Recent Water Damage Posts

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


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

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 
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.