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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Disaster Cleaning in Paso Robles

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City utilizes specialized professional cleaning products.  SERVPRO not only manufactures and distributes these products, we have chemists on staff that develop our propriety products. 

This allows us to have a good solution for most situations.  We can clean things like rust, marker, soot, or even tricky red stains from carpets.  We clean soot from walls, ceilings, even hard and soft contents.  We also clean up bio-hazard materials  such as trauma scenes. 

Because of our arsenal of products, we are able to clean, deodorize, disinfect almost anything we encounter.  Not all companies can say they have the resources to do that. 

When fire damage, water damage, mold, duct cleaning, carpet cleaning or specialty stain removal services are needed, we are here to help! Call SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City at (805) 674-5771.

When Storms or Floods hit the Central Coast, SERVPRO is ready!

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. Faster Response Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Resources to Handle Floods and Storms When storms hit the Central Coast, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States. Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 805-674-5771

A General Guide To Maintaining A Clean Office

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

A General Guide To Maintaining A Clean Office

No matter the size of your office, things can get messy. Employees can get busy and leave food in their trashcans overnight or even over the weekend. We have composed a few guidelines to keeping your office clean, clear of clutter and overall improvement of your restroom appearance.

Everyone can do their part. Make it an office practice that all employees remove their garbage before leaving for the day. Not only does it reduce odor but the practice also keeps pests away from the office space.

Each employee can keep their workspace tidy. This speaks for itself. If papers for files are removed from the cabinet be sure employees put them back in place. Not only does this create a tidy workspace but it also allows for efficiency as someone else may also need to use the folder and will now know where to find it.

Use the front entrance mats. Even though the employee’s shoes are dry doesn’t mean they aren’t dirty. Having mats placed at all entrances helps reduce dirt from being trekked through the office leaving noticeable footprints throughout.

Keeping Furry Friends Safe During Fire Damage Restoration

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Keeping Furry Friends Safe During Fire Damage Restoration

Dog owners are understandably very relieved when their pets survive a home fire with no harm. However, they still worry about whether their pets will be safe during fire damage restoration in their Orlando homes. SERVPRO customers often ask us if it is safe for their pets to stay in the house while we work.

Can your pet stay in your home while SERVPRO is working?

We recommend moving your dog to a safe location outside of your home. Depending on the extent of the fire , there could be many hazards for them in your house:

  • Nails, glass, or broken bits of wood on the floor
  • Hanging drywall or collapsed ceilings
  • Firefighting chemicals or leftover water from fire hoses

It is best for your pet – and better for your peace of mind – if you can arrange for them to go to a shelter or stay with a trusted friend or family member.

Air Quality in the Work Place. Why it matters.

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

Air Quality in your King City workplace. Why it matters.

As a business owner it is important to keep the well being of your employees in mind. Most employees spend all or part of their work day in a office confined to their desk. Since this is the case it is extremely important that the air quality is good and safe. 

Effects of Poor Air

Millions of dollars are lost each year by businesses due to employee sick days causing them to be out of the office. Additionally, business lose money when their employees are fatigued while on the clock. Often overlooked, the employers can play a significant role keeping their employees health by providing clean air.

Five effects of having poor air quality within your business can lead to:

  1. Headaches
  2. Nausea
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Allergy-like symptoms
  5. Irritation of eyes, nose, throat or skin

With proper cleaning of your ducts, you can increase the health of your employees and the bottom line of your business.

Kitchen Safety: Grease Fires

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen Safety 101: Grease Fire Basics

Always give your full attention to cooking. It's sometimes difficult to do when family members are both working and schooling from home, but it is essential. Forty-nine percent of home fires begin with cooking equipment, and thirty-three percent of those are from unattended equipment! A moment's distraction could end in tragedy.

A grease fire is the most common type of kitchen fire. Smoking oil is a sign that the burner is too hot! Should a fire develop, turn off the heat immediately! When frying on the stovetop, always have a lid nearby to suffocate a fire. It is also important to keep a large box of baking soda on-hand to put out a small grease fire. Never pour water on a grease fire – it will only make it worse! Every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher as a last resort.

Once you've finished cooking, always clean up any grease splatter on and around the stove. Thoroughly clean the heating elements or glass top so remnants cannot catch fire the next time the stove is in use.

Air Duct Cleaning for your Morro Bay Home after Fire Damage

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Air Duct cleaning for your Morro Bay home after a Fire 

A fire in your Morro Bay/ King City home can result in a widespread amount of residual problems. For example, the ductwork for your air circulation system likely collected substantial amounts of dirt, debris, odors, and soot while the fire continued to rage inside your property.

Hire a professional it makes a difference!

In the event of a fire damage loss you want a professional on your side. SERVPRO of Morro Bay/ King City is highly qualified to handle all your fire restoration needs.

SERVPRO of Morro Bay  understands your duct work

Understanding that the ductwork can often get a considerable amount of damage with a widespread fire, these areas are often part of the initial inspection conducted by our project manager and estimator. The combusted residue is typically acidic and can corrode these conduits if not dealt with quickly. 

Board Up Service for your recent Fire Loss

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morro Bay/King city is here for you after a Fire Loss

Experiencing a fire loss is one of the most emotionally traumatizing experiences for a home or business owner. After the flames have subsided their is just scorched rubble. The property is now very vulnerable. After the disaster of the initial loss you do not want to risk further damage.

Keep your property secure after a loss with our Board Up Services

SERVPRO of Morro Bay/ King city is here to provide all around customer care by offering board up assistance after a fire loss. The openings where your doors and windows used to be will be securely boarded up with plywood. It can bring some peace of mind to an already stressful situation. Our professionally trained team will do everything we can to ease the stress and secure your property to the highest industry standard. Call us today! 

Three ways your Commercial Business is wasting Water

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Is your commercial business wasting water and money? Consider this.

As a business owner you want to find ways to  optimize and cut costs down as much as possible. After all by doing so you keep more profit overall. A few things to consider within your business is the possibility of minor faucet leaks, slow draining toilets, hidden irrigation leaks, or low water pressure. These although seemingly small, they can create large cost. 

  1. Increased Water Bill- Just a single leaky faucet can mean many gallons of water wasted. If you have several leaky faucets, toilets, and irrigation pipes, the resulting amount of water becomes very expensive.
  2. Damage caused by water-Just one unrepaired water leak can cause damage to walls, ceilings, and flooring as moisture seeps throughout the area. This can also lead to mold.
  3. Secondary Damage- Even when problems are addressed, if not in a speed manner, you can end up with hidden damage. High levels of humidity continue to affect those corners of the building until mold develops or warping, discoloration, and rust have settled in.

Cleaning for your Commercial Real Estate Business

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Why Real Estate Professionals Need SERVPRO of King City/Morro Bay

Are you struggling to get the needed interest in your property? Do you feel like you're just missing the mark? If your listing isn't where it needs to be, you'd be surprised what a professional cleaning will do. The market is booming right now, and if your listing isn't at its full potential, buyers will move on to the next listing. Research shows that a customer will know if they want to move forward with buying a property within ten seconds of being in the environment. Let SERVPRO of Morro Bay assist you in getting your property move in ready.

We are ready to work with you. We clean carpets, windows, high-touch surfaces, walls, ceilings, and appliances! We can tailor a specific cleaning package to your specific needs. We will take care of you quickly and efficiently. 

What are the most common causes of a commercial water loss?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Dealing with a commercial water loss in your business

As a business owner dealing with a loss can be stressful. This is especially true if you must close down your business during repairs. SERVPRO of Morro Bay is ready to relieve any stress by cleaning up after a loss and restoring your assets in a quick and efficient manner!

Four of the most common causes of a commercial water loss

  1. Broken pipe- A broken pipe can cause all sorts of damage. There are many factors that could contribute to a damaged or even burst pipe such as freezing temperature or corrosion. Look out for water stains on your buildings walls as a indicator.
  2. Damaged HVAC- Over time, HVAC ducts can begin to wear out or get damaged, which will lead to water damage. Regularly service your HVAC.
  3. Window Damage- Damaged windows or windows with a damaged seal will allow moisture and water to seep into the building. If this is not resolved it can lead to mold or warped wood.
  4. Severe weather/Natural Disaster- While you cannot prevent a disaster from occurring you can prepare by regularly servicing your building.

Why an ERP is Absolutely Necessary for Your Business

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

An ERP, or Emergency Ready Plan, is a method of planning for emergencies before they even occur. Why should your business have an ERP? Your emergency strategy will be carefully devised to guide you and your employees when taking the decisive action necessary during a disaster of any size. The SERVPRO Ready Plan information will give you the security of emergency preparedness, and your plan information can be downloaded into our Ready Plan app to instantly share with SERVPRO so that the damage can be intercepted right away. 

Here are some things to consider while putting your ERP into place:

Planning Ahead

  • Talk with your employees to formulate as many disaster scenarios as they can come up with. The most recent hurricanes that have hit Texas have created numerous learning opportunities for preparedness. Studying such tragedies can help you more effectively project other possible disasters to better plan for them. 

Protecting Everyone

  • It is necessary to create an ERP that protects anyone in the building. The Department of Homeland Security refers to this as “Protective Actions for Life Safety,” and includes:
    • Fire Drills. Rehearsals for action during a fire.
    • Sheltering. Sheltering staff during a natural disaster.
    • Sheltering in Place. Sheltering staff during a man-made emergency.
    • Lockdown. Eluding an active shooter.

Incident Stabilization

  • Stabilizing an incident means preventing further damage on the scene. This can be accomplished by training your employees in various rescue procedures including:
    • First Aid and CPR
    • Proper Use of Fire Extinguishers

Evacuation Team

  • Without guidance during an evacuation, people will often panic. Consider adding an evacuation team to your ERP:
    • Assign point persons to guide evacuees out of the building.
    • Appoint helpers to assist persons with disabilities.
    • If an exit is blocked by a hazard such as a collapsed ceiling, make sure the evacuation team is trained to redirect employees to an alternate exit.

SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is a reliable, professional provider of emergency cleaning and restoration services when you experience fire and water damage. SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business here in the Grapevine area.

What to Expect From a Fire Damage Restoration Project

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

A fire damage event is difficult for the home or business owner on many levels, and the restoration process that follows can be intimidating. Today we are sharing what you can expect from a fire restoration project. Each fire event is a little different, and each will require a unique solution, although the overall general process stays the same. The steps we are listing below will illustrate the SERVPRO process for the average fire damage emergency.

  • Emergency Contact. Your restoration process begins the moment that you contact us. Our representative will ask you questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us to respond with the appropriate equipment and resources for your particular situation.
  • Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment. Our team will carefully inspect and test all the adjoining rooms of your home or business to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is vital to us, allowing us to develop the perfect plan of action for your property.
  • Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service. Fire damage will often compromise the condition of windows, walls, and roofing. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we will board up missing windows and walls, and place tarps on damaged areas of the roof.
  • Water Removal and Drying. If water damage is present, the water removal process will begin almost immediately, with the goal of removing the majority of the water. Our team will then employ dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any remaining water and complete the drying process.
  • Removal of Smoke and Soot From All Surfaces. SERVPRO uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and all other surfaces.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing. We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. Our team uses a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to the condition they were in before the fire. We are also trained to remove lingering odors, using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  • Restoration. This is the final step - getting your home or business back to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, installing new carpet, or painting surfaces, or it may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various rooms or areas.

Here at SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County, we are ready to help if your Grapevine home or business suffers from damage due to fire or water. You can also count on us when it comes to mold remediation and prevention.

Can I Clean Smoke Damage Myself?

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

When we talk about fire damage to our homes or offices, we usually think about about flames eating up our most beloved objects. Combustion is dangerous and is easily the scariest part of a fire, but when rebuilding after a disaster, the most complicated restoration and cleanup comes from the damage done by smoke and soot.

Smoke is the incomplete combustion of material in a fire. It’s actually made of tiny pieces of the burning thing floating around in the air. This means the chemicals that make up the burning objects are also being carried around your building, making it toxic to people and possessions.

Smoke damage can occur in buildings that aren’t even directly affected by fire. Homes or offices near a burning building or a wildfire, can be contaminated by smoke and soot. If your building was never even touched by the fire, it’s tempting to think of smoke cleanup as a simple DIY, but these are complicated and technical restoration jobs, so take the following elements into consideration before you try to clean the problem area yourself: 

  • What type of smoke are you working with. There are several different types of smoke: wet smoke, dry smoke, plastic or rubber smoke, protein smoke, furnace soot, and candle smoke. Has organic material been burned? What about plastics? Different materials will produce different types of smoke with different effects
  • What are you trying to clean? How valuable is it to you? Electronics are uniquely vulnerable to smoke damage—in addition to causing corrosion, smoke can also be electrically conductive, causing short circuits. Because of this, electronics should always be cleaned and refurbished by technical professionals

  • What sort of metal fixtures are in the room that experienced damage? Brass and copper can be etched by smoke within 24 hours of depositing.

Because of the complex nature of smoke, cleaning up after a fire is not a DIY project. Fortunately, the IICRC certified technicians at SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King city have the experience and training to handle this type of restoration and make it “Like it never even happened.” Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Fire Extinguisher Readiness

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

It’s December—time for Thanksgiving dinners and cozy fires in the hearth. It’s also a great time to review your fire extinguisher knowledge. 

  1. Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know where it is?
  2. Do you know when your fire extinguisher expires? “You can tell the difference between the two by the head; a rechargeable extinguisher has a metalhead with a gauge that reads Charge/Recharge, and a disposable extinguisher has a plastic head with a gauge that reads Full/Empty.” (Keystonefire.com) 
  3. Do you know how to use your fire extinguisher? The time to read the instructions is not when you reach for it in an emergency.

You should always familiarize yourself with the instructions for your specific extinguisher, but there are four basic steps to follow with a standard foam model. You can remember them with the acronym PASS:

  • P—Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher. 
  • A—Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Keep a safe distance away. 
  • S—Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing materials.
  • S—Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Continue directing the foam at the base of the fire until it is completely extinguished.

If you have experienced fire damage, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City to find out how we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

Avoiding Fire Damage In Your Home

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty cords, plugs and appliances so knowing safety and fire prevention are keys in avoiding fire damage to your home or business.  The following are steps that homeowners and commercial property managers can take to avoid costly fire and soot damage.

Electrical Cord Safety:

  1. Inspect all cords for frayed or damaged casings
  2. Never damage or break off the third prong in a plug
  3. Never break off a third prong plug and plug into a two prong outlet
  4. Replace all 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets
  5. Do not pull out cords from the cord always pull out plugs from the plug.
  6. Use surge protectors sparingly as it is possible to overload a circuit if too many plugs are plugged into one outlet.
  7. Extension cords are to be used as temporary cords.
  8. Use the correct gage when using an extension cord
  9. Try to keep cords from running underneath a carpet or rug
  10. Keep cords away from water and heat sources

Appliance Safety:

  1. Follow manufacturers instructions
  2. Disconnect small appliances when not in use
  3. Disconnect appliances when you are going to clean them
  4. Unplug small appliances if you are going to leave town for an extended period
  5. Check phone chargers for overheating

At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City we are there to help our customers in a fire and soot damage situation with fast service in order to get you back on your feet.  Please feel free to contact us at: (805) 674-5771

Team SERVPRO Thoroughly Remediates Water Damage After an Event in Your Home

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

A hot shower at the end of a long day in Fort Worth is a welcome thing, but when the shower water begins to escape and to pool where it should not be, you have a problem on your hands. The shower pan or shower base is a waterproof floor which includes the drain and is made to protect the shower area subfloor. Made usually of concrete and tile, terrazzo, metal, or concrete, if it has missing tiles or is sloped poorly, you are dealing with water damage in Fort Worth from a shower leak.

 
If for any reason your shower has caused a leak in your bathroom, the issue needs to be fixed right away. Continual exposure to moisture quickly creates mold in your bathroom, and you need help with the water removal as well. SERVPRO can come to your aid whenever you need us.
 
Once our techs have entirely removed any standing water and then dried out your home again, we can perform the restoration services. These include all the tasks that are needed to return your home to its normal condition before the loss. The restoration process can include any repairs to the structure and contents, final cleaning, final inspections and all of our equipment being removed from the job site when done. We also ensure that all of your belongings are put back into place.
 
One thing SERVPRO staff has to watch out for in a water damaged bathroom is the condition of any ceramic tile which was affected. The grouted joints are usually waterproofed when installing over plywood. However, any cracks make it vulnerable to water damage. The tile often is unaffected, but water can penetrate the grouting, causing warping or expansion of the subfloor, which causes the tiles to come apart at the joints and become loose. We need to repair your subflooring in this case and reinstall the tiles afterward.
 
SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is thorough when it comes to water removal and restoration of any damage left behind by the leak. You can trust us to take care of your home in Trace Ridge, Heritage Trace, or Keller when you call us at (805) 674-5771.

What Happens After You Call Us? When Face with Water Storm Damage

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Within Minutes

    • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
    • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
    • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
    • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

    • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
    • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
    • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
    • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
    • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

    • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
    • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
    • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
    • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
    • Paint begins to blister.
    • Wood flooring swells and warps.
    • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

    • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City we are there to help our customers in a fire and soot damage situation with fast service in order to get you back on your feet.  Please feel free to contact us at:

805-674-5771

How to Prepare for Severe Weather

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Nine Storm Preparation Tips

  1. Get and stay informed.

Tune in to the local radio or TV station and community alert system for emergency information. Keep a battery-operated/solar-powered radio on hand.

  1. Inspect the emergency survival kits and the food and water supply.

The emergency kits should be stocked with essential items. If one or more are not available, purchase the necessary items to properly outfit the kits. Stock up with a two-week supply of food and water. 

  1. Round up plenty of LED flashlights and batteries.

LED flashlights burn much brighter and last much longer than traditional flashlights. Heavy-duty solar-powered landscape lights can perform a double function as an attractive landscape feature and as an emergency light. Gather them up before the threatening storms, tornadoes, or approaching hurricane.

  1. Fully charge the car chargers.

The chargers can be used to charge a personal cell phone, smartphone, and other portable devices.

  1. Secure all outdoor furniture.

Secure outdoor furniture and other objects or move them inside. An EF-2 (135 mph) or EH-3 (140 mph) tornado can destroy an outdoor swing or trampoline. Deck furniture can disappear never to be seen again.

  1. Collect tools and emergency building materials.

Sandbags, plywood, and waterproof tarps will come in handy if windows are blown out, or a roof is torn off, or the shingles are damaged. Keeping as much water as possible out of homes and businesses will reduce damage to the interior. Keeping the inside as dry as possible will hinder the growth and spread of mold.

  1. Fill up automobiles and equipment.

Store fresh fuel for the emergency generator if one is available. Use approved fuel containers and store the fuel in a safe, dry place.

  1. Know how to shut off the utilities.

Should the home or business receive extensive damage, it may be necessary to shut off utilities, such as gas, electricity, and water. If evacuation is required, turn off utilities before leaving if time permits.

  1. Gather documents and records.

After a severe storm disaster, residents may need ID to prove who they are. Gather and store ID documents in a portable waterproof, fire-safe security chest. Important identification documents include birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage certificates, adoption papers, passports, naturalization documents, wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and property deeds/titles. If there is room in the chest, include essential or memorable DVDs, portable disks, and flash drives. A better solution may be to create a document cache with files and images of relevant documents, ID cards, and photos. This cache can be stored on the cloud, and duplicated on a flash drive that is kept on hand. Personal IT management is essential, especially during and after a house fire or natural disaster.

Conclusion

Preparation is the key to weathering the storm when it hits. When it does, contact a storm damage restoration specialist. Emergency tarping and boarding, site stabilization and security, immediate water damage restoration, and other disaster recovery procedures can best be implemented by expert technicians facilitated by advanced equipment and technologies.

SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is a trusted leader in the restoration industry as well as in the local community. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We pride ourselves on having not only the training but also the expertise to handle our customer's restoration and cleaning needs. We are locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to any emergency. Being locally owned, we make every effort to stay involved in the community providing our time and services when needed. 

After a Storm

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

What should you do after a storm floods your home? After a significant weather event, you may find yourself dealing with conflicting impulses. On one hand, you'll be eager to start the cleanup process right away. On the other hand, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. While it’s best to have a restoration professional working through the process on your behalf, there are certain steps you can begin while you wait for help to arrive.

Safety First

The first and most important thing to know is how to re-enter a building safely. Never begin damage mitigation until a building has been cleared as safe. 

  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet yourself or standing in water.
  • Don’t walk through floodwaters. Water can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage or possibly even be electrically charged. (See our earlier blog post on water contamination levels.)
  • Turn off electricity to any rooms that are affected by flooding.
  • Don’t operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Wear protective clothing such as boots, long pants, and gloves when entering your home or dealing with flooded areas. I realize this is going to be uncomfortable in Austin since storm season is generally in the late summer heat, but it’s not worth the risk of injury to wear shorts in a flood clean-up.

Next Steps

Once you get into your building, notify your insurance agent. Your policy guidelines will influence your next steps and your agent should be able to recommend a trusted water restoration team in your area. To make sure that your agent has an accurate assessment of the damage, take photos or video to record the condition of your building and possessions. Don’t move any objects or collections without documenting their condition.

At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City, we’re ready to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but there are still some steps you can take the moment you get back home while you’re waiting for our team to arrive.

The faster you act, the more effective the restoration process will be and the better your chances are of saving water damaged possessions.

  • Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Raise wooden furniture out of standing waters and place on blocks if possible.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. 
  • Move large furniture away from walls for better air circulation.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

Tips for Carpet Care

If the affected room is carpeted, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage to your carpet that might not be obvious if you’ve never been through a flood before.

  • Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items from wet carpets.
  • Do not leave colored area rugs on wet carpets (or white rugs on wet colored carpets). Color transfer from one can stain the other.

Let Us Help You

Most people only ever have to recover from a flooded home once in their lifetime. When it does happen, it’s good to have a partner who has been through this before. At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City, we have years of experience and the backing of the SERVPRO system to draw on and help make your home "Like it never even happened."

If you are dealing with flood damage, call us for help at (805) 674-5771 or request help online today.

How to Help Home Fire Survivors

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

As restoration professionals, we at SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City frequently work with homeowners going through the worst disasters of their lives. We’re proud to be able to help and to fix what’s been damaged. We know the joy of making homes “Like it never even happened.” But what do you do when someone’s home is actually destroyed by fire?

How can we as a community step up when a family loses everything in a fire? If you know the family, the simplest way to help is to give your neighbors the items that survivors of house fires need the most:

  1. Immediate necessities. Imagine walking into a hotel room with no bags. What do you change into after your shower? How do you brush your teeth? Gently used clothes from your own closet are generally considered appropriate since they’re immediately available and don’t require the time and effort of wardrobe shopping. But on your way to deliver them, stop by Walmart or Target and grab some new socks and underwear.
  2. Short-term basics. Now imagine moving into a new apartment with no boxes—no towels to put in the linen closet, no dishes to put in the cabinet. As you’re preparing to help a neighbor in need, mentally walk through your day and think about all the things you use daily. 
  3. Long-term help. Now if you really know the family, work with them to provide assistance as they go through the process of recovery. Are you good with organizing? Maybe you can help them work with the insurance companies? Do you know their kids? Suggest a playdate while the parents work their to-do lists? Create a meal calendar for their friends or just take them out and let them talk.

If you don’t know the family affected by fire damage (or if it’s a community-wide disaster you’ve seen on the news) the best way to help is to donate money. You can give through gofundme.com or local charities, but the Red Cross is a consistently reliable organization with years of experience helping in exactly this sort of situation.

No one can know exactly what it's like to survive a house fire, but we know enough to know that we're needed and that's where we need to start. 

If you've experienced fire damage and would like to find out what our restoration professionals can do for you, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City at (805) 674-5771

Fire and smoke damage do's and dont's

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

While fire damage restoration is better left in the hands of professionals, there are some things you can do on your own. Take note, however, that DIY fire restoration is something you want to do only when the severity of the fire and smoke damage is small.

Fire damage can be a devastating experience both for home and business owners. Fire damage is difficult to overcome and repair, but there are simple things you can do to motivate the process. When you’re wondering what to do after a fire, here’s a look at things to do (and things not to do) during the fire restoration process.

DOS FOR FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION

Your checklist for after a fire should contain certain non-negotiable tasks, including:

  • DO contact a certified restoration specialist: Make sure you immediately contact a certified fire and smoke restoration professional for remediation services
  • DO turn off utilities: Turn of water, electricity, gas, and any other utilities until a professional can evaluate if any of these systems were damaged during the fire.
  • DO break out the vacuum: A professional should provide service, but you can enhance the professional’s chances of success by doing the first pass on your own. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment and go over your upholstered furniture. Your furniture will look better as soon as the soot is removed. Also, cover your furniture with a sheet if you need to sit on it while waiting for professional help. This will prevent the soot and ash from grinding into your upholstery.
  • DO address your carpets, floors, and countertops: Give similar treatment to your carpets. Vacuum them for an immediate and superficial improvement over the damaged state. It will help prevent soot from grinding deeper into the carpet’s roots. Countertops and hardwood floors should be wiped clean to prevent the soot from deeply staining and clinging to the surfaces.
  • DO check your appliances: Your utilities should be off. Make sure to empty your freezer and refrigerator, and leave the doors open to prevent mold and mildew. Likewise, winterize your plumbing and drain your hot water heater and boiler. In the absence of heat during the fire damage restoration process, fluids can freeze and cause burst pipes and other damage.
  • DO take care of pets: Remove pets from your fire-damaged home. Lingering soot and smoke can be harmful to them.

DON’TS FOR FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION

Your checklist should also include several things to avoid at all times, including:

  • DON’T use your AC, heater or electronics: Wait until a professional arrives on the scene — same with electronics like the television, computers, and DVD players. Turning on electronics can create greater damage.
  • DON’T clean walls or clothing: Also, do not clean walls, ceilings, and other similar surfaces, and wait to clean your clothing and similar garments. A professional should examine them first and provide advice.
  • DON’T eat leftover food: Never eat anything that was in the home during the fire. It is most likely not safe to consume due to contamination from smoke, soot, or contaminants introduced to the environment when the fire was being extinguished.
  • DON’T wipe away powder from extinguishers: Forgo trying to clean up any staining from the powder discharged by a fire extinguisher. It is best to let professionals guide the cleanup of these areas.
  • ALWAYS CALL AN EXPERT
  • If you’re wondering what to do after a fire, it’s always tempting to start the cleanup process immediately and do as much as possible. The best course of action is to hire a certified professional to provide expert knowledge and service. The situation requires specialized tools and knowledge that only a professional can provide. A trusted professional will offer an after-fire checklist that will help speed along the fire and smoke damage cleanup process. Consulting a professional will help you restore your property back to like-new condition as quickly as possible.

Top reasons to choose SERVPRO

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

You may be wondering why you should choose SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City instead of one of the other dozens of restorations companies, let us tell you why:

  1. 20+ Years Experience in the Industry

- Owners Heather &  Robert opened their first franchise over 20 years ago after they experiences not one but two kitchen fires.  They have been leading the way since!

  1. Respond Immediately when you need us most.

-Home emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day, or night.

  1. Qualified Technicians and Team Members

-Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following: IICRC training, Employee Certification training, E-Learning programs, and Continuing Education Classes.

  1. We are ready and equip to handle any loss whether it be small or large
  • SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is ready to handle your loss whether it is a water loss caused by a leaky dishwasher in your home or water loss in your commercial business caused by fire sprinklers throughout the entire structure.
  1. We understand the stress of a loss in your home
  • We at SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City understand the stress a hardship in your home can cause and our staff is there to make it as easy as possible. Our technicians know it is your house but treat it with respect like their own.  Our hope is to take that stress from you and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Morro Bay Property Under Water? Rely on SERVPRO for Full Service from Pack Out to Rebuild

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Pack Out Helps Minimize Flood Damage in Morro Bay Home

When flood damage happens to your home, it is vital to get cleanup efforts going as quickly as possible. The less exposure to water your home and contents have, the better the chances of saving more items through restoration efforts.

Our local SERVPRO responded to a call to mitigate flood damage in an Morro Bay home. Several areas in the house were affected, and the electricity was turned off. For safety reasons, we confirmed the homeowner and her family were staying off-site at another location.

Since this type of water intrusion carries a rating as the most contaminated, category three or "black water" event, we have protective gear we wear to work with this type of water loss. Upon arrival, our technicians found most of the water had since receded, but the water line on a wall indicated water levels were over the outlets at one point.

With the permission of the insurance adjuster and homeowner, a team of technicians carefully packed and moved out room contents that had the potential for restoration (we call it "pack out") and placed the items that were a loss in a separate bin. Our SERVPRO crew chiefs make detailed notes for items that are packed out and objects that are a loss for full transparency with the adjuster and homeowner.  

We have powerful generators so the lack of electricity does not slow down remediation efforts. Using our portable pumps, we extracted as much water as possible, so large scale items such as the carpet and padding are easier to handle when we removed them as a loss. Carpets covered with Black Water we always recommend to discard. This also lessens the drying time and can save more building materials and contents.

Measuring roughly six inches above the water line on the walls, our technicians removed the ruined sheetrock with a technique called flood cutting, so the interior of the wall could dry thoroughly. We spend extra time on the extraction of water and setting up drying using applied structural drying techniques to limit water damage and inhibit additional issues such as mold or foul odors. This process can take several days, depending on the extent of the flooding. After drying, we cleaned and disinfected the property and left it ready for rebuilding.

Our crew chief gave the homeowner and adjuster a list of the necessary repairs needed to return the residence to its preloss condition. Since we are a full-service cleanup and restoration company, we can provide a "one-stop shopping" experience for our customers and complete the rebuilding and renovation of the house, with less stress of involving numerous contractors, and for less money. "Like it never even happened."

When you need fast assistance with flood damage, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City at 805-674-5771. Our certified technicians are available 24-hours to help restore your home and contents from water loss.

It's Raining, It's Pouring, and It's Causing Storm Damage to Morro Bay Houses

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fast Morro Bay Home Flood Damage Cleanup by SERVPRO 

Flood damage is bad enough when it happens, it is even worse when your home receives water damage, and you are not home to stop it. The longer building materials have exposure to excessive moisture lessens the chance of restoration.

When a homeowner came home from a weekend getaway, she walked into a drenched room from a tree branch breaking a window during heavy thunderstorms that rolled through and rain entered the Morro Bay home for hours. 

After contacting her insurance adjuster, her next phone call was to our local SERVPRO facility. Our technicians arrived within hours of the initial call and immediately tarped over the broken window so additional damage from rainstorms would not affect the interior of the property any further. 

We scoped the room to determine all the areas that the water could have possibly migrated into to ensure we did not miss any areas of excessive moisture. Our certified Water Damage Restoration Technicians worked on extraction the remaining water from the property. Because it sat for a minimum of 48 hours before mitigation efforts began, we handled the water as a category three (black) or contaminated water situation requiring specialized safety gear and disinfectants. 

Some sheetrock around the entry point had become oversaturated and required removal, which we accomplished with a controlled demolition technique known as "flood cuts." This method lets adequate airflow happen within the wall cavity and substructure. 

We then set up our drying and dehumidification equipment and ran air scrubbers with HEPA filters because of the heavy odor left behind. Once the affected areas dried, the odors diminished significantly. Our technicians hand-cleaned and disinfected all water loss areas, so they were sanitary. 

Once we completed our cleanup and mitigation efforts, we gave a detailed report and photos of the actions taken to both the homeowner and adjuster along with a listing of the necessary repairs to fully restore the room to its preloss condition. 

SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City knows flood damage is a stressful event for any property owner. Handoff the cleanup and restoration to us by calling 805-674-5771, we are available 24/7 to make your water loss "Like it never even happened."

Our Experts Are Prepared 24/7 To Restore Your Morro Bay Home After A Flood

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

The Correct Procedure for Restoring Contaminated Flood Water Damage to your Morro Bay Home

Flood Water Damage Morro Bay
The extent of contamination levels in water is measured from white to grey, to black. White water covers clean water supplies such as those in your plumbing system as well as rainwater. Greywater may include water with high-levels of microbial growth and fungus. Blackwater refers almost exclusively to water with highly infectious waste contamination. These types of water are from sources that contain natural human pathogens such as sewers or floodwaters. Blackwater emergencies are generally considered harmful to human health and a biohazard issue.

Homeowners that experience flood water damage in Morro Bay should bring in professional assistance at the first opportunity. Floodwaters typically contain contaminants ranging from animal carcasses, raw sewage, bloodborne pathogens as well as herbicides and pesticides. If you discover floodwater in your home, you should consider it a Biohazard concern and avoid all contact. SERVPRO technicians can be on-hand within four hours of notification of loss to begin a safe, cleanup procedure.

In San Luis Obispo County, there are several licenses and permits required for the legal disposal of biohazardous waste. SERVPRO offers the community qualified technicians with the correct licensing to remove, dispose of, and clean biohazardous waste situations. Our team of water restoration technicians (WRT) is equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that harmful waste does not cause a human health risk. We may also set up clean rooms and decontamination areas. These can prevent the spread of biohazardous substances.

Unfortunately, contaminated water can migrate quickly throughout your home. after flood damage. Porous materials are at the highest risk and can imbibe both moisture and pathogens. For that reason, SERVPRO technicians may need to remove and dispose of porous materials in the home completely. These materials can include drywall, unfinished woods, and other natural materials. Some fabrics may be salvageable using Esporta washing machines to remove soiling and contamination. We must ensure your home remains safe by disinfecting the affected area, removing and replacing affected materials as well as thorough deodorization.

If you suspect a black water emergency at your home, do not hesitate. Contact SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City at 805-674-5771.

Flood Damage In Morro Bay

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Flood Damage in Morro Bay Home Needs More Than Extraction and Drying

Flood damage brings more than water into a home. Storms in this area of Morro Bay can result in high winds damaging roofing that cause leaking, or a tree limb can knock out windows or cause significant loss to a home.

SERVPRO technicians inspect Morro Bay homes upon arrival for flood damage mitigation to determine the scale of the loss throughout the house. Tracking the path of water migration is an essential part of discovering areas of loss that may otherwise get overlooked if only visual inspections get relied upon.

Stop Further Loss to the Home
When damage to the structure occurs, the techs perform any needed temporary repairs to halt any further entry of water into the home. Commonly done repairs include:
    •    Securing tarps over a leaking roof
    •    Boarding up broken windows
    •    Arranging removal of fallen tree limbs by a local professional

Extraction and Drying
The use of professional-grade tools makes the difference in the amount of water the techs can extract. Afterward, the set up of the drying equipment is where the real contrast between consumer-grade and the SERVPRO machines begins. The centrifugal air movers deliver airflow with such high velocity that embedded moisture rises, and the nearby dehumidifiers capture it.

When wild weather hits, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City at 805-674-5771 for assistance with the cleanup and restoration from flood damage.

What Is a Flood Cut?

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently experienced flooding in your home or office, you’ve probably been told that you need to have a "flood cut" to your walls. You may have been told that the technicians will need to cut the bottom four feet off of your drywall.

This might seem a little excessive when you first hear this news, so let's talk a little about this procedure and give you the background you need to understand why it's being suggested.

Flood water always carries contaminants into a room. Even when water looks clear, it will carry bacteria and chemicals from the ground inside and outside your building. While there are various techniques for cleaning floors and upholstery, the best way to ensure that your walls are clean is to remove the drywall completely.

Let us reassure you that a flood cut is standard procedure when a room has been flooded. It may seem extreme, but if done properly, this first step will make your reconstruction process more effective in the long run.

A flood cut is what happens when a restoration or cleanup team removes all the drywall and baseboards below the four foot mark. This is an industry standard height no matter how high your flooding was because it’s the standard size that drywall is sold in. You may occasionally have a lower cut recommended, but be aware that if you use this height, you’ll have to cut the drywall you purchase down to size.

The flood cut isn’t only standard, but also a very important first step in restoring a flooded room.

If you've experienced flooding in your home, contact SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City at 805-674-5771 and let us give you a recommendation for restoration.

How to Remove Smoke Odor in Atascadero

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

How to Remove Smoke Odor

The lingering smells of smoke from cigarettes and cigars are irritating for many. Candles, kitchen stoves, toasters, fireplaces and the dreaded unintentional fires also emit smoke odors that waft through a home, leaving homeowners scratching their heads for effective methods to cleanse the inside air.

Problems with Smoke Odor

The smell of smoke is far from welcoming. In fact, small smoke particles from wood smoke can trigger respiratory reactions. People with asthma, a lung condition or a heart condition will experience wheezing and chest tightness when they breathe in the wood smoke particles. Other ill effects of breathing in smoke particles include an exacerbation of the asthma or bronchitis sufferers’ symptoms.

Older people especially must preserve their health against smoke fumes, since seniors are more likely than young people to have chronic lung or heart ailments. Children, too, are vulnerable to the ill effects of second hand smoke. Reports indicate 7,500 to 15,000 children are hospitalized with respiratory tract infections caused by secondhand smoke.

Inhaling smoke can be deadly. In the United States, approximately 3,000 people die annually as a main result of smoke inhalation caused by residential fires.

Tips for Removing Smoke Odor

Smoke particles cause the unpleasant smell of smoke. When left unchecked, the smoke particles remain in place, continuously unleashing the smoke odors. To effectively remove the smell of smoke, the smoke particles must be dislodged. Simply masking the odors with scented products does little to resolve the underlying odor issue.

When homeowners spend 90 percent of their time indoors, improving the air quality is an important task. An ozone generator is a homeowner’s most effective tool, as it removes the actual smoke particles that cause the smoke odors. Ozone generators can be rented, which leads to hefty expenses.

Here is how to remove smoke odor from your home using a variety of methods:

Vinegar

Vinegar is a common household product with many functional uses. Place bowls of white vinegar throughout the home. The vinegar will absorb odors over the span of several days, leaving the rooms with a fresh scent. Homeowners also have the option of wiping down the walls, floors, and other areas affected by smoke with white vinegar.

Baking Soda

Another product frequently found within the home is baking soda, and homeowners have easy access to the powerful cleansing effects of this natural odor reducer. Similar to the odor absorption powers of white vinegar, baking soda can be placed in bowls around the home. The baking soda will absorb the smoke odors. Homeowners can also sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda along carpets and furniture, leaving the baking soda to sit for a few hours, then vacuuming.

Ventilation

Bust open the doors and windows on a fine summer day. The gusts of clean outside air will gradually thin out the smoky odors. Smoke smells will blow away in the wind, leaving your home with improved air quality.

Charcoal

The charcoal grillers use on their grill is an effective odor absorber. An air purifier that features a charcoal filter is an excellent way to combat smoke odors. Homeowners can also place bowls of charcoal around the home to eliminate smoke smells. The charcoal absorbs smoke odors, in the same vein as vinegar and baking soda.

Smokers who smoke inside the home can put a bowl of charcoal close to the ashtray to instantly absorb the smoke. Prevent recurring smoke odors by not permitting smoking indoors.

Newspapers

When you’re done reading the comics, scrunch up the newspaper into a ball. Leave the newspaper around the home and experience its gradual, odor-eating abilities. Newspapers are excellent odor absorbers, though the effects may take 48 hours to materialize.

Borax

Grab a rag and wash down the walls with Borax. The Borax works to remove the actual smoke particles stuck to the walls or flooring, so it is a far better method than absorption. Wipe down your walls with 2 gallons of water combined with a half cup of Borax and a half teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Rinse away the solution with clean water. The smoke particles and the resulting odors will be washed down the drain.

Steam Cleaner

Smoke particles that have become lodged into carpets, upholstery and curtains can be effectively eliminated by a powerful steam cleaner. While most homeowners are not likely to have a steam cleaner sitting around the house, one can be inexpensively rented from a local hardware store. Use this gadget to deep clean every fabric surface.

Febreeze

Another odor absorber, Febreeze works because it contains a chemical compound known as cyclodextrin, which grips odors. Spray Febreeze generously around the home to reduce the smells of smoke.

Professional Smoke Odor Removal Services

The most effective way to eliminate smoke odors is to hire a professional smoke damage restoration company. The technicians will zap away the smoke particles with advanced technology, leaving your home, its furnishings and all surfaces free from the overpowering elements of smoke.

SERVPRO Morro Bay to King City is a reputable fire and smoke damage restoration service provider. Our specialists are trained and experienced in resolving odor issues related to smoke, soot and fire. Every household item the smoke particles have settled into, from stainless steel, marble and tile to upholstery and carpeting, will be thoroughly cleansed.

Our skilled technicians are experts in smoke odor mitigation. Advanced technology is utilized as a powerful means of odor elimination. SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City professionals use hydroxyl and ozone deodorization to dislodge all smoke particles and the resulting odors. Our technicians will also pinpoint the source of the smoke odors and remove it immediately.

Smoke odor is a messy matter. When left alone, smoke can permanently damage household furnishings and structural elements of a home. Swift and proper cleaning will ensure the affected property within a home is restored.

SERVPRO Morro Bay to King City, reliably serves the San Luis Obispo County and Monterey County, communities of homes and businesses. We are available 24 hours a day to take emergency calls.

How Dry Is Dry In Your King City Home?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

How Dry Is Dry?

When you experience water damage to your King City, CA home or business, how do you know when it is really dry?

At SERVPRO of Morro Bay/King City, we have certified technicians that use professional techniques and equipment like moisture meters to ensure the proper amount of drying has taken place. 

Did you know that some materials can be over-dried? Things like wood floors and some building materials require a certain amount of moisture to maintain their strength and shape. The proper amount can also be dependent on several factors like elevation and region.

Our technicians know exactly how much moisture is appropriate for all of the materials in your home, and will be sure to restore them correctly.

If you have water damage in King City, call SERVPRO Morro Bay to King City 24 hours a day @ 805-674-5771. We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Services SERVPRO Provides After Storms

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

3 Services SERVPRO Provides

Demand for damage mitigation and restoration services spikes after a severe storm's in Morro Bay. Insurance agents and adjusters need to be able to rely on a local mitigation and restoration company to provide timely storm response services. Here are three services that make a local SERVPRO Morro Bay to King City the right choice for storm restoration.

1. Disaster Response

No matter how many properties are affected by a storm, a Disaster Response Team can arrive on each location within a matter of hours. Independent mitigation and restoration services are more likely to be backlogged than a national corporation that can dispatch employees and equipment from nearby franchises to areas that have experienced large losses.

2. Mitigation and Cleanup

The initial stage of storm response involves mitigating damage. In the case of structural damage, this may involve boarding up broken windows or breaches in a building envelope or tarping over a damaged roof. Standing water resulting from flood damage should be extracted as soon as possible. A full-service company can ensure that these initial measures contribute toward complete storm restoration.

3. All-In-One Restoration

A company that offers mitigation and restoration services can reduce the workload on insurance agents and adjusters while simplifying the claim process for property owners. Relying on a one-stop shop may make miscommunication less likely, prevent scheduling conflicts and allow for a faster and more thorough restoration job. Depending on a single service also means that the initial estimate is likely to be more accurate.

These storm restoration services set SERVPRO Morro Bay to King City apart from independent companies. The business model means that each location has the backing of a national corporation and the ability to call on nearby locations for additional personnel and equipment. A single estimate from a service that can clean up damage and rebuild a commercial property can also be more convenient for insurance agents, adjusters, and clients.

How to Deal with Frozen Pipes

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Now that the colder temperatures are approaching us all on the Central Coast area (hard to believe in this heat), it is worth remembering some of the effects that winter weather has on our home.

The cold weather affects us all in one way or another, and our home as well. SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City would like to offer the tips below to help you prevent frozen water pipes.

How to Deal with Frozen Pipes

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
  • Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
  • Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
  • Close garage doors.
  • Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks.
  • Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
  • Set ice maker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
  • Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
  • Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
  • Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
  • Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
  • After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City

Please give us a call if you have any questions or if we can be of further assistance.

Faster to your Paso Robles Water Damage

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (805) 674-5771

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Keeping Your Business Protected in Storms

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

While we just welcomed the spring season, Central Coast residents know that the rains are here! Protecting your commercial property form severe storms is critical for business owners of all kinds. When a big storm is approaching, the best strategy for business owners is to be proactive it preparedness in order to protect your employees, your property, and your business as a whole.

Minimizing damage is essential for your business in the event of a major rainstorm. Things like high winds and heavy rain can do a lot more damage than many would think. As such, it is important to take careful note of the following tips for keeping your business protected in storms:

  • Remain watchful of storm forecasts to give yourself plenty of time to prepare
  • Make sure that your employees all have specific action plans in place
  • Keep your staff contact list updated and readily available
  • Check your utilities to make sure that your lines are not connected
  • Ensure that your landscaping is trimmed and prepared for storm winds
  • Unclog your gutters
  • Double check your fire protection equipment
  • Remove any potential debris from the commercial property
  • Give your staff ample time to leave and prepare their own homes

With heavy rains and high winds, it is important to prepare sooner rather than later. Commercial water damage can be stressful, but SERVPRO is here to make sure that you can go back to business as usual as soon as possible following a large storm. Our team of commercial property damage professionals will take care of your property like it’s our own! Call us today to learn more!

Tips for Business Owners to Reduce Liability Claims

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

a picture of a strip mall Being aware of the possibility of a liability claim is the first step in being proactive to prevent this from happening.

General liability insurance claims are those that typically come from either your customers or your vendors. As a small business owner, the ability to reduce the risk of these potential lawsuits is imperative for keeping your business running smoothly. One of the most common claims comes from slip and fall accidents. In these situations, a customer is walking through your store when they fall on the wet floor, causing injury or damages. In this scenario, the business is often held responsible for the accident and will therefore be liable for any type of injury or any damage that the fall caused. Being aware of the possibility of a liability claim is the first step in being proactive to prevent this from happening.

While there are certainly things out of the hands of a business owner, preemptive measures can absolutely be taken to reduce the likelihood of something like that occurring. Keep the following tips in mind to reduce liability claims in your business:

  • Be sure to keep the store well-lit so that customers can see where they are walking. We also advise that you conduct emergency lighting system checks each month.
  • Keep floors and carpeting as clean as possible. Place signage in areas that could be deemed a potential walking hazard.
  • Install handrails on any stairways in the building.
  • When a spill occurs, place an employee near the spill to warn customers until the spill is properly cleaned.
  • Keep the bathrooms extremely tidy.
  • Check the outside walkways near your store and look for any potential hazards.
  • Keep trash and any other clutter away from the areas where customers walk.
  • Be aware of condensation drips from things like air conditioners and refrigerators.
  • Avoid the use of extension cords and other dangerous items in areas where foot traffic is heavy.

General liability insurance is crucial for business owners. However, it is important to continually make improvements to keep your store as safe as possible for all of your patrons. If you are in search of a reliable, professional commercial restoration and cleaning service, contact SERVPRO at your earliest convenience!

Minimizing Safety Hazards in the Workplace

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

a picture of a woman looking at construction plans The following are some important tasks in the effort to minimize safety hazards in the workplace.

Protecting both your workers and your customers from workplace injuries is extremely important. Employers are tasked with the responsibility to create a safe environment for anyone stepping foot on their commercial property, and this can seem like an overwhelmingly daunting and stressful duty. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over 4,000 workers in the United States were killed on the job in 2014. The construction industry leads the pack in terms of the most workplace fatalities. However, workplace injuries are far more common and are the focus of our article today.

The ability to minimize safety risks in the workplace while educating the staff about their possible risks is imperative to keeping everyone as safe as possible. Both routine plans and emergency plans should be set in stone and communicated to the entire workforce. The following are some important tasks in the effort to minimize safety hazards in the workplace:

  • Clearly communicate all safety and health policies to entire staff
  • Pay special attention to things like slippery flooring and poor lighting, as slip and fall accidents account for about one-third of all workplace injuries
  • Survey the entire property to identify any and all possible risks
  • Prominently display safety information throughout the property
  • Be aware of fire safety standards
  • Keep the property clean at all times
  • Encourage feedback from staff and customers regarding safety improvements
  • Update safety policies and procedures at least once per year

While some industries are known to be “dangerous” and procedures are in place accordingly, other industries that are deemed “safe” may fall through the cracks and not be prepared for workplace accidents. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is important to take an active role in ensuring that proper workplace safety measures are taken and enforced at all times.

OSHA Guidelines For Fire Extinguishers

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City knows that the proper use of fire extinguishers can prevent fire from destroying lives.

Owning a fire extinguisher is not enough.  The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers train their employees how and when to use fire extinguishers. They must provide the training shortly after the employee is hired, and then every year thereafter.

OSHA does not allow untrained employees to use a fire extinguisher.

OSHA also requires monthly inspections of the fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers have to be placed where they cannot be moved or damaged..

The carrying handle should be 3-1/2 to 5 feet above the floor.

Employees must know when to use fire extinguishers.

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City suggests asking yourself these questions regarding fire extinguishers.  

  • Have I pulled the fire alarm?
  • Is the fire extinguisher easy to reach?
  • Do I know how to use it?
  • Is the fire contained in a small area?
  • Is the smoke non-toxic?
  • Can everyone get out?
  • Do I have an escape route?

If you can answer “yes” to all of the questions, it is reasonable to use the fire extinguisher.

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City reminds you that fire is fast. If you cannot contain it within 30 seconds, get everyone out of the area. Call 9-1-1 once you are outside.

Links:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/index.html

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.157

https://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/fire-and-life-safety-equipment/fire-extinguishers

Prevent Mold Growth In Your Central Coast Business

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City is licensed in mold remediation. We hope you never have a mold problem.

Mold starts growing within 24 hours of exposure to moisture.

To prevent mold from getting a start in your office building, SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City suggests:

  • Elevate equipment above floor when possible
  • Repair leaky pipes
  • Remove any damp areas near sinks and tubs
  • Maintain humidity below 40%
  • Use water-resistant materials when you build or rebuild. Materials include:
    • galvanized or stainless-steel hardware
    • waterproof wallboard
    • tile
    • sealed stone
    • sealed concrete
    • water-resistant glues
    • synthetic fibers
  • Use gutters to divert rain water
  • Landscape, so water moves away from the house
  • Cover dirt in crawl spaces. Moisture can seep up through dirt
  • Ventilate as much as possible

Important:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a “large amount” of mold as 10 square feet or more. The EPA rules that only licensed professionals can remediate large areas.

You cannot prevent storms or floods. However, if a storm or flood affects you, we can help you clean up the damage.

Links:

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

Fire Hazards in the Kitchen San Luis Obispo County

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Fire accidents are something that people think will never happen to them. As we’ve seen in recent months in California, forest fires can be extremely dangerous and destruction to anything and everything near and in its path. It is important as California residents to understand that there are still a lot of risks when it comes to fires and your home or commercial property. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released a report stating that 2 in every 5 home fires in the United States begin in the kitchen.

Cooking is a fun activity that is enjoyed by friends and family of all walks of life. Some of a family’s best moments are those spent in the kitchen cooking, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also a potentially hazardous place when it comes to fires. The following are some of the biggest fire hazards in the kitchen:

  • Ovens
  • Stovetops
  • Grills
  • Broilers
  • Microwaves
  • Grease build-up on stovetop
  • Electrical wiring
  • Loose clothing near open flames or on the stovetop

Being aware of the above hazardous items is important to maintain a safe and secure kitchen area. It is important to keep a fire extinguisher near or inside of the kitchen in the event that a fire starts. Cooking fires are the leading source of fires throughout the country, so being hyper-aware of the potential risks associated with kitchen items is important. If you have experienced a kitchen fire, contact our team at SERVPRO to take care of the cleanup and restoration.

Electrical Safety for Your Children

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Homeowners often think of fire and electrical safety in regards to protecting their family and their property, but considering these practices from a child’s perspective is imperative to truly keeping your loved ones and home safe from harm. When discussing these issues with kids, it is best to break things into two categories in order for them to be easily understood and readily followed. Far too many parents sit their children down and offer guidelines given to them, which are difficult for kids to understand and put into practice. As such, today we offer some easy tips for explaining electrical safety to your children.

Below, we will break down how to help your children with identifying safe practices versus unsafe practices. Be sure to talk through these items with your kids slowly and carefully.

The following practices and ideas are positioned in the “safe” category:

  • Help your parents by reminding them to test your smoke alarm monthly and change the smoke alarm batteries yearly
  • Be sure to turn off the lights when leaving a room and before going to sleep
  • If you see smoke or a fire, leave your home right away and call 911 from a safe location
  • Make sure space heaters have a space, do not place anything that can burn anywhere near them

The following practice and ideas are positioned in the “unsafe” category:

  • Never use or touch electrical cords that are broken or frayed
  • Always keep electronics far away from any liquids
  • Do not overcrowd electrical outlets with cords, if there are too many in one location ask an adult to remove some
  • Do not put anything that can burn near lightbulbs or lampshades

Electrical safety and fire safety are important subject matters that must be addressed by parents on a regular basis. Make it a habit to ask your children questions to ensure that they are well-versed on the above safety tips at all times.

Fire Disasters Not Covered by Standard Home Insurance in San Luis Obispo County

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Many people assume that a home fire is covered by their insurance policy. In reality, most insurance plans only cover specific types of fire disasters. Learn which circumstances can qualify you for reimbursement and which ones can leave you with a large bill.

Arson: A Dead End

When a homeowner deliberately sets fire to property, then authorities consider it a criminal offense. A common motivator for this crime is to collect insurance money, and companies are aware of this fact. They often send investigators to assess the fire damage to a property. If arson is suspected then there is no financial reimbursement.

Fire in a Vacant Home: No Luck

Insurance companies typically define a vacant home fire according to these points:

  • No occupation for at least 30 days
  • A property that is purchased, but the homeowners haven’t moved in yet
  • Homes that are rented out but currently free of tenants

Vacant homes are a large risk to insurance companies because a fire cleanup tends to be more severe. If you want to secure your property against a possible home fire, then you can purchase an endorsement to an existing policy. This is a good idea for a summer home, for example, that is not occupied for part of the year.

Commonly Covered Circumstances

Disasters and fires that occur from an appliance malfunction, vandalism, wildfire or lightning strike can often qualify for coverage. In these cases, you and your family may not have to pay for a fire damage cleanup company in San Luis Obispo County, California out of pocket. If someone was hurt during the incident, then insurance can also cover medical costs. Insurance companies have to make a profit, but they are also concerned about the well-being of their clients.
Understanding the details of your homeowner's insurance can be useful in the event of a home fire. Fires resulting from arson and vacant home fires often do not receive financial assistance.

Surviving Thunderstorms Outside

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Minimize your risk. If you absolutely cannot reach shelter during a lightning storm, do everything you can to reduce your risk of being struck by lightning.

  • Move to a lower elevation. Lightning is much more likely to strike objects at higher elevations. Do what you can do get as low as possible.
  • Avoid large open spaces where you are taller than anything else around you, like a golf course or soccer field.
  • Stay away from isolated objects such as trees and light posts.
  • Get away from unprotected vehicles, such as golf carts, and unprotected structures, such as picnic shelters. Avoid long metal structures, i.e. bleachers.

Get out of the water. If you are fishing or swimming, get out of the water immediately, and move away from the body of water. Being near water is extremely dangerous during a lightning storm.

Spread out. If you are caught in a lightning storm with a group of people, maintain a distance of at least 50–100 feet (15.2–30.5 m) between each person. This will reduce the risk of lightning traveling from one person to another.

  • Take a headcount after every close strike. This will ensure that anyone struck will get emergency attention quickly.

Remove your backpack. If you are hiking with a metal frame backpack, remove it as soon as you detect lightning. Make sure to leave it at least 100 feet (30.5 m) from wherever you are taking shelter.

Assume the “lightning crouch”. Squat down with your feet together, your head tucked to your chest or between your knees, and your hands covering your ears or flat against your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground, as this gives the lightning a larger target.

  • This is a difficult position to hold, and it definitely doesn't guarantee your safety. However, by making it easier for a lightning strike to flow over your body rather than through vital organs, you may be able to sustain a smaller injury from it.
  • Cover your ears and close your eyes to protect against nearby thunder and bright lightning flashes.

Be alert for an imminent lightning strike. If lightning is about to strike you or strike near you, your hair may stand on end, or you may feel a tingling in your skin. Light metal objects may vibrate, and you may hear a crackling sound or "kee kee" sound. If you detect any of these signals, assume the lightning crouch immediately.

Wear rubber boots. They are made of a material which is a bad electrical conductor.

Taking Precautions

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Plan ahead. The best way to avoid injury from a lightning storm is to avoid it completely. Make your plans with dangerous weather in mind. Listen to the local weather forecast, and pay special attention to thunderstorm advisories.

  • Research the local climate: in some areas you can almost guarantee a thunderstorm on summer afternoons. Schedule your activities to avoid many high-risk situations. Those hot, muggy days are just the thing that a thunderstorm needs to get going.

Watch the skies. When you’re out and about, watch the sky for signs of approaching thunderstorms, such as rain, darkening skies, or towering cumulonimbus clouds. If you can anticipate lightning before the first strike, you can avoid being caught in a bad situation.

  • Note that lightning can, however, strike even in the absence of these indicators.

Calculate the distance to the lightning. If conditions permit good visibility, and it’s not practical to seek shelter whenever you notice a strike, use the 30 second rule: if the time between a lightning flash and the resulting thunder is 30 seconds or less (aka 6 miles (9.7 km) or less), get to shelter immediately.

Plan your response. If you are in an area that you expect will see lightning storms, know where safe shelters are. Communicate your plans to your group so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Prepare an emergency kit. Be ready with first aid and other disaster essentials. You may lose power during a thunderstorm, so have alternative light sources available.

Install a lightning rod. If you live in a lightning-prone area, installing a lightning rod can help protect your family and your property.

  • Have your lightning rod professionally installed. An incorrectly installed rod can increase the chance of a lightning strike.

How to Protect Yourself in a Thunderstorm

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Find shelter immediately. If you find yourself caught in a lightning storm, the key to minimizing danger is to get inside a protective structure. While most people seek shelter if lightning appears to be near, people commonly wait too long to seek shelter. If you can detect lightning, it may be close enough to strike you. Don’t wait for it to strike right next to you (or on top of you) to get to safety. Never stand under a tall or short tree, and avoid being close to power lines as they're both excellent conductors of electricity and could potentially cause death, if not serious injury. Find shelter near or under a stony shelter such as a cavern.

  • Substantial, frequently inhabited buildings (those grounded with plumbing, electrical systems, and, if possible, lightning rods) are best.
  • If you can’t find a substantial structure, get in a car with a metal roof and sides. If the car is struck, the metal body will conduct the electricity around you, not through you. Make sure all windows are rolled up and doors are closed. Be careful not to lean against any metal -- if you do, the lightning will be conducted into your body if it strikes the car. Do not use the radio.
  • Avoid small structures, such as stand-alone public restrooms. Open covering and rain shelters are also not suitable. These structures will attract lightning and provide no protection, making them more dangerous to be around.
  • Standing under a tree is a very bad choice. Lightning strikes tall objects, and if the tree you are standing under is struck, you may be struck as well or injured by the tree.
  • Bring in your pets. Doghouses and other pet shelters are not suitable protection against lightning strikes. A pet leashed to a fence has a much higher risk of getting struck by lightning.

Stay away from windows. Keep windows closed, and try to stay within inner rooms of the structure. Windows provide a direct path for the lightning to travel.

Don’t touch anything metal or electrical. Using a landline phone is the main cause of lightning-related injuries in the US. Lightning can travel into the home from through any material that conducts electricity. This includes landlines, electrical wiring, and plumbing.

  • Do not touch any electrical outlets during a storm. Do not unplug any devices during a lightning storm, as the strike could be transferred to you.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. Most concrete has a wire mesh which can conduct electricity.
  • Stay out of the bathtub or shower, and avoid indoor swimming pools.
  • In a car, try to avoid touching any part of the metal frame or the car's glass.

Stay inside. Stay inside at least 30 minutes after the last strike. Don’t go out just because the rain is starting to let up. There is still a significant risk of lightning strikes from a departing storm.

Treating Lightning Strike Victims

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Call emergency services. Because lightning strikes can cause cardiac arrest, aggressive resuscitation may be necessary. If you cannot dial 9-1-1, designate someone else to.

Make sure it is safe to help. Do not put yourself in danger trying to help a lightning strike victim. Either wait until the immediate danger has passed, or move the victim to a safer location.

  • Despite the common myth, lightning can strike the same place twice.

Start CPR. People struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge, so you can immediately touch them and begin treatment. Do not remove the burned clothes unless absolutely necessary.

Treat the victim for shock. Lay the victim down on his or her back with the head resting slightly lower than the torso. Elevate and support the legs.

Common Drainage Problems in Your Yard

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

The 4 most common yard drainage problems

When you think of drainage problems, most homeowners immediately think of drains inside the house. However, just like inside drains, yard drain issues can affect your quality of life just as well. Many of these issues are easily avoidable just by doing a routine visual inspection, or periodic maintenance.

1. Clogged Yard Drains and Area Drains

Many things can clog yard drains. Because many yard drains are located near a grass area,  the usual suspects are leaves, twigs, grass cuttings, and trash. It’s always a good idea to periodically check your yard and area drains. You can see a small portion of yard drain from above the grating. It should be easy to see if an accumulation of debris or sediment is obstructing the water flow. This cure can be as simple as opening the grate when necessary and removing these items lying in the base of the drain. This is an easy fix; you can use a garden scoop, or simply put on a rubber glove and use your hand.

<pattachment-486">A clogged area drain can allow water to enter a basement

It is not advisable to flush them with a garden hose, as these items then tend to clog the pipe itself. If there is a long-standing problem that has made its way into the pipe, a sewer cleaning or water jet may be needed. In some cases pushing a pressurized garden hose in and out of the pipe can flush out the debris.

2. Dirt and Debris in Yard Drain

During the Fall season, a heavy load of dirt and debris can easily enter the yard drain. As the leaves begin to dry and fall from the trees, many of them get stuck under the grate. Carrying out yard maintenance and regular cleaning or mowing can help prevent clogging. Before heavy Spring rains occur, always make sure your yard drain gratings are cleaned of any sediment or leaves. This simple step can save you from a flooded area, or property damage. This is particularly true of area drains that are located just outside of an entry door.

While leaves are common culprits, tree roots present the more serious threat. Tree roots often look for the nearest source of water. Since area and yard drain lines are shallow, it is not unusual for roots to penetrate yard drainage lines. Yard drains provide the moisture that the roots need, and roots are strong enough to penetrate through old pipes, causing breaks and blockages.

3. Low Lying Areas with Poor Drainage

Sloping is another factor. The flooded areas in your lawn, or finished areas, are possibly caused by improper sloping or grading of your yard itself. If this is the case, check how the grading is structured in your property. This can be done using a line level, which is simply a line of rope with a level hanging off of it. A more sophisticated device is a lazer level.

<pattachment-485">Pooling water can create health issues

Affected areas usually have a poor drainage design, or no drainage system at all. Even when your own yard water usage does not cause the flood, your neighbor’s sprinkler systems can be the problem due to grading issues. But most frequently it is due to rainwater. In some rare cases dislodged sanitary home drain lines can seep waste water to outside the house itself. Needless to say, this poses the most severe health danger.

4. Stagnant Water

Pools of standing water in your yard is clear sign of drainage problem. If this is the case, there can be multiple underlying issues. As an example, existing hardpan (soil with a high clay content has very poor drainage qualities) in your property and poor grading. A hardpan calls for site-wide inspection and possibly a new drainage plan. The solution may involve excavation in wide areas of the lawn. In areas with high rainfall, pools of standing water make your yard not only aesthetically unpleasing but also a breeding ground for insects, hence health problems. Stagnant water creates the perfect environment for the following insects to breed and thrive: Mosquito, Fly maggots, Dragonfly nymphs, and Water scorpions. Some insects are more than just nuisance. They are known to be carriers of dangerous diseases.

Can My Home Be Reassessed While I Have a Mortgage?

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

How to Negotiate the Assessment Value

Tax assessments on real estate provide revenue for local public services, such as education. Your municipality or county tax authority, usually an assessor or treasurer, bills you annually based on your property's current recorded value. The tax authority may reassess the value now and then or when major changes to the property or its title occur, regardless of whether a mortgage lien exists on the home.

Reassessment Basics

A change in ownership, such as the sale of your home, triggers a tax reassessment. The tax authority bills the new owner based on the value at the time of sale, which is usually higher than its value under previous ownership. The assessor compares the property to recent sales and assessments conducted in the area in order to arrive at a value. Reassessment also follows construction or additions to a home, which increases the property's value. Taking out a building permit lets the assessor know you plan to add a structure or add to the home's existing structure. Structural repairs generally do not trigger reassessment.

Tax assessments on real estate provide revenue for local public services, such as education. Your municipality or county tax authority, usually an assessor or treasurer, bills you annually based on your property's current recorded value. The tax authority may reassess the value now and then or when major changes to the property or its title occur, regardless of whether a mortgage lien exists on the home.

Mortgage Appraisals

Mortgage lenders rely on a certain protocol to determine property values which is different from that used by tax assessors. Your mortgage lender requires an appraisal report by a licensed professional to ensure the home is sufficient collateral for the loan. It appraises the home when you obtain a mortgage to buy or refinance; therefore, your mortgage lender's last appraised value may vary greatly from the assessor's. While you have a mortgage, your tax authority may reassess your home's value every so often, usually no more than once every two to three years, according to Kiplinger.

Tax assessments on real estate provide revenue for local public services, such as education. Your municipality or county tax authority, usually an assessor or treasurer, bills you annually based on your property's current recorded value. The tax authority may reassess the value now and then or when major changes to the property or its title occur, regardless of whether a mortgage lien exists on the home. 

Reassessment Mortgage Effects

A tax reassessment affects your total housing costs, as an increased assessment raises your annual tax bill. When you pay taxes monthly through an escrow impound account handled by your lender, your monthly payments also go up. An escrow account allows your lender to collect one-twelfth of your tax bill along with your mortgage payment. The tax assessor sends the lender a copy of your bill annually or semi-annually, depending on your locality's tax-billing schedule. The bill reflects any changes due to reassessment.

Tax assessments on real estate provide revenue for local public services, such as education. Your municipality or county tax authority, usually an assessor or treasurer, bills you annually based on your property's current recorded value. The tax authority may reassess the value now and then or when major changes to the property or its title occur, regardless of whether a mortgage lien exists on the home.

Assessment Appeal

Up to 60 percent of properties may be overvalued by the assessor, according to Kiplinger. Because assessments do not move with market fluctuations, you may have to prove that your home's value is actually lower than the tax assessor's value to get a break on your bill. Errors in the assessor's records and a decline in property values since the last assessment are common reasons for assessment appeals. The process typically involves writing a letter and providing a professional appraisal or gathering valid comparable properties which you send to the assessor.

Fall Yard Cleanup & Maintenance Checklist

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

Autumn means football games and visits to the local pumpkin patch. It also means it’s time to get your yard ready for winter. The right preparation now will save you time and energy when spring rolls around, and will keep you and your family safe in the yard year-round. Make sure you get the most out of your yard next year by following our checklist of fall cleanup musts.

1. Clean out debris.

Fallen leaves and weeds are the perfect place for pests to settle in for the winter. Clear out flower beds to keep the critters at bay. Pay special attention to rose beds, as their foliage can foster disease over the winter.

2. Till the vegetable garden.

After the final harvest, pull out old vegetable plants, remove debris, and completely till the whole plot. If you compost, now is the time to add a layer of compost to help nurture your soil for planting next spring.

3. Trim Rogue Branches.

Trim up any large or out-of-place tree branches that may cause trouble during the winter. You don’t want any branches breaking and falling during the snowfall to come.

4. Clean out the gutters.

Not all fall cleanup is in the yard. This is the perfect time to clear leaves and other debris from rain gutters. Check for proper drainage, clear out any blockages with a small garden trowel, and rinse with a hose.

5. Dry everything out.

Drain all water from hoses, fountains, and drip irrigation systems, and store them in a dry place. Water left standing over the winter may damage your equipment.

6. Aerate.

Break up soil to keep water from pooling and guarantee that nutrients will reach the roots over the winter. A garden fork will do the job for small yards, but larger yards may require a walk-behind aerator, which should be available to rent for a reasonable price.

7. Feed the lawn.

Send your yard into winter with the nutrients it needs to survive the long, cold sleep. Add a fall lawn fertilizer with high phosphorous content to encourage root growth and enjoy a lush, green lawn come spring.

8. Rake and mulch.

Don’t let fallen leaves get the best of you; if left unattended they can suffocate the grass. Rake them up, shred them, and use them as mulch for young trees, shrubs, and flower beds. You might even be able to skip the raking part if you use a lawn mower to mulch the leaves in your yard.

9. Prune trees and shrubs.

Trim any dead branches and cut back overgrown trees and bushes. If you have blooming perennials like clematis or roses, now is the time to prune them and train the branches.

10. Give it one last mow.

Set your mower to a low setting and give the lawn a close buzz before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.

11. Divide and cut back perennials.

If your perennials really took off this year, go ahead and spread the love. Divide plants and add them to other beds where they will also do well. This saves money and time in the spring. Fall-blooming perennials like chrysanthemums shouldn’t be divided now — wait and divide them in the spring.

12. Protect cold-sensitive plants.

Keep sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses in top shape through the cold days of winter. Add mulch to the base and wrap plants in cloth barriers to prevent damage from freezing. Depending on the hardiness of the plant and your climate, you can use a single sheet or blanket or wrap them in a combination of cloth and plastic.

13. Plant bulbs, shrubs, and fall annuals.

Some plants do best when planted in the fall. If you want to add new shrubs or spring bulbs like hyacinth, now is the time to get them in the ground. Fall annuals like pansies are also a great addition to keep some color in your yard as other plants go to sleep.

14. Protect the deck.

Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by giving the deck a good power wash. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from a garden store. Once the deck is clean and dry, add a weatherproofing stain to protect the wood from moisture damage over the winter.

15. Clean tools and store them.

Don’t throw your gardening tools in the shed and forget about them until spring. Take time to give them a good cleaning and add a light coat of oil to prevent rust during the cold season.

If you follow this checklist you’re bound to have a wonderfully winterized yard that will be ready to wow you with lush, green bounty once the warm weather returns.

Financial Benefits of Solar Power

9/8/2019 (Permalink)

Solar power gives you the ability to enjoy a better way of living

The benefits of solar energy include more than just savings on your electrical expenses – home and business owners can take advantage of state and federal incentives to pay off a system quicker, and start making money earlier.

In short, the financial benefits of solar power range from immediate reductions in the out-of-pocket costs, to long-term programs designed to provide steady income for decades.

1. Electricity Savings:

With a solar power system, you avoid frequent rate hikes associated with fossil fuels. An average residential system in New Jersey will produce approximately 8,400 kWh every year.

At an average utility rate of $0.16 per kWh, you’ll save $1,344 in the first year if you purchase the system. And that doesn’t count the income that could be generated by SREC’s on top of that!

If you opt to have solar installed for no money out of pocket rather than purchasing, you still get to sign up for a lower, more predictable and locked in rate for your electricity.

2. Incentives:

Incentives are unique as the individual states that implement them. Facets of incentives depend on whether the system is for commercial or residential purposes. States with incentives typically have rebate-based incentives, production-based incentives or a combination of the two, all of which make the benefits of solar energy more accessible for the average citizen. The federal government also offers tax credits and grants for renewable energy systems.

3. Increased Property Value:

An often overlooked financial benefit of solar power is the value it adds to a home.

DIY Bathroom Cleaners for Every Surface

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

DIY BATHROOM CLEANER INGREDIENTS·

A heavy-duty cleaning or gardening spray bottle·

1 Cup White Vinegar (Heated)·

1 Tablespoon Dawn Blue Liquid Dish Soap

HOMEMADE BATHROOM CLEANER DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Heat the vinegar on the stove top until hot (NOT boiling) or use your microwave for 60 seconds or less (avoiding a boil). Pour the hot vinegar into the spray bottle.

Step 2: Add the tablespoon of Dawn dish soap or its equivalent to the spray bottle. (Tip: To avoid a vinegar-y smell, use lavender-, citrus-, or tropical-scented dish soap. Regardless, the smell will be rather strong, so consider opening a window or running a fan.)

Step 3: Shake gently.

Step 4: Spray the mixture immediately and liberally onto the intended surface. Because of the heated vinegar, this cleaning solution needs to be used right after preparation, otherwise it will eventually clog the sprayer due to a residue developed by the soap and the acidity of the vinegar as it cools. Only make the amount you need. Discard the rest and thoroughly rinse your sprayer with hot water afterward. (If the surface is grimy from extended periods of dirt or soap scum, then let the concoction sit for 10 to 30 minutes before taking the fifth step.)

Step 5: Use a wet sponge to wipe the grime. Prepare yourself for the shock of how easily it washes away.

How to Detect Leaks in Your In-ground Sprinkler System

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Since much of your home's automatic sprinkler system components are located underground with gallons of water regularly cursing through, how do you know if a leak occurs? In addition to wasting water, in-ground sprinkler system leaks can damage your lawn and garden if they aren’t caught and repaired quickly. Depending on your sprinkler system design, you likely have valves and water lines that run throughout your lawn and landscape that are prone to leaking issues.  Unless you installed a DIY sprinkler system, you may not know precisely where those lines and valves are located.

Spot Leaks in Your In-ground Sprinkler System 

-Look at the differences in water pressure and if the system is spraying low water pressure when it is on

-Mold and mildew on the lawn or grass and plant damage caused by fungus

-Areas that are much greener above the water lines or around the sprinkler heads of your system 

-Water bubbling up when the system is running or a depressed, sunken area in your lawn

-Small holes in your yard

-A sprinkler system line that sprays dirty water

-Signs of animal damage or digging that could cause a leak

Fix a Leak in Your Sprinkler System 

Many leaks can be fixed without professional intervention, saving you a ton on sprinkler system costs.

Step 1: Look for sprinkler heads that don’t spray properly or have low water flow

First, you must locate the leak. If you think the leak is in a water line, look for sprinkler heads in a zone that isn't working or that has very low pressure. You’ll likely find the leak or water line issue somewhere between a working sprinkler head and several non-working ones, especially if that area stays wet and soggy. 

Step 2: Dig Until you Find the Issue 

After you’ve found the leak, carefully dig until you find the component that’s causing the issue (contact your utility company before you start digging). In some cases, you may just need to tighten a clamp or joint, or maybe replace a damaged or torn seal or valve. In some cases, you may need to replace an entire section of pipe.

Step 3: Minimize Leak Issues with Proper Maintenance 

To minimize leak issues, make sure to operate and maintain your in-ground sprinkler system properly. 

Observe all the zones in operation at least weekly during watering months to watch for heads that aren’t spraying correctly and to make sure that the heads are positioned to supply adequate water to all areas of your lawn and garden. Take care when operating lawn mowers and other equipment around sprinkler heads, and keep vehicles off the grass.  Check your control panel regularly to make sure the settings are correct and pay attention to the water pressure when the system is operating.  Keeping a close eye on your automatic irrigation system will help you nip small problems in the bud before they become big ones.

Water Heater Noises?

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

water heater Water Heater Noises?

The water heater may be the most overworked and under-appreciated piece of mechanical equipment in a house. We usually assume it’s doing its job as it should and leave it alone, unless it starts to makes weird and scary noises.

To help you avoid a potentially dangerous and expensive plumbing crisis, we’re looking at four frightening sounds your water heater can make and what they mean.

  1. Popping Sounds

    One of the most common sounds a water heater can make is popping. When that happens, it’s usually an indication that your water heater has an excess of mineral deposits and sediment at the bottom. This is especially problematic in areas that have hard water. Mineral deposits (mainly lime and calcium), sand, and any debris that might travel through the water supply can stick to the bottom of your water heater.

    Eventually, the buildup of gunk at the bottom may trap water beneath the sediment. Think of a pot of water you have on the stove. If you’re not paying attention, and if the heat is too high, the water will boil, and it will continue to boil until it flows over the sides of the pot. In the case of your water heater, at some point, the pressure from the steam bubbles will cause the water tank to explode if your model is older.

    The Solution

    Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this problem. The best way to prevent sediment from building up is to have the water heater flushed out to remove all of the mineral deposits and sediments. 

  2. Screeching Sounds

    Screeching noises are sometimes indicative of water flow restriction. The most likely cause is the inlet control valve on the water heater. A partially closed valve will prevent water from flowing through the pipes.

    The Solution

    Easy: check the valve to make sure it’s open! If it’s halfway open, turn the valve so it’s now wide open. If that was the problem, the sizzling should stop.

  3. Crackling Sounds

    If you have a gas-powered water heater, it’s possible there’s condensation on the burner. Although the noise may be annoying, it is not a sign of anything wrong with your water heater. No action required, here.

  4. Sizzling Sounds

    If there is a leak in your water heater, that could cause a sizzling sound. The sizzle occurs when leaking water drips onto the burner. If you don’t have hot water, or if you see water on the floor around your water heater, it’s probably coming from a leak.

    The Solution

    Unfortunately, this fix isn’t as easy. A water leak isn’t going to repair itself. Besides the wasted water, you’re wasting energy because the water heater is heating water that no one can use.

    Call SERVPRO of Morro Bay/King City with any questions! 805-674-5771

First-Aid Kits in the Office: What You Need and How to Manage It

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

First-Aid Kit First-Aid Kits in the Office

First-aid kits are a necessary but often forgotten item in your office. When an accident occurs, however, no tool is more valuable.

If you haven’t thought about your company’s kit in a while, now would be a good time to refresh yourself. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that small work sites, including offices, should have a well-stocked and easily accessible first-aid kit on hand for employees. More than one kit is often necessary for spaces with at least four employees.

What to Include

It’s generally less expensive (and time-consuming) to purchase a prestocked first-aid kit. These kits should include, at a bare minimum, the following types of items:

  • Gauze pads (multiple sizes)
  • Box adhesive bandages
  • Gauze roller bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • Wound cleaning supplies (such as moistened towelettes, cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive tape
  • Latex gloves
  • Resuscitation equipment (such as a resuscitation bag)
  • Elastic wraps
  • Splint
  • Directions for obtaining emergency service
  • A blanket

Many kits offer more than this, and some offer specialized components designed to meet the needs of various concerns — such as offices where there’s a risk of chemical exposure. But just having and stocking a kit properly is the first step.

Managing an Emergency Medical Kit

Kits aren’t meant to be tossed into the closet and forgotten about until there’s an emergency. Additionally, they shouldn’t be used constantly without replenishing their supplies. Here are a few tips for ensuring supplies are properly managed:

  • You first want to make sure supplies are readily accessible. Inform employees upon hiring where first-aid supplies are, when to use them and how to access them in an emergency.
  • Store kits in an area where they’re easily accessible but also safe from exposure to heat, cold or other damage. That could be in a cabinet in your break room that’s away from the windows and food.
  • Once it’s all stocked, check on the supplies in the first-aid kit at least one time a month. Link a specific event that happens during each month (like when you conduct inventory) with restocking supplies in the office emergency kit so you don’t forget.

You can consider additions to the kit, such as over-the-counter pain medications and medications for treating allergic reactions, but inform employees of the risks of using these products upon hire.

Beyond the Supplies

Creating an emergency medical plan should also be at the top of your to-do list. All management or other office personnel should be given specific training on properly assessing medical situations and responding to them. This includes simple steps to caring for a bleeding wound to more intense problems related to administering CPR.

Keeping first-aid kits simply makes sense. Proper training of personnel in both using and managing these kits, however, is also important. It’s advisable to have twice the amount of supplies on hand, perhaps in two different locations, as a backup. This is only effective, though, if your office team knows when and how to use these products properly.

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