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Water Damage Tips!

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

a room with big windows and water covering the floor with the SERVPRO logo at the bottom Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222!

Summary: SERVPRO of River Oaks stresses the importance of prioritizing safety when dealing with a water damage emergency.

When a home or business owner is confronted with a large-scale water damage incident, it is vital to prioritize the safety of families, employees, customers, and other individuals. SERVPRO of River Oaks is sharing 7 safety tips to help people navigate the aftermath of a water damage emergency. These safety tips are applicable for residential or commercial water damage that is internally sourced from a leaky faucet, a cracked water pipe, or a broken water heater. Water damage resulting from a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane has a set of issues that go beyond the extent of an internally sourced water damage situation.

Tip #1: Stay calm. Do not panic.

Water damage to a home or business is stressful, especially if the water damages expensive furniture, ruins family heirlooms, destroys valuable inventory, or requires the property to be evacuated for a period of days or even weeks. Trained, experienced professionals take care of water damage emergencies every day, and they eliminate a large portion of the stress and anxiety. Skilled restoration experts do a thorough job in a timely fashion, so people do not have to worry.

Tip #2: Identify and eliminate electrical hazards.

A flooded house presents a challenge to the homeowner. Floor covering can be replaced, upholstery can be cleaned, and baseboards can be repainted. Electrocution, however, can be fatal.

The first concern is always personal safety, even before identifying the source of the flooding and shutting off the water. If the flooding is extensive, electrical shock is always a concern. Avoid stepping in the water until sources of potential electrical shock have been identified and resolved. Appliances and extension cords in the water are particularly dangerous. Be safe. Shut off the power from outside the home or commercial building. A water damage issue could turn into a fire hazard if electrical appliances are exposed to water.

Tip #3: Identify any chemical or sanitation hazards before entering the residence or building.

Strong smells, burning and itching eyes, or skin irritation may be indicators that the water may have come into contact with activated chemicals. Carefully do a smell test. Is the liquid on the floor more than water? Is it contaminated with raw sewage? It is unsanitary to track raw sewage throughout the entire house in the search for the water leak. What may have been a relatively simple clean up could be expanded to include the whole house.

Tip #4: Avoid slipping and falling.

Watch out for slippery surfaces. Wet floors can be exceedingly slippery, so hold on to cabinets or furniture when walking on slick kitchen or bathroom floors. Wear shoes or boots that provide stability and reduce the possibility of slipping and falling. It is better to keep shoes on while walking through the flooded areas to prevent slipping and to protect the feet from injury.

Tip #5: Use a flashlight when walking through areas that are dark or dimly lit.

If the flooding was so extensive that the electricity needed to be turned off, use a flashlight to illuminate the home. Proper lighting improves balance and stability. Groping around in the dark can lead to head and hand injuries. Further safety hazards can be created if furniture is turned over or glass is broken.

Tip #6: Wear rubber gloves and other protective clothing, if possible.

Wearing rubber gloves, protective eyewear, sturdy shoes or boots, and a mask or respirator are advisable if at all possible. If the leak has persisted over an extended period of time, mold, mildew, and bacteria may have had time to grow. Mold exposure can cause health effects. Also, the liquid on the floor and carpet may be contaminated with raw sewage. Chemicals may have mixed with the water and may have become activated, toxifying the air and the water. Any exposure to these contaminants could be hazardous or even deadly.

Tip #7: Avoid lifting heavy items.

Water-logged pillows, cushions, clothing, carpet, and padding are very heavy. Be careful walking across slippery surfaces. Carrying a heavy load or slipping unexpectedly can wrench the back or cause other injuries.

If the situation is severe and the environment is hazardous, the safest course of action may be to shut off the electricity and water, call the water damage specialists, and wait. Each crisis is unique and carries its own set of safety hazards. Immediate response from a water damage specialist is essential because much of the damage is done in the first few hours of the incident. Getting a trained technician with the best equipment on the scene as soon as possible is always a best-case scenario in a worst-case situation.

Water Damage And Insurance

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

a living room with a couch and lamp and water flooding the floor and the SERVPRO logo at the bottom Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222!

Water damage and insurance

Different types of water damage are insured by different types of policies.

Homeowners and renters insurance provides coverage for burst pipes, wind driven rain and damage resulting from ice dams on your roof. Generally speaking, water that comes from the top down—such as rainfall and burst sprinklers—is covered by a standard homeowners policy.

Some policies cover sewer and drain backups, but many do not; however, you can purchase a sewer backup rider to your homeowners or renters coverage.

Typically, water that comes from the bottom up—such as an overflowing river—is covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be purchased from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and from some private insurers. If you live in a flood prone area, learn more about appropriate coverage.

Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage from water disasters.

https://www.iii.org/article/how-protect-your-home-water-damage

SERVPRO of River Oaks is here for all of your restoration needs.

Water Damage In Your Attic

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Considering the attic isn’t an area that is used often by homeowners, it’s easy to forget about it. This is the main reason water damage in the attic often goes unnoticed. If water damage isn’t addressed, it can cause more damage to the areas below the attic and potentially cause mold. The signs of water damage usually include water stains, mold, or musty odors in your home. It is important to make sure you take the proper steps to assess the damage as soon as you notice in order to assure your safety and health, and avoid expensive repairs. 

In order to address the damage, you must first find the source of the problem. Begin by evaluating the damage. Where is the water coming from? Could it be a burst pipe or a hole in your roof? Make sure to check the roof for leaks on a regular basis. The water damage in your attic can also be caused by a lack of ventilation. Humidity can get trapped in the attic and cause a buildup of condensation, which causes water damage. Be sure to remain safe throughout this process and turn off all electrical items before touching anything. 

The next step is to inspect for mold and fix any leaks. As previously mentioned, water damage can lead to a more serious issue, mold, and mildew. Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, and it’s easy for it to go unnoticed. When inspecting for mold, it is important to take the proper precautions and be careful. Some mold can cause health effects to humans and if the mold is a serious issue rather than a small one, it’s best to contact a professional. It is also advised to contact a professional before attempting to fix any leaks unless you have to tools and skills to do so with ease. 

SERVPRO of River Oaks is always ready to help and assist you with any water damage or mold you may have! If you’re in over your head with water damage, give us a call at 713-666-9222

How To Catch The Water Damage

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Catching water damage before it becomes evident can save you time and money, so knowing the top spots in your home to regularly monitor for damage is crucial for any homeowner. Instead of waiting until a water stain appears on your ceiling or water pools on the floor under your sink, make it a priority to inspect these three spots for water damage on a monthly basis.

  1. Check under the sink.

Sinks are regularly located in your kitchen, your bathrooms, and maybe even in other rooms in your house. Since water flows from the faucets and comes up through pipes underneath the sink, it’s not uncommon for leaky sinks to occur. Always inspect the cabinetry and piping underneath your sink for any leaks or moisture.

  1. Don’t forget to look behind the toilet. 

Your toilet is another frequently-used appliance in your home that uses a lot of water with every flush. Monitoring the space behind and around your toilet for any water damage is always a good practice.

  1. Take a look at your roof.

It’s easy to forget to look at your roof for water damage, but if your gutters aren’t working properly or your roof isn’t in good shape, there’s a fair chance that water may be seeping through your roof into your attic, your garage, and your ceilings. It can be hard to know what to look for, but any obvious water stains are a bad sign. Be sure to check out the roof from the exterior and the interior sides (your ceilings). 

Water damage can be costly and affect the structural integrity of your home, and so it’s important to keep an eye out for water damage before it wreaks havoc. If you’re looking to buy a new home, here are a few things to look for to ensure that you don’t prematurely buy a home that’s susceptible to water damage. 

If you recognize the signs of water damage on one of your regular rounds inspecting the vulnerable areas of your home, contact SERVPRO of River Oaks  at 713-666-9222. With state-of-the-art technology and training, our disaster restoration professionals are equipped for handling the job

Clean Or Repair Roof Gutters

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

a closeup picture of a gutter on a roof with leaves in it Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222!

Clean or Repair Roof Gutters

A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

Improve air flow in your home

According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

https://www.treehugger.com/how-to-prevent-mold-tips-4864317

SERVPRO of River Oaks is here for all of your restoration needs.

What Businesses Should Know About Water Damage

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO employee talking to a customer with the here to help words in the middle of the picture  Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222!

What Businesses Should Know About Water Damage

Whether it’s from a leaky boiler or a flood, did you know that, according to Chubb claims data, your office is more likely to have water damage than damage from a fire? If your business owns or leases property or office space, it’s best to have a plan and be prepared—these practical tips will help get you started.

What to Do If You Experience a Flood Once you’ve located the leak or water intrusion, relocate affected employees and—if it is safe to do so—contain the spread of water with your flood control kits; identify and shut off electrical equipment threatened by water; and try to remove the water within 72 hours to prevent mold damage.

https://www.chubb.com/us-en/businesses/resources/what-businesses-should-know-about-water-damage.aspx

SERVPRO of River Oaks is here for all of your restoration needs.

Storm Damage Restoration

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

A picture of a SERVPRO van outside Call us today at 713-666-9222

Blog Summary: Surviving a significant storm is a stressful event, and dealing with the restoration is not always easy. The pros at SERVPRO of Hurst-Euless-Bedford demystify the process by outlining what to expect so you can get quick and easy storm damage restoration.

The Ultimate Guide to Storm Damage Restoration

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, 2019 was the most active year for climate disasters, costing Americans $40 billion in property damages.

Storms can cause significant property damage, which, if left unattended, can render a home uninhabitable. Hailstorms and strong winds can make roofs unusable, while heavy rainfall can cause flooding and water damage throughout the property.

SERVPRO of Hurst-Euless-Bedford knows that storm damage repair is often a lengthy and costly process. However, they want to help homeowners make the process easier and understandable. Here’s their guide on getting your home back to normal after a storm.

Contact the Insurance Company

Most homeowner's insurance policies will cover some aspects of storm damage, so your first step is to get in touch with the insurance agency. You can help the insurance adjuster by taking photos of the damage, but most companies will also send out their own assessor to the property. They will evaluate the extent of the damage to see how much compensation you need.

Many local homeowners are shocked to find that their insurance doesn't cover hail, windstorms, or natural flooding. If you have a standard homeowner's insurance policy, it would be wise to take out additional coverage. The last thing you want is to be stuck without coverage after a bad Texas storm.

Find a Storm Damage Restoration Company

Even small incidents of hail can cause significant damage, so it's smart to call a restoration company to assess your property. Even a single missing roof tile can result in thousands of dollars of water damage if left unattended.

In many cases, your insurer will provide recommendations on a building restoration service, but that doesn't mean that owners can't do their own research. Friends and relatives can give recommendations, and online reviews are everywhere.

If you’re in a rush, SERVPRO of River Oaks can handle every aspect of restoration, from water removal and flood cleanup to a fire damage restoration service and even mold removal.

The Restoration Process

The restoration begins by making sure any existing issues don't worsen. Some repairs may take days to complete, so these will need to be patched up before the complete restoration takes place. 

An unseen issue, such as an electrical problem, can pose a huge threat. For this reason, the sooner the company starts working on the property, the better.

Most storm, water, and fire restoration companies recommend that homeowners don't try to enter the property or use any electrical appliances after a storm. Amateur water cleanup attempts can make the situation even worse, and homeowners lack the gear and training to clean up a damaged home safely.

The restoration process will depend on the type of damage and the extent of the damage. For example, water restoration companies might be able to remove standing water and dry out all surfaces in as little as two days. On the other hand, fire restoration companies might need weeks to remove rubble and ensure all wiring is safe.

Any good restoration company will understand that the possibility of losing a home is stressful. They should approach clients with a kind and professional demeanor, as well as explain each step of the process.

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

A picture of a brown roof and the SERVPRO logo at the bottom Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222!

When it comes to knowing how often you should replace your roof, there really isn’t any hard and fast rule. You have to keep an eye on its condition to be able to tell if you need to start thinking about it. If your roof is showing signs of damage, that could lead to major water or storm damage to the rest of your home. Our team wanted to share a few potential issues your roof may develop; any one of these may mean it’s time to replace your roof. 

Age

An asphalt shingle roof should last between 20 and 30 years, so if you have a 40-year-old roof, just keep in mind that you will probably need to replace it entirely in the next 1-5 years.

Shingles

Shingles can curl in two ways: by “cupping,” which happens when the edges of the shingles turn upward; and “clawing,” which is when the edges stay flat and the middle starts to come up. Both are signs of weathering and indicate that potential leaks may possibly be developing, depending on the extent. Every homeowner finds themselves replacing a missing shingle, but it can be just about impossible to get a new shingle to match the color of an old one. Granule colors have changed pretty significantly over the years, and shingle colors often change with years of weathering. If your roof is starting to look like a patchwork quilt, you may want to consider replacing it soon. 

Damage

Cracked shingles are typically caused by wind damage, and if the damage is extensive and not isolated to just one area, you should start thinking about replacing your roof within the next few years. 

Algae Or Moss

This is not a big deal when it shows up on your roof, but it doesn’t give your home or business a great look. You don’t want to take matters into your own hands by power washing or scraping it away since that will often chip off all the protective granules and essentially render your shingles useless. You can use a wash that's one part bleach and one part water to remove algae or moss, and if you do decide to replace your roof, consider tiles that are algae-resistant.

Light

This issue is pretty obvious: if light can get in through your roof, so can rain. If you see any water stains during the next rainfalls, and if they spread or expand, you have an active leak, and it is time to contact SERVPRO of River Oaks immediately to help remediate the water damage and potential mold growth.

Sagging

A sagging roof is typically an indication of a structural issue and demands immediate attention. There could be a problem with the decking in the attic or with the supports in the foundation, which is even worse. You're not necessarily in imminent danger, but this is the kind of thing that's a lot easier to take care of when it's small and localized, so call your roofing professionals right away for this roofing issue. 

When it comes to replacing your roof, there is no hard and fast rule. If you are experiencing water damage, it is probably time. Remember that SERVPRO of River Oaks is here to help if you are dealing with water damage, fire damage, or a mold infestation. We are committed to getting your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!

Winter Fire Hazards In Your Place Of Business

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

a wall with an outlet and a plug plugged in it and on fire with the SERVPRO logo Call SERVPRO of River Oaks at 713-666-9222!

With the changing of the seasons comes cooler weather, and for most of us, it is a welcome change. Who doesn’t love snuggling up before a warm fire at this time of year? We’ve pulled out the sweaters and fluffy blankets to stay toasty, and most of us will employ a space heater or two before spring comes around again.

In your place of business, you will be taking those extra steps to make sure your staff is comfortable during the colder months, as well. Let’s make sure they stay fire safe! Here are some winter fire hazards to be aware of:

  • Most businesses won’t be using a fireplace to warm their interiors, but those who work out of doors may build fires on the job site to keep hands and toes functional. Make sure your crew is careful to use metal receptacles for those bonfires and that they place them far away from flammable materials such as wood and linens. If a wind comes up, things could get dangerous fast.
  • In your offices, the use of space heaters will be helpful. Inspect every unit used to make sure that cords and plugs are in good working condition, and enforce a policy that ensures they are never left running when the room is unoccupied or when the workday is over. Designate someone to oversee this; they should be the person who is normally last out the door. As the owner, it may very well be you.
  • Employ a landscape company to remove leaves and dead vegetation from your property. In the event of a fire in your building, space that is cleared from the foundation and exterior walls will help firefighters to gain access as well as prevent a fire from spreading further.
  • When repairing or renovating your offices or outbuildings, use fire-resistant materials whenever possible. Flooring, furniture, and paint can all be produced or treated after purchase to make them more fire safe.

The team here at SERVPRO of River Oaks is always available to help you keep your business fire safe. In the event of damages sustained from fire or water, we have the experience and know how to complete a cleanup project quickly and efficiently, getting you back to work as soon as possible.

Safety Tips For Using A Fire Extinguisher

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Fire is the most common emergency occurrence owners of homes and small businesses should plan for. One of the best ways to be prepared is by having a fire extinguisher readily available, making sure it’s properly maintained and audited, and by being educated on its proper use. This will already be a fire safety requirement for any business, and it’s a good idea for the homeowner, as well. 

OSHA requires employers to train their staff thoroughly on how to use a fire extinguisher correctly and to accurately assess the situation if a fire is to occur so that it can be determined if/when an evacuation needs to take place. OSHA has established annual training for employees as a minimal requirement for all places of business, and this training is helpful for homeowners as well.  

The PASS training technique is recommended: 

  • P. Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
  • A. Aim the nozzle of the hose at the base of the fire. 
  • S. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent. 
  • S. Sweep the nozzle from side to side, directed at the base of the flames, until the fire is extinguished. 

Once someone knows how to properly operate a fire extinguisher, they should then also be trained to follow fire safety protocol. Such training should enable anyone to be able to:

  • Locate and activate the fire alarm.
  • Call the fire department and emergency responders immediately. 
  • Determine a safe evacuation route that will direct people away from flames, excessive heat, and smoke. They should also know how to keep the route from becoming blocked.
  • Use the PASS technique for discharging a fire extinguisher (outlined above), and know the importance of backing away from the area if the fire flares up again. 
  • Evacuate the area immediately if the fire is still going and the extinguisher is empty, or if the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled without fire department personnel. 

NOTE: Fire extinguishers are made to handle small fires only. If the environment becomes too dangerous, everyone should know when and how to evacuate. Excessive smoke and heat, impaired evacuation routes, and poor visibility are all conditions that can evolve very quickly, and people need to understand that safety comes first and foremost. 


SERVPRO of River Oaks is here to help with cleanup projects both large and small and are dedicated to getting your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. We also handle mold prevention and remediation, as well as fire damage and water damage.