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Cleaning Up After a Flood

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

A rolled carpet and someone extracting water from the floor Rug damaged by water

After a flood happens in Vickery Meadows, TX, homeowners may be faced with property losses and damage. Unlike a pipe leak, which is relatively clean water, the cleaning requirements for floodwaters are different. Along with potential black water in the mix, there can also be debris and loosened materials to watch for.

Assessing the Damage

Anything the flood waters touch will need to be addressed. If the flooding is overwhelming, a flood clean professional help you address the problem and provide services to get your home looking “Like it never even happened.” During an initial inspection, in addition to checking flooring and walls, check the following for any contact with the waters:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Kitchen utensils, plates, cups, etc.
  • Appliances
  • Mattresses
  • Toys

While some of these may be able to be cleaned, such as appliances and furniture, some of them should be thrown away. Things like mattresses and stuffed animals can be difficult to completely clean. If a rug has been saturated more than 24 hours, it may need to be tossed. Any clothes, rugs and furniture should immediately be removed and set out to dry before cleaning.

A Thorough Clean

One of the main cleaning requirements for flood waters is a good flood disinfectant. It will not only eliminate bacteria, stains and odors but also help reduce the potential for mold to grow. Once any wet items have been dried, usually for at least 48 hours, the cleaning process can start. Be sure to clean anything that has been in contact with water and remember to take safety precautions during the process, such as:

  • Wear disposable gloves and clothing.
  • Avoid touching the face or eyes.
  • Refresh cleaning solution when it becomes cloudy.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning.

While cleaning requirements may feel overwhelming on top of all the other stresses from the flooding itself, it’s important to ensure everything is clean. That will ensure any mold or bacteria is stopped in its tracks before becoming an issue down the road.

How To Prevent Broken Pipes While on Vacation

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Examine the sump pump

Vacation is supposed to be a time of relaxation, not one that has you receiving a call to head home to Lochwood, TX, and plan for a water pipe repair job. If you want to relax while you're spending a week away with family, you can take steps to prevent a broken pipe from occurring while you're away from home. Simply have a professional perform a full inspection before you leave.

Check All the Pipes

The first thing your inspector should do is check your pipes, windows, and water heater for leaks. He or she will look in several places:

  • Under the bathroom sink and tub
  • Behind the toilet
  • Under the kitchen sink
  • Around all the windowsills
  • Behind and around your water heater

If leaks are found, your inspector will either reseal them immediately or recommend someone to perform more extensive repairs.

Examine the Sump Pump

If your sump pump hasn't been inspected in a while, you'll also need to have someone examine it. A professional can ensure there is no chance of it causing your property to become flooded by examining its overall condition, clearing it of debris, and detecting and repairing issues that create strange sounds. The examiner can also install a battery backup in case of a power outage while you're on vacation.

Have Someone Check on Your Home

Finally, while you're away, it is important to have someone keep an eye on your house. Provide a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor with the keys to your home so he or she can check on things. This is especially important during cold weather that could cause pipes to freeze and burst. Your house sitter should also have directions to follow in case you do need water pipe repair.

A broken pipe at home can lead to a less-than-exciting vacation. By preparing your home before leaving, you help to ensure your time away isn't interrupted by an unexpected problem.

The Essentials of Your Business's First Aid Kit

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Items in a first aid kit

Items That Every First Aid Kit Should Have

From paper cuts to falls to natural disasters, such as devastating storms or floods, you do not want to think about these instances as a business owner in Lochwood, TX. However, if you have two or more employees, a first aid kit is required by the federal government. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects a business to maintain a certain amount of supplies in case of any medical issues or emergencies, and the size and type of the kit depend on the company. The following list enumerates the items that should be in every first aid kit:

1. Bandages

Regular gauze pads
Two large gauze pads
Gauze roller bandage
Two triangular bandages

2. Tweezers
3. Blanket
4. Adhesive tape
5. Latex gloves
6. Elastic wraps
7. Splint
8. Moistened antiseptic towelettes for cleaning wounds
9. CPR equipment to include resuscitation mask, airway or pocket mask
10. Scissors — preferably a bandage scissors
11. Directions for requesting emergency assistance

This is the minimum requirement. There are several websites which sell pre-stocked kits in various sizes.

Restock any supplies as needed to keep the inventory current. Keep a checklist in the first aid kit and make notes each time an item is depleted. Also, keep track of anything that has an expiration date. Once the date has passed, throw the item away in the proper manner. Although bandages may expire, they can always be used in an emergency to stop bleeding.

OSHA states larger businesses need multiple first aid kits. For those industries which do not have an in-house clinic, business owners are encouraged to have employees take classes in basic first aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillators. The American Red Cross has several classes and will also come to your office for on-site training. A storm damage restoration specialist can give you the information to make the best decision on what kind of emergency kit your office needs.

Protecting Your Business After a Fire

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Roof tarping in Northeast Dallas, TX

Protecting Your Business After a Fire

If your Northeast Dallas, TX, business has undergone fire damage then you may be wondering how best to proceed with fire cleanup and protecting the property. Here are a few steps many experts recommend to help you along the way.

1. Call Your Insurance

One of the first things you should do is contact your insurance agent. That way they can begin getting everything they need together for your claim while you begin the documentation process. Your agent may also recommend a restoration service who can help you with the cleanup process while protecting the property from further harm.

2. Contact a Restoration Service

When conducting a fire cleanup it's recommended that you contact a fire restoration service to help with repairs. These services often have the materials and equipment necessary for dealing with a variety of types of damage that often occur with a fire, including water, smoke, soot, and fire damage. They can also help with protective measures around the property to help keep further damage from occurring while repairs are underway.

3. Protect the Property

A restoration company will often offer tarp services in order to protect the property until a roof repair or other repair needs can be met. This is done to keep inclement weather from causing further damage, and to keep animals out of the damaged space. The method used may depend on the damage type and location.
When protecting your business property and performing a fire cleanup, one of the first things you may want to do is contact your insurance agent. They may be able to recommend a fire restoration service who can help repair any damages that may have occurred, as well as work with the agent throughout the process. You will also want to take steps to protect your property from further damage such as tarping or boarding over damaged areas.

The Truth About Cleaning Mold With Bleach

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Apply vinegar to the mold

When it comes to the correct way to handle a fungus cleanup job, there are many misconceptions people have that can lead to an inadequate cleaning job and an even larger mold problem. One common error people make when cleaning mold is using bleach on the affected surface believing that it is effective at killing mold. Here is some information on why you should never pull out this chemical when removing fungus and how to correctly handle mold growth in your business.

Can I Clean Mold on My Own?

If you have found mold growing in your business in Oak Tree Village, TX, you will need to first determine if the fungus cleanup job is small enough to handle on your own or if you will need the help of a mold damage cleanup company. If mold has just been found in a small, concentrated area, the following methods can be effective:

  • Spray area with hydrogen peroxide
  • Apply vinegar to the mold
  • Scrub surfaces with a baking soda solution

It is important to remember that a mold problem can often be worse than it looks. While keeping humidity levels low, addressing leaks, and cleaning up spills can help prevent mold from growing, if a problem does exist it’s often best to call in the professionals to cleanup mold.

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

While bleach is effective for addressing a variety of cleaning needs, getting rid of mold is not one of them. This chemical is not very effective at killing mold and loses its effectiveness over time. Additionally, it can only address mold on the area’s surface and will not get rid of any fungus that has made its way into a porous material, such as wood.
While no one wants to find mold growing in their business, proper fungus cleanup can stop mold in its tracks and prevent the problem from getting worse. Just make sure to leave ineffective chemicals in the cabinet, and don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.

Tips for Drying Your Commercial Building After Water Damage

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage in Northeast Dallas, TX.

When you discover water damage at your commercial property in Northeast Dallas, TX, it is common to be overwhelmed and confused where to start. If this should occur, remember these five damage tips. 

5 Tips for Water Damage.

1. Keep Safety in Mind.

When there is standing water, such as from a pipe burst, there are safety precautions you must take. Turn off the electricity to your building and check for odors that signify a natural gas leak. Be aware that the water may be contaminated from sewage and therefore protect your mouth, hands and eyes. 

2. Take Photographs.

Before you remove anything or make any changes to your commercial property, take detailed pictures of all damages in case you file an insurance claim. 

3. Increase Ventilation. 

Open all windows at your property to increase natural ventilation of the space. Fresh air from outside and using fans is better than relying on heating or air conditioning units. Ventilating the area properly is one of the most important damage tips to follow. 

4. Begin at the Highest Level.

When removing excess water, begin on the highest floor as water damage can trickle down and continue to infiltrate the ceiling and floors below. Continue to keep your safety in mind, if you see a cracked ceiling that looks unsafe immediately leave the premises. 

5. Contact a Professional.

Although these cleaning tips are an excellent place to start when damage occurs, sometimes when there is a pipe burst in the building the damage is too great to handle alone. Professional water restoration specialists are trained to handle all aspects of water damage from assessing the situation to restoring your business to pre-damage condition. 

Following these five damage tips will reduce the amount of water loss that occurs at your business in Northeast Dallas, TX. These tips are best for a small amount of water damage, or to decrease secondary damage until help arrives. Keep in mind that for significant damage, contact a water restoration company and your commercial insurance agent as soon as possible.

4 Tips to Prevent Candle Fires

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle

Help Prevent a Candle Fire in Your Home

Candles are a popular way to decorate your home. Unfortunately, they are also a common cause of fires. Use the following safety tips to help prevent a candle fire from starting in your Wilshire Heights, TX, house.

1. Do Not Leave Candles Unattended

The first thing to remember is that you should never leave a candle unattended. Whether you are leaving the house, going to bed or simply moving to a different room, you should always extinguish any lit candles first. This is especially true in homes with pets or small children who may knock them over unintentionally.

2. Place Candles in a Safe Location

When using candles, make sure that they are placed away from anything that could start a candle fire. Do not use them near flammable liquids or materials that may catch fire, such as curtains or bedding. Papers and books should be kept at a safe distance as well.

3. Use Appropriate Holders

While it is a good idea to place a candle in a holder rather than directly on the surface underneath, you should be sure that you are using one that is designed for this purpose. Some containers may not be resistant to heat and can melt or break when they become too hot. If this happens, a fire is likely to start.

4. Use an Alternative

Of course, the easiest way to prevent a candle fire is by not using candles at all. While they can contribute to a pleasant atmosphere, they do pose a safety risk. Fortunately, there are now a large number of products that mimic a candle’s properties. You can find battery-operated lights that give off a warm, flickering glow and provide a pleasant scent, similar to that of a candle.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you use candles more safely. However, in case you do experience a fire, it's a good idea to have the contact number of a local fire restoration company on hand. These professionals can help with everything from smoke cleanup to structural repairs.

In a Flood, Protect Yourself First

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Oak Highlands, TX

When the flood water runs high in Oak Highlands, TX, the most critical decisions you can make are what not to do. Avoid certain pitfalls and you can make it through the disaster with what's important.

Don't Stay Behind

You may feel tempted to sit tight and ride out the storm, but this is not in your best interest. Especially if your are receiving severe flood warnings, evacuate to a shelter or stay the night in a hotel. The well-being of you and your family are more important than your pride or property. Even if you did stay, there would be nothing you could do to prevent damage. You might end up in a situation where you need to be rescued from your flooded home.

Don't Touch the Water

Flood water can be contaminated with sewage and debris, so you should avoid contact with it whenever possible. It is especially crucial not to get it on your hands or face. If you need to get something done in a flooded area, it may be safer to hire water damage remediation specialists to handle it so you can avoid any accidents. Personal protective equipment can reduce your risk, such as:

  • tall, rubber boots
  • rain pants or waders
  • waterproof gloves

Don't Jump the Gun

Try not to shell out any cash until you're sure of your situation and know all of your options. There are federal and state emergency funds that can help with temporary housing or water damage repairs. It is also possible to apply for a grant from FEMA if your home sits within a declared disaster area. Don't buy any replacement furniture or appliances until all your repairs are finished, just in case things don't go as planned.

It can be tough to think about your home and belongings getting ravaged by flood water, but you need to prioritize health and safety when a storm hits. Taking your time and thinking things through can save you a lot of headaches later. Doing less may actually save you more!

How do I keep my home safe after fire damage?

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

A window that has been boarded up by SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas.

The term "board-up" may have been thrown around a few times by the insurance company and adjuster. You may have even heard it said by the firefighters. The term relates to securing your home after it has been damaged by fire.

Covering the Openings to your Home

Your home will have windows, doors, and even parts of the roof missing after a fire damage. The openings are usually manmade by the firefighters to help them ventilate the house while they fight to extinguish the flames. However, once the fire is out your home is open to the elements and looters. If you home is uninhabitable you need to have the services of SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas. We will secure your home using plywood and roof tarps. The security of your home is a vital part of mitigating the damage done by the blaze.

3 Ways You Can Prepare Your Business for a Potential Fire

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Inspect the fire extinguishers

Ways You Can Prepare Your Company to Prevent a Potential Disaster

Your company should always be prepared for a potential business fire. A fire can cause severe damage to the structure of the building, expensive equipment, and business materials, and it can also put you and your staff in harm’s way. Thee good news is that there are numerous ways you can prepare your company to prevent a potential disaster.

1. Inspect the Fire Extinguishers

A key way to prevent damage from fire in Wilshire Heights, TX, is to regularly inspect all of the fire extinguishers. They should all be up to date. If this is not the case, it is best to have a professional come out and perform an inspection to make sure they are working properly. The extinguishers should also be mounted on the wall correctly, and there should be one placed on every floor.

2. Train Employees in Fire Safety

One way to avoid fire damage is to train your employees on business fire safety, so they are educated on what should be done if a fire occurs. Have a plan or drill that takes place often, so everyone is on the same page when it comes to workplace fire safety protocol. Designate a safety officer who will be in charge of creating escape routes and meeting points.

3. Keep Exit Doors in Check

It is important to have plenty of exit doors in the building, giving people numerous chances to get out safely if a fire occurs. It is also wise to make sure these doors are unlocked at all times and have enough lighting around them for employees to make a quick escape if the building or room is dark at the time of a fire. This is a key step when it comes to fire preparation.

Keep these tips in mind so you can increase the safety of your company and employees. In the even that a business fire does occur, it's wise to contact fire damage specialists that can assess, repair, and restore your property promptly.