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Common Reasons Your Home May Still Smell After a Flood

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Common Reasons Your Home May Still Smell After a Flood Dirt and grime left behind from the flood in Baytown, TX

Storm damage can affect your Baytown,TX, home for a long time. Making repairs to your house may not end the affects of the flood. Mold growth, for example, can be hard to get rid of once it is started. You may even notice an unappealing aroma after storm waters subside from your home. A residential water repair team can help you understand why these scents are still in your home.

Sewage

During storms, your plumbing may be at a higher risk of sewage loss. Your home could be filled with sewer water because of the following reasons:

  • Broken sewer lines
  • Overloaded sewage systems
  • City sanitary pipe blockages

If this type of water filled your space for any reason, it can be hard to rid your home of the overpowering sewer smell. To get rid of this aroma, you will need to have any affected parts of your house disinfected.

Fungus

Some flooding can also cause mold growth in your personal space. If this fungal growth is not spotted during the initial cleanup phase, you may notice a lingering musty smell throughout your home. In some cases, you may think the mold has been eradicated, but it may come back if any excess moisture is reintroduced. To get rid of this odor, you will need to find the source of the mold and have it professionally cleaned.

Water

Storm water can reach unpredictable crevices in your house. If a pocket of water is not discovered during the cleanup, it can become stagnant and contaminated before it is found. This dirty flood water can start to produce an unpleasant smell. To get rid of this scent, you will need to find the remaining pockets of water, dry out the spaces and clean or replace any damaged materials.

Flooding can introduce sewage problems and mold growth that can cause bad smells to permeate your house. No matter what caused the foul odor in your home, it is a good idea to have the scent addressed as quickly as possible.

The Basics of Mold Testing

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Basics of Mold Testing Mold damage in the attic of a home in Baytown, TX

Almost every home is susceptible to a mold problem. If you suspect mold is growing in your home in Baytown,TX , you probably want to hire an environmental hygienist to conduct a mold assessment. Home test kits may be convenient, but they are not always accurate. Also, without the proper training, you might misinterpret the results. Here is a basic rundown of what to do if you suspect a mold problem exists in your home.

When Testing Is Necessary

Testing for black mold is probably not part of your frequent home inspection, as it would be expensive to hire a certified hygienist every time you conducted your inspection. There are several reasons why you would need to test for mold:

  • Musty odor in home
  • Hard-to-locate mold
  • Concentration of spores
  • Success of removal

Unless you can actually see mold growing, testing is often the only way you can see if there is a problem. If you suspect rampant mold growth in your home, it is a good idea to have it tested.

What Testing Discovers

A mold assessment is not going to answer the question of if there is mold in your home but rather how much. Every home has mold, because mold is everywhere. The distinction that testing makes is whether or not it is a problem that needs to be resolved by mold remediation specialists. The hygienist may test the air quality by taking a baseline reading outside and comparing it to the results of the air test inside. He or she may also take a surface test by swapping surfaces where mold may hide. A bulk test involves sending materials to the lab to be tested for growth and concentration. The tester may use any or all of these methods to determine if there is mold or mildew present.

If the mold assessment reveals a problem, it will have to be remedied, or it will just grow into a bigger problem. At least you have the peace of mind of knowing for sure whether or not you have mold.

Tips for Coming up With a Fire Escape Plan in Your Office

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Coming up With a Fire Escape Plan in Your Office Fire damage in Channelview, TX

Remember those fire drills you used to have in school when you were a child? If you’re not having these at work, you’re making a potentially fatal mistake. It’s vital to prepare yourself and your employees if disaster strikes and you need to get to safety. If you’re unsure where to begin, there are some effective steps you can follow.

Know the Building and Area

In order to successfully evacuate your Channelview, TX, building in the event of a fire or other emergency, you and your staff must be familiar with the facility. Don’t assume that everyone knows the building well, especially if your facility is large. Keep these items in mind:

  • Identify all exits in the building.
  • Identify which ones are closest to which employees.
  • Point out areas employees should avoid if they need to evacuate.

Meet to Discuss Procedure

A simple email telling employees that when there’s a fire they need to leave through the nearest exit isn’t enough. You need to get your staff together and talk about what steps everyone will follow as part of the emergency escape plan. You must emphasize critical items such as proceeding calmly and orderly. You also need to assign roles such as floor warden and people to count and make sure everyone makes it out of the building. Also, select a designated meeting spot outside of your building, far enough to ensure safety but close enough that it will be easy to access.

Practice, Practice

Just like back in elementary school, you need to put your fire escape plan into practice at work. Conduct at least one drill a year. Note how efficiently everyone is able to exit, and try to improve each time.

If a fire starts in your office, you may worry about the effects. Firefighters and a restoration company will take care of your building. You need to worry about getting everyone out safely and quickly.

What’s the Big Stink About Sewer Gas?

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What’s the Big Stink About Sewer Gas? Storm damage in Baytown, 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 Baytown, TX:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

7 Tips for Preventing Water Damage While on Vacation

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 7 Tips for Preventing Water Damage While on Vacation Air remover on a water damage in a Houston, TX home

7 Tips for Preventing Water Damage While on Vacation

One of the most common types of homeowners' insurance claims in Houston, 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 of the need for an expensive water pipe repair. Take advantage of these tips to keep your Houston, TX, home safe while you're away.


Solar Panels and Extreme Weather

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

As they gain popularity throughout Baytown, TX and the nation because of their benefits to the environment and consumer budgets, solar panels are popping up on residential roofs and ground arrays in increasing numbers. A consideration in adding them to your home is whether panel damage can occur in the event of a storm.

Solar Panels are Resilient

The good news is that solar panels can withstand extreme weather and retain their structural and functional integrity. In fact, in a strong storm, roof damage would be the greater concern. Research that has spurred the development of the solar energy industry has created materials that can withstand many environmental challenges including the following:

• extremely high temperatures
• extremely low temperatures
• ultraviolet radiation
• humidity
• electrical stress
• mechanical stress
• winds up to 140 mph
• direct hits from hail

Two extreme weather phenomena that pose the greatest threats of panel damage are hurricanes and hailstorms. However, the high volumes of wind-driven water in a hurricane have been documented to cause a perhaps surprising lack of damage; flexible racking designs enable the arrays to flex instead of break. Moreover, an unplanned test case in Golden, Colorado produced an astonishing result: a hailstorm that shattered car windows and dented vehicles broke a single panel in a 3,000 panel roof array at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The expanding solar energy industry continues to evolve, and with it, the materials that make it a safe, reliable, nonpolluting and affordable alternative are subject to ongoing development. Durability, sustainability and reliability are the watchwords that propel exciting new advances in the generation of electricity without the negative impact of fossil fuels.

Consumers today have every reason to begin harnessing the power of the sun to keep their homes humming. Because panel damage is exceedingly unlikely, storm-related repairs are generally not a consideration in taking the leap to solar power. Visit http://www.SERVPRObaytownchannelview.com/ for more information on storm damage

Keeping Pets Safe From a House Fire

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Pet lovers in Baytown, TX are like pet lovers everywhere: they consider their furry, feathered, or scaly friends beloved members of the family. In the event of a fire emergency in the home, it is important to have an evacuation plan for pets just like the rest of the family and make sure everyone is aware of it. The fire department, your insurance company, and restoration experts will take care of the rest.

Proactive Measures

Having either hardwired or battery-powered smoke alarms on every level of your home is a must to keep everyone safe. Check them regularly to make sure they are operational. In the event of a fire emergency, it is important to have a few other items and established procedures in place for pet preparation.

• Practice your evacuation plan with your family, including your pets. For pet safety, train them to come when called, and for those in enclosures, designate an appropriate rescuer.
• In the family emergency kit, include what your pet might need. First aid supplies, any medications, and nonperishable foods should be packed.
• Learn basic first aid procedures for the type of pet you own.
• Affix a pet alert to a window or door to alert fire fighters to the number and type of pets in the home and where they are kept. If you are unable to evacuate them, professionals can perform the rescue.
• Have a plan in place for housing your pet if you become displaced from your home.
• Keep pet ownership records and proof of vaccinations in a fire box.

Proper planning can reduce the kind of chaos that can lead to avoidable losses in the unfortunate situation of a fire emergency in the home. Practicing evacuation procedures and assembling an emergency kit can help keep all members of your family out of harm’s way. Visit http://www.SERVPRObaytownchannelview.com/ for more information on fire damage. 

Take Quick Acton to Prevent the Spread of Mold

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

Any Baytown, TX property can be affected by mold when a source of moisture is introduced into the area. Within just 24 to 48 hours, there could be enough mold growth to become a problem. As soon as you've seen evidence of mold or suspect its presence, you should take action to protect against further water damage and mold contamination.

Know What You're Up Against

One of the keys to preventing further trouble is understanding key mold facts.

• Mold exists everywhere, but typically at natural, harmless levels.
• Microscopic spores hang in the air and travel through openings, on people and pets, and through heating and cooling systems.
• Any source of moisture, water sources, or water damage could provide an ideal growing environment for colonies.
• High indoor humidity can be enough to promote mold growth.

Prevent Moisture Damage and Mold

Mold prevention and remediation begins by pinpointing sources of water and moisture. As soon as you find leaky pipes, dripping water, damp spots, discoloration, or any other sign of water damage, you should take steps to resolve the situation and eliminate further damage or moisture accumulation. If you notice the growth of mold, contact a remediation expert, take photographic evidence, and make plans to resolve the source of water without disturbing the mold.

Unsure About Mold?

You may notice a strong musty odor in your building. This is a good clue that mold exists somewhere on your property, even if you haven't seen any. It's usually better to schedule a visit from a professional than to try to find evidence of mold on your own. If there's a colony within your walls, for instance, you risk releasing spores into the rest of the building and becoming liable for property damage if you cut into the wall on your own.

Remember it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to begin to grow in a moist environment. Protect yourself and the rest of the property by contact mold remediation experts in Baytown, TX. Visit http://www.SERVPRObaytownchannelview.com/ for more information on mold. 

4 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Although water repair concerns are typically not the first thing on your mind as a business owner in Baytown, TX when flooding occurs it is the only thing you can think about. Most people automatically assume that a broken pipe is at fault, but this is not always the case. There are four common causes of water damage at commercial properties:

1. Broken Pipe

The main reason a pipe breaks is due to freezing conditions outside. When the water freezes in the pipe, the pipe expands and increases the inside pressure. A pipe also breaks from damage over time, use of the wrong type of pipe or sheer old age. As many pipes are hidden in walls or floors, there may be significant damage before the problem is evident.

2. Fire Sprinklers

A fire in a place of business is devastating, but the water from the sprinkler system can also cause significant damage. Per minute, the sprinkler system releases 8-24 gallons of water. Although this is significantly less than used by firefighters, the interior of the building has standing water nonetheless.

3. Toilet Overflow

Toilet overflow typically results from a malfunction or clog in the bowl. An overflowing toilet that results in flooding is especially worrisome, given the level of possible contamination from sewage. This concern is increased if the lavatory is on the second floor of a commercial building, as the water may travel through the ceiling down to the lower floor.

4. Supply Line Breaks

A main water line supplies water to businesses, and typically runs under the street. Corrosion on the outside of the supply line or freezing temperatures increase the chances of a break.

Whether the water damage is from a broken pipe or another cause, the most important thing you can do as a commercial property owner in Baytown, TX is to immediately take action. As soon as possible, contact a reputable water restoration company to come to your business site, assess the damage and proceed as needed. Also contact your insurance agent, as the majority of commercial water repair claims are covered. Visit http://www.SERVPRObaytownchannelview.com/ for more information on commercial water damage. 

4 Water Heater Noises and Their Causes

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Your home’s water heater can be noisy, but some noises are a cause for concern while others are not. The knowledge of what causes noise problems and how worrisome they should be will help you distinguish any threats to your home in Baytown, TX.

1. Pop

A pop is often caused sediment from the water building up at the tank’s base. The debris forms a blanket that causes water to become trapped underneath and explode in a bubble as it heats up. The debris forms because water separates any impurities when heating up. This debris also leads to poor performance so should be treated.

A water heater will always build up impurities. As proper maintenance, it is advised to occasionally conduct a water heater flush. If a flush doesn’t fix the sound, the utility is in danger of rusting and leaking. Significant leaking often requires the assistance of a water damage restoration service.

2. Sizzle

A sizzle sound signifies water flow issues. The pressure relief valve should be checked for excessive pressure. If water is leaking from the valve, the heater should immediately be powered down before contacting a plumber.

3. Tick

Water pressure changes will cause a ticking noise. If the ticking is bothersome, first try removing the heat trap from where the supply line connects to the device. While it may reduce efficiency when removed, it’s often the source of ticking.

If it is not the heat trap, the pipes should be inspected for sound and offset with spacers if necessary. If all else fails, turning the water temperature down a notch will reduce the pressure and, with hope, the sound as well.

4. Hum

A hum is typical of any electric part. The heating elements vibrate and hum. While it is not dangerous, the noise can be treated by securing both heating elements at the top and bottom.

It’s important to be familiar with your water heater to protect it and your residence. Next time you hear a strange sound coming from it, you can know what it means. Visit http://www.SERVPRObaytownchannelview.com/ for more information on water damage