Recent Posts

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. 

Canal & Irrigation Ditch Safety

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

Picture shows water with sign saying "Danger: Stay Alive by Staying Out" Don't let water temp you near canals and irrigation ditches. Stay out of them to stay alive and call 911 if you see someone fall in.

With temperatures hitting the 100 mark in Solano and Yolo counties recently, any body of water seems like a great place to cool off, but irrigation ditches and canals are ones you should steer clear of.  They may look inviting and refreshing, but they are actually extremely dangerous to enter.  That’s why most canals have fences around them.  Be sure not to climb on the fence and don’t ever go fishing in a canal.   

Canals are manmade structures that are used to transport water for irrigation and other human uses. Many canals were originally constructed in areas without a huge population, but as an area surrounding the canal becomes urbanized, the canal ultimately can run through neighborhoods, making it particularly dangerous.

Canals typically have fast underwater currents that can sweep away even the strongest swimmer, leaving them helpless to escape.  Additionally, many canals have steep, slippery sides that are nearly impossible to crawl out of.  

 Irrigation ditches are not as large, but are equally dangerous because they can contain trash and other debris such as rocks, glass or barbed wire that you cannot see from the surface.  Pesticides, herbicides and other pollutants can be found in irrigation ditch water and it is definitely not safe to drink or swim in.

The water in irrigation ditches can move fast enough to sweep a person downstream with little change of getting out safely.  Some ditches have undertows.  If you are caught in one of these, you can be pulled underwater and your chances of getting out are very slim.  

Here's a few tips on keeping you and your family safe near irrigation canals and ditches:

*Never swim in or play around canals or irrigation ditches

*Never walk closely along the edge of a canal or irrigation ditch

*Never jump in to rescue a pet or object.  Instead call 911 for help.

We all want to try to beat the heat this summer, but SERVPRO of Vacaville wants to help you stay safe by knowing these tips for irrigation canal safety.

Remember These "P's" in an Evacuation

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

In case of an emergency evacuation, there are certain items you should always remember to take from your home, and there is an easy way to remember what they are because they all start with the letter "P".  

*People and Pets - Obviously the most important thing in your home are the people who you care about who live there with you, and your furry critters are an important part of that group.  Secure their exit and safety before you consider removing anything else from your home.  Remember, everything else is material and replaceable…people are not.

*Papers, Phone Numbers and Important Documents - This information will be helpful if you need to call various businesses and should include your account numbers.  Think ahead and place all these documents in one location, and ideally, in a fire safe box that is easy to grab and exit your home with quickly.  Make sure it doesn’t get buried underneath other items in your office of extra bedroom.  Keep it out and readily available in case of emergency.

*Prescriptions, Vitamins & Eyeglasses – These are extremely important items to maintain your health, and you have to be able to read those labels!  These are all relatively easy to replace, but if you do a little preplanning, it will make it easier to regroup if you need to be out of your home for any length of time.

*Pictures - Grab the ones you can't replace, like the ones that aren’t on your phone or are particularly old.  It’s always a good idea to make some copies of the really valuable (sentimental or otherwise) pictures and put them in your bank’s safe deposit box for safe keeping.    

*Personal computer hard drive and disks - Backup your information regularly to a portable hard drive so you can grab it and go.  Make sure it is with your other important documents and ideally in a fire proof case, or one you can grab easily if necessary. 

*"Plastic" - Bring your credit and ATM cards, driver's license and any cash you have in the house.

Print out this list and keep it in your home office or a prominent place in your home in case you need to reference it in case of emergency. 

If your home or business does experience fire or smoke damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon at (707) 724-8977 and we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."  We hope you never have to call us, but if you do, we will be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help.

Tips for Creating an Evacuation Plan for Your Family

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

With temperatures climbing, the risk of residential and wildfires increases each day.  All families should have an evacuation plan in place in case of emergency.  Here's a few tips to keep in mind when creating your own evacuation plan.

*Designate an emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. Ideas may be a local fire station or City Hall.

*Plan out several different escape routes from your home or community.  Practice these so everyone in your family is familiar with these routes.  

*If you have pets or large animals, have a plan in place to move them quickly if necessary.

*Print out a list of all the phone numbers of your family members, in case you get separated from your cell phone, and keep them in your wallet or with you at all times. Many of us rely on our phones to automatically dial our contact list and don't have important family members' and friends' phone numbers memorized.  

The most important thing to remember is to be prepared and stay calm in the event of an emergency.  Having the plans in place to respond to a fire or evacuation of any kind will help everyone be safely reunited with their loved ones. 

Mold Prevention and Mitigation

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Picture shows wet wood that can turn into mold Wood that has been dampened by rain water or other damage can quickly grow mold.

Most people think mold is just something in your house that looks nasty in the bathroom. But before you know the dangers of mold you should have an idea of what exactly mold is.

Mold belongs to the fungi family.  This nasty element can thrive almost anywhere. Studies performed have shown that over 50 percent of homes and businesses have moisture present which is a prime harvesting spot for mold.  Mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present.  Excessive dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, potentially causing health problems.

Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth.  This can be from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control.  When these water issues are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. 

As the season’s change and rain mixes with colder temperatures, there is an excess of moisture. This extra amount of moisture can open the door to fungal growth which thrives in damp areas.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon handle water damages every day and know that prompt action is required to prevent and eradicate mold growth before it becomes worse.

If you think you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Vacaville/Fairfield/Dixon at (707) 724-8977; we will help you restore your home or business to a healthy condition. 

Keep Your Eye Out For Water Leaks in Commercial Buildings

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

This is an image of a water meter showing high levels of water present This water meter is indicating high levels of moisture in this commercial building. SERVPRO of Vacaville can help with this problem. Call us today.

Undetected water leaks can cause a great amount of damage, especially if they continue for an extended period of time.  Here are a few of the most common types of leaks in commercial properties and how to fix them.

  • Faucet Leaks – With frequent use, faucet parts can wear out over time and when the seal or other components begin to leak, it can lead to water loss. This can substantially increase your water bill as well as cause major damage to your building.  In order to avoid loss, prepare any dripping sinks as soon as you see them start to leak.
  • Toilet Leaks – Like faucets, toilets have a number of parts that can deteriorate and lead to issues. One faulty or leaking part leads to other damage, so be sure to replace toilet components as soon as you see them begin to deteriorate. 
  • Underground Leaks – These types of leaks can often go undetected, but there are tell-tail signs of their existence, such as areas of wet soil, areas where grass or plants are growing faster than surrounding areas (due to increased water supply from your leak), and a significant rise in your water bill.
  • Hidden Leaks – These types of leaks are the most difficult to detect, but can cause the most damage because they remain undetected for long periods of time. If you notice water marks or swelling of walls, ceilings and floors, you likely have a hidden leak. 

If any of these types of leaks are detected in your commercial building, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Vacaville.  We can help find where the water is coming from and help to make it “Like it never even happened.”  You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 707-724-8977.

Tips to Prevent Commercial Building Fires

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Image shows a pile of discarded fire debris and a worker Don't let this happen to your place of business. Use these helpful tips to keep your commercial building safe.

Fires in Commercial Buildings can cause a great amount of damage, but there are three easy things a business can do to prevent the most common commercial building fires. 

  1. Surprisingly, the top cause of commercial building fires is cooking fires. But a fire extinguisher placed near the kitchen area can give employees the power to stop a small cooking fire from spreading.  Be sure to train your employees on how to use the extinguisher and make sure they are still in good working condition.
  2. Fire alarms can save lives and property from damage, yet many are left unchecked and are not properly maintained. Be sure to check the fire alarm in your building or office to make sure that it working correctly.
  3. A commercial fire sprinkler system can put out a potentially deadly fire in a commercial building. Have the one in your commercial building tested annually.

Be sure that your business has what it needs to protect itself from a crippling fire and be proactive in helping prevent damage to your business by following these three easy guidelines.

If you do experience a fire in your commercial building, call the experts at SERVPRO of Vacaville to help you recover.  We'll make it "Like it never even happened."  Call us today at 707-724-8977.