Recent Posts

Top 5 Causes of Flooding in Crawl Spaces

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

technician wearing protective gear going into a crawl space. Expert checking under a crawl space.

Flooding In Crawl Spaces

If there is flooding under your home in Santa Ynez, CA, one of the first things a water damage remediation expert will do is check what is causing the flood. By identifying the root of the problem, the cleanup team can then determine the next best steps to take. While there are many reasons a home can have a wet crawl space, some causes are more common than others. Here are the top five situations that can lead to unwanted water.

1. Poor Sloping

Check the landscape around your house. How is the sloping grade? Ideally, you want the grading around the foundation and crawlspace to slope away from your home. This way, water cannot become trapped underneath.

2. Gutter Systems

The next place to examine is the gutter system on the roof. If you notice clogged gutters, clean them out. Likewise, you may need to redirect improperly aimed downspouts.

3. Over Watering Plants

Another common reason people end up with a wet crawl space is due to overwatering. If you have a sprinkler system, look to see if it is functioning properly and turn off any hoses.

4. Pipe Bursts

A more complicated cause of the flooding is a pipe burst. Often, broken pipes are easy to spot by simply walking around your home and looking for leaks, but when it happens under the house, things can be more challenging. If you are having difficulty locating a suspected burst, it may be best to call a professional for assistance. Remember, acting quickly can reduce potential damage.

5. Underground Water Issues

Another top cause of water under a home that is more complex is when the issue stems from beneath the ground. In these scenarios, there is typically a problem with a broken city line, an insufficient drain, or another issue resulting from foundation or storm-related damages.
No homeowner wants to have a wet crawl space, but understanding the top causes can help you prevent it from happening in the future. At the end of the day, it is always better to be ready.

Effective Maintenance Tips for Your Commercial Irrigation System

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Irrigation system A well-maintained lawn depends on a thorough irrigation maintenance system.

Steps To Keep Your Lawn Looking Its Best

Keeping a well-maintained landscape and a plush, green lawn makes your business more appealing to clients and customers. You count on your commercial irrigation system to work when it’s needed. To keep your sprinklers in top working condition, however, they require routine irrigation maintenance.
There are several steps you should take to keep your lawn in Goleta, CA, looking its best.

1. Annual Inspections

Before you start up your sprinkler system in the Spring, you must check it carefully. This is the perfect time of year to hire an irrigation specialist to inspect the entire system for broken lines, leaks and sprinkler heads that are misdirected.
The water management system should also be checked to ensure you aren’t wasting water.

2. Monthly Maintenance Checks

In addition to annual inspections, you should check the sprinklers on a monthly basis in warmer weather. Foot traffic, bicycles, and even animals can cause a lot of damage to sprinkler heads. Look for cracked, missing, or clogged heads. Clean, repair or replace the problems right away.
Your irrigation maintenance plan should also look for sprinkler run-off. If an area of the lawn becomes too saturated, you must adjust the direction of the sprinkler heads. If the heads are not adjusted properly, this can create sprinkler flooding. Once this occurs, excess water may seep into the ground and cause flooding within your building.
If you ever discover flooding inside the premises, contact a water damage repair service as soon as possible to assess the damage and create a water damage remediation plan.

3. Additional Considerations

Consider installing water pressure equipment to help regulate your sprinkler system’s water pressure. Some parts of the lawn may also require different amounts of water. Adjust each zone to meet the needs of that area.
A well-maintained lawn depends on a thorough irrigation maintenance system. Following a few simple steps will help keep your landscaping in top shape.

Methods for Preventing Water Damage During Construction

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Another way to prevent a water pipe repair is to turn off the water supply during off-hours.

Preventing Water Damage During Construction

If you have to take a break from a construction project while you wait for a water pipe repair to finish and water remediation professionals to fix the damage, you can lose money and have unforeseen fees. One way to avoid this is to take proactive measures to prevent water damage from impeding your construction projects.

Have a Plan

Proper planning is the key to creating a watertight project. Here are some of the things you should consider in your water preparedness plan:

  • Keeping electrical equipment away from water sources
  • Using grading to divert water away from a project
  • Installing windows and doors with minimal chance of intrusion
  • Planning to create a waterproof building

Assign a Supervisor

To ensure the plan is properly carried out and you don't have to worry about water pipe repair jobs, you should assign a supervisor. This person will be responsible for ensuring that your water damage prevention techniques are implemented throughout the work.

Conduct Inspections

Your water preparedness plan should also assign someone to inspect the job site in Santa Barbara, CA, each time it is shut down. The inspection should look for threats that could affect a building overnight or on weekends. If the inspector identifies any threats, such as a broken pipe, they will handle the situation before it leads to excessive damage.

Turn Off Water

Another way to prevent a water pipe repair is to turn off the water supply during off-hours. This means that when no one is working on the project, the water supplies should be turned off. However, this is only feasible if you don't have any machinery requiring a constant water supply.
To avoid the costly and time-consuming aspects of a flooded worksite, you should take proactive measures to prevent water damage. The techniques you use should range from proper planning to ensure the site is securely shut down before leaving.

What Is and Is Not Covered By an NFIP Policy

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flooded building in Goleta, CA.

What Is Covered by an NFIP Policy and What Isn't

When you are purchasing commercial insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, it is important to know what it does and does not cover. Here are a few things that you make sure that you have when you purchase this type of policy.

Building Coverage

Building coverage protects:

  • Electrical, fuel, air conditioning and plumbing systems
  • Appliances
  • Cabinets, carpet, bookcases and filing cabinets that are permanently installed
  • Detached garages

Essentially it covers any property that is permanently affixed to your business and most major systems. This type of commercial insurance coverage might also cover flood remediation in Goleta, CA, or wherever your business is located.

Property or Contents Coverage

This coverage protects the contents of your building. It will cover personal property, curtains, portable air conditioning units and other valuable items. Your flood policy may also cover inventory and other items that belong to your business, depending on how it is written. If you have inventory, check with your underwriter to make sure it is covered.

What It Does Not Cover

The National Flood Insurance Program does not cover properties that are not affected by a flood under its definition. The FEMA definition of a flood under this program is an excess of water on at least two acres of land or affecting two or more properties. For instance, if you are flooded by a broken pipe or your toilet backs up and floods, you will not be covered under this program.

This type of insurance also does not cover financial losses from a business interruption, vehicles and valuable papers. You want to make sure that you have offsite copies of valuable papers in case of a flood or fire.

When you are purchasing a National Flood Insurance Protection policy, it is extremely important to make sure that you know precisely what is and is not covered. If you are worried about specific contents or other types of flooding, you might need to check into purchasing an additional commercial insurance policy.

3 Steps You Should Take If You Find Mold in Your Apartment

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold spots on white wall Mold damage in an apartment in Goleta, CA.

Mold In Your Apartment

Mold is a common issue that is usually caused by a moisture problem. If left untreated, mold can cause property damage, so you should take steps you perform mold cleanup promptly. These are three steps you should take if you find mold in your apartment.

1. Determine Whether It Is Mold or Mildew

Unlike mold, mildew only grows on the surface and can be removed with household cleaners. Mold spores are embedded in the surface, which makes mold more difficult to remove. Mold usually has a fuzzy or slimy appearance and is green or black. Mildew is usually gray, yellow or white and has a fluffy or powdery appearance. Mildew tends to grow in high moisture areas, such as shower stalls and windows, while mold grows on organic materials, such as walls, wood, ceilings, paper and leather.

2. Contact Your Landlord

If you have determined that you need mold cleanup in your apartment, you should contact your landlord. Your landlord should investigate the source of the mold and fix any moisture issues, such as leaky pipes, and may also wish to contact a mold remediation company in Goleta, CA,  to remove the mold. It is essential not to ignore the problem because it may get worse and there may be a requirement in your rental agreement that you report issues, such as mold or leaks, promptly to avoid being assessed for damages.

3. Locate the Source

Help your landlord find the source of the mold problem. If you have noticed signs of leaks, such as water spots on walls or the ceiling, or you find water on the floor around your shower or toilet, you should let your landlord know that this could be the cause of the mold contamination.
The longer you wait to perform mold cleanup, the more damage mold could do to your apartment. Taking these three steps promptly can help avoid unnecessary damage.

How an Electronic Claims Service Helps Your Business

3/26/2022 (Permalink)

Infrared camera pointing at a wet wall. SERVPRO utilizes best practices and the latest technology to identify, clean, repair and itemizes your property damage

How Can an Electronic Claims Service Benefit Your Company?

When your commercial property in Santa Barbara, CA, has sustained damage due to fire, flooding, or mold, the last thing you need is to get caught up in a complicated insurance claim process. You want someone to assess the damage, determine your reimbursement and get a check out to you as quickly as possible. While your insurance agent uses electronic software to process your claim, SERVPRO fast-tracks the processing time by keeping an electronic inventory of damage-related information and sharing it with your insurance company, adjuster, and agent. This simplifies the process and benefits you, the business owner, in the following ways:

  • The emergency response team can catalog damage as they address it.
  • Itemized claims are made instantly available to decision-makers and service personnel.
  • The information is readily available to be included in the appropriate paperwork.
  • Faster processing times mean less administrative costs.

A More Accurate Insurance Claim

Trying to keep your business running while dealing with the fallout from your property damage can be overwhelming. When you have to carefully keep track of every item that's been damaged, oversights can happen — especially while you're waiting for your adjuster to arrive. SERVPRO professionals catalog everything into an electronic inventory as they go, so nothing is forgotten or left out. Greater accuracy right up front increases the likelihood that you'll receive enough to cover your expenses.

Better Communication Between Professionals

When all your claims information is uploaded electronically, everyone who needs access to it sees the same data — there's no risk of mistakes being made as it transfers from person to person. With every professional working from the same information, it facilitates communication between them and simplifies whatever coordination needs to happen to get your claim processed and your damage repaired swiftly.
SERVPRO utilizes best practices and the latest technology to identify, clean, repair, and itemize your property damage, making it easier and faster for you to file your insurance claim. The faster your claim is processed, the faster you will be back in business “Like it never even happened.”

Tips for Managing a Business Interruption

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Santa Ynez, CA.

Tips for Dealing with a Business Shutdown

There are many reasons your company could face a business interruption. You could be the victim of a devastating cyber attack, powerful storms could shut down part of your operations, or a fire could cause damage and disruption. Whatever the reason, you can make the situation better by planning ahead. There is even interruption insurance that will help you manage the costs of such an event.

Dealing With a Business Fire

Whether a fire strikes a factory, a hospital, a bank, or some other facility, it can wreak havoc on normal business operations. A fire can cause damage in the following ways:

  • Fire damage
  • Smoke damage
  • Soot damage
  • Electrical damage

To get your business back online as soon as possible, a number of steps need to be taken. One of the first orders of business is to have a fire damage assessment. A team of professionals in Santa Ynez, CA, will provide you with a good idea of how extensive the damage is and the length of time a business interruption may last. This is also a good time to notify your insurance advisor, and see if you are covered not only for property damage but also for loss of revenue during a shutdown.

Handling Fire Cleaning

From this point, you will be most interested in cleaning up the damage from a commercial fire. This includes replacing property that has been burned, as well as cleaning items such as walls, flooring and computers that have undergone smoke damage. The experts in Santa Ynez, CA, will use the latest technology to remove contaminants from your building and get you back up and running. In the interim, they will make sure your property is safe and secure so that no further losses can occur. The experts are Here to Help.

A business interruption is a challenge to any company. Relying on remediation experts and a good insurance policy can both be a big help.

How To Prepare for a Fire in Your Home

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets burned, fire in a kitchen. Concept of fire damage in a home Fire damage in a kitchen in Santa Barbara, CA.

Prepare Yourself For a Fire In Your Home

Although the idea of a fire occurring in your home in Santa Barbara, CA can be scary, being prepared and having a fire escape plan can be lifesaving in an emergency. There are several steps you can prepare yourself for a fire in your home.

1. Become Familiar with Fire Alarms in Your Home

In the event of a fire, early detection can be incredibly important. However, a fire alarm that is out of batteries or needs to be replaced may not be able to alert you if a fire occurs. Changing the batteries yearly and replacing the fire alarm at least once every ten years can help to ensure you will be alerted if a fire occurs. Additionally, it can be helpful to test the fire alarm so you and your family members will know what the alarm sounds like and can react quickly if the alarm goes off.

2. Make a Plan

Creating a fire escape plan is a key way you can prepare yourself for a fire. If a fire occurs, knowing how to quickly escape can help keep you safe. It’s generally useful to have more than one route of escape in case one route is inaccessible during a fire. If you live with other people, it can also be smart to agree on a meeting spot that is a safe distance from your home.

3. Practice Your Escape Plan Frequently

Once you have an emergency escape plan, practicing it frequently can make the process of actually escaping much easier. Practicing your plan will also give you the opportunity to notice any potential issues with your escape route. By noticing problems during a practiced escape, you can adjust your route if necessary and find alternatives in a low-stress environment.

Knowing how the fire alarms in your home work, making a fire escape plan and practicing your plan often can help to prepare you and your family for a fire. Fire damage restoration experts are often useful to contact after a fire occurs.

4 Facts About Renters Insurance and Home Fires

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renters insurance can help you in case of a fire.

Renters Insurance and Home Fires: 4 Facts

If you’re renting a house or apartment in the city of Santa Barbara, CA,  then you’ll be happy to know that if you have renters insurance your policy will cover you in the case of a home fire. While you might think you will be okay without insurance when renting, if a fire were to happen you would have to pay to replace your belongings and for a place to stay while the fire restoration company repairs your home. If you want more information on how a renters insurance policy can help you in the case of a home fire, read the following four facts!

1. You Are Compensated for the Replacement Value of Belongings

Luckily, most insurances will give you the amount of money it would cost to replace your belongings rather than their current value. For example, rather than getting the value of an old, outdated television, you will get the amount of money necessary to replace the TV with a new one.

2. You are Covered for Any Damages You Are Liable For

If the fire was caused as a result of something you did, your renters insurance will cover the money you would owe to the landlord for fire damage or neighbors who were injured in the fire.

3. Your Stay Somewhere Else Is Paid for

If your place of residence is deemed uninhabitable, your insurance will pay for the time you spend at an apartment or other location while your home is being restored.

4. Arson Is Not Covered

As you would probably assume, insurance will not cover you for a fire you started in your own home on purpose. However, if you start a fire on accident you will be covered.

While it is easy to assume that a fire will never happen in your home, it can happen to anyone. That is why it is so important you have renters insurance to cover any costs that might accrue as a result.

What You Should Know About the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIRC)

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC Certified diploma One of the many reasons why you would select SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is because we have IICRC Certification.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIRC)

When a disaster has occurred in Santa Barbara, CA  and has affected local homes, finding the right restoration company to assist in rebuilding homes can be difficult. However, considering whether a company has been validated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification or the IIRC, is often important.

What Is It?

Understanding what the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is helpful to homeowners and insurance agents alike. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has various purposes, and does the following:

  • Provides restoration and cleaning businesses with industry standards for commercial and residential assignments
  • Offers resources for homeowners and restoration professionals
  • Provides ongoing education for cleaning and restoration professionals
  • Partners with various organizations to strengthen standards in the restoration and cleaning industry

What Types of Disasters Can Certified Professionals Handle?

A company that is IIRC certified can handle a variety of disaster-related issues. Though each restoration company will be different, many restoration companies that have this mitigation certificate commonly work on:

  • Buildings affected by mold growth
  • Buildings impacted by fires
  • Buildings affected by flooding and wind damage

Why Does Using a Validated Restoration Company Matter?

Finding a company that has been validated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification can often be helpful when it comes to choosing a restoration company that will provide quality, reliable services. A company that has been validated by this organization is likely to have extensive restoration experience. Additionally, a restoration business that has this validation must adhere to a set of standards, which holds companies accountable for the work they do. Overall, homeowners and insurance agents can feel confident in companies certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Understanding what the IIRC does and knowing what trained professionals can assist with and why certification matters can help homeowners and insurance agents choose the best restoration company for the job. If homeowners or insurance agents have questions about the process of rebuilding, contacting certified restoration professionals may be helpful.