Recent Posts

5 Reasons There Could Be Water in Your Crawl Space

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Worker in protective suit hanging from the house under a crawl space beneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing If you see standing water in the crawl space, call a clean-up and restoration team.

Five Reasons You May Have a Wet Crawl Space

The area beneath your home is a remote space that homeowners seldom think about, let alone visit. It isn’t the basement; it’s the crawl space. It's often dark, dirty, and almost always filled with the unknown creepy crawlies of the world. When water invades the crawl space of your property in Kingwood, TX it can quickly become a mold-filled problem that needs addressing before it can affect the structure of your house. 

1. Hose and irrigation over-watering. It is easy to open the irrigation gate or turn on a hose and forget about the water running into the yard. Human-error-caused flooding is more common than people like to admit.

2. Landscaping errors. Do-it-yourself landscapers often make the mistake of creating a level flowerbed or grassy yard. Poorly sloped or level yards invite any excess water to seep under your home through the foundation and enter the crawl space.

3. Ill-fitted downspouts and gutters. Gutters can become filled with debris, develop cracks, and break at joints. The downspouts can also become twisted or knocked out of place. Water can then trickle down the outside of your home and create a wet crawl space.

4. Subterranean waters. Broken city lines or underground water seepage can also cause standing water to form under the house. Torrential rains are also often known to raise ground water levels and fill the crawl space.

5. Leaking water lines. Water runs to the lowest possible point in a home when there is a leak. A broken or leaking pipe can quickly find a crack in the flooring or wall and flood your crawl space.

If you see standing water in the crawl space, call a clean-up and restoration team in Kingwood, TX. Don’t wait to see if the water disappears. Mold can grow rapidly in standing water and attach itself to the wood or cement of your foundation. As specialists, a cleanup crew can address the wet crawl space issue and discuss possible solutions to prevent future problems.

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire Emergency?

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of two firefighters putting out a firee Fires can break out without warning, even if your Humble, TX, business is normally at low risk for such an event.

Is Your Company Prepared in the Event of a Fire?

A fire is one of the most unpredictable forces in nature, so knowing how to escape one if it should break out at your Humble, TX, business can be key for reducing injuries to your employees and customers. Even if you have fire safety measures in place, such as ceiling sprinklers and fire extinguisher stations, a contingency plan can be as equally important when a blaze gets too big for you to handle alone. Asking yourself a few questions about your building’s layout and workforce can help you create an effective and viable escape plan.

Where Is Your Company Located?

The location of your business within a building can affect your evacuation plan, so this is a factor you will probably want to consider. Take a quick tour of your office space and note the specifics that might affect your planned route:

  • The number of exits
  • The floor your company occupies
  • The condition of accessible stairwells

If you rent a building, ask your landlord to assist with creating the plan and whether you can modify any exits to make them safer during an evacuation.

Does the Plan Include Handicapped Routes?

Handicapped employees and customers can have difficulty reaching safety during an evacuation, so it is important to include special considerations for them in your contingency plan. Assign handicapped workers an evacuation partner to assist them in case of an emergency and create at least one route that is wheelchair accessible.

Are All Shifts Aware of the Plan?

If you have more than one shift working at your business, it is important that each understands the details of the evacuation strategy. Call in a fire damage and cleanup service to help you organize a company-wide information meeting on safety so you can perform drills and ensure all of your employees are prepared in case of fire.

Fires can break out without warning, even if your Humble, TX, business is normally at low risk for such an event. Having an effective contingency plan in place helps to protect your employees and customers while offering you peace of mind as a business owner.

Why Sand Bags May Not Be the Ideal Flood Deterrent

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood Sandbags can help minimize flood damage.

Sand Bags Alternatives

When a severe storm threatens to flood your community, a sand bag barricade is often the first defense mechanism that many business owners consider. Although effective, this flood control method has several drawbacks that may make alternative flood deterrents more appealing.

Disadvantages of Sand Bags

When properly deployed, sand-filled bags can help minimize flood damage. However, erecting an efficient barricade and then disposing of wet bags once waters recede can be challenging for several reasons:

  • Filling an adequate number of bags can be time-consuming.
  • Bags are often heavy.
  • Saturated bags hold contaminants and must be properly disposed of.

To erect a 100-foot long sandbag wall that is 12 inches high, you need approximately 600 bags. Accomplishing that task may require extensive manpower. In addition, if you do not receive adequate notice of an approaching storm, you may not have enough time to complete your temporary flood dams, leaving your business vulnerable to flood damage.

Effective, Time-Saving Alternatives

Businesses located in coastal communities typically learn of significant storms, such as hurricanes, well in advance, allowing adequate time to set up flood barricades. However, thunderstorms and other weather phenomena capable of producing excessive rainfall are not always as predictable. Luckily for every business owner in Porter, TX, many flood-control devices exist that require minimal preparation.

Numerous companies offer lightweight or reusable options. For example, you can obtain lightweight bags filled with a water-absorbent polymer that are typically more manageable than traditional sand-filled bags. You can also purchase absorbent or water-filled tubes that you can deploy, drain and reuse, an option not possible with traditional sand bags.

Minimizing Flood Damage

Whether you elect to use a traditional sand bag defense or try an alternative flood deterrent mechanism, the goal is to save your business from devastating water damage and potentially lengthy flood cleanup. Most business owners would likely agree, however, that time-saving and lightweight alternatives may be advantageous, especially if you have limited manpower or lack sufficient time to safeguard against rising waters.

Securing Your Building After a Fire

10/31/2021 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Board up your building after a fire for security purposes.

Securing Your Building After a Fire

Fires are known for causing a lot of destruction. Big fires can create extensive damage to the exterior of buildings as well as everything inside. If you are dealing with fire damage and must wait until everything is restored, you might run into break-ins and looting. Here are four things you can do to ensure the security of your property during the restoration process.

1. Remove All Valuables
In case you do have intruders, it’s best to store any important documents or expensive appliances in a safe and secure place. This also ensures that nothing will get damaged during the fire cleanup process.

2. Board Up All Openings
Gaping holes in vacant commercial buildings are easy targets for looters. To decrease the risk of attracting unwanted attention in Atascocita, TX, board up all windows and openings. If you are concerned that plywood isn’t sufficient enough, you can reinforce the boards with carriage bolts and braces on the interior.

3. Fence Your Property
Setting up a portable chain fence around the perimeter of your property is an easy way to keep intruders out. Be sure to install the fence properly so that there are no easy ways to climb over or under. Simply inform the fire damage professionals how to enter through the gate so that they can do their work.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Building
It’s a good idea to check up on your building often to look for any problems such as recently shattered windows or broken locks. Consider installing cameras or security guards as an extra precaution.
Dealing with fire damage can be challenging enough, but by taking a few of these precautions, you can prevent looting from happening. The duration of the restoration process may differ due to the extent of the damage, but with a secured property, you can be reassured that no one will invade your building.

Help — I Smell Gas!

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen stove Kitchen fire in Houston, TX.

A gas fire is one of the most terrifying experiences a homeowner can face. Avoiding this tragedy starts with knowing what to do when you smell natural gas. Your safety is the number one concern, and there are a few simple rules that will help you and your loved ones remain safe.

What To Do If You Smell Gas

• For your safety and the safety of your family, evacuate immediately.
• Do not touch appliances, thermostats or anything with an electrical switch. Any spark, even from static electricity, can trigger a gas explosion.
• Do not light a flame.
• Do not bother to open the windows. Some guides recommend that you do that to vent gas, but remember, houses have gas and oil hot water heaters, furnaces and air conditioners that turn themselves on automatically. Any one of these could easily generate a spark and start a gas fire.
• Once you are in a safe location outside the home, call 911 or Houston, TX, emergency services and report the emergency.

What Happens Afterwards

Usually, these situations have a happy ending. The utility company safely shuts off the gas, the fire department vents the house, the source of the leak is identified, and the repairs are made. Of course, for the next six months, you can expect to occasionally hear the question “Do you smell gas?” but that is to be expected after such a traumatic experience.

Other times, however, the crisis ends badly. A gas fire, like any other fire, is a life-changing event. Things cannot get back to normal until the fire and water damage are addressed. Insurance is a part of the solution but the key to making it a home again is to bring in the best restoration specialists available in Houston, TX. This allows you to put this experience behind you so that you and your family can return to leading normal lives as quickly as possible.

3 Ways To Keep Your Bathroom Mold Free

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold grout on bathroom tiles Your bathroom can be prone to mold and mildew because of humidity.

Ways To Prevent Mold and Mildew In Your Bathroom

If you often find yourself battling mold and mildew in the bathroom of your Crosby, TX, home, it may give you some relief to know this is a common problem for many homeowners. The presence of plumbing appliances, pipes, past water damage and your family’s shower can all contribute to high humidity and dampness that creates an ideal environment for fungi to form. However, there are a few ways you can prevent mold and mildew from taking hold in the bathroom in between cleanings.

1. Install Air Vents

Proper ventilation can be key for preventing mold growth, especially if you have a small bathroom. The more enclosed the space, the higher the humidity levels after someone uses the shower or runs hot water in the sink. Installing air vents near the shower can allow some of the warm air to escape and lower the risk of mold formation in your shower’s grout or around the base of the toilet.

2. Treat the Shower After Use

An excess of moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow in the shower, but there is one way you can prevent it. Keep a small squeegee handy in or near the shower and encourage your family members to wipe down the stall with it once they are finished washing. This can prevent or slow the growth of fungus that can seriously affect your shower’s grout.

3. Have Your Bathroom Inspected for Water Damage

If you are having trouble controlling mold in your bathroom, you may want to call in a mold remediation and restoration service to inspect the room. Experienced servicemen can perform a thorough examination of your plumbing, sink and tub to ensure there are no slow leaks that may be causing the issue. They may also be able to give you tips on mold prevention you can use in the future.

Your Crosby, TX, home’s bathroom can be prone to mold and mildew because of high humidity and unseen water damage. Knowing how to prevent these issues may make weekly cleanup simpler and keep your restroom sparkling clean for everyone.

Tips for Neutralizing Floodwater Odors

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded house. Traditional wooden country house with water through the windows. Ideal for insurance or disaster illustration. A flooded home in Humble, TX.

Tips for Removing Floodwater Odors

After your home in Humble, TX has suffered flood damage, you may notice an unpleasant aroma emanating from within. Between mold growth and sewage loss, the smells that a flood can leave behind can seem like as big a problem as the water damage. Fortunately, flood-related odors are fairly easy to neutralize as long as you remove the substance causing the smell and clean thoroughly.

Sewer Backup

If the flooding was bad enough, it likely affected the sewer system outside your house, causing it to back the wrong way up the pipe that leads into your home. When contaminated water touches the surfaces in your home, you must choose an option for cleaning that completely removes the contaminants:

  • Industrial strength disinfectant
  • Ultraviolet light treatment
  • Complete removal of ruined material or item

Often, the method used for cleaning doesn't actually remove the smell. You can use simple household items like baking soda or vinegar to neutralize lingering smells on clean surfaces, and an ozone machine can help clear the air.

Mold Problems

Mold growth causes a stale odor. If the area is small, you can probably clean it yourself. Use mild detergent and water to clean, and then completely dry the surface. Once the mold is gone, the odor will dissipate. If, however, the problem is over 10 square feet, you need to hire mold remediation specialists. They have a tried-and-true mold mitigation process that ensures the whole problem is removed so that it is unlikely it will return later. They also use odor neutralizers throughout the process so that the smell disappears about the same time the mold does.

Floodwater is highly contaminated, so there are many things lurking in it that could cause foul odors. When you disinfect or remove the mold growth or sewage problem, the smells typically go away. If they don't, taking extra odor-neutralizing measures can't hurt.

4 Key Steps for Maintaining Income After a Disaster

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

What is your action plan? Don't wait until you need a plan of action to come up with one.

4 Important Steps for Retaining Income After a Disaster

Most people are in business to turn a profit, but that goal often gets interrupted if the building floods or some sort of disaster occurs. Before this happens in your building in Houston, TX, it is important to have a business continuity plan. Your plan can help you stay afloat even if you have to relocate. There are four main steps for putting a plan for staying in business in place.

1. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

The first thing you need to do is determine the impact that a disaster is likely to have on your company. Survey key employees to determine how it will affect your operations and, by extension, your business's finances. It is also important to know how long these impacts will take to hit. It's easier to make an emergency response plan if you have an idea of how the emergency is going to look.

2. Develop Strategies

After you know what you need to maintain, you need to develop a strategy for doing so. Identify resources that will likely help you close the gap between need and solution. Propose these strategies to management and get approval.

3. Make a Plan

After you have a list of vital operations and the resources needed to carry them out, you can put them together to form your business continuity plan. Assign recovery teams and delegate specific responsibilities. This way, everyone knows what their job will be if the plan should ever be enacted.

4. Test the Plan

The last step is making sure your plan works. Stage a dry run to identify any problems that may occur. Everybody will need to know exactly how they fit in and what role they play. Fix the issues and train employees on how to implement the changes.

Don't wait until you need a plan of action to come up with one. If you have a business continuity plan, you are less likely to suffer dramatic income loss when a disaster strikes.

Reasons To Have a Mold Test in Your Home

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Why You Should Get a Mold Test in Your Home

There are many steps you take to keep your home in Crosby, TX, looking its best: sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and more. However, keeping your home free from mold is often an issue many homeowners don’t consider. There are various reasons to hire an indoor environmental specialist to detect mold in your home.

1. Identify Hidden Mold

Mold growth is not always immediately apparent in homes, especially because mold tends to grow in dark, damp environments. It’s important to eliminate this growth as soon as possible, and letting mold continue to grow can negatively impact your home. A specialist can take a look at your entire home and search for mold in spots you may not have thought to look. Once the mold has been noticed, the cleanup process can begin.

2. Fix Unnoticed Issues

Mold is a common issue in many homes, especially older homes, and it’s important that mold is identified quickly because it can cause structural damage to homes. An indoor environmental specialist can help with mold identification. Even though you may not be able to see mold in your home, it can cause extensive damage to your home’s walls, foundation, and more. It’s essential to locate mold in order to fix structural issues in your home.

3. Prevent Future Damage

Certain areas in your home can produce the perfect environment for mold growth. A mold test can make you aware of a particular location in your home is susceptible to mold damage. By knowing where your home is most likely to grow mold in the future, you can prevent your home from being damaged by performing routine checks and cleanings in those areas.

An indoor environmental specialist can help you detect mold in areas that you may not be able to see. Working with professionals in mold testing and mold cleanup will ensure your home is clean, safe, and structurally sound.

The Importance of Certification for Mold Remediation Professionals

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

A professional checking mold damage in a home. SERVPRO is a specialist in Mold Remediation in Kingwood, TX.

The Importance Of Mold Remediation Professionals Obtaining Certification

Mold remediation may seem like a straightforward process on the surface, but there is quite a bit of knowledge and skill required to do a thorough job. Only certified mold experts are able to exhibit this level of expertise. The training required by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to receive mold certification is based on extensive research and teaches professionals in Kingwood, TX, how to resolve mold issues in an efficient manner.

Grounded in Research

The instruction manuals published by the IICRC are useful references for remediation professionals. The wealth of knowledge contained within them is compiled from various reputable sources:

  • Remediation contractors
  • Public health experts
  • Microbiologists
  • Industrial hygienists
  • Trade associations for the restoration industry
  • Restoration training schools
  • Others with practical remediation experience

This extensive knowledge base is crucial for supplying certified mold specialists not only with the principles of remediation but also the means to use those principles in practical applications.

Thorough in Scope

The training required by the IICRC for certified mold remediation is comprehensive. Certification indicates to the home insurance company that the professional doing the job has the specialized skills that meet the company’s high standards for completion. Through the training process, mold remediation specialists learn how to identify and assess mold growth during an inspection, distinguish between different types of mold and their potential health effects, understand testing procedures and what their results mean, demonstrate proper safety measures regarding containment and removal, and restore the damaged home to its former state. Insurance companies want assurance that the remediation professional knows how to resolve mold issues completely, and certification ensures that knowledge.

Based on extensive research and experience, mold certification tells homeowners in Kingwood, TX, and their insurance company that the remediation process will be handled correctly. That is why it is important to hire a certified mold specialist whenever a home has a mold problem.