Recent Posts

Stuff

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Lots of wet stuff in a commercial water damage When your wet stuff is an issue, SERVPRO can help

Stuff…  do we own it or does it own us?  At SERVPRO of Santa Barbara, we are invited into many homes and businesses and we see all kinds of stuff.  Most people have at least some stuff but some people have  a LOT of stuff.  As a restoration company, we are really happy when we arrive to a water damage and we see that there is not that much stuff.  When you have a lot of stuff, that means we have to move it all out of the way in order to dry what is behind or underneath the stuff.  Additionally, you usually need to dry the stuff.  Non-porous stuff dries very quickly and can be easily salvaged if the liquid that is getting your stuff wet is not something gross like sewage.  Porous stuff does not dry very quickly so you have to make decisions on whether it is worth paying for us to dry it or if it would be less expensive to just replace it with new stuff.  Porous stuff also has the unfortunate quality that if it absorbs yucky water, then it magically transforms into yucky stuff.  You really need to make tough decisions then because there are often no guarantees when it comes to sanitizing porous stuff that turns into yucky porous stuff.

SERVPRO can help you make some of the tough decisions because getting rid of stuff can be very difficult for folks.  Stuff can be expensive, stuff can be required by law to be kept, or worst of all, stuff can have sentimental value.  When water invades your home or business and you need some help to deal with your stuff, give SERVPRO of Santa Barbara a call at 805-963-0606.

Water When You Leave Town

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Supply Line under kitchen sink A supply line that bursts while you are away can have you return to a wet house

Less than $10.  That is what the cost is of a 3/8” compression 20-inch braided steel faucet supply line at Lowe’s.  Such a small price to pay for a part that was ultimately responsible for thousands of dollars of damage when it burst. 

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara recently was called to a very nice home in the Hope Ranch section of town where the owners were away for the weekend and when they returned, their supply line had failed and there was water in their kitchen, living room, and dining room.  The experts recommend that you periodically check all of your supply lines to make sure that there are no signs of wear and tear but realistically, who has the time or enthusiasm to do that?  I guess if you suffer a big water damage then you would be more motivated in the future to be  aware of all of your fittings and hoses.  Until then, it is good to know the number of you local SERVPRO.  Our number is 805-963-0606.

If you are going to be away from home for any length of time, here are a few tips to ensure that you do not come back to a house filled with water.

  1. Turn off the main water valve coming to your house
  2. If you are really concerned, you can shut off valves to toilets, dishwashers, washing machines or any other appliance
  3. Obviously, take the time to inspect your supply lines
  4. Check your gutters to make sure there are no blockages
  5. Install automatic shut-offs that detect leaks and shut off your devices when moisture is sensed

Creepy Crawlspaces

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Crawlspace with mold and spiderwebs Claustrophobic crawlspaces concern customers

One of the reasons why people call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is because we do things that any reasonable person would not want to do.  Nobody wants mold in their house but if there is not too much of it, people often feel like they could tackle the job of removing it themselves.  When the mold shows up in their crawlspace, however, it is often a different story.  Cramped spaces filled with spiderwebs and creepy crawly things lead to claustrophobic feelings of definitely not wanting to be under there.  Add to this that you need to wear a hot Tyvek suit along with a full face respirator while you inch along on your back doing manually exhausting work and you have a whole lotta nope to convince you that it is better to make a phone call rather than do this type of work yourself.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is ready to answer that call.  For our trained and professional technicians, working in a tight crawlspace is just another day on the job.  They crawl effortlessly through spaces that a regular homeowner wouldn’t even consider passing through.  Playing seek and destroy, the mold is efficiently handled and we add another happy homeowner to our list. 

For the jobs that you don’t want to do, that is why there is SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.  Call us at 805-963-0606.

Would You Like Flies With That?

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Dead flies infested a Santa Barbara home Dead flies created a creepy situation in this Santa Barbara home

The Bible tells us that there were ten plagues that were inflicted on the Egyptians, ranging from turning the Nile River to blood to a storm of frogs.  We recently received a call from a customer that was experiencing her own version of the plagues.  Apparently, her home had a problem with rats.  The exterminator came out and set out bait traps to kill the rats.  Well the rats gorged themselves on the poison but they took a little while to die and when they did, they died in hard to reach places.  Between the time that the rats died and the time the exterminator was scheduled to come to pick them up, flies laid eggs and hatched and their population exploded.  It was the poor fortune of our customer to happen to have left her windows open that day and the flies invaded her house.  The exterminator was called back to handle this new problem but after he did his job, the house was filled with dead flies and the customer was grossed out that these flies had been crawling all over her personal property.

The customer did what any smart customer would do when faced with a situation like this and they contacted SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.  It was a first for this franchise to get a job of this type but SERVPRO is an expert when it comes to the Ugly Clean.  Our technicians were more than up to the task and went after the flies with a gusto which made the customer quite pleased.  Whether your storm is flies or frogs or something normal like rain or fire, make your first phone call be to SERVPRO of Santa Barbara at 805-963-0606.

Fire Tips for Before SERVPRO Arrives

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Ash on a Piano Be careful when you remove smoke and ash from your home

One of the best pieces of advice that we try to give to our customers is, don’t try to clean up after a fire yourself.  The soot and ash you see is considered to be toxic and has the potential to cause health problems if it is not handled properly.  The act of trying to clean your home can actually result in more damage if not done right.  SERVPRO of Santa Barbara has the right training and tools to guaranty that the job is done correctly the first time.

Helpful Tips for After a Fire

This may sound obvious but if the weather is nice outside, open your windows to air out the house to reduce smoke odor

Smoke is acidic so you need to clean any chrome, porcelain or aluminum fixtures to prevent tarnishing or etching

Make sure to change the air filter for your furnace

Throw away any packages of food that the smoke may have touched

If you lose your electric power, take all food out of the refrigerator and keep the doors open

Any clothing with heavy smoke damage can be sent to a dry cleaner that specializes in smoke restoration

Things Not to Do After a fire

Try not to touch any surfaces with your bare hands.  Oil from your fingers can affect soot on upholstery, walls, or woodwork and lead to additional damage.

Don’t try to wash your walls.  Using the wrong cleaning solutions can end up making the situation worse.

Do not clean your carpets, rugs or upholstered furniture.  You might set the stains permanently.

Wait to use your electrical appliances till after they have been examined for safety.

If water was used to extinguish the fire, don’t use lights or ceiling fans until they have been cleared for use

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.