Recent Posts

Air Scrubbers Get the Job Done

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Picture shows an air scrubber device Air scrubbers like this one help rid your business of smoke smells after fires.

The large number of fires that have affected our neighbors and friends have had a large impact on individual homes, but they have had a devastating impact on commercial businesses as well.  In addition to the soot and debris that has rained down on the outside of businesses, the inside of commercial buildings have been left with a smoky smell, similar to their residential counterparts. 

One way SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon has been aiding our commercial customers is to provide businesses with air scrubbers.  A HEPA filtered air filtration device (commonly referred to as an air scrubber) processes the air inside a structure.  HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and these devices trap particles as small as .3 microns or .000036 inches small.  To try to put it into perspective, human hair averages 50-60 microns and pollen averages anywhere between 10 and 200 microns. 

Air Scrubbers suck in air through filters then “scrub” it to remove any contaminants and blow the new, filtered air back into the room ultimately leaving the room free of that smoky smell associated with fires.

Numerous businesses have contacted SERVPRO inquiring about renting these units and using them in their businesses to help rid the air of the smoky smell that is left long after the fires have subsided. 

SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon has provided a wide variety of local businesses with air scrubbers from business offices to bike shops.  They are easy to use – you just plug them in and let them run.  They are a little loud, but very effective of ridding the area of bad fumes. 

If you find the need for an air scrubber, contact SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon and we would be happy to provide you with a device at a reasonable cost.  Call us anytime at (707) 724-8977.  We are Here to Help.

Power Washing - Not Just for Your Backyard Furniture

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Pictures show a man power washing a sidewalk. Call SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon for all of your commercial power washing cleaning needs. We are Here to Help.

When you think about power washing, you might automatically think about using the high powered water device for cleaning of your common household items, such as driveways and decks.  But pressure washers play an important roll in the day to day operations of commercial businesses as well.  Pressure washers come in a variety of sizes and have just as many uses, many of which SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon can assist your commercial business with by providing cleaning services.  

 For example, our company has used pressure washers to clean bus stations, public bathroom facilities and water fountains.  By using high-pressure, narrow jets of water to blast dirt free, pressure washers are able to get rid of ground-in dirt that won't normally come off with just water and a scrub brush.  And because the machines only use water, they don't damage most hard surfaces, making them extremely versatile. 

Other areas that commonly need cleaning in commercial facilities that can be served by a pressure washer include parking lots, concrete or tile patios used as break areas for workers, and floors used for storage.  These are all areas that can accumulate dirt and grime which can be more easily removed by a power washer than a simple mop or broom. 

SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon can help your commercial business will all their commercial cleaning needs, including all those that involve pressure washing.  Call us today at (707) 724-8977 to schedule cleaning at your commercial facility today.  We are Here to Help. 

Responding to Storm Events

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Picture shows house with roof tarped SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon has been busy responding to various storm events such as this derecho in Iowa and the LNU Fire in Vacaville.

Residents in Solano and Yolo Counties have a distinct advantage when it comes to Restoration Services because there is a local SERVPRO franchise that services these counties. SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon has been providing water, fire and mold restoration services to both residential and commercial customers in these counties for several years.  This year, the company has added quite a bit of biohazard remediation work specifically including cleaning for the COVID-19 virus. 

 As we head into fall and the winter months of the year, naturally our attention turns to the weather and the damage it can cause to our homes and residences.  But foul weather isn’t something that is reserved only for the wintertime.  In fact, storm events can happen any time of the year throughout different parts of our Country.  Whether it be windstorms in the mid-west or flooding along the coast of Florida, there is no telling when Mother Nature will wield her mighty powers and damage can occur in a blink of an eye.  In some areas, there are warnings, as with tornadoes or hurricanes, but in others, as is the case of earthquakes that commonly occur along the fault lines that run throughout the state of California, they are swift and without warning and leave behind devastating results. 

In the restoration industry, these devastating events are labeled as “Storm Events” and for SERVPRO, there is a specific and coordinated response that is set immediately into place to service the individuals who are affected in the areas where damage has occurred.  So while SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon’s first priority is the residents within the communities we immediately serve, we are also part of a broader and coordinated effort of 1,700 franchises across the country that make up an elite Disaster Recovery Team.  Just like your local SERVPRO, our Disaster Recovery Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to your emergency.  And our professions are prepared for the unpredictable.  Although most of our work involves fire or water restoration, SERVPRO Storm Teams have responded to tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and floods.  On a National Level, SERVPRO crews have aided customers in the following events: 2017 California wildfires, 2017 Hurricane Irma, 2017 Hurricane Harvey, 2016 Hurricane Matthew, 2015 Carolina floods, 2014 Polar Vortex, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2010 Nashville floods, 2008 Hurricane Ike, 2007 Chicago floods, 2007 Ohio floods, 2007 California Wildfires and 2005 Hurricane Katrina.

 In 2020, SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon has aided in two Storm events so far this year, along with a local catastrophe.  On August 10, 2020 a derecho caused widespread high winds and an outbreak of low-class tornadoes in the Midwest.  A derecho is classified as a band of storms that have winds of at least 30 miles per hour along the entire span of the storm front, maintained over a time span of at least six hours.  Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of a tornado, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight line.  The derecho that hit Iowa had gusts of wind that were recorded at 126 miles per hour that lasted 14 hours!  It traveled 770 miles from South Dakota to western Ohio and strengthened as it moved through Iowa without a great deal of advanced warning for residents there.  The hardest hit and most notably-affected area was Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the surrounding region.  Quite obviously, it left destruction in its wake, with trees being hurled through homes and buildings destroyed.  With it came catastrophic rainfall and power being cut off to 400,000 people.  Once the wind and rain subsided, this left homeowners with the arduous task of ridding their homes of rainwater that had been flooding in through gaping holes in their roofs and walls.  As is common in that part of the country, many homes had basements that were now flooded with rainwater and needed to be pumped out.  A call was put out by our National Response Team for franchises who were willing to travel to Iowa to assist the residents who had been through this devastating event and SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon immediately stepped up to the plate to volunteer.  Within a few days of the event, a crew was assembled and on the road to Iowa to help the residents there.  While they made their way by car, our coordinators here made personal contact with customers in Iowa and set up appointments, gathered information and assured those residents that help was on the way.  Our team was committed to staying until the job was done and those customers were served.  But Mother Nature wasn’t done just yet, because just a few days into our Iowa Storm response, tragedy struck again but this time in our own backyard.  

On August 19, 2020 the LNU Lightning Complex fire which started several days before in the Lake Berryessa area, quickly merged with smaller fires in the area due to high winds and dry conditions and charged towards our community of Vacaville in the middle of the night.  Some residents were given only 20 minutes to evacuate and lost everything; others were able to stay and fight the fires.  Ultimately, 154 homes were burned and our community will be forever changed.  Given the extenuating circumstances, we immediately brought our crews home from Iowa and began helping the residents whose homes survived but sustained fire and smoke damage.  We were contacted by a total of 110 fire victims who asked for our help with estimates and cleaning.  Although it pains us all to see the devastation in our own community, we are so thankful for how few individuals suffered personal loss of life in such a devastating event.

As we are still servicing our Vacaville community, the Glass Fire stretched into the Santa Rosa community and the SERVPRO Storm Response Team requested our assistance, and SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon answered the call again.  We are currently assisting many residents in the Santa Rosa, Calistoga, St. Helena and Napa communities with their fire restoration needs and will continue to do so as long as the need exists. 

SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon…helping our own communities and helping those who need us wherever the need arises.  Call us anytime at (707) 724-8977.  We’re Here to Help. 

LNU Fire Cleaning Information

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Picture shows smokey image of house and fence Thankfully this home was spared in the LNU fires, but will need significant cleaning of soot and ash. SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon can help.

SMOKE, ASH, SOOT and FIRE DAMAGE CLEANING

Did you know that Smoke and Ash particulates can be harmful and can cause
significant health issues and damage your home or business?


SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon are your local experts and have cleaned hundreds of homes and businesses over the last several years due to Wildfire & Structure Fire Damage in Northern California.  We are here to help you through the LNU Lightning Complex Fire process.   Our technicians are trained and IICRC FIRE Certified.

KNOW THE FACTS & RISKS:

  • Did you know every time you open your doors or windows, you are bringing air into your home that includes soot and ash particulates that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
  • Is there cause for concern or is a simple "sniff" test or wiping of a surface with a Chem-Sponge sufficient?
  • Why is it so common to hear customers complain of smelling smoke long after the restoration is completed?
  • What measures are being taken to protect homeowners, family, friends and workers from toxic particulate matter?

What is smoke?  As burning materials decompose, they release solid particles, gases, and aerosols that become suspended in the air.  Suspended particles, gases, and aerosols are smoke.  Gases are the invisible components of smoke.  Oxides of nitrogen are produced by burning organic compounds, and sulfur dioxide is produced by burning inorganic compounds.  Some of the gaseous by-products generated in a fire, such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, are extremely dangerous if people are exposed to the smoke while the fire is in progress. Smoke is the result of incomplete combustion which produces tiny particles of carbon in the air.  When deposited, these particulates are identified as soot.  Put simply, the particle size of smoke residue on a surface can present a respiratory hazard.  The particle size of soot is approximately 2.5 microns, a size that is associated with deep lung penetration.  Particles that are approximately 10 microns or larger get trapped in the upper respiratory tract.  In order to offer some perspective on the size of these particles, the dust you see flying in the light coming through a sun lit window is about 40 microns in size.  Airborne soot is too small to be seen with the naked eye and can easily be inhaled.  As a fire dies down, the smoke it has caused will disperse leaving behind a residue of quickly cooling particles which is generally referred to as soot.  Typically, soot is representative of what has burned, but may include byproducts that at first seem unrelated to the original material.  For example, Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) are potential byproducts.

  • People who have their properties damaged by fire and smoke will be exposed to toxic elements long after the repairs are completed if proper measures are not taken to remove toxic particulate matter and restore the indoor air quality.
  • Residual smoke, soot, chemicals, and microscopic particulates generated from structure fires are hazardous to human health and can cause severe health issues.
  • Toxic particulate matter can enter the body through the lungs or by contact with the skin.
  • Toxic particulates can adversely affect the health of everyone. Those at the greatest risk of injury are infants and children, the elderly, and those with weakened respiratory systems or cardiac ailments.
  • Toxic smoke particulate matter must be properly remediated prior to the return of occupants who may live or work in or around the affected areas.

CLEANING PROCESS:

In order to restore the indoor air quality after a structure fire or wildfire, the following steps should be taken to properly clean and restore the indoor air quality, primarily by removing the particulates rather than relying solely on treating, deodorizing, or masking them. Steps would include but are not limited to (barring your insurance companies approval): Having a preliminary air sample test performed to determine what types and concentrations of chemicals and particulates are present, setting up containments, wearing proper personal protective equipment, running negative air filtration with proper HEPA filters, HEPA vacuuming surfaces, deodorizing, and encapsulation of exposed surfaces, etc.  Once the cleaning process is completed, an independent environmental testing company should be hired to provide testing that includes, but is not limited to: 1) Surface dust wipe samples to test surfaces for combustion byproduct particulate matter including soot, char & ash. 2) Surface dust wipe samples to test for the presence of metals including lithium, chromium, lead, mercury, etc. 3) Air samples to test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and smoke particulate matter associated with burned materials, paints, glues, plastic, synthetic materials, etc. 4) Air clearance sampling to verify that the air has been properly cleaned of toxic soot, char and ash particulate matter.  An air clearance should be achieved prior to project completion and reentry of unprotected occupants.  Without these steps, occupants could be left exposed to unseen toxins, which could lead to adverse health conditions.

Here is a checklist of what you can be a part of your cleaning process:

  • Pressure washing the exterior of your home and property
  • Cleaning of your gutters
  • Removing and replacing of your insulation
  • Cleaning of your attic
  • A detailed wipe down of your home’s ceilings, walls and floors
  • Inspect and clean your duct work and HVAC system
  • Air filtration with proper HEPA filters
  • Cleaning of your belongings or contents
  • Cleaning of your textiles
  • Hydroxyl Generator or Ozone for deodorization

Our customers have asked if it is necessary to clean their home and/or business following a wild or structural fire?   The answer is yes to protect your property and belongings from the effects of soot.  The longer soot remains the faster it will yellow painted walls, stain upholstery, rust metals and corrode electronics. This process begins within weeks because soot is acidic. Your property is your investment, so make sure your cleaning includes exterior, interior and all your contents and textiles.  Your family, friends, employees, co-workers, and pets deserve to come back to a clean and safe environment.

We are here to help and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Large Animal/Livestock Evacuation Area

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

The Solano County Fairgrounds is currently activated as a large animal/livestock evacuation area for animals affected by the fires in our communities.  Call Solano County Animal Control at 707-784-4733 with questions. 

Housing for Small Animals Displaced in Recent Fires

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

The Solano County Sheriff's Office Animal Care Division is currently housing small animals for Solano County residents who were displaced by the recent fires in our communities as space is available.  Call 707-784-1356 or come by 510 Clay Bank Road in Fairfield.

Summer Grilling Safety Tips

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

This is a picture of a red barbeque Use these safety tips to enjoy your barbeque this grilling season.

When the weather warms up, one way to beat the heat is to turn off the oven and cook outside on the barbeque.  Unfortunately, this causes the number of grill-related fires to increase.  Each year, outdoor grilling causes over 10,000 home fires, but SERVPRO of Vacaville / Fairfield / Dixon has put together some easy safety tips you can follow to keep your home and family safe this grilling season.  

The most common cause of fire involving a barbeque is related to cooking on an uncleaned grill.  Grease that accumulates on the grill can cause fires, so just like clearing your dishes from the table and loading them in the dishwasher, cleaning your grill should be a part of your routine when you are done preparing your meal and cleaning up.  Another important part of a clean grill involves your coals.  Make sure they are completely cooled before cooling the grill and removing them.  The safest thing to do with the coals is to put them in a fire safe bucket and allow them to remain there until you are ready to dispose of them.  Hot coals can smolder for a very long time.  It is always better to be safe and make sure they are completely cold before disposing of them in your trash.  Many dumpster fires have been started by not-cooled coals.   

The second most dangerous cause of fire from grilling comes from unattended barbeques.  Just like inside your home, never leave an open flame unattended outside.  Your grill can flare up while you aren’t watching and catch something nearby on fire, and if you are not immediately available to deal with the problem, it can quickly escalate into a much larger problem.  Be vigilant and always stay near your barbeque when you are cooking.  That means you will have to do quite a bit of prep work in order to have everything you need before you begin grilling so you won’t have to leave your grill unattended, but safety should be your number one concern.

Related to this previous point, always make sure your grill is on a stable surface and cannot easily tip over.  Once you load up that barbeque with all those yummy steaks and veggies, you want to make sure it won’t topple on the ground, spilling all your food and the hot coals everywhere.  If the unthinkable happens, and you do tip over your barbeque, think before you act.  Remember those coals are hot and combustible.  Pick them up with something that won’t catch on fire, like a metal shovel and put them in a fire-safe container or metal bucket. 

Also, be sure your grill is not near any hanging tree branches or other structures that can easily catch fire.  If the area you have designated as your barbeque area is beginning to become overgrown, be sure to trim those trees or bushes before you start grilling.

Although the taste of the grill is temping all year long, if you don’t have a safe area to barbeque during the winter, never barbeque inside any kind of structure, including your garage.  Besides the obvious fire hazard that this would pose, barbequing in your garage would also release the deadly Carbon Monoxide gas, so please stick to outside grilling only.  No, opening your garage door doesn’t make a difference. 

And lastly, if you are using a gas grill, be sure to shut off the gas valve completely when you are done grilling.  Make it a habit to turn it off as soon as you take your food off the grill so you won’t forget. 

By using these easy-to-follow tips from SERVPRO of Vacaville / Fairfield / Dixon, you and your family should be able to enjoy a safe and fun grilling season. 

Problems with Standing Water

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Picture shows a puddle of water Standing water near your home can lead to many problems. Use these tips to avoid this summer dilemma.

Summertime brings with it fun activities like squirt gun fights and running through the sprinklers, but what happens if the water from these activities don't drain away and result in pools of standing water?  Even a small amount of water left undisturbed for a few days can cause a significant amount of problems.  Outside, standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which commonly breed in shallow pools of standing water and often carry diseases including malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika fever.  Additionally, water left standing against your home may lead to problems with your home’s foundation.

Here are a few things to check to make sure you don't have any potential hazards around your home.

  • Empty, drain or cover all things that can and may hold standing water
  • Change water collection pans for plant pots weekly
  • Clean bird baths on a regular basis
  • Check your landscaping drainage and ensure that it drains away from your home
  • Be sure you are not overwatering your lawn.  Adjust the watering schedule the water less frequently or for shorter periods of time.

Water can provide a lot of fun during the summer months, but it can cause some problems.  Use these ideas to keep your home safe from standing water pitfalls.  

Is Your Hot Water Heater Healthy?

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of a hot water heater Keeping your hot water tank healthy is one way to avoid water damage in your home or business.

With an average tank size between fifty and one hundred gallons, leaking hot water tanks can be a major source of water damage problems and can flood an entire home and cause significant damage if not detected quickly.  But how do you know if your hot water heater is about to fail?

A lack of hot water is the most common sign of a failing hot water heater.  Rumbling, creaking or popping noises are another common indicator of an unhealthy water heater.  This can mean that sediment is forming on the surface of the water heater or that the unit is on the verge of a crack or leak.  Murky or foul-smelling water are also signs of a failing water heater.  Additionally, the pressure relief valve opens to release pressure buildup in the water heater and can sometimes fail to function properly.  This can have dangerous results and should be inspected by a plumber if you suspect a problem.  And finally, pooling water beneath the unit can be a sign of a leaking water tank.  

Pooling water beneath a hot water tank can lead to other, more dangerous problems.  If your tank sits on a wood surface, the wood can become spongy and rot through if left wet for a long period of time.  Be sure to act quickly if you know your hot water tank is leaking to avoid this problem.

If you see any of these common indicators, contact a plumber immediately to help determine the source of the problem.  And if you do experience a water leak or damage of any kind, call the experts at SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon to help you remediate all of your water problems.  

At SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon, we are experts at assessing water damage in your home or business, as well as removing standing water and drying out damaged materials. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to answer your calls and respond to any and all water emergencies you may experience.  Call us today at (707) 724-8977.  We live and work in your community and we are here for you.

Deodorizing After Water Damage

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with the aftermath of water or flood damage can be an uphill battle for any homeowner or business owner. Water often seeps into structural cavities and creates a damp atmosphere. Not only does this pose a threat to the structural integrity of your home, it usually causes an odor problem.  If not appropriately deodorized, this foul smell can linger in your home long after the water is gone.  

Thankfully, here at SERVPRO, we use a multi-method approach to eliminate odors after a water damage to your property has occurred. Our IICRC certified professionals use modern equipment to eliminate odors due to flood damage in no time.  Here are some of the deodorizing techniques used to ensure elimination of odors. 

   *Direct spraying:  As the name implies, a deodorant is sprayed directly on the affected area using a pump.  The method is useful if the intensity of the smell is not very high and the affected area is small.

   *Wet fogging: This method utilizes Ultra Low Volume (ULV) foggers to dispense water or solvent-based deodorants. The ULV fogger generates minute particles of the chemicals that penetrate to the areas where the odor causing particles hide and change the composition of these substances.

   *Thermal fogging:  The technique involves using heat to break up solvent-based deodorants into small particles that can get to the difficult to reach places. The deodorizing particles neutralize the odor-causing molecules right at the source.  Although this method is most popular to deodorize after smoke damage, it is sometimes used for flood damage as well.

   *Venting box fans:  These are high-velocity axial fans that are used to ventilate and improve air circulation.  These fans are used both before and after the deodorizing process. They can significantly shorten the time to deodorize and remove moisture at the same time.

   *Air Scrubbers:  These devices are sophisticated air filters that use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration technology.  The air scrubbers can capture and eliminate odor-causing particles as small as 0.3 micrometers with an efficiency of 99.97%.

Getting rid of the stale, clammy odor can be a difficult thing to do after water damage has occurred, but the professionals at SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon can help you eliminate the odor and get your home smelling like home again!  

Call SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon at (707) 724-8977 to talk to one of our water damage restoration experts and discuss your deodorizing options.  We are here 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help.