Getting your Home Holiday Ready
It’s in the mid November, which means, Christmas is about 5 weeks away, and the holiday season is upon us. Whether you are hosting the scariest Haunted House on Halloween weekend, feasting with family around a Thanksgiving table, drinking eggnog and singing Christmas carols with loved ones, or ringing in the New Year with close friends, you want your house in tip top shape to make those you love feel at home. With so many other plans and preparation for special holiday events, it is easy to over look the most important aspect of your party, your home. Here are a few tips and tricks to prepare your house for the holidays:
Check Basic Appliances
Nothing can be worst then preparing a Thanksgiving dinner then realizing your oven doesn’t work as you are about to cook the turkey. This can be easily diverged with having a local handy man come and check on the upkeep and basic health of your kitchen appliances. From your oven, refrigerator, central healing/air conditioning, power, and water pressure are all key things that make a house a home and having someone come out before months of parties and families will save time and headaches of when the festivities begin.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness
Cleaning your house is a no brainer, but having the time to do a deep clean of you house before the fun may not be in the cards. You could do basic cleaning but you know you have that one friend or relative who is going to look for the flaws in your home then say something later about it, so you will need to step up your A game. Hiring professional cleaners to come into your home will save you time, stress and always worth the money. There are plenty out there so do your research in finding a cleaning service in your price range and will give you the service you need.
After you have cleaned, checked all the major house functions, you get to do the best thing next, you get to decorate your home! You get to add a touch of holiday flare that will bring the essence of the holidays to your home. Whether it’s adding tomb stones to your lawn and transforming it to a grave yard, to putting up the Christmas tree decorated with Nutcracker ornaments, adding accents of blue and silver to your Hanukkah nights, or hanging colorful streamers for New Years, this is your moment to shine. Remember to have fun and allow your creativity to shine!
Need I say more?
The After Party
You’ve managed to throw the most memorable party of 2017. Everyone was fed, great pictures were taken that will later be posted on social media, and it was over all a great experience for you and your guests. However, as fantastic as your party was, your home is now a hot mess. The after glow of your party has died down and in the harsh light of day you see the stains, the mess, the clutter of the fun the night before. Luckily, you can bring in those trusty professional cleaners again, and maybe even a carpet cleaner to take away the mess and bringing your home back into the state you are accustomed to.
The holiday season is one of merriment, joy, fun and family, but often can lead to stress and anxiety. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you prepare before and after your gatherings to make life a little easier.
SERVPRO offers a wide variety of cleaning services from Carpet & Upholstery, Ceiling, Floors, and Walls, and even Odor Removal. Call SERVPRO today for your holiday pre party and post party cleaning at (909) 357- 4337.
What Should I Do if a Hurricane Approaches?
It’s hurricane season once again, and that means an increased risk of high winds and heavy rain – even for folks not directly in the path of these giant tropical storms. A few particularly nasty hurricanes of late have people wondering what they can do in the event of an incoming disaster.
Here are a few tips to protect your home – and your family – from an approaching hurricane:
Make a Hurricane Readiness Plan
A hurricane readiness plan is hands-down the best way to ensure safety in the event of a disaster. This is something you can plot out today, even if there’s no immediate risk of storms (in fact, that’s probably the best time to do so).
A simple guide for creating your own readiness plan is available at www.ready.gov. You’ll want to cover important topics like where to find shelter and which evacuation route to take, and practice your plan with the rest of the family. Ready.gov even provides PDFs of wallet-size cards that you can print out, fill out, and keep handy at all times.
Shut Off Your Home’s Electricity
Electrical wiring can easily be damaged by powerful winds and flying debris, making appliances unsafe and potentially sparking fires. If you’re in a flood-prone area (check online at FEMA’s site), this step is especially important, as pools of electrified water are incredibly dangerous.
Protect your home by turning off the electricity at the main circuit breaker, which is often located in the basement or garage (some of the first places to flood when water levels rise). You’ll generally want to leave the power off until local authorities advise that it’s safe to turn back on – better safe than sorry!
Cover Doors and Windows
Both doors and windows are extremely vulnerable to damage from wind and airborne debris, and can allow water to flood your home if breached. Plywood boards are the go-to quick-and-cheap solution, though accordion-style storm shutters are more durable if you have enough time to get them installed. You might also consider picking up some “hurricane film”: a clear plastic peel-and-stick solution that won’t provide much damage resistance but can keep glass shards from becoming deadly projectiles.
Garage doors are particularly at-risk, since they have a large surface area and are usually pretty flimsy. If you’re planning well in advance, impact-resistant steel doors are available, though they can be pricy. Otherwise, a few 2x4 boards anchored in the walls can provide some extra bracing with fairly little notice.
Stock Up on Emergency Supplies – and Consider a Shelter
Major storms can have a serious impact on infrastructure and utilities in the short-term, so you may not be able to easily pick up food, medicine, and other basic needs in the immediate aftermath of a storm. FEMA has prepared a checklist of recommended supplies for a standard emergency kit, along with a few extra items to consider depending on the situation.
If the weather is looking pretty serious (and especially if your area has been issued an evacuation warning), understand that there’s nothing more you can do by staying put. Head to the shelter you’ve chosen when making your readiness plan and ride out the storm in safety.
For storm damage repair, flood draining, and more, SERVPRO of Fontana is the name you can trust. Call us today at (909) 357-4337 and let us know how we can help.
Why Choose SERVPRO Fontana
Why Choose SERVPRO of Fontata?
A family-owned company for over 50 years, SERVPRO is a comprehensive service provider offering expert fire/water damage repair, flood & mold cleanup, reconstruction, and other specialty services for residential and commercial properties alike.
Fires and floods don’t wait for regular business hours – and neither do we. SERVPRO of Fontana’s award-winning disaster cleanup and restoration services are available 24/7, including holidays.
When disaster strikes, immediate action is needed in order to protect the structural integrity of your property and eliminate biohazard risks. We pride ourselves on speedy responses to your emergency needs and a quick solution to the problem.
Our friendly team of service professionals is highly trained in property damage restoration – from the initial and ongoing education offered by SERVPRO’s corporate training facility, to up-to-date certification by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
As a locally owned franchise and community employer, SERVPRO of Fontana is proud to serve our friends and neighbors in Fontana and the surrounding areas. Let us get you back on track without delay.
There’s no job too big (or too small) for SERVPRO of Fontana. From individual residences to large-scale corporate solutions, we’ll do what it takes to restore your property to its former glory. We can even work with your insurance directly for a stress-free claims process – saving you a headache and a ton of paperwork.
Don’t believe us? Here’s what just a few of our satisfied customers had to say…
I had a small kitchen fire that left soot and smoke damage throughout the house. Was referred to SERVPRO of Fontana by my agent. They were able to have a crew on site same day. They sent a good team of guys, very professional and accommodating. Made the whole process a breeze. I would definitely recommend them!
--- Zachary W. in San Bernardino, CA
I was very happy I selected SERVPRO to work on my home. Great work.
--- Benito in Fontana, CA
Very happy with SERVPRO of Fontana. We had severe water damage to our house late on a Friday afternoon. They showed up within a couple hours and started working right away to clean up the water. They showed up on time, every time they came to our house and were very polite and courteous. I would recommend them to anyone! Daniel and his crew were great!
--- Lynn B. in Fontana, CA
For disaster cleanup and reconstruction services from the name you can trust, call SERVPRO of Fontana today at (909) 357-4337.
Preparing Your House For Winter Weather: 5 Things You Can Do Today
As fans of HBO already know, “winter is coming” – and with it comes a whole new set of weather-related challenges. If you’re not ready when the temperatures drop and the snow starts falling, you could be in for a rough (and possibly expensive) time. Fortunately, a little preventive action goes a long way.
Start winterizing your home today with these quick tips:
1. Clean Out Your Gutters/Drainpipes
Gutters and drainpipes are meant to gather water from your roof and route it safely away from your home’s foundation. Ideally, you should be cleaning these at least once or twice per year, and autumn is the perfect time to do so.
As trees start shedding leaves and twigs, they tend to collect in your gutters and drainpipes and cause blockages. This may result in water building up and seeping into your walls, attic, and/or basement – which can lead to expensive repairs. And the problem becomes even worse when cold weather rolls in and that water starts to freeze into pipe-blocking chunks of ice. Spend an hour or so on cleanup today, and save yourself a world of hassle later.
2. Check Your Smoke Alarms
When it gets cold outside, we tend to crank up the thermostat and pull the space heaters out of storage. As comfy as that can be, it means the risk of heating equipment fires does increase during winter.
Take a few minutes to go around your home and inspect your smoke and CO2 alarms, ensuring that they’re each functioning properly and replacing the batteries as needed. Continue checking these every month or so throughout the winter season, and remember that the U.S. Fire Administration recommends replacing your smoke alarms entirely every 10 years.
3. Install a Door Sweep
A door sweep is a simple strip of flexible rubber or plastic that attaches to the lower edge of your (outside-facing) doors. For only a few dollars and a few minutes of your time, these can help seal the entrances to your home and stop cold-weather drafts from entering. They also provide a small amount of protection against minor winter flooding from outdoors, which is often caused by snowmelt and can be aggravated by road salt and other deicers (if you live in an area where these are present).
4. Set Up A Water Alarm
Another way to combat the risk of winter (or spring-thaw) flooding is by installing a water alarm in your home. These little-known devices are surprisingly inexpensive, and function much like a fire alarm: they quickly alert you to the presence of unwanted moisture and give you a chance to stop the problem before it spirals out of control. Place them in the most flood-prone areas of the house, especially ones where you don’t spend a lot of time and won’t necessarily see the water yourself – the basement and attic are perfect examples.
5. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Even if you prefer the warm summer months to the chill of winter, the chance to get cozy by your fireplace again is probably a silver lining. But before you do so, it’s important to run a quick check-up, especially if you haven’t used it for many months.
Shine a flashlight up the chimney and keep an eye out for any signs of cracking bricks, crumbling mortar, or built-up debris. Check it from the outside, too, ensuring that your roof’s flashing is secure and that there are no new tree branches or other fire hazards close to the home. If you’re unsure of anything, or if it’s tricky to get up on your roof safely, you can always call in a professional for a quick inspection and possible repairs.
When you need to repair damage caused by water, fire, storms, and more, SERVPRO of Fontana is the name Californians trust most. Call us today at (909) 357-4337 and let us know how we can help.
What is “Black Water”?
It’s true that flooding is a major risk for homeowners all over the US, but not all floodwaters are created equal. These waters may be loaded with biological waste that poses a serious health risk – even if it’s not immediately obvious. This is what flood damage repair specialists call “black water”.
Black water is particularly dangerous because the effects can linger long after the visible liquid has dried up. Here’s what you need to know as a homeowner:
Where Does Black Water Come From?
Not all flooding involves black water, but it’s more common than you might expect.
When speaking about water damage, flood cleanup professionals use three distinct categories:
- Category 1 Water: this refers to relatively clean water that is unlikely to pose any real threat – aside from annoyance – to you or other residents. Examples could include an overflowing tub, or a leaky supply pipe underneath the sink.
- Category 2 Water: aka “gray water”, this describes water with a significant amount of microorganisms and other contaminants – enough to cause illness if consumed or sometimes even just through exposure. Examples might include discharge from your washing machine, or small amounts of groundwater leaking through the basement foundation.
- Category 3 Water: aka “black water”, this is grossly unsanitary runoff that’s heavy with contaminants. Weather-related flooding is very likely to consist of black water, as sewage systems back up and combine with overflowing rivers/streams to shift around huge amounts of organic material. Gray water that’s been allowed to stand and pool can quickly turn into black water as well.
As a rule of thumb, any water entering your home directly from the outdoors is likely to contain some level of contaminant – and could either be classified as black water, or could quickly become black water without prompt attention. Any sewage/toilet backflow would also be considered black water, regardless of its visible color/content.
How to Get Rid of Black Water
Once black water has entered your house or apartment, these microscopic contaminants will settle and linger in affected areas – walls, floors, furniture, etc. Mopping up the mess simply isn’t enough to sterilize the home.
Your best bet, by far, is to call in the professionals. Safely cleaning up black water usually requires sections of walls and flooring to be replaced, while furniture may or may not be salvageable (depending mostly on what it’s made out of, and how long the water has been present). There’s no sense in delaying – it’s dangerous to even be inside a contaminated home without protective gear.
For black water removal and flood damage repair, SERVPRO of Fontana is the name Californians trust. Contact us today at (909) 357-4337 – we’re available 24/7 for emergency cleanup services.
What to Do If Your Basement Has Flooded
If a water spill or full-fledged flood in your basement has you panicked, you’re not alone. Despite the fact that nearly all basements are prone to flooding, many homeowners are caught off-guard when it actually happens.
Here’s what to do when disaster strikes:
1) Shut Off Power
When heading into any flooded area, the first step should be to shut off all power to the room, including electricity and gas. Ideally you’ll want to do this before even entering the room, but this isn’t always possible; in many homes, the breaker panel is located in the basement. In these cases, proceed only if there is little/no standing water remaining.
Note: if you have to stand in water at any point to access your breaker panel, DO NOT – instead, call an electrician for assistance.
2) Determine the Source of the Flooding
Your next steps will depend somewhat on where the excess water is coming from. If there has been a large-scale flood in your area, this should be pretty obvious, but a water spill can also be the result of burst pipes, radiator leaks, backed-up drains, etc. If the water appears to be coming from somewhere within your home, try to shut off the source – and call a plumber for assistance if needed.
3) Move Affected Items Out
Any personal possessions you want to save should be allowed to dry out in a warm and well-ventilated place – outdoors might be the best option, provided it’s relatively sunny out. Give your stuff a good 48 hours to thoroughly dry, but recognize that not everything can necessarily be recovered. A damp basement is very inviting to fungal growth, so don’t delay or you risk having to toss out moldy and mildewy items.
4) Call a Flood Damage Repair Specialist
Even if you’re able to clean up all of the standing water (and sometimes there’s just too much), indoor flooding poses some real long-term dangers. Excess water in your walls or under the carpet creates the perfect conditions for wild mold growth, which – combined with bacteria-rich flood waters – poses a serious health risk for you and your family. The safest course of action is to call in a water damage specialist to dry out the basement, replace rotted or compromised wall sections, and disinfect the area.
SERVPRO of Fontana is proud to be the leader in Southern California flood damage repair. We’re available 24/7 and can work with your home insurance provider – call us today at (909) 357-4337.
How to Tell if Your Home has a Mold Problem
Discover How to Detect Mold
It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare: a mold colony that quickly spreads throughout the house. Not only can mold cause structural damage and lower your home’s value, but exposure to this fungus can also be a serious health risk – especially for people who have a mold allergy.
If you suspect that there’s mold in your home, don’t delay. Some of the most common warning signs include:
Water leaks and condensation problems aren’t direct symptoms of a mold infestation, but they do create a very inviting environment for spores to grow. Mold flourishes in damp areas, and you’d be shocked at how quickly it can appear – we often see early signs of growth within 24-48 hours of a flood.
Since mold grows best in damp, dark spaces (ultraviolet light is harmful to it), it will often start to form within walls, behind major appliances, and in other out-of-the-way places. A pungent, musty smell is often one of the first indicators that it has entered your home. If this happens, you’ll definitely want to call a mold removal company before the problem spreads any further.
Visible Patches of Mold
Even visible areas can harbor mold growth, especially if they’re quite humid or the site of a recent water damage event. Spotting out-in-the-open mold usually isn’t too difficult. It tends to form scattered, fuzzy clumps on walls, floors, and ceilings. Household molds may range in color from white to gray-green to black (depending on species).
For mold removal services near Riverside, SERVPRO of Fontana is the name you can trust. Call us today at (909) 357-4337.
How to Fight Winter Mold Growth
How to Fight Winter Mold
Mold grows surprisingly well in the winter – at least indoors. As we insulate our homes and crank up the heat, we’re also trapping moisture and increasing the humidity. This creates the perfect environment for this nasty fungus to take root – but you don’t have to let it.
Here are a few of our top tips for fighting winter mold growth:
Keep Humidity in Check
If there’s enough moisture in the air, mold can thrive even without a clear source of liquid water. Humidity indoors often spikes in the winter months, but you can control things a bit by placing one or more dehumidifiers throughout the house. These are especially effective in kitchens and bathrooms, where there tend to be higher local humidity levels.
Inspect Your Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
Your roof, gutters, and downspouts are an important drainage system. They do more than just keep the rain off your head – they’re designed to funnel that water away from your home’s foundation and basement.
Problem is, autumn and winter debris (like twigs, leaves, and chunks of ice) can block up your gutters and downspouts. This can cause rainwater and snowmelt to back up into your home, or to drip down and erode the foundation. Ensure your drainage systems work properly all winter long by checking for blockages and clearing them out.
Clean and Vacuum Regularly
Frequent vacuuming and quickly drying up spilled water becomes even more important in the winter months. Pay attention to your basement and bathrooms in particular, as well as the area around the doors to outside.
With winters often full of snow and mud, you and your family/houseguests are likely to accidentally track debris inside, so be sure to keep your entryways especially clean. Even small amounts can serve as food for mold, and a damp, poorly lit area might as well be a welcome mat (which, by the way, you’ll want to wash as well).
For mold removal and water damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Fontana today at (909) 357-4337.
5 Tips to Keep Your Garage from Flooding
5 Tips to Keep Your Garage from Flooding
When stormy weather or snowmelts cause floods to approach your home, your garage is usually one of the first places at risk. Without preventative measures, a flooded garage can easily cause thousands of dollars in damage – or worse.
Check out a few of our top tips to keep floodwaters safely out of your garage:
1) Improve Drainage Around Your Home
While public streets are fitted with drains that usually handle any overflow, they can easily be overwhelmed in a serious flood, causing water to back up onto your property. You can take steps to improve drainage immediately around your home by installing low-key French drains that route water underground and away from the house.
2) Maintain Your Home’s Weather-Stripping
Those little strips of rubber or vinyl at the bottom of your garage door serve an important purpose: they form a seal strong enough hold against moderate water pressure, and can prevent minor floods from entering your home. But weather-stripping does wear down over time, especially as it’s exposed to the elements. Check it for cracks or other signs of damage, and be prepared to replace it regularly.
3) Have Your Foundation Inspected
Water doesn’t need a grand entryway to get into your home – even the smallest crack in a foundation will do. And a slow groundwater drip can cause real damage over time, not to mention the threat posed by a sudden flash flood. These cracks are often barely visible, so if you have any concerns about your foundation, it’s best to call in a professional to do the inspection and repairs.
4) Install Flood Vents
As tough as garage doors may look, they aren’t built to withstand pressure – and raging floodwaters pack a lot of force. Flood vents allow a controlled flow of water to pass below your home, relieving pressure and preventing serious damage from occurring. If you live in a particularly flood-prone area, these may be a smart investment.
5) Set Up Barriers
It may not be the prettiest solution, but if a flood is approaching there’s no time to waste in setting up physical bariers. Sandbags are commonly used due to their low cost and high effectiveness, but you can often find inflatable or constructed alternatives at home supply stores.
Don’t let a little bad weather ruin your garage. For water damage restoration and repair, call SERVPRO of Fontana today at (909) 357-4337.
5 Ways to Prevent Spring Thaw Flooding
5 Ways to Prevent Spring Thaw Flooding
We don’t usually think of springtime as being stormy and wild, but it can actually bring some pretty intense weather. Heavy rains, combined with thawing snow (even from nearby mountains), carry the risk of sudden and severe flooding.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect your home from springtime floods:
1) Check Your Drainage Systems
All modern homes are built with water drainage in mind – but if the water has nowhere to go, it’ll back up right into your house. Check the nearby flood drains for any signs of blockages, as well as any floor drains you may have indoors (in the garage or laundry room, for instance). If your home has rooftop drains, don’t forget to take a look at those too.
2) Clear Out Your Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are also important parts of your drainage system – they prevent water from collecting on the roof, and route it away from the house’s foundation. And although you should check them at least a couple of times each year, it’s after autumn and winter that most blockages occur. Fallen leaves, twigs, snow, and ice chunks can all cause water to pool and seep into your home if not removed.
3) Install a Sump Pump
When water enters your basement – whether through an obvious flood or through slow leaking underground – there’s no time to waste in getting rid of it. Sump pumps protect your home by automatically activating when water is detected, and pumping it safely out of the area.
If you already have a sump pump at home, this is a great time to make sure the intake valve is clear and that the pump is working properly. You can test it by removing the lid, pouring some water into the crock, and ensuring that the device turns on and begins pumping.
4) Set Up a Water Alarm / Flood Sensor
This isn’t something a lot of people think about, but any homeowner would do well to install a water alarm, sometimes also referred to as a flood sensor. They work much like a fire alarm, alerting you immediately when unwanted water is detected in your home and before the damage can spiral out of control. These devices usually start at a very affordable $10-15 – a small price to pay for peace of mind.
5) Purchase Flood Insurance
When it comes to water damage, an ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of cure. But everyone gets caught off-guard sometimes, and having sufficient insurance makes the cure a lot easier to swallow. Make sure your home insurance policy covers flooding, especially if your home is in a flood-prone area.
For all of your water damage repair and restoration needs, contact SERVPRO of Fontana today at (909) 357-4337.