Recent Posts

Water Damage in Your Walls? We’re Here to Help.

9/21/2022 (Permalink)

Blue tape marking an area affected by water SERVPRO marked the Floor with blue tape, where water had intruded their kitchen.

Water damage can come in many forms, and range in severity from a burst pipe or leaking sink to a flooded basement or extreme hurricane damage. If you’ve been struck by water damage in your walls, it’s best to check for signs and try to confirm the severity and scope of damage to best determine a course of action. Ultimately, larger water damage situations will require the assistance of a professional cleanup and restoration company, like SERVPRO®, but smaller jobs can often be just as time-sensitive and shouldn’t be ignored. Even if you’re not certain your water-damaged walls are severe enough to contact us, it’s best to get a professional opinion in case the damage is worse than you think or may be able to see.

Here are some signs of water-damaged walls to look for as you determine the next steps:

  • Mold growth, which can occur in as little as 24 to 48 hours after the initial water damage
  • Damp air and musty odors in the surrounding area. Mold can often occur in basements, laundry rooms, or areas near older appliances, like water heaters. It can also grow near fountains, on rooftops, and in underground spaces, like basements, thriving in dimly lit areas with minimal air circulation
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper, due to loss of adhesion as water builds up within walls
  • Discolored, warped, cracked, bubbling, softened, and/or crumbling walls
  • Squishy, wet carpet around the walls you suspect have water damage
  • Sudden rise in utility bills
  • Rotted wood in or near walls and surrounding area
  • White, chalk-like stains on walls, otherwise known as efflorescence

When it comes to deciding whether to call a professional, if you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to contact a cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO before you attempt to clean up water damage yourself. Even if you have the best intentions, like saving money or thinking the damage is easy to handle, there are several reasons it’s best to get another opinion. First, SERVPRO has the training, expertise, and industry-backed equipment to remove any hazards safely and efficiently as we proceed through the process. Additionally, it’s possible your water-damaged walls could be infiltrated by sewage and contamination, posing a potential health hazard; the associated bacteria could become airborne if not properly remediated, putting the health and safety of yourself, family, and/or employees at risk. Another reason you shouldn’t try to clean up water-damaged walls yourself is that you risk running into mold, which can cause further damage and health effects if not properly remediated with the correct equipment, like our industrial-grade HVAC units and fans.

Furthermore, even if you’re not certain you have water damage, to begin with, it’s still a safe bet to call SERVPRO and let our experienced technicians assess your space and provide a professional recommendation. Hidden water damage could be disastrous if you try to clean it yourself, due to internal structural dangers that may turn out to be beyond the scope of what you’re able to handle. If you opt to clean it yourself, you may find you need a professional only once you’re in a dangerous situation. Ultimately, it’s important further structural damage isn’t caused by improper repairs or inadvertently missing the water source, which must be stopped as soon as safely possible. SERVPRO’s proven system of professionals has decades of experience and is committed to remediating and fully cleaning the water damage, stopping it in its tracks, and helping to prevent further headaches and expenditures down the road.

Even if you routinely inspect your property, water damage can strike without warning, so you should call SERVPRO when you’re ready. There’s always a local SERVPRO nearby that’s available 24/7/365. The average process from inspection to completion is around 3-5 days, but this can vary greatly depending upon the severity and scope of the damage, the amount of contents affected, any demolition that may be required, and the presence of any hazardous materials.

Our franchise professionals have over 50 years of experience, so it’s no wonder SERVPRO is the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration. If you believe you’ve suffered from water damage in your walls or may not be sure and would like another opinion, your local SERVPRO is ready and committed to answering your questions and providing cleanup and restoration experience. With both the local, personalized touch of an individual franchise, we also have teams across the U.S. and Canada prepared to respond to commercial and larger damage disasters. We understand the importance of getting you back to normal as quickly and safely as possible and are committed to helping return your water-damaged walls to preloss condition “Like it never even happened.”®

What to Do After a House Fire

9/21/2022 (Permalink)

A House Fire in Ventura CA Here we can see a room with many items melted, burned, and covered in soot from a house fire in Ventura Calif

Your first priority after a house fire is to make sure all family members (pets included) are safe and accounted for. In some cases, you may need to find temporary housing until it is safe to return to your home. 

1. Don’t re-enter your fire-damaged home. 

You might think it is safe to return home once the fire is extinguished, but you must wait until the fire department gives you the all-clear. The following are numerous potential hazards in a fire-damaged structure, therefore it is recommended that before entering a fire structure one should wear at least an N-95 safety mask:

  • Fumes and particles from smoke and soot
  • Mold and water damage
  • Structural issues, like a waterlogged ceiling, or a weak floor or ceiling joist system
  • Gas leaks
  • Electrical hazards in standing water (note: depending on the severity of the fire, the local Fire Department may have pulled the electrical meter and cut off the gas)

If you re-enter a space too early, you may become exposed to any of these items and risk your health and safety. 

2. Call your insurance agent. 

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of a hotel, short-term rental, or food if your home is damaged due to a fire. You’ll also need to begin the claims process to cover home repairs and the replacement of damaged belongings. 

3. Reach out to local organizations for extra support.  

Suppose you don’t have homeowners' insurance. In that case, other community resources (like programs, charities, or benefits) may be available to assist you after a fire. These additional resources can help fire victims get back on their feet faster. Some of these organizations that can help after a house fire include: 

  • Salvation Army
  • American Red Cross
  • Public agencies such as the health department
  • Religious organizations
  • State or municipal emergency services office

 If you’re unsure where to start, connect with your community’s town or city office for guidance. 

4. Get an inspection and damage assessment. 

Our seven-step fire damage restoration process begins with a call to our emergency service center. The SERVPRO® team will send an inspector to your home to assess the extent of the fire and create an effective remediation plan. 

With more than 50 years of experience in cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO® has preferred vendor status with many insurance companies. We’ll manage the homeowners' insurance claims process for a faster, more accessible experience.  

SERVPRO Fire Damage Soot

9/16/2022 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO Tech on a ladder cleaning SOOT off wall A Certified SERVPRO Technician On a ladder cleaning Soot Damage from a Fire in Ventura, Calif

What is soot? (and other common questions) 

Let’s get down to the soot basics. In order to both recognize and appropriately remove soot, it’s good to have a foundational knowledge of how it’s caused and what it looks like. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients: 

What causes black soot on walls and materials? 

Simply put, soot is the tiny particle that comes from incomplete combustion; it’s the black substance that comes from burning wood or other materials. While you might be most familiar with large-scale cinders and residue from fires, have you ever noticed those small black smudges near a burning candle? That’s soot, too! You don’t need to have a fire disaster to see the damage. 

What does soot look like? 

Most commonly, soot appears as black streaks on surfaces near a fire. It might be easy to confuse soot with mold; the similarities in color and patterns make them similar. Both can come out of nowhere, and both can do a lot of damage! Before touching the damaged area (which can be dangerous), you can make smart assumptions based on the black streak’s location. Ask yourself: 

  • Is this damage near an electrical outlet or appliance?
  • Is this damage near space in my property where I have candles, a fireplace, or other combustible materials?
  • Is this damage at the bottom of a door where carpet may be filtering soot from the air?
  • Is this damage near a part of the wall that could be affected by the heating system?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with soot and not mold. In contrast, mold will grow in areas with excess moisture, such as in between shower tiles or on a bathroom wall. 

Can I remove soot? 

The simple answer is yes—but that doesn’t mean you should tackle every soot damage project. A small smudge from a candle is likely cleanable with a small cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. More significant soot damage from a fire should be handled by professionals. Agitating the soot with incorrect substances can make the damage worse. 

Is there any way to prevent soot? 

Yes! It all comes down to preparation. For large-scale damage, make sure that your home or commercial space has a fire emergency plan and a fully functioning fire sprinkler system. Regular maintenance and upkeep of your fire prevention tools will help reduce damage in an emergency. 

For more small-scale prevention, use high-quality candles with short wicks on the candle stand to reduce excess heat. Schedule regular maintenance of your kitchen appliances to help ensure that they’re in good working condition as well. 

SERVPRO water damage

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO ad from our website Call SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County Today! 805 507 5507

SERVPRO is a better option than calling and paying for multiple services from different companies, which can be a pain and end up more expensive than going with a single professional cleanup and restoration company. There’s a reason our tagline is “Like it never even happened.”® The decision doesn’t have to be difficult; choose to work with professionals who can handle the job, no matter how big or small. With more than 5 decades of experience and over 2,000 franchises across the United States and Canada, SERVPRO is made up of a proven system of professionals and is the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*. Time is of the essence when you experience water damage. Whether it is water damage in your home or business, don’t wait. Give SERVPRO a call.

It’s especially important you call a professional cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO when you come across water damage in your house or business, as our professionals are prepared to remediate mold that may have grown as a result. Your everyday handyman or contractor may not be suited to deal with mold in the safest manner and may leave undetected spores present after cleaning. This can cause further problems, given mold and mildew can cause health effects if not properly remediated. Ultimately, it’s best to save yourself the headache of dealing with multiple, and sometimes duplicate services from various companies. Rest assured, our SERVPRO franchise professionals are trained and available 24/7 year-round and will help return your home or business to preloss condition.      

SERVPRO Storm Services

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

A small commercial building with a single window board up A T-Mobile office in need of a board-up by SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County before a heavy rain storm arrives.

Before the storm ever hits, SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County can assist you in boarding up windows or doors.

Making a call to us ahead of the storm will help limit further storm damage to your home. In a storm, the ceilings, walls, floors, and contents are frequently damaged. Inadequately treating the area can lead to mold growth. You can check for a few items if you think your property has been damaged. After a storm, you can look out for discoloration, staining, mold, dampness, or other issues. Make an appointment with us to come out and conduct an FREE inspection if you detect any of these symptoms.SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County has been in service since 1997, we are licensed and bonded, and insured and all of our technicians are ready to assist you in any STORM preparedness.

SERVPRO Water Damage

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of NWVC vehicles side by side Two of our work vehicles from SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County parked side by side at a water loss in Ventura Calif

SERVPRO® has the expertise and equipment to quickly restore your property to pre-water damage condition. We use a scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup that emphasizes monitoring and documenting the drying process from beginning to end.

Every water damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same.

Emergency Contact

When you call, our specialist will guide you through several questions that will help us appropriately respond to your unique water emergency. Beyond understanding your situation, we will want to set up a time for your local SERVPRO professional to inspect the property and create a restoration plan for you. Fast response is critical, so we’ll want to schedule this as soon as possible.

Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

After our professionals arrive at your home, they will thoroughly assess the water damage and help you understand its severity, hazards that may be present, and determine what can be restored. If necessary, we will also assist with stopping the source of the water damage. All of this is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in the successful restoration of your property.

Water Removal

Service work normally begins with a thorough extraction of water. This helps prevent the spread of water in the structure and reduces drying time. Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using powerful pumps and extraction units during the water removal process.

Damaged Material Removal

If any materials cannot be successfully restored, this will be communicated to you. These materials are typically removed as soon as possible to expedite the drying of all restorable materials.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Deodorization

Water damage can create cleaning, sanitizing, or deodorization needs for floors, furniture, and other personal belongings. SERVPRO professionals use a variety of specially formulated products, industry-leading equipment, and proven techniques to accomplish this important aspect of restoration.

Drying

After the bulk of the water has been removed, our specialists use industry-leading drying equipment to remove the water you can’t see. This will target water within materials to bring these materials back to their normal moisture level. This equipment is normally placed during the first visit to your property. The type and amount of equipment is based on your unique situation and industry standards.

Monitoring

During the drying process, our specialists will want to visit your property daily to help ensure materials are drying properly, check drying equipment performance, and make changes as needed. This monitoring process is critical to effective and efficient drying of your property.

Repairs and Construction

After these initial steps, your home may need construction work to get your property back to its preloss condition. The repair step can be minor repairs or rebuilding entire areas of your home. We can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.

SERVPRO Fire Damage Process

8/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech encapsulating lumber a SERVPRO employee using special technique to encapsulate lumber damaged by soot and smoke

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO® has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you give us a call. Our specialist will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us arrive quickly with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

SERVPRO uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO Commercial Property Restoration

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial office had a water loss After removing all office items, all that is left to address now is the wet carpet and walls.

Here at SERVPRO, we are always out for people's and properties' best interests. Owning a Commercial property can be stressful as there are many tasks that need to be addressed.

Things like Fire sprinkler systems, many times one or two may be leaking within the walls and you don't notice it until there is an odor or microbial growth or both!

Your central heating and air conditioning can also leak! The overflow pan can reach its max before spilling over into empty cavities or onto the roof and making its way down each floor if you're in a multi-level facility.

In bathrooms, your wax rings between the floor and toilet can give out causing you category 3 water damage which would require the invasive measure to stop cross contaminates. *Remember any water that leaves a drain line and comes in contact with items or structures that is a porous material will need to be deleted/removed., essentially it is trash.

Exterior flooding is another issue, your property may be below sea level, and as we know water follows the path of least resistance, it also likes dry porous materials, Carpet, and padding, drywall paper behind baseboards, and coves alike. Wood furniture, like office chairs and desks, and wood book shelvings.

We offer Free Estimates! Call your Local SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County Today!

Why Choose SERVPRO

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

A customer shaking the hand of a servpro employee A happy customer shaking the hand of a SERVPRO technician completing the job.

We are a Family owned and operated franchise, that has been in business for over 27 years. We are licensed, Insured, Bonded, and backed by large cooperation that is here for you and us 24/7 365 days a year. All of our Lead technicians are IICRC Certified, our vehicles are licensed and our technicians are insured. We always check our equipment for issues before and after a job. From phone call to arrival at the job site is 4 hours or less! We Document everything that is done to your home or office, including photos and paper and digital documents. We work directly with your insurance. Our prices are fixed for insurance claims and pro-rated for non-insurance claims. There are no surprise bills or hidden fees. We work for you! You always have peace of mind when SERVPRO is on the job!

Call your SERVPRO Franchise today and Let the Pros here at SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County take care of you!

SERVPRO Biohazard cleanup

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO tech spraying SERVPROOxide a SERVPRO Technician using SERVPROOxide to decon an area

The Professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Ventura County have been trained to safely and legally contain, decontaminate and remediate all potential pathogens and visible blood from homes and property. 

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants. SERVPRO® can respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.

SERVPRO technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Their first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

  • Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Tear gas and pepper spray residues
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO can remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO team members clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile. SERVPRO franchise professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.