The Different Categories of Water
What is the Category of Water?
According to IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
Category 1 Water (Clean Water)
Water that originated directly from a sanitary source and when exposed to it, either through the skin, inhaled or ingested, does not cause a great deal of harm to humans. Examples of Category 1 Water: broken water supply lines, melting ice or snow, falling rain water, and tub or sink overflows (no contaminates). Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade
Category 2 Water (Gray Water)
Defined as water with bacteria present, but no solid waste, carrying microorganisms and nutrients for microorganisms. Category 2 water does have the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed or exposed to humans. Examples of Category 2 water: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, toilet bowl overflows (urine, no feces), seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, and sump pump failures.
Category 3 Water (Black Water)
Contains pathogenic agents and is grossly unsanitary which includes raw sewage and other contaminated water sources, such as flooding from sea water, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams. Category 3 water is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans.
It is important to understand that when you experience water damage, the longer you wait to begin dealing with the concern, the worse it can get. You should not allow the water to sit because the risk of bio-hazard increases. In short, in 2 to 3 days, category 1 water can turn into category 2 water and eventually category 3 water as other bacteria and pathogens begin to proliferate.
Dealing with the Damage
You must act immediately. Your first step is to call SERVPRO of McAllen to assess the class of water and level of destruction. In the meantime, you should begin all possible mitigation efforts.
According to the IICRC:
Whether insured or not, it is important for property owners to document damage with photographs or video, and immediately begin loss mitigation procedures themselves; or hire a qualified contractor to do this on their behalf. It is totally inappropriate to put off mitigation while waiting for an insurance claims representative to arrive on the scene to evaluate the loss. By that time, in all probability sufficient time will have passed to grow and amplify microorganisms, which may not be covered by insurance. Loss mitigation is defined by insurance policies as “reasonable and prudent measures designed to preserve, protect and secure property from further damage,” including microbial growth and amplification.
Ultrasonic Cleaning 101
What are ultrasonic waves?
Ultrasonic cleaner waves are sound waves transmitted above 20,000 Hz (20 kHz or 20,000 cycles per second), or higher than the frequency detectable by humans. Sound waves are created by the vibration of an object, which causes the air molecules around it to vibrate. These vibrations cause our eardrums to vibrate, which the brain then interprets as sound. When the original vibration is very fast, so are the sound waves, and the pitch of the sound created is too high for the human ear to hear.
Ultrasonic cleaners work in a very similar way to a loud speaker, except the ultrasonic cleaner waves travel at a much higher frequency and through water instead of air. A high-frequency electronic generator that creates ultrasonic waves is connected to a diaphragm, a flat or cone-shaped structure similar to the visible cone-shaped portion of a loudspeaker. The generator vibrates the diaphragm at a specific high frequency, usually between 25 and 170 kHz, inside a specially designed water tank. The ultrasonic cleaner waves created cause the water molecules to vibrate rapidly, creating alternating waves of compression and expansion within the water. During the expansion phase, or rarefaction cycle, the liquid is torn apart, creating cavitation bubbles. These bubbles are where ultrasonic cleaning technology is born.
How does ultrasonic cleaner technology clean?
Cavitation bubbles are vacuum cavities as tiny as red blood cells, or about 8 thousandths of a millimeter across. They are so small that it would take 1,250 of them lined up in a row to reach 1 cm long.
Under pressure of continuous vibration, these bubbles stretch and compress at a fast rate. Once they reach a certain size, as determined by the frequency and strength of the sound waves produced, the bubbles lose structural integrity and collapse violently. When these implosions happen near a surface, the bubbles emit high-powered streams of plasma that travel at more than 500 miles per hour and collide with, agitate and remove even very tiny particles and substances from that surface.
In an ultrasonic cleaning machine, this happens millions of times per second, but because cavitation bubbles are so small the process is both highly effective and very gentle. Ultrasonic technology can be used to clean metals, plastics, glass, rubber and ceramics. It effectively removes a wide variety of contaminants, even if present only in trace amounts, including dust, dirt, rust, oil, grease, soot, mold, carbon deposits, polishing compounds, wax, pigments, lime scale, bacteria, algae, fungus, fingerprints and biological soil.
These contaminants typically are removed even if they are tightly adhered to or embedded onto solid surfaces, or if they are in remote cracks or tiny crevices of an object. For this reason, items usually do not need to be disassembled before being put safely in an ultrasonic cleaning unit.
Technology at your disposal
This technology is part of SERVPRO of Mcallen’s cleaning arsenal. We have certified cleaning technicians that can tackle even the most contaminated fire-soot contents. In the event that you go through a Fire Loss, call the experts at SERVPRO of Mcallen to bring your contents back to life and make it “Like it never even happened.”
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
It may be an old saying, but it holds true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to the health of your commercial property, the savings from regular inspection and maintenance can climb into the tens of thousands of dollars.
While there are many things a property manager can do on his or her own, remember that like our own physical health, in some cases it is better to seek the advice of a professional. Here are some of the major systems and features of a commercial property you should inspect regularly:
Roof and Gutters
First, what type of roof do you have? Is your roof made of shingles, metal, membrane or other systems (such as a “green” or “living roof”)? Each type of roof has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Check for:
Any noticeable gaps in coverage (between shingles or sheets), as well as any wind or hail damage. Any irregularity in the patterns of your roofing material should be inspected.
Look for any water that isn’t draining properly. Pooling water can lead to rot and rust.
Inspect all gaskets where vents, chimneys and HVAC connections enter the building. Some leaks are only hairline in size, but can allow gallons of water into your building.
Make sure your gutters clear of debris and hung at a proper angle so that water drains completely. If they aren’t operating properly, they can leave pools of water to stagnate, cause rot, or serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
A thorough roof inspection, external and internal to check for leaks, mold, or gaps, should be conducted at least once a year. The GSA has a great checklist for various roof types here and what to look for.
More than just pretty flowers, well-maintained landscaping adds actual value to your property, can reduce utility costs, and prevent erosion and foundation damage. Some things to look out for:
Sprinkler systems are notorious for blowing off a head (or getting struck by an errant lawnmower) and leaking water everywhere – or worse, getting clogged and not watering a large section of your grounds.
Inspect large trees for potentially weak branches that might need to be cut before they fall (on a tenant’s car or worse)!
Make sure all trees are pruned far enough from your roof to prevent any contact damage in the event of a storm or high winds.
While a good landscaping crew will alert you to such issues, it is good practice for you as a property manager to “walk the property” yourself each week.
No one wants to do it, but it has to be done. Some items to inspect:
Toilets that might not be flushing as they should.
Sinks that are draining slower than usual.
Exterior pipes that seem corroded.
For a more thorough inspection of your property’s plumbing systems, a licensed plumbing inspector can perform a full battery of tests to give you an accurate snapshot of your property’s plumbing health. Check out the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners to see if your plumber is state-certified.
In 2016, an estimated 16,400 non-home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. As with your building’s plumbing system, there are some basic things you can do as property manager:
Check for burnt-out bulbs
Look out for any exposed wires and have an electrician address them immediately.
Know the location of your fuse box and regularly inspect it for blown fuses, breakers that keep tripping, and the like.
For an in-depth inspection of your electrical system, a licensed electrician should be sought out for this area of your property maintenance.
Every aspect of your commercial property counts on your foundation. Without it, you don’t have a property. A vigilant eye and simple inspection can go a long way toward protecting your foundation and catching a small problem before it becomes a larger one. Here are some things you can do:
Inspect the exterior of your property for visible cracks in the foundation itself.
Check for cracks between bricks, cracks along the mortar and separation between adjoining walls.
Inside, check for any windows and doors that aren’t working properly.
Look for cracks where walls and ceilings meet.
Note any irregularities in your flooring such as warping or sloping.
Any of these may indicate potential foundation issues.
SERVPRO of McAllen is always ready to Help with this inspection;Just contact us at www.SERVPROmcallen.com for the scheduling of your inspection.
HOW TO MITIGATE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISASTERS
There is no such thing as a disaster-proof property. Nor is there a perfect, all-encompassing disaster plan for Texas. Our unique location puts us in the path of tornadoes, hurricanes or floods.
Still, a vigilant property manager can mitigate the impact of these unforeseen disasters with some careful preparation. Here are seven things you should do to be prepared for a disaster and its aftermath:
1) Have an Emergency Action Plan in Place
An effective plan will enable your tenants to vacate the property quickly and calmly, as well as gather at a safe distance from the building. Make sure your exits are clearly marked, unobstructed, and known to all. OSHA provides a great tool for developing an Emergency Action Plan for your property that encompasses virtually any scenario.
2) Know Your Tenants
Do you have tenants with special needs such as those who are visually, hearing, or mobility impaired? Are there small children (apartment complexes, daycares, etc.) that may require extra assistance/attention? What about those with respiratory issues? All of these conditions can impact how you implement your Emergency Action Plan.
3) Keep Your Contact Information Relevant
Make sure your employees and tenants provide you with the latest contact information. If someone is unaccounted for, being able to provide current and correct contact information will assist in any search. Also, make sure your insurance agent’s information is up-to-date, as well as your security personnel, the property owner. Make sure that everyone has your information as well.
4) Have an EAP for Your Data
Do you store sensitive documents on-site? If so, then keep originals and irreplaceable documents in fire-proof cabinets or safes.
How often do you move these to an off-site storage facility? If you aren’t using a cloud service, you should definitely look into an off-site storage location for tape and disk backups. Most banks offer a safety deposit box, which is a great place to store sensitive data. Go over your options with your IT professional.
5) Be Prepared for Insurance Claims
The easiest way to visualize and list assets on a commercial property is to film them. A simple walk-through with a high-definition camera – no need for Oscar-level cinematography here – pointing out large-ticket items like HVAC units, IT equipment, the condition of the roof, the foundation, doors and windows will make claims settlements that much easier in the event of a disaster.
Additionally, you’ll want to meet with your insurance agent to review your policy to make sure there haven’t been any changes to your coverage, or that your property is left exposed to a specific kind of disaster. FEMA provides a great PDF on property documentation here.
6) Consider The Aftermath
This is where things can get expensive. You’ve seen the roofers with ladders on their trucks canvassing your neighborhood after a storm. The same thing happens with commercial properties.
Be careful when employing a company to handle your repairs after a disaster. Ask if they are bonded and insured, as is the case with SERVPRO of McAllen, and make sure to consult your insurance provider as well — they may only work with a select group of service providers. Ask other questions like: What sort of warranties do they offer? How long have they been in business? What seems like a good deal now may cost you a fortune later.
With SERVPRO of McAllen, you can rest assured that all the above criteria are met. No job is too small or too big in our point of view. Our attention to detail and customer satisfaction are our main priority.
SERVPRO of McAllen has the ability to provide you with an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) for your commercial property. In it, we capture all the pertinent information you might need in the event the structure were to go through any type of loss (Water, Fire etc..) You will have all the necessary instructions and information to start the mitigation portion for the loss. And this will be provided in a printed binder and an App for access from anywhere. This is a free service SERVPRO of McAllen can provide to you and hopefully provide peace of mind as well…
Benefits of a Clean Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Are you planning to have your home renovated? Your home should be the most comfortable and sophisticated place to live in. You don’t have to own expensive furniture or items to make it comfortable and cozy. The most important thing to consider is to make sure that no part of your house is being neglected.
We get so overwhelmed with shopping for items to design our house with modern, contemporary or classic style, though one important item to take note of is maintaining the bathroom, especially the bathroom exhaust fan.
How to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
How to attend to exhaust fan cleaning? Just take a few minutes checking the appearance of the fan and recall when it was that you last opened it and cleaned it. If it has been months, years, or even decades ago, find a way to have it cleaned right away.
How many times have you had your exhaust fan cleaned in your bathroom? If you haven’t had one scheduled yet for some time now, let me share with you the most important benefits of the clean bathroom fan:
Prevents Mold, Mildew and Other Types of Bacteria
Dirt, bacteria, mold, and mildew can easily appear in the bathroom. In the tub, sink, toilet, tiles, and shower, mold and mildew can easily spread even if we utilize the best cleaning liquid or soap. You might even notice that cleaning the bathroom takes a lot of your time and effort. And who are those who really like cleaning this part of the house? Having a clean and polished exhaust fan will help you a lot in this task.
A clean and good performing exhaust fan help prevent the mold and other types of bacteria. The air flows through it smoothly, and so the dirt and mildew or mold can’t survive. With this, cleaning the tub, sink, and tiles become shorter in time and less tedious.
Keeps the Air Clean and Fresh
Have you been spending too much on bathroom fresheners lately? While it’s not a bad idea to diffuse pure essential oils in your home or bathroom, having a good bathroom fan will provide a resource for clean-smelling air and reduce the chance of mold and mildew growing in your bathroom. But to have that refreshing air and atmosphere, make sure to have that exhaust fan cleaned as well regularly. This helps a lot in making sure that the air inside is good for your health. This is to avoid discussions also when other members of your house prefer a different freshener scent. With a natural, clean air, all would enjoy taking showers at any time of day or night.
Prevents Serious Renovation Expenses
Save a lot of money and time through regular maintenance of your house, especially in your bathroom. Schedule an exhaust fan cleaning with a licensed and professional technician. This would only cost less compared to thousands of dollars that may pile up when this part of the house gets neglected over time.
How To Prevent Mold Growth In Humid Climates
It is true that mold can occur anywhere, but humid climates provide the optimal conditions for the fungi to grow and thrive:
1.-The frequent precipitation and high air humidity typical of wet climates produce large amounts of moisture – the main prerequisite for mold growth;
2.-The temperatures in humid climates are usually high throughout most of the year and contribute to the quick reproduction of mold spores.
The excessive moisture combined with the right temperatures allows for extensive mold growth and causes great troubles – mold damage to personal property, health problems and allergic reactions triggered by mold exposure, etc. Getting rid of the mold is very difficult in wet climate areas, as the right conditions for its development remain present, and mold remediation is extremely laborious and time-consuming. The only good solution under these circumstances is to find an efficient way to prevent mold growth in the first place.
Mold prevention in humid climates, however, is quite the challenge. You need to take certain specific measures in order to thwart mold growth in such a moist environment.
How To Prevent Mold In Your Home
You can neither prevent mold spores from entering your home (they exist everywhere in the outdoor environment and can easily get inside through open doors and windows, air ducts and vents, or even attached to clothes, shoes, and bags), nor deprive mold of its “food” (the harmful microorganisms feed on organic materials, such as wood, carpet, paper, insulation, paint, plasterboard, fabrics, cotton, leather, furniture, and even dust that are found in abundance in the home). Your only option is to make sure the ambient conditions in your house are not right for mold to grow:
Ensure proper ventilation. Stale air provides perfect breeding and development conditions for the delicate mold spores – they can take roots, grow, and reproduce, completely undisturbed. To prevent such “untroubled development”, you need to allow plenty of fresh air inside and ensure good air circulation within your home – keep the windows open on sunny days, open doors between rooms, open drawers and closet doors, reduce clutter and move furniture away from walls to improve the airflow in your house, keep air ducts clean and in good condition, run exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where steam and moisture can build up as a result of common everyday activities, etc. Make sure all areas of your house are properly ventilated and free of musty odors (especially confined and/or dark spaces);
Take care of condensation. Mold thrives on surfaces with condensation, such as windows, metal pipes, and concrete walls. To reduce condensation in your home, you need to keep the indoor temperature higher and the relative humidity in the house lower. Installing appropriate insulation is the way to go here – have in mind though that in addition to ceilings, walls, and other structural elements of the home, it’s advisable to insulate the surfaces that are most prone to forming condensation as well. If you notice condensation, make sure you dry the surface immediately;
Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to control your indoor climate and keep air humidity low (see below for more details on how to control humidity in home);
Use mold-resistant products and materials in your home. When living in a humid climate, it’s advisable to equip your home with mold-resistant materials – plastic, metal or glass household items and surfaces (instead of wooden ones), tile or laminate floors (instead of carpeted ones), moisture-resistant drywall in which the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass so that the surface becomes impervious to water (instead of traditional drywall in which the core is pressed between plies of paper), paint that contains mildewcides (chemicals that effectively inhibit mold growth), etc.;
Clean, dust, and disinfect household surfaces. Frequent cleaning helps remove the mold spores from household surfaces and considerably reduces the dirt and grime (excellent sources of organic food for the harmful fungi) in the home. Therefore, you are strongly recommended to wash and disinfect plastic, metal, glass, stone, tile and other hard surfaces in your home on a regular basis and dry them well immediately after cleaning. Also, make sure you dust and vacuum often (preferably with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter) to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt on your furniture, carpets, draperies, etc. It has been found that about 80% of household mold grows on dust. Consider having the carpets and upholstery in your home professionally cleaned once or twice a year;
Inspect your property at regular intervals and immediately after violent storms, torrential rains, snow meltdown, etc. to detect eventual mold growth in its early stages and prevent it from spreading further into your home;
Remove already affected materials to prevent mold spores from contaminating other items.
However practical and adequate these measures may be though, they will not have a substantial effect if there is enough moisture in your home to allow mold growth. The only way to efficiently prevent mold in the house is to control the humidity in the indoor environment.
How To Control Humidity
Humidity control seems easy to achieve with the help of highly advanced technology – we can use AC units, dehumidifiers, and various other hi-tech devices that have been specifically designed to control indoor climate and maintain optimal temperatures and humidity levels within the home. Controlling humidity in wet climates, however, poses a number of specific challenges – you can’t just open the windows to improve airflow in the home, for example (when outside humidity levels are high, letting outdoor air into your house will increase the indoor humidity).
So, how can you control moisture and prevent mold growth in humid climates?
1) Ensure proper air conditioning:
Use quality AC units properly sized for your house. If your air-conditioning unit is too small, it will run constantly without achieving the desired effect; if it is too big, it will start and stop frequently which will make it difficult to maintain constant temperature and humidity levels;
Set your air conditioner to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the hot summer months and keep your home warm in cool weather;
Set the AC fan mode to “auto”, not to “on”. When the fan is set to “on”, it runs continuously and does not allow enough time for the moisture that condenses onto the evaporator coil during the cooling cycle to drain off – it is re-evaporated and blown back into the house, increasing the humidity level;
Close windows and doors when your AC unit is running. If the doors and windows are open, warm, humid outdoor air will enter your cooler home and cause condensation;
Maintain your air conditioner in excellent condition to make sure it works effectively. Clean and replace the filters every month during the summer, inspect the condensate drain pipe to make sure it’s dripping regularly (otherwise water may be accumulating inside the unit or on the floor), call a service professional at least once a year for more complex maintenance, such as cleaning the coils, etc.
2) Use dehumidifiers to keep the humidity level in your home below 50%.
3) Do not let wet items stay inside
Dry washed clothes outside or use a clothes dryer (never hang clothes to dry inside). Make sure they are completely dry before putting them away in drawers and closets;
Do not leave wet towels or other wet items lying around in your home;
Take wet shoes off at the door and clean pets’ paws after walks to prevent water and mud from being tracked into your house;
Thoroughly dry your items before storing them inside, especially if they won’t be used for prolonged periods of time;
4) Prevent water from entering your property:
Keep your property in good repair – Inspect the roof and the chimney on a regular basis and make any necessary repairs without delay, repair foundation cracks, fix plumbing leaks, etc.;
Keep the gutters clean – Replace damaged or rusty gutters and drainpipes in due time and make sure they are free of leaves and other debris to ensure proper water drainage;
Direct water away from your home. Make sure the grading around your house slopes away from the foundation – otherwise water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement;
Cover crawl space floors with plastic coverings to prevent groundwater from seeping inside;
Leak-proof doors and windows to prevent water seepage into your home during storms and torrential rains.
How Can Fire Damage Be Harmful To Homeowners?
Some of the biggest challenges associated with fire damage occur after the flames have gone out. During combustion, water vapor and intense heat are generated, both capable of causing extreme destruction. On top of this, smoke and soot will result in ongoing problems as they both contain toxic chemicals and pungent odors. Just how bad the odors and toxic effects are will depend on the composition of the fuel used for combustion, the intensity of the heat, and the length of time the fire ran before it was extinguished.
Plastics and other synthetic materials can leave behind chemical residues that are harmful if inhaled. Wood smoke, usually the greatest contributor to the amount of smoke in the building, contains methane, carbon monoxide, benzene, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, formic acid, acetic acid, and traces of heavy metals. This toxic soup will cause major problems for anyone who inhales the smoke or comes in contact with surfaces harboring smoke residue. Soot and smoke particles have a tendency to settle on carpets, furniture, countertops and walls in the hours following combustion. Before the flames go out, they will send smoke throughout the home, into ductwork, and into wall cavities. In short, there may be no place in the building untouched by smoke, and its presence means trouble.
Smoke particles are incredibly small and may be smaller than .01 microns in size. This is typically too small for standard residential air filters to catch. If the smoke particles are allowed to settle inside the home’s walls, they will create odors that are difficult to track down. Smoke is also acidic in nature, so it will slowly deteriorate various materials within the home. What this means is that a homeowner should contact SERVPRO of McAllen to mitigate as soon as possible. Acting quickly is the best defense in reversing the damage.
Removing smoke and soot requires the proper machinery and expertise. Homeowners should only consider professionals such as SERVPRO of McAllen; SERVPRO is certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. This agency has overseen the certification of fire damage restoration companies for decades and is responsible for regularly updating the best practices in the industry. Technicians with IICRC certification are aware of the most advanced techniques and technologies in the industry. They are among the most knowledgeable members of their field.
During restoration, the technician will need to remove any items that have been destroyed and address any standing water left behind. Pooled water can foster the growth of mold and mildew in carpets and other textiles, so it must be removed quickly. The technician will also have an arsenal of counteractants capable of breaking down any soot or smoke they come in contact with. This is handy for removing ash and soot residue left behind on surfaces. Neutralizing odors left behind will be more difficult, but new methods, including thermal fogging or ozone treatment can break down smoke particles and force odors to dissipate.
It may seem like life will never return to normal following a disastrous fire, but with the help of SERVPRO of McAllen, a family can get back on track before long.
What should I do after a hurricane?
The days and weeks after a hurricane damages your home and neighborhood are incredibly difficult, both from an emotional standpoint as well as a physical one. There can be so many emotions running through a person’s mind in those days that many victims often feel paralyzed about what to do next. SERVPRO of McAllen knows all too well the difficulties that come with these kind of natural disasters. Our country was just hit with 2 of the most devastating hurricanes we’ve ever seen, and for them to happen within a couple of weeks is unprecedented. But as regional and national resources are put in place to begin the rebuild process, it’s important for you as a homeowner to understand there are things you can do to begin the difficult task of getting your property and your life back to normal.
When should I return home?
Often times returning home is dictated by local government agencies. In many instances, there are immediate health threats that make it incredibly unsafe to return home. Whether it’s downed power lines, or the presence of flood waters that are highly contaminated, in many disaster areas it’s simply not feasible to have people wandering around in. It’s always advised that you check your local government’s web site in order to receive up to date information regarding the cleanup efforts along with recommendations regarding your return.
Will my home’s damage be covered by insurance?
This is the most common question homeowners typically have when they return to survey the damage to their home. If the damage is severe, it’s clear it’s going to cost a lot of money to get the property back to its previous condition. We can’t offer a blanket yes or no answer to this question, because every insurer’s policy is different and every homeowners’ situation is different. But what we can do is outline some of the factors that may help you get to an answer more easily. That said, we always recommend you immediately reach out to your insurer to speak with them about your house damage directly.
Do you have flood insurance?
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding and you took out a mortgage for your home, you’ll often be required to carry flood insurance. In the event you do have this additional coverage, you’re most likely covered for the cost of the damages.
Do you have significant wind damage?
In the event you only have homeowners insurance and your house flooded due to a hurricane, you’re most likely not covered for the cost of the flood damage. With that said, you may be covered for other damage the occurred, such as roof damage, broken windows, siding, etc. That said, some insurers do not cover wind damage in area susceptible to hurricanes. So again, you’ll need to check with your insurer to find out what’s covered.
Should I wait to start getting my home fixed?
This is one thing that often trips up homeowners that suffer any type of water damage, whether it’s from a broken pipe or a hurricane. The answer is quite simply ‘no.’ You should never delay the process of cleaning up and restoring your home. That’s especially true when it comes to a natural disaster like a hurricane. Under normal circumstances it might take an adjuster a couple of days to come assess your property. But in the event of a massive natural disaster, insurers become overwhelmed with claims and it often times takes weeks for them to respond. That’s more time for the effects of the flood to cause even more damage to your property.
We always recommend you contact us at www.SERVPROmcallen.com to immediately to begin assessing your options and to begin the cleanup efforts. You’ll end up being able to salvage more of your property and possessions and reduce the cost of the cleanup effort!
Prevent freezing attic pipes
How’s this sound? Its winter, you live in the cozy confines of your suburban home in the heart of the South. You’re sound asleep at night, dreaming of a piece of cake and some hot cocoa. Then all of sudden in your dream you hear the faint sound of rain drops. Then you start to feel them on your face. Then you wake up and think ‘gosh, that was weird!’ You shake your head, rub your eyes and decide you might as well use the restroom while you’re up. Then you put your feet on the floor and feel water and hear a splash. Then all of sudden, you really wake up…sure enough, it’s raining inside your home! What in the world is going on? Well, tens of thousands of dollars in water damage, that’s what!
The above nightmare can happened in winter. You can ended up with extended damages and had to move out of house in the middle of winter. Does that sound like something you would like to avoid? If so, please read on…
Do you have plumbing pipes in your attic?
In states that see cold winters, you never see plumbing pipes in attics, and for good reason. But in the South, it’s not uncommon for homes that are built on a slab foundation to have plumbing systems and pipes in the attics. It’s a logical place to house these key elements of the home, but the gamble is they’ll be safe there. And for the most part, there is never an issue. That is, until that freak cold system blows through and causes extremely low temperatures.
Have you ever been up to your attic? If not, peek your head up there and see what you find. If you notice plumbing pipes that are fully exposed to the elements, understand that you are playing a game of water damage Russian Roulette and eventually you will lose.
Insulate any attic pipes that transfer water!
If you look up in your attic and find exposed pipes, you really need to take immediate action. Luckily the cold weather hasn’t hit yet, so you’ve got some time to protect your home against flooding. Here is what you need to do:
Go to your local home improvement store and buy some pipe insulation material. It’s not very expensive and it’s extremely easy to place over your pipes. You just need to make sure that you don’t leave any area exposed, including joints where sections of pipe connect. So before you go to the store, you need to go up into your attic and take inventory.
How many linear feet of piping do you need to insulate? How many T-joints are there? Any rounded joints? Add up everything and make sure you’ve got a complete list of everything you need. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up taking 5 or 6 trips to the store for what should have been a fairly easy home improvement project; In one Saturday’s worth of work, you can end up saving yourself thousands of dollars. Because the reality is if you end up with a burst pipe in your attic due to freezing, the amount of water damage is going to be extensive. Within minutes, water will travel throughout your attic, down your wall cavities and through your ceiling. It can potentially flood every floor of your home within a few minutes.
Have you suffered water damage from a frozen attic pipe?
If you find yourself dealing with the nightmare situation highlighted at the top, please stay calm. Right now the best thing you can do is call for experience, competent help that can begin the water extraction process immediately. At SERVPRO of McAllen , our specialty is dealing with emergencies like yours. We have literally seen it all. So if you have home flooding from a frozen pipe in your attic, please give us a call immediately.
Soft Contents Cleaning By SERVPRO Of McAllen
Cleaning Soft Contents is a vital part of the disaster restoration process. Quickly and carefully processing contents improves claim process times.
Change is and will always be a part of life. Throughout history, we have seen examples of those who embraced change and remained relevant, and those who rejected change and became irrelevant.
The insurance restoration industry has seen its fair share of change over the last decade, part of these changes is adopting new technologies, and one of them is the Esporta iS4000 Wash System.
The Esporta Wash System is capable of decontaminating soft contents from all categories of losses; including sewage, mold and can restore damage caused by smoke and soot from a fire. The decontamination efficacy (this means how well it removes the contaminants) has been validated by numerous third party laboratory tests performed by leading hygienists, universities, and industry consultants.
The Esporta Wash System utilizes hydraulic action to force both organic and inorganic contaminants out of the objects to be cleaned. The force applied can be compared to the force of waves crashing against the sand on a beach.
This system is specially designed, scientifically tested and patented. It can’t be found anywhere else. Due to this technology, the Esporta iS4000 restores 90% of soft contents damaged by odor, soot, grime, mold and mildew.
Other traditional washing machines work on a basic principle of using the mechanical energy of an agitator, paddle, or tumbling action to wash.
The Esporta iS4000 cleans 90% of all damaged soft contents. These soft contents include the homeowners clothing, bedding, outerwear, pillows and stuffed animals. It includes leather items such as shoes, boots, belts, purses and jackets. Plus the full range of sports equipment, helmets, rollerblades & ski boots. Even ceramic collector dolls can be held stationary for cleaning.
What types of damage and contamination can SERVPRO of McAllen restore?
1.-Category 1, 2 and 3 water damage
2.-Heavy smoke and soot
3.-Bio waste contaminated goods
SERVPRO of McAllen has tested with an ATP surface swab that has verified that Esporta Restoration’s Wash System restores contaminated items to FOOD GRADE CLEAN by removing 99% of contaminants.
What Type of Items Can Be Restored?
1.-Leather goods of all kinds
5.-Laundry of all kinds
6.-Wash and fold
7.-Press and hang
8.-Household goods of all kinds
13.-Unique articles, such as sports equipment
A wide variety of other articles
How will you benefit?
Customers benefit from 48 to 72 hour turnaround time on emergency items, the recovery of sentimental items, a simpler and faster claim settlement and a satisfaction guarantee. This results in delighted customers, and insurance companies benefit from significantly reduced claim settlement costs.