What is soot and is it dangerous?
Don't let soot get you. For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach today.
Following a house fire, the danger unfortunately doesn’t stop once the flames have been put out. Soot may have spread to your entire home, posing a threat to your health and the building.
What is Soot from Fire and What Should You Know About It
Soot is made of tiny carbon particles created by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (wood, oil, coal, and more). Soot contains lots of acids, as well as chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. These particles leave an ugly sight and foul smell. During a fire, soot spreads to the whole house, attaching to surfaces. Thus, the acidic properties of soot can further damage your home and indoor air quality if the soot is not removed immediately.
Soot can inhabit your home even if there wasn’t a fire. Excessive use of candles can lead to soot buildup, so make sure to use them sparingly (they are also a fire risk). Fireplaces can release soot as well if they’re not ventilated enough. Furnaces are also a source of soot contamination when they produce a puff back.
Outdoors, soot is released into the environment when fossil fuels are burned for industrial purposes. The chemical compounds of soot hurt the ecosystem considerably. Soot in your home acts similarly, damaging the indoor air quality in addition to leaving behind bad odors and stains.
What are the dangers of soot exposure?
Statistics show that particle exposure leads to around 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Soot-related diseases are the culprit of many of them. Moreover, soot exposure causes 300,000 asthma attacks and two million lost workdays annually due to respiratory problems.
Soot can enter your body through inhalation, ingestion or via the skin and eyes. These toxic particles can cause breathing issues, including asthma, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. Infants, the elderly, and those who already have breathing problems are the most affected.
To avoid the health risks of soot exposure after a home fire, make sure that all soot-affected areas are properly cleaned and sanitized.
How to clean up soot
Your house likely holds many chemicals, such as plastics, foams, carpets, wood products, and synthetic fabrics. Soot derived from these materials leads to health hazards that make fire restoration a dangerous and difficult task. Even if the fire was small, soot particles can invade your whole property through the HVAC system.
When cleaning soot, wearing safety equipment to protect the lungs, skin, and eyes is essential in reducing soot exposure dangers. Specialized techniques such as air scrubbing and thermal fogging are also needed to restore indoor air quality following a fire. A dust mask and a household cleaner are not enough to clean up soot! Removing soot thoroughly requires professional tools, knowledge, and expertise. Experts can properly clean soot and odors from your entire home to ensure it is safe to inhabit.
For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach today.
Extension Cord Safety Tips
For professional smoke damage repair or fire damage clean-up, contact SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach today! 562-506-4992
Does your home have too many electrical devices and too few outlets to plug them all? Chances are you’re using extension cords to power up your electrical devices. However, electrical cords can become fire hazards when used improperly. Follow these tips to use extension cords safely:
- Purchase only cords that are approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Don’t overload extension cords with too many appliances. The cord can overheat and possibly cause a fire. Plug only one minor applianceinto an extension cord.
- Plug major appliances, such as refrigerators, dryers, and washers, directly into a wall receptacle outlet.
- Check the maximum capacityof the extension cord and appliance or tool you’re using, and make sure you don’t exceed it.
- Fully insertthe plug of an extension cord (or any plug for that matter) into an outlet.
- Unplug extension cordswhen you’re not using them. To safely unplug an extension cord, pull on the plug, NOT on the cord.
- Use extension cords only temporarily. Don’t substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
- Don’t run extension cords through water or snowto avoid the high risk of electric shock. Keep water away from extension cords.
- Don’t run cords through ceilings, walls, doorways, or floors. Never place cords under carpets, either. Covered cords allow little heat to escape and pose a fire hazard.
- Keep cords out of the path of foot trafficto prevent tripping. Don’t leave cords dangling anywhere where they can be pulled down and tripped over.
- If you use too many extensioncords, there may be too few outlets in your home. Have a qualified electrician install additional outlets to avoid using excess extension cords.
- Avoid chaining multiple extension cords– plug extension cords directly into mounted electrical receptacles. Use extension cords that are long enough for your needs.
- Never use indoor extension cords outdoors. For outside use, only use extension cords marked for outdoor use.
- Inspect extension cordsbefore using them. If a cord heats up or is damaged in any way, discard it.
- Always use extension cords with polarized and/or three-prong plugs. Don’t force a three-prong plug into two-prong outlets. Don’t remove or bend the ground pin to force a fit.
- When using cord-bundling devices, such as spiral wire wrap, avoid cramming cords together to prevent damaging the cord’s insulation.
- Never use staples or nails to attach cords to a surface like a wall to prevent puncturing the cord’s insulation.
For professional smoke damage repair or fire damage clean-up, contact SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach today! 562-506-4992
Why is Water Damage Restoration Important?
Our highly trained technicians are here to assist with any size water damage. Call SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach today 562-506-4992
In the age of technology, water damage is an important issue. Many people don’t realize the importance of a good damage restoration company. A good Restoration company like SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach can help you to get your property back in good condition as quickly as possible. Ten of the best reasons for water damage restoration are mentioned in this article.
- It Aids in the Prevention of Water Contamination
Water contamination is a very serious issue, and thus it is important that we take care of our homes and offices so that they do not become contaminated with harmful bacteria or viruses. Such damage can cause many problems, such as mold growth. Having concrete damage control methods in place will prevent these issues from occurring.
- It Helps Reduce Mold Growth and Other Hazards
The reduction in the growth of molds and other hazards will help prevent additional damage from occurring. If there is some kind of water leak, then it is necessary to have a professional come over and check out the situation. They will also be able to tell if there is any kind of leakage in the home or office. In this case, the problem should be fixed immediately.
- It Ensures All Contents of the House Remain Safe
If there is any kind of leak in the home or office, then it is very likely that the content inside the home or office could get damaged. This means that all the items stored within the home or office may get ruined. The presence of water damage can lead to the destruction of furniture, electronics, etc. Therefore, it is important that the condition is repaired as soon as possible.
- It Makes Sure that the Home or Office Remains Dry
Having a wet home or office can be extremely uncomfortable. There are chances that the moisture present in the home or office can make the air feel damp. This makes it difficult to breathe properly. Also, the humidity level in the home or office increases when there is water damage. This can result in various kinds of diseases. Thus, having a professional come over and repair the leak is highly recommended.
- It Helps Remove Odors
Odors are one of the most unpleasant things about water damage. When there is such a situation, there is always a strong smell associated with it. This is because the water has been leaking into the walls, floors, ceilings, etc., for quite some time now. Once the odor starts to dissipate, it is advisable that the professionals come over and fix the leak.
- It Improves the Appearance of the Home or Office.
When there is water damage, it is usually accompanied by a lot of mess. This includes water stains on the floor, walls, etc. The presence of such damage can also result in the discoloration of the ceiling and walls. This is why it is important that the leak is fixed as soon as possible. The sooner the leak is fixed, the better the results will be.
- It Prevents Further Damage to the Home or Office.
When there is water damage, the first thing that happens is that the walls start to crack. This is due to the fact that the water pressure is too high. As a result, the walls start to break down. This leads to more cracks appearing. Over time, the leaks can spread throughout the entire wall. This is why it’s imperative that the leak is fixed right away.
- It Reduces the Risk of a Fire
Fire is another major concern that people face when their homes or offices become flooded. This is because the water can easily find its way into electrical outlets, appliances, pipes, etc. This can cause a serious fire hazard. Therefore, it is essential that the leak is fixed so that the fire does not occur.
- It Protects the Value of the Home or Office
The presence of such a situation can affect the overall look and feel of your home or office. This can lower the value of your property. However, a properly executed restoration will prevent that from happening.
- It Increases the Lifespan of the Home or Office.
If no immediate action is taken after a flood occurs, the home or office will continue to deteriorate. This is because the moisture will remain trapped inside the walls and other parts of the house. Eventually, the walls will begin to crumble. This will lead to mold growth which will eventually rot the wood.
If you have ever had such a situation in your home or office, then you know how expensive it can be. It is very important that you hire a professional who knows what they are doing.
SERVPRO of Northwest Long Beach
SERVPRO NWLB is able to assist you throughout the entire water damage restoration process. We have years of service experience serving the central Florida area and can handle disasters of any size. If you need assistance with a water damage event, call the professionals 24/7 at (562)506-4992.
Is Coronavirus Cleaning Necessary for Commercial Property?
For more information on Covid-19 Cleaning, Call SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach 562-506-4992
According to reports by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Covid-19 can thrive on a wide range of surfaces. This means that you could contract it when you come into contact with a contaminated surface.
Some people who get infected are asymptomatic while others show symptoms. When they finally do, it's mostly after 14 days. Therefore, exercising caution contributes to minimizing the spread of coronavirus significantly.
One of the guaranteed ways to curb this spread is hiring skilled commercial building cleaners. You need SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach to keep your surfaces disinfected, thus reducing exposure to this virus. We work on a wide range of businesses. Since you're responsible for the safety of everyone who visits your business premises, you can hire us to enhance it through Covid-19 cleaning.
We train our employees to follow the appropriate cleaning and disinfecting protocols for coronavirus. We also prioritize disinfecting businesses whose owners believe that their work environment has been exposed to the virus.
Steps to Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces for Covid-19
Our trained employees understand that cleaning surfaces for Covid-19 requires plenty of attention and precision. Therefore, we don't use basic cleaning items to clean and disinfect the surfaces. Usually, the process requires significant planning. Once we have assessed and mapped the space, we use specialized equipment and products for Covid-19 disinfection.
We focus on thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing all the surfaces in your workplace. First, we send our team of experts to assess your commercial property. Most importantly, we prioritize buildings that people suspect have been compromised. From here, we follow the established cleaning protocols so that your building is disinfected suitably.
Our specialized cleaning service involves cleaning surfaces such as computers, keyboards, touch screens, desks, door handles, hallways, seating areas, shopping carts, handrails, and other contaminated areas. Our skilled employees also make sure that they clean common areas in the office thoroughly. However, you need to know that our cleaning procedure depends on your type of business.
Normally, we use high-quality cleaning products. We only use those that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because we understand that safety comes first, especially during a pandemic.
That means you can resume your day-to-day office work after the cleaning exercise because all our products are safe. We also prioritize our employees by making sure that they wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the cleaning and disinfection exercise.
You also don't have to worry about us leaving any waste behind. Our cleanings services also involve proper waste disposal, especially where bio-hazardous waste is involved. We aim to leave your commercial property sparkling clean and properly sanitized to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
So, if you reside in Northwest Long Beach and are in need of office cleaning services, we're only a call away. We offer a wide range of professional cleaning services, including janitorial work. Our team of experts is well versed in coronavirus cleaning, and they always follow the health measures put in place to minimize the spread of the virus in Southern California.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
For more information on our cleaning services, Contact SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach today! 562-506-4992
As we all move forward in the battle against COVID-19, inspiring safety and confidence in our communities remains the number one concern. That’s why at SERVPRO®, we remain dedicated to bringing a higher standard of clean to businesses across the country through Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Types of Commercial Cleaning Services we Offer
One thing that businesses expect to experience regularly during the pandemic is an increased focus on disinfection and sanitation. That said, here are the services we offer.
1. Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning is standard practice in our company. Its importance, however, has significantly increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we don't intend to stop anytime soon. Regular deep cleaning contributes to proper sanitation, and it makes your business feel more welcoming. Moreover, it minimizes the buildup of grime and dirt and makes daily cleaning tasks seem seamless.
2. Upholstery Cleaning
We offer upholstery cleaning services to get rid of dust, dander, germs, and allergens. Proper upholstery cleaning not only extends the lifespan of your upholstered surfaces but also prevents damage. It is especially important if you run a high-traffic business because it means your upholstered surfaces have heavy daily use. Since it's difficult to know who's infected, thorough upholstery cleaning will help reduce the spread of the virus.
3. Floor Mat Cleaning
Floor mat cleaning helps to keep your commercial property tidy and clean. Additionally, it makes your work premises safer. In the Covid-19 era, having clean mats helps communicate your business's commitment to cleaning and sanitation. That way, your clients feel at ease whenever they're in your workplace.
4. Carpet Cleaning
Carpets usually improve the outlook of your office and enhance its comfort. However, they're also a hotbed for allergens and dander. Carpets tend to trap a lot of pollutants, which explains why you need routine carpet cleaning. You should always hire experts for the task to make sure your property is well sanitized. Additionally, proper service leaves your property looking and feeling great besides extending the lifespan of your carpet.
5. Janitorial Monthly Services
For your commercial property to stay spotless and reduce exposure to the virus, you might also require monthly cleaning services. Our experts carry out several monthly cleaning services, including:
- Cleaning fabric chairs and other upholstered furniture in your office
- Dusting and wiping down high surfaces, such as ceiling corners
- Deep cleaning all surfaces in the building
Tips for Damaged Electronics Following A Fire
Cleaning up after a fire is a critical step in the restoration process. Many of your belongings can be saved if you treat them properly after a fire.
A fire in your house in can have a large impact on your property. Not only is the building affected, but the belongings inside are often damaged as well. Even if the flames do not touch these items, smoke can cause problems, particularly for electronics. The following are some steps you can take to salvage these important devices during fire cleanup.
1. Unplug or Turn Off Your Devices
If any of your electronics are still on, turn them off if it is safe to do so. If smoke has gone inside of these objects, it can carry soot and contaminants throughout the devices. Heat and air circulation can make it easier for corrosion and permanent damage to occur if they are still on.
2. Clean the Exterior
While smoke damage can be more devastating to the inside of your devices, you should still take care to remove any residue from the outside. A wet rag is often enough for the exterior of objects with hard surfaces.
3. Drain Wet Electronics
If the fire was severe, then a hose was likely used to put out the flames. In this case, a cleanup and restoration service will need to remove water from the building before fire cleanup begins. Affected devices should be drained and dried as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
4. Have Them Inspected and Repaired
Whether they have been affected by water or smoke, your devices can be irreparably damaged if you attempt to use them before these elements have been completely removed. It is best to bring them to a professional for an inspection and any necessary repairs to make sure they are safe to use.
Fire cleanup is an important step in the restoration process. Many of your belongings can be salvaged after a fire, if they are treated in the right way. With the help of professionals, you can have your electronics ready for use again in no time.
Homeowners Insurance and Wind Damage
Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach to help 562-506-4992
Most homeowners policies cover wind damage, one of the most common causes of damage from storms. According to the Insurance Information Institute, research shows that homeowners filed more claims between 2014 and 2018 due to wind and hail damage than any other type of loss,1 including fire, water damage or theft.
Typically, homeowners insurance offers some wind damage coverage for the costs of repair and replacement associated with a bad storm. Be sure to check your homeowners policy to understand what it covers.
What Is Considered Wind Damage Under a Homeowners Policy?
Generally, most damage caused by wind in any type of storm is considered wind damage and is covered under a homeowners policy. Damaging winds can cause destruction to roofs, windows and more.
There are several types of storms that can cause wind damage that typically fall under the coverage in a homeowners policy, including:
Is Wind Damage Covered by Home Insurance?
Yes, as noted above, homeowners insurance typically covers most types of wind damage. Usually, the dwelling coverage of your homeowners policy will help pay to repair or replace damage to the roof, siding or windows due to a wind event. Your homeowners policy also includes personal property coverage that may help to repair or replace items that become damaged due to a wind event.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage to Roofs?
Depending on the type of policy you have, your homeowners insurance likely covers wind damage to the roof of your home. If you have other structures coverage, you may be covered for wind damage to roofs on other structures on your property, like a shed or free-standing garage.
Your policy will explain coverage for roof damage repair or replacement due to a wind event. Certain things like the age of your roof or unresolved maintenance issues may factor in to how much of the costs will be covered to repair the damage or replace the roof. Your insurance carrier will evaluate the damage, including any damage that may have existed prior to the wind event, and determine the appropriate reimbursement.
Protect Your Home
Wind-driven events have the potential to cause significant damage to your home. While your homeowners insurance helps protect your investment, it is equally important to take proactive measures to help secure your home from the damage of high winds. Here’s what you can do:
- Protect Your Roof. Regular roof inspection is an important safeguard. You can start by doing your own site inspection. Walk a short distance from your house and use a pair of binoculars to inspect your roof. Note any missing or loose shingles or tiles and get those repaired or replaced by a licensed contractor. From the attic, check areas where wiring enters your roof. If you can see daylight, seal those areas. Finally, check your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they are clear of debris and firmly attached to your house.
- Inspect Your Siding. Carefully inspect your siding and fix any deterioration. This includes reattaching loose siding and resealing siding around doors and windows, water lines, the dryer vent and where wires enter the home.
- Eliminate Projectiles. If you know a windstorm is approaching, remove or secure all outside items that could become projectiles and cause damage to your home. These include lawn furniture, hanging baskets, grills, bicycles, toys and dead or overhanging tree branches.
When Flushing The Toilet, Water Remains On The Floor
Contact SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach to determine the cause of your toilet leak, make any necessary repairs, and help prevent further problems.
No one wants to flush the toilet, only to find water leaking out onto the floor around it. In most cases, however, a leaking toilet isn't cause for alarm and is usually an easy fix. All you need to do is figure out what's causing it and take steps to remedy the problem. Here's what to look for:
Take a Look at the Wax Seal
At the base of the toilet is a wax gasket that creates a seal between the toilet and the floor. Normally, when the seal is tight, the water flows straight down into the pipe when you flush. However, if the wax dries out and becomes brittle, it can develop cracks or pull away from one or both surfaces, allowing water to escape out from under the toilet base. If that's the case, it's as simple as replacing the old gasket with a new one.
Make Sure the Tank is Tight
If the toilet tank isn't on tight, water can escape from the juncture where the tank meets the bowl of the leaking toilet. Try wiggling it — the tank shouldn't move. If it does, it needs to be tightened. Turn off the water supply and empty the tank as much as possible. Then, tighten the bolts inside to secure the tank firmly to the bowl.
Check the Tank Flange
The flange is the mechanism inside the tank that allows the water to fill and empty into the toilet. If the arm piece is broken, you can use a repair strap to fix it, or, in the worst-case scenario, replace the mechanism altogether. It should go without saying, but don't do anything to address your bathroom leak without shutting off the water supply first. If the steps outlined above aren't causing your leaking toilet, it's a good idea to call in professionals to fix the problem.
Contact a plumber or a water damage specialist in Northwest Long Beach to determine the cause, make the repairs necessary and help you prevent any further issues.
Humidity and Moisture Damage
If you have questions or need help identifying if your home has moisture damage, Call SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach to assist today (562)506-4992.
Humidity (or the level of humidity in the air) is something you cannot avoid. Humidity can cause discomfort and make the air feel sticky. Different types of moisture damages occur at different humidity levels. The average relative humidity level can be found by looking to the local weather reports in your area. Maintenance of most objects below 50% RH at room temperature can protect items from moisture caused damages. These are four great reasons to manage indoor humidity.
Bathrooms grow mold and mildew
The bathroom is probably the most humid room in your home. You release more moisture to the air every time you use hot water for washing your hands or take a hot bath. Moisture-laden air is a perfect environment to grow mold and mildew. This can have serious consequences for your health. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent mold spores from entering your home. Even if you get rid of all the mold spores, they will still be there the next time you open a window or door. Controlling the interior humidity is the only way to stop mold and mildew growing in your home. Mold grows and proliferates at a temperature range of 12~38°C when humidity is greater than 60%. Mold and mildew are not only dangerous to your health but can also cause damage to walls and floors. Concrete and glass are porous materials that can be cleaned. However, porous surfaces such as carpet, fabric and drywall must be removed and replaced.
Hardwood Flooring Warps
Hardwood floors can be very sensitive to humidity. The wood floors can become warped, expanded, or separated if the air is too dry. Experts recommend maintaining a home between 40-60 percent humidity to preserve hardwood. Engineered hardwood is a better choice than traditional hardwood in humid regions, as it’s more resilient to humidity. Engineered wood flooring is made by pressing layers and glues of wood together. It doesn’t need to attach to the subfloor and won’t expand and contract with the seasons. It’s easy to keep humidity under control and protect your beautiful flooring by following a few easy steps. For example, use your bathroom fan when you release moisture.
HVAC Systems Struggle
Ambient humidity can affect your HVAC system. Each home HVAC system includes either a vacuum pump or a condensate drainage to remove condensation from the pipes. You will collect more condensation the higher your humidity is. It can leak into the vicinity of the air handler, creating a breeding ground for mold or mildew. Your HVAC system can be put under strain if there is too much humidity. Due to the increased humidity, your home may feel warmer inside. Experts recommend that the humidity, or the level of humidity, be kept below 50% during the summer when humidity can be a problem. The winter brings about a drop in humidity, which can make it uncomfortable. To avoid chapped lips and dry noses when it is cold outside, keep your interior moisture levels between 30-40%.
Keep It Comfy
Although humidity is not something you can avoid, it doesn’t mean that you need to live with dry winter air or hot sticky summer air. It’s important to maintain a healthy humidity level in your home. Too much can cause damage. By washing, cooking and breathing, the average family creates up to 20 pints (11.36 Liters) of moisture every day. This moisture must go somewhere and be dealt with to avoid condensation. However, condensation could appear in many forms and the most common being steaming windows. And in extreme cases, dark spots of mold will appear. Condensation is the result of a buildup of moisture caused by our normal lifestyle and it's unavoidable.
If you have questions or need help identifying if your home has moisture damage, Call SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach to assist today (562)506-4992.
Flash Flood Warnings - Beware!
We at SERVPRO of Northwest Long Beach have trained technicians and all the equipment needed to remediate all sources of water damage 24/7
California is prone to potentially devastating impacts of periodic floods. All 58 counties have experienced at least 1 significant flood event in the past 25 years, resulting in loss of life and billions of dollars in damages. Floods are naturally occurring phenomena in California. They can keep erosion and sedimentation in natural balance, replenish soils, recharge groundwater, and support a variety of coastal floodplain habitats for some of California’s most sensitive species.
But when floods occur where people live and work, the result can be a tragic loss of life and property, including economic impacts from damaged critical infrastructure and vital public facilities, valuable agricultural land taken out of production, and disruptions to California’s water supply system.
One of the leading risk factors for flooding in California is the fact that so many of our major cities have developed around major rivers. Climate change predicts even more variability in meteorological and hydrologic conditions with increasingly intense atmospheric rivers, punctuated by increasingly severe droughts.
All regions of California are susceptible to flooding at different times of the year and in different forms ranging from tsunamis in coastal areas to alluvial fan flooding at the base of hillsides, and from fast-moving flash floods to slow rise deep flooding in valleys. Flood risk varies across the state, generally increasing with storm frequency, as well as with development in floodplains.
We work with local and federal agencies to build and maintain a robust flood control system of levees and bypasses.
All Californians should know their flood risk and be prepared. Damage caused by flood can be devastating, including lives lost, property damaged and negative economic effect.
The question is how do you prepare for such a disaster event? There are several ways you can prepare for flood.
1- Check with your local council about their flood plan.
2- Ask authorities about relocation routes and centers.
3- If you are in a flood zone consider alternative floor instead of carpet.
4- Emergency kit
5- Have household plan
Also you can get great help on FEMA website or take. This is one of many classes they offer
We at SERVPRO of Northwest Long Beach have trained technicians and all the equipment needed to remediate all sources of water damage 24/7, from leaky pipes to heavy floods. 562-506-4992