Recent Posts

Why Do Fire Fighters Open the Roof?

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

image of hole in roof with caption "Why do fire fighters open the roof?" Vertical Ventilation opens up the roof, allowing these toxic gases and smoke to be removed from the property.

If your property has experienced a large fire, you may have noticed the firefighters cut a hole in your roof. You may wonder, "why would they cause this type of damage to a person's property?" Why do firefighters open the roof during a fire?

Vertical Ventilation

This tactic is called Vertical Ventilation and is a common essential firefighting tactic. The science behind the tactic involves the smoke and how fire travels. 

As a fire burns, toxic gases & smoke begin to collect and travel UP! This collection of smoke and gas can cause two things to happen, 1) Backdraft, and/or 2) Flashover.

  • Backdraft is when the air combines with the unburned fuel, rapid ignition can occur with devastating force. - USFA FEMA 
  • Flashover is a thermally-driven event during which every combustible surface exposed to thermal radiation in a compartment or enclosed space rapidly and simultaneously ignites. - USFA FEMA

A Flashover or Backdraft can cause massive amounts of damage to the property and possibly threaten the lives of the firefighters. That's where Vertical Ventilation comes in.

Vertical Ventilation opens up the roof, allowing these toxic gases and smoke to be removed from the property. This tactic can save a property and neighboring properties from further fire damage. This tactic is not random, but an organized and effective way to preserve and save a property.

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When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO® is here to help. Call SERVPRO® of Downey for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

3 Things You Should Know About Mitigation Companies

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Our SIU department has collected the following data throughout its operation, we thought we'd share this important data to keep customers informed about other mitigation companies.

Our Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has performed over 1500 investigations for Insurance Carriers, Property Managers, Cities, etc, we have aggregated & analyzed the data from the last couple of years.

Here Are 3 Things All Customers Should Know:

1. Over 90% of the time the customer was OVERCHARGED an average of 40-60%.

2. Industry standard for drying is 3-5 days (per IICRC). In most cases, mitigation companies are charging for 10 days or longer. Have you ever asked them “Why”?

3. 99% of the time mitigation companies cut the drywall, have you ever asked "Why"? In many instances, IICRC guidelines recommend “in-place drying” since it is safe and reduces cost.

Mitigation and/or restoration companies stand to make a lot less money on each project. However, the benefits to you are reduced: Cost(s), Business Interruption, and Overall Collateral Spend.

Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim! - If you feel you have been overcharged, send us an old estimate and we’ll do a ‘quick review’ for free. Maybe you are one of the lucky 10%.

SERVPRO® of Downey is here to help you through this process, to keep you informed, and to make sure you're getting the best service possible.

For appointment or consultation information, call SERVPRO® of Downey for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

Will Mold Go Away On Its Own?

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has specialized in mold removal for over 50 years SERVPRO has specialized in mold removal for over 50 years

No one wants to find mold growing in their home. However, if you discover any type of mold in your house, it's not the end of the world, there are things that can be done to either reduce, or remove it completely, and give you back your peace of mind. You may be wondering, 'If I do nothing will the mold go away on its own?' Consider how mold behaves and how to get rid of it.

Common Causes

Mold can be found in many places around your home; walls, cabinets, bathrooms, even your carpet! Mold will normally only thrive in dark and moist environments. Some of the common causes include but are not limited to:

  • Plumbing Leaks
  • Roof Leaks
  • Condensation
  • Humidity
  • Flooding
  • Spills
  • Etc.


DIY

While there are many DIY solutions to dealing with mold, most commonly using bleach, those aren't usually effective. This is especially true on porous surfaces, where mold is typically found, as it spreads deep into the material where the cleaning solution cant reach. However, your safest bet is to call a professional who is certified and experienced in mold cleanup.

Nothing

If you do nothing but remove the factors that encourage mold growth, such as moisture and humidity, you should be able to slow and stop its growth. However, this won’t remove the mold. The spores will still be there, and as soon as moisture is reintroduced they will come back at full strength.

Remediation

The best way to ensure mold is fully gone is to call a mold remediation specialist. SERVPRO has specialized in mold removal services for over 55 years. We have a qualified, experienced team of professionals that have the right equipment and techniques to safely and thoroughly remove mold from your house. We can show up any time of day or night, address the severity of the mold growth, and create a plan to get rid of it with as few disruptions to your life as possible. 

SERVPRO® of Downey, Montebello, Compton, and Vernon are your Mold Professionals. Call us to schedule an appointment, at (562) 392-3007

Storm Tips Property Managers Need to Know

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

4 storm tips Without the proper precautions, occupants can face safety risks and further damage.

Property Managers need to protect their properties from storm damage. Without the proper precautions, occupants can face safety risks and further damage. Here are 4 Storm Tips that property managers can follow to protect their properties.


1. Doors & Windows

Storms involve wind and water. These elements can weaken doors and windows with poor sealant or broken tracks. Make sure the doors & windows close properly, seal tightly, and aren't cracked or broken.

2. Gutters & Drains

Gutters & drains can clog and become heavily obstructed with debris. These areas can overflow on the roof or build up near the property which can weaken the building or over time begin to leak into the property.

3. Trees & Foliage 

Overgrown trees & hanging branches can fall during a storm. This can result in damage to the property or electrical & cable wires. Trimming back trees and cleaning debris helps limit the possibility of fallen trees or branches.

4. Outdoor Furniture & Items

Wind can turn building items such as outdoor furniture, bbq's, unsecured mailboxes, & flags into flying projectiles. These items can damage your property or nearby cars. Removing or securing these items when a heavy storm is near is likely to save you damage costs.

Storm Preparedness is essential for property managers. Storms can have little warning in some instances. Develop a regular schedule to maintain your building during storm season. 

When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO® is here to help. Call SERVPRO® of Downey for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

Why is my Commercial Roof Leaking?

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Water stains on paneled ceiling There are many signs to look for if you suspect your roof is leaking.

The roof on a typical commercial building is typically flat, but quite effective at keeping your office dry and your business running. Regular roof maintenance can help prevent leaks or damage before they happen, however unexpected and sudden problems can and do arise all the time. Whether it is from installation mistakes, a storm, to simply materials degrading over time, you should make sure to know what to do should a leak happen to keep your business up and running.

Although the chances of a roof leak increase as time goes on, even a new roof can have problems. This can happen due to faulty installation, inadequate sealing, insufficient grading, and more. Keep in mind if the roof is relatively new property owners may be able to get it fixed/replaced under warranty. However, it is not always as simple as repairing the roof, if the problems were only noticed due to a leak then there would most likely need to be water restoration completed inside of the building as well. In that case, a professional remediation company would need to be called in to get your business back in working order.

Things to look for:

Moisture Stains -

Walls and ceiling tiles will quickly show discoloration when exposed to water.

Bubbling paint -

Moisture that seeps in between a wall and paint will cause bubbling or blistering in some paints.

Mold and Odor - 

Moisture in any environment can quickly cause mold growth which can lead to both visual signs and odors.

Water Puddles -

Finding unexpected puddles of water where they shouldn't be is never a good sign, and is likely from a leaky roof.

How to find the leak?

Quickly identifying and minimizing the source of a leak can help to keep damage from getting worse and therefore keep costs down. Remember when looking for the source, it may not always be directly above the dripping itself. Water can pool in areas on even a sloped roof and penetrate into the building. Some things to check, and/or look for are; seams, previous damage/patches, leaves and debris, gutters, and protrusions. There may be times when professionals should be called, we have tools that are able to moisture map and see signs of water that are invisible to the naked eye. 


If you find yourself facing a water problem at your place of business call SERVPRO of Downey for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

COVID-19 & Commercial Ventilation (HVAC)

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

cdc image people in cafeteria and airflow Ventilation interventions can help reduce the number of infectious viral particles in the air.

What response has your commercial building taken to combat COVID-19? Sanitizing stations, increased cleaning protocols, mask-wearing, & physical distance is no doubt a few your building implemented. With most protocols lessening, is there a way to limit the risk of exposure in your commercial building?

HVAC & Commercial Ventilation

Here are some tips from the CDC to increase your building's ventilation.

The following tools identify ways to improve ventilation:

  • Increase the introduction of outdoor air:
    • Open outdoor air dampers beyond minimum settings to reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation. In mild weather, this will not affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold, hot, or humid weather, and may require consultation with an experienced HVAC professional.
    • Open windows and doors, when weather conditions allow, to increase outdoor air flow. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling, triggering asthma symptoms) to occupants in the building. Even a slightly open window can introduce beneficial outdoor air.
  • Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows:
    • To safely achieve this, fan placement is important and will vary based on room configuration. Avoid placing fans in a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly from one person to another (see FAQ below on indoor use of fans). One helpful strategy is to use a window fan, placed safely and securely in a window, to exhaust room air to the outdoors. This will help draw outdoor air into the room via other open windows and doors without generating strong room air currents. Similar results can be established in larger facilities using other fan systems, such as gable fans and roof ventilators.
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.
  • Rebalance or adjust HVAC systems to increase total airflow to occupied spaces when possible.
  • Turn off any demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on occupancy or temperature during occupied hours. In homes and buildings where the HVAC fan operation can be controlled at the thermostat, set the fan to the “on” position instead of “auto,” which will operate the fan continuously, even when heating or air-conditioning is not required.
  • Improve central air filtration:
    • Increase air filtration to as high as possible without significantly reducing design airflow. Increased filtration efficiency is especially helpful when enhanced outdoor air delivery options are limited.
    • Make sure air filters are properly sized and within their recommended service life.
    • Inspect filter housing and racks to ensure appropriate filter fit and minimize air that flows around, instead of through, the filter.
  • Ensure restroom exhaust fans are functional and operating at full capacity when the building is occupied.
  • Inspect and maintain exhaust ventilation systems in areas such as kitchens, cooking areas, etc. Operate these systems any time these spaces are occupied. Operating them even when the specific space is not occupied will increase overall ventilation within the occupied building.
  • Use portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning (especially in higher risk areas such as a nurse’s office or areas frequently inhabited by people with a higher likelihood of having COVID-19 and/or an increased risk of getting COVID-19). See the FAQ below on HEPA filters and portable HEPA air cleaners. (Note: Portable air cleaners that use filters less efficient that HEPA filters also exist and can contribute to room air cleaning. However, they should be clearly labeled as non-HEPA units.)
  • Generate clean-to-less-clean air movement by evaluating and repositioning as necessary, the supply louvers, exhaust air grilles, and/or damper settings. See the FAQ below on Directional Airflow. This recommendation is easier to accomplish when the supply and exhaust points are located in a ceiling grid system.
  • Use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplemental treatment to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 when options for increasing room ventilation and filtration are limited. Upper-room UVGI systems pdf icon[6.1 MB, 87 pages] can be used to provide air cleaning within occupied spaces, and in-duct UVGI systems can help enhance air cleaning inside central ventilation systems.
  • In non-residential settings, run the HVAC system at maximum outside airflow for 2 hours before and after the building is occupied.

[All information is provided by the CDC]

When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO® is here to help. Call SERVPRO® of Downey for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

Digital Innovation for Restoration

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

matterport camera and dehumidifier How can technology benefit your company?

Digital tools are becoming increasingly advanced and more readily available for professional uses. How can technology benefit your company?

At SERVPRO® of Downey, we're constantly looking for ways to streamline innovation that can benefit us and our clientele. Here are a couple of ways SERVPRO® utilizes technology on losses.

Matterport 3D Technology

The Matterport 3D scanning system allows us to capture space and create a virtual 3D model.

  • Virtual Walkthroughs - The Matterport system allows us to share your space with insurance adjusters and property managers, allowing them to walk the job virtually as if they were there in person.
  • Insurance Claims - Having a 3D scan of your space could be useful during an insurance claim. It could show items & possessions that would need to be noted. If you already have a claim, it would be a useful tool to capture the loss.
  • Measurement Tool - During a loss, we want to provide the most accurate information. The Matterport system uses infrared sensors to capture data. This data can be measured within the system to provide the most accurate sketch & estimate.

DryMax Dehumidifier 

A dehumidifier is an essential part of a loss. These machines help control humidity and moisture in the air.

  • Compact & Portable - The new DryMax Dehumidifier is half the size of other popular dehumidifiers. This allows for easier placement and more machines on trucks.
  • Wireless Capability - Wireless technology allows the user to connect to the dehumidifier via iPad. The user can then track temperatures and moisture, without having to be onsite. This allows for easier management of jobs.

What Do These Advancements Mean for Your Business? 

It means faster service, quick data access, & an overall more streamlined experience. If you call SERVPRO® of Downey you know you'll be contacting a team focused on customer service and innovation.

When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO® is here to help. Call SERVPRO® of Downey for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

Importance of Water Damage Prevention

3/4/2022 (Permalink)

leaking water pipe servpro logo Prevention is important! It might just save you from a water damage nightmare.

Water Damage usually happens when we least expect it, causing massive amounts of damage. A property owner's nightmare! But despite the sudden occurrence of water damage, preventative steps can be taken to help limit the damage.

Inspect Your Roof

A damaged roof can allow small leaks to go unnoticed until it's too late and damage has been done. Your roof is your first line of defense about rainfall and heavy storms. Check your roofs annually to ensure sealed protection.

Clean Your Gutters

Clogged & dirty gutters can backup onto your roof. This can cause wear and tear on your roof. Standing water can begin to seep into your roof and ultimately into your property.

Check Your Water Heater

Water heaters have certain lifespans, without proper maintenance a water heater can cause flooding. 

Check Your Pipes

Pipes under your sinks or behind your toilet will need to be tight and secure. Note any plumbing issues that might signify a water damage issue or leak.

Check Your Appliances

Washing machines, dishwashers, & refrigerators usually all produce water. These lines can easily leak under the appliance if moved or loosened for any reason. 

Prevention is important! These few steps may save you from a water damage nightmare and dealing with insurance. 

When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO® is there to clean up the mess. Call SERVPRO® of Downey, Montebello, Compton, Vernon for your disaster recovery needs. From Fire and  Water Damage to sanitization, we are there to assist you. Call us at: (562) 392-3007

Prevent Fires in 3 Steps

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

fire escape plan Detail your fire evacuation plan and practice it!

Prevent fires in your business with these 3 steps

As a business owner, you must plan to protect your employees and customers. Without proper preparation, a fire could have deadly consequences. Follow the three steps below and help protect and guide your employees in case of a fire.

1. Perform a Risk Assessment

Evaluate your property and check for any possible risks that may lead to a fire. This may include any open flames, old electrical wiring, or overloaded outlets. This first step is crucial in knowing what could go wrong.

2. Test Fire Protection Equipment

Fire Protection equipment includes Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers. These items need to be tested and replaced occasionally. Note these items so they will always stay current. 

3. Create & Practice an Evacuation Plan

Have a floor plan for your facility. Mark the exit routes and have the plan visible for your employees. Practice the plan so everyone will be prepared in case of a Fire.


Take the time to prepare your facility for a Fire. Don't overlook these important safety tips!

SERVPRO® of Downey is here for all your Fire Restoration needs. Contact us 24/7 for emergency services at (562) 392-3007.

2021: The Highlights

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

In 2021, we endured various storms. Not all we're literal storms though, many figurative "storms". 

Let's take a look at the weather and climate of 2021 and see what we have overcome.

Wildfires - (Western Area)

Due to drought conditions and extreme heat Wildfires spread rampantly in the Western Region. The Dixie Fire alone consumed over 960,000 acres! Making it the second-largest wildfire on record for California. Other areas of notable wildfires include Montana, Arizona, Washington, and Idaho. Boulder County Colorado experienced the most destructive wildfire to date damaging more than 1,000 homes and businesses.

Flooding - (Hurricane Ida)

Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana in August 2021. With winds at 150mph, 100% of the homes in Grand Isle experienced some sort of damage and 40% were destroyed.

COVID-19 (World Wide)

As the COVID-19 virus seemed to have slowed, varients such as the Delta and Omicron sprung up causing another wave of sickness. For more information on the COVID-19 situation, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/ or https://www.who.int/

More disaster-related records were broken this year. Now more than ever, we need to be there for our communities to help us overcome challenges brought on by disasters such as Floods, Wildfires, Viruses, & Earthquakes. Let's welcome 2022!