Restoration Company Red Flags for Laguna Beach/Dana Point Residents

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point recently had the opportunity to go out to a job site in Newport Beach as a consultant for an insurance company. We arrived at the customer’s home to inspect the work of another restoration company that on been on site for several hours. The customer had a supply line to the toilet in the upstairs bathroom burst earlier that day. The water flooded the bathroom and a family room below. The carpet on both levels was soaking wet. The furniture was sitting on the soaking wet carpet.

The restoration company (Service First Restoration) had not even bothered to extract the water from the carpet or move the furniture from the carpet itself. When I asked them why, the technician in charge on site stated that the extractor was too heavy for him to lift by himself.  They had sent over only one technician to the job site. I recommended to the customer to get extraction immediately. Then the story changed. The technician said he didn’t even have an extractor on his truck. He said he would use a “shop vac” to extract the water from the carpet. These “shop vacs” are cheap and inexpensive and never get the job done properly, especially for the large loss this customer was going through at this time. That should have been the first red flag for the insured. The “restoration company” didn’t even have the correct tools to correctly remove the water.

The customer also had an extensive collection of displayed fine China and figurines worth thousands of dollars each. This is where the second red flag was waved. The restoration company didn’t do contents handling. They were going to call another company to handle it for them instead of having their own employees be trained and handle it right away.

Red Flag number three came as an extension to red flag #2; the “contents company” (Alpha) that was being brought on started talking about taking all the contents off site and wanted to bill thousands of dollars to store goods that the homeowner could have stored right on site.

After all of these red flags the customer decided she had enough and asked the other restoration company to leave. SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point took over the project, started extraction of the moisture from the carpet straight away with the correct equipment.  Expertly packing the fine China and figurines and leaving them on site in the customer’s care and to the customer’s liking. We minimized the amount of damage and cost involved. Then we set up containment for drying and dust control and properly dried out the structure. Once this was complete, the restoration and repairs estimate was prepared and executed on time and on budget so as to benefit the customer entirely.

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Give SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point a call at (949)-831-6201 or contact us online here.

Laguna Beach Multi-unit Complex Gets the SERVPRO Treatment

Recently SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point responded to a water damage caused by a plumber working on a separate area of the building. The building was a multiunit apartment complex. This plumber was fixing a pipe that had burst in the slab. They had rerouted the line through the walls and had just turned the water back on, when disaster struck. Immediately after he turned the water back on a supply line under the kitchen sink burst, causing it to flood the upstairs apartment and cascaded down into the two apartments below.

The plumber, who also performs water damage restoration, tried to send their crews out and bill the owners insurance company. However, when the claim was reported SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point was dispatched immediately. The restoration crew that the plumber had sent out was not capable of performing the job correctly. They gave no consideration to possible asbestos testing or abatement being needed. In addition, they did not have the correct tools to properly diagnose the extent of the water damage. They simply wanted to cut out all the dry wall in the entire unit and set up lots of equipment to dry the framing. Doing so would have displaced the families in all three affected apartments.

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point was able to help avoid an even larger disaster. We were able to dry most of the affected areas in place as well as prevented the families in the apartments from having to be moved out. This saved the insurance company and the building owner THOUSANDS of dollars in unnecessary expenses. Every day we see plumbing companies trying to start a division which does water damage restoration. Most of these companies do not have the first clue as to how to properly dry down a structure, minimize damage and prevent any further environmental exposures. They seem to think that all you have to do is set up air movers and dehumidifiers and bill the insurance company large amounts of money. So the next time you have a slide of water damage in your building, call the people who know how to get the job done right the first time and don’t have dollar signs in their eyes.

Call today at 949-831-6201 or contact us online here.

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SERVPRO of Laguna Beach Called to Water Damage Site

When a large property manager had a fire sprinkler line crack in a building they manage, they knew to call SERVPRO of Laguna Beach. The pipe had cracked on in the ceiling of the third floor flooding the third level. The water then followed the path of least resistance and found the pipe chases in the concrete floors in between levels. This allowed the water to quickly travel down to level 2 and eventually level 1. As the water reached the ceiling of the level below it quickly began to spread out across the firewalls. It also used the piping from the plumbing and electrical conduit to quickly transport it to other areas of the building. The water cascaded into light fixtures, AC duct manifolds and registers. From there it landed on computers, desks and furniture damaging work product and sensitive documents that were the work of professionals like doctors and attorneys. Fortunately the building engineers were able to shut off the fire sprinklers within 10 minutes of the break.

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach responded in force. Within 20 minutes of getting the call our crews arrived with 9 extraction units to quickly remove the standing water from the carpet and terrazzo flooring systems. Once the major water was removed the electrical systems were checked for safe operation. Fortunately the buildings electrical system was not compromised and we were able to pull auxiliary power from a nearby electrical panel. Once the electricity was secured a project manager walked the job with the building engineer showing him the building materials that had soaked up the water and needed to be thoroughly dried to prevent and inhibit mold growth. A drying plan was constructed and the equipment began to make its way to the building.

Initially refrigerant dehumidifiers and air movers were used to quickly remove the excess humidity in the building. However once they reached their maximum drying efficiency, they were quickly replaced with desiccant dehumidifiers. In addition air movement was reduced as materials reached their moisture equilibrium (fancy word for dry normal).

The property manager was shocked. You see, not too long ago they used to use a company that would always demolish any wet building materials, this would result in expensive demo bills, prolonged restoration projects and upset tenants. The property manager would then have to discount rents in order to appease unhappy tenants. Some were even released from their leases. But why was this job any different? This time they selected SERVPRO to perform the mitigation and drying. At the end of the day, once everything was dry and the repair process was to begin, all that was needed was a few drywall patches and to replace the baseboard. The carpets were then cleaned and the final walk through completed.

How long did it take? From the initial call to completion of the restoration was only 7 days. The tenants were happy, the property manager was happy and the building owners were happy. The property manager remarked “from now on I will only call SERVPRO”.

Here at SERVPRO it’s a pleasure to be part of a team dedicated to making customers happy! Check out our crew here or better yet, see what other happy customers had to say about us here.

When June Gloom Storms Hit Dana Point, SERVPRO is Ready!

SERVPRO of Dana Point specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. We have both the quantity and the best quality equipment to ensure that the storm that rolled through doesn’t leave you completed ruined.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. The quicker the response, the less the damage, the faster it will be to get you back to pre-storm conditions.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Dana Point Coast, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams (Click Here) that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 949-831-6201 Se Habla Espanol

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Pin Hole Leaks In Laguna Beach Pipes

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach just finished a water damage in Laguna Niguel at the Phillips residence. This is the 8th time this family has had a water leak caused by a pinhole in a copper pipe. If you live in south Orange County you are probably all to familiar with this scenario. Even if your fortunate enough to have not had this happen to you, someone you probably know, a friend, a neighbor or colleague has had a pin hole leak in their home. These little leaks that often go unnoticed have caused millions in damages to home owners in the South Orange County area. So much damage in fact that homeowners, homeowners associations and builders have sued the water district in an effort to re-coupe their losses. They alleged that the water district knew about the corrosive nature of the chloramines used to disinfect the water.  In 2015 a just tossed out the class action lawsuit. “The judge ruled that the districts can’t be sued because they’re following state and federal standards for safe drinking water” (Refer to this article

To add insult to injury, homeowners insurance companies are choosing not to insure homes that have had multiple water leaks. Labeling these homes as high risk, even non-renewing current policy holders. If they do insure these homes they are excluding water damage on the policy for the first 5 years and sometimes requiring proof that a re-pipe or epoxy coating of the copper pipes has been completed. In addition the cost of insuring these homes has gone up. According to some insurance agents 5 times the normal premiums. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, even the real estate market is feeling the strain. The added expense of insuring a high risk home has caused many buyers to walk away from a purchase.
So what’s the solution? Be an the look out! Performing a weekly or bi-weekly walk thru of your home can help you to catch leaks before they cause to much damage. Be sure to look in those hard to see closets and walk behind the sofa and furniture. Look for bubbling of the paint above the baseboard line. Or discoloration to the flooring or walls. If you think that you may have suffered a pin hole leak in your home call SERVPRO right away for a free inspection. Turn off the water to your home when on vacation or even when your not home  during the day. If you have had multiple leaks look into getting your home re-piped or epoxy coated to prevent future pin hole leaks.
For further reading, feel free to check out our Water Information Page:
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What One Laguna Beach Homeowner Did Right Prior To Calling SERVPRO

Tim of Laguna Beach was recently away one weekend on a Golf Tournament. He and his wife returned home relaxed and happy from a weekend well spent. Unfortunately, they returned home to a very bad slab leak that took over their entire downstairs home. Hallway from the front door that lead to their living room, kitchen and downstairs bathroom and one downstairs bedroom was all wet. The carpet in the living room was still squishy with water and the hardwood flooring in the hallway and kitchen had already begun to buckle and warp. This clearly wasn’t the ending either wanted from their fun weekend, but thankfully Tim had a strong idea of what to do. He instructed his wife to get in touch with SERVPRO as he set to work to help contain the damage.

Below are the great things Tim did to help keep his home from further damage:

  1. He shut off the water to his home since he wasn’t aware of where the water was coming from at first.
  2. He turned off the circuit breakers to avoid possible electrical shock throughout the home.
  3. He started to remove as much excess water as he could from the carpet with towels and sheets. Removing some of this excess moisture before we get there would help from the water spreading to furniture that is resting on the carpet.
  4. He wiped down the hardwood flooring area and opened doors and windows to get a natural ventilation to the house for airflow.
  5. He lifted his long curtains in his living room off the ground to help avoid those soaking up water from the carpet and possibly ruining his curtains.
  6. He also called a plumber to come straight away and figure out exactly what is was that caused all the damage.LB Water Damage Blog

Now, even though Tim did all these great things, there were a few more he could have done to better save himself from damage. Unfortunately, he didn’t place anything between his carpet and furniture, so when we came to the site, we immediately had to take couches and tables out of the house to be restored off site. The water had crept up the legs of the tables and into part of the fabric of the couches. Thankfully, we were able to restore these items like it never even happened.

Next, Tim should have lifted any wires off the ground once the electrical was turned off. Things like computer towers on the ground, power cords and lamp wires or TV cords were still on the ground, and those things, once the power is turned off, should also be lifted off ground to avoid further damage.

Upon getting to his home we were able to see he did a great number of things right that benefited both himself from further damage as well as us in being able to aid him faster. His home had to be redone with flooring and a few furniture items restored, but things could have been a lot worse if he had come home later, didn’t do half of what he did, or worse, if he had never called SERVPRO. Our response time was within two hours from initial contact and the work to dry, repair and refurbish some of his furniture took less than a month. He was able to file his claim, get his home back to normal and rest easy upon his next Golf Tournament.