Recent Posts

Mold damage Remediation

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of mold growth found on baseboard. Baseboard mold damage.

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO Of West Valley City can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. 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 may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on 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.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor which can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Water Damage in West Valley City

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a rusty broken pipe. Broken pipe leading to water damage in West Valley City, UT.

Water damages happen quite frequently in the West Valley City area. The most common that we see are from failed supply lines from a toilet or fridge.

When experiencing a water loss in your home you should first:

  • Shut off the water
  • Remove furniture from the area
  • Call your insurance agent
  • Call SERVPRO for a free consultation or emergency services

When dealing with a water loss from a broken supply line or pipe it is considered a Category 1 or clean water source. Most of your building materials that are wet will be salvaged and restored to pre loss conditions.

About SERVPRO

SERVPRO of West Valley City has a quick response time. All our technicians are background checked and are certified through the IICRC. Their certifications range from Water Restoration Technician, Applied Structural Drying, Commercial Drying Specialist, and Applied Microbial Remediation Technician. 

What if I Don't Have Flood Insurance?

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded neighborhood. Flooding can lead to severe water damage.

Many areas aren't located on a floodplain or prone to flooding. However, there's always a possibility that you could find your West Valley City, UT, home in a flood one day. In that case, what happens if you don't have flood insurance? There are a few options available to assist you.

3 Things to Consider if You Don't Have Flood Insurance

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

If there's a chance of an impending flood, it's best to be safe by being proactive. Move valuables and important documents to higher levels (e.g., upstairs or up on shelves). You can also put smaller important items in a clean, dry washing machine or dishwasher; they will keep water both in and out. If any of your valuables are too big or bulky to move (e.g., antique furniture), you can put a drain pan under each leg to keep the water away from it. However, this won't help for floodwaters that are more than an inch or two high.

2. Consider a Loan

If you've experienced a flood and your home has sustained damage, but you don't have flood insurance, you can consider getting a loan. The U.S. Small Business Association offers loans for which you can qualify even if you're not a business owner. They're primarily for homeowners who don't have flood insurance. These low-interest loans are available up to $200,000 for primary residence damage. The SBA also offers loans up to $40,000 for personal property damage (also available for renters).

3. Check Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The United States President must declare your state a major disaster area to get federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They also must mark your county for individual assistance. A federal grant from FEMA will offer up to $33,000 per household for expenses incurred from a disaster like a flood. These expenses could include hiring flood damage restoration professionals, temporary housing, belongings replacement, and medical and funeral expenses.

If your home sustains a flood but no flood insurance, there are other options. Understanding them and being prepared before something happens can make a high-stress time a little less stressful.

Protect Your Family From a Gas Fire

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a gas stove Gas may be used for cooking.

In many communities, natural gas is the go-to source of energy for home and water heating. In addition to these conveniences, this gas may also be used for cooking, powering air conditioning units, running the clothes dryer, and powering a gas fire in your fireplace. While this cost-effective source of energy is generally safe, there are some precautions you should take if you smell that "rotten egg" odor, hear a hissing sound, or suspect a gas leak for any other reason:

5 Precautions to Take if You Suspect a Gas Leak

  1. Don't turn any lights on. Don't plug anything into your outlets. Any spark or flame could cause collected gas to ignite. If you need a source of light, choose a flashlight.
  2. Check your gas appliances. If you have a gas stove, for example, make sure the burners have been turned off. It's fairly easy for the knobs to get bumped into an "on" position.
  3. Open windows and doors. This is the best way to provide the ventilation necessary to get gas out of your home.
  4. Evacuate everyone from your home. After moving across the street, call 911 or the gas company. The best way to avoid a gas fire is to alert professionals to the problem. They may also ask you to warn your neighbors to evacuate.
  5. Locate the gas meter. When you aren't worried about a potential leak and resulting gas explosion, find out where your gas meter is installed. With this information, you can turn off the meter if you smell gas.

Remember that your top priorities are the safety of your family, your loved ones, and the people around you. Don't take risks when dealing with gas.

Natural gas is an affordable option when it comes to powering your house. With the right information, you can avoid a gas fire. If your West Valley City, UT, home is affected by fire, contact property damage cleanup and repair professionals for help.

3 Steps To Take After Your Sprinklers Are Triggered

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems can leave behing a big mess when triggered by fire or by accident.

Your fire system is designed to put out any flames in your building in West Valley City, UT, as quickly as possible. Whether the sprinklers are triggered by a fire or by accident, they will likely leave behind a big mess that will require professional cleanup. When you have flooding issues from the sprinkler system, there are three steps you need to take right away.

3 Steps to Take When You Have Flooding From the Sprinkler System

1. Stop the Flow

The first thing you want to do when fire sprinklers flood your building is stop the water at its source. Depending on your system, the sprinklers may be fed by either a reservoir or the water may come directly from a line off the water main. Override the trigger on your fire panel, then shut off the water to the building.

2. Call Mitigation Experts

No matter how fast your reaction to the problem is, the fire system is designed to release a large amount of water in a short amount of time. To ensure that the flooding in your building doesn't lead to secondary damage, you need to call water mitigation experts as soon as possible. The team can arrive within hours of your call, assess the problem, and start the restoration process.

3. Contact Insurance Company

Your commercial property policy is likely to cover most if not all of the costs of repairing water damage, but you need to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. The assessment of the adjuster and the itemized estimate from the mitigation company are both necessary to complete your damage claim correctly.

When your fire system causes flooding in your building, you don't want to wait too long to address the problem. The sooner you can shut off the water supply and call cleanup experts, the less damage you are likely to have overall. Your quick action tells your insurance company that you have handled the situation responsibly and increases your chances of having your claim approved.

3 Reasons To Install Storm Shutters

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a home with storm shutters installed Install storm shutters to protect your home

While residential properties must adhere to building codes and standards, those requirements ensure that a structure remains standing when subject to typical storm surges and expectations. Unfortunately, high winds are often unpredictable, and while some aspects of a home are built to withstand such gusts, windows are often vulnerable to breakage and penetration. Most storm damage specialists in West Valley City, UT, recommend homeowners install permanent shutters, and they make such a recommendation for three reasons.

3 Reasons Most Storm Damage Specialists Recommend to Install Storm Shutters

1. Always Ready

Having storm shutters installed means you are always ready, even when the weather shifts suddenly. The protective shields are often easy to deploy by either pulling over and latching or unrolling and latching. Whichever option you choose for your home, you ensure quick deployment and minimal damage to your home through a professional installation.

2. Not Intrusive

Many people worry that a shutter will devalue their property because it will affect the curb appeal, but this is not typically the case. A shutter system is looked at as a value add, and while some may be more visible than others, most do not intrude on the overall look of the home, and you will be happy to have them when the high winds start raging in your neighborhood.

3. Cost Efficient

Some people do not see the value in storm shutters, often opting for spontaneous protection through the nailing up of plywood panels. Not only are nails destructive, but the plywood will only need replacement when it comes to the next storm. By installing a storm shutter system, you are saving money because it is a one-time expense.

While building codes and city regulations attempt to cover every natural disaster or issue, high winds can be highly unpredictable, meaning that some structural elements are more susceptible than others to damage. A storm shutter system can protect both your home and family, and it is a one-time cost.

How Do I Get Rid of Mildew on My Plants?

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of different types of plants Get rid of mildew on plants.

Powdery mildew is a common problem for various plants. It can restrict a plant’s growth or even kill it, if untreated. Powdery mildew is a general term for several fungus-related plant conditions. It thrives in warm, humid climates but can live in most environments, including West Valley City, UT. This plant mildew is distinctive from others due to its powdery appearance.
Fortunately, there are safe, natural treatments for this mildew growth:

4 Ways to Get Rid of Mildew on Plants

1. Garlic

Powdery mildew doesn’t react well with sulfur. Therefore, you can use a garlic solution to kill this fungus since garlic is high in sulfur. Crush six cloves of garlic. Then, mix it with one ounce of any kind of organic oil and one ounce of rubbing alcohol. The solution then needs two days to set. Then, strain the mixture. Keep the liquid and crushed garlic and put the garlic in a cup of water to soak. Strain the water off of the garlic. Mix one gallon of water with the oil and alcohol solution. Finally, thoroughly mix in the garlic water. Now, you can spray the mixture onto your plant’s leaves.

2. Vinegar

Acetic acid, which is present in vinegar, is excellent for plant mildew and one of the oldest fungal remedies. Mix four tablespoons of vinegar into one gallon of water. You can apply this to the affected plants every three days. Be careful to not make a more robust solution, as it can harm the plant by burning the leaves.

3. Potassium Bicarbonate Solution (Baking Soda)

A bicarbonate solution is excellent at killing the fungi without harming the plant. Thoroughly mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a quart of water. Spray it over the affected plant. It can also be a preventative treatment.

4. Milk

Milk is one of the most effective powdery mildew treatments. A solution of 60 parts water with 40 parts milk should be sprayed on the affected area biweekly. You can use undiluted milk if this solution doesn’t solve the problem.

You must start treating plant mildew as soon as you discover it, especially if you find it indoors. If there's a question, mildew and mold remediation specialists can help.

Splitting the Costs of Fire Damage in Rental Properties

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fire with big flames and black smoke seen from the outside of an apartment Fire damage in an apartment

As a rental property owner in West Valley City, UT, you have an obligation to maintain your properties, so they are safe and livable for your tenants. Your responsibilities are defined by the Federal Housing Administration, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a variety of other federal, state, and local regulations. With so many sources of regulations, figuring out where your responsibilities end can be confusing. For example, who is responsible for repairs following an apartment fire?

Responsabilities of Fire Damage in Rental Properties

Renters' Insurance

Your tenant should have renters' insurance; as a property owner, you can require that your tenants carry this protection. Renters' insurance covers:

  • Tenant-caused damage to walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Tenant-caused damage to appliances
  • Flea extermination caused by tenants' pets
  • Damage to the tenants' belongings in the fire-affected apartment

In most cases, you'll need to show that the tenants were responsible for damage beyond normal wear and tear.

Your Property Insurance

After an apartment fire, the costs associated with fire cleanup and repair are split between your own property insurance and the renters' insurance. For example, your tenants' insurance should cover the loss of their furniture, clothing, and other belongings. Your insurance should cover damage to the structural elements of the property. As the building owner, you should reach out immediately to fire damage remediation experts for inspections, cleanup, removal of soot, and related repairs.

Determination of Responsibility

This sounds pretty straightforward, but sometimes other factors influence who ultimately pays. For example, your insurance company may want to know how the fire started and what types of damage have occurred. Your insurance company will attempt to work with the tenants' insurance provider.

Remember the property owner is responsible for damage to the structure and the tenant is responsible for damage caused to the content of the building. If the apartment fire was caused by something the tenant did, they may be found responsible for additional costs.

5 Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Preparation

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person holding it's head while watching the debris left after a fire damage. Fire preparation and prevention it's important.

Witnessing your West Valley City, UT, home ablaze is one one the most devastating things you and your family could endure. Nothing is guaranteed. However, there are fire safety measures that can help you prevent a home fire. There are also fire preparation tips you can practice just in case.

5 Fire Preparation Tips

1. Inspect Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms must be maintained to keep them operating properly. Dust or vacuum each unit at least once a year when you replace the batteries. Smoke alarm units themselves should be replaced every 10 years.

2. Use Electricity Safely

Avoid overloading electrical circuits. Make sure that your light bulbs don't go above the suggested wattage on each light fixture. If plugs don’t fit the outlets snugly, you may need to replace the outlets. If you frequently have tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses in your home, have a licensed electrician examine your electrical system.

3. Cook Safely

Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stove or broiling. Keeping a pot lid or baking sheet within reach in the kitchen is an excellent fire preparation plan. If a pan fire begins, cover it and turn off the burner. Always keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove to avoid them being knocked off.

4. Monitor Open Flames

When burning candles, make sure that they’re in sturdy, non-flammable candle holders away from flammable materials (e.g., curtains, magazines). Also, place them out of the reach of children and pets. Never keep candles burning unattended. Never present an open flame in an area where medical oxygen is used, even if the machine is turned off.

5. Use Heaters Safely

Keep flammable materials at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, radiators and furnaces. Turn off and unplug heaters when you’re leaving home or going to bed. Only use space heaters with overheat or tip over automatic shutoff features.

Fire preparation and prevention are essential fire safety tools that you must practice. If a fire occurs at your home, fire restoration professionals can return it to its preloss condition.

Understanding How SERVPRO Helps With Claims and Disaster Response

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a silhouette of a woman going up with letters behind stating "damage claims" SERVPRO can help with your claims and disaster response.

No business owner has the time or wants to deal with a disaster. The interruption alone creates enough complications. Instead of dealing with claim services on your own, wouldn’t it be better to have someone to help you through the process? A disaster response company, such as SERVPRO, is a perfect partner for dealing with the aftermath and stress. These companies help business owners and operators, like you, in at least three ways.

3 Ways SERVPRO Helps With Claims 

1. Rapid Response

After a fire, flood, or any major crisis, you need a rapid emergency response. The increasing damage does not stop after putting out a fire or turning off the water. You must remove all contributing factors. Mitigation companies do not waste any time getting to your facility and putting a stop to the crisis. After the first responders move out, the mitigation team moves in.

2. Intermediary Between Insurers and Clients

The claim services department of nearly all insurance companies does not make the process of filing easy. You must adhere to numerous rules and cross every T and dot every I. As an emergency relief partner, SERVPRO can help mediate between the insurer and yourself, making the process more comfortable for everyone.

3. Preparation and Prevention Tips

The primary reason to call SERVPRO in West Valley City, UT, is to mitigate and restore your building. However, another benefit of the partnership is getting a property assessment. Expert mitigation practitioners will walk you through different preparation and prevention suggestions, ensuring your awareness of potential problems and how to circumvent them.

No business owner can afford extensive business interruption. Hiring a professional mitigation and restoration service can limit the recovery timeline. However, a company will also receive a partnership with claims services and future planning beyond a quick response. Having a knowledgeable and responsible team to help you through a crisis is priceless and often necessary to ensure a smooth recovery.