Importance of Having Regular Gutter & Air Duct Cleaning
Our home is where we recharge ourselves and prepare for another day. We often try to décor up the place and make it as comfortable as possible. However, there are some integral components of our home that we tend to miss out on. It’s not the paint, furniture or other superficial components. The gutters and air ducts are often the most overlooked parts of our house. Perhaps it’s because their function is underestimated. Here are a few pointers to remind you why regular air duct and gutter cleaning is important.
Regular gutter cleaning
Moisture is a common enemy when it comes to the building’s structural support. Having blocked gutters can potentially cost you a lot in repairment and fixes especially in the rainy season. Overflowing water from the room moves into the gutters, but when it’s blocked, it has nowhere to go but deep down into the building’s base through the smallest cracks.
Water might go away, but it’s where it escapes to that’s important and where the problem starts. Over time, this collective water absorption can damage your building’s foundation. The idiom “out of sight, out of mind” unfortunately prevails amongst the common public when it comes to escaping water and gutter system health. Additionally, the accumulation of excess water due to clogged gutters is often the primary reason for damp basement conditions.
People neglecting their gutters leave their house more susceptible to pest invasion too. Damp rotting wood is ideal for all kinds of pests such as wood termite, rats and even mosquitoes. A bi-annual servicing and inspection of your gutters keeps you safe from hefty costs, saving you money in the long term.
Regular air duct cleaning
Air ducts have their own benefits, mostly unknown to the common people. Air conditioning systems regulate the indoor air quality of your home. This means any persisting fungal spores and bacteria, won’t loiter around in your living vicinity in the presence of a well maintained air conditioning system.
It is a common misconception that high efficiency windows and doors can serve as a good substitute for air ventilation. They may reduce your power bill by reducing the amount of internal and external air transfer, but they do not provide adequate ventilation. There might be pollutants, potentially pathogenic in nature, present inside your home and a properly functioning air conditioning system can solely ventilate these hazards out of your home.
Regular air duct cleaning is therefore, directly correlated with indoor air quality. Furthermore, warm air ducts can also harbor thermophilic bacteria. A thorough air duct cleaning including a disinfection process fogged through the system eliminates such dangers and removes any remaining mold, bacteria and dust mites.
What we look for when inspecting water damage
When water damage strikes your home, the effects can be seen in many different ways throughout your property. There are so many things that go into building a stable structure for humans to live/work safely in. When water gets in sensitive places, it can be a threat to the safety of the occupants and to the owner's pocket! But, there is no need to worry, here at SERVPRO we inspect each water damage case thoroughly and take immediate action to prevent further damages to save your dollar. Here are some things we look for when inspecting water damage:
When moisture is absorbed into the walls, it can be noticed in the way the paint behaves. In water damage cases, the paint will usually bubble, or peel off. This is how you know unwanted moisture is in the walls that needs to be dried. To find the content of moisture in the affected areas, we use a moisture meter that measures the percent moisture in a given substance/area. To dry the moisture, we use air movers and dehumidifiers that helps the water evaporate quicker.
When water enters your property through flood or a heavy storm, it seeps under the floor and lifts the boards, indicating water damage. If the water under the floor is not dried, it will make your property prone to microbial growth and end up costing you even more. Mold grows in places that are wet and dark, so any part of your property that has those conditions after water damage need to be inspected and dried. To dry the moisture under the floor we use the same air movers and dehumidifiers that help the water evaporate at a quicker pace.
Dry rot happens in the case of long-term water damage. Sometimes a pipe can be leaking for weeks before it is noticed, and the long-term effects of the damage have already happened that must be dealt with. Dry rot is when wetted wood starts to decay over time. For your property to have structural integrity, the wood must be in good condition, but water exposed to the beams for a long period of time lead to dry rot and a weak foundation. Dry Rot cannot be repaired, it must be replaced to ensure your property is in safe condition.
Mold is also in the case of long-term water damage. Mold growth is prone to wet and dark places. The pipes running through your property to transport water are in places like these, and when they leak it is very likely that mold will be the result of this damage. Mold cannot be repaired, it must be removed and remediated to ensure a safe environment on your property.
These are a few of the most common damages that can affect your home in the case of water damage. For every job we inspect these things to get a thorough understating of your property’s water damage situation so we can create a plan to make your home/commercial property “Like it never even happened.”
Does Your Torrance Home Have Hidden Signs of Storm Damage?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (310)320-2112
SERVPRO is here to serve and inform during California’s devastating wildfires
The California fires have been ravaging the state for quite some time now. The South Bay has experienced dangerous AQI recently in light of the natural winds blowing smoke into the skies of this region. During days of dangerous air quality it is always best to stay indoors, limiting the risk of PM 2.5 inhalation. Also living in California, we must be vigilant when confronting the force of fire. We can do this with preparation and awareness of all the things related to the element.
SERVPRO does our job in contributing to fire preparedness and prevention by providing services and information to the general public. You can schedule an inspection of your property by our technicians to make sure it is up to date with standard fire prevention codes. We also provide blogs on how to protect your property from fire damage to the differences in how fires are classified on our website. And in the unfortunate case your property does encounter a fire, we provide both restoration and reconstruction of the affected areas. More information about this can be found on our website under the fire damage tab.
It is important that we are in a state of readiness for the natural disasters that impact human life. We still are settlers on this land that thrives, even despite our formidable urbanization, with a diverse ecosystem paired with a sundry climate. In light of this, we are at the mercy of the natural world even in the comfort of our own homes. We must trust professionals and science to protect and harmonize us with the feats of nature to foster a safe and informed society. With this, make sure to read up on natural disaster preparedness. Resources for this information can be found on our SERVPRO website or other sources. Stay safe and ready!
Does Your Torrance Home Have Hidden Signs of Storm Damage?
This is what your roof could look like if unchecked year after year, storm after storm. Call SERVPRO to instill confidence in your home's condition.
Most people don’t give a second thought to their roof once it is installed. Until and unless they see signs of damage inside the house, they don’t call a roofer for maintenance. When it comes to storm damage, sometimes the aftereffects are not that visible. Therefore, you don’t inspect the roof and focus more on the visible damage the storm left behind.
Perhaps this is the biggest mistake because storm damage signs are not always visible. As you can guess, most of the damage is caused to the roof. A missing shingle or a fallen tree limb are signs that you can easily spot, but then there are the missing granules, lifting shingles, and dented gutters that you always miss. Even if the storm had no power in it and consisted of light rain, it still warrants a check.
Following are the hidden storm damage signs that you should watch out for:
Some signs of wind damage are hard to detect, while others are impossible to spot. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Shingles that are stressed, cracked, or lifted
- Splits, chips, and cracks in siding
- Chipping paint
- Dings and dents from debris
Due to excessive wind damage, you are left with a structurally compromised house that needs repairing.
When exploring hail damage, you probably look for signs such as dents and dings. Depending on the severity of the issue, these damage signs are at the top if the list. However, you should also look for the following:
- Cracked shingles or ones that have been lifted from their place
- Granules piled near the drain spot. This means that the roof has lost its protective layer that prevents heat buildup from the UV rays
- Cracks in the siding’s fiber cement (chips are easily visible if you view the siding from the ground)
- Chipped paint beside the windows
- Dented screens or cracked window castings
- Debris from the roof stuck in the gutter, which can cause water to accumulate on the surface and slowly seep underneath the shingles (this kind of damage takes time to become visible, which is why it is important to clean the gutters first thing after a hail storm)
The trickiest of them all is water damage, which leaves a path of destruction in its wake. The water slowly seeps from the roof and into the walls. It destroys the insulation and causes damp patches on the ceiling. This leads to mold and that is when you spot the damage. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Swollen or soggy wood
- The slightest discoloration on ceilings and any other surface
- A musty smell
And this is how you spot damage cause by storms. For professional storm damage services, contact SERVPRO. We offer 24/7 emergency restoration services.
All about Water Damage
Routinely check for water damage signs to prevent a bad situation like this. Call SERVPRO to inspect your property today
Are there visible yellowish-brown stains on your house’s roof or walls? Do you sense a musty odor as soon as you walk in?
If your answer is yes, then this means that your house has water damage— a problem that you shouldn’t ignore for an extended amount of time because it can cause serious damage.
We have assembled a few basics to help you in understanding this issue:
Water Damage Categories
According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC), there are three categories of water damage:
- Category 1 includes water damage involving clean water such as the one released due to the breakage of water supply lines or overflow of tubs or sinks.
- Category 2 includes water damage caused by grey water, which is the wastewater that includes chemical, biological or physical impurities. Examples of grey water include drainage from dishwaters and washing machines, toilet bowls containing urine, sump pump failures, etc.
- Category 3 includes water damage caused by black water. This water damage starts from category 2, but it can soon turn into category 3 if you don’t take the necessary steps to counter it.
Water Damage Classes
According to IICRC, there are four classes of water damage based on the evaporation rate:
- Class 1 type of water damage has a slower evaporation rate and it is not spread over a large area. In this type of water damage, the furniture and other items don’t absorb water quickly.
- Class 2 water damage has a fast evaporation rate. It is spread over a large area and has a water depth of less than twenty-four inches.
- Class 3 has the fastest evaporation rate and the water usually pours from overhead and affects the whole house. It damages everything from furniture and carpets to the walls, ceilings and flooring.
- Class 4 water damage has low humidity due to which the items absorb water at a slow pace.
What to do in case of Water Damage?
You should take the following steps in case of water damage:
- Turn off the affected area’s electricity.
- Identify the category of water damage and take steps accordingly.
- Remove furniture and other items from the standing water.
- Call a restoration company.
Don’t DIY Water Damage Repair- And Here’s Why.
Water dripping inside your house can cause a whole lot of problems. Read on to know why you should call a professional to fix water damage and not attempt to do it yourself.
Water can enter your house either through faulty plumbing lines, leaky roofs, broken foundations, malfunctioning HVAC appliances, or as a result of natural disasters such as a flood or a heavy storm. Whatever the source is, unwanted water entering your house leads to a lot of heavy damage.
When water accumulates in your house and sits there for 24-72 hours, it serves as a breeding ground for numerous bacteria as well as mold spores. The water ruins your rugs and carpets and seeps into all of your expensive wooden furniture.
You might think that you can handle the water damage yourself, without calling a professional water damage restoration company. That’s certainly not true. Why would people opt for water damage restoration companies if the problem could be handled easily?
Here are the top three reasons why you should call the professionals for water damage restoration instead of dealing with the mess yourself.
- You're Not an Expert!
Water damage restoration companies have qualified professionals who are trained specially for restoring water damage at home. On the other hand, you’re a person who knows nothing about the techniques and expertise required for restoring water damage. You will end up stressing yourself unnecessarily if you try to fix water damage at home. An expert will deal with the damage without thinking twice and save you from worrying.
- You Don't Have Necessary Equipment
When you call a professional water restoration company for help, they will send their trained staff along with all the required equipment such as moisture meters, dehumidifiers, drying fans, chemical sealers and other required tools. On the other hand, if you decide to remove water yourself, you would need to either buy or hire the required equipment and tools. So, calling a professional water damage restoration company will save your money and also save you from the hassle of using equipment that you’re unfamiliar with.
- You're Not Safe
Standing water inside your house can be dangerous due to electrical faults. Professionals who visit houses for water damage restoration wear special PPE gear that keep them safe from these hazards. The trained staff members know how to deal with the dangers associated with standing water. Therefore, you can save yourself from those dangers by calling a professional.
If your property has been struck with water damage, it’s best to call a water damage restoration company instead of fixing the mess yourself. The professionals will handle everything and leave your house as it was before the damage.
CALL SERVPRO of Torrance for your water damage at 310-320-2112.
Your Commercial Building’s Annual Maintenance Checklist
A useful security tool that every commercial building should look into is periodical maintenance checkups to make sure that the building is safe and secure from natural disaster. We often find ourselves running into 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 cause by a fallen object to chemicals exposed to high temperature 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 rood 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 measure 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
- Lubricate circulation pump systems and water booster
- To find leaks, inspect couplings
- Check boilers and water heaters
- Check for wear by scheduling test runs
- Replace or check oils and refrigerant where needed
- Inspect the sewage pumps
- Check fixtures in the restrooms for leaks
- Windows and doors should be checked for weather stripping
- Electrical system checkups to prevent accidental fires
- Company’s public walkway should be restored annually to avoid any liabilities
- A test run should be done for the fire alarms to make sure they are working properly and that help arrives on time
An annual maintenance checklist for commercial buildings is highly important because it is not just about one person but dozens of families. This is why it is safer to hire a professional for a routine checkup that is done without any reminder. For professional commercial restoration and repair services, contact SERVPRO. We offer 24/7 emergency service for fire, water, mold and storm damage. We’ll repair your commercial property “Like it never even happened.”
Where We're From. SERVPRO Here to Serve Since 1967
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 taken part in 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!
Why SERVPRO is your best bet for damage recovery
You can search online as much as you want and you won’t find a single thread why hiring a disaster recovery service is not a good idea. We dare you to try it! The same falls for SERVPRO Industries because when it comes to cleaning up the mess left by a disaster and restoring your house back to its former glory, no one can beat us!
With more than 1,700 franchises all over the world, we have been in the disaster recovery business for quite a few decades now. During this time, we have scouted the best of the best professionals and created a team that works hard on making sure that people get their house back after a storm.
So, what sets us apart?
The professionals we send to your house are no strangers to damages caused by natural disasters. We have tackled it all from water damage, storm damage, fire damage, to mold remediation and commercial service that include cleaning, repair and restoration.
So, why us?
Every person that we employ is thoroughly trained in the art of disaster recovery, so they have a clear idea of what to expect and how to perform under pressure. This allows them to assess the damage by just looking at the damage. They inspect every area of the house to find out which parts of the house are habitable, so that they can start the restoration process without any disturbances.
Best Technology and Equipment
When it comes to mold, water and fire, special equipment is required to spot the damage and then catch any lingering damages after the restoration process. This is especially important in the case of fire damage because a small mishap can reignite fire in certain areas of the house. The technology we use is state-of-the-art and the team is trained on how to use them. This gives us an advantage over other disaster recovery services because not only do we have high-tech gear but we also make sure that safety is the first priority when it comes to dealing with damages caused by high scale disasters.
Knack of Locating Hidden Damages
In one of our previous blogs “How to Recognize Hidden Signs of Storm Damage”, we provided you with tips on how to spot hidden damage signs. By hiring SERVPRO, you can rest easy while we professionally check every nook and cranny of your house to make sure that there are no more surprises that might spring up on you in the future. We bet that you never thought checking the vents or the HVAC system for mold or underneath the floor boarding for water damage. Let us take care of this, so that you pay onetime cost for the repairs.
As mentioned earlier, we take great safety measures to make sure that during the restoration process, no one is harmed. For this we corner off the damaged areas, so that the process goes smoothly and faster. We even offer 24/7 emergency service, so call us now and get the restoration process started.