Recent Posts

What Is Secondary Water Damage?

3/15/2023 (Permalink)

rotting wood Secondary damages to water can leave your home in a mess.

Secondary water damage is very common. It can also be very costly. With secondary water damage, the initial flooding or leak has already occurred and the moisture has been present for an extended period of time. Secondary water damage occurs when there is a large amount of moisture left behind after the initial problem is taken care of.

What is Secondary Water Damage?

Secondary water damage is a form of structural decay that occurs when you don't immediately deal with the source of your primary water damage. It can be caused by any number of things, but it's most often the result of prolonged exposure to moisture.

Secondary water damage is preventable--it doesn't have to happen!

Mold Infestation

Mold grows everywhere, and it will grow on any surface. Mold spores are present in the air all around us, and when they come into contact with a damp or wet surface--like wood, drywall, or carpeting--they begin to grow. In as little as 48 hours after water damage occurs, mold can begin to appear on your walls and floors if you don't take action immediately!

If you have prolonged exposure to water damage from flooding or leaks from pipes bursting, then you may experience secondary damage in the form of a mold infestation.

Flooring Damage

Another common form of secondary water damage is flooring damage. This occurs when the flooring has been exposed to water for an extended period of time, which can cause it to buckle or warp. If you have a home with hardwood floors and you notice that they are buckling, warping, or cracking in any way, this could be a sign that there was some sort of leak somewhere in the home. It's important that you get any potential issues checked out as soon as possible so that they don't get worse over time--and potentially affect other areas of your house later on down the line!

Electrical Damage

Electrical damage is one of the most dangerous forms of secondary water damage. Electrical outlets, switches, and lights can be damaged by water that gets into them. This can cause fires or electrocution, which can lead to property damage and personal injury.

If you are dealing with electrical issues after a flood or other type of water damage has occurred in your home or business, it's important to contact an electrician right away so they can assess the situation and take the necessary steps toward fixing it.

Pipe Damage

Secondary water damage can occur to the pipes in your home as well. Prolonged water exposure can lead to extensive corrosion. When a pipe is corroded, it can cause leaks and eventually lead to further water damage.

Wood Rot

Wood rot is a type of secondary water damage that occurs when moisture from the ground or another source seeps into your home's foundation, walls, and floorboards. You may not know it at first, but over time this will cause wood to decay and break down. If left untreated it could lead to further structural damage in your home.

It's important to know the signs of secondary water damage. If you notice any of these signs in your home or business, contact a professional immediately. They will be able to help you identify the cause and get it repaired quickly so it doesn't cause further damage.

Office Fire Safety 101: Tips for Fire Prevention in the Workplace

2/16/2023 (Permalink)

fire extinguisher For more information on using a fire extinguisher, give SERVPRO a call for more details.

Office Fire Safety 101: Tips for Fire Prevention in the Workplace

Office fires are a serious problem. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 1.5 million reported fires in 2021 alone. This includes everything from small residential kitchen fires to massive fire disasters. Most commercial fires can be prevented with a little awareness and preparation. Here are some tips for preventing office fires:

Eliminate Office Fire Hazards

Make sure your office is a safe environment for your employees. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Don’t smoke in the office.
  • Ensure all machinery is working properly.
  • Ensure that power outlets aren’t overloaded.
  • Keep combustible objects far away from electrical equipment.

Prepare Ahead for Fire Emergencies with Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are the most important tool for fire safety. Install smoke detectors throughout your building, including common areas such as hallways and stairwells. Test them every month and replace them every 10 years and immediately if they are damaged or malfunctioning.

Create an Evacuation Plan

Having a fire evacuation plan is an important part of workplace safety. An evacuation plan should be easy for your employees to follow and understand, so it's important to make sure that everyone knows how to use the exits, as well as where the first aid equipment and fire extinguishers are located. Be sure to include step-by-step instructions on how to safely evacuate the building in case of an emergency. Use clear signage for each exit, including floor numbers and directions on which side of the hall is closer to each exit—this will help people find their way out more easily during stressful situations.

Be alert for the smell of gas.

Your first line of defense against a fire is to be alert for the smell of gas. A gas leak is dangerous and can cause serious injuries or even death, so be sure to report any smells immediately. If you suspect you’re in a location with a gas leak, get out as quickly as possible and call 911.

Knowing what to do in case of a fire can help save lives.

In the event of a fire, there are several steps you can take to ensure your safety and that of your co-workers. Knowing how to use the fire extinguisher, how to escape through an exit, and how to call for help are all important skills that you should know.

As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you take the time to make your office a fire-safe environment, you can reduce the risk of a fire starting and save lives in the event of one breaking out. It’s important to remember that any fire can be dangerous, so it’s best if you are prepared before anything happens.

What To Do Before and After a Tornado

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

White van driving through flooded street Do not drive on flooded roads

Before, During, and After the Tornado

In the event of a tornado, you need to take precautions in order to stay safe. Here's how to prepare for a potential tornado and what to do in the aftermath of one.

Tornado Preparation

If you know there's a high risk of tornadoes in your area, take the time to learn about how to prepare for one. Tornadoes can happen anywhere, so it's important to be prepared no matter where you live. Familiarize yourself with the types of storms that produce tornadoes and what their warning signs are so that if one does occur, you'll know how to respond.

You will want to pick out a small interior room with no windows on the lowest level of your home as your safe spot. If you have a basement, this is a great place to choose. Know how to get to this place quickly, and ensure you are able to grab pillows, blankets, shoes, couch cushions, mattresses, and anything else that might be beneficial for taking cover and protecting yourself and your family. 

During a Tornado 

When a tornado warning is issued, go immediately to the place you have chosen as safe, such as a basement or interior room on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows and doors, which can be blown in by violent winds.

Pay attention to local alerting systems: for current emergency information and instructions, including tornado warnings issued by National Weather Service meteorologists, who monitor conditions nationwide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (

Protect yourself: by wrapping your arms around your head or neck; or by having furniture or blankets placed around you to protect against flying debris; or by lying flat on the low-lying ground outside of any structure (e.g., “take cover”). 

Never attempt to escape a tornado in a car. If outside when a tornado touches down, move immediately toward shelter or an underground location. If these aren't available or aren't accessible quickly enough, find shelter under something that won't collapse on top of you such as a sturdy car or tabletop; if those aren't available either (and they often aren't), lie flat on low ground away from trees and cars; cover yourself with anything heavy like blankets or pillows (if they're handy). 

After a Tornado

After a tornado, there are many things that need to be done. Here are some helpful tips on how to stay safe after a tornado:

Stay away from debris and downed power lines. Do not touch them or anything that may have come into contact with them, such as fences or trees. This is extremely important because the electrical current in the wire can cause serious harm if you come in contact with it, even if it is not visibly damaged. 

If you need help getting out of your home due to injury or other issues, call 911 immediately so an ambulance can pick you up and take care of any injuries needed while being transported to the hospital.

Do not drive on flooded roads. Flooded roads can be very dangerous since they may be washed out under water levels that look like they're only inches deep but actually go much deeper than what meets your eye! You could end up losing control of your car easily when driving through water like this because it will reduce traction between tires and road surface (which happens when there's too much moisture).

While tornadoes are a scary, unpredictable phenomenon, there are ways to mitigate the risks and stay safe. By preparing yourself and your family, monitoring local weather conditions, and knowing what to do at home or in a building when one hits nearby, you can help ensure that your community is ready for whatever nature throws its way.

If you experience tornado damage in your Baytown, TX home or business, give SERVPRO of Baytown/ Channelview a call! We will be here to help! 

Important Steps To Take After Water Damage In Your Home or Business

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers (fans) placed in kitchen cabinets Water cleanup in Baytown, TX

Water Damage in Your Home or Business

When you have a water damage event in your home or business, it can be one of the most stressful situations imaginable. It's important to take action quickly to minimize secondary damage and potential mold growth. Below are some steps to follow after a water damage event:

Find the Source of the Problem and Fix It

Once you have found the source of your water damage and fixed it, make sure that the problem doesn't happen again. You can take some preventative measures to ensure your home or business is protected from water-related damage.

  • Install a backflow valve: If you have an appliance such as a washing machine or dishwasher installed in your basement, consider installing a backflow valve to protect it from flooding.
  • Check drainage systems: Make sure all drains are functioning properly and that gutters are draining away from buildings rather than towards them.

Document Everything

Documenting your water damage is one of the most important steps you can take after experiencing a flood or other type of disaster. This step will help you with insurance claims, as well as make it easier for contractors to do their jobs properly.

Here are some tips:

  • Take pictures of all affected areas (both before and after).
  • Make a list of damaged items so that you can replace them individually without having to replace everything at once. This will also make claiming insurance easier in case there’s no coverage.

Clean Damaged Items

To remove any dirt or debris, wipe all parts of the damaged item with a clean cloth. Then, use a mild detergent and warm water to clean all surfaces of the item. Do not use bleach or abrasive cleaning agents on materials that are absorbent, such as wood flooring or upholstery.

Dry items in a warm, dry area. If possible, allow your items to air-dry for several days before attempting to move them back into their original location so they do not get wet again when you move them back into place! If this is not an option for you (maybe because you live in an apartment building), then set up fans around your cleaned area so that it is fully dried thoroughly before bringing it back to your home/business once again!

Dry Out Wet Materials

After you have dried out the area, remove any remaining water using a wet/dry vac or shop vacuum. This will ensure that mold and mildew do not grow in your home.

It is important to clean up any soaked items as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth. To prevent mold and mildew from growing on wet materials, keep the humidity level of your home below 50% for at least three days after the flood or leak occurred.

Call the Professionals

You need to call in the professionals immediately after water damage has occurred in your home or business. You need to have a certified IICRC (Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certification) restoration company come out and assess the damage for you, as well as give you an idea of what it will take to make things right again. The sooner you act, the better chance you have at saving your property from further damage due to mold or other issues that can occur with prolonged exposure during this time period.

Contacting your insurance agent is another important step when dealing with water damage because it's likely that your insurance policy covers some form of protection against these types of situations happening due to natural disasters such as floods or other events outside our control - but not all policies do! If yours doesn't provide coverage then there's no harm done because they're free agents anyway; however if they do cover damages caused by floods then there's no reason why they shouldn't cover any other damages caused by them too (assuming there aren't any exclusions).

If you experience water damage in your Baytown, TX home, give SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview a call! 

How Can You Detect a Shower Leak?

11/9/2022 (Permalink)

Water leakage from a shower cubicle with damaged glass wall A shower pan inspection is something you should make time for.

How To Detect a Leaky Shower?

If you notice signs of water leakage at your home, you should look for them right away. The first place to check is your shower pan and walls. Your shower is a critical part of your plumbing system, so it’s important that any problems are addressed immediately. In this article, we’ll discuss how to detect a leaky shower and stop the dripping before it becomes an even bigger issue in your home.

What is a Shower Pan?

A shower pan is a waterproof floor that sits below the surface of your bathroom and allows water to drain into it. It’s usually made of fiberglass or plastic, and it typically sits directly on top of a concrete slab or base.

A leak in your shower pan may be difficult to detect because it will appear as if the water is coming from inside the walls instead of outside them. This problem can also be caused by other issues in addition to leaks, such as defective plumbing or an overflow drain with too much sludge buildup in its trap seal.

Signs of Water Leakage

There are a variety of signs that your shower may be leaking:

Dark spots on the ceiling. If you see these discolored areas in your bathroom and they seem to be growing in size, it could be a sign that water is seeping through the walls or ceiling. The dark spots can also indicate mold growth from moisture building up in the walls above them.

Water stains on walls and ceilings. These can indicate hidden leaks above or around your shower-head, especially if they're near where water pipes run into or near the wall. They're not necessarily an immediate problem; however, if left untreated for too long they could lead to serious damage over time (like mold) as well as structural issues like cracked drywall or roof leaks due to improper ventilation at that location within your home's structure!

Mold and mildew buildup under tiling material such as vinyl flooring or grout between tiles due to dampness inside these materials (i.e., caused by standing pools of water). This may also cause discoloration which often looks like rust stains along with build-up behind mirrors where condensation occurs during use—especially if there isn't adequate ventilation provided by fans installed throughout each room while bathing takes place!

Inspecting the Shower Pan

If you have a leak in your shower pan, it's important to check the entire shower pan. Inspect this area for stains and puddles as well as any cracks or holes that may be causing leaks. The walls can also hold water, so look at their position carefully when inspecting the shower pan. Check the drain for any leaks or clogs that could harbor mold growth; if possible, remove it and clean it thoroughly before reinstalling it. Also check the caulking around where your faucet meets the wall—a small crack here can cause significant damage to your home as well as mold growth over time. Finally, check all of your pipes under each side of your head.

If you have noticed signs of water leakage at your home, you should look for the source right away. This is especially important if you live in an area where it rains often or has a lot of humidity. Water damage from leaks can be from leaks in the shower pan itself, where the shower enclosure meets the wall; leaks above it in the ceiling; or even around windows and doors (especially if they’re made out of wood).

Make sure you take the time to inspect your shower pan. If there is a problem with it, then you should fix it right away. You can do this yourself or hire an expert to help. When taking action to repair the leak, make sure that they are properly licensed and insured so they can legally do this work on your home without any issues arising from their work being done improperly.

If you have a leak in your home and need someone to come and mitigate the water then restore your property, give SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview a call! We will have your Channelview, TX home back to normal as quickly as possible!

What Should I Look For In a Fire Restoration Company

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Green van Choose SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview to restore your Houston home or business after a fire!

Hiring the Right Fire Restoration Company

If you’ve had a fire, you need to hire the right company to restore your home. The wrong company can delay the process, or even make it worse. Here are some things to consider.

Look for Specialized Training

As you look at potential fire restoration companies, look for those that have specialized training in this field. For example, if you are looking to restore your home after a fire, ask your fire restoration company if they have been trained by an organization such as the American Society of Cleaning and Restoration Specialists (ASCR). This will give you peace of mind knowing that your home is being handled by professionals who know what they're doing.

There are various certifications available to help support the quality of a fire restoration company’s work—and to verify that the company has met certain standards or criteria before being able to offer its services. Certifications can include the Fire Damage Restoration Certification. This certification assures that a firm has experience with this particular type of damage and can do it well. It also verifies compliance with local regulations on business practices related specifically to maintaining professional competence within the industry.

Look for Experience

The best way to determine if a company has experience in dealing with smoke and soot damage is by checking its portfolio. If they have pictures of their work, you can use the images to compare them with your own home or business. If they don't have any images on hand, you can ask them for references or call local fire departments for recommendations.

Another good indication that a company knows what it’s doing is certification from organizations such as the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). This certification is based on standards set by industry professionals and will give you confidence that you're getting quality work from an accredited professional.

Check for Subcontractors

When choosing a fire restoration company, it's important to ask whether they use subcontractors or not. If you decide to hire a subcontractor, make sure they are insured and licensed. You should also ensure that they have their own team of qualified workers who can be held accountable for the quality of their work.

The benefit of using a subcontractor is that they may be able to provide low-cost service. However, this can come at an increased risk because there may not be as much oversight or accountability when dealing with a third-party company compared to working with an established fire restoration firm directly.

Fire damage restoration is a special field, and not just for the mess. Fire damage restoration companies are contracted to restore a property to its original condition. This means that they not only have to clean up the ashes and charred materials, but also repair any damaged areas of the property and make sure that it's safe for people to return home again.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what to look for in a fire restoration company. We know that it can be difficult to find the right company, but we are confident that your luck will change when you choose SERVPRO of Baytown/Channelview to restore your Houston home or business after a fire! Just remember to ask questions and do your research before making any decisions.

3 Tips for Maintaining Your Building's Exterior

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Man giving maintenance to landscaping Exterior maintenance is one of the key ways that you can prevent storm damage to your building

Prevent Storm Damage To Your Building

Storm season is approaching in Lynchburg,TX, so now is the time to think about maintaining the exterior of your office building. Your landscape and pick up litter but how often do you have your building inspected by a professional? If you can't remember the last time, it's important to do it now. Exterior maintenance is one of the key ways that you can prevent storm damage to your building.

1. Examine the Walls
Keep an eye out for some seemingly less obvious concerns. Say there's a drafty room inside. Where is the air coming from? There's sometimes a little leak in the basement after a hard rain. How is the water getting in? Ordering a building inspection to be done by a professional will go a long way in preventing small problems from becoming big ones.

2. Pay Attention to Problem Areas
You know that there are a few cracked spots in the bricks or that there are some small holes in the cladding. If you've been ignoring the problems you can see, imagine what's going on underneath. Keeping your building maintained isn't just for looks. Those problems that you can see might indicate other issues. By repairing the problems as they appear, you can keep your to-do list short and your costs low.

3. Take a Closer Look at Vulnerable Spots
Weather stripping, windows, and insulation degrade more quickly than other aspects of your building's exterior. Even if your windows were recently installed, keep a close eye on them to make sure that they seal and latch properly. Completing this exterior maintenance task can also keep your heating and cooling costs down.

When Restoration is Needed
Sometimes you discover larger issues, or storm damage causes new ones. A commercial restoration company can help you assess and repair the damage quickly and efficiently.
Regular exterior maintenance not only keeps your company looking good, but it can prevent small problems from becoming big ones.

3 Common Effects of Water Damage on Ceiling Tiles

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Wet ceiling tiles and black mold growth Water damage on ceiling tiles caused secondary damage

Water Damage To 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 Highlands,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.

Understanding and Preventing Bread Mold

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Bread with mold growth Mold on bread loaf

You've probably opened a loaf of bread only to be disappointed and alarmed to see it covered in fuzzy mold. Finding this fungus in the kitchen is normal, but understanding how fungus growth occurs in Cloverleaf,TX, is key to preventing it.

How Mold Occurs

There are mold spores floating through the air everywhere around you, looking for a place to land. Many of them land on inhospitable environments, but some land on a location with characteristics ideal for their growth:

  • Warmth
  • Moisture
  • Plenty of food

Bread mold occurs when these spores take up residence on your loaf of bread, which is full of moisture and food for the fungus, and is often kept in a nice, warm pantry. They spread very quickly, which is why you can find mold-covered bread just the day after it seemed perfectly fine.

How To Prevent It
While it's nearly impossible to totally prevent fungus growth on your food, you can do some things to slow it down before it overtakes it. Keeping items in the refrigerator will help slow mold because the spores don't thrive in cold environments. They can still grow though, which is why you find fridge mold as well. Double your efforts by keeping items in sealed containers both in your refrigerator and pantry, and cut down on the amount of time they're sitting in the open. This will help reduce the number of spores landing on your food. If you do find mold on your food, clean the area where it was sitting and check surrounding items, as the mold might have spread to them as well. Dispose of the moldy item in a sealed bag so that the spores don't spread further.
While bread mold is inevitable, you can slow its spread by taking precautions like sealing your food, keeping it covered as much as possible, and thoroughly cleaning the area where moldy food was stored to prevent it from spreading. If you start finding mold on your walls and in your cabinets, though, it might be time to call mold cleanup professionals, as this can be indicative of a larger problem.

Flameless Candle Alternatives

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Candle warmer lamp Candle warmers use the heat from lamps to heat jar candles

Benefits Of Using Candle Alternatives

Candles are a welcome sight and scent in many homes. Unfortunately, they pose a risk if left unattended or if accidentally knocked over. Consider the benefits of using candle alternatives in your home in Channelview, TX, when choosing your decorative accents.

1. They Can Be Left Unattended
Flameless candles can be used in areas of your home that you don't spend a lot of time in. If you'd like to keep your entryway or bathroom smelling fresh and inviting, battery-operated candles are a wonderful option. They can be left unattended for long periods of time without concern about catching anything on fire or causing damage. Fire damage can be time-consuming to correct. Fortunately, fire damage restoration specialists exist to help when needed.

2. Some Look Like Candles
If it's the look of a gentle flame that attracts you, many candle alternatives are designed to resemble traditional candles. Luminaries with flickering bases and plastic candles with flickering plastic wicks give the illusion of a burning candle without the risk of a candle fire. Batteries control a hidden light and the motion of the flicker. These faux candles are safe to turn on and forget. Several of them shut off automatically after a preset amount of time so as not to waste the battery.

3. They Smell Amazing
The incredible smell of candles can still be obtained without the risk of fire damage. There are candle warmers that use the heat from lamps to heat jar candles. The wax is heated, and the scent is released without needing to light a wick. Electric and battery-operated wax melters are an additional option to heat different scents of wax melts to release their fragrance without using flame.
A beautiful home accent can quickly become a hazard if something unexpectedly catches fire. Candle alternatives can brighten and elevate the sense of coziness in your home while lowering the risk of fire.