Avoid Mold Damage!
Call SERVPRO of River Oaks with any questions at 713-666-9222
The fact that mold is unpleasant and can have a musty odor isn’t the only reason to be wary when you first notice it in your home or office. Mold growth occurs when the moisture content of a space is too high for too long. There’s a natural amount of mold spores normally present in most environments, but if the moisture level in a water-damaged environment isn’t promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Why should all this matter to you? Excessive mold growth can lead to harmful indoor environmental conditions. Learning as much as you can about mold can be your best defense.
SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals handle water damage every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread after a 48-hour period. Organic materials found inside buildings, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation provide food sources for mold to flourish. If your property has sustained recent water damage, it’s vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly, as well as be on alert for the following:
- The presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors
- Evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
- Excessive humidity
Do You Have The Right Smoke Detector?
Having a smoke detector in your home is critical to making sure you and your family are safe. You should have one in every bedroom and on every floor of your home. You probably already knew how important these little alarms are, but do you know how to make sure that your smoke detector is a good one?
Smoke detectors can come in any size and shape, and they can be as cheap as $5 or as expensive as $150, so with all of these options, how do you know what to choose? First, there are two different types of detectors: ionized and photoelectric. Some devices are a combination of these two types. Ionized smoke detectors work best when there are actual flames present. They are quick to sound the alarm when a lot of heat is produced. Photoelectric smoke detectors work well with fires that start slow and tend to smolder and create a lot of smoke. Smoldering fires like these are usually pretty silent, so people do not always notice them at first; some people will actually develop breathing problems and pass out before they realize that a fire is occurring.
Both types of alarms are designed to detect fire no matter what, and both will be sufficient to get you and your loved ones out of the house in time as long as you keep up with maintenance such as testing the alarms and replacing batteries when needed. If you feel the need, you can put a mixture of the two types of alarms throughout your house. Regardless of what type you choose, make sure you have them in the kitchen, bedrooms, and any other important places in your home.
If your house or office suffers from a fire loss, call SERVPRO® of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222
What Is Stormwater Runoff ?
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Stormwater runoff is rain that has not been soaked into the ground, so it flows over the ground until it finds somewhere to go. Ideally, the water would find a stream or river to flow into, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the water will flow straight into your house. Water damage is never fun, and trying to get rid of water as well as clean up the rest of the mess a storm has left behind can be a real hassle. The best way to handle stormwater runoff is to make sure it doesn’t happen to begin with. If you are up for a bit of landscaping, you can optimize your yard to keep stormwater away from your building.
- Swales: Simply put, a swale is just a type of trench meant to carry water and redirect it away from something important. If you decide to install swales in your yard, make sure they are redirecting somewhere that the water will not cause damage such as a stream or pond.
- Rain Gardens: These gardens are designed with plants that are able to take up excess water to keep it from flowing freely. They also help filter the water so that the water that does reach ponds and rivers tends to be cleaner than water that has just flowed over driveways and roads.
- Draining Driveways: Driveways are one of the largest contributors to stormwater runoff. Installing drainage areas on the sides of the pavement or using gravel can help minimize the amount of water that becomes runoff.
What Is Water Restoration ?
Water Restoration is the restoring of your home to pre-damage conditions involves water removal, decontamination, and drying.
Standing water and moisture create the perfect environment for bacteria and microbial growth. Prolonged exposure to an environment like this can lead to allergic reactions and even disease.
Parts of a water-damaged home may need to be rebuilt. Materials like drywall and carpet that have absorbed water often develop bacteria and microbial growth that can’t be removed. Replacing these materials is safer than allowing infectious organisms to saturate the air.
SERVPRO Water Restoration Process
Repairing a water damaged home involves a process starting with a thorough inspection of the damage to the replacement of flooring, walls, and ceilings.
Step 1: Inspection – SERVPRO of River Oaks can best assess the extent and amount of water damage in your home. Each inspection determines a class and category of water damage. Defining the class and category of water damage helps outline the best means to restore your property.
Step 2: Water Removal – Pumps and vacuums are used to remove water from your home. The type of equipment needed depends on the extent of the water damage. Water removal begins as soon as possible to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Step 3: Drying – After all standing water and absorbent surfaces are vacuumed, drying and dehumidification begins. This step is important to clear up any remaining moisture after water removal. The drying out process can take several weeks to fully complete.
Step 4: Cleaning – All personal belongings need to be cleaned and sanitized to prevent unwanted mold and bacterial growth. Carpeting, clothing, and drapery are given antimicrobial treatments. Air scrubbers may also be used to remove particles and moisture from the air.
Step 5: Restoration – The biggest step in the process is restoration. The restoration involves replacing materials like drywall and insulation. Sometimes this process is as simple as installing a few panels of drywall, while serious cases could require replacing entire walls. Exposure to toxic substances like lead and asbestos is possible during restoration. Older homes are likely to contain these substances.
Here at SERVPRO of River Oaks we are here to help you with whatever happens. Our 24-Hour Emergency Response is in place to help you no matter the time of night or day.
Are You Prepared for Thunderstorms ?
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Is Your Family or Business Prepared for a Thunderstorm?
Here are a few tips to help you with getting prepared.
- Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household.
- Decide with members of your household a safe place in your home for members to gather during a thunderstorm.
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed and remove damaged branches.
- Protect your animals by bringing them inside your home.
- Family & emergency contact information.
- Copies of personal documents.
- One gallon of water per person in house hold.
- Food items that are non-perishable and easy-to-prepare.
- Medications and medical devices.
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Cell phone with chargers
Are the pipes in your home/business about to burst?
Whatever the cause is, SERVPRO® of River Oaks is ready 24 hours a day to mitigate the damage.
A burst pipe can cause some serious water damage to your home or business, but since pipes are usually located in walls or ceilings, it can be difficult to make sure they are always working properly. Here are some tips to help avoid an unexpected water loss.
- Movement: Pipes that have not been secured properly may move around inside the walls and ceilings of your home or business. Turning the water on and off will cause them to shift around and bang against the walls; this movement weakens the joints of the plumbing and makes it easier for the system to start leaking or fall apart entirely. If you hear any clanging or banging inside your walls, get a professional in immediately to make sure that you plumbing is properly hooked up.
- Freezing: Unlike most substances that shrink when they get cold, water actually expands! When water freezes, the molecules align themselves in a way that causes the volume of the ice to take up more space than the liquid water. This means that if the water in your pipes freezes, the ice will push out on the sides of the pipe until it bursts open. To prevent this from happening, open your cabinets to let warm air reach your pipes and turn your faucets on to allows a slow trickle of water to run through the pipes.
- Water Pressure Changes: Making sure that your water pressure is steady is an important part of keeping your pipes whole and functioning. A large increase in pressure will cause the pipes to burst. Pressure can increase if some part of the pipe clogs or if something was not installed properly when the water lines were set up in your home. Locate your pressure gauge, and make sure to keep checking it for dramatic changes. If you spot high pressure, call a plumber to get it taken care of right away.
- Corrosion: Pipes are built to last for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that they are invincible. Sometimes, the galvanized coating that is used to waterproof the pipes can be worn down, and the pipes will begin to rust. Over time, the rust will build up inside the pipes which can cause pressure to build and pipes to burst.
Storm Water Pollution Solutions
SERVPRO of River Oaks
- Remember to turn off your sprinklers when it rains to avoid water runoff. during winter, runoff can freeze causing slippery conditions, so be sure to avoid letting sprinkler water build up on pavement.
- Bag your pet's waste, don't just leave it there. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local waterways.
- Don't apply pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides before it rains. Contrary to popular belief, the rain won't help to soak these chemicals into the ground; it will only help create polluted runoff into our local creeks.
- Select native and adapted plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
- Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Vegetation can help act as a natural filter for polluted storm water runoff.
- If you change your car's oil. Don't dump it on the ground or in the storm drain; dispose of it properly at an oil recycling center.
- Check your car, boat, or motorcycle for leaks. Clean up spilled fuels with an absorbent material, don't rinse the spills into the storm drain.
- Compost your yard waste.
- Don't get rid of old or unused paint by throwing it down the storm drain; dispose of paint and other hazardous household waste at recycling facilities.
- Don't pump your pool water into the storm drain - pool chemicals can be hazardous to our creek habitats. Whenever possible, drain your pool into the sanitary sewer system where it can be treated.
What Type of Water Damage?
Call SERVPRO of River Oaks @713-666-9222
Water damage is damage caused to your property by water being where it shouldn’t be. In some cases, this will be the result of a flood or of malfunction – a burst pipe or water main, for instance, will commonly lead to water damage that is highly acute and that requires immediate attention.
This type of water damage can be caused by three types of water called category 1, 2 and 3. Category one water is clean and clear water (also called ‘white’ water) whereas category three is dirty water that can be toxic and cause infections and illness (also called black water). This adds another dimension to your water damage in the latter case.
This is, of course, the ‘obvious’ type of water damage that is very apparent when you see it. Just as common though is for water damage to be subtler and to easily go unnoticed until you can identify the symptoms. Signs of water damage include things like puddles, dripping water, soft walls and floors, peeling tiles and discoloration. Mold is also a big sign that there has been water damage.
When water damage is more gradual like this, then you will need the services of SERVPRO of River Oaks on a less urgent basis – but you should nevertheless aim to get it looked at as soon as possible to ensure that you prevent it from spreading and to protect your health and the health of your family. Moisture in the air and particularly mold spores can otherwise be very bad for you and your family. At the same time, if moisture affects your building deeply, it can end up undermining the structural integrity of your building.
Why You Should Use SERVPRO of River Oaks!
7 Reasons to choose SERVPRO of River Oaks for your Home or Commercial Clean up / Restoration
1. 24-Hour Emergency Response
Timely mitigation is key to controlling damage, downtime and recovery costs. You and those who depend on your facility will appreciate the rapid response, and the training of your SERVPRO of River Oaks team will help limit damage and get your facility back in operation quickly. You can count on SERVPRO’s nationwide coverage, full line of restoration services, and the 1-4-8 service guidelines to help make you look good.
You’ll know what’s happening every step of the way. From the first telephone call within the first hour following damage notification, until the job is complete, SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals are dedicated to effectively communication with property owners and managers. You will be aware of job status and the progress towards project completion.
Jobs are documented with itemized estimates, digital photographs, signed work authorization forms and regular proves reports. SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals, utilizing technology developed for documenting insurance claims, electronically collect and store project information which is accessible to you via secure email link 24-hours. Upon project completion, a signed customer satisfaction form is the final piece of information entered into the file.
3. Reduce Recovery Time
When fire, water or mold damage strikes a commercial facility, it has a negative impact on everyone – the owner, the management team, employees, tenants, and even customers. Even small fire or water damages must be addressed quickly in order to limit secondary damage and to lessen business interruption.
Your SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals understand the urgency in responding to your facility following a disaster. By arriving quickly mitigation damage to the structure and contents, and providing effective cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of River Oaks will help you reopen the doors as soon as possible.
4. Lower Recovery Cost
Emergency Mitigation Services Help Minimize Secondary Damages.
SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines help to ensure timely communication and response. Quick and accurate response can minimize loss expense from secondary damages.
Proper Restoration Versus Replacement of Contents is Less Expensive.
SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals strive to restore items to preloss condition. This helps lower mitigation ad restoration cost while allowing treasure belongings to be salvaged when possible.
Faster Recovery Lessens Loss.
SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals are nearby, ready to respond quickly. The faster restoration begins, the quicker our customers can return to business.
Pre-Approved Pricing and Procedures
SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to help ensure the property is taken care of right the fir time.
5. Emergency Response Profile
Like most commercial properties, your facility probably has an emergency exit plan in place, with illuminated signs leading occupants to safety, and even facility maps strategically placed to identify alternate routes out of the building. But have you developed a thorough Contingency Plan? Is emphasis on the first 24-48 hours, to help you get back in your building as possible?
Your SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals can provide you assistance in developing an Emergency Response Profile. As part of a well-thought-out Contingency Plan, Your Emergency Response Profile will contain information you will need in the event an emergency situation occurs.
An added advantage to utilizing your SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals in the development of your Emergency Response Profile is the opportunity to coordinate a preferred provider relationship including pre-arranged pricing and procedures for handling emergency response for your facility before damages occurs.
6. Full line of Services
Utilizing the right equipment and supplies, a SERVPRO of River Oaks professional can handle all of your cleanup needs, such as fire, water and mold restoration services; SERVPRO of River Oaks provides cleanup services for those special needs that surpass the capabilities of your regular maintenance staff.
7. A National Leader in Storm Response… Help When You Need It Most!
In the event of a major catastrophe, the SERVPRO system has a nationwide Large Loss Response Team comprised of trained and equipped professionals capable of responding to your facility. While most systems have a waiting list, you get priority service with SERVPRO of River Oaks. Call today to find out how.
Tips to Prevent Winter Home Fires
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fire places, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
If your property suffers from fire damage, contact SERVPRO of River Oaks to help make it "Like it never even happened."