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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

What To Know About Fire Damage and Your Renters Insurance

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

Man crouching, pensive mode around a house that burned down Fire damage in a home in Dickson, TX.

Fire Damage and Your Renters Insurance

When your rental suffers fire damage in Dickson, TX, you may be wondering if your renter's insurance will cover the damage. Your exact coverage will depend on your policy type, however, here are a few things you may be able to expect.

1. Parts of the Insurance Policy

There are many parts to an insurance policy you should be aware of. Personal property coverage is for the items you brought into the rental unit, while structural coverage is for the physical building. Liability coverage may be included in case you are found personally at fault for the fire. A loss of use clause may be included to provided funding in case the home or apartment is rendered uninhabitable.

2. What May Be Covered

Most renter's insurance policies commonly cover the costs needed to replace personal items. Depending on your policy they may even cover the cost to hire a fire restoration service that can help with cleaning and repairs. Some services may even help salvage personal items. Your renter's policy may also include liability and loss of use depending on the circumstances, and severity of the fire.

3. What May Not Be Covered

Many renter's policies are designed to cover only that which the renter is reasonably responsible for. This means that things such as structural damage may fall under the landlord’s insurance policy. Fortunately, many insurance companies will work together to help ensure the process goes smoothly. It is considered the renter’s responsibility to have an insurance policy in the first place as well as to keep it up-to-date.

It’s important to remember that your renter's insurance coverage will depend on your policy. However, in most cases, fire damage to personal property will be covered along with some repair and restorations costs. Your landlord’s policy should cover the damage to the structure itself. As the policyholder you are considered responsible for knowing what your policy contains.

Don’t Come Home to Water After Vacation

1/30/2022 (Permalink)

three air movers placed beside drywall, flood cuts performed to drywall A pipe burst causes water damage to a home in La Marque, TX.

The last thing that should be on your mind when you’re on a vacation away from La Marque, TX, is whether a broken pipe has caused an area of your home to flood. This can cause damage to your belongings and your home, so the best thing to do is to prevent the need for water pipe repair.

Prevent Burst Pipes

Broken pipes can be difficult to fix, and the damage can be costly. It’s best to keep this issue from ever happening. If you’re traveling out of town for an extended period of time, specifically during the winter, there are several steps you can take to prevent your home from being flooded:

• Don’t turn down the heat too far. If you keep the heat on, even if you turn it lower than if you were home, it can keep your pipes warm enough to prevent them from freezing.

• Keep the water running. You don’t have to run the water on full. If you allow the faucet to drip, this helps relieve the pressure in your water system, possibly eliminating water pipe repair.

• Wrap the pipes. If you wrap pipes, especially those that are exposed, with towels or blankets, it provides extra insulation against the elements.

Keep an Eye on Your Home From a Distance

If you’re going to be gone for several days, especially during the coldest parts of winter, it’s not a bad idea to have a neighbor, family member or friend stop by the house once in a while. This can be just a quick peek inside to verify there is no flooding or a broken pipe, or checking the thermostat to make sure plenty of warm air is circulating in your empty home.

You can also use video cameras that you can view from your phone or computer to check on your home. This won’t prevent a pipe from bursting, but it can allow you to at least get a professional there to do a water pipe repair sooner and prevent further damage.

How Do You Create a Fire Escape Plan?

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Every employee in your building must know of at least two ways to escape from every room.

What Are the Steps to Making a Fire Exit Plan?

As a business owner in Clear Lake, TX, you may be concerned with protecting your employees and the valuable contents within your building from fire damage. While protecting those items is mainly an issue of not letting a fire start in the first place, your employees’ lives are both more valuable and easy to protect. Making sure you have a sound fire escape plan in your building is an essential safety measure. It’s not enough to just tell your employees to evacuate in the event of a fire, however. A concrete, laid-out fire escape plan is crucial in assuring everyone’s safety. Here are a few pointers to make your plan easier to design, as well as some things it should include:

Check Smoke Alarms

First and foremost, you must be sure your building meets NFPA standards for smoke alarms. This means a smoke alarm in every room and office, and outside every major working area. Also, while it’s highly unlikely that your employees will have this problem, it’s important to verify that everyone in the building knows what a smoke alarm sounds like so that they can evacuate immediately upon hearing it.

Plan Escapes from Every Room

As an important part of your fire escape plan, every employee in your building must know of at least two ways to escape from every room. If every room does not already have two means of escape, it’s a good idea to create them. For example, for rooms on higher floors, a fire escape ladder on the outside can help ensure employee safety and escape in the event of a fire.

Establish a Meeting Place

Make sure every employee in the building knows where the designated meeting place outside the building is. This makes accounting for everyone easier after evacuation and creates a more orderly and efficient escape process.

Practice

It may seem like overkill, but an important part of any effective emergency escape plan is regular drills. You should conduct fire drills at least twice a year, or until everyone in your building can complete the evacuation process within a reasonable but short time period based on the size of your building.

After the Flood: 3 Actions To Take While Waiting for the Insurance Adjuster

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Drywall removed, worker fixing ceiling on an apartment building Nassau apartment damage.

Protect Your Property and Prepare To File a Claim

When a large flood impacts Nassau Bay, TX, you will likely be one of many neighborhood residents filing a flood insurance claim. This is an effective way to protect yourself against any damage the flooding causes; however, waiting for the insurance adjuster can give flood waters time to cause further damage to your home. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take in the meantime to protect your property and prepare to file a comprehensive claim.

1. Take Photos of the Damage

Once you know your home is safe to enter, begin by taking photos of flooded rooms and damaged items. Refrain from separating belongings during this stage and wear rubber boots and gloves for protection if you must enter flood waters. Catalogue whatever you find, including water stains on walls and ceilings, damaged furniture and ruined drywall.

2. Make a List of Valuables

Before you call in a flood damage and remediation service to drain flood waters from your home, make a list of any valuables that have been damaged. Include vehicles, artwork, jewelry and other items of value and list their estimated worth until you can access actual receipts. If any electronics, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets suffered water damage, retrieve their model and serial numbers to help expedite your claim once the adjuster arrives.

3. Call a Contractor

Have a contractor come in to check for water and mold damage so the adjuster can examine his or her findings and compare them with other damage estimates, such as the one the insurance company quotes you. Although each report may differ slightly when it comes to estimates, this can help you file a flood insurance claim with more efficiency.

Flooding in Nassau Bay, TX, is likely to keep your local insurance adjuster busy for days. However, you can take steps to prepare a flood insurance claim before your property is professionally inspected.

How To Safeguard Your Business From a Water Damage Claim

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Isolation ducts and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house Insulate your pipe.

Detect Damaged Pipes and Minimize the Risk of Flooding

To help protect both their investment and financial security, it’s essential for every business owner in Dickinson, TX, to possess a commercial property insurance policy. Water damage resulting from leaking pipes is a common claim that often necessitates extensive cleanup and restoration efforts. Although aging infrastructure may complicate the situation, there are several proactive steps every business can take to help detect damaged pipes and minimize the risk of flooding.

Broken Pipes and Supply Lines

Water supply lines likely run throughout your building. In addition to sinks and toilets, water may also flow to and through a variety of equipment:

  • Fire suppression system
  • Water heater
  • HVAC system

To help reduce the risk of leaks, you should schedule routine inspections of these vitals systems to verify the absence of obstructions, loose hose connections and defective components that may cause water seepage.

Frozen Pipes

During the winter, exposed pipes may be susceptible to freezing. Ice formation can increase pressure within the pipe, which may cause it to burst. To minimize the risk of damaged pipes, you should insulate exposed supply lines in uninsulated areas of your building and those near external walls.

Roof Leakage

In addition to leaking pipes, flooding can also arise if water seeps through a compromised roof. Completing routine rooftop evaluations can help you identify potential issues and commence necessary repairs before substantial leakage occurs.

It’s also important to take proactive steps to prevent the formation of ice dams during the winter. To alleviate this concern, you should routinely clear gutters of debris and ensure you have adequate insulation above your ceilings. Maintaining proper air circulation is also key.

Proactive Maintenance

Although most property insurance policies cover water damage, avoiding a claim is often preferable. While it may be difficult to detect damaged pipes inside walls, employing proactive maintenance procedures can help you identify and repair some potential flooding sources before significant destruction occurs.

Does Filing an Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on drywall, carpet has been removed, air movers placed on the floor Water damage in a Nassau Bay, TX home.

Does Filing an Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?

Homeowners considering whether to file an insurance claim may be concerned about rate hikes. In general, filing claims is likely to result in higher rates. Find out more about why this is the case and a few possible exceptions.

Number of Claims

The number of claims a homeowner files will impact their insurance rates. It is usually the case that:

  • The more claims that are filed, the higher the rates
  • Some types of claims may result in higher rates or policy changes
  • Too many claims may result in policy termination

A policyholder should consider whether filing an insurance claim for minor damage is worth raised rates or changes in coverage.

The Type of Claims

Rates will generally rise whether the losses claimed are partial or total. Factor in the following considerations:

  • If the policyholder is at fault, rates are very likely to rise
  • If the policyholder is not at fault, rates may or may not rise
  • Some types of claims may raise rates and cause policy cancellation

Certain claims, including water damage or mold, may be more likely to result in significant rate hikes or policy changes. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary to cover a home flood.

The Insurance Provider

Some insurers are more forgiving of certain types of claims. Inquire about an insurer's rules regarding:

  • Forgiveness or limitations
  • Rate increases
  • Reporting consultation for potential claims

A homeowner should be aware of policy terms and insurer practices. This information may increase the likelihood that coverage will offset damage cleanup and restoration costs.

A homeowner may want to set aside money in a savings account. Lower insurance rates by raising the deductible to match this amount. The homeowner can use these funds to cover minor damage instead of filing an insurance claim. If a residence sustains damage, obtain an estimate from a mitigation and restoration company in Nassau Bay, TX.

What Should You Throw Away After a Fire?

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Melted cosmetics If your cosmetics have been exposed to fire you should replace them.

Five Items To Throw Away After a Fire

Exposure to heat and smoke can ruin delicate or perishable contents. While some items can be cleaned and restored, others should be disposed of and replaced. Here are five items to throw away after a house fire in La Marque, TX.

1. Food

Open food packages may become contaminated by smoke, ash, soot, or fire suppressants. It is important to get rid of:

  • Open packages or containers
  • Open pet food
  • Cans exposed to extreme heat

Canned or packaged food that was not exposed to high heat may be safe to consume. Remove the label, clean the can, and write the contents and expiration date on the can in permanent marker.

2. Porous Kitchen Contents

Not only do food items pose a re-contamination risk. It is also important to dispose of:

  • Plastic cutting boards
  • Plastic dishes, cups, or utensils
  • Baby bottle nipples

Plastic is porous and may absorb toxins. Throw away and replace these items after a fire.

3. Medicine

High heat and smoke can ruin medicine. Examine each product and consider:

  • The safe temperature range
  • Whether the packaging is open
  • Any visible damage

It is safer to dispose of and replace medicine after a fire. Extremely high temperatures may make any formula less effective.

4. Cosmetics

Heat can also destabilize beauty and personal care products. Continued use can result in:

  • Absorption of toxins through skin
  • Discoloration
  • Irritation

You should dispose of and replace products exposed to smoke or high temperatures. Throwing these items out is safer than risking re-contamination.

5. Burned Clothing

Clothing damaged by smoke or soot may be restored. Burned clothing should be thrown away. This is particularly the case for:

  • Charred or singed items
  • Babies' or children's clothing
  • Burnt linens

If you are not sure whether clothing can be cleaned, consult with a restoration professional. You should dispose of items with extensive damage.

All of these contents may pose re-contamination risks. If you are not sure whether to throw away or attempt to clean an item, ask fire damage restoration experts in La Marque, TX.

4 Things You Should Not Do After Water Damage Strikes

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Sand and dirt on the floor, drawer one is open and has brochures inside After flooding, we often find sand and dirt along with the wet materials and contents.

4 Things You Should Not Do After Water Damage Strikes

Walking into an area in your home with flooding water from a broken pipe or backed-up sewer line can be overwhelming. As you try to prioritize all the questions running through your mind, it is important to consider how to address the damage promptly. The more you know about dealing with the problem, the better chance you have of addressing the issues quickly and efficiently, even while stressed. So, here are four things you should not do after water damage strikes your home in Clear Lake, TX.

1. Forget to call the insurance company. Your first instinct may be to call family and friends to help with the cleanup. But the standing water in home flooded areas can wait while you take pictures for the insurance company and make initial contact with your representative. The pictures are an important piece of evidence and can help prove the claim if there are questions raised by the adjustor.

2. Attempt to restore the area alone. Water that stands against walls, floors, and appliances can do unseen damage. That is why it is important to contact a professional cleanup crew to help restore the area after a broken pipe. The trained individuals know what to look for to prevent mold, water seepage, and further damage.

3. Miss the chance to inventory damaged items. Removing wet and ruined items from the flooding water and tossing them out the door may be the first thing you want to do, but don’t do it. It is critical to your insurance claim that you either photograph each item or make an inventory list.

4. Assume water is clean. All flood water is not created equally. There are three categories of water, and each has its own cleanup procedure. The categories are clean water, grey water, and black water. By contacting a team of professionals, you can be sure to address the contaminated flood water properly.

Water damage can be extremely disconcerting. When addressing a broken pipe or overflowing appliance, knowing what you should not do can be just as important as knowing what to do.v

Basic First Aid Tips for Burns

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. 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.

Why Business Renters Purchase Their Own Flood Insurance

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Wet floor of a commercial building, workers cleaning water from a building and wearing protective gear Flood damage in La Marque, TX.

Running a business is challenging enough without having to worry about natural disasters. Still, business owners in La Marque, TX, must plan for flooding. After all, few things can bring a business to a standstill faster than a flood. Still, many business owners think they do not need independent flood insurance if they house their business in a rented building. That logic is misplaced. For a variety of reasons, purchasing renter’s insurance is usually a good idea.

Understanding Flooding

No business owner wants to watch floodwaters consume the workplace. Still, flooding is more common than you think. Floods occur in a variety of situations, including the following:

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Damaged dams
  • Hurricanes
  • Overflowing draining basins
  • Melting snow and ice

Assuming Risk

Many business owners do not own the buildings that house their businesses. Even if the landlord has his or her own flood insurance, savvy business owners often choose to buy renter’s insurance. The rationale is simple. When a flood occurs, the landlord’s insurance policy generally covers structural damage to the building. This includes both interior and exterior damage. It does not, however, typically cover damage to the contents of the building. Without rental insurance, business owners are responsible for replacing equipment, inventory, computer systems and other business property.

Getting a Quote

Applying for both a renter’s and owner’s insurance policy is a similar process. Once you find a reputable insurer, expect to provide a list of business assets. After your agent determines your business’s flood risk, he or she can advise you on how much insurance your company should carry.

While renter’s insurance cannot eliminate the possibility of a flood occurring at your business, it can give you peace of mind. It can also help you cover the cost of a restoration service if your business ends up underwater. Either way, investing in independent flood insurance coverage is an effective strategy for protecting your business investment.

Feeling the Burn: How To Treat Major and Minor Burns in the Workplace

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. Knowing basic burn first aid can help the healing begin.

How To Treat Major and Minor Burns in the Workplace

Fire damage in commercial buildings is not always the result of flames that rage when no one is present. A fire could break out at your business in Clear Lake, TX, even when workers are there. If this happens, it is likely that someone or several people may require burn first aid. Knowing what to do in such a situation can get them on the road to recovery faster and may even save their lives.

Minor Burns

Ideally, most of the burns sustained by employees during a fire are minor. Minor burns have several symptoms:

  • Blisters
  • Pain
  • Change in skin color that looks like a sunburn
  • Small coverage area

Minor burns do not require emergency care but simply basic first aid. As with a sunburn, you want to cool the affected skin and apply a soothing lotion. Bandage the burn to keep it clean, and it should heal on its own.

Major Burns

A major burn, however, is a side effect of fire damage that requires medical care. There are several ways to know if someone’s burn is more serious:

  • Change in texture of skin, causing it to appear extra dry
  • Evidence of charring, such as white or black patches
  • Diameter larger than three inches
  • Located on a sensitive area of the body, such as the face, groin or major joint

The first thing you do when you discover someone at your workplace has a major burn is call 911. While you are waiting for the EMTs to arrive, keep an eye on the victim. Watch for signs of shock or respiratory distress. Keep the burned area covered, and make sure the victim is out of danger.

If workers are present when flames cause fire damage on a commercial property, the people are the first priority. Calling emergency personnel for major burns trumps calling your insurance company or fire remediation specialists. Knowing basic burn first aid can help the healing begin.

Reasons and Tips To Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning lint filter The best way to avoid a lint fire is by simply cleaning the lint after every load.

Many people may not realize the importance of keeping a dryer vent clean. However, keeping your dryer vent clear of debris is the first step in preventing a lint fire from occurring in your home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, January is the peak month for dryer fire incidents, so be particularly mindful to remove lint during the fall and winter time.

Preventing Losses

• The best way to avoid a lint fire is by simply cleaning the lint which has collected in your dryer’s lint trap after every load.
• Cleaning your lint trap ensures that debris does not accumulate over time in your dryer vent and restrict airflow through the unit’s exhaust.
• If the airway becomes restricted, there may be excess heat during operation of your dryer, which can cause flammable materials such as lint to ignite and cause damage to your property.
• Annually, there are 2,900 dryer fires reported, and every year, an estimated $35 million in property loss results from these fires. The leading cause of residential fires results from a failure to keep the ventilation free of debris.

Keep It Clean

A great way to keep your dryer’s exhaust ventilation clean is by using a rotary vent auger, or dryer snake, which is a bristled and flexible tool used to clear hard-to-reach areas of ductwork, such as your dryer exhaust. You should clear the vent anywhere from one to three times per year, depending on the number of people in your household, as lint and debris may begin to accumulate over a shorter amount of time if more loads of laundry are being done on average. You should be able to clean the vent on your own, but it is also possible to hire professionals to clean it for you.

Remembering these guidelines may help prevent a lint fire in your home. For more information for residential fire prevention, you can also check the local fire codes in Dickinson, TX.

How Do Mold Removal Experts Protect Themselves During a Job?

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Technician wearing PPE protective gear while removing mold Mold removal professionals may use many different types of safety equipment.

How Do Mold Removal Professionals Protect Themselves on the Job?

Mold cleanup in your Nassau Bay, TX, home is not a simple task that you can tackle on your own. If fungi patches are cleaned improperly, the spores they contain may spread to other rooms of your house and create new infestations there. Calling in a mold removal and restoration service is a wise choice when it comes to having the job handled effectively and safely. From face masks to protective gloves, mold techs use a variety of protective gear to keep themselves safe during a cleanup job.


They Wear Respiratory Protection

When mold professionals first arrive at your home, they may don breathing masks that include a ventilator to filter out various impurities that may be present in the air:

  • Fungi spores
  • Powdery mildew spores
  • Mycotoxins

Face masks and ventilators protect the throat and lungs against these contaminants. The type and size of ventilator depends on the size of the mold removal job. Full-face models are usually used for larger infestations.

They Use Protective Eyewear

Some mold damage requires techs to tear out drywall and the insulation behind it. This can create a visible pall of dust in the air that could cause health effects. Since the protection of mucus membranes is especially important during this type of job, mold technicians typically wear goggles that protect their eyes and the surrounding skin.

They Cover Their Clothing

Since mold spores can travel from one area to another on clothing, remediation technicians may wear removable coveralls as part of their protective equipment. These suits are made from a tough but disposable synthetic material that allows for easy removal. This type of gear helps prevent spores from spreading during mold removal.

Mold removal professionals may use many different types of safety equipment, including face masks, when they visit your Nassau Bay, TX, home to perform remediation. Seeing safety measures implemented before the job begins can give you peace of mind that every technician is well protected.

Common Questions on Mold and Their Answers

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling of a home covered with mold La Marque, TX home covered with mold.

Mold-Related Questions and Answers

Whether you live in an area with high humidity, or your home has faced water damage in the past, mold growth can be a concern in La Marque, TX. The first step to preventing mold in your home is to understand what it is and how it grows. Here are a few of the most common questions asked about mold and the answers that go with them.

1. What Is Mold?

Mold is a fungus. As a fungus, mold requires a source other than sunlight to grow, so it is often found growing in warm, damp areas on organic substances.

2. How Do I Tell Mold From Mildew?

Mold and mildew are similar fungi that tend to grow in moist areas or those with high humidity. However, mildew is slower-growing and tends to range in color from yellows to browns, while mold is often seen in greens, browns, and blacks. Mildew is also a surface fungus, meaning it is easy to wipe off, while mold is fuzzy and tends to grow into an area as it spreads.

3. Where Does Mold Grow?

In most cases, mold growth occurs in warm, damp areas where there is an organic substance to act as a source of fuel. This includes basements and areas where there has been water damage, such as around pipes or near leaks in a roof or windows.

4. How Do I Get Rid of Mold?

Mold is a common problem in areas of large water damage. If you think you may have mold in your home, your best course of action is to call a mold professional. They can assess the type of mold you have, clean it up, and recommend any necessary preventive measures for the future.

Understanding mold and how it grows can help you better protect your home. If you think you may have a mold growth problem in La Marque, TX, or if you have further questions, then a professional may be able to help.

Is Your Home Flood Ready?

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Is Your House Flood-Proof?

Whether a flood is imminent or you live on a flood plain and want to take preventative measures, you can prepare your home and minimize flood damage before it starts. Here are five ways to forestall flooding and storm damage.

1. Flooring Choices

If your home is situated on a flood plain, you may want to forego carpeting. Solid wood can tolerate water, but porous materials will sustain damage and need to be torn out and replaced. Standard home insurance policies do not cover floods, so you may wish to seek additional coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

2. Flood-Proofing Supplies

You may be able to limit the intrusion of flood waters with sandbags and plastic sheeting. Gather these materials and prepare to use them if you stay in your home during a flood.

3. Content Location

Try to elevate or relocate delicate contents such as electronics, files, furniture, or other valuables to dry locations. This may help to limit the extent of restoration necessary in the wake of flooding.

4. Utility Disconnection

You may want to turn off the supply of water and gas to your home. You can either shut off electricity to the damaged areas of your house with circuit breakers and fuses or shut off all power to your home. Also, plugging drains can prevent sewage backup and regulate the pressure in your basement.

5. Drainage Cleanout

If heavy rains are expected to contribute to a flood, make sure that your drainage system is clear and will direct water away from the foundation of your home. This includes gutters.

These tips can limit the extent of flood damage when flooding is anticipated in Dickson, TX. If you are dealing with water or storm damage after a flood, contact a company that specializes in residential damage restoration.

Frosted Pipes: Thawing Water Lines to Prevent Flooding

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Yellow pipe, frozen pipe Frozen or freezing pipes can lead to increased flooding risk.

Water Lines Must Be Thawed to Prevent Flooding

If you go to work one winter day and find that the water pressure is lacking, then some of your pipes may be frozen. The steps below can help you locate and resolve this issue before a pipe bursts and causes potentially substantial flooding.

1. Locate the Pipe and Open the Faucet

If you have lost water pressure and suspect a frozen pipe, you should attempt to relieve pressure on the system. To ease the stress on the system, you can open the faucet nearest the pipe. It is essential to open the faucet because freezing builds pressure on an already pressurized system, which can result in an early spring flood. The pipe will likely be near the disrupted faucet.

2. Thaw Externally Located Pipes Like This

If the pipe is located on the outside of the building or in a crawlspace below the building, you can use a hair dryer, heat lamp, heat tape, or portable heater to resolve the issue. It is not wise to use an open flame or torch as either of these can weaken or damage the integrity of the pipe, leading to breaks and flooding.

3. Thaw Internally Located Pipes Like This

If the pipe is located in the ceiling or behind interior walls, then you can crank up the thermostat, use an infrared heater, or cut out the wallboard and heat the pipe as though it were outside. Typically, a frozen pipe will not occur too deep inside of a building.

4. Admit Defeat or Celebrate

If you cannot find the frozen pipes, but you strongly suspect freezing to be the culprit of reduced water pressure, then you may want to consult an expert in the Nassau Bay, TX, area because they will likely have access to thermal cameras and other specialized equipment that can help narrow down and speed up the search.

Frozen or freezing pipes can lead to increased flooding risk because of the heightened pressure on the system. If you suspect the pipes in your building may be frozen, you can follow the above steps to minimize any potential damage.

The Benefits of a Professional Mold Inspection

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

A HOUSE'S CEILING FULL OF MOLD Taking care of your mold issues in a safe and timely manner is too important.

The Advantages of a Mold Inspection

If your home has the telltale musty odor of mold, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands and conduct mold testing yourself with a take-home kit. Do these kits accurately assess the state of mold in your home, though? Experts in Clear Lake, TX, who have been trained and certified are more likely to make an accurate assessment during their mold inspection.

Mold Is Everywhere

Every home has mold. There are many places spores are present:

  • Indoor air
  • Outdoor air
  • Furniture upholstery
  • Wooden surfaces
  • Window treatments
  • Other surfaces

All your DIY mold test kit is going to tell you is that your home contains mold, which is already a given. If you suspect you have a serious mold problem, an environmental hygienist should be hired to conduct mold testing and pinpoint the problem.

Inspection Is Key

The detection of mold is only a small part of the certified hygienist’s job. What a mold kit cannot do is provide the visual inspection, which is the most vital part of getting to the root of the problem. These tests can be interpreted many ways. When professionals in Clear Lake, TX test for mold, they use the information they get from the test as a starting point to arrive at their ultimate diagnosis. The discovery of the condensation, poor ventilation, a cracked foundation, water damage or inferior drainage systems they find gives them more useful information than the test will show.

If you are worried enough about whether you have a mold problem to attempt your own mold testing, you are worried enough to call a professional environmental hygienist. Taking care of your mold issues in a safe and timely manner is too important not to enlist the help of someone who can make an accurate assessment that far surpasses the results you will get from a mold kit. The inspector can then advise you on the next steps you need to take to remedy the problem.

A Quick Guide to Smoke Detector Features

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Smart smoke alarm A smoke alarm is the best fire protection equipment you can get for your house.

A Quick Overview Of Smoke Detector Functions

When it comes to fire safety, the best device you can buy for your home in Dickson,TX is a smoke alarm. The current recommendation is that you replace your alarm every ten years. Check out this quick list of smoke detector features to guide you in your replacement decision.


* Hard-wired or battery. Devices may be wired directly into your home's electrical system or use batteries. Batteries should be replaced yearly, but there are also devices that come with 10-year lithium ion batteries now.


* Interconnected. When one alarm is triggered, all alarms will sound. This has only been available with hard-wired alarms, but battery-powered smart alarms now offer this feature as well.


* Combination alarm. One alarm to sound off for smoke or high carbon monoxide levels.


* Ionizing detection. Fast burning fires are best detected with this type of alarm. These are also triggered easily in error by steamy showers or smoke from caramelized onions. If you are into either of these, you want to look for devices with a hush function so you never deactivate the alarm.


* Photoelectric detection. Smoldering fires are best detected with this kind of smoke alarm.


* Smart alarm. This works with your home's wireless internet to send you a push notification whenever the alarm sounds off.


* Room specific alarms. Some manufacturers are offering features, like no low-battery chirp as well as verbal alarms, to for in-bedroom alarms. Kitchen specific alarms feature sensors to detect true fires with less false alarms.


Firefighters recommend that you have both ionizing and photoelectric detection styles in your home. If your home is a little older, you may find that you have too few alarms. The current minimum recommendation is for one smoke alarm on every floor, including the basement, and one outside of each bedroom. This placement is critical to getting your family out of a burning house quickly. With your family safe, you know you can count on restoration professionals to help with any fire damage to your home.

How Your Solar Panels Will Stand up to a Storm

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Solar panel on a red roof Solar panel on a roof.

How Will Your Solar Panels Survive a Storm?

Have you decided to join the many others in Nassau Bay, TX, and have gotten solar panels on your roof? These panels provide many benefits, including an environmentally friendly way to generate power in your home. These panels are effective, but you may worry about how they’ll stand up to adverse weather. Rest assured that they will continue to do their job and withstand panel damage in just about every weather condition. Here are a few weather situations you may be concerned about.

High Winds

If hurricane-force winds hit your home, there may be some significant roof damage. However, manufacturers put solar panels through thorough and rugged testing to ensure they will hold up in even the strongest of winds. In fact, you may be surprised at how secure the panels are once they are attached to your roof. Here are some surprising facts about solar panels and high winds:

  • Most panels are certified to sustain winds up to 140 mph.
  • Most panels will operate at peak efficiency following hurricanes.
  • During the strongest storms, even if there is damage to the panels, you will probably only lose a few.

Hail

Likewise, when manufacturers build solar panels, they use the strongest, most durable materials to withstand hailstones. In fact, most manufacturers test the panels to continue to work even if stones 1 inch in diameter hit them at up to 50 mph. It is possible for the panels to break but ordinarily only if large hailstones repeatedly hit the same spot.

Rain

Large storms will also bring significant rain. Though this might threaten weak roofs, you shouldn’t have to worry about panel damage. Not only will the precipitation not cause harm to the panels, but the solar panels themselves should continue to function properly even during heavy rainstorms. During the daytime hours and when the sunlight shines, your panels should gather enough solar energy to power your home when darkness comes and when rain falls.

How To Find Mold in Your Building

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling collapsed due to broken pipe, mold growth in ceiling Water damage causes mold growth in a Dickinson, TX building.

Mold occurs naturally and may exist on your property without posing any problems unless it begins to grow indoors. If you've been affected by flooding, found leaky plumbing, or can't seem to find get rid of a musty odor in your building, you may have problematic mold. The best way to determine if and where mold is in your building is to hire a Dickinson, TX, indoor environmental specialist. These professionals have the training and specialized equipment to conduct necessary inspections and remediation.

Where Mold Hides

Whether you've seen it or not, unseen mold could be present throughout your building. Professionals will conduct a mold test to learn more. Initially, a visual inspection may be enough to find mold:

  • Behind ceiling tiles
  • Under carpeting
  • Behind floorboards
  • Inside heating and air conditioning ducts
  • In the basement or attic

However, mold growth inside the walls is hard to find without cutting into the wall. Rather than risking the further spread of spores throughout your building, it is best to leave this part of the remediation process to the indoor environmental specialist. The expert will tell you if there's mold and what type of mold is present. This information will help you and the professional know the best course to take.

Why Hire a Professional

There are many sources of information offering how-to tips regarding mold remediation, but it's generally best to hire a professional for these tasks. Professionals with the right training and equipment are sure to conduct a thorough cleaning of the area. Some DIY procedures are likely to spread mold spores through your building and this can lead to more expensive problems. An indoor environmental specialist is likely to spend time searching until the source, or sources, of trouble, have been found.

When Professional Results Matter

Cleaning up the mold you can see is just part of the process. Reaching the roots of the mold and preventing future mold growth is crucial. Professional mold remediation companies have the equipment, clothing, disinfectants, and training necessary to protect themselves and your Dickinson, TX, property from further damage.

What Do I Do After a Pipe Break?

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

warped floor and baseboard Water damaged flooring and baseboard.

Ways To Avoid Further Damages

When you're dealing with bursting pipes, a visit from water damage professionals is one of the best things you can do to prevent mold growth and secondary damage. While you wait for that Clear Lake, TX, expert to arrive, there are some steps you can take to avoid further damages.

1. Turn Off the Water

The first step is to stop water from flowing into your home. As soon as you discover the leak, turn off the main water supply to the home. This way you don't have to try to figure out where the water is coming from or mess with water pressure. Make sure that all your family members know where the main water shut-off is because you may not always be home to take care of bursting pipes yourself.

2. Drain the Pipes

After shutting down the water to your home, open up your faucets with the cold-water knob. Flush each toilet once or twice to drain water from the pipes. Turn off the hot water heater and then use the hot water knob to flush hot water from the pipes. By now, the leak should have stopped.

3. Look for the Broken Pipe

Even if you don't have the tools or experience necessary to fix the broken pipe, you'll save a lot of time by locating the source of the trouble. A break in a major water line will be more expensive and take longer to repair than pipes under sinks, for example.

4. Remove Water

The longer water from bursting pipes is allowed to sit, the more serious water damage will become. Mop up as much as you can and use a wet/dry vacuum to get all water cleaned up. If the water has had time to seep into any building materials or furnishings, you may need to contact a Clear Lake, TX, professional for cleanup services.

Tips for First Aid Preparation at the Office

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Kit supplies Emergency kit supplies.

Emergency Preparation

It’s storm season in La Marque, TX, and you have probably dealt with some weather-related work interruptions. If you have been so fortunate that you have not had an emergency at work, now is the time to prepare. The best practice for office emergency preparation comes down to two things: having a first aid kit and having a first-aid preparation program. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the following items to be included in your emergency kit for a small office:

  • Directions for contacting emergency help
  • CPR and resuscitation tools, such as a pocket mask or a bag valve mask
  • Blanket
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Various bandages including 2” wide rolling gauze, 4” x 4” gauze pads, 8” x 10” gauze pads, triangular bandages, and adhesive bandages
  • Alcohol wipes or other types of wound cleaner
  • Gloves
  • Splint
  • Elastic wrap

If you have more than three people, you need to increase your emergency kit inventory appropriately or have multiple kits located clearly throughout your building. Check your kit once a month and restock items to ensure you have what you need during emergencies. Keep the kit in a location where it will be easily seen by the workers in the building. Remember to have multiple kits or more supplies for larger offices.

Emergency Planning

Now that you have a first aid kit, it’s important to create an emergency program. OSHA outlines four elements to making a first aid program: employee and leadership involvement, safety and health training, prevention, and analysis of your workplace risks.

What are the greatest risks in your building? You may not think it is much, but don’t forget the weather and other sudden events. You may have trees or other debris that can come through the roof or windows, hail, or flood potential. Professional remediation can make your building like nothing ever happened, but human injuries can’t always be resolved so easily. Make sure you analyze your risks and train multiple people on proper emergency response and use of the first aid kit.

Simple Steps of Using a Fire Extinguisher

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration PASS method.
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

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

Winter Safety Tips for Business Owners

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Winter storm in Clear Lake, TX.

For business owners in colder climates, winter storms inevitably affect your company and staff in one way or another once the temperature starts to drop. Whether it's freezing rain, a snowstorm, or bitter cold, you don't need to let Mother Nature disrupt you every time she sees fit to throw a little weather your way. Following a few simple tips will prepare you and your employees for the next storm and keep you up, running, and safe until blue skies return.

Know Your Storm Warnings

There are a few key terms weather forecasters use to alert the public that a winter storm may be headed to the area:

  • Winter Weather Advisory
  • An advisory is issued when imminent sleet, freezing rain, or snow is predicted at 80% or more probability of affecting the area. These conditions could pose serious inconveniences or harm if caution isn't taken.


Winter Storm Watch
12 to 48 hours before a winter storm is predicted to hit the area, forecasters issue a watch that heavy sleet, freezing rain, snow, or even a blizzard, is possible. These conditions pose extreme danger.


Winter Storm Warning
12-24 hours ahead of a storm (or when a snowstorm is actually underway), a winter storm warning is issued to alert the public of the likelihood that heavy sleet, freezing rain, snow, or a blizzard is imminent. Extreme caution should be taken to protect lives and property.


Use Caution That Matches the Forecast
To keep your property and building safe, consider taking these precautions:

To avoid damage and interruption from a pipe burst due to freezing, make sure to leave a tiny stream of water running when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.
Keep an eye on the news ahead of an impending storm. If road conditions are poor, consider allowing your employees to work from home if possible.
Before winter, ensure tree branches are cut back from your building to prevent damage if they break under the weight of snow or ice.
Have the number of a storm damage service in Clear Lake, TX  accessible in case the worst happens.

Though meteorologists can't accurately predict every weather condition you may experience, they usually can give warnings of the possibility of a snowstorm in enough time to act. Have an emergency plan in place before it hits can potentially save your building, your business, and your employees' lives.

Can My Mold-Damaged Paintings Be Saved?

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration: close up of a painting final retouch Artwork restoration

Can Artwork With Mold Be Saved?

Mold spores are everywhere, and when dampness, humidity, or leaks are left untreated in a warm environment, they can grow and multiply on virtually any surface. Often, materials need to be torn out and replaced if the damage is severe, but what if you discover mold growing on valuable artwork? Don't despair — there are professionals in La Marque, TX who specialize in mold cleaning for specific situations just like this.

First, Address the Problem Area
Depending on the severity of mold damage in the surrounding area, you may need to wait for mold remediation specialists to come in and safely remove the paintings so they can fully address the environment in which the artwork was stored. This includes:

  • Documenting the damage
  • Determining the cause of excess moisture
  • Removing and replacing damaged materials
  • Conducting a thorough mold cleaning of the entire area, including the air
  • Recommending or installing preventatives, such as a dehumidifier and moisture meter

Second, Restore the Artwork
In addition to documenting the damage to the surrounding area, a specialist will carefully document the damage to your artwork and, if necessary, separate and categorize the damaged items to create a plan to salvage them.
The first step in the cleaning process is to deactivate the mold by air-drying or freezing the pieces of art until the mold growth has been curbed. It's important to create airflow around each item to thoroughly dry it out and, if stacking multiple pieces inside a freezer, to separate each item with wax paper to avoid them sticking together.
Once the artwork is dry, the specialist will gently remove the dried mold from the surfaces with a HEPA-filtered vacuum. He or she will then begin the painstaking process of removing the more stubborn mold residue with tools or solutions appropriate for the materials used in the artwork itself. Cleaning or replacing the tools used during the process will help avoid cross-contamination and the possibility of spores settling back onto the artwork again.
Don't leave the fate of your precious artwork and photographs to chance by attempting to fix the damage yourself. Remediation professionals with years of experience in mold cleaning will be able to restore them to their former glory and make the damage "Like it never even happened."

5 Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Commercial Building

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Nassau Bay, TX.

5 Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Commercial Building

After a fire in your Nassau Bay, TX, building, it can be difficult to determine what your next step should be. Fire restoration will need to be done to make your building safe to work in again. The following are some things you should do during this potentially stressful situation.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Depending on the severity of the damage, restoration can be expensive. Start a fire insurance claim as soon as possible, so you can use this money for repairs. You may also be able to receive payments for work missed due to the emergency.

2. Have Mitigation Done
Before repairs are made, mitigation is done to prevent further damage. This can include removing water used to put out the flames, boarding up windows, and covering missing walls or roofing with tarps.

3. Repair the Building
A fire restoration company can make repairs to the building and leave it looking as good as new. Many things are done during this stage, from large tasks like rebuilding rooms to minor repairs such as giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. Some building materials may need to be removed and replaced as well.

4. Clean Damaged Belongings
Some items may be damaged not only by the fire itself but by the resulting soot and smoke. These can carry corrosive elements that can cause metal to rust and may damage electronic devices. Smoke can also enter porous materials, like upholstery and carpeting. Smoke cleaning should be done for any affected objects and surfaces.

5. Remove Lingering Odors
Even after everything is cleaned, there may still be some odor from the smoke. Using an air purifier can help remove this. It will decrease contaminants in the air, so you have a fresh and clean environment.
Although it can be a lengthy process, fire restoration is necessary to keep your building in good condition. A professional company can provide many services, from cleaning to repairs, and can quickly return your building to its pre-fire condition.

How To Handle Water Damage After a Fire

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Feet of a person using a vacuum extractor on the floor, water and soot on the floor Water and fire damage in La Marque, TX.

How To Handle Water Damage After a Fire

You do not just have to worry about fire damage after a blaze. The water and other materials used to suppress the flames can be just as harmful to your property. This is especially true if first responders had to use a fire hose. Hoses spray water with more pressure and power than home sprinkler systems use.
You cannot just ignore this water, either. The water could encourage the growth of mold spores in your home within just 24 hours. This mold may then destroy:

  • Wood
  • Drywall
  • Floorboards

You thus need to address the water problem as soon as possible. However, you should not utilize any vacuums or wet appliances. You should also stay out of any rooms that show signs of structural issues. Here are some other steps you should take when you experience water damage following a fire.

1. Make Sure the House Is Safe
Talk to the fire damage professionals who responded to your home. Only enter the house when they say it is safe to do so. In the meantime, check to see if water has harmed the outside of your property.

2. Call the Pros
Next, contact your insurance provider and find out the details of your coverage. You should ask if there are any limits to your policy. You should also find out if your insurer will pay for temporary living expenses until you can move back into your house.
Be sure to call your local fire cleanup professionals, as well. They should know how to handle any harm caused by flames, smoke or water.

3. Document the Damage
After you are given permission to enter your house, take videos and photos of the affected areas. This should expedite the insurance claims process.
Both water and fire damage may affect your La Marque, TX, home after a blaze. Once it is safe to enter the property, document the damage and call your insurance provider. Then have restoration professionals repair your house as soon as possible.

Does My Commercial Insurance Policy Cover Floods and Hurricanes?

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Dealership flooded Storm damage in dealership in Dickson, TX.

Different Types Of Storm Insurance

Business owners in Dickson, TX, might think their commercial insurance covers damage from hurricanes and floods. In many cases, though, you need to purchase separate coverage. Here are a few types of damage for which you may need separate storm insurance.

Hurricane Damage
This type of insurance coverage is currently a mandatory deductible in 19 states and the District of Columbia. It is a percentage deductible based on the value of your property. The cost of this coverage varies depending on your provider and where your property is located in relation to the coastline.
Hurricane insurance typically covers your building or structure and its contents for cleanup and storm damage restoration, including:

  • Inventory
  • Computers
  • Electronic equipment
  • Furniture
  • Fixtures
  • Cargo

Check your policy to see if passenger vehicles and machinery are included. Often, you need a separate policy to cover these items.

Wind and Hail Damage
Insurance coverage for hail and wind damage is included in standard property insurance for most of the country. In coastal areas, business owners may need to purchase separate storm insurance for these types of perils. Wind and hail damage may be covered under a hurricane policy.

Flood Damage
Damage from flooding is different from hurricane damage. In many cases, the damage caused by hurricanes results from storm surge and rising water. When damage results from water on the ground, it is considered flood damage.
You can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. The program is managed by FEMA and offers insurance in participating communities through a network of companies.
If your business is in a high-risk flood area and has a mortgage through a government-backed lender, you must have flood insurance coverage.
It's best to review your policy from time to time to ensure you have the right storm insurance for the types of perils that can happen to your Dickson, TX, business.

How To Identify the Types of Water Losses

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Background of clear water, with the phrase WATER CATEGORIES There are three water categories.

Not every water damage is the same. Minor spills involving clean water can be handled by a homeowner. Black water, however, is quite dangerous and should only be touched by a trained expert. It thus helps to know the different categories and classes of water losses. This can help you decide when to call emergency cleanup professionals.

Water Categories

1. Category 1
Category 1 water is the cleanest. It does not contain any bacteria or other contaminants that could harm humans. Category 1 water losses typically involve an overflowing sink or a broken supply line.

2. Category 2
Category 2 water, or grey water, may contain some physical, chemical, or biological contaminants that can cause sickness in humans. The water could come from toilet bowls with urine, dishwashers, or washing machines.

3. Category 3
This is also known as black water. It contains fungi and bacteria that can be dangerous. The fluid typically comes from storm surges, rivers, or streams. Water in this category should only be handled by sewage cleanup experts.

Water Classes
Water losses are also classified by the extent of the damage. Class 1 losses affect a small area and occur when the water has not greatly absorbed into nearby materials. Class 2 losses, meanwhile, may spread to the walls, carpets, and cushions.
Class 3 and 4 losses are the most severe. Class 3 losses affect an entire room, including the ceilings and insulation. Class 4 losses involve low porous materials such as concrete and hardwood. They thus require special drying techniques.
Overflowing water from a sink or tub that is contained to one section of your Clear Lake, TX, house can be handled pretty easily. Unsanitary black water, however, can be harmful and tougher to remove. This is especially true if the water has spread to hardwood floors or a large area of your home. If you suffer a Category 3 or a Class 3/4 water loss, you should thus call restoration experts.

3 Ways That SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Their Clients

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of a green truck SERVPRO offers a service that is available to business owners 24/7.

3 Ways That SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Their Clients

An insurance adjuster for business owners in Nassau Bay, TX, collaborates with a variety of professionals to assist clients, including commercial remediation specialists. These companies work with the owners and the adjuster to effectively repair properties after a disaster. However, one of these organizations stands out among the rest. SERVPRO goes above and beyond in serving agents and their clients through various methods.

1. Fast Response
Disasters can occur or manifest at inconvenient times. The insurance client might notice a leak right before the weekend or a fire could ravage a building in the middle of the night. A strong restoration company offers a response service that is available to business owners 24/7 and deploys experts in a matter of hours. Fast emergency repair helps the business recover fast and it reduces the insurance claim expenses, benefitting both the adjuster and the client.

2. Detailed Information
The information regarding commercial damage is important since it helps both the client and the insurance adjuster make the best decision regarding the case. SERVPRO has a claims information center that collects and organizes information in a way that is useful to the insurance agent. It provides a job file that includes photos, detailed descriptions, and paperwork, as well as job costs and industry-standard comparisons. Agents can request this information in both physical and electronic copies.

3. Pretesting Process
Adjusters prefer to restore property and objects instead of replacing them, as the latter is more expensive. The best way to measure restorability is to have a remediation company run pretesting on the affected area and belongings. In addition to determining what can be salvaged or replaced, the process provides information to both the technicians and the adjusters. They can see what equipment and methods they need for best results and the estimated costs from the procedure.
The right remediation company can make the repair process beneficial to both the insurance adjuster and the establishment owner. SERVPRO provides these services and more to successfully help both parties.

4 Tips for Drying Out a Commercial Building

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on a hallway, drywalls removed Drying equipment in a Dickson, TX commercial building.

Water Damage Tips

When your Dickson, TX, commercial building suffers water incursion, whether it's from a pipe burst or act of nature, the same basic steps will have to be taken. These steps will help protect any occupants in the affected area and the building and its contents. Professionals will probably have to be called in to remedy the situation thoroughly. Still, you can follow water damage tips to begin drying out the building before help arrives. After all, the quicker drying begins, the less damage will occur.

1. Turn Off Electricity
If you can safely make your way to the breaker box, the power to the area should be turned off immediately. Never walk through standing water in which electrical items are sitting. The electricity can travel throughout the water, electrocuting you. If you can't navigate to the breaker safely, or if you're unsure, you must wait for a professional to cut the power supply.

2. Extract Standing Water
Next, all the standing water will need to be extracted. A wet/dry vacuum is excellent for doing this safely and efficiently. It will also remove smaller debris.

3. Remove Soaked Materials
After you've extracted as much water as possible, one of the most critical damage tips to follow is to remove as many wet materials as possible. This can even include drywall and flooring. Soaked carpet and padding typically aren't salvageable; it can't be dried entirely before mold growth occurs (within 24 to 48 hours). Water damage remediation experts are highly recommended, as they can bring in industrial-grade equipment.

4. Dry Remaining Contents
You can try to dry the remaining contents by opening windows and doors if the outside is less humid than inside, using dehumidifiers, running fans and turning up the heat via the HVAC system or space heaters.
If your building floods, it and its contents need to be thoroughly dried as soon as possible. These are a few damage tips and cleaning tips you can begin before professionals arrive on the scene.

Professional Fire Cleanup - 3 Strategies a Company May Use To Restore Your Home

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Tarped and boarded home Fire restoration may use tarps or boards to secure your home.

Professional Fire Cleanup

The results of a fire at Clear Lake, TX, can be devastating. From smoke damage to items ruined by flames and the water from the firemen’s hoses, there is much to clean up. A fire cleanup and restoration company can help return your home to normal, and there are several steps they may take when it comes to restoring building materials, cleaning carpeting, and assisting you with the salvaging and restoration of your valued belongings.

1. Inspection

Once professional fire remediation technicians arrive at your home, they may tour the rooms and note how many were damaged by the blaze and whether adjoining rooms took any secondary hits from smoke damage or flames. Performing a careful inspection can let your techs know how much smoke and soot damage is present and allow them to create an ongoing plan of action.

2. Safety Tarps and Boards

If your home’s doors, windows, or ceiling were compromised by the fire, fire restoration may use tarps or boards to secure them before they move on with any other cleanup efforts. Not only can this make your damaged home safer by reinforcing building materials weakened by the fire, but tarps and boards can also prevent would-be looters from entering your home during the overnight hours, when it may be the most vulnerable to criminal activity.

3. Deep Cleaning Services

Your fire restoration technicians may give you several options for smoke cleaning your belongings and advise you about what can be salvaged. They might employ a variety of industrial cleaning machines, including air scrubbers and foggers, which can remove smoky smells and soot from walls and carpeting. The techs may explain these techniques to you before they put them into effect.

A fire in your Clear Lake, TX, home can cause a great deal of smoke damage, soot, and other issues. Calling in a professional fire cleanup and restoration company can assist you with the first steps toward the cleanup process and give you confidence that your home can be restored to its former state.

The Mold Remediation Process

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation in La Marque, TX

The Mold Remediation Process

The moment mold growth is discovered in your La Marque, 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.

Removal Process
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 taking 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.

4 Tips To Keep Your Sump Pump in Good Shape

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. Keep your pump in good shape

4 Tips To Keep Your Sump Pump in Good Shape

Spring can be a wet time of year in Clear Lake, TX. If you rely on a sump pump to keep your building dry, now is a good time to be sure you’re up to date on any necessary pump maintenance and that your pump is in good working order. These tips can ensure that your pump is up to the task when wet weather arrives.


1. Test Your Pump
To test your pump, pour water into the pit until the float triggers the pump. Ideally, the pump should kick on and empty all water from the pit within a few seconds, then shut off. If the process is slow or fails, you may have to repair or replace some parts of your pump.

2. Add an Alarm
Tank level alarms are designed to alert you if your pump stops working or if water reaches a certain level within the pit. Some pump alarms make an audible alarm sound. Others are equipped with smart technology and will send you a text or email alert if the sump pump fails.

3. Consider a Backup
If you’ll frequently be away from your building, you may not always be available if your pump fails or if the building loses power. In that case, a backup pump would be a wise investment. Choose a pump that runs on a marine-grade battery or opt for a pump that is powered by water pressure.


4. Clean the Pit
Be sure to clean out your sump pit regularly. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any gravel, dirt, or other debris, as these can clog your system and cause unnecessary wear and tear to your pump.
Don’t wait until your pump fails to perform basic maintenance. Avoid flooding and costly water damage restoration by making sure your sump pump is in good working order before the rainy season starts.

How To Use an Auger To Unclog a Drain

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake on a white background All you need is an auger, also known as a snake

If a sink in your Nassau Bay, TX, home has stopped working, there may be something blocking your pipes. A clogged drain does not only affect the flow of water in your house, either. Over time, the clog could cause pressure to build up in the pipe. The pipe could then burst and flood your house.
To avoid the need for water damage restoration services, you should thus remove any clogs from your sink immediately. Luckily, all you need is an auger, also called a snake.

Auger Use

You can rent this plumbing tool for just a few dollars. Then, just follow the below steps to clear the drain.


1. Put the Auger Into the Drain
One end of the snake should go into the opening of the drain. Turn the handle on the drum to push the auger into the pipe. Keep going until you feel resistance from the clog.


2. Rotate the Snake
The auger's rotation should chop up the clog. If you do not feel the clog breaking up, try pulling the auger out of the clogged drain. The snake should take the clog with it.


3. Run the Water
Once you remove the snake, run the sink to make sure the clog is gone. If the clog did not come out of the pipe with the auger, it may just flush down the drain.


Clog Prevention
Now that you have cleared your drain, you should take steps to prevent the problem from happening again. Start by purchasing a strainer that collects foreign materials before they go down the drain.
You can also prevent kitchen sink clogs by properly utilizing your garbage disposal. Turn on the cold water while the disposal runs, and leave the water on for a minute after you shut off the disposal. This should flush the garbage into the main drainpipe rather than the smaller sink one.
Over time, a clogged sink could lead to a damaging pipe break. Therefore, should reduce the number of clogs in your sinks and use an auger to break up clogs that do develop.

Does Content Cleaning Work?

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

burned computer Electronics can be affected by a fire

If you have recently had a large portion of your company's items damaged in a fire, you have probably heard of a special dry-cleaning process that can help reverse the damage. You are probably wondering if this works and how it can help your business. Read on for an overview of how you can save your items.

How Can It Help My Business?

After your building sees extensive fire damage, it is normal to think you will lose a lot of your items. The contents of your business will indeed have been affected by the fire. However, if you take action immediately, content cleaning can reverse damage to your items caused by smoke, mold, fire, and water. This is successful through a special dry-cleaning process that removes soot and odors. After the cleaning process is finished, your items will be put into content storage, where they will wait until you are ready for them.


What Does It Save?
Some of the things that can be affected by a fire in Clear Lake, TX, include:

  • Electronics
  • Decorations
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Tools


Fortunately, the professional remediation company that helps you will be able to restore these items. Finding a company that uses more advanced restoration technology will open up the number of items you can save. Keep in mind that this cleaning process can save a lot of your items, but it may not save everything. You may still have to throw away some porous things that cannot be restored.
If you have recently experienced a fire at your business, you are going to want to try the special dry-cleaning process, which restores your items, so they are once again usable. This is a great way to restore many items in your business, no matter what type of damage they have. Afterward, you can store them until you are ready to reclaim them. Keep in mind that you may not be able to save everything from your business.

What it Means if Your Building Smells Like Mold

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Wall with mold growth and the phrase MUSTY ODOR Commercial mold damage

If you’ve noticed a musty odor or mildew smell in your building, that’s a sure sign that mold colonies are actively growing somewhere in the building. To understand why it’s helpful to know a little about the way mold functions and how it produces that distinctive “mold smell.”

What Mold Needs To Grow

Indoors or outdoors, the air in Clear Lake, TX, is always full of tiny mold spores. These tiny spores are generally harmless. They won’t begin to grow and colonize unless and until they come into contact with a source of moisture and a food source. Mold doesn’t need a large amount of water: The moisture in a slice of bread can be enough. Just about any material can serve as a food source, including:

  • wood
  • drywall
  • cloth
  • soil
  • plants
  • paper
  • food scraps

Mold that is growing on a surface is actually consuming that surface as a food source. When mold consumes building materials, like wood or drywall, the materials eventually begin to rot and to become unstable.

Where The Mold Smell Comes From
Once mold spores settle onto a food source where moisture is present, they begin to grow and multiply. Mold releases gas-like compounds into the air as part of its digestive process. Some of these compounds have a strong, distinctive fungus smell, although some are odorless. Mold only releases these compounds when it is actively growing. If you smell mold, it means mold is eating away at your building.

How To Stop the Mold Growth
Finding and eliminating the moisture source is the key to stopping mold growth. A mold remediation specialist can use a thermal imager and other equipment to locate leaks that are hidden from view, such as behind walls.
Never ignore a musty or mildew smell in your building. That smell means mold is actively growing nearby. Mold spreads rapidly. If you notice a mold smell, schedule a mold inspection as soon as possible.

What Causes Irrigation Leaks?

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of broken sprinkler in need of repair Sprinklers require regular checks to ensure that heads and nozzles are in good condition and are not broken

Three Reasons An Irrigation System Could Leak

A leaky irrigation system has the potential to cause major water damage. From damaged lines to sprinkler or system-wide malfunction, here are three of the most common reasons that irrigation could leak and flood landscaping or a commercial building in La Marque, TX.

Blocked or Damaged Lines
Irrigation lines that have broken during the off-season or worn down and started to leak can cause serious irrigation problems. All of the following issues may affect these landscaping water lines:

  • Clogs
  • Ruptures
  • Shifting soil

Irrigation pipes are designed to be impervious to external contaminants. If clogs form in lines, buildup from graywater or interfering elements such as tree roots may be the underlying cause. A service that specializes in solving irrigation problems and doing regular maintenance can clean or replace any watering system parts.

Faulty Sprinkler Components
A variety of components in a sprinkler head can sustain damage that causes this part of an irrigation system to shift off of settings that prioritize efficiency. Sprinklers require seasonal upkeep and regular checks to ensure that heads and nozzles are in good condition and are not broken, clogged or improperly positioned.

Problems With System Settings
Sprinkler systems require testing at the start of the season to confirm that all elements are functional. The irrigation needs of a landscape may shift over time, particularly if a property owner makes adjustments to manage runoff and reduce flooding risks. A sprinkler service may need to recalibrate an irrigation and sprinkler system to match changing land use.
Regular maintenance of an irrigation system is the best way to prevent problems. In addition to wasting water, irrigation leaks can moisten the soil and undermine the foundation of a structure or the surrounding landscape. If water damage caused by irrigation has affected a building in La Marque, TX, the property owner or manager should schedule irrigation repair and, if necessary, a structural inspection.

3 Ways To Prepare for a Business Fire

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Factory roof structure and automatic fire protection in building system. Your building should have a sprinkler system

Fire Preparation Tips

According to the US Fire Administration, there were more than 100,000 nonresidential fires in 2018, totaling over $2.5 million in costs. While you may not want to think about a disaster, such as a business fire, preparing for one can help you reduce damage and losses.
Here are three fire preparation tips to get you started safeguarding your Dickson, TX, business.

1. Get the Proper Equipment
Check that you have an adequate number of fire extinguishers and that they’re up to date. They last between five and 10 years, even if there’s no expiration date on the unit. Replace your extinguisher if it has any visible damage or you can’t find the inspection sticker or servicing information.
Your building should also have smoke detectors or a sprinkler system. Smoke detectors last between eight and 10 years.

2. Fix Potential Risks
Prevention is the best protection against fires. Go through your building to see if you have any areas that are likely hazards. There are many ways a business fire can start, including:

  • Combustible and flammable items near furnaces or space heaters
  • Broken equipment cords
  • Multiple extension cords in one outlet
  • Machines and appliances that aren’t regularly maintained or cleaned

Tell your employees how important it is to keep halls, doorways and stairs clear from boxes and other items that may block them from leaving the building quickly.
You can also ask a fire marshal or the building’s property manager to inspect your building to ensure you’re meeting safety codes.

3. Prepare Your Employees
Communicate your fire preparation plan to your staff. Tell them about evacuation and communication procedures. Run drills and demonstrate how to use a fire extinguisher using the PASS method: pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.
If you do have a business fire, call a fire damage repair company to restore your property. A team fire cleanup specialists can come and assess the extent of the fire charring, put up boards or tarp for immediate coverage, remove any smoke or soot and repair your building.

How To Make an Insurance Claim After Water Damage

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form Filing an insurance claim doesn’t have to add stress to a water disaster

How To Make an Insurance Claim After Water Damage

Making an insurance claim after water damage in your home is an important step to restoring your property in Dickson, TX. Each homeowner’s policy differs, but making a claim is similar for most people. Familiarizing yourself with this process beforehand will help you feel confident should the time come to activate your policy. It’s always better to be prepared, so if it’s been some time since you reviewed your coverage, make it a priority before every storm season.

Check Your Policy
Understanding your policy is key to getting back on your feet quickly. If possible, check your policy or ask your agent about these items before a water disaster or flood occurs:

  • The amount of your deductible
  • What kind of damage is covered
  • Expenses that are eligible for reimbursement
  • The paperwork required to file an insurance claim
  • Whether security or restoration services are covered
  • The preferred service providers for cleanup
  • The availability of temporary relocation housing

In addition, keeping the receipts from any related expenses is vital. Make digital copies of these and then put them in a safe place for your agent to access later.

Document the Damage
If damage has already happened from a pipe burst or other leak, it’s important to make documentation as soon as it's safe to do so. After calling your insurance agent, make sure to take photos and make a written list of the affected items. Videos are another important tool that an insurance adjuster can use to assess losses. Your water damage restoration specialist may need to make temporary safety precautions to protect your home from weather, theft or animals; having thorough documentation is vital so that the adjuster can see the original state of the flood damage.
Filing an insurance claim doesn’t have to add stress to a water disaster. By checking your policy, making documentation and following your agent’s advice, you’ll be on your way back to normal in no time.

4 Reasons Why Mold Keeps Coming Back

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage on ceiling, ceiling fan Mold damage in Nassau Bay, TX

4 Reasons Why Mold Keeps Coming Back

Black mold is an extremely tenacious organism; it always seems to rear its ugly head again right when you start to believe that you've gotten rid of it for good. You've exhausted all of your treatment options, yet the mold just won't give up. Before you head back in to defend your Nassau Bay, TX, home, make sure you're not guilty of the following common mistakes.

1. You Didn't Replace Your Water Damaged Possessions.
Feeling sentimental about your possessions is understandable and it can be difficult to get rid of your favorite items after they've fallen victim to mold damage. You might think that your favorite rug is clean after mold remediation, but there's probably still spores hiding in the material. As tough as it is, you're better off just replacing your items.

2. You Didn't Ventilate Your Home Properly During Remediation.
Any type of moisture can attract black mold, including moisture in the air. Next time you head in to tackle the problem, make sure you open your windows and doors to let the moisture escape. It's also a good idea to invest in some floor fans to aid with air circulation or a dehumidifier.

3. You Didn't Remediate the Initial Water Damage.
If your mold problem is a result of water damage, then you have to make sure you resolve the initial damage before you engage in mold cleanup. Make sure to completely clear out and dry any standing water, as well as identify and fix the source of the damage.

4. You Didn't Use the Correct Cleaning Products.
It's natural to immediately reach for the bleach when you discover a mold issue. Unfortunately, bleach doesn't actually kill mold; it only changes the color so you can no longer see it. Instead, try mixing your own non-toxic cleaning solution using equal parts white vinegar and water.
Don't allow black mold to take up continued residence in your home. Contact mold remediation experts for assistance dealing with any persistent mold issues.

Storm Preparedness for Property Managers

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

emergency contact paper sheet with phone number Part of your plan needs to incorporate an emergency contact list

Storm Preparedness

As a property manager, you have a lot of responsibilities to tend to in the event of an approaching storm. While keeping your property and other personal possessions is important, your first priority is keeping your residents and employees safe. Storm preparedness is key to keeping your La Marque, TX, property and residents safe during severe weather.

Plan Ahead of Time
You need to create an emergency weather plan before disaster strikes. Part of your plan needs to incorporate an emergency contact list that contains that following essential information:

  • Full names for all property residents
  • Number of residents in each apartment, including small children, special needs residents and the elderly
  • Contact information for each resident, including home, work and cell phone numbers
  • Number of pets residing in each apartment

Work with the remainder of your property management team to distribute the emergency storm preparedness plan to all of your residents. Practice this protocol regularly with your employees to help reduce unnecessary panic once disaster does strike. Make sure everyone knows where the designated weather shelters are located, if necessary. Resident safety is your top priority, so make sure to do plenty of head counts to ensure everyone is present and accounted for.

Rebuild After the Storm
After the storm passes, you need to fully inspect your property for signs of storm damage. Record full reports of any damage you find, including photographs, when necessary. Pass this report on to the property owner so they can properly file a storm insurance claim. Lastly, communicate any updates regarding storm damage to your residents. They need to be aware of any potential safety hazards caused by strong rains and winds.
Proper storm preparedness can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting both your physical property and your residents. Make sure to contact storm remediation experts for assistance following a tropical storm or hurricane.

The Benefits of Business Interruption Coverage

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. Purchase business interruption insurance for your business

Here Are Some Reasons To Talk To Your Agent About This Policy

If you are a new business owner in Nassau Bay, TX, it may seem overly cautious to purchase business interruption insurance. Most people don't realize how useful this coverage is until something devastating happens. 

Expenses
The losses from a fire in your building can be substantial. You may think that you are completely protected by your property insurance. After all, it covers the fire restoration services needed to repair and rebuild the structure. There are, however, other expenses to consider:

  • Payroll
  • Utility bills
  • Loan payments
  • Insurance premiums

Your business may not be fully operational while repairs are being made, which means it is unlikely that you are bringing in the revenue you need to cover these expenses. Interruption insurance provides the cushion you need so that you don't get behind in your payments and can continue to support your staff.

Income
Most business owners want to do more than break even. You are in business to make a profit, and when a fire causes a business interruption, earning money may be put on hold. Well-established businesses may have multiple streams of income, but if your business is new, it can be hard to survive without help. Interruption coverage can keep your company afloat by compensating you for the income you lose while your building is out of commission. Your coverage may even extend through the few days it takes to move back in and get everything up and running again. Your agent can provide details on how to make sure that income loss coverage is part of your policy.
There are several benefits to looking beyond the basics of property and liability coverage. Your BOP may cover major losses, but interruption insurance helps by covering part of the financial hit that your business may take while restoration is in process.

How to Take Care of Water Damaged Items

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents

A Flooded Company Can Result In A Large Number Of Problems

A flooded company building can be a frustrating emergency for your Clear Lake, TX, business. If this has happened, then there are likely a large number of items inside that have been affected. Knowing how to take care of these during restoration can help you get back to business more quickly.

1. Hard Surfaces
If a broken pipe has caused flooding in your building, then objects with hard surfaces are likely the easiest to handle. These will usually only require a quick wipe down and sanitation because water will not penetrate the surface.

2. Upholstered Furniture and Fabric Objects
Unfortunately, some furniture items are not as easy to salvage. This can be the case for objects, such as chairs and couches, that are made with fabric and absorbent materials. If the water has remained mostly on the surface, dry cleaning may be enough. Otherwise, they may need to be replaced. Smaller fabric items may be more thoroughly cleaned in a washing machine.

3. Electronics
If there are electronics in your flooded company building, these may need special attention. Because water can easily cause problems for these types of devices, you should have them checked by a professional before attempting to use them again. Turning them on if they are not completely dry can cause a short and can result in permanent damage. Water can cause metal components to rust as well.

4. Paper Items
You might think that papers and documents will be completely ruined, but this is not necessarily the case. With professional equipment, many delicate items can be saved. They will need to be completely dried and might also require an anti-mold treatment.
Because a flooded company building can result in a large number of problems, it is best to have this emergency taken care of right away. A professional cleanup and restoration company can make repairs to the building and can salvage many affected items quickly, allowing you to get back to work sooner.

5 Things To Avoid During a Business Flood Cleanup

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Dealership flooded Storm damage in Dickson, TX

Here Are Five Things You May Want To Avoid Doing

After floodwater has affected your Dickson, TX home, you may be in need of a flood cleanup. During this process there are a number of things that will need to happen, but there are also a few mistakes that should be avoided. 

1. Forgetting to Contact a Professional

Any time you have flooding in your business it’s important to contact a local water damage restoration service for help. Trying to clean everything yourself can be overwhelming. These professionals have a dedicated team with the proper equipment to help restore your business property as quickly as possible.

2. Not Removing the Water

Just like a flooded home, water left to sit in a business can cause a number of problems. Water can soak in and cause wood to swell, drywall to crumble, and tile or stone to crack. Standing water should be removed as quickly as possible.

3. Failing to Dry the Area

After the flood water is removed from the space it will need to be thoroughly dried. Forgetting to take this step could lead to delays in repairs, or problems with mold growth. A dehumidifier may help pull water from the air during this process.

4. Forgetting to Sanitize the Space

After the area is dried it was also need to be cleaned an sanitized before the water damage restoration can begin. Forgetting to take this step could leave behind bacteria which could cause problems down the road.

5. Not Using Safety Equipment

Forgetting to use safety equipment can lead to possible injuries during a cleanup. This is why it’s important to always wear the correct gear. This often includes masks, gloves, clothing covers, and shoe covers or work boots.

When dealing with floodwater in your business it’s a good idea to follow these guidelines in order to ensure the space is cleaned up properly. Remember to contact a professional, remove water from the space, dry the area, sanitize the area, and use the correct equipment. Forgetting to take these steps could potentially lead to more problems.

How To Clean Up After a Water Heater Leak

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater A leaking water heater is an urgent matter and needs to be dealt with immediately

Actions To Mitigate Damage From a Leaking Water Heater

A leaking water heater is an urgent matter and needs to be dealt with immediately. The greater the water heater capacity, the greater the potential for significant damage. Homeowners in La Marque, TX, should follow these steps to keep water damage from a failed water heater to a minimum:

  • Close the cold water inlet valve on the water heater to stop the incoming flow of water.
  • Clear flooded floor surfaces of loose, valuable, or potentially hazardous items.
  • Remove standing water with towels, mops, squeegees or wet/dry vacuums.
  • Wipe down any damp elevated surfaces.

Cleaning Up After a Broken Water Heater
Keep in mind that water will travel to the lowest point it can reach. Be sure to check for pooled water under and behind appliances, beneath boxes and furniture, and in corners.
You may also want to drain your water heater by attaching a garden hose to the drain spigot at the bottom of the water heater tank to channel any remaining water out and away from your home.
To the extent possible, minimize the severity of water damage before your leaking water heater completely fails. If the water heater is located in the garage, keep off of the floor any items that may not be able to withstand flooding, such as cardboard boxes, power tools, keepsakes, seasonal decorations, etc. Inside your home, take similar precautions with articles of value, sensitive electronic equipment, food containers, clothing and important documents.

Getting Professional Help
Water heater failures often happen immediately and with dramatic effect. Depending on the severity of the problem, it may be necessary to call a reputable water damage and restoration company to restore your property to the condition it was in before the flood occurred.
Actions to mitigate damage from a leaking water heater should be taken before and must be taken after a flood occurs. Following these steps can help you keep the impact of a broken water heater to a minimum.

Mold vs. Mildew Explained

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold. Aspergillus. The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mildew and mold are distinguishable by color and texture

It's every homeowner's nightmare: Something greenish-grayish-black has sprung up seemingly out of nowhere and is rapidly expanding over your walls, floors, or ceiling. How can you tell if this is mildew growth or mold growth, and either way, how do you stop the mold damage in its tracks?

Mildew vs. Mold

The labels "mildew" and "mold" are often used interchangeably, but while their behaviors and appearances are fairly similar, they are in fact two distinct types of fungi. Technically, mildew is a subcategory of mold, but it is generally treated as its own entity. Some other common household fungi, which are collectively referred to simply as "molds," include:

  • Acremonium
  • Fusarium
  • Mucor
  • Aspergillus
  • Alternaria
  • Cladosporium

How to Spot the Difference
Mildew and mold are distinguishable by color and texture. While mildew tends to be gray or white, mold is more often green or black. Likewise, mildew usually presents a downy or powdery texture and mildew growth is fairly flat against the surface. Mold, on the other hand, is often fuzzy or slimy, and can grow into more three-dimensional formations.

Which Is Worse?
Because mold is such a broad category, it is impossible to make a blanket statement as to whether mold or mildew causes worse mold damage. Both can spread extremely quickly, and the longer it's allowed to grow without professional intervention, the more arduous the remediation process will be. As a general rule of thumb, though, mold is often indicative of a more severe and far-reaching growth than mildew is.
The short answer is that if you spot mold damage in your home, it's not of the utmost importance whether it's technically mildew, because either way, the most important step to take is to call in your local Clear Lake, TX, mold remediation professionals. All the same, it always feels good to have a handle on what's going on inside your own home.

Fire Evacuation Planning for Your Pet: 3 Tips

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as firefighter The more you work at emergency pet preparation, the safer your animal might be

Tips To Ensure The Safety Of Your Pet

Having a fire evacuation plan in place for your Nassau Bay, TX, home can increase the chances of all your family members escaping a sudden blaze. However, does the plan include your beloved pets? Dogs, cats, and small mammals might perish in a fire emergency if they are not accounted for during an evacuation, but there are a few tips you can use to ensure their safety.

1. Use a Pet Population Window Decal
In the event of a fire, you can alert emergency services to the presence of pets by using a window cling or decal near the entrance of your home. This decal allows you to list the number and type of pets in the home, including dogs, cats and birds. Be sure to update the decal as you acquire new pets or if others pass away.

2. Keep Leashes Near Exits
One aspect of pet safety during a fire is the ability to keep your pets at your side once you evacuate, so having leashes on hand at designated fire exits can ensure your dog or cat does not run off in fear once you leave the house. Use leashes that are simple to slip on and provide one for each pet to reduce confusion during an evacuation and keep harnesses available there for small mammals as well.

3. Practice Evacuation
A fire emergency can be frightening for everyone, but including your pet in evacuation plans can reduce fear and anxiety, from the time fire services arrive to the appearance of a fire damage cleanup service once the fire is out. Work on teaching your pet an alert word so it knows to come to you at the nearest exit. The more you work at emergency pet preparation, the safer your animal might be.
When a fire emergency occurs at your Nassau Bay,TX, home, including your precious pets in a fire safety plan can help ensure their well-being so they can remain at your side for years to come.

Understanding Mitigation vs. Restoration

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

workers with protective equipment cleaning floodwaters in a building Storm mitigation in Dickson, TX

Two Basic Phases Of The Repair Process In Your Building

When your building is damaged by flooding after a storm in Dickson, TX, there are two basic phases of the repair process. A flood cleanup company must first mitigate the mess the storm left behind. Then the parts of your building that were destroyed must be restored.

Mitigation
Before any part of your building can be rebuilt, technicians first have to get debris and ruined materials out of the way. Once they have assessed the damage, there are several steps they take to mitigate it:

  • Pump out excess water
  • Repair or discard all affected items
  • Tear out ruined materials
  • Disinfect remaining surfaces
  • Dry the structure

These steps must happen quickly in order to avoid problems that fall under the category of secondary damage. Mold growth, for example, can occur in as little as one day after disaster strikes. Quick mitigation by a certified flood cleanup company is the key to keeping damage to a minimum.

Restoration
The second phase of the repair process takes more time. After mitigation, the restoration company is likely left with the bare bones of your building. They start by adding new insulation and rebuilding walls. Then they install new ceiling tiles and flooring. To complicate matters, all these features must be matched to the remaining walls, ceilings, and floors so that it looks "Like it never even happened," when the restoration process is finished. Finally, the furniture, equipment, and inventory that was able to be saved must be moved back into the building. One way to speed this part of the process up a little is to find a mitigation company that also specializes in restoration. That way, you have one team that can work seamlessly from beginning to end.
When your building is damaged in a storm, the flood cleanup company may get through mitigation quickly, but restoration will likely take longer. Understanding how the process works can help set reasonable expectations.

Emergency Preparation

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Preparation

Storm preparedness and emergency planning are both tools in the property manager's arsenal. These tools can be the difference between maintained business operations or complete shutdown. The four points below can guide you through the steps and the significance of emergency preparation.

1. Preplan for Disaster

As an owner or a manager, you may find that a significant part of property management revolves around employee safety and disaster prevention. Businesses require this type of preparation to help ensure business continuity; therefore, you will likely want to accumulate a list of contacts and operational procedures in case of an emergency.

2. Prepare an Emergency Checklist

Storm preparedness can be as simple as creating an emergency checklist for employees and clients. You can post this checklist around the property and make sure that every employee has a copy, ensuring that everyone will know what to do during an emergency. These lists should include maps to exits and shelter areas along with an action plan.

3. Practice Emergency Procedures Regularly

While the creation of preparation materials and checklists are a good starting point, these tools are nothing without regular practice and guidance. Many municipalities suggest performing monthly emergency walk-throughs and safety meetings. These monthly meetings will allow employees to ask questions and practice the developed safety routines while allowing management to rectify any potential concerns before a legitimate emergency.

4. Consider Restoration Specialists

When you think of the term restoration specialists, you may not immediately think of emergency preparations, but some restoration companies in Clear Lake, TX, provide a form of emergency planning for businesses. These companies may offer property evaluations to help pinpoint safety concerns as well as offer custom plans for your business in the event of an emergency or disaster.

An essential aspect of most business planning is storm preparedness, but it goes beyond the installation of storm shutters and backflow valves. Storm readiness means preparing for emergencies, not only from a business operations perspective but a safety perspective as well. Creating procedures and checklists as well as performing monthly meetings can all benefit your business and employees, ensuring that everyone and everything is prepared in emergent situations.

3 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Managing a business takes a great deal of time, energy and money, but the payoff can be rewarding. Unfortunately, water issues such as leaking pipes can force a business in Houston, TX, to close its doors. Knowing the common water issues that many businesses face can help you prevent water damage to your business.

1. Damaged Pipes

Pipes can become damaged over time, which can result in a break or leak. Both issues can cause long-term damage to your business. If your pipes are leaking, you may notice that your water bill has increased without an increase in purposeful water use. A pipe break is often more sudden and apparent, but it can also cause extensive damage. Maintaining your business’s pipes will help prevent leaking pipes and other damage from occurring.

2. Sewer Backup

If your building has repeatedly had a toilet backup or you notice water isn’t draining appropriately in sinks and other drains, it could be a sign of a sewer backup. Sewer backups can leave your business without functioning restrooms and appliances, and they can also be dangerous to people’s health. Backups can create water damage in a variety of locations in your business and can affect various appliances at once.

3. Foundation Damage

A sturdy, supportive foundation is essential for any building, including businesses. If water has accessed your business’s foundation numerous times, especially in older buildings, the foundation may begin to crack. It’s important to be aware of the state of your building’s foundation, since damaged foundations can make a building unsafe to inhabit. Signs of foundation damage could include visible cracks, sinking floors and doors that won’t easily open or close.

As a business owner, you know the value of having a clean, safe business. Water issues such as leaking pipes can wreak havoc on a business, but knowing what to look for can help you keep your business functioning at its best. If you do experience water issues, qualified professionals can help you fix the issues and prevent future damage.

Clear Lake Home Safety: How Fast Can Storm Damage Be Fixed?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

How Fast Can Storm Damage Be Fixed?

The greater Houston metropolitan is known for its active theater and cultural district, the NASA complex, a thriving central business district, fine restaurants, and beautiful countryside. However, we are also known for our severe weather events.

Storms damage thousands of area homes each year, and the resulting cleanup and restoration process is often an overwhelming task for homeowners. That is why, from the first call to the insurance company through to the completion of your restoration, your Houston SERVPRO of Clear Lake asks you to partner with us in the process of getting back into your home.

One of the first questions you may ask our highly trained restoration specialists is “How fast can the storm damage be fixed?” The answer to that question depends on the four key factors:

1. Insurance Company and Homeowner Approval of Restoration Plan. Before we can begin working on your home, you and your insurance company need to approve and sign our work contract. This contract will detail the work to be done, a timeframe, and the budget. The sooner we can come to acceptable terms, the more quickly work can begin.

2. Severity and Scope of Damage. If the recommended course of action is an only a thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and dehumidifying of your home and belongings, the water damage was likely minor and can be fixed quickly. However, if best practices and health codes indicate that drywall, insulation and carpets need to be removed and replaced, the process will take considerably longer. Likewise, if only a couple of rooms in your home were damaged, the restoration process will obviously be much quicker than if the entire home was damaged by floodwaters.

3. Availability of Contractors. In the event of a widespread natural disaster where many homes and businesses are damaged, reliable contractors quickly become booked, sometimes for many months to come. That is why it is imperative you contact your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO without delay. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes quickly after a natural disaster to set up local command centers and increase our resources and manpower; no one surpasses our readiness to help our friends, neighbors, and members of the greater Houston area community.

4. Infrastructure Damage. After a devastating natural disaster, the infrastructure of a city— including roads and utilities—can take several weeks to be brought back online, and this can delay the restoration process. In the first few days after a historic weather event, it is sometimes difficult for our technicians and specialists to move around the area. However, you can rest assured that we are doing the best we can start rebuilding our community and your home. Damage to roads may cause a delay in the arrival of building supplies, so we ask that our customers remain patient, while we remain vigilant in getting the project done safely and done right.

Recovering from flood, hurricane, tornado, or other severe weather event does take time, but as members of the community, we understand how important it is to our customers to get back into their homes after disaster strikes. Call on us anytime your home is damaged; we are available 24 hours a day to respond, and will begin storm damage restoration work as quickly as possible.

Got Mold? Don’t Reach for the Bleach

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

Bottles of Clorox Bleach on store shelves. Don't reach for the bleach

At the first sign of mold damage or growth in your Clear Lake, TX, property, a first inclination may be to grab the bleach for instant fungus cleanup. Unfortunately, if you do that, the problem won’t be resolved and might actually spread. Mold has an intricate root system that requires advanced methods to eliminate. Over-the-counter products are unable to penetrate that deep.

5 Reasons It Doesn’t Work

When spending the time to cleanup mold, you want to ensure it is actually cleaned. While your trusted cleaning product is good for many things, below are five reasons it isn’t the right choice for mold.

Most traditional cleaners are 90% water. When using, the small percentage of chlorine evaporates fast. That leaves behind moisture that can be absorbed into porous surfaces and provide fuel for mold to grow.
As it is absorbed into porous materials, it can damage the surface. If used on wood, the fibers are weakened and can lead to rot. On metal, it can quickly lead to corrosion.
Once you spray it on, you may see the fungus growth disappear. In reality, you just bleached its color and didn’t remove the problem.
Bleaching a surface may smell strong, but this liquid quickly loses its power. Thus, it isn’t able to prevent future organic growth.

Professional Cleanup
When faced with fungus cleanup, you want it gone. The best bet is to call mold damage and remediation professionals. Armed with the latest technology to remove mold, as well as find hidden patches, they have the know-how to stop it from spreading and return your business back to normal. They also use industry-standard practices to contain the affected area and prevent future outbreaks.
Instead of leaving fungus cleanup up to chance by reaching for whatever is in the maintenance closet, get help that is Faster to Any Size Disaster to properly eliminate the problem.

How To Protect Your Business From a Toilet Flood

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Toilet overrflow in La Marque, TX

Prevent Potential Contamination From A Toilet Flood

You may occasionally deal with toilet overflow in the bathroom of your La Marque, TX, business. This problem may be due to

  • Clogged pipes
  • Clogged vents
  • Blocked sewage lines
  • Failed septic system

A toilet flood is a common occurrence, but by following these steps you can prevent potential contamination and ensure the well-being of your customers and your employees.

Turn Off the Value and Don't Flush
When an automatic flush toilet overflows, it is necessary to stop the emission of water by turning off the water valve as quickly as possible. This step is critical because water will continue to flow with each flush. Turning off the water will prevent extensive flooding.
Manual flush toilets will not flush if you do not press a lever. If the overflow is due to a clog, you can more easily prevent flooding when your toilet flushes manually than when it flushes automatically.

Clean Up
Clean up after a manual or automatic flush toilet flood can vary, depending upon what caused the flood. For example, a simple clog within a manual flush toilet may involve little more than a mop and bucket to wipe up water splashes. However, floods due to a septic tank or sewage line failure, require measures to prevent bacterial and other toxic contamination. A professional cleaning service can extract waste-containing toxic water, disinfect surfaces, purify the air and help prevent the development of mold.

Prevent
When a toilet overflow causes extensive flooding, the damages can be devastating to your business. A toilet flood could require you to close your premises and replace furnishings and equipment, which could lead to financial loss. Scheduling regular inspections of all building plumbing, fixtures, and sewage systems will alert you to any issues before they turn into disasters.
You may not be able to stop a toilet from flooding your La Marque, TX, business, but you can establish a plan to minimize potential damages.

3 Ways Storm Damage Can Affect Your Business

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Storm water on the floor, technicians wearing protective gear cleaning Storm restoration in Nassau Bay, TX

3 Ways Storm Damage Can Affect Your Business

After a storm in Nassau Bay, TX, there are a few ways your business may be affected. Contacting a local storm damage restoration service can be one way to ensure these problems are fixed before long term damage occurs. Here’s what you may want to know about roof damage, flooding, and mold problems.

1. Roof Damage

It’s important to note that flood damage can also occur to the roof. This can happen when a block in the gutters or drainage system causes water to overflow. This water can back up onto the roof and flood the space. If left unattended it can seep in and cause damage. Other forms of roof damage can come from hail beating on the surface, or strong winds which can know roofing and gutters lose if not properly secured.

2. Flooded Areas

One of the first thoughts, when one hears about a large storm, is to consider the risk for a flood. Flooding can occur if there is a leak or other space, like an open window, which can allow water into the building. Additional risk factors include land sloped in a way that allows water to pool against the building and debris which can be blown into the structure cracking a window or damaging another weakened location.

3. Mold Problems

Another problem, water damage could lead to is mold. Mold grows best in dim moist climates meaning that water damage can create a habitat for the fungi. Water soaks into organic material softening it for the mold spores to consume, and also keep the area humid. Restoration professionals know to look for this problem and in many cases are also trained for mold remediation. Meaning you shouldn’t need to contact a second service if mold does occur.

After a storm Roof damage, flooding, and mold problems may all occur. This is why it’s important to contact a restoration service quickly so that these issues can be found and fixed before long term damages affect your business.

4 Common Water Sources That Enable Mold Growth

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling covered with black mold due to humidity Ceiling damaged by mold growth in a Dickson, TX home

Here Are Some Water Sources That Enable Mold Growth

Many homeowners fear the presence of black mold. This mold strain known by the scientific name of Strachybotrys chartarum has an especially infamous reputation. Like other types of mold, it flourishes in indoor areas with a moisture problem. The key to preventing its growth is staying on top of areas in a home where water leaks or high humidity can be an issue. Here are some water sources that enable mold to gain a foothold in a home in Dickson, TX:

1. Floods. Any time water comes into a home from an outside source, it increases the humidity level of a property. Even after the water recedes, the area stays moist, creating a perfect condition for mold growth. Just as importantly, the water may have been contaminated with chemicals and sewage. A mold remediation company can deal with both issues at the same time.

2. Leaky Plumbing. Even a slowly leaking pipe creates enough moisture to encourage black mold growth. If the leaking occurs behind the walls, the problem can take some time to spot. Fortunately, a professional mold cleanup can reach into hard to access areas of a home.

3. Leaky Roof. Minor leaks in the roofing system are not always spotted right away. The water drips into the attic and soaks into the walls and insulation, never making it into the living space below. Still, this enough for mold spores to grow into colonies. To address the problem, the roof should be repaired and the mold killed and scrubbed clean with disinfectants.

4. Bathrooms. An active bathroom tends to have higher than average humidity. If ventilation is poor, this could be enough for mold to grow. Removing the mold growth and improving the ventilation could be enough to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
Whether a home is faced with black mold or another strain of mold, the problem should be addressed quickly. Tackling the moisture problem is a necessary step.

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Developing a contingency plan is a key first step

You certainly hope your business property in La Marque, TX  never experiences a fire. You still need to be ready for the possibility, however. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the more efficient you will be in getting all your employees to safety and minimizing the damages. Developing a contingency plan is a key first step.

What To Include in the Plan

A well-developed plan takes time. Establish a team of experts in your organization and meet with them regularly. Addressing each of the steps below will keep you on track.

Identify the potential risks in each area of the business. Focus on the highest threats first.
Decide on the best course of action to mitigate the risks. The contingency plan for each threat must include the steps needed to get operations back to normal. It must also address who should contact the fire department and the fire restoration service.
Determine who is responsible for implementing the plan for each threat. Depending on the size of your business, this may involve several employees.
Update the list as new risks are identified.

How To Implement the Plan

After the plan is finished and approved by top management, training each employee on the plan is critical to its success. The evacuation plan must be made clear to everyone. This includes understanding the alert system, knowing where to safely exit the building and knowing where to meet outside. Each employee must let their designated person know they are safe. Don’t forget any visitors or vendors in the building.
Conduct fire drills periodically so that everyone feels comfortable in case a true emergency hits. Drills may be frequent at first until all employees understand their roles. Evaluate and address any issues with implementation, and continue to test the system.
A comprehensive contingency plan can help to protect your employees and your business in the event of a real disaster.

Why Trust SERVPRO

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in the hall of a building SERVPRO is an IICRC certified company

Why Trust SERVPRO

A business owner should not have to worry that the mitigation crew in Clear Lake, TX, is trained for the work they will perform. As an insurance agent, you can help point your client toward a certified professional, like SERVPRO. There are several reasons to trust this company over other mitigation and restoration companies.

1. IICRC Certification 2. Employee Certification 3.Franchise Training

IICRC Certification
The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification offers a mitigation certificate program that is the industry standard for disaster relief specialists. Every SERVPRO company is certified for the comfort and confidence of commercial businesses and insurance companies. With this certification, clients can rest assured that the restoration company working on their site understands the correct cleaning methods and regulations for mitigation.

Employee Certification
Every member of a SERVPRO team must complete training before being allowed to operate in the field. Every team member must know the protocols to keep your clients and their businesses safe. It is also crucial that every employee knows how to expedite restoration efforts to reduce business interruption.

Franchise Training
Before anyone can use the SERVPRO name, the owners and operators must complete in-house training. The training covers everything from fire restoration to water mitigation and optimal cleaning strategies. Beyond the fire and water damage education, crews also learn about mold containment and removal.
SERVPRO is a known restoration company for a reason. They have designed a business built on the highest industry standards. If you are an insurance agent looking to help a struggling client, or if you are a business trying to recover from a recent disaster, then contact a mitigation professional. However, know that SERVPRO is an IICRC certified company. They are also a one-stop-shop for mitigation and restoration. Your client or their company will appreciate the knowledge and professionalism of the recognized and capable brand of SERVPRO. Contact a representative for more information.

The Fire Restoration Process

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Water and soot on the floor Cleaning of smoke and soot in Nassau Bay, TX

The Fire Restoration Process

A fire can do serious damage to your Nassau Bay, TX, home. The following steps outline the fire restoration process:

1. Assess the situation. After all family members are safe, it is time to take stock of the damage done. File a claim with your fire insurance, and ask if they have any specific instructions for you. Ask the fire department if it is safe to go back inside your home.

2. Secure the property. The fire itself or the fire-fighting efforts may have left holes in the roof, broken windows, or created other openings in the structure. Tarp over or board up these openings to keep out wildlife, trespassers, and inclement weather.

3. Address water damage. If you are cleared to go back inside your house, it is important to begin the fire restoration process as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If there is water left over from the fire extinguishing efforts, dry it up as soon as possible. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours. There are specialized pumps and vacuums available for standing water. If porous surfaces have been soaked, you may need a dehumidifier to finish the drying process. Opening windows and doors can also help.

4. Clean smoke and soot. When soot accumulates on surfaces, it can lead to corrosion. Different types of fire and smoke lead to different types of soot. A professional can determine the appropriate cleaner to use for the soot present in your home. Smoke and its residual odor can linger long after the fire has been extinguished. Fortunately, there are different smoke cleaning methods available today. A professional can determine the best approach for your home.

5. Repair and replace damaged items. Some items may only need a new coat of paint, but other items may have to be fully replaced or rebuilt. A professional can help you determine what is and is not salvageable.
Restoring fire damage can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, a qualified restoration company can help you with every step of the fire restoration process.

Water Damage Doesn’t Always Mean Ruined Possessions

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fan for Water Damage in Kitchen Take quick action to begin the drying process

Discovering water at home is something no homeowner wants to experience. Along with dealing with the water itself, it can ruin belongings and create the ideal conditions for mold growth. Whether a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliance caused the issue, it can seem overwhelming and a hopeless endeavor salvaging items.

Cleaning Tips

While some items may not be saved, a surprising number of your treasures may be salvageable. From furniture to artwork and electronics, quick action may limit the damage.

Remove items from the affected area as quickly as possible.
For items that are still wet, rinse them off and gently wipe down with a damp cloth.
While furniture, rugs, and similar items can be taken outdoors to dry, some objects may be affected by the sunlight. If possible, let those items dry inside the home.
Use fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers to eliminate moisture. If the humidity outdoors is at an acceptable level, open windows.
Fragile paper-related items and artwork must be gently handled. For artwork, open the frame to let air in. Photographs stuck together should be lightly soaked to naturally separate and laid flat to dry.
Metal items should be cleaned and dried to avoid rust forming.
Organic materials are prone to mold. Any textiles and leathers should be dried as soon as possible.

Professional Help
If there has been an extensive amount of water loss, handling it on your own can involve a significant amount of time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere. A professional water remediation and restoration expert not only has the tools to clean up the water mess and eliminate the chances of mold growth, but they also have the tools and know-how to clean most items in the home. Along with dry cleaning services, they also have methods that include wet, foam, abrasive, and immersion cleaning processes.
While no one wants water in their Dickson, TX, home, it doesn’t have to mean replacing your belongings are losing precious treasures. Take quick action to begin the drying process can do wonders for your water loss.

Why You Should Hire a Certified Water Damage Expert

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

White brick wall with the words WHAT IS THE IICRC The IICRC It's a non-profit certification body for the restoration industry founded in 1972

Many things can cause a broken pipe. Some of the most common causes in La Marque, TX, include tree roots, corrosion, and broken joints. When pipes burst, your property is at risk of structural damage and bacterial growth if water clean up doesn't happen immediately.
Calling a clean up and restoration company will be necessary for your property's structural integrity and the safety of all occupants. Make sure the company you hire employs IICRC technicians who are trained and certified for this type of work.

What is IICRC?

IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is the body of experts who set standards for the cleanup and restoration industry. Professionals with this certification learn the best practices of the trade, including mitigation practices, hazardous waste clean up, and commercial drying techniques.

Why Hire an IICRC Specialist?
The professionals who are certified by the IICRC are trained to put your best interests into their work. This means making the health and safety of your business's occupants a priority while also restoring your facility to a pre-disaster state. During the water clean up process, the IICRC specialist will save what is salvageable and remove any mold, bacteria, and other hazards to health that could be a threat to your employees and clients.
Following cleanup, a commercial drying specialist will inspect the structure and make plans for the best way to ensure your building dries to a safe indoor environment. The drying specialist has been trained in complex commercial structures, technology, and techniques for various building materials and equipment.
Hiring a worker without certification could pose a liability risk to your business. If the property is not disinfected and dried correctly, mold and sewage could remain and dangers could present long after clean up has occurred.
When disaster happens, put the safety of your team first. Only hire skilled and certified technicians who have been trained in best practices. When you do, you will always have the best outcome.

How Improper Mold Containment Can Squander Your Cleanup Efforts

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic covers, mold containment concept Containment is the isolation of the work areas to prevent cross-contamination of clean, unaffected areas of the building structure.

How Improper Mold Containment Can Squander Your Cleanup Efforts

There are several reasons to hire a mold cleanup professional when dealing with a mold problem, one of the most important of which is that professionals understand the steps to take to avoid cross-contamination. Mold contamination is a very real possibility during mold remediation efforts, and preventing it often necessitates heavy duty commercial equipment and protocol, the likes of which include the following:

Specialized air filtration systems, such as HEPA vacuums and “air scrubbers,” which help prevent mold spores during the remediation process
The removal of mold-infested materials
Personal protective equipment
Containment hallways

Improper containment that doesn’t utilize the above could have adverse effects on your building.

The Risk of Contaminating Mold-Free Areas
The biggest risk you run by attempting DIY mold cleanup without proper containment efforts is cross-contamination. Mold spores are extremely lightweight and can become airborne with even the most minimal disturbance. Failure to adequately isolate work areas could mean that airborne spores will travel out of the affected areas and to previously clean sections of your building.

Increased Expenses and Repairs
Cross-contamination may not seem like a big deal right now, but it can prove to be a costly problem in the future. If the spores come into contact with any level of moisture, they can quickly flourish into a mold infestation. If this were to occur, you would have to go through the whole remediation and restoration process in a different area of your building, thereby rendering all your previous cleanup efforts futile.

Professional Mold Remediation Is Well Worth the Cost
If you’re like many building owners faced with a mold infestation, you may attempt to mitigate costs by performing the mold cleanup yourself. Unfortunately, DIY mold remediation typically does more harm than good because it often results in cross-contamination. Professionals have the proper tools and processes for quickly and efficiently eradicating mold populations while avoiding mold contamination. For this reason alone, it’s always a good idea to work with a mold remediation specialist in Dickson, TX.

4 Steps for Getting FEMA Assistance

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup Get FEMA assistance

If your property isn't located in a floodplain or other area where flooding is a high risk, you may not have considered flood insurance to be a priority. Unfortunately, many types of natural and manmade disasters can result in flooding and water damage. For example, water leftover from firefighting efforts is a big concern after a fire. A burst pipe that goes unnoticed over a weekend can lead to significant flooding. Each of these situations may present unique requirements from your insurance company, but few situations are quite as complex as applying for FEMA coverage when you don't have insurance coverage.

Do You Qualify for Assistance?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, people who own or manage property in eligible counties qualify for federal assistance. In the event that Clear Lake, TX, is an eligible community, property owners and managers should take the following steps:

Apply for Federal Aid

The first step in applying for aid from FEMA is either using the phone the call 800-621-3362 or visiting www.DisasterASsistance.gov. Whether you call or visit the website, you are likely to get in touch with a representative between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and it's possible to connect with someone all seven days of the week.

Identify Appropriate Grants

There are a variety of grants available whether you have flood insurance or not. If you own property with renters, you may connect some of your tenants with temporary housing. There are grants available for uninsured and underinsured property losses and emergency property repairs. Register for the grants that are most appropriate for your situation.

Attend Federal Inspections

A few days after you've registered by phone or online, a federal representative will contact you. They'll present official identification, won't ask for money, won't make recommendations, and won't approve or deny requests. However, they will make a careful survey of the damages your property has suffered. You'll receive official news about your claim after the inspection results have been submitted and reviews.

Check the Status of Your Case

You can follow the progress of your case by going online or calling the same federal help number. It's important that you understand the type of help you're going to receive before you contact commercial property damage agencies. You'll need specific flood insurance and FEMA information to share with these professionals.

Should You Schedule a Mold Inspection Before Buying a Building?

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores - 3D Illustration - Text on image that says THEY THRIVE If you suspect that mold may be present, contact a company that provides mold inspection and remediation services.

Three Reasons To Schedule A Mold Inspection

Buyers in the commercial property market may receive conflicting advice about the importance of mold inspections. An inspection prior to purchase costs less than mitigation, but it can still be a considerable expense for a building you do not already own. Here are three reasons to schedule a mold inspection prior to purchasing a commercial property in Dickson,TX.

1. You Can Smell Mold

If you smell mold, you should try to determine the extent of the growth. Look around the premises for any signs of visible mold. These odors are caused by microbial volatile organic compounds, which are off-gases emitted by mold during the active growth cycle. The odor indicates that active growth is likely present. An inspection can help you discover hidden mold and determine the severity of the mold problem.

2. The Building Has Water Damage

A building that has water damage is also likely to have secondary damage in the form of mold. Try to find out about the origins of the damage, how long it has persisted, and whether restoration has been attempted. If the water damage is still present when you are considering purchasing the property, a mold inspection is even more important to determine the costs of mitigation, restoration, and mold remediation.

3. You Would Like To Avoid Mitigation Costs

If the presence of mold in a building would be enough to deter you from making a purchase, you should schedule an inspection. If you do not want to invest money in the property to get rid of any mold found during the inspection, you can move on to another property that may not have a mold problem.

These are three reasons to schedule an inspection prior to purchasing a commercial property in Dickson,TX . If you suspect that mold may be present, contact a company that provides mold inspection and remediation services.

How To Secure a Business After a Fire

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Floor covered with soot. Technician using an extracting vacuum Smoke clean up in Nassau Bay, TX

Three Things To Keep In Mind About Securing The Property

All is not lost when your business in Nassau Bay, TX, is impacted by fire damage. It may seem like that when it first happens. Charred walls, lost shingles, and smoky odors only create a sense of defeat and loss. However, there is hope. With the assistance of insurance and restoration teams, your place can reopen and get back to work. In the meantime, as an owner, you should understand the possible threats to the exposed premises, safeguarding it as much as possible after the incident. Here are three things to keep in mind about securing the property.

1. Be Aware
Once the fire has claimed your building, it became a hazard to you; however, for criminals, it became a treasure trove for looting. Thieves don't care that it is dangerous to enter. They see holes and openings, welcoming them in without a problem. Knowing this, don't just walk away from the scene, leaving it unattended. Doing so, only poses more complications. Make a plan to oversee.

2. Secure the Land
Prevent unwelcome guests by boarding up the fire damage immediately. Work with a fire restoration company in Nassau Bay, TX, to evaluate the premises, determining the best methods for protecting the establishment. The crew can place tarps over any exposed roofing and boards over any holes in the walls, windows, and doors. Also, it's important to think about how all of this is placed. Consider screwing some of the plywood on the inside, making it difficult for others to take them down. These extra preventative measures should keeping out animals, robbers, and inclement weather.

3. Remove Valuables
While the remediation team handles the fire cleanup, you can search and remove anything of importance. After all, you don't want anyone getting hands on important documentation such as tax returns, employee records or contracts. With assistance, gather what you can, taking them to a safer location. In addition, any high-priced commodities may be removed and stored elsewhere, leaving less temptation for burglars.
The experts can fix the fire damage. During that time, proprietors should be vigilant, remaining cognizant of intruders.

How Property Managers Should Prepare for a Storm

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

BE PREPARED, message on business card shown by a man, vintage tone Be prepared and keep your building and your employees safe

As a property manager, you know that thorough storm preparedness is a key part of your job. If you find out that a hurricane or tornado is approaching your commercial building in Dickson, TX, you must take steps to prevent major flood damage. There are things you can do before, during and after the storm to make sure your building is ready.

Before the Storm

Before storm season even arrives, draw up a playbook that describes everything you will need during an emergency. Your playbook should include these items:

  • Addresses and phone numbers of your staff members
  • Emergency contacts for your employees
  • Roles each employee will play during a storm
  • List of essential personnel

Be sure to review the storm preparedness playbook with your staff well in advance. This way, they will know what to do before the storm hits. You should also work with the owner of the premises to ensure all the businesses in your building are informed about any upcoming storm.
Finally, review your insurance policy ahead of time. Make sure that your insurer covers the cost of flood cleanup.

During the Storm

As an impending storm gets closer, you should go over the plan again with your staff. Tell your nonessential employees that they can work from home. Essential workers, including front desk clerks and engineers, should stay on site until it is no longer safe for them to do so. Before the employees leave the premises, make sure that they know who to contact for updates.

After the Storm

Once the tornado or hurricane has passed, you and your maintenance supervisors should inspect the premises for storm damage. Be sure to take photos and videos to show to the building owner. You can then call storm cleanup specialists for assistance with the restoration.
Property management can be difficult during hurricane and tornado season. With a proper storm preparedness plan, you can help keep your building and your employees safe.

How to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom vent After each shower, it’s important to let the exhaust fan run for a few minutes

Mold and mildew thrive in a warm, moist environment, which is why bathroom mildew is such a common issue for homeowners in La Marque, TX. When it grows on the walls and ceiling, mold can be a very unpleasant site. The problem, however, is that it starts to grow before you are able to see it.

Be Proactive to Prevent Mold

The key is to address mold before you know it’s there. Being proactive will prevent mold damage in your bathroom. There are a few simple steps to help you tackle mold head-on before it becomes a problem.

Buy a good quality squeegee. A squeegee with a flat, smooth blade made of rubber will reduce any moisture on the shower walls, bathroom mirror, and the tub. Gently rub down wet surfaces after each shower or bath to prevent bathroom mildew from growing.


Run the bathroom fan. After each shower, it’s important to let the exhaust fan run for a few minutes. Since most bathrooms lack a window or other ventilation, the fan will help to reduce the humidity problem.


Don’t leave your wet towel in the bathroom. Most people wouldn’t think twice about leaving their wet towel hanging on the towel rack after a shower, but mold can actually latch on to it. It’s best to hang the wet towel in an open, dry spot.


Find a good quality mold and mildew cleaner. Using the squeegee after each shower is a good start but using a mold cleaner once a week will discourage the growth of mold even further and will make mold cleanup much easier.

You can’t totally avoid bathroom mildew, but using a bit of common sense should help you keep it under control.

Proactive Cleaning Around the Clock

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic that says sanitization is only a call away We are prepared to clean and disinfect your building.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

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

Specialized Training 

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

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

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

Specialized Products 

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

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Clear Lake (281) 486-4716

How the Pros Clean up After Storm Damage

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Technicians wearing protective gear while removing standing water on a commercial building Water removal in a Clear Lake, TX

Despite all your preparation and best efforts, your building might not be a match for a major storm in Clear Lake, TX. Though the damage your building suffers can be severe, the right cleanup company can make your building ready for use once again. By using tear out and rebuilding processes, these crews can remove water and clean up various materials in your workplace.

What the Pros Offer

Immediately after a significant storm causes water damage and other problems, you should file an insurance claim. You'll also want to contact a reputable storm damage response company to begin the process of removing the water and restoring your building. Professional crews have the following characteristics:

  • They have experience cleaning up after storms in commercial buildings.
  • They have the right tools and equipment for jobs of all sizes.
  • They can respond the same day as your call and complete the work quickly.

Assessment
Once on the scene, the team will evaluate the extent of the damage and what it will take to complete the storm restoration process. Technicians will walk through the area, make a plan and share it with you.

Taking out the Damaged Items
Unfortunately, the technicians won't be able to salvage all the materials in your building. Porous materials such as drywall will likely be too saturated with water. Crews will do a tear out of these items as well as carpet, ceiling tiles, and damaged roofing shingles.

Water Removal
Next, the team will use commercial-grade machines to extract all the water from your building. Crews will use heavy-duty fans and dehumidifiers to dry and the affected areas and remove all traces of moisture.

Sanitizing
Dry floors, walls, and ceilings are not enough. To discourage the growth of mold, technicians will use powerful chemicals to kill any bacteria.

Rebuilding
Crews will then clean and dry all items. They will also replace and restore building materials.
From tear out to water removal and everything else, you can depend on the pros to get your office building back in shape. Don't let storm damage derail your business.

3 Alternatives to Candles

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Aromatic reed freshener on table in room If you love the scent of candles but do not want the hazard of a burning flame, try stick diffusers

Candle Alternatives

Although candles bring a sense of ambiance and warmth to your home, candle fire can be dangerous and is a leading cause of house fires in Nassau Bay, TX, and they can cause a lot of damage that will require the help of a fire cleanup service. Left unattended, lit candles can wreak havoc on your home and the fire can spread rapidly if the candle is left near flammable materials such as

  • Curtains
  • Wood tables and furnishings
  • Bedding
  • Sofas
  • Sheets
  • Paper

Fortunately, there are safe candle alternatives that you can use to give a similar look or feel to your place without the dangers of a fire.

Stick Diffusers

If you love the scent of candles but do not want the hazard of a burning flame, try stick diffusers. You can use a variety of fragrance or essential oils to get the smell that you want. Diffusers work by adding an oil into a glass container and then placing reeds or bamboo sticks in it. The oil seeps through the sticks and releases the scent into the air.

Battery-Operated Candles

If you are searching for candle alternatives that mimic the look of candles, flameless candles are a good choice. They flicker just like candles, usually use battery power and can be left in a room without supervision. Some of these devices have timers, so they shut off after a few hours.

LED String Lights

For an energy-efficient option that provides optimal luminosity, consider using solar-powered LED string lights. These can be strung from your ceiling or even placed in a bowl or vase to concentrate light just like a candle. Since these items use sun power, you do not have to worry about them causing a candle fire.
Candles can be a pretty sight, adding light and comfort, but they can also cause a fire in your home. Candle alternatives like stick diffusers, battery-operated candles, and LED string lights can give you the look and feel of candles without the danger of them.

Tips for Dealing with Water Damage

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shut off the water source

Tips to Help Contain Water Damage

Water damage should never be taken lightly. Even if your home in Dickson, TX, experiences a minor water leak from a leaky faucet or broken pipes, water has a way of sneakily spreading into walls, floors, and other hidden areas. To ensure the damage doesn’t spread, trust a water damage expert to get your home back to new. While you wait for help to arrive, below are a few tips to help contain the damage.

1. Shut Off the Water Source and Electricity

Safety should always come first. If the water is coming from piping, turning off the main water source is imperative since mold can begin forming within hours. Depending on where the damage occurs, turn off the electricity.

2. Check for Mold and Mildew

A main issue resulting from water damage is the growth of mildew and mold. These spores quickly grow and spread, even to areas in the home that aren’t affected by the water. If left unchecked, it can create more serious issues down the road.

3. Eradicate the Moisture

Water cleanup is an essential part of getting your home back to normal. Along with removing excess water, use fans and dehumidifiers to circulate the air and assist with evaporation.
4. Remove Affected Porous Materials

Water can shrink and warp porous materials. Any carpeting, insulation, fabrics, paper and other items should be removed from the area. Along with helping the damaged area dry out, removing these items could potentially save them from having to be tossed.

5. Disinfect

Once items have been removed and the damaged area is dry, it’s time for some deep cleaning. Any hard surfaces that were touched by water should be disinfected. This will help reduce the chances of mold spreading.
Dealing with water damage is not a fun job, but not addressing it will make it a much bigger job. While these steps can help reduce the spread of damage, calling a professional can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Avoid Flooding After the Thaw

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

roof ice in the winter A backed-up gutter or downspout is one of the main culprits for flooding

Spring may be a welcome sight after a long cold, snowy weather, but it can come with a few downsides. Staying on top of maintenance for your La Marque,TX, business can reduce the impact warmer temperatures can create. While seeing the snowmelt can be a relief, it may mean dealing with flooding. While the weather doesn’t always ensure a spring flood won’t happen, investing time in preparing for the worst can reduce the chances of needing a water remediation expert to eliminate water damage.

Winter Maintenance

A frozen pipe, clogged gutters, and other factors can be an invitation for damage. Below are a few maintenance tips to help your business usher in spring smoothly.

When it snows, be sure to shovel it away from the foundation. This will help it drain away from your business instead of flooding in.
Inspect floor and roof drains for any debris to ensure water will flow properly.
Regularly check and clean gutters and downspouts. A backed-up gutter or downspout is one of the main culprits for flooding. If possible, remove ice and snow to further help flow.
Check the foundation for any cracks. They should be repaired as quickly as possible to avoid further damage that could affect its structural stability.

Extra Protection for Flood-Prone Buildings

Some businesses may deal with water issues more regularly than others, especially after a wet winter. Along with regular maintenance, there are a few other ways to gain peace of mind. If your business has a basement, keep items stored in it elevated for added protection. The faster you can address a water issue the easier it is to clean up. There are water alarms and flood sensors available that provide alerts when water is detected. Businesses may also want to consider talking with their insurance company about adding flood insurance to the policy.
Unfortunately, flooding isn’t always avoidable. Taking extra precautions before the thaw can reduce the chances of a major crisis.

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.

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.

How To Choose a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher Having a fire extinguisher within reach of every area of your home can help you manage small flames

You know you need smoke detectors throughout your home in Dickson,TX, but what is your plan if a small fire breaks out? Having a fire extinguisher handy can help you protect your home from a larger fire and extended damage. There are many choices of extinguishers.

How Do You Know Which One to Choose?

Type of Fire
Each extinguisher is coded with the type of home fire it works on:

A is for ordinary items such as cloth or wood
B is for liquids such as oil or gasoline
C is for electrical fires

Since you don't really know what kind of fire you're going to have, it's probably best to get an extinguisher that works on all three types.

Strength of Extinguisher

There are different sizes of fire extinguishers, and some are better at putting out certain fires than others. Before the letter that tells you what kind of flame your fire extinguisher will work on, you will likely see a number. Higher numbers generally mean better effectiveness. When choosing an extinguisher, weigh the effectiveness with the cost to make a reasonable decision.

Choice of Location

According to fire restoration specialists, unless you live in a one-room apartment, you probably want more than one extinguisher. A good fire preparedness plan includes thinking through possible scenarios. If you can imagine a fire breaking out in a room, you need an extinguisher nearby.

Ease of Use

Knowing how to use the extinguisher is also crucial to your plan. If it is too heavy for you, or you use it incorrectly, it doesn't do you much good. Remember to aim the nozzle at the base of the fire as you sweep it along and release the extinguishing agent. Always call 911 if the agent is not enough to put out the flames.
You can prevent extensive damage if you can put out a fire in a hurry. Having a fire extinguisher within reach of every area of your home can help you manage small flames.

Mold Damage and Your Treasured Artwork

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Professional restorer working at an ancient paintings representing religious scenes, inside a museum laboratory Mold cleaning and restoration professionals take several steps to save paintings

Mold Damage and Your Treasured Artwork

When disasters in Nassau Bay,TX, such as flooding, fire, or mold growth, affect heirlooms, artwork, or antiques, you may wonder whether anything can be done to save them. Fortunately, mold cleaning services do cover the restoration of valuable personal treasures, and professionals have treated many types of artwork around the country. Some of the organizations to benefit from professional mold remediation include

  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Universities
  • Public collections
  • Private collections


Whether you're a collector of artwork or you have a treasured painting from your grandmother, water and mold damage can be a nightmare. The good news is that art can be saved when experts use the correct techniques.

How Mold Affects Paintings

Artwork can be affected by mold or water damage in several ways. For example, the frame may become warped or may harbor spores. Mold can directly attack the canvas and the paint of artwork. Sometimes, mold stains canvases, leading to complete destruction of the artwork.

Professional Art Restoration

Mold cleaning and restoration professionals take several steps to save paintings. They may treat the back of the canvas with an antibacterial cleaner or apply rubbing alcohol to the front of the painting. If the mold is dry, a gentle vacuum with a HEPA filter could lift the dust. If the damage is severe, further specialized steps are taken.

Find a Dry, Sunny Place

One of the best things you can do to save your artwork while waiting for mold remediation and restoration professionals to arrive is to move artwork to a dry area. You can put the art in the sun but don't leave it for too long or the colors will begin to fade. If the day is humid, try putting the art near a sunny window.

Damage from mold doesn't have to be a nightmare come true; with a prompt visit from mold cleaning experts, your artwork may be saved. Remember to act quickly, contact Nassau Bay,TX, professionals right away, and move your art to a dry location.

The Best Options for Cleaning a Sewage Backup

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer water coming out of a bathtub and bathroom sink Sewer back up in La Marque,TX bathroom

There is never a good time for a sewer backup in your home. More than likely, one will occur at the end of the day or during a holiday weekend. Still, as a homeowner, when a backup occurs in La Marque,TX, it demands your full attention. You may wonder what steps you can take on your own, or with the help of your family members, and what steps require the services of a professional water cleanup service. A basic understanding of what you are dealing with is a good starting point. Contaminated water, sometimes known as black water, has the potential to be harmful to human health and should be approached with caution.

Steps To Take on Your Own

It pays to know your limitations when dealing with a sewer backup, but there are several things you can do once the problem is discovered. It is important to know that a bathtub backup may also contain sewer water. The following are a few reasonable and safe steps to take at once:

  • Make a quick call to a cleanup team
  • Alert all members to the presence of contaminated water
  • Shut off water lines that are easily accessible
  • Turn off electrical power that may be impacted by moisture
  • Keep pets out of contaminated areas
  • Move uncontaminated items away from the area.

It's vital to note that flooding can introduce black water to the property. Flood waters should be treated as potentially hazardous.

Steps To Leave to the Professionals

Any contact with the actual contaminated water or tainted items should be handled by trained workers with personal protective equipment. The cleanup crew can provide a quick inspection and damage assessment and inform you of what needs to be done. Specialized equipment such as sump pumps, wet vacs, industrial fans, ventilators and more will speed up the cleaning process and help your home recover from a sewer backup.

Storm Preparedness Is a Key Role for Property Managers

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

A green computer key that says Disaster plan Develop a disaster plan that outlines critical equipment, building materials and evacuation routes

As a property manager, your location in Clear Lake,TX, determines to a large extent the types of storms you will face. This fact can help you with your storm preparedness, an increasingly important role for anyone who owns or is responsible for a large business. The effects of powerful storms such as hurricanes, tornadoes and torrential rains are legendary. Storms can blow off roofs, topple buildings and flood interiors. While it's impossible to be prepared for every scenario, a bit of planning has many benefits. It can save lives, reduce damage and speed up the recovery process. One essential role of planning is to partner with a storm mitigation team that can get to your site quickly after a storm passes through. Rapid damage assessment and water removal are keys to getting your company moving in the right direction.

Tips for Storm Preparedness

The property management team should follow a standardized blueprint for effective preparation. The key items to concentrate on include the following actions:

  • Create a storm playbook with emergency contacts
  • Educate employees about their roles in a storm
  • Develop a disaster plan that outlines critical equipment, building materials and evacuation routes
  • Pay attention to those with special needs
  • Review insurance policies to make sure they are current
  • Back up intellectual assets on hard drive or keep in waterproof safes

Owners and property managers may wish to stay with the building as long as possible; however, if a mandatory evacuation is ordered everyone should leave in a safe and orderly fashion.

Keys for Recovery

A good disaster plan looks ahead to the recovery phase. This includes calling in maintenance personnel, water remediation professionals and insurance agents. In addition to an assessment of property damage, it's important to inventory damage to intellectual assets such as files and records. When things settle down, this is a good time to review your storm preparedness success, and to look for improvement for the future.

5 Water Damage Prevention Tips

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing shingles in a roof

5 Water Damage Prevention Tips

Flood prevention in Nassau Bay,TX, can be an important step towards maintaining your home. Here are five steps you can use to protect against water in home cause damaged.

1. Fix Water Problems Quickly

If you do find water related problems in your home it's best to contact a water damage restoration service as quickly as possible. Not only can these professionals perform a pipe cleanup, among other restoration services, but they can take care of the damage quickly and restore your home back to working order, which can help prevent long-term damage as well.

2. Regularly Inspect At Risk Areas

It's also a good idea to regularly inspect any at risk areas including old plumbing where a broken pipe may occur, and appliances that utilize water such as a washing machine or refrigeration units. Doing so may allow you to catch potential problems before flooding occurs.

3. Look the Roof Over After Storms

Another way to help avoid damage from water in home, is to look over your roof after any major storms. This may allow you to find areas of missing shingles or other storm damage that can lead to potential leaks.

4. Slope Landscaping Away from the Home

You may also want to consider ensuring that any landscaping is sloped away from the home. This will drain storm water away from the house instead of allowing it to pool against the foundation. Also consider positioning any drainage to direct water away from the house as well.

5. Keep Drainage and Gutters Debris Free

Another important step for protecting your home against potential water damage is to keep any gutters or drainage systems clear of debris. Doing so can help prevent water backup or overflow into the home.
If you experience water in home damage, it's best to have the problem fixed as quickly as possible. You should also regularly inspect at risk areas so you can catch any potential problems before they occur. Also consider prevention methods such as sloping the landscaping away from the house, and cleaning any debris out of your gutters.

3 Essential Items To Reduce Home Fire Risk

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

A smoke detector Smoke detectors require regular attention to remain effective

Most people have never had to use a fire extinguisher or evacuate a burning building. Many homes are not adequately prepared for even a small home fire. If you want to reduce your risk of serious property damage, this discussion may help your family effectively address a fire in your home.

Smoke Detectors

When properly functioning, smoke alarms are your first-line ally for early detection of a fire. Smoke detectors do require regular attention to remain effective. Consider performing the following maintenance items every six months:

  • Replacing the alarm batteries
  • Pressing the test button to ensure proper functioning
  • Removing dust and lint from the exterior using a vacuum attachment
  • Replacing units that are 10 or more years old


Devoting a few minutes twice a year to maintaining your smoke detectors can reduce your fire damage risk considerably.

Fire Sprinklers

Fire professionals have been known to say that fire sprinklers are putting them out of business. That is a good thing for the homeowner. Sprinklers are designed to activate automatically with high heat, so if you are not home, your property is still protected. Sprinklers can also help manage a fire until emergency responders arrive. Your local fire remediation specialist can usually recommend a proper system for your home.

Fire Extinguishers

A home fire extinguisher has a specific but important use. For example, it can be effective for a small kitchen fire that is detected early. If a grease fire starts while you are cooking, you will be grateful if you have fast access to a well-placed extinguisher. If your home is large, it is helpful to locate several units near likely fire sources, such as the kitchen. It is a good idea for family members to pre-read the instructions so they are prepared to use the extinguisher if necessary.


Your Dickson,TX, home is at a lower risk of significant fire damage if you have prepared and maintained the three essential elements of home fire readiness. If your fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire sprinklers are in working order, it can mean the difference between a little mess from fire extinguisher foam and a life-altering disaster.

3 Common Commercial Water Damage Sources

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Active fire sprinkler

3 Common Commercial Water Damage Sources

There are several emergency situations that could affect your La Marque, TX  business property, but few come from such diverse sources as water. From outdoor floods caused by torrential storms to a broken pipe in the employee restroom, floods can spring up without warning and cause serious damage to inventory and building materials. Being aware of some common causes and origins of this issue may help you reduce the risk and extend the life of your commercial building.


Overflowing Toilets


Few indoor flood events are as distressing as an overflowing toilet. The resulting flow of water can be highly unsanitary and cause black mold to form on walls and floors as soon as 24 hours afterward. Clogged sewers can sometimes be the culprit, but generally, old plumbing systems and toilets that do not flush properly and clog often are usually to blame. Having your building’s plumbing system checked annually and keeping the toilets maintained can prevent this type of event.


Fire Sprinkler Malfunctions


Flooding that occurs from above is not common, but it can occur when your building’s fire sprinklers go off without warning. A sensor error, equipment age and indoor temperature changes can all trigger a false alarm, and the resulting flood of water could cause serious water damage to your office equipment, damage important documents and leave water stains on ceilings. Have your system inspected and replace old or damaged components as needed.


Frozen Pipes


When temperatures plummet, outdoor and exterior wall plumbing pipes can be vulnerable to freezing and bursting. A broken pipe located in your building’s basement or laundry facility could cause a serious flood and damage stored records or uniforms. Having a flood damage and water repair service evaluate your plumbing system and learning how to prevent frozen pipes can reduce the risk of this type of flood.

Understanding the risk of water damage to your La Marque, TX  commercial building can help you protect it and its contents. From a broken pipe in the breakroom kitchen to malfunctioning fire safety equipment, flood awareness can be the first, best step toward prevention.

Noisy Pipes Are Trying to Tell You Something

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe While they may not speak our language, pipe noise should be treated as a warning call and evaluated.

A noisy pipe is more than just a nuisance. It could be a sign of potential problems that could lead to a pipe break. Here are three typical reasons pipes are making a raucous in your otherwise peaceful home in Clear Lake, TX.

1. Rattling Often Means Hammering

Despite its name, water hammering is not someone hitting your water pipes with a hammer. Pipes are designed with a chamber of air to prevent the force of the water’s flow from shaking the pipe when it is stopped.

Chattering, called water hammering, occurs after extended air loss in the pipe’s chamber. The cushion of the air becomes so small that the water’s force isn’t counteracted and shakes the pipe. It can be dangerous and lead to a pipe burst due to uneased force.

2. Hot Copper Causes Expanding

If your home is equipped with copper pipes, you may hear noises when using hot water. Copper absorbs heat and changes size. As water moves through, the copper expands and bumps it against other parts of your home the pipe wasn’t touching in its unexpanded state.

While hot copper is a source of noise, it will often not lead to a pipe break. It can be mitigated by reducing hot water temperature and requires extensive plumbing remodeling to treat the noise otherwise. Copper is doing what it naturally does and contracts back down to its regular size once it cools off.

3. Water Pressure Pressuring Your Pipes

If water pressure is not adequately regulated, water usage may cause very loud pipes. This may be especially noticeable in water-using utilities such as a dishwasher or washing machine misbehaving. Checking the water pressure and ensuring a functional water regulator is installed should stop the noise and prevent the need to potentially fix broken pipe.

While they may not speak our language, pipe noise should be treated as a warning call and evaluated. If the pipe bursts before it can receive repairs, it is worth locating a professional water removal and restoration service.

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

Mold vs. Mildew: Know the Difference

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Someone's hand pointing to the wall that there is mold and mildew Your problem area may be mildew and not mold

Finding a discolored patch of organic material in your Clear Lake,TX  home doesn’t always mean it’s time to panic. While mold damage is something that quickly needs to be addressed, your problem area may be mildew and not mold.

Spotting the Difference

Though fungus siblings, mildew growth typically won’t cause long-term damage to a home. When determining which you are facing, their visual appearance and where they are growing are key indicators.

Mildew is a surface fungus that often appears powdery or fluffy. It may leave patches that are white, gray or yellow. If it sits long enough, it may begin to turn black, brown or red. It can flourish wherever there are damp surfaces, which may include, floors, ceilings, cardboard, drywall, fabrics, insulation and plants.
Mold can penetrate deep into porous materials. It can take on an array of colors, but usually appears to have a fuzzy or slimy texture. It also loves humidity and dampness, which makes it able to flourish about anywhere there is water damage. Since it penetrates more deeply, it can be harder to eliminate.

Prevention Is Key

Mildew and mold growth both love warm, wet areas. Instead of worrying about potential mold damage or lingering mildew, there are steps to avoid these fungi from make your home their own.

Ensure humidity levels in your home remain constant around 50%.
Attic fans and other ventilation can keep the inside of the home dry.
Especially in bathrooms and kitchens, wipe up any excess water and ensure plumbing fixtures are working properly. Address any leaks as soon as possible to prevent growth.
Enhance indoor air with house plants. If you see any signs of mildew, immediately remove them.
Dry out any clothing, towels or rugs that have been saturated.

While these steps can help you avoid mold damage, bursting pipes or weather can negatively impact your preventive maintenance. If that happens, you can count on professionals that are Here to Help.

Funding Flood Damage Restoration

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

A house surrounded by flood waters Flood damage in Nassau Bay, TX

Flooding of your Nassau Bay,TX, home can be a frightening prospect. Fortunately, many people living in a flood plain already have flood insurance. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) may be able to help those who are uninsured or underinsured.

Who Can Apply for Disaster Aid

Anyone living in a federally-declared disaster area can apply for assistance, regardless of insurance coverage or personal income. Even if you have already begun repairing your property, you can still apply for reimbursement funds. However, the funds must be used for one or more of the following purposes:

  • Property restoration
  • Disaster-related medical and funeral expenses
  • Temporary housing
  • Other disaster-related expenses

How To Apply for Disaster Aid

You can apply for federal disaster assistance either online or by phone. If you have flood insurance, make sure to call your agent first. After your application has been processed, a FEMA inspector will come out to your property. The inspectors will not be able to tell you if you qualify or not. You will receive a letter stating whether or not you were approved. If you are approved, the letter will detail the ways in which you can use the money.
In many cases, it may not be feasible to wait on the inspector to arrive before you begin making repairs. Always make sure to take photo or video evidence of the damage before you clean or repair anything. This visual evidence will help both FEMA and your insurance company determine how much money you qualify for.

Options for Those Denied Federal Grants

If you do not qualify for a federal grant, or if you need more assistance, you can apply for a low-interest loan with the Small Business Administration. Additionally, you may reach out to the American Red Cross for help.
Flood damage is a hassle; luckily, there are many ways to fund necessary repairs. Whether you are using funds from a grant, loan, flood insurance or personal savings, a professional restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

4 Steps for Using a Fire Extinguisher Correctly

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

A sign that explains the P.A.S.S method for a fire extinguisher P.A.S.S method

P.A.S.S. Method

Your commercial building in Clear Lake,TX, must be equipped with enough fire extinguishers that anyone who needs to do so can reach one quickly in an emergency. It doesn't do a lot of good to have a fire extinguisher nearby, however, if your employees don't know how to use it properly. Every person in your building needs to understand the four basic steps of the P.A.S.S. method.

1. Pull

Every canister is equipped with a safety feature that keeps it from releasing its contents spontaneously. There is a seal and a pin that holds it in place. Before you can use the extinguisher, you have to pull the pin out and break the seal.

2. Aim

You may notice that your extinguisher comes equipped with a hose. If you aim the hose at the top of the flames, however, you won't get the coverage you need. To prevent extensive fire damage that requires professional restoration services, you have to aim the hose at the base of the fire.

3. Squeeze

The fire extinguisher has a handle that allows you to release the contents of the canister. To do so, you must squeeze the handle so that the extinguishing agent comes out the end of the hose, allowing you to direct it at the base of the fire where it's aimed.

4. Sweep

If you have a small kitchen fire in your break room, you can probably put it out with the contents of the extinguisher. To do so, you need to make sure the entire base of the fire is covered in the agent that is released. Make a sweeping motion back and forth until the fire goes out or you run out of agent.
If the contents of a fire extinguisher do not put the fire out, don't grab another extinguisher. Call the fire department so that the professionals can take over. In many cases, however, using an extinguisher correctly will put out the fire and prevent a larger problem.

3 Wind Damage Mitigation Steps You Should Know

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

A building with storm shutters Install storm shutters in your building for protection

Ways To Protect Your Business From Wind Damage

One of the problems a storm can be with it in La Marque,TX, Is wind damage which may lead to a number of problems including a roof leak, debris, loose siding or shingles, and torn up landscaping. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect your business property.

1. Think About Movable Debris

A damaged roof may not be the only problem you can experience with high storm winds. It's also wise to consider any debris that can be picked up and thrown into the property. This may include falling branches, loose sticks and rocks, sand or mulching, and other similar materials. You may want to trim the trees around the property, and install storm shutters protect anything that could hit the windows.

2. Protect At-risk Areas

You may also want to take some time to protect any at-risk areas on the business property. This may include placing tarps or boards to protect your shingles from a roof leak, creating barriers against flooding around the landscaping, inspecting any drainage for clogs, or installing helpful tools such as storm shutters or a sump pump.

3. Call a Professional

Another step you can take is to make any repairs as quickly as possible. In many cases your best bet will be to contact a professional. Particularly a storm damage restoration service. A professional will know what sort of damage to look for on your roof, how to take care of missing shingles and other damages they may find, and what sorts of roof damage to help you protect against in the future.
When expecting a storm you can take several mitigation steps including installing shutters to protect property, placing protective tarping on the roof to prevent a roof leak, and talking to a local professional quickly about any damage that has occurred. Acting quickly can help prevent further damage in the long-term, and help you get your business back to working condition.

Flood Water vs. Building Materials

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Swelling wood floor Damaged wooden floor in a Dickson, TX home

What Can Be Saved After Water Damage In Your Home?

When water floods your home one of the first questions you may have is what can be saved? To answer this question, it's helpful to know what happens to the materials in your home when they get wet. Swelling wood, stained fixtures, and damaged carpet are just a few of the things you can expect to find. Professional cleaners and restoration specialists can help you salvage and reclaim much of your home.

Flooring

Soaked carpets and carpet pads can be cleaned. Wood floors can often be dried and re-laid. If you have significant swelling wood, however, particularly in the subflooring, you may need to replace those sections. Tile flooring tends to survive flooding well and can usually be reused.

Cabinetry

If you had a supply line break in the kitchen, your cabinets probably took a hit. As cabinets tend to be a mixture of particle board, MDF, or plywood, they will have to be replaced. These water-absorbent materials are weakened in a flood. If you have solid wood cabinetry, it can be dried and saved.

Walls

Drywall is another material that can be successfully dried out after a flood. However, if you need to perform water pipe repair, chances are you will be ripping some of that drywall out anyway. The key to saving drywall is to call professionals as soon as possible. They have specialized equipment for drying drywall. Once the drywall has started to sag or bulge, it's too late. The drywall will have to be replaced.

As water damage repair is a case-by-case basis, it's important to consult with professional cleaners in Dickson,TX. They are Here to Help. Only an on-site inspection can determine what is salvageable in your home. If you see swelling wood, water stains on drywall, or pools of water under pipes, it's time for a home assessment and a close look at all your plumbing.

New Technology Makes High Rise Living Safer Than Ever

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

New Technology Makes High Rise Living Safer Than Ever

Houston has seen a boom in multi-family living especially in the luxury high-rise living sector.  Many Boomers who flocked to the suburbs to raise their families are not yerning to live closer to the city, shorten their commute and live a more holistic lifestyle and be able to walk to high end shops, restaurants and entertainment. 

Along with the increase in building of these high-rise condominiums buyers are also asking for more luxurious, enhanced lifestyle features and more built in technology.  

Beyond smart refrigerators and doorbell cameras some building owners are opting for fully functioning safety programs that can assist firefighters in putting out high-rise fires.

Due to the explosive growth and easy access to internet connections and faster bandwidth internet is the catalos that allows for these new technologies to take root.  

These iOT technologies combine the power of four key technologies: sensors, actuators, cameras and fire panels. 

Sensors: include smart smoke detectors, LPG, motion sensors, tank level sensors and carbon dioxide and dioxide detectors.  These sensors can be integrated into smart technology that gives real time information to fire fighters on site.  They can pin point the greatest need and where home owners may still be inside the building in areas of high toxins.

Actuators: 1 relay node, pump control panel and ventilation control panel, these pieces of technology allow for the wireless connection of the data received by the sensors to the real time monitoring body out of harms way.

Cameras: allow for verification and true "eyes on the scene" that firefighters can tap into to see live what is happening in the building.  This is vitally important not only for the first responders but also for command to navigate the fire and be the eyes of fighters inside the burning building. 

These smart technologies can also send automatic communication to tenants and owners within the building via email and text messages.  This way real time communication can be sent to all concerned parties to let them know of situational changes, mandatory evacuations and all clear signals when it is safe to return to the building.

Over all technology is helping to make our buildings safer and more reactive when disaster strikes. 

32nd Annual Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Business EXPO

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

32nd Annual Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Business EXPO

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the date and location of the 32nd Annual Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Business EXPO.  The 2020 Business EXPO will be hosted at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Thursday, May 14, 2020.  

The 2019 Business EXPO will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church starting from 11am - 6pm.  Admission to the Business EXPO is free and comes with 1 free raffle ticket, additional raffle tickets can be purchased 10 for $5 at the event or online in advance.  

The 2019 Expo Vendors include:

  • AMOCO Federal Credit Union
  • Anchor Point
  • Bay Area Audiology and Hearing Aids
  • Bay Area Habitat for Humanity 
  • Bay Area Printing, INC
  • BBVA Compass Bank
  • Beacon Federal Credit Union
  • Berkeley Eye Center
  • Beyond Beaute Day Spa and Wellness Retreat
  • Brookdale Clear Lake
  • Camp Gladiator
  • Care Now Urgent Care
  • CertaPro Painters of League City
  • Communities In Schools-Bay Area
  • Community Impact Newspapers
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
  • Dogtopia of Webster
  • Door Prize Tickets
  • Fantastic Sams Cut and Color
  • Forest Park East Funeral Home and Cemetery
  • Freedom Boat Club
  • Friendly Faces Senior Care
  • Fully Promoted of Webster
  • Green Mountain Energy 
  • Hand & Stone Massage and Facial
  • Harbor Hospice Clear Lake Office
  • HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake
  • Hope Village
  • Houston Newcomer Guides
  • Huntington Learning Center
  • ImageNet Consulting
  • Infinity Float Center
  • Instant Imprints
  • Key IT Systems
  • Kindred Hospital Clear Lake
  • D. Abdul R Moosa Sylvan Beach Wellness Center and Spa
  • Light Heart Memory Care
  • Lordex Spine Institute
  • Love Well Creative
  • Lutheran South Academy
  • Main Event Entertainment 
  • Mariposa Apartment hOmes at Clear Creek
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Memorial Hermann
  • Minuteman Press Bay Area
  • Modern Acupuncture
  • Musical Cheers
  • Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care
  • Norman Frede Chevrolet 
  • Odyssey Academy
  • One Stop Tents and Events
  • Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo
  • Pul Mitchell the School 
  • Peterson CPA Firm PC
  • Pure Water From Air CO
  • Rasa Yoga
  • Reliant Energy
  • Return to Wellness
  • Sea Lark Chiropractic
  • Sharp Business Systems
  • Shell Federal Credit Union 
  • Silver Sycamore Events Resort
  • Skin Essentials Luxury Med Spa and Salon
  • Skin Solutions Day Spa and Salon
  • Sleep Number-Baybrook
  • Solis Mammography
  • Space City Pain Specialists 
  • Sprint Store
  • Swadley Roof System
  • Texan Bank
  • The Joint Chiropractor
  • Tilger Center for Dentistry 
  • Today's Harbor for Children
  • Transition Home Health
  • University of Houston Clear Lake
  • UTMB

2019 Atlantic Hurricane Names Released

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

2019 Atlantic Storm Names

Do you ever wonder why hurricanes are named?  It stared off in the mid 1900's when meteorologists realized that the general public cared much more, and payed attention to, storms that were given names. 

It makes it easier to reference one storm over another.  In the beginning the U.S. National Hurricane Center started naming storms in the early 1950's, but now the task has been handed to the World Meteorological Organization.  

So when does a storm receive a name?  Tropical storms are given names when they display a rotating circulation pattern and have wind speeds of 39 MPH.  If a tropical storm increases to a hurricane they keep their same name.  Smaller storms including tropical depressions do not receive names. 

Here are the 2019 hurricane names for the Atlantic hurricane season:

  • Andrea
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dorian
  • Erin
  • Fernand
  • Gabrielle
  • Humberto
  • Imelda
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Lorenzo
  • Melissa
  • Nestor
  • Olga
  • Pablo
  • Rebekah
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van
  • Wendy

SERVPRO of Clear Lake Industry Certifications

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Certifications of SERVPRO of Clear Lake

SERVPRO of Clear Lake is proud to be a women owned and operated small business in the City of Houston.  We have been in business for nearly 20 years and have received numerous accolades and certifications over the years including:

In addition we are active members of several local restoration, professional, chamber and charitable organizations.

NFIP Flood Claims Workshop Hosted By City of Houston And FEMA

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

a semi branded in SERVPRO logo in front of a large commercial building City of Houston and Montgomery County team up with FEMA to provide a flood policy coverage event with NFIP.

Houston City Council member Dave Martin announced that on June 19, 2019 the City of Houston in partnership with FEMA will be hosting a NFIP Flood Claims Workshop at the Kingwood Community Center located at 4102 Rustic Woods, Kingwood, TX 77345 from 6p-7:30p.

The workshop is intended for all Houstonians who have suffered flood damages to their home of business in the recent isolated flooding cases.

The event is also intended for community members who have questions about NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program and future policy limits and claim processes.

A FEMA representative is expected to be in attendance to assist in the claims process and provide resources to the community.

The event is being held partnership between City of Houston District E (Kingwood and Clear Lake district) and Montgomery county.

IICRC S500 Standard For Professional Water Damage Restoration

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Clear Lake is committed to being the best in the industry.  We take restoring your home and business back to its preloss conditions seriously.  We know that damages to one of your largest investments can be a stressful time, but we are here to help you get back to normal again.

Our office is dedicated to following the industry standards set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certifications.  We study and utilize the S500 as the standard guide for performing remediation services.

The S500 provides practical standards and specific steps for water damage restoration.  The S500 is a foundation of best practices for proper structural drying and water mitigations ervices.  The standard was developed with a wide array of providers having their voice and giving opinions and direction on what the standard practices should be.  

Included in these groups were restoration professionals, scientists, trade associations serving the restoration community, chemists, cleaning and restoration training schools and members of the insurance industry.

The IICRC S500 training is a two-part format.  The first half is the standard itself outlining the details of the standard restoration process.  The second part is the reference guide to better understand the concepts.

For more information on the S500 read the Consensus Body White Paper on Airmover Calculations in Structural Drying Projects.

Insurance Day

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO team standing behind our booth at the 2019 Houston Insurance Day trade show!

SERVPRO had the wonderful opportunity to attend Houston Insurance Day trade show in the heart of Houston! Over 1800 independent insurance agents and insurance professionals attended  to network and showcase the many services we offer. SERVPRO had the opportunity to educate insurance professionals, that we work with on a daily basis, on how the restoration industry helps reduce insured losses and get homeowners back into their homes faster with mitigation and restoration services.  The event allowed us to educate insurance adjusters and independent insurance agents of Houston and the Town & Country Houston Galleria area.

The Independent Insurance Agents of Houston group hosted 133 exhibitors showcasing insurance companies offering casualty, auto and life insurance packages and unique vendors to the insurance industry including water extraction, water mitigation and structural drying vendors like SERVPRO.  IIAH also showcased their keynote speaker, Chad Prather, with his hilarious and unique take on professional development and personal motivation.

Additionally, the seminars were extremely informative! We took home helpful tools that will last us a lifetime. We are looking forward to next year's tradeshow! If you’re interested and want to learn more about the insurance industry contact the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston website at www.IIAH.org.  If you are in need of water restoration and mitigation services contact us directly at 281-219-8180.

Our Recovery Efforts During Hurricane Florence

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Clear Lake on the scene during the storm disaster

In September of 2018, Hurricane Florence swept through the Carolinas causing catastrophic damage. The powerful hurricane caused 20 to 30 inches of rainfall which resulted in life-threatening flooding.

During this difficult time, SERVPRO of Clear Lake was there to offer our assistance and service. We traveled the streets of North Carolina restoring and mitigating all water damages. In many cases, we moved the victim’s belongings and furniture out of the home and then performed full demolition on the property. The demo consisted of removing baseboards, shoe mold and drywall. Additionally, due to heavy odors, several carpets and padding were removed. Lastly, we left multiple pieces of specialized equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers to ensure all properties were fully dry.

When there's a storm, SERVPRO of Clear Lake promises to be faster to any size disaster. You can rely on us to always provide excellent immediate service to all of our clients.

300- Acre Marina and Skyscraper Complex

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

A view of the 300- Acre Marina and Skyscraper Complex

SERVPRO is excited for the future 300-acre skyscraper complex! The skyscraper is located in Kingwood’s Woodland Hills Dr around 2 existing lakes! The master plan is to link the 2 bodies of water together and transform them into marinas. The marina’s will feature docks, pedestrian paths and outdoor amusements.

In addition to the marinas, this complex will have somewhere for you to swim, watch movies, eat and socialize. Their plan is to incorporate a floating swimming pool, a floating cinema/theatre, a restaurant-cafe and a lounge area. The absolute best part is, it's all on top of the water, thanks to custom-made platforms.

The complex is packed with amazing activities, we imagine it will be a new family and friend favorite!

The concern of Kingwood Residents

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

A view of the 300-acre complex

The recent announcement of the high-end marina has some Kingwood residents apprehensive. Although, the new 300-acre complex is extremely exciting news, there are some concerning facts. The complex is being built on a flood-prone area of land.  

A new theatre, restaurant and lounge sounds amazing, but is it worth jeopardizing Kingwood’s amazing forest identity? This is the question being raised by many Kingwood residents. Their fear is the marina will increase flooding and potentially harm the community’s forest.

Residents threw a public meeting at the Kingwood Community Center to voice their opinion and concerns about the project. Additionally, comments submitted before Jan. 29 can be sent to the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the texa Commission on Environmental Quality.

The excitement for kingwood’s 300- Acre Marina and Skyscraper Complex

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

The 300- Acre Marina and Skyscraper Complex

The development of the 300- Acre Marina and Skyscraper Complex has sparked a lot of conversation! While some people are apprehensive towards the new complex, others are very excited for all the complex is bringing to the Kingwood community.

In addition to the complex having a A floating pool, cinema/theatre, restaurant-cafè and a lounge area, the complex is also built to help clean the surrounding waters. Due to vegetation being planted in the waterborne platforms, it assists in cleaning the water.

Moreover, If you have a boat or jet ski, you’re in luck! There are 700 spots available for boats and 220 platforms for jet skis. There will also be wavy mall promenade at the entrance of the complex and close to the shopping center.

SERVPRO thinks this is going to be an amazing complex!

3 Signs of a Clogged Drain Pipe

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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.

Water Damage During Construction

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

rain drops on a roof 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.

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. 

What to Do Until Help Arrives After a Fire

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

?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.

Sprinkler Head Water Damage

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

a room with mold on walls and ceiling cut out 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 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)

black growth on a white wall 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. 

Clear Lake Home Health: Cleanup Right After a Storm

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Storm Fact: No Job Is Too Large!!

Cleanup Right After a Storm

Severe weather in the greater Houston metropolitan area often bring rising waters, and floods that affect thousands of properties throughout our community. In addition to the mud, sludge, and debris, flood waters can be contaminated with sewage, and even bring snakes, insects, and other critters. Flooding can present a challenge for property owners – risk safety and health to do the cleanup themselves or contact a water damage restoration company. Without proper cleanup, many homes and business will require mold removal in Clear Lake, and the surrounding communities.

While clean water from broken water pipes, a leaky roof, or even a leaking dishwasher, can be safely mopped up, special care needs to be taken with floodwaters. The bacteria and microbes, not to mention the snakes, rodents, and debris can cause health concerns. Professionals recommended that individuals entering floodwaters have proper protective clothing, footwear, and eye protection.  Traumatic puncture wounds due to sharp debris can occur. Take every precaution to keep yourself, and your family safe.

When the water recedes, the prospect of cleaning up after the storm is overwhelming, even for the most prepared. Furniture, personal items, drywall, floors, and the structure of the property must be evaluated for damage, and the water damage cleanup should begin immediately. Depending on the level of contaminants in the floodwater and how long the water remained on the property, will determine in part, the level of water damage to your  home. Saturated drywall will often need to be removed; however, many other items including carpets, furniture, and draperies may be able to be cleaned and restored to their pre-flood state.

SERVPRO of Clear Lake has the tools, training, and expertise necessary to restore your property to its original state. Locally owned, and operated, our team is available 24 hours a day, whenever disaster strikes. Trust us to clean up your property after a storm, fire, or other event to help ensure that a mold infestation doesn’t take root in your home. Our climate, particularly after a severe storm, supports rapid mold growth. It is essential that your property is properly cleansed, and dried, prior to restoration. Often, our remediation team finds mold infestations due to improper flood and storm damage cleanup.

SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster, and we have the resources to respond quickly, regardless of the size of the event. Our disaster recovery teams stand at the ready to help homeowners and commercial property owners mitigate the damage caused by floods, storms, sewage backups, fires, and other events. We will start immediately by assessing the damage, removing the water, drying and dehumidifying, cleaning and repairing, and completing the restoration, so you and your family can resume life as quickly as possible. Call us today for any water damage or mold removal needs in Clear Lake, and throughout the greater Houston area.

Clear Lake Home Health: Step-By-Step Guide to DIY Flood Cleanup

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters.

The recent floods in the Houston metropolitan area have devastated countless homes and businesses throughout our community. SERVPRO of Clear Lake stands at the ready to assist you throughout the flood cleanup process, from water extraction to restoration. However, if you prefer to do the cleanup yourself, use these steps.

1.      Make Sure Property is Safe to Enter.  Appliances in standing water can present dangerous electrical hazards. Check with your local authorities or utility companies to ensure that electricity and gas have been shut off. 

2.      Wear Protective Clothing. Floodwaters carry sharp debris, sewage, bacteria, chemicals, and even wildlife. It is important to don sturdy work boots, long-sleeved shirts, heavy jeans, rubber gloves, and protective eyewear.

3.      Document the Damage. When it is safe to enter the property and you are wearing protective clothing, take photos and video of each room to document the damage.

4.      Call Your Insurance Company. When widespread natural disaster strikes, insurance companies often deploy extra team members to assist with the claim process. The sooner you call, the better.

5.      Open Windows.  To speed-up the drying process and improve the air quality in your home, open all the windows and doors in the home, weather permitting.

6.      Extract Standing Water. With a wet/dry vacuum, extract as much standing water as possible from your home. If power is still off, use a generator to provide power to the vacuum.

7.      Remove Furnishings and Appliances. Once the water is extracted, remove all furniture and appliances from your home. Homeowners in Clear Lake with water damage should place items outside to allow greater airflow within the home.

8.      Remove and Secure Personal Items for Restoration. Move all personal items including photographs, jewelry, important papers, and other keepsakes to a dry, safe space. Your local Clear Lake SERVPRO team can restore flood damaged photos and other valuables. Call us for more information.

9.      Setup Strong Fans. The sooner you can deploy fans to help dry your home, the better chance you have to prevent mold growth. In the Clear Lake area, mold starts to develop in as little as 48 hours of the water damage.

10.  Cut Drywall. Drywall that has been saturated by floodwaters must be removed. Use a reciprocating saw to cut 6 inches above the water line being careful to avoid the electrical wiring and pipes that could be behind the wall. Remove any insulation, and dispose of it along with the damaged drywall.

11.  Remove Carpet. Since flood waters can carry potentially hazardous chemicals and bacteria, the carpet and padding must be removed. Cut carpet into strips, 3 feet wide, and roll up for disposal.

12.  Disinfect Hard Surfaces. Using a combination of bleach and warm water, scrub every surface in the home. This includes all floors, countertops, cabinetry, and remaining walls.

13.  Apply Mold Inhibitors. Since mold develops so quickly in our area, it is important to treat all areas additionally with a mold inhibitor. While this does not guarantee complete mold growth prevention, it can be an effective deterrent.

14.Begin Reconstruction. Before beginning the restoration process, it is essential that your home has been thoroughly disinfected and dried. Use industrial fans and dehumidifiers for several days to allow humidity levels to fall. Remember, any electrical wires and outlets that were subjected to standing water will need to be replaced. Call a licensed electrician to complete this step.

When electrical work is complete, replace insulation and drywall. Follow with texture, prime and paint. This is also the time to replace carpet and wood floors that were damaged in the flood. The reconstruction process can take weeks, or months, depending on the amount of time you have to devote to it.

Be mindful that the longer water stands in your home, the more extensive the damage will be. Start the cleanup process as soon as it is safe to do so. If at any time you become overwhelmed, give us a call; we are happy to help you quickly get your home back to pre-flood condition.

3 Ways To Save Money on Building Maintenance

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water loss in a Clear Lake,TX building

Tips To Save Money On Maintenance

Building owners and managers know that the maintenance cost of any commercial property can be substantial. While cutting corners is rarely a good idea, there are several practical ways to reduce expenses and increase efficiency. Here are three of the best facility management tips to save money on maintenance.

1. Plan on Regular Upkeep

Upkeep can cost significantly less than major repairs or replacements. Although it may seem that keeping all of the systems in a building in working order is expensive, unexpected shutdowns and repairs can be far pricier and result in costly business interruptions. It is often better to schedule maintenance than to be caught off guard.

2. Upgrade for More Efficiency

Whenever you do have to replace a component in a commercial property, consider upgrading to a more efficient alternative. Although efficient parts may be a portion of a yearly maintenance cost, they may amount to more up front. However, these items may need to be replaced much less frequently than inefficient alternatives. This is particularly the case when it comes to lighting fixtures. For example, you can retrofit T12 for T8 or T5 florescent lighting or LED fixtures and do these upgrades gradually to spread out the cost of the improvement.

3. Adjust Climate Conditioning

Building owners and managers may also want to update HVAC controls with automation or scheduling systems. This can significantly reduce cooling or heating expenses while also maintaining safe temperatures for heat-sensitive computer systems or servers and preventing pipe bursts during the winter.

These are just three of the tips that can substantially reduce maintenance costs for a commercial property located in Clear Lake,TX. There are other ways to increase operational efficiency, and owners and managers can work with utility companies to obtain various business incentives. Remember, disaster can still strike even if you keep a building well maintained. So, if the property sustains serious damage from storms or water, rely on the expertise of a local damage restoration company.

How the Professionals Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke clean up in a La Marque,TX commercial building

There are few more devastating disasters than a fire. If one becomes out of control, it could completely destroy your office building and even cause injury or death. Even smaller fires can wreak havoc on your building and equipment. One of the biggest concerns you’ll have is an electrical fire will damage items such as computers, printers, servers, or other vital electronics. Fortunately, there are ways to restore these tools and even use them again.

Initial Steps

Clearly, you have sensitive information on your computers and other devices. You can’t afford to lose these or let smoke damage throw off your business. Consider these beginning actions:

  • Calls the pros. Cleaning up after an electrical fire isn’t something you should have to do on your own.
  • Try to remove the storage. Before the professionals arrive at your La Marque,TX, office, remove hard drives and other memory devices.
  • Unplug your devices before the cleanup technicians arrive.

Benefits of Calling the Pros

It’s essential that you immediately contact an experienced team of commercial fire cleanup technicians. Not only will a professional company have the knowledge and skill to handle your computer cleanup and other needs, but the technicians will bring with them the best equipment available. In addition, when you call the pros, you can have peace of mind that they will respond and complete the work quickly. If you try to handle this task by yourself, you could cause further, irreparable damage to your devices.

How Damage Happens

Where there’s a fire, there will be smoke. With smoke usually come some other unwanted invaders. Soot will often cling to your electronic equipment. It has acids in it that can ruin your computers and other equipment. A magnetic charm can also accompany smoke, with will cause problems with your electronics and their circuits.

After an electrical fire, don’t put off calling the professionals. Their efforts can save your equipment and prevent you from wasting time and money.

Tips for Fast and Thorough Water Cleanup

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in room due to supply line breaks in the above bathroom

Tips for Fast and Thorough Water Cleanup

When you have a flood in Nassau Bay,TX, you need water removal to be fast and thorough since time and temperature have critical effects on water damage. Here are some things you can do fast, while you wait for professional help:

  • Stop the source of water, such as shutting off water to a flooded toilet, broken pipes or wayward appliance.
  • Begin removal of standing water using pumps, vacuums, mops and rags.
  • Begin the drying process by opening windows and doors, and by running fans and your air conditioning, if you have access to electricity.
  • Prevent moisture from wicking up into furniture by setting wooden legs on aluminum foil or blocks.
  • Salvage important belongings by drying and removing them from the flooded area.

When professionals arrive, expect the thorough part of water cleanup to kick in. You may see them:

  • Prevent further water damage from rain by tarping or boarding open areas.
  • Completely remove water using high-powered extractors, including truck mounted units and gas-powered equipment for areas where utilities are unavailable.
  • Begin removing and cataloging personal belongings for cleanup and restoration.
  • Use specialized training and devices to find hidden water.
  • Use powerful dehumidifiers and fans for fast and thorough drying which helps to minimize warping of building materials.
  • Monitor moisture levels to ensure inhospitable environments for mold growth.
  • Protect your structure by removing porous materials that hold water, such as carpet padding, insulation and lower sections of wallboard.
  • Use expertise and consideration to help decide what can be salvaged and what should be replaced.
  • Restore your home back to its pre-damaged condition.

Being fast and through in the cleanup of water damage prevents subsequent problems. Mold may start to develop in the first couple of days, but professionals can help prevent this with their thorough water removal methods. If mold has already begun, they are also capable of containing colonies during cleanup and prevent further infestation.

Teaching Your Kids How To Escape a Fire: 3 Tips

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Teaching your kids fire escape techniques can help them escape to a safe location

Teaching Your Kids How To Escape a Fire

Educating your children about fire prevention and what they should do in the event of a blaze at your La Marque,TX, home can protect their lives during such an emergency. However, you may be unsure of how to give this kids safety lesson without frightening them. As a parent, there are a few strategies you can use that might help you talk about this important issue.

1. Create an Escape Route Map Together

If you have young children, combining fire safety lessons with a fun and creative activity can help them absorb the message without fearing it. For example, as you discuss the scenario of a home fire, have your kids draw and color a map of your home and highlight all the possible exits they could use. Afterward, talk about which routes are the safest and why. Have them pin these maps on the fridge or corkboard so they can be reminded about your family’s planned safety route each time they see it.

2. Shop for Fire Safety Tools as a Family

Involving your children in kids safety can make them more aware of its importance. When you shop for fire escape tools such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and window ladders, take your kids along so you can educate them about the importance of each item and its role in helping them leave the home safely during a blaze. Encourage every child to ask questions, no matter their ages.

3. Turn Lessons Into Games

Teaching your kids fire escape techniques can be fun as well as informative. For example, you can play follow the leader or Simon Says during fire crawl lessons. If you have your home’s safety inspected by a fire damage and remediation service, have your kids imagine they are fire technicians and which exits they believe are the safest to use during a fire.

Your La Marque,TX, home is likely a beacon of safety and security for your children. However, teaching them kids safety tactics in case of a fire can help them escape to a safe location until the blaze is put out.

Do Storm Floods Always Lead To Mold?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Houston, TX

As a homeowner in Houston, TX, you try to prepare for any event. When a bad storm leaves your lower levels filled with water, you may feel caught off guard. Thankfully, you can get professional help from a storm damage cleanup crew to ensure your house is returned to normal. Your cleanup experts can also help you understand the risk of mold growth. Storm floods don't always lead to mold, but the following can increase your chances:

  • Passing time
  • Contaminated water
  • Faulty repairs

Find out more about why these circumstances can lead to the growth of fungus.

Excess Time

Standing water does not have to be synonymous with fungal growth; but, if you don't find the flooding right away, you may have a higher chance of the growth taking place. This is because stagnant water can become contaminated. It's also because many mold spores exist naturally in your home. Once the excess moisture is there, it may only take 24 to 48 hours for the spores to start to grow.

Dirty Water

The source of the flood can also affect whether your home has a mold growth problem. Bacteria, mold spores and other contaminants found in stormy waters can allow the fungus to grow even faster than in clean water. This dirty flood may also bring extra spores into your house.

Incomplete Repairs

Fixing water problems quickly is an important part of avoiding mold. If you try to undertake this cleanup on your own, you may miss pockets of moisture. Leaving this excess humidity in your house can create the perfect environment for mold. If you want to avoid this type of growth, you may want to make sure every part of your home has been cleaned and dried out after storm-related flooding.

Not every home filled with storm waters will have mold growth. How soon you start the repairs, the source of the water and the efficiency of the repairs may affect the secondary damage your home has to endure.

Clear Lake Home Health: 5 Tips to Minimize the Damage Caused by Water in your Home

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Fact: Through SERVPROs timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented.

Water is one of the most destructive elements on earth, and when water ravages a home, the result is substantial damage to the structure and furnishings. Severe storms, a leaky roof, a weeping foundation, an overflowing dishwasher, or a burst pipe in your Clear Lake home can all cause significant water damage, and time is of the essence to minimize the damage. Here are 6 tips that you can take immediately after a damaging water event.

Stop the Water at the Source. If the cause of the water damage in your Houston area home is from a burst water pipe, turn off the water immediately. If the damage is from a roof leak, try to capture as much water as possible in a large pot or garbage can. The more water you can keep from touching your floors, furnishings, and other belongings, the better. If water is entering your home is due to a flash flood or sewage backup,  contact an emergency water damage response team immediately. Flood and sewage waters carry debris and harmful bacteria that can cause injury and illness. Your local SERVPRO of Clear Lake stands at the ready to respond 24 hours a day.

Turn off and Unplug all Electrical Appliances. To avoid potential electrocution and further damage to electrical appliances, it is imperative that you turn off and unplug them as quickly as possible. If the water is high in the home due to a flash flood, evacuate the home immediately. All electrical appliances that have been touched by water in your home must be examined prior to use. The SERVPRO team can evaluate these items and help to determine if they are safe for use.

Remove Furnishings from Flooded Areas. Furnishings and personal items that are easily managed should be removed as quickly as possible from areas in the home that have been touched by the water. This will help to speed the process of drying the floors and furnishings while protecting the floors from further damage. When at all possible, avoid walking on wet carpets, and place aluminum foil under the legs of all furniture that you cannot move prior to your local Houston area SERVPRO arrives.

Photograph and Video the Damage.  As soon as it is safe to do so, take photos of the water or flood damage in your home. Be sure to take photos of damaged items, and if possible, videos of the water intruding on your property. This step will help your insurance adjuster to quickly process your claim.

Hire a Professional Water Damage Restoration Team. If improperly handled, water in your home can cause significant structural damage, and even dangerous mold infestations. SERVPRO is locally owned, and our team has the training, expertise, and tools necessary to fully restore your home quickly. From water extraction to dehumidifying and drying, through the rebuilding and restoration process, we can help you and your family get back to life pre-water damage.

Don’t underestimate the level of damage that water can do to your home. Call us immediately after a water damage even to your Clear Lake residence. We are the preferred provider for many insurance companies, and can assist you with the process of filing your claim. We are faster to any size disaster and are proud to serve our neighbors and friends throughout our community.

About The Clear Lake SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Clear Lake is faster to any size disaster.

How To Identify Black Mold

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

La Marque, TX home covered with mold

Many homeowners have heard tales of the horrors of mold, but few may have actually encountered it. When you suspect that your home in La Marque,TX, has a mold problem, you need to conduct a mold inspection. While it may be prudent to have this examination done by a professional, you may be able to tell if you have black mold just by observation. Here are a few tips on where to look and how to recognize it.

Where You Find It

Mold loves moisture and pulpy surfaces. Those two factors give you ample places to start your search:

  • Carpet
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Wood paneling or furniture
  • Dry wall

A mold problem is especially likely if any of these surfaces are in contact with a lot of water. If you know that a portion of your home experienced water damage, conducting a mold inspection in those areas is a good idea. If you smell a musty odor and cannot locate its source, you may have to hire an environmental hygienist to test for hidden mold.

What It Looks Like

There are many species of mold, but relatively few of them are often present in homes. Mold comes in a variety of shapes, colors, textures and sizes. The strain commonly referred to as black mold is called Stachybotrys Atra. It is typically black with either dark green or gray tints. It is also slimy and less airborne than other species. What it lacks in air travel, however, it makes up for in lateral moves. This type of mold is often found in large patches on walls, and it can grow rapidly. The sooner you identify the mold, the sooner you can get the problem taken care of, and the more likely you are not to let the problem get worse.

Finding mold is only the first step. If you discover that you have house mold during a mold inspection, you need to hire remediation experts to resolve the problem.

If a Storm Cancels Your Flight

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Coping with the fallout of storms can be a nuisance whether you are at home or on the road. Seasoned travelers flying to or from Clear Lake, TX understand that a weather delay or a canceled flight is always a possibility. However, they also understand that there are proactive and reactive moves to be made when Mother Nature interferes with the best-laid travel plans.

Proactive Moves

Wise travelers have learned the ins and outs of air travel. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

• Stay informed about the weather forecasts for your points of departure and arrival.
• If at all possible, avoid travel when inclement weather is predicted.
• Try to book direct flights to avoid layover cities where weather can factor into your connection’s timeliness.
• Leave early to avoid traffic and airport security delays even if your flight is running late.
• Pack lightly and carry your bag on the plane; retrieving checked baggage can be complicated if your flight changes.

Reactive Moves

If your flight is canceled and following proactive storm tips hasn’t helped, don’t despair. There are a few ways to bounce back from a canceled flight.

• Call the airline as opposed to lining up at the airline’s service desk in the airport. You will be served more quickly over the phone.
• Make the most of what airlines are willing to offer. Ask them to help you rebook or reimburse you for a connecting flight.
• Ask for reimbursement for food or lodging if the delay is substantial.
• Ask for reimbursement for a rental car if driving is an option.
• Don’t lose your cool. Calm and persistent customers have more success in getting what they want than those who display anger.

The airline is not required to compensate you unless it bumps you because it oversold the flight. For a canceled flight due to a storm, you are simply rebooked. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/ for more information on storm damage

Established Standards for Mold Remediation

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

Decisions regarding who should handle mold clean up and how to complete necessary mold remediation in Clear Lake, TX depends on several factors. These include:

• The size of the mold problem
• The type of mold present
• Responsibility for the property
• The source of the mold

Another important factor is knowledge of OSHA and EPA standards for handling mold in commercial buildings.

Standards of the CDC, EPA, and NIOSH

One example of these mold standards is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. On the website, each recommendation for clean up and remediation is accompanied by the appropriate standard reference (e.g. 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.134.) These are standards administered through the EPA.

Standards of the IICRC

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a good resource for those responsible for ensuring that established mold standards have been followed. The IICRC standards provide a common language used across the industry and ensure consistency in cleanup and remediation of mold contamination and the treatment of black mold. IICRC is a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and an accredited developer of standards.

Some of the relevant standards for mold in commercial settings include:

• BSR/IICRC S400: Standard Professional Cleaning, Maintenance and Restoration of the Commercial Built Environment
• ANSI/IICRC S500: Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration
• ANSI/IICRC S520: Standard and IICRC R520 Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation
• BSR/IICRC S550: Standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration on Commercial Structures

In addition to these standards, IICRC also provides a couple of field guides for the safety and health of disaster restoration professionals. These guides are supplements to the existing standards and certification requirements.

Comply With Standards for Safety

Whether you're a mold restoration/remediation professional or a Clear Lake, TX commercial property owner, you should be aware of these standards and take steps to ensure that any remediation efforts are in compliance with mold standards. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/ for more information on mold. 

How Can a Restoration Company Help After a Water-Related Disaster?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

As a commercial building owner in Clear Lake, TX you want to do what's best for your property. That's why you only call in professionals when you know they can help you achieve your goals. If you're dealing with a pipe burst cleanup, how can a commercial restoration company help?

• Assist with insurance claim. If the water damage falls under your commercial insurance policy, the restoration company may be able to help you file your claim. Depending on your provider, the restoration team can help you take pictures, document damage and send a quote. Some restoration professionals are preferred vendors for insurance companies.
• Remove standing water. When you have a broken pipe in your building, water may pool in the lower levels. Getting a foot or two of water out of a space requires specialized equipment. Thankfully, the experts have the pumps and machinery needed to remove standing water.
• Clean content. Not only do you have to remove standing water as part of a pipe burst cleanup, but you also have to clean the belongings that got drenched. A restoration company can help you dry out, clean and restore some of the items affected by the water.
• Control humidity levels. Whenever excess water is introduced to a space, you have to start worrying about too much humidity in your building. If you work with a professional team, they can help you keep the humidity levels normal.
• Repair damage. Not only does a sewer cleanup company help you remove water and clean up the space, but they can also help repair damage. Some teams may replace damaged drywall, flooring and other building materials to make your commercial space look as good as it did before the incident.

Working with professionals for a pipe burst cleanup can make your entire process go smoothly. These experts know what they're doing and they can get the job done quickly. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/ for more information on commercial water damage. 

Tips for Maintaining the Roof on Your Commercial Building

6/17/2018 (Permalink)

Your commercial building is an investment in your future, and as such, you need to invest in it. Though there are several maintenance measures that you need to be aware of, by far one of the greatest is roof maintenance. Your roof is your building's most vulnerable component, yet, it is also one of the most important. Your roof protects your building's assets from the elements, which is why you should invest in bi-annual inspections and measures to prevent a roof leak or other issue. In addition to annual inspections, there are other measures you can implement to keep your roof in great condition:

• Check the drains.
• Remove all debris from the rooftop.
• Inspect the gutters.
• Check for holes, leaks, mechanical abuse and other issues.
• Trim back any trees that overhang your roof.
• Make sure sealant and caulking are still intact.

Have a Plan in Place

In addition to knowing what you need to do to maintain your roof, you should also have a thorough and written plan in place. A properly written plan—and a way in which to execute it—can extend the life of your roof by years. Your plan should identify how to catch failures, such as a roof leak, and areas of despair early on, and before they become major and costly issues. Your plan should also leave an area in which you can note roof maintenance efforts, that way you can visually see which repairs have been made, and which areas still need attention.

Hire a Professional

Do not attempt to inspect and repair your roof on your own. Whether dealing with a leak or detached shutters due to wind damage, hire a Clear Lake, TX professional roofer to perform both inspections and repairs. Not only does a professional know what to do in each given situation, but a professional also knows which signs of disrepair to look for. Additionally, a professional roofer has all the right safety equipment and training.

Whether you're dealing with a roof leak or simply want to make sure that your roof is in good condition, call a professional to lend a helping hand. A properly maintained roof can prevent structural damage and the possible need for further remediation efforts. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/ for more information on storm damage

Factors Involved in Fire Damage Estimation

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Finding a mitigation company that gives you a customized estimate of your restoration expenses is important.

Factors Involved in Fire Damage Estimation

When you call fire mitigation specialists in Clear Lake, TX, for a commercial fire estimate, you should expect them to take the time to assess your problem individually. You want more than someone who just offers you a generic number. You want a team that analyzes your unique situation step by step. There are several factors that professionals consider when determining how much your fire damage remediation is ultimately going to cost you.

1. Emergency Cleanup

The first cost to consider is how much immediate work needs to be done. If firefighters put the fire out in your building, you are likely to have as much damage from saving the building as you have from the fire itself. Excess water has to be extracted, and the area must be thoroughly dried to prevent mold growth. Then, soot and smoke must be cleaned from the building. Broken windows and a torn roof must be patched to prevent further damage from outside elements or theft.

2. Item Cleanup

Another line in the estimate concerns the items inside the building that show the effects of damage from the fire. Electronics, important documents, furniture and inventory must be tested and either cleaned or discarded. If items are unsalvageable, they must be documented for replacement.

3. Rebuilding

Your mitigation company should also give you the approximate cost of what it takes to restore your building to its original state. This estimate can include something as major as rebuilding part of the structure itself to something as minor as making sure the carpeting is uniform. If you want your insurance company to cover any of these costs, it is necessary to have them in the bill.

Finding a mitigation company that gives you a customized estimate of your restoration expenses is important. This helps you budget better and back up your claim with your insurance company. Your business is worth hiring professionals with an attention to detail. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/

What To Do When Cherished Possessions Are Covered in Mold

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage can affect the structure of your Clear Lake, TX, home as well as your belongings.

Mold damage can affect the structure of your Clear Lake, TX, home as well as your belongings. Many furnishings and items have to be thrown away during the mold cleaning process to ensure you don't reintroduce spores into your home. As you assess the damage done to your home, you can work with your residential mold remediation team to figure out exactly what you should do with your belongings affected by the growth.

Consider the Object

Before you can decide what needs to be done, you need to consider the object in question. Ask yourself these questions about each item you come across:

• Would it be easy to clean?
• Is the material porous?
• Does the item have sentimental value?
• What is the monetary worth of the item?

The way you answer these questions can help you figure out your next move.

Throw Away

Anything that is porous and easy to replace should be thrown away instead of cleaned. Mold cleaning is very effective, but some of the spores may remain even after a thorough disinfecting. Some objects could even be further damaged by a cleaning.

Repair

In some cases, you may be able to get your cherished items repaired by a professional service. If your belongings are easy to clean, non-porous, sentimental or expensive, you may want to try to fix up the object. As you get ready to get something cleaned that has been damaged by mold, you need to use the right service. If you want to fix up a computer or electronic device, you need to find someone who specializes in that area. If you want to repair a painting, you need to work with a team that knows how to remove mold damage from artwork.

There are many steps to mold cleaning. When it comes to your objects, you may have to throw away a lot, but you may be able to find a way to keep meaningful items. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/

The Return of the Mold: Conditions That Lead to Recurring Fungal Issues

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in Clear Lake, TX, experiences a mold growth problem, you might consider cleaning it yourself and calling it a day. What happens when the mold returns, though? Several conditions can lead to a recurring mold problem in the same place, and remediation is likely to require certified technicians with the necessary training to resolve the problem thoroughly.

Humidity

Excessive indoor moisture is the main culprit that contributes to the growth of mold. Many things can increase the humidity level of your building:

• Cracks in walls that let outside moisture in
• Poor insulation 
• Condensation on pipes or other surfaces
• Improper ventilation

If you see condensation, clean it up immediately. Adding storm windows and doors not only improves your energy efficiency, it can also lower indoor humidity levels. Regular maintenance and use of HVAC systems can help air to circulate better and keep more moisture out of the air.

Hyphae

During the inspection step of the mold remediation process, technicians may notice large concentrations of hyphae. While hyphae may not be so alarming in outdoor air samples, their presence in indoor samples indicate that there is a mold growth problem somewhere in the building. A group of hyphae, called a mycelium, is the way fungus feeds off an organic nutrient source. Even if mold is removed once, a collection of hyphae speeds up the process of regrowth, making cleanup efforts seem to have been in vain.

Water Damage

Another reason mold becomes a recurring problem is an unresolved water damage issue. If a leak or a flood has damaged elements of the building’s structure, and that damage has not been dealt with, mold is just going to keep coming back. The only way to prevent mold from returning is to eliminate the water damage.

If a test of your commercial building in Clear Lake, TX, reveals that there is mold growth somewhere, don’t panic. Resolve the moisture issues caused by high humidity and water, and you are on the road to mold remediation. For more information about mold remediation, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/.

Beginner's Guide to Being Proactive About Plumbing Issues

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Your commercial building in Clear Lake, TX, is full of plumbing. You rely on this system to handle water and sewage. Plumbing problems can quickly compound into a variety of issues:

• Interior flooding
• Contamination
Mold growth

You can avoid a lot of these bigger issues by being proactive about your plumbing even when there is nothing wrong.

Fix Minor Issues Right Away

Letting a leaky faucet fester can turn your minor leak into a major water issue. As soon as you notice a plumbing issue, you should be sure to get it fixed. You may need to call in a plumber or another water professional to stop the small problem from becoming big.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

A lot of plumbing problems stem from clogged pipes and broken faucets. You can schedule regular maintenance with a plumber to stop some of the wear and tear issues in your business. This maintenance could include an inspection that gives you insight into issues that could come up in the future.

Show Tenants Where the Main Is

If a major flooding issue should arise, you and your top employees need to know where the water main is located. Being able to turn off the water to your commercial building quickly can be the difference between minor water issues and major flooding. Go over the location of the main with employees or tenants to ensure this step can be taken promptly even if you're not on site.

Know Who You Want to Call

The whole point of being proactive is to stop a problem from happening. However, a broken pipe can happen in the blink of an eye. Get familiar with the commercial water damage experts, so you know who to call should the worst happen. For more information about commercial restoration, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/.

Tips for After the Flood

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Severe storms such as hurricanes and tidal surges can create a lot of havoc. Flooded houses, washed out roads, and downed power lines are just a few examples of the destruction that these storms can cause. Once the worst of the storm is over, it’s important for homeowners in Clear Lake, TX, to be smart about flood water and other hazards while dealing with the analysis and restoration of their destroyed homes. Here are a few things you should be aware of before getting ankle-deep in the recovery process.

Don’t Return Immediately

Once the rain has stopped, it might be tempting to return as soon as possible to assess your home’s damage. However, this could be a dangerous move if the weather is still erratic or if the area where you live is currently hazardous. Before you return, here are a few suggestions:

• Wait until authorities indicate that the flooded area is safe
• Stay away from power lines or trees that have fallen
• Watch the news for any updates or warnings

Wait until it’s safe to return to your home so you can reduce the risk of getting injured.

Avoid Flood Water

If you are dealing with a flooded home, there is likely to be a few low areas that are still submerged in water. Do not come in direct contact with this water because it can contain sewage and harmful pollutants that could harm your wellbeing. Being exposed to unsanitary water can lead to serious health issues or infection, so be sure to wear protective clothing.

Discard Contaminated Possessions

Once you’ve re-entered your home and started the restoration process, be sure to get rid of any furniture or possessions that were exposed to flood water. Unless thoroughly cleaned, these items are dangerous. Be sure to either dry clean or discard any contaminated items of clothing so that harmful pollutants do not come into direct contact with your skin.

You may want to contact a professional company to help you assess the water damage, remove debris, and sanitize your home. By following these tips, you can be safest while dealing with any storm’s aftermath. For more information about storm damage, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com

What To Expect From the Mold Remediation Process

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

The air conditioning of this business in Houston, TX stopped working and humidity built up in the bathroom.

Discovering black mold in one’s home can be disheartening. Mold growth, if not dealt with quickly and efficiently, can be extremely detrimental to the overall structure of a home. For this reason, if you discover mold in your home, don’t take any chances and reach out to your Clear Lake, TX mold remediation team right away. The local experts can guide you through the process and make it as hassle free as possible.

The Mold Cleanup Process

If you have mold growth in your home, you may want to know what the remediation process entails. A typical fungi remediation consists of:

• Containment
• Tearing out of contaminated materials
• Cleaning and disinfecting affected areas
• Drying of wet materials
• Restoration

Black mold spores spread easily, so before your remediation team begins tearing out or cleaning up any contaminated materials, it will close off the affected area from the rest of your home. This will ensure that any spores that are let loose do not go beyond the polluted area.

Once the affected area is closed off, your team will begin removed damaged materials and items. Some items may be salvageable, but any drywall or insulation that has mold will need to be tossed in the trash and replaced with new materials. Those items that are salvageable will be placed in a safe area where they can dry out.

Next, your team will clean and disinfect any salvageable materials and furnishings. The Clear Lake, TX mold cleanup team uses commercial strength products designed to target spores, kill mold and prevent future outbreaks.

Finally, once all materials have been dried and cleaned, your team will begin the restoration process. This may involve installing new drywall, replacing bad insulation, ripping out and replacing damaged flooring, etc. Once the restoration efforts are complete, you can rest assured that your home is mold-free.

Black mold can be detrimental to your home’s foundation and structure, which is why you should not try to remediate the growth on your own. If you discover mold in your home, work with a mold remediation team that can eradicate the problem quickly and effectively. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold. 

Keeping Your Business Up and Running During Unexpected Power Outages

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

There’s never a good time for the power to go out, especially when you happen to own a business. If you don’t rely on computers and tech, you probably rely on other tools that require electricity to operate, so a total power outage could very well end the workday altogether, cutting off your profits in the process. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to keep your business moving even when the power goes out in Clear Lake, TX such as:

• Investing in a portable generator
• Using power packs, battery-operated generator alternatives
• Keeping flashlights and batteries around the office space

Generators

Generators have been the go-to solution for the average power outage for decades. They’re easy enough to install, simple to maintain, and can keep an entire building running for hours. Portable generators offer the same convenience, but in a much smaller package that can be moved easily so you’ll always have it where it’s needed most.

Power Packs

Much like generators, power packs provide spaces with power when the usual source has been interrupted. While these are traditionally not as powerful as generators, they provide clean, heatless energy that’s more comfortable for you and your employees in the long run, especially if you’re confined to indoor spaces.

Flashlights and Supplies

While using flashlights isn’t the ideal solution, it may be necessary if all of your other options have been depleted. Generators and power packs can only offer so much juice before becoming depleted, so having an alternative on hand is critical. While they might not allow for much productivity, handheld flashlights and a stock of batteries can at least serve to light the way inside of your building. These can be especially useful during storm season or during other times when it would be safe for you and your employees to exit the building.

A responsible business owner is prepared for anything, and that includes the occasional power outage. Planning ahead and acquiring the proper tools can save you and your employees a huge amount of hassle down the line. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information commercial storm damage

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.

Outdoor Commercial Spaces Can be Damaged By Fire

11/2/2017 (Permalink)


Outdoor Commercial Spaces Can be Damaged By Fire

Many business owners have outdoor spaces that are an integral part of their business. An outdoor space may be where they sell products, offer seating for their restaurant or just allow employees some open air time and a break from their routine. When commercial fire damage is present along with soot damage and smoke damage, these can easily get all over the outdoor spaces. Commercial fire damage can spread from an electrical fire to the area right outside the space. Sparks from a utility room fire can spread from the utility room fire to other areas outside that are powered by electricity. The fire sprinkler system is often not only used inside but inside as well. A fire sprinkler system that is near a window and on after a fire can spread the water from the interior to the exterior and damage valuable plantings along the way. When dealing with the aftereffects of commercial fire damage, it is important to examine the exterior as well as the interior for signs of soot damage, fire damage and smoke damage.

Next to the Space

Many business owners have an entryway with greenery and plantings of all kinds. This area can be damaged when a fire hose is dragged across it to fight an electrical fire or utility room fire. The firefighter may have stepped on many areas here on his way from the fire truck with the fire hose. A single fire hose from a fire truck can be pulled dozens of feet across the area to reach the utility room fire. The firefighter may also need to walk around other areas of the property away from the front entrance with the fire hose from the fire truck, causing additional soot damage and fire damage to the area surrounding the office. Fire suppression methods such a fire sprinkler system may need to be turned off by the firefighter during the fire suppression efforts at combating fire damage and smoke damage along the grounds. Many business owners are dismayed to discover that the firefighter may have parked the fire truck on parts of their property that have been carefully landscaped.

Additional Damage

Exterior spaces can also be particularly vulnerable to smoke damage and soot damage. The electrical fire can cause scorch marks both inside and outside. Any business owner may also have an adjacent empty lot that has also been damaged by an electrical fire. many business owners have outdoor spaces that are used as storage spaces. These spaces can also be damaged by fire suppression methods. The fire sprinkler system used in fire fire suppression methods here may have gone off in a storage shed and caused problems with fire damage. Any business owner should be prepared to realize that commercial fire damage may need to include all areas around the property in any fire restoration plans. Fire restoration plans can be helpful in making the space look green and inviting again. A fire restoration plan may include cleaning this area as well.

Making it Nice Again

Professionals can help with fire restoration efforts everywhere on the property. They can help the owner determine what plants can be salvaged and what may not be in such good shape. They can also help the owner look closely at other materials in the space. For example a concrete seating area and series of planters may have been damaged in the fire. Professionals can help the owner determine what needs to be done to restore this area again. They can also provide expert advice about any materials that were stored outdoors and if they can salvaged or must be thrown out as well. Restoring this area to life is an important part of overcoming the damage from the fire and opening the business again. Effective help can offer the advice that any business owner needs to open up again.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on commercial fire damage.

Moving Back Into Your Home After a Fire

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Moving Back Into Your Home After a Fire

Any time that there is a fire in a home or a fire in a business, there is going to be fire cleanup to deal with. The goal is to focus on fire damage restoration as soon as possible. This will make it easier to move back into the home or business.

Board Up the Building

Choosing to board up is an important process after there has been a fire in a business or a fire in a home. This is for security purposes so that people don’t enter the building. There might be broken windows. Doors may be off the hinges. As a result, the board up process needs to be done.

This is not something that an owner needs to go through on their own. It’s possible to call professionals to come out and board up at the same time that they assess the fire damage.

Use Fire Cleanup Strategies

Various fire cleanup strategies need to be used. By calling in a restoration company, they will have the tools to deal with smoke damage, soot damage, and address the smoke smell inside the building. Often, when there is sit damage and smoke damage, various techniques will be used in order to focus on the fire damage effectively.

How the fire was put out will also impact what kind of cleanup needs to be done. If there was a fire in a home or a fire in business and an extinguisher was used, there may be a lot of foam cleanup. There might also be excessive amounts of water, which will be taken care of as part of the overall fire damage restoration.

Explore Structural Integrity

A restoration company will be able to come out and floor the structural integrity. Often, fire damage restoration involves doing a lot of rebuilding. Depending upon the amount of soot damage, various structures may have experienced a lot of weight sitting on them. This can weaken the structures and add to the total amount of residential or commercial fire damage present.

Any rebuilding will get added to the plan that is created by the restoration company.

Assess All Damages

The restoration company will also be involved in identifying all of the fire damage. Whether it’s residential or commercial fire damage, there will be photos taken. A list of how to deal with everything will be created.

Some damage will be minimal and easy to fix while some of the residential or commercial fire damage may be excessive. This could involve more time to rebuild and replace items so that it will look as though a fire in a home or a fire in a business never took place.

Start on Fire Damage Restoration

The restoration plan for fire damage is going to vary from building to building. None of it can take place until after the fire cleanup. Once everything is out, it will be easier to identify how strong the smoke smell is and then determine what else needs to be done. Some of the smoke smell will be eliminated as damaged items are pulled from the building.

Smoke damage and soot damage will be addressed during the restoration. Multiple contractors will likely be going into the building in order to take care of the different issues that were impacted by the fire. For example, smoke damage may have affected the HVAC system. Soot damage may have affected plumbing or electrical components.

By bringing in a professional company to help with residential or commercial fire damage, they will be able to help with all aspects of the fire cleanup, the smoke smell, and all fire damages. It will take time, but they will have the expertise to get it done properly.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on fire damage.

Expert Storm Damage Remediation

11/2/2017 (Permalink)


Expert Storm Damage Remediation

Many places encounter storms and severe weather events. Heavy rainfall and flooding lead to tremendous damage to property. The losses that come as a result of these weather events must be dealt with efficiently. Storm damage repairs aren’t as easy as most people think.

Flooding, river flooding, hail storms, ice dams, and hurricanes accompany most storms. These two are very dangerous and can cause damage to lots of properties. Floods can lead to sweeping away of houses, cars and even people. Hurricanes are known to carry away roofs and any object that doesn’t firmly stand on the ground from flood water. On the other hand, storms cause ice damming and storm surges that can hurt people.

Businesses just like any other property are prone to wind damage and roof damage which might be caused by river flooding. The act of storm damage restoration is for people with experience and knowledge in such matters. Seeking roof damage and hail damage professional help has numerous advantages and is incomparable to ‘Do it Your Own’ methods. An expert will inspect, identify the damages, come up with a cost-effective measure and undertake the actual restoration procedure. Moreover, the restoration agency will provide a guideline on how to avoid and deal with future storms.

Property owners should immediately seek help to get storm restoration services. They assist in the following;

• Roof repair
• River flooding
• Roof leak
• Hurricane damage
Water restoration
• Frozen pipes
• Ice damming
• Roof repair
• Wind damage
• Flood water
• Home restoration
• Ice damage
• Storm remediation.

The team of roof damage, hail damage, and ice damage experts comes up with plans on how to tackle the above disasters as soon as possible. They also provide flood pump amongst other services. As a result, there will be cleaning of walls, repair of frozen pipes caused by roof damage, removal of standing water, river flooding and groundwater through storm remediation.

What is the Process of Storm Damage Restoration?

The ice dam victims should immediately contact the storm restoration and ice dam companies as soon as the ice dam disaster occurs. The ice damming companies usually have flood pump, trucks, and workforce that can respond quickly.

On arrival, the storm restoration experts begin with the assessment of the damages. The obligation is to come up with a report on the losses. The next stage involves sealing of holes on roofs and walls. The storm restoration experts begin with the walls and ceilings so that they avoid more damages from occurring. Moreover, sealing ensures that there will be no more wind damage, hail damage, ice damage, and roof leak through storm remediation.

Water extraction and roof leak is the third step in storm damage restoration. This procedure requires specific tools such as flood pump and that’s why only a storm and home restoration organization can offer such services as storm remediation. The roof leak and roof repair team will be able to remove victims stuck in flooding areas safely. In instances of ice damming, the group provides airlifting and flood water services to flood water victims. Other than having flood pump, the water restoration team usually has lots of experience and can deal with the disaster effectively.

Storm remediation also involves the use of dehumidification and drying water restoration procedures to make the rooms go back to their original states. Dehumidification comes in handy in cases of ice damage. They also dry the furniture, clothes and electrical appliances with use of specialized equipment during home restoration.

Cleaning follows after the property is free from ground water. The flood water team tides up property such as furniture and walls. Moreover, they inspect if molds could have taken advantage of the situation. If they have, they treat the fittings to prevent mold from spreading.

Once the room is thoroughly dry from ground water, the following step is to conduct the home restoration process. In cases of both commercial and residential areas, flooding affects things such as wiring and plumbing to check for frozen pipes. The professionals perform a thorough ground water inspection to ensure all these processes are running smoothly. After that, if the owner wishes they can remodel and change the designing of the house so that they can resume their day to day activities.

The final step is known as ground water mitigation. It is a remedy for businesses that are in stormy areas through storm remediation.Prevention is better than cure; therefore the method aims at ensuring the disaster does not occur again. The professionals will conduct roof repair, and deal with frozen pipes to avoid re-occurrence of such tragedies.

Storm damages and hurricane damage, hail damage, and ice damage can cause stress and are quite expensive. The best and most effective way to deal with hurricane damage is seeking storm remediation, hurricane damage services such as professional storm and water restoration come from experts. They will advise on how to plan, deal with groundwater, wind damage and return your property to its original state.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on storm damage.

Commercial and Residential Flood Damage

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial and Residential Flood Damage

Water damage is often a far more serious situation than many property owners would at first realize. Flood damage is often insidious, starting off as a seemingly containable amount of water spilled from a supply line break or pipe break. But this water, even just a few gallons, can quickly begin leading to lasting flood damage. If larger amounts of water in a home or water in a business are allowed to stand for more than about one week, permanent and serious water damage is all but guaranteed to occur. In the worst cases, this can lead to the total loss of the property.

Although it is the most spectacular flood damage events that usually make the news, such as those seen recently with major weather disasters in the United States, the truth is that the large majority of property loss due to water damage occurs as a result of far more quotidian evens, like a supply line break or pipe break. The good news is that these types of flood damage events are almost always able to undergo complete restoration and water damage mitigation. The bad news is that, all too often, home and business owners do not take the proper steps in time to save their flooded homes or flooded businesses from permanent damage.

The single most important thing to remember whenever you find flood water in your home or water in your business is that only trained professionals with the right equipment for the job can maximize the chance of a successful restoration and mitigation of the flooded home or business. Your local restoration company will have both the highly trained personnel and sophisticated, powerful equipment to ensure that your flooded home or business is able to be completely restored to its prior state.

In this article, we look at the mitigation and restoration process and what a property owner can expect when they call in the local restoration company to carry out the water cleanup process. With timely action, nearly every flooded home or business will be able to be fully restored to its original condition.

The call is made and the water cleanup team arrives


The first step whenever a property owner notices flood water in their business or water in their home is to make the call to the local professional restoration company. Once the call is received, a water cleanup team will be dispatched to the property, usually arriving within a half hour.

Once the restoration company team has arrived on site, they will immediately go to the source of the original supply line break or pipe break, making sure that no active leaks are still spewing water. They will also carefully inspect the area around the original pipe break or supply line break, noting the extent to which water has seeped into out-of-site places.

The team will note the amount of standing water in the home or water in the business to determine if large scale water removal with heavy-duty equipment is necessary. If it is, they will already have all the required equipment on hand.

Water removal


The next step in the water cleanup process is the large-scale removal of standing water. Once all standing water has been removed, through the use of heavy-duty vacuum equipment, then the mitigation and restoration process can proceed apace.

The thorough drying of the property


The next step is to carry out a thorough drying of the property. Industrial drying equipment and dehumidifiers will be deployed within the flooded property. The special equipment is capable of heating surfaces to near their flashpoint, thus dramatically speeding up the drying process. This is a step that can only be carried out by professionals. Attempting to dry a flooded home on one's own can be extremely dangerous and will nearly always prove insufficient to adequately dry the premises.

At this point, the property will be restored.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

Steps Towards Professional Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Steps Towards Professional Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

It is without a doubt that fire can be devastating; especially it breaks out in business premises. Given the intensity of the loss that fire can cause in a commercial building, most of the business owners take up measures that could reduce losses. One of the most common and effective ways is to install fire sprinkler systems.

In utility room fire or electrical fire, the fire sprinkler system can detect the heat change and ring the alarm as it opens up its valves. The rooms in the building are sprayed with a lot of water from the fire sprinkler system. Further, the alarm helps in evacuation and calling the local firefighters to respond to the utility room fire or electrical fire.

Firefighters usually respond to a fire distress quickly because they know that utility room fire or electrical fire does not wait for anyone. They arrive with fire trucks and long fire hose to make sure that they can access any part of the building is important to back up fire sprinkler system. A fire truck is filled with a mixture of water and fire redundant chemicals not forgetting the pressure pumps that help in fire suppression.

Firefighters can use cranes on the fire truck to hoist the fire hose and reach any height necessary. All the effort put by the firefighters in fire suppression effort also causes destruction as well as that caused by utility room fire or electrical fire damage. Firefighters are forced to break into windows and doors to ensure that fire hose has access to all areas under fire. Other than fire damage, the owners will have to deal with damages caused during fire suppression, smoke damage, and soot damage.


After the last flame goes off, the work of the firefighters comes to an end, they pack up their fire hose and get into their fire truck and leave the area to wait for another assignment. The business owner now has a chance to have a look at the fire suppression aftermath. The scene is always heart breaking, charred mess, flooded floors, overturned furniture, choking smell from smoke damage and soot damage is all over. You cannot guess what needs to be done but thanks to the professional fire restoration services as they can handle any commercial fire damage restoration.


Unlike the fire suppression efforts, the fire restoration service requires proper planning to avoid causing more damages and loss. For this reason, fire damage professionals have to begin with the inspection of the building to assess the extent of commercial fire damage. This gives them an opportunity to plan and come up with appropriate approaches to deal with the mess. In a short while, they list and remove items that can be cleaned or repaired and take it to their facility. They also do the documentation to ascertain your loss, which can also be used to file insurance claims.

Fire damage restoration begins with the clearing of the charred mess and removal of floods caused by the fire hose. You will also be involved in each step to ensure that everything is, as you want it to be. The professional's commercial fire damage restoration services also ensure that all other damages such as soot damage, smoke damage and water damage is taken care. Soot damage would require repainting of the walls and cleaning ash from the vents. Smoke damage will call for deodorization of all the porous items and upholstery.

You should not let time pass by after commercial fire damage before calling professional fire restoration services. The more you delay, the further will be the damages, especially through floods. It is also prudent to consider bringing back the business up on its feet before your clients get absorbed by your competitions.

The most important thing is to make sure that you hire the right fire damage restoration experts. This could be achieved through a simple background check and contacting their reference for a tip off. Commercial fire damage may not bring back the losses, but it can help you have a platform to trudge on with your business.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on fire damage.

What Storm Damage Professionals Do After a Storm

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

What Storm Damage Professionals Do After a Storm

The United States experienced the effects of hurricane damage three times in a row in 2017 after Harvey, Irene and Jose swept across the country. While hurricane damage is something that can occur on both commercial properties and private homes, it's not the only type of damage that storm restoration professionals deal with on a regular basis. Storm restoration professionals can also help with any type of flooding like river flooding, a roof leak, wind damage, an ice dam and ice damage that requires a roof repair. Ice damming can also cause other forms of roof damage and lead to problems with ground water and frozen pipes, but home restoration professionals can help with all types of storm remediation.

Property Inspection

One of the main things that storm damage companies can and do after a storm is a full property inspection. They do not just look at the problem that the owner called about because they know that other problems can exist. Hail damage may cause a roof leak or tear the shingles off, which will require a roof repair. Any flood water in the building can freeze and cause frozen pipes to form. A full inspection will also check for wind damage, roof damage, ice damage, hurricane damage and any type of hail damage.

Removing Water

An easy way to remove flood water or ground water on the floor and in other areas of the building is the use of a flood pump. Those who live near the coast or a body of water often have a permanent flood pump set up in their basements or near their foundations. With river flooding or any other type of flooding, the flood pump will carefully extract that water from the property. These pumps can also work in other types of storm remediation. A water restoration or home restoration expert might use a flood pump to remove water that caused ice damming on the sides of a building as soon as that ice dam melts.

Drying

Extracting the water left behind by ice damming or flooding is just one step in the drying of the home or business. Once the excess water caused by river flooding or another type of storm damage is gone, they can use fans and other procedures to completely dry any remaining flood water or ground water. That flood water might enter the home because of a roof repair that went unnoticed, a roof leak no one spotted, wind damage that broke a window, hail damage to the roof or because of an ice dam. Ice damage relating to frozen pipes can cause flooding too. Home restoration experts can dry any water caused by roof damage as part of the process of storm remediation.

Insurance Help

Those calling for storm restoration help or because they need help with water restoration after river flooding will find that storm damage professionals can help them navigate through the often tricky world of filing an insurance claim too. Insurance companies may refuse to accept a claim because of a roof leak that already existed, a previous roof repair or because the owner did not take steps to prevent wind damage or roof damage like ice damming. With the help of a good company, commercial property owners and those who own their own homes or rental properties can file an insurance claim and get the necessary storm remediation.

Some of the common ice damage issues that can arise in winter include an ice dam forming and hanging off the side of a gutter and frozen pipes that break open and spill ground water all over the floors. Other seasons can bring both hurricane damage and hail damage. Storm restoration companies have experience in all types of restoration work and can help clients with any type of water restoration or home restoration work. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on storm damage.

Fire Damaged Library

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Library Fire

Fire Damaged Library

Although this picture looks as if someone just tidied up the shelves there was a fire that created smoke and odor throughout. Each of these books was removed, boxed, and taken to our facility. There it was cleaned of the soot residue and then deodorized before it was boxed back up.

It was very meticulous work which is why we asked our most patient and attentive workers to do the job. They had spent hours making sure each book had the soot removed from their pages.

Once boxed back up they were placed back on the shelves in the order they were taken off; except that they were placed in neater rows. The librarian was astonished at how well we remembered where every book was taken in order to put them back. 

The Original Recycler - Mold

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

The Original Recycler - Mold

We can probably assume that most people in the Dickson, Texas know mold when they see it making a home in their basement, shower, bathrooms and other places in your home, condo, or the apartment you rent.

Mold and Mildew love places that are moist. Yep, this unique fungus plays a starring role in the ecological balance. The rain and cold temperatures that visit this area are usually from Thanksgiving to baseball season. This is also about the time that moisture enters the scene (think humidity) which is a joyful occurrence for fungus to make a visit in the damp areas of your home or business in the Dickson area.

That said, if you have started wiping windows that are foggy, best you start looking around your property and locate the places where extra moisture is coming from and check for the cause of the mildew.

Where Is It Hiding?

No place is off limits to mold. It's an air conditioning unit, duct work or even in walls of your home. Once they reach their destination, they can quickly grow into a visible colony.

The Cause of Mold is Moisture

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

When you do find the mildew growing in the house, you need to find the cause. For instance, if you have a leaking roof, ensure that it is also repaired. At times, it may be because of a leak in the pipes embedded in the walls. Take time and investigate. Most fungus develops due to high humidity levels. 

If you find mold in your home call SERVPRO of Clear Lake to remediate the mold before it spreads to other areas of the home.

After the mildew has been removed from the home. You should take measures that keep the home free of an infestation. No more leaks from pipes or roofs will assure that there will be no more mold growth. Visithttp://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/mold-remediation if you suspect mold in your property.

Three Risks After a Hurricane

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Clear Lake will often have hurricanes which leave devastation along its wake. It is important to keep an eye out for these three potential risks after a hurricane.

  1. Bodily Harm -  Flood water carries bacteria and other contaminates. Before entering your home wear proper protective equipment such as gloves and goggles. It is also important to have all your vaccinations such as Hepatitis and Tetanus. 
  2. Electrical Shock - Many power lines and cables will be damaged during the storm. If the power has not been cut from the lines then they can pass electrical currents along the flood water.
  3. Local Wildlife - Be careful during the clean up process as many wildlife creatures will also be homeless or maybe in a new home; your home. It is common to find snakes and rats trying to stay on high ground.

Remember these risks before doing any cleaning and remediation after a hurricane. Stay safe out there.

Knowing your home in case of emergency.

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Knowing your home in case of emergency.

When your home has a flood or fire it is necessary to know where your main shut off locations are for gas and water. No fire is convenient and shutting off your gas may be the farthest thing from your mind. In some cases a kitchen fire will be put out by a home extinguisher. But if the gas is still leaking then it will need to be closed until repairs can be made to the damaged portion of your home.

The same can be said if a pipe were to break in your home. Gallons and gallons of water will be intruding the home filling up basements and destroying property. The time it takes to find the shut off location could be the difference of hundreds of dollars as pressurized pipes continue to spray water into the home.

It Pays to Use a Professional

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

During a flood or water damage in your home or business it pays to use a professional. SERVPRO of Clear Lake has been certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), a non-profit organization that has standardized the restoration industry. Many insurance companies do not allow restoration companies to mitigate home damage unless they have been certified by the IICRC.

Ongoing training for our office staff and technicians are mandatory to keep certifications up to date. We hold regularly scheduled Continuing Education courses for our employees in order to maintain our certifications and stay up to date on the newest drying and cleaning technologies.

Don’t let any restoration company into your home. Let the professionals of SERVPRO of Clear Lake make your water loss “Like it never even happened.”

Understanding the mold that is in your home.

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Understanding the mold that is in your home.

Mold is a common place organism that is plays a great role in the ecosystem. They are the original recyclers feeding off any organic matter, such as dead leaves or paper. Mold begins to grow from a single spore that is microscopic. You cannot see mold spores but they are everywhere. One mold spore can grow into a large colony that will release thousands of new tiny spores.

Mold is also common place in your home as settled spores, meaning that spores are settled on any surface. Just like pollen the mold travels on the wind and can never be rid of entirely in a home or building. Any time you step outside you will start to accumulate mold spores, pollen, and pollutants. The crux is when settled spores are introduced to water. Once the spore has moisture it will start to grow into a colony. It is for this reason that mitigating water damage from a broken pipe or water heater is important. If the water is removed quickly then the mold will not have time to grow.

Handy Information after a Hurricane

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Handy Information after a Hurricane

Texans are not rookies when it comes to hurricanes and storms. They understand that stores will be closed, gas lines will be long, and electricity and phone use will be sporadic. It is also important to know what to expect from a SERVORI as the cleanup process begins.

Wait Times - There will be some wait times as there are hundreds of calls being handled by the restoration company. SERVPRO is a national franchise with a large call center to help take in all the leads of homes that need to be cleaned. The good news is that all the SERVPRO companies will be invited to help with cleanup. As more SERVPRO crews arrive more work can be handled lowering the wait times.

Demolition and Repair – There will be a lot of the home that will be torn out as flood water is considered “black water”. The home will be functional but carpets, wooden cabinets, and some drywall will be removed from the home. Repairs will take a long time as electricity and materials will be hard to come by. Hardware stores will try and stock their shelves but without power tools the repairs will have to wait.

ERP - Emergency Response Profile

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

ERP - Emergency Response Profile

If you are a facility manager then you have had that call at 2:30 in the morning from someone in the building asking you "How do I shut off the water?". If only there was an easy way for all your employees to know where all the Shut Off locations were in the building they worked in.

Download the SERVPRO Emergency Response Profile from the App Store of either Apple or Android. The profile allows you to take pictures of each shut off location and write notes on how to get to there. The profile can then be shared with all employees who also have the application.

We don't promise that you won't get calls at 2:30am but hopefully you'll hear "I shut off the water and called SERVPRO to come clean up" and you can go back to bed.

How to use a Fire Extinguisher

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

How to use a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are required in all commercial buildings. With many of the extinguishers available there are not enough training on how to use them. Many people are afraid that they will use it incorrectly and make the problem worse.

Taking the time to practice is always the best method to help employees feel comfortable with using a fire extinguisher in the case of a fire. However, remember that OSHA standards that an employer cannot task an employee to use the extinguisher during a fire.

A simple fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:

  1. Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
  2. Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.

Hurricane Safety Tips for Clear Lake

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Safety Tips for Clear Lake

Texas hurricanes are a serious threat to coastal areas. In order to know if the risk for hurricanes is severe in your area, heed local weather reports and be aware of the difference between area advisories.

• Hurricane Watch – This means the threat is less than 48 hours away; look over your hurricane plans and be prepared to act in case of a warning.
• Hurricane Warning – This means hurricane conditions are anticipated within 36 hours. Finish up any preparations and vacate the area when instructed.
• Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings – This signals that a tropical storm is a threat to your location. Dangerous winds and flooding are possible, so pay attention to these advisories.

If you live along the coastlines or in one of the top 10 danger zones, you are at higher risk than most. Keep the advisements top of mind during hurricane season to keep you and your property safe.

If your home suffers damage after a hurricane call SERVPRO of Clear Lake from our main page.

Planning for a Hurricane

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Planning for a Hurricane in Nassau Bay

Coastal hurricanes can be made less severe by taking these simple steps.

1. Plan Ahead
2. Heed Authorities
3. Stay Calm

Plan Ahead
• Pack a "go bag" backpack with all the necessary supplies, such as food water, and all of the other essential supplies that you will need.
• Put important documents, such as medical information, identification, insurance policies, and official documents into an easily accessible waterproof container. .
• Put together a plan including your destination if you are to evacuate, as well as the time and means of family members contacting one another once away from the area. Make sure gas tanks are full.
• Unplug small appliances in your home, turn off propane tanks, and eliminate all potential safety hazards. Put your freezer and refrigerator on the coldest settings and keep them closed, so that the coolness is retained in case of a power outage.
• Close hurricane shutters, doors, and windows, when you leave. If there are no hurricane shutters, close and board up doors and windows with plywood.

Heed Authorities
• Listen to the local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updates.
• Only return home when officials declare it safe.
• If you live in a home that is not sturdy enough to withstand the wind, such as a mobile home, evacuate early.

Stay Calm
• Practice your hurricane escape plan beforehand so that you are well prepared.
• Avoid washed out bridges, flooded roads, and other unnecessary risks. Use your road maps to find safe escape routes.
• Give children fun activities to do and reassure them that everyone will be staying together.

Home Remedy for a Smelly Office

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Home Remedy for a Smelly Office

If you are a small business owner like we are then you know that offie organization and maintenance is hard to schedule. There are times when the office just starts to smell bad from too much "take out" and the box of employee shirts that have not been washed. Try out our homemade deodorization 

What you'll need:1/8 Cup of fabric softener, 2 tablespoons Baking Soda, Hot tap water, Spray bottle (about 27oz) 

Preparation:Using a funnel, pour fabric softener and baking soda into your spray bottle. Fill spray bottle with hot tap water and shake well. You can spray it on furniture and carpet to remove bad odors.

If your schedule is too tight even for the above remedy give SERVPRO of Clear Lake a call and we can clean air ducts and carpets that will make your office smelling fresh once again.

What To Do If You Have Commercial Water Damage

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

What To Do If You Have Commercial Water Damage

Water is one of the most corrosive substances on earth. It eats away, degrades, and destroys whatever it comes into contact with. The standing water that results from burst pipes or natural flooding must be removed, which is not a process to be undertaken by amateurs.

No one has the power to control the weather. At best, all we can do is prepare for the most hazardous meteorological events. Heavy rains and rising sea water are among the many kinds of phenomena that can cause water to enter your home, consuming all that is within it. Burst pipes can also cause trouble; they can pour significant amounts of water into your homes in a short amount of time—ruining your floors, carpets, and other furnishings.

If you find yourself in either of these situations, your first order of business is to stop the flooding or bring it under control. Your next order of business must be water cleanup and restoration. Repairing the water damage to your home is best done by those who possess the knowledge, skill, ability, and experience to do the job competently and effectively.

Accumulated water, or standing water, will find its way into every crack and crevice of your home. It is important to have your domicile thoroughly surveyed, the water that has invaded it removed, and the affected spaces dried out.

The professionals who come to your will employ specialized equipment to remove the water from your home. These consist of industrialized pumps that work quickly to suck the water out. Once the standing water is eliminated, the process of drying can begin. Machines that are specially designed for drying homes and other indoor spaces will be applied and a thorough sweep of your home made. Many of the carpets and other furnishings are salvageable. Expert water removal technicians have the tools and expertise to make such items usable again.

One of the worst things about living in a home that has incurred water damage is the smelly odors. Water that has sat for even a little while will give off a very unpleasant smell. When the restoration company has completed the extraction of water and the drying of your home, they will proceed to deodorize it. Special solvents are used to complete this job. Afterward, you will be able to walk into a home that is filled with a fresh and delightful scent.

The final stage of water damage repair and restoration is essential. The members of the restoration team will conduct a thermal imaging scan to detect material degradation within the structure of the home. The presence of large amounts of standing water threatens the material integrity of a home. Water begins to rot material immediately. Even if you are able to remove the water soon after it entered your home, the foundations of your home may have been weakened by its presence. Having a thermal image sweep done will bring to your attention any degradation or defects that need to be addressed.

Water damage professionals train extensively for the work they do. They must be familiar with the places in a house that are most vulnerable to the effects of flooding. They must also learn how to competently operate the many specialized machines that have been designed to remove water from homes and dry them. The chemicals and solvents that are meant to eliminate odors and suppress mold growth must also be under their firm command and skill.

When you are looking for a water damage repair and restoration company, you should seek the best. Only those companies that have established a record for the quality and value of their workmanship and results can be trusted. The company you choose should offer the full range of services and solutions described above. That is the only way of reclaiming your home after the devastation of flooding. It is the only way you can begin to get your life back. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Tactics

8/15/2017 (Permalink)


Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Tactics

Accidental fires have very devastating effects on homes and business to which they occur. The destruction they cause is at times very high to restore some damaged items and instead replacement gets to be the best option.

The level which commercial fire damage gets to depends on the response of the first victim to see the fire. Cleanup has to be done first for the fire damage to be examined. If a fire cleanup is effectively done, the damage may not be very hard to handle.
There are however few things the victim should focus when there is a fire in home or in business.
• They should not get back into the house on fire
• There should be an immediate emergency alert so that experienced fire fighters can handle the fire
• Whatever action that is taken in an attempt to fight the fire should be safe
• Electrical items and should be keenly observed as they can be an item of extending the damage
• They should board up the premises to contain the fire and ensure the damages occur on a sacrificial part of the affected area.

Fires in business can be dangerous especially when the business is situated at a place with little or no space. Boarding up is very important in this case to minimize the smoke smell that may affect the neighbors. If the smoke smell is not contained, the commercial fire damage will be enhanced by soot damage and smoke damage. Soot damage is also minimized by avoiding movements in the premises which in turn minimizes the spread of soot and smoke particles that may embed in carpets. The fire cleanup may be well done but if the affected home or business is not handled properly, damage may continue to occur.

There arises the need for a restoration company which will help control and also restores the fire damage. Fire damage restoration results also rely on how fast the restoration company was notified. If the call was just in course of the fire, the restoration company through its experts will apply skills like board up and will ensure the soot damage and the smoke damage are well contained. Fire cleanup may leave some water in the business or home during extinguishing which may take a role in the damage. If the water is dried soon after the fire gets contained, it will not have caused much damage on the premises.

Fire in homes may require restriction of access of the home after board up. Victims of fire always have an urge of getting back inside even when the fire has not been cleaned up. This may lead to the spread of the smoke and the smoke smell which will consequently lead to more smoke damage. If board up is done perfectly, the smoke damage will occur at the place where fire cleanup is aimed at and fire damage restoration will be easier when it is being done on a smaller perimeter. Fire damage restoration is easy when fire cleanup was done soon after the fire got detected.

Fires in business can lead to commercial fire damages. Soot damage can be avoided if fire damage restoration included board up and smoke smell containment to prevent its spread. The restoration company will handle the commercial fire damage by ensuring there is no more fire damage occurring even as they fix the damages already happened. For a fire in business, the fire cleanup may be hard compared to a fire in home. Same is the case with the fire damage, it may be easier to restore a damage caused by a fire in home than a fire in business. A restoration company will be able to restore all the damages and may replace those which cannot be restored with new ones.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on fire damage.

Signs of Commercial Mold Damage and What to Do About It

8/15/2017 (Permalink)


Signs of Commercial Mold Damage and What to Do About It

Mold is a fungus that commonly grows in damp spaces. There are many types of mold, including mildew and black mold, which is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. Left unattended, this mold can lead to dry rot and reduce the air quality within the building. Even before mold growth leaves a visible sign of its presence, it emits a smelly odor. As the mold grows, the smelly odor is accompanied by what appears to be stains or discoloration to wood, siding, sheetrock, or other building materials. The really disheartening fact about mold damage is the home or business owner may never see the mold growth at all. Mold growth behind walls frequently leads to smelly odor and mold damage, such as dry rot.

Mold Environment

Mold grows in a moist environment. Some common causes of mold include:

Flood damage
Leaky pipes, windows, or roof
Clogged gutters
Water left standing
Too much humidity
Condensation
Poorly maintained air conditioners


The optimal mitigation against mold is prevention. Home and business owners must maintain proper humidity levels and eliminate the causes of a moist location. Unfortunately, not every event can be anticipated. Floods, for example, are a prime cause of mold growth that cannot be prevented.

Severity of Mold in Home or Business

Mold in a home or business is no laughing matter, once this fungus begins to grow, it can quickly spread. Mold releases spores that float through the air, so it is easy for mold in the basement to spread to the rest of the building. This is especially true if do-it-yourself mold removal goes awry.

The Best Remediation Solution

The best way to remediate mold damage is hire a commercial mold damage restoration company to analyze the type of mold present, such as black mold and mildew. They will then provide mold removal services customized to the specific mold damage and provide deodorization of the smelly odor that accompanies mold in the home or business. The use of a commercial mold damage restoration company is vital, especially when mold growth behind the wall is suspected. Some mold growth can go on for years before it is discovered, and releasing that many fungus spores into the air can exacerbate the problem. Remediation specialists are equipped to remove and repair the damage from this fungus with minimal harmful exposure to inhabitants.

Mold Mitigation Steps

Often remediation and mitigation are interchangeable terms for the identification and resolution of a mold problem. A commercial mold damage restoration company typical takes the following steps to resolve mold issues:

Identify the type of mold or mildew
Assess extent of mold coverage
Determine the source of moisture feeding the mold growth
Create remediation plan for mold removal with minimal spore contamination, moisture removal, and damage repair, including steps for deodorization of musty smell
Complete the actual work, including cleaning or replacing building materials affected by dry rot, mildew, or black mold
Ensure that the mold in the home or business has been completely eradicated

Interim Steps

If a home or business owner sees dry rot, black mold, or mildew, he might be tempted to attempt mold removal. During remodeling, mold growth behind a wall might be identified as well. While the temptation might be to mitigate the damage personally, the better solution is to contain the spores and step away until a commercial mold damage restoration company can go in and make sure the mold spores are removed safely and thoroughly, as well as provide a thorough deodorization. This is especially true in remodeling. If all the mold growth behind wall is not properly treated, the problem can regrow and remain in the building forever.

Conclusion

Mold is a fungus that can infect a building and cause structural damage as well as lower the air quality for its inhabitants. The best way to provide thorough mitigation of the problem is to hire a professional who is trained in safely identifying and removing the mold, as well as repairing structural damage. They will also remove the smelly odor that accompanies a mold infestation with commercial deodorization.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold.

The Right Way to Handle a Flooded Residence

7/20/2017 (Permalink)


The Right Way to Handle a Flooded Residence

Water damage is one of the most potentially costly events that can befall a property. Without prompt, professional restoration and mitigation efforts, water damage can quickly begin causing severe and permanent damage to a structure. The proper handling of flood damage includes the use of heavy and specialized equipment that the general public does not have access to. It also involves considerable expertise and requires the rapid and skillful action of professionals. For this reason, the single most important thing that a property owner should do, upon first discovering water in their home or water in their business, is to promptly call their local professional restoration company.

A professional restoration company knows the proven, effective steps that will prevent water damage from becoming a property-threatening condition. Using a prove, five-step process, the local restoration company will send a team of restoration and mitigation experts to the site of the flood damage, immediately beginning the mitigation of the water damage. In this article, we'll take a look at the process that nearly every team of water cleanup experts follow and why it is so important to get them on-site as quickly as possible.

Whenever a supply line break, pipe break or other source of flood damage occurs, it is imperative that the water cleanup process begins as quickly as possible. Your local mitigation and restoration company will have teams of experts, on call and ready to deploy, 24 hours a day. Once the phone call comes in, the restoration team will arrive on site, usually in less than a half hour.

With the restoration experts arrive, they will immediately enter the property and begin assessing the extent of the water in the home or water in the business. If there is an active leak coming from a supply line break or a pipe break, they will locate it and begin corrective action. The original supply line break or pipe break in the flooded home may require the use of welders, pipe cutters or threaders to temporarily stop the leak.

If the water in the home or water in the business has spread to spaces within the floor or within walls, the water cleanup team will be able to detect it by using sophisticated hygrometers and infrared detectors.

At this point, the team will begin the wholesale removal of water from the flooded home. Using heavy-duty pumps and vacuum equipment, all standing water in the home or business will be sucked out. After the first hour of the team's arrival, there should be no water in the business or home remaining.

Next, heavy drying equipment will be deployed within the property. There will be large dehumidifiers set up within the property and large-scale drying devices will be installed near the supply line break or pipe break. The drying process is the part of the cleanup process that generally requires the most time. It may last between a few hours all the way up to an entire day.

Once the home has been completely dried, it will appear almost fully restored. At this point, there will be no further risk of damage occurring to the property.

The final step involves the complete cleaning and sanitization of the property and its contents. This is done to prevent any incipient mildew or mold growth from worsening, as well as to prevent smells, typically caused by the waterlogging of materials, to proliferate.

Using a process similar to dry cleaning, all items, including furniture, pictures and carpeting, will now be restored to their prior state.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

Fire Damage Restoration Safety Tips

7/20/2017 (Permalink)


Fire Damage Restoration Safety Tips

If fire cleanup cannot wait, ensure that you do not put yourself at risk to re-enter the building. While it is tempting to rush back in to remedy the situation and begin fire cleanup after a fire in home or a fire in business, doing so may only cause added worry and concern to residential or commercial fire damage situations. The smoke smell alone can be detrimental to your health!

A call to a fire damage restoration company is the first call you should make after fire damage occurs. Professionals know how to renovate your building after a fire, preventing loss as they work. With the professionals at a restoration company assisting in the fire cleanup, your home or business will be back to its old-self in no time, with the smoke smell and other signs of damage removed quickly. However, if you choose to re-enter the building before the restoration company arrives on the scene, do so with precautions in mind. The tips below are a handful that can help you prevent additional damage or injury when re-entering a facility after a fire.

Be Safe & Cautious at all Times

Okay to enter isn't the same as safe to enter. Unless given the okay by a firefighter or building official, re-entering a building after a fire in business or fire in home isn't recommended. Your safety is at risk because the smoke smell and fire damage, the smoke smell, soot damage, and smoke damage all have potential consequences to your life. A fire can easily restart at any time, needing only seconds to spread into an uncontrollable blaze. Unstable walls and ceilings, damaged floors, and other structural damage is also a potential risk after fire damage. Wait until you feel safe, after being given the okay by an official, to re-enter the building. When you do go back inside, wear protective clothing, and take someone with you.

Wear Masks & Gloves Inside the Building

When re-entering a building after a fire in home or fire in business, do so wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, and a pair of gloves. Soot damage and smoke damage can be deadly if ingested and may cause a plethora of additional health consequences. Soot damage is toxic to your health! If you are going inside the house, ensure that you are prepared with these items to avoid the soot damage and smoke damage potential consequences. The restoration company wears these items when fire cleanup takes place and so should you.

Leave Things Alone

Board up of the windows and doors is something that fire department officials may do after a fire in home or fire in business. If board up has occurred, do not remove anything on your own. The board up is done to keep intruder and looters out of the property and to minimize additional fire damage, soot damage, and even smoke damage. If a board up is in place, leave it alone!

Keep Employees/Customers Out

Commercial fire damage is risky to the property owner and employees and customers. Do not re-open your facility to others until fire damage restoration is complete. Commercial fire damage restoration ensures that the health and safety of everyone coming in and out of your facility is protected and that isn't something you should be willing to overlook. Additionally, do not allow children into the building after a fire in home or a fire in business.

Electrical Concerns

If electricity has not been disconnected after a fire, electrocution worries are present at the building, adding more danger to the situation. Since electricity is conducted through wet walls, floors, and appliances, the hazard is extensive after a fire. Until the restoration company provides fire damage restoration, including water removal, do not go inside a home with live electric!

Final Thoughts

When you've experienced commercial fire damage or a fire at your home, leave the restoration to the professionals. When you do go inside, use the precautions and tips listed above to help maintain your safety. Residential and commercial fire damage are both scary, even when the flames are extinguished.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on fire damage.

Why You Need Professional Mold Remediation Services

7/20/2017 (Permalink)


Why You Need Professional Mold Remediation Services

Microscopic mold spores float throughout the air virtually everywhere outside, and it is nearly impossible to eradicate. They can get into your home or office through your HVAC system, windows, doors, clothing and pets. These moisture-loving spores quickly develop colonies when they find a steady water supply.

Although most people are familiar with the dangers of black or toxic mold, the truth is that all types of mold can cause irritation and allergies. Homes and other structures often contain a variety of molds. Not all of them are visible, but a dank, musty, smelly odor is a strong indication that you have a problem.

Black mold and mildew often begin in hard-to-reach places such as crawl spaces, ventilation ducts and behind tiles and paneling. Signs that you have mold in your home and mold growth behind the walls can include:

Warped walls or flooring
Cracks in the grout
Stains on the floor, ceiling or drywall
Soft spots and dry rot on the floor
Visible fungus or mildew
Blistering paint
A musty or smelly odor


Mold damage can occur in both new construction and occupied structures.

To get rid of mold, you need the help of a professional mold restoration company. While every mold problem can be unique, the remediation process tends to be similar. To determine the best way to proceed with the mold remediation process, the property must be inspected and the mold damage must be assessed for visible mold growth, mold growth behind the wall, dry rot and a bad or smelly odor. Each area of mildew and mold damage must be identified and documented to create an appropriate remediation and mitigation strategies. Further testing can be necessary especially black mold is present. If a large amount of mold growth is present, it can be toxic even if it is not black mold, and disturbing any mold can release spores into the air, creating a potentially hazardous situation for the building inhabitants.

For this reason, DIY mold remediation is not recommended whether in homes or in cases of commercial mold damage. Expert mold removal experts know the best mitigation strategies and can prevent excessive exposure during and after cleanup and perform proper cleaning and deodorization for your health and well-being. If you have commercial mold damage or mold in your home, you need professional mold restoration company services.

Several steps are involved in professional mold removal, including:

Eliminating the moisture problem
Isolating the contamination
Suppressing the mold spores and dust
Removing all items that have suffered dry rot and mold damage and securing them according to regulations
Cleaning all non-porous surfaces and affected areas
Performing a visual test for fungus, including mold growth behind the walls
Drying the area completely using dehumidifiers and fans as necessary and using appropriate deodorization as needed
Replacing items that were ruined by mold growth, fungus and dry rot as needed



Some people are more sensitive to mold and mildew than others, but all molds can provoke a reaction that ranges from nasal congestion and itching eyes to skin rashes and wheezing. Those who have chronic exposure or pre-existing conditions can develop mold infections in their lungs or suffer more severe reactions, such as fever or shortness of breath.

If you have mold growth, you might consider remediation, mitigation and mold removal on your own, but this can be dangerous and leave you and your home vulnerable to re-contamination. Deodorization is only a temporary fix for the smelly odor, which will keep returning until you get to the root of the problem. Any attempt at DIY mold removal can disrupt the spores, which spread quickly, and without fast action, they will spread throughout a building. At that point, deodorization is the least of your worries. Your entire structure will major remediation by a professional restoration company to control the severity of the commercial mold damage or mold in a home.

We perform complete and thorough black mold removal and mitigation to protect your property and your health. Our comprehensive moisture management strategy is designed to stamp out mold right at its source, and we then perform immediate and thorough cleanup strategies to eliminate affected property and prevent the spread of mold growth behind the wall. Whether you have commercial mold damage or mold in your home, you need the help of a high-quality professional restoration company that can eliminate the black mold and fungus problem and will make your property whole again.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold.

What Homeowners and Business Owners Should Understand About Water Damage

6/19/2017 (Permalink)


What Homeowners and Business Owners Should Understand About Water Damage

Water damage is the greatest destroyer of homes, especially the core holding your house, and this, not only invites carpenter ants and termites but also causes the growth of mildew and mold. Here are some highlights on the best ways to prevent water damage the next time heavy storms hit:

Ensure proper drainage

Poor drainage can weaken your house foundation leading to uneven settling of water pathways. To ensure effective drainage mitigation, ensure that you clean the gutters routinely. A cluttered guttered will send water to one side of the house, damaging the foundation and siding. Also, ensure that the drop-out fall is not less than 10 feet away from your house. Additionally, your yard should slope six inches on a ten-foot span from your house foundation, and with such a restoration measure, you reduce the risk of flood damage or water in your home.

Conduct regular sump pump tests

A sump pump is used during stormy periods. Therefore, conducting yearly checks act as a mitigation factor to flood damage. When performing the pump check, you need to fill the pump with water and take note of the "float" until the water level falls. The same procedure applies to the backup pump, but you need to ensure that it's plugged from the main pump. For those who might not have a backup pump in the case of water in business, it's important to consider those that run on water pressure.

Check for water leaks and fix them

Persistent leaks of water in homes provide a perfect environment for the growth of mildew and mold. Therefore, with effective restoration measures and proper drying procedures, you shouldn't experience a long-term damage. To ensure effective leak mitigation, start by looking for dark spots under cabinets or inside sink pipes. Also, conduct a yearly routine restoration inspection on your roof to repair cracked caulking and damaged shingles to mitigate water damage before it occurs.

Ensuring effective water cleanup

If water gets to unwanted places, it can lead to flood damage, which not only ruins your belongings but also the entire house. With effective mitigation measures such as cleanup and drying, the damage done to your prized possession can be minimized. In the business setup, water in business shouldn't be taken lightly given that it leads to mold growth which can ruin your business floors and walls. Here are some of the ways to clean after water damage:

Switch off power supply and disconnected electronics

The faster you get your items out of a flood damage resulting from water in business, the higher the chances of saving them. When undertaking water cleanup, start by moving the electrical items. Pull out the carpet, especially the wall on wall carpet and get it cleaned and disinfected. This is the first and most important restoration measure to get you up and running.

Get rid of the water

There are different ways to undertake water cleanup and drying. For instance, if you do not have power or you are worried about using power for the cleanup exercise, then the manual way will work just fine. Try using mops, buckets, and old towels, and if your sewer lines aren't blocked, then you can pour it down the drain. Also, consider using dry or wet vacuum when getting rid of water in the home, and if you do so, it should be plugged far away from any water source.

Dry the affected areas

When it comes to getting rid of water in business, consider using dehumidifiers and fans to ensure proper drying of the affected areas. Once the water cleanup exercise is done in the basement and you find out that the drywall is massively affected, you should consider cutting away areas affected by water in the home. This is because drywall can easily crumble with the paper backing and provide a perfect environment for mold growth.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

Restoration of Your Home or Business after A Devastating Fire

6/19/2017 (Permalink)


Restoration of Your Home or Business after A Devastating Fire

Among all possible disasters that can befall property owners, fires are among the most devastating. In addition to physical fire damage, property owners are also left emotionally distressed.

Fire damage restoration and fire cleanup takes considerably less time when a property owner works with qualified and experienced contractors than it takes working on the home on their own. Important to note is that it takes proper planning to hire the right contractors to repair commercial fire damage or fire in home damage. A typical case that requires fire damage restoration is a massive fire in business. In such a case, smoke typically spreads throughout the building leaving drywall stained and saturated. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, the drywall will require thorough, rigorous cleaning or removal and replacement.

The structural integrity of the building may also need to be assessed. In cases such as these, property owners are advised to hire experienced fire damage restoration contractors with a team of well-trained professionals to evaluate the fire in home or fire in business and determine what needs repair. Where property owners choose to undertake the fire cleanup on their own, they are still advised to seek the advice from professional commercial fire damage cleanup companies to ensure repairs are done the right way.

Sealing breaches

As soon as fire officials allow property owners back into their property after a commercial fire damage, the first step of fire cleanup is checking for breaches. Examples of breaches include missing wall or roof sections that leave the interior of the property exposed to the elements. Immediate action needs to be taken to seal the breaches after a fire in business.

Failure to seal breaches immediately can lead to two problems. First, secondary fires can occur when the wind causes a flare up of embers. Firefighters work hard to extinguish the fire in business, but may at times they cannot save everything. Second, rain and humidity can find their way into the structure resulting in decay, mold, and further damage to electronics.

Breaches caused by an in home fire damage are effectively sealed, and the elements kept out by placing a tarp over them. The tarp needs to be attached and made of sturdy material to ensure effective sealing. Additionally, it needs to be adequately supported to prevent rainwater from pooling and to weigh it down.

Repair of soot damage and elimination of smoke smell
Property owners need to repair soot damage to allow accurate assessment of commercial fire damage to items during fire cleanup. That way, they can determine what items to restore and the things to throw away if they are unnecessary. Soot damage can be particularly challenging to clean because it usually has a greasy base that is formed when plastic is burned. Instead of using regular cleaning agents, property owners are advised to use trisodium phosphate cleaner, which is effective at cleaning soot damage.

Even if trisodium phosphate is effective in clearing soot, it won’t remove all the smoke smell and repair smoke damage. Vinegar is known for killing odors and using it to wipe down areas affected by smoke damage helps to eliminate the smell of the smoke. It is advisable to wipe down the ceiling, walls, and floor to permanently eliminate the smoke smell.

It is likely that all the filters in the HVAC systems of the property have considerable smoke damage, so they need to be replaced after a fire in home damage. Depending on the extent of the smoke damage, property owners have to undertake rigorous cleaning of all the ducts or replace them altogether. Property owners who fail to replace filters and clean or replace air ducts run the risk of having smoke smell reintroduced into the property when the HVAC system is operating.

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

Why Professional Mold Removal is Important

6/19/2017 (Permalink)


Why Professional Mold Removal is Important

Mold removal is required when anyone finds mold in the home or commercial mold damage. The first thing many homeowners and business owners think is they can handle the removal of mold on their own with very little problem. It seems like it’s as easy to clean as a little bit of mildew in the bathroom, but this fungus is much more dangerous than a bit of mildew in the bathroom at work or home. Mold in the home and commercial mold damage aren’t minor issues for long. If there is even the smallest bit of moisture in the home or office, it’s going to grow and spread wildly. Mold in the home can cause much bigger issues if it’s not properly handled right away, and the same goes for commercial mold damage.

What happens when a person finds mold in the home? The first thing they should do upon locating commercial mold damage or mold at home is call a professional mold removal service. Remediation and mitigation are necessary. This is going to allow the home or business owner a chance to have all the mold removed so there is not a trace of this fungus left. Then the mold removal company talks to the owners about mitigation, learning to recognize the signs of mold and learning to prevent mold from occurring again.

How to Prevent Mold

Preventing mold damage is the best way to fight it. Mildew and fungus growing in a home is never a good sign, but no one takes it seriously until the problem grows so bad it ends up costing thousands of dollars in repairs, removal fees, and even rebuilding certain areas of a home or office. It all begins with the control of moisture and humidity.

No home or office should ever allow humidity levels to exceed 40 percent. This is the magic number where mold begins to find itself a home, and all it takes is a little moisture. Most of the time it comes from a small leak. This leak might come from a small drainage issue in the shower, a lack of proper sealant around a toilet, or even from a pipe with a small leak inside a wall. The point is anywhere water is entering the home must be fixed, handled, and cared for right away.

How to Recognize the Signs of Mold

If someone sees mildew at home, it’s probably a good indication mold has the power to grow. A smelly odor is another indication there might be mold issues. This is probably the biggest telltale sign of mold in the walls when a person notices a smelly odor and works to find a method of deodorization that works to get rid of it. A smelly odor like this won’t go away, but it might be masked with deodorization. Deodorization isn’t a bad thing if you don’t like the smell of must and other dampness, but no one can use deodorization alone to fight mold.

The signs of mold are obvious when people finally realize what to look for, but it’s not going to prove easy to get rid of with the help of a professional. This smelly odor could mean mold damage is evident, and mold damage is already a problem before it spreads.

Fighting mold damage requires the help of a professional mold removal company with expert work in the remediation and mitigation process. Remediation and mitigation are required to fight the problem completely. It’s a mistake to assume mitigation and remediation are not needed when fungus is present in the home. Mold must be removed as soon as it’s located to ensure it hasn’t enough time to spread. It might already be too late to prevent the spread of mold, but it’s never too late to get rid of it all and know it’s gone for good.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold removal and remediation.

What You Need to Know About Water Damage

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

What You Need to Know About Water Damage

Flooding of water in one’s house can be a devastating experience. The same applies to flood water in business. The hustle associated with removal of the water and getting items back into place can be both an overwhelming and frustrating experience. The worst comes after removal of water. Materials, after water in home or water in business flooding, ‘get sick.' Wooden items may rot, mold may grow on others, steel may rust, and materials such as plywood may warp among many other damages. To grasp the extent to which water in home or water in business can affect your home and material, a sneak peek at the categories of water sources causing flood damage, and its classes are worth understanding.

Water sources causing water damage can be categorized into:

a) Category 1 Water: This is a source whose water does not pose any threat to humans. In other words, it is clean water which may come from broken water supply lines or overflows from tubs and sinks.

b) Category 2 Water: The source of category 2 water contains significant amounts of contaminants; chemical, physical or chemical. Exposure to this water may cause discomfort or illness. Referred to as gray water, this water may come from toilet bowls with urine, water discharge from dishwasher and washing machines and sump pump failures among others.

c) Category 3 Water: commonly referred to as black water, this water contains harmful microorganisms and unsanitary agents hence causing severe discomfort or illness when exposed to it. It includes water sources from sewage, flood water, seawater or standing water. They are basically contaminated water sources that affect the indoor environment.

Understanding the classes of water or flood damage is important as it helps one to internalize the extent of damage caused by the water and the mitigation or water cleanup measures to take. Class 1 majorly affects materials with low permeance meaning a very minimum amount of moisture is absorbed by the materials. Water cleanup and mitigation is thus not intensive. Class 2 water damaged is declared when the water has affected and an entire room of carpet and cushions. The water may have wicked up the walls but not higher than 24 inches. Water cleanup or mitigation, in this case, is more intensive as it requires a fast rate of evaporation methods as a mitigation measure to restore the materials. When water comes from overhead, the overall effect is walls, ceilings, and insulation, cushion and floor damage. This water damage is classified under Class 3. Class four generally involves water damage to hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspace and any other material with a very low permeance or porosity. Class 4 water damage require special drying and water cleanup to rid the surfaces of all the water to avoid future floor damage.

Whether faced with water in home or water in business premises, it is important to contact the nearest drying services. In as much as we may be able to assess the extent of damage with a simple sweep of the room and counting the number of items that are drenched in water, drying services are experts when it comes to restoration after water in home damage.

Restoration is a process that involves extensive procedures which if done by a person who is not qualified, the damaged materials may actually be lost forever. Water or flood damage restoration is prefaced by a loss assessments as well as an evaluation of affected materials. Drying services will then inspect the damaged area with water sensing equipment so that they can determine the source of the water or flood damage in addition to the possible extent of the damage. Thereafter, depending on the amount of water and how long the materials have been in the water, they use the best methods and measures for water clean-up and restoration. The result is avoiding of losses from things such as floor damage and material rot.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.

Recovering After Dealing with Fire Damage

5/22/2017 (Permalink)


Recovering After Dealing with Fire Damage

No one likes to think about their home being overcome by fire and flames. Unfortunately, millions of homes and businesses across America deal with some type of fire damage. Large fires can literally destroy everything that you hold dear, and even the smallest of house fires can cause soot damage and smoke damage that is difficult to recover from on your own. Understanding what fire damage does and how to hire the expert fire damage restoration pros will help you to recover your home after this devastation.

What Does Fire Damage Do?

Fire damage can be a lot more problematic than you think. For one, you're dealing with the actual fire in your home or fire in the business office that needs to be put out. Most fire stations will use water to extinguish a fire, so not only are you dealing with the soot damage and smoke damage from a fire, but you're also going to deal with substantial water damage from having the fire put out. The smoke smell left behind can linger for years if expert fire damage restoration isn't done correctly. This is why it is often a good idea to have the experts deal with the smoke damage, soot damage and smoke smell that is left behind after a fire.

Why It's Important to Have Fire Damage Restoration Done

The reason it is so important to have fire damage restoration done by a professional fire cleanup crew is because it brings your home back to its former state. If left to fester, fire damage, soot damage and smoke damage can all create a lingering smoke smell that never truly goes away. It can also be problematic for the wood and beams in your home, which were all effected by the fire when it occurred. Commercial fire damage is also just as important as home repair because you dealt with a fire in the business and need to get things cleaned up quickly to get the company running again.

Hiring the Expert Fire Cleanup Professionals

A fire cleanup crew will take care of the aftermath if you've dealt with a fire in the home or a fire in your business office. They use all of their own expert tools and products to get that stagnant smoke smell out of your house or office setting. Commercial fire damage is treated the same as home damage would be, so this is not something that you should have to pay extra for. You might also want to know that a fire cleanup company will charge according to the size of the project at hand. If you dealt with a larger fire in your home or a big fire in the business office, you should expect to pay a little more to have it professionally cleaned.

Preventing a Future Fire

Dealing with a fire in the home or having extensive commercial fire damage can be problematic and exhausting. If you don't have some type of insurance on the property, it can also be incredibly costly, especially if the commercial fire damage is allowed to get out of hand. Even if a fire starts out small, it doesn't mean that it won't spread quickly and overtake an entire house or office. This is why it's crucial that you prevent a future fire before it is even allowed to start. This might mean training your employees and doing routine fire drills to prepare people for an actual fire and what they need to do. Installing an alarm that automatically goes to the local fire department is another great idea as this will prevent the delay from when a fire starts to when you actually call for help. There are many ways to cleanup after a fire ravishes your home or office, but the most important thing you can and should do is prevent it altogether.
Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on fire damage.

The Causes Of Mold And How To Get Rid Of It

5/22/2017 (Permalink)


The Causes Of Mold And How To Get Rid Of It

The sight of mold and mildew are never a welcome sight for any home or business owner. This fungus is often fast growing and causes damage to the material it is growing on. In addition to damaging a building's structure, mold can also cause health problems in those with prolonged exposure. For these reasons, it is important to understand what causes the growth and development of this fungus and how to get rid of it once it is discovered.

Mold is a constant factor in our environment and it produces countless spores that are carried on the wind. When these spores land on an area that has what it needs to thrive, it begins to grow. If left alone long enough, this fungus can cover large areas that require mold mitigation and remediation by specialists experienced in mold removal. The most common causes of mold in home damage and commercial mold damage are listed below:

Leaky Plumbing Pipes

Leaking plumbing pipes are one of the most common sources of mold damage. The biggest reason for this mold in home damage and commercial mold damage is due to the location of these pipes. They are typically hidden underneath counters, basements and underneath buildings, making this fungus and mold damage hard to spot. In many cases, building owners begin searching for the cause of a smelly odor that they feel needs deodorization. They are often shocked to discover they are in need of mitigation and remediation to prevent further mold in home or commercial mold damage. Regular plumbing inspections can reduce mold damage because the problem is detected earlier and prompt mold removal can be done before structural damage occurs.

High Humidity

The presence of high indoor humidity can also promote mildew and mold growth. People who live in coastal towns or near large bodies of water may find mold to be a persistent problem requiring mold remediation and mitigation. Those who use clothes dryers indoors may also see mildew and other fungal growth because these appliance raise humidity levels indoors. Many people find that running humidifiers keeps humidity levels at acceptable levels and cuts down on smelly odors needing deodorization. Experts recommend keeping humidity levels below 55 percent indoors to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Improper Ventilation

Poor or improperly ventilated buildings are at an increased risk of mold growth. When moisture is not being directed out of buildings, it creates pockets of dampness that provide the perfect place for mold spores to grow.

Condensation

Condensation provides a steady source of dampness that often leads to fungal growth causing commercial mold damage as well as mold in home damage. Homes and buildings in cooler climates often have excess condensation due to cold pipes. In these instances, mold damage can often be found on carpet, walls and underneath wallpaper.

Flooding After A Storm Or Water Leak

Flooding after natural disasters or water leaks increases the risk of fungal growth requiring mold removal. Because it takes a long time for flooded buildings to dry out completely, fungal spores have plenty of time to grow. If the power is off after a flood, mold may grow at a faster rate due to warm temperatures and high humidity. Flooding also causes smelly odors that require deodorization to eliminate.

How To Get Rid Of Mold

Once mold takes hold and grows on a surface, extensive damage may occur making mitigation and remediation necessary to prevent mold in home damage or commercial mold damage. Not only will mold removal save the building's structure, but it also removes smelly odors after deodorization. Early detection and prompt removal is the best way to avoid extensive damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold removal and remediation.

Houston Area Home Safety: Sewage Backup Prevention

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

Every pipe around and in your house has the potential to cause flooding and sewage backup. Take precautions to prevent this type of damage.

Few things are as devastating to a home as sewage backup. Whether it is caused by a failed septic tank, clogged drain or ruptured main line, it is essential that cleanup begin immediately to prevent further damage and the possibility of disease. However, if you do find sewage on your property, do NOT attempt to clean it up on your own. Due to the potential for contamination, this type of event is typically covered under insurance. SERVPRO Clear Lake is available 24 hours a day for emergency sewage cleanup and restoration, and we can work directly with your insurance company to get your property clean, dried and dehumidified properly.

Hopefully, you can avoid a sewage backup in the first place. Here are four ways to help prevent damage from a sewage backup.

Never pour oils or fats down the drain. This is true whether you are on a municipal sewage system or a septic system. Oils and fats congeal in the pipes and can cause hair, toilet paper and other items to build up, creating a severe blockage. For clogs inside the home, a backup could be minor; however, a clog from the main line can cause significant sewage spillage that can damage walls, floors, furniture and other personal items. Prior to rinsing dishes, pots and pans, wipe thoroughly with paper towels and put the towels in the garbage.

Flush only toilet paper. Every plumber will tell you not to flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper. Other items labeled as "safe for septic systems" or "safe to flush" truly aren't. The goal is to keep your pipes free from obstructions to help prevent water damage and sewage backups at your home or business.

Keep on eye on trees near the main line. Here in the Clear Lake area, trees often invade pipes, looking for water and fertilizer. Tree roots can cause significant damage requiring the total replacement of the pipe, in addition to severe sewage backups and water damage inside a connected property. If you start to notice trees, bushes or shrubs growing more rapidly than before, or an unexpected green area in your lawn, call a licensed and insured plumber immediately to evaluate your main line.

If you have a septic system, schedule an annual pumping (or as required). Septic systems can fail, resulting in costly damage to your property. It is vital that you keep an eye on septic levels, and when needed, have the system pumped. Talk to your plumber or septic system specialist about installing an alarm in the system and perhaps a backflow valve to help keep the damage of a septic flood to a minimum.

The damage to your property and personal belongings takes a huge emotional toll. Due to the potential for microbial and bacterial contamination of sewage, it is imperative that you allow a professional emergency water damage response team to clean damaged personal belongings.

Your locally owned and operated SERVPRO has the necessary expertise, tools and resources to properly clean and sterilize your items. Depending on the item and the level of cleaning and restoration required, we may employ dry cleaning, wet cleaning, foam cleaning, immersion cleaning or abrasive cleaning techniques. Call us immediately when disaster strikes: we can be onsite in a matter of hours to begin the cleaning and restoration process.

SERVPRO Clear Lake helps make it like it never happened, helping residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewage backups, floods, fires, mold infestations and other events happen. Call 713-461-2700 when you need emergency help.

Quick Tips for Working with Your Insurance for Restoration – Clear Lake

2/21/2017 (Permalink)

Don't drown in paperwork after a storm damage claim.

Regular life is stressful enough, but if you are surprised with flooding or other water damage in your home, everyone in the household will be stressed. Whether Houston flood damage leaves carpeting soaked and soggy or you have come back to a disaster after evacuation, severe weather and damaged pipes will cause significant worry about how to start putting back together your daily life.

However, you can prepare for these unknowns by knowing what to expect and create a plan in case of emergency. To assist you, SERVPRO Clear Lake has put together this mini-guide to help you understand the flood insurance claim process.

The first thing you will want to do is call your insurance provider. Although the U.S. government funds the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), local home and rental insurance companies are the exclusive sellers of Flood Damage Insurance. While you will be working directly with an insurance agent, SERVPRO can also serve as a liaison, helping you to navigate through the claims process.

After your initial call to your insurance company, contact your Clear Lake area SERVPRO. We are available every day, all day, to handle your emergencies. Even if you are not able to reach your insurance agent immediately, SERVPRO will take your call and begin to work with you on first response remediation solutions. Have questions about what to do first or what items can be restored? Clear Lake SERVPRO is here to answer those questions and more. Our compassionate team understands your distress and will guide you through the storm damage restoration process.

Now you can begin your water damage restoration. We pride ourselves on having the fastest response time to storm damage in your area. We will arrive at your home prepared to conduct an inspection and moisture readings, create a scope of the damage and provide an estimate for you and your insurance provider. Our team will arrive prepared and ready to start immediately. Using our dedicated SERVPRO Claims Information Center (CIC) we can store and access your information easily and quickly.

Our SERVPRO team members are the premier flood and water damage restoration experts in Clear Lake and the surrounding areas. We are also the preferred remediation team for home insurance providers, and the most trusted helper for Houston storm disasters. Storm damage restoration and navigating flood insurance claims can feel stressful, but we are here to assist you with every stage of the recovery process.

For emergencies and other situations, call 713-461-2700 anytime to reach your area flood damage experts, SERVPRO Clear Lake. We help residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewer backups, floods, mold infestations, fires and other events happen.

Four Signs You Might Need a New Water Heater: Clear Lake Safety Tips

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Know the parts of your water or gas water heaters.

Four Signs You Might Need a New Water Heater: Clear Lake Safety Tips

Hot water is sometimes a luxury (bubble baths and long showers) and sometimes a necessity (laundry and clean dishes). So, when a water heater fails or ruptures, it can leave you in the cold as well as causing thousands of dollars in water damage to your home or business. In the event your property is flooded or damaged, it is imperative that you seek a reliable and well-respected flood water restoration company to remediate the damage.

Here are the top 4 signs you might need a new water heater:

  • Rust around the base of the water heater. A common sign that your water heater is leaking is rust around the base, on the floor or near the drainage tap. This means the base is compromised. Even if there isn’t any visible pooled water, there could be a very slow leak that is causing the rust and if so, it won’t be long before the bottom of the unit totally fails and you get a flood of hot water.
  • Unusual noises. Hot water heaters and tanks that make knocking noises, creaks, whines or bangs should be examined and assessed by a plumber as quickly as possible. These annoying and often loud noises could be a sign that the heating element is struggling to keep up with the demand. If you live in an area with hard water, which is much of the Houston area, it is possible that there is heavy sediment at the bottom of the tank keeping the water heater from performing optimally. If so, a thorough flushing of the system should correct the problem. However, if left untreated, it is possible for the heating element to fail or burn out.
  • Fluctuating temperatures. Of course, if you are experiencing water that is too hot or not hot enough, your water heater may need to be repaired or replaced. Broken heating elements or gas thermocouples are often to blame when the water doesn’t get hot, and those can be replaced without replacing the entire unit. However, if you are already having work done to your water heater, have the tank itself checked for cracks, fissures or other signs of weakness. These could cause a tank failure, resulting in a flood in your home or business. The cost to replace your water heater now could end up being cheaper in the long run.
  • Tankless water heaters can also cause water damage. Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular, but don’t think that just because there’s not a tank of water connected that you can’t experience massive water damage. Check the couplings and the hoses at least once a year to ensure everything is still working properly. If you are going out of town, you might consider turning it off all together, as the emergency couplings can sometimes fail. And as with a regular water heater, look for signs of leaking such as rust, dampness and changes in water temperature.

SERVPRO of Clear Lake sees hundreds of properties each year affected by failed water heaters. Often kept in the attic, garage or water closet, when units fail and cause a flood, it’s usually personal items, family heirlooms and photos that are damaged. Fortunately, our highly trained professional technicians have the experience and tools necessary to clean up the water damage properly and bring your home and personal belongings back to pre-flood condition.

For emergencies and other situations, call 281-219-8180 anytime to reach your area flood damage experts, SERVPRO of Clear Lake. We help residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewer backups, floods, mold infestations, fires and other events happen.

Houston Home Safety: Fire Escape Plan Essentials

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wants to remind our neighbors and friends with Houston fire safety tips to prevent fire damage now, and throughout the year.

Throughout the greater Houston area, later this month kids and adults alike will don their scariest or funniest costumes and enjoy Halloween parties and trick or treating. Once the costumes are stored, the rest of the celebratory season comes roaring in. The holidays are filled with parties, decorations, cooking, and cooler weather, all which make this time of year more prone to home fires. SERVPRO of Clear Lake, your SERVPRO in Houston wants to take this opportunity to remind our neighbors and friends with Houston fire safety tips to prevent fire damage now, and throughout the year.

 

If a fire does break out in your Houston home, do you and your family know the fastest and safest way to escape?  If you have not yet devised a fire escape plan for your home, please follow the following directives to create one now, before holiday parties start and decorations are up.

 

  1. Map Your Home.  Sketch the layout of your home, including all doors and windows. Be sure to include any exterior landscaping or architectural features that are outside of doors and windows.
  2. Walk Your Home. With your sketch in hand, walk through and identify all exits and escape routes in the event a fire starts in your Houston home. Please note that it is highly recommended that each room has 2 exit points. This is typically a combination of an interior door and a window.
  3. Determine if All Exits Are Passable.  While evaluating your home, make sure that all doors and windows open easily to allow for quick evacuation in the event of a fire in your Houston home. In addition, make special note if any furniture should be rearranged to allow for quicker egress in an emergency.
  4. Draw Potential Escape Routes on Map. If a fire breaks out in a common area, what is the quickest and safest exit?  Run several scenarios, and determine the best paths for exit depending on where the fire is, and where your family is in the home. This is particularly important when a fire breaks out during the night – be sure that everyone has a safe exit from their bedrooms.
  5. Select A Designated Safe Meeting Space. During an evacuation, chances are several points of exit will be used by your family. It is imperative that you select a safe space to meet up with one another. This may be by the mailbox, in the front yard of a trusted neighbor, or on the curb. Wherever you choose, select one that is generally free of debris and well lit.
  6. Complete Sketch of Evacuation Plans. You will have several plans that can be executed, depending on where the fire damage in your Houston area home begins. Give each member of your family copies of the plans so they see the best escape options in the event of an emergency.
  7. Practice Fire Escape Plans. Hold a practice fire drill for each scenario. Make special note of any challenges that occur and make whatever changes are necessary to ensure a speedy escape from the home. Once your plans are finalized, practice twice a year, to make sure everyone knows that safest way to exit your home during a fire.

 

Special Note. During the holidays furniture often gets rearranged and decorations drape windows and doors, make sure that they don’t impede a safe exit in the event of a fire. Your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO wants you and your family to remain safe throughout the year. The faster you can exit the property and call 911 for help, the less fire damage, and Houston water damage will affect your home. If your home is damaged by a fire, we stand at the ready to help our community throughout the fire repair process. Call us anytime disaster strikes; our team is available 24 hours a day.

 

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.

Houston Home Safety: Essential Hurricane Preparedness

9/19/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO prepared kits will ensure you are prepared throughout the year.

September is National Preparedness Month and for those of us in the greater Houston metro area, it is vital that we stay prepared for severe weather throughout the year. We are all well aware of the damage that a hurricane or flood can inflict on our city and the Houston area water damage sustained by Houston homes and businesses each year. This month, let’s all take the initiative to follow the recommendations provided by the Department of Homeland Security and get prepared for when the next disaster strikes our community.

  1. Create a Family Emergency Communication Plan. Make sure that all members of your family, those living in the Houston area, and those outside the area, know how to communicate during severe weather. Remember, mobile phone networks are often overwhelmed during a disaster so have a plan to use landlines, texts, and emails. Also, it is important to recognize that you need a rallying point to reunite if you are separated, or become separated, during the emergency. Your local Houston SERVPRO encourages you to prepare for any special needs of the family, and pets. Keeping a supply of medications on hand during severe weather season, and copies of important papers and documents in the Cloud for easy retrieval is recommended.
  2. Preparing Kids. It is vital for the safety of your children that in the event disaster strikes while they are at school, or away from home, that they know what to do. The Family Emergency Communication Plan recommended above must be accessible to your children as well. For some families, the addition of an out-of-area family member to the communication plan that can act as the go-between during an emergency is helpful. Parents should also request a written copy of the children’s school (and daycare) emergency plans, so you know where to reunite with your children.
  3. Elderly Family Members. Make sure that older adults in your family know how to use technology that can help during an emergency, and be sure that they have the support they need during an emergency to evacuate if necessary. Helping family members create a “go bag” that has their medications, and important papers will help tremendously in the event a disaster strikes the greater Houston area.
  4. Plan with Neighbors. It is wise to reach out to your neighbors and share communication plans and evacuation plans. If your children or their children are home alone during severe weather or another emergency, it is imperative they understand where to turn for immediate help.
  5. In the midst of a hurricane or other emergency, it is vital that you remain safe. Don’t drive through floodwaters, don’t walk through water where power lines are down and don’t enter properties that are flooded. Be cautious; floodwaters carry many hazards including wildlife and sharp debris, and it moves fast and can quickly whisk you away.

A little preparation in advance of a hurricane saves lives and property. Your Houston SERVPRO team wants to remind you that if disaster strikes, we stand at the ready to help you through all aspects of the storm and water damage, from water extraction through rebuilding. Call us any time, we have crews available 24 hours a day and stand at the ready to assist our community 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 infestations, and other events happen.

Clear Lake Home Health: Identifying Mold in Your Home

6/22/2016 (Permalink)

While mold is pervasive in nature, it is indoors that it can present the greatest challenges.

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, it is indoors that it can present the greatest challenges.

While adverse health effects are possible due to mold, mold can also damage the physical structure of buildings, and personal items. It is important to treat mold at the first signs, as it can spread rapidly throughout the property. Mold spores are carried through the air, and if you have an infestation in a lower level bathroom, do not be surprised if you start to smell mildew and see signs of mold in other areas in the house. There is a chance that your air conditioning system, and your duct work may be harboring mold spores and spreading them every time the HVAC unit is turned on. This type of spread may require professional mold remediation to remedy the problem.

SERVPRO of Clear Lake does recommend that homeowners do thorough evaluations of their property, at least quarterly, and after every incident where water damages your Clear Lake home. Mold can start to develop within 48 hours, and the sooner you catch it, and begin the remediation process, the better. With all of this said, here are the top ways you can identify mold growth in your home.

1.      A Pervasive Smell of Mildew. Mildew and mold have a distinctive odor. If you find that odor in your home, chances are you have mildew and mold growth. In the same vein, if your property is musty, or smells damp, mold or mildew growth may be just around the corner. If there is no visible sign, but the smell remains after a thorough cleaning with bleach and water, 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 have to be replaced. At a minimum, these items will 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 of the home for mold to grow. It can be easily spotted here in the grout, in floor/wall joints, under cabinets, and on shower curtains. As mentioned above, mold spores spread through the air, and so in order to avoid mold growth in other areas of the home, it is vital that the mold is handled quickly and effectively.

4.      White, Gray, Black, or Greenish Growth in Basements. The dampness of basements, often caused by improper landscaping and weeping foundations, partner with the warmth generated by water heaters to create the ideal haven for mold to grow. If you spot any growth in your basement, and it is partnered with a musty or mildew smell, call professional mold remediation specialists to help 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, larger scaled mold infestations require an aggressive approach that the vast majority of 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. In addition to The Woodlands-Conroe, we also proudly serve surrounding communities.

Clear Lake Home Safety: Act Fast to Clean Up Mold Safely After a Storm

6/15/2016 (Permalink)

48 hours after water damage, mold starts to develop.

The greater Houston area is known for its challenging weather. In recent months, we have seen our share of devastating weather events, including significant widespread flooding. What many people don’t realize is that in as little as 48 hours after water damage,  mold starts to develop. Left unchecked, mold can spread quickly throughout a property, leading to a large-scale mold infestation. That is why it is imperative that storm and flood damage cleanup begin as quickly as possible.

First, it is important to be able to recognize and identify mold in your home. If you see or smell any of the signs of mold, the quicker you begin the cleaning and disinfecting process, the better. Mold is airborne, which means its spores travel freely through the air. So when you run the air conditioner, use a fan, turn on exhaust fans, or even just open the windows for a fresh breeze, mold is on the move and potentially spreading to other areas of your home.

While it is common for mold to be present in bathrooms and other warm damp areas of the home here in the Houston area, mold is often found in other areas of the home as well, after water damage, a fire, or a flood. Since mold has potential effects on your family’s health, you will want to deal with it without delay. Once mold is identified, you will need appropriate protective gear, cleansing agents, and tools. Any area that has visible mold will need to be scrubbed with a water and bleach solution, rinsed, and dried thoroughly before moving onto the next area.

If you have a widespread mold infestation, it is highly recommended that you turn off your HVAC and not operate any fans until the mold remediation process is complete. It is best to start in one area of the home and only move to the next after all steps are complete. To prevent airborne mold from moving back in, seal off completed rooms, including all vents to the HVAC and the door jambs,.

If a musty or mildew smell remains after the entire property has been carefully cleaned and dried, chances are mold is growing behind the walls or ceiling, in the air ducts or flooring, or perhaps even in furniture and other personal belongings. The Houston SERVPRO team often sees this type of extensive mold infestation in homes and businesses where original flood damage was not properly remediated.

Frequently, property owners rush the cleaning, disinfecting, drying, and dehumidifying process, causing mold to develop behind walls, under cabinets, and in carpets. While the goal is to always get back into your home as quickly as possible after a natural disaster strikes, please realize that doing so may result in greater damage down the road. SERVPRO of Clear Lake is available whenever disaster strikes, regardless of how big or small the problem. Allow us to start the water damage cleanup and restoration process immediately to help prevent serious mold infestations in the future.

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.

Clear Lake Home Health: The Definitive Summer Storm Checklist for the Greater Houston Area

6/2/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Clear Lake wants to remind our community that we are heading into severe weather season. It is imperative to prepare for the worst-case scenario, because a slow-moving thunderstorm, hurricane, or other event can cause significant water damage in the greater Houston area, making it difficult to evacuate or even get around. As we have witnessed over the last few years, flood damages our local businesses, homes, roads, and the infrastructure we depend upon. Use this checklist in the event a natural disaster is forecast for Clear Lake and surrounding areas:  

Now:

1.            Develop and Test an Evacuation Plan. Make sure every family member knows the evacuation plan and an alternate route in the event roads are blocked.

2.            Inventory your Home. Take photos and videos, and complete an inventory of all items in your home, garage, attic, and any storage sheds. Back up this information offsite.

3.            Develop and Test Your Communication Plan. Plan and test two scenarios, the first for a storm or event forecast in advance, and the second for an emergency situation with no warning. Include family and friends outside the zone.

4.            Make Plans for Pets. Where will pets stay and how will they be transported in the event you must evacuate? Make sure they are up to date on all shots, are micro-chipped, and that you have piddle pads or newspapers on hand in the event they need to relieve themselves during a vicious storm.

5.            Purchase a First Aid Kit. Make sure to include elastic bandages, scissors, tape, antibacterial creams, and general wound care items.

6.            List Items for a “Go Bag.” Each family member and pet should have a dedicated bag that can be quickly filled with necessary items in the event you must evacuate immediately. Include clothing for severe weather and its aftermath, including boots, eye protection, gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, undergarments, sleeping attire, and items for personal hygiene.

7.            Clean Up Landscaping. Trim any low tree branches, as well as branches that could go through a window or damage the roof. Remove debris from gutters and make sure gutters have extenders to drain excess water away from home.

8.            Schedule a Roof Inspection. It is wise to schedule an annual roof inspection prior to storm season each year to prevent leaks and damage to your home.

9.            Check Window Well Covers for Cracks.

10.       Test Sump Pump, Backup Battery, and Hose.

11.       Store Important Documents in Watertight Containers. These include passports, birth certificates, marriage/divorce decrees, and other documents as necessary. Preferably, scan and keep all items in offsite or Cloud storage.

When Storm is 2-3 Days Out:

1.            Purchase Plywood for Windows and Doors.

2.            Backup Computer, Phone, and Tablets.

3.            Fill all Vehicles with Fuel.

4.            Purchase Ample Water. A good rule of thumb is one gallon per day, per person in the home. Don’t forget that pets will also need water.

5.            Store 3-5 Days’ Worth of Non-Perishable Food.

6.            Stage Flashlights Throughout the Home and Test Batteries. Purchase headlamps for greater security and hands-free operation. Many have a flashing red light setting for emergencies.

7.            Test Battery-Powered Radio.

8.            Pack “Go Bags.” Add clothing, medications, important papers, and your evacuation and communication plans.

9.            Turn Refrigerator and Freezer to Coldest Setting. In the event power is shuttered, this will give your food more time at safe temperatures. You can freeze a gallon or two of milk, and once power is off, keep items cool in the refrigerator.

10.       Listen to Local News Outlets. Heed storm warnings. Pay particular attention to the location of shelters in your area.

When Storm is 24 Hours Out: 

1.            Close Shutters or Board up Windows with 5/8 inch Plywood and Reinforce Garage Door. This can help prevent water and other storm damage to your home.

2.            Bring all Outdoor Items Inside. This includes patio furniture, BBQ grills, and other items that could become projectiles in the event of high winds.

3.            Fill Bathtub with Water. This water can be used for personal grooming, flushing the toilet, etc. Water may not be drinkable after a significant weather event.

4.            Charge All Devices.

5.            Gather Board Games and Coloring Books for Kids. Set up a play area in an interior room with items to keep them occupied during the storm.

During the Storm:

1.            Unplug Electronics.

2.            Stay Inside.

3.            Follow Local News and Heed All Warnings.

4.            Wear Whistles Around the Neck. In the event you need to evacuate or your home becomes damaged, each person should be wearing a whistle.

5.            Evacuate if Recommended Via Your Evacuation Plan, or as per First Responder Instructions.

When the storm has passed, remember that flooding is still a possibility for some of the lower lying areas of our community. Never drive or walk through flooded areas, as floodwaters are extremely powerful and can carry potentially hazardous wildlife and debris. If your Clear Lake or surrounding area home is damaged, call Clear Lake SERVPRO immediately. We can work directly with your insurance company to fix the damage caused by seasonal storms. 

Clear Lake Commercial Property Care: How to Get Back to Business Quick After Water Damage

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

Every day businesses and property owners across south Texas are affected by water damage. In some cases, the damage may be minor, but in other cases, like after a significant storm, the damage may be severe, disrupting business operations for days, weeks, or even months. While water damage in residential properties is overwhelming, for business owners in Clear Lake and surrounding areas, commercial property water damage, can be devastating.

Every day that the business is closed, revenue decreases, while expenses remain the same. Moreover, of course, there is the increased risk that if business is disrupted for an extended period of time, customers may choose a competitor for future needs. That is why it is essential that business owners and property owners throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area prepare for the worst-case scenario. In today’s competitive economy, a business simply cannot be over prepared for a catastrophic event.

A quick and thorough restoration of your property after a flood, fire, or other damage will help you get back to business, helping to secure your future and the loyalty of your valued customers. While it may be tempting to save money by doing the restoration yourself, the truth is that you can lose more revenue and incur greater costs by doing so. SERVPRO of Clear Lake serves business owners and property managers across the Houston area. Our team is highly trained, equipped with the best tools, and is faster to any size disaster to help you keep your business moving forward.

We can work directly with your insurance company, freeing up your time to contact your employees, tenants, customers, and vendors. It is our goal to make the process of water damage restoration in your Clear Lake commercial property as easy on you as possible.  Professional water damage restoration helps to ensure that mold infestations don’t affect hidden areas of your property requiring mold remediation and repair. Our team uses industrial dehumidifying fans to bring humidity levels back to normal levels after a flood, leaky roof, broken water pipe, or other water damage has affected your business.

The Houston SERVPRO team stands at the ready to respond 24 hours a day when disaster strikes your commercial property. Rely on us to do what we do best – clean commercial properties throughout Clear Lake and surrounding communities after water, fire, smoke, and storm damage occurs. That allows you to do what you are best at – growing your business and serving your customers. Call us anytime, our water damage restoration technicians, applied structural drying technicians, and our upholstery and fabric cleaning team will respond quickly to any disaster that strikes your commercial property.  

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. 

Clear Lake Home Health: 6 Risks of Improper Storm Damage Restoration

3/15/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's Professionals have the expertise and the resources to handle any size disaster and can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

From time to time, Mother Nature takes its toll on the Houston area. Hurricanes, torrential downpours, tornados, and other significant weather events can cause significant water damage in Clear Lake and surrounding communities. While it may be tempting to jump start the restoration process, here are 6 risks you must be aware of:

1.      Injury.  Flood waters in our area carry bacteria and significant amounts of debris. Prior to starting the cleanup process, proper protective clothing, eye wear, and a tetanus shot are highly recommended. Exposed skin that comes in contact with flood waters can cause infections and illness. If the electricity has not been turned off by the utilities company, you are at risk of electrocution. In addition, if natural gas has not been turned off, dangerous fumes may be emitting from dryers, kitchen ranges, space heaters and water heaters. Proceed with extreme caution before entering your home.

2.      Wildlife Injuries. Wildlife gets caught up in the flood too, and waters often carry poisonous snakes, insects, and rodents. When the flood waters begin to recede, it is important to do a thorough investigation into closets, corners, behind furniture, duct work, attics, and crawl spaces where wildlife may be hiding. Bites from wild animals can lead to serious injuries.

3.      Asbestos Dangers. Removal of items with asbestos must be removed and disposed of properly. This is not something that should be attempted by homeowners. A professional flood damage restoration team in Clear Lake and surrounding areas is highly recommended. Asbestos is commonly found in homes with vinyl or linoleum floors and in some pre-1990 homes in drywall, ductwork, and insulation. If you have an older home, proceed with extreme caution.

4.      Bacteria. After a flood, every surface and item in the home must be properly disinfected. As mentioned above, flood waters carry harmful levels of bacteria. Without thorough disinfecting, items in your home may remain hazardous.

5.      Mold. Often, construction after a flood begins too soon. If the humidity levels in the home are not brought down to safe levels, and drywall or other structural elements are not thoroughly dried prior to restoration, mold will develop. The best course of action for mold prevention in Clear Lake is proper dehumidification with advanced drying equipment.

6.      Severe Stress. Not to be overlooked is the time, money, and stress of attempting water damage restoration yourself. Your locally owned SERVPRO of Clear Lake has undergone extensive training, and we have the experience, and tools necessary to bring your home back to pre-storm damage condition. We work directly with insurance companies to ease the process, and we stand at the ready to help our neighbors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In Clear Lake, water damage, storm damage, sewage backups, fires, and mold remediation can all be handled by Houston SERVPRO. When disaster strikes, call us immediately. Our process begins the moment you call. Our team will them come and inspect and assess the property for damage, and begin the water removal, and drying and dehumidification process. Then, we move forward with the cleaning and repair, and lastly, we begin the restoration process when appropriate.

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. 

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