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Fire Prevention Month 2020

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Fire Prevention Month 2020

October is Fire Prevention Month! The goal of Fire Prevention Month (and week October 4th – 10th ) is to raise fire safety awareness, and help ensure your home and family has a plan and is ready for the unexpected. In 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) named the second week of October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, we celebrate Fire Prevention Week and Month by raising fire safety awareness and educating families, students and communities across the United States. During this month, fire departments provide education to their communities, and encourage parents and loved ones to practice fire safety and whole home safety.

The NFPA's 2020 campaign for Fire Safety Month is "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen." At First Alert, we are proud to support their mission and this year’s theme to 'Be Ready for the Unexpected', especially while cooking. For Fire Safety Month this year, First Alert is urging families to improve their home’s safety. Be ready at home by installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as having fire extinguishers at home. First Alert is dedicated to helping protect what matters most because a home emergency can happen at any time, and we want to help you be ready.

Did You Know?

Fire Prevention week is the perfect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*
  • Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires

Tips on Water Damage

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage at home or in your place of business does not need to be a traumatic experience. Consider these 5 tips to better prepare.

  1. Look up your insurance coverage. Most renter’s or homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding, or even a sewer backup. Find out what coverage you have.
  2. Keep a record of all of your belongings. Take photos and keep copies of a receipt or other documents for the more valuable items. Store a copy of these records online or at another location. If you do experience water damage, it can be easy to forget about certain items.
  3. Take steps to limit the risk of water damage within your home by checking pipes frequently and paying attention to any indicators of water damage, such as dripping sounds in the walls, dark spots on the ceiling, or significant change in your water bill.
  4. Set up your home so that it is less at risk of damage from heavy rains or flooding by ensuring that your roof is sound. Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation. Check that the landscaping around your home is sloped to direct water away from your foundation, rather than toward it.
  5. Find an expert you can count on. Water damage can be overwhelming, and you don’t want to be desperately searching for a water restoration expert at 3 AM when the pipes break.

About SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna

SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Remodeling Post Fire Damage

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

If you are faced with fire damage, call SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna at 916-525-1241 for 24/7 emergency service.

Dealing with water or fire damage can stressful. Hopefully, you have had a chance to work with SERVPRO of Fair Oaks/Folsom to get you through that trying time. However, when it is all said and done, you may have some remodeling to do. Though it is certainly rough to deal with the damage, remodeling can be enjoyable and even fun. 

According to ImproveNet.com there are quite of few things to consider when repairing after fire and smoke damage:

Average Cost of Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Repair 

The average cost of repair and restoration services after fire and smoke damage is $2,950. The total cost that a homeowner pays for such repairs will depend on the location and extent of the damage. For example, fire damage to a kitchen may cost more to repair than damage to a closet due to the expense of replacing costly cabinets and appliances. The out of pocket amount that a homeowner pays to have fire and smoke damage repairs might be reduced by homeowner's insurance coverage. 

Types of Repairs for Fire and Smoke Damage 

Water used to extinguish a fire can saturate the walls and floors of the home. The water can quickly cause mold growth and wood rot if the water isn't removed and the home thoroughly dried. Soot from the fire can saturate and stain anything upholstered. Professional restoration is needed in order to salvage the furnishings as well as linens, draperies and carpet. Smoke discoloration and odors can pervade almost everything in a home, including furnishings, carpets and rugs, linens and clothing. Professional restoration is essential in order to save those items. The smoke can also damage the home's air ducts, resulting in foul odors each time the furnace or air conditioner turns on. Restoration and repair services are needed to clean the ducts before the HVAC system is used again.

Fire Safety for Kids

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Fire safety

A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible cautions in your home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.            

Prevent Your Child from Starting Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.
  • Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.
Help Your Child Survive a Fire
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. 
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside..
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.
  • Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.
  • Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows. 
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Pet Fire Safety

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Pet Fire Safety Pet Fire Safety

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable.

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
  • In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets

  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

After The Fire Hits...

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

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

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Table cleaning 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)

-Nitrile gloves

-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

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

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.

1. Odors

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

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

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.