Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

210, 2014

What Does It Mean to Be a Green Cleaner?

By |October 2nd, 2014|Green|0 Comments

eco-friendly-company-san-diegoWe often hear the term “green cleaning” but it’s difficult to know what that exactly entails. Being a green cleaner means you use eco-friendly cleaning supplies. There are multiple benefits to using green cleaning supplies, the biggest being that they keep our environment healthy.

The great thing about being a green cleaner is that there are a lot of options. You can incorporate a few or become the ultimate green cleaning machine. While we recommend using as many environmentally healthy cleaning substances as you can, we understand it’s not always possible.

There really is no true definition of an official “green cleaner,” but here are a few of the most common definitions:

1. Some may think someone is a green cleaner if they only use homemade products and natural ingredients, like baking soda and lemon. This means the individual makes and mixes all of his or her cleaning supplies and uses products from the grocery store.
2. Others consider a green cleaner someone who uses cleaning products that have been specially manufactured to be healthy for the environment or just avoid products that contain artificial ingredients. Many of these products are also biodegradable and are in recyclable packaging.
3. Others simply consider fair-trade items as eco-friendly. Fair-trade products meet specific labor and environmental standards. Fair-trade products are often developed through sustainable or organic practices.

As you can see, there are many ways to be a green cleaner and ultimately it’s up to you how you choose your cleaning products. If you’re not sure if a product is environmentally safe, take a look at the ingredients. Generally speaking, if you can’t pronounce the word or it includes “artificial,” it’s likely not a healthy ingredient.

By becoming a green cleaner, you are helping the environment and improving the air quality of your own home. Using green products may cost more, but they’re worth it, short and long term.

For more information about green cleaning and finding a reliable San Diego restoration company, do not hesitate to visit us online or give us a call 24/7!

2409, 2014

Working Your Insurance Company After Residential Water Damage

By |September 24th, 2014|Water Damage|0 Comments

Filing an insurance claim after your home experiences water damage can be confusing and frustrating. But, if you know what initial steps to take, the process can run much more smoothly.

san diego water damageFirst, you need to read your policy and then re-read it. Insurance policies aren’t always written in the most reader-friendly language and you may have to read a few times to understand what types of damages are covered. You may also want to see what the long-term effects are for filing a claim. Will your premium increase? Most likely it will, but by how much? Make sure you won’t end up losing money in the long-run if you file a claim.

Once you understand your policy, contact the insurance company immediately. The longer you wait, the more trouble you may have filing the claim. Many companies require you to file within a certain time period and you don’t want to miss the deadline. Whenever you speak to someone, make sure you get his or her name and, if possible, a number for the conversation log, in case you need to reference the conversation at a later date.

Before you clean up, take pictures of the damage. Don’t throw anything out until the insurance adjuster has investigated. If possible, be at the house when the adjuster comes so you can ask questions you may have.

Throughout the process, make sure you follow up with your insurance and keep any paperwork you’re given. Claims can take longer if you wait for them to respond. If they say two days, call the second day to ensure things are taken care of.

Even if it takes awhile to get the final check from your insurance company, don’t wait to have repairs done. The longer you wait, the more damage there could be. Water damage restoration is a necessity and should be taken care of as soon as possible.

2209, 2014

5 Most Common Causes of Residential Water Damage

By |September 22nd, 2014|Water Damage|0 Comments

Whether you’ve recently experienced water damage in your home or just want to prevent it from happening, it’s important to know what common causes residential water damage.

 

Bursting or Leaking Pipes

Depositphotos_11392563_s-burst-pipe-300x198Whether it’s in the bathroom or kitchen, old or blocked pipes can burst or leak. Make sure your garbage disposal is properly working and that food or large objects aren’t clogging any drains. In the bathroom, if your sink takes longer than normal to drain, you may have hair and products building up in the pipes.

 

Overflowing or Clogged Toilet

Whether it’s the flush valve or tank, a small toilet problem can cause a major problem. At least once a year, inspect your toilet and check for any worn or damaged materials and consider replacing them.

 

Home Appliance Malfunction

Any appliance connected to water has the risk of causing water damage, namely your dishwasher, laundry machine, and water heater. If you notice any hoses looking worn, replace them. If any of the appliances are slightly malfunctioning, call a repair technician to check for potential problems.

 

Roof Leak

Your home’s roof doesn’t last forever and, even if it looks like it’s in good condition, there may be holes developing. If your roof is more than ten years old, consider hiring a licensed roofer to check for any damage or potential problems.

 

Natural Disaster

Depending on where you live, natural disasters can cause water damage. While you can’t prevent an earthquake or severe storm from happening, you can make sure your appliances are solidly in place and that your roof and pipes are in good condition.

1709, 2014

Residential Water Damage

By |September 17th, 2014|News, Water Damage|0 Comments

water-damage-restoration-1The First Things to Do When You Experience Residential Water Damage

A water pipe burst, your toilet overflowed, or some other disaster happened causing your home severe water damage. Residential water damage is a nightmare but you can wake up from it and get your house back to its dry self. If you’ve just experienced a flood or other water disaster, here are the first steps you should immediately take:

1. Turn off your water.
Shut off the main water line for your house and find out the source of the water. It doesn’t matter if a pipe burst in the kitchen or the bathroom, the only way to stop water from flowing is to turn off all the water to your house.

2. Turn off electricity and gas.
Water and electricity don’t mix. To avoid more disasters, turn off the electricity and gas from the main source. Make sure you’re not standing in water when turning off the electricity. If you can’t avoid this, call an electrician.

3. Find your most valuable items.
Locate your most important items, especially paper items like passports and checkbooks and make sure they’re safe from any water contact.

4. Call your insurance and take photos.
Before you move or clean up anything, take photos for your insurance claim and don’t throw anything away until the adjustor has investigated.

5. Assess the damage.
If there is any standing water, wipe it up and remove it. Move any furniture in the area, as well as breakables or small items that can be temporarily stored elsewhere. If the carpeting is wet, don’t immediately turn on fans or a heater until you know if any of the water contains sewage. If it does, fans can spread contamination.

6. Call a professional.
Once you have extracted as much water as you can, call a professional who deals with water damage restoration. A trained San Diego water damage professional can best determine what caused the problem, how to fix it, and how to repair any damages.

1209, 2014

The Six Classes of Fire Damage

By |September 12th, 2014|Fire|0 Comments

The Six Classes of Fire Damage

While no one expects to experience a fire in their home or office, nothing is guaranteed and there is always a small chance it could happen. Whether the result of old electrical wiring or a brush fire, your San Diego property could suffer serious fire and smoke damage. If you are unlucky enough to encounter a fire, the first thing you should do after the firefighters put it out is contact your insurance company. They will give you tips on how to minimize the damage caused by the fire and also protect your property from the elements prior to beginning the restoration process. The damage your property sustains will depend on the extent of the fire damage, which is divided into six classes.

Six Classes of Fire Damage

1. Class A: Fire damage caused by combustible household items like wood, paper, plastics, and rubber.

2. Class B: Damage caused by liquids or sold items that can become liquefied. This can include gasoline, petrol, waxes, and paints. Class B does not include fire damage caused by cooking liquids like corn oil.

3. Class C: Fire damage caused by flammable gasses, including propane, methane, hydrogen, and acetylene.

4. Class D: Class D fire damage is from combustible metals like titanium, potassium, and magnesium. This class is very uncommon because metals usually conduct heat away from the fire. It takes an incredibly hot fire to cause these materials to combust.

5. Class E: Class E is another unusual class as it involves both A and a B class, except electrical equipment is thrown into the mix. This does not only cause the damage to be much different, but is also makes fighting the fire much more difficult.

6. Class F: Fire damage that is caused by unsaturated cooking materials like oils and fats. Technically this damage can be a subclass of Class B, however the flash point can be much higher so it is important to recognize them separately.

Primary vs. Secondary Fire Damage

While fire damage is separated into 6 main classes, insurance companies also group damage into primary and secondary. Primary fire damage refers to all damage caused by flames to the inside and outside of residential and commercial buildings. Secondary fire is the damage that is caused by the smoke and soot that is released from the actual fire. Many times the smoke and soot can cause more damage than the primary damage. Fire damage can also leave your property exposed to the elements which can cause even more internal damage.

If you recently experienced a fire you need to call an experienced San Diego fire damage company ASAP. Do not hesitate! It will only increase the damage and repair costs. We are available for emergency services 24/7. Call now!

1009, 2014

How to Spot Water Damage in an Old Home

By |September 10th, 2014|Water Damage|0 Comments

Depositphotos_11392563_s-burst-pipe-300x198If you own an older home, chances are it suffered water damage at some point since its original construction. A home that is over 30 years old is three times more likely to have a major plumbing problem than newer homes, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. Another study performed by the IBHS concluded that 75% of water heaters will fail within the first 10 years of operation. Dealing with water damage can be a real headache so we wanted to include some tips for spotting water damage that you can utilize when looking into buying an older home.

How to Spot Water Damage

  • Feel for soft spots. Do you feel the floor sag when you walk into the bathroom? Are there visible water stains around the toilet or bathtub? These are common indicators that there has been a water leak and the wood could be rotting.
  • Look for rust. If the tank on your water heater is rusted is probably has a slow leak. You should also check the water heater for sediment build up since the previous owner may have neglected to flush it on a yearly basis.
  • Keep an eye out for warped or cracked flooring. Do you feel any cracking or warping when you walk along the tile and wood floors? If so, this could be a sign of existing water damage. Rises and bumps underneath the carpet can also be a tell-tale sign of damage from water.
  • Run the water. Turn on the water and check to make sure it is clear. Listen carefully to see if you hear spurts of air coming out. If the water is any color other than clear and you hear air spurts, chances are there is a serious plumbing problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.
  • Look up! Unscrupulous homeowners might try to cover up signs of water damage instead of fixing the problem. Look for quick repairs made to ceilings, such as new, heavy paint that might be covering up telltale brown water stains.
  • Step outside. Walk outside the house and look at the foundation. Is the yard landscaped for proper drainage, or does water pool next to the house? Check outlet hoses and drains if there are any, and make sure they are in good working order.
  • Inspect the roof. Missing shingles, pools of water, damaged flashing, or signs of wind damage could make your roof vulnerable to leaks. Have the roof and attic thoroughly inspected before taking the plunge and buying that house.

Protect your investment! Before you buy that old house, check it over for water damage. Your bank account will be glad you did.

309, 2014

Water Damage Restoration Process

By |September 3rd, 2014|Water Damage|0 Comments

There is absolutely no one who expects a disaster to strike and destroy their home and belongings. Unfortunately the scary truth is that a disaster could strike at any time. Instead of shrugging your shoulders and wondering how you will be able to fix the mess, you will want to immediately start looking for a reliable damage restoration San Diego company. A well qualified restoration company with a good reputation will be able to transform your home back to its original state.

Evaluate the Damage

san-diego-water-damage-inspectionThe first thing the restoration company will do is send a group of inspectors to your home to start surveying the damage. These inspectors are not looking for visible damage to any of your belongings; instead they will thoroughly go through ever room in your home and look for any structural damage. If the team runs through the home without doing a sufficient inspection you are probably not working with a reliable restoration company. Never trust a company that recommends repairs without giving a thorough inspection.

Create a Plan of Action

After the inspection has been completed the restoration team will sit down with you and go over a plan to repair all of the damage. They should go over all the damage they discovered during the inspection and offer you several different options to fix the problem areas. There will be some repairs that will be optional, so it is up to the homeowner to decide if they want to repair certain things or simply replace them. You may not want to dispose of any of your belongings; however the cost or repair might be too high to consider fixing them.

Complete the Restoration

After approving the work, our expert technicians will begin working on the water repairs and restoration. This process could take days or weeks depending on the extent of the damage. Before starting they will give you an idea of the time frame so you can plan your living situation until the repairs have been completed. If the project exceeds the time frame they will let you know ahead of time so you can make the appropriate arrangements. A reliable restoration company will keep you in the loop throughout the entire process, limiting the disruption of your daily life as much as possible until everything is back to normal.

If you would like more information about the water damage restoration process or why we are a reliable San Diego water damage restoration company, give us a call 24/7! (619) 376-6838, we are happy to provide references!

2808, 2014

Parents and Teachers Rally Against School District Over Toxic Levels of PCBs in Classrooms

By |August 28th, 2014|News|0 Comments

pcbs-in-schoolsClass is back in session at California schools in Malibu, but not all students will be there when the bell rings. Parents, including the high-profile supermodel Cindy Crawford, have been rallying over toxic contamination on school campuses for the past few weeks. While the school district and parents battle it out, more than 25 parents are sending their children to other schools.

Three Malibu schools—Malibu middle and high schools and Juan Cabrillo elementary—are currently under fire for the possible presence of cancer-causing PCBs. Although the school district claims the campuses are safe, parents aren’t convinced and are demanded further testing, particularly of the classrooms built before 1979.

PCBs (scientifically known as polychlorinated biphenyl) are chemicals previously used in caulk and insulating materials. Congress banned PCB production in 1979 due to its environmental toxicity and cancer-causing effects. PCBs can also have serious effects on the immune, reproductive, and endocrine systems. Exposure to PCBs can disrupt the function of hormones in bodies and can contribute to negative brain development in children, as well as the inability to perform well in school.

Just last year, teachers at Malibu schools claimed they were suffering health issues. Among them, three were diagnosed with thyroid cancer within the past six months and believed it was the result of PCBs in the classrooms. Upon testing, the district found illegal levels of PCBs in more than five classrooms at the high school and middle school and promised to clean up the schools and re-test to ensure the campuses were safe for students to return in the fall.

64638521But a promise to clean up wasn’t enough to ease parents’ concerns. When PEER, a public employee advocacy group, conducted independent testing, it shared with Malibu parents the horrifying results, one of which revealed that classrooms surpassed the legal limit for PCB exposure by more than a thousand times. PEER’s testing also showed that the caulk in classrooms particularly needed to be fixed.

As a result of PEER’s testing and public results, parents demanded the school district do more, including further testing and remediation of toxic materials. Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber even offered to pay for testing and caulk remediation, but the school district didn’t accept her offer. Crawford has since kept her two teenagers at home from school.

In an official statement released to NBC, Malibu school officials claimed that its schools are safe for students and employees, based on federal EPA standards. The EPA agreed with the district and stated it does not recommend any additional caulk testing.

This answer isn’t good enough for parents concerned with the safety and health of their children.

Crawford publicized her concerns on the TODAY show, saying, “I look 10 years down the line. What if my kid, God forbid, had a problem? How could I live with myself, if I thought that it was a possibility, and I still sent them to school there? I don’t feel 100 percent safe.”

Crawford continued, explaining that the issue extends beyond the confines of Malibu and California. Currently, federal law does not require school administrators to test for chemicals. Crawford believes these laws should be changed to require every school across the country built between 1950 and 1979 to be tested for PCBs, as thousands of teachers and students could be at risk.

Orange Restoration is committed to safe environments.  If you have any concerns about toxic elements in your home or workplace, our biohazard removal specialists are available to help.

2508, 2014

Half a Million Displaced by Floods in Bangladesh

By |August 25th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Over half a million people have been left homeless after rushing floodwaters devastated villages in rural areas of northern Bangladesh over the weekend.

Bangladesh is a low lying country that has densely populated rural areas. Heavy monsoon rains have caused flash floods for over a week now but a new weather front caused unaffected areas to be flooded over the past few days. According to government officials in Bangladesh, no one has died in the flooding so far.

Weather specialists at the Dhaka Flood Forecasting and Warning Center explained how two of the main rivers in Bangladesh, the Brahmaputra and Meghna, have continued to rise higher than expected, causing residents of 14 districts scrambling to find higher ground.

flooding-bangladeshSazzad Hossain, an engineer at the warning center said that heavy rains in India are causing the main rivers to continue to rise. He went on to add that he suspected the flooding to get much worse over the next few days. The government has already made plans to distribute food and water to displaced people according to Iftekharul Islam, the director of the Department of Disaster Management. Islam assured residents that schools and other government buildings are being used as temporary shelters and that all districts were prepared for such a disaster and have enough emergency supplies to go around.

Several American charities working in the flooded areas reported that many households have no access to clean water and have lost their entire crop of rice, the main source of food and income for people living in the northern area of Bangladesh.

Farmers are scrambling to find ways to provide for their families. Shahin Howlader, a farmer from the Rangpur district who was seeking shelter in a neighborhood school, was devastated with the loss of his home and rice fields. He also lost several cows and was worried about how he would be able to feed his family for the rest of the year.

The monsoon season is a regular occurrence in Bangladesh and floods and landslides are common, especially in the northern part of the country. Melting snow from the Himalayas already swell the countries river, so when monsoons hit it can be a catastrophic combination. Hundreds of thousands of people have died from rushing flood waters and other weather disasters since 1971. Disaster response experts have praised Bangladesh over the past few years for their disaster preparedness, and deaths caused by these inclement weather events have declined significantly since 2005.

2208, 2014

Water Damage Prevention Tips

By |August 22nd, 2014|Water Damage|0 Comments

Finding water damage in your home or business is unexpected and can be extremely stressful. It can disrupt your daily life and result in loss of your valuables. Here are some tips to help prevent water damage on your property and what to do if it occurs.

Check your appliances!

Toilets:

–          After flushing be sure that the water shuts off once the fill valve has finished resetting the bowl

–          If the bowl or tank begins to overflow shut the water off at the supply valve

–          Inspect the supply line for leaks every six months

–          Inspect the flushing mechanism inside the tank every six months

–          Replace the flapper assembly if the tank is refilling when not in use

Sinks:

–          Inspect plumbing under the sink every six months

–          Ensure connections are secure with no corrosion

–          Inspect the water shut-off valve every six month to be sure valve is functioning

Shower Stalls:

–          Inspect tile or grout every six months for cracked or loose tiles or grout

–          Test the shower pan annually for leaks

Washing machines:

–          Turn off supply valves when not in use

–          Do not operate when no one is home

–          Inspect the water supply line every six months

–          Check the hoses for cracks or blisters



Water heaters:

–          Have a professional San Diego plumber inspect the anode rod at least once every two years

–          Have the tank flushed every six months to remove sediment build up

Drain Systems:

–          Visually inspect plumbing pipes annually

–          Check your water bill for unexplained increases

–          Insulate pipes in the attic or basement

Prevent water backup!

–          Maintain gutters and downspouts, keeping free of debris and leaves

–          Ensure downspout is at least ten feet away from the building

–          Adjust landscape so water flows away

–          Prevent backflow of sewer water by installing backflow valves and standpipes

–          Drain any standing water with a sump pump system that also has a battery back up

–          Check your A/C regularly to ensure that it is draining properly and no standing water is present

–          Check your attic for air leaks or holes

In the event that any of these plumbing fixtures malfunction and flood your home, call a San Diego water damage company ASAP! Our water damage experts are 24/7 to address your needs. We know that quality is key, especially local quality. Our technicians are trained and certified and will be out to your home or business in the blink of an eye! We are committed to providing timely, personalized, expert services as well as providing restoration services to bring every San Diego property back to a healthy, dry, pre-loss condition at an affordable cost! Call now!