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3 Signs of a Clogged Drain Pipe

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Signs of a Clogged Drain Pipe Clogged pipe in La Marque, TX

3 Signs of a Clogged Drain Pipe

A drain blockage can result in a toilet overflow or cause water to back up in a shower. If a flooded toilet causes water damage, professional sewage cleaning may be necessary. Here are three signs that a drain pipe may be clogged.

1. Toilet Backups or Overflows

A flooded toilet can be one of the first indications of a blocked drain line. If plunging does not loosen a clog, it may be necessary to use an auger or snake. Run the snake down a toilet, or remove the toilet and insert the snake directly into the floor drain. If this does not solve the problem, the blockage may be further down the line.

2. Slowed or Stopped Drains

A slow or stopped drain also indicates a clogged pipe. Slow drains may benefit from drain cleaning solutions. Enzymatic treatments are less likely to damage pipes than chemicals, but work more slowly and must be used regularly. If a drain has completely stopped, it may be possible to use a specialized snake designed for sinks. Otherwise, it is advisable to call a plumber.

3. Toilet Overflow During a Shower

A toilet that overflows during a shower is a clear indication of a blocked drain line. This situation may result in a major backup that necessitates sewage cleaning. A water damage cleanup service can remove standing water, disinfect the area, and recommend which building materials or contents should be disposed of or restored.

All of these issues are caused by a clogged pipe. A homeowner may be able to clear the blockage by snaking a toilet, floor drain, or drain cleanout. It may be possible to use enzymatic or chemical treatments in slow-draining sinks or showers. If efforts to clear a clog are unsuccessful, contact a plumber in La Marque, TX. A sewage cleaning service can restore areas damaged by exposure to contaminated water.

4 Steps for Working with Fire Restoration Professionals

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Steps for Working with Fire Restoration Professionals Smoke cleanup in Clear Lake, TX

4 Steps for Working with Fire Restoration Professionals 

After the first intense period of fighting workplace fires is over, an overwhelming sense of damage and restoration work may settle in. Signs of smoke damage, debris from the fire, and pools of water and chemicals could be everywhere you look. Fortunately, you don't have to tackle this problem on your own. What do you need to do?

1. Contact Professionals Right Away

In many cases, fire restoration and cleanup professionals in Clear Lake, TX, have an emergency response technician who will assess the fire damage and existing risks. This professional, or team of professionals, will probably patch up any holes in the roof, missing windows, and other points of exposure. This board-up and tarp service is key to keeping out inclement weather and potential looters.

2. Arrange to Meet Specialists

The second step in working with the cleanup team is to arrange a time for an assessment technician to visit your Clear Lake, TX, property. At this point, professionals take note of the extent of the fire and smoke damage. This step is crucial for planning the rest of the work and is often required by insurance companies. Without adequate communication, you may not get the coverage you want.

3. Cooperate With Cleanup Crews

As soon as possible, the technicians will begin removing water. They may haul in heavy equipment, such as dehumidifiers and fans, and may ask you for permission to move existing furnishings. To complete the drying process, doors and windows may be propped open. The technicians can get their work done more efficiently in a cooperative environment.

4. Keep Communication Lines Open

A lot of cleanup may take place when you aren't on location. Provide the cleanup team with your phone number, so they can get permission before discarding items with heavy soot damage or using specific chemical cleaners.

Smoke damage restoration is a task that these professionals are prepared to complete to your satisfaction. The experts who handle fire, water, and smoke cleaning can often provide all the work necessary to get your work space looking as good as new, especially when you work together.

Bathroom Water Supply Lines Do Not Last Forever

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Bathroom Water Supply Lines Do Not Last Forever Check your water supply line to avoid water damage in your bathroom

Bathroom Water Supply Lines Do Not Last Forever

All toilet water connections have a hose that connects the toilet to the shutoff valve. Most often, the hose consists of a shiny stainless-steel braid surrounding a polymer tube. It is a masterpiece of simplicity.

  • The internal polymer tube contains the flowing water.
  • The stainless-steel exterior makes it rustproof and gives it strength.
  • The braid gives it flexibility.
    It sounds indestructible. Why would we ever be concerned about supply line damage? How could it ever be the source of a bathroom leak?

Your Supply Line May Be Rustproof, but It's Not Immune to Chlorine
If there is a public water supply in Clear Lake,TX, your water is probably chlorinated. Cleaning products often contain chlorine. We all know how it smells. If you pay close attention, you can probably detect a faint smell of chlorine in your bathroom.
The process whereby chlorine causes supply line damage is simple. Cold water passes through the water supply line. Moisture from the air condenses on the stainless-steel and interacts with the chlorine in the air. The result is that the condensation becomes a very mild solution of hydrochloric acid. It may not be strong, but it is eating away at your stainless-steel all day, every day. Eventually, the wires in the braid break and puncture the polymer interior causing a supply line leak.

Replace Your $20 Water Supply Hose and Save Thousands in Repairs
There are no official guidelines for how long your braided water supply hose should last. However, you should consider replacing the supply line if

  • You can see discolored areas on the stainless-steel braid.
  • You can see or feel broken strands of wire, particularly near the couplings.
  • You or your plumber is performing maintenance on the toilet.

Supply Line Damage Is Not Always Avoidable
When your supply line fails, there is going to be significant water damage that needs immediate attention. That’s why you will want to bring in the best water damage remediation specialists available.

Breathe Freely: Tips to Eliminating Awful Cigarette Smoke Odor

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever moved into a home that seemed perfect for your needs, but there was one major problem: the smell of cigarette smoke? This can be a deal-breaker for some people, especially if you’ve never lived in such an environment. But you don’t have to sell the house or back out on the purchase. There are some effective ways to virtually make the smell go away for good.

What Can You Do?

Whether you’re moving into a smoke-filled home, or whether you’ve had smokers in the home, but they’re trying to quit, you can employ some home deodorization techniques to improve the smell. In some cases, you will want to contact a professional that specializes in cigarette odor cleanup.

• Using a solution of vinegar and water, clean wood, metal and plastic surfaces.
• Use the baking soda method.
• Call a professional cleanup company to use an ozone machine.

Vinegar and Water

With either bleach or vinegar, combine 2 cups of this liquid with a gallon of water. Go throughout your La Marque,TX, home and vigorously wash affected areas such as counters, cupboards and furniture. Repeat these actions if necessary. You may also try boiling the solution for more effectiveness. As for clothes, some people add a little vinegar to the laundry detergent when putting them through a cycle.

Baking Soda

Cigarette odors can be difficult to bear, but some people don’t like the smell of vinegar much better. If you fall in this category, baking soda is another option. Simply sprinkle baking soda on your floor and furniture and let it sit overnight. Then, vacuum up the baking soda; it should have absorbed much of the odors.

Ozone

In heavy doses, ozone is extremely harmful. However, it can be a potent home deodorization combatant as well. Only a professional should operate an ozone machine. This material will neutralize the particles in cigarette smoke and render them odorless.

When you want the best home deodorization processes, start with some things you can do on your own. If necessary, work your way up to ozone techniques and let the pros take over.

Water Damage During Construction

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Is a construction project in your Dickson,TX, business’s future? You may want to take action to reduce the risk of water damage. If your building sustains such loss, it can lead to expensive consequences like water pipe repair. Effects such as delayed construction or reputation damage can also negatively impact your business. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help prevent your business from becoming water damaged during construction. Here are three steps you can take to reduce the risk of dealing with destruction.

1. Evaluate Building Materials

Are the materials that your builders are using high-quality? If they are being stored inside during construction, are they properly tarped or covered in plastic? If the wrong materials are being used, there is a greater risk of a mishap occurring.

2. Conduct Regular Quality Checks

Make sure that your building’s waterproofing and plumbing systems are functional throughout the building process. If you find an issue during construction, correct it as soon as possible. For example, if you find a broken pipe, create an emergency plan for water pipe repair.

3. Be Your Own Advocate

If a builder refuses to address a waterproofing or plumbing issue, refuse to pay for the work. You need to know that you can rely on your commercial property to withstand regular water usage without a disaster occurring.

What If Water Damage Already Happened?

If a plumbing issue fell through the cracks during construction and you are now left with a broken pipe or a flooded building, it is time to call in the help of trusted professionals. A water damage restoration company can usually help clean up any damage that is present, and a trained technician can help with water pipe repair. Moisture damage is not fun to deal with, but following the steps above and having a remediation plan in place can help you protect your business and its future.

What to Do Until Help Arrives After a Fire

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to Do Until Help Arrives After a Fire ?Be sure to secure your loved ones as well as your personal belongings post a home fire.?

When a fire ravages a Houston area home or business, your Houston SERVPRO team stands at the ready to help. Whether the damage is from a small kitchen fire, mid-sized garage fire, or whole-house blaze, recovery requires comprehensive fire damage restoration. This process includes water extraction; removal and disposal of burned household items, walls, carpets, and floors; and clean-up of soot and smoke damage throughout the property.

Families are always anxious to get back into their homes in order to start locating personal items that can be salvaged. This is natural, but Houston SERVPRO wants to counsel property owners on how best to handle the situation until the emergency response team arrives. After a fire, there may be considerable damage to the structure of your home, and as a result floors, walls, and ceilings may be compromised. It is essential you follow the advice and directives of the fire department, and if your home is deemed too dangerous to enter, please remain outside.

After the fire, call your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Clear Lake immediately. We can be on scene within an hour to assist you throughout the fire damage restoration process. If the fire department has indicated it is safe to re-enter the home before we arrive, be sure to wear appropriate protective footwear, clothing, and gloves. Remember, a fire leaves behind toxic residue and gases that may affect your health and safety. For their safety, we recommend that children, teens, individuals with respiratory issues, and the elderly be prevented from entering fire damaged and Houston water damaged properties.

While you wait for us to arrive, here are a few things you can do to help expedite the rebuilding and restoration process. First, call your insurance agent and schedule for an adjuster to come to your property. Second, when you do enter your home, take photos or videos as you walk through as this will be helpful in the insurance claims process. We will assist you with the room-by-room inventory, but these initial photos taken before things are further disturbed, are extremely helpful. Next, while it is tempting to grab clothing, photo albums, antiques, fine art, and other keepsakes and start cleaning them off, this is not a recommended practice. Any cleaning you do at this point could cause soot stains or damage to the items, and result in the smell of smoke being set into fabrics. Please wait for our team to arrive prior cleaning household or personal items.

Avoiding Fire Damage Problems

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

If you have carpeted floors, please limit the foot traffic in those areas. In some cases, carpets may be able to be professionally cleaned rather than completely replaced. However, the more traffic on the carpet, the greater the chance the carpet will have to be replaced. In hallways and areas you need to access, place white towels down to walk on. Refrain from using colored towels as the dyes could transfer, causing greater damage.

If you really feel you must get started cleaning right away, start with the refrigerator. After a fire devastates the home, the heat from the flames and the steam from the water will damage the food in kitchen. All food and beverages must be destroyed and not consumed. You can empty the refrigerator and freezer, as well as your pantry, to get a jumpstart on the fire damage rebuilding process.

Leave the rest of the cleaning and restoration process to us. We stand at the ready to help you bring your home back to its pre-fire condition. Whenever disaster strikes, call on SERVPRO, and be sure to review What to Do Until Help Arrivesbrochure before entering your home.

About The Clear Lake SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Clear Lake is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewage backups, floods, fires, mold infestations, and other events happen. In addition to Clear Lake, we also proudly serve surrounding communities.

Sprinkler Head Water Damage

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Sprinkler Head Water Damage ?Water damage caused by an affected sprinkler head.?

Homes and commercial properties throughout the Houston area have mold, and many homeowners and property managers don’t even realize it. Because of our climate and the recent storms and widespread flood damage in the Clear Lake and surrounding communities, extensive mold is to be expected. Unfortunately, mold thrives in areas like ours, where humidity remains high throughout the year and temperatures are warm. While mold is pervasive in nature, mold indoors presents the greatest challenges.

SERVPRO of Clear Lake recommends that homeowners do thorough evaluations of their property, at least quarterly, and after every incident of water damages. Mold can start to develop within 48 hours, so the sooner you catch it and begin the remediation process, the better. Here are the top 4 warning signs that mold is growing in your home.

  1. Pervasive Smell. Mildew and mold have a distinctive odor. If you detect that odor in your home, chances are you have mildew and mold growth. Additionally, if your property is musty or smells damp, mold or mildew growth may be just around the corner. If after a thorough cleaning with bleach and water, the smell remains, it is time to call in the professionals. The technicians from Clear Lake SERVPRO have the advanced training, tools, and chemicals necessary to begin the remediation process immediately.
  2. Black, Gray, or Greenish Growth on Drywall. Often mistaken as simple water damage, mold can start to grow quickly. This is particularly true in cases where roofs leak for long periods, and water drips into the insulation and then weeps into the ceiling. Water stains may appear goldish brown at first, but can quickly morph into black, gray, or greenish mold. Insulation, drywall, and even some structural supports may need to be replaced. At a minimum, they need to be scrubbed, disinfected, and treated with a mold growth inhibitor prior to rebuilding.
  3. Mold Growth in Grout. Bathrooms are the most common places to find mold growth. It can be easily spotted here in grout or floor/wall joints, under cabinets, and on shower curtains. Mold spores spread through the air, so in order to avoid mold growth in other areas of the home, it is vital to handle it quickly and effectively.
  4. White, Gray, Black, or Greenish Growth in Basements. The dampness of basements, often caused by improper landscaping and weeping foundations, partners with the warmth of water heaters, creating the ideal haven for mold to grow. If you spot any growth in your basement, along with a musty or mildew smell, call professional mold remediation specialists to remove it.

While it is possible to DIY a flood cleanup, it is not recommended. The same can be said for mold remediation. It takes proper clothing and protective gear, harsh chemicals, dehumidifying equipment, and significant blocks of time to remove mold from your home. While small outbreaks are common in bathrooms, basements, attics, and even in kitchen cabinetry, large-scale mold infestations require an aggressive approach that most homeowners simply are not prepared to handle. Call your locally owned and operated Clear Lake SERVPRO. We are available 24 hours a day, whenever disaster strikes.

About The Clear Lake SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Clear Lake is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewage backups, floods, fires, mold remediation, and other events happen. 

Clear Lake Home Safety: What to Do Until Help Arrives After a Fire

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Clear Lake Home Safety: What to Do Until Help Arrives After a Fire Fire damage in a Houston,TX residence

When a fire ravages a Houston area home or business, your Houston SERVPRO team stands at the ready to help. Whether the damage is from a small kitchen fire, mid-sized garage fire, or whole-house blaze, recovery requires comprehensive fire damage restoration. This process includes water extraction; removal and disposal of burned household items, walls, carpets, and floors; and clean-up of soot and smoke damage throughout the property.

What to Do Until Help Arrives After a Fire

After a fire, there may be considerable damage to the structure of your home, and as a result floors, walls, and ceilings may be compromised. It is essential you follow the advice and directives of the fire department, and if your home is deemed too dangerous to enter, please remain outside.

After the fire, call your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Clear Lake immediately. We can be on scene within an hour to assist you throughout the fire damage restoration process. If the fire department has indicated it is safe to re-enter the home before we arrive, be sure to wear appropriate protective footwear, clothing, and gloves. Remember, a fire leaves behind toxic residue and gases that may affect your health and safety. For their safety, we recommend that children, teens, individuals with respiratory issues, and the elderly be prevented from entering fire damaged and Houston water damaged properties.

While you wait for us to arrive, here are a few things you can do to help expedite the rebuilding and restoration process.

First, call your insurance agent and schedule for an adjuster to come to your property. Second, when you do enter your home, take photos or videos as you walk through as this will be helpful in the insurance claims process. We will assist you with the room-by-room inventory, but these initial photos taken before things are further disturbed, are extremely helpful. Next, while it is tempting to grab clothing, photo albums, antiques, fine art, and other keepsakes and start cleaning them off, this is not a recommended practice. Any cleaning you do at this point could cause soot stains or damage to the items, and result in the smell of smoke being set into fabrics. Please wait for our team to arrive prior cleaning household or personal items.

If you have carpeted floors, please limit the foot traffic in those areas. In some cases, carpets may be able to be professionally cleaned rather than completely replaced. However, the more traffic on the carpet, the greater the chance the carpet will have to be replaced. In hallways and areas you need to access, place white towels down to walk on. Refrain from using colored towels as the dyes could transfer, causing greater damage.

If you really feel you must get started cleaning right away, start with the refrigerator. After a fire devastates the home, the heat from the flames and the steam from the water will damage the food in kitchen. All food and beverages must be destroyed and not consumed. You can empty the refrigerator and freezer, as well as your pantry, to get a jumpstart on the fire damage rebuilding process.

Leave the rest of the cleaning and restoration process to us. We stand at the ready to help you bring your home back to its pre-fire condition. Whenever disaster strikes, call on SERVPRO, and be sure to review What to Do Until Help Arrives brochure before entering your home.

Clear Lake Home Health: How to Kill Mold

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Clear Lake Home Health: How to Kill Mold The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture.

How to Kill Mold

Mold happens even in the cleanest of homes. A mold infestation can be caused by poor air circulation in a bathroom or laundry room, or it may be due to a broken water pipe, a leaky roof, or from flood damage in your Clear Lake home. Mold spores spread through the air, so if mold gets into your ventilation system, it can quickly spread throughout your home. If you suspect that you have mold in your home, turn off your heating or air conditioning system, and open your windows to allow fresh air to circulate while you start the process of removing mold. 

Before you Tackle the Mold, Here are 4 Things You Must Do

  1. Determine the size and severity of the mold infestation. A good rule of thumb is to first determine whether the mold remediation and restoration is a do-it-yourself project. If the mold infestation is in more than one room, it is best to hire a professional mold remediation company. Contact your locally owned SERVPRO of Clear Lake; we have the tools and expertise necessary to safely and completely remove mold from your home.
  2. Wear appropriate protective clothing. Protective footwear, gloves, goggles, and respirators are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. (1) Mold has the potential to cause adverse health affects. Protect yourself as recommended by the CDC and EPA.
  3. Purchase all the necessary cleanup supplies. Supplies such as cleansers, disinfectors, bags for disposal, and other tools are necessary to safely clean up mold in your home. Refer to our article, “14 Must-Have Supplies to Safely Remove Mold From Your Home” for further guidance and suggestions. (Link to article)
  4. Shut off HVAC system to prevent further spread of the mold. If your Clear Lake or Houston area home has experienced previous water damage and it affected your ducts or HVAC system, it is important to have your system and the ducts evaluated, and professionally cleaned, disinfected, and dried to prevent further mold growth and spread.

Now that you have the all the items necessary to kill mold, you can get started for hard surfaces including floors, walls, countertops, and other surfaces, use a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Use a sponge to apply the solution to affected areas, and scrub thoroughly with a stiff brush if necessary to remove any visible signs of mold.  Once all visible signs of mold are gone, rinse thoroughly with warm water and allow to dry completely with the aid of dehumidifiers and fans.If during the process of scrubbing drywall, you find that it is spongy or weak, you will need to purchase a drywall saw to cut the portion out. Be careful not to cut through electrical or phone lines. Be mindful that a significant infestation may be lurking behind the damaged wall.  Mold can also develop under hardwood floors, carpeting, laminate, and linoleum.

If you come across a spot on the floor that feels spongy or weak, it is time to call in a professional mold remediation team like your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Clear Lake. Weakened floors may be a sign that previous water damage has caused structural damage, or that mold has damaged the subfloors.For soft items, including draperies and upholstered furniture, professional cleaning is recommended. However, personal items including clothing, bedding, and plush toys that are bleach and washing machine safe can be cleansed at home. Please read all labels before washing.Any dampness in the air, ducts, or on items of your home can cause a new mold infestation within 48 hours. Use fans and dehumidifiers to prevent another infestation in your home.