Recent Posts

A Mildew Primer

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

It is quite common to refer to a mold infestation as “mildew.” The characteristic odor of mold is often thought of as a “mildewy smell.” The fact is that mildew is a very specific subcategory of mold that only afflicts plants. It is either white or gray in color and has either a powdery or a downy appearance. Plant mildew is almost always confined to the leaves, buds, or fruit of a plant — it is rarely found on bark or woody stems.

How To Get Rid of Mildew

Mildew is more likely to appear on plants growing in wet or consistently humid climates. If you discover mildew growth on your plants in Santa Barbara, there are some simple steps you can take to get rid of it:

• If the afflicted plant is indoors, move it outside.
• Wash it with a plain water spray to remove the heavy plant mildew growth.
• Prune away the affected sections. This will also increase air circulation around the plant and help to keep it dry.
• Spray the plant with a mildewcide such as neem oil or baking soda and detergent.

How To Prevent Mildew

To be certain that the plant mildew you have found is not part of a larger household problem, it is advisable to call a mold professional to assess the situation in and around your house. To keep your plants healthy and prevent further mildew growth, you should water plants from below to prevent wetting the leaves. This keeps the moisture at the roots, where it is most needed. When possible, keep plants in the sun and keep weeds and plant debris away from them. Disinfect all garden tools and make sure the soil is well fertilized.

Remember: mildew is a subcategory of mold that only affects plants — hence the term “plant mildew.” Fortunately, it is relatively easy to treat and prevent.

How To Handle Roof Repairs After a Storm

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage can be stressful, and roof repair needs can top the list of post-storm concerns. Wind damage, hail, and even fallen branches can leave your roof in bad shape. Whether you are waiting on a roofer or are making repairs yourself, there are a few things you should do following roof damage from a storm.

Assessing the Damage

Storms can damage your roof in many ways.
• High winds can rip off shingles and expose the underlayment
• Hail can leave your roof dented and pockmarked
• Driving rain can seep under loosened shingles and cause water damage

As soon as it’s safe, get a good look either from the ground or an extension ladder to gauge your roof repair needs. It helps to take pictures for insurance purposes or to know which materials to buy if you’re doing your own repairs.

Take Immediate Protective Steps

Water seeping through a roof can set the stage for serious water damage in your home and make your roof unsafe in general. A stop-gap for many Santa Barbara homeowners is placing a waterproof tarp over the damaged area. It isn’t a substitute for permanent roof work, but it may mitigate further damage to your roof and your home’s interior.

Get an Estimate

Whether you want to pay a roofer for a roof repair or try to DIY it, it’s still a good idea to get a professional estimate. A pro may be able to help guide your own repairs or even offer a price that’s better than expected. If water has already gotten into your attic, look for a remediation company that specializes in drying building materials and restoring attics as part of your general roof restoration game plan.

From devastated shingles to pockmarked surfaces, storm damage can wreak absolute havoc on your roof. If you’re facing roof damage after a storm, let these tips guide you to the best outcome.

How To Secure a Building After a Fire

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

a building on fire SERVPRO of Santa Barbara offers 24/7, 365 assistance after fire damage in your business.

The fire damage of a Santa Barbara business can leave the building vulnerable. Damage can affect commercial buildings in different ways, but often the flames cause the following issues:

• Unstable structure
• Broken or missing roof
• Building left defenseless to looters

As you and your commercial fire restoration team tackle the cleanup, you may want to find ways to secure your building from self-destruction, looters and mother nature.

Put Up Boards

Boarding up windows, doors and holes in the wall can help stop looting. If these openings are left unblocked, looters can easily enter your store, warehouse or office building. With the boards in place, however, there is an extra obstacle that may be enough to keep the vandals out.

Secure the Boundary

The fire cleanup process is messy. Your property may not be safe for nonprofessionals for a while. Putting up a fence can help keep intruders out, but it does something else too. It protects you from liability problems.

Add Stabilizers

Adding extra support beams and pillars during the reconstruction phase can help secure your building's structure. Without these stabilizers, the fire damage could cause your property to collapse on itself. In some cases, you and the workers cleaning up the mess may not be able to enter the building until it has been secured and deemed stable.

Cover the Roof

You also have to secure your property from weather. Rain, wind and hail can easily enter a fire damaged structure when pieces of the roof or walls are missing. You can protect your building from extra damage by putting up tarps and other coverings to keep the elements from making it inside the space.

When your business is affected by a fire, it can feel like operations have come to a halt. Tackling a fire cleanup to address fire damage can help you get your day-to-day activities back and running, but you need to make sure your building is not further damaged by looters, weather or faulty structure.

SERVPRO is ready to help when storms or floods hit

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech cleaning up water and flood damage in a Santa Barbara, CA business Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez specializes in storm damage and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your commercial property to its pre-storm condition.

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez has the specialized training and expertise to restore your property back to its pre-storm condition and your business back up and running. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

A fast response is crucial to flooding and storm damage, because it reduces secondary damage and restoration costs. Storms don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Our technicians will respond immediately, day or night, to help Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley business owners and residents.

When storms hit Santa Barbara we can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez to help-805-963-0606

SERVPRO can help with historic buildings

5/31/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech in PPE scrubbing the walls in Lompoc, CA We are available 24 hours a day to get your Santa Barbara business back up and running.

The Lompoc theater has stood proudly in Lompoc, CA since 1927.  It was once the home to a wide variety of exciting musical events from symphonies to rock concerts, live theater events from vaudeville to ballet, and to cinema from small indies to Hollywood blockbusters.  But, sadly, the theaters' glory days were behind her and time has not been kind to the theater.  

Fortunately, the community has rallied with the intention of bringing the historic theater back to life.  A committee was put together to raise funds to try to restore the old theater.  The committee thought that it would be ideal for potential donors to see the interior of the theater so that they could better be inspired to give.  The only problem was that the years of neglect had left the theater with serious issues from bird feces as well as a substantial amount of mold.  It was unsafe for the public to enter.

A call was made to SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez.  It was a lot of tough work but SERVPRO was able to remove and sanitize all of the areas affected by the pigeon poop.  Then the highly trained professionals got started on the mold and before long, that was gone as well.  The theater was able to hold a 90th anniversary celebration fundraiser in which the public could safely step inside to view the jewel of downtown Lompoc. 

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez is locally owned and operated.  We live here in the community with you and are thrilled to have been able to our part in helping restore a historic building.

Commercial Buildings Can Flood Too

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech in PPE setting up containment in a Santa Barbara, CA business When a storm hits your Santa Barbara home, you need the company with storm damage experience and expertise.

Santa Barbara is known for its beautiful weather.  We can expect almost 300 days of sunshine every year.  After being in a period of draught we had forgotten how hard it can rain when it finally did.

One year, over 48 hours, we received nine inches of rain and many systems were overwhelmed.  The wind was roaring and we heard from many customers that suffered water damages.  The rain played no favorites.  We heard from homeowners and we heard from commercial property owners.

One commercial job that we were called out to was a structure that the wind blew the rain over the flashings. This ended up getting drywall and carpeting wet in many rooms on multiple floors.  Fortunately for them, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez is able to tap into all of the resources that SERVPRO makes available.  That means that no storm damage job is too big for us to handle.  The experienced professionals at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez got the business up and running in no time.

Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez can help restore it "Like it never even happened."  Call us at (805)963-0606.

Little leaks can lead to big problems

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Moisture meter on wet floors Moisture meter read the moisture level under hard wood floors.

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.

We have visited homes with what looked like simple water damage from 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 and Santa Ynez/Goleta is always available to help.  You can reach us day or night at 805-963-0606.

A fun weekend away can be ruined by water damage when you return

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage to a wall Water damage

Less than $10.  That is what the cost is of a 3/8” compression 20-inch braided steel faucet supply line at the hardware store.  But such a small, inexpensive piece can be responsible for thousands of dollars of damage when it bursts. 

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta has helped many homeowners who returned from an out of town trip to find when they return, 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 this rarely gets done.  After all, who really thinks about these things until there's a problem?  

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

If you do suffer a water damage, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is locally owned and ready to help.  We work with most insurances.  Call us at (805)963-0606.

Fire in a family owned restaurant

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

fire in commercial kitchen Fire in a family owned restaurant

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 priority to keep the restaurant open and running smoothly.  When a local Mexican food restaurant had a kitchen fire, it was urgent to get the business back open quickly.

Fortunately, the owner put in a call to SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta.  Our team 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 was back in business and smelling great, that’s the SERVPRO way.

Love/hate with rain in Santa Barbara county

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Man standing in flooding from rain in Santa Barbara, CA We love rain in Santa Barbara but too much at once can cause flooding

The weather here in Santa Barbara is largely influenced by 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, or "little boy".  When the opposite happens and the water is cooling, the phenomena is known as La Nina, or “little girl”.

In years when the rain is good, we are stuck with a Catch-22 situation because we want the rain, and we want a lot of rain, but it sometimes comes in large amounts over a short period not giving the ground time to absorb what has fallen.  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 chances of mudslides are diminished and  hopefully those measures will be successful.  SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta was proud to be a small piece of the recovery during the Montecito mudslide and will remain ever-vigilant for future storms.

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