
- Slab Leaks: Slab leaks occur within your concrete foundation. They happen when a copper water line corrodes and starts to slowly drip within the ground. These are hard to spot and can slowly leak for years without detection. Here are some signs to look out for that could point to slab leak: sudden spikes in your water bill, moisture under carpets, unusually low water pressure, cracks in baseboard or walls, mold problems/mildew, sound of running water when pipes aren’t in use or noticing the water meter is moving when pipes are not being used. Calling a leak detection company to find the leak is important to do early.
Smoke & Soot Facts
Here you can see one cleaning procedure SERVPRO uses to clean soot off of ceilings and walls.
Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various surfaces within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a building.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
- Smoke flows around plumbing and electrical systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor within wall cavities.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. Different smoke causes different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises and can even penetrate into attics.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Fire Damage Restoration Services
As each smoke and fire damage situation is very different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific needs. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO 805-507-5507