Recent Posts

5 Steps to Having the Perfect Garden

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

  1. NURTURE YOUR PLANTS: Sometimes gardens need a little help and humidity. Nevada and Northern California aren’t always the most hospitable when it comes to that, so for that reason, you should consider investing in a mini-greenhouse like this one. It’s $40 and it has 4 shelves and an easy-to-zip cover that keeps the warmth and moisture in. For $10 more there’s the walk-in version for you more adventurous gardeners. I like to place tropical saplings in early-mid spring in there until they are ready for planting in summer. The same goes for any leafy, green friends who are more sensitive to the cold.

  2. LISTEN TO THEIR NEEDS: Plants each have different requirements. The soil your plants use needs to be a certain pH, level of moist, and allow light to penetrate it a certain amount. This soil meter tells you all three.

  3. STOP PLANTING THINGS SO CLOSE TO YOUR HOME: We hear it all the time, “when I moved my roses, I saw this black and brown stuff on the wall/window right behind it!”. Especially if you have climbing plants, they tend to hug close to surfaces. When it gets wet, the space between may not dry (sometimes leaving you with rotting leaves, flowers, etc). While you may want the support, you’re going to have to avoid outdoor wall mold by setting up separate climbing surfaces like these grid panels. Here is another one for you vegetable-growers out there. If at all possible, move them far enough away from your outer wall or window to where new growths won’t take over the outside and trap moisture.
  4. RAISE YOUR PLANTS (don’t just grow ‘em!): No one said it better than Waltons: “If your garden floods regularly, consider adding raised beds. These lift and protect plants above the level of flood water and can be built using paving slabs, timber or railway sleepers or purchased ready-made from garden centres.”

  5. YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT TO MY GARDEN?: Fork it! That's right, be careful of the roots, but dip a fork into the soil and rustle it around to discourage soil clumping too tightly. Especially if you’ve been the unlucky victim of a backyard or garden flood, your plants may be suffering from a lack of oxygen. Plants drown too, and sticking a fork in the soil to create holes makes oxygen pockets so the roots can breathe. If you have a larger garden, you may consider a lawn aerator like this one, and skip the silverware.

The SERVPRO Referral Program (or 'How To Make $100 Fast').

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Are you a contractor or helping out on a job for a client? Do you see visible mold? SERVPRO might just pay you for letting us know--provided it turns into a job we do!

So many businesses in the Nevada region are growing with the influx of our larger neighbors Tesla, Switch, and Blockchains--and SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks doesn’t want to lose sight of the smaller, important acts of kindness that keep us going.

Businesses passing business is just one way that you and SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks combat high mold content in homes, repair dry rot, and remove smoke odors from the living places of our community; when you are working with a client, you may be the first to know (rather than the customer) there will be a mold, smoke, or water issue when SERVPRO has not been contacted for the issue.

It’s not JUST contractors who can benefit--we have recently expanded the program: ANYONE can bring us a lead, and when we sign the job, you will get $100 in return!

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944

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Mold Prevention at Home - A DIY Guide

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

The following excerpt first appeared in an article on Old House Online, and provides some good insights into the ways you can combat mold at home.

Though, if you are less handy around the nitty-gritty of caulk, installation, and a few tools, you may want to seek some professional assistance from us here at SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks!

"Small amounts of visible mold, like the kind that builds up in the shower, can be addressed by removing the moldy caulk and resealing the affected areas with new caulk. Afterwards, minimize obvious sources of moisture. If there’s no ventilation fan in the bathroom, for example, it would be prudent to add one. If the mold has penetrated the wallboard beneath—a common result in bathrooms and kitchens—a more serious repair is in order. 

Other easy fixes include cleaning out the gutters, and caulking around leaking windows. Standing water in gutters holds moisture close to the house and can lead to leaks that may ultimately trickle into interior walls.

Leaks around windows can compromise plaster and drywall. Since the water is coming in from outside, the mold may develop without visible evidence, although puffing or efflorescence in plaster or wallboard are telltale signs.

This should be obvious, but if the roof leaks, repair it. Look beyond finished rooms to the attic and basement or crawl space. Leaks in out-of-the-way places can go for years without notice, creating an optimum environment for mold."

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944

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Flood Damage: Turning Off The Electricity

8/8/2018 (Permalink)


Once you open it, if you see…

  • Rows of switches means you have a breaker box.
  • Fuses are round and will twist into sockets like lightbulbs do.


To find the circuit breaker, check inside the garage (provided it is safe to do so). If there is a mounted, metal, rectangular box with an opening mechanism, check inside. If you are in an apartment, it may be in a hall or closet. Your fuse box and circuit breaker box may, additionally, be mounted to your home outside where the electricity connects.


To turn off the power to a wet area of your home…

  • Breaker Box: Inside the breaker box should be a list that tells you which rooms are controlled by each switch. Unplug everything in the affected room.

  • Fuse Box: Inside the fuse box there should be a list that tells you which areas of the house are affected by each fuse--just like the breaker box. Find the correct fuse, make a note of it, and then unplug anything in that area of the house BEFORE attempting at a later time to replace the fuse.

Busy Fire Season: 2018

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Busy Fire Season: 2018 Fire and smoke all over the area has displaced homeowners and residents in all areas of the Northern CA and Northern NV regions.

High Temperatures Set the Scene for Fires

Record heat in early 2018 created dry conditions in Northern Nevada region. According to the National Weather Service, on February 9th of 2018, “A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 58 DEGREES WAS SET AT SOUTH LAKE TAHOE CA” which beat the previous 2012 record of 55 degrees.”

Rainfall Up in March:

On March 17th of 2018, the NWS reported that the daily maximum rainfall near the Reno-Tahoe International Airport tied the old record of 0.52 inches which was set in 1899. That rain, followed by recent dry weather, has lead to plentiful fuel for this year’s active fire season all around the Reno area.

Wildfires can strike almost anywhere.

A wildfire can cause more than just the damage that you see. If fire damages your property, it can throw your life into chaos. SERVPRO® ® of Reno East / Central Sparks is dedicated to restoring your damaged property back to preloss condition and helping your life get back to normal.

Can soot get inside your property?

Even if your windows and doors are shut and your vents are closed, smoke and soot particles can enter your property. Your HVAC units and air ducts can hold large quantities of soot and disperse it all over your belongings.  Your SERVPRO® of Reno East / Central Sparks Professionals can thoroughly check your HVAC units and air ducts for soot particles and remove them from your property.

Different types of smoke and soot.

A wildfire will burn mostly natural materials, but there are times when wildfires burn manmade materials which can leave soot particles that are more difficult to remove.

Your SERVPRO® of Reno East / Central Sparks professionals will pretest the soot residues to determine the best method of cleaning, helping to ensure no lingering odors.

Can the soot be cleaned?

Even if your property didn’t suffer fire damage, there may be soot particles and residues left to clean up. If cleaned improperly, the odor and effects can linger long after the fire has been put out. From the structure itself to the contents inside, we use the latest technology and training to leave your property smelling fresh and clean. SERVPRO® of Reno East / Central Sparks can give you peace of mind by helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944

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Nevada Smoke, Fires 2018: One Year Later

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Nevada Smoke, Fires 2018: One Year Later Photo Credit to Reddit u/ChelseaRC

Nevada is no stranger to wildfires. We have dried brush as far as the eye can see, scrubland, low humidity, and tons, and tons of heat--it is common that the local atmosphere is thick with smoke in the summer.

What separates Summer 2018 from others is the amount of fuel available for wildfires to thrive on. According to Gurajpal Sangha at KOLO 8 News: “The Great Basin Coordination Center reports there is 200-300 percent more fuel in Western and Northern Nevada than on a normal year, and that is not adding the fuels left from last year.”

Since the fires began, SERVPRO has had to

With the amount of small, dry grasses and large swaths of alluvial ground present in the Reno-Tahoe topography, it is no wonder the region’s air quality is so bad.

Besides the weather and environment, another factor is fueling Nothern Nevada and California’s fire problem: population growth.

As more people come to the region, it is only natural to want to take in the opportunities NV has for recreation--off-roading, parking vehicles near or on top of foliage, outdoor barbecuing, and target shooting in areas where tall or dry grasses and vegetation might catch fire should be avoided and kept to areas that are designated for high fire-risk activities.

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944

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FLASHBACK: SERVPRO and the Reno Rodeo

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

In 2017, SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks had two brave teams participating in the Reno Rodeo Businessman’s Steer Decorating contest.  This contest was a fun, exciting event at the Reno Rodeo, giving sponsors an opportunity to get in on the Reno Rodeo action.

The event itself consisted of 12 teams of two people each, one who held the steer and the other who decorated it by tying a ribbon on the steer’s tail. The team that decorated their steer the fastest won the round.

That was SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks’ third year of participating in the Reno Rodeo.

SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks was happy to be a sponsor of the Reno Rodeo’s as we count down to the centennial in 2019.

Our team of skilled storm responders are still waiting with bated breath for 2019!

JOB SEEKERS: Open Position - Job File Coordinator

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

Do you love helping people through difficult situations?

Then, don’t miss your chance to join our Franchise as a new Job File Coordinator. In this position you will be making a difference each and every day. We have a sincere drive towards the goal of helping make fire and water damage “Like it never even happened.”

We’re seeking someone who is great on the phone, has excellent analytical skills, is detail-oriented, and is a serious multi-tasker. If you are self-motivated and have superb interpersonal skills, then you’ll thrive in this work environment. Our idea of the ultimate candidate is one who is proactive, is experienced, truly enjoys providing superior service, and loves taking ownership. Are you highly dependable and excited about routinely exceeding expectations? Then you may be our perfect hero!

Primary Responsibilities

· Monitor job file status
· Monitor job file audit status
· Maintain job file WIPs
· Monitor and ensure client requirements are followed
· Review and validate initial field documentation
· Create preliminary estimates for water, fire, storm, mold, or other damage that SERVPRO handles.
· Daily job file coordination
· Perform job file backup
· Maintain internal and external communications
· Prepare job file reports
· Complete and review job file documentation for final upload and the audit process
· Complete job file audit process
· Perform job close-out
· Assist other departments, as needed

Position Requirements

· 2+ year(s) of administrative or office-related experience
· Experience with writing estimates, job file processes, and quality assurance a plus
· Experience in the service industry environment a plus
· Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, including proper pronunciation and grammar, and a consistently courteous and professional tone of voice at all times
· Polite, confident, and excellent customer service skills, including listening and questioning skills
· Ability to remain calm and professional during tense or stressful situations
· Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail
· Very self-motivated and goal-oriented
· Ability to multi-task
· Capability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented office environment
· Proficiency in Microsoft Office (i.e., Outlook, Word, Excel)
· Ability to learn new software, including Xactimate® and proprietary software
· Minimum of HSD/GED preferred
· Ability to successfully complete a background check subject to applicable law


· 40 hours/week, flexible to work overtime when required
Vary between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Pay Rate

Competitive pay based on experience.

Looking Back: 2015 Storm Affects Whitehead Elementary

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Looking Back: 2015 Storm Affects Whitehead Elementary In 2015 our team worked against the clock to clean flood damage at Jerry Whitehead Elementary School in Sparks.

Heavy rains in July of 2015 flooded the student playground and damaged over 12 classrooms at the Jerry Whitehead Elementary School in Sparks.

Class was scheduled to start in August, less than a month away, and the school was in no shape for students after the storm. In order to limit further damage to the school and make sure students could start their education on time, SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks made a commitment that the school would be ready for the students and staff before the scheduled start of the semester.

Flood waters contain bacteria and other contaminants that lead to an unhealthy environment. Once the flood water was removed the structure was dried using SERVPRO's industry-standard equipment and machinery. The building was then thoroughly cleaned to return the classrooms and halls to a stable and safe environment for the staff and students.

It was a race against time to perform demolition, clean, and repair damage, but SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks made it "Like it never even happened"!

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO9944

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Floriston Water Project: SERVPRO Reports

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Floriston Water Project: SERVPRO Reports The Floriston notice board with the compliance order posted.

FLORISTON, CA.-- Currently in the “design phase” of a water treatment system, the Floriston Property Owners Association (FPOA) states in a compliance order posted April 5th that it is working on a new system that will “remedy this issue”.

The “issue” is one of water quality. In Floriston--a small, unincorporated town nestled between Reno and Truckee--there is a boil order is currently in effect for all residents.

Before fretting for the town; this is nothing new in Floriston. According to Treasurer and Secretary, Karen Seelhoff, “The town has been on a boil order for over 20 years despite being recognized by the state years ago as having great water,” she goes on to clarify that this was “before the limits of bacteria were reduced to zero and the need for chlorination started us on this huge project.”

Seelhoff says she is the communications, documents, finances and system analysis point-of-contact for upgrading the town, “Basically I am the town manager; playing secretary and treasurer...managing all the necessary documents for the town's organization,” and projects.

Her husband is Floriston’s Mayor, Jerry Stinson, who says Floriston’s water system “doesn’t currently filtrate.” Instead, he says, the town is having to chlorinate, and that “when I came on the [FPOA] board I wanted to change that.” It is his third year as mayor.

The FPOA is comprised of few people; only four main contacts exist on the FPOA’s website. Mayor Stinson’s wife fills two roles, a credit to how small the town is: “Every house is owned and occupied, there’s 42 homes and the population is about 90-95 people,” Stinson said. Seelhoff added that the town's bylaws “limit expansion to our present 42 homes unless changed by a majority vote because of the limitations of our infrastructure …[sic] both water and sewer capacities.”

When asked about how many of those residents were affected by the water quality in town, Stinson explained that he hadn’t heard of any health issues from townspeople. He explained updating the water system is more about remedying an “antiquated system”, than it is about health concerns: “It’s good water, it’s drinkable...There is a boil order, but I don’t know anyone in Floriston who boils it.”

Stinson says that it “won’t be long before we are breaking ground." Seelhoff states that the FPOA is applying for a 2.7 million dollar grant to develop the town's system. "Right now," says the mayor, "I’m working with the engineers and the board, but not so much the community because that’s our [the board’s] responsibility.”

Stinson says it takes time and money for systems to be overhauled and redone, which is why the remainder of those responsibilities with engineers, “will probably be another year and a half”.

Treasurer Seelhoff added that the Mayor performs water monitoring “everyday snow or shine; volunteering over an hour a day to save the town money,” and that they are “looking forward to realizing this dream that has hijacked Jerry's and my life!”

Curious about the new system? “Microfiltration is what its called,” Stinson explains: “what they [the new filters] do is they filter the water, and then--the filters inside the new system are self-cleaning. It’ll wash everything that is in the filters.”

According to the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, microfiltration is a “process that removes small amounts of suspended material from water,” each filter functioning in either surface or depth capacities. The piece also says that a surface-type filter is often used when an absolute rating is needed, and “should be selected when control of specific-size particles is important, such as the removal of bacteria.”


Byline: Andrea Figueroa

Andrea is a marketing support coordinator with SERVPRO of Reno East / Central Sparks.