Recent Posts

Identifying the Different Types of Mold

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).

Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green "pepper like" substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red and watery eyes, rashes and a sore throat.

Mold that appears to be orange or red in color is typically found outdoors, given its nature to thrive on decaying plants or moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.


White mold is not technically a type of mold, but the good news is that this typically indicates the mold is only in the early stages of growth and can easily be treated.

For more information check out:

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/mildew-vs-mold

What do I need to know about Sewage Backups in my home?

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to water damage there is important things to remember about the different hazards that can contaminate the water that is in your home. Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents.

Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups and how to handle the situation with caution:

  • Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
  • Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
  • It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
  • Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly.  This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too.  There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
  • Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.

SERVPRO of North Oceanside  is always available 24 hours a day when a loss becomes overwhelming from a Water Loss or Sewage Backup in the workplace or in your home. These simple tips will help you with prevention and awareness where its most important so seconds don’t turn into disaster.

What Signs Point to Water Damage?

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Stains on your floors can be an indication of water damage.

When it's contained properly, water doesn't pose too big of a threat to your home. However when water floods and soaks into your walls, floors, or ceiling, it can quickly develop into a serious health and safety hazard. This is because water that is not dried up or that sits causes a cozy environment for mold and mildew to begin growing. Mold is a fast-spreading, hard-to-remove fungus that can cause health problems and also weaken your property's structural integrity. Here are several methods for detecting water damagewithin your house. You’re going to want to walk around and look carefully at both the interior and exterior of your home. 

  1. First walk around and Inspect Outside

Carefully look over the entire exterior of your house. Look for pools of water. These can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that maybe aren’t moving water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues can threaten your homes foundation since water that’s standing may get into your home. 

Make sure to check your roof. The most common signs of water damage to your roof often include pools of water; cracked, curled up or missing shingles. 

  1. Inside Check your Floors

No matter what kind of flooring you have throughout your home, if water damage is present the signs will show. For tile and wood floors, look for cracked, buckling or warping. On carpeted floors, be wary of damp spots, stains, gradual rises and soft spots. 

  1. Smell your way around 

If you see any active mold growth it means that moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. However since mold often hides, you can’t rely only on your site. Use your nose too! If there’s a smell of mold and dampness that too is a sign then that water damage is present. One can often get used to the smell of mold or dampness so make certain to walk in from outside first during your walk around so that the smell will be more obvious. Water when it’s stagnate, causes mold and bacteria can grow, which is what produces the musty, unpleasant smell. If you smell it it is best to remove yourself from the home until the level, type  and location of the mold are determined. 

  1. Look for Stains Everywhere

Look for stains on your floors, walls and ceiling. If you find water stains on your floors or around your bathtub, toilet or sink than those are signs of water damage. If you find stains on your ceilings and walls than those too are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Some of these stains can be concealing mold behind them beneath the flooring or in your walls since water damage that’s left unattended can often lead to mold. Unusual stains may indicate that there is a leaky pipe inside the wall. Perhaps there’s a leaky drain. Cracks in your drywall often mean there’s trouble. If any areas of your walls appear swollen and are soft to touch that too may signify trouble. If pain is peeing that is another sign of water loose within walls. When drywall gets saturated, paint will usually lose adhesion.

  1. Look for Rust and Mold

Frequent Inspections of your water heater can be very beneficial. Checking for rust that’s developing on the tank or if you see rust already present on the tank, than that typically indicates a slow leak. Rust around pipe connections can also be caused by water seepage.

Common Causes of Mold

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Common Source of Excessive Mold-Causing Moisture

  • Flooding from storms coming from outside
  • Sump pump overflow
  • Roof leaks from damaged roofs, ice dams or blocked gutters
  • Rain from storms through window frames, exterior walls, or doors
  • Leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows
  • Damp basements due to high water table or badly managed water drainage
  • Condensation on cold surfaces
  • Mold needs these 3 main things to thrive and stay alive.
  • High humidity
  • Warm or temperate Temperature
  • Poor ventilation

Mold is easier to prevent than it is to clean so keeping a watch on common sources of mold and maintaining a dry, ventilated home and drying homes from water damage within 24 hours of the incidence is the best way to prevent mold from happening in the first place. If you have a mold problem and you would like information about how to get it professionally cleaned, please call us and we will direct you on the companies that we use to test for mold.

SERVPRO of North Oceanside specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Categories of Water Loss

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Always be informed on what you’re dealing with

When facing a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensure proper cleanup.  There are three types of water.

  1. Clean Water (Cat 1) is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.
  2. Gray Water (Cat 2) is used to classify slightly contaminated water.  Clean Water becomes Gray Water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.
  3. Black Water (Cat 3) is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more.  Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster.  Black Water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Are you not sure what type of water damage you are dealing with? Let the professionals here at SERVPRO of North Oceanside help!

SERVPRO of North Oceanside specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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 

Workplace Fire Safety & Prevention Checklist

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Most Oceanside residents already have a fire plan for home, but does your employer have one? Do you know your part in keeping the workplace safe?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to over 3,000 fire on office properties per year.

Like at home, it’s your responsibility to take the necessary steps to keep your office environment safe. While there are specific measures employers should take to protect their staff – every employee should do their part to prevent fires.

Some employers are required by law to have an emergency action plan in place; however, it’s smart for all companies to create and share a strategy with staff in the event of a fire.

Employers should:

  • Teach employees about fire hazards in the workplace – provide proper training in fire prevention and protection
  • Inform employees of office housekeeping procedures for storage and cleanup
  • Go over rules for controlling ignition sources such as smoking
  • Provide for proper cleaning and maintenance of heat-producing equipment
  • Require fire safety plan review with all new employees
  • Alert the entire staff when changes are made to the fire safety plan
  • Inspect office equipment on a regular basis
  • Keep fire equipment in plain sight
  • Prohibit smoking at and around work areas
  • Have an alarm system that consists of visual and audible signals
  • Post reporting instructions and local Fire Department codes around the office
  • Conduct regular fire drills
  • Include disabled employees in the fire emergency planning process
  • Appoint a fire safety leader

Employees should:

  • Keep work areas clean and free from clutter including waste paper and trash
  • Replace damaged electrical cords
  • Help maintain machinery to prevent overheating
  • Never overload circuits
  • Make sure papers and books are not piled on top of computer monitors
  • Always report malfunctioning electrical equipment
  • Make sure heat-producing equipment is far away from anything that could burn including copiers, fax machines, coffee makers and computers
  • Remember to get rid of trash regularly so it does not accumulate
  • Keep dock areas neat and clean
  • Know the location of fire alarm pull stations and extinguishers
  • Smoke in designated areas only
  • Become familiar with the proper exits and emergency procedures
  • Follow building security measures to prevent arson fires – lock up and report suspicious individuals
  • Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits
  • Keep emergency telephone numbers and the office address readily available
  • Never run extension cords across doorways or where they can easily be stepped on or run over by chairs and other furniture
  • Avoid plugging more than one extension cord into an outlet

Wireless Emergency Alerts - Stay Informed Of Weather Alerts in Oceanside

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

How can Oceanside residents stay informed about emergencies in their communities? WEAs!

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delivered to you mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area (e.g.  AMBER Alerts). 

Government partners include local and state public safety agents, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without downloading an app or subscribing to a service.  WEAs may be used to share extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

This is America’s wireless industry helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will warn you when weather threatens.

The great piece of this is that there is no signup required, and Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during an emergency. With WEA, alerts may be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way.

A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.  The message will be no more than 90 characters.  WEA message will include a special tone and vibration, with both repeated twice.

The National Weather Service will send the following types of messages:

    • Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
    • Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings

Of course, Oceanside does not receive some of these extreme weather conditions, but SERVPRO of North Oceanside recommends staying ALERT for WEAs!

SERVPRO of North Oceanside can assess your situation and help to remediate your mold problem!

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of North Oceanside can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Mold Safety Tips - What do you do if you suspect mold growth?

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of North Oceanside for mold remediation services.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of North Oceanside specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (760) 721-8929

Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

No business, wants to deal with the destruction caused by fire. One of the best ways to minimize potential damage and associated expenses is to maintain a commercial fire sprinkler system. A sprinkler system is a highly effective fire suppression strategy that can prevent many significant losses.  

1. They're Activated by Heat, Not Smoke

A sprinkler system is not activated by smoke Instead, the heat generated by a fire rises to the ceiling, where the sprinkler heads are located. Sensors recognize the change in temperature and trigger the release of water. Only sprinklers in the area of the fire will be activated. It is possible that only a single sprinkler head will deploy.

2. They Use High-Pressure Water

The pipes that feed the fire sprinkler system are filled with pressurized water at all times. There will be no delay between the activation of the system and the release of water. The volume of water from even a single sprinkler can help contain a fire, which reduces fire and water damage to the rest of the structure. By the time the fire department arrives, the fire will likely not have spread further. It may even be extinguished by the sprinkler system.

3. They Can Minimize Cleanup After a Fire

Minimal fire sprinkler cleanup is another key advantage of a sprinkler system. While there will still be fire and water damage, it is likely to be much less extensive than what you'd find in a building without a sprinkler system. The fire damage should be limited to the area where sprinklers activated. The water damage from sprinklers is far less intrusive than water damage caused by fire hoses.

Any fire will cause structural and water damage. The primary benefit of a fire sprinkler system is that inevitable damage will be kept to a minimum, resulting in saved dollars and saved lives.