Recent Posts

Top 3 Black Water Myths

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Heavy flooding from rain. Picture taking from the outside of the house Flooded home in Spring Valley,TX

Top 3 Black Water Myths

Black water. The very name sounds menacing and with good reason. Laden with bacteria and pathogens, this highly contaminated material is one of the most common and dangerous side effects posed by flooding. Lack of knowledge surrounding this water can put the health of you and your loved ones at risk. Learn more about the top myths surrounding this water and what you can do when your Spring Valley,TX suffers water damage.

Myth 1: Dirty Water Isn’t That Dangerous

Water professionals grade water according to levels of contamination, with black water being the worst. This water refers to any water contaminated with bacterial, fungi or human/animal waste. Common sources include broken toilets or even flood waters from rainfall or ground runoff. This water can contain countless pathogens that can cause everything from gastroenteritis to eye infections so it’s important to handle it properly.

Myth 2: Dirty Water is Black

Contrary to the name, this contaminated water doesn’t have to physically appear black. Indeed, it can look as clear as regular drinking water! Black simply refers to the level of contamination. When facing water damage in your home, focus less on the color and more on the source.

Myth 3: You Can Clean Up Contaminated Water

A dangerous belief is that this water can be cleaned up by a homeowner. The water’s pathogens can infect you via droplets in your eye or even water splashed on an open wound. Professional water removers use gloves, eye protection and other tools not readily available to the average homeowner so they are the best ones to handle this dangerous material.
With all the risks this water poses, it’s vital that it is handled with care. If you think your home has suffered black water damage, don’t take chances. Hire a professional water remediation company to safely remove the water, disinfect and dry your home. Your safety is worth the expense.

Candle Replacements To Keep Your Home Safe

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

White room interior decor with burning hand-made candle Another alternative to filling your room with the lovely scent of a candle is a perfume scented lightbulb.

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.

3 Ways To Lower a Business Interruption Claim After a Flood

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded modern office hall interior with stairs Flooding can have a serious impact on your Houston, TX commercial building.

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. 

Maintenance Tips for Commercial Roofs

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

laying of waterproofing sheathing and insulation during the renovation of a roof Apply a waterproof membrane, or rubber sealant compound if needed to seal gaps or cracks

The roof on your commercial building in Houston,TX is one of the largest expenses in constructing your building, and is also one of the most important investments. A sound roof keeps the weather out and protects your investment. Even the best roof, however is subject to the ravages of time and the elements. In areas prone to roof damage due to severe storms, hurricanes or tornadoes it is especially important to regularly inspect and maintain your roof.

Commercial Roof Maintenance

Have an expert inspect the roof, paying special attention to edges and flashings
Apply a waterproof membrane, or rubber sealant compound if needed to seal gaps or cracks
Make sure there is a good working drainage system in place, particularly if you have a flat roof
Remove any overhanging branches to prevent wind damage from constant rubbing
Check for any weak or rotted decking and replace immediately


Quick Fix

Be sure to repair any roof damage as soon as it is found to prevent the condition from worsening, water from getting inside, or rodents, birds or bats entering the damaged area. Severe weather has a way of finding the weak spots and going to town on them. Just like the pull tab on a soda can, a loose board can be just the finger hold a storm needs to tear parts of your roof off or send gallons of water pouring through, necessitating flood cleanup measures. Keeping your roof in good repair is much cheaper than having to pay for a roof rebuild.

Call the Professionals

If a repair or restoration job is needed, however call on the specialized storm damage service technicians in Houston,TX  to evaluate the problem, make recommendations and help with the restoration process. They can also provide storm cleanup of any flood damage your building may experience.

Roof damage does not have to be a given in the event of ominous weather. With proper inspection, maintenance and repairs, the odds of keep a sound roof over your head can be in your favor.

Restoring Water-Damaged Household Objects

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Interior of kitchen with drywall torn out because of water damage and the resulting mold. Damaged drywall in a Bunker Hill Village, TX kitchen

Water in the home can damage your most prized possessions. Fortunately, many objects can be restored after suffering water damage.

Restoration Process

Although every item and water damage situation is unique, the general steps for restoring a water-damaged item are similar:

  1. Dry. Drying the item is your first priority. The longer it stays wet, the more likely it is to grow mold and incur further damage. Different items will need different drying methods, but air drying an object in a room with low humidity should work for many items. You can also use fans to increase airflow.
  2. Clean. Water-damaged items will likely have dirt and bacteria on them after they are dry. Some items can be cleaned with soap and warm water while others will do better with professional dry cleaning.
  3. Restore. Repairing the object is the final step. You may be able to do the repairs yourself, or you may need to enlist professional help.

Tips for Specific Types of Items

As discussed above, different items will benefit from different restoration techniques. The following are some tips for dealing with common household items that have been damaged by water in the home.

If photographs have gotten stuck together, do not pull them apart. You can soak them in water until they separate.
Do not dry paintings in direct sunlight.
If you want to enlist the help of a conservator for books or other documents, you can place these items in the refrigerator to prevent mold growth until you take them to the restorer.
You may be able to remove water stains from wood furniture using wood furniture cleaner and orange oil.
Carpet and drywall can be salvaged as long as the floodwater was clean, i.e., from a broken pipe.

Water in the home can cause serious problems, but experienced restoration professionals can help you get your Bunker Hill Village,TX, residence back to normal in no time.

What About My Stuff? Restoring Your Fire-Damaged Property

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

Burned out and boarded up house Fire damage house in Hillshire Village, TX

Having a home fire is inevitably a stressful and disorienting experience for homeowners and family members. Fire damage can be extremely destructive, and property that wasn’t destroyed may be damaged by smoke, heat or water. A fire restoration service can begin the cleanup process as soon as the structure is safe to enter.

Personal Property Restoration

Fire remediation includes a process for sorting and restoring your personal belongings. Burned items are rarely salvageable, but you will generally be reimbursed by your insurance company for their replacement. Water damage from the high-pressure fire hose can be destructive, but specialized processes are designed to restore your water-damaged belongings as completely as possible.

Electronics not damaged by heat can often be cleaned, dehumidified and restored to working condition.
Porous materials such as upholstery and drapes that do not have fire damage can usually be cleaned and disinfected. Carpets are often too damaged to save.
Paper products, such as documents and books, require special methods to be cleaned, dried and pressed. A HIPAA-certified official will often oversee the process, ensuring proper document inventory and confidentiality.

If your home is deemed safe for you to enter, the restoration crews will generally welcome your observation of any property restoration that happens on-site.

Professional Assistance 

You may be tempted to begin the cleanup without professional help. Unless your damage is very minor, this is discouraged. Fire damage cleanup is often complex and dangerous, and your homeowner’s insurance will generally cover a significant portion of it. Professionals are trained to use specialized equipment and safety precautions to prevent injuries. They know how to work quickly so water is removed before mold or other secondary damage arises. A remediation specialist is usually the logical and necessary solution to restoring fire- and water-damaged property.

If a fire in your Hilshire Village,TX, home has caused unwelcome upheaval in your life, you can rest assured there are time-tested processes for addressing all types of damaged items. Knowing a bit about what to expect may help you feel less vulnerable and more trusting that your life and your home will soon be on their way back to normalcy.

Be Proactive About Your Plumbing

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water stains on ceiling Water stains on ceiling

Be Proactive About Your Plumbing

When managing a commercial building in Spring Valley,TX, it is in your best interest to stay ahead of potential issues, including your plumbing. If plumbing problems are ignored, they can develop into large scale restoration issues, that may cause your building to close for a period of time. What should you look for to avoid this?

Leaking

Even the smallest drip of water can indicate something is wrong, like a broken pipe. You should also check your pipes and connections regularly for corrosion. If you do find a site that has accumulated water, you may need to call a water damage restoration company. Keep a wary eye out for:

  • Water spots on your ceiling.
  • Accumulated water on the floor.
  • Signs of mold or mildew.
  • Wetness on the outside of pipes.

Drainage

It is very important to consistently check all of your drains for clogs and backups by testing their flow rate. A camera inspection is also a good idea, to see what kind of condition they are in. Common plumbing problems in drains are root infiltration and bellying. If you end up detecting a slow-down, get them snaked, hydrojetted or power-rodded in order to clear them out again.

Valve Function

You should regularly inspect all the shut-off valves along your water main and throughout the building. This ensures that you will be able to shut off water to individual sections of the building in the event of a localized emergency- that way you don't need to shut off the entire building's water. You should also be sure to check water pressure, a healthy range can be anywhere between 40 and 80 psi.
It is easy to take your plumbing for granted- out of sight, out of mind, right? However, plumbing problems can easily be avoided if you actively monitor your pipes, valves and drains. Build it in to your maintenance routine!

Water Damage Is a Ticking Time Bomb In Your Home

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

flooded bathroom of a house 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

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.

4. 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.

5. 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. 

How To Test for Mold Accurately

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Mold testing in a Houston, TX home

Mold Testing in Your Home

Your home in Houston,TX, can start to smell musty during humid months. If that's the case, you may have a mold problem. To know for sure, you need mold testing. It's best to hire a certified inspector to test for mold in your house. A professional test can tell you things that a home kit won't.

What a Home Kit Misses

Mold spores are inevitably in the air in your home, and that's all a mold kit will reveal. To properly assess the problem, you need to know much more than that:

  • Location of the mold growth
  • Extent of the infestation
  • Type of mold

When you use a DIY mold kit, you are basically getting a positive result that there is mold in your home. This is information you already know, though, so it doesn't do you a lot of good. You will get information that is much more useful when you hire professionals to test your home.

What Professional Testing Finds

Mold remediation specialists recommend that all mold testing is done by certified professionals. Certification tells you that the technicians have undergone extensive training and have proven themselves worthy of the standard set by the IICRC. They can tell you exactly where you need mold cleanup and how much damage you have. If you are concerned about a particular type of mold in your home, they can get lab results that reveal whether or not your suspicions are correct. A professional mold test is instrumental in assessing the problem. It significantly increases your chances of getting rid of all the mold growth the first time so that mitigation technicians don't have to clean your home again when it returns.
If you need mold testing in your home, save yourself the cost of a DIY kit. It doesn't tell you everything you need to know. Instead, hire certified professionals so that you can properly identify the problem.

Prep Your Home for Winter

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Vehicles covered with snow Winter storm in Bunker Hill Village, TX

Get Your Home Ready for Cold Weather

When you live in Bunker Hill Village,TX, a winter storm means bundling up, scooping plenty of snow, traveling at slower speeds, and driving a dirty, slushy vehicle. While many residents may concentrate on getting their snowblower tuned up and stocking up on ice melt to handle winter hassles, getting your home ready for cold weather is also important.

Winter Woes

Whether it’s a blizzard or a seemingly endless winter, ice and snow are also foes of your house. These are just a few of the problems winter storms may cause to your property:

1. Roof Damage

Ice dams, runoff, heavy snow, and high winds can all cause potential issues that may lead to leaks and big repairs.

2. Frozen Pipes

If water is left in outdoor pipes, it can expand and damage the system. Once temperatures rise and a thaw takes place, a leak or system failure can occur.

3. Tree Limbs

When ice forms on branches or heavy snow comes down, it may create too much weight for a tree branch to handle. If a large enough limb breaks, it has the potential to damage the roof, siding, windows, and outdoor appliances or décor.

4. Flooding

In the midst of freezing temperatures, it’s easy to forget that all that snow will melt. Once it does, it can quickly overflow gutters and seep into the foundation through cracks.

Be Prepared

Before the first winter storm hits, making as many preparations as possible may relieve your worries about the coming winter and let you focus on enjoying the present nice weather. Simple tasks like cleaning the gutters, disconnecting outdoor hoses, trimming trees, and insulating pipes and water heaters can help eliminate future snow and ice issues.
If you live in an older home or know that your roof or siding is approaching the end of its life, consider calling storm damage and restoration experts before a winter storm happens. A professional inspection and temporary repairs, such as ventilating the attic or installing a waterproof roof membrane, may mean the difference between extensive repairs and a carefree spring.