Storm Damage Cleanup
While we typically consider storm season to be during the spring here in Texas, technically it is storm season all year round. Our high temperatures and tendency for drastic temperature changes overnight create the perfect environment for violent storms. Cleaning up after one of these storms can be frustrating and time consuming if you aren't sure where or how to start. SERVPRO is here to help whenever needed, but we have also compiled a list of tips that are useful for any home or business owner when it comes to storm cleanup:
- Consider safety hazards.
Examine outside doors and windows.
- Watch out for loose debris. Know how to shut off the electricity in affected areas. Educate your employees and family on how to do this safely and correctly.
Disinfect contaminated surfaces.
- Outside doors and windows are exposed to any and every storm. Ensure all door handles and knobs as well as window locks are still working properly. This can help prevent more water from entering and deter possible break ins.
Restore plumbing and water line.
- Remove all contaminated material when cleaning after a storm, particularly after a flood. Cleaning the contaminated areas helps to prevent the spread from infected areas to other surfaces.
- After storm damage, specifically flooding, water lines can be clogged or cause them to back flow. By ensuring they are clear, you can limit the chance of closures and odor issues.
For any and all of your cleanup needs after a water, mold, or fire damage call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000.
A/C Water Damages
With the temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees for the past week our air conditioners have been working over time in North Texas. If air conditioner units are not properly maintained then you may be at risk for a water damage, especially with the current temperatures. An air conditioning system can collect up to 10-20 gallons of water daily. If the system is not working properly, either due to a clog or a drain, the unit will produce too much water and potentially cause a water damage.
Units are not typically in easily accessed place, so a water damage may be occurring unbeknownst to the owner. This can result in costly mold damage that can affect an entire home. Follow these tips to help maintain your unit and prevent water damages in your home:
- Consider having a professional air conditioning repair service to clean the condensation line at least once a year or every six months if the AC system is used on a year-round basis.
- Make sure to change the air filter every month. By changing the air filter monthly, it gives you the opportunity to check whether there is excessive moisture collecting on the condensation line.
- It is important to regularly check to see that water is indeed flowing from the opening of the condensation line directly to the drain as it was designed to do, especially during periods of very high humidity.
If you experience a water damage at your home or business call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000.
Drying a Water Damage
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its former condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a few fans or two around the damaged area, this can actually lead to secondary damages like mold. Our SERVPRO professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any of these secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, we will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet material and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help "speed up Mother Nature?" A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed, drier.
The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to hep dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. We also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
It's not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO has developed DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.
The bottom line? SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened." Call us anytime at 214-522-3000!
Looking Out for Your Business
Protecting a business from a major fire or water damage is not something that is at the forefront of any commercial property owners mind, but knowing what to do should that situation ever arise is vital. Here is some information about the various categories of structure damages, and the safety precautions surrounding them, that every business owner should know:
- Fire classifications and extinguishers - A fire with a stable supply of fuel, oxygen, and heat can double in size within 60 seconds; therefore, quick action is key to preventing catastrophic damage. Fires, and their extinguishers, are categorized into 5 different classes based on fuel types. An ABC fire extinguisher is typically what most people stock within their homes and businesses as it is versatile – it can extinguish 3 out of the 5 fire groups; however, fires result from Class K type situations, which require their own specific extinguisher. Click on the link above to learn more.
- Mold myths and facts - Bleach does not kill mold, it can even make a mold problem worse. It is effective if the growth is on a hard, solid surface, such as tile or glass, but it will not work when the surface is porous. Unfortunately, many growths occur on these materials, like drywall and wood, in our homes. Bleach does not soak into porous materials, which means it can’t reach the growth spread out through the pores, it only kills the surface. The outer surface of the affected area will appear clean, as the bleach will have whitened any stains and scrubbed away the exterior mold, but the internal mold will be quick to grow back. Follow this link to learn more mold myths and facts.
- Signs of a water damage - While it may seem like water damages should be easy to spot, many times their signs are subtle and hard to find. Water damages, particularly when they go unnoticed for a long period of time, can cause extensive damage to the structure of homes and they encourage mold growth. Early intervention can save you time and money. These signs can include stains, peeling, and a bad odor. To learn more about the signs of water damage follow the link above.
If you experience any damage to your commercial property due to fire, water, or even mold call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000 to handle all of your restoration needs.
Real Quotes from Real SERVPRO Customers
Dealing with any kind of property damage is extremely stressful, especially when mold is involved. At SERVPRO of Park Cities we understand just how difficult every job we arrive at can be for our customers, so we strive to make the process as easy and stress free as possible. Our number one goal is to please our customers, no matter what the job is. Here are some quotes from real customers about the service they received from SERVPRO during their mold remediation:
"SERVPRO were professional, timely, and met all our expectations. I have been involved with 8 church projects for construction, repair, and cleanup. SERVPRO was the best."
"I found SERVPRO to be an excellent company when we discovered some recent water damage and needed some mold remediation. They were very thorough and efficient in their work, and they kept me informed of what they were doing and the progress of the project. Shannon was great to work with and I would strongly recommend him and his company."
If you suspect mold growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Park Cities anytime at 214-522-3000.
Dry Ice Blasting for Commercial Properties
Commercial Smoke and Odor Cleaning
One of the major issues after a large scale fire (or a small one for that matter) is cleaning the contents and structure after the loss. This is done in order to eliminate the smoke odor that lingers on everything the smoke touches. On a recent commercial job SERVPRO of Park Cities needed to clean a massive 55,000 sq ft facility after they experienced a fire. After considering all our available options; hand cleaning, sandblasting, and dry-ice blasting, we determined that dry-ice blasting would be the best decision given the requirements of this particular job.
What is Dry Ice Blasting (Cleaning)?
Dry ice blasting is known by several names: dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, CO2 blasting, dry ice dusting, and even environmentally sustainable cleaning. Dry ice blasting is an efficient and cost-effective way for industries to maximize production capability and quality. Dry ice blasting is similar to sand blasting, plastic bead blasting or soda blasting where media is accelerated in a pressurized air stream to impact a surface to be cleaned or prepared. But that's where the similarity ends.
Instead of using hard abrasive media to grind on a surface (and damage it), dry ice blasting uses soft dry ice, accelerated at supersonic speeds, and creates mini-explosions on the surface to lift the undesirable item off the underlying substrate. If you want to read all the technical details, see the How CO2 Blasting Works page.
Why Dry Ice Blasting?
is a non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive cleaning method
is environmentally responsible and contains no secondary contaminants such as solvents or grit media
allows most items to be cleaned in place without time-consuming disassembly
can be used without damaging active electrical or mechanical parts or creating fire hazards
can be as gentle as dusting smoke damage from books or as aggressive as removing weld slag from tooling
can be used for many general cleaning applications
Dry ice blasting uses compressed air to accelerate frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) "dry ice" pellets to a high velocity. A compressed air supply of 80 PSI/50 CFM can be used in this process. Dry ice pellets can be made on-site or supplied. Pellets are made from food grade carbon dioxide that has been specifically approved by the FDA, EPA, and USDA.
Carbon dioxide is a non-poisonous, liquefied gas, which is both inexpensive and easily stored at work sites.
We are very experienced at using this and other types of processes in order to mitigate any malodors from any type of commercial loss. If you or your company have experienced any type of issue, give SERVPRO of Park Cities a call at 214-522-3000
Preventing Mold - Controlling Humidity, Temperature, and Ventilation
The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.
Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:
- Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners should be used.
- Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister.
- Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area is ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.
Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.
In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned, or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that you call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-733-3193, so that we may assist you in preventing growth after a water damage, or remove the mold if it is already an issue.
Emergency Supply Kit
Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. In North Texas we are particularly prone to experiencing severe weather throughout every season.
Approximately 98% of all disasters declared emergent by the president are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Preparing an emergency supply kit can help keep you and your family safe if you're ever caught in an severe storm situation.
Build an Emergency Supply Kit
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
Contact SERVPRO of Park Cities for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.
Kitchen Fire Safety
Firefighter working to put out a house fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Follow these tips to create a safer cooking environment:
- Be alert! If you are tired or have consumed alcohol don’t use the oven or stove.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from the stovetop.
- Keep an easily accessible fire extinguisher somewhere in your kitchen.
If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave a pan covered until it is completely cooled. Never add water to a grease fire!
If you have experienced a kitchen fire call the professionals at SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000.
Speed Up Your Restoration Process
For a property owner, a fire or water damage can be disastrous. It not only results in property and inventory loss, but oftentimes it also means a temporary loss of business. When you're depending on that business for your own livelihood or your employees then you don't have months to spare during a long drawn out restoration process.
In the aftermath of a disaster, quick response time can help minimize property damage as well as inventory or content loss. Here are some tips to help you be prepared for both a disaster and a quick turn around in the restoration process.
1) Download the SERVPRO READY Plan App.
The SERVPRO Ready Plan mobile application provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in SERVPRO professionals when disaster strikes. The Ready Plan app is a free emergency preparedness tool offered by SERVPRO and it can be downloaded on any smartphone.
For more information on the SERVPRO READY Plan mobile app and how it can help you be more prepared, contact SERVPRO of Park Cities Professionals at 214-522-3000. Don't wait for a disaster to happen to download this app, do it today!
2) Call SERVPRO of Park Cities
Our professionals are highly trained and are prepared for any situation. They will be on scene within hours to assess and begin working to get your business back to normal. The sooner a SERVPRO professional is on the scene, the sooner your restoration process can begin.
3) Call your insurance agent and start documenting damage and inventory.
Without risking your safety, try and document any areas or items that may have been affected in the disaster. This will help both the SERVPRO professionals - so they know what to target - and your insurance agent - so they can start preparing the claim.
With help from SERVPRO of Park Cities your business can be back up and running quickly. If you experience a water or fire damage, mold, or any other kind of disaster call us anytime on our 24-hour emergency phone line 214-522-3000.