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How Water Damage Can Complicate Fire Cleanup Efforts

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial How Water Damage Can Complicate Fire Cleanup Efforts Fire and water damage in a Northeast Dallas, TX building

A fire can destroy or damage numerous aspects of your Northeast Dallas, TX, business. Depending on the intensity of the blaze, completing a thorough fire cleanup may require numerous steps. In addition to addressing soot and smoke damage, you may also have to conduct an extensive water cleanup. Although potentially time-consuming, failure to accomplish this task may cause additional destruction, which may compromise restoration efforts.

Forms of Damage

Flames, smoke and intense heat can contribute to numerous forms of destruction:

  • Charred debris
  • Dry or oily soot residue
  • Lingering aroma necessitating a smoke cleanup

Water damage is often another issue that requires prompt attention.

Origins of Water Damage

To combat a blaze, the responding fire-fighting team may employ an abundance of water. Your building’s fire sprinkler system may also engage. As a result, the affected area, including essential equipment, may become saturated and require a comprehensive water cleanup.

Assessment and Restoration

To minimize the risk of secondary mold contamination, it’s essential to promptly remove every wet object from the site. Items not burned by the inferno may be salvaged. To help achieve this, saturated equipment and furniture should be dried as quickly as possible and evaluated by a trained professional.

Preventing Mold Contamination

Because mold thrives in moist environments, contamination may be a serious concern. To help minimize the risk of extensive growth, it’s essential to remove wet building materials that may harbor spores, such as carpeting, drywall and insulation. It’s also important to ensure the space is completely dry before finalizing repairs.

A Comprehensive Cleanup Strategy

Recovering from a blaze may be both time-consuming and challenging. Although it can be a vital fire suppression tool, water can also compound the situation by causing additional destruction. To fully restore your building and protect it from mold contamination, you may need to take a comprehensive approach that includes soot and smoke damage repairs as well as an efficient water cleanup.

Commercial Property Management: Signs of Sewer Line Issues

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

While a blocked sewer drain is relatively common in commercial properties, legitimate concerns over sewer line functionality may be few and far between. However, when major sewer line issues occur, it is essential to remedy the problems quickly to avoid potential backups and structural damage. Be aware of these four signs, which may indicate sewer line problems.

1. Odors

While drain or toilet overflow are frequent problems in commercial properties, you should pay attention to odors surrounding these problems. For instance, if after clearing a clog you smell sewer gas, you may want to call a plumber for an inspection, as strong sewer smells can be an indicator of issues further in the line.

2. Clogged Drains

A blocked sewer will not only cause unpleasant odors to occur in your building, but the blocked pipe can also cause frequent clogging of your drains and toilets. This problem may also cause sewer backups into your facility.

3. Indentations in Landscaping

Also, while you may not have any clogging issues, it is still possible that your sewer lines have failed. Pipe breaks may cause indentations in your landscaping, like divots in the lawn. If the break is severe enough, it is possible that sewage is leaking into the grounds of your property. Eventually, this can also lead to a sewage backup in your building.

4. Deformations in Landscaping

In addition to indentations in the lawn, you may notice perpetual puddling in certain areas. You may also see that areas of your parking lot have sunken or cracked along with sidewalks. Depending on how close the break is to your building, you may even notice cracks in the foundation. These issues often require the expertise of a disaster restoration specialist in the Vickery Meadows, TX, area to resolve, which depending on your insurance policy may be covered.

A blocked sewer line can wreak havoc on a business and may even lead to significant business interruption. You should be aware of the warning signs of such a problem so that you can resolve the issue as early as possible.

3 Reasons Not to Wait for an Adjuster to Visit Before Restoring Your Home

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Reasons Not to Wait for an Adjuster to Visit Before Restoring Your Home Home damaged by storm in Northeast Dallas,TX

3 Reasons Not to Wait for an Adjuster to Visit Before Restoring Your Home

After your home in Northeast Dallas, TX has sustained water damage due to a flood, flood insurance often requires an adjuster to come to your home to assess the damage that has been done. However, waiting to restore your home until after an adjuster to come to your home after a storm is often not necessary for several reasons.

1. Adjusters Are Busy

Once a natural disaster has occurred, insurance companies immediately begin to work with their customers to help them restore their homes. However, the demand for an adjuster to visit homes can mean you’ll be waiting to see an adjuster. Waiting to begin making major fixes to your home isn’t necessary, and you can document the damage that has been done by taking photographs and saving receipts.

2. You Won’t Lose Money Cleaning Up

Although you might be tempted to leave your home exactly as it is after it has sustained flood damage, you will not receive less compensation if you start the cleanup process quickly. It is likely that you will want or need certain items removed from your home before your flood insurance company sends an adjuster to visit your home, and this is okay. Documenting the cleanup process can help to ensure you are fairly compensated for your losses.

3. Your Home Could Become More Damaged

Minor issues in your home can quickly become major issues if they are not fixed in a timely manner. Structural damage, mold damage and more can occur if your home is not dried out and if standing water is not removed. In order to save yourself from having to spend more money, time and effort in restoring your home, it’s often wise to start the restoration process quickly.

Knowing that you do not have to wait for your flood insurance company to send an adjuster to your home before beginning the restoration process might help you save money and protect your home. As you start the restoration process, many people find it helpful to work with professionals in water damage cleanup and restoration.

3 Things To Watch With Partial-Loss Fires

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Things To Watch With Partial-Loss Fires Commercial electrical fire in Lochwood,TX

Partial Loss In a Fire, You Must Watch For 3 Potential Problems

To be successful in business, you must stay on top of the competition. You must also plan for potential catastrophes. Few things can destroy a business faster than a fire. As such, you must carry comprehensive property insurance to protect your business from fire loss. Not all commercial fires in Lochwood, TX, are a total loss, though. If your business has sustained partial loss in a fire, you must watch for three potential problems.

1. Insufficient Cleaning

While flames are usually destructive, they may not be your biggest nightmare. On the contrary, smoke damage may affect all parts of your business. Even worse, fire-containment measures can dirty or destroy parts of your building that flames never touched. Fortunately, a qualified fire restoration service can likely return your business to its pre-fire condition. When planning repairs after a partial-loss fire, be sure you work with a reputable firm to sufficiently clean the structure.

2. Unseen Damage

Fires have a way of damaging all parts of a building. That is, fire loss can be hidden deep within the walls, ductwork or foundation. When assessing damage, be sure to consider the following:

  • Smoke
  • Soot
  • Air quality
  • Mold

Fire remediators have the experience, skill and equipment to completely analyze your fire-restoration needs. Rather than assuming untouched parts of the building are free from damage, request a comprehensive analysis.

3. Business Interruption

If your business has sustained a partial loss, you may not have to completely stop making goods or providing services. Nonetheless, the cost of doing business during repairs may increase. With extra-expenses coverage, you don’t have to worry about footing the bill for higher production costs.

Odds are good that your business will never sustain damage during a fire. Even if it does, fire loss may not be total. By watching for three common problems associated with partial-loss fires, you increase your company’s chances of fully recovering.

Mold Remediation: Are You Covered?

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Remediation: Are You Covered? Mold remediation in Vickery Meadows,TX

Mold spores are everywhere, and under normal circumstances, they don't pose much of a threat to your building. If, however, spores find just the right combination of heat, oxygen, food and moisture, patches of mold may start to form in as little as 24 hours. Does your commercial insurance cover the damage?

Limitations and Exceptions

The insurance policy on your property in Vickery Meadows, TX, probably covers mold damage in most cases. Even if the policy has a fungus exclusion, there are typically exceptions to the exclusion that include specified causes of loss:

  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm
  • Hailstorm
  • Smoke
  • Fire
  • Lightning

It is unlikely that mold growth will result from any of these issues, but they are not the only circumstances that may be covered under your policy. Your commercial insurance may include Limited Fungus Coverage. This clause basically serves as mold insurance and covers testing, damage, cleanup and restoration. Your insurance carrier may cover up to $15,000 in mold damage under such a policy.

Responsibility and Timeliness

It's important to remember that fungus coverage may not apply if the mold growth is the result of your neglect. As soon as you detect a leak or excess moisture problem in your building, you have the responsibility to take care of it efficiently. Water damage specialists should be called in a timely manner. If the leak is extensive, they may not be able to fix it before mold sets in, but your quick action can lower your risk and minimize the damage, which increases the likelihood that your insurance company will be receptive to covering the cost.

Most commercial insurance packages include some kind of mold coverage. Your insurance agent can explain exactly how your policies protect you. As long as you can prove you did everything you could to avoid the mold problem, insurance will probably pay for the majority of the cleanup process.

What to Know About Frozen Pipes

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to Know About Frozen Pipes Cold temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and cause damage in your Urban Reserve,TX home

The cold temperatures of Urban Reserve, TX, can lead to a number of problems for homeowners. One of which may include frozen pipes. A hard freeze can even lead to broken pipes or water damage in your home. Here are some things you may want to know about what to expect when your pipes freeze.

What To Do When Pipes Freeze

If you have a frozen pipe in your home there are a few things you can do

  • Call a professional for help
  • Keep your pipes open so the water has a place to go when thawed
  • Apply gentle heat, like a hot towel or blow dryer, to the frozen area of the pipe

Why Pipes Freeze

During a hard freeze the temperature outdoors can drop so low that the cold can permeate the pipes. Any water inside will then expand. If there is not enough room inside the pipes, then the pressure can cause cracks which will lead to leaks when the water thaws. A water damage professional can help with repairs to your home if the leak causes damage.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Fortunately, there are a few prevention steps you can take to prevent the freezing of your pipes and subsequent water damage. These steps include draining the water from pipes that may freeze such as a sprinkler line, and disconnecting any hoses from your home. You may also want to close any indoor valves that supply water to outdoor lines. If the weather is especially cold you may want to let your faucets drip a little as moving water is less likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees.

When a hard freeze occurs, the water in your pipes can freeze and cause some damage to your home. A professional can help with any repairs and cleanup you may need. If you know that the temperature is likely to get to freezing point, you may be able to take some steps to protect your pipes.

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher As a homeowner in Wilshire Heights,TX you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

As a homeowner in Wilshire Heights, TX, you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a house fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.

1. Assess the Situation

First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best idea may be to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have right type for whatever material is burning.

2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire

Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:

  • Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
  • Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
  • Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
  • Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
  • Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils

These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.

3. Remember: "PASS"

The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step. The "P" tells you to pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation. The "A" tells you to aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom, where the combustion is taking place. The first "S" tells you to squeeze the handle to start the flow, and the second one reminds you to sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can safely prevent fire damage before it has a chance.

Does Your Business Need Flood Insurance?

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

A flood occurs when water covers at least two acres of land that is typically dry and affects at least two properties. Floods are caused by water from bodies or courses of water. Most standard commercial insurance policies do not include coverage for flood damage. Here are three factors to consider when determining whether your business needs flood insurance.

  1. The property is situated in an area with a high flood risk. If you own a commercial property in an area that is prone to flooding, it is a good idea to protect your investment with both commercial and flood policies. If you are unsure whether a property is located in a flood zone, refer to a flood map. Keep in mind that businesses on lower floors of buildings in these areas run the greatest risk of flooding.
  2. Your commercial insurance policy does not have flood endorsements or riders. Commercial policies tend to cover general damage that results from storms, but do not cover damage caused by flooding. Specialized flood policies, on the other hand, typically do not cover property outside the building itself, such as the grounds or septic system. You may want to consider a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer and add comprehensive commercial coverage that will protect your property from as many risks as possible.
  3. The mortgage on the property is from a federally-regulated or insured lender. The government requires owners of properties located in flood zones to purchase and maintain flood coverage. Contact an insurance agent that specializes in providing this type of insurance.

If one or more of these factors are true of your commercial property in Northeast Dallas, you should strongly consider obtaining flood insurance. If your property sustains flood damage or water damage more generally, contact a commercial damage restoration firm as soon as possible.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup Mold damage on walls and baseboards in a Northeast Dallas, TX home

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup

During the process of mold remediation it’s important to protect yourself, and your staff, with the proper safety gear and equipment. If you’re concerned about conducting the procedure yourself the local Northeast Dallas, TX, mold remediation specialist may be able to help. The recommendations for a safe cleanup remain the same for everyone involved.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

When cleaning up mold growth it’s important to wear protective clothing. A coverall suit is recommended in most cases, but long sleeves tucked into gloves, and long pants may work just as well. Protective gear is an important tool for keeping any cleaning agents and mold spores off of your skin. If wearing everyday clothing instead of a protective suit, it’s important to launder them in hot water immediately after use.

2. Change Before Entering an Uncontaminated Area

Another way to protect your business is to change out of your safety gear before entering an uncontaminated areas. This can help prevent the spread of mold spores into areas where mold growth has not yet occurred. The necessity of changing gear is why many professional use covers for their hair and shoes, as well as wear protective over-suits.

3. Wear a Mask and Goggles

The use of a respirator mask and protective goggles are also recommended. These can help prevent the inhalation of any cleaning fumes, and keep dust or debris common to cleanup out of your eyes. The mask and goggles should fit snugly without pinching.

Using the proper equipment when cleaning up mold can help protect everyone, including the cleanup crew and the employees who regularly work in the building. Proper gear can not only help prevent the spread of mold to uncontaminated areas, but allow for cleaning solutions to be used safely. If you’re unsure about the proper procedure, or don’t want to conduct the cleanup yourself, a professional may be able to help.

The Smoke Cleanup Process

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Few smells linger like the odor of smoke. Even if a fire in your home in Vickery Meadows, TX, only affects part of the structure, smoke damage can permeate the entire house. Fire remediation experts remove smoke and soot after they have secured the area and extracted anything damaged by the fire and the water used to put it out. They may use several techniques to do so.

Dry Cleaning

Regular washing may not get rid of the total smell left behind by smoke. Many of the items that need odor removal can be handled by dry cleaning:

  • Draperies
  • Clothes
  • Furniture covers
  • Linens

When you wash smoke-infused clothing in a washer, there is an extended period of time where the clothes are sitting in smoky water. The smell can also get trapped in the machine itself. Dry cleaners often have special oxidation processes for getting soot damage out of textiles.

Thermal Foggers

Many professionals use industrial foggers to rid homes of smoke damage after a fire. A fogger is helpful because it gets the smoke out of cracks and crevices in a similar way to the process it underwent during the fire. Chemicals are heated to produce fog that permeates porous surfaces, traps smoke particles and neutralizes them. Once the fogger has completed its job, the air is usually noticeably cleaner.

Ozone Treatments

Another smoke cleaning method is the use of ozone machines. These devices create a similar atmosphere to the outside air after a thunderstorm. By releasing ozone particles into the air, the area gets refreshed. Soon, the clean air replaces the sooty, stale air, making your home smell clean and normal again.

A fire in your home will likely cause extensive smoke damage not only to items within your home but to the structure itself. Professional technicians can clean the damaged area and employ various methods to get rid of the smoke odors.