Recent Posts

Polar Vortex

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

A person in glasses and a grey parka holds a thermometer up in front of them during a snowstorm. Make sure you pack an extra jacket

As of this writing, Texas is currently experiencing what’s been dubbed as a “polar vortex”. In plain language, it is incredibly cold. Sub-zero temperatures have fallen across the state, leading to all types of issues. The topic being discussed most at length is the power and water crisis. With temperatures being below freezing nearly constantly statewide, much of the power structures (renewable and fossil fuel) have literally frozen and are no longer operational. This has led to all types of issues and state officials have found themselves in a bind.

While California is not exactly known for being a haven for snowy weather and freezing temperatures, weather patterns have been steadily becoming more and more unpredictable. Areas in southern California already produce snow storms and are very familiar with the ramifications inherent to such weather.

Aside from things that can’t be addressed on an individual basis (the power grid, water supply, etc.), there are small things homeowners are currently doing in an effort to stop these cold snaps from wreaking havoc on their homes and businesses. Here is a short list of easy things you can do right now that may help prevent your property from taking damage:

  • As the weather gets colder, be sure to open your faucets to prevent them from freezing. Moving water is much less likely to freeze and cause a pipe burst.
  • Run your heater. Higher temperatures will prevent ice from forming or accumulating in central areas in your home or business.
  • Prepare for the worst. In the event California experiences a similar event to Texas, be sure you have an emergency preparedness kit ready. Canned food, candles, and other such items will definitely come in handy if we lose utility services.

Again this is an unlikely scenario and with these tips, you should be able to mitigate most if not all damage a winter storm may bring. If all else fails and you find yourself in a situation where your home or business has experienced damage, be sure to call SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills. While cold weather brings a unique set of challenges to the table, it’s nothing that our team of trained professionals can’t handle.

Cleaning the Fourth Wall

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

A man in a black suit and a white shirt giving a thumbs-up against a black background. It’s always a win-win at SERVPRO

SERVPRO is a pretty awesome company to work for.

We have an awesome reputation, great support systems, an incredible staff, and best of all, we are innovators. Did we invent something? You bet. We have over 100 proprietary products that we use on the various types of services we perform. Did I mention those services? We restore houses after fire and water events, sure, but did you know that we do graffiti cleanup and bio-remediation? What about reconstruction and mold abatement? The list goes on and on.

My personal favorite aspect of working for SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is interacting with customers. Are they always happy to see us? No. As a matter of fact, having us over to your home or business is typically a sign that something bad has happened. The way I see it, we are there to help get your life back on track. That’s why one of our slogans is “Like it never even happened.” While the process may sometimes take a little while, we always deliver on that promise. We take it very seriously and make sure to treat each customer like family.

Yep, SERVPRO is a pretty neat place to work. Heck, they even let me talk about how awesome they are in blogs!

While I hope we never need to meet, I look forward to it if the need arises. Feel free to call us any time, day or night (yes, we’re open 24/7) and we will be there.

A Case of Arson

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

A brick house burns at night as firefighters in yellow protective gear spray it with a fire hose. A black motorcycle is there Flames move quickly once they take hold of a home

Cases of arson spiked in 2020. Between the violent riots that occurred in the summer and the unsteady socioeconomic environment across much of the United States, many homeowners and businesses lost their property to fire.

House fires are always traumatic for a homeowner. Regardless of the reason the fire started, the outcome is usually the same: loss of property, loss of personal belongings, and potential injury or death. Fire moves rapidly once it starts, especially when aided by a propellant such as gasoline or alcohol. This is common in cases of arson.

So as a home or business owner, what should you do in the event of a suspected arson fire? The most important thing to consider is the safety of you and your family but what should you do after everyone is accounted for?

In the event of any type of fire, time is of the essence. If possible, grab absolutely essential things or any keepsakes that can be safely retrieved. After everyone is out, immediately call the fire department. The best case scenario is they are able to mitigate the amount of damage your property takes.

Regardless of the amount, your home will sustain damage. This is where SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills comes in. Contact your insurance company and let them know that you want to have SERVPRO perform the necessary work on your home or business. With over 50 years in the industry, we are the best choice for restoring your home to preloss conditions.

Blown Away

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

A white lightning bolt cuts through the night sky above a metropolitan cityscape. That is pretty frightening

A Queen song I heard earlier today got me thinking. The song is “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the lyric was:

“Thunder bolts and lightning, very frightening!”

Two things crossed my mind.

  1. If you can’t see thunder, what does a thunder bolt look like?
  2. They forgot to add “wind” to the equation.

Now all lame jokes aside, wind is one of the more commonly destructive force when it comes to storms in southern California. We are all aware of the so-called Santa Ana winds that come around every spring, and we have all seen a dirt devil at least once. These things are common to us. What is less common but still occurs occasionally are thunderstorms that bring winds of 65+ miles per hour.

Large, historic storms like Hurricane Katrina and the El Nino of 1997 were always expected to cause widespread damage. These storms lasted days and battered the United States relentlessly, resulting in billions of dollars of destruction and loss of life. A lot of this damage was brought on by flood waters and (you guessed it) high wind speeds. Many residential areas and businesses alike were destroyed virtually overnight.

When, not if, the next big storm hits California, will your business be prepared? Have you made an evacuation plan? If your business suffers broken windows or some other type of wind damage, do you have a company that you can call to work alongside your insurance and repair the damage? SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills should be one of the very first calls you make. With over 50 years of experience and 1,500 franchises across the globe, we have the knowledge and expertise to deliver world-class results.

While Freddy Mercury may have been one heck of a vocalist, he definitely was not in the restoration business.

The Swimming Pool Nobody Asks For

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Water floods a bright orange living room full of black and white furniture. Just be thankful your dog is a good swimmer

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is slide open my curtains and look outside. The next two hours or so of my life are predicated on what I see in that brief instant. For example, if I see sunlight beaming down and am nearly blinded by the sudden contrast in light, I know I have a very good chance of making it to the office early. If I see grey skies and wet concrete, I know that things may be a bit more complicated.

California is notoriously random when it comes to weather patterns and due to that (and the sheer amount of people in the state), rainy days can cause quite the headache on the freeways. While I love the rain, I’m not a huge fan of the traffic and subsequent car accidents it causes. Rain isn’t just a nuisance on the road; it can also cause trouble closer to home.

Picture this: you leave for work, knowing that a previously unmentioned storm will cause you to be a bit late for work. You rush out, not paying any attention to the things that you normally would on a more temperate day. One of those things happened to be leaving the sliding door in your master bedroom open. Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except that this storm happened to cause flash flooding in your neighborhood. Now the back half of your home is under 4 inches of water. Oh winter, you cruel mistress.

Luckily, SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is used to receiving these types of calls. While this may be a once-in-a-lifetime event for most, our trained technicians know exactly what to do in such scenarios.

If rainwater or any other type of aquatic intruder has made its way into your home or business, give us a call today. We can get everything back to preloss conditions and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Into the Flood Again

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Knee-high water floods a lit storefront at night. While you were away, the water moved in

Owning a business in 2020 was hard.

Aside from the normal stressors of being an entrepreneur being ever-present in daily operations, we had the COVID-19 pandemic (and its subsequent lockdowns and restrictions) to contend with. 2020 was very difficult, indeed. One aspect of life that didn’t change or slow down at all was water losses. If anything, we saw an uptick.

Businesses considered non-essential were closed down for a few months following the initial lockdown orders. In that time, toilets still ran, sinks still leaked, and storms still battered the inland empire. Needless to say, without human intervention, many small problems quickly became much larger ones. As more and more business owners began reopening, more and more calls came in.

An important aspect of owning a business is the well-being and safety of your staff. An equally important thing to consider is the condition of your workplace environment. Many people learned that the hard way last year.

Always remember to routinely check common culprits. Is there a leak somewhere in your sink or toilet lines? Do you smell a musty or earthen odor in the bathroom or break room? Have you ensured that your smoke alarms are all in working order? These and other small things can help to prevent a major disaster down the line.

In the event that something does happen, you’re not completely out of luck. SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is here 24/7, 365 days a year to have your back.

Business is tricky but with a little bit of help, we’ll keep it running smoothly.

Lightspeed Water Loss

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

A white room with a SERVPRO employee in a black shirt measuring the wall while sitting on the ground. Prime that Wall Quick

Experiencing a water loss is always a frustrating and sometimes scary situation. With the uncertainty of what lays ahead, potential incurred costs, and a million other factors, it is one of the more stressful situations a home or business owner can find themselves in. Now imagine those same circumstances, but add in the fact that you are trying to sell your home. Not terrified yet? Go ahead and add the fact that the home is already in escrow and the prospective buyer is slotted to come walk the property in 5 days.

How’s that for a tricky situation?

If this sounds oddly specific, it’s because it is drawn from a real-life scenario that SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills just dealt with. The homeowner called in and explained that an unexplained leak had worked its way into two separate rooms and effectively destroyed a common wall. He also informed us that the home was already on the market and potential buyer was going to be there to look at the home on the following Monday. We received the call on the Tuesday prior to the showing. Crunched timeline? Check. Unknown cause of loss? Check. We got to work right away.

As it turned out, an upstairs bedroom wall had taken water damage from a clogged rain gutter. Our team made cuts and began drying the two rooms immediately. Luckily for everyone involved, the wood beneath the drywall took to the drying extremely well. Everything was good to go by the third day.

Next step: remove all of the air movers and begin hanging drywall. After that was complete, an initial coat of paint was applied to blend the drywall patch. Next: Paul (construction manager extraordinaire) measured the room for crown molding and applied it. Last step: touch-ups and final looks.

Did we do it? You bet!

SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is a premiere restoration and reconstruction service and no job is too big or small (or fast) for us.

Fire or Water?

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

A large wildfire burns a mountainside at night. A large body of water can be seen in the foreground Sometimes, things take an unexpected turn

One of the things I find most interesting about this line of work (restoration and reconstruction) is the inherent ironies that go with it. For instance, I can’t tell you how many fire jobs I have snapped photos at or shot video of in the pouring rain. Another good example of this is visiting a loss wherein a window was broken or a roof was damaged from hurricane speed wind, only to arrive to a still, hot spring afternoon with no movement to speak of.

Now these are admittedly not the norm but when you live in southern California, what exactly is the norm when it comes to odd weather patterns?

That being said, I wanted to remind everyone that just because it hasn’t rained yet¸ rest assured that it most certainly will. At the time of writing this article, it is 68 degrees and sunny but my phone tells me there is rain imminent in the not-too-distant future. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it happen every year.

It is wise to always be cautious with sources of open flame. It is wise to always prepare for floods. It is wise to always keep an eye out for wet spots or mold growth. Most importantly, it is wise to always keep SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills on speed dial. In the case of an ironic (or perfectly expected) mishap, rest assured that we have you covered.

What Was That Noise?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

A large hole in a business office with white walls. Debris is scattered in the foreground. Oh Holy Ceiling

There are a few sounds that human beings recognize immediately. When a horn beeps behind you on the road, you immediately straighten up and look around you to see who honked. When a cat begins purring, you know you have a happy cat. Some sounds are not immediately recognizable. For instance, when rain leaks through a slow leak in your roof, gets into your attic and insulation, then causes a large portion of your ceiling to collapse, you may not be able to pick it out immediately. You will, however, know that the loud crack and splash of debris and water onto the floor below is definitely not a good thing.

Luckily, the team at SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is quite familiar with both the sound and effects of this type of water damage. If you’re unlucky enough to experience such an instance, give us a call today at (909)548-3191. We are here to help, and you heard it here first.

Santa Ana Fires

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

A man in firefighter gear spraying a powerful hose in a burning forest Firefighters battle a raging wildfire caused by utility transmission lines.

The one thing California can always be sure of is what is commonly known as Santa Ana winds. This weather event typically kicks up around mid-Autumn and stays through the beginning of winter but this year, they seem to be a bit spotty in their frequency. SCE and other utility providers have issued multiple “Red Flag Warnings” in light of the wildfires that have broken out due to old lines and poor maintenance practices. These warnings indicate an imminent power shut-off in selected areas to mitigate the risk of wildfires breaking out.

As if we needed something else to worry about in 2020.

Is there a silver lining? You bet. SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is at the ready and here to help. With over 50 years of experience in both wind damage and fire damage restoration, homeowners and business owners alike can rest assured that whether debris from wind damages your home or a wildfire event damages your business or personal property, SERVPRO of Chino/Chino Hills is your go-to resource to get your life back on track and to make it “Like it never even happened.”