Recent Posts

How Does Ice Damming Lead to Mold?

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Ice damming is a problem in climates that receive a lot of snow. If the attic of a structure is not property ventilated and the gutters are clogged, ice and snow on the roof will melt, run down and refreeze around the edges of the roof. Over time, this backed-up frozen and refrozen precipitation or ice dam can cause leaks through shingles that trickle behind the walls of a structure. These leaks can cause water damage and promote the growth of black mold.

Here are three ways to prevent ice damming:

1. Adequately ventilate attic space.

Roof eave ventilation prevents ice dams from forming. Ventilation should flow from the underside of the eave through the attic and out near the top of the roof. The attic should remain cold and insulated from heat in the interior of the structure.
2. Clear the gutters. Snow and ice should slide off of the roof rather than accumulating and refreezing around the edges. Clogged gutters can cause ice dams and result in gutter and roof damage from the added weight.
3. Make sure that the roof is watertight and in good condition. The roof should be in a condition to withstand winter precipitation without admitting water into the structure.

If a structure in Clear Lake, TX, has already experienced leaks as a result of ice damming, contact a service that specializes in mold testing and cleanup as soon as possible. Leaks caused by ice damming can result in water damage and the formation of mold on drywall, masonry and in wall cavities. Mold can start to form between walls in as little as 24 hours.

Ice damming is a common cause of hidden black mold, as these leaks occur behind walls. Mold cleanup specialists can address extensive water damage and eliminate the risk of mold growth following a leak resulting from an ice dam.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.

The Basics of Smoke Odor Removal

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire has blazed through your commercial property, you have several aftereffects to deal with besides destruction from the flames themselves. Smoke damage also remains, leaving its telltale smell along with chemical pollution and possible structural issues. For these reasons, smoke cleaning in Clear Lake, TX, becomes an essential component of a restoration company’s techniques when they work to bring your commercial buildings back to normal after a fire.


The Right Equipment for the Job


Restoration professionals have many tools at their disposal to permanently eradicate smoke odor from your property. In their arsenals, you’ll typically find three types of smoke cleaning equipment:

• Air filtration devices
• Thermal foggers
• Ozone machines

Air filtration equipment eliminates the fine particles and chemicals introduced by smoke. Moreover, thermal foggers put out millions of ultra-fine droplets that are each roughly the same size as the smoke particles still residing inside your building, delivering odor counteractants to wipe out the smoke’s chemical composition and dissipate the smell.


A Word About Ozone Machines


You’ve probably seen ozone machines available on the consumer market during the last couple of decades, but restoration companies use professional-grade devices instead. The O3 that they produce consists of molecules bearing three oxygen atoms instead of the standard paired oxygen atoms that exist in standard breathable Earth air. This deployed ozone works by bonding itself to chemicals at the molecular level, changing their composition and nullifying both their odors and harmful effects. However, commercial-grade equipment is meant to achieve immediate results in the hands of experts, and you should not attempt to use ozone devices on your own due to the potential hazards involved.


Leave Smoke Odor Remediation to the Experts


Fire restoration is a dedicated methodology using complex techniques and innovative technology. When utilized properly by odor removal technicians, each type of equipment eliminates the harmful chemicals and noxious odors left behind by smoke. In the hands of experts, these devices working together achieve high-quality smoke cleaning for your premises in Clear Lake, TX.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.

Tis the Season for Fires in the Fireplace…But Are They Safe?

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a fireplace, you know how cozy and relaxing a fire burning in the hearth can be, but are you aware of just how dangerous it can be as well? Chimney fires are an all too common occurrence, yet most people don’t think about them when they’re relaxing in an armchair, reading a favorite novel by firelight. But they should. Why? Because a dirty chimney can cause a chimney fire.

If you have never experienced a chimney catching fire before, fire cleaning experts in Clear Lake, TX, have a few signs for you to look out for. Some indications that an inferno may be growing in your chimney include

• Loud popping or cracking noises
• A lot of black smoke
• A strong burning smell

Once a fire has begun, chances are it will end in an explosion. You may know that your chimney has erupted when you hear a loud roaring sound coming from directly above your home. Some people describe the explosion as sounding like a plane is flying low overhead. Neighbors may see plumes of smoke shoot from the top of your chimney.

The Consequences of a Chimney Fire


Though chimney fires rarely result in harm to the homeowners, they can do damage to the home itself. Some common results of a chimney inferno are

• Large missing chunks of flue tiles
• Heat-damaged TV antenna
• Damaged roofing material
• Discolored or warmed rain cap
• Warmed damper
• Cracks in the chimney’s masonry
• Smoke escaping through the mortar joints of your home’s masonry


The Importance of Proper Maintenance


Chimney fires can be avoided with a few simple maintenance techniques. For one, have your chimney cleaned regularly by professional chimney sweeps. While they’re there, they should inspect your fuel venting system and make repairs as necessary. Depending on how you use your fireplace or stove, the sweep may provide other recommendations for how you can avoid a chimney fire.


For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.

4 Tips on Flood Damage Control

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood, it’s time for you to start thinking about cleanup. Without the right equipment, you may wonder how to get the water out of your basement or home. In case of flooding in Clear Lake, TX keep these four tips in mind.

1. Flood Water Is Always Contaminated

No matter where the flood originated, it’s safest if you always treat the water as contaminated. If the flooding was caused by a storm, or if the water has stood for more than a day, then odds are it is contaminated. You don’t want to be caught in contaminated waters without the proper equipment, so it’s safest to always assume the water is black water.

2. Don’t Let Standing Water Stand

The longer standing water is left, the worse the damage can become. For instance, mold grows within 48 hours and as early as 24. The longer the moisture stays, the harder it might be to dry your walls and furniture. Additionally, the structure could also become soggy and prone to rot if left for too long. As soon as possible, water should be removed by a sump or trash pump operated by a professional.

3. Dehumidify Your Home

A dehumidifier could help if your home or basement has flooded. This helps dry everything out once the water is removed. Remember that any moisture left behind can lead to mold growth. Pumps can get rid of excess moisture.

4. Look for Trapped Water

Once the water is gone and you have dehumidified, you may think the job is done, but this isn’t always the case. Make sure to check around for trapped mud or water. If you miss anything, it’s possible mold will still grow, which means you’ll likely continue to experience water damage.

Clearing out water after a flood and taking care of the subsequent moisture can be overwhelming at first. However, with these tips, it shouldn’t be difficult to remember what needs to be done and the equipment that should be used. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on storm damage.

How Professionals Clean Up After Sewer Damage

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

If sewer backup, such as a flooded toilet, has contaminated your home in Clear Lake, TX you may find yourself wondering how in the world anyone could completely clean such a mess. While you should never attempt sewer cleanup yourself, it’s hard for some people to imagine how even a professional could make everything safe again. You can break down this process into four necessary steps:

1. Protect
2. Inspect
3. Remove
4. Repair

Each of these steps has several components that are essential to the cleaning process, and require both knowledge and specialized tools. In the end, you have a home that feels as good as new.

1. Protect

Sewer backup is considered “black water,” which means it is dangerous for humans to touch. It can contain all kinds of bacteria, parasites, and other toxic substances. That’s why the first step in the restoration process is to protect the people in the home and the workers. The professionals may ask you to leave home for a given amount of time. Then, they use protective gear to ensure their own health and safety.

2. Inspect

The crew may take a moment to identify any potential hazards. This step allows them to create a game plan for the sewer cleanup. They may determine that they need the electricity off or that specific structures could become dangerous.

3. Remove

Once they have a game plan, the team can start removing the contaminated water with specific pumps. Then, they remove all unsalvageable materials. This stage may also include a drying period.

4. Repair

With all the contaminated water and belongings out of the way, the restoration crew can begin repairs. This step often includes lots of cleaning, followed by precise rebuilding to bring your home back to its former glory.

Sewer cleanup may seem like a terrifying ordeal, but with qualified professionals in Clear Lake, TX by your side, you can make it look like sewer backup or a flooded toilet never happened. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

What Happens 24 Hours After a Flood?

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

You heard the flood evacuation order in time to get your family to safety. That’s the important part. Now you need to consider the protection of your home. Do you know what happens 24 hours after a flood? It might surprise you just how quickly things can go from bad to worse and why getting a jump on cleanup quickly is necessary. Whether your home is flooded from a pipe burst or flood waters, you could be in a mold cleanup situation sooner than you might realize.

The First 24 Hours

In the beginning, the water is on the surface. It is sitting on your hardwood, tile, and carpeting flooring. It is against your home’s walls and furniture legs. In anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, the water can begin to seep into other areas:

• Under your flooring
• Into the basement or crawlspace
• Beyond the surface of walls into the drywall and studs

From there it can travel to other areas of your home. As the water spreads, the damage worsens. Materials swell, warp and deteriorate soon after a pipe burst.

The Next 24 Hours and Beyond

The longer water sits past 24 hours, the more damage can occur. That makes cleanup more difficult, and in some cases, impossible. With dirty water, the solids sink and become more strongly affixed to surfaces. Solids and microorganisms can permeate deeply. Items that may have been able to be restored before that happened may need to be thrown out.

In addition to this problem, it only takes 24 hours for mold to take notice of the prime environment for growth. Now, instead of just water removal and restoration, your Clear Lake, TX home also may need mold cleanup. Mold can also begin growing because of elevated humidity levels. High humidity enables mold to grow throughout your home, not just where the water is. This makes cleanup even more complex.

Do what you can to avoid mold cleanup on top of an already stressful situation and to minimize the work and costs involved. Call a professional immediately after a pipe burst or other water damage situation.




Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

Water Damage and Mold FAQs

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Mold FAQs

Mold growth usually occurs in moist areas with high humidity, and it is important you address any water damage issues immediately. Since mold spores exist practically everywhere, high-moisture areas are likely to grow mold easily and with impudence. Here are some FAQs about damage caused by water and mold growth.

Where Does Moisture in the Home Typically Come From?

There are many ways water can enter the home: foundation leaks, water pipe leaks, poor drainage around the home, etc. Floods, sewage backups and appliance valve failures can cause particular trouble because they may result in significant water inside the home.

What Dangers Are Associated With Damage From Water?

When water pools in a home, building materials act as a wick and soak up some of the water. If the water is contaminated, everything the water comes in contact with will need to be restored. Contaminated water may contain a variety of microbes, including viruses and bacteria.

Mold growth is another concern. If left unchecked, it can quickly spread by releasing spores into the air. The mold starts in wet areas but can end up contaminating dry areas of the home as well. The longer moisture is allowed to sit in the home, the more problems it is likely to cause.

How Is Damage Handled by Professionals?

Professionals in Clear Lake, Texas will start by removing any standing water. They will then take care of any compromised material. Once the area is free of water and materials, the space will be dried out and disinfected, which may take several days.

The home will be thoroughly inspected for the presence of mold. If it is found, mold remediation processes will be used to remove the mold and disinfect the area. If larger colonies are found, technicians may need to contain the area and physically remove any moldy materials.

Dealing with damage from water and mold is a frustrating process. Hire professionals in water damage and mold remediation to ensure the job is done properly. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold.

3 Ways to Restore Your Home to Pre-Fire Condition

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

3 Ways to Restore Your Home to Pre-Fire Condition

If your home suffered a large fire, you probably had to call the fire department to put it out. To save your property, firefighters most likely battled the flames with a heavy stream of water from a hose. While necessary to eliminate the hazard, the consequences to your home's foundation, walls and floors might not be so good. After a blaze, your home might suffer fire damage such as soot stains and unpleasant odors as well as excessive moisture problems. Here are three ways to repair both types of damage.

1.Surface Cleaning

The goal of any professional fire damage restoration team in Clear Lake, Texas is to remove all debris and smoke stains from every room of your home. To do this, experts use aggressive cleaning chemicals and advanced equipment. Often, they might repaint your walls or take out your flooring. Professionals even understand how to treat delicate fabric or upholstery so you won't have to replace your possessions.

2.Water Extraction

Water damage can cause mold and impurities to blossom and affect the structural foundation of your home. To extract moisture, professionals use fans and heat. Sometimes, it's necessary to puncture your walls to get behind the surface, or even remove your drywall altogether. A restoration team can accurately assess your property to determine the most effective method to use to make your living space comfortable again as quickly as possible.

3.Ventilation

After dousing your home with a water hose to fight flames, the interior can become choked with dangerous fumes. Good ventilation is crucial during repairs to remove lingering smoke and smells. Make sure your windows stay open for as long as possible to let fresh air circulate.

Fire damage and moisture problems after a disaster can cause unsightly and dangerous problems to your property. However, there are many methods to get your residential property back to pre-fire condition in Clear Lake, Texas. Surface cleaning, water extraction and ventilation techniques can be quite effective in treating damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on fire damage.

How to Prepare Your Property for an Oncoming Storm

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

How to Prepare Your Property for an Oncoming Storm

Oftentimes, business owners will hear about a storm well in advance. While there are times that a flood watch could be little more than a false alarm, there are too many cases where it isn’t. It’s never a good idea to wait on storm preparation. Here are three preparation steps professionals in restoration strongly suggest to business owners to help them handle oncoming storms and flooding.

1. Clean Gutters and Storm Drains

Gutters and storm drains are your first defense against flood waters. If your gutters are clogged, then they may not be able to withstand the weight of storm debris. After all, the water will build up even more than if the gutter were clear, and this could cause extensive damage. Storm drains have a similar issue. If not cleared in advance, they could be clogged and this will cause the flood to be worse, as it has nowhere to run off.

2. Protect Your Important Items

In case of a storm warning with major flooding expected, you should remove all of your electrical appliances and valuables before the storm. This includes furniture and rugs. Anything that could be damaged by the water and will be a burden on your business shouldn’t be left behind. Once the storm hits, the rest happens quickly. You want to make sure you move these items in advance.

3. Put Away Important Documents

Many important documents can’t be replaced. This can include financial or other business information. Once these documents have sustained storm damage, then that’s the end of them. You can file documents away in plastic, airtight containers or a waterproof safe and store them on higher ground away from the flooding.

If you’re dealing with flood potential in Clear Lake, Texas you have to remember that preparation is usually the key to dealing with less damage. The more that you prepare, the easier it will be to restore everything when it’s finished. Even if you aren’t sure the flood damage will be extensive, it’s better to be safe. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on storm damage.

Fire damage restoration

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Devastating fires strike thousands of families in the greater Houston metropolitan area each year. No one wants to face such a disaster, but if a fire does damage your home, it is important you quickly take proper steps to prevent further loss.

While first thoughts tend to focus on the damage caused by the flames, smoke and water damage must also be addressed quickly. The longer the smoke, soot, and water remain in your home, the greater the damage and cost for cleaning and restoration. Additionally , soot has corrosive elements in it, and the water and chemicals used to knock down a fire can lead to serious mold infestations if the home is not properly cleaned and dehumidified quickly.

Locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Clear Lake offers the following tips for coping with home fire damage:

1.      Do not enter your home until deemed safe by the fire department. Depending on the level of structural damage caused by the fire and the fire fighting efforts, it may be a few days before your home is safe to enter. Follow all first responder guidelines carefully. It is critical that all utilities, including electricity and gas, are shuttered prior to entry. Additionally, be sure to wear proper clothing, eye protection, and footwear.

2.      Contact your insurance company immediately. Most insurance companies can and will dispatch an emergency claims adjuster to help you begin your claim. Throughout the process, be sure to keep all receipts for any expenses you incur, including living expenses, car rental, food receipts, etc..

3.      Contact your local Red Cross if your home is not habitable. They can help to secure temporary housing and provide clothing and toiletries as needed.

4.      Hire a fire damage restoration team to begin the assessment process. Photos of your home, structural damage, and damage to personal items are needed to help with the claims process. SERVPRO uses “CCIS” or Contents Claim Inventory Service to generate room-by-room inventories. They facilitate quick claims by categorizing items as salvageablenon-salvageable, and questionable. For many of our customers, this is an invaluable part of the fire damage restoration process.

5.      Review and approve the work authorization for restoration. Before your SERVPRO team gets started on the cleaning, deodorizing, and rebuilding of your home, the work authorization form must be reviewed and approved. We can then start work virtually immediately. If you have any questions about the scope of our services or what we will do in each room, please feel free to ask the team lead. We will make sure everyone is on the same page prior to beginning work.

Our fire restoration services are comprehensive and can include any or all of the following:

·         Move outs/ins

·         Document drying and restoration

·         Art and antiquities evaluation and restoration

·         Appliances and electronics tested and cleaned

·         Photo restoration

·         Water extraction

·         Smoke damage remediation

·         Cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing

·         Air duct and HVAC cleaning

·         Cleaning/restoration of carpet and floors

·         Removal and disposal of unsalvageable items

·         Rebuilding, including new drywall, paint, floors, windows, roofs, and other structural elements

·         Other customized services as needed

Your locally owned and operated SERVPRO is available to respond when disaster strikes your home. Our team has the expertise, training, and tools necessary to help you quickly restore your home after fire, soot, smoke or water damage, to help prevent additional damage and future mold infestations. Contact us today and allow us to help you through this challenging time.