Recent Water Damage Posts

Which Is More Important -- Water Removal or Structural Drying After a Leak Damages My Los Angeles Home?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

female hold blue bucket to catch water leak from ceiling A water-damaged Los Angeles home does not have to be on your "Bucket List." Call SERVPRO for Mitigation

SERVPRO Knows How to Strike the Correct Balance, Removing Standing Water and Facilitating Thorough Drying of Wet Building Materials for Los Angeles Residents

The principles of water damage restoration as standardized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) layout five fundamentals for every water crisis response in Los Angeles:

  • Provide for the well being and safety of workers and occupants
  • Document conditions and work procedures (periodically throughout the job)
  • Mitigation (halt the damage)
  • Drying of wet materials
  • Cleaning and repair of damaged structural components and contents

What do Safety Considerations Do Water Removal Professionals observe?

Comprehensive safety evaluation is the first step in any water mitigations and remediation project. As you are most familiar with your Los Angeles home, during water removal, the project manager relies upon your candor in identifying any known safety hazards. The circumstances of every water damaged home is unique, and we look for evidence of and document hazardous risks such as:

  • Sagging ceilings, bulging walls, or blistering paint that can signal trapped water
  • Waterlogged light fixtures and other electrical hazards like damaged and tangled electrical cords
  • Submerged debris
  • Slip, trip, and fall issues
  • Exposed tack strips from damaged or removed carpeting
  • Mold growth
  • Presence of lead or asbestos
  • Contaminated water
  • Confined spaces

How Do Professionals Handle Water Mitigation Tasks?

The SERVPRO team manages water mitigation in several different ways, focusing on removing as much of the standing water wherever it is pooled or collected. We follow through with some or all of the following depending the circumstances:

  • Pumps and truck-mounted extractors pull water from floors and exposed recesses
  • Weep holes or flood cuts ease the release and extraction of water caught in building cavities
  • Wanded extraction of carpeting stops the natural wicking of moisture from wet to dry areas
  • Extracted water determined to be Category 2 or 3 because of contaminants is contained in a tank or other receptacle
  • Contaminated water is discarded according to local regulations

Why Does Extraction Precede Structural Drying Efforts?

Research demonstrates that water removal is most efficient if the initial emphasis is on aggressive extraction. The more water we can evacuate in its liquid state, the faster the eventual drying phase will conclude. Extraction is 1200 times more effective than using drying strategies alone, shortening the restoration project's overall time frame by several days or more. Reducing the total job time causes less disruption of your day to day activities. It helps avoid progressive deterioration of building materials with high permeance, meaning they absorb and release moisture easily and continually expose their structure to the corrosive attributes of water.

Would Water Pumping and Extraction Be Enough Without Drying?

Porous materials absorb water, and that fluid load is harmful to the wet structures and contents and also raises the humidity level in the affected areas of your home. Our technicians train in strategies designed to increase the speed and effectiveness of evaporation, pushing moisture from the damp materials into the air as vapor. If evaporation is not encouraged, mold growth can begin within 24 to 48 hours, and materials continue to break down. Drying is vital.

How Do Professionals Achieve Optimum Conditions for Structural Drying?

You might hear our project manager or technicians discuss the concept that "nature seeks and equilibrium." The following principles underlie drying theory or psychrometry:

  • Wet moves to dry
  • Hot moves to cold
  • High pressure moves to low pressure

When the air surrounding wet materials holds less moisture than the materials, the wet (from the materials) goes to the dry (the air). We work hard to accelerate the movement of moisture from the materials into the dryer air. Because the air adjacent to the wet surface contains more moisture than air further away, we use air movers to propel the moist air away and into the drier atmosphere. We then use dehumidifiers to capture the water vapor for removal outside of the space.

How Would Professionals Describe the Relationship Between Extraction and Structural Drying?

Removing fluids and absorbed moisture from your home after a water loss is a balancing act. During the extraction phase, we set the stage for the drying phase. Both aspects are equally essential and coordinate for the most successful outcome when your home suffers from water damage.

Teamwork among our technicians and the theories of water extraction and drying are how SERVPRO of Highland Park achieves the best results after a water emergency in your home. We are available at (323) 255-1001 24 hours a day because water crises can occur anytime.

Click here for a look at Los Angeles.

What Do I Do About the Overflowing Dishwasher In My Los Angeles Home?

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Close up of water flooding on living room parquet floor in a house “Like it never even happened.”

Call SERVPRO For Professional Water Cleanup Services In Los Angeles!

When it comes to an overflowing dishwasher in your Los Angeles home, finding water cleanup services as quickly as possible is the best thing you can do for your house. Water damages wait for no one. Without immediate attention, excess moisture can cause mold and rot inside of your home.

Imagine a scenario where you did not realize regular dish soap cannot be used in a dishwasher, and the resulting overflow left you in need of urgent Los Angeles water cleanup services. As the suds pop and deflate, leaving a puddle behind, the tile of your floor can become endangered, as well as your cabinetry. When you call SERVPRO for help, our technicians can come to your home swiftly.

How Can SERVPRO Make Sure They Find All the Spilled Water?

Here at SERVPRO, we pride ourselves on being experts at water remediation. To find hidden pockets of water, we can:
    •    Use thermal imaging cameras, to locate pockets between walls and under the flooring
    •    Remove the toe kicks from below your counters to look under them
    •    Use moisture meters to measure levels inside of your home

Using some advanced technological devices, we can reach difficult places in your home!

What Advanced Technology Can Be Used to Clean Up Standing Water and Excess Moisture?

Our SERVPRO technicians can use the following advanced technological devices to remove excess water:
    •    Extractors
    •    Wet/dry vacuums
    •    Flood drying mats
    •    Dehumidifiers

Our technicians always aim to leave your home feeling like it did before your water-related problems began. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster, so give us a call. We're dedicated to leaving you feeling happy about the service you received.

If your house is in need of water cleanup services, get them now! Get in touch with SERVPRO of Highland Park by dialing (323) 255-1001. We're always open to help you!

Water Has Pooled in My Los Angeles Home! What Should I Do?

5/31/2020 (Permalink)

water pouring from kitchen ceiling into blue bucket that woman is holding with gloved hands Quick action is necessary to deal with water damage in your home. Contact our certified team for expert mitigation services.

Contact SERVPRO to Perform Water Removal in Your Los Angeles Residence

Water damage is an emergency and saving time is critical. Contact our restoration specialists to identify all areas that have water and moisture issues. Our team can help you avoid severe secondary damage in your Los Angeles home.

What are the necessary precautions to take after water damage?

As you wait for SERVPRO to perform water removal in your Los Angeles residence, you should take some precautions. Begin by stopping the leak by turning off the main shut off valve. Another safety concern is the electronic equipment. If water has risen to the electrical outlets, switch off the power source. After turning off the power source, unplug all electrical equipment. Unplugging the equipment quickly increases the chances of saving it. You should also wear protective clothing and rubber gloves if you choose to remove waterlogged items from your home.

How do certified technicians handle water loss incidents?

Our technicians usually remove the ruined materials that can either be discarded or restored. These materials may include carpeting, baseboards, furniture, insulation, carpet padding, drywall, fragile woods and upholstery. After removing the ruined materials, our crew can start removing the water using wet/dry vacuums or portable pumps. We can then use specialized equipment such as axial air movers and Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers to dry the affected areas. We also handle mold damage during the restoration process. We disinfect mold-infested surfaces and restore them as fast as possible to keep the mold from spreading.

How long does a typical home take to dry?

Several factors determine the amount of time it takes a house to dry. They include:

  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • How fast emergency services start
  • Type of affected materials
  • Amount of saturation

Our SERVPRO team manipulates the relative humidity and temperature to dry a home faster. We monitor and evaluate the drying process consistently to determine when drying is complete. We use equipment like moisture meters, moisture sensors and infrared cameras to monitor the drying process. It is time-consuming to inspect for moisture. Infrared cameras enable us to check large areas of a house more quickly. Even though there are no rules to determine how long a home can take to dry, a typical water loss takes 3 to 5 days to dry.

Should I turn off the drying equipment at night?

No, the drying equipment should remain running on a 24-hour basis. The more hours the equipment remains on, the faster buildings dry. We place the equipment strategically to encourage optimal drying.

When you have a water loss problem in your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Highland Park to clean up and dry the affected areas. Call us anytime at (323) 255-1001 for quick water removal services.

Click here for more information about Los Angeles.

We Act Fast In Los Angeles When You Are Facing Water Damage

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Our water extraction equipment removing the water damage in this kitchen We have the advanced equipment necessary to extract water damage from your kitchen. Call us when you need an expert, we are available 24/7.

What Areas of My Kitchen Can Get Destroyed by a Water Leak? 

Our technicians can provide a fast and knowledgeable response to dry and restore water-damaged Los Angeles kitchens.

Leaks from the plumbing going to your sink fixtures or other appliances in the kitchen can be challenging to detect initially. In many cases, homeowners do not recognize there is a concern until structural degradation or even mold growth begins. Noticing a leak or breach in your plumbing system as soon as possible can protect multiple areas susceptible to water damages, such as:

  • Flooring
  • Cabinets
  • Drywall & Wall Systems

While a pressing need for water cleanup in your Los Angeles kitchen might be apparent, many of these property owners might not fully appreciate the severity of the loss. Without thoroughly assessing the damage in the house, you might allow dampness and moisture pockets to persist. Not fully drying out a residence can lead to the deterioration of exposed materials and contents, the development of mold colonies, and other potentially harmful situations.

What Removes Water Damage from Hardwood and Tile Floors? 

Clearing standing water is one of the many obstacles that our responding SERVPRO team might address upon arrival to your house. We have multiple tools to address direct threats like these, including extractors and drying tools. More potentially hazardous conditions arise when surface water gets absorbed by damaged tile flooring or porous natural hardwood floors. Specialty equipment can help to remove free water trapped in wood planks and beneath tile flooring.

  • Removing Surface Water  

Homeowners often fixate on the immediate water they can see in a loss incident. In some situations, like leaks that occur over long periods, the surface water might not be as considerable of a threat as saturation. When standing water does exist, however, we can utilize wet vacuums with wands to reach inaccessible areas and help to reduce surface water to a manageable situation for mops, towels, air movers, and other drying practices.

  • Floor Mat Systems 

Specialty tools like floor mat systems offer a direct removal of trapped water in hardwood and tile flooring in areas accessible to our experienced technicians. When water damage occurs out in the main floor space of the kitchen, for example, setting up drying mats can pull trapped water from the material to reduce a need for tear-out and reinstallation.

Do Cabinets Need Replacing Once They Get Wet? 

Cabinets are often one of the materials most susceptible to prolonged leaking because they surround much of the exposed plumbing in your house. Supply lines that have small leaks can continually spray on cabinets, delaminating finished particleboard materials, and distorting the appearance and strength of more expensive hardwood cabinetry. We can utilize three approaches to address damp cabinets in a kitchen.

  • Centrifugal Air Movers 

Air movers are among the most powerful weapons in our arsenal for removing moisture directly from exposed materials and the environment. Unlike the axial models that we also use in water restoration projects, centrifugal air movers isolate specific points of damaged materials to evaporate the moisture that has gotten trapped.

  • Dehumidifiers 

Through both the use of air movers and the natural environment in the affected areas of your home, relative humidity is excessive. Effective drying of structural fixtures like the cabinets hinges on a balance of temperature, airflow, and humidity. Desiccant dehumidifiers can pull moisture from the air to reduce relative humidity to a point where drying is more efficient, and the likelihood of mold production gets reduced.

  • Controlled Demolition

In some situations, the only suitable solution is to remove overly damaged cabinets. This material discarding is a last resort for costlier hardwood fixtures but might not be as strong of a blow for those with particleboard cabinets. Our in-house contractors can reinstall new cabinets as needed to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How Do I Recognize Drywall Damage After a Leak? 

  • Warping or Distortion

Drywall systems can be a highly sensitive series of materials for water absorption. Within 24 hours of exposure, sheetrock can become unsalvageable and distorted by water absorption. Buckling and crumbling are two ways that you can notice substantial damage occurring to exposed drywall.

  • Swelling 

Swelling can create a substantial threat to drywall, as it can become too heavy for screws into the framing studs to support. When this occurs, the best solution is to allow our contractors to perform flood cuts at minimum to protect portions of drywall not yet damaged by wicking moisture.

  • Microbial Growth

Spotting is a sign that mold has begun to develop on susceptible surfaces like sheetrock. As a host for this hazardous organism, occupants of the house could be subject to health effects. Microbial growth is a destructive effect in itself and can spread quickly without the intervention of our SERVPRO Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians (AMRT.)

Water leaks in your kitchen can present several unfavorable conditions simultaneously. Our SERVPRO of Highland Park team can help you address these effects using sophisticated tools and approaches. Give us a call anytime you need us at (323) 255-1001.

See more about Los Angeles.

Methods to Save Flooring from Water Damage in Los Angeles Homes

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

"Contact us" Our SERVPRO teams are always available when you are in need! Give us a call any time at (323) 255-1001.

SERVPRO Knows how to Save Your Floors After a Water Event Strikes

No matter if it is gorgeous hardwood boards, expensive travertine stone tiles or vinyl floor covering, they each have the potential for loss from water damage. 

When SERVPRO techs perform water damage restoration services in Los Angeles homes, it is never a one-size-fits-all task. The techs scope the property and determine not only the size of the water loss but also the materials affected. 

Factors That Affect Restoration Potential

The type of flooring in the home can determine the overall outcome and the restorability factor. Another crucial element is how degraded the water becomes. If a clean water spill in a home begins restoration actions within 24 hours of the original event, it has the best prospects for a positive outcome. 

Hardwood Flooring

This type of floor covering can have restoration possibilities if the extraction and drying process begins rapidly enough after the initial water event. SERVPRO techs can work on floorboards that have warped or cupped using their specialized drying equipment, such as drying mats. 

Laminate, Linoleum, and Vinyl Flooring

This type of floor covering gets installed as large sheets or single tiles. The large sheets fare better against water loss as the individual tiles have a higher chance of delamination after exposure when moisture seeps around the edges of the tile. The techs use pumps, mops, and squeegees to remove water loss quickly. 

Porcelain, Natural Stone or Ceramic Floor Tiles

Unless water breaches the seal on the grout, this type of floor covering has a good chance against water loss. After pulling up as much moisture as possible and drying, the techs often use antimicrobial cleaning agents to discourage mold growth in the grout line. 

Carpet 

When SERVPRO techs work on wet carpet, they have specialized equipment such as weighted extractor heads and stationary stand-on units that both use weight to push water up and out of carpet and padding. Drying techniques such as floating assist with restoring the carpet and saving homeowners the cost of replacement. 

SERVPRO of Highland Park at (323) 255-1001 for any type of water damage cleanup your home needs. The certified technicians bring their advanced equipment and extensive knowledge to make the loss, "Like it never even happened."

Learn more about Los Angeles.

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.

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

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

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.