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What to do when smoke and ash invade your home.

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

wildfire in California heavy soot and smoke damage Northern California wild fires.

SERVPRO of Antioch, CA  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 has many tips and suggestions for consumers. Please consider the following information from the IICRC regarding fire and smoke restoration:

In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue. The IICRC provides the following tips for fire victims facing clean up:

  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
  • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
  • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
  • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
  • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.
  • Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinse from top to bottom.
  • If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.
  • If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.

Professional restoration technicians  know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.

For more details, visit http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/care/fire-smoke-restoration/

Need a professional? Call SERVPRO Antioch 925-706-0106  today. We are here to help 24/7. 

You can follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SERVPRO.antioch/

what to do if you have smoke damage in your home

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

soot damage to a living room ceiling Call the experts when it comes to fire smoke damage in your home

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 Antioch 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 – 925-706-0106

WE work with all major insurance carriers. 

Steps to take after a water loss

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen water loss pipe burst flooded whole house

No one ever wants to find water damage in their home, but reality is that most home owners will have to deal with it at some point. How the issue is handled is most important. Water damage can be caused by a broken pipe in the wall or toilet overflow to a major storm. Whatever the situation may be fast response is always key to handling your water damage and minimizing the chance of mold growth. There are a few steps that should take place when water damage is discovered.

Determine source and stop

When water damage is caused by a broken pipe or supply line in the home, you should turn off the water to the home. You may be able to shut it off at the main if not you may have to contact a plumber for assistance. In some cases, like when dealing with storm intrusion there is no main to turn off and really no way to stop the water from affecting the home.

Perform Mitigation

In order to perform Mitigation, which is the process of drying out the property the source of water should be off. Professional remediation services are available to help you dry out the property faster than a home owner could do on their own. The dry out process includes extraction of bulk water, removal of affected materials that can’t be dried and drying of remainder materials that can be dried.

Professional Assistance

Nobody wants to deal with water damage in their home, but when it does happen there are companies that can assist with the process and make the experience a little more bearable. SERVPRO of Antioch is the company to call to help you overcome the situation. We are a local company that offers immediate response to any size disaster. Call us at 925-706-0106

Choosing a professional mitigation company

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowner choosing a professional mitigation company Choose SERVPRO of Antioch

Just imagine, you come home from vacation to find your home flooded by water throughout your home. The first thing you think is who can help in this type of situation? Most people think that they should call a contractor since they build houses, but there’s a difference between a general contractor and a restoration contractor. As a professional water restoration company, we try to restore, rather than replace. Most contractors job is to replace everything that is affected, such as flooring, drywall, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO of Antioch technicians are certified and qualified in drying and cleaning water damage to IICRC industry standards. The average dry time is 3-5 days and only remove materials that can’t be dried by our protocol. Restoring your home is more cost efficient than replacing materials in your home. We work with all home insurance carriers and are here to help 24/7 for your emergency losses. Call us at 925-706-0106

Holidays are peak fire danger season

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Home Fire Danger Peaks During Holiday Season

Local SERVPRO® restoration specialist cites statistics on escalated cooking and candle fire risk that can turn festivities into a fire drill 

As the holiday season approaches and families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, Michael Borders of SERVPRO® of Antioch reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:

  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1
  • Candle fires peak in December. The top three days for candle fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.2 

“These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Borders. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.” 

According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.

While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and has been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture.

“It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Borders, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest re-positioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.” 

 Please take all necessary precautions to help keep your family and home safe during these holiday seasons. 

If you need any services, remember SERVPRO of Antioch is a 24/7 business  

We are an IICRC certified firm

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Antioch is an IICRC firm.

 What does that mean?

 Why does that matter when choosing your mitigation/ cleaning  company?

 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.

We here at SERVPRO of Antioch we take pride in knowing that we are  all trained and certified to industry standards. And we maintain those qualifications, to help better serve you and your home. 




About SERVPRO of Antioch

SERVPRO of Antioch specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

We are a 24/7 business call us when your next emergency hits 925-706-0106

National Preparedness Month

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month Offers Home and Business Owners an Opportunity to Resolve to be Ready for an Emergency

Local SERVPRO disaster restoration specialist highlights no-cost tools to help property owners prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency readiness plan 

Antioch, CA (Grassroots Newswire) August 27, 2019 - No matter where you live or work, emergencies caused by weather, fire, wind, water, and other natural or manmade disasters can strike at any time and are largely unpredictable. SERVPRO of Antioch reminds Antioch-area home and business owners that preparing in advance is the best thing you can do to help minimize a disaster’s impact on your loved ones and your property. Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month – a time to create, or update, your plan for when disaster strikes.

“In the same way that people make ‘resolutions’ at the New Year, National Preparedness Month is a great time to resolve to create a plan, or review your existing plan, each and every year,” said Michael Borders of SERVPRO® of Antioch. “Everyone needs a comprehensive emergency plan. Business owners also need to plan for business interruption and continuation. But equally importantly, families and businesses alike need immediate access to data like emergency and insurance contacts, shut-off valves, electrical panel locations, and the line of command to authorize work so emergency responders can react quickly and appropriately during the emergency. This month’s focus on preparedness is a great incentive for both families and businesses to put a plan in place and review it regularly.”

Creating an emergency plan is straightforward, according to Borders. No matter what type of threats exist where you live or work – wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural or manmade disasters – tools are available from FEMA (https://www.ready.gov) with guidelines for preparing emergency food, water, and medical supplies; planning for special needs; and creating communication and evacuation plans. These tools and others, like the SERVPRO READY app, also help you store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

 Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Antioch as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.

“The key to getting your life or business back on track is timely response after a disaster strikes. That’s why it’s important to take the time to record and store your information electronically, and then commit to a time – like National Preparedness Month – to review and update your records at least once each year,” said Borders. “Remember, filing cabinets and their contents may be inaccessible or even destroyed in an emergency situation, so don’t depend on them to keep track of critical insurance, property, or contact information in the event of a disaster. Store your data electronically. If disaster strikes, you’ll have the information you need literally at your fingertips.”

SERVPRO of Antioch specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Antioch, please contact Michael Borders at (925) 706-0106 or Mike.borders@SERVPROofantioch.com.



About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

Fire Consumes Everything with its Destructive Force

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire, is an awful beast, consuming everything in its wake and covering what it didn't destroy in thick black smoke.  If you experience a Fire, it's important to remember that Life is the most important thing, the items that we lose can be replaced. 

A Fire can become out of control in as little as 60 seconds.  If you smell smoke, get out of the house and call 911 for help.  Don't try and put it out yourself or you could get really hurt. The gases that come from the combustion and the heat that can be generated are often times enough to kill you before the flames ever can. Use extreme caution when exiting your home. 

When there's a fire, the smoke that remains is a mixture of everything that combusted in the house which could be papers, plastics, chemicals, etc.  This thick black smoke locks itself to every surface. When walls get affected, they most often need to be painted. But paint won't stick to smoke so then the smoke has to be removed.  The removal process for smoke is specialized and extremely labor intensive. If the wrong product is used then the paint won't stick to the surface, yet again. It’s extremely important to not try to clean any surface yourself, you could cause permanent or secondary damage. 

This is a photo of the before and after in a fire that ravaged a house leaving black smoke everywhere.  It's amazing how much of the smoke can be removed when done correctly. It still needs to be painted, but the paint WILL stick to these walls.

Having the right restoration company in to do the work makes all the difference. 

 When you experience a Fire, make sure that the work is done right.  Call SERVPRO of Antioch at 925-706-0106

What to do if your car has flood damage

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier in vehicle utility vehicle that sustained water damage. Dehumidifier placed to help dry out interior.

What to do if your car has flood damage

If your car was partially submerged in floodwater, follow this  checklist for assessing flood damage afterwards.

If floodwaters partially or fully submerge your car, it can mean extensive damage and costly repairs. Here's what to do after the waters recede.

Vehicle Flood Damage Checklist

  1. Survey potential damage. Note the depth of the floodwaters in relation to your car. Avoid starting a flooded car — this will cause more damage if there is water in the engine.
  2. Act quickly. Submersion of a vehicle in salt water — which is more damaging than fresh water — makes the chances of corrosion much higher. Start drying out your vehicle as quickly as possible. Contact a towing service to get it back to higher ground. Oil, transmission fluid and lube may need draining before a tow.
  3. File a claim. Your insurance company along with a qualified mechanic will uncover how extensive the problems caused by flood damage may be. Among other inspections, they will:
    • Check the oil dipstick. Look for water droplets, which likely indicate that there is water in your engine. If that's the case, the cylinders, which are supposed to compress air instead of water, will be broken.
    • Remove water-damaged cylinders and check for corroded spots.
    • Change the oil and transmission fluid. If the car is not totaled, you’ll want to do this again after the car is in good condition and you've been driving it for several hundred miles.
    • Check the interior. If floodwaters were more than a few feet deep, water probably made it to the inside of your car.
    • Remove all moisture. They might use a wet/dry vacuum to collect standing water in your vehicle, cloth towels to absorb water that has soaked into the seats and carpet, and fans and dehumidifiers to accelerate the drying process.
    • Check electrical components. The mechanic might need to replace electrical components.
    • Check the fuel tank and line. A siphon pump might be used to remove some fuel. in order to see if water is present. If water is found in the fuel (which would naturally separate from the fuel), they will empty the fuel tank completely.

Once the extent of your car, truck, or SUV's flood damage is determined, your insurance company will weigh the costs to repair the vehicle against the cost of replacing it. If your car is totaled (considered a total loss) by the insurance, be sure to review what that means with your insurance agent.

Contact SERVPRO of Antioch 925-706-0106 if you find our Vehicle affected by floods or water damage.

How to detect signs of water damage in your home

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

You may think a water leak or a busted pipe would be easy to detect and definitely something you’d notice right away. The truth is, sometimes the signs of water damage are hidden – behind your walls, under your floor boards, or even on the exterior of your house. Whether the situation happened an hour ago or a month ago, there are a number of ways to remedy the problem with water damage repair and a reputable restoration company . First and foremost is finding the source.

What to Look For

Water damage can take on different colors, textures, and even smells, depending on the type of location of the damage. For instance, ceiling water damage is usually easier to spot than water damage in a basement because you will see stains and discoloration on a ceiling, but may not know that a musty odor can be a sign that there is a problem on the lower level of your home. Learn these telltale signs so that you can identify an existing problem and be prepared to spot it in the future.

Water Accumulation 

The most obvious sign that you’ve got water damage on your hands (or that it will become a bigger problem) is areas of standing or pooling water. These can result from old or malfunctioning appliances including washers, water heaters and toilets. A puddle could also occur from a leaking roof, or from drainage pipes if the water is on the outside of your home.

Discoloration 

With ceiling water damage, look for water spots and stains. The area may appear wet or dry and can be a yellow, brown or copper color. Walls may also have bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper in addition to staining.

Changes in Texture

While flooring can also show discoloration like ceilings and walls do, the main sign of water damage in floors is detected by changes in texture. This is a result of water seeping into the floorboards and areas underneath them. Some common texture variations include:

  • Warping – caused by changes in humidity and temperature, resulting in gaps between floorboards or curling at the edges. (Ceilings may also become warped from water damage.)
  • Buckling/bp – Occurs in wood floors when one side of the wood becomes detached from the substrate and “tents,” or faces upward.
  • Sagging/Sinking – You may notice soft spots in hardwood floors due to rotten wood, which feels spongy compared to normal wood. Water can seep into subflooring of all types of flooring material and cause sagging.
  • Expansion – Wood and laminate floors will “expand” when they absorb too much water because the material swells and then separates.

Odor

Odors caused by mold and mildew could implicate a water damage problem. The smell may come from basements, walls, or other areas where water has been accumulating for a while. Certain drywall materials can act like a sponge and become full of moisture because there is low air circulation. This is the perfect conditions for mold to develop, which will eventually result in visual discoloration (usually black spots) and a detectable odor.

Common Places/Causes

Water damage can occur in any part of your home; however, there are some areas that are more high-risk than others. Make a checklist and inspect each area in your home to know where and what to look for when it comes to identifying water damage.

Ceilings

Ceiling water damage can come from a few sources. If the room is on the top story of a home, it could be from a leaky roof caused by rain or melting ice/snow in the winter months. If there is a bathroom above the ceiling with wall damage, it could be from a burst pipe or cracks in the floorboards.

Walls

One of the easiest ways to spot water damage is water stains on walls (and ceilings). Make sure to also check around door and window frames. An unusual stain could be a sign of a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall.

Flooring

There are many things that can cause water damage to floors – overflowing sinks/bathtubs, flooding from faulty appliances and bad pipes. Hiring a water damage restoration company is the best way to pinpoint the exact cause of flooring water damage.

Exterior/Foundations

The exterior of your home can also experience water damage. If there isn’t proper drainage in the yard or if the gutter spouts don’t carry runoff water far away from the house (or if the gutters leak), water can pool next to the house and if left untreated, cause even more damage to your home’s structure.

Attics/Roofs

Stains, mold and wet or swollen installation are signs of a leak in the attic. If your roof has cracked, curled, or missing shingles, damaged flashing or signs of wind/rain damage, it could be vulnerable to leaks, which could result in water damage. Weather in colder climates can cause ice dams to develop on the roof, which can leak into the attic when snow and ice melts. Pay attention to possible problem areas including around roof vents and chimneys, the flashing (where the roof connects with the walls) and the valleys (where two roof planes connect) to help prevent water damage.

Appliances

Check behind refrigerators, washers/dryers, hot water heaters and toilets/sinks for any sign of pooling or leaking water. An appliance or bathroom component (toilet/sink/shower) will most likely cause water damage because of a faulty piece of equipment that isn’t easily seen. For example, a cracked hose or loose connection means that these parts may fail soon and could cause leaking in your home – which could lead to water damage.

What to Do If You Find It

If your home has water damage or even if you suspect that you may have a problem, SERVPRO of Antioch is here to help . Call into our office 24/7 and schedule an inspection. Our highly knowledgeable and trained inspector will help possible locate the source and guide you into the next steps to take. Many times your homeowners insurance will be able to help. SERVPRO of Antioch works with all major insurance companies and we can help you navigate your loss.