Making Your Irwindale Home Mold Resistant
There is no such thing as a mold-proof home. Mold spores exist in the air inside our homes, but we can cohabit peacefully as long as those spores don’t find moisture and start growing. If they do, it’s only a matter of time before mold spreads, and once that happens, it can be difficult to eradicate. While you cannot eliminate mold, you can discourage its growth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold growth can exist practically anywhere. All mold needs to thrive is moisture, a food source, and warmth. The “food source” can be any number of household items or materials such as bedding and draperies, shower walls and windowsills, wallpaper and ceiling tiles. Here are some steps you can take to help make your home mold resistant:
- Prevent Moisture- Be sure to reduce moisture in your home whenever you can. For example, keep humidity below 50% in basements, improve outside grading and drainage by keeping gutter clean and soil sloping away from your home, and cover dirt crawl space floors with plastic to reduce moisture
- Ventilate- Poor or missing ventilation fans in damp spaces like baths and kitchens can leave enough moisture behind to sustain a mold problem. Make sure all baths and kitchens are vented by properly sized fans that take moisture outside.
- Store Safely- Keep all storage at least several inches up off concrete floors and away from foundations where dampness can easily seep in.
- Heat Finished Basements- Below grade spaces like finished basements are more likely to become infested and should always be heated to at least 60 degrees, even when not being used.
- Reduce Humidity- Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity to 30%- 50% and fans to increase airflow in your home, especially if you live in a hot, humid climate.
- Insulate Ducts- Duct systems that carry heated or cooled air throughout your house must be insulated whenever they pass through unheated or uncooled spaces like attics or basements. If not, condensation can form inside the ducts and when combined with dust in the air, can allow mold to grow in the ducts.
- Clean Carefully- Use mold-inhibiting cleaners in the bathrooms and kitchens. Portable air conditioning units should be taken apart and cleaned at the start of every season.
- Fix Floods Fast- If you do have a major leak or flood, quick action can stop mold before it starts. Thoroughly dry soaked carpets and padding, and remove any wet upholstery.
By taking these steps to make your home mold resistant, you’ll avoid the headaches of remediation and repair, as well as the potential health problems mold can cause. If you do suspect mold growth in your home, SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park can inspect, assess and remediate your property. CALL TODAY 626.337.3374
Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage
There’s nothing quite like water damage to put a damper on your business. Not only can you lose out on days or weeks of productivity, but you could also find yourself repairing or replacing valuable equipment like electronics, tools, and inventory. In order to determine how to prevent water damage in your business, you have to first determine what the causes of water damage are. The following are common causes of commercial water damage:
Appliances & Equipment:
If your facility has equipment that utilizes water, leakage is an ever-present danger. Air conditioners, water heaters, or anything that uses tubes, pipes, gaskets or filters to operate has the potential to leak.
The best thing to do is to regularly look over and maintain your equipment. If you notice anything that concerns you-- like rust, cracks, bulges or signs of moisture-- take preventative measures.
Many commercial buildings are equipped with sprinkler systems which are ideal for minimizing fire damage, but are not ideal for water damage when they malfunction. Always check your sprinkler system for signs of damage or rust, and replace them regularly to make sure they are functioning properly.
Make sure you are checking your roof regularly. If you have water gathering on the roof, your drainage isn’t working effectively. Over time, this can cause strain and lead to leaks.
Mother nature can be unpredictable, and she can also do untold damage to your business. In Southern California, we experience natural disasters like severe thunderstorms and flash flooding. We cannot control the weather, but we can control how ready we are for it.
To keep the damage minimal, you should keep the gutters clear, installing barriers and storing important files and electronics at a higher level. You may also want to consider getting a risk assessment and adding flood insurance if you’re in an area where your risk is higher.
Pipes & Drains
Your plumbing system is susceptible to stoppages, clogs, and damage. You should keep an eye out for outward signs of moisture, blue stains, rusting, cracking and bulging. If you’re having plumbing work done or you have a cut pipe for any reason, check for scale buildup.
Ultimately, there is no way to completely eliminate all risk of water damage to your facility, but knowing common culprits, practicing good maintenance and taking preventative measures will reduce your risks and help you respond better if something does occur. If your Los Angeles business experiences water damage do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park.
Tips to Preparing Your San Gabriel Valley Business For Disaster
Storm Damage to a Business
In California alone there are over 3 million small businesses. According to an NFIB National Small Business Poll, only 38% of these businesses have an emergency/disaster preparedness plan. Many people think that a disaster would never affect them, but natural disasters have impacted more than 30% of small businesses.
You never know when a disaster might strike your small business and once it does, it’ll be too late to develop a plan. How quickly you get back on your feet after a disaster hits depends greatly upon the amount of advanced planning you do for your business. If you haven’t already put a disaster plan in place for your business, now is the best time to start.
Here are seven steps to help prepare your business:
Risk Assessment: Identify what kinds of emergencies are most likely to affect your company then evaluate your preparedness level. Questions you can ask yourself include: Do we have emergency equipment on site? Do I have any employees trained to help in a medical emergency? Do we have our data backed up and stored someplace safe?
Review Your Insurance Coverage: Based on your risk assessment, talk with your insurance agent to make sure your business is covered should a disaster strike. Many times business owners think they have plenty of coverage, only to find out later that their policy didn’t cover a particular disaster situation.
Create a Contingency Plan: Review all your business operations and identify those areas most critical for your business survival. Establish a procedure for managing those functions in the event of a disaster. It may also be helpful to determine an alternate business location that you and your employees can continue to run business.
Create a Communications Plan: Establish a calling tree or create a password protected area where employees can report in. Deciding how communications will be managed in advance will minimize panic and the relay of misinformation.
Backup Your Data : Be sure to backup all of your data and keep it stored in a safe location off-site. Important documents such as contracts, business licenses, and corporate records should be kept in a fireproof box or bank lock- box.
Build an Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit on-site at all times. It should include items such as water, batteries, flashlights, a fire extinguisher, non-perishable food, water, a whistle, and first-aid items.
Review and Rehearse Your Plan: After making a plan, be sure to review and rehearse it with your team throughout the year, so when disaster strikes they will know what to do. You should also provide a copy of the plan to each employee as well.
Creating a disaster plan is simple, but crucial for your business. If you have trouble deciding how to prepare your Southern California business for disaster, call SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park and we can help you develop a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile. Let us help you prepare your business for disaster!! Call Today 626.337.3374
Protecting your Baldwin Park Business from Disaster
San Andreas Fault
If you are a California native, you know that the Golden State is known for being an earthquake hot zone. California is a highly seismically active area and has more than 300 fault lines that span across the state. One of the highest risk areas, the southern part of the San Andreas fault, is as close as some of our backyards.
Many believe that the San Andreas fault is due for an earthquake because a lot of pressure has built up along the fault line, as there hasn’t been an earthquake since a magnitude 7.9 in 1857. Preparing your commercial business for a major earthquake is important to ensure that your business continues running in the event that one strikes Southern California.
Here are 7 steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business:
1. Identify Potential Hazards
You should recognize potential problems and analyze how they may interrupt your business. First, identify critical assets that would cause a disruption to your business. Then, identify the level of impact these assets could have if lost. Begin to address these hazards now that they have been prioritized.
2. Create a Disaster Plan
Once you’ve identified the potential hazards that an earthquake could have on your Los Angeles business, you will need to create an emergency plan. SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park can assist in developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile plan that will help guide you in the event of an emergency. Ensure that all employees know and understand the plan and conduct annual training and regular drills so that the plan will be second nature by the time disaster strikes.
3. Prepare Disaster Supplies Kits
Your commercial business should also take basic measures to be self-sufficient during the early phases after disaster. Not only should there be a first aid kit, but also disaster supplies such as food, water, and flashlights. Ensure that all emergency supplies are easily accessible and in protected locations.
4. Identify your Building’s Potential Weaknesses and Begin to Fix Them
Address any structural hazards that could interrupt your business, especially high impact and high cost hazards. Strengthen weaknesses and replace elements that may injure people or keep you from reopening.
5. Protect Yourself and Employees During Earthquake
Drop, Cover, and Hold Up. When at work and an earthquake hits, the critical initial step for safety is to: Drop underneath a sturdy table, Cover your head and neck, and Hold On to the furniture as it moves and stay until the shaking stops. Stay clear of objects that may fall, windows, or anything that may harm you.
6. After the Earthquake, Check for Injuries and Damage
Once the earthquake has stopped, check for people injured, then look for serious damage and decide if it is safe to stay. Once life safety is stabilized, focus on the building and any potential structural hazards.
7. When Safe Continue to Follow Your Disaster Plan
Begin recovery activities to resume your business operations. Create a more detailed assessment of operational issues, prioritize your findings, then create an action plan to address them.
Preparing for an earthquake is critical for your Los Angeles business, will your business be open or closed after the next big earthquake?
Furniture Mold Removal
Severe Mold Damage
Water and mold can not only affect the structure of your home, but also your belongings. If your home has suffered damage from a leak or flood, it’s important to check all indoor furnishings and fixtures for signs of mold damage.
SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water and mold damage.
We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
SERVPRO of Irwindale/ Baldwin Park specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. If you suspect mold growth in your home, call today for a free estimate. -(626) 337-3374
Protecting Your Irwindale Business From Fire
All of the time, money, and effort that you invest in your business has the potential of disappearing in just one fire. The most common and costliest types of commercial property damage is fire, so it it crucial to take all the precautions needed to protect your business from a fire hazard.
The following are way to protect your business from a serious fire:
1. Remove Clutter that Could Potentially Fuel a Fire
Keep work areas clear of paper, trash, and anything that could potentially kindle a fire. You should perform a close inspection of all work spaces to remove anything that could create sparks or fuel a fire. Also, ensure that there are no obstacles blocking access to emergency exits.
2. Watch Appliances and Machinery
Old, faulty, or misused appliances have the potential to cause fires. Get rid of broken appliances, check for recalls, and make sure employees turn off appliances when they are not in use. Do not overload power outlets or exceed voltage limits.
3. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two crucial, potentially life-saving devices. Be sure to replace batteries periodically and test all devices regularly to make sure they’re functioning properly.
4. Make Sure Fire Extinguishers Are in Working Order
Ensure that your business has the proper type of extinguisher for your facilities and regularly check that everything is in working order. You should also provide your employees with training on how to use these extinguishers.
5. Train Employees
Make sure employees are properly trained in the correct use of all equipment and in the storage and disposal of fire hazards. All employees should know what to do if a fire occurs, including the location and operation of fire extinguishers, the emergency number to call, and the exits to use.
6. Have an Evacuation Plan
You should also be ready for the unexpected. Make sure all exit signs are visible and adequately lit by a reliable power source at all times. Conduct regular fire drills so that your employees know how to respond in the event of a fire emergency. You can also contact SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park to help develop a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile plan for your business to help guide you in the event of an emergency.
Practice good fire safety prevention now to prevent heartache and financial loss later. In the event that your Irwindale business does suffer from fire damage, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park to assist in the remediation and restoration process.
Metropolitan Los Angeles
In the Fire and Water Restoration Industry, there are relatively small jobs that can occur in a home or business that may be easy and quick to remedy. However, there is a common term for jobs that are much bigger, these jobs are called “Large Loss” projects. The word loss refers back to an insurance term for property-loss or claim.
Some SERVPRO Franchises have certifications to provide emergency services specifically for restoring Large Lose projects. These Franchises are called Large Loss Response Teams (LLRT). For any LLRT Franchise in a metropolitan area, being prepared for a natural or man-made disaster is a continuous process.
SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park is a Certified Large Loss Response Team Franchise and is located on the Eastern perimeter of the Los Angeles Basin where approximately 10 Million residence live and work. The number of commercial “large loss” events in a city this large occurs on a daily basis. Also, the technical complexity of a large loss event can be extreme as the downtown districts of many communities within the LA Basin have high rise structures, reaching dozens or more floors above ground and frequently multiple stories below ground level. The required technical capability can frequently be a critical resource and one method that SERVPRO has to quickly adapt to extraordinary cases is to have a diverse staff of subject matter experts available at any time, day or night, who can be on their way to a disaster site within hours.
Also, as a Large Loss Response Team Member, SERVPRO of Irwindale/ Baldwin Park is ready to address potentially millions of square feet of commercial and residential properties in a disaster situation. The very high density of property in Los Angeles creates the need to have a large inventory of reserve equipment and people to handle losses on a massive scale. The method to handle the equipment and skilled labor requirements at this scale is to draw on stores of equipment located in strategic locations around the metropolitan area and to partner with other SERVPRO Franchises to deploy the right level of skilled Technicians and Management support. This is our way of assuring consistent high quality service, expertise, and processes are available when major disasters strike.
SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park (LLRT) is a restoration partner you can depend on when a commercial loss occurs to a single property or on a city wide scale.
Myths About Mold
When it comes to mold, there is a lot of misinformation told. Even mentioning the word “mold” can cause people to flee in panic. In reality, mold can be a serious problem, but with the right information you can learn to distinguish myth from fact. To help you learn facts from fiction, here are 5 common myths about mold.
Myth #1: “Your house can and should be completely free of mold.
This statement is false on both accounts. Mold spores are apart of the natural environment, and it would be virtually impossible to remove every last spore from your home. Mold is only an issue when its concentration reaches unhealthy levels, typically as large, visible colonies.
Myth #2: “Mold is harmless.”
Even though you can’t completely remove mold from your house, allowing it to grow unchecked is not wise. The health effects of mold are still unclear, and vary person by person, but there is not question that mold can and will damage your personal belongings if allowed to grow on them.
Myth #3: “Once you’ve killed mold, the removal is optional.”
The allergens in mold are still present and can become airborne even when mold is dead. After mold has been killed in your home, it should be fully removed. Care must also be taken when removing the affected areas so that the allergens and mold is not spread throughout the house.
Myth #4: “Bleach kills mold.”
This statement is half true. Bleach can kill certain kinds of mold on non porous surfaces, however, it is not clear if bleach can kill all kinds of mold or mold on porous surfaces such as wood. Using bleach to kill mold also poses its own health risks and could cause further damage if not used correctly.
Myth #5: “A little mold is nothing to worry about”
If mold is to the point where it is visibly growing on surfaces in your home, there is a problem. Mold is like an iceberg, you generally only see the tip of it while the majority is below the surface. If you see a small amount of mold, you most likely have more growing under the surface.
Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation. If you suspect that your Irwindale home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park can inspect, assess and remediate your property.
Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by reviewing these mold damage tips.
Categorizing Water Damage in Your Home
Many of the damages we encounter are caused by broken water pipes or faulty appliances. With these types of water damages, it is important to know the source of the water to properly clean it up.
Water damages are categorized into three major types of water. -- clean water, gray water, and black water. The categories are based on where the water came from and how dangerous it is to human health.
Category One- Clean Water
Clean water is treated water that does not contain waste products. Burst pipes, overflowing sinks, and defective appliances are sources of clean water. This type of water has not been used and resents few health risks for humans during removal. Natural disasters can damage roofs severely and open up buildings to rain and snow, but if the water flows through soil it is no longer considered to be clean.
Category Two- Gray Water
Water that has been used and carries waste products, but does not contain human waste is considered to be grey water. An overflowing washing machine that dumps wash water on the floor is gray. A toilet overflow with no solid matter is gray. Generally, gray water does not present the hazard of spreading diseases, but it can cause sickness for those exposed through touching, drinking, or other contact.
Category 3- Black Water
Black water is considered to be unsanitary water. Floodwaters are considered to be black water. Floods cause severe damage to the structures and contents. Floodwaters carry silt and debris of every type. They can contain disease-causing organisms as well as possible contaminants. Carpets and other porous materials must be replaced when contaminated with black water.
It is also important to note that black water may not look black in color and grey water may not look gray in color. The categorization of water depends on the source of water and what’s in it, not the actual color.
If you ever experience water damage in your home, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park. We have highly trained technicians who have all the skills needed to take care of your water damage and make your home “Like it never even happened.”
Storm Safety Tips
No matter where you live in Southern California, you will encounter storms. Most of the time they are routine, but some can cause serious damage and wreckage. Here are some tips for preparing for storms, and weathering them safely.
Before the Storm
- Keep a battery-powered radio in your home so that you can tune to radio stations if you lose electricity. Check the batteries monthly, and replace them as needed.
- Keep a flashlight on every floor of your home in an easily accessible spot.
- Keep a supply of candles on hand in case of power failure.
- Before leaving your house for an extended period of time be sure to unplug all electrical appliances.
- Nail down roof shingles or use adhesive to keep them from blowing in a violent wind.
- Place grounding rods at opposite corners of your home to protect against lightning.
- Keep an eye on large trees that could damage your house in the event of a storm and cut them back if necessary.
During the Storm
- If there are flood threats, seek high ground and stay inside as much as possible.
- Close shutters, board windows, or tape the inside of larger panes with an “X” along the full length of their diagonals.
- If there is a tornado threat, leave windows slightly ajar.
- Take shelter underground, far from your home (in case the roof falls) and away from the gas and sewer systems.
- Try to avoid water because it is a great conductor of electricity.
- Do not use electric equipment.
After the Storm
- Stay tuned to local news organizations for important announcements concerning the storm area.
- Avoid driving as roads may be blocked.
- Avoid metal fences and downed power lines.
- Assume the water is not safe and use properly stored water or boil your tap water.
- Telephone lines will likely be busy in the area so only use a phone for emergencies.
- Contact SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park to inspect your home for damage and aid in repairs.
If your home experiences storm damage in the San Gabriel Valley or LA Basin be sure to contact SERVPRO of Irwindale/Baldwin Park for all of your restoration needs.