Recent Posts

Warped Wood

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

All severely warped wood (particularly flooring), rotting wood and wood that has developed mold/mildew problems will need to be replaced. Pry apart damaged boards and thoroughly clean beneath them before replacing them. And if the wood is a structural component of your house, you must be very careful when replacing it so that the structure has the right support during and after the water damage repair project.

Install new, sealed floors

From wet carpets to swollen floorboards, it’s often evident when water has damaged your floor but if you aren’t sure, it’s important to check immediately in case moisture has become trapped underneath. Note that underlayment and padding are particularly susceptible to water damage and must usually be removed. However, this also presents an opportunity to install new, waterproof flooring in the area. Ceramic tile, high-end vinyl and certain engineered wood materials can all help protect floors against future water damage repair.

Water Heater Failure

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

There are multiple ways that hot water heaters can leak.  If water is spraying or flooding from the pipes, there is likely a leak where the pipes are soldered or a rusted-out fitting that is near the hot water tank. If it is leaking from the tank itself, your tank could be corroded and may need replacing.

If water is dripping or pooling from the heater itself, it could potentially be coming from the pressure release valve. This valve is designed to leak water when it senses excess pressure from the pipes. If the valve isn’t faulty, the problem likely stems from the water pressure settings in your home or the temperature being set too high. When dealing with leaks from the hot water tank, it is important to remember that the water that comes out of the heater could be hot enough to scald skin.

A hot water heater can also fail, immediately leaking 120 gallons on your basement floor and continuously leaking on the floor of your basement.  Be sure to replace the anode rod regularly and maintain your hot water heater to prevent against these types of leaks.

Gradual Damage

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Broken pipe and Water damage example

Another example is if something that happened gradually, like a broken pipe, or a broken water tank, or a washing machine breaks due to (unexpected) wear and tear. The actual pipe itself, or washing machine will not be covered. However, the resulting damage from the sudden breakage may be.

What does the term “Resulting Damage” mean in Insurance?

The resulting damage is a different than the initial damage. For example, if water damage resulting from a broken pipe, or appliance is listed in your wording as covered, then you may be compensated for a portion of the damages caused even though the deteriorated pipe replacement or a new appliance would not be covered. This is an example the cause of the damage not being covered, but the resulting damage being covered.

3 Types of Water

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Once you’ve shut down the water source and electricity, you may be staring at puddles and wondering, “What now?” Now it’s time to assess and do water damage repair—and do it quickly! Wet materials start developing very serious problems like mold after around 24 hours. You don’t have time to wait.

Know the different types of water

Believe it or not, there are three types of water. The first type is “clean” water from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, and so on. It’s relatively harmless to clean it up yourself. The second type is gray water, slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, and so on. And it may have some contaminants. But you can clean it up yourself if you remove it carefully and with proper safety gear to protect yourself.

The third type is black water, such as sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water contains waste, bacteria and other serious contaminants. Black water can cause very serious health problems, and you shouldn’t try to clean it up yourself. It’s time to contact the pros for home water damage repair

Mold Prevention Tips Anyone?

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

A big red circle with a diagonal line across with the word mold in all caps in the middle and the SERVPRO logo at the top. SERVPRO of River Oaks is here to help so call us at 713-666-9222


  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
  • To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency’s publication 

Be Safe, Save Anything You Can

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Save Anything That You Can 

Once the building is secure and the water is switched off, you should try to save anything that isn’t yet damaged. Just remember to do this safely and leave any electrical equipment though. Things like furniture, any documents that you have around the office, and any paintings or pictures on the walls can be removed before they sustain any water damage. Bring these items outside and see if you can start drying them out. It’s likely that a lot of the items in the office will be damaged beyond repair but anything that you can rescue will save you a little bit of money when you’re refurbishing the office again. 

Call A Liquid Disposal Company 

For now, you’ve done everything that you can to limit the damage and start saving some items, now you need to start fixing the office up again. The first step is to get rid of all of that excess water so you need to call a company that deals with liquid waste removal from stormwater damage or burst pipes. They will be able to come in and start pumping all of that water out before it does any more damage to the building. The sooner you call them in to get rid of the water, the less damage will be done and the quicker you can start repairing the office and getting the business up and running again.

Hurricane Zone?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

An aerial view of the earth with a big circle of white clouds spreading causing a hurricane, top center is the SERVPRO logo. Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today at 713-666-9222

If you know that you live in a hurricane prone area, you should make a hurricane evacuation plan ASAP as a precaution. Hurricanes are very unpredictable and you don’t want to be scrambling last minute to put together an evacuation plan if a hurricane is heading your way. Kathy Phillips, a Senior Underwriter at USAA, recommends creating a family evacuation plan that includes figuring out more than one escape route to your destination and calling ahead to shelters to make sure they can take your entire family, including pets. Part of your evacuation plan should also include telling family and friends where you’re heading, ensuring the cars are full of gas, and having extra cash on hand. You should have an emergency kit or two no matter where you live, but they are an absolute must if you live in an area frequented by hurricanes. “Don’t wait until the hurricane is at your door to figure out what you do,” Phillips says. You can either purchase a pre-made emergency kit (Phillips recommends the American Red Cross kits), but if you can also make your own. According to Phillips, your kit should include enough water for three days (one gallon per person per day), three days’ worth of non-perishable food items, necessary medications, important documents and paperwork, a regular first aid kit, flashlight, and either a weather radio or regular radio (make sure you have batteries for it, too!).

Timing is Everything!

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

When a hurricane is approximately 6 hours from arriving:

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING:

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

Soot and Smoke Residue

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

What is in the Smoke Residue/Soot? All materials involved in a fire cause odors. Typically, soot is representative of what has burned, but may include byproducts that at first seem unrelated to the original material. For example, hydrogen cyanide is a byproduct of burning wool. When wood burns it can produce manganese and benzene. As many products as there are in the world, there are an equal number of byproducts produced in a fire. Each fire is different based on the contents of what has burned during the event. Organic and inorganic materials produce different types of smoke residue or soot. These residues may be present on surfaces that conservators may be tasked with treating. Burnt organic material produces soot that is hard to see and often has a very pungent odor. This is known as protein smoke. It can discolor paints and varnishes. Protein smoke can disperse over large areas and attach itself to everything. How the fire burns and how much moisture is in the air while the fire burns, plays a role in soot deposition on articles. The amount of moisture in the air is a key component in whether the smoke that is produced is wet or dry. There are several types of smoke or soot, which may be present on a surface that conservators might be tasked with treating: Wet Smoke—can present as a sticky residue or soot, and is often associated with a smoldering type of fire and often will have a strong odor. Dry Smoke—associated with a fast-burning fire and occurs at high temperatures. Protein—often present in soot, usually invisible, it can discolor paints and varnishes and often has a very pungent odor. Protein odors could be caused by food on the stove burning slowly or other sources. The slow burn allows the protein to disperse and attach itself to everything, producing a strong odor.

Aftermath of a Fire

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

After the Fire! Returning to Normal A fire will change your life in many ways. Knowing where to begin and who can help you is important. The U.S. Fire Administration hopes you find this information useful in your journey to return to normal. What to Expect A fire in a home can cause serious damage. The building and many of the things in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke and water. You will find that things the fire did not burn up are now ruined by smoke and soggy with water used to put out the flames. Anything that you want to save or reuse will need to be carefully cleaned. The firefighters may have cut holes in the walls of the building to look for any hidden flames. They may even have cut holes in the roof to let out the heat and smoke. Cleanup will take time and patience. If your home had a home fire sprinkler system, you will find little damage from flames, heat, smoke and water. If you plan to rebuild your home, now is the time to think about installing sprinklers.