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3 Simple Steps to House Fire Preparation

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Make use of fire alarms. For best fire safety practices, replace batteries once a year.

House Fire Preparation In 3 Easy Steps

If you have ever seen a home fire, you know how fast it happens. Such an event leaves a lasting impression, so you've taken steps to prevent this disaster from happening to your family in Channelview,TX. You practice good fire safety such as using flashlights instead of candles, keeping lighters and matches where kids can't reach them, keeping space heaters three feet away from anything, and taking fire safety precaution around the stove. You've made all this effort to prevent a fire, but have you prepared your family in the event a fire actually happens? Here are three simple steps for fire preparation:

Have an escape plan. You actually need to have two paths planned for each room in the house and make sure everyone knows them. Keep escape ladders in upstairs bedrooms, and have drills to practice the plan.

Have a communication plan. In your fire preparation plan, designate an obvious location to meet. The place should be just far enough from the house to be safe, but so you can all account for everyone. Also, always have a designated contact for communication. The person should live far away so that she or he is unlikely to be in the disaster area.

Use fire alarms. You should have a fire alarm on every floor, outside each bedroom and inside each bedroom. Make sure children know what they sound like and what to do when they hear the alarm. Replace batteries every year for best fire safety practices.

The American Red Cross advises that you only have two minutes to escape once a fire starts in your home. It's especially important to discuss and practice the plan with kids regularly. During fire preparation drills, teach them to stay low while leaving the house during a fire because the smoke is dangerous. Using fire alarms and having an exit plan paves the way for a better chance of getting your family out safely during a fire.

How FEMA Helps After a Storm

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood Flooded area in Highlands, TX.

If a disaster were to strike your property in Highlands, TX, you may be entitled to federal assistance. America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 to help our country’s citizens prepare for and cope with natural and manmade disasters. The agency not only provides emergency shelter but also teams with inspectors to assess damage to people’s homes and determine eligibility for many kinds of financial assistance.

How Federal Assistance Works

In the aftermath of a disaster in which federal assistance has been activated by the U.S. President to help victims, there are a few actions homeowners can take to move the process along. Self-advocacy is key to getting the ball rolling.

• Reach out for government assistance through your local disaster assistance center or by visiting to determine what kind of help is available. There will be an application process.
• Provide proof of identity and ownership of the damaged property. The deed to the home must be kept in a safe place, perhaps offsite.
• A FEMA inspector will tour your home, obtain a list of current residents, document losses associated with events such as high winds and flooding, and ascertain the status of your home insurance.

If you are deemed eligible for a grant, you will receive a check or direct deposit along with a letter with directions for its use. If you do not qualify, you will receive a letter of explanation and an opportunity to appeal the decision.

A flood, tornado, hurricane, mudslide, earthquake, or wildfire is an event outside your control, and once the federal government is compelled to respond, FEMA officials can step in to help. Because of the scale of these kinds of disasters, many of your neighbors will be seeking help at the same time. Patience, organization and perseverance will be required in your shared recovery efforts.

Understanding Mold Remediation

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on drywall Mold damage in Cloverleaf, TX.

Six Steps Professionals Take To Remove Mold

Mold cleanup is referred to as remediation rather than removal for a scientific reason: you can’t get rid of mold spores. The naturally occurring, microscopic entities are present everywhere indoors and outdoors. Once black mold or any other colony has grown in your establishment, mold remediation must immediately begin in order to limit the spread of the mold. While each situation is unique, here are six general steps a professional cleanup and restoration company will take to rid your Cloverleaf, TX, business of its fungal presence:

1. Inspection

Mold remediation experts will assess the property for noticeable signs of mold. A variety of technology can be utilized to detect the subliminal signs of mold, often found behind interior walls or under carpeted floors.

2. Containment

The HVAC system and fans will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold spores through airways. The contaminated area will be closed with technology tactics and physical barriers to contain the mold within a restricted area.

3. Filtration

Possible irritants contained in black mold can spread to the surrounding air. Using advanced filtration technology, workers will capture the microscopic spores to filter air during the cleanup process.

4. Removal

Dependent on the amount of mold growth some building materials may have to be removed and disposed of. Porous materials such as carpet, drywall or wood can retain the moisture and spores that led to the original mold growth. For safety and prevention of returning mold, materials damaged by black mold must be removed.

5. Cleaning

In-depth cleaning of restorable items includes specialized cleaning methods, disinfection and sanitizing and thorough drying. Any lingering odors can be removed with fogging equipment.

6. Restoration

Full restoration minimizes the threat of mold returning through thoroughly cleaning and drying affected materials. However, significant mold damage could require replacement of drywall, subflooring or other porous building materials that could retain mold spores.

7 Tips for Preventing Water Damage While on Vacation

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A flooded basement in Channelview, TX.

Steps To Protect Your Home and Belongings

One of the most common types of homeowners' insurance claims in Channelview, TX, is water damage. Unfortunately, pipes often burst while homeowners are on vacation and this can lead to flooded homes and expensive water pipe repair services. If you're going to be away from home for an extended vacation, take the following steps to protect your home and belongings.

  1. Remove debris from your rain gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages.
  2. Add insulation to exposed pipes. This protection is especially important during the winter, to prevent pipes from becoming frozen, but some homeowners haven't discovered damaged pipes until the spring thaw. If this happens while you're away from home, the resulting water pipe repair could be costly.
  3. Supply a battery-powered backup source for your sump pump and inspect the equipment to be sure it's running smoothly.
  4. Inspect pipes, the water heater, the home's foundation, and the roof for leaks. Check the seals around windows and doors and make sure all are fastened appropriately.
  5. Look at the hoses connected to all major appliances, such as washing machines, for kinks or worn spots.
  6. Ask a trusted neighbor or family member to check on your house from time to time while you're away. Point out the location of the thermostat, water shutoff valves, and other supplies that may become necessary if the home is flooded.
  7. If you plan to be gone for an extended period of time, you may want to consider turning off all water to your home and flushing or draining all pipes. If you plan to be away during the winter months, leave cupboard doors open, so warm air from the home can circulate around the pipes.

Vacations are often meant to provide you with a release from daily worries. This can backfire if you come home to a flooded basement with the need for an expensive water pipe repair. Take advantage of these tips to keep your Channelview, TX, home safe while you're away.

What’s the Big Stink About Sewer Gas?

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Computer on a counter, floor with pile of mud. Storm damage in Cloverleaf, TX.

Do The Employees In Your Building Frequently Complain About An Odd Smell?

Sewage emits a variety of different gases, some of which have no odor at all, but most people can recognize two common gases from that sewer smell: ammonia, from its irritation to the lungs and mucous membranes, and hydrogen sulfide, from its unwelcome egg-like smell. In all, sewage gases can be disgusting at best and dangerous at worst, and they represent some deeper trouble that should be investigated. To help you get started with your search, here are three potential sources of sewer gas in your building, in Cloverleaf, TX:

Vents. Sewer systems need a ventilation system to release the buildup of natural gases that are generated by sewage. Sometimes these pipes may be blocked or poorly located, venting near an air intake. A professional plumber can help with either of these problems.

Traps. A drain pipe leading to the sewer has a trap, which is a u-bend designed to hold liquid and prevent sewer gas from traveling back out of the pipe and into the building. Sometimes traps dry out from lack of use or from dry weather. Sewer gas from seldom used drains may simply indicate a dry trap. Pouring two cups of water down the drain would fill the trap again and prevent gases from dispersing into the building.

  1. Pipes. Pipes normally function without a hitch, but a sewer smell that is not attributed to either of the first two problems may be due to a blocked or broken sewer pipe, which could mean sewage spills.

While blocked vents and dry traps can cause a nuisance sewer smell in your building, these may be more easily resolved than other pipe problems. Blockages and broken sewer pipes may lead to a leak or a backup, and that means sewage contamination in your building. This kind of water damage is the most hazardous. Professional remediators can resolve this problem quickly and correctly by returning your environment to a healthy, sewage-free area, and preventing mold that can develop on persistently moist materials.

3 Ways To Prevent a Puff Back

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Old dirty brickwork in soot A puff back can impact every room of your house.

3 Ways To Prevent a Puff Back

A puff back occurs when soot discharges out of a heating unit. It is technically a tiny explosion consisting of unburned oil in the furnace. Sometimes it will be a relatively small ignition that only gets soot on items in the surrounding area. Other times, it can be quite large. The furnace itself may sustain damage if the explosion is big enough. Regardless of what caused the problem, it needs to be addressed immediately. A large enough incident can make a house uninhabitable. Luckily, there are ways to decrease your chances of experiencing furnace issues in your home in Baytown, TX.

1. Have Heating Appliances Serviced Regularly

You should have a professional come out to your house at least once a year to inspect your HVAC system. This visit should involve more than just a standard cleaning. You should hire someone who knows how to open up all the appliances and can really inspect the systems to see if there are any outstanding problems that could lead to a puff back. In the event there is a broken component, get it fixed right away.

2. Watch Out for Warning Signs

If you hear loud rumbling sounds coming from your furnace, then you need to give it an immediate inspection. You should also be aware of any strange odors coming from the system. Additionally, if you notice any soot building up on the surface of your heater, then you need to clean it up and determine where it came from.

3. Address Oil Leaks Immediately

The presence of oil around your heater is a dangerous sign. A dripping flare connector can vastly increase your chances of having furnace issues. It is preferable to have a professional clean up the oil and fix the piping for safety reasons.

A puff back can impact every room of your house if the soot goes through the vents. Prevention is ideal so you do not have to worry about throwing away all your fabrics.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have a Professional Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

burned microwave in a kitchen Kitchen fire damage in Channelview, TX.

How Can Cleanup Your Electronics After A Fire?

You don’t like to dwell on it or think about it, but the possibility of dealing with a house fire is a reality. This is why you have insurance and put in place as many safeguards as you can to avoid this tragedy. Still, if the unthinkable does happen, you want to trust your fire cleanup to a trained expert who knows who to preserve or restore your home and belongings. The best professionals can even clean up your electronics.

They Handle Most Electronics

In the most severe fires, you might not have much luck salvaging items in your Channelview, TX, home. However, if your fortunate, the best companies have the means to repair most electronic devices that have suffered smoke damage. Some of these devices may include:

  • Computers, including laptops and desktops
  • Stereo equipment
  • Televisions
  • Printers
  • Smartphones

They Have the Expertise

If you notice during the fire cleanup process that some of your electronic devices fell victim to smoke, you shouldn’t take on the responsibility to clean it up yourself. An experienced technician will use tried and true methods to safely inspect and restore your device. If you’re not careful, you could not only cause more damage to the equipment, but you could harm yourself as well. The professionals employ dependable techniques that will preserve the items without compromising them or anyone in your home.

They Use the Right Tools

One should only use the most specialized equipment available to clean up electronics. Fortunately, a dependable professional will come to your home with advanced tools and methods. The technician will act promptly. Your best course of action is to back up the memory of computers and to unplug all electronics.

There’s cause for concern during a fire and fire cleanup. You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing a professional will treat your electronic items with care and may be able to salvage these important items.

Should You Get Flood Insurance?

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Chairs on a line and stacked one on top the other inside a building, building seems damaged by flooding Commercial flood damage

While you can't remove the risk of experiencing flooding from a natural disaster, you can protect your business financially. Most commercial insurance companies offer flood insurance that will give you extra protection against flood-related damages, making this something you should think about.

Is a Flood Serious?

You already know that the number of businesses with flood insurance is low. Small businesses are even less likely to have flood insurance than larger ones. However, these people are unprotected. Even low-risk areas can experience flooding that is not covered under property insurance. Here are some facts that show the severity of flood damage:

  • One inch of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage
  • Flash floods can raise water levels by 20 feet

Are You at Risk?
Many businesses think that low-risk means no-risk. However, even businesses in low-risk flood zones can experience severe damage from flooding that isn't covered by standard commercial insurance policies. This means that businesses in these areas that don't have flood insurance will need to pay out of pocket for hiring a storm restoration company.

What Type of Insurance Is Available?
There are two types of commercial insurance options for businesses in Galena Park, TX, including government-sponsored policies and private agencies. Each one has varying coverage options and costs. To choose the best one for your business, you are going to need to do some research. Look for the policy that provides the most coverage in your price range.

Can You Save Money on Policies?
The cost of your flood policy is based on the risk your business faces. While you can't decrease your risk of flooding, you can do the basics, such as comparing rates, increasing your deductible, and maintaining coverage, to help lower rates.
It doesn't take living in one of the high-risk areas on the FEMA flood maps to experience this type of disaster. However, you can protect your business from flood damage by understanding what risk you face and purchasing flood insurance.

3 Habits To Break To Stop the Spread of Mold

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hole on ceiling, ceiling covered with mold growth Mold damage on ceiling in a home.

Here Are Three Things To Avoid To Prevent A Bigger Problem

If you have any kind of fungus problem in your home in Liberty, TX, you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Many habits that seem like common sense at first may actually lead to spreading mold into other areas of your home, though. 

Water Damage Remediation Delay
Many problems can cause water damage in your home:

  • Pipe break
  • Toilet overflow
  • Appliance leak
  • Flood

When one of these things happens, it is important to fix the source of the problem as soon as you can. However, that doesn't mean that you should put off mitigating the water damage itself. Within as little as 48 hours, mold can start growing wherever there are saturated materials. Nip the problem in the bud before fungus has a chance to grow.

Uninterrupted Air Flow
In most cases, it logically follows that if the culprit is excess moisture, the solution must be to dry out your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners turn on fans or crank up the air conditioner to accomplish this. When fungus has already started to grow, this only results in spreading mold into other areas. Turn off your HVAC unit and fans to avoid making the problem worse.

DIY Mold Cleanup
When a small mold problem turns into a big one, it is usually due to homeowners' efforts to clean up the problem on their own. If the black mold growth is larger than 10 square feet, you should hire certified mold damage specialists to help. No matter how much you scrub away the mold you can see, there may be an underlying problem that will grow to the surface within a few days. Mold remediation professionals have the tools and knowledge needed to get rid of the mold growth for good.
Some habits that seem like a good idea at the time lead to spreading mold rather than eradicating it. For best results, leave mold remediation to the professionals.

Steps of the Professional Fire Cleanup Process

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Small closet in a building room covered with soot on walls Commercial smoke damage in Pasadena, TX.

Steps of the Professional Fire Cleanup Process

When your business sustains a fire in Pasadena, TX, it can be an overwhelming experience that's filled with many unknowns. What happens after the flames are finally out? Between the fire damage and the smoke damage, there's a lot of work to complete to get your building back up to code so your business can return to normal. When you hire professionals to handle the post-fire cleanup, there are some basic steps you can expect.

1. Inspection
The process begins with an inspection that looks for the fire's origin and the extent of the loss. The professionals will take photos of the affected area for the insurance company.

2. Removal
Next, the fire damage restoration professionals will remove all unsalvageable items to prevent further loss. You'll probably have to discard soaked drywall and flooring (especially carpeting and padding). Severely burnt materials will also be unsalvageable. The team will also eliminate standing water and debris.

3. Containment
During the containment phase, the professionals will secure the property and seal off the affected area from unaffected areas. These precautions will ensure the avoidance of cross-contamination from moisture, mold and other results of smoke damage or soot damage.

4. Cleaning
The next step of the process is drying all remaining contents. This drying includes removing the excess moisture from the air. The experts will also clean the area of all smoke and soot residue. The smoke cleaning phase is typically the most time-consuming part of the process. Smoke and soot can penetrate even the tiniest of spaces. The team will even clean inconspicuous areas like HVAC vents. A smoke smell will probably still be lingering, so the professionals will then use various methods to deodorize the property.
Smoke damage is just one type of loss that can result from a building fire. You must also be concerned with water damage and burned materials. It's essential to begin remediation immediately to avoid additional damage to your property and its contents.