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Renters Insurance and Mold Damage: What You Need to Know

5/9/2023 (Permalink)

Spots of mold growing on a ceiling. Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding mold growth.

As a renter, it’s important to understand the role that renters insurance plays in protecting you from damages that can occur to your rental property. One of the most common types of damage is mold, which can be caused by a variety of factors. In this blog, we’ll explore what renters insurance covers when it comes to mold damage and what you need to know to protect yourself as a renter.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

Whether or not renters insurance covers mold damage depends on the cause of the mold growth. If the mold is the result of a covered peril, such as a burst pipe or a leaky roof, then renters insurance will typically cover the cost of repairs and remediation.

However, if the mold is the result of negligence on the part of the renter, such as failing to report a leak or failing to properly ventilate the property, then renters insurance may not cover the cost of repairs and remediation.

It’s important to carefully review your renter's insurance policy to understand what is and isn’t covered when it comes to mold damage.

Prevention is Key

Preventing mold damage in your rental property is crucial in avoiding costly repairs and remediation. As a renter, there are several steps you can take to prevent mold growth in your rental property.

First, make sure to report any leaks or water damage to your landlord as soon as possible. Addressing these issues promptly can help prevent mold growth.

Second, make sure to properly ventilate your rental property. This includes using exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen and opening windows and doors to increase ventilation.

Third, regularly inspect your rental property for any signs of mold growth, such as a musty odor or visible mold. If you notice any signs of mold growth, report it to your landlord right away.

By taking these steps, you can help prevent mold growth in your rental property and protect yourself from costly repairs and remediation.

What to Do if You Find Mold

If you do find mold in your rental property, it’s important to take action immediately. This includes reporting the mold to your landlord and contacting your renter's insurance company to understand what is covered under your policy.

Your renter's insurance company may send an adjuster to inspect the mold damage and determine what is covered under your policy. It’s important to provide as much documentation as possible, including photos and receipts for any repairs or remediation that you have paid for.

In conclusion, understanding what renters insurance covers when it comes to mold damage is crucial in protecting yourself as a renter. Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding mold growth, and taking action immediately if you do find mold is important in minimizing damage and costs. Be sure to review your renter's insurance policy and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from mold damage.

Be Prepared: Basic First Aid Tips for Treating Burns

5/1/2023 (Permalink)

first aid burn Burns are a common injury and can be dangerous.

Burns are a common injury that can occur at home, at work, or even while engaging in recreational activities. It is important to know how to provide basic first aid for burns, as this can help minimize pain, prevent infection, and promote faster healing. In this blog, we will discuss some basic first aid tips for treating burns.

Stop the Burning Process

The first thing you need to do is to stop the burning process. If the person is on fire, have them stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames. If it is a chemical burn, rinse the affected area with water for at least 20 minutes to flush out the chemical. If it is an electrical burn, turn off the power source before touching the person.

Cool the Burn

Once the burning process has been stopped, it is important to cool the burn. Run cool (not cold) water over the affected area for 10-20 minutes to reduce the temperature of the skin and relieve pain. Do not use ice or ice water, as this can cause further damage to the skin.

Remove Jewelry and Clothing

If the burn is on an area of the body with jewelry or clothing, remove these items as soon as possible. This is because these items can become tight and cause further damage as the skin swells.

Cover the Burn

After cooling the burn, cover the affected area with a sterile gauze or clean cloth. This will help prevent infection and keep the area clean.

Take Pain Medication

Burns can be very painful, so it is important to take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed by the label. 

Seek Medical Attention

If the burn is severe (covers a large area of the body, is deep, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing), seek medical attention immediately. If the burn is mild, it should heal on its own within a few days to a week.

In conclusion, burns are a common injury that can be quite painful and even dangerous if not treated properly. By following these basic first aid tips, you can help minimize pain, prevent infection, and promote faster healing. Remember, if the burn is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

How to take care of frozen pipes.

3/7/2023 (Permalink)

insulated pipes Insulate your pipes to keep water from freezing in your home

If you live in an area that gets cold, you know how important it is to keep your pipes from freezing. If your pipes freeze and burst, it can be a major inconvenience as well as very expensive to fix them. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

Temperature of your water heater.

Check the temperature of your water heater. A water heater should be set to 120 degrees, but many people don't realize how much energy is wasted if it's set too high. If you have an older model, the thermostat might not be accurate and may even be broken altogether, in this case, consider getting a professional to adjust it for you or buying a new one altogether.

Open cabinet doors under sinks.

If you have a cabinet under your sink, open it and check for frozen pipes. When the temperature starts to drop, this can leave the cabinet cool and opening the cabinet allows heat from the property to help control the temperature. If the cabinet is unable to open, place a heater infront of the cabinet to help control the temperature above freezing. Check outdoor spigots for leaks or drips and if you find a leak or drip, turn off the water to that faucet and call a plumber or heating and cooling company immediately for repairs.

Remove any property that has been damaged by water.

Once you have identified the source of the leak, it's time to remove any property that has been damaged by water. Remove anything that is wet or has been damaged by water, including carpeting and drywall. Dry out the area as much as possible before removing anything else.

Remove furniture and appliances to help prevent secondary damages to the source of the loss. This will prevent stains and potential for Mold to grow in areas that are left unseen.

Controlling the temperature in the home or business is crucial when the temperatures start to fall below freezing. If you see any signs of frozen pipes make sure to contact the professionals immediately to help prevent secondary damages to your home or business. SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin has professionals who are ready to respond at the first sign of water damage. 

Who do I call if there is Water Damage in my attic?

2/7/2023 (Permalink)

leaking light fixture If you have water damage in your home, give the professionals a call at the first site of damage.

Water damage in your attic can be one of the most frustrating and stressful home repair projects to address. From finding the source of the problem, to dealing with insurance companies, to making sure your home is safe from any further damage.

SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin team is here for you 24/7, ready and willing to assist with all aspects of water cleanup and restoration in your attic space. We'll make sure that every aspect of this process goes smoothly for you, including working with insurance companies so that you get what you deserve!

Why is there water in my attic?

There are several reasons why you could be experiencing water damage in your attic, but the most common culprits include:

  • Roof leaks. If you have a leaky roof and do not repair it, then it could result in mold or mildew developing that spreads through your walls and into other areas of the home. This type of damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair properly, so if you see any signs of moisture on or around your ceiling or walls, contact a professional as soon as possible before further damage occurs.
  • Storm Damage. Storms can happen anytime day or night leaving your home affected by wind or rain damage. After a storm, it is important to access the damage to help prevent secondary damages.

How do I know if I have water damage in the attic?

If you have water damage in the attic, there are several signs that can be helpful. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will give you a better idea of what to look for.

  • Your ceiling may have wet spots or mold on it.
  • If you have a leaky roof, the insulation might be wet and will need to be replaced.
  • If there’s a leak somewhere else in your home and water has managed to get into your attic, it’s possible that some of your walls may show signs of damage.
  • The air vents themselves could also be damaged by water damage if they were exposed during a heavy rain storm or due to other types of flooding. Any holes or cracks in these air vents cannot only cause problems with energy efficiency but also increase risk for fire hazards due to lack of proper ventilation.

What to do when you find Water Damage

Once you've determined that there is water damage in your attic, the first step is to call a professional water damage restoration company. They will have the resources needed to get all of the water out of your house and dry it out properly.

Once they've removed all of the wet insulation, carpeting and drywall, they'll need to dry this out as well. If possible, place fans in each room until it's completely dried out. You should also get rid of any furniture or other items that were soaked by removing them from your home if possible; otherwise keep them away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces so they don't start drying out prematurely

The SERVPRO Pleasanton/Dublin team is ready to assist with water damage in your attic, no matter how big or small the situation. Contact us today.

Water damage can be a total nightmare, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can get through it. Give us a call today if you need help with any kind of emergency or disaster situation—from mold to fire cleanup, we’re here for whatever comes your way.

How to Extinguish a Fire

1/17/2023 (Permalink)

Fire fighter standing by a soot covered stove. If you have any questions about what type of fire you are dealing with or how best to deal with it, contact your local fire department immediately!

A fire can be a scary and dangerous situation, but with the right tools, it's also something that can be relatively easy to handle. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is one of the most important things you can do.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

To use a fire extinguisher, you should first remember the ABCs: A is for the type of fire, B is for the type of fire extinguisher, and C is for the size of the fire.

If the fire is small and can easily be put out with a hand-held unit, pick up one from your local hardware store and follow these steps:

Aim at the base of the flame. Do not aim directly into flames; this will only make them worse.

Squeeze the lever to release the agent onto the base of the flame. It's important not to overuse your extinguisher as doing so can waste precious seconds when seconds count! If possible, try to aim at unburned material such as carpeting or fabric furniture instead—but never attempt this if there are any nearby flammable materials such as dry leaves or paper trash in close proximity!

Sweep from side to side until all flames have been extinguished.

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

Oven fires are the most common type of kitchen fire and can be caused by a number of things.  Follow these steps:

Turn off the stove. If you can't turn off your stovetop flame quickly enough, place a lid over it—this should help extinguish the flames before they get out of control.

Remember, never use water on a grease fire!

How to Put Out a Kitchen Fire

If you are unfortunate enough to have a kitchen fire, don't panic. Here's how to put it out:

  • Use a fire extinguisher with a class B rating for most fires. Aim at the base of the flames and squeeze until all of them are extinguished. If it is a grease fire (the most common), use a class K rating instead.
  • Electrical fires need to be put out with one rated for class C.

How to Put Out an Electrical Fire

Electrical fires are tricky to put out and can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If the power source isn't immediately accessible, shut off the breaker in your home or building's electrical panel. Once it's safe to do so, use a fire extinguisher to fight the flames.

Do not use water on an electrical fire unless you have no other option—water tends to conduct electricity, which will make things worse!

How to Put Out a Garbage Can Fire

If the garbage can is on fire, remove it from the area. If you are able to turn off the heat source (like a stove or other open flame), do so immediately.

If there's no way to avoid contact with flames and smoke, move as far away as possible and cover your mouth with your shirt or coat. 

If there's no chance of getting burned or injured by falling debris, use an ABC dry chemical extinguisher on small trash fires that are contained within their own containers.

Remember to always be careful when handling a fire extinguisher. There are many different types of fires, each requiring a different type of extinguisher and process for putting them out. If you have any questions about what type of fire you are dealing with or how best to deal with it, contact your local fire department immediately!

What To Do If Your Furniture Is Damaged By Water

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Furniture in living room If your furniture has been damaged by water damaged is to call professionals.

What To Do If Your Furniture Is Damaged By Water

Water is a powerful force that can wreak havoc on your home and furniture. Whether it's from a broken pipe, flooding due to heavy rains, or even just spilling something on the table, water damage can cause significant stains and even rot or mold. Thankfully, there are ways you can salvage your damaged piece of furniture, so it doesn't have to go in the dumpster!

Ventilate the room

Once you've dried up your furniture, you'll want to make sure the room is well-ventilated. Open windows and doors where possible and use a fan to get air circulating in the area. This will help air out any damp odors or lingering moisture.

If your furniture has taken on water, it may be best to remove it from the room as soon as possible. Leaving wet items in closed spaces can increase their chances of molding over time.

Wipe down heavy residue from the surface

If there is any heavy residue on the furniture, use a soft, damp cloth to wipe it down. Be careful not to rub too hard or you could damage your furniture even further.

If you have excess water in the crevices of your furniture and you're worried about getting it all out, use a small brush to clean them out and make sure everything dries properly.

Use a hair dryer or fan to dry the furniture

If you don't have a hair dryer or a fan, you can still use the heat from another source to dry your furniture. Just try not to damage it by doing so.

  • Don't use a heat gun: A heat gun is basically just like a hairdryer, but stronger. They can pose a major fire hazard.
  • Do not use a heat lamp: A common mistake when trying to dry out furniture is using a heat lamp instead of something less intense like an air conditioner or fan. Heat lamps are very powerful and will likely damage your piece significantly.

Sort out books and papers that have gotten wet

If the book pages are still intact, you can remove them from the furniture to dry in a warm place. The book spine should be flat on top of a piece of cardboard so that no water seeps through it. If any pages have torn or become loose from their binding, they need to be handled with care: use tweezers or an old toothbrush to gently pry them open and then set them aside until they've dried out.

As for clothing and other items that were inside your bookshelves when they got wet—don't dry those out! It's best not to risk using heat for anything but the most necessary tasks here; remember that mold spores can grow on materials even at room temperature. Instead, set these items aside for now; if there's any mold present in the fabric or clothing fibers after 24 hours, discard them.

Leave objects alone until they dry out

The most important thing you can do when you discover that something has been damaged by water is to leave it alone. Your first instinct might be to move the furniture or put things back where they belong but doing so could damage them more and make the situation worse. Instead, put off any rearranging or moving until the objects are completely dry and safe.

Furniture can take a while to dry out, but if you follow these steps you can salvage it.

If your furniture has been damaged by water, it can be difficult to know what to do. Most people assume that the best thing to do is take the object and throw it away. But there are a few steps you can take that could save your ruined items and keep them from ending up in the landfill.

It can be a relief to know that there are steps you can take if your furniture gets wet. It’s unfortunate that this happened, but there’s no need to panic! By following these steps, you can save your furniture from water damage and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Is Your Water Heater Making Noises?

11/10/2022 (Permalink)

Water Heater There are many things that can cause your water heater to make noises, but if you have sediment buildup in your tank, it can be a major problem.

Is Your Water Heater Making Noises?

If you have recently noticed that your water heater is making noises or if you have started to see sediment on the bottom of your tank, then there may be an issue with your water heater.

Over time, sediment collects at the bottom of your water heater and can cause your water heater to make noises.

Sediment is dirt, silt, and other particles that collect in the tank. When the tank heats up it expands causing pressure on the sides of your water heater tank. This causes friction between these materials which produces a scraping or grinding sound that you may hear when using hot water (especially if you're using hot water right away).

This can be more of an issue with older tanks than newer ones as they have been used longer and will have accumulated more sediment over time. If you have hard water this can build up faster than others with soft water because it contains minerals like calcium carbonate which sticks to everything.

Sediment buildup in your water heater can also be a problem, especially if you have hard water. Sediment is simply the buildup of minerals and other materials that have accumulated over time. These can range from simple salts to rust and other materials that result from the heating process. In addition to causing noise issues, sediment buildup reduces efficiency by limiting heat transfer through the walls, which leads to more maintenance costs and shorter lifespans for your appliance.

If the sediment layer is thick enough, it can keep your tank from heating the water properly. This means that you’re using more energy to heat water than you need to and that your hot water will take longer to get to its desired temperature. The sediment layer also has the potential to break down as it heats up and vibrates with activity in your home (for example, if someone runs a bath), which can cause an extremely loud noise.

You will notice less hot water and eventually no hot water if it is not treated.

If you have a water heater that's making noise, it could be a sign that sediment buildup is causing the problem. Sediment build-up can also cause your unit to be less efficient and can even cause clogged fixtures, slower drain rates, or low flow coming out of the faucets.

Sediment buildup in your water heater can cause noise problems and will make your unit less efficient. Sediment is a common problem with hot water heaters, especially older ones. If you’re noticing noises coming from your water heater and/or if it seems to take longer to get warm water than usual, sediments may be the culprit—and that’s not good news for anyone!

Sediment buildup in the tank can clog drains, which means that you may notice that certain fixtures aren’t draining properly. The added debris also reduces flow efficiency, which means it takes longer for the hot water to reach your faucets or shower heads.

There are many things that can cause your water heater to make noises, but if you have sediment buildup in your tank, it can be a major problem. If you have any questions about this or any other issue with your water heater, we would love to hear from you!

Do I Need Fire Insurance for My Building?

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire damage in a home Fire insurance protects you from financial loss if your building or property is damaged by fire.

Do I Need Fire Insurance for My Building?

You're a business owner, so you've got a lot to think about. You have employees, inventory, and investments at stake. When it comes to fire insurance, you might be tempted to think that it's outside of your scope of responsibility. However, if your building catches on fire and you haven't taken out the necessary insurance policies, you could suffer significant losses that put your business in jeopardy—and even put people at risk.

What's the cost of not having fire insurance?

The cost of not having fire insurance is simply the price of a policy, which can vary somewhat in cost per year between different companies and policies. However, there are additional costs associated with not having a policy in place. Fire restoration is extremely expensive and can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the extent of damage and how much time has passed since it occurred. Smoke cleanup services can also cost thousands.

Some people consider their home as an investment and don't want to risk losing money in case something happens to it. If you're thinking about buying a house or condo but aren't sure if you should get fire insurance first, consider these questions:

Stay Protected With Fire Insurance.

Fire insurance is important for protecting your building, investments, and reputation. It can help with the cost of fire damage, smoke cleanup and smoke damage.

If you own a building that’s rented to tenants or used as a commercial space, there are many reasons why you should get some fire insurance. For example:

  • Your business could be damaged by fire and no longer able to operate if something goes wrong.
  • You may have lost rental income while the property was being fixed after a fire broke out in one of your buildings that was not insured against damages caused by such events - which is why it's important that all structures be covered properly before anything happens so an insurer doesn't try charging excessive premiums due to risk factors not being considered beforehand!

Quick cleanup and restoration.

The quicker you can get your business up and running, the better. A fire cleanup company can be there to help with:

  • Removing smoke, soot, and other residues
  • Disinfecting surfaces that were exposed to smoke or water
  • Cleaning up debris or rubble left behind by firefighters and/or workers on site

If you don't have a professional restoration company on board after a fire, these tasks will fall onto your shoulders—and that's not something anyone wants to deal with in addition to all the other challenges they're facing after such a traumatic event.

Fire insurance is important to protect your building, investments, and reputation.

Fire insurance protects you from financial loss if your building or property is damaged by fire.

It will also give you peace of mind while allowing you to get back on your feet quickly with a clean slate after the damage has been repaired and cleaned up. As an added bonus, some policies may provide coverage for the cost of moving supplies and equipment into another location if yours must be demolished after a fire has destroyed it.


Fire insurance is an important part of protecting your building and investments. If you don't have it, then you're putting yourself at risk for losing everything in the event of a fire. It's worth looking into because even if there aren't any fires in your area right now, it doesn't mean they won't happen tomorrow!

After the Flood: Where Is That Smell Coming From?

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Wet carpet in a home A wet carpet can lead to unpleasant odors and secondary damage.

Unpleasant Odors After A Flood

According to FEMA, 99% of counties in the U.S. suffered some impact from flooding between 1996 and 2019. Regardless of whether it comes from a malfunctioning toilet or a leaky roof, a flood has the potential to cause issues like mold growth and water damage. Cleaning up flood water can involve a great deal of time whether you do it yourself or employ the services of a professional cleanup service in Pleasanton, CA, so it can be annoying to observe a lingering odor even after the process.

There are three potential culprits for a smell that refuses to leave in the wake of an unexpected surge of water.

1. Mold and Mildew

FEMA states that mildew colonies (generally used to refer to a certain kind of flat mold growth) may begin to cling to and spread across damp surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. The fungus produces chemical compounds while propagating that release an earthy, musty scent.

2. Bacteria
Flood water is separated into three categories for recovery and restoration purposes:

Clean water (Category 1)
Gray water (Category 2)
Black water (Category 3)

The latter two may carry substances like chemicals. Among their contents, bacteria often reside. These may emit bad odors like the rotten egg one commonly associated with sulfur or others or their breakdown of particles may lead to them. Even after all standing water is removed and everything dried, porous materials like carpeting may retain some of the microorganisms if not properly cleaned, causing the smell to permeate the room.

3. Sewage

Burst pipes are one of the most common reasons for flooding in a structure, and they often contain wastewater. Even if water comes from outside, it may have mixed with sewage loss from storm drains and garbage from the streets, particularly if it is overflow from a nearby body of water.

The best way to avoid unpleasant odors from mold growth and other things in floodwater is to disinfect all affected areas and surfaces thoroughly as soon as possible. Consulting a professional may also help.

5 Things Commercials Owners Should Do Right After a Fire

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire in a commercial building Commercial fire damage in Dublin, CA.

Five Things To Do After A Fire

Fire restoration is a multi-step process, demanding patience and hard work. Commercial owners may want to dive in, cleaning off the soot from walls and tables. This method isn't recommended because the situation is more complex. Proprietors, though, do have a significant role in fixing the facility. The following are five useful things owners can do after a fire.

1. Report the Fire

If you hold a fire insurance policy, file a claim with your insurer immediately. If anyone else leases or owns the building, work with these people as well. The mortgage company, for instance, may be able to work with you on your monthly payments. These agents, however, cannot help if they are unaware.

2. Secure the Area

Above all, do not touch anything on your own as several structural and electrical hazards may exist. It's best to permit a fire restoration company in Dublin, CA, to enter the premises and begin to mitigate potential secondary concerns.
Experts should safeguard the property. Openings should be closed up, preventing unwanted people and animals from entering. Board up exposed windows and doors. Cover the roof with tarps.

3. Approve Remediation Assessment

Water and smoke cleaning are often both necessary to restore the affected rooms. Allow for professionals to complete a thorough inspection of damages and put together a methodical cleanup plan. Send this report to your insurer for approval.

4. Take Pictures

Once the fire department and the restoration team allow re-entry, walkthrough, snapping images of anything destroyed. Gather visuals of the ash and char: document merchandise or equipment destruction.

5. Create an Inventory List

Many policies include property loss compensation. Look through your visuals and then write out the name of each thing. Also, note how much it cost and how you need to replace it.
It's hard to wait, but the process to handle fire cleanup isn't easy or quick. 

Fire restoration professionals require time to care for the building appropriately. Owners can help out by working well with paperwork and insurance communication and leaving the physical cleaning to the experts.