Recent Posts

Mold-Free School Zone

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold-Free School Zone 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)

Water Damage School Damage 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)

Storm Damage The Rainy Season in Santa Barbara 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)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO Gives 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)

Fire Damage Smoke Smell in a Restaurant 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.

Parking Garage Mess

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Parking Garage Mess Sewage in a hotel parking structure expertly handled by the professionals from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara

Sometimes the calls come during the week between the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00pm.  Many times they do not.  Pipes do not care about your sleep.  They do not care about if you had a party planned or if you just got finished with your renovations.  When they decide to leak or burst, it is their decision, not yours.

This weekend it was the pipes in a local hotel that decided that is was their time to clog and spill their contents.  Fortunately for the hotel, the loss happened in their parking structure.  Unfortunately for the hotel, these pipes carried raw sewage.  Smelly and unhygienic, the sewage quickly made its presence known.  This was definitely a job for SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.

Our professional technicians rushed to the hotel and quickly began work.  After treating everything with an anti-microbial solution to begin the sanitization process, the guys did the dirty work of extracting whatever liquids they came across.  They steamed the cement to make sure all of the surfaces were as clean as they could be and finished up with another healthy application of disinfectant.  Before long, the garage was ready again for cars.  Another mission accomplished for SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.

When your parking structure…or office or warehouse or store…decides to have a water damage, call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara at 805-963-0606 for quick results.

The Process of Fire Restoration

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Process of Fire Restoration When a fire is too big to clean by yourself, call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara

The process of fire restoration can be very involved and if the fire is a large one, oftentimes the work is best left to the professionals that you will find at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.  Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the event which is why it is helpful to have a calm voice that is able to guide you through the entire process. Regardless of whether you elect to hire professionals or to try to do the work yourself, the procedures that you will follow should be similar.

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the affected areas are not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind.  When cleaning, always use dust masks and open windows and doors for proper ventilation. Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery. Wash any items that are able to be laundered. Clean the outside of your home or business with a pressure washer if available. 

If immediate cleanup cannot be done after a fire, there can be permanent consequences. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and other white items can start to discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will begin to etch kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acidic qualities in the smoke residue. The cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive the longer you wait to begin. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind and soot residue may be layered throughout your home. 

Smoky odors need to be removed and this is done by completing a thorough detail clean of the property. Before the smoke odor can be eliminated the source of the odor must be dealt with and removed. Usually this means HEPA vacuuming and wiping all surfaces.  When we do this type of work, we make sure to run HEPA air scrubbers at the same time so that we can capture any particles that become airborne. After the cleaning, if there is still a lingering smell, we will try an ozone treatment in order to completely eradicate it..

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process can help to  minimize the cost of repair. If the job seems overwhelming, professionals from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara can be contacted to return the area to a preloss condition.  By hiring the right professionals, we help you to have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

Contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara at 805-963-0606

When Storms Strike, Get Dry Quick

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms Strike, Get Dry Quick In no time at all, sub-floor, drywall, framing, carpeting, and baseboards are all affected by water

It appears that the rainy season is behind us and fortunately, the rain that fell helped to fill our reservoirs without creating the major issues that we saw during the previous rainy season.  Although we are probably safe from storms for the near future, that does not mean that you can drop your guard against water damages that may affect your home.  The impact that water damages have in your house are influenced by a number of factors and one of the major ones is the speed with which you are able to attend to the problem and get things dried.  Speed is of the essence in this situation.  Water damages definitely do not get better with age.

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

As you can see, the damage that water can cause escalates quickly.  When you find yourself in a situation where your house needs to be dried quickly, give SERVPRO of Santa Barbara a call at 805-963-0606.

Water Damage Causes in Your Home

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Causes in Your Home Water to drink is great. Water in your carpet is a bummer!

One of the facts of life is that the Earth is filled with water.  Unless you live in the desert, you are never far away from oceans, lakes, rivers or other natural bodies of water.  As it happens, you are also surrounded by man-made bodies of water too.  If you are in a community, you will never be far from sewers, water mains and water pipes, sprinklers and fountains.  Water is great and necessary for life but it also has the potential to cause a lot of damage.

Here at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara, we have run into just about every different way that water could do harm to your home.  The water may find plenty of ways to do damage but we will always have only  one goal; to get your house to dry quickly and efficiently. 

If (or when) you ever suffer a water damage in your home, it is important to remember these three tips:

  1. Get any of your possessions that are sitting in water out, of the water.  Wet furniture can leave stains on your carpet, wet clothing can begin to get moldy, and wet carpet can start to delaminate.  The sooner you can get your stuff to a dry place in your home, the better.
  2. If there is any significant volume of water from any water intrusion, you need to have the water extracted.  Standing water will only make the situation worse and slow the time required to get your home dried out.
  3. Have your home inspected by a water damage expert.  Technicians from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara will have the latest technology with them, such as penetrating and non-penetrating moisture meters or infra-red cameras so that they can verify that the water did not go deeper or try to hide where you can not see or feel it.

Of course we hope that you never have to deal with a water damage in your home and, if you do, that it will be minor and easy to deal with.  In the case where it is not simple, remember that SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is always available to take a look or to offer assistance.  We do not charge for estimates or second opinions or inspections so please feel free to contact us at any time to get some expert advice.  Call us at 805-963-0606 or email us at

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara Answers the Call

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Santa Barbara Answers the Call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara answers the call in MInnesota

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara just returned from an assignment in Minnesota which was about as different as could be for these boys from warm and sunny Southern California.  Rain and melting snow had filled the Mississippi River to overflowing and any houses that were sitting low or had basements were in danger of taking on water.  When the calls began pouring in to the local SERVPRO franchise, he was quickly overwhelmed.  SERVPRO Corporate declared the area to be an official “storm” and rang the bell for help.  The advantage of being part of the SERVPRO franchise system is that in times of crisis, additional aid is only a phone call away.  SERVPRO franchises from across the country responded to the alert, including SERVPRO of Santa Barbara.  It took our crew two days to drive from Santa Barbara to St. Paul but once they arrived they hit the ground running.  Long days of helping people with their water damages made the trip worthwhile and we were proud to be able to offer our assistance.

When disaster hits locally, please give SERVPRO of Santa Barbara a call at 805-963-0606.