How To Properly Determine Moisture Levels In Your Building
Always look for hidden moisture in adjacent rooms including rooms upstairs or below where the original water damage took place.
Most common water losses are caused by everyday appliances that over flow or get disconnected from their hoses. The most common water damages SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview responds to include:
- Cracked pipes
- Hot water heater overflow
- Dishwasher overflow
- AC drain pan overflow
Small damages can seem like a quick cleanup with a mop and rags will do the trick, but the large problems arise when hidden moisture is not properly cleaned and dried.
Moisture and hidden water can hid under flooring, in drywall and within insulation. Improperly dried moisture can cause odor problems and turn into large mold issues.
To properly dry any structure the first step that needs to be taken is to do a proper moisture reading. The SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview IICRC trained and certified technicians are experts in finding hidden moisture.
We utilize state of the art technology to properly find moisture that may be hidden in building materials. Typically we utilize one of two tools to find and read moisture.
- Moisture Detector - similar to a metal detector, this handheld device can be placed on top of materials and moved in a slow waving motion to detect moisture. The moisture detector reads the current moisture of materials including metal, drywall, wood and concrete. We can then compare the current moisture percentage reading to what is considered "normal" in that material and determine if there is excess moistures. Most moisture detectors also come with penetrating spikes that can be spiked into materials like carpet and wood to read the internal moisture, opposed to just the surface moisture.
- Thermo Imaging - thermo imaging can also be used to detect moisture. This technique is typically used when water has effected a large space like a warehouse, commercial office or even school. The thermo imaging reader gives technicians an overview of the temperatures of each materials in the room. When the room has vast contrast is material temperature readings this is an indicator that materials may be over saturated with water.
Once a SERVPRO technician has properly checked for hidden moisture a proper scope of work can be generated with a remediation plan to dry the entire structure and prevent any future damages caused by hidden moisture.
Extreme Weather Ready Expo at Gorge R Brown Convention Center
Extreme Weather Ready Expo 2019 of Houston/Galveston at George R Brown Convention Center
Saturday, June 8, 2019, George R Brown Convention Center located in Houston, Texas hosted their annual Extreme Weather Ready Expo. The annual expo provides residents of Houston with helpful resources and training on how to be better prepare for natural disasters including hurricanes.
The Houston community is no stranger to extreme weather and devastating hurricanes. There have been a recorded 84 hurricanes that have hit the Texas coast line since 1980.
The City of Houston alongside National Weather Service, CenterPoint Energy and GHLEPC sponsored the family friends and free event to the public and had more than 2,500 attendees come to learn about extreme weather and home preparation.
The event consisted of a kids zone with bouncy houses and interactive games to keep the kiddos entertained while adults could walk the exhibit floor, attend seminars and meet City of Houston and surrounding area disaster management and planning committee chairs.
The expo floor consisted of local business including Allstate insurance agents, City of Houston Office of Emergency Management and Volunteer Initiative Program, FEMA, Flood Survival, Gulf Coast Center, Shell Oil Company, Solar X Window Film Systems and the United Way of Greater Houston.
Over all the community had the opportunity to get to meet directly with Houston officials and learn valuable and life saving tips on protecting their home and business from extreme weather.
Why Properly Dry Your Structure After A Water Damage?
What you cannot see in a water damage, water penetrating the carpet pad, sub floor, baseboard, drywall and insulation.
What happens in a water damage?
- Wet runs to dry - water is attracted to dry surfaces and can spread quickly and throughout and structure even if the water damage was isolated to one area.
- Water goes in many different directions - water can defy gravity and can run up, down and side to side. In many cases water spreads to multiple rooms and even to different floors of effected structures.
- Water runs under carpet, penetrates carpet padding and sits on sub floors - water can cause costly long term damages when not extracted and dried properly. Water may appear to be sitting on top of carpet, but it will also penetrate under the carpet where you cannot see. Imagine that your carpet padding is like a sponge, it absorbs water quickly, but then holds onto it. It is nearly impossible to completely dry padding, similarly to how your kitchen sponge is rarely 100% dry.
- Water is absorbed by wall insulation - similar to carpet panning, wall insulation absorbs water and can hold the water for several days and even months. Water can stay hidden within walls for extended amounts of time and cause mold to grow. Wet insulation creates the perfect environment for mold growth - a wet, cool and dark place.
When you have a water damage, large or small, reach out to SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview at (281) 422-7292. We have the expertise, equipment and know-how to advise you on how to properly dry your entire structure.
In many cases extracting water with a "shop vac" only removes the surface water that you can see. Leaving behind the excess moisture in hidden areas you cannot see can potentially cause large problems later down the road.
To ensure you have a safe, clean and dry home or business let the experts at SERVPRO do an evaluation.
Know Where To Look For Hidden Water Damage
Know where to look for hidden moisture in a commercial water loss, technicians will check adjacent walls, connecting rooms and the ceilings.
Commercial property water losses can be one of the most difficult disruptions to any business. In most cases water damages happen without notice and always at an inconvenient time for business owners. Water damages can range from small toilet over flows to large scale main line water pipe bursts that immediately flood out the entire business.
A few tips to keep in mind if you have a commercial water loss at your business:
- Always consult with a professional like IICRC Certified Technicians from SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview. Our expert Technicians are properly trained to stabilize water from further spreading, extract standing water and dry your structure so you can resume normal business as soon as possible.
- Contact your insurance broker or agent immediately to file a claim and notify your insurance carrier of your water loss.
- Insurance companies prefer to mitigate (reduce) losses and should instruct you to contact a remediation company like SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview at (281) 422-7292 immediately to begin mitigation services.
- When SERVPRO arrives allow our Technicians to properly scope the building by allowing them access to areas you may feel were not effected by the water or where do you do not see standing water on the floor.
- Our Technicians are properly trained to do a moisture map and identify where water has spread or where water has stopped. To properly look for moisture a Technician should do a moisture reading on each room of the structure starting at the bottom of the wall and moving up to the top of the wall. In addition adjacent walls, connecting rooms, ceilings and floors of upper and lower levels should also be read for moisture.
- SERVPRO technicians will want to immediately extract any standing water and place specialty drying equipment to start to dehumidify the room and pull excess moisture from all building materials.
- In some cases materials including drywall, insulation and flooring will need to be removed to properly dry the structure to IICRC industry standards. In these cases the SERVPRO Technician will wait for your assigned insurance adjuster to arrive on the scene to assess the damage and determine the proper scope of work together.
- Most structures can be dried within 3 - 5 days. After non salvageable materials have been removed and drying equipment has been running continuously the SERVPRO Technician will remove the equipment and do a final walkthrough of the structure with the client to ensure total satisfaction with our services.
What Are The Different Types of Smoke & Soot Damage?
Smoke damage to any home or business can be devistating, but the good news is that SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview can help you get recovered and back to normal in no time.
Most fire damage is caused by the smoke that produced during the fire. Areas of the structure that were directly burnt by the fire will need to be completely removed and replaced. In most cases this is a small amount of the damage, the majority of the damage will come from smoke that filled the building and spread to multiple rooms. Smoke that settles is referred to as soot. Soot is like a heavy dust particle that is dark grey or black in color and must be properly removed to avoid additional damages to the structure.
Dry smoke residue:
- Caused by wood or paper burning.
- Can be cleaned with a dry method using a specialty sponge.
- Caused from meat, poultry, eggs and beans.
- This residue is typically invisible and has a pungent odor.
Wet Smoke Residue:
- Smoldering, cool and oxygen starved fires that move slower and often contaminates deeper.
- Water has interacted with the original fire potentially from firefighters, humidity or the weather.
Plastic or Petroleum Residue:
- Burns vigorously at low temperatures.
- Smoke sticks together and does not disperse quickly.
- Smears easily because of the oily base.
- Highly corrosive and forms "smoke webs"
Each of the varying smoke types has a proper way to clean and remediate their damages to ensure that we can mitigate (reduce) the loss of building materials. In some cases our IICRC certified technicians utilize a specially designed dense sponge to remove the soot from the surface of walls, ceilings and furnishings. With other soot and smoke types a wet method and chemical treatments are needed to remove thick and stick soot.
If you are effected by a fire of any size you should contact SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview at (281) 422-7292 to have one of our certified Production Managers come out to scope your damages and assist you in making it,
"Like it never even happened"
Contents Cleaning After a Fire Damage
Fires effect the entire structure which is why fire losses tend to take multiple teams and can take weeks to months to fully remediate.
Beyond the structure soot and smoke damage can effect your personal belongings and the contents of the building including: clothing, furniture, decor, rugs and antiques.
SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview offers two types of contents restoration:
- On Location: we can mobilize a specialty trained crew of fire technicians to your home or business to dot he remediation process on site. This consists of cleaning each individual items and furnishing on site utilizing our specialty equipment and proprietary cleaning solutions.
- Packout Restoration: in the packout restoration process our technicians will carefully pack all of your belongings and bring them to our storage and restorative cleaning facility. Your items will then be unpacked, properly cleaned and restored to their preloss condition and then packed away in one of our secure vaults and stored until your structure is ready to be moved back into.
In both processes SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview's goal is to make it,
"Like it never even happened".
Before we start the fire restoration process our Production Crew Chief will take photos of how your items were arranged prior to remediation services. When we move your items back in we will attempt to place the furniture and items back in their original location.
Fire damages can be stressful and SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview is here to help make it,
"Like it never even happened"
and advise you though the process to make it as quick and smooth as possible to get back to normal life.
The 2019 Proclamation
SERVPRO and No Town Left Behind were honored to receive recognition at the 2019 Proclamation for our recovery efforts during Hurricane Harvey.
SERVPRO and No Town Left Behind were honored to receive recognition at the 2019 Proclamation for our recovery efforts during Hurricane Harvey and our continued support for First Responders. During Harvey’s recovery efforts SERVPRO received 15,770 calls for building emergency services. The SERVPRO network of independently owned and operated offices mobilized to the Texas Gulf Coast to do what we do best - water cleanup and restoration. The SERVPRO network mobilized over 250 offices Texas coast for Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery. SERVPRO had nearly 1800 "boots on the ground", professionally trained mitigation technicians, performing mitigation services. With so much damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, equipment availability was one of our top priorities. SERVPRO mobilized 14 eighteen wheeler trucks staged with equipment so we could support the immense need of the Houston community. In total, 3.7 million square feet of residential, commercial and municipal building space were serviced during the Houston Hurricane Harvey Recovery.
In addition, Community members like No Town Left Behind allowed us to not only help victims of the flood, but also service and support the first responders on duty for the storm. It’s our top priority to ensure our everyday heroes are cared for as they rescue and comfort the City of Houston. Harvey opened our eyes and allowed us to see the symbiotic relationship the SERVPRO has with first responders. During a storm disaster, we are on standby until first responders ensure the safety of civilians. Once the search and rescue missions are complete, we began restoring the homes and offices back to their pre-storm condition.
We realized that if we wanted to effectively and accurately serve Houstorians, we need a proactive relationship with the City of Houston. If we can identify and prioritize the buildings that are important for the infrastructure of the economy, we can recover properties faster. In an effort to building stronger relationships and enhancing the impact of our philanthropic efforts, SERVPRO created the First Responder Initiative. The initiative gives first responders a donation to their department and department members.
SERVPRO is honored to show our appreciation and respect for our everyday heroes, because of their heroism, we are able to do our job. We are proud to have serviced 4 million square feet of building and restored it to functional capacity from Hurricane Harvey damages. When Houstonians are in need, we are always there to lend a helping hand. It was our honor to help restore the city we love during Hurricane Harvey.
How To Prepare For A Storm
A storm caused a neighborhood to flood, SERVPRO was there immediately to help.
SERVPRO of Baytown/ Channelview understands storms are unpredictable and arrive fast. However, In most cases, weather reports keep us informed with storm updates. This allows us to prepare ourselves, our homes and our belongings for the natural disaster that's approaching. We want you to be ready for any storm that comes your way, so here are a few tips we have to offer!
- Assure the safety of you and your family. Stay updated on all news reports of the storm to properly determine the next step to take. In some cases, you may have to evacuate the home, in other cases, you may have to determine the safest place in your home to stay while the storm is passing through.
- We Suggest preparing a home safety package. This would include things like flashlights towelettes and a supply of non-perishable foods.
- We highly recommend filling all your cars up with gas. Depending on the extent of the storm you may have to evacuate your area immediately. It's important to be ready to go if that time comes.
How To File A Commercial Insurance Claim On Building Damages
This apartment complex in Austin, TX experienced extreme building damages.
If you have property damage and plan to file an insurance claim to cover the cost, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
- Contact your insurance company immediately and file a claim. This will ensure you are assigned a claim number and adjuster who can review your damages and assist in rebuilding your property. Your assigned adjuster will be the representative from your insurance company who communicates what is covered by your individual insurance policy and determines the value of your claim.
- After you obtain your claim number, we recommend contacting our SERVPRO office at 281-219-8180. A team will be dispatched to your property right away to review, access and scope the damage. Additionally, we will discuss the process of restoring your property back to its original condition. SERVPRO specializes in exterior and interior fire and water restoration services. Once your insurance claim is filed, contact SERVPRO immediately. Our team can assist with nearly all property damage repairs and will communicate with your adjuster for a swift restoration process.
- Always document your claim with clear photos, it's important to have detailed photos of the existing damage. One of the standards that sets SERVPRO apart is our dedication to documenting all aspects of property losses to be able to share our photos, sketches and journal entries with insurance companies. We are highly acclaimed among insurance adjusters for our thorough process of documenting all aspects of mitigation, remediation and reconstruction for insurance claims.
SERVPRO has well established relationships with all national insurance companies including local insurance agents, claims managers and adjusters. Calling SERVPRO is an important step for the process of repairing your property. Our goal is to restore your company in a timely manner with the highest quality. We will make it look, “Like it never even happened.”
The Connection Between Water Damage And Commercial Fire Loss Mitigation
This facility suffered water damage due to a fire loss.
Water damage is closely associated with the mitigation of fire loss because of the immense amount of water firefighters use to extinguish a fire. Unfortunately, water has the nature of wicking to dry. In other words, when the fire department sprays the water hose on the affected area, the carpet, walls, room framing and structure can absorb the moisture as well. Depending on the extent of the fire, water could also travel on the ceiling. When confronted by water damage, drying the structure is your first priority.
The drying process includes extracting standing water by utilizing our specialized equipment to absorb the excess moisture and circulate the dry air in the room. Our specialized equipment paired with our expert IICRC certified crew technicians provide optimal, timely and efficient drying. Ensuring the structure is completely dry prevents any future damages that can occur when moisture goes unaddressed.
Mitigation is key to reducing the loss of building materials and restoring the building quickly. Time is essential for mitigation. The longer the water sits in the building, the higher chance of increased loss on the property. SERVPRO’s top priority is to save any building materials including: drywall, insulation, wall framing and flooring that was not affected by the fire.