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What to do After a Flood

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Three air movers (fans) two waste bins Water clean up after a storm in Hamilton Park, TX

Post- Flood Clean Up

After a flood, your home can be damaged in several ways. You may find that the water has seeped into your walls and floors or even caused mold to grow. There are things you can do on your own and those that need to be handled by professionals. Below we’ll cover what is involved with post-flood clean up, as well as tips on getting started on the right track:

Call Restoration Professionals To Extract Standing Water

After a flood, standing water can quickly cause extensive damage to your home. You may need to extract the water before it has a chance to cause more problems. Your restoration company will be able to help with this process.

Water can lead to mold growth, which is expensive to eradicate. Getting the water out of your home as soon as possible is essential for minimizing future damage from poor air quality and any potential illnesses that may arise from prolonged exposure of water-damaged materials in your home.

Stay away from electronics

  • Do not use electronics until they have been inspected by a professional.
  • Do not use electronics until they have been dried out in a safe, dry environment (like a bag of rice).
  • Do not use electronics until you are sure that they are safe and/or how to use them again.

Don’t attempt to fix yourself

You may be tempted to try to fix things yourself. Don't. Do not turn on the power, and do not attempt to repair any damaged appliances or furniture yourself. The electrical system could have been damaged by flood waters, so it's best to leave it untouched until you can get an electrician out there. Similarly, water damage can cause mold and mildew problems that are best left up to professionals—even if they're only minor issues at first glance.

Return home when it’s safe

After a flood, it can be difficult to know when it is safe to return home. You might feel like you're taking a risk by returning too soon and end up with more damage than if you'd waited longer. However, after being evacuated for several days or even weeks, there's a good chance that your home needs your personal touch now more than ever—especially if you've been away from your pets or plants for long periods of time.

For us to advise on when it is safe for you to return home after a flood, we need some information first:

  • Where did the flooding occur? 
  • Was it in an area where there were severe weather warnings? 
  • If so, this could mean that the torrential rains caused erosion along rivers and streams nearby, thus making the ground unstable enough so as not to withstand heavy traffic (i.e., cars). 

If you experience a flood, there is no need to panic. You can follow these tips to get your Hamilton Park, TX home back to normal as quickly as possible. It’s important that you act quickly and call professionals if needed. 

What Leads to Flooding in Basements?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Standing water in the corner of a wall. Foundation cracks can allow water to seep into your basement.

What Causes Basement Flooding?

There are many reasons why your basement may be flooded. The good news is that most of these issues can be prevented by checking and maintaining the areas around your home. The following are some of the most common causes for flooding in basements.

1. Plumbing leaks

A plumbing leak could result from any of the following:

  • A cracked pipe
  • Leaking faucet or fixture
  • Broken valve

2. Foundation cracks

Foundation cracks can allow water to seep into your basement. To check for foundation cracks, look at the floor joists that support your home's walls. If you see any cracked or bowed areas, these may be signs of a problem.

To fix this issue, call in a professional who will use either wood or dry-set concrete blocks to restore the support system underneath your home. This will prevent further damage from occurring and keep any water from seeping into your basement in the future.

3. Sewage backups

Sewage backups are a common problem in basements. When your home's pipes and drains become clogged, sewage can back up into the basement, causing serious damage to your property. Sewage backups occur when water remains stagnant in a drain or sewer line for too long. This happens most often when leaves and other debris block the pipe, preventing waste from being properly disposed of. If you notice any of these signs—a strange smell coming from your drainage system, standing water in the bottom of your sink or toilet bowl—it may be time to check for leaks or clogs before it becomes an emergency:

Once it's safe to enter the area where backup occurred (always wear protective gear such as rubber gloves when handling wastewater), place clean towels around affected areas to absorb excess moisture before attempting any cleanup efforts by hand with paper towels or rags that can later be thrown away immediately outside (never through drains). Be sure not touch anything unless wearing protective clothing as well as washing hands thoroughly after contact with any potentially harmful substances like mold spores.

4. Clogged gutters

Gutter systems are an important part of the foundation, and they can be a great first line of defense against water damage. However, if you don't keep your gutters clean, clogging will occur. This is more likely to happen if there are leaves or other debris in the gutter system that prevent water from flowing freely through it. When this happens, water may back up and seep into your basement.

5. Flooded yard

Sump pumps are an important part of flood prevention. They help get rid of excess water in the yard, preventing it from entering your basement through cracks in the foundation. Sump pumps can be installed in a pit or sump basin, which is essentially just a hole dug into the ground with a pump on top of it. The pump should have its own dedicated power source and be connected to PVC piping that leads to an overflow drain outside of your house.

There are some things you can do to prevent basement flooding. Make sure that you check your plumbing regularly for leaks and try not to overload your drains with too much water. If there is ever a sewage backup, call a professional immediately before the problem gets worse. You should also have your yard inspected regularly by a professional landscaper who will help identify any potential problems before they become serious enough that they cause flooding in your Northeast Dallas, TX home.

Why Shouldn’t You Clean Puffback Soot Yourself?

10/11/2022 (Permalink)

Cobwebs on a ceiling damaged by smoke Don't try to clean puffback soot yourself.

Why Shouldn't You Clean Your Own Puffback Soot?

A furnace puffback is a term that refers to smoke coming out of your furnace.  This can be caused by a number of things, but it’s important to know the right steps to take in order to restore your property back to normal. A professional restoration company will have the tools and skillset needed in order clean up this mess and prevent further damage from occurring.

The problem with a furnace puffback can be very messy and confusing.

A furnace puffback occurs when there is a build-up of soot in the exhaust flue and ducts. The problem with a furnace puffback can be very messy and confusing. If you want to avoid cleaning your furnace yourself, here are some reasons why:

  • You risk getting burned from hot metal surfaces.
  • You may not have the right tools needed to clean out your ductwork properly.
  • You may not be able to access all areas that need cleaning because it's located in tight spaces or behind walls.

Steps to restore your property back to normal

If this happens, it’s important to know the right steps to take in order to restore your property back to normal.

  • Call a professional restoration company. If you are unsure of what type of service you need, ask your insurance agent or contact us at (214) 343-3973.
  • We will be happy to help figure out what type of cleaning is needed and provide an estimate on how much it will cost.
  • Turn off the fuel supply. It’s very important not to turn on any electricity if you have suffered a fire because there could still be live wires that could cause an electrical shock or worse electrocution if touched during cleanup efforts.
  • Clean up any soot from walls, floors, and furniture with water only (no detergents). We also recommend wiping down all surfaces with either warm water or rubbing alcohol after vacuuming up as much soot as possible using a shop vac at low-speed setting (high speed may scatter more dust).
  • Remove damaged items from rooms if safe for removal, otherwise cover them with plastic while they are cleaned by professionals later in process.

If you have an oil furnace puffback, turn off the fuel supply as well. This will allow a professional to clean up the mess and restore your property.

Next, call a professional restoration company.

If you have a puffback soot problem, you shouldn't attempt to clean it yourself.

  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner or shop vac. These will spread the soot and make the situation worse.
  • Do not use water or cleaning solutions of any kind, even if they are labeled "odorless." They may not be as strong as other cleaners but can still leave behind residue that will cause future problems for your home.
  • Likewise, don't use a blow dryer or fire extinguisher to try to get rid of puffback soot on your walls and ceilings—these items can damage what they're used on!

If you have any questions about your puffback situation, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help!

3 Roof Repair Troubleshooting Tips

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on the roof Roof damaged by wind

Three Types of Roof Damage You Could Be Dealing With

Whether you live on a beach with hurricanes or on a mountain with heavy winter snowstorms, your home can be at risk of sustaining wind damage. Because the roof is one of the most common places for it to happen, it is helpful to know how to quickly respond to problems there. Sometimes, you will need to call a storm damage remediation expert for help, but other times, you can fix things yourself. Here are three tips for recognizing the type of roof damage you are dealing with:

1. Check the Flashing
It is common for high winds to damage roof flashing in Wilshire Heights, TX. This is the material that protects the seams of roof fixtures such as your chimney. While you are checking the flashing, do not forget about the surrounding sealant. If it is old or cracked, you will need to replace it. Fortunately, this is an inexpensive kind of roof repair.

2. Look for Damaged Parts
A roof has several parts including vent boots, shingles and slits. Take time to carefully examine all of them. Damaged vent boots can lead to leaks, and it is easy for shingles to break and for slits to corrode. If any of this kind of roof damage occurs, you will need to buy replacement materials. This sort of roof repair can be more costly than flashing or sealant fixes, but it probably still will not break the bank.

3. Check for Holes
A puncture is one of the most expensive types of roof repairs you will encounter. If you notice a hole in your roof, moving quickly can save you money by reducing the amount of additional damage that may occur. Holes are not the kind of repair you want to make yourself though. Even if it can be costly, is better to leave this job to professionals.
If high winds damage your roof, it can be helpful to know what kind of roof repair you will need to make. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to solve the problem yourself, or you made need professional assistance. Either way, acting quickly can reduce problems.

How To Know Whether You Have a Shower Leak

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Water leakage from a shower cubicle with damaged glass wall Shower leak

How to Determine If Your Shower Is Leaking

A bathtub leak can quickly damage the floors and walls of your Vickery Meadows, TX, home. You thus need to regularly inspect your shower and bathtub for signs of damage. Otherwise, your house may sustain extensive flooding that necessitates water damage remediation experts.
Shower pans are particularly problematic. A shower pan leak can manifest itself in many ways. Damage to any of the below areas may be evidence of this type of leak:

  • Above living rooms
  • Above slabs
  • Over the crawlspace

Understanding Shower Pans
The shower pan is a liner between the sub-floor and the tile. It is typically made of plastic. Poorly installed shower pans may leak right away. Pans that are at least 30 years old may cause problems, as well.

Identifying Shower Leaks
A shower or bathtub leak often appears in the drain area first. This should thus be the first place you check during your inspection.
Next, look at the crawlspace. If you notice soggy wood or dripping white stalactites, you may have a leak in the shower pan.
You should also inspect any nearby wood trims or baseboards for possible water stains. Closets backed up to the shower must be checked, as well.
As you inspect the closet, remove any items stored against the wall alongside the shower. Wet carpeting inside the closet is another potential warning sign. Finally, if the shower is on an upper floor, look for water stains on the ceiling below the bathroom.
While the pan is the most difficult part of the shower to replace, it is not the only potential source of leaks. Be sure to check all the components regularly for any signs of excess water.
Of course, identifying a shower or bathtub leak is just part of the process. Once you determine that the leak exists, have a plumber fix the problem right away. Paying for this minor plumbing expense now will save you money on extensive restoration in the long run.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Commercial Building

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe system with the Phrase Move Quickly Fix leaks right away

Prevent Fungus From Growing Or Returning

Mold is a fungus that grows easily in moist environments. It can spread quickly via spores that travel through the air or on shoes and clothing. Black mold is one variety that you may find in your Urban Reserve, TX, building. The following are some ways that you can prevent the fungus from growing or returning if it has previously been removed.

1. Fix Leaks Right Away
Even small leaks can create the environment needed for black mold to grow. Whether it is from a pipe, plumbing fixture, or appliance, any leak should be repaired as soon as possible. Do not put it off just because it seems less urgent, particularly if you have had trouble with mold in the past.

2. Prepare For Storms
Water damage from a storm can create many problems, including mold growth. One way to limit this is to prepare for severe weather ahead of time. Keep your building maintained to reduce the amount of water that makes its way inside. A cleanup and restoration company can help remove storm damage before a large black mold infestation forms.

3. Manage Moisture in the Environment
Along with water damage, mold growth can also occur as a result of a moisture problem. In some cases, this can be because of humid weather. Other times, steam from a kitchen or bathroom can create an issue. One way to keep moisture in the building at a lower level is to use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. If possible, you may also want to keep some windows open or use exhaust fans to keep moisture at bay.
Mold cleanup and removal is often more difficult than mold prevention. Taking steps to keep mold from forming in your building will reduce the chances that you will have to deal with this pesky fungus. Proper maintenance is even more important if you have had trouble with mold in the past, as it is more likely to return in areas with previous growth.

Tips on Preparing a Small Business for a Winter Storm

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Create a business continuity plan

If you own a business in a northern state, you need to prepare for the inevitable snow storm. Closing the business means lost revenues so you want to keep it running if possible, but you also want to ensure that your employees stay safe. It is important to have a plan in place so that when bad weather arrives you and your workers are prepared.

Winterize Your Building in Advance

Before winter arrives, prepare your building for the cold weather.

  • Drain the water from the underground sprinkling system.
  • Inspect the roof of the building for any damage and repair any issues.
  • Remove dirt and debris from rain gutters and roof drains.
  • Trim all trees around the building so that branches can’t fall on the building if they become loaded with ice or snow.
  • Seal any gaps on the exterior of the building.
  • Plan ahead for snow removal services for the parking lot and make sure you have plenty of ice melt or sand on hand to keep walkways free of ice.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

Identify any potential risks to your business, including those risks pertaining to a snow storm. Such issues as a pipe burst due to frozen pipes or loss of heat and electricity must be identified.
Evaluate the costs involved with each risk, such as business interruptions or damage to the property.
Evaluate the ways in which your team will be able to mitigate each risk. Investing in a generator, for example, can protect the business from costly repairs.

Develop a Communication Plan

If you need to shut down operations, you must have a plan for contacting employees, vendors, and contractors. Keep a current listing of phone numbers and email addresses and devise an alert system for notification. Make sure you train your employees on all emergency procedures.
Snow storms can’t be avoided if you live in Vickery Meadows, TX, but being prepared will help to protect your employees and your business.

How to Clean a Moldy Shower

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bathroom tiles Shower mold in Oak Highlands, TX.

Mold growth is extremely common in residential bathrooms. The wet, warm, humid environment that your bathroom can create is an ideal breeding ground for mold. Shower mold is especially common since this is where most of the excessive moisture is left behind. If your bathroom in Oak Highlands, TX, is experiencing an unwanted mold problem, use the following technique.

Getting Rid of Shower Mold

There are several mold cleaning techniques that have proven to be quite effective. Here's how to perform one of the most useful methods:

Create a non-toxic, homemade cleaning solution using equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle.
Generously mist down the moldy areas using the cleaning mixture. You should strive to create an even layer without over-saturating the tiles. If puddles are forming in the shower basin, you're using too much solution. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off the solution. The mold should easily come off with it. You may need to use multiple cleaning rags, depending on how large the affected area is.
Use a scrub brush or kitchen sponge to attack any stubborn mold patches that were left behind. You can use a toothbrush to scrub mold that grows in the shower caulking and grout.
Completely dry the area with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure you get rid of all the excess moisture.

Preventing Bathroom Mold
Keeping your bathroom as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent black mold from appearing. Next time you take a shower, open a window or crack the bathroom door open to prevent condensation from building up. After every shower, you need to wipe down the tiles, basin, grout, caulking, and tub edge. Mop up any leftover puddles on the floor as well.
Shower mold might be common, but it's still quite easy to get rid of using the above technique. If this method doesn't work for you, or your mold situation is spreading out of your control, you need to contact mold remediation experts immediately.

Addressing Toilet Leaks

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Plumber with a toilet plunger. The worker A leaking toilet does not have to ruin your day or consume your weekend.

Taking Care of Toilet Leaks

Home maintenance in Wilshire Heights, TX is like home maintenance anywhere: a fact of life. A bathroom leak is not an unusual occurrence for homeowners, but addressing it quickly is important to prevent inconvenient and expensive water damage. Whether you are a DIY warrior or a person who prefers to call in the pros, knowing the cause of a leaking toilet can lead to a swift resolution.

The Usual Suspects

Toilets in the average home are not mechanically complex, and this is good news because it makes their repairs fairly predictable. Leaks are often noticed after a flush; if a puddle collects at the base, it could mean that:

  • the wax seal has failed or the closet bolts need tightening.
  • faulty supply tubes or shut-off valves need replacing.
  • the bowl could be cracked or prone to sweating.

The Appropriate Responses

Resolving a leaking toilet can range from a simple adjustment to a complete replacement or anything in between. Once you have identified the problem, the solution is likely to be one of the following:

• If tightening the closet bolts doesn’t resolve the problem, removing the toilet and replacing the wax ring could be necessary. The problem could also be a broken flange, which will become apparent when the old wax ring is removed. A broken flange will require replacement.
• If the supply tube has failed, it is wise to replace it with a flexible, stainless and mesh model. If the shut-off valve has failed, consider replacing it with a new quarter-turn ball valve.
• If the bowl is cracked, replacement will be necessary. If the tank or bowl sweats, installing a mixing valve is a solution many plumbers recommend.

A leaking toilet does not have to ruin your day or consume your weekend. Tackling it yourself or making an informed call to a professional can make fast work of the needed repair.

3 Things To Know About Fire and Your Electronics

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

Electronics with smoke damage How does smoke damage electronics?

Three Things To Keep In Mind When It Comes To Fire And Your Electronics

After a fire at your Oak Tree Village, TX, home, much of the damage will be obvious to the naked eye. Smoke damage can discolor walls and leave telltale odors in fabrics. Fire can singe cabinets and destroy drywall. What about your electronics, though? Should they be part of the fire cleanup? Read on to learn more about fire damage and your electronics.

1. Gear That Looks Fine On the Outside May Still Need Fire Cleanup
Sometimes, electronics wear their fire damage front and center. Other times, a gaming console or personal computer that looks A-OK on the outside contains interior damage. When you contact your local fire damage restoration company, ask them about the electronics cleaning services they provide.

2. Virtually No Electronics Are Smokeproof
Most of the electronics in your home are made mainly of plastic and metal. The high heat given off by a household fire can melt both, but that's just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg when it comes to fire's effects on your electronics. Here's what else can happen:

Electronics melt and become inoperable.
Interior components melt, but you can't see it, and they continue giving off toxic fumes.
Failing electronics short circuit and cause a fire.
Soot and smoke residue traps heat like insulation and causes electronics to overheat and fail.
Soot corrodes the unit from the inside out, abbreviating its life or causing it to short circuit.

3. You Shouldn't Turn Your Tech Back On Right Away
Until you determine the extent of the damage after a fire at your Oak Tree Village, TX, home, resist the urge to fire up your electronics (no pun intended). Some of the damage outlined above can happen instantly and develop into an even more significant problem.
Even the most modern, high-tech gear is vulnerable to good old-fashioned smoke. Including your electronics in the fire cleanup effort can help prevent costly repairs, or even replacement, in the not-so-distant future.