Recent Community Posts

How to Improve Drainage in Your Yard

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

So, your yard isn’t draining properly. It happens to homeowners across the country more often than you’d think, and it usually starts with small puddles and wet spots appearing in your grass. Maybe you’re starting to see muddy patches and swamp-like areas in your yard. These are classic symptoms of poor yard drainage, meaning the soil in your yard is retaining too much water. But why?

Common Causes of Yard Drainage Issues

There are several factors that can lead to a yard failing to vacate excess water properly. Different causes of yard drainage problems can call for different solutions and DIY approaches. The following are some of the most common reasons your yard may be draining poorly.

  • Yard slope or pitch: In many cases, water pools in a yard because the soil’s flat plane doesn’t divert enough water away from the house.
  • A too-short downspout: If your gutter’s downspout points directly into a flower bed or other landscaped area, excess water can collect in the mulch and soil beneath.
  • Impacted soil: This can be a result of construction projects, such as in-ground pools, around the house. Hardpan clay is especially problematic when impacted, as it can retain moisture for far longer than other types of soil.
  • Front walkways: If a sidewalk or concrete path sits in front of your house, it could be blocking off water, preventing it from running through your yard and into the storm drain.
  • Runoff erosion: If the runoff from your downspout has stripped away some of the topsoil in your yard, this can lead to heavy collection beneath the eroded area.

5 Yard Drainage Solutions You Can Do Yourself

Once you’ve identified your issue and the most likely cause, it’s time to set out a game plan for how to improve drainage in your yard. There are multiple options you can turn to, but be sure to research each carefully and have the tools necessary before committing to one.

1. Reduce Your Watering Schedule

Before launching into a costly and extensive DIY drainage project, consider the possibility that you could be overwatering your yard and/or garden. Try cutting down on your watering and watch the trouble spots to see if they drain or not. If they do, the soil could be draining properly but simply can’t keep up with your watering schedule. If not, it may be time to get your hands dirty.

Tools you’ll need: Most sprinkler systems can be set to operate at fewer or shorter intervals. If you water your yard manually, simply do so less often. Keep an eye on your wet zones over the next week or two to determine if your yard is indeed not draining.

2. Extend Your Downspout

If you find that the runoff causing your yard drainage problems is coming from your gutter system, the fix you’re looking for could be as easy as extending the downspout away from the house so that it doesn’t form a basin in your landscaped areas. However, if you’re diverting the runoff away from your house, make sure you’re sending it into a storm drain or other safe drainage source and not a neighboring property.

While you’re at it, you may want to make sure that the gutters themselves are working properly. Blocked or faulty gutters can cause water to overflow into your yard. If your roof turns into a waterfall every time it rains, it may be time to tackle a few gutter repairs.

Tools you’ll need: Additional drain spout material, power drill, pliers, screws, washers and bolts.

3. Dig a Creek Bed or Swale

If you have a soggy spot in your yard that a downspout extension can’t fix, you may need an artificial creek or drainage swale to draw water away from low spots. These projects usually involve digging the soil into a long, shallow trench and filling it with gravel and decorative rocks. Assuming your yard has the right downward slope, this installation will essentially act as a slide for runoff to escape through.

An added bonus to this project is that even when it’s not in use, a dry man-made creek can be an attractive addition to your landscaping.

Tools you’ll need: Trench-digging tools such as shovels and spades, gravel, rocks and a method for disposing of excess dirt.

4. Construct a Rain Garden

If there is a low spot on your property that collects water, and there isn’t enough slope to drain it with a creek bed, you could consider making that soggy patch work for you by turning it into a rain garden. Rain gardens are designed to catch rainfall and are usually filled with water-loving plants like hostas, ferns and ornamental mosses that can dry out saturated areas. They don’t necessarily solve the yard drainage issue, but they definitely are more attractive than a muddy hole full of soaking grass.

A completed rain garden will ideally drain water within 24 hours. This metric, as well as the level of porousness of the soil you’re building in, can help you determine how deep to dig the garden. Your rain garden can also be the ending point of a downspout or creek bed.

Tools you’ll need: Level, shovel, wheelbarrow, river rock, decorative stones, gravel, landscape fabric, PVC pipe and water-friendly plants.

5. Install a French Drain and/or Dry Well

When your soil has drainage issues that can’t be addressed by surface-level adjustments, it may be time to go deeper. Both French drains and dry wells are installed below the topsoil to disperse and redirect excess water, but there are key differences in their application and construction.

French Drain Versus Dry Well: What’s the Difference?

A French drain normally consists of a long trench filled with gravel or other substrate materials and a drainage pipe running from the house down the length of the drain. The pipe is then covered up with filter and either soil or river stone at the grade level. French drains are versatile and can be installed almost anywhere. They differ from a creek bed or drainage swale in that a French drain consists of buried piping underneath the soil, as opposed to a shallow trench that redirects runoff on the graded surface.

A dry well is usually installed at the endpoint of a creek, swale or French drain and is used to collect and disperse water into the surrounding soil instead of redirecting water away from the house. This is typically done using either a weighted sleeve of drainage fabric or a large metal or concrete basin with holes in its sides through which the collected water can drain out into the porous soil nearby. Larger dry well sections can be purchased at many home improvement stores.

For heavy-duty yard drainage improvement, a French drain connected to a downspout leading away from the house and ending in a dry well is a popular and effective solution. Be sure to check the soil conditions at your intended dry well installation site. If the soil there isn’t porous and doesn’t drain well, a dry well won’t do you any good there. This can be done by digging a small hole with a post digger, pouring water inside and observing how long it takes to drain.

Tools you’ll need: Waterproof plastic pipe, shovel, post digger, drainage cloth and/or metal or concrete dry well sections, topsoil, rocks and/or gravel.

Check Your Yard Often to Prevent Future Yard Drainage Issues

Even after you’ve tackled your chosen DIY yard drainage project and your property is back on track, it’s important to take care of your soil and keep watch for unwanted standing water in the future. If you’re concerned that your soil isn’t aerating enough, a round of rototilling can loosen the earth and help it drain more quickly.

Decorative rocks in the yard, if not placed properly, can also create barriers to runoff, causing water to pool in the grass. Consider relocating or removing some rocks from the yard to ensure rainwater has a clear path out of your yard.

When your yard isn’t draining the way it should be, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of fixing it. But with the right preparation and the right tools, you can take on a variety of DIY yard drainage ideas in a weekend or two to get your property back on track.

Why Reassessing Your Home’s Worth Could Save You Money

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

With today’s crazy housing market, many homeowners are opting to instead stay in their current homes. In fact, a poll from Zillow found that nearly 75% of Americans would prefer to use funds to update their existing home, rather than apply that same amount toward a down payment on a new home. And that means that their housing value might’ve changed from when they first purchased insurance.

If you’ve been in your home for 5 or 10 years, chances are good you’ve made some changes that could affect your premium and coverage. And that means you’d want to reassess your homeowners’ insurance. Here are 5 things to consider when reevaluating your home’s worth.

1. You’ve upgraded your home

Maybe you succumbed to the siren song of a new basement or a kitchen renovation that brought you into the current decade. If you haven’t reassessed your home based on your upgrades, you should do so, stat. That’s particularly important if your policy covers what’s called “replacement cost.” That means it takes into account what everything’s worth NOW, in order to replace it, rather than what it was worth back when you purchased it.

2. You’ve upgraded your belongings

Acquired a new bauble or the latest flat-screen TV? If you’ve made any big-ticket purchases since you last had your insurance evaluated, now’s the time to see if you need to add a larger policy. You might also consider a “rider” on some of your pricier items.

3. You’ve upgraded your safety quotient

The “smartest” gadgets these days are those that protect your home. And while adding safety features can help protect your belongings, they can also give you a nice little discount on your homeowners insurance. So whether you’ve added a security system, a sprinkler system, or a carbon monoxide or water leak detector, contact your insurance company to see if you qualify for a discount.

4. You’ve upgraded your income

What does your net worth have to do with your homeowners insurance? Well, the more you’re worth, the more you stand to lose if someone should sue you. That can include getting sued over something as minor as ice build-up on your sidewalk or another unintended hazard. Because of that, discussing an umbrella policy can be a smart decision. It’ll extend your current homeowners insurance limits and provide an extra layer of security should something happen.

5. You’ve upgraded your “entertainment”

Maybe you’ve added what’s called an “attractive nuisance.” Yep, that’s what those in the insurance biz call the items that make your backyard more alluring: think pools, hot tubs, or trampolines. Insurance can even cover more low-key additions, like treehouses or play equipment.

It’s easy to see why these so-called “attractive nuisances” get their name — yes, they’re a lot of fun (and thus attractive). But that fun can come at a price in the form of accidents (the pesky nuisance part). So if you’ve added anything like that to your home, check in with your insurance company to see if you need to reevaluate your coverage needs.


8/19/2019 (Permalink)

What is personal protective equipment?

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

What can be done to ensure proper use of personal protective equipment?

All personal protective equipment should be safely designed and constructed, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. If the personal protective equipment does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment to their workers and ensure its proper use. Employers are also required to train each worker required to use personal protective equipment to know:

  • When it is necessary
  • What kind is necessary
  • How to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off
  • The limitations of the equipment
  • Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment

If PPE is to be used, a PPE program should be implemented. This program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.

First-Aid Kits in the Office: What You Need and How to Manage It

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

First-aid kits are a necessary but often forgotten item in your office. When an accident occurs, however, no tool is more valuable.

If you haven’t thought about your company’s kit in a while, now would be a good time to refresh yourself. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that small work sites, including offices, should have a well-stocked and easily accessible first-aid kit on hand for employees. More than one kit is often necessary for spaces with at least four employees.

What to Include

It’s generally less expensive (and time-consuming) to purchase a prestocked first-aid kit. These kits should include, at a bare minimum, the following types of items:

  • Gauze pads (multiple sizes)
  • Box adhesive bandages
  • Gauze roller bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • Wound cleaning supplies (such as moistened towelettes, cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive tape
  • Latex gloves
  • Resuscitation equipment (such as a resuscitation bag)
  • Elastic wraps
  • Splint
  • Directions for obtaining emergency service
  • A blanket

Many kits offer more than this, and some offer specialized components designed to meet the needs of various concerns — such as offices where there’s a risk of chemical exposure. But just having and stocking a kit properly is the first step.

Managing an Emergency Medical Kit

Kits aren’t meant to be tossed into the closet and forgotten about until there’s an emergency. Additionally, they shouldn’t be used constantly without replenishing their supplies. Here are a few tips for ensuring supplies are properly managed:

  • You first want to make sure supplies are readily accessible. Inform employees upon hiring where first-aid supplies are, when to use them and how to access them in an emergency.
  • Store kits in an area where they’re easily accessible but also safe from exposure to heat, cold or other damage. That could be in a cabinet in your break room that’s away from the windows and food.
  • Once it’s all stocked, check on the supplies in the first-aid kit at least one time a month. Link a specific event that happens during each month (like when you conduct inventory) with restocking supplies in the office emergency kit so you don’t forget.

You can consider additions to the kit, such as over-the-counter pain medications and medications for treating allergic reactions, but inform employees of the risks of using these products upon hire.

Beyond the Supplies

Creating an emergency medical plan should also be at the top of your to-do list. All management or other office personnel should be given specific training on properly assessing medical situations and responding to them. This includes simple steps to caring for a bleeding wound to more intense problems related to administering CPR.

Keeping first-aid kits simply makes sense. Proper training of personnel in both using and managing these kits, however, is also important. It’s advisable to have twice the amount of supplies on hand, perhaps in two different locations, as a backup. This is only effective, though, if your office team knows when and how to use these products properly.

How to Prevent Water Damage While On Vacation

7/29/2019 (Permalink)


Do a thorough inspection of every water-related item in your home, from the washing machine to the toilets. The more potential leaks you find and fix before you leave, the safer your home is from water damage while you're gone.

Things to inspect:

  • Pipes under every sink.
  • Water heater.
  • Seals around windows (in case it rains).
  • Appliance hoses: washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker.
  • Sump pump. Dump a bucket of water into the sump pump to ensure it's working. Make sure to listen to its motor running as well.
  • Toilet tanks. Look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you're gone.


  • Turn off the water main.
  • Drain every pipe after the water main is turned off, including outside spigots. Turn on the sink faucets until no more water comes out. Flush the toilets to drain the bowl and as much of the tank as you can.
  • Put anti-freeze in the toilet bowl during the winter. Even if you turn off the water main and drain the tank, there will still be some water in the bowl. Pour marine antifreeze (which is non-toxic) into the bowl to prevent the water from freezing, expanding and cracking the porcelain.
  • Insulate exposed pipes if you're leaving during the winter. You can buy the right insulation at any local hardware store.
  • Leave the cupboard doors open under the sinks. This allows air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep the HVAC system turned on. Your home needs constant air circulation to maintain itself properly. Without it, condensation can build and cause water damage or mold to grow, and pipes can freeze.
  • Clean the gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris so they can divert rainwater the way they are intended to.

Do you know what ALS is?

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

May is ALS awareness month. 

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment – "No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.

Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control. Examples of voluntary movements are making the effort to reach for a smart phone or step off a curb. These actions are controlled by the muscles in the arms and legs.

ALS usually strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and it is estimated there are at least 16,000 Americans who have the disease at any given time (although this number fluctuates). For unknown reasons, military veterans are approximately twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease as the general public.

National Womens Day

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

History of the Day


International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

Earthquake Preparedness Recovery Tips

12/2/2013 (Permalink)

Unlike other weather events, earthquakes strike without warning, oftentimes leaving devastation and heartache behind. Usually, earthquakes in the U.S. occur along the West Coast. However, earthquake potential exists in all states. Although nothing can stop an earthquake, careful preparation and planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting your home and family from their effects.

You've followed precautions and made your home safer if an earthquake strikes. So what happens if an earthquake happens?

Follow these tips to stay safe:

After the earthquake is over, it's important to be alert for aftershocks. Once you feel safe, look for injured victims and help administer first aid.

Be sure to pay attention to damaged utilities. Avoid loose or dangling electric power lines and report all gas and electrical problems to the proper authorities. Turn off any damaged utilities that you find.

Also, remember these important tips:

  • Check for fire hazards and use flashlights instead of candles or lanterns.

  • Wear protective shoes. Have them by your bed in case the earthquake happens in the middle of the night.

  • If your building is sound, stay inside and listen for radio advisories. 

  • Earthquake Preparedness (WHAT TO DO IF AN EARTHQUAKE STRIKES)

    11/18/2013 (Permalink)

    Unlike other weather events, earthquakes strike without warning, oftentimes leaving devastation and heartache behind. Usually, earthquakes in the U.S. occur along the West Coast. However, earthquake potential exists in all states. Although nothing can stop an earthquake, careful preparation and planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting your home and family from their effects.

    You've followed precautions and made your home safer if an earthquake strikes. So what happens if an earthquake happens?

    Follow these tips to stay safe:

    • At the first sign of an earthquake, drop and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an inside wall away from objects that may fall on you.

    • Sit or stay close to the floor and hold on to furniture legs for balance.

    • Use your arm to cover and protect your eyes.

    • If there's no sturdy furniture nearby, kneel or sit close to the floor next to a structurally sound interior wall away from windows, shelves, or furniture that could fall and place your hands on the floor for balance.

    • Stay away from doorways, violent motion could cause the doors to slam against your body, crush your fingers or inflict other serious injuries.

    • Do not run outside.

    • If outdoors, quickly move into the open, away from electrical lines, trees and buildings.

    • If driving, bring your vehicle to a stop at the side of the road away from traffic.

    • Do not stop on or under bridges, near or under power lines or road signs.

    For more information on how to be prepared: Contact Jared at 714-342-1774.

    Earthquake Preparedness

    11/12/2013 (Permalink)

    Unlike other weather events, earthquakes strike without warning, oftentimes leaving devastation and heartache behind. Usually, earthquakes in the U.S. occur along the West Coast. However, earthquake potential exists in all states. Although nothing can stop an earthquake, careful preparation and planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting your home and family from their effects.

    To protect you and your family, develop an earthquake safety action plan by identifying places that can provide the highest amount of protection during an earthquake, as well as an escape route and off-premises meeting place.

    Become familiar with your community's disaster preparedness plan.

    Follow these tips:

    • Teach your family members how to shut off water, gas and electricity to the house.

    • Purchase at least one multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher.

    • Install smoke detectors and change the batteries every six months.

    • Prepare an emergency supplies kit including a three day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food, as well as a manual can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, first-aid kit, flashlight and battery-operated radio with extra batteries.

    • Retrofit your home's structure to better withstand the forces of an earthquake. 

    • This is a job for a professional architect, engineer or building contractor.

    • Retrofit nonstructural areas of your home to protect your personal property, including earthquake straps.


    National Preparedness Month

    8/20/2013 (Permalink)

    The month of September is National Preparedness Month. SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia will be helping our Community throughout the month of September. The video below explains why this is so important. We will be meeting with all of our clients to offer suggestions on how they can be ready.  

    “Get Your Business Prepared- Earthquakes”