After The Fire Hits...
Suffering fire damages at your home can be a very traumatic experience. Along with the damages from the flames, your home may have soot residue, smoke odor, and water damages from firefighting efforts. Many times, the hardest part of the experience is determining “What do I do now?” once the fire is out. The U.S Fire Administration offers these “After the Fire” guidelines to help you through this tough time:
- The top priority is keeping yourself, loved ones, and pets safe. The structure of your home may be unstable, or various hazards present due to the fire damages. Always follow the instructions of the local authorities pertaining to safety in a fire damaged area.
- Contact your insurance agent. Your insurance agent can help determine what your policy covers regarding cleaning and restoration.
- Contact your mortgage company or landlord to report the fire.
- Secure important documents. If undamaged, gather items such as Social Security Information, Birth Certificates, and Passports. If these items have been damaged, you will need to formulate a plan for replacement.
If you have recently had a fire or are wanting more information on our fire cleanup process, call us at (916) 987-0400
Guaranteed Safe Cleaning Procedures during COVID-19
Cleaning your business to get you back in business
COVID-19 has hit multiple businesses in many different ways. Some are slowly beginning to re-open, while others have closed their doors for good. Here at SERVPRO of Elk Grove/Laguna, we are committed to getting your business as clean as possible. The first step to keeping you safe, is to keep our workers safe as well. Before we clean your infected or possibly infected area, we ensure that each of workers are wearing the following:
-Facial protection (at minimum a N-95 respirator)
-Protective eye wear
After we are properly equipped with the required gear, we move on to the next step, the cleaning process. When dealing with a virus like COVID-19, it is crucial to pay extra attention and be thorough with our procedures.
Some materials cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged. Cleaning methods typically used on water sensitive materials such as vacuuming or dry sponging would not be capable of removing enough soil and residue to be effective. Carpets can be sanitized with SERVPROXIDE, and other porous materials like rugs, upholstered items, and draperies can be wet cleaned using a Hot Water Extraction and rinse method.
ServpOXIDE is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against similar viruses like SARS-CoV-2. It is EPA-approved, and proper PPE use is of the utmost importance.
All tools and supplies are properly cleaned and disinfected to ensure there is no potential contamination to other parts of the structure.
We want your business to be back on its feet in no time, trust us with your cleaning precaution needs. Please call us at (916) 525-1241 to answer any of your COVID-19 cleaning related questions.
Levels of Commercial Damage
SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna handles not only residential damage and restoration but commercial as well.
There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:
Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®
Commercial Property Management: Signs of Sewer Line Issues
While a blocked sewer drain is relatively common in commercial properties, legitimate concerns over sewer line functionality may be few and far between. However, when major sewer line issues occur, it is essential to remedy the problems quickly to avoid potential backups and structural damage. Be aware of these four signs, which may indicate sewer line problems.
While drain or toilet overflow are frequent problems in commercial properties, you should pay attention to odors surrounding these problems. For instance, if after clearing a clog you smell sewer gas, you may want to call a plumber for an inspection, as strong sewer smells can be an indicator of issues further in the line.
2. Clogged Drains
A blocked sewer will not only cause unpleasant odors to occur in your building, but the blocked pipe can also cause frequent clogging of your drains and toilets. This problem may also cause sewer backups into your facility.
3. Indentations in Landscaping
Also, while you may not have any clogging issues, it is still possible that your sewer lines have failed. Pipe breaks may cause indentations in your landscaping, like divots in the lawn. If the break is severe enough, it is possible that sewage is leaking into the grounds of your property. Eventually, this can also lead to a sewage backup in your building.
4. Deformations in Landscaping
In addition to indentations in the lawn, you may notice perpetual puddling in certain areas. You may also see that areas of your parking lot have sunken or cracked along with sidewalks. Depending on how close the break is to your building, you may even notice cracks in the foundation. These issues often require the expertise of a disaster restoration specialist in the Elk Grove / Laguna area to resolve, which depending on your insurance policy may be covered.
A blocked sewer line can wreak havoc on a business and may even lead to significant business interruption. You should be aware of the warning signs of such a problem so that you can resolve the issue as early as possible.
Summer Bonfire Safety
With the heat of the summer, please keep in mind that the sun and winds will have dried out a lot of the surrounding plants and bushes. So, if you plan on a bonfire, follow these tips in order to prevent a property or brush fire.
- Rake your yard or bag your grass clippings before starting a fire.
- Remove yard waste and dead branches around your property.
- Follow your local laws and regulations pertaining to burning and open flames.
- Dampen the ground around your fire pit and under it as well if you have a free-standing pit.
- Place your fire pit on pavers or cement.
- Keep a hose nearby.
- Never throw trash into the fire
- Don’t ever leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure children and pets stay 3 feet away from the fire.
- Fully extinguish the flames with sand and a bucket of water when the evening is over.
Embers stay hot for hours when extinguished. When the fun is over, walk through the yard to clean up chairs and garbage that could easily ignite. Run water on the pit until you are confident the heat won’t pose a risk. Be mindful that you don’t spray the fire with a strong jet of water. Doing so may cause embers to shower the area and ignite your belongings.
Summer Fire Prevention Tips
Summer is the time for camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. However, it is important that as we try to enjoy ourselves and we exercise caution when using fireworks, grills and other equipment that can lead to fire. With that word of caution in mind, here are some tips that will keep your family and home safe this summer!
- Don’t use consumer fireworks: Leave fireworks displays to the professionals who know how to conduct them and are equipped to handle emergencies. Don’t be one of the many people each year who end up in the emergency room as a result of burns from fireworks. There are public displays nearly everywhere that the public can attend.
- Clear the area around your grill: What is summer without some grill time? Unfortunately, grill accident are quite common this time of year. As a way to prevent accidents from occurring, make sure that the area around your grill is clear of flammable materials. Moreover, make sure that you stay away from roof edges, siding, deck railing and tree branches while barbecuing.
- Inspect the area around your campfire: If you’re camping, clear the area around your campfire of scrub or brush that might ignite from sparks or flame. Also, when extinguishing your campfire use water or sand and watch carefully to make sure that the fire has completely died down before moving on.
- Remember your smoke detectors: There is no doubt that smoke detectors are lifesavers. Yet, many people forget to do a monthly check of their alarm. You should also check the batteries regularly. Finally, make sure that there are smoke alarms outside each bedroom of your home and that you have a fire evacuation plan in effect for your family.
- Keep a bucket of water handy: Whether you are grilling outdoors or have gone camping, always try to keep a bucket of water handy. Time is of the essence when a fire starts and you do not want to have to go scrambling off to find something that can extinguish an accidental fire.
After the devastating time that our state underwent last year, the last thing we need is more fire events. Individual responsibility can go a long way in reducing the chances that wildfires and home fires will occur and cause the devastation that always accompanies them. When dealing with the aftermath of fire, our company can handle any type of fire loss in your home or business. SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us anytime at 916-525-1241.
What To Do If Your Commercial Water Supply Line Bursts
The water supply line to your commercial property is vital for ensuring you have a clean business that your customers will want to visit. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. If your water supply line bursts, you could find yourself with a large mess to take care of. Use these tips to help you get through the pipe burst cleanup process.
Shut Off the Water Supply
The first thing you need to do when you notice a burst pipe is to shut off the water supply. This may be found in several areas:
• Near the sink
• Behind the toilet
• In a basement or utility space
• At the main valve near your water meter
Clamp the Pipe Shut
Next, you’ll need to close off the burst in the pipe. Do this by applying a repair clamp to the area. While each package will have its own instructions, the process typically includes adding a rubber sleeve to the leak and then bolting a clamp over the sleeve. If you do not have a repair kit, you can use rubber from an inner tube or similar item with an adjustable hose clamp. This is only a temporary fix, so be sure to call a professional plumber as soon as you clamp the pipe to stop supply line leaking.
If you're dealing with water damage at your commercial property don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Elk Grove at 916-525-1241.
Why SERVPRO when it comes to bio-hazard cleanup!
When compared to a fire or water loss, property damage resulting from a suicide, murder or unattended death poses greater risk and complexity for the adjuster, the bio-hazard cleanup company, and of course, the policyholder. Many cleaning and restoration companies will offer bio-remediation services, but only those that specialize in this area, like SERVPRO truly understand the science and intricacies of the bio-remediation and decontamination process. In order to minimize risk for the insurance carrier and ensure the safety of the policy holder, it’s important to realize the inherent challenges of bio-remediation and the processes and standards that every bio-hazard cleanup professional must adhere to.
Am I liable for an improper bio-hazard cleanup?
At some point in their careers, insurance professionals may have experienced sticker shock from a bio-remediation claim. How could the bio-hazard cleanup of a single room cost more than recovering an entirely flooded home? It might be tempting to retain a trusted property damage restoration company at a lower cost, but doing so may put the insurer at risk for a lawsuit.
Consider a recent case where a general cleaning company was hired to sanitize a home after 600 pounds of deer meat rotted in a family’s garage due to a power outage. Following the cleaning, the homeowners reported that the rotting stench still remained throughout the house and that some family members became ill. Experts who were brought in to investigate the situation determined that the enduring smell and sickness resulted from inefficiencies in the cleaning process, such as the failure to seal concrete surfaces.
How do I evaluate a bio-remediation provider?
To determine whether or not a company is qualified to handle a bio-hazard situation, insurance professionals need a deeper understanding of proper bio-remediation standards and what it takes to fully decontaminate a property. These are the key things to inquire about when choosing a vendor for a bio-hazard cleanup:
OSHA Compliance – These regulations are in place to protect the bio-hazard company employees and to prevent injury and potential liability for all involved. All supervisors and field technicians should be trained in the following OSHA programs: Blood-borne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Asbestos Awareness, Heat Illness, Fall Protection, Lift Safety, Lock Out – Tag Out, and Power Tool Safety. A common misstep among restoration companies is that they only comply with the OSHA Blood-borne Pathogens Standards, instead of all the aforementioned areas.
EPA and State Environmental Agency Compliance – The disposal of medical waste must be in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations. Not all bio-hazard remediation companies are licensed to transport or store medical waste so it’s essential to understand if/how they comply with the local and national standards. The cleaning company can incur hefty fines if medical waste is not disposed of properly. Also, employees need to be trained in the proper use of cleaning agents – this can be more complicated than it seems, as many agents will become inactive if not measured and diluted properly.
Reporting/Testing – A reputable company should be able to deliver a detailed report which catalogs every step of the cleanup process. This should include photos of the entire process as well, so the policy holder and adjuster understand why some structural materials needed to be removed, what was disposed, why the employees went through a certain amount of protective equipment, etc. They should also have equipment available to check for non-visible but active biological fluids and other contaminants so that it is certain when an area is considered disinfected.
Sensitivity Training – Dealing with a flood or fire can be extremely traumatic, but it does not compare to the loss of loved one. During these traumatic situations, the family members often stay at home so it is imperative that the workers in their home are compassionate and considerate. The bio-hazard cleanup specialists at SERVPRO understand the need for the family to deal with only one point person in order to avoid confusion or conflicting updates. They have been trained to eliminate alarming language from their vocabulary and speak empathetically with the policyholder.
When it comes to bio-hazard remediation, there is no quick solution. The fact that there are no laws protecting policy holders through a bio-hazard cleaning process puts the responsibility on the insurance carrier to work with bio-remediation specialists who follow strict safety standards and cleanup procedures. If the insurance carrier directs the cleanup process and even one of the above points is neglected, they might be held liable for any further health and property damages resulting from the improper cleanup. It is important to remember that you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that a policy holder needs after a traumatic crime or death occurred in their home or place of business.
How To Maintain a Commercial Roof
Commercial building owners or maintenance supervisors should schedule inspections and perform upkeep. The maintenance required may vary depending on the type of roof on a structure in Elk Grove, CA. Cleaning and repairing a roof can prolong its life and resolve wear or wind damage before a roof leak causes a major problem.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Inspections should take place at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. This can help owners and maintenance supervisors ensure that winter weather or summer storms have not damaged the roof. Each inspection should involve looking for defects while checking the condition of
- Drainage systems
- Expansion joints
- Sealing around vents and equipment
- Surface area
Unless the owner or maintenance supervisor has experience working on roofing, these inspections should be performed by qualified professionals. A roofing expert that specializes in the style of roof on a commercial property may be better able to point out when repairs are necessary.
Follow a Maintenance Plan
In addition to inspections, a building owner or maintenance supervisor can also take measures to maintain the condition of a roof and prevent a roof leak. On a regular basis, a property owner or maintenance supervisor should
- Check for signs of storm or wind damage
- Clean drainage systems
- Eliminate standing water on flat roofs
- Fix lifted seams
- Have overhanging trees trimmed
- Reattach or replace flashing
- Tighten or replace mechanical fasteners
All of these measures may prevent a leak, limit the extent of repairs, and prolong the life of a roof.
Work with a roofing company or have an owner or maintenance supervisor perform regular maintenance or inspections. Be sure to call a roofer or perform repairs as soon as any signs of damage become apparent.
If a roof leak leads to interior water damage, contact SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna at 916-525-1241.
5 Common Reasons for House Fires in the Elk Grove Area
1. Cooking Equipment
When a pot and pan splatter grease, it can take seconds to cause a fire. When cooking stay close by, especially if using oil or high temperatures. Keep combustibles away from the heat source (e.g. oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels).
2. Electrical Equipment
- Make sure your outlets aren't overloaded
- Don't have electrical wires under heavy equipment
- Your Electrical appliances don't have loose or frayed cords/plugs
Keep candles on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of reach of children or pets. Always blow them out before leaving the house.
Use Barbecues away from the house, deck rails, and tree limbs. Maintenance them on a regular basis, clean removable parts (inside and out) with soapy water. Check for potential leaks in the connections by spraying them with soapy water; Watch if bubbles form when you open the gas.
5. Fire Pits
- You may need a permit depending on where you live to have a fire.
- You have to have a permit if your fire is bigger than 2 ft tall and 3 ft diameter.
- Keep at least 25 ft away from structures and tree limbs.
- Use a screen over your fire to keep the sparks from flying
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose close by.