Recent Posts

Mold Removal Safety: Protecting Your Employees in the Workplace

6/8/2023 (Permalink)

mold on window seal Mold removal can be dangerous, ensure you have safety guidelines to follow to ensure your business is safe.

Mold is a fungus that grows in damp areas, such as bathrooms and basements. It's important to make sure your employees are safe during mold removal.

If you have any questions about this guide or would like more information on how we can help with your business needs.

Mold Removal Safety Tips

  • Wear protective gear.
  • Use proper ventilation.
  • Utilize professional help, if necessary
  • Create a Safe Environment

Create a safe environment

Identify problem areas. Look for the places in your office where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Contain the mold. If you can't remove it all at once, try to contain it with plastic sheeting or tape until you have time to come back with proper equipment and supplies (see below).

Use the right cleaning materials

Be sure that whatever products you use are safe for people who may be sensitive to chemicals like bleach or ammonia-based cleaners; you can also use an alternative product like vinegar instead of bleach when cleaning up after a major spillage of water from flooding and rain

Take Precautions

To ensure your employees' safety, you should:

  • Train your employees on the proper safety procedures for mold removal. They should know how to test the air quality and provide proper ventilation.
  • Make sure that everyone wears protective gear when working around moldy areas of the building. This includes goggles and gloves made from natural materials like cotton or latex (not synthetic materials like nitrile).

Monitor Progress

In addition to checking for signs of mold growth, you should also check the air quality regularly. You can do this by using an inspection checklist and testing it at least once a month. It's important that you keep track of any changes in your building's environment so that if there is an issue with mold growth, you can address it quickly.

Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

You should have a supply of disposable or washable coveralls, gloves and face masks for workers to use during the removal process. If you are using respirators, make sure they are properly fitted and maintained according to manufacturer's instructions.

Follow OSHA Guidelines

If you're a small business owner, it may be tempting to skip the safety precautions and save money by doing the job yourself. However, this can have serious consequences for your employees and the future of your company. Provide training on how to handle these materials safely before starting any work involving them--and make sure everyone follows those instructions!

Dispose of Contaminated Materials Properly

If you're going to be removing mold and other contaminants from the workplace, it's important to know how to dispose of them properly. Molds and other fungi can be dangerous if they're not handled correctly--and even more so when they're allowed to spread throughout your building.

Prevent Future Mold Growth

Clean and dry damp areas. Use dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from the air, especially in rooms that have been flooded or have had standing water for more than 48 hours. Repair any water leaks in your home or office building as soon as possible, if you can't repair them yourself, contact a professional plumber who can help fix the problem quickly and safely.

Now that you know the basics of mold removal and how it can affect your employees, it's time to review some safety guidelines. Review your company's safety policies with your employees. This is especially important if there are new regulations in place or if there are any changes from previous years' policies.

Beeping, Aging, and Extreme Conditions: When to Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

4/4/2023 (Permalink)

fire alarm maintenance Changing your smoke alarm batteries is a crucial part if ensuring your home is safe incase of a fire.

Smoke alarms are one of the most important safety features in a home, providing early warning of a fire and allowing residents to evacuate quickly and safely. However, in order for smoke alarms to do their job effectively, they need to be properly maintained and the batteries need to be changed regularly. So, when should you change your smoke alarm batteries?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that smoke alarms be tested monthly and that the batteries be replaced at least once a year. This is a good rule of thumb, but there are some other factors to consider as well.

First, if your smoke alarm starts beeping, it is likely an indication that the battery is low and needs to be replaced. This can be an annoying sound, but it is an important reminder that your smoke alarm needs attention.

Another factor to consider is the age of your smoke alarm. Most smoke alarms have a lifespan of about 10 years, after which they should be replaced. If your smoke alarm is getting up there in age, it may be a good idea to replace it entirely, rather than just changing the batteries.

If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or high humidity, you may need to change your smoke alarm batteries more frequently. These conditions can cause the batteries to wear out more quickly, so it's important to keep an eye on them and replace them as needed.

It's also a good idea to change your smoke alarm batteries if you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. This is especially important if you will be away during a time when the weather is likely to be extreme, as your smoke alarms may need to work harder to detect smoke or fire in these conditions.

Finally, it's important to make sure that your smoke alarms are working properly at all times. This means testing them monthly, as recommended by the NFPA, and making sure that they are installed in the right locations. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, as well as outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom.

In conclusion, changing your smoke alarm batteries is a crucial part of maintaining the safety of your home. By following the recommendations of the NFPA, testing your smoke alarms regularly, and paying attention to the age and condition of your smoke alarms, you can help ensure that your home and your family are protected in the event of a fire.

Will the Insurance company cover my Broken Pipe?

3/8/2023 (Permalink)

supply line break If you have a broken pipe, call a professional immediately.

If your home has a broken pipe, you need to act quickly. It may be time to call your insurance company and ask if they'll cover the damage. However, if you don't have a homeowner's policy in place yet or feel like it doesn't cover enough of the costs associated with repairing a broken pipe.

What insurance covers?

Homeowner insurance can cover a wide range of emergencies in your home. You may not be able to get insurance for a broken pipe specifically, and even if you do, the policy might not cover the full cost of the repair.

If you don't have insurance and need to pay for repairs yourself, there are some things to keep in mind. Check with your local utility companies and plumbers' associations before hiring anyone to do work on your plumbing system. They may be able to recommend reputable contractors who offer reasonable rates.

Call a Professional.

If you have a broken pipe, it is important to call a professional immediately. They will send someone out to assess the damage and determine what steps need to be taken next. The insurance company will likely send someone out right away to fix the pipe and clean up any water damage that may have occurred in your home or business.

You will probably need to hire a plumber to fix the broken pipe and clean up the water damage.

If your home insurance policy covers broken pipes, you may be able to get help with paying for repairs and cleanup costs from your insurance company. In order for this to happen, however, it's important that you tell them about the problem as soon as possible after discovering it--and before any major damage has occurred in your home or yard (like mold).

Broken water main.

Your home insurance may cover some of the cost of fixing your broken water main.

If you have a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe or sewage backup, and it causes damage to your property, your home insurance may pay for part of the repairs needed to fix that damage. However, most policies do not cover water main breaks (or "breaks" in general) because they're considered "abnormal occurrences." To find out if yours does, check with an agent or review your policy documents carefully before calling them up to make sure they'll be able to help you out with any claims related to broken pipes in your home.

Flood waters in your home.

Your policy may also cover some of the damage done by the flood waters in your home. You may need to pay a deductible, but this will be less than if you had to pay for everything out of pocket. You should check with your insurance company about what types of damages are covered under your policy and how much they'll reimburse you for them.

If you have a broken pipe, it's important to know if your home insurance will cover the damage it causes. You should call your insurance company immediately and ask about coverage options for this type of incident. If your policy does not cover broken pipes or floods, then you may need to find another way to pay for repairs or clean-up costs.

Four common causes in Kitchen Fires

2/20/2023 (Permalink)

gas stove top Cooking and grease can be top causes for a kitchen fire.

Kitchen fires are a common cause of home fires. It is important that you take precautionary measures to protect your home and family from these dangerous events.


Cooking is the most common cause of kitchen fires, with 60% of all kitchen fire incidents starting in the kitchen.Never leave cooking unattended, even for a brief moment. Always check your food and be aware that grease can catch on fire easily, if left unattended on the stovetop or in the oven. If you're using an electric appliance near water or near other heat sources (such as toasters, air fryers, etc.), be sure to unplug it before leaving it unattended or placing something else on top of it.


Heating appliances are a common cause of fires in the kitchen. This includes:

  • Radiators
  • Space heaters
  • Fireplace logs and wood stoves/inserts

In addition to these, you should also be careful with candles and other flammable materials that may come into contact with your countertop appliances.

Electrical and appliances

Electrical and appliance fires are the second leading cause of kitchen fires, accounting for 30% of all residential fires. These can be caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or broken or frayed wires. The most common culprits are hair dryers and toasters (which have been known to spark up when plugged into an outlet). You may also consider checking your appliances' safety features before you use them. If there's a problem with the cord, for example frayed electrical cord or cut, you should replace it immediately before you end up with a dangerous fire.

Fat and grease fires are responsible for the most fires overall.

Fat and grease fires are responsible for the most fires overall, according to the National Fire Protection Association. They're also the most common cause of kitchen fires—and they can be difficult to put out without proper training and equipment.

The first thing you should know about fat and grease fires is that they are caused by overheated oil or fat coming into contact with an ignition source like a flame or electrical spark. If you use your stovetop griddle often, keep in mind that even a small amount of oil can quickly become flammable as it heats up on its own or when it comes into contact with another hot surface like an electric burner or flame from a match or lighter. If a fire does break out in your kitchen, don't try to smother it with water—this could send burning oil onto other surfaces around the room. Instead, shut off any heat sources nearby (like gas burners) and immediately move away from them before calling 911 for help.

Kitchen fires are a real concern, and it's important to be aware of the causes so that you can take steps to prevent them. By taking action now, we can all feel safer in our homes.

A fast response and availability 24 hours a day.

Fire damage is one of the most common reasons for homeowners to call a restoration company. When a fire takes place, it can cause water damage. If you're not sure how to deal with a fire or water damage situation on your own, then it's best to call in professionals who have experience dealing with these situations.

As Fire Damage professionals, we are available 24/7 and will help you restore your home as quickly as possible so that you can get back to normal life again!

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Wildfires Damages To My Property?

1/19/2023 (Permalink)

Black smoke in the air. It’s so important to have a trusted restoration company like SERVPRO on your side handling cleanup and repairs after a wildfire has damaged your home.

Wildfires are some of the most destructive natural disasters that can happen to a homeowner. They can threaten not only your property but also your life and the lives of others. If you live in a region where wildfires occur, it’s important to know what steps you should take to protect yourself from these destructive threats.

What Steps Must I Take to Purchase Wildfire Insurance?

To ensure that you are prepared for the upcoming wildfire season, take these steps:

Contact your insurance agent. Your homeowner's insurance agent can help determine if your policy covers wildfire damage and provide a quote to cover additional coverage. Some agents will require that you contact them at least 30 days before the start of the fire season in order to receive discounted rates.

If you already have homeowner's insurance and live in an area prone to wildfires, it is important for you to read through your policy so that you know exactly what kind of coverage comes with it and how much money would be required out of pocket should a fire occur on or near your property. Take note of any exclusions listed in your policy as well as any restrictions on additional perils coverage (i.e., earthquake, flood).

What Could Be Included In Coverage for Wildfire Damage?

  • Damage to property. The most common type of claim homeowners face after a wildfire is for damage to their homes, whether it's a home under construction or an existing structure. Damages that may be covered include:
  • Loss of personal property. If you can't access your home because the fire is too hot, then there's a chance that your valuables will be damaged as well. This includes electronics, clothing, and other personal items that weren't protected by water-resistant bags or containers. Some policies will cover these losses up to $1,500 while others will cover them up to $3,000 - check with your provider about how much they'll pay out before signing up for their plan!

Do Wildfire-Related Damages Get Covered by Renters Insurance?

Your renter's insurance policy covers the contents of your Bel Air, CA home, but not the structure itself. If a wildfire destroyed your rental property, it would not be covered by this specific type of insurance.

However, you should check with your provider to see if there are any exceptions to this rule. Many companies will cover some types of damages caused by natural disasters such as wildfires or floods at no additional cost to you.

If none is available and you still want coverage for those situations, keep in mind that additional coverage may be necessary for certain situations. 

Importance of Having a Trusted Restoration Company by Your Side

If you live in an area that has been affected by a wildfire and your home was damaged, it’s important to have a trusted restoration company like SERVPRO of Bel Air/ West Hollywood on your side handling cleanup and repairs after a wildfire has damaged your home.

They can help you get back on your feet quickly and will work with you every step of the way. They can take care of any insurance issues for you and they’ll make sure that the claim process goes smoothly so there aren't any surprises at the end of everything.

They are experts at what they do; so if anything goes wrong or needs repairing after a fire breaks out in your neighborhood, then this is definitely who should be called!

Wildfires are unpredictable and dangerous, but they don’t have to destroy your home. That’s why it’s so important to have a trusted restoration company like SERVPRO on your side handling cleanup and repairs after a wildfire has damaged your home. 

What Is Category 1 Water Damage?

12/2/2022 (Permalink)

Wall damaged by water, paint warping from wall This wall's water leak demonstrates the rippling effects of water damage.

What is Category 1 Water Damage and How Do You Fix It?

Category 1 water damage is clean water. Category 1 water is typically caused by a small leak in faucets or pipes in your home or business. It may also be the result of a sink overflow or other appliance malfunction. The best thing to do when you encounter category 1 water damage is to take immediate action and contact your insurance company immediately so they can assess the situation and help you decide how best to proceed with repairs.

Category 1 water damage is clean water.

Category 1 water damage is clean water. It is not sewage, or chemical. It is not contaminated with other materials and does not require special disposal methods.

The presence of any of these contaminants in your Bel Air, CA home could make it a category 2 or 3 water event and therefore more expensive to repair the damage done to your property. Category 2 and 3 water damage requires professional remediation by a licensed restoration company that offers full insurance coverage.

What are the sources of category 1 water damage?

Category 1 water damage can be caused by several things, including:

  • broken water supply lines or excessive pressure in the system.
  • overflowing dishwasher or washing machine.
  • leaking roof or sprinkler system.
  • burst pipes.

How do you handle category 1 water damage?

If you've ever had a pipe burst or a toilet overflow, then you know how frustrating it can be to deal with water damage. Not only does it leave unsightly stains on your carpet, walls, and wood flooring, but it can also cause mold to grow if not dried properly.

To avoid these issues altogether—and keep your home safe—it's important that you call a highly experienced and trained water mitigation expert, such as SERVPRO of Bel Air.

3 things to do after a Category 1 water loss.

  • Remove all traces of water from floors, carpets, countertops etcetera if possible—but only if it won't ruin anything else around them!
  • Dry out the area as quickly as possible. When dealing with Category 1 water damage, you want to dry out everything as quickly as possible—otherwise mold will grow and cause more problems. The longer moisture stays in an area, the greater risk there is for mold growth and other complications down the line, such as serious structural damage.
  • Call a professional. If you have water damage that’s not obvious and you can’t tell where it started, don’t try to tackle the problem yourself. If a Category 1 situation has occurred, call in the pros right away: they will be able to assess what needs to be done and get started on drying out your belongings before mold starts growing.

Category 1 water damage must be taken care of immediately

Though Category 1 water damage is not as serious as category 2, it still needs to be taken care of. It can cause mold, mildew, and other issues like structural damage to the property. It is important to clean up the water immediately so that you are not putting yourself or your family at risk for any health problems in the future.

In conclusion, category 1 water damage can be a lot more serious than it may seem. It is important to get any water damage repaired immediately so that you don’t end up facing bigger problems down the road. If your property has suffered from category 1 water damage, contact us today for professional water restoration services!

What Should You Do If Your Toilet Overflows?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Person unclogging a toilet Plunge the toilet

What Happens If Your Toilet Overflows?

If your toilet overflows, you need to act fast. When a toilet overflows, the first thing people tend to do is flush it again. That's the worst thing you can do. Flushing will only make the problem worse by sending more water into the bowl and potentially damaging your flooring. Read the article down below to learn what you should do if your toilet overflows.

Turn Off the Water Supply to the Toilet

If your toilet begins to overflow, turn off the water supply line to the toilet. Most toilets are connected by a control valve that is attached to the side of the bowl and can be turned using a wrench. This will stop water from entering your toilet through that line. This will prevent any damaged walls or floors resulting from the excess water overflowing.

Turning off this valve should stop any further overflow problems until you have time to take care of them.

Don't flush

If your toilet overflows, don't flush it. You've probably already figured that much out. The next step is to keep anything else from going into the toilet as well—don't put anything in there! If you think of something that needs to go down the drain while your sink isn't working, just use a bucket or something else instead.

And finally, don't use the bathroom at all! If you really need to go, try using an alternative means. That way you don't accidentally make things worse by adding more wastewater into an already overflowing system.

Remove the Excess Water from the Bowl

The next step is to remove as much excess water from the bowl as you can. While it’s tempting to reach down into the bowl, this isn’t a good idea because you may get hurt. Instead, use a wet vacuum or bucket to scoop up as much water as possible. Be sure not to use your hands—you might end up with cuts from broken pieces of porcelain or other objects that were in your toilet before it overflowed.

Plunge the Toilet

Plunging is an easy technique that can be used to remove the blockage from the toilet. To do so, put a rubber plunger on the drain opening and push down gently but firmly until all of the remaining water is drained away.

Call a plumber

If you don't know how to fix your toilet, call a plumber. This is one of those things that you might think you could do yourself, but as we've established in this article, there's more to it than just turning off the water. A good plumber should be able to solve your problem in no time at all—and charge less than if you tried to do it yourself.

When choosing a plumber to help with an overflowing toilet and other plumbing issues, consider these tips:

  • Talk with friends and family who have hired a plumber before; ask them which ones they recommend.
  • Check out online reviews from websites like Yelp and Angie's List or search for local companies on Google Maps.
  • Research any company's reputation by doing some research online.

By following these steps, we hope that you can avoid the unpleasant experience of water damage to your bathroom. If you have any questions or need more advice on what to do next, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

How Do I Keep My Building Secure After a Fire?

10/2/2022 (Permalink)

Board up windows and doors of a commercial building Board up services in a commercial property after a fire event.

Steps To Protect Your Building After a Fire

When a fire happens to your Bel Air, CA, business, you may be worried about the damage to your property and belongings. However, there are additional steps that should be taken to ensure that your building remains secure after the fire has been put out. If you do not take these steps, you risk having additional break-ins or other incidents happening at your business as well as running up costs on top of the other expenses associated with fire damage. Here are some steps you can take to protect your building after a fire:

Cover Any Open Doors or Windows

In the case of a fire, you should cover any open doors and windows with plywood to prevent entry. You can use a hammer and nails to secure the plywood over the opening; make sure that it is securely attached at all four corners. If you have broken glass, you may also want to cover it with cardboard or plastic sheeting before covering with plywood.

For large openings like sliding glass doors, use two pieces of plywood laid on top of each other so that they overlap slightly at their edges (see image below). This will make them stronger than one piece alone.

Monitor the Property Closely

The best way to keep your property safe post fire is to have a security system installed. A good system will alert you when there's an intruder and it can even deter intruders from entering in the first place by scaring them off with lights, loud noises and/or sirens. If you don't want to install a home security system yourself, hire a professional for installation or maintenance services.

You should also consider hiring a watchman or guard service if you live in an area where theft is common. This will help prevent any break-ins while you're away on vacation or business trips and make sure that no one steals anything valuable from inside the building or garage where they are storing their vehicle(s).

When shopping around for an alarm company, make sure they are monitored 24/7 by professionals who will respond quickly if there is an issue (such as smoke or heat detectors going off). Look for companies that offer all of these features:

  • Smoke and heat detectors
  • Motion sensors (to detect movement within the building)
  • An alarm

Protecting your building and your belongings after a fire means taking security seriously

After a fire, it is important to take security seriously.

  • Lock doors and windows.
  • Install security cameras that are monitored by a central station.
  • Get a business security system installed if your building qualifies for one of these services. This type of system allows the monitoring center to keep an eye on all the activity taking place inside your property with little effort required on your part.
  • Monitor the property closely and make sure everything always looks secure

We hope this article has been helpful to you. We know how terrifying it can be to go through a fire, whether you’re the one who suffered damage or someone else. However, don’t let that fear paralyze you—act and protect your building from intruders by following these tips!

How Can Renters Insurance Help After a Fire?

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets burned A kitchen fire in Melrose District, CA

Ways Your Renters Policy Can Work For You After A Home Fire Incident

One common misconception many renters have is the belief that they do not need an insurance policy. While renters aren't responsible for homeowners insurance, a renters insurance policy can go a long way after an accident, particularly after a fire. See the many ways your renters policy can work for you after a home fire incident.

Replacement Costs for Personal Property
One of the most common expenses to renters after a home fire is the cost of replacing personal property. If your personal belongings receive fire damage or are destroyed in a residential fire, an insurance policy for renters can be highly helpful. Rental insurance assists with the cost of replacing goods at current purchase value. This is good news if you have lost items to a fire that have depreciated over time. While your old TV or dining room set may not have much cash value if you were to put them up for sale, the replacement value of those items is the amount you would be likely to spend to replace them. Personal belongings commonly replaced by a renters policy include the following:

  • Couches
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Electronics
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • Appliances

Injury and Liability
If you are responsible for starting a fire by your own negligence, renters insurance may be helpful for covering medical costs for those hurt by the fire. For example, if a fire started at your residence causes smoke damage to neighboring tenants, liability costs may be covered or offset by your insurance policy. Each renters policy is unique. Talk to your insurance provider directly to understand the injury and liability coverage available in your plan.

Loss of Use Clause
Finally, an insurance policy for renters may assist you with loss of use. This means, if your dwelling becomes unlivable after a fire, renters insurance may kick-in to pay for the costs of lodging. Lodging expenses may include temporary housing or hotels while a Melrose District, CA, fire restoration expert cleans up the aftermath. Make sure you have a good insurance policy in place before a fire strikes so that you, as a renter, will be protected.

The 72 Hours After Roof Damage

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

ceiling damaged by water A ceiling leak in a home in Bel Air, CA.

What Can Occur During The First Three Days After Roof Damage

Leaks can undermine the seal of a building envelope in a matter of hours after damage strikes the roof of a commercial structure in Bel Air, CA. Within 48 to 72 hours, conditions may deteriorate to the point where black mold starts to grow on saturated surfaces. Learn more about what can occur during the first three days after roof damage without damage mitigation, roof repair and water damage restoration.

The First Day After Roof Damage
The severity of water damage caused by a roof leak depends on the degree of damage. Here are some potential risks associated with graduated levels of roof damage:

  • Minor roof damage exposes roofing materials to damage
  • Moderate roof damage admits water under a roof membrane or deck
  • Major water damage brings water into a building interior

While minor damage may only affect the utmost layer of a roof, more severe incidents may compromise the seal of membranes and permit water to penetrate down into the interior of a commercial building and cause a ceiling leak.

The Second Day With a Leaky Roof
The first 48 hours after roof damage are critical for preventing black mold. Property owners should periodically inspect the condition of roofing, especially after severe weather or potentially damaging incidents. It is important to schedule roof repairs and take mitigation measures, such as tarping over damage, within this time frame.

The Third Day of a Roof Leak
Mold growth may start within 72 hours after a leak. Airborne spores settle in moist locations, and many building materials such as insulation and drywall contain cellulose. Fungus converts this plant fiber into simple starches and sugars for nourishment.
Water that filters down through building materials becomes more contaminated and may become grossly contaminated Category Three black water over time. Thorough water damage restoration can keep black mold at bay at a building in Bel Air, CA.