Recent Posts

Typical Water Damage Issues that can occur at Work

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

A commercial fire sprinkler has released water that is spraying out. SERVPRO logo is below it in the image. For around-the-clock emergency property assistance call on the trusted SERVPRO name with a team who cares about helping restore everything quickly.

Water is highly valued as it is life-sustaining. Despite all its benefits, water’s impact on, around, or in a structure can be destructive when building materials and dark crevices get wet that should not be. Moisture that remains on paper, wood, or other organic materials can within hours develop mold so acting quickly when water damage is discovered is the wisest choice. Preventing water damage takes continual effort and regular maintenance but even still accidents happen. By doing what you can, the chances of avoidable circumstances are lessened. The following are scenarios to be mindful of:

Overhead sprinkler system – Intended to save both lives and properties in a fire situation, these sprinkler systems have water under pressure for when an emergency occurs. Over time pinhole leaks or a malfunction can unfortunately arise. Computers, monitors, and other electronic devices can be adversely affected if it rains indoors.

Plumbing problems – Any (even brand new) plumbing fixture, water supply line (which is constantly under pressure), pipe, or loose-fitting has the potential to leak, or sudden rupture. Indoor and outdoor drains when clogged by soil, debris, objects, hair, grease, or sanitary products can cause backups too. If the leak is inside a cabinet, under an appliance, behind furniture, under a rug, in an inconspicuous area, or located in a room or part of a room not often used, it may go unnoticed until mold becomes visible.

Surface water intrusion – Severe weather from storms, forceful winds, or exterior water pipes can lead to flash floods. Groundwater may contain harmful bacteria that if left untreated will smell positively awful in just a few hours to days.

Roof or ceiling leaks – A dripping, paint bubbling, or new water-stained ceiling are all indicators of water intrusion. Temporary tarping and roof repairs may be needed as soon as possible.

AC or HVAC condensation or leaks – Condensation is a natural occurrence and each AC unit is equipped with a drip tray. If it becomes clogged or damaged an issue can occur. Also, newly installed units can begin having issues if a mistake was made.

Clogged gutters – Even newly installed rain gutters intended to keep rain swept away can cause water intrusion. When a clog occurs from dried leaves or debris, exterior/interior walls, ceilings, and/or floors can become soaked.

Water heater leaks –Old, improperly installed, or un-maintenanced water heaters increase the odds of an eventual leak. Hot water leaks that affect building materials and are not promptly addressed can rapidly develop mold due to the warmer temperatures.

If your business experiences any of these issues a quick response will keep damages minimized. Call now for immediate assistance. 626-960-9145

What is the Cleanup Process after a Water Damage?

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a commercial building with SERVPRO stat that most expect businesses to be cleaner than homes By trusting a professional restoration company for specialty cleaning needs, property owners can confidently see their business resumes ASAP.

Water leaks can be slow or intermittent depending and many times go undiscovered until a puddle is visible or at other times moldy spots start to form…

Vs. flooding from either outdoors or indoor plumbing is typically more obvious depending on how much water is present.

Regardless of how water intrudes the premises, the important part is taking action quickly to avoid further damages. The process could be stressful and inconvenient but by hiring a professional company like SERVPRO to respond immediately to both Commercial or Residential property needs, then all imperative aspects will be properly addressed.

Our team will complementarily provide:

1st – Inspection to scope out the extent of damages, point out safety precautions and address your concerns

2nd - Recommend an IICRC protocol based on the cleanliness or bacteria content of the water

Once hired, our restoration team will:

3rd – Extract standing water from carpets and flooring

4th – Depending on the water source we will either:

     a. Fully dry in place all wet materials if the water source is clean, using specialized equipment to save flooring

OR                                

       b. Safely remove affected materials if the water source has a high bacteria content and sanitize

SERVPRO of West Covina is ready around the clock to respond to your emergency water damage needs. To get everything back to normal the right way call us ASAP at 626-960-9145

How do I know If I have Mold?

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

A white wall has multi-colored spots clustered neat the window Are you having mold concerns? Even if you are unsure if mold is actually present, worry no more... an experienced team member will assist.

Mold is naturally found in our environment and from time to time it is typical that a household may encounter it within the dwelling.

Concerns may arise though if the discovery and root cause is not addressed since mold can continue to grow and spread as it eats away at organic building materials. Mold will not go away on its own. If the water source feeding the spores stops, they may go dormant but if moisture continues to be present the mold will continue to grow and spread. The recommended protocol of treatment is removal by an IICRC Certified mold remediation or restoration company like SERVPRO.

Smell – A constant or intermittent damp musty smell could be an indicator that mold is present. As it grows it emits a distinct odor that is worth investigating further as soon as possible.

Visibly Present – If fuzzy or colored patches pop up along a wall, baseboard or cabinet there is a possibility that the mold has come from within the wall cavity and that the unseen areas have a bit to a lot more, depending.

Circumstance – If you experienced water leaking, excess condensation, or flooding and see new staining or spots of mold around, you will want to call a qualified professional out for an inspection or send photos for a mold technician to review.

Testing – If no mold is visible but you experienced water damage, water leak, water spill, or flood and suspect that mold could be present, we can schedule a mold test for your property. Lab results are returned within a few days.

You can trust SERVPRO of West Covina to assist with the microbial issues or water damages you are experiencing. Call now for more details. 626-960-9145

Common Mistakes made after a Water Damage

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

A man kneeling down with a bucket, sponge, and cell phone in hand is calling for help after he opened the wall exposing pipes Call us first. We have moisture meters, and an infrared camera to inspect an issue without opening the walls up unnecessarily.

If you have ever experienced a flood or water leak at your property you do not quickly forget everything involved with the cleanup.

It typically is stressful due to first the unexpected occurrence, then wet materials begin to smell, plus professional drying equipment is noisy, loud, hot and a lengthy process. The flood that occurs so quickly, unfortunately, does not go away as quickly as it occurred and that can be inconvenient and frustrating. But, just as extra shine, volume, and fine results that you get in a hair salon from a professional blowout on your hair, despite the hot noisy blow dryer… it is a necessary step to achieve optimum results. To that endeavor, trust the professionals with your pricy investment and avoid mistakes that you could later regret.

Do not ignore the issue – Water spills, leaks, pipe ruptures, and floods never ever resolve on their own. A plumbing repair may be needed but in addition, wet materials left alone will start growing mold within only a few days. If bacteria are present in the water, they will quickly multiply and eventually smell horrendous enough that you will want to rip out all the carpet for disposal. Keep the air quality indoors healthy and safe by giving us a call as soon as you notice the first sign of water being present where it does not belong.

Do not take matters into your own hands – So many times, the calls we get are from hardworking tenacious individuals who start mopping up the flooded areas or run to Home Depot for a shop vac but things never turn out as well as they hope because you can only clean what you visually see. Water however soaks and seeps past walls, baseboards, and under flooring into crevices and dark cavities and secondary damages rapidly occur. If too much time passes we are no longer looking at only water mitigation, but also a mold remediation service. Save time and money by calling SERVPRO right in the beginning.

Do not hire an uncertified person – Industry standards are set by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) as a protection for all involved. Keep costs for repairs to a minimum by hiring a professional restoration company with superb online reviews that you can trust. SERVPRO saves national insurance companies millions of dollars each year by being a preferred vendor, responding immediately, and after evaluating the specific circumstances, creating the best plan of action.

Call SERVPRO of West Covina today. 626-960-9145

Is it Time for some Spring Cleaning at Work?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

A professional woman is disinfecting her workspace and desk area to keep it fresh and clean. SERVPRO is always here to help. For any concerns or questions about unexpected property damages, call today. 626-960-9145

When spring cleaning comes to mind, we usually think it is in regards to our homes, but our office or job sites can benefit from a bit of extra attention as well. Our workplaces are our second homes because of the great amount of time we spend there each day. Our productivity and inspiration can be affected if clutter starts to visually collect around us and our allergies can act up right around springtime if dust has built up in keyboards, computers, windowsills, corners, behind furniture, and under rugs.

If you have time to set aside and allocate towards a deep cleaning endeavor, that’s wonderful but most of us have such a large workload that we can only chip away at tasks in short increments. A beneficial way to tackle these jobs is to set a 15-30 minute timer and do as much as you can during that time frame. By the end of the week, you will have completed quite a lot and will greatly benefit from your progress.

Disinfect - Since the beginning of the pandemic we all are more cognoscente of the importance of disinfecting high touch-point and common areas which is an excellent habit to maintain. Phones, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, water cooler knobs, coffee machine buttons, etc. can all be quickly addressed with a disinfecting wipe.

Organize – A virtual cleanup of our desktop screen, organizing files, and email inbox will freshen up your visual clutter. A change of scenery by replacing your screen background is a great idea too. Dusting and then sprucing up your desk, cleaning drawers, and wiping chords and anything under the desk will help. Decluttering takes an objective eye but if you mentally prepare to toss, donate, or take home things it can make a huge difference. Minimizing personal items and things collected all year long will give you a clean slate. A clean space feels so good and the sooner you get started the more productive your workday can be.

Many times while going through the deeper cleaning process, you come across dead insects or piles of dust bunnies wrapped in hair. What a relief to get these things cleared out so you can breathe fresher air. If you discover some water staining on the ceiling, a leak under a sink, or any moldy patches, give our team a call. We can professionally evaluate the circumstance and make the needed recommendations to keep your surroundings optimal for the remaining portion of the work year. 

Do you have a Mold problem? PART 2

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

A woman bends under her vanity as she discovers water beginning to poor out of the sink plumbing fixtures Water damage can quickly lead to mold problems if not cared for properly. Prevent the problem by calling SERVPRO when you first notice a leak.

If you suspect that your property may have mold, what can you do? If you cannot see mold and cannot smell mold but you really have concerns and want to investigate further, know that mold needs three things to develop and grow indoors.

For mold to grow and thrive it needs:

  1. Water or moisture (condensation, dripping, leaking, or flooding water)
  2. Organic materials (wood, paper, etc.)
  3. The right temperatures (avg. species - between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit)

All three of these are needed, if numbers 2. and 3. are present without number 1., mold cannot flourish.

You could be dealing with dormant mold that would activate once water is re-introduced… Is any moisture present? Did you experience a water leak at some point recently or in the past?

Was there a toilet overflow, bathtub overflow, shower drain backup, flooding from a washing machine, or leaking from your dishwasher? Or do you hear dripping from pipes inside walls, could a water supply line have a pin-sized leak, could the A/C condenser unit be dripping, is there a roof or ceiling leak, or could outdoor water sprinklers be hitting up against the house repeatedly and water barrier materials are worn away? Check the plumbing under kitchen and bathroom vanity sinks.

If you find nothing, you can call our team if you have questions. Our recommendation may be to schedule our technician to come out to your property and perform a mold air and surface sampling. In a few days, the lab report will give either you an all-clear or indicate an issue. If a mold problem is discovered, we can assist with getting the leak repaired, drying out the wet building materials, and removing the areas affected by mold in a safe and healthy manner for your protection by using the protocol set by the IICRC. Don’t wait, call now.

Do you have a Mold problem? PART 1

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

A closeup of a hand, peals off wallpaper and discovers the wall below is musty and spotted with mold Seeing this?? Call SERVPRO of West Covina at 626-960-9145 and press 1 for property damages to inquire further.

In some of the calls that we receive, the homeowner is unsure if they have mold present in their home or not. We all are concerned about keeping a healthy air-quality present in both our homes and offices. How can you tell if mold is hiding behind a cabinet, wall, or ceiling?

Fortunately, we were created with the sense of sight and smell.

Do you SEE mold? Mold strains and varieties appear in different colors. Some are whitish, yellow, orange, pink, red, blue, turquoise, green, light brown, dark brown, and yes, black. Are you seeing colored spots or patches?

Do you SMELL mold? As mold spores develop from moisture, it grows when nourished by comfy indoor temperatures, while it feeds on organic materials. This process causes gasses to be emitted like any other living, eating, growing organism. The smell is distinct. It can be described as a damp, musty, or earthy odor. Every time the spores eat and drink they release more gasses.

Call us for a complimentary inspection to stop the microbial growth & spread and begin the mold removal process.

If you cannot see any mold and do not smell anything odd but suspect a problem, call us. We can schedule and perform a mold test. We will test the actual number of spores found outdoors naturally and compare the lab’s findings to air and surface samples taken indoors at your property in the areas of concern. 626-960-9145

How to get rid of mold?

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

A lady squatting low to look at her moldy spotted walls that occurred from flooding Dealing with mold issues? Call now for a visual inspection. If you are unsure as to whether or not mold is present, call to learn about mold testing.

With any potential property damage, prevention is key. The CDC recommends that after any sort of flooding that you clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly within 24-48 hours to avoid the high risk of microbial growth.

Many have heard that you can use a bleach solution to scrub and wipe away to remove the visible mold, but will that work? It depends. If a hard surface is affected at the surface level only, is unoccupied by humans and/or pets, perhaps but PLEASE NOTE: PPE (personal protection equipment) should be used by regular building maintenance staff, and only if they have been properly trained by OSHA to do so. Also, if you are only talking about a wall or ceiling tile section where a small 10 square foot or less needs to be cleaned, the spores will become dormant and only reactivate if re-saturated.

So really depending on how much water damage occurred your plan of action may vary. Once mold starts to grow in building materials the proper IICRC protocol is to remove and replace the items. Mold spores are often likened to a dandelion. As kids, we would blow on the top cluster of the flower or lawn weed, and watch the fuzzy seeds float away and spread all over. Mold spores act very similarly and can spread quickly with air movement.

So do you hire a handyman for this job? You could but, what is their knowledge of proper removal procedures? As walls are opened, drywall, moldy carpets, or floors removed, the mold spores are kicked up into the air and could be spreading throughout the rest of your home or business if not contained.

Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, or commercial property manager/owner... Hiring an IICRC-certified professional restoration company like SERVPRO of West Covina to remediate the mold the right way using many, many years of expertise along with specialty equipment will keep the air-quality healthy which can give you peace of mind in the future.

What to do when a toilet overflows

4/19/2022 (Permalink)

A bathroom door swings open showing a clean floor, sink, and toilet Keep your property clean and properly sanitized by calling SERVPRO of West Covina to assist after a plumbing leak, flood, backup, or overflow issue.

Eventually, at some point, each of us ends up having to unclog a toilet. The goal is to clear the drain before the water spills out of the bowl. Sometimes despite our best efforts, the water floods the surrounding area, and other times, the backup is so bad that the plumbing issue causes a second toilet or drain also start to overflow and a larger area is affected.

Typically most of us are concerned about the flooded water and will give it our best try at housekeeping but is that enough? What about the unseen areas like, under the flooring materials, behind the baseboards and wall? Even if it is clean tank water, dark wall cavities that have flooded can quickly lead to mold growth behind the walls. But what if toxic contaminants, raw sewage, and/or lurking bacteria are present? Left untreated or using an improper protocol can potentially lead to health safety issues and a horrendous smell in the days to come.

Hospitals, nursing care facilities, schools, libraries, government/city buildings, building engineers, and property managers who have maintenance teams on-premises know that when dealing with important safety concerns like sewage backup, the best thing to do is to call in a professional restoration company. As a property or homeowner, you are encouraged to do the same. Avoid unnecessary problems and trust SERVPRO which are IICRC certified to handle the cleanup.

SOCAL Storm Tips

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

A storm damage warning as a stormy grey sky hovers over a storm damaged roof where debris has affected its integrity   SERVPRO of West Covina is here around the clock to help with any sort of storm damage-related issues. Call 626-960-9145 for immediate assistance.

If you are a homeowner, a property manager, or own commercial buildings you can benefit by quarterly walking the exterior and interior of your property checking for areas that may need maintenance. As an insurance policyholder, you are expected to be proactive regarding repairs and take preventative measures to avoid potential damage risks.

The following four areas may be areas of concern so that precautions can be taken far in advance since many times we may have little to no warning of a downpour in our sunny state.

  1. Inspect Drains and Gutters – Debris can clog these areas and quickly cause a water intrusion, even if they are brand new.
  2. Inspect Windows and Doors – Wind, hot temperatures, and the intense sun can warp and wear on building materials, weatherproofing, and seals. Replacement may be needed especially if you live in a windy area pocket. Several years of strong winds can loosen window seals over time.
  3. Inspect Surrounding Landscape Close to the Structure – Trees and foliage grow quickly here in California. Trimming and maintaining a well-manicured yard lessens the risk of issues when the Santa Ana Winds kick up.
  4. Minimize Outdoor Furniture and Unsecured Items – When the winds startup they can be very strong so anchor or bolt down BBQs, mailboxes, dog houses, and any other item that could pose a potential danger to a person or to your structure.