Recent Posts

Understanding Homeowners Insurance

1/17/2023 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO van parked outside of a home. If you own a home, it’s in your best interest to find out about homeowners insurance.

If you own a home in Brentwood, CA, you need to have homeowners insurance. It’s true that some people who rent also buy insurance policies, but this is typical because they have expensive electronics or other items that they want to be protected in the event of loss or damage. Some renters may even opt to purchase coverage that includes liability protection should they accidentally injure someone while on the premises.

Not All Insurance Policies Are the Same

When you purchase a homeowners insurance policy, what you’re actually purchasing is the protection that comes from covering your home, it’s contents, and your medical bills in the event of an unforeseen disaster.

There are many different types of policies with varying levels of coverage. It is important to know what each policy covers so that you can make an educated decision on which one suits your needs best.

Factors that Impact the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

You might have heard that homeowners insurance is based on risk. That's true, but it's not the whole story. The cost of your policy is also affected by:

  • The location of your home 
  • The age of your home
  • The size of your home
  • The type of construction material used to build your home 
  • The number of stories in your home 
  • Roof replacement costs 

What Is Covered and What Isn’t?

If you have homeowners insurance, it's important to know what is and isn't covered by your policy. The best way to know the limits of your policy is to read through your policy or talk with an agent. Your insurance company will be able to tell you exactly what's covered and what isn't, as well as how much coverage you have in certain areas.

Other Kinds of Policies You Should Consider

In addition to homeowners insurance, you should also consider other kinds of policies. Here are some examples:

  • Renters insurance- If you're renting a home or apartment, it's best to purchase renters insurance. If a fire or other disaster were to destroy the property and all its contents, the policy would reimburse you for those losses.
  • Flood insurance- You may be required by your lender or mortgage servicer to purchase flood insurance since many types of mortgages require it as part of their terms and conditions. Many people don't realize that there are two types—NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) policies and private policies—and they get confused when trying to decide which one is right for them and their situation.

It pays to Find Out About the Types of Policies Available

The best way to get the most coverage for your dollar is to shop around. Find out what types of policies are available, and then get quotes from different companies. You may be able to save money by installing a security system or fire alarm, or through some other means. For example:

  • A smoke detector can save you up to 20 percent on your homeowner's insurance premium.
  • A carbon monoxide detector can save you up to 5 percent on your homeowner's insurance premium.
  • Having multiple fire alarms installed in your home could potentially increase the amount covered under your policy by as much as 15 percent!

If you have a home, it’s in your best interest to find out about homeowners insurance. It can protect you from financial ruin in the event of damage or theft, and it can also give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your possessions are safe from harm. While there are many options out there, it’s important to find one that fits your needs as closely as possible.

What Are Soot Webs?

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

Cobwebs on a ceiling damaged by smoke Soot webs are ugly and frequently challenging to get rid of.

Soot Webs: What You Need to Know

Soot webs occur when soot accumulates on a surface and clings to it. This happens in the presence of high heat and oxygen. Soot webs are unsightly and often difficult to remove. If you have soot damage after a fire, we can help.

Soot Tags & Soot Webs

Soot tags are the most common aftermath of fire damage, and they're also known as soot webs. They have a black, greasy appearance and can be easily identified by their distinct color. Soot tags are small bits of soot that collect on the surface of a wall, while soot webs are created when smoke or soot is pushed into the wall cavity. 

Soot webs can occur in the aftermath of fires, forest fires, or even cooking fires if you're not careful!

Common Places to find Soot Tags

Now that you know what they look like, where do you find them? Soot webs are most common found in:

  • Walls.
  • Ceilings.
  • Floors.
  • Cabinets and countertops

This also means that soot webs can be found on items such as your furniture, electronics, etc.

Do I need soot removal?

Soot webs usually occur after some kind of fire. Fire damage, smoke, and soot can be very difficult to mitigate on your own without the proper equipment and know-how. In most cases, calling a professional is the best solution!

If you've noticed black sooty deposits on the walls and ceiling of your home, it’s important to determine if you actually need soot removal. While many homeowners are tempted to clean them off themselves, this is a job that should be left up to professionals.

How does SERVPRO of East Concord/Brentwood remove soot?

Soot tags and webs can be extremely difficult to clean from your home. Let us help! When it comes to soot damage, you want a cleanup crew that knows what they’re doing. SERVPRO of East Concord/Brentwood specializes in water and fire damage cleanups and we know how to handle the most stubborn soot residue. We use special equipment and cleaning agents that are safe for your home, but tough on soot. In fact, our technicians are trained to recognize signs of more serious structural problems related to fire or smoke and will provide you with an honest assessment of the extent of the damage to your home or business.

Our team has the technology and products needed to get any job done right, no matter how big or complicated it may seem at first glance. We will work with you to determine the best solution for your home.

Soot tags and webs can be a huge hassle for homeowners if not taken care of in a timely fashion. If your home or business suffered from a fire loss, give our SERVPRO team a call today! Our team can assist with all of your fire, soot, and smoke damage cleanup and restoration needs. 

What Is a Category Three Water Damage?

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment beside toilet, drying baseboards. Water damage restoration using special equipment.

What Is a Category Three Water Damage?

Water damage can happen in any home at any time. However, not all types of water damage are considered the same. There are three different categories of water damage.

There are different levels of contamination when looking at categories of water damage.

When categorizing water damage, there are several levels of contamination that can result in a variety of different categories.

  • Category One - The most severe category, category one is considered to be "worse than bad." This type of damage is caused by sewage or human waste. It's important to note that this type of water damage can cause sickness from harmful bacteria and viruses; if you suspect you've been exposed to this kind of contaminated water, see your doctor immediately.
  • Category Two - Water damage with moderate levels of contamination falls under category two and includes any other kind of bodily fluid (blood, vomit) or any other organic material (foods). If you suspect you've experienced category two water damage in your home, contact a professional for help with cleanup as soon as possible.
  • Category Three - This level involves less severe contaminants like fecal matter from pets or wild animals; however since those animals may carry disease-causing organisms such as salmonella or E-coli., it's important not to take any chances when dealing with this type of dirty water!

Category Three water damage is a loss that involves unsanitary water.

Category Three water damage is a loss that involves unsanitary water, which could be known as “black water,” grey water," or "category three" water. 

Category three water damage is unsanitary, so it has the potential to be harmful to humans and animals. Black water is considered unsanitary because it can contain sewage, flood waters, or other sources. Black water contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause disease in people and animals.

This type of water damage comes from a septic tank or sewer. It contains human waste which can be harmful to humans and animals. This type of category three water damage must be contained immediately, treated, and removed from the property by a professional restoration company.

If you see any type of standing liquid in your home, there is a possibility that it was contaminated with sewage waste. It is important to call your local SERVPRO experts to handle the mitigation.

You can't treat all types of contaminants the same way.

If you have Category 1, 2, or 3 contamination in your home, we recommend contacting us immediately so we can help guide you through the necessary remediation process. We will come out and perform tests on your property and determine what category your loss falls into. Once we know what kind of contamination has occurred, we will tell you what kinds of steps need to be taken next so that everyone stays safe moving forward.

You can't treat all types of contaminants the same way: For example, if there is a sewage spill in your basement (which may include things like toilet paper), common household cleaners won't do much good—you'll need professional help.

There are many categories for categorizing different types of water damage.

Category One and Category Two water damage are considered to be less severe than category three. However, they can still cause a lot of damage to a home. Category Three is the worst type of water damage and can cause thousands of dollars worth of additional expenses for you if it goes unchecked for too long.

Water damage can be very dangerous if you don't know what type of contamination is in it. Call your local mitigation experts for all your water damage cleanup and restoration needs as quickly as possible after a loss to keep yourself and others on your property safe!

What Is Security Fencing and Is It Worth It?

10/1/2022 (Permalink)

Fence Security fencing can help prevent further damage to a property.

What Is Security Fencing and Does It Pay Off?

Whether you are a property owner or manager, it is important to take precautions to prevent further damage. Security fencing is one way that you can do this. It can be used in several different ways:

Fire Prevention

Fire prevention is a key part of any security fence. Fire can cause damage to the property, injury to people on the property and damage to the environment.

By using fire-resistant materials or by using materials that are designed to be less flammable, you can reduce your risk of fire in these ways:

  • A security fence that isn't made from wood or doesn't have any wood components will not catch on fire as easily as traditional wooden fences do. This means that if a fire does start on your property (or at least within sight of it), your fence may not ignite like a traditional wooden one would. If you want an even safer option, look for plastic fencing - this material is completely non-flammable and therefore completely resistant against fires!
  • Fencing made from steel has a lower ignition temperature than most other metals; so, if there's ever an accident involving spilled fuel/gasoline etc., then steel fences will be less likely than other types (such as aluminum) because they won't burn so easily when exposed

Routine Maintenance, Inspections and Testing

If a security fence is to be effective in its purpose, it must be regularly maintained and inspected. In addition to these routine tasks, there are also certain tests that need to be conducted on a regular basis. This will ensure that your fence is always working at maximum efficiency and does not pose any safety risks for those around it.

To maintain your fence:

  • You should check the condition of the posts and frame regularly so that you can see if there are any cracks or signs of wear. 
  • The next step would involve cleaning off mud after heavy rains or snowstorms by using a pressure washer; this will keep dirt from accumulating over time which could weaken connections between parts like brackets or screws attaching panels together etcetera...

Security fencing can help prevent further damage to a property while repairs are being done.

Securing your home with security fencing is an effective way of preventing burglary, vandalism, and theft, as well as safeguarding the contents of your property. If you have suffered from vandalism or theft on your property then it may be worth considering installing security fencing for peace of mind whilst you make minor repairs or alterations to your home (e.g., adding CCTV cameras).

In conclusion, security fencing can be a good solution to many problems. It will help prevent further damage to your property while repairs are being done. Security fencing is also useful as an emergency notification system, allowing people in surrounding areas to know when something has happened on your property, and they should stay away from it. It can also ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and other safety requirements that keep workers safe at their job sites.

How To Clean Up Water From a Wood Floor

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water in kitchen floor Water damage in East Concord, CA.

How to Clean a Wood Floor of Water

Wood floors are prized for their elegance and functionality. However, they are sensitive to moisture. If a pipe burst or other incident leads to prolonged water exposure, the wood may suffer from cracking and warping. In addition, water can seep through the wood panels and enable mold growth.

Here are some tips on how to take care of your floor if you see a water spill.

1. Move Furniture and Other Objects Away From the Spill
First, you want to make sure that you can see the full extent of the spill. A pipe burst could lead to a wet floor, and you may not be able to see the whole spill until you move furniture away.

2. Dry the Wood Floor
Depending on the amount of water, you may be able to soak up water effectively with towels. If you have a wet vacuum, you can use it to remove larger amounts of water. A wet vacuum is the best way to remove water from a wood surface because it will be able to suck up water that has started to spread under the floorboards.

3. Use a Disinfectant
A disinfectant designed for wood floors will help you fight against mold. Once you are done disinfecting, it is a good idea to use the wet vacuum again to get rid of moisture.

4. Set Up Fans and a Dehumidifier
Fans will help with air circulation, and a dehumidifier will catch any moisture left over from the spill or the cleaning process.

5. Call a Professional if Necessary
If a pipe burst causes a large spill, it may be necessary to hire professional water restoration services. A team of professionals in East Concord, CA, will be able to provide equipment and expertise that you may not have on your own.
Following these steps will help you protect your wood floors from water and keep them in top condition.

4 Tips for Preventing Flood Damage

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Sandbags At Front Door Of Flooded House If you have flood damage, water restoration specialists can help you recover.

Four Guidelines to Avoid Flood Damage

When you live in an area that flood frequently, you know that you need to have a flood safety plan. Even when you don't live in a place that experiences frequent flooding, it is a good idea to think about ways to protect your home in case a storm hits. Here are four safety tips for preventing flood damage to your home in Brentwood, CA, so that you aren't left without a plan.

1. Devise a Plan for Water Flow

As rain falls, you want the runoff to actually run off and away from your home. Keep all gutters and rain spouts clear so that water can run off your roof without pooling. Point rain spouts away from the house. Make sure the grading around your house directs water away from your foundation.

2. Add Flood Resistant Measures

There are changes you can make to your home to essentially floodproof the building. Install flood safety backflow valves on all pipes that enter your home. Consider installing foundation vents to give groundwater space to flow through a designated space in your house instead of seeping into places it's unwelcome.

3. Raise Indoor and Outdoor Electrical Equipment

All electrical sockets and switches should be installed well above the flood line. Large appliances such as your furnace should be anchored above the flood level as well. Outdoor equipment, particularly those items that could contribute to contamination if flooded, should be raised.

4. Have a Flood Emergency Plan

Despite all your efforts, sometimes storms are so bad that you cannot prevent your home from flooding. If you are under a flood warning, move everything you can, particularly electronics, furniture, and textiles, to an upper floor or the highest point you can reach. Shut off the electricity and elevate appliances you can't fully move.

If you have flood damage, water restoration specialists can help you recover. By taking preliminary flood safety measures, though, you can minimize the damage the flood does to your home.

What Disaster Response Looks Like in a Large Scale Event

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

Woman leaning on green van SERVPRO can help you out if you have severe damage from a storm.

What a Massive Event's Disaster Response Looks Like

No one ever wants to experience a catastrophic loss due to a major storm or natural disaster. However, in the unfortunate event that this happens in Nortonville, CA, the disaster response will be thorough and feature a large network of support. Here is what can be expected in such an event.

1. Storm Damage Pros From the Region Will Team Up
If a major weather event happens that results in catastrophic loss, teams of damage cleanup and restoration experts will band together to help the affected area. Crews from out of state are often employed to help out with the damage, which could range from major hurricane flooding to structures burned in wildfires. Increased manpower is the ideal way to help homes and businesses recover from the disaster in a timely manner.

2. Damage Evaluation Is Extensive
Before any restoration project can begin, professionals will evaluate every property to get the full scope of the damage. In a large-scale event, this evaluation is extensive as a hurricane could not only produce dangerous floods but also powerful winds that can compromise roofs, possibly resulting in more structural water damage. Trust experts to get a clear read on the significant damage and how to tackle it.

3. A Careful Timeline for Restoration Efforts
Damage response teams will work tirelessly to clean and repair any property loss from major storms. However, there may not be a set timeline given the community-wide restoration project at hand. Events with catastrophic loss require careful thought to fully restore homes and commercial buildings quickly and efficiently. Expect that these restoration efforts may take longer than if just one property was damaged.
In the unfortunate event that Nortonville, CA, is hit with a major disaster, storm response teams will gather from across the region to help out. They will do thorough evaluations of damage but could spend longer on cleanup and repairs versus a minor damage event.

Preparing For the Spring Thaw

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

Purple flower surrounded by snow Prepare for spring thaw.

A flood at your Arbor, CA, commercial property is bad for business. Fortunately, some instances of water damage can be prevented. The following outlines how to prepare your business for the spring thaw and prevent the water inundation that can occur when temperatures start to rise.  

Prevent Flooding  

If snow melts too quickly, it can cause water damage to buildings. Make sure snow is shoveled away from the foundation and removed from the roof. Check the following to make sure they are clear of debris and snow: 

  • Drains 
  • Downspouts  
  • Gutters 

Heavy spring rains may also lead to water inundation. Make sure the roof is in good condition to handle stormy weather. Check seals around windows and doors, and make sure functional shutters are in good condition. If your building has a sump pump, make sure it is in working order. Check your insurance policies and make sure you are covered for damage caused by inclement weather. 
Spring is also a good time to upgrade your landscaping to minimize the chances of water incursion. Have the lawn graded away from the building. Install mulch and native plants to absorb moisture. 

Clean Up Water Damage 
Unfortunately, not all flooding can be prevented. Whether you are dealing with water damage from a spring flood or frozen pipe, the general cleanup process is the same. Extract standing water using pumps or vacuums. Buckets can be used to scoop out water if necessary. Then dry out remaining moisture using dehumidifiers and fans. A professional restoration company has commercial tools that can dry your building out quickly and efficiently. If the water sat for more than a day or came from an unclean source, sanitize all surfaces that came into contact with the water. After everything is clean and dry, repair and replace damaged items. 
Flooding can cause major problems for your business. Fortunately, there are a variety of things you can do to prevent and minimize damage.  

My Flight Was Cancelled During a Storm. Now What?

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Cancelled flight board A canceled flight is frustrating and often feels unfair.

Tips When Dealing With a Flight Cancellation

Few things are as frustrating as a cancelled flight. A cancellation during a storm can be even more stressful. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help make the situation better. Here are three storm tips for dealing with a flight cancellation.

1. Seek compensation. It is possible that the airline that cancelled your flight will reimburse you for meals, connecting flights and other expenses you may incur as a result of the cancellation. This is up to the airline, but there is no harm in reaching out and seeing what you may be eligible for. Many times you will at least receive rebooking assistance.

2. Skip the rebooking line. You can do this by calling the airline after you learn about your cancelled flight. Even if the airline itself told you that you should get back in line, giving them a call is your best bet when looking for shorter or nonexistent wait times while rebooking your flight.

3. Don’t forget about your home. If you are at or near your home during the cancellation, make sure that it is prepped for a potentially severe storm and that you and your loved ones are able to stay safe in the case of an urgent situation. If you should suffer from any household damage during bad weather, a local Marsh Creek Springs, CA, residential storm damage restoration company should be called for cleanup assistance. Some are even available 24 hours each day for emergency needs.

A canceled flight is frustrating and often feels unfair. Stormy weather can make even the calmest person feel emotional on top of such a disappointment. Follow the advice above to help yourself find the best outcome from such a situation. Remember that reaching out for help - whether it is from restoration technicians or your airline - can really make a difference in the long run.

6 Things To Teach Your Kids About Escaping a House Fire

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Man talking to a kid Keep your kids away from damage during a house fire.

Kids' Safety Tips

Fire can throw your Concord, CA, household into chaos. This goes double if you have children at home. Here are six kids' safety tips to keep your little ones away from damage during a house fire.

1. Introduce the smoke detectors.
If you're a home cook, odds are high that your kids have already heard the smoke alarm sound off. Discuss with them what smoke detectors are and why they make that terrible noise. If your little ones haven't heard the sound it makes, give them a quick demo.

2. Establish two fire escape exits in every room.
Does that room have a window and a door? Boom! You're done. For other areas of your home, you may need to get more creative, install a fire ladder or even consider adding an egress.
When it comes to kids' safety, remember: All bedrooms should have a direct means of escape — even basement bedrooms. Talk with your contractor or fire damage mitigation company for more info.

3. Determine an outdoor meeting space.
Often, your curbside mailbox will suffice. Children should know to go directly there, to wait for you and never to reenter the house.

4. Teach your kids how to open windows.
Windows aren't always easy to open for little hands. Show your kids how to open each type of window in your home.

5. Show kids how to check for heat.
Kids need to know that they should never open a door without checking how hot it is first. A hot door often indicates flames on the other side. Instruct them to find a towel or sweatshirt to use for touching hot items, too.

6. Teach kids to stay low.
Heat and smoke rise, so show your kids how to stay low and feel their way to safety using their hands. Smoke can plunge your home into darkness, so practice evacuating in the dark or wearing a blindfold.
Discussing these kids' safety tips as a family not only lowers your risk of injury but can also lower little ones' anxiety. Already knowing what to do and where to go during a home fire provides valuable peace of mind.