Recent Posts

Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Bleach for Mold Cleanup

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

If you’re like most households, you use bleach as your remedy of choice for tough jobs. From scrubbing the bathtub free of iron stains to cleaning up mold, the harsh chemical may seem to be able to do it all. However, though the cleaning supply can handle a number of situations, the Houston, TX, mold remediation team says that you shouldn’t rely on it for fungus cleanup, and here’s why:

• In many instances, the chemical encourages toxic mold growth on surfaces where it wasn’t present before.
• The cleaning solution only removes stains; it doesn’t kill the root system.
• The chemical is actually extremely harmful to many surfaces.
• When mixed with ammonia (as it often is), bleach can create a deadly gas.
• The chemical releases known cancer-causing agents.
• Chlorine has been known to make mold problems worse in the long run.


What Is Mold, and How Does It Work?


To better understand why chlorine should not be used to cleanup mold, you need to first understand what mold is and how it works. Mold is a fungus that is neither plant nor animal, which means that unlike plants and animals, it doesn’t need ideal conditions to thrive. In fact, it only comes with three requirements: water, warmth and a host. Once given all three, it can spread quickly, making the chore of fungus cleanup all the more difficult.


Does Chlorine Destroy Mold?


Yes and no. Bleach is only effective on hard, nonporous surfaces. It can work wonders on tile or glass, but mold doesn’t tend to grow on those types of surfaces, as the fungus needs a porous surface to sink its roots into. Chances are, if you have mold, you need to use a mold cleanup method that reaches deep into the surface and destroys the mold’s roots, which chlorine cannot do.

There is another reason bleach is ineffective for fungus cleanup: Household bleach is 90 percent water, and mold loves water. Though the chemical components of the cleaning solution stay on the surface, the water sinks in, giving mold the food source it needs to thrive.

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

Dealing With Secondhand Smoke Damage

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

When you think about smoke damage on your commercial properties, chances are that you probably pictured it resulting from fire damage. While that is what happens in most cases, you can also suffer from it when a nearby building experiences a blaze. Even though the flames were not on your premises, smoke carried on the wind can drift toward you, causing secondhand smoke and soot damage to your buildings and possibly your equipment. If this happens to you, you’re not without recourse. Remembering some vital tips should aid you in getting your business back to normal in Houston, TX.


Will My Insurance Cover Secondhand Damage?


Your business probably has a complete indemnity package that includes typical essentials such as general liability and property, along with specialized coverages such as business interruption insurance. Most companies benefit from a risk management strategy based on both general and specific risks they face doing business, but they often overlook the powerful protection that coverage offers. Whether it’s an adjacent business affected by a blaze or wildfires burning in a nearby forest, the resulting fire, soot and smoke damage will likely be reimbursed by the property portion of your policy.


How Do I Recover From My Loss?


There are two basic components of recovering from destruction inflicted by a fire:

• Reimbursement for and replacement of contents
• Restoration of buildings on your premises

After you’ve contacted your insurer, your next phone call should be to a company with expertise in smoke cleaning, soot removal and odor remediation. Besides these key smoke damage services, these technicians will also rectify any water damage you’ve incurred from fire suppression efforts that affected your property. While your insurance company will play a key role in paying for these efforts, it’s the restoration professionals in Houston, TX, that will bring your buildings back to their former condition, making them safe for occupation so you can return to business.

http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com.

How To Keep Your Furry Friends Safe in the Event of a Fire

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are the most common disaster that emergency responders respond to, according to the United States Fire Administration, but they are also the most preventable. While many homeowners in Houston, TX, have a fire emergency plan in place, many do not have one that includes their pets. Thousands of animals are left without homes each year due to the lack of pet preparation. If you want to keep your furry friend safe and in your care even if a fire breaks out, keep these pet safety tips in mind when drafting your family emergency plan:

• Include your pets in your plan! Pets get left behind because their owners panic and aren’t sure what to do with them in an urgent situation. By being prepared, you can act swiftly and effectively when it comes to keeping your loved one safe.
• Practice makes perfect. When performing a fire drill, take your pet with you as if you were dealing with a real emergency.
• Keep in mind: Though your pet is your family too, do not delay leaving if a fire becomes too dangerous, even if you haven’t found your pet yet, as this could put you in danger.


Prevent House Fires


The first item on your fire emergency plan should be “Prevent House Fires.” You won’t have to worry about evacuating if there isn’t any fire to escape from. You can help keep your home, family and furry friends safe by doing the following:

• Put Out Flames: Pets, like children, are naturally curious and will likely investigate the source of an open flame should there be one. When you’re not around to keep an eye on your pet, extinguish all flames.
• Go Flameless: If you cannot remember to blow out the candles when you leave or if your pet is always curious, buy flameless candles.
• Remove Stove Knobs: Larger dogs can reach stove knobs and yours may accidentally turn one on with its nose when sniffing around. Remove knobs when you’re not around.

Your pets needs to be a part of your emergency fire plan. If they're not already, use the above tips and make them one.

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

Tips for Cleaning Up Basement Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Sewer backup in Houston, TX is something that no one wants to experience, but should it occur, it is important that you know how to properly clean it up. Basements are particularly prone to this issue, and it is imperative that the situation is handled in the correct way to reduce the damage as much as possible.

Turning Off Utilities

For safety purposes, you want to shut off the utilities to your basement as soon as you know that a sewer backup has occurred. Consider the following tips to deal with this step in the process:

• Electricity and gas should be promptly turned off
• Never touch anything electrical when it is still on
• Until the gas company does an inspection, avoid relighting appliances
• Until the gas is off, never light a match or anything similar due to the risk of a possible gas leak

Cleaning and Sanitizing the Basement

All water and sewage should be removed prior to starting the cleaning process to prevent the cleaned areas from getting contaminated again. Pumping out these fluids is often the best way to accomplish this. Next, remove all items that were touched by the flood waters. Use a cleaner that has low suds to wash down the floors, walls and other surfaces in your basement.

Once everything has been cleaned, you want to go back over all of the surfaces with bleach or another sanitizing cleaner. Thoroughly dry all surfaces once you accomplish this.

Throughout the cleaning process, you should open all windows and doors to the space. Using fans is also a good idea. This airs out the area and aids in reducing the overall humidity present in the basement.

Whether dealing with rain water or black water, when you are cleaning up sewer backup, the information here remains the same. Make sure that you work fast, but keep safety in mind too.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on storm damage.

How to Restore Your Furniture After Water Damage

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

You probably know that water in a home in Houston, TX can cause considerable damage to the floors and walls. However, it can also cause problems with the belongings that were in the flooded room. Porous furniture and other items in the room where the flood occurred require special care. This includes:

• Mattresses
• Couches
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Pet bedding
• Upholstered chairs
• Rugs
• Other cloth items

Because these belongings allow air and water to pass through the surface, they can be breeding grounds for mold. After the water in the home is gone, you can focus on the furniture. Avoid having to toss your upholstery by doing these three things.

Remove Visible Mold

Before you can accomplish anything else, you must get rid of any mold you can see. If you can use a HEPA vacuum, do that and then throw away the bag when you are finished. However, if you can’t get your hands on such a tool, you can wear gloves and wipe the mold away with damp paper towels. Make sure to seal the dirty paper towels in a plastic bag before you throw them away.

Air Dry

If the upholstery is still wet, allow nature to work in your favor as much as possible. If you can allow something to dry outside in the sun, do let it sit outdoors. If not, you can open the windows and doors. If the weather doesn’t allow for these methods, you can use a dehumidifier in the room.

Clean with Alcohol

Once the furniture finishes dry cleaning, you can use a one-to-one solution of rubbing alcohol and water to finish the restoration process. First, wipe away any remaining mildew you find. Then, dampen a cloth with the alcohol solution and rub it on the furniture. Make sure to allow it to dry completely.

Water in a home can be a nightmare for any homeowner. However, a professional cleanup crew can help you restore your home in Houston, TX and you can use these tricks to get your furniture back to normal. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

The Importance of Cleaning Items Properly After Water Damage

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

You can feel almost as victimized by an onslaught of water in your home as you would a masked intruder. The dangers are both immediate and potentially long-term when you are dealing with a broken pipe, backed up sewer or other water damage situation. The specific dangers involved depend on the type of water damage you are facing:

• Clean water
• Gray or black water

The process and dangers for pipe burst cleanup, which usually involves clean water, are different than what you’d need a sewer cleanup company to do.

Clean Water Cleanup

The main focus when dealing with clean water cleanup is getting the water out as quickly as possible. This means addressing the flooring, but also wet walls, furniture and belongings. It takes just 24 hours for mold to begin growing on drywall, carpeting, upholstery and other material. Mold can be damaging and a hazard, so it is important to look at each item and restore it properly. Hidden damp areas invite mold and insects as easily as areas you can see.

Another problem with delaying pipe burst cleanup is elevated humidity levels in your Houston, TX home. You could end up with mold far from the broken pipe. The humidity will also make the HVAC system run harder, which can be costly.

Black Water Cleanup

Dealing with black water is infinitely worse. Not only do you have the same potential dangers as you would with clean water cleanup, but you also face contaminants and microorganisms that could prove deadly. These contaminants will remain present until everything is thoroughly cleaned and dried. It is important to note that not all materials can be cleaned satisfactorily and should be disposed of. A trained and qualified sewer cleanup company can be your best bet for restoring what can be and advising you what should be thrown away.

If you are dealing with a broken pipe and need pipe burst cleanup or sewer cleanup company services, the most important thing is to get started right away. Time is not on your side, and delaying can result in more serious problems that may affect your home.


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

Some of the Biggest FAQs on Mold

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Some of the Biggest FAQs on Mold

If you're worried about mold in Houston, Texas you're not alone. Unfortunately, clear answers to things like how high humidity and water damage affect mold growth are sometimes hard to come by. This is potentially due to a few factors, such as:

Presence of different mold types
Various housing materials
Treatment and removal options

Here are a few popular questions about mold to help inform your remediation decisions.

How Does Mold Start?

Mold is completely natural. In fact, scientists think it's one of the oldest forms of life on Earth. However, just because something grows naturally doesn't mean you necessarily want a bumper crop of it to show up in your basement. The problem is mold is basically everywhere in microscopic quantities. It travels around on dust and dirt or as particles in the air. In fact, it's not often clear where mold growth in a home comes from originally.

Why Do Flood Damage and Mold Infestation Often Happen at the Same Time?

Mold is essentially everywhere, but it rarely gets a chance to grow into the unsightly infestations homeowners dread. The rules change when water enters the equation. Existing mold populations use water to turn the dry desert of your drywall or wood into a suitable habitat. That's why mold seems to come out of nowhere.

How Dry Should a House Be?

Many people worry about mold growth in areas like kitchens, basements and bathrooms because these areas are typically more humid than the rest of the house. Here are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of a mold infestation in these danger zones:

Maintain good ventilation.
Use a dehumidifier.
Avoid spills and fix leaks.

Is Mold Always Obvious?

High humidity associated with the growth of mold is usually extreme enough to make a room feel uncomfortable, and water damage is often visually apparent. However, keep in mind that both these conditions might just as easily occur in a hidden area of your home, such as your attic or the space between your walls. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold.

How to Clean and Salvage Possessions After a Fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

How to Clean and Salvage Possessions After a Fire

Any type of home disaster can be a harrowing event, and a fire’s no exception. The difficulty doesn’t end when the flames are extinguished, however. After that, it’s necessary to determine what can be salvaged within the home—clothes can be spared via drycleaning, surfaces professionally restored and so forth. In fact, effective content cleaning can make a challenging experience feel much easier in the end, as can modern services such as content storage. Learn what you can do to make the best of a bad situation should a fire strike your residence in Houston, Texas.

Advanced Methods

Don’t be confused—you shouldn’t trust your everyday drycleaner to handle smoky odors set in clothing. Restoration professionals employ specialized equipment to clear soot from clothing and textiles as well as for cleaning walls, floors and other surfaces. Improper cleaning can result in unwanted smells saturating materials, so make the right choice to avoid further damage.

Managing the Mess

The period after a home fire is often chaotic and very difficult to manage; content storage can make things much more workable. A qualified restoration team assists by efficiently moving possessions out of the affected area and relocating them to a safe, clean location off-site. This allows for both swifter property cleanup and professional drycleaning of your affected belongings.

Returning to Normalcy

An effective content cleaning process covers all the bases, allowing you and your family to return quickly to a more normal routine. Steps often include:

Soot removal from furniture, carpeting, curtains and other upholstery.
Deodorization of linens, clothing, wooden items, etc.
Cleaning of metal surfaces to prevent corrosion.

Just as it’s important to act quickly when a fire breaks out, it’s critical to begin the drycleaning process as soon as possible. The damage resulting from smoke and soot only becomes worse with time, and that time is typically measured in hours, not days. Make sure you’ve got an effective plan for recovery in Houston, Texas today. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

How to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

How to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage

If you live in Houston, Texas you know the likelihood of flooding in your property is higher than in many other areas. For some businesses, flooding can have catastrophic consequences and can ruin their buildings. Being prepared for such an event, however, will go a long way toward helping you retain the integrity of your property and deal with flooding events quickly and effectively. Here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself and your business for flood damage.

Educate Yourself on the Insurance Process

It is not commonly known that commercial insurance does not always cover disaster-level flooding. A yard flood or backup of sewer or drain is often covered, depending on the insurance company and any endorsements you may have added to your policy, but flooding caused by a flash flood or hurricane is not. Flood insurance is a separate policy that is purchased through FEMA, and has its own set of rules and endorsements.

Cleaning Gutters and Storm Drains

A great way to mitigate storm damage to your property is by regularly cleaning your gutters and storm drains. While it won’t guarantee that your business will be free of harmful bacteria or pathogens in the event of a flood, it will certainly lessen the risk and lighten the load when it comes to restoration. This is because the garbage, leaves, and other debris that often gets caught in these places can often carry harmful substances that will make your business, or at least the affected area, temporarily unlivable.

Familiarize Yourself with Restoration Companies

There are plenty of disaster restoration companies in Houston, Texas but not all of them are equal. It’s important to have a good understanding of the differences between companies, including customer reviews and reputability. Find the one in your area that you feel most comfortable allowing into your commercial property to treat for flooding and other disasters before the event comes, because it’s important to take action as quickly as possible once it does. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on flood damage.

The Services of a Fire Cleanup Company

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

The Services of a Fire Cleanup Company

When your property experiences a fire, you will need to look for ways to address the potential damage that it may cause. One of the best things you can do when you experience a fire is to contact a restoration company that provides fire damage restoration. With this kind of company, you will be in position to get services such as fire cleanup. During the process of cleaning up fires, companies will usually board up the property as well as use equipment to get rid of particles, smoke and soot.

One of the main reasons to use a restoration company to provide fire damage restoration is to perform fire cleanup. Getting fire cleanup will help reduce the effects of fire damage that can be quite hazardous. Fire cleanup services will include a number of procedures to help address fire damage. A company will address fire damage by first looking to board up parts of the property. It will then begin ridding your property of smoke, soot and debris with chemicals and equipment. Therefore, a company will be your best option when it comes to efficiently addressing fire damage.

Using a restoration company to provide fire damage restoration is also beneficial when looking to effectively deal with smoke damage and the smoke smell it causes. Smoke damage is quite significant as it can lead to structural decay as well as a decline in the properties appearance. Experiencing smoke damage can also lead to emitting hazardous fumes, toxic particles and an unpleasant smoke smell. When a property owner seeks restoration services, they will look to reduce the effects of smoke damage and eliminate the smoke smell. Restoration service companies can address these issues by getting rid of smoke, eliminating the smoke smell and cleaning the property. It will board up parts of the property and then use chemicals and equipment to finish the restoration process.

Another benefit of getting a restoration company to provide fire damage restoration is to help address soot damage. Properties that have soot damage will usually experience a decay in structure. Soot damage can also result in hazardous particles scattered throughout the property. In order to address soot damage, restoration service companies will usually board up parts of the property and then use the usual procedures of eliminating soot. The company will address soot damage by using tools and equipment to get rid of it from the property. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.