3 Steps for Recovering From Smoke Damage
Foggers are best for large areas.
3 Steps for Recovering From Smoke Damage
Has your building in The Woodlands, TX, suffered from smoke damage from a fire? If so, you've probably already taken the necessary insurance steps and contacted a professional smoke cleaning service. While you wait for the professionals, there are some steps to take to speed the cleanup process along.
1. Air Filters
Air filters are a very easy solution to getting rid of an odor. However, there is more to this solution than putting down any air filter in any space. Each unit is designed to filter a certain amount of air in a specified amount of time. This number, usually given in cubic centimeters, is shown on the box or website description, typically. In addition, each filter inside of the unit is designed to catch only a certain size up particle and up. Most smoke particles are less than one micron, so plan accordingly.
2. Thermal Foggers
These machines are the big guns of smoke cleaning. They work by heating a chemical inside and dispersing it as a vapor. The user then aims the machine around the space they are cleaning. The molecules in the vapor bind to many sources of smoke odor and neutralize it. Foggers are best for large areas or areas that are heavily carpeted or have a lot of furniture.
3. Smaller Options
If you are cleaning up in a smaller area like office spaces, sometimes your best bet is a smaller solution, too. Prioritize the heavier equipment like thermal foggers for the bigger areas, and consider using more residential-sourced solutions. Manually cleaning the smaller items such as light fixtures and decorations makes a big difference. It's not a bad idea to start by using air filters or thermal foggers, then coming back through with a more thorough touch.
Smoke cleaning is a much more manageable task when you are informed and ready to tackle it.
How to Handle Damaged Electronics After a Fire
With the help of professionals, you can have your electronics ready for use again in no time.
Steps To Salvage Your Devices During Fire Cleanup
A fire in your house in Porter Heights, TX, can have a large impact on your property. Not only is the building affected, but the belongings inside are often damaged as well. Even if the flames do not touch these items, smoke can cause problems, particularly for electronics. The following are some steps you can take to salvage these important devices during fire cleanup.
1. Unplug or Turn Off Your Devices
If any of your electronics are still on, turn them off if it is safe to do so. If smoke has gone inside of these objects, it can carry soot and contaminants throughout the devices. Heat and air circulation can make it easier for corrosion and permanent damage to occur if they are still on.
2. Clean the Exterior
While smoke damage can be more devastating to the inside of your devices, you should still take care to remove any residue from the outside. A wet rag is often enough for the exterior of objects with hard surfaces.
3. Drain Wet Electronics
If the fire was severe, then a hose was likely used to put out the flames. In this case, a cleanup and restoration service will need to remove water from the building before fire cleanup begins. Affected devices should be drained and dried as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
4. Have Them Inspected and Repaired
Whether they have been affected by water or smoke, your devices can be irreparably damaged if you attempt to use them before these elements have been completely removed. It is best to bring them to a professional for an inspection and any necessary repairs to make sure they are safe to use.
Fire cleanup is an important step in the restoration process. Many of your belongings can be salvaged after a fire if they are treated in the right way. With the help of professionals, you can have your electronics ready for use again in no time.
How Do I Know if My Business Needs Flood Insurance?
Flooded restaurant in The Woodlands, TX.
What Type Of Coverage Does My Business Need
As a business owner in The Woodlands, TX, you need to make sure you have the right coverage for your property when storms or other natural disasters hit your area. Not all water damage is covered under a standard policy, so it's important to know whether you need separate flood insurance. You don't want to wait until your property has already sustained water damage to find out what your coverage includes.
A standard commercial insurance policy usually covers water damage that happens:
- As a result of storms, such as wind damage, rain, hail, or lightning
- As a result of broken pipes or plumbing failures
However, most standard plans do not cover water damage that the insurance company determines to be caused by neglect: slow roof leaks, slow plumbing leaks, or groundwater seepage. These are maintenance issues that fall under the owner's liability. If damage happens suddenly due to a storm or burst pipe, those claims are usually covered. Check with your agent to find out what is included in your policy, as each business is different and insurance coverage varies by company.
Federally-Mandated Flood Insurance
If your property sits on a known flood zone, the government requires you to have a separate flood insurance policy; usually, if that's the case, you would have purchased a policy when you were given a mortgage.
Many insurance companies allow you to purchase separate riders to cover water or sewer damage not included in a regular policy or mandated by the government. Flooding can happen from storm surges, melting ice and snow, water main breaks, or the overflow of lakes, rivers and streams. Sewer damage is only covered through a rider of its own. Your agent can help you determine whether your risk is worth the expense of these extra policies.
It pays to be prepared and knowledgeable about your coverage before your building or its contents ever sustains water damage. A good flood insurance policy will not only cover the loss but also the cost of cleanup and remediation, saving you thousands of dollars and an enormous amount of stress.
How To Clear Drains Without Causing Damage
It is important to use a clogged drain cleaner rated for the type of pipes in your home.
Drain Cleaning Treatments
A clogged drain or pipe blockage can cause sewer water to back up into a residence in New Caney, TX. Find out more about regular maintenance or occasional drain cleaning treatments to keep gray water and solid waste flowing down lines and avoid the need for professional sewer damage restoration.
Do Regular Enzymatic Treatments
Drain cleaners made with bacterial cultures and concentrated enzymes break down organic substances. These treatments should not damage drain lines. Here are several general guidelines for using an enzymatic drain cleaner:
- Pour the recommended amount of cleaner down the drain
- Allow it to sit for a few hours before running faucets or flushing toilets
- Repeat usage as needed until the drainage is clear
- Do maintenance treatments on a weekly or monthly basis
Follow the instructions for the brand of cleaner you choose to use. This treatment is better for clog prevention than clearing lines that are slow or blocked and causing backups and sewer damage.
Use Chemical Cleaners Rated for Pipe Materials
It is important to use a clogged drain cleaner rated for the type of pipes in your home. Caustic cleaners may damage certain types of metal or PVC pipes. Acidic cleaners are acceptable for newer plastic pipes or metal pipes that are not made of galvanized or stainless steel or aluminum chrome. Check the formula of foaming cleaners to eliminate buildup on the sides of pipes.
Contact a Plumber to Clear Blocked Drains
If you do not want to risk damaging blocked drain lines, schedule a professional sewage cleaning. A plumber can clear clogs and identify underlying causes such as tree roots intruding into lines.
Enzymatic treatments reduce the buildup of biofilm and degradable materials. Chemical cleaners can clear slow lines but may push clogs deeper. If a sewer line gets blocked, it is time to call a plumber. A clogged drain can cause water to back up into a residence in New Caney, TX, which may cause sewer damage.
The Importance of SERVPRO's Always Available Rapid Response Teams
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.
How To Prepare Your Office for Spring Thaws
Have your roof inspected, as bad weather can cause tiles to fall off and allow rainwater inside.
When spring arrives, causing snow and ice to melt, office flooding becomes a serious concern. Melted precipitation flowing into your business can trigger significant damage. In particularly bad instances, services from a commercial water restoration professional become necessary. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom regarding the peril associated with this troublesome climatic change.
Dangers of Spring Thaws
The seasonal shift between winter and spring comes with dangers that extend beyond water damage. Some include:
- Cracking bodies of water where people traverse
- Freezing rain that causes slips on driveways and sidewalks
- Expanding potholes that make driving treacherous
Of all the hazards associated with this change in weather, the possibility of a spring flood is the one with the capacity to wreak havoc in your office.
Preparation Tips for Spring Thaws
Reduce the odds of seasonal flooding impacting your work site by taking the following actions. Shovel around your building so that thawed snow drains away from the entrance. Additionally, make sure there are no obstacles that could steer water into unwanted territory.
Have your roof inspected, as bad weather can cause tiles to fall off and allow rainwater inside. When removing snow from your building, be certain that you do so as safely as possible.
Ice does not always thaw at the same rate. Because of this, you may have a frozen pipe even as flowers bloom. The threat of a plumbing burst remains real. Install a sump pump in your office’s basement ahead of a crisis. Also, be sure to elevate electronic equipment and documents whenever possible.
Sensors can be installed to send alerts as soon as water becomes detected. These protective systems may also qualify you for a discount on flood insurance.
Preparing for office flooding in Rayford, TX, is critical to reducing the possibility of watery destruction. Do everything you can to keep seasonal runoff from invading your workspace.
3 Types of Damage Your Home Can Suffer During a Fire
There are several different types of fire damage that can affect your home after a blaze.
Types of Fire Damage
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 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.
Why You Should Get a Mold Insurance Endorsement for Your Commercial Building
Commercial mold damage in Shenandoah, TX
Your commercial insurance can pay for emergency restoration services following a fire, tornado, or other disasters. However, not every type of peril is covered. For instance, most insurance policies only provide limited coverage for mold damage. That is why you should purchase a mold endorsement.
What Is Mold?
To understand why this endorsement is so important, you first need to learn a bit about mold. This fungus uses spores to reproduce. The spores spread via air and wind currents. All mold needs to grow is:
Mold eats various building materials, including carpet, wood, paper and drywall. The fungus then destroys these items as it grows. If left unchecked, mold could harm much of your Shenandoah, TX, property.
When Is Mold Covered by Insurance?
Most commercial insurance policies include a fungus exclusion that prohibits coverage for mold and similar toxins. There are some exceptions, however. Mold that grows following a lightning storm or fire is usually covered.
If the mold resulted from another peril, your insurance may provide limited fungus coverage. Mold growth that occurs after a flood may also qualify for this coverage if you added a flood endorsement to your commercial policy.
What Is Limited Fungus Coverage?
Limited fungus coverage gives you money for mold remediation services. The insurance funds can go toward the costs of removing the fungus and testing the building to ensure the mold is gone.
Keep in mind that limited fungus coverage only applies if you take all reasonable steps to prevent and limit mold growth in your property. There is also a cap to this mold insurance. Most insurers will only pay $15,000 per occurrence. However, cleanup and restoration can cost much more than that. You thus need an endorsement to supplement this coverage.
Your commercial insurance may include some coverage for mold infestations. However, this may not be sufficient following a major mold loss. A mold endorsement should help you pay for any additional expenses you incur.
How To Avoid Maintenance Costs
Maintenance is an inevitable cost of running a business, but those costs can be minimized
Running a business in Conroe, TX, is hard enough without getting hit with a huge maintenance cost. Here's how you can use simple facility management strategies to keep those expenses as low as possible.
Maintenance is an inevitable cost of running a business, but those costs can be minimized. Here are some of the most common maintenance expenses businesses face:
- Storm damage repairs
- Equipment repairs
- Vehicle repairs
- Replacement of parts and equipment
Storm Damage Repairs
One of the best ways to minimize costs from storm damage repairs is to storm proof your building. A professional storm-proofing service in Conroe, TX, can help you take preventative measures that can save you money on repairs later on.
Equipment and Vehicle Repairs
Routine maintenance can help you catch problems early and repair them before a small problem turns into a huge maintenance cost. Having equipment and company vehicles regularly serviced and inspected will keep them in excellent shape for as long as possible. You should also make sure that all employees understand the correct way to handle the equipment. Incorrect handling can shorten the lifespan of equipment, leading to more frequent maintenance and replacements.
Cleaning costs can be reduced in a number of ways. First, you should make sure your building is an appropriate size for your business. Larger spaces require more time to clean, costing more money. You should also encourage your employees to do simple tasks, such as throwing away trash and cleaning their work stations, to reduce the amount of time it takes custodial staff to clean. Another way to reduce this time is by installing surfaces that are easier to clean, such as concrete floors rather than carpet.
With successful facility management, you can significantly lower your annual maintenance cost. Methods to consider include storm-proofing your building, having equipment and vehicles serviced often, teaching staff how to handle equipment and reducing the amount of time required to clean the facility.
3 Causes of Basement Floods (and How To Fix Them)
Basement flooding in The Woodlands, TX
Here Are Three Common Causes Of Basement Flooding
Most residents of The Woodlands, TX, will deal with a basement flood at least once in their lives. Depending on what’s in your basement, flooding can cause all sorts of problems, from destroying your heirloom Christmas tree skirt to shorting out your deep freezer. Unfortunately, once a basement has flooded, it’s likely to flood again, so it’s best to address the cause of the problem head-on.
Due to the nature of basements, basement floors and walls must be properly sealed against incoming water. These seals are usually installed when the basement is constructed. If your floor or wall seals are faulty, water can seep through, especially after heavy storms when the ground is saturated. The good news is that the floor and walls can be re-sealed.
Poorly Planned Drainage System
This extremely common basement flood culprit of basement flooding is easy to remedy. Downspouts are meant to divert rainwater away from the foundation of the house. Occasionally, downspouts are placed too close to the basement wall, or water from the downspout drains toward the basement wall. This puts too much pressure on your weeping tile and leads to leaks. Extend downspouts to at least six feet away from the basement wall in a place where they can drain away from the house.
If your gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, they can overflow. This creates a waterfall effect right next to your basement wall, causing leaks. The fix is easy: grab a ladder and clean out your gutters. Of course, if your gutters fill frequently, consider switching to larger gutters or installing gutter guards.
A basement flood is rarely a one-time occurrence. The next flood could require costly restoration work, and water damage is often a major red flag to buyers and insurance companies. Find out what’s causing your basement to flood and fix the problem right away.