How the Pros Will Clean Your Office After a Fire
Fire damage in Crosby, TX home
No one wants to think about what would happen if there was a fire in his or her office. Unfortunately, disasters can strike anywhere. Even if you avoid injuries, you still have to think about issues such as smoke damage and other consequences to your building and equipment. If you can get a professional fire cleanup team on the case quickly, you can mitigate damage.
Once firefighters have put out the fire in your Crosby, TX, office, the restoration crew will come in and do a thorough assessment of the damage and cleanup needs. This experienced team will look for the following:
- Inspect rooms the fire directly affected as well as adjacent rooms and areas
- Make a note of specific damages, including soot damage
- Make a note of what you can salvage and what you must throw out
- Develop a plan to clean your workplace quickly and get you up and running safely again
When a fire hits your office, chances are good that it will leave significant damage to your walls, windows, floors and roof. To help ensure these areas don’t receive further damage, the restoration specialist will cover them with boards and tarps.
Firefighters put down a lot of water to contain and eliminate a fire. Your office sprinklers may also leave plenty of water on the ground. This is why the restoration team will do much more than address smoke damage. The crew will extract any water from your floors and will then dry and sanitize the distressed areas.
Smoke damage isn’t easy to remedy, but the professionals have specialized, high-powered tools and equipment to ensure your office doesn’t have this lingering smell. After this smoke cleaning, you can feel safe coming back to work.
Once the cleanup team restores ruined portions of your office, you can resume normal operations. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you shouldn’t have to contend with smoke damage in your office building.
Mold in your home
Mold Tip: Improving the flow in your home can help prevent humidity for settling.
Anyone that lives in the greater Houston area more than a year knows that we can experience intense weather. In fact, storm damage in Kingwood and Humble causes significant damage to homes and businesses each year. Torrential rains, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other significant weather events cause homes to flood, roofs to fail, and windows to shatter, leaving behind damaged walls, floors, and furnishings. While it is tempting to speed up the process of restoration, this can cause further problems in the future.
While a flood from a broken water heater, washing machine, or dishwasher is a challenge and may not cause significant damage, storm damage in Kingwood and Humble due to a flood is an entirely different scenario, and must be handled with the utmost of care. Flood waters in our area are ripe with bacteria, viruses, and unwanted house guests including snakes, rodents, and insects, not to mention the significant debris that is carried by the flood water. Other dangers after a flood include downed power lines, sewage backups, and damaged gas lines.
Before you decide to dive in, and fix the water damagein your Kingwood home, consider the risks to your health and safety, as well as the benefits of professional flood damage cleanup. One of the problems that homeowners run into when trying to DIY the cleaning and restoration, is the development of mold months later. This complication can be compounded by the bacteria and other debris in the water. Depending on the water levels in the home, drywall may have to be removed, and, in some cases, even the studs in the wall will have to be repaired or removed entirely.
A key part of cleaning up after Houston water damagethat many people don’t realize is that extracting all the excess moisture from the home must be done before rebuilding begins. We use specialized equipment to detect hidden moisture, and industrial fans to bring humidity levels in the property back to safe levels. If this is not done, mold can, and often does, develop quickly behind the new walls causing potential health affects down the road.
Your local SERVPRO of Kingwood and Humble has the tools and expertise necessary to get you and your family back into your home. From damage assessment, to water extraction, drying and dehumidifying, cleaning and sanitizing, repair, and restoration, SERVPRO does it all.
If your property has had previous flood damage or water damage, and you suspect mold is lurking behind walls, in attics or basements, or other hidden areas of your home, our highly trained mold remediation technicians can move quickly to contain the mold, provide air filtration, removed mold infested materials, and properly clean and restore your belongings.
While your first thought after flood waters ravage your home isn’t the possibility of a mold infestation in the future, it should be a consideration. Storm damage can be appropriately remediated with advanced tools, and expertise. Call us immediately when disaster strikes to ensure your property is restored, sanitized, and safe for your family.
Understanding the Difference Between Storm Mitigation and Restoration
Falling tree through roof by storm damage in Humble, TX home
Storm damage is devastating to everyone, even businesses in Humble, TX. Wind, rain and floods can cause significant, costly building damage as well as subsequent downtime that can even destroy some companies. Knowing what to expect from a flood cleanup company for mitigation and restoration can help you make storm contingency plans that reduce your downtime.
Mitigation is the immediate response to stop the problem and prevent further damage. This is especially critical whenever water is involved. Flood damage causes physical material damage but also paves the way for rapid mold growth. Much of the mitigation effort is focused on water removal and thorough drying. Here are some actions that are often taken by a flood cleanup company during mitigation:
- Move out damaged contents and use of blocks to elevate furniture
- Water extraction with vacuums or pumps
- Floor inspection and possible removal of carpet and pad
- Use of special tools, such as infrared cameras and moisture detectors, to find water
- Manipulation of temperature and humidity to aid with the drying process
- Use of dehumidifiers and large air movers to remove remaining moisture
- Employ disinfection and sanitization methods
- Disposal of items that can’t be salvaged
Getting your building back to its pre-damage state is the focus of restoration. The magnitude and length of time a restoration company needs for this process depends upon the damage, which can range from minor or major. The actions listed here are part of the restoration stage:
- Using barriers, such as boarding or tarps, to prevent further damage and aid safety
- Moving contents and people to a temporary space
- Drywall replacement or repair
- Floor and carpet repair or replacement
- Reconstruction of building
Fortunately, a flood cleanup company can handle the full process of mitigation and restoration, which means cost-saving benefits to business owners and building managers. There is no need to struggle with multiple contractors, and this means less downtime and a quicker return to a building full of productive workers.
FAQs About Water Damage Remediation
Water damage on a hotel room in Kingwood, TX
No matter what caused your bursting pipes, you'll end up with many concerns and questions. As a homeowner, you'll naturally want to determine what it will take to correct the damage and how long you'll be affected. The following information includes answers to some of the most common questions.
1. Can I clean up the water and correct damage myself?
Whenever you have leaks or flooding in your home, you should immediately begin to correct the situation. Whether you call a Kingwood, TX, professional depends on the possibility of contaminated water, how much water has entered your home, and how long your home has been exposed to the water. Much of the time, professionals will help you determine whether their expertise is needed.
2. Will my insurance cover the costs to fix the broken pipe and water damage?
You will need to contact your insurance company for the answer to this question. However, many insurance companies will tell you to contact a water damage restoration company first to begin remediation as soon as possible.
3. How long does it take to clean up water damage after bursting pipes?
There are usually two phases to water restoration. The first consists of drying out the home and furnishings, and the second involves completing repairs. Most water damage remediation takes between three and five days, but if you have wood flooring, antiques, and other special circumstances, it may take between seven and 10 days, or longer.
4. Will I be able to stay in my home during repairs?
If it isn't necessary to do a lot of reconstruction, you may feel comfortable remaining in your home. However, the equipment used to dry your home is often very loud and your home may become uncomfortably warm. Air movement may also be an inconvenience. Check with your insurance provider to determine the most appropriate accommodations.
5. How much will necessary repairs cost?
The costs in Kingwood, TX, depend on the extent of the damages from bursting pipes. The faster you respond, the better chances you'll have of being able to keep costs low.
Flood Aftermath Dos and Don’ts
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and it can happen in Kingwood, TX or more unusual locations. In the event that flood water invades your home, there is a short list of what not to do to further complicate matters and potentially hamper your recovery efforts.
Don’t Tale Unnecessary Risks
After a flood event, keeping yourself and your family safe is the first priority. Take precautions to protect against injury and illness.
• Do not ignore evacuation advisories or mandates. Get to shelter and return to your home only when it is declared safe to do so.
• Do not drive into moving water. As little as a foot of water can sweep a vehicle away and tip or flip it. Most drowning deaths in floods involve vehicle use.
• Do not swim or wade in standing or moving water. Hidden objects and contamination can injure or sicken you and currents can carry you away.
• Do not wear clothing that is not protective. The contaminants in the deluge can cause serious illness. Debris and hidden hazards can puncture or cut skin.
• Wear rubber boots to protect yourself from electric shock.
• Keep your hands and face out of flood water to minimize the risk of infection.
• Avoid mold-contaminated surfaces that will begin to form within 24-48 hours of inundation.
There will be secondary concerns that you will need to handle correctly. It is natural to want to set things right as quickly as possible in a flooded home. Remediation efforts can begin right away, but first, call your insurer. Schedule an appointment with an adjuster to initiate your claim. Document all water damage with digital photographs and/or video. Thorough documentation will go a long way in negotiating a fair settlement with your insurer.
Flood water comes with certain perils. Make good decisions to stay safe while you wait for it to recede. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ for more information on storm damage.
Avoiding Cigarette Fires in Your Home
A cigarette fire in Kingwood, TX or anywhere else it could occur, is preventable by practicing a bit of common sense while indulging in a habit that many find relaxing. Fire cleanup, whether a small convenience or major undertaking, is an activity that no one would find relaxing.
Ways to Avoid Fires from Cigarettes
It is a fact that smoking indoors is a leading cause of house fires. Before lighting up, consider the following tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
• Smoke outdoors. Homes are filled with flammable materials; an additional benefit to smoking outside is that you can avoid the need to deodorize your home from cigarette smoke.
• Do not smoke while taking medications that increase drowsiness. Avoid alcohol consumption that might also make you less aware of your surroundings.
• Make sure to completely put out your cigarette. Cigarette butts can smolder for hours.
• Never smoke in bed. You are more likely to fall asleep there, and bedrooms are typically filled with combustible materials.
• Empty ashtrays regularly to avoid an ashtray fire.
• Use an ashtray with a wide base or with a weighted bottom to prevent tip overs.
• Do not smoke around medical oxygen tanks. They can explode from exposure to sparks or flames.
• Use water to make sure that cigarettes are completely out before putting butts into trash receptacles.
• Do not leave a lighted cigarette unattended. Pets, children, or even gravity could dislodge it and bring it into contact with flammable material.
• Vaping also poses fire and burn risks because electronic cigarettes can, and have been known to, explode.
All fire personnel know that a cigarette fire is an all-too-common occurrence that can be easily avoided with some foresight. Responsible smoking practices can serve the dual purpose of indulging in a personal pleasure and keeping yourself and others safe. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ for more information on fire damage.
Understand Mold Growth for Prevention
Many commercial property owners in Kingwood, TX are well-aware of the need for mold prevention and the high cost of water damage. In their efforts to avoid mold growth, property owners have identified many of the most likely areas for growth, but other areas have gone unnoticed. In light of this, one of the best ways to control the growth and spread of mold is to understand the conditions that encourage growth.
Four Ingredients Necessary for Mold
• Organic nutrients
• Moisture, whether water or humidity
• A hospitable surface
Identifying these four ingredients and taking efforts to isolate or control those ingredients is key to mold prevention. For example, something as ubiquitous as dust particles on a building surface in an out of the way place in an air-conditioned building can become an ideal environment for floating spores to take root and colonize. Dimly-lit basements and attics are often full of dust and can be easily affected by high humidity, leaks from appliances on the roof, or seepage through aging foundations.
Overlooked Areas of Mold Colonization
Other likely areas to inspect and maintain in prevention efforts include:
• Cavity walls
• Ceiling tiles
• Corners without air circulation
• Electrical equipment
• HVAC system drain pans
• Masonry surfaces
• Paper storage
• Terminal Units
Awareness of the possibility for mold contamination, ongoing maintenance, and routine inspections by mold prevention and remediation professionals is key to controlling mold in commercial buildings. Any possible source of humidity, moisture, and water should be monitored regularly, so property owners can immediately respond to water damage, limiting the possibility of mold growth.
Your Responsibility for Property in Kingwood, TX
If you're a property owner, your ability to control the ingredients of mold colonization is crucial in combating its growth. By recognizing the necessary ingredients for mold to grow and learning to appropriately prevent growth, you have already taken an important step in protecting your building. As you commit to responding immediately when signs of damage from water are present, you can be confident that remediation efforts will be successful and effective. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ for more information on mold.
Water Damage Restoration Explained in 5 Standard Steps
A pipe burst can spill trouble into your Kingwood, TX home. There are, fortunately, companies that help treat the water flooding and damage. The process for these services is often achieved in five steps.
1. Setting Up the Restoration
First, the company specializing in water damage restoration is contacted to start claim processing. Before calling, it’s helpful to prepare information that will be requested:
• Your contact details
• Any insurance details
• Address of your damaged residence
• Time and date of the damage
• Suspected cause
2. Inspecting the Home
The water restoration company will send a specialist to investigate. The inspector first identifies the source of water and prevents it from pouring more water to your residence. This involves typically turning off water to a pipe burst or any other damaged water line.
After stopping any water, he or she will categorize the flooding based on industry guidelines about its source and its danger level. After the setup, the inspection begins. The homeowner is informed of potential problems and advised on repair.
3. Removing the Water
The next step is attempting to remove as much water as possible from your residence. This is necessary to stop mold and allow for the next step of drying. Using industry-grade machines, water is moved away from your residence and discarded. Any items that cannot be saved, such as extremely saturated carpet, will be removed now and replaced later.
4. Dehumidifying and Drying by Directing Air
Most porous materials in your home needs to have the water removed to stop secondary damage that occurs over time if untreated. With specialty machines, airflow is manipulated to create an improved environment for evaporation.
5. Cleaning and Restoring
Damage restoration companies strive to restore everything they can. Furniture, structures and belongings are evaluated and saved when possible using various procedures. Odors from microbes are dealt with using sterilizing procedures, and anything that is irreversibly damage is replaced during this step.
The process may seem daunting, but professionals make sure that it is thorough and correct. With their assistance, a pipe burst doesn’t have to make anything else of yours burst. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ for more information on water damage.
Beware Mold Growth After Clean Water Mess
Did you walk into your commercial building in Kingwood, TX only to discover there was a pipe burst sometime after everyone left? When water fills your space, it likely fits into one of three categories:
• Category one comes from a clean source, so the water has no contaminants.
• Category two comes from a source that may have bacteria or virus contaminants.
• Category three comes from a source that may have sewage, chemical or spore contaminants.
If your water fits into the first category, you may really feel like you have the time to do research to find the plumber and commercial cleanup crew that best fits your needs. However, even clean water can present a problem.
Standing Water Degrades
If left alone for too long, even a clean water source can start to become contaminated. Imagine you have two feet of water sitting in the basement of your commercial building. You know this water came from a pipe burst, but the pipe carried clean water, so you take your time finding a cleanup crew. As the water sits in your basement, naturally occurring mold spores are able to find a damp home in your basement. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours when there is a water problem.
Clean Water Picks Up Contaminants
Even if the source of water was clean, you have to think about the path it took to get to its current location. For example, if a pipe burst on the second floor of your building, but most of the water is pooled in the basement, how did that liquid travel there? Chances are it went through the walls and flooring. As it traveled through these building materials, it may have been introduced to mold spores, viruses and bacteria that turn your clean water into contaminated water.
When you're dealing with a water cleanup, you need to act quickly if you don't want to initiate mold cleanup as well. The damage can actually get worse if you allow the flood to sit for too long. Save yourself and your business from added stress, larger bills, and lost work time by getting the cleanup help you need right away. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ for more information on commercial water damage.
What You Can Do To Minimize Flood Damage
Unfortunately, floods, like most natural disasters, will cause damage no matter what measures you implement to prevent it. That said, there are steps that you can take to minimize flood damage to your commercial building, and they may be simpler than you think:
• Know your flooding risk.
• Line the foundation with straw.
• Move valuables and furniture to a higher location.
• Prevent sewer backup.
• Shut off electricity.
• Remove hazardous materials.
• Anchor the fuel tank.
Knowledge Is Power
The best way to minimize damage is to know what to expect. If your building becomes flooded and you are not prepared, the amount of storm damage that your Kingwood, TX flood cleanup crew will have to deal with may be immeasurable. However, if you know that your building is in a zone with a high flood risk, you have likely taken measures to minimize flooding damage, such as those mentioned above.
Protection Starts From the Outside
The less water that can enter your building, the better. Use slot-in-flood barriers, which are lightweight, made from aluminum and easy to store. These can be used to block off doorways or large openings. Flood resistant doors with a patented rubber sealing system can keep water out of garages, basements and warehouses. Floodstop is a deployable flood barrier system that works in much the same way as sandbags but that is easier to use and causes less of a mess. However, if you are reading this in the face of an impending flood, you may just want to line your foundation with straw, which can help soak up some of the water and minimize internal damage.
When In Doubt, Consult a Professional
The best way to minimize flooding damage is to consult with a Kingwood, TX flood restoration team about your risks and what you can do to minimize them. A professional can inspect your building and advise you on how to do everything from preventing sewer backup to protecting against electrical fires. When in doubt, call a team with experience. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ for more information on storm damage.