Recent Posts

From High Rises to Barns

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Santa Ynez/Goleta handles water damages from high rises in Isla Vista to horse barns in Santa Ynez

Most of the time when we get called out to a commercial loss, we are expecting to have to deal with a business which normally means we would be dealing with an office filled with copy machines and desks and computers.  Sometimes though, you go to a commercial loss in Santa Ynez and it turns out to be a horse farm.  We still had drywall and flooring that needed to be dried but the contents that we were manipulating were more like horse shoes and saddles.  There were horses there in their stables and they were very curious about what was going on and acted as our supervisors for the day.  We had ranch hands helping to move things around so we were able to get the full farm experience.

The broken supply line underneath the vanity took no pity on the farmer and his family.  When it was time to burst, it had no qualms about doing so.  Fortunately, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara responds to any disaster, from the big city to the rural farms.  If your plumbing ever decides to let water loose in your home, give us a call anytime at 805-963-0606.

Little Jobs Can Get Big

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

A small water damage turned into a whole house pack out

Sometimes we go to a water damage that seems like it will be just a simple everyday water damage but then one little detail spins it into a much bigger deal.  If your home was built before 1981, we are required to test for the presence of lead and asbestos prior to performing any demolition.  If the results turn up positive for asbestos, we bring in an asbestos contractor to handle abatement.

The home we visited with the water damage had a pipe leak and the water affected their hardwood floors.  The hardwood was going to need to be removed but when it was lifted up,  we saw that there were 9”x9” tiles underneath which almost always contain asbestos.  Unfortunately for the homeowner, the tiles extended throughout the whole house which meant that they would all have to be removed.  But in the jigsaw puzzle world of water restoration, in order to remove all of the tile, you needed to remove all of the hardwood.  In order to remove all of the hardwood, you needed to remove all of the furniture.  So now that little pipe leak water damage had turned into a job that affected the entire house.

We ordered a pod, boxed up and moved out all of the contents, and had the home ready for the asbestos abatement company to come in and do their work.

If you have a little job, a big job, or a little job that turns into a big job, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is always available to help.  You can reach us day or night at 805-963-0606

Time for a Change

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

The brand new headquarters for SERVPRO of Santa Barbara are located at 6100 Hollister #4A in Santa Barbara

One of the few things certain in life is change. It is one of the reasons why we do not worry when business starts to get a little slow. We watch the news and we see the desert of California get hit with a monster earthquake. We know that the days are getting warmer and, following a winter of rain that replenished all of our vegetation, there is ample fuel to supply our next wildfire. We turn to the East, and the start of hurricane season, and we watch as Hurricane Barry dumps prodigious amounts of rain on Louisiana. No, there is no use worrying about business while Mother Nature continues to create natural disasters. But change comes in other ways as well. One of those changes is in the growth of our business. As the SERVPRO brand continues to expand, our own business has grown right along with it. We had been located at the same business park since 1987 and it has served us well but with our continued growth, we were like a hermit crab that had outgrown its shell and it was time for a new one. We ended up finding a new location that is literally just on the other side of the train tracks. The building is brand new and it has everything that SERVPRO stands for as proud members of the green environmental wave. The building has solar panels on the roof, a rainwater recapture system, and an electric car charging station in the parking lot. The whole project is currently awaiting designation as either a LEED Gold or Silver development and is designed to be both energy and water efficient. And it more than doubled the size of our previous location. The times are changing and SERVPRO of Santa Barbara plans to keep right on changing with them. We wait for your call in our new headquarters and can be reached any time of day or night at 805-963-0606.

On the Road to Kansas

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

A basement in Kansas after all of the wet drywall has been removed

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara went traveling recently to the great state of Kansas.  Unfortunately, the purpose of our visit was not to see fun sights in the city of Wichita or to get some of the barbecue that Kansas is famous for.  This time our venture to Kansas was to help after heavy rains created flooding that overwhelmed local resources.  The beauty of being part of the SERVPRO system is that when nature throws weather at you that is overwhelming, you flash the Bat-signal and help is on the way.  We worked hand-in-hand with the local franchise as well as SERVPRO franchises from many different parts of the country.  Our common goal was to help as many people as we could to get their homes clean and dry so they could get their lives back to normal.

One thing that we do not have in abundance in Santa Barbara is basements, for the simple reason that basements and earthquakes do not play nice together.  When we were working in Kansas, that was the primary area of people’s homes that we were dealing with.  We may not be used to dealing with basements in our home territory but we went after those flooded areas with gusto, sucking up water and setting up our fierce drying equipment.  The good people in Kansas were grateful that somebody from as far away as California would be willing to travel so far to help them.  For SERVPRO of Santa Barbara, it was just another day at the office and we were glad to help.

Hot Attics Bring Ash Odors

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

When ash in your attic heats up, it can make your whole house smell like a wildfire

We showed up to do a mold job that was pretty much like any other mold job we do.  When our work was completed, the customer called and told us he still noticed an odor in the home.  We sent out a nose to sniff around and see what he could smell.

Our technician said that there was definitely a familiar smell in the house but it was not mold.  In his professional experience, he believed the smell to be ash.  He asked the home owner if he could look in the attic.  He was not surprised when he saw that the insulation was covered with soot.

Who knows which fire brought in the ash?  Maybe it was the Thomas Fire, maybe it was the Woolsey Fire or it could have been from any of the recent wildfires we have had.  When those fires burned they forced tons of burning material into the sky and the wind deposited it anyplace there was an opening, which includes any of the vents in your attic.

Now that summer is finally here, attics are warming up and as they warm, they cause the ash to heat up and release odors.  If this becomes a problem in your house, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara can help.  Give us a call at 805-963-0606.

Mold-Free School Zone

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

A long-term leak brought rust, wet rot and mold to this elementary school bathroom.

Our little children are precious cargo and we work hard to keep them safe.  We put booster seats in our cars to keep them safe when we are driving.  We give them helmets to wear when they are riding their bikes and make sure they have a flotation device on until they learn how to swim.  It makes sense then, that if mold is found in the bathroom of their elementary school, both concerned parents and school officials would want to get that mold out and to make sure the work was done properly.

At SERVPRO of Santa Barbara, we are parents as well as members of the community that understand that a healthy learning environment includes a school that is mold-free.  We are proud of our local school that once they found out there was a problem, they contacted SERVPRO promptly to make sure the job was done correctly.  After our work was complete and the mold had been remediated, we brought in a 3rd-party company to test the air and certify that the work had met standards.  SERVPRO passed the clearance testing with flying colors and the bathroom was ready to be put back in use.

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara salutes all of the new graduates in town and wishes them a happy and prosperous summer!

School Damage

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara working to dry the dorm room

As we get into June, kids spend their time thinking about the end of the school year.  This is the season for  proms and graduations.  Before you can graduate, however, you must pass all of your final exams.  Final exams can be a very stressful time for students.  They have worked hard all year and now they just need to concentrate on studying for a week or two so they can pass their tests and be home free.  They look for quiet, peaceful places where they can concentrate and stay focused and they begin to work on their studies . 

Then the pipe bursts on the 4th floor and twelve different units are flooded.  That certainly adds a new level of difficulty to your studies!  Only two weeks to go till the end of school and disaster strikes.  Well fortunately for them, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is on the case.  Since this was a dorm, the floors are just concrete which made things a little simpler but they had double drywall for soundproofing which had gotten wet.  Drywall is heavy enough as is, but when it gets wet, it can be a beast.  No matter…if the work needs to be done, SERVPRO gets it done. A little extraction, some drywall removal and SERVPRO professional drying equipment and you are back to studying.  Good luck on finals kids!

The Rainy Season in Santa Barbara

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

This photo, courtesy of the Santa Barbara Independent, shows the installation of ring netting above a Montecito creek

The weather here in Santa Barbara is largely influenced by the world’s greatest refrigerator, otherwise known as the Pacific Ocean.  At any given point in time, the ocean is either warming up or cooling down and those temperature changes play a large role in how much precipitation we are expected to receive each year.  In years when the ocean is observed to be warming up, it is said that we are in a weather pattern known as El Nino.  El Nino means “little boy” in Spanish and is a phrase originally used by fishermen off the coast of South America which referred to the Christ child because those warming ocean conditions appeared around Christmas time every three to eight years.  When the opposite happens and the water is cooling, the phenomena is known as La Nina, or “little girl”.

2019 was a good year for us in Santa Barbara.  The ocean was warm, the jet stream cooperated and we ended up having 30% more rain this season than we would in an average year.  Lake Cachuma went from 7% of capacity all the way up to 80% full.  The drought was declared to be done and best of all, the rain mostly fell at a measured pace so there was not too much flooding.  We still have the situation where the entire mountainside burned up last year so vegetation has not finished growing to secure the hillside but the plants are making steady progress.

We are stuck with a Catch-22 situation because we want the rain, and we want a lot of rain, but we want it when we want it and where we want it and really we have no control over that.  The County has begun to take steps to hopefully deter future debris flows by installing ring netting over the most problematic creeks.  They have worked on creating a better warning system for residents in the burn-zone areas.  Everybody is taking pre-cautions so the disaster that struck last year is never repeated and hopefully those measures will be successful.  SERVPRO of Santa Barbara was proud to be a small piece of the recovery and will remain ever-vigilant for future storms.

Contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara at 805-963-0606.


5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Proud to show off the SERVPRO colors after another SERVPRO blood donation

There are lots of things in life that we don’t like to think about and one of them is blood.  The problem is even if we don’t like to think about it, we still need it.  Here are a few facts about blood from the American Red Cross:

  1. Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood
  2. Less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, and of those people, only 3 percent donate
  3. A single car accident victim can require as much as 100 pints of blood
  4. 1 out of every 10 people entering a hospital will need blood
  5. The average adult has 10 pints of blood in his body
  6. Each one pint donation can potentially save up to 3 lives

The most popular movies these days are all of the super hero movies.  But there are super heroes in real life too.  If your home is flooded, we will show up and dry it for you.  If your home is filled with mold, we will come and make it go away.  If the problem is smoke, it does not stand a chance against the heroes from SERVPRO.  And we donate blood too.

Be a hero in real life and donate.

Smoke Smell in a Restaurant

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

When the ice machine caught on fire, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara was able to get rid of the smoke smell

Everybody has a favorite hamburger place.  People spend their time debating whether they would rather have a Big Mac or a Whopper.  Here in Santa Barbara, many people would vote for a Double Double from In-N-Out Burger.  But there is a large percentage of the population here that does not like to eat at chain restaurants, no matter how yummy their hamburgers might be.  These people prefer to shop and eat local, supporting the small mom and pop restaurants.

The family-owned restaurants are owned by people who live in town.   These folks are our neighbors and we know they work hard to compete with their larger rivals.  When something goes wrong, it can be a catastrophe.  Any loss of business stings so it is a major priority to keep the restaurant open and running smoothly.  When our local favorite hamburger joint had their ice machine short out and catch on fire, it was urgent to get the business back open quickly.

Fortunately, the owner put in a call to SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.  Our guys went to work cleaning every nook and cranny.  We had air scrubbers scrubbing air and hydroxyl generators generating hydroxyls.  The smoke odor didn’t stand a chance and before long, it gave up and disappeared.  The restaurant re-opened and soon it smelled like hamburgers again.   Back in business and smelling great, that’s the SERVPRO way.