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What To Know About Secondary Damage

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Hole on a wall due to water leak caused mold growth Pipe leak caused mold to grow on a wall

Here Are A Few Things You Should Know About Secondary Damage

Any time you have water damage in your The Woodlands, TX, home, there’s a chance that secondary damage could also pose a risk. From what this damage is to types of damage, including black mold, here are a few things you should know.

1. What It Is

A secondary type of damage is any damage that occurs as a result of damage related to the initial problem. For example, if a pipe breaks the carpet could get soaked. This is a primary damage. However if the soaked carpet is not dried and the sub-floor warps, the damage to the sub-floor would be considered secondary. Secondary damage usually occurs if the initial damage is extremely severe, incorrectly cleaned up, or damage that is not cleaned up in a timely manner.

2. Types of Damage

There are a few types of damage that often fall into the secondary category. These include warped wood, cracking in sheet-rock or plaster, peeling vinyl, cracked tile, water stains, black mold, and high humidity problems as excess water evaporates. If the water damages has created a weakness in the exterior of the home, such as the roof, you may also experience problems from high winds or additional weather.

3. What To Do

If your home has suffered any type of water damage it’s best to contact a water damage restoration service for help with cleanup and repairs. These professionals can act quickly, are trained in the proper cleanup procedures, and have the tools necessary to safely do the job. Correctly handling the situation can help you prevent additional secondary damages.

It’s important to remember that Secondary damage happens as a result of water damage. It can include things such as warped flooring or black mold. If you have water damage it’s important to call a restoration service, and make repairs as quickly as possible. Doing so can help you mitigate additional damages to your home.

Upgrade Your Commercial Restroom and Save Water

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial bathroom A modern, updated commercial bathroom is a win-win for nearly everyone

New technologies improve on the old ways of doing things nearly every day. These upgrades add value to a company by increasing convenience, adding safety, and promoting a healthier planet. When it comes to water issues, new products have the ability to reduce your water usage. If your company located in Porter Heights, TX, has ample water resources, it is still a good idea to cut down on usage to lower your water bill. Also, newer products are also less likely to malfunction and cause localized flooding or leaking problems on your property. Even so, partnering with a local water mitigation franchise is the proven way to minimize the damage caused by water concerns.

Restroom Upgrades

A commercial restroom is a promising area to install a water upgrade. Here are a few newer products and technologies that can improve the look, function, and reliability of a bathroom:

  • Install toilets that use less water per flush
  • Replace faucet aerators with high efficiency ones
  • Put in touch-free faucets
  • Install water-free urinals

All of these innovations will lower your water usage and reduce your utility rates. Many of these technologies have been around for years, but incremental improvements have made the products more reliable and more acceptable to customers. With lower levels of water being used, there is also a reduced chance of extensive water damage caused by a breakdown.

Bathroom Benefits
A modern, updated commercial bathroom is a win-win for nearly everyone. Your customers and employees are happy with the added convenience, and business owners see lower costs over time. New equipment can result in fewer toilet overflows and liability issues from patrons slipping on water on the floor. In many cases, custodial costs are reduced as well. The same benefits with water issues can be realized in other areas of the company, from improved irrigation systems to the planting of native, drought-resistant plants for landscaping.

How To Find Hidden Mold in Your Building

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Thermal imaging camera used to locate mold in a property Thermal cameras are arguably the best way to find the location of a fungus smell

How To Find Hidden Mold in Your Building

Did you or your employees notice a mold smell in your The Woodlands, TX, building? This fungus has a distinctive odor that can make life unpleasant for everyone.
Once you discover the mildew smell, the next step is finding the source of the issue. This may be easier said than done. Mold frequently appears in areas that are not readily visible. However, there are some strategies you can use to locate the mold. They include:

  • Force
  • Scent-Detection dogs
  • Thermal cameras

Brute Force
If you suspect the mold is coming from behind the walls of your property, you can physically remove the drywall to try to locate the fungus. However, this method is not always effective. That’s because the conditions causing the mold growth are not necessarily visible to the naked eye. Tearing down drywall can be quite expensive, as well.

Scent Detection Dogs
Certain dogs have also been trained to find the source of the mold smell within a building. They can even find hidden mold under floors or behind walls.

Thermal Cameras
Thermal cameras are arguably the best way to find the location of a fungus smell. As their name implies, they produce pictures that show the heat radiation in a certain area. Darker locations on the images are evidence of moisture. Since mold thrives in wet areas, you can use the cameras to narrow down where the mold could be.
Some of these infared themography cameras include updated technology such as laser points and high-resolution photos. They may even be able to accurately measure the temperature in the building. This can help you determine whether increased heat on the premises will leave it more susceptible to mold growth. Unlike the other options mentioned above, thermal cameras can also survey a large area in a short amount of time.
The above techniques can help you discover what is causing the mold smell in your building. After you determine where the fungus is, you can hire mold cleanup specialists to remedy the situation.

Why Is Flooding More Dangerous After a Fire?

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Wildfire Wilfire in New Caney, TX

Why Is Flooding More Dangerous After a Fire?

Fires destroy structures and the surrounding natural environment. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that commercial property owners in regions prone to wildfires enroll in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Find out more about FEMA NFIP coverage and why the risk of flooding is heightened after wildfire damage in New Caney, TX.

More Surface Erosion
Widespread fires burn through living plants and other ground covers. All of the following types of plant matter are destroyed by fire:

  • Grasses
  • Shrubs
  • Trees

When these plants are present, leaves and ground cover slow the flow of runoff. Stems and roots promote absorption into the ground. After a fire eliminates plants and the litter layer of fallen leaves, the affected area experiences increased soil erosion.

Less Ground Absorption
In addition to having less ground cover to slow the flow of water and promote absorption, some wildfires also cause the upper layer of soil to become hydrophobic or water-repellent. It may take some time for this layer to break down naturally, and any plants that are reintroduced must be planted below the hydrophobic layer. When the ground cannot absorb water, this can lead to increased runoff and flooding damage that is only covered by flood insurance like FEMA NFIP.

More Debris Flows and Landslides
An area affected by wildfire damage has an elevated risk of debris flows or landslides for several years. Debris flows of water, loose soil and rock can move at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. These flows combine all of the destructive power of a flood with an increased risk of property damage or injury due to the presence of debris.
Fire and flooding both pose major risks of damage to a commercial building in New Caney, TX. Commercial property owners should obtain FEMA NFIP coverage to ensure that insurance coverage for restoring flood damage is available after a widespread blaze.

How To Handle Roof Damage After a Fire

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial building destroyed by hurricane winds Roof damage after a fire in Egypt, TX

If you're on the unfortunate wrong end of a fire at work, the building's roof is one of the most vulnerable parts. You may not be able to salvage it, but a professional fire restoration team will help you with fire cleanup. In the meantime, there are things you and the technicians can do to minimize the damage and protect the building from harm.

Your First Steps

Facing a fire in the workplace may be a nightmare scenario, but it's important to act calmly wisely. Before you think about fire cleanup, take the following actions:

  • Make sure everyone in the building safely evacuates.
  • Call 911 to report the fire.
  • Notify your insurance company of the incident.
  • Contact a fire mitigation team to assess the damage.

Tear-out and Removal
Crews should remove any wet or damaged materials from the building. Technicians may be able to salvage some items. Ruined roofing materials should be discarded before the roof repair can begin.

Tarping Options
While crews clean inside your Egypt, TX, building, team members will enlist tarp services to cover the roof. After a fire, there will likely be gaping holes in the roof, which exposes your building to the elements. The restoration team will cover these areas with durable tarps until it is time to start rebuilding. This will protect your workplace from rain, snow, and wind.

Board-up Services
Fire cleanup will also include a concerted effort to protect your building, and everything you have inside that is still intact. By boarding up windows, doors, and gaps, you can have peace of mind knowing that vandals or other intruders won't have easy access to your building. Once the crews have rebuilt the roof and finished all other restoration work, you can safely return to your office.
The fire cleanup process can be complex. Luckily, you can rest assured that professional technicians will have you back on your feet soon.

Getting the Most Out of Your Commercial Generator

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator A generator can be a wise, long-term investment for your commercial property

Three Steps To Keep Your Equipment Ready To Back You Up

Investing in a generator is a smart way to make sure you keep your business going during a power outage. Follow these three steps to keep your equipment ready to back you up when you need it the most.

1. Determine Your Emergency Power Needs

Knowing what you will use the unit to power is key to making sure you buy the right size equipment. If you buy a machine that is too small to meet your needs, you risk it overloading when you need it the most. Consider the following when doing your research:

What will you need to run to keep your business going while Rayford, TX, is having power issues? Large machines like refrigeration units? Or smaller devices such as computer servers?
How long will the generator need to run? Until the electricity returns? Or just until your team can safely close up the building and leave?
Will it need to start automatically? For example, you would want a sump pump to kick in right away or you might have to deal with flood cleanup as well.

2. Keep It Fueled and Well-Maintained

Be sure that you have enough fuel on hand — and a plan to get more during an emergency if you need power for a long time. Also, consult the manual and be sure to follow the regular maintenance schedule so that when you go to turn it on, you don’t have generator problems on top of your power issues.

3. Train Your Team

Include training your team to turn on the equipment as part of your emergency preparedness plans. If you are the only person who knows how to start it safely, and you are not on the premises when your business is at risk, you will have made a large investment for nothing.
A generator can be a wise, long-term investment for your commercial property. In fact, if treated properly, it could last 20-30 years.

Are Mold and Mildew the Same Creatures?

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mildew is generally easy to control and treat

The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but they are different animals. It is understandable that they often are confused among speakers, since they share a few similarities. Both are attracted to damp and warm places of the home. Both are a type of fungus and have that same aura or creepiness or sliminess. Finally, they like to grow on such things as drywall, flooring and paper products. However, the two fungi part ways with a few important traits. For one thing, mold damage is likely to be worse and harder to eradicate.

Identifying Mildew

The presence of mildew growth in a home in Shenandoah,TX, has a few characteristics that help identify it. The following traits are indicative of mildew:

  • Mildew stays on the surface of materials
  • It is usually a gray or white color and grows in small patches
  • It is easily cleaned with a regular cleaner and a scrubbing brush and coarse cloth

Mildew is generally easy to control and treat. It also has less capability of causing harm to household items, belongings and the structure of a home.  

Identifying Mold

To correctly identify mold it is necessary to have a certified professional with the appropriate equipment for mold testing. In general, mold is a green or black color. Mold growth can be caused by several types of mold, each of which have different traits. Mold damage can be extensive and require the restoration of materials or belongings, and in some cases, objects will have to be disposed of. A local mold remediation company has the training and the equipment to mitigate a mold problem in a home. A rapid inspection and damage assessment is the first step in containing mold.

Proactive Cleaning Services

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says prevent business interruption Deep cleaning services are available around the clock!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts at SERVPRO of The Woodlands/Conroe today!

How to Handle the Problems of a Big Storm

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Technicians wearing protective gear while cleaning flood waters in a building Storm damage in Conroe, TX

How to Handle the Problems of a Big Storm

When your company is in the midst of a storm, you want help and guidance from a storm damage team that is Here to Help. That's because a big storm can create a lot of problems for your company, including the following:

  • Mold growth
  • Flooding issues
  • Water damage
  • Contamination of materials
  • Electrical system failures
  • Leaking roof

There is never a good time for a large storm to hit your business. In a worst-case scenario you could face a lengthy business interruption. That's why a storm damage company in Conroe, TX, is a good place to start with your recovery.

Taking Care of Mold Growth
Any situation that brings in excess moisture (such as flood water) to your facility increases the risk of mold gaining a foothold. Mold is a naturally occurring fungus, and it is present just about everywhere. Under the right conditions—extra humidity, hidden corners, and cool spots—it can grow quickly. It only takes a few days for mold to develop into an unsightly colony that creates a musty odor and degrades walls and furniture. Effective mold remediation requires knowledge, training and the proper equipment. Since mold is made up of microscopic spores that get into the heating and cooling system, fast mold containment is important, as is a vigorous cleaning and deodorizing process.

Addressing Sewage Loss
Sometimes a big storm affects your plumbing system, resulting in a sewage leak. When this happens, professional cleanup is crucial. The water is likely to be contaminated with unhealthy substances; therefore, cleanup workers should wear personal protective equipment. Also, extra precautions should be taken so your employees and customers are kept away from contaminated water. Special treatment of belongings, walls, furniture, and clothing is required if these items are tainted with sewage.
Whether your company experiences mold growth after a storm or some other issue, a quick recovery is desirable. You want to get back to doing what your company does best.

What To Know About Smoke Detector Types

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Photoelectric smoke detector A smoke detector that operates on a photoelectric sensor is designed to detect a change in air opacity

Smoke Detector Types

If you’re considering the right smoke alarm to install in your The Woodlands, TX, home, then you may be wondering what the difference is between the different types, and which unit is right for you. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Photoelectric Alarms

A smoke detector that operates on a photoelectric sensor is designed to detect a change in air opacity. Smoke enters the sensor receptacle and blocks or reflects, a little beam of light. This change in the beam causes the alarm to trigger alerting the residents to the presence of smoke. Many people like these alarms as they can detect smoke before a fire reaches the open flame stage.

2. Ionization Alarms

The second type of smoke alarm uses an ionization sensor. This sensor uses the reaction of a tiny bit of radioactive material and two metal plates on either side to ionize the air and create a current. When a fire begins the smoke disrupts this current, triggering the alarm. Many of these alarms work well to detect open flame fire meaning they may work best in a kitchen area when flame can start suddenly.

3. Duel Sensor

Many people choose a duel sensor when preparing their homes for fire safety. Many fire damage restoration professionals recommend the use of one of these units as it can detect both types of flames and help save you valuable time in helping your home and family. If your home does end up damaged by a fire, these restoration professionals can also help make repairs.
When looking at which type of smoke alarm to install in your home consider which sensor type will work best for your residence. If you have trouble choosing, or want to use both types, you may want to consider the installation of a duel sensor unit. Remember, if your home does end up damaged by a fire a restoration professional may be able to help.