SERVPRO industries have been serving the US since 1967. The company started out in Sacramento, California as a painting business by Ted and Doris Isaacson. Their experience with damage restoration led them to create the business into a franchisor for damage clean up and restoration. They sold their first franchise in 1969, and SERVPRO began to grow rapidly, becoming one of the leading disaster restoration services by 1979.
In 1988, SERVPRO moved its headquarters to Gallatin, Tennessee “to be within 600 miles of 50 percent of the U.S. population.” At this time, SERVPRO consisted of 647 franchises, continuing its exponential path of growth. By 2000, the 1,000th franchise was sold and SERVPRO remained a top competitor in damage restoration.
SERVPRO has been a part of the restoration following the largest natural disasters in America. SERVPRO was contracted by the government after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Tennessee floods in 2010, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Now, SERVPRO has more than 1,800 franchises across the United States and Canada. We have over 50 years of experience in disaster recovery, so you know you can trust us to get the job done correctly. We have come a long way, and are more than happy to be serving the United States and Canada with impeccable restoration work!
Storm damage? Here's what to do...
In Southern California, the weather can be petty unpredictable. One year we are in a drought, and the next rain is falling all winter. It is important to be prepared for these types of conditions, because homes are not indestructible structures. A storm can cause serious damage to your property, and it’s best to be aware on what to do when confronted with storm damage.
Scope out the House for Hidden Damages
Water from heavy rain can seep into the nooks and crannies of your home making mold growth more likely. After a storm, look in all of the often overlooked places of your home to check for flooding and water build up. It’s important to catch this soon to prevent mold growth. If you are not sure if your home is damaged from a storm, call a disaster recovery service like SERVPRO to inspect your home for any storm damage.
Steer Clear of Affected Areas
After inspection, if your home has suffered from damaged, to keep everyone safe, keep a good proximity from the affected areas. If your property has mold damage, the mold can produce allergens that can be dangerous for humans to be around. And if water has accumulated in your home, it can affect the structural integrity of your property. Keep yourself and the occupiers of your property safe!
Call a Disaster Recovery Service
Once you are sure your property has suffered from storm damage, call a disaster recover service like SERVPRO to restore your home back to new. Here at SERVPRO, we have a 24-hour emergency service line for your property’s restoration needs any time of day. We have over 50 years of experience in disaster recovery, so you can trust us to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
Fast Response Time is Imperative in Damage Situations
As a regular home/property owner, it is important to know how to deal with potentially damaging situations. Certain procedures must be taken to ensure that your property remains safe and beautiful.
If confronted with, for example, water damage from a flood in your kitchen, you must act quickly to dry the area completely to prevent the growth of mold which is another pressing situation. Or even if a small fire in the kitchen burns a portion of the wall, that area now has weaker structural integrity. In the case of an earthquake, seldom but more likely in California, a collapse in the damaged portion of the kitchen is more likely to occur. Unfortunately, initial damage can lead to more if not tended to as soon as possible.
In these times, acting quickly may not be in your budget, as these situations are usually unexpected. At SERVPRO, we understand this and provide the best price for the work done to make it “Like it never even happened.” To provide you with a resource to respond quickly, call our SERVPRO of Torrance emergency service line at (949)429-3188.
To know more about the specifics of different types and categories of damage, check out our blog page. There you can find what steps to take if your property suffers from a fire, to design tips for your new family home! We are here to help with all things regarding property maintenance and restoration.
Water v. Flood Damage, There's a Difference
According to insurance adjusters that determine the degree of damage your property has suffered from and what cost accompanies it, flood damage and water damage fall under different categories. The main differentiator is the source of water that caused damage to the property in question. Water damage is categorized by moisture that originated from inside of the property, from the pipes that back the running water outlets. Flood damage is for water that comes from a natural source like mudslides, accumulated rain runoff, and overflow of tidal waters. Flood damage also includes two or more properties. Flood damage is often a heavier burden to mitigate which is why insurance adjusters follow varying procedures between the two types of damage.
It is useful to know that flood damage is not covered by your home insurance, only water damage is. Southern California properties are much less likely to suffer from flood damage than that of other regions of the state, but the disaster is still not far from possible. Areas vulnerable to flooding are near beaches, or the mudslide prone foothills, it’d be in your favor to discuss adding flood insurance to your property’s plan. This can be done at www.floodsmart.gov.
Here at SERVPRO it is in our best interest to keep you updated and informed about how you can best prepare for natural disaster damage. For more information, give us a call at (949)429-3188.
Steps to Take After a Heavy Storm
While Southern California isn't necessarily known for its rainy season, we have gotten a couple heavy storms within the past several years. Powerful storms can dump inches, sometimes even feet of water into your property, and can overwhelm your home even if you've properly waterproofed it.
Following a storm, here is what you can do to check for any possible water intrusion into the home:
- Check your crawlspace- excess water from heavy rain can infiltrate any cracks or weak points in your home's foundation. It is important to dry up the water as quickly as possible. If you are unable to remove the water, a specialist such as SERVPRO can assist.
- Check your flooring- water can seep through unsealed windows or pool under doorways, potentially soaking your carpet or wood flooring. If you find your carpet is wet, pull it up and remove any wet padding as that isn't salvageable. Wood/laminate floors soak up moisture, resulting in possible warping or damage that may require the flooring to be replaced. Try to mop up any standing water and open doors and windows for plenty of ventilation. If problems still arise, it would be a good time to contact a water restoration company.
- Inspect the attic- potential roof leaks can result in damage to the insulation and framing. Finished attics will have the same water damage issues as the rest of the home. Remove any wet materials if possible.
- Examine the walls- check the walls for stains or discoloration and bubbling or peeling paint. Sometimes baseboards will be swollen too. There could be a potential leak that a professional may need to inspect. Most of the time, wet drywall will need to be removed or replaced.
- Check your gutters and downspouts- standing water is your foundation's worst enemy. Check your gutters and make sure that they are clear of debris and that the openings to all downspouts are clear. Make sure that the water coming from the downspouts is directed away from the home and is not pooling at the base of the structure.
SERVPRO can Assist in Earthquake Readiness
Southern California is a special place to live in when 50 miles in every direction guides you to a different ecological environment that warrants its own forces of nature. But, one event that is felt by the region and state alike is an earthquake. California’s school system requires the administration to plan for earthquakes by performing drills and safety practices to prepare for “the big one.” The California Department of Public Health also requires all establishments to draw out an earthquake evacuation plan to be reviewed by a representative of their safety division. SERVPRO of Lake Forest South/ Laguna Woods is here to help you develop the plans your business needs to confront an emergency situation like an earthquake with confidence. As good practice, we create Emergency Ready Plans for commercial businesses in the community. These reports denote shut-off switches and valves for the property’s supply lines, nearest hospitals, and evacuation sites, and the safest points of entry and exit for occupants of the building in the event of an emergency situation. If you are a property owner reading this and it is something that interests you, call us today to request an Emergency Ready Plan tailored to your commercial space. We will send members of our team out to your property to assess the safest routes and primary locations to keep note of if a natural disaster occurs. Contact us at (949)429-3188, and we will be there to help.
Prepare an Emergency Bag to Stay One Step Ahead of Natural Disasters
Here is an example of an emergency pack to keep in your residential or commercial property. Stay prepared and safe!
In the face of natural disasters, all we can do is stay safe by being prepared. It’s hard to predict when or how a natural disaster will occur, or if it even will. But, it will confront you at the most unexpected of times, which is why it’s good practice to have an emergency bag in an easily accessible place for a time you may need it to save your life!
So, what items should you have in your emergency pack? Here are some key things to invest in for your emergency bag:
- Nonperishable food
- First-aid kit
- Wet wipes, toothbrushes/paste, travel size soap, a roll of toilet paper, garbage bags
- Local maps
- Phone charger/Portable Battery
- Dust masks
- Small foldable emergency blanket
- Necessary medicines and prescriptions
- Spare keys for your home and car
- Copy of identification cards
- ID, driver’s license, passport, SSN, insurance cards
- Emergency contact list
- Change of clothes
Now, what should hold all of these emergency items? Well, the items can be placed in a bucket, plastic bag, backpack, or any other method of carrying things easily. Some emergency packs even have special bags that can fold out into an emergency blanket. Specialized ones like these can be bought at your local superstore or online. Stay prepared for disasters, and if one happens to you, we are here to mitigate the damage.
Annual Inspection for Commercial Properties is Crucial for Disaster Preparedness
A useful security tool that every commercial building owner should look into is periodical maintenance checkups to make sure that the building is safe and secure from natural disasters. We often find ourselves running to the first commercial building when a storm hits the city. Why is that?
It’s because these buildings are annually checked to find out if they meet the safety regulations. Even a small issue on one of the floors can lead to life-threatening problems. From power cuts caused by a fallen object to chemicals exposed to high temperatures and more, such small things can cause serious consequences.
Following is a checklist for a commercial building’s annual maintenance schedule, which every business should follow:
Roofing (Should Be Inspected Twice In a Year)
- Check roofing contracts, warranties, and files
- Check roof drains for stuck debris
- Inspect the roofing perimeter for damage to copings and metal
- Check roof connections with the walls for any wrinkles or tears
- If a bitumen roof is installed, check for cracks in the plies
- If a bitumen roof is installed, take protective measures against corrosion
- Trim, weed, and irrigate if a green roof is installed
- Conduct regular moisture checks for leaks
- Install a protective roof membrane
- Inspect the solar panels for any openings that might lead to a leak
HVAC (Should Be Inspected Twice In a Year)
- Recharge U-bend or P-traps water traps
- Find screw issues
- Get the boilers and chillers inspected by a professional
- Inspect the cooling towers for motor bearings, fill valves, gearbox, wiring, support structure, log observations, and fan blades
- Lubricate pumps at least once a year
- Depending on what type of HVAC system the building has, replace air filters at least once a month
- Make sure the condenser coil is clean
- For the refrigerant and compressor to work properly, switch to energy-efficient settings
- Calibrate sensors and clean the economizer
Following these tips will ensure your commercial space is up to standard for any natural disaster. Call SERVPRO if you need assistance or additional information to perform these check-ups. We are here to help you foster a safe environment for our community.
Preparation for Southern California's Scorching Summers
Here in Southern California, our summers can get hot. With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees, this is the catalyst for many brush fires that sweep the state every summer. These fires have the unfortunate potential of reaching residential areas, which is why being prepared for a fire should be in the mind of one who lives in high risk areas.
To prepare for these situations, consider making an emergency home kit. Our blogs go into detail about the types of materials you want to add to the kit to ensure you’re as prepared as possible if that tumultuous time ever arrives. Even if you are not in a high risk area, it is still wise to equip your home with an emergency kit because the events of the future can never be predicted.
In addition to brush fires, the appliances in your home could be a potential catalyst of fire. Since temperatures are higher than usual, these appliances have a greater risk of overheating, potentially causing a fire. To prevent this, read our blogs on annual home inspections. This will give you information on how to inspect different appliances and tools in your home to make sure they are functioning properly, minimizing any potential for dangerous malfunction.
Take this as a reminder to note the change of seasons and how it could affect your home or surroundings. Here at SERVPRO we are dedicated to providing you with not only the best restoration services but with great information to prevent us from having to make it “Like it never even happened,” in the first place. For any questions, or to schedule an inspection, call our 24-hour service line at (949) 429-3188.
Check Your Gutters Before Storm Season
Gutters are an easy thing to forget about, and they seem to only be remembered in the middle of a storm. Storms can do some powerful damage to your property as far as water goes (trust me, water goes pretty far). If your gutters happen to be clogged in the middle of a storm, there can be some hefty destruction.
When the gutters become clogged, all the water from a storm will run off the roof. Instead of being routed through the gutter’s drainage system, all the water flows off to the side of the home/property. If you’re unaware that the gutters are clogged, this can lead to water spilling and then sitting all along the sides of your property, which can lead to issues such as water and foundation damage.
It’s mostly recommended to clean out your gutters twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. We say mostly, mostly because different areas have different climates. For example, an area with a lot of trees could require you to clean your gutters more often. A more desert landscaped area could get by with the recommended two cleanings.
In the event that your gutters do clog during a storm and property has been damaged, you can call SERVPRO 24/7 to get repair underway. SERVPRO of Lake Foret South / Laguna Woods is available at any time to make it “Like it never even happened.”