Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Commercial Building

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe system with the Phrase Move Quickly Fix leaks right away

Prevent Fungus From Growing Or Returning

Mold is a fungus that grows easily in moist environments. It can spread quickly via spores that travel through the air or on shoes and clothing. Black mold is one variety that you may find in your Urban Reserve, TX, building. The following are some ways that you can prevent the fungus from growing or returning if it has previously been removed.

1. Fix Leaks Right Away
Even small leaks can create the environment needed for black mold to grow. Whether it is from a pipe, plumbing fixture, or appliance, any leak should be repaired as soon as possible. Do not put it off just because it seems less urgent, particularly if you have had trouble with mold in the past.

2. Prepare For Storms
Water damage from a storm can create many problems, including mold growth. One way to limit this is to prepare for severe weather ahead of time. Keep your building maintained to reduce the amount of water that makes its way inside. A cleanup and restoration company can help remove storm damage before a large black mold infestation forms.

3. Manage Moisture in the Environment
Along with water damage, mold growth can also occur as a result of a moisture problem. In some cases, this can be because of humid weather. Other times, steam from a kitchen or bathroom can create an issue. One way to keep moisture in the building at a lower level is to use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. If possible, you may also want to keep some windows open or use exhaust fans to keep moisture at bay.
Mold cleanup and removal is often more difficult than mold prevention. Taking steps to keep mold from forming in your building will reduce the chances that you will have to deal with this pesky fungus. Proper maintenance is even more important if you have had trouble with mold in the past, as it is more likely to return in areas with previous growth.

How to Clean a Moldy Shower

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bathroom tiles Shower mold in Oak Highlands, TX.

Mold growth is extremely common in residential bathrooms. The wet, warm, humid environment that your bathroom can create is an ideal breeding ground for mold. Shower mold is especially common since this is where most of the excessive moisture is left behind. If your bathroom in Oak Highlands, TX, is experiencing an unwanted mold problem, use the following technique.

Getting Rid of Shower Mold

There are several mold cleaning techniques that have proven to be quite effective. Here's how to perform one of the most useful methods:

Create a non-toxic, homemade cleaning solution using equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle.
Generously mist down the moldy areas using the cleaning mixture. You should strive to create an even layer without over-saturating the tiles. If puddles are forming in the shower basin, you're using too much solution. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off the solution. The mold should easily come off with it. You may need to use multiple cleaning rags, depending on how large the affected area is.
Use a scrub brush or kitchen sponge to attack any stubborn mold patches that were left behind. You can use a toothbrush to scrub mold that grows in the shower caulking and grout.
Completely dry the area with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure you get rid of all the excess moisture.

Preventing Bathroom Mold
Keeping your bathroom as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent black mold from appearing. Next time you take a shower, open a window or crack the bathroom door open to prevent condensation from building up. After every shower, you need to wipe down the tiles, basin, grout, caulking, and tub edge. Mop up any leftover puddles on the floor as well.
Shower mold might be common, but it's still quite easy to get rid of using the above technique. If this method doesn't work for you, or your mold situation is spreading out of your control, you need to contact mold remediation experts immediately.

Here's What Happens When Flooding Hits Your Building Materials

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Three air movers or fans on wooden floor Drying process after water damage.

What Happens When Your Building Materials Get Flooded

When flooding or heavy rain strikes the home you're building, swelling wood, especially in your subfloor and cabinets, can result in costly damage while other materials, depending on what they're made of, can be saved.
For water pipe repair, you'll need to hire a plumber. Once the source of flooding is fixed, contact water damage restoration specialists to completely dry your home and remove whatever mold may have resulted.
Here's what happens when flooding hits your building materials.

When OSB Is Flooded by a Broken Supply Line
OSB stands for oriented strand board and it's made up of layers of chipped wood that are pressed together under tremendous pressure to make panels. OSB is typically used in subflooring and in cabinets because of its low cost. When OSB panels are exposed to flooding, however, swelling wood inside the panels is impossible to restore. In such instances, the panels must be replaced.

When Drywall and Real Wood Are Soaked
When the swelling wood that resulted from flooding is real wood or drywall, it can be dried and preserved by following these steps:

  • Clear out the standing water by using a wet/dry vacuum
  • Use a sponge to mop up the remaining water
  • Remove any damp material covering the wood
  • Open doors and windows to allow a draft if the weather is warm
  • Bring in fans to dry the wood
  • Use Electric Heaters to Produce a Dry Heat

Once the wood is completely dry, you can cover it once more or use it in your building projects.
If flooding soaks your home, some materials using OSB will have to be replaced, but you can restore many other materials by removing the water and allowing them to dry using warm air. By taking these steps and having professionals remove any mold, your building materials will be good as new.

IICRC Certification: What It Is and Why It Matters for Your Restoration

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

People in a meeting with IICRC logo on top right side of picture Our technicians undergo extensive water restoration training and certification through an IICRC-approved school.

IICRC Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit organization that has been setting the bar for restoration industry standards for years. The IICRC is a globally recognized certification and one that proves that your restoration contractor is capable of doing the job.

1. Proven Knowledge

In order to obtain a restoration and mitigation certificate, technicians must prove knowledge of standard practices and procedures. They cannot receive certification without first attending and completing approved coursework through an approved school and instructor.

2. Required Training

The IICRC also requires training in the latest restoration technologies and techniques through a certified firm. The field of mitigation and restoration is a highly specialized field, and you should make sure that everyone involved in your project is a trained and specialized technician working under a certified firm. Ensuring that everyone is qualified means that you can rest assured that your residence is in good hands under the supervision of a team that has met some of the highest standards in the industry.

3. Continuous Renewals

Becoming a certified disaster restoration specialist in the Hamilton Park, TX, area is not a one and done kind of process. Both firms and agents must maintain their certifications through continuing education and practice. Every certificate has an expiration, and just because someone was once certified and capable does not mean that they still are. Standards of care change frequently as advances in technology and techniques evolve, and it is essential that you hire a firm that is capable of performing at the standards of today, not yesterday.

The IICRC takes great pride in their certified technicians and firms, and you should too. These individuals and companies have proven their knowledge and ability, and because of that, they have earned the respect of an industry standard setter. Therefore, the next time you are faced with a disaster and the impending work of a restoration, seek out only those professionals and companies that proudly proclaim their certification.

How To Prevent a Space Heater Fire

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater Space heaters can be useful for keeping an area in your home warmer.

Space heaters can be useful for keeping an area in your home warmer than the temperature setting on central heating. These appliances can lower costs and increase comfort. An unsafe appliance or one that is not operated properly can lead to a burned space heater and house fire. Follow a few simple measures to safely use a space heater.

Choose a Heater With Safety Features

The right heater can reduce the risk of a fire. Make sure the model you buy has the following safety features:

  • Ground fault circuit interrupter plug
  • Automatic shut-off for overheating
  • Safety certification
  • A cord that is six feet or longer

A heater with these features may cost slightly more but should be worth the peace of mind.

Situate a Heater in a Safe Spot

A burned space heater may result if you operate this appliance in a risky location. Make sure the room where you plan to use the heater has an empty outlet, level surface, and sufficient space. You should always:

• Avoid plugging other electronics into the same outlet as a space heater
• Plug the heater directly into an outlet and never use an extension cord
• Keep at least three feet of space between heaters and combustibles such as curtains, bedding, or upholstery
• Situate the heater on a hard, non-flammable, level surface

Attend Operating a Heater

Even an appliance with safety features that is safely situated can still be a fire hazard. Reduce the risk of fire by turning off the appliance when you leave the room. You should never operate a heater unattended around children and pets or leave a heater plugged in when not in use.

It is estimated that space heaters start around 25,000 house fires every year in the United States. If a burned space heater causes a fire in your home in Northeast Dallas, TX, contact residential fire damage and smoke cleanup specialists.

Why Is Certification Important for Home Mold Remediation Companies?

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall covered with mold Mold damage in a Hamilton Park, TX home.

Why Is Home Mold Remediation Company Certification Necessary?

When you think about mold, you likely don’t consider that there is an entire industry built around safe and certified mold prevention and remediation. This includes a standards body, the IICRC, or Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This organization sets out the standards by which safe mold remediation is judged and also certifies companies that meet its strict policies and requirements on remediation. But should you work with an uncertified Hamilton Park, TX, mold company?

The Benefits of Working With a Certified Mold Remediation Company

Because mold can be an issue impacting the integrity and safety of your home, it makes many homeowners feel safer to know that their mold specialists are held to a certain standard of accountability. The benefits of working with a company with a valid mold certification include the following:

• Highly trained specialists who are often certified, mold professionals
• A governing body capable of holding companies to an ethical standard of conduct
• The assurance provided by certification and training
• A company with more advanced knowledge and training than a non-certified company
• A guarantee that your mold remediation specialists are experts judged against a fixed standard

Certified mold remediation companies are required to submit their specialists to training through the IICRC to obtain and maintain certification. This ensures they’re up to date on the latest in safe mold cleanup and removal techniques, as well as highly knowledgeable in mold prevention.

Finding a Certified Mold Company

Insurance companies often prefer to work with certified mold remediation companies, which means your insurance provider can likely refer you to a local business and may even reimburse you for the cost of mold removal. You can also often search the IICRC website for professionals in your area. Finding the right mold remediation professionals can be crucial to keeping your home mold-free and ensuring the air quality of your residence.

Mold Remediation: Are You Covered?

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Air mover placed on the floor in front of a cabinet Mold remediation in Vickery Meadows, TX.

Mold spores are everywhere, and under normal circumstances, they don't pose much of a threat to your building. If, however, spores find just the right combination of heat, oxygen, food and moisture, patches of mold may start to form in as little as 24 hours. Does your commercial insurance cover the damage?

Limitations and Exceptions

The insurance policy on your property in Vickery Meadows, TX, probably covers mold damage in most cases. Even if the policy has a fungus exclusion, there are typically exceptions to the exclusion that include specified causes of loss:

  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm
  • Hailstorm
  • Smoke
  • Fire
  • Lightning

It is unlikely that mold growth will result from any of these issues, but they are not the only circumstances that may be covered under your policy. Your commercial insurance may include Limited Fungus Coverage. This clause basically serves as mold insurance and covers testing, damage, cleanup and restoration. Your insurance carrier may cover up to $15,000 in mold damage under such a policy.

Responsibility and Timeliness

It's important to remember that fungus coverage may not apply if the mold growth is the result of your neglect. As soon as you detect a leak or excess moisture problem in your building, you have the responsibility to take care of it efficiently. Water damage specialists should be called in a timely manner. If the leak is extensive, they may not be able to fix it before mold sets in, but your quick action can lower your risk and minimize the damage, which increases the likelihood that your insurance company will be receptive to covering the cost.

Most commercial insurance packages include some kind of mold coverage. Your insurance agent can explain exactly how your policies protect you. As long as you can prove you did everything you could to avoid the mold problem, insurance will probably pay for the majority of the cleanup process.

The Truth About Black Mold in Your Home

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on drywall Mold can grow quickly in your home.

Black Mold In Your Home

Mold is a colony of single-cell fungi called yeasts. While some molds spoil food, others attach themselves to damp building materials and build colonies of cells that reproduce by sending out bacterial spores. Green-, orange-, yellow-, and red-colored molds can all produce spores, just as the greenish-black-colored molds can. Some molds can produce health effects and are called toxigenic, but not all molds are toxic. Black mold can be one of these, but since there are over 100,000 types of mold, there are also many types of black-colored colonies of mold.

Water and Mold

If there is available moisture and an adequate source of food, mold can grow very quickly in your home. By removing the water source, many homeowners believe they have solved the problem, but mold can lay dormant for decades. Once moisture returns, the colonies once again begin to quickly reproduce and send out additional spores to contaminate nearby surfaces.

Destruction and Mold

As mold grows, it can become highly destructive. This is especially true of black mold. The thread-like structures of the fungus can penetrate the surfaces of your home in Vickery Meadows, TX, especially wood and grout. As the threads push their way into objects, the growth breaks the materials down. The resulting property damage can cause structural issues if left unaddressed. Almost any type of mold cleanup, regardless of fungi color or type, can be cleaned in the same way. The amount of mold remediation required often depends on the amount of surface fungus and the level of destruction.

Remediation and Mold

Consider contacting a mold remediation team to address both moisture and mold issues once you see fungi colonies. Since mold can grow between floors, in window wells, and around skylights, it can be important to have an expert who knows what to look for identify the likely hiding places of potential destructive threads, such as black mold. All homes can have mildew, but not all homes have a serious mold problem. At the first sign of such a problem, consider getting help.

3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Mold Remediation Company

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, mold damage found in drywall Mold damage cleanup in Hamilton Park, TX.

3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Mold Remediation Company

When a home in Hamilton Park, TX, is devastated by water damage from floods, broken pipes, or leaks, a homeowner may end up having to pay for costly repairs. If you leave water damage untreated, your property becomes susceptible to mold. Mold colonies form when mold spores find optimal conditions to survive. When these colonies develop, they rot the natural construction materials of a building. You should hire a mold cleaning service if your building has untreated water damage and has become rotted due to mold. Signs of mold are:

  • Rotting wood
  • Falling bathroom tiles
  • Visible green sludge on walls and ceilings

Here are three reasons you should hire a mold remediation service:

1. They Will Help You Find Hidden Mold
Bathroom tiles will fall when mold colonies consume the grout holding them up. Sometimes, mold can hide behind these tiles. A mold remediation company will first inspect your property to find hidden mold and places in your home with higher humidity levels.

2. They Will Dehumidify Your Property
After a leak or a flood, materials that are affected can remain damp even after the water has been cleaned away. Dampened construction materials are ideal hosts for mold, especially if they are located in a dark space. A mold cleaning company will help dehumidify your property to keep mold from rotting wood, drywall, or grout.

3. They Can Help Restore Your Property
A company specializing in remediation and cleaning services will help to restore materials that have mold damage. Along with dehumidifying, they can assist with repairing drywall, carpets, and paint. Depending on the severity of the damage, they can also help reconstruct entire rooms affected by mold.
If you have water damage that has been left untreated and has become a hotspot for mold, hire a mold cleaning company to assist you in cleanup and repairs. You can prevent costs from accruing by restoring water-damaged materials immediately. Contact a local water damage restoration service today to get started.

Why To Invest In a Restoration Franchise

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is ready to respond.

Advantages Of Opening A SERVPRO Franchise

It is an unfortunate fact that disasters continue to occur regardless of market conditions. As a result, the restoration industry keeps rolling even as other sectors of the economy slow down. Homeowners need habitable residences and commercial property owners need to maintain properties that can attract and retain tenants. Learn more about the advantages of opening a SERVPRO franchise near Oak Tree Village, TX.

There Is Consistent Demand for Services
Rates of fire, water and storm disasters remain relatively consistent year-over-year. Here are several statistics to give a sense of the size of this market:

  • The U.S. Fire Administration reports over 1 million fires every year
  • The National Flood Insurance Program has over 5 million policies in force
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
  • Administration reports an average of 1,000 tornadoes per year

These metrics indicate steady demand for damage restoration from fires, flooding and storm damage across the United States. Preferred Vendors in a major restoration company are most likely to be called on during disaster recovery.

Restoration Firms Are Local Businesses
Opening a locally owned SERVPRO franchise is a good way to engage in the local economy with the backing of a large national company. Owners, operators and employees help out with disaster response and recovery close to home and can rely on an extensive network for support.
Franchises Can Join a Large Network
Over 1,700 franchise locations in North America are affiliated with SERVPRO. Membership in this corporate restoration network can be helpful when it comes to responding to large losses or making it easier for owners and employees to get certified through Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification programs.
Opening a restoration company is a smart decision, but any business without a corporate network is less protected than a franchise in a large family. SERVPRO franchise owners have access to the resources they need to compete and succeed.

What To Know About Mold Testing

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold testing in Oak Highlands, TX

Reasons You Should Test Your Property For Mold

If you find green spores or notice a musty smell in your home, then you may have a mold problem. A mold assessment can help you find out for sure whether this fungus is in your Oak Highlands, TX, house.

1. You Find Evidence of Mold
Not every fungus in your home is dangerous. What you think is mold could actually be relatively harmless mildew. A test can determine whether mold is actually present.

2. You Want To Identify the Mold
Mold tests can also identify the exact type of fungus in your home. This can help you determine what to do next. If the test identifies black mold, you need to have the spores removed immediately.

3. You Want To Make Sure the Mold Is Gone
After hiring mold remediation professionals to eliminate the fungus from your home, you should confirm that they have done their job. A mold assessment can determine whether your house is truly clean.

Ways To Test for Mold
There are several different types of mold tests available. Surface tests check household surfaces for mold, and air tests collect samples from the air. There are also bulk tests that collect various items from the house and send them to a lab for further examination. Ideally, you should utilize all of these tests.
Some test kits are available in stores. However, to determine the exact extent of your mold damage, you should have an environmental hygienist or certified mold specialist perform the tests.
A mold assessment can determine whether your home has a potentially harmful fungus or the less dangerous mildew. The test can also reassure you that remediation professionals have removed all of the mold from your property. While store-bought mold kits are available, you are better off hiring inspectors to do the testing.

Ways To Limit Mold Development and Exposure in Commercial Facilities

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

A cracked foundation or improper flashing installation can cause mold to grow over time

Ways To Limit Mold Development and Exposure in Commercial Facilities

There are several commercial facilities prone to mold growth, including restaurants and laundromats. Limiting mold development and exposure in these buildings is paramount to financial security, especially with the potential business interruption caused by black mold. To avoid costly interruptions and repairs, consider contacting a mold remediation company in Urban Reserve, TX, or perform routine maintenance in several crucial areas.

Assess structural integrity
Inspect plumbing
Address humidity issues

Assess Structural Integrity
To avoid a costly mold cleanup, assess the structural integrity of the building. Look for cracks, sealant failure, and other foundational, roofing, and drainage issues. You are looking for signs of water intrusion or areas that may allow water access. If you find anything, be sure to not only resolve the existing problem but also test the area for mold growth.

Inspect Plumbing
If the exterior of your facility is clear of any visible damage, inspect your plumbing systems. A mild leak can cause black mold and spawning significant business interruption. Aim to have professional plumbing inspection at least twice per year, once before winter and the other after the spring thaw.

Address Humidity Issues
Restaurants, dry cleaners, laundromats and other commercial facilities can have areas of high humidity, which is conducive to aggressive mold growth. If the business has areas of high air-moisture content, it is vital to install proper ventilation systems, ceiling fans and dehumidifiers. If the building routinely reaches humidity levels of over 50%, contact a professional to assess the facility and pinpoint specific problem areas for correction. A persistent moisture problem is one of the leading causes of mold development.
Because of the high-use and heavy foot traffic of commercial facilities, it is necessary to perform routine inspections to ensure the health and safety of workers and clients. While black mold is not inevitable, many commercial properties have a higher risk of exposure. If you are concerned about mold in your building, then contact a remediation specialist to test and assess the space.

Removing Mildew From Plants

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Plant mildew in Lochwood, TX

Removing Mildew From Plants

Because of a common misunderstanding, it has become popular for some to refer to mold that builds up on wet surfaces indoors as mildew. While mold and mildew can both be destructive to your property, mildew actually refers to a parasitic algal or fungal growth that occurs exclusively on plants. Plant mildew can interfere with photosynthesis and other essential life functions of plants, so you should remove it from any plants you wish to keep.

1. Identify the Type of Infection
The appropriate solution for plant mildew depends on whether the algae or fungus form, known as downy and powdery, respectively, are present on your greenery. Downy mildew is gray and occurs on lower leaves. The powdery form is white and forms on upper leaves. Always make sure that you use mildewcide that is designed for the type of mildew your plants have. Spray plants that have not been severely damaged.

2. Isolate Plants From Mildew Sources
Vegetation tends to collect mildew growth in humid environments. By moving a plant outside or dehumidifying an interior, you prevent further accumulation from occurring. If possible, you should expose your plants to direct sunlight. While dealing with mildew, always water from below so that moisture does not worsen your problem. Before proceeding to the next step, you should wash plants once, but make sure that they are properly dried afterwards.

3. Clip Affected Areas
Remove mildew by pruning seriously affected regions with disinfected clippers. If this process requires you to remove a large percentage of your plant's leaves or stems, your plant may not survive.
Moisture can wreak serious havoc on your home. While plant mildew is possible to deal with on your own, a mold infestation is a more serious matter for a homeowner. If you suspect you have a mold problem in your Lochwood, TX home, you should contact a professional experienced in mold remediation as soon as possible.

Caring for Wet Items After a Flood

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Water loss remediation in Oak Tree Village, TX

Follow These Steps So You Can Save The Materials In The Building

If you have recently suffered water damage in your Oak Tree Village, TX, building, you need to act quickly to salvage your belongings. You have valuable, important items that need the right attention. There are some steps you can take to preserve furniture, carpet, documents, and electronics. If you follow these simple tips and call the professionals, water in a home doesn't have to put an end to these materials.

Carpet Care

There's a chance that you can still use soaked carpet after a flood. The key is cleaning it quickly so mold and mildew don't start to grow. If the water in home gets your carpet wet, do the following:

  • Extract the water from the carpet.
  • Pull up the carpet and padding and dry the floor beneath.
  • Thoroughly dry and disinfect the area.

Furniture and Clothes

Dry cleaning can save these items from permanent damage. You should also allow furniture and clothes to air dry. Reducing the humidity in the room will also inhibit mold growth.
Items such as photographs, files, and books can become fragile when wet. If you are not careful when handling them, they can fall apart. The best thing to do is set them out to air dry until you can contact a professional water damage specialist to restore them. Keeping wet documents in the freezer can also preserve them.


Water and electricity are not a good combination. To reduce the risk of shock or electrocution, never turn on a wet electronic device. Whether the flood started from a broken pipe, a sewer backup, or any other source, call a professional to help you dry and clean the electronics. You can start by gently wiping off the surfaces of these items with a cloth. A trained professional will get into the interior of the electronic to assess the damage.
If you discover water at home, follow these steps so you can save the materials in the building. A professional technician can restore even severely damaged items.

How To Deal With Mold Damage

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a Hamilton Park, TX building

Many situations can cause mold damage in the dark, quiet corners of your property. Storms, flooding, hurricanes, and heavy rain can lead to mold. Once you find it, there are several questions to address:

  1. Is mold really a problem?
  2. What does it take to get rid of mold?
  3. Are damages covered by commercial insurance policies?
  4. Is it possible to prevent mold?

Take a look at the answers to these questions.

Why Mold Matters

Mold thrives in many environments and can live on just about any surface, including wood, carpet, and drywall. Once mold is established, it breaks down those materials for food. This process gradually destroys structural and décor elements of the building. Mold frequently grows where it is out of sight, so by the time you find it, extensive damage may have been done.

Getting Rid of Mold
There are enough concerns about handling mold damage that it's important to leave this project to mold cleanup and remediation experts. These professionals handle containment, cleanup, and disinfection. If damages are severe, the pros may also handle the reconstruction of the affected areas.

Insurance Coverage
Commercial insurance generally provides coverage with some exclusions. Don't wait for a mold issue to understand the extent of your coverage. Check with your agent to find out which exclusions may be relevant to your property concerns.

Mold Prevention
Your mold insurance provider probably has some great prevention tips. Consistent maintenance, awareness of problem spots, ongoing inspections, increased ventilation, and decreased moisture are all steps you can take to avoid future mold problems.

Professional Mold Cleanup
Overall, mold is a problem that can be handled efficiently and with great results. Hamilton Park, TX, professionals generally include preventative efforts in their mold remediation efforts, and your commercial insurance provider is likely to support those efforts. The more you know about mold-related property damages, the better you can prevent them from happening.

Protect Your Home From Dire Fire

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Test your smoke detector regularly

Your house in Northeast Dallas, TX, is an investment worth protecting. To prevent a catastrophic loss, your residence needs your evaluation to ensure it has proper safeguards against a home fire. Fire preparation is key to prevent the chaos and costs of mishandling a fire.

Always Think Fire Safety

By being constantly mindful of fire safety, you can stop any hazards from ever happening. A fire savvy mindset involves mindfulness of several things while around your house:

  • Putting out candles when you cannot actively monitor them
  • Turning off space heaters or other flame sources when not awake
  • Putting out cigarettes with water and keeping them away from flammable garbage
  • Moving flammable objects a few feet away from heaters, ovens or fireplaces

Install and Test Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are the best first line of defense against a surprise fire. It’s recommended by the Red Cross that, at a minimum, every floor has a fire detector and an additional one outside each bedroom. If you do not have one outside every sleeping area, it is beneficial to install more.

Your next step in fire preparation is to clean and test your smoke detectors regularly. They should be occasionally dusted to allow them to work effectively. Once a month, the test button on one unit should be pressed to ensure all alarms are connected and functional so you can identify any that need a unit or battery replacement.

Have a Plan

Everyone in your home should know the procedure for a home fire. You should identify the fire escape routes and inform everyone in the home of them. Every resident should be advised to dial emergency services once safe from a major fire to get the fire department on the scene as soon as possible.

Fire safety is your home’s safety. Although your burnt home may seem lost, there are professional residential fire restoration companies that can help restore your property. Adequate fire prevention helps you act on the fire immediately so you can protect your home from more extensive damage.

Mold Damage in a Crawlspace Can Be Removed By Professional Soda Blasting

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a crawlspace can be removed by professionals

Mold Damage in a Crawlspace Can Be Removed By Professional Soda Blasting

The crawlspace is frequently among the most forgotten parts of a home. After all, how much time do you spend there? However, it’s critical to keep this space maintained for the structural integrity of your home.
It’s also subject to elevated levels of water damage. Possibly the three most common forms of damage to it in Urban Reserve, TX, are

  • Flooding
  • High humidity
  • Pipe leaks

Any of these three can lead to mold damage, which is also common to crawlspaces. If you smell a musty odor emanating from there, you need to either get under your home to look for mold or have it professionally inspected. Once mold is discovered, the best form of removal is probably soda blasting.

A Little Water Can Cause a Mold Explosion

A pipe connection that has formed a little leak can cause a big problem, especially if it’s hidden. As the building materials absorb the water, mold can start growing within 48 hours. Mold spores are so tiny and ubiquitous that they are impossible to remove entirely, so it’s likely to happen after a water intrusion.

Soda Blasting Is Super Effective at Cleaning Up Mold

Baking soda is a mild abrasive compared to others. For instance, sand has a Mohs hardness rating of around 6.5, whereas soda is rated around 2.5, so it doesn’t significantly damage the surface being treated. It’s also water soluble, meaning all the material is easily washed away, and any residue left over is entirely harmless for the environment or human health.
Perhaps the greatest benefit for use in the crawlspace is that baking soda directly kills the mold spores and eliminates the odor. While other blasting materials will only remove the surface contamination, the anti-microbial effects of the soda will seep into the affected materials, providing a deep cleaning for the best long-term results.
Once you’ve determined that your home has mold damage in Urban Reserve, TX, you need a top mold cleanup company to determine the best way to eliminate the damage and repair the underlying cause. SERVPRO is Here to Help fix mold and smoke damage for all homeowners.

Cleanup Procedures After a Toilet Overflow

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

An overflowing toilet can be much worse than an inconvenience

Seeing water on the floor of your building can be disastrous, depending on how much there is and how it got there. It may seem simple enough to clean up a moderate amount of clean water, but what happens if it came from a toilet? This could be the result of sewer damage, which poses health risks to you and everyone in the workplace. To protect everyone's safety and to clean up the mess thoroughly, it's important to follow the right steps and get expert help if necessary.

Your Responsibilities

If you or someone discovers that there is a flooded toilet in the building, prompt action is vital. The faster you can take care of this matter, the less damage and risk you'll have to worry about. Here are some guidelines you should follow first:

  • Inspect the area and evaluate the extent of the flood and damage.
  • Close off the bathroom and make sure no one comes inside until the flood is cleaned up.
  • Contact a professional flood cleanup company if you detect black water.

How Toilets Can Overflow

Many people in Oak Highlands, TX, have dealt with a toilet overflow at work or at home. Sometimes, this can occur due to clogs in the pipes that prevent water and waste from flushing properly. Using a plunger can often resolve this. For severe clogs, you may need to get in touch with a plumber. The toilet itself could be failing or improperly installed. Another likely culprit is a backed-up sewer or damaged sewer line. In addition to calling a sewage company to repair the damage, you should contact a disaster cleanup team to make your building safe again.

Cleanup Process

The water removal crew will wear protective gear while extracting water from the floor. Technicians may have to tear out flooring and drywall as well. The team will dry and sanitize the places where water was sitting. Lastly, technicians will replace and restore any materials that suffered sewer damage.
An overflowing toilet can be much worse than an inconvenience. To reduce your risks of sewer damage, make sure you follow these tips.

Steps To Take After a Furnace Puffback in Your Office

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Puffback damage in Wilshire Heights, TX

An oil furnace is a necessity for your Wilshire Heights, TX, office during the cold winter months. However, if the appliance malfunctions, it can cause puffback damage to the building.
A furnace puffback is an explosion of soot that goes through the furnace's exhaust system and into your office. It can be caused by a buildup of oil fumes or debris within the furnace.
You may be tempted to clean up this excess soot yourself. Yet you are better off calling restoration specialists.

What To Do Following a Puffback

There are four main steps you should follow after a puffback:

1. Assess the Damage

Once it is safe to return to the building, look around to see how far the soot spread. Don’t forget to check any furniture or appliances.

2. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Your commercial insurance policy likely covers puffback damage. Report the loss to the insurer immediately so you can get reimbursed for the cost of repairs.

3. Call an HVAC Specialist

Puffback may be a sign of a larger problem with your furnace. If this issue is not properly treated, it can cause additional fire damage to your building. You should thus have an HVAC technician inspect and repair the furnace as soon as possible.

4. Call Restoration Professionals

You may associate restoration experts with fire or water damage. However, they can also remove soot following a puffback. They can deodorize and decontaminate affected areas, as well.
Why You Shouldn’t Clean the Soot Yourself
On the surface, puffback damage seems relatively easy to handle on your own. However, furnace soot is sticky and contains oil that is hard to remove. It could even spread to your ducts or hide inside drawers and closets. Only cleanup and restoration specialists will have the proper tools to remove the soot from your property.
A broken oil furnace does not just cause smoke damage. It can also lead to puffback that spreads soot throughout your office. Thankfully, professional cleaners can return your building to its prior condition.

Unseen Smoke Damage in Dallas, Texas

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage in Dallas, TX

Unseen Smoke Damage in Dallas Texas

The homeowner thought it was a minor kitchen fire in Dallas, TX. SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas was called because the smell of the fire was persistent after several weeks. Our visual inspection didn't reveal the extent of the smoke damage. Our testing told a different story.

The smoke had traveled throughout most of the house effecting the structure and contents. We took all the belongings back to our facility and had them cleaned and restored. The homeowners were very thankful for all the work that we did to get their home back and looking great once again.

SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas has 33 years of experience in smoke damage cleanup and restoration. Should you ever have even a small fire or smoke damage in your home or business, give us a call 214-343-3973.

Here are 10 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe From Candle Use This Holiday Season

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Keep lit candles out of reach of children and pets

Candle Safety

  1. Young children should be taught to stay away from lit candles. Keep lit candles out of reach of children and pets. Candle lighting is not an appropriate activity for small children, so keep all matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children. Older children can learn to use them under adult supervision.
  2. Burn candles away from drafts, other heat sources, and all flammable objects or materials. In other words, never use candles near windows or exits.
  3. Keep burning candles away from curtains, wrapping paper, combustible decorations and displays, flammable liquids, and aerosol sprays, such as hair spray, which can explode. Never allow a candle flame to touch any glass surface. Don't burn candles for more than four hours at a time.
  4. Unattended candles are an invitation to disaster, so don't forget to snuff out candles before leaving the room or going to bed. Blowing candles out doesn't do the trick: Extinguish them by wetting the wick. Here are some tips for burning candles safely:
  5. Candles other than jar candles must be used in an appropriate non-tipping, non-flammable holder. Make sure that candle containers and holders are made from tempered glass or have a proper glaze. All candles should be placed on a safe, heat-resistant dry surface. If possible, place glass chimneys or shades over them. For Christmas luminaires, use 15-hour votive candles in holders, placed in paper bags filled with at least 2 inches of sand. The candle must be of a size that will allow adequate space between the candles and bag so as not to ignite the bag.
  6. Remove labels and tags from candles before burning.
  7. Keep wicks trimmed to ¼ inch at all times. This inhibits smoking and carbon build-up at the tip of the wicks and provides a cleaner burn.
  8. Sometimes a layer of liquid wax forms that causes the wick to fall to the side. To maintain an even burn, keep the wick centered. This will also protect the candleholder, since a flame that's too close for too long may crack the holder.
  9. Keep the wax pool free of foreign objects such as wick trimmings and matches. They will interfere with proper burning and are flammable.
  10. Extinguish taper or pillar candles when they get within 2 inches of their holders. Discontinue use of containers candle when ½" of wax remains.

3 Key Differences Between Mold and Mildew

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold damage in a Vickery Meadows, TX wall

Is it Mold or Mildew?

You have seen it in the basement before, and it has now reappeared after cleaning. What is it? A remediation expert in Vickery Meadows, TX, has different tests they can perform to figure out if you have mold damage. However, if you don't want to ask for an assessment, then three identifiable features can help you differentiate between these two fungal cousins.

  1. Appearance
  2. Color
  3. Resilience


The appearance between mold and mildew growth is often evident. Mildew is typically flat and grows of non-porous surfaces, like tile, making it a nonpenetrating substance. Its cousin, however, loves to invade porous items, growing deep within. Mold also has a more three-dimensional appearance and is often described as fuzzy.


Color can also vary drastically between mildew and mold damage. Mold is often more vibrant and colorful, often appearing in green and yellow. Mildew, on the other hand, is often described as being monochromatic, appearing mostly in greys and whites. However, mildew and mold can both alter their color if they come into contact with other liquids.


When it comes to resilience, mold growth reigns supreme. Mildew can often be removed with over-the-counter and readily available cleaners. Mold, however, due to its deep-rooted ways, will usually require deep and invasive cleaning practices. For example, porous items might need to be discarded altogether, and non-porous surfaces will typically have to undergo several rounds of scrubbing. Also, because of how mold develops, drywall might need to be removed as well as the insulation behind it.
While mildew and mold damage might both be considered fungal growths, they are significantly different. Therefore, if you cannot figure out which you are dealing with, you are better off hiring a professional to assess your property. They will look for signs of water damage and probably tests the air quality to determine which fungus you are dealing with.

Consumers post air duct cleaning checklist

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Dirty Air Duct in Dallas

Post Cleaning Consumer Checklist 


Did the service provider obtain access to and clean the entire heating and cooling system, including ductwork and all components (drain pans, humidifiers, coils, and fans)?

Has the service provider adequately demonstrated that duct work and plenums are clean? (Plenum is a space in which supply or return air is mixed or moves; can be duct, joist space, attic and crawl spaces, or wall cavity.) 


Is the heat exchanger surface visibly clean?

Cooling Components

Are both sides of the cooling coil visibly clean?

If you point a flashlight into the cooling coil, does light shine through the other side? It should if the coil is clean.

Are The coil fins straight and evenly spaced (as opposed to being bent over and smashed together)?

Is the coil drain pan completely clean and draining properly?


Are the blower blades clean and free of oil and debris?

Is the blower compartment free of visible dust or debris?


Is the return air plenum free of visible dust or debris?

Do filters fit properly and are they the proper efficiency as recommended by HVAC system manufacturer?

Is the supply air plenum (directly downstream of the air handling unit) free of moisture stains and contaminants?

Metal Ducts

Are interior ductwork surfaces free of visible debris? (Select several sites at random in both the return and supply sides of the system.)

Fiber Glass

Is all fiber glass material in good condition (i.e., free of tears and abrasions; well adhered to underlying materials)?


Are newly installed access doors in sheet metal ducts attached with more than just duct tape (e.g., screws, rivets, mastic, etc.)? 

With the system running, is air leakage through access doors or
covers very slight or non-existent?

Air Vents

Have all registers, grilles, and diffusers been firmly reattached to the walls, floors, and/or ceilings?

Are the registers, grilles, and diffusers visibly clean?

System Operation

Does the system function properly in both the heating and cooling modes after cleaning? 

Want Quick Action From Your Insurance Company? Call the Right Cleanup Team

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage? You need storm restoration response

Like anyone in Dallas, TX, you dread the thought of water damage or a flood infiltrating your business. If you need immediate help following incidents such as these, you should have two groups on your mind: your insurance agency and a storm restoration company. Both of these essential helpers will help get your business back on track.

Your First Responsibilities

Large thunderstorms, hurricanes, or problems with sewage or plumbing can bring large amounts of water into your office. This flood damage can pose serious health risks and may damage your building and important materials. Make sure do the following without delay:

  • Safely exit your building.
  • Stay away from any black water.
  • Call a disaster relief company.
  • Get in touch with your insurance provider.

What the Restoration Team Will Do

Qualified, experienced storm restoration professionals have the skill and equipment to remove all the water from your office and to get your facility back to pre-flood condition. The technicians will inspect the affected area and will then determine what they can salvage and what they must restore or completely replace. The team will extract all water and dry your floors, walls and furniture. They’ll also clean and sanitize all parts of your office.

What Role Does the Insurance Play

You need to provide your insurance company with detailed information about the incident so it knows how to proceed. Your agent will review your policy and discuss with you what it will cover and what, if anything, storm restoration and cleanup costs it will not cover.

How They Work Together

Sometimes, an insurance company will delay claim processing or payment because the storm response team is slow to do its part. A top professional company such as SERVPRO will get on the case quickly to help move the insurance process along.

You need a quick, successful storm restoration response. With SERVPRO and your insurance company working in tandem, you should be in good shape.

Choosing a Large Loss Recovery Firm

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Restoration teams respond after storm loss in Dallas, TX

While any disaster is tough to cope with, large loss incidents present a unique set of challenges. The breadth of damage is larger, and the resources required for repair are equally inflated. It’s key that you get the right team to handle your Dallas, TX, catastrophic loss or things could get worse. Know what to look for in a large loss team – follow these tips.

What is a Large Loss Event

Generally speaking, a large loss event is one that stretches beyond one or two properties, to encompass an entire neighborhood, region or even larger area. Examples can include;

  • hurricanes/storm damage
  • widespread flooding
  • earthquakes
  • terrorist events

These events require a higher magnitude of the response due to size and resources needed.

Look for Experience

While any local cleanup company can claim they know large response, only a few truly have the experience. Ask a prospective cleanup partner for specific examples and strategies used in a wide breadth of disasters. This can help you determine if they can handle your catastrophic loss.

Look for a Big Team

A big loss requires a big response, and that won’t come from a ragtag team. Make sure your prospective partner has a good-sized staff trained to properly respond, manage the project, and restore the affected structure or structures.

Look for Speed

Flooding can cause major damage to your property in just 24 hours or less, so it’s critical that a disaster response team assess the damage and formulate a plan quickly. Make sure to choose a cleanup partner able to arrive within an hour of your phone call.
The way you handle a large catastrophic loss can have implications for years to come. Make sure you do things the right way. Use the above tips to find the right cleanup partner and you won’t regret making the wrong decision.

3 Reasons Not to Wait for an Adjuster to Visit Before Restoring Your Home

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Home damaged by storm in Northeast Dallas,TX

3 Reasons Not to Wait for an Adjuster to Visit Before Restoring Your Home

After your home in Northeast Dallas, TX has sustained water damage due to a flood, flood insurance often requires an adjuster to come to your home to assess the damage that has been done. However, waiting to restore your home until after an adjuster to come to your home after a storm is often not necessary for several reasons.

1. Adjusters Are Busy

Once a natural disaster has occurred, insurance companies immediately begin to work with their customers to help them restore their homes. However, the demand for an adjuster to visit homes can mean you’ll be waiting to see an adjuster. Waiting to begin making major fixes to your home isn’t necessary, and you can document the damage that has been done by taking photographs and saving receipts.

2. You Won’t Lose Money Cleaning Up

Although you might be tempted to leave your home exactly as it is after it has sustained flood damage, you will not receive less compensation if you start the cleanup process quickly. It is likely that you will want or need certain items removed from your home before your flood insurance company sends an adjuster to visit your home, and this is okay. Documenting the cleanup process can help to ensure you are fairly compensated for your losses.

3. Your Home Could Become More Damaged

Minor issues in your home can quickly become major issues if they are not fixed in a timely manner. Structural damage, mold damage and more can occur if your home is not dried out and if standing water is not removed. In order to save yourself from having to spend more money, time and effort in restoring your home, it’s often wise to start the restoration process quickly.

Knowing that you do not have to wait for your flood insurance company to send an adjuster to your home before beginning the restoration process might help you save money and protect your home. As you start the restoration process, many people find it helpful to work with professionals in water damage cleanup and restoration.

3 Things To Watch With Partial-Loss Fires

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial electrical fire in Lochwood,TX

Partial Loss In a Fire, You Must Watch For 3 Potential Problems

To be successful in business, you must stay on top of the competition. You must also plan for potential catastrophes. Few things can destroy a business faster than a fire. As such, you must carry comprehensive property insurance to protect your business from fire loss. Not all commercial fires in Lochwood, TX, are a total loss, though. If your business has sustained partial loss in a fire, you must watch for three potential problems.

1. Insufficient Cleaning

While flames are usually destructive, they may not be your biggest nightmare. On the contrary, smoke damage may affect all parts of your business. Even worse, fire-containment measures can dirty or destroy parts of your building that flames never touched. Fortunately, a qualified fire restoration service can likely return your business to its pre-fire condition. When planning repairs after a partial-loss fire, be sure you work with a reputable firm to sufficiently clean the structure.

2. Unseen Damage

Fires have a way of damaging all parts of a building. That is, fire loss can be hidden deep within the walls, ductwork or foundation. When assessing damage, be sure to consider the following:

  • Smoke
  • Soot
  • Air quality
  • Mold

Fire remediators have the experience, skill and equipment to completely analyze your fire-restoration needs. Rather than assuming untouched parts of the building are free from damage, request a comprehensive analysis.

3. Business Interruption

If your business has sustained a partial loss, you may not have to completely stop making goods or providing services. Nonetheless, the cost of doing business during repairs may increase. With extra-expenses coverage, you don’t have to worry about footing the bill for higher production costs.

Odds are good that your business will never sustain damage during a fire. Even if it does, fire loss may not be total. By watching for three common problems associated with partial-loss fires, you increase your company’s chances of fully recovering.