Recent Posts

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews Smoke and Soot Cleanup

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 Matthews 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

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews Uses Cutting Edge Technology to Restore Your Home!

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Cutting Edge Technology to Restore Your Home Use of the infrared camera to detect moisture in the walls and flooring of the bathroom in this loss.

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews uses cutting edge technology to detect and eradicate the moisture in your home. The infrared camera or IR Camera is used to see water hidden in the walls and floors. The IR camera is extremely handy when you have hard to reach spaces you can’t quite reach with your moisture meters.

How Does An Infrared Camera Work?

Thermal infrared images let you see heat and how it is distributed. A thermal infrared camera detects infrared energy and converts it into an electronic signal, which is then processed to produce a thermal image and perform temperature calculations. Thermal imaging cameras have lenses, just like visible light cameras.

Having undetected water in your home or business can lead to a mold issue if it is not fixed in a timely manner.  Most homeowners don’t realize they even have a leak until after the damage becomes visible to the naked eye. If you are concerned about water damage in your home, give us a call TODAY!

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Call us today at (951) 398-3240

5 Things You Need To Know About Water Damage

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

When a pipe bursts, a drain backs up, or a flood occurs in your home, it can be hard to see past the mess. A million questions will run through your mind. Has water damage happened to you? Here's what to do next to keep it from getting worse.

What do I do now?

What’s going to happen?

Is my stuff ruined?

And the most important question of all: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the damage?

There’s no doubt about it. Water damage is extremely stressful, and the more you know about it, the better you’ll be able to decide how to address it. Here are five things that every homeowner needs to know about water damage.

    1. There are different insurance policies            for flood damage and water damage.

You might think that water is water, whether it’s from flooding or a burst pipe, but flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. When you report the claim to the insurance company, make sure to specify whether the claim is for water damage or for flood damage, so they can begin adjusting your claim correctly.

    2. Not all water damage is covered by                your insurance.

It is a good idea to look over your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time.

    3. Once water damage has happened,                the clock is ticking before it gets worse.

When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup. Secondary damage from mold growth can present serious health risks associated with mold in the living environment.

Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a nutrient source to grow. And that is exactly what your wet carpet or drywall offers.

There is a 24 to 48-hour window from the time something gets wet until mold can begin to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you may need the services of a professional mold remediation service to safely treat and remove the mold.

To prevent mold growth, you will need to get your property completely dry again within that 48-hour window. To do this, you’ll need to contact a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction such as SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews. They will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. 

    4. Your insurance company needs to                  know right away.

It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your insurance agent can start the claims process immediately, as well as guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water turnoff.

Your insurance company may also direct you to a water damage restoration company that they have worked with in the past. Keep in mind that you do not have to call the company that they recommend. 

    5. The pollution level of the water is                  important.

Water damage is categorized as one of three levels by how polluted the water source was that caused the damage.

Category 1: Water from a clean water source, like a fresh water line for a dishwasher. 

Category 2: Water that may have bacteria in it,

Category 3: Water that is highly contaminated. Think sewage backup, an overflowing toilet, or storm waters.

Even though water may start out as Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any contamination that the water touches, such as dirty carpeting or soil from the ground, can change water damage Category to 2 or even Category 3. And since standing breeds bacteria, the longer the water is around, the worse the contamination of your property.

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews has all the tools and resources necessary to help with and water, mold or fire damage you may have. Give us a call! (951) 398-3240

When Storms or Floods Hit Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews SERVPRO is Ready!

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained, and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Riverside County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today 951-398-3240

Protect Yourself From Storm Damage

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can be severe and leave a trail of destruction in their wake from flooding, strong winds and lightning.

Insurance claim costs are estimated to have reached astronomical amounts, with households suffering millions more dollars of uninsured financial losses dealing with the aftermath of those violent storms.

Worryingly, changing weather patterns means these damaging windstorms could become a regular winter staple, sweeping into parts of the country even earlier in the season. Preparing your home to cope can help to limit the damage that a storm may cause, including from flooding.

Thankfully, weather forecasting has improved and knowing if bad weather is on its way can be helpful in getting your house storm ready. 

Did you know?

    • The annual cost of storm damage can amount to millions each year.
    • Thunderstorms develop when the atmosphere is unstable – typically forming a ‘cumulonimbus’ (rain/storm) cloud.
    • These large clouds (often accompanied by large gusts of wind) can form in under an hour if the conditions are right – meaning there may not be much time before the storm hits!

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.

How To Control Heavy Runoff

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

All homes are designed to deal with runoff. After all, it’s why gutters were invented. Some houses and properties get heavier runoff than others, either through local weather patterns or the layout of the property itself.

In order to keep your house and property in good condition, that runoff needs to be controlled.

Why Does Runoff Need to be Controlled?

The most obvious problems caused by uncontrolled runoff is erosion. Heavy amounts of run off can quickly erode huge sections of your landscaping, stripping away the soil and plants. That same erosion can damage driveways, walks, and more.

The other danger is to the structural integrity of your house, and it’s a much bigger problem. If a high amount of water gets near your foundation, it can get absorbed into the soil and push against your foundation enough to break. Water running down the side of the house in large quantities can wear away siding, walls, and even your foundation. Eventually, that water could easily get into your foundation and flood it.

Well-Planned Gutter Systems

Gutters are your first line of defense against runoff. Instead of letting the water gather under the roof and flow down the walls, gutters capture the water and direct it safely away from you house. The key here is to make sure that your gutters are well-planned. A good gutter system will minimize water damage, be big enough to avoid clogging, and direct the water several feet from the house.

Landscaping Solutions

Landscaping solutions are all about capturing and redirecting excess water, including the water that comes from your gutters. One of the most common ways to do this is with gravel and underground drain pipes. The gravel has enough structural capability to holdup the ground, while the space between it allows the water to flow into the pipe. The pipe then directs the water to a safe drain field far from the house. These setups can be installed under a variety of locations, including under bushes, grass, soil, or even paths.

Foundation Drainage

If you find that a lot of water ends up near your foundation, then one of the best things you can do is to install a drainage system right next to your foundation. Like other drainage systems, this will consist of layers of gravel and a drain pipe.

Unlike landscaping solutions, the drainage systems near foundations are buried all the way down at the bottom of the foundation wall. The idea is to capture and redirect as much water as possible away from the entire foundation.

Foundation Waterproofing

For extra protection from heavy runoff, you may want to consider getting a waterproofing membrane applied to the exterior of your foundation. This involves excavation next to your foundation to ensure that the application covers the whole foundation sides. Once cured, the membrane forms a seamless waterproof barrier on your foundation.

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

Storm Damage Restoration Process

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having a storm damage restoration service to help this type of emergency is a good option.

Here are some of the activities you can expect from the storm restoration service professionals.

  • Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
  • When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
  • Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers, so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.

We Answer the Phone 24/7 Ready to Help, Call Today! (951) 398-3240

Mold Sampling

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Sampling For Mold Growth On Surfaces 

Mold growth in homes

Mold growth is very common in damp building environments. During building assessment for mold growth, sampling is sometimes necessary. For example, air sampling may be performed to determine whether visible mold growth has degraded indoor air quality. Air sampling may also help to determine the presence, location, and/or extent of suspected hidden mold growth. Air sampling is also used to determine the effectiveness of mold remediation. Interpretation of air sample results can be difficult if clear sampling objectives were not set prior to sampling.

Surface sampling involve collecting samples such as bulk material, tape-lift samples, swabs/wipes, contact plates or dust samples. These type of samples (with the exception of contact plates) can be analyzed by direct microscopic examination (DME) to verify the presence of mold growth.

Content sampling can also be conducted during a mold growth investigation. Content sampling helps to determine whether visible mold growth is present on the items or whether there are significant amounts of settled mold materials on their surfaces. Contents can be sampled using tape-lifts, swabs, contact plates or by collecting dust settled on their surfaces.

If you suspect Mold in your home or business. Call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Matthews today! (951)398-3240 

10 Steps For Dusting An Office Building

9/26/2019 (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 Matthews can help with all your commercial cleaning needs. Give us a call! (951) 398-3240

Why Immediate Fire Restoration Is Important

9/26/2019 (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 Matthews 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 Matthews. Don't hesitate to call us to handle your fire or smoke damage! (951) 398-3240