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Principals of Water Damage Restoration

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

The water restoration industry describes the drying of wet building materials and contents in five fundamental principles. Restorers implement a course of restorative action based on these principles. A quick response is key to preventing further water damage, so for applying the principles effectively the restorer must respond promptly whenever water intrudes into a building. The principles of water damage restoration are noted in The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S500 Standard and Reference Guide for

Professional Water Damage Restoration:

• Provide for the health and safety of workers and occupants.

• Document conditions and work procedures.

• Mitigation.

• Drying.

• Cleaning and repair.

 

Principle 1—Safety First

Safety is everyone’s responsibility on a water damage work site. A primary concern in water damage safety is protecting employees.

Observing appropriate safety procedures will help keep workers healthy while they work in unhealthy or unsafe buildings.

Principle 2—Documentation

Restorers inspect the areas where water has intruded to identify the extent to which water has migrated through materials and how much damage has occurred. They talk with building occupants about their observations to help further define the nature of the water damage.

During the process of drying a building, restorers conduct ongoing inspections. They inspect and measure moisture conditions inside the building and in materials affected by the water. Information gathered in the ongoing inspections is documented and used to determine whether wet materials are drying properly. When the structure and contents are considered dry again, restorers conduct a final inspection.

This information is documented to show that the building materials and contents have been restored to acceptable conditions. Restorers document not only conditions of the building, but also the work procedures that are followed to address those conditions.

Principle 3—Mitigation

The restorer’s concern with any wet building is to prevent damages caused by water and moisture from becoming worse. Effective mitigation of a water intrusion will reduce the amount of damage a property suffers and thus also reduce the cost of restoring the property to its condition before the loss. Mitigation is important because it helps the occupant recover more quickly from the water loss event.

The goal of mitigation is to control the moisture and contamination. The restorer will check for the source of moisture problems in the building. This source of moisture or water must be stopped before any drying of the building can be successful. A building owner is ultimately responsible for correcting the source of water intrusion, but the restorer should assist in identifying that source. Mitigation also controls any microbiological contamination resulting from the moisture.Contaminants are contained to prevent their spread from affected areas of a building to the uncontaminated areas.

Principle 4—Drying Buildings and Contents

A restorer’s task is to reduce the time that building materials and contents are excessively wet. The more quickly items are returned to a dry condition, the less damage they will suffer while wet. The drying process involves some basic procedures:

Remove excess water. Removing the excess or bulk water is an important procedure in drying a building. There are only two ways to remove water from a building—extraction and evaporation. Extraction is the more effective way for removing enough water to speed the process of drying.

o Extract: Using a truck mount extractor and a carpet wand, a restorer can pull out over 100 gallons of water in one hour.

o Evaporate and Dehumidify: Even when the air is saturated with moisture, the larger dehumidifiers will remove only about 30 gallons in a day (24 hours). Every gallon removed by extracting means much less time will be needed trying to remove that gallon with drying equipment.

Enhance evaporation of moisture. Restorers set up drying equipment to remove moisture through evaporation and dehumidification. Air movement speeds the evaporation of moisture from wet materials.

Remove water vapor by dehumidification or ventilation. Dry air acts like a sponge to absorb moisture from wet surfaces. Wet, humid air is processed through dehumidifiers to remove water vapor and produce dry air. Air movers circulate the dry air from the dehumidifiers across the wet surfaces to speed up evaporation. An alternative procedure for removing water vapor is to ventilate by flushing wet, humid air from the building.

Control temperature to enhance moisture removal. Temperature is the important third part of the drying equation spelled HAT (Humidity, Airflow, Temperature). Restorers control the temperature of air conditions in order to increase the rate of evaporation. They also maintain certain temperature levels to increase the operating efficiency of dehumidifiers.

Principle 5—Cleaning and Repair

When the restorer’s inspection confirms that moisture content of the structure and contents has reached the drying goals, the drying services are done. The restorer is now ready to begin restoration services. During restoration the restorer performs any repairs and cleaning tasks needed to return the property to its preloss condition.

 

Here at SERVPRO of Walnut Creek it is important to us to not only make your loss "Like it never even happened" but to also educate you and help you completely understand what we do and prepare you for any future losses.

Have water damage? Give us a call at (925)930-6690

 

Mold Safety Tips

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (925)930-6690

  SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Walnut Creek, Clayton and the greater Bay Area

Commercial Fire damage

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.  

Commercial Fire Damage? Call Us Today – (925) 930-6690

Commercial Restoration Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Walnut Creek / Clayton has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

  • Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

Helpful Tips in the restoration industry

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

What is restorable?

  • We will separate and save any items which do not clean completely. Our crews will never throw anything away unless you request it.

Pre-existing or Preloss Conditions

  • During the course of the cleaning, it is likely we will remove day-to-day soiling, which existed prior to your loss. We are happy to do so. If however, the removal of pre-existing soil requires significant extra effort, our crews will be instructed to move on to the next item. Pre-existing damage, including visible mold growth, will also be noted.

Personal Items

  • In the course of our survey and cleaning, we will sometimes be required to open doors, cupboards, etc. to qualify and/or restore the damage. If any other these areas contain personal items you would prefer to relocate before we start work, please let us know.
  • Guns and ammunition- our crews are instructed NEVER to touch guns or ammunition. For this reason, we request you remove such items from the areas we are cleaning
  • Jewelry, valuables, heirlooms-Please remove any valuable items from the areas we are cleaning before the job is started. We are not responsible for those items.

Overlooked Items

  • although our supervisors inspect all work, you should accompany the supervisor on the final walk-through and bring any overlooked items or concerns to the supervisor's attention.

Insurance Adjusters or Agent

  • We are neither insurance adjusters nor agents. We cannot authorize anything to be replaced, repaired or painted. Our job is to preserve and protect, stop further damage from occurring and restore damaged items to the prior condition when possible.

Health and Safety

  • Maintaining your personal health and safety is a great concern to us. All occupants and pets should stay away from the work areas to protect their health and safety during the work process. Material safety Data Sheets for our products are available upon request.

Approximate completion

  • The actual time required to complete the restoration process is difficult to estimate. However, the more quickly the technicians begin work to limit the damage, the faster the job can be completed.

Flooding and water damage at your business

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Bay Area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton

SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

Smoke Damage from a fire

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Damage from a fire smoke damage from an item left on a stove too long in a Fremont home.

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. Fire restoration requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

Fire is always the immediate danger but what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered.



Here at SERVPRO of Walnut Creek &Clayton we can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer you wait the more destruction it will cause.

What SERVPRO of Walnut Creek will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. We will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, our technicians will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.


For more information or if you have smoke damage please give us a call today at (925)930-6690.

The science of Drying

5/10/2017 (Permalink)

The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a structure to its preloss condition. Where the average Do-it-yourself homeowner or business owner might be tempted to grab a few beach towels to mop up the mess and place a box fan or two around the damaged area, here at SERVPRO of Walnut Creek and Clayton follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.

Just for starters, a trained restorer will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, preventing damage from happening because wet components were overlooked.
  • Measure how much moisture is in the wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does "speed up Mother Nature" mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because our environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material- but only if the air is indeed drier. The only problem is that Nature takes too long and secondary damages occur while the building is drying out.

For this reason we have been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help "Mother Nature" along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough to reach spaces inside walls and much much more. We also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO of Walnut Creek & Clayton have the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

April showers bring May flowers_Identify leaks in ceiling

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Identifying the source of a ceiling leak is similar to putting together a puzzle. You might think it's simple enough, but finding where water is coming into the home may be an exercise in trial and error. Where the water enters the home may not be at the source of the leak. Water follows the easiest path until it reaches the lowest point or obstruction along that path where it begins to pool and leak. A thorough inspection and eliminating the most obvious causes is a good starting point when you want to identify the source of the leak in your ceiling.





1. Determine if the leak occurs only during bad weather or is a continual problem rain or shine. If the leak dries out between storms, this is a good indication that the leak starts somewhere on the roof. If the leak is consistent when it rains or shines, the leak probably comes from a plumbing water supply line.




2. Examine the water leaking from the ceiling. If the water appears fresh, there's a good chance it comes from a leaking plumbing line or fixture. If the water is dirty or stains the ceiling, the source might be a leak in the roof.




3.Gain access to the attic and, with a flashlight, find the place where the ceiling is wet between roof joists. You will need to remove any insulation in the way of the leak. If there is a plumbing line near the leak, such as the supply line for a swamp cooler, check the line for leaks or moisture.


4. Look up at the ceiling while in the attic and note any spots where light shines through. Insert a plastic straw through the hole. This will help you find and repair the hole from atop the roof.




5. Inspect the inside of the attic ceiling for water stains or trails. Follow the water trail or stain to its source. Make note of the area if there are no visible holes, as water might be getting under roof flashing and causing the leak.




6. Inspect the roof's exterior. Use a ladder to gain access to the roof.




7. Start at the top of the roof and work down. Check valley flashing, gaskets around plumbing vents and utility entrances. Inspect flashing around chimneys, dormer vents or other roof protuberances. Look for any shingles in need of repair. Note if there are any wind-lifted, bulging or raised shingles as leak sources.




8. Review all areas of the roof where two different materials meet, such as between siding, shingles or flashing. Look for corroded or damaged materials as sources of ceiling leaks.




9. Check gutters and downspouts for clogs. Backed up drainage water can get under flashing and cause a ceiling to leak.




Things You Will Need



  • Flashlight

  • Plastic straw

  • Ladder

  • Safety line and other appropriate safety equipment




Tip



  • Annually inspect your roof and re-tar or use roof cement around plumbing vents, attic dormer vents, chimneys and anything that protrudes through the roof. Annual maintenance in the spring, summer or fall helps to prevent wintertime leaks.




Warning



  • Work safely when using a ladder. Confirm the ladder is planted securely before climbing. Use rubber-soled shoes when accessing the roof. Tie off a safety line on something secure to break any falls from the roof. Use the appropriate safety equipment.


Once you have identified your leak now you will know who needs to be called to fix the source of your water damage.


For more information or if you have water damage give us a call at (925)930-6690


**Mention this blog for a free inspection ($200 value)




Roof leaks and dangers to be aware of

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Due to the recent storms that are continuously hitting the bay area we have noticed a large increase in water damage clients with the source of their loss coming from roof leaks. Here are a few reasons why fixing your roof leak should be a very high priority and different ways it can become much more than a small leak.

 

1. Damage in the attic and ceiling

The initial dangers of a roof leak are damage to the attic area and items stored there. If there is no attic, or the size of the leak is large, it will damage the interior ceiling. The ceiling paint will darken and ceiling plaster may bubble and expand in the affected area. The leaking water also will damage paint and plaster on nearby walls. You can also expect damage on ceiling-mounted lights and fans.

2. Interior mold and mildew issues

In the longer term, one of the most serious consequences of a leaking roof is mold and mildew growth. Mold can spread throughout the home’s structure, to the HVAC system and then to the rest of the house through the vents where it can invade carpets, furniture and even clothing.

Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. Toxic black mold growth is rare, but even non-toxic black mold attacks wood framing, ceiling tiles, and wall and floor coverings. Mold is difficult to get rid of, and it is rather costly. 

3. Health concerns from mold

Mold and mildew can lead to serious health issues, especially for those with high sensitivity, including nasal congestion, rhinitis, inflammations and asthma, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mold spores continue to be produced once it's present and will lead to allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and more serious health problems.

4. Fire hazard from water damage

If your electrical wiring is present in an attic or ceiling, a leaky roof could pose a fire threat from shorted wires. It is highly recommended to turn off electricity to the area that’s affected and have an electrician examine it.

5. Slip and fall hazard

A severely leaking roof can cause water to puddle on the floor. This may not seem like a huge risk, but if you have an active family, and especially if you have children who like to run, you need to get that water mopped up to prevent human spills.

6. Compromised structural integrity

The most obvious consequence of a leaking roof is the damaged rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing and even fascia boards and exterior trim can become victims of water intrusion. Chronic roof leaks lead to wood deterioration and weakened, rotten roof framing causes serious problems that require assistance from a professional contractor. You can also face expensive wood framing repairs if water leaks down into ceiling joists and walls.

 

If you have water damage or need mold remediation give SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton a call at (925)930-6690

Heavy rains_Prepare your home

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Rain damage can be one of the costliest repairs to a home due to its devastating effect on foundations and contribution to mold development. Below are a few steps to protect your property from heavy rain damage and to ensure the safety of your home and family.

Ensure good drainage. The rooftop is the primary structure that keeps rainwater from entering a home. Check all aspects of the rooftop and ensure its construction is not damaged in any way. A tiny opening in the rooftop is enough space to permit leakage. Additionally, ensure all gutters are cleaned regularly, direct downspouts away from the house, and ideally, the slope of your yard should be directed away from the foundation to ensure rainwater is directed away from the home and not into the foundation.

Check your chimney and sump pump annually. Two vital areas that can allow rain damage if they fail are a home’s chimney and sump pump. Not only should a sump pump be inspected by a professional annually, it should be checked visually and operationally more often during long periods of heavy rain or more extraordinary climates, like hurricane seasons. Chimneys should also be checked to ensure bricks have no gaps and are tightly sealed. Additionally, bricks should be waterproofed to ensure water and moisture is not absorb from the outside. Finally, consider installing a chimney cap prior to the stormy season to prevent rainwater from coming in at all.

Fix water leaks. Plumbing leaks can be a potential catastrophe if left unresolved. It’s important to address these issues promptly by repairing any noticeably leaking pipes, checking for dark spots adjacent to pipes or on ceilings, repairing or replacing any cracked caulking, and inspecting the roof for any missing, loose or broken shingles. Poles, trees and other large objects can also fall on a house during heavy rain; therefore, cut off branches that are dangerously close to a home’s rooftop. Additionally, raise downward sloping areas to ensure heavy rain water doesn’t collect near the foundation and weaken it.

Be aware of potential health hazards. If your home does suffer from water damage caused by internal leaks, heavy rain or other inherent problems, it is important to hire a water damage restoration company as soon as possible. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other dangerous organisms, especially in already-damp climates, which increases the risk for serious health problems. Exposure to these types of water-related growths can also aggravate symptoms for allergy and asthma patients and may compound these problems in children, the elderly, and people with poor immune systems.

 

Have water damage? Give SERVPRO of Walnut Creek/Clayton a call today at (925)930-6690