Recent Water Damage Posts

Water Mitigation Procedures

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

three fans placed on kitchen after water damage Water damage in a Santa Barbara home

The Water Mitigation Process

Water damage can be a serious issue, especially if it happens to your Santa Barbara, California home. The problem is that water has a knack for making everything it comes into contact with wet and soggy. This includes drywall, insulation, flooring, furniture, and even clothing. So if you've experienced flooding in your house or business due to something like a burst pipe or toilet overflow, then it's time to take action!

Clean Up the Water

The first step is to clean up water, you'll want to remove as much of it as possible. Use wet/dry vacuums with a pump or a shop vac to suck out excess water, removing it by hose or vacuum lines. For particularly stubborn areas of standing water, you can use buckets and mops to soak up excess moisture as well.

Dehumidify the Space

The next thing you will want to consider is how to dehumidify the space. Use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture in your home, which can lead to mold growth. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, turn on your fans and open windows in every room of your house to get rid of excess moisture.

Remove wet clothes, towels, and bedding from the home immediately. After floodwaters recede, remove wet carpets or rugs as soon as possible—even if you plan to clean them later. This is because carpeting acts like sponges that soak up moisture from floors or subfloors; once saturated with water, these materials can take weeks to dry out completely and even then may still harbor mildew or mold growth when exposed to heat sources like vents or radiators.

Disinfect and Sanitize 

The third step is to disinfect and sanitize appliances and any parts of the home that have been in contact with the water. Use a disinfectant to clean all items, including countertops and floors (following the manufacturer's instructions). Sanitize with a bleach solution of 1/4 cup bleach per gallon (2 liters) of cold water. Soak for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly after soaking as described above. Dry with a clean cloth if you do not want a residue on your appliance or floor surfaces. Disinfect/sanitize again if needed. If you need to remove mold from walls, ceiling tiles or other parts of the home make sure they are dry before beginning this process. If possible, identifying areas where mold has developed will help determine what materials might be affected by mold growth: wood, fiberglass insulation, fiberglass siding etc. When you have mold growth, it’s always a good idea to call a professional like SERVPRO of Santa Barbara to remediate the mold.

Repair or Replace Damaged Materials

Whether you’re looking to repair or replace wet building materials, furniture, and personal belongings, there are several steps you should take:

  • Replace any damaged items. If the item is beyond repair and no longer usable, then it needs to be replaced. Damaged items can include carpeting, hardwood floors, drywall, plaster, and molding. 
  • Clean and sanitize any items that are salvageable. If the item has not been contaminated with mold or mildew (and there is hope for cleaning) then clean it thoroughly with a disinfectant cleaner (such as Lysol). Do not use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners because they may cause further damage if left in contact with wood surfaces for an extended period of time.

Monitor the Drying Process

It is important to monitor the drying process for a few days after the cleanup is complete to ensure everything is fully dry. If you don’t, mold can grow. You should check for mold every few days over the course of at least one week or until you’re sure it has dried out completely.

Act Quickly

Water damage can quickly spiral out of control, so it's important to take steps to fix it as soon as possible. Water damage that is left untreated can lead to structural damage and mold growth—both of which can be expensive to fix.

Water is an incredible force of nature, but it can also lead to costly damage if not handled properly. Our experts are here to help you clean up your Santa Barbara home or business after a flood or other water-related disaster, so don't hesitate to call us with any questions.

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.

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.

4 Ways to Avoid Secondary Damage After a Flood

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold spots in a white wall Water damage can lead to mold growth.

Avoid Secondary Damage In Your Property

A house in Santa Ynez, CA can experience a lot of damage from a flood. However, it is vital for homeowners to take action to avoid any secondary damage, which is damage standing flood water can cause if it is not removed and remedied in a timely fashion. For example, contaminated water can lead to the development of black mold, especially if the room contains high humidity. By taking swift action, you can avoid making the remediation process any tougher than it needs to be.

1. Shut Off Electricity

Locate the fuse box inside your home and shut off power to every area affected by water damage. If you cannot reach the fuse box without stepping into water, then do not attempt to touch it. Instead, you should contact your local electric company to get them to disconnect the power. You definitely want to make sure to turn off the power if your home experienced a total outage from a storm. If the power was to suddenly come back on, it could blow fuses.

2. Discard Contaminated Food

Black mold can grow anywhere, so make sure to throw away any pieces of food exposed to the flood water. In some cases, it may be best to discard all the food in case mold is not readily apparent. It is always preferable to waste money than put your health in jeopardy.

3. Turn Off Gas

It is possible for flood water to damage a gas line and cause noxious gases to enter your home. Breathing in carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous, which is why you want to be certain your carbon monoxide detectors are always operational. Shut off the gas meter as soon as you can.

4. Contact Water Extraction Professionals

Experts in Santa Ynez will know exactly how to safely remove the black mold to prevent it from growing. They will also know how to restore items tainted by mold and remove large quantities of water.

Do You Know How To Spot Toilet Problems?

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

The bottom of a toilet leaking Ignoring a leaking toilet is a recipe for disaster.

Common Causes of Toilet Problems

Your home’s toilets are a bit strange. While you likely use your toilets every day, you also probably don’t like to think much about them. Even though bathroom fixtures in your Buellton, CA, home can be easy to forget, you don’t want to ignore a leaking toilet. By understanding some common causes of toilet problems, you increase your chances of the sort of long-term damage that comes from a bathroom leak.

Common Toilet Problems

To function properly, your toilet takes in clean water and flushes away waste. Because the system is simple, problems are usually easy to identify. If you notice any of the following, your toilet may require some repairs:

  • Leaks
  • Sweating
  • Corrosion
  • Wobbling
  • Failure to flush
  • Failure to fill

Causes of Toilet Problems

Often, the cause of a leaking toilet falls into one of two categories. First, you may have a dry wax ring. Your toilet relies on a wax ring to form a water-tight seal between the fixture and your plumbing system. Unfortunately, rings can dry out, causing the seal to crack. If it does, water may seep onto your bathroom floor.

Alternatively, your bathroom leak may be due to the tank flange. If the flange is not tight, water may not stay where the toilet’s designers wanted it to stay. Often, tightening the flange is the best way to stop your toilet from leaking.

Fixing Toilet Problems

Before you can repair your toilet, you must be certain you minimize the negative effects of a leak. If you catch the problem early, you can likely wipe away accumulated water. If the leak has persisted for a while, however, you may need a professional flood-mitigation service to help you contain mold growth, clean soiled items and repair damaged surfaces.

As you probably know, ignoring a leaking toilet is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the cause of your toilet problem is probably easy to identify. With a bit of work, you can likely return your bathroom to its pre-leak condition.

Pipe Problems in the Home

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water in a kitchen sink. Clogged kitchen sink Clogged drains can present another point of failure for a plumbing system.

How To Manage Flooding Caused by Bursting Pipes

A well-maintained residence in Goleta, CA can still have a few issues with its plumbing system. Learn how to manage flooding caused by bursting pipes with the following how-to suggestions.

1. Inspection

The easiest way to prevent plumbing problems is to routinely inspect your pipes and appliances for leaks. This is especially true of homes with older plumbing made of copper or certain plastics no longer in common use. While such materials are not in need of immediate replacement, they can create an additional risk of damage due to corrosion or cracking, especially at junctures and connection points. Make time to fix broken pipe segments as soon as you notice the damage.

2. Drainage

Clogged drains can present another point of failure for a plumbing system. If you notice water backing up in the basin of your sink or tub, or you hear any unusual noises as water moves through your pipes, you may have some sort of blockage. If left untreated, these clogs can contribute to bursting pipes in your plumbing. While caustic drain cleaners can be effective, they are not the only option. Use mechanical drain snakes or enzymatic clog removers if possible, to preserve the integrity of your plumbing system.

3. Recovery

Sometimes flooding and other water damage can occur regardless of the diligence of the home owner. In these cases, you should take steps to prevent any ongoing damage from water retention by safely draining the water from the premises. Cut all power to the affected area, as this can present a safety hazard. Remove any sensitive documents or electronics. Your home insurance policy likely covers the costs necessary to hire a qualified flood damage restoration service, so contact your provider as soon as possible.

While a home flood due to bursting pipes and other plumbing maladies can be an unfortunate disruption, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk of damage and begin the restoration process quickly.

Signs of Water Damage

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Pipes underneath a sink with water soaked into the cabinet walls Catching water like this early on can have a significant impact on damage.

Being aware of how and where water damage is likely to happen makes it easier to find developing problems and pinpoint past problems that have been neglected. Some of the most common sources of water damage include leaky faucets, leaky pipes, broken appliances, cracks in foundation, and damaged roofing. 

Leaks and moisture buildup can create severe damage to your home before you even realize there’s a problem. With any water damage, there are early warning signs to be aware of. Staying alert for the signs of water damage helps you to prevent further damage and help catch damage early on. Some signs of water damage to look out for include:

  • Standing water 
  • Mold Growth
  • Funky Odors
  • Damaged wallpaper/paint
  • Sagging walls and ceilings
  • Damaged floor 

Water damage is more than just unpleasant. Ignore it, and it can spread, eventually deteriorating your home and health. If you spot signs of water damage in your home, contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta at (805) 963-0606. They can pinpoint the problem, then offer help on how to solve it and repair the damage to prevent any further detriment to your home or your health.

Construction Planning to Prevent Water Damage

10/20/2021 (Permalink)

Living room of a home with construction table and equipment In home construction

Proper planning is an important part of any construction project. There are many steps you can take during construction to help prevent damage later on.

One common cause of water damage during construction is improper installation of weatherproofing, waterproofing, and moisture barrier systems on the outside of a building. When working on a construction project, its important to confirm that weatherproofing installations adhere to building codes.

Another common cause of water damage during construction is poorly glued pipe connections. This can be avoided by having a quality control plan and making sure it is being followed.

Confirming that building codes are met and quality control is in place can make a significant impact on preventing future damage.

When working on any construction project, it is also important to verify the following:

  • All equipment and water lines are protected from freezing
  • Roof drains are not clogged with leaves or debris
  • Sink drains are not clogged or blocked
  • Plumbing and sprinkler systems are free of leaks
  • All windows and doors are properly covered at the end of each day/work shift

For any damage that does occur, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is here to help clean up the mess. Contact 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.

Creepy Crawlspace

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Crawlspace… what’s that? A crawlspace is an unoccupied, unfinished, narrow space within a building, between the ground and the first floor. The crawl space is so named because there is typically only enough room to crawl rather than stand. Most people don’t really notice it until something starts leaking and that leakage can turn into mold growing and the smell from the crawlspace can emanate into the whole house. If you’ve never been in a crawlspace its very dark, has very little oxygen since there is no air flow, and full of creepy crawlers, it can be very dangerous if you are not aware and unexperienced. After you have a plumber fix the leak that’s where we come in. Here at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara we are very experienced and help! We can remediate the mold, spray an antimicrobial, and dehumidify to ensure there are no more mold spores and the space stays dry.  Of course, we hope that you never have to deal with a moldy crawlspace in your home and, if you do, that it will be minor and easy to deal with.  In any case, big or small remember that SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is always available to take a look or to offer assistance.  We are always available 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 office@SERVPROsantabarbara.com.

Underwater

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Finally, the weekend, time to relax after a hectic work week. You decide to take the wife and kids for a little weekend trip out of town. You put the alarm on and make sure all your doors and windows are locked, your usual due diligence. While your away and having a great time with your family a water supply line burst. When you return to your house you open the front door to see water covering the floor in the bathroom, bedroom and hallway. You wonder to yourself how could this happen? You first call a plumber to assess and fix the burst pipe and then who do you call for the water cleanup? Your new carpet is ruined. Or so you thought. Call SERVPRO of Santa Barbara where our motto is “like it never happened”. We can extract water out of the carpets and dry out all the areas affected by the water damage.
Experts recommend that you periodically check all your supply lines to make sure that there are no signs of wear and tear. So, if you are going to be away from your home for any length of time, there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening to you:
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 shutoffs that detect leaks and shut off your devices when moisture is sensed!

Toilet Troubles!?

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

You’re enjoying a lazy Sunday in with your honey and you guys are sitting on the couch enjoying this movie you’ve been dying to see. Then you hear a rumbling at first you think it is just your tummy, but it grows louder and louder until you hear splashing… You go to check it out and your toilet overflowed but its not just water… its sewage. Gross! It is sludgy, brownish and does not have a very pleasant smell. Oh no! Lazy Sunday is ruined, or so you thought. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara is here to help. Here at SERVPRO we try to help you as much as possible with these types of disasters and we will call you within 1 hour and within 4 hours we’ll be onsite. What other place is going to take care of you with this type of efficiency. Of course, we hope that you never have to deal with a sewage overflow 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 office@SERVPROsantabarbara.com.

Flooded Office?

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

It’s raining! Finally, we can enjoy being cozy in our oversized sweatshirts, however your thinking to yourself “Wow, is raining pretty hard out there.” You walk into your office on Monday and the rain flooded and leaked into your building. Ugh now what?!

Water damage at your place of business is never convenient. With the recent rains, however, many local businesses found themselves facing just that inconvenience when they arrived at work. Business owners know that they must deal with the wet walls and floors but the question then becomes, how do I keep my business open while the emergency is handled? Fortunately, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara has significant experience in this area. We take special care so that if it is possible to keep your place of work open, we help you to navigate the obstacles and keep your business in business.

When a local realtors office came to work last week, they found that their carpet was soaked and drywall had gotten wet from flooding on their street. They called SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and asked if there was a way to keep their office open while we did our work. The office had an open layout and they feared the noise from our equipment would be too loud and would blow away their paperwork. Our talented crew immediately went to work setting up a full floor-to-ceiling opaque containment which kept our equipment out of sight and noise to a reasonable level. The containment served double-duty by reducing the volume of air in area of the water damage which helps to speed up drying time.

In the end, the realtors were able to keep working and the water damage was dried without major interruptions to the business. If you see water damage at work, contact SERVPRO of Santa Barbara any time at 805-963-0606.

Water damage can lead to mold-what to do if you smell mold

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Growth Water damage can lead to mold growth-what to do if you suspect you have mold

The nights have turned colder, and people are starting to spend more time inside.  Since it is cold out, you close the windows and turn on your furnace which blows warm air around.  You may start to notice an odor in the air.  Some people describe the smell as musty.  Typically, the smell comes from mold.

The mold may be obvious as a dark patch on drywall in the bathroom or it may be hidden beneath or behind your kitchen cabinets or in your walls.  All mold requires water to grow so at some point in the recent past.  As the mold dries out however, some types like to release their spores into the air so that they may find a better home.  The mold may also release microbial volatile organic compounds which produce the aroma you are smelling.

If you notice this tell tale odor, you may want to take a look around to see if there are any obvious signs of mold in your home.  If your search does not turn up any obvious signs, you may want to consult an Environmental Testing company to test your environment.  If it turns out that you do find you have mold, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is there to help you make it go away.  We are locally owned and operated and on call 24 hours.  Call us at (805)963-0606.

Restore or remove, that is the question

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage Should you remove or restore when there is water damage

During a water loss, removing and replacing may seem like the easiest and quickest option. At SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta, we look to restoration rather than tear out and replace as a first option. Some of the pros to restoration include: being more cost efficient, it helps our carbon footprint by limiting what we put in landfills, and saving many items with sentiment that cannot be replaced. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta works seamlessly with insurance companies, providing them with restoration budgets that not only meet their stringent guidelines, but provide the homeowner with the best possible outcome in the end. Cost effective remediation methods are tailored to the expected condition of the items in each area. For example if you have water damaged wood flooring and they are solid wood planks, often with special equipment they can be dried in place and saved. 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 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 and Santa Ynez/Goleta will always do their best to act quickly, restore whatever they can and keep things as accessible as possible.

We are locally owned and operated.  Call us at (805)963-0606 or go online.

Water damage and mold-two sides of the same coin

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold in walls SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta can help with water damage and mold remediation.

We consider water damages and mold 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.  The problem usually comes when they find out that the pipe behind their drywall or under a sink behind supplies had actually been leaking for a long time.  Behind the drywall is the perfect home for mold…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 and Santa Ynez/Goleta.  We will send a trained 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.  

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is locally owned and operated.  We are your neighbors.  We can help get you back "Like it never even happened."  Call us at (805)963-0606.

What is really in that water that just flooded your home or business?

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding on carpet with fans set up What IS in that water that just flooded your home or business?

Water damages are one of the most inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming events that a homeowner  may find himself facing. While most water damage episodes are minor, they have the potential to also be catastrophic. Additionally, not all homeowners insurance policies will cover water damage generated by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes or hurricanes. Many a homeowner has realized too late, that flood insurance is a separate policy from standard homeowner's insurance. Typically, water damage restoration professionals from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta will complete an assessment to determine the extent of water removal efforts and the required equipment. Cleanup, drying, and restoration services follow. Part of this assessment involves determining what category of water has caused the damage to ensure proper safety procedures for extraction.

Category 1: Clear Water. This Category 1 water was initially potable water. Over a short amount of time, the water will degrade increasingly with contamination. Examples of Category 1 water include sink overflows, toilet tank ruptures, and failed supply lines on appliances. The type of water that comes into your home is clear water until it has left its source.

Category 2
: Gray Water is the second category of water. This type contains some level of contamination that may be physical, biological, or chemical. Category 2 water can include discharged water resulting from leaking water beds, dishwashers, washing machines or commode water containing urine. 

Category 3: Black Water is unhealthy and unsanitary. This water is contaminated with varying unsanitary agents and particulates, fungi, bacteria, and possibly debris. A water damage event at your property may involve Category 1 or 2 water which, if left unnoticed or not removed, degrades into Category 3 water. Sources of black water may originate from a broken sewage line, rising ground water from floods or storms, seawater or chemical runoff from storage. Once black water has breached your interior structure, SERVPRO recommends immediate removal, sterilization, and sanitation.

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is locally owned and operated and ready to help Santa Barbara residents  with any-sized flood and water damage emergencies. Call for assistance any time 24/7. (805) 963-0606

Even a small amount of water can lead to mold

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

water heater cabinet mold A small leak can lead to mold

You had a small water leak so cleaned it up yourself.  Everything looks dried out and problem solved.  But now you see mold.  If you see visible mold, your best move is to leave it alone. When you disturb mold by trying to remove it, you can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. Mold spores are microscopic and when you try to clean them, the mold can release tiny spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO  of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. We are locally owned and operated.  Contact us at (805)963-0606.

Water damage can happen because of storms or burst pipes

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

dehumidifiers Time to dry out that water damage

When most people think of a water damage, they imagine the aftermath of a heavy rain.  While we know that storms can cause damage to a home, we find that most of the water damages that we see in Santa Barbara result from a failed plumbing issue, and not from a heavy rain. In Santa Barbara, damage to even a modestly-sized home can run into thousands of dollars. Expensive furniture, carpets, and other high-end items in the home will only add to the cost of a water damage if they are affected.  

When we receive a call in our office that a supply line has burst or that a washing machine has overflowed, SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta technicians are trained to quickly respond, removing this water from the home as fast as possible and immediately begin drying both personal and structural property.  One of the pieces of drying equipment we will set up are dehumidifiers. These machines draw water from the air and nearby property such as curtains and upholstered furniture. Removing moisture and lowering the humidity level in the home creates drier air which allows evaporation to happen more quickly which helps to save building materials like drywall panels. 
 
As the dehumidifiers work, technicians from SERVPRO of Santa Barbara begin using extraction devices to dry carpets. For most carpets, that means using extraction wands which efficiently remove water from carpets and carpet pads. For thicker carpets, SERVPRO specialists can also use a riding extractor. The driver rides on top of this larger device which has a platform that uses his weight to press down on the carpet and pad, allowing it to remove more water. Regardless of the cost of the carpet, most pads are cheap, and we nearly always advise replacing them rather than going to the expense of attempting to dry them 
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SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta uses these first actions to reduce and eliminate the effects of water damage in area homes. If you need us to help return your home to a safe, dry condition, call us at (805) 963-0606 today.

Storms in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez can cause water damage

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

rain on window Hopefully the rain stays outside

Here in Santa Barbara county, we are lucky that we never have to deal with hurricanes or blizzards or tornadoes.  Although the level of storms we receive may never reach that intensity, we have had some strong storms that have caused significant water damage.

Winter is the time of the year when the storms arrive and now is the time to make sure you are ready for them.  Look around your roof for loose shingles and have a roofer come out soon if you need repairs.  You do not want to have to call a roofer when it is raining outside.  Roofers become super busy once the rain starts falling and getting one to make an emergency repair can be an exercise in frustration.  

If you find water leaking inside your home, it is good to keep the phone number for SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta handy.  We can be reached at 805-963-0606 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Most insurance companies will cover the expense of a roof leak but it is best to check with your insurer to confirm this. 

What to do when a sewer line backs up in your home

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO van SERVPRO can help 24/7

Sewage backups can ruin your day.  Cleaning the up on your own is not recommended.   Raw sewage can contain some really bad things, even more so if you’re downstream from a hospital or health clinic. The EPA has a long of nasty things that can be in the black water of a sewer line that has been damaged.  Horrible things like typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis A, polio viruses, and super nasty things like helminths! Helminths are parasitic worms that feed off of the host (you) and are also known as intestinal worms. So if you can help it, don’t even walk through the affected area and keep pets away.  Make your first calls to the city (if you are on their system) and to a plumber to help stop the leak or find out why the sewer line backed up in the first place.

When SERVPROof Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is called out to a blackwater loss, the first thing the technicians will do is to put on their PPE (personal protective equipment ), assess the impacted area, and then immediately treat the affected materials with EPA registered antimicrobial. This will stop the growth of any those nasty things and start to kill most of the things mentioned above. 

Unfortunately not much can be saved on a sewer loss. Anything non-structural that has had black water contact needs to be removed and thrown out. It may be possible to save some content items as long as they are non-porous or can be fully treated such as laundered. This should only be considered if the items are special or of high value. 

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta will set up critical containment using sheeting to separate the affected area from the unaffected area to help prevent cross contamination.  Next, the technicians will apply antimicrobial, extract all standing black water and dispose of it back into the sewer, apply more antimicrobial solution. The SERVPRO employees will carefully start removing and documenting total loss contents. Contents that possibly can be saved are left in place or taken back to a safe place at the SERVPRO warehouse for detail cleaning and disinfection. 

Once the total loss contents are removed, SERVPRO technicians start to carefully remove flooring, drywall and insulation. After all of those non-structural building materials have been removed, antimicrobial solution is applied again and allowed some time before a clean water rinse and extraction. The final application of antimicrobial is then applied which enables SERVPRO to set up drying equipment such as air movers, dehumidifiers, HEPA filtered air scrubbers or hydroxyl air movers. Hydroxyl is a great way to clean toxins from the air using powerful ultraviolet light and moisture to make a safe oxidizer that the cleans the air.

Once SERVPRO has completely dried the affected area, repairs can begin. The drying process usually takes 4 to 5 days. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is a Licensed General Contractor and will make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is a licensed general contractor 

SERVPRO of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez/Goleta is locally owned and operated.  We are available for emergencies 24/7.  Call us at (805)963-0606.