Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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

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.

What services are offered at SERVPRO?

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

A closeup of a customer filling in an online review and leaving five gold stars representing the highest satisfaction rating Choose to hire professionals who value you, your health & safety, your property, and your important feedback.

With so many local businesses in our SOCAL community, you would select SERVPRO of West Covina because you are in need of either commercial or residential specialty cleaning services that a typical maid or janitor company may not offer. You will want to hire us because our IICRC certified team is well trained to be quick to identify an emergency property cleanup need over an issue that can be scheduled and attended to during normal business hours. If you are unsure what your specific need is for, you can trust that our decades of experience will add up to your benefit when our professional protocol and recommendations are reviewed at the time of inspection. Then we get right to work. We will even assist with the claims process if that route is needed. The big difference that you will experience, is that we care. We care about you, we care about your project, we care about our community, and we care about our reputation. We are here to help with the property issue you are facing. Check out our online reviews and call today to learn more!

SERVPRO of West Covina offers the following:

Emergency Restoration:

  • Water restoration
  • Water pipe rupture cleanup
  • Water flooding extraction
  • Water removal
  • Sewage removal
  • Catastrophic wind and storm response
  • Post water mitigation dry out of the structure (dehumidification)
  • Fire restoration
  • Smoke and soot removal of structure and contents
  • Secure and stabilize post-fire
  • Board ups

Non-Emergency Restoration:

  • Mold inspections
  • Mold removal
  • Mold testing
  • Post plumbing repairs
  • Pack out of belongings during the repair phase
  • Content inventories
  • Off sight cleaning of contents
  • Drying of electronics, equipment, documents, and/or art
  • Pack back of belongings post-construction

Specialty Cleaning:

  • Odor removal
  • Methodical and detailed structural cleaning of ceilings, walls, contents, and floors
  • Flooring, carpets, curtains, blinds, and upholstery
  • HVAC cleaning
  • Attic cleaning
  • Crawlspace pump out, sewage removal
  • Vandalism cleanup and repairs
  • Crime scene/biohazard cleaning
  • High content - hoarding experts

Reconstruction:

  • Post water damage
  • Post-fire damage
  • Post mold remediation
  • Post-storm damage
  • Haul away, demolition, debris removal
  • Repairs to structure and/or building materials

Seven areas in your home where prevention measures can make a difference

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

 A family with young children sit together to plan for potential emergencies, exit plans, go-bags and to take safety measures Your family's health and safety are a top priority. Take the time to discuss and make needed changes now.

We have all heard the saying, hope for the best, but plan for the worst…

Our home is intended to be our family’s safe haven. Yet, year after year accidents leads to ER visits due to injury. If some of these can be avoided, the efforts made will be well worth it.

  1. Be aware of falling– We all could be at risk from a fall but little ones and older ones are the most susceptible to a serious injury.  If you notice a potential danger, take action right away. Every staircase should have a secure handrail. Slippery surfaces in kitchens, and bathrooms are areas where extra care can be given. Rugs can be secured with rug grippers found on Amazon or double-sided tape can prevent tripping on a lifted edge or ripple. In bath and shower areas a non-skid rug may be the best option. Spills should be quickly attended to, and safety chairs or railing when appropriate can be used as a safety precaution.
  2. Reducing clutter– Working from home and having a full house, you may find this to be a bit of a challenge but reducing clutter in pathways, on floors, and staircases can prevent a bad fall from occurring. By aiming to keep electrical cables or chords off the floors, not only trips will be avoided but in the event of flooding, electrical shock potential risk is minimized.
  3. Keep areas being used well lit– With prices for everything going up, we are all concerned with conserving energy, yet by making it a habit to ensure staircases are well lit for each use and walkways are properly illuminated, tripping on steps may be avoided altogether.
  4. Turn the water main off when on vacation– When you return home the very last thing you want to deal with is finding your place flooded. By taking this extra step a lot of heartaches can be avoided altogether.
  5. Never overload electrical outlets– Too many fires begin this way. The devastation it can cause is heart-breaking. Older homes are at higher risk for electrical problems especially dangerous at night when smoldering could be missed.
  6. Spills should be given immediate attention– Water or anything slippery can be a recipe for disaster. Broken bones in the elderly can be easily caused by a wrong step.
  7. Have an agreed-upon family evacuation plan– This will provide peace of mind and render the best results to have a designated safe meeting place post evacuation after an earthquake, fire, or storm.

At SERVPRO we make ourselves readily available for property damages when accidents occur but we also care enough to share what we have learned from years of responding to home emergencies in our community. We believe that by each of us doing our part and taking preventative measures, we each can make a big difference overall. Stay safe!

How To Lose Weight?

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

A happy family is in their clean kitchen cooking together. An assortment of healthy whole foods are being prepared Prioritize your health in 2021. Eat right, exercise, continue to sanitize, and keep your environment clean. Need specialty cleaning? We can HELP.

This topic and question are on the minds of many, especially after the 2020 Pandemic. We know this because each month over five hundred thousand people Google the question “how to lose weight?”. Due to the Novel Coronavirus, during the initial shut down phase, we witnessed something we had never seen, completely empty and cleared shelves at markets and grocery stores. Basic supplies like cleaning and disinfecting products, toilet paper, paper goods, meat, and dried boxed foods were in short supply. Even someone at that time who was already interested in shedding a few pounds was forced to re-think their diet due to the country going into emergency mode. Limiting shopping to once a month made it difficult to have fresh produce on hand. Many working from home and limiting outdoor activities put on an extra few pounds of weight. Comfort foods provided a temporary fix as our waistbands expanded…

We are now well into 2021, vaccinations for COVID-19 are available to most ages and nearly everyone is back to an almost typical routine. Some who were over-weight in 2020, made drastic lifestyle changes after seeing dear loved ones who sadly lost the coronavirus battle and slimmed down to improve overall health and immunity. Little changes can add up to big results over time, so never give up. For those ready to finally rid themselves of the ‘stay at home twenty’, what can you do?

We are all different. With a variety of body types,  food preferences, and physical activity levels, what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to do a self-analysis to figure out what the main issue is and make the adjustment. Are you dealing with major health issues? Is too much stress wreaking havoc on your hormonal balance? Are you sleeping well? Are you giving into food cravings and making poor food choices? Is the problem portion sizes, overeating, or binging? Are you drinking too many calories through sugary juices, drinks, or homemade cocktails?

Getting outdoors and walking is excellent in many ways but your diet should be an issue to address right along with increasing exercise. The key is making better choices. What can you change?

If cravings are an issue, intermittent fasting may be an option. Some enjoy going fully plant-based because of the health benefits but it is important to educate yourself so that you do not end up undernourished. If support groups will help hold you accountable, join one. If meal prepping will keep you on track, carve out time on Sunday so that you are well prepared for the week.

Whatever positive changes you decide to implement should be something that you can stick to. Creating new habits takes time but if you enjoy the benefits, it will get easier. Of course, life happens and some days we indulge but then our goal should be ready to quickly resume whichever eating changes we can make part of our lifestyle. Regular ‘healthier food swaps’ can go a long way in keeping us feeling full. Eating the right foods can actually allow for larger portions and satiety. Can a bowl of fresh sweet berries or a crisp apple, sliced and sprinkled in cinnamon take care of a sweet tooth versus indulging in chocolate cake? Or, if you really want the cake, can you take two bites and stop? Not all of us have that sort of willpower, in which case its better to go with the healthier of the options. For savory cravings, can salty popcorn suffice instead of going for something deep-fried?

Knowing your limitations and what is doable for you personally will aid you towards success. Limiting Or omitting cheat days, caffeine intake and alcohol consumption may all be things to try, at least temporarily.

Some dieticians recommend keeping it simple, to find just a handful of healthy food ‘go-to’ meals and snacks, that you like and know you will enjoy. Others prefer a variety and would not eat the same lunch two days in a row, again whatever works for you, utilize it and make the swap.

Eating a balanced diet, including fresh colorful vegetables at every meal will aid you in getting the proper nutrient-rich foods that your body needs. Many YouTube vloggers have found incredible results by filling each plate with non-starchy steamed, roasted, or sautéed vegetables, filling up on veggies first then eating the other side of food on the plate that may contain starch, fats, or protein. This ensures that you are not left hungry and grumpy plus lowers your overall caloric intake. Cooking together as a family will help instill good eating habits for little ones.

At SERVPRO of West Covina, we care about your health. This is evident through the extra precautions we continue to take along with the disinfecting and specialty cleaning services that we provide. Even a couple of our team members with daily determination have worked hard and have been able to lose some significant weight as of late. This in turn boosts mood & energy levels and allows us to love our job even more as we continue to help those in need of property damage cleanup services in our community.

What does SERVPRO stand for?

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

A distinguished home with a bright green SERVPRO van parked in front. Evidently servicing damages do to fire, water, or mold Not sure who to call? Google SERVPRO of West Covina to view our online reviews. Pull us up on BBB, then on Yelp to make your decision a lot easier.

Good question! In short, SERVPRO stands for ‘service professionals’ which encompasses the goal of exceeding even the highest of customer service expectations.

SERV is an abbreviation for service because not only are we in the service industry but our goal is to provide the best possible service to each of our customers. This may not always be easy when stress levels are high after damages have occurred unexpectedly at your home or business but regardless, our entire team is here to help you through the entire process of cleanup and restoration.

PRO is an abbreviation for professionals because we are extremely well trained, have many years of experience, and specialize specifically in the restoration industry. Our team holds certifications in each required aspect of specialty cleaning including the IICRC who sets the industry standards for mitigation and water damage drying and cleanup.

Some think our company name may be spelled Serve-Pro or Surf Pro as many times in the past, we have received phone calls from individuals looking to buy a new surfboard or other surfing supplies… and we kindly explain the nature of our services is that of emergency property damages due to Storm, Fire, Water, Mold, Vandalism, and now the Novel Coronavirus.  We are proud to be SERVPRO of West Covina, serving our SOCAL community. If you are in need of any of our service professional specialty cleaning services, call today.

SERVPRO near me

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Our signature orange house logo for SERVPRO of West Covina If you were hiring someone to work inside your mom's home, who would you pick? Hire only the best! You, your family, and your business deserve it.

If you Google: SERVPRO near me, several restoration businesses in your local area will appear on the Google map. How do you select which company to go with? Are all SERVPRO’s the same? Yes and no. SERVPROS are independently owned franchises, many are family-operated, depending. So while much of the training and certifications may be the same or similar, each owner sets the tone for their specific team, office, and warehouse. Years of experience and specialty services will vary from franchise to franchise.

How do you pick which franchise to hire? If time permits:

  • Google SERVPRO of (the city name you are interested in). Our team is SERVPRO of West Covina. The city or cities name following SERVPRO is simply for franchise purposes and not for limiting cities that we work in. SERVPRO of West Covina services all of Southern California. We work hard to develop the highest reputation and to build strong relationships within our SOCAL community so wherever the call comes from, we will help. Online Google reviews are posted from within the community for an accurate read on how customers really feel about services rendered.
  • Search Yelp for reviews on the nearby franchises. Read the negative posts as well and see if and how management replied to resolve the issue. You can learn A LOT this way. Posted pictures are helpful also to allow you to see the pictures of who may be showing up at your door.
  • Review their company website’s about page to learn more about who you will be hiring. Jot down their contractor's state license number so that you can cross-reference it with the BBB and Angie’s List. Are they IICRC certified and learn what certifications they hold. What extra precautions are being taken since we are still in a pandemic? View before and after pictures, read customers' testimonials, and watch any videos that they have posted. All of the above will help paint an overall picture of who you are considering hiring.

Who do you call when dealing with a large loss?

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

A bright lime green super long SERVPRO semi-tractor trailer parked with endless stacks of bright green specialty equipment Our bright green SERVPRO trucks are hard to miss. They keep us well equipped for any fire or water damage emergency call.

With so many restoration company choices in Southern California, some may wonder who to call when their jumbo warehouse is vandalized, suddenly floods, or catches fire. Many property managers keep their phones on around the clock in the event of such a disaster occurring at one of the properties that they oversee. By meeting and getting to know the restoration team that you will use first before an emergency strikes, it will provide you with peace of mind.

SERVPRO of West Covina invites you to reach out to us now. We can set up a virtual conference to ensure that we can meet your restoration needs and emergency response requirements. Concerns and questions will be addressed so that you feel confident in working with us. Then moving forward you have a go-to vendor for any sort of property damages that may occur. This way if the need arises, we are simply a call or text away from responding to your property emergency. No need to scramble last minute for a number or having to rely on the phone book to search for a willing responder.

As part of the SERVPRO family, you will have access to our unlimited resources including adequate manpower and large quantities of equipment when a loss is on a catastrophic level. Regardless of the extent of damages being huge or minute, we can help. Our professional and courteous team is on standby twenty-four seven. Call now to schedule a virtual meeting so as to be prepared ahead of time.

With so many options out there, Why choose SERVPRO of West Covina?

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

A close up of emergency operator at SERVPRO taking your call. She is smiling as someone who cares as she listens to the needs Trust the team who cares, is professional, and upholds the highest standards. Our online reviews speak volumes!

Living in Southern California, we all aim to support local businesses, especially now more than ever due to the pandemic. Business owners greatly value patrons because it means our livelihood. So when dealing with a stressful property damage emergency, how do you select who to call out for help and if you will hire them?

Here are three main points of reason to help you make the best choice:

  1. Online Reviews – Not every company has loads of reviews but for the ones posted, what do customers say? If a negative review was given, how did the business respond to that individual’s communication? Is their attitude all about customer service and willingness to make things right? Or is it a defensive rant?
  2. Professionalism – When you make your initial call, how is the information that you are communicating received? Are your needs and concerns being listened to so as to be met? Do you feel comfortable with this company responding to your request for services being rendered? How quickly is their response time to your emergency situation? How do you feel about the technicians that arrive at your door? Do you have confidence in speaking with them based on their experience level and knowledge about the issue that they will assist in making things better?
  3. Trust – Does this company truly care and do they display this to you? Do they care about you and your family’s best health interests? Do they care about their own reputation in the community? No one is perfect… so if hiccups arise, will they go the extra mile to resolve the matter and make things right? Our gut instinct can go a long way in helping us decide. If you feel uncomfortable now, will it be worse once they are deep in the middle of the cleanup or restoration project?

Selecting a restoration company that may be working inside your home or business is an important but necessary decision. When facing a property emergency, like a flood or fire time is of the essence. Choose wisely. You can put complete trust in SERVPRO of West Covina where our owner, management and team members have the very best attitude towards valuing each and every client and customer and will work very hard on your behalf.

Got mold?

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Looking at the wall where plumbing is attached under a sink, it is hard not to notice the fuzzy dark moldy spots on the wall Mold in our environment is common but if you come across it indoors, call us out for a professional assessment.

You’ve just discovered dark spots under your sink… you may have lots of questions.

Now what?

Will it go away on its own?

Can you spray bleach and wipe it away or paint over it?

It depends. Mold is always in our environment naturally. While finding moldy patches in a hidden area such as under a sink, rug, or when you move a piece of furniture, it may be hard to determine what the real issue is. Figuring out what the mold is a symptom of is key because whatever mold spores are present will not disappear in time, in fact, if a water leak is present, the problem may only get worse. 

So what is the cause or source of what you are seeing?

Are you experiencing plumbing issues?

Is ventilation poor?

Since mold develops rather quickly, it CAN NOT develop and grow without 3 vital*** things, it is important to know what they are and how to address a mold problem at your property.

Mold requires three conditions being present to grow

  1. MOISTURE TO GROW AND FLOURISH
  2. ORGANIC MATERIAL AS A FOOD SOURCE
  3. COMFY TEMPERATURES LIKE TYPICAL INDOOR SETTINGS

***For additional details related to this topic see our blog coming soon... What mold needs to Develop and Grow

Is a quick fix the wisest option?

Again, the answer is: It depends.

How much mold is present?

Are building and/or structural materials affected?

Is the issue at a rental property that you are responsible for? Is your and your family’s health at risk?

If you are concerned about the possible negative effects of mold and you hide it by painting what is visible, you are not stopping the root cause. Putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound that needs a Doctor’s attention may do absolutely nothing to improve the situation.

Our company offers complimentary inspections for your peace of mind. By getting a professional’s opinion based on your specific circumstance, you will be better informed on how to proceed. There have been times at an inspection where our technician searches for moisture, none is found, the area of concern is small and no demolition is recommended at that specific time. In other situations, our technician has discovered a hidden water leak within the wall and the wet and moldy drywall, paper backing and paint is mush. When in doubt for how to proceed, do not delay in calling our team out for an assessment, we are happy to help.

Why is it important to call in the experts when dealing with water damages?

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Two feet wearing water proof galoshes, stepping on a wood floor that has been flooded and covered in water Do not delay in seeking professional help when faced with a situation like this one. We can help save those beautiful hardwood floors!

Who of us could expect waking up, stepping out of bed, and being ankle-deep in water!? Really, it may be the very last thing in our minds, until it happens. How you initially respond can make a huge difference. Some tirelessly try mopping the excess water up themselves. Others run to the home improvement store and rent a shop vac thinking all that is needed is to address the water visibly seen.

Important to note ahead of time is that time and money can be saved by calling in the professionals right at the very beginning. Scoping out the extent of damages will be the first step. How far did that water travel? Is water accumulated in wall cavities? Behind cabinets? In-ceiling light fixtures? We know water and electricity don’t mix, so is a risk of electrical shock present? How will each concern be professionally addressed?

Next, a professional water extraction will address saving our cherished flooring materials but a proper dry down with adequate pieces of specialty equipment will be placed and checked on regularly the next few days to ensure success, especially in areas unseen such as in wall cavities.

Our goal when dealing with a water pipe rupture of clean water is to restore everything without demolition. This saves costly replacement of materials and high reconstruction bills later. But how do you know which protocol is right for your circumstance? By calling out the experts immediately you can take advantage of saving time, money, and peace of mind, which really is priceless especially while continuing to live through a pandemic. None of us need any extra stress or worries these days… Make the right choice, to begin with, and have the confidence that you can call our team any time of day or night, weekend or national holiday and receive an immediate response.

Four Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Health

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

A close-up view of a sink water faucet pouring freshwater over a pair of soapy sudsed up hands Washing hands thoroughly is the one activity that we all need to aim to do MOST in a day to avoid disease during this trying time of COVID-19.

None of us ever wants to be sick. Feeling bad, missing work and expensive co-pays, prescriptions and Dr. visits that may or may not help can be miserable. Some illnesses cannot be avoided but for others, prevention is truly the best method.

Four ways to improve your health

1. Improve and Practice Good Hygiene – The Mayo clinic has a video to watch on how to properly wash your hands since our goal is to prevent spreading disease. Also, they have a Hand-washing Do’s and don’t’s since hand-washing is a simple way to stay healthy. Their recommendation of forming good hand-washing habits can play a key role in protecting your health. The other component is understanding after which daily tasks this is required. Living through this pandemic, we must be alert to hand-washing constantly throughout the day.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep – For our bodies to repair and replenish our cells, we must get adequate rest regularly. Here are six helpful tips for better sleep

3.Make The Best Food Choices – Good nutrition is required for good health so eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and small lean portions of protein will help optimize your body. Possibly minimize your intake of sugar, salt and fats to avoid health risks. Include the drinking of lots of water to stay hydrated. Also, watch portions and eat only until full. Only cook in a clean environment with clean utensils and surfaces to avoid cross-contamination and beware of eating foods not properly washed, past their prime or under-cooked to avoid running the risk of food poisoning.

4. Get Regular Physical Activity – Choose a fun activity and stick with it. Several diseases are linked to immobility such as stroke, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. The many benefits such as better sleep, stronger bones & muscles and lowering your risk of depression, by staying physically active make all the effort well worth it.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have all been concerned with our health and safety and one of our favorite quotes from the bible pertaining to what we are experiencing now is “the shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself’. – Proverbs 22.3

Try putting these guidelines into practice to improve your health. SERVPRO of West Covina remains open to help out with all specialty cleaning needs, including disinfecting for areas infected with the coronavirus. Contact us today for details!

How to be successful while working from home

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

A laptop, cell phone, mug of coffee, 2 notebooks and pen are sitting on a place mat on a table. A to-do list is written Start each morning off in a grateful mindset. Organize your workload tackling the hardest tasks first. The rest of the day will go smoother...

With the stay at home orders being extended and as many companies continue to work remotely due to the coronavirus, we continue to adjust each week to working from home. Living in Southern California where our typical commutes to work have gone from averaging an hour to now, simply walking into another room of the house and it has been a definite perk.

Productivity can vary from day today but by intentionally starting each morning off with positivity and maintaining good structure through the day, we can set ourselves up for success. We recently came across information about the five a.m. club where the goal is to increase productivity that ultimately leads to success. The premise of waking early including weekends may not be the best fit for everyone but others may exceedingly thrive as an early riser. Part of maintaining a healthy immune system to ward off illness is to get plenty of sleep. So if you are an early rise, be sure to go to bed early enough so that you are not lacking in vital cell rejuvenation that occurs with adequate rest. Also it is important to make good eating choices for nourishment. Plan to eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and protein so that you don’t end up binging on sugary snacks each day.

Productivity tips:

Office set up – Gather essentials: plenty of water, gum, snacks, lip balm, a cozy sweater or throw

Keep a routine – Get moving: walk or exercise, deep breathing, daily disinfecting surfaces including electronics

Be presentable – Feel better: shower & dress even if you don’t have a Zoom meeting scheduled

Take breaks – Set a timer: get up & stretch your legs and learn to relax

Focus on the positive – Limit COVID-19 stories: beware of digital distractions including the news, DO activities you love or start new hobbies

Communicate – Daily: text, email, call or utilize Facetime or Zoom for chatting with colleagues and after work hours with friends & family

With so very many company layoffs, those who continue to have a position are incredibly grateful! When we accomplish tasks, meet deadlines, quotas or gain recognition, it can be very rewarding as well. Our day will fly by faster if we take pleasure in our work, so enjoy your job by staying motivated and put into practice the most excellent work ethic you possibly can.

Make Your own No-Sew Face-mask

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

A clothing line is strung across a sunny spot in the yard. Washable face masks hang drying in the fresh air Please be kind and wear your facemask but do not forget to regularly wash and disinfect them. Placing them out in the sun is a great idea!

Since over this past month our lives and everything around us has changed so much, we must be willing to make necessary adjustments. We are experiencing difficult times and the CDC has asked for everyone to continue to stay home at all times unless we require medication and/or food supplies. With government officials continuing to warn of extreme dangers, each of us must exercise caution. State & county letters have been issued informing us if we must go out to pick up necessary provisions that everyone should be wearing face masks to protect yourself and others around you.

Since we are a restoration company, our team members are accustomed to utilizing proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) with any type of health risk involved task or job. We use full protection daily depending on the assignments and work we are involved in each day. For the rest of us, we understand that protective equipment may be limited in some areas, in stores, and are back-ordered online. So making our own mask may be an option. If you have the sewing skills and materials needed, you likely have already looked up patterns, researched the best fabric layers to use, and taken measures to sew your own. Some of us though, have no sewing skills or may not have access to elastic or filter type materials. Some are going to the crafting community of Etsy.com and placing orders there. The orders filled there are shipped quickly if from within the country but of course, will take a whole lot longer than usual if ordering from other countries.

Simply take two elastic bands and some cloth. The cloth can be a bandanna, scarf or fabric cut from a t-shirt.

  • Cut an 18”x18” square out of the fabric that you decide to use.
  • Fold the top and bottom of the cloth towards each other so that both edges meet in the middle. Then flip over.
  • Fold the top and bottom to the center again. Then flip over.
  • Thread the ends of the fabric through the hair ties, one on each side.
  • Fold the two ends in and flip over to see your pleated mask. Be sure to wash it after each use so that you always are ready and have a clean mask.

** If you cannot find elastic ties, you can cut a couple of thin rings from off the top of the elastic part of a sock or a pair of hosiery.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: PLEASE, still practice social distancing with any mask.

BE SAFE EVERYONE!

We love you berry much

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

A close-up of a small glass bowl on a table filled with homemade berry jam and fresh raspberries cupped next to the bowl Berries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants so eating them daily can help continue to keep our immune systems boosted amidst virus season.

Since most of us are at home and cooking the majority of our meals who can’t use a fun recipe idea? One of our standard Costco shopping staples is their bags of frozen berries. They are ideal for adding to smoothies with a banana and a handful of spinach or for dessert, we thaw a bowl of berries to top or mix in ice cream, pound-cake or waffles. But another option is to use these frozen berries to create a homemade jam.

Here is a super simple recipe and the ideas for jam uses are seemingly endless…

Easy Berry Jam

INGREDIENTS

2 cups frozen or fresh berries (any kind)

¼ cup of sugar

½ lemon, squeezed juice (remove seeds)

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients into a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave on high for intervals of five minutes with a total of about ten to fifteen minutes depending on rate of cooking, since temperatures of microwaves vary. The jam should be a shiny thickened mixture but it will continue to thicken as it cools. Cool and transfer to an airtight glass container. Refrigerate for up to a month to a month and a half.

As a jam, the berries can, of course, be topped as mentioned above but also in plain Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts for a healthy breakfast or as filling inside crepes, on top of oatmeal, biscuits, pancakes, English muffins or stuffed French toast. As an appetizer use homemade berry jam as a topping for baked brie or add to a charcuterie board, inside a grilled cheese or a Monte Christo sandwich. Shake into hot tea. a cocktail with whiskey, vodka or gin or stir into soda to flavor or a milkshake. Additional uses can be to add jam to a salad dressing vinaigrette, a pan sauce for chicken, ham, ribs or pork. Swirl in or top creamy desserts, baked goods, cheesecakes, shortcakes & trifles.

Normally, we may not take the time to make something from scratch but since we have the extra time now, why not? It is sooooo good, and really, who needs all the extra ingredients found in shelf versions? With summer just ahead, why not make it fresh regularly, playing with different fruit varieties?

Cleaning Experts including for the Coronavirus

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Font image of SERVPRO is here to help & background has microscope slide of covid-19 virus Our Coronavirus Response Team is on standby and ready to assist!

SERVPRO of West Covina is Here to Help during this time of need

Never before have any of us experienced a global pandemic with COVID-19. It has been a bit alarming and even frustrating to experience what is happening at the grocery stores.  Witnessing empty and bare grocery shelves makes it challenging to find basics for our families, like food, water, bleach, gloves and toilet paper. Then having to spend hours in lines to get into a store and hours more in the register lines has been trying. Most people remain calm but a few arguments and fights have erupted which is crazy to witness and so unnecessary. We all have the common goal and that is to remain safe and healthy. To help reassure our SOCAL community that help is here when needed, our highly dedicated team is on standby and ready to assist with the highest standards of cleaning and sanitation needs.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect on a large scale such as for airports, schools, nursing homes / hospitals and malls etc. And, of course that means we can handle smaller areas quite thoroughly such as your home or business. Our cleaning and sanitizing methods are set according to protocols provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have many years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff or maid services might perform on a daily basis.

For our own protection, we wash our hands constantly and work very hard to avoid toughing our face, others and commonly used surfaces. This has not been easy because habits are hard to break but we must continue putting forth the effort. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Stair Handrails
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Sales Counters
  • Elevators
  • Playground Equipment
  • Gyms & Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the Coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of Coronavirus, this is a reminder to our neighbors, past and future customers that we are specialists in cleaning services. We adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards and have an incredible willing team, ready to respond 24/7. It is a privilege and an honor to be able to help our country and citizens in this time of great need!

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of West Covina 626-960-9145

Is it Clutter or Hoarding?

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

A room with a whole wall of built ins have loads of belongings including wood, boxes, plastic, bags, lamp shades and more In over your head? We can help.

Who of us at school didn’t get a kick out of Shel Silberstein’s poem about “Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout? It is still a favorite!

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout - Poem by Shel Silverstein

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the garbage out! She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans, candy the yams and spice the hams, and though her daddy would scream and shout, she simply would not take the garbage out. And so it piled up to the ceilings: coffee grounds, potato peelings, brown bananas, rotten peas, chunks of sour cottage cheese. It filled the can, it covered the floor, it cracked the window and blocked the door with bacon rinds and chicken bones, drippy ends of ice cream cones, prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, gloopy glumps of cold oatmeal, pizza crusts withered greens, soggy beans, and tangerines, crusts of black burned buttered toast, gristly bits of beefy roasts...The garbage rolled on down the hall, it raised the roof, it broke the wall greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, globs of gooey bubble gum, cellophane from green baloney, rubbery blubbery macaroni, peanut butter, caked and dry, curdled milk and crusts of pie, moldy melons, dried-up mustard, eggshells mixed with lemon custard, cold French fries and rancid meat, yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat. At last, the garbage reached so high that finally, it touched the sky. And all the neighbors moved away, and none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, "OK, I'll take the garbage out!" But then, of course, it was too late
the garbage reached across the state, from New York to the Golden Gate. And there, in the garbage she did hate, poor Sarah met an awful fate that I cannot right now relate because the hour is much too late. But children, remember Sarah Stout and always take the garbage out!

We cannot help but chuckle at this humorous story that seems so exaggerated? It makes such a descriptive impact and memorable impression that it is easy to imagine all the various foods and debris piled up.  

You may wonder if what you are witnessing is a hoarding issue or simply clutter. Our possessions may bring fond memories and we may find it challenging to part to with them, this is typical. Over the years, belongings can accumulate. Drawers and cabinets that once were roomy can end up stuffed to capacity. Some people have large collections or just collect a lot of things. Keep in mind that most homes, even disorderly ones, still enable a person to freely move around and does not stem from hoarding. WebMd has some helpful fixes to assist with nipping away at clutter before you are in over your head.

To help determine your specific circumstance; you can ask yourself the following few questions with an attempt to answer as honestly as possible.  

  • How large of a collection is too much?
  • Is there sentimental or monetary value in the collection or are the items piles upon piles of empty food containers?
  • Are these items overly consuming your living space?
  • Are one or more bedrooms overtaken and out of commission?
  • Is the kitchen or bathrooms no longer functioning as intended?
  • It may be a hard question to ask, but is your accumulation negatively affecting the quality of your life?
  • Are your surroundings safe, are doors and walkways clear of debris in the event of a fire?

Per the Mayo Clinic, a person with a hoarding disorder may experience anxiety with even the mere thought of needing to dispose of items. Hoarding disorders can range in severity. People who suffer from this disorder may find it difficult to discard any possession whether it has monetary value or not. As time passes the issue could become worse with continued accumulation of items classified by most as recyclables or trash. It may start to develop into a problem when the items take up the vast majority of the home. Living conditions can become unsanitary perhaps even bring in vermin. Once furniture and walkways are covered and no longer functional, deciding to seek professional help may be the best option.

Over the years our team has assisted multiple families to sort, clean, and fully disinfect their homes with bio-remediation. Rooms once filled waste high with everything from spoiled food, bottles, boxes, clothes, papers, diapers, infestation, feces, etc. are repaired, organized and given a fresh start. If this description sounds all too familiar, please know that with proper assistance, things can get better. Psychology today informs us that 1 in 50 struggle with hoarding. We recognize that it is not your fault and understand that deciding to discard any of your belongings can be extremely challenging. Nevertheless, anxiety tends to get worse when belongings push you out of house and home. As the poem above wisely advised us, take time to take the garbage out.

If you find yourself, or someone you love, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next, call SERVPRO of West Covina because we can help. We work hard to listen to your concerns, maintain your trust, and proceed at a pace comfortable for you. Have the confidence of knowing that your situation will be handled discreetly. Do not put it off any longer, call today to inquire further.

Meet our Unique Office Cat that keeps our SERVPRO Team a Happy One

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Mention our office cat's name: JEDDA and receive a free gift with any Southern California water or fire damage inspection. 626.960.9145 #bambino

For a happy work environment that motivates both creativity and productivity consider bringing a family pet to work every day.

Studies have shown workplace stress can begin to cause a negative vibe eventually leading to irritability and ultimately unhappy team members. Having in our instance an office cat around on a daily basis prevents employee burnout because it reduces stress and anxiety which actually improves work productivity. The USC Psychology Department researched the topic and lists several benefits to bringing pets to work. Improving work-life balance by providing comic relief and giving short respites to heavy tasks and projects many of which can zap energy or take quite an emotional toll, depending. Having them by our side lowers blood pressure, makes us happy, relaxes, reduces stress, lessens trips to the doctor, improves teamwork and employee satisfaction. Employers benefit as much as boosting employee morale does and gives our pets much more attention and time. From our personal experience, our opinion is that cats, dogs, birds or fish should be a part of every workplace. Our hairless dwarf cat’s name is Jedda. Check out another adorable portrait and her brief bio under our About Us, Our Employees section. She is listed as one of our own as Jedda is a fun part of our team!

Mold Discovered in Chino Hills Condo

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Got mold? One way to find out is to call our office for a complementary visual inspection. Call and we can get you scheduled right away. 626.960.9145

Water kept slowly leaking through and over time this Chino Hills homeowner began to notice an issue. Needing help he googled to find a good water cleanup company, and after reading several reviews he decided on one and gave SERVPRO of West Covina a call. Sometimes water pipes rupture full force and other times it is more of a trickle or continuous drops, the latter of which makes it sometimes impossible to even know about it until damages spread.

Plus this condominium owner didn’t realize the source of the leak was actually coming from the neighbor’s unit until the wall was opened up and insulation was removed. Looking closely at the picture it is easy to see that some of the damage is visible. What did the other side of the wall look like? The neighbor was brought up to date on the findings so that his structure and drywall could be remediated as well.

In many Socal cities with townhomes or condos, the exterior walls are covered and taken care by the HOA that collects the pricey dues each month. But the money is usually well spent to maintain the value of the real estate by regular gardening, pool and clubhouse maintenance or remodel and tot lot or exercise upkeep. But what about inside your dwelling space? Is your condo properly insured with a specific mold coverage policy? It is worthwhile to find out and to know the details and what the limits are. While examining your condo policy find out what the cap outs may be if any. For example, if your entire kitchen floods from a leaking toilet upstairs, will the coverage extended be more than enough to hire a general contractor and rebuild it? There should be enough coverage to replace the flooring, walls, backsplash, countertops, cabinets, and cover a mitigation company to pack out the items in the cabinets from the clean and unaffected areas, store them offsite so that your family has space to move around in. Will your insurance cover for the same company to later unpack and return the items once construction is complete? Or will you get stuck with the overwhelming task? Ask because all these questions are important to confirm before the unexpected occurs.

Go Green

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Being ecologically aware in our sunshine state.

Once you have spotted one of our bright green SERVPRO trucks, you start noticing them on the road more and more. Driving into work we average seeing them on a weekly basis out and about in various Southern California Cities. Honestly, it is hard to miss the almost neon lime green color, and then with the orange house logo…  it’s super recognizable. Our customers comment regularly: ”You guys are all over, I just saw one of your trucks!”

Besides green being one of our corporate colors, we also offer green services. For families with young children, the elderly, someone prone to allergies or compromised immune systems many of our products are green. This is also important for water or mold damage cleanup in a commercial setting. Businesses such as Schools, Dental and Dr’s. Offices that are concerned about the health of their patients and Retail stores and Offices who get a lot of foot traffic from customers all desire the indoor air quality to be optimal. A few years back we were called out to remove smoke and soot from inside a pet store that had caught fire in the middle of the night. Most pets were safely relocated off-site but all the fish tanks stayed put so we used specialized equipment to safely remove the smoky odor and tiny particles in the air. SERVPRO can help with all of the above health and safety concerns which allow our property owners to have peace of mind that safe professional products are being used to mitigate their damages.

The norm now is that we carry our own reusable grocery bags when shopping and ask for straws only if needed, at restaurants while dining. In our home, we have become accustomed to vigilantly preserve water and we have extra bins allocated for recycling glass, plastic, and cans. Also, we ensure that we properly dispose of electronics and old cell phones. Being careful about our daily habits and opting for conservational choices is important. Each of us can have a share in reusing, recycling and using environmentally friendly products. Here at SERVPRO of West Covina, we make this a priority.

Helping our Community - One Damage at a Time

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Always ready to help 24/7

In 2018 we celebrated our ten year anniversary of being in business for our SERVPRO of West Covina franchise. Over the years with many different kinds of losses ranging from water, fire, mold and biohazard cleanup behind us we certainly have learned a lot. 

Switching industries from owning a restaurant to owning a restoration company had a bit of a learning curve initially. While building maintenance, repairs and construction was a strong background for our team we initially thought: how sad that we are waiting for a call asking for help after a disaster... We immediately shifted our mindset by discussing how fortunate our community really was. By opening our doors for business our neighboring cities were now able to call us, our specific West Covina team who were eager to help, genuinely honest and reliable vs. randomly making a selection of a company in the yellow pages or yelping a search for the best restoration company around. 

A decade of years have passed and our team continues to grow stronger each day. Our warehouse and offices have now tippled in size due to the volume of calls we are flooded with; no pun intended. And most importantly we have helped thousands of families and businesses during their time of need. It is hard work, not always pleasant particularly if its a sewage back up or a crawl space sewage/waste removal, but extremely rewarding. We have tons of ‘fair warnings’ of things to avoid such as NEVER charge your laptop on your bed, it could catch fire... NEVER leave the water valve turned to the ‘on’ setting while on vacation, your place could flood and you wouldn't know until you return... and NEVER ignore a small water leak as mold can grow in the matter of hours.

We love California and appreciate the opportunity to assist in maintaining property values as specialty repairs  are professionally completed. Each day we strive for excellence in customer service and are grateful to each property owner that trusts our SERVPRO of West Covina team enough to hire us and our repeat customers that call to hire us yet again.

Basics of what SERVPRO wants Everyone to Know about Mold

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

You just never know what could be growing behind your cabinets or walls when a water leak goes unnoticed. Call us out if you suspect a possible issue.

SERVPRO is the #1 Industry Standard Leader in quickly taking care of unexpected property damages stemming from a variety of factors and elements. Our office calls for mold inspections always greatly increase after a day or two of any kind of rain fall in our SOCAL Community. To provide you with a run down of the basics regarding mold, please continue reading...

Fact: Mold is naturally always in our environment. Mold spores are microscopic in size and complex in design and behavior. They float in the air; just like when you blow on a dandelion and watch the seeds drift away. The difference in speed though is remarkable because studies have been done where these invisible to the naked eye spores have been known to travel up a ten story building in the matter of only seconds.

Problems for your property can begin when mold spores anchor themselves on a wet surface indoors and begin to multiply quickly. Typically 72 hours when comfortably warm indoor temperatures and a ‘food source’ are both present.  According to a mold expert, from an Industrial Hygienist - some strains have been known to materialize under the microscope within 8 hours.) A damp dark place such as behind the wall after a hot water heater leak is a common spot for mold spores to be nourished and multiplied.  The spores grow by eating away at wet organic materials such as the paper backing of drywall or wood.

The EPA informs us on their website of the Important Fact: The key to mold control is moisture control.  Condensation, water leaks and poor ventilation are all contributing factors.

To prevent mold growth indoors, allow sunlight to filter into your home each day as spores love darkness & dampness. It’s a good idea to make it a daily morning habit to open windows & doors to allow a cross breeze into your home to ventilate it properly. Many of our mold inspections render no real problem other than poor ventilation... 

Be prepared ahead of time so that if ever coming across an unexpected water leak or sudden bust or flood of water, act quickly by calling out our well trained SERVPRO of West Covina professionals to dry up not only what is visible to the eye, but also to what is beyond the baseboards and walls.

Mold… DIY project or Call SERVPRO?

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Professional mold removal in Pomona, CA... Once the kitchen cabinetry was removed, visible mold was revealed for proper cleanup to begin.

In seeking a DIY Mold Removal plan on the internet you will discover a variety of ways proposing how to personally rid your home of mold. A common misconception is to spray it with a bleach solution to kill the mold, but it is just not that simple.

The EPA offers a link of helpful mold facts along with a section of ‘Frequently asked questions about mold’. It addresses how using a chemical or biocide is NOT recommended because while the solution may kill the spore, even dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some. Mold MUST be removed. In many situations the mold may not be visible until the wall or surface is opened/removed as typically mold grows inside wall cavities as opposed to the painted surface of drywall or begins on the back of a wood piece.

One thing to be cautious about with DIY projects where mold is concerned is proper protection for yourself. There are some things, such as mold removal, that are best left to the experts.

SERVPRO of West Covina are the mold removal experts. Our certified mold technicians are concerned about your safety and take steps to protect themselves. We use respiratory engineering controls which means a full face mask with HEPA filter cartridges for each technician. This properly protects the respiratory system as well as the eyes which can be adversely affected by mold spores.

The next item of concern which SERVPRO can aid in is protection of the environment where the mold is found. Simply opening up a wall can disperse millions of microscopic mold spores throughout the living environment. Especially if any ventilation is being provided through air conditioning or by merely walking through the contaminated areas. Proper abatement procedures involve setting up protection barriers so that mold spores will not spread throughout the rest of the house. Negative air pressure through the use of a HEPA rated negative air device (shown in image above) is the only way to properly protect your home from spores being released outside of a legitimate or air-tight containment.

An over saturation of mold in your home can definitely pose a health risk. Handling it yourself is not recommended. Mold removal should be performed by someone who is both properly trained and genuinely respects your home and health. Review the EPA & IICRC guidelines and contact us for an inspection. Allow SERVPRO to create a plan of action so there are no regrets to deal with later.

Ready to Rescue... 626.960.9145