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What To Do When Your Basement Floods

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement with a line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Gelena Park,TX

What To Do When Your Basement Floods

In the event your Galena Park,TX, home experiences a basement flood there are a few important steps to consider. These three steps can help get you started on the restoration process, and put your home back and livable order.

1. Wear Proper Safety Attire

When dealing with a flooded basement it's important to wear the proper safety attire. This should include waterproof boots, gloves, and either waders or coveralls to go over your clothing. You may also wish to wear a face mask. Keep in mind that when you're done working for the day it's important to wash thoroughly, and change your clothing to avoid tracking any contaminants through the rest of the home.

2. Remove the Water

After a basement flood it's important to remove the water as quickly as possible. You can begin this process even before your restoration crew arrives. You may choose to use buckets, a water rated shop vacuum, or a pump. If you live in a high flood-risk area you may also choose to have a have a sump pump installed in your basement before any flooding occurs.

3. Contact a Professional

It's also a good idea to contact a water damage restoration service to help with any cleanup and repairs. These professionals not only have the tools and knowledge needed to deal with the removal of water from the home, but can also begin to dry out the area before taking any sanitation measures that may be required to help prevent the spread of bacteria or possible mold problems. Services of a restoration company may also be included in your insurance coverage.
If you find you have a basement flood it's best to contact a professional as soon as possible. You may also want to wear proper safety attire such as waterproof boots and gloves, and began removing the water as quickly as possible. Once the water is removed the area should be thoroughly dried so repairs can begin. If you have any questions a professional may be able to help.

What To Know About Emergency Board Ups

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

Blue cape cod style suburban home boarded up with plywood A board up home in Pasadena, TX

What To Know About Emergency Board Ups

If your home has experienced fire damage in Pasadena,TX, than your local fire restoration company may recommend a board up. This is a service that can provide a number of benefits to your property. Here are the top three.

1. Prevents Further Damage

One of the most common reasons for covering over fire damaged space is to help prevent additional problems that can come from leaving the area exposed to the elements. Inclement weather such as heavy rain or snow could soak into the damage and cause further problems such as instability or rot. Keeping water out of the area may also help prevent possible mold problems. Your restoration service should have the tools and knowledge required to appropriately protect the damaged area until restoration can occur.

2. May Help Insurance Claims

Another reason to board up damage until repairs can be made is that doing so may help your insurance process. Many policies require the homeowner to prevent additional damage until proper restoration can occur. Your company may also have recommended options for protecting the space. If you have any questions it's best to talk to your agent.

3. Protects Against Further Loss

The process of an emergency board up may also help protect against further property loss. Boarding or covering over a damaged area can help prevent animals or other intruders from accessing the area. This will keep them from nesting in the damaged space, or taking other items from the home.
Not only can a board up protect your home against further damage, but it may also protect against further property loss by keeping out intruders and animals that might get in. You may also find that boarding or tarping over the damaged area until repairs can be made is also a step required by your insurance company in order to process your claim. If you have any questions a professional may be able to help.

What To Do When Fire Sprinklers Accidentally Turn On

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Sprinklers turned on by accident can occur for several reasons

Flood damage in your commercial business can occur in many ways, but an accidental fire sprinkler activation is one of the lesser known forms of business flooding in Mcnair,TX. If your ceiling sprinklers have been activated by mistake, the following may help you to identify why they went off, and what to do from there.

What Causes the Fire Sprinkler to Turn On?

Sprinklers turned on by accident can occur for several reasons. Inspect the area where they were activated to see if any of the following culprits may be responsible:

  • Overheating near heaters or skylights
  • Freezing
  • Corroded parts
  • Poor installation

What Should You Do?

Once you have identified that a commercial fire is not the cause of sprinkler activation, you should attempt to shutoff the sprinklers and follow these basic procedures if water damage has occurred:

1. Shut-Off Water

Locate the water main leading to your fire sprinklers, and shut it off immediately. Doing so quickly will prevent further flooding and may allow you to go in and identify the reason they turned on in the first place.

2. Call a Local Restoration Company

If sprinkler activation results in flood damage, hire a professional restoration crew in Mcnair,TX, to assist you in your commercial flood cleanup efforts. They can evaluate damages and provide vital services, including:

  • Safety Inspection
  • Water removal
  • Sanitation
  • Facility restoration

3. Phone Your Insurance

Once you have the situation under control, contact your commercial flood insurer to file a claim for the cost of damages. Ask questions about what your coverage includes, and how to file a claim. Your insurance provider may send an adjuster to the site to evaluate the claim, or may ask for photo evidence of the incident. Take care to document dates, times, and damaged goods through written and photo evidence.
As a business owner, unexpected incidents can occur at anytime. After fire sprinkler flooding, follow these simple tips to get your business back to regular operation as quickly as possible.

3 Things You Should Know About Mold and Food

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Food in a plastic container with mold Food with mold

3 Things You Should Know About Mold and Food

Mold can be found in many homes in Lynchburg,TX, often inside of a refrigerator. It can be incredibly frustrating to be looking forward to some tasty leftovers only to find them covered in fungus growth. While it may not make you feel better about your ruined cake or casserole, the following information may help you understand this organism a little better.

1. What is Mold?

Simply speaking, mold is a fungus. It is a living organism that is unable to get energy from the sun because it lacks chlorophyll. This fungus is present in most environments but is usually harmless. It grows easily when moisture is present, which can explain why you may sometimes find fridge mold.

2. Why Does it Grow On Your Food?

Because mold cannot get energy from the sun, it has to find its nutrients in other places. For this reason, bread mold is fairly common. This, along with other foods, provides what the fungus needs to keep growing. Foods that are kept in warm environments may also be more likely to form a growth. However, while mold prefers warm locations, refrigerated food is not entirely safe, particularly if it has a high level of moisture.

3. What Can You Do About It?

If bread mold is becoming a consistent problem for you, then that could indicate high levels of humidity in your house. Try to reduce it by using a bathroom fan when you shower or opening windows while cooking to let out steam. Another easy solution is simply to eat your leftovers more quickly. The longer the food is left to sit in the fridge, the more likely it is that mold will begin to grow.
If bread mold is growing in your kitchen, then it is possible that mold has formed in other locations. If you think you might have a larger fungus problem, contact a mold remediation company as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading further. They can perform an inspection and any necessary removal.

Preventing Mold Growth After a Flood

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Mold discovered in a drywall Mold damage in Highlands, TX due to standing water

Cleanup Process Of Mold

Mold growth in your Highlands,TX, home is never a pleasant experience and can be even more distressing when it occurs after a flood. Luckily, it is possible to prevent a post-flood mold infestation if you act quickly. The following steps outline the cleanup process.

1. Dry the Area Because standing water can result in a mold infestation in as little as 24 hours, it is important to dry the flooded area as quickly as possible. Wet/dry vacuums are often helpful, but you can also use buckets to manually extract the water. Dehumidifiers and fans can dry out the remaining moisture. If the HVAC unit is not water damaged, you may turn it on to help speed the drying process. If humidity is low outside, open windows and doors to increase air flow.

2. Remove Items That Can’t Be Dried Unfortunately, some household items are especially difficult to dry and clean. Carpeting, paper goods and upholstery all may need to be removed, particularly if they were wet for an extended period of time, i.e., more than 24 hours. Once mold growth affects these items, it may be impossible to fully remediate. It is also important to remove insulation up to about one foot above the water line because water tends to wick upward behind walls, and it is nearly impossible to fully dry out insulation.

3. Sanitize Surfaces Flood water often contains harmful bacteria that will remain on surfaces even after they have been dried, so it is important to disinfect all of the areas that came into contact with the water. Specialized detergents or a mixture of bleach and water can be used to clean up after a flood. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and wear gloves, goggles, protective clothing and a respirator mask to protect yourself.
If the above steps seem overwhelming to you, or if your home has severe flood damage or mold growth, you can enlist a certified restoration company with the expertise and equipment to help you get your home back to normal quickly.

How the Professionals Estimate the Cost of a Commercial Fire

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

On the inside of a room, walls and shelf are covered with smoke and soot Commercial smoke damage in Baytown

A fire can burn through the interior or exterior of your commercial property and can take a long time to repair. It can cause pipes to burst and electrical wiring to malfunction. Fire restoration professionals are trained to look over a building with fire damage and determine the cost of repairs.

A Big Undertaking

A fire estimation can take days to complete. It’s an extensive undertaking that involves many individuals. Professionals should strive to provide an accurate estimate so that insurance companies can calculate a correct reimbursement for business owners. The steps of a fire estimation include:

  • Initial clean out
  • Evaluation and assessment of the damage
  • Security considerations
  • Restoration and board-up

How To Hire a Reputable Fire Restoration Company

You need the best professionals in Baytown,TX to complete a timely estimate on your behalf. Look for a fire restoration company that employees a certified staff. Staff members with advanced training can handle the rough work of hauling debris out of your property, repairing smoke damage and sanitizing your possessions so you can use them again.
Reading reviews from previous customers is another way to gauge the level of service. You can also call your insurance company for a referral. Remember that a top-rated fire restoration company often has 24-hour emergency service, so you can contact them as soon as possible.

Preparation is Key

Taking a few precautions can alleviate the stress of a commercial fire. Find a company you can trust in advance and save their phone number in your business contacts. In addition, ensure you have quality insurance that can cover the costs of a disaster. Thinking ahead can save you the shock of exorbitant fees for property repairs.
Calculating an estimate for a property fire is a multi-step process. Hiring knowledgeable professionals is a great way to receive accurate information about a commercial property that has fallen victim to a fire.

Preparing Your Business for a Hurricane

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

A commercial building, has doors and windows boarded up with plywood. Board up building in Channelview, TX

Many businesses are located in hurricane zones, but not all are prepared for such a big storm. Even if your business is not directly on the coast, it can still suffer hurricane damage. It is important to make sure your commercial building in Channelview, TX is properly secured before a storm hits.

Make Sure Your Building Is Storm-Ready

When you know a hurricane is headed your way, there are several things you should do to prevent as much damage as possible, including:

  • Create a sandbag barrier around areas that may flood.
  • Bolt large, heavy furniture to walls or floors.
  • Board up windows and doors using plywood.
  • Cut down any limbs that are too close to your business. If you have time, you may want to cut down any trees that could damage the building.
  • Brace office equipment with straps.

The above can minimize hurricane damage, but there are some important tasks you may not have time for if a hurricane is already on its way, so it is important to do them as part of routine maintenance:

  • Have your roof inspected to make sure it can hold up to high winds and heavy rains.
  • Make sure trees located near your business are hardy enough to withstand strong storms.

Make Sure Your Documents Are Secure

Although making sure your building can withstand a storm will go a long way toward protecting your documents, it is important to prepare for possible indoor flooding. Routinely backing up your data to online servers is one way to ensure you will be able to access necessary documents after a storm. Additionally, you may want to keep copies of hard-to-replace documents such as contact lists, tax returns and insurance policies in a water-proof safe. For insurance purposes, you will need either photo or video showing your business in pre-storm condition. Back these up online or keep copies in the safe.
Unfortunately, even the most prepared businesses can suffer hurricane damage. A certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

The Process of Cleaning Up Sewer Damage

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

An open window with white curtains and air blowing the curtain After the backup, open the windows to begin the ventilation process

Use The Following Tips To Help You Protect Your Home After Sewer Damage

Sewer damage is a serious issue that can wreak havoc on your home, but using the proper sewer cleanup process in Cloverleaf,TX, may help you to salvage some of your belongings. Use the following tips and tricks to help you protect your property.

Immediately After the Backup

The first few minutes after a major sewer backup are crucial. Take children, senior family members, and pets to a safe area away from the backup and contact any utility companies to shut off gas, water, and electricity supplies that could cause more damage. You'll also need to perform several other tasks:

  • Open the windows to begin the ventilation process
  • Begin adding small amounts of chlorine to any standing water
  • Remove any items that are dry and uncontaminated

Cleaning Up the Mess

Unless it's a simple and minor flooded toilet, it is a good idea to call a professional when you need to perform sewer cleanup. Professionals have the personal protection gear, equipment, and knowledge necessary to ensure that the area is safe, clean, and ready for you and your family to use again. They will close off the contaminated area and use a sump pump to remove any sewage water before shoveling away dirt and debris to dispose of properly. Once the area is as clean as possible, they can begin drying it out.

Drying the Damaged Area

Once the area is clean, the drying process begins. A water remediation team inspects for mold after removing excess water and removes any spores to prevent growth. It also helps you determine what to discard and what you can salvage, assists with professional cleaning of carpets and furniture, and places other items outside to dry as necessary.

Hiring professionals to assist with your sewer cleanup job is essential. Professionals ensure your safety, prevent the damage from spreading to other rooms in your home, and ensures your home's HVAC unit was not damaged by contaminated water, to name a few reasons. Never attempt a cleanup job on your own.

Restoration Services in Baytown Tackle Fire and Water Damage in Tandem

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Exposed roof should be covered with tarps to protect interior of house

Protect Your Baytown Home After a Fire

Whenever a Baytown house suffers fire damage, there is also certain to be water damage because of the heavy volume of water used by the fire department to extinguish the flames. If you've suffered severe fire in your home that required heavy usage of water, SERVPRO makes the following recommendations:

Call the experts immediately!

Although you may have technical or practical experience dealing with fire damage, only a licensed inspector is qualified to inspect fire damage to determine whether your dwelling is safe to reside in.

The best investment you can make when you suffer a combination of fire and water damage is to hire a professional restoration company. They should have at least 5 years of experience in the field and be certified with the IICRC.

So you don't feel powerless while awaiting their arrival, SERVPRO offers some tips to start your recovery process:

1. Use specially designed fans to remove as much smoke as possible that has accumulated in the house. SERVPRO can provide these high-velocity fans.

2. Water and moisture accumulation quickly leads to mold, so every drop of water must be extracted as soon as possible.

3. To prevent buckling and other wood flooring damage, promptly remove wet rugs or carpets.

4. Metal objects can be protected against corrosion by drying and then applying a thin coating of Vaseline.

5. Cleaning smoke and water damaged walls requires special techniques. Rely on the experts like SERVPRO to do it correctly.

6. Slightly elevate furnishings and other objects on the floor by placing hardwood scraps or blocks underneath. This helps deter permanent staining and mold growth.

7. A commercial-grade dehumidifier should be placed in every room in the house, by a fire restoration company, for quick moisture extraction.

Resist the urge to throw away anything that looks damaged before an expert from your insurance company can determine its value. Even the most terrible appearing water or fire damaged item may have some monetary value.

A professional fire restoration company--SERVPRO--is your safest and least complicated option for preventing intruders from entering your fire-damaged home.  Only you and your restoration contractor should have keys for any door locks.

Baytown and Channelview Home Care: Reduce Your Risk of Flooding With These Quick Tips

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Fact: In a high-risk area, your home is more likely to be damaged by flood than by fire

Reduce Your Risk of Flooding With These Quick Tips

The best time to lessen the likelihood of flooding in your home is before the spring and summer storms start here in the Houston area. Once flood waters start rising, it is too late to protect your home and prevent the water damage that leads to mold growth requiring mold removal in Baytown and Channelview. Whether caused by a hurricane, intense thunderstorm, flash flood, ruptured water line, or other cause, there are things you can do in advance to protect your home and valuables.

Early spring is the best time to check that:

·         All landscaping around the home encourages rain water to flow away from the foundation

·         Each window well cover is in good shape, with no cracks, or holes

·         All gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves, pine needles, and other debris

·         Downspout extenders are installed correctly for the season

·         The sump pump is operating properly, and battery backup is in working order

·         The roof does not need repair or replacement

When the first storm of the year hits, pay close attention to how the water is draining around your home. Are there any areas where water is pooling close to the home? Is water flowing from another property, into yours? Are gutters overflowing after 5 minutes of heavy rain? If any of these are true, your property may still be at risk this season, and prompt action is necessary. If a storm does cause your home to flood, proper cleaning and professional water damage restoration in Channelview and Baytown is highly recommended.

In the winter months, pay attention to the weather reports for any freeze watches or warnings. Even in our area, outdoor faucets with garden hoses attached can freeze when temperatures fall below freezing, causing significant flooding. Also, be sure to drain sprinklers, and shut off any outdoor water sources including fountains and water features, for extra protection.

However, weather does not cause all flood damage in our area. In fact, water damage from failed water heaters, overflowing dishwashers and washing machines, broken pipes, and sewage backups cause significant damage throughout Baytown, Channelview, and the greater Houston area. Routine maintenance of these items can save you considerable trouble in the future.

If your home is overrun with floodwaters or water from an appliance in your home, call SERVPRO of Baytown and Channelview immediately. We have the expertise and the tools necessary to clean up your property correctly after flood damage. Proper remediation after a flood is essential for mold prevention.  Areas of your home affected must be cleansed and dried thoroughly, and humidity levels restored to normal, which is something that the majority of homeowners cannot do alone. Our team is available 24x7 to serve you after a flood or fire, and in the event that you need professional mold removal in Channelview or Baytown.