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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog 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.

What Is Secondary Water Damage?

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Severe black mold damage in a home Severe black mold damage in Hillshire Village, TX

If you have experienced water damage in Hilshire Village, TX, it is important that you clean the water up quickly so that black mold does not have a chance to form. There are two types of water damage. Primary water damage is what occurs immediately when an area floods. Secondary damage occurs after primary damage and is the result of damage happening over time. This is when structural damage tends to happen.

Causes of Secondary Water Damage

Secondary damage can be caused by anything from a flood to a leak hidden inside a wall. There are several key indicators of this type of water:

  • The presence of black mold
  • Other contaminants present in the water
  • Areas where water was not completely extracted and dried
  • Water that has been left to sit

To ensure it is done right the first time, water must be extracted and the area must be dried and cleaned within a short time. When cleaned and dried properly, secondary damage is not likely to occur.

How To Find It

Secondary water damage can also occur when areas remain moist due to high humidity. It may not always be obvious and can happen over days or weeks, causing extensive damage that is expensive to repair. Water can enter into small cracks in porous materials and begin to swell. The moisture can cause floors, walls, or other areas to warp or crack. Mold can begin forming in as little as 24-48 hours. A professional company may use a moisture meter to help locate hidden damp areas and use special procedures to dry them before secondary water damage has a chance to set in.
Keep your home free of black mold by drying wet or moist areas as quickly as possible. If you have experienced water damage, a professional remediation company can help you dry, disinfect, and restore your home quickly.

Avoid Water Damage During Construction

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Water pipe break Water pipe break in Spring Valley, TX

There is nothing quite like erecting a new building to house your Spring Valley, TX, business. Ushering in a new era comes with a lot of planning and work. While it can be easy to get wrapped up in the design, it's important to consider what can happen during construction. Items stored in a flooded area or a broken pipe can bring unwanted moisture that may have long-lasting repercussions. Ensuring a water pipe repair is done quickly and other small steps can help ensure a smooth project.

The Main Culprits

If you’ve done your research, you have confidence in the contractor you are using to be on top of preventing damage. It’s still important to stick to the plan and inspect the site frequently to ensure things are being done right. While hopefully the unexpected doesn’t happen, below are ways that water can become a problem.

If pipe connections or drain fittings aren’t properly installed, calling a professional for a water pipe repair may become something you need to do more than you want. A proper test of the system should be done before letting it run on its own.
Mother Nature often does not cooperate. If areas are exposed to the elements, it could mean dealing with water damage. This is especially true for elevator shafts, mechanical opening, unsecured doors, and unfinished roofs.
While most construction materials are designed to withstand the elements for extended periods of time, others may not be. Regardless of the material, proper storage is key to reducing downtime, losses and ongoing issues.

Dealing with Damage

If water does become a problem, addressing it quickly is vital. A water remediation expert will have the know-how and tools to ensure your new building doesn’t have any lingering problems. From preventing mold to ensure areas are secure from water coming in when it shouldn’t, a professional can help get your construction back on track.
Smooth construction is always preferred, but that doesn’t always happen. Staying on top of the things, such as completing a water pipe repair or keeping materials in a dry place, will help keep things worry-free.

The Hows and Whys of Document Restoration

1/22/2020 (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 Houston, 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.

What Do You Need To Know About Mold Standards?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage

What Do You Need To Know About Mold Standards?

If you are a business owner or property manager in Hilshire Village, TX, being familiar with mold standards is part of the job description. This information will help guide you through mold cleanup as well as ensure the job is being completed to current standards. One important resource is the ANSI/IICRC S520 publication, known as the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. While it probably is not critical that you know this document, available in both hard copy and electronic format, inside and out, any mold mitigation franchise you deal with should be knowledgeable about its contents.

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

The IICRC is a mouthful, but it is a recognized leader in mold standards and the best methods for cleaning up a variety of commercial and residential situations. Among other tasks, it provides information on the following items:

  • Certification standards for cleaning companies
  • The effects of disinfectants on cleaning different materials
  • The importance of standards in the cleaning industry

The organization publishes a variety of publications on cleaning standards, how to make sure mold clean companies are current on techniques and equipment and the best methods to restore various materials such as carpeting, tile flooring, and clothing. Publications can be ordered at www:IICRC. org/store or by calling 360-693-5675.

American National Standards Institute

ANSI and the IICRC work together to provide guidance and clarification on such issues as how to clean black mold and the concepts and procedures for restoration, cleaning and inspection of properties with mold damage and other issues. Mold standards for cleaning and restoration have been established through a rigorous process that involves government agencies and cleaning companies throughout the U.S. As a property owner when you hire a mold cleaning company it is important that the company knows and understands advances in the industry. This will make sure your building is cleaned safely and effectively.

How To Keep Your Furry Friends Safe in the Event of a Fire

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Dog sitting on a door mat with written text Home Your pets needs to be a part of your emergency fire plan.

House fires are the most common disaster that emergency responders respond to, according to the United States Fire Administration, but they are also the most preventable. While many homeowners in Houston, TX, have a fire emergency plan in place, many do not have one that includes their pets. Thousands of animals are left without homes each year due to the lack of pet preparation. If you want to keep your furry friend safe and in your care even if a fire breaks out, keep these pet safety tips in mind when drafting your family emergency plan:

• Include your pets in your plan! Pets get left behind because their owners panic and aren’t sure what to do with them in an urgent situation. By being prepared, you can act swiftly and effectively when it comes to keeping your loved one safe.
• Practice makes perfect. When performing a fire drill, take your pet with you as if you were dealing with a real emergency.
• Keep in mind: Though your pet is your family too, do not delay leaving if a fire becomes too dangerous, even if you haven’t found your pet yet, as this could put you in danger.


Prevent House Fires


The first item on your fire emergency plan should be “Prevent House Fires.” You won’t have to worry about evacuating if there isn’t any fire to escape from. You can help keep your home, family and furry friends safe by doing the following:

• Put Out Flames: Pets, like children, are naturally curious and will likely investigate the source of an open flame should there be one. When you’re not around to keep an eye on your pet, extinguish all flames.
• Go Flameless: If you cannot remember to blow out the candles when you leave or if your pet is always curious, buy flameless candles.
• Remove Stove Knobs: Larger dogs can reach stove knobs and yours may accidentally turn one on with its nose when sniffing around. Remove knobs when you’re not around.

Your pets needs to be a part of your emergency fire plan. If they're not already, use the above tips and make them one.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com.

Understanding Fire Damage Restoration

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters fighting a fire Fire damage is one of the most devastating and inconvenient losses a home or business owner can suffer.

Understanding Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage is one of the most devastating and inconvenient losses a home or business owner can suffer. Whether it's home or commercial fire damage, the best way to deal with such a tragedy is to act quickly to start fire restoration. Fire restoration should occur as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage will set in, and the less likely you will be to restore your property to its original glory.

How Damage Occurs

Initially, there will be soot damage that stains hard smooth surfaces such as alabaster, marble and plastics. It left un-removed, the soot damage will eventually cause deep staining which could permanently mar your furniture and appliances. If left unattended, deep staining will become permanent and change the appearance of your walls, floors and appliances forever. If you act too late or not at all, or if the fire in the home was very extensive, corrosion will set in.

Ideally, a commercial fire restoration company should be onsite initiating fire cleanup as soon as the fire is put out.

How the Fire Cleanup Process Works

If for any reason you are unable to hire a fire damage restoration team, there are a few steps you can take to get the fire damage restoration process underway yourself.

The first thing you'll need to do is don the proper attire. You'll need protective clothing included but not limited to a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a pair of gloves. Use a surgical mask or bandana to cover your nose and mouth from smoke damage.

After you've appropriately dressed, open all the doors and windows. It's important to have as much ventilation as possible to prevent further smoke damage, soot damage and other airborne chemicals. If you have ceiling or stand-alone fans, use them. This will also provide minor relief from smoke smell. However, you'll ultimately need to use a lot of disinfectants, sprays and deodorizers to control the smoke smell and reduce the smell of home or commercial fire damage. Even then, the results will be far from perfect. Some smoke damage smells will remain.

Now, it's time to clean everything. Every surface after a fire in home or fire in business needs to be cleaned. This includes light fixtures, carpets, exterior and any individual items that require fire cleanup from the effects of commercial fire damage after fire in business.

For textiles such as carpets and clothing, fire cleanup requires having them professionally dry cleaned or washed at home with a gentle alkaline detergent as an initial step towards fire damage restoration. Vacuum carpets after a fire in business with a high-powered vacuum cleaner to remove soot damage and smoke smell. Exterior surfaces like stone, stucco, brick and siding should be cleaned with a pressure washer and light detergent.

The Professional Cleaning Process

As stated earlier, trying to restore your home yourself should only be done in a worst case scenario where you can't get a professional company soon enough. If you wish to make your home or business inhabitable again, you will inevitably need to hire a commercial fire restoration company to address the fire damage.

Once you do, they will begin their process by surveying the damage caused by the fire in home or fire in business. They will examine all the damage left by the fire and provide you an estimate of how much it will cost to repair it. They will then go to work ventilating, removing odors and cleaning.

If they do not have the equipment necessary to give something the cleaning it needs, they will haul it off to a facility where it can be cleaned by professionals who specialize in fire damage.

Also, you won't have to worry about masking odors any longer once you get a professional company involved. They use state-of-the art ozone technology that is only available to professionals.

Doing fire damage restoration after a fire in your home or commercial fire damage your living is a very arduous, costly and time-consuming project. It is not a job to attempt to complete by yourself. Get a professional address smoke smell, smoke damage and fire damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

3 Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flooded building in Houston, TX

Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

While they both involve water, there is quite a bit of difference between flood damage and other damage caused by storms. These differences can influence the way that the situation needs to be handled. If your building in Houston, TX, has been affected by either of these, you should keep the following distinctions in mind.

1. The Type of Water Involved
There are three categories of water that range in contamination levels, with Category 1 being clean and Category 3 being highly contaminated. A large portion of storm damage will involve clean water. However, flood water will always be Category 3. This is because, as the water rises, it mixes with dirt, debris and sewage that contains waste and bacteria.

2. Insurance Coverage
Because flood damage can be expensive to repair, insurance companies do not include it in their basic policies. If you want to ensure that any damage is covered, you will need to purchase a separate flood policy. This is an especially good idea if you are in a location that floods often, but it can be useful in any area.

3. The Cleanup Process
Flooding can cause a lot of damage to the structure of your building as well as the items it contains. It can contribute to mold growth and other secondary damage. When Category 3 water is involved, it can be even worse. Because the water is highly contaminated, it can be more difficult to clean any materials that have absorbed it. You may need to throw out and replace items that could have otherwise been repaired.
Whether your building has been affected by flood damage or another type of water damage, you should have it removed as quickly as possible. A cleanup and restoration company can do this for you. They will perform mitigation to prevent the damage from spreading and will make any necessary repairs. Once the process is complete, your building will look as good as new.

How Tarp Helps Your Roof Recover From Fire Damage

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores on the Atlantic City Board Walk Fire damage in a Spring Valley, TX building

It’s no secret that a fire can cause severe damage to any type of property. If your business in Spring Valley,TX, has been impacted by fire damage, it’s crucial to do what you can to prevent further harm. Applying tarp over your roof is an effective and reliable way to keep your entire building safe and to speed up the recovery process. Here are some of the major benefits of utilizing tarp services during the fire cleanup process.

Preventing Additional Damage

The risk of further damage is one of the most serious threats that you face after a fire. By applying tarp to your roof, you can keep your building well protected from additional harm. Tarp helps to shield against the following risks:

  • Wind damage
  • Water damage
  • Smoke or soot residue

With time, these forms of damage can cause severe harm to your business. Not only can they compromise the state of your commercial building, but they may also lead to costly repairs and replacements.

Keeping Vandalism at Bay
A business that has been destroyed by a fire is, unfortunately, a point of easy entry for thieves. If criminals break into your damaged building, they may gain access to valuable information and cause serious harm to your personal property. Fortunately, requesting tarp up services during a fire cleanup can deter thieves and keep your company safe.

Increasing Chances of Being Insured
If you’re looking for the right coverage after a fire incident, it’s worth noting that your policy may require you to protect your business with tarp over or board up services. By taking this step, you can demonstrate to your insurance carrier that you’re making an effort to prevent further damage. Be sure to have your roof tarped over during roof repair to be eligible for insurance.
Requesting tarp services allows your business to recover more quickly. For optimal results, be sure to take this important step after you call a fire damage restoration company for a fire cleanup.

How the Pros Clean up After Sewer Damage

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Stair of a house fully flooded Flood damage in Bunker Hill Village, TX

How the Pros Clean up After Sewer Damage

A flood in your home is bad enough, but when a backed-up sewer is to blame, you've got a lot more problems on your hands. Because sewer water will contain human feces and other hazardous materials, known as black water, you need to enlist the expertise of a professional flood remediation team. These specialists have the experience and equipment to safely handle sewer cleanup.

Your Responsibilities

If you have a flood in your Bunker Hill Village,TX, home, you may be able to handle it on your own if it's only affecting a small area and doesn't include black water. However, for a sewer backup, your primary responsibility is to safely get out of your home. Coming into contact with black water can make you sick or can even be lethal. Other steps you need to take are:

  • Make sure every family member, including pets, are out of your home.
  • Call a flood cleanup company, the city utility services and your insurance company.
  • Do not re-enter your home until it is deemed safe to do so.

The Pros Step In
Even for something as seemingly simple as a flooded toilet, you don't want to try to clean up sewage on your home. A professional crew will first come in and inspect the extent of the damage. The team will extract all water in the affected areas of the home. Using protective equipment, crew members will clean the flooded space, ensuring that all sewage is gone from the home.

Drying and Disinfecting
The cleanup team will use dryers and dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the home as part of the sewer cleanup process. Importantly, crew members will also sanitize the area to kill any remaining bacteria. The company will then evaluate its work to ensure you can return your home.
Leave sewer cleanup needs to the professionals. The right company will take care of even the most severe flooding and make your home look like it did before the water damage.

Protecting Your Home When You Are Away

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Replacing all your smoke detectors with smart versions can be expensive, but it can pay off in the long run

3 Smart Devices That Can Improve Your Fire Safety Efforts

You know that it's important to protect your home in Hilshire Village,TX, by using a smoke alarm system. With smart alarms, you can be notified of a house fire even if you are not there. Quick notification can allow you to contact emergency personnel in a timely manner so that they can put out the fire and save as much of the structure as possible. Here are three smart devices that can improve your fire safety efforts.

1. Smart Smoke Detector

Replacing all your smoke detectors with smart versions can be expensive, but it can pay off in the long run. Most models can detect both smoke and heat, so you get a clearer indication if there is a problem with fewer false alarms. A smart detector can also contact emergency services for you. The fire department finds out about the fire at the same time you do, which can reduce their response time.

2. Smart Battery

If cost is a factor, you can start small by replacing the 9-volt batteries in your current smoke alarm system with smart batteries. You can connect these batteries with your Wi-Fi to get notifications on your phone when the alarm is triggered or the battery needs to be replaced. These batteries can last up to five years, which can also save you money over time.

3. Smart Listener

Another cost effective option if you're not ready to upgrade to a full smart system is a listener. You place the listener in the wall at a central location, and it lets you know if any of your smoke detectors send out a signal. The downside to having a listener as part of your fire safety plan is that it cannot discern between false alarms and real threats, so you get a notification no matter what.
You can save on fire damage cleanup services if you can get fire personnel to your home faster. A smarter smoke alarm system can help you do that.

Do Mold Remediation Professionals Need To be Certified?

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

3 green mold dots Mold removal licensing is required when damage exceeds a certain amount of square feet.

Do Mold Remediation Professionals Need To be Certified?

When your Bunker Hill Village,TX, home has been affected by mold, your insurance company may want you to work with a certified mold remediation company. The appropriate licensing and certification vary from one state to another, but there tend to be some similarities:


Certification is earned by technicians who have completed approved training.
Licensing and certification must be carried by both the company and the individual technicians.

Water damage often leads to mold or mildew growth, so the restoration company you hire must be qualified to treat the toxic substances.

Why Certification and Licensing Matters

Why is mold certification so important? The simple answer is that a certified mold remediation professional has completed specialized training to safely and effectively deal with mold. Certification proves that the professional has demonstrated the ability to complete mold and water cleanup with high-quality results. A certified mold removal specialist knows how to do this work while protecting the health and well-being of your home and family.

The Risks of Hiring Unqualified Workers

In unfortunate cases around the country, homeowners have hired companies or workers without appropriate licensing and certification. This is often prompted by low, low prices. An appropriate licensed and certified professional has overhead costs, such as training for employees and their insurance (including general liability and workers' compensation.) These costs affect the prices the professionals charge their customers. If you come across a company with very low prices, it's probably best to move on and find a different mold remediation company.

What To Expect From Qualified Professionals

Qualified professionals generally wear personal protection gear with high filtration masks, boots, and gloves. They'll seal off the mold-damaged area for containment. Specialized equipment, including HEPA air scrubbers and dehumidifiers, are brought to your home for thorough mold remediation. Antimicrobial cleaners and professional sealants may be used to prevent regrowth.
Before you hire professionals to clean up mold damage in your home, make sure they are fully qualified, insured, licensed, and certified mold technicians. Your insurance company may provide recommendations.

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.

What To Do To Prevent a Apartment Fire

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Two ladders in a building, theres is a window and there is smoke surrounding the building Ensure proper placement of smoke detectors in your apartment building

Three Tips For Property Owners To Keep In Mind

An apartment fire in Houston,TX, can wreak havoc on a commercial property. And regardless of whether a building contains just two – or 200 – units, it only takes a blaze in one flat to possibly cause massive fire damage to the structure. Fortunately, there are things that a landlord can do to help minimize the chance of a destructive fire. Here are three tips for a property owner to keep in mind.

1. Install Fire Sprinklers Throughout the Building

If a blaze begins, a fire sprinkler system can help to extinguish the flames and prevent the fire from spreading to other parts of a building. Therefore, a landlord may consider installing or updating a sprinkler system for the commercial structure. It’s also important that the sprinklers are tested on a regular basis to ensure that they will work properly in the event of an emergency.

2. Ensure Proper Placement and Maintenance of Smoke Detectors

It is generally well known that smoke detectors can save lives in a fire. Smoke alarms may also aid in stopping an apartment fire from burning out of control by providing residents with more time to quickly call for emergency services. Abiding by fire safety rules and regulations and placing detectors in every unit – as well as scheduling regular tests of the alarms – is critical to the safety of residents and the building. It’s always vital to remember that professionals who specialize in fire damage restoration can repair a building. Lives cannot be replaced.

3. Inform Residents About Fire Safety and Have Fire Drills

If building occupants are informed about fire safety and are prepared in case of a blaze, damage may be mitigated. Therefore, a property owner may decide to hold fire drills multiple times a year.
An apartment fire can be disastrous. However, by taking precautions such as the tips listed here, the risk of a blaze may be significantly reduced.

3 Tips for Business Disaster Preparedness

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

A man holding a piece of wood with the word "contingency plan" on it 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 Spring Valley,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.

Understanding Secondary Damage to Your Home After Flooding

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Mold colonies Mold begins to form in a home due to several factors

Storms, leaking pipes, and other water-related incidences can cause flooding in your home. While water damage can be detrimental in and of itself, the problem does not necessarily go away once the area dries. Secondary damage, including black mold, can form in as little as a day and spread across your entire home. Proper water cleanup and mold remediation in Hilshire Village,TX, can help protect your household and belongings.

How Mold Colonies Form

Mold begins to form in a home due to several factors.

1. Moisture: Leaking walls and roofs, condensation, and even hanging wet clothes can leave an area wet, which then absorbs and sits in porous areas such as furniture, drywall, and carpeting
2. High humidity: Mold cannot grow in freezing temperatures, so warm humidity levels help keep the moisture in the area and can spawn black mold
3. Improper ventilation: If the inside of the home is humid after receiving moisture, the area should be ventilated to release the humidity, and conversely, closed off if the outside area is more humid than the inside.
4. Time: While mold doesn’t grow instantaneously, it does grow and spread quickly, so it is imperative to dry and ventilate the area as fast as possible

How To Remediate Damage

Black mold is a living organism that exists all around us, so complete removal is often impossible and therefore, not the goal when cleaning a home. Instead, look to remediate the damage by working with professionals to inspect and contain the problem as quickly as possible to prevent further spreading. Mold must then be removed from all surfaces, internal areas, and the air itself. Once removed, the formerly contaminated areas should be sanitized, including walls and other structural areas, plus furniture and personal belongings.
Simply drying the affected areas of the home after suffering water damage is not always enough to prevent secondary damage. With proper mold remediation and specialized drying and cleaning techniques, your home may be protected from further damage due to flooding and mold growth.

Memorial Home Care: Cleaning Carpet After A Flood

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

a metal water extraction tool on top of standing water Some floods develop slowly, and some can build in just a few minutes.

Cleaning Carpet After a Flood

Throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area, hundreds of commercial and residential properties experience flood and storm damage each year. SERVPRO of Town & Country is proud to serve homes and businesses throughout Memorial and Northwest Houston, and we are prepared to help you when disaster strikes your property. Immediately after a flood, it is important to extract the standing water as soon as it is safe to do so. This will help prevent further damage to the structure, and your items that are in the home. Once the floodwaters have receded and standing water has been extracted, restoration to your property can begin.

Many people are shocked to see the amount of sludge and muck that is left behind on carpet after water extraction. If you plan on doing the cleanup yourself, be sure to protect yourself with the proper footwear, clothing, gloves, and goggles. Floodwaters contain bacteria, chemicals, sewage, and a variety of other pathogens that may affect your health. For this reason, it is also recommended that carpets and padding that have been saturated by flood waters are disposed of properly.

However, if a storm causes your foundation or roof to leak, and your carpets are saturated with that type of water for less than 24 hours, you can safely clean and dry your carpets. Here are the steps to take to do it properly:

First, quickly remove furniture and any other items that are sitting on the wet carpet since the dyes from furniture can leave permanent stains on the carpet. Now that all items are removed from the carpet, slowly and thoroughly go over the entire space with a wet/dry vacuum. The goal is to remove as much water as possible from the carpet, and padding. Any residual moisture can lead to mold growth that will require professional mold removal in the coming months.

Once you are confident that you’ve removed as much water as possible, place ventilation fans throughout to facilitate quick and thorough drying. If you have portable dehumidifiers, employ them at this time too. When the carpet is dry, vacuum it multiple times in each direction to loosen and capture any leftover debris. After this use a carpet cleaning  solution, following manufacturer directions. This deep cleaning will help to prevent stains caused by the water damage in your Memorial area home.

Once the carpets have been shampooed, use the fans and dehumidifiers again to further prevent mold growth after a flood. If in a couple of days you notice a musty or mildew smell, you need to contact a professional carpet cleaning service or a locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO for evaluation. It is possible that you were not able to extract enough water to prevent mold from taking hold in your carpet. Call us at anytime; we are available to assist you whenever disaster causes water damage in your home or business.

Commercial Construction: New Projects In The Heart Of The Galleria Houston Texas

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Park Place, new highrise luxury living development, breaks ground and begins construction in the heart of The Galleria Houston TX

It seems that Houston is in a construction uptick over the past 12 months - on almost every highway feeder road you can count the cranes putting up steel framing and glass exteriors.  Although the most recent upswing in construction has been around the multi-family sector there are also large developments going up in mixed-use, commercial office and industrial.

  • At the corner of Westheimer Rd and Mid Lane, Stonelake Capital Partners, is constructing a Class-A, 16-story, office building which is expected to house 200,000 square feet of office space.

  • Arise Post Oak is a 36-story highrise that has been long-awaited and has just broken ground on Post Oak Boulevard at San Felipe.  The Dinerstein Cos. is constructing the building according to the Houston Chronicle. Anticipated completion of the luxury living high rise is anticipated to open in mid 2021.  


  • The 32-story, Hanover BLVD Place, is completed in Uptown and hosts 281 apartment units.  The land was originally purchased in 2015 and completed construction mid 2019.  Hanover BLVD Place features two amenity decks: the lower deck includes a resort worthy swimming pool and outdoor entertainment space.  The top deck has an impressive clear-bottom, cantilevered pool, an entertainment reception room with kitchen, plus a health and fitness center with views of Downtown Houston. 

Understanding Categories of Hurricanes: Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Understanding Categories of Hurricanes

Have you ever heard of a hurricane referred to as a Cat 2 or Cat 5 and you were not sure exactly what that meant?  Not a problem, here at SERVPRO our goal is to help educate the public on extreme weather incidents and be ready for whatever happens to help restore cities and towns after extreme weather storms.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a scale used internationally for categorizing storms based on their wind speed.  Although hurricanes, especially the recent Hurricane Harvey out of the Gulf of Mexico, can be known for their wide spread flooding and large amounts of rainfall, most hurricanes are described as "wind events" where most of the damage caused is by the strong wind pressure that cane easily disrupt cities and towns of all sizes.

Here is how the category system works:

  • Category 1: Hurricane winds 74-95 mph - there is no real damage to building structures, damage can be isolated to primarily unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees. 
  • Category 2: Hurricane winds 96-110 mph - some roofing material, door and window damage of buildings.  There may be considerable damage to landscaping and trees with some trees blown down.  
  • Category 3: Hurricane winds 111-129 mph - in many cases you will see structural damage to residential home and utility buildings with minor amounts of curtain wall failures.  It is likely that large trees will be blown down along with shrubbery and foliage blown off of trees.  Low-lying escape routes are cut off by rising water several hours before the arrival of the eye of the hurricane.  Most damage can be isolated to the coastline caused by rapid rising waters and storm surge.
  • Category 4: Hurricane winds 130-156 mph - more extensive curtain wall failures with some complete roof structure failures including wind removed shingles or tiles and even removal of small sections of roofing.  Mobile homes cannot stand up to Cat 4 winds and will be completely destructed. Cat 4 winds can also cause extensive damage to windows and doors.
  • Category 5: Hurricane winds greater than 156 mph - complete roof failure in many cases including residential, commercial and industrial buildings.  Potential complete building failures with buildings being blown over or blown away.  All shrubs, trees and signs blown down.  Severe to extensive damage to windows and doors.

Houston House Fire Causes Roof To Collapse

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Acrewoods, North Houston, home fire causes roof collapse.

Early Tuesday morning Houston Fire Department received a distress call and immediately dispatched crews D04, D31, E67, E04, E13, E50, L67, L04, A13, M58 & SF30 to the home fire.  The teams worked together to try to end the blaze by utilizing various trucks and hoses.  

During the fire, firefighters rushed into the structure to attempt to battle the blazes.  Luckily no one was home during the fire so they could focus on extinguishing the flame and did not have to do search and rescue.  While firefighters were inside trying to get a handle on the fire, the roof collapsed, separating the firefighters.  

E67 first in crew, was separated by the ceiling and roof collapse and made a mayday call, she was recused within minutes of the call. The firefighters on the scene contribute the swift action, training and proper placement of fire engines to her quick and successful rescue.  Reaction was fast and smooth and the crews were able to exit through a second story window thanks to a properly placed ladder.

It has been confirmed that there were no deaths in this home fire in Acre Woods, North Houston, one firefighter was taken to the hospital for observation after a confirmed back injury. 

How Does SERVPRO Dry Structures?

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers and dehumidifiers help SERVPRO properly restore any water loss.

SERVPRO is the leading fire & water restoration and cleanup crew in the nation.  In 2018 we celebrated our fiftieth year in business with over 1,700 locations stretching from coast to coast.  With that being said we have the entrepreneurial spirit built into our daily operations as each office is an independently owned and operated franchise location.

With so many moving parts of a $2 BN company we take pride in having standardized operating procedures that ensure all SERVPRO customers receive the best service and quality restoration work across the country.

As part of our green system we leverage cutting edge technology that properly measures, moisture maps and scopes all losses to ensure we have the correct amount of equipment placed at each loss to ensure we meet our drying goals.

The drying process consists of two main types of equipment:

  • Air Movers: air movers are used to vaporize water from surrounding material.  This device creates high-velocity airflow for faster drying.  

  • Dehumidifiers: once vaporized, water evaporates or is collected by a dehumidifier.  The result is the environment is restored to it's original humidity level.

These two powerful machines help to extract hidden moisture from building materials including drywall, wood, concrete and other organic materials.

Commercial Real Estate Women CREW Multi-Family Panel Luncheon

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Real Estate Women of Houston host multi-family panel speaker luncheon at Houston Junior Leage

Members of the SERVPRO of Town and Country team had the unique opportunity to attend the CREW Houston Multi-Family Panel luncheon hosted at The Junior League of Houston ballroom.

CREW Houston is dedicated to promoting women in the commercial real estate industry through education and providing opportunities for women to connect and do business together.  Their members range from loan officers to architects and every commercial real estate position in between.

The panel consisted of three speakers:

  • Laurie Baker - Camden Living
  • Brian Dinerstein - The Dinerstein Companies
  • Kimberly Erickson - LifeWell Senior Living 

The three speakers had very distinct views on the multi-family industry.  The major theme that surfaced during the panel discussion was the need to truly understand who your ideal tenant is.

Brian Dinerstein referred to his campus housing several times as the next big money maker.  He raved about how college students do very little damage to the property when compared to traditional apartment tenants.  In addition he noted that rent is always paid on time since most of the funding comes from student loans as part of the cost of living at college.

Laurie Baker of Camden noted that they had recently expanded their portfolio to include a 65+ age requirement on one property.  She raved that the tenants are excellent and turn over is very limited as older tenants tend to stay long term and are less likely to move frequently.  She did mention the struggle to continue to provide amenities that aged with her long-term tenants.  Camden has begun investigating if they may need to add in-house medical staff or end of life care as part of their amenity package.

Kimberly Erickson agreed with Bakers comments and stated that working in senior multi-family living is a different ball game.  There are extra amenities needed especially related to at home health care and the over all need to keep properties maintained and well cleaned.  In addition she mentioned their largest strung in owning and operating a assisted living facility is finding the right staff that is personable and well trained in senior care that can stay on long term and maintain the health and happiness of their tenants.

Overall the SERVPRO of Town & Country team got a deep understanding of the many complex business problems that effect the array of property types that exist within the multifamily industry. 

Flood Prevention and Mitigation Bond Passes in City of Houston

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey causes Harris County to rethink flood prevention and passes bond to fund future flood prevention programs.

Houstonians recently voted into effect a $2.5 billion dollar bond which will fund mitigation efforts to invest in flood-control projects and will also fund future planning councils that will be responsible for restoring buildings caused by future floods.

The bond passed with an unprecedented 85% approval rating from voters.  The bond money will be spent on purchasing of homes in flood prone areas, the re-navigation and expansion of existing bayous that weave in and around the city and fund future planning and think tanks to determine how best to reduce Houston area flooding.

Hurricane Harvey was the most wide spread flood in recent memory and caused an estimated $125 billion in damages across the State of Texas.  It is estimated that 300,000 vehicles and 150,000 homes were flood damaged or lost due to the enormous amounts of rain this category 4 hurricane brought in from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bond comes with an an on going price of about $5 per resident in Harris County which is the county that the City of Houston resides in.  

Harris County intends to host 23 community meetings across the county during the summer months to further discuss with the community how the bond money will be spent and the programs current Houstonians can participate in to plan and recover from future flooding events.

How to Stay Safe During A Storm

5/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Town & Country is here for you during all storm disasters.

SERVPRO of Town & Country’s top priority is the safety of our customers. We understand natural disasters such as storms are inevitable, therefore, we want to ensure you are informed on how to keep you and your loved ones safe.

If you are indoors, in your residential or commercial property we highly suggest staying away from all windows and doors. This can place you at risk due to high winds and hail having the ability to shatter glass. Additionally, keep all drapes and blinds closed to keep hail or broken glass from blowing in your property. Additionally, If you are away from your home or office, we recommend swiftly locating the nearest enclosed building or hardtop car to remain in until the storm passes through.

SERVPRO of Town & Country cares about your safety and is here for you during your time of need. If your property ever experiences storm damage, you can count on us to restore your home or office. We are available and ready to serve you 24- hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Bob Lanier Public Works Building

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

The outside of Bob Lanier Public Works Building

Due to a leak around the window, the Bob Lanier Public Works building needed SERVPRO’s assistance. We have been in the restoration business for 16 years and specialize in all water, fire and mold restoration. When we received the phone call from Bob Lanier, we instantly arrived at the scene.

Our highly trained technicians specialize in scoping the scene and assuring all areas of the property are dry. This particular job required water extraction, baseboard removal, custom equipment and drill hole procedures.

In addition, the technicians manually removed water with the of use of trash cans and utilized custom drying equipment to evaporate the remaining water. It is our protocol to always issue a moisture test to ensure the entire affected area is dry and the job is complete. If you are ever faced with water damage, we are available 24/7 and here to help!

Houston Police Department

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

The outside of Houston Police Department

SERVPRO can handle any water damage you encounter, no matter how big or small the job! The Houston Police Department gave us a call after being confronted with severe water damage. Their facility was filled up to 5 feet with standing water, requiring our immediate attention.

This job required water extraction, structure drying, detailed cleaning of the walls and surrounding sidewalk.First, they extracted all of the water from within the property and our highly trained technicians cleaned the interior of the security office. Second, they disinfected the walls, floors and windows. Lastly, they completed the job by thoroughly cleaning the bathroom and storage closet, as well as washing the exterior and surrounding sidewalk area.

SERVPRO believes in the power of the small details. We always ensure your property is completely scoped out and every aspect of the job is complete.

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

The outside of Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Lake Houston Wilderness Park called SERVPRO due to flooding issues on their property. Our top priority is to ensure the valuables and property are restored in a timely manner. Our restoration workers quickly arrived to the scene and performed a moisture test as well as brought the wood framing and exterior wood into a dry standard.

Due to the affected areas being wet, the technicians set up emergency equipment to dry the area while they were away. It’s very important to leave drying equipment out to ensure the building is 100% dry. This process not only prevents future damage, but also allows the remaining restoration process to begin. This particular location was revisited multiple times to add more drying equipment and ensure the entire property was dry.

SERVPRO promises to continue working until your place looks, "Like it never even happened.” No matter how big or small the job, we are here to help!



Is Water Damage Preventable?

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

a frozen pipe with water coming out Keep the water running while you treat the pipe.

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. 

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)

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)

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)

green drying equipment lined up in a hallway 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 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. 

Memorial Home Health: 11 Storm Damage Cleanup Tips

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Tip: You can also request checklists and other disaster preparedness tools from SERVPRO or at ready.gov.

11 Storm Damage Cleanup Tips

Here in the Houston area, we have our share of severe weather. Tornadoes, flash floods, and hurricanes cause significant storm damage in Memorial and surrounding areas. While good preparation in advance of a storm is always your first level of defense, in some cases, Mother Nature will take its toll and damage your property. Use these 11 tips for cleaning up after a storm.

1.      Get Appropriate Protective Clothing. Prior to entering your home, it is imperative that you don protective boots, clothing, gloves, eye protection, and a mask. Flood waters carry sewage, bacteria and chemical compounds that may be dangerous.

2.      Document the Damage.  To aid in insurance and FEMA claims, it is essential that you document the damage as soon as it is safe to do so. Take photos and videos of the exterior of your home from all angles, including the roof, patio, and landscaped areas. Also, take photos of each interior room and each item that has been touched by the water.

3.      Water Extraction.  While you may be able to pump water from your home with a sump pump, be very careful. Flood waters in our area carry harmful and potentially dangerous bacteria, rodents, insects, and snakes. It is highly recommended to have the water extraction handled by a locally owned and professional disaster response team.

4.      Open Windows. Circulating fresh air is an important step for cleaning up after flood damage and preventing mold growth. While it may be tempting to switch on household fans, prior to using the electrical appliances, the electricity needs to be inspected.

5.      Remove Personal Items. Furniture, clothing, and other items in the house can be removed to speed the drying. Prior to throwing away damaged items, photograph them, and have them evaluated to see if they can be cleaned and restored. This is a key part of our storm damage cleanup service in Memorial; we can save many items that appear to be destroyed.

6.      Remove Carpeting, Wet Drywall, and Insulation. If the flood waters contain sewage, which many floods do, the carpet in the home will have to be removed. Removing saturated carpet and its padding is not an easy task, be careful. Drywall and insulation that has been saturated by flood waters will have to be removed from the home in order to prevent mold infestations in the future.

7.      Scrub Every Surface.  To rid your home of bacteria, you must scrub every surface with a powerful disinfectant, preferably with bleach. Wear proper protective clothing and mask for this process. Your local SERVPRO of Houston is available 24x7 and stands at the ready to inspect, extract water, disinfect, dehumidify, and restore your home quickly.

8.      Trees On The House. If any trees are touching power lines, do not disturb them. For limbs that are on the house, it is best to seek professional assistance, as further damage to the structure may occur with improper removal.

9.      Clean Yard and Patio Areas. Remove the debris from the yard, again be sure to wear proper protective clothing. Be mindful that snakes, rodents, insects, and other animals may be hiding in bushes and under decks.

10.  Clean Out Window Wells. If your window wells filled with water, they will need to be cleaned out thoroughly. Replace any damaged window well covers promptly as the next storm could cause further damage.

11.  Board Up Broken Windows. If the storm broke any windows, cover from the exterior with plywood, until the flood damage restoration begins in your Memorial home.

If this list of tips is overwhelming, it should be. Cleaning up and restoring after a storm or water damage in the Houston area requires hard work, proper tools, and specialized training. 

How Long Before a Leaky Roof Leads to Mold?

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage on ceiling in Hillshire Village,TX

Mold may begin to form within 24 to 48 hours after water damage. A roof leak poses a particular risk because it may not be detected within this window of time. These leaks can cause mold to grow on insulation or behind cavity walls in a commercial structure in Hilshire Village,TX. Here are a few ways to prevent black mold or other types of fungus from forming in the hours and days after a roof or ceiling leak.

When You Discover a Leak

As soon as a leak becomes apparent, a building owner should take immediate action to mitigate damage. This may include:

  • Contacting a roofer for tarping services
  • Using containers to collect dripping water
  • Scheduling a consultation with a restoration service

These steps can limit the amount of damage and risk of mold after a roof leak. Closely monitor the condition of a roof and ceilings, particularly after adverse weather.

After the Leak Is Fixed

After roofers address the source of a leak, it is important to immediately pursue mitigation. Black mold and other types of fungus flourish in environments that are:

  • Moist
  • Provide nutriment
  • Remain undisturbed

Restoration professionals can promote drying anywhere in a building. These experts can also recommend which materials should be torn out and replaced.

Ways to Prevent Damage

While it may not be possible to avoid a leaking roof, there are several preventative steps that building owners can take. It can be helpful to:

  • Schedule regular roof inspections
  • Ensure building materials remain dry
  • Maintain low interior humidity levels
  • Seal a building envelope

Mold cannot grow without moisture. Spores require a damp environment to become a problem.

A leaky roof can lead to mold growth in as little as one to three days. A building owner should hire water damage mitigation specialists in Hilshire Village,TX, who are also skilled in black mold prevention and remediation.

4 Tips for Commercial Property Hurricane Preparedness

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Practice often drills in your Houston,TX business

Steps To Keep Your Commercial Property Safe

Hurricane season tends to run from June through the end of November. This long season could leave property management officials feeling constantly worried about potential storms – unless those professionals have prepared to control and reduce hurricane damage with an effective scheme of preparedness. Use the following steps to keep your commercial properties safe.

1. Discuss Potential Hazards With Insurance Professionals

The right insurance coverage can mean peace of mind when storms roll through Houston,TX. Discuss the options with the insurance representative to be sure you have the protection you need. While you're speaking with the agent, you may get important tips and advice regarding hurricane preparedness, specific to your type of buildings and the surrounding environment.

2. Gather Necessary Emergency Supplies

If you or your employees are on your property during an emergency, there are several supplies you'll want on hand.

  • Water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • First aid kits
  • Medications
  • Emergency lighting, such as flashlights
  • Blankets
  • Radios
  • Batteries

3. Post Evacuation Routes and Important Phone Numbers

Panic can lead to a lot hurricane damage, so an important part of your hurricane preparedness plan is keeping emotions in check. If the residents and staff of your properties are familiar with the safest routes out of the building and out of the neighborhood when advised, they are less likely to panic while following that route. Take this property management one step further by scheduling routine drills.

4. Keep Emergency Numbers Convenient

Keep emergency contact numbers near the posted evacuation plan. Some of the numbers to include on this list are FEMA, the American Red cross, the hurricane helpline, and professionals who are responsible for overseeing your properties. Learn more about this step by contacting emergency recovery companies in Houston,TX.

Enjoy Peace of Mind

Keep your properties and clients safe from as much hurricane damage possible by putting these four tips into place as soon as possible. Prevention does go a long way toward reducing losses. If you're prepared, you'll be ready to activate your emergency plan as soon as storm warnings are posted.

Are Your Fire Sprinklers Operational?

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Have a professional test yearly your fire sprinkler system

Fire sprinklers can suppress or extinguish a fire, regardless of whether a building is occupied or vacant. Schedule the following fire sprinkler checks, tests, and inspections to make sure that the fire suppression system in a building is operational.

Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Checks

Property owners should regularly inspect sprinkler system components. NFPA Standard 25 recommends:

  • Inspecting gauges on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Checking alarm and signal devices, control valves, and hydraulic nameplates every three months
  • Testing mechanical devices several times a year

These inspections are necessary, but are not sufficient to ensure that a system is functional. Annual testing is also necessary.

Yearly Inspections

A professional service should test a fire sprinkler system on a yearly basis. This procedure goes beyond regular checks performed throughout the year, and involves:

  • Full testing and tagging
  • Physical checks on the complete system
  • Inspecting bracing, pipes, and fittings
  • Checking information signage and backup sprinklers

The combination of annual testing and regular inspections throughout the year can help to ensure that a fire suppression system will work properly in the event of an emergency.

Every Five Years Or More

More comprehensive inspections, testing, and equipment replacement should take place every five years. Testing of specific types of sprinkler systems can be scheduled at longer intervals. Here are several long-range maintenance requirements:

  • Check sprinkler piping every five years
  • Replace sprinklers exposed to high temperatures every five years
  • Replace gauges every five years
  • Test or replace dry sprinklers every 10 years
  • Test fast-response sprinklers after 20 years and then every 10 years
  • Test standard response sprinklers after 50 years and then every 10 years

Property owners should retain records of recent fire sprinkler inspections and tests. If a fire stars and fire sprinkler cleanup is necessary, contact damage mitigation and restoration experts in Spring Valley,TX. A sprinkler system should also be re-inspected following a fire.

The What and How of Secondary Water Damage

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Houston,TX water damage due to supply line from refrigerator broke

Most homeowners, when their homes become the victim of a natural disaster, broken pipe or backed up septic tank, assume that once the water is gone so too is the danger. This is far from the case. If a water peril has not been sufficiently cleaned and dried out by a professional Houston,TX, water damage restoration team, the home in which the peril occurs may fall victim to secondary damage, such as black mold.

The What of Secondary Water Damage

Secondary water damage is often much costlier and damaging that primary water damage, which includes wet drywall, carpet and anything else that acme into direct contact with the initial water source. Some examples of secondary water damage include the following:

  • Cracked and sagging plaster or sheetrock
  • Buckling hardwood floors
  • Peeling vinyl
  • Damaged finish to fixed structures
  • Colonization of mold

Each of the above issues can be costly and severely affect the integrity of a home. For these reasons and more, water damage should always be treated immediately and, if possible, by a trained professional.

The How of Secondary Water Damage

Secondary damage such as block mold typically occurs when a homeowner fails to act quickly to remediate a water peril. Below are a few common causes of secondary water damage:

  • High humidity that results as cleanup procedures or efforts that are inadequate to the home's size and rate of evaporation
  • A water incident that was not cleaned up in a timely fashion, that was left undiscovered for a lengthy period of time or that was not effectively cleaned by a professional
  • Damage that was missed during the initial assessment and therefore not cleaned

In short, secondary water damage occurs as the result of inadequate and/or untimely cleanup efforts. You can prevent secondary issues such as black mold from arising and retain the health and integrity of your home by contacting your local water damage restoration team as soon as possible after discovering the incident. Your swift response can save you time, money and headache.

Preparing Your Business for High Winds

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare your Spring Valley,TX building with emergency items

Preparing Your Business for High Winds

If you're a business owner in Spring Valley,TX, you know how important it is to be prepared for high winds and the possibility of hurricane damage. Taking the proper precautions could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs and lost work time. Consulting with a good storm restoration company and following the steps below should go a long way towards keeping everything safe and secure.

1. Building Preparation

If possible, make some modifications in advance. Have the roof of your building inspected to make sure that it can withstand the effects of a severe storm, and have shutters installed. Make sure all utilities such as gas tanks or water heaters are secured and raised up above floor level to minimize any possible water damage. Filing cabinets and bookcases should be anchored to wall studs, and other equipment should be secured with Velcro or straps. Inspect the outside of the building for trees that might fall over. This advance work should go a long way towards preventing hurricane damage.

In the time leading up to a hurricane's landfall, take steps to further secure the building by boarding up any otherwise unprotected windows and doors with plywood. Place sandbags around any areas that might be susceptible to flooding. Remove any valuables to a safe location, and turn off all utilities.

2. Secure Important Info and Documents

In a secure place, maintain a list that includes all contacts relevant to your business, including lawyers, suppliers, employees and banks. Important documents, like insurance papers, tax documents and contracts, should be backed up and readily available in an offsite location. Documents that are going to remain in the building should be kept in waterproof containers.

3. Be Prepared for Disaster

Keep an inventory of emergency preparedness items on hand in case you or your employees are not able to leave the building. This includes items such as:

  • Pillows and blankets
  • First aid kits
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-operated TVs or radios
  • Tool kits
  • Generators

It's always a good idea to plan well in advance of a severe storm. With good preparation, you'll have a much better chance of keeping safe and avoiding major hurricane damage.

Content Cleaning: The Basics

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning fire damage content in Hilshire Village,TX

Content Cleaning

If you are facing fire damage or wonder what it would entail if you ever had to face it, you may be researching what content cleaning is. Maybe you did not even know that smoke-damaged content could be salvaged. As it turns out, many items can be saved - even your clothes can usually be renovated through dry-cleaning. Here are three services that many fire damage restoration specialists offer to help you reclaim your most prized possessions in Hilshire Village,TX.

1. Ultrasonic Technology

Ultrasonic cleaning uses a combination of either water or a cleaning solvent and ultrasound technology to clean contents. This is typically the solution used for non-porous items after being exposed to a fire. The end result depends on how soiled the object was to begin with.

2. Content Storage

A fantastic company will offer you options for storing your home’s contents after a fire strikes. They may even offer to assist you with your move-out and pack-out needs or aid you in inventorying your valuables. A good team of technicians will want to help you through this stressful and emotional time.

3. Dry-Cleaning

Many services use this to restore clothing items soiled by light residue left over from a fire. If the clothes are more heavily soiled, wet cleaning may be used instead. Finding a company dedicated to restoring your items rather than replacing them is key.

The services mentioned above are just a few examples of the types of help available from remediation companies; some offer document restoration, electronics repair or even immersion processes. Now that you know what options are out there, it is time to do some digging. Contact your local Hilshire Village,TX, fire damage service to see if they offer dry-cleaning or other solutions to help you. There are enough offerings available that you can find a way back to normalcy in a fairly short period of time.

Working with insurance in storm damage

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Regular life is stressful enough, but if you are surprised with flooding or other water damage in your home, everyone in the household will be stressed. Whether Houston flood damage leaves carpeting soaked and soggy or you have come back to a disaster after evacuation, severe weather and damaged pipes will cause significant worry about how to start putting back together your daily life.

However, you can prepare for these unknowns by knowing what to expect and create a plan in case of emergency. To assist you, SERVPRO Town & Country has put together this mini-guide to help you understand the flood insurance claim process.

The first thing you will want to do is call your insurance provider. Although the U.S. government funds the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), local home and rental insurance companies are the exclusive sellers of Flood Damage Insurance. While you will be working directly with an insurance agent, SERVPRO can also serve as a liaison, helping you to navigate through the claims process.

After your initial call to your insurance company, contact your Town & Country SERVPRO. We are available every day, all day, to handle your emergencies. Even if you are not able to reach your insurance agent immediately, SERVPRO will take your call and begin to work with you on first response remediation solutions. Have questions about what to do first or what items can be restored? SERVPRO is here to answer those questions and more. Our compassionate team understands your distress and will guide you through the storm damage restoration process.

Now you can begin your water damage restoration. We pride ourselves on having the fastest response time to storm damage in your area. We will arrive at your home prepared to conduct an inspection and moisture readings, create a scope of the damage and provide an estimate for you and your insurance provider. Our team will arrive prepared and ready to start immediately. Using our dedicated SERVPRO Claims Information Center (CIC) we can store and access your information easily and quickly.

Our SERVPRO team members are the premier flood and water damage restoration experts in Town & Country and surrounding neighborhoods. We are also the preferred remediation team for home insurance providers, and the most trusted helper for Houston storm disasters. Storm damage restoration and navigating flood insurance claims can feel stressful, but we are here to assist you with every stage of the recovery process.

For emergencies and other situations, call 713-461-2700  anytime to reach your area flood damage experts, SERVPRO The Woodlands and Conroe. We help residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewer backups, floods, mold infestations, fires and other events happen.

Water Leaks Are the Most Common Business Loss – Are You Prepared?

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Pipe break on commercial property in Hillshire Village, TX

Believe or not, but water from damaged pipes is one of the main causes of business loss. Leaking pipes, if they go undetected, can wreak havoc on a building's structure and eventually, its contents. For this reason, it is important that your Hilshire Village,TX, building is covered in the event of a water loss. When shopping for a policy, look for the following types of coverage:

  • Coverage for flooding
  • Coverage for damage caused by sudden events
  • Damage to fire protected systems
  • Cost to tear out and repair building components

The above items are typically covered, though flood damage typically requires you to have a rider flood insurance policy. Damage caused by sudden events, however, is almost always covered if caused by suddenly damaged pipes or a sewage backup. Like every type of insurance policy, however, there are exclusions.

Common Exclusions for Water Damage Policies

When shopping for a water damage policy, it is important that you read the fine print, as it is not uncommon for policies to include wording that excludes what one might think is a covered peril. For instance, many water damage policies exclude the following damages:

  • Those caused by slow leaks
  • Leaks caused by freezing
  • Mold damage

Unfortunately, if a leak has been present for a certain period of time, and if it causes structural damage or mold growth, neither the structural damage nor the mold growth will likely be covered. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to freezing, damage caused by burst pipes caused by freezing will not likely be covered either.

Water damage is one of the most common losses business owners face, yet many are unprepared for such an event. This is typically because they do not read the fine print before purchasing a policy. If you want to ensure that you're covered for water damage, whether it is caused by damaged pipes or flooding, discuss your unique exposures with your Hilshire Village,TX, water damage remediation company.

What To Expect With a Flood Cut

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Air movers on a flood damage in Bunker Hill Village, TX

What To Expect With a Flood Cut

Perhaps you stumbled across this advice while scanning the internet in a panic as your restoration professional began to punch holes in the drywall. Well, be assured that they are doing exactly what you need if you have experienced flooding in Bunker Hill Village,TX. They are likely beginning a flood cut, which sounds destructive, but is indeed a clever way to save much of your structure because:

  • It allows increased ventilation, reducing moisture in materials that can be salvaged.
  • It prevents the spread of damage since water and moisture can be drawn into other materials or further up your wall.
  • It keeps your home safe by removing biological and chemical contamination that may have been absorbed from flood water.

Certain building materials can be dried and salvaged, but you need to tear out wet drywall and insulation after a major flood. Since this is probably your first time to experience flooding, you may feel reassured to learn the steps for a flood cut:

  1. Floorboards and electrical plates are removed from the drywall.
  2. A mark is made across the wall, about 12-18 inches above the flood line.
  3. A utility knife is used to score the line.
  4. Holes may be punched in the damaged sections of the drywall.
  5. Reaching into the holes, the drywall is pulled and broken along the line.
  6. Wet insulation is removed, and the area is allowed to dry.
  7. An electrician may replace any wiring that was damaged by the flood.
  8. Insulation is replaced.
  9. Replacement drywall is cut and screwed into place.
  10. Drywall is taped and prepared for painting.

Now that you know what to expect, you can trust your professional flood recovery team when they say they need to cut your walls. Be confident that your home is going to quickly be cleaned and restored back to the condition it was in before flooding.

Town & Country Home Care: Safeguarding Your Keepsakes from Water Damage

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Stat: The chance a water heater will leak or burst begins to dramatically increase when it is 5 years old.

Our weather here in the Houston area presents significant challenges to structures. Floods and high winds are common here, and when they strike our neighborhood, water damage in the Memorial area is to be expected. While we cannot control Mother Nature, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your keepsakes before a natural disaster.

First, if you are keeping photo albums, prized artwork, or antiques in your basement, move them to higher floors in your home. Basements and lower levels are typically the first places that flood waters pool. In addition to floods due to rain or backups, water heaters can rupture and cause damage to your keepsakes and family heirlooms. Storing your items correctly, such as on high shelves or in sealed plastic containers, can help protect them as well as speed flood damage restoration.

Second, regularly inspect both indoors and out. On the exterior, look for loose or missing roofing tiles and call your roofer immediately if any is spotted. Additionally, watch how water drains from your gutters and ensure that the landscaping and hardscaping around your home encourages water to flow away from the foundation. On the interior, watch for signs of water damage and mold. Look at ceilings, walls, grout lines in the bathroom, and on the walls surrounding the exhaust fan.

Third, if your home is in one of the many areas of Houston that have high water tables, consider investing in French drains and a sump pump. These drains run around the exterior of the foundation, and channel excess groundwater into a sump pit. Once in the pit, the water pumped out and away from your home. French drains also help to keep basements and lower levels of your home dry, preventing mold growth. If your basement is typically damp, but there are no signs of water damage, at the very least, use a dehumidifier to maintain humidity levels at 50% or less.

If your home floods, call Town & Country SERVPRO, we are available 24/7 to respond to your disaster. The quicker you call, and the quicker we get started and have a better chance of saving your precious family heirlooms, furniture, clothing, drapes, artwork, and photographs. Whether the flood damage in the Memorial area is due to a hurricane, torrential downpour, flash floods, backed up sewage, a leaky roof, fire, or ruptured hot water tank, we stand ready for flood damage restoration.

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. 

Understanding Insurance and Mold Coverage

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Severe mold damage in a Houston, TX home

One of the scariest discoveries you can make as a homeowner in Houston,TX, is fungus growth in your home. It may be black, orange, green or gray and sprout up in any room. Regardless of the color or space it inhabits, mold is not a welcome part of the decor. What are the next steps? Is mold coverage included in homeowners insurance?

First Fungus Growth, Now What?

Forty-eight hours is all it takes for mold to grow and spread. Once you notice a problem, act fast:

  • Do not attempt to touch or remove the impacted areas yourself. If handled improperly the particles may be released into the air and spread further.
  • Call a mold remediation specialist to remediate the problem. Typically, this involves assessing the severity of the mold contamination, containing the mold and filtering the air. Contents are discarded, cleaned and/or restored as appropriate.

Who Pays for Remediation, Homeowner or Insurance?

Mold insurance coverage is not usually part of a standard insurance policy, but there are instances when it may be covered:

  • Insurance considers mold within coverage when it is caused by another insured event, such as water damage from a fire or storm. If a flood causes water damage you must have flood insurance for the resulting mold to be covered.
  • The incident that initiates the mold must not be preventable. If failing to maintain your old pipes causes water damage, any mold resulting from that occurrence is not covered.
  • Some insurance companies offer partial mold remediation reimbursement. It also may be possible to purchase separate mold coverage as an add-on to the policy before a mold related instance occurs. Talk to your agent to understand your specific coverage.

Unsightly fungus growth can be devastating to your home in Houston,TX. Once your senses alert you to a mold problem, immediately contact a mold specialist and your insurance agent.

Tips for Mitigating Fire-Related Damage

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Hillshire Valley, TX home

If your building in Hillshire Valley, TX, catches fire, you may be focused on the damage to the building itself. Fire damage to the building's structure, however, is only one type of problem your remediation efforts need to address. Fire mitigation experts often specialize in multiple areas of damage recovery because smoke and soot are not the only issues that arise after a fire. Tackling all the problems that result from the fire is necessary to restoring it to its rightful state.

Fire Mitigation

The damage the fire causes to the walls, ceilings, roof, support beams and exterior areas is certainly important to fix. However, there are other elements to consider in the complete fire mitigation process:

  • Damaged equipment and electronics
  • Furniture and upholstery
  • HVAC system
  • Odor elimination

Fire damage extends beyond the structure itself. Technicians must evaluate everything in the building, too, to see whether it can be saved or must be discarded. The air quality in the building should also be addressed. Industrial ozone machines or HEPA air purifiers can be used to clear the smoke odor out of the air.

Water Mitigation

One problem many people don't think about after a fire is the water damage caused by the process of putting the fire out. A fire hose unleashes multiple gallons of water a second, and that damage is just as important to remediate as the direct damage of the fire. If your building is equipped with fire sprinklers, it is likely that the electronic equipment in the room was damaged even if the fire didn't touch it, both from smoke and contact with water from the fire suppression system.

There are benefits to hiring experts who are certified in mitigating both water and fire damage when your building catches fire. Those who see the whole problem can more easily propose solutions to resolve the whole problem and take your repairs from assessment all the way to restoration.

Early Responses Save Roofs

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fallen tree on roof by storm damage on a Spring Valley Village, TX home

It isn't always possible to call the professionals right away to deal with a roof leak in Spring Valley Village, TX. Even small problems, such as missing shingles, can lead to a more severely damaged roof in the future. A single weak spot in a roof can expand, causing:

  • Interior damage
  • Further shingle loss
  • Leaky roofs

Here are some of the first steps that professionals take when they clean up leaks. Once you read through these, you'll be able to easily see why it's best to address your problems as early as possible.

Extraction Stage

The very first thing that happens is that repair crews will go up on your roof and tear out all of the wet materials. There are many layers in a roof, and a roof leak doesn't have to permeate all of them to create damage. That means you may not even see drips inside of your facility. The longer you let small holes sit, the more chance water has to permeate the intermediate layers of your roof. This could contribute to mold growth, pest infestations and it can add to the weight of your roof, causing sagging and other structural problems. The extraction part of the job involves searching for wet areas and removing them as thoroughly as is necessary.

Recovery Stage

After the crewmembers remove all of the soaked material, they dry the surrounding area to salvage any elements of the roof that are even a little bit damp. If there is warping after the drying process is complete, those sections usually need to be cut out; this is a situation in which it's good to have the judgment of an experienced storm mitigation service. Just like with the removal stage, this drying process is faster and cheaper when a smaller area is affected.
As you can see, even initial stages of dealing with a roof leak in Spring Valley Village, TX, benefit from quick, decisive action. The same goes for any rebuilding or restoration projects you might need to do.

Are Any Interior Finishes Salvageable After a Flood?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding due to sewage damage in Houston, TX home

As a homeowner dealing with a flooded house in Houston, TX, you may have a lot of questions during the early stages of the restoration. Figuring out what you can and cannot save will help you get a better idea of how much the overall project will cost. For example, can swelling wood be salvaged? Because each situation may be different, you should talk with your residential water remediation experts to figure out what repairs your home requires.

Flooring

The state of your flooring after a supply line flood may be warped and water logged. Whether you can save this piece of building material depends on the flooring you have and how long the waters sat in your home.

  • Wood Floors: May be saved if removed from the house and completely dried before replacing.
  • Carpets: May need to be thrown away if water contains contaminants.
  • Tiles: May remain unharmed from the flood, but if possible could be removed to allow subfloor to dry better.
  • Laminate: Water may get trapped under sheet flooring, which requires it to be replaced.

If the water has not caused your flooring to start to disintegrate, you may be able to save it. However, this restoration process can take weeks.

Subflooring

Because subflooring is often made of OSB or plywood, it will likely have to be replaced. The swelling wood could cause any floors you lay on top of the subfloor to bubble and buckle. Replacement is often the best option to ensure your new materials last as long as possible.

Walls

Drywall and insulation may get damaged during a flood. Because these materials are porous, they often have to be replaced during a water pipe repair. You may only need to replace the materials that get wet.

During a flood cleanup, you will likely have to replace a lot of building materials and interior finishes. Swelling wood and warped materials are often clear signs salvage is not possible.

Storm Damage Under Your Home

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

When you have a home flood in Houston, TX wet items must be dried quickly and thoroughly. If moisture persists in building materials, mold spores will take hold and form colonies. Mold often finds those places where you never knew a moisture problem existed. After a storm, you need to thoroughly dry flooded areas, including some you may not often think of, like the crawlspace.

Being out of sight, your crawlspace is easy to forget. Homeowners don't like the getting involved in the ugly side of their home, but it is a very important part and it needs to be managed well. Be sure to check for water in the crawl space after a home flood. If left unaddressed, it can lead to multiple problems:

• Erosion and foundation damage
Mold growth
• Insects, such as termites
• Damaged structural materials


When inspecting for storm damage, check crawlspace vents and make sure to remove any debris and soil that may block them. The vents are important to provide adequate airflow. This is important all the time, not just after a storm, so make sure to keep these areas clear regularly. Check for wet or damaged building materials and be sure to replace them when the water has been removed. If you see mold, don't disturb the area and get a professional as quickly as you can to help with cleaning and containment.

If you do see standing water after a home flood, call professionals right away to help manage the water removal and drying process. The great thing about calling a professional restoration company is that they have special equipment to dry the area fast. They use powerful pumps and vacuums to remove standing water, then use air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the area all while carefully monitor the moisture levels to ensure proper drying. This is especially important in a crawlspace where concrete foundations hold on to moisture for a long time in the cool environment. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/ for more information on storm damage. 

Personal Protective Equipment for Safe Mold Remediation

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

a wall with brown and grey spots If you find mold in your Texas home, give SERVPRO a call!

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

Items of personal protective equipment include:

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

Full Containment

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

Limited Containment

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

Air Purification

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

Important Things To Know About Black Water

6/17/2018 (Permalink)

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

The Worst in the Flooding Category

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

The Harm

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

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

How it Occurs

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

How to Handle It

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

What the Pros Will Do

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

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

Securing Your Building After a Fire

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you experience fire damage in your business.

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

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

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.

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

1. Maintain Your Home’s Plumbing

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

2. Maintain Consistent Humidity Levels

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

3. Avoid Creating Excess Humidity

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

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

5 Methods for Eliminating Smoke Odor

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke cleaning is a process that may involve several steps and machines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protecting Yourself During Mold Removal

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

When you find mold growth in your commercial building in Houston, TX, your first reaction is probably to start cleaning it immediately. While it is advisable to contact a mold remediation specialist to help resolve the problem, many people want to clean up as much of the mold as they can. If you choose to do this, you must protect yourself with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Heads Up

The first area of your body you want to shield from settling spores is your head. This involves donning three main types of gear:

• Face mask with a respirator
• Safety goggles
• Hair cover

A mask with an air-purifying respirator can filter out mold spores before you inhale them. Safety goggles keep these spores from entering your eyes and causing irritation. They also protect your eyes from the harsh chemicals often used in mold remediation. A hair cover may seem like overkill, but it keeps the mold that is stirred up in the cleanup process from settling on your hair.

Body Cover

Professional mold remediation technicians often wear Tyvek® suits to shield their whole bodies from mold. If you do not wear a special protective suit, at least make sure that your whole body is covered. Change out of the clothes as soon as you leave the sealed off contamination area to prevent the spread of the mold growth.

Hands and Feet

If you enter the containment area, you need to wear acceptable PPE on your hands and feet. Close-fitting, disposable gloves keep mold spores away from your hands. Disposable shoe covers ensure that you do not track any mold found at the site through the rest of the building. It is essential to remove both gloves and shoe covers before leaving the remediation location.

If you are involved in any part of the mold remediation process in your building in Houston, TX, it is important to protect yourself with adequate PPE. It may feel weird to be covered from head to toe, but it keeps you safe and keeps the mold spores from spreading. For more information about mold, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/.

5 Common Problems for Commercial Irrigation Systems

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

If you have an irrigation system in Houston, TX, you need to know how to troubleshoot any problems that arise. Getting familiar with the common issues that affect the outdoor sprinklers can help you better find the source of the problem. Use this list to help you figure out what could be going wrong, but you should remember to call in a commercial water damage specialist if you cannot get to the source of the problem quickly.

1. Low Pressure: Your irrigation can lose pressure for a variety of reasons. Clogs, electrical issues, open valves and piping cracks can lead to low pressure. You may notice this problem if water does not seem to be coming out of your sprinklers as it should. Many systems are equipped with a pressure gauge to help you better keep an eye on this part of the irrigation system.
2. No Electricity: Irrigation problems can also be caused by a loss of electricity. Whether your system got unplugged or a fuse blew, you should make sure the system has the power it needs.
3. Broken Pipes: A crack in your pipe can stop the entire system from operating correctly. If you notice a puddle of water in a particular part of your lawn, it could be a sign that water is escaping the pipes in an unconventional location.
4. Dirty Lines: Clogs can easily mess up your lines and cause serious irrigation problems. Rocks, twigs and dirt can find their way into valves and other parts of the system. Regular cleaning may help you avoid this potential issue.
5. Damaged Valves: The valves of your system have to be able to turn on and off. If this piece of the sprinkler is damaged, water may not be able to properly travel through the valve or the valve may not be able to stop the water.

If your commercial irrigation system goes off the rails, you likely want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. Being familiar with common problems can help you troubleshoot and come up with a fast solution. For more information about commercial water damage, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/

How To Thoroughly Disinfect Your Home After a Flood

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Life after a flood in Houston, TX, isn’t very easy. After assessing the damage, it can take weeks before homeowners can complete the restoration process and return to their houses. One of the biggest things that owners must deal with is disinfecting everything in their homes that has been contaminated or exposed to flood water. By following a flood clean plan with these cleaning requirements, you can be sure to restore your home without any risk of infection or illness.

Clean Every Surface

If your home was exposed to flood water, it’s important to sanitize everything. This water is often full of sewage and harmful pollutants that can lead to infection or health problems in the future. By cleaning the surfaces of your home, you can eliminate bacteria growth. You have a few options at your disposal:

• Using a heavy-duty cleaner
• Scrubbing surfaces with hot water and then sanitizing with a flood disinfectant solution
• Allowing the restoration professionals to completely disinfect the area

Making sure that every surface is completely sanitary can ensure the safety of every member of your household.

Clean Furniture

By following strict cleaning requirements, you can preserve most of your exposed furniture. You’ll need to thoroughly disinfect and ventilate the furniture, but it is likely that most of your couches and chairs can be sanitized. However, you should discard any mattresses that were contaminated by flood water.

Clean Valuables

If you are focused on cleaning and disinfecting your home before mildew or mold forms, be sure to throw your infected books, photographs, and important documents in the freezer. By washing off the mud and storing your valuables in a frost-free freezer, you can wait to carefully clean them until you have the time. Consider taking them to a professional to restore them once you take them out of the freezer.

With these cleaning requirements in mind, you can preserve most of your valuables and furniture while ensuring the sanitation of your home. For more information about storm damage, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com/

The Adjuster’s Visit: How To Minimize Potential Problems

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

Few things cause as much consternation to a homeowner as working with a home adjuster after claiming water damage to your residence. Knowing the insurance company has the future of the property repairs in its hands can be both frustrating and frightening. But you can be prepared for any questions the representative may have by following a few simple steps. Although not all policies are equal, most insurance adjusters require the following information to settle an insurance claim.

1. Keep a log of everything possible. Yes, even in this technological world, information can get lost in Houston, TX. By keeping a log of phone calls, timeline, emails, and face-to-face communications, you are protecting yourself. Many people even send emails to confirm conversations after a meeting to prevent the “he said, she said” problems that can occur.

2. Create an inventory of damaged property and personal possessions. It is important to keep a complete inventory list of anything you plan to claim. Don’t forget to include the unseen items, such as damaged carpet padding, objects in cabinets, and sheetrock. For every item listed, include the following:

• Description of item, including make and model number
• Cash value when the item was purchased
• Cost of the replacement item
• Include any applicable paperwork, receipts, and bills

3. Ask your insurance company what restoration team it prefers to work with and contact the business immediately. This can ensure you are doing your best to protect the property from additional damage. Ask the crew to detail its cleanup efforts for your home adjuster, and request pictures before, during, and after cleanup.

4. Obtain written bids from licensed contractors. Get more than one bid, if possible. Bids should include a complete materials list with itemized prices.

5. Keep accurate records of expenses and repairs. If your safety is involved, and restorations must be made before a visit by the adjuster, keep detailed records. Also, notify the insurance company for approval before making the repairs.

Being prepared can minimize potential problems during a home adjuster visit. It can also help speed the claim process forward. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage. 

The Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mold Growth

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

This house in Houston, TX had severe mold damage.

If you’ve discovered mold growth in your home, you may have a lot of questions you want answers to, such as where did it come from, is it dangerous and how can you get rid of it? Mold is frustrating, but it is not uncommon. If you want to know more about the fungi that has invaded your home, this post contains answers to some of the most common FAQs regarding mold.

• What is mold?
• Is mold dangerous?
• Where does mold come from?
• How can you decrease and prevent mold?

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi that grows in both indoor and outdoor areas. Mold is one of those organisms that can thrive in typically uninhabitable environments, such as in dark places with high humidity or, in more rare instances, in extremely dry environments.

Is Mold Dangerous?

Mold growth is dangerous in that it can eat away at your home’s foundation and structure and, over time, render it uninhabitable. If you do not deal with water damage and resulting mold in a timely fashion, your floorboards may become week, your ceiling may start to sag and your drywall may begin to crumble. These are all hazards that could pose a threat to your safety and well-being.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold typically thrives in dark, damp environments, but it has been known to flourish in dry environments as well. If you suspect that there is mold in your home, begin by checking in areas in which there is high humidity, little ventilation and little natural light.

How Can You Prevent Mold?

You can prevent mold by fixing moisture problems as soon as you notice them and by working with a Houston, TX mold remediation team. The best thing you can do to prevent fungus growth is to keep water damage at bay.

If you discover mold growth in your home, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If the problem is new, however, don’t panic, as damage is probably minimal. Do call your local remediation team for cleanup and prevention assistance. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold. 

3 Steps for Preparing Your Business for a Winter Storm

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

The Disaster Recovery Team is ready for your restoration emergency.

When you’re a business owner, you never have time to slow down if you really want to make your establishment into a success. Unfortunately, the weather often has other plans, especially during the chilly winter months in Houston, TX. Closing down for a day won’t kill business, but experiencing a pipe break or other serious damage as a result of a winter storm certainly can. That’s why you should always prepare your business before the storm can hit by:

• Clearing out and shutting off your water before the storm hits
• Making a plan for snow and ice cleanup ahead of time
• Replacing weather stripping on exterior doors

1. Avoiding Frozen Pipes

Frozen and burst pipes are the most common form of winter storm damage that the modern business encounters during winter conditions. The issue starts off with a small leak but can quickly develop into a flooding deluge in a matter of minutes. That’s why shutting off your water and clearing out your pipes before a storm is crucial for protecting your premises. This way, you’re not only preventing more water from working its way into the building but also getting rid of any that might already be present in the pipes.

2. Weather Stripping

As snow falls, it’s likely to pile up against your doors. While this in itself is harmless, it can quickly become problematic when the snow begins to melt. If your weather stripping is worn, melting snow can seep under your doors and into your business, ruining rugs, carpeting and other belongings in the process.

3. Cleanup Plans

In the event that all of your efforts fail, you should already have a snow and ice cleanup crew chosen to come take care of any issues you might experience. Having a team already chosen allows you to mitigate further water and ice damage from the winter storm, meaning you’ll have your business back as soon as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on commercial storm damage

Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Bleach for Mold Cleanup

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

If you’re like most households, you use bleach as your remedy of choice for tough jobs. From scrubbing the bathtub free of iron stains to cleaning up mold, the harsh chemical may seem to be able to do it all. However, though the cleaning supply can handle a number of situations, the Houston, TX, mold remediation team says that you shouldn’t rely on it for fungus cleanup, and here’s why:

• In many instances, the chemical encourages toxic mold growth on surfaces where it wasn’t present before.
• The cleaning solution only removes stains; it doesn’t kill the root system.
• The chemical is actually extremely harmful to many surfaces.
• When mixed with ammonia (as it often is), bleach can create a deadly gas.
• The chemical releases known cancer-causing agents.
• Chlorine has been known to make mold problems worse in the long run.


What Is Mold, and How Does It Work?


To better understand why chlorine should not be used to cleanup mold, you need to first understand what mold is and how it works. Mold is a fungus that is neither plant nor animal, which means that unlike plants and animals, it doesn’t need ideal conditions to thrive. In fact, it only comes with three requirements: water, warmth and a host. Once given all three, it can spread quickly, making the chore of fungus cleanup all the more difficult.


Does Chlorine Destroy Mold?


Yes and no. Bleach is only effective on hard, nonporous surfaces. It can work wonders on tile or glass, but mold doesn’t tend to grow on those types of surfaces, as the fungus needs a porous surface to sink its roots into. Chances are, if you have mold, you need to use a mold cleanup method that reaches deep into the surface and destroys the mold’s roots, which chlorine cannot do.

There is another reason bleach is ineffective for fungus cleanup: Household bleach is 90 percent water, and mold loves water. Though the chemical components of the cleaning solution stay on the surface, the water sinks in, giving mold the food source it needs to thrive.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com.

Dealing With Secondhand Smoke Damage

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

When you think about smoke damage on your commercial properties, chances are that you probably pictured it resulting from fire damage. While that is what happens in most cases, you can also suffer from it when a nearby building experiences a blaze. Even though the flames were not on your premises, smoke carried on the wind can drift toward you, causing secondhand smoke and soot damage to your buildings and possibly your equipment. If this happens to you, you’re not without recourse. Remembering some vital tips should aid you in getting your business back to normal in Houston, TX.


Will My Insurance Cover Secondhand Damage?


Your business probably has a complete indemnity package that includes typical essentials such as general liability and property, along with specialized coverages such as business interruption insurance. Most companies benefit from a risk management strategy based on both general and specific risks they face doing business, but they often overlook the powerful protection that coverage offers. Whether it’s an adjacent business affected by a blaze or wildfires burning in a nearby forest, the resulting fire, soot and smoke damage will likely be reimbursed by the property portion of your policy.


How Do I Recover From My Loss?


There are two basic components of recovering from destruction inflicted by a fire:

• Reimbursement for and replacement of contents
• Restoration of buildings on your premises

After you’ve contacted your insurer, your next phone call should be to a company with expertise in smoke cleaning, soot removal and odor remediation. Besides these key smoke damage services, these technicians will also rectify any water damage you’ve incurred from fire suppression efforts that affected your property. While your insurance company will play a key role in paying for these efforts, it’s the restoration professionals in Houston, TX, that will bring your buildings back to their former condition, making them safe for occupation so you can return to business.

http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com.

Tips for Cleaning Up Basement Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Sewer backup in Houston, TX is something that no one wants to experience, but should it occur, it is important that you know how to properly clean it up. Basements are particularly prone to this issue, and it is imperative that the situation is handled in the correct way to reduce the damage as much as possible.

Turning Off Utilities

For safety purposes, you want to shut off the utilities to your basement as soon as you know that a sewer backup has occurred. Consider the following tips to deal with this step in the process:

• Electricity and gas should be promptly turned off
• Never touch anything electrical when it is still on
• Until the gas company does an inspection, avoid relighting appliances
• Until the gas is off, never light a match or anything similar due to the risk of a possible gas leak

Cleaning and Sanitizing the Basement

All water and sewage should be removed prior to starting the cleaning process to prevent the cleaned areas from getting contaminated again. Pumping out these fluids is often the best way to accomplish this. Next, remove all items that were touched by the flood waters. Use a cleaner that has low suds to wash down the floors, walls and other surfaces in your basement.

Once everything has been cleaned, you want to go back over all of the surfaces with bleach or another sanitizing cleaner. Thoroughly dry all surfaces once you accomplish this.

Throughout the cleaning process, you should open all windows and doors to the space. Using fans is also a good idea. This airs out the area and aids in reducing the overall humidity present in the basement.

Whether dealing with rain water or black water, when you are cleaning up sewer backup, the information here remains the same. Make sure that you work fast, but keep safety in mind too.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on storm damage.

How to Restore Your Furniture After Water Damage

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

You probably know that water in a home in Houston, TX can cause considerable damage to the floors and walls. However, it can also cause problems with the belongings that were in the flooded room. Porous furniture and other items in the room where the flood occurred require special care. This includes:

• Mattresses
• Couches
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Pet bedding
• Upholstered chairs
• Rugs
• Other cloth items

Because these belongings allow air and water to pass through the surface, they can be breeding grounds for mold. After the water in the home is gone, you can focus on the furniture. Avoid having to toss your upholstery by doing these three things.

Remove Visible Mold

Before you can accomplish anything else, you must get rid of any mold you can see. If you can use a HEPA vacuum, do that and then throw away the bag when you are finished. However, if you can’t get your hands on such a tool, you can wear gloves and wipe the mold away with damp paper towels. Make sure to seal the dirty paper towels in a plastic bag before you throw them away.

Air Dry

If the upholstery is still wet, allow nature to work in your favor as much as possible. If you can allow something to dry outside in the sun, do let it sit outdoors. If not, you can open the windows and doors. If the weather doesn’t allow for these methods, you can use a dehumidifier in the room.

Clean with Alcohol

Once the furniture finishes dry cleaning, you can use a one-to-one solution of rubbing alcohol and water to finish the restoration process. First, wipe away any remaining mildew you find. Then, dampen a cloth with the alcohol solution and rub it on the furniture. Make sure to allow it to dry completely.

Water in a home can be a nightmare for any homeowner. However, a professional cleanup crew can help you restore your home in Houston, TX and you can use these tricks to get your furniture back to normal. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

The Importance of Cleaning Items Properly After Water Damage

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

You can feel almost as victimized by an onslaught of water in your home as you would a masked intruder. The dangers are both immediate and potentially long-term when you are dealing with a broken pipe, backed up sewer or other water damage situation. The specific dangers involved depend on the type of water damage you are facing:

• Clean water
• Gray or black water

The process and dangers for pipe burst cleanup, which usually involves clean water, are different than what you’d need a sewer cleanup company to do.

Clean Water Cleanup

The main focus when dealing with clean water cleanup is getting the water out as quickly as possible. This means addressing the flooring, but also wet walls, furniture and belongings. It takes just 24 hours for mold to begin growing on drywall, carpeting, upholstery and other material. Mold can be damaging and a hazard, so it is important to look at each item and restore it properly. Hidden damp areas invite mold and insects as easily as areas you can see.

Another problem with delaying pipe burst cleanup is elevated humidity levels in your Houston, TX home. You could end up with mold far from the broken pipe. The humidity will also make the HVAC system run harder, which can be costly.

Black Water Cleanup

Dealing with black water is infinitely worse. Not only do you have the same potential dangers as you would with clean water cleanup, but you also face contaminants and microorganisms that could prove deadly. These contaminants will remain present until everything is thoroughly cleaned and dried. It is important to note that not all materials can be cleaned satisfactorily and should be disposed of. A trained and qualified sewer cleanup company can be your best bet for restoring what can be and advising you what should be thrown away.

If you are dealing with a broken pipe and need pipe burst cleanup or sewer cleanup company services, the most important thing is to get started right away. Time is not on your side, and delaying can result in more serious problems that may affect your home.


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

Some of the Biggest FAQs on Mold

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Some of the Biggest FAQs on Mold

If you're worried about mold in Houston, Texas you're not alone. Unfortunately, clear answers to things like how high humidity and water damage affect mold growth are sometimes hard to come by. This is potentially due to a few factors, such as:

Presence of different mold types
Various housing materials
Treatment and removal options

Here are a few popular questions about mold to help inform your remediation decisions.

How Does Mold Start?

Mold is completely natural. In fact, scientists think it's one of the oldest forms of life on Earth. However, just because something grows naturally doesn't mean you necessarily want a bumper crop of it to show up in your basement. The problem is mold is basically everywhere in microscopic quantities. It travels around on dust and dirt or as particles in the air. In fact, it's not often clear where mold growth in a home comes from originally.

Why Do Flood Damage and Mold Infestation Often Happen at the Same Time?

Mold is essentially everywhere, but it rarely gets a chance to grow into the unsightly infestations homeowners dread. The rules change when water enters the equation. Existing mold populations use water to turn the dry desert of your drywall or wood into a suitable habitat. That's why mold seems to come out of nowhere.

How Dry Should a House Be?

Many people worry about mold growth in areas like kitchens, basements and bathrooms because these areas are typically more humid than the rest of the house. Here are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of a mold infestation in these danger zones:

Maintain good ventilation.
Use a dehumidifier.
Avoid spills and fix leaks.

Is Mold Always Obvious?

High humidity associated with the growth of mold is usually extreme enough to make a room feel uncomfortable, and water damage is often visually apparent. However, keep in mind that both these conditions might just as easily occur in a hidden area of your home, such as your attic or the space between your walls. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold.

How to Clean and Salvage Possessions After a Fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

How to Clean and Salvage Possessions After a Fire

Any type of home disaster can be a harrowing event, and a fire’s no exception. The difficulty doesn’t end when the flames are extinguished, however. After that, it’s necessary to determine what can be salvaged within the home—clothes can be spared via drycleaning, surfaces professionally restored and so forth. In fact, effective content cleaning can make a challenging experience feel much easier in the end, as can modern services such as content storage. Learn what you can do to make the best of a bad situation should a fire strike your residence in Houston, Texas.

Advanced Methods

Don’t be confused—you shouldn’t trust your everyday drycleaner to handle smoky odors set in clothing. Restoration professionals employ specialized equipment to clear soot from clothing and textiles as well as for cleaning walls, floors and other surfaces. Improper cleaning can result in unwanted smells saturating materials, so make the right choice to avoid further damage.

Managing the Mess

The period after a home fire is often chaotic and very difficult to manage; content storage can make things much more workable. A qualified restoration team assists by efficiently moving possessions out of the affected area and relocating them to a safe, clean location off-site. This allows for both swifter property cleanup and professional drycleaning of your affected belongings.

Returning to Normalcy

An effective content cleaning process covers all the bases, allowing you and your family to return quickly to a more normal routine. Steps often include:

Soot removal from furniture, carpeting, curtains and other upholstery.
Deodorization of linens, clothing, wooden items, etc.
Cleaning of metal surfaces to prevent corrosion.

Just as it’s important to act quickly when a fire breaks out, it’s critical to begin the drycleaning process as soon as possible. The damage resulting from smoke and soot only becomes worse with time, and that time is typically measured in hours, not days. Make sure you’ve got an effective plan for recovery in Houston, Texas today. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

How to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

How to Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage

If you live in Houston, Texas you know the likelihood of flooding in your property is higher than in many other areas. For some businesses, flooding can have catastrophic consequences and can ruin their buildings. Being prepared for such an event, however, will go a long way toward helping you retain the integrity of your property and deal with flooding events quickly and effectively. Here are a few tips to help you prepare yourself and your business for flood damage.

Educate Yourself on the Insurance Process

It is not commonly known that commercial insurance does not always cover disaster-level flooding. A yard flood or backup of sewer or drain is often covered, depending on the insurance company and any endorsements you may have added to your policy, but flooding caused by a flash flood or hurricane is not. Flood insurance is a separate policy that is purchased through FEMA, and has its own set of rules and endorsements.

Cleaning Gutters and Storm Drains

A great way to mitigate storm damage to your property is by regularly cleaning your gutters and storm drains. While it won’t guarantee that your business will be free of harmful bacteria or pathogens in the event of a flood, it will certainly lessen the risk and lighten the load when it comes to restoration. This is because the garbage, leaves, and other debris that often gets caught in these places can often carry harmful substances that will make your business, or at least the affected area, temporarily unlivable.

Familiarize Yourself with Restoration Companies

There are plenty of disaster restoration companies in Houston, Texas but not all of them are equal. It’s important to have a good understanding of the differences between companies, including customer reviews and reputability. Find the one in your area that you feel most comfortable allowing into your commercial property to treat for flooding and other disasters before the event comes, because it’s important to take action as quickly as possible once it does. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on flood damage.

The Services of a Fire Cleanup Company

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

The Services of a Fire Cleanup Company

When your property experiences a fire, you will need to look for ways to address the potential damage that it may cause. One of the best things you can do when you experience a fire is to contact a restoration company that provides fire damage restoration. With this kind of company, you will be in position to get services such as fire cleanup. During the process of cleaning up fires, companies will usually board up the property as well as use equipment to get rid of particles, smoke and soot.

One of the main reasons to use a restoration company to provide fire damage restoration is to perform fire cleanup. Getting fire cleanup will help reduce the effects of fire damage that can be quite hazardous. Fire cleanup services will include a number of procedures to help address fire damage. A company will address fire damage by first looking to board up parts of the property. It will then begin ridding your property of smoke, soot and debris with chemicals and equipment. Therefore, a company will be your best option when it comes to efficiently addressing fire damage.

Using a restoration company to provide fire damage restoration is also beneficial when looking to effectively deal with smoke damage and the smoke smell it causes. Smoke damage is quite significant as it can lead to structural decay as well as a decline in the properties appearance. Experiencing smoke damage can also lead to emitting hazardous fumes, toxic particles and an unpleasant smoke smell. When a property owner seeks restoration services, they will look to reduce the effects of smoke damage and eliminate the smoke smell. Restoration service companies can address these issues by getting rid of smoke, eliminating the smoke smell and cleaning the property. It will board up parts of the property and then use chemicals and equipment to finish the restoration process.

Another benefit of getting a restoration company to provide fire damage restoration is to help address soot damage. Properties that have soot damage will usually experience a decay in structure. Soot damage can also result in hazardous particles scattered throughout the property. In order to address soot damage, restoration service companies will usually board up parts of the property and then use the usual procedures of eliminating soot. The company will address soot damage by using tools and equipment to get rid of it from the property. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

Common Effects of Fire Damage

11/2/2017 (Permalink)


Common Effects of Fire Damage

In many cases, the effects of a fire occur when there is a fire in home. During a fire in home, the property will get burned as well as there being an accumulation of smoke and soot. When looking to help address a fire in home, it is important to enlist the services of a company that specializes in restoring properties from fire damage. Companies address a fire in home by cleansing the property, getting rid of debris and also providing feedback and advice on how to best maintain the property.

Another common occurrence of fires is when they take place in businesses. Whenever there is a fire in business, a considerable amount of commercial fire damage will take place. As a result, it is vital that property owners hire a restoration service company in order to reduce the effects of commercial fire damage that is caused by a fire in business. Restoration service companies will first address a fire in business by evaluating the extent of the commercial fire damage. They will look at the structures and then decide how to best get rid of debris, smoke and soot. The company will then begin eliminating smoke, soot and debris by using special equipment and chemicals to remove toxins that occur from a fire in business. Once all of the debris, smoke and soot is eliminated, a property owner will be in position to recover from commercial fire damage. With the help of restoration service companies, commercial property owners will have an effective solution to any problems that occur with fires on their property.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

How Storm Damage Restoration Professionals Can Help You

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

How Storm Damage Restoration Professionals Can Help You

If you're dealing with storm damage, hail damage, hurricane damage, flood water or river flooding, it is imperative to get professional assistance as soon as possible. You need to act fast and hire a home restoration company that has a well established history of providing excellent service to home owners whose homes have suffered storm damage or hurricane damage.

Storm, flooding and river flooding can cause tremendous damage to a residential property in various ways. Wind damage, hail damage, wind damage, flood damage, ice dam, ice damage, ice damming, roof damage, frozen pipes, roof leak and problems associated with flooding, river flooding and ground water can be extremely difficult to deal with.

If the storm is too severe, the frozen pipes and hail damage could result in huge repair costs. Roof repair, ice damage and storm restoration are best left to restoration professionals.

If your home has suffered a lot of damage due to a storm risk of storm, it is imperative to get professional assistance as soon as possible, to check for ice dam, frozen pipes, ice damming, roof leak, ice damage, wind damage and to provide storm remediation. Hurricane damage and other problems caused by natural disasters should be prevented whenever possible. Roof repair after roof damage is a job for trained technicians who have great expertise in roof damage, roof repair or replacement and storm remediation.

Roof repair after storm damage is often recommended in order to protect your home from leaks and prevent additional roof damage. When there is roof leak water can flow into the insulation.

The cost of home restoration can be quite high but they will do a good job of restoring your home to its pre-damage condition. If you ask, they may be able to use materials that will save you money and lower the cost of home restoration or storm remediation.

Having flood water or ground water in your home can be frustrating and disruptive and should be handled properly by a team of well-trained water restoration technicians. Depending on the severity of the storm, water restoration professionals may unblock the drains to allow the flow of the flood water. They may use flood pump to remove excess water from the property.

You need a flood pump in a flooding or flood water situation. You can use buckets to remove the water from the property. However, a flood pump can get rid of the excess
water faster and more effectively. A flood pump will certainly expedite the water removal process and also protect the floor from further damage.

Many storm restoration or home restoration professionals use flood pump when then dealing with flooding, river flooding, ground water or flood water situations. The capacity and size of the flood pump needed will depend on the extent of flood damage or ground water.

It is also crucial to dry the affected area during the water restoration service. Water restoration technicians will examine the pipes to look for any damage, frozen pipes or leaks. They will take appropriate steps to ensure that ground water or flood water do not seep through the wooden floor.

Storm restoration also involves other processes, including ice damming and it can effectively be handled by home restoration experts. An ice dam is a structure designed to regulate the flow of water as it melts from ice. An ice dam can be installed in order to prevent prevent the water from draining off your roof. As an important storm restoration process, ice damming requires the expertise of a storm restoration professional.

Roof damage, ice damage and roof leak are some of the issues homeowners deal with after a storm damage, hurricane damage, hail damage or wind damage.

Considering that the tornadoes and winds can have a devastating impact on your home, you should hire water restoration professionals to evaluate your roof's condition and provide the necessary or appropriate reinforcement.

A reliable and reputable storm restoration company with a team of well-trained and experienced professionals can provide you with the quality storm remediation. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on storm damage.

The Steps Followed by Experts in Dealing with Water Damage Restoration

9/26/2017 (Permalink)


The Steps Followed by Experts in Dealing with Water Damage Restoration

There are a lot of plumbing issues confined to the bathroom. Due to this, bathrooms experience a significant amount of water damage emergencies. From pipe break and supply line break, sinks overflowing to clogged toilets, and supply lines bursting, the possibilities of water damage seem endless. It is important to always be ready to do water in the home restoration to the flooded home. The following are the restoration steps that what will take place after a pipe break or supply line break.

1. Contacting the restoration company

The first thing to do is to get in touch with a professional restoration service of your choice. Once you have contacted them, they will inquire from you the necessary information like your contact, the location of the flood damage, whether it is water in the business or water in the home area, insurance cover, what may have caused the flood damage, and if there is electricity in the flooded home. It is vital for the restoration company to have this information because it will facilitate the response time of the service providers.

2. Inspection

The restoration company you’ve chosen will send a representative to the premises. They will survey the level of water in the home or water in the business, identify and stop the water flow, and check for contaminated water. The restoration company will also proceed to verify the type of water, that is, whether it is black, white or gray, and this will help in water cleanup and restoring the flooded home or other property as it was before the water damage. In addition to this, they will make certain that there are no live electrical wires exposed to the water in the home or water in the business.

3. Water Cleanup.
After the representative has done the above, they will send for more mitigation experts so that work can begin. The water cleanup will be the most urgent thing to undertake, and it will be done immediately after the inspection. If the flood damage is severe, they may recommend a temporary relocation as the mitigation and reconstruction begins. Depending on the restoration company you’ve enlisted, they may help you in the moving out process. The amount of water present will determine which equipment such as submersible pumps, wet or dry vacuums, will be used to do water cleanup and mitigation.

4. De-humidification and drying
Drying aims at reducing the level of humidity in the air. Once all the water has been eliminated, the drying process will begin. Certain equipment is used here like the industrial air conditioners and dehumidifiers, and these remove moisture from the surface corners which are hard to access. The staff will monitor the process until drying is complete. The specialized equipment also guarantees that secondary water damage like swelling and warping does not occur.

5. Cleaning after a pipe break
After it is clear that the premise is dry of any water, the experts will proceed to clean the area and make sure that all the dirt has been removed. They will also get rid of any offensive and persistent odors that may be present and sanitize the area. If there are any destroyed materials still present, they will be disposed of.

6. Restoration after a supply line break

Once the devastation has been dealt with, the professionals will put in place mitigation measures to prevent any further pipe break or supply line break damage from occurring. The measures may be like putting up roof tarps if necessary, board ups, temporary fencing and maybe temporary warehouse space. At this juncture, it is possible to move back into the premises and do an inspection to establish that the job is complete and that there is no more water in the business.

It is an excellent process that is easy to execute well when done by competent, skilled professionals. The reconstruction may take anywhere between a day and two weeks depending on the extent of the flood damage or water damage. The cost may vary depending on the people who are performing the job. It’s advisable to have in hand contacts of various service providers to compare the cost and time they plan to spend on the flooded home.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

How to Reduce Losses and Recover from Commercial Fire Damage

9/26/2017 (Permalink)


How to Reduce Losses and Recover from Commercial Fire Damage

So what next after a commercial fire damage? Recovery from fire incidents is always a challenge but one that is possible. With the significant losses that follow these catastrophes, it often seems like a daunting task to get back on your feet. However, through a combination of several actions, you are sure to restore your company back to operation.

What to Do After a Commercial Fire Damage Incident

Actions that follow after noticing signs of a fire determine the extent of losses to be incurred. Carefully handling certain issues help reduce the loss burden.

Sound the Alarm

Most institutions are fitted with firefighting equipment that automatically detects early fire signs. Smoke sensors trigger fire sprinkler systems that release water to deal with the fire. Alerting your colleagues by sounding the alarm is crucial in saving lives and property. If there are firefighters among them or those with firefighting skills, they will be the first to respond. Do ensure that the utility room with fire control tools and fire suppression apparatus such as extinguishers and fire hoses is accessible.

Call the Emergency Teams

Ensure you get in touch with all emergency teams in your area. Their timely arrival helps save lives and reduce the impact of the soot damage, smoke damage and the fire damage on the business premises. The list should include, the local firefighters, police, medical teams and any other company with fire trucks. All fire suppression crews are useful in such situations.

Inform your Insurance Provider.

There are certain issues insurance companies are to be addressed before a decision on whether to pay for the fire damage is made. Other than the police investigations, insurance firms conduct independent assessments of the commercial fire damage situation. Ensure you provide as much information as you can. Investigations primarily focus on the following.

· The events that led to the fire.

· The functional safeguards were in place on the business premises. Your venture will be required to provide quality assurance assessments of the fire sprinkler system, the fire hoses in the premises, among others. The condition of the utility room with fire fighting equipment will also be reviewed.

· Issues related to the losses that resulted from the fire damage, soot damage, and smoke damage are factored in the report. Issues related to the destruction from fire suppression activities are also considered. They include any destruction of insured property by firefighters or fire trucks in their efforts to put out the inferno.

Call the Fire Restoration Team

Having a fire damage restoration company in such situations is in your best interest. Their task is to ensure your business is restored to its condition before the commercial fire damage.

Their assessment of the after effects of the electrical fire, soot damage, and smoke damage informs their choice of action in the fire restoration efforts. Water damages that are caused by the fire sprinkler systems and the fire trucks are also factored in their evaluation. Other than the soot damage and smoke damage to the business surfaces, the electrical fires incinerate other assets. With all this information, the fire restoration crew determines what repairs, reconstructions, replacements or cleaning options are to be done. One thing remains true. Fire restoration services help save on costs in the long run.

Loss Mitigation Measures before a Commercial Fire Damage Incident

As an entity, it is important to have the following in place as a precautionary measure to safeguard lives and property.

· Have proper firefighting apparatus installed. This means that a fire sprinkler system, a fire hose, and a utility room with fire firefighting tools such as extinguishers, fire hoses gas masks, axes among other fire suppression equipment, are a must have. They are especially critical in putting out electrical fires.

· Displaying emergency hotlines across the institution. The numbers should include those of the local firefighters with fully equipped fire trucks, local police, and other emergency teams.

· Continuous safety drills performed on the premises. This is foundational in training individuals on how to deal with emergency situations, especially in electrical fire cases.

· Routinely inspect the utility room with fire fighting equipment to ensure it is fully operational.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

Finding the Best Options for Professional Storm Damage Restoration

9/26/2017 (Permalink)


Finding the Best Options for Professional Storm Damage Restoration

Dealing with homes and residential properties that have experienced flooding and other forms or storm damage can be a simpler undertaking for those who have access to professional storm remediation. From local river flooding and wind damage to seasonal concerns like frozen pipes, or an ice dam or ice damming, finding the best solutions for storm restoration is never an issue that should be left to chance. Certain issues, such as roof damage or a roof leak which may have been caused by ice damage or hail damage, may require prompt home restoration services in order to minimize the need for more extensive roof repair services.

Removing Water From the Home

Water restoration services are absolutely essential when dealing with hurricane damage, or the potential damaged caused when ground water or flood water enter an interior environment. Use of a flood pump, dehumidifier or other specialized equipment that only a professional may be able to provide may be critical for ensuring successful storm remediation. Flooding is often one of the most serious types of storm damage and water that may have entered the home from a roof leak, frozen pipes or nearby river flooding calls for swift action. Water restoration efforts that utilize a flood pump or other home restoration equipment can often make quite a difference.

Shingle and Roof Repair

Hail damage, strong wind damage and even hurricane damage which may result in a roof leak is another situation that home and property owners would do well to address without delay. Storm restoration services that involve professional roof repair are often essential for minimizing the scope of roof damage. Snow accumulation, ice damage caused by an ice dam or ice damming as well as wind damage or hail damage may often require more extensive roof repair than many homeowners realize. Dealing with roof damage or addressing a roof leak promptly and effectively is often essential for ensuring effective storm remediation.

Extensive Flooding Within the Home

While even a small amount of water damage may result in considerable harm, ground water or flood water which may be present in far greater quantities can be of even greater concern with regards to home restoration. Using an industrial flood pump to remove flood water from an interior environment may be just the beginning when it comes to dealing with storm damage or river flooding that may be more extensive in scope. The storm restoration and water restoration efforts needed to deal with hurricane damage or localized river flooding are often essential for protecting the long-term value of a property.

Hurricane Damage and Major Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms can result in a tremendous amount of wind damage or interior flooding. Extensive roof damage as well as large volumes of flood water or ground water within the homes are very common concerns when dealing with hurricane or tropical storm damage. Access to a flood pump and other water restoration and removal services can often be of paramount importance following a major storm. From removing ground water to repairing a roof installation, there are a number of services that may be required successful hurricane or tropical storm remediation.

Winter Storm Restoration

Hail damage or ice damage may require a full range of professional home restoration services. Plumping issues like frozen pipes or the potential damages that may be caused by an ice dam or ice damming are not something that property owners should take lightly. Winter storms may cause extensive damage through snow and ice accumulation as well as exposure to extremely low temperatures. Ignoring the snow and ice damage which may be caused by an ice dam or ice damming or failing to identify or address the problems caused by burst or frozen pipes as early as possible could result in far more extensive damages. Assessing the state of a roof as well as the pipes and plumbing system following a winter storm may be an important concern with regards to seasonal storm remediation.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on storm damage.

Large Loss Equipment for Commercial Water Losses

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Large Loss Equipment for Commercial Water Losses

When a large commercial building has a large water loss it takes the right equipment to get the place clean and operational once again. The amount of water that enters a facility when a pipe breaks will eventually cause a lot of evaporation. All that humidity is hard to get rid of with our traditional Desiccant Dehumidifiers.

The picture is of Desiccant Dehumidifier which can move 5000 cubic feet of air every minute. Its job is to move hot dry air into the building while removing humidity.

When your office or commercial property has a water damage it's important to call a remediation company that has the right equipment to do the job right. Call SERVPRO of Town& Country when you have a water damage.

Mold Problems After a Water Loss

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Problems After a Water Loss

Controlling water is the only way to control mold. After water intrusion in a home or business the clock starts ticking for mold to grow. Mold starts out as an unseen spore but can change to visible growth within 48hrs.

Mold is everywhere at all times. It is a vital part of the ecosystem breaking down dead organic matter such as leaves or logs. However, the mold can only grow if there is ample humidity or water present.

The mold that is already present in your home or business will start to grow within 48 hours of a water loss. Call SERVPRO of Town & Country after pipe breaks, floods, and water heater malfunctions. Our technicians will rid the building of excess water before the mold has time to grow.

The Storm After A Hurricane

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

The Storm After A Hurricane

Once a hurricane is done sending buckets of water and rising sea levels the storm of repairing your home commences. Whether there is a lot of damage or a little is dependant on where your home was located. In either case here are some of the repairs your home might need. Keep in mind that flood water is considered black water, meaning that any porous material that soaked up water will have to be removed for the safety of the occupants.

  1. Carpets and pad - These will need to be removed and replaced.
  2. Flood Cuts - All walls will be cut 12 inches wherever the flood line is located.
  3. Wood Floors - The wood will have to be removed and replaced.
  4. Contents - Bedding, clothing, and other porous material is contaminated and needs to be removed.

Our technicians are trained to clean up after flooding due to a hurricane. Let our crews worry about the storm after the hurricane.

Town and Country Water Loss

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Town and Country Water Loss

Recently our franchise was called to help out a family who had their basement flooded. They were very upset as they supposed the sprinkler system had failed causing the flood. They tried everything to find the bad sprinkler head but could not find it at all.

After we had done all the work from the day before their basement flooded again. They called us in to remove the water and hired a sprinkler repair company to find the problem. They didn't find anything and didn't charge the homeowner. But they did notice the signs of a broken sprinkler coming from the neighbor.

The problem was that their neighbor was on a slope higher than the homeowners with the flooded basement. The neighbor's sprinkler had a broken head which ran right down into their window well flooding their basement.

The homeowners were very upset but the neighbor paid for all the problems which was the right thing to do.

Fire Sprinkler System Information

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Sprinkler System Information

Many commercial buildings will have a fires sprinkler system installed to avoid heavy losses during a fire. Here are some frequently asked questions about fire sprinklers and why they are needed.

  • How do they work?

A fire suppression system is heat censored and will turn on when there is enough heat next to the sprinkler head.

  • Do they all turn on flooding the whole building?

Only the sprinkler heads that sense heat will turn on during a fire. There are some older systems that may have sections turn on but today's systems are more sophisticated.

  • Why don't fire sprinklers freeze?

Some have frozen before but it's not likely. The fire suppression system is full of water mixed with glycol to deter freezing.

In most cases the water damage is far less expensive that a fire damage. Keeping fire sprinkler systems up to date and maintained will help keep the costs of a loss lower.

Water Damage After a Fire

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage After a Fire

A fire can be devastating enough on a home. However, there will also be considerable water and firefighter damage as well. The main goal of a firefighter is to save lives and property. There are many ways that a firefighter can accomplish this goal.

  1. Backdraft - When a home has a fire all the oxygen is being used up for the flames. Fire fighters will break windows of the home to allow them to get through the door without receiving backdraft.
  2. Firefighters use a 2 1/2 inch hose which can flow 290 gallons per minute if attached to the fire hydrant. That is a lot of water flowing into the home to put out the fire.

Although there are other factors to a fighting a fire the damage done by the firefighters must also be taken into consideration.

Roof Damaged By Large Hail

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Roof Damaged By Large Hail

Some storms are awesome to behold and hail is always leaves people wondering how nature works. The NASA website has this to say about hail.

"Hail forms when thunderstorm updrafts are strong enough to carry water droplets well above the freezing level. This freezing process forms a hailstone, which can grow as additional water freezes onto it. Eventually, the hailstone becomes too heavy for the updrafts to support it and it falls to the ground."

When golf and tennis ball size hail storms hit the Houston area it is because the updrafts are strong enough to keep the hail in the thunderstorm gather more water.

The downfall of this magnificent storm is roof damage which can therefore cause water to leak into your home. Call SERVPRO of Town and Country if your home has suffered from hail damage.

Fall Allergies are Probably Mold Related

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fall Allergies are Probably Mold Related

People often are worried about mold growing within their home and their is some merit to their worry. Mold, like any plant, spread their seeds through the air, by ingestion, or from being carried. These seeds, known as spores, are microscopic which can be inhaled easily through the nose or mouth. Just as people have spring allergies from pollen some people have fall allergies from mold.

In the spring flowers and plants are alive and growing culminating in pollenating to create more plants the next year.

In the fall when all the plants are dying mold will begin to grow. Mold, mildew, and fungus are all saprophytes helping to break down the decaying plants. Mold too will die but only after it has released thousands of spores into the air. And if you are allergic to mold your allergies will be a problem in the fall.

Keep in mind if you have allergies in the fall as it will indicate if you might be allergic to mold spores.

Handling a Flood Damage after a Tropical Storm

8/26/2017 (Permalink)

Flood damage can strike any time in Houston TX.  Natural causes include storms and hurricanes, and even hail. Storms can cause flooding but also remove shingles and other roofing materials. The rain will then get into the home through the damaged roof. Both flooding and wind driven rain can do a lot of damage during a Tropical Storm.

While one may not be in a position to prevent flood damage from happening, the mitigation measures that one takes can help to avoid further loss. The mitigation measures that one should take are listed below. They can be carried out individually or with the aid of specialists.

1. Stopping Water Flowing into the home or business using sand bags and other barriers around doors and windows

2. Turning Off Power in business will reduce electrical fires that may happen during a storm event. Damaged wires can conduct electricity through water. It should be a priority to disconnect power, so as to reduce the risk of electric shock.

3. Drying Wet Items  such as furniture can be salvaged by drying them quickly. One should raise furniture off the ground on blocks to keep them from getting wet.

4. Inviting Safety Inspectors. One should not re-occupy the building unless it is recommended so by a safety inspector. They assess the electrical and structural safety of a building and recommend the necessary repairs.

5. Water Cleanup and Restoration is the last step in the process of a flood damage. Calling SERVPRO early will assure that wet walls will not grow mold. It's important to have a company that can respond quickly in your area to flood water clean up. 

Finding Mold in your Spring Valley Home

8/26/2017 (Permalink)

Texas can be a naturally humid area. Fungus is natural and can be found everywhere even in Spring Valley. It becomes a problem when it begins to grow indoors and can be very devastating to structure and contents.

If you think you may have found Mold Spores or another fungus in your home there are some steps you can take.

  • First you want to be sure that it is mold through testing, it is possible what you are seeing could be a different microbial growth. Many different types of bacteria and fungi can cause microbial growth. To be sure you should get a Mold Test. Testing for fungus will let you know exactly what it is. A mold test should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in testing for mold spores. 
  • If you find Mold in your home. Contact an Environmental Hygienist. It is an Environmental Hygienists job to maintain an acceptable standard of environmental quality that includes that includes a clean and potable water supply, clean and safe air, efficient and safe waste disposal, and even protection of food from biological and chemical contaminants. This person will be able to conduct proper tests and lead you in the right direction in order to get your pesky problem handled with in a safe and timely manner. There are also many remediation and removal companies in Texas that will come out and conduct the proper tests. They will also be able to let you know how bad you problem is and begin the process of removal. The time it takes for complete removal depends on many factors as how much is present, where it is growing and the materials it is growing on. Most removal/remediation takes anywhere from 1 day to 5 days.

Preventing Mold Spores in Your Home

Make sure there is not a water leak. Mold can only grow in moist and humid environments. You can also be sure to reduce indoor humidity to decrease growth. You can do so by venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture generating sources out of the house, use air conditioners and dehumidifiers, increase overall ventilation and use exhaust fans whenever cooking, washing dishes and cleaning.

Clean and dry and damp or wet furnishing and building materials within 24-48 hours of becoming wet in order to prevent growth. Make sure areas that normally do condensate like windows, floors and exterior walls are kept dry on a regular basis. Do not install carpet in areas where you know moisture is present like kitchens and bathrooms.

Emergency Response Profile - SERVPRO App

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Application for businesses is known as the Emergency Response Profile or ERP App. It can be downloaded on the App Store for both Apple and Android.

The ERP allows businesses to add pictures and locations of gas and water shut off locations per profile. Each profile can be shared with other employees of a building to help them know where to shut off gas or water in an emergency.

The ERP is not a contingency plan but an Emergency Response Profile. The goal is to help mitigate damages due to water or fire disasters.

No more having employees calling around trying to find out where the shut off locations are located to stop the water from entering. Now they can look at their phone or computer and know exactly where to go to shut off the water.

Download the ERP App or give SERVPRO a call and we will schedule an appointment to walk your employees through the process.

Staying Prepared for Disaster in Houston, TX

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Flood damage due to Tropical storms can be very difficult to clean up as a DIY. Most insurance companies cover losses after a storm saving you time and money.

However, it is in very important that you act quickly and protect your belongings. The first step is to contact a professional to clean up before more damage has time to happen.

If your house or business is involved in a flood from a tropical storm call a professional. They can clean and dry your home quickly after a disaster. But it is always 

Disaster preparation is very important. A disaster plan will begin with an evacuation plan. Every person in the home or business should know the plans for evacuation. Routes should be mapped out and practice drills are a great idea.

Another great idea is for the group to prepare an emergency backup kit. If a disaster were to occur and the group was unable to leave, they will be able to survive with a survival kit. Make sure to include the following items in the survival kit.

1. Water: make sure there is enough water for each person in the group. Three to seven days is a reasonable amount of water to set aside for each person.

2. Flashlights or candles: these will help if the electricity goes out.

3. First aid kit: pack a first aid kit with Tylenol pain reliever, band aids, tape, gauze, antibiotic ointment and eye rinse.

4. Food: protein bars and can meats are good sources for keeping your energy level up. Juices are great if a person is diabetic. The American Red Cross will be around the area for disasters such as storms and floods. They usually help the community by providing shelters and food supplies until the people can recover themselves.

Restoration specialists and the Red Cross are trained to come in after a disaster. They know to turn off the electricity. They know to make sure everyone is safe before they begin to clean.

Commercial Flood Restoration

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Restoration

Cleaning the home after flood damage can be a difficult task. The floodwaters will bring contamination in the house. If the storm water mixes with the sludge from the sewer, the storm will carry a lot of toxins to the drainage systems. If the drainage systems do not function properly, the blockage is a likely possibility. As the drainage channels fill up, the possibility of the flooding in the house is quite high. The best way to prevent this flooding and contamination is to install the appropriate backflow prevention devices in your sewerage and drainage channels. However, you still have to disinfect your floors and walls while cleaning the house. Once you eliminate the excess water and mud, you need to wash the surfaces with the appropriate detergents. While the surfaces might appear clean to the naked eye, they might be full of toxins that come with the floods. It is critical to disinfect every surface with the chlorine-based solutions to restore the healthy environment in your home.

Besides the mitigation, a restoration company can help you when drying a flooded home. A flooded home is risky to your occupants, meaning that engaging a restoration company to help with the drying procedure is vital. A restoration company that repairs the supply line break as soon as possible can help you to reduce the damage in your flooded home.

If the water damage causes the sewage to flow into your home, your entire home might be contaminated. As you embark on the restoration program, it is vital to think of the mitigation as well. Flood mitigation helps to reduce the effects of water damage and save money on water cleanup and sanitization. After undertaking the water cleanup and disinfection, the next step involves drying the surfaces and eliminating the moisture in the indoor environment. After flood damage, the water in home hardwood floors can percolate to the foundation and cause the wood to rot. When the water in business floors affects the carpets, you might have to replace them. The water in business appliances can cause extensive damage, especially if it affects the electronics such as printers and computers.

The restoration will also involve replacing the wood panels in the wake of the water damage. While mitigation entails taking some precautions to prevent the severity of water damage, the restoration involves water cleanup, drying, and home repair. A pump is vital when it comes to eliminating the water in business floors, storm water in the damaged drains, and water in business parking lots. The best way to get rid of the water in business carpets is to use a dryer. Once you start pumping the water in business premises, you can contact the insurance company to estimate the damage. The water in home crawlspaces might have some toxins too. While undertaking the water cleanup, you should look out for the hidden areas if you want to eliminate the water in home floors, foundation, and crawlspaces.

The pipe break in your plumbing system can cause the water to leak. When looking for the pipe break, scrutinize the walls for any signs of dampness. A pipe break can be quite difficult to repair if the pipe is hidden within the walls. The effect of the water in home flooring will depend on the resilience of the material. The supply line break can wreak havoc on the hardwood flooring and force you to undertake some expensive repairs. The best way to deal with a supply line break is to call a plumber. While identifying the supply line break can be a daunting task, a plumber can do it with ease. Restoring the solid wood furniture is quite easy if the damage is minimal. The wallboards cannot be salvaged since they absorb water and act like sponges when wet.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

Commercial Fire Damage 101

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage 101

This is a team of people who are professional in tackling fire incidences. They train, equip and distinguish fires regardless of its intensity at any location. They restore homes and premises after a fire tragedy or incident and advice on what to do in case of fire.

Damage by Fire

This damage emanating from a fire break out either accidental or intentional. Fire damage can be caused by flammable materials placed near a source of fire or stored inappropriately. There are various sources of fire accidents that can cause a fire damage. They include human error, combustible materials where materials that are easily flammable are carelessly handled. Another source of fire is a faulty equipment or machine where an individual fails to report a malfunctioning equipment where it can produce a spark leading to a fire damage.

Clutter is also another source of damage when not cleaned regularly, piling up will occur raising temperatures in the pile and if the temperature becomes too much a fire is a likely occurrence. Another source of fire damage is arson where a person can intentionally light a fire that may lead to a fire damage. Human error has been blamed for most of the fire accidents around the world. This is when a person switches off water and the same water system is used elsewhere to extinguish a fire accident. Failure to report a faulty machine or equipment is another human error that can cause damage by fire.

Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage restoration is an action done after several processes and applications have been passed through. Fire damage restoration It is also possible after a fire been completely extinguished. The processes include; inspection and damage assessment, tarp and cleaning assessment, drying and water removal, renovation and repair and finally restoration. After all the mentioned processes have been passed through, the fire damage restoration is finally achieved.

Fire Cleanup

Fire cleanup is a task done to remove the remnants of a fire that have been left behind after a fire has been extinguished. During a fire cleanup, public health safety rules must be followed on how safe to clean a place after a fire break out. Protective clothing should be worn, heavy gloves and safety shoes that are fire resistant to avoid burns. A technician's advice should be sought when dealing with an insulation that has been soaked or when replacing a drywall.

Smoke Damage

Smoke damage is the discoloration of floors, walls, and garments within the building. Smoke damage causes black marks also known as soot that is thick in nature and cleaning it requires a special approach. The smoke damage should be assessed to ascertain whether to use a dry or a wet cloth. In the event that clothes have been affected by the smoke damage, washing them in warm water and detergents will remove the smoke soot.

Soot Damage

Soot is a black substance that forms as a result of combustion that is incomplete thus leading to soot damage. Soot damage can be cleaned by using a dry sponge or a wet cloth depending on the nature of the soot which can be oily or dry. When it's oily, soapy water and detergents are used to clean the soot damage but after consulting on the best detergent to be used.

Commercial Fire Damage

Commercial fire damage can be devastating to a business enterprise in terms of business losses and even the premises themselves. A commercial fire damage can lead to employee job losses; customers will start seeking an alternate source of their supplies. Businesses are encouraged to ensure their businesses against fires and also train their employees on how to avert these fires. Techniques on how to avoid commercial fire damage are also taken into account.

Smoke Smell

The smoke smell can stick onto garments or walls and even ceilings of a building. Removing the smoke smell requires thorough cleaning of garments, walls, floors, and carpets within the building. By completely getting rid of smoke smell purifying the air in the house is required.

Fire in Home

Fire in home may occur by accident or intentional. Home owners should take care of appliances that they use to avoid fire in home. For a fire in home to be averted, faulty appliances should be repaired, dispose of those that are not used or are spoiled safely and also have an emergency number at hand in case a fire incident occurs. Training is also recommended to avoid fire in home.

Fire in Business

Fire in business may be severe depending on the material a business is using or what the business enterprise is engaged in. Fire in business requires training to be carried out on employees to avert a fire crisis. Business enterprises are encouraged to have a direct communication line for fire safety experts who will help out in the event of a fire in business.

Restoration Company

A restoration company is a company involved with extinguishing fires and handling fire damage, training of company employees and even home owners on how to face a fire accident. A restoration company should operate on a 24-hour basis because fires happen at any given time of the day. Also, a restoration company gives expert advice on how to restore business premises or a home after a fire accident.

Board Up

Board up is the covering of walls, windows and even walls with boards after disasters like fire. The board up technique adds privacy to the affected area and also helps secure equipment from further damage. Board up is one of the very first things that a competitive restoration company does on getting to the scene.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

The First Step In Commercial Mold Damage

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

The First Step In Commercial Mold Damage

What is the proper first step to take when mold in the home or commercial mold damage is located? There are many conflicting answers to this question, but mold damage requires one simple first step. Call a professional restoration company to handle the remediation and mitigation process immediately. That’s the first step in dealing with mold damage, mold growth, and mold removal. The next step is to remove any water that might cause mold damage or mold growth to occur.

Flood water is a big problem that causes mold to grow quickly, but it’s not just flooding that causes mold in the home or commercial mold damage to form. If a pipe in the wall is leaking, it can cause mold growth in the walls. While mold growth of any kind is a major problem, it’s mold growth behind walls that sometimes causes the biggest issues since it’s not easily noticed and handled as quickly as other mildew, fungus, or even dry rot in a home or office.

What People Can Do to Assist Commercial Mold Damage and Mold in the Home

Get rid of the water damage first. Moisture and humidity love to work together to allow this fungus to grow. It also helps other types of mildew grow, and no one wants any kind of fungus or mildew in their home or office. Moisture also speeds up the process of dry rot, which is a sign of mold damage. Mold growth in the walls can occur when dry rot is present, which is why getting rid of all standing water and water damage is a must.

The next most helpful thing people can do when they find mold in the home or commercial mold damage is shut down the air or heat depending on the time of year. Not only can this system cause the smelly odor that fungus such as mold or even mildew emits to spread faster throughout a building, it also helps mold damage spread throughout the building when spores are spread. Deodorization is nearly impossible when this kind of mold damage occurs.

Home and business owners must know they cannot do their own mold removal. It’s only going to spread spores and make the damage worse. Mold removal is best handled with professional equipment designed to remove mold from places the naked eye cannot even see, such as mold growth behind walls, and it’s also designed to allow for professional deodorization to remove the smelly odor mold emits.

The Signs of Mold Growth

Mold can grow anywhere, but most people notice mold growth behind walls when they notice the smelly odor that comes with it. It might not respond kindly to deodorization. Only professional deodorization works to get rid of this smell, but it’s a big sign of mold growth behind walls. Dry rot is another sign, as well as the growth of any other fungus or mildew around the house or office.

Home and business owners might panic if they notice black mold growing, but it does not always cause concern. Mold occurs in many different forms, and many types of fungus look like black mold. The best thing people can do is call a restoration company to handle remediation and mitigation when they find any mold, whether it’s black mold or another color.

Remediation and mitigation are mandatory when any black mold or other mold is present in a home of office. The first step when mold is found is always to call a restoration company. A restoration company is employed to handle remediation and mitigation on top of mold removal. Calling them is the only way to get rid of a smelly odor forever, and
it's the only way to properly remove mold from a home or office. This is not a DIY job. It's the kind of job no one should do on their own, because it only makes things worse.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold.

How To Best Resolve Residential and Commercial Flooding

7/20/2017 (Permalink)


How To Best Resolve Residential and Commercial Flooding

It's a nightmare scenario. A pipe breaks or a supply line breaks, leading to water gushing out and onto the floor at the rate of dozens of gallons per minute. If you're not an expert plumber, you may not be able to shut off the water flow, leading to rapidly forming water damage. The water begins seeping through the floor. Soon, the carpeting in the neighboring room is becoming soaked and it's raining in the basement. What should you do?

The first thing to do is recognize this for the serious situation that it is. Large-scale water damage is a potentially catastrophic situation, capable of causing structural damage and even failure. High-volume water damage, when left to sit, will cause extensive damage to the property and may eventually lead to the condemning of the premises.

Fortunately, a quick response to new water damage, by a competent restoration company, can not only avoid permanent and serious damage, it can all but ensure the total restoration of the property to its prior condition. Below, we'll summarize the things that happen when a water damage event occurs and how best to handle it.

When a pipe breaks or a supply line breaks, the best thing that any property owner can do to prevent flood damage is immediately call the local professional restoration company. A team of professionals from the restoration company can almost always completely reverse any flood damage that has taken place, providing there is not standing black water, such as occurs in an overflowing river. But the restoration and mitigation process should begin as quickly as possible. This usually means that a team of restoration and mitigation professionals should be on-site within approximately the first five hours after a flood damage event has occurred.

After the first 24 hours, it is still possible for successful restoration and mitigation of the property. But the chances of a successful mitigation of the damage become increasingly less likely, with every hour that passes beyond the 24-hour mark.

While not all property owners recognize the potential severity of a flooded home or business, the restoration company does. That's why they have teams available on 24-hour call, ready to be deployed with close to the same response time as a fire department. That's because in the water cleanup process, time is the most valuable commodity.

The water cleanup team will typically arrive within a half hour of the call being placed. Upon arriving, they will immediately enter the premises, assessing the extent of the water in the business or water in the home. At this stage, they will also seek out any leaking water that may be coming from the original pipe break or supply line break. If there is an active leak, the pipe break or supply line break may need to be fixed with welding.

If the water in the home or water in the business has permeated intramural spaces, the team will be able to detect it, through the use of sophisticated detection equipment.

Using powerful pumps, all standing water in the home or water in the business will be extracted. The water cleanup team should be able to extract all water in the home or water in the business within the first hour.

Next the flooded home will undergo the drying process. Large drying equipment will be used, which is capable of removing thousands of pounds of water from the flooded home's materials and structure. The drying process may take up to 24 hours.

The last step is to clean and sanitize the flooded home. This will prevent any mold growth and eliminate all smells that may be forming.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services

7/20/2017 (Permalink)


Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services

Fire ranks as one of the most destructive elements with the potential to reduce everything to ashes. When you encounter fire in the business or fire in the home, you need to act immediately. Fire damage should not be your only concern. Fire also causes soot damage, smoke damage, and smoke smell. Acting promptly can help salvage most of your items. Calling in a commercial fire damage expert is the best way to save as much as you can. Fire cleanup services can reduce further losses.

There are many reasons why you need to enlist the services of a restoration company after a fire in the home or fire in the business. Fire damage restoration professionals have an emergency response unit. Timing is everything when dealing with water and fire damage. Some of the emergency services provided by commercial fire damage technicians include water extractions, soot damage removal, smoke damage removal and smoke smell deodorization. Fire cleanup services also include restoring things back to their original positions.

Another crucial service offered by fire restoration company in the installation of a temporary board up. The board up prevents exposure of your property to elements that can make it hard to combat the fire. A temporary board up is installed as a mitigation strategy.

Fire cleanup services also include contents and structural cleaning. Fire leaves soot and ash leading to smoke damage and soot damage. Smoke and soot do not only damage the property but the contents as well. Special tools and expertise need to be applied when dealing with smoke smell, soot damage, and smoke damage.

A fire in the home and fire in the business results in loss of items. These items need to be safely removed for proper fire clean up services. The commercial fire damage experts will clear these items and document them. Processing and documenting of the lost items is important, especially when making insurance claims.

Fire damage leaves many damaged items that need to be stored. The insurance company may need to see these items physically before they offer any compensation. A professional fire clean up company will also offer a storage package for these items. It may take some time before the home or business owner finds a new location. A temporary storage space gives you peace of mind as you handle the insurance requirements.

The HVAC systems are also affected by a fire damage. These systems can spread pathogens, pollutants, and chemicals that can cause illness. Professional fire clean up restoration also conducts repair on the HVAC systems to ensure the indoor air quality is maintained. The damage from fire also affects electronic appliances. The Restoration company also repair these products so that the home or business owner can resume their normal activities.

Smoke damage and soot damage and smoke smell will require soot removal and deodorization services. The lingering smell of smoke is irritating. Expert fire cleanup services from commercial fire damage companies are needed to remove these smells. Soot can also stain the walls and appliances. If left unremoved, you may have to replace items that would have easily be cleaned and restored back to their previous condition. Engaging the services of fire professionals immediately after a fire has been put out is crucial for a home or a business. The restoration company will also install a temporary board up to prevent further exposure.

In order to prevent a re-occurrence of fire in the business or fire in the home, the commercial fire damage restoration company can help you with mitigation measures. These are aimed at ensuring your home or business is protected from potential damage. There are various steps that can be taken including the installation of smoke alarms and the supply of fire extinguishers. If the fire was caused by electrical faults, the fire damage restoration professionals would also help to ensure that the connections are done properly after the repair. Therefore, with the assistance of the right fire damage restoration company, you can get back to where you were before the fire.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage.

Black Mold Is Dangerous – Contact A Specialist

7/20/2017 (Permalink)


Black Mold Is Dangerous – Contact A Specialist

Black mold is known as ‘stachybotrys’ and is a very dangerous fungus. Mold growth and mildew are very toxic, especially when found indoors. When left untreated, mold growth becomes a health hazard for family and friends.

Mold growth is also damaging to homes and can ruin the integrity of a building by causing dry rot and producing a musty odor. A dry rot is decayed wood caused by certain species of fungi that digest parts of the wood.

Mold produces a gas, some of which are odorless, but black mold is the type to give off a smelly odor. Only a remediation technician can use deodorization techniques to rid your home or business of unhealthy air.

Mold in home survives wherever there is moisture, water, and limited ventilation, like a basement, a crawl space, an attic or mold growth behind wall.

Water problems can originate from a flood, a burst pipe, leaking roof or other plumbing issues. If not attended to quickly, a smelly odor and dry rot are not the only issues, the family’s health is also at stake.

If mold in home is not remedied professionally, then the mold and mildew will return. Homeowners should not try to remove any black mold because it will cause their spores to disperse. This means that the air conditioning or heater in the contaminated area should be turned off to keep mold spores from spreading.

Not all fungus is black mold, there are other color and types of mold. Always contact a qualified mold remediation company immediately. Mold mitigation should only be handled by professional remediation specialists.

Residential and commercial mold damage experts are trained for all types of mold removal problems. Restoration company experts are skilled and trained to clean, sanitize, and they will put in place deodorization processes to keep homes safe and healthy.

Mold damage experts can bring deodorization techniques and other solutions to get rid of mold fungus and mildew odors. A restoration company is an all-inclusive mitigation and mold removal service.

If visible mold growth is discovered on moist or wet painted wall surfaces, you can be sure that there is mold growth behind wall. The environment inside walls is ideal for the start of fungus and mildew growth. The longer the wall remains wet, it is guaranteed that the fungus behind the wall will be worse than what can be seen.

Certified mold removal specialists are trained to treat commercial mold damage and residential mold damage. As remediation experts, they have the training and experience to perform the following:

• Keep mold damage contained within the smallest area possible.
• Dry contents and materials so that mold will not return.
• Evaluate mold growth behind wall and throughout the home.
• Identify moisture sources.
• Perform mitigation procedures to return property to a preloss condition.
• Physically remove contamination and more.

Any home or business with mold damage is a dangerous dwelling. Only a mold removal restoration company can get mold levels back to a natural level. With their industry-approved remediation tools and equipment, mold in a home or business will be a thing of the past.

If there is any doubt that there is a hidden mold problem, a fungus gives off a smelly odor which causes allergens. The smelly odor is a by-product of its dry rot causation. Call the local mitigation professionals in the person of a reliable restoration company. Residential and commercial mold damage specialists will perform an assessment, then restore or clean the property.

As mildew and black mold experts in deodorization, a restoration company can quickly identify and eliminate an offensive or smelly odor. Structural mold odors can come from both indoors and outdoors.

Mitigation professionals will succinctly find the origin of any mold problem, like mold growth behind wall and they will determine the mold in home surface locations. Then that smelly odor can eventually be removed without any signs.

Contact a mold removal and inspection specialist today. Whether mold growth behind wall or out in the open, they can help commercial mold damage in any industry, as well as residential mold damage in any size home.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold.

Recommended Flood Damage Restoration Tips

6/19/2017 (Permalink)


Recommended Flood Damage Restoration Tips

Water damage refers to potential losses that occur in the event water intrudes into a system or establishments like the home. Such an intrusion causes some destructive effects including rusting of steel and metallic objects and surfaces, rotting of wood and the delamination of materials like plywood. The process of damage may be slow or instantaneous and sometimes highly catastrophic such as instant flooding.

Water in business or water in home damage can originate from many sources, both internally and externally. The most immediate causes of water in home damage washing machines water overflow, dishwasher water leakages, broken piping system, and a clogged toilet and sewer passage. It is solely the responsibility of homeowners to restore the broken and worn out parts of their home pipe fittings and plumbing channels. Such periodic replacements and repairs will assist mitigate the harmful effects and aftermaths of water damages.

The restoration of a room or home following damage is essential. It involves processes such as vacuuming up the water, water cleanup and making the home habitable, through decontamination and drying. Water in business damage restoration helps in the mitigation of occasions and instances where woods rot, and floor surfaces wear out.

The handling of occurrences water in home setting following water in business damage will depend on the nature and the extent of the water damage. The chosen restoration method depends on the amount of the water and the proposed mitigation measures to help in the clean-up and handling of the flood damage. Restoration can involve steps such as replacement of carpets and repairing damaged structures. Homeowners should contact the right personnel to fix things and offer better mitigation options in the future.

Water cleanup requires certain things to be done at home to restore its state. The shelves have to be cleaned up or replaced, and floors should be scrapped. Additionally, ducts have to be released from the bloat resulting from the water and food damages. An expert can carry out water cleanup process.

Tips and steps to take to handle water damage
There are some water in business damage restoration tips to be incorporated to ensure proper water cleanup and mitigation. The first thing is to carry out a loss assessment and evaluation, which looks into the broken and damaged areas. Infrared tools and equipment should be used to determine the levels of the damage. The structures would then have to undergo a drying process and be disinfected. All the contaminated areas should be dealt with to mitigate undesirable after-effects.

These tips are important in the process of restoration and general clean-up. Dry vendors need to be sought from time to time. Additionally, air movers and air scrubbers, dehumidifiers and wood drying equipment should at all times be left at home following water and flood damages. A continuous monitoring of temperature, moisture, and the humidity levels will provide a significant boost to the process.

Cases of flood damage are not unique in the entire process of water damage. Most of the reported cases of water damage have resulted from flood damages. Most of the homes need to take some steps to allow drying and restore their homes after floods. One of them is to undertake repairs of the drainage and the sewerage systems, piping lines and home dishwasher lines.

The first step to clean up and restore a flooded home is to carry out an inspection. A professional assess and reports on the mitigation measures necessary depending on the extent of damage among other factors. The investigation reveals the extent of the water in home and defines the level of the flood damage too. Next step is water removal using pumps and vacuums from home. The clean-up desired will determine the type of equipment to use in these processes as well as the nature and extent of the flood damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

Components of Fire Damage

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Components of Fire Damage

There are multiple components of fire damage. While the fire damage itself can be the most serious issue, this is not always the biggest problem. Smoke damage and water damage can be just as severe. Water damage results from water that is sprayed into the house to extinguish the flames. Here are some tips on recovering property from all aspects of fire damage, including soot damage:

1. Assess the damage:

Looks can be quite deceiving. Fire damage is often far more serious than it looks. This is because damage can occur to parts of the home that are hidden from view.

The water used to extinguish the flames can cause mold to grow inside the walls and HVAC ducts. It's important to hire a home inspector to assess the damage caused by a fire in home. A building inspector also should be utilized by those who suffer commercial damage as a result of a fire in business. Luckily, there are many companies to choose from for either type of inspection.

In addition, a building inspector may be able to find problems with the house that could lead to a recurrence of the fire in home or fire in business. It's essential to fix these problems immediately.

2. Hire The Right Fire Damage Restoration Company:

Always choose a company that's experienced with all aspects of fire damage restoration, including repairing smoke damage. Check to make sure that their fire cleanup services have been reviewed well. If you have home insurance, ask them what fire damage restoration company they recommend. They will often have detailed information about all the fire damage restoration companies in the area.

Check to see that the fire cleanup company has been certified by the IIRC. The IIRC is one of the most well known organizations that certifies fire cleanup companies. Those who suffer commercial fire damage from a fire in business should hire someone who specializes in commercial fire damage.

3. Mitigate Smoke Damage:

The smoke produced by a house fire contains tiny particles that cause soot damage. These particles can damage clothing, finishes, and metal. These particles are more likely to cause soot damage if they remain on the surface for a long period of time. Furthermore, they become more difficult to remove due to settling. If the particles are left for a long enough period of time, they could become impossible to remove. This typically results in severe soot damage. Here are some ways to mitigate smoke damage:

Wash all fabrics thoroughly with an alkaline cleaning agent. It's important to take especially sensitive fabrics for dry cleaning.
Remove soot from floors with a high efficiency vacuum.
Clean the air using a HEPA air filter.
A fan can also be used to blow the soot particles out of the building.
Use a deodorizer to reduce the smoke smell in the building. Those who suffer commercial fire damage must reduce the smoke smell as quickly as possible. A smoke smell can be a serious deterrent to customers, and this can make it difficult to finance the repair of commercial fire damage.



4. Save All Necessary Documents To Ensure The Loss Is Covered:

After a fire in home or fire in business, it is important to save all receipts related to the repair of the damage caused by the fire in home or fire in business. This will ensure that the insurance company pays. However, the expense of fire damage restoration also may be a tax deduction. Therefore, the receipts should be saved for tax season.

5. Burned Cash May Be Replaced:

If burned bills are over 50% intact, it could be possible to have them replaced at the local branch of the federal reserve. It even may be possible to have melted coins replaced. In addition, it's essential to also get any melted credit cards replaced as soon as possible.

Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on fire damage restoration.

Reclaiming Your Home or Business After Mold Damage

6/19/2017 (Permalink)


Reclaiming Your Home or Business After Mold Damage

For many home and business-owners in the US, mold damage has, at least once, become a problem within their buildings. Not only is mold in home and commercial mold damage unsightly, but mold damage can cause problems to buildings structurally if not taken care of quickly. Mildew, one of mold's closest relatives, also has the same damaging effects.

WHAT CAUSES MOLD?

Unlike plants that use photosynthesis to feed themselves and grow, mold and mildew are both actually a fungus that uses its surroundings for nourishment. It can grow in multiple settings, such as soil, food, or damp walls. A key indicator of mold or mildew is its distinctive, smelly odor, that can be best described as "musty," "earthy," or some even say "smoky."

The repercussions of mold in home and commercial mold damage can be unsightly, hazardous, and costly. It is important for the mitigation of mold to happen as soon as possible. If left unchecked, mold damage can eat away at structures like plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpet, and carpet padding to name a few.

Mold removal can be tricky because mold spores are airborne and everywhere. All these spores need is moisture and warmth for them to thrive, which is why mold can become so prevalent in bathrooms and laundry rooms. This is also why mold in home or commercial mold damage is an indicator of bigger problems like roof leaks or damaged plumbing. So in truth, mold removal cannot be completely achieved, but mold remediation is possible.

MOLD REMOVAL, MITIGATION, OR REMEDIATION

As stated above, true mold removal is impossible. However, one of the best and easiest mold remediation techniques requires two ingredients: distilled white vinegar and water. First, rubber gloves must be worn to protect skin from the mold or mildew and also from the acidity of the vinegar. Experts say to add one part vinegar to nine parts water in a spray bottle (make sure to swirl this mixture together). Spray the vinegar and water mixture onto the affected area, and scrub lightly with a sponge to remove the outer black layer of the fungus, then wipe up with a dry paper towel. To achieve true mitigation of mold damage, saturate the marred area in undiluted vinegar and leave it for fifteen minutes to one hour, depending upon the severity of the mold or mildew problem. Finally, wipe down the area with a sponge dipped in water, and pat dry with a paper towel. If the mold or mildew problem continues, treat it with undiluted vinegar once a week until it ceases.

A restoration company should be called to complete mold mitigation or mold remediation services. In addition to mitigation services, these professionals have the capability of deodorization to remove the fungus' smelly odor. However, a DIY approach can be continued. There are some tips and tricks below.

DEODORIZATION

Sometimes commercial mold damage or mold in home is hard to see, especially if the fungus growth is in its early stage. The smelly odor of mold can be bothersome; thankfully, there are some everyday home products to try to freshen up a home or business. To begin the deodorization process, only a few items are needed.

A smelly odor can be removed from a hard surface by wiping it down with vinegar or a lemon juice and water solution. After the surface has been wiped down, sprinkled baking soda can be used to remove residual smells. Most molds (and their smells) can be killed with a steam cleaner as well.

The deodorization of carpets can be managed by, again, cleaning them with vinegar. Once dry, dust carpets with borax and leave to sit for at thirty minutes, then vacuum.

While mold can be a nuisance, it can be managed. To prevent further damage in the future, be sure to dehumidify and circulate air. Home or business reclamation can be achieved.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold removal and remediation.

Water Damage or Flood Damage Restoration Services

5/22/2017 (Permalink)


Water Damage or Flood Damage Restoration Services

Walking into your home after a long day of work only to be met by water all over the place can be frustrating. Water in home or water in business requires expertise. The headache is not just in the removal of the water, but also getting misplaced items back in place and wringing out water from soaked items. The water damage does not end there. Wooden items slowly start rotting. The dampness provides suitable growth for mold. Steel does what it does best in the presence of water and air, rust. Delamination of plywood may be inevitable, and paint may peel off walls. However, there is good news. All this can be avoided if the water or flood damage is dealt with accordingly and timely through professional water cleanup.

Water cleanup and restoration or mitigation is normally dependent on a number of factors. One of the factors being the kind of water that has caused the damage. These can be put into three categories. Category 1 water which is also referred to as clean water comes from a source whose water is safe for human use. These sources include but are not limited to overflows from tubs, broken water supply lines or water from overflowing sinks. Water containing substantial amounts of chemical, physical or biological contaminants is referred to as Category 2 water. Also called gray water, exposure to this water may result in illness or discomfort. The sources of Category 2 water include but are not limited to water from toilet bowls containing urine and water discharges from the dishwasher, sump pimp failures and water discharge from washing machines. The final category of water causing water damage is known as black water or the Category 3 water. This water contains detrimental amounts of microorganism which can lead to serious illnesses when exposed to human. The sources of this water are not limited to sewage, sea water and floodwater. Standing water can also be a source of category 3 water as it may be contaminated with microorganisms.

In order to grasp the extent to which the water or flood damage has caused and the mitigation or water cleanup measures to take in the situation, restoration services also put into account the class of water damage your house of business premise has suffered. When most of those affected are low permeance materials, we say the water in home or water in business is the class 1 damage since a very minimum amount of moisture has been absorbed by the material. The water clean-up process in this case and the mitigation measures taken are not intensive. The intensity of the water clean-up process and the mitigation increases as the class of the damage from water increase. Class 2 damage affects an entire room of carpet, cushions and if the water has wicked up the walls, it shouldn’t be higher than twenty four inches. Class 3 damage is caused by overhead water that affects the walls, the ceilings, and floor causing floor damage. Water damage involving materials with extremely low permeance and porosity such as hardwood floors and concrete is referred to as Class 4 water or flood damage. This class of water or flood damage requires special drying so as to avoid damage to the floor.

The prudent thing to do when faced with water in home or water in business is to contact drying services who are experts in restoration or water cleanup. Equipped with the right materials, these restoration experts can carry out an extensive and excellent work to ensure that many water damaged materials are salvaged from the mess hence reducing the number of losses. First and foremost, a loss assessment and evaluation of affected materials is done. An inspection of the damaged area is then done using water sensing equipment to determine the source and possible extent of the damage. Water removal or drying is done using the best equipment suited for the amount of water. After that, the process of drying and restoring items is done to avoid losses from floor damages and items rotting due to water in home or water in business damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on water damage.

The Process of Mold Removal and Remediation

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

The Process of Mold Removal and Remediation

Molds and mildew cause significant damage to homes and commercial establishments. Mold in home verandas indicates the presence of excess moisture and calls for reliable mitigation procedures. As such, molds are common in basements, sunken areas, or in places where a plumbing system leaks. Since the deodorization of the smelly odor is a temporary solution, you should plan to get rid of the fungus as well a the mildew. Poor ventilation can also contribute to the increase of moisture in the indoor air. Spores can spread the mold in a residential or commercial property in a short time. Excess moisture causes wooden materials to warp and rot.

If you have mold home patios, you must plan for mold removal and deodorization. The mold damage mitigation involves the killing of fungus and mildew. With so many mold varieties, you need a seasoned professional who understands the mitigation procedures. Fungus and mildew are some of the common varieties of mold in home and business enterprises. You can also start with deodorization to remove the smelly odor. Experts discourage the DIY mold removal tactics that are likely to fail. Improve your chances of success by leaving this sensitive project to the professionals. In addition, hiring the professionals mean that you will not be endangering your health by inhaling the toxic mold.

Professional mold remediation initiatives involve fixing the sources of the excess moisture first. Even if you address the issue, the molds are likely to recur if the problem persists. Identify the moisture problems and hire a professional plumber to address them. If the source of water is a leaky roof, you should fix the roof before you call a mold remediation specialist.

If you’re experiencing mold damage in your attic, then you might have to grapple with roof leaks and poor ventilation. The mold damage in your home could also result from plumbing problems and seepage on the foundation. When you identify the source of your moisture issue, you must fix it as soon as possible. The mold damage will continue until you address the moisture issue. Mold removal can prevent the aesthetic and structural damage to your home. Unfortunately, some homeowners ignore the problem by opting for deodorization and other shortcuts that eliminate the smelly odors. Mold in home foundations indicates the poor drainage is causing some seepage.

Identify the source of mold in home terraces before removing it. Once the mold remediation consultant has pinpointed and fixed the main source of your commercial mold damage, the process of mold removal can begin. Whether you are dealing with green, black, or another mold variety, you should take the following steps:

Seal off the area

The commercial mold damage and remediation process begin with sealing off the entire area with plastic sheeting and tape. This intervention keeps the dangerous mold spores within the work area and prevents the distribution of the mold throughout the home.

Wet vacuum

The wet vacuum will clean up the stagnant water and eliminate the mold itself. You can now use the dry vacuum to launch mold spores into the air. In the case of commercial mold damage, you might have to acquire the special equipment to eliminate the mold.

Kill the mold

Use an approved fungicide and apply it with a sprayer or fogger. Avoid bleaching the mold since it will not kill the mold. Killing the mold will prevent further commercial mold damage.

Clean the area

Use whatever means necessary to clean the area. Cleaning involves scrubbing, scraping, and removing the debris. You will also need to remove the materials such as furniture that have been affected by the mold. Seal and label the debris before you dispose of them.

Dry out the Area

Finally, dry out the area by using fans and dehumidifiers. Failure to dry the area will cause the mold to resurface. The health of your home and family depend on how well you undertake these procedures. Visit http://www.SERVPROtowncountry.com for more information on mold damage.

Houston Area Home Safety: Sewage Backup Prevention

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

Every pipe in and out of your house is a potential sewage issue. Take precautions to avoid sewage backup in your home or on your property.

Few things are as devastating to a home as sewage backup. Whether it is caused by a failed septic tank, clogged drain or ruptured main line, it is essential that cleanup begin immediately to prevent further damage and the possibility of disease. However, if you do find sewage on your property, do NOT attempt to clean it up on your own. Due to the potential for contamination, this type of event is typically covered under insurance. SERVPRO Town & Country is available 24 hours a day for emergency sewage cleanup and restoration, and we can work directly with your insurance company to get your property clean, dried and dehumidified properly.

Hopefully, you can avoid a sewage backup in the first place. Here are four ways to help prevent damage from a sewage backup.

Never pour oils or fats down the drain. This is true whether you are on a municipal sewage system or a septic system. Oils and fats congeal in the pipes and can cause hair, toilet paper and other items to build up, creating a severe blockage. For clogs inside the home, a backup could be minor; however, a clog from the main line can cause significant sewage spillage that can damage walls, floors, furniture and other personal items. Prior to rinsing dishes, pots and pans, wipe thoroughly with paper towels and put the towels in the garbage.

Flush only toilet paper. Every plumber will tell you not to flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper. Other items labeled as "safe for septic systems" or "safe to flush" truly aren't. The goal is to keep your pipes free from obstructions to help prevent water damage and sewage backups at your home or business.

Keep on eye on trees near the main line. Here in the Houston area, trees often invade pipes, looking for water and fertilizer. Tree roots can cause significant damage requiring the total replacement of the pipe, in addition to severe sewage backups and water damage inside a connected property. If you start to notice trees, bushes or shrubs growing more rapidly than before, or an unexpected green area in your lawn, call a licensed and insured plumber immediately to evaluate your main line.

If you have a septic system, schedule an annual pumping (or as required). Septic systems can fail, resulting in costly damage to your property. It is vital that you keep an eye on septic levels, and when needed, have the system pumped. Talk to your plumber or septic system specialist about installing an alarm in the system and perhaps a backflow valve to help keep the damage of a septic flood to a minimum.

The damage to your property and personal belongings takes a huge emotional toll. Due to the potential for microbial and bacterial contamination of sewage, it is imperative that you allow a professional emergency water damage response team to clean damaged personal belongings.

Your locally owned and operated SERVPRO has the necessary expertise, tools and resources to properly clean and sterilize your items. Depending on the item and the level of cleaning and restoration required, we may employ dry cleaning, wet cleaning, foam cleaning, immersion cleaning or abrasive cleaning techniques. Call us immediately when disaster strikes: we can be onsite in a matter of hours to begin the cleaning and restoration process.

SERVPRO Town & Country helps make it like it never happened, helping residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewage backups, floods, fires, mold infestations and other events happen. Call 713-461-2700 when you need emergency help.

SERVPRO's Jean Foty's Team Gets Kudos

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be devastating, but with SERVPRO on your side, it's like it never happened.

Recently, Jean Foty’s team at SERVPRO was commended for their excellent work after taking care of a customer whose home was severely damaged by fire. Here is what they said: “As a leader, Jean came into our house after a fire directing her team like a captain of a shop, steering through a torrential storm with Esmeralda (Supervisor) as Jean’s First Mate. They moved rapidly, expertly and a sense of knowing exactly what they were doing. Jean has hired a group of reliable employees who enjoy what they are doing and work together as a team to get the job done. They were prompt in arriving to our home and diligent in their work ethics. My house is now cleaner than it’s ever been. Beautifully restored, my home is in fine order. Thank you, SERVPRO of Town & Country for making it "Like it never even happened.”


At SERVPRO Town & Country, we understand that when disaster strikes your home or business, it is traumatic and stressful. Our team works closely with you and your insurance company to make the process as seamless and easy as possible. Call 713- 461-2700 whenever disaster strikes. We stand at the ready to assist our community 24 hours a day.

Four Signs You Might Need a New Water Heater: Town & Country Safety Tips

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Know the parts of your electric or gas water heater.

Hot water is sometimes a luxury (bubble baths and long showers) and sometimes a necessity (laundry and clean dishes). So, when an electric or gas water heater fails or ruptures, it can leave you in the cold as well as causing thousands of dollars in water damage to your home or business. In the event your property is flooded or damaged, it is imperative that you seek a reliable and well-respected flood water restoration company to remediate the damage.

Here are the top four signs you might need a new water heater:

  • Rust around the base of the water heater. A common sign that your water heater is leaking is rust around the base, on the floor or near the drainage tap. This means the base is compromised. Even if there isn’t any visible pooled water, there could be a very slow leak that is causing the rust and if so, it won’t be long before the bottom of the unit totally fails and you get a flood of hot water.
  • Fluctuating temperatures. Of course, if you are experiencing water that is too hot or not hot enough, your water heater may need to be repaired or replaced. Broken heating elements or gas thermocouples are often to blame when the water doesn’t get hot, and those can be replaced without replacing the entire unit. However, if you are already having work done to your water heater, have the tank itself checked for cracks, fissures or other signs of weakness. These could cause a tank failure, resulting in a flood in your home or business. The cost to replace your water heater now could end up being cheaper in the long run.
  • Unusual noises. Hot water heaters and tanks that make knocking noises, creaks, whines or bangs should be examined and assessed by a plumber as quickly as possible. These annoying and often loud noises could be a sign that the heating element is struggling to keep up with the demand. If you live in an area with hard water, which is much of the Houston area, it is possible that there is heavy sediment at the bottom of the tank keeping the water heater from performing optimally. If so, a thorough flushing of the system should correct the problem. However, if left untreated, it is possible for the heating element to fail or burn out.
  • Remember: tankless water heaters can also cause water damage. Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular, but don’t think that just because there’s not a tank of water connected that you can’t experience massive water damage. Check the couplings and the hoses at least once a year to ensure everything is still working properly. If you are going out of town, you might consider turning it off all together, as the emergency couplings can sometimes fail. And as with a regular water heater, look for signs of leaking such as rust, dampness and changes in water temperature.

SERVPRO of Town & Country sees hundreds of properties each year affected by failed water heaters. Often kept in the attic, garage or water closet, when units fail and cause a flood, it’s usually personal items, family heirlooms and photos that are damaged. Fortunately, our highly trained professional technicians have the experience and tools necessary to clean up the water damage properly and bring your home and personal belongings back to pre-flood condition.

For emergencies and other situations, call 281-219-8180 anytime to reach your area flood damage experts, SERVPRO of Town & Country. We help residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewer backups, floods, mold infestations, fires and other events happen.

Houston Home Safety: Out of the Box Holiday Gifts

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

As we move into the holiday season, your locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Town & Country wants to encourage you to choose holiday gifts with home and personal safety in mind. Throughout the winter months, accidents happen both on the road, and in the home, and we want our neighbors and friends to have all the tools necessary to prevent accidents and disasters. Step outside of the box this season and give meaningful gifts to keep those you love safe.

 

  1. Smoke Detectors. For friends and family that live in older homes, consider upgrading their smoke detectors this holiday season to protect against Houston fire damage and injury. For older folks, or those with limited mobility, consider offering to install the new smoke detectors as well. Be sure you test them upon installation, and that everyone in the home recognizes the sound of the alarm.
  1. Fire Extinguishers. For the home chef, grill master, master crafter, or RV’er on your gift list consider giving fire extinguishers. Sadly, few people keep (and regularly test) fire extinguishers in their homes. Remember, having a fire extinguisher does not mean that you should fight medium to large fires in your Houston home; they are for putting out small fires until the fire department arrives.
  2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced. As with the smoke detectors, it would be nice to offer to install them for friends and family that aren’t as handy as you are, or that have limited mobility.
  3. Flashlights and Headlamps. Flashlights (and batteries) are a great stocking stuffer. With our severe weather, we often lose power and for safety purposes a flashlight or a headlamp can help prevent slip and fall injuries and lead the way to a safe exit. Consider a headlamp for older family members as it allows them to see clearly, hands free.
  4. First Aid Kit.  Create a unique and attractive first aid kit as gifts this holiday. Include various sizes of bandages, bug bite cream, sterile gauze pads in a variety of sizes, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes and creams, soap, calamine lotion, scissors, tweezers, and a first aid manual. If the first aid kit is going to a home with children, refrain from adding over-the-counter medications without first clearing it with the parents.
  5. Flameless Candles. For those on your list that love candles, consider giving flameless candles. Today’s candles come in a wide array of sizes and colors to fit every décor. These candles are a safe alternative to regular candles that are the cause millions of dollars in fire damage to homes each year.
  6. Roadside Safety Kit. Do you have a road warrior on your holiday shopping list? If so, a roadside emergency kit will be a welcomed gift. Be sure that it includes all the items in the first aid kit mentioned above, as well as a blanket, a collapsible safety cone, emergency triangles, booster cables, safety flares, a flashlight or headlamp, and some protein bars or other non-perishable snacks.

 

We hope that this year, and for years to come, that our friends and neighbors throughout the greater Houston metro area remain safe and secure. In the event disaster strikes your home, your locally owned and operated in Houston SERVPRO of Town & Country can quickly begin the water restoration or fire restoration and repair process as soon as it is safe to begin work. We will work with your insurance company to facilitate a stress-free claims process. Call SERVPRO of Houston  whenever disaster strikes; we stand at the ready 24 hours a day.

 

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.

Houston Home Health: The Essential Fire Prevention Check List

10/24/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Town & Country wants to remind our neighbors and friends of the best fire safety tips to keep your Houston area home safe from fire.

As we move into the holiday season, The SERVPRO of Town & Country your locally owned and operated SERVPRO in Houston, wants to remind our neighbors and friends of the best fire safety tips to keep your Houston area home safe from fire. Houston fire damage effects thousands of members in our community experience each year. In many cases, the fire could have been prevented if best fire prevention tactics were employed. Here is a checklist to make sure your family and home are protected.

                                                                                                                       

  1. Test Smoke Detectors Monthly. Sadly, most people install smoke detectors and then don’t test them as recommended to ensure they are properly protecting the home. Each month, press the “test” button to make sure it is in working order.
  2. Replace Smoke Detector Batteries Annually. Don’t wait until the smoke detector beeps to replace the battery. Select a day each year to replace the batteries in each of the smoke detectors in your home. When you are changing the batteries check for the smoke detector’s expiration date. Smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years.
  3. Smoke Detector Placement. Make sure that smoke detectors are placed in every bedroom, in the kitchen, rooms with fireplaces or where space heaters are used, in workshops and garages and in basements and attics.
  4. Heating. Each year space heaters cause thousands of devastating fires each year. Never leave a space heater unattended, and always unplug when not in use. When in use, make sure that it is at least 4 feet from any combustible source like curtains, bedding, bookshelves, and papers. Additionally, it is vital that the manufacturer’s recommendations for power cords are followed; most recommend that extension cords are not used as the risk of overheating or fire increases.
  5. Fire Place. If you have a fire place in your home, be sure to have a metal screen to catch any sparks. Annually have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep to prevent fires.
  6. Appliance Safety. Examine all appliances regularly to make sure that cords are free of exposed wires and are not frayed. Use extension cords as recommended, and never run any electrical cords under carpets or rugs.
  7. Charge Safely. Never charge laptop computers, phones, or tablets on fabric covered surfaces like beds or couches; these items have been known to combust causing damaging fires throughout the Houston area.
  8. Electrical Circuits. With today’s technology, circuits can become overloaded. If you live in an older home, have an electrician assess your system, and make changes as recommended. In addition, have GFCI’s installed in outlets near sinks and other sources of water to prevent injury.
  9. Electric Blankets.  Examine cords of electric blankets regularly, and never leave them plugged in when not present. 
  10. Keep Combustibles Away from Stove Top. Never place mail, paper plates, or other combustible items on the stove top, even when off. Frequently fires occur due to someone inadvertently turning on a burner; be fire wise.
  11. Test All Exits. Make sure that all doors and windows open easily and that clutter around exits is cleared of clutter.
  12. BBQs and Fire Pit Safety.  Make sure that fire pits and BBQs are kept a safe distance from the home, and are seated on non-flammable surfaces. Use as directed by the manufacturer, and keep a fire extinguisher or hose near.
  13. Create a Defensible Space. In the event of a fire, make sure that first responders have a clear view of your home, and can safely fight the fire. Keep trees trimmed and leaves and pine needles from accumulating.

 

Fire damages countless homes in the Houston area each year. Using these fire prevention tips, you can help ensure the safety of your home and family. If a fire does strike your home, your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO can quickly begin the fire restoration and repair process. We will work with your insurance company to facilitate a stress-free claims process. Call SERVPRO in Houston  whenever disaster strikes; we stand at the ready 24 hours a day.

 

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. 

 

Houston Home Health: Emergency Response Teams Pave The Way To Recovery After Hurricanes

9/19/2016 (Permalink)

Our team can quickly identify potential hazards and then start the water extraction process of any building.

The greater Houston area is prone to severe weather including flash floods, severe thunderstorms, tornados, and hurricanes. While we are in the midst of hurricane season, as we’ve recently seen in Louisiana, it doesn’t take a hurricane to cause severe water damage to homes and businesses. Locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO teams have the expertise and tools necessary to help our community recover after disaster strikes. As part of the national SERVPRO response team, when a natural disaster strikes a neighboring community, we can quickly deploy teams to assist. Likewise, when a widespread disaster affects the Houston metro area, SERVPRO teams from around the country descend to assist us with the storm damage restoration.

The Houston SERVPRO teams are available 24 hours a day to begin the cleanup and restoration process after a fire, storm or sewage spill damages your property. While we can typically be on scene within hours of your call, it is important to know what to do (and not do) while waiting for our arrival. That’s why we provide What to do Until Help Arrives that outlines briefly what is safe, and effective.

When we arrive, the first job of our highly trained water restoration and emergency response team is to assess the water damage to the property. Our team can quickly identify potential hazards and then start the water extraction process. Once the water is extracted, the area will be inspected again to determine the level of damage. In some cases, drywall, insulation, flooring, and other elements will need to be removed from the property, and destroyed.

While disconcerting, opening up the walls allows for a thorough cleaning and disinfecting, as well as the spraying of mold inhibitors. In our area, mold can begin its rapid growth within 48 hours of water damage; this is why it is imperative that water damage cleanup begins as quickly as possible. After the water is extracted, and the cleaning and disinfecting are complete, the SERVPRO of Town & Country water restoration technicians will set up special fans and dehumidifiers. This is a vital step to keep mold from growing, and while in our area this can take several days or even a week, this step cannot be bypassed.

Once humidity levels are brought back to normal levels, the rebuilding and restoration process can begin. New drywall, painting, and flooring will complete the process and allow you and your family to regain the pre-hurricane normalcy you enjoyed. Of course, with a hurricane, damage sustained to your home may extend beyond just water damage; we can assist you with damage caused by the wind, fire, and hail. Call us whenever disaster strikes; we are honored to serve our community and please rest assured that when our emergency response team arrives, your property is under the care of consummate professionals.

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 Safety: The Essential Fire Safety Checklist

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

Home fires cause millions of dollars in damage each year in the Houston metropolitan area. Whether the source is a small kitchen fire or a widespread destructive blaze—and everything in between—SERVPRO of Town & Country is here to help throughout your fire damage restoration process.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the leading cause of fire in the home. Stove-top grease fires, flash fires from deep fryers, flammable items being left on the stove top, and even microwaves can all cause significant fire damage in the home. Other common causes include candles, electrical circuits and wiring, space heaters, and young children playing with fire.

While not all fires can be prevented, there are steps you can take to protect your family and Houston area home from the devastating effects of fire damage. Use this Fire Safety Checklist to walk through your home, identifying potential fire hazards:

1.      Count all smoke detectors and fire alarms in the home, testing each to make sure it is in proper working order.

Fire Safety Rules of Thumb: Smoke Detectors and Alarms

·         Replace smoke detectors and alarms every 10 years

·         Test smoke detectors and alarms monthly, and replace batteries as needed, (minimum of once per year)

·         1 smoke detector inside and outside each bedroom or sleeping area

·         1 smoke detector per floor, including basements and attics

·         1 smoke detector in the kitchen area, optimally 10 feet from the stove

·         1 smoke detector per room with a fireplace, or where you routinely use a space heater in winter months

2.      Verify fire extinguishers are in place and in working order.

Fire Safety Rules of Thumb: Fire Extinguishers

·         Position portable fire extinguishers in areas with a potential for fire, including kitchens, utility rooms, areas with fireplaces, and rooms with candles and/or space heaters.

·         Fire extinguishers purchased should be labeled “multi-purpose.”

·         Read all instructions and understand how to operate a fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

3.      If you have an older home, it is wise to have your electrical system and wires inspected, especially if you have noticed any flickering lights, power surges, sparks from outlets, or heat in the light switches. Any of these signs could indicate that an electrical fire is imminent. Contact a licensed electrical inspector immediately.

4.      Have your chimney and furnace checked annually and cleaned as needed.

5.      If you use candles in your home, position them away from any fabric, including upholstered furniture, drapes, or carpets. Use metal or glass candle holders with a wide base, and never leave a candle burning unattended.

6.      Create a 3 foot “safe zone” around all fireplaces, space heaters, baseboard heaters, and wall heaters. Before heating elements are used, clear this area of all flammable items, including books, rugs, draperies, and upholstered furniture.

7.      Examine and clean the dryer vent at least monthly. The hose that leads from the dryer to the outside can become bogged down with lint, which can ignite. A good practice is to clean the lint trap prior to every load of laundry to keep as much lint out of the hose as possible.

8.      Examine all electrical cords for damage, and replace if any wires are exposed.

9.      When charging mobile devices and laptop computers, only charge on a hard surface and not on a bed, couch, or other fabric-covered surface. Chargers have been known to spark fires.

10.  During holidays, be mindful of extra lighting and decorations, and examine for any damage to cords prior to using.

Your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO stands at the ready to assist you whenever disaster strikes. We hope that you will take the time to run through this fire safety checklist at least annually to keep your family and home safe from fire. However, if fire does damage your home, we can be on the scene within hours; as soon as it is safe to enter, we can begin cleaning up any water damage and damage from the smoke, flames, heat and firefighters’ efforts. Our mission is to get you back into your home as soon 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. In addition to serving our neighbors in northwest Houston, we proudly serve surrounding communities.

Memorial Home Care: How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Home After a Storm?

7/18/2016 (Permalink)

If your home has storm damage caused by the Houston metropolitan area’s recent flooding and severe weather, you probably have this question on your mind: How much it is going to cost to restore my home? Well, that all depends on the level of structural damage, quantity of floodwater, and length of time water remained in the home. A mildly damaged home may require $5,000 - $15,000 in restoration costs, while a severely damaged home may require $50,000-$75,000 in restoration costs.

Many people don’t realize the sheer number of tasks that go into restoring a home after a Houston flood or other water damages a property. To help you get a better understanding of how much it can cost to fix a property after a flood, here is a list of 8 steps essential to full home restoration.

1. Exterior Assessment/Evaluation of Storm Damage. After the storm, your insurance adjuster and emergency restoration team will begin the process of evaluating exterior damage to your home. If the cause of damage was high winds, hail or a tornado, your roof, gutters, windows, doors, landscaping, and any sheds or garages will have to be assessed for damage. Depending on the level of damage, this process can take up to a couple of hours. During this time, the Houston SERVPRO team will be looking for immediate solutions to secure your property from additional damage until the rebuilding and restoration can begin. These safe-guarding steps may include boarding up windows, doors and roofs.

2. Interior Onsite Assessment/Evaluation. Once floodwaters start to recede around your home, a full evaluation of the interior can begin. The team will be looking for the waterline, and determining the level of damage to interior furnishings, floors, personal items, appliances, and cabinetry throughout the home. While the damage assessment may be updated after the water is extracted, this initial evaluation allows the team to create a water damage restoration plan.

3. Water Extraction. With pumps and hoses, our highly trained restoration specialists from Town & Country SERVPRO will begin pumping floodwaters from your home. They will take special care, knowing that floodwaters often contain a variety of hazards, from scared wildlife and snakes to biohazards and bacteria. Note: It is not recommended for anyone to work in floodwaters without proper protective clothing, footwear, eye protection, and gloves.

4. Removal of Storm Damaged Items. Once water is extracted and before storm cleanup can begin, personal items will need to be removed, individually evaluated, cleaned and restored. This can be a very emotional time for homeowners, but rest assured, our team works with precision to rescue and restore as many personal items as possible.

Generally, personal items are removed prior to the carpet, drywall, insulation, appliances, cabinetry and other storm-damaged structural elements. Of course, the SERVPRO team will inventory each item prior to its removal.

5. Cleaning and Disinfecting. Since floodwaters often contain biohazards, cleaning and disinfecting is a step that simply cannot be skipped. It is vital for the health of your home and family that every surface in the home touched by the water is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, as quickly as possible. Remaining walls, cabinetry, floors, air ducts and other elements must be scrubbed with bleach or other industrial cleaners, rinsed, and dried thoroughly.

6. Dehumidifying. This step can be frustrating, because it often seems that no progress is being made during this time. However, the dehumidifying process is absolutely essential to prevent mold growth. In as little as 48 hours, mold starts to thrive in the Houston area climate. It is vital that before rebuilding begins, all structural elements remaining are completely dry and humidity is brought back down to pre-storm damage levels.

7. Rebuilding. This is the step when homeowners start to see real progress! New walls go up and get a fresh coat of paint, new floors are laid, damaged cabinetry is replaced, and new or restored appliances are installed. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting stronger.

8. Finishing Touches. After all of these important steps have been carefully followed, the final touches turn your storm-damaged house back into a home. Cleaned and restored furnishings are moved in, draperies are hung, dishes are placed in the cabinets, and pictures are hung on the walls. Finally, your family can move back in to your fully restored home!

Your locally owned SERVPRO of Town & Country is available to assist you throughout the storm damage rebuilding process. We work closely with you and your insurance companies to make sure the claims and restoration process goes as smoothly as possible. Call us anytime disaster strikes your home—we stand at the ready, 24 hours a day.

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 Care: How to Remove the Smell of Smoke From Your Home After a Fire

6/28/2016 (Permalink)

The key to quick and complete recovery from a fire is to act fast.

Tens of thousands of homes in the greater Houston metropolitan area are damaged or destroyed by fire each year. We hope you never need to call, but if disaster strikes your home, teams from SERVPRO of Town & Country stand at the ready 24 hours a day, to help you get your life back.

The key to quick and complete recovery from a fire is to act fast. The longer the fire-damaged items, soot, smoke, and water remain in your home, the more damage the property will sustain.

Remember, properties where a fire was limited to a single room will likely still have smoke damage to other rooms of the house, and will therefore require thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing. Fire leaves behind the smoky smell of a campfire, but also the residual chemical odors of burnt and charred walls, floors, carpets, appliances, and furnishings.

Ideally, you want professionals like those at Houston SERVPRO to take care of the cleaning, disinfecting and removal of lingering smoke odors. But if you decide to do it without professional help, here is a step-by-step process to follow:

1.      Open all windows and use fans to circulate fresh air. Note: Do not use your HVAC system; the soot and smoky smell will merely recirculate and permeate other areas of your home.

2.      Remove all items that smell of smoke from the house, including carpets, clothing, bedding, furniture, and draperies. These items will require professional cleaning to remove all residual odors, soot, and chemicals.

3.      Scrub surfaces with a solution of bleach and water. Even walls, ceilings, floors, cabinetry, countertops, window sills, tiles, and duct work that were not damaged by flames or water during the fire will require cleaning. Be sure to wear appropriate protective eyewear, gloves and clothing. Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry each area for at least 48 hours.

4.      Apply recommended sealer/primer to all drywall walls and ceilings in the home. Since drywall is typically one of the most porous surfaces in the home, it will have absorbed significant smoke and chemical odors. Follow the directions on the label, and only proceed to painting after walls and ceilings are completely dry.

5.      Clean carpets thoroughly with a professional grade carpet cleaning machine. Please note that it may take several cleaning sessions to completely remove all soot and odors from the carpet. If the carpet pad was saturated with soot-filled waters and smoke odors, carpets and pads may have to be completely removed and replaced.

6.      Have HVAC and all air ducts professionally cleaned. Run your system after cleaning, and check the air filter daily for signs of residual smoke or soot. Change the filter until the system runs clean for a minimum of 48 hours.

Finally, remember that mold is a serious problem in the Houston area, as our climate is a haven for fungal growth. After cleaning and restoring your home, it is essential that you properly dehumidify it to prevent mold infestations. In south Texas, mold can start to grow and thrive within 48 hours of fire and water damage! 

If at anytime during the cleaning or restoration process you become overwhelmed or need additional assistance, your locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO stands at the ready to help. Our highly trained and experienced fire restoration technicians will begin the fire damage cleaning and rebuilding process by assessing the entire property and its contents. We can quickly provide you and your insurance company with a comprehensive estimate so that work can begin immediately, getting your home back to normal as soon 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. In addition to serving our neighbors in northwest Houston, we proudly serve surrounding communities, including:

Town & Country Home Care: Understanding the Basics of Flood Insurance

6/22/2016 (Permalink)

Knowing that Servpro of Town & Country is just a phone call away, you can rest assured that there will be sunshine after the storm.

It may surprise you that most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover damages from weather-related flooding. Sadly, many realize that they are not protected against the costly damages until after the overflow of local waterways or torrential rains made their way into the home. Town & Country flood damage can occur from a variety natural disasters and is more common than you think.

That’s why SERVPRO of Town & Country feel that it’s important that you understand the basics of Flood Insurance, such as where to purchase it and what it covers. It’s the first step toward being prepared for flood and water damage, and the smart step toward a fast recovery.

Flood Insurance is purchased separately from standard homeowners insurance. National Flood Insurance Protection (NFIP) is a federally funded program that offers flood insurance. It is purchased through an insurance company or agent, and not directly from the government.

Flood Insurance rates are set, however are dependent on several factors. There is no need to shop around for the best insurance rate for Houston water damage. The government sets up the rates and the price varies according to factors such as the level of risk for flooding in your area and the type of construction of your home. Some flood insurance policies qualify for a discounted rate if the home is located in a high-risk zone or in a low-to-moderate risk zone. Your insurance agent will let you know if you qualify for a discounted rate.

Flood Insurance may be mandatory for your home. If you have a mortgage that is federally regulated, flood insurance is mandatory. Homes in high-risk areas that have mortgages from insured lenders are also required to have the federally funded flood insurance. While you may think that Houston flood damage is unlikely because your home is in a low-risk area, the NFIP strongly recommends that you protect yourself with a Flood Insurance Policy−20% of flood insurance claims come from low-risk area policyholders.

Flood Insurance covers both building and personal property.  Your home, its foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, and even built-in appliances are eligible for flood damage coverage, including debris removal. Personal items such as clothing, furniture, appliances, electrical items, and even artwork are protected. There are limitation to the coverage including damage to basements and reimbursement for temporary housing. For a full list of coverage, talk to your insurance agent.

Flood Insurance has a 30-day waiting period. Payment for a full year must be made and there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your policy takes effect. There are some exceptions to this waiting period and they should be discussed with your insurance agent.

Flooding from severe weather conditions is a stressful experience. However, understanding your flood insurance coverage and knowing that SERVPRO of Town & Country is just a phone call away, you can rest assured that there will be sunshine after the storm.

Memorial Home Care: How Fires, Storms, and Sewage Backups Can Cause Mold

6/2/2016 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes your northwest Houston area home, time is of the essence. Whether a strong seasonal storm, fire, or sewage backup ravages your home, it is essential that the water damage of your Memorial home be cleaned up properly and thoroughly so the rebuilding and restoration process can begin. In our area, mold can start to develop within 48 hours, so it is vital to act quickly.

Depending on the type and degree of damage, you may need to find temporary housing while the cleanup and restoration process is taking place. A good rule of thumb is that if 1/3 or more of your home is damaged, it is best to move out during the cleanup. Your locally owned SERVPRO of Town & Country is available 24 hours a day to assist you throughout the process. We can even assist with packing up key undamaged belongings and moving them to a temporary location.

One thing fires, storms, and sewage backups have in common is water damage and the potential for mold to develop quickly. This is because even relatively minor or localized fire damage in your Memorial area home requires water to extinguish it. When returning home after a fire, people are often stunned at the sheer amount of damage caused by water, as well as from other damage created in knocking down the fire. Broken windows, damaged roofs, smoke damaged walls and personal items—plus all of the water damage—can be overwhelming. Remember, Houston SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day to assist.

Storm damage restoration can begin almost immediately after the storm has passed. In homes with severe damage, our team often sees damaged roofs and gutters, broken windows, flooded areas of the home, damaged or destroyed personal items, and damaged landscaping. We can quickly come to your aid, helping to determine the scope of the damage, working with your insurance company, assisting with the inventory process, beginning water extraction and cleaning, and starting the rebuilding and restoring process. It is important to understand, however, that prior to rebuilding, the home must be thoroughly cleaned and dried to prevent mold.

Sewage backups can occur anytime, and can range from mild to severe. In the worst cases, all carpets, padding, drywall, and any personal items touched by the sewage waste will have to be removed and disposed of properly. Because of the potential for hazardous bacteria and viruses, simply soaking up the sewage and cleaning carpets is not enough. This type of damage requires professional emergency cleanup crews with the training, tools, and disposal avenues necessary to safely handle the disaster.

We understand the physical challenges and emotional distress caused when fire, water, sewage, or floods damage your Memorial area home. A key part of that equation is making sure that mold doesn’t develop in the future; this requires thorough cleaning, drying, and dehumidifying of your home. Please allow us to assist you throughout the process so you and your family can quickly get your life back. The Town & Country SERVPROstands at the ready to assist, making your home safe and livable again.

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.

Memorial Home Care: Top 3 Signs Mold is Growing in Your Home After the Flood

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

Our community’s recent and widespread flooding has overwhelmed community members far and wide. Throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area and Memorial, home and business owners are still struggling with water damage cleanup and preventing mold.  As the fast moving waters inundated our area, everyone did their best to preserve property and personal items. In the days that followed, the massive cleanup began, including water extraction, drywall removal, and rebuilding. 

After a natural disaster strikes a community, the primary goal is to get life back to normal. While this is an important priority, in some cases the rush to rebuild can lead to mold infestations, particularly with flood cleanup and water damage. Here are the top 3 signs to look for today and in the months ahead that could identify potential mold and mildew growth in your home.

1.Mildew Smell.  Mildew in bathrooms and basements is not uncommon in our area. The heat and high humidity make the Houston area an ideal haven for mildew and mold growth.  The difference after a flood or significant water damage is that this growth spreads to other areas of the home. If at the end of the day you return home to even a slight aroma of mildew, chances are mold is starting to take root. The time to act is now. Frequently, the Houston SERVPRO team is called to a recently water-damaged home only to find that proper cleaning, dehumidifying, and drying was not completed prior to rebuilding. This often leads to the quick development of a serious mold infestation. 

Since we can quickly become desensitized to the smell of mildew, it is wise to close up your home for a day without the air conditioner running, and then walk through inspecting for suspicious odors. At the first sign of mold or mildew, contact SERVPRO of Town & Country so we can conduct a thorough investigation and fix the source of the smell.

2.Persistent/Stubborn Mold in Grout.  As we all know, mold and mildew grow quickly in the bathrooms of our homes, particularly in shower grout and joints between the floor and bathtub. But if you notice dark discolorations and mold that reappear even after cleaning with bleach, you may have a serious mold infestation elsewhere in your home. Mold spores are carried through the air, and mold seeks out areas that will allow it to grow and flourish, particularly bathrooms. 

The recent storm damage may have contaminated your crawl space, basement, or HVAC system and duct work, spreading spores every time you turn on your system. It is imperative that you call in a professional water damage cleanup team to evaluate your home for mold infestations. 

3.Discoloration Spreading on Drywall. Even if saturated drywall was removed after the flood, there is still a chance that mold is growing behind walls, in insulation, and throughout your HVAC system. If you find any areas of darkness or mold growth on your drywall, call your locally owned and operated Town & Country SERVPRO immediately. We will be happy to help you determine the scope of mold infestation and come up with a mold remediation plan. 

Water damage cleanup takes time, the right tools, and expertise to help ensure that secondary mold infestations don’t take over your home. After a disaster, call Houston SERVPRO to help you throughout the water damage restoration process. Whether you need water extraction, evaluation, cleaning, disinfecting, personal property restoration, or rebuilding, we are here for you. 

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 Care: Who to Call for Mold Removal

4/21/2016 (Permalink)

Mold needs moisture to grow and becomes a problem only where there is water damage, high humidity, or dampness.

Do you have a mold infestation spreading rapidly throughout your home? Are you concerned about your family experiencing the potential adverse health effects mold can cause? If so, you need to start the mold removal process immediately. While some gutsy DIY’ers (Jade, this could link to DIY Mold Removal article) will handle a small mold infestation, it is recommended that homeowners and property owners hire a professional mold remediation team for their Memorial area home.

Because the mold removal and restoration process takes significant time, resources, and equipment, the vast majority of homeowners simply do not have access to these necessary items. Removing mold from drywall, carpet, air ducts, furniture, insulation, and other areas requires special protective gear, cleaning supplies, dehumidifiers, and window fans. Additionally, all mold-infested items must be disposed of properly to ensure it doesn’t spread.

Areas of the home that are not currently infested with mold can quickly become so if the HVAC system is not shut down and infested areas are not cordoned off with plastic sheeting. Mold spores travel through the air to find a suitable host, and with our hot and humid weather here in the greater Houston metropolitan area, suitable hosts are not difficult to find. Bathrooms, kitchens, cabinets, closets, and other areas that tend to have high levels of moisture, are all prone to develop and harbor mold.

When tackling mold infestations, it is important to clean all affected areas, preferably in one day. This is a daunting but important task. The reason this is so important is because of the way mold spreads, and how quickly it spreads. Many individuals become frustrated when they spread mold cleanup across multiple weekends only to find to start to reappear in just a few days. That is why so many homeowners in Memorial and surrounding communities choose SERVPRO of Town & Country. Our teams has received extensive, professional training and use only the best tools and cleaning solutions available to fully rid your home of mold.

Your local SERVPRO does more than clean up mold infestations; we can help prevent them. Our team has the skills, expertise, and tools necessary to effectively restore your home to its pre-disaster shape after storm damage, fire and smoke damage, sewage backups, and other water damage has affected your Memorial and Houston Metro area home. Most mold infestations are caused by improper cleanup after water damage, that is, when best practices and cleanup protocols were not followed. Water extraction is just the first part of the process; cleaning, disinfecting, drying, and dehumidifying are all key to preventing future mold infestations.

Since mold can begin growing within 48 hours of water damage, it is imperative that you call us immediately. Time is of the essence. We are available 24 hours a day, and we pride ourselves on helping our friends, neighbors, and community members recover when disaster strikes their homes. Call us today for more information on how we can return your home to a healthy condition, and mold free.

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.

Memorial Home Care: Residential Water Damage Is An Emergency!

4/13/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Fact: Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States

If a pipe bursts, the roof leaks, the sewage backs up, or a flash flood drives water and debris into your home, do not consider it anything less than an emergency!  Serving the Memorial and Northwest Houston area, SERVPRO of Town & Country is available 24 hours a day to restore your home to pre-water damage condition.  Throughout the Houston metropolitan area, homeowners are faced with the overwhelming task of recovering after an episode of residential water damage.  Removing the water is just the beginning of the process; there is much more to the process of cleaning up after water invades your home.

The process of cleaning up is a challenge and requires more than just a wet/dry vacuum and a fan. This is particularly true when a fire, a sewage backup, or floodwaters cause the damage to your Memorial home. These waters and the debris left behind carry potentially hazardous chemicals and bacteria that require proper cleanup protocols, disposal, and protective clothing, footwear, eye protection, and masks. The utmost of care must be taken to prevent injury, infection, or illness and it is imperative that the right tools and equipment are deployed immediately to prevent rapid mold growth. Because of our hot and humid weather here in the greater Houston area, mold can begin to develop within 24 hours after water invades a building.

Water damage in Memorial can quickly escalate into a potentially serious hazardous mold infestation, if the property is not cleaned, disinfected, dehumidified, and restored properly. Our highly trained restoration technicians have the expertise, technology, and tools needed to handle water damage caused by a flash flood, severe weather, a broken water pipe, an overflowing dishwasher, a sewage backup, or from the efforts of knocking down a fire. After assessment of the emergency, our team will begin to remove the water, damaged drywall and carpets and evaluate the damage to furniture and other possessions.  The sooner we are on scene, the more likely your personal possessions and keepsakes can be saved. Your local Houston Metro SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day to begin the restoration process.

From the first step of assessment and evaluation and throughout the cleaning and restoration process, the SERVPRO team is there for you. We are the preferred emergency restoration services provider for many national insurance companies, and we coordinate with your insurance provider to relieve a portion of the burden and stress associated with dealing with water damage in your residence. We understand that after an emergency of this magnitude, you and your family are overwhelmed; this is perfectly natural. Our team stands at the ready to handle the cleaning and restoration process in a timely and professional manner. We are honored each and every time we are asked to assist a member of our community; we are locally owned and operated, and we are your neighbors. Call us the moment your home is ravaged by water, and we will begin the process of restoring your home to its original state.

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.

Memorial Home Care: 6 Common Structural Problems Caused by Water Damage

3/29/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Fact: Mold helps break down, or decompose, organic material.

Each year, many homes and commercial properties throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area are affected by water damage. Whether it’s from a flash flood, severe downpour, fighting a fire, or burst pipe, significant water damage can happen to your Memorial area home if it is not cleaned up properly. Let’s take a look at 6 structural areas of the home and common problems that can arise from water damage.

1.      Drywall. When drywall becomes saturated, it needs to be removed. To fully dry out the frame of the property, and the insulation, the drywall needs to be “flood cut”. The drywall is cut just above where the flood waters saturated the drywall. This allows for the thorough cleaning and drying of affected insulation and framing, to help ensure mold doesn’t start to develop.

2.      Ceilings. A leaky bathtub, shower, or roof can cause ceilings and drywall to become saturated. In some cases, they will need to be removed, to allow for the proper cleaning and drying. Additionally, it is important to recognize that once drywall has become wet, a simple paint job will not keep mold from growing. In fact, painting damp drywall can cause stains and other problems.

3.      Flooring & Floor Joists. Depending on the amount of water and the type of water causing damage to your Memorial home, the floors and floor joists may need to be removed. If it is black water, meaning from sewage or other contaminated sources, the safest course of action is to replace the affected floors as the bacteria and microbes in the sewage can cause severe health problems. The damage caused by clean water can often be remediated with proper cleaning and drying. Your local SERVPRO of Town & Country will provide you with your options when they arrive onsite.

4.      Framing. The wood frame behind your walls can become saturated by flood waters. If not properly cleaned, and dried, the moisture can weaken the structure, and become a breeding ground for mold. This is why drywall removal is necessary for many instances of water damage, as mentioned previously.

5.      Cabinetry. When bathroom and kitchen cabinets become wet or are partially submerged in water, the wood and finish are compromised. If professional cleanup is started immediately, there is a good chance that cabinetry can be saved.

6.      Mold. Our climate here in south Texas supports the quick development of mold. Mold spores thrive in warm, humid environments, and if water damage in the home is not properly cleaned up, a mold infestation can start within days. If you suspect mold infestation in your property, contact us immediately for mold removal in your Memorial home.

The longer water is allowed to remain on surfaces after a broken water pipe, sewage backup, leaky roof, severe storm, or other event, the more structural damage your property will sustain. Call us today; we are locally owned and operated, and our team has the advanced training and equipment to thoroughly assess the damage, extract the water, and start the drying process.

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.

Memorial Commercial Property Care: 8 Steps for Recovering from a Fire

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Fact: A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours

Commercial properties and businesses affected by a fire require expert commercial fire damage restoration teams that quickly remediate the damage. Every day that your business is closed or operations are slowed because of the fire means a loss of productivity and revenue. In addition to fire and smoke damage in commercial properties in Memorial, water damage and structural damage caused by the firefighting can be significant. Here are 8 steps to help you quickly recover from a fire in your business.

1.     Adhere to Fire Department Warnings. Before entering your commercial property after a fire, it is imperative that you heed the warnings given by the fire department. Even walking through a fire-ravaged property can be hazardous.

2.     Take Photos and Videos. If the fire department has indicated your property is safe to walk through, take photos and videos of each room, focusing on the damage. Be sure to include damaged items or structural features, including any smoke and water damage.

3.      Contact Your Insurance Company. It is vital that you call your insurance company as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster will assist with the filing of your claim so that you can get back to your Houston area business quickly.

4.      Setup a Temporary Office. If the damage was significant and you will be displaced for some time, you will need a temporary office to handle your business, insurance claims, and the restoration process. This temporary office can be leased, or you may elect to use a room in your home.

5.      Call a Commercial Fire Restoration Team. The damage caused by the fire, the smoke, and the water must be assessed as soon as the property has been deemed safe by the fire department. Serving the Memorial and Northwest Houston area, SERVPRO of Town & Country can respond at any time of the day or night to complete the damage assessment and begin the restoration process.

6.      Identify Items for Restoration. While at first glance, many items in your Memorial area business may appear destroyed, the SERVPRO team can clean, sanitize, and restore items to pre-fire condition.

7.      Remove Furnishings and Structural Items Destroyed.  There may be items in your business that are destroyed because of the fire. These items need to be inventoried, removed, and disposed of properly. Our fire damage restoration team will handle this process for you. It is important to understand that the water, steam, and heat from the fire may have caused significant internal damage to electrical appliances; prior to using these items, they must be evaluated for safety.

8.      Restore the Property. After you’ve filed your insurance claim and the property has been cleaned, dried, and smoke damaged remediated, the process of rebuilding can begin. The level of damage obviously will dictate the amount of time to rebuild and make your commercial property safe once again. At SERVPRO, we understand that every hour spent cleaning up water damage and fire damage restoration is an hour of revenue lost. We strive to remediate the damage as quickly as possible so you can get back to business.

If a fire has recently affected your commercial property in the greater Houston area, call SERVPRO immediately. Our professional team will respond quickly with all of the tools and equipment necessary to properly restore your property. We will work directly with your insurance company and begin remediating water damage in your Memorial commercial property.

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. 

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