Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fire Damage Doesn't Mean That It Is Over

Although it can be a very devastating and emotionally trying situation to deal with, you should not let fire damage ruin your life. Even though you may feel as if everything is lost, you need to know that in many cases, there are things that can be saved, including your home. Don't let all of the soot and discoloration fool you. With the right restoration company by your side, you can know for certain what can be saved and what is safe.

Don't ever attempt to handle things after there has been some sort of situation where some of your home or possessions have been burned. You don't know exactly what has occurred and often times, what looks safe may not be. By hiring a fire damage restoration service, you are allowing the professionals to do what they do best. They will assess your property and help you deal with the aftermath of the blaze. They will do a thorough cleaning and will repair what can be fixed. By the time they are finished, you may be surprised to learn that things aren't as bad as they originally appeared.

When it comes to fire damage, you need to keep in mind that no two situations are alike. There are many different factors that play a large part in determining what can be done for your benefit. Don't let the fear and doubts take over your mind; get a professional opinion and peace of mind by contacting a fire damage and restoration company.

As much as you may think that all you have to do in this type of situation is contact your insurer, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best quality service during the restoration process. You don't have to wait on your insurer to contact a restoration service for you. You want things to be handled as soon as possible so you can get back to living your normal life. Contact your insurer and ask them for a list of fire damage companies that are acceptable for your claim. This will save you time since you won't have to talk to any that your insurer may not pay out to.

Do some research on these companies and find out which ones have an excellent reputation for performing high quality work. Just because your policy may cover the fees that are involved, it doesn't hurt for you to compare prices and pick the service that offers the most competitive rates. You need to remember that your insurer still has the final word on what goes on with your claim. In order to ensure that things proceed along smoothly, you should stay in contact with your insurer. Once you have found a restoration service, you can finally relax and let them get your home back in order.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Hazards Of Water Damage To Your Home

Most of us feel very comfortable with our homes and we tend to look at them as a safe haven from the world around us. The unfortunate thing is, there are issues that can occur which will make our home uncomfortable and at times, even unsafe. Among the many problems that could take place is an issue with water damage. This can either happen quickly, as is the case if you have a flood in the home or it can happen over the course of time and be largely unrecognized because it occurs behind-the-scenes. What are some of the issues that can occur when you have water damage in the home?

One of the obvious issues is going to be the damage that can take place to almost any part of the home when water is involved. If the water leaked in from above, as is the case with a leaky roof, the damage can occur over time and may not be recognized immediately. This is also the case if you have a small leak in one of the water pipes in the wall or even in the ceiling. These issues can compound over time and by the time you recognize you have a problem, the damage can be quite extensive.

Most people consider that they are only dealing with drywall damage when water is involved but that is far from the extent of the problems that can occur. You may also have damage to your flooring, causing it to buckle and perhaps even need replaced. These are very expensive items that are going to require a professional touch. There may even be something that is much more sinister that is lurking in the background and can cause health problems that are difficult to detect.

The issue that we are referring to is mold. Mold is a problem that is in many homes and it is largely undetected, unless a professional service does the testing that is required. Mold causes allergic reactions in most people and the wrong type of mold can even cause breathing difficulties that result in permanent damage to the lungs. If you have mold in your home, there are mold remediation companies that can help to clear up the issue. They are part of a larger water damage restoration service but they perform a specific task that must be done in order for you to live in the house safely. It is also important to note, once mold has been detected in the home, you are going to need to have a clearance test done before the home can be sold at any time in the future.

These are just some of the problems that can occur if you experience water damage in your home. Some of the issues are going to display themselves almost right away while others may lurk in the background and show up years from the time that the damage actually occurred. Make sure that you hire the professionals who will come in and analyze the situation so that you can have everything corrected as soon as the damage becomes apparent.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Professional Mold Removal Is Always Best

It can lurk behind your walls. It can establish a colony in a dark, damp place in your bathroom. It can destroy your home and your health in a slow and methodical way. It is mold, and it can be dangerous.

Mold is a natural organism that exists everywhere. Most forms of mold are harmless and no one will even realize that they are present in their surroundings. However, black mold can be destructive to your home and your health.

Black mold grows in dark and damp places, often taking residence behind your drywall after a water vent such as a flood has occurred. Because the conditions behind your walls are perfect for black mold growth, it begins to grow exponentially. It feeds off of anything and everything that it touches, including wood and dry, literally leaving dust in its path.

When the spores enter the air, which is how it moves from place to place, it can cause respiratory illness. People can begin to have asthma-like symptoms, or worse. Because mold is often not discovered until it "breaks through" the walls, these people suffer from the illness never understanding what is causing the problem.

What Can Be Done To Prevent This Scenario

If you have any type of water event, a broken pipe, a flood, a leaky shower, make sure that you have professional mold removal performed on your home. A mold remediation company will come into your home and professionally dry out the area and treat it for mold and mold prevention.

It takes a specific type of cleanser and chemical to prevent black mold from developing. These professional strength cleaners are only available through a licensed company and must be applied by professionals who are specifically trained.

Yes, cleaning the surface with bleach will prevent mold from developing on the surface of an affected area, but it does not treat the other side of your walls or floors where it is perfect for black mold to breed.

Even if you are already experiencing mold growth, a mold removal service can stop the growth by treating the area and the home. You may need to have additional work performed to make repairs from the damage, but this can easily be accomplished if caught in time.

Sick Building Syndrome

Sadly, once black mold has been left to multiply for too long, the building often becomes unusable. The mold growth has infected so many areas, and caused so much physical damage, that the only option left is to demolish the building, treat the debris, and rebuild fresh. This is often referred to as sick building syndrome, and many areas require demolition of the building as the only option.

Again, this can be avoided if mold removal is performed as soon as a water event occurs.

When you are recovering from a flood, a fire, or any other event that involves water in your home or business, it is imperative to have mold remediation performed on the building to prevent future problems. This is especially true in warmer climates where mold growth can start almost immediately.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Fire Restoration Is Something to Plan

Having a home or business burn is something that no one really enjoys thinking about. It is one of those things that we probably avoid. No one wants to scare their kids, so often the subject is dropped until that visit to the station for a field trip. It is important for the subject to come up before then. Having a plan is important. You should have an escape plan, but you should also have a fire restoration plan. This means having a name and number on file that you can call if you ever need your home and belongings restored after they are burned or water damaged.

It will not be the time to research when your home is still burning. You will not be thinking about fire restoration at this point. The time to think about it is now. Take the time to look up a variety of businesses that do this line of work. Find a few, and then make some comparisons. Compare cost, experience, as well as reputation.

When the time comes, you will be desperate, so you might not think as much about cost then. It is a good idea to think about cost now. Compare prices, but do not let this be your deciding factor. All of the places should have a similar price range unless one is much more efficient and can prove that it is.

The experience of the company is also to be considered. Along with the experience, you can factor in the technology and equipment that they use in fire restoration. It takes a lot of work to get smoke and water out of fabrics and other items. Find out what each company has to offer in these areas, and make some comparisons.

The reputation of a fire restoration company is also important. It is important because you need to know that you can trust them with your belongings, and also trust them to do a good job and not make anything worse. You can find out about the reputation of companies much easier today than in the past.

Talking to friends who have used companies is an option. It is also a good option to go to the Better Business Bureau website to check out the grade for a company. It is also helpful to go to professional review websites. You should do a couple of these as you research the best company.

Fire restoration may not be something anyone wants to think about, but it quickly becomes a necessity when your home or office burns. Some things will never be replaced and could never be replaced. Having someone there who is willing to try, is encouraging, and it will help you in the aftermath.

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SERVPRO of Fairfield understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the interruption it causes to your life and home. Our goal is to help minimize the disruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened".

When fire and water take control of your life, we help you take it back. 

(707) 207-0122

Friday, May 17, 2013

Get Healthier Breathing Air With Air Duct Cleaning Services

Outdoor air pollution is a major health concern; however, this emphasis can overshadow the importance of combating indoor air pollution within our own homes. People spend most of their time indoors which makes indoor pollution a more immediate health threat with airborne debris that includes dust, mold, pollen and other allergens. The most effective way to remove these airborne pollutants from a home is with air duct cleaning services. Quality air duct cleaning services greatly enhance the indoor air quality by removing dust and other airborne pollutants from the duct system.

The indoor air quality of a home is affected by several factors such as stoves, smoking, heating and cooling systems, and even outdoor pollution. The debris is circulated through a home as it gathers within the duct system only to get redistributed into the air as the heating or cooling system turns on. Breathing in these pollutants over time can lead to immediate health effects such as irritation of the eyes, knows, and throat, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness as well as long term effects with prolonged exposure such as respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. By having airborne allergens removed from the air duct system, these adverse health effects can be avoided.

Quality duct cleaning services can effectively remove airborne pollutants from the duct system by using the industry standard method of source removal. This method involves sealing each vent to keep debris from escaping into the air and creating a vacuum within the system to extract dust and debris. For a deeper clean, quality companies will also wash internal components such as the blower fan, coils, and drain pan to remove all possible contaminates. After a thorough duct cleaning, the breathing air will be much healthier and the heating and cooling will operate more efficiently. The source removal method is the only method fully endorsed by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).

If there is a possibility that you may be experiencing the effects of indoor air pollution in your home or if you just want cleaner breathing air, contact a service provider to have your ducts cleaned. Living with indoor pollution can cause several minor health effects that can easily develop into more serious problems over time. Professional duct cleaning services can clear your duct system so that it starts circulating healthier breathing air. Improve the quality of your breathing air and protect your health with air duct cleaning services.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Proper Mold Remediation Requires a Trained Professional

If you have spotted mildew evidence at your house or office building, mold remediation steps to correct the problem can be tricky. In order to fully take care of this problem, you'll need to hire professionals who know how to effectively rid your structure of mildew. If proper eradication doesn't occur, the problem will multiply over time.

What Causes It?

Moldiness often occurs because of leaky roofs, pipes, and plumbing fixtures. If these structural components aren't maintained, they can leak into the surrounding structures. Without repairing damaged raingutters or replacing broken shingles, dampness settles into the adjoining lumber, insulation, drywall, flooring, and ceilings. Sometimes an improperly vented bathroom allows moisture to gather behind vinyl wallpaper, which can lead to an infestation without the homeowners' knowledge.

Who to Call?

Mold remediation must be taken very seriously. This is not your average cleanup job. Because it spreads its destruction rapidly, professionals should be called in right away. Not only will an infestation eat away at structural components, it can impair the health of inhabitants. If the spores are inhaled, this can cause chronic breathing problems and lung disease. If the owner of a home or public building suspects this problem, he or she needs to call in the pros for an inspection as soon as possible.

What to Do?

Inspectors will perform a thorough evaluation of the property. They will look for visible as well as hidden evidence of mildew. Mold remediation steps will depend on where the problem started and how far it's spread. Molds come in a variety of colors including black, green, and brown. This problem may show up on the ceiling, in the bathroom, around windowsills, in basements and/or crawl spaces. Once the starting points have been located, it will be necessary to plug the leaks and dry up all of the dampness. Why bother cleaning up the problem if further leaking will occur?

Precautions to Be Taken

In order to keep inspectors and inhabitants safe, protective precautions must be taken. For example, gloves and masks must be worn, and cleaning materials will need to be disposed of. If a wall is infested, it will need to be cut away, sterilized and rebuilt. Simply painting over a moldy wall or ceiling will just hide the problem and allow it to grow further. If the problem has spread to HVAC vents and ductwork, this requires fastidious attention as spores can be blown from room to room and inhaled by inhabitants.

Mold remediation must be taken care of by professionals. If homeowners or office building owners attempt to solve the problem themselves, it could lead to serious consequences for them and inhabitants of the building. Because the health of humans and pets are at stake along with destruction of the building, this must be taken care of promptly and correctly.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cleaning Fire Damage - A Difficult Process Without Proper Training

When a home or business is struck by a fire, the damage to the building remains even after the fire is extinguished. At this time of tragedy, the last thing that property owners need to be worried about is cleaning fire damage. Hiring a professional to perform this difficult task can provide peace of mind to property owners because they can relax, knowing that the job is being done effectively and in a timely manner. Professionals have the training and the tools that are needed to properly clean up after a fire and restore the building and contents safely.

Some types of materials create chemical reactions after they have been burned, so it is important that they are cleaned quickly. If they are not cleaned fast enough or with the proper types of agents, the items could become unsafe in just a matter of days. Without the proper equipment, cleaning fire damage is a long and difficult process. This is another reason why it is best to call on the professionals. They know how to clean even the most delicate items and they clean them in a way that prevents future problems, such as mold, from occurring.

Restoring a home or a business after a fire is extremely physically demanding, especially without good equipment. In many cases, even the wood and the walls in the building need to be cleaned in order to prevent future problems. For individuals without the proper training and equipment, this process takes a great deal of time and energy. Without the proper fire damage cleaning experience, it can also be done incorrectly, which will only cause problems later on down the road. The potential issues that can result from this can be hazardous to the health of those who occupy the building. Professionals can eliminate the need for future repairs, while saving the property owner time, energy, and money.

Many property owners want to take cleaning fire damage upon themselves in order to save money, but end up finding that it is much too difficult for them to take on alone. Rather than wasting the energy, it is best to put the process in the hands of true professionals who will get the job done right the first time.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Salsa Recipe

"Keep it fresh by mixing fresh chopped tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro with lime juice for a quick and simple salsa."

3 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons chopped fresh jalapeno
pepper (including seeds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Stir the tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Serve.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


I found a very interesting website that may appeal to my plumbers out there. This website has a discussion forum just for plumbers.  So if you've encountered some challenges on the job, you may find information there helpful to you.  As always, We would love your feedback, so please email me, or Stacy with your ideas and suggestions.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


The market has changed significantly in the first quarter of 2013. It's not just in commercial lines or personal lines. It's not just in coastal areas or wind-prone regions. It's not just in the hail belt or in Tornado Alley. For the first time in recent memory, we are witnessing an industry-wide, concerted effort to tighten belts and boost the bottom line. The culprit of it all is profit, or lack thereof.

Carriers have stepped up and demanded that agencies must be profitable and that the market:

* Eliminate inactive agencies that aren't producing a tolerable (defined differently by each carrier) amount of new business

* Eliminate stand-alone books of unsupported personal lines business and/or insist it be cross sold with other lines (i.e., homeowners and auto)

* Make a profit by agency relationship or terminate the relationship

* Increase rates at all opportunities and in all lines when possible, and not gradually, but now in 2013

* Reduce agency overhead by reevaluating the profit-sharing formula and commission structure.