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COVID Cleaning Services

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

With the rise of people contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), facilities, where people with the virus have been present, are now faced with cleaning and disinfecting of their properties. 

Why Is Cleaning & Disinfecting Important?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is thought to spread from person-to-person. This can be through personal contact or through inhaling droplets in the air from someone who sneezes or coughs. It is also thought that it can spread by touching a surface or item that has the virus on it, which is why cleaning and disinfecting are so important. The CDC has stated that since this is a new (novel) version of the virus, there is more to learn about it and how it spreads. For the latest updates on the virus, you can visit the CDC website for updated info and guidance. 

To prevent the spread of infection, it is important to have any areas that a person who has tested positive has been, professionally cleaned and disinfected. Clean up guidelines may be superseded by state and local law enforcement. It is important to contact your local law enforcement and health department if a person with the virus has visited your business or facility.  Due to how easily this virus can spread, it is important that all businesses be pro-active in isolating the contaminated area and seeking immediate cleanup and disinfection. 

The Cleaning Process for COVID-19 

There are three levels of cleaning that can be done. The three levels of cleaning are general surface cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.  It is important to note though, that not all surfaces can be cleaned to all three levels. While every surface can be surface cleaned, not all can be sanitized or disinfected.

With general surface cleaning, dirt, bacteria, fungi, and viruses are scrubbed and removed from the surface. The goal is to physically remove the virus microbes. As noted above, all surfaces can be cleaned. By cleaning the surface, not only are you removing the possible virus microbes but you are also removing the nutrients and moisture that helps the virus survive and multiply. 

The next level of cleaning is sanitizing. Sanitizing a surface helps reduce the amount of bacteria on a surface. Though, sanitizers do not claim to clean or remove fungi or viruses. In order to be classified as a sanitizer, the product must kill 99.9% of all bacteria tested on non-food contact surfaces. Examples of these types of non-food sanitizers are air sanitizers, carpet sanitizers, toilet sanitizers, and laundry sanitizers.

The last level of cleaning is disinfecting. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to neutralize germs on surfaces. Disinfectants will not remove dirt or germs, but it will inactivate the germs. The number of microbes inactivated is determined by the disinfecting chemical and how it is used. 

What Is Cleaned After COVID-19 Contamination

According to the CDC, all high touch surfaces are encouraged to be cleaned. These surfaces include doors, countertops, tables, desks, toilets, sinks, phones, elevator buttons, keyboards, and railings at a minimum. As every facility and property is different, each location will most likely have added areas that need to be cleaned. 

For the area where a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, enhanced cleaning is required. Enhanced cleaning includes cleaning and disinfecting of all non-porous surfaces in the area and cleaning and sanitizing of all porous surfaces in the area. This includes, as an example for office spaces, the walls, carpeting, cubicles, chairs, shared office equipment, and more. Obviously, the scope of work can change depending on the space. In a commercial kitchen, cleaning and disinfecting could be a simpler process compared to a retail clothing shop, where you are dealing with a lot of porous materials that could be contaminated. 

What Can You Do To Reduce Infection and the Spread?

As you can see, the novel coronavirus can easily be spread from person to person. To reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the coronavirus, it is important that you and your staff are diligent in handwashing and cleaning. Clean your hands often and thoroughly, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and face. Avoid close contact with people. Try to stay at least 3-feet apart and avoid handshakes. It is also a good idea to increase the cleaning routine of your facilities to reduce the chance of the infection spreading from high touch surfaces.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

  1. INSPECT THE ROOF, SOFFITS AND FASCIA BOARDS.

Using binoculars is a safe alternative to climbing a ladder. Check for damage to shingles, nail pops and wood rot.

  1. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS!

improperly channeled water can compromise the structural integrity of your property, including the foundation and sheet rock inside. Water damage can quickly lead to mold growth, which is a hazard health.

  1. CLEAN UP THE YARD

Prune bushes, trim the trees and climbing plants. Thinning dead or overgrown tree branches can prevent catastrophic roof damage in the event of a storm. Don't let weeds, ivy or other plants' roots exploit your foundation or siding. Remove debris from your yard; properties with well-kept lawns are less inviting to thieves and vandals.

  1. REPAIR CRACKED, BROKEN OR UNEVEN DRIVEWAYS, WALKWAYS AND STAIRS

The expansion and contraction caused by freezing and thawing can lead to significant damage to exterior walkways. If kept unchecked, these hazards can cause slips and falls.

  1. PREVENT BUGS AND RODENTS FROM ENTERING YOUR PROPERTY

Seal or caulk cracks, gaps or holes near baseboards, windows and doors. Cable, plumbing and electric service entry points should also have a tight seal. Any hole the size of a dime or larger may allow rodents to squeeze through.

  1. WINTERIZE ALL WATER SYSTEMS

Drain, disconnect and store garden hoses. Install a faucet cover to help prevent outdoor faucets from freezing. Drain your sprinkler system and swimming pool pump. Turn off the water and fully drain the plumbing systems on any vacant properties!

  1. INSPECT YOUR SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS; ONE SHOULD BE INSTALLED ON EACH FLOOR Test alarms monthly. Change the batteries twice a year or more frequently as needed.
  2. MAKE SURE YOUR MULTIPURPOSE FIRE EXTINGUISHER IS FULL AND PROPERLY PRESSURIZED

Store the extinguisher in an accessible location and follow the manufacturer's instructions for routine maintenance.

  1. GIVE YOUR FURNACE A TUNE UP

HVAC systems should be checked at least twice a year-before winter or summer arrive. Have the ducts professionally cleaned to prevent fires resulting from dust buildup. Change furnace filters on a monthly basis.

  1. HAVE YOUR CHIMNEY PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED AND INSPECTED

A $300 inspection will cost much less than an insurance deductible in the event of a fire. A professional can repair any cracks, remove soot and other buildup, and make sure the flu and gas lines are in good condition.  

Mold Remediation

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Did you find something that looks like mold in your home or business?  Let SERVPRO of Elk Grove / Laguna ease your mind and take care of the problem. Call us at 925-856-8183 for 24/7 emergency service.

Learn a little more about mold testing or sampling from the EPA: 

Is sampling for mold needed? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.

Are there federal regulations or standards regarding mold testing?

Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.

For more information on mold visit: https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-testing-or-sampling

Fire Safety For Children

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible cautions in your home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.            

Prevent Your Child from Starting Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.
  • Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.

Help Your Child Survive a Fire

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. 
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside..
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.
  • Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.
  • Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows. 
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Prevent Roof Leaks

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Maintenance is crucial for the longevity of your roof. Being exposed to all elements of weather can take a toll on your roof. What can you do if your roof is leaking? Inspecting it yourself can seem daunting, and hiring a roofer may be costly. Is there a simpler solution?

What to Do During a Storm:
If you catch a leak during a storm...

  • Locate the Source of the Leak

If you don't have a leak detector, infrared camera, or infrared camera app, you can locate the source manually.

Leaks most commonly occur near roof protrusions such as chimneys, vents, plumbing, or anything protruding through your roofing material. Look closely for water staining. If it's currently raining you may be able to trace the drips.

  • Prevent Further Damage

Once you've located the leak, take the necessary measures to prevent further damage. Use a bucket or pan to collect dripping water. If water is pooling in ceiling, a small puncture will relieve the pressure and allow the water to drain.

Use roofing materials such as traps, sandbags, or boards to cover the leak and prevent water from entering home.

Prevent Future Leaks to Your Roof:
1. Check the Attic

Common attic problems could be a direct culprit to your roof leaks. During your next roof inspection, don't forget to check the attic. Signs of Mold, Soaked insulation, Stains around Nails, or Clogged Intake Vents will be clear signs.

  1. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect!

Gutters, Shingles, and Protruding Parts can all lead to leaks. Clogged gutters can cause a water back up under your shingles or other roofing materials. Shingles need to be properly secured, and missing/broken shingles need to be replaced. As we learned earlier, protruding parts are the main culprits of roof leaks. Make sure the seals are tight so water can't leak through.

Hear The Storm Coming

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

If one is, you should always be prepared. Although violent storms can strike anytime, the fall and winter months typically mark an increase in the threat of sudden, severe storms that sometimes include wind, rain, lighting and even hail.

Authorities issue a storm 'watch' when the potential for severe weather exists. A storm 'warning' will be issued when danger from a severe storm is imminent. The following tips will help prepare you to better protect yourself and your property when a storm is on the horizon. 

  • Put a communication plan in place and prepare an emergency supply kit, including a battery-powered NOAA weather radio.
  • Postpone outdoor activities; secure outdoor objects that could become airborne.
  • Don't use corded phones or any appliances that are "plugged in." Use cell or cordless phones instead.
  • Seek shelter in a home, building or hard top automobile. The steel frame of a vehicle (not the rubber ties) can help protect you from a lightning strike if you avoid touching metal or other conductive surfaces. 
  • Avoid windows and doors, don't lie on concrete walls, and stay off of porches.
  • If you are outside when a storm hits, quickly seek shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid small, isolated structures in open areas and steer clear of hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water. 

What To Do After A Storm

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

  • Avoid storm-damaged areas. Stay away from downed power lines and never try to drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Replenish your emergency supplies and repair property damage promptly, before the next storm strikes.

When disaster strikes at a hospitality facility, the help of a specialized team is critical in assuring that normal operations resume as quickly and safely as possible. Whether the cause is a coat hanger on a sprinkler head, a fire, a traumatic event, or a natural disaster, our team will coordinate with your management and maintenance staff to prioritize spaces, isolate the damage, and restore the area to your complete satisfaction, while minimizing the inconvenience to you and your guests. 

Types of Facilities:

  • Hotels
  • Convention Centers
  • Resorts
  • Casinos
  • Entertainment Venues

Our professionals are available 24-7/365 to help remediate any damage, regardless of the cause, scale of the loss, or the size of your facility. 

From small entertainment venues to large convention centers and everything in between, we work quickly to assess your restoration needs and work with your staff to prioritize spaces so that basic operating functions can continue normally, and your guests can enjoy your services with minimal impact.

Our Experience Includes:

  • Facilities Cleaning and Restoration
  • Flooding and Water Damage Cleanup
  • Biohazard
  • Odor Removal
  • Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
  • Smoke and Soot Cleanup
  • Mold Removal
  • Vandalism Cleanup
  • Document and Records Recovery
  • Total Project Management

Putting A Plan In Action

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Fire escape plans are essential for any business, not only for the safety of your employees but also for those who come and go from the offices. Not having a strategy can cause confusion that can lead to unnecessary injuries and an increased amount of property damage. Include these four must-have items in your emergency escape plan.

Roles

Put together a chain of command. Delegate one person to take charge of the evacuation plan from start to finish. Pick individuals to escort employees, customers and contractors from the building to a pre-planned meeting area. Others to include in the emergency escape plan are those in charge of the shutdown of utilities and those who aid disabled or injured people.

Evacuation Routes

Design a map showing all evacuation routes. Due to the drills you have, your employees will know where all the exit doors are; however, customers and contractors who are not familiar with the building need a map that is easy to read. Several websites have templates for devising a fire escape plan.

Headcount

Choose someone to keep a headcount of everyone exiting the building. As part of your business, if applicable, use a sign-in sheet to keep track of people going in and out of your offices. The person in charge of the headcount can utilize the sign-in sheet and check off those accounted for.

Employee Training and Drills

After putting together the fire escape plan, it’s time for the drills. Practice at least twice a year, preferably more. Include medical preparation as part of the exercise. The American Red Cross provides training and certification classes in basic first aid and CPR for businesses and organizations.

When You Find Out About Damaged Pipes

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Winter can be a risky time for pipes, so keep an eye out for the signs of frozen or damaged plumbing in your kitchen:

  • The most significant factor that determines whether pipes can freeze is whether the weather is at or below freezing temperatures. Have your plumbing inspected for potential vulnerabilities as soon as possible, ideally before the first frost or the next dip in temperatures.
  • Check exposed pipes for frost accumulation on the outside of the pipe, especially under the kitchen sink. This is a common warning sign that the pipe is frozen.
  • If water is not coming out of the faucet and there is either no water or only a slight trickle, the pipe supplying the water to that faucet might be frozen.
  • One of the biggest giveaways of a blocked or frozen pipe comes in the form of strange smells. Because blockage prevents the travel of water through the pipe, the only way for odors to move is up through drains.

How SERVPRO Can Help

The most crucial step technicians take before establishing drying goals and extracting water from your home is measuring moisture with a variety of advanced tools. If you have a pipe leak behind an exterior kitchen wall, for example, technicians can use infrared cameras to detect moisture behind visible surfaces that might be affecting structural materials such as studs, insulation, and drywall. 

Other measurement tools, including penetrating and non-penetrating sensors and meters, are consistently used throughout the cleaning and drying process and compared with the ideal relative humidity for various materials.

Multiple Recovery Services From Us

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

While many cleanup and restoration companies can handle small fire and water damages, like a flooded small business or a house fire, very few can large scale disasters. The disasters like major hurricanes, massive tornadoes, and catastrophic fires can grind businesses to a halt, displace hundreds of people from their homes, and even shut down entire city blocks.

We understand when businesses are completely shut down due to natural or man-made disasters, that every second that they are closed affects their bottom line, their employees’ lives, and their customers’ lives.  We pride ourselves on our commitment to working with our clients to ensure their business and/or home is cleaned and restored as quickly as possible.

Large Loss Recovery Services

We have the technology, the equipment, and the expertise to handle any size disaster, anytime, and anywhere. Our team is ready to mobilize and start the cleanup and restoration process 24/7. Our large loss services are much like our small scale restoration services, just larger and more capable. Large loss recovery services include:

  • Water Damage Restoration- Whether from a natural flood or broken water pipes, we can extract the water, dry the damaged area, clean up the mess, and restore your water damaged property quickly and efficiently.
  • Fire Damage Restoration- We have the equipment and resources to handle even the largest of fires. We have the expertise to clean up the fire and smoke and restore any damage to the property. SERVPRO has decades of experience removing smoke odor and fire damage. 
  • Commercial Mold Remediation- Mold can happen slowly over time or quickly after a devastating flood or sewer backup. Our team has the knowledge and training in mold remediation to ensure mold spores are removed safely and effectively.
  • Commercial Cleanup- Our team can deep clean facilities that have suffered a viral outbreak, like the recent Coronavirus outbreak. We can also clean up after sewer backups, vandalism, or just from normal wear and tear. 
  • Storm Damage Restoration- Major storms like tornadoes and hurricanes can bring substantial damage to businesses and homes through flooding, fires, wind damage and more. Our commercial restoration team is prepared and ready to be on the scene should a major disaster strike.