Recent Posts

How To Care For Hardwood Floors In A Commercial Building

9/20/2020 (Permalink)

Nothing adds charm more to a commercial building than a lustrous looking hardwood floor. A hardwood floor is a lifetime investment and keeping a hardwood floor looking its best requires proper care and maintenance strategies. As the cleaning professional, it is up to you and your cleaning technicians to provide the solutions to care for and maintain your customers' hardwood floor investment and keep it looking its best for years to come.

Routine maintenance and care of hardwood floors requires:

  1. Protecting the surface finish from heavy wear
  2. Daily cleaning to remove dirt, grit and dust
  3. Protecting the finish from moisture

These three routine tasks and care strategies will help to prevent damage to hardwood floors and to ensure the floor keeps its natural beauty.

It is important to remember that dirt, sand and grit are among the hardwood floor's worst enemies. This grunge will act like sandpaper to a floor's finish and can cause scratches and dents that will dull the floor. An important step to protecting the floor and finish is to place walk-off mats at all building entrances to prevent debris from being tracked onto the floor you are trying to protect. Walk-off matting also absorbs moisture and keeps it from being tracked onto the floor.

TIP: Avoid placing rubber backed entrance matting directly on the wood floor. The rubber backing can discolor the floor.

It is also important to sweep, vacuum or dust mop frequently to remove dirt and dust. A backpack vacuum with a hard floor attachment is the best way to pick up and remove contaminants from a hardwood floor. If you are using a broom, use one that is soft and has fine ends so that dirt and contaminants become trapped and are lifted away. You can also use a high quality microfiber flat mop.

TIP: Always remember to clean underneath the walk-off mats.

Another important preventive maintenance step is to place protector pads on furniture legs. Floor protector pads should be made of soft felt or a similar type material. If you ever need to move furniture, always pick it up and carry it -- never drag furniture across the floor.

Footwear and foot traffic can cause damage to hardwood floors. Soiled work boots or any footwear that has rocks, mud, or gravel stuck into the treads can dent or scratch the floor. Remind your customers how important it is to invest in walk-off matting to help protect their investment.

Water is also an enemy of hardwood floors. Water and spills can warp or permanently damage a floor's finish. Spills should be cleaned up immediately before they have the opportunity to set in and stain or warp the floor. Wipe up spills with a soft, damp cloth or microfiber cloth, and then follow up with a cleaning solution if needed and a dry, soft cloth.

Another factor to remember is that direct sun can discolor a hardwood floor. If a floor is exposed to direct sunlight, recommend to the customer that they close curtains or blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the floor from the sun's harsh UV rays.

To stay looking their best, wood floors need periodic cleaning with a professional wood floor cleaning product. If you know the type of flooring, follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning system. But if the specific type of hardwood floor is unknown, use a wood cleaner that does not leave a residue. Most finish manufacturers do not recommend wetting wood floors with water. When you use a cleaner that requires mixing with water follow the directions carefully and do not mix over the wood floor itself.

When taking care of wood floors avoid the following:

  • Using saturated mops on the floor
  • Using ammonia on the floor
  • Using household type dust cleaners
  • Using products that are not recommended for wood floors

Don't let hardwood floors lose their luster. Spending a little time every day protecting and properly caring for hardwood floors will go a long ways towards keeping the floor looking great and keeping your customer happy.

Important Facts About Wind Damage

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to a home.  Wind damage and water damage are the most common results of a heavy storm and it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  Wind damage can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.  These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.

Wind Type Varies by Storm and Causes Different Degrees of Wind Damage

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is, so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.  Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S., but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.

Characteristics of the Wind Affect the Wind Damage

The wind has many characteristics that differ depending on the situation.  Some characteristics to take into account include speed, direction, and duration of the gusts and recognizing them can help you protect your home and property effectively from wind damage.  Recognizing the characteristics of the wind can also help you determine how much potential damage to expect.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews Today! (951) 398-3240

What is Mold?

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeasts cause health effects or food spoilage, others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.

Mold is also found in damp building materials where it often appears like stains and comes in a variety of colors. A must smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. 

Mold growth requires moisture. The sources of moisture could be Washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.

If you suspect you have Mold Call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Ceritto / Lake Mathews at (951) 398-3240 

Why Immediate Fire Restoration Is Important

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Service - (951) 398-3240

First, and foremost - and this is the most important step - find a fire restoration contractor who can assess the damage, give you an estimate on costs and start the cleanup process. Contact your home insurance company to make them aware of the fire and ask them for referrals for reliable businesses in your area. It's essential that you enlist the help of a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company to reduce the risk of further damage to your home. They are trained to handle this type of damage and many will perform some of the following steps to help get you through the initial fire cleanup:

  • Smoke and fire damage restoration services will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings (such as appliances, furniture and clothing) as they can.
  • Document everything they remove from your home by taking pictures and/or keeping written records.
  • Return any salvageable furniture and appliances back to your home, after the fire restoration is complete.
  • Work quickly and carefully to get you back in your home as soon as possible and stay in contact with you to make sure the repairs were done correctly and your home isn't experiencing any other problems.

Be sure to go through your home insurance company when hiring a fire damage restoration service or do a thorough background check if you choose one on your own to make sure they are licensed and insured. Be wary of “fire chasing” contractors who target victims of house fires and pressure them into signing expensive repair contracts, perform extremely low-quality repair work and might not be licensed or insured.

Start Fire Cleanup Right Away

While it's best to have a qualified fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews handle the smoke damage restoration, there are some small tasks you can do to help minimize the initial damage before the professionals come in to do the major cleanup. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until the professionals arrive. If it is possible to enter your house, make sure you’re wearing work gloves, long sleeves/pants, and proper respiratory protection, such as a mask because exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems and other medical issues.

  • VENTILATION- Open all the windows and air out the house as much (and as often) as possible. Use box fans to force out dust and contaminated air. Fire damage restoration professionals will use industrial-strength fans and other air-moving equipment to help reduce the smoke damage your home has been subjected to, but in the meantime, proper ventilation is key to helping remove a lot of the polluted (and unsafe) air.
  • CLEANING- Scrub all surfaces (and inside cabinets and drawers) with soap and water. You can also use an alkaline cleaner, which neutralizes the acid that’s found in soot to help cut down on the smoky smell. Counteractants—chemicals used to break up smoke molecules to eliminate odors—may be used, but it’s best left to the professionals to handle such products.
  • LAUNDRY - Wash all bedding, clothing, curtains and items that can be machine washed with an alkaline cleaner (you may have to wash items more than once). Delicate fabrics will need to be professionally dry cleaned by someone who is familiar with articles that have smoke damage. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or experienced significant fire damage.

Professional smoke removal and restoration companies will perform a thorough cleanup using industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry-cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.

Prolonged Smoke Damage

Fire damage is tricky because some signs are apparent—such as discoloration on walls and ceilings and dark stains from smoke on surfaces—but others are not, such as odors trapped in hidden places. Air conditioner vents, the space behind walls and the outside walls of your home are all areas where ash and soot can be deposited and continue to cause damage if they aren't taken care of in a timely manner.

Make sure to have the HVAC system, attic/roof, and exterior walls inspected and properly cleaned, too, because your home will continue to suffer from smoke damage until the soot is completely removed by a fire damage restoration service, like SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews. Don't hesitate to call us to handle your fire or smoke damage! (951) 398-3240

10 Steps For Dusting An Office Building

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Following the steps outlined below will make your dusting faster and more effective:

  1. Dust high surfaces first and work downward. Start at one end of the room and move in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.
  2. Move objects (phones, paper weights, pictures, etc.), dust under them, and then replace them to their original position. However, desk papers should not be moved. Dust around any papers left on desks or tables. Papers in a pile can be moved slightly so you can dust under and around them unless your customer has instructed you not to disturb any paperwork.
  3. Do not carelessly flick your dust cloth, static duster or extension duster as you dust. This will only spread the dust, not capture it. Instead, wipe the surface. 
  4. Wipe spots and smudges on walls, desks, etc. with a damp green microfiber cloth as you move throughout the office area. Remember to rinse the cloth when it becomes soiled, using only water.
  5. When cleaning computer monitors or conference room flat TV screens, use a dry, microfiber cloth and lightly (and I do mean very gently) wipe. Never use paper towels, tissue paper, or window cleaner, they can scratch or damage the screen. If there are fingerprints or smudges, you can use antistatic wipes designed for computers and LCD screens. Some offices do not want you to clean either computer screens so be sure to follow your clients' wishes.
  6. Dust wood tables and desks with the grain, applying furniture polish per customer's request. Chairs should be dusted from top to bottom. Start by dusting any trim on top, then the sides and work your way down to the bottom legs. 
  7. When dusting blinds, first dust across the top. Then close the blinds and dust the entire surface. Close blinds to the other side and dust the newly exposed surface area. Another way to dust blinds is to use a backpack vacuum with a brush attachment.
  8. In hallways and corridors, make sure to dust fire doors, fire extinguishers, exit signs, bars on exit doors, door frames/jambs, handrails, light switches, show cases, and any other horizontal/vertical surfaces.
  9. Make sure to dust any areas where dust can accumulate, such as clocks, picture frames, cabinet tops and sides, the sides of desks, partitions, air vents, lights, baseboards, and window sills. If there is a surface, dust will accumulate.
  10. Use a backpack vacuum to remove dust and clean hard to reach areas and upholstered furniture.

Proper dusting will help to ensure that your office buildings have a neat and tidy appearance. Dusting is necessary to ensure a clean building and healthy work environment. SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews can help with all your commercial cleaning needs. Give us a call! (951) 398-3240

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews Smoke and Soot Cleanup

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 951-398-3240

Crucial Things You Should Always Have in Your Home Emergency Kit

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Whether it's a hurricane, fire, earthquake, flood, or disease outbreak, you need to be prepared with an emergency kit in your car and home. Here's a list of the essential items you'll need in an emergency.

What to pack in a home emergency kit

If time has taught us anything, it's hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The list of possible worst case scenarios now includes Covid-19 and other infectious diseases in addition to the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires that may already be on your radar, depending on where you live.

Keep the kit in a closet or somewhere near an exit door and have another one in your car, Vogel advises.

Here's what experts recommend packing if you need to stay at home or if you need to leave in a hurry:

  1. A communication plan

    Sometimes we know that a disaster is on its way but often there's no warning at all. Make sure you have a communication plan in place for either scenario and one that takes into account the different times disasters can occur. You and your family could be at school or work or sleeping when disaster strikes.

    "What is your plan to meet up, to reconnect with folks?

    Have a list of phone numbers in the kit. You should also include an actual place (perhaps a relative's place) where people can gather should cell phones become unavailable.

    Finally, make sure everyone in your family, including and especially any kids, are familiar with the plan

  2. H2O

    You need to store some water, but how much? It depends on the disaster as well as where you are geographically and your health status.

    "Covid-19 is not going to impact your ability to walk to the sink and turn on the faucet," says Tornetta. A hurricane, on the other hand, very well might.

    The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person (and per pet) per day, aiming for a total three days' supply, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That said, children, mothers who are nursing, people who are sick, and people in warmer climates may need more, according to the Department of Homeland Security's ready.gov. The NCDP has a Preparedness Wizard that will help you calculate how much water, and other items, you may need. (Here are the signs and symptoms of dehydration.)

  3. Non-perishable food

    As with water, experts recommend that you have enough non-perishable food on hand for people and pets to last at least three days, quite possibly more, says Schlegelmilch, who is co-author of the forthcoming book Rethinking Readiness.

    Focus on nonperishable items like dry goods and canned goods but some frozen products are also OK. "Even if you lose power, you've got a few days before they start to spoil."  "A combination of frozen and nonperishable is fine."

    As for what kind of food, items that are protein-packed and can be prepared without electricity, such as tuna, peanut butter, or granola bars. If you or anyone in your family has special dietary needs, make sure you take those into account.

    And oh yes, don't forget to have a non-electric can opener or choose cans that have pop-tops.

  4. First aid kit

    It's important not only to have a well-stocked first aid kit, but the knowledge to effectively use each item in that kit as well, if you aren't sure, get  ready-made first aid kits," From American Red Cross. The organization also has a series of apps that can help you build an emergency kit and more. (Here are first aid tricks from ER doctors.)

    Also make sure to include contact lens solution, if you wear contact lenses, and asthma inhalers, according to a disaster supplies checklist from the Department of Homeland Security. Also include personal hygiene products and over-the-counter and prescription medications (a seven-day supply, says Tornetta). These days, it would be a good idea to include hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks, as well. 

    The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends keeping the kit in a clear, waterproof, plastic container and putting it in a visible place.

  5. Multipurpose tool

    Simple or complex, multipurpose tools can be lifesavers. "Your multipurpose tool should be able to do what other widely used tools—like a screwdriver, pair of pliers, or scissors—can do," And definitely a can opener, if you haven't invested in pop-top cans. (You might also want to invest in these health gadgets that could save your life.)

    Your car should also have its own emergency tool kit which includes water and high-energy non-perishable food but also an inflated spare tire, the jack and wheel wrench, jumper cables, reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth. If the weather's cold, add a snow brush, shovel, blankets, and windshield washer fluid.

  6. Cash

    Covid-19 isn't likely to affect ATMs or credit-card machines, but hurricanes and other natural disasters could put them out of commission.

    "The digital systems work pretty well but after Katrina there were prolonged power outages." "You may be in a situation where credit-card machines [and ATMs] are down."

    That means you may have to rely on good old hard cash during an emergency.

    "Not everybody has enough money to do this but if you're able to set aside a few dollars, it's definitely a good thing," 

    Ready.gov recommends having small bills available so you can buy fuel and food.

  7. Gas

    "Fill up early and fill up often," Hart says. "With Hurricane Irma, we had advance notice—it's important to think, 'What do I need to do to start preparing right now?' Even if you don't know where the hurricane's going, as soon as it's a possibility for you in your area, think about things like gas. Your presence of mind when a catastrophe is far away is much clearer than your presence of mind when you're in the throes of that catastrophe."

    Schlegelmilch recommends having your tank at least half full at all times.

    And while having extra gas cans may be tempting, bear in mind that this can be a fire hazard,

  8. A change of clothes

    Or two or three. It's important to have the right kind and amount of clothes you'll need in any given situation.

    "Consider protective clothes and outerwear. Think: coats, windbreakers, ponchos, rain jackets,"  She also notes the importance of items that will wear well across all climates—so anything versatile, durable, and comfortable—is a universally safe choice. "Follow the same three-day rule here, too," she says. "And, as we talked about earlier, remember to change your supply out annually. Our children grow from year to year."

    Layers are an especially good idea for any warmer or colder conditions. As are socks in case you get wet.

  9. Closed-toe shoes

    If you're leaving really quickly, you may not have a chance to pick your ideal shoes but, if you can, take closed-toe shoes. "You might not know exactly where you're going." "If you have to be in a shelter environment or walking through areas, that's just to protect your feet from all of that. If you can only grab one pair of shoes, don't grab the flip flops."

    This could be especially important in areas that have been damaged by hurricanes or tornadoes. "There's a lot of debris," says Tornetta. "We want our team to wear closed-toe shoes so there's no chance of getting a splinter or some kind of infection."

  10. Low-tech basics

    Technology isn't always reliable, especially in a disaster. That means you should have some low-tech options on hand such as a hand crank, battery-powered radio and flashlight, and extra batteries, says Vogel. Garbage bags are good not only for holding trash but also to keep things dry, and matches in a waterproof container are a good idea too.

    Light plastic sheeting and duct tape can be invaluable if you have broken windows because of a hurricane or tornado.

    Just in case technology does survive the storm, fire, or pandemic, keep some extra portable charging blocks on hand as well. And you should also have a car charger for your cell phone.

  11. Important documents

    This is important not just during the disaster, but for rebuilding your life after. Having key legal and personal documents can go a long way towards minimizing stress once the immediate damage has passed. Make sure you know the signs that you may be suffering from serious stress.

    Legal Aid recommends keeping these papers together so you can grab them in a hurry:

    * Identification, be it a driver's license, passport, or another photo ID.
    * Insurance documents like life insurance, flood and fire insurance as well as homeowners or rental insurance.
    * Legal documents. This includes birth certificates, any child custody or adoption paper, wills, powers of attorney, and the like.

    You can scan your documents or take pictures with your smart phone or make photocopies and store those in your evacuation preparedness kit, says Tornetta. "Have an extra copy of your driver's license and social security card. If you have to flee in a hurry, you may forget your ID or your wallet if they're stored in a separate place."

    You can also store these documents online, or in a thumb drive.

     

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

picture of empty hall of school Concerned aout the Cleanliness of you school or business. Call SERVPRO

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews at 951-398-3240

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews wants to hear from YOU!

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

The team here at SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews would love to hear from you!

Tell us about your experience with our SERVPRO, ask us questions about water mitigation, mold remediation, fire loss mitigation, carpet cleaning, duct cleaning, construction or commercial cleanings or just to say 'hi'!

There are several ways you can get in touch with us:

The first is our Contact Us tab on the top right corner of our SERVPRO web page it is fast and easy

Next is our social media:

Our Facebook page.

Our LinkedIn Page.

Our Yelp page.

And last;

You can also leave reviews on Google and Bing !

Thank you for allowing us to serve you and our community and we look forward to hearing from you!!!!

How To Prepare Your Home For A Storm

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Quick guide to preparing for a storm

    • Ensure your drains and gutters are clear of debris to prevent blockages.
    • If safe to do so, check your pipes and water tanks are insulated to prevent freezing and that the release point of overflow pipes is not obstructed. Ideally, you'll have a regular maintenance program in place.
    • Cut back trees and branches to minimize the risk of falling branches.
    • Secure loose fences.
    • Check that roof tiles and aerials are secure if you can do this safely. It may be worth seeking professional advice.
    • Make sure garden furniture and ladders are secured in case of high winds or locked away in the shed or even inside your house.
    • When you know a bad storm is on its way with warnings about gale-force winds and floods, make sure children, pets and your family and neighbors are safe. Make sure you're indoors when it hits and don’t try and repair damage during a storm.

Always be cautious when undertaking any task that you're not fully familiar with as you could injure yourself or those around you, seek professional help where required.

So, this winter, make sure you're storm ready. Secure loose objects such as ladders and garden furniture. Close and secure all windows and doors. Check on loved ones before a storm strikes, but once it arrives, stay indoors. Do not try to drive or move around outside near trees or buildings that could collapse.

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews offers inspections to make sure your home or business is storm ready. Call us at (951) 398-3240 for more information.