Recent Posts

What Is a Preferred Vendor?

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

A male and female office worker smiling, Servpro logo and the phrase ASK THEM. Ask your insurance agent to call SERVPRO.

With a big commercial disaster claim, there’s often a lot on the line. Everyone involved, from the property manager to the business owner to the commercial property insurance agent, has an interest in making sure that the restoration work is completed competently, on schedule, and at a fair price. In many cases, this is most easily accomplished by using the insurance company’s preferred vendors.

What Is a Preferred Vendor?

Insurance companies have extensive experience handling disaster-based claims and working with various disaster recovery companies. Over time, some restoration companies begin to stand out as consistently delivering quality work and reasonable estimates on time. Insurance providers often designate such restoration companies as “preferred” vendors.

How Does a Preferred Vendor Program Work?
Most commercial insurance companies have some sort of process for selecting vendors for preferred status. Typically, these vendors must meet exacting guidelines for quality and performance to be selected as preferred vendors. Insurance companies ordinarily monitor these vendors to ensure that they continue to consistently meet these standards and maintain compliance with all requirements. For an insurance agent, working with a preferred vendor usually means a shorter turnaround time for approving estimates, since the vendor’s billing practices have already been approved by the insurance provider.

How Does SERVPRO Ensure Compliance?
SERVPRO is not only one of America’s largest restoration companies, but also has some of the industry’s highest internal performance standards. Every franchise must comply with 21 different performance guidelines, covering such matters as:

  • minimum insurance requirements
  • employee background checks
  • bookkeeping and data reporting procedures
  • equipment training and maintenance

These extensive requirements help ensure that every franchise continues to live up to the company’s high standards for quality and professionalism.
In the aftermath of a disaster in Cloverleaf, TX, working with a respected and reliable preferred vendor typically makes things easier for the assigned insurance agent. The result is that restoration begins sooner, which is good news for the property owner as well.

5 Facts About Commercial Water Damage

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hallway of a building with standing water, commercial water damage. Commercial water damage in Channelview, TX.

Facts About Commercial Water Damage

Every building is in danger of water damage. Whether it comes from a broken pipe or roof leak, it can cause serious damage to your business. Here are a few facts business owners should know about commercial water damage.

1. Regular Maintenance Can Stop Damage
Regularly inspect your building for problems. This includes checking for a clogged gutter, roof damage, and broken pipe. You may even want to have a professional come out and examine your building yearly.

2. Leaking Roofs Cause Problems
A tiny leak in your roof can cause more damage than a broken pipe. Even buildings with new roofs can leak due to freezing temperatures, high winds, and hail.

3. There Are 3 Different Categories of Water Damage
There are 3 different categories of water, including clean, black, and grey water. What is necessary to clean the damage up and the safety precautions used is based on the water category. Therefore, it is a good idea to have water restoration professionals clean up the damage.

4. Insurance Doesn’t Cover All Damage
Most insurance companies cover unexpected water damage if it comes from within your building in Channelview, TX. Typically, they don't cover floodwaters that occur due to natural disasters. For this reason, you should read your insurance policy and make sure it offers the coverage you want.

5. Flood Insurance Policies Are Available
There are insurance policies available specifically for flood zones. If your business is in an area with a high risk of flooding, purchase a flood policy. You can have this coverage added to your standard policy, or you can purchase a separate one from a different insurance company.
Water damage can strike at any minute. Therefore, it is important to know a little about this and the water repair process. It is also important to know what your insurance covers and if you need an extra policy. This can help protect your business from water damage.

3 Common Effects of Water Damage on Ceiling Tiles

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

water damaged ceiling Water damage on ceiling tiles caused secondary damage

3 Common Effects of Water Damage on Ceiling Tiles

Water damage can have telltale effects on the appearance and condition of the tiles on a ceiling. Short of tile mold, visible signs of disintegration, distortion or staining may be evident. Find out more about three common effects leaks can have on commercial ceiling tiles at a building located in Baytown, TX.

1. Causing Stains To Appear On Tiles
As soon as water makes contact with expanded polystyrene, fiberglass, cork, or other ceiling materials, stains may start to become apparent. Tile discoloration may not be immediately discernible, but dried damage from water on various ceiling styles tends to turn the tiles brown over time. Signs of problems may become more visible in the following days, weeks and months if the owner or building manager fails to undertake water damage restoration.

2. Distorting the Texture of the Ceiling
Nearly any type of ceiling material becomes distorted in appearance after moderate to major damage involving water. Fast leaks from plumbing supply lines or a big breach in roofing materials may cause ceilings to sag or swell. A slow leak may not show signs of a distorted texture until tile mold starts to grow. Mold may be fuzzy, spongy, or slimy in appearance and tends to grow in patterns.

3. Undermining the Ceiling Materials
Porous ceiling materials will not be the same after saturation with water. Ceilings may start to crack, crumble or flake and leave behind residues on floors and surfaces. It is often necessary to replace absorbent ceiling materials such as polystyrene, cork, or fiberglass. It may be possible to clean mold off of plastic or metal commercial ceilings.
Commercial property owners or managers may notice a distorted texture or staining before ceiling tiles start disintegrating. It is important to act quickly to limit damage and risks of occupant exposure to tile mold. Schedule an inspection to determine the cause and degree of damage to a building in Baytown, TX.

How To Prevent Mold After Water Damage

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Structure of a home being dried after water damage Water damage restoration services in Liberty, TX

After experiencing water damage at your business in Liberty, TX, you should do everything you can to prevent mold growth. These tips will help you clean up standing water and prevent molding.

Steps

To prevent molding, you should perform the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Remove standing water
  • Dry the area
  • Disinfect surfaces


Without quick mitigation, mold will grow within 24-48 hours of a flood, so you have to act quickly.


Removing Water
You must first remove water from the building. How this is done depends on the amount of water present. If there is only a small amount, you may be able to clean it up with towels, a mop, or a wet-dry vac. If there is an excessive amount of water, you will likely need pumps or industrial vacuums. You should also make sure the liquids are not in contact with any electrical wiring or contaminated with any harmful bacteria. If there are excessive amounts of water, an electrocution risk is present or that water is contaminated, you should call a water damage restoration service to assist you.


Drying the Area
Opening doors and windows will help dry the area more quickly. Once the bulk of the water and any wet items have been removed, you can set up fans to aid in the drying process. Fully drying the area will prevent mold growth and further damage.


Disinfecting Surfaces
After surfaces are dry, they must be disinfected to kill bacteria and prevent the growth of mold. Any surface that the water touched should be thoroughly disinfected, including flooring, furniture and belongings.
Flooding can cause mold growth in addition to other types of water damage. To mitigate the development of mold, you should remove standing water, dry the area completely and thoroughly disinfect surfaces. If there are excessive amounts of water or risks of electrocution or contamination, you should contact a professional to help clean up and repair the damage.

Why Should You Worry About Water in Your Crawl Space?

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing To fix a wet crawl space, you need to prevent water from entering your home

Your crawl space includes that small spot below the first floor of your home. It is generally big enough for one person to crawl inside. However, it gives you the ability to see the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems for your home. It is also a cheap option for homes in Pasadena, TX. The main problem with these areas is that they are subject to a flood. If you have a wet crawl space, you should be concerned and remedy the problem.

What’s the Problem With Water in Your Crawl Space?

You may find water in your crawl space due to heavy rains, excessive groundwater, or plumbing leaks. A wet crawl space can raise the humidity in your home. This can cause several issues, including:

  • Higher electric bills
  • Wood rot in your floor joists
  • Mold


How Can You Fix It?
To fix a wet crawl space, you need to prevent water from entering your home. Check your home's foundation for cracks. These are the most common water source. Otherwise, it could be from a leaky pipe or condensation on water pipes that are uninsulated. Water leaks from pipes can also lead to wet insulation, which you will need to replace. If you still haven't found your water source, you should check for grading or drainage issues. Whatever your water source is, you should have it fixed immediately. If you don't, you will likely have extensive water damage and be forced to hire a professional remediation team.


How Can You Encapsulate Your Crawl Space?
The best way to protect your crawl space from groundwater or other sources is to encapsulate it with a plastic vapor barrier along the ground and walls. When doing this, be sure to leave the vents open to let any extra moisture out.
While it may seem like an extensive operation to prevent your crawl space from flooding, it is worth it to protect yourself and your home from the problems associated with higher moisture levels. Encapsulation and remediating any obvious water sources are the best ways to prevent water damage.

Secure Your Commercial Property After a Fire

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Windows and door of commercial building boarded Board up services in Galena Park, TX

Key Steps To Prevent Your Property From Further Fire Damage

When you are dealing with the aftermath of a devastating fire to your commercial property in Galena Park, TX, it's critical to take some key steps to prevent your property from further fire damage. You should also collect information to make the insurance adjuster's job a little easier.


Secure the Property
If your building has sustained extensive damage to the roof, windows, or exterior walls, you will need to work quickly to protect it from further damage. Your insurance company will want to see that you have done everything you could to mitigate the situation.

Protect the interior from rain and wind — Board up broken windows and put tarps over damaged roofing materials and other structures. This will protect the interior of the building from further damage caused by rain, snow and strong winds. Fire cleanup is difficult enough without adding the element of inclement weather.
Discourage vandals and onlookers — Buildings that have sustained fire damage can be tempting for curious onlookers who may be injured and attempt to sue. Damaged buildings are also an invitation to vandals. Looting will create further headaches when you file your insurance claim. Since your security equipment may have sustained damage during the fire, it's a good idea to install a security fence around the property.

Once you have secured the property, contact a fire cleanup service to assess the damage and help with the restoration process.


Organize Documentation
Your insurance company will need to see proof of the damage caused by the fire. Take pictures as soon as possible. Keep receipts of any expenses you incurred while securing the property. All of this documentation helps your insurance adjuster determine your total loss. It may also provide concrete evidence if litigation is initiated.
Fire damage is devastating to any business owner. You can make the process go smoother, however, if you follow some key steps as soon as possible after the event.

4 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial building flooded Commercial water damage

Four Common Causes Of Water Damage At Commercial Properties

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.

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 increases 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.

Mold Prevention Tips for Restaurants

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Mold growth is frequently found on rotten or improperly stored food

There Are A Few Key Practices That Help You Do This

A restaurant owner must wear many hats. Between managing the budget, staff, inventory and customers, kitchen maintenance may not always be in the forefront of your mind. It is important that you employ regular strategies for preventing mold growth throughout your restaurant in Highlands, TX, especially in the area where food is being prepared. 

Ventilation
Maintaining proper airflow is essential to preventing mold. Pay particular attention to any area where heat and moisture tend to be present:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Serving
  • Storage

Without good ventilation, high humidity in your restaurant's kitchen can easily lead to a mold problem in the air ducts, walls or ceilings, and this can affect both the air quality and the structural integrity of the whole building.

Sanitation
Mold growth is frequently found on rotten or improperly stored food. Keeping a clean kitchen with fresh supplies and ingredients helps you prevent this problem. Track your kitchen's inventory meticulously and throw out any food that has been sitting in the cooler or on the counter too long. Train your staff to clean up spills as soon as they happen so that the food particles left behind don't become a breeding ground for fungus.

Inspection
Despite your best prevention efforts, unmitigated water damage can still lead to a mold problem in your restaurant. Frequent inspection of all supply lines, pipes, cabinets and appliances is necessary to identify potential issues at their earliest stages. If you find damage in your kitchen, call mold remediation specialists as soon as possible.
Preventing mold growth in your restaurant requires a combination of watchful attention and sensible maintenance. As the business owner, you have the responsibility to make fungus prevention a priority. Getting rid of the mold that is there and enacting measures to keep it from growing ensures that your kitchen is a cleaner place to work.

3 Problems With Polybutylene Pipes

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. Polybutylene pipes are not recommended

Three Reasons To Replace Polybutylene Pipes

Polybutylene is a plastic resin used to make pipes from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s. This material was used in underground water mains and lines inside of commercial and residential structures constructed during this period. Here are three reasons to replace pipes made of PB at a commercial property in Lynchburg, TX.

1. PB Is Not Durable Plumbing Material
While PB initially seemed like an affordable and convenient material to use for residential and some commercial plumbing, the shortcomings of its chemical composition became apparent over the decades. The main reason why this pipe material fell out of favor for use in new plumbing, and particularly water supply lines, is that the material is known to become brittle over time. Disinfectants that are used to treat most municipal water sources cause this gradual degradation.

2. Polybutylene Pipes Are Not Recommended
Plumbers and commercial restoration specialists agree that property owners should select pipe materials other than PB for supply lines. The one exception to this rule is the use of newer High Density Polyethylene or HDPE for main drain lines and commercial sewer pipes.

3. Most PB Plumbing Is Old Enough To Replace
Most standard PB plumbing in builds that date back to the heyday of the material is more than ready to be replaced. Some plumbers suggest that pipes made of this material can start to wear down in just 10 years. Pipes of practically any material other than metal that have been in a building since the 1970s through 1990s are likely nearing the end of their lifespan.
Replacing polybutylene pipes with more durable plastics that are less likely to degrade or break can be a good investment in preventing water damage at a commercial property in Lynchburg, TX. Some of the most commonly used pipe materials today include Polyvinyl chloride, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride and Cross-Linked Polyethylene.

4 Ways To Achieve Candle Zen Without Candles

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

White Ceramic Wax Melt Try using a candle warmer

Here Are Four Alternatives To Candles

Wax candles may be a traditional favorite for creating ambience, but with their associated risk of fires, candle alternatives have become popular in Mcnair, TX. With so many options to suit a variety of tastes, it may be worth giving some of these low-risk replacements a try.

1. Candle Warmers
If you have a favorite scented candle that you cannot do without, try using a candle warmer. These warmers are designed to work with jar candles, heating them evenly to release their fragrance from the scented wax.

2. Flameless Candles
These battery-operated lights look just like candles but do not carry the risk of a candle fire since there are no flames. They are lightweight and portable, and they can be used repeatedly.

3. Room Sprays
For those that love filling a room with a favorite fragrance, room sprays are the perfect candle alternatives. They come in a variety of scents, and some candle retailers sell sprays that match the scents of their bestselling candles. One small spray will immediately refresh an entire room with a fragrance and can mask odors in the kitchen or bathroom. Room sprays provide temporary enjoyment, and the smell will dissipate within a couple hours.

4. Reed Diffusers
Another great option for anyone looking for a fragrant ambience, reed diffusers pull scented oils from a vase and release vapors of the scent evenly throughout the room. Unlike room sprays, diffusers are designed for longer lasting use, and will continue to diffuse the fragrance if there is oil in the vase.
All these options carry zero risk of an open flame and eliminate the danger of a candle fire. They are perfect for providing ambience without needing constant supervision while in use. Fires are extremely dangerous, and the smoke cleanup and damage very time consuming without the help of fire restoration professionals.
With a variety of safe candle alternatives on the market, it is easy to see why many people are making the switch. Maximize your enjoyment while minimizing your risk!