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Making Advanced Preparations for Severe Storm Safety | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Santa Clarita Valley will respond quickly to assist in any repairs Person using a tablet for weather alerts. These are a great way to stay informed on the local and national forecast.

Thunderstorms and other severe weather events have been known to cause unprecedented damages in impacted areas. While some severe storms will pass by without incident, others will lead to wind, hail and lightning damage that can devastate an area.

For this reason, it is important to prepare ahead of time so you are never caught off guard due to a severe thunderstorm. Being aware of weather alert definitions, stocking and storing your emergency kit, and obtaining a reliable weather alert system for the home will give you peace of mind and make sure you are as safe as possible during a severe weather event.

Be Aware of Weather Alert Definitions

When local officials issue weather alerts, it is important to be aware of what they mean so you can know how to respond appropriately and stay safe. If a severe weather watch is issued for an area, that means that storms are possible but not currently happening, so standing by and staying tuned is advised. For severe weather warnings, however, a storm is currently happening or about to begin—this means to take cover and prepare to be impacted by the storm.

Stock and Store Your Emergency Kit

Having all the essentials in case of severe weather will help keep you and your family comfortable and safe while severe weather passes through. Having reliable light sources and backup batteries, shelf-stable food and fresh water is helpful for comfort, and a first-aid kit will come in handy in case an injury occurs. You should store this emergency kit in a temperature-controlled area where your family can hunker down and wait for the storm to pass, such as a basement bathroom or a hallway.

Obtain a Reliable Weather Alert System

While we typically rely on the internet and our cell phones for any pertinent updates regarding the weather, in the event of severe weather, this is not advised. Cell phones can become unreliable due to dead batteries and poor reception when electricity and cell signals are impacted by storms, so obtaining a backup method for weather alerts such as a non-electric weather radio will allow you to be certain you will stay informed.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

The Types of Water Damage Common Following Rainfall | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

Rainfall outside a local home In states like California, rain can be a little infrequent depending on the location. However, when it rains it usually pours.

There is never anything fun about dealing with water damage to your home, especially if it has snuck up on you. While floods bring their own sets of issues, we often see damage calls increase after heavy rain, as it can give rise to problems that people do not realize are a possibility.

Simply being aware can help you combat these common types of water damage, as you will know what to look for and can stop it before you start.

Where Water Damage Might Be Common After Heavy Rain

Backup of clogged gutters. Doing twice-annual gutter cleanings are a surprising way you can be proactive against preventing water damage. When debris is in the gutter, water may not be able to drain freely and can instead route its way into the vulnerable wood of your home.

Leaks around windows and doors. As a home ages, its defenses against weather can diminish—including the seals around windows and doors. When miniature cracks develop, rain can expertly work its way in and begin to soften the surrounding wood.

Poor drainage around the foundation. If a yard does not have adequate drainage, consider installing extra pipes or landscaping to route water away from the home. Puddles that sit against the foundation can eventually work their way in and do damage to the base of the home.

Leaks in and around the roof. Roof leaks can often be sneaky, often causing damage to an interior ceiling before they are noticed. Though this can be hard to catch, checking often for signs of wear and tear to the roof and shingles can help you determine if you may be at risk.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. A sump pump is a wise thing to purchase for your home, as they can significantly reduce your chances of water damage. However, taking care of them is a necessity, as poor maintenance can lead to backups and bigger problems.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Do not forget to inspect the seals around these types of features when you take a look at your home’s roof. With time, they can begin to break down and create gaps where water can slip in after heavy rainfall.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

The Difference Between Sanitization and Disinfection

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Viruses, Germs, and Bacteria are all pathogens which can be killed with either sanitization or disinfection. Pathogens can cause sickness when people are exposed to them. The best way to prevent this is to either sanitize or disinfect.

In our current time many people are frantically searching for any way to stay safe and healthy. In some ways this is a good thing. However, stockpiling hand sanitizer is not necessarily the best thing to do, nor economical with inflation hitting many products such as N-95 masks, bulk sanitizer, and even toilet paper.

While the terms sanitization and disinfection are often used interchangeably there are some key differences to note. Sanitizing in general is going to be a less harsh or invasive cleaning which will target common areas such as countertops, doorknobs, and appliances. The goal with sanitization is merely to lower the germ count. However, in the case of disinfection there is a more comprehensive and overall cleaning which targets to kill almost 100% of the germs within a residence.

Based on this information one should know the difference between the two and decide on which is right for them. Both have their benefits. Sanitization is going to be cheaper and quicker whereas complete disinfection can be more costly and take more time. Depending on the situation and one’s personal preferences sanitization or disinfection can both be viable options. An additional thing to consider is that a sanitization or even disinfection will only kill pathogens at the time of cleaning. As soon as another person enters the building, there is a chance for recontamination. Therefore, this is one other aspect to consider. In order to prevent this property owners should take extra precautions with spot cleaning and screening procedures at the entrance to limit this risk.

If you find yourself in a scenario where you would like sanitization or disinfection for your home, commercial space, or school give SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley a call at (661) 296-4600.

The Approach We Take to Water Restoration in 6 Steps | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

There is no perfect time to discover you have damage from water, but starting restoration immediately is always recommended when you do.

We are proponents of this, which is why we are here 24 hours a day to start our six-step approach to water restoration. Here’s what it entails:

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

1. Initial Emergency Contact
Water damage can happen at any hour, which is why we are here at every hour. You can call us at any time to report your damage, and one of our friendly staff members will ask you questions and assemble a response team to get to you as quickly as possible.

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
We are extremely concerned with safety, both for you and our technicians, so we will establish that the scene is safe as soon as we arrive. Once this is done, we will assess the scope of the damage and create a custom plan for you to review before the work begins.

3. Moisture Extraction
We always want to start moving out standing water as quickly as possible, as this is the best way to reduce the chance of excess damages. We will pump and vacuum all the water we can with our industrial equipment in order to speed up drying times.

4. Dehumidifying and Drying
Following the removal of standing water, we will address the moisture trapped in the air and inside the pores of surfaces and belongings. Moisture can work its way down into a variety of things, so thoroughly drying everything out is the best way to ensure you do not have mold develop later on.

5. Cleaning Belongings
The bulk of the work will be done by now, but the cleaning process is still vital to a complete restoration. We will make sure your impacted items are not carrying any contaminants or odors so you do not have to worry about painful reminders of the water damage in the future.

6. Restoration and Repair
You can count on us for full and complete water restoration, which will encompass the repairs that will be necessary after water damage. Flooring and drywall will often have to be replaced and refinished, which we are happy to handle for you so your room is completely restored.

If your home has been water-damaged, you can count on us to help. Call us 247 to get the process started.

5 Entertaining & Creative Things to Do During Lockdown

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

It can be easy to feel bored and just without purpose during a lockdown. During times like these with state "stay at home" orders it can be easy to feel bored, stressed, or just kind of burnt out.

During this challenging time even the most productive of people are going to watch their fair share of Netflix, Disney +, and Hulu. Additionally, many people will play video games just to pass the time. While these are fun activities, they can also get quite boring after a while and leave you feeling drained. Here are 5 good alternatives which can be quite fun and also rewarding.

  1. Read a Book

While this may sound like something your librarian from middle school would tell you, it is actually quite amazing. Playing a video game or watching a movie are all linear experiences in a sense. Reading a book allows you to use your own creativity and imagination to in a sense vicariously live a much more adventurous life. Furthermore, it challenges your vocabulary, mind, and idea of what is reality. If one does not like reading or has difficulty doing so there are many services such as Audible which have pre-read audio files of books.

  1. Practice an Instrument

Playing music can be incredibly therapeutic and helps people express themselves in something more powerful than words. There is so much free time available now you could even teach yourself to play an instrument. YouTube is going to be one of your greatest tools—and also distractions—during this time. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and become the next Billy Joel or Justin Bieber.  

  1. Get Whatever You Need to Off Your Chest

One of the worst things you could do would be to bottle up all your feelings and just reside in them. If you have conflict with some family, friends, or loved ones give them a call. Be honest and let them know how you feel. At the same time, remind them of how much they mean to you and how you want restitution. This could also be a good testing ground if you are interested in a person. If you just send them a text asking how they are doing or things about their lives. If they are remotely interested, they will reciprocate this. However, if they don’t respond or just seem dry you can forget about them and move on with your life. This is the time for action not angst.

  1. Keep Up with Friends and Family

Don’t neglect to talk with your family and friends. While physical interactions and conversations are not advised nor necessarily wise, there are several alternatives. You can use Facetime if you have an iPhone for an easy and intuitive video conference. Additionally, there are apps such as Houseparty and Skype for any web enabled device. The importance of keeping in touch with your friends and family cannot be overstated. It will help you deal with any frustrations, bond with them, and develop a deeper relationship.

  1. Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts are like the modern-day radio show. There is an infinite variety of them. The beauty however is in the fact that one can listen to them whenever you want and there is no need to tune into a channel at a specific time. Podcasts are incredibly engaging and can help you to take your mind off all the worry of everyday life—even if only for an hour.

Hopefully, these ideas can help you enjoy this extra amount of free time and take your mind of all the stress of this situation in the meanwhile. 

Steps to Recover Quickly From a Flood With Safety in Mind | SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

Three Large Houses in a Neighborhood with Severe Flooding If you’re experiencing any water damage from flooding, SERVPRO of Santa Clarita Valley is available 24/7 to assist you with any repairs.

Flooding is now a more common occurrence than it ever has been, which has spurred many people to think through exactly what their recovery strategy would be.

While recovering from a flood quickly is everyone’s top focus, it is important to understand that staying safe also plays a vital role in the recovery efforts. We have detailed the steps below to help you know exactly how to recover from a flood while remaining safe in the process.

Quick Recovery Steps to Take After a Flood

Avoid further safety hazards. It is a natural reaction to want to handle the damage as quickly as possible, prompting many individuals to be antsy to return to their homes. While this is understandable, it is important to check with local officials in your area to make sure the impacted regions are safe to inhabit once more.

Air out the home. While the damage that rising waters cause is devastating enough, those who have experienced flood damage are also at a high risk for mold development in the impacted areas. Mold thrives in damp areas with little air flow, so opening your home’s doors and windows can cut down significantly on its growth, as well as keep the air healthier to breathe as you work to clean up.

Document the damages. While many people will react to seeing the damage by immediately taking action, make sure you are gathering adequate documentation before you jump in. Create a detailed inventory list of everything that has been impacted by the flood and take photographic evidence to back up what you include. Not only is this helpful for your own records, but if you are eligible to file an insurance claim, it will come in handy through that process as well.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. If you have already purchased flood insurance, getting in touch with your insurance company right away will help direct you toward next steps for filing a claim. Additionally, prioritize contacting your flood restoration company in the aftermath. Letting moisture sit can cause further damages to your home, so getting the professionals in quickly is always advised.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.

How to Stay Informed in a World of Uncertainty

4/6/2020 (Permalink)

In this time, there is a great deal of fear and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation. News agencies, governments, and global authorities are throwing out all kinds of data, speculations, and potential scenarios. This kind of information overload makes thinking rationally and being optimistic incredibly difficult. The main lesson here then is to know which resources to consult, have a limit on media exposure, and ultimately maintain an optimistic outlook.

What Resources to Consult

The most important thing to during this time is to know what resources to consult and give credence to. While it can be tempting to wish to have some inside knowledge or wisdom that is not public knowledge, it is not worth putting one’s trustworthiness at risk and spreading unnecessary fear or panic.  Among one of the most important resources to consult would be the Centers for Disease Control or the CDC. Here is their website and resources on COVID-19. This website will give you the most up to date procedures, statistics, and guidelines during this time. Additionally, one should understand their state regulations and consult their individual state government’s website. California’s state website has some good information and resources on their website. California’s government website on COVID-19. Another important source to consult would be a reputable national news agency. The ultimate goal here is to avoid spreading harmful or false gossip that one saw on Instagram, heard from a friend of a friend, or saw on a sketchy new site.

Limit Your Media Exposure

While this may seem like a misnomer, there is a lot of validity and application here. Constant exposure to the news can lead to a sense of fear and overwhelming responsibilities. The news is going to be constantly pushing whatever is most popular. At this moment that would be all of the terrible things going on in the world and the spread of a disease. Furthermore, every news agency is not fact checked or under intense scrutiny. Therefore, whatever is published does not have to be inherently true but rather engaging and interesting. Thus, one should be careful to limit their consumption of news and media to only that which is truly helpful and credible.

Maintain Positivity

One of the most important things to do in this time is to remain optimistic. This is the kind of energy which will fuel change, progress, and eventual triumph during this time. This is a core attribute of those who work so hard to curb the spread and flatten the curve during this time. Those in the medical field are not sitting around but rather facing this head-on and taking active steps to help those around them. Right now, is not the time to be selfish or think of how we can better prepare ourselves. Instead now is the time which will define us in how we serve others around us. While Netflix, YouTube, and gaming are probably dominating our lives right now one great media source that has just popped up is “Some Good News” hosted by John Krasinski also known as “Jim” from The Office. Here is the link for some positive news. The first episode already has over 13 million views and over a million subscribers on the newly formed show.

One Final Point

Overall, it is of the utmost importance during this time that we know what resources to consult, limit any unnecessary media exposure, and maintain a positive attitude. Even so, we should ask how we can help our community during this time. This could be the simplest of things such as buying groceries for a shut-in in the community, mowing the lawn for a neighbor, or helping the brave men and women in our local medical facilities by supplying face masks or other much needed supplies. In the words of John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

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.