Recent Posts

Common Commercial Bathroom Problems and Ways To Avoid Them

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet A clogged toilet is sometimes caused by thick toilet paper

Common Commercial Bathroom Problems

Nearly everyone has had the unpleasant experience of going into a public restroom and finding it in disarray. It could be the presence of paper towels and trash on the floor, or a shallow sheet of water trickling out from one of the stalls. The situation could be caused by flawed custodial staffing, or by a mechanical problem such as a clogged toilet. Not only are situations like this unsanitary and detrimental to a company's image, they can also cause injuries and property damage. To prevent water damage, a qualified water mitigation team in Spring Valley, TX, should be called in to assess the situation and remove any standing water.

Simple Restroom Solutions
The majority of issues with bathroom leaks and flooding can be resolved with a few smart practices. The following steps go a long way toward a cleaner, healthier, and dryer restroom:

  • Adequate staffing
  • Trained custodians
  • Proper use of materials
  • Regular emptying of wastebaskets
  • Clear signage
  • Regular maintenance

A clogged toilet is sometimes caused by thick toilet paper. A thinner brand is less likely to result in a clogged toilet. An air dryer can reduce the amount of paper products that could wind up in the wrong place. Additionally, overflowing wastebaskets promote the practice of throwing trash in the toilets, which can clog the toilet. Most people want to do the right thing, so signage that explains what items can be flushed down the toilet may be helpful.

Complicated Restroom Issues
Whenever a toilet overflow results in sewage being present in a public restroom, the area should be closed until the situation is resolved. This usually requires the services of a professional team equipped with personal protective gear. The contaminated water should be removed and the area cleaned and disinfected to high standards. Porous materials such as drywall may need to be replaced. A clogged toilet is a common problem in commercial restrooms, but if not addressed quickly it can become a serious liability.

4 Stages of a Roof Leak

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Close up view of man using removing rotten wood from leaky roof. Regularly inspect the condition of the roof on a commercial building in Hilshire Village, TX

4 Stages of a Roof Leak

A roof leak can cause water damage gradually or quickly. Here are four stages through which a leak may proceed, from an initial incident to further damage that increases the risk of black mold.

1. Roof Damage Occurs
Any damage a roof suffers may cause a leak. Falling branches, flying debris, high winds or large hail can undermine roofing. Missing materials or a broken seal could permit water to work its way down through lower layers of roofing and penetrate the building envelope.

2. Membrane or Underlayment Suffers Damage
Depending on the type of roof, a lower layer membrane or underlayment may be the next to sustain damage. These materials protect the roof deck and interior of a structure. More extensive or prolonged damage may allow water to work through these protective layers. Even if roof damage is identified before the interior of a structure is affected, these layers of roofing may require repairs.

3. Insulation and Interior Suffers Damage
Once water penetrates through a roof, insulation is often the next layer of a structure to suffer water damage. Cellulose insulation that becomes saturated will need to be torn out and replaced to reduce the risk of black mold. Water leaking into a structure can eventually cause a ceiling leak and interior water damage.

4. Mold Risk Rises
Any damp materials increase the risk of mold in a building. As water damage may not be immediately apparent and the attic may remain undisturbed for long stretches of time, a roof leak is likely to support the growth of mold.
Regularly inspect the condition of the roof on a commercial building in Hilshire Village, TX, especially after severe weather. Fix any damage as soon as possible. Once water leaks into lower layers of roofing, insulation, or the interior of a structure, more extensive repairs, restoration, or black mold remediation may be necessary.

Top Mold Damage Costs Explained

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Person hand measuring the wetness of a moldy wall 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.

What Affects the Severity of Hail Damage

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster marked the hail damage on a insureds roof. Hail damage on the roof

Hail damage to the roof of your house can be devastating. Following a hailstorm, you should check your roof and address any problems immediately. Otherwise, water could enter your home from holes in the roof and flood the property.

What Affects the Severity of Hail Damage?

Some hailstorms can cause little or no damage to your Houston, TX, home. Others, however, can create disastrous holes in your roof. How much harm hail creates depends on several factors:

  • Density and size of the hail
  • Home barriers
  • Wind
  • The state of the roof

Obviously, the larger and more dense the hailstones, the more damage they can cause. The size of hailstones varies wildly based on the storm. The stones can be as large as a softball or as small as a pea.
Certain barriers can also shield your home from hailstones. If you have fences or large trees near your house, your roof could be spared from major damage.
Hailstones are not the only feature of hailstorms. They also usually include high winds. The speed and direction of this wind can affect the amount of hail damage to the roof.
Finally, certain characteristics of the roof itself can affect how susceptible it is to harm from hailstorms. Hail can ding aluminum sidings but cause cracks in vinyl sidings. Roofs that are older or poorly maintained could also get damaged more easily.

What Are Signs of Hail Damage?
To be safe, you should inspect your roof after every hailstorm. Of course, not every roof defect is caused by hail. However, if your composition or asphalt shingles look shiny or lose granules, they may have been affected by hail. Wood shingles, meanwhile, could have sharp or brown splits as a result of hail. If you notice any of these issues, contact hail damage repair specialists immediately.
Depending on the nature of your home and the size of the storm, hail damage to the roof can be extensive. To limit the harm to your property, keep the roof well-maintained, and fix any defects right away.

Tips on Creating an Effective Fire Escape Plan

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Escape plan If you don't have a fire escape plan, create one today

Chances are good that you'll never have to worry about dealing with a fire in the workplace. However, in the off chance you experience this emergency, you'll want to be ready to be prepared. Responsible businesses in Bunker Hill Village, TX, create a fire escape plan. Putting one in place can help put your mind at ease that in the case of a disaster, you and your co-workers can be safe.

Know Your Building

You go to work five days a week, but how well do you know the layout and design of your office? If a fire starts, everyone will need to know how to exit quickly and orderly. Identify these key areas of your office:

  • Where the fire escapes are on each floor
  • Where to find the fire alarm and how to set it off
  • Any barriers to exiting or areas that could
  • pose safety concerns during a fire.

Assign Roles

The last thing you need during a fire is for people to panic. Make sure you give responsible people key tasks to fulfill. In your emergency escape plan, there should be a floor warden for each level of the building. This person is in charge of creating the plan and checking areas such as the bathroom once a fire starts. A floor monitor makes sure everyone gets out safely and that no one is left in the building. Also, assign someone to direct people out of the building through the correct exits.

Create a Map

Everyone should have a visual representation of the fire escape plan. The map should clearly show where to meet outside of the building and how traffic should flow from each floor.

Practice It

At least once a year, your organization should stage a fire escape drill. Emphasize getting everyone out with order but purpose.
If you don't have a fire escape plan, create one today. Firefighters and professional fire cleanup crews will do their job. Yours is to get everyone to safety.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Commercial Roof

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Working Hands Workman Clearing Autumn Leaves from Gutter If your drains frequently become clogged by leaves or other debris, you may need to clean them more often

Incorporate These 5 Tips Into Your Maintenance Plan

Improper maintenance can lead to roof damage or even premature replacement. Consider incorporating these five tips into your maintenance plan.

1. Inspect and Clean Drainage Systems

Water that isn't properly drained away from your building can cause substantial damage. You should inspect and clean your drainage systems at least twice a year. If your drains frequently become clogged by leaves or other debris, you may need to clean them more often.

2. Get Regular Inspections

Roof damage is not always visible from the ground. You should contact a professional inspector in Hilshire Village, TX, to do an inspection at least once a year. The inspector will check for leaks, wind damage, dirt and debris, loose materials and overhanging branches that need to be trimmed. Additionally, he may suggest needed repairs or recommend when you need a roof rebuild or replacement.

3. Keep It Clean

Dirt and debris, such as leaves, branches and tree limbs, can cause damage. You should regularly have your employees or professional cleaners clean your roof. If you have recently experienced a storm, it may be beneficial to contact a storm cleanup company to assist you.

4. Inspect and Repair Loose Perimeter Flashing

Loose flashing can lead to water penetrating your roof cover during wind storms. You should inspect your flashing after any weather events involving high winds and promptly repair or replace flashing that has come loose.

5. Repair Damage Promptly

Repairing minor damage when it first occurs can help prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Loose or cracked roofing materials may not immediately cause leaks or other problems, but damaged materials are much more likely to be blown off or severely damaged in a wind storm.
Regular maintenance can help you avoid roof damage or early replacement. Have your roof inspected, cleaned and repaired regularly so that small problems do not become big problems down the road.

Get the Facts on Mold

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Aspergillus Niger is green and pink mold Aspergillus, mold found in food and heating and cooling systems

Get the Facts on Mold

Mold is not as complicated as quantum physics, but it is still an area that harbors a number of misconceptions. As with just about anything, it is important to get the facts right. Mold is a fungus. A number of different mold types can be found in a home, including the following strains:

  • Aspergillus, an allergenic mold found in food and heating and cooling systems
  • Cladosporium, a mold that looks black or green
  • Stachybotrys atra, also known as black mold

Mold damage can occur from any of these three common types of mold. All mold is non-toxic to humans, but some molds can cause rashes, watery eyes and sneezing in some individuals. Mold thrives on moisture and grows on paper, tiles, wood, drywall, carpeting, wallpaper, and other surfaces.

Mold Is for Experts

There is much more to learn about mold, but most people are content to leave mold remediation to the professionals. Technicians have been trained in the nuances of mold growth and are capable of testing to detect the presence of mold in a home in Spring Valley, TX. Experts can also develop a plan to contain mold, limit mold damage and address the conditions that allowed mold to grow in the first place. With the use of physical barriers, HEPA vacuums, and anti-fungal and antimicrobial cleaning agents a mold remediation company has the tools to clear up a mold problem.

Mold Is Seldom Good

Mold has been around for millions of years and is present just about everywhere, but it is a serious situation when mold colonies grow in a home. While mildew growth is often unsightly, it can be handled with a basic cleaner and a good brush, but mold growth requires a more systematic approach. The effects of mold damage can be extensive and can even cause harm to paintings, photographs, and rare books. The fact is that mold can be a serious matter in the home.

Proactive Cleaning for Your Commercial Space

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says preventative measures SERVPRO of Town & Country can provide proactive cleaning on a commercial scale.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business in Town & Country, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts at SERVPRO of Town & Country today!

Mold Damage After Flooding

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on white surface Water damage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24-48 hours

Water damage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24-48 hours. Since mold spores multiply in moist conditions, you will need to get the area dry as quickly as possible. Mold can form on any organic material, even in places you cannot see. Once formed, you may notice a musky smell in the vicinity of the water damage. If you have experienced flooding in Houston, TX, there are a few things you can do to restore damaged items and keep mold from forming in the first place.

Where Mold Might Form

When standing water is left to sit, bacteria and mold can begin to grow and multiply. Your best protection is to remove the water, disinfect, and dry any items that came into contact with the floodwater. Mold forms easily on pulpy surfaces and may infect many different types of items:

  • Building materials like carpets and drywall
  • Paper products such as photos, documents, and cardboard
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Insulation
  • Underneath flooring or behind walls

Mold spores are always in the air around us, so once wetness sets in, mold growth is likely to occur over a short time.

How To Keep Mold From Forming

The best way to keep mold from forming is to dry the area. If you have standing water, a professional can use an extraction machine to remove it. Specialized fans can be used to circulate the air and dry the area faster than it would dry on its own. If the water came from a contaminated source or picked up pollutants along the way, the area will need to be disinfected with the appropriate products. Some materials may need to removed and replaced and others may need to be taken in for specialized cleaning or restoration.
If you have mold growth, your best course of action is to hire a professional remediation company to fix the problem. They can identify and clean mold in unseen places and restore your building to its preflood condition.

3 Tips for Smoke Detectors in Your Home

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

A smoke alarm, the words REPLACE IT on the bottom of the picture Some smoke alarms have 10 years batteries

Here's What You May Want to Know

When installing a smoke alarm in your Bunker Hill Village, TX, home, it’s important to follow the recommendations of many professionals, including fire damage restoration services, to ensure the alarm functions properly in the event of an emergency. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Regular Maintenance

It’s important to maintain your smoke detectors for fire safety. Most professionals recommend checking the batteries in all alarms located in your home at least once a year. Many people choose to do this at daylight savings to keep the maintenance routine consistent. .Keeping your units free of dust can help prevent malfunctioning. It’s also recommended to test the unit according to the manufacturer's directions to ensure functionality. In most cases, there is a test button you can press to hear the alarm sound. If your alarm is malfunctioning it should be replaced entirely.

2. Alarm Placement

The exact placement of a smoke alarm in your home can also be important. It’s recommended that at least one alarm be placed on each floor of the building. Place an alarm in high-risk areas such as a workshop or kitchen. It’s also recommended to place one alarm inside each bedroom, and one alarm outside the bedrooms as well. You may be able to place a single alarm outside multiple bedrooms if they share a hall or living area.

3. Operation Life

A smoke detector does have an operation life. Many professionals recommend fully replacing any unit over ten years old to ensure proper functionality during the event of an emergency. Older units have a higher risk of malfunctioning which could be costly to your home and family.
When installing a smoke alarm in your home it’s important to regularly maintain the unit, place the alarm inside and outside each bedroom, as well as in the kitchen area, and fully replace old units. Doing so can help keep your home and family safe.