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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

SERVPRO 24/7 Fire Damage Restoration

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Wilshire Center answers the call and immediately moves into action 24/7. When the fire is out, timing is critical. Fire damage repairs must begin quickly to maximize effectiveness.

Recognizing the trauma and emotional upset that occupants suffer, we work quickly and considerately to mitigate damage on salvageable property, such as household items, fixtures, metals and other contents. Our state-of-the science techniques and cleaning processes often prevent replacement costs, thereby reducing costs. Fire and smoke damage restoration require knowledge and skill; our SERVPRO of Wilshire Center professionals have the expertise to do the job right.  

Within hours after a fire, metal fixtures including door handles and faucets can suffer permanent damage if not properly treated immediately. With knowledge and compassion, each independently owned and operated SERVPRO office has a team of licensed technicians who are fully trained and certified in fire and smoke damage.

Wind Storms

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Storms have a few components to them, wind being one of the most dangerous being wind. During a storm wind speeds can exceed 50-60 mph and at which point they start to become damaging. Damages caused by high speed winds can be anything from flying debris hitting your property, falling trees, flying bushes and branches. these types of incidences can cause serious damage by hitting or falling on your property, even possibly destroying it. This is why its important to always have a plan of action for when disasters such as storms strike, which SERVPRO can help with. We can help you create a readiness plan at no cost to you, so when disaster strikes you are always prepared. We are happy to uphold our amazing service to our clients!

Gutter Problems

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

A problem that may come as a surprise during a storm is your gutters, though there are many other more important issues during a storm that may need your attention your gutters can also cause a lasting problem if forgotten about. During a storm debris can be blown onto your property from high speed winds, causing your gutters to be filled and block water from properly flowing though them. When gutters aren't functioning properly, water can build up in vulnerable areas and possibly leak through into your property causing many types of damage. These damages could include moisture throughout your property which could cause mold, electrical and wiring issues, and damp and soft drywall. Always make sure to clean out your gutters to make sure your property is well taken care of.

Water Damage from Dishwashers

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

How long before dishwasher water damage occurs?

Dishwasher water damage can occur within just a couple of hours. You get home, turn on the dishwasher, walk away and watch TV for a while, or run a few errands, only to come home and find a pool of water on the kitchen floor. The first reaction should be to soak up as much of the water as you can, because the longer it sits there, the more likely it will cause permanent damage.

Some flooring materials are more susceptible to dishwasher water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. Wood will absorb water quickly, causing your flooring to warp and crack. Make sure to effectively dry out the area ASAP so you can avoid as much damage as possible.

Dishwasher water damage and what to expect

If you’ve never experienced dishwasher leaks or water damage before, you might not even know what you’re in for. Here’s what to expect when you’re dealing with water damage from dishwashers, including the common causes of leaks as well as what elements of your kitchen are most vulnerable after a leak.

What would cause a dishwasher to leak?

Common causes of dishwasher leaks include:

  • Worn gaskets
  • Dishwasher not level
  • Wrong dishwashing soap used
  • Broken door
  • Defective dishwasher tub

Your dishwasher leak can cause water damage in a variety of ways to a variety of different elements of your kitchen. The below are all susceptible to damage after a dishwasher leak:

  • Tile flooring
  • Wood flooring
  • Laminate flooring
  • Electrical wiring
  • Drywall
  • Wallpaper
  • Paint

Water Damage is not a DIY Job

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Despite the magazines, television shows, and Internet articles that may have you thinking otherwise, water damage restoration is a job that should only be performed by certified professionals. SERVPRO of Wilshire Center technicians not only have the know-how to get the job done right, but they also have the specialized tools needed to thoroughly dry your home, preventing further damage and even mold.

Additional benefits of hiring a professional water damage restoration company:

  1. Health Hazards: Depending on the source of the water damage, safety can become a concern. There are three varying degrees of water damage, ranging from clean water to black water, each more hazardous than the next. Black water, the most dangerous of the three, is water that has come into contact with fecal matter, a haven for harmful bacteria and disease-causing pathogens.
  2. Hidden Damage: Water damage is not always obvious. Sometimes it is found inside walls and under flooring. If you attempt a DIY restoration and fail to diagnose hidden damage, the resulting issues could be extreme…and expensive.
  3. Peace of Mind: Hiring a professional restoration company gives you the peace of mind knowing you have done everything in your power to rectify the situation.

The Safety of our Packout Service

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO when we contend with your property and belongings during a disaster, and we believe our job is to make the whole process as smooth as possible. To ensure this we offer a packout service, what this is is our practice of collecting a clients belongings out of there home or property for safekeeping so they are not affected by the disaster they may be experiencing whether it be water or fire. We store all the belongings safely in crates in out warehouse until the job is finished. This allows our clients to avoid things such as expensive storage and moving costs including further damage to their belongings. In addition we also offer specialized cleaning procedures for certain materials that require it. Just another reason to choose SERVPRO.

Negative Air Machine

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

One of the machines our team here at SERVPRO is trained to use is the Negative Air Machine. This machine is used to essentially clean the air. When the machine is placed in an enclosed room it pulls air into it to clean it and stop contaminants from spreading. The machine uses a vacuum like system to draw air through a filter that removes mold, dust, microbes and other contaminant particles. Our crew here at SERVPRO are trained experts on how to use machines like these to get the best possible outcome. If you have any questions contact us and we would be more than happy to explain even more. SERVPRO is here to make sure your Fire and Water damage needs are treated with the most efficient outcome in mind.

Helping Your Business Survive

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of of businesses close down following a disaster. Many businesses suffer under the weight of a disaster due to the lack of their readiness, meaning when disaster strikes they don't know what to do or what procedures they can take to begin the remediation process and get their business back on track. At SERVPRO we help you develop a emergency ready profile at no cost. This means at no cost to you we give you the proper information to be ready for any disaster that may strike, and insure that your businesses survival will be safe. We are happy to uphold our amazing service for our clients to ensure that their homes or businesses get back to working order as fast as possible.

Average Cost

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Even a small fire within a home can result in extensive damage from smoke and the water used to extinguish the fire. Prompt professional repair and restoration is essential in order to prevent additional damage and problems such as mold growth and wood rot. Before making a call to a professional, here are some things you should know first.

The average cost of repair and restoration services after fire and smoke damage is $2,950. The total cost that a homeowner pays for such repairs will depend on the location and extent of the damage. For example, fire damage to a kitchen may cost more to repair than damage to a closet due to the expense of replacing costly cabinets and appliances. The out of pocket amount that a homeowner pays to have fire and smoke damage repairs might be reduced by homeowner's insurance coverage. 

Water used to extinguish a fire can saturate the walls and floors of the home. The water can quickly cause mold growth and wood rot if the water isn't removed and the home thoroughly dried. Soot from the fire can saturate and stain anything upholstered. Professional restoration is needed in order to salvage the furnishings as well as linens, draperies and carpet. Smoke discoloration and odors can pervade almost everything in a home, including furnishings, carpets and rugs, linens and clothing. Professional restoration is essential in order to save those items. The smoke can also damage the home's air ducts, resulting in foul odors each time the furnace or air conditioner turns on. Restoration and repair services are needed to clean the ducts before the HVAC system is used again.

The larger the area of a home damaged by smoke and fire, the higher the cost in terms of both time and money to repair and restore the damage. It's important to start the repair and restoration process as soon as possible after a fire, as the longer the damage is left untreated, the worse it can become. Because proper repair and restoration may require the use of professional grade chemicals and equipment, the entire process should be left to experienced professionals.

Clean Homes Sell Faster

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

If you are a home owner, there may come a point when you wish to sell your property, and this may be affected if your home is experiencing a loss of any sort. The services SERVPRO offers can increase the market value of your home by clearing up any kind of loss including everything from odor removal and smoke/soot stains to water and mold damage. Even improving operating efficiency if systems need updating, also moderate procedures such as HVAC and duct cleaning to keep your home in top shape and value. Trust us with your remediation and restoration needs, we are always happy to uphold our amazing standard of service to our clients whether it be water, fire, storms or mold, SERVPRO will be there. 

Flooding Is Never Nice

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Whether you live on the coast, near a lake, or riverside, the flood will find you. And when it does, it can leave you with years’ worth of damage, not to mention credit card bills and bankruptcy.

Various news stories of commercial and residential properties drowning in murky waters, or sitting empty a year later look abandoned and still reeking with remnants of saturated insulation and mold hanging from the beams, will inject fear into any property owner.

That’s when you call the professionals at SERVPRO® of Wilshire Center, to make sure the situation is handled so there are no surprises and no adverse effects on the occupants’ health or safety.

SERVPRO® Cleans Up the Mess after a Flood

Homeowners tell us there is no greater devastation than seeing the house they’ve made a home destroyed by a quick-moving flood. The fact that the flood could have been caused by something as innocuous as a leaking pipe behind the washing machine makes the destruction seem even more senseless. In addition, water renders some materials more susceptible to rot. These are just a few of the many aftereffects of a flood. All of our SERVPRO technicians have been properly trained to professionally clean up the mess after a flood.

SERVPRO® of Wilshire Center Should Be On Speed-Dial

The SERVPRO® of Wilshire Center team has been trained to respond, swiftly and knowledgably.

Back in the day (as they say), houses were made of straw, stone, or brick. If they weren’t blown down or burned up, they were abandoned by the time the children were grown. Today, the American home is our castle. It reflects our lives, interests, and loves, travels, hopes, memories and the most important people we share it with.

Let’s hope you are not victim of a home-destroying event. But if it happens, don’t panic. Keep our number handy 323-667-3100. We’re here 24/7 to answer the call and make your loss “Like it never even happened.”

Your Business After A Fire

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Presentation is important for any business, and doubly so in the service sector. If you own or manage a store or restaurant, your customers will likely be discouraged or even scared off by obvious signs of damage and visual blemishes on your property. SERVPRO knows first-hand that some of the most thorough visual damages to a building can come from fires, whether through the burn itself or any associated events and factors. These blemishes and issues are commonly cleaned up by our restoration teams, to ensure that once a company's doors get back open, they stay open. 
Burn Marks 
Burns and char easily rank among the most visible types of commercial fire damage immediately giving away to any observer the fact that a fire has burned in the area. Blackened or darkened materials, even if they have no other major damage beyond discoloration, can still be resource and time-intensive to cover up, often requiring a wide cleaning and repainting job to make sure colors blend well and no burn material remains. 
Smoke and Ash 
smoke and ash  leave a profound impact on a building, to both the sight and smell of anyone nearby. Smoke is a pervasive scent and easily noticeable in most cases, but can also leave behind a great deal of smearing and coat surfaces. Depending on the type of smoke and conditions of this fire, this may be a relatively easy cleanup job, or a more thorough repainting may be in order. 
Structural Damage 
SERVPRO can also help to restore mild structural damage caused by a fire, rebuilding walls, floors, supports, and other elements of a building if they have been burned through or collapsed on. We always aim to restore before replacing, and in this way can potentially save you thousands in reconstruction costs where they are not necessary. 
SERVPRO of Wilshire Center helps businesses to get back on track after a disaster. Give us a call at 323-667-3100.

Holiday Home Safety

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Decorating your home or business for the holiday season can be a fun activity. But watch out for any fire hazards that can quickly lead to a holiday mishap. Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and get rid of any with worn cords, loose connections, and/or cracked lamp holders. When switching bulbs out, unplug the light string and be sure to match wattage and voltage to the original bulb. Always make sure to turn off all holiday lights when you are away from your home/business and/or when you are going to bed. Lastly, try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are less likely to catch on fire. Keep your Christmas tree away from candles and with enough water. Happy Holidays from all of us at SERVPRO of Wilshire Center!

Storms and Infrastructure

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

In places like California where storms don't occur often,  the infrastructure and plumbing is not entirely ready for large scale storm flooding. There have been scenarios such ass the example that is about to be written, where the infrastructure failed and cased massive damage. This example is a case when there was a storm in Southern California and the flood waters that came from the storm filled he storm drains to a point where they went beyond capacity and cracked, this caused the flood water to flood into an apartment building nearby the affected area. This type of damage is sometimes a freak accident such as this is unavoidable, but the best thing to do is  always keep in mind that such scenarios can occur, so when disaster strikes you can act quickly. SERVPRO is always ready to help!

Protecting Your Home From Storm Water

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

During a storm, you can go outside and observe how the water flows. Take note of the different grades and slopes and whether they divert the flowing water away from your home. Look for any low spots that collect or pool water and for any steep slopes that have indications of surface erosion.

Consider the steps needed to protect your property from water runoff. Rain that falls on roofs, driveways, patios, roads and other impervious areas moves across the ground surface at greater speeds. The property adjacent to these areas could be more susceptible to damage. Frozen soil can also increase risk of damage by preventing water from being absorbed by the soil. Replacing impervious areas with pervious surfaces, such as permeable paving stones or pavers, can also help.

Other questions you might consider:

Is storm water that falls on impervious surfaces diverted away from your house? This is the work of things like roof gutter downspouts, driveways, walkways and patios. Runoff from these surfaces should be directed to an area that has the ability to absorb or slow the surface flow, such as landscaped areas, and away from your house.

Does your driveway or other impervious surface have a negative pitch back toward the house? Consider installing trench drains or area drains to help prevent pooling and divert water away from the house.

Do you have retaining walls on your property? If so, it is important that the walls have a drainage system in place to alleviate pressure behind the wall. Periodically clean weep holes to ensure they are not clogged. Surface water should not be allowed to cascade over the top of the wall and instead should be diverted to the end of the wall or around it.

Is a portion of your house below ground level, such as a basement? Make sure any sewer and water lines, or any other pipes or lines that penetrate subsurface walls, and foundation cracks are properly sealed. Basements that are prone to water intrusion should have a water collection system in place, such as a sump pump system. 

Do you have a sewer or septic system and property with known high water tables? Have the system checked by a professional. If the groundwater rises too high, it can affect the efficiency and operation of the system. In some cases, this may lead to sewer back up or waste leaching above the ground or back into the house.

Make sure that your house exterior is maintained, including roofing, flashings, weather barriers, windows, doors and sealants.

While you cannot prevent against all damage from storm water runoff during large acts of nature, these steps can help protect your home when storms do hit.

Commercial Restoration Services

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need.

No Job Is Too Large

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. 

Understanding Different Types of Smoke

2/12/2021 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows the SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals to focus on saving your precious items.

The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different types of Smoke

  • Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) - Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean
  • Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) – Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) – While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
  • Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) – Special loss situations require special care.

The SERVPRO of Wilshire Center Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses.

SERVPRO Cares About You

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Wilshire Center we care about our clients and your home or businesses well being. We care about our clients and treat you like family. Unlike other businesses here at SERVPRO we aren't just experts in our craft, we enjoy it and look forward to cleaning your disaster up. SERVPRO is not afraid of any emergency situation and won't back down from a job whether big or small. We are prepared to take on Large Floods or Fire Damage to ensure we can make your home or business "Like it never even happened." We ensure that your home or business will be repaired back to your liking. If you have an emergency please call SERVPRO of Wilshire Center at (213) 263-2292.

Large Building Floods

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Floods are a common occurrence in any property over time, but when floods occur in large commercial buildings with multiple floors the situation becomes quite a bit more complicated. A common scenario for flooding in large buildings is a flood in a higher floor or level that then leaks and seeps down into the walls and rooms of the lower levels of the buildings. This makes locating all affected areas quite difficult, in addition to this the flood and water can have a huge impact on the other infrastructure within the building such as plumbing and electrical. An issue such as this can also easily serve as a catalyst for mold growth within the building. If you have any questions regarding your home or commercial building call SERVPRO Today.

Protecting your Home

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Murphy’s Law when traveling: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, while you’re traveling away from home”. Having to return from a memorable trip to learn that something has seriously gone wrong at home can be distressing. But following is a list of essential tips that will allow you to be stress free while you sit back and enjoy your getaway!

  1. Keep curtains open!

You may think that leaving the curtains closed may prevent others from peeking inside your home. However, it is recommended that you leave some of your curtains opened (make sure to keep expensive items out of sight). If your curtains are unusually closed for a long period of time it could become obvious that no one is home.

  1. Keep lights on or off?

Leaving the lights on in your home while you’re away may end up costing you more than your mortgage! It is recommended that you purchase an automatic light switch timer so that your lights will switch on and off at certain times during the day/night making it appear as though someone is actually home.  

  1. Pull the plug!

It is recommended that you unplug all appliances including, your TV, toaster oven, etc. while you’re away. This may help prevent a power surge which can cause a fire hazard.

  1. Piping

This applies to those that reside in very cold regions.  Pipes may be in danger of freezing so it is recommended that you have someone check in on your faucets while you’re away. If very little to no water comes out when turning the faucets on this is an indication that the pipes may be frozen! Take the time to make sure your pipes are properly insulated to avoid this from happening. Finally, show your key-holder (friend/neighbor) the location of the water main shut-off in case a pipe breaks.

These preventative measures only take a few  minutes to complete and can help you keep your home safe from broken pipes(flood hazard), home invasions(property loss/damage), power surges(fire hazard), and more in your absence. In the event that you suffer a loss such as these, please do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO for all of your restoration needs!

Protect Your Home From Leaks

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Now that fall is officially here, it is time to prepare your home and/or business for cold and rainy weather. But keeping water out of your property can be quite complicated. For example; plumbing issues can cause moisture and even light rain can cause leaks through the roof, walls, foundation etc. When this occurs the moisture eventually reaches the porous materials in your home, which may then lead to structural damage and other humidity concerns. It is important to note that if left untreated you also run the risk of mold growth. For these reasons it is highly recommended that you take proper care of any and all potential areas prone to leaks such as the following;

  • Inspection of the plumbing pipe(s) system
  • Inspection of the roof/chimney
  • Inspection of the water heater
  • Check attic insulation
  • Clean the gutters
  • Repair any cracks
  • Seal proof doors and windows
  • Check exterior faucets and irrigation system

After all, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. However, in the event that you encounter any leaks or flooding occurs, please contact SERVPRO of Wilshire center. We specialize in helping property owners recover from water damage and make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke And Soot Clean Up

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can indulge it's self in various cavities within your home. which causes hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot Facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different types of smoke:

  • Wet Smoke

-Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

  • Dry Smoke

-Fast burning, High temperature, Heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services:

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Common Causes of Fires

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can start unexpectedly, but taking precautionary measures can decrease the risks of a fire on your property. Some of the most common causes of fires include; cooking, candles, heating equipment, fire places, electrical appliances, smoking, flammable liquids, Christmas trees, etc. to name a few.  The number one leading causes of fires are related to cooking. Following is a list of some helpful tips that may assist in the prevention of fires on your property;

  • Never leave a stove top in use unattended
  • Use a cooking timer
  • Keep any & all kitchen surfaces (including ceiling) free from grease build up
  • Place heaters at a safe distance away from flammable materials & disconnect when not in use
  • Avoid plugging in too many electrical appliances into one extension cord
  • Keep candles away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles, and make sure candle holders are stable or simply use battery operated candles
  • If possible, smoke outside. If you smoke inside, avoid doing so when tired/sleepy, and use large and deep ashtrays
  • Keep flammable liquids in approved containers and away from electrical and heat sources. If possible, store them outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use decorative lights that have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. In addition, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Install a fire sprinkler system
  • Install a fire extinguisher

We urge you to take all of these tips into consideration in order to prevent fires on your property. For professional fire and restoration services, please contact SERVPRO of Wilshire Center

Water Damage Restoration

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen under many different circumstances, but the worst ones are those that occur because of harm to the exterior of the home during a storm. Trees and even downed power line poles can cause extreme damage to your home, and allow water to enter. This water can create hazards immediately. Even after the danger has passed from electric shock, water can seep throughout your home, creating the right conditions for future damage to develop.

Unresolved Water from Storms can Create Future Problems through Water Damage 
When water damage affects your home water damage may appear slowly. While you may have noticed the water on the exterior surfaces on the interior of your home, as on walls and floors, water may have settled on the interiors of these structures. Walls made of drywall can crumble after being saturated with water and allowed to dry naturally. Water left on drywall weakens it considerably, even if the damage is not visible. Hardwood floors and stairwells made of wood can buckle, causing carpeting to become rumpled and hazardous. 

In addition to these issues, mold can also begin to grow within 48 hours, only two days, from the time the water was deposited by the storm. We can pack up your belongings for removal to a dry location so we can clean and sort through them. Sorting involves categorizing salvageable and non-salvageable items, with unsalvageable ones being listed (CCIS) on an inventory sheet for your insurance needs. 

We Know How to Prevent Future Problems in Your Home's Structure 
In addition to cleaning your belongings and restoring those we can to their original state, we can also set up equipment that is designed to prevent mold from getting a foothold in your home. Water extraction to dry those structures that have become saturated by storm and rain water, in addition to drying heaters and high-powered air circulation fans will stop mold from growing. If water were allowed to stand for extended periods of time, as is common when there are major storm cells passing through an area, we would use additional types of equipment. These can include air scrubbers that will remove any mold (spores) that has already begun to spread throughout your home. If your heating or air conditioning unit ran during this time, we highly recommend that we scrape the interior of your ducts and then vacuum the debris away with our HEPA vacuums. We want to get your home back to pre-damage condition, “Like it never even happened,” so you and your family can get back to your normal routines. 

If you own a home that has been damaged by storms or suffered other types of water damage, please call SERVPRO of Wilshire Center at (213) 263-2292. We are available 24/7 to assist you. We respond quickly and can answer any questions you have about your particular situation.

Water Damage is not a DIY job

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Despite the magazines, television shows, and internet articles that may have you thinking otherwise, water damage restoration is a job that should only be performed by certified professionals. SERVPRO of Wilshire Center technicians not only have the know-how to get the job done right, but they also have the specialized tools needed to thoroughly dry your home, preventing further damage and even mold.

Additional benefits of hiring a professional water damage restoration company:

  1. Health Hazards: Depending on the source of the water damage, safety can become a concern. There are three varying degrees of water damage, ranging from clean water to black water, each more hazardous than the next. Black water, the most dangerous of the three, is water that has come into contact with fecal matter, a haven for harmful bacteria and disease-causing pathogens.
  2. Hidden Damage: Water damage is not always obvious. Sometimes it is found inside walls and under flooring. If you attempt a DIY restoration and fail to diagnose hidden damage, the resulting issues could be extreme…and expensive.
  3. Peace of Mind: Hiring a professional restoration company gives you the peace of mind knowing you have done everything in your power to rectify the situation.

Storm in LA

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

After a storm here in Los Angeles everything floods. There is nothing we can do about it. From the roads not draining to buildings being flooded. It is going to happen. Restaurants that are on the ground level, inches away from the elements of nature are subject to getting water damage due to the floods going under the doors. Over time water finds itself inside your business. Restaurants need special care because of the food industry laws. When the floors start to mold and the dry wall starts to get soft you should call SERVPRO right away. SERVPRO has years of experience dealing with restaurants and the health laws. If your food letter grade goes down, call SERVPRO today and we will make sure everything is back "Like it never even happened."

Flooding Damage

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

When you encounter flooding SERVPRO has some procedures we recommend doing. First off before even beginning this process you should assess whether it's even safe to stay in the home, are their electrical poles that have fallen from the flooding that have direct contact with your home? Also note that water is very heavy, one gallon of water weighs 8.345 pounds. Don't overexert yourself trying to move furniture because wet furniture is a lot heavier than you would think. We recommend attempting to remove excess water by mopping, wiping  excess water from wood furniture, remove wet upholstery and cushions, turn on A/C for maximum drying, remove colored rugs so dyes don't bleed and remove art objects and personal possessions with sentimental value. We also encourage people to NOT leave wet fabrics in place, don't leave books or other colored items on wet carpet or floors, don't use a household vacuum to remove water and don't use household appliances or ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.

Commercial Clean up

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

This retail store was affected by the recent back to back storms that hit Southern California. The water leaked into the ceiling and affected a large portion of it inside the showcase area. The store owner was concerned with how much down time it would take to restore their property, as they would be out of business during that time period. However, our emergency service crew was able to complete the job in only 5 days. SERVPRO strives to provide all of our customers with high quality service every time! We care about our clients and work endlessly to get your business back up and running as soon as physically possible. Our Team of experts will work professionally and efficiently day and night to make it "Like it never even happened." 


2/25/2020 (Permalink)

We all know storms and lightning are a massive and scary force of nature, but how powerful are they exactly? Let’s find out with some fun facts about the power of hurricanes and storms.

  • The lightning in a storm is an enormous amount of electricity, if you crunch the numbers it averages out to around 10 billion watts! That’s enough power to sustain a small towns electricity for a whole day.
  • The previous fact was about a single bolt of lightning, now listen to the energy produced by a hurricane. The average hurricane, meaning not even a large one, can produce more energy than the whole planet uses every day many times over, to put that into perspective that’s around the same power as 10 thousand atomic bombs! 
  • Now you may wonder, what happens if im struck by lightning? Well most times it is fatal to be struck by lightning but there have been reported cases of people surviving being struck by lightning and surviving, even cases of people being struck multiple times throughout their lives! What are the chances of that?

Water and Humidity

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Water and humidity are one of the many enemies of a home, acting as a catalyst for mold growth and overall damage to a home. Here are some measures you can take to ensure your home or property aren’t damaged by water, rain, or humidity.

  • Waterproofing Materials - If a home is older or has problems with structural integrity, simple rainfall could spell disaster in the form of water damage and mold. A simple fix to consider is waterproofing materials that are made for the walls and roofs of homes that ensure your home or property is water tight and dry.
  • Appliances -  Many water damage scenarios are caused by faulty appliances and hardware, to counteract this simply check and ensure that all appliances that use water and pipes such as washers and showers are properly functioning without any leaks. 
  • Water detection - In severe cases you might want to install water and humidity detection devices in your property, these devices will notify you if the humidity levels in your home are where they should be ensuring you know of any potential water damage and deal with the issue properly before it becomes more serious.

Water vs Concrete

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

We know how damaging water can be, but we may not know the extent to which water can damage homes, properties, and materials. Many homes have previously experiences with water damage, but did you know water can even soak and damage concrete? For example, a flooding basement can damage the concrete foundation of a home if left to stand for too long, damaging the structural integrity of a home. Now you can imagine if water can damage concrete like this you can imagine what it can do to softer and more vulnerable materials such as wood or drywall. The reason water damages so many materials is all about chemistry, water is a universal solvent, this means that water can dissolve almost any material given time. This is the reason that acting quickly when it comes to water damage is very important. 

People's people

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, we’re people’s people, as a company that is in the business of making sure that people's homes and businesses get back to normal after a disaster we understand how stressful an event such as a fire or flood can be, disrupting your personal and professional lives. For this reason we are open 24/7, 365 days a year to ensure that you can rest easy knowing you can always call us in case of a restoration emergency. Now that we are in a new year, our resolution is to help even more people, homes, and businesses than ever before. You can even help us accomplish this goal and protect yourself at the same time by utilizing our emergency readiness. Call SERVPRO today.

A Good History

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

When considering a restoration company for your home or property you may not know what to choose and why to make that choice. Here at SERVPRO we make your choice simple, we have everything we need to provide our customers and clients to choose us every time. A great example of this is our hardware and equipment. SERVPRO has the widest range of up to date restoration equipment of any restoration company. Our equipment is also constantly updated ensuring we are always using the best tools for the job. Aside from our equipment, we have the best tract record of any restoration company with many decades of proven and quality work with many franchises in every US state. We are happy to uphold the standard of service that our clients have always been happy with, and hope to even improve!

What Happens when a Large Building Floods

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Floods are a common occurrence in any property over time, but when floods occur in large commercial buildings with multiple floors the situation becomes quite a bit more complicated. A common scenario for flooding in large buildings is a flood in a higher floor or level that then leaks and seeps down into the walls and rooms of the lower levels of the buildings. This makes locating all affected areas quite difficult, in addition to this the flood and water can have a huge impact on the other infrastructure within the building such as plumbing and electrical. An issue such as this can also easily serve as a catalyst for mold growth within the building. If you have any questions regarding your home or commercial building call SERVPRO Today.

Invisible Fire Damage

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

In almost every case, fire damage is devastating, but what you may not know is that fires can cause damage that you can’t see. This “invisible” damage is caused mostly by soot and smoke which can stain multiple types of housing materials and personal possessions and even leaves an odor in certain materials like clothes  which is nearly irremovable. This type of damage although may not be visible can ruin materials in your home, destroying them. What’s interesting is that this type of damage can be caused by small fires in enclosed spaces or homes, not only large scale fires. Be sure to know your fire safety, ensure your fire/carbon monoxide alarms are in working order, and stay safe! Call SERVPRO today!

Be Ready for Anything

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

As time passes the Earth's climate zones slowly shift from place to place, meaning that areas that have yet to experience certain weather patterns will start to experience them. This means that areas that previously had minimal risk of catastrophic weather may now be at a higher risk. This fact will have a great impact on places that are now more likely to experience weather events such as storms. These areas may not have the proper infrastructure to properly contend with the harsh conditions of a storm, for example of the thousands of houses that are already built in these newly high risk areas, very few will be built to withstand the conditions that a storm may bring such as high speed winds, flying debris, and a torrential downpour. This could cost hundreds of millions in potential property damage. To be better prepared be sure to see if your home or property is ready for such harsh conditions and contact your local SERVPRO and create an emergency readiness plan.

Better Safe then Sorry

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Everyone knows the term “Better safe than sorry,” and we think everyone should apply this to their homes as well as their everyday lives, SERVPRO can help prepare you for events like storms with our storm readiness plan. Besides that here are some storm safety tips on how to better ensure your property isn’t damaged in a storm.

  • Ensure your roof is safe and stable, a damaged roof can cause a collapse and possible water damage through leaks from the rain.
  • Repair any broken or damaged walls and windows, any structural damage in your home or property can possibly become catastrophic issues when stressed by the conditions of a storm, even becoming a hazard to people inside the building
  • Regularly trim and maintain trees and vegetation around your property to prevent falling and flying debris in high speed winds.
  • If applies, check for loose fence posts and foundations to prevent them from falling/flying out of place

Community Relations

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

When businesses are in need SERVPRO is there to help, we are proud to work with many places such as T-mobile and Metro which we have had a very successful relationship with for many years. Providing our services to local businesses is not only part of our livelihood but also a part of our community relations we are so proud of. When it comes to servicing our local businesses we know that time is money and as a community we can’t afford to risk people’s livelihoods so we work as quickly and efficiently as possible to get these businesses back to operating condition. We see what we do as a vital part of our community and as such, we’d like to set a standard that we uphold of healthy community interaction and relationships.

Our Relationship with Companies

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

While SERVPRO is very proud of the work that we do with our individual clients we are just as proud of the work we do with the many companies that require our services and trust us for their every restoration need. A great example of the kind of work we do repeatedly with different companies is our continued relationship with Sunrise Senior Living homes. From our experience quite a bit of problems that require remediation unfortunately, but fortunately they have a great relationship with the biggest restoration company in America, SERVPRO! If you are curious how the process works, a business or company simply contact SERVPRO and let us know that you would like us to take care of your current and future restoration needs.

Carelessness Causes Fires

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

When people think of fire in someone’s home or property, they usually assume it was some sort of freak accident or “act of god” but in reality most fires are caused by human error and carelessness which causes most fires in the US. The most common of these human errors are when people forget to turn off kitchen appliances like ovens and stoves, also people not properly disposing of flammable items such as cigarettes and matches. Left over gasoline in your garage will go bad eventually. If not properly stored they will spill. All it takes to light gas is a cigarette or an electrical spark from plugging something in to a wall socket. If you have any questions about the safety of your home please don't hesitate to call SERVPRO today.

The Danger of Commercial Disasters

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Recently SERVPRO serviced a multi-level commercial building that experienced a flood on the top floor, this is especially dangerous in a multi-level building because when one of the higher floors has water damage the water will inevitably leak down with gravity into the lower levels of the building and possibly into the basement if the building has one. This type of water damage is quite hard to service as for one, the building and whatever residents inside will likely have to vacate the premises while the remediation is underway if the damage is severe. When a call like this comes to us, SERVPRO is always prepared to immediately respond. If you find yourself in a  similar situation, don’t hesitate to call us!


1/30/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO recently serviced a loss that send a perfect warning to the dangers posed to property owners and the residents within the properties, the job was a fire inside an apartment complex that completely burnt one unit and caused heavy damage to many others. Although the cause of the fire was unclear, the damage was very evident. The main apartment which the fire affected was completely gone with all the belongings within and the fire damage spread from the main unit to the surrounding ones even caving in the roof of a unit below when the fire department put the fire out with fire hoses. There was also smoke/soot damage and odor all throughout the other apartments. This type of loss is very debilitating for both tenants and owner of the building affected. SERVPRO knows that as an owner you can’t have your property in such a condition for long and as a tenant you are misplaced and devastated, so we work hard and with compassion to ensure that you, your property, and your belongings are taken care of in a caring and efficient manner. 

How we do it

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

As a customer your may wonder, how does SERVPRO have the ability to service almost any kind or any size of restoration losses? The answer is simple, we are the largest restoration company with years of experience and we are certified in the most contemporary techniques that we use to properly restore  any kind of loss. We also use the most up to date and advanced equipment so we can ensure the job is done quickly and efficiently. These things in combination allow us to provide the excellent service we always have, and ever improve upon it. If you have any questions about the aforementioned techniques or equipment, or have a loss of any kind, don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our information is on the web page above.  

What Fire is

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Many people know what fire looks like and what fire does to things, but not many know what fire is really comprised of.  Fire is composed of mostly plasma, which is a substance that is most like a gas but kind of in between types of matter interestingly enough. Fire is created when a substance ignites and the molecules of that substance heat up and move very rapidly causing the flame. That’s precisely why fire is hot. Another interesting fact is that fire is not the direct cause of smoke, rather smoke is something that happens when a fire does not burn a substance very efficiently because of a lack of oxygen. These are the mechanics of why and how a fire burns and the smoke/soot it emits, these culminate to burn homes and rain forests alike, and remember, if you ever have an issue with fire, soot, or smoke on your property you can always call SERVPRO for help!

A Tip for Renters

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Many people, especially in big cities rent apartments or homes to live in and most of the time reside with no issues over the course of renting a property, but on the off chance that the property you live in experiences a disaster such as a fire, it’s always best to have your assets and personal items covered. A surprising amount of people who rent the properties they live in don’t have renters insurance and may lose all their belongings without compensation in case of a disaster such as a fire or other type of loss. This was just a friendly tip from SERVPRO, if you have any questions or concerns about the types of insurance you need to be covered in a loss or any questions in general, don’t hesitate to contact us with the info above!

Storm Readiness

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

There are many types of natural disasters, but a storm is among the worst on a large scale. When a storm hits it can not only affect one home or family but many, even entire communities can be displaced by severe storms. We’ve spoken on measures you can take to prevent damage a be prepared when a storm strikes so for any information on that check out our previous blogs but for any other case, you can contact us at the info above to also create an emergency readiness plan and be prepared to deal with the damage a storm can cause. If you have any other questions about how we deal with storm damage you can again contact us at the info above. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

How SERVPRO Deals with Storms

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

When we are alerted to a building or buildings that have been damaged by a storm we know a few things. First we know that the home has likely experienced water and structural damage, after that we also know that water and structural damage can also give way to mold growth and even more structural damage if left to sit for a long time. We deal with the damage accordingly, firstly removing all the damaged and unusable structural material and also starting on the drying process to dry the materials that have remained. After this process we deal with any other damage such as residual mold from the water damage and ensure the property is ready for a full restoration and rebuild so our clients can get back to their lives and businesses as fast as possible!

California Hurricanes

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Although California is more known for its dry and hot weather that causes fires, it’s not devoid of it’s wet season either. Although there has never been a record of a tropical hurricane making landfall in California, there have been a few close calls with huge hurricanes coming dangerously close to California's shores and breaking just before reaching land. This means that California is most likely safe from a hurricane large enough to cause severe damage reaching the homes of its citizens, but as we know, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you would rather be prepared for such a scenario, you can call SERVPRO at the number listed above and we can set you up with an emergency readiness plan that will prepare you for any kind of disaster to come.

When The Going Gets Tough

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO boasts one of the best and longest records in the restoration service industry, the only way we’ve been able to achieve this is our perseverance in maintaining our excellent standard of work that our clients expect during a loss. As we’ve said before, we know how hard it can be dealing with the impact a loss such as a fire or flood can have on your home or business, so we strive to practice the most efficient methods of restoration and remediation that make quick work of even the toughest types of losses. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and our SERVPRO technicians and managers are nothing but tough. If you have any questions on the techniques and procedures we use in different types of losses don’t hesitate to give us a call at the number above, especially if you are experiencing a loss!

How we Prepare for a Job

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

When you call SERVPRO, there is a clear cut procedure we follow that makes the whole process of dealing with whatever loss you may be experiencing much easier. Firstly when you call we take down your information and come out to inspect the property, this usually happens within a day of your call, when we have inspected the property and given the scope of work we begin restoration as soon as we get the go ahead bringing in equipment  to first, minimize the damage immediately and prepare the loss site for it’s main restoration and remediation process. This way we ensure that the job is done as quickly as possible with no mistakes or residual damage. If you have any questions on this process or anything else related to what we do for our clients, don’t hesitate to contact us at the information provided on the web page above.

The Dangers of our Job

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Some Jobs are quite dangerous due to their nature or the nature of their remediation. For example, a mold remediation job most of the time requires that the affected areas are sprayed with bleach and other chemicals harmful or hazardous to human health. When this process is done on a large scale we have to ensure the safety of our technicians so we ensure they wear the proper protective materials such as light or heavy hazmat suits and air filtration masks that seal the body off from harmful chemicals. These measures are also taken in bio-hazard jobs where there might be contaminated bodily fluids or raw sewage that pose serious health risks if consumed in any way. If you have any questions in general or about our safety procedures don’t hesitate to give us a call at the number listed above.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

When a big disaster strikes, you need a company that can handle all the work in a well organized and efficient manner. Here at SERVPRO we cut out the middle men and we are your one and final stop for any size remediation job. We can handle anything from a small leak in a home to a multi-unit and multi-level commercial building that has flooded entirely just for example. If you are the owner or resident of a large scale commercial building that has had the misfortune of having a disaster in need of remediation, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO and we’ll provide you with the best service that you can possibly receive. Our contact information can be found on our webpage above and we are open to calls and responses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

How Our Packout Service Keeps Your Belongings Safe

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

Van With Boxes We ensure the safety of your belongings!

Here at SERVPRO when we contend with your property and belongings during a disaster, and we believe our job is to make the whole process as smooth as possible. To ensure this we offer a packout service, what this is is our practice of collecting a clients belongings out of there home or property for safekeeping so they are not affected by the disaster they may be experiencing whether it be water or fire. We store all the belongings safely in crates in out warehouse until the job is finished. This allows our clients to avoid things such as expensive storage and moving costs including further damage to their belongings. In addition we also offer specialized cleaning procedures for certain materials that require it. Just another reason to choose SERVPRO.

How We Identify the Problem: Water Damage

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Leaky Pipe Beware of leaking pipes that can cause unseen damage.

Water damage comes in many forms from pipe leaks in your walls causing mold to large scale floods which can destroy properties. But more often than not it's the water that's not seen that causes the damage more often than not. Cases such as these can go on for weeks or even months without being noticed such as a leaky pipe in the wall, slowly dripping for long periods of time being absorbed by the surrounding materials in the building turning them into a prime breeding ground for mold and other bacteria. The way we treat cases like this is, after you inform us about the issue we send out a technician to observe the scope of the damage and then we proceed accordingly applying treatments and remediation as soon as possible as to not worsen the damage by letting it sit.

SoCal Fires

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Home on fire SoCal residents beware rampant fires in the area!

California, especially Southern California is well known as being an area that is very susceptible to fires. In the last year alone (2019) there have been 5980 fires in CA which burned over 177,000 acres of land even causing 3 fatalities including the tens of millions of dollars worth of damage they have caused to property and buildings in the affected areas. These numbers are some of the highest they have ever been and really show that in SoCal, residents must be prepared for this type of disaster. SERVPRO of Wilshire Center is prepared to help anyone in need whether if your home or property has been affected or you just would like to be prepared with an emergency plan to face a disaster head on when it comes.

Info on Mold

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Spores Make sure to be weary of what can cause mold growth.

First off, Mold is not always harmful and is generally non-toxic. This said When mold is left unchecked to grow in your home it can become harmful in large amounts. 

Mold actually exists in most homes already, but in microscopic amounts in spores. When your home experiences issues such as leaks or floods this is when mold can grow into problematic proportions. the reason for this is that mold spores grow in high humidity environments, meaning if there is moist materials in the walls of your home for example, that is prime real estate for mold to take hold.

Tips you can use yourself to prevent mold growth;

  • make sure your home's roof is sufficiently protected from rain
  • make sure to fix any leaks in your home
  • make sure your appliances are not malfunctioning

How to Prevent Fire in Your Home

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

House on Fire Use these tips to make sure your home is safe.

Fire as we all know can be one of the most devastating types  of disasters to hit your home, but most house fires in the US are caused by simple human error or carelessness which can be easily prevented. Use these tips to ensure you and your family can rest safely in your home, and protect all your belongings. 

Tips on fire safety:

  • Make sure your smoke alarms work and have new batteries.
  • Inspect all your heating sources including AC and water boilers.
  • Keep your oven and stove clean and clear of unnecessary debris.
  • Ensure your washer and dryer are in working order
  • Safely store and use flammable materials or products.
  • Ensure all electrical outlets and cords are properly functioning.
  • practice caution with candles and open flames.

Rain Protection

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

 Water can be disastrous.

Of all the different types of damage, flood damage is the mos common type. In the US and especially in unassuming areas heavy rains can cause flash floods, mud flows, or even cause debris to damage properties. Here are some tips to make sure your property is protected from rain and water damages.

  • Purchase flood insurance so your property is covered in case of a flood emergency.
  • Install gutter systems to insure water flows off of your property, and clean them regularly.
  • Fix any leaks in your property immediately.
  • Possibly install extra roof protection such as a rubber liner or a waterproof barrier that goes under the shingles of your roof.

With these tips your property should be ready for any rainy season and save you possibly thousands on damages and repairs!

Staying Safe from Water Damage

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

  What you can do to be safe from water damage.

Of all the forms of damage the a property can go through, water damage is some of the most severe. Water damage can range from minor leaks in walls or pipes to full blown floods causing massive damage to both the property and belongings held within. Here are some tips to make sure you are safe from water damage.

1. Making sure your home or property's drainage system is properly functioning is key. The geography of your property matters as well, such as when a property is built on a hill making sure the yard is sloped to flow water away from the property is paramount.

2. If you notice possible signs of water damage such as minor leaks or flooding make sure to fix the issue immediately to guard against further damage.

3. Maintaining your roof is also very important as even a single shingle missing from your property's roof can cause a leak, subsequently causing mold and other types of damage. 

The New Tool of Deodorization

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

       Hydroxil Generator

If an odor needs removing, the Hydroxil Generator is the tool for the job. The Hydroxil Generator is a deodorization tool that is on the cutting edge, safely and gently removing odors from the affected areas. The way this machine works is by creating hydroxil radicals (OH) which is naturally generated in our atmosphere when ultraviolet rays react with water and oxygen. The hydroxil radicals properties break down many different types of chemicals in the air, contributing greatly to cleaning up the atmosphere. This effect also works very well to break down chemicals that have a very pungent odor, thus being the natural choice for any deodorization job. SERVPRO is happy to help with any size job, any time of the day to help you get you life of business back on track.

Water Acts as a Universal Solvent

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Leaky Pipe Water damage can be devastating.

Water damage can come in many forms, some varying from minor leaks to major flooding and mold as result. Not  only does the moisture from water cause issues like mold, but water is known for having properties that can dissolve most materials over time. This means that if you have water damage in your property it can damage the materials surrounding the leak or flood. One of the most common examples of this is drywall or plaster which is used as the walls and ceilings of most homes and buildings when exposed to water can absorb water causing it to break down and deteriorate, becoming soft and moist creating a breeding ground for mold and bacteria that can spread quickly throughout a property. Make sure to keep these facts in mind when dealing with water damage.

Be Prepared for Unexpected Storms

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

       Be prepared for a storm in your area.

In areas that storms don't occur often, an unexpected storm can do more damage than expected. In Southern CA storms are not common place, meaning the population is often not prepared for that type of disaster. While CA building codes are prepared to handle disasters such as earthquakes, storms and flooding are not considered as much meaning damage that comes from flooding and high winds can be much more disastrous. SERVPRO helps by helping our clients create a storm readiness program free of charge for those who wish to be prepared for anything. Realize that almost anything can happen anywhere, so essentially being safe is better than being sorry. If you don't know how to prepare for disaster, contact SERVPRO of Wilshire Center and we would be happy to help!

Cleaning Tips for Repairing Electronics and Recovering Data

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Tips for Repairing Electronics and Recovering Data

Electronics are often a top area of concern for homeowners or business owners whose premises have been damaged by fire or flood. From laptop and desktop computers to tablets and smartphones, all the way to high-end entertainment equipment like televisions and stereos, electronic devices are often extremely expensive to replace. To make matters worse, many electronic devices—particularly computers and smartphones—are loaded with data that may or may not be backed up anywhere else.

If you are hoping to recover data from electronics that have been damaged by water or fire, or if you are hoping to salvage and use your devices in the future, then your first step may be a thorough cleaning. Read on to learn more about cleaning tips for water and fire-damaged electronics.

Consider the Degree of Damage

After a fire or flood, electronic devices will generally fall into a few specific categories relating to how salvageable they are. With a fire, it’s fairly easy to tell whether or not your electronics have a chance just by looking at them. A laptop or TV that’s been touched by flames and has visible burn marks has likely been cooked and will be tough to save. Electronics that are merely blackened with soot, however, might have a chance.

With water damage, it’s a lot more difficult to tell whether it’s worth trying to repair your electronics or recover your data. Water damage usually isn’t as fast-acting as fire, nor does it leave such visibly evident scars. Still, water can degrade a hard drive or motherboard more rapidly than you might think, so the number one rule is always to act fast if you want to try to save your stuff.

Electronics that have been submerged in water is increasingly difficult to repair, depending on how long the device in question spent underwater. Electronics that were on at the time of the flood are especially problematic, as they would likely have shorted out upon contact with water.

Devices that you were able to fish out of the water quickly, on the other hand, or that just got splashed or dripped on but never completely submerged, might be able to be salvaged with drying and cleaning. It’s also a good idea to take a closer look at any devices that were located in a flooded room. Many home and business owners assume that devices that didn’t come in contact with any water are fine. However, computers situated in rooms where flooding occurred can often be negatively affected by humidity. It’s a good idea to have these devices looked at and cleaned to make sure they continue to perform optimally.

After a Flood, Keep Your Electronics Wet

Especially if your devices have been submerged in floodwater, you’d do better to keep them wet than try drying them off. Floodwater isn’t just water: it’s full of dirt, sand, sediment, and other minerals. If you try to dry off your electronics now, you might end up making the hard drives and other internal components more difficult to clean. You can towel off the outside of your laptop or phone: just don’t try to dry them with a hairdryer or heater. Otherwise, those foreign particles from the floodwater are going to dry as well, and more or less become one with your device’s interior components.

Call for Help ASAP

Unless you are an electronics expert in your own right, you shouldn’t try to clean your flood or fire-damaged electronics yourself. Instead, call a professional for help. An experienced technician or team will know how to meticulously and safely clean your computer hard drives and other devices. This close and careful cleaning work will give you a better chance of recovering your data or even being able to use your damaged devices again in the future.

Have Questions about Electronic Restoration?

Call Us Today – 
(213) 263-2292

Critical Elements for Electronic Restoration

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Critical Elements for Electronic Restoration

Electronic restoration is becoming increasingly viable as a method of getting information back from servers and devices that have suffered physical damage. The most common incidents that cause people to consider electronic restoration are fires and floods, which often leave sensitive electronic equipment in terrible shape. However, despite the apparent severity of the damage, it’s often entirely possible to pull data from a machine that has sustained damage in one of these incidents. In some cases, it may even be possible to get the entire machine to work again. However, electronic restoration isn’t a magic wand or a cure-all. There are situations in which it won’t work, so it’s crucial to understand electronic restoration before you assume that you’ll be able to rely on it in the event of an emergency. Here are a couple of things to consider:

What can electronic restoration do?

Electronic restoration is excellent at treating certain kinds of damage and somewhat less effective at treating others. The good news is that in many cases, electronic restoration works wonders on computers and equipment for medical, manufacturing, or telecommunications purposes. Even in circumstances where a piece of equipment has been totally immersed in flood waters or exposed to smoke, corrosive vapors, and extremely high temperatures, electronic restoration can be shockingly effective. The trick is often to remove deposits of foreign materials, and other effects of corrosion. If successful, it’s possible to save the time and money it would take to replace the equipment entirely.

The standard criteria for electronic restoration is as follows: it must be possible to remove the contaminants from all surfaces of the device in question, and this removal must be reproducible rather than dependent on luck. Furthermore, the cleaning must refrain from causing any damage to the device apart from the cosmetic variety, and the process must be either more cost-effective than replacing the device outright or considerably more convenient than waiting for the time it will take to procure the replacement. If you can check those boxes off your list, electronic restoration is a good idea. Here’s a brief description of how it works:


The first thing that should be taken care of before successful electronic restoration is the immediate removal of the damaged device from all power sources and the cessation of its use. Following that, the person conducting the restoration process will perform a chemical analysis of the types of any contaminants affecting the machine and their various concentrations. Various protocols, procedures, and chemicals may then be used, depending on the offending substance.

In the case of fire damage, for instance, hydrochloric acid is a common problem—and it can be worse when coupled with the water discharged by a sprinkler system or a hose. To minimize the effects of corrosion, it’s possible to apply a protective lubricant to the damaged components. To limit the chance of further corrosion, it’s best to remove water the room and lower the relative humidity to below 40%. These conditions will prevent a faster chemical reaction between the hydrochloride and the metal from which the affected device is made, buying the technicians much needed time.

Next, the equipment is disassembled, and each component cleaned. Highly trained electronics professionals are used for this step since this part is the most detail oriented and requires considerable knowledge of how to clean each part. Optical and chemical quality testing follows, after which the device is reassembled, adjusted, and returned to service.

Success and Reliability

When restored in this manner, it’s quite common for the damaged electronics to function properly once again, and the data housed inside is frequently intact. 60-70% of electronics treated this way function again without incident, and do not require further repairs. Even over long periods of time, their performance tends to remain at least equal to the way it was before being damaged—and can even improve in some cases. Of course, every damaged unit should be inspected thoroughly to see if it meets restoration criteria, but if it does, then this is an excellent method to restore data and services.

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Proactive Planning in case of Fire and Water Disaster

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Proactive Planning in case of Fire and Water Disaster

Fire and water disasters can strike any home or business, and if the owners happen to have sensitive electronic data or machinery, then damage can cost them dearly. If you happen to be a fire and water damage contractor working on behalf of one of these people, it may be in all your best interests to implement some preventative measures, rather than face the challenge of restoring or replacing valuable information or expensive machinery. To that effect, here are a few handy strategies to help keep valuable goods safe during a fire, flood, or other water disaster. Take notes:

Protecting Data by using cloud based backups

Because fire and water can destroy servers or drives stored on site, it’s a good idea to keep backups of important information elsewhere. Use a cloud based backup such as iDrive or Carbonite to store your financial records, contact databases, and other sensitive data. If something does happen to your on-site information storage, you’ll be glad that you did.

Having insurance paperwork

You’ll want to make sure that an insurance policy is in place for the information and equipment you’re responsible for, but you’ll also want to ensure the records of that policy are safe too—just to keep your bases covered. Without your paperwork, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to cash in on your policy, even if it does cover the damages. That’s why having extra copies—physical ones—is vital. Don’t just keep copies in your desk, either. Make sure they’re somewhere that won’t be affected if the emergency they’re supposed to cover strikes. Maintaining a copy in a separate location like your car or a safety deposit box helps to make sure your insurance paperwork isn’t destroyed in the same fire or flood that damages the items it’s meant to protect.

Having warranties on critical equipment

Insurance is fantastic, but you can double your protection if you’re sure to buy equipment that comes with a warranty. Warranties often cover fire and flood damage, and in many cases, you can opt to purchase extended warranties at the time of purchase that protects your equipment for extended periods. Make sure to read the information in your warranty agreements carefully, you don’t want to spend extra money on a warranty just to find out that you don’t have cover for fires and floods. Keeping a sharp eye on the fine print is always a good idea.

Next, the equipment is disassembled, and each component cleaned. Highly trained electronics professionals are used for this step since this part is the most detail oriented and requires considerable knowledge of how to clean each part. Optical and chemical quality testing follows, after which the device is reassembled, adjusted, and returned to service.

Having up to date software

Finally, make sure always to update your software to the latest versions. Keeping your software updated often results in the data you store in various applications being saved and backed up to the parent company’s servers (for more detail on this, read the user agreements for your software carefully). A simple example is iTunes—if you’re using a recent version of the app, your purchases will be kept track of via the App Store, and you’ll be able to download them again, even if something happens to your device.

No matter what you do, disasters can still occur—and there’s always the possibility that they’ll take out equipment or valuable data. On July 11, 2012, a fire at an IBM data center in Calgary, Alberta temporarily brought down several government services (including 911), and similar incidents have occurred around the world from time to time in recent years. Of course, electronic restoration can often be used to handle these kinds of situations, but it’s better to prevent than cure. Stay vigilant—you’ll find it’s worth your while.

Have Questions about Fire and Water Disaster?

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(213) 263-2292

The Two Principal Goals of Electronic Restoration

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

The Two Principal Goals of Electronic Restoration

When a homeowner or business suffers a disastrous property loss such as a fire, flood, or storm damage, the financial and emotional toll can be devastating. The family may be out of their home for an extended period and may have lost everything including keepsakes and family heirlooms that they cannot replace. A catastrophic business loss may put many people out of work, work on critical projects may be destroyed, and clients may just take their business elsewhere due to time pressures.

Salvaging some of the electronic equipment may ease some of the loss, both financially and emotionally. There are two significant goals to electronic restoration. Data recovery (also known as content restoration), and equipment restoration. These two critical goals are often intertwined, but the accomplishment of each task is not necessarily interdependent.

The goal of most homeowners who have suffered a loss is often the recovery of the digital memories, key documents, photos and videos. Most of us do not give much thought to these items until a loss occurs. Imagine that you suffered a devastating house fire. Your family all got out safely, but your home is now a smoking soggy pile of tinder. Your children’s baby pictures, graduation photos, etc. were in frames all around the home. You felt safe because they were all scanned or downloaded onto your home computer or laptop as a backup. Since the originals were physically destroyed in the fire, your only hope to retrieve them is from your computer. Unfortunately, that is now covered in smoky residue and is soaking wet.

The same may be true of your videos. Your child’s first steps, treasured ballet recitals and Christmas morning videos with astonished toddlers who are now all grown up now exist only on your trusty laptop. You were able to find your laptop after the blaze, but the case and screen are both cracked. You then remember that your grandparents’ original naturalization papers and scanned copies of your father’s distinguished military documents were also on the hard drive.

You had intended to share these items with other family members but just didn’t seem to find the time. Now, they are lost forever.

There is one resource that might be your best chance to recover these items from those damaged hard drives. After a significant loss from a flood, fire or storm, many insurance carriers bring in a service to help clean up the mess, dry or replace carpets, prevent the growth of mold and help you rebuild or restore your home or business. These companies are experienced and excellent at handling these situations. The best companies also have Electronic Restoration specialists to assist them in saving your equipment and mining the critical data from your devices. While repairing the equipment may be technically possible, it does not always make economic sense for outdated equipment. You should also note that it is often possible to retrieve data from the hard drive of a computer without ever making the device operational.

For electronic restoration to be successful, certain steps must be followed:

  • You must act quickly. The longer the equipment sits, the more difficult and less chance exists for success. Equipment that is subject to smoke or water will begin to dry out, and the circuit boards may start to rust or short out from the material that accumulated on those boards. As hard drives continue to be subject to exposure to water, dust from fire extinguishers and the elements, there is a greater chance the data contained therein will be inaccessible.
  • Determine what type of contamination occurred, whether water, chemical, smoke, fire extinguisher, etc.
  • Decide how to restore the item, determine what methods and procedures are most likely to be successful.
  • To the extent necessary and feasible, disassemble and clean the components.
  • Examine and test the components.
  • Reassemble the unit.
  • Retest the entire component to make sure it is in good working order and then put back into service.

On many occasions, it’s possible to save business or computer equipment by cleaning or replacing a few key components on the circuit boards. Complete recovery of electronic equipment is not always possible, but even a partial success can save lots of time and money for businesses with specialized equipment that is not only expensive but would take a significant amount of time to manufacture as it was custom made for the company.

If you suffer one of these horrific losses, make sure that you discuss the use of an electronic restoration company with your insurance carrier immediately. If you are a restoration contractor working for an insurance company, contact our Content Restoration Service Division to determine if some of the electronic equipment on your next job can be restored.

Have Questions about Electronic Restoration?

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(213) 263-2292

Tips to avoid Data Loss in the Event of a Fire

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to avoid Data Loss in the Event of a Fire

If a business you’re responsible for relies on backing up large amounts of electronic information, you’ll probably want to make sure there’s a way to preserve it in the case of an accident. To be more specific, you’ll want to have a contingency plan set up to deal with the possibility of fire damage. A fire in the server room can do more than simply damage infrastructure. It can also set a business back months while you replace ruined equipment, and—perhaps worst of all—it can obliterate large quantities of data that the company needs on a daily basis. Data could include everything from financial records to client databases, so you should only ignore the risk of fir eat the peril of losing some very important assets. If you’re a contractor working on behalf of one of these businesses, it also represents a significant challenge.

That said, there are a few things you can do to help avoid irreparable data loss in the event of a fire. From preventative measures to restorative treatments, here are a few ideas to help you soldier on when the sparks literally start flying:

Protect your data using cloud based backups

If you’re worried about losing data when physical servers and computers are threatened, there’s one simple solution: house it somewhere else (or at least house a copy there). Using a cloud based backup lets you store an extra version of your most important information using servers that you won’t be responsible for. Since many of the largest cloud based backup solutions (like Backblaze and Crashplan) take special care to preserve their users’ info, it’s a pretty safe bet that nothing will happen to your stash once you entrust it to them for safekeeping. Of course, this won’t save your equipment or facilities themselves, but it’s better than nothing.

Electronic restoration

In the unfortunate event that damage occurs to your servers and you haven’t stored backups of your information elsewhere, electronic restoration might be the only effective route to take. Many highly sensitive technologies can be restored—at least to some extent—including computers, telecommunications technology, manufacturing machinery and medical instruments. By removing corrosion and deposits, it’s often very possible to get these units working like new again for as little as 10-30% of the cost of replacing them entirely. Once a skilled technician removes contaminants such as soot, dust, and deposits from chemical vapors, he should be able to take the equipment apart, clean the individual pieces, reassemble them, adjust the machinery and return it to service.

Proactive planning for fire (and water) disasters

Of course, one of the best ways to deal with damage is to avoid it completely. You can save yourself from the inconvenience of having to restore your equipment by making sure it’s not an easy place for a fire to start or a flood to break out. Avoid storing flammable materials near sensitive equipment, and make sure electronics aren’t stored under your sprinkler system or near water pipes. It’s also a good idea to have maintenance briefed on the nature of the technology in the area so that they use safe and appropriate methods when cleaning or tidying up around it.

Have insurance

Finally, you want to make you have cover if a disaster does happen to strike. Restoring your electronics can save them, but it can also be time-consuming—and you want to make sure you can afford the downtime. That’s why having comprehensive fire and accident insurance is key to keeping you in business when the unexpected occurs. Make sure you understand your policy and keep an up to date copy with you always, just in case.

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(213) 263-2292


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