Recent Posts

What To Do If Your Basement Floods?

11/9/2022 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement If your basement is flooded you should call SERVPRO of Town and Country.

How Do You Handle a Flooded Basement?

If you've ever had a basement flood, you know how stressful it can be. That's why it's important to understand what to do if your basement floods and who to contact for help. A flooded basement is often caused by more than just one factor, which means that there are several different things you should consider doing to minimize damage and prevent future flooding. In this blog post we'll discuss several different scenarios that lead to flooding (and what could have prevented them), as well as steps that homeowners can take right away after a flood occurs to minimize damage and prevent further flooding.

Steps To Reduce Damage If Your Basement Has Flooded

If your basement has flooded, there are several steps you should take right away to minimize damage.

  • Keep a close eye on the water level. Make sure it doesn’t rise too high or get into any other part of your home.
  • Call a plumber or water damage restoration specialist as soon as possible after a flood to ensure that no additional damage occurs.
  • If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly and doesn't need to be replaced or repaired before the next major rain event happens in your area.

Factors That Can Contribute To a Basement Flood

One of the most common is a sump pump failure, which occurs when the sump pump is not installed properly or fails when needed most. Sump pumps are also responsible for removing water from your home’s foundation and moving it outside of your house into a designated drainage system. However, if you have an older model, it may not be able to handle large amounts of rainfall in one go and could cause problems for homeowners in high-risk areas like hurricanes.

Sump pumps need to be checked regularly for proper operation—a clogged filter or worn impeller (the part that pulls water up into the discharge pipe) are just two examples of common causes for premature failure in this type of equipment. Regular inspections will also help you identify any potential issues before they become major problems that damage your home's foundation or flood your basement again!

Call a Plumber or Water Damage Restoration Specialist

As soon as possible after a flood, you should call a plumber or water damage restoration specialist to ensure that no additional damage occurs. Mold can quickly grow in your home if left untreated it can be very dangerous.

If you find yourself in need of assistance with a water problem, SERVPRO of Town and Country is here to help. We have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle any type of water damage. Our staff will be able to quickly get the work done so that you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

For more information on what we do or if you need help with your insurance claim, contact us today at (713) 461-2700. We are available 24/7 so don’t hesitate—contact us today!

How Do Fire Sprinklers Work During a Fire?

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Red head of a fire sprinkler Sprinkler systems are composed of several different components, including the pipes, sprinkler heads and alarm valves.

How Do Fire Sprinklers Operate in the Event of a Fire?

Sprinklers are an important part of any fire suppression system. They’re designed to suppress fires in the early stages, before they have a chance to spread and cause significant damage. Sprinkler systems are composed of several different components, including the pipes, sprinkler heads and alarm valves. When the heat of a fire reaches a certain level, it ignites the fire sprinkler head mounted on the ceiling or wall. This causes water to spray out in all directions and extinguish most small fires before they can become large ones.

Fire sprinklers are a vital part of preventing significant damage to commercial and industrial buildings.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that all new construction and major renovations comply with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. To prevent the spread of fire, sprinklers are required in certain areas of buildings based on their construction type and occupancy classification.

Sprinklers can save lives and property when they're properly installed and maintained. They're most effective when used in combination with other fire protection systems such as smoke alarms (smoke detectors), carbon monoxide alarms (CO detectors), automatic water mist extinguishers, standpipe systems, hose cabinets or deluge systems—or any combination thereof—to protect against multiple hazards in your building's specific type of occupancy.

Sprinklers are so effective and reliable that they’re required by the National Fire Protection Association to be installed in most commercial buildings. This is because sprinklers have been proven to reduce fire damage and end up saving businesses money over time.

Sprinkler systems are composed of several different components, including the pipes, sprinkler heads and alarm valves.

When someone pulls the fire alarm in an office or hotel, it activates a valve that opens water to all the sprinkler heads in that area. The water flowing from these sprinklers can range anywhere between 30-50 gallons per minute. This keeps an area free from smoke and flames until firefighters arrive on scene.

When the heat of a fire reaches a certain level, it ignites the fire sprinkler head mounted on the ceiling or wall.

A fire sprinkler system is made up of several parts. The most important part is the fire sprinkler head, which is mounted on the ceiling or wall.

When a fire occurs, it heats up until it reaches a certain temperature, at which point the sprinkler head opens and releases water onto the flames. This causes them to extinguish before they can spread throughout your home or business.

Sprinklers are an important way to make sure your building is protected from fire. They’re easy to install, maintain and operate, so you can rest assured that this system will work when it counts most.

Can Fire-Damaged Contents Be Cleaned?

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Boxes with a plastic cover on top After a fire, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be cleaned.

Content Cleaning Methods

A fire can destroy many contents, but it may be possible to clean items that are only exposed to smoke, ash, and soot. Damage mitigation professionals provide a variety of content cleaning methods. These methods range from dry-cleaning to foam and wet cleaning. Learn more about the best treatments for different types of items.

Non-Porous Contents

Hard, non-porous items and surfaces can stand up to heavy-duty cleaning processes. Some of the most effective methods include:

  • Abrasion or blasting
  • Immersion
  • Ultrasonic waves

Immersion and ultrasonic waves are often combined for maximum effect. These methods work best on smaller items that can be easily dipped in a bath of cleaning solution and treated with high-pressure waves. Larger items or surfaces may call for wet cleaning.

Porous Contents

Porous items absorb moisture and may not be good candidates for immersion or wet cleaning. The following methods are recommended for these materials:

  • Dry-cleaning
  • Spraying
  • Wiping

Restoration professionals use specialized methods and solutions that may be more effective than consumer-grade treatments. Ask an expert which method is best suited to a particular item.

Delicate Contents

Care must be taken not to damage delicate contents. Books and documents call for different cleaning methods than treatments for textiles or upholstery. The best approaches for cleaning delicate materials may include:

  • Chemical sponges
  • Foam
  • HEPA vacuums
  • Immersion

Books and documents may benefit from being wiped with chemical sponges and carefully cleaned with a HEPA vacuum. Upholstery and furniture are ideal candidates for foam cleaning. Ceramics and glass should be able to withstand immersion.

These are all of the major content cleaning methods used by fire damage mitigation professionals. A service may also provide content storage until on-site restoration is complete. Rely on expert recommendations if you are unsure whether dry-cleaning or another method is the best approach for damaged items after a fire at a residence in Bunker Hill Village,TX.

What Mold in Air Ducts Could Mean for Commercial Buildings

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Mold and dust surrounding air duct Mold in air ducts in Houston, TX.

The Potential Impact of Mold in Air Ducts for Commercial Buildings

Mold frequently grows on construction materials for commercial buildings in Houston, TX. It thrives in hidden, dark spaces with favorable humidity levels and hosts that provide it the nutrients it needs. Mold spores will settle and develop into colonies in any areas that provide these conditions. Hiring an HVAC cleaning service at least twice a year is recommended for commercial buildings. It is common to find fungus growing inside of HVAC systems on:

  • AC evaporator coils
  • The drip pan
  • Inside air ducts

If you find mold around your commercial property, it is likely there is mold inside of your HVAC system as well. Here's what mold in the HVAC system could mean for your commercial building:

Mold Spores Will Circulate When the HVAC System Turns On

Mold can be found feeding off the dust in your HVAC system. This is because air ducts provide a suitable environment for fungus to thrive. This mold will release mold spores that circulate into every room of a commercial building when the HVAC system turns on. This makes them more likely to attach themselves to the natural construction materials of the building. Regular HVAC cleaning will clear your air conditioning system of dust, preventing mold growth. Cleaning vents frequently will also aid in mold prevention.

Mold in Your Air Ducts Will Cause Unpleasant Smells

A key indicator of mold being circulated through the building is an unpleasant, musky smell. When mold spores are circulated through air vents it makes them more likely to grow on other materials that provide the right nutrients, including water damaged wood or drywall. The smell coming from these materials is often described as humid and earthy.

Mold spores only take about 48-72 hours to develop into colonies. If you have found mold on your property, it is crucial to address it right away by calling an HVAC cleaning service. This will improve the overall air quality in your building and prevent mold damage.

What Is a Category Three Water Damage?

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet Water that is contaminated with feces or raw sewage, such as an overflow from a toilet

Which Water Damage Situations Fit Into This Category

Category 3 water damage is known as black water. This type of water damage can contain bacteria, fungi and unsanitary agents, such as raw sewage. Examples of this type of damage include seawater, storm surge, overflow from streams and rivers, standing water and ground surface water. This type of water damage usually requires the assistance of professionals, so it is important to recognize which water damage situations fit into this category.


Black Water Examples
Several events can lead to water being classified as category 3. You may need to employ the services of a professional water mitigation company in Hilshire Village,TX when you have certain types of damage:

  • Water that is contaminated with feces or raw sewage, such as an overflow from a toilet or sewer backup
  • Standing water that has been standing long enough to become stagnant
  • Floodwater from oceans, streams, rivers, storm surge, or groundwater


What To Do
The steps you should take depend on the cause of your problem. If you have a clogged or overflowing toilet, do not run any of the toilets in your building until the clog has been identified and removed. If you are experiencing a sewage backup, close all of your drain openings with stoppers or plugs to prevent further backup issues and schedule sewage cleanup services.
Close off contaminated areas to prevent contaminants from being spread around your facility on the shoes and clothing of people passing through the area. If you must enter the contaminated area, wear protective gear and remove it before you pass through the rest of your building. Do not move anything from the contaminated area into the rest of your building until you have had a chance to clean and sanitize it.
Dealing with a black water situation is best left a professional restoration service. Properly dealing with the issue can avoid cross-contamination and further damage to your facility.

The Hows and Whys of Document Restoration

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents When documents are affected by water damage, always call in a team of professionals that are Here to Help

The Hows and Whys of Document Restoration

A big storm, a building fire or a flood can do a number on just about everything a business owns. Knowing how to deal with water removal, mold abatement, smoke odors, and other issues is a must for a professional disaster mitigation franchise. The process of document restoration is one area that requires expertise, training, and the right equipment. With the proper procedures the following materials can be salvaged in many situations:

  • Photographs and films
  • Paper documents
  • Maps and blueprints
  • Books and magazines
  • Parchment

Successful restoration involves state-of-the-art technology and experienced technicians. A fast response to damaged documents increases the chance of success.

Why Document Restoration Is Needed

Any major upheaval to a business in Spring Valley,TX, could result in damaged documents. A flood could bring in dirty water that coats papers and photographs with contaminated bacteria and chemicals. A fire could result in soot damage to materials. To prevent these important, historic or valuable materials from being lost forever, a meticulous restoration process can save them. With advanced document drying and cleaning techniques, these materials can still be retained in the company archives and be accessible to employees. SERVPRO technicians know how important it is to recover these valuable documents.

How Restoration Is Accomplished

HIPPA master-certified technicians use the latest technology to restore documents. Vacuum freeze-drying methods and gamma irradiation technology are two options to dry, clean and sterilize paper and parchment. Technicians use many of the same methods employed by the Library of Congress and the National Archive and Records Administration. SERVPRO provides full-service document restoration. These measures, in addition to drying, include cleaning and disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorizing. The digital process uses a computerized inventory system that converts paper and photos to digital, thereby increasing storage, ease of access, and durability of materials. When documents are affected by water damage, always call in a team of professionals that are Here to Help.

How To Clean Up a Water Heater Leak

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Closeup of a rusty and leaking water heater A leaking water heater should be handled with care

How to Fix a Leak in a Water Heater

Are you having trouble getting enough hot water? Do you notice strange sounds coming from the tank? Maybe you're seeing puddles or drips that haven't occurred before? These are signs of a leaking water heater. You deserve a warm shower without water damage. With that in mind, residents in Houston, TX, should act swiftly to remedy the issue. Here are five steps to assist in alleviating your water heating needs.

1. Seek Professional Advice
Where do you start? A water restoration company understands the importance of remediation and repair. Contact a reputable business within your area, asking for immediate arrival. They have equipment and experience, making the process smoother and more efficient.

2. Turn Off the Electricity
Your failed water heater is a hazard for you and the family. Therefore, as you wait for the professionals, protect your home and everyone in it by shutting off the electrical circuit to that zone.

3. Request Testing
Begin by determining the extent of property damage. This is important in ensuring that future complications don't arise. The crew can assess if the moisture invaded the foundation or the drywall, offering a complete picture of your replacement needs. They can also work on the leaking water heater, figuring out why the device broke. If possible, they can fix it. If they can't, they'll arrange for a new unit to be installed.

4. Remove Water
Lingering liquid can create a musty odor or damage walls. This fluid needs extraction, so the team should use dehumidifiers to draw out the excess humidity.

5. Restore the Area
Once the broken water heater is removed and the new piece is installed, specialists will begin to rebuild your room. This often includes putting in new baseboards and drywall. Painting or patching takes place to get everything back to normal.
A leaking water heater should be handled with care. Think about your safety by cutting the electricity off. Then, begin to work with a restoration team that can lead you through the appropriate remediation steps.

3 Tips for Business Disaster Preparedness

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Preparing your business for disaster includes creating a contingency plan.

Preparing your company to get back on its feet after a tornado, fire or flood is just as important as paying your rent - but many businesses label this a low priority. Yet without a disaster preparedness plan, your business could face unnecessary losses. Get your Bunker Hill Village, TX business ready - here are three quick ways how.

Top Disaster Risks

Both man and mother nature can be the cause of a disaster. Some of the most potentially devastating incidences include:

  • earthquakes
  • terror attacks
  • flooding

Preparing your business for disaster includes creating a plan with contingencies for all of the above.

Review Your Insurance

One of the easiest ways to prepare for a disaster is making sure you have proper insurance. Review your insurance coverage regularly to make sure you have flood insurance, as well as add-ons for business interruption, loss of use, and extended coverage.

Draft Your Response Plan

A written plan detailing what to do amid a disaster is perhaps one of the most important parts of a disaster preparedness effort. Such business preparedness plans are custom to each business. But at a minimum, they should include things like:

  • emergency phone numbers
  • A map of the building with emergency exits clearly marked
  • Instructions and circumstances for continued operation

Protect Your Data

In a high-tech world, your company’s data can be one of its most invaluable commodities. Make sure your company and its clients are protected during a disaster. Regularly back up files and store in a safe place off-site. That way key proprietary data, as well as sensitive client data, will be safe should a disaster compromise company computers.
Planning for disaster preparedness is just as much a part of running a robust business as paying bills. Don’t just prepare for flood or storm cleanup. Get ahead of the game by using these tips to ensure your business is ready when disaster strikes.

Why SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

green truck box. Servpro vehicle SERVPRO is the ideal restoration company and is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Why SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

The faster you get help after a disaster, the less property damage you are likely to sustain. When water is left to sit after a flood, mold can begin to set in after as little as 24-48 hours. When fire damage is left unattended, holes in the exterior of the building can lead to more damage from the elements. If you experience a disaster in Hilshire Village, TX, you will need a team of experts to help immediately. Here are several reasons that SERVPRO is the ideal restoration company and is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

1. Locally Owned
Since there are over 1,900 SERVPRO franchises, experts can reach 90% of all U.S. zip codes within two hours of your initial call. Additionally,locally-owned franchises can provide an extra set of knowledge about specific conditions in the Hilshire Village, TX, area.

2. Available 24 Hours a Day
SERVPRO knows that disasters do not happen only during regular business hours. That is why they are ready to take your call and send out an emergency response team 24 hours a day, every day. No matter the day or time, SERVPRO is standing by and ready to be Faster to Any Size Disaster.

3. Highly Trained Staff
SERVPRO has over 50 years of experience in the restoration and remediation of mold, fire, and water damage. Headquarters passes this knowledge on to each of its franchisees through extensive training programs.

4. Help With Your Insurance Claim
When your team of experts arrives onsite, the claims process will begin. SERVPRO has completed thousands of jobs and understands the insurance process well. They will help monitor the entire process from beginning to end. 
Having a SERVPRO team that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can help minimize additional damage to your property. By having SERVPRO experts help you through the process, your property will be back to its original condition as quickly as possible. 
 

Grill Cleaning and Maintenance Can Prevent a Grease Fire

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill at a summer barbecue party. It is important to deep clean your grill.

Grill Cleaning and Maintenance

Residents of Spring Valley, TX, are looking forward to cooking on a grill again. However, summer fun can end quickly if a grease fire damages your home. Frequent grill cleaning can prevent costly fire damage.

Cleaning Supplies
Have these cleaning supplies available when preparing to clean your charcoal or gas grill for the summer:

  • Scouring pad
  • Grill brush with scraper
  • Dish soap

Grill Maintenance and Deep Grill Cleaning
It is important to deep clean your grill and check for signs of needed maintenance at the beginning of summer. Remove any old ashes from your charcoal grill and scrape the grates with a grill brush and hot soapy water. Rinse with hot water before cooking. 
If you have a gas grill, it is important to check for grease under the firebox. Empty the grease collection tray and clean it with hot soapy water. Check the burner hoods for any dirt or grease, making sure the burner ports are clear so flames can pass through.
Repeat the deep cleaning process at the end of summer and store your grill in a dry place or under a weatherproof cover. Additionally, don't forget to remove the ignition battery from your gas grill so it doesn't corrode.

Fire Damage Protection
Make sure you clean your grill thoroughly every time you use it. Scrape any burnt food off the grates before and after cooking and scoop out old ashes from your charcoal grill. If you have a gas grill, empty the grease pan under the firebox and remove any built-up grease, food or ashes from the firebox and burner hoods.  
Fires can happen even if you are diligent about grill cleaning. If a fire damages your house, enlist fire restoration specialists from Spring Valley, TX, to coordinate the fire cleanup. Routine cleaning and maintenance will help prevent fire damage, so you can relax and enjoy your favorite summer foods without fear.