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Smart Strategies for Preventing House Fires | SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fires caused by cooking are the leading source of house fires. If your home has fire damage, call SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County.

While every household should make installing smoke alarms a priority, there are other prevention resources you can use in conjunction with smoke alarms to make your home even safer. Because house fires occur often and for many reasons, it is essential to learn about the statistics and strategies for preventing them.

House Fires and the Numbers

According to the NFPA, every 24 seconds, someone is affected by a home fire. Extrapolated, that means there are an estimated 8,600 house fires in the United States each day.

Fires caused by cooking are the leading source of house fires, but there are many other reasons a fire could start as well. Faulty appliance cords, dryer lint and aerosol cans can also pose a fire risk if not handled carefully.

Top Tips for Fire Prevention

The best way to defend against house fire risk is by being proactive. Learning tips about fire prevention will help you understand the risks and how you can prevent them:

Check up on smoke alarms. Check your smoke alarms every 30 days, and replace them every 10 years, even if they still appear to be functional.

Clean dryer lint. As lint builds up and the dryer gets warm, it can become a combustion risk. Remove lint from the dryer tray after each load of laundry.

Never leave open flames. Fires can start and spread faster than you think, which is why it is never wise to leave the room when there is an open flame. Whether it is a candle, cooking flame or fireplace, always keep an eye on them.

Monitor electrical cords. Cords and electrical wires should be checked often for frayed spots and immediately replaced if they are present. Never run electrical cords under rugs or behind furniture, as they can produce heat.

Check for flammable products. Chemicals in household products can be highly flammable, as well as products that come in aerosol cans. Keep these away from sunlight or heat sources.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

3 Ways Mold Sneaks Into Your Air Ducts

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

HVAC cleaning can be an intimidating process for business owners. If air ducts aren’t inspected often, they can accumulate mold and spread it throughout the building. In order to completely solve a mold problem, you may need to understand how mold enters and forms inside the ventilation system.


1. Using the Air Ventilation System Before Mold Removal

Since moisture builds up when there is no air circulation, it’s easy to assume that air vents help prevent mold from growing. However, if mold has already formed, you may expect a completely different outcome because mold can travel easiest when it dries out. If you switch the air vents on before an HVAC cleaning professional comes in, you may be helping the mold find a more suitable area inside the building to grow.


2. Dust Accumulation Inside Vents


How does mold form inside vents if the air flow pushes it around? While an air ventilation system isn’t running, dust can form inside the ducts. Mold may also settle on the dust in the vents along with any moisture that has been sucked in. Since dust is often an accumulation of small organic particles, it can become a perfect food source for mold in the vents. You should consider cleaning vents routinely to help prevent mold in the ducts.


3. Moisture Inside the Duct Work


When a building is humid and the air conditioning is turned on, it sucks the moisture out of each room and through the vents. Along an entire air duct system, there are several nooks and cracks in which the moisture may tend to accumulate. Since mold prefers a good source of moisture, it may start growing in these cracks and eventually spread onto the outside of the vents. 

If you are a property owner in Cleburne, TX, you may wonder whether or not mold has invaded your air ducts. A professional HVAC cleaning service from SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County may help you find and eliminate mold from within your ventilation system.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.

What Causes Toilet Leaks?

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

A leaky toilet can lead to devastating water damage in your home or business. The best way to combat this damage is to pinpoint issues and fix them as soon as possible.

Toilets can leak for a number of reasons:

• Faulty seals
• Loose closet bolts
• Leaking supply line or valve
• A cracked bowl

If your toilet has a faulty seal, you may be able to stop the leak by tightening the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. If that does not solve the problem, it is time to replace the wax gasket beneath the toilet.


Replacing the Wax Gasket


Replacing the wax gasket can be easily performed in just a few steps:

1. Drain the toilet and close the supply valve.


2. Loosen and remove the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor.

3. Lift the toilet off and then set it aside. Be careful not to damage the toilet.

4. Scrape all the wax off the flange on the floor.*

5. Carefully place the new gasket on the flange, making sure it is completely centered.

6. Replace the toilet and press down firmly to compact the gasket.

7. Reconnect the water line, fill the tank, and then inspect for leaks.

*If you notice any damage to the closet flange, repair or replace the flange before installing your new wax gasket.


A leaking toilet can cause significant water damage to your bathroom. If your small leak turns into a big problem, SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is here to help 24/7. However, with these few easy steps, you can fix this small problem before it becomes a big one.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.

Protecting Your Home Against Flood Damage

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

It is important for homeowners to understand the risks of flooding, though it may be unpleasant to think about. The majority of natural disasters involve flooding, so it is imperative that you know how to protect your home should flooding occur in your area.

How to Mitigate Flood Damage

Turn off electricity. 

Any electricity near flood waters could pose a hazard. The electrical breaker should be shut off to any parts of the house that are at-risk for a flood.

Anchor propane and fuel tanks. 

If a fuel tank tips over due to a flood, it can lead to a dangerous spill or even a fire. Remove fuel tanks from the property or anchor them securely.

Discuss emergency procedures. 

The entire household should discuss an evacuation plan to ensure everyone is on the same page. Designate people to be in charge of shutoff switches and emergency supplies.

Know your risk. 

The local emergency management center in your area and the Flood Map Tool FEMA provides will help you be aware of risks specific to your area.

Elevate valuables. 

Items considered irreplaceable, like family photos and heirlooms, tax records, and household documentation, should be digitized and the physical copies kept in a waterproof safe or off-site.

Raise hazardous materials. 

Elevate things such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies to prevent dangerous spills into the floodwater.

Prepare appliances. 

In the case of a shallow flood, appliances such as washers and dryers can be elevated on bricks or stands to protect the internal workings from water damage.

Homeowners can help protect their home and family from danger by having a working knowledge of evacuation procedures and precautions to take.

If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in water remediation, and our 24/7 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call.

How to Prevent Toilets From Flooding a Commercial Property

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Most owners of commercial properties are familiar with the water damage risks that a clogged toilet poses. Serious damage may occur in the event of a toilet overflow or sewage backup. Here are three simple ways to reduce the frequency and severity of clogged toilet damages.

1. Order thinner toilet paper. Thinner toilet paper is both more cost-effective and easier on your toilets. Even if a customer or occupant flushes a large wad of thinner toilet paper, it is less likely to lead to a clog or cause a toilet to overflow than thicker toilet paper.

2. Provide wastebaskets. A wastebasket in a bathroom stall can reduce the amount of debris flushed down toilets that is likely to cause flooding. Property owners should make disposal solutions as convenient as possible to encourage building occupants to use these options rather than causing a clogged toilet.

3. Indicate bathroom rules on a sign. Posting waste disposal guidelines in a visible location in a bathroom can make a difference in occupants' behavior. Point out what should and should not be flushed to lower the frequency of clogs or flooding at a commercial property. You may also provide information for building services or other options in case an occupant or guest experiences difficulties when flushing.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.

SERVPRO is Here to Help Restore Your Property After a Disaster

6/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is well-known for getting there faster when disaster strikes--but there's another reason  SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County should be one of your first calls when disaster strikes.

Our “restore first” mentality when it comes to your property helps reduce interruptions to your everyday life and gets your home or business back to pre-disaster conditions. This is aided by the use of specialized equipment and cleaning techniques.

Restore First for Fire Damage

Knowing who to call first after a fire has damaged your property is stressful. SERVPRO is here to lessen that stress. Once you contact us, our team will get started right away to service your damage needs.

Our highly trained team will develop a unique plan, tailored to your needs, because every fire damage event is different. Here are the steps that are generally included in our process:

1. Emergency contact. Once you’ve made the initial contact with us, you will be asked to answer a series of questions regarding the fire damage. This helps us make sure our team is dispatched with the appropriate equipment and resources.

2. Inspection and fire damage assessment. When our team arrives on the scene, they will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. This helps us determine the right plan of action moving forward.

3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. Because fire damage can compromise windows, walls and roofs, we will make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs.

4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Water damage from a fire is almost inevitable. We’ll begin the removal process right away and then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. Our techniques and equipment are specialized to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.

6. Cleaning and sanitizing. If your items, structures, and surfaces are able to be restored, we will clean them. After cleaning, we use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to help remove stubborn odors.

7. Restoration. This is our final step in the process of getting your property back to pre-fire condition. Restoration can include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. It could also call for major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is Your Business Ready for Potential Disasters?

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, there are a multitude of things that you must take into consideration, but one of the most important is emergency preparedness.

While having a plan in place does not ensure that a disaster will not occur, it does give you and your business a head start where safety is concerned and will make sure that your employees know what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.

What’s Your Plan?

Have you taken the time to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations? If not, it should be a priority!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

It doesn’t matter what type of disaster it is—man-made or natural—if you have not put an emergency plan in place for your business, things are going to get even more stressful quickly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests, customers, and the business itself.

Do You Know Where to Begin?

When setting up an emergency plan for your business, evaluate which scenarios are most likely to occur—as well as those that are long shots but could still possible. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

By conducting a business impact analysis (BIA), this will help predict any potential effects a disaster may have on your business. This includes any lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

Once you have an emergency preparedness plan developed, be sure to go over it and practice with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Springtime weather, while beautiful, can often be unpredictable, so it is good to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

During the months of April and May, we traditionally have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States. Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

Severe Weather and Tornadoes

There are approximately 1,200 tornado events in the U.S. each year, and they develop in thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

The signature funnel cloud of a tornado is transparent when it first develops until it picks up water droplets from the storm or when dust and debris are picked up.

A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Tornadoes will typically occur late in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can happen anytime and anywhere.

What You Should Do During a Tornado Warning

Understand the difference between a tornado watches and tornado warnings. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

If there has been a warning for your area, and you are in the path of the tornado, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Make sure that you have stored flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home.

If you are driving during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

Tornadoes sometimes leave devastation for miles in the areas they touch down. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

Getting Ready for Spring Storms

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is upon us! While enjoying the weather, don't forget to buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Springtime and Thunderstorms

With spring comes longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, spring also brings with it the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

When looking at natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, the most common cause were severe thunderstorms. These storms caused some costly results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

Making Sure You’re Prepared

The right preparation can greatly improve the overall safety of your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Information about your property, insurance, medical, and utility companies, as well as telephone numbers of friends and family
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

What Personal Items Can Be Restored After a Flood?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

During a severe flood, your home is inundated with black water. This is water that has been contaminated with feces, urine and other harmful substances. Because of the serious health risks involved with coming into contact with black water, it’s important that you hire an experienced professional to safely handle the cleanup. This includes content cleaning.

Which personal items can be restored after a flood depends on several factors, including how severe the damage is and how porous the material is. Non-porous materials that can almost always be cleaned and restored include the following:

• Plastics, including furniture, dishes and toys
• Metals, such as furniture, stands and jewelry
• Glazed pottery or ceramics
• Hard wood furniture

Porous materials may not be salvageable during content cleaning. If the damage is mild, they can usually be cleaned, dried and restored. However, if damage is severe, they may simply need to be replaced. Porous items include things like the following:

• Carpets and rugs
• Upholstered furniture
• Anything made of plywood
• Clothing
• Books and Documents
• Photographs, posters and prints
• Soft toys
• Leather Goods

It may be possible to restore porous items that have suffered moderate damage; however, the cost could be high. In these cases, it may be more practical to replace damaged possessions unless they have a very high sentimental value. For example, it may be worth it to you to restore a one-of-a-kind photograph, but it may make more sense to replace a favorite leather jacket than pay for an expensive restoration. 

Restoration experts can often save critical information in important documents, books and photographs by digitizing them. Unless the physical object is of great sentimental value, digitizing water-damaged documents and photographs is often a more affordable way to preserve them. 

Content cleaning can be an emotional and difficult stage of post-flood cleanup, but before you make a decision about which possessions to throw away, talk to a restoration specialist at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County. Our representatives can help you figure out what is worth restoring and what isn’t. 

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.