Standing Water: Is it Safe?
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Remediation Certification (IICRC) classifies water into these three categories:
- Category 1 “Clean Water” is from a source that poses no substantial harm to people. Water that overflowed while running your bath water, leaking from a supply line for an ice maker, or leaving on the kitchen faucet are good examples.
- Category 2 “Gray Water” poses health risks due to significant levels of contamination of bacteria, mold and/or chemicals. This includes dirty water from washing machines, dishwashers, as well as leaks from water beds, broken aquariums and urine.
- Category 3 “Black Water” may contain disease-causing organisms, toxins, and is grossly unsanitary. Typical black water conditions occur from a sewer backflow, a broken toilet bowl containing feces, and rising flood waters. (Rising flood water is considered Category three because of the possibility of chemicals and organisms found in lawn chemicals, fertilizers, animal feces, decaying ground debris, and over filled sewer and septic systems.)
What Should Homeowners Do?
It’s essential to call an experienced restoration company in Godley, Texas as quickly as possible after water damage or flooding occurs. If you have water in your home after a storm, do not wade into it unless doing so is necessary. It is important to dry out the area as soon as possible. Contaminated water can spread disease and cause mold growth in as little as two days.
Be sure to rid your home of the water as soon as you can to keep you and your family safe. Call SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County or visit our website for more information on water damage
What Are Some Common Causes of Fire Damage Disasters in the Bathroom?
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County, a damage restoration company serving the Crowley and South Johnson County areas, advises homeowners regarding some common causes of fire damage in the bathroom.
The fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County understand that a house fire of any size in the home is dangerous and traumatic. The painfully loud shrill of the smoke alarm, the darkness of a smoke-filled home, the shouts to flee the house, the rush to dress and grab a few belongings, and the bright lights and commotion of fire engines and firefighters arriving on the scene to save lives and extinguish the flames make a residential fire a memory that will not soon be forgotten.
One of the most dangerous and inconvenient locations for a fire to break out is the bathroom. Many of life’s daily activities can only happen in the bathroom, and a fire in the bathroom disrupts life at its core. The bathroom has many electrical fixtures and lots of moisture points. Unfortunately, electricity and water do not go together well, making the bathroom one of the most dangerous rooms in a home or apartment if proper safety precautions are not followed.
Here are some common causes of fire damage in the bathroom and tips on how to avoid them.
- Malfunctioning, unattended, or misused appliances
A hairdryer is an example of a bathroom appliance that can spit sparks and flames when it malfunctions. In the rush of morning preparations for work or school, the temptation is to squeeze as much use out of the appliance as possible. However, giving in to this temptation could result in fire damage in the bathroom. Instead, unplug the worn-out device, let it cool to ensure no fire hazard remains, and discard it in a safe manner.
Unattended appliances pose a greater danger in the moist environment of the bathroom. Never leave electrical devices unattended in the bathroom. Space heaters should be kept level and on a firm surface. A laptop left on a cloth toilet seat cover or on a throw rug can overheat and cause a fire. Charging electronic devices using the power socket next to the bathroom sink while one is bathing or sleeping involves great risk.
Misusing a small space heater or other appliance to dry a towel, washcloth, wet socks, or other clothing should be avoided entirely. Space heaters get very hot and can quickly ignite flammable fabrics, even if the fabrics are damp or wet.
A fire damage disaster occurred recently when a wet towel was hung over a light fixture to dry. The local news report reads, “Firefighters said when they arrived, they found smoke in two apartments. They said they at first believed the fire to be mechanical in nature, but later found the fire was caused by a towel hung on a light fixture in a bathroom. Firefighters found the smoldering towel and were able to put out the fire. No one was hurt.”
Use extension cords appropriately. Do not run the excess cord under rugs or near flammable items. A space heater and a handheld hair dryer put a heavy load on an extension cord and may cause the cord to overheat. The best safety practice is to avoid using an extension cord in the bathroom.
For obvious reasons, scented candles are a popular bathroom decoration that serve a practical function. The bathroom, often the smallest room in a home, is a hub of activity. Candles can easily be knocked over or forgotten and left to burn for hours or days. An open flame in a bathroom can have disastrous effects, considering the many highly flammable solutions often used or stored in the room. Alcohol is only one of these highly flammable liquids.
- Spraying an aerosol near an open flame or space heater
Aerosols, such as hair spray and disinfectant cleaners, are often used in the bathroom. However, they are highly flammable and can be ignited by a candle, space heater, or a spark from an overloaded circuit or extension cord. The safest approach is to avoid using an aerosol in a confined area. Appliances should be turned off, and candles should be extinguished before using an aerosol.
- Keeping flammable objects too close to fire hazards
Facial tissue, cleansing pads, and wipes are indispensable in the bathroom, but they are easily ignited when left too close to a fire hazard like a space heater, candle, or hairdryer. Avoid a potential fire hazard by properly disposing of these items after each use. Facial tissue should not be flushed down the toilet because it does not break down quickly and can clog sewer pipes.
- Bathroom exhaust fan
The bathroom exhaust fan is the unsung hero of the bathroom. With the flip of a switch, foul smells and moisture are quickly removed from the environment. However, these fans need proper maintenance and cleaning to ensure they perform their task effectively and safely. If the exhaust fan makes odd noises, gives off a burning odor, or fails to spin freely, take immediate steps to have the device replaced. The replacement should be thermally protected so that if the unit overheats, it will automatically shut off.
Paying close attention to small details can save lives. Understanding the causes of fire damage in the bathroom can help homeowners and their families stay safe. Having adequate fire safety practices in place is crucial for fire safety in the home. Creating an emergency response plan will prepare the family for the worst of situations.
Pre-selecting a reputable and trusted fire damage restoration company before a crisis hits should be a part of every readiness plan. As a locally owned and operated business, the SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County team lives and works in this community and is ready to respond immediately when a home or business needs property damage restoration or cleaning services. Service areas include Crowley, Cleburne, Joshua, and surrounding areas.
For more information about fire damage restoration in Cleburne, TX, contact the office by phone at (817) 297-8588 or by email at office@SERVPROcrowley.com.
Why Local Crowley, TX, Businesses Should Develop a Water Damage Action Plan
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County helps local Crowley businesses understand the importance of developing a water damage action plan.
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is ready to respond immediately when a business or commercial facility suffers a water damage disaster and needs commercial damage restoration or cleaning services. Every business, whether large or small, faces the risk of a property damage disaster.
According to research from one of the largest commercial insurance providers in the nation, a business is more likely to experience a water damage disaster than damage from a fire. In light of these findings, SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County highlights ways that businesses and commercial facilities can prepare for a water damage incident and restore operations as quickly as possible should a disaster occur.
Steps to Create an Effective Commercial Water Damage Action Plan
Step #1: Assess the potential causes of water damage at the facility.
A thorough risk assessment will identify vulnerabilities at the site. Consider securing the services of a qualified insurance risk engineer who is trained to recognize flooding issues and prevent water damage from occurring. Inspect all appliances that use water in their operations. Inspect kitchens, bathrooms, and all water supply lines. Look for high humidity levels, damaged pipes and hoses, and other leaks. The modest installation expense of a water leak detection and shut-off system is far less than the cost to mitigate a full-blown water damage disaster.
Step #2: Create a water damage response plan.
A detailed water damage response plan minimizes water damage to property and facilitates the swift restoration of business operations in the event of water damage. Tapping the experience of a qualified risk engineer can ensure the plan is industry-specific and customized to the nuances of the facility. With the plan in place, a business can anticipate unforeseen dangers and risks associated with a major water damage event.
Step #3: Invest in water damage control kits.
A pre-assembled water damage response kit enables a quick response if an accidental water damage incident occurs. Items include:
- High-volume wet vacuum
- A discharge hose of sufficient length to be used with the wet vacuum
- Heavy-duty absorbent brooms
- Wide rubber squeegee
- Pre-filled sandbags to protect sensitive electrical equipment if the building is in a high-risk flood zone
Store these kits in areas that can be easily accessed and cannot be blocked by floodwaters.
Step #4: Install flood gates.
Installing permanent or temporary floodgates makes sense for a business located in a flood zone. These measures protect entry doors, windows, and exterior steps that lead below grade.
Step #5: Train the staff in how to properly respond to a water damage disaster.
Having a well-trained staff can save lives and prevent injuries during a water damage event. Review the action plan annually and train several times a year. A slip-and-fall injury can put a small business out of business, and delays in dealing with a flood or water damage disaster can lead to advanced secondary water damage.
Step #6: Make sure that the facility has adequate insurance protection.
Annually review insurance coverage with an insurance professional. Understand the extent and limits of current and available coverage to avoid surprises if a flood damage disaster occurs.
Step #7: Pre-qualify a reputable commercial water damage restoration company before disaster strikes.
Searching for and then qualifying a damage restoration company at 3:00 am in the morning is not a best-case scenario for the operations manager or business owner responsible for the cleanup. The water removal process could be delayed by an hour or more, leading to advanced secondary water damage.
The property damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County are the premier commercial property damage specialists in the area. SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is a part of a vast national network that enables the damage restoration company to quickly leverage a massive response. This capability makes SERVPRO the best commercial restoration choice for businesses and property managers when a disaster strikes. To respond to damage from major storms and disasters, the team can activate special Disaster Recovery Teams for additional resources.
For more information about commercial damage restoration in Crowley, TX, contact SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County by phone at (817) 297-8588. The office can be reached by email at office@SERVPROcrowley.com.
What Steps Can Homeowners Take to Minimize the Risk of Mold Growth After Storms and Flooding?
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County, a full-service damage restoration company, explains how homeowners can prevent a mold infestation after storm damage and flooding.
SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is the premier flood and storm damage restoration company in the region. The team’s experience, training, certifications, customer service, and attention to detail demonstrate to the community that a call to SERVPRO is the best call. The storm damage restoration professionals will respond faster to any size disaster, provide industry-standard services, and restore the home or business to its pre-damage condition.
How Homeowners Can Combat Mold Growth After Storm Damage and Flooding
When a water or flood damage disaster strikes, the likelihood of a major mold infestation increases dramatically and must be considered when hiring a property damage restoration company to remove the water and repair the affected areas of the home or business. The restoration company should also have the knowledge, equipment, and training to effectively mitigate mold risk and remediate any mold damage.
These five strategies can help homeowners prevent mold growth after flood and storm damage in Crowley, TX.
Tip #1: Know what signs of mold to look for.
One of the first signs of mold is a musty, earthy smell in areas of the home that have been affected by water intrusion or excessive moisture. Mold needs moisture, warmth, darkness, and food — organic matter such as wood, sheetrock, natural fabrics. Actively growing mold gives off microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), which account for the earthy smell.
Look for signs of mold. Mold can be many different colors, including black, white, green, grey, yellow, or brown. Depending on the type of mold, it may exhibit a cottony or velvety texture. Avoid disturbing the mold if at all possible. If there are no immediately obvious signs of mold, take the following steps:
- Seek out the strongest scent of mold. At the location where the mold smell is most prominent, scan closely for visible signs of mold growth.
- Visually inspect walls, carpeting, throw rugs, other flooring materials, magazines piled on the floor, and clothing and shoes in closets near the water intrusion. Water stains, bubbling paint, or peeling wallpaper signal the presence of water and the necessary conditions for mold growth. Look for mold in these areas.
- Check under cabinet sinks.
- Look and feel for moisture such as water stains and discoloration on the ceilings, walls, and floors. If moisture is detected, look for mold growing on or near the wet surface.
Tip #2: Check for alternate sources of water damage.
The initial flood or storm damage incident may have led to other sources of water damage. Flooding may have damaged or cracked a pipe, causing it to leak. If gutters and downspouts were damaged by severe weather and were not promptly repaired, water could be pooling around the foundation and seeping into the crawl space or basement, leading to a mold infestation. Flooding and severe weather can set off a cascade of water intrusion events involving roof vents, shingles, siding, windows, and the chimney.
Tip #3: Call a storm damage restoration specialist as soon as it is safe to do so.
When water damage restoration is needed, shaving minutes off the response time contributes directly to preventing advanced secondary water damage such as mold infestation, especially when carpeting, furniture, upholstery, personal belongings, clothing, electronics, and important documents are involved. A reputable flood and storm damage restoration company is available 24/7 and will immediately dispatch a crew to the scene, whether it is 3 pm in the afternoon or 3:00 am in the morning.
Tip #4: Make sure that the damage restoration company is skilled in contents restoration.
Enlisting the services of a property damage restoration company that does not specialize in restoring water-damaged personal belongings could result in mold issues in the future. It could also lead to the ruin of precious keepsakes, priceless artwork and photographs, designer clothing and footwear, and important documents. A “restore” rather than “replace” approach will, in many cases, save money for the homeowner while preserving irreplaceable heirlooms.
- Does the company offer a wide range of cleaning techniques for different items and various types of damage? Examples include dry cleaning, wet cleaning, spray-and-wipe cleaning, foam cleaning, abrasive cleaning, and immersion cleaning.
- Does the company offer organized, efficient, and thoroughly documented move-out and pack-out services for homes or businesses that have sustained severe damage and need extensive restoration or cleaning services? This service speeds up the restoration process and protects items from further damage while storing them in a secure location.
- Is the restoration company able to provide cleaning and inspection of water-damaged electronics by a qualified electronics technician?
- Do the storm and water damage restoration specialists have the training, certifications, and equipment for document and photograph drying? A trustworthy company will admit that not all documents can be restored to pre-damage condition. Competent document restoration specialists will be able to save most documents in a readable, usable form using a combination of techniques such as air drying, dehumidification, freezer drying, vacuum freeze-drying, and vacuum thermal drying.
- Does the restoration company offer contents claim inventory services? This service provides a detailed list, including digital photos and barcoding, of all personal belongings involved in the restoration process. Assistance with the burden of proof for claims brings the homeowner peace of mind in the midst of turmoil and stress.
Tip #5: Avoid spreading mold spores or tracking black water throughout the structure.
Be attentive to what clothing was worn when dealing with the storm damage, and remember to wash contaminated clothing separately. Tracking sewage-contaminated water and mud throughout the home expands a one- or two-room mishap into a whole-house disaster.
Following these five tips can reduce the likelihood of mold damage and the loss of personal belongings after a storm or flood damage disaster. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County can respond quickly to a storm damage disaster no matter what time of day or night the call comes in requesting emergency damage restoration services.
For more information about Cresson, TX, storm damage restoration, contact the office by phone at (817) 297-8588 or by email at office@SERVPROcrowley.com.
Prevent Spore Spreading with These Three Tips
Commercial properties can easily take a fungal friend under its wing, even if new. Mold is naturally resilient. It can easily creep in without being noticed. The following three mold cleanup tips can help you minimize potential spore spreading in your otherwise clean space.
- Minimize Moisture: Fungus – whether it's black mold or another pesky type – is able to spread quickly and without a trace. An isolated mopping from a leaky pipe doesn’t cut it since moisture can come right back. Repair any and all leaks, no matter how small. Investigate and resolve all moisture related incidents. This may seem like a tedious step, but even a drink spill or two on carpeted floors can become the new hot spot for mold growth if not properly cleaned.
- Turn off HVAC Systems: You may be unaware of a moisture problem, but even the slightest bit of water damage can open the fungi floodgates. One way to cut off mold's resources involves turning off the HVAC system. Forced air units can easily transport mold from room to room, and your system could be behind it all. Sometimes, bringing in the judgment of a professional can ensure that all mold cleanup steps are in place.
- Ensure Proper Airflow: Dovetailing from the last tip, give your entire building's ventilation a once-over. Mold only needs a little boost to spread rapidly throughout an indoor space, so be sure to let some fresh air into the building from time to time. Part of this step can include keeping some doors and windows open to keep airflow going.
It doesn’t take a biology expert to know that mold can inflict serious damage to a commercial property in Cleburne, TX. Keep the above steps in mind, even when damage isn’t suspected. After all, black mold doesn't exactly need an invitation to make its big move into your company's turf.
For more information on mold removal, please visit us at SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County.
When Fire Strikes your Home or Business
Kitchen cabinets damaged by a fire
A home or business fire can be a very stressful event for the property owner. Damage to personal belongings and contents of the building is just one concern. Timely mitigation is the key to controlling damage, while reducing downtime and recovery cost. Your local SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County professionals understand how disruptive fires can be for business owners, their tenants and even their customers. That is why SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County offers 24-hour emergency response. SERVPRO service response guidelines can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. Under normal circumstances, SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County will be on-site within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services.
Rapid response and the training of your local SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County professionals will help limit damage and get your facility back to operation quickly and help make it, “Like it never even happened.”
Securing a Property After a Fire
SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County, realizes having a fire in your home can be a traumatic and stressful event. After the fire trucks leave, it is imperative to act immediately to secure the property and prevent secondary damage. Follow the tips below to secure your property and start the restoration process.
- Board up any holes left by the fire. It will help to prevent further losses due to weather or other causes.
- Remove all contents not damaged by the fire. The longer you delay, the more damage will be caused by soot and smoke. Delaying removal of undamaged contents increases the likelihood of the insurance company citing negligence and reducing compensation.
- File an Insurance Claim Immediately.
- Call a professional fire damage restoration company. Fire restoration is not a project to tackle alone.
Should the unthinkable happen and your home suffers a fire damage event, call SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County. Our team will respond quickly with the training and equipment necessary to get you back to “Like it never even happened.”
Keeping Pets Fire Safe
Considering the possibility of facing a fire emergency in the home is difficult, but necessary to prepare ahead. Many families have a fire evacuation plan to ensure the entire family makes it out safely. Did you include your pets? If pets were not included during planning, you may not be able to get your furry friends out in time. Ensure this heartbreaking situation doesn’t happen by utilizing the following tips to create a fire evacuation plan for your pets.
- Keep Pets Away From Fire Hazards
If you have any potential fire hazards, such as space heaters or fireplaces, keep your animals away from those areas. A baby gate or leash can be used to confine your pets to the safest areas of your home so they can’t accidentally start a fire. If you plan to leave the home, turn off all heaters, electronics and other potential fire hazards beforehand.
- Use a Pet Alert Window Cling
If firefighters have to get you out of your home during a fire emergency, they’re not likely to know you have animals inside. As part of your pet safety plan, purchase or create a pet alert window cling that includes the number and type of pets inside your home. Keep the window cling affixed to a front window where it can be easily seen by first responders.
- Put Pets Near Doorways When You Leave
When leaving home, ensure your animals are located near a front doorway so they can be easily rescued if needed. You may choose to confine your pets in a playpen or put them on a leash so they don’t wander from the area while you’re gone.
These steps will make it easier for rescuers to bring your pets to safety in the event of a fire emergency. You may also want to have the number for your local fire damage restoration experts on hand to help you repair damage after a fire.
Regular Roof Inspections can Save Thousands in Costly Roof Repairs
Severe weather is worrisome for most homeowners, especially when it involves the roof. Roof repair can be a significant expense depending on the level of roof damage. While many acknowledge the risk associated with hail and water damage, wind damage is often overlooked. To mitigate the risk of costly repairs, there are a few things you should know.
1. Roof Inspections Save Money
Professionals recommend bi-annual inspections be performed on the roof to ensure it remains in tip-top shape. Roofing inspections highlight damages in shingles or asphalt sheathing. Repairing any minor issues helps to protect from significant damage in the future.
- Look for Signs of Potential Damage
Aside from professional inspections, you should perform property walks and basic visual checks of your roof after any severe weather. These walkabouts will likely alert you to any signs of storm damage, like missing shingles, loose flashing, or any other number of minor things that can turn into a significant roof repair if left untouched.
- Not All Damage Is Detrimental
While seeing any kind of damage to your roof can be stress-inducing, it is important to remember that not all damage is detrimental. The important thing is to take action on any issue, as to protect yourself from having to do a full roof replacement. If you have any questions about the significance of the damage, you should find a roofing specialist in the Crowley, TX, area to assess the situation further.
Roofing issues can be a primary concern for homeowners, but if vigilant about performing regular inspections, it doesn’t have to be. Performing regular bi-annual inspections and walkabouts after a storm can be the difference between a roof repair that costs a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars. If your property experienced storm damage, call SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County.
Preparing the Home for Storm Season
Although severe storms can come any time of the year, each region has a specific storm season. Before big storms threaten or cause water damage to your home in Cleburne, Texas there are a few precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of water or storm damage.
Prior to securing your home, take the following steps to help ensure the safety of you and your family from flood water damage:
- Make a plan
- Get extra prescription medications
- Put together a pack with water and food for a few days for the household, including pets
- Have a way to listen to emergency broadcasts if the power goes out such as 2-way radios, including extra batteries
In addition to completing the above tasks, prepare your home to keep it safe from water damage by doing the following:
- Clean out the gutters and storm drains: This should be completed in spring and fall by either yourself or a professional. It will assist with ensuring flood water is directed away from your home.
- Roof Inspection: Minor damage to a roof can cause significant problems during a storm. Avoid this by having the roof inspected twice annually, or after any major storm. This can be completed at the same time as cleaning the gutters for efficiency.
- Inspect the Landscaping: Landscaping can function as a way to prevent having a flooded building on your hands in addition to adding beauty to the home or business. Be sure the yard has a slope that takes water away from your home. Retaining walls can help with this where needed.
- Inspect Root Systems: Ensure tree root systems are not encroaching on the foundation of the home causing damage. Even a small crack can let flood water in and result in massive water damage needing remediation.
Know What To Do in an Emergency
Tasks such as turning off utilities aren’t practical until a storm is imminent. To prepare in advance ensure all adults in your home know the location of and how to turn off your home’s gas, water main, and power.
Preparing prior to a severe storm in Cleburne, Texas makes sense. Even when you prepare ahead, you may get water intrusion from a storm. When this occurs, call the water damage restoration experts of SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County immediately. We’ll get you back to, “Like it never even happened.”
Visit https://www.SERVPROcrowleysouthjohnsoncounty.com for more information on storm damage.