Recent Water Damage Posts

Understanding the causes of basement and crawl space flooding

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

Key takeaways

  1. Diverse causes of flooding: Basements and crawl spaces are vulnerable to flooding for various reasons, including environmental factors, internal plumbing issues, structural weaknesses, and equipment failure.
  2. Natural environmental factors: Heavy rainfall and ground saturation are significant natural causes. They lead to water pooling around foundations and seeping into lower areas of the home.
  3. Plumbing-related issues: Leaks and burst pipes within the home can gradually or suddenly lead to significant water intrusion in basements and crawl spaces.
  4. Structural vulnerabilities: Foundation cracks and poor drainage systems can facilitate water entry. These structural issues require regular inspection and maintenance to prevent flooding.
  5. Sump pump's critical role: The failure or absence of a sump pump greatly increases the risk of flooding. These pumps are essential in managing water levels, especially in areas prone to heavy rainfall or high groundwater.
  6. Importance of regular maintenance and inspection: Preventive measures like maintaining plumbing, ensuring effective drainage, and regularly inspecting foundations and sump pumps are crucial in mitigating the risk of flooding.
  7. Professional assistance: In cases of flooding, immediate professional intervention is necessary. SERVPRO of Santa Cruz offers expert services in water removal, water damage restoration, and comprehensive remediation to address and repair flood damage efficiently.
  8. SERVPRO’s expertise and response: Highlighting SERVPRO of Santa Cruz's ability to respond quickly with professional water damage restoration services, utilizing advanced techniques and equipment to manage and mitigate flooding effectively.

Flooding in basements and crawl spaces is a common yet distressing problem many homeowners face. Understanding the causes and knowing how to respond effectively is crucial in protecting your home from the extensive damage water can inflict. At SERVPRO® of Santa Cruz, we specialize in addressing these challenges with professional water damage restoration services. This blog delves into the various reasons basements and crawl spaces are susceptible to flooding, highlighting natural and structural factors contributing to this issue. We'll also discuss the risks of water intrusion in these areas and share expert tips on preventative measures to safeguard your home. Most importantly, we outline how our expert team provides rapid, efficient, and comprehensive water removal and damage remediation solutions. 

Common reasons for basement and crawl space flooding

Flooded basements and crawl spaces can lead to significant property damage and pose serious risks to the structural integrity of your home. While these incidents can stem from various sources, understanding the most common causes is essential for prevention and timely response. From natural environmental factors to issues within the home itself, each cause demands a unique approach to mitigation. Here, we explore the primary reasons for such flooding, including natural causes, plumbing mishaps, foundational concerns, and equipment failure.

Natural causes: heavy rainfall and ground saturation

  • Heavy rainfall: Intense and prolonged rain can overwhelm the drainage capacity around a home, leading to water accumulation around the foundation. This excess water can seep into basements and crawl spaces, especially if drainage systems are inadequate or clogged.
  • Ground saturation: When the ground becomes overly saturated, it can no longer absorb water, leading to surface runoff. This runoff can pool around the house, increasing the pressure on basement walls and floors and resulting in seepage into lower-level areas.

Plumbing issues: leaks and burst pipes

  • Leaks: Minor leaks from pipes or appliances, often unnoticed, can gradually cause significant water accumulation. Over time, these leaks can lead to a considerable amount of water entering basements or crawl spaces.
  • Burst pipes: Burst pipes, particularly during cold weather due to freezing, can release a substantial volume of water in a short time. Quick detection and response are crucial to minimize flooding and associated damages.

Foundation cracks and poor drainage systems

  • Foundation cracks: Cracks or gaps in the foundation can act as direct pathways for water to enter your home. These cracks can result from the natural settling of the house, poor construction, or seismic activity.
  • Poor drainage systems: Ineffective or clogged drainage systems can lead to improper water diversion away from the property. Gutters, downspouts, and landscape grading should be regularly maintained to ensure water is effectively channeled away from the foundation.

Sump pump failure or absence

  • Sump pump failure: A sump pump is crucial in preventing water accumulation in basements and crawl spaces. Failure or malfunction of these pumps, often due to power outages, mechanical failure, or lack of maintenance, can lead to unchecked water buildup.
  • Absence of a sump pump: Homes without a sump pump, particularly in areas prone to high groundwater levels or heavy rainfall, are at a higher risk of flooding. Installing a sump pump is a proactive measure to mitigate this risk.

The risks associated with flooded basements and crawl spaces

Flooding in basements and crawl spaces is not just a nuisance; it poses several significant risks that can affect the integrity of your home, your health, and your safety. Understanding these risks is crucial for homeowners to take timely and appropriate actions to mitigate them. In this segment, we explore the risks associated with such flooding, emphasizing the importance of promptly and effectively addressing water intrusion issues.

Structural damage risks

  1. Weakening of foundation: Prolonged exposure to water can weaken the home's foundation, leading to cracks, shifting, and eventual structural failure.
  2. Deterioration of building materials: Water can cause rot in wooden structures and rust in metal components, compromising the structural integrity of the building.
  3. Damage to insulation: Wet insulation loses its effectiveness, leading to increased energy costs and the potential for further damage due to temperature fluctuations.
  4. Compromised flooring and walls: Extended water exposure can warp floorboards and crack tiles and lead to the disintegration of drywall.
  5. Settling and sinking: The saturation of the soil around the foundation can cause the house to settle unevenly, potentially leading to sinking or tilting.

Health hazards: mold and mildew growth

  1. Rapid mold growth: Damp conditions in basements and crawl spaces are ideal for mold and mildew to thrive, which can spread quickly throughout the home.
  2. Health complications: Exposure to mold can cause various health concerns.
  3. Persistent odors: Mold and mildew can produce unpleasant odors that are difficult to eliminate and can permeate throughout the home.
  4. Toxic mold species: Certain types of mold, like black mold, are toxic and pose serious health risks, especially to children, the older people, and those with weakened immune systems.
  5. Long-term health effects: Prolonged exposure to mold can lead to chronic health problems, making it essential to address moisture issues swiftly.

Electrical and fire hazards

  1. Short circuits: Water can cause short circuits in electrical systems, leading to power outages and potential fire hazards.
  2. Damage to electrical appliances: Flooding can damage appliances and electrical systems, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
  3. Risk of electrocution: Standing water in contact with electrical outlets or devices poses a significant risk of electrocution.
  4. Corrosion of wiring: Prolonged exposure to moisture can corrode electrical wiring, compromising its safety and functionality.
  5. Potential for fire outbreaks: Damp electrical systems can malfunction, increasing the risk of fire outbreaks in the home.

Property and valuables damage

  1. Destruction of personal items: Water damage can ruin personal belongings like furniture, electronics, clothing, and important documents.
  2. Floor and carpet damage: Carpets and flooring can be severely damaged by water, often requiring complete replacement.
  3. Degradation of paint and wallpaper: Water exposure can cause paint to bubble and peel and wallpaper to come loose.
  4. Damage to HVAC systems: Flooding can affect HVAC systems, leading to costly repairs and affecting indoor air quality.
  5. Reduction in property value: Ongoing water issues can significantly reduce the value of a property and make it less appealing to potential buyers.

Addressing these risks promptly with professional assistance, like the services offered by SERVPRO of Santa Cruz, is essential for your home's safety, health, and preservation.

Regular maintenance tips for homeowners

Regular maintenance is vital to homeownership, especially when preventing basement and crawl space flooding. By being proactive and attentive to the various components of your home, you can significantly reduce the risk of water intrusion and the consequent damage it brings. This blog segment will guide homeowners through essential maintenance practices crucial for safeguarding their homes against water damage.

Inspecting and repairing foundations

  1. Regular inspections: Conduct bi-annual inspections of your home's foundation for any signs of cracks, gaps, or other damages that can allow water entry.
  2. Prompt repairs: Address any foundation issues immediately. Small cracks can be sealed with appropriate caulking materials, while larger damages may require professional intervention.
  3. Waterproofing measures: Consider applying waterproof coatings or membranes to your foundation walls to prevent water seepage.
  4. Monitoring for settlement: Keep an eye out for signs of settling or shifting in your home, as these can indicate foundation problems that may lead to water issues.

Maintaining plumbing and sump pumps

  1. Regular plumbing checks: Inspect all visible plumbing for signs of wear, leaks, or corrosion. Pay special attention to pipes in basements and crawl spaces.
  2. Sump pump upkeep: Test your sump pump regularly, especially before the rainy season, to ensure it's functioning correctly. Clean its inlet screen and check the discharge pipe for blockages.
  3. Professional inspections: Have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing system periodically to identify and fix potential issues before they lead to major problems.
  4. Backup systems: Consider installing a battery-powered backup for your sump pump to ensure it operates during power outages.

Improving drainage around the property

  1. Gutter maintenance: Clean and inspect your gutters and downspouts regularly to ensure water is effectively directed away from your home.
  2. Proper sloping: Ensure the ground around your foundation slopes away from the house, facilitating proper drainage.
  3. Installing French drains: For properties prone to standing water, installing French drains can help redirect water away from the foundation.
  4. Assessing landscape: Choose landscaping that enhances soil absorption and drainage, such as deep-rooted plants and properly graded gardens.

Installing water detection systems

  1. Water sensors: Install water sensors in prone areas like basements, near sump pumps, and close to plumbing fixtures to detect early signs of water intrusion.
  2. Smart home integration: Consider integrating these sensors with your home's smart system for real-time alerts and monitoring.
  3. Regular testing: Test and maintain these systems regularly to ensure their reliability in case of water intrusion.
  4. Professional installation: For comprehensive coverage, have a professional assess your home and install a suitable water detection system.

Immediate actions to take when flooding occurs

This section of the blog is designed to guide homeowners through the critical actions to be taken immediately following a flood. We emphasize the importance of safety, quick response, and professional intervention. Understanding these steps empowers homeowners to handle such emergencies effectively, minimizing the risk to themselves and their property and setting the stage for efficient restoration and recovery.

Ensuring safety first: electricity and water don't mix

  1. Turn off electricity: If it is safe to do so, immediately shut off the main power supply to the flooded area to prevent electrical hazards.
  2. Avoid water contact: Stay out of the flooded area until it's confirmed safe, especially if electrical outlets or devices are submerged.
  3. Wear protective gear: If you must enter a flooded area, wear protective clothing, including rubber boots and gloves, to safeguard against electric shock and contaminated water.
  4. Assess structural safety: Be cautious of weakened floors or walls that the water damage may have compromised.

Identifying and stopping the source of water

  1. Find the source: Quickly identify the source of flooding, whether it's a burst pipe, leaking appliance, or external water intrusion.
  2. Shut off water supply: If the source is a plumbing issue, shut off the main water valve to the property to halt further water flow.
  3. Temporary fixes: For minor leaks, use temporary fixes like patches or towels, but remember these are short-term solutions.
  4. Prevent external water entry: If the source is external, such as through cracks or openings, use sandbags or other barriers to divert water away.

Documenting the damage for insurance claims

  1. Take photos and videos: Document all areas and items affected by the flood using photos and videos, as these will be crucial for insurance claims.
  2. Keep a record of damaged items: Make a detailed inventory of damaged property, including descriptions, age, and, if possible, the cost of these items.
  3. Retain damaged goods: Don't dispose of damaged items until after the insurance adjuster has visited unless they pose a health risk.
  4. Initiate claims quickly: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to start the claims process, providing all necessary documentation.

Contacting professionals for water removal and cleanup

  1. Seek professional help: Contact a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Santa Cruz immediately for efficient water removal and cleanup.
  2. Assess the extent of the damage: Our professional team will assess the extent and develop a plan for water extraction, drying, and restoration.
  3. Mitigate further damage: Professional teams are equipped to quickly mitigate further damage, preventing mold growth and structural deterioration.
  4. Ensure thorough cleanup: Our expert services ensure thorough cleaning, dehumidification, and sanitization of the affected area to restore it to a safe condition.

SERVPRO’s professional water damage restoration process

With a meticulous and proven process tailored for rapid and comprehensive water damage restoration, SERVPRO ensures that each step, from initial contact to final recovery, is handled with utmost professionalism and expertise. This process, designed to minimize damage and hasten recovery, involves a series of crucial steps, each playing a pivotal role in restoring normalcy to your property. Let's delve into the specifics of SERVPRO's approach to managing water damage with precision and care.

Initial contact and rapid response

Upon initial contact, SERVPRO of Santa Cruz prioritizes a rapid response to water damage incidents. Understanding the urgency of these situations, our team is mobilized quickly to address your needs. This phase is crucial for limiting further damage and beginning the restoration process. Immediate action and readiness are central to SERVPRO’s approach, ensuring a prompt and effective response to your water damage emergency.

Inspection and water damage assessment

The inspection and assessment phase involves a detailed water damage evaluation by SERVPRO’s experts. This step is critical in determining the extent of the damage, identifying the water source, and classifying the water type. The assessment informs the development of a targeted plan for restoration, ensuring that all affected areas are identified and addressed accordingly.

Water removal/water extraction

Water removal and extraction are essential components of the restoration process. SERVPRO uses advanced equipment to remove standing water from the property efficiently. This step is vital for preventing further damage and mitigating risks such as mold growth. Quick and thorough water extraction sets the foundation for the effective drying and dehumidification of the affected areas.

Drying and dehumidification process

The drying and dehumidification stage focuses on eliminating residual moisture from the property. SERVPRO employs high-grade dehumidifiers and air movers to control the indoor environment, facilitating optimal drying conditions. This process is integral to preventing moisture-related damages such as warping, swelling, or mold proliferation, ensuring a complete return to pre-damage conditions.

The benefits of choosing SERVPRO’s professional services

When it comes to addressing water damage, choosing SERVPRO of Santa Cruz's professional services offers a multitude of benefits. Here's an elaboration on why their services stand out:

  1. Expertise and Experience: SERVPRO’s team comprises trained professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in water damage restoration. Their expertise ensures that every aspect of water damage is effectively addressed, from initial assessment to final restoration.
  2. Advanced Technology and Equipment: SERVPRO utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and technology for water extraction and restoration. This advanced machinery ensures a thorough and efficient restoration process, significantly reducing the time your property is affected by water damage.
  3. Rapid Response and Availability: Understanding the urgency of water damage situations, SERVPRO offers a prompt response, with services available 24/7. This immediate action is crucial in preventing further damage and starting the recovery process as soon as possible.
  4. Comprehensive Services: SERVPRO provides a wide range of services, including water damage assessment, water extraction, drying, dehumidification, cleaning, sanitizing, and restoration. This comprehensive approach ensures that all aspects of water damage are addressed, offering a complete solution under one roof.
  5. Mold Prevention and Remediation: Along with water damage restoration, SERVPRO specializes in mold prevention and remediation. Their proactive measures and thorough cleaning help prevent mold growth, a common problem following water damage.
  6. Customized Solutions: Every water damage scenario is unique, and SERVPRO tailors its services to meet the specific needs of each situation. Their customized approach ensures the restoration plan is efficient and effective for your particular case.
  7. Insurance Claim Assistance: Navigating insurance claims can be daunting. SERVPRO assists with the documentation and insurance claims process, making it a hassle-free experience. Their experience in dealing with insurance companies can help ensure that claims are processed smoothly.
  8. Customer Satisfaction Focus: SERVPRO prioritizes customer satisfaction, ensuring clear communication and understanding throughout restoration. Their commitment to quality service means they are dedicated to restoring your property to its pre-damage condition while minimizing disruption to your daily life.
  9. Local Presence with National Resources: As a locally operated business, SERVPRO of Santa Cruz understands the specific needs and challenges of the community. At the same time, they have access to national resources, which means they can handle large-scale disasters effectively.
  10. Training and Certification: SERVPRO’s professionals are not only skilled but also receive ongoing training and certifications in water restoration, mold remediation, and other relevant areas, ensuring they are equipped with the latest knowledge and techniques in the field.

Partnering with SERVPRO for peace of mind

At SERVPRO of Santa Cruz, we understand the stress and anxiety that come with water damage. That's why we're committed to providing restoration services and peace of mind. Our team's expertise, combined with our rapid response and comprehensive approach, means you can trust us to handle your crisis efficiently and effectively. We take pride in alleviating your concerns and ensuring every step of the process is smooth and transparent. By choosing SERVPRO of Santa Cruz, you're opting for a partner who values your peace of mind as much as the restoration of your property. Contact us today at (831) 457-1997 to learn more about our water cleanup services.

Don’t Let Your Water Damage Lead to Mold Growth

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Crawlspaces can be a breeding ground for mold - call SERVPRO for an inspection today!

With Summer fast approaching leading us into hotter weather, you may start seeing microbial grow pop up if you’ve decided to ignore a previous water damage! MOLD – not exactly the word you'd want to hear when you’re trying to enjoy your Summer Vacation! However, if a water damage was not handled properly, the chances of mold growth is very high especially in humid conditions with temperatures between 77° F and 86° F. Mold will thrive in damp, muggy, and moist conditions. Regardless if you live near the beaches in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, or inland in Santa Cruz Mountains, the weather we have in Santa Cruz County is beautiful and perfect weather not only for our community but also for the mold spores to spawn - yuck!

Schedule an inspection with SERVPRO of Santa Cruz and we will send one of our trained technicians to assess the water and mold damages in order to provide recommendations to properly remediate your home. Please call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz to schedule an inspection today (831) 457-1997

Is Water Damage Hiding Inside Your Property?

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO today for your water mitigation needs!

Water damage is one of the most common property damage claims for insurance companies. Some water damages originate from a source that had gone unnoticed for an extended period of time and in turn resulted in significant, widespread secondary damages. Hidden leaks can be a momentous structural and health hazard due to the microbial growth that commonly associated.

So how can you identify these hidden issues? Keep an eye out for these following signs:

Excessive Levels of Humidity

The normal humidity percentage should be around 30-60% for indoor areas. If your home is experiencing higher than normal humidity readings, hidden water leaks could be the culprit. Too high of humidity and low levels of air circulation are the perfect breeding grounds for mold colonies, creating irreversible structural damage.

Discoloration or Warping of Cabinets, Walls and Ceilings

Stains or bubbling in drywall or cabinets can a noticeable sign of a current or former leak. The source could be from the roof, a faulty pipe, or an appliance. It is vital to pinpoint the origin of the leak and get it repaired as soon as possible.

Soggy or Warping Flooring

If you’ve began to notice your tile or wood flooring feel uneven or warped, you may have an ongoing active leak. If your carpeted flooring has suddenly become saturated with water, you may have an ongoing active leak. Moisture detection equipment will help our SERVPRO professionals chase the high levels of moisture to assist in determining where the water source is seeping from. Stopping the water leak must be the first priority to stop additional damage from occurring.

Once the source of the water damage is addressed, our SERVPRO professionals will map out the affected area and develop a plan of action unique to your property.

Do you believe your property is battling hidden water damage? Call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz TODAY to schedule a moisture inspection, (831) 457-1997! Our highly trained professionals are ready to help 24/7.

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz: Maintaining Your Hot Water Heater

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Don't let a neglected water heater cause water damage to your property!

A typical hot water heater can have a lifespan of around ten years without any upkeep, which could be why they’re so easy for a Homeowner to overlook. Spending a few moments once a year to complete some basic preventative maintenance to your water heater can not only optimize the tank’s functionality, but can also help you avoid a future water damage at your property.

When Should You Maintain Your Water Heater?

Completing an annual basic water heater servicing should become your new norm. We suggest timing your maintenance during the Spring or Fall seasons, which are typical times of the year when your water heater isn’t being used as much.

How to Maintain Your Water Heater

It is not necessary to hire a professional to complete an annual servicing and maintenance check to your water heater – many homeowners can complete these simple tasks with a screwdriver and a bucket!

To ensure safety, the first step should be to turn the power off for electrical heaters by switching the breaker off, or turn off the gas supply for gas heaters by turning the pilot knob to the off position.

Next, flush the tank! Sediments collect within water heater tanks and can cause rusting and corrosion. Please note, the excreted water may be very hot so it is vital to take precautions to avoid burning yourself. Locate the drain valve near the bottom of the tank and place your bucket underneath the valve. Turning the valve to the left should open the valve and release water into the bucket. Continue draining until your water runs sediment free. If you are experiencing difficulties maneuvering the valve, it is best to contact a plumber for maintenance to avoid damage.

Additionally, you should test the temperature and pressure relief valve. Each water heater has this safety feature to resolve dangerous buildup or temperatures. A failed T&P valve that does not relieve the tank’s pressure could result in explosion. First, locate the valve which could be in the side wall or at the top of the unit. You will see a discharge tube connected that extends to the base. Place a bucket under the discharge tube connected to the T&P valve. Manually lift the valve lever to release the hot water into the bucket through the discharge tube (caution: water will be scolding!). After allowing the water to flow for a few seconds, releasing the lever should result in the lever setting back into place and the water to stop running. If the valve does not release water or continues to leak once the valve snaps back into place, the valve is faulty and must be replaced.

What To Do When Your Water Heater is Leaking

Unfortunately, water heaters can and do fail over time. If you have experienced a water heater leak, call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz as soon as possible to assist in minimizing property damage. Our crews are ready day or night, 365 days a year.

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz (831) 457-1997

What is the Category of your Santa Cruz County Water Damage?

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Find out how to categorize your water damage

Mitigating water damage effectively requires more than extraction and ventilation. A mitigation company needs to accomplish much more than simply installing drying equipment and applying an assortment of products to resolve a moisture issue. Our IICRC SERVPRO certified professionals study and execute the science of structure drying and apply various principles to successfully attain the drying goal while ensuring to leave no contaminates behind.

The amount of water, the source of the damage, and the potential contaminates contained in the water are crucial factors that can dramatically affect the extent damage. These factors also help to classify the category of the loss and how to mitigate the area properly. It is vital to recognize that the category of a loss will worsen based on the initial cleanliness of the area being flooded, the affected environment’s temperature, and the duration of time waited until the water mitigation commences.

  • Category 1 – Clean Water: Clean water comes from a sanitary water source that has no significant dangers if exposed to people. Category 1 water loss examples includes overflows from a sink faucet or bathtub left running unattended, leaks from malfunctioning appliances like an ice-maker supply line, or falling rainwater. Less health risk are linked with Category 1 water losses.
  • Category 2 – Grey Water: Grey Water losses pose a higher heath risk due to the elevated levels of impurities present within the water when a person is exposed to it. Contaminates include microorganisms, chemicals, urine, and mold. Some examples of Category 2 water may include a washing machine overflow, an overflow from a clogged toilet with some urine but no feces, or damages from aquarium leaks. Category 2 water might look “dirty” or soiled but still a bit more translucent. Due to the quick bacteria growth and mold, Category 2 losses left ignored may leave your property susceptible to secondary damage.
  • Category 3 – Black Water: Black Water is highly unsanitary and obtains disease causing organisms, toxins, and waste that are likely to create significant health problems to humans when contact occurs. Category 3 water does not always need to visually appear the color black in order to be categorized as such. Sewer back-ups, contaminated toilet overflows, and floodwaters from the lakes, rivers, or oceans would all be classified as Category 3 water damages. Because black water exposure is associated with severe health ailments, it is fundamental to wear proper personal protection equipment to mitigate these losses. Porous materials such as upholstery, flooring, and drywall are recommended to be discarded if affected. Particular agents are used for sanitization of any surfaces affect by Category 3 water.

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz technicians are ready to respond day and night. If you find yourself face to face with water damage, do not hesitate! Call our office at 831-457-1997 when disaster strikes!

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz: Categorizing your Water Damage

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Don't delay, call SERVPRO today!

Effectively mitigating water damage takes more than extraction and ventilation. There is much more a mitigation company accomplishes than merely placing drying equipment and applying various products to resolve a moisture problem. Our IICRC SERVPRO certified professionals have studied the science of structure drying and understand how to perform various principles to attain the drying goal while ensuring no contaminates are left behind.

The amount of water, the source of the damage, and the possible contaminates within the water are essential factors involved in your property’s damage and help to determine the category of the loss and how to treat it. It is also important to understand that the category of a loss will worsen depending on the cleanliness of the area being flooded, the temperature in the affected environment, and the length of time that lapsed without properly mitigating the damage.

  • Category 1 – Clean Water: Clean water derives from a sanitary water source that possesses no significant hazards if exposed to people. Examples of a Category 1 loss can include an overflow from a bathtub or sink faucet left running unattended, leaks from defective appliances like refrigerators supply line, or a falling rainwater. Less health risk are linked with Category 1 water losses.
  • Category 2 – Grey Water: The danger of health risks increase with Grey Water losses due to the potential of higher levels of pollutants present within the water when a person is exposed to it. Contaminates can include microorganisms, chemicals, urine, and mold. Some examples of category 2 water may include an overflow from a washing machine, overflow from a clogged toilet with some urine but no feces, or leaking aquariums. Category 2 water can look “dirty” and may be more translucent. Due to rapid development of bacteria and mold, leaving Category 2 losses unmitigated could leave your property vulnerable to secondary damage.
  • Category 3 – Black Water: Highly unsanitary, Black Water carries disease causing organisms, toxins, and waste that can cause considerable health problems to humans if exposed. Black water does not necessarily need to appear the color black visually to be categorized as such. Sewer back-ups, contaminated toilet overflows, and floodwaters from the oceans, rivers, or lakes would all be Category 3 water damages. Because black water can be associated with serious health diseases, it is vital to wear proper personal protection equipment while mitigating these losses. Porous materials such as drywall, flooring, and upholstery would be recommended to be discarded if affected. Specific agents would be used for sanitization of affected surfaces.

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz has technicians on standby day and night to respond to your water damage needs. Call us at 831-457-1997 when disaster strikes!


9/30/2019 (Permalink)


Water damage and flooding emergencies won’t wait for “normal” business hours and neither do we! Call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz 24 hours a day 7 days a week for emergency response services, (831) 457-1997.

Faster to any disaster is our goal to minimize your water damage.

Flooding and water damage is extremely invasive. Water can migrate rapidly through your property, and porous materials soak up the water (for example, floors, walls, furniture, and more). Beginning the water extraction process right away decreases the chances of secondary damage and microbial growth. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity and costs associated with the water damage. Call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz for a rapid response.

What to Expect:

When you call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz, a highly trained customer service representative will be ready to assist you day or night. There will be several questions needing to be answered to ensure our crew will be prepared for your unique situation before going onsite. Some of the questions we will ask will include:

·         Your name and contact information

·         Your property insurance information (if applicable)

·         The address of your affected property

·         When did the damage occur?

·         What caused the damage?

·         What materials are affected?

·         Is electricity available onsite?

·         What is the age of the affected structure?

·         Are there affected furniture or contents onsite?

When dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial – call today (831) 457-1997. We are here to help!

Hidden Moisture could be causing property damage in your Santa Cruz Home

9/27/2019 (Permalink)


Water damage is among the most common cause of residential property damage insurance claims in the area it can pose significant risks to Santa Cruz County homes and businesses. Some sources of water damage such as floods, burst pipes, and sewage backups are obvious and require emergency service right away. However, there are other “hidden water and moisture” sources of damage that can be difficult to detect and often lead to a considerable amount of property damage and an increased cost for cleanup, restoration and repairs.

One possible concern with hidden moisture or sustained water damage is an increase in the overall humidity of your home. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. If you are having trouble with high humidity in your Santa Cruz County residence, hidden moisture could be a concern. You may be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home, damp basements, high traffic areas, bathrooms and kitchens with high humidity activities and poor circulation. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. Over time hidden moisture can contribute to high humidity and during ideal conditions and can cause mold growth and other property concerns to erupt. The possible causes of water damage lurking in your home can originate from many different sources, with varying intensities, contamination levels, and scope of damage. Some of our largest property restoration projects start as small water leaks that cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. There are many processes and techniques our crews can implement to successfully and thoroughly locate and address your high humidity and other hidden water damage concerns. Calling local SERVPRO professionals can help investigate the source behind your high humidity or hidden water damage concerns and inspect for any sign of visible mold or other secondary property damages.

How our SERVPRO restoration specialists find hidden water causing damage to your property and searching for the source of the moisture problem

Our SERVPRO professionals have IICRC certification and extensive training to handle all facets of water loss recovery in homes throughout our area, and our technicians also work to double check to ensure success during the restoration process. We use state of the art moisture monitoring and thermal imaging equipment to locate hidden water that could be lurking in your home following either an emergency or lingering water property disaster.

Our SERVPRO technicians use moisture detection devices, similar to a stud finder. These moisture readers can indicate the presence of moisture behind, ceilings, walls and floors. The devices that our team uses emit electromagnetic waves and measure the resistance in their return to determine moisture content in the affected materials. This sophisticated equipment can help us also to decide when a certain structural element could be too saturated or damaged to preserve.

Our SERVPRO professionals also use thermal imagery to indicate the presence of moisture pockets throughout affected and exposed areas of your property. Much of the damage in many water loss incidents can occur out of sight, so seeing a temperature array to detail the presence of moisture and dampness in challenging areas can help to determine the best points for installing drying equipment.

Is Hidden Moisture Causing High Humidity Concerns for Your Local Home or Business

Hidden moisture or water leaks are dangerous because they can cause serious issues like structural damage and mold growth before they are discovered. Excess water and moisture gets absorbed in wood, drywall, insulation, and furniture and can lead to warping, stains, bubbling, and structural deterioration.

Common signs of lingering or hidden water damage in your home:

Water spots or warping under sink cabinets

If you see water under the bathroom or kitchen sink it’s a warning sign that you have water damage and potential mold growth around the sink area. If the leak is bad enough, it could cause additional damage to the building structure, including the floor and walls, even if there’s no water present, water spots clearly indicate that pipes under the sink have a slow leak.

Ceiling or wall stains and bubbling

Ceiling and wall stains are obvious signs of a roof, appliance, or plumbing leak. When water saturates insulation and drywall, it can also lead to major water damage that can compromise the structural integrity of the property. Check your roof for damage, broken tiles or puddling. Also investigate appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher and toilets for leaky spigots that could be dripping water and causing damage.

Squishy or Warping kitchen/bathroom floors or tile

Water damage is not always visible. In fact, it’s more common for damage to occur behind the floor, ceiling, and walls where you can’t see it. Since the bathroom is the most humid room in your home, it’s a common place for water damage and mold growth.

Moisture detection equipment can help our SERVPRO professionals to identify problem areas within your home that could be contributing to your home’s high humidity. Excessive moisture and high humidity can also cause mold to grow and spread in areas behind walls and ceilings where it is not easily detected. If water damage isn’t properly mitigated, mold and other secondary damages can begin to spread throughout your property in just a few days. That’s why it’s important to choose quality restoration professionals to dry and restore your property and take necessary steps to avoid further damages.

Ask About SERVPRO’s Visible Mold Inspection

The key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control and sufficient airflow. If you suspect your home is suffering from excessive high humidity, get in touch with our SERVPRO staff right away. Our Mold Remediation team can inspect your property for mold and water damage, locate the source of hidden moisture, and plan a mold removal and remediation process to get your home healthy and safe.

Signs of mold in your home are unpleasant odor, health issues or visual signs of mold growth.

In fact, mold sensitive individuals may experience unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Throat irritation.
  • Skin irritation.

If our technicians do discover mold during the inspection and mitigation process, they will evaluate the mold growth and contain any damage to the smallest area possible. They will then physically remove the mold and thoroughly dry any contaminated areas to ensure that the mold does not return.

When your home or business experiences a water disaster issue, or you suspect that high humidity maybe a problem, call our trusted local SERVPRO of Santa Cruz Service Specialists. Our sophisticated tools can make it easy to determine the presence of hidden moisture and dampness in your home. Waiting too long to choose a professional cleanup and recovery service can be a costly and hazardous mistake. We closely monitor and document all our cleanup, mitigation and remediation steps and make sure your moisture problem is taken care of correctly. To schedule an inspection give our SERVPRO of Santa Cruz team a call 24/7 at (831) 457-1997.

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz is available to respond to water damage 24 hours a day

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Santa Cruz for 24 hour Response 831-457-1997

If your home or business sustained a Water Damage, SERVPRO of Santa Cruz is available 24 hours a day to extract the water, remove damaged materials, and dry the structure. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage and can cause secondary damage from high humidity and deeply saturated materials that are harder to dry and the increased risk of microbial growth.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call 831-457-1997

We understand that most of our customers have never dealt with water damage before and it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. You need an expert to guide you and complete the work according to Industry Standards. SERVPRO of Santa Cruz has the water damage training and experience necessary to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will complete what is referred to in our industry as a First Notice of Loss. This is when a representative from the office will ask you questions so that we can assist as quickly as possible. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask the questions below to get the Team Dispatched and prepared to start restoration.

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Santa Cruz

We have been providing “Fire and Water Clean-up and Restoration” ® as a SERVPRO Franchise since 2001. We have an IICRC Master Fire & Smoke Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, and Master Water Restorer on site. We also have an American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) Board Certified, Microbial Remediation Supervisor. We want you to feel confident that you have chosen a Provider that really cares and can provide you with the Professional Services you need for complete satisfaction. SERVPRO of Santa Cruz is here to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

Santa Cruz County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Santa Cruz County

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (831) 457-1997

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Santa Cruz has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?
  • What materials are affect?
  • What is the age of the structure affect?

About SERVPRO of Santa Cruz

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz 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. 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.

Faster to your Santa Cruz Water Damage Event

8/29/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Of Santa Cruz emergency responds to a water damage at a local school. Faster to any size disaster.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Cruz provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Santa Cruz arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 831-457-1997

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Santa Cruz

SERVPRO of Santa Cruz 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. 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.

Meet our crew!