What Is Kingwood/Humble Soot Restoration?
House fires can cause major stress for occupants, and the trauma can be compounded by the need to find restoration services for the home.
What is soot restoration?
House fires can cause major stress for occupants, and the trauma can be compounded by the need to find restoration services for the home. Of all the ways in which fire can damage a home, soot is one of the most complicated to address. Not only does soot present challenges during removal, but it also creates risks of further damage to the property if cleaners try to remove the soot without first determining the specific type of residue present. In most cases, soot is deposited in the form of oily matter that embeds itself into materials that are exposed to smoke. This highlights the importance of having Kingwood/Humble soot removed by professionals who are experienced in the techniques required. Effective soot restoration has many facets, and the value of knowledge and proper equipment cannot be underestimated when choosing professionals to handle the job.
Soot Types Requiring Restoration
The types of soot present in a home must be identified and considered by the cleaners who are working to eliminate it. No matter what type of soot is involved, unique cleaning practices will be necessary, and certain hazards will require consideration. The three types of soot to remember are:
- Dry soot residue: This type results from fires that burn quickly at high temperature. The residue resulting from such fires tends to be powdery, dry and resistant to smearing.
- Wet soot residue: Soot created by fires that smolder at low heat is of this type. Wet residue is known for its stickiness as well as its tendency to smear and give off a penetrating smell.
- Protein residue: You may not immediately notice this residue as it is nearly transparent, but the varnishes and paints throughout your home may become discolored in its presence. Like wet soot residue, protein residue is likely to smell strongly.
Certain techniques are required for effective removal of each of the three types of soot residue. In each case, the experience and knowledge of the cleaner will determine the level of results that homeowners can expect. All forms of soot residue can present challenges that make removal impractical or impossible for homeowners to attempt themselves. Professional soot removal in Kingwood/Humble also makes use of specialized equipment for thorough elimination of the damage.
Hazards of Attempting Soot Restoration Without Experience
For several reasons, you should always avoid trying to restore Kingwood/Humble soot damage without professional experience in this field. The ability of soot residue to soak into the surfaces it reaches can result in extreme difficulty for amateur cleaners. Furthermore, soot residue can cause damage in addition to simply sullying objects in the home. Just hours after a fire occurs, the soot left behind will begin to destroy a variety of materials. For example, plastics, furniture, appliances and marble countertops can become irreversibly stained. This is why you should call soot restoration professionals without delay if your home is damaged by a fire.
Professional soot restoration is an essential service if fire deposits soot on surfaces in your home. While you may be tempted to try removing the soot on your own, this is a bad idea as it can result in indelible damage to virtually everything you own. If you want to learn more about how you can find the most qualified professional to handle soot restoration in your home, consider asking the agent who handles your homeowners' insurance for assistance.
Fire Damage Restoration
We understand that smoke and fire damage is both devastating and disruptive to your family or business. SERVPRO of Kingwood/Humble Professionals respond quickly to repair fire, smoke, and soot damage, including:
- Fire damage cleanup
- Smoke and soot damage cleaning and repair
- Cleaning your home's contents and belongings
- Eliminating fire and smoke odor and deodorization
Kingwood and Humble Home Health: Who to Call After A Flood
Flood Watch: A message that flooding is possible and to listen to local radio or TV news and weather for more information.
Who to Call After a Flood
Natural disasters leave people in shock; witnessing the devastation to neighborhoods and their homes causes a range of emotions, including helplessness. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and not know how to regain your life. In the Houston metropolitan area, we experience torrential downpours, hurricanes, high winds, and flash floods causing moderate to severe water damage to homes and businesses throughout the Kingwood and Humble areas. However, no matter how extensive the flood damage, support, and help is available to you. Read on, and print out for future reference, who you can call in times of need.
The first step is to develop a communication plan for you and your family that can be activated quickly during a crisis. Remember, in hours immediately following a crisis or widespread natural disaster, mobile phone lines are often congested, and often texts are the quickest means of communication. If you don’t have a communication plan, use this as a guide:
- Out of Area Family and Friends. Contact family and friends out of your area to give them your status and let them know when you will contact them again for an update. Facebook now has an emergency status update as well. If you are in an area where a disaster has struck, Facebook will have a “check-in” message that will allow you to update your status as “safe”.
- Local Family and Friends. In a widespread disaster like a flood, hurricane, or other weather event, your local contacts may also be struggling. Together you can be stronger, and help one another find the solutions needed to survive the immediate impacts of a natural disaster.
- Insurance Agent. If your Houston area home has experienced flood damage, regardless of severity, call your insurance agent immediately. Often, after natural disasters strike, insurance companies will dispatch additional adjusters and agents to help expedite the claims process. SERVPRO of Kingwood and Humble works directly with your insurance company throughout the cleaning and restoration process.
- Employer/Employees. Don’t forget to contact your employer or employees after disaster strikes. Expect everyone to be overwhelmed; work together to cover the needs of the business, while allowing everyone to tend to their personal recovery as well.
- Houston SERVPRO. We stand at the ready to help our friends, neighbors, and members of surrounding communities get back on their feet fast after a flood, fire, or other disaster. Locally owned and operated, we have the expertise and tools required to effectively handle damage to your home. From water extraction to complete restoration, we are here for you. Call us, after you’ve notified the folks above, and we will do our best to bring your home or business back to its original state.
Will Commercial Insurance Cover Mold?
Mold damage after water and fire situation in a Houston,TX building
The owner of a building that is found to contain mold will want to know whether a commercial insurance policy covers remediation costs. Some policies provide mold coverage, while others have exclusions, exceptions, or limits. Here are several considerations that can affect coverage for mold damage.
Check for Exclusions and Exceptions
A heightened number of mold claims in recent decades have led a number of commercial insurers to exclude mold or make exceptions regarding causes or remediation methods. Some of these exceptions may include coverage for fungus growth due to
- Fire suppression system leaks
- Water damage
- Flood insurance policies that only cover mold resulting from flooding
Commercial insurance policyholders should familiarize themselves with the terms and limits of their coverage. This can help building owners decide whether they should obtain a mold insurance endorsement.
Factor in Limitations
Some policies have limited coverage, usually around $15,000, for mold. This limited coverage can help to offset the costs of:
- Tearing out contents or materials
- Replacement and rebuilding
This limit applies to single occurrences and is an annual aggregate. If this coverage is not sufficient, contact an insurer to add a mold endorsement.
File a Complete Claim
Mold damage is more likely to be covered if a complete claim is filed. This process should involve:
- Documenting damage
- Obtaining test results and estimates
- Filing a claim
- Submitting Proof of Loss
- Following up with an adjuster
Proper documentation and procedure can increase the chances of approval. If a policyholder is not sure how to proceed, he or she should contact an insurance agent.
It is possible to obtain commercial insurance coverage for mold. This peril may or may not be covered in a standard policy. Contact your insurer to discuss terms, limits of coverage, and whether additional mold insurance will be necessary to offset the costs of hiring remediation experts in Houston,TX.
3 Property Management Tips for Preventing Hurricane Damage
Having a first aid kit in your Kingwood,TX home can help in an emergency
Tips To Prevent Hurricane Damage On Your Property
The time to prevent hurricane damage on your properties is long before any storm warnings are sounded. Take advantage of the years when hurricane activity is low and put hurricane preparedness tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security into action.
1. Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan
It may not be possible for you to get to each of your properties when a storm is heading to Kingwood,TX, but you can prepare those properties to avoid serious damages. Post evacuation and sheltering-in procedures where everyone on the property can become familiar with the plans. Stock the front office with essential supplies, including
- Fire extinguishers
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radios
- First aid kits
- Basic tool kits
When appropriate, provide a gallon a day of water for each person on the property for at least three days. Access to clean water and ongoing news about the status of a storm could prevent panic among anyone on your properties during emergencies. Reducing panic is an important way to reduce hurricane damage.
2. Perform Annual Emergency Preparedness Trainings
The staff and residents on your properties should understand basic information, such as the elevation level of the property and whether flood or fire prevention steps would be necessary in an emergency. Hold annual trainings for personnel, so they know how to respond when tidal flooding or hurricane evacuation warnings are given. Make sure communication plans are part of this training. Talk to hurricane recovery professionals to learn more.
3. Supply Property Protection Equipment
A vital component of property management during storms is to protect buildings and property from flooding and hurricane damage. Don't wait until storm warnings pop up on the forecast to stock up on plywood and other emergency supplies. It may not be feasible to store enough plywood to protect all the windows on your property, but you can keep enough on hand to protect windows in common areas and places where people are most likely to be doing business. Give a similar focus to the exterior of the property.
Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire Emergency?
The best time to plan your evacuation plan is now
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.
How To Care for Damaged Heirlooms and Values After a Water Incident
Saving carpet after water damage in a Crosby,TX home
Water in the home due to a broken pipe, flooding or other unplanned-for incident can cause substantial destruction to the home's structure itself. Structural damage in and of itself is both costly to repair and frustrating to deal with, but when damage goes beyond the structure and affects personal items, the loss can be emotionally devastating. If you experienced a water peril in Crosby,TX, reach out to your local water damage restoration team for assistance and advice regarding how to care for and restore damaged belongings.
7 Tips To Save and Restore Water-Damaged Items
Unfortunately, some items will not be salvageable post-incident. Others, however, can be if you act quickly and take the following seven steps immediately after drying out water in the home:
- Rinse still-wet items with clean water and clean off dry debris with a soft brush or damp cloth.
- When possible, air-dry objects indoors, as direct sunlight or heat sources can cause cracking and irreparable damage.
- Increase airflow in the home to prevent humidity and therefore the possibility of mold growth.
- If dealing with books, photographs, works of art or any other sensitive and valuable items, retain the help of a professional conservator.
- If dealing with textiles that you wish to preserve, have them taken in for dry cleaning immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that the item will become unsalvageable.
- Rinse any non-porous items exposed to the floodwater to ensure they are free of bacteria.
- If you notice any deposits of mold growth, clean them off with heavy-duty disinfectants.
Dealing with water in the home can be frustrating, costly and emotionally draining. If you wish to save your belongings from further damage, and if you wish to minimize damage as much as possible, contact your local water damage remediation team right away for advice and cleanup assistance.
How To Minimize Moisture-Related Damage to Your Building
Flooding damage in a Atascocita, TX commercial building
After a severe storm at your Atascocita,TX, business, flood and rain damage can wreak havoc on your property. Hidden moisture can lead to structural problems and health-related hazards such as black mold, which may require the services of a water damage restoration company. In many cases, this scenario can be avoided by making sure your building is ready before a storm hits. Your first line of defense is the building envelope, which is essentially the outer covering of the building. This consists of:
- The wall system above the ground (above grade)
- The wall system below the ground (below grade, i.e. basement walls)
- The roof
The Envelope Protects Everything
If the envelope is well maintained, it should contain a barrier to control air movement, a barrier to keep moisture from entering, sufficient insulation, and an effective way to drain away any water that might intrude from the outside. Walls can let water in when there is simultaneously the presence of water, forces like pressure differentials or wind that drive the water inward, and there are openings such as windows, doors, or gaps and cracks.
Maintaining the Building Envelope
While it's impossible to keep out every bit of moisture from outside, many steps can be taken to seriously minimize water infiltration. It's important to keep gutters in good shape and, if possible, have sloping surfaces, diversions and baffles in place to help divert water. Make sure any cracks or areas around windows and doors are properly sealed, and that there are proper conditions for evaporation, drainage and ventilation. Additional protection may be provided by secondary systems such as through-wall flashing, which can divert water that has entered from outside before damage can occur. Surfaces may also be treated with damp-proofing agents, and small openings called weeps can be made to allow drainage to the outside.
With a bit of planning and effort, a great deal of flood and rain damage can be prevented before has a chance to happen. Following the instructions above can go a long way toward making your building safe from moisture damage.
Cooking Safety Tips: Reduce Fires at Home
Fire damage in Porter,TX
Cooking Safety Tips
You do not want to start a fire in your Porter,TX, home, nor do you want to deal with the fire damage that could be left in the aftermath of such a disaster. The risk of a fire at home can be reduced by practicing safety in the kitchen. Here are 3 tips to cook more safely so you can avoid a grease fire or another similar disaster.
1. Don’t Leave the Kitchen
One of the most important things to remember is to never leave hot appliances unattended. If you are cooking, make every effort to stay in the kitchen until you are done. You also want to make sure to keep children and animals away from hot or fiery surfaces. Pets and kids do not understand cooking safety and may even accidentally start a fire.
2. Turn Everything Off
When you are done cooking, make sure all appliances are turned off. If you have been using countertop appliances, make sure to unplug them after you are done with them. This is one time where you cannot be too careful, as a piece of kitchen equipment that is left turned on or plugged in can lead to a fire.
3. Keep Flammables Away
This is one of the most important tips for cooking safety: never keep items that can catch fire near the stove top. You may think that an item is secure, but you never know when an accident will happen, causing something to fall on a lit stove.
It’s never a bad idea for a homeowner to take extra safety measures. Being more mindful of your safe operation of kitchen tools while cooking will help you to keep your home safe from fire hazards. Remembering and implementing the three tips above puts you in a better position to make smart choices when cooking at home so you can avoid dealing with a fire and resulting damage.
3 Causes of Common Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses
Commercial property water loss in Houston, TX
Owning a business takes hard work and dedication, and all business owners should know how to best protect their businesses from damage. A blocked sewer, toilet overflow and other sewer problems can be caused by a variety of issues. Sewer problems can ultimately result in a business spending a great deal of money and time to repair the sewer system. It’s important to know the cause of common sewer problems in order to prevent extensive damage to your business in Houston,TX.
1. Weather Conditions
Though it may seem odd, the weather in your area can affect your business’s sewer system. Certain weather events make businesses more likely to experience leaks or sewer backups. One common cause of a block is heavy rainfall in a short amount of time. If your business is experiencing toilet overflow or pipe leaks, this could be the result of heavy rainfall putting too much water in your sewer system.
2. Tree Roots
Though trees can increase the curb appeal of your business, they may also be the cause of a blocked sewer. Often, tree roots will attach to sewer pipes, warping the pipes and causing leaks, breaks and blockages. During droughts, tree roots search for new supplies of water via sewer pipes. Older buildings with trees nearby are particularly susceptible to tree roots penetrating sewer lines.
3. Sudden Temperature or Pressure Changes
Pipe breaks can occur quickly and can cause damage to your business. When the temperature drops too low or the water pressure changes suddenly, pipes cannot always handle the quick changes and may burst as a result. Keeping the temperature in your building consistently above freezing and observing the water pressure in your sinks and other appliances can help prevent a pipe break.
Knowing the sewage problems that commonly occur in businesses, as well as their causes, can help you keep your business safe. If you suspect your business is being affected by a blocked sewer or other sewer-related issues, it can be smart to work with experts who can help you fix your sewage problems.
4 Ways To Protect Your House From Flooding
Theater damaged by flood water in Humble, TX
No one wants to find standing water in their basement after a storm passes through Humble,TX. While you can't stop every bad thing from happening to your house, you can prepare for a flood. This flood safety may help reduce the damage standing water does to your home or even help you avoid standing water.
1. Consider Your Landscaping
Did you know the landscaping around your house could increase or decrease your chances of a flood? If the land around your home slopes toward your foundation, you may want to redo your landscaping to encourage water to flow away from the house instead. Natural slopes can help flood proof your home because the water is automatically directed away.
2. Rearrange Before Potential Floods
As soon as you know you are in a bad storm, you may want to rearrange the lower levels of your house. This could include moving important belongings to higher levels. You could also use shelves and risers to lift furniture, electronics and other possessions out of the potential flood zone.
3. Use Special Equipment
After storm waters fill your home, you know you need to turn to the specialized knowledge of a residential storm damage repair team. However, did you know you can use specialized equipment prior to a storm to increase your flood safety? A sump pump, for example, can help drain standing water from your basement before it becomes a problem.
4. Install Water Valves
Your plumbing could also be a weak spot when it comes to flooding during a storm. Some safety tips say you should install special water valves to stop sewage backups when water levels are high. These water valves seal your pipes to stop sewage from coming back in. Without these valves, storms can cause a major sewer backup.
Initiating flood safety before a storm hits can help keep your house safe during torrential rain. It's often a good idea to take preventative steps whenever possible.