2020 Brings Record Breaking Amounts of Wildfire to the Golden State
A Southwest passenger took this mid-flight from San Jose to Las Vegas.
Photo Credit: Thalia Dockery on IG
As of September 9th, 2020 wildfires in California have sadly burned over 2.2 million acres and have tragically caused the life loss of eight people so far.
Firefighters are tirelessly working day and night trying to keep up but the rapid growth and force of the flames have caused over 3,300 structures to be lost this summer. The fall season typically is our prime concern for fires but this year has been unbelievable in more ways than one. Charming communities with custom homes in the Northern part of the state have been completely devastated. Here in southern California the Santa Ana strong winds along with drought and continued record breaking heat temperatures due to climate change have brought low humidity levels so the flames continue.
This week a dramatic rescue of two hundred campers rescued by the National Guard was incredible! The nearby Creek fire trapped the campground by burning the only road for escape. They were rescued by helicopter despite danger warnings of extreme heat and smoke. Twenty to thirty sustained injuries some of which were severe but they made it out alive. Some hikers had no other choice but to drive through the flames to reach safety and reports are that those in their cars had their hair catching on fire while passing through the flames and had to douse their heads with water repeatedly.
For weeks now the air-quality has been poor due to vast amounts of ash and has caught the attention of everyone because of lingered haze and tints of orange and coral in the sky. Fires blazing through several local counties include L.A. County, San Bernardino County down to San Diego County so eight national forests and campgrounds statewide have been temporarily closed by the U.S. Forest Service due to extreme fire hazard conditions.
The Camp Fire which occurred only two years ago had set the previous record for most acres burned from a wildfire where over eighty-five lives were lost, making it the deadliest in California state’s history. We are not yet completely into our Fall season so extreme caution is advised moving forward so that no careless mishaps occur to spark flames in these dried out areas.
If smoke or soot has damaged your property because of fire, we are here to help. Call today for details.
September is National Preparedness Month - Take Time to Prepare Now
Unexpected emergencies can occur at any time as you can see. If you have not already prepared for one, please do so now.
As summer 2020 comes to a close, what has already proven to be a difficult time due to the novel coronavirus, has become even more challenging due to weather and climate. Several parts of our country continue to face catastrophes due to storms, fires, and earthquakes. Locally, our sunshine state is enduring a massive heatwave along with being in a state of emergency due to approximately 30 wildfires actively burning here in California.
CNN reported last week that on Sunday Death Valley endured the highest temperature recorded on earth since 1913 and possibly EVER! The temperature readings were 130 degrees Fahrenheit and residents describe the extreme heat as being hit in the face with lots of hot hairdryers or like walking into an oven. These excessive temperatures are a result of climate change. Yet along with these triple digits, at least three days last week have brought Emergency Storm Notifications for several SOCAL counties that include, hail, heavy rainfall, and house leveling type of winds. Previously burned areas are of main concern as flooding can quickly occur and be dangerous.
Families already under pressure due to job loss or cutbacks from the pandemic are certainly struggling with bills even more so. Attempting to keep indoor temperatures lower than outside ones is not easy. Last year a friend was caring for her elderly father who was home during the day while she worked. She received a whopping utility bill for over $900 from keeping indoor temperatures comfortable. In addition to the absurd amount of heat, the air quality in many surrounding areas can be harmful so caution is highly recommended if you head outside.
Protecting our health comes first so it is important to ensure that each of us is adequately prepared for an emergency. If we put forth the extra effort now, it will help when the unexpected arrives. If we need to evacuate for a fire that could pop up overnight or a big earthquake, we will have clothes, water, food, and supplies. From this recent pandemic experience, we already know how fast food, water, and basics like toilet tissue will fly off the shelf and leave you without. It is sensible to take action now.
Through whatever type of storm you may face, our SERVPRO of West Covina team is here to help. Always available around the clock for any sort of emergency property damage, you can trust our professionals when it matters most. We enjoy helping our community and the positive results that we get to see post-cleanup make for a rewarding and satisfying line of work.
Take All Preventative Measures Possible to Avoid the Coronavirus
Do all you can to protect yourself and those around you by hiring SERVPRO of West Covina for all your COVID-19 cleaning needs.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise the World Health Organization encourages the following:
STAY HOME. SAVE LIVES.
Help stop coronavirus
1 Stay home as much as you can
2 Keep a safe distance
3 Wash hands often
4 Cover your cough
5 Sick? Call ahead
Also, it is super important to remember that when you do need to step out for necessities to wear a mask. These are good reminders for our us all for both now and in the future as the battle against the coronavirus continues. Another way to be proactive in stopping the spread is to have your property surroundings professionally disinfected. Scheduling a professional cleaning by our SERVPRO team can give you peace of mind for now. Then moving forward by utilizing our team for maintenance purposes it is wise to regularly schedule disinfecting services. This will help aid in the ongoing fight against germs and viruses that can easily re-enter living quarters as time passes or for offices and/or businesses open to the public.
Interesting to note is that the sanitization product SERVPRO of West Covina uses is not only Hospital Grade but Food Grade as well. Many local eateries call on our team for COVID preventative measures because we can disinfect areas where food is stored, handled, or prepared and since our products are non-toxic there is no business downtime or interruption. Have the confidence in knowing that our products are safe for inside your home as well.
The CDC advises everyone to educate themselves, including young ones, on how the virus can spread and put into regular practice thorough and frequent hand washing. By making the step of hiring a professional company you are taking a preventative stride towards forming new healthy habits. Regular disinfecting can minimize the stress and anxiety that we all are facing with this novel virus.
For those families who have had a loved one test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 RNA, our hearts go out to you. Please know that IT IS POSSIBLE to have an infected family member living in your home and for you to stop the spread to the rest of the family, including caregivers if all preventative measures are taken. Of course, the CDC advises to limit contact and keep the sick individual isolated along with a whole list of How To Protect Yourself When Caring For Someone Who Is Sick.
When you call our office, you will never reach an answering service. A well trained and knowledgeable team member will assist you. Call today for more information on the preventative measures you can take – 626-960-9145
Business Owners Can Be Proactive by Hiring Professionals
SERVPRO Techs suited up in full protective gear line up for a serious cleaning assignment - Photo from the Daily Mail
Serving West Covina and surrounding SOCAL cities
With over eighteen hundred SERVPRO franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada, we are doing our share in helping to contain this worldwide pandemic. We provide property damage restoration and disinfecting services for commercial properties and local businesses. Our goal is to assist in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus to our surrounding neighborhoods and cities. In March, one of the first well-known group cases of COVID-19 was in Kirkland, Washington. The virus outbreak and death toll at the nursing facility caught attention from the nation and our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team was called in for a professional thorough cleaning. By utilizing the experts for such an undertaking, no doubt much relief was provided to the community, staff, patients, as well as their families.
Our national disaster team is one of our biggest resources as they can be called upon and activated for any large loss whether due to the coronavirus, extensive flooding, water damage, wildfires, storm damages, or other biohazards cleanup needs. No job is too large for our elite large-loss specialists and will be supervised by a commercial operations manager to ensure timely mitigation with first-rate communication. Each independent franchise has access to our SERVPRO large loss disaster team to ease the minds of our national clients in the commercial industry. So property managers, city, county, and court buildings, hospitals, universities, and retail malls can continue to utilize SERVPRO of West Covina as their ‘go-to vendor’ in the event of a massive catastrophe.
Your commercial property’s appearance leaves a lasting impression on your clients and customers. Our SERVPRO of West Covina team is ready to assist with preventive or post-contamination measures. Now that we are dealing with COVID-19 it is imperative to be proactive now before lockdowns fully lift by bringing in the professionals for a good deep cleaning. After each professional cleaning, you have the option of posting documentation of the date of sanitization by our certified techs. As businesses begin to open and operate, have in place a plan for regular disinfecting through SERVPRO for preventative measures. Download for free the BE READY app on your mobile device and at the top corner, if you are in the SOCAL community… enter in SERVPRO of West Covina as your preferred franchise.
When to Call in a Professional Restoration Company ...
Not every project should be a 'Do It Yourself' one. It is important to know when to rely on the experts and trust their wisdom.
Most property damages occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Since our SOCAL homes and businesses usually are our biggest investments, is it wise to make all repairs a DIY project or utilize a handyman or property janitorial team? If faced with issues due to any of the following, seriously consider calling someone who is IICRC Certified and specializes in the restoration field, is state licensed, insured and bonded for your protection.
When Water Damage Occurs
Flooding and water leaks can cause damage to materials affected and if not addressed within the first seventy-two hours bacteria will continue to multiply and fungus or mold growth may begin to make itself visible. Your first thought may be to call a plumber but in addition to stopping the leak, think of all the wet materials including the structure that could be affected behind the walls and areas not seen like under tile or wood flooring or behind cabinets. Fully restoring materials and contents that are wet may depend on how much time has elapsed. Flooring and other structural materials could end up compromised, turning a small issue into a serious one over time. The quicker you contact professional restoration experts, the better the outcome.
After a FIRE
If your property or a neighbor sustains damages from a fire you may be at a loss for where to begin. You may be inundated by people at your door offering conflicting information. Contacting your insurance agent and hiring a company you trust can help ease the recovery process immensely. As various materials burn, smoke and soot particles spread throughout the structure, covering everything, leaving a terrible odor behind some of which could be toxic. As time passes, the charred smell and lingering carcinogens can pose potential health effects to the respiratory system that could lead to breathing issues. Water or chemicals used to fight the fire can often leave behind additional damages if not addressed immediately so, time is of the essence.
Mold Might Be Present
Ongoing leaks can start small especially if it is in an inconspicuous area so not until a musty smell is noticed or moldy spots become visible will you know an issue has developed. Mold can flourish when it has water, food, (drywall paper or wood), and warm temperatures. Repairing the actual water leak is a place to start. Equally important is the removal of moldy materials and proper disposal. Some of the worst mold situations are discovered behind the tile, drywall, and inside the wall cavities where the wood stud framing of the structure is affected. If you suspect you may have mold, rely on a professionally trained company to test and remediate the mold for your protection.
Proper disposal of pathogen-infected materials, thorough proper cleanings, and sanitizing is the best plan of action for you and everyone's safety. After any sort of trauma, crime scene, severe hoarding, or even coronavirus contamination, you will want to reach out to a reputable professional who will correctly address the situation.
Weather Damage Occurs
The long heatwaves of our SOCAL summers can speed up the deterioration of exterior materials like shingles and wood. Then, when strong winds, hail, or heavy rains come along, roof and siding damages can occur. Nearby trees can also be destructive so it is important to maintain your property grounds with a disaster preventative mindset. Proactively make repairs before rain can make entry into your dwelling, but if it does, you can count on our team to assist.
SERVPRO of West Covina is here to help twenty-four-seven and have many years of experience of working with Southern California’s homeowners, business owners and have multiple property managers as clients. We are proud to have the highest reputation and will take good care of you during your time of need.
Be Creative During Quarantine
Try the grey stuff, it's delicious!
And, try a few more new things... you may end up enjoying them!
There is no reason to be bored while our SOCAL Community remains on lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. A smidge of creativity could bring a bit of fun to the day. Not everyone has the same taste in entertainment or amusement but why not try something new? Utilize Zoom for social gatherings or go exploring through virtual online tours.
- Hold a Zoom cooking challenge, assign judges to determine the winning recipe
- Schedule a Zoom recipe exchange, each person can share their favorites
- Plan a Zoom painting class, find a friend who can teach and have participants gather supplies
- Gather friends for a virtual game night
- Select a book classic for a few friends to read and participate in a discussion chapter by chapter
- Mark your calendar for a movie night, select a classic then plan drinks, dinner, and snacks around the theme. You could turn lights off and string twinkle lights for a whimsical atmosphere.
- Take a virtual tour of a Museum, study the artifacts or artists and their work up close
Travel and Leisure enables you to see the sights of cities, zoos, free Broadway shows, and other attractions. Plus cool activities for children like virtually touring Disney Parks, rides, Disney Park famous recipes for Dole Whip, Churros, and the ‘Grey Stuff’ from Beauty and the Beast when Lumiere claims to “Try the grey stuff; it’s delicious!”
Thrillist has lots more ideas with links to instructions and resources to try: DIY ShackBurger, take a Masterclass course for free, grow a garden, use Google Earth to tour national parks, etc. Hopefully, something from these links will spark your imagination and put a smile on your face. Please be safe and kindly continue to stay home as long as you possibly can.
Disney's Grey Stuff Recipe
From the Movie Beauty & The Beast - Disney World's "Grey Stuff" recipe!! It's so easy to make and so delicious. Tastes just like the recipe from the Be Our Guest restaurant. So smooth and made with vanilla and chocolate pudding mix, milk, cool whip, crushed Oreos and topped with sprinkles!
- 1 3.4oz vanilla pudding mix
- 1 1/2cups milk
- 15 Oreos
- 8oz Cool Whip
- 2tbsp chocolate pudding mix
- In a medium bowl, combine vanilla pudding mix and milk. Whisk well and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Place Oreos in a food processor and blend until they become crumbs.
- Mix the crushed Oreos in with the pudding mixture and mix well.
- Fold in Cool Whip and chocolate pudding mix until well combined and refrigerate for one hour before serving.
- When ready to serve, place "grey stuff" in a piping bag and add a dollop to the middle and then pipe a spiral around it. Top with sprinkles.
What is Water Mitigation?
Act now by calling in the SERVPRO professionals to mitigate damages & save your expensive hardwood floors by the use of specialty drying equipment.
Disasters can unexpectedly occur anyplace at any time. If you are searching online for a plumber, perhaps what you really need is a water restoration company. It can be comforting to know that you do not need to handle the property damaging situation alone because SERVPRO of West Covina is here to assist around the clock.
We understand that certain terminology and vocabulary we are accustomed to may be unfamiliar to some. Mitigation is a term used to describe one of the services SERVPRO offers when property damages have occurred. It denotes actions taken to help to lessen or eliminate risks caused by potential hazards or disasters. Our team is called in to mitigate or stop the damages from proceeding to get worse. By intervening right away, our mitigation services are aimed to ease or alleviate the problem. Mitigation provides improvement to the situation and without it, the severity of damages continues to spread. FEMA explains mitigation as an effort to reduce the loss of... property by lessening the impact of disasters. Their same page also goes on to state that: for mitigation to be effective, ACTION MUST BE TAKEN NOW – before the next disaster – to reduce human and financial consequences later.
Here is what you can expect after contacting SERVPRO of West Covina:
When you call our SERVPRO of West Covina franchise, whether you are calling during the early hours of the day or in the middle of the night, you can always expect to speak with a trained professional about the emergency you are experiencing. We never use an answering service because we understand that questions may arise after an accident and we want to help address all your concerns personally. Our phone lines stay available to emergency calls during weekends and holidays.
Quick Response - When a building has been damaged due to water damage, flooding or fire, the response time is an important factor in how costly restoration might be. Since SERVPRO of West Covina is always available to be reached, we will gather the necessary information by asking you a few questions, after which you can expect to hear back within the hour for a window time frame of when to expect our technicians.
Arrive Time - Our technicians can be on-site to begin the restoration process as soon as you are available to meet them. This fast response can make the difference if your property has suffered extensive damages. Water, fire and mold can result in building materials being adversely affected. By beginning the process quickly, it will result in less damage overall which ultimately will cost less money.
Inspection/Verbal Briefing - Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can perform the onsite inspection and brief the principal parties on the extent of the damage. This verbal briefing will include recommendations based on the IICRC standards. This helps you determine whether to put the loss in as an insurance claim. Together we will determine the best course of action to moving forward.
Restore vs. Replace - The old way of handling water damages was to rip out all wet materials regardless of the bacteria levels present. But if the water source is classified as clean, restoring is a much-favored alternative. If the circumstances allow, SERVPRO will Dry-In-Place by extracting the flooded areas, placing drying equipment machinery, documentation, and checking moisture readings daily. This ensures proficiency and proof of work completed. National insurance companies recognize that millions of dollars are saved each year by choosing to restore using this method. This method not only speeds up the Water Mitigation process but also produces happy customers, which should be the goal of all service industry businesses.
Summer is Almost Here!
Be safe this summer by preparing now!
Our city of West Covina homes five Fire Stations that are spaced out in our city for the quickest response depending on the location of need. Fire station no.1 is on South Sunset Ave., no.2 is on East Cortez St., no.3 is on West Puente Ave., no.4 is on South Azusa Ave. and no.5 is on East Shadow Oak Dr. Our California firemen are extremely dedicated; they work incredibly hard and regularly put their lives on the line to help others. We cannot thank them enough! Our hearts go out to each of them and their families. The extra dangers our firefighters will continue to face while we battle COVID-19 puts each of them at extremely high risk due to years of prolonged exposure to smoke inhalation and compromised respiratory systems. Yet, they continue protecting us and our city from dangers and we wholeheartedly THANK YOU!
The city of West Covina remains active in our SOCAL Community reminding us of the importance of disaster preparedness summer is just ahead. Outdoor temperatures steadily rise so our city along with our West Covina Fire Department has reminders for us all. On our city’s website they provide POOL SAFETY TIPS to adhere by. Stopdrowningnow.org informs us that on average ten people drown every day, most occurring at home pools, so swimming lessons and water safety is the best way to prevent accidents.
Pool Safety checklist
- Be prepared with a safety net and flotation device
- Bring your cell phone to the pool area – 9-1-1
- Assign an adult supervisor who knows CPR
- Before leaving the pool each time, collect all toys so children won’t wander after them
- Be sure when leaving the pool area to close and lock gates
- Do a safety check around the fence to ensure there is nothing that a child could climb to gain access to the pool
Pool Safety DO
*Install fencing or a cover as a protection
*Have rules posted and review them often
*Teach children to swim, early
*Keep children away from the filter inlet and drains, which are dangerous
*Stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen hourly
*Maintain proper PH to keep the water clean and clear
*Evacuate pools during rain or thunderstorms
Pool Safety Don’t
*EVER leave children unattended, even for a moment
*Allow horse-play, running or diving
*Let glass, sharp or breakable items in the pool
*Don’t permit adults who have been drinking alcohol into the pool area. Alcohol and swimming don’t mix.
5 Water Survival skills
Every child & new swimmer should know:
- Float or tread water for one minute
- Turn around in a full circle to exit
- Swim 25 yards to exit
- Exit the water without using the ladder
- Step or jump into the water above their heads and return to the surface
Are you dealing with water damage, a leak or flooding in your West Covina home?
Do Not wait until mold is visible or the smell of bacteria has taken over your West Covina home, call now to schedule your VIRTUAL INSPECTION .
Mitigation Services Can Prevent Secondary Damages in Your SOCAL Home
We all face the risk of unexpected damages occurring at our properties. And, unfortunately many occur at the most inopportune times. Our focus at this very moment may be protecting ourselves from the coronavirus and ensuring some sort of steady income for our household. However, be aware of your surroundings so that if a leak occurs, instead of searching for a plumber, you can immediately get help from our professionally trained restoration experts . Understandably, during this pandemic though, some may fear inviting anyone to their home right now, even if it is for much needed help. Please note: if you are finding moisture, it is important not to wait because as bacteria multiplies, mold might begin to develop and ultimately both the damages and the cost of repairs may very well increase and rapidly.
Typical causes of water damage to beware of:
- Roof or ceiling leaks
- Burst pipes from within walls
- Leaks from water supply lines
- Defective door, window or plumbing installation
- Toilet, bath sink, shower/tub, kitchen sink, fridge or laundry appliance leaks
- Dispersal or leaks from fire-sprinkler lines
- Storm flooding
- Toilet overflow
- Sewage backup
- Hot water heater tank leak or rupture
Sometimes leaks go undetected when they occur within a wall cavity or behind cabinets or furniture. Our SERVPRO technicians use specialty equipment to trace how far the water traveled to begin the dry out process and minimize damages. For burst pipes or flooded areas where enough water is present our SERVPRO technicians can extract all the standing water then place drying equipment until the structure is fully desiccated.
For your health and safety both for now and in the future, trust that SERVPRO of West Covina can help stop present damages from getting worse. Since we are all concerned about COVID-19, we are pleased to offer virtual inspections, for your convenience, call to schedule one today.
Concerns about indoor-air quality at your West Covina business?
Call and order the professional cleaning services that your Socal company could benefit from most!
Air Duct Cleaning Services
Since spring is here, you may want to consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned as a part of your annual ‘spring cleaning’. If you have an older building structure you may want to consider freshening up your air-ducts. Or if your property has undergone a remodel recently, post-construction can leave everything covered in a blanket of dust. Installing any sort of materials where machine cutting is done on the premises, can leave sawdust or tile dust that spreads everywhere within the property, even if the cutting is done outside, construction dirt always manages to find its way in. Sanding or woodwork projects such as installation of new cabinets, moldings, baseboards, trim, wood floors, engineered wood flooring, laminate, or tile-work could leave dust and debris behind thus making cleanup may necessary.
If your property has experienced water damage due to a water leak that was ongoing and perhaps went undetected for a time, such as leaks coming from the air-conditioning unit or a roof leak, could allow for HVAC vents to acquire a build-up of contaminants and possibly even mold. We strongly recommend Duct Cleaning after a Mold Remediation project. Part of our restoration process during a fire or smoke cleaning might include a thorough Air Duct Cleaning since soot particles could have easily scattered inside the building's ductwork. We also highly recommend Duct Cleaning after addressing an infestation issue. A pest invasion in an attic, within the dwelling or in a crawlspace could be problematic as dust particles aerosolize. Beware of health dangers related to vermin, insects, rodents, or their droppings being present indoors.
Air Duct Cleaning can be a proactive approach to healthy indoor air quality issues. For offices where desks are directly under a building vent and sickness or allergies are an ongoing problem, schedule an inspection to determine if an issue can be discovered. Addressing any discovered issue and scheduling regular air-system cleaning as regular maintenance could aid in the improvement air quality.
Regularly change air filters
Frequently replacing air filters is a good way to keep dust, most allergens, and particles at bay. Most filters should be replaced every few months depending on how dusty your area is.
The EPA recommends air duct cleaning when the following issues are discovered:
- Visible mold growth or painted area inside, where a previous tenant or maintenance person might have been trying to cover up an issue
- Infestation of rodents, vermin or insects
- Considerable deposits of clogging debris
Could Mold be an issue?
If you have an old leak, suspect possible mold growth, smell continuous musty odors, or are seeing visible signs such as spots or patches of mold or mildew, contact us today.
COVID -19 Accommodations
If someone passing through your establishment was confirmed or suspected to have the coronavirus, as a preventative measure, call for our disinfecting services. You can trust SERVPRO of West Covina as all of our technicians wear proper PPE for both their protection and yours. Ask to include our HVAC cleaning services as part of your property cleaning.
For HVAC cleaning at your business or home, count how many vent-registers are in the unit and call to get the cleaning scheduled.
Due to COVID-19, we are now offering virtual inspections so call to schedule yours today.