Contents Restoration Services

When disaster strikes there’s no need to let worrying about what to do next to add to your stress.  Service First will make sure that everything’s being taken care of.  Disaster damage can affect just about anything inside your home or business so our 24-hour emergency contents restoration team is always ready.  Not everything can be rescued, but our clients are often surprised by the items of monetary and personal value we’re able to save.  You can count on us for the best in contents cleaning and restoration services.

Contents Restoration Services

Our contents restoration team are trained and certified in cleaning and restoration after fires, floods, sewage backups, and water damage.  The many items that can often be restored include the following.

  • artwork such as paintings and sculpture
  • books
  • clothing, drapes, and rugs
  • digital media and VHS tapes
  • documents such as photos, legal records, and medical records
  • electronics and appliances, including TVs, DVD players, computers, and stereos
  • furniture
  • jewelry

Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage goes beyond direct destruction by flame and heat.  Smoke and soot deposits range from a fine powder to thick sludge to a lacquer-like hard coating.  They contain hundreds of harmful chemical compounds that can penetrate deeply into porous materials.  Only technicians with extensive training can choose the right procedures to prevent permanent staining, long-lasting odors, corrosion, and mold without further damaging your possessions.

Water Damage Restoration

Whether from plumbing, natural flood, or firefighting water quickly leads to secondary damage.  Time-critical services include emergency water removal, accelerated drying, and cleaning & infection control.  Commercial water damage restoration adds inventory, business records, displays, registers, and other equipment to the list of contents needing attention.

Pack Out and Inventory

Typically, the first step in content restoration is pack out which is removing possessions from a contaminated environment to another location for treatment and secure climate-controlled storage.  That’s usually safer, faster, and more cost-effect than treating belongings on-site.  Pack out services include careful preparation and packing, transport, treatment, storage, and return.

For the best results — economically recovering as many items as possible — it’s important to follow approved standards and industry best practices as set by independent organizations such as ANSI,  IICRC, RIA, and CRC.

Traditional cleaning and restoration techniques are now supplemented by new technologies for faster and more thorough cleaning and disinfection.  Common treatments range from simple hand-cleaning with the proper neutralizing agents or detergents to advanced drying techniques and include

  • abrasive cleaning,
  • air drying,
  • dry cleaning,
  • drying chambers,
  • foam cleaning,
  • freezer drying
  • immersion cleaning,
  • ozone and thermal deodorization,
  • pressure washing,
  • soda blasting,
  • spotting,
  • spray and wipe,
  • ultrasonic cleaning,
  • vacuum freeze drying,
  • vacuum thermal drying, and
  • wet-laundering.

It takes a lot of training and experience to make the right selection for each and every item given all those options!

Throughout the pack out process, it’s important to keep track of everything.  That means contents claim inventory services.  Room by room, item by item everything is ID tagged, photographed, and entered into a tracking system.  That’s part of the insurance claim’s proof of loss as well as processing or disposition documentation.  It also provides you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything’s accounted for, where it is, and what condition it’s in.


Join Us for the Festivities

Join us on Thursday, November 17th for our Friends & Family Thanksgiving Potluck celebration, starting at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm,  at our office in Laguna Hills.

Please RSVP by November 13th – Email with the names of attendees and we would love for you to partake in the potluck by bringing an item, so email us what you want to bring.


Home Fire Safety in Cooler Weather

Devastating house fires can happen in an instant, and many begin due to human error. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that cooking tops the list of residential building fire causes (50 percent), followed by heating equipment (12.5 percent) and electrical malfunction (6.3 percent).

Make your fall and winter seasons merry, bright and fire-free with these essential fire safety tips.

1.     Schedule a chimney inspection at least once a year. Creosote, or condensed smoke, builds up on the flue and can catch fire. An annual cleaning and inspection can help prevent chimney fires.

2.     Keep flammable items at least three feet from heat sources. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 56 percent of fatal home heating fires ignite from items being placed too close to heating equipment. Make sure everything is a safe distance from heat sources, including the furnace, space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves.

3.     Check smoke detectors frequently. Approximately 60 percent of house fire deaths happen in structures with no working smoke alarms. Test your home’s smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries each year.

4.     Have a family escape plan and practice it regularly. All household members need to know all exit strategies in case a fire breaks out, as well as where to meet once they’re safely outside. Have a semiannual drill and practice at different times of the day.

5.     Cook safely. Never leave the room when boiling, frying or baking, keep pot holders and dish towels away from the flame, and immediately turn off appliances when not in use.

6.     Be mindful of holiday decorations. If you choose to decorate with strings of lights, always check their condition first. Throw out those with exposed electrical wiring, and be sure to read over the manufacturer’s instructions.

Courtesy of Dierdre Coit.

How to be a good neighbor – 10 tips

Whether the you and your spouse are in your first house or you have been in your neighborhood for awhile, keeping good relations with the neighbors can make a big difference in your quality of life. Here are a few etiquette tips to reduce friction and keep the peace with your neighbors.
1. Say hello. A friendly smile and wave to a neighbor when you go out and get the mail can go a long way toward creating a pleasant atmosphere.
2. Turn your music down. This is a simple peacekeeper, tried and true. If you plan on entertaining and having music, let your neighbors know ahead of time and keep it to a reasonable volume. If you play music in your backyard, remember to turn it off when you’re done instead of going inside and forgetting about it as your music plays into the wee hours.
3. Close your garage door. Avoid the habit of leaving it open because you plan on going back out in awhile. This is especially important if it’s messy. Not only is this a security issue, it’s also an issue of extending common courtesy to your neighbors who may not wish to regularly get an eyeful of your collection of boxes, garbage cans, etc. 
4. Do not let your dog bark incessantly in the backyard. Leaving your dog alone to bark all day—or even worse, all night—is a sure way to strain relations with your neighbor or possibly violate a city noise ordinance. If your dog stays in the yard while you are away at work, ask a neighbor who is at home during the day if they ever hear your dog. If there is a problem, fix it. They’ll appreciate your consideration and in addition, it’s the right and mannerly thing to do. 
5. Reach out. Invite a neighbor over for a drink or a meal. Or invite a few neighbors over for a backyard BBQ or potluck. Investing some time in getting to know the neighbors will help keep relationships harmonious and make it easier to handle any problems that arise. 
6. Maintain your yard. At a minimum, meet the basic standards of yard maintenance by mowing, weed-whacking and doing your best to keep your yard looking decent. Hire someone if you can’t seem to get it done yourself. Neighbors get cranky at the thought of their property values going down because of a slob next door. 
7. Position outside lights with care. Make sure your security light doesn’t shine into your neighbor’s bedroom. 
8. Don’t leave toys in the front yard. Whether it’s yours or your children’s toys, yard equipment, or car parts, it’s bad policy to leave items on your front yard or driveway. Put your tools away when you’re done with them. 
9. Be a good driver. Don’t treat the neighborhood streets as your personal racetrack. Always be mindful that there are kids, dogs, walkers and bikers out on the street. Also, when driving through your neighborhood, turn the volume on your car stereo down. Your neighbors shouldn’t associate your comings and goings with a thumping bass and rattling windows. 
10. Discuss problems in person. If a problem arises, talk to your neighbor in person first. Approach the situation in a pleasant way, “You may not have realized this, but …” Start here rather than resorting to a nasty note or a call to the police that will be sure to permanently strain your relationship. Also, use good judgment in identifying real problems: a party on a special occasion is one thing; a continuous stream of parties that interfere with your sleep on a regular basis is another. 

Written by Diane Gottsman, follow her on Twitter @: