Recent Posts

Protecting Yourself During Mold Removal

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

When you find mold growth in your commercial building in Houston, TX, your first reaction is probably to start cleaning it immediately. While it is advisable to contact a mold remediation specialist to help resolve the problem, many people want to clean up as much of the mold as they can. If you choose to do this, you must protect yourself with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Heads Up

The first area of your body you want to shield from settling spores is your head. This involves donning three main types of gear:

• Face mask with a respirator
• Safety goggles
• Hair cover

A mask with an air-purifying respirator can filter out mold spores before you inhale them. Safety goggles keep these spores from entering your eyes and causing irritation. They also protect your eyes from the harsh chemicals often used in mold remediation. A hair cover may seem like overkill, but it keeps the mold that is stirred up in the cleanup process from settling on your hair.

Body Cover

Professional mold remediation technicians often wear Tyvek® suits to shield their whole bodies from mold. If you do not wear a special protective suit, at least make sure that your whole body is covered. Change out of the clothes as soon as you leave the sealed off contamination area to prevent the spread of the mold growth.

Hands and Feet

If you enter the containment area, you need to wear acceptable PPE on your hands and feet. Close-fitting, disposable gloves keep mold spores away from your hands. Disposable shoe covers ensure that you do not track any mold found at the site through the rest of the building. It is essential to remove both gloves and shoe covers before leaving the remediation location.

If you are involved in any part of the mold remediation process in your building in Houston, TX, it is important to protect yourself with adequate PPE. It may feel weird to be covered from head to toe, but it keeps you safe and keeps the mold spores from spreading. For more information about mold, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/.

5 Common Problems for Commercial Irrigation Systems

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

If you have an irrigation system in Houston, TX, you need to know how to troubleshoot any problems that arise. Getting familiar with the common issues that affect the outdoor sprinklers can help you better find the source of the problem. Use this list to help you figure out what could be going wrong, but you should remember to call in a commercial water damage specialist if you cannot get to the source of the problem quickly.

1. Low Pressure: Your irrigation can lose pressure for a variety of reasons. Clogs, electrical issues, open valves and piping cracks can lead to low pressure. You may notice this problem if water does not seem to be coming out of your sprinklers as it should. Many systems are equipped with a pressure gauge to help you better keep an eye on this part of the irrigation system.
2. No Electricity: Irrigation problems can also be caused by a loss of electricity. Whether your system got unplugged or a fuse blew, you should make sure the system has the power it needs.
3. Broken Pipes: A crack in your pipe can stop the entire system from operating correctly. If you notice a puddle of water in a particular part of your lawn, it could be a sign that water is escaping the pipes in an unconventional location.
4. Dirty Lines: Clogs can easily mess up your lines and cause serious irrigation problems. Rocks, twigs and dirt can find their way into valves and other parts of the system. Regular cleaning may help you avoid this potential issue.
5. Damaged Valves: The valves of your system have to be able to turn on and off. If this piece of the sprinkler is damaged, water may not be able to properly travel through the valve or the valve may not be able to stop the water.

If your commercial irrigation system goes off the rails, you likely want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. Being familiar with common problems can help you troubleshoot and come up with a fast solution. For more information about commercial water damage, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/

How To Thoroughly Disinfect Your Home After a Flood

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Life after a flood in Houston, TX, isn’t very easy. After assessing the damage, it can take weeks before homeowners can complete the restoration process and return to their houses. One of the biggest things that owners must deal with is disinfecting everything in their homes that has been contaminated or exposed to flood water. By following a flood clean plan with these cleaning requirements, you can be sure to restore your home without any risk of infection or illness.

Clean Every Surface

If your home was exposed to flood water, it’s important to sanitize everything. This water is often full of sewage and harmful pollutants that can lead to infection or health problems in the future. By cleaning the surfaces of your home, you can eliminate bacteria growth. You have a few options at your disposal:

• Using a heavy-duty cleaner
• Scrubbing surfaces with hot water and then sanitizing with a flood disinfectant solution
• Allowing the restoration professionals to completely disinfect the area

Making sure that every surface is completely sanitary can ensure the safety of every member of your household.

Clean Furniture

By following strict cleaning requirements, you can preserve most of your exposed furniture. You’ll need to thoroughly disinfect and ventilate the furniture, but it is likely that most of your couches and chairs can be sanitized. However, you should discard any mattresses that were contaminated by flood water.

Clean Valuables

If you are focused on cleaning and disinfecting your home before mildew or mold forms, be sure to throw your infected books, photographs, and important documents in the freezer. By washing off the mud and storing your valuables in a frost-free freezer, you can wait to carefully clean them until you have the time. Consider taking them to a professional to restore them once you take them out of the freezer.

With these cleaning requirements in mind, you can preserve most of your valuables and furniture while ensuring the sanitation of your home. For more information about storm damage, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/

The Adjuster’s Visit: How To Minimize Potential Problems

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

Few things cause as much consternation to a homeowner as working with a home adjuster after claiming water damage to your residence. Knowing the insurance company has the future of the property repairs in its hands can be both frustrating and frightening. But you can be prepared for any questions the representative may have by following a few simple steps. Although not all policies are equal, most insurance adjusters require the following information to settle an insurance claim.

1. Keep a log of everything possible. Yes, even in this technological world, information can get lost in Houston, TX. By keeping a log of phone calls, timeline, emails, and face-to-face communications, you are protecting yourself. Many people even send emails to confirm conversations after a meeting to prevent the “he said, she said” problems that can occur.

2. Create an inventory of damaged property and personal possessions. It is important to keep a complete inventory list of anything you plan to claim. Don’t forget to include the unseen items, such as damaged carpet padding, objects in cabinets, and sheetrock. For every item listed, include the following:

• Description of item, including make and model number
• Cash value when the item was purchased
• Cost of the replacement item
• Include any applicable paperwork, receipts, and bills

3. Ask your insurance company what restoration team it prefers to work with and contact the business immediately. This can ensure you are doing your best to protect the property from additional damage. Ask the crew to detail its cleanup efforts for your home adjuster, and request pictures before, during, and after cleanup.

4. Obtain written bids from licensed contractors. Get more than one bid, if possible. Bids should include a complete materials list with itemized prices.

5. Keep accurate records of expenses and repairs. If your safety is involved, and restorations must be made before a visit by the adjuster, keep detailed records. Also, notify the insurance company for approval before making the repairs.

Being prepared can minimize potential problems during a home adjuster visit. It can also help speed the claim process forward. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage. 

The Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mold Growth

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mold Growth This house in Houston, TX had severe mold damage.

If you’ve discovered mold growth in your home, you may have a lot of questions you want answers to, such as where did it come from, is it dangerous and how can you get rid of it? Mold is frustrating, but it is not uncommon. If you want to know more about the fungi that has invaded your home, this post contains answers to some of the most common FAQs regarding mold.

• What is mold?
• Is mold dangerous?
• Where does mold come from?
• How can you decrease and prevent mold?

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi that grows in both indoor and outdoor areas. Mold is one of those organisms that can thrive in typically uninhabitable environments, such as in dark places with high humidity or, in more rare instances, in extremely dry environments.

Is Mold Dangerous?

Mold growth is dangerous in that it can eat away at your home’s foundation and structure and, over time, render it uninhabitable. If you do not deal with water damage and resulting mold in a timely fashion, your floorboards may become week, your ceiling may start to sag and your drywall may begin to crumble. These are all hazards that could pose a threat to your safety and well-being.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold typically thrives in dark, damp environments, but it has been known to flourish in dry environments as well. If you suspect that there is mold in your home, begin by checking in areas in which there is high humidity, little ventilation and little natural light.

How Can You Prevent Mold?

You can prevent mold by fixing moisture problems as soon as you notice them and by working with a Houston, TX mold remediation team. The best thing you can do to prevent fungus growth is to keep water damage at bay.

If you discover mold growth in your home, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If the problem is new, however, don’t panic, as damage is probably minimal. Do call your local remediation team for cleanup and prevention assistance. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold. 

3 Steps for Preparing Your Business for a Winter Storm

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Steps for Preparing Your Business for a Winter Storm The Disaster Recovery Team is ready for your restoration emergency.

When you’re a business owner, you never have time to slow down if you really want to make your establishment into a success. Unfortunately, the weather often has other plans, especially during the chilly winter months in Houston, TX. Closing down for a day won’t kill business, but experiencing a pipe break or other serious damage as a result of a winter storm certainly can. That’s why you should always prepare your business before the storm can hit by:

• Clearing out and shutting off your water before the storm hits
• Making a plan for snow and ice cleanup ahead of time
• Replacing weather stripping on exterior doors

1. Avoiding Frozen Pipes

Frozen and burst pipes are the most common form of winter storm damage that the modern business encounters during winter conditions. The issue starts off with a small leak but can quickly develop into a flooding deluge in a matter of minutes. That’s why shutting off your water and clearing out your pipes before a storm is crucial for protecting your premises. This way, you’re not only preventing more water from working its way into the building but also getting rid of any that might already be present in the pipes.

2. Weather Stripping

As snow falls, it’s likely to pile up against your doors. While this in itself is harmless, it can quickly become problematic when the snow begins to melt. If your weather stripping is worn, melting snow can seep under your doors and into your business, ruining rugs, carpeting and other belongings in the process.

3. Cleanup Plans

In the event that all of your efforts fail, you should already have a snow and ice cleanup crew chosen to come take care of any issues you might experience. Having a team already chosen allows you to mitigate further water and ice damage from the winter storm, meaning you’ll have your business back as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on commercial storm damage

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.