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How to Prepare for Unpredictable Times | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

During recent years, there have been many natural disasters which have affected people and nations across the world. This has caused a great deal of concern and fear. However, with the right attitude and a little bit of preparation you can actually sit quite comfortably during times of uncertainty.

What Does it Mean to Prepare?  

Modern media would like to paint anyone who is preparing for the worst as some kind of extremist “prepper” or a lunatic waiting for the sky to fall. In reality, everyone is a prepper. This is the reason we have bank accounts, retirement funds, and even something as simple as fridges or non-perishable foods. No one knows what tomorrow will hold. Therefore, we should be at least somewhat cognizant of the potential for peril. This should not be an overwhelming fear or something which debilitates us but rather encourages us to appreciate everything in life and be prepared for when things do not go as planned.

 What Should You Have?

The most important thing to have is going to be food and water. However, this does not mean one should go out and get potato chips and some soda. You should buy calorie dense, nutritious, and non-perishable food such as rice, pasta, and canned goods. Furthermore, dried products such as potato flakes, dried fruit and beans, and oatmeal all have a shelf life of 20+ years. One should also have a good deal of water but be prepared that this could run out. The human body can go several weeks without food but only three days without water. Therefore, one should look into water purification tablets, filters, and even potentially gadgets such as water filters. Personal hygiene products and basic medical supplies should be a priority as well. One may also want to have basic camping supplies such as matches, a lightweight and easy to setup shelter, and sleeping bags in the event that extreme weather or unforeseen circumstances would force one to leave their residence.

What’s the Point?

The main goal in preparing for the worst is not to freak out or constantly overthink everything in life. Rather it is just the attempt to be ready for whatever this unpredictable world throws at you. Everyone should at least have some kind of plan for themselves and their loved ones should anything happen.

How to Keep Your Home Clean and Sanitary | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

In this current time there is a big focus on stocking up on sanitization products and even the hoarding of toilet paper. Furthermore, many people are purchasing inordinate amounts of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol and more harsh cleaning chemicals such as bleach. It is important to understand the use of such things and also how to keep your home clean and sanitized.

 Know Your Cleaning Chemicals

The first and most important tip to keep in mind is to never mix any chemicals. Most people are not chemists and have no idea what happens on a scientific level when they mix two generic household cleaning products. Therefore, you should never mix cleaning chemicals unless advised to do so from the cleaning company themselves. Additionally, always practice caution and do not clean with harsh chemicals without proper ventilation in the area. Even if you have to crack a window open or prop a fan up with an open door this is a good safety net. If you experience a headache, feel lightheaded, or have difficulty breathing leave the area immediately. Never breath too close to the cleaning chemicals as well as this can damage your throat and nasal passages. The main point here is to exercise a safe amount of caution and to never mix cleaning chemicals understanding whether or not the two will react.

 Know the Places to Clean

While certain sicknesses have different forms of transmission, the most common contraction is through the touching of one’s face, eyes, nose, and mouth. Therefore, one should take extra caution to clean that which one interacts with their hands.  This would include basic things such as door handles, knobs, countertops, tables, windows, and appliances. However, most people forget to clean things such as their car, keyboards, controllers, chairs, pillows, garbage bins, and especially your bathroom.

 Know How to Properly Clean

As much as we would like to start pouring rubbing alcohol on every surface of our home in this time, it is not smart nor safe to do so. The big concern with many cleaning chemicals is their flammability and also the respiratory problems that can occur if used improperly. The CDC recommends using a product with at least 70% alcohol content if one is using a rubbing alcohol based cleaner. Here is the article for further reference and tips. This is a highly flammable product and one should not put it in a spray bottle as this will aerosolize the liquid making it even more likely to ignite from static electricity or a spark from an electronic device. The best thing to do with this is grab a towel and apply a light splash to the rag and wipe down any surfaces as one would with a wet wipe. As the rag gets dry add more isopropyl and continue along. Even so, ensure that you have good ventilation and maybe turn on a fan so that the rubbing alcohol does not give you a headache. Be careful what you use cleaners on too as they can strip paint, change colors of furniture, and potentially damage articles of clothing.

Need Professional Services?

If you have a sanitizing or disinfecting job which is too large for you or needs extra attention, give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600. We have the training, tools, and technical skills needed to properly sanitize and disinfect your home or commercial property.

How Storms can Damage Your Home | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Storms and natural disasters are some of the most destructive and expensive forms of damage to homes across the United States. Natural Disasters cost the U.S. over $91 billion alone in 2018. Article from CNBC on this topic. This can vary from flooding, hail, snow, fire, lightning, or hurricane damage. A great portion of the damage to homeowner’s property is not just from the initial impact.  The real concern is in secondary damage which may follow due to structural damage to the property or other concerns such as bacterial growth.

 Take Action!

The most important thing to do when your property experiences storm damage is to deal with the aftermath. This may take some time for you to collect yourself and come to terms with what you are going through. This is perfectly fine and a smart thing to do. However, it is imperative to ensure that your property will not experience any further damage after the fact. This depends on the scenario but in general you should have an inspection of the property by a trained professional. This will help you understand the extent of the damage and what your options for restoration and repair are. Furthermore, in the case of flooding you should act quickly. Remove as much of the standing water as possible and then set up some dehumidifiers until you can get professionals onsite to complete a full extraction of the moisture and water.

 Know When to Ask for Help

While working on your own home can feel rewarding and give you a sense of accomplishment it can also be quite laborious and at times dangerous without the proper equipment and training. If this is the case for you don’t hesitate to take action.

 How SERVPRO can Help

Here at SERVPRO we have the equipment and expertise needed to effectively mitigate whatever storm damage your home or commercial property has experienced. We have 24/7 availability which allows us to service you in the light or in the night.

Whatever your needs may be do not hesitate and give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600.

Smoke Detectors: Your First Line of Defense | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors can often give homeowners the first alert of a fire within the home. When they are properly installed and functioning, they can help to protect your property, belongings, and most importantly your loved ones. While every fire cannot be prevented smoke detectors can help you to minimize the damage and protect yourself and those around you. Therefore, it is important to know how to install, monitor, and replace smoke detectors as need be.

Know Where to Install

One of the most important parts of installation of smoke detectors is to place them in the correct parts of the house. The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing smoke alarms on every floor of your home including the basement, inside and outside every sleeping area, and in high risk areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, and boiler area. 

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Choose a smoke detector that is certified by a recognized testing laboratory and not just the cheapest one online. You should also install the smoke detector at least 10 feet away from the stove and large cooking appliances to save you the pain and deafening beeping of a false alarm. Ensure that your smoke alarms all work together as well so that should an alert go off in the basement everyone in the house is aware. Most smoke detectors have wireless connection methods nowadays, otherwise you could contact an electrician or look up how to hardwire them online. Furthermore, there are two different types of smoke detectors: Ionization and photoelectric. Ionization excels in detecting high heat and flaring fires whereas photoelectric are better suited for low heat and smoldering fires. Both of these should be utilized throughout the home for the best coverage and protection.

 Know When to Replace

The vast majority of smoke detectors are designed with an internal non replaceable battery that lasts around 10 years. If your smoke detector is chirping this is a sign of a low battery and should be replaced as soon as possible. You should test all the smoke alarms in your home once every month using the test button on the detector. Furthermore, follow the instructions and manual that came with your smoke detector to clean it and ensure it does not get clogged up with dust or other contaminants which may hamper its ability to detect and alert to fires.

Experienced Fire Damage?

The reality is that even with fully functioning and interconnected smoke detectors, fires can and do unexpectedly happen. The most important thing is that you and your loved ones are safe. SERVPRO has the experience, expertise, and tools needed to properly mitigate and restore fire damage and make it “Like it never even happened.”  If you have experienced recent fire damage to your home or commercial property give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600.

How to Grill Safely | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Grilling is a wonderful pastime and a tradition for many households across the United States during holidays, sporting events, and the occasional weekend barbeque. Nevertheless, many fires are started due to faulty grills, user error, or a freak accident. There are several things to keep in mind so you can safely enjoy grilling and the delicious food afterwards.

 Grill outside

The most important thing to ensure is that you are grilling outside and not in a garage or somewhere that could potentially burn down easily. Grilling indoors also exposes one to carbon monoxide which is deadly and is odorless and cannot be seen. When grilling outside, the grill should be at least 10 feet away from the base of the structure which you are grilling near. This should give you enough room to deal with a flare up or piece of charcoal that flies away.

 Clean Your Grill Frequently

Not only will this help you to have a better grilling experience overall, it will also prevent dangerous flare ups from accumulated grease and fat. This is one of the most important things to do as it is so easy for flames to build up and quickly overwhelm an old greasy grill and spread to things such as a deck, nearby chair, or the exterior of the home.

 Know Your Grill

There are both gas and charcoal grills. Make sure you know how your grill operates and ensure that you do occasional maintenance and examine that it is functioning properly. A big concern with gas grills is whether they have any leaks which could build up pressure and cause an explosive fireball. The easiest way to test for leaks is to make a one-part soap one-part water mixture then drip it on the hose and connections and then turn on the gas. If you notice large bubbles forming, you have a gas leak and should turn off the gas and replace the hose or connection points. Additionally, you should never use the gas feature when the grill top is closed as this could cause an unnecessary rise in pressure and an unintentional fireball.

 Be Prepared

Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby your grill so that if the need arises you can quickly and effectively stop a fire. If for some reason the fire cannot be contained call 911 and remove yourself and any other people from the premise.

 Grill fires are quite common across the US. If you happen to experience one of these and are in need of restoration give the experts over at SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600.

Looking Ahead | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

As this challenging situation in our nation continues to evolve, each state is making their own decisions regarding state shutdowns, curfews, and restrictions on large gatherings. Unfortunately, this is greatly affecting a large portion of businesses both large and small. Many businesses are being forced to restrict how many employees can work in a day or completely alter the way their operation runs in accordance with social distancing. Furthermore, some businesses that are considered non-essential are having to shut down temporarily. Thankfully, states are recognizing what they have deemed as “essential” businesses needed for the safety, well-being, and smooth operation of our local communities. An example of these “essential services” would be grocery stores, power plants, plumbers, exterminators, electricians, and of course emergency services such as SERVPRO. SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley is trained in the mitigation of water, fire, biohazard, storm, and commercial restoration. Furthermore, we have the proper personal protection equipment (PPE), training, and protocol to effectively sanitize and disinfect your commercial workspace or building. Our 24/7 availability allows us to respond quickly if you think your workspace may have had exposure or has been exposed to viral pathogens or sicknesses. The trained professionals here at SERVPRO have the knowledge and expertise needed to get your business back on its feetquickly.

If you have any sanitizing or disinfecting needs for your business or commercial property give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600 today.

5 Tips to Ensure You and Your Employees Stay Healthy and Happy | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

As we have seen in the news and media the current situation regarding COVID-19 has drastically changed how our world operates. Not only are many states calling for stay at home orders, but many workers and students are having to head home due to the nature of this situation. These regulations are being instituted in our best interests. Despite this, it can be quite easy to feel frustrated or annoyed with the situation overall so here are 5 tips to stay healthy and happy during this time.

  1. Maintain Social Distancing

Despite the annoying nature of having to distance oneself from friends and those we interact with, it is essential to prevent the spread of sickness. Most health organizations are recommending at minimum a 6ft gap between individuals. John Hopkins Medicine also suggests working from home, switching to online schooling, talking to family and friends digitally, and cancelling large group events. Hopkins Article

  1. Exercise!

This is another key attribute to staying healthy and happy during this time. Exercise has been shown as an effective way to improve one’s immune system and overall cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the act of exercise helps to eliminate stress and can almost be a form of therapy. This could be in any variety of forms. Unfortunately, many gyms are shutting down and most people do not have a full gym set in their home. Nevertheless, so long as one maintains social distancing, going for a run is one of the best opportunities to get some exercise and eliminate the feeling of being under house arrest. Many states make an exemption for this very purpose.

  1. Get Productive

It can be quite easy during times like these to just feel lazy and become unproductive. Take this time as a challenge to be better in everything: eating, school, exercise, meditation, reading, etc. Set up a routine for your day. This is the best way to actively take control of the situation and not feel weighed down. You set the course of your day. Still take in consideration the limitations and legal premises but actively take ownership of your day.

  1. Take Time to Organize

It is too easy to get disorganized and lazy in times such as these. Rather, be productive and organize your home and workspace—if it has not closed down. This will help you not only be less stressed but will also help with your transition back into normalcy when everything settles down.

  1. Be Understanding

These are completely unprecedented times and people aren’t always going to deal with things properly. The key thing here is to be gracious with not only our friends and family, but also with the local businesses and governing bodies in our respective communities. Everyone is in the same boat and is overwhelmed and filled with questions regarding the future.

Altogether, these five tips will help not only you but also your employees stay happy and healthy in these challenging times. It is only through the adherence to the set guidelines that we can ensure ourselves, families, and communities stay healthy during this season. If you have any cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting needs for your commercial property or business give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600.

How to Prepare for Unpredictable Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

The spring season is here, meaning we can enjoy delightful weather, but we must also buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Severe Weather in the Spring

With spring comes longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, the season also brings with it the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s an uncertain time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Unstable temperatures are the cause for changing weather, going from warm to cold in even the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms become more common throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. They can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

When looking at natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms caused the most losses and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

Whenever there is a severe thunderstorm present, they can bring about a threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Prepping for Mother Nature’s Choice

We are not able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, but fortunately, there are tools available to forecasters to at least give us warning that severe weather could be coming. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Top 10 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick This Spring | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Using Hand Sanitizer The first thing people usually think of to prevent sickness is hand sanitizer. Although this is helpful there are many more things one can do.

While Spring is known for a changing of tides in weather and foliage, it can also be quite easy to get sick. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when trying to avoid the common cold or flu.

  1. Wash Your Hands!

This is one of the simplest and yet most overlooked aspects of avoiding the common cold. We use our hands for everything. This makes them one of the most common places for bacteria or sickness to enter the body. Be sure to wash your hands frequently throughout the day using soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.

  1. Avoid Touching Your Face

Many people habitually touch their face whether they are stressed, happy, bored, or angry. It’s just part of our human nature and psychology. Even so, one should exercise caution in doing this as it can be easy to contract any form of sicknesses. This tip coincides with washing one’s hands. Even so, one should try to not touch their face excessively.

  1. Stay Hydrated

One of the most common ways to have a weakened immune system is dehydration. The body alone is constituted by around 60% water. A well hydrated body is key to allowing your internal organs to function properly, expel toxins, and fight off sickness. Without this key factor, it can be easy to become sick.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Everyone has different sleep requirements and may feel better rested than others on less sleep. However, it is incredibly important to get around 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep is the body’s way of healing and recovering. Don’t try to power through or insist you can function on 3 hours of sleep. It is not healthy for an individual to operate in this fashion for a long time and can make one susceptible to sickness.

  1. Look at Your Diet

Are you eating your fruits and vegetables? While this may seem like something your mother would have asked you as a child, it is actually quite an accurate and valid question. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants all which help to fight sickness. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a cheat meal or having a steak. However, one should try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet consistently.

  1. Avoid Sick People

While this may be easier to implement for some than others, it is important to maintain a good distance if others are sick. This may seem rude to the person who is ill. If this is the case, just be honest with whoever you are avoiding by saying you are trying to not get sick.  They should understand and recognize this as a legitimate concern.

  1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

The best way to prepare for sickness is to hit the gym. Exercising frequently and strengthening the body is one of the most effective ways to prevent sickness. There have been many studies conducted which show that frequent exercise improves the immune system. One doesn’t even need to be a gym junkie to reap the benefits. Moderate exercise which raises the heart rate slightly and improves cardiovascular health is the best way to strengthen the immune system.

  1. Ensure Immunizations Are up to Date

Look at your recent immunizations and make sure that you are all up to date with your local health practitioner. This can help you to prevent any number of sicknesses from occurring. Additionally, many local supermarkets offer a great deal of services in immunizations.

  1. Be Happy!

One of the simplest and yet most difficult things to master is having a positive outlook on the world. The biological chemistry of anger and sadness causes a whole host of issues but can really hurt one’s immune system. The best way to deal with this is to acknowledge stress in one’s life and deal with the root of the issue. Additionally, meditate, drink tea, go for a run; do whatever makes you happy—your immune system will thank you later. 

  1. Be Conscious of Others

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of being sick, try to avoid going to large social gatherings or public places where you could cause the spread of sickness. Additionally, it is better to just lay low and get some rest when you are sick. Take care of yourself and make that your number one priority. Don’t be afraid to say no to invitations or a gathering if you are sick.

Overall, these ten tips are the best way to ensure that you stay healthy and are just good tips in general to lead a happy and healthy life.

How to Recognize Leaking Pipes | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

An example of a moderate to severe pipe leak This is an example of a fairly severe leak in a pipe. While this does happen the majority of leaking pipes are closer to a drip from poor seals.

One of the most common sources of water damage is a leaking or damaged water line. This could be the result of a catastrophic failure in which a line is spewing water rapidly or a slight trickle. The upside of having a burst pipe is that you will likely notice it unless you are off the property. This clearly will require the removal of a great deal of water but is easily noticeable. On the other hand, a small leak from a pipe is much harder to recognize and can be more problematic in the sense that bacterial growth is more likely to happen here. Therefore, it is important to know how to recognize a leaking pipe and how to deal with it.

 Know the Problem Areas

One of the most basic things is to recognize is where your pipes are. The most common areas for a leaking pipe are in the bathroom and kitchen. The general region one should keep an eye on is under the sink as this is out of view. The area is not often looked at and a small leak could go unnoticed for days, weeks, even months. Ensure that your pipes have no dramatic problems here or corrosion along the area. Other areas which can commonly have leaking pipes are in your basement or in crawl spaces.

 Know the Warning Signs

There are several telltale signs of a leaking pipe. The most apparent is if there is standing water that keeps appearing for apparently no reason. Another sign could be damp floors or swelling and cracked flooring pieces. Yellowing or stains on nearby walls or bubbling of paint could also point to a leaking pipe. An obvious sign would be swollen or drooping drywall. If you are seeing similar things around your home, you may have a leak in your pipes.

 Test the Area

If you suspect a leak in your pipes place a small container directly under the pipe and check on it later in the day and the day after. If there is any water accumulation you now know there is a leak. If the leak is severe you can shut off your water valve which is usually found in the basement or outside near your utility box.

 Call a Plumber

If the source of the leak is unknown or cannot be dealt with on your own give your local plumber a call. They have the expertise and knowledge to deal with the issue safely and should be able to inspect the rest of your home or commercial property for any further issues or leaking pipes.

If You Have Water Damage

In the unfortunate scenario you have suffered from water damage in your home or commercial property give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600. We have the experience, expertise, and tools necessary to mitigate whatever water damage you may have on your property.