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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Aguilera Family Foundation

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

Foundation We are making a difference in the community.

At SERVPRO de Chula Vista we have the philosophy that if we are growing as a company, we must generate a great impact in our community.

The desire to help the community has allowed us to revolve our business around our service. That is why we are very proud to share that we have opened the Aguilera Family Foundation with the purpose of making a change in our Chula Vista and South Bay community.

The growth of SERVPRO of Chula Vista in recent years is also due to the trust our Chula Vista community has in us. When your home or commercial business needs restoration, you can contact SERVPRO of Chula Vista and feel peace of mind that in some way we are making a difference in the community.

How to remove asbestos from my building in Chula Vista?

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Asbestos Laboratory analysis and determine if the property has asbestos.

Asbestos abatement in short, is the process of removing asbestos from a building. Although at SERVPRO of Chula Vista we do not do this service directly, we do hire a company to assist us with the removal service when it's needed. If we are repairing a home that has been affected by water or fire damage, and we believe that the building contains asbestos, these are the steps we would follow:

  1. We will hire a company to perform a laboratory analysis and determine if the property has asbestos.
  2. If the tests are positive for asbestos, we will hire trained professionals for asbestos removal in order to protect our customers and employees.

In case your Chula Vista home or commercial business needs asbestos removal we recommend you do not attempt to remove it yourself. Call SERVPRO of Chula Vista at (619) 482-1131 and we are Here to Help you immediately and using advanced equipment and techniques to remove it.

No job is too big for SERVPRO of Chula Vista

3/31/2022 (Permalink)

Team Our technicians are trained and certified by the IICRC.

We know that it can be difficult when you have an emergency arise in your home or business. Therefore, at SERVPRO of Chula Vista we are available 24 hours a day to respond promptly to your emergencies.

No job is too big for us because our technicians are trained and certified by the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) with the goal of being experts and performing best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold, cleanup, and repairs.

Also, SERVPRO of Chula Vista is part of the more than 2,000 franchises that SERVPRO has around North America. No job is too big or too far; we do water damage clean up around the entire country and call for assistance from other franchises when we need their help!

If you experience an emergency circumstance in your home or business, we'll be ready to respond using our innovative technology and experience. Call SERVPRO of Chula Vista at (619) 482-1131.

Is there asbestos in my Chula Vista home?

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Asbestos We take precautions the right way to protect our customers and employees.

Asbestos is a material that was used in old construction, since it had magnificent qualities. For example, it was a durable building material and its price was very accessible.  Around 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an asbestos ban after they had realized that asbestos could be very harmful once it is breathed in. Asbestos is released in the air during construction projects, when asbestos containing drywall is removed.

There are still buildings that contain asbestos today. When we are repairing a home that has sustained water or fire damage and we believe that the home's construction contains asbestos, we take precautions the right way to protect our customers and employees.

If you experience a circumstance like this in your home or business, we'll be ready to respond using our innovative technology. Call SERVPRO of Chula Vista at (619) 482-1131 and we are Here to Help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Practice Safe Cooking in Chula Vista

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

cooking SERVPRO of Chula Vista is Here to Help 24 hours a day.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires. The vast majority of time, they happen when you least expect it. At SERVPRO of Chula Vista we do fire clean up, so we want to give you the following tips for when you prepare a meal or are baking some delicious chocolate chip cookies. 

  • Never leave your stove unattended while cooking. 
  • Keep your cooking area free of combustible materials. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Keep cooking equipment clean.
  • Never throw hot grease in the garbage or the drain. Let the grease cool before discarding it.
  • Create a kid-free zone. Create a space of at least three feet around your stove and other areas where hot food is prepared.
  • Avoid using kitchen appliances if you're sleepy or have consumed alcohol.

Follow these tips to prevent accidents. In case your Chula Vista home or commercial business needs fire damage services, SERVPRO® of Chula Vista is Here to Help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Property Damage Emergency in Otay Ranch?

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Equipment We are available 24-hours.

For SERVPRO of Chula Vista, something important to us is our quick response when our Otay Ranch community has a property damage emergency. Thus, we are available 24-hours, 7 days a week to support you in any emergency.

No project is too big for us, because we have been a trusted leader in the restoration industry for nearly 15 years. We are better known for water and fire damage mitigation, we also offer many other specialties.

We have experience in many constructions for example:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office and High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industry
  • Government/Military

If you experience an emergency circumstance in your home or business, we'll be ready to respond using our innovative technology and experience. Call SERVPRO of Chula Vista at (619) 482-1131.

Water Damage Tips: What to do Before Help Arrives

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage SERVPRO of Chula Vista responded immediately

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. If your home or business in Chula Vista has water damage, you can do some things before SERVPRO of Chula Vista arrives:

  • Make sure electrical power is off in any affected areas before you handle devices
  • Remove excess water with mops and/or towels
  • Wipe water from wood furniture or other items
  • Remove wet cushions. Prop them upright to dry
  • Hang up rugs to dry
  • Place foil or blocks between furniture and wet carpeting
  • Turn on dehumidifiers or air-conditioning if it is safe
  • Move colored items from wet carpeting
  • Move artwork to a safe, dry place
  • Move loose items from the floor or counters
  • Start drying items ASAP
  • Stay away from rooms that have sagging ceilings

Water damage can happen at any time in San Diego County. When your Chula Vista home or commercial business needs water damage restoration services, SERVPRO® of Chula Vista responded immediately and used advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. Call us at (619) 482-1131.

Learn about one of the innovative tools we have at SERVPRO of Chula Vista

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Equipment We used advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly

Storm damage can happen at any time in San Diego County. When your home or commercial business needs storm  damage restoration services, SERVPRO® of Chula Vista responded immediately and used advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly.

One of the advanced pieces of equipment we use in storm restoration services is a HEPA Air Scrubber which is a portable filtration system that traps particles in the air and improves air quality by removing 99.97% of particles such as mold, bacteria, asbestos, lead, dust and many other contaminants in the air. Air scrubbers will continually clean the air and provide a clean, healthy and productive environment.

If you experience a circumstance like this in your home or business, we'll be ready to respond using our innovative technology. Call us at (619) 482-1131 and we are Here to Help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mold in my Chula Vista apartment

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Mold We are experts at removing mold.

Did you know if you have mold in your apartment, depending on the severity it could cause health effects? At first mold may not seem dangerous but as it continues to grow it can get worse, especially when moisture is present.

At SERVPRO of Chula Vista we have been contacted by many people who rent an apartment asking for our services to inspect for mold in their apartment. Here’s what you want to know about this process:

  1. Check your apartment

If you suspect your apartment has mold, identify visible mold. Mold often has a fuzzy appearance, but it can also look like a stain if it's on a wall or piece of furniture. Its most common colors are blackened green, brown or white.

  1. Inform your landlord or the maintenance crew

Ask them to go inspect your apartment. In case they detect mold and have permission to start removing it, have them contact SERVPRO of Chula Vista at (619) 482-1131 as we are experts at removing mold.

Remember that since you are renting an apartment, before SERVPRO® of Chula Vista starts working, we need the approval of your landlord or property manager. Save time and mention that we are here to restore your apartment “Like it never even happened.”

En SERVPRO of Chula Vista escuchamos a nuestra comunidad

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Our team En SERVPRO of Chula Vista hablamos español.

En SERVPRO de Chula Vista además de diferenciarnos por ser un líder confiable en la industria de mitigación de daños por agua e incendio durante más de 15 años, somos una empresa que escuchamos y nos adaptamos a las necesidades de nuestra comunidad de Chula Vista.

Debido a que Chula Vista está ubicada al sur de San Diego CA, hablamos español para poder comunicarnos fácilmente con nuestra comunidad. Por otra parte, todos nuestros técnicos además de hablar el idioma, están capacitados y certificados por el Instituto de Certificación de Inspección, Limpieza y Restauración (IICRC). 

Cada vez que experimentes una emergencia por daños en tu hogar o negocio comercial de Chula Vista, SERVPRO® de Chula Vista estará listo para responder utilizando nuestra tecnología y experiencia innovadoras. Llámenos al (619) 482-1131, estamos disponibles las 24 horas, los 7 días de la semana adaptándonos a sus necesidades.

Do you have an emergency plan in your Otay Ranch commercial property?

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Emergency plan SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for business is completely free.

One of the lessons that the pandemic left us, is that life can change us from one day to the next. That's why at SERVPRO of Chula Vista we want to minimize your business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.

You can request the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business completely free of charge. It is an information package and property assessment that is prepared with the help of images and local data. Once completed, you will have at hand, the key contacts for the building, mechanical information, priority access areas and an emergency action plan for the building.

If you are a property or facility manager you can have an Emergency Ready Profile totally free by contacting SERVPRO® of Chula Vista at (619) 482-1131.

What to do after a board up?

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

Board up house We can do complete home restoration after a fire.

After there is a fire in your home or business it can be challenging to figure out what to do next.  The real process of restoring your property begins after the fire is gone and your property is boarded up. At this point if you haven’t already, it’s time to call SERVPRO to help! We will be able to assist you and your insurance company with making an assessment of the damage. Most insurance companies will see that there is a lot of debris after an initial inspection, and will have SERVPRO cleaning the property so that the home can be ready for restoration. 

SERVPRO of Chula Vista can do the bries clean up and complete home restoration after a fire. 

Please call us at (619) 482-1131 or tell your insurance company that you want SERVPRO of Chula Vista to restore your property. 

What is a board up? Do I need it in my Chula Vista business?

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

Board up business We have a 24-hour board up service.

The other day, we got a call from someone that had an unexpected disaster in their shoe store. 

There was a malfunction with the electrical wiring that was connecting to their store which sparked a fire and halted the business operations immediately.

They reached out to SERVPRO of Chula Vista, because we have a 24-hour board up service. The process of covering openings with plywood in a secure and safe manner, so that there are no unwanted openings is a board up. In this case, the shoe store still had a lot of unaffected inventory, so it was a priority for the business owner to be able to preserve his inventory from any uninvited guests that could come after hours. 

Please call us, SERVPRO® of Chula Vista, immediately if you experience any circumstance like this in your home or business and we’ll be ready to respond.

Make your own storm kit

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Storm kit example We'll restore your storm damage, “Like it never even happened.”

It’s never too late to prepare your family and your home for hurricanes, severe weather or natural disasters. SERVPRO of Chula Vista provides the following tips to get your family through 48 hours without electricity and basic services and help you deal with storm-related emergencies.

Include all of these items in the 48 hours basic kit:

  • Plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or a waterproof duffel bag. This will hold your kit.
  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Storm damage can happen at any time in San Diego County. When your Chula Vista home or commercial business needs storm damage restoration services, SERVPRO® of Chula Vista is Here to Help.®  We’ll restore your storm damage, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (619) 482-1131.

For more information: https://www.sandiego.gov/storm-preparedness 

Types of Soot:

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

In my last blog post, I discussed how soot is made as a byproduct of a fire. Below are the different types of soot that exist and why you should call SERVPRO.

1. Wet Soot
Wet soot is a result of oxygen starved, smoldering fires. The lack of oxygen increases the amount of soot in the area. This occurs when there is low heat and high moisture content. Typically when there's a fire that produces wet soot, it was produced from burned synthetic materials, such as vinyl, plastics, and polyester.

2. Dry Soot
Dry soot is made when there are oxygen rich fires. The fires have burned natural materials and the fire itself was really hot, which increases the degree of penetration of soot into surfaces. This can be sticky and cause discoloration on surfaces.

3. Oil Soot/Protein
This is typically a light amber or yellow color. These fires are a result of grease fires in kitchens.

Our firm has experts that are trained to be able to properly restore after any home catastrophe. These incidents are unfortunate, and we do our best to help our customers get through the process as easy as possible. Call us today so we can help you get your home back, and most importantly, your life back.

Leaky, Squeaky, and Sneaky!

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Where does water damage come from? While SERVPRO is the biggest brand in the industry, many people don't know what water damage restoration is until they experience or know someone that experiences it. The most common issues that we get calls for are leaky pipes and water heaters. As a home ages, pipes will get older and water heaters get weaker, so if they aren't checked and maintained every so often, they could leak or burst. Other sources of damage or leaky hoses, such as those that connect to a toilet or a sink. We recommend that a licensed plumbing company checks your water pressure regulators, water supply lines, and angle stops every year or two years to prevent any damage.

Another common source of water damage is faulty appliances, such as a washer or dishwasher. In those cases, the insurance could purse the installers or the appliance company for reimbursement. We also get calls for overflowing bathtubs, pool parties gone wrong, and construction mishaps.

Pipes can also be sneaky! Sometimes homeowners don't know that there's a water damage. One homeowner gave us a call recently after they went into a guest room to get something from the closet, when they smelled something musky. After we inspected, it turned out that a connecting wall had a pipe that was slowly leaking and the homeowner never knew!

If any of these instances occur, give us a call! We are always ready to respond to any emergency.

Pools and Summer Fun

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Now that California is reopening, families are starting to get together more and have some backyard fun. One family recently called us after an above-ground pool that they purchased was filled too high. The family left the garden hose inside the pool attempting to fill the water, and after coming back from some errands it was too late. The water entered into an entry hallway and affected the flooring and the drywall The air also smelled saturated with humidity. We were able to help the insured dry the water damage with our extractors as soon as we arrived. Once we were done doing the extraction, we set up a couple of fans and a dehumidifier to take care of the rest.

We hope that everyone has some good fun now that Summer is starting, just make sure to be careful when going in the pool.

Air Quality After Fires

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Something very dangerous when there's a house fire is the quality of the air. After a traumatic experience like that is over, something left to deal with is cleaning the contents of your home. We get calls for fires often and when they happen, we always bring our respirators in case there are areas that are really dangerous to breathe in.

One of the best explanations I've found is the following from indoordoctor.com:


Hundreds of reaction products are created during and after a fire. Modern furnishings, building materials, and insulation material contain toxic properties. These cancer causing chemicals become airborne during a fire and bind with the smoke properties.

When there's a fire, give us a call and we can provide respirators to assist you get through the process safely. We can also remove debris, clean the air, and restore your home back to it's original condition. Our team is always ready to respond to any emergency.

Link to article is here.

Storms and Floods, What's Covered?

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

With our recent efforts to help out with the polar vortex that happened in February, we noticed one huge difference between this storm and others.

In many instances where there is a large storm or hurricane in the US, water often rises from the ground up. Water rising can come from overflowing lakes from major rain or a tsunami. While insurance companies and circumstances can differ, in most cases where there is water damage as a result of water rising from the ground, home insurance will not cover the claim. Homeowner's insurance will typically cover water damage resulting from a leaky pipe, which is what happened during the polar vortex. The storm froze the water in the pipes and made them to burst, which caused it to rain inside many people's homes. All of the clients that we worked with in Texas had covered claims, but during other catastrophe's this may have not been the case. If the city you live in is prone to major storms, we recommend getting flood insurance, as that will give you peace of mind during any major catastrophe.

Why Property Managers Call Us

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Everyday, we receive new work orders from property managers that have tenants with water related issues. These tenants can have some growing mold, a bathtub that overflowed, or a major water emergency. We have great relationships with all of our property management friends and the biggest reason why they keep using us is because of our service. We put real effort into making sure to be available when there is an issue in a property. Tenants may be fearful of water damage or small leaks. Before there is any insurance claim or major work, it's best to give us a call because we can go inspect the property and give a professional assessment about the damage. Our team can go into someone's home or business, find all of the affected areas, and provide guidance on how to clean up the damage if it's small, or start working if the tenant needs urgent help.

If you're a property manager, give us a call today and we can be anywhere in San Diego within the hour to assist with your needs.

Certifications and CE Credits

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

The primary board for the water damage restoration industry is the "Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, also known as "IICRC." The IICRC sets the standards for the correct protocol to follow during water damage restoration, mold remediation, and fire clean up, and a broader scope of trainings that encompass textiles, and inspections. SERVPRO is the leader in the industry because they make it a standard for operators to be certified in numerous topics. Some of these certifications that we learn from the IICRC include:
WRT - Water Damage Restoration
ASD - Applied Structural Drying
AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation
FSRT - Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration

The classes are rigorous in nature and require a lot of material to understand. Once the classes are complete, we must take an exam to prove that we understand the material. Since the industry is always evolving, these certifications are not lifetime certifications. We must take Continuing Education Credits or "CE Credits" to make sure that we stay competitive and so we can always hold up our "experts" belt proudly for the world.

Recently, our team went out to a major fire at a retail store in Chula Vista. I saw how knowledgeable the owner was in this topic, so I just registered for my FSRT class next week, so that next time we go to something like this, I can follow in their footsteps and be a resource for anyone that needs our help.

Keeping Claims Low

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

One major debate when there is water damage in homes and businesses whether a claim should be opened. Many insurance agents give us a call, stating that there's a water damage in their insured's property and they are unsure if they should open up the claim. Although claims make the process of water restoration easier for us and the insured, it is never the ideal decision to make initially. Opening up a claim and help alleviate an unexpected bill, when water and fire emergencies can cost thousands of dollars, but they can in the long run raise rates. According to Policygenius, a single claim can cause homeowners insurance rates to go up by as much as 7-10%, and potentially more for business owners.

The most effective solution that we have found in our experience with many claims, is for us to inspect the property before there is a claim. Some claims are smaller and might not even exceed the cost of the insurance deducible. Many policy owners set high deductibles so that they may save the most on their monthly insurance bill. As professionals, it is our mission to be a resource when people need our services. Our transparency shows when we go to see the damage; if the damage is small we can advise on how to properly clean up the damage. If the damage is larger, we can work together on pricing so that you don't have to break the bank.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a business owner that gave us a call which specializes in enhancing the lighting for retail businesses. The valve in a sink leaked, damaging a small portion of drywall in their warehouse. The business owner expressed to us that they felt uneasy about opening a claim, since their high deductible could affect their ability to buy new inventory. Our firm was able to work with the insured on pricing and set up some equipment to dry the walls to proper standards. We're happy to have helped this business owner during their time of need!

How Long Will it Take to fix my Home After A Storm

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Back in February, our team went to Texas to help out with the Polar Vortex that happened in the Midwest. Our crew decided to go to the storm approximately two weeks after it had finished, since we were wrapping up a large San Diego project. As soon as we got settled into our hotel, we called the homeowners that had been assigned to our team and had quickly found out that most of them had not received any plumbing service at all.

Now to clarify, SERVPRO doesn't do plumbing. Typically, when there's a water damage, one of the first steps is to turn off the water in your home so that no more leaks out, from there we start our restoration work. Somewhere in between, a plumber usually goes out to fix the leak and turn on the water again.

When the storm hit, hundreds of plumbers, roofers, restoration companies, carpet cleaners, etc. came to town to assist everyone that needed help. Even so with all of the help, these homeowners would call for service and be put on a list, waiting for when they get a call back. Our team would do an inspection and start working within the next two days, and in between our crews would be working overtime so they could help everybody. I'm sure all of these companies that were in town were doing their best to help everybody, and the reality is that no one knows when these storms are going to happen.

If there's ever a storm and you need help, call SERVPRO, since our storm teams are trained to be faster to any disaster.

Who Pays When There's A Leak In A Condominium

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

If there's a water damage in a condo, there are issues that can come up since the HOA and the homeowner are going to have to figure out who is responsible for the water leak. The issue can also get confusing when the pipe is in a shared wall between you and a neighbor, and the damage affects both of you.

Typically the main concern is if the pipe that was at fault is in a shared wall. While CC&R's can vary (the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), often if the pipe is primarily in your residence, then the HOA will claim that the liability is yours. If there is a shared wall between you and a neighbor, then the HOA might take responsibility, or split the liability between the both of you. This entire process may involve HOA board meetings, and even opening a claim with your insurance while both parties debate over the responsibility.

We're very experienced in this situation, so give us a call for help!

Our Mission in 2021

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

After being in business for over 15 years, we've realized how lucky we are as a small business to have made it this far. Our business has been through ups and downs - I'm sure like any one else. If there's one thing that we have to keep constantly at the front of our minds, it's that we have to put the customer first. This may sound cliché, as many businesses boast that they do the same, but our team instills it in the culture:

Our mission is to provide high quality restoration services for those in immediate need of help, while working to improve the home quality of life for everyone we perform work for.

The team that we have here is some of the nicest people that you can ever meet. We really make an effort to look for kind, professional, and knowledgeable team members so that the client experience is always the best. Since our field is competitive, we constantly train our team members to keep them on the edge of the industry, and we also try to take care of them with a competitive salary and a quality work environment.

What Happens When There is Water Damage at the Office

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Just the other day, we got a call from a property manager whose tenant had a water damage in their offices, affecting two rooms, a connecting, hallway, and a bathroom. Luckily, this business owner had his staff working from home, so although this was still an inconvenience, it wasn't as pressing on him as it would be if everyone was working at full capacity.

The first thing he did was call his property manager and tell them that they will be needing the office as soon as possible, since they were planning a meeting in the next week to bring back the work from home team. The property manager called us right away. 3 of our production technicians were wrapping up a project, so we were able to send them to extract water right away. Our team made an effort to do as much as we could that same day and let the property dry with no more excess moisture the same day. We waited about 3 days the office was completely dry. We're grateful to have helped this business owner get back to work. 

When this happens to you, call us because we can send a crew right away; our team understands how crucial it is to get back to work when there is an emergency like this. 

SERVPRO and Service

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Rotary Club Emblem Being a part of Rotary club allows us to make a difference locally, and internationally.

Growing up, I always enjoyed serving in clubs that do community service. I would help volunteer for simple things, such as park and beach clean ups, and even bigger projects such as putting together multiple benefit concerts to raise funds for an organization. This desire to be help the community has allowed us to revolve our business around our service. Here are some of the projects that we've taken part in during the past several years in business:

  • Chula Vista Rotary Club - The organization provides support for many large and small nonprofit organizations in the South Bay. They also issued several grants for organizations in need during the early moments of the pandemic.
  • Toastmasters - Being a part of this club has allowed us to improve our leadership skills, while helping others develop as leaders in their community.
  • American Cancer Society's Relay for Life - We served on the board for this event for a couple years, hoping to make a difference through our service and donations, and helping raise over $120,000 during our time with this club.
  • Several more; we've donated to local churches, assisted with funding for mission trips around the world, taken part in distributing food and clothing to homeless,  putting together bags of food during the pandemic, and volunteering time at  orphanages.

Our vision in the future is to expand our philanthropic efforts and use the success we have to further the success of the community.

What Happens After a Major House Fire

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Recently, we had a homeowner that had a major house fire in San Diego. When the fire trucks put out the fire, there's still water, soot, ash, and debris everywhere that has to be dealt with. The challenge is that there's a human element to processing such a major event, yet there's a lot of different things happening at the same time. A fire marshall will come in and inspect the property to see what the cause of the fire was. In cases where the fire is related to gas or electrical, SDG&E has to come in and work on the property to make sure that your connections are off if necessary.

Most homeowners have insurance for their house, so if that's the case, an insurance adjuster will most likely want to walk through the house and see the extent of the damage that the insurance has to pay for. They will also work with a vendor or whoever is ultimately the contracting party to set up construction and make sure the home is restored to preloss condition. Since we are preferred vendors for most major insurance companies, call us first since we are certified in fire restoration and can consult with you on the right steps to take as the work follows.

The Best Restoration Company

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged from water One of the major water damages that we responded to

1. The Science - When you call a restoration company, many of them don't have a correct playbook on how to determine how much equipment will be needed and what the optimal placement of the equipment will be . What SERVPRO does different is in measuring the atmosphere in the affected areas and surrounding environment to answer these questions and to make sure the structure is drying the fastest.

2. The Size - No job is too big or small. SERVPRO has amazing quality control when it comes to franchise uniformity. All SERVPROs are independently operated, but there's a proper system of training and collaboration. Many of our day to day calls are homeowners that are just concerned about some bubbling in their walls. On a larger scale, when there's a major flooding, franchises can respond together and make sure they have the necessary personnel at a job site. When there's a storm, our corporate office will alert all of the franchisees and send them to the site to assist those misplaced from their homes. No matter what the problem is, we're trained to help.

3. The System - A good restoration company should make it a standard to respond fast to any water loss. SERVPRO's standard is the 1-4-8 method: Within 1 hour, we will respond to any call, within 4 hours we will be on site, and within 8 hours we will brief all parties in charge. It is our franchise's mission to provide high quality service, so the truth is that we can be anywhere in San Diego within the hour. We're ready to take on emergencies, and we prepare for it diligently on a daily basis.

Give us a call when you need help at (619) 482-1131. We're open 24/7/365.

Who is Responsible for Payment During a Water Damage Insurance Claim

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Leaky Pipe The sight of water damage

When there is a water damage in a home and someone calls us out to the field, some frequent questions that we get are:

  • How much will it cost me?
  • Should I get an estimate first?
  • Will my insurance cover this?

The short answer is we don't exactly know. The best we can do is give an approximate ballpark for what something might cost, but it is not common to provide an estimate upfront.

As a restoration company, we do our best to make sure our customers understand payment upfront and aren't left with a unexpected bill at the end of the process. This description applies for the calls that we get the most: a pipe from the house leaking, affecting the surrounding walls, flooring, and bedrooms. It can be difficult to identify the extent of the damage: Is there water between walls we can't see? Is subflooring affected? Are walls wet behind showers or cabinets? Another unknown is how long will the drying take; in most cases it takes 3-5 days to dry an affected area. 

While all insurance companies are different, most typically cover water damage restoration from a leaky pipe as long as it's sudden, unexpected, and accidental. Circumstances and coverages can differ based on individual's insurance policies. 

The best service we can offer is to inspect your home before you open up a claim, so that we can offer our professional opinion on what should be done. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for most major insurance companies, so give us a call as soon as you suspect any water damage. 

What Happened After the Large Snow Storm in Texas

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro Technicians Some of our team members after our breakfast meeting.

I remember in February reading the news about the big freeze that happened in Texas; I was shocked at how much water damage there was from the freezing pipes. Working as a SERVPRO franchise, you really get to see their system shine when there's a natural disaster. SERVPRO has storm teams that receives a large influx of claims from our partners at AAA, State Farm, Farmers, etc. When this happens. they activate the alarm for all of the franchises to mobilize. The storm team advised us that help was needed in Houston so after some quick planning, we decided to start our trek.

Our estimator Reynaldo and myself flew out first while our trucks hit the road for a 2 day trip. When I arrived, the snow had just cleared but the city still had a large amount of water damage. I handle logistics for the company, so it was my role to secure a place for our team to stay, make sure that we have a storage for our equipment, and extra vehicles for inspections, estimates, monitoring, and late night Whataburger cravings.

Once Rey and I got settled the following day, we decided to call through some of the people that were assigned to us. If there's one thing to note, it's how great the SERVPRO system is; we didn't have make cold calls or knock on doors. Since the Storm team already received the files, they would just assign them for us to call. We would get between 40 and 80 homeowners at a time to call through and see if they had received service.

As Rey and I started to call these people, we really got to see something that we don't experience in San Diego; real catastrophe. Here at home, when there's a water loss, the home owner is in immediate need and can usually call someone to get assistance within a couple of hours. In Texas, it had been two weeks since the snow had affected the area and many people were still on lists to get help. Many of these homeowners have a similar set up where there's a water heater in the attic that burst after freezing, affecting 1-2 floors of the their house, and were waiting for a plumber to fix the pipes. The people that we inspected still had debris from the sheetrock on the floor, mold, soaked carpets and cabinets, and in many instances no water.

After some inspections, our crew arrived on a Saturday night and got to work. The rest proceeded as it normally would at home: we inspect the damage and mark the affected areas, we communicate with the insurance, and once we have the green light we start the work. Our team would prepare the area, do demolition on all affected walls, dispose of all the debris, clean everything else, and leave equipment for drying. 8 weeks later and dozens of houses fixed, our crews are scheduled to come home in a couple of days.

We're truly grateful for our team; they worked long shifts, adapted to a new city, spent time away from their families, and really dedicated themselves to serving people when there was no one else to turn to. After this experience, we are planning on traveling more in the future. There is a tangible impact that our crews left with the clients and we're happy that we have an opportunity to keep making an impact with our company.

Best Practices for Dealing with Water Damage in Your House

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Bubbles in Ceiling What it looks like when there is extensive water damage and bubbles in the ceiling.

Minor leaks can cause major problems if they aren't handled correctly right away. Here are some things to know if something unexpected occurs at your house:

Know where your water shut-off valves are. There are two types in your house: Main water shut-off and the angle stop. The main water shut-off should be located somewhere in the perimeter of the house. The water often times comes from the street, with a pipe going straight to your house; mine is in the garage a few feet away from my water heater. Angle stops are knobs used to control the water that goes to individual fixtures; they can typically be found below the fixture such as under the sink, or behind the toilet.

Contact your insurance. They will often be able to assist with understanding the process to take to open up a claim. Depending on your deductible, they might give us a call to asses the damage and see if the cost is higher than the deductible amount. If the claim is opened, you'll have an insurance adjuster reach out to you to visit the house or get more information. We are a preferred vendor for many major insurance companies, so they might prefer to call us at some point in the process.

Understand that there are two phases of the project: restoration and repairs. In California, a Contractor's License is required to do any sort of house repairs. The insurance sees cleaning the water and drying the homes as separate from putting back the drywall and painting. Your insurance might call someone else to finish the Repairs portion of the work. We perform both phases, and we think its easier since we're already familiar with your needs and your home.

Please call us at (619) 482-1131 for any help! As Chula Vista residents, we can be anywhere in San Diego fast and we're always ready to assist.

What to do After You've Experienced a House Fire:

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

House on fire A home that caught on fire in Chula Vista

House fires can be really challenging to deal with. While homeowners are still trying to process the events that just occurred, they are bombarded with several difficult questions and choices that they have to make right away. Is everyone alright? Where are we going to stay? What about finances?

There are 3 basic steps you should follow right after you've experienced a fire:

1. Make Sure Everyone is Safe:
If your family is all together, take a moment to see if anyone sustained any injuries that they didn't notice. If you have pets it's recommended that you take them to a Veterinarian since their lungs may be affected from the smoke. Once everyone's health is in order, make sure to take a moment to be able to clearly assess the situation.

2. Secure the Home:
If the fire caused several openings to be exposed, the first priority in restoring your home is performing a board up. This is to avoid the property getting any worse due to bad weather or unauthorized people entering your home. 

3. Call the Right Professionals:
The truth is that in these situations you will need help; there can be asbestos in the debris, the structure may collapse, the air could be unsafe, and fires can still reignite under debris. When the smoke clears, you'll find that over the next several hours and days, dozens of companies will solicit offers to fix your home, with amazing deals, prices, and promises. While we recommend calling us first, you can also call your insurance company and open up a claim. As a preferred vendor to many major insurance companies, we will restore your home to proper industry standards.

There are many variables and questions that often come up. Please give us a call at (619) 482-1131 with any questions and we will be glad to serve as a resource!

4 Easy Steps to Follow When There is Water Damage in Your House:

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage in living room A visual example of how it feels when there is water damage in your home

As the experts in the field, we can guide you through the process of restoring your home when there is water damage. Something to note- these situations can be tricky: There could be damage hidden in the walls that is not easily visible, or depending on the source of the loss there could be bacteria in the water.

Here are some simple recommendations when there is a small water damage in your home, but know that you can call us when there is an emergency since we are always ready to help.

The process is simple:

1. Shut off Water and Correct the Source of Damage
As soon as the damage starts, the most important thing is to make sure that the loss doesn't continue. This can be easily done by locating where the water shutoff valve is in your house. Once the water is off, it's recommended that if you can't fix it yourself, you call a plumber to assess the damage and make any necessary repairs.

2. Clean Areas Affected by Water and Assess the Damage
When a water damage is small, some towels might be able to stop the excess water from affecting more of the house. In our experience, if the water damages is overwhelming, you will need to call for help. If you're doing it on your own, make sure to move around furniture, salvage any belongings, and take pictures of the damage for your records. It's important to observe how extensive the damage is and take notes.

3. Dry and ventilate
One very important thing you have to look out for is asbestos. If your home was built is older, cutting walls can cause major health risks. With minimal damage, you can place fans and attempt to self dry the affected area. Open the windows and let air circulate outside so that the humidity in the air gets reduced. Local hardware stores usually have small inexpensive fans that can help.

4. Check With the Experts
Give us a call! Our team can perform a professional assessment of the damage. We are preferred vendors for several major insurance companies and can assist you with learning how to communicate with the insurance adjuster, as well as recommend what is necessary for the home to be fully restored.

Other things to consider:
- Should I open up an insurance claim?
In our experience, something worth evaluating is the cost of your homeowner's insurance deductible compared to the cost of the claim. We recommend calling us first before the insurance so that we can advise you on the proper steps.

- What type of water is it?
There are 3 types of water: Clean, grey, and black. Professionals can assess the type of water through the eyes of insurance, and recommend the proper action to take if the water isn't from a safe source.

Our team takes pride in serving as a resource for the community. Please feel free to give us a call at (619) 482-1131 with any questions so that we can assist you in your time of need.

What to do When a Contractor does an Inspection for Water Damage During COVID-19

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

A Contractor at an Inspection Contractor following proper social distancing and mask mandates during an inspection

This article discusses the correct steps to take when there is water or mold related damage in the home. There are somethings that should be done before, during, and after the visit so to ensure that everyone stays safe. The information on this article was taken directly from the CDC's website; you can find a link to that article here.

Before the Visit:

  • The CDC points out to make sure there are no stay at home orders, and if there are, to delay nonessential services. Our firm is considered an essential service since we deal with emergencies in home. If there is damage that has already been cleaned up and dried and you prefer to prolong these events, consult with us and we would be happy to schedule a future visit.
  • Please let us know if you or someone in your home has recently been exposed to COVID-19, or if there is someone at higher risk of illness.
  • Do as much consulting before the appointment. We've had several conversations over the phone, we're happy to help you and answer any questions. We can also do FaceTime and Zoom calls, and some customers text us pictures of the damage. This helps us ensure that all parties are on the same page before we show up, and the physical inspection is kept at a minimum.
  • If you would like, ask us about our COVID-19 precautions. Our staff is temperature checked daily. We ask our staff about symptoms and ensure that they are safe to go to the field. When they show up at an inspection, they wear masks, gloves, shoe covers, and are trained to follow social distancing protocols.

During the Visit:

  • Please ensure that all family members that will be present wear masks, as our team will also be wearing masks.
  • Follow social distancing protocols and avoid handshakes.
  • Minimize indoor conversations; they should be outdoor when possible. Improving ventilation is also recommended, such as opening windows and turning on AC.

After the Visit:

  • We do our best to clean and disinfect our work area; the CDC also recommends disinfecting any surfaces in the home that we may have touched.
  • Ask about contactless payment when paying us. We accept all major cards, as well as take payment over the phone. We can email an invoice, or accept check by mail.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (619) 482-1131. We're happy to answer any questions and be a resource when you need us.

How to deal with falling trees. Who is responsible? Do I need to involve my insurance?

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Fallen Tree A family sees a tree in their front yard after a storm in San Diego

With lots of heavy winds and rain coming lately, I was researching what typically happens when there is a tree that falls in a property. I remember back in early 2016 when there was an awful storm, there were trees on the roads everywhere and our business received a lot of phone calls with homeowners that had actual trees fall into their house and damage their property. 

The source for this information is from an article in Consumer Reports that I linked at the end, as well as some of our personal experiences working in these environments.  The article is dated for July 2019, but the information is still relevant. 

Key points: 

1. Will my insurance cover me? 

The article sites that the short answer is “Tap your own coverage. Make a claim through your insurer for tree damages to your property, even if the tree was rooted in your neighbor’s yard. “ In our experience, insurance companies may cover these damages due to high wind incidents, but it’s important to check with your carrier first. 

2. What if the neighbor’s tree falls on my house? 

When this happens, you can still open up an insurance claim to get help right away. It’s possible that your insurance will seek to recover their expenses through what’s called “Subrogation”. This would be the same process but reversed if your tree fell on the neighbors house. 

3. What if the tree falls in my yard and not on the house? 

The article states two different points. It seems like if there is no damage your house, your may have to pay for the clean up yourself. But in other instances, the article cites that the homeowners policy may reimburse your for damaged landscaping. 

4. How costly is a tree claim?

The average reported amount was $4110 for tree claims, although this can vary depending on how much damage was involved to your house and what was affected as a result. 

Often times these incidents can cause water damage from pipes breaking or structural challenges that need to be repaired. Our team would be able to assess the damage and make a plan to restore your house to its original condition. 

If there is an instance where something like this happens, feel free to give us a call at (619) 482-1131 and we would be glad to answer your questions! 

Link to original post: https://www.consumerreports.org/homeowners-insurance/when-a-tree-falls-who-pays-for-the-damage/

Holiday Helpful Safety Tips for your Home

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Hello December The month of joy

Thanksgiving is almost here and it's almost time for most of us to decorate for the holidays.  

Remember these safety and helpful tips to ensure a safe home through the holidays and beyond.

  • Always inspect your lights before you hang them
  • Replace any out or broken lights
  • Never connect more than 3 strings of lights at a time
  • Use clips to safely attach lights to the house
  • Be mindful of low-hanging or damaged wires to protect pets and children
  • Always use ladder safety when putting up or taking down your holiday decorations
  • Never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once or “piggyback” extra appliances on extension cords or wall outlets
  • Remember to keep candle flames far away from decorations, ornaments and especially trees
  • When building a fire to keep cozy, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, burn only dry, split firewood (avoid chemically treated wood), and close damper when fireplace is not in use

Call us if there is ever any fire or water related damage at your home! You can reach us at (619) 482-1131 and we're open 24/7 during the Coronavirus Pandemic (a.k.a. COVID-19). 

Happy Holidays from everyone at SERVPRO of Chula Vista

Chula Vista 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chula Vista is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (619) 482 - 1131

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Chula Vista South has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Chula Vista South

SERVPRO of Chula Vista South specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Courage to Call

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

staff at courage to call staff at courage to call

SERVPRO of Chula Vista partnered up with Courage to Call and help prepare and hand out food to veterans. Courage to Call is a free, confidential, veteran-staffed 24/7 helpline dedicated to assisting active duty military personnel, veterans, reservists, guard members, and their families, regardless of discharge status, through information, guidance, and referrals.

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