Recent Posts

The Value of a Fast Response to a Disaster

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Close up of a green SERVPRO semi truck Disaster response is a 24-hour job

The Value of a Fast Response to a Disaster

What do business owners, insurance agents and adjusters look for in a disaster response team? The following traits stand out above all of the rest:

  • 24-hour availability throughout the week and year
  • A fast emergency response
  • Trained professionals in recovery standards
  • Effective equipment to deal with water damage, fire damage and mold growth
  • An effective claims inventory process

It all begins with availability, which is why a SERVPRO franchise is often the preferred vendor for many companies and insurance agents. The local franchise in Clear Lake, TX, responds to a call within one hour and pledges to be on-site in less than four hours. The statement Faster to Any Size Disaster is more than just words.

Why a Fast Response Matters

Getting to the scene of the disaster in hours has many advantages. A quick and thorough inspection and damage assessment can identify safety issues and prevent further damage to a commercial building or office space. This keeps employees and clients safe from contaminated water, trips and falls and encounters with compromised electrical equipment. In the case of mold containment, it prevents the mold spores from spreading throughout the building and infecting other areas. The quick removal of water in the case of a flood or from fire-fighting efforts minimizes damage to walls, flooring, and furniture.

Why Availability Is Crucial

The initial hours after a disaster are critical. This is when lives can be saved, injuries prevented and company resources protected. A SERVPRO franchise is always open, so you will hear back in a matter of minutes. Questions can be addressed right away. Trained technicians will arrive on the scene quickly and begin the recovery process.
Storms, floods, and fires don't take off the weekends, holidays or the middle of the night. Disaster response is a 24-hour job. For the best results contact a remediation team that is always on duty and ready to get to work.

Typical Places To Spot Mold at Work

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

A faucet covered with mold Mold growth is not strictly a water damage problem. Mold grows in unvented bathrooms, around leaky pipes, and underneath sinks with damaged seals

Common Areas Where Mold Likes To Show Up

In your office building, you certainly never want to hear a report that there is mold growth. Unfortunately, this is all too common for some business owners and property managers. Mold can develop in both older and newer buildings. Under certain circumstances, this fungus can spread and become a significant concern. It is important to be aware of common areas where mold likes to show up. This information will help you clean it up properly and prevent it from growing.

Under Sinks and Behind Appliances

Sometimes, mold can grow for months or even years without anyone ever seeing it. You may first detect its presence through other factors such as people getting ill. Mold frequently shows up under or near refrigerators, drinking fountains, dishwashers, water heaters or air conditioning units. You may also spot it under sinks where there has been water damage. This issues may start due to:

  • A broken pipe
  • A bursting pipe
  • A slow leak

Walls and Ceilings

Mold growth commonly occurs because of problems with your building's water pipes or HVAC ducts. These usually run in the walls and ceilings in the facility. When water leaks out of the pipes and ducts, mold can spread onto ceiling panels and on walls. Look for water stains, accompanied by green, black or brown spots in the area.

Damp Places

Like many other office buildings in Nassau Bay, TX, you probably have a basement or attic in your workplace. These areas typically have high humidity because of decreased airflow. You should regularly inspect these parts of the building, especially if you find any water.

Bathrooms

If your restrooms also have employee shower and locker room areas, mold could be lurking. This fungus loves to grow on shower walls and bathroom floors. If you spot any mold in these places, make sure you call a certified mold remediation expert to inspect and remove it.
Now that you're aware of common breeding grounds for mold, take the right steps to reduce the moisture and humidity there. Preparation and action will give you peace of mind.

An Overview of Fire Extinguisher Usage

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

2 fire extinguishers If you have the opportunity to use a fire extinguisher, you don’t want to falter.

Even the largest fires start out small. If you use a fire extinguisher, you can help prevent a blaze in your office from getting out of control. If you and your employees have never used one of these tools, learn how today. A few seconds could help avert a devastating disaster in your Dickinson, TX, workplace.

An Overview

Using it correctly could save your life and could prevent excessive fire damage to your office. This process doesn’t have to intimidate you. When using this took, employ the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim the hose.
  • Squeeze the lever.
  • Sweep the hose.

Pull the Pin

First, make sure you are standing a safe distance away from the fire. You should be able to reach the flames from 8 to 12 feet away. If you need to move closer, do so with caution. Grab the extinguisher and locate the pin, which is inserted in the handle. Pull the pin out and hold the extinguisher and nozzle away from you.

Aim the Hose

Take the extinguisher handle with one hand and the hose with the other. Next, aim the hose at the base of the flames, not in the middle or at the top. If you don’t aim for the base, you may not have much or any success extinguishing the fire.

Squeeze the Lever

Once you’re in position, squeeze the two levers together with one hand. Make sure you have a firm grasp of the hose with your other hand. Apply even, slow pressure while squeezing the lever.

Sweep the hose

For the most effective results, move the hose from side to side, still aiming at the base of the flames. As the flames get smaller, move closer and continue spraying.

Whether in a kitchen fire or in any other part of your office, a fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. Follow these steps, and you can avoid costly cleanup and mitigation.

Fire Safety During the Holidays

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

a Christmas scene with a fire place Our team works 24 hours a day, even through the holidays.

Houston Home Safety:  Put Fire Safety First During the Holidays

Houston fire damage affects thousands of homes and businesses throughout our community each year. As we transition into the holiday season, the SERVPRO of Clear Lake team wants to take this opportunity to detail the best safety practices for families in our area. During the holiday season, there is a general uptick in home fires nationwide, often due to decorations, candles, turkey fryers, and space heaters. Please be mindful of potential hazards, follow manufacturer directions for all equipment exactly, and follow these fire safety tips.

Before a Fire: Create & Practice A Fire Escape Plan. Many holiday fires begin during the evening hours, often when those in the home are resting, or asleep. It is imperative that everyone in the house recognize the sound of the smoke detector, and now the best escape route for where they are in the home. For homes with 2 or more levels, escape ladders are recommended as the stairs may not be passable during a fire. If you live in a home with security bars on the windows, make sure they can be easily disabled from the inside.

In addition to practicing multiple egress plans, be sure everyone in the home know the designated “safe space” to meet. This can be a next-door neighbor’s front porch, the mailbox, or another easily identified area a safe distance from your home.

During a Fire:  Exit the Home Immediately.  It is vital for the safety of everyone in your home that the escape plan is executed immediately when the smoke detector alerts. It is recommended that you select the exit with the least smoke activity to get out of the home quickly. When you and your family meet up at your designated safe space, call 911 immediately. Be prepared to give details including location of the home, where you and your family currently are, and if any people or pets are unaccounted for.

Remember, no matter how tempting, never reenter a burning building. This can cause significant delays for the fire department and put more lives in danger.

This holiday season, your locally owned and operated SERVPRO in Houston sincerely hopes everyone in our community remains safe and that homes and businesses are not affected by fire, water damage or another disaster. However, if your home is damaged, give us a call immediately. We can begin the cleaning and restoration work immediately to limit the amount of time you and your family are displaced and inconvenienced. 

About SERVPRO of Clear Lake

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.

Breathe Freely: Tips to Eliminating Awful Cigarette Smoke Odor

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke with a sign that says SMOKE DAMAGE STINKS Eliminating Awful Smoke Odor by calling SERVPRO

Breathe Freely: Tips to Eliminating Awful Cigarette Smoke Odor

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.

Avoiding Fire Damage Problems

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Avoiding Fire Damage Problems

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 the 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 jump start 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.

About SERVPRO of Clear Lake

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.

Lightning Strikes and House Fires

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning Thunderstorms can cause damage in many ways, but one of the most violent ones is via lightning

Lightning Strikes and House Fires

A lightning fire does not discriminate, making it a relatively rare but nonetheless potential fire hazard for homes not only in Clear Lake, TX but also all over the country. However, fires started by nature’s electrical discharge are, statistically speaking, more likely to burn wildlands than homes, and it is reassuring to know that restoration experts can set things right after property losses from a home fire.

Facts Regarding Lightning Strikes on Homes

Although lightning is an unpredictable force of nature, statistics and anecdotal evidence offer suggestions about its patterns that can be helpful information.

• Strikes are more likely to happen during the months of June, July and August.
• More strikes occur in the afternoon and evening hours between 3 and 9 p.m.
• Strikes on homes often, but not always, travel along conductive lines like pipes, electrical lines, gutters, and metal framing around windows and doors.
• The attic is the location where a lightning fire is most likely to begin.
• Shock waves from thunderbolts have been known to damage materials like cinder block, stone, concrete and brick, and they can also shatter glass.
• Unplugging electronics during a storm is a prudent move because surge protectors cannot protect them from a direct strike.
• It is best to stay out of bathrooms and kitchens during an electrical storm to reduce the risk of injury from electricity traveling along pipework. Avoid using corded telephones and computers as well, as they can conduct electricity.
• Some zones, such as Florida’s gulf coast, have more frequent storm activity than other areas.
• Lightning protection systems are available for areas where there is more activity.

The phenomenon of atmospheric electricity is exciting for some people and frightening for others. The fact is, a lightning fire is statistically less likely to threaten your home than another type of house fire no matter where you live. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/ for more information on fire damage. 

The Role of Your Business's Building Envelope

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Construction details - framing installing the roof truss system The envelope is the barrier between the inside of the building and the outdoors

Rain damage to your Clear Lake, TX, business can be a major hassle. Fortunately, a secure building envelope can keep water out most of the time.

The Components and Purpose of the Building Envelope

The envelope is the barrier between the inside of the building and the outdoors. It is made up of several components:

  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Foundation
  • Windows and doors
  • Seals around windows and doors

A good envelope is usually referred to as being "tight" because it is airtight and watertight. "Loose" envelopes, on the other hand, allow rain, water and other elements to enter the structure. Buildings with tight envelopes have lower energy bills because they keep the heated or cooled air in the building. They are also less susceptible to black mold and other moisture problems. A good barrier will keep your merchandise safe and your employees and customers comfortable.

Designing and Maintaining a Building Envelope

When constructing a new building, it is important to use high-quality roofing, foundation, and insulation materials. This ensures that the structure is watertight to prevent rain damage. Make sure the building is designed to withstand local weather patterns. Additionally, install appropriate sealing around doors and windows. Because of increased regulations, most new construction buildings will have good envelopes. For older buildings, you may need to repair or replace some elements of the envelope in order to achieve a tight seal. Whether your structure is old or new, it is important to perform routine maintenance and inspections on the envelope to make sure it stays in good condition. Address small problems like missing or damaged shingles before they become more serious.
A well-sealed and insulated building can prevent many, but not all, instances of water entry. Even with a tight envelope, your business may suffer rain damage. A certified restoration team can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

Basic First Aid Tips for Burns

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. Minor burns may not require medical attention

Basic First Aid Tips for Burns

A fire in your commercial building in La Marque, TX, can damage the structure and many of the items in it. If the incident occurs while the building is occupied, though, the fire damage to the property may not be your most immediate concern. If people suffer from burns while they are trying to escape, it is helpful to have a basic knowledge of first aid to help them until medical professionals can arrive.

Burn Severity

The first thing you need to do is decide if the injury is a major or minor burn. If it's just a few small blisters or the skin is red, the burn is probably minor. A major burn, however, shows other warning signs:

  • Has charred appearance with white or black patches
  • Covers a large area or involves a deep wound
  • Makes skin look leathery or excessively dry

The severity of the burn will dictate the appropriate burn first aid.

Minor Burn Aid
Minor burns may not require medical attention. Your fire damage emergency kit likely contains all the supplies you need to treat it. Cool the burned area, apply a lotion specially formulated for soothing burns and cover it with a clean bandage. An over-the-counter medication may be used to ease the pain.

Major Burn Aid
When people have major burns, they will likely need the help of a medical professional. To keep them as comfortable and safe as possible before emergency services arrive, though, you can apply some basic first aid. Do not attempt to flush the burn with water. Keep an eye on their vital signs, such as breathing and heart rate, and administer CPR as necessary. Make sure that all restrictive items, such as jewelry or accessories near the burn, are removed. Cover the burn with a clean bandage or cloth to guard against infection while you wait.
Certified restoration experts can mitigate the fire damage to your building, but if people are injured, they may need medical assistance. Knowing basic first aid can be useful until help arrives.

3 Signs You Need To Replace Your Toilet

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of a man replacing a broken toilet in a washroom Toilet replacement in Nassau Bay,TX

3 Signs You Need To Replace Your Toilet

A toilet that isn’t in optimal shape can have a difficult time doing its job efficiently. While certain problems can be fixed with a routine toilet repair, others may warrant a full replacement. Replacing your leaking toilet instead of opting for a quick fix can help you save valuable time, money and energy. If you’re having trouble determining whether the toilet in your Nassau Bay,TX, home has reached the end of its lifespan, these common signs of a failing toilet can help you make the right decision.

Frequent Clogging

While there’s nothing wrong with a toilet that becomes clogged occasionally, frequent clogs may point to an underlying issue. Most of the time, a toilet that experiences ongoing clogs contains worn-out parts that are preventing it from handling its contents properly. Another potential explanation is that there is a certain type of blockage in the plumbing system that is causing the toilet to clog. If the situation is serious enough, it may be easiest to replace the fixture completely.

Constant Running or Flushing

If your toilet seems to be continuously running or flushing, this may be a sign that you have a leaking toilet. This can usually be solved by simply adjusting the flapper valve. However, an ongoing problem usually signals that it’s time for a new toilet. Keep in mind that a constantly running toilet wastes a significant amount of water, so be sure to replace it with a new one promptly.

Age

In some cases, your toilet may simply be too old to continue functioning at its best. Toilets can usually last up to fifty years or more, but if you’re experiencing persistent issues, the best decision is to replace your old toilet. Many new toilet models are more energy-efficient, which can help you save money as well as avoid additional problems later on.
An old or leaking toilet can cause various types of harm in your living space. Whether you’re experiencing flooding or water damage, residential restoration services can salvage your home in no time.