Cat Photo Shoot On Fire Job
Blair hopped on our Crew Chief Gary while at work to keep him company and on task!
We get to meet many people from many walks of life in our line of work. That also includes pets and animals!
Meet Blair, The true supervisor on this project keeping Gary on task with the occasional hop onto his shoulders for a quick photo shoot. She liked being around us and would allow us to work but would rest nearby to be able to keep an eye on things at all times. Graciously jumping from one high place to the next was simply part of the fun that a cat supervisor undergoes. At lunch time we would go outside and Blair would have her fun climbing trees and catching bees and other bugs. I must admit that even though I am a dog person, this cat has won us over with her cool and calm personality. Thank you for keeping us company Blair!
What was not as cute however, was the fire restoration work we were doing at this property due to a bathroom exhaust fan malfunctioning. More an that in a following post. Thumbs up for Blair...
Will Your Roof Leak This Year?
A home roof in Riverside CA with some sipped and cracked tiles...
The weather in southern California is hard to beat. We get lots of sunshine, low humidity and a nice long summer to accommodate for all of our activities. However, this is exactly why we can get in trouble when we enter our short rain season. We don't get much rain so we assume our roofs are in good shape, often times not thinking twice on giving them some maintenance work from time to time...
During this potential rainy season, we will receive many calls from homeowners that will unfortunately have water damage in their homes due to roof leaks. Many can not be prevented if we have a heavy storm but the vast majority can actually be prevented. So lets take a look at some of the very common situations we come across.
Slipped Tiles: These can be ceramic tiles or concrete tiles. both have some nice weight to them and can usually withstand some heavy winds. But from time to time and over time, these heavier tiles can slip or slide away from their original position creating gaps in the surface area where potential water damage can occur. Wind, heavy water flow and the weight of the tiles settling in over years can all cause this "slippage". Also, broken tiles from objects impacting them can be a problem along with the occasional cracked tile from someone walking on it...
Missing Shingles: This is more topical of your asphalt shingle roofing. Asphalt shingles are very popular and perhaps the most commonly used. Their appearance is like that of sandpaper some say. They have good durability and usually come with a smaller price tag. With this kind of roofing we usually see "missing shingles". It is typical wear-and-tear that usually makes this happen. Over time heavy winds can eventually lift a shingle and continually work it to the point it detaches. Bad installation can also result in compromised performance when storms or wind hits.
Wind Driven Damage: This can and will happen to basically any type of roof. Wind driven damage is a term used to describe a situation where the wind was strong enough to be the main reason behind the damage. Strong wind can blow out weak or poorly installed shingles but when coupled with rain, it can actually force water to move up and under the roof shingles regardless of type. Water will usually find its way into the attic. In a situation we encounters not to long ago. Hail was present during a strong and windy storm. The wind was strong enough to push the smaller hail pellets up and under the roof shingles. The home owner thought the worst was over after the storm was done. However, it did not take to long for the hail deposited in his attic to start melting and cause massive water damage.
1) We recommend doing a yearly routine inspection of the roof ether by carefully doing the inspection yourself or getting a professional to do it for you. We strongly recommend getting help to do this inspection if you are not comfortable doing this yourself. It can be dangerous work if not handled properly.
2) Also, have your gutters cleaned out to prevent water from pooling along the gutter and flowing into the attic.
3) Pay close attention to wood shake shingles if you have them. They can be very easily damaged when old or worn out.
4) Don't forget that many times your home owners insurance can help in situations like this. Always check with your insurance agent first before putting in a claim.
5) Finally, getting an inspection from a trusted service provider that works with all insurance companies like ourselves can be of great value in keeping cost and time spent down should anything happen.
We hope this helps out and helps keep you dry and leak free!
Trapped Kittens Rescued!
Gary and the kittens...
SERVPRO of West Riverside City answers the call to another disaster. Only this time, there was a little difference in store for us...
As Crew Chief Gary begins the work needed on a large commercial building basement, he catches the sound every cat lover knows, a faint meow. As he follows the sound he pinpoints it to be between the basement concrete walls in a very tight area. Did this stop Gary from helping? Nope. He made his way into the wall cavity and followed it until he came across confirmation to what the sounds were. He finds three kittens that were cut off from the outside world. Access was no longer available to them so they were safely removed and taken to safety. They don't teach you that in restoration class, Great job Gary!!
SERVPRO of West Riverside City Cares!
Canine Angles team along with Calypso and JJ receive a gift from our very own Christopher!
Helping Weave The Fabric of Our Community
Being a local franchise of the Riverside area in CA, we get to experience the community first hand. We are professionals trained to perform our professional services, but we also care for our clients and community. When we heard of an organization called "Canine Angles Service Team" helping our local and neighboring communities, we had to take a closer look. We liked what we found and decided to help them make a change and deliver a good impact to the life of others.
Canine Angles Service Team is a company that provides highly trained service dogs specifically to children. We were touched by the help and joy that this organization brings to others and decided to seize the opportunity to help them with their quest to bring service along with a smile to our community. We were able to make a very nice contribution to their work and even though we did not expect anything in return, we were rewarded with meeting some of the team members which included Calypso and JJ the service buddies! Here is a link to their website should any like to read more about the great service they provide.
Canine Angles Service Team
On behave of SERVPRO West Riverside City, congratulations Canine Angles and keep up the good work!
Hidden Water Damage
Crew Chief Gary after he dried water damaged in crawl space and installed new insulation.
Many times water can be very sneaky and hard to find. Such was the case with one of our clients that had their fridge leak and caused more hidden damage than that which was visible. We get the call and quickly show up on site. As the inspection is being conducted, the client was confident that the damage was not too bad. However, our Crew Chief Gary noticed a nearby vent that was in the affected area. He asked the client if he could have access to the crawl space underneath the home. Our client didn’t think it was necessary but gave us access. What Gary found unfortunately was a lot more damage that was not visible from the inside of the house. Water had traveled through the cut outs made for the ground vent and soaked a large area of insulation underneath the house. The client was surprised at the discovery and thanked us for being diligent in the investigation process. The truth is we MUST be diligent and eliminate all moister when dealing with a water loss. Any corners cut or areas overlooked can result in prolonged moister, secondary damage or even worse, mold growth.
After having identified all affected areas, a complete plan of action was put into place and Gary was able to remove the wet insulation with compromised properties and replace it for new one after the dry down was complete. The client now knowing that all areas were dry and all work completed, was able to come home, relax and carry on with their normal activities being confident that the work had been done thoroughly and correctly by SERVPRO of West Riverside City… Cheers!
Contents inside cabinets affected by candle fire that created "Wet Smoke" damage in Riverside CA.
Let's talk smoke...
So just like everything else, smoke has a few secrets and tricks to it that most people are not aware of, but here at SERVPRO of West Riverside City, it’s our job to know them to properly conduct smoke damage restoration when we get the call.
A client gives us a call after coming home and finding that a small candle that was left lit while they were gone burned down to its end but not before burning its decorative plastic wrapper, a table cloth and a leather phone case. As well as melting other nearby objects like hand lotion bottles. These items produced a type of smoke categorized as “Wet Smoke”. This is because when most plastics and synthetic man made materials burn, they produce a dark, sticky ash that almost behaves like grease. Unfortunately, when our clients got back home, that’s the ash that awaited them and it covered all their belongings. Thankfully, the worst did not happen and their home was not lost or damaged from the fire other than needing an extensive cleaning and painting some of the walls and ceilings.
So why is identifying the smoke type important information for us? Because now we know the kind of cleaning method we will need to utilize when attempting to restore the house to its former glory. “Wet Ash” must be cleaned off the walls with a wet method such as a cloth damped in a special solution to most effectively remove the ash. When something like paper or wood burns, it produces a “Dry Smoke” that can be cleaned with a dry method such as using a special dry sponge that will collect the ash in its pores. Attempting to clean these different ash types with reversed cleaning methods will result in further damage or permanent staining of the surface.
Wet Smoke - Plastics and Synthetic Materials. Low heat, pugnant odor, sticky residues.
Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood. Fast burning, high temperatures.
Protein Smoke - Food. Virtually invisible residues, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pugnent odor.
Fire & Smoke Damage Tips
- Limit movement in the home or work area to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffics areas.
- If electrical is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odors.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect with these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first consulting a professional.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a professional.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized professional.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
Flooded Home In Riverside
Different shots of the initial water damage found
The Water Bug Bites...
There is nothing better than coming home from a nice family vacation and getting some rest as you settle back in. But what happens you when you come home only to find a massive water problem?
That is exactly what happened to a family in Riverside. After a good vacation with their loved ones, they come home late in the evening only to see a horrifying site. Water streaming out from their front door. As they go inside to see what the problem could be, they find that the vast majority of their home is flooded. Carpet, padding, furniture and wood flooring have all fallen victims of water damage. The problem? The toilet supply line in the master bedroom had ruptured and leaked for an indefinite amount of time. Thankfully the client was familiar with SERVPRO and did a quick search for the closest franchise to him.
The Call Out
Approximately around 10:30PM Christopher gets the call from the home owner and the restoration process begins. Some information of the loss was gathered, tips were given to the home owner and the vehicle was dispatched to give the customer the much needed help.
Upon arrival, the extent of the damage was very apparent but even then a thorough inspection is needed to make sure we find all the areas where water could be hiding from our view. Carpet is completely soaked, walls and lumber are wet and even the reclaimed wood flooring has turned into a water bed. A few hours pass while the water extraction is being conducted to remove all excess water from the scene and the environment is finally getting under control. Equipment was placed to start the dry down process and contents such as furniture and light stands are all propped up to prevent water damage to occur to them or the carpet. The next day our technicians are ready for round two.
After a few days of work and great progress, the home owner cheers up and can see the hope for him and his family at the end of all this. He shares with us how happy he is with his decision to call us out and thanks us for being attentive and treating his home with respect. Soon, the home owner and his family will be back at work doing whatever it is that made them happy at home and will not have to worry about mold or any issue relater to this water loss because they know we indeed made it "Like it never even happened".
Did you know water has different categories?
Even water from a clean source like a broken pipe can quickly change category if left unattended.
Water Types play a huge roll in how a professional will decide to tackle any water loss. Many people are not aware that water is categorized by the amount of pollutants it carries or that it picks up as it travels through materials. This is very important to note because as water dries up, these pollutants will be left behind or can even be blown around the area with air movement or foot traffic creating a potential hazarded to health and safety. Sometimes, it’s best to get rid of affected materials instead of drying them and risking your safety and the safety of others.
Clean – Broken pipe, icemaker, drain overflow - No waste or contaminants
Gray – Washing machine, dishwasher, roof leak - Some soils and contaminants
Black – Raw sewage, floods - High degree of waste and contaminants
“The safety of our clients and their 100% satisfaction in our services is always part of our goal.”
Salmonella Strikes a Children's Summer Camp!
Crew chief Gary applying a disinfectant in the form of a fog for better penetration.
Summer is usually a great time for families as it gives them the opportunity to spend some quality time together outdoors. But in this case, what was supposed to be a great summer camp for kids, turned into a discomforting experience.
As a group young teens get together at their summer camp and settle in, something else was also settling in. A couple of the children were misfortunate and contracted salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella is a bacteria commonly found in undercooked eggs and poultry and once contracted the person will experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people with a healthy immune system don’t need hospitalization, however, the symptoms can be very severe causing them to seek medical help. The camp was not taking any risks of spreading the bacteria to other children so they sent the children back and called in the professionals…
THE CALL OUT
We received the call and immediately understood the importance of taking care of this situation properly and promptly. Christopher quickly schedules an inspection to commence work when the children are no longer present and takes note of the points of interest as he walks though the many rooms with multiple bunk beds. It was the right call to send the children home regardless of the inconvenience. With so many rooms and such tight quarters it was only a matter of time before the problem would spread among the children. Soon Gary is on the scene and executes his plan of action. Using an EPA approved disinfectant all areas that would come in contact with the children (most everything) were wiped down giving detailed attention to the restrooms and finally creating a fog with a very safe and strong disinfectant that would blanket all areas and surfaces to eliminate all threats. When it comes to our client’s safety and wellbeing, SERVPRO of West Riverside City takes no chances.
Should You Mitigate?
Water Damage traveling through carpet & carpet padding
When it comes to Water Damage, it is critical to have proper mitigation as soon as possible to prevent the spread of damage. But what exactly is mitigation?
Mitigation is defined as the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.
In the case of a water loss, part of what is done to reduce the severity of damage is to extract any excess or standing water from the site. Standing water in a structure can be very dangerous and has a very high potential to increase the severity of the damage by seeping through building materials such as carpet, padding, wood floors, vinyl and even walls! But it doesn’t stop there, if left unchecked it can damage furniture, create rust stains, destroy paper goods and worst of all it can accelerate bacterial and fungal growth leading to mold. All of this can also be done by any unchecked moisture and not just by excess or standing water. This is why it is critical to have quick mitigation but also a proper restoration as a whole.
So, Why Mitigate?
• Mitigation reduces the losses of life and property
• Mitigation enables people to recover more quickly from disasters
• Mitigation lessens the financial impact of disasters
When to Mitigate:
• Water damage
• Crime Scene