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How Can Homeowners Assess Mold Damage?

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How Can Homeowners Assess Mold Damage? Mold Damage in a Kingwood, TX home.

How To Assess Mold Damage?

A complete mold assessment involves determining the type of mold and extent of growth. Accurate analysis can be difficult and risky for non-professionals. Here are a few measures homeowners can take in preparation for an expert assessment.

Look for Visible Mold

Homeowners can look for signs of visible mold. Do not attempt to find mold hidden in places where colonies may be disturbed by a search:

  • Behind wallpaper
  • In wall cavities
  • Under carpet

A musty odor may indicate the presence of hidden mold. This odor originates with microbial volatile organic compounds, which are off-gases released during the fungal growth cycle.

Schedule Testing

An environmental hygienist or mold specialist can contribute to an accurate mold assessment. Experts may take air or spore samples for lab analysis to determine which types of mold are present, such as black mold or more than 100,000 other species.

Identify the Cause

Mold and mildew thrive where moisture is present. A homeowner can try to identify the source, which may involve one or more of the following factors:

  • Leaky pipes
  • A roof leak
  • Other water damage

Mold is a common type of secondary damage that results when water damage is not properly mitigated. It is important to remove standing water and residual moisture to prevent fungi from starting to grow.

Determine the Extent

Mold remediation experts can determine the extent of an infestation. A minor mold problem covers less than 10 square feet and is accessible without opening large sections of closed surfaces. Major problems affect larger areas and may involve hidden mold or black mold.

Minor mold growth can cost over $1,000 to remediate, while major damage can range up to tens of thousands of dollars. A mold assessment may impact a homeowner's ability to file an insurance claim or pay for remediation that will resolve a mold problem at a residence in Kingwood, TX

Do All Drain Cleaners Damage Pipes?

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do All Drain Cleaners Damage Pipes? Drain cleaners may degrade plumbing in a residence in Humble, TX

Most chemicals intended for clearing a clogged drain are corrosive and toxic. Depending on pipe materials, drain cleaners may degrade plumbing in a residence in Humble, TX. Enzymatic drain treatments are less damaging, but also work more slowly. Learn more about how acidic, caustic, and oxidizing cleaners work to determine the most effective sewage cleaning method.

How Do Cleaners Work?

Cleaning products are most effective on slow or partially clogged drains. There are three types of drain cleaner chemicals:

  • Acidic, such as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid
  • Caustic, such as sodium hydroxide
  • Oxidizing, such as sodium hypochlorite

Acidic solutions attract electrons, while caustic solutions give electrons to the clog. Both of these types of cleaners release heat. Sodium hypochlorite oxidizes the clog and releases electrons, heat, and gas. A fully clogged drain should be cleared mechanically.

What Are Enzymatic Treatments?

Enzymes restore the bacterial balance of a drain line, which can prevent clogs. These treatments should be used before a drain slows or clogs. Flush mainline enzymes down a toilet twice a month to start and then once every three months. Clear sink or shower drains by pouring enzymes down the drain once a week for a month and then once a month.

Which Treatments Are the Most Effective?

Chemical drain cleaning solutions work quickly to speed up a slow drain or clear a partial blockage, but these products may also damage pipes. These substances are also highly toxic to humans, domestic animals, and the environment. When used as directed, enzymatic treatments are safer and can keep clogs from forming.

In the case of a completely clogged drain, it is better to call a plumber than use treatments that may fail to break up a blockage or sit in pipes and cause damage. If a clog results in a backup and sewer damage, contact a sewage cleaning company in Humble, TX.

After a Commercial Fire: What Now?

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial After a Commercial Fire: What Now? Equipment to mitigate fire in Kingwood, TX

After a Commercial Fire: What Now?

As a business owner in Kingwood, TX, you need to be prepared for the consequences of a commercial fire. You should be ready to deal with possible expenses due to the cost of fire restoration and time lost while your business is closed. Luckily, you can greatly minimize the loss of time and money by taking the following steps.

1. Talk to Your Insurance Company

Contact your fire insurance company right away to let them know what's happened. The sooner you can file a claim and get an adjuster out to look at the damage, the sooner they can release the funds you need to get your building repaired and restored.

2. Call a Professional Fire Mitigation Company

Next, you should seek out the services of a fire restoration company. These professionals can come out immediately to do any needed emergency repairs and make a thorough inspection. They will then begin the process of removing any excess water left behind by fire hoses, smoke cleaning, and repair and restoration of the building.

3. Assessing Damage and Removing Property

When you can enter the building again, take care to wear a breathing mask to protect yourself from lingering smoke. Make an inventory of equipment that's been damaged, such as computers, phones, important documents and any other items. The insurance company will need this information for any possible reimbursement. Try to salvage as much equipment as possible. Much of it may be usable after a careful professional cleaning.

5. Bring in an Arson Investigation Team

It's a good idea to hire a forensics team to determine if there was any foul play. If there was arson involved, your insurer needs this information. If a guilty party is found, they may want to file charges and recover their costs.

Hopefully, you won't ever have to deal with fire restoration in your place of business. But if so, you'll be ready to take quick action by using the information outlined above.

Your Noisy Water Heater Is Trying To Tell You Something Important

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Your Noisy Water Heater Is Trying To Tell You Something Important 75 of water heaters fail before they reach 12 years old

Your Noisy Water Heater Is Trying To Tell You Something Important

Think back to when your heater was still new. It may not have been completely silent, but because it was new, you were certain that the sounds you heard were normal. Then, one day, your heater began to make new sounds. It started to complain. Its first word may have been pop or click or buzz, but it was trying to tell you something was wrong.
Diagnosing heater problems by sound is an art. A professional plumber knows what your heater is complaining about.

What follows are some common sources of and solutions to heater problems.

  1. Gas and oil burners require special consideration. Safety is always a concern. Where there is a flame, there is a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Burner problems are not common but are important to understand and consider. If your burner shows any indication of a problem, call a trained professional immediately.

  2. Sediment is a common source of heater noise. Most sediment is sand or any solid material that finds its way from your well or water main into your water heater. Even in Kingwood,TX, there is no way to avoid it. The noise comes from the water moving around the heating element and dislodging the sediment. Performing a water heater flush should eliminate this problem.

  3. Mineral deposits can interfere with the operation of safety devices. Hard-water mineral deposits can foul pressure relief valves and backflow preventers. Noise from those devices may indicate a mineral buildup and suggest that the tank needs to be de-limed.
    Simple Water Heater Maintenance Can Prevent a Flood

Inspecting, flushing and de-liming a water tank will help eliminate many causes of failure. Still, tanks can fail. When that happens, local water damage specialists can quickly deal with the flood and return your home to its former condition. It starts with a phone call.

How Can You Minimize the Risk of Space Heater Fires at Home?

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

If you stop and consider the ways in which your Humble,TX, home may be at risk for fire, you could come up with a startling lengthy list. Near the top of the list of these potential causes is the dreaded space heater. A burned space heater can be a nasty culprit for disastrous fires. Understand how these heaters can causes fires and what you can do to eliminate the risks.

An Overview

While it’s true that space heaters are common causes for fires and need for smoke cleanup, reducing fire risks doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a few simple steps, you should be able to avoid a burned space heater in most circumstances.

• Turn off your space heater if you leave the area for an extended period.
• Clean the filters regularly.
• Leave plenty of space around the heater.

Turn it Off

A space heater can be your best friend on a cold day if your furnace isn’t working well or if you don’t have one. You may be thinking leaving it on all day will help warm up your home faster and more effectively. However, this will only increase the likelihood of it having problems or starting fires. When you leave your home, or if you don’t plan on being in a certain part of your house for a while, turn it off.

Clean the Filter

Don’t put off this important step. Keep extra filters handy and replace them as they become dirty. When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual. It’s better to change it out unnecessarily than to leave it in too long.

Situate it properly

Don’t put your space heater in a cramped space or near blankets. Also, don’t plug in multiple space heaters in a single outlet.

If your space heater does cause a fire, get in touch with a professional smoke cleanup crew right away. However, if you follow these guidelines, you shouldn’t have to worry about fire or smoke concerns from a burned space heater.

How To Handle a Pipe Break

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Bursting pipes are not fun. This is especially true when your business and livelihood are at stake. If you ever find yourself facing one or more broken pipes at your commercial property, there are steps you can take to keep mold and secondary damage at bay. Here are three steps and how to accomplish them with the help of trained technicians.

1. Turn Off the Water

Make sure that the first thing you do after water damage in Houston,TX, is cut off the water supply to the damaged area. This will stop any flooding in its tracks and prevent more extensive destruction from occurring. This will leave you in a less frantic, more levelheaded place so you can carefully consider your next steps without worrying about taking any immediate action.

2. Call Cleanup Services

The next thing you should do is call your local water damage remediation service. The trained professionals at your local company should be able to arrive quickly, survey the damage and form a restoration plan. If the damage is beyond their expertise, they may be able to suggest other solutions. Otherwise, they will likely get started on cleanup and recovery as soon as possible.

3. Address Bursting Pipes

Make sure that the next thing you do is fix the broken pipe or pipes that started the problem in the first place. A trained repairperson should be able to get your plumbing system back on track in no time. Then you can focus on any final remediation steps that either you or your water damage restoration company will complete.

The most important thing to remember when you are facing bursting pipes at your Houston,TX, business is that quick action is key. You want to take every chance you can get to reduce damage and increase the likelihood of an easy restoration and repair process. If you should ever find yourself in such a situation, follow the steps above, stay calm and always make sure that the professionals you work with keep you updated about their plans.

Important Fire Damage Restoration Tips for Kingwood

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Important Fire Damage Restoration Tips for Kingwood Fires in a house can even occur on that unusual snowy day?

Some Tips for a Kingwood Fire Damaged Home

Many residential owners are amazed by the post challenges they are faced with after property fire damage in their Kingwood homes. Fires are deadly and capable of causing a great deal of property loss; therefore, as much information as possible must be collected. This information will increase the chances of making a speedy recovery. The following is a collaboration with a FEMA report, offering several helpful fire restoration tips.

Assessment of Property

The first step that property owners have to complete is the evaluation of the cause and dollar amount of fire damage incurred. Failure to notice items for evaluation can easily occur in the midst of chaos. Therefore, it is vitally important to carefully review the items with a fire inspector before choosing to use them in the home. These items include:

• Edible goods
• Eating utensils and dishes
• Furnishings
• Clothing
• Carpeting
• Flooring

Contaminated dishes, food and eating utensils are considered damaged items, since they have the potential to cause serious illnesses. Have these items inspected by a fire restoration service prior to using them again. If they are unusable, throw them away.

Smoke and Soot Damage Remediation

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

When assessing fire damage, smoke is a focal point. Although fire is the cause of the most noticeable damage that happens in a home, the least conspicuous hazards that are harmful health-wise are smoke and soot. In addition, smoke is the number one cause of death for fire victims.

Soot, a black powdery material produced by burning oil-based coal or wood items, is not difficult to distinguish from smoke. The circulation of carbon particulates from this matter settles on surfaces, resulting in lung diseases or death. When soot contaminants fill the home, an evaluation of the areas affected has to be completed. Using a fire restoration specialists for this process is the best alternative to find out whether restoration is possible.  SERVPRO makes it possible.

Water Damage

Another important detail that is frequently unnoticed after a severe fire is water damage. It is the last thing that comes to mind when faced with fire damage. Once fires are contained, affected areas should be dried completely to prevent added loss and damage to property. SERVPRO utilizes industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to dry carpet padding, carpet, furniture and other items saturated with water.

The key to expediting restoration and repair efforts when there is a fire in a Kingwood home is becoming knowledgeable about fire damage prior to the experience.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Kingwood/Humble is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of the Kingwood community.

Every fire damage event in Kingwood is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. We can help. (281) 219-8180

What Is Kingwood/Humble Soot Restoration?

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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:

  1. 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”.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.