Test your escape plan often
- Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
- Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
- Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
- It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
- If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
- Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
- Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
- In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.
Understanding Mold and Our Remediation Process
Mold has the potential to cause health effects and can spread through your property in as little as 48 hours. SERVPRO of Napa County understands mold and mold growth and has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.
Microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, so removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and they may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water.
Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
Let your nose lead the way. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
Even higher than normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:
Emergency Contact - (707) 226-2181
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.
Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.
Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents and Belongings
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.
SERVPRO of Napa County is “Always Here To Help”
What To Do When A Home Suffers From Storm Related Water Damage
When a major storm passes close to the house, the home may suffer water damage that is difficult to repair. There are many things a family can do to begin repairing any destruction, but a certified professional will likely be needed to get rid of any serious health or structural threats. Contaminated storm surges or floods can carry pathogens and become a breeding ground for mold. If allowed to fester, these mold spores can spread throughout the building and become even more difficult to remove. In many cases, governmental agencies could condemn the structure if the microbial threat is too great.
The main reason why a home is sensitive to water damage is because moisture is difficult to detect once the floods recede. Standing liquids can encourage microbial growth within 24 hours and can saturate all kinds of textiles and seep through drywall. Moisture may collect behind the walls, where mold and bacteria may multiply out of sight. If a family reacts quickly enough, clothes and furniture may be saved. However, people must be careful when entering a building that has recently been flooded. Exposure to wildlife and contaminated liquids can result in serious injury.
Before entering a home affected by water damage, make sure the electrical power is shut off. Exposed wires or plugged in devices can electrocute people, resulting in major injury or even death. Also, it’s best to move slowly through the building when re-entering it for the first time. Snakes, reptiles or rodents may be hiding under debris and could lash out and bite suddenly. To protect against wildlife and airborne contaminants, wear protective clothing from head to toe, including a vapor respirator, rubber gloves and eye protection. Also, wear thick boots that can withstand puncturing and animal bites.
Professional restoration services can quickly identify what items in the home are compromised by water damage. Normally, anything that is porous may need to be discarded if it has come in contact with contaminated fluids. These items, like mattresses, box springs, pillows and particle board, trap more moisture than other materials and foster the growth of microbes. A family can prepare for professional cleaning by getting rid of these items before the technicians arrive, but be sure to properly record and itemize the items for insurance purposes prior to disposing.
Once professionals arrive at the building, they will be able to track down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them. Certified technicians can locate these pockets of moisture using equipment that measures the moisture in hidden pockets and behind tile and other materials that may not feel wet on the outside. When these moisture pockets are found, the technicians will expose them to air by removing any drywall or other materials in the way. Once the location of the moisture has been determined, the professionals will begin the clean-up process that may include pressure washing the area with powerful detergents. These technicians are also able to speed up the drying process to prevent the growth of any molds or other harmful bacteria. If the professional locate mold or bacteria colonies, they will know how to identify and remove the threat using chemical or mechanical methods.
It’s important for a family to hire professionals that are certified through a reputable organization. Technicians trained in this area know how to find compromised areas and do what it takes to restore them.
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SERVPRO of Napa County is “Always Here to Help”
Safe Flood Clean-up Tips
Before entering a building where flood damage may have occurred, make sure it’s safe: check for electrical hazards and structural damage, and use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators. Before you start any construction or repairs, check for common hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos, which may require help from professional and State-licensed contractors.
Then, follow these tips:
- Act quickly
The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours. Have a list of professionals on hand to call, and understand your insurance policy, as some only cover mold damage up to a certain amount, while others don’t provide any reimbursement for mold.
- Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth
Mold loves moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. In order to mitigate or slow damage, open windows if weather permits and place fans inside of them to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
- Assess damage to items and materials
Assess the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. There are ways to salvage specialty items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item will vary depending on the dollar and sentimental value to the owner. It may not be worthwhile to salvage drywall, carpets and pads, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particleboard. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to restore costly Persian rugs, leather couches and antiques or heirlooms. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable through machine washing, and a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, to remove contamination and stains. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages where there are contaminants present (e.g., bacteria, sewage, mold) or where small children or immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be conducted by an appropriately trained restorer and remediator.
- Expose pockets of saturation
Hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage, wet materials and mold are discovered. Remove and discard the damaged drywall and wet wall insulation. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded. Wood base trim and hardwood can also be saved with the right equipment if they can be accessed and completely dried on both sides. Remember to investigate concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
- Conduct a thorough cleaning
Durable, non-porous or semi-porous materials, such as studs and joists, hardwood flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning products or specialized products with detergents. During cleaning, take care to protect areas that are unaffected by the water or mold. After a thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad. Professionals like water restoration and mold remediation contractors and indoor environmental professionals can help you decide what is best for your situation. Once you’ve cleaned the wet materials, conduct another round of cleaning. If you choose to vacuum, use a HEPA-filter vacuum to remove allergens, fine dust and spores.
- Confirm drying before reconstruction
In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.
Why IICRC Certified Technicians
Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.
More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.
All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.
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SERVPRO of Napa County is “Always Here to Help”
Upholstery cleaning may seem easy enough to do, but if a homeowner hires a group of amateurs to do it, the results may be disastrous. Deep sanitation and debris removal can’t be done with any vacuum, so any company that shows up to the home should have all of the equipment and expertise to do the job right. The best way for a homeowner to check this is to only take on a business that is certified.
There are dozens of sanitation services in every major metro, and finding the ideal fit can take some time. This can be made easier by checking out a database that keeps track of certified upholstery cleaning organizations. The go to place for this is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. The IICRC is the agency that monitors and updates all standards within the industry. They update the guidelines to proper sanitation regularly, and any group that follows them to the letter is doing their job right.
In addition, the IICRC runs many classes every year that are aimed at companies trying to improve their craft and earn the seal of approval. An upholstery cleaning business can benefit greatly from these classes, and they are easy to schedule in, as they only require a few days to complete. For any group that wants to prove their chops, though, they are extremely important, and by completing them, a company can improve their status in the industry.
A year after an organization is certified by the IICRC, it can apply for journeyman textile sanitation status by knocking out three classes, including a mandatory upholstery cleaning course. After an additional two years, the business can reach master status by taking another two courses, one of which is for color repair. This means that a master level group of professionals can do more than just make the fabric immaculate, they can also bring it back to its former glory.
Most organizations that have these advanced marks of achievement will advertise them proudly, so finding them should be an easy task. Also, a client looking for a company can use the IICRC’s website to get some handy advice on what to look for in an organization. The site also contains a database that can locate a member in the client’s area.
Another major reason to only take on a certified business is that they are more likely to have specialists that can handle other tasks common to an upholstery cleaning group. These may include carpet sanitation, fire or water damage repair, textile repair or carpet inspection. Often, a homeowner needs several of these services at the same time, so farming them all out to one operation can reduce the price dramatically and abbreviate the time it takes to get it done.
In short, it is best to stay from companies that look amateurish and lack proper certification. Those that are trained to take care of fabrics will have a cadre of workers that have all attended courses, and are equipped with top of the line machines that are also approved by the IICRC.
The days of a house cleaner with a mop, bucket and vacuum are over. Today a professional is entrusted with the care of a home, its furnishings and the health of its occupants. With the many new materials and surfaces being used in home décor, a professional house cleaner has a much broader range of knowledge than in the past as many of these newer surfaces require specialized care.
In addition to caring for the home and its contents, a professional house cleaning technician helps care for health. This includes hygienic cleaning, effective sanitizing of surfaces, use of appropriate cleaning agents, and procedures to prevent cross contamination. A thorough vacuuming with a high-efficiency filtration vacuum is an important contributor to improved indoor air quality.
An IICRC-certified House Cleaning Technician is trained to properly care for homes and health. A consumer who uses a certified professional can confidently trust the cleaning and relax in a clean and healthy home.
You know SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."
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A survey commissioned by the IICRC indicates that 81 percent of U.S. homeowners agree that the health of their family is directly related to the cleanliness of floors in the home. While a key component to improving air quality is eliminating carpet and rug odors, which in many cases requires regularly cleaning these surfaces, only 15 percent clean their carpet at least once a year.
According to the IICRC, the following four-step process is the best way to successfully remove odor from your carpet:
- Remove the source of the odor, as practical (absorb liquids, scoop solids)
- Thoroughly clean odor-affected surfaces and materials. Cleaning is basic to deodorizing
- Treat the odor source with an appropriate odor counteractant (sanitizer, disinfectant, enzyme)
- Seal restorable surfaces, such as subflooring, if practical
Many sources of odor, including pet urine and tobacco smoke, require specialized procedures and techniques and are best addressed by a certified professional.
Why a Rug Cleaning Professional?
Sometimes vacuuming just is not enough to get the job done, and the assistance of a rug cleaning specialist is necessary. Carpet can muffle sound, prevent slipping and collect the soil and debris that would otherwise get tracked through the house. Maintaining its durability through thorough tidying is a way to ensure long lasting usefulness.
Finding someone reliable to perform a professional cleaning is not difficult when one knows what to look for. When searching for a reputable business to trust, it is important to look for one that has been operating for a number of years. This is not to say that a new business is incapable of providing quality work, but someone with a history in the field is far more likely to have the necessary skills. Obtaining information on a business that has been around for years will be easier, because they’ve had the opportunity to be critiqued by more customers. Online recommendations are helpful when deciding on a rug cleaning service, because they provide proof of excellent customer service and a job that has been satisfactorily done. While not necessary, picking a business that specializes in more than cleaning has its benefits. A company that is well versed in restoration and repair has a clear idea of how the rug should look, as well as how it is made, and all of that knowledge can be applied when inspecting and treating it. A professional business is also more likely to have the machines, soap solutions and techniques that result in a complete laundering.
A professional rug cleaning serves the purpose of removing stains, dirt, odors and allergens. There are a few different methods of achieving this, but the most common is composed of a few steps. First, remove items that are small and fragile from pieces of furniture that will need to be moved. A crew will do all the heavy lifting, but can operate more quickly and efficiently without clutter. A pre-inspection will reveal if there are any permanent stains and allow the employees to determine rug construction and materials. Jute, a natural fiber that used to be employed as a backing is known to shrink when wet, so an inspection is an important part of the process. A thorough vacuuming of the area will then be done to remove debris. Afterwards, a pre-spray and spot treatment will be applied before a machine-mounted hot water extraction is performed. The hot water extraction sprays water that has its heat and pressure carefully regulated to prevent floor coverings from getting sopping wet. This method flushes the carpet with a diluted cleaning agent that removes bonded dirt and grit. The hot water extraction machine sucks up the water immediately after spraying it, and this is performed front to back. Afterwards, there is a post-spot treatment to tend to any trouble spots. Then the floor covering is raked to encourage faster drying and to be more aesthetically pleasing.
A rug cleaning that will restore floor coverings to their former softness and vibrancy is not a do-it-yourself task, but a job for a professional. Only through hiring a professional can the best, most effective and safest rug cleaning solutions and methods be guaranteed.
Building and Reconstruction Services
When your home or business has been damaged by fire, water, or storm damage, the immediate concern should be temporary protective measures such as placing roof tarps to prevent additional damage, and boarding up to secure the building and remove water and debris.
After protecting and securing the structure, professionals at SERVPRO of Napa County can begin the restoration process. Your home or business may need reconstruction work to get your property back to its preloss condition.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Napa County can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.
SERVPRO of Napa County can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality.