Archived Blog Posts
Signs of a Sewage Backup
If your sink starts to overflow is a sign that you have sewage backup.
Sewage backups happen when the wastewater pipes leading from your house clog or overflow. In many cases, this can lead to severe water damage for your home. If you suspect that your sewage system is backing up, there are a few signs that can help alert you to the problem.
Most Common Type of Sewage Backups
There are many reasons for a sewage backup. The most common cause is clogged drains, particularly in older homes. Overflowing toilets and broken pipes are also common causes of sewage backups. Other causes include underground leaks from running water or rainfall, rotted pipes and cracked pipe joints or walls. Leaking underground sprinkler systems can also be a culprit if they're not maintained properly. Here are some other signs of sewage backup:
Sewage backups can cause foul odors and overflow. If you notice a sewage backup, it's likely that your toilet will overflow and/or the sink will begin to overflow. Because of this, it's important to check on these areas regularly for any signs of a backup or spillage.
Backed Up Sink Drains
One of the first signs of a sewage backup is an increase in water flowing from your sink drains, especially if it's not clear and you're noticing bubbles or air. You should call a professional plumber as soon as you see this happen, because if you wait too long, it can cause damage to your home.
Water Pooling in Your Yard
If you notice water pooling on your lawn or in your yard, it's likely that there is a sewage backup. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including faulty plumbing lines, blocked sewer lines and clogged drains. The presence of the following signs may indicate that there is a sewage backup:
- Water leaking from the ground
- Water leaking from downspouts
- Water leaking from rain gutters
- Water leaking from the roof
- Water leaking from the foundation
- Water leaking from inside walls
You can avoid most sewage backup issues by checking for them regularly. To check for a leak, you'll need to inspect your plumbing system regularly. Use a flashlight and probe to find signs of water damage or discoloration in the walls or flooring of your basement, especially near pipes and drains.
To check for plumbing issues, you'll need to look at your toilet flange (the part that connects the toilet base with the floor). Look at all sides of it and make sure there is no corrosion on any side of it. If there is corrosion, replace it immediately!
Call the Professionals
If you notice any of these symptoms, call SERVPRO of The Woodlands/Conroe. We have the equipment and experience to clean your home's sewage backup. Our technicians use the appropriate tools and methods for each job.
If you've noticed a sewage backup in your Conroe,TX home or business, make sure to contact a professional right away. A backup can be dangerous and costly, so call for help as soon as possible.
Do's and Don'ts After Water Damage
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?
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
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
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
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
- 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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
When placing drying equipment in your home helps prevent mold growth.
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.
3 Space Heater Safety Tips
Safety tips for space heaters.
Three Safety Tips for Space Heaters
Certain rooms in your Rayford, TX, home may be difficult to heat because of their size or lack of heating vents and ductwork in the area. Space heaters may solve this issue; however, misuse of these units causes hundreds of fires every year, so before you decide to use them in your home, learning how to avoid blazes caused by burned space heaters can help reduce the risk of property damage.
1. Use Newer Models
Some newer space heater models have an auto-shutoff feature that ensures the unit turns itself off if you or one of your family members forgets. Replacing older models or those with limited safety features can prevent fires, so shopping around for newer units before the cold weather comes can help you feel more confident when it comes to your family's safety.
2. Leave Space Around the Heater
Space heater fires sometimes occur because there is not enough space around the unit, causing it to overheat and catch the clutter around it on fire. Once a burned space heater catches fire, the resulting blaze can spread quickly. Leave at least a foot of space on all sides of a heater and do not operate it pushed into a corner or up against a wall, even if it has an auto-shutoff feature.
3. Avoid Using a Damaged or Burned Space Heater
Before using a stored space heater for the first time, check it over for problems such as a frayed electrical cord or signs of scorching on the metal heating components. You can also ask a smoke cleanup and fire restoration company to help you decide whether your home's space heaters are safe or if you need to replace them.
Heating your Rayford, TX, home with the help of space heaters is an inexpensive way to provide bedrooms and other rooms with supplemental heat. Keeping the above safety tips in mind can help you operate these units safely and reduce the risk of a costly house fire.
5 Absolute Musts for Cleaning Sewer Damage
A toilet overflow can cause major damage to your property.
5 Things You Must Do If You Have Sewer Damage
Toilet overflows and backups bring water onto the premises and contaminate the location with Category three fluid. Fraught with bacteria and fungus, this liquid penetrates structural materials, making the property in Shenandoah, TX, hazardous to employees and customers. To sanitize the establishment, commercial owners must complete a thorough sewer cleanup. Here are five essential steps to getting the place back in business.
1. Understand the Depth of the Problem
Moisture isn't always visible, especially when a sewer backup seeps into the ground or walls. Use a moisture reader to determine the extent of the saturation. Draw a line a few feet above the current readings to guide your next stages. It's best to treat more of the area to ensure cleaning is sufficient.
2. Remove Soaked Structures
Spores harbor deep within porous objects, especially drywall and carpet, making sewer cleanup difficult. Cleaners such as bleach and soap do not absorb well; thus, they cannot eradicate the organisms. It's best to extract anything drenched to safeguard the space from future growth. Replace it after you complete the rest of the stages.
Be careful during these evaluations. The highly infested water should not be touched or handled without proper PPE. Wear gloves, protective clothing and goggles at all times.
3. Consult Content Cleaning Crews
The flooded toilet may have impacted other rooms as the moisture permeated into an office or retail space. If the dampness affected vital electronics and documents, reach out to a water restoration company. The specialists can use sophisticated technology to sanitize and salvage the belongings.
4. Air Everything Out
A dry room inhibits spore growth, so create adequate circulation with air movers or fans. Run multiple dehumidifiers to pull humidity from the air and framework. Test the moisture levels again before proceeding.
5. Wash Nonporous Items
Care for nonabsorbent valuables by washing them with soap and water. Also, apply bleach or an antimicrobial spray to kill lingering germs.
Work swiftly and carefully when dealing with a commercial sewer cleanup. Focus on gutting sullied materials and airing out the location. The right steps get your operations back up and running.
Tips for Dealing With Mold in Your Business
If you find evidence of mold in your Conroe, TX business, it's important to have the area evaluated.
If you notice a musty odor in a bathroom or other location in your building, you may benefit from this discussion about commercial mold. Moisture-seeking microscopic fungi are the cause of a mold infestation. They thrive in humid locations, such as laundry rooms, bathrooms or utility areas. Their spores multiply, and they can infest a large area in as little as 72 hours. The presence of mold can also point to an unknown water leak or other moisture problem.
Mold is plentiful and beneficial in nature because it breaks down organic substances in soils. Certain types of mold, such as black mold, can be toxic and quite damaging to your property, so it’s important to know what to look for.
What To Look For
Mold often comes with a mildewy type of odor, and your best mold detector may be your nose. Mold can present as irregular patches of varying colors on walls, ceilings or wooden areas. Here are some locations inside your business where mold could be found:
- Crawl spaces and basements
- Drywall surfaces
- Book covers and pages
- Sink and shower tile
If you discover evidence or even just suspect black mold, it’s important to act quickly. The earlier you catch it, the easier the mold cleanup will be.
What To Do if You Suspect Mold
If you find evidence of mold in your Conroe, TX, business, it’s important to have the area evaluated by a mold remediation expert. They can use various testing protocols and recommend the best cleanup methods for your unique facility. It may be beneficial to avoid the area and keep it ventilated until you receive some professional help.
Mold is a beneficial substance that can be damaging in the wrong environment. Whether you suspect black mold or a less serious form, your best course is to get some assistance with confirming the diagnosis and developing the cleanup protocol. Once you begin the cleanup process, it won’t be long before you have restored your building and your peace of mind.
How To Prepare for a Commercial Fire
Make sure everyone in the building knows the best escape route.
Kowing how to handle a fire in your workspace is essential. Fire damage can affect both structures and people, so factor both into your plans.
Basic Prevention and Preparation
Make sure everyone in the building knows the best escape route.
Hold regular emergency drills.
Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in an easily accessible location.
Stay on top of repairs and maintenance.
Consider asking The Woodlands, TX fire department to inspect your building for hazards.
Consider attending a CPR certification course and inviting your coworkers.
Burn First Aid
If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately; then try to get everyone out of the building and to a safe location. Don't reenter the building until after firefighters have inspected the fire damage.
If someone has been burned, remove constrictive clothing and jewelry. Minor burns can be treated with cool water for initial pain relief; after the burn has cooled apply mild skin cream and loosely cover the affected area with a clean bandage. Over-the-counter painkillers can be helpful; follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Larger (more than three inches in diameter) or more severe burns require medical attention, as does smoke inhalation. While awaiting EMS, attempt to keep the person calm and monitor breathing and pulse. Remove clothing and jewelry from the burned area while being careful not to further damage the skin, and cover the burn with a clean, loose cloth.
Once all the people have been taken care of, you can turn your attention to the building. You'll need professionals to assess the fire damage and handle repairs, so find a restoration firm in The Woodlands, TX, before an emergency takes place. Knowing who to call can make a stressful situation much easier.
No one wants to be dealing with a commercial fire, but taking preventative steps and making sure you have the knowledge and resources you need can go a long way towards making a bad situation better.
Advantages of SERVPRO's Electronic Claims and Commitment To Quality
SERVPRO’s electronic customer files are troves of essential data.
SERVPRO's Electronic Claims
If your office suffers structural damage from a storm, fire or another disaster, filing an insurance claim should be less stressful than executing repairs. Choose SERVPRO for a team of masterful rebuilding experts that can return your place of business in Porter Heights, TX, back to normal. Besides their overall commitment to quality, these rebuilding geniuses possess a simple filing infrastructure that makes working with them as pleasurable as possible.
As one of the most trusted names in repair, SERVPRO is devoted to providing a professional experience from start to finish. You can expect:
- Safe and effective rebuilding and cleaning techniques
- Background checks on staff
- Properly registered and maintained vehicles
- Excellent insurance
Besides providing dependable service, their sophisticated electronic filing system makes processing any insurance claim a snap.
SERVPRO’s Electronic Claims Information System offers multiple advantages. Most critically, a breakdown of assignments is always available for viewing. New assignments, pending jobs and completed tasks are easily identifiable, providing an instant read on how repairs are progressing.
Cleaning and construction recommendations are broken down into digestible chunks. Estimates are provided for each item. This is extremely useful when figuring out your total cost. Having this figure early on may assist with speeding up your insurance claim. Customer files can also be mailed in printed form. Alternatively, they can be emailed as an Excel spreadsheet.
SERVPRO’s electronic customer files are troves of essential data. Included is the initiating report, photographic evidence of damage and every piece of related paperwork. Having every scrap of information in one location is a strong advantage when dealing with an insurance agent. The quicker you can provide whatever data is requested, the faster your claim may be pushed through.
With everything involved in getting your office up and running after a calamity, filing an insurance claim should be easy. Let SERVPRO’s information gathering abilities make the ordeal as smooth as possible.
Best Practices for Storm Preparedness in a Changing World
Storm damage in New Caney, TX.
It is a smart business that invests in disaster preparedness. In a changing world, as storms become more frequent and more damaging, companies find their assets under siege by hurricanes, tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms. Fortunately, with some smart actions, a company can develop a plan that better manages its risks in New Caney, TX. It all begins with quality insurance, the bedrock principle of business preparedness. A comprehensive policy provides reimbursements for damages caused by high winds, lightning strikes, hail damage and roof leaks. An insurance agent can help a company put together a strong policy that is customized to its needs.
The Importance of Restoration Services
If a storm does penetrate a company's building envelope, it is critical to take fast action. This is a crucial aspect of disaster preparedness. Working with a professional storm mitigation company can limit damages and reduce the expenses of cleanup. A professional company will do the following:
- Arrive on the scene quickly
- Make the property safe
- Remove standing water with wet vacuums
- Dry out areas with industrial fans
- Restore damaged areas
Quick cleanup by a professional team allows a company to get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. It also prevents secondary damage such as mold growth or harm to electrical systems.
The Opportunity to Safeguard a Building
Forward-thinking companies can also invest in property enhancements that protect a company against powerful storms. Strong storm windows are less likely to break under the pressure of high winds and hail. Well-maintained roof systems are unlikely to fail no matter how much rain pours down. Smart actions are also part of effective disaster preparedness. Attention to the outside of a property could include making sure outside furniture is secured. All companies should educate their employees on how to deal with emergencies, including safe places to go to and what authorities to call for help. A company with a plan is more likely to thrive after a storm.
The Mold Remediation Process
Technicians will wear extensive safety gear while removing mold from a property.
Mold Removal Process
The moment mold growth is discovered in your Egypt, TX, property, some questions instantly arise. How long will it take? Do I need a mold remediation and restoration company? What should be expected during the mold removal process? For the first two, the answers depend on the severity of the problem. In most cases, the process takes about one to five days. If the affected area is more than 10,000, enlisting an expert is recommended.
When it comes to the third question, choosing a certified professional provides peace of mind that the job will be done right and eliminate the potential for a future infestation. Below are key steps taken during mold removal.
Technicians will wear extensive safety gear, which includes gloves, goggles, face masks and a protective suit.
A containment system will be set up to seal off the affected area. This is essential to prevent spores from spreading and building a new colony.
The affected area will be treated with an EPA-approved biocide to kill the fungi. This is often a two-step process.
All affected surfaces will be cleaned with high-grade antimicrobial cleaners.
Any materials that can’t be salvaged, such as drywall and insulation, will be safely removed from the premises.
Once the physical mold is removed, an array of high-tech tools will be used, including HEPA air scrubbers and vacuums, which remove airborne spores.
A sealer or encapsulant will be used to reinforce areas prone to water damage.
Peace of Mind
If black mold isn’t properly handled, it likely means dealing with the same problem down the road. Since your time and money are important, getting professional help eliminates future headaches and lets you focus on running your business. Most certified companies also provide restoration services, which makes it much faster to get your business back to “Like it never even happened.”
If faced with mold removal, getting it taken care of the right way is essential. While it may mean added costs and time upfront, it ensures the problem won’t rear its ugly head again.
A Renter's Guide To Filing Fire Claims
Apartment fire in Rayford, TX.
A Renter's Guide to Fire Claim Filing
After a fire in your apartment building in Rayford, TX, the owner and management will likely file insurance claims for the structure itself. As a renter, you also need to file a claim with your renters insurance provider for any of your items that were damaged. It's important to know where the owner's responsibilities end and yours begin.
The benefit of renting is that you are not responsible for the recovery of the building or any of the appliances and features that come with it. Because you don't own the building, however, your rights to re-enter it once you have relocated to temporary housing may be limited. Before you vacate the premises, be sure to have all the documents you need:
- Insurance policy
- Pictures of damage
- List of items that need repair or replacement
This information is vital for filling out your fire claim in a timely manner. You may not be able to control your access to the building, but you can still start the process of getting assistance.
Contact Remediation Experts
It's not always easy for renters insurance adjusters to assess which items can be salvaged during a walkthrough. Having an official assessment of the damage to your belongings from fire restoration experts is a great way to verify your claim. With an itemized list of restoration costs, you are more likely to get a higher settlement.
Know Your Policy
Of course, the best time to learn what your policy covers is before you need it. It is also helpful to review it after disaster strikes. Your provider may cover more than just the fire damage to your belongings. For example, you may be entitled to reimbursement of all or part of your temporary relocation expenses.
Filing a claim with your renters insurance company after a fire helps you repair or replace any of your belongings that get damaged. Knowing what your rights and responsibilities are can help you make the decisions necessary to get your claim approved.
Why Black Water Demands Immediate Remediation
A flooded restaurant in Shenandoah, TX.
How Severe Is Your Commercial Building's Water Damage?
The answer to this resides in understanding that water exposure varies, with experts breaking fluid down into three main categories. The first is clean, resulting from freshwater busts. The next level focuses on low levels of pathogens; often, this saturation stems from appliance leaks. These first two sections demand cleanup, but they do not pose serious hazards. Category three fluid, however, is highly harmful to the structure, costs more to fix and demands prompt action. Here are three reasons to seek professional help immediately.
1. Major Exposure To Organisms
Category 3 penetration is better known as black water, coined for massive organisms found within the liquid. The moisture arrives into the establishment, carrying any or all of the following:
Sources may come from inside or outside the place. Toilet backflow releases feces and urine onto the premises. External floods from rising waters wash in pathogens from the streets and sewer. No matter the origin. It's not anything you want within the space.
2. Contamination Spreads Quickly
On the surface, water damage appears simple. Perhaps owners see a stain or have a lingering smell; however, problems lurk below the surface. Water quickly absorbs into porous objects such as drywall, carpeting and belongings. Within 24 to 48 hours, the infestation has moved from a small spot to the entire room.
3. Major Remediation Is Needed
The flood, at this point, shuts down the impacted zone. A professional sewage and water restoration company in Shenandoah, TX, should assess the area. Air and wall samples are taken to understand what inhabits the zone.
Immediately, crews were to use industrial dehumidifiers to dry out the property. This act inhibits further growth. In addition, they complete flood cuts along the wall and tear out wet carpeting and other materials. These efforts must be made to secure the facility.
Before proprietors begin to tend to water damage, it's essential to know exactly what form of saturation has occurred. Category three fluid is harmful to the building, and it needs special care.
5 Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes
Insulate your pipes
Make Sure Your Business Is Ready For Cold Season
The snow and holidays of winter can make it a fun season for many, but it can be less so for business owners with unprepared plumbing. Indeed, freezing temperatures are often a leading cause of broken pipes. For this reason, you should take steps now to make sure your commercial property is ready for the cold season. If you want to reduce the chances of needing the help of a water damage remediation expert, consider the following ways you can prepare.
1. Keep the Water On
Even if it might cost you more with energy bills this winter, spending the extra money can be worth it. By keeping some faucets turned on, you can allow water to continuously flow. This can prevent lines from freezing.
2. Turn Up the Thermostat
In order to keep pipes warm, you need to keep the building warm. Even when you are not open, make sure you keep the thermostat set above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Close the Doors and Windows
Another way to minimize your risk of an expensive water cleanup is by ensuring you close doors and windows. This includes any basement or garage doors as well. If there is anywhere frigid air can seep in, it can lead to one of the most common causes of frozen pipes which often results in water damage.
4. Open Backroom Storage and Cabinets
While you are closing your doors, you may want to open backroom storage and cabinets that surround plumbing. Doing this can allow warm building air to find its way into the enclosures.
5. Insulate Your Pipes
One of the most straightforward ways you can prevent freezing of your pipes is by making sure you insulate them well. A good way to do this is by installing heat tape. You can ask a professional if you need assistance.
When it comes to preventing frozen pipes and the subsequent water damage that can come with them, there are several things you can do. With a little planning, you can rest easy knowing your business is ready for the winter.
Tips for Cleaning Up Water Damage From Broken Pipes
Water-damaged flooring in a Conroe, TX property.
Water Cleanup Process
Water damage is a fact of life for homeowners. No matter how hard you work to maintain your property, eventually broken pipes, backed-up drains, or some other form of water damage will require cleanup. When the time comes and you have to deal with a minor emergency that has left your home in Conroe, TX, a little waterlogged, you need to know how to respond decisively to prevent continuing damage. Follow these tips to make sure you get the water cleanup process handled quickly.
- Turn off the water to prevent further flooding
- Remove dry and undamaged possessions from the affected area
- Contact a restoration cleaning service with water-damage certifications
- File a claim with your insurance company for covered damages
- Keep kids and pets away from the area
If it is possible to safely turn off electricity in the flooded rooms, it can be a good idea, especially if you have appliances plugged in and underwater. Make sure you don’t step into standing water where powered appliances are submerged to minimize the risk of shock.
Working With Water-Damage Specialists
Sometimes, homeowners are tempted to attempt cleanup themselves. While there are a number of home improvement and repair projects that can be realized efficiently and inexpensively with a do-it-yourself approach, it’s important to understand that water clean-up from broken pipes and other plumbing emergencies really needs a professional approach.
When water damages a home, specialized tools are needed to properly affect cleanup. These tools allow for the drying and cleaning of home furnishings and building features alike, and they work more thoroughly and quickly than options available to homeowners. Quick action is essential to minimize the damage from water during emergencies. Specialists also carry certifications for mold abatement and other water-related cleanup protocols.
Water damage from broken pipes and other home emergencies can cause serious problems for homes and homeowners in Conroe, TX. Make sure you work with specialists in water cleanup to preserve and clean your property when you have residential water emergencies.
3 Things to Know About Preferred Vendor Qualifications
SERVPRO of The Woodlands/Conroe, you can trust that the job will get done right!
Preferred Vendor Qualifications: 3 Things to Know
When clients have property restorations needs, an insurance agent in The Woodlands, TX, may choose to recommend a preferred vendor to make the repairs. Choosing a preferred vendor allows the insurance company to know the team of professionals have the qualifications to perform the job, and also will meet a set of standards in the process. Vendor qualifications can be important because they
1. Let Clients Know What to Expect
A preferred vendor must agree to certain guidelines in order to be recommended by an insurance company. This means that the client knows what to expect from the professional restoration team, such as SERVPRO, working on their property. Knowing the guidelines also allows the client to ask questions about the steps involved if desired.
2. Allow the Client to Work With a Certified Team
The insurance agent processing the claim will often recommend that their client work with a certified professional. This gives the client the ability to look up any relevant qualifications and feel comfortable that their restoration team has the tools and knowledge to properly perform the job. It also allows the insurance company the ability to ensure that all restoration work meets the IICRC standards.
3. Ensure Quality Work
A vendor program teaches the participants how to properly conduct restoration efforts in a variety of circumstances. These may include mold, fire, water, and storm damage restoration. Participants are taught the proper procedures and how to ensure quality work every step of the way. In many cases, these professionals are also taught how to clearly communicate with the insurance company so that all claim information remains up-to-date.
When an insurance agent recommends a preferred vendor for a job it’s because they trust that team or individual to do the job correctly. These professionals have been trained and certified to industry standards, take pride in quality work, and because of this, the client can know what to expect in the restoration of their property.
5 Things To Include in Your Home’s Emergency Plan
Knowing the locations of the exits is also an important point to include in your fire escape plan.
Include the Following In Your Home's Emergency Plan
For a homeowner in Porter Heights, TX, having a fire escape plan can be an important aspect of home safety. Many experts, including fire damage restoration services, recommend the following things to include in your plan to help keep your family safe.
1. Where the Fire Extinguishers Are
Fire extinguishers can be important tools in the event of a small fire. Including their locations and instructions for proper use can help ensure everyone is prepared if handling one becomes necessary.
2. Who Is In charge of Pets and Children
One part of fire preparation that many people overlook is planning for someone to be in charge of any pets or small children in the house. This may be a single person in all instances or a plan for clearly communicating with each other at the time.
3. The Location of Exits
Knowing the locations of the exits is also an important point to include in your fire escape plan. It’s best to plan for at least two exits from any point in the building. This can help ensure safe passage in case one route is blocked.
4. A Safe Meeting Location
In the event you face a home fire, it’s wise to have a meet-up location after the evacuation. This should be an easily identifiable place at a safe distance from the home.
5. Times To Practice
It’s also important to make time to practice your escape plan. This way, everyone involved can have the opportunity to learn their best routes and responsibilities. You may want to run several drills, pretending there is a fire in different locations.
Including these things in your fire escape plan can make it easier to get your family safely out of the building during an emergency. Remember to ensure that everyone knows where the exits are, where to meet up, and if they’re responsible for a pet or another family member.
The Rising Waters: Toilet Overflow and What To Do About It
Sewer damage in New Caney, TX, can be incredibly problematic.
Sewer damage in New Caney, TX, can be incredibly problematic, and quickly getting the situation under control is often imperative. You should know what can cause a flooded toilet and what you should do after it occurs to quickly clean up and restore your home to its natural state.
Understanding Why Toilet Overflow Occurs
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon issue in homes. However, when you know what the potential causes are, it puts you in a position to take better preventative measures. The following may cause toilet overflow in your home:
- A drain line becomes clogged.
- The septic field is not percolating.
- Sewer damage occurs somewhere in the system’s lines due to issues such as tree roots or foreign objects causing a clog.
- A low flow toilet is not able to handle the demands of your household.
- The trap between the drain line and the toilet bowl becomes blocked.
Cleaning Up Toilet Overflow
The first step is to get rid of any water that may have accumulated in the affected space. Once this is gone, use low-suds soap and warm water to thoroughly clean all elements of the space. Once this is done, use a disinfectant and go over all of the surfaces you have cleaned to reduce any lingering contaminants and impurities.
Once you complete the cleanup process, make sure that you are taking steps to prevent this problem from recurring. Be mindful of how much toilet paper you are using, never flush feminine hygiene products and make sure that small objects do not accidentally get into your toilet and flushed down.
With this information about toilet overflow, you can be better prepared to deal with this type of situation. Should you experience sewer damage, it is generally a good idea to reach out to a sewage company to ensure that the restoration process is done safely and correctly.
Why You Shouldn’t Throw Out Your Smoke-Damaged Items After a Fire
Pack out in Egypt, TX.
After a fire, Here's Why You Shouldn't Throw Away Your Smoke-Damaged Items
After a commercial fire in Egypt, TX, it’s easy to assume everything caught in the blaze is destroyed beyond repair. While this may be true for items that were caught in the center of the blaze, it’s a mistake to outright condemn everything damaged by smoke. The disaster restoration company that you or your insurance company hired should have equipment that allows them to treat these items and restore them to their pre-fire condition. Here are a few examples of the work they can do to take care of your items and why you should wait on their expertise:
Contrary to what you may think, items with a layer of soot on them from the fire are not beyond repair, including clothing. While taking these items to a regular dry-cleaning business probably wouldn’t do the trick, fire restoration professionals have equipment that effectively removes thick layers, of dust, dirt, and soot so the items are ready for later cleaning stages if necessary.
After the dry-cleaning process, if an item still requires additional cleaning to remove harmful pathogens or odor, it can undergo a wet cleaning process, so long as such a treatment would not be harmful to the item in question. This second stage of the content cleaning process works great for clothing and other porous items.
For nonporous items, however, wet cleaning is simply ineffective if not harmful. Ultrasonic cleaning is perfect for ceramics, figurines, windows and blinds, precious metals and plastics. This often brings a lot of relief to business owners, particularly if cherished keepsakes in their offices have been damaged by a commercial fire.
In some cases, when a large enough number of contents have been damaged by fire or smoke, restoration professionals will haul the items out of the affected area into a content storage area. This both protects the items from further damage and speeds up the remodeling process later on.
3 Safety Tips for Driving on Flooded Roads
Avoid driving through a flooded street.
Driving on Flooded Roads: 3 Safety Tips
Flooding in Rayford, TX, can cause widespread damage to homes and other properties. However, few things are as fraught with danger than a flooded street. Water depth and swiftness can be difficult to gauge when driving and both can cause your vehicle to become trapped or swept away. If you encounter a flooded road while driving, there are a few safety tips you can keep in mind to ensure you get home safely.
1. Watch for Signs and Barriers
If strong thunderstorms have caused localized flooding, be aware of caution signs that alert drivers of dangerous areas. If you encounter a barrier across a flooded street, obey the posted signs that accompany it and turn around or follow any detour signs to avoid driving through the flooded area. Follow any directions flood damage and remediation service technicians give you if they happen to be working in the area.
2. Avoid Driving Through Standing Water
One of the most important travel tips to keep in mind while driving during a flash flood is to steer clear of standing water. This includes large puddles you might encounter in parking lots and highways. The depth of the water can be difficult to judge and could disable and damage your car if you try to drive through it. Flooded roads can also develop deep potholes and structural weaknesses that might cause you and your vehicle to become stranded.
3. Try to Reach Higher Ground
If you are driving on a road that starts to flood, try to drive in a direction that will take you to higher ground. If water levels start to rise, it is a good idea to pull over and move uphill on foot, away from flash flood waters, as your car’s tires may lose contact with the road if the water gets too deep.
Driving in Rayford, TX, can be a challenge during heavy rain, especially when you encounter a flooded street. Knowing how to stay safe can help you reach your destination without injury or damage to your car.