Recent Posts

We are Cleaning Experts

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Fair Oaks/Folsom (916) 987-0400

We Have State Of The Art Equipment To Restore Your Fair Oaks / Folsom Fire Damage

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage to factories and other industrial facilities can seem overwhelming in their scale. Due to the presence of flammable materials, numerous potential safety hazards, and large buildings, some of our most challenging projects involve cleaning up after fires in industrial settings. We have the manpower and equipment necessary to restore your facility to the way it was before the disaster for even the worst situations but have a few extra tricks for when situations start to get out of hand.

The SERVPRO Network

Part of the reason why we are always ready to handle fire damage in Fair Oaks / Folsom is thanks to our network of sister franchises that can provide support when we need it most. SERVPRO franchises number in the thousands across the country, and if a disaster is ever so massive as to overwhelm our local capabilities, we can call in additional resources and work forces from other nearby areas. Usually, we only need to call in these forces for widespread flooding or fires that spread across multiple properties, but we may use them for particularly disastrous industrial fires.

Industrially Focused Equipment

Handling smoke and fire damages in large buildings require us to use similarly large and powerful pieces of equipment. Our technicians use top-of-the-line items like dry ice blasters and thermal fogging machines to clean up fire residues with maximum efficiency even in buildings with large floor spaces. We keep these devices (and the materials they need to function) heavily stocked at our local facilities to ensure that more significant buildings receive the coverage they need.

Versatile Certifications

SERVPRO technicians receive a wide variety of certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration before getting placed on any of our crews. Even after they start responding to calls and operating as a full team member, many take the opportunity to pursue additional training and certifications to specialize in specific types of damage restoration, including fire and smoke damage. Our teams thus have the certifications and training necessary to handle any industrial disaster and the safety hazards that may accompany it.

SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom is professionally trained and equipped to handle even the most massive fires with optimal efficiency at a minimal cost. Call us at (916) 987-0400 for our 24/7 services or a quote.

Preparing Your Pets and Kids for Extreme Heat

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Making sure your pets and children are safe is a number one priority for SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom. 

Here are a few helpful tips for making sure your kids and pets are healthy and comfortable during a heatwave. 

1. Provide plenty of water, even more than normal! Dehydration is one of the largest concerns regarding young children and animals in the summertime.

2. For pets, putting ice in their water bowl can be really refreshing, and don't forget the Popsicles!

3. Make sure that pets and you kids feet are safe! The ground can get very hot, and paw pads and little feet can suffer!

SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom is here to help! We offer the following services:  

  • Duct cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • General residential, commercial, move out, and deep cleaning
  • Reconstruction
  • Water and Fire Damage Cleanup, Mitigation, and restoration
  • Mold inspections and remediation
  • Much more!

Call (916) 987-0400 for your home mitigation needs.

Beware of These Common, Risky Fire Hazards in Older Homes

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

There’s no denying the charm of living in an older home. Arched doorways, ceiling medallions and other architectural details representative of a bygone era catch the attention of many homeowners. But along with the unique charms that come with living in an older home in Fair Oaks / Folsom, come unique hazards, such as fire risks. Purchasing an old home may require more than a lot of elbow grease, a few coats of paint and TLC touches throughout. Thoroughly investigating to uncover potential fire risks in your Fair Oaks / Folsom home is an important step to take to prevent catastrophic fire damage. Below are some of the most common fire hazards lurking in your older home.

1. Bad wiring

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2012-2016, accounting for 13 percent of home structure fires. Antiquated wiring such as knob and tube wiring — which was the standardized method of electrical wiring in homes until the 1940s — poses a potential risk for fire damage.

Knob and tube wiring systems use porcelain knobs for running wires through unobstructed spaces and porcelain tubes to protect wires running through studs and joists.

If a knob and tube system is intact and functioning properly, it poses no immediate risk. Problems arise, however, when the rubber sheathing that’s used to insulate the wires degrades (modern electrical wiring is encased in plastic). As the rubber degrades over time, it exposes live wires to air and moisture, thereby increasing the chance of a short or a fire. The combination of modern insulation and knob and tube wiring also poses a fire hazard that can lead to devastating loss and the need for fire damage repairs and restoration to your Austin home.

This antiquated wiring system utilizes porcelain knobs to suspend the wires in open air to allow the heat to dissipate. When homeowners insulate the attic and walls of their notoriously drafty older homes, the insulation surrounding the wires will cause heat to build up, resulting in a potential fire. Currently, the United States National Electrical Code® (NEC) forbids use of loose, blown-in or expanding foam insulation over knob and tube wiring.

Older wiring is also rated for lower amps than is required by the multiple appliances we use today. This can result in circuits being overloaded, which can cause a fire. Knob and tube wiring systems also lack a grounding conductor. Grounding conductors reduce the chance of a fire and damage to sensitive equipment.

Hiring a certified electrician or electrical inspector to evaluate the wiring throughout your home is key to preventing a potential fire and preventing the need for fire damage repairs and restoration with the additional water damage that can occur, as is removing knob-and-tube wiring from inside your walls or attic prior to adding insulation.

2. Balloon-frame construction

According to firefighters, the way your home is constructed could make it a bigger fire risk and susceptible to fire damage. Balloon-frame construction, popular in the 1930s and 1940s, is a common sight in older homes. Unlike the modern platform building technique in which a floor (platform) is built, then wall studs (boards that function as framing elements in the home) are installed, then another floor (platform) and so on, balloon framing is characterized by wall studs that run continuously two or more stories high from the foundation to the attic floor. The problem with a balloon-frame house is that when a fire starts in the lower level of the home, there’s nothing to stop the flames from quickly spreading to the attic.

If you live in one of these homes, retrofitting the walls could be quite costly. Keep this in mind if you’re considering buying an older home with this type of framing construction.

3. Outdated appliances

Vintage appliances may add to the charm of your older home, but they also add an increased risk of fire. Your old-fashioned plug-in fan, vintage light fixture and chrome coffeemaker may still run, but they were made according to antiquated safety codes and may include frayed or damaged wires. An appliance that doesn’t come with a UL mark, signifying that Underwriters Laboratories has vouched for the item's safety in actual use, should be rewired.

4. Old furnaces

The average life expectancy of furnaces is 15 to 20 years. Furnaces that are 20 years or older pose a danger due to their use of an old-style pilot light for ignition. House fires that are started by pilot lights, bad ventilation and/or gas line leaks are another major fire hazard of an outdated heating system. The combustible materials or any flammable objects near a furnace also create an increased possibility of fire or explosion.

While replacing your furnace with an energy-efficient modern model is best, if you’re not ready to replace your old furnace, be sure to have it diligently inspected and serviced by a professional every year. 

5. Chimneys

Before spending your first cozy night indoors sitting by a crackling fire, be sure your fireplace chimney and/or wood stove has been recently inspected. It’s vital that your chimneys are inspected annually, and cleaned of creosote buildup — a flammable dark brown or black tar-like byproduct of the wood-burning process that’s deposited on the walls of a chimney. If creosote builds up in sufficient quantities – and the internal flue temperature is high enough – the result could be a chimney fire. 

A professional chimney cleaning typically includes sweeping the fireplace, inspecting the firebox, liners, smoke chamber and flue, and chimney exterior. Recommendations for proper operation or replacement of equipment and necessary repairs to any equipment or structure will also be made.

Stay Safe Against the Sumer Heat Wave

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for Extreme Heat

This summer, the heat is giving our crazy winter a run for its money, and it looks like it’s just the beginning. Heat affects people in different ways, more so if you’re young, elderly, sick or overweight. With the heat of the sun drying exposed surfaces anywhere between 50-90 degrees hotter than the air, everyone should take precautions.

To ensure that the heat does not get the best of you:

  • Wear light, loose fitting clothing and stay indoors in air-conditioned rooms.
  • Apply plenty of sunscreen and apply it often.
  • Be aware of heat exhaustion which could include clammy skin, nausea, fainting, weakness, heavy sweating etc.
  • Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths.

To prepare your home from heat and avoid it’s damaging effects:

  •  Install or maintain air conditioning units (insulation may be necessary)
  • Install temporary window reflectors, to reflect the heat back outside.
  • Cover windows that receive morning/afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, etc.
  • Keep your storm windows installed all year.
  • Weather strip windows and doors to keep cool air in.
  • Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation.

Stay well informed of the heat index and avoid being outside for long durations of time. Extreme hear is no joke and could cause serious damage. SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom reminds you to stay safe from the summer heat!

3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Fire

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Three Useful Steps To Help You Plan Ahead

While no property owner enjoys thinking about the worst case scenario, it is necessary to have a plan of action for dealing with sudden disasters. Fire damage is one of the most unexpected and serious events that can occur to your commercial property in Fair Oaks / Folsom.  Therefore, it is important to develop a contingency plan in case of a fire. Here are three useful steps to help you plan ahead.

1. Craft an Evacuation Strategy

Make sure employees are trained on how to report a fire and evacuate safely. Escape routes should be clearly marked, and all workers should understand the building floor plan. It is also essential to include a method of notifying employees and customers of the emergency as quickly as possible. Moreover, workers who manage critical operations must understand their roles in the event of an emergency. Once you create an evacuation plan, practice drills routinely so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a real fire.

2. Get Insurance

Insurance plays a key role in any contingency plan. There are several helpful types of insurance for commercial buildings including property insurance, fire insurance, flood insurance, general liability insurance, business interruption insurance and more. It is always wise to carry coverage for certain types of unpredictable disasters such as fires. Beyond that, you may want to adjust your policies depending on your level of risk. For example, flood insurance might only be necessary if your building is located in a flood-prone area.

3. Hire Professional Fire Cleanup

Contact a reputable fire restoration company immediately. Restoration experts will utilize specialized knowledge and equipment to take care of smoke damage, water damage and all other issues caused by the fire. Never delay in calling for assistance. The longer you wait, the worse the damage becomes, and the longer your organization will remain closed.
Having a sound contingency plan helps protect your company from severe devastation after a fire, and most importantly, it keeps employees and customers safe. With preemptive planning and professional restoration help, your business can recover from a fire “Like it never even happened”.

Improve the Outcome of Your Business Interruption Claim

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

When your Fair Oaks / Folsom, property has been affected by flooding, you'll have to consider losses beyond the damage to your physical property. You'll face additional costs, including the loss of profits while your business is closed down for repairs. If you've prepared for this situation with a business interruption policy, there are some steps you can take to improve the results of your claim.

Choose a Reliable Adviser

An important first step is to contact an experienced consultant. This professional should

  • Provide a reasonable explanation of what will happen
  • Help you understand the legal scope of your claim
  • Steer you toward policy requirements and restrictions
  • Look after your interests

Your insurance agent is a valuable resource, but this professional tends to look out for the interests of the insurance company; make sure you have a knowledgeable adviser looking after yours.

Document and Record Damage and Communications

As soon as you notice the flooding, begin documenting everything. Keep written records of small and large water damage, listing equipment, furnishings, and inventory that has been affected. It's also a very good idea to take photographs of the damage. Every time you talk to a professional, such as your insurance agent, an assessor, or a water damage remediation professional, record the date and the content of your conversation. Keep all of this information in a safe place. The better you're able to organize your paperwork, the faster you can work through your claim.

Appoint a Contact Person for Your Business

Finally, appoint a single contact person to represent your business and properties. All communication from the insurance company and other professionals should be steered toward that person. If repair technicians, inspectors, or agents need to talk to someone else in your company, make sure that contact person is also present. This ensures a continuity of service.

Whether flooding was caused by a broken pipe or severe weather, you face many losses through damage and business interruption. Your quick and appropriate action can make a positive difference in the outcome of your claim.

Business Fire Facts

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Time of Day

  • Peak time of day for office fires: Noon – 2p.m. (a.k.a. lunch time!)
  • 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage, because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
  • 19% of fires happened on weekends.

Cause of the Business Fires

  • 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
  • Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
  • Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
  • Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.

Containment & Putting it Out

  • 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
  • 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
  • Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.

Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires

The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause – sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.

Planning for the Worst

As part of your emergency preparation plan, be sure to have a local, reputable restoration company – like SERVPRO– on speed dial. The sooner you get the professionals in cleaning up after the disaster, the sooner you can get back to business (916) 987-0400.

Thermal Imaging Technology for Water Damage

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Detecting a temperature difference behind a wall can save big bucks and time by avoiding the need for demolition and an idea where the source of water problem may lie. Temperature differences do not always indicate moisture or water. It could be cool air from outside, so it requires some skill to determine if it’s one thing or another.

Thermal cameras serve to guide the user to the cold spots usually associated with moisture. Moisture spots, where evaporation is happening, tend to be cooler, just like humans sweating. Most commonly, thermal imaging is used to find the source of a roof leak, condensation issues, leaking pipes, or air flow issues.

In areas where moisture problems are abundant, like Seattle, the reasons for moisture can be very, very different, but the end consequence is moisture in the space, which can deteriorate the structure, and trigger mold growth. Often, moisture problems are not in the most visibly noticeable locations, as infrared discovered here in this wood-paneled wall and dark, low-pile, loop carpeting.

At first, the darker blue area on the camera was thought to be a normal pattern seen in many wood-frame buildings, which is quite common on corners. However, the larger light-green area showing was a clue that something more was happening, however.  In fact, this was a result of a water leak in an adjoining upstairs room.

These two infrared images show where water from an unattended bathtub overflow in an upstairs room had entered the space between the floors and pooled on the drywall of the downstairs ceiling. Knowing the location and extent of moisture infiltration is critical in determining the best course of remediation

This infrared image clearly shows the heat from hot water leaking out of a supply pipe down the inside of the plumbing wall cavity behind the shower panel. Pinpointing the approximate location of this leak saved considerable time, effort and money in resolving the issue.

SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom technicians use FLIR Infared Cameras on job sites to assist in finding where/what the source may be if the customer is unsure.

Workplace Fire Safety & Prevention Checklist

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Most Fair Oaks / Folsom residents already have a fire plan for home, but does your employer have one? Do you know your part in keeping the workplace safe?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to over 3,000 fire on office properties per year.

Like at home, it’s your responsibility to take the necessary steps to keep your office environment safe. While there are specific measures employers should take to protect their staff – every employee should do their part to prevent fires.

Some employers are required by law to have an emergency action plan in place; however, it’s smart for all companies to create and share a strategy with staff in the event of a fire.

Employers should:

  • Teach employees about fire hazards in the workplace – provide proper training in fire prevention and protection
  • Inform employees of office housekeeping procedures for storage and cleanup
  • Go over rules for controlling ignition sources such as smoking
  • Provide for proper cleaning and maintenance of heat-producing equipment
  • Require fire safety plan review with all new employees
  • Alert the entire staff when changes are made to the fire safety plan
  • Inspect office equipment on a regular basis
  • Keep fire equipment in plain sight
  • Prohibit smoking at and around work areas
  • Have an alarm system that consists of visual and audible signals
  • Post reporting instructions and local Fire Department codes around the office
  • Conduct regular fire drills
  • Include disabled employees in the fire emergency planning process
  • Appoint a fire safety leader

Employees should:

  • Keep work areas clean and free from clutter including waste paper and trash
  • Replace damaged electrical cords
  • Help maintain machinery to prevent overheating
  • Never overload circuits
  • Make sure papers and books are not piled on top of computer monitors
  • Always report malfunctioning electrical equipment
  • Make sure heat-producing equipment is far away from anything that could burn including copiers, fax machines, coffee makers and computers
  • Remember to get rid of trash regularly so it does not accumulate
  • Keep dock areas neat and clean
  • Know the location of fire alarm pull stations and extinguishers
  • Smoke in designated areas only
  • Become familiar with the proper exits and emergency procedures
  • Follow building security measures to prevent arson fires – lock up and report suspicious individuals
  • Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits
  • Keep emergency telephone numbers and the office address readily available
  • Never run extension cords across doorways or where they can easily be stepped on or run over by chairs and other furniture
  • Avoid plugging more than one extension cord into an outlet