Recent Posts

When Mold is Present, the Type of Mold Matters.

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

The photo shows mold on wood framing When a homeowner finds mold in their home, they often call us in a panic - concerned that their families health is being compromised.

And, in some cases, that is true however there are many different variables that determine whether the mold in your home is dangerous to your health. An important factor in the treatment of mold is what kind of mold is in your home. In this blog post, we discuss the common types of mold found in Connecticut homes.  

Alternaria

Alternia is a commonly found mold which usually grows outdoors. That said, it can make its way into your home, where it grows in damp places such as the bathroom. The best way to keep this mold out of your home is to keep your windows and doors shut on the dry, windy days of summer, which is when it’s numbers are the most concentrated and likely to blow.

Aureobasidium

The aureobasidium mold grows indoors and is often found in the homes we treat. It grows on wooden furniture, surfaces, painted walls and wallpaper. You may also find it around windows and in caulk. If you notice a spotty substance that is pink and black in color in those areas, it’s most likely Aureobasidium

Chaetomium

When a home has mold due to water damage in which the drywall has gotten wet, the culprit is usually Chaetomium mold. A telltale sign is if you smell a musty or old odor in your home. 

Fusarium

Fusarium is a mold that tends to grow in cold, wet areas and loves fabrics and carpeting. In our experience, it is often present in basements. 

Penicillium

You know the name because of its use as an antibiotic. When airborne, though, Penicillium is a quick growing mold a mold that grows on insulation, furnishings, water damaged furniture, carpeting and more. Penicilium requires less moisture than other species of mold to survive, allowing it to be a fast growing and long surviving mold. 

Stachybotrys Chartarum

The most demonized mold in the media, stachysbotrys chartarum is also called black mold or toxic mold. This is due to the fact that this type of mold creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins that can negatively affect the health of humans. This type of mold can be identified by its musty smell and is found in areas that stay damp, like air conditioning pipes and ducts.

Trichoderma

Trichoderma is another damp area mold. Homeowners often find the trichoderma mold within damp carpeting, wallpaper and similar surfaces. Similar to stachysbotrys chartarum, it also creates mycotoxins.

We get it. Mold can be a frightening discovery and everybody has heard of somebody who has lived a nightmare because of its presence in their home. With professional remediation, however, your home can be made safe again.

5 Interesting things to know about Fire

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

image shows a fire view from a highway This photo was taken from the 14 freeway.

Whether your fire is on purpose (bonfire) or on accident is important to know your fire facts. 

1. Earth is the only known planet where fire can burn. Everywhere else does not have enough oxygen. On Earth air consists of 21% oxygen.

2. Oxygen supply influences the color of the flame. A low-oxygen fire contains lots of uncombusted fuel particles and will give off a yellow glow. A high-oxygen fire burns blue.

3. Spontaneous combustion is real. Some fuel sources can generate their own heat—by rotting, for instance. Pistachios have so much natural oil and are so prone to heat-generating fat decomposition that the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code regards them as dangerous.

4. Haystacks, compost heaps, and even piles of old newspapers and magazines can also burst into flame.

5. America’s deadliest fire took place April 27, 1865, aboard the steamship Sultana. Among other passengers were 1,500 recently released Union prisoners traveling home up the Mississippi when the boilers exploded. The ship was six times over capacity, which helps explain the death toll of 1,547.

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!

Call us today at (323) 255-1000

We're Here to Save Your Wet Documents

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Image shows a wet book SERVPRO employee holding up wet documents

We all have that spot where we store our important documents, maybe its a few different places in your home. But it’s that place where you keep passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, wills, social security cards and many more documents you don’t always need but can never lose.

SERVPRO has an entire team dedicated to Document Restoration. If you have experienced damage to important or beloved documents, let us help. Our team of trained production techs will come into your home or office, inventory through extensive lists and photos to document what documents or boxes of documents you have, then we can dry and help to restore them.

Documents can become damaged from various disasters like water damage in your home or office or even a fire that necessitates the fire department to use water or triggers sprinklers to go off. Either way, you are often left with lots of soaking wet documents, but we can help restore them and restore the peace of mind for you around such important items.

We specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!

Call SERVPRO (323) 255-1000

Why You Have To Hire Cleaning Services

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

It’s appropriate for a working person to employ a cleaning company. It is just a case of valuing a person’s time.

First of all, the cleaning agency is going to do a much better job than you would, because their cleaners are properly trained to clean and they have become professionals. Second of all, your house is going to be much cleaner than if you had done the cleaning yourself and it will be healthier, as you would have probably missed some areas which are vital for the maintenance of excellent health. That is why it’s always better to hire specialists, as opposed to doing the work on your own.

For instance, the typical carpet in many houses is actually full of dust, microbes, insects, contaminants, insects, mold and grime. You need to remember that most of these cannot be removed with simple vacuuming. That is why you should use cleaners who have efficient equipment and they would be able to protect you and your family from any future problems.

You can use individual cleaners if you want, but it is the specialist services that will give you the best results for the money spent. Specialist cleaners come in your property as a group and their cleaning job is going to be more structured and pre-planned.

If you have a full-time job, you could give the cleaner a house key so that they could complete the job while you’re working. It can be difficult to let someone in your property but don’t worry, because they are covered with insurance and if something happens throughout the service, you will be refunded by the cleaning company.

Even if you don’t work full time, why do you have to spend your time cleaning when you could be doing something with your family and friends? Simply book a cleaning service and spend your time in the park or somewhere else.

Top-quality cleaning services will give you the ability to forget worrying about having a spotlessly clean property. Vacuuming the carpet a couple of times per week will not keep it clean and healthy. Eliminating all the filth, sand, dust mites, debris, microbes and other pathogenic things that are harmful to our overall health calls for the use of professional carpet cleaning services. Carpet cleaning services can be booked on a regular basis to ensure that the carpet is kept in fantastic condition.

Only the smell of a clean property is enough to inspire you to more energetic pursuits. Having a clean property will help to ensure that over 90 percent of all the microbes are removed and you stay in great physical shape. When you sum up all of these aspects, the cost of a fantastic cleaning service pales in comparison to the overall improvement in health and hygiene.

Steps to follow if experiencing a water loss

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

  1. Turn the water off first. It is no use to start cleaning up the mess until you have fixed the problem.  So fix the leak, call the plumber, call the city, wait for the seepage to stop; whatever you need to do to stop the problem is your first step.
  2. Determine the path that the water traveled. Find out where the water started and where it went.  This isn’t always easy.  Water can travel through walls, behind cabinets, through building materials of all kinds.  Only when you know where it traveled can you dry out all the areas affected.  Missing some areas means problems later.  Your trusted restoration company has several types of moisture meters (costing from $600 into the thousands) that will determine where the water traveled.
  3. Protect the contents. Many times, furniture is also affected by the water.  For example, wet legs from chairs or furniture can release stain into carpet and other flooring and cause permanent damage.  Get everything up and out of the water right away.
  4. Remove the surface water. It seems that it is always more than you think.  A simple toilet supply line can leak between 700 to 1,400 gallons of water in 24 hours!  Be prepared with enough staff and equipment to vacuum it up in a reasonable time.
  5. Dealing with carpet pad. In most cases, remove and discard the pad from the affected areas.  It is inexpensive to replace and very hard to dry.  Take it out, dry what is left and replace it.
  6. Prevent mold growth. Treat the wet area with an antimicrobial solution once the surface water has been removed (staff must have the proper certification).  Spray this on hard surfaces and under carpet and then draw it through the carpet with a vacuum.  Then be sure to dry the area within 3 days or less.  Mold takes time to grow so time is on your side, but if the area isn’t dried quickly it will grow and cause further problems.
  7. Balance the moisture evaporation. This part can be tricky without the proper test equipment owned by a restoration company.  In a nutshell, when you start a fan on an area to dry it, you put moisture in the air.  This requires a dehumidifier(s) to wring the moisture out of the air at the same rate that you are putting it in with the fan.  Without the proper balance you can cause secondary damage to walls and other building materials. Qualified restoration companies are experts in this process and should be hired if you feel the amount of water is too large to dry in a single day. Waiting too long to call them results in a host of other problems you don’t need in the future.

A simple evaluation of your ability to respond to water damage today will provide you with an appropriate response when it happens.  Do you have enough equipment to vacuum water readily available to all buildings?  Do you have large fans available too?  Can this affected area be cleaned and dried in one day?  If not, call in help.

Secondary damage and mold growth caused by not drying water damaged building materials has resulted in thousands of lawsuits across the county.  Your best defense is to plan ahead of time and be prepared to call in help from a qualified restoration company if conditions warrant.  It will save a host of problems in the future.  Water damage happens in every facility.  Be ready.

For more information give us a call at (3230 255-1000

Covering the Topic of Safety

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

image shows a blue, green, and orange animated home. General safety

Safety is the first concern. Consider the following precautions before entering the flooded area:

  • Keeping children and animals away from the area will protect them from potential toxicities or other hazards.
  • Deactivating your electricity before anyone touches the water is essential.
  • Turning off your main water source is important if any pipes are broken.
  • Wearing waterproof gloves, coveralls and boots can protect you from health hazards.
  • Opening windows and using fans will begin drying out your basement and allow toxic gases to escape.

If your basement flood was caused by stormwater or you can’t access your electrical box, it is recommended you not attempt the cleanup yourself. Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage and other hazards, and calling a disaster remediation service is a good strategy.

Stopping the Source

With safety precautions in place, you can address the water source. If your sump pump failed, obtaining a new pump immediately can prevent further damage. If you are unsure what caused your flooded basement, you can check your home’s perimeter and remedy any drainage problems.

Beginning Cleanup

If you have only an inch or so of water, you can begin removing the water with a wet vacuum and taking wet items out of the basement to a drying area. If the water is deeper or if dumping the water will contribute to the problem, you may need to call for assistance.

Consulting Professionals

Once the area is stable and ventilated, it is helpful to inform your insurance agent and discuss any coverage. If your water damage is considerable, it is recommended that you consult an emergency remediation service to help you assess the severity of your damage.

Painting home in Los Angeles

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro technician painting wall We do it all!

One of the services we have to offer here at SERVPRO of Highland Park is reconstruction on all water, fire, or mold losses. If we are the team performing the clean up and there is any portion of demolition involved. No worries. We will remove all necessary material (structural or not) and then proceed to return for the re installation. We have extensive experience with installing floors, drywall, tile, painting, and even restructuring homes. We are more than lucky to have an owner who has been a licensed contractor for over 30 years. With his specialty we obtain the confidence to pursue any size job. We truly fit the description of a one-stop-shop. Call today and ask about how we can help you in a time of need. 323-255-1000

Maintaing Smoke and Soot damage After Los Angeles fires

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

The fire damage of a grease fire is shown Call (323) 255-100 immediately to have an expert assess your home or business after a fire

In the aftermath of a fire, the sight of blackened walls, ceilings, and surfaces can make you feel overwhelmed and unequipped to manage the cleanup. The first reaction is understandable, while the second is wise. Cleanup of toxic fire residues is a job best completed by our Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained and experienced managers and technicians. We match suits to appropriate cleaners and methods for optimal results.

Fire damage in Los Angeles requires evaluation of the types of residues found throughout all spaces in your home. Even rooms far from the ignition site show signs of soot soiling. Depending on the materials com-busted and the surfaces coated, we use different cleaners, tools, and methods. Structural components are cleaned on-site, but we might transport some of the contents of your home to our production facility for specialized treatment.

Wet soot occurs when a fire is lower in temperature and smolders because of limited oxygen. SERVPRO sees this kind of soot after rubber, plastics, and oils burn. The residue is thick and sticky, prone to smearing. Odors can be strong and irritating. Successful removal requires a cleaning agent with attractants and wetting agents applied with agitation to loosen the residue before wiping.

Paper and wood burn fast and hot, leaving ashy soot. Lingering smells are not as dominant nor unpleasant as wet soot. Careful brushing and dry sponging followed by HEPA-filtered vacuuming work well. Fabrics suffering from an ashy buildup respond to foam cleaners applied and removed quickly with a brush.

Kitchen fires deposit a protein-based coating that travels throughout your home on the super heated air currents. It is nearly invisible, but incredibly and persistently malodorous. The residue clings tenaciously, requiring special cleaners, agitation, and often abrasive tools to remove. SERVPRO crews are vigilant about finding and removing this soot as it is difficult for a homeowner to see or manage. If not addressed, surfaces discolor and deteriorate, and the stench does not dissipate.
SERVPRO has the trained crews, effective cleaning products, and appropriate equipment for thorough soot removal. Call (323)255-1000 immediately after a fire for an expert assessment and swift resolution of this challenge.

We are an IICRC Certified firm

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Highland Park is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops the Standards for the Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

Fire Sprinkler Accident in Downtown Los Angeles

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Technician removing baseboards No job is too large

A fire sprinkler system had a malfunction that eventually ends up flooding an entire level. The service call was received around 11:00 pm and a crew of 10 personnel was on site within 45 minutes ready to stop the damage from continuing. The water was immediately turned off. We began to extract all standing water and place all furniture on wood blocks to avoid water absorption and warping. The photo shows one of our technicians removing a wood base board to avoid mold growth. The client was happy that we walked him step-by-step through what needed to be done.The before & after photos for this loss are remarkable. Sometimes accidents happen that's why SERVPRO is here! Give us a call anytime, we are more than happy to help.