Recent Posts

How To Get Rid of Stubborn Smoke Smells

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

burned stove, pots Kitchen fire damage in a Kingwood, TX home.

Follow These Tips To Do It Right

Whether from a fire or from a bad cigarette habit, smoke cleaning can be difficult and frustrating. No matter how hard you scrub, the smell seems to linger in your Kingwood, TX, home and you feel as if your space will never be the same. Here are some steps that may help you get a good start on it before you reach out to a professional odor elimination specialist.

Determine the Source
There are a variety of reasons you may have a stubborn smoke odor in your home. Determining the source will help you decide the best route to get it cleared out. The smell may come from fire damage, years of indoor cigarette smoking, or even from outdoor wildfires near your home. The smell will leach into fabrics and any porous surface in your home, including furniture, clothing, dishes, floors and walls.

Neutralize With Vinegar
The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar. Begin by placing several small bowls around the area where the odor is strongest. These will begin to absorb the noxious fumes and reduce the smell. You can also boil some vinegar on the stove to speed up the process, allowing it to simmer for an hour or two.

Clean, Clean, Clean
Smoke cleaning will also require you to remove and thoroughly scrub anything that was within the damaged area. All clothing, furniture cushions, or other fabric items should be washed. You'll also need to clean wall hangings and hard surfaces. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and allow it to sit for a while before vacuuming up.

Use Ammonia
The most stubborn smells may require an ammonia treatment to fully destroy them. You can add some to the laundry when washing clothing, bedding and other fabrics. The stronger smell will be more unpleasant than vinegar, but you can also place bowls of ammonia throughout the home to absorb smoke smells.
Smoke cleaning takes a lot of work, but the time invested is worth it if you can eliminate the smell. 

What To Look for in a Commercial Generator

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Commercial generator

How To Choose The Right Generator

If you're a business owner in Humble, TX, in the market for a new commercial generator, you may wonder what to look for and how to know if you've chosen the best one for your particular situation. There are several factors you need to consider to make your decision, but it also helps to have a basic understanding of the machine itself.

Most commercial generators run on natural gas or diesel.
The generator is made up of an engine, radiator, and alternator.
The engine creates mechanical power that is then forced through a circuit, cooled and converted to an alternating current.
Depending on the frequency of use, a commercial generator can last up to 20 years.

What's the Right Size for You? Commercial generators come in single-phase or three-phase models, and you'll need to know which type to buy according to what you want to power in the event of an outage. Most small businesses can get away with only a single-phase generator if they only need to power basic electronics, lights, and HVAC. If your business uses machinery or large equipment, you will most likely need a three-phase.

How Will You Power It? Natural gas and diesel are the most common fuel sources, but propane and bi-fuel are also options. Natural gas is the obvious choice if your business is already connected to a gas line, but if you're in a remote location, diesel is the recommended option.

How Much Can You Afford?
While a small commercial generator can cost as little as $10,000, larger ones can be quite a bit more expensive. Assess how much you can do without in the event of a storm or natural disaster. What financial risks and implications will an interruption of service have on your business? It's also important to consider any maintenance or repair costs you may incur over the years, especially if you run into any generator problems.
Arming yourself with knowledge and asking the right questions will help you make the best possible decision on the right generator for your business. For advice on how to prepare for power outages and protect your business from damage and loss from storms, contact your local storm damage specialist.

Tips for Handling Sewer Overflow

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber unclogging a toilet with manual auger Plumber snaking a clogged toilet.

Tips for Handling Sewer Overflow

When you step into your shower, you expect the water to flow down the drain and be carried away from your home. When you step out of the shower, however, you discover that your toilet has overflowed. Sewage cleaning experts recommend a few tips you can try to remedy the problem yourself, but if these simple solutions don't work, it's best to call the professionals before the problem gets out of hand.

Clear the Clog
If shower drainage causes a toilet overflow, it is likely that you have a clogged sewer pipe. There are several places you can use an auger to get rid of the clog:

  • Through opening in the bowl of the toilet
  • Through the drain under the toilet base
  • Through the drain cleanout

It is likely that one of these actions will clear the clog that is causing a backup between the shower and the toilet. If you exhaust these options and the problem persists, however, you need to call a plumber.

Call the Professionals
When snaking a clogged pipe does not release the blockage, a plumber must be notified to prevent further damage to your home. While you are waiting for the problem to be fixed, you also probably need professional sewage cleaning to take care of the water damage the overflow left in its wake. Don't just assume that mopping up the floor around the toilet will take care of the issue. There may be additional damage under the tiles or along the base of the wall that you can't see. Quick remediation is crucial to prevent secondary damage that compromises the structural integrity of your home.
A clogged sewer pipe can cause an overflow in a fixture you're not presently using. While small clogs may be able to be remedied with basic maintenance tools, professional plumbing and sewage cleaning services ensure that the job is done thoroughly and correctly.

The Secret To Speedy Disaster Response

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Green truck. SERVPRO vehicle SERVPRO of Kingwood/Humble is faster to any size disaster.

The disaster response capabilities of a national company with a network of over 1,700 franchises surpass those of any independent restoration company. Independent firms lack the personnel and equipment necessary to respond to large losses in Harmaston, TX. Property owners and insurers can benefit from the resources of a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Contact Skilled Professionals Located Nearby

It is important to act quickly after a disaster, but hiring the wrong firm can set back restoration efforts from the start. A property owner who plans to make an insurance claim should hire a service that has the following credentials:

  • Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and
  • Restoration Certification
  • Preferred Vendor status
  • Response rates under 24 hours

A restoration company connected to many other franchises across North America offers the best experts and equipment. Insurers are also more likely to cover claims based on estimates from a trusted service.

Depend On Restoration Network Resources

In the event of a large-scale loss that affects many properties, it is imperative to rely on a service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Independent companies may not have sufficient trained employees or specialized equipment to deal with time-sensitive damage affecting many locations.
Rely On a Single Service From Start To Finish
Hiring separate independent services to mitigate, clean and restore damage is another mistake some property owners make. These services lack the clear lines of communication that are present in a franchise that provides all of these services and has the ability to rely on other franchises that are located in the same region.
When a property owner realizes all of the advantages a large company offers to a franchise located in Harmaston, TX, it makes sense to rely on a service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. This corporate structure empowers franchises to provide service that meets industry-leading standards.

3 Actions To Take After a House Fire

2/14/2021 (Permalink)

Burnt remains of a property after an accidental house fire The aftermath of a fire in your Kingwood, TX, home is often difficult to face.

Fire Restoration Process

After a fire sweeps through your Kingwood, TX, home, the cleanup process can seem insurmountable. With belongings to salvage and sort, damage to catalog and smoke and soot to clean up, you may not know where to begin. However, there are a few steps you can take to begin the fire restoration process, and they may give you peace of mind as you attempt to recover from ablaze.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Once the fire is completely extinguished and you are certain everyone is safe, put in a call to your insurance company as soon as possible. Filing a claim with your fire insurance agent within 24 hours of the incident might help him or her process it with more efficiency. This could mean a quicker payout to help cover the cost of repairs and smoke cleaning.

2. Avoid Disturbing Affected Rooms

While you may want to enter fire-damaged rooms to retrieve certain items, doing so isn’t always safe and could compromise any type of inspection your insurance adjuster performs. If possible, tape off any affected areas and do not let any family members enter. You’ll likely be anxious to start the fire restoration process; however, waiting for insurance and cleanup professionals to arrive first may help the process go more smoothly.

3. Call in Fire Cleanup Experts

The mess left behind after a fire is sometimes considerable, so calling in a company that specializes in smoke cleaning and restoration can be an effective step in recovery. Cleanup technicians who are trained in this area can bring in air scrubbing and fogging machines to remove soot and smoke from your carpeting, walls and ceiling. They may also be able to advise you about photo and document recovery and restoration as well.

The aftermath of a fire in your Kingwood, TX, home is often difficult to face. However, knowing which steps to take right away can streamline the fire restoration process and allow you to recover quickly.

How To Stop a Continuously Flushing Toilet

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Toilet, Flushing Water, close up You can stop a toilet that is continuously flushing.

If your toilets are continuously flushing, there may be a problem with the flushometer. The flushometer is the mechanism that flushes the toilet. If the flushing is not stopped, there may be toilet overflow that could result in damages. Here's how to stop a toilet from flushing continuously.

Take the First Steps

If your toilets won't stop flushing, there are a series of steps you can try:

  • Turn off the water
  • Remove the cover
  • Clean the gasket
  • Reinstall the gasket
  • Replace the gasket if flushing continues

Once the problem is fixed, you should call a water damage restoration service in Timberlane Acres, TX, to clean up any toilet overflow and prevent mold growth.

Access the Gasket
To access the gasket, you should first turn off the water so that you do not have a toilet flood. You will then need to remove the cover on the flushometer. You will first need to unscrew the cover on the side of the flushometer and then use a wrench to remove the lid on top. This will expose the gasket, allowing you to remove and clean it.

Clean the Gasket
The gaskets in flushometers can become covered with sediment due to their constant exposure to water. You should wash the gasket, carefully removing as much sediment as possible. This includes using a small instrument, such as a needle, to clean out the weep hole. Doing this will improve the vacuum created by the gasket and hopefully stop the continuous flushing.

Reinstall and Test
After cleaning the gasket, you should put it back in its place and reattach the cover. You will then need to turn the water back on and flush the toilet. If the flushing still will not stop, you may have to replace the gasket or call a plumber.
You can stop a toilet that is continuously flushing by accessing the gasket, cleaning the gasket and then reinstalling and testing the gasket. If cleaning or replacing the gasket does not work, you may need professional assistance to prevent toilet overflow.

Why Mold Growth Should Be Taken Seriously by Building Owners

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage on wall Mold damage in a commercial building

Why Mold Growth Should Be Taken Seriously by Building Owners

When you lease or rent building space to clients, you have a number of responsibilities to maintain the property according to community standards. If you fail to do this, you could leave your company open to lawsuits. Mold insurance claims cover both property damages as the result of mold growth as well as certain liability issues. The presence of mold in your building could cause harm to your clients or tenants in a variety of ways:

  • A business disruption
  • A safety issue
  • The destruction of personal items
  • Health effects

Any of these problems could lead to a mold claim against your company. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent and treat a mold outbreak.

Mold Prevention
As with most problems, it is always better to avoid the issue than to have to clean it up. Understanding how mold grows is the key to preventing its appearance. Excess moisture is the primary cause of a fungal outbreak. An outbreak often happens after a leak that brings water into a building is not cleaned up in a professional manner. This enables mold that is present in a building to grow into colonies that harm materials and even degrade air quality. Many mold insurance claims come about because of a water leak.

Mold Remediation
A professional mold mitigation franchise such as SERVPRO is always Here to Help. If your building has a serious mold problem, highly-trained technicians perform an assessment and inspection that quickly identifies the extent of the problem. They will use equipment such as containment barriers, HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers to get the fungus under control. They will remove mold and mold-infested materials, clean contents and belongings and restore or replace any damaged items. A professional cleanup and restoration go a long way toward minimizing any mold insurance claims. Your clients or tenants can feel confident that the problem is taken care of once and for all.

3 Storm Protection Tips for Your Commercial Building

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Sand in a hallway of a theater Storm damage to a theater in Magnolia Gardens, TX

These Three Tips Can Help You Get Your Business Ready for Storm Season

Severe weather, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, can cause storm damage that can severely damage property and interrupt business operations. To reduce the impacts of severe weather on your business, it is important to take steps to protect your building. 

1. Know What To Expect
An important component of facility management is knowing what sort of weather conditions to expect in the Magnolia Gardens, TX, area where your business is located. You can obtain detailed climate information for your region from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Another good resource is your local National Weather Service office. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides information on types of severe weather and emergency management guidelines on their website. Additionally, you can access the HAZUS-MH risk-assessment software.

2. Assess Your Risks
To prepare your building for potential storm damage, you need to first assess what your risks are. Factors to consider include whether your buildings are located near any bodies of water or construction zones, local road systems, emergency exits, and signage and emergency instructions for employees. The areas of most buildings that are the most susceptible to damage are windows and doors. Inspect the condition of your windows and doors and consider making upgrades to storm-ready windows and doors as part of your building protection strategy.

3. Make a Plan
You don't want to be scrambling for help after a disaster has occurred. Plan out the actions you will take after a storm happens. Your plan should include evacuation routes and procedures for employees and guests, procedures for handling temporary repairs, and contact information for your insurance company, contractors, and storm mitigation specialists in your area.
How well you respond to storm damage can have a major impact on your business. These three tips can help you minimize business interruptions and protect your property.

Is a Basement Flood Covered by Insurance?

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Basement flood in Pittsville, TX

Is a Basement Flood Covered by Insurance?

After a burst pipe, a basement flood is a mess to clean up. The structure of your home may be damaged and your belongings that reside in the basement may be destroyed. If the basement of your home in Pittsville, TX, becomes flooded, you'll want to know what type of water damage is covered under your insurance policy.

1. What is Covered
Dwelling coverage may help pay for repairs to the structure of your home if it is damaged by a covered event. Personal property coverage can help pay for damage to your belongings if they are damaged by a covered event. Covered events according to your insurance coverage usually include perilous events such as a sudden pipe burst. These events are unexpected, unable to predict, and cause damage severe enough to require repairs or necessitate replacements.

2. What is Not Covered
Water damage caused by neglected home maintenance issues is generally not covered. For example, a damaged floor from a leaky faucet you failed to repair will not be covered. Repairs to or a replacement of the source of the water damage is usually not covered. If a broken appliance caused water damage to your floor, repairs to the floor may be covered while repairing the appliance will not be. Most homeowners insurance policies also do not cover damage caused by water backed into your home through sewer drains or from an actual flood. In short, homeowners policies generally cover damages caused by sudden disastrous events, not acts of nature or neglect.

3. What to Do
A basement flood means extensive cleanup and repairs. Water often needs to be drained out of the structure before structural damage can be repaired. Furniture needs to be dried out and sanitized if it can be salvaged. Belongings needs to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced. Restoration specialists can help throughout the tedious, costly process.
In every case of water damage from a basement flood, check with your insurance provider to verify what is and is not covered under your specific policy.

Steps To Take After a Fire on Your Commercial Property

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a devastating fire to your commercial building in Kingwood, TX, you must act fast. After everyone has successfully evacuated the building and you have called 911 to report the fire, the next step is a call to your insurance company to report the incident. You should also contact a fire restoration team as soon as possible to assess the damage and help with fire cleanup. It's important to begin the restoration process quickly to prevent further damage to your building.

The Restoration Process

The fire damage crew begins the inspection by looking for structural damage, including:

Roof damage - If the roof has suffered damage, roof repair might take a while to complete. In the meantime, the technicians will remove damaged roofing materials and cover the roof with a tarp. This will protect it from further damage and also prohibit water from leaking into the building, causing more damage. If large tarps are required on the roof and other structures, your restoration crew can seek the help of tarp services to get the job done right.
Inside damage - Depending on the severity of the damage, the flooring, ceiling tiles and drywall may need to be replaced. The fire cleanup crew will remove and discard all ruined materials safely.
Outside structural damage - The team will inspect the siding and foundation to look for damage. They will also board up any windows and doors that have been cracked or damaged to prevent rainwater from getting into the building.

Additional Considerations
Before renovations occur, you should consider constructing a security fence around the property to keep out vandals, curious onlookers and animals. This also gives your insurance company confidence that further damage was prevented.
The fire cleanup process can take a lot of time to complete, but you should feel assured that with the right professionals helping out, you'll be back to normal as soon as possible.