Recent Posts

Candle Replacements To Keep Your Home Safe

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Candles of all types are sold every day around the world. In fact, it is estimated that more than a billion pounds of various waxes are used in the production of candles each year. With the wild popularity of tapers, tea lights, and pillar candles, it should be easy to track the which type is sold most often. However, it is difficult to say how many candles or what design, style, or size of the wax, scent-infusing varieties are sold because of the number of cottage industries that have sprung up all over the world as the popularity of wax light grew. Sadly, as people burn more of the aroma-producing products, the world is experiencing more candle fire episodes than ever before.

Quick and Easy Replacements

While it is easy to criticize the use of candles, it is often more difficult to think of replacements. Fire cleanup and restoration experts suggest preventing candle fire by trying the following if you are looking for soft lighting or a lovely scent when choosing to replace your candles.

Electric candles
Stand-alone air-fresheners
Fairy lights
Reed or electric diffusers
Perfume scented lightbulb
Hanging or clip-on lights
Electric wax or oil warmers

Another alternative to filling your room with the lovely scent of a candle is a perfume scented lightbulb. Use your favorite fragrance or aroma filled oil. The pleasant bouquet that flows through the room may surprise you.

Fast and Simple Safety

Candles have been a part of human life for hundreds of years, so it can be difficult to look at your life in Houston, TX without them. However, you don’t have to turn to a wax creation when setting a romantic mood or seeking to cover an unpleasant odor; there are alternatives that can provide soft lights or fill the room with the same alluring scents as any candle out there. Creating an environment that is safe from candle fire hazard or smoke cleanup can be much more important than recreating the look your forefathers favored as they sat next to a burning candle with an open book. Besides, you have electric lights for that! Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on fire damage.

Personal Protective Equipment for Safe Mold Remediation

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

Whether professionals are handling a mold outbreak in Houston, TX or you hope to tackle the problem yourself, it is crucial that personal protective equipment is used. Cleaning up mold often involves the handling of potentially hazardous substances. Additionally, mold spores are microscopic and could become airborne or transported from one area to another during clean up. The right equipment could prevent this and protect other areas of the property.

Items of personal protective equipment include:

• Disposable hair covers
• Safety goggles
• Air-purifying respirator
• Tyvek suits or clothing that can be immediately and appropriately laundered
• Disposable gloves
• Disposable shoe covers

Full Containment

While your property is in the process of remediation, containment is necessary to protect unaffected areas from new mold growth. There are several containment methods approved by the EPA, both full and limited. Full containment may occur when contamination of an entire building requires that layers of the wall are removed. Appropriate containment prevents the transfer of mold colonies into areas of the building that have already been treated.

Limited Containment

Limited containment could simply require a sheet of 6-mil fire-retardant polyethylene with a slit entry and flap. This sheeting may be held in place by duct tape. In many cases, containment also involves sealing off doors, pipe chases, and air vents to keep mold away from other areas of the property. Remediation experts have access to these materials and others used for containment.

Air Purification

Some air purifiers can be used to remove mold spores or at least remove odors that are caused by mold. If this method of controlling mold contamination is used to protect your Houston, TX building, it's best to choose a filter that uses approved technology and is in compliance with established standards. Remember that these purifiers don't provide mold remediation; instead they are a tool for prevention. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on mold. 

Water Damage Is a Ticking Time Bomb In Your Home

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Modern day life can be stressful, but when your daily routine is disrupted by a flood of water, the stress can surge. Whether the water comes from a broken pipe or clogged toilet, the moment the water touches the floor it can begin to soak into your home in Houston, TX. Walls, floorboards, furniture, and carpets can quickly absorb the liquid. The longer the water sits, the more your home can soak up the often-dirty overflow. It is then that the hidden water can become a ticking time bomb of potential mold, bacteria, and germs. Here are a few things you should know about the damaged area.

1. Water and mold have a symbiotic relationship. Flooding can lead to a colony of mold spores in less than 48 hours. It is important to remove the water as quickly as possible to prevent the rapid growth of the fungus and begin drying the area out.

2. A water repair and restoration team can help remove the water if it is more than an inch deep. The professionally trained water removal specialists can use industrial fans and dehumidifiers to dry out water in your home’s hidden areas.

3. Floors, walls, and cabinets often need to be cut away to find hidden sources of water. The holes are typically made three or four inches above the floor line.

3. Water-filled porous items should be discarded. Items such as furniture and carpets can readily soak in the broken pipe dirty water and store it for weeks. Since there may be little chance of reclaiming the items, discard them to prevent mold growth.

4. Disinfect the entire area once it is dry. Bacteria and mold love to multiply in dark, damp areas, so prevent any possibility of fungus growth by disinfecting insulation, plasterboard, wood, and flooring. Lavishly use the spray on anything that came in contact with flood water in the home.

Flood water from a broken pipe can continue to wreak havoc on your home if cleanup is not complete. Therefore, rely on a specially trained team to protect your home from future mold damage by completely sanitizing the area.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on water damage. 

3 Ways To Lower a Business Interruption Claim After a Flood

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

When indoor flooding damages your Houston, TX commercial building, the results can be disastrous. Water can ruin floors, walls and business equipment that may take considerable time to replace. If you have business interruption insurance, which covers lost profits and other costs, it can help you recover and give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your investment. However, there are a few ways you can lower the cost of a claim and boost the future well-being of your business.

1. Do Not Wait To File a Claim

Whether a flood at your business was caused by a broken pipe in a bathroom or a burst water line, acting fast can lower a claim and allow your insurance carrier to file as soon as possible. Consider adding your policy holder’s mobile app to your phone, if it has one available, so you can file from any location and send photos of the damage instead of waiting for an insurance representative to contact you.

2. Work With a Flood Mitigation Service

Even if you see visible damage after a flood, it is wise to act right away. Letting dirty water sit may cause other serious issues, such as mold growth. Call in a flood damage and cleanup service to perform mitigation, which can prevent contaminated water from spreading and reduce the risk of structural issues.

3. Deal With Larger Issues First

Problems caused by flooding can range from ruined walls and ceilings to damaged electrical outlets. However, when it comes to dealing with large water damage issues, you may want to tackle the most serious first. For example, if a third-floor flood is causing the ceiling on the lower floor to sag and leak, having it repaired first may prevent a ceiling collapse and a further delay in reopening your business.

Flooding can have a serious impact on your Houston, TX commercial building. While having business interruption insurance protects your profits, knowing how to lower a claim might help you recover faster to benefit your company, employees and customers.

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

Important Things To Know About Black Water

6/17/2018 (Permalink)

As a business owner, you’re concerned not only about the viability of your business but also about the safety of your employees and the ability to conduct your work in a functioning facility. Few things can cause as many problems to your building as water damage. One of the biggest concerns you should have is black water. You should understand what this is and the health challenges it poses.

The Worst in the Flooding Category

This type of water is categorized as Category 3 in water damage. If this type of water gets into your building following a flood, you face potentially disastrous consequences, and you should call a qualified restoration company immediately.

The Harm

The word “black” appears with this water for many reasons.

• It’s contaminated possibly with harmful materials such as pesticides, heavy metals or toxic substances.
• Contains sewage or wastewater from toilets.
• Can include feces and other disease-causing materials.

How it Occurs

When waters enter your building from flooding, they may have come from under the foundation from septic systems. The water may also come into contact with toilets or urinals from your Houston, TX building.

How to Handle It

Because black water can cause serious illness, you shouldn’t try to remove this water yourself. Instead, you need to enlist the help of a qualified professional. Make sure you call a trusted company promptly.

What the Pros Will Do

A competent specialist will assess the situation and will determine the extent of the damage. Next, the team of professionals will safely remove the water in order to eliminate the health risks. The cleanup and restoration process will make it possible for you to resume activities in that portion of the building that the water affected.

Water damage can have serious consequences on your business. When you identify the type of water causing damage and call in the right help, your business will be in good hands. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on storm damage. 

Securing Your Building After a Fire

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Securing Your Building After a Fire Give SERVPRO a call if you experience fire damage in your business.

Fires are known for causing a lot of destruction. Big fires can create extensive damage to the exterior of buildings as well as everything inside. If you are dealing with fire damage and must wait until everything is restored, you might run into break-ins and looting. Here are four things you can do to ensure the security of your property during the restoration process.
1. Remove All Valuables
In case you do have intruders, it’s best to store any important documents or expensive appliances in a safe and secure place. This also ensures that nothing will get damaged during the fire cleanup process.
2. Board Up All Openings
Gaping holes in vacant commercial buildings are easy targets for looters. To decrease the risk of attracting unwanted attention in Houston, TXboard up all windows and openings. If you are concerned that plywood isn’t sufficient enough, you can reinforce the boards with carriage bolts and braces on the interior.
3. Fence Your Property
Setting up a portable chain fence around the perimeter of your property is an easy way to keep intruders out. Be sure to install the fence properly so that there are no easy ways to climb over or under. Simply inform the fire damage professionals how to enter through the gate so that they can do their work.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Building
It’s a good idea to check up on your building often to look for any problems such as recently shattered windows or broken locks. Consider installing cameras or security guards as an extra precaution.
Dealing with fire damage can be challenging enough, but by taking a few of these precautions, you can prevent looting from happening. The duration of the restoration process may differ due to the extent of the damage, but with a secured property, you can be reassured that no one will invade your building. Visit http://www.SERVPROtownandcountry.com for more information on commercial fire damage

How To Keep Your Home Mold Free: 3 Simple Preventative Actions

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Keep Your Home Mold Free: 3 Simple Preventative Actions Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.

Whether your Houston, TX home was affected by water damage, seasonal high humidity or other moisture issues, battling mold caused by these problems can be a challenge. There are many different types of fungi that can grow indoors, especially in damp, dark places. If you have recently had your home treated by a mold remediation and removal company and want to prevent any fungi from returning, there are several simple actions you can take to keep it at bay.

1. Maintain Your Home’s Plumbing

One of the most common causes of mold growth is the presence of moisture in your home, particularly from leaking pipes or water appliances. Old or corroded plumbing may develop slow leaks and attract mold spores, which can attach and multiply quickly. Having your pipes checked annually and updating older systems can prevent leaks that may contribute to moisture problems and fungi growth.

2. Maintain Consistent Humidity Levels

While water damage is a common cause of mold growth, high humidity levels can also cause damp conditions that make an ideal environment for spores to thrive. If you live in an area where humidity levels rise during the summer, it is wise to monitor indoor conditions and use your air conditioner, fans and kitchen exhaust system to prevent dampness in every room of your home.

3. Avoid Creating Excess Humidity

You can practice mold prevention by being mindful of how much humidity you and your family creates. Avoid running your clothes dryer during the day and encourage everyone to take short, cool showers, as using hot water may contribute to high humidity levels. Take your houseplants to the patio to catch some sun and where they can release water vapor.

Preventing water damage and other moisture issues in your Houston, TX home can go a long way when it comes to battling mold. Even minor leaks can attract spores, so being mindful of excess indoor moisture and humidity can prevent mold from making itself at home. Visit http://www.SERVPROtownandcountry.com for more information on mold. 

5 Methods for Eliminating Smoke Odor

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Methods for Eliminating Smoke Odor Smoke cleaning is a process that may involve several steps and machines.

Environmental tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 compounds including ammonia gases, carbon monoxide, phenol, and tar vapors. Tobacco residue is more stubborn than smoke damage that results from a house fire. Here are four smoke cleaning methods for eliminating all traces of cigarette smoke odor.

1. Clean, degrease, and seal: Over time, the tar in tobacco builds up a residue that can discolor any surface. Clean hard non-porous materials with a dry cleaning sponge or degreasing cleaner. Once a surface has completely dried, use a shellac primer to seal in cigarette smells and stains and prevent them from surfacing through new paint.

2. Scrub the air: Use an industrial air scrubber to circulate and remove smoke odors from the air in your home.

3. Thermal fogging: Fogging machines neutralize smoke molecules with petroleum distillates. Close doors and windows for at least thirty minutes. Workers should wear respirators rated for chemical-based smoke cleaning. Match the fogger and concentration to the volume of the interior space.

4. Hydroxyl generators: These generators use UV light to produce hydroxyl radicals, the neutral form of the hydroxide ion, which destroys cigarette odors at the source. Operating a hydroxyl generator continuously for three to five days achieves an effect comparable to what an ozone generator can achieve in a single day, but there is no need to evacuate.

5. Ozone generators: Ozone follows the same path as smoke molecules and oxidizes fumes and residues that adhere to surfaces. This method is ideal for lower temperatures and relative humidity levels. Ozone generators are efficient, but require the evacuation of residents, pets, and plants during the treatment.

Smoke cleaning is a process that may involve several steps and machines. If you are dealing with smoke contamination in your residence in Houston, TX, contact a smoke odor remediation service to determine the right odor treatment options for your needs. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/.

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/