What Kind of Person Am I Hiring?
With most industries, there's always scam artists. People who want to take advantage of other people. We deal with allot of people in the restoration industry and have come across our fair share of scam artists too.
We make it our highest priority that who we're doing business with shares our same level of customer service. The customer deserves to be informed and protected. Companies who offer referral fees could undermine our focus to put the customer first, we refuse to work with them.
Consider this real life example of Jose Manual Villa, a public adjuster. He stole a total of $400,000 from fire damage victims. He did not have the customers concern first. (http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2016/release103-16.cfm)
We avoid people and businesses that operate that way and do our best to make sure the customer avoids them too.
Don't Let Remediation Be Your Nightmare
We know the feeling, the feeling after a long day of work. The feeling that you just can't take on anything else. You've finally go on that vacation, you clear your mind and rejuvenate your body. Then when you get home, you're welcomed by a flooded house. Anxiety and stress begin to rear their ugly heads once again. The remediation process can seem like a nightmare. Your floors are ripped up, some of your drywall is torn out, and not to mention a portion of your belongings are damaged. True, the remediation process is not always easy. Our job isn't to make this situation harder for you. Our goal is to get your house/business back to normal as quickly as possible and with great care. If you have a disaster at your house or business, take a deep breath, relax, and let SERVPRO® of Downey handle the mess. You have enough to worry about already. #HereToHelp
Should You Care About El Niño?
By now you've likely heard of, or experienced, the weather phenomenon known as El Niño. But What Is It Exactly? And How Will It Affect You?
An El Niño happens when warmer water from the Pacific travels Eastward. It's estimated an El Niño happens every 2-7 years.
How Does It Affect Weather?
For places like California, we see an increase of colder and wetter weather. Compare that to New York whos forecast was in the 70s late Dec 2015. There's a pattern here; places that usually get wetter winters are getting warmer ones and vise-versa.
So When Will This BIG El Niño Hit?
Well El Niño isn't one storm. In fact, it's multiple storms. You may have already experienced some or you may live in a place where you're experiencing a warmer winter. Urban Flooding, Mudslides, Traffic Jams, & Power Outages are all left overs of an El Niño Storm. Either way the affects are felt, subtlety or drastically.
El Niño is expected to last until about March. If you're in an area where water is affecting you and your home, SERVPRO® Of Downey is ready to help. (562) 392-3007
How Clean is Your Air After a Fire?
You know that nasty sting you feel in your nose when walking by a building that has recently burned down? It's unpleasant & hazardous. The odor is sulfer mixed with smoke. It's called Acrid. What’s the best way to get rid of it?
Keep in mind, smoke contains the residue of all the burned materials and it can be caustic. It usually requires special equipment to completely clean the air. Ozone Machines and Air Scrubbers are designed specifically for this work.
Ozone Machines destroy the Molecules, Bacteria, and Spores that cause unpleasant smells. Air Scrubbers clean the air by repeatedly moving it through HEPA filters which help reduce the smell.
What else is involved? Other necessary steps involve: (1) Clean all the hard surfaces (2) Wash or treat clothes, drapes, carpets, and upholstery.
A fire doesn’t always destroy a building, smoke however, can ruin everything it contacts. Make sure you do all that’s needed to “clear the air.”
Every year in the U.S. there are about 80,000 commercial fires. Fire damage is Bad. The damage caused by Smoke is Worse!!!
The actual fire may be contained to one room or a section of a building, but smoke goes everywhere. It carries the chemical breakdown of what’s been burned. The resulting damage and odor can be costly to remove.
This article highlights the toxic dangers of fire & smoke. If there's a fire on your site, call a professional. This is something you shouldn't attempt on your own. The long term effects of the smoke can be fatal.
After the Fire trucks leave, the real work is just getting started. Don’t quickly sign an agreement with first company who hands you a card. Take your time and do your research. A fire in your workplace is devastating. Find the right people to guide you thru the restoration process.
Power Outages: Are You Prepared?
Power outages happen, usually at a time we're least expecting. They catch us off-guard like an unexpected dinner guest that we weren't prepared for. We end up scrambling to make ourselves more comfortable in an inconvenient situation. But we can survive with a few amenities.
Power outages can happen when we're at Home, Work, School, anywhere at anytime. Here's a few tips to keep you comfortable and calm in an outage.
Having Flashlights, Candles, & Lanterns in your home can be of much use at night. Knowing where these items are and working properly can save you some time in the dark. Battery's and Matches should be kept on hand for use.
Electronics such as TVs, Computers, or Game Systems should be unplugged to prevent damage. Having Surge Protectors does that job for you. Portable Battery's that can charge Phones/Tablets are great to have too.
Keep Refrigerator & Freezer doors closed. This will prevent cold air from escaping and spoiling your food. Having Bottled Water, Canned Goods, & Dry Food will be life saving.
Lastly, stay informed about the outage. Follow Edison on Twitter (@SEC) or check their website for updates on outages. You'll most likely be able to use your phones data to check updates if Wi-Fi is not available. If weather related, be cautious about your surroundings. It may be safest to stay inside, whereas it may just be a time to go out to a Movie, go to the Mall, or get some Food or Coffee.
For more information about Power Outages or tips about prolonged Outages, visit https://www.sce.com/wps/portal/home/outage-center/
Urban Flooding is a part of life. We live in a place where water can’t flow as nature intended. Concrete slows down the absorption of rain into the earth, sewers fill up, then floods happen.
According to FEMA, (Federal Emergency Management Agency), all of us have some exposure to flooding. During the last El Niño event, floods caused considerable damage to property. It’s not just the water that’s the problem, it’s what's in it.
Any water from a flood is considered Category 3 or Black Water. It contains bacteria, microorganisms and possibly raw sewage. If this happens in your home or business, get professionals to clean up the mess.
With three plus million of us living in affected areas, Urban Flooding is a real possibility. SERVPRO of Downey has the all equipment, manpower, and skill to get you thru the flood and make it, "Like it never even happened."
What is Category 3 Flooding?
It is a fact that life on this planet would not exist without water. We drink, cook, bathe, and wash with it. Water makes our food grow. Needless to say,We Need Water!
However, there is another aspect of water we need to consider…Too much of it in the wrong place.Too much rain in a short period of time will bring flooding, this can be devastating.
Flood waters contain Bacteria, Mircoorganisms, and possibly Raw Sewage. Water of this type is known as Category 3 or Black Water…It’s effects can be deadly.
It may surprise you, but large portions of L.A and Orange counties are in flood plains. It is possible we could be dealing with this problem. The procedures are outlined in this link, please read and review it with your staff or family.
Our business, hospital, municipality, school district or home could be affected. Consider the possibilities now and prepare. Understanding what water can do, will help us contend with its effects.
4 Steps to Minimize Your Water Damage
Unexpected things happen and we've all experienced something unexpected sometime or another. In the same vein, water damage happens. It's not a matter of If, but When. We all need to be prepared when it does strike. Follow these 4 steps and lessen the damage of water.
Cut Off the Source:
Take for example a toilet overflowing. You come home to find water all over the bathroom. The first thing you may want to do is clean it up, but we'll get to that part later. Shut the water off to the toilet first. Now, no more water can cause damage. If the source isn't an appliance like a toilet, find the shut off valve to the house and turn that off.
Preserve Your Home:
Now, if the extent of the water is small enough, you can proceed to clean up the water. Rags, mops, & buckets will be useful. You may need to move around furniture to prevent damage. Sewage water should be left alone to prevent further contamination to other parts of the home.
Contact Remediation Company:
Water often causes unseen problems like Mold. To the naked eye we may have dried and cleaned everything. However, under the surface various materials can still be wet. Whether the extent of the water was minor or major, contact a Water Remediation Company. The situation can be assessed by professionals and tested with specialized technology.
Do Not Panic:
Lastly, don't panic. It may be hardest thing to do on this list, which is understandable. Panicking may cause us to make decisions we might regret. We don't want to remove any flooring or carpeting. When all seems lost, professional restoration experts can restore items such as flooring and carpet. If walls are opened, possible exposure to lead and/or asbestos could result.
Water damage happens, don't be caught off guard when it does. Follow these 4 steps to help minimize the damage and help ease the restoration process.
Top 3 Causes for House Fires
There isn't a single person who wants to experience a house fire. Their home ends up getting damaged or destroyed, along with most of their belongings. Yet, even though no one wants to experience a home fire, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes more than 360,000 homes fires a year.
A majority of fires are preventable. Are you taking the proper steps to prevent a fire in your home? Note the 3 common causes of home fires:
3) Electrical Equipment & Lighting
Wires, Extension Cords, & Heaters are in almost every home. Malfunctions can cause this equipment to go up in flames. One of the most common is decorative Christmas lights. When left on or unattended for a long period of time, these lights can overheat and cause serious damage.
Keep in Mind...
Unplug electrical equipment that's not in use.
Check any decorative lights periodically to avoiding overheating.
Dryers are commonly known for starting fires, yet many don't take the time to properly maintain their dryer.
Keep in Mind...
Clean out the lint tray after every use.
Never run your dryer without the lint tray in place.
According to the NFPA, 46% of home fires start in the kitchen with cooking. Cooking can easily be distracting, especially when making large meals.
Keep in Mind...
Never leave your stove top unattended.
Keep children away from hot areas in the kitchen.
This information will help you to minimize your risks of a home fire like never before. Aside from this information, Smoke Alarms need to be replaced and tested to help keep your household aware of any potential fire danger. Review and share this information to keep you and your loved ones safe from a home fire.