Recent Cleaning Posts

Misconceptions Of Property Damage

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Over the years, there has been an abundance of misconceptions and non-truths involving property damage and restoration procedures. Professional restoration companies are trained to see beyond the misconceptions and misinformation that often complicate a claim. If someone doesn’t act quickly enough or doesn’t take the right actions due to these misconceptions, they can end up with even more damage to deal with, that could have easily been avoided.

A SERVPRO of River Oaks professional restoration technician will prioritize mitigation over restoration ensuring damage costs do not escalate. Mitigation is extremely time-critical, as it stops further damage and reduces additional loss. It usually needs to be performed within 24 hours or less. Any delay will further complicate or devalue the mitigation effort.

Restoration, on the other hand, puts the damaged items back to a preloss condition. It is less time-critical, but still important and should be done as quickly as possible.

Misconception #1: Replacing is cheaper than restoring.

Cleaning is a mitigation process that has excellent results and is cost-effective - especially when compared to the cost of replacement. For instance, when smoke is not properly cleaned from delicate fabrics and surfaces, secondary damage can occur. Replacement is usually the only option. Hundreds of dollars of cleaning can become thousands of dollars of replacement due to delayed action. Today’s restoration professionals are able to effectively clean and remove contaminates, saving expensive replacement costs.

Misconception #2: If you get your carpets cleaned, they get dirty faster.

Techniques, equipment, and materials used in the past to clean carpets were inferior to those used by today’s professionals. In the past, inefficient carpet shampooing left a soap residue that attracted soil more rapidly than prior to cleaning. Restoration professionals now use a cleaning process that both flushes and rinses carpets, and prevents that from happening.

Misconception #3: Once the carpet is dry, that noisy equipment needs to be removed.

The greatest failure in restoring water-damaged structures is to remove the drying equipment before the drying is complete. Using the carpet or padding to determine dryness is a poor misrepresentation of whether the structure is dry or not (and one that is not easily defended if litigation follows). Carpet and padding dry quicker than other structural materials and are not an accurate gauge. The danger with ineffective drying is that it can turn a small loss from water damage into a multi-thousand dollar mold claim. SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals use measuring equipment to determine if moisture content has been returned to normal standards. Meters and sensors are used to document and record the data that justifies the use of the equipment and the best time to remove it. That is extremely important to accomplish the end result - a totally dry structure.

Misconception #4: Once a structure has been damaged by fire, it will always smell like smoke. So why rush to clean it up?

Stories arise about smoke damage restoration efforts that have failed - usually because odor remains. Smoke odor and residue are the products of incomplete combustion. They are acidic and are far more damaging than ordinary dirt or dust. Prompt cleaning actions can reduce losses if this acid is removed or neutralized. Odor removal is more complicated than turning on one machine and hoping to achieve satisfactory results. Restoration for smoke odor has to be thorough. All contaminated areas need to be cleaned, deodorized, and sealed where applicable. It is important that all odor molecules are neutralized, either airborne or absorbed.

SERVPRO of River Oaks professionals are the best assurance when it comes to mitigation and restoration. Due to their continuous technical training, they do not repeat the erroneous theories and mistakes of the past. Using the latest equipment and techniques, they make sure that the job is done correctly and completely - the first time.  SERVPRO of River Oaks restoration services are available 24/7, 365 days per year; they include water and flood damage cleanup, mold remediation, odor control, reconstruction services, trauma cleanup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup.  Don’t wait another moment if your home has been devastated; call us today at 713-666-9222.

Questions To A Commercial Cleaning Service Company

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

The certified SERVPRO cleaned logo Call SERVPRO of River Oaks today for your commercial cleaning needs!

The Best Questions to Ask a Commercial Cleaning Service Company

Although hiring a commercial cleaning service can be a daunting task, if done right, you’ll end up with a cleaning company that will meet and exceed your expectations. Many people wonder how they should screen potential commercial cleaning companies, especially when looking for specialized services such as mold removal, commercial water damage cleanup, water removal, and air duct cleaning.

What to Ask a Commercial Cleaning Service 

Whether you need industrial cleaning, school cleaning, or office cleaning, the following questions will go a long way toward determining whether the cleaning company can provide your business with the services you need.

1. Are you CIMS certified?

Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification ensures that the company under consideration has a proven record of adhering to industry best practices that deliver effective, consistent, and responsive cleaning. A company with this certification is committed to the industry and meets the highest standards—it’s almost a guarantee of excellence.

2. What training do you offer your employees?

The cleaning service's employees must be able to deliver the excellent service your business needs. For this to happen, employees need training explicitly geared toward the kind and level of commercial cleaning services your business requires.

3. How long have you been in business?

Besides having employees with the right level of expertise, the cleaning company must also have adequate experience. One way to predict the kind of service the company will offer is to look at its services in the past. Typically, experienced companies tend to be much better at what they do.

4. What accounts do you service with a business that closely resembles mine?

You ideally want a commercial cleaning company with experience working with other, similar business properties because this will help them get a better idea of the kind of customized commercial cleaning services needed.

5. What quality control checks do you use to ensure reliability?

The best commercial cleaning services use janitorial inspections to ensure quality control and employ reporting software and apps to communicate their results quickly and efficiently. This practice ensures that you regularly receive reports and updates to help resolve any possible issues that may arise.

6. Will the same employee or employees continually service my facility? What is your employee turnover percentage?

The best commercial cleaning companies hire and retain good employees. Having a consistent set of long-term cleaners is ideal since the team becomes aware of your establishment's requirements and understands your facility. 

Turnover percentage can also help you determine the level of continuity. While turnover percentages tend to be higher in low-paying service jobs, certain companies have adapted systems and practices that retain their key staff and lower their turnover percentages. Consider asking your potential cleaning service company what strategies it has adapted to ensure it retains its best employees.

7. How do you screen your employees?

Reliable companies work with reliable employees and have recruitment processes that ensure they only hire the right people. Some companies include personality tests in their recruitment process. Others verify references, police records, and previous employment. A cleaning service with a reliable screening process will protect your business, employees, and facility.

Any More Questions?

The number of questions to ask when looking for a commercial cleaning service is almost limitless. However, the above questions should help you get headed in the right direction and streamline the decision-making process. When it comes to commercial cleaning companies in Houston, SERVPRO is an industry leader.

Why SERVPRO?

SERVPRO is an all-in-one commercial cleaning and restoration company that has served Bedford since 1967. They are a licensed, insured, and certified option with rigorous hiring standards and a positive feedback profile in Texas.

For more information about commercial cleaning, contact SERVPRO of River Oaks.

Cleaning Flooded Buildings

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

A glass door with flood water filling up the building Call SERVPRO today!

This Fact Sheet was developed to help building owners, operators, contractors, and volunteer assistance groups deal with the challenges of working in structures that were not fully cleaned and dried shortly after the flooding. Remember that when first returning to a flood-damaged building, responders should follow the initial precautions and restoration steps detailed in the FEMA Recovery Advisory, The ABC’s of Returning to Flooded Buildings (Appendix E of FEMA 549, 2005). When a flooded home has not been cleaned and dried within a few weeks of the flood event, mold contamination should be expected, and specific steps are needed to clean and restore the home. Basic cleaning and drying information is presented in the FEMA Recovery Advisory Initial Restoration for Flooded Buildings (FEMA 549, 2005), which specifies five steps for post-flood building restoration, including (1) air out, (2) move out, (3) tear out, (4) clean out, and (5) dry out. This Fact Sheet builds on the last two of these steps and assumes that the majority of the muck-out and gutting process has been completed and the home is ready for cleaning and drying. Key Issues • Floodwaters carry a variety of contaminants such as bacteria, oil, heavy metals, and pesticides. While first responders’ initial evaluations of Hurricane Sandy floodwaters indicated that exposure to such items are below current limits for safe occupancy, proper cleaning and preparation for rebuilding is critical to protect workers and occupants from both short-term hazards and long-term risk. • Other hazards are present in addition to the substances brought in with the floodwaters, especially in homes that were not dried out within a week of the flooding. Safety issues related to wet mechanical and electrical systems, exposure to lead and asbestos released from building materials, and mold growth need to be addressed. • Mold is a serious health hazard if the home is reoccupied without proper cleaning. Although a variety of products and techniques can reduce and control mold, the cleaning and drying process described in this Fact Sheet also helps to remove other floodwater contaminants. Personal Safety Flooded buildings can pose a number of health and safety risks, for both individuals who wish to maintain occupancy and those who work to repair them. Eliminating hazards is the best way to protect occupants and workers; however, until conditions can be returned to normal, anyone working in a flooded building should use appropriate personal safety equipment and take appropriate safety precautions.

Hoarder Symptoms #HereToHelp!

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

A living room of a house that has mountains of trash & miscellaneous items it is a hoarder house the SERVPRO logo is top Call SERVPRO of River Oaks anytime at 713-666-9222

Each hoarding situation is different:

The way they started hoarding, the items they collect, the reasoning behind it, the conditions it is in.

Because each situation is different we handle each case on a case by case scenario. A hoarder home is one of the most difficult types of jobs to handle. Not only do we need to make sure that the contents are packed and boxed in order for us to do our job (handle the water damage/fire) but we also have to be mindful that these contents more than likely holds significant value to our customer.

How does one get into the situation where their home is completely full of contents and they are to the extreme buried alive?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. The behavior usually has deleterious effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for a hoarder and family members.

For those who hoard, the quantity of their collected items sets them apart from other people. Commonly hoarded items may be newspapers, magazines, paper and plastic bags, cardboard boxes, photographs, household supplies, food, and clothing.

 Hoarding can be related to compulsive buying (such as never passing up a bargain), the compulsive acquisition of free items (such as collecting flyers), or the compulsive search for perfect or unique items (which may not appear to others as unique, such as an old container).

SYMPTOMS AND BEHAVIOR

Someone who hoards may exhibit the following:

  • Inability to throw away possessions
  • Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
  • Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
  • Indecision about what to keep or where to put things
  • Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
  • Suspicion of other people touching items
  • Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
  • Functional impairments, including loss of living space, social isolation, family or marital discord, financial difficulties, health hazards

I know that embarrassment can keep people from seeking help but REGARDLESS OF THE REASONING WE ARE HERE TO HELP.

Spring Cleaning Tips

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Spring has officially sprung and that means it is time for spring cleaning! If you think the only way to clean your home is with harsh chemicals, think again! You can clean almost every surface in your home with distilled white vinegar. Get every room in your home looking clean and smelling fresh by following these spring cleaning tips.

Clean Carpet

Over the course of the winter, your carpet may have developed an odor and it may have sand, salt, and dirt trapped inside of it. Help eliminate the odor and remove anything trapped inside of the carpet by mixing essential oils and distilled white vinegar. Before applying this mixture, test it out on a small area of your carpet because some fabrics are sensitive and it may cause damage.

Clean Windows

Over time, windows get dirty or develop smudges. You can make your windows look crystal clear by mixing one part hot water and one part distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Simply spray the solution on the window and wipe away to clean.

Follow these three steps to make your windows truly shine.

  1. Clean from the top down.
  2. Do NOT clean your windows in direct sunlight. This will cause streaking.
  3. Avoid damage to your window frames by drying immediately.

Clean Mattress

Dust mites and odors are inevitable when it comes to mattresses. You can help eliminate them by doing the following steps.

  1. Remove all sheets and blankets from the bed.
  2. Spray mattress with distilled white vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the white vinegar and let it bubble.
  4. Place a towel over mattress for 1-2 hours or until dry.
  5. Vacuum up any residue from the baking soda.

Clean Refrigerator

You probably want to avoid using harsh chemicals where you store your food. Follow these steps to get your refrigerator looking like new!

  1. Remove all contents from the refrigerator.
  2. Wash shelves and the sides of the refrigerator with one part hot water and one part distilled white vinegar.
  3. Dry all areas of the refrigerator
  4. Wipe down jars before putting them back in the refrigerator.

Clean Bathtub

Over the course of time, your tub can build up with grime and soap residue. You can eliminate the buildup with ease by doing the following.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with one part hot water and one part distilled white vinegar
  2. Spray mixture in the tub and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Wipe clean with a sponge or a towel
  4. Rise tub with water and wipe again