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Building An Emergency Kit

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

A young lady and three others meeting together going over information for packing an emergency kit. Discussing and researching important items to have in your emergency kit is essential.

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own foodwater and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Download a printable version to take with you to the store. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.

https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2021-02/ready_checklist.pdf

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Additional Emergency Supplies

Since Spring of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.

Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications. About half of all Americans take a prescription medicine every day. An emergency can make it difficult for them to refill their prescription or to find an open pharmacy. Organize and protect your prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins to prepare for an emergency.
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

<h2survey-processed" href="https://www.ready.gov/food">food in a cool, dry place.

  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

<h2survey-processed" href="https://www.ready.gov/car">in your car.

This Information was taken from ready.gov under the Disasters and Emergencies. 

When You Have Water Damage from a Sprinkler System

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler system water damage can happen to any commercial property in California

Sprinkler systems are designed to protect your property from fire, but they often end up causing commercial water damage instead. In this blog post, we will discuss what types of sprinklers can cause water damage and how these systems work so that you know what to do when water damage from sprinkler systems occurs!

What types of sprinkler systems use water?

Perhaps you recently acquired a new commercial property in California and are curious what type of sprinkler system to install, or you are curious about your current sprinkler system. There are two main types of sprinkler systems, dry and wet systems. If you are looking to avoid water damage from a sprinkler system, it would be best to install a dry system.

Wet pipe systems are the most common choice but they can cause commercial water damage. Wet pipe systems work by heat activation. When a fire begins, a sprinkler head will release water that is stored in the pipes.

How can water damage from a sprinkler system occur?

The professionals at SERVPRO receive many calls a year regarding water damage from sprinkler systems. We receive calls when a commercial property has a fire, and the sprinkler system puts the fire out, and for accidental water damages from a sprinkler malfunction.

A common reason when a sprinkler system will accidentally cause water damage is when the system is overheated. Sprinkler systems are designed to put out a fire and when they detect high heat levels. An overheated sprinkler system assumes that the property has a fire and goes off, causing gallons of water damage. A positive attribute of wet pipe systems is that not all sprinkler heads go off at once because each sprinkler head is activated independently. Other common reasons why water damage from sprinkler systems occur are: 

  • Freezing
  • Corrosion 
  • Poor installation 
  • Mechanical damage
  • How to respond when there is water damage from a sprinkler system?

    When a commercial property has water damage from a sprinkler system, the property manager or building owner must act quickly by turning off the sprinkler water sources so that further damages do not occur. It will also be an excellent time to turn off the electricity to avoid electrocution and elevator issues from water damage.

    After the appropriate valves have been shut off, you need to call a reliable restoration company to come and mitigate the damage.

    After you call a water restoration company, call the insurance company that covers damages for the commercial property. The assigned insurance agent may ask for pictures and videos of the damages for their records. It will also be a good time to create a list of all of the damaged items during this time.

    Don't Hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City 24 hours/7days a week. We are here to help!

    Follow These Fire Safety Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe

    7/5/2022 (Permalink)

    According to the American Red Cross, home fires are the most common disaster they respond to - and also the most preventable. Planning ahead is the best way to promote the safety of the people and animals in your home. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan which should include pet safety.

    Here are some steps to protect your pets:

    • They should have their own disaster supplies kit ready in advance which should include food, water, pet records, spare collars and/or leashes in case you need to control or calm them from being frightened.  
    • Have a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
    • Include your pets and take them with you when you practice your escape plan.  Train them to come to you when you call for them. 

    Following these steps can lower the risk of your pets being harmed in a fire

    Electrical Fire Safety Tips

    6/30/2022 (Permalink)

    a drawn representation of a electrical cord plugged into a wall outlet that is on fire Always Remember to make sure all electrical work in your home is done by a qualified electrician!

    Electricity helps make our lives easier. There are times though when we can take its power and its potential for fire-related hazards for granted. Here are a few electrical safety tips to follow to keep your home fire-safe. 

    When it comes to Appliances

    • Always plug major appliances, like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, directly into a wall outlet. 
    • Never use an extension cord with a major appliance — it can easily overheat and start a fire. 
    • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. 

    When if comes to Outlets

    • Do not overload wall outlet
    • Insert plugs fully into outlets
    • Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children

    When it comes to Extension Cords, Power Strips and Surge Protector

    • Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away
    • Use extension cords for temporary purposes only
    • Use power strips that have internal overload protection

    Thank you to U.S. Fire Administration for sharing these tips for us to share with our customers!

    Pay Attention to Your Commercial HVAC System

    5/25/2022 (Permalink)

    Inside of walls on drywall mold is growing Mold resulting from high humidity in a commercial building

    Making sure you properly and regularly have your commercial HVAC systems checked is crucial to your indoor air quality.  

    Though we are not experts with commercial heating and air conditioning units, there are a few things that everyone can check to ensure that their commercial unit is functioning properly. As always, if you have a question about your HVAC system, the first professional that you need to call is your local HVAC company.

    5 Common Commercial HVAC Functions To Check:

    1. Odors or poor indoor air quality
    2. Strange, or odd sounds
    3. Unexpected change in heating and cooling cost
    4. Inconsistent airflow
    5. Loss of system efficiency

    If you notice any of these HVAC problems, the fix can be fairly simple. There could be dirty or clogged filters, leaking refrigerant, thermostat malfunctions. Be sure to have your HVAC system checked regularly.

    Is Your Tub or Shower Leaking?

    4/27/2022 (Permalink)

    woman holding 2 buckets for water leaking Leaks in bathroom can be hard to find.

    4 easy ways to determine if you have a leak in your bathroom.

    Since bathtubs can hold many gallons of water, a bathtub leak can be a major cause of concern for a homeowner. If you suspect a leak in your bathroom, it is important to figure out where it is coming from to avoid further damage. Here are four things you can do to determine if you have a water problem in your bathroom.

    1. Smell the Room

    Excess water can lead to mold and mildew, both of which have musky odors. If your bathroom smells like an old carpet shortly after cleaning it, you could have mold or mildew lurking in your surroundings.

    2. Look for Signs of Mold

    Mold exists in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Regardless of the species, mold indicates a moisture problem and should be dealt with promptly. A bathtub leak can leave the floor moist, and mold can begin forming in moist areas in as little as 24-48 hours.

    3. Inspect Your Shower Pan

    Visually inspect your shower for obvious signs of a shower pan leak. If your shower pan looks fine, but you suspect a leak in the area, perform a shower pan test by plugging the drain and filling the pan with water. Check the water after 24-72 hours. If the water level is not the same as the original, you may have a leak in your shower pan.

    4. Check for Symptoms of Water Damage

    Water often leaves visible signs of damage. Common indicators of water damage include warped walls, baseboards, floors, and linoleum that is coming loose from the sub-floor.

    As a homeowner, you will want to keep your home in as good of shape as possible. Since a bathtub leak can cause additional damage over time, it is important to fix any problems as soon as you notice them. A professional water remediation company can help restore your home to its pre-damaged condition as quickly as possible.

    Your Local Disaster Restoration Company

    Water damage can disrupt lives, but by calling in professionals immediately, you can mitigate the impact it has over the long term. If you have water damage don’t hesitate to call us at SERVPRO of East Riverside City today!

    Where to Find Local Fire Damage Remediation Services?

    4/19/2022 (Permalink)

    home kitchen on fire with orange flames Our SERVPRO technicians know exactly what to do after your home suffers a fire incident. Call us today!

    SERVPRO of East Riverside City Can Provide Your Home With Fire Damage Remediation Services!

    Many people imagine that if fire damage ever occurred inside their Riverside homes, it would be a grand disaster. However, many fire-losses are quite small in comparison. Statistically, there are many potential causes of fire inside of your home; however, not every fire may rage out of control.

    Imagine a scenario where your Riverside home suffers a small degree of fire damage. Picture plugging in an electric kettle with the intention of brewing tea. When you turn your back to look for which type of blend you would like, the electrical socket sparks a small fire. You hear the popping and smell the burning of plastic and act quickly, extinguishing the small blaze before it gets out of control.  

    If the Fire is Small, Do I Need to Call For Remediation Services? 

    Even small fires can leave behind an impressive amount of damage that could be hard for a non-professional to clean. For example, a small fire in your kitchen could leave behind: 

    • Smoke residue 
    • A foul smell
    • Scorch marks 

    Even if fire damage is concentrated in a small section of your home, it can still cause tough stains and rancid malodors. The best thing you can do for your home is to contact professional remediation services. 

    How Can SERVPRO Remove the Soot Stains and Bad Scent? 

    Here at SERVPRO, our technicians are highly trained and have access to advanced technological equipment. To remediate the evidence of fire damage, we can: 

    • Use hydroxyl generators or thermal foggers to reduce the malodor in your home
    • Use specially formulated cleaning agents to remove tough smoke-residue and stains
    • Remove anything that is beyond repair so that it can be replaced

    At SERVPRO, our goal is always to leave your home feeling as if the damage inside did not happen. Trust our Institution of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration-certified (IICRC) technicians to help return your home to its preloss state, "Like it never even happened."

    If your home needs fire damage restoration, get help now! We're always open and ready to help you, call today (951)222-2224 

    When a Pack-Out is Necessary Due to Fire Damage

    4/13/2022 (Permalink)

    tan moving boxes, white background and SERVPRO logo Your home is going to need a lot of work after a fire damage, let us help!

    Fire damage will need SERVPROs assistance.

    Many of the fire damage sites that SERVPRO works on only have charring and damage in a portion of the home. The techs use different methods to stop the rest of the house and furnishings from taking on smoke odors.

    During a fire damage mitigation, containment using either plastic barriers or in some cases, negative air chambers to keep soot from spreading throughout the home. This stops the potential for cross-contamination to areas of the house currently unaffected by soot and smoke damage. 

    Why SERVPRO?

    The technicians at SERVPRO undergo extensive training and come to each job to save the homeowner as much loss as possible through their learned restoration methods. They also have a diverse array of equipment for specialized cleaning and drying processes to give each loss site the best outcome.

    When Containment is Not Enough

    In some cases, putting up barriers during mitigation of fire loss is not enough. In those situations, a pack-out is often the best course of action to minimize damage. The technicians perform this task in a very organized fashion and photograph and note the location and condition of each item removed. So when the cleanup efforts complete, each piece can return to the exact spot where they removed it.

    Smoke Damage and Odor Control

    After a fire, the smoke residues and soot require removal from surfaces through careful hand-cleaning. Running an air scrubber fitted with HEPA filtration is another common during fire loss mitigation to keep airborne soot particles to a minimum.

    Ductwork Inspection

    Because soot travels through the air so readily, if the HVAC was running post-fire, there is an excellent chance the ductwork may require inspection and cleaning to render it smoke-odor free. SERVPRO technicians complete any needed ductwork cleaning before returning the packed-out items into the residence. Turning around fire damage in homes quickly with their experience and equipment to make the fire loss "Like it never even happened."  SERVPRO of East Riverside is here to help 24/7 call us today!

    What Parts of a Structure are Salvageable After Flooding?

    4/5/2022 (Permalink)

    yellow house under water with blue background An unexpected flood can quickly lead to flood damage in your home. Call the experts at SERVPRO immediately to prevent additional water loss.

    A Sudden Flood Can Affect the Building and Assembly of your Home. SERVPRO Technicians are On-hand to Help Riverside Residents Overcome Flood Damages.

    What are building assemblies, and how do they affect drying?

    The building assembly is everything in the structure of your Riverside home, excluding the exterior walls. During intense storms and heavy rainfall, some or all of the building may begin to take on water. These can come from flooding into the property or through a roof that may become damaged by strong winds. Once water enters the property, it begins to negatively affect some, or all, of the building assembly, including drywall, crawlspaces, foundations, and framework. Each property has unique characteristics and material build. Our technicians have a strong understanding of how materials affect drying, which allows us to tailor our drying strategy to each situation we encounter. 

    How are drying procedures decided?

    When confronted with flood damage in your home, a professional water restoration technician has to make hundreds of decisions in a small space of time. Knowing which items can be dried cost-effectively and inexpensive to replace can help speed up the timeframe of restoration. Fitted cabinets are commonly made from particle boards with a veneer finish. These can take on lots of moisture in a short period of time, and the cost of drying them often outweighs the cost of replacement with cabinets of similar quality. SERVPRO makes decisions based on the most time-efficient solution to restore your home to its preloss condition. 

    What is the process of deciding to restore or replace wet building materials?

    General information covering the type of material, porosity and responsiveness to drying

    Inspection to determine the length of exposure as well as the area of wetness (some materials, like drywall, have multiple layers to test)

    Restorability is a combination of the above two results, which is the deciding factor in whether to restore or replace

    Are wet ceilings and walls expensive to replace?

    Walls that become wet through flooding need to be carefully inspected to understand the extent of the damage. A wall or ceiling has several layers of assembly, some of which may be wet while other parts may remain dry. SERVPRO technicians need to inspect layers of drywall, plaster, wallpaper, and framing to see how far the moisture has migrated. To examine these multiple layers a commonly used tool is a penetrating moisture meter. Items like drywall are often restorable, providing that there is little water contamination present. In these situations, we can use dehumidification and air-movement equipment to dry these materials successfully. 

    When does the wet drywall need replacing?

    Check the seams of the drywall. If they are intact, restoration is still possible.

    If areas of the drywall begin to swell, they may need replacement.

    Inspect the drywall for signs of mold growth. If present, replace the drywall

    How far can water migrate after flooding?

    Floodwaters can reach the framing of your home, providing that there is no intervention. It takes time for capillary suction to take place in drywall and plaster. However, with massive amounts of water, the time may be reduced. Some properties that flood show signs of damage to the framing of the property. The frames are usually dimensional lumber with a light finish. If water restoration technicians suspect that the frames are wet, we may need to demo some parts of the wall to access drying equipment. Wet structures can lead to extensive mold growth throughout the home and should always have an inspection after flooding.

    What are some necessary procedures for drying walls and ceilings?

    Ventilation through the wall using structural cavity drying equipment

    Demolition of materials to speed-up the drying process through extra ventilation and access for larger equipment

    Temperature and humidity control to speed up the drying process

    When is demolition necessary to restore flood damage?

    Sometimes demolishing a part of a building's assembly can help to accelerate drying. When there are excessive amounts of moisture found in a structure removing inexpensive materials, like drywall, to gain access to more valuable materials, like dimensional lumber, is a good option. Ultimately, the cost of replacing lumber is high, and it has among the highest rates of repairability For these reasons, it may be necessary to sacrifice plaster, wallpaper, or drywall in order to allow maximum drying focus on the structural framework of your home. SERVPRO technicians have experience conducting controlled demolitions in residential properties and can ensure all materials are replaced "Like it never even happened."

    Floodwaters can permeate every aspect of a building's assembly. For expert drying, contact us today! 

    Dishwasher Water Damage: Saving Your Kitchen Floor and Cabinets

    3/30/2022 (Permalink)

    tan dishwasher flooding with water When your dishwasher floods your kitchen and causes water damage in your home, SERVPRO can help!

    Dishwashers are essential to many homes and make our lives easier every day. Most homeowners use them without giving a second thought to the possibility of the appliance leaking and causing water damage to their kitchen floor.

    Unfortunately, if your dishwasher leaks it can quickly cause water to pool on your kitchen floor, and even damage cabinetry. When it comes to this appliance leaking, you need to take immediate action to prevent the spread of water damage in your home. 

    4 Steps to Deal With Dishwasher Water Damage

    When dishwashers flood your kitchen or cause water damage to the floor underneath it, there are certain steps you should take to stop the spread of flooding in your home and to properly clean up.

    1. Be aware of potential safety hazards

    Whenever there's a water leak in your Riverside home, you should make sure to check for any electrical hazards. Always check that water hasn’t damaged any electrical appliances or outlets. If it has or you’re not completely sure, the safest choice is to disconnect the power to your kitchen while cleaning up.

    1. Clean up standing water

    Even though the average dishwasher uses about 6 gallons of water per wash, this amount can still cause serious damage to your kitchen flooring. You want to clean up puddles of water as soon as possible to prevent them from seeping under the kitchen flooring, into the subfloor, or even into the room below.

    While cleaning, pull out your dishwasher if possible. You don’t want to overlook water damage underneath the dishwasher or the walls and cabinets around it, as this can worsen over time.

    1. Look For Signs of Water Damage

    Once you’ve mopped up the water from your dishwasher, it’s likely your job isn’t done. Depending on how long your dishwasher leaked, there may be water damage to the floor underneath it, wall behind it, cabinets, and even the ceiling below your kitchen. 

    You should inspect your kitchen cabinetry, flooring, walls, and room below for the following signs of water damage: 

    • Bubbling or peeling paint
    • Soft or squishy walls
    • Bending or buckling flooring
    • Drooping ceiling
    • Water stains
    • Mold growth
    • Musty odors

    If you find any of the above issues, you must take steps to have the additional areas of damage to be addressed. 

    1. Call A Water Restoration Company for Dishwasher Damage Inspection

    If you know that there are additional areas of water damage from the dishwasher or you’re not sure if you’ve dried everything out, you should contact a local water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of East Riverside City to provide a damage inspection.

    SERVPRO  utilizes advanced moisture detection and drying equipment to measure moisture levels in building materials and restore your home to pre-damage conditions. Companies like SERVPRO can identify all areas of moisture in your home and create a plan to dry your property out.

    Why Do Dishwashers Leak?

    When it comes to dishwashers leaking on to the floor of your kitchen, there’s many possible causes. Try to find the cause of your dishwasher leak by inspecting the following components of your appliance. 

    Water Leaking From Front of Dishwasher

    If you notice water leaking from the front of the dishwasher, it’s possible that you’re dealing with a leaking door. A leaking dishwasher door can be caused by:

    • Faulty door latch
    • Door gasket/seal needing replacement  
    • Using the incorrect dishwasher detergent

    Water Leaking Underneath Dishwasher

    If water is pooling underneath your dishwasher, the following may be to blame:

    • Corroded or leaking dishwasher tub from soap or old age
    • Loose or cracked water supply lines
    • Loose or stuck water valves
    • Dishwasher isn’t level

    Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Dishwashers?

    In most cases, leaking dishwasher water damage should be covered by your insurance company, but you should always double-check your policy before filing a claim to be sure.

    So long as the damage from your dishwasher was sudden and unforeseen, meaning that it was a result of mechanical or plumbing issues, the damage should be covered. But, if your insurance adjuster assesses damages and your dishwasher shows signs of neglected maintenance that could've prevented the problem, your claim may end up being denied.

    Can Dishwasher Leaks Cause Mold?

    If your dishwasher leaks - especially for a prolonged amount of time - they can cause serious mold growth in the kitchen of your home.

    Since mold thrives on moisture, a dishwasher leak can cause a serious infestation. Even when there’s only a small leak, consistent moisture will cause mold to grow and spread behind and underneath the dishwasher.

    Need Help With Dishwasher Leak Water Damage Repair? We can help.

    As a professional water damage restoration service, SERVPRO has the experience and resources needed to quickly restore your home to pre-damage conditions.

    Our team rapidly responds to inspect damages, create a specialized restoration plan, and get to work. Our goal is to make water damage from your dishwasher leak, like it never even happened!

    Call us today! (951)222-2224  we are here 24/7 for all your water damage needs!