Recent Posts

Restoration Services in Baytown Tackle Fire and Water Damage in Tandem

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration Services in Baytown Tackle Fire and Water Damage in Tandem 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)

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

HFD Rules Strip Center Fire in Westchase Area an Accidental Fire

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage HFD Rules Strip Center Fire in Westchase Area an Accidental Fire Houston Fire Department HFD responds to a commercial fire June 2019

On June 26 a fire erupted in a shopping center located in the Westchase area of Houston.  Firefighters arrived to find smoke pouring from the middle of the strip center.  The fire department responded to the incident after hours and had to force entry into the commercial retail business. 

The fire was found in the middle of the shopping center at Chuy's Mexican Food restaurant.  Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire which was later found to be caused by fault electrical.

There were 25 people inside the restaurant at the time, all were evacuated safely.  After extinguishing the fire Houston Fire Department members did a sweep of the connecting stores but found no live fire, only smoke and soot damage.  

Crews from Station 2, 68, 78, 10, 69, 83, 75 and 24 all mobilized to the fire scene. 

SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview A Women Owned Business of Houston

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview A Women Owned Business of Houston SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview is a women owned minority small business in the State of Texas, Houston, Texas - Women owned restoration company

We are a locally owned and operated, women-owned business, with out headquarters located in Houston, Texas. We service the entire Houston area including The Woodlands, Conroe, Kingwood, Humble, Baytown, Channelview, Clear Lake, Town & Country and the Memorial area. Our office has been recognized for outstanding service in the restoration industry with numerous industry awards and certifications.

We are ranked one of the top tier offices in the United States with capabilities and equipment available to handle any size disaster - from everyday water losses and over flows in your home to large loss commercial and catastrophic weather incidents.

Beyond the Houston area we serve as the Extreme Response Team for catastrophic and large loss events in the Gulf States Region and serve as a mentor to aspiring large loss teams within the network of 1,700 independently owned and operated SERVPRO franchise offices across the United States.

We specialize in fire, water, mold and biohazard remediation and cleanup.

Fire losses can cause major distraction to your home of business. Beyond the actual fire damage many times the entire structure is effected by soot and smoke damage. You must also consider your personal and business belongings including furniture, fixtures and decor that can also be effected and damaged by soot.

Water losses can be caused by many sources including dish washer over flows, ac drop pan overflows, main line water breaks, hot water heater overflow and even large natural disasters including floods and roof leaks.

When water damages are not properly mitigated, cleaned and dried to IICRC standards the hidden and trapped moisture can cause mold to grow and spread though out the structure.

We always recommend having any water loss dried completely and remediated professionally, but if you find that you do have a mold issue contact us as we can help you to understand the remediation process and remove the mold from your home of business.

In addition SERVPRO also offers biohazard remediation and cleanup services which include the removal of bodily fluids, blood and sewage waste.

Our office is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, 365 days a year to handle your remediation needs. Contact us today and one of our knowledgeable and trained technician crews can be to your home or business right away to assist in your cleanup, mitigation and restoration needs.

Houston KPRC2's Severe Weather Team Creates Hurricane Survival Guide

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Houston KPRC2's Severe Weather Team Creates Hurricane Survival Guide KPRC 2 Hurricane and Flood Survival Guide for Houston Texas

Our friends at KPRC2's Sever Weather Team has created a Hurricane Survival Guide to help Houstonians get ready for whatever happens this Hurricane Season.  

The guide helps outline survival guides for adults and children and goes into detail on how meteorologists are better able to forecast a storm's path.

Click here to download the complete guide online for free.

The guide starts with a "Message from Frank" KPRC 2 Chief Meteorologist.  In his message he notes that the 2019 Hurricane Season is slotted to be an "average" season with an estimated 12 tropical storms that it is predicted that half (6) will become hurricanes and 2 will become "major hurricanes" which is considered to be a Cat 3 or greater storm event.  He urges Houstonians to follow these three easy to remember steps: 1. have a plan, 2. make a kit and 3. know your neighbor. 

This includes having an agreed upon location where your family can shelter during a storm.  

The guide also references some key weather terms to know including the differences between tropical disturbances, tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. 

Page 6 of the guide has a "Before Hurricane Season Begins" checklist which includes items you should purchase in advance and have on hand incase of severe weather, tips on creating your family emergency plan, important local/state/federal phone numbers and resource and also recommends downloading KPRC Channel 2 Frank's Forecast Weather App.

KPRC Channel 2 Frank's Forecast Weather App gives hourly forecasts, also allows you to see tomorrow's forecast and access the 10-day forecast.  The Dynamic Interactive Radar and Satellite images keep you informed before storms arrive.  You can also set personalized push notifications and alerts to be notified of new videos, breaking weather and other items of interest.

The guide also notes that now is the best time to review your insurance coverages to ensure that you have the proper coverage for your home and business.  In many policies there is building coverage and personal property coverage - some items in your home and even some damages caused by sever weather may not be covered.  Contact your insurance agent today to understand your coverage and ensure you have the proper coverage to cover you during an extreme weather event.

Here are a few items often not covered by building property and personal property policies:

  • damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner by performing water loss mitigation work by a licensed company like SERVPRO.

  • currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates.

  • Property and belongings outside of a building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, sea walls, hot tubs and swimming pools.

  • Living expenses such as temporary housing.

  • Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property.

  • Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts.

Over all the 16 page document contains useful and important information to prepare your home and family for any extreme weather in the Houston, Gulf Coast, area.

IICRC Standards For Determining Dry Times

7/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage IICRC Standards For Determining Dry Times IICRC certification training manual by trainer Mark Cornielius of Emergency Mitigation Technician Academ.

SERVPRO of The Woodlands/Conroe is a trusted community partner to the North Houston area specializing in water mitigation and the restoration of residential comes, commercial buildings and municipal facilities.  We established our business in 2004 and have been proudly serving the Lone Star State for over 14 years.

Education is an important part of core mission to provide safe and reliable service to the community.  As part of our commitment to being the best in the industry we host regular IICRC certification training programs at our facility.  IICRC is the national industry standard for the restoration industry.  The IICRC is comprised of community members, government agencies, scientists and restoration professionals like SERVPRO.

The IICRC standard for determining if water mitigation services are appropriate include:

  • Can it be dried?  Building materials are comprised of several materials including wood, organic material, concrete, stone, ceramic and other such materials.  Each material has it's own unique characteristics including how it absorbs and disperses moisture.  In many cases SERVPRO can dry building materials to get that back to preloss conditions, however sometimes materials cannot be dried.  Some materials that cannot be dried include weak, overly pours and manufactured materials.  These materials can include MDF, particle board and vapor barriers including vinyl.  It is our first priority to determine the materials effected in the loss and determine if they can in fact be properly dried.

  • Is it economical to dry it?  In some cases materials my be too far saturated or damaged by the loss.  Our second objective is to determine if it is cost effective to dry the material and restore it back to it's original condition, or is it more economical to replace the material all together.

  • Can the item be restored to preloss conditions?  In some case the material can be dried, and it is economical to do so, however it may be determined that even with the drying and restoration process the material will never be back to preloss conditions.  Although we have done a great job of understanding complex materials, like hardwood floors, and in most instances we can save hardwood floors from water damages - in other instances there is no way for us to prevent warping or cupping.  In these cases we cannot proceed with restoration and must give the recommendation that the material be remove and replaced completely. 

Hiring the right restoration company is key when you want to properly manage your water loss.  We always recommend asking if the firm you choose is IICRC certified and if their technicians are also certified.  

SERVPRO is committed to being IICRC certified and that is why we encourage and give the opportunity for all of our entry level employees to participate in the IICRC Water Restoration Technician certification training program.  It is also a corporate requirement that all Crew Chiefs be IICRC certified to ensure that all of our supervisors have the most up to date industry knowledge and proper training to provide our customers with outstanding service and great quality workmanship. 

How To Properly Determine Moisture Levels In Your Building

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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

6/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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 ServiceCenterPoint 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?

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 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.