La Tuna Fire
This past Labor Day weekend on September 2017, there was an enormous wildfire in Burbank that started in La Tuna. It had burned nearly 7,000 acres of land and destroyed five homes. The wildfire had forced many residents to evacuate from their homes as well as shut down Interstate 210 freeway.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared local emergency on Saturday which instructed all city agencies to “take all necessary steps to protect life and property in the area” affected by which is now the largest fire in the city of Los Angeles in the last 50 years.
Two firefighters were unfortunately injured from dehydration and minor burns but thankfully no one was seriously injured from the Many of these firefighters were sent back to California after helping the people in Texas after Hurricane Harvey during the recovery to help with fire relief as well.
There were about 12,000 firefighters battling 19 wildfires across the state of California at that same time. On September 9th, 2017, the Los Angeles Fire Department declared that the La Tuna fire was a 100% contained.
If your home was affected or still have the smoke smell you can’t get rid of, please call SERVPRO for a free estimate and assistance to getting your home back to the way it was at (626)283-5875.
How Storms are linked to Climate Change
As the Earth warms, powerful storms are becoming the new normal. Intense rain and snow storms along with intense drought periods are also all well-known consequences of a warming planet.
You may wonder what the difference between weather and climate is. Weather is what’s happening outside the door right at this very moment. For example, today is 71 degrees on a sunny day in Southern California. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over several years. Climate is also calculated by the global average temperature to see how we are affecting the temperature rise over the past few decades as a whole. In fact, from 2001 to 2010, it was the hottest decade recorded since reliable records began in the late 1800s. These rising temperature are what we refer to as global warming or climate change. This causes patterns of intense rain and snow storms and periods of drought which are all becoming the new normal in our everyday weather as levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere continue to rise.
Storms do not necessarily mean bad news. After years of being in a drought, the storms this year have brought California some much needed rain. Thankfully, Southern California, does not experience many storms, however, we do need to watch our water usage since we are still in a massive drought which also results in extreme heat waves. Call SERVPRO of Alhambra to learn how you can make sure if your home is protected from flooding and roof leaks. Call us at 626-283-5875 to get a free Emergency Ready Plan for your property.
Category 3 Water
If you are a home owner or a property owner, you probably heard that there are different categories of water. Category one water is referred to as liquid that comes from a clean source such as pipes, toilet tanks, or faucets for example. This category of water is usually safe to handle and clean. Category two, also known as grey water, is categorized as liquid that has been contaminated such as dishwater that has been backed up or dishwasher overflow. This category of water may cause illness or discomfort. Category three water, also known as black water, is water that has been contaminated by feces or dangerous bacteria or viruses. The sources of these can be from backed up sewage, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, or contact with water that support bacterial growth.
Another example of how water can become Category three very quickly is if a pipe burst with clean water but then comes in contact with dog feces, which floods the entire room. This immediately puts the water into a category three, which is biohazardous because of the possible harmful bacteria growth.
Sewage backup is one the most common Category three water causes. Sewage backup are usually caused by clogs, which creates a sewage backup through the pipes. Sewage is a mixture of both water and human waste. This can be very dangerous because the waste can contain diseases and gases that are harmful to human health.
Preventing Basement Sewage Backup
Now that winter is now here, it is time to start thinking about rain storms and the potential damage it can cause if your home is not prepared in advance. And because sewage backup can be harmful to you and your family’s health, here are some ways to prevent your property from sewer backup:
- Floor drain plug
- One way drain plugs can be used to prevent water from backing up due to overloaded sewers. If using one, always make sure that the floating mechanism is free from any debris that could prevent its proper function.
- A standpipe is an ordinary pipe that is taller than other pipes and is surrounded by a rubber seal. Any water that would rise out of the drain would go into the pipe and when flood conditions are no longer a threat, the standpipe can be removed, which can allow any water spillage to drain.
- Overhead Sewer
- If you have a basement, getting an overhead sewer is one of the best ways to prevent the basement from flooding.
- Backwater Valve
- Installed at the exit point from the building, it is an underground pipe that connects to the sewer line. This is a pricey solution since it involves getting a permit and requiring a licensed plumber to do this but it can save you thousands of dollars in case of a sewage backup.
Training for SERVPRO Employees
When you’re having trouble deciding which restoration company will best suit your needs, remember that SERVPRO is an international company but each franchise is independently owned and operated. This means you get the best of both worlds, a leading brand you can trust and the intimacy of a local business. Every SERVPRO technician is required to complete a training course administered by The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC certifies and sets the standards for the entire cleaning and restoration industries. Our franchise professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.
- Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) - This four-day course covers mold and sewage remediation techniques and how to perform these procedures in the field while protecting the health and safety of workers and occupants on your property.
- Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) - Technicians learn to dry water-damaged structures efficiently and effectively using monitoring devices, extraction systems, and drying equipment. This three-day course includes comprehensive classroom and hands-on training to develop technical and practical drying expertise.
- Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT) - This two-day course covers pre-inspection, fabric identification, cleaning chemicals and equipment, and proper cleaning techniques for residential and commercial applications.
- Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) - Technicians will learn about types of smoke and fire damage, job planning, equipment, and practical cleaning procedures in fire and smoke settings. This two-day course also includes instruction on odor and deodorization concepts.
- Odor Control Technician (OCT) - Technicians learn to address odors and deodorization techniques. This one-day course covers odor control caused by biological sources such as decomposition, urine contamination, mold, and other sources.
- Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician (UFT) - Technicians learn fiber identification and upholstery cleaning methods. This two-day course also covers identifying upholstery cleaning problems before fabrics shrink, bleed, crown, or distort.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) - This three-day course covers the concepts of water damage and its effects in residential and commercial settings. Technicians learn techniques and procedures to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.
If you need any cleanup or restoration work done at your property, trust SERVPRO of Alhambra and our highly trained franchise professionals to make it look “Like it never even happened.”
Space Heater Safety
As winter begins to hit southern California and temperature begins to drop, you may choose to buy a space heater for warm up your home, apartment, or work space. Space heaters are a good alternative if you do not want to turn up your thermostat to heat up your home. However, space heaters, if not used correctly, can cause fire damage to your property. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent any disaster caused by a space heater:
- Leave the heater on level floor, don’t place on carpet - it can overheat and start a fire
- Do not use in bathroom, unless it is designed for it - moisture can damage the heater
- Keep three feet away from flammable materials and out of the way of children and pets
- Should always be plugged directly into wall outlet, don’t use with extension cord because it can cause overheating
- Don’t leave heater unattended, make sure to unplug when not in use
- Install smoke alarms on every floor
Keeping Mold Away From Food
We have all experienced food going bad at some point and mold growing on foods that we have not touched in a long time. However, how can we prevent food from going moldy?
Buying small amounts and using food quickly is probably the best way to prevent mold growth in food. However, there are other practices that you can implement to prevent mold growth in food.
- Examine food well before you buy it. Check food in glass jars, look at the stem areas on fresh produce, and avoid bruised produce.
- Fresh meat and poultry are usually mold free, but cured and cooked eats might not be. Examine them carefully.
- When serving food, keep it covered to prevent exposure. Use plastic wrap to cover foods you want to stay moist.
- Empty opened cans of perishable foods into clean storage containers and refrigerate them.
Cleanliness is the key to controlling mold. Mold spores from contaminated food can build up in your refrigerator, dishcloths, and other cleaning utensils.
- Clean the inside of the refrigerator every few months with one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clear water and dry. If you do run into mold, scrub the visible mold (usually black) on rubber casings using three teaspoons of bleach in a quart of water.
- Keep towels, sponges, and mops clean and fresh. A musty smell means they are spreading mold around. Discard them if you cannot use them.
Quick Temporary Mold Home Remedies
Finding mold in your home can be one of the scariest things to experience since there are always horror stories of how mold can affect a person’s health. Fortunately, you can control the growth of certain mold and get rid of it with some simple steps.
- Chlorine bleach is a great mold killer. A recipe is to combine one part chlorine bleach to four parts water and apply to the mold. However, chlorine bleach should not be used on surfaces where food is prepared on. (only works with non-porous items such as tile and glass)
- If you want something stronger, a more effective anti-mold treatment would be fungicide cleaner. This can be used to wipe down exterior and interior of refrigerators with.
- For tough to clean spots, such as carpets or rugs, we suggest using baking soda, and dusting the affected area and letting it sit for a couple hours before vacuuming it up.
- If you are looking for a more natural approach, vinegar is a solid and natural mold killer. Just put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray in all locations where the mold is located at.
Always remember to wear protective gear when dealing with mold because it can cause breathing and other respiratory problems for you if you get in contact with it or even mold spores. Also to remember to wear gloves and never to touch the mold directly.
To control the growth and spread of mold in your home or property, you must regulate the humidity. Increased air movement through an electric fan is a great way of reducing air moisture as well as air conditioning system to remove moisture. In the right conditions (humidity wise), mold can spread through a home as little as 48 hours!
If you are experiencing mold problems that you don’t think you can take care yourself, give us a call at (626)283-5875.
Latest Equipment for Commercial Jobs
SERVPRO of Alhambra only uses the latest and most advanced technology in restoration equipment. Every year our franchise owners go to the SERVPRO national convention to personally pick out the newest products to best serve our customer’s needs.
The dehumidifier is arguably the most essential part of the drying process in water restoration. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air. There are two main types of dehumidifier technology that do this: Desiccant and refrigerator coil technology. In today’s spotlight, we have the Evolution LGR dehumidifier which uses the refrigerant technique.
What does it do?
The Evolution LGR dehumidifier is used to reduce moisture levels in the air and accelerate the drying process altogether. The dehumidifier reduces humidity in enclosed structural environments by removing water vapor from the air. With proper use, the Evolution LGR can help dry wet materials like carpet, carpet pad, floors, walls, building contents and more. Using dehumidifiers may also prevent secondary damage caused by high humidity.
How does it work?
Every dehumidifier has a substance in it known as the low grain refrigerant (LGR) which is responsible for precooling incoming air. The incoming air then passes ever a cold evaporator coil set a temperature 20 – 30F below the dew point, which causes the moisture to freeze on the coil. At intervals, the machine will go into defrost mode, warming the frost back to water. The cold coil condenses water vapor into water that collects inside a condensate pump which later has to be removed through a drain hose. The air is reheated and exhausted to collect more moisture.
For more information about the types pf products we use or any water drying concerns, call SEVRPRO of Alhambra at (626) 283-5875.
Water mitigation is the process of reducing or preventing the amount of water damage that happens after a flood or a permeating leak. It prevents additional damage by taking fast, appropriate actions. Water mitigation is normally needed after plumbing failures or when storms cause water to rush into your home. Soaked rugs, damaged walls, warped flooring and ruined furniture are only the beginning if mitigation is not engaged quickly.
Normal store-bought vacuums or companies with only carpet drying equipment cannot prevent water from wicking up walls, under baseboards and molding or into sill plates. Water will penetrate through floor coverings into subfloors, eventually causing damage to rooms below.
If internal building humidity is not controlled, undamaged objects safe from the original flood damage could be ruined as a result of absorbing moisture from the air. Structures not dried out quickly enough or properly will become a food source for mold, later causing a need for even more professional mold removal services.
Specific steps are taken to reduce property destruction, to prevent further water damage and to restore your property to its full value. SERVPRO of Alhambra works with your insurance company so you don’t have to stress. We help you determine the details of your insurance policy and coverage concerning a major loss. Response time is crucial to preventing further damage, including mold damage. Any delay can lead to a much more costly recovery, salvage and reconstruction. Begin repairs to your home promptly following the cleanup services. Call SERVPRO of Alhambra at 626-283- 5875 today to help you with your water mitigation needs!