Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

What Causes Mold To Grow in Your House?

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Repairing a sink Wise homeowners regularly inspect their plumbing systems

Anyone who has ever spotted mold at home probably feels some stress and anxiety. Aside from wondering how to get rid of this problem, people want to know how the mold appeared. If you take the proper steps, you can reduce your risk of finding black mold and other types of this fungus. Understanding how and why mold grows where it does will help you avoid this challenge in the future.

A Brief Overview of Mold

Mold is present everywhere. Tiny spores are floating in the air all around, but they won't grow unless conditions are ideal. Spores can get into your home and spread when the following is present:

  • Moisture problems
  • Water damage
  • Poor ventilation

Flooding

A flood brings its own problems into your La Habra, CA, home. Water can ruin building materials such as drywall and wood, not to mention flooring, furniture, electronics, and documents. It may also require mold cleanup. This fungus thrives when there is water. If you don't clean up after a flood quickly, mold can grow and spread in a hurry.

Plumbing Problems

Wise homeowners regularly inspect their plumbing systems. Once a year, you should have a professional look over the pipes and appliances in your home to make sure there are no leaks. Broken pipes can slowly spill water onto floors, inside walls, and in the ceiling. This can occur for weeks, months or even years before you notice anything. Black mold can grow rapidly in some of these hidden areas.

Supply Line Concerns

If your main water line breaks, you could face extensive cleanup and repair issues, including mold damage. If this happens, make sure you contact a professional mold remediation company. Even if you don't detect mold, a technician can search all areas of your home for any growth.
Whether it's black mold or another type, you never want to see this fungus in your home. Be aware of these common culprits so you can do your part to eliminate mold and stop it from invading your house.

Can Fire-Damaged Computers Be Saved?

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Keyboard of a computer on flames SERVPRO can clean electronics after a fire

Can Fire-Damaged Computers Be Saved?

After the flames die down after an electrical fire, you may wonder whether your electronics can be salvaged. The answer may be either yes or no depending on several factors:

  • Exposed circuitry
  • Proximity to heat, flames, and soot
  • Water damage
  • Power flow during the time of damage


Add to this list the fact that some machinery is simply better able to withstand various types of fire and water damage than other equipment.

Dangers to Electronics

An electrical fire can be particularly harmful for electronics because in this case, some machinery was sure to be near the source of the fire. Some of the results include a black film coating the inside components of the equipment, magnetic charges carried by smoke, and acidity from soot that leads to degradation. Computer cleanup is necessary at this point and is best left to experienced fire damage technicians with training in dealing with electronics.

Turn Off, Unplug, and Gather Warranty Paperwork

While you wait for these professionals to arrive, there are three things you can do to minimize damages. The first two steps are to make sure that all of your affected machinery has been unplugged and turned off. If there are electronics in the area and you aren't sure whether they were affected, unplug and turn those off as well. The next step is to gather all the warranty paperwork. A warranty may provide some of the replacement costs for equipment that can't be saved.

Data Recovery

When recovery and cleanup technicians arrive, find out if you can recover data from electronics. For example, you may find that it's easier to remain operational during the recovery period if you have consumer order information.

Remember that turning electronics on or running power through them could cause worse fire and smoke damage than has already been done. After an electrical fire at your Fullerton, CA, business, protect against losses by contacting professionals for computer cleanup and repairs.

A Smooth Claims Process Helps All Parties

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. An insurance claim will need to be filed and processed

A disaster can take many forms: a devastating flood, a powerful hurricane, a scary fire or a fast outbreak of mold. Whenever this happens it's crucial to contact an experienced disaster mitigation team in your locality. With a local SERVPRO franchise, you will get a fast response and trained and certified technicians will be on-site in less than four hours. Faster to any size disaster has real meaning. When the recovery process is nearing completion, an insurance claim will need to be filed and processed. An efficient claims inventory system makes this step easier on all parties.

Detailed and Itemized Receipts

One key to a trouble-free insurance claim is good record keeping. The best system follows these proven steps:

  • First notice of loss
  • A detailed estimate of work to be done
  • Photos of damages
  • Digital access
  • Availability of forms by hard copy or digital

The insurance agent for the claim will appreciate the simplicity of the process and its clarity. This enables the agent to contact the business owner and communicate details of the reimbursement. An emphasis on getting the recovery completed quickly and safely, and on keeping costs down, benefits all parties. This is why SERVPRO is often the preferred franchise for many insurance adjusters.

Efficient and Qualified Technicians

Each disaster is unique. A flood could involve contaminated water, a fire could result in extensive water damage, a mold outbreak could spread to multiple areas of the building. That's why you want workers who are trained and certified in the latest IICRC standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration in Fullerton, CA. The job will be done correctly and your company will be on its way to a complete recovery. The insurance claim will be processed in a timely manner and the funds will be on hand quickly. Your company will be able to go back to what it does best.

What to Know About Mold Odor

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Mold specialist combating black mold on a wall Mold remediation in La Habra, CA

Mold Odor in Your Place of Business

Did you know that mold odor is mycotoxin caused? In many cases one of the first things noticed about mold in La Habra, CA, is its scent. Even when the mold is unseen the smell can be prevalent. But why does mold smell and what can be done about it? Here’s what you may want to know about the mold odor in your place of business.

1. Why Does Mold Smell

Many people have noticed a musty odor when dealing with a mold infestation. Mold is a fungus that grows by the consumption of organic material. During this process they also release mycotoxins which are the odor carrier. This is why you can often smell mold, even when it can’t be seen.

2. What are Mycotoxins

A mycotoxin is a secondary metabolite. This means that while it is an organic compound produced by a fungi, it is not part of the reproductive process. The exact use of mycotoxins by mold is yet undetermined, however they can be toxic. Fortunately, the odor associated with these compounds allows for the mold source to be found and removed.

3. How to Remove the Odor

The thorough removal of mold and its odorous byproduct is important for the health of the building staff as well at the building structure. The process recommended by many mold remediation specialists usually includes containment, mold removal, sanitation, and prevention steps. During these steps an HEPA air filtration device can be used to clean the air. This should also remove the musty scent. Once clean you can begin taking the necessary steps to prevent any future mold growth.

Because mold odor is mycotoxin caused it’s important to deal with the source soon as possible. The area should be cleaned and sanitized, and prevention steps taken. A professional can use an HEPA air filtration device to help remedy the odor problem during the mold remediation process.

5 Things To Understand About Mold

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

mold test Contact a professional to understand more about mold damage and remediation

Whether you’re looking at bread mold or a spore colony under your bathroom sink in your La Habra, CA home there are a few things to understand about these organisms before you panic. Here are five things you should know about mold.


1. What Is Mold?


The first thing to know is that mold is a fungus growth. There are a wide range of species which grow in colonies both indoors and outdoors. Mold can range in color from white, grey, brown, green, and even black. It may also appear fuzzy or slimy depending on the type.


2. Why does Mold grow?


All molds grow by using organic materials as fuel. This is most obvious in fridge mold, but household molds may grow on wood, carpeting or even drywall. They also need areas of high moister and prefer dim or dark spaces.


3. How does Mold spread?


Like all other molds bread mold spreads by creating spores and forming a colony. These will usually stay close to the source, but can also be airborne or carried by other means to new locations where a new colony can form.


4. When to Remove it?


It’s best to remove mold as soon as you find it. This will help prevent it from spreading and causing further problems.


5. Who Should Remove it?


If you find mold in your home it’s best to contact a mold remediation professional to conduct the removal process. These professionals have the training and equipment necessary to identify and remove various mold types. They should also be able to advice a number of mitigation steps to help prevent future problems.


Like all molds, bread mold is a fungus. It grown in areas of humidity that can provide both moisture and organic materials to feed on. Mold spreads through spores and if you find this phenomenon in your home it’s best to contact a professional to have it removed quickly.

Do I Have Mold? Tips for Detecting Mold Infestation

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

A girl with a tissue on her nose From runny noses to watery eyes, allergy symptoms are often exacerbated by mold

Here Are Ways To Detect a Mold Problem

Figuring out whether you have mold may seem easy. But what happens when mold isn’t in plain site? The fact is, some of the most destructive mold can thrive inside walls, vents and other hidden places where it can spread unchecked. How can you find out if you have hidden mold lurking in your Fullerton, CA home? From sniffing it out to hiring an indoor environmental specialist, here are a few ways to detect a mold problem.

How Mold Gets Inside

Mold is a hardy little organism that lives all around us, spread by lightweight spores that waft through the air. Mold spores can make it into our homes:

  • on clothes
  • through open windows

Once inside, spores find a moist, warm surface and mold growth begins.

Pay Attention to Allergies

From runny noses to watery eyes, allergy symptoms are often exacerbated by mold. If you’ve recently experienced new or worsening allergy symptoms that seem to abate when you’re outside of the home, you may need to have an indoor environmental specialist do a mold test to find hidden fungus.

Look at Known Moist Areas

Got a leaky roof or a dripping water heater? Areas where moisture is known to gather are places where you may have a mold problem. Look closely at the walls, floors and beneath items near these moisture hotspots to see if you are in the beginning stages of mold infestation.

Follow Your Nose

Mold can have a pungent, musky smell. Oftentimes with hidden mold, the smell is the only clue to its presence. If you notice an unexplained stale odor, there may be mold lurking behind the walls.
The good news is that mold is not something you have to live with. Follow the above tips and hire an indoor environmental specialist to help you sniff out hidden mold and get on the way to killing the fungus for good.

Mold Can Find Lots of Places to Hide in Your Business

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

a pipe under a sink A sink leak can cause mold to grow

Most people have heard about the potential dangers of mold contamination, and businesses are certainly not immune. While bleach and elbow grease may seem the logical approach to dealing with mold growth, unfortunately it can hide in surprising places and get well established on certain materials in Fullerton, CA. Many experts recommend getting a mold inspection around once a year in commercial establishments to protect the health of employees and customers.

Mold Likes to Hang Out Wherever There Is Water

Lots of places it grows aren’t really surprising when you think about it. Wherever water is commonly present, mold isn’t far away, such as

  • Around the water heater.
  • Air conditioners, especially where the condenser drains the water.
  • Bathrooms and utility rooms with a sink.
  • Carpets and padding where water has saturated it at some point.
  • Anywhere there has been water damage.

Once mold gets into carpet padding, it becomes very difficult to remove. In fact, this is one key reason carpet has become so much less popular in recent years.

Mildew Can Happen Wherever There Is High Humidity

Regrettably, there are plenty of more difficult areas where it likes to grow. The HVAC drain pan is usually carte blanche for all forms of fungus. Ductwork that experiences condensation is fairly common in Fullerton, CA – a natural path for mold growth. HVAC terminal units and anywhere where moisture can develop are also hot spots.

Ceiling tiles, especially if there’s been even a tiny roof leak onto them, can become ferocious mold centers, and cavity walls also are often overlooked and fertile ground for it. Wallboard that’s been exposed can be problematic; however, a one-time event with less than 2 days of exposure is usually not a major concern.

Lastly, even your office can have problems. For example, when a drink is spilled, it tends to get into unexpected areas, like drawers and files. Paper is an excellent medium for mold growth, so if you think your office smells a little musty, don’t be surprised at the cause.

The Timeframe You Can Expect From SERVPRO

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of La Habra/ West Fullerton has the training, experience, and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Flood damage emergencies don't stick to an 8-5 office schedule. When a pipe bursts in your client's building at midnight or over the weekend, you want a 24-hour company you can rely on to answer the call and spring into action. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor of many insurance companies because it provides such timely service. From call response to assessment briefing, these water damage specialists get to the problem in a hurry.

1. The Call

The call line at the corporate offices is always open. When your clients call the toll-free hotline to request service, they can expect an answer within the hour. The operator will take down all the pertinent information, including:

  • Location of the building
  • Type of damage
  • Potential extent of damage

Having a 24 hour call line is crucial to getting the problem handled before secondary damage can start to occur. Once the necessary information has been gathered, the team in La Habra, CA, can be mobilized to the location.

2. The Arrival

Technicians arrive on site within 4 hours of the time of the call. This fast response allows them to provide emergency cleanup to stop the damage from going any further. The water source can be found and turned off, and some of the water can be removed so it does not saturate additional areas.

3. The Assessment

Within 8 hours of the original call, your client can expect a verbal briefing of the damage that was caused and what will need to happen to remedy it. Once the building owner assents to the service, repairs can begin. You can keep up with the list of damages and costs, as well as the progress of the repair process, through the online records system.

It's important to have a 24 hour service team even for commercial properties that aren't open around the clock. Water damage doesn't stick to a traditional schedule, so you need a remediation team that doesn't limit their service to those hours either.

Where Does Mold Grow?

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores are all around. Check your house for mold

No homeowner wants to learn they have mold, yet it’s a reality that many will have to face. In fact, nearly all homes have locations where mold can grow if you know where to look. Protect your La Habra, CA, home from expensive mold damage by using this roadmap for where to check for mold in your home.

Environment of Mold

By definition, mold is a fungus that grows from microscopic spores. These spores are everywhere in our environment and typically don’t bother anyone. The problem occurs when they find the right circumstances and start to reproduce. The perfect environment
includes:

  • Moisture
  • Darkness
  • Temperatures between 77F and 86F
  • Organic surfaces such as drywall, wood or fabric

The result is a visible stain that can be smelly and highly destructive. The key to preventing mold growth damage is knowing where to look.

Windows and Window Sills

Windows do a great job of keeping water out, but they’re not perfect. Moisture that seeps
through weak seals, or the simple condensation from humidity, can find its way to
the indoor window sill and kick off mold and mildew growth. Keep an eye on sills as
well as the bottoms of curtains where water may gather.

Air Conditioning and Heating Vents

Your HVAC systems can be a ready breeding ground for mold spores. That’s because condensation from vents, absence of light and comfortable warmth are all common factors in an HVAC system. Check yours frequently for musty odors and stains that indicate a mold presence.

Unfinished Basements

Unfinished basements are often dark, enclosed areas that are ideal for fungus growth. Prevent growth by checking these spaces for subtle leaks or condensation from appliances like washing machines, dryers or furnaces.

Mold spores are all around, but you don’t have to give them a place to call home. Check your house for mold-friendly areas or have a mold remediation company schedule a mold damage inspection today.

3 Features of Preferred Vendors

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage. 

3 Features Of Preferred Vendors

Most insurance companies maintain lists of Preferred Vendors for damage mitigation and restoration. These vendors usually share three features that lead insurers to consider their services more trustworthy than other businesses in La Habra, CA. Whether you are a homeowner or insurance agent, you should look for a vendor with the following qualifications.

1. Professional Certification

Insurers prefer to work with vendors that hold certifications recognized throughout the damage remediation industry. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification administers standards and credentials in every major restoration field, such as content cleaning, fire, water and mold. IICRC and other specialized certifications can make an insurance company more likely to cover a claim.

2. Cutting-Edge Services

The IICRC and other industry-leading organizations are always improving and updating standards and requirements. As a result, restoration professionals who train in a particular area are also required to obtain continuing education credits to maintain certification. These requirements are spread over several years and include updates that will enable these professionals to use the latest methods. Improved equipment and treatments can allow for faster and more thorough restoration.

3. High Service Standards

An insurance agent will also tend to prefer companies that maintain high service standards. SERVPRO makes it possible for an agent or adjuster to access franchise and company comparisons as well as data on response times and costs. This information enables insurers to make sure that each estimate is in line with similar jobs. Furthermore, franchises must sign a Participation Agreement and meet all 21 guidelines to receive Insurance Client referrals.

These features can help an insurance agent or client distinguish a Preferred Vendor from other mitigation and restoration companies in La Habra, CA. Vendor programs may vary based on the insurance company, but most insurers recognize the high quality of SERVPRO. This corporation has local franchises nationwide that respond Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Effective Ways to Clean Your Materials Following an Office Fire

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damage in La Habra,CA

If tragedy strikes your La Habra,CA, office building and a fire breaks out, significant structural damage could result. But there’s also the potential for further problems. Your space has valuable equipment and supplies, not to mention sensitive documents and materials that you can’t afford to lose. In the most severe cases, you need an expert to handle dry-cleaning and other cleanup matters.

Why Call the Pros

You may not want to think about a fire starting in your office, but if this happens, you can’t afford to bring on anyone but the best in content cleaning. A professional cleanup crew can come to the rescue. Don’t take care of this on your own. Hire the pros for the following reasons.

  • A professional company has experience cleaning materials after fires.
  • A professional company has the right equipment and uses the most proven cleaning techniques.
  • A professional company is responsive and works quickly.

Smoke Damage

Often, smoke can be as big a culprit for damage as the actual fire can be. The pros can clean your electronics, flooring, walls, or documents that have suffered smoke damage. With high-quality equipment, the team will not only clean the materials, but they’ll remove the odors as well.

Flooring and Furniture

One of the best ways the cleanup team will remove soot and other harmful materials from your office furniture and content storage is by dry-cleaning the affected areas. The team will use high-powered methods and chemicals to salvage the damaged items and get them back into a presentable form for you.

Other Methods

Another popular way to clean items after a fire is through ultrasonic cleaning. This method is used in non-porous materials where other strategies might be ineffective. Only a highly trained professional will have access to the right tools for this cleanup effort.

Dry-cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning are two of the most popular ways to get your office back to normal following a fire. Make sure you get in touch with a professional cleanup team to make this happen in a timely manner.

Make a Flood Damage Claim in 4 Steps

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding in La Habra, CA

Follow These Four Steps

Recovering from a flood can be overwhelming. Make the process easier and reduce out-of-pocket expenses by filing a flood claim. Follow these four steps to prepare and file an insurance claim after flooding in La Habra, CA.

1. Document the Damage

Take photographs or record videos of damage to your home caused by flooding. Don't start the mitigation or cleanup process until you capture the extent of the damage.

2. Contact Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance provider about the damage and schedule an appointment with an adjuster. You should also be aware that standard homeowner's policies typically do not cover flood claims. If you live in a region prone to flooding, you should obtain flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

3. Schedule an Appointment With an Adjuster

An adjuster will assess the total amount of damage and prepare a proof of loss statement for the homeowner to sign. This is a necessary step toward filing a flood claim. Insurers may be backlogged if flooding has affected many homes in your area. If you are on a waiting list, use this time to start damage mitigation.

4. Take Mitigation Measures

Don't wait for an adjuster to arrive before starting mitigation. Once you document the condition of your home, there is no reason to let damage intensify. Most insurers will want to see proof of your efforts to limit damage in order to cover the full amount of an insurance claim.

Once you follow these measures and provide contact information to your insurance company, you have done everything that is usually necessary to file a flood claim. If you do not have flood insurance, try to apply for federal disaster assistance. This option is available if a federal disaster is declared in La Habra, CA. Insurance coverage and supplemental assistance can offset the cost of flood damage mitigation and restoration.