Recent Posts

The Slithery Drain Hero: Clearing Clogged Drains With a Plumber’s Snake

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Slithery Drain Hero: Clearing Clogged Drains With a Plumber’s Snake Clogged toilet can hinder your daily routine in your home or business

If your water stopped draining or slowed significantly, it is possible that your drain or the surrounding pipes are clogged. An auger, or plumber’s snake, is capable of freeing small blockages and may be the answer to your problem. Follow the steps below for proper snake usage and to possibly resolve your drainage issues.

Step 1: Guide the Snake Into the Drain, Feeling for Resistance

The first step is to slowly guide the auger into the drain, pushing with steady and even pressure to avoid coiling the snake within the drain. As you push the snake deeper into the pipes, pay attention to resistance because this may be a sign of blockages.

Step 2: Rotate Drum Handle Until Snake Moves Freely

Once you feel resistance, begin rotating the drum handle of the auger. As you rotate the handle, the snake turns, and the rotation helps the snake dig into and possibly past the clog. Slowly push the snake further into the drain, continuing to rotate, allowing the snake to break through the blockage and move freely.

Step 3: Remove Snake and Run Water

Once the snake is moving freely, slowly pull it out of the drain. It is important to take your time because moving too quickly may free the debris entangled on the auger’s head, possibly causing the pipes to remain clogged. Once the snake is clear of the drain, run the water for a few minutes to inspect the flow and drainage.

Step 4: Call for Help

If the problem persists, there may be a larger issue. Aside from more possible blockages, there may be a pipe break causing the poor drainage, and it may be time to seek out a plumbing or restoration specialists in the La Habra, CA, area.

Clogged pipes can be a hinderance to your daily routine, but a snake may be the answer. By applying the above steps for proper snake usage, you may free the flow of your water and avoid further inspection. If problems persist, then you may want to seek professional assistance and avoid the annoyance of a slow drain.

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What Is Secondary Damage After a Water Disaster?

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

After the flood water is removed and the area begins to dry, secondary damage can begin to demonstrate the true extent of its destruction. Not only can secondary damage show up weeks and months after the initial flood, but the damage can also manifest itself long after the insurance claim is settled. So, what is secondary damage and how does water from bursting pipes cause it? Secondary damage is caused by hidden moisture that affects property because it is under or between two surfaces making the area difficult to dry. Here are a few examples of areas that may be of special concern following a flood in La Habra, CA.

1. Wooden floors can absorb and store the water for weeks. The water can slip between each board and sit on the subfloor or floating fabric. The liquid can then soak into the wooden planks from below.

2. Subfloors are often layers of pressed and glued wood. Once bursting pipes water begins to seep into the wood particles, the lumber is likely to swell and fracture. The wood can also begin to warp as it starts to dry several weeks after the flood.

3. Walls can hide water between the plasterboards. Insulation inside the walls can absorb many times its weight in the dirty liquid. It can also stay wet for months inside plasterboard walls. The water from the insulation is then free to seep into the plasterboard and wood inside the walls inviting mold and mildew.

4. Tile and laminate floor coverings are especially susceptible to secondary water damage. As water seeps beneath the tiles and through cracks in the laminate floor, the liquid can hide for months. When fully dried, the flooring can crack, warp, and crumble.

After you fix the broken pipe and remove standing water, hidden secondary damage from the flood can still influence your home for many months. That is why most people call a water damage team as soon as they find bursting pipes in their home. The professionals know how to deal with the possibility of secondary damage.

Visit http://www.SERVPROoflahabrawestfullerton.com for more information on water damage. 

Essential Flood Facts for Drivers

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

It’s easy to underestimate the power of flood waters, and unfortunately, too many drivers make that mistake. According to government statistics, attempted driving is a factor in half of flood drownings. It is crucial to understand what makes driving on a flooded street so dangerous, as well as how to avoid it.

More Dangerous Than It Seems

There are many hazards associated with driving in flood waters, making it best to avoid them at all costs.

• The water is often deeper than it looks, and it can be hard to tell whether there is a current and how quickly it is flowing. The street below may also be at risk of washing away.
• It doesn’t take much water to cause a vehicle to float. If you’re in a small car, as little as a foot of water can pick you up off a flooded street.
• Your vehicle’s engine may stall when exposed to water.
• Damaged electrical lines in the water pose the risk of electrocution
• Vehicles are likely to tip if caught in a current, making escape extremely difficult.

Pre-Flood Prep Is Key

The best way to stay safe during a flood is to prepare beforehand. Assemble supplies and a plan. Keep documents and other important objects in a safe place and in waterproof storage. Consider flood insurance and know how to contact your local flood cleanup crew should you need them. Above all, you should evacuate as soon as possible if La Habra, CA authorities recommend it.

Travel Tips

Even with precautions, it’s still possible to run into flooded roads. Stay safe by knowing the area well. If traveling, try to map out alternate routes ahead of time in case you need to turn around. If worst comes to worst and you have no other choice but to drive through, proceed with extreme caution. Drive very slowly, and if the vehicle starts taking on water, it’s time to get out of the car and head to a safer place.

It is always safer to evacuate early or stay home and follow the plans you’ve made. Remember there is no safe way to drive on a flooded street. Visit http://www.SERVPROoflahabrawestfullerton.com for more information on flood damage. 

Importance of a Certified Water Damage Expert

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

A broken pipe at your commercial property in La Habra, CA requires a significant amount of water clean up before your business returns to normal. It is important to know the right type of company to contact for drying, repairing and restoring your property to pre-water damage condition.

What Is the IICRC?

One very important way to know you are hiring a reputable company is to look for certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This can typically be seen on company vehicles and/or websites. The IICRC is a non-profit organization that focuses on maintaining high industry standards and ethics for cleaning and restoration companies. In order to be certified in one or more specific areas, companies must do the following:

• Pledge compliance to the IICRC Code of Ethics.
• Keep licensee and insurance up to date.
• Complete education, rigorous field experience and pass extensive evaluations in areas of certification.
• Finish continuing education courses to stay updated in the field.

What Are the Areas of Certification?

The IIRC has 28 certifications, which fall under five general designations. These categories include textile cleaning, fire and smoke restoration, water restoration, inspection and mold removal. When you have a broken pipe in your business, it is important to find a company certified as a water damage expert, or commercial drying specialist, to complete the water clean up and repair. Through the IICRC process, this certification includes training in water damage, specific drying methodology, and procedures for treating contamination, water loss and sewage backups.

When you need water clean up at your commercial property in La Habra, CA it is crucial to find a company you can trust with your livelihood. Whether from a toilet overflow, broken pipe or flood, getting immediate and professional help for the water damage in your business is important for your property to return to preloss condition as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROoflahabrawestfullerton.com for more information on water damage. 

4 Things To Throw Away After a House Fire

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Few things can be as devastating as a house fire and the long-term effects it can render. After firefighters have cleared your home, you may be left to face the difficult decisions of which personal belongings can be salvaged and which you must throw away. Rather than risk the potential health effects that fire damaged items can create, here are four items you should immediately throw away:

1. Perishable and Non-Perishable Food

Unfortunately, the high heat of a house fire can activate bacteria within the sealed cans and jars of non-perishable foods. Fumes from smoke or firefighting chemicals can infiltrate containers as well, meaning any items that have been exposed to these elements should be thrown away.

2. Burned Clothing

Textile items such as clothing, bedding or other linens frequently can be cleaned and disinfected after a house fire. However, the chemicals contained in smoke and soot could not only irritate the skin upon contact but could create health concerns from inhalation. Thus, it is safer to throw out any singed or burnt clothing and textiles.

3. Medicine

High heat, smoke, soot and even water from firefighting efforts can all alter the potency of your medications. Rather than risk the effects of altered medicine, it is strongly recommended all prescription and over-the-counter medication exposed to the elements of a house fire be thrown away.

4. Cosmetics

The various minerals that come in contact with your skin through cosmetics are also at a high-risk for being impacted by the damaging effects of a fire. Products could be altered by the high heat, or soot deposits could render them unsafe. Any items that appear warped or covered in soot should be thrown out.

Fire damage in your La Habra, CA home can create a world of difficult decisions for your health and happiness. Remember to keep safety in mind, and throw away any items exposed to flames, smoke or water. Finally, consider the expertise of fire restoration specialists that may provide the peace of mind you need to rebuild your home to its pre-fire condition. Visit http://www.SERVPROoflahabrawestfullerton.com for more information on fire damage. 

Detecting Mold in Commercial Buildings

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold infestation is a hassle for businesses, especially in humid regions. Even in dry areas, trapped moisture from leaking pipes, water seepage through roofs and exterior walls, and water vapor from appliances can create a breeding ground for mold. While unsightly mold growth may be easy to spot, the signs of a troublesome mold infestation are not always so obvious. In these cases, business owners in La Habra, CA need a qualified indoor environmental specialist to quickly diagnose the problem.

Understanding the Risk

While invisible mold may be difficult to detect, there are signs and risk factors to keep in mind. These include the following:
• Previous or existing water damage
• Previous mold infestation
• Inadequate ventilation
• Air that smells musty

Undetected mold can create havoc in a commercial building, so if you have any of these signs or risk factors, hire an indoor environmental specialist as soon as possible. It is especially important to find someone who has the training and expertise to conduct an accurate mold test. Accurate testing allows quick identification and isolation of the mold, making it easier to get the infestation under control.

Taking the Next Steps

By testing the air and various surfaces within your commercial building, an indoor environmental specialist can assess not only the presence of mold, but its source. Next steps include containing the mold, addressing water leaks and moisture buildup, and safely removing the mold itself. While it is not possible to eliminate mold spores completely, the remediation process keeps nuisance mold from growing out of control. You can rest assured that the indoor air quality of your business will be satisfactory for customers and employees alike.

If you suspect invisible mold growth in your place of business, seek professional mold testing in La Habra, CA. Gain peace of mind knowing that a highly skilled professional will make your commercial building a pleasant place to do business. Visit http://www.SERVPROoflahabrawestfullerton.com for more information on mold. 

Is Your Workplace Prepared for a Fire Emergency?

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

Everyone hopes one won’t happen at their workplace in La Habra, CA but the fact is that fires can happen to any building at any time. Keeping your coworkers safe during an emergency doesn’t need to be an added stress during a tense time. Periodically practicing with a fire drill will teach employees what to do should a fire break out and help them stay calm while evacuating the building.

However, there’s more to staying safe than just leaving the premises. Here are three things to do to help ensure your workplace and coworkers make it through the situation safely.

1. Have a plan. It’s hard to think clearly during a stressful time, so having a plan in place will help ensure the most positive outcome is achieved. Include evacuation routes for each area of the building and appoint people to operate fire extinguishers and shut off power and water. Have a system in place for alerting employees of an emergency situation, such as a broadcast or loudspeaker system.

2. Practice, practice, practice. Having your coworkers regularly walk through the motions of the fire drill when conditions are safe can prepare them to act calmly under pressure should the occasion arise in the future. Announce the times of the practice runs so that workers can arrange to be available during the scheduled activity.

3. Know who to call. From emergency responders to restoration specialists, you’ll need the help of a lot of people to get through and recover from the ordeal of a workplace fire. Have your list of contacts ready to go before you need it, and you’ll quickly be on your way to recuperation.

A workplace fire can be stressful and scary, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Having a plan and a regularly practiced fire drill can help keep you and your coworkers safe in La Habra, CA. Visit http://www.SERVPROoflahabrawestfullerton.com for more information on commercial fire damage. 

Commercial Water Damage

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Recently, we received a commercial water job after hours. A warehouse got completed flooded, about 8000 sq ft. was affected including offices and a bathroom. The different steps that we applied for water mitigation included:

Containment to prevent spores and dust escaping to clean areas. Removal of wet drywall and insulation. Cleaned and disinfected to prevent bacteria growth. Set up equipment to fully dry the affected area. 

After the drying process is completed, a test needs to be done to ensure its dry and bacteria won't grow. Final step is construction.  

Our job is to help people restore their lives after a catastrophe. Give us a call at any time if  you or one of your clients needs our help. 


      SERVPRO of La Habra/ W. Fullerton
"Like it never even happened."

Job Containment

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

A containment is the first step in restoration process. However, little mention is given to the first part of a disaster. According to a Restoration & Remediation magazine article

“The restoration professional is likely to encounter substances like mold, microbials, toxin-producing pathogens, meth lab residues, fire residues and friable lead and asbestos…without containing these potentially toxic substances, at the source and within a confined area, they are likely to end up creating a significantly larger mess than first encountered and quickly saturate the air being inhaled by workers, homeowners and occupants of the affected buildings” (Scott Lavelle).

Our picture shows our employee during a containment process that needed to be done to protect the non-affected areas from dust. This took place before the demolition process of drywall, insulation and floor. 

House Flooded!

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage House Flooded! Equipment set up to complete the drying process.

Our heroes responded promptly after a client called us to request our services after they came home from a weekend trip to find out their house was completely flooded. Three bedrooms, hallway, bathroom, living room, entry and closet were affected. In this case, a test for asbestos and led was required before proceeding with our services. Test came back negative. The source of the problem was the toilet, which is consider category 3 meaning it came from sewage. Therefore, all materials touched by the water needed to be disposed of, causing flooring and 2 feet of plaster to be removed. After demolition was completed, the next step was to disinfect. Lastly, the equipment was set up to complete the drying process and bacteria clearance test was performed to assure air was clean.