Recent Posts

Marijuana Smoke: What Damage is it Doing to Your Home?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

The smell of marijuana is no longer just reserved for clubs, venues, and shady parking lots. Due to marijuana's increasing legalization, more and more people are having to explain the smell to their kids.

When it comes to a home, what kind of damage does this smoke present?

An Important fact! - Smoke is made up of solid & liquid particulates and gases. Due to its chemical compound, all smoke leaves residue.

Consider for a moment a home of a long-time cigarette smoker. What is the result of a person smoking 1-2 packs a day? A obvious smell of ash, yellowing of ceilings and walls, and ruined carpets. The home goes through an extensive cleaning before it can be sold.

What though might we say of someone who smokes marijuana? There are a few variables to consider.


1) How often do they smoke?
2) Where do they smoke?(single room, around the house, upstairs/downstairs)
3) Are they growing marijuana in the home?

It's true marijuana smoke does not linger as much as cigarette smoke does, and usually dissipates within a few hours. Even if the smoking was concentrated to a single room though, smoke could still penetrate dry wall and under the door. Growing marijuana plants pose a different type of threat, due to the lights and humidity requirements, such an atmosphere encourages mold and the possibility of a house fire.

An Important Fact! - Smoke. Leaves. Residue. Even if marijuana is not being smoked as much as cigarettes, residue is still being collected on walls, ceilings, furniture, clothes, food, and children's toys.

A recent study found that the indoor particles of marijuana smoke, between 200-600 ug/m3, are equivalent to particulate concentrations of a wild fire or industrial pollution.

An Important Fact! - People are breathing in wildfires in their own home. This could cause serious cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

What Action is Necessary?

A thorough cleaning of the home once a year to clean off the smoke residue. This would entail the cleaning of all walls, ceilings, furniture, and floors(carpets/tiles).

Specialty O-Zone and Hydroxyl equipment can be used to clean the air, removing all harmful particulates.

Overall if at all possible, limit or remove the threat of marijuana smoke from your home.

The ARkStorm vs Los Angeles

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Across the nation various types of natural disasters effect many. We in California don't have great experience in dealing with something like a Tornado or Hurricane. We do in fact get Earthquakes and Wildfires. These can be just as devastating as any other type of disaster.

Scientists and field experts though are predicting something of greater proportions... "the big one". No this is not referring to the big earthquake people have been talking about for years. This is referring to a rare mega-storm.

It's called ARkStorm (Atmospheric River Storm) This storm could potentially last for weeks causing around $725 billion in damage across California. Currently, progress is being made to strengthen the LA County Dam system. City Water infrastructures are also being looked at to improve drainage in cities and limit flooding.


What Can You Do to Prepare?


News of a storm of this size can seem intimidating, so what can the average person do? Be prepared for all possible scenarios. This will ensure your safety, the safety of your family, and/or your business. Have your emergency bags ready. Since the possibility of a disaster now involves water, we will need to update our bag with supplies that could withstand heavy rain. Follow the direction of local authorities, and stay up-to-date with social media. These preparations could be life saving.

How Worried Should You Be?


The chances of a storm of this size happening are about 50-50. Those odds are enough to get people to prepare, as we see the cities are already doing so. So in line with the cities, we do what we can to prepare.

Then again, the challenge of predicting such storms is scale. "A mega-flood is impossible to predict," - David Reid, Water Historian.

To find out more about this storm and preparations, visit the original article.

Document Restoration

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Disasters can take allot from your home. Your belongings, family heirlooms, your furniture, piece of mind, and even your important documents. Our job is to make your house a home again and restore back to you what's possible. 

Many don't realize just because their documents are water damaged doesn't mean they can't be restored. Aside from restoring your documents, we can help you prepare for a disaster by backing your documents up. Whether big or small, we help hospitals, schools, and government agencies to make sure they are protected no matter what disaster may come their way.

Contact SERVPRO® of Downey for more information.

Tip: Store all your important documents in a fire proof file cabinet. Doing so can save you allot headaches.

You May Need a H.A.T.

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Let's say over the weekend, you get a water leak. By the time you get to work on Monday all the water is gone and the walls and carpets look and feel dry to the touch. 

So, there’s nothing to be real concerned about…. The walls and carpet are a little damp, but they’ll dry out in a few days. How, though, can you be sure that everything is really dry?

SERVPRO of Downey along with Science can answer that question, but mostly science. In order to properly dry out an area, you need a H.A.T (Humidity// Air// Temperature). By using a simple formula, you can be certain of the drying process.

SERVPRO of Downey, uses the most modern equipment. Everything from Moisture Meters to Thermal Imaging Cameras. This type of technology and our expertise gives the assurance that what feels dry is really dry.

Standing Roof Water

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Is standing water on a roof a real problem?? You might think... it'll evaporate and go away.

Water weighs over 8lbs per gallon. Imagine two or three inches of water on the roof. That extra weight causes a real strain on the roof. This can lead to a collapse that will be very costly or worst yet injury or death.

This is a major problem with simple solution: Inspect the roof and clean off the debris. Taking the time to do that now, will save you heartache and money in the future.

These are easy steps to implement : (1) Inspection (2) Remove debris and clear drains and downspouts . Follow this advice and keep the roof over your head and your hard earned money in your pocket.

Not comfortable accessing your roof? We do free inspections.

Prevent Home Fires: Dryer Vents

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Prevent Home Fires: Dryer Vents Clogged Vent

For most of us, convenience is everything. This is especially true in our homes. Imagine where we would be without the air conditioner, dishwasher, or microwave. You may remember the days of collecting all your quarters and going down to the Laundromat to do laundry. However, there was a benefit to that.

The benefit: not having to clean your dryer vents. Hardly any of us think about cleaning our vents or even know we should be. The fact of it is Lint accumulates in our dryer vents overtime. We can see a sample of this when we reload our dryer and clean out the small vent trap. Now imagine that on a larger scale. Say you've lived in the same home for 10-15 years+ and never had the vents cleaned...They'd be clogged!  

The truth of the matter is we sometimes take convenience for granted. That mistake could cost us our home, or even our life. Around 2,900 Dryer Fires are reported each year. How can we bring this statistic down? Clean our dryer vents.

How do you know if you need your vents cleaned?

  • Your laundry may take longer to dry. 
  • The dryer may be hotter to the touch than usual. 
  • A burning smell may be present when the dryer is running. 

Where do you start? Professionals. Although DIY kits are sold, nothing beats the expertise and assured safety of a professional. Find out more dryer vent information here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html

Top 3 Places to Find Water Damage

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Take this scenario: You come home from a long day at work. You make yourself some dinner, relax a bit, and enjoy the rest of the evening. It's now 10pm and you decide to go downstairs to get some water before bed.

Let me tell you...You got water alright.

You turn on the lights and your kitchen is soaked! The culprit? Your dishwasher. With all the water running from your sink and dishwasher your kitchen becomes a popular location for water damage. Where are other popular places to find water damage? 

  1. Roof: Your roof is a huge protection to your home from the outside elements. The slightest damage to your roof can leave you exposed to internal damage. If you have multi-story home, damage can penetrate not only the 2nd floor but the 1st one too.

          What can you do? Have your roof inspected by a professional on a regular basis. About every 3-5yrs depending on the age of your roof and the elements it's exposed to like, rain, hail, or snow.

      2. Bathroom: This room, much like the kitchen, has allot of water running through it as well. You have your sink, toilet, and shower. But unlike the kitchen, Black Water aka Sewage Water, can be a real mess.

          What can you do? Inspect around your shower & toilet. Look for leaks in the caulking or moisture spots. Under the sink, check the pipes. Make sure they are all tightened.

      3. Kitchen: As was stated, Kitchens are notorious for water damage. Your Dishwasher, Sink, & Refrigerator can be time bombs waiting to burst. 

         What can you do? Check your pipes under the sink, much like your bathroom. If your refrigerator/freezer has a Water & Ice dispenser, check under the fridge for leaking water. As for your Dishwasher, check the escape valve that connects to your garbage disposal. When all the water leaves the dishwasher, it escapes to that valve.    

Water Damage doesn't discriminate, it can happen to anyone & at anytime. In fact, the scenario mentioned at the outset happened to one of our own employees. If you find yourself in a similar scenario, SERVPRO® of Downey is just a phone call away from assisting you.

Water Remediation: Where Problems Arise

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Having a water damage is a difficult thing to go through. The damage to your home & belongings can bring stress on any homeowner. You want your home back to normal as fast as possible, that's our job as a water remediation company. But when other water remediation companies don't effectively perform their services, the work can get prolonged. 

Here's some examples of the most overlooked areas:

          1. Moisture Mapping

Water can spread everywhere. Remediation companies come to track it to see where exactly they need to dry. However, when a company fails to locate all the wet areas, that moisture can still cause further damage. A thorough inspection and detailed moisture map will ensure all areas are documented for drying.

          2. Drying Time

All areas can be documented, but if the area wasn't dried for the proper amount of time your water damage will still linger. Ensuring the area is completely dried can save damage to your home now and in the future.

          3. Improper Drying

Even with all the moisture properly documented and dried for the given amount of days, issues can still occur if improper drying methods are used. Examples include when drying equipment isn't properly placed, when the equipment gets shut off, or when common household fans are used.

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The remediation and drying process is a real science. Ensure you hire a company that's properly trained and certified to provide you with the best services for you and your home. 

Types of Flooding

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is said to have killed more than any other natural disaster. We see it here in America and it's no doubt why, it's the most common natural disaster. But how are floods classified?

Flash Floods: These types of floods provide very little warning. They are accompanied with heavy downpours and fast moving lethal devastation.

River Floods: These floods occur when the water capacity of a river overflows. This type of flooding happens over a period of rainfall. Considerable damage can occur, yet prevention is possible as the river nears its flood stage.

Urban Flooding: This flooding occurs in well populated cities and metropolitan areas due to the lack of drainage. It can be brought on by Flash flooding or River flooding.

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If any type of flooding threatens your home, follow the warnings of your local authorities. Doing so will keep you and your family safe.

How El Niño Has Disrupted Lives

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

"What El Niño?" That's a common sentence you may hear or even express yourself. "El No Rain-o," is how one friend put it to me. Sentiments like these are understandable. For one, El Niño storms are highly unpredictable & difficult to forecast. The weather report will say one thing, but then the storm takes a completely opposite turn. Then there's our location, Southern California. Certain aspects of the storm will effect us either more or less then other locations.

Frankly, we didn't see as much of El Niño as we all heard over recent years. But just because we may not have felt much of the effects, does it mean it was any less powerful? Does it mean that El Niño won't effect your life? Let's consider the facts.

The Flooding:

Paraguay - A number of 130,000 had to flee their homes due to flooding. The country hadn't seen such flooding due to El Niño in 50 years. The country suffered the worst in Asuncion, where the country's main river is located.

Brazil - 40 towns were displaced and forced to leave their homes due to flooding. The local rivers overflowed as the heavy rains came down. In Uruguay thousands spent days homeless until the water levels subsided.  

The Drought:

Consider the other side of the coin. In India, the drought is causing local farmers into day-labor jobs. Millions continue to struggle as they deal with the lack of rain. The main topic for concern though is the Sugar. Since the crops aren't getting the proper amount of rain, a sugar shortage is expected, meaning higher sugar prices.

South Africa is suffering a similar story. South Africa grows and exports Corn for themselves and neighboring country's. However, due to the lack of rain, crops are not growing like before. The cost of corn in South Africa has risen, much like the sugar in India. They've been forced to import it to deal with the demand.

The Atmosphere:

El Niño effects humans in another way, the air we breath. The NOAA recently noted quite an increase in Carbon Dioxide the past year. Think about it... Plants grow and absorb the carbon dioxide in the air. But if it's not raining, plants can't grow, and if plants can't grow the carbon dioxide can't be absorbed. 

It's evident El Niño has done some damage. It caused major flooding, a drought, loss of homes, increased vegetation prices, & polluted air. We may not experience the full effects of all these things, but we can't deny the existence of El Niño & the lives it has disrupted. This weather phenomenon is very real.