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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

What you need to know about Construction Permits

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

Imagine you live in a neighborhood where every house looks the same, and every block matches the one that came before. The neighborhood is organized into perfect symmetry, then one day the annoying guy down the street builds a hot pink addition to the front side of his property. The roof is a sickening green-yellow, and the edges protrude out onto the sidewalk. The window trimmings are a gaudy royal blue, and the front door to this weird forward addition is a bright fire engine red.

I bet you think that scenario is excessive and unrealistic, and that’s because it is! The reason you’ve never seen/heard of something like this is because of construction permits. Construction permits are official approvals for projects/remodels to homes and commercial buildings which are issued by the local government. A specific example would be adding some concrete to your driveway. The design and land usage must be approved by the association if you have one, and the local building department.

Keep in mind, a construction permit is not needed for simple repairs around the house. You don’t need to submit an application to patch a wall, or fix a leaky faucet. The construction permit is used for major mechanical or structural changes to a house, like space additions or work on gas lines. The whole point of the construction permit is to make sure that the annoying guy down the street doesn’t ruin the aesthetic of the neighborhood with his hot pink front addition. It’s also for the crazy lady next door that thinks she can reconfigure all her electrical wires by herself, even though she’s never done anything even remotely close to it before. The permits are used to keep everyone safe, and to allow the neighborhood to look its best.

Confront water damage with the attitude of Darth Vader!

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

We should thank Star Wars for providing us with Darth Vader, one of the most unforgettable villains in science fiction. If you’re struggling to cope up with the disastrous effects of rain, including terrible water damage, you should take some inspiration from this character. Think of how Darth Vader never feared the dark side and always believed in his powers. His ice-cold demeanor is what we all need to emulate when we face unexpected stressful situations such as heavy rainfall.

In case of unexpected heavy rainfall and storm, you should focus on staying safe and keeping everyone else safe too. Rainwater can cause a lot of damage to your property and if it mixes with the electrical system of your house, it can end up taking your life. You need to have faith in yourself and take control of the situation. Lord Vader would “...find your lack of faith disturbing” and wouldn’t hesitate to show you its consequences. Hence one should believe in themselves and remain strong during tense situations such as a heavy storm. Do not fear the Dark Side and dive into these tips to live through rain fearlessly.

Turn Off Electrical Appliances

The first thing you should do when it’s raining cats and dogs is to turn off all electrical appliances present in your house. If possible, turn off the main breaker so that there is no electricity running through your house. This will make sure that nobody has to experience an electric shock if the rainwater enters the electrical system of your house. 

Use a Mop to Clean Wet Floors

Rainwater can enter your house and flood your floor as well as your furniture. When it rains, you should remain alert and use a mop to dry excess water inside your house. It will save your expensive flooring and furniture from getting ruined and reduce the chances of your family members slipping while walking on a wet floor.

Keep Doors and Windows Tightly Shut

To make sure that rainwater does not enter your house, close all doors and windows. If there is a space between the bottom of your door and the floor, cover it up so that water does not enter through it. Moreover, look for leaks in walls and ceilings. If you find water seeping inside your house, follow the next tip.

Call a Professional Rain Damage Restoration Company

A professional rain damage restoration company can save you from the disastrous aftermath of heavy rainfall. Water seeping into your house through walls and ceilings can leave permanent marks on your walls which make your house look unappealing. Moreover, the water can mess with the electrical wiring of your house. A professional restoration company will restore the pre-rainfall condition of your house and save you from the terrible effects of unexpected rainfall.

“When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master!” –Darth Vader’s famous dialogue for Obi-Wan now holds true for you as well. You’ve learned everything and you’re ready for the battle against the aftermath of rainfall. Follow these pro tips and believe in yourself so that you can deal with the consequences of heavy rainfall.

How fire and water damage can go hand in hand

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

A fire can spark in your home for various reasons. The top causes of home fires are from kitchen appliances, heaters, smoking, candles, and faulty wiring. Some of these are uncontrollable circumstances, so it is best to be prepared for such a situation.

When a fire does spark in your home, immediately call the fire department. They will come and extinguish the fire using water and sometimes foam. This method pulls the oxygen away from the fire in turn extinguishing it. During this process, water gets into your home and can cause additional damages.

Fire can damage your home in many ways. It can burn the walls of your home, damage the structural integrity of your home, and the smoke and soot can travel through the vents making the air dangerous to breathe.

Water can damage your home by leaving moisture left in places meant to be dry, making your property more prone to mold growth. Water can also damage the structural integrity of your property, making it dangerous to be in close proximity of.

In the event of a fire, damages can be vicious. Here at SERVPRO, we have the experience necessary to make your property look “Like it never even happened.” We understand the stress that comes with damage restoration… no need to worry, SERVPRO will be there in a hurry!

What to do when you smell smoke from a fire

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

House fire with firemen strategizing in foreground How to prevent a fire like this

You’re lying down, scrolling your bedtime Facebook feed like usual when your nose detects the distinct charred smoke effervescing from the seams of your bedroom door. What do you do? What do your instincts tell you? In dire moments in between life and death, panic and fear set in, impairing your judgment to make the right call on the spot.

We’ve all probably been briefed in safety training at some point of our lives and told not to panic in case of emergencies. Once something in your house catches fire, it can grow into a blazing white hot mess consuming everything inside in no time. And, if you’re a hoarder or collector who accumulates newspapers, boxes and other flammable materials, those possessions can add fuel to the fire.

Smokey Bear shouldn’t be the only one prepared for such circumstance. One must always be prepared in case of an emergency and you need pre set instructions to kick in during these pivotal moments. Let’s go through a couple of important things you should do in case of a fire.

  • Know your way out: Smoke from the fire can fill up rooms almost instantaneously. Thereby, decreasing your vision clarity every passing second. If you need to feel your way through to the exit, it might be too late. You must be well aware of all the emergency exits, windows and main exits in order to safely evacuate the building with all your family members. Since, the thick black smoke will be filling up the place, it might block some of the exits. You must be familiar with all the possible escape routes to go for an alternate exit if one is blocked from collapsing debris or black smoke.
  • Call 911 immediately and sound the alarm: You might be one of the first people in the vicinity to know of the fire. You can save many other unsuspecting victims by sounding the fire alarm on your way out. This will allow others to start evacuating simultaneously, preventing further damage. The first thing you should do once you establish your safety is to call 911 for disaster control.

Now, here’s what you should NOT do in case of a fire emergency and pay attention:

  • Using the elevator: If you’re a resident of a building, you must use the fire exit or regular stairs because when the fire alarms are rung, most elevators are automatically sent to the lobby level and restricted for the Fire Department’s use only.
  • Opening doors better left closed: Oftentimes when a fire starts in one part of the room isolated by a closed door, it’s not recognized until the fire eats through the door or smoke seeps in. If you see smoke coming out from beneath the door, through the hinges or seams, then touch the door or the door knob to feel if it’s hot. If it is, do NOT open the door, keep it confined within the room.

For yours’s and everyone’s safety, please call 911 immediately to get the fire extinguished. Damage control can be done after. Remain calm, exit the building, then call for help.

(SERVPRO of Torrance specialized in fire and smoke remediation)

How to freshen up your commercial property

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

When owning a commercial building, you most likely would want your property to look visually appealing to impress customers and to foster a comfortable work environment for the employees. It may seem like a trying task to make your property stand out from the rest, but these often overlooked areas are the keys to making your commercial property the best in the game.

Commercial Landscaping

As our society leans toward industrialization, our cities have lost their naturally occurring plants and trees that contribute to making a place beautiful and peaceful. With that, it’s smart to incorporate as much plant and shrubbery in your commercial property planning as possible. Some examples of this can be climbing vines, a rooftop garden, a fountain with or without fish, bird feeders, shrubbery, flowers lining the walkways of your building, and any other ways that nature can be incorporated into your property.

Up-to-Date Outside Appearance

The styles in which buildings and signs are designed changes throughout the years. If you want your commercial property to keep attracting people and potential employees, you must stay up to date with the current design trends. This isn’t as hard as it seems! The font and size of your commercial business’ name on your property can be changed to be more visually appealing and with the times. If budget permits, the shell of your commercial property can be remodeled by simply updating the style of windows or the color of the walls. The way your property is presented reflects greatly in the business it accrues.

Up-to-Date Inside Appearance

Obviously, the inside of your commercial business is just as important as the outside. Some easy ways to make it look modern and appealing are:

  • Comfortable seating areas
  • Don’t keep the walls bare! Put up at least a beautiful work of art or picture.
  • Indoor plants
  • Walls with softer colors to foster a more at-ease environment for customers or employees
  • Avoid cramping spaces with unnecessary furniture, keep things nice and open
  • Smell!! Put on essential oil diffusers or air fresheners

Maintenance

The biggest key to keeping your commercial property beautiful is having a strong maintenance schedule. This is where a lot of businesses go wrong, in that the lack of maintenance causes the property to look older and worn out faster and ends up costing the business more in the long run. Maintaining the beauty of your property is the most important part in standing out as a commercial business.

Torrance! Follow these safety tips if you suspect mold

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Torrance for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Torrance specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (310)320-2112

A COVID-19 Update from SERVPRO

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

The virus is still ravaging through the world’s communities, and it is up to us to keep each other lifted up and safe. That is why we are providing you with an update on the situation for our community of Torrance.

As of February 2nd, there have been 3.3 million cases in LA County. According to the New York times, The highest report for the county was on December 26th, with a spike of 64k new cases reported that day. The trend has been decreasing ever since, but other minor spikes occurred the first week of January, assumingly linked to the holiday season before. On January 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom lifted California’s stay-at-home order, permitting businesses to resume outdoor dining services.

Things have appeared to settle down, but what’s in store is still up in the air. The first doses of the vaccine arrived in California mid December. They have been slowly rolling them out to essential workers and high risk groups. As of February 2nd, over 3 and a half million vaccines have been administered in California according to the LA times. The first phase of vaccine distribution,1A, consisting of healthcare workers and long-term care residents has been administered. Phase 1B is underway, offering the vaccine to senior citizens and essential workers. The next phase is 1C, determined by age-based groups. Limited information regarding phase 1C was released on January 25th by Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

Here at SERVPRO, we encourage you to maintain grit during the next phases of this pandemic. Our services will continue during this time because we realize they are needed now more than ever. Our technicians are equipped with CDC certified PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and high grade disinfecting chemicals. We understand that you may not need our services right now, but keep us in mind. And in the meantime, stay healthy and refer to CDC guidelines to keep yourself and others safe until our country is once again in full swing. May 2021 be better!

Rain is Coming! What to do to prepare, and who to call.

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Winter is strengthening its force. The rain, winds, and chilly days are here to temporarily rattle us Southern Californians. These feats of nature have the potential to do a number on your home. But, we are here to help you do everything you can to prepare for the season ahead. Here are some things to do to make sure your property is ready for the rain:

Check your Gutters, Soffits, and Fascias

This is one thing many property owners mistakenly look over. When fall sheds the husks and leaves of plants, and whisks them away into the air, oftentimes they will end up in your rain gutters. If unkempt, this could cause them to flood or break, causing further damage from undirected water. Make sure before it rains that the gutters are cleaned out and mounted firmly to your property. Also, check the soffits and fascias for any dents, cracks, or chips. This may be a sign of water damage within the structure, potentially caused by a problem with the above gutters.

Inspect the state of your Roof and Ceiling

This feature goes over a lot of property owners’ heads. The property may be new, but that does not make it an exception to the natural forces of nature. Check your roof and ceiling to make sure there are no open areas where water could potentially come through. For example, a missing or broken shingle. If this task is too difficult or inaccessible to you, call us at SERVPRO to schedule an inspection of your home.

Look for stains on Ceiling and Walls

Check for water damage that may already be there. Soft spots in the ceiling or wall are vulnerable when ignored during a storm. These should be fixed right away to prevent further damage like mold growth. These spots can also jeopardize the structural integrity of your property. Also check for any paint chips or cracking. This can suggest there may be further water damage behind the wall.

Assess every Window

Make sure all windows on the property are properly sealed. Cracks or fractures on the glass may be okay or the moment, but are vulnerable areas for further damage. Also, cracked or damaged frames can lead to problems if not taken care of as soon as possible. A storm can cause debris to fly aimlessly in the air. If a cracked window or frame were hit by that debris, it could cause the damage to spread. 

We hope these tips will help you prepare for the coming rains. Call us at (310) 320-2112 to book an inspection for your property. Do not fear the storms, for SERVPRO will make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Is Wishing you a Happy New Year!

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Is Wishing you a Happy New Year!

The struggles of 2020 did not spare one person on Earth. It was a rough year, and those of us that are lucky enough to have made it to this point are thankful. The technicians, managers, and workers here at SERVPRO sure are, and we extend our thanks to you, our customers, for continuing to support us during such a tumultuous time. When the end of this pandemic will arrive is still highly uncertain. Hang in there folks!

We hope at SERVPRO to do everything we can to keep our community clean and safe. We continue to provide COVID cleaning/clean up services for both commercial and residential properties. Just give us a call at (310) 320-2112 to request a quote. We understand the strain of the present, so we guarantee a fair price for the services provided. Our technicians use CDC approved cleaning chemicals to disinfect your space and wear appropriate PPE to protect everyone on site. Although we do not have the power to make the virus “Like it never even happened,” we do have the power to help you gain some sense of control over the state of your space. Stay well, and maintain hope for 2021!

Importance of Having Regular Gutter & Air Duct Cleaning

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

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

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

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:

Paint Condition

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.

Floor Condition

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

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

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?

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

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

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

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?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damaged roof, peeling shingles 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:

Wind Damage

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.

Hail Damage

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)

Water Damage

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

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

corner of wall wet from 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.

8/29/2020 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

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

Plumbing

  • 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

Long-Term Checkups

  • 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

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

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

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

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?

Trained Professionals

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.

There are Different Types of Fire Extinguishers? Apparently Yes!

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Different types of fire extinguishers infographic know your extinguishers!

You’d think that fire would only come in one flavor, but apparently that’s not the case. There are different classes of fires which describe what is being burned and how to extinguish it. With different types of fire, it’s important to be able to know how to prevent them, which types of fire are which and what you need to do to extinguish them safely. Here are the different types of fires and what extinguishers to use with each:

Class A

Class A fires consist of wood, paper, cloth, rubber and plastics. Water, foam, dry chemical, clean agent, and water mist fire extinguishers are the way to go for these fires. Each extinguisher has a different property to it that extinguishes the fire.

Class B

Class B fires are flammable liquids like gas, petroleum grease, tar, oil, alcohol, butane and many more. Extinguishers for these fires are carbon dioxide, dry chemical, and clean agent.

Class C

Class C fires entail electrical equipment that has set on fire like motors, computers, appliances, and transformers. These fires can be extinguished by carbon dioxide, dry chemical, clean agent, and water mist extinguishers.

Class D

Class D is a more rare form of fire that is caused by combustible metals like titanium, magnesium, or potassium. These fires can only be extinguished by dry powder extinguishers.

Class K

Class K fires are very common as they are caused by cooking oiled and greases like vegetable and animal fats. These fires can be extinguished with wet chemical extinguishers. Do not try to extinguish a grease fire with water because it will not work.

Home Suffer From Water Damage During Quarantine?

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

We Can Help!

It looks like the current state of things is not changing anytime soon. COVID precautions are now a part of our everyday life. Most of us are staying home more often, and engaging in contactless services to fulfill our everyday needs. With so much time spent in the home, it is only likely that your home may face some water damage. This could come in the form of a leak, minor flood, or some hidden mold that creeped up in the walls of your home. In any case, the damage must be remediated, to make sure for the remainder of our society's distancing you have a comfortable and fit home to remain safe in.

SERVPRO is in service during the pandemic. Only a phone call away at (310) 320-2112, we are able to inspect, plan, and repair any damages done to your property by natural, inevitable circumstances. And when any contact needs to be made in order to repair your property, our technicians are equipped with CDC certified PPE to keep us and you as safe as possible. For any more questions, don't hesitate to call, and make sure to take a look at other blogs for more information about the services provided by SERVPRO during COVID-19. 

Demonstration Videos for COVID-19 Clean-Up Services

8/1/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Torrance, we’ve created a series of videos showing the services provided by our location for COVID-19 clean-up. The situation does not seem to be getting better, so keeping a clean home and business is essential now more than ever. Going about a task like this may seem difficult for you, but that is why we are here to help!

Our clean up services can adhere to your schedule and business needs. These clean ups can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Whatever is best for your COVID-19 business plan. The chemicals used by our highly trained technicians are certified by the CDC to kill bacteria and viruses on a multitude of surfaces. Our technicians will also arrive in proper PPE, with N95 masks and full suits to protect both themselves and our clients from the pestilence we all know too well. 

Click here to be brought to the video page which will have 3 parts to our demonstration. If you are interested in this service we provide, you can find our 24 hour service line at the top right of any SERVPRO of Torrance webpage (310) 320-2112. We are here to help you during the COVID-19 crisis. The best we can do is wear our masks and follow CDC guidelines to unite together and fight this virus!

What to do in the Face of Storm Damage

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

In Southern California, the weather can be pretty 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 of what to do when confronted with storm damage.

Scope 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 damage, 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 recovery service like SERVPRO to restore your home back to new. Here at SERVPRO, we have a 24-hour emergency service line at (310) 320-2112 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.”

Summer has come! Here's what to look out for to prevent fire damage

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

Here in Southern California, our summers are 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 resident 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. This blog goes into detail of the types of materials you want to add in the kit to ensure you’re as prepared as possible if that tumultuous time ever comes. Even if you aren't in a high fire 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 over-heating, potentially causing a fire. To prevent this, read our blog on home inspection. 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 top riveting you with not only the best restoration services, but with great information to prevent us 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 (310) 320-2112. 

How We Can Help

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technician in PPE Here is our SERVPRO technician geared up in PPE to make it "Like it never even happened!"

Our beloved community Torrance is slowly reopening as we still face the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is eager to be able to enjoy life again as if it were normal. But as we know, the new normal is very different from life before the pandemic. The CDC has drawn out guidelines for businesses and cities to re-open, but with strict health guidelines to keep infections as low as possible. You can find these guidelines on the CDC website. To keep your business or even home as safe as possible read up on these guidelines and enforce them in your environment to not only protect yourself, but others as well. 

So what can SERVPRO do to help during the pandemic? Well, we have a wide range of services that can instill confidence in both business and homeowners during the pandemic. Our technicians here have PPE approved by the CDC. This PPE is usually used in category 2 and up water damage cases and biohazard clean-up. But now as a business that provides in-person services for our clients, this PPE will be used in almost every job we do. To see photos of our technicians in PPE, check out our photo gallery. SERVPRO can help you during this pandemic by providing disinfecting services for your commercial business or home property. We have several chemicals and disinfectants approved by the CDC to kill bacteria and viruses on all types of surfaces. These clean-ups can be scheduled daily, weekly, monthly, or maybe even just once. Let us know and we can be there to provide impeccable disinfecting services for your property! To schedule one, call our 24 hour emergency service line at (310) 320-2112. We pick up the phone 24 hours a day to be there for our Torrance community at all times. To learn even more about what we can do for you, read our blogs.

How is your business doing during COVID-19?

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, we care about our clients and their well being. It is obvious that COVID-19 has impacted every member of the community. We want to know how you are doing, and how we can help. As businesses slowly open up with proper health restrictions in place, maybe your business is in need of some inspection, cleaning, or restoration before starting up. Let us know, and we will be there to help.

To learn more about the services we provide, browse around the website or read our "Why SERVPRO" blogs. We have a wide range of services to meet the needs of the Torrance community.

We also have blogs about how to maintain your business during COVID-19, with tips and pointers on what you can do to inspect your own property. Also feel free to take a look at some other blogs unrelated to COVID-19 about what to do if your property faces any sort of natural disaster damage. 

We have the proper PPE and disinfecting equipment to clean your property before its opening. The customers of Torrance will be pleased to support local businesses and to see them clean and flourishing. Schedule an inspection through our 24 hour service line (310) 320-2112. Our services are still open during these times, and we want to make sure yours are too.

Have the recent rains affected your home?

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Blurry house through a rainy window Slay the rainy season!

At the beginning of California’s lockdown, the weather was still getting over the cold and rain. For several days periodically it rained well, the perfect time for some cozy weather as we were all newly quarantined in our homes. Now that we are moving into hotter temperatures, it’s a good time to acknowledge the state of your home after those storms. You do not want any mold growing in the summer to overpower the smell of freshly cut oranges on a sunny pool day?! To prevent this, inspect your home for things like clogged gutters (blog here), leaks through walls or behind them, mold growth (blog here), or problematic mudslide areas (blog here). 

If you come across something out of the ordinary while inspecting your property, call us at our 24 hour emergency service line to schedule an inspection from our technicians. We will come out and tell you what is wrong or right and the estimate of any needed repairs/restoration. We also have PPE to keep the current times of COVID-19 in mind. We hope our Torrance families are well, and that the homes and businesses of our community are in the best shape.

Why Isolation is the Perfect Time for Home Maintenance

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

hidden mold How mold can hide in your home and grow over time.

Here in California the weather is getting hotter while we remain in lockdown. The outside grows more tempting but we must remain indoors until it is safe for everyone to begin life again. But for now, what can we do to occupy our time and feel productive? Like mentioned in our previous blogs, inspect your home for damage!

Though Southern California does not experience much rain, the winter season this year brought us a good amount of stormy days to offset the intense summers. But, with rain comes hidden home damage that is easily overlooked. Especially since rain is not a frequent thing we Californians prepare for. It is important we do not forget about this type of damage from storms even though it may not happen in our area as much.   It is in your best interest to check your property for any hidden leaks in the walls, crawl space, or through the ceiling. Unwanted moisture will promote mold growth, damaging your property. Also, the rain can bring up mud and dirt outside which has the possibility of shifting to affect your home. This can happen through mudslides or at the bottom of sloped land. 

These are some things to consider after storms to make sure your home has endured it properly. And if not, that is okay! Call us at (310) 321-2112 to inspect your property. We will give you a clear and accurate estimate of the damage costs and repair time. Call us if you want it  to look “Like it never even happened.”

Pluggin’ the Gutter

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Dirt in gutter Clean your gutters to prevent home damage.

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 Torrance is available at any time to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Goblin on the Sales Floor

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Imagine: the quarantine has been lifted, the stores are open, and the shoppers eagerly await outside. It’s the first time anyone has been allowed to shop in person since the lockdown. It’s opening time; the doors have just opened to the customers on the other side. All the shoppers waltz into your commercial property. They’re excitedly running through the aisle and whizzing through the products. 

There is a moment of pure joy throughout. Life seems to be returning to normal again. Then, there is a shrieking cry from a customer in the middle of the sales floor.  The manager of your property rushes to see what’s the matter. A woman named Karen is passed out on the ground next to a smelly, giant mold goblin. Where did this mold goblin come form? He’s the result of a leaky pipe that was dripping unnoticed throughout the entire quarantine.

Even though it can seem like the world has stopped since we are all stuck in our homes, the fact is that commercial properties still stand against the elements. Burst pipes, mold, storm damage, and fires can still happen at commercial properties, and all situations should be addressed in a timely manner to avoid prolonged damage from happening. The phones at SERVPRO are open 24/7, so we can make it “Like it never even happened.” Call SERVPRO of Torrance for all your restoration needs on your commercial property.

How to Maintain Your Commercial Business During COVID-19

5/3/2020 (Permalink)

sorry we're closed sign Don't let this stop your commercial business from maintaining its cleanliness and safety!

Times are tough here in America during COVID-19. The situation changes by the day and everyone is asking themselves, “When will everything go back to normal?” Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to that question. But, there are things we can do while in isolation to still gain a sense of routine and normality. 

For commercial business owners, essential or not, it is imperative that business operating properties are maintained throughout the lockdown to ensure when things are up and running again, you are able to operate at full potential. If your business is temporarily closed, it’s insides and out have been untouched making hidden and timely damage like mold prone to happening. So what can one do to avoid this?

As a business owner, you should be able to visit your commercial property during the pandemic to check for these things. Our blog on Commercial Business Maintenance covers all of the routine things to check on a property of business nature. Just because business is not running doesn't mean property maintenance is not required. Take this extra step for your property and your business will be in the best shape possible for when our country begins to open its doors again.

If confronted with any problems during your commercial property maintenance check up, call us at our 24 hour, 7 days a week emergency service line (310) 320-2112. We will answer to any questions or comments you have, and if needed an inspection of your property can be scheduled. We are here to help during COVID-19! 

How SERVPRO Can Help Amid COVID-19

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

woman wearing surgical mask SERVPRO is still here to serve amid Coronavirus

SERVPRO has been providing you with top of the line restoration services since 1967. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we are still here to serve you in your property’s needs. Essential business is still underway to keep our country moving forward despite the setbacks. If during these times, your essential commercial property is affected by any type of damage be it water, fire, mold, or biohazard, we are able to come out and make it “Like it never even happened.” Our workers have professional class PPE gear that is required to wear when working with black mold or category 2 and up water damage. 

To schedule an inspection for your property, call us at our 24 hour 7 days a week emergency service line (310) 320-2112. It is essential that the homes and businesses of America stay intact and damage-free. Our homes and commercial properties are needed more than ever now to provide us with safe spaces to socially distance, isolate, or be on the front lines saving lives. Call today for any more questions you may have on the extent of our services. We are here to help in these times!

Bored in Isolation? Inspect Your Home!

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

checking sink drain and disposal Be like this guy and check your sink drain and disposal!

You may be sitting on your couch right now, isolated at home feeling as if you have run out of things to do. Los Angeles County has been in quarantine due to the Coronavirus for several weeks now. But, it has done us well compared to other parts of our beloved country that are experiencing hospital overloads and death tolls in the thousands. But aside from all of the information we know and read about everyday, what is something you can do at home during isolation? And something that will make you feel accomplished, and like you’ve done a good task for the day?

In theme with SERVPRO, the best thing we can suggest to do at home is to inspect your property for any type of hidden damage or appliance parts/equipment in need of repair or replacement. Some things to check are pipes under the sink for leaks, behind the toilet, and around the corners of your bath or shower. These places are prone to mold growth, which happens over time. If these commonly neglected areas have not been checked, quarantine is the perfect time to do so! And while you’re at it, consider the maintenance of these things by cleaning the pipes with chemical drainers that can be ordered online. Check the pipes in your kitchen and the appliances’ functioning to prevent home fires, which are most often caused by cooking equipment. 

If you are inspecting and happen to come across something suspicious, call us here at SERVPRO to come and formally evaluate the situation for you. Our 24 hours 7 days a week emergency service line is (310) 320-2112. We will pick up and answer to any question or predicament you may have. Stay healthy!

SERVPRO is still in Service to Assist in Fire Damage During COVID-19

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

pan on stove in flames SERVPRO is here during the Coronavirus pandemic to maintain your home's comfort!

With the state of things in America, daily life is changing by the day. Nearly the entire country is ordered to stay at home to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 cases. With orders to stay in, more time than usual is being spent using the appliances, tools, and functions that your home provides to assist in comfortable living. But as we know all too well here at SERVPRO, accidents happen. Most home fires start from cooking equipment, followed by heating appliances. Read our blogs on fire damage to learn more about fire damage preparedness. 

SERVPRO is considered an essential service, so during the quarantines and lockdowns, we are still on call 24/7 to assist in your property’s remediation needs. You do not have to live hours a day with a burned hole in your wall or a problematic pipe leak. Call our 24/7 service line at (310) 320-2112 to schedule an inspection for your home. SERVPRO also specializes in bio-hazard cleanup, so our workers have access to proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to keep you and your house occupants at ease in the restoration process. SERVPRO is here to assist in these historic times!

What to do If You’re Sick During These Times

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

woman sneezing in a tissue Keep yourself protected and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Right now, the whole nation is weary of the novel coronavirus that's sweeping over the continents. Its name plastered on every media front, driving consumers to raid the stores and stock up on necessities before anything closes. The state of emergency that is happening is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus. But, what should you do during these times if you’re just sick? In public people may give you a look at the sound of your cough, or a side eye when you sneeze. This is just due to ignorance, and is why we are here to provide you with prevention tips and good practices for when you’re sick. 

It is unfortunately the worst time to be sick, as a weakened immune system during the coronavirus spread can be jeopardizing. That is why If you are sick now, it is obvious that the best option is to stay home, decreasing contact with large amounts of people. But, this is not always the case for us in a country that thrives off the endless productivity of the workforce. Life still goes on even when we are sick, and the bills still come in even when the virus is changing the dynamic of the country. If you must attend work, run errands, or perform any other outside activity while you are sick, here’s what to do to keep yourself from spreading germs. 

Wearing a mask is necessary while you’re sick to constantly provide protection between your nose, mouth and the surrounding air, preventing any airborne illnesses transmitting to someone else. This is also why covering your mouth when you sneeze and cough, not with your hand, but with your elbow or even better, a tissue is safe practice from preventing sickness. After using a tissue to cover a cough sneeze, or blow the nose, dispose of the tissue in the trash and wash your hands after for 20 seconds or more. Clean and disinfect places you have been around frequently, also little things you touch in the home like sink handles, door knobs, countertops, lightswitches, phones, and anything else touched by a sick hand. You can do this using a household bleach or alcoholic solutions bought from your local store. If these supplies have sold out in your town, SERVPRO provides house cleaning and disinfecting services that you can learn more about by clicking here. 

Hopefully these tips and practices will give you confidence in how you are dealing with sickness during these delicate times. Stay safe and protected, and don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO at (310) 321-2112 for more information.

How to Prevent Coronavirus

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

coronavirus Coronavirus

In light of the current spread of novel coronavirus, SERVPRO of Torrance would like to share a few methods to help you stay healthy in these concerning times. First, it is important to provide some background on what the virus is, and how it can affect you. It is important to note that the coronavirus is a virus, not bacteria, so it won’t be killed by antibiotics. The virus is also airborne, meaning you can contract it if you are within 6 feet from an infected person. 

The best way to prevent a rapidly spreading illness like this is to keep clean and keep your immune system up. This means eating clean, healthy foods that will fuel a healthy immune system. Proper nutrients are essential when preventing any illness so try to particularly stay away from fast/processed food. Try to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds under warm water. If soap isn’t accessible at the moment, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Also avoid touching the face and eyes with unwashed hands.

It is essential to stay home as much as possible. The less person-to-person contact you have, the better chances you have of evading the virus. Try to work from home as much as possible. If you work in a service/retail job, avoid touching your face and eyes throughout your whole shift. Wear a mask whenever you are in close contact with sick people and avoid physical contact like hugs and handshakes. It would also benefit to keep your home clean as well. A healthy environment will reflect in your mood and productivity. 

SERVPRO of Torrance wishes you all the best during this unpredictable situation with the coronavirus. If you find that common household cleaning items are not in stock at your local store, don’t hesitate to call our phones that are open 24/7 to ask about our deep cleaning services. Be well; stay happy and healthy!

Why SERVPRO?

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks in formation SERVPRO, serving the community since 1967.

Lots of people stumble upon our website every day and see that we provide construction and restoration services. You might be thinking “so what?” Why would I decide to choose this company over any of the other restoration companies out there? 

The phones at SERVPRO of Torrance are open 24/7. This means that no matter the time of day, if you have an emergency, we will respond and quickly execute a plan for repairs to get under way. Even if it’s not a disaster and you just discover a bunch of mold in your garage at 2 a.m., we will gladly send a technician out to assess the problem and quickly shut off the source to prevent growth. This is just one example of how SERVPRO can be a convenient help in a sticky situation.

SERVPRO doesn’t only deal in residential buildings. We have the manpower and equipment for commercial building that need that TLC and a good scrub down to get them back and running in no time. 

To add, the beauty of the franchise system means that the owner is directly involved in all proceedings of work done on your property. Any question you have will be answered not by a machine, but by the person that is directly connected to corporate and overseeing all the work that is being done by our skilled technicians. 

SERVPRO franchises are run by caring, and hardworking people; SERVPRO of Torrance is no exception.  We understand that navigating through a disaster can be a difficult time, and we’ll make sure to guide you to the best possible outcome with safety as the top priority. Don’t hesitate to call for all your restoration needs.

How to Protect your Commercial Business from Fire Damage

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

commercial warehouse in flames Prevent a scene like this by following SERVPRO's tips to preparing for fire damage.

In the last blog, we discussed how to protect your commercial business from water damage. Certain steps were explained to make sure in the event of a flood from a storm, your property would suffer as little damage as possible. Just the small act of sealing your windows and doors can save hundreds in damage costs. Preparation for these natural disasters is essential in owning a property. Thinking ahead will save your money and your stress! 

Unfortunately, water damage isn't the only type of damage a property can be affected with. Fire damage is a possibility that must be considered and prepared for, as it is the most destructive and dangerous of the two. But no need to worry, this blog will provide you with some tips and strategies to prepare and prevent fire damage.

So, how do fires happen in the first place, especially in a commercial business setting? The most common causes of fires in commercial buildings according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPS) are from cooking equipment, heating and air conditioning, and electrical and lighting equipment. With this in mind, here’s what you can do to protect and prevent these things from starting a fire in your commercial property.

Routinely Check on Electrical Appliances and Equipment

Most fires, as aforementioned, start from appliances and equipment powered by electricity. This can happen from malfunctions due to old or rusted components/parts, unconfigured settings, or outside factors like human error and rodent/pest damage (chewed power or gas lines). Routine check up on equipment is vital in preventing fire damage to your property. Checking the wires and lines that power the appliances for any damage or holes, checking their settings to see if they are configured properly to prevent overheating, and thorough inspection of the equipment to know if any parts are wearing out and need to be replaced. This may seem like tedious work, but if done it will save you hundreds in potential damage costs. 

Installing Fire Sprinklers, Fire Extinguishers, and Emergency Exit Signs

This is a given, and in fact required for any commercial business with employees and clients under the roof to be responsible for. Fire sprinklers are connected to the smoke alarms and temperature sensors in the building to run when smoke or an excessive temperature rise is detected. Routine inspection of the system is strongly suggested as well, since like any system it is prone to malfunction and tampering. The control valves must be checked to make sure they’re open for the water to flow to each sprinkler, and a test drain can be performed to make sure the system works properly.

Fire extinguishers should be installed in an easily accessible place on every floor. One must not have to travel more than 75 feet to reach one, and they must be placed by exits so no one has to travel deeper into the building to retrieve a fire extinguisher. And even more importantly, the employees on each floor must be trained on how to use a fire extinguisher so it can be used correctly and efficiently. 

Every commercial property must have a set evacuation plan for when a natural disaster may occur. Emergency exit signs should be placed over the designated evacuation exits so in the event of a fire or any disaster, people aren't running wild confused as to where to go. The signs must also have self sustainable lighting, because it is likely in these situations that the power is shut off to the entire building.

By following these essential tips, (hopefully never) in the event of a fire, your property will be prepared to undergo as little damage as possible, and the building occupants will be safe and healthy. For any more questions you may have about fire damage, check out more of our SERVPRO blogs, or call us on our 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year service line at (310)320-2112. Happy damage preparing!

How to Protect your Commercial Business from Water Damage

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

flooded office stairs Don't let this happen to your commercial property! Take these steps to prepare your property for an imminent storm.

When operating a commercial business, there are many factors to take into account when maintaining your property’s beauty and safety. Unlike a family home property where responsibility lays on fellow family members, a business must keep customers and employees in mind. This type of relationship is different, and if an unfortunate event were to happen to a client or worker where the property owner’s own irresponsibilities are at fault, heavy fines and consequences may follow. With this in mind, as an owner of a commercial space it is imperative to make sure your property is updated to appropriate safety standards. 

Each type of natural disaster damage comes with its own set of tips to achieve ultimate preparedness for the event. For now, water damage due to storms and flooding will be focused on.

In preparing for water damage due to floods and storm damage, a thing to note is where the water can potentially enter into your property causing a flood. For this, sealing off windows, doors, and any other small gaps can help in preventing damage. Special window sealers can be applied to protect these areas. Also, waterproof shields can be purchased to put over doors and windows as a more temporary solution to this. If the weather forecast says rain is imminent, taking these steps to protect your property will benefit it greatly. 

Another way water seeps into enclosed areas is when ceilings and floors are too weak to withstand the pressure of water from outside. If possible, investing in strengthening the shell of your property to withstand these conditions will help prevent flood damage. 

If water does happen to enter your property, it will most likely flood the lower levels, where utilities, tanks, and other devices to power the property’s functions are held. Anchoring these things down will make sure in the event of a flood they will not float away and possibly detach from important gas or water lines. 

Some other things to take note of are the condition of your property’s rain gutters and the surrounding land. Make sure the rain gutters are cleaned and have no cracks or openings. And for the surrounding land, note of any sloped areas that incline toward the property. If there is one, the water will fall down this slope and rest at the bottom of it, possibly flooding your property. This can be fixed by evening out these slopes and adding ground rain gutters that redirect excess water to the underground rain gutters. 

With these tips, your commercial property will be ready to undergo a storm that is coming its way. It is better to be over prepared than not at all! These small fixes can save you thousands in the long run, and maintain the safety of those doing business or consuming under your roof. For any additional information on natural disaster preparedness, read our blogs, or call us at our 24 hour emergency service line found at the top right corner of every page on the website.

Why Fast Response Time is Important in Home damage

2/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO figure heroes back to back SERVPRO heroes here to respond quickly!

As a regular home/property owner, it is important to know how to deal with potential 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 a whole other situation. Or even if a small fire in the kitchen burns a portion of the wall, that area now has a weaker structural integrity. In an earthquake, seldom but more likely in California, a collapse in that portion is more likely. 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 for the time, 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 (310) 320-2112.

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 property maintenance and restoration.

The Haunting of a Small House Fire

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

House on fire Don't let this happen to your home, watch the stove!

On one fateful night in February, you were making dinner on a Friday night. Out of nowhere, you smell a burn and realize that you left the stove unattended for about 20 minutes now. You’ve accidentally started a small house fire. The first thing you should do in the event of a small house fire is stay calm and evacuate the building. Call 911 and the fire department will be on its way. 

You might be thinking….. what happens after the fire is put out and you’re left with all this gross black stuff on the walls? That’s when you call SERVPRO. It’s important to call as soon as possible because organic and inorganic material burn during a house fire which can leave harmful chemicals lurking in the soot on the walls. SERVPRO of Torrance has a fully trained crew who will evaluate the damage and map out a speedy remediation process. 

Once the fire damage has been properly evaluated and documented by a crew member, cleanup can begin. It is important to call as soon as possible after the fire has been put out; smoke and soot damage usually affects a large amount of the property and it shouldn’t be lingering around while there’s still people inhabiting the space. 

Safety is our #1 priority, so the sooner we can assess the damage, the sooner we can get repair underway. Dealing with any kind of unexpected disaster can be difficult; SERVPRO of Torrance will be here to guide you every step of the way. Remember that our phones are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so don’t hesitate to call in the event of any emergency.

What to Know About Gas Leaks

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Flames of a stove top Regularly check your home's gas line to prevent a gas leak.

It is everyone’s worst nightmare to have a fire ignite in their home. But with all of the technology stored and used in our homes, the event has a notable chance of occurring. One cause of fire that many people often do not notice are gas leaks. Gas cannot be seen and sometimes the leak cannot be heard. Here are some signs of a gas leak to help you identify if you are faced with the problem or not:

Smell

If the aroma in your home has changed to a gas-like smell or sulfur egg-like smell, that is one big sign something is up with your gas line.

Dead Plants

If your gas line is leaking, the content of it in the air will wither and kill your plants. Keep note of how your plants are doing!

Hiked Gas Bill

The excessive leaking of gas will cause your bill to rise, so if the price is out of the norm check the line. 

Dust Cloud Around Gas Line

The leaking of gas will cause dust and dirt to possibly be thrown in the air around the affected area.

Hissing Sound

If the gas is leaking from a small hole in the line, it will make a hissing sound as it escapes the small area.

After noting all of these signs and you come to the decision you have a gas leak, evacuate your home and call 911 or SoCal Gas at 1-800-427-2200. Do not light any matches or flip any switches, as this will spark a fire. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to call us at our 24 hour service line. SERVPRO is here to help!

All About Mudslides and Landslides

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Example of the damage a landslide can do to your property.

Living in California, our land suffers from many fires due to rising temperatures in the summer. The ground is left vulnerable after these natural disasters because the roots that once held everything together have burned. When the season changes, rain comes falling down along with the leaves, but the places once engulfed by fire are on to the next disaster: mud and landslides! The water loosens up the dirt and causes chunks of land to slide down hills at high speeds… the perfect recipe for serious damage.

Not only are previous wildfire areas vulnerable to landslides, but also places where construction has destroyed vegetation and where a mudslide has happened before. Removing the vegetation on a slope compromises the natural stability of it, so if your property is near an area like any of these, develop an emergency plan for the event a mudslide does happen. You can do this by contacting your local authorities, they should have an evacuation procedure to keep you safe.

After a mudslide has affected your property, an array of damage is possible. Your home could be flooded, with water and/or dirt. The electric, water, gas and sewage lines of your property could be broken. Depending on the power of the mudslide, walls could be punched through and underground supports could be shifted and even broken.

To find out the damages your property has faced after a landslide, call a natural disaster damage restoration service like us, SERVPRO! Your property may need serious remediation and reconstruction, and we have the experience and certifications to help you with that. It is also wise to seek the advice of a geotechnical expert when in the reconstruction process to find of any ways to protect your property from a landslide in the future. Call our 24 hour emergency service line at (310) 320-2112 for any questions you may have abut our services regarding mud and landslides.

Emergency Bag for Unexpected Natural Disaster

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Bag Keep you and your family safe by being #prepared

In the face of natural disaster, 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 get you at the most unexpected time, which is why it’s smart to have an emergency bag in an easily accessible place in your home 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:

  • Water
  • Nonperishable food
  • Batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Matches
  • Toiletries 
    • Wet wipes, toothbrushes/paste, travel size soap, roll of toilet paper, garbage bags
  • Whistle
  • Local maps
  • Phone charger/Portable Battery 
  • Dust masks
  • Flashlight
  • Small fold-able 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
  • Shoes

Now, what should hold all of the 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 stores or online.

Every home should have one of these emergency packs in case of any unexpected disaster. It is always best to be prepared. For any questions you may have regarding natural disaster and the damages it can do to your property, call our 24 hour emergency service line at (310) 320-2112. SERVPRO is here for you!

How to be Prepared For a Storm

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

As the climate of the Earth is shifting, the seasons bring many surprises that leave disastrous endings. One of those being storms in the winter and spring. Harsh rain and hail comes falling from the sky, flooding the roads and breaking the windows. No one can stop it, so all we can do is prepare ourselves as best we can to remain safe and stress free. So, how does one prepare for a storm like that? Well, here are some tips…

  • Obviously, have a set insurance plan to cover you and your property in the event of a disaster. This goes for any disaster, not just storm damage. 
  • One thing that may never cross your mind in the aching hot summer are your rain gutters. If trees are above your property, the leaves and twigs can fall in them and birds may create nests in them. Also in some cases, bees will form hives in the rain gutters or rodents will damage them. It is best to check your rain gutters to make sure they will be able to withstand some heavy rain to protect your home from any water damage. Purchase a filter like contraption called a downspout cover to prevent any leaves or critters from getting in your rain gutters.
  • While you’re checking your gutters, mind as well take a glance at the roof to make sure none of it is exposed. Any missing tiles? Any holes? If so, call a company like us, SERVPRO, to fix your roof to be storm ready. 
  • Make sure all of the windows and doors in your home have proper sealing so that no water can seep in through the cracks. 
  • Know where the gas and powerlines are to your home so if any flooding does occur you are able to access the control panels and shut them off. This component can be the biggest threat to your property in the event of a flood. 

Take these few tips and your home can be in better shape to withstand a storm and recover with little damage. Have any more questions? Call our 24 hour service line and we’d be glad to answer.

A Funny Story About Mold Damage

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

The Strange Entity on the Wall

Samantha had always been into strange things and by that we mean the Ouija board, calling upon spirits through her magic ball, and what not. After one of her particular sessions, she went down into the basement to do her laundry. As she turned on the overhead light, she saw this huge black shape on the wall. There was black ooze dripping from the shape and making a puddle on the floor.

Scared, Samantha ran up and called her mom. After talking to her, she made the next call to the local priest. Turns out, her mother had advised her to get an exorcism done… on the wall. When the priest came to the house, Samantha directed him to the basement and stood back as he took out the things to perform the exorcism. As he was about to start the sermon, he slipped and fell on the black puddle. The priest scrambled back and held out his cross. When nothing happened, he brought his hand closer to his face and smelled the black goo. Eyebrows raised, he turned back to Samantha and said in a deadpan voice, “Child, this is mold!”

Don't be like Samantha and her mother, read our blogs on mold to learn more about how it can affect you and your property. SERVPRO is here to help!

5 Outrageous Ideas for Home Remodeling

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

A conversation pit artistically decorated with pillows.

From hidden doors to a tree guest house for Sunday family dinners, these outrageous home remodeling ideas will capture everyone’s attention.

Have you ever had an idea that was so outrageous that it made you giddy and all excited? When it comes to home remodeling, we all tend to react the same. The wistful sighs when you see a home remodeling magazine or that absolutely beautiful and cute book corner your friend has in her house is everything you dream about.

So, why not act on your ideas? Make your home the oasis you have always pictured and enjoy in the comfy and artistic arms of your creation.

Following are five truly unique ideas for home remodeling:

  1. Window Seat - Trundle Bundle

Who doesn’t love a window seat? We all fell in love with it watching Vampire Diaries and seeing Elena Gilbert tucked in a throw blanket on the window seat, righting her thoughts about the two hunky brothers. So how do you take this design up a notch? With a trundle bundle!

A trundle bundle is a drawer that transforms into a small comfortable seat underneath the window seat. It’s cozy and gives you the perfect place to sit and write your thoughts in a journal.

    2. A Conversation Pit

You might have seen these on every show of the Big Brother. A conversation pit gives the room a comfortable look. A bi-level sofa set with plush carpet and dozens of throw pillows… what’s not to love? The best thing about this remodeling idea is that you can decorate the conversation pit any way you want. Swap the sofas set with extremely large pillows and bean bags for a more intimate look.

    3. Hidden Room Under the Kitchen Counter

A fallout shelter tends to have this generic look that we just need to save ourselves from a natural disaster. Instead of designing a hidden room and creating the access door to the fallout shelter, why not combine these two and come up with something different? Here’s what we suggest: place the door to the fallout shelter under the kitchen island and design this underground space with all the luxury. Channel your Harry Porter side and get creative.

    4.  Tree-Guesthouse

How about a guestroom outside the house? Trust us when we say this that your guests will have the night of their lives. It’s a tree house and guest room that gives you the “Tree-Guesthouse”. Get creative and use glass walls and ceilings for a starry night.

    5. Ceiling Hammock 

We are not talking about attaching a hammock from the ceiling, but making the ceiling a hammock! If you have a really tall ceiling, then stretch a hammock from wall to wall and enjoy!

So, there you go… five outrages home remodeling ideas, which we are pretty sure that you want to implement now. What’s stopping you? Get on with them already!

10 Tips to Increase Productivity at Work with Office Design

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Office design & layout.

According to the reportThe Impact of Office Design on Business Performance”, it was in the 1980’s that the “combi-office” concept came to light. The philosophy behind this office design was to encourage a communicative office structure.

Following are a few factors that the right office design can influence:

  • Retention and motivation of staff
  • Optimization of total occupancy cost
  • Productivity of staff
  • Creativity and innovation in the workplace
  • Skills and knowledge of staff
  • Catalyzing culture shifts
  • Responsiveness to technological or business change
  • Customer retention and attraction

Now, let’s have a look at how to use office design to streamline you team’s workflow:

10 Tips to Increase Productivity at Work with Office Design

1. The Right Lighting

The right angle of lighting can mean the difference between staying focused and feeling depressed. Bad lighting leads to headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, and overall irritability. Lighting below 3500K will make your employees less productive. Why not give your employees a desk lamp to help them work more efficiently?

2. Chair and Table

An uncomfortable chair can direct the mind of employees from their chairs. They will forever be adjusting themselves to find the right angle. Here’s what you should do: the computer on the table should be at eye-level, the chair must have a foot rest, and the declining angle of the chair should be slightly titled to avoid back pain.

3. Clear Clutter

Get your employees’ desks cleaned every morning and encourage a clean work station. Instead of providing a huge work space, make the placement uniform and communicative. The management starts with you, so you need to enforce some rules.

4. Combination of Paint Colors

Blue affects the mind, red your body, yellow your emotions, and green your balance. Instead of using one color or going with white (a color that stifles individuality feelings), experiment with all of them and make sure to include some abstract designs.

5. Spray the Right Scent

A combination of lavender, pine, and cinnamon will work wonders on your employees’ productivity. These scents tend to increase alertness, improve focus, and induce a relaxing feeling.

6. Let Them Listen to Music

Music increases productivity by improving mood. So play light music, at a moderate volume, in the background.

7. Provide Different Spaces

Give your employees more room to work and by that we mean different environments. Apart from their personal space, make space in your office for break rooms, eating area, lounge area, game room, and relaxation room.

8. Organize the Teams

Instead of separating employees based on their job function, create a work space that puts colleagues together. This helps them generate solution quicker and get work done faster.

9. Refreshment Corner

Junk food leads to diminishing returns, which is why it is better to offer healthy snacks in the refreshment corner such as veggies and hummus, nuts, unsweetened yoghurts, freshly cut fruit cups, and more.

10. Bring in Nature

According to a study, a green office increases productivity. This might be due to the clean air that plants promote and they way they keep the place lively.

It’s time to make some changes in your office. Try these tips and you will see an increase in your employee retention rate.

How to Create the Perfect Floor Plan for Your Commercial Space

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

A combination of grid and loop floor plan.

Let’s assume you own a retail store and with the positive response you got at the first opening, you decide to open another store.

Are you interested in making sales right off the bat? The reason why experts recommend planning store layout strategically is because it can drive impulse sales and direct customers towards the high-end products.

Following are a few ideas that will help you create a kick-ass floor plan:

1. Decide on a Retail Floor Plan

Grid Floor Plan: Mostly used in convenience stores (straight aisles)

Loop Floor Plan: Used in specialty retail stores (maximizes floor space by creating a clear pathway)

Free-Flow Floor Plan: Mostly used for boutique settings (creative patterns to attract shoppers)

2.     Put It on Paper

Before you start buying furniture and shifting it around, put your design on paper. This will give you a clear picture of where things can go and how much space you will have to be more creative. You can also use a combination of floor plan to create a unique setting.

3. Pay Close Attention to the Traffic Flow

Following three points should be considered here:

Decompression Zone: entrance space where shoppers like to stand and assess the store.

The Right Side: 90% of the shoppers turn right when they enter a store. So, make sure that the best sellers are placed there.

Personal Space: Do not place the furniture too close together or leave less space between the aisles. Shoppers don’t want their bottom brushing against others while they are browsing.

4. Placement of the Checkout Counter

The checkout counter should always be on the left. Here’s why: as said earlier, customers turn right upon entrance and then they loop around, ending on the left side.

5. Product Mapping

Your best sellers should always be at the back of the store. This allows you to attract the shoppers while they are on their way to the primary zone. The secondary zone is the impulse buys they pass. Don’t forget to place the low-cost impulse buys at the checkout counter.

The combination of display shelves and the comfort zone that is the seating area, allows the shoppers to stay and browse a little longer. So, make sure that those shelves are stocked and decorated and, the comfort zone providing private space to relax.

And that’s how you create a floor plan!

Interior Amenities That You Need to Look for When Buying a House

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Winter is about to end and people are likely to shop left and right for houses. We are sure that by now, you probably have a list of all the amenities and facilities you are looking for in a house. A few things that most buyers focus on are the neighborhood, the school district, nearby community center, and commute. While making sure that the area offers these facilities, you should also focus on the interior of the house.

Have you listed down things that you are looking for “inside” the house? For example: lighting, bedroom wall color, and flooring in the kitchen. These things are equally important because the right amenities prevent you from spending too much on repairs and renovations. Let’s have a look at some of the amenities that are important.

1.   Kitchen Appliances

Do open that refrigerator and check if it’s working well. The same goes for the other appliances as well. Plug them in and make sure that each one of them works just fine. Even if you are buying new kitchen appliances, go for the necessary ones such as a toaster, blender, coffee maker, food processor, and microwave.

2.   Floor Materials & Finishes

Here’s something you might not know: vinyl flooring is less expensive and therefore, you will find it in most of the homes. Carper is on the lower end, and plastic laminate is straight up cheap. Higher end houses have wood, marble or tile flooring. Most importantly, they have slate or granite kitchen counters that come with a near lifetime warranty.

3.   Bathroom Amenities

When it comes to the bathroom’s layout, cheap vinyl flooring has a porous property, which allows mold to breed quite fast. You need to look for porcelain, natural stone, or marble flooring because they are easy to clean. The shower booth must be of glass and the bathtub should have supports to prevent accidental slips. Lastly, the bathroom must have a low flush toilet to prevent excess water use.

4.   Paint

When looking at houses, only consider those that have a neutral paint scheme. Bold and wild colors are not considered a good choice, and they reduce the value of the house. Colors such as beige, pinkish taupe, greige, and periwinkle blue are great for interiors such as the living room and bedroom.

5.   Lighting

When it comes to lighting, along with strategically placed fixtures, you need to make sure that the windows are in appropriate places. Natural light allows you to make your house energy-efficient and cut down your electricity bill.

So, there you go… five in-house amenities that you should consider before buying a house. Each one of these can have a huge impact on your living and future sale of the house.

Design-Bid-Build vs. Design-Build

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

There is a common theory that the building process is all about construction work.

Do you also believe in this myth? Are you unaware of the complete process involved in the development of a building or any other structure?

If yes, then this blog will enlighten you about the two processes of building any structure — Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build. 

Design-Bid-Build

Design-bid-build (DBB) involves 3 major steps. The first one is “design”, where the design team produces a wide array of designs based on the owner’s requirements. The lead architect or the designer along with their team develops a set of bid documents, which include drawings and specifications. These documents form the basis of a competitive bidding process. Various contractors develop their proposals according to the scope of work, and usually, the bidder with the lowest quoted price wins the bid. 

This process has its own advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • You will know the price beforehand, which will reduce the risk associated with the construction process.
  • You will enjoy the benefits of a low construction cost because contractors tend to lower their prices to win the bid.
  • Lack of collaboration between the design and construction team causes disputes.

Disadvantages:

  • DBB is a lengthy process because you can’t start the bidding or construction phase until the design is finalized.
  • You might neglect the contractor’s qualifications because low cost is a priority in this process.
  • You will not be able to implement value engineering.
  • Since this process doesn’t involve contractor and designer communication during the design phase, change orders are a common occurrence.

Design-Build

Design-build (DB) involves only one contract. Here you will hire a single contractor who will look after the design and the construction process. This contractor has the choice to either complete the whole project themselves or to subcontract it to other contractors or designers.

Like DBB, this process also has some advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • Since one entity is both the designer and the constructor, there are very few disputes and work progresses smoothly.
  • You can decrease the cost and time of the project by implementing value engineering.
  • It is a less time-consuming process as the construction phase can start during the design phase.

Disadvantages:

  • Compared to DBB, it is costly
  • Since builder and designer both belong to the same entity or firm, they tend to hide each other’s mistakes.

Impact Of Hoarding on Living Conditions

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Aside from the superficial problem of excessive storage of unnecessary items, hoarding has far graver implications. The amount of possible biohazards in your household can surprise you. The compulsive habit of hoarding can put the hoarder along with other family members in a dangerous situation. The kinds of items that you hoard determine the level of threat this accumulation presents to the occupants.

Aside from newspapers, boxes and clothes, people can go on to save items like food, chemicals, medication, human or animal excrements along with various flammables items. These practices are literal biohazards and must be dealt with accordingly. It’s not just hoarders that are in trouble, by the way; dog owners might be too lazy sometimes to walk their dog out resulting in the dog having to go within property premises. People can laze off taking out the garbage in a timely manner too. Let’s review some of these detrimental biohazards that are a direct result of our ignorant behavior and pose a threat to us.

Expired Pharmaceuticals

The common practice of keeping medicines for long periods is something we’ve all come across at some point. The expired dates of these prescribed drugs may have been long gone during the storage and can become a health threat, especially if children are present, because it’s still lying around the house. Stale chemicals can also catch deadly fires and are a danger not only for the household’s occupants but for the neighbors as well.

Flammable items

Collecting boxes, magazines and newspapers can also serve as very good burning material and incase a small fire nearby is ignited, these materials will rapidly catch fire and eventually burn the whole place down. Avoid overcrowded spaces. Make sure you’re heating vents are not obstructed by any paper material. Throw out all the expired drugs and chemicals.

Disease transmission

Did you know that communicable diseases can survive un-incubated, outside the body for months? Whether you don’t take your pet out so he can do his business or have a serious rat problem, these factors can contaminate surfaces in your house with pathogens. All it takes is contact with the infected surfaces for you to catch something bad. In indoor spaces, especially the ones with ill equipped ventilation, these harmful bacteria and viruses can stay in the air indoors and thrive. Once one family member becomes infected, the rest are bound to catch it as well.

Impure air

Clutter obstructions can cause the accumulation of harmful particles suspended in the air. Breathing in this debris can cause bronchial inflammation and induce an allergic response. You have to watch out for the mold, chemicals, bacteria and other foreign bodies in your indoor air.

Crime Scene Remediation

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

The biohazard risks associated with the cleaning of crime scenes, especially those that have previously served as drug production establishments makes the entire remediation process too dangerous to be carried out by anyone other than professionals. Acquiring properties that have been former crime scenes requires a rigorous decontamination process so that they can be made safe again for living or operational purposes. The organic residue from crime scenes like blood and other bodily fluids can serve as ideal growth mediums for bacteria, potentially pathogenic in nature. If the property is to be made occupational again, then you must get rid of these nasty microbes completely, a job that is too meticulous to be carried out on your own.

Lingering blood borne pathogens

Crime scenes with blood can harbor blood-borne pathogens that are a hazard to human health. They include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency virus and Methicilin resistant staphylococcus aureus, bacteria and viruses that can lead to death. To prevent catastrophic consequences, certified professional crime scene remediation experts exercise OSHA’s blood-borne pathogen standards coupled with proper personal protective equipment. It is important to eliminate all sources of biological media that could facilitate microbial growth so that health and safety is ensured for all occupants of a particular property from there onwards. The affected areas should be disinfected to the level of zero detection.

Dangers of prior meth labs

Home cooked methamphetamines are becoming increasingly common in urban cities. Since this street grade drug that has to be synthesized, unlike marijuana or heroin, it requires cooks to use poisonous chemicals like acetone, ammonia, benzene, methanol and hydrochloric acid to make the finished products. The entire process leaves a lot of toxic residue that could remain in tucked away places of the property in traces or higher amounts. In any case, these chemicals need to be cleaned up, or they can easily get absorbed through the skin or inhaled with the air, building up a dangerous toxicity in your body unknowingly. Exposure of occupants to these substances and trace drugs can cause MANY harmful adverse health affects.

Don’t take any chances

Living in homes that were previously crime scenes must be dealt with precaution. Call up professional crime scene remediation experts to decontaminate the property, eliminating toxic residue from all kinds of places that might not even occur to you. Appropriate tests from the professionals will verify if any dangerous chemicals and microbes are present. In case they are, necessary steps will follow to make the place livable and safe again.

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