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Top Mold Damage Costs Explained

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top Mold Damage Costs Explained Testing for mold

3 Costs To Expect When It Comes To Mold Remediation

The average homeowner may not have an estimate for removing mold, but they know that it’s costly. Understanding what is involved in removing mold form your Houston,TX , home can help you know how much to expect to spend. Here are the top three costs to expect when it comes to mold remediation.

Why Mold Happens

Mold is the product of microorganisms that can grow inside or out, on most any surface so long as the environment is moist and dark. Indoors, some of the most common places for mold are:

  •  Leaky roofs
  • Beneath sinks
  • Crawl spaces


Since black mold removal is a multi-step process that must be done properly to ensure mold doesn’t keep coming back, it can be costly.

Mold Inspection

One of the first costs involved with mold removal is the mold inspection itself. This is when an expert comes in to examine your home, looking at potential problem areas. This can range from looking in obvious places like attics to more out of the way places, like air ducts. Expect to pay $300 to $900.

Mold Testing

Testing for mold is another way this fungus can cost you big. Mold isn’t always visible to the naked eye and in some cases, its smell is the only clue. Mold testing samples air to find toxins produced by mold. This can cost of a few hundred dollars.

Mold Remediation

The actual removal of mold and restoration of mold-damaged property is where prices are highest. This can involve replacing drywall and carpeting, as well as deep cleaning and deodorizing fabrics. It’s not uncommon to pay upwards of $6,000 or even much more.

Mold removal can cost a pretty penny, but the cost of not removing it - to your home and your health - is much higher. If mold is bothering you, call up your local mold remediation expert to start the removal process.

Is Water Damage Preventable?

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is Water Damage Preventable? Damage ceiling in a Spring Valley, TX residence

It is not possible to rule out every kind of water damage. A flood or another unexpected event can introduce water to dry areas of a residence in  Spring Valley, TX. Homeowners should take measures to limit the likelihood of unwanted water in home due to broken pipes, leaky appliances, or a damaged roof.

Pipe Breaks

Pipes typically break due to damage or pressure build-up caused by a blockage. There are several ways to prevent either issue from arising:

  • Have plumbing regularly inspected
  • Insulate pipes and drip faucets in below-freezing weather
  • Shut off water during trips out of town

A broken pipe can quickly cause extensive damage. As soon as a homeowner notices a pipe has burst, he or she should shut off the main water supply and try to remove as much water as possible. A water damage restoration company can be helpful for pipe cleanup.

Appliance Leaks

Appliance leaks are another common cause of water in home. Regular inspection of dishwashers, HVAC units, water heaters, and washing machines can prevent leaks from becoming severe. Leaks may become apparent in several places:

  • Around or under the appliance
  • Near supply hoses
  • Near drainage

Keep in mind that condensation may tend to develop in certain parts of a home. This moisture is not caused by a leak, but should be prevented if possible.

Roof Leaks

Roof leaks may start subtly and result in major damage to insulation, ceilings, or interiors. Regularly inspect the condition of a roof and look for damaged or missing shingles or pooling water. Homeowners may want to schedule a professional inspection annually or after severe storms.

Regular inspections of plumbing, appliances, and roofing can identify potential causes of water in home damage. Homeowners may perform periodic inspections, but licensed plumbers, appliance specialists, and roofers can recommend maintenance that could prevent water damage at a residence in Spring Valley, TX.

Smoke and Odor Cleaning After a Commercial Fire

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Smoke and Odor Cleaning After a Commercial Fire Ozone treatment uses oxidation to capture smoke from the air

If your Houston, TX, business has sustained a fire, there's likely a lot of work needed to get your building back to its former condition. If you're lucky, there's a minimum of structural damage, but you may still have a significant amount of smoke damage and smoke odor.

So What's the Best Way to Deal With it?

If you try to take care of the problem on your own using off-the-shelf products, it could take several weeks, and you may still not get the desired result. Your best bet is to contact a fire remediation company. The professionals can perform a thorough smoke cleaning using tools designed specifically for the task and get the job done within a few days. The restoration company typically uses the following equipment:

  • Air scrubbers
  • Ozone machines
  • Thermal foggers

Air Scrubbers

Air scrubbers use filtration to pull smoke out of the building. The air is forced through a series of filters, then returned after all particulates have been completely removed. The most common types of filters used are activated carbon, HEPA (high efficiency particulate air), and specialized odor-eliminating varieties.

Ozone Machines

Ozone treatment uses oxidation to capture smoke from the air. Ozone contains three oxygen molecules. When released into the air, it oxidizes the smoke and neutralizes the odor. Besides its superior smoke cleaning properties, ozone treatment has the added advantage of working as a disinfectant.

Thermal Foggers

Some lingering smoke odor may be hard to reach with other methods, in which case thermal foggers are employed. Using heat and pressure, tiny droplets are diffused into porous surfaces. This method can be used to get into any area where smoke has penetrated, making it much easier to clean and deodorize.

Getting rid of smoke damage after a commercial fire is a big job. While it's possible to perform odor and smoke cleaning on your own, hiring a professional fire restoration company to do the work can ensure that the job is done quickly, safely and completely.

5 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Things You Should Know About Water Damage A pipe break saturated the walls of this room in Houton, TX

5 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

Floods come in all sizes. Small floods can come from a pipe burst. Large ones can come from a river overflowing its banks. If you have never experienced a flood, there is a lot to learn. Here are five facts about water damage that you may not know.
1. You can experience all categories of floods without leaving your home in Houston,TX. The level of water contamination determines a flood’s category. As the numbers go up, the contamination gets progressively worse.

  • Category 1 is a clean-water flood which would occur if a water pipe burst under a sink.
  • Category 2 can be called a grey-water flood which would occur if your dishwasher overflowed or a sink or shower drain failed.
  • Category 3 is a blackwater flood which could be caused by sewers backing up into your home and overflowing your toilet, showers or sinks.

2. Drywall above the water line is salvageable. A flood cut is a horizontal cut made around the room 12 to 18 inches about the highest high-water mark.

3. The biggest danger after any flooding event is mold. It is everywhere around us just waiting for a source of moisture and food. Once it gets established, the cost of the cleanup increases.

4. During and after a flood, avoid everything electrical. Electricity should be shut off. If it isn’t, avoid standing water and leave everything electrical alone. Appliances and electronics are often salvageable if they are delivered to a restoration facility the way they were after the flood.

5. Water damage restoration specialists have special skills and equipment for dealing with floods. They can remediate the damage and bring your life back to normal quickly.


Fortunately, most of us are not going to experience anything worse than a pipe burst or a roof leak. Even though both have the potential for extreme damage, both are insignificant compared to the water damage from home-consuming floods that one sees on the TV news.

3 Reasons To Board Up After a Fire

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

An emergency board up is a critical fire damage mitigation measure. This process involves covering broken windows, destroyed doors, and any holes in the walls of a structure with plywood. Here are three reasons why homeowners should board up damaged houses or hire professionals who provide this service.

1. Limiting Damage

Boarding up a residence can prevent precipitation from adding to the water damage inside and keep out debris. Anything that enters into a residence damaged by fire is likely to cause secondary damage or make primary damage worse. Boarding up can help to prevent the damage from worsening before cleanup and restoration take place.

2. Preventing Unauthorized Entry

Boarding up can also help to keep trespassers out of a damaged residence. In addition to the risks of property theft, stripping metal, or vandalism, every visitor to the site of a fire can exacerbate damage. Ash and soot will become more ground into flooring with every footstep. A board up is also the best way to limit liability for persons who sustain injuries on the site of a fire.

3. Insurance Purposes

Insurers want to see proof that homeowners have done everything they can to keep fire damage from worsening. A homeowner may be able to obtain an advance to help cover mitigation costs. It is a good idea to document the full extent of the damage prior to boarding up.

These are three reasons to board up a damaged residence after a fire. It may be possible for a homeowner to perform this task with the assistance of at least one other person. This effort will require a sufficient amount of plywood and nails to cover all openings. A professional mitigation service can ensure that an emergency board up is done properly, and will not run the risk of exposing the interior of a damaged home in Spring Valley,TX.

What Happens When My Pipes Freeze?

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

As a business owner in Hilshire Village,TX, you're always trying to stay ahead of maintenance problems in your building, including water damage. You may think you've got everything covered, but have you considered what happens if your pipes freeze? When this happens, the water inside expands, pushing on the pipes and causing them to burst. The resulting damage and water cleanup can cost you a great deal of money. But, happily, this problem may be prevented by following the tips outlined below.

1. Keep Temperatures Stable

Make sure that the building temperature always stays the same. This will help keep the pipes from weakening due to expansion and contraction, thus preventing broken pipes and water damage. If the building will be unoccupied for a while, keep the heat on. Set the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

2. Use Insulation

Make sure to insulate any pipes that are exposed, especially the ones in colder or unheated places like crawlspaces and basements. The more insulation you can use, the better.

3. Run the Faucets

If it gets really cold, let the faucets run at a trickle. Even a very slow drip can be sufficient. As long as the water is running, it may freeze inside the pipes, but pressure won't build up, so it won't cause bursting.

4. Close or Open Valves

Close any inside valves that supply water to the outside. Open the outside valves to let any water in the pipes run out.

5. If You Find a Frozen Pipe

If you turn on a tap during cold weather and only a trickle comes out, it's probably due to a frozen pipe. The pipe is probably outside along an exterior wall, or in the foundation where the water line enters the house. Apply heat to the pipe using a hair dryer or a heating pad. Keep the water running while you treat the pipe.

If you've already found a frozen pipe and water damage has occurred, it may be best to consult with a professional water mitigation specialist right away. Hopefully, this is not the case, and by following the preventative measures shown above, you can easily prevent a burst pipe.

Town & Country Home Care: Important Safety Protocols After a Fire

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Town & Country Home Care: Important Safety Protocols After a Fire SERVPRO has the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.

Fires in the home can cause significant damage to the structure, electrical appliances, and personal items. Items that were not damaged by the flames may still have been harmed by the heat, smoke, and water. You must be aware that there is a potential risk of venturing into the home, and using these damaged items if the fire damage in your Memorial area home has not been properly mitigated. Before entering your home after a fire, we recommend adhering to the following safety protocols.

  1. Do not enter your home if the fire department has deemed it to be unsafe. After a fire, the structure may be compromised; this includes floors, ceilings, and walls. Additionally, it is not advised to allow children to enter the home, as debris and other dangers are present.
  2. Do not turn on lights or use any electrical outlets.  The heat from fire, steam, and water may have compromised your electrical system and wiring. Before using any electricity in the home, have a licensed electrician inspect the home.
  3. Do not eat any prepackaged foods, including canned foods, as they may have been contaminated by the fire and heat. After a fire and the loss of power, the food in your refrigerator, freezer, and any fresh fruits or vegetables should also be disposed of promptly.
  4. Do not take any prescription or over-the-counter medications that were in the home at the time of the fire. All medications have a recommended temperature range for storage. The heat, water, and steam will have compromised the medication and it is unsafe.
  5. Do not attempt to remove items from your home without proper safety glasses, boots, and gloves. Glass shards, chemicals, and other toxins will be present. The ideal situation is to have an emergency response team help you reclaim your items safely, and identify those that can be salvaged with cleaning and restoration.
  6. DO notify your local police department and neighbors if you are not going to reside in the home during your fire restoration. Provide both the police and your neighbors information of where you will be staying, and your phone number, in the event you need to be contacted.
  7. DO board up broken windows and doors. This critical step can help prevent further damage due to weather, as well as discourage theft and vandalism. It is recommended that you retrieve any items that are salvageable as quickly as possible.

While it might be tempting to clean and restore your home yourself after a fire, this is not recommended and may not be necessary since the vast majority of homeowner insurance policies will cover the cleaning and fire restoration process. SERVPRO of Town & Country is available 24x7 and has the expertise and tools necessary to start the fire restoration process. Call us immediately, and we will work diligently to get you back into your home as quickly as possible.

About Town & Country SERVPRO

The SERVPRO team of Town & Country is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when disasters strike. We are experts in the field of mold remediation, water damage, flood and fire cleanup, and other events that damage your property. 

Town & Country Home Care: Important Safety Protocols After a Fire

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Town & Country Home Care: Important Safety Protocols After a Fire SERVPRO has the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.

Fires in the home can cause significant damage to the structure, electrical appliances, and personal items. Items that were not damaged by the flames may still have been harmed by the heat, smoke, and water. You must be aware that there is a potential risk of venturing into the home, and using these damaged items if the fire damage in your Memorial area home has not been properly mitigated. Before entering your home after a fire, we recommend adhering to the following safety protocols.

  1. Do not enter your home if the fire department has deemed it to be unsafe. After a fire, the structure may be compromised; this includes floors, ceilings, and walls. Additionally, it is not advised to allow children to enter the home, as debris and other dangers are present.
  2. Do not turn on lights or use any electrical outlets.  The heat from fire, steam, and water may have compromised your electrical system and wiring. Before using any electricity in the home, have a licensed electrician inspect the home.
  3. Do not eat any prepackaged foods, including canned foods, as they may have been contaminated by the fire and heat. After a fire and the loss of power, the food in your refrigerator, freezer, and any fresh fruits or vegetables should also be disposed of promptly.
  4. Do not take any prescription or over-the-counter medications that were in the home at the time of the fire. All medications have a recommended temperature range for storage. The heat, water, and steam will have compromised the medication and it is unsafe.
  5. Do not attempt to remove items from your home without proper safety glasses, boots, and gloves. Glass shards, chemicals, and other toxins will be present. The ideal situation is to have an emergency response team help you reclaim your items safely, and identify those that can be salvaged with cleaning and restoration.
  6. DO notify your local police department and neighbors if you are not going to reside in the home during your fire restoration. Provide both the police and your neighbors information of where you will be staying, and your phone number, in the event you need to be contacted.
  7. DO board up broken windows and doors. This critical step can help prevent further damage due to weather, as well as discourage theft and vandalism. It is recommended that you retrieve any items that are salvageable as quickly as possible.

While it might be tempting to clean and restore your home yourself after a fire, this is not recommended and may not be necessary since the vast majority of homeowner insurance policies will cover the cleaning and fire restoration process. SERVPRO of Town & Country is available 24x7 and has the expertise and tools necessary to start the fire restoration process. Call us immediately, and we will work diligently to get you back into your home as quickly as possible.

About Town & Country SERVPRO

The SERVPRO team of Town & Country is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when disasters strike. We are experts in the field of mold remediation, water damage, flood and fire cleanup, and other events that damage your property. 

Memorial Home Health: Clean Up Fast After a Flood to Prevent Mold Infestations

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Memorial Home Health: Clean Up Fast After a Flood to Prevent Mold Infestations It is imperative that everything is completely dry prior to the rebuilding process.

The Houston SERVPRO team at SERVPRO of Town & Country wants to remind all of our Houston area neighbors and friends that mold infestations are a real threat after a property experiences storm damage and flooding. The devastating and widespread floods our area has experienced these last few months have taken a toll on homeowners and business owners alike, and now, many are finding that the mold cleanup and remediation is as intense as the original water damage cleanup.

In our area, mold starts to develop and grow within 48 hours of water damage. That is why it is imperative that water extraction, drywall and carpet removal, cleaning, and dehumidifying begins as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember, if your home recently flooded, your electrical wires and gas lines may have suffered significant and potentially hazardous damage. Prior to beginning any work onsite, it is important that you verify that utilities companies have shut off electricity and gas. Do not assume they are shut off, putting your safety at risk for even just a “sneak peek” before you have confirmation that it is safe to do so.

IMPORTANT HOME SAFETY NOTE: If you enter your home after a flood, be mindful that wildlife may have sought refuge inside your home, particularly behind or in furniture, in closets, attics, and other dry areas. Use caution in any interactions with snakes and other animals, and be aware that sharp debris is likely lurking in standing water. Always wear appropriate protective footwear, clothing, gloves, and eyewear if you enter the water.

When our team arrives on scene, they will begin to assess and evaluate the damage done to your home by floodwaters, a broken water pipe, sewage backup, or a fire. We can typically start the restoration process immediately, and we can even work directly with your insurance company and adjuster throughout the cleanup and rebuilding process. Our team will start by extracting the water. At this point, further assessment of the damage your property has sustained will be completed. The Houston SERVPRO team uses the finest commercial tools, and all of our team members undergo extensive training on industry-leading best practices to ensure that your home gets the finest care available.

After water is extracted, the team will begin the process of removing drywall and flooring (if necessary), and the general cleaning and disinfecting. Next, the drying and dehumidifying stage can begin. This is the stage that often frustrates homeowners, as it takes longer than expected. However, do not rush this step, as it is imperative that everything is completely dry prior to the rebuilding process. If insulation, structural supports, subfloors, and other elements are not completely dry, mold will develop behind new walls and flooring.

Remember, any time your home experiences residential water damage, it is an emergency. That is why your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Town & Country has team members ready to respond 24 hours a day. The sooner we can get in and start the process, the better chance we have of keeping your home in the Houston metro area from getting a potentially harmful mold infestation in the coming weeks and months.

About Town & Country SERVPRO

The SERVPRO team of Town & Country is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when disasters strike. We are experts in the field of mold remediation, water damage, flood and fire cleanup, and other events that damage your property. In addition to serving our neighbors in northwest Houston, we proudly serve surrounding communities.

Houston Home Health: Getting Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Home

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Houston Home Health: Getting Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Home Mold Fact: Most, if not all, of the mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources

When you step inside your home after a long day, is the first thing you smell mildew or mold? If so, it is time to take action. The health of your family and the structure of your home is at serious risk if mold cleanup is not done promptly. With our warm and humid climate, mold spores multiply exponentially, in a very short period. While small outbreaks in bathrooms can be treated effectively with proper cleansing, when there is mold present in the drywall, professional mold removal service in Memorial and surrounding areas is required.

Bathrooms are particularly at risk for mold growth. The first signs are typically found in and around the shower and bathtub. Look for dark green or black discoloration on the caulking. At the first sign, cleanse thoroughly with a bleach-based cleaner to kill the spores before they spread. Mold spores travel through the air, so it is typical to have mold in more than one location. Examine other areas including around the base of the toilet, the ceiling, and sniff the air for any signs of a mildew odor in the linen closet. Clean hard surfaces with a bleach-based cleanser as mentioned above, and wash fabrics according to manufacturer instructions. To keep mold from coming back, increase air circulation by opening a window or using the exhaust fan during and after showers and baths.

Laundry rooms, kitchens, garages, basements, attics, and mudrooms are all at risk for developing mold, especially after water damage in Memorial. Keep an eye out for discolorations in the drywall in these areas. If an outbreak of mold on drywall has grown beyond the size of a saucer, it is time to call the professionals. Chances are that the mold is in more areas than you are aware of. Air quality needs to be tested, and the mold damage remediated as quickly as possible to prevent serious health conditions from developing.

While our climate contributes significantly to mold growth, it is imperative that you track down the cause of the mold. Is there a leaky pipe behind the wall or under a sink? Is the roof leaking into the insulation causing mold to develop in an area you cannot see? Has water been seeping through the foundation after a heavy rain? These are all possibilities, and your SERVPRO of Houston and Memorial can help track down the cause, and then remediate the damage properly.

It is ideal to keep your home’s humidity levels at 50% or below, year round and this can be difficult with our climate. However, portable and whole-home humidifiers can make a substantial difference. SERVPRO of Town and Country stands at the ready for mold cleanup, after damage caused by a storm, fire, or water damage to make sure your home is safe for you, your family, and friends. We are available 24 hours a day; please don’t hesitate to call us. The quicker we are on the scene, the quicker you can return to normal life.