Recent Posts

America's next eclipse is in 2024

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

If you weren't able to see one of the most anticipated and unifying events this country has witnessed in nearly a hundred years, don't worry. You won't have to wait an entire century until the next one -- just seven years. Another total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States on April 8, 2024.

Although the last eclipse was peaking over two minutes in the path of totality, the 2024 eclipse will have peaks of 4½ minutes. In the United States, it will be visible in a diagonal path crossing from Texas to Maine, according to NASA.

If you're eclipse chaser who doesn't mind globetrotting, you can also catch these total solar eclipses around the world in the coming years:
  • 2019: South Pacific, Chile, Argentina
  • 2020: South Pacific, Chile, Argentina, South Atlantic
  • 2021: Antarctica
  • 2026: the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Spain
  • 2027: Morocco, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia
  • 2028: Australia, New Zealand
  • 2030: Botswana, South Africa, Australia

for more information go to CNN.com

House Cleaning

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

The days of a house cleaner with a mop, bucket and vacuum are over.  Today a professional is entrusted with the care of a home, its furnishings and the health of its occupants.  With the many new materials and surfaces being used in home décor, a professional house cleaner has a much broader range of knowledge than in the past as many of these newer surfaces require specialized care.

In addition to caring for the home and its contents, a professional house cleaning technician helps care for health.  This includes hygienic cleaning, effective sanitizing of surfaces, use of appropriate cleaning agents, and procedures to prevent cross contamination.  A thorough vacuuming with a high-efficiency filtration vacuum is an important contributor to improved indoor air quality.

An IICRC-certified House Cleaning Technician is trained to properly care for homes and health. A consumer who uses a certified professional can confidently trust the cleaning and relax in a clean and healthy home.

You know SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."

Need Cleaning Services?
Call Us Today – (707) 588-8226

http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/care/house-cleaning/

SERVPRO of Petaluma/Rohnert Park

SERVPRO Franchise Offers Local Businesses Free Emergency Ready Profile

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

When Disaster Strikes, You Can be Ruined or You Can BE READY!

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services.  It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information.

Did you know that as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster?  Of the businesses that do survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.  Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.  And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be, "Ready for whatever happens".

Preparation is key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it's a small leak, a large fire or an area flood.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it.  Now is the time to ask yourself, "Are you Ready for whatever happens?"

SERVPRO of Petaluma/Rohnert Park offers a complimentary assessment of your facility that can minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. This assessment provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services and serves as a quick reference for important building and contact information. We would like to offer you this FREE service at your place of business. It's called SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP), and here are some advantages of the program:

  • Includes a concise Profile Document that contains the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • Offers a guide to help you get back into your building safely following a disaster.
  • Provides facility details such a shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
  • Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider

Call us Today to Get Started 707-588-8226.

Test your escape plan often

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/basic-fire-escape-planning

Flooding and Water Damage

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Petaluma/Rohnert Park we know a basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Because basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Scarsdale basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface Water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-Water tank failure

If You Have Questions or Need Help, Please Call Us At  - (707) 588-8226

If Water damage is handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

At SERVPRO of Petaluma/Rohnert Park we are Flooding Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Experiencing Flooding? Call Us Today – We’re Always Here To Help - (707) 588-8226

IICRC Certified Firm

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Petaluma / Rohnert Park is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Petaluma / Rohnert Park

SERVPRO of Petaluma / Rohnert Park 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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Helpful tips to Prepare for a Water Damage

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Know your insurance coverage. Most renter’s or homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding, or even a sewer backup. Find out what coverage you have.
  2. Keep a record of all of your belongings. Take photos and keep copies of a receipts or other documents for your valuable items. Store a copy of these records online or at another location.
  3. To limit the risk of water damage within your home check your pipes frequently and pay attention to any indicators of water damage, such as dripping sounds in the walls, dark spots on the ceiling, or significant change in your water bill.
  4. Inspect your roof and foundation often. Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation or shingles missing. Check that the landscaping around your home is sloped to direct water away from your foundation, rather than toward it.
  5.  Water damage can be overwhelming. If a water damage should strike find an expert you can count on. SERVPRO of Petaluma / Rohnert Park is Always Here to Help! –Call (707) 588-8226

FIRE SAFETY IN MANUFACTURED HOMES

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

About manufactured homes
Manufactured homes (sometimes called "mobile" homes) are transportable structures that are fixed to a chassis and specifically designed to be towed to a residential site. They are not the same as modular or prefabricated homes, which are factory-built and then towed in sections to be installed at a permanent location.

In order to distinguish between modular, prefabricated and recreational trailer homes, the following definition for a manufactured home from NFPA 501, Standard on Manufactured Housing, applies:

A structure, transportable in one or more sections that in the traveling mode is 8 body-ft (2.4 m) or more in width or 40 body-ft (12.2 m) or more in length or that on site is 320 ft2 (29.7m2) or more, is built on a permanent chassis, is designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation, whether or not connected to the utilities, and includes plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein. Such terms shall include any structure that meets all the requirements of this paragraph except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the regulatory agency. Calculations used to determine the number of square feet in a structure are based on the structure’s exterior dimensions, include all expandable rooms, cabinets, and other projections containing interior space, but do not include bay windows.

The federal government regulates the construction of manufactured housing. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been required to comply with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manufactured housing construction and safety standards, which cover a wide range of safety requirements, including fire safety. Post-1976 manufactured homes bear a label certifying compliance with these standards.

The HUD standard has been enhanced over the years and the HUD "Final Rule" for smoke alarms in manufactured homes is largely based upon NFPA 501. Today, new construction of manufactured housing is required to contain, among other provisions:

  • factory installed hard wired or 10 year battery source, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up (including alarms inside or immediately adjacent to all rooms designated as sleeping areas, top of the stairs and on the basement ceiling near the stairs)
  • provisions for special devices for hearing and visually impaired persons.

NFPA's national fire data indicate that manufactured homes built to HUD standards (post-1976 construction) have a much lower risk of death if fire occurs compared to pre-standard manufactured homes. The latest data (2007-2011) also shows that the overall fire death rate per 100,000 housing units is roughly the same for manufactured homes and for other one- or two-family homes.

Despite the federal requirements for factory-installed smoke alarms and the fact that eight out of ten manufactured homes now are and seven out of ten manufactured home fires now involve post-HUD-Standard units (based on 2007-2011 data), 51 percent of fires in manufactured homes were reported as having no smoke alarms present. This suggests a problem with detection devices being removed by occupants.

Safety tips
To increase fire safety in manufactured homes, NFPA offers the following guidelines:

  • Choose a HUD-certified manufactured home
    If you are in the market to purchase or rent a manufactured home, select a home built after 1976 that bears the HUD label certifying compliance with safety standards.
  • Keep smoke alarms working
    Never remove or disable a smoke alarm. If you experience frequent nuisance alarms, consider relocating the alarm further away from kitchen cooking fumes or bathroom steam. Selecting a photoelectric smoke alarm for the areas nearest kitchens and baths may reduce the number of nuisance alarms experienced. As an alternative, NFPA 501 permits a smoke alarm with a silencing means to be installed if it is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the "test" button. It is not necessary to use smoke or a real flame to test the smoke alarm's operability, and it is risky to do so. Replace batteries at least once a year, and when the alarm "chirps," signaling low battery power. Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum smoke alarms.
  • Make sure you have enough smoke alarms
    If your older manufactured home does not have smoke alarms in or near every sleeping room and in or near the family/living area(s), immediately install new alarms and fresh batteries to protect these rooms.  For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Plan your escape
    Know ahead of time how you will get out if you have a fire. Develop an escape plan which includes having an alternate exit out of every room. Make sure you can open and get out of windows and doors. All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to provide windows designed for use as secondary escape routes for the bedroom. Familiarize yourself with their operation and don't block access to them.  Immediately fix any windows that have been painted or nailed shut, doors that are stubborn or "stuck," and locks that are difficult to operate. Security bars or grates over windows or doors should have quick-release devices installed inside, which allow you to open them in an emergency. Hold a fire drill twice a year to rehearse how you will react if the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Electrical
    Hire a licensed electrician if you notice flickering lights, frequent blown circuits, or a "hot" smell when using electricity. Use extension cords for temporary convenience, not as a permanent solution. Avoid overloading electrical receptacles (outlets). Electrical cords should not be run under carpets or rugs, as the wires can be damaged by foot traffic, then overheat and ignite the carpet or rug over them. Ground-fault circuit interrupters reduce the risk of electrical shock and should be installed by electricians in kitchens and baths. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters monitor electric circuits for arcing and should be installed by electricians on bedroom circuits.
  • Cooking
    Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires in U.S. homes. Supervise older children who cook and stay in the kitchen when heating anything on the stove. Keep cooking surfaces clean and place anything that can burn well away from the range. Heat oil slowly and know how to slide a lid over a pan if you experience a grease fire. Read more cooking safety tips.
  • Heating
    Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. When purchasing new space heaters, select appliances with automatic shut-off switches. Kerosene heaters are illegal for home use in some jurisdictions. Check with your local fire department before purchasing a kerosene heater. Turn off portable space heaters before falling asleep or when leaving the room. Refill kerosene heaters outdoors, after the heater has cooled down. Supervise children and pets when space heaters are operating. Read more heating safety tips.
  • Walls
    All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to have wall linings that do not promote rapid flame spread, with special protection around primary heating and cooking equipment, such as the furnace and cooking range. Presently, gypsum wallboard has replaced plywood wall paneling and wood based ceiling panels in the fabrication of manufactured housing walls and ceilings. This action has dramatically reduced the impact of fires in manufactured homes. Do not mount anything on the walls – such as paneling, drapery, or wall hangings – that would reduce this protection, especially near major heat sources.
  • Smoking
    If you have smokers in your home, ask them to smoke outside. Wherever people smoke, set out large, non-tip ashtrays on level surfaces and empty them frequently. Thoroughly douse butts with water before discarding. Check around and under cushions for smoldering butts. Read more smoking safety tips.
  • Protect yourself from intruders
    Install outdoor lighting to deter intruders, including would-be arsonists. Keep gasoline, charcoal lighter and other flammable liquids locked in an outdoor shed. Don't store items underneath your home. Store firewood away from your home and keep trash and other flammable debris cleaned up. Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/fire-safety-in-manufactured-homes

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Petaluma / Rohnert Park will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (707) 588-8226

Grill Safety

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

With the weather growing warmer and grilling becoming the cooking method of choice for many people it becomes crucial to remember grilling on Charcoal grills and or gas grills can present a variety of safety hazards. So before you heat up your grill, here's a few tips on grilling safely.

Grill Placement

Never use your grill indoors, in a garage, or under anything that could catch fire.

Place your grill at least ten feet away from your home, or any other structures or buildings.

Keep a spray bottle and fire extinguisher nearby at all times.

Charcoal Grill Safety

Make sure you use your grill in an open space. Charcoal grills burn off dangerous carbon monoxide gas that builds up in closed areas.

Never use any flammable or combustible liquid to start the fire. These starter fluids could cause an uncontrollable flash fire; add more charcoal or use kindling instead.

After grilling, allow charcoals to cool completely, soak them in water, and then store or dispose them in a metal container so they don't reignite.

Gas Grill Safety

DO

  1. Follow the grill manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials handy.
  2. If the igniter no longer works, replace it in accordance with the grill manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Keep the top of the grill open until you are sure the grill is lit, even if you have an electronic ignition. 4. Cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep them clean when the grill is not in use.
  4. Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
  5. If you smell gas, and it is safe to do so, turn off the cylinder valve, turning it to the right (clockwise). If you are unable to turn off the valve, immediately leave the area and dial 911 or call your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a qualified service technician inspect your grill and cylinder.
  6. Consult a qualified service technician if you are having grill or propane cylinder problems.
  7. Keep your grill clean to prevent flare-ups.
  8. Check for knots or kinks in gas hoses.
  9. Make sure the area around the grill is free of leaves or anything else that could ignite.

DON’T

  1. Smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
  2. Use matches or lighters to check for propane leaks.
  3. Pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the grill.
  4. Allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
  5. Use, store, or transport propane cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
  6. Transport propane cylinders in your trunk. Instead, keep in a cool place, such as an air-conditioned car.
  7. Move a lit grill.
  8. Leave a lit grill unattended.
  9. Attempt to adjust any gas containers or hoses while the grill is lit.
  10. Grill in a covered patio or garage, even with the doors open, because gases can build up.

Maintenance and Personal Safety

Check your grill frequently for cleanliness. Make sure no animals or bugs have crawled inside.

Don't allow fat and grease to buildup. A hot grill can ignite fat and grease and start a fire.