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Do's and Don'ts After Water Damage

11/9/2022 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the phrase cut the power Make sure to turn off the electricity to avoid shocks or fires.

Tips On Handling the Aftermath Of a Flood Or Water Damage

The moment you realize your home has been damaged by water, it's natural to feel shocked and panicked. Luckily, there are things you can do to help protect your property and get back on track as quickly as possible. Check out this handy guide for tips on handling the aftermath of a flood or other water-related incident:

Do: Shut off the electricity if you can safely do so.

Cut power to wet areas of your home, especially if water is standing in puddles. If you see a wall outlet or switch that is wet or has been submerged in water, shut it off at the main circuit breaker box or fuse box. You should also turn off any appliances that were turned on when your home flooded and are still plugged into an outlet (e.g., a coffee maker).

Don't: Use a plugged-in electrical appliance while standing in water or on a wet floor, even with rubber-soled shoes on.

This may sound like common sense, but we've all done it at some point—you've been cooking dinner, and the phone rings, so you set the pan down just long enough to pick it up. Or maybe you're working on an assignment for class when your computer dies and you feel like running downstairs to charge it for five minutes before going back to work.

Regardless of whether you're using a big appliance or something small (like an alarm clock), plugging in any electrical device while standing in water can pose serious risks of electrocution—and if there's one thing we've learned over our many years of working with H2O and electricity, it's this: water + electricity = bad idea.

Do: Call an electrician right away.

If you have any concerns about the electrical circuits in your home, call an electrician right away. If the power has been turned off and on again, it's critical to inspect for damage and safety issues. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that homeowners do not turn their electricity back on until they've checked for fire hazards like cracks or frayed wires, as well as moisture damage that could cause mold growth in the future.

Do: Mop up all touchable surfaces such as walls and floors to get rid of excess moisture.

This will prevent mold or bacteria growth in your home, which could cause structural problems if left untreated. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner to clean up water damage because it can suck up small particles of dirt and debris. Also, avoid using a power washer to clean up water damage as this may spread the problem into other areas of your home if not done correctly.

Don't: Go into rooms with standing water while barefoot.

You should also avoid going into any rooms with standing water, areas that have wet carpets or floors, and any area that's damp. The same goes for walls. If you find yourself entering an area and feel as though there may be moisture in the air and on your skin, don't stop to check—just leave immediately.

In conclusion, water damage can be traumatic. However, the most important thing is to not panic and act quickly. You should always shut off the power when you see signs of water damage so that you don’t get electrocuted by an electrical appliance that’s been submerged in water. If you have any doubts about whether your electrical system has been damaged or not, call an electrician right away.

What Can Expect After a Partial Loss?

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Top of a roof damaged by fire Fire damage in The Woodlands, TX.

After a fire, you may be wondering what to expect from the restoration company. The answer depends on the extent of your loss and the type of restoration project. But no matter how bad it is, you can be sure that we'll be there for you every step of the way. In this article, we'll examine some common questions about partial losses and how they're handled by our local restoration professionals.

What To Expect After a Partial Loss

A property owners biggest fear is to completely lose their home or business in a fire. Rest assured, you can expect to be able to return to your home or business.

You should also expect that a restoration company will evaluate the damage. They may want to make sure that any undamaged items are protected from further damage, and they’ll let you know if there are any health risks involved with re-entering your property. After this initial assessment, the restoration company will begin removing ruined items and damaged machinery/electronics/appliances from your home or business premises.

A restoration company will evaluate your home or business.

A restoration company will evaluate your home or business to determine what items can be restored. They will also provide an estimate for the cost of restoration. If necessary, they'll remove unaffected contents and materials from your property so that they don't become damaged and safely store them in their warehouse.

You can expect the restoration company to dispose of ruined items and debris.

You can expect that your restoration company will remove damaged items from the premises and dispose of them for you. If an item is ruined, but still functional (for example, a lampshade), the company may repair it and return it to you. If an item cannot be fixed or replaced and must be thrown away, the restoration company will remove it from your home or business.

As you can imagine, this process may produce a fair amount of debris, which you can expect the restoration professional to remove promptly and properly. They will also be able to provide you with an estimate of when it's safe for your family to return home. 

You can expect the restoration company restore your property.

Once affected materials and debris has been removed from your property, the restoration professionals will begin the restoration process. From start to finish, you can count on companies, such as SERVPRO of The Woodlands/Conroe, to take care of you and your property. Going through a loss is never easy but knowing that a restoration professional will not only clean up the mess but rebuild your property back to preloss conditions can give you a sense ease.

At the end of the day, a fire can be devastating. But you should know that there are people out there who can help you get back on your feet again. You just need to find them. If your home or business in The Woodlands, TX, suffers from a fire, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO team a call today!

The Importance of SERVPRO's Always Available Rapid Response Teams

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Green  van When calamity strikes at any hour, contact SERVPRO for prompt service.
When any business suffers a structural disaster, the speed with which a team of fix-it professionals can begin making repairs is critical. An ability to handle the problem with haste is important to reducing damage. Therefore, having a 24 hour, round-the-clock restoration team available is a huge advantage. Here are some things worth knowing about SERVPRO’s rapid response abilities.

Elements of SERVPRO’s Speediness

Because they are designed with timeliness in mind, you should expect:

  • Emergency calls to receive a response within an hour
  • Fast site arrivals, a benefit of their more than 1,700 North American locations
  • Inspections completed within 4 hours
  • Briefings delivered within 8 hours

Whether the problem stems from water, fire, or mold, SERVPRO’s fast response makes them a preferred vendor for most insurance agencies. Being always open means repairs can begin even in the middle of the night. That’s the power of SERVPRO’s 24-hour service.

Importance of SERVPRO’s Speediness
Imagine an office in Egypt, TX, experiences a broken pipe or natural flooding. The longer it takes to clean up, the greater the level of destruction. Within minutes, water can seep into drywall, carpeting, and filing cabinets. Additionally, computers and other electronic equipment are likely to be ruined.
Within a day, additional issues may surface. Metal can begin to tarnish. Cubicle walls may become compromised and need to be thrown away. A distracting, unpleasant smell could start to develop.
Between two days and a week after the incident, mold may start growing. Wood floors might begin warping. Contaminated water will have probably spread, posing a health risk to employees. The cost of building rehabilitation will have grown exponentially.
Water damage is just one scenario where the passage of time compounds problems. The same level of increased trouble occurs when delaying action under other scenarios.
Having a 24-hour team available to react to the most common types of office disasters is a true advantage. When calamity strikes at any hour, contact SERVPRO for prompt service.

3 Tips to Create a Fire Escape Plan

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

evacuation plan - second floor By creating an emergency escape plan you are boosting your company's safety

Three Ideas for a Fire Escape Plan

An important part of your fire safety strategy is your fire escape plan. This is the measure that protects your employees from the dangers of a fire. Therefore, you must create a solid plan.


1. Identify Potential Hazards
Inspect your property and write down any potential hazards. These will include cooking areas like kitchens and microwaves. Look for overloaded power outlets. Take note of any mini-fridges or space heaters employees have brought in. Once you have identified these, you can make rules to limit their presence. For instance, you can ban non-essential cooking stations. You can also ban smoking on your property. Measures like this reduce your chances of a fire and your chances of having to call a remediation company.


2. Assign Emergency Roles and Responsibilities
A key aspect of any fire escape plan is to have certain employees in leadership roles. These people need to regularly attend the fire drills, lead others, and understand their responsibilities. The roles you must fill are the fire safety wardens, route guides, and floor monitors.


3. Make an Escape Plan
You can use an online template to start making a fire escape plan for your business in Rayford, TX. Draw out each level of your building with possible routes, fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits. Be sure to include accessible routes as well. Include a meeting place that is a safe distance from your building. It must not be in the way of the fire department.
To keep your plan relevant, check your fire extinguishers regularly to make sure they are working. Also, make sure your first-aid kits are well stocked. If your building changes in any way, be sure to update your plans.
By following these tips to create an emergency escape plan, you are boosting your company's safety. This is because your employees will be prepared and able to get out of the building if a fire occurs.

The Limits of Renter's Insurance for Fire Damage

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Renters Insurance Policy If you have renters insurance, it is important that you understand what is covered
If you have renters insurance, it is important that you understand what is covered. This allows you to better plan for disasters. It also helps you to decide if you need better coverage. When it comes to a fire, you will most likely be covered for the personal contents of your apartment. This includes items such as your clothing, furniture, artwork, books, music and just about everything else you have moved into the apartment. If you have your own appliances, these should be covered too. The cost of this type of insurance is often fairly reasonable since you do not have to cover the actual building.

The Importance of Speaking With Your Agent

To get a better understanding of your renters' insurance, you should contact your insurance agent about once a year, or of course in the case of an actual fire. It is not unusual for the agent to recommend a few tweaks. Some of the things you can make changes to include the following:

  • The dollar amount of coverage
  • Deductibles
  • Policy language
  • Contact information
  • Liability coverage

If you have bought anything of considerable value, you should then raise the amount of your coverage. Fire damage can even destroy such things as jewelry and computer systems.

The Value of Fire Restoration
If your apartment does fall victim to a fire, your renters' insurance should also pay for cleanup efforts to help you recover more quickly. A local fire remediation team in Shenandoah, TX, can arrive at your place quickly and minimize the level of damage. Professional technicians will work to restore fire and soot damage as well as any water damage caused by firefighters or a sprinkler system. They can offer advice on how best to clean the smoke odors that have penetrated into clothing and furniture. The goal is to restore your apartment back to good condition again. A quality company will help you coordinate the costs and expenses with your insurance company.

How to Pick PPE for Mold Cleanup

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold with a spatula. Protect yourself while cleaning mold

You Know How Basements Often Have "That" Smell?

It's a little damp, a little musty, but all basements smell like that, right? They can because of the amount of moisture found in basements, but they really shouldn't if you're controlling moisture effectively. However, maybe you've discovered a leaking pipe or window in Conroe, TX, and now there is mold damage in your basement to clean up ASAP. Before you start, you need the correct personal protective equipment or PPE. Depending on the extent of cleanup, you will require different PPE to keep you safe. The EPA has a great guide that categorizes cleanup as:

  • Minimum
  • Limited
  • Full

Minimum
For minimum cleanup, the affected area should not be greater than ten square feet. Face masks, such as N-95 respirators, are necessary, plus goggles or some form of eye protection, and gloves. N-95 respirators prevent you from inhaling mold spores while you're cleaning.

Limited
In a limited cleanup, you need to wear the same PPE you would wear for a minimum cleanup project — face masks, goggles, and gloves — and you should add overalls that protect your clothing. A limited cleanup area should not exceed 100 square feet. For a project of this size, it would be best to contact a mold remediation specialist to ensure that you do, in fact, have the proper materials and PPE to tackle the project. A smaller area can still have a large quantity of mold, and it is important to ensure that you can complete the job completely to avoid future problems.

Full
A full cleanup project requires heavy-duty protective equipment to handle mold damage. You will need a full-face mask with a respirator, gloves, shoe coverings, head covering, and disposable clothing. For a project like this, it is strongly recommended to contact a professional for help.
Face masks aren't the only piece of protection that you need when cleaning up mold in your home. It is important to consider the extent of the mold damage before beginning so you can protect yourself appropriately.

3 Tips for Preventing Plumbing Problems

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber with a clipboard writing down Regular inspection is key to finding and stopping a plumbing issue

Three Ways To Avoid Plumbing Issues

Unwanted water, in the form of natural disasters or plumbing problems, can cause major damage. As a business owner, you strive to keep your building in good condition by performing regular maintenance. Water issues can quickly become costly repairs; therefore, it’s wise to be proactive about preventing issues. Here are three tips for preventing plumbing complications.

1. Delegate
One of the best things you can do as a manager or business owner is delegate responsibilities. Preventing major water damage involves ongoing inspection and maintenance. You simply don’t have time to handle this job on your own. Hire a maintenance manager and staff to oversee all items related to facility maintenance. Having individuals assigned to prevent plumbing problems will save your The Woodlands, TX, company money in the long run.

2. Educate
Once you’ve hired a maintenance manager or team, it’s important to provide training and education. Employees must know the common areas to check for plumbing issues and understand that it’s critical to fix a broken pipe, check for water spots and investigate low water pressure. All of these instances, and more, indicate a potential water problem.

3. Inspect
Regular inspection is key to finding and stopping a plumbing issue. Some of the areas that should be regularly inspected include:

  • Toilets, sinks and showers
  • Underneath sinks
  • Water heaters
  • Ceilings
  • Water main
  • Anywhere with exposed water pipes
  • The ground outside, especially near sewer pipes

Your maintenance staff should be trained to frequently inspect these areas, as well as any other plumbing areas specific to your property. It’s also wise to have the contact information available for a water damage restoration company. Trained restoration specialists are Faster to Any Size Disaster and can restore your property quickly and correctly.
Plumbing problems can quickly cause expensive water damage. Be proactive in preventing issues by delegating responsibilities, educating employees, and inspecting your building on a regular basis.

Commercial Generators Are Not the Same as Portable Ones

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator What kind of generator does your business need?

What kind of generator does your business need? There are many available, and it can be very confusing. Most of them are small, portable units meant for light applications or brief residential power outages. Typically, they’ll have less than 10,000 watts and will require hand-cranking.
However, businesses in Porter Heights,TX, often need something more substantial. In most cases, the ideal unit for mid-to-large operations is a standby diesel or natural gas one.

Types of Generators

Generators can cost a few hundred dollars – or a few hundred thousand. Some common features include

  • Portable or fixed
  • Standby on on-demand
  • Diesel or gasoline
  • Natural gas or propane

Portable Gasoline Generators Are Highly Economical
Small businesses using under 10,000 watts can often get by with a basic portable gasoline generator. These are often started by pulling on a rope, so they need to be run every other month so that they’re easier to crank up.
Some may include a battery for easy starting, so it’s important to keep that charged. You typically run extension cords to whatever needs power directly from the unit.

Most Businesses Need Standby Generators
Standby generators are designed to turn on automatically as soon as a power outage occurs. They can use either gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane, and in some cases (such as natural gas), they may run indefinitely if connected to a local service pipeline. They’re required by law to be run through a transfer switch. Without one, it can electrocute line workers who are sent to fix the cause of the power outage.

Generator Problems
The easiest way to avoid problems is to get the correct unit. It should match your wattage needs and the best available fuel source.
Diesel generators usually last the longest. However, they require tanks and can run out of fuel. Many businesses are switching to natural gas, since pipelines are run in urban areas, allowing for indefinite use.
If you’ve had storm damage to your business that required the use of a generator, you’ll need to make an insurance claim for the repairs and hire an approved restoration company. SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

How SERVPRO Benefits Insurance Adjusters and Clients

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Technician using a vacuum extractor on a soaked carpet floor. You can have peace of mind by working with a restoration company with IICRC validation.

How SERVPRO Benefits Insurance Adjusters and Clients

Your job as an insurance adjuster is to serve your New Caney, TX, clients quickly and professionally. You work hard to ensure each claim is completed on time while keeping costs down. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many agencies because the company has been building relationships with insurance companies for decades.

National Accounts Guidelines
Each location around the country must meet specific standards. They include:

  • Background checks for employees
  • Internal audits for quality assurance
  • Proof of work with completed job files

Insurance adjusters and professional restoration company employees need step-by-step, transparent communication. It is also part of the guidelines for national accounts.
National Accounts Managers are the point of contact for insurance professionals. They can walk you through the claims process and answer any questions.

IICRC Participation
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit organization. It upholds the standards of the restoration industry and helps shape its policies. You can have peace of mind by working with a restoration company with IICRC validation.

Franchisee Training
Locations around the country participate in regional and national training. Restoration and insurance industry professionals learn mitigation, reconstruction and restoration skills at a national training facility. The training process is part of the company's commitment to excellence.
New franchisees participate in a 15-day training program for owners. Employees can also take part in self-paced restoration and cleaning courses. Whether they learn as new employees or continue their education, the company provides classes for them.
The business offers classes year-round as part of an IICRC Training School. Courses cover techniques including water and fire restoration and drying techniques.

Support for Your Client's Insurance Claim
Working with a preferred vendor can help you, the insurance adjuster, serve your clients better. Partnering with a company with decades of experience can help you complete the claims process efficiently and stay within budget.

Flood Aftermath: 3 Ways the Professionals Will Clean and Disinfect Your Home

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

fans placed against drywall When placing drying equipment in your home helps prevent mold growth.

Flood Aftermath

If a flood has hit your Egypt, TX, home, you might wonder what steps to take. Because flood water is often full of harmful chemicals and raw sewage, you should never attempt to clean things up yourself. Instead, contact water damage specialists to repair and restore your house. Here are three ways they will clean and disinfect your home and ensure it looks as good as new.

1. Remove Soaked Materials
The experts cleaning your home will use protective gear and thick trash bags to properly dispose of everything that is damaged. Mold growth is a significant problem after a flood, and even something that might look okay on the outside could have dangerous growths on the inside, so many of your belongings must be thrown away.
Remember that sewage loss often occurs during floods, so there could be harmful bacteria on everything the water touches. Never grab something with your bare hands until a professional tells you it is safe to do so.

2. Prevent Mold Growth
After removing all of your damaged items, the professionals will air out your home and use industrial fans to help prevent mold from growing. As part of the mitigation efforts, they will also remove the drywall damaged in the flood. When removing the drywall, they will also take approximately a foot of wall above the water line to ensure there is little chance of future bacteria growth.

3. Scrub Walls and Floors
As the final step in the clean-up process, the professionals will scrub every surface with powerful cleaners and sanitizers to remove the surface dirt and kill any lingering bacteria that might harm your family. They will wear safety gear and use high-powered equipment that helps get the cleaning materials into every nook and cranny.
Dealing with the aftermath of a flood doesn't have to be full of fear and uncertainty. Relying on the professionals will have your home back up and running in no time, and you won't have to worry about potential mold growth in the future.