Mold in Your House
Sometimes you can't see the mold until the walls are opened up
Science tells us that mold is a type of fungus that is separate from bacteria, plants, and animals. It is made up of micro-organisms that live in colonies and serve a vital purpose in nature as they help to decompose dead organic material such as plants, leaves, and wood. These colonies resemble hair-like bodies and are too small to be seen individually with the naked eye. When the colonies begin to grow though, you can see the mold in a variety of different colors and perhaps you will notice a musty smell as well. Outdoors, it’s one of nature’s ways of helping to break down dead organic matter. However, when mold moves into your home, it wants to continue to break down whatever material it is growing on. In your house you could find mold on drywall, on wood, or even on your clothing and it will still want to do its job and decompose. Additionally, some people can have sensitivities to mold and the only way to avoid that is to get a company like SERVPRO of Santa Barbara to help you get rid of your mold.
The professionals from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara understand industry protocols and have the necessary equipment to do an effective job. Our technicians have many years of experience to make sure that your mold remediation is handled professionally and is done right the first time. It is very rare that we do not pass our mold clearance testing. The SERVPRO technicians know where to search for harmful, hidden molds and complete the mold remediation protocols.
Locally Owned, with National Resources
We live and work in Santa Barbara and Goleta too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is close by and ready to respond to your mold damage emergency in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Summerland, Carpinteria and Solvang. Call us at (805) 963-0606
SERVPRO is Here to Help After a Fire
After a fire in the bedroom, there is still much that SERVPRO of Santa Barbara can clean
Fire is one of the most devastating events that can happen to your home. Fires can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, destroy your valuable possessions and create unwanted water damage. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara can help you negotiate this difficult time get and get started with the restoration process,
In many cases, homeowners are tempted to start the cleanup process themselves after a fire has impacted their property. Don't make this mistake. Instead, your first call needs to be to your insurance agent to determine the extent of your coverage for the damages. Your insurer will likely need to perform an inspection of your property to generate an estimate for repairing damages. You will also need to get in contact with a professional fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Santa Barbara. SERVPRO will put together an assessment determining the extent of the damages, and which equipment and materials will be necessary to complete the restoration process.
Our trained technicians will check your property for superficial damage. They will start with the exterior and look for things like missing shingles, damaged chimneys, melted objects, and fire-damaged items. Next, they will check your roof, yard, and other exterior regions of your property so you have a complete picture of the extent of damage to your home’s exterior. After completing inspection of the property for superficial damage, the fire damage restoration professional will inspect the interior of your house for damage. This inspection will include checking adjoining rooms for smoke, soot, and water damage and will aid in determining an action plan for restoration.
Once the SERVPRO of Santa Barbara team has completed the fire damage assessment, the cleanup can start with water removal (if necessary). This process helps to reduce the chance that you will get mold growing on your property and to prevent further damage from adversely impacting your home
If your home in Santa Barbara or Goleta has been partially destroyed because of fire, it is good to know that a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is available to restore your house to its pre-fire condition. We offer round-the-clock assistance by our experienced technicians using the most cutting-edge equipment available.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
We live and work in Goleta too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is close by and ready to respond to your fire or damage emergency.
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. Call us. (805) 963-0606
The Water Damage Process
Wet drywall is neatly removed and drying equipment is set up by the SERVPRO of Santa Barbara crew.
Let’s face it…water damages are the worst. If your residential property in Santa Barbara is exposed to water damage, it should be dealt with quickly and efficiently in order to prevent further harm. When water gets loose in your house, it can cause many types of structural damage and can ruin carpets, furniture, flooring and more. Water can also give rise to the development and spread of toxic molds. Mold occurs naturally in all home environments but the trick is not to let your house get moist which would help the mold to grow. When you do find that water has found a way in to your home, a call to SERVPRO of Santa Barbara can help you avoid the unwanted after effects of water damage.
Our process begins with the arrival of our team of licensed professionals. Prior to beginning their water removal efforts, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara technicians will identify the source of the water, assess the damage, and establish an action plan. The technicians will use a wide range of equipment to begin the water extraction process including powerful pumps and wet-vacs to help off-set possible secondary water damage. Dehumidifiers and air-movers will be placed to begin the drying process. Our water remediation specialists will treat the affected areas with anti-microbial solution to disinfect your property, a key treatment in preventing the growth and proliferation of mold and bacteria. They will dispose of any non-salvageable goods and debris after listing the inventory and they will remove all insulation or wet drywall.
Although water damage can be a taxing reality to deal with, it is helpful to know there are people you can call to prevent stress for you and preserve the structural integrity of your home. To ensure that you react to the results of water damage effectively, it's important that you call professionals who can handle the remediation and restoration processes with skill and speed. The team to trust is SERVPRO of Santa Barbara. We will work with a sense of urgency to restore your structure and property to its previous condition in the quickest time possible.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood or water damage event. . Please call us at (805) 963-0606
SERVPRO Cleans Bio-Hazards
In a hoarder house, you can never be sure what type of biohazard you might run into
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is in the business of cleaning up. That means that we do clean up for insurance claims that result from fire or water related losses but additionally, we do clean-ups of both crime scenes and bio-hazards. Often when we are contacted to clean up a crime scene, there is a trauma that relatives are having to deal with. We understand that these can be emotional times and we work hard to be professional, compassionate, and discreet. Our goal is to sanitize the affected locations so that further complications do not arise.
Trauma Scene Waste Management practitioners, such as SERVPRO of Santa Barbara, must be registered in the State of California with the Department of Public Health in order to legally dispose of any materials impacted by human blood or human body fluids resulting from the scene of a serious injury, illness, or death. Our staff are all trained in the correct procedures required to work in an environment that has been exposed to trauma. Because safety is a primary goal, each SERVPRO employee is fitted with their own personal full-face respirator and will be wearing personal protective gear.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara has experience with all of the different types of bio-hazard clean-up. We can help with sewage back-ups, rodent feces, suicides, crime scenes, unattended bodies, and hoarders. For each of these situations, our professional technicians have the training, the equipment, and the mental preparation to step in and take care of unpleasant and potentially harmful materials.
Feel free to call us any time at 805-963-0606.
What to Do When You See Mold
If your window leaks, you may see mold someday
When you purchase a home, you assume all of the upkeep that comes along with it. At some point, you may notice a musty odor emanating from your bathroom or perhaps you see that a dark stain has developed on the wood beneath your kitchen sink. You suspect it could be mold but you wonder what would be the next steps for helping you to get rid of it?
We normally recommend that you should contact a third-party testing company to take samples which will help to identify the types of mold and how it compares with the mold that exists in unaffected areas. These environmental testing companies can put together a written protocol of the steps to follow to get rid of your mold. In the reports that they produce, you will learn what type of mold you have and the process that your chosen remediator should follow to remove it. The report will decide which materials need to be removed, what equipment should be put in place, and if any containments need to be built to control the spread of spores. These guidelines ultimately help you to hold down your costs to include only the work that must be done.
The testing company that you select will come back after remediation work has been completed to make sure that all of the work has been done to specifications and to provide a post-remediation report. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara strongly recommends that clearance testing be done so that you can get a report signifying that mold clearance has been achieved. Mold clearance companies can be found by doing a Google search or you can contact us for referrals of several companies that we work with.
When SERVPRO of Santa Barbara arrives to perform the work at your mold job, the crew has the correct equipment, supplies and training to properly and safely remove the mold. Our crews will suit up in personal protective equipment to ensure that they are protected from mold spores or moldy debris that can irritate skin and lungs. Your SERVPRO team will contain the moldy areas with plastic sheeting and use HEPA air scrubbers to keep the air clean. This type of equipment and setup makes the remediation process move faster, more safely, and more efficiently.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
The smoke alarm at this house fire in Buellton kept things from getting deadly
Smoke alarms are one of the devices in our homes that we take for granted until the battery is low and they start their incessant chirping or, God forbid, you have a fire in your home. Those little sentinels can be life-savers though so it needs to be your priority to make sure you have enough smoke alarms in your home and that all of them are working properly. Smoke alarms can give you enough time to wake up and get out of your house before a fire turns deadly and they give you time to call the fire department to help limit any property damage.
We recently helped a homeowner after a fire in Buellton. One of the kids had left his laptop on his bed and the battery overheated and caught the bedding on fire in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the smoke alarms performed as they are supposed to and the family woke up and escaped with their lives. The home needed an extensive smoke clean up afterwards but thanks to the smoke detectors, this fire did not cause any serious harm to the family. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 3,000 people a year die in fires in the United States and this example shows how vital it is to keep your smoke detectors maintained properly.
Smoke detectors should be tested once a month and if they fail the test, replace the battery or replace the alarm. Additionally, if your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, both FEMA and the American Red Cross recommend that you replace it with a new one. FEMA states that your chances of dying in a fire are reduced by half if you have a home that is fully equipped fully with functioning smoke alarms.
If you do unfortunately ever suffer from a fire in your home, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is available to help you clean up and get your lives back to normal. We can be reached at 805-963-0606
The Business of Restoration
Equipment put in place to try to save a kitchen wood floor
When your home or business suffers a water damage, it often seems like the easiest and quickest option will be to remove any affected items and just replace them with new ones. At SERVPRO of Santa Barbara, we take pride in being able to save as much of your property as we can rather than just tearing things out and throwing them away.. There are many advantages to the restoration work that we do:
- Restoration is more cost efficient
- Restoration helps our carbon footprint by limiting what we put in landfills
- Restoration can help save many items with sentimental value that cannot be replaced.
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara has relationships with most every insurance company and understands how to provide them with restoration budgets that not only meet their stringent guidelines, but provide the homeowner with the best possible outcome in the end. Upon arrival to your water damage, our trained technicians will classify the loss depending upon:
- The source of the water
- How long the structure has been water damaged before mitigation started
- What materials are affected
Next, the technicians will design a cost effective remediation method that is tailored to the expected condition of the materials in each area. For example, if you have water damaged wood flooring but the flooring is constructed with solid wood planks, we can often use special equipment to dry the flooring in place and salvage it. In some cases, the flooring may need refinishing once drying goals are met. Even in this example if the wood floors did need to be refinished, time and money are saved. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara can use similar techniques to save cabinets, walls and the types of non-structural, water-damaged materials that can be expensive to replace. The professionals at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara will always do their best to act quickly, restore whatever they can and get you back to your normal life!
Contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara at 805-963-0606.
Water Grows the Mold
We consider mold and water damages to be two sides of the same coin. The mold jobs that we remediate are just water damages that have gone on for too long. It is not always the case that a homeowner is negligent when taking care of a water damage in his home. More likely, they actually contact a plumber or their insurance company as soon as they are aware of moisture in places where it does not belong. The problem usually comes when they find out that the pipe behind their drywall had actually been leaking for a long time. Behind the drywall is the perfect home for mold…it is dark and quiet, there is no air movement and all of a sudden you are watering it. Well, needless to say, once you introduce that moisture to whatever spores might be behind your walls, the mold springs to life and begins to grow.
In many cases, we will recommend that you consult an environmental consultant. These consultants will come in to assess your mold situation. They will take samples that will let you know how much mold you have compared to natural levels found outside your home and they can also identify the specific types of mold that were found in their testing. If it turns out that the tests show that the levels of mold are elevated, the consultants can put together a scope of work for remediation. Once the scope of work has been prepared, now would be the best time to contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara. We will send a technician to your home that can provide you with an estimate for removing the mold. We never charge for our estimates and we can explain the whole process to you while we are on site. Give us a call at 805-963-0606.
Ash in the Attic
Ash in the attic after a wildfire can cause your home to smell like smoke
We just assumed that the weather people were wrong again. It was Friday afternoon and the prediction had been that the temperatures would rise to over 100 degrees but here it was 4 pm and we were still only at 90 degrees. We had not taken into consideration the “sundowners”. Sundowners are a uniquely Santa Barbara phenomenon where, because of our geography we get winds that come from the north and blow down the face of our east-west facing mountains. These winds are hot and dry and when they are blowing, they can raise the temperature considerably. The foothills in Goleta reached 105 degrees by 8:30 pm to prove the forecasters correct. The winds howled with gusts over 50 miles per hour and it was not long before they brought down a power line and sparked the conflagration to be known as The Holiday Fire. It was several days until the fire fighters were able to tame this beast but in the meanwhile the fire had burned over one hundred acres, twenty-eight structures and thirteen homes.
It was not long after that SERVPRO of Santa Barbara was called into action. Wildfires consume massive amounts of fuel and turn that fuel into smoke and ash and soot. This burnt material becomes easily airborne and once it reaches your house, it looks for opportunities to come inside. Openings around doors or windows, vents in the attic, doggy doors… you name it and any possible opening presents an opportunity for soot and ash to come inside. Many homeowners are able to do much of the cleaning on their own but when it comes time to clean an attic, it is a good idea to let the professional technicians at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara handle the load. When an attic smells like smoke, it is important to remove the source of the odor and that usually means removing the insulation. Whether it is blown in or rolled, our techs will be able to remove it all. Afterwards, we will HEPA vacuum the areas and then replace the insulation with new insulation. If necessary, we will perform an ozone treatment to get rid of any lingering smells.
If your attic smells like ash after the Holiday Fire, please give SERVPRO of Santa Barbara a call at 1-805-963-0606.
Good News from the Insurance Commissioner
Santa Barbara remains strong in the face of adversity
When people bought there houses in Montecito, probably one of the furthest things from their minds was needing to buy flood insurance, especially when we were in the middle of a 6-year-old drought and we are located in a semi-arid climate. Unfortunately, when the Thomas Fire burned to Montecito's back yard, all of the vegetation was stripped from the canyons and the soil was baked to a non-permeable state. When the rains came, they did not soak into the ground but instead accumulated into a torrent of mud and debris that ended up devastating people's homes. Normally, you would be out of luck because you did not carry flood insurance. Well the statement put out by the insurance commissioner yesterday would certainly give reasons for homeowners to remain optimistic. Here is the statement:
Jones issues formal notice to insurers regarding mudslide coverage for homeowners
News: 2018 Press Release
For Release: January 29, 2018
Email Inquiries: email@example.com
Jones issues formal notice to insurers regarding mudslide coverage for homeowners
Encourages survivors to file claims for mudslide, landslide, and debris flow based on preliminary indications that fire was efficient proximate cause
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today issued a formal notice to all property and casualty insurance companies reminding them of their duty to cover damages from the recent mudslide and debris flows if it is determined that the ravaging of hillsides and vegetation by the Thomas and other fires was the efficient proximate cause of the mudslides. In general homeowners' insurance policies, excludes flood, mudslide, debris flow and other similar events.
However, Jones put insurers on notice that both the Insurance Code and case law have established the legal doctrine of "efficient proximate cause" which means if the facts show the Thomas Fire, a covered peril, was the efficient proximate cause of the subsequent mudflow, mudslides, debris flow, landslide, or other similar event, then damage caused by those events should be covered under the property owner's insurance policy.
"Californians have suffered greatly with all of the devastating losses from wildfires that struck the state in the last three months of 2017," said Commissioner Jones. "Preliminary indications are that the Thomas Fire burned vegetation which would otherwise have absorbed rainfall and held soils in place, which in turn resulted in the mudflows, mudslides, debris flows or landslides. If the evidence shows the Thomas Fire or another peril covered by a homeowner's insurance policy was the efficient proximate cause of mudflow damage, I expect insurance companies to step up and cover these financial losses."
Insurance Commissioner Jones is encouraging residents and business owners in Santa Barbara County affected by the mudslides, to file a claim with their insurance company. If consumers have issues navigating the claims process, or they think their claim was wrongfully denied they should contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 or online at www.insurance.ca.gov for assistance.