Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

912, 2010

Flood Damage Prevention Tricks & Tips

By |December 9th, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Flood Damage Prevention Tricks & Tips

Flood damage is costly to repair, and can make your house a breeding ground for molds, mildew, and other unwanted substances.  As your San Diego flood damage repair specialists, the pros at Orange Restoration have seen their fair share of devastating flood damage that could have been easily prevented or caught early before costly repairs were necessary.  Here are some tips to help you recognize signs of flood damage and how to prevent it.

Plumbing Repairs

Correct minor plumbing repairs as soon as possible. Most of the time, especially in San Diego where flash floods are less common, indoor flooding due to burst pipes or faulty plumbing causes water damage.  Leaky toilets or pipes may seem like a nuisance, but if you ignore the problem, you may find yourself dealing with both a major indoor flood and the resulting water damage.

Odors And Mold

Mold has a telltale musty odor, and likes to grow in dark, damp places. Carpet, because of its absorbent properties, is one of the places where mold can grow quickly if left unchecked.  If you notice musty smells or see any mold on your carpet or walls, it is time to call a flood restoration company or mold remediation expert to come in and repair the damage. Like decay on a tooth, mold and mildew that is visible to the naked eye represents only a small part of the actual damage.

Leaky Roofs

Like leaky pipes, small roof leaks may seem like a nuisance, something that you only notice when it rains and probably try to ignore.  You should know, though, that the water that drips in to your house is slowly causing damage to your furniture, floors, and walls, even if you can’t see it at first.  Not to mention that leaky roofs can lead to structural instabilities. In other words, don’t wait until the roof literally falls in before you call a repairman.

Check back often for more San Diego flood remediation and other related expert tips.

2906, 2010

Truck Mount Carpet Cleaning

By |June 29th, 2010|Carpet|0 Comments

This is no new idea but rather an additional type of service to consider when choosing your carpet cleaning method. When you consider this type of service be sure that it is functional to your home. Typically truck mount carpet cleaning is used in a house/apartment/condo that is two stories high, since the machine is stationary in the vehicle while being used. When using this system there is an extraction machine that is very large and heavy, it is left in the vehicle and is operated with a long hose. Truck mount carpet cleaning has been used for over 20 years and has been very successful for home owners. The benefits that are gained while using a truck mount carpet cleaning system are extensive. The power of the motor is much stronger than the typical portable carpet cleaning system; in turn the strength of the suction of the dirt out of your rug will be much more efficient.

Furthermore, the water pressure is much stronger and the water temperature is higher reaching between 180-245 degrees F. With the high temperature and the heat of the water, the cleaning product that is used is dramatically more effective, hence the removal of the soil from your rug is much more substantial and beneficial. Portable machines do not reach the same level of heavy duty type cleaning at the same temperature or energy; therefore they do not share the same cleaning advantages. Your carpets will receive a deeper cleaning due to the strength and power while getting rid of any impurities that can threaten your home environment and health.
When considering the type of carpet cleaning system, ask your friendly Orange Carpet technician for any further information about any system to assure that you get the best service and results for your home.

2406, 2010

Removing Pet Odor with Carpet Cleaning

By |June 24th, 2010|Carpet|Comments Off on Removing Pet Odor with Carpet Cleaning

The process in which we treat pet odor is that we use an enzyme that digests the smell causing bacteria and the protein that the bacteria digest. If you have pet urine on your carpet you should call a carpet cleaning service immediately.

When it’s hot and humid the odor is stronger than in cooler weather. The reason there is an odor is due to bacteria that is in the urine/feces; the bacteria needs moisture and heat to “work” most efficiently, subsequently when it’s a warmer season there tends to be more of an odor. This bacteria feed’s on protein and releases an odor as it’s by product. For this reason pet odor is even stronger after people spill something on the carpet, or in situations when one gets the carpet’s steam cleaned without proper treatment for the pet odor. The moisture feeds the bacteria, which leads to a stronger odor in the area.

For the most part, urine is harder to clean than feces or vomit because urine is absorbed better in the carpet pad and subfloor. The smaller the animal the higher alkalinity of the urine, the harder it is to clean – a cat’s urine much harder to clean than that of a St. Bernard’s. Female cats tend to go along the edges of the room, which makes it much harder to clean because they can affect the wall and baseboards. Dogs and male cats will just go anywhere, mostly in the center of the room.

If the marked area is too severe to clean, the pad and maybe even the carpet will have to be replaced. The process is such that the pad is cut and replaced and the backing of the carpet and the subfloor are sealed so that the urine will not seep into the new pad. Be sure to tell your helpful Orange Carpet technician where you pet has soiled in order to treat the area and get rid of the odor!

1706, 2010

Drywall Water Damage

By |June 17th, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Drywall Water Damage

Interesting facts, who would of thought that replacing dry wall is much more beneficial and coast efficient than trying to dry out the area. Typically when an area of drywall gets damaged by water it is very difficult to paint over. When the drywall gets wet it tends to bubble and wrinkle just as any piece of paper would. So when you have had any water damage in your home, be sure to check for area’s that may have encountered damage. Look for sign of discoloration, sagging, cracks, and bulging in the wall. Drywall that is wet is an ideal environment for mold and mildew; so do not hesitate address the area immediately to prevent any further complications.

Keep in mind surfaces that are painted are less likely to show the damages as easily. Use caution and check the area, you will be able to feel the dampness or softness where the damage has occurred.
Another potential area that may not be as obvious to detected would be the ceiling, if there is a leak there is likely going to be an area where there will be a drip and the paint will bubble.

Drywall water damage is not a problem that will go away on its own. So if and when you may find yourself in this type of situation, remember it is more beneficial to replace the wall as opposed to try to dry the area. The time and money will surely be less than the drying process, as well as it will prevent any potential structural and health problems!

1105, 2010

Hardwood Floors Water Damage

By |May 11th, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Hardwood Floors Water Damage

Wood floors are tricky. Unlike drywall and insulation, that upon contact with water must be discarded and there is no financial sense in trying to dry them out, wood floors experiencing water damage are often worth trying to save. Especially the nice expensive kind!

After contact with water the grains in the wood to swell and crack which on the surface could lead to swelling and then buckling. The grains in the wood are saturated with water, so the wood panels in your floor would slightly expand. If this expansion is not stopped by drying out the wood panels, the floor would eventually buckle; the panels would rise up from the subfloor in an arch shape.

The drying protocol that in used in the property with wood floors is has to be one specifically adapted for such floors. Make sure you hire a professional for the job even if it appears easy! It’s not enough to crank up the drying equipment and dry the floor as quickly as possible (as often less knowledgeable restoration companies that are on a tight schedule would try to do). Wood floors need to be dried gradually and evenly across the affected area. Sudden and unequal drying could cause cracking or splitting.

Using a certified professional with reliable and effective drying equipment is critical in a situation of hardwood floors. Using the correct equipment can accelerate the drying process, but shooting dry air on the floor from above and below as well as from different directions. Sometimes your restoration professional would opt to remove a wood panel every few feet to create another opening to the cavity in order to force air in, as well as to relieve the pressure between the wood panels as those swell from the moisture. This can expedite drying and prevent cracking of the panels. Another technique used in many cases is to create a small containment above the wood floor, to limit the air space that is necessary to dry along with the floor. The entire floor would be tented with plastic and machines would force dry air into the containment and onto the floors. A lot of times this can really reduce the time of the drying process.

Another common mistake is to sand the floor when it is still slightly moist or wet. When the wood is saturated, it expands and becomes slightly cupped on the surface (the edges of the panel rise up slightly). If the floor is sanded while still wet it would appear leveled once you are done sanding, but it is deceiving. Once the floor dries back to its normal shape, each panel will become crowned leaving an uneven surface. It will be permanently damaged.

If for any reason you choose to attempt the drying of your hardwood floors on your own, make sure not to use direct heat to dry hardwood floors, since this can cause uneven drying, which will lead to cracking. Even continuous air flow is most conducive to drying. Try opening all windows and floors, and turning on fans for better circulation. If your floors are dear to you – even if it doesn’t look like a big deal at first – turn to a professional and ask for a cost effective deal, it will be worth your while in the long run.

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San Diego Carpet Cleaning and Water Restoration Experts

2704, 2010

Green Eco Friendly & Safe Carpet Cleaning

By |April 27th, 2010|Carpet|0 Comments

As our company is diving deeper into providing excellent professional carpet cleaning services for our customers, I am diving deeper into exploring green and eco friendly techniques to improve the way we do business. As you are probably well aware, there are two distinct possibilities for cleaning your carpets. Our company offers both depending on what a customer desires. It’s really hard to determine who is right in the ongoing argument on which technique is better, since each does have its pros and cons. I will give you the information for both below and allow you to judge for yourself!

1.Dry Carpet Cleaning

“Dry” cleaning uses a minimal amount of liquid and a blend of compounds. This process uses a homogenized blend of solvents, including a cleaning agent, rinsing agent, and neutralizing agent, heated to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and applied to the carpet. The application is done with an electric rotary machine with a towel like bonnet that buffs the carpet, and collects the dirt that is brought to the surface with agitation.

2.Truck Mount Carpet Cleaning

Steam extraction is most commonly used for carpet cleaning. This truck-mounted system uses antimicrobial, urine and odor treatment chemicals. This process uses the same chemicals used in “dry” cleaning, but the rinsing agent is blended in the truck-mount, and more water is used in rinsing. The wand handled by the technician has a physical connection to the truck mount and it simultaneously shoots steam into the carpet, and sucks it back up along with any dirt.

Both methods use the same chemicals and roughly the same course of action in cleaning. While dry cleaning is less wasteful of gas (since work is done by a rotary machine manually manipulated and plugged in to the electrical outlet of the house), the steam cleaning method is more time effective for the most part.

I provided you with information about both methods, but in this article I will focus specifically on the more common steam cleaning method.

Process

We ask all of our customers to use their best vacuum to try and pick up as much as possible of the “easy” dirt off of the carpets. Vacuuming removes most particulate soil.

When the technician arrives on site, after protecting doors, corners and other valuables, as well as moving any small items out of the way, technician will apply the pretreatment and conditioning to loosen soil with a mild solvent cleaner that is sprayed on.

Using the wand of the truck mounted steam cleaner, technician will use the extraction method to rinse away the cleaning solvent.

What we call “nap setting” is the process of drying that takes place immediately after the cleaning. Depending on different conditions it could take between 4-6 hours to dry. This time allows the remaining solvent to vaporize and dry and any remaining particles to crystallize.

As long as these procedures (standardized and enforced by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) are exactly followed, your indoor air quality should no longer pose a health concern both for the cleaner and those at the residence or business.

Chemicals

My reading showed that many products used by professional carpet cleaners contain the infamous dry cleaning agent, perchloroethylene (perc) or naphthalene, a possibly carcinogenic solvent linked to red blood cell damage.

Beyond the potential cancer-causing risks of both perc and naphthalene, many people report dizziness, nausea and irritation from the fumes. Pets are equally affected. Neither substance has any place in a healthy home.

Orange Carpets has chosen to use Soap Free Procyon for all of our carpet cleaning projects. It is non toxic, detergent free, odor free, hypo-allergenic, uses all natural ingredients, and has no enzymes that eat protein (such as human skin). It is made of all natural degreasers and water softeners that dissolve and emulsify dirt. The particles that are not rinsed out by the steam cleaner, will dry to a crystallized form that will allow them to be easily picked up the next time you vacuum your carpet.

The higher temperature available through our methods of cleaning (up to 260 degrees Fahrenheit) can allow for milder chemical agents to reach excellent results!

The Soap Free Procyon meets the Green Seal environmental standard for industrial and institutional cleaners based on its reduced human and environmental toxicity and reduced volatile organic compound content. This makes it ideal for application in schools, hospitals, restaurants and other sensitive spaces – and why should we use any less than that in regular homes?

What do we do with wastewater?

Untreated wastewater, such as the water that is the result of a carpet cleaning project (the water that is mixed up with cleaning solution, and other substances and dirt, picked up from your carpet) is unsafe for disposal just anywhere. Irresponsible disposal of such waste water could result in contaminating water bodies where storm drains ultimately lead water to. Our policy dictates the water that is sucked up from the carpet cleaning in each job must be stored in a holding tank inside the truck mount in the carpet cleaning van for later disposal. At the end of the day the water from all jobs is disposed into a sanitary sewer ensuring it goes to municipal treatment facilities and not directly into our beautiful San Diego Bay.  Our goal is to keep you up to date on all the latest San Diego carpet cleaning updates and news.

 

Keep it clean!!

Keep it clean!!

1703, 2010

Homeowners Insurance Water Damage

By |March 17th, 2010|Flood|0 Comments

Being in the water damage business, I deal daily with insurance adjusters from all the major property insurance carriers answering their questions regarding our invoices and our technicians’ water damage restoration protocols. While the way insurance claims are handled seems like a mystery to most average homeowners, to a water damage specialist like us, it is really very clear.

Home owners insurance is purchased by homeowners when their home is in good order, clean and healthy. This is very much like a life insurance policy is purchased when you are generally alive. The same way life insurance will be denied to anyone who seems like they may take advantage of it, homeowners insurance is often denied to residents that clearly don’t take a good care of their property.

Homeowners insurance wants to see routine maintenance done to the property, and most importantly – any red flags or problems not ignored or their treatment delayed.

Generally speaking your homeowners insurance will cover any claim that arises from what we call “a sudden cause”. This could include burst water heaters and pipes, exploding dishwashers, toilets and overflowing tubs. If you’re a good homeowner, handle all maintenance issues in a timely manner, and all of the sudden wake up to find your floor is covered in several inches of water? You have a much better case against your insurance company.

Please be careful when considering filing claims that have to do with ongoing damage. While some homeowners do have mold insurance that covers their property up to a certain dollar cap, you should know that rarely the amount of coverage would actually be sufficient to cover the cost of repairs in case of extensive mold damage. For the less extensive jobs, it is clear that it’s best to pay out of pocket and not involve the insurance at all. Any kind of damage like a slow pinhole leak to a pipe, a dripping ice maker in the fridge or a leaky toilet or incorrectly sealed bath or shower, will likely to not be covered since they are attributed to a certain negligence by the homeowner.

If your situation is at all in a “gray area” between the above mentioned two sets of cases, you would be well served by a statement from your plumber, or another professional who will confirm the specific cause of the leak.

What to do about deductibles?

You have a high deductible on your policy? $500? $1000? Or even more? My honest advice would be to try and work out a deal with your contractor to help you with this charge. Your contractor would write up the invoice for the job at a certain amount, bill your insurance, who would in turn send you a check for that billed amount less any deductible amounts you may owe based on the agreement of your policy. Let me tell you a professional secret – water damage restoration is a very lucrative industry. While the specialists you hire do perform legitimate and absolutely necessary service, they also get paid by insurance amounts which leave them often with quite a bit of wiggle room. Your property cost $10K to repair? I think it’s fair for you to ask your contractor to absorb your $500 deductible, or at least split it with you.

My insurance says I have to use their contractor?

Your house is flooded, you’re stressing, you don’t know who will pay, when, how will it all get fixed, and the emotional toll of a home emergency that comes unexpectedly is always high for you and your family. You call your insurance agent who tells you to file a claim, and the adjuster tells you not to worry, just call Water Damage Company ABC and they’ll take care of everything for you. This is a common scenario. Should you call this contractor? I recommend you always go with the contractor you feel most comfortable with, regardless of if it’s the one recommended by your insurance or not. The fact of the matter is your insurance will work identically with a company they “refer you to” or to a company you contract on your own.

Insurance professionals may have different reasons to recommend you call a specific company. It could be based on a company wide policy to refer only to a specific company, it could be a company from a list of merely “suggested” contractors, it could be based on a personal relationship with the owner of the company, or based on any number of backend deals or agreements you may not be aware of. When given a phone number of a contractor who could solve your problem you should remember 3 key points.

1.Always check references, license expirations, liability insurance, BBB rating, and any other means that would help you establish that you’re dealing with a good, legal, licensed, reputable company. Don’t be ashamed to speak to the owner or a past customer, even in a time of emergency – to make sure that you are comfortable with all aspects of the contractor and their water damage restoration protocols.

2.Your insurance is obligated to pay for the repair of all items to their pre-loss condition on any covered claims whether you choose the contractor suggested by your insurance, or you chose one yourself.

3.In the state of California, all water damage restoration contractors are governed by the CSLB, the California State Licensing Board, and all clients of contractors are guaranteed by law the ability to cancel any contracting agreement with no questions asked within 3 days of signing anything unless clients specifically waive this right. You realized after a small delay the guys you’re working with are not the ones you want to? You should be able to get them off the job immediately with no explanations and have to pay ONLY for what was already performed. Read any contract with very carefully and watch out for a waiver for this right within the contract.

Please note that this article gives nothing but some general guidance. There are so many types of insurance policies, and insurance carriers with different rules that we cannot possibly predict whether your claim will be covered in any given case. To find out if a certain problem is covered by your insurance please read your own policy carefully, and then consult your insurance professional.

1102, 2010

Orange Restoration Helping Haiti

By |February 11th, 2010|Newsletter|0 Comments

So we have all have seen, and probably been touched in one way or another by the disasterous situation in Haiti since the earthquake couple of weeks ago.
We have joined the SDJA, Latet, and other organizations in the San Diego community, and have launched an aid operation for helping Haiti.

WE ARE COLLECTING DONATIONS AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The specific items we are collecting were identified by Latet agents who have been on the ground and are continuously assessing the needs of the people since the earthquake.
This is a short term EMERGENCY operation. We plan to schedule the departure of donated goods from San Diego no later than next weekend, after having collected, sorted, packed and labeled all supplies. It is greatly important to take immediate steps to procure these donations

2411, 2009

New Dehumidification Equipment!

By |November 24th, 2009|Flood|0 Comments

In the spirit of Thanksigiving Orange Restoration has lots to be thankful for! While other companies are struggling to make ends meet, we are very fortunate to be able to capitalize on this difficult time, re-think and re-double our efforts and emerge as a stronger company.

We got lots of new jobs come in this past week or two, and decided to invest in a new piece of machinery – we bought a brand new desiccant dehumidifier.

Here’s some info about this technology.

Dessicant Dehumidification
While refrigerant dehumidification works by passing air through refrigerated coils to condense water, desiccant dehumidifiers work when moist incoming air flows over a wheel filled with a silica gel desiccant. A desiccant is a material that attracts and holds moisture. This material sucks in moisture from the air. When the wheel rotates through heated exhaust air, the moisture evaporates and is carried outside. Then the cycle repeats. This process absorbs moisture without ice build-up and is not limited by low temperatures. A desiccant usually produces air with a relative humidity in the range of 4% – 8% – meaning – EXTREMELY DRY!

Our new dessicant will now provide a blanket of very dry air in our water restoration jobs to remove moisture from the contents and structure allowing both to dry simultaneously in place. Careful monitoring ensures wood floors and the structure are safely dried to prevent secondary damage, shorter drying time and clients getting their homes back sooner. NOW THAT’S GREAT NEWS!

2610, 2009

Removing Mold and Mildew Stains

By |October 26th, 2009|Mold|0 Comments

Any home owner could be accosted with a sudden need to handle a mold or mildew problem. No household is absolutely mold proof and it can be alarming to discover an ever increasing unpleasant odor that often accompanies mold and mildew.The best way to cope is to know in advance how to tackle such a problem if it does occur.This means that you will need to learn some good cleaning techniques that will help you remove mold and mildew and permanently keep it out of your home

The most important point to remember is that you should always avoid creating the conditions that make it convenient for mold and mildew to develop.Here are some tips on how to do this.If the air is flowing freely there is less chance for mold and mildew to develop.So, keep all areas of your home well ventilated, especially basements kitchens and any other place that tends to gather heat and moisture.

In order to avoid excess moisture use a humidifier. Be on the look out for any specks of food that have been left around on the floor or in corners by children or pets. If mold develops on these it is most likely to spread to the surrounding areas.

Even if you do take these measures, it is well worth your while to carefully search about your house for any signs of mold or mildew. Detecting these could be tricky so your key principle is to search mainly where there is a combination of moisture and heat.Start from the outer walls of your house. See if there is any green mold there.

Indoors, search beneath the flooring and any beams. Mold and mildew are likely to develop under carpets .kitchens cellars and pantries, and although it sounds unlikely (because refrigerators are cold), check that too. Get rid of any moldy foods there. Fruits vegetables meat and cheeses can all develop mold.

For porous surfaces it is preferable to get professional advice.However, non porous surfaces can be cleaned in the following manner.Once you have located the affected area, wipe it down thoroughly, brushing off any excess dirt.Prepare a bleach mixture: 1cup of bleach per gallon of water.From a spray bottle, spray this solution onto the suspected areas.Be sure to use gloves to avoid harm to your skin and keep the environment well ventilated to safeguard your respiratory tract from inhalation of the bleach.Scrub the area clean. It is best to do this with a brush. However if the surface is sensitive, you could use a dusting cloth.Rinse the area well and dry.Remind yourself that “prevention is better than cure” therefore, keep all areas uninviting to mold and mildew by keeping them dry and well ventilated.