Recent Posts

West Modesto: What you can do before we arrive after a flood

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

When storm damage hits, there is often little a homeowner can do to prevent floodwaters from entering the home. These carry immense power and can seep in through even the smallest cracks. However, when it comes to preventing damage to your home and reducing costs during the restoration process, there are a few steps you can take before a SERVPRO crew arrives. If possible, carry out these tasks before we arrive, but always be mindful of your safety and health.

Put a Barrier Between Furniture and the Floor

One of the easiest ways to mitigate harm to your furniture during storm damage in Manteca is to place a small barrier between your furniture and the floor. Prop up couches, chairs, desks, tables, and anything else you can on top of wooden blocks, bricks, or some other stable object. This effort will help to keep the furniture from coming into any more direct contact with flood water.

Lay Things Out to Dry

If floodwaters have already receded from an area, you can take fabrics and objects there and place them out to dry. This placement is essential for couches and furniture with cushions/pillows because the moisture will instead become trapped inside, causing severe and often irreversible damage. Do not, however, attempt to dry items with a hair dryer or other machine. Instead, try to find a sunny or warm area to place them.

Leave Electricity Alone

Anything electrical in your home presents a major hazard following a flood, so even if you feel that turning something on is necessary, wait until a SERVPRO representative arrives to consult them. If a room is dark and you wish to enter, there may be water damage to the lights or wiring and these may present a hazard. Similarly, avoid using outlets or anything plugged in.

West Modesto: The Difficulty of Mold

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage in West Modesto is incredibly difficult to treat and remove once it has taken root in a home. Resistant to heat, cold, chemicals, light, darkness, and physical abrasion, mold is near impossible to deal with without specially-designed tools and equipment like those used by SERVPRO. So, why is mold so difficult to work with? The answer starts in its biology: mold is adapted specifically to be as hardy as possible, not relinquishing its grasp on a surface until the bitter end.

All colonies, even those causing the most extensive mold damage in Modesto, start from tiny, microscopic spores. Whether it is one spore or a handful, it does not often take much for a full-force infestation to spring up. These spores mature quickly, and once they have reached maturity, they produce thousands more of their kind. These children, equally tiny and hardy as their parent organism, then mostly spread around the immediate area, taking root and growing hundreds to thousands of children of their own. In this way, mold reproduces at an extraordinary exponential rate, quickly consuming the entire surface surrounding the origin of growth.

However, if this was the only way mold could spread, the fungus would not be nearly as ubiquitous as it is in modern America. The organisms also respond to physical stimuli: should an animal or object brush against the mold, millions of spores are liable to brush off and get carried to an entirely new location. SERVPRO technicians take great care to ensure this happens as little as possible, with regular self-sanitization processes and changes of clothing. Mold can also spread due to HVAC systems, as air is circulated at a rate fast enough to pick up spores and swirl them about the home, infecting multiple rooms at a time. Keeping mold under control is almost impossible for the unprepared, but luckily, we equip our technicians with a thorough retinue of instruments and equipment for keeping mold contained.

West Modesto: Mold Damage can happen in the valley

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Since there is little seasonal change around Modesto, many residents and homeowners forget about routine maintenance. Some mistakenly believe that with no significant drop in temperature and the damp that goes with it, their house is safer from mold than in other parts of the country. That belief is just not accurate.

Modesto mold damage can happen as quickly here as in a dank basement in the mid-west. Mold spores grow and thrive in temperatures as warm as 85 degrees. Some species live at even higher temperatures. To stop active mold growth and prevent future expansion from starting, SERVPRO has developed a process that finds the source of the mold, isolates it, kills active spores and then removes the rest.

First, is sealing off the mold infested area. Our response team blocks hallway openings, doors, and windows using plastic sheeting to isolate the mold and prevent it from contaminated more of the home. Team members also seal the HVAC vents to prevent mold from getting into the ductwork. If we found mold already in the ducts, we seal off all vents in the house to prevent mold spreading to other rooms.

Second, we wipe down surfaces to begin cleaning mold off the personal and structural property. For nonporous surfaces like glass and metal, we use either a dry or wet cloth depending on how thick the mold is on a glass table or refrigerator for example. If the surface is porous, like a carpet or sheetrock panel, then we usually recommend disposal and replacement as that usually is more cost-effective than cleaning. After finishing, SERVPRO technicians may use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter attached. These filters are designed to trap even a single mold spore.

After cleaning, we wait for the dust to settle. Our actions disturb mold, so some of it temporarily escapes to the air. When enough time has passed, we wipe down each surface again and repeat the process until we are satisfied your home is clean.

Finally, we bring down the air moisture content of your home, also called humidity, to lower the risk of mold returning after we leave. Technicians set up space heaters to carefully warm the air while installing dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the surrounding air and property.

Remediating mold damage is not a short or easy process. With SERVPRO of West Modesto on your side, it gets done correctly to put you back into your home as quickly and safely as possible. Call us today at (209) 523-2522 for more information or to schedule a preliminary inspection.

West Modesto: Mold Types

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

You may hear quite a bit of chatter on the internet these days about black mold and health problems associated with this type of contamination. However, you should understand that all forms of mold can eventually lead to health issues, making it necessary to seek out qualified mold remediation specialists to get the protection you deserve.

Attempting to remove mold damage found in your Modesto area home on your own involves a time-consuming process that may or may not produce any results. Without the proper tools, knowledge, and training, you can even make things worse, leading to additional or recurring growth that never seems to go away.

SERVPRO gives you access to expertly trained mold remediation specialists that put vast resources and years of experience to work for you. We can help you get mold growth under control and teach you a few things about how to prevent future contamination that just might stop you from having problems like this ever again.

SERVPRO technicians use personal protective equipment like chemical resistant gloves, boots, goggles, full-body suits and even respirators to maintain personal safety for everyone involved. We contain the affected areas and use air movers, negative-airflow machines, water extractors, moisture detectors, advanced cleaning and sanitation methods to get mold growth found on your property under control in a timely, efficient manner.

Seeing SERVPRO Professionals perform mold remediation services can truly inspire you. Our technicians use a variety of methods to get water sources under control. We extract saturated materials, following strict guidelines to handle and dispose of contaminated materials, while protecting the rest of your home and its occupants from exposure throughout the entire process.

West Modesto: Got Mold?

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold often flourishes in warm, damp, humid areas of your home, easily spreading through airborne mold spores. It can survive in even the harshest environments just waiting for the right conditions to exist that helps promote growth. 

Finding mold damage in your Modesto area home does not mean that your health is in danger. Molds and fungus can be found everywhere within our environment. No one even knows how many species of mold exist, because different species often blend, creating entirely new species that endure within the environment provided. 

Common forms of indoor molds that SERVPRO technicians face include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus each of which comes with a different warning. 

Cladosporium – One of the most common fungi, existing both indoors and outdoors. This species of mold produces olive-green to brown or black colonies, formed in simple or branching chains.

Penicillium – Otherwise known to produce penicillin, which is used as an antibiotic to kill or stop the growth of several different types of bacteria inside of the human body, a species that produces green colonies that sprout colorless hyphae.

Alternaria – Plant fungi that also often affects human allergens. If allowed to grow into colonies of sufficient size, 299 species can grow inside of your home, leading to hay fever, hypersensitivity and the development of asthma in some people.

Aspergillus – The first cataloged species of mold, often taking hold of starchy foods such as bread and potatoes. This species lives in oxygen-rich environments, an Aerobe that flourishes better when higher amounts of oxygen are present.

Molds do not affect all people in the same ways, mostly causing minor irritations to a fully-grown adult person, mold exists within our environment to help recycle materials back into our eco-system. Even if we could remove mold entirely, we should never attempt to do so.

SERVPRO supplies homeowners with the information needed to make informed decisions concerning mold damage on their property. You should understand that regardless of the amount or type of mold that exists, it can take a professional remediation specialist to get things under control properly.

Without the help of certified remediation technicians from SERVPRO, mold growth can return over and over, covering more of your home, and lead to continuing damage. 

West Modesto: Be Prepared in Case of Fire

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

God forbid, but what if it happens to a homeowner or a business. Are you ready?

In case of fire damage, we are always here to help. The cleanup, deodorization and mitigation is our specialty and we can make it "Like it never even happened." Keep our phone number in your emergency contact list.

What can be done by any homeowner or business?

Annual review of electrical wiring, gas lines, appliances, smoke detectors is a must.

Review your insurance policy with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for the building, any betterment, your furniture and other content.

Do you need extra coverage for specialty items like artwork, antiques, firearms, jewelry? These items need to be removed from the building before any cleanup work begins. Better have

Have a protocol ready. It's the best prevention, because when it happens decision making is not so easy.

Ask about our emergency ready plan.

West Modesto: Fire Damage Help

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

With the often-incredible heat that pours through California throughout the year, it is not hard to see how so many homes become susceptible to fires. Even those that did not ignite in your home might affect your entire neighborhood before it gets officially extinguished through efforts from local firefighting teams. While the panic and fear of losing everything are in the forefront of your mind when the fire is still alight and burning, the afterthoughts beyond extinguishment are heavily about what you have to do next to put your home, and your life, back on track.

Fire damage to your Manteca home might take a lot of different forms, especially when you consider the magnitude of the blaze from incident to incident. When you first call our SERVPRO technicians, we can hurry out to assess the damage to your home and come up with a detailed and thorough plan to restore all of the affected areas and get your house back to preloss conditions. You are intricately involved in this step of the process, as your priorities and input allow our team to better complete their tasks according to your list of priorities.

With situations that have left very little physical damage to the house, your priorities might be something as simple as getting the bad smell out of your house where your kitchen drapes went up in flames. Our IICRC-certified technicians have specialized equipment, like dense fogging machines, which allow them to deodorize the air and neutralize molecules of foul odors. Fogging leaves behind no trace of a bad smell at all, and allows you to scent the air as you see fit.

For more complex cases with much structural damage, our team works quickly to save the things that are reparable. This restoration includes all of the contents of your home in the affected areas, but also a complete cleaning of the walls and floors where smoke and soot damage has likely left a residue. Scrubbers are used for this process and do a thorough job of either completely restoring the walls in question, or at least preparing them for a new coat of paint in the future.

Depending on the complexity of your fire damage, there are numerous approaches that our skilled professionals can take to restore the damages.

West Modesto: Ways That Fire Damage Can Show Up Months Later

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

One thing about house fires that is true in almost all situations is that some damage is not as visible in some parts of a home as it is in others. Some damage is in the loss of utility. A door may seem undamaged, along with its frame, but after a fire, no longer open and close correctly. Windows can also be affected this way. Heat and moisture from fighting that fire can cause wood to swell. Even after remediation has been completed, small things like this can pop up.

Situations that affect a Modesto area home's level of security after fire damage has been remediated still needs to be remediated. Security needs to be restored. These types of fire damage-related issues can appear weeks or months after a fire. Having a situation such as this develop does not mean that the remediation immediately after a fire was unsuccessful. Wood that expands can become more porous, which in turn allows more moisture in the future to be retained, leading to swelling.

Restoring openings to your home that have become impossible to close and open correctly and quickly pose risks to your security. Intruders can gain easier access, and in the event of another disaster, leaving your home might be more difficult, resulting in the loss of precious seconds when they count the most.

Many locks on the market today are made of highly durable plastics. While these are suitable to keep out most burglars, the plastic components can melt during a fire. Some of these locks remain functioning for a while, but then stop working and fall apart internally. If this is the case in your situation, replacement of the lock is a simple enough process.

We can repair these conditions and restore the safety your family deserves. Working to restore homes of our neighbors, family, and friends, we know a safe and secure feeling is important to every family.

West Modesto: Restore Your Home After a Kitchen Fire

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Busy lives are full of missteps, some more dangerous than others. Walking away from the stovetop happens when kids call or the doorbell rings, but so then do kitchen fires. SERVPRO experts help put your cooking areas, and other affected areas of your home, back together after fire damage.

Sorting out a disagreement between a pair of siblings took you away longer than expected from a pot of water boiling, waiting for some pasta. Instead of cooking dinner, the pot boiled dry and superheated, igniting some potholders, causing fire damage to your home. Our fire damage restoration crews are always on standby for situations such as this. We are ready to assess and begin the cleanup and restoration as soon as the fire department gives the go-ahead.

National statistics point to unattended cooking as the most common cause for the 62 percent of home fires attributed to ranges or cooktops per year. SERVPRO team members train on a regular basis to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards to be prepared in industry best practices. A project manager assesses the extent of the damage in the kitchen and other areas of the house and develops a plan to meet your specific needs.

If water put out the fire, SERVPRO’s first job is to remove and dispose of the moisture. Drying techniques begin if the area is very saturated. Then cleanup of soot, chemical residues from fire extinguishers, and smoky odors ensues. The coatings left by fire damage is highly acidic and corrosive. Waiting even a few hours before starting the cleaning process permanently discolors and etches plastics, glass, and metal.

High on the SERVPRO’s checklist is turning off your HVAC system if it is still running as it will spread soot and other residues throughout your home. If smoke sucked into the vents duct cleaning is on the agenda. We match building materials and the character of the sooty coatings when cleaning. Lighter dustings of ash and soot vacuum or dry sponge off well. We use HEPA filtration in our professional vacs. Stickier damage often responds to a spray and wipe technique. Items with many bevels or surfaces like cut glass dishes or window blinds need immersion or even ultrasonic cleaning, requiring a certified technician to operate.

If charring or melting is severe in the kitchen, some materials or appliances may need replacement. Otherwise, we strive to proceed with a restoration mentality, saving you time and money and minimizing disruption to your daily routine.

West Modesto: Leaving Lights On Can Be a Fire Hazard

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

The worst thing that happens when a light is left on is not necessarily a high electric bill. The heat from many kinds of light bulbs is capable of igniting draperies, bedding, and even rugs and carpeting, among other things. SERVPRO is a resource for the homeowner recovering from a fire set by this or any method.

Although you cannot be certain exactly how it happened, fire damaged your Modesto home after a lit lamp overturned in a bedroom. Perhaps a pet knocked it down, or it was teetering on the edge of a bedside table, but the bed linens caught fire. Fortunately, a neighbor noticed smoke billowing out of an open window and called 911. You rushed home to find the fire out, but damage in the room, the attic and the roof above it.

A call to SERVPRO immediately has our crew arriving right after the fire department authorizes reentry. Fire damage usually poses a complex set of issues, including the obvious charring and destruction to contents and structure, and also water and chemical residue damage, depending on how the first responders extinguished the fire.

Our project manager begins ordering the crew to secure the affected areas from the elements. If the fire burned through the wall or roof to the outside, this is crucial. Then an assessment of the damage ensues. SERVPRO technicians train in safely restoring fire damage, including ensuring that flooring is walkable and that no structural supports are in danger of falling. Water and chemicals make floors slippery, demanding extra care when moving through the rooms for the cleanup crew and the residents.

Items destroyed by flames are bagged for disposal by local rules. Porous articles like mattresses rarely survive unless they untouched by charring, and even then, soot and smoke damage counsel replacement in many cases. Clothing and linens clean up well through laundering or dry cleaning, a task the homeowner may take up to free SERVPRO for more technical matters.

Furniture with soot or other residue needs a dry or wet cleaning, depending on the amount and stickiness of the coating. Our staff uses the least intrusive technique that is effective. Vacuuming and dusting are good for light coverage, while spray and wipe to abrasive cleaners may be needed in other instances. SERVPRO staff checks for charred areas as they emit odors even if cleaned, and determines whether sealing or removal is the best option.

Structural charring requires replacement of key supports, and damaged ceilings and drywall replacement may be less expensive and quicker than laborious cleaning and sealing. Throughout the process of restoration, our project manager and office staff work with your insurer to limit your out of pocket expenses. We provide as much evidence, including our professional opinions, as possible to prove your fire damage claim.