Four Steps to Determining Whether You Can Save Your Carpet
Air remover after water damage on basement in The Woodlands, TX
One of the most common questions asked after flooding in The Woodlands, TX, is, "Does my carpet have to be replaced?" After your home has been affected by a pipe break, you'll need to handle some repairs and assessments before you can determine whether the carpet can stay.
Step One: Contact a Professional
There are many reasons to work with a restoration professional immediately. These experts have the equipment best suited to facilitating a quick and comprehensive recovery from flooding. In many cases, your insurance company may prefer that you work with professionals and may not provide coverage if you didn't respond to the pipe break appropriately. Water damage restoration professionals can provide you with expert advice concerning water exposure to your home and furnishings.
Step Two: Consider the Length of Exposure
If the materials and furnishings in your home have been wet for more than 72 hours, it is probably best to replace porous items. For example, any padding under your flooring could be harboring mold spores. It is very difficult to thoroughly dry and clean padding, so it will also need to be replaced.
Step Three: Identify the Type of Flood Water
Did the water come from an interior pipe or did it back up from the sewage system? If the water came from a clean water source, such as a kitchen sink, there's much less risk than if contaminated water affected your home. If you aren't certain in your assessment of the type of water, ask a qualified professional for testing.
Step Four: Carefully Weigh Your Options
As restoration options are presented to you, consider time, inconvenience, cost, and safety. For example, if you have to replace the padding, you may need to spend a lot of time carefully removing the carpet so that you don't damage it. Before you handle either, you'll need to be sure you aren't exposing your home or family to mold and contaminants.
Experts in The Woodlands, TX, are available to provide answers and advice. It's generally best to call them immediately after discovering your home has been affected by a pipe break.
The Three Ds of Flood Cleaning
What are the cleaning requirements after a flood? You hear that flood water is contaminated, full of pathogens that are harmful to your family. How do you know what you must throw away and what you can sanitize? Look to the three D's of flood cleaning: dispose, disinfect and dry. Here is a brief guide for each.
Follow local guidelines in The Woodlands, TX for waste disposal. If garbage service is not yet running, you can bury contaminated food about four feet deep to keep the odor away. You should dispose of the following items:
• Throw away any food, even canned or sealed, that has been in contact with flood water.
• Throw away food from your fridge if power has been off for more than 2 hours.
• Don't use any garden produce that remains after a flood.
• Discard dishes with cracks, as well as any plastic or wooden kitchen items.
• Submerged drywall may need to be replaced.
• Dispose of carpet padding.
Cleaning requirements to properly disinfect your personal items vary depending on what materials are being cleaned. For most disinfecting, use one cup of bleach to one gallon of water to make items from the flood clean again.
• Use bleach mixture to spray structural materials and personal items that were contaminated, rinse with clean water and dry.
• Disinfect kitchenware and appliances by using hot soapy water, scrubbing to remove solids, then rinsing with disinfected water. Make sure appliances are unplugged and taken apart.
A flood disinfectant effort isn't complete without proper drying. Professional flood remediators have powerful equipment to help accelerate the drying process and ensure that it is thorough. You should start the drying process right away to help prevent permanent damage or the development of mold.
• If power is back on, turn on fans and air conditioner to assist with drying until help arrives.
• Hang rugs and remove cushions to put them in a better area for drying.
• Remove carpet and dry outside after cleaning.
Trained restoration professionals can recognize what can be saved and what must be disposed of. They are trained in the proper cleaning requirements for each kind of material. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on storm damage.
When Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?
When you clean the lint trap of your dryer after a load of laundry, you are removing pieces of the fabric that was just dried. As the clothing tosses to-and-fro within the drum, small bits of fabric often rub off because of the friction created when the materials brush against one another. Some of the bits of fabric often slip through the lint trap and can collect in the dryer exhaust tubing. Over time, the fluff can build up and become a hazard because a lint fire can start using the highly-combustible fabric bits and the tiniest of sparks.
To prevent lint fire damage caused by overheated combustible lint, the dryer venting system should be regularly inspected. Although it is often difficult to know when to clean the vent, here are some helpful hints that can act as red flags:
Airflow does not move easily through the tubing.
Vent hoses have kinks or holes.
An abnormal amount of lint begins to accumulate in the lint trap.
Dryer vent has not been cleaned in over a year.
Another sign that your vent may need cleaning is if the time it takes to dry your clothing changes significantly or if the body of the dryer becomes excessively hot. When the heat becomes extreme, the chances of a fire can grow. That is why dryer obstructions, even minor issues, can cause serious problems and possibly lead to a dryer fire.
If a fire does break out in your laundry room, contact a fire damage restoration team. Not only can the professionals inspect the fire-damaged area, but they can also remove the water, smoke, and soot within the room. Once cleaning has been completed, the team can also help remove the smoke odor that can linger long after the fire-damaged area has been restored. A lint fire does not have to leave your home in The Woodlands, TX in shambles; a team of experts can quickly restore the area. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on fire damage.
Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?
The quick, and accurate, answer to repeated mold growth is water trouble. Knowing this, however, doesn't always help you prevent further growth and contamination, especially after repeated growth in the area. You shouldn't be too hard on yourself; mold is well-known for cropping up again in the same spot. This is especially true when you've had water damage on your The Woodlands, TX property.
The Reasons for the Return
Certain properties of mold can help you understand why it keeps coming back:
• Most molds aren't harmful. These organisms exist everywhere, inside and outside. Most of the time, molds aren't dangerous and are often helpful. However, certain types, such as black mold, can be unsightly and costly.
• Molds are fungi. They reproduce by spreading spores. To facilitate colony growth and the spread of spores, thread-like hyphae (branching filaments of mold) release enzymes and spores. If a hypha is detached from the rest of the colony, it can begin to take root and establish a new colony on a new surface.
• Mold is microscopic. This means it can get into places that you may not think possible. It also makes it very hard for you to clean mold completely with a spray solution and scrubbing. For example, you probably can't access both sides of the drywall, but when there's high humidity, this is an ideal location for mold growth.
• Mold grows quickly. Whether spores are carried into an area through the ductwork or hyphae have broken off and transferred to a new surface, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for a new colony to take hold.
Prevention and Remediation
The best route for water damage restoration is to work with a professional and prevent water damage. Inspect your property for any leaking pipes or faucets, install a dehumidifier, and keep the property well-ventilated. Any fabrics that get wet often, such as towels, washrags, and coats, should be hung where they can dry completely.
When you don't know what else to try, contact a professional. These The Woodlands, TX experts can handle problems in inaccessible areas, locate areas of moisture you couldn't find, and provide education for further prevention of mold. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on mold.
How To Begin the Insurance Claim Process After Water Damage
An insurance policy is a document that lists the conditions, terms, and details of a contract between you and your insurance company. The contract can protect you by clearly outlining your obligations when you are ready to file an insurance claim in The Woodlands, TX. On the other hand, the contract also clearly states the terms under which the policy becomes void, and the insurance company does not have to pay. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you follow the terms of your contract.
Insurance Company Requirements
The first step in protecting your interests may be to review your insurance policy and note your legal obligations. If the pipe burst damage requires a police report, speak to law enforcement officers. Most insurance companies ask for a copy of the report if the flood or water damage is a result of:
The next step may be contacting your insurance company to report the insurance claim. Please note that reporting a claim and filing a claim are not the same. When you report the damage to your agent, you are notifying him or her of the damage and asking for an adjustor to review the situation.
Homeowner Insurance Obligations
Protecting your interests can also include documentation. First, contact a professional water repair and remediation service to remove the water. Ask the team to document their efforts, if possible. You may want to record the damage as well. Although your policy will probably not require you to take pictures of the damage, doing so can help you establish a solid claim.
To begin the actual claim process, fill the claim forms out and promptly return the papers to your insurance company. Make copies for yourself in case the documents get lost in the mail.
Beginning the Legal Process
Once you fill in the insurance claim forms, you are starting a legal process that is clearly defined by the terms of your insurance policy. If you fulfill the terms of the policy, the insurance company is legally required to pay. It’s the law.
Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on water damage.
Category 3 Floods at Your Business: The Benefits of Using a Professional Cleanup Service
When plumbing mishaps occur at your The Woodlands, TX business, some might be simple to mop up. However, cleaning and draining flood water that comes from an overflowing toilet or sewer backup can be more complicated. Unlike category 1 or 2 flooding, where the water comes from a clean source or may contain some contaminants, category 3 water typically contains urine, feces and caustic toilet chemicals. Calling in a flood damage and cleanup service to handle this type of flood may benefit you and your business in several ways.
Thorough Cleaning Processes
Flooding from a toilet overflow is sometimes known as black water because of its level of contamination. Your building’s toilet may back up and flood a bathroom for several reasons, including:
• A malfunctioning flushometer
• A sewer backup or failure
• Clogged or broken pipes
A service that specializes in category 3 water cleanup has a variety of tools on hand to ensure a thorough cleanup. Flood techs may bring in trash pumps and underwater sump sumps to drain away the mess.
A flood cleanup company may be able to offer you a variety of aftercare services, including the restoration of damaged rooms and items. For example, if your building’s bathroom floor was stained by black water, flood and restoration techs can advise you about what might be salvageable and the steps they will take to repair the floor.
Category 3 flood water can leave an unpleasant odor behind, even long after it is drained away. Sprays and other room deodorizers may only mask the smell for a brief time and lingering odors may start to spread. A professional cleaning service can clear the air with several specialized deodorizing processes that will leave the bathroom smelling fresh and pleasant.
Toilet flood water might leave your The Woodlands, TX commercial building looking and smelling like a sewer. However, a professional water damage and cleanup company has a variety of beneficial services that can restore it into a space you will be proud to call yours. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on commercial water damage.
Important Steps To Prepare Your Business for a Storm
Mother nature has a way of making her presence known. An assortment of severe weather such as flood water can wreak havoc on homes and businesses alike. If you want to save your company a lot of money and hassle, you should have a plan in place to deal with these powerful forces.
Check Your Building
As typically rainy seasons approach, it’s important to inspect the inside and outside of your The Woodlands, TX facility for spots prone to water damage. You should take the following steps:
• Ensure that your plumbing system is up to date and free from problems.
• Make sure the rain gutters are clear of debris and are diverting water away from your building.
• Look for spots near the foundation where water collects and pools.
Back up Your Data
A flooded building can cause widespread damage. One of the worst issues you face is the possibility of losing crucial data and sensitive information on your computers and other electronic media. If you haven’t created reliable backups for your data on off-site servers, it’s time to take this step today. When you do this, even if flood water ruins all your equipment, you will still be able to access any essential files.
Have a Plan
Discuss with your team what you will do in the event of a major storm or flood. Develop an evacuation plan and decide how you will continue to operate your business if you are unable to remain in your building.
Choose the Right Restoration Company
If water does enter your building and cause damage, you need to call a reliable restoration company for fast and effective cleanup. The best companies will get your facility back to safe conditions so you can resume your operations.
You can’t predict when flood water might infiltrate your facility, but you can be prepared. Follow these tips to ensure your business will be ready. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on storm damage.
Dividing Responsibilities: Who Pays for Damages in an Apartment Fire?
If your commercial property in The Woodlands, TX, is a rental unit, dividing responsibilities after a fire may be tricky.
Dividing Responsibilities: Who Pays for Damages in an Apartment Fire?
Commercial property that has both an owner and a renter should have clear documentation as to each party’s responsibilities. For example, in the lease agreement, it is standard to denote who is responsible for utilities and damages. When there is an apartment fire in The Woodlands, TX, this differentiation becomes even more important. What part of the fire damage is the responsibility of the owner, and what part is the responsibility of the tenant?
After a fire in an apartment building, the owner needs to take stock of the structural damage. There are several elements to consider in this list:
• The building itself
• Other structures on the property, such as a storage shed or pool
• Internal structures, such as staircases, countertops or walls
• Appliances or fixtures provided by management, such as refrigerators or bathtubs
Fire mitigation experts can assist with detailing all the structural damage done to the property during the apartment fire. All damage or debris should remain undisturbed until professionals can assess the extent of the fire damage.
All the personal belongings within the unit are the responsibility of the tenants. They should contact their insurance company to get an appraisal of how much their renter’s insurance may pay on the damage. If tenants don’t have renter’s insurance, they are likely to have to pay out of pocket to replace anything lost in the fire. If investigation proves that the fire was the renters’ fault, they may also be liable for the damage caused to the property. An investigation that indicates the owner is at fault, however, may result in a settlement offer to the tenants.
If your commercial property in The Woodlands, TX, is a rental unit, dividing responsibilities after a fire may be tricky. Rely on restoration professionals and insurance adjusters to help sort out the details of who pays for what after a fire. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/.
What is the best air purifier?
If you work with a residential mold cleanup team, you may be able to get advice on the best purifiers for mold removal.
Air purifiers are supposed to rid your The Woodlands, TX, home of pollens, dirt and other unwanted particles. However, not all filtration systems have the ability to remove mold spores. If you work with a residential mold cleanup team, you may be able to get advice on the best purifiers for mold removal. You can also use this list of some of the best products available.
• Oransi OV200: This moderately priced purifier uses a HEPA air filtration system and pre-filter to rid the air of spores, pet dander, pollen, dust and bacteria. This product is easy to use and very efficient at removing particles from the air.
• Oransi Max: This air purifier removes pet dander, mold, bacteria, dust and pollen from the air through a pre-filter and a v-HEPA filter. One of the best things about this product is that it has good air flow and tends to be quieter than other options.
• Austin Air Healthmate: This purifier uses three types of filters—a pre-filter, HEPA filter and carbon filter—to rid the air of odor, dust, allergens, pollen and mold spores. While it's not as easy to use as some of the other options, it is still very efficient and not too loud.
• BlueAir 450E: This machine combines a HEPA filter and an air ionizer to better remove bacteria, dust, mold and allergens from the air. With this high-quality air filtration system, you'll love how clean the air in your house feels.
• Amway Atmosphere: This pricier option uses a pre-filter, HEPA filter and carbon filter combination to remove small particles from the air. The equipment is very good at removing particles from your home, but it has a high maintenance cost due to the expense to replace filters.
• RabbitAir MinusA2: This purifier uses four different kinds of filters to clean your air. The pre-filter, HEPA filter, medium filter and carbon filter work together in this effective appliance.
There are plenty of other air filtration products on the market. As you try to pick out one for your home, consider price and quality. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/.
3 Types of Damage Your Home Can Suffer During a Fire
There are several different types of fire damage that can affect your The Woodlands, TX, home after a blaze.
When you think of fire damage, you may think of flames charring a home’s walls or roof. However, you may be surprised to know that your The Woodlands, TX, home could suffer from a variety of issues during and after a blaze, all of which could have long-lasting negative effects. Even smaller fires may cause these issues, but being aware of what type of damage you might encounter can help you take more effective steps toward restoration afterward.
1. Smoke Damage
When a fire sweeps through one or more rooms of your home, smoke can leave behind strong odors and stain your walls and ceilings. The smoky smell may also permeate porous items, such as drywall and carpeting, causing the stench to linger for months. Smoke can also discolor painted walls, causing colors to fade and white shades to turn yellow.
2. Soot Stains
During a fire, items in a room may only be charred instead of burning completely. When this occurs, the carbon created by the incomplete burning creates a fine black powder, or soot, that settles on furniture, floors and other surfaces. This type of damage can be difficult to remove from carpeting and may stain fabrics and other items when they are not cleaned correctly. Calling in a fire damage and restoration company to professionally remove soot from your home can give you peace of mind that the cleanup process is performed correctly.
You may not associate water damage with a house fire. However, a fire hose releases tremendous amounts of the liquid in a high-pressure spray that can leave your home and belongings soaked. If the water sits for more than 24 hours, the humid conditions caused by the fire’s heat can create ideal conditions for mold growth, so it is wise to have any flood waters removed as soon as possible.
There are several different types of fire damage that can affect your The Woodlands, TX, home after a blaze. However, knowing how to resolve them may make the restoration process less stressful. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/.